I was reading my world civilizations text book about King Henry II in England, who ruled between 1154-1189. He's known for establishing a common law for the people, and for starting the judicial system by holding trials for the accused. In my book it said:
"Proving guilt or innocence in criminal cases could pose a problem. Where there was no specific accuser, the court sought witnesses, then looked for written evidence. If the judges found neither and the suspect had a bad reputation in the community, the person went to trial by ordeal. He or she was bound hand and food and dropped into a lake or river. Because water was supposed to be a pure substance, it would reject anything foul or unclean. Thus the innocent person would sink and the guilty person float. Because God determined guilt or innocence, a priest had to be present to bless the water. Henry disliked the system because the clergy controlled the procedure..."
Really King Henry, that's what bothered you? Not the fact that throwing a person into a lake to see if he sinks or floats is ABSURD?
I actually laughed out loud when I read that.