Ashford v Thornton (1818)
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|Ashford v Thornton|
The Court of King's Bench, circa 1808
|Court||Court of King's Bench|
|Full case name||William Ashford v Abraham Thornton|
|Decided||16 April 1818|
|Citation(s)||(1818) 106 ER 149, (1818) 1 B. & Ald. 405, available here|
|Prior action(s)||Acquittal of Thornton on charges of murder and rape. (R. v Thornton, Warwick Assizes, 8 August 1817)|
|Subsequent action(s)||On 20 April 1818, Ashford indicated that he sought no further proceedings, and Thornton went free.|
|All judges gave opinions upholding the defendant's right to wage battle.|
|Judge(s) sitting||Lord Ellenborough (Lord Chief Justice), John Bayley, Charles Abbott, George Holroyd|
|Trial by battle|
A celebrated and much-quoted case that demonstrates the persistence of Statute (see: Statute) in English law. The plaintiff invoked a widely-forgotten right to trial by battle, which had existed since the days of Henry II. In the end the defendant refused to fight, and the Statute was repealed the following year.