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18 Odd Ways To Find Yourself In Her Majesty's Prisons

"I'm afraid it's illegal to die here, Mr Prime Minister." A rundown of the strangest criminal offences in the United Kingdom.

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1. Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliament / Via

The Houses of Parliament are an official royal palace, and anyone that dies in a royal palace is technically allowed a state funeral. This legislation was brought in to ensure those 'orrible MPs were not entitled to a right usually reserved for kings and queens.


4. All beached whales must be offered to the monarch / Via

'Finders, keepers' is not applicable here. According to a 14th century statute, the king would own the head of any whale to arrive on the shores of Blighty (such as the humpback above, which found its way into the Thames in 2009), while the queen would receive the tail in order to be supplied with whalebone for corsets.

5. It is illegal to allow your furry friend to, erm, 'have carnal knowledge of' a royal pet / Via

Steer clear of those corgis, folks. A law passed during the reign of George I (1714-1727) says: "The severest of penalties will be suffered by any commoner who doth permit his animal to have carnal knowledge of a pet of the Royal House."


8. You can shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow in Chester / Via

It's the legal loophole Bane and the Joker missed. Though, there are a few terms and conditions to follow before you think about bumping off Welsh-born Christian Bale. An ancient law dictates you have to be inside the city walls and it has to be after midnight.

11. It is illegal to drive cows through urban streets between 10am and 7pm / Via

The Metropolitan Streets Act 1867 forbids this "except with the permission of the Commissioner of the Police". Probably not worthy of a 999 call, though.

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