Water ordeal


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Related to Water ordeal: trial by ordeal

WATER ORDEAL. An ancient form of trial, now abolished, by which the accused, tied band and foot, were cast into cold water, and if they did not sink they were deemed innocent or they were compelled to plunge their limbs into hot water, and if they came out unhurt they were considered innocent. Vide Ordeal.

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THE downgrading of a medieval-style water ordeal used to assess workers for a medical condition could cost the UK Government as much as pounds 1bn in disablement benefits, it has emerged.