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IDIOT, Persons. A person who has been without understanding from his nativity, and whom the law, therefore, presumes never likely to attain any. Shelf. on Lun. 2.
     2. It is an imbecility or sterility of mind, and not a perversion of the understanding. Chit. Med. Jur. 345, 327, note s; 1 Russ. on Cr. 6; Bac. Ab. h.t. A; Bro. Ab. h.t.; Co. Litt. 246, 247; 3 Mod. 44; 1 Vern. 16; 4 Rep. 126; 1 Bl. Com. 302. When a man cannot count or number twenty, nor tell his father's or mother's name, nor how old he is, having been frequently told of it, it is a fair presumption that, he is devoid of understanding. F. N. B. 233. Vide 1 Dow, P. C. now series, 392; S. C. 3 Bligh, R. new series, 1. Persons born deaf, dumb, and blind, are, presumed to be idiots, for the senses being the only inlets of knowledge, and these, the most important of them, being closed, all ideas and associations belonging to them are totally excluded from their minds. Co. Litt. 42 Shelf. on Lun. 3. But this is a mere presumption, which, like most others, may be rebutted; and doubtless a person born deaf, dumb, and blind, who could be taught to read and write, would not be considered an idiot. A remarkable instance of such an one may be found in the person of Laura Bridgman, who has been taught how to converse and even to write. This young woman was, in the year 1848, at school at South Boston. Vide Locke on Human Understanding, B. 2 c. 11, Sec. 12, 13; Ayliffe's Pand. 234; 4 Com. Dig. 610; 8 Com. Dig. 644.
     3. Idiots are incapable of committing crimes, or entering into contracts. They cannot of course make a will; but they may acquire property by descent.
     Vide, generally, 1 Dow's Parl. Cas. new series, 392; 3 Bligh's R. 1; 19 Ves. 286, 352, 353; Stock on the Law of Non Compotes Mentis; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
WHEN I was young I remember in, I think the Beano, a cartoon strip called The Numbskulls.
His dim sidekicks, Portcullis (Rowan Talbot) and Numbskull (Charles Baker), provide some great knockabout humour, and Numbskull in particular reveals a more rounded character with his unrequited love for Maid Marian.
After his stunning display of sensitivity, this know-nothing numbskull pompously declared: "In my day job I'm a marketing manager.
With Ian's numbskull older brother, Rex (James Marsden), on their trail, intent on reclaiming his "borrowed" Pontiac GTO, the youngsters race against the clock to find Ms Tasty with assistance from Amish mechanic Ezekiel (Seth Green).
Then again, in the real world, he's a numbskull with the tactical skills and self-awareness of a lemming.
After Britain's top agents are all assassinated in a daring terrorist attack, numbskull MI6 agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is assigned a vital mission to guard the recently restored Crown Jewels.
THE players haven't been paid for months, the club could go down the pan at any moment and their city will forever be asociated with royal numbskull Prince Andrew.
He'll just look at me as if I'm some kind of numbskull when I yell out ``April fool.
WHAT numbskull thought pitching BB'S Charley against Anne Robinson in a Weakest Link Special would snatch viewers from The X Factor?
Then maybe, just maybe, we might be persuaded that it was just the idiotic actions of one ignorant management suit, and a fine company with a great history shouldn't be punished because now and then they give a job to a numbskull.
This is the first time we have been allowed a glimpse of the function and, while the sight of a bunch of numbskull zillionaires slapping each other on the back and trying to work out how to fasten their dickie bows may not be everyone's cup of tea, it might be worth flicking over to intermittently during the boring bits of the Winning Post.
Men have nicknames for each other such as Numbskull and Useless.