In early legal practice, one of several character witnesses produced by someone accused of a crime or by a defendant in a civil suit to attest, in court, that he or she believed the defendant on his or her oath.
The process of compurgation, called wager of law in England, was a type of absolution from a criminal or civil charge that enabled the defendant to come forward and swear to his or her innocence or nonliability. Through compurgation, the person on trial was able to conclusively contradict the charges and reinforce his or her position through others who testified under oath that they believed the defendant's testimony.
The use of character witnesses in a lawsuit by a party is derived from the old practice of summoning compurgators to buttress one's case.
"Compurgator." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compurgator
"Compurgator." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved June 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compurgator
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
So compurgation XVII.
"compurgator." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/compurgator
"compurgator." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved June 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/compurgator