The Non-Christian Oath in English Law

The return of the Jews to England soon led to a discussion whether they were to be accepted as witnesses in a court of law and even whether they could appear as parties and give evidence on their own behalf. The question, and its subsequent determination, is of interest in the first place because it throws light upon the attitude taken towards the Jews at the end of the seventeenth century, but secondly it is of importance because the arguments used about the admissibility of Jewish evidence were later utilized to enable any non-Christian to give evidence. When in the early eighteenth century trade with India increased, doubts were expressed as to the acceptance of the evidence of Hindu and Moslem witnesses and the arguments used and decisions made in favour of Jewish evidence ultimately carried the day for all non-Christian witnesses and parties. That, however, was not until the

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