They lasted centuries, in fact in some cases seven centuries, but it took the House of Lords just a few minutes to repeal hundreds of ancient laws on Monday, as part of a government-coordinated attempt to slim down the statute book.
The laws were repealed by the Statute Laws (Repeals) Bill, which passed through the UK's upper house without any opposition.
The bill is the latest in a long series of similar Acts, the last of which was passed in 2008, designed to rid the UK statute book of unnecessary and obsolete laws.
The Government asked the Law Commission to review the law and to suggest any that are now obsolete and could be removed. This is the nineteenth such review and is by far the largest, repealing some 817 whole Acts of Parliament and part repealing a further 50.
The earliest statute to be repealed is the Statutes of the Exchequer from 1322.
The Acts that now no longer form part of official UK law come from a wide variety of legal areas. Examples include the Imprisoned Debtors Discharge Act 1856 that allowed imprisoned debtors the opportunity to secure early release from prison, and the New Churches in London and Westminster Act 1710 which was passed to raise money to build new churches.
Other areas to face a cull include civil and criminal justice, the Indian railways, local courts and administration of justice and Acts relating to lotteries, relief for the poor and taxation and pensions.
The most recent law to face the chop was a part of an Act relating to taxation that was passed in 2010.
The bill was proposed by Lord McNally the Liberal Democrat Justice Minister.
"I am pleased to bring forward this Bill, which continues to make further progress in the modernisation of the statute book by removing obsolete legislation from it," he told the House of Lords on Monday.
"There has been full consultation by the law commissions with interested bodies on all the proposed repeals and there are no outstanding objections to any of them," he added.
Peers scrap hundreds of ancient laws in minutes (The Telegraph)