No matter who you are or what you do, every aspect of your life is now governed by the law, from where you walk, how much you can drink, to how you should behave in public. But hardly any of us know how laws came into being.
In this four-part series, Tony Robinson goes on a fascinating and sometimes bizarre journey to discover where English laws came from, who made them and why. From trials of boiling water, through the decapitation of a king, to the emergence of modern democracy, it's a journey that starts 2,000 years ago and remains unfinished today.
Tony finds out how the Normans created the first surveillance society, how today's compensation culture was started by the Anglo Saxons and how a man whose body is kept in a London cupboard inspired us to stop stringing up people and locking them up instead.
Throughout his historical journey, Tony plays the part of the accused, judge, jury and executioner and discovers the often strange circumstances from which the main tenets of modern English law emerged.
In this episode, Tony journeys back to the Dark Ages, before laws were written down and trials involved harsh physical ordeals. But by the end of this period, the Saxons had created the very first sophisticated legal systems of courts and juries some 200 years before they were formally introduced.