Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Fossa et Furca [pit and gallows].

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Fossa et Furca [pit and gallows].
An ancient privilege granted by the Crown to its vassals, to cast female felons into a ditch, and hang male ones on a gallows.   1
   According to Wharton (Law Dictionary), this furca is not the Latin word, but the Hebrew farkah, to divide. Hence also the servile tenure called Furcam et Flagellum.   2



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