From LGBT Archive
Jump to: navigation, search

Fleta is a book published around 1290, on the law of England. It is written in Latin, and has the subtitle "seu Commentarius juris Anglicani" ("or a Commentary on English law"). It is supposed to have been written in the Fleet prison, hence the name.

Fleta contains the first mention in English law of a punishment for homosexual activity: it recommends burial alive "for those who have dealings with Jews or Jewesses, those who commit bestiality, and sodomists". Robert Mills, quoting this passage, says that Fleta, and another book, Britton are"are textbooks, not legal codes, and there is no evidence that such penalties were actually enforced."[1]

In practice there seem to have been no prosecutions for homosexual offences before the passing of the Buggery Act 1533.


  1. Robert Mills, "Male-Male Love and Sex in the Middle Ages, 1000–1500" – chapter 1 of A Gay History of Britain by Matt Cook and others, Page 40