Coventry Act Law and Legal Definition

Coventry Act is an English statute passed in 1803 to prevent intentional maiming and wounding. According to this Act, anyone who maims or wounds another like cutting out or disabling the tongue, putting out an eye, slitting the nose, cutting off a nose or lip, or cutting off or disabling any limb or member of any subject intentionally to disfigure him/her was punishable by death. Earlier, in common law, such an injury was not considered as mayhem as it did not result in permanent disablement. Coventry Act was passed to overcome the shortfalls of the common law. The Act was repealed in 1828.