What is COLD WATER ORDEAL?

The trial which was anciently used for the common sort of people, who, having a cord tied about them under their arms, were cast into a river ; if they sank to the bottom until they were drawn up, which was in a very short time, then were they held guiltless; but such as did remain upon the water were held culpable, being, as they said, of the water rejected and kept up. Wharton.

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