Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A practice of branding to prevent a second claiming of benefit of clergy.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In old English criminal law, laymen, upon being accorded the benefit of clergy, were burned with a hot iron in the brawn of the left thumb, in order that, being thus marked, they could not again claim their clergy. 4 Bl. Comm. 367.