Editor’s Note: This story appeared as part of an April Fools issue.
In an effort to improve safety and the Chancellor’s reputation for maintaining order, Sheriff of Islavistingham Crist‹o Madeira, pledged Monday to crack down on Knaves and Debtors in the seaside hamlet.
Landholders have complained in recent months that the peasants have repeatedly refused to pay rent.
“Yon dirty swine hath repeatedly given the excuse that we, the gentlemen of this country, hath taken too much in our taxes, our tithes and our fifths, to allow them sufficient food to feed their enormous broods and pay rent through the Winter,” Marquis do Naranh‹o said, pointing from his veranda to the vast expanse of land before him. “I am generous in giving each man his league of land at a low rent which only increases as my costs increase. They are only lazy, stupid peasants.”
Those failing to pay rent or the tithe by the first full moon will be immediately rounded up by the Sheriff and incarcerated in Debtors Prison under Storke Tower until their families can pay the debts in full plus interest.
Critics of the policy say it is too severe, as generations of peasants have already been imprisoned for the debts of their forefathers and have thus become a blight on the fiefdom – unable to be productive members of society.
Several courtiers are currently discussing a new, more humane solution to the debtor problem in the fiefdom. Instead of going to the dungeon, debtors and their families will be given the option to join the orphans in their effort to populate the newly acquired Ilha do S‹o Catalina, off the coast of Islavistingham.
Criminals may also be considered for the proposed program, as the prisons and stockades continue to fill with the unbathed, uncouth and often drunken citizenry of Islavistingham. Thirty men imprisoned for public merry-making last month are among the first considered for mass emigration.
Sir Paulo Pareira do Miguel is currently lobbying the King to allow the men to colonize Ilha do Anacapa, also off the coast of Islavistingham.