MURDRUM, old Eng. law. During the times of the Danes, and afterwards till
the reign of Edward III, murdrum was the killing of a man in a secret
manner, and in that it differed from simple homicide.
2. When a man was thus killed, and he was unknown, by the laws of Canute he was presumed to be a Dane, and the vill was compelled to pay forty marks for his death. After the conquest, a similar law was made in favor of Frenchmen, which was abolished by 3 Edw. III.
3. By murdrum was also understood the fine formerly imposed in England upon a person who had committed homicide perinfortunium or se defendendo. Prin. Pen. 219, note r.