|n.||1.||The act of purging; the act of clearing, cleansing, or putifying, by separating and carrying off impurities, or whatever is superfluous; the evacuation of the bowels.|
|2.||(Law) The clearing of one's self from a crime of which one was publicly suspected and accused. It was either canonical, which was prescribed by the canon law, the form whereof used in the spiritual court was, that the person suspected take his oath that he was clear of the matter objected against him, and bring his honest neighbors with him to make oath that they believes he swore truly; or vulgar, which was by fire or water ordeal, or by combat. See Ordeal.|
|Noun||1.||purgation - purging the body by the use of a cathartic to stimulate evacuation of the bowels|
|2.||purgation - a ceremonial cleansing from defilement or uncleanness by the performance of appropriate rites|
|3.||purgation - the act of clearing yourself (or another) from some stigma or charge|
PURGATION. The clearing one's self of an offence charged, by denying the
guilt on oath or affirmation.
2. There were two sorts of purgation, the vulgar, and the canonical.
3. Vulgar purgation consisted in superstitious trials by hot and cold water, by fire, by hot irons, by batell, by corsned, &c., which modes of trial were adopted in times of ignorance and barbarity, and were impiously called judgments of God.
4. Canonical purgation was the act of justifying one's self, when accused of some offence in the presence of a number of persons, worthy of credit, generally twelve, who would swear they believed the accused. See Compurgator; Wager of Law.
5. In modern times, a man may purge himself of an offence, in some cases where the facts are within his own knowledge; for example, when a man is charged with a contempt of court, he may purge himself of such contempt, by swearing that in doing the act charged, he did not intend to commit a contempt.