FE'LO-DE-SE, in English law, is where a man, of the age of discretion, and compos mentis, voluntarily kills himself. " No man," says sir M. Hale (Pl. of the Or. 411), " hath the absolute interest of himself, but 1st, God Almighty has an interest and propriety in him, and therefore self-murder is a sin against God; 2d, the king bath an interest in him, and therefore thd injunction in case of self-murder is felattiee et voluntarie se interficit et murderavit contra pacem donrini regis." A man or woman is considered of full age in regard to capital offenses at the age of fourteen. A lunatic killing himself during a fit is not guilty of felo-de-se; but a merely melancholy and hypochondriacal temperament is not such a state of mind as will relieve a person from the consequences of this offense. Where two persons agree to die together, and in pursuance of this design one or both die, it is suicide, or felo-de-se. And in some cases, where one maliciously attempts to kill another, and unwittingly kills himself, this is said (Hawkins, P. C. c. 27, s. 4) to be
felo-de-se. But as a general rule the act must be voluntary. Therefore, if death ensue from a rash act not intended to kill, as where a man cuts off his hand to prevent a gan. grene, and the act is followed by death, this is not felo-de-se. Formerly, the law pun ished this offense by inflicting ignominy on the body of the offender, which was ordered to be buried by night at four cross-ways, and that a stake should be driven through the body. But by 4 Geo, IV. c. 52, this ignominious mode of burial is abolished, and it is provided that a felo-de-se shall be privately buried at night in a burial-ground. All the chattels, real and personal, of a felo-de-se are forfeited to the crown. In Sctland, the crime of self-murder is known as suicide (q.v.).