in Framley Parsonage

Chapter 44 – The Philistines at the Parsonage

locus penitentiae

“There was yet within him the means of repentance, could a locus penitentiae have been supplied to him.”  This refers to Mr. Sowerby, who is judged harshly by Lord Lufton for the difficulties Sowerby has created for Lufton and Mark Robarts.  Literally a “place of penance.”  [JC 2005]

The OED defines the use of the word in legal contexts:  “an opportunity allowed by law to a person to recede from some engagement, so long as some particular step has not been taken.”  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.