Between the early Middle Ages and the sixteenth century, thousands of people sought sanctuary in English churches to escape execution for crime or treason or to evade their creditors. Below are some of their stories.
Starting at the beginning of 2019 through March 2020, I wrote a Twitter series called Sanctuary Seeker of the Day: a vignette of a man or woman who sought sanctuary in England between the 1390s and 1557. The stories came from archival research I undertook for my 2017 book, Seeking Sanctuary: Crime, Mercy, and Politics in English Courts, 1400-1550 (Oxford University Press). Once I’d finished, I realized that these posts needed a permanent home — and here we are.
You can access the Sanctuary Seekers posts through the timeline above, using the search function, or browsing below.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Content may be freely shared as long as Shannon McSheffrey is acknowledged as the author.