Murder in the Welsh marches

In September 1532, George ap Mathewe Gogh, along with 9 other men, murdered one Roger Lloyd at Welshpool in the Welsh marches. A few months later he sought sanctuary at Westminster. When the census of those privileged of the sanctuary was taken on 1 June 1533, he was listed (“George a Mata Gowghe”) as having been entered for murder a quarter of a year before, that is from around early March 1533.


If Welsh names are a reliable guide, he joined a fair-sized contingent of about twenty Welsh-speakers in the precinct; one of them, John ap Evans, entered at the same time as Gogh and may be the same as the John ap Jevan ap Tuder also named in the indictment for Lloyd’s death.

Gogh stayed in the sanctuary for a few years. In 1536, he wrote a letter to Cromwell, following up on a petition for pardon his wife had submitted a couple of weeks before. It’s a lovely piece of handwriting: Gogh must have shelled out for the good scribe.


“In tender consideration of [my] long continuance in the said sanctuary” Gogh wrote, “and having little help or succour towards [my] living, but living in great penury and poverty,” I really, really need to get out. Please, please, get me a pardon.

Gogh was finally granted the pardon a couple of years later, in 1538, enabling his departure from the sanctuary. (Note Henry VIII’s own sign manual in the upper left.)

TNA, SP 1/238, fols. 72-73; SP 1/105, fol. 208r (L&P, 11:81); C 82/741 . Top image Source

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