In 1518, about two years after the assassination of John Pauncefote by the two Sir John Savages and their retinue, one of those retainers, Anthony Savage, took sanctuary as an accessory at Durham Cathedral. Anthony Savage was named in the private prosecution of the homicide by Pauncefote’s widow; it’s unclear why it took him until 1518 to take sanctuary. Once there, it looks as if Anthony stayed at Durham for around two years, as his patron’s case made its way through its stages down south.
In 1520 the king’s sister Mary wrote Cardinal Wolsey, reminding him that he’d promised her he would arrange a pardon for Anthony. Anthony was the brother of one of her ladies-in-waiting: interesting evidence about the pulling of strings to get pardons.
In her plea, Mary noted that Anthony had become “so impoverished by his long and painful suit, that he hath not whereby to live.” (Poor guy. Maybe next time try not to murder people. But anyway.) Anthony did indeed get his pardon, granted on 6 May 1521.
Sanctuarium Dunelmense et Sanctuarium Beverlacense; L&P, 3:203, 529; Ives, “Crime, Sanctuary,” 296, 318. Top image, Ralph Hedley.