Seyntbarbe, retainer of Lord Audley

The second Warbeck follower who became a sanctuary man in St Martin le Grand in London was named Seyntbarbe, a retainer of Lord Audeley. Seyntbarbe fled to SMLG after the battle of Blackheath in 1497.

We learn about Seyntbarbe from London grocer William Mathew, who lived in St Martin’s as a youth when apprenticed to citizen grocer Robert Purfote, who’d taken sanctuary for debt circa 1480 and continued to live there after he’d cleared his debts.

In 1537, Mathew recalled in testimony that Seyntbarbe often used to resort to his master’s shop (7), which adjoined the South Gate of St Martin’s (3) with its door opening into the gateway. Seyntbarbe would stand in the doorway, talking and “communing” with those who passed by.


As with his fellow traitor Bland, Seyntbarbe’s patterns of walking, standing, and kibbitzing with his neighbours were material evidence of the power of sanctuary.

TNA, STAC 2/20/323, mm. 19-23. Top image source.

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