Abjurer found in the realm, 1486

In July 1485 John Walworth, yeoman of Weston, Northants, assaulted Hugh Peke at Clifton in Nottinghamshire, killing him. Six months later, Walworth took asylum at the parish church of St. Andrew in Kingston, Cambridgeshire.

Walworth abjured the realm, but by the fall of 1486 he had been found in London: probably he hoped the anonymity of the Big Smoke would allow him to disappear, but no such luck. He was sentenced to be hanged. The church where Walworth sought sanctuary in Cambridgeshire has some poignant grafitti dating from about two decades after his brief sojourn there – recording the death from bubonic plague of three sisters from the village.

Grafitti in St Andrew’s church. Source

TNA, KB 9/1060, m. 66-67; KB 27/901, rex m. 3d

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