A Dutch slayer flees to Westminster

On 9 November 1485, a coroner held an inquest over the body of John Spencer of Westminster. The jurors reported that Dedirick Blase alias Dirrik Barbara, yeoman also of Westminster, was responsible.

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Source

The jurors said that Blase had lain in wait for Spencer and assaulted him with a sword, killing him. Taking his sword with him, Blase fled to the nearby sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.

Blase’s forename Derek/Dirk/Dietrich suggests he was Dutch or German. Though “yeoman” seems a very English designation, it was often used in criminal records for aristocratic retainer/henchman (or just generic guy without identifiable occupation).

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Blase was never brought to trial – perhaps having slipped out of sanctuary back to his home country. He was eventually outlawed in September 1488.

TNA, KB 9/1060, m. 91; KB 29/117, m. 4d. Top image: Source

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