Sanctuary Seekers: The erroneous geography episode

On 7 February 1485 Richard Perpound of “Chipstede,” Essex [there is a Chipstead in Surrey, but I can’t find one in Essex…?] sought sanctuary at Durham Cathedral.

He confessed to the registrar that near Ipswich in the county of “Nothfolch,” he had stabbed gentleman Robert Hause on the arm with a wood knife. Ipswich is in Suffolk, not Norfolk (as Matthew Paris knew in the 13th century – spelled Gipewich here, lower right).


I guess from the vantagepoint of Durham all the southern counties were interchangeable (just as, famously, the north is vague to a southerner). Hause died from the wound Perpound gave him, and so Perpound was granted sanctuary for homicide.

Sanctuarium Dunelmense, 12.

Both maps: Matthew Paris’s map of Britain, 13th century

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