Lying in wait in London, 1486

In February 1486, a coroner’s inquest was convened over the body of John Lowthe of London, gentleman, found dead in the parish of St Nicholas Olave.

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The jurors reported to the coroner that Nicholas Wagstaff, a yeoman of London, had lain in wait to assault Lowthe. He stabbed him with a dagger and Lowthe died.

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Wagstaff then fled to sanctuary at St Martin le Grand. He avoided facing trial for homicide, either staying at St Martin’s long-term or running off into the night when the coast was clear. He was outlawed in 1488.

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TNA, KB9/373, mm 15-17; KB 29/117, m 17.

top image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Pieter_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._037.jpg

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