Murdering the parish priest

In 1486, a gentleman of the village of Wycliffe in county Durham, James Manfeeld, together with a number of other men, attacked the parish priest of Wycliffe, Roland Mebburn.

Manfeeld struck Mebburn with a welsh bill – a very frightening agricultural tool/weapon -and killed him. A month later, on 25 February 1486, Manfeeld appeared at Durham cathedral to seek sanctuary.


The record – as usual – gives no backstory on why a group of parishioners would assemble to attack the parish priest: and if they were using Welsh bills, they presumably meant to kill. #useyourimagination

Sanctuarium Dunelmense 12-13

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