An abjurer found in the realm

At the end of March 1480 John Bere, a cutler from Bristol, took sanctuary at the parish church at Water Lambeth, Surrey, across the Thames from Westminster.

Water Lambeth, Surrey. Source

Bere confessed to the coroner that more than three years before, just before Christmas 1476, he had murdered a certain Richard Hylles at Sampford Peverell, Devon. He chose to abjure the realm and was supposed to go to Dover to take a ship into exile.

The ship Bere didn’t take … Source

But within four months he’d been found in the realm – as usual, pehaps he never left. Unlike other abjurers found in the kingdom, he wasn’t given a second chance: he was sentenced to hang.

TNA, KB 9/353, m. 66; TNA, KB 27/875, rex m. 9d (the latter reference from the generous Graham Dawson). Top image

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