Murder and horse theft, 1483

William Savage, a skinner of Sandwich, Kent, took refuge at St Botolph without Aldgate in London on 23 September 1484. Savage confessed to the coroner that on 12 April 1483 at Winchester, he killed chapman John Brande and stole his horse.

This is maybe irrelevant, but he committed this crime only three days after Edward IV died. It’s possible that Savage thought the new king would issue a general pardon at his coronation, as was sometimes done. Of course, the accession of the new king was messy and so no such general pardon was issued.

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In any case, sixteen months later Savage felt the need to take sanctuary. He abjured the realm and was supposed to proceed to Dover to go into exile: but he was caught in the realm soon after and hanged. Whatever his gamble was, it didn’t pay off.

References: TNA, KB 9/951, mm 87-88. Top image British Library.

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