Last-minute reprieve

Here’s a drama! On 28 April 1481 Geoffrey Gwynnyth, yeoman of London, took sanctuary in St George’s church in Southwark, confessing to the coroner that he had stabbed John Sander at Tottenham in 1478, killing him.

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Source

Gwynnyth abjured the realm, and was to leave by Dover; a week later, however, he had been found in England, not having hastened to the port to take his ship into exile. He was then sentenced to die by hanging.

As Gwynnyth was being led from prison to the place of execution, a messenger galloped up, with a pardon from the king in hand. Gwynnyth thus walked free.

TNA, KB 9/360, mm. 36-37; KB 27/884, rex m 7 (reference from Graham Dawson). Top image: prisoner speaking before the court of King’s Bench. Source

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