Child killed in accidental death

One October day in 1459, Thomas Carter was riding his horse in the town of Leyburn, in Coverdale, Yorkshire, carrying his three year old son in front of him, when Christopher Brown attacked him.

Carter quickly dismounted from his horse to defend himself, but in so doing he accidentally knocked his son off the horse too. The horse, spooked, stepped on the boy and crushed him. Two days later the child died.

Brown acknowledged that he was guilty of the death of the child, as his attack on the father had occasioned the child’s fall – so he sought sanctuary. But he did so only in 1477, eighteen years later. What suddenly brought this up again? More sanctuary mysteries…


Sanctuarium Dunelmense, 2-3. Top photo: Coverdale, Yorkshire. Photo Graham Robson.

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