Flight following the murder of a monk

Another early entry in the Beverley sanctuary register is for John Boys, who interestingly was from Durham – he travelled about 150 km from the perfectly good sanctuary in his own home town to enter Beverley sanctuary on 24 May 1478.

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Maybe he decided to go to Beverley because he committed what we might imagine was a shocking homicide in Durham itself: he killed one Dom (Brother) Baxter, a Cistercian monk from Jervaulx Abbey.

The victim seems to have been Brother Robert Baxter, monk of Jervaulx; the only other record I’ve found for him is ordination records in 1466-67 (bonus: discovery of this groovy online edition of York Clergy ordinations! See pp 169, 172, 175).

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As with so many of these sanctuary cases, what exactly happened to lead to the death of a monk at the hands of John Boys is left to our imaginations, since the records themselves are not telling us.

SDSB, 161, link. Top image: The Morgan Library.

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