Bagpipes and cheese: an unsuccessful burglary

Who amongst us has not had the urge to steal a set of bagpipes and eight large cheeses? Basic party kit, as presumably John Esteneys, a weaver from Southwark, thought when he broke into two houses in Walton on Thames in 1451 to steal those items.

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The party apparently went wrong, however, and on 28 October 1451 Esteneys fled to the church of St. Mary in Chertsey, Surrey. He abjured the realm and was to leave by the port of Portsmouth.

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A year later, however, he was in custody and had no answer when asked to explain why he was still in the realm. He was sentenced to hang: a steep price. Thanks again to Graham Dawson for the reference.

TNA, KB 27/766 rex m. 38.

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