A quarrel between two priests

On 19 November 1435, a London chaplain, William Burght, was found dead in the parish of St. Gregory, right by (attached to, really) St. Paul’s cathedral.

The coroner’s inquest jurors reported that Thomas Curteys, parson of Shere, in Surrey, had lain in wait to kill Burght, brutally stabbing him many times with a “trencherknife” – probably a knife used for eating (suggesting that he didn’t actually “lie in wait” in a plan to kill Burght but struck in a sudden quarrel).


After the killing, Curteys fled to the nearby precinct of St. Martin le Grand. Two years later, in July 1437, Curteys presented a pardon at King’s Bench and walked free.

TNA, KB 9/228/1, mm. 26-27; KB 27/705, m. 24; KB 29/69, m. 16. Top image: BL, Royal 6 E VI,  f.302v  ttps://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=32117

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