A Glastonbury brewer burgles

In September 1416, Edmund Bisshop, brewer of Glastonbury, ended up in Essex for some reason (most probable backstory: normally his pub did really well at festival time, but 1416 was a bad year for pop music).

Glastonbury Tribute.jpg

He burglarized a house in Harlow, stealing very ordinary household goods: a pot, a belt, some knives. Moving on with his stolen goods from Harlow to Tottenham in Middlesex, a local man noticed him and took him into custody, bringing him to the local constable, who put him in the Tottenham stocks, presumably awaiting a transfer to the county authorities for trial.

Stocks in Keevil, Wiltshire, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stocks#/media/File:Stocks,_Keevil,_Wiltshire.jpg

After two days in the stocks, Bisshop managed to get free, and ran into the Tottenham parish church. There, on 11 Sept 1416, he confessed his burglary to the coroner, and abjured the realm through Dover.

The story of Edmund Bisshop escaping from the stocks and dashing into the parish church has (to my mind) a bit of a monty-pythonesque air of comedy, but if tried and convicted, he would have hanged, even for stealing a few pots, belts, and knives. So maybe not so funny for him.

TNA, KB9/208, mm. 67, 79. Top image: The Burglar, from The Wild Boys of London, 1866.

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