William Wawe and Beaulieu Abbey

Circa 1426 William Wawe, a husbandman of Worcestershire, was indicted for many horse thefts (at least eight) and a litany of other crimes. It seems, in fact, that he became the poster-boy for uncontrolled crime in the kingdom. His name was notorious enough that it would be invoked in following years to smear political opponentsContinue reading “William Wawe and Beaulieu Abbey”

MP John Colles joins the Wawe gang?

John Colles, a wool merchant from Huntingdon who served four times as MP in the early 1420s, was named in a 1427 parliamentary petition that alleged he had defrauded creditors and since then had “retreated” to various sanctuaries, at Westminster Abbey, Culham (a manor of Abingdon abbey), and Beaulieu Abbey, staying out of reach ofContinue reading “MP John Colles joins the Wawe gang?”

Lancastrian sanctuary at Beaulieu, 1471

First Yorkists on the run to sanctuary, then Lancastrians… Henry VI’s wife and son Queen Margaret and Prince Edward took a breather from the struggle with Edward IV at Beaulieu Abbey, touching base in a (deadly) game of tag before going back into the fray. Queen Margaret of Anjou and son Edward had arrived inContinue reading “Lancastrian sanctuary at Beaulieu, 1471”

Perkin Warbeck and sanctuary

[I do like this fanciful 18th century depiction of the abbot welcoming Perkin: they all look so genteel.] This is one of the most famous of late medieval English sanctuary seekers, the pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be a son of Edward IV and thus rightful king over usurper Henry VII.Continue reading “Perkin Warbeck and sanctuary”

Abjuration, new style: the 1531 sanctuary statute

In 1531, a new statute changed how abjuration of the realm worked: henceforth abjurers were to proceed from sanctuary in a parish church to a chartered sanctuary, rather than into exile. It was a bit confusing at first. The new statute came into effect on 31 March 1531 but some must have known about theContinue reading “Abjuration, new style: the 1531 sanctuary statute”

Sanctuary in the age of uncertainty: Beaulieu c1537

Although in many ways sanctuary was just continuing along as normal in the second half of the 1530s, not surprisingly the ongoing monastic dissolutions, which had begun in 1536, were raising issues. As of 1537, none of the religious houses with attached sanctuaries had been shut down, but at the very least there was uncertaintyContinue reading “Sanctuary in the age of uncertainty: Beaulieu c1537”