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?”

Henry VII and Humphrey Stafford

In 1485-86 Richard III loyalist Humphrey Stafford sought sanctuary twice as he continued to resist the new regime of Henry VII: the first time Henry VII left him unmolested, but at the second attempt he found a technicality that allowed him to be dragged out. Humphrey Stafford first sought sanctuary at St John’s Abbey inContinue reading “Henry VII and Humphrey Stafford”

Boat ride on the Thames

In May 1507 Robert Forde, husbandman of Brightwell manor in Berkshire, attacked chaplain John Scolfyld, stabbing him with a dagger. Scolfyld immediately died, and Forde ran to the priory at Wallingford. Wallingford priory was a small Benedictine house; it’s not clear how many monks it had, but it was amongst the smaller religious houses CardinalContinue reading “Boat ride on the Thames”

Managing a murder indictment

This case, abounding with mysteries, ironies, secrets, and manipulations, is perfect as the germ for a novel. On 3 March 1532, gentleman Robert Woode of Abingdon, Berks, met with a clerk named John Mable in the “great chamber” of the abbot of St Mary’s Abbey in Abingdon. Let’s assume that the abbot was there, too,Continue reading “Managing a murder indictment”