Sanctuary at Hospitaller properties

Around 1500, the Hospitaller Order (also known as the military order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem) compiled a record of cases that (they contended) showed the Hospitallers had always had permanent sanctuary privileges in their properties. This was, as I’ll explore another in another post, a bold but entirely fictitious claim, andContinue reading “Sanctuary at Hospitaller properties”

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?”

The failed sanctuary at Paris Garden

Here, a more or less failed sanctuary — some caught on, some didn’t. On 1 May 1468, Thomas Huntley paid 6d to be admitted to sanctuary in the manor of Paris Garden located on the south bank of the Thames, now at the foot of Blackfriars Bridge The manor of Paris Garden belonged to theContinue reading “The failed sanctuary at Paris Garden”

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”

“The liberty of the town of Knowle”

In 1492 John and Robert Tayllour, sons of husbandman Richard Tayllour of Little Inkberrow, Worcs, killed their neighbour Thomas Mershe with a “battestaff.” Afterward, they fled to “the privilege or liberty of the town of Knowle.” This is the earliest evidence as far as I know for the sanctuary town of Knowle, Warwickshire. A manorContinue reading ““The liberty of the town of Knowle””

Sanctuary in dependent manors

In 1506, a husbandman from Tottenham, Middlesex named Hugh Bradbury, along with an accomplice, broke into the house of widow Joan Iwardeby at Quainton, Bucks, and stole a number of goods. Afterwards Bradbury made his way to the manor of Hoddesdon, Herts, and there claimed the “sanctuary of St Martin.” Bradbury was one of aContinue reading “Sanctuary in dependent manors”

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”

“Once belonging to the knights of the Temple”

In 1510, husbandman Andrew Hardewyn of Orton Longueville, Huntingdnshire, killed two men by hitting them on the head with a staff. When he appeared before Huntingdonshire gaol delivery Hardweyn pleaded sanctuary and his case went up to King’s Bench: he claimed that he had taken asylum in a messuage (property) once belonging to the TemplarContinue reading ““Once belonging to the knights of the Temple””

Sanctuary and the Hunne affair

One of the most notorious English scandals of the mid-1510s was the death in custody of Richard Hunne, a London merchant tailor in battle with his parish priest. One of the men accused in his death fled to sanctuary. Hunne’s quarrel with his parish priest involved a customary fee for the burial of one ofContinue reading “Sanctuary and the Hunne affair”

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”