Copyright Stephen Swailes.

Cases of sanctuary seekers in Northamptonshire 1394-1557, taken from Dr Shannon McSheffrey's website Sanctuary Seekers in England, 1394-1557, with additional information added from original sources where possible.

SDSB is Sanctuarium Dunelmense et Sanctuarium Beverlacense (Surtees Society, 1837) available at the Internet Archive. CPR is Calendar of Patent Rolls.

Source AALT image no. Date Place Contents
CPR 1401-06, p51 1402 Northampton March 18th Westminster, John Colfyn of Northampton pardoned for all felonies committed by him except for treason, murder and rape and of all abjuration of the realm made on account of these.
CPR 1405-08, p326 1407 Northampton John Lakyn of Shropshire who was imprisoned in Northampton castle escaped and took refuge in the church of St Mary and abjured the realm. On his passage to a port the gaoler, Thomas Byfield of Cosgrove (Gosgrave) followed him on the highway to near Kingsthorpe and arrested him so that he would stand trial. At trial, the justices William Thirning and Robert Tirwhit ruled that his sanctuary had been breached and released him to continue his journey. The gaoler was fined but later pardoned.
JUST2/119C m3d 16 1414 Rothwell William atte Elme of Nuneaton took refuge in the church at Rothwell on 6th April 1414 and confessed to a theft on 1st April. He abjured and was assigned to Southampton.
CPR 1436-41, pp275-6 1433 Newton Bromswold John Marchall, husbandman of Newton by Higham Ferrers confessed before William Aldewyncle coroner in the church of Newton on 24th October that he stole five sheep worth 7 shillings from John Chircheyarde and Richard Code at Yelden. After abjuring the realm he was assigned to Southampton. Six years later in 1439 and expressing great remorse for his illdeeds he sought the king's mercy and the king granted licence for him to re-enter the realm.
KB9/252/2 m20 40 1446 Geddington In April 1446 two yeomen from Geddington called Walter Freman and John Iryssh and a labourer lay in wait to attack a man called William Shirwode. The labourer, William Campyon, struck Shirwode on the back of of the head with a pitchfork killing him on the spot. The murder was carried out on the instructions of Thomas Mulsho late of Geddington, gent, who was charged with being an accessory. Campyon took sanctuary in Geddington church where he abjured the realm. Inquest jurors were Richard Caswell, ___ Knyght, John Counford, Henry Bell, Thomas Roos, William Grey of Great Newton Walter Ca__, Thomas Chapeleyn, Thomas Castilon, Robert Keys, John Clyfton of Weekley ('Woycley'), John Lanford of the same, John Grobbe of Weekley & William Graunger of Great Oakley.
KB9/362 m42; KB29/112 m19d; KB27/884 m18; CPR 1476-85, p279. 83; 1475 Daventry Richard Paranet late of Radford in Warwickshire, chaplain, took refuge in St Augustine's Priory in Daventry and confessed that 16 years previously he together with John Pygot of Normanby yeoman and William Heyward of the same yeoman had killed William Saunderson late of Gainsborough, Lincs, with a baslard. He abjured the realm and was sent to Sandwich but was granted a pardon in 1481.
KB9/1060 m66-7; KB27/901 m3d 1485 Collyweston? John Walworth, yeoman, of Weston killed Hugh Peke at Clifton in Nottinghamshire. Walworth then took refuge in the church in Kingston, Cambridgeshire. He abjured the realm but was later found in London and sentenced to hang.
SDSB p156 1493 Peterborough William Ston of Peterborough, dyer, took refuge in Beverley for debt.
SDSB, p30, p139 1496 Braybrooke Richard Fyshe of Braybrooke, tailor, took sanctuary in Beverley for killing James Yreson at Braybrooke in 1494 or 1495. He took sanctuary again at Durham for the same felony in September 1496 and said that in self-defence he had hit James Yreson on the head with a club.
SDSB p134 1501 Kings Cliffe John Synger of Kings Cliffe took sanctuary at Beverley for debt
KB9/446 m31; KB29/137 m12d 337; c/f 1507 Potterspury Edward Bulkley of Potterspury, labourer, took sanctuary in the church of Ewell in Surrey but was delivered to Newgate prison in October 1507 on an indictment that he had robbed an unknown man in St Andrew, Holborn of 19 pence.
KB9/960 mm80, 83; KB29/138 m3d ;67 1508 Passenham, Old Stratford Francis Aleyn, chaplain, broke into the house of John Wydevyll at Old Stratford and raped Margaret Wylson. She recruited William Turnham alias Percyvale and William Payne, both labourers, to get revenge and in the fields of neaby Passenham they beat Aleyn to death while she watched. Both men took sanctuary in Passenham church and both were later outlawed. Margaret seems to have escaped further punishment under law.
Baker, Port's Notebook 37-41 1513 Northampton Hugh Boswell of London, gentleman, took sanctuary in St Andrew's Cluniac Priory was indicted for stealing from a church. He claimed sanctuary for life and that he was a friar but the Prior claimed no such privilege for the monastery. Hence Boswell was to hang.
KB9/469 m109 219 1515 Croughton David Jones of Worcester, tailor, took refuge in the church at Croughton on 21st April 1515 and confessed that he had stolen clothing, a lance and a woodknife worth about 22 shillings from Thomas Dove, chaplain, at Croughton. He appealed (accused) Leonard Metcalfe of Croughton yeoman and Robert Kellett of Adderbury, tailor, because on 2nd March 1515 at Puttam in Lancs they had assaulted an unknown man and stolen 20 marks. He abjured the realm and was assigned to Dover.
KB9/478 mm35-6; KB27/1032 m3 74, 76; ? 1516 Sibbertoft William Langford alias Chorleton late of London, yeoman, took refuge in the church on 20th September and confessed that on 14th August he had murdered Hugh Beryngton and had stolen a gown of damask worth 10 pounds the property of William Sherwode and other things at London. He abjured the realm. He was found in the realm in 1519 and as he could not explain it he was sentenced to hang.
KB9/474 m36 74 1517 Kings Cliffe Richard Smyth, smith, took sanctuary at Kings Cliffe on 20th April and confessed that he had stolen a bay horse worth 20 shillings from John Smyth and abjured the realm.
KB9/477 m98 205 1519 Wellingboorugh Richard Maydebury late of Wellingborough, shoemaker, took refuge in the church at Finedon the 6th October and confessed that he had stolen 60 pairs of shoes from Thomas Colyn at Northampton along with a hide worth two shillings and 8 pence the property of William Denett at Wellingborough certain other thefts. He abured the realm and was sent to Dover.
KB9/486 m21 42 1521 Warkworth Richard Grene of Radford, Warwickshire, labourer, took refuge in the church the 11th March and confessed that on 9th March he had stolen a bay gelding worth 8 shillings and some cloth from an unknown man. He abjured and was assigned to Dover.
KB/490 mm42,45 83,89 1523 Thorpe Lubenham William Morley late of Thorpe Lubenham, yoeman, took refuge in the Blackfriars' church the 5th January in Northampton and 9 days later asked for the coroner. Before John Hylton, John Walker and Richard Dixson he confessed that he had lain in wait at Thorpe Lubenham for Richard Rande also called Richard Randull late of Lubenham inflicting a mortal wound with a pykedstaff. He had also stolen a grey horse and a shield the property of John Catesby armiger at Thorpe Lubenham. And goods from Bartram Morley at Thorpe. He abjured the realm and was assigned to Kings Lynn.
KB9/490 mm43-44 85,87 1523 Althorp Inquest at Althorp on the body of John Ekton of Althorp. Jurors John Whyttyng of Harlestone, John Stace of the same, Hugh Lade of the same, Robert Stanley of the same, Richard Wrytte of Great Brington, John Hamson of the same, Simon Coke of the same, William Hoggys of Haldenby, Richard Leche of the same, Thomas Henman of the same, Richard Hylle of the same, Henry Byllynggam of Little Brington, Richard Robyns of the same, William Gamage of the same. Mody, a horsekeeper, out of diabolic mind had attacked Ekton at midnight stabbing him with a sword. He then fled to the church of All Saints in Northampton. The abjuration refers to John Acton late of Coventry, yeoman, being killed out of malice aforethought. He was assigned to Dover.
KB9/506/1 m51 168 1527 Weedon Bec John Pryme/Prynne of Northampton, baker, took refuge in the church at Weedon Bec in December 1527 and confessed that with malice aforethought he assaulted and killed James Mason late of Newbigging, fishmonger, with a fyschemongers knife worth 4 pence. He abjured and was sent to Dover.
KB9/506/1 m52 166 1527 Great Weldon John Ryngwudd late of London, labourer, took refuge in the church and confessed that on 1st September he had broken into the house with the sign of the hart' horn belonging to an unknown man in the parish of St Sepulchre in London and had stolen a horse and also that on 10th December 1525 along with six other men he assaulted and killed an unknown man. He abjured and was sent to Southampton.
KB9/507 m7 16 1528 Oundle Ralph Heywode late of Oundle, sherman, took refuge in the church of St Andrew outside Barnewell Gate in Cambridge and confessed that he had broken into the house of Nicholas Grene of Soham and had stolen some white cloth worth 12 shillings. He abjured the realm and was sent to Ipswich.
KB29/161 m27d ? 1529 Stamford William Wright of Stamford, Northants, yeoman, ajbured the realm for previous felony and trespass.
KB9/514 m158; KB29/162 m18 315; ? 1530 Towcester John Banks of Worcester, yeoman, took refuge in the church on 22nd May and confessed to Nicholas Lovet coroner that on the 19th he had assuaulted and killed an unknown man on the king's highway in Dartford, Kent. He abjured and was assigned to Westchester in Cheshire.
KB9/519 m92; KB29/165 m3 186; 286 1531 Harringworth William Gervys of Clopwell in Nottinghamshire, husbandman took sanctuary in the church of Harringworth and confessed to Ed. Perwyche coroner that with five unknown Welshmen he had on 25th November stolen a grey horse worth 16 shillings from a man at Barkby in Leicestershire. He abjured and was assigned to Beverley.
KB9/519 m89; KB29/165 m3 180; 286 1532 Northampton William Grene of Northampton, tanner, took sanctuary in the Blackfriars' church in Northampton the 1st February and confessed before Richard Dixon and Richard Bewers coroners that in September 1528 he burgled the house and shop of William Goughe and stole linen. He had also stolen from other shops in Northampton. He abjured the realm and was assigned to Beverley.
KB9/523 m23; KB29/166 m4 42; 11 1533 Kettering Hugh Ratclyff late of Kettering, sherman, took refuge in the church of St John Baptist in Leicester and confessed that in November 1532 he had been arrested and sent to gaol in Leicester but escaped. He abjured the realm, was branded and chose Beverley.