Murder in Walkern, June 1337
But the murderer escaped
By Sue Flood
This case from a Leet court held at Walkern on 26 June 1337 shows that justice was seen to be done even though the offenders escaped from the county.
The Jury have to present that they have been unable to apprehend the suspects in this case. As a result their possessions are forfeit to the lord. These include land with standing crops, animals and a variety of personal possessions.
The jury say on oath that on the Saturday after Trinity Sunday in the eleventh year [21 June 1337] William le Maners came with force and arms to the house of Isabel, formerly the wife of Robert le Gardyner, and there in the garden of the said Isabel, and with her assent, wounded and killed Thomas le Gardyner with bow and arrows, and escaped through the lane at the bottom of the garden which once belonged to Robert le Gardyner. And that the aforesaid Isabel was the guardian, harbourer and supporter of the same William, and after the said deed she fled to the church. And after this the said Isabel fled from the county.
As a consequence of this deed, 8 acres of uncultivated (frisce)land are seized into the hands of the lord. Item 3 acres of land sown with wheat, and 3 acres sown with peas and oats. Item 3 roods of land sown with oats which the said William held from the Lord, valued at [blank].
Item one messuage, 3 acres sown with wheat and half an acre sown with barley seized into the lord’s hands which Isabel held.
Item seized from the chattels of the said William one horse valued at 3s, one cow valued at 6s.8d, one bullock valued at 3s, six ewes, two hoggets, four lambs valued at 6s. And other chattels of cloth, valued at 12d.
Item from the goods and chattels of the said Isabel two old coverlets of tartarin (‘coverlytes de Tyrteyn’) valued at 12d, two over-tunics with one furred hood valued at 4s. Item one table cloth, two and a half ells long, 3d. Item one brass 12 pint vessel, 12d, and one pan of four quarts, and one small basin, 6d. Item one plate, 10d, and one pewter vessel, 16d. Item 5lb of wool, 6d. Item two chests, 18d. Item one large bowl, 4d, brushwood and old timber, 2d. Item hemp and flax soaked in oil, 6d.