The City of WESTMINSTER.38


Nec florentis magis utriusq; quam afflictæ. Idemq; perduellium & Schismaticæ factionis Impugnatur acerrimus. Contemptor Invidiæ, & animo infracto. Plura ejusmodi meditanti Mors indixit Silentium: Ut sileatur, efficere non potest. Obiit Anno Ætat. 63. Anno Dom. 1662. Posuit hoc illi mæstissima Conjux.

Add to all the rest the Remembrance of one long since buried, viz. Johan. Schakel, Arm. buried at St. Peters Westminster, An. 1396. By his last Will, Dat ad maritandas virgines puellas 100 Marcas. Item, dat Eleemosynæ Capellæ & Pontis de Medway ap. Rochester, per dispositionem Dni. de Cobham, 100l.]

Joh. Schakel.

E. Alexand.

The Abby Church Sanctuary.


This Church hath had great Privelege of Sanctuary within the Precinct thereof; to wit, the Church, Church Yard, and Close, &c. From whence it hath not been lawful for any Prince, or other, to take any Person that fled thither for any Cause. Which Privilege was first granted by Sebert King of the East Saxons, since encreased by Edgar King of the West Saxons, renewed and confirmed by King Edward the Confessor; as appeareth by this his Charter following.

Sanctuary within the Precinct.

"EDWARD, by the Grace of God, King of Englishmen; I make it to be known to all Generations of the World after me, that by special Commandment of our Holy Father Pope Leo, I have renewed and honoured the holy Church of the Blessed Apostle St. Peter, of Westminster; and I order and establish for ever, that what Person, of what Condition or Estate soever he be, from whencesoever he come, or for what Offence or Cause it be, either for his Refuge into the said Holy Place, he be assured of his Life, Liberty, and Limbs. And over this, I forbid under Pain of everlasting Damnation, that no Minister of mine, or of my Successors, intermeddle them with any the Goods, Lands, or Possessions of the said Persons, taking the said Sanctuary. For I have taken their Goods and Livelode into my special Protection. And therfore I grant to every each of them, in as much as my terrestrial Power may suffice, all manner Freedom of joyous Liberty. And whosoever presumes, or doth contrary to this my Grant, I will he lose his Name, Worship, Dignity, and Power; and that, with the great Traitor Judas, that betrayed our Saviour, he be in the everlasting Fire of Hell. And I will and ordain, that this my Grant endure as long as there remaineth in England either Love or Dread of Christrian Name."

Edward the Confessor's Charter for this Church's Privilege of Sanctuary.

More of this Sanctuary ye may read in our Histories, and also in the Statute of Henry the Eighth, the 32d Year.

But yet sometimes, and in some Cases, those that had taken Sanctuary there were disturbed; as also were such as fled for Sanctuary in St. Martins le grand in London, belonging to the Church of Westminster. But the Abbot, when such a Thing happened, used to make heavy Complaint thereof. The Abbot, the 29th of Henry the Sixth, exhibited a Bill against the Sheriffs of London, for arresting and drawing out with Force, a privleged Person out of St. Martins le Grand, belonging to the Abbey.

Arrests sometimes in the Sanctuary.

J. S.

One Sort of Persons here sheltered from ancient Time, were such as were insolvent, and intended to fail; and not being able to satisfy their Creditors, used to save themselves from Arrests, by flying hither for Sanctuary: And so taking Time to agree with their Creditors; yet by way of Confession, and in Discharge of their Conscience, discovering their Condition to some spiritual Man first, and leaving in his Hands what Goods they had, to be among the said Creditors divided and distributed for their Debts. Thus did one R. A. Haberdasher, in the Reign of Henry the Seventh, leaving certain Quantities of Cloth in the Possesssion of John Foster Archdeacon of London, in Trust for him. But he, out of a coveteous Mind, thought to make Advantage thereby, and so forced this R. A. to complain against him in Chancery. The Petition was as follows:

Debtors fled thither for Sanctuary.

To the most reverent Fader in God, my Lord of Canterberry, [then Lord Chancellor of England.]

"MEkely beseecheth your good and gracyous Lordship, tendyrly to consydre the humble Complayne, and also the trew Intent of me R. A. your dayly and unfeyned Bedman, now abeyding in the Seyntwary of Westmynster. That forasmooche as twelve Moneths past, I consydered well that by the mean of Mony, and dyvers gret Losses, I was come to that Decay, that I hadde not whereof to pay my Dettys; wherfore, in dyschargynge of my Conscyence, I dysclosed my Mynde in that behalve unto Mayster Johan. Foster, Archdeken of London, and delyvered to him bothe my Testement, and Inventory of al my Goodys and Dettys; and also delyvered unto hym XL fyne Cloths, and XII Clothes engreyned; wyllyng and desyring hym as myne Executour and Ordynary, to do therein as he wolde yf I were dede; and specyally, that as wel the sayd Clothes, as al other Goodys that I had in Erth, myght be retayled, devyded and dystrybuted among my Credytors, yf they wolde be so contented. And for the executyon of the same, I valued my greyned Clothes at xv s. the Yarde, and myne other fyne Clothes at xii s. the Yarde, soo as my said Creditours wolde have been wel content. From the which my trew Entent and Purpose the said Mayster Foster many Ways declyned, and varyeth, kepying styl my sayed Goodys in his Handes, and nother wyll delyver the sayde Goodys to me, or to any other indyfferent Man, to the Entent aforesayd, nor yet unto my Credytours after the Rate; but by many crafty and subtyl Meanes persaudyth, as wel to me as to myn said Creditours, in such [Sort] as he entended to have gret Lucre and Advantage by hys Occupacyon in this Behave. And rather than he wyll delyver my sayd Goodys unto any other Man to thEntent aforesaid, he sayd to me in gret Fere and Jeoperdy, that he wyl after hys own Wyll and Plesure pay some of my Credytours theyr hole Dettes, though the Remenaunt be never payd; or elles that he wyll cause or suffer the sayd Goodys to be attached in hys Hands by suche of my Credytours as he favoureth; and hath gret Rewards promised unto hym on theyr Behalve."

A Petition to the Ld Chancellor from one in the Sanctuary.

Old Cust.

"Wherfor, I beseche your good and gracyous Lordshyp, in my most humble and herty Wyse, to sende a Commaundement unto the sayd Mayster Foster, by your Letter, to delyver the sayd Goodys unto myself, or otherwise into the Hands of such one, as by the Favour and Autorite of your Lordshyp, may dyspose them amonge my sayd Credytours, as shall be thought best to the Pleasure of God, and moost accordyng to ryght and good Conscyence."

In the Month of December, 1558, Fecknam being then Abbot of Westminster, one Geffray Raine-

One escapes to the Sanctuary with another Man's Goods.