Friday, June 22, 2018

Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Arrests June 18-19, 1303


Summary: A confession that embraced Church and Sanctuary rights for Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid suspects ensured arrests in 1303 and executions in 1304-5.


St. Michael, Crooked Lane, London's Candlewick Ward; J. Elmes and T.H. Shepherd's London and Its Environs (1831), Public Domain, via Internet Archive

Inquiries into and investigations of the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid April 30-May 3, 1303, allowed high-profile arrests of John of Newmarket, John of St. Albans and Richard Puddlicott June 18-19, 1303.
The first known confession that bore on the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid brought up John of St. Albans, one of 16 "consenting to the burglary." Perhaps the confessor William Palmer, deputy Keeper of Fleet Prison and Keeper of the Palace, considered Church rights for 14 ecclesiastics and Sanctuary for two non-ecclesiastics. It instead drove John de Drokensford (1260-May 9, 1329), the King's appointed investigator in London, to demand the identities and whereabouts of the 16's principal societies.
The confession and the ensuing entry into Abbey chambers and throughout Abbey grounds ended with Drokensford's team extracting three raid-related suspects from Chertsey, Dowgate and Southwark.

Paul Doherty, in The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303 for Carroll & Graf Publishers Sep. 26, 2005, furnishes no names for the suspects' arresting officers.
Abbey monks gave Drokensford's team addresses for the goldsmith John of Newmarket at a washerwoman's house in Southwark and the merchant Richard de Puddlicott near Dowgate. They headed the Drokensford team by Chertsey for the mason John of St. Albans, whose house held stone-breaking tools and Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid loot. Doherty identifies Reginald de Hadham, prior-elect after William de Huntingdon's death in August 1305, among monks indicating Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid burglar's and beneficiaries' whereabouts.
The Drokensford team judged the goldsmith, the mason and the merchant guilty because of Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid loot at each of the trio's premises.

Drokensford and the king's appointed justices John Bakewell, Ralph de Sandwich, Roger de Southcote and Walter of Gloucester knew of a window as the raid's entryway.
Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury raid burglars lacked the keys to heavy, locked, thick doors and the wooden bridge for the gap between door- and floor-level stairs. That meant alternatively manipulating someone in and out after moving the 10-inch- (25.4-centimeter-) wide stone sill, bars and shutters to the Chapter House Crypt's sixth window. It needed a mason to nick, nip and nudge the bars and sill, a merchant to net the noteworthiest treasures and a goldsmith to nab clientlele.
Confinement in the Tower of London until March 5, 1304, occurred after the Southwark and Chertsey arrests of John of Newmarket and John of St. Albans.

Arrest placed Puddlicott in the custody of Hugh Pourte at the Sheriff of London's house with wife Marjorie Horn in St. Magnus parish near London Bridge.
Puddlicott quit the Pourte residence, with help from Gaucelin/Gaucelyn Le Servient's valet Richard, for sanctuary in St. Michael's Church on Candlewick Street after a five-day custody. London common bailiffs Thomas Attewell and Gaucelin/Gaucelyn Le Servient unlawfully removed Puddlicott from 40-day sanctuary June 25, 1303, to the Tower for hanging Nov. 28, 1305. Doherty suspects that the Tower Chaplain shrove the goldsmith and the mason before stripped-down tying to hurdle-lashed horses speeding to Smithfield's elm-tree gallows March 5, 1304.
A confession that tendered Church and Sanctuary rights triggered three arrests that thwarted tradition and turned their three victims into hanged corpses in 1304 and 1305.

Plan of London (above) St. Magnus Parish (green arrow; center right), St. Michael, Crooked Lane (green X; center right) and Westminster Abbey (blue arrow; bottom left);
Vicinity of London (below): Chertsey (red circle; lower left), London (red arrow; center), Southwark (red arrow; center) and Westminster (red arrow; center):
W.R. Shepherd's Historical Atlas (1926); Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection: Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
St. Michael, Crooked Lane, was a parish church in London's Candlewick Ward where Richard de Puddlicote sought sanctuary in June 1303; Thomas H. Shepherd (1831), Plate 166, Public Domain, via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/stream/londonitsenviron00shep#page/n270/mode/1up
Plan of London (above): St. Magnus Parish (green arrow; center right), where Richard de Puddlicote was in custody in Sheriff Hugh Pourte's house; St. Michael, Crooked Lane (green X; center right), where Puddlicote sought sanctuary; Westminster Abbey (blue arrow; bottom left), scene of theft;
Vicinity of London (below): Chertsey (red circle; bottom left), where John of St. Albans the mason was arrested; London (red arrow; center); Southwark (red arrow; center), where John of Newmarket the goldsmith was arrested; Westminster (red arrow; center):
W.R. Shepherd's Historical Atlas (1926), page 75; Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection: Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin @ https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/shepherd/london_plan_1300.jpg

For further information:
Doherty, Paul. 2005. The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303. New York NY: Carroll & Graf Publisher.
Elmes, James; Thomas H. (Hosmer) Shepherd. 1831. London and Its Environs in the Nineteenth Century: Illustrated by a Series of Views From Original Drawings by Thomas H. Shepherd. Series the First, Comprising the Earlier Edifices, Antiquities, Etc. London, England: Jones & Co.
Available via Internet Archive @ https://archive.org/details/londonitsenviron00shep
Keay, Anna. 2011. The Crown Jewels. London UK: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
Marriner, Derdriu. 20 April 2018. "Richard Puddlicott and the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/04/richard-puddlicott-and-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 4 May 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid in April and May 1303 in England." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 11 May 2018. "Mysteries of the April-May 1303 Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/05/mysteries-of-april-may-1303-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 1 June 2018. "King Edward I's Letter on the Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/king-edward-is-letter-on-westminster.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 8 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Royal Proclamation June 16, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid_8.html
Marriner, Derdriu. 15 June 2018. "Westminster Abbey Royal Treasury Raid: Palmer Confession June 17, 1303." Earth and Space News. Friday.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/06/westminster-abbey-royal-treasury-raid.html
Shepherd, William R. (Robert). 1921. Historical Atlas. Second revised edition. New York NY: Henry Holt and Company.
Available via HathiTrust https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.hnwr2d?urlappend=%3Bseq=95


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