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Murder in Goldington Road 1266

Volume XLI of Bedfordshire Historical Records Society series is a series of translations by R.F.Hunnisett of medieval coroner's rolls for the county, entry 5 reads: “About bed-time on 8 Aug 1266 Ralph le Felun of Meppershall, Geoffrey le Veyere of Kempston and another unknown, who had been drinking above a louvre in a Bedford tavern, went out and came into the king’s highway between Goldington and Bedford, where a quarrel arose between them. Geoffrey and the unknown man assaulted Ralph, Geoffrey striking him to the heart with a ‘siklnas’ knife [a sickle], of which he immediately died. The felons immediately fled. Ellen Estyne of Goldington first found him at dawn as she went to her work in the field and found pledges, William Coc and Henry the Clerk, both of Goldington”.

“Inquest before the same coroner by Goldington, Renhold [and] Ravensden as one township, and Great Barford, who said that Geoffrey killed Ralph with the aid of the unknown man, as above. Therefore Geoffrey’s arrest was ordered. They had no chattels… [At the eyre it was presented that the quarrel arose In a tavern in Goldington. It ws ordered that Geoffrey be exacted and outlawed. He had no chattels and was not in a tithing because he was a vagrant. The first finder had died. No Englishry was presented and so murdrum was imposed on the hundred. Goldington was amerced for not arresting the felons although this happened in day-time]”. The line about the first finder having died seems, from other cases in the volume, to be formulaic and not to be taken as the literal truth.