Medieval Death in Little Barford
Volume 41 produced by Bedfordshire Historical Records Society in 1961 is devoted to 13th and 14th century coroner's rolls for Bedfordshire from the National Archives, edited and translated by R. F. Hunnisett.
Entry 105 reads: "About tierce on 19th April 1271 Robert of Yelling of Huntingdonshire, the Abbot of Sawtry's servant, boarded a boat at Little Barford mill because four unknown paupers asked him out of charity to take them across the River Ouse. When they were in the boat it sank through the fierceness of the wind and current. Robert fell into the water and drowned by misadventure and the four paupers barely escaped to land, whereupon they immediately fled. At length brother John of Little Barford searched for him every day and on 6th May Henry the Miller of Little Barford went by the river and round Robert lying in "le Mulnepit", raised the hue and found pledges, Alan, son of Thomas ate Ree and Roger at Ree of Little Barford. The boat was appraised at two shillings and delivered to Little Barford. Inquest before the same coroner [G. Rodland] by every, Sandy, Tempsford and Little Barford as above".
R. F. Hunnisett notes that by the time of the next eyre Henry the Miller was dead and no one was suspected of the death. The four townships were amerced for not coming fully to the inquest.
Entry 110 reads: "Soon after nones on 27th April 1271 Michael of Goldington wished to pull down an old wall at the Abbot of Sawtry's mill in Little Barford. He had a pick-axe in his hand and his son Robert, who was with him, had a shovel in his. Robert told his father to go away as the wall was on the point of falling, and soon afterwards by misadventure it fell upon Michael, breaking the whole of his body, and he immediately died. Robert barely escaped with his life and raised the hue; the household of the house, that is, of the mill [came]. Robert found pledges, Alan son of Thomas and Roger ate Re of Little Barford. Inquest before G. Rodland, coroner, by Sandy, Little Barford, Tempsford and Everton: as above. The pick-axe was appraised at one penny and delivered to the township".
R. F. Hunnisett notes that at the next eyre it was stated that the dead man's name was Michael Ode. His son did not attend but was not suspected of foul play.