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Violence at Shefford Fair

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 178 tells of killing bought before the County Court on 18th March 1275: "Inquest before the coroner by Ion, Gravenhurst, Silsoe, Clophill, Cainhoe and Shillington, who said that on 22nd February Thomas Kek of Oxford came into Shefford market, cut Walter Sparuwe of Meppershall's purse, which contained 7 shillings in coin, and was immediately captured with the mainour by John of Flegg, bailiff of Shefford, and put in the pillory. When he was later taken down from the pillory, Alan le Kachepol of Shefford cut off his ear and then led him outside the liberty of Shefford. Thomas took the road towards Shillington, and on 24th February Robert le Vavasur of Ion came to "tedwey" in the middle of Ion and found him dead, immediately raised the hue, which was followed by the said townships, and found pledges, John le Vavasur and William Saly of Ion. The townships said that Ralph Otuy of Pulloxhill struck Thomas with a "spitspade" outside the liberty of Shefford, but that he did not die of this blow". Another inquest followed on 18th April and Otuy was found guilty of the death and it was ordered that he be arrested.