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Medieval Sudden Death in Woburn

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. The following unfortunate accident is recorded in 1273.

“On 27th January William Doy of Toddington, the Abbot of Woburn’s servant, climbed an oak on the eastern side of Woburn Wood and, standing on a ladder, cut a branch. The branch fell on his head and threw him from the ladder so that he fell, broke the whole of his body and immediately died. William Schanterel first found him, raised the hue, which was followed, and found pledges, Roger le Engleys and Hugh Rachel of Woburn Chapel”.

“Inquest before the same coroner [Geoffrey Rouland] by Eversholt, Birchmore with Woburn Chapel, Milton Bryan, Crawley and Husborne Crawley … The ladder was appraised at 1d. and the branch at 2d.; they were delivered to Woburn Chapel.