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Medieval Murder in Aspley Guise

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 94 reads: "Towards vespers [dusk] on 30 Nov 1270 Lucy Pofot, formerly the wife of Thomas of Houghton, came from the tavern in the house of John of Cranfield in Aspley Guise and went to her house. A ribald stranger came and asked for entertainment and Lucy entertained him. At dawn the next day Andrew son of Simon of Houghton Regis, a servant, came to get water at a well called "Swetewell", came to Lucy's house, saw her dead with 5 wounds to the heart, apparently made with a knife…" Where the unfortunate Lucy lived is now unknown but the likeliest place is somewhere near The Square.

 The junction of Aspley Lane and Woburn Road January 2008
The junction of Aspley Lane with Woburn Road in January 2008 - Philip was attacked somewhere near here in 1272

Two years later another resident met a grim end; entry 144: "At twilight on 10 Dec 1272 Philip of Aspley Guise came from Dunstable market below Aspley Guise wood where 5 thieves and 2 strange women came and took hold of him, led him into the wood, wounded him with axes and knives, robbed him and left him as if dead. At the same time the thieves took hold of Adam del Brok and Geoffrey Coffyin of Salford, bound and robbed them and withdrew. Then Philip untied himself as quickly as he could, raised the hue, which was followed by the whole township, and went to his house in Aspley Guise and died the next day…" At the inquest the Coroner for Aspley Guise, Hulcote, Salford, Birchmore with Woburn chapel, Houghton Conquest and Crawley said: "that the thieves were unknown and were received until midnight of that night at Alice of Herne's house in Woburn Chapel and that the said women were entertained there the previous night, Thomas of Bray, sheriff, was therefore ordered to arrest Alice". From these descriptions it seems that Philip was attacked in the woods somewhere near the junction of Aspley Lane with Woburn Road.