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Medieval Murder in Ireland and Rowney

Volume XLI of the Bedfordshire Historical Records Society was Bedfordshire Coroner's Rolls translated from rolls at The National Archives by R.F.Hunnisett in 1961. Entry 167 details a killing at Rowney: "On 26th February [1275] a quarrel arose in Rowney in Southill between Robert of Clifton and Geoffrey of Stonely over a seat. Robert struck Geoffrey on the head with a strickle [a piece of wood for levelling grain], and Geoffrey turned round and struck Robert on the head with a staff he used for carrying vegetables, so that he fell and twice rolled in the straw. He then got up and they both went to court, but not together. Geoffrey sought licence to bring a claim of evasit [perhaps meaning that he struck Robert in self-defence in order to escape his attack], and Robert became ill and returned to the byre, where he died at vespers [in the evening]. William of Eynesbury came by chance into the byre to seek straw for his horse and found Robert dead….Inquest before the same coroner by Southill, Old Warden, Stanford and Cardington who said that Geoffrey slew him, as above. H. of Stapleford, sheriff, was told to arrest him.

At the following Eyre in Bedford it was presented that Geoffrey killed Robert in the Abbot of Warden's barn at Southill and immediately fled. He was ordered to be outlawed.