Journals Higher Education



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Published: 06 July 2017

232 Pages


ISBN: 9780198798149

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Seeking Sanctuary

Crime, Mercy, and Politics in English Courts, 1400-1550

Shannon McSheffrey

  • Explores a curious aspect of premodern English law: the right of felons to shelter in a church or ecclesiastical precinct, remaining safe from arrest and trial in the king's courts
  • Challenges the accepted knowledge that the practice of using churches as sanctuaries died out after the medieval times
  • Seeks to understand why this phenomenon flourished again under the Tudor regime
  • Offers a new way to look at how law, religion, culture, and politics intersect over the period 1400-1550
  • Presents evidence through vivid stories of crime and political machinations uncovered in the archival records of the time