Abjure the realm

There were few legal recourses open to a medieval person accused of a crime. One recourse was to claim sanctuary at specified 'safe' places, usually a church. But when an accused criminal left the relative - and temporary - safety of sanctuary he had two choices. He could become an outlaw, like the quasi-mythical figure of Robin Hood. The alternative was to swear to abjure the realm, or leave Britain forever.

The accused criminal had to officially confess his crime, and swear to leave the realm (usually within a set period of time) and never return. There was one way to legally return after abjuring the realm, and that was to get a royal pardon, though only rich or influential people could really hope to gain a pardon from the monarch.

Time period(s): Medieval


History
Prehistory - Roman Britain - Dark Ages - Medieval Britain - The Tudor Era - The Stuarts - Georgian Britain - The Victorian Age

History of England - History of Wales - London History



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British History Quiz

What took place on 15 June 1215?



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This Day in British History

29 June, 1613

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre burns down

The fire starts when cannons fired during a performance of 'Henry VIII' light the thatched roof

Monarch Mayhem

The third son of George III, he ruled after his elder brother died in 1830



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