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





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This writer, politician, and philosopher is best known for 'Novum Organum', and his 'Essays', published in 1597 and 1625



17 October, 1346

Battle of Neville's Cross

Invading Scots under David II are defeated near Durham. David is captured, his nephew Robert the Steward becomes Regent of Scotland

This king was nicknamed 'Longshanks' for his height



Passionate about British Heritage!