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SANCTUARY, (from the late Lat. sanctuarium, a sacred place), a sacred or consecrated place, particularly one affording refuge, protection or right of asylum; also applied to the privilege itself, the right of safe refuge.

In Egyptian, Greek or Roman temples it was applied to the cella in which stood the statue of the god, and the Latin word for altar, ara, was used for protection as well. In Roman Catholic usage sanctuary is sometimes applied to the whole church, as a consecrated building, but is generally limited to the choir. The idea that such places afforded refuge to criminals or refugees is founded upon the primitive and universal belief in the contagion of holiness. Hence it was sacrilege to remove the man who had gained the holy precincts; he was henceforth invested with a part of the sacredness of the place, and was inviolable so long as he remained there. Some temples had peculiar privileges in this regard. That of Diana at Ephesus extended its inviolability for a perimeter of two stadia, until its right of sanctuary was refused by the Romans. Not all Greek and Roman temples, however, had the right in an equal degree. But where it existed, the action of the Roman civil law was suspended, and in imperial times the statues and pictures of the emperors were a protection against pursuit. Tacitus says that the ancient Germans held woods, even lakes and fountains, sacred; and the Anglo-Saxons seem to have regarded several woods as holy and to have made sanctuaries of them, one of these being at Leek in Staffordshire.

The use of Christian churches as sanctuaries was not based upon the Hebrew cities of refuge, as is sometimes stated. It is part of the general religious fact of the inviolability attaching to things sacred. The Roman law did not recognize the use of Christian sanctuaries until toward the end of the 4th century, but the growing recognition of the office of bishop as intercessor helped much to develop it. By 392 it had been abused to such an extent that Theodosius the Great was obliged to limit its application, refusing it to the publici debitores. Further evidence of its progress is given by the provision in 397 forbidding the reception of refugee Jews pretending conversion in order to escape the payment of debts or just punishment. In 398, according to contemporary historians, the right of sanctuary was completely abolished, though the law as we have it is not so sweeping. But next year the right was finally and definitely recognized, and in 419 the privilege was extended in the western empire to fifty paces from the church door. In 431, by an edict of Theodosius and Valentinian it was extended to include the church court-yard and whatever stood therein, in order to provide some other place than the church for the fugitives to eat and sleep. They were to leave all arms outside, and if they refused to give them up they could be seized in the church. Capital punishment was to be meted out to all who violated the right of sanctuary. Justinian's code repeats the regulation of sanctuary by Leo I. in 466, but Justinian himself in a Novel of the year 535 limited the privilege to those not guilty of the grosser crimes. In the new Germanic kingdoms, while violent molestation of the right of sanctuary was forbidden, the fugitive was given up after an oath had been taken not to put him to death (Lex. Rom. Burgund. tit. 2, ยง 5; Lex. Visigoth vi. tit. 5, c. 16). This legislation was copied by the church at the council of Orleans in 511; the penalty of penance was added, and the whole decree backed by the threa of excommunication. Thus it passed into Gratian's Decretum. It also formed the basis of legislation by the Frankish king Clotaire (511-588), who, however, assigned no penalty for its violation. Historians like Gregory of Tours have many tales to tell showing how frequently it was violated. The Carolingians denied the right of sanctuary to criminals already condemned to death.

The earliest extant mention of the right of sanctuary in England is contained in the code of laws issued by the Anglo-Saxon king Ethelbert in A.D. 600. By these he who infringed the church's privilege was to pay twice the fine attaching to an ordinary breach of the peace. At Beverley and Hexham one mile in every direction was sacred territory. The boundaries of the church frith were marked in most cases by stone crosses erected on the highroads leading into the town. Four crosses, each one mile from the church, marked the mile limits in every direction of Hexham Sanctuary. Crosses, too, inscribed with the word "Sanctuarium," were common on the highways, serving probably as sign-posts to guide fugitives to neighbouring sanctuaries. One is still to be seen at Armathwaite, Cumberland; and another at St Buryan's, Cornwall, at the corner of a road leading down to some ruins known locally as "the Sanctuary." That such wayside crosses were themselves sanctuaries is in most cases improbable, but there still exist in Scotland the remains of a true sanctuary cross. This is known as MacDuff's Cross, near Lindores, Fifeshire. The legend is that, after the defeat of the usurper, Macbeth, in 1057, and the succession of Malcolm Canmore as Malcolm III. to the Scottish throne, MacDuff, as a reward for his assistance, was granted special sanctuary privileges for his kinsmen. Clansmen within the ninth degree of relationship to the chief of the clan, guilty of unpremeditated homicide, could, on reaching the cross, claim remission of the capital sentence. Probably the privilege has been exaggerated, the fugitive kinsmen were exempt from outside jurisdiction and liable only to the court of the earl of Fife.

The canon law allowed the protection of sanctuary to those guilty of crimes of violence for a limited time only, in order that some compensation (wergild) should be made, or to check blood-vengeance. In several English churches there was a stone seat beside the altar which was known as the frith-stool (peace-stool), upon which the seeker of sanctuary sat. Examples of such sanctuary-seats still exist at Hexham and Beverley, and of the sanctuary knockers which hung on the church-doors one is still in position at Durham Cathedral. The procedure, upon seeking sanctuary, was regulated in the minutest detail. The fugitive had to make confession of his crime to one of the clergy, to surrender his arms, swear to observe the rules and regulations of the religious houses, pay an admission fee, give, under oath, fullest details of his crime (the instrument used, the name of the victim, &c.), and at Durham he had to toll a special bell as a formal signal that he prayed sanctuary, and put on a gown of black cloth on the left shoulder of which was embroidered a St Cuthbert's cross.

The protection afforded by a sanctuary at common law was this: a person accused of felony might fly for safeguard of his life to sanctuary, and there, within 40 days, go, clothed in sackcloth, before the coroner, confess the felony and take an oath of abjuration of the realm, whereby he undertook to quit the kingdom, and not return without the king's leave. Upon confession he was, ipso facto, convict of the felony, suffered attainder of blood and forfeited all his goods, but had time allowed him to fulfil his oath. The abjurer started forth on his journey, armed only with a wooden cross, bareheaded and clothed in a long white robe, which made him conspicuous among medieval wayfarers. He had to keep to the king's highway, was not allowed to remain more than two nights in any one place, and must make his way to the coast quickly. The time allowed for his journey was not long. In Edward III's reign only nine days were given an abjurer to travel on foot from Yorkshire to Dover.

Under the Norman kings there appear to have been two kinds of sanctuary; one general, which belonged to every church, and another peculiar, which had its force in a grant by charter from the king. This latter type could not be claimed by prescription, and had to be supported by usage within legal memory. General sanctuaries protected only those guilty of felonies, while those by special grant gave immunity even to those accused of high or petty treason, not for a time only but apparently for life. Of chartered sanctuaries there were at least 22: Abingdon, Armathwaite, Beaulieu, Battle Abbey, Beverley, Colchester, Derby, Durham, Dover, Hexham, Lancaster, St Mary le Bow (London), St Martin's le Grand (London), Merton Priory, Northampton, Norwich, Ripon, Ramsey, Wells, Westminster, Winchester, York (Soc. of Antiq. of London, Archaeologia, viii. 1-44, London, 1787). Sanctuary being the privilege of the church, it is not surprising to find that it did not extend to the crime of sacrilege; nor does it appear that it was allowed to those who had escaped from the sheriff after they had been delivered to him for execution.

Chartered sanctuaries had existed before the Norman invasion. About thirty churches, from a real or pretended antiquity of the privilege, acquired special reputation as sanctuaries, e.g. Westminster Abbey (by grant of Edward the Confessor); Ripon (by grant of Whitlase, king of the Mercians); St Buryans, Cornwall (by grant of Æthelstan); St Martin's le Grand, London, and Beverley Minster. "The precincts of the Abbey," says Dean Stanley, "were a vast cave of Adullam for all the distressed and discontented in the metropolis, who desired, according to the phrase of the time, to 'take Westminster.'" Elizabeth Woodville, queen of Edward IV, took refuge in the Abbey with her younger children from the hostility of Richard III. In the next reign [that of King Henry VII], the most celebrated sanctuary-seeker was Perkin Warbeck, who thus twice saved his neck, at Beaulieu and Sheen. John Skelton, tutor and afterwards court poet to Henry VIII, fearing the consequences of his caustic wit as displayed in an attack on Wolsey, took sanctuary at Westminster and died there in 1529.

The law of abjuration and sanctuary was regulated by numerous and intricate statutes (see Coke, Institutes, iii. I. 15); but grave abuses arose, especially in the peculiar sanctuaries. The attack on these seems to have begun towards the close of the 14th century, in the reign of Richard II. During the 15th century violations of sanctuary were not uncommon; the Lollards were forced from churches; and Edward IV after the battle of Tewkesbury had the Duke of Somerset and twenty Lancastrian leaders dragged from sanctuary and beheaded.

At the Reformation general and peculiar sanctuaries both suffered drastic curtailment of their privileges, but the great chartered ones suffered most. By the reforming act of 1540 Henry VIII established seven cities as peculiar sanctuaries. These were Wells, Westminster, Northampton, Manchester, York, Derby and Launceston. Manchester petitioned against being made a sanctuary town, and Chester was substituted. By an act of James I (1623), sanctuary, as far as crime was concerned, was abolished throughout the kingdom. The privilege lingered on for civil processes in certain districts which had been the site of former religious buildings and which became the haunts of criminals who there resisted arrest — a notable example being that known as Whitefriars between Fleet Street and the Thames, E. of the temple. This locality was nicknamed Alsatia (the name first occurs in Shadwell's plays in Charles II's reign), and there criminals were able to a large extent to defy the law (see Sir Walter Scott's Fortunes of Nigel and Peveril of the Peak), arrests only being possible under writs of the Lord Chief Justice. So flagrant became the abuses here and in the other quasi-sanctuaries that in 1697 an act of William III., known as "The Escape from Prison Act," finally abolished all such alleged privileges. A further amending act of 1723 (George I) completed the work of destruction. The privileged places named in the two acts were the Minories, Salisbury Court, Whitefriars, Fulwood's Rents, Mitre Court, Baldwin's Gardens, The Savoy, The Clink, Deadman's Place, Montague Close, The Mint and Stepney. (See Stephen, History of Crim. Law, i. 113.)

In Scotland excommunication was incurred by any who attempted to arrest thieves within sanctuary. The most famous sanctuaries were those attaching to the Church of Wedale, now Stow, near Galashiels, and that of Lesmahagow, Lanark. All religious sanctuaries were abolished in the Northern Kingdom at the Reformation. But the debtor found sanctuary from "diligence" in Holyrood House and its precincts until late in the 17th century. This sanctuary did not protect criminals, or even all debtors, e.g. not crown debtors or fraudulent bankrupts; and it was possible to execute a meditatio fugae warrant within the sanctuary. After twenty-four hours' residence the debtor had to enter his name in the record of the Abbey Court in order to entitle him to further protection. Under the Act 1696 c. 5, insolvency concurring with retreat to the sanctuary constituted notour bankruptcy (see Bell, Commentaries, ii. 461). The abolition of imprisonment for debt in 1881 practically abolished this privilege of sanctuary.

      Excerpted from:

      Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed. Vol XXIV.
      Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. 129.

Other Local Resources:

Books for further study:

Cox, Charles J. The Sanctuaries And Sanctuary Seekers of Mediaeval England.
           (Reprint from 1911).
           Kessinger Publishing, 2005.

Mazzinghi, T. J. de'. Sanctuaries.
           Stafford: Halden & Son, 1887.
           <Available at Google Books>.

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on January 7, 2007. Last updated February 16, 2023.

Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Isabella of France, Queen of England
Piers Gaveston
Thomas of Brotherton, E. of Norfolk
Edmund of Woodstock, E. of Kent
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March
Hugh le Despenser the Younger
Bartholomew, Lord Burghersh, elder

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
The Siege of Calais, 1346-7
The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Agincourt, 1415
The Battle of Castillon, 1453

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450

Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
London in late 16th century
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's View of London, 1616
Larger Visscher's View in Sections
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

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