Coroner’s Rolls 1265 – 1413

15th February 1266

It happened in a field in a certain place called Nomansland on Monday next before the feast of St Peter’s Chair that Alfred of Ravensden went after dinner to sow his land, and when he came to the said place, he had the falling sickness, which caused him to fall to the ground, and he suddenly died by misadventure.

Isabel, daughter of John of Ravensden who first found him, produced pledges; Walter, son of Alfred of Ravensden and Arnulph Argent of the same place.

Inquest was made before Simon Read, the coroner, by 4 neighbouring townships, Ravensden, Renhold, Wilden, Bolnhurst and Goldington; they say that, as far as they know, death was due to misadventure as aforesaid.

 

13th April 1268

Mabel, wife of William Picot of Ravensden, came to the county court of Bedford on Monday next before the Assumption of the Blessed Mary in the 52nd year and appealed John, son of Henry Atwater of Barford, Ralph, son of Gilbert of Bolnhurst, Henry Hunter of Keysoe, Geoffrey Wallis, Richard Wallis, William son of Vulky, Henry of Wootton and Geoffrey Dray of Leigh, of battery and robbery committed against her husband. And she found pledges to prosecute. Robert Picot of Ravensden and Robert Viner of Keysoe.

This case was dropped, probably because a woman could appeal a man only for the death of her husband or for rape.

 

3pm Sunday 6th October 1269

It happened in the Parish of Ravensden at Sturteslow on Sunday the feast of St Faith the Virgin about the hour of none in the 53rd year that John son of Reginald Reeve of Sturteslow an infant one and a half year old, went outside reginald’s door while the latter was at dinner and fell in a certain ditch and was drowned. Alice his mother searched for him, to wit, her infant, and found him drowned. She produced pledges; Arnold Argent and John Yun, both of Ravensden.

 

29th March 1271

It happened in the vill of Ravensden on the night of Sunday next before Easter day in the 55th year that Walter Bedell of Renhold came to the house of his wife Isabel Reginald’s daughter in Ravensden and asked her to come with him to the Grange of Renhold to get a bushel of wheat which he wished to give her and she went with him. And when they reached the meadow called Long Mead he at once struck her over the left ear, evidently with a knife, giving her a wound 3 inches in length and to the brain in depth, afterwards he threw her into the water of a brook called Ravensbrook. And on the following Monday Matilda her mother, Reginald’s wife, found her dead; she raised the hue and the hue was pursued. Roger Newbond and Walter Alfred of Ravensden. Richard Smith the first neighbour produced pledges; Walter Alfred and Hugh White. William Engaine, the 2nd neighbour, produced pledges; John Savage and Richard Smith.

Inquest was made before Ralph of Goldington, the coroner, by 4 neighbouring townships, Goldington, Renhold and Ravensden as one township, Bolnhurst and Wilden they say as is aforesaid and they knew nothing else. They were asked about his chattels and they say that he had a lamb at Wilden which is appraised at 12 pence. It is delivered to the township of Wilden.

 

23rd April 1271

It happened in the vill of Ravensden at twilight on Thursday next before the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist in the 55th year of King Henry that felons and thieves came to the house of John Rede, while the said John and Matilda, his wife, and Walter and Richard, his servants, were seated at supper. They (the felons) entered by the door on the west side, and at once assaulted John, striking him on the head near the crown, evidently with an axe, and wounding him in the heart with a knife, so that he died immediately. They also wounded the said Matilda on the right side of the head and almost cut off her left hand, and heating a brandreth (a trivet or iron tripod fixed over the fire, on which a pot or kettle was placed), they placed her upon it, and they left her almost dead. They also bound Walter of Eastwood and Richard Pikehorn, servants of the household. Afterwards they robbed the house of all its goods and carried them away. Walter of Eastwood unbound himself, and seeing the said John dead, he raised the hue; the neighbours came, and the hue was pursued. Walter found pledges; William Smith of Salenhoe and Robert Galien of the same place. Matilda, wife of the said John, found pledges to come to the county court, to wit, Walter Goosefoot and William Brunt. (each of the four "vicini" found 2 pledges).

Inquest was made before Ralph of Goldington by four neighbouring townships. Renhold and Ravensden as one township, Wilden, Barford, and Goldington; they say that they suspect John who was formerly the miller of Simon Russ, and that (John Rede) was killed by the counsel of Agnes Pikehorn and Matilda Pikehorn; and Matilda, wife of John Rede, says the same. It was ordered that they be arrested. Richard Pikehorn could not find pledges; therefore, since he was suspected, he was sent to gaol in the time of T. of Bray, the then sheriff.

To be continued...

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