Monday, August 22, 2016

The beheading of Richard de Folville outside Teigh church

Teigh village. Looks harmless, doesn't it?

But when I showed you the perfect 18th-century interior of its church I said there there "much else - light and dark - to tell about this little Rutland village".

This is the first of three posts telling those stories.

As the BBC page for an old edition of Jonathan Freedland's The Long View says:
The Folvilles were a Leicestershire gentry family who, throughout the 1320s and 30s, terrorised their local community, committing numerous crimes. In 1310 the father of the family, John de Folville, Lord of Ashby Folville, Leicestershire and of Teigh, Rutland, had died leaving a widow, Alice de Folville and seven sons. 
The eldest, also named John, inherited the manor of Ashby Folville and seems to have lived within the law. However, his brothers, Eustace, Laurence, Richard, Robert, Thomas and Walter formed the core of a criminal gang.
But Richard was to meet a brutal end:
However, in Feb 1340 justice finally caught up with at least one of the Folville brothers. A commission was appointed to arrest Richard de Foville under the statute of 1336 and send him to the Tower of London. 
In late 1340 or early 1341 Richard, who had been made rector of Teigh by his elder brother, took refuge in his church along with a band of followers - including, perhaps, some of his brothers. 
Shooting arrows from within, Richard killed one of his pursuers and wounded others before being dragged out by the angry crowd and beheaded outside the church by Sir Robert de Colville, a keeper of the peace.

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