Murder During the Hundred Year War - The Curious Case of Sir William Cantilupe
Publisher: Pen & Sword History
This in-depth study of a fourteenth-century murder explores the social fabric of the era through a tale of scandal and conspiracy among a noble family.
In 1375, Sir William Cantilupe was found murdered in a field outside of a village in Lincolnshire. As the investigation progressed, fifteen members of his household were indicted for murder, and his armor-bearer and butler were convicted. Through the lens of this murder, Melissa Julian-Jones explores English society during the Hundred Years War, from crime and punishment to social norms and sexual deviance.
Cantilupe’s murder was one of the first case to be tried under the Treason Act of 1351, which deemed the murder of a man by his wife or servants to be petty treason. It reveals the deep insecurities of England at this time, where violent rebellions within private households were a serious concern. Though the motives were never recorded, Julian-Jones considers the evidence as well as the relationships between Sir William and the suspects, including his wife, servants, and neighbors.