Church may have had a more dominant role in society than it does
now, but its dignitaries were not always treated with respect. This
extract from the Bishop of Lichfield’s register tells of the
warm reception which some of the townspeople gave to the Bishop
and his retinue during his visitation of Repton Priory in 1364.
"certain satellites of Satan, the whole commonalty
of the town, with swords and staves, bows and arrows, noise and
tumult, while we were actually engaged in visiting in the Chapter
House, came and villainously hindered and alarmed us and our clerks.
They rushed up to the gates of the priory and attacked without cause
one of our household who was there; then, having broken down the
gates - we keeping humbly and harmlessly within - they presumed
in their malice to besiege the priory with continual going about
it from the eleventh hour of that day until the first of the day
following, and shot through the windows of the chamber where we
were, with utter indifference and inhumanity at us or any of our
servants. And neither we nor any of our household could go out of
the gates meanwhile for fear of death, or at least of grievous bodily
harm, until the noble Sir Alueric de Sulny, knight, and Robert Fraunceys
came, and by their power and counsel directed our feet into the
way of peace."
Sometimes the residents of religious houses
themselves might indulge in violence, as you will find out by clicking