Outlaws and Highwaymen

Passages from Thomas Brinton’s sermons
trans. Gillian Spraggs from The Sermons of Thomas Brinton, Bishop of Rochester (1373–1389), ed. Sister Mary Aquinas Devlin, 2 vols, Camden Society (3rd series), (London, 1954), pp. 246, 390. Original in Latin

between 1373 and 1389

... in England there are many thefts ... that go entirely uncorrected, so that where in other kingdoms thieves and murderers are hanged together by their necks ... in England for the most part they are hanged by their purses.1

* * *

If a man who, according to all laws, ought to pay a just penalty for his wickedness, one who has committed premeditated murder or who is a very famous robber, is captured so that justice may be done upon his person ... they labour to free him from danger. Some of them say, ‘He is young. If he is a delinquent as a young man, he will mend his ways when he is old.’ Others say, ‘He comes of our blood. If justice should proceed against him, our whole family would be shamefully dishonoured.’

Thomas Brinton


Translation, notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 20 September 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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