Outlaws and Highwaymen

Passages from Henry of Knighton’s Leicester Chronicle
Translated by Gillian Spraggs from Henry of Knighton’s Chronicle, ed. Joseph Rawson Lumby, 2 vols, (London, HMSO,1889, 1895), I, pp. 432–433, 460–461, II, p. 46

[1326] ... in the same year, and, to be precise, on 29 January, Master Roger Bellers was murdered in Leicestershire. The self-same Roger founded a chantry of secular priests near Kirby Bellars in Leicestershire ... This Roger was murdered by one Eustace de Folville and his brothers, whom previously he had heaped with threats and injustices; and he was killed by three brothers when he had with him in his retinue fifty and more, in a valley near Rearsby.1 This man had been an oppressor of his neighbours, both those in religious orders and others, on account of his greed for their possessions, which he coveted to bestow upon his chantry.


In 1331 the trailbaston judges sat throughout England, and many outlaws were made in every place.2 For this reason Richard de Willoughby, a king’s justice, was taken prisoner after Christmas, while he was travelling towards Grantham, by Richard de Folville, rector of Teigh in Rutland, who was a wild and daring man, and prone to acts of violence.3 He was led into a nearby wood to a company of confederates and there, under compulsion, paid a ransom for his life of ninety marks, after swearing on oath that he would always comply with their instructions.4


[1346]... In the same year died Eustace de Folville, who had killed Roger Bellers.5

Henry of Knighton


For more about the Folville brothers, see:

Textual Note

In the last passage above, about the death of Eustace de Folville, the original has ‘Robertum’, Robert, in error for Roger.


Translation, notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 14 October 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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