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Off With Their Heads

Bristol Radical History Week 2008

Off With Their Heads
Assassins, Plots & Regicide


Date: Sunday 2nd November
Venue: Pucklechurch, Community Centre, New Village Hall, Abson Road, Pucklechurch.
Time: 10:30am
Price: Free

Speaker: Gayle Boyle

But William, libro ij° de Regibus, seyth (says) that this kyng kepyng a feste at Pulkirchirche, in the feste of seynte Austyn, and seyng a thefe, Leof by name, sytte [th]er amonge hys gestes, whom he hade made blynde afore for his trespasses -- (quem rex prios propter scelera eliminaverat, whom the King previously due to his crimes did excile) -- , arysede (arrested) from the table, and takenge that man by the heire of the hedde, caste him unto the grownde. Whiche kynge was sleyn -- (sed nebulonis arcano evisceratus est) -- with a lyttle knyfe the [th]e man hade in his honde [hand]; and also he hurte mony men soore with the same knyfe; neverthelesse he was kytte (cut) at the laste into smalle partes by men longyng to the kynge. - Polychronicon, 1527

Probably this prince would have rendered his people happy had his reign been longer; but a fatal accident robbed him of his life when he began to enjoy the fruits of his victories One day as he was folemnizng a feftival at Pucklekirk in Gloucestershire, he spied Leolf, a notorious robber who though banished the kingdom for his crimes had the impudence to come and sit at one of the tables in the hall where the king was at dinner. Enraged at his insolence he commanded him to be apprehended But perceiving he was drawing his dagger to defend himfelf the king leapt up in great fury and catching hold of him by the hair dragged him out of the hall. This imprudent action cost him his life Whilst he was wholly intent upon venting his furious passion Leolf stabbed him in the breast with his dagger for that he immediately expired upon the body of his murderer. - The History Of England by M. Rapin De Thoyras, 1757

In 946 Edmund I, King of England, was assassinated in Pucklechurch by one of his exiled subjects. Gail Boyle, Curator of Archaeology at Bristol City Museum, takes us on a walking tour through the village, to the exact spot of this notorious event. Along the way we’ll discover other historical gems that link Pucklechurch with prison riots, Russian spies and intrepid explorers. Then we will retire to the Star Inn for lunch, cider, and a regicidal re-enactment.

King Edmund I

King Edmund I of England,
from A History of England published c1855 to 1860

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