Thursday, May 22, 2008

Question from Caila - Humphrey Lisle


was Humphrey Lisle really an 12 year old criminal in the tudor times?



1 Comments:

Anonymous PhD Historian said...

Where did you find a reference to "Humphrey Lisle" and what crime was he accused of? Context always makes answering question easier.
In a general sense, there were indeed children charged with crimes, convicted, and punished in Tudor England. There is little in the world that is new, and just as today we have children under the legal age committing horrible crimes like murder, so too such things happened in Tudor England.

I do find discussion of a 12 or 13 year old boy named Humphrey Lisle, son of Sir William Lisle of Newcastle, who was involved with an "outlaw rebel" gang of about 18 persons near Newcastle in 1528-29. The gang apparently conducted unauthorized and indiscriminate raids along both sides of the English-Scottish border, killing, burning houses and entire villages, stealing property and livestock, kidnapping people, and generally terrorizing the region over a period of several months. The entire gang, including Humphrey's unnamed younger brother, were convicted of high treason and sentenced to death by hanging, drawing and quartering. Humphrey and his little brother were spared, and Humphrey was sent to London where he was pardoned on account of his age. He then entered service under the earl of Northumberland. But by 1535 a Humphrey Lisle of Felton was apparently involved in the same criminal behavior, for a man of that name fled when the earl issued a proclamation against him. Humprhey Lisle appears to have been a fairly common name in the region, however, so the second Humphrey (1535) may not have been the same person as the boy-criminal.

May 22, 2008 9:15 PM  

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