Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Feb 17, 2017
This is really interesting: The London Medieval Murder Map


Whilst the page itself gives some basic information, here's a more detailed explanation:

As a city that's been around for almost 2000 years, London has seen its fair share of violence. Some of those centuries-old murders are still infamous today—Jack the Ripper's, for instance—but many more run-of-the-mill crimes have been long forgotten. A new mapping project from the Violence Research Center at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Criminology, spotted by the BBC, explores almost 150 of these long-forgotten murders.

The Interactive London Medieval Murder Map (which you can view in its full form here) tracks 142 homicide cases recorded in late medieval London from 1300 to 1350, detailing stabbings, assaults, infanticides, and other deadly encounters. They run from routine burglary-gone-wrong situations and street fights between strangers to premeditated (what we would now label first-degree murder) revenge killings and gambling quarrels.

This is really interesting: The London Medieval Murder Map


Whilst the page itself gives some basic information, here's a more detailed explanation:


It's been updated and it looks as if there should be a Medieval Morse show.

Oxford today is known as a place of learning and elite scholarship. Several hundred years ago, the university town had something of a darker reputation.

A deep dive into historical documents reveals that during the late medieval period in the 14th century CE, Oxford had a per capita murder rate four to five times higher than other high-population hubs like York and London.

And the reason? Bloody students.

Like, quite literally. Newly translated documents list 75 percent of the perpetrators of murders with known background as "clericus", a term most commonly used to describe students or members of the then-recently founded University of Oxford. And 72 percent of the victims were also classed as clericus.

This information has been compiled into a newly relaunched, interactive website by Cambridge University's Violence Research Centre. It's called the Medieval Murder Map, where you can explore the map to learn the details of violent historical crimes.


A Crononers' Roll recording the death of Hervey de Playford of London in 1315 or 16. (Medieval Murder Map)

"A medieval university city such as Oxford had a deadly mix of conditions," says criminologist Manuel Eisner, lead murder map investigator and Director of Cambridge's Institute of Criminology.

"Oxford students were all male and typically aged between fourteen and twenty-one, the peak for violence and risk-taking. These were young men freed from tight controls of family, parish or guild, and thrust into an environment full of weapons, with ample access to alehouses and sex workers."

Originally launched in 2018, the Medieval Murder Map has received a significant update. Eisner and his team have translated and studied coroners' rolls, records of investigations into violent crimes penned in Latin. These records included the who (perpetrator and victim, where known), the location, the weapon, and details of the crime.

Quite an enjoyable ramble, if anything it proves that society is actually a lot more law abiding and peaceful nowadays, it only covers 3 places, London Oxford and York, but there are some memorable ones

Discover the murders, sudden deaths, sanctuary churches, and prisons of three thriving medieval cities. Click on a pin to read the story based on the original record written down in the rolls of the Coroner. Learn more by listening to one of our podcasts or reading our background information.

For more information on how to use the maps, visit this page. If you are referencing our maps and using them for study or personal interest, please read our terms and conditions.

The original London Medieval Murder Map was launched in November 2018 to international acclaim. You can listen to the launch lecture here.

There's an interesting description of this and of medieval student murder rate:

The research suggests that Oxford’s student population was by far the most lethally violent social or professional group in any of the three cities.

The team behind the Medieval Murder Maps – a digital resource that plots crime scenes based on translated investigations from 700-year-old coroners’ inquests – estimate the per capita homicide rate in Oxford to have been 4-5 times higher than late medieval London or York.

Among Oxford perpetrators with a known background, 75% were identified by the coroner as “clericus”, as were 72% of all Oxford’s homicide victims. During this period, clericus is most likely to refer to a student or member of the early university.