Commission to apprehend Henry Bodrugan

Outlawry normally resulted when the authorities were unable to apprehend an individual for a civil or criminal offence. The sheriff would be directed to arrest the wanted man, and if this failed he would make five declarations in the county court summoning the offender to appear. If the fugitive remained at large, he would then be outlawed. Following parliamentary censure (which had been used against Bodrugan), similar procedures were brought into operation. Consequently, Bodrugan was threatened with the loss of his rights under the law and the confiscation of his lands and goods. The question that arises from this case, though, is whether the outlawry process actually mattered at all? An inveterate criminal, Bodrugan successfully flouted the law on numerous occasions and was never effectively brought to account for his crimes.
Catalogue reference: C 66/534, m. 20d (6 August 1474)



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