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Answer 41. The Archbishop of Canterbury is believed to have claimed sanctuary in the Chapel Royal of St John the Evangelist in the White Tower.


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St_Johns_Chapel_Tower_of_London (sized)The chapel was built for William the Conqueror, although he died before it was completed. Knights of the Bath kept vigil here before coronations.

According to the rules of sanctuary, the Archbishop should have been safe in the chapel. But the peasants had had enough of other people’s rules. Bursting into the chapel, they grabbed hold of the Archbishop at the altar and bundled him outside:

‘Wat Tyler, Jack Straw and John Ball and more than 400 entered into the Tower and brake up chamber after chamber, and at last found the Archbishop of Canterbury…’

HISTORIC LONDON:  X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 42. What happened to the Archbishop of Canterbury after Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, John Ball and the other peasants removed him from sanctuary at the Tower of London?

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