Murdered by Clerks

By Medieval Death Bot

A roll call of deaths from Twitter's Medieval Death Bot.

History | Humour
140% funded
858 supporters
Writing in progress

Publication date: TBC

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Illustrated Expanded Death

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Death of Margery Golde Triptych

First edition hardback, ebook edition, your name in the back of the book and a set of three A5 prints detailing the death of Margery Golde, who died from being "drunk beyond measure".

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Death for All!

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Presented by the author of Twitter's Medieval Death Bot comes Murdered by Clerks, an illuminating collection of in-depth looks at the most interesting cases from Medieval coroners’ rolls.

 

 

Thomas, son of Henry Robekyn, died 1286 after cutting off his left foot

and then his left hand in a frenzy

 

From the bizarre to the mundane, each death tells a tale from a dangerous time to be alive, and even to die. Coroners’ rolls list every inquest held for a death by misadventure – or accident – as well as grisly murders, some witnessed by others, some only coming to light when the hidden body was found. For deaths like these, everyone surrounding the death could become suspect. As a result, a complex system of juries arose to sort out just who was responsible. Was it a murder? Or was the cause of death simply an overturned pot of porridge, the family pig, or a step, slipped on while drunk. Whatever it was – it would pay the price.

 

Henry Debordesle, died 1343. Long sick with diseases, smote himself

in the belly with a knife worth one penny

 

A handful of these deaths rise to the top, their tales too bizarre, ridiculous or heartbreaking to not be spun again for the modern ear. Through death, Murdered by Clerks gives us a rare, first-hand look into everyday life for common people of the English Middle Ages.

 

Thomas Lynet, died 1321 after stirring up conflict between two clerks

and was thus shot with an arrow

 

And lurking amidst these common people is a recurring chorus of especially murderous clerks. Their bloodlust, while appearing insatiable, is the result of a particularly medieval naming convention – all those who were employed in a profession because they could read and write were referred to as clerks, which included not only scholars… but students as well. With the Death Bot featuring a coroners’ roll from Oxford, the cup of clerk murders overflows, and Murdered by Clerks highlights the best of the best. Brawls, street fights, wrestling gone wrong – it’s all in there. Students, drunk and armed with swords, are not to be trusted…

 

Agnes Bogwulle, died 1343, lying in bed near a weak wall of clay,

the wall fell on top of her and crushed her to death

 

Presented in a slim hardback volume, with a number of decorated pages, Murdered by Clerks is the perfect pocket companion to the vast array of medieval deaths that befell the brave, the brainless and the just plain unlucky.

 

 

Support this project

Quick select rewards

$25  + shipping
428 pledges

Hardback

First edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book.
Choose this reward
$30  + shipping
249 pledges

Bookplate Edition

First edition hardback, ebook edition, your name in the back of the book and a Murdered by Clerks bookplate.
Choose this reward
  • Medieval Deathbot avatar

    Medieval Deathbot

    The Medieval Death bot burst onto Twitter in 2013, succinctly relating the various macabre and mundane deaths of people of the Middle Ages. When pushed, the Medieval Death Bot is willing to suggest a possible medieval death for all those who choose to engage with it. Many feature clerks.

  • A sneak peek at the interiors:

    Read more...
  • 17th September 2020 Murdered by Clerks is Finished

    Well, you read it. I got the rough draft of the book done last month! This has been, overwhelmingly, the most time consuming and demanding project I've ever done, and I appreciate everyone's patience for it (and with me) so, so much.

    (The next time I say I'm going to write a non fiction history book, I'm quoting at least 5 years to completion. Cause yikes dudes.)

    What's next is: editing and…

    19th May 2020 May Update!

    Hello Backers!!

    It’s been a shitty few months around here lately—and I don’t just mean pandemic news. I’ve been deep in researching medieval cesspits and latrines for the chapter on the death of John Funke! He’s the guy who wandered out of his sickbed and drowned to death in a cesspit. And for a while it was a weird, puzzling sort of death (you’ll hear exactly why once you can read the chapter…

    30th December 2019 Long Time No See!

    Hello Backers!

    I know it’s been silent around here for a while, but rest assured the book is still happening! Non-fiction, especially one like this that branches into so many small and detailed aspects of medieval life, requires a lot of extensive research & fact checking. It’s not a quick and easy thing to write, so the turn-around is a big longer than if it was of a different genre! I want to…

    14th December 2018 Hello Backers!

    Thank you all so much for being a part of Murdered by Clerks! I’m still deep in research mode over here, rummaging around books, old maps and archives and picking out everything I need to bring these medieval deaths to life again.

    One of my recent digs, for the chapter on the death of William Baman who was murdered for striking a man’s dog, brought me face to face with a 13th century Bestiary,…

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  • Terrence Bosky
    Terrence Bosky asked:

    When is the end date for this campaign?

    Medieval Deathbot
    Medieval Deathbot replied:

    Hi there! The campaign will be running for three months.

    John Koshy
    John Koshy asked:

    Sorry but when is the end date for this campaign? You said three months but that doesn't give a start date.

    Medieval Deathbot
    Medieval Deathbot replied:

    We've got a flexible end date for this one, honestly! There's no real set date.

    John Koshy
    John Koshy asked:

    I'm noticing that this isn't being promoted anywhere, the twitter doesn't mention it and neither does the tumblr. Is this a dead project? I'd really love to read this but it doesn't seem to be moving.

    Medieval Deathbot
    Medieval Deathbot replied:

    It's not a dead project! Sorry for the radio silence on this for a while. The project is indeed going forward!

    Alexander Nirenberg
    Alexander Nirenberg asked:

    Hi, Murdered by Clerks is featured in this week's Prowling Dog blog: https://www.prowlingdog.com/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-202/ Regards, Alex

    Medieval Deathbot
    Medieval Deathbot replied:

    Thank you so much for featuring the book!

    Robert Finch
    Robert Finch asked:

    Do you have a better/approximate estimated time of delivery for this book yet?

    Medieval Deathbot
    Medieval Deathbot replied:

    2020 sometime? It does depend on the publisher though, and I'm just the author! I can't promise an exact date, but rest assured that it is absolutely still in production