Home >> Cyclopedia Of Knowledge >> Proclamation to Sheriff Scotland >> Sanctuary


viii and privilege

SANCTUARY, a consecrated place which gave protection to a criminal taking refuge there. The word also signified the privilege of sanctuary, which was granted by the king for the protection of the life of an offender. Under the do minion of the Normans there appear early to have existed two kinds of sanctuary ; one general, which belonged to every church, and another peculiar, which ori ginated in a grant by charter from the king. The general sanctuary afforded a refuge to those only who had been guilty of capital felonies. On reaching it, the felon was bound to declare that he had committed felony, and came to save his life. OF THE REALM.] A pe iar sanctuary might, if such pri vilege was granted by the charter, afford a place of refuge even for those who had committed high or petty treason; and a party escaping thither might, if he chose, remain undisturbed for life. He still,

however, had the option to take the oath of abjuration and quit the realm. Sanc tuary seems in neither case to have been allowed as a protection to those who escaped from the sheriff after being de livered to him for execution. During the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII., at the time when the religious houses were dissolved, several statutes were passed (26 Hen. VIII. c. 13; 27 Hen. VIII. c. 19; 32 Hen. VIII. c. 12), which regulated, limited, and par tially abolished the privilege of sanctuary, both as regarded the number and classes of criminals entitled to it, and also the places possessing the privilege. Finally, by 21 James I. c. 28, s. 7, it was enacted that no sanctuary or privilege of sanc tuary should thereafter be admitted or allowed in any case. [ABJURATION of