The Historiography of Texts and Textiles in Thomas of Woodstock

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English Literary Renaissance


In 1388, Sir Robert Tresilian, Lord Chief Justice of England, was executed after being removed from sanctuary, following his condemnation by the Merciless Parliament, which had attainted many of Richard II's closest friends and supporters. According to John Stowe's Elizabethan account, Tresilian "hid himselfe in an Apothecaries house in the Sanctuary neere to the gate of Westminster, where hee might see the Lords going to the Parliament, and coming forth thereby to learne what was done, for all his life time he did all things closely, but now his craft being espied was turned to great follie." In order to sneak out of sanctuary, he "had disfigured himself, as if he had beene a poore weake man, in a frize coate, all old and torne, and had artificially made himself a longe beard, such as they called a Paris beard, and had defiled his face, to the end he might not be knowen but by his speech."



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