1322: Urine spill leads to fatal assault in London

In the 14th century, as today, a wayward spray of urine could land a man in an argument or a fight. On New Year’s Day 1322 – ironically also the feast of Christ’s circumcision – a young man named Philip de Asshetidone was emptying his bladder when he was joined at the urinal by William, son of Henry atte Rowe:

“William… stood at the top of St Vedast lane, near Chepe, and made water into a certain urinal [but] he cast the urine into the shoe of [Philip] and, because the latter complained, the said William struck him with his fist…”

According to a coronial report, William picked up a baton dropped by Philip and:

“…feloniously struck the said Philip over the forehead, inflicting a mortal wound an inch long and penetrating to the brain so that he fell to the ground, and was thence carried by men unknown for charity’s sake to the said hospital where he had his ecclesiastical rights… He died at the third hour of the said wound.”

Three bystanders escorted William off to prison but his subsequent fate is not recorded.

Source: Calendar of Coroners Rolls for the City of London, 1300-1378, roll B43. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.