Thursday, September 28, 2023

More Medieval Murder Maps!

On Saturday 2 Feb 1297 three Oxford University students decided to celebrate the festival of the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary by going on a frenzied rampage. On the evening of the festival John de Skurf and his two friends Michael and Madoc ran through the streets of Oxford with swords, bows, and arrows "attacking all passers-by". One John Metescharp was shot with an arrow by Michael of St. Aldgate and he eventually died from his wound two days later.

This is just one of the gruesome murders which are recounted on Cambridge University's Medieval Murder Maps.

Back in 2018 Cambridge University unveiled an interactive homicide map which used historical coroner records to plot the locations of murders in medieval London. The university has now released two more interactive maps to also record the grizzly homicidal histories of the medieval English cities of Oxford and York. 

The interactive Medieval Murder Maps use coroners records (and, in the case of Oxford, the records of the antiquarian Twyne) to show the locations of some of the murders carried out in each city in the 14th Century. Murders on the maps are shown using categorized markers. These markers depict the murder weapon used in each recorded medieval homicide.

As well as the two new city maps there is now also a Medieval Murder podcast, in which the team behind the maps discuss some of the most interesting cases, try to solve some of the cold cases, and explore 'the similarities and the differences to violent crime in our modern world'. As well as this podcast the maps themselves also now contain a number of voice overs, providing a narrated summary of some of the medieval murders featured on the maps. Each of the three murder maps now includes a filter option which allows you to see only those murders with voice overs on the map.

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