Send us news by text, start your message World News and your send photos and videos to 80360
750 year old murder discovered at University of Liverpool
3:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
BOFFINS have uncovered the secrets behind a 750 year old murder in Runcorn.
A researcher at the University of Liverpool has found that the a 13th century knight buried at Norton Priory was killed by a sword cut to his upper back.
By examining his skeleton, PhD researcher Shirley Curtis-Summers has found the man in his late 40s, was murdered and did not die from natural causes, as had been thought.
She says it would have been a mortal wound, but one that may have left him alive for several hours, yet unable to walk.
A battlefield injury might be expected for a knight of this period but Medieval weapons expert and TV presenter, Mike Loades suggests a more sinister incident.
He said: “It seems almost inconceivable that a wound of this nature could be caused to anyone wearing armour.
“The slice would have had to cut through the armour for the entire length of the wound. This is not possible which suggests this wound was not received in battle.
“The possible scenarios that first occur to me are: assault by robbers or caught out, unarmoured, in an attack on his home or a private affray or murder.”
The knight was buried in a stone coffin with a lid bearing two carved shields that once would have borne his heraldic device, he took pride of place in the nave of the Priory church.
Curator, Lynn Smith believes she may know who he was.
She said: “One character stands out as a strong possibility for being the occupant of this prestigious grave.
“That is Geoffrey Dutton, son of Adam de Dutton. We know he was born about AD 1170 and from skeletal evidence that he was 48 or over when he died.”
The skeleton is now back on display in the museum.