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A plea under which the defendant, accused of any crime except treason or sacrilege, might set up the privilege of sanctuary. The defendant might flee to a church or churchyard, and within forty days thereafter go into sackcloth, confess himself guilty before a coroner, state the circumstances of the offense, take oath that he abjured the realm and would quit the kingdom and never return without the king's leave. This privilege of sanctuary was much abridged in 1535, and in 1623 was altogether abolished.

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