Lancelot Sawthell

It’s always a shock of recognition when I’m working on the records and come across a character I’ve put in a book.

Anyone remember Hawise and Elizabeth giggling about poor Lancelot Sawghell at the beginning of Time’s Echo? Here’s the real one, being ordered to get rid of the filth he’s apparently thrown into the moat under the city walls at Monk bar. Tut, tut.

Lancelot Sawghell

YCA E31, p.201, reproduced by kind permission of City of York Council Archives and Local History:

And here’s the fictional Lancelot:

Our baskets were full and we were just closing the gate to the garth when we met Lancelot Sawthell.  I tease Elizabeth about poor Lancelot, who turns red whenever he sees her, and coming face-to-face with him unexpectedly was almost too much for us.  We had to press our lips together to stop giggling while he stammered a greeting, his Adam’s apple working frantically up and down, but oh, it was hard!  We are cruel maids, I know, but not so cruel that we would laugh in his face, and we had to run as fast as we could so that we could explode with laughter out of his earshot.

My Lancelot Sawthell wouldn’t have grown up to toss rubbish in a ditch – I actually felt disappointed when I read the entry above! – and, as always, I can’t help wondering what he was really like …

And since I’ve got the photo to hand, here’s the ditch where Lancelot was dumping his waste!

Lord Mayor's Walk 1


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