This chapter presents an account of the time Oxford killed a man. On Wednesday 23 July 1567, in the back yard of Cecil House, seventeen–year–old Oxford killed Thomas Brincknell, an undercook in the Cecil household. Between seven and eight o'clock that evening, Oxford was in the yard with Edward Baynam, a Westminster tailor, practicing the science of defence with rapiers. Whether deliberate or by accident, the Earl's foil pierced the thigh of the unarmed man, and Brincknell was dead before midnight. The coroner's report stated that Brincknell, who was drunk, ran and fell upon the point of the Earl of Oxford's foil. Oxford got off scot free but had the distinction of being the first man in England known to have killed another by the ‘unmanly’ thrust of a rapier beneath the girdle.
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