Foiled in this, he cited her son William for heresy. Upon this Sir Arnold came with William to the Priory of Kells, where De Ledrede was holding a visitation, and besought him not to proceed further in the matter. Finding entreaty useless he had recourse to threats, which he speedily put into execution. As the Bishop was going forth on the following day to continue his visitation he was met on the confines of the town of Kells by Stephen le Poer, bailiff of the cantred of Overk, and a posse of armed men, by whom he was arrested under orders from Sir Arnold, and lodged the same day in Kilkenny jail. This naturally caused tremendous excitement in the city. The place became ipso facto subject to an interdict ; the Bishop desired the Sacrament, and it was brought to him in solemn procession by the Dean and Chapter. All the clergy, both secular and religious, flocked from every side to the prison to offer their consolation to the captive, and their feelings were roused to the highest pitch by the preaching of a Dominican, who took as his text, Blessed are they which are persecuted, etc. Seeing this, William Outlawe nervously informed Sir Arnold of it, who thereupon decided to keep the Bishop in closer restraint, but subsequently changed his mind, and allowed him to have companions with him day and night, and also granted free admission to all his friends and servants.
After De Ledrede had been detained in prison for seventeen days, and Sir Arnold having thereby attained his end, viz. that the day on which William Outlawe was cited to appear should in the meantime pass by, he sent by the hands of his uncle the Bishop of Leighlin (Miler le Poer), and the sheriff of Kilkenny a mandate to the constable of the prison to liberate the Bishop. The latter refused to sneak out like a released felon, but assumed his pontificals, and, accompanied by all the clergy and a throng of people, made his way solemnly to S. Canice's Cathedral, where he gave thanks to God. With a pertinacity we cannot but admire he again cited William Outlawe by public proclamation to appear before him, but before the day arrived the Bishop was himself cited to answer in Dublin for having placed an interdict on his diocese. He excused himself from attending on the plea that the road thither passed through the lands of Sir Arnold, and that in consequence his life would be in danger.
De Ledrede had been arrested by Le Poer's orders in Lent, in the year 1324. On Monday following the octave of Easter the Seneschal held his court in Kilkenny, to which entrance was denied the Bishop ; but the latter, fully robed, and carrying the Sacrament in a golden vase, made his way into the court-room, and " ascending the tribunal, and reverently elevating the Body of Christ, sought from the Seneschal, Justiciary, and Bailiffs that a hearing should be granted to him." The scene between the two was extraordinary ; it is too lengthy to insert, and does not bear to be condensed —suffice it to say that the Seneschal alluded to the Bishop as " that vile, rustic, interloping monk (trutannus), with his dirt (hordys) which he is carrying in his hands," and refused to hear his arguments, or to afford him any assistance.
Though we have lost sight for a while of Dame Alice, yet she seems to have been eagerly watching the trend of events, for now we find her having the Bishop summoned to Dublin to answer for having excommunicated her,uncited, unadmonished, and unconvicted of the crime of sorcery. He attended accordingly, and found the King's and the Archbishop's courts against him to a man, but the upshot of the matter was that the Bishop won the day ; Sir Arnold was humbled, and sought his pardon for the wrongs he had done him. This was granted, and in the presence of the council and the assembled prelates they mutually gave each other the kiss of peace.
Affairs having come to such a satisfactory conclusion the Bishop had leisure to turn his attention to the business that had unavoidably been laid aside for some little time. He directed letters patent, praying the Chancellor to seize the said Alice Kyteler, and also directed the Vicar-General of the Archbishop of Dublin to cite her to respond on a certain day in Kilkenny before the Bishop. But the bird escaped again out of the hand of the fowler. Dame Alice fled a second time, on this occasion from Dublin, where she had been living, and (it is said) made her way to England, where she spent the remainder of her days unmolested. Several of her confederates were subsequently arrested, some of them being apparently in a very humble condition of life, and were committed to prison. Their names were : Robert of Bristol, a clerk, John Galrussyn, Ellen Galrussyn, Syssok Galrussyn, William Payn de Boly, Petronilla of Meath, her daughter Sarah,1 Alice the wife of Henry Faber, Annota Lange, and Eva de Brownestown. When the Bishop arrived in Kilkenny from Dublin he went direct to the prison, and interviewed the unfortunates mentioned above. They all immediately confessed to the charges laid against them, and even went to the length of admitting other crimes of which no mention had been made ; but, according to them, Dame Alice was the mother and mistress of them all. Upon this the Bishop wrote letters on the 6th of June to the Chancellor, and to the Treasurer, Walter de Islep, requesting them to order the Sheriff to attach the bodies of these people and put them in safe keeping. But a warrant was refused, owing to the fact that William Outlawe was a relation of the one and a close friend of the other ; so at length the Bishop obtained it through the Justiciary, who also consented to deal with the case when he came to Kilkenny.
1 Elsewhere given as Basilia.
Before his arrival the Bishop summoned William Outlawe to answer in S. Mary's Church. The latter appeared before him, accompanied by a band of men armed to the teeth ; but in no way overawed by this show of force, De Ledrede formally accused him of heresy, of favouring, receiving, and defending heretics, as well as of usury, perjury, adultery, clericide, and excommunications—in all thirty-four items were brought forward against him, and he was permitted to respond on the arrival of the Justiciary. When the latter reached Kilkenny, accompanied by the Chancellor, the Treasurer, and the King's Council, the Bishop in their presence recited the charges against Dame Alice, and with the common consent of the lawyers present declared her to be a sorceress, magician, and heretic, and demanded that she should be handed over to the secular arm and have her goods and chattels confiscated as well. Judging from Friar Clyn's note this took place on the 2nd of July. On the same day the Bishop caused a great fire to be lit in the middle of the town in which he burnt the sackful of magical stock-in-trade, consisting of powders, ointments, human nails, hair, herbs, worms, and other abominations, which the reader will remember he had received from Sir John le Poer at an early stage in the proceedings.