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The Miller

John Skelton was one of the leading scholars of his time. He was appointed tutor to Prince Henry (later to become Henry V111). He was an ordained priest, a triple laureate with degrees in rhetoric from Oxford, Cambridge and Leuven Universities. He was a poet and translator. He was also a scallywag. In 1504, as a result of some disgrace or other, he was retired from regular attendance at Court and made Rector of Diss. His behaviour soon caused a scandal. After Skelton’s death in 1529 a collection of stories about him was published – many of them apocryphal – called ‘The Merie Tales of Skelton’. This is an excerpt from one of them, telling how Skelton and his priest were tricked by the Miller of Diss. It’s a story-type that appears in many cultures, often titled ‘The Master Thief’.

Reclaimed Welsh slate measuring 1625mm x 590mm