Suicide in medieval England was both a religious and a secular concern. This is a particularly important time in the evolution of the common law and legal ideas about intent and responsibility, and is the earliest period from which central, official records on suicide are available. Self-murder was a mortal sin in the eyes of the Church, penalised by prohibition of burial in consecrated ground and also confiscation by royal authorities of the goods of the deceased and the implement used to commit suicide (the deodand), whether it belonged to the deceased or not.
Suicide or accident: self-killing in medieval England: series of 198 cases from the Eyre records
By Alice Seabourne and Gwen Seabourne