ALSATIA (the old French province of Alsace), long a "debatable ground" between France and Germany, and hence a name applied in the 17th century to the district of Whitefriars, between the Thames and Fleet Street, in London, which afforded sanctuary (q.v.) to debtors and criminals. The privileges were abolished in 1697. The term is also used generally of any refuge for criminals.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)