Thursday, 1 December 2016

Garnier: Court Case - John the Marshal v. Thomas Becket archbishop, Northampton, October 1164

Mes ainc pur ceo li reis nel pot de rien fleschir,
Pur ceo k’il ne s’en pot hors del païs fuïr.
A Norhamtune a fet sun concile establir,
E prelaz e barons par ban i fet venir,
1385 Trestuz ces ki en chief de lui deivent tenir

A cel concile sunt cumunalment alé
Li conte e li baron, eveskë e abé.
L’arceveske Thomas ne l’ad pas refusé
Ke il n’i seit alez od cel altre barné ;
1390 Mes li ber i alat od grant humilité.
En ses ostels fet orent lur chevals herbergier
Li reial, ki bien sorent tut le conseil plenier.
E il a dit al rei n’ira a curt plaidier,
Tresqu’il li avra fet tuz ses ostels voidier.
1395 Dunc en furent geté cheval e escuier.
Li ber i ert sumuns a jor numeement,
K’il fust prez a respundre iluekes en present.
El regne ot fet li reis un establissement
(As barons del païs turne a grant grievement) :
1400 Ke chascon pert sa curt par un fals serement.
Se nul plaidast de terre en la curt son seignur,
Od sa gent i vendreit a sun premerain jor.
E se l’um li fesist de sun plet nul demur,
A la justise alast, si fesist sa clamur ;
1405 Ariere revenist, od lui dui jureür.
En la curt sun segnur jurast, sei tierce main,
[44] Que la curt li oüst esluinié sun dreit plain.
Par itel serement, u desleal u sain,
Alast cil en la curt al segnur plus procein,
1410 Tant k’en la curt venist al segnur suverain.
Johan li Mareschal pleideiot ensement.
En la curt seint Thomas clamot un tienement ;
Pur ceo k’il n’i ot dreit e n’espleita neient,
Sa curt li ad tolue par itel serement.
1415 Al rei s’en est clamez, ki quiert sun grievement.
La fist li reis sumundre seint Thomas pur pleidier,
K’il i fust prez al jor, e pur sei derainier
De ceo k’il n’ot tenu Johan sun dreit plenier.
Il fu emferms al jur e ne pot chevalchier ;
1420 A dous des suens a fet le jor essunïer.
Cel esoine ne volt li reis pas greanter ;
Pur ceo fist l’arceveske a Norhantune aler.
E li ber i ala, ainc n’i volt eschiver.
A Seint Andreu se fist as moines osteler.
1425 L’endemain li covint un mult grief fes porter.
Car al rei est alé le cungié demander
D’aler a l’apostoile, ceo li dist, ultre mer :
Car Rogier d’Everwiz feseit sa cruiz porter
Par tut en sa paroisse ; nel volt suffrir li ber ;
1430 E apelé en orent, si l’i estuet aler.
En l’endemain pur ceo al rei Henri ala,
E a lui errament le cungié demanda
D’aler a l’apostoile. Li reis dit n’i ira,
Mes de cele sursise errament respundra.
1435 Il dit k’il iert enferms, e k’il s’esunia.
Ainc essunies ne mals ne li pot rien valeir.
Li reis dit k’il en volt sun jugement aveir.
Il vont al jugement ; n’i voldrent dreit veeir :
L’arceveske unt jugié, cume gent senz saveir,
[45] 1440 A duner en merci treis cenz livres d’aveir.
Desdire les voleit li bers del jugement.
Mais mult li unt prïé trestuit communement
Qu’il laist cel’ire ester, nes desdie neent,
Face la volenté le rei e sun talent ;
1445 Einsi purra trover vers lui ameisement.
Le jugement li unt fait einsi graanter
E de ces treis cenz livres pleges al rei trover.
Erramment les trova, n’en pout par el passer.
E quant trové les out, sil funt en plait entrer,
1450 E del plait cel Johan le vunt achaisuner.
Ne volt iluec respundre, ço lur respunt li ber ;
Car cil fu en sa curt, e ne solt pas mustrer
Qu’um li fesist nul tort ; e quant s’en volt turner,
Ne volt sur altre livre le serement jurer
1455 For desur un tropier, qu’il i fist aporter.
N’est pas us del païs que l’en jurt sur tropier,
Mais a quatre ewangelies deit l’um agenuillier.
Mais par tel serement quida Deu enginnier ;
Mais dedenz cel an porent sa char li ver mangier,
1460 E les cors ses dous fiz, qui li erent mult chier.


277 [part]
At Northampton he [the king] caused his council to be convened, And the prelates and barons by ban [edict] he made come there all those who owed him feudal duty holding [land] as a tenant in chief from him. 1385

[Ban = personal writ of summons to a Great Council under the great seal from the king to each tenant-in-chief i.e. the prelates and magnates]

To this council commonly came earls and barons, bishops and abbots. Archbishop Thomas did not refuse to go there with the other barons. But our good hero came there in great humility. 1390

In his guesthouse lodged there together their horses were the men of the king's party who well knew of his [the king's] plan in full. [Going to the king] he said he would not come to his court to plead as long as they did not vacate all his lodging places. Then the squires together with their horses were thrown out. 1395

The good man was summoned upon the appointed day on which he was ready to answer with his presence. The king had published an ordinance throughout the kingdom (which had stirred up a great grievance amongst the barons of the country) whereby any one of them could lose their court by means of false sworn testimony. 1400

[This procedure came to be known as the Assize of Novel Disseisin]

If anyone might make a plea [a claim] for land in the court of his lord,  he should come there together with his people on the first day [of the hearing]. And there, if any one delayed his plea, he might then go to a justice, to whom he could make his complaint; and come back again bringing with him two compurgators [jurors/sworn witnesses].1405

There in the court of his lord they could swear, the three of them [the plaintiff, as the third hand, and his two compurgators], that the court had deprived him of his legal right. By such an oath, whether false [by perjury] or true, he might thus [by this means] take his case to the court of the next higher lord, and so on [all the way] till he might [by appeal] come before the court of his sovereign lord [the king].

John the Marshal had made such a plea. In the court of St. Thomas he made a claim  for a tenement for which he had neither the legal right to, nor could he gain anything there. He therefore now made a claim for it by such an oath [using the procedure of Novel Disseisin] to the king, who bore a grievance against him [Thomas]. 1415

That done the king summoned St Thomas to make his plea, requiring that he come before him on an appointed day to defend his case why he had not granted John his full legal right. That day he [Thomas] was ill and could not ride a horse. He sent two of his own men to make his essoin [lawful excuse of his absence]. 1420

This essoin [legal excuse for anbsence] the king did not want to allow; therefore for this he summoned the archbishop to come to Northampton. And our hero came there as he had no wish to evade it. He lodged with the monks of St. Andrews. The day after they admitted that he seemed to be bearing a great grief, 1425

because he had gone to the king to ask for leave to go overseas, this he told him, to go [to make a complaint] to the Pope about Roger d'Éveque [Roger Pont d'Éveque archbishop of York] who had been having borne before him his cross throughout his [Becket's] province. But our hero did not want to allow him to do this and they had appealed for him to go there. 1430

For this he had gone to king Henry on the following day, and had immediately asked him for leave to go to the Pope. The king told him that he was not to go there, but should now immediately answer the [John the Marshal's] case without delay. He said that he had been ill and that he had essoined himself,

But neither essoins nor sickness would prevail. The king said that he wanted to have his judgement thereon. They arrived at a sentence; neither would they see lawful right in this. They judged archbishop , like uneducated people, by giving him a fine in a sum of three hundred pounds..

[£300 was the equivalent of 40 year's pay for a master mason.]

Our hero wanted to refute this sentence but they all together forcefully begged him to renounce his anger and not gainsay them at all. But that he should do the king's will and follow his wishes. 1445
Thus they made him submit to the sentence, and for this he had to find three hundred pounds of pledges for the king. He found them immediately as he could not evade this. And after he had found them, they made him enter a plea [in his defence in the court] in the case which John [the Marshal] had brought which they were going now to accuse him of. 1450

Our hero did not wish to give a response to them [there] about this, as this man [John the marshal] had been in his court and was not able to show that anyone had done him a wrong; and when in turn he came to put his case there he was unwilling to swear the oath on any other book except a troper which he had brought with his there. 1455

It is not the custom of the country that one swears the oath upon a troper, rather one must kneel down before [a book of] the four gospels. But by such an oath he thought he could deceive God. But inside a year the worms were able to eat his flesh, and also the bodies of his two sons who were very dear to him. 1460


R. C. van Caenegem (1991). English Lawsuits from William I to Richard I Volume 2 - Case 420 7th-8th Oct 1164 Volume 107 Selden Society. pp. 423 left - 433 right
John the Marshal v Thomas Becket
Originals + Translations
A. Herbert of Boseham   Materials Becket iii  250-252
B. William Fitzstephen   Materials Becket iii 50-51
C   Anonymous 1 Materials Becket iv 40-41
D   Roger of Hovendon Chron i 224-225
E Edward Grim Materials Becket ii 390-392
F William of Canterbury Materials Becket i 30-31
G Ralph de Diceto i p. 313
H Guernes fe Pont-Saint-Maxence Walberg 1936 pp 43-45

Thómas Saga Erkibyskups: A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic Vol. 1, with English translation by Eiríkur Magnússon.
Chapter 23 The Meeting of Northampton

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.
Rule in Glanvill

Glanvill Book XII Chapter 7

David Houard (1776). Traités sur les coutumes anglo-normandes, publiés en Angleterre, depuis le onzième, jusqu'au quatorzième siècle. Glanvill Book XII - Cap 7: chez Le Boucher le jeune. pp. 544–.

Ranulf de Glanville (1812). tr Beames, ed. A Translation of Glanville. Book XII Chapter 7: W. Reed. pp. 289–.

Cap 7.

¶Probantur autem curie ipse de recto defecisse in hunc modum. Conquerente autem se eo qui petit vicecomiti in comitatu et breue domini Regis afferente: mittet vice∣comes comes ad curiam ips•m die qua litigatoris bus a domino ipsius curie statuta fuerit; ali∣quem seruientem, vt et ille coram quatuor vel pluribus legalibus militibus eiusdem comitatus qui ex• precepto vicecomiti••llic ad∣erunt audiat et videat probationem ipsius petentis scilicet curi•m ipsam ei de recto de∣fecisse in placito ipso Quod et ipse petens si• esse, suo iuramento et cum duobus aliis id audientibus et intelligentibus, et cum eo iu∣rantibus probabit. Sub tali ergo solēpnitate• solent loquele a quibusdam curu• ad comi∣tatus transferri. Et ibi de nouo tractari et ter∣minari sine contradictione vel recuperatione ipsarum curiarum, quam inde habere possūt ipsarum curiarum domini siue heredes quan∣tum ad'illud placitum. Sin autem priusquam curia aliqua predicto modo probetur de recto defecisse loquela aliqua ab ea ad supe∣riorem curiam trahatur, poterit dominus al∣lius Curie die placiti curiam suam ea ratio∣ne repetere quod non dum probata fuerit de recto defecisse, et ita eam per iudicium retro habebit nisi ibi probetur de recto eam vt dictum est defecisse. Sciendum tamen quod si ad capitalem Curiam domini Regis ita tracta fuerit aliqua loquela, frustra vendica∣bit ibi quis die placiti Curiam suam, nisiter∣rio die ante, coram legalibus hominibus eam vendicauerit. Nullo autem die posito ipsi petenti vnde ipse queri possit, et iuste de dilatione ei facta, sufficit ei falsare Curiam ipsam sub forma prescripta quocunque lo∣co voluerit in feodo ipso. Si dominus nul∣lam habuerit reseantisam super feodum ip∣sum sicut ipsi domino licet Curiam suam ibi tenere, et ipsi petenti diem ponere quo∣cunque loco voluent super feodum ipsum. Extra autem feodum ipsum non licer ei de iure.

David Crouch (2 March 2016). William Marshal. Routledge. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-317-28309-6.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Garnier: On Criminous Clerics

Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Vie de saint Thomas Becket, édité
par Emmanuel Walberg, Paris, Champion, 1936.

Entre lui e le rei resurst mult grant meslee
Des fous clers ki esteient par male destinee
Larrun, murdriseür e felun a celee.
Li reis en volt aveir la lei de la cuntree,
1110 Mais l’arcevesques ad cele lei desturnee.

Par tut le munde est leis, tut par dreit establie,
[35] E en cristïenté e nis en paenie,
Qui pris est a embler u a tel felunie,
La justise en seit faite e pleniere e furnie ;
1115 Pur pere ne pur frere n’est a esparnier mie.

Pur ço voleit li reis, e il e si barun,
Que se nuls ordenez fust pris a mesprisun,
Cumme de larrecin u murdre u traïsun,
Dunc fust desordenez par itele raisun
1120 E puis livré a mort e a desfactiun.

Pruveires e diacnes plusurs en i ot pris,
Larruns, murdreiseürs, en la rei prisun mis.
Careté mult suvent erent par le païs,
As cunciles mené, la u lur ert asis
1125 U qu’il fussent desfaiz u penduz u ocis.

L’arcevesque Thomas pur els se conbateit ;
Les hummes sun seignur a estrus demandeit.
S’il aveient mesfait, pur ço nes guerpiseit ;
Mais bien offre par tut qu’il les avra a dreit
1130 En la curt Dampnedeu, se nuls les chalengeit.

De tut iço ne volt li reis rien graanter.
Nes en larra ensi en nule guise aler ;
Mais tut ainceis les volt faire desordener,
A la justise puis les cumande a livrer,
1135 A pendre u a ardeir u vifs a desmenbrer.

Al tens a sun aioel esteient il desfait,
Li clerc qui erent pris a si vilain mesfait.
Pur ço volt or aveir, – que rien n’en seit enfreit, –
La custume e les us sun aiwel entresait.
1140 Ja mar entendra mais li arcevesques plait.

L’arcevesques respunt ja einsi ne sera,
Ne a laie justise les clers ne liverra ;
Mais sulunc Deu par tut a dreit les maintendra,
E sulunc les decrez bien les justisera.
[36] 1145 Saint’iglise endreit li abaissier ne lerra.

« Clerc ne deivent, fait il, a voz leis obeïr,
Ne pur un sul mesfait duble peine suffrir :
Estre desordené e puis des cors perir.
Pur ço les voil par tut a raisun maintenir,
1150 Ne ja pur nule rien ne m’en verrez flechir.

Bien vus otrei que seient li clerc desordené,
Tuit cil ki mais serunt a tel mesfait trové ;
Mais dunc serunt tut quite de lur membres clamé.
E se puis resunt pris, dunc seient essorbé,
1155 Escorchié u pendu, a vostre volenté.

Essamples de justise ne deit pas estre pris
A cels qui de sei funt tut ço qu’il unt enpris,
N’a ceaus qui seculer furent e sunt tuz dis,
Mais a cels u Deus a sun saint esperit mis.
1160 Altrement en ert hum envers Deu entrepris.

Davit li reis, qui out en sei saint Esperit,
Quant il out Salemun, sun fil, a rei escrit,
Grant partie del pueple li aveit contredit,
E si unt Adonie, sun fil, a rei eslit.
1165 Abiathar le volt sacrer al Deu despit.

Pur cel cisme qu’il fist contre Deu et raisun,
Pur jugier fu menez devant rei Salemun.
Mais li reis nel volt pas metre a desfactiun,
Ainz li dist qu’il alast maneir a sa maisun ;
1170 Mais de tut sun mestier li fist suspensiun.

D’un sul mesfait ne deit nuls huem dous feiz perir.
Quant li clers pert sun ordre nel pet hum plus hunir.
Quant jo dei saint’iglise e les clers maintenir,
Jes maintendrai tuz dis pur Deu, ki dei servir ;
1175 Pur vie ne pur mort ne m’en verrez flechir. »

Quant veit li reis Henris que veintre nel purra,
[37] Ne que les clers forfaiz desfaire ne lerra,
Mult durement vers lui en ire s’enflamba ;
E tresbien li pramet que il l’abaissera,
1180 E la u il le prist, que il le remetra.

Lungement ad duré entre els dous cist estris.
L’arcevesque ne puet flechir li reis Henris ;
Tut adès mainteneit les fols clers entrepris.
Tut sul se conbateit, n’i ot gueres amis,
1185 Car tuit pres li evesque s’esteient al rei pris.

Li autre l’unt laissié tut sul enmi l’estur,
E le corn unt baillié en main al pecheür,
Ne l’espee Deu traire nen osent pur poür ;
Car plus criement asez le terrïen seignur
1190 Que il ne funt Jesu, le puissant creatur.

Ahi, las e chaitif ! Dites mei que cremez ?
Cremez vus que vus toille li reis voz poestez ?
Par ma fei, nel fera, se tenir les osez.
Vus n’estes pas evesque, le sul nun en portez.
1195 Ço que a vus apent un sul puint ne guardez
Les autres devrïez mener e aveier,
E vus les faites tuz chaïr e trebuchier.
Nis le rei del païs faites vus desveier.
Vus ne li devez pas tut son voil conseillier,
1200 Ainz le devez suvent reprendre e chastïer.

Deus vus ad comandé sun berzil a guarder ;
E s’il est vostre oeille, vus le devez mener.
Le pastre deit tuz dis le forain returner
E l’oeille malede sur s’espaule porter ;
1205 Ne la deit pas laissier al larrun estrangler.

Vus estes mercennier ; des verais poi i a.
Li reis le veit tresbien : plus vils vus en avra.
Deus, quil mist el regné, le vus demandera.
Vus l’avez a guarder. Quant se convertira,
[38] 1210 Tuz ceus qui cest conseil li dunerent, harra.

Li reis deit guverner la terrïene gent,
E volt aveir ses leis le plus a sun talent.
Li lai volent aveir lur establisement
E lur us, si cum orent devant els lur parent.
1215 Deus est celestïen, e ses leis ensement.

E le rei e les clers voil ore demander :
Lesqueles des leis deivent cristïen mielz guarder,
U celes qu’establirent Sarazin e Escler
E les genz par le mund, pur les feluns danter,
1220 U iceles que firent li saint humme enbrever ?

Reis, purpense te mielz ; ne creire mal conseil.
Mult sunt faus li prelat que tu as pris al breil ;
Plus sunt fuiant del ros, quant il est en tüeil.
Quant trechent lur seignur, poi te serunt feeil.
1225 Ne te creire a la nuit ; dune tei al soleil.

Lai saint’iglise aveir e ses dreiz e ses leis.
Ele est espuse Deu, qui est sire des reis ;
Il s’en corecera, se de rien la descreis.
Bien tost te sufferra un an u dous u treis
1230 U trente u vint u dis, semaine u jur u meis.

Se or vesquist Nerun, ja truvast tost Symun,
Qui suduist tut le mund e par buche e par dun.
Rume fu maisun Deu ; or est fosse a larrun.
Moÿses est tut suls el regne Pharaun,
1235 N’i puet mie trover de sun frere Aarun.

Li clerc sunt serjant Deu e de s’electiun,
Eslit es sorz des sainz ; de ço portent le nun.
Quel qu’il seient, serjant sunt en la Deu maisun.
N’i as a metre main, nis el petit clerzun,
1240 Puis qu’est duné a Deu, s’esguardez la raisun.

Reis, se tu es enuinz, curune d’or portant,
Ne deiz estre en orgueil, mais en bien reluisant ;
[39] A tun pueple deiz estre e chiefs e lur chalant.
Ne la portes adès, n’avoec ne fus naissant.
1245 La glorie d’icest mund n’est lungement durant.

Li clers porte sun merc en sum le chief adès ;
Ne li est pas al cors, mais a l’aneme, grant fes.
Tunduz est cumme fous, e de luinz e de pres.
Ne deit estre orguillus vers nului, ne engrès ;
1250 Humbles deit estre a tuz e par tut porter pes.

Li clers est trodnes Deu ; Deus deit en li seeir.
Aprendre deit tuz dis ; mult li covient saveir.
Discretiun e sens deit en tuz lius aveir.
Mais Deus ne li a pas duné si grant poeir
1255 Que ses pechiez nel pusse cum humme deceveir.

Li clers deivent les lais e lur anemes guarder.
Nuls ne deit sun prelat, ne clerc ne lai, dampner.
Pur ç’ad um fait prelat sur prelat alever :
Cel qui mesfait deit l’un a sun prelat livrer ;
1260 Par tel lei cum il vit, le deit l’um demener.

Li clerc forfait serunt as evesques livré.
En quel guise e coment serunt desordené ?
Coment serunt li mot del sacrement osté,
E ki puet dessacrer ço que Deus ad sacré ?
1265 N’est pas dreiz, ço m’est vis, mais lei a volenté.

Quant est desordenez, s’il puet a Rome aler
E il puisse la grace l’apostolie encontrer,
Qu’il li duinse cungié sulement de chanter,
Erramment li verrez la messe celebrer,
1270 E si nel fera pas altre feiz ordener.

Ço que Deus a sacré ne puet nuls dessacrer,
Ne nul cristïen humme nuls descristianer,
Mais que de saint’iglise le puet um bien sevrer.
N’otrei pas, s’il est pris, qu’um le laist mie aler,
1275 Q’um le laisse en avant, cum il soleit, ovrer.

[40] 256
Le fel ne dute pas le desordenement.
L’ordre aime e prise poi, quant il murdrist la gent
E emble altrui aveir e a force le prent ;
Ne crient hunte ne mort, ne furkes ne turment.
1280 Qui l’en larra aler, puis qu’est pris, ja n’ament.

Ensi est del felun cum il fu del sengler
Dunt vus avez oï en Avïen cunter,
Qui soleit les furmenz al riche humme guaster.
Par dous feiz i fu pris, sil laissa l’um aler,
1285 Mais ainceis li fist l’um les oreilles couper.

Quant il i esteit pris, li produem li roveit
Que mais n’i repairast ; se mais i reveneit,
Bien li aseürout que il le conpereit.
Puis l’en laissout aler ; mes primes le merkeit.
1290 Tierce feiz i fu pris ; pas ne s’en castiheit.

Idunkes fu ocis e al coeu fu livrez.
Li keus manja le cuer. Quant li fu demandez,
Fist al seignur acreire que senz quer esteit nez :
Car se il eüst quer, il se fust purpensez.
1295 Le fel est tuz dis fels, ne ja mais n’iert senez.

Pur c’esguard par raisun, e bien l’os afichier
Que se li clers forfait a perdre sun mestier,
Face le sis prelaz en sa chartre lancier,
Qu’il ne puisse ja mais hors d’iluec repairier.
1300 Iluec purra, s’il volt, ses mesfaiz adrecier.

Quant Deus ot fait Adam e mis en paradis,
Pur le mesfait qu’il fist ne fu il pas ocis,
Mais del dolerus mund fu en la chartre mis.
En peine e en tristur fu, tant cum il fu vis,
1305 E pur espeneïr ço qu’ainceis ot mespris.

E Adam e li clerc nen unt chief se Dieu nun ;
Pur ç’ai fait, ço m’est vis, dreite comparisun.
E se li clers est pris mais a tel mesprisun,
[41] Face le sis prelaz jeter en sa prisun.
1310 Bien se puet apuier li reis a ma raisun.

La terrïene leis ne deit nul esparnier
Pur les feluns danter e pur els chastïer.
Mais la pitié de Deu ne volt nul esluignier,
Einz volt que le fel vive, qu’il se puisse espurgier
1315 E sun pechié guerpir e a Deu repairier.

Ço parut en Adam, qui tuz premiers mesfist.
Deus le vesti de peals, lui e nus mortals fist ;
Es ovraignes Adam nostre terre maudist,
Qui nus germe pechiez e dunt poi de biens ist.
1320 L’aneme ne maudist pas, qu’al ciel ne revenist.

Deus eissilla Chaïm, ki sun frere tua ;
Les escumenïez od lui des bons sevra.
La tere maldist Deus, ki le sanc engula
De la main al felun ; mes a l’anme esparna.
1325 E cels qui le sanc usent lur presme escumenga.

Nabugodonosor fist un’ymage ovrer,
D’or e d’argent mult grant a son semblant former.
A tuz par sun regné la feseit aürer ;
Se ceo nun, sis feiseit ocire u turmenter.
1330 Puis fist Deu boef de lui e peistre herbe e user.

Mes Deus en refist humme puis après les set anz.
Suventesfeiz veums que li plus mesfaisanz
Devient simples e bons e del tut repentanz ;
Essamples est de bien as petiz e as granz.
1335 Glorie del ciel li rent Deus, dunt ainz ert perdantz.

Dedenz Marie aveit set malfez herbergiez.
De ses lermes lava as piez Deu ses pechiez,
De ses chevols les a e ters e essuiez.
En quel eé que seit li repentanz jugiez,
1340 De sun presme e de Deu le salve l’amistiez.

[42] 269
Seint Piere li apostre, ki la poesté a
E en ciel e en tere, par treis feiz Deu nea,
Ke il nel conuisseit. Le pechié fors geta,
Plura amerement, e Deu li parduna.
1345 Cil ki pardon requiert de bon cuer, il l’avra.

Ne fu unkes oï ne trové en escrit
Que pechiere nen eit merci, s’il le deprit ;
Mes s’il se desespeire u se neie u ocit,
Ne pot aveir pardon, quant peche en l’espirit.
1350 Sur tute riens ad Deu misericorde eslit.

E pur ceo que Deus aime mult mercial justise
E plus misericorde k’il ne fet sacrifise,
A li bons arceveske cele bataille emprise
Pur les clers maintenir e pur sa mere iglise.
1355 Bien veit que laie mein n’i devreit estre mise. –

Quant l’arceveske veit ne purra conquester
L’amur al rei, kil het cume del chief colper
(Car cu’il het une feitz, nel voldra puis amer),
Sun eire apareilla, si se mist en la mer.
1360 Dejuste Rumenel comencent a sigler.

Quant furent luinz en mer e empeinz e siglé,
Li notunier k’i ierent unt ensemble parlé ;
E Adam de Cherringes dient k’il sunt desvé,
Ke l’enemi le rei unt del païs geté ;
1365 E il e lur lignage erent desherité.

A l’arceveske vunt tut ensemble parler :
Dient li k’il ne poent cuntre le vent sigler,
Ne nuls hum a cel vent ne purreit passer mer.
« Quant nus estuet, fet il, pur oré returner,
1370 Pernez port la u Deus le vus voldra doner. »

L’arceveske l’a puis suvent issi cunté,
E a sun escïent sunt pur ceo returné.
N’uncor ne l’aveit Deus a passer apresté,
[43] N’il n’ot uncore pas el champ estreit esté,
1375 N’a la grant eschermie, dunt Deus l’aveit geté.

Mes quant li reis oï qu’il dut estre passez,
Mult par en fu dolent e forment trespensez,
Car il le cremeit mult, pur ceo qu’il ert senez,
E cremi k’il ne fust a l’apostoile alez,
1380 E que tut ne fust mis en defens li regnez.

Mes ainc pur ceo li reis nel pot de rien fleschir,
Pur ceo k’il ne s’en pot hors del païs fuïr.
A Norhamtune a fet sun concile establir,
E prelaz e barons par ban i fet venir,
1385 Trestuz ces ki en chief de lui deivent tenir.

A cel concile sunt cumunalment alé
Li conte e li baron, eveskë e abé.
L’arceveske Thomas ne l’ad pas refusé
Ke il n’i seit alez od cel altre barné ;
1390 Mes li ber i alat od grant humilité.

En ses ostels fet orent lur chevals herbergier
Li reial, ki bien sorent tut le conseil plenier.
E il a dit al rei n’ira a curt plaidier,
Tresqu’il li avra fet tuz ses ostels voidier.
1395 Dunc en furent geté cheval e escuier.

Li ber i ert sumuns a jor numeement,
K’il fust prez a respundre iluekes en present.
El regne ot fet li reis un establissement
(As barons del païs turne a grant grievement) :
1400 Ke chascon pert sa curt par un fals serement.

Se nul plaidast de terre en la curt son seignur,
Od sa gent i vendreit a sun premerain jor.
E se l’um li fesist de sun plet nul demur,
A la justise alast, si fesist sa clamur ;
1405 Ariere revenist, od lui dui jureür.

En la curt sun segnur jurast, sei tierce main,
[44] Que la curt li oüst esluinié sun dreit plain.
Par itel serement, u desleal u sain,
Alast cil en la curt al segnur plus procein,
1410 Tant k’en la curt venist al segnur suverain.

Johan li Mareschal pleideiot ensement.
En la curt seint Thomas clamot un tienement ;
Pur ceo k’il n’i ot dreit e n’espleita neient,
Sa curt li ad tolue par itel serement.
1415 Al rei s’en est clamez, ki quiert sun grievement.

La fist li reis sumundre seint Thomas pur pleidier,
K’il i fust prez al jor, e pur sei derainier
De ceo k’il n’ot tenu Johan sun dreit plenier.
Il fu emferms al jur e ne pot chevalchier ;
1420 A dous des suens a fet le jor essunïer.


There arose yet another very great quarrel between him [Thomas] and the king concerning the concealment of treacherous clerics who were through ill-fate, robbers, murderers and felons. The king wanted them taken before the law of the land, but the archbishop had turned his back on these laws. 1110

Throughout the whole world are laws, established by right, both in Christendom and even in heathen lands: all who have been caught stealing or in the commission of another felony, are made to face the full force of justice and are punished for it. Neither by [the intervention of] father nor brother may they be spared from this. 1115

For this the king, both he and his barons, wished that if anyone in holy orders was caught committing a crime like robbery, or murder or treason, then he should be downgraded [deprived of those orders] for this reason, and then put to death and be dismembered. 1120

Priests and many deacons had been arrested for this, and put in the king's prison for larceny and murder. They were often carted across the country, and led before tribunals, where they were tried, after which they were sentenced to be hanged or other means put to death. 

Archbishop Thomas fought for them; he claimed these men as vassals of his Lord for certain. If they had committed a crime even for this he would not abandon them; but well offered that he would bring them to face justice in the court of the Lord God if anyone wished to prosecute them. 1130

227 In none of this did the king want to give way. He would not let them get away with this in any guise. As he wanted all of them first to be stripped of their order, then ordered to be delivered up to the justice, to be hanged, or burnt, or dismembered alive. 1135

In the time of his grandfather clerics who had been arrested for committing a villainous crime were put to death; For this it was now his wish  -with no exceptions to this- to have put into effect immediately the customs and practices of his ancestor. Never again would they be heard in a trial before the archbishop. 1140

The archbishop now replied that in no way would he deliver up clerics to lay justice; but in accord with God  by every legal right he would defend them, and in accordance with the decretals [Canon Law] well he would judge them. Let not Holy Church be  humitliated. 1145

<<Clerics must not>> he said, <<be obedient to your laws, nor must they for one lone crime suffer a double punishment [namely]  (first) to be dismissed [from holy orders] and (second) then to have their life brought to an end. You will never see me give way on this.>> 1150

<<I agree with you thus far that clerics found committing crimes should be stripped of their order, but then it should be proclaimed that their limbs are exempt [from punishment]. But if they are caught again, then they may be blinded, flayed or hanged at your will.>> 1155


They must not be taken to be principles of justice by those who have by themselves presumed all this. Nor by those who have always been or are now secular, but [rather] by those in whom God has filled with His Holy Spirit, otherwise that would mean that one would have made an assault upon God. 1160

The Holy Spirit of the Lord dwelt in King David when he had his son Solomon declared in writing [as his successor] as king. A large part of the people gainsaid him and elected [another] son, Adonijah, instead: Abiathar [the head priest] wanted to anoint him [the latter] as king to the contempt of God. 1165

In this case [lawsuit] which was one against God and right, for as to judge him [Abiathar] he was brought before king Solomon. But the king [Solomon] did not wish to put him to death, therefore he ordered that he should be detained in his house, also suspended him from all of his religious duties. 1170

For one sole crime must no one be condemned [suffer punishment] twice. When a cleric has lost [been stripped of] his order no one can shame him further. As I must uphold Holy Church and its clerics I will always defend them. I will always do that for God whom I must serve: neither in life, nor even in death, will you will see me give way.>> 1175

When king Henry saw that he could not win, neither clerics to be condemned no allow them to be dismembered [destroyed] he flared up into  a fierce rage [ira regis] against him.  And he promised dearly both that he would have him deposed, and that he would have him cast back down from whence he came. 1180

Long in duration was there altercation between the two of them. King Henry could not bend the archbishop. Without cessation he  maintained that he would always  protect immoral clerics. [In this] he fought alone. Neither had he any support, for nearly all the bishops had taken sides with the king. 1185

And the others also left him all alone to stand by himself against the enemy. And  the battle horn was handed over into the hands of a sinner; out of fear they did not dare to draw the sword of God. because they were afraid far more of their terrestrial lord than of Jesus, the all-powerful creator. 1190

<<Alas, poor misfortunates! Tell me what is it you are afraid of? Do you fear the king who raised you to your positions? By my faith he would not do it if you dare practice them. You are not bishops, you only bear the title of such. You do not care for even one aspect of that post to which you have been appointed. >> 1195

You ought to be leading and guiding others, but you cause them all to collapse into ruin and bring them down. You even lead the king of the country astray. You must not concede to him all his  desires; rather you must often reprove and chastise him. 1200

God has commanded you to watch over his sheepfold. and if he [ the king] is one of your flock you must guide him. The pastor must always turn away the alien, and carry the sick sheep upon his shoulder, and not let it be strangled by a thief. 1205

You are venal: there are but few true [pastors]. The king sees this clearly: and will consider you to be of a baser value. God, who has set him to reign [over the kingdom], will demand it of you to have watched over him. When he converts he will despise all those who have given him this [evil] advice. 1210

The king has to govern over the people [down here] on earth and wants to have his laws [those] which accord most with his own mind. The laity want to have their institutions and their customs, as if they had before them those of their parents. God is a heavenly being, and so are his laws similarly. 1215

I now wish to ask both the king and the clerics which laws should Christians best keep, those which have been established by heathens [Saracens] and pagans [Slavs] and by other people of the world, with which to subjugate felons, or those which have been set down in writing by holy men? 1220

O king, think more for yourself; do not trust [believe in] evil counsel. The prelates whom you have trapped in your snare are disloyal people.  They bend more than reeds in the storm. If they are duping their Lord, even less so they will be faithful to you. Do not trust the night; give yourself to the sun. 1225

Let Holy Church enjoy both her laws and her rights. She is the Bride of God [Sponsa Dei], who is the king of kings. He will be angry with you if you lessen her in any way. Well he will suffer this for one year or two or three, or thirty, or twenty or ten, or for a week, a day or a month. 1230

If Nero were alive now, he would soon find a Simon [Magus/ a Simoniac] who would seduce the whole world with his mouth and with money [bribery]. Rome was [once] the house of God; it is now a den of thieves. Moses is all alone in the kingdom of Pharoah, for he could not find his brother Aaron there at all. 1235

Clerics are the servants of God and are His elect. He chose them from amongst the saints for they bear this name [Kleros = those having the spiritual care of...]; whatever they are, they are servants in the house of God. Therefore towards those who belong to God you must refrain from applying justice.1240

If you have been anointed king bearing a crown of gold you must not rule arrogantly, but sit in resplendence. To your people you must both be chief and their protector. You will not always be bearing it [the crown], just as you
you were not born with it. The glory in this world is not of long duration.

The cleric always bears the distinguishing mark of his office on the top of his head; as for his body it is not for carrying heavy burdens, but for his soul. He has his hair tonsured similar to the insane. visible both far off and near  [The cleric] must not be arrogant/proud towards anyone, nor aggressive. He must be humble towards everyone and bring peace everywhere. 1250

The cleric is God's throne; God must be seated within him. He must always be learning, for he must needs much knowledge. He must use discretion and sense everywhere, but God has not given him such great power that he might not be deceived by his sins, as they do other men. 1255

252 Clerics must watch over [care for] lay people and their souls. No one must condemn his prelate [bishop], neither lay person nor cleric. This is the reason why one prelate is set above another. Anyone who has committed a crime must be brought before their prelate. By such law as he shall have lived so shall he be judged. 1260

[Prelate = Latin.- praefectum = Lord/Bishop]

Clerics who have committed a crime should be delivered up to their bishops. In which guise and how they will be stripped of their order, how they will have the word of the sacrament removed and who can deconsecrate that whom God has made sacred, is not right and lawful., but arbitrary law.1265

After he has been stripped of his order if he can go to [to the Curia in] Rome he might meet with the grace of his Holiness the Pope, who might only grant him permission to chant prayers [for those in purgatory]; immediately you may see him celebrating mass, as no one needs to be ordained a second time. 1270

Those whom God has consecrated no one can de-consecrate, no less than a baptised Christian can be un-baptised, although he may be cut off from Holy Church [excommunicated]. I am not conceding , that if he has been caught [for a crime], that one can let him go, even less let him continue as before. 1275

The felon[ious cleric] does not fear being stripped of his order, because he has little love or care for his holy order: for when he commits murder, robs or takes the goods of others by force, he fears no shame, nor death, nor the gibbet, nor torture

Thus was it for the felon like it was for the wild boar which you have heard told about in the fables of Avianus, which often ravaged the cornfields of a rich man: there captured twice, each time before it was let go by him, it had one of its ears cut off.  1285

Whenever it was captured the landowner begged it not to return there again; if it came back again well he assured it that it would suffer the qconsequrences. Then he let it go, but first having it marked. The third time it was caught it was not chastised 1290

This time it was killed and handed over to the cook. The cook ate its heart. When he [the cook] was asked for it, he told his master that he believed it had been born without one, because if it had had a heart it would have thought twice about its action; once a felon always a felon, it never learned its lesson. 1295

For in this regard by reason I can assert that a cleric  who has transgressed, and been stripped of his office, and thrown into a prison cell by his prelate [bishop] from whence he would never be able to return to the outside world again, there, he could if he wanted to, atone for his wrongdoings, 1300

When God had made Adam and placed him in paradise, for his sin

Both Adam and clerics have no other master than God Himself. In this, it seems to me, I have made a correct comparison. And if clerics have been arrested again for such misdeeds, let his prelate have him thrown into prison. O well can the king himself learn much from my reasoning. 1310

Earthly laws want to spare no one. for it wants to subjugate and punish felons. But a God of mercy wants no one driven out, but wants  the felon to live whom he can then cleanse of his sins and return to God. 1315

This appeared in Adam, who all the first misdeeds [original sin] God clothed him in animal skins, to him and we mortals made
The soul does not curse that to heaven not return.

God sent into exile Cain who had killed his brother; the excommunicate from Him their good severed. God cursed the land, which had swallowed up the blood which had been spilled by the felon: but spared his sould and that which the blood which they used closest relatives of the excommunicate. 1325

Nebuchadnezzar had erected a very large statue made of gold and silver and cast in his own image. Everyone in his kingdom was forced to worship it. If they did not do this he had them killed or tortured. Then God had him turned into an ox and put out to pasture, grazing grass. 1330

But then God turned him back into a man after seven years. Often we come to see the most malfeasant become humble and good, and all repentant, as examples of goodness to both high and low.  God rendered him to the glory of heaven, he who was previously lost. 1335

Within Mary [Magdalene] there dwelt seven evil spirits. After she had bathed the feet of God with her tears and wiped and dried them with here hair she was cleansed of her sins. 
In whatever time the penitent may be judged, he is saved by the love of God and of his neighbour. 1340

St. Peter the apostle, who rules in heaven and on earth, denied he knew God three times. The sin had him cast out of freedom.Crying bitterly, God forgave him. He who begs for pardon with a true heart will have it. 1345

It has not been heard at any time or found in scripture that a sinner cannot have mercy, if he has begged for it. But if he despairs, drowns or kills himself he cannot receive forgiveness [absolution] when he sins against the Holy Ghost. Above all else God chooses mercy. 1350

And it was for this reason that God loves much more merciful justice, and compassion more than he does sacrifice, that the good archbishop took up this battle to defend both clerics and Mother Church. Well he saw that lay justice must not be involved here. 1355

When the archbishop saw that he could not regain the friendship of the king of which hate was principally to blame (because whatever he hated once he could never love again), he made ready for his journey: thus he put to sea near Romney [and] it was from here that he set sail. 1360

When they were far out to sea buffeted by a gale and under sail,  the sailors who were there came together to speak with one another; and they said to Adam de Charing [master of the ship?] that they were enraged that they would be ejected from the country as enemies of the king, and that both they and their lineage [family] would be disinherited. 1365

Together they came to speak with the archbishop. They said to him they could not sail against the wind, that no one in this gale could cross the sea.  <<Do whatever is necessary for us;>> he said, << when a favourable wind returns, make for whatever port God is willing to give you.>> 1370

The archbishop afterwards often told this story like this. Indeed, to his mind, they had returned for these reasons: God had not yet made him ready to undergo the crossing; nor had he yet engaged on the field of battle in close quarters [either in a real or mock battle in the lists of a tournament], nor had the great skirmish which God was to throw him into yet taken place. 1375

But when the king heard that he [Becket] must have crossed [over the Channel] he was very much upset by it, and was very anxious, because he was very afraid for this reason, he [the king] feared that he [Becket] would go to  the Pope and that the whole of the kingdom would be placed under an interdict. 1380

La vie de Saint Thomas le martyr; pp, 39-

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Garnier: Councils of Westminster 1163 and Clarendon 1164

La Vie de Saint Thomas Becket
Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence
edited by Emmanuel Walberg
Honoré Champion: Paris 1936

Puis refist les prelaz tuz devant sei venir,
E volt k’il li pramettent guarder e atenir
Les custumes del regne qu’il aveit a baillir,
Que ses aiols ot fet en sun regne establir.
Salf lur ordre, ceo dient, l’en volent obeïr. 830

Li reis volt qu’il le facent, salf lur ordrë u nun,
E dit que de cel mot n’i avra ja un sun.
Tuit li dient ensemble que senz salvatiun
De l’ordre nel ferunt pur nul’occasiun.
Idunc se prist vers els li reis a cuntençon, 835

E dit que a nul sens nes en lerra guenchir,
Car al tens sun aiol les soleient tenir
Arceveske e eveske, que l’um vit puis saintir.
L’arceveske respunt : « L’ordre ne voil guerpir. »
De cel mot ne se volent li eveske partir. 840

Tuz les eveskes a li sainz a raisun mis :
« Veez cum fort nus grieve, fet il, li reis Henris.
Volt aver felons us a seint’iglise asis.
Seint’iglise est hunie, se jes i establis ;
Ne jeo ne puis pas sul contre tut le païs. 845

Or voil oïr de vus ceo que chescun en sent. »
Tuit ensemble li dient : tienge sei fermement,
Od lui tendront par tut ; si l’en funt serement.
Rogiers del Punt l’Eveske li pramet ensement
K’il se tendra od lui, ne li faldra neient. 850

L’eveske de Lisewis vint puis a Salesbere.
Entre li e le rei ot un poi d’ire amere ;
Tant a fet vers le rei ke l’amur i fu clere :
Le rei duna conseil a deceivre sun frere ;
De veintre l’arceveske fu funteine e matere. 855

« Sire, fet il al rei, se veintre le volez,
Partie des eveskes a vostre part turnez.
Tant cum tendrunt a li, ja mes nel materez. »
Hylarie de Cicestre fu dunkes apelez ;
Tant fist li reis vers lui k’il remist ses privez. 860

Rogier del Punt l’Eveske a puis a sei justé,
L’eveske de Nichole a sun conseil turné.
A Colecestre fu. La li unt greanté
Ses custumes tendrunt ; e il lur a voé
Que ja cuntre lur ordre n’en serra mes parlé. 865

Puis vint a Teneham l’eveske de Cicestre,
A l’arceveske ; od sei le voleit faire pestre.
Dit lui que il seit bien od sun segnur terestre,
Ses custumes cumfermt, ses amis purra estre.
« Ja ne m’i turnerez, ceo respunt li bon prestre. 870

L’arceveske Rogier e vus ad aturnez
Li reis a ceo ke vus ses leis li guarderez.
Pur ceo m’i volez mettre ; mes ja ne m’i metrez.
– Sire, fet il, pur quei ? Pur Deu, car me mustrez
Pur quei vus le leissiez e que vus i sentez. 875

– Li reis vus ad pramis que rien ne vus querra
Que seit contre vostre ordre. S’il volt, il le tendra,
E si bel ne li est, nul nel contredirra ;
Mes ceo qu’avez pramis tenir vus estuvra,
880 Car vus estes si hume, tenir le vus fera. »

A l’arceveske sunt a Herges puis alé
Robert de Meleon (einsi l’a hum numé),
Ki ot de Herefort idunc la digneté ;
Le cunte a de Vendome, Johan, od sei mené.
885 L’arceveske Thomas l’aveit mult honuré.

E uns abes i fu, ki dunc vint d’ultre mer,
Philippes de l’Almodne, einsi l’oï numer.
L’arceveske deveit e le rei acorder ;
E la pape, ceo dit, l’en aveit fet passer,
890 E ses lettres l’en ot fetes od sei porter.

A l’arceveske dit e jure en verité
Que Alisandre pape li ad par lui mandé
Ke il s’acort al rei, face sa volenté.
En peril de sun ordre li aveit bien loé ;
895 E ad tut pris sur sei, s’i ad rien meserré.

Les briefs as cardunals l’en aveit aportez,
E jure que li reis les ad aseürez
K’il ne quiert riens fors tant k’il en seit onurez,
E veant sun barnage, quant il ert asemblez,
900 Sulement de parole greant ses volentez.

Ne ja cuntre sun ordre ne li ert demandé
Custumes a tenir ultre sa volenté.
N’en volt estre vencu, mes greant li sun gré,
E tut li coruz erent d’ambes parz parduné ;
905 Li reis fera de lui tut seignur del regné.

E li reis l’aveit ainz sur tuz humes amé,
E il l’aveit servi par mult grant lealté. –
Tant l’aveit de paroles li abes enchanté,
Pur ceo ke il le vit de tel auctorité,
910 Que tresqu’a Wedestoke l’aveit od sei mené.

La li unt fet pramettre al rei e greanter
Que ses custumes volt en bone fei guarder
E lealment. Car mes n’en quide oïr parler.
Ce li respunt li reis : « Sel volez agreer,
915 Veant tuz mes barons le vus estuet mustrer.

Tuit unt oï coment m’avez contralïé.
E se volez tenir qu’avez covenancié,
Fetes de vostre part asembler le clergié,
E jeo tuz mes barons, ja n’i avra targié ;
920 La dites, oiant tuz, kel m’avez otreié. »

A Clarendune sunt li baron asemblé,
E li eveske i furent en grant pleneireté.
La volt li reis ke seit, oiant elz tuz, mustré
Ceo que li arceveske li aveit greanté ;
925 Mes l’arceveske peise k’il ot tant trespassé.

Mult fu dolent el cuer k’ot fet greanteison
De custume tenir ki est contre raison ;
E mielz volt vers le rei chaïr en acaison
Ke mettre seint’iglise en tel cumfusion.
930 Ne crient encuntre Deu manace ne prison.

Quant le rei nel pot veintre, n’i ot que corecier.
Mes les ordenez Deu manace a detrenchier ;
Seint’iglise voldra, se il poet, trebuchier.
Ne se volt l’arceveske de rien humilïer
935 Pur chose dunt li reis le sace manacier.

Ne sai que li reis ot, e li suen, aturné,
Mes dreit a l’arceveske sunt dui eveske alé,
Li uns de Salesbire, que li reis ot en hé,
E cil de Norewiz, k’il n’ot maint jor amé.
940 L’arceveske Thomas unt si araisuné :

« Sire, funt il, pur Deu aiez merci de vus,
De tute seint’iglise e de clers e de nus.
Car li reis est vers vus en si grant ire escus,
Se vus ne fetes pais ui vers lui a estrus,
945 Ceo saciez que nus iermes ambedui des chiés blus. »

Pur ceo ne s’est de rien l’arcevesque demis
De ceo k’il ot anceis en sun curage empris.
Dunc sunt a lui venu dui cunte del païs,
Li cuens de Leïrcestre, ki de sens ot grant pris,
950 E cil de Cornuaille, ki ert al rei amis.

Dient li k’ait merci e des suens e de sei,
De seint’iglise prenge, e de ses clers, cunrei ;
Car si cel jur ne fait la volenté le rei,
De lur mains lur estuet faire si grant desrei
955 Li reis e il en erent huni cum gent senz lei.

Ainc pur si grant manace ne perdi sa vertu.
Dui frere d’ultre mer sunt dunc a lui venu,
Dan Ricard de Hastinges (maistre del Temple fu)
E Hostes autresi ; mult erent coneü.
960 En lermes devant li se sunt aresteü.

« Sire, funt il, pur Deu, ki unkes ne menti,
De tute seint’iglise pur quei n’avez merci ?
Fetes la volenté de tant le rei Henri :
Greantez ses custumes ; dunc serez bon ami.
965 Seint’iglise altrement e clers sunt mal bailli. »

Bien erent a seür e del tut acerté,
Se il greante al rei ceo k’il ad demandé,
Ke li reis en fera tute sa volenté,
Ne ja cuntre sun ordre n’en ert mes rien parlé.
970 De ceo mettent en plegge els e lur lealté.

Greantent li k’il seient en fin mort e damné,
Se li reis quiert vers lui engin ne falseté,
Mes k’il li face honur, oiant tut sun barné,
De ceo dunt l’a desdit ; qu’or li seit greanté !
975 Ne volt estre vencu, ne li tort a vilté.

Or veit li arceveske k’il l’unt tant agacié ;
Veit le rei et les suens forment prons en pechié,
Seint’iglise en trebuch, e lui e le clergié,
E creit ke il avra ja del rei l’amistié.
980 Cels veit mult renumez ki li unt conseillié.

« Seignur, fet il idunc, vostre cunseil en crei ;
Quant vus le me loez, sa volenté otrei. »
Dunc sunt il levé sus, e il pramet al rei,
Oiant tut sun barnage, ceo dit : en bone fei
985 E lealment tendra e custumes e lei.

« Segnur, fet dunc li reis, bien avez tuz oï
Que l’arceveske m’a pramis, sue merci,
K’il gardera les leis del tens le rei Henri.
Or voil ke il le face greanter altresi
990 A trestuz les eveskes ki sunt ensemblé ci.

– Sire, fet l’arceveske, e jeo bien le cumant. »
Dunc se leverent tuit, sin furent otreiant.
Mes cil de Salesbire se dreça en estant,
Demanda l’arceveske s’il ferait altretant.
995 « Oïl », fet l’arceveske. – Fet il : « E jel greant. »

« Tutdis, fet li li reis, m’avez contralïé.
Segnur, fet dunc li reis, quant il m’unt otrïé
K’il garderunt les leis ki sunt en nostre sié,
Or seez purveü e si bien conseillié
1000 Ke mes n’ait plait des leis entre nus comencié.

Mes ore alez la fors, e si me recordez
Les leis le rei Henri, e puis sis escrivez.
Quant escrites serunt, puis les nus musterrez. »
Li reis i fist aler trestuz les plus senez.
1005 Les escriz en unt fet e al rei aportez.

Dunc fu lit li escriz, oiant tut le tropel.
« Seignur, fet dunc li reis, n’ai soin de plet novel.
Or voil que l’arceveske i pende sun seel. »
L’arceveske respunt : « Fei que dei Deu le bel,
1010 Ceo n’iert, tant cume l’anme me bat’en cest vessel. »

Car cil ki li aveient icest conseil loé,
E li privé le rei, l’orent aseüré,
Se le rei en avreit de parole honuré,
 E veant sun barnage li oüst greanté,
1015 Ne sereit a nul tens escrit ne recordé ;

E li reis en fereit tute sa volenté,
E tuz curuz sereient entr’els dous parduné.
Or l’i ourent del tut de covenant falsé.
Or ne fera mes plus ; trop a avant alé,
1020 E pesot li que tant en aveit trespassé.

Dunc se sunt li real altrement conseillié.
Un cyrogrefe unt fet e en dous detrenchié.
A l’arceveske en unt baillie la meitié ;
Mes il l’a receü sur defens del clergié.
1025 « Seignurs, fet il, par ceo savrom lur malveistié.

Or veum bien le laz dunt nus devum guaitier ;
Seint’iglise quiderent en cel laz trebuchier. »
Dunc s’en ala li ber ; n’i ot que corucier
De ceo qu’ot greanté cel malice plenier
1030 E l’amistié le rei ne poeit purchacier.

Pur ceo k’il ot erré einsi, se suspendié ;
Ne chanta, tresq’il l’ot l’apostoile nuntié.
Bien vit pur quei l’ot fet, si l’en a deslïé :
Pur delivrer l’ot fet le rei e le clergié,
1035 L’un, de mort e de mal, e l’autre, de pechié.


166 Then he caused all the prelates to come before him and wanted that they should promise him they would keep and that he entrusted them to hold to the customs of the kingdom which had been in force during his grandfather's reign. To this they said that they would obey him "saving their order", 830

167 The king wanted that they would do this regardless of their "order" or none. And said that he did not want to hear mention of this word again. All gathered then said to him that without salvation of their order they could not do this on any occasion. Then the king became forcefully angry with them 835

168 And he said that in no way would let them get away with this, for in the time of  his grandfather they used to hold to them [that is even] archbishops and bishops who had since been canonised 
The archbishop replied <<I do not wish to surrender the [words "saving] my order["].>>  neither did the bishops wish to withdraw these words. 840

169 The saint gave his reason to all the bishops : << See how forcefully he burdens us. >> He said, <<king Henry wishes to lay down wicked customs for Holy Church. Holy Church will be humiliated if I ratify [them]. But I cannot stand alone against the whole country. 845
170 Now I want to hear what each of you thinks.>> All together they said they would hold firmly to him and with him they would strive in everything, so they declared this on oath.
[Even] Roger de Pont l'Eveque likewise promised him that he would stand with him, [and that] he would not fail him in anything. 850

171 [Arnulf] the bishop of Lisieux then came then to Salisbury [Old Sarum]. There had been some ire in the relationship between himself and the king, but as he had done so much for him that the king's affection for him was [now] plain [for all to see]: He gave advice to the king on how to deceive his brother [in religion, Becket, the archbishop]; He was the source and origin of the way to defeat the archbishop. 855

172 <<Sire,>> he said to the king, << if you want to defeat him, [find some] amongst the bishops who can be turned to your side, [for] whilst they hold with him. you will not then win.>> Hilary [bishop] of Chichester was then summoned. He did so much for the king, that he was restored to his [the king's] private circle. 860

173 He was then joined [in this cause] by Roger de Pont L'Évêque [archbishop of York]. The bishop of Lincoln was turned by his [archbishop Roger's] persuausion. He [the king] was at Colchester [Gloucester?]. There they agreed to keep his customs; and he avowed to them that "against their order" he would no longer speak of this. 865

174 Then the bishop of Chichester went to Teynham to the archbishop [Becke]. He wanted him to graze in the same meadow as himself. He said to him that well he knew that if he affirmed the customs of his earthly lord he could be his [the king's] friend.
<<I will not turned that way;>> thus replied the good priest.870

175 <<The king has persuaded both Archbishop Roger and yourself to adhere to his laws. For this you want me to submit, but I will not submit to this.>>
<<Sire,>> he said, <<Why?  For God's sake, explain to me why you decline this and why you are feeling this way.>> 875

176 <<He has promised you that he would not seek anything from you which would be "counter to your order". If he so wills, he will keep this [promise], And if all goes well, he will not gainsay this. But this which you have promised to keep he will hold you to. Because you are his vassal. he will make you keep it.>> 880

177 To the archbishop then came to Harrow Robert de Melun (thus was his name) who then was the bishop of Hereford. He brought with him John, the count of Vendome whom archbishop Thomas held in high esteem..885

178 And an abbot was there, who had come from over the sea [across the Channel], Philip d'Aumone, as he was so called . The archbishop and the king must come to an agreement. And the pope had told him to effect this, this why he had been sent and was in his [holiness'] letter which he had brought from him. 890

179 He said and swore in truth that Alexander the pope had sent him as a messenger to the archbishop [telling him] that he should come to an accord with the king, and follow his [the king's] will; That he [the Pope] fully appreciates the peril to his order and takes all [responsibility for it] upon himself, if it seems that he [Becket] might have strayed. 895

180 They brought to him there the letters from the cardinals and swore that the king had assured them that he [the king] sought nothing more from him except that he should show due honour to him in the presence of his barons when they were assembled, by conceding to his wishes on a verbal promise alone 900

181 Neither now would it be demanded from him to hold to customs against his order contrary to his will; but nor did he [the king] want to be defeated  rather more that he [Becket] should consent to his will, and all the anger between both parties would be forgiven. [If he agreed to this] the king would make him overlord of the whole kingdom. 905

182 And previously the king had favoured him above all men; and he [Becket] had served him [the king] with very great loyalty. To such an extent did the words of the abbot captivate him [Becket]  for he saw he showed such authority, that he took him with him  all the way to Woodstock. 910

183 There he was made to promise to the king he would consent both that his customs would be kept in good faith, and loyally. He thought no more would be heard or spoken of this.  [But then] the king replied to him thus: <<if you would agree [to this] you would need to make this known in front of all my barons.>>

184 All heard how you went against me, and if you [now] wish to [show that you will] hold to that which you have covenanted, make arrangements on your part to assemble the clergy [prelates of the kingdom] and I will all my barons.  I will not suffer any more delay, you are to tell them, in hearing of all that you have acceded with me [to my customs]..>>



Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) ; ed. Immanuel Bekker, (1838). La vie St. Thomas le martir. pp. 67-

Guernes de Pont Sainte-Maxence (1859). Celestine Hippeau, ed. La vie de saint Thomas le martyr: archevêque de Canterbury. Chez A. Aubry. pp. 32–.
Emmanuel Walberg, Paris, Champion, 1936
Transcription électronique : Base de français médiéval,
Robert William Eyton (1878). Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II: Instancing Also the Chief Agents and Adversaries of the King in His Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy. Taylor and Company. pp. 64–.

William Holden Hutton. Thomas Becket. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-1-107-66171-4.

Thómas Saga Erkibyskups: A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic Volume I 
Translated by Eiríkur Magnússon published 1875
Chapters 27-31 
Eiríkr Magnússon (1875). Thómas Saga Erkibyskups: A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic, with English Translation, Notes and Glossary. Chapter XXVII - XXXI: Longman & Company. pp. 146–.

John Morris (1885). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Volume 1 - Chapter XII Council of Westminster: Burns and Oates. pp. 95–.

John Morris (1885). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Volume 1 - Chapter XIII: The Council of Clarendon: Burns and Oates. pp. 102–.

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Chapter VI: Councils at Westminster and Clarendon. pp. 89–.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. Quarrel with the King: University of California Press. pp. 95–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Thomas Becket. Author, Anne Duggan. Publisher, Bloomsbury USA, 2004. ISBN, 0340741376, 9780340741375.

Chapter 2 The controversial archbishop p. 33-36-60

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (1990). tr. Gouttebroze & Queffelec, ed. La vie de saint Thomas Becket. H. Champion. p. 30. ISBN 978-2-85203-111-1.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); tr. Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Peeters.Volume 1 ISBN 978-90-429-1188-8. pp.76-

A Life of Thomas Becket in Verse: La Vie de saint Thomas Becket by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence (Mediaeval Sources in Translation) – 2013 tr. Ian Short pp. 44-  ISBN 9780888443069


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