Sunday, 17 December 2017

Chronicle of the Battle of Lewes, May 1264

Visions of St. Thomas Becket and St. George, both England's national saints, are said to have during the Battle of Lewes in 1264 in which Simon de Monfort defeats Henry III's royalist forces.


Battle of Lewes - Wikipedia

The Song of Lewes, p. 85

Magna Carta Project

Laura Ashe (2017). The Oxford English Literary History: Volume I: 1000-1350: Conquest and Transformation. OUP Oxford. pp. 368–. ISBN 978-0-19-253444-6.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Letter of William, archbishop of Sens, to pope Alexander, on the death of the blessed Thomas.

Latin version

Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houedene
Vol II p. 22-
by Roger, of Hoveden
Edited by William Stubbs

English version

Roger of Hoveden (1853). The Annals of Roger de Hoveden: Comprising The History of England and of Other Countries of Europe from A.D. 732 to A.D. 1201. H.G. Bohn. pp. 339–.

The Letter of William, archbishop of Sens, to pope Alexander, on the death of the blessed Thomas.

“To his most holy father and lord, Alexander, by the grace of God, Supreme Pontiff, William, the humble servant of the church of Sens, health and due obedience with all duteousness. To your Apostleship, holy father, all power has been granted in heaven and upon earth. In your hand is a two-edged sword, over nations and over kingdoms are you appointed, to bind their kings in fetters, and their nobles in chains of iron. Behold therefore, my lord, and consider what vintage they have gathered in. For a wild boar from the wood has destroyed the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth, and a single wild beast has pastured thereon. The church of Canterbury, rather the Church universal, from the ends of the earth, in your presence is pouring forth tears that drop blood, and sprinkled with bitterness, because she has been set up as a mark for the arrow, and has been made a reproach unto her neighbors. And those who behold her, wag their heads at her and say, where is their God? But she weeping and turning back, is crying aloud in the ears of the Lord of Hosts, Avenge, O Lord, the blood of thy servant and martyr, the archbishop of Canterbury, who has been slain, nay, crucified, for the liberties of the Church! Holy father! a thing horrible to be mentioned, a disgraceful crime, an enormous piece of flagitiousness has been perpetrated in your days, a thing at which both the ears shall tingle of each that shall hear of it, the like of which has not been heard in Theman, and has not been seen in Canaan. For another Herod, of the seed of Canaan and not of Judah, the offspring of vipers, sending his lictors from his side, has not been struck with horror at scarring with deep wounds the sign of the passion of our Lord, which he carried on his head, and at disfiguring with shameful marks the heavenly likeness. By reason whereof, as all the Church affirms, the cause and the penalty equally make him to be a martyr. The penalty is our grief, for the sufferings inflicted on him: the cause was the rigor of the ecclesiastical censure, because he contended for the law of his God even unto the death. It is therefore your part, O most merciful father, keeper of the walls of Jerusalem, to apply a remedy to what is past, and to employ foresight for the future. For what place is there that can be safe, if the rage of a tyrant is to stain with blood the Holy of Holies? And is it with impunity to tear in pieces the vicegerents of Christ, the foster children of the Church? Let then the ecclesiastical laws arouse themselves, let ecclesiastical rights put on their armor. Let the vengeance for the blood of this glorious martyr, which cries aloud from England, enter into your presence. For cry aloud it will, and will arouse not only the earth but the heavens as well. And so consult for healing our sorrows, that you consult both for your own good name and the liberties of the Church. As to the rest, we have thought proper to inform the fatherly affection of your Holiness, that whereas you gave it as your command both to the lord archbishop of Rouen and to ourselves, that we should place under an interdict the lands that belong to the king of England on this side the sea, if he should not keep the peace which he had promised to our lord of Canterbury of glorious memory; adding also, that if either of us should be unable or unwilling to take part in carrying out the same, the other should nevertheless obey your commands; the above-named archbishop of Rouen, after we had caused your letter to be presented to him, signified to us that he would come to the city of Sens, and would act according to the tenor of your mandate. But when he had come thither, together with the bishops of Lisieux, Evreux, and Worcester, and very many others, both clergy as well as laymen, of the household of the above-named king, after many shiftings and excuses on his part, he made answer, that he was on his road to your presence, and felt unwilling to pour forth too bitter a censure upon the above-named king. But we being sensible that whoever despises obedience to the Apostolic mandates, incurs the guilt of paganism, according to the tenor of your mandate, with the common advice of our brethren, all the bishops, and of the abbots of Saint Denis, Saint Germain de Pres, Pontigny, Vaucouleurs, Le Mans, and several other religious and wise men, have pronounced sentence against his lands on this side the sea, and have in your name enjoined the said archbishop and bishops to cause the same to be observed. For we know that he has neither, as he had promised, restored his possessions, nor had established security for him, as his death gives proof. Through a native of the diocese of Canterbury, whom we sent to him, he has also signified unto us that he had given cause for his death, and that he had had him slain. For this reason, we do supplicate your clemency, that you will ratify the sentence before-mentioned, and, as befits your majesty, and is expedient for the safety of the Church, will cause it to be in suchwise observed, that the honor of God and your own will may be preserved. And as for ourselves, who embrace your Holiness with that duteousness of which you are so well aware, we will by no means by reason hereof allow ourselves to be contemned. We wish you farewell, and as befits your majesty and holiness. so do.”


Roger of Hoveden (1853). The Annals of Roger de Hoveden: Comprising The History of England and of Other Countries of Europe from A.D. 732 to A.D. 1201. Volume I. H.G. Bohn. pp. 339–.

Garnier: Life of Thomas at Pontigny

Lines 3611 - 3675
Stanzas 723-735

Dous anz a Punteigni li sainz hum sujorna.
Mais a clerc ne a lai sun estre ne mustra ;
Neïs a ses privez, quanque pout, se cela.
Les eises de sun cors fuï e esluigna,
3615 E el servise Deu jor e nuit se pena.

Dunc comença sun cors durement a grever
E les grosses viandes, chous e nes, a user ;
E les bons mes se fist priveement embler,
E sis faiseit as povres en la vile porter.
3620 Car si clerc l’en volsissent, sel seüssent, blasmer.

Mult sovent le blasmeient que tel vie meneit ;
Kar il ert granment fiebles e trop se destraigneit.
Les testes a ses hummes, ço diseient, coupeit :
Cacié erent pur lui, e se il lur moreit,
3625 Ja mais en lur païs un sul n’en revendreit.

Iluec curreit un’ewe de mestier en mestier.
La se baignout les seirs pur sa char refreidier.
A Willame de Capes se fist un seir guaitier.
« Sire, vus nus volez, fait il, les quers trenchier. »
3630 Ainc puis ne l’i mena, quant l’en volt castïer.

Mais l’une de ses faces idunc li a festri,
Si que dedenz la buche tresqu’as denz li purri ;
Mult grant enfermeté lungement en suffri.
Dous osselez l’en traist Willames, sil guari.
3635 Pur ço qu’um le seüst, amentiveir l’oï.

Une nuit quant mult fu penez en oreisun,
E il fu endormiz, vit en avisiun :
Entre lui e le rei, quil haï senz raisun,
Erent devant la pape en plait e en tençun ;
3640 Tuit li cardenal erent contre li a bandun.

E ço li fu avis voleient li tolir
Hors del chief a lur deiz les oilz e effuïr.
L’apostolies tut suls le voleit maintenir,
Ki bien cunut sa cause ; mais nel poeit oïr,
3645 Car lur criz e lur noise l’orent fait enroïr.

Al consistorie od lui ne remist nuls hum vis.
Ocisëur felun li furent dunc tramis ;
La corune li unt, ço li esteit avis,
A lur espees rese. – Bien li ad Deus pramis
3650 Qu’il sereit en sa cause pur saint’iglise ocis.

Uns des convers as monies (ne le m’unt pas nummé)
Out mult esté grevé de grant enfermeté
E out d’idropisie le ventre mult enflé.
La mere Deu priout e iver e esté
3655 Qu’ele preiast sun fiz qu’il li donast santé.

Tant requist nuit e jur la mere al creatur
Qu’ele li tramesist santé de sa dolur,
Qu’a lui vint une nuit la dame de dulçur ;
Dist li que il alast a Thomas senz demur,
3660 Fesist li manïer sun ventre tut entur.

Li freres l’endemain al saint humme en ala,
E en sun escritorie, la u il le trova,
Pur la pitié de Deu tant li quist e preia
Que li ber od sa main sun ventre mania ;
3665 E cil li traist par tut la main e demena.

A beivre li duna, mais ne sai quei, de fi.
Guaires ne demura que li freres chaï,
Venim e pureture, grant merveille, vomi,
E jut mult lungement. Tuz greilles sus sailli.
3670 Par les mains al saint humme de s’enferté guari.

Mulz malades guari de sun relief demaine.
La fille a un riche humme en devint tute saine
Qui out esté fievrose mainte lunge semaine.
N’out el païs nul humme si plain de fievre vaine,

3675 Par sun relief n’eüst santé tute certaine.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Herbert of Bosham: State Trial of Becket at Northampton (Oct 1164)

Latin Text

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket,  Volume III  p. 296-.

Herbert of Bosham; ed. Giles (1846). Herberti de Boseham S. Thomæ Cantuariensis clerici a secretis opera quæ extant omnia: Liber melorum, epistolæ, &c. apud J.H. Parker. pp. 134–.

Constitutions of Clarendon: State Trial of Thomas Becket Part 2.3

English Translation

Fisher, M. Ann Kathleen, "An Annotated Translation of the Life of St. Thomas Becket By Herbert Bosham (Part Two)" (1947).    p.93-

Herbert of Bosham
Book 3

Chapter 32. The Summons of the Archbishop to Northampton p.93-

Chapter 33. The Work of the First Day on Which He Came to the Council  p. 94-

Chapter 34 The Work of the Second Day p.96-

Chapter 35 The Work of the Third Day p.98-

Chapter 36 The Work of the Last Day p.101-

Chapter 37 The Archbishop's Address to the Bishops p. 103-119


Selden Society (1991). R. C. van Caenegem, ed. English lawsuits from William I to Richard I.
Volume 2 The Society p. 446-

Friday, 24 November 2017

Depictions of the Life of St. Thomas Becket in the Stained Glass of French Cathedrals

Becket windows in the Stained Glass of Sens, Chartres, Angers and Coutances cathedrals

Pages from

Sens Cathedral Stained Glass - Bay 23 Key (St Thomas Becket)
Chartres Cathedral Stained Glass - Bay 18 Key (Life of St Thomas Becket)
Angers Cathedral Stained Glass - Bay 108a Key (The Life of St Thomas Becket)


File:Coutances Cathédrale Notre-Dame Vitrail Baie 217 Lancette gauche 5e registre - funérailles de Thomas Becket 2014 08 25.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Vitraux - NordThomas2.JPG
Vitraux - NordThomas1.JPG

File:Vitrail Thomas Becket Manche Coutances.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

File:Coutances Cathédrale Notre-Dame Vitrail Baie 217 Lancette gauche 3e registre - Thomas Becket agenouillé devant le pape 2014 08 25.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

File:Vitrail roi Thomas Becket Coutances.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Verrière de saint Thomas Becket

Le meurtre dans la cathédrale- Les funérailles - La montée de l'âme au ciel

Thomas devant le roi Henri II - Traversée de la Manche - Thomas agenouillé devant le pape Alexandre


Heroes and Traitors: The Life of St Thomas Becket in French Stained-Glass Windows
Feature | Vidimus
Archived at :

Arcisse Caumont (1841). Cours d'antiquités monumentales professé à Caen, en 1830. Sixieme Partie Moyen Age. Histoire l'Art dans l'Ouest de la France: Lange.
Stuart Whatling - Narrative art in northern Europe, c.1140-1300

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Garnier: The State Trial of Becket at Northampton (Anglo-Norman French)

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

Extract from
Stanzas 267-397
Lines 1461 -1985

La vie de Saint Thomas le martyr  pp. 51-68
by Guernes, de Pont-Sainte-Maxence,
Edited by Emanuel Walberg (1922) 
Lund C.W.K. Gleerup

Text pp. 51-68
Notes  pp. 244 -
Glossaire pp. 317-

English Translation:
Constitutions of Clarendon: Garnier: The State Trial of Becket at Northampton

Nel volt uncore pas li reis a tant suffrir ;
Ainz volt de lui, ço dit, ses acuntes oïr,
Quant sis chanceliers fu, de quanqu’ot a baillir.
L’arcevesque respunt qu’il n’en volt plait tenir :
1465 Jurs ne li ert asis des acuntes furnir.

Li reis li a mandé qu’il seit prez l’endemain
De respundre e de rendre sun acunte tut plain.
L’arcevesque respunt, qui n’out pas le quer vain,
N’iert pas reisnables jurs de tenir plait certain.
1470 Li reis jure les oilz venir li covient main.

Quant vit que il n’avra l’amur al rei Henri,
As piez lui est chaü, si li cria merci.
Fait l’a e eshaucié, ço conut e gehi ;
E ço qu’il li ad fait, qu’il ne desface ensi.
1475 « Par les oilz Deu, fait il, or m’avez vus huni. »

En l’autre chambre avant s’en est li reis alez,
De maltalent e d’ire e tainz e tressuez.
Les evesques aveit tuz devant sei mandez.
(Sul remist l’arcevesque, cum s’il fust esguarez.)
1480 « Pur les oilz Deu, fait il, dites que m’en loez ?

L’arcevesque Thomas ad esté mis servanz ;
Mes rentes ad cuilleites tutes par plusurs anz.
Pur ço qu’est arcevesque n’en volt estre rendanz,
Ne d’acunte ne d’el. Oïr voil voz assanz. »
1485 Nul d’els ne dist un mot ; tuz les trova taisanz.

Quant les en vit si muz, mult en fu enflambez.
« Pur les oilz Deu, fait il, ne m’en asenserez ? »
Dunc s’esteit vers l’evesque de Wincestre turnez :
« Sire pere, fait il, e vus que m’en direz ?
1490 Li plus ancïens estes ; asenser nus devez.

– Sire, fait li evesques, quant a mei l’avez quis,
Tut ço vus en dirai que mei en est avis.
Ja puis qu’il ert sacrez, n’ert a voz leis suzmis.
Ne vus rendra acunte, s’il fu vostre baillis.
1495 Mult bien vus i guardez, ainz qu’il seit a ço pris. »

Dunc par esteit li reis en grant ire muntez,
Quant hum ne li juga tutes ses volentez.
Ariere est en la chambre par mautalent entrez.
Li arcevesques est encontre lui levez ;
1500 Cum ço fust uns garçuns, li est al pié alez.

E tuit li autre evesque li sunt chaü as piez.
Pur l’arcevesque prient ; mes ne s’est puint plaisiez.
Quant les vit tuz ensemble entur li arengiez :
« Pur les oilz Deu, fist il, pur quei me hunissiez ?
1505 Ne fu mais par les suens nuls hum si avilliez. »

Or veit li arcevesques altre respit n’avra.
Quant ço vint vers lu seir, a l’ostel s’en ala.
Li mals del flanc le prist, jur e nuit li dura.
Achaisunus en ert, e suvent lui greva ;
1510 Par cel’ire qu’il out, dunc lui renovela.

Mais li reis l’endemain pur lui main enveia,
E jure les oilz Deu que sen acunte avra.
Il dit : n’i puet aler, d’anguisse tressua ;
E se Deu plest, ço dit que ses mals tresira,
1515 E qu’il irra a curt, si tost cum il purra.

Li reis jure les oilz venir li estovra,
E u il voille u nun ses acuntes rendra.
E cum plus ert malades, de tant plus l’anguissa.
L’arcevesque Thomas encontre li manda :
1520 Pur amur Deu le sueffre, ki tut le mund cria.

Quant veit li reis Henris qu’il nel purra aveir,
Quida qu’il se fainsist tut pur lui deceveir.
Dous cuntes enveia pur s’enferté veeir,
Celui de Leïrcestre, qui pris out de saveir,
1525 E cel de Cornewaille, que l’en dient le veir.

E quant il vindrent la, virent s’enfermeté.
Dient li que li reis li ad par els mandé
Que il vienge a la curt. Il lur aveit mustré
Que ses mals l’ot la nuit mult durement grevé,
1530 E encore le tint ; mais un poi out sué.

E prie lur pur Deu k’il le leissent gesir ;
E se li reis le volt tresqu’al demain suffrir,
Il irra a la curt, si orra sun plaisir.
Ne larra qu’il n’i aut, pur vivre u pur murir ;
1535 Ainz s’i fereit porter e sur biere tenir.

De part le rei li unt icel respit duné.
Dient li reis voldra l’endemain par verté
Ses acuntes oïr ; n’iert pur rien desturné.
– Il i ira, ço dit. E il s’en sunt turné,
1540 Si unt mustré al rei ço qu’il i unt trové.

Le jur meesmes puis li fu bien acuintié,
E dui riche barun li unt pur veir nuncié,
Que s’il alout a curt, si ert apareillié
Il ert mis en prisun, ne verra mais sun pié,
1545 U il sera ocis, ne lui ert purluignié.

Quant il l’oï, la char l’en prist tute a fremir.
Uns sainz huem li a dit, cui il l’ala gehir,
Que l’endemain matin, quant devra Deu servir,
Qu’il chant de saint Estiefne, le premerain martyr ;
1550 Ja puis ne li purrunt si enemi nuisir.

L’endemain se leva li bers en l’ajurnee,
Car l’anguisse li ert de sun mal trespassee.
En grant devotiun cele messe ad chantee,
E a Deu sun seignur ad sa cause mustree,
1555 E pria qu’il le guard de male destinee.

Purquant pur cele messe que il dunc celebra,
Li evesques de Lundres, qui pur le rei parla,
Par devant l’apostolie puis l’en acaisuna
E dist pur sorcerie cele messe chanta,
1560 E el despit le rei. Mais le veir trespassa.

Mais quant il ot chanté, n’esteit pas despuilliez,
Mais iloec est assis ensi apareilliez.
Pur les evesques ad ses hummes enveiez.
Quant il furent venu, bel les ad araisniez.
1565 « Seignur, fait il a els, pur Deu me conseilliez ;

Car li reis est vers mei munté en si grant ire
Que nuls hum ne purreit ne demustrer ne dire
Cum grant mal il me quiert, od le mielz de l’enpire.
Bien savez e veez a quei il tent e tire,
1570 Ne nuls fors Dampnedeus ne m’en puet estre mire.

E pur ço me dut mult, e sui en grant esfrei,
Car jo sai le conseil e le secrei le rei.
Li plus privé de lui le m’unt mustré en fei.
E pur ço voil aler a curt en cest conrei,
1575 E la cruiz en ma main, pur seürté de mei. »

Dunc respunt li uns d’els, qui rien ne s’en desheite
E le conseil le rei e aguise e receite :
« Sire, que volez faire ? Ne freez si grant freite
Que vus algiez a curt, el puing l’espee treite,
1580 Car ja mais ne serreit la medlee desfaite.

Se vus alez einsi, l’espee traite, a curt,
Vostre hauberc vestu, en main vostre behurt,
Entre vus e le rei e ire e graigne en surt,
Ne ja mais n’iert qui pes entre vus dous aturt,
1585 Ne ja mais n’iert uns jurs saint’iglise n’en plurt.

Mult estes vers le rei enpeiriez e medlez.
S’ensi alez a curt, grant hunte li freez.
Vus querez la metlee, s’od armes i alez.
Vostre espee est reburse, ses branz est acerez ;
1590 S’il trait sur vus s’espee, sustenir nel purrez.

Metez jus vostre cruiz, faites vus desparer,
E faites vostre cruiz devant vus la porter.
En grant humilité devez a curt aler,
Que nuls ne vus en puisse reprendre ne blasmer.
1595 De pes en purra l’un vers le rei mielz parler. »

Mult respundi li bers humblement a cel’ure :
« Jo n’ai pas trait m’espee, ne jo ne li cur sure,
N’autrui ne baillerai la cruiz, qui k’i acure.
Pais quier ; ço peise mei que nuls la me demure,
1600 E mult serrai dolenz, se saint’iglise en plure.

Ne jo ne quier al rei ne mal ne deshonur.
N’a humme en tut le siecle qui plus desirt s’onur ;
E mult sui jo dolenz que jo ai sa haür.
E se s’espee trenche, la meie ad grant reidur ;
1605 E obeïr m’estuet al suverain seignur.

Or vus pri e comant tel conseil me doinsiez
Que jo ne seie a Deu ne al siecle avilliez.
– Sire, fait li uns d’els, car vus humilïez ;
Al rei en sa merci l’arcevesquié laissiez.
1610 N’avrez pes altrement, a seür en seiez.

– Mal conseil me dunez, fait il ; ja nel freai.
Or alez a la curt ; e jo m’aturnerai.
Al plus verai conseil, se Deu plaist, me prendrai. »
Dunc s’esteit desparé de l’aube senz delai.
1615 En chape e en surpliz remist ; car bien le sai.

A la rei curt ala, quant il i fu mandez.
Par desus le surpliz s’est de l’estole armez,
D’une chape a canoine par desus afublez ;
Car bien sot qu’il esteit al rei forment metlez.
1620 Sur sun cheval munta ; a Deu s’est comandez.

Mult reduta le rei e sun fier maltalent.
Del tut le cunut bien senz nul receilement,
Cumme cil qui l’aveit servi mult longement.
E sout bien que li reis le haï durement,
1625 E que mult poi amis ot a cel parlement.

Mult m’esmerveil pur quei li reis si le haï,
Se pur ço nun qu’il ot sun servise guerpi,
E sun conseil del tut, e de lui departi,
E qu’il s’osa drecier vers lui n’einsi n’einsi.
1630 N’ert pas tant gentils huem ; fieble erent si ami.

E pur ço que li reis l’aveit tant eshaucié,
E mustré li aveit einsi grant amistié
Qu’en tute rien li out sun conseil acointié,
Ainc ne trova li reis qui plus l’ait corecié.
1635 Grant desdeig li sembla qu’il l’aveit commencié.

Curuz de rei n’est pas gius de petit enfant.
Qu’il comence a haïr, seit pur poi u pur grant,
[51] Ja mais ne l’amera en trestut sun vivant.
Ço que reis volt est leis, ço dient li alquant ;
1640 As terrïens seignurs sunt tuit obeïsant.

Li huem Deu out guerpi le terrïen seignur
E se fu pris del tut a Deu, sun creatur,
Qui il voleit servir en fei e en amur.
Sout bien qu’il suffereit un mult pesant estur.
1645 Plus cremi de prisun que de perdre s’onur.

A la curt en ala sainz Thomas li bons prestre,
E prist les armes Deu, que seürs peüst estre.
La cruiz arcevesqual fist porter a sa destre,
E la reisne del frein tint en la main senestre.
1650 Fait out sun avocat de Jesu Crist, sun mestre.

Tut dreit devant la sale est a pié decenduz.
Laienz en est entrez ; sis chevals fu tenuz.
Asez i ad trové e joevenes e chanuz.
En sa main prist la cruiz, quant fu laienz venuz.
1655 En sa chambre ert li reis od ses plus privez druz.

Laienz entra Thomas od mult poi conpaignuns ;
Poi i mena des suens, si cum nus l’entenduns.
Le rei i ad trové od ses privez druguns,
Evesques e abez e cuntes e baruns.
1660 Tuz suls entra en champ, cumme bons champiuns.

Li evesque se sunt encontre lui drecié.
De la cruiz l’unt blasmé, qu’il porte, e chastïé :
Car le rei sun seignur en a mult avillié,
E vers lui en charra en grant enemistié.
1665 Or la bailt a un altre, ço li unt conseillié.

Robert de Herefort la li va demander :
Evesques est, ço dit ; bien li puet comander.
Li evesques de Lundres i ala dreit clamer :
Ses deiens est, ço dit ; par dreit la deit porter.
1670 Des mains la li voleit par vive force oster.

[52] 335
« Fous, fait il, tuz dis fustes, e estes e serrez,
Quant vus, l’espee traite, desur le rei venez.
S’il trait sur vus la sue, coment vus defendrez ?
Car grant hunte li faites, quant en sa curt entrez
1675 Cum en feu e en flambe, de vostre cruiz armez.

Mais metez jus la cruiz, un autre la livrez ;
Nostre seignur le rei en ire ne metez. »
Fet cil de Wirecestre : « Sire evesque, suffrez.
Laissiez ester sa cruiz ; car ne la baillerez.
1680 N’est trop buens a porter la cruiz que vus veez. »

Mult se sunt entremis de lui la cruiz tolir ;
Mais il ne la volt pas a nul d’els tuz guerpir,
A dous puinz tut adès li veïssez tenir.
Poi i out des evesques quil volsist sustenir,
1685 Mais Rogiers de Wircestre ne li voleit guenchir.

L’arcevesque Thomas tut avant s’en ala.
La cruiz arceveskal il meïsmes porta ;
Nul ne la volt baillier, car forment se duta.
Desur un banc s’asist, e a Deu s’apuia.
1690 En sa main tint la cruiz, en sun quer la porta.

En l’autre chambre avant sist li reis od ses druz,
U ses conseilz teneit od les mielz coneüz.
Devant lui n’esteit pas l’arcevesques venuz,
Car li reis ert vers lui en ire commeüz.
1695 Le jur unt tuz lur plaiz par amparliers tenuz.

Ire e malveis conseil unt le rei deceü,
Qui l’unt vers le saint humme isi fort commeü.
Li reis aveit ainceis sun estre coneü ;
Or quidout qu’il fust tels cum il l’out ainz veü.
1700 Trestut esteit changiez : sainz Espirz en lui fu.

Dunc l’i voleit li reis des clers faire plaidier.
Mais li barun li unt fait tut cel plait laissier :
Car se nul plait volsist vers les clers comencier,
[53] Les evesques verreit tuz ensemble alïer,
1705 N’einsi ne purreit pas l’arcevesque plaissier.

La u sist sur le banc, entre lui e le rei
Alouent li barun, dui e dui, trei e trei.
Del plus privé conseil li fu dit en requei
Sa mort ert aprestee, presist guarde de sei.
1710 E pluisur s’en esteient juré e pris par fei.

Je ne sai se li reis l’out fait apareillier
Qu’il volsist l’arcevesque faire ocire u lïer ;
Mais einsi li vint huem le jur sovent nuncier.
Puet cel estre li reis le voleit esmaier,
1715 Que il le peüst mielz par manaces plaissier.

Dunc ad fait devant sei venir li reis Henris
Les evesques ; sis ad forment a raisun mis,
E volt que il li tiengent ço qu’il li unt pramis,
Qu’il tendrunt les custumes e les leis del païs,
1720 E que li arcevesques n’en sera point eschis.

A l’arcevesque en vunt li evesque parler.
Dient que lur estuet les leis le rei guarder,
Quant par obedïence les lur fist graanter
Et in veritatis verbo parcunfermer.
1725 En nul sens ne s’en volent vers lui desleeler.

Lui meïsmes, ço dient, les estovra tenir,
Car il les graanta, ne s’en deit resortir ;
E serement en fist, ne s’en puet desmentir.
E li reis le volt ore e saveir e oïr
1730 Se de sa leauté volt envers lui guenchir.

Quanqu’il unt dit a bien sainz Thomas esculté.
Puis lur a respundu od grant humilité :
Deus est en lui, fait il, ki aime verité ;
Ne cil n’aime pas Deu qui n’aime lealté ;
1735 E Deus het tricherie e tut’iniquité.

« E les leis que vus dites a quei li reis s’alie,
[54] Ne sunt de leauté, ainz sunt de felunie,
Contre Deu e raisun, pur destruire clergie.
Ne jo nes tendrai pas pur rien qui seit en vie.
1740 Par sainte obedïence defent nes tiengiez mie.

N’est pas sages qui chiet, quant ne volt relever,
E mielz vient tost resurdre que trop i demurer.
E pur ço que la curt me volt si fort grever,
E vus, qui od raisun devriez od mei ester,
1745 Apel jo ; car ne voil contre raisun aler. »

Quant veit li arcevesques, prist sei a purpenser :
La curt a l’apostolie li estut apeler,
Saveir s’il se purreit par issi delivrer.
E vit tut entur li les evesques ester :
1750 Uns suls d’els pur le rei ne volt un mot tinter.

Or veit bien e entent qu’um vait sa mort querant,
E veit tuz les evesques entur li en estant.
« Seignurs, fait il, j’apel ; kar mestier en ai grant ;
Car ceste curz me vait mult durement grevant.
1755 – Sire, fait cil de Lundres, relaissiez mei de tant.

Sire, fait cil de Lundres, de tant me releissiez.
– Nel ferai, fait li il ; mais se jo sui tuchiez,
A vus tuz le comant la justice en faciez,
Que vus pur nule rien nului n’en esparniez. »
1760 Dunc fu cil de Wincestre durement esmaiez.

« Sire, fait il, pur Deu, car entendez a mei :
Rendez en sa merci l’arceveschié al rei.
N’avrez pes autrement ; tut clerement le vei. »
Il nel dist pur nul mal, mais en conseil de fei.
1765 Surdre i vit grant peril e mult mortal desrei.

« Nel ferai, fait li il ; divine dignité
Ne rendrai a lai humme en trestut mun eé ;
Car cuntre Deu sereit e contre leauté. »
[55] Fait dunc cil de Cicestre : « La meie volenté,
1770 Remaindrïez Thomas, senz ceste poesté. »

Quant li pluisur entendent q’um quist l’encombrement
De Thomas l’arcevesque, mult en furent dolent.
L’arcevesque Rogier apelent erramment
E l’evesque de Lundres, quil haï durement,
1775 E celui de Cicestre, qui ne l’ama neent :

« Seignurs, pur amur Deu, nel faites pas einsi.
S’un ocit l’arcevesque, vus en avrez le cri,
Car tuz li païs seit que vus l’avez haï.
Se vus nel delivrez, nus sumes mal bailli :
1780 Li reis e saint’iglise e nus iermes huni. »

Dunc alerent ensemble li evesque parler.
Conseillent sei coment le purrunt dilivrer ;
E dient qu’il irrunt al rei Henri parler
Que, s’il le vunt devant l’apostolie apeler,
1785 K’ensi le purrunt bien de sun sié deposer.

Al rei en vunt parler, si li crient merci.
« Sire, funt il, pur Deu, nel faites pas einsi.
Laissiez ester cel plait qu’avez ore acuilli ;
Kar vus en avrïez a tut dis mais mal cri,
1790 E nus en serium suspendu e huni.

Sire, funt il al rei, laissiez nus ent ovrer.
Bien savez qu’il nus ad fait vos leis confermer ;
E or nus volt refaire trestuz deslealer.
E d’iço l’irum ore tuit ensemble apeler ;
1795 Einsi le purrum bien de sun sié deposer. »

Dunc dist li reis Henris : « Einsi le vus otrei.
– Or nus leissiez, funt il ; nus en prendrum conrei ;
Car tut li abatrun, voil’u nun, le desrei. »
Li un i entendirent mal, e li autre fei.
1800 Dunc sunt venu a lui. Tuit erent en esfrei.

« Nus apelun, funt il ; car trop sumes grevé.
Car ço que nus eümes ainz al rei greanté,
E par obedïence l’eüstes comandé,
Or l’avez defendu. Pur tel deslealté,
1805 U vus nus volez metre, vus avuns apelé. »

Al rei Henri en unt cil del conseil parlé
E quant li reis oï qu’il aveit apelé
E qu’il alout del tut contre sa volenté,
Ne vus en sai mustrer sun quer ne sun pensé,
1810 Mais a cels del conseil ne l’a il pas celé.

« Sire, funt il idunc, ço vus estuet laissier.
Car s’a nostre conseil vus volez apuier,
L’arceveschié perdra ; tut le ferum plaissier.
Car vers vus nus volt faire parjurer e trichier,
1815 E devant l’apostolie l’en voldrum chalengier.

– Alez delivrement, fait il ; or en pensez. »
Dunc sunt venu a lui ; il les ad escultez.
« Sire, funt il a lui, quant si nus mesmenez,
Vus e nus vers le rei einsi deslealtez,
1820 Apelum nus ; car trop durement nus grevez. »

Par cel apel unt mult le rei aseüré
E mult a cele feiz de s’ire refrené.
Pur ço qu’or desdiseit ço qu’ainz ot graanté,
Quida, s’en la curt Deu l’en eüssent prové,
1825 Que pur ço deüst perdre e croce e dignité.

Li prelaz d’Evrewic, cil de Lundres, ço qui,
Conseil li unt duné priveement andui
Que, veant si grant gent, ne li fesist anui ;
Mais l’endemain le mant, quant n’i avra nului ;
1830 Priveement le mete senz noisse en sun estui.

Par ço s’est mult li reis de s’ire refrenez,
E desfaiz li malices qui dunc ert aprestez,
E lur mals engins fu a grant bien aturnez.
[57] Car que que li hum penst, fieble est sa poestez ;
1835 Deus abat les puissances e les feluns pensez.

Dunc enveia li reis a lui ses chevaliers :
Or volt que il li rende ses acuntes pleniers
De quanqu’ot en baillie, quant fu ses chanceliers,
De trente mile livres d’esterlins en deniers.
1840 Mais il ad respundu mult bel as messagiers :

« Seignur, fait il a els, tut senz en plait entrer,
Ne me deit pas mis sires acuntes demander.
Car tut cest grant aveir que ci vus oi numer,
En ses busoignes l’ai fait metre e aluer ;
1845 Si l’ad oï suvent mis sires acunter.

E quant jo fui a Lundres esliz e alevez
A ceste dignité, tuz fui quite clamez
Par sun comandement, si que bien le savez ;
E d’acuntes e d’el fui iloec delivrez.
1850 Pur ço ne voil rentrer en plait qui est finez. »

Quant il unt fait al rei ceste parole entendre,
D’ire devint vermeilz plus que carbuns sur cendre.
« Pur les oilz Deu, fait il, ne volt acunte rendre ?
E si est mis huem liges : jugement en voil prendre !
1855 – Sire, funt il, mais d’el, dunt mult plus volt mesprendre.

Quant il est vostre huem liges, il vus deit fei porter
E tenir en tuz lius vostre honur e guarder.
E quant vus volt tolir vostre curt e fauser,
E apele autre curt, de çol poëz grever,
1860 Car iluec vus volt il granment desonurer.

De cel poëz jugier, funt li dunc li barun.
– Alez al jugement, fait il, senz targeisun. »
Al jugement en vunt la maisnie Nerun.
Lur pere espirital jugent comme bricun
1865 Que li reis le presist e mesist en prisun.

L’arcevesque Rogiers d’icel conseil eissi.
Fait il a l’arcevesque : « Aiez de vus merci,
De nus tuz ensement ; car mal sumes bailli,
Se ne faites del tut le voil lu rei Henri. »
1870 Sainz Thomas li ad dit : « Satanas, fui d’ici. »

Quant li jugemenz fu e faiz e acordez
E devant le rei fu e diz e recordez,
Dous i ad enveiez li reis de ses privez :
Li cuens Reinalz i est de Cornewaille alez,
1875 E cil de Leïscestre, qui mult par ert senez.

Dreit devant l’arcevesque sunt andui aresté.
Li quens de Leïscestre aveit primes parlé :
« Sire, fait il, li reis vus ad par nus mandé
Qu’oiez ço qu’il vus unt jugié e acordé. »
1880 Dunc l’aveit li buens prestre fierement reguardé :

« N’i avra ui par mei jugement esculté,
Fait li buens arcevesques, car jo ai apelé.
– Coment, fait dunc li quens, puet estre desturné,
Quant vus li devez fei, humage e ligeé ?
1885 De lui tenez granz teres e granz fius en barné.

E quant en barunie de lui granz fius tenez,
Jugement en sa curt e dreit i sufferrez.
– Ne tieng, fait saint Thomas, de lui fius n’eritez
Ne rien en barunie ; mais tut est charitez
1890 E parmenable aumosne, tut ço dunt sui fieffez.

Ço qu’a saint’iglise unt si ancesur duné,
En parmenable almosne li unt tut graanté ;
Ainkes de barunie n’i out un mot suné.
Li reis l’a par sa chartre tut einsi confermé,
1895 Otrïé en almosne, en parmenableté.

E pur ço, fait lur il, de part Deu vus defent,
Par la cristïenté qui de nus vus apent,
Que de mei ne faciez ui mais nul jugement. »
[59] Li quens li respundi : « Sur tel defendement
1900 Ne m’en entremetrai ; tut quite vus en rent. »

Fait dunc li quens Roberz : « Dites dunc, quens Reinalt ;
Jo nen os mais parler, quant le defent si haut.
– Nel ferai, fait li quens, se Damnedeu me saut.
Ne me fu enchargié ; ja ne m’en ferai baut.
1905 Dites, se vus volez, car Reinalt vus en faut.

– Sire, fait quens Roberz, suffrez, pur saint Denis,
Que vostre respuns ait oï li reis Henris.
– Coment ? fait l’arcevesque Thomas ; sui jo dunc pris ?
– Ne l’estes, par saint Lazre, fait dunc li quens de pris.
1910 – E jo m’en vois a tant », respunt li Deu amis.

Dunc s’en revunt al rei cil dui riche vassal,
E li sainz arcevesques parti de sun estal.
Ingnelement eissi de la chambre real ;
N’en mena compaignun fors Deu l’espirital.
1915 En sa main destre tint la cruiz arceveschal.

E quant il s’en parti de la cambre le rei,
Justises e baruns, tels que numer ne dei,
L’escrïerent en haut, a hu e a desrei :
« Li traïtres s’en vait : veez lei, veez lei ! »
1920 Il s’en ala avant, ne dist ne ço ne quei.

Nis li quens Hamelins ne s’i volt taisir pas.
Quant il en vit aler l’arcevesque Thomas,
Mult l’aveit escrïé, e nel dist giens en bas :
« Cumme fel, fait li il, mal traïtres, t’en vas ! »
1925 Sil hua Hue Wac tant qu’il fu pres tut las.

A l’eissir de la chambre durement se hasta.
Quant vint enmi la sale, a leigne s’abuissa ;
Pur poi qu’il ne chaï. Idunches l’escria
Randuls del Broc, e dist : « Li traïtres s’en va. »
[60] 1930 Li sainz huem ne dist mot, mais avant s’en ala.

En la sale fu mult traïtres apelé.
De tutes parz i fu hautement escrïé ;
N’i eüst greignur cri, se fundist la cité.
Nis torgeluns d’estraim unt après lui geté.
1935 Ne volt a els plaidier ; ultre s’en est passé.

Ensi firent Giwiu, quant hum ot Deu jugié :
Vilment l’unt escrié, batu e coleié,
Enmi le vis li unt escopi e rachié.
De sun gré le suffri Deus pur l’umain pechié,
1940 E cist pur delivrer de vilté le clergié.

Li malvais qui quidierent le rei servir a gré,
E garçuns e putains, unt saint Thomas hué
E derochié de torges ; car Randul l’out rové.
Mais cil qui Deu cremirent e qui l’orent amé,
1945 En unt od grief suspir celeement pluré.

Dunc fu al rei nuncié cum hum le fist huer,
E que l’um le voleit e laidir e tuer :
Li reis sereit huniz s’um nel laissout ester.
Dunc comanda li reis e fist par ban crïer
1950 C’um laissast quitement lui e les suens aler.

Si tost cum li ber fu sur sun cheval sailluz,
Grant aleüre en est a la porte venuz.
Fermee la trova ; dunc fu mult esperduz.
Poür out qu’il ne fust e pris e retenuz.
1955 Mais Deus l’en ad jeté, qui fist pur li vertuz.

Li arcevesques out iluec sun esquier,
Un qui ot nun Trunchez ; dunc li ot grant mestier.
Les cles des portes vit luinz pendre a un ramier :
Erramment les saissi, ne s’i volt rien targier ;
1960 La porte desferma, n’i apela portier.

Ne volt ilueckes Deus l’arcevesque laissier.
De tant cles cum cil pout a dous mains enpuignier,
[61] A la dreite clef est asenez al premier.
Li portiers entendi a batre un pautenier ;
1965 E li bers s’en eissi, qui Deus aveit mult chier.

Li quens de Leïrcestre, qui si oï crïer,
Dist al rei cum l’um fist l’arcevesque escrïer ;
Grant hunte fu k’um fist si haut humme huer,
Nel devreit pas suffrir ; hum l’en voldreit blasmer.
1970 Dunc comanda li reis k’um le laissast ester.

Quant il fu descenduz, al mustier s’en alad.
S’il esteit de chanter none tens demandad.
Mais ultre none esteit : none e vespres chantad.
Car le servise Deu tempre u tart n’obliad ;
1975 Volentiers le servi. Guereduné li ad.

E quant il fu eissuz, après ço, del mustier,
Ses serganz apela, demanda a mangier.
Tuit s’en erent fuï e clerc e chevalier ;
N’en i trovast pas sis, s’il en eüst mestier,
1980 Kar la poür del rei les out fait desfuchier.

Dunc rova qu’um fesist les povres enz venir.
Les tables en fist l’um del refreitur emplir.
Jo crei qu’il pensa d’el que del ventre farsir ;
Nepurquant il manja assez, tut a leisir,
1985 E ad fait bel semblant pur les suens esbaudir.

Tools and References

Immanuel Bekker (1838). La vie St. Thomas le martir. pp. 33–.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Volume 1. Peeters. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-90-429-1188-8.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Volume 2. Peeters. ISBN 978-90-429-1202-1.

Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330-1500)

Anglo-Norman Dictionary

Garnier: The State Trial of Becket at Northampton (Translation)

The State Trial of Becket took place at the Council of Northampton in Great Hall of Northampton Castle 6th-13th October 1164. Becket flees into exile before dawn on  the 14th October.

Summons to the Council had been issued for the week following Michaelmas [Sept 29th] , for appearance on the Tuesday, 6th October

Chronology of Trial

October 1164 Julian Calendar recokoning

Chronology of  the hearing [according to William FitzStephen's account] is given here

Tuesday, October 6th Becket arrives, king is out hunting.
Wednesday, October 7th Becket complains his lodgings were occupied by William de Courci.
Thursday, October 8th Case of John the Marshal v. Becket.
Friday, October 9th King passes sentence on Becket for Case of John the Marshal v. Becket.
Saturday, October 10th State Trial of Thomas Becket commences concerning loans made my king to Becket during Toulouse campaign.
Sunday, October 11th King in Council with advisers, Becket spends day at his lodgings.
Monday, October 12th Becket is ill; he cannot attend court in person.
Tuesday, October 13th Final day of the State Trial of Becket who is declared to be a traitor.
Wednesday, October 14th Before dawn Becket flees secretly into exile.

ca Tuesday, October 20th King Henry pronounces sentence on Becket.

This chronology is not entirely apparent in Garnier's description of the events. FitzStephen was an eye-witness, but Garnier was not, but learned of them at 2nd or 3rd hand.

The following is a translation of the State Trial of Becket at the Council of Northampton in October 1164 [Part 2] from the Life of  St. Thomas of Canterbury by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence.

Stanzas 293-397
Lines 1461-1985

Original Text:
Constitutions of Clarendon: Garnier: The State Trial of Becket at Northampton (Anglo-Norman French)

English Translation

The king did not yet want at this moment to leave his case at that; he also wanted to hear from him, so he said, about his accounts when he was his chancellor, about how much he had [collected and] delivered up [to the treasury]. The archbishop replied that he did not wish to plead on this, as the day had not yet arrived for the submission of accounts for assessment. 1465

The king sent an order that he should be ready on the morrow to respond and render his accounts in full. The archbishop, who did not lack courage, said that it would not be a reasonable day on which to hold a fair plea. The king swore by the eyes [of God] he must appear [before him] in the morning. 1470

When he saw that he no longer had the affection of king Henry, he fell to his feet and cried to him for mercy. He [the king] told him [Thomas] that he acknowledged and confessed that he had raised him up [to his dignity]; but that which he [the king] had done for him [Thomas] , there was no way for him [the king] to undo.
<<By the eyes of God,>> he [the king/Becket?] said, <<you have just brought shame on me.>> 1475

Into the other room in which he was in before the king went, full of anger and wrath, red with rage and sweating. The bishops were all summoned to appear before him. (The archbishop was left by himself, like as if he had lost his way.)
<< By the eyes of God,>> he [the king] said [to the bishops], <<give me advice what to do.>> 1480

>>Archbishop Thomas was my servant; he collected all my taxes [rents/income] for many years. And now that he is archbishop he does not want to render either account or anything else about them. I want to hear your views on this.>>
None of them said a word; all of them kept silent. 1485

When he saw that they were unable to speak about this, he seethed with a furious anger.
<<By the eyes of God,>> he said, <<can none of you advise me what to do?>>
Then he turned to the bishop of Winchester: <<Sire father,>> he said, <<and will you tell me what to do? You are the oldest [wisest]; you must counsel us.>> 1490

<< Sire,>> the bishop said to him, <<since you have sought this from me, I will tell you everything that I think:
I can tell that since he was consecrated, he is no longer subject to your laws, not even to render account to you, even if he was your administrator. Take very great care before having him arrested for this.>> 1495

Then after this the king flew into a great rage, when no one at all wanted to give him their judgement. He returned back to the [audience-]chamber in anger. The archbishop stood up when he entered. And, as if he was only a [lowly] servant boy, he threw himself at his feet. 1500

And all the other bishops fell at his feet [too] pleading on behalf of the archbishop.
When he saw them all thus arranged gathered around him, he said:
<<By the eyes of God, why are you humiliating me? No one has been so much shamed by his own [followers/subordinates].>> 1505

Now the archbishop saw he would not have any other remission. Towards evening he went back to his lodgings. He felt a very bad pain in his side, which endured for a day and a night. This was occasional in nature, and often caused him grief; because it was a suffering which would keep on recurring. 1510

But the next morning the king personally sent for him [to appear]. By right and the eyes of God he would have his account. He [Thomas] said that he could not come to him, because he was suffering from anguish [illness/panic attack/pain?], and if God pleased his sickness would pass and that he would then appear in court as soon as he could. 1515

The king swore by the eyes [of God] that he must come to render his accounts, whether he wanted to or not. The archbishop sent him a counter message: for the love of God to excuse him, [for the sake of] He who created the whole world. 1520

When king Henry saw that he could not get his way, he thought that he [Becket] might be feigning everything [his illness] to deceive him. He sent two earls to see for themselves [the reality of] his infirmity: he of Leicester, who was renowned for his wisdom, and he of Cornwall, in order to tell him [the king] the truth about it. 1525

And when they came there, they saw for themselves the [Becket's] illness. They told him [Becket] that the king had commanded through them that he should come to the court. He explained to them that his pain had very grievously tortured him throughout the night, and that was still gripped by it, but that he had sweated it out a little. 1530

And begged them for the sake of God that they would let him lie in his sick bed and if the king would allow him until the morrow, he would come to the court to hear his pleasure. He would not fail to be there alive or dead; even if he had to be carried there laid out on a bier. 1535

On behalf of the king the earls granted him [Becket] this respite. They said the king in truth would want on the morrow his accounts to hear; and that nothing should divert him from this.
He would be there, so he said
And they returned, and explained to the king about how they had found him. 1540

Afterwards that same day he was made acquainted with some reliable information: two powerfully wealthy barons announced to him in truth that, when he went to the court, that it had been arranged he would thrown into a prison, [so dark] that he would not able to see his feet, where he would be put to death without delay. 1545

When he heard this, his body began to shudder all over. A holy man said to him, to whom he gone to make his confession, that on the morning of the morrow, during the sevice [Matins] to God,  that he should chant [pray] to St. Stephen, the First Martyr]; [after this] never anymore would they, his enemies, ever be able to harm him. 1550

The next day our hero rose at dawn, as the pain of his illness had gone. With great devotion he chanted this mass and to God, his Lord, laying before Him his case, and prayed that He would guard him from a calamitous fate. 1555

Although for this mass which he celebrated then, the bishop of London, who spoke for the king when he was in the presence of the Pope then accused him of the following, saying that he had chanted this mass like a sorcerer to spite the king. But the truth prevailed. 1560

But after chanting [Mass] he did not take off his [priestly] vestments, but sat there dressed as he was sending his manservants for the bishops. When they came well did he address them with fine words:
<<My Lords,>> he said to them, <<for the sake of God counsel me;>> 1565

>> because the king has risen up against me with such great wrath that no man can either speak or reason with him, he seeks to do me a great wrong using the best men in the empire. Well you know and see by whom he pushes and pulls, no one except mighty God can save me from it. 1570

>> And for this reason I am very afraid, and in great concern
because I know the plan and secret of the king
His most close confidants have revealed them to me in good faith
and for this reason I will go to the court dressed in this,
with the my cross in my hand, for my own security [/safety].>> 1575

Then one of them replied to him, who was not concerned for him in any way, and who had advised the king both directly and on the method:
<<Sire, what do you want to do? do not make such a great tumult when you go to court with  your sword drawn and in your hand, because never would the quarrel end.>> 1580

>> If you go to court like this, sword drawn, wearing your hauberk, with your lance in your hand jousting, between you and the king both anger and animosity will arise from it: there will never be anyone who will be able to intervene for peace between you two; there will never be a day on which Holy Church does not cry. 1585

>> Much have you [already] insulted and quarelled with the king. If you go the court thus you bring great dishonour to him. You will be asking for trouble, if you go there with arms. Your sword is blunt, his [large two-handed] sword is sharp. If he draws his sword against you, you cannot prevail. 1590

Put down your cross, shed your [formal] vestments and have your cross borne before you. It is in great humility you must go to the court, so that no one can either reprimand or blame you, for [it is only] thus can one better speak with the king about peace.>> 1595

Our hero responded very humbly at this moment: <<I have not drawn my sword, neither will I bring an attack against him; neither will I hand over my cross to anyone else, whoever comes running there. I seek peace; that peace within me which no one lets me live with and greatly will I be upset, if Holy Church is in tears.>> 1600

>> Neither do I seek to do wrong nor to dishonour the king. There is no man in the whole world who desires more his honour; and I am very sad that I have received his hate. But if his sword is sharp, mine is more rigid; and it is my duty to obey God, our sovereign Lord. 1605

>>Now I beg and command you to give me such counsel that I should neither defile God nor the world [secular authority].>>
<<My lord,>> said one of them to him, <<be humble; hand back the archepiscopate to the king into his mercy. You will not have peace otherwise: of this you can be assured.>> 1610

<< You have given me bad counsel,>> he said. <<I will not follow it. Now go to the court, and I will make myself ready. If it pleases God, I will be ready for truer advice.>>
He then took off his alb [long white tunic]; without delaying he put on again a cope [cloak/mantle] and a surplice; this I well know. 1615

He went to the king's court as soon as he was ordered to go there. On top of his surplice he was clad with his stole. He  put on the cope of a canon on top of that; well he knew that this would create a quarrel with the king. He mounted his horse and commended himself to God [bid Adieu]. 1620

Greatly he feared the king and his cruel resentment, for having known him well without any, like anyone who had served him for a very long time. And he knew well that the king had hate for him for a long time, and that he had very few friends at this Parliament [king's great council/assize/legal hearing/assembly]. 1625

I wonder why the king hated him so much, if for no other reason than he had abandoned his service, and his advice in everything, and parted ways from him, and that he had the courage to stand up against him in some way or other. He was not even a gentleman; and his friends were the poor. 1630

And for that reason the king who had raised him up so high and shown him such great friendship that there was nothing of which he did not confide his [secret] plans with him, the king found that he had more than anyone else provoked his anger.
Great disdain it seemed to him that he had ever given him a start. 1635

The anger of the king is not a child's game. Whoever he begins to hate, whether for a small reason or large, never will he love him again whilst he is alive. The will of the king is law, so say some; and the lords on earth all obey. 1640

The man of God had deserted his earthly lord and taken up all with God, his creator, whom he wished to serve in faith and love.
Well he knew that he would suffer a very heavery burden. He feared imprisonment more than the loss of his honour. 1645

St. Thomas, the good priest, went into the court, and took up the arms of God which were his security. The archepiscopal cross he carried in his right hand, and he held the reins of reason in his left hand. And appointed as his advocate, Jesus Christ, his Master. 1650

He dismounted on foot immediately in front of the great hall. He entered right there. His horse was led away. He found there sat both young and old. In his hand he held the cross. In the ante-chamber the king was with his closest confidants. 1655

There entered Thomas with a very few companions; few in number he brought some his own therein, so we have heard it told.
The king was found there surrounded by his circle of confidants : bishops and abbots, earls and barons. He entered the field [of battle] all alone, like a fine champion. 1660

The bishops rose up against him. For the cross which he bore, they blamed and castigated him:
as tne king his lord was much reviled by it, [and] towards him he will fall into great emnity.
So they advised him to give it into someone else's charge. 1665

Robert of Hertford was going to ask him: <<Bishop he is,>> so he said <<well he can order it.>>
But the bishop of london there went and declared the law: <<His deans,>> so he said, <<by right they ought to carry it.>>
[and] From his [Thomas'] hands he wanted to pull it away by physical force. 1670

<<Mad>> he said, <<you were, and are, and [always] will be, when you with [your] sword drawn attack the king. If he draws his on you, how are you going to defend yourself? because great dishonour you have done to him when you enter his court with fire and flame, and armed with your cross.>> 1675

>> But put aside your cross, give it to another; this will not anger our lord the king.>>
Said he [bishop] of Worcester: << my lord bishop, wait. Leave his cross be; do not take charge of it: it is not very good to carry the cross you see.>> 1680

Many tried to deprive him of it [the cross]; but he would not give it up to anyone else. You should have seen it, all the time holding onto it with both hands. There were few bishops who wanted to support him, but neither did Roger of Worcester want to abandon him. 1685

Archbishop Thomes continued to advance further. The archepiscopal cross by himself he bore ; he did not wish to give any one charge of it, because he was firmly afraid. He sat down on a bench, and put his reliance upon God. In his hand he held the cross, and he also carried it within his heart. 1690

In the other room beyond sat the king with his counsellors, where he took counsel from the best known. Before the archbishop did not come., as the king was towards him shaking with anger. All the legal business of the day was transacted
through spokepersons. 1695

By ire and bad counsel was the king deceived, to be against the saintly man which strongly provoked him. The king had in former times got to know him, and now thought he was such as as he had before seen him. But he had completely changed; the Holy Spirit was within him. 1700

Now the king wanted to bring an action against him about some clerics but the barons all persuaded him to desist from pusuing this case because if any action he wanted to start against clerics the bishops would all be seen to come together. He would thus not be able to pursue the case against the archbishop. 1705

As he sat on the bench barons came and went two by two and three by three between him and the king. It was told to him secretly by some very close confidant his death was being conspired, and that he should be on his guard. And many had sworn and taken an oath by their faith to do it. 1710

I do not know if the king had made the arrangments for wanting the archbishop to be killed or bound [in chains/imprisoned]. But men came to him often that day to announce. Perhaps it was possible that the king wanted to frighten him so that he could win the case by threats. 1715

Then king Henry made the bishops come before him, declaring with vigor of necessity that he wanted that they should keep their promise to him that they would repect the customs and laws of the land, and that the archbishop would not be exempted from this. 1720

The bishops went to the to the archbishop to talk about it. Saying that their must to keep the laws of the king, when by obedience he had made them to grant them and in the word of the truth to confirm them completely. In no sense did they want to be disloyal to him. 1725

He himself too, they said, must also observe them because, he made them accept them,and they must not depart from them; aand made them swear an oath to it, and they must not go back on their word. And the king wants mow both to learn and hear  whether he wants to abandon the loyalty [he owes] to him. 1730

St Thomas listened well to everything they had said. Then he replied to them with great humility:
<<God is in him,>> he said, <<who loves truth; He does not love God who loveth not loyalty. And God hates treachery and all iniquity.>> 1735

>> And the laws that you have said which the king attaches himself to, they are not loyalty, but are the opposite, disloyalty, against God and reason, intended to destroy the clergy. I will not hold to them whilst I am alive. By holy obedience you are forbidden to hold to them. 1740

It is not wise whoever has fallen over, if he does not want to stand up again, and it is better that one should recover quickly than to delay it too long. And for this that the [king's] court wants to do harm to me so severely. and you, who should by reason be with me, I appeal, as I have no wish to go against reason.>> 1745

When had understood it, he concentrated on thinking very carefully: to the Pope's court [Papal Curia] he would appeal, to learn if he could thereby be delivered and saw all around him bishops, not one amongst them against the king would utter a word. 1750

Thus seeing well and sensing that one [amongst them] was seeking his death. And seeing all the bishops standing around him. <<My Lords,>> he said, <<I am appealing because the calling [profession] is in great need of it; because this court without any mercy intends to do me harm.>>
<< Sire,>> said he of of London, <<spare me from this as far as I am concerned.>> 1755

<<Sire,>> said he of London, <<do not involve me in this.>>
<<I will not do that.>> Said he [Thomas]. But if I am attacked, I order you all to seek justice sparing no one for any reason.>>
Then he of Winchester was struck with fear. 1760

<<Sire,>> said he, <<for the sake of God, listen to me: render up the archepiscopacy into the mercy of the king. You will not have peace otherwise; this clearly is the way.>>
He did not speak out of evil but as a faithful counsel, for he saw a great danger might arise and a disorder full of death. 1765

<<I will not do this,>> said he back to him. <<Never upon my life will I render up to lay person my everything, because it would be contrary to God and against the loyalty [I owe Him].>>
Said then he [the bishop] of Chichester: <<If it [the choice] were left up to me, [I would] become [simply] Thomas, without this power.>> 1770

When most of them realised the [huge] difficulty Thomas, the archbishop, had found himself in they felt a great sadness about it. They summoned archbishop Roger immediately, and the bishop of London, who had long hated him, and he of Chichester, who also neither liked him: 1775

<<My lords, for the love of God. if the archbishop is killed, you will be accused of it, because the whole country that you hated him. If you do not get him released we will be in a bad situation: the king and holy church and ourselves will be shamed.>> 1780

Then the bishops went to discuss amongst themselves. They deliberated how they could get him released; and saying that they would go to tell king Henry that, if he they were to go before the pope to appeal that he could thus well depose him from his see. 1785

To the king they went to speak, to seek his mercy for him. <<Sire,>> they said, <<for the sake of God, do not act thus, Leave this case be that you are now embarked upon; because for it it will be said generally to give you a worse reputation, and we would be damned and suspended for it. >> 1790

Sire, said they to the king, let us deal with it. Well you know that he made us confirm your laws; and now he wants us to correct this and be completely disloyal. And so for this we will all now go together to make an appeal. Thereby we will be able to have well deposed from his see. 1795

Then said king Henry to them: <<You have my consent to do this.>>
<<Now let us,>> said they, <<get ready to do it.>>
In this one can either hear of wrongdoing, or another hears of loyalty. Then they returned to him [Becket]. They were all in a state of confusion. 1800

<<We are going to make an appeal [to Rome]>> said they, <<because we are too upset. Because that which we had consented to the king, and by obedience you had command it, now you forbid it. For such disloyalty that you wish to put upon us, we have appealed [to Rome] against you. 1805

To king Henry, those of his council have spoken about it and when the king heard that he had made an appeal [to Rome] and that he was acting completely against his wishes, I know not how to show you what was in his heart and thoughts, but to those on his council he did n0t conceal it from them. 1810

<<Sire,>> they then said [to the king] <<you must let this be. As, if you wish to rely on our advice, the archbishop will lose; we will make him completely give in. For against you he wants us to commit perjury and treachery, and [go]  before the Pope we want to challenge him about it.>> 1815

<<Off you go,>> he said, << now you turn your thoughts to it.>> Then they came back to him [Thomas]. He listened to them.
<<Sire,>> they said to him, <<when so you have wronged us, you thus cause us to lose the loyalty we owe to the king. We are appealing [to Rome], as you do to us too great a harm.>> 1820

By this appeal they much reassured the king, and much by this act his wrath allayed. For that which he now refused that which this he had accepted. He thought, if in the God's court they find against him, that for this he must lose both the cross and dignity [of archbishop]. 1825

The prelates of York, and London, as far as [I can see] both gave advice to him privately that, seeing so great a person,  he ought not to harm him, but on the morrow have him seized; [and] when no one was about, secretly and quietly to have him locked up. 1830

By this [advice] the king's wrath was much allayed, and he countermanded the mischiefs which he had already set up, and turned away from the evil schemes. Because that which he had thought to do him was feeble. God had abated the strength of his evil thoughts. 1835

The king then sent to him [Becket] some of the knights [of his household?]. He wanted his accounts rendered in full to him of how much which he had lent him [given into his charge], when he was his chancellor, of the thirty thousand pounds in sterling silver pennies [at the time of the Toulouse campaign]. But he [Becket] responded extremely well to the go-betweens. 1840

<<My lords,>> he said to them, <<without having to enter a [formal] plea [{in court?} in my defence] at all, my sovereign lord must not demand from me [these] accounts. Because all this great amount of money that you have here specified, I alloted and put it to use on his business; my sovereign lord has often heard it  accounted for [before]. 1845

>> And [moreover] when, in London, I was elected and elevated to this dignity [to that of archbishop], at his command I was [declared] to be quit of all claims, as well you know it, and I was released there and then from debts [accounts] and all else. For these reasons I have no wish to re-enter a plea [in my defence on a matter] which is over and done with.>> 1850

When they had made known these words to the king, he became quite incandescently red with rage, more than charcoals burning to ashes.
<<By the eyes of God,>> he said, <<he does not wish to render accounts [to me]? And [therefore] as he is my liege man, I will pass sentence for it!>>
<<Sire,>> they said, <<but [do it] for something else for which he wants to commit a much greater wrong [to you].>> 1855

>>If he is your liege man, he must act loyally towards you, and by law always to uphold and defend your honour. And when he wants [contemptuously] to abandon and deny your court [and justice], and appeal to another court [the Roman Curia], you can do him harm for this, as in that case he wants greatly to dishonour you.>> 1860

>> For this you can pass judgement [upon him].>> Said the barons.
<<Let's proceed to the judgement without delay.>> Said he [the king].
To the sentencing they went into the house of Nero like madmen, for to pass judgement upon their spiritual father. 1865

Archbishop Roger left the council. Said he to archbishop [Thomas]: <<Take pity upon yourself, and likewise upon all of us too, becuase we will be treated badly, if you do not do evrything king henry wants.>>
St Thomas said to him: <<Satan, be gone from here.>>  1870

When the sentence was both arrived at and agreed, and was both announced and recorded before the king, the king then sent [to Becket] two members of his closest associates: Earl Reginald of Cornwall, and he [the Earl] of Leicester, who was extremely wise. 1875

They both stopped straight in front of the archbishop. The Earl of Leicester spoke first: <<Sire,>> said he, <<the king informs you through us that you will listen to this, that you have been judged and sentenced.>>
Then the good priest looked at him severely:  1880

I will not hear of any sentence being passed on me today,>> said the good archbishop, <<because I have [already] made an appeal [to Rome].
Said the earls [to him]: <<How can you possibly avoid it when you must towards him  be loyal, do homage and be his liegeman? [When] from him you hold great tracts of land, and large fiefs in baronage, 1885

>> And when in barony you hold from him great fiefs, the judgement of his court and laws you will bear.>>
<<I hold from him>> said St. Thomas, <<neither fiefs, nor heritages, nothing in barony; but everything is charity; and all these are to be considered as alms given [to the Church] in perpetuity [frankalmoign].>>  1890

>> That which has been willed as gifts to Holy Church by ancestors of his, are to be considered as granted in perpetual almoign. Never a word has been mentioned of barony [vassalage. The king has ratified it in his charters completely as thus: granted in almoign, in perpertuity. 1895

>>  And for this reason,>> he said to them, <<on behalf of God [Whom] you defend, by the Christianity upon which from us you depend, that upon me today I forbid you to pass sentence.>>
The Earl replied to him: <<After such a defence I will not interfere; [as far as I can see] you are rendered utterly quit.>> 1900

Then said Earl Robert: <<Speak then [deliver the judgment], Earl Reinald; I will say no more, when the defence comes from on high [God].
<<I will not do it,>> said the [other] Earl, <<so save me God on high. No one charged me to do this: I will not deliver it.>>
<<Speak it [pronounce the judgment], if you want to, because Reynaud you are in sin.>>  1905

<<Sire,>> said Earl Robert, <<wait, for the sake of St. Denis, until your response has been heard by king Henry.>>
<<How?>> said archbishop Thomas, <<Am I then a prisoner?>>
<<You are not under arrest, by St. Lazar!>> said the Earl.
<<And if so, I'm leaving!>> replied the friend of God. 1910

Then the two powerful barons [vassals of the king] returned to the king, and the saintly archbishop left for his lodgings. He swiftly exited from the royal chamber, taking no companions with him except the Lord God Spiritual. In his right hand he held the cross of an archbishop. 1915

And as he departed from the royal chamber [courtroom], [there were] judges and barons, whom I must not name. They cried out at him loudly, with shouts and violently: <<The traitor is leaving. Look at him, Look at him!>>
He advanced [across the room], not saying anything to anyone of them. 1920

Neither did Earl Hamelin [of Surrey] want to keep silent. When he saw that archbishop Thomas was leaving, he screamed out loudly at him, and not speaking in a low voice, groaned: <<It is as a felon,>> he said to him [in a denigrating manner], <<as an evil traitor, thus you leave!>>
Even Hugh le Wac shouted so loudly that he became almost completely exhausted. 1925

Hurrying furiously to make his exit from the chamber,  when he was crossing the middle of the chamber, he tripped up on a pile of firewood, almost but not falling over. There screamed at him Randolph de Broc, saying: <<There goes the traitor.>>
The saintly man did not say a word, but continued to make his way [across the room]. 1930

In the hall there were many who called him traitor. From all sides they were shouting loudly there. There would not have been a louder roar, even if the city had been overthrown. Even quoits of straw were thrown at him. He did not want to argue with them. He had gone beyond that. 1935

So did the Jews, when they judged the Man of God. Vilely they had screamed at him, hit and beaten him; they had vomitted and spat at him right in middle of his face. God willingly suffered this for sake of the sins of mankind, and this our man for to rescue the clergy from ignominy. 1940 

The wicked thought they were serving the king's will, both varlets and sons of whores, when they heckled St.Thomas and battered him with quoits [of straw], as Randulph [de Broc] had commanded them to do. But those who feared God and loved Him sighed with grief and shed tears in secret. 1945
Then the king was told how they had shouted at him [Becket] and that one of them wished both to harm and kill him: this shamed the king. So the king commanded and declared by ban that he [Becket] and his vassals should freely be allowed to leave. 1950

No sooner than our hero was on his horse, he was rushing off. With great haste he arrived at the gate [to the castle]. He found it locked . He became very distressed. He was afraid that he would be arrested and held captive. But God who had not abandoned him released him by Divine power. 1955

The archbishop had with him his squire, one who had the name Tronchet. He had a great skill. He [Tronchet] saw the keys to the gates [of the town] afar off hanging on a branch. Immediately he seized them, not wanting to waste any time there. He unlocked the gate, without having to call for the gatekeeper to come there. 1960

God did not want to leave the archbishop there. Of all the keys which he [the squire] could have seized with his two hands, the first key that he fixed upon was the right one. The porter was heard beating a scoundrel; and [whilst that was happening] our hero made his exit, he who was much beloved of God. 1965

The Earl of Leicester, who had heard the cries, told the king that the archbishop was being shouted at, and that it was a great disgrace that a man with such high rank was being heckled. He ought not to allow it, otherwise he might get the blame for it. Then the king commanded that he should be let be. 1970 

As soon as he had dismounted [from his horse] he went into the monastery [church]. He asked if it was time to chant the Nones, but time had gone past Nones. He [therefore] sang both Nones and Vespers, because sooner or later he did not forget that he was in the service of God. Willingly he served Him; [well] he had recompensed Him. 1975

And when he left the minster building, he called for his servants, asking [for some food] to eat. [But] all had run away from him, both clerics and [his household] knights. There was not even six [of them] to be found there, even if he had need of them, because fear of the king had made them flee. 1980 

 Then he asked that one should let the poor come in, ordering that the places at the tables of the refectory to be filled by them.  I believe that he was thinking of [much] else than of filling his belly. Nevertheless, he ate enough, all at his leisure, and made it seem that all was well, to embolden his own people. 1985   


Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Volume 1. Peeters. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-90-429-1188-8.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Jacques Thomas (2002). La vie de Saint Thomas de Canterbury. Volume 2. Peeters. ISBN 978-90-429-1202-1

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Janet Shirley (1975). Garnier's Becket: translated from the 12th-century Vie saint Thomas le martyr de Cantorbire of Garnier of Pont-Sainte-Maxence. Chapter 3: Northampton: Phillimore. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-0-85033-200-1.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); ed. Jean-Guy Gouttebroze & Ambroise Queffélec (1990). La vie de saint Thomas Becket. Libr. H. Champion. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-2-85203-111-1.

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) (2013). A Life of Thomas Becket in Verse. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. ISBN 978-0-88844-306-9.