Thematic Divisions in Book 4
1. Lanfranc2. Gregory VII3. William the Conqueror4. William Rufus5. Henry I6. Stephen and Henry II7. Frederick Barbarossa8. Thomas Becket9. Becket's letters10. Becket's martyrdom and miracles11. Events of 1172-7812. Waldensians13. Other incidents of Henry II's reign14. First year of Richard I's reign15. Strife at Canterbury16. Richard I and Third Crusade17. William Longchamp18. King John19. Henry III's early reign20. Innocent III and mendicant orders21. Papal oppression of the English Church22. Albigensian Crusade23. Hubert de Burgh24. Gregory IX25. Schism between Greek and Latin Church26. Papal exactions from England27. Louis IX on Crusade28. Frederick II29. Opponents of Papacy30. Robert Grosseteste31. Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste32. Persecution of Jews33. Papal oppression and Alexander IV34. Conflicts in universities and mendicant orders35. Henry III and the barons36. Battle of Lewes37. Battle of Evesham38. End of baronial war39. Ecclesiastical matters and Edward prince of Wales goes on crusade40. Foreign events in Henry III's reign41. First seven years of Edward I's reign42. War with Scotland43. Philip IV and Boniface VIII44. Events of 1305-745. Cassiodorous's letter46. Pierre de Cugniere47. Death of Edward I48. Piers Gaveston49. The Despensers and the death of Edward II50. John XXIII and Clement VI51. Rebellion in Bury St. Edmunds52. Edward III and Scotland53. Edward III and Philip VI54. Edward III and Archbishop Stratford55. Events of 1341-556. Outbreak of the Hundred Years War57. Anti-papal writers58. Quarrel among mendicants and universities59. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
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K. Henry the. 2. The talke betwene the two kinges and Becket.

maundement, not to answere before he and all his were restored ful to all their possessions. And then he would so procede in the matter accordyng as he shoulde receue cōmaundement frō the see apostolical. Thus, we breaking of communication (seyng that he neither would stand to iudgement, nor come to conformitie) thought to make relation therof to the king, and so did: declaring þt which he had expressed to vs: yet not vtteryng all, but kepyng back a great part of þt which we had hard & sene. Which when the king & his nobles had vnderstandyng of, affirmed to vs agayne: that he therin was cleared so much þe more, for that the archbishop would not stād to their iudgement nor abide their triall. MarginaliaBecket would neither stand to iudgment nor trial.After much heauines & lamentation of the kyng: the archbishop, bishops, and abbots of the realme requiring of vs, whether we had any such power by vertue of our commission, to withstand him and to procede agaynst him: and perceyuyng þt our autoritie would not serue therunto, and fearing least the foresayd Archbyshop (refusing all order of iudgement) would worke againe disquietnes to some noble personages of the realme: and seyng out autority could not extend so farre to helpe them agaynst hym (takyng a consultation among them selues) agreed together with one assente, to make their appellation to your audience, prefixing accordingly the terme of their appeale.

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And this is the Epistle of these. ij. Cardinals sent to þe pope: wherin, may sufficiently appeare al the discourse and maner of that assembly (although particularly euery thyng not expressed) concernyng the talke betwixt þe cardinals and the archbishop. As when that Williā (who of the. ij. Cardinals was the more eloquent) amongest other communication had, reasoned long with him cōcernyng the peace of the churche: which Becket sayd he preferred aboue all thynges. Well then (sayth the cardinal) seyng all this contention betwene the kyng and you ryseth vpon certaine lawes and customes to be abrogate, and that you regard the peace of þe church so much: then what say you: will you renounce your bishopricke, and the kyng shall renounce hys customes? MarginaliaBecket loueth better his bishoprick thē the peace of the church for all hys gaiē talke.The peace of the churche now lyeth in your handes, either to reteine or to let go, what say you? To whom he aunswereth againe, that the proportion was not lyke. For I saith he (sauing the honour of my church & my person) cannot renounce my bishopricke. Contrary, it standeth the kyng vpō for his soules health and honour, to renounce these his ordinaunces and customes. Whiche thyng he thus proued, bycause the pope had condemned those customes, and he likewise with þe churche of Rome had done the same. &c.

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¶ The talke betwene the French king, the king of England, and Becket. 
Commentary  *  Close
Becket's martyrdom and miracles

The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008) because it was awaiting the delivery of research materials from the British Library. This commentary will become available in due course from the 'Late Additions and Corrections' page of the edition.

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AFter the Cardinals were returned: the Frēch king seyng the kyng of Englande disquieted and solicitous to haue peace (or at least wise pretendyng to set agreement betwen them) brought the matter to a communication among them. In whiche communication the French king made him self as an vmpeare betwen thē. The kyng of England hearyng þt the archbishop would commit himselfe to his arbitrement, was the more willing to admit his presence. MarginaliaBecket commeth in with his old additionWherupō, many being there present, the Archbishop prostratyng himselfe at þe kinges feete, declared vnto him knelyng vpon his knees that he would cōmit the whole cause (wherof the dissention rose betwene them) vnto his own arbitrement: adding thereto (as he did before) MarginaliaSaluo honore dei.Saluo honore Dei. that is sauyng the honour of God. The kyng, who (as is sayd before) beyng greatly offēded at this word: hearyng and seyng the stifnes of the man stickyng so much to this worde Saluo honore. &c. was highlye therewith displeased: MarginaliaBecket charged with vnkindnes.Rebukyng hym with many greuous wordes as a man proude and stubburne, & also chargeing him with sondry & great benefites bestowed vpon him, as a person vnkynd and forgetting what he so gently had done & bestowed vpō him.

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And speakyng to the French kyng there present: See Sir (if it please you, sayth the king of England) what so euer displeaseth this man: that he saith, to be contrary to the honour of God. And so by this meanes, he will vendicate and chalenge to him selfe both that is his, and mine also. And yet notwithstandyng: for that I will not seeme to do any thyng contrary or preiudiciall to Gods honor, this I offer him. There haue bene kynges in England before, both of greater and lesse puisancet hen I am: Likewise there haue bene bishops of Canterbury many, both great and holy men: MarginaliaThe kings offer to Becket both charitable and resonable.what the greatest and most holyest of all his predecessors before him hath done to the least of my progenitors and predecessors before me, let hym do the same to me & I am content. They that stode by hearyng these wordes of the Kyng, cried al with one voyce: the Kyng hath debased him selfe inough to þe bishop. The archbishop staying a litle at this with silēce: what (sayth the French kyng to hym, my Lord archbishop) MarginaliaThe wordes of the french kinge.will you be better then those holy men? will ye be greater thē Peter? what stād you doubting? Here now haue you peace and quietnes put in your owne handes, if ye will take it. To this the archbishop aunswered agayne: truth it is (saith he) my predecessors before me were much both better and greater then I, & of them euery one for his time (although he did not extirpe and cut of all) yet som thing they did plucke vp and correct which semed aduerse and repugnaunt agaynst Gods honor. For if they had taken altogether away: no such occasion then had bene left for any man to rayse vp this fire of tentation now agaynst vs, as is now raised to proue us wt all: that we beyng so proued with them might also be crowned with thē being likewise partakers of their prayse and reward, as we ar of their labour and trauayle. And though some of them haue bene slacke, or exceded in their deuty doyng: in that we are not bound to follow their ensample.

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Peter, when he denyed Christ, we therfore rebuke hym: But when he resisted the rage of Nero, therin we cōmend him. And therfore, bycause he could not finde in his conscience to consent vnto þt he ought in no wyse to dissemble, neither did he: by reason therof, he lost his life. MarginaliaThis maior if it had ben ioined with a good Minor hadde made a good argument. By such like oppressions, þe church hath alwaies growē. Our forefathers and predecessors, bycause they would not dissemble þe name and houour of Christ, therfore they suffered. And shal I, to haue the fauour of one mā, suffer the honour of Christ to be supprest? The nobles stādyng by (hearyng hym thus speake) were greatly agreued wt hym: noting in hym both arrogancy and wilfulnes, in perturbyng and refusing such an honest offer of agrement. MarginaliaEx quadrilogo.But specially one among the rest was most agreued, who then openly protested: that seyng the archbyshop so refused the counsel and request of both the kyngdomes, he was not worthy to haue the helpe of either of them: but as the kyngdome of England had reiected, so the kyngdome of Fraunce should not enterteine hym.

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Alanus, Herbertus, and certaine other of his chapleines that committed to story the doynges of Becket, doe recorde (whether trulye or no I can not saye) that the French kyng sendyng for him, as one muche sorowing and lamentyng the wordes that he had spoken: at the cōmyng of Becket did prostrate him selfe at his feete: confessyng his fault in geuyng þe counsel to him in such a cause (perteinyng to the honour of God) to relent therin & to yeld to þe pleasure of mā: wherfore declaryng hys repentaunce, he desired to be absolued therof. So that after this, the French kyng and Becket were great frendes together: in somuch, that kyng Henry sēdyng to the kyng to entreate hym and desire hym that he would not supporte nor mainteine his enemy within his realme: the French kyng vtterly denyed the kynges request, takyng parte rather with the Archbyshop then with hym.

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Besides these quarels and grudges betwixt the king

and
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