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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253 [252]

K. H.2. False miracl. of Beck. The K. agreeth with the P. for Beck death.

MarginaliaSinging at the masse forbidden by T. Becket after hys death.bus, commaundyng the quere not to sing, but to say this office of his Masse: Exarge, quare obdormis Domine. &c? Which visiō the author himselfe of the booke doth say he did see. To omit also the blasphemous lye, MarginaliaA blasphemous lye.how in an other visiō the sayd Archbyshop should say: that his bloud did cry out of the earth to God, more then the bloud of iust Abell. Item, in an other vision it was shewed to a mōke of Lewes, how S. Thomas had his place in heauen appointed with the Apostles: MarginaliaBecket aboue the Martirs in heauen.aboue Stephen, Laurence, Vincent, & all the other Martyrs. Wherof this cause is rendred, for that S. Stephen, Laurence, and such other, suffered onely for their own cause. But this Thom. suffered for the vniuersall Church. MarginaliaA place prepared in heauen for Becket xii yeares before hys death.Item, how it was shewed to a certaine young man (Ormus by name) xij. yeres before the death of this Becket: that among the Apostles & Martyrs in heauen, there was a vacant place left, for a certaine Priest, as he sayd, of England: which was credibly supposed to be this Thom. Becket. Item, how a certeine knightes sonne beyng two dayes dead, was reuiued agayne so soone as he had the water of Caunterbury put in his mouth, & had by his parents foure pieces of siluer bended, to be offered at Caunterbury in the childes behalfe. All these, I say, with such other like, to omit (the nūber wherof commeth to an infinite variety) onely this one story: an other that foloweth shall suffice to expresse the vanitie and impudent forgerie of all the rest.

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MarginaliaAn impudent and a lying myracle.In the fourth booke of this fabulous author, and in the iij. chap. MarginaliaEx historia monachi Cantuar. de miraculis bæhoma.a miracle is there conteined of a certeine countreyman of Bedforshyre in kinges weston, whose name was Eilwardus: which Eilwardus in his dronkennes brusting into an other mans house, whiche was his debter, tooke out of his house a great whetstone, & a payre of hedging gloues. The other partie seyng this value not sufficient for his cōdemnation (by the counsell of the towne clerke) entred an action of felonie agaynst hym for other thynges besides, as for stelyng hys wimble, hys axe, nette, and other clothes. Wherupon, Eilwardus beyng had to the Iale of Bedford, and afterward cōdemned for the same: was iudged to haue both his eyes put out, and also those members cut of, which nature with secret shame hath couered. Which punishment by the malice of hys aduersary beyng executed vpon him, he lying in great danger of death by bleeding, was counsayled to make his prayer to this Thomas of Canterbury. MarginaliaA blasphemous visiō.Which done (sayth the myracle) appeared one to hym by night, in white apparell, bidding hym to watch and pray, and put his trust in God, and our Lady, and holy S. Thomas. In conclusion, the miracle thus fell out: the next day at the euenyng, the mā rubbing his eye lids began to feele his eyes to be restored againe: first in a little, after in a greater measure: so that one was of a gray colour the other was of blacke. And here was one miracle rong. After this followed an other miracle also vpon the same person. For, goyng but the space of 4. myles, when his eyes were restored, he chaunced (in lyke maner) to rubbe the place, where hys secret partes were cut of. MarginaliaA false and impudent myracle.And immediatly vpon the same, hys pendenda (to vse the wordes of my story) were to him restored, Principio parua quidem valde sed in maius proficientia, whiche he permitted euery one to feele, that would and shamed not to deny. In so much, that he commyng vp to S. Thomas: first at London was receyued with ioy of the B. of Dirhā, who then sending to the burgers of Bedford for the truth of the matter receaued frō them agayne letters testimonial: wherin the Citizens there (sayeth this fabulous festiuall) confirmed first to the bishop, then to the couent of Canterbury, the relation of thys to be as hath bene told. This one miracle (gentle reader) so shamelesse & impudent, I thought here to expresse, that by this one, thou mightest iudge of all þe residue of his miracles: and by the residue therof myghtst iudge moreouer of all the filthy wickednes of all these lying monkes and cloysterers, which count it a light sport so impudently to deceaue the simple soules of Christes Churche with triflyng lyes and dreamyng fables. Wherfore (as I sayd) if the holy saintyng of Thomas Becket, standeth vpon no other thyng but vpon hys miracles: what credite is to be geuen therto, and vpō what a weake ground his shrine so long hath stand, by this may easely be sene. Furthermore, another fable as notable as thys and no lesse worthy of the whetstone. We read in the story of Geruasius: That Thomas Becket appearyng to a certayne priest, named Thomas, declared to hym that he had so brought to passe, that all the names of the Monkes of the church of Canterbury with the names of the priestes and Clerkes, and wyth the families belongyng to that citie and church of Cant. were written in the booke of lyfe. Ex Geruaf. fol.6.

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But whatsoeuer is to be thought of his miracles, or howsoeuer the testimony of the schole of Paris, or of these auncient tymes went with hym or agaynst him: certain it is, that this Antheme or Collect lately collected and primered in his prayse, is blasphemous, and derogateth from the prayse of him, to whome all praise onely and honor is due, where it is sayd:

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MarginaliaThe blasphemous antheme of T. Becket.
Tu per Thomæ sanguinē, quem pro se impendit, fac nos Christe scandere quo Thomas ascendit.
Tu per Thomæ sanguinem quem pro te impendit,
Fac nos Christe scandere quo Thomas ascendit.
That is.

For the bloud of Thomas, which he for thee did spend,
Graunt vs (Christ) to climbe, where Tho. did ascend.

Wherin is a double lye conteined: First that he died for Christ. Secondly, that if he had so done: yet that hys bloud could purchase heauen. Which thing, neither Paul nor any of the apostles durst euer challenge to themselues. For if any mans bloud could bring vs to heauen, then the bloud of Christ was shed in vayne.

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And thus much touching the testimony or censure of certain auncient tymes concerning the cause of Thomas Becket. In the explication of whose history I haue stoode now the longer (exceding peraduenture in ouermuch prolixitie) to the intent that hys cause beyng fully opened to the world and duely weyed on euery parte: mens myndes (therby long deceuied by ignoraunce) might come vnto the more perfect certaintie of the truth therof, and thereby to iudge more surely what is to be receiued, and what to be refused.

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Where by the way is to be noted out of the testimony of Rob Crikeladensis, which in hym I finde: that the Pieres and nobles of this land nere about the kyng, gaue out in straight charge uppon payne of death, and confiscatyng all their goodes, no man to be so hardy to name Tho. Becket to be Matyr or to preach of hys miracles &c. Ex Crikeladeisis.

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MarginaliaThe king sendeth to Rome.After the death of Thomas Becket, 

Commentary  *  Close
Events of 1172-78

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). This commentary will become available in due course from the 'Late Additions and Corrections' page of the edition.

the king fearyng þe Popes wrath and curse to be layd vpon hym (whereunto Ludouike the French kyng also helped what he could to set the matter forward) sent to Rome the Archb. of Rotomage with certayne other bishops and Archdeacons vnto þe pope with hys excuse: which, the Pope woulde in no wyse heare. And after other messengers beyng sent, whom some of the Cardinals receiued: it was shewed to them that on good Friday (beyng then nye at hand) the MarginaliaEx libro annotationū historicarū manuscripto I. Skenij.Pope of custome was vsed to assoile or to curse: and that it was noysed, how the kyng of England with his bishops should be cursed and his land interdicted, and that they should be put in prison. After this, certaine of the Cardinals shewed the pope: that the messengers had power to sweare to the Pope, that the kyng should obey to his punishment and penaunce. Which was taken both for the king, and the Archbyshop of Yorke. So that in the same day the Pope cursed the deede doers, with such as were of their consent, either that aided, or harboured thē. Cōcernyng these dededoers, it is touched briefly before: MarginaliaThe penaunce of the iiij. knightes.how they fled vnto Yorkeshire lyeng in Gnarsborough. Who after hauyng in penaunce to go in their linnen clothes barefote (in fastyng and prayer) to Iierusalem: by reason of this hard penance are sayd to dye in few yeres after.

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The kings Embassadors lying as is sayde in Rome: could finde no grace nor fauor a long tyme at the Popes handes. At length with much ado it was agreed that two Cardinals should be sent downe to enquire out the matter concerning them that were consentyng to Beckets death. The kyng perceyuing what was preparing at Rome, neither beyng yet certayne, wherto the intent of the Pope & commyng downe of the Cardinals would tend: in þe meane tyme addressed hymselfe with a great power to enter into Ireland, geuyng in charge and commaundemēt (as Houedenus writeth) MarginaliaEx Houdeno.that no bringer of any briefe or letter should come ouer to England or passe out of the realme (of what degree or condition so euer he were) without speciall licēce and assuraūce to bring nothyng that should be preiudicial to the Realme.

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This order beyng set and ordained, the kyng with 400. great shippes taketh his iourney to Irelande: MarginaliaIreland first subdued to Englād.where he subdued in short tyme the whole land vnto hym, which at that tyme was gouerned vnder diuers kinges, to the number of v. Of whom foure submitted themselues vnto the sayd kyng Henry, onely the fifth (who was the kyng of Tonacta) denied to be subdued, kepyng him in woods and Marishes

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In the meane season while the kyng was thus occupied in Ireland, the two Cardinals that were sent from þe Pope (Theodinus and Albertus) were come to Normandy. MarginaliaAn. 1172.Vnto whom, the kyng the next yere following resorted, about the month of October, an. 1172. But before (duryng

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