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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249 [248]

K. Henry .2. The talke betwene the two kinges and Becket.

ries, driuyng of the tyme from the day of S. Martin to the Octaues followyng: which thyng sturred the kynges hart more then is to be thought.

Thus, although we offred to the Archbyshop safe cōmyng, yet when he refused to meete vs in the borders of the kyng: we to satisfie his mynde, condescended to meete hym within the land of the French kyng, in the place where he himselfe appointed: bycause there should be not let in vs whereby to stoppe his profit. MarginaliaA communication betwene Becket and the Cardinalles.After we had entred communication, we begā to exhort him (all that we could) to submit and humble himselfe to his soueraigne and kyng, who had heaped him with such benefites and dignities: wherby matter might be geuen vs to further occasion of reconciling them together. He beyng thus moued and exhorted by vs, departed aside to consult with his counsell vpon the matter. At length after counsell taken, he commeth agayne aūswering in this maner. That he would submit and humble himself to the kyng. MarginaliaBeckets additions.Saluo honore Dei, & ecclesiæ libertate, salua etiā honestate personæ suæ, & possessionibus Ecclesiarum: & amplius, sua & suorū in omnibus salua iusticia. That is sauyng the honour of God and the liberty of the Church: sauyng also the honesty of my person, and the possessions of Churches: and moreouer, sauyng the iustice of him and of all his in all thynges. &c. After which communication had among vs: we moued and required him more instantly, that he would come to the speciallities: when as yet he had brought nothyng in, either which was certaine or particuler. Likewise we demaunded of him, if he would in all such thynges conteined and comprehended in our letters, stand and submit himselfe to our letters, so as the kyng and the Byshops before were contented to do. To the which he aūswering agayne sayd, that he had receiued from you a commaundement, not to aunswere before he and all his were restored ful to all their possessiōs. And then he would so procede in the matter accordyng as he should receue commaundement from the sea Apostolicall. Thus, we breakyng of communication (seyng that he neither would stand to iudgement, nor come to conformitie) thought to make relation therof to the kyng, and so did: declaring that which he had expressed to vs: yet not vtteryng all, but keepyng backe a great part of that which we had heard and sene. Which when the kyng and his nobles had vnderstandyng of, affirmed to vs agayne: that he therin was cleared so much the more, for that the Archbyshop would not stand to their iudgement nor abyde their triall. MarginaliaBecket would neyther stand to iudgment nor triall.After much heauynes and lamentation of the kyng: the archbyshop, byshops, and abbotes of the Realme requiryng of vs, whether we had any such power by vertue of our commission, to withstand him and to procede agaynst him: and perceiuyng that our autoritie would not serue therunto, and fearyng least the foresayd Archbyshop (refusing all order of iudgement) would worke agayne disquietnes to some noble personages of the Realme: and seyng out autoritie could not extend so farre to helpe them agaynst hym (takyng a consultation among themselues) agreed together with one assent, to make their appellation to your audience, prefixyng accordingly the terme of their appeale.

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And this is the Epistle of these two Cardinals sent to the pope: wherein, may sufficiently appeare all the discourse and maner of that assembly (although particularly euery thyng not expressed) concernyng the talke betwixt the Cardinals and the Archbishop. As when that William (who of the two Cardinals was the more eloquent) amōgest other communication had, reasoned long with him concerning the peace of the Church: which Becket sayd he preferred aboue all thinges. Well then (sayth the Cardinall) seyng all this contentiō betwene the king & you riseth vpon certaine lawes and customes to be abrogate, and that you regard the peace of the Church so much: then what say you: will you renounce your Byshopricke, and the kyng shall renounce his customes? MarginaliaBecket loueth better his bishoprick then the peace of the church for all hys gaye talke.The peace of the Church now lyeth in your handes, either to reteine or to let go, what say you? To whom he aunswereth agayne, that the proportion was not like. For I saith he (sauing the honour of my Church and my person) can not renounce my Byshopricke. Contrary, it standeth the kyng vpon 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 the Church of Rome had done the same. &c.

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¶ The talke betwene the French kyng, the kyng 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 French king seyng the kyng of England disquieted & solicitous to haue peace (or at lest wise pretendyng to set agreement betwene them) brought the matter to a communication among thē. In which communication the French king made hymselfe as an vmpeare betwene them. The kyng of England hearing that the Archb. would commit hymselfe to hys arbitremēt, was the more willing to admit his presence. MarginaliaBecket cōmeth in wyth his old addition
Saluo honore dei.
Wherupon, many being there present, the Archbishop prostrating himselfe at the kinges feete, declared vnto hym kneelyng vpon hys knees that he would commit the whole cause (wherof the dissention rose betwene them) vnto hys owne arbitrement: addyng therto (as he dyd before) Saluo honore Dei. that is sauyng the honor of God. The king, who (as is said before) beyng greatly offended at thys word: hearyng and seeyng the stifnesse of the man stickyng so much to thys worde Saluo honore. &c. was highly therwith displeased: MarginaliaBecket charged with vnkindnes.Rebukyng hym with many greuous wordes as a man proude and stubburne, and also chargyng hym with sondry and great benefites bestowed vpon hym, as a person vnkynd and forgetting what he so gently done and bestowed vpon hym.

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And speaking to the French kyng there present: See sir (if it please you, sayth the kyng of England) whatsoeuer displeaseth this man: that he sayth, to be contrary to the honor of God. And so by this meanes, he wyll vendicate & chalenge to hymselfe both that is his and myne also. And yet notwithstandyng: for that I will not seeme to do any thing contrary or preiudiciall to Gods honor, this I offer hym. There hath bene kynges in England before, both of greater and lesse puisance then I am: Likewise there hath bene bishops of Cant. many, both great and holy mē: MarginaliaThe kinges offer to Becket both charitable and resonable.what the greatest and most holiest of all hys predecessors before hym hath done to the least of my progenitors and predecessors before me, let hym do the same to me and I am contēt. They that stode by hearyng these wordes of the king, cryed al with one voyce: the kyng hath debased himselfe inough to the byshop. The Archb. staying a little at this with silence: what (sayth the Frēch kyng to hym) my Lord Archbishop MarginaliaThe wordes of the french king.will you be better then those holy men? will ye be greater then Peter? what stand you doubting? Here now haue you peace and quietnes put in your owne handes, if ye will take it. To this þe Archb. answered agayne: truth it is (sayth he) my predecessors before me were much both better and greater then I, and of them euery one for his tyme (although he dyd not extirpe and cut of all) yet somethyng they did plucke vp and correct which semed aduerse and repugnant 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 temptation now agaynst vs, as is now raysed to proue us with all: that we beyng so proued with them might also be crowned with them being likewise partakers of their prayse and reward, as we are of their labour and trauayle. And though some of them haue bene slack, or exceded in theyr dutie doyng: in that we are not bounde to follow their example.

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Peter, when he denyed Christ, we therfore rebuke him: But whē he resisted þe rage of Nero, therin we cōmend him. And therfore, because he could not finde in hys cōscience to cōsent vnto þt he ought in no wyse to dissemble, neither dyd he: by reason therof, he lost his lyfe. MarginaliaThis maior if it had bene ioyned with a good Minor had made a good argument.By such lyke oppressions the church hath alwayes growen. Our forefathers and predecessors, because they would not dissemble the name & houor of Christ, therfore they suffered. And shall I, to haue the fauour of one man, suffer the honor of Christ to be supprest? The nobles standyng by (hearyng hym thus speak) were greatly agreued with hym: notyng in hym both arrogancy and wilfulnes, in perturbyng and refusing suche an honest offer of agrement. MarginaliaEx quadrilogo.But specially one among the rest was most agreued, who then openly protested: that seyng the Archbishoppe so refused the counsayle and request of both the kyngdomes, he was not worthy to haue the helpe of eyther of them: but as the kyngdome of Englande had reiected, so the kyngdome of Fraunce should not entertayne hym.

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Alanus, Herbertus, and certaine other of hys Chaplaines that committed to story the doyngs of Becket, doe recorde (whether truly or no I cannot say) that the French king sending for hym, as one much sorowyng and lamentyng the wordes that he had spoken: at the cōmyng of Becket dyd prostrate himselfe at hys feete: confessing his fault in geuyng counsell to hym in such a cause (perteinyng to the honor of God) to relent therin and to yeld to the pleasure of man: 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 king Henry sendyng to the kyng to entreate hym and desire him that he would not support nor maintayne hys enemy with-

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