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. English ecclesiastical affairs 1330-6458. Anti-papal writers59. Quarrel among mendicants and universities60. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
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Caen (Cadomus) [Cadane; Cordoyne; Cadame; Barmondsey; Cadonum; Cane] Abbey


Coordinates: 49° 10' 59" N, 0° 22' 10" W

245 [206]

The Epistle of the 2. Cardinals to the pope, talke betwene the K. of France, the K. of Eng. & Bec.

had stirred vp the French king grieuously against him. MarginaliaBecket stirring vp the French king against the king of England And also, the Earle of Flāders his kinsman (who bare no displeasure to him before) he made his open aduersary, ready to warre against him, as is by diuers euidences most certaine. Thus when we came to Cadomus first to the kings speach, we gaue the letters of your fatherhode to his hands: which after that he had receiued and considered (bringing foorth withall other letters receiued from you before, something diures and altering from these which he receiued of vs (was moued & stirred with no litle indignation, saying: that the Archbishop after our departure from you, had receiued of you other contrary letters, by the vertue whereof he was exempted from our iudgement: so that he should not be compelled to aunswere vs. Moreouer the said king to vs added and affirmed (and so did the bishops there present testifying the same) that cōcerning the old and ancient customes of his progenitors, (wherof complaint was made to you) al that, for the most part was false & vntrue which was intimate to you. Offering farther to vs, that if there were any such customes or lawes in his time that seemed preiudicial or disagreeable to the statutes of the Church, he wold willingly be content to reuoke and disanul the same. Wherupon, we with other Archbishops, Bishops, & Abbotes of the land (hearing the king so reasonable) laboured by al meanes we might that the king should not vtterly breake from vs, but rather should incline to vs to haue the matter brought before vs betwixt him & the forenamed Archbishop: By reason whereof, we directed out our own Chapleins with letters vnto him, appoynting him both time and place where safely hee might meete with vs in the feast of S. Martin. Neuerthelesse, he pretending certaine excuses made his dilatories, driuing of the time from the day of S. Martin to the Octaues following: which thing stirred the kings hart more then is to be thought.

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MarginaliaA communication betweene Becket and the Cardinalles.Thus, although we offered to the Archbishop safe comming, yet when he refused to meete vs in the borders of the king: we to satisfie his minde, condescended to meete him within the land of the French king, in the place where hee himselfe appoynted: becau e there shoulde be no let in vs whereby to stoppe his profite. After we had entred communication, we began to exhort him all that we coulde, to submit and humble himselfe to his soueraigne and king, who had heaped him with such benefits and dignities: wherby matter might be geuen vs to further occasion of reconciling them together. He being thus moued and exhorted by vs, departed aside to consult with his counsell vpon the matter. At length after counsel taken, he commeth againe answering in this maner. That he woulde submit and humble himselfe to the King, MarginaliaBeckets addition.Saluo honore Dei, & ecclesiæ libertate, salua etiam honestate personæ suæ, & possessionibus Ecclesiarum: & amplius, sua & suorū in omnibus salua iusticia. That is: Sauing the honour of God, and libertie of the Church: sauing also the honestie of his person, and the possessions of the Churches: and moreouer, sauing the iustice of him and of all his in all things. &c. After which communication had among vs: we moued & required him more instantly, tha the wold come to the specialities: whēas yet he had brought nothing in, either which was certaine or particular. Likewise we demanded of him, if he would in all such things contained and comprehended in our letters, stand & submit himselfe to our letters, so as the king and the bishops were contented to doe. To the which he answering againe said, that he had receiued from you a commandement, not to answere before he and all his were restored full to all their possessions. And then he would so procede in the matter according as he should receiue cōmandement frō the sea Apostolicall. Thus, we breaking of cōmunication (seeing that he neither would stand to iudgement, nor come to conformitie) thought to make relation thereof to the king, and so did: declaring that which he had expressed to vs: yet not vttering all, but keeping backe a great part of that which we had heard and seene. Which when the king and his nobles had vnderstanding of, affirmed to vs againe: that he therein was cleared so much the more, for that the Archbishop would not stand to their iudgement nor abide theit triall. MarginaliaBecket would neither stand to iudgement nor triall. After much heauinesse and lamentation of the king, 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 proceede against him: and perceiuing that our authoritie would not serue thereunto, and fearing least the foresaid Archbishop (refusing all order of iudgement) woulde woorke againe disquietnesse to some noble personages of the Realme: and seeing our authoritie could not extend so far to help them against him (taking a consultation among themselues) agreed together with one assent, 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 two Cardinals sent to the pope: wherin, may sufficiently appeare al the discourse and maner of that assembly (although particularly euery thing not expressed) concerning the talke betwixt the Cardinals and the Archbishop. As whē that William (who of the two Cardinals was the more eloquent) amōgst other communication had, reasoned long wt him concerning the peace of the church: which Becket said he preferred aboueall things. Well then (sayeth the Cardinall) seeing all this contention betwene the king and you, riseth vpon certain lawes & customes to be abrogate, and that you regard the peace of the Church so much: then what say you: MarginaliaBecket loueth better his bishopricke then the peace of the church, for all his gaye talke.will you renounce your Bishopricke, and the king shall renounce his customes? The peace of the Church now lieth in your handes, either to retaine or to let goe, what say you? To whom he answereth againe, 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 king vpon, for his soules health and honor, to renounce these his ordinaunces and customes. Which thing he thus prooued, because 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 betweene the French king, the king of England, and Becket. 
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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 seeing the king of England disquieted and solicitous to haue peace (or at least wise pretending to set agreement betweene them) brought the matter to a communication among them. In which communication the French king made himselfe as vmpeare betweene them. The King of England hearing that the Archb. would commit himselfe to his arbitrement, was þe more willing to admit his presence. Whereupon, many being there present, the Archb. prostrating himselfe at the Kings feete, declared vnto him kneeling vpon his knees that he would cōmit the whole cause (whereof the dissention rose betwene them) vnto his owne arbitrement: MarginaliaBecket cōmeth in with his old addition. Saluo honore Dei.adding thereto (as he did before) Saluo honore Dei, that is, sauing the honour of God. The king, who (as is said before) being greatly offēded at this word: hearing & seeing the stiffenesse of the man sticking so much to this worde Saluo honore. &c. was highly therewith displeased: Rebuking him with many grieuous words as a man proude and stubburne, MarginaliaBecket charged with vnkindnes.and also charging him with sondry & great benefites he bestowed vpon him, as a person vnkinde & forgetting what he had so gently done and bestowed vpon him.

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And speaking to the French king there present: See sir (if it please you, sayth the king of England) whatsoeuer displeaseth this man: that he sayeth, to be contrary to the honor of God. And so by this meanes, he will vendicate & chalenge to himselfe both that is his and mine also. And yet notwithstanding: for that I will not seeme to doe any thing contrary or preiudiciall to Gods honor, this I offer him. There hath bene kings in England before, both of greater and les puissance then I am: Likewise there hath bene bishops of Cant. many, both geeat & holy men: MarginaliaThe kings offer to Becket both charitable and reasonable.what the greatest and most holiest of his predecessours before him hath done to the least of my progenitors and predecessors before me, let him do the same to me & I am content. They that stoode by hearing these wordes of the king, crying all wt one voice: the king hath debased himselfe inough to the byshop. The Archb. staying a little at this with silence: what (saith the French king to him) my lorde Archbishop, will you be better then those holy men? will ye be greater then Peter? what stand you doubting? Here now haue you peace & quietnes put in your owne handes, if ye will take it. MarginaliaThe words of the Frēch king. To this þe Archb. answered againe: truth it is (sayth he) my predecessors before me were much both better and greater then I, and of them euery one for his time (although he did not extirpe and cut of all) yet something they did plucke vp and correct which seemed aduerse & repugnant against Gods honor. For if they had taken altogether away: no such occasion then had bene left for any man to raise vp this fire of temptation now against vs, as is nowe raised to proue vs with all: that we being so proued wt them might also be crowned with them being likewise partakers of praise and reward, as we are of their labour and trauaile. And though some of them haue bene slacke, or exceeded in their duetie doing: in that we are not bounde to follow their example.

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Peter, when he denied Christ, we therfore rebuke him: but whē he resisted þe rage of Nero, therin we cōmēd him. And therfore, because he could not finde in his cōscience to cōsent vnto þt he ought in no wise to dissemble: neither did he: by reason thereof he lost his life. By such like oppressions the church hath alwaies growne. MarginaliaThis maior if it had bin ioyned with a good Minor had made a good argument.Our forefathers & predecessors, because they would not dissemble the name & honor of Christ, therfore they suffred. And shall I, to haue the fauour of one man, suffer the honor of Christ to be supprest? The nobles standing by (hearing him thus speake) were greatly agreeued with him: noting in him both arrogancy & wilfulnes, in perturbing and refusing suche an honest offer of agremēt. MarginaliaEx quadrilogo.But specially one among the rest

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