Thursday, 28 February 2013

State Trial of Thomas Becket Part 2.1



State Trial of Thomas Becket Part 2.1 - Roger of Hoveden



October 1164, Council of Northampton



English Lawsuits 421A. [pp. 433-5]

[R. C. van Caenegem, ed. (1991). English Lawsuits from William I to Richard I: Henry II and Richard I (nos. 347-665). Vol 2. #421A. pp.225-8. Selden Society.]

Roger of Hoveden Chronica i, 225-8
Rogerus (de Hoveden) (1868). Chronica. Vol. 1. Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer. pp. 225–8. ]


Quod cum regi constaret, ut eum magis affligeret, statim misit ad eum, et summonuit eum per bonos summonitores, quod in crastino venisset, paratus reddere illi rationem villicationis suae, quam habuit in regno suo ante consecrationem suam. Archiepiscopus autem, sciens quod grave ei immineret exterminium si in curia venire properasset, modis omnibus quaesivit dilationem: tum quia tempus summonitionis brevissimum erat, tum quia ipse graviter infrimabatur. Cumque rex vidisset quod archiepiscopus ad diem ilium non veniret, misit ad eum Robertum comitem Leicestriae, et Reginaldum comitem Cornubiae ad videndum aegritudinem illius. Qui cum venissent, invenerunt ilium in lecto jacentem infirmum, et ad petitionem illius dederunt ei respectum veniendi ad curiam usque mane. Eodem die dictum erat ei et nunciatum a familiaribus regis, quod si ipse ad curiam regis venisset, vel interficeretur, vel in carcerem mitteretur.

Super bis igitur archipraesul habito cum suis familiaribus consilio, per consilium cujusdam sapientis, in crastino antequam ipse ad curiam pergeret, cum summa devotione celebravit missam de Sancto Stephano protomartyre, cujus officium tale est: "Etenim sederunt.principes et adversum me loquebantur, etc.;" et causam suam Summo Judici, Qui Deus est, commendavit. Tamen pro celebratione illius missae, graviter accusatus fuit postmodum a Gileberto Lundoniensi episcopo, qui pro rege loquebatur. Imponebat enim illi Lundoniensis episcopus quod missam illam celebraverat per artem magicam, et in contemptu regis. Itaque post celebrationem missae arcbiepiscopus imposuit collo suo stolam, deinde induit cappam nigram canonicalem, et profectus est statim ad curiam regis. Et statim factus est undique magnus concursus populi, ut viderent finem. Ipse autem crucem suam portabat in manu sua dextra, cum sinistra vero tenebat lorum equi in quo sedebat. Et cum venisset ad aulam regis descendit, et ipse crucem suam bajulans, intravit domum regis. Deinde intravit exteriorem cameram solus portans crucem suam. Nullus enim suorum sequebatur eum. Et cum intrasset, invenit plebem multam in ea, et sedit inter illos. Rex autem erat in secretiori tbalamo cum suis familiaribus.

Tunc venit ex parte regis ad arcbiepiscopum Gilebertus
Lundoniensis episcopus, qui multum increpavit eum, quod sic cruce armatus venit in curia. Et voluit crucem a manibus ejus eripere, sed arcliiepiscopus cam fortius tenuit. Sed Henricus Wintonieusis episcopus dixit Lundoniensi episcopo, "Frater, dimitto archiepiscopum crucem suam tenere; ipse enim debet illam bene portare." Tunc Lundoniensis episcopus multum iratus adversus Wintoniensem episcopum dixit ei, "Male locutus es frater, et malum inde tibi continget, quia contra regem locutus es."

Deinde venit ad eum Rogerus Eboracensis archiepiscopus

"O quotiens vouit blandis accedere dictis
"Et molles adhibere preces,

Sed antiquum odii incendium repugnabat, nec permisit eum quicquam pacifice loqui, immo plurimum increpabat eum, quod sic armatus cruce ad curiam veniret: dicens quod rex gladium habebat acutiorem, et ideo si consilio suo acquiesceret, crucem suam tolleret. At quidam do circumstantibus sic ait,

"Crede mihi; si credis ei, tu decipieris:
"Fistula dulce canit volucres dum decipit auceps;
"Impia sub dulci melle venena latent.

Archiepiscopus autem Cantuariensis crucem suam deponere noluit, sed dicebat, "Si gladius regis carnaliter corpora caedit, gladius meus spiritualiter percutit, et animam mittit in gehennam."

Et dum ipse sederet expectans, dixerunt quidam secreto, quod mors ejus jurata erat a regalibus. Et ex ilia hora quaesivit occasionem recedendi a curia, et ut commodius recedere possit, appellavit ad praesentiam summi pontificis; et causam ecclesiae et suam posuit sub protectione Dei, et domini papae; et praecepit universis episcopis appellationem suam inviolatam servare.

Tunc omnes episcopi laudaverunt ei, ut ipse satis faciens voluntati regis, redderet ei archiepiscopatum suum in misericordia illius, sed archiepiscopus noluit eis inde credere. Tunc mandavit ei rex per milites suos, ut sine dilatione veniret, et redderet ei plenariam computationem de omnibus receptis, quae receperat de redditibus regni, quamdiu cancellarius ejus fuit; et nominatim de triginta millibus librarum argenti. Quibus archiepiscopus respondit: "Dominus meus rex scit, quod ego saepius ei reddidi computationem de omnibus his quae ipse modo a me petit, antequam electus fuissem ad archiepiscopatum Cantuariensem. Et in electione mea Henricus filius ejus, cui regnum adjuratum fuit, et omnes barones scaccarii, et Ricardus de Luci justitiarius Angliae, clamaverunt me quietum, Deo et sanctae ecclesise, de omnibus receptis et computationibus, et ab omni saeculari exactione ex parte domini regis; et sic liber et absolutus electus fui ad hujus officii administration em; et ideo amplius nolo inde placitare." Quod cum regi constaret, dixit baronibus suis, "Cito facite mihi judicium de illo, qui homo meus ligius est, et stare juri in curia mea recusat." Et exeuntes judicaverunt eum capi dignum et in carcerem mitti.

Tunc misit rex Reginaldum comitem Cornubiae et Robertum comitem Leicestriae ad indicandum illi judicium de illo factum. Qui dixerunt ei, "Audi judicium tuum." Quibus archiepiscopus respondit: "Prohibeo vobis ex parte Omnipotentis Dei, et sub anathemate, ne faciatis hodie de me judicium, qui appellavi ad praesentiam domini papae." Dum autem praedicti comites redirent ad regem cum responso illo, archiepiscopus exivit a thalamo, et progrediens per medium illorum venit ad palefridum suum, et ascendit, et exivit ab aula, omnibus clamantibus post eum, et dicentibus: "Quo progrederis, proditor; expecta et audi judicium tuum."

And when it became apparent to the king, so as to afflict him further, he at once sent to him a summons, by proper officers to present himself on the morrow, ready to render to him an account of his stewardship of the kingdom before his consecration. The archbishop, however, knowing that it would mean banishment if he were to hasten to come to the court, by all means ask the question of delay, both because it was a very short time of the summons, because he was seriously ill. And as the king saw that the Archbishop did not come, on that day, he sent to him Robert, Earl of Leicester and Reginald earl of Cornwall, to check upon his illness. And they came and found him lying on his bed, a sick man, and at his request, and because of that they gave him respite, saying that he was to come to the court in the morning. And on that same day it was told to him, as had been told by friends of the king, that if he himself had come to the court of the king that day, he would have been slain, or have been sent to prison.


Twice over the archbishop stayed, therefore, on the advice of his close friends and their wise counsel. On the morrow, before he himself went to the court, and with the greatest devotion, he celebrated the Mass of St Stephen Protomartyr, whose office and words are the following: "For princes sat and spoke against me, and so on.", committing his case to the Supreme Judge, Who is God himself. However, because he had celebrated this mass, he was later seriously accused by Gilbert, bishop of London, who was speaking on behalf of the king. who laid against him the charge that the mass had been celebrated as a means of invoking the art of magic, and in contempt of the king.

Thus, after the celebration of the mass, up to his neck he put on the stole of an archbishop , and then on top put on the black cope of a canon, and straightway made his way to the king's court. And immediately a great crowd of people gathered on all sides to see the outcome. But he, with his own hand, held up his cross, which was carrying in his right hand. In his other hand, the left one, he held the leash of the horse upon which he was sat. And when he had arrived at the court of the king he climbed down, and bearing his cross, entered the  house of the king. Then he entered the outer chamber alone, still carrying his cross, for none of his men followed him. And when he had entered there, he found a lot of people in it, and sat down amongst them. The king was in a  private inner chamber with his close friends.


Then Roger, archbishop of York, came up to him

 "O, how many times she wanted to approach him with sweet words and flatter him with soft prayers."

But the burning fire of an ancient hatred fought against this, and he was not allowed to speak peaceably to him any more; in fact, for the most part, he rebuked him, that he had come to the court with his cross armed in this manner: a sword, saying that the king had a sharper one, through his counsel, and so if he consented, take up his cross. But I will relate to you what some of them that stood by said,

"Trust me, if you trust him, you are deceived;
"The flute sounds sweet to birds while they are as deceived by hawks;
"A Wicked poison lurks hidden beneath sweet honey."

The archbishop of Canterbury, however, said that he did not want to put down his cross, and continued, "If  my body is struck carnally with the sword of the king, my sword will strike spiritually, and send lives to hell."

And, while he was sitting waiting, they whispered to one another saying, his death was sought by the regal jury. And from that hour forward he sought an opportunity to withdraw from the court, and better, for to be able to depart, he appealed the case to the most high Pontiff, and put his cause and that of the church under the protection of God, and the Pope, and he commanded all the bishops to keep inviolate his appeal.

Then all the bishops praised him, and that it was enough for him to do the will of the king, that he should render up his archepiscopate into the mercy of king, but the archbishop did not want to trust them about this.. Then, he was commanded by the king's soldiers to appear before him, that he should come without delay, and render up to him, in full all the revenues of the kingdom which he had received, during the time when he was his chancellor, and to the total of the thirty thousand pounds of silver.

To which the archbishop replied that:

"My lord the king, knows that I have surrendered to him more often sums that total more than all these which he himself now seeks from me, before I became elected as archbishop of Canterbury. And at my election, before Henry his son, to whom the kingdom had been adjured, and all the barons of the exchequer, and Richard de Luci justiciar of England, they declared me, before God and holy church, quit of all receipts and accounts, and from all secular exaction on the part of the lord king. And so I have been free and acquitted, and elected to the administration of this service, and therefore I do not want any more thence to plead."

And when this had become apparent to the king, he said to his barons, "Provide me quickly with the judgment of him who is my liegeman, and declines to stand correctly in my court." And they went out and judged him, that he should be taken and sent to prison.


Then the king sent Reginald, the earl of Leicester, and Robert, Earl of Cornwall, to him for the purpose of informing him of the sentence that had been decided. They said to him, "Listen to your sentence." To which the archbishop replied: "I ​​forbid you, on the part of the Almighty God, and under pain of anathema, not to pass sentence on me this day, when I have appealed the case to the lord Pope." In the meantime these prementioned earls, however, came back with his answer to the king , the archbishop left the chamber, and made his way through the crowd; coming to his palfrey, he mounted, and went forth from the hall,  all  called after him,  saying: "Where are you going, traitor; stay and listen to your sentence."

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Also another translation

Roger (of Hoveden); trans. Henry Thomas Riley (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. 263–266.




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