Sunday, 4 June 2017

Garnier: King Henry's Penance before the Tomb of St Thomas Becket

Extract from 
http://txm.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/bfm/pdf/becket.pdf
Stanzas 1183-1218
Lines 

1183
Nis li reis d’Engleterre, ki fu ses enemis,
Pur ki sis anz e plus fu eissuz del païs,
E pur ki maltalent si humme l’unt ocis,
Od grant humilité l’ad al quart an requis,
5915 E li cria merci de quanqu’il out mespris. 


1184
Al quart an qu’ot suffert li martyrs passiun,
Al setme meis de l’an, -juinet l’apele l’un, - 
E al duzime jur, un vendresdi par nun,
Vint li reis al martir a satisfactiun.
5920 Mais pur grant busuig vint a sucurs al barun.

1185
Juste Cantorbire unt leprus un hospital,
U mult i ad malades, degez e plains de mal. 
Base de français médiéval 
Pres une liwe i ad del mustier principal,
La u li cors sainz gist del mire espirital
5925 Qui maint dolent ad mis en joie e en estal
.
1186
Dunc descendi li reis iluec, a Herbaldun,
E entra el mustier e ad fait s’oreisun ;
De trestuz ses mesfaiz ad requis Deu pardun.
Pur amur saint Thomas ad otrïé en dun
5930 Vint marchies de rente a la povre mesun.

1187
E a un hospital, bien dous liwes de la,
A herberchier les povres, li reis ne s’ublia :
Kar de rente a cel liu par an cent sols dona.
Beneï seit de Deu ki al liu le turna,
5935 Altrement qu’il nen est e qui l’amendera.

1188
Tresqu’a Saint Dunestan tut a pié s’en ala,
A la premiere iglise qu’en la vile trova.
Od les prelaz k’i furent el mustier s’en entra,
E par confessiun sun espirit munda,
5940 E suffri discipline e sa char chastia.

1189
Dunc ad fait le priur tresqu’al covent aler ;
Preiad lui que fesist les seignurs asembler,
E quanque il voldreient entr’aus tuz eswarder
Qu’il deüst al martir e faire e amender,
5945 Volentiers e de gré le voldreit graanter.

1190
Dunc se fist erramment tut nuz piez deschalcier,
E nuz piez e en langes, pur sa char castïer,
En une chape a pluie, u soleit chevalchier,
Tut contremunt la vile ala par le perrier.
5950 A Deu se volt par grief penitence amaisier.

1191
Encontre les reis solt um faire glas soner
E la processiun encontre els asembler
E dedenz le mustier a grant honur mener.
Mais tute cel’honur fist dunc li reis ester :
5955 N’i volt pas cumme reis mais cum mendifs entrer
.
1192
Humblement vint a l’uis ; iloec s’agenoilla,
En plur e en preieres granment i demura.
En l’iglise est entrez ; al Martirie en ala,
Dist i confiteor, e le marbre baisa.
5960 Dunc ala a la tumbe, al martyr s’acorda. 

1193
Quant il out lungement esté en oreisun,
E jut grant piece en lermes e en afflictiun,
En quer contrit del tut, en grant devotiun,
Li evesques de Lundres i ad fait sun sermun ;
5965 Pur le rei e pur lui dist sa confessiun.

1194
« Seignur, fait li evesques, or entendez a mei.
Veez ci en present nostre seignur le rei :
Venuz est al martyr en amur e en fei ;
Sa confessiun pure me fait dire pur sei,
5970 Si cum jo l’ai oïe, e pluisur, en secrei.

1195
Devant Deu le conuist e devant le martyr
Qu’il ne fist pas ocire saint Thomas ne murdrir,
N’il nel comanda pas a tuer n’a ferir ;
Mais il dist tel parole, bien le vus volt gehir,
5975 Qui fu cause e matere de l’ocire e murdrir.

1196
E pur ço que pur lui fu, - ço cunuist, - ocis,
Est venuz al martyr, culpables e clamis,
E s’en rent e conuist e forfait e chaitis.
Al seint crie merci de ço k’il ad mespris,
5980 E de l’adrescement s’est tut en voz los mis.

1197
A ceste saint’iglise rent tut sun tenement,
Ambure a l’arcevesque e a tut le covent,
Franchise, dignité, einsi plenierement
Cum ele ad en nul liu en cristïene gent,
5985 E tut si cum ele out ja ancïenement.

1198
Or vus requiert li reis trestuz communement :
Priez le veir martir, ki ci gist en present,
Que del tut li pardoinst e ire e mautalent ;
Car mespris ad vers lui e culpable se rent,
5990 E venuz est ici pur faire amendement.

1199
Que par vostre preiere e par vostre oreisun,
Par pure penitence e satisfactiun
Puisse l’amur conquerre del pretius barun,
De terre dis livrees dune a ceste mesun
5995 Od les trente livrees dunt vus fist ainz le dun. »

1200
Quant li evesques out sun sermun partraitié,
Li reis Henris li ad quanqu’ot dit otrïé. 
De tut mautalent l’ad li covenz relaissié,
Si li unt graanté ço qu’il lur out preié ;
6000 E li priurs l’en ad pur le covent baissié.

1201
Li reis Henris idunc de tant s’umiliad
Que par s’umilité en plur tuz les turnad :
Veant els, il meïsme sa chape desfublad,
En une des fenestres de la tumbe musçad
6005 Le chief e les espaules ; le dos abandunad.

1202
Mais il ne voleit pas la cote verte oster ;
Ne sai s’il out la haire, que il ne volt mustrer.
Dunc se fist as prelaz primes discipliner ;
Plus de quatre vint moines i fist après aler.
6010 Tendrement veïssiez les plusurs d’els plurer.

1203
Li evesque de Lundres tint el puing le balei ;
Reguarda le cors saint e reguarda le rei.
« Saint Thomas, veir martyr, fist idunc, oez mei :
Se de Deu ies si bien cum l’um dit, e jel crei,
6015 De cest pecheur aiez merci que jo ci vei. »

1204
En fei e en amur oï li sainz cestui,
Qui li out fait al siecle sovent mult grant ennui,
E or l’aveit requis pur sei e pur altrui.
Li martyrs vit les quers e del rei e de lui :
6020 En veire repentance furent salvé andui.

1205
A saint Thomas dona li reis en acordance
Bien quarante livrees de rente a remanance,
E a sa fiertre faire or pesé en balance.
Mes mielz ama asez la veire repentance
6025 Que il ne fist Angou u Engleterre u France.

1206
Li eveske de Lundres aveit le rei feru
Cinc cops pur les cinc sens, u Deu ot offendu.
Icil de Rovecestre le raveit puis batu
E cil de Boxeleie, li abes, ki i fu ;
6030 E de chescon des moines a treis cops receü.

1207
Quant li reis Henris fu batuz e castïez
E par amendement a Deu concilïez,
Sun chief ad trait a sei, e se dresça en piez.
Lez un pilier s’asist a la terre entaiez ;
6035 N’i fu suz lui tapiz ne oreillier culchiez. 

1208
Salmes e oreisuns tute la nuit chanta.
As hummes saint Thomas sun coruz parduna ;
La surur saint Thomas merci quist e cria,
E en adrescement un molin li dona.
6040 Bien valt dis mars par an la rente qu’ele en a.

1209
Tute la nuit entiere en oreisuns veilla,
Ne pur necessité del cors ne se leva
Tresque après matines. Idunches se dresça
E par tuz les alters aorer s’en ala.
6045 Al martyr vint jeün, n’i but ne n’i manga.

1210
En la puinte del jur fist la messe chanter.
E trestuz enboez de tai se fist heser,
Ainc pur nului ne volt faire ses piez laver.
De plus repentant prince ne vus puet nuls cunter ;
6050 Mais al martyr requerre dut il trop demurer.

1211
Par quaranteines sunt li pechié espeldri.
Après quarante meis li reis suratendi :
Se quarante semaines oüst suraconpli
E puis après i fussent creü quarante di,
6055 Pris’en fust la vengance ; tut pur veir le vus di
.
1212
E quant la quaranteine des meis fu trespassee,
E des semaines fu la quaranteine entree,
Lués fu de tutes parz Engleterre troblee.
Se saint Thomas n’eüst la face Deu muee,
6060 En l’une de ces treis fust l’ire Deu trovee.

1213
Or ad Deus parduné al rei sun maltalent.
Car en cel jur maïme qu’il fist l’amendement,
Parti li quens de Flandres de la mer od sa gent,
Qui voleit Engleterre del tut metre a neent ;
6065 Pris fu li reis d’Escoce l’endemain ensement.

1214
Normendie ert bien prof destruite e confundue,
E l’ost de France i ert tresqu’a Ruem venue ;
Tute Engleterre esteit a sun duel esmeüe.
Le ciel orent guerpi, pris s’erent a la nue ;
6070 Mais li pius Deus aveit la povre gent veüe.

1215
Ne voleient aveir sur els rei si puisant,
Ainz voleient aveir entre els un alaitant 
K’il peüssent detraire ça e la cum un gant.
En cele lealté furent par tut nuisant,
6075 E lur grant felunie covrirent par l’enfant
.
1216
Ne poeit pas li enfes le regne governer.
Plus lealment del pere nel poeit nuls guarder.
Pere e fiz sunt tut un, qui dreit volt esguarder :
Cil qui voldrent le fiz del pere desevrer,
6080 E le fiz e le pere voldrent deseriter.

1217
Mais or conseil le rei qu’il lest a saint’iglise,
Si cum il ad pramis, e dreiture e franchise ;
Ses francs hummes ait chiers, temprez seit en justise ;
Ne seit d’umme pur beste del cors vengance prise ;
6085 A chascun lest sun dreit, e seit senz coveitise.

1218
Mais jo sai bien le quer lu rei e sa maniere.
Il ad a governer une gent pauteniere :
S’ele aveit liu e aise, l’aguilun ad deriere ;
Qui tute lur larreit a bandun la riviere,
6090 De porcs e de berbiz voidereit la bruiere.

1219
Se Normanz nel cremeient, Engleis e Angevin
E Bretun e Waleis, Escot e Peitevin,
Mult avreient tost fait tut le regne frarin.
Mais quel semblant qu’il face, il prendra bone fin. 

Translation
1183
Even the King of England, who was his enemy, who drove him into exile from the land for six years and more, and who by anger caused men to kill him, came, with great humility, in the fourth year after his death to beg for mercy for the many wrongdoings he had committed against him. 5915

1184
In the fourth year of the passion of our martyr [1174], in the seventh month of that year, it is called July, on the twelfth day, on a Friday by name, the king came to the tomb of our martyr to make amends. It was, in fact, out of great necessity that he came to seek the help of our hero. 5920

1185
Nearby Canterbury there is a hospital for lepers where there are many sick, outcast and full of those suffering. It is almost one league from the cathedral where the holy body of the spiritual physician lies, who has restored happiness and health to so many of the sick. 5925

1186
The king got down from his horse there, at Harbledown; and entered the church and said a prayer for all the sins he had committed, asking God for His forgiveness. Out of love for St. Thomas he granted as a gift an [annual] income worth twenty silver marks to this house for the poor. 5930

1187
And to another hospital, not two leagues from there, a refuge for the poor, the king did not forget this place either, for he endowed it with an allowance worth a hundred shillings a year.


1188
Completely on foot he reached St. Dunstan's, the first church that was found in the town. Together with the prelates who were there he [then] entered the church and through confession cleansed his soul, and had his body chastised. 5940

1189
Then he made the prior go up to the monastery [cathedral priory of the Holy Trinity or Christ Church, Canterbury], begging him to have the lords [a religious council of its monks] assemble there, so as whatsoever they all decided he must do make amends towards the martyr, that of his own free will he would give his assent to it. 5945

1190
Then he immediately took off his footwear completely to bare his feet. And barefoot, clad only in a woollen garment and wearing a cloak for the rain, which he usually wore when out riding on horseback, he went up through the whole town along the stone pathway. He wished to reconcile himself to God by undertaking a grievous penance. 5950



1193
After having been at length in prayer and lying prostate [on the ground] in tears and in great sorrow and in seeking the contrition of all [present] showing great devotion, the bishop of London there made his sermon saying as far as he was concerned the king's confession had been heard. 5965

1194
<<My lords,>> said the bishop, <<listen to me. Look who here is present, our lord the king: he has come to the martyr in love and faith: his confession was sincere such as if I myself, (as well as others), just as if I had heard him tell it to me many times before in private. 5970

1195
>>Before God he made known to him and before the martyr, that he did not cause the martyr, St Thomas, to be killed, nor murdered, that he had commanded no one to kill him, nor to attack him; but he does admit that he did say such words which were a motive and cause of his killing and murder. 5975

1196
>> And it was for this reason he [Becket] was, as you know, killed, that he [the king] has come to the martyr, guilty and remorseful, and to confess himself to him [Becket]; and he [the king] realises his [the king's] misdeeds and is a sinner. To the saint he cries for mercy for those wrongs which he [the king] has done to him [Becket], and for atonement, and this is what he [the king] puts to all of you. 5980

1197
>> To this holy church he [the king] gives back all of it tenements [including] both those belonging to the archbishop's see and those belonging to the monastery [priory]; he [the king] gives back all of her freedoms and dignities such as she would enjoy anywhere amongst Christian peoples, and everything she had before anciently. 5985

1198
>>The king now requires absolutely all of you to pray to the the true martyr who now lies here [before you] to forgive both all of his anger and bad will; and for the wrongs he [the king] has done towards him [Becket] he pleads guilty and has come here to atone for these. 5990

1199
>>that by your invocations and through your prayers, through sincere penitence and by making reparation, that he might be able to win over the love of our precious hero, he [hereby] gives to this house [of God] land worth ten pounds sterling silver per annum in addition to the thirty pounds that he has already given you.>> 5995

1200
When the bishop [of London] had finished delivering his sermon king Henry confirmed all that he [the bishop] had said. The monks of the monastery forgave him from [released him from the sin of] all the anger he had towards him [St Thomas Becket], so they granted him what he had asked them for, and the prior gave him the kiss [of peace] on behalf of the whole monastery. 6000

1201
King Henry then, so great was his submissiveness that through his humility it brought them all to tears. He took off his afore-mentioned [rain] cloak, and hid his head and shoulders in one of the openings of [in the side of Becket's] tomb; his back he left exposed. 6005

1202
But he did not wish to remove his green tunic; I do not know whether he had a hair shirt on [underneath], as he did not want to  show it. Then he submitted himself first to discipline by the prelates; and then there were more than eighty monks to come to do it afterwards. You could see that the majority  of them were shedding tears of tenderness. 6010

1203
The bishop of London held in his fist the [birch-]rod [bundle of birch twigs]; looking at the saint and then at the king [he said] <<St. Thomas, true martyr, listen to me now: if by God you are so well esteemed, as it is said, and I believe it, take mercy on this sinner who I am looking at here.>> 6015

1204
In faith and in love, the saint heard this, from he who had often given him so much great sorrow in this world. The martyr looked into their hearts, both his and the king's; seeing true repentance in them both were saved. 6020

1205
To St.Thomas the king in reconciliation gave an income from rent of land equivalent to forty pounds for [the care of] his remains, and for the [re-]building of his shrine a measure of gold was weighed in the scales. Never was so much love shown in true repentance, not even in Anjou, nor England nor in France. 6025

1206
The bishop of London thrashed the king five times, once for each of the five senses that he had offended God with.
[Hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch.]
Then in turn he [the bishop of] Rochester was next to beat him. And then the abbot of Boxley who was [also] there. And from each of the monks he received three strokes [with the birch-rod]. 6030

1207
When king Henry had been beaten and castigated, and by his amends reconciled himself to God, he drew out his head [out of Becket's tomb], and stood up on his feet. He sat down on the bare and dirty ground beside a column; neither did he have beneath him a carpet, nor cushions to lie on. 6035

1208
He chanted psalms and prayers during the whole night. He begged the pardon for his anger from the St. Thomas's men [entourage]. From the sister of St. Thomas he sought mercy and in redemption gave her a mill worth 10 marks a year in rent which she gets from it. 6040

1209
He stayed awake the whole night in prayer without getting up for any bodily need, right up till after Matins [dawn/cock-crow] and then went by way of all of the altars worshipping at each. To the Martyr's tomb he came [back still] fasting having neither drunk nor eaten anything. 6045

1210
At daybreak he had mass chanted. and completely covered in mud he had his leggings [hose] put on, before anyone might have wanted to wash his feet. Of a more repentant prince one could not tell the story of but he had had to delay too long seeking [the pardon of] the martyr. 6050

1211
After forty days and nights sins are expunged. [But] after forty months the king had waited too long: if he had [only] waited forty weeks and then for a further forty days to pass then vengeance would not have been taken; all this is the pure truth I tell you. 6055

1212
And when the period of forty months [since the death of Becket] had passed and the period of forty weeks had begun, England also found itself in trouble on all sides. If St. Thomas had not changed what God was doing, in one of these three periods it would have met with God's wrath. 6060

1213
God now spared the king his wrath, as on this same day on which he had made his atonement the Count of Flanders did not put to sea with his people whose intention was to subject England. Likewise the king of Scotland was captured on the very next day.  6065

1214
Normandy was almost completely destroyed and overthrown, and the French host had reached nearly as far as Rouen. All England was sorely in grief. They had abandoned the heavens to cling onto clouds. But the  merciful God had looked after the poor people 6070

1215
They did not want to have so powerful a king over them. They preferred to have amongst them a suckling infant whom they could lead astray this way and that like a glove. By this  kind of loyalty they were all causing harm, and their great felony was being covered up by the infant. 6075

1216
The infant could not govern the kingdom which no one could protect more faithfully than the father. Father and son all are one who wish to uphold the law. Those who want to separate the son from the father both the son and the father should want to dispossess [as  outlaws].6080

1217
Henceforth I advise the king that he should leave to Holy Church all he has promised, both its legal rights and its liberties; its free persons he should cherish, tempering himself in justice; nor should he take vengeance upon men for the killing of wild game; to each he should allow their rights, and he should do this without covetousness. 6085

1218
But I know the heart of the king well and his character. He has to govern a people who are mercenary whores. If they are given the opportunity of both time and place, this is like a sharp needle in their backside; who if he were completely to abandon his grip on the meadow lands by the river he would [soon find them] filled by pigs and sheep from the moors. 6090

1219
If the Normans, English and Angevins, both Bretons and Welsh, scots and Poitevins were not afraid of him they would have very quickly made the whole kingdom wretched. But whetever it is likely he will do, it will turn out good in the end.

References

Constitutions of Clarendon: Henry II's Penance at the Tomb of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury, 12th July 1174

Harbledown - Wikipedia

The old leper church of St Nicholas, Harbledown and Rough Common - 1085632| Historic England
https://goo.gl/HJYgGQ

Birch-rod used to thrash [birch] someone [and sweep floors]






The Five Senses in Late Medieval and Renaissance Art
Carl Nordenfalk
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
Vol. 48 (1985), pp. 1-22
Published by: The Warburg Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/751209

Boxley Abbey

Barrè Charles Roberts; Grosvenor Charles Bedford (1814). Letters and miscellaneous papers by Barrè Charles Roberts; with a memoir of his life [by G.C. Bedford]. pp. 188–.


Confietor
http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Basics/Confiteor.html

King's Mill Canterbury


kingsmill - Canterbury History

Edward Hasted, 'Canterbury: Mills on the river', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 11 (Canterbury, 1800), pp. 143-147. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol11/pp143-147

Wikipedia - Tunic - Medieval_tunic

Wikipedia - Matins

King Henry's Itinerary 1174 https://goo.gl/S97X39




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