Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The First Signs of Distance between the King and St. Thomas

The Cases of the Cleric from Worcester and the Cleric who Stole a Silver Chalice

Prima distantia regis et sancti Thomae pro quodam clerico, qui in Wirecestriae territorio dicebatur accubuisse filiam cujusdam probi hominis, et pro ea ipsum patrem occidisse. Hunc clericum rex voluit judicio curiae laicae examinari et judicari. Archiepiscopus renitebatur, et clericum illum in custodia episcopi fecit custodiri, ne regis justitiae traderetur. Alia, pro clerico, qui, in ecclesia ipsius archiepiscopi, quae in Londonia est et dicitur ecclesia beatae Mariae in foro, furatus est calicum argenteum, quem comprehensum rex voluit judicio seculari judicari. Archiepiscopus judicio ecclesiae fecit eum exauctorari, et ex abundanti ad regem mitigandum cauteriari.

The first sign of a distance between the king and St. Thomas concerned a cleric from the district of Worcester. It was said that this cleric had lain with the daughter of a certain upright gentleman, and because of her had killed her father. The king wanted this cleric tried in a lay court where he could be examined and sentenced. The Archbishop resisted. He ordered the cleric to be kept in custody by the bishop, and directed that he should not be handed over to the king's justice.

Another case concerned a cleric who had stolen a silver chalice from a church called the Blessed St Mary [Mary-le-Bow], in Cheapside, London, a church belonging to the archbishop himself, and whom, after his arrest, the king wanted to be tried by secular justice.  The archbishop ordered him to be judged by the church, and following his degradation,  had him branded, out of an abundance towards assuaging the king.


Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

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