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Roger De Hoveden The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.

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Roger De Hoveden
The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.
page 346



A.D. 1171. ASSASSINATION OF SAINT THOMAS. Hardly had the father been residing one month in his see, when lo ! on the fifth day of the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, there came to Canterbury four knights, or rather sworn satellites of Satan, whose names were as follow: William de Tracy, Hugh de Morville, Richard Briton, and Beginald Fitz-Urse, men of famiRes remarkable for their respectability, but destined, by their daring to eommit so enormous a crime, to blemish the glories of knighthood and the honors of their ancestors with perpetual ignominy. Accordingly, these persons made their way into the presence of the archbishop, and, as nothing salutary98 was the object of their message, in the maUce ' they had conceived they omitted pronouncing any salutation, and addressed him in an insolent and haughty manner. Threats were exchanged on both sides, and threat was answered with threat. At last, leaving behind them abuse and insults, they departed : but, immediately after, they returned and broke into the cloister of the monks, with a large retinue of armed men, being also armed themselves. Now the archbishop, with meekness and seR-possession, had gone before them to the choir of the ehurch, the monks having entreated, nay, forced him, on account of the solemnity of the season, to perform the service at vespers. When he perceived these armed men behind him, in the middle of the cloisters, it might have been expected that their own malignant feelings would have warned them to leave the church ; but, neither did reverence for the solemn occasion dissuade them from their crime, nor the innocence of the patriarch prevent them from shedding his blood. Indeed, so entirely had their shameless determination to perpetrate the crime taken possession of them and blinded them, that they neither regarded the disgrace to their knighthood, nor took account of any danger. Therefore, following the archbishop with headlong and heedless steps, with drawn swords, they entered the church, and furiously cried aloud, "Where is this traitor?" After which, no one making answer, they repeated, " Where is the archbishop?" Upon this, he, the confessor, and, shortly to be, the martyr in the cause of Christ, being sensible that under the first name he was falsely charged, and that, by virtue of his office, the other belonged to him, came down from the 9 6 He puns upon the resemblance of "salus," "health," and " salutatio," " a salutation."


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