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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 274



A.D . 1216 . THE POPE PBATS TO THE BLESSED EDMUXD. 267 Saint Andrew's day. Accordingly, the wicked population of the whole of England wrote to the lord the pope, who had issued those intolerable and impracticable commands, explaining to him and reminding him of the way in which the old grievances had cruelly wounded the hearts of all men, and how they still felt the recent wounds, those, namely, which were inflicted by the six thousand marks which Master Martin, the pope's deputy, had lately extorted ; and so, in this way, the tempest was calmed for a while, but soon afterwards it revived, as will be mentioned. The same year, Master Robert de Bingham, of pious memory, bishop of Salisbury, died, the day after the feast of All Souls, a man without complaint, full of days, and crowned with virtues. And, about the same time, Richard Berking, abbot of Westminster, died, a man of prudence, and a fair stock of learning, and blessed with a high character, who, by his own energy, had prudently enriched the revenues of his house by an increase of about three hundred marks a-year, and had strengthened it by the bulwark of many privileges, without being either troublesome or burdensome to any of his neighbours. Therefore, about this time, the lord the pope began to be very much alarmed lest the blessed Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, and confessor, should put forth his evident vengeance, and severely punish the delay of his canonization, which he had long postponed from day to day, because of the cavils of those who objected ; accordingly, the lord the pope entered secretly into his oratory, where he was tortured with a pain to which he was well accustomed, namely, that in the kidneys, when he suffered severely from obstruction caused by the stone, and, with bended knees, and bursting tears, and clasped hands, he prayed, saying : " Ο most holy lord and confessor of Christ, Ο blessed Edmund, be not very angry, because, being moved by the calumnies of envious men, I have very foolishly put off the honour of your canonization, to which you are entitled. For that which is not yet fulfilled, I do, without hesitation, now vow and promise you, shall be fulfilled in a magnificent manner, if my life is spared. Show me, then, this mercy, you who assist so many who are sick, to relieve me from my present sufferings, or, at least, to mitigate this terrible anguish." And as soon as ever he had said this, he immediately felt divine relief ; and perceiving that he had been heard, he thanked the saint, designing most posi


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