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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 558

A.D. 1166.] THE ARCHBISHOP'S LETTER TO THE BISHOPS. 553 Letter of the blessed archbishop Thomas to his suffragan bishops. Thomas archbishop of Canterbury to his suffragans.— Your joint letter, my brethren, which has just reached us, but which we cannot easily believe to have proceeded from your joint wisdom,* has filled us with astonishment. Its contents seem to convey more of irony than of consolation : and I would that it had been dictated by pious zeal and feeling of charity rather than by the suggestions of the will. One thing I will say to you, if I may say it without offending you : I have long kept silence, waiting if perchance the Lord should so inspire you, that you should again take courage, after you had once turned your backs in the day of battle ; that even one only of you would go up against the enemy and present himself as a wall of defence for the house 01 Israel, against those who cease not daily to reproach the army of the Lord ; but there is no one who will so go up. God shall judge, therefore, between me and you, and require at your hands the confusion of the church, which, whether the world will or no, must stand firm in the word of the Lord, until the hour come, when she shall pass from this world to the Father. Has it escaped your memory how I and the church of God were dealt with at Northampton, when Christ was judged a second time, in my person, before the tribunal of the prince, when the archbishop of Canterbury was constrained by the injuries on every side done to him and the church of God, to appeal to the hearing of the Roman see ? Whoever saw or heard of an archbishop of Canterbury being judged, condemned to give bail in the king's court, and especially by his own suffragan bishops ? If, as you tell me, everything was disturbed at my leaving the kingdom, let him who gave occasion for it take the blame thereof; for the fault undoubtedly lies at the door of him who does a deed not of him who withdraws from its effects, of him who acts on the offensive, not of him who avoids an injury. Whilst we still waited at court, to see if any charge could be brought against us, our officials were ordered not to obey us at all in temporal matters, or contrary to the king's orders, nor to minister in any way to us or ours. Our clerks and laics have been proscribed, men and women, mothers with children * Becket suspected the letter to have been written by his principal enemy, the bishop of London.

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