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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.2

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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.2
page 19



by a wound received in that part of his body where he had formerly received the holy oil which consecrated him to the Lord ; ncr were they content to pollute the church with the blood of a priest and to profane that holy day, but they also cut off the crown of his skull, and with blood-stained swords scattered his brains over the pavement of the church. How those executioners carried off the spoils of the blessed martyr, and of the dignified manner of his death. Thus the glorious martyr was translated to the heavenly kingdom, whilst the bloody executioners plundered his goods and carried off all the clothes of his clerks, and whatever they found in the offices of his servants. Aleanwhile his blessed corpse, which lay on the floor of the church, was carried about the time of twilight in front of the high altar, where the bystanders discovered a fact of which they had all before been ignorant ; for though the archbishop had concealed under a canonical habit the monkish dress which he had secretly worn ever since his promotion, he was found to have worn the sackcloth shirt—a thing before unheard of— so long, that it covered his thighs also. There were also certain concurrents in his life which we will here briefly enumerate :—It was on a Tuesday that the archbishop left the king's court at Northampton ; on Tuesday he left England to go into exile ; on Tuesday he returned to England, according to the pope's mandate; and on Tuesday, also, he suffered martyrdom. Early in the morning of AVednesday, a report was spread abroad that the murderers bad determined to carry off the body from the church, and east it out of the city to be. torn in pieces by the dogs and crows; but the abbat of lîoxley, with the prior and convent of the church of Canterbury, hastily buried it, without the usual form of washing it, for it was macerated by long abstinence, subdued by the shirt of sackcloth, and hallowed by the washing of its own blood. Many remarkable concurrents may be observed in this martyrdom : first, that he suffered in asserting justice and maintaining the liberties of the church.: secondly, that the place of his suffering was not an ordinary church, but the mother of all the English churches; thirdly, the time, which was Christmas, when these murderers completed their act of treason; fourthly, that he was not a coin


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