Presentation on theme: "Document C By William Fitz Stephen Fitz Stephen was one of the archbishop’s clerks at Canterbury who stayed with him during the attack and was therefore."— Presentation transcript:
Document C By William Fitz Stephen Fitz Stephen was one of the archbishop’s clerks at Canterbury who stayed with him during the attack and was therefore an eyewitness to the events in the cathedral. It was written about 3 years after Becket’s death in 1173. a.By this time those executioners came running in furious haste through the church door, finding it unexpectedly open. One of them said to the monks who were standing there by the archbishop: b.“Stay where you are” c.Indeed, on seeing Becket, these cut-throats at first drew back as though they were confused and bewildered. Then someone shouted, d.“Where is the traitor?” e.To this the archbishop made no reply. Then someone else said, “Where is the archbishop?”
Document C contd f.Becket answered, “Here I am, no traitor, but a priest of God; and I marvel that you have entered the church of God in such attire. What do you want with me?” g.One cut throat made reply “Your death; it is impossible that you should live a moment longer.” h.“I submit to death in the name of the Lord, and I commend my soul to the cause of the Church of God and St Mary. Far be it from me to flee from your swords. But with the authority of God I forbid you to touch any of these servants of mine.” replied the archbishop. i.One of them had a two-edged axe and a sword too for the purpose of battering down the door of the church if it had been closed, but keeping his sword, he laid down the axe. j.One of them struck Becket with the flat of his sword between the shoulders saying “Fly you are a dead man.”
Document C contd k.But the archbishop stood unmoved, and offering his neck commended himself to God, while his lips repeated the names of the holy archbishops who had been martyrs before him. l.Some of the enemy cried “You are our prisoner, come with us,” and laying hands on him, they would have dragged him out of the church, but for fear that the people might rescue him from their clutches. Becket answered: m.“I will not go..Here shall you work your will and obey my orders.” He struggled against them, while the monks too held him back. With them was also Edward Grim, and he, putting up his arm received the first stroke of the sword aimed at Becket’s head. By this same stroke the archbishop was wounded in the head as he bent forward and Grim in the arm severely… n.Wiping off with his arm the blood that streamed his head, the archbishop gave thanks to God saying, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”
Document C contd. o.As he knelt down, clasping and stretching out his hands to God, a second stroke was dealt him on the head, at which he fell flat on his face hard by an altar dedicated to St Benedict. p.While he lay there, Richard Brito struck him with such force that the sword was broken against his head and the pavement of the church. “Take that” he said. q.Four wounds in all did the saintly archbishop receive, and all of them in the head: the whole crown of his head was lopped off. A certain Hugh of Horsea put his neck on the fallen martyr and extracted the blood and the brains from the hollow of the severed crown with the point of his sword.