Book of Foundation in Middle English: Book 1

The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 1. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.

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E A Webb, 'Book of Foundation in Middle English: Book 1', in The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 1, (Oxford, 1921) pp. 385-405. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

E A Webb. "Book of Foundation in Middle English: Book 1", in The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 1, (Oxford, 1921) 385-405. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

Webb, E A. "Book of Foundation in Middle English: Book 1", The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 1, (Oxford, 1921). 385-405. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

In this section


(for Contents see Table of Contents, p. xiv above.)


For asmooche, that the meritory and notable operacyons, of famose goode and devoute faders yn God, sholde be remembred for instrucion of aftyr cummers to theyr consolacion and encres of devocion thys Abbrevyat Tretesse, shal compendiously expresse and declare, the wondreful and of celestial concel gracious fundacion of oure hoely placys callyd the Priory of seynt Bartholomew yn Smythfyld, and of the hospital by olde tyme longyng to the same, with other notabiliteis expediently to be knowyn. And most specially the gloriouse and excellent myraclys wroghte with yn them, by the intercessions suffragys and meritys, of the forsayd, benygne feythfull and blessid of God apostyl sanct Bartholomy, yn to the laude of almyghty God and agnicion of his infinite powere. (fn. 2)

Ffyrst shal be shewyd who was ffunder of owere hoely places, and howh by grace, he was ffyrst pryor of owr priory; and by howh longe tyme that he contynued yn the same.

Thys chirche yn the honoure of most blessid Bartholomew apostle, fundid Rayer, of goode remembraunce and theryn to serve God, aftir the rewle of the moost holy fader Austyn, aggregat to gidir religiouse men and to them was prelate xxii yere, usynge the office and dignite of a priore: not havynge cunnynge of liberal science, but that that is more emynente than all cunnynge, ffor he was richid yn puryte of conscience; ayenste (fn. 3) God by devocyon, ayenste his brethryn by humylite, ayenste his enemyes with a benyvolence. And thus hym self he excercised them paciently sufferynge, whoose provyd puryte of soule, bryght maners with honeste probyte, experte diligence yn dyvyne servyce, prudent besynes yn temperalle mynystracyun, in hym were gretely to prayse and com mendable. In festis he was sobir, and namely the folowere of hospitalite, tribulacions of wretchis, and necessiteys of the pouer peple oportunyly admyttyng, paciently supportyng, competently spedynge. In prosperite nat ynprided; (fn. 4) in adversite paciente; and what sumevere unfortune ranne ageyn hym, he restyd hymself undir the schadowe of his patron, that he worshippid, whom he clippid (fn. 5) to hym, with yn the bowell of his soule. In whose helpe for all perelles he was sekyr and preservyd. Thus he subjett to the kyng of blisse with alle mekenesse, prevydyd with alle dilegence, that were necessarie to his subiectys, and so provydynge he encresid dayly to hymself, before God and man grace, to the place reverence, to his frendes gladnesse, to his enemyes peyne, to his aftircummers joye. And suche certeyn was the lyef of hym aftir his conversyon bettyr than hit was beforn, in goodnes ever more encresid. And yn what ordir he sette the fundament of this temple, yn fewe wordys lette us shewe, as they testified to us that sey hym, herd hym, and were presente yn his werkys and dedis, of the whiche summe have take ther slepe yn Cryiste, and summe of them be ȝitte a lyve and wytnesseth of that that we schall aftir say.

CAPITULUM II. what lyef he ledde aforn his conversion.

Thys mann sprongyng or boryn of lowe lynage, whan he attayned the floure of yougth, he began to haunte the housholdys of noble men and the palices of prynces, where undir every elbowe of them, he sprede her coshynys with japys and flatterynges, delectably anoyngtyng her eerys, by this maner to drawe to hym ther frendschippis. (fn. 6) And ȝitte he was nat content with this, but ofte hawntid the kynges palice, and amonge the noysefull prese of that tumultuous courte inforsid hymself with jolite and carnale suavyte, by the whiche he myght drawe to hym the hertys of many oone, ther yn spectaclis, yn metys, (fn. 7) yn playes, and othir courtly mokkys and trifyllys intendyng, he ledeforth the besynesse of alle the day. And nowe to kynges attendens, now followyng the entente of grete men presid yn proferynge servyce that myght plece them, besily so occupied hys tyme that he myghte opteyne the rathir the peticions that he wolde desire of them. Thiswyse to kyng and grete men gentylls and courtyours y knowen, famylier and felowly he was. This manere of levynge he chose yn his begynnyng, and yn this exercisid his yougth; but the inwarde seer and mercyfull God of all, the whiche oute of Mary Magdalene cast oute vii feendys, the whiche to the ffysshere ȝave the keyes of hevyn mercyfully convertid this man fro the erroure of hys way, and addid to hym so converted many ȝiftys of vertu, for why: they that are fonnysche (fn. 8) and febill in the worldys reputacion, oure Lorde chesith, to confounde the myghte of the worlde.

CAPITULUM III. here foloweth howe convertid he wente to rome.

This man therfore by the grace of God, of hys synnes sumtyme penytent a parposyng to halfe (fn. 9) his dayes, that he myghte obteyne parfite and plenere pardon and indulgence of his synnes: to that entente he decreid yn hym self to go to the courte of Rome, covetynge yn so grete a laboure to do the worthy fruytes of penaunce. The whiche habite of hevynly inspirid soule and purpos he wolde nat with a slowthfull mynde be deferrid yn to tymes and yeres, but the conceyved goode dede by feithfull desire constawntly executynge, he toke his way, oure lord God directyng his pace, and hole and sownde whydir he purposid came, where at the martirdomes of the blessid Apostles Petir and Poule, he wepynge hys dedis and reducyng to mynde the scapis (fn. 10) of hys yougth and ignoraunces, prayd to oure Lorde for remyssion of them, behestynge furthermore, noon like to do, but thyes utterly to forsake, ever devoutly his will promyttyng to obeye. These ii clere lightys of hevyn, ii men of mercy, Petir and Poule, he ordeyned mediatoures betwyn hym and the lorde of all erthe, promysynge that he wolde be ware, of all passid unhabilnesse, (fn. 11) and yeve affectualy his diligence and laboure, to that he hathe promysyd, and whyle he taryed ther, in that meene whyle, he began to be vexed with grevous sykenesse, and his doloures, litill and litill, takynge ther encrese, he drewe to the extremyte of lyf, the whiche dredynge with yn hymself, that he nat ȝitte for his synnys hadde satisfied to God, and therfore he supposid that God toke vengeawnce of hym for his sinnys a monges owte landisshe peple, and demyd the last oure of oure (fn. 12) of his deith drewe hym nygh. Thys remembrynge inwardly, he schedde owte as water his herte in the syght of God, and albrake owte in terys, than he avowyd yf helthe God hym wolde grawnte, that he myght lefully returne to his contray, he wolde make an hospitale yn recreacion of poure men, (fn. 13) and to them so there i gaderid, (fn. 14) necessaries mynystir, aftir his power. And nat long aftir, the benigne and mercyfull lord, that byhelde the terys of Eȝechie, the kynge, the importune prayer of the woman of Chananee rewardid with the benefeit of his pite, thus lykewyse mercyfully he behelde this wepyng man, and gaf hym his helth, approvyd his avowe, so of his sykenes recoveryd he was, and in short tyme hole y maade, began homwarde to come, his vowe to fulfille that he hadde made.

CAPITULUM IV. of the vision that he sawe in the way, and of the commaundement of seynt bartholomew the apostle.

Whan he wolde perfete his way that he hadde begon, in a certayne nyght he sawe a vision full of drede and of swetnesse, whan aftir the labourous and swetyng that he had by dayes, his body with reste he wolde refresshe. It semyd hym to be bore up an hye, of a certeyn beiste havynge viii (fn. 15) feete and ii wyngges and sette hym yn an hye place, and whan he from so grete an highnesse wolde inflecte and bowe down his yie to the lower party donward, he behelde an horrible pytte whose horryble beholdyng ynpressid in hym the beholder grete drede and horroure, ffor the depnesse of the same pytte was depper than eny man myghte atteyne to see. Therfore he, secrete knowere of his defautes, demyd hym self to slyde in to that cruell a downcast, and therfore as hym semyd ynwardly he fremyshid, (fn. 16) and for drede tremelyd, and grete cryes of his moweth procedyd. To wham dredyng and for drede criynge apperid a certeyn man pretendynge in chere (fn. 17) the majeste of a kynge of grete bewte, and imperiall auctorite, and his yie on hym fastynd, he seyd goode wordes, wordes of consolacion bryngynge goode tydynges as he schulde sey in this yn this wyse, 'O man,' he seyd, 'What and howe muche servyce shuldes thou yeve to hym, that yn so grete a perele hath brought helpe to the:' annone he answerde to this seyynge, 'whatsumever myght be of hert and of myghtys, diligently shulde I yeve, in recompence to my delyverer.' And than saide he, 'I am Bartholomew the Apostle of Ihu Crist that come to socoure the, yn thyn angwysshe, and to opyn to the the secrete mysteryes of hevyn, knowe me trewly, by the will and commanndemente of the hye Trinite, and the comyn (fn. 18) favoure of the celestiall courte and consell to have chosyn a place yn the Subbarbis of London at Smythfeld wher yn myn name thou shalte founde a chirche and it shall be the house of God: ther shalbe the tabernacle of the lambe, the temple of the Holy Gost. This spirituall howse almyghty God shalle ynhabite and halowe yt and glorifie yt and his yen shall be open and his eerys yntendyng on this howse nyght and day that the asker yn hit schall resceyve, the seker shall fynde and the rynger or knokker shall entre. Trewely every soule convertid penytent of his synne and in this place prayng, yn hevyn graciously schall be herde: the seekere with perfite herte for whatsumevyer tribulacion withowte dowte he schalle fynde helpe: to them that with feithfull desire knoke at the doyr of the spowse, assistent angelys shalle opyn the gatis of hevyn, receyvyng and offeryng to God the prayers and vowys of feithfull peple. Wherfore thyn handys (fn. 19) be there confortid in God, havyng in hym truste, do thou manly nethir of the costis of this bildynge dowte the nowght, onely yeve thy diligence, and my parte schalbe to provyde necessaries, directe, bilde and ende this werke, and this place, to me accepte, with evydent tokenys and signys protecte and defende contynually hyt. Undyr the schadowe of my wyngys, and therfore of this werke knowe me the maister and thy self onely the mynyster: use, diligently thy servyce, and I shall schewe my lordeschippe.' In these wordes the vision disparyschydde. (fn. 20)

CAPITULUM V. what he yn hymself tretid of thys visyn. (fn. 21)

He awakid began to revolve wysly in his mynde that he hadde seyn. In that meene while, to his flittyng soule (fn. 22) was mewyd to have a dowtable sentence, (fn. 23) whethir it schulde be hadde, and take for a fantastykke illusyon, that ofte happyth to men yn ther slepe, or for an hevynly warnyng or answere, the whiche he demyd himself nat worthy to have. Thus stryvyd togedyr in his herte, feithfull mekenesse and drede and uncertayn he was, to whom more credence schulde be gowyn, and as a meke man he wolde them have hydde and nat presume hier thynges above hym self, than he undrestode. Also tymorosely he dred to laches (fn. 24) the preceptis of the apostle, and so lachesynge, (fn. 25) nat meke, but prowte, to be bownde, with the streite examinacion of the hie juge. Therfore, with worthier sentences and better allegacion whan he was informyd, drede of God and the apostle optenyd the victorye, to whom grace was felowschippe, and blessedly areysed up the meke man, confortid the faynthertid, the suatperynge man (fn. 26) stedfastid. The goode forseyd dede in stabill degre with his welsumme and happy purpose to performe. He therfore, techynge hym inwardly, as we beleve, by his unccion that beforne hadde instructe hym by nyghtly vision, ordaynyd to make perfite that was commawnded, namely, whyle he was commawnded oonly and grettely to yeve dilegence and laboure. And soethly the overplues shulde be as the commawnder wolde ordeyne. Trewly by dremys many secretis of Goddis wille hath come to the knowleche of men. In the seryous scripture of the olde and newe testamentis, as nat onys but oftyn we have redde, wherof oone wittnesse of them bothe sufficith us to bryngforth. Holy Danyel in his dreme lernyd the dreme of the kynge, and the interpretacionn of the same, oure Lorde revelynge he knewe. Rightwus Joseph yn his slepe was warnyd nat to drede to take Marye his wyf, and stondynge the article of persecucion to flee with her in to Egipte. And whan Herode the autoure of persecucion was deed, by the angle he was commannded to returne aȝen in to Jurye. Visions in nyght tymes i made pretende nat alway cause of deseit but sumtyme pregnant and frutefull sentences of hevenly mystery, worthy to be trowid (fn. 27) with feith and admiracion. With theys and many moo auctorites of scripture, we ben taght of the whiche to have perfite discrecion. I trowe yt nat of mannys witte, but of a godly gyfte and therfore after the lawe the residue of the lambe lat us leve yt to the fyre (fn. 28) that ys the Hoely Gooste.

CAPITULUM VI. exposicion of this vision.

Forthermore what yf it be inquerid what pretendith the vision of the federyd beiste, what the horrible pitte, what settyng of the man an hye what I feill of this in fewe wordis I schalle expresse. I deme the beiste to signifie the devyl, the which in Eȝechiel mysterially ys callid the grete egle. Nowe for the dignite of hevenly nature. Nowe for magnitude of spirituall wykkednes, the whiche bothe there yn Eȝechiel, and also in this vision, the beyste semyd grete wynges to have, by that ys understonde he swollyn with pride of elacion purposid in will to be like almyghty God, and to the same elacyon man with deceyvable promysse proudly he arysyd (fn. 29) aȝenste his creator, with the whyche synne never cesith he to attaste (fn. 30) alle the kynde of men, many to ynfoldeyn, (fn. 31) and many with hym to adde, to everlastying fyre, no houre ne tyme cessith not, hys iv feete ben iiii wyndys of the which is spoken yn ȝacharie: or els iiii gendrys of temptacion, the which anumbrith the psalmyst, or els iiii vices of whiche spekith the prophete Joel, seiyng: the residue of the Eruce etyth the buttyrflye, and the residue of the buttyrflie etyth brucus, and the residue of bruce etyth rubigo, undirstondyng lecherie by Eruca, by the buttyrflie vaynglorie, by brucus glutteny, by rubygo ire signifying and wrath. [Note well that Eruca ys a worme, that growith of the worttys, Locusta that fleith frome floure to floure, brucus is the issue of the buttyrflie, or he have wynges. (fn. 32) ] Of iiii wyndys remembrith ȝacharie (fn. 33) seiyng I lyfte up my eiyn and sawhe, and to me was seyed beholde iiii hornnys, and I seied to the angle that spake in me, what ben theys, and he seide to me, these ben the hornnys that shall blowe and ventilatte (fn. 34) Jude, Israel and Jerusalem. By the which iiii wyndys he signified iiii passions of the soule that ys to seye, drede, and hevynesse, love and gladnesse, that dissipate alweyes the quyete of mynde, and no soule ther is bownde with bridyll where theys regne. Of iiii gendres of temptacion seide David of the rightwes man, thus, Thou schalt nat drede for the nyghte drede, ne for the arrowfleynge in the day, ne for the besynes walkynge in derknesse, ne for the yncourse and mydday devyl. (fn. 35) The fyrst temptacion is lighte and hydde, the secunde lighte and opyn, the thirde grevous and hydde, the iiiith grevous and opyn. With these and be forseyd maners as be his feete, this singuler ennemy of mankynde compressith us to the erthe and so to hym he throwythe dowyn men, and them so prostrate with horrible cleys of malice violently constrayneth. And furthermore, men adherent wilfully to hym, he drawith from vice in to vice, from evillys to wors, compelleth them to breke owte of rewle tyl his synnys ben complete, and as he were lyfte up yn to the hye towre of all wikkidnesse, where God vengynge they falle downe in to the lowest of the pytte, that ys, into the moost profunde helle, ordeyned for wrecchis, and of all wrecchis moost wrecchidde.

By this vision I trowe be signified to man, that he shulde attende and considre, the manyfolde snarys of oure sotell enemy prudently, and aware them holsumly, (fn. 36) leyste that by a cruell downecastynge suppid up (fn. 37) wrecchidly he shulde perysche. But sithen it is not yn manys wytte, his way, nothir in his kunnynge to directe his jornay, there ys addid to hym consolacion of hevynly mercy, and nat a litill but mochyll occasion to optene vertue. And by that moere spedily to deserve godly helpe, by the whyche besily he myght fulfille the comawndemente of the apostle. I esteeme hym a wysman that canne undirstande by theys thynges that arne shewid to hym; and not i hidde from hym, but schewed yn dede and worde what ys to be doyn.

CAPITULUM VII. howe the kynges favore y hadde, the precepte and his vowe he fulfillid.

Therefore i passid that remaynyd of his way, he came to London, and of his knowleche (fn. 38) and frendes with grete joye was receyved, with whiche also with the Barons of London he spake famyliary of these thynges, that were turnyd and sterid in his herte, and of that was done abowt hym, in the way he tellid it owte. And what schulde ben done of this, he cowncellid. Of them toke he this answere, that noone of these myght be perfityd; (fn. 39) but the kynge were first i cowncelled. Namely sith the place godly (fn. 40) to hym y schewid was conteyned withyn the kynges market of the whyche it was not levefull to prynces or other lordys of there propur auctoritate eny thyng to mynuysse, (fn. 41) nethyr ȝitte to so solempne an obsequy depute. Therfore usyng theys mennys cowncell in oportune tyme he dressed hym to the kynge, and before hym and the Bisshoppe Richarde beynge presente, the whiche he hadde made to hym favorable byforne, effectually expressid his besynes, and that he myght levefully brynge his purpose to effecte, mekely besought. And nyh hym was he in whoes hande it was, to what he wolle, the kynges hert ynclyne, and yneffectualle these prayers myght nat be whoes auctor ys the apostle, whois gracyous herer was God, his worde therfore was plesaunte and acceptable in the kynges yie. And whan he hadde peysyd (fn. 42) the goode wille of the man prudently, as he was wytty graunted to the peticioner his kyngly favore, benyngly yevynge auctorite to execute his purpos. And he havynge the title of desired possession of the kynges majeste was right gladde. Than nothynge he omyttynge of cure and diligence ii werkys of pyte began to make: oone for the vowe that he hadde made, an othyr as to hym by precepte was injoynyde. Therfore as the case prosperously succedid, and aftyr the apostles word, all necessaryes flowid unto the hande. The chirche he made of cumly stoonewerke tabylwyse, (fn. 43) and was an hospitall howse a litill lenger of, from the chirche by hymself he began to edifie.

The chirche was fowndid as we have take of oure eldres in the moneth of Marche in the name of oure lorde Ihu Crist in memorie of moost blesside Bartholomewe apostle, the yere from the Incarnacion of the same lorde oure Savyoure, M.C.xxiii.: thanne haldyng, and rewlyng, the holy see of Rome mooste holy fadir Pope Calixte the secunde; presidente in the churche of Inglond, William, Archebisshoppe of Cawntirbury, and Richarde, Bysshoppe of London, (fn. 44) the whiche of due lawe and right halowid that place yn the eiste party of the forsayde felde and bysshoply auctoryte dedicate the same, that tyme fulbreve and shorte as a cymytory. (fn. 45) Regnyng the yonger son of William Nothy, first kynge of Englischemen yn the North Herry the firste xxxty. yere, and a sidehalfe the thirde yere of his reigne (fn. 46) to the laude and glorie of the hye and indyvyduall Trynyte to hym blessynge thankynge honoure and empyer worlde with owtyn ende. Amen.

CAPITULUM VIII. what was yn revelacyon shewyd to kynge edwarde of this place.

Heir we may nat silence kepe but evydently expresse that by relacion of oure senyoures we have fownde dyvynly schewid, this to be a place of prayer, longe beforne tyme, to the glorious kynge Edwarde the confessoure, the son of Etheldrede the kynge, brothir of Seynt Edwarde the martir, of whom many goode thynges they seye they hadde herde in ther tymes nowe to be declarid. Thys blessid kyng, whan he was in the Chirche of God, replete with manyfolde bewte of vertu, as the boke of Gestys declarith, as a religious and full of the spirite of prophicie he schoone bright beholdyng thynges ferof, (fn. 47) as they were presente, and thynges to cumme as they were nowe existente with the yis of his soule by the Holy Goste for he was illumyned. The whiche in a certayn nyght whan he was bodely slepyng, his herte to God wakyng, he was warnyd of thys place with an hevynly dreme made to hym that Gode this place hadde chosyn his name ther yn to be putte and sette: and holy and worschipfull it schulde be schewyd to cristyn peple. Wherupon this holy kynge, erly arisyng, come to this place that God had shewid hym and to them that abowte hym stoid expressid the vision, that nyght made to hym, seyde before all the peple, prophecied this place to be gret before God whoes cleyr prophecyes howh they be supportyd grettly with the myghte of treweth: experience hath approvyd yt, and every feithfulman may cleirly beholde the same.

CAPITULUM IX. what iii men of greyce seyed beforne of thys place.

It was seyed that iii men of greyke y sprongyn of noble lynage goynge owte frome ther countre and kynrede, takyng on them for God the holy laboure of pilgrimage, and whan with devoute soule they sowght the helpe of seyntes in many places, from the grete (fn. 48) see, they hadde enteryd Inglande, desiryng to visite the bodies of seyntes theyre restynge, and by ther merytes in the laste examinacion to be succurrid and defendid whaȝ they came to London, they wente to thys place, and ther prostrate honoured and worschippid God, and aforn them, that ther was presente, and behelde them, as symple ydiottys, they began wondirfull thynges to seye, and prophecye of this place seyynge, 'Wondir nat ȝe, vs here to worschipp God, where a fulle acceptable temple to hym, shall be bylid, ffor the high maker of all thyng wyll that it be bylded and the fame of this place schall attayn from the spryng of the sunne to the goynge downe.'

CAPITULUM X. of the clensynge of thys place.

Truly thys place aforn his clensynge pretendid noone hope of goodnesse, right uncleene it was, and as a maryce dunge and fenny with water almost everytyme habowndynge. (fn. 49) And that that was emynente above the water drye, was deputid and ordeyned to the Jubeit or galowys of thevys, and to the tormente of othir that were dampnyd (fn. 50) by judicialle auctoryte. Truly whan Rayer hadde applied his study to the purgacion of this place, and decreid to put his hande to that holy bilyng, he was nat ignoraunte of Sathanas wyles, for he made and feyned hym self unwyse, for he was so coattid, and outward pretendid the cheyr (fn. 51) of an ydiotte, and began a litill while, to hyde the secretnesse of his soule, and the moore secretely he wroght, the moore wysely he dyd his werke. Truly yn playnge wise, and maner he drewe to hym the felischip of children and servantes, assemblynge hym self as one of them, and with ther use and helpe stonys and othir thynges profitable to the bylynge, lightly he gaderyd to gedyr, he played with them and from day to day made hym self moore vile in his own yen, in so mykill that he plesid the apostle of Cryiste, to whome he hadde provyd hym self. Thorowgh who is grace and helpe whan all thynge was redy that semyd necessarie he reysid uppe a grete frame. And nowe he was provyd nat unwyse, as he was trowid, but verry wyse: and that, that was hydde and secrete opynly began to be made to all men. Thus yn merveles wyse he comforttid in the Holy Gooste, and instructe with cunnynge of trweth, seide the worde of God feithfully by dyverse chirches; and the multitude bothe of clerkys and of the laife, (fn. 52) constauntly was exhortid to folowe and fulfyll those thynges that were of charite and almesdede. And yn this wyse he cumpasid his sermon, that nowe he sterid his audience to gladnesse that all the peple applaudid him, and in contynent anoon he proferred sadnesse and sorow of ther synnys, that all the peple were compellid yn to syghyng and wepyng, but he trewly yn the same cheir and soule evermore perseveraunte expressyd holsumme doctrine and aftir God, and feithfull sermon prechyd, and yn his techynge unreprevyd was fownde, those thynges techynge that the Holy Gost by the apostles, and appostolyke expositoures have yeve to the chirche unmoveably and stedfastly to beholde fforthermore hys lyfe acorded to his tonge and his dede approved well hys sermon, and so yn the sacrifice of God the moueth and bylle of the turtyll was returnyd to his armepittes, and recleyned unto the wyngys leisse that he prechyng to othir schulde be fownde reprovable yn hym self. Of this almen grettly were astonyd, boeth of the novelte of the areysid frame, and of the fownder of this newe werke. Who wolde trowe this place with so sodayn a clensyng to be purgid, and ther to be sette up the tokenys of crosse: and God there to be worshippid where sumtyme stoid the horrible hangynge of thevys, who shulde nat be astonyid, ther to se, constructe and bylyd thonorable byldynge of pite, that schulde be a sekir (fn. 53) seyntwary to them, that fledde ther to, wher sumtyme was a comyn officyne of dampnyd peple, and a general, ordeynyd for payn of wrecchys who schulde nat mervel ther to be haunttid the mysterie of Oure Lordys body and precious blode, where was sumtyme schewid owte the blode of gentyly and hethyn peple. Whois hert lightly schulde take or admytte suche a man nat producte of gentyl bloode, nat gretly yndewid with litterature of mannys, (fn. 54) or of dyvyne kunnynge, so worschipfull, and so grete a worke prudently to begynne, and hyt begunne to so happy a progresse, fro day in to day to perfecte and parforme? This ys the change of the right hande of God: O Chryst these ben thy workys, that of thyn excellent vertu and synguler pyte makyst of unclene, clene; and chesist the feble of the worlde to confownde the myghty, and callist them that be nat, as yt were they that been: the whiche Golgotha the place of opyn abhominacion madist a seyntwary of prayer, and a solempne tokyn or sygne of devocion.

CAPITULUM XI. of the riottys and assemylynges of the adversarie partys, and of the pryvylegys of the chirche.

Thus procedynge the tyme, clerkis to leve undir reguler ynstitucion, in the same place in breif tyme were vuyd to gidir: Rayer optenynge cure and office of the priorhede, and mynystrynge to them necessaries nat of certeyn rentys but plenteously of oblacions of feithfull peple; and nat longe aftyr that drede that he drade come to hym, and that he dredyd happid hym. He was to summe the odur of lyif yn to lyif, to othir the odur of deith yn to deith. Summe seid he was a deseyver, for cause that yn the nette of the grete ffyscher evil fischis were medillid (fn. 55) with goode aforne the houre of the laste disseverawnce, his howseholde peple were made hys enemyes, and so roys aȝenste hym wyckid men, and wykydnes lyid to hym self. (fn. 56) Therfore with prikkyng envye many privatly, many also opynly, aȝenste the servant of God cesid nat to gruge, and in derogacion to the place and prelate of the same browghtyn many sclawnders with thretnynges, the goodes that they myght they withdrewe and toke a wey: constreyned hym with wykkidnes, made wery hym with injuries, provoked hym with despitis, bygilid hym with symulate frendschippis; and summe of them brake owte in to so bolde a wodnesse, (fn. 57) that they drewe among them self a contracte of wikkid consperacion, what day i sette and place the servant of God they myght thorowgh wylys and sutilte draw to ther cowncell wyth a deceyte, and hym so ther present to plukke from the stappis (fn. 58) of his lyif; and so his remembraunce they wolde had doyn awey from this worlde. But ther is no wysdom, ther is no kunnyng, ther is no cowncell, aȝenste God, in whom he cast his thowght, and with the apostle put his strengith. He therfore that was his hoope was his myght, and for hym he discunfyit his ennemyes, therfore whan the day abydde comme, whiche was deputed to the innocentis deith, oone of them partner of so grete a wykkidnesse, secrete to hym self abhorryng so grete a synne, aforyn the houre of this perell drawyng neir, shewide by ordir to the servante of God, the summe of al ther cowncell. He for this, to God and to his patrone ȝaf thankys, that the secretes of his ennemyes were nat hydde fram hym, and that by the benefete, of Oure Lordes pyte, he hath skapid the deith to hym arayed. For thys and lyke causys apperynge aȝen he wente to the kyng with a lamentable querell, expressynge howe with untrew despitys, he was deformyd, and whate fastidious owtbrekynges hadde temptid hym, besekyng his royall munyficence, that his persone and the place that he hadde grauntid hym, he wolde defende. Also yn his suggestion to the kynge, he made this reson: he bidith no rewarde of God, that hath begunne a goode werke, and so bygunne, with a dew ende hath nat fynyshid the same, wherfore for the ynward bowelles of the mercy of Cryst, that he trustid yn, for the dignyte that he schoone with, and for the power of his emynence, he wolde opyn the bosumme of his pite to them that were desolate and honoure God yn his servantes, and restreyn the berkyng wodnesse of unfeithfull peple, so that to the goode bygynnynges he now joynyng bettir yssuys, and largeor exsecucions, myghte byle to hym self eternal howse yn hevyn whyle that he worschippith and defendith the howse of God, yn erthe. Thus the kynge mervellyng the prudence and constaunce of this man, answerd, that he wolde applie hym to his just and nessessarie peticions, and that ffurthermore he behestid hym self to be a tutur and defensur of hym and of hys, therfore he made this chirche with all his pertynences with the sam fredommys that his crowne ys liberttid with, or ony othir chirch yn all Inglonde, that is most y freid and relesid hit all customys and decreid for to be free from all erthly servyce, power, and subjecion, and ȝave sharpe sentence aȝenste contrary malyngnors. (fn. 59) This and many othir insignys that ys to sey dignyteys of liberte, he grauntid to the prior and to them undirneith hym servynge, and to the forsayd chirche, and with his chartur and seel confirmyd hyt, adjurynge also all his heyris and successoures yn name of the Holy Trinite, that this place with royall auctorite, they upholde and defende and the libertees of hym i grauntid they schulde graunte and conferme. With suche privelegge, thus whan he was streyngethyd and confortably defendyd, glad he went owte from the face of the kynge. And whan he was cummyn home to his, what he had obteynyd of the royall maieste expressid to othir, that they schulde joy with hym, and to othir that ther schulde be affrayed. Also this worschipfull man proposid for to depose the quarell of his calamyteys afore the see of Rome, Goddis grace hym helpynge, and of the same see writynges to brynge to hym, and to his aftyr cummers profitable; but dyverse undirgrowynge impedymentys, and at the last lettyng the article of deith, (fn. 60) that he wold had fufillid, he myght nat: and so only the reward of good wylle (fn. 61) he deservyd. Aftir his decese iii men of the same congregacion whoys memory be blessid in blisse, sondirly wente to sondirly byschoppis (fn. 62) of the see of Rome. And three privlegies of three bysshoppys obteynyd, that is to seye of seyntes Anastace, Adrian, and Alexander, this chirche with three doweryes, as it were with an unpenytrable scochyn (fn. 63) wardid and defendyd aȝenst ympetuous hostylyte. Now beholde that prophesye of the blessid kynge and confessoure seynt Edward that beforn tyme hadde profysyed and seyn by revelacion of this place, of grete party is seyn and fulfillid. Beholde trewly that this holy chirche and chosyn to God, schyneth with manyfolde bewte, ffowndyd and endewid with hevenly answer, i sublymate with many privylegies of notable men, and to a summe of laude and glorie rychessid with many relikys of seyntes, and bewtyfied with hawntid (fn. 64) and usuall tokenys of celestiall vertu. [This nat unprofitably byfore tastid, lette us draw nere to the narracion of myracles.] (fn. 65) (fn. 66)

CAPITULUM XII. of light hevenly sent owte.

Whan therfore in the forsaid place, at the bygynnyng was made an oratorye in honoure of the blessid apostle, many and innumerable were schewid tokynnys of myracles, but what for the grete plenty of them, and necligence of writyng of the same, they be almoyste unremembred, wherfore of these a fewe, specially of these that lattir dayes were knowe to us more by sight, than by heryng, as they cam to oure mynde, feithfully we shall tell. In the begynnynge of this areysed frame oure senyores tellid us, that on a day at evensong tyme, whan derkenys drew upon, ther was seyn a light from hevyn sent schynynge on this chirche, abidynge there uppon the space of an howre, that they sawe them self, and many othir men also, the whiche lyght aftir returnyd up an hye, and to no man aftirwarde aperid, and that yn a moment was take a wey from the yis of the beholders. Howe grete a tokyn this was of pite and grace hevynly, opynly aftirward was schewid, by multitude of toknys yn the same place.

CAPITULUM XIII. of wolmer contract and there i curid.

There was an sykeman Wolmer be name with grevous and longe langoure depressid, and wrecchid to almen that hym behylde apperyd, his feit destitute of naturall myght hyng down hys legges clevyd to his thyis, part of his fyngerys returnyd to the hande, restynge alwey uppon two lytyll stolys, (fn. 67) the quantite (fn. 68) of his body, to hym onerous, he drew aftir hym, and to the encrese of his wrecchidnesse was addyd grete poverte, yn more affliccion to hym than his langoure: sith to a man that nethir myght labur, ne goo, were withdrawe necessaries of his lyvelode, this wrecchidnes was so mykill to hym the more grevous, that it was longe abidynge, trewly almost xxx wynteres with this so grete a sykenes was he deteynyd: and he thus othir (fn. 69) with crepynge, othir with the helpe of othir (fn. 70) i born sate at London yn the Chirche of Poulis, askynge almes of them that enterid yn. This i don nowe come the tyme acceptable, the yere of benygnyte, in the whiche Rayer hadde sette the fowndementys of his holy temple, and the fame of the newe werke, as it were a full swete odur dyffusyd by the mowthis of all the peple, it myght nat be hydde from hym, the whiche by the mercy of Oure Lorde conceyvyd a swete desire and feithfull, that he myght be borne to that place, ther to beeseke God of his helpe. And he of his frendes thiddir thus borne yn a basket felle down aforne the awter, porrectynge (fn. 71) his meke prayers to hevyn, and to the hye and glorious meritys of the blessid apostle, alleggyng them to the hye and dredfull juge, that by them he myght obteyne forgevenesse of synne and his bodyly helth. And with owte tariynge, that welle of pyte, that was and is opyn to the menstruat woman and synful man, was present at his callyng, and a streem and ryver of helth and grace of hym self made welowte: and by and by every crokidnes of his body a litill and litill losid, he strecchid unto grownde his membris and so anoon avawntynge hym self upwarde, all his membris yn naturale ordir was disposid. As it were a newe man he was seyn to procede forth, than howe grete a crye of them, that were present was lyfte up to hevyn: what terys i schede owte for joye: what praysyng to God, uppon soe mervelous and wondrefull myracle were yeve and payed to God, yt may bettyr be conceyved, with a devoute soule, than expressid by worde. This dede anoon was dyvulgate by all the cyte, and with a grete fame gretely accendid the peple of boith ordres, the clergie and the laife. And from that tyme, the noble matrones of the cite kepte ther nyght wacchis, the clergie and laife by companyes fyllyn with grete devocyon of soule, and herte gladdenes, (fn. 72) hawntyng this place and with ofte visitacon solempne laude yeldid to God, with the fowndatore.

CAPITULUM XIV. of the anthyphoner.

A certeyn man toke a way a boke from this place, that we callith an antiphonere, the whiche was necessarie to them that schulde synge ynne the chirche, in that specialy that ther was nat at that tyme grete plente of bokys, in the place. Whan it was sowghte besily and not i fownde, it was tellid to Rayer the priour what was done of thee boke and he toke this harme with a softe herte paciently. At nyghtys tyme, whan as he was ynne his chambre to take his reste the glorious apostle of God, Bartholomew spake to hym and seyid, 'sey Rayer, what is that, of whoeys loste, me presente, thus ye playne.' And he seied 'syr thy clerkis hadde a profitable boke to them, in the whiche to the honoure of God and of the, in the holy temple of thy glorie they were wownte to synge; and now yf it be hidde yn ony place, or stolyn a way, they know nat.' 'In the mornnynge eerly commaunde thyn hors to be redy, and hastly entre the cite and whan thou cummyste yn to the Jewes strete, (fn. 73) spare thy sporys, lose thy brydyll lette thyn hors to my governaunce, and yn to what howse thy hors wilfully putte yn his fote, know welle of me, ther thy boke schall be fownde. Dowte no thyng, prudently and constawntly inquyre.' No more this i seid yn a moment he disparisshid. Rayer yn the mornynge slyd owte of his bedde, and diligently all that was commaunde hym he executid, and with the enemyes of pees he spake pesibly; and the boke that he sowghte he fownde, and toke hit and broght hit hoome.

CAPITULUM XV. of a woman i helyd.

The tonge of a woman so gretly was swolle that she myght nat shete here moweth; and so, opynly grevvyng that sche myght nat hidde the swellynge thys woman of her freendes was broght to this chirch and offerid to Rayer the pryor, whiche havynge compassion of her, as he was a man of mercy and grete benygnyte, offeryd to God and to his patron prayer for her. And he revolvynge his relikys that he hadde of the Crosse, he depid them yn water and wysshe the tonge of the pacient ther with, and with the tree of lyif, that ys with the same signe of the crosse paynted the tokyn of the crosse upon the same tonge. And yn the same howre all the swellynge wente his way, and the woman gladde and hole went home to here owne.

CAPITULUM XVI. of a riche man.

Hit ys tolde of a richeman uplond dwellyng, that come to this chirche, and he so delitid with the gladnes of this place, and with the servyce of God ther contynualy and devoutly y doyn, he seid to the priour 'syr many goodnes of this vertuous place by opyn fame I have knowe, and moo with myn yene I have seyn, wherfore I purpose in my soule from this day forwarde I shall commytte me and all myn to seynt Barthilmewe advocatte of this place, and to his servyce I shall me subdew, everywher calle hym and preche hym my lorde, and with my substawnce as he wolle inspire me, his clerkys honoure'. Then seiede Rayer; 'Wele thou hast purposid, and dowtles a wyse keper of thy goodes thou hast chosyn, whom yf thou serve as thou with feithfull mynde hast promysid, without dowte by him thou shalt optene the blysse of God.' After these wordes the man went his way. A wondyr thyng and a worthy to be remembrid: nat longe aftir it happid hym sittynge at his table, oone of his servantes tolde hym that his kechyn was a fyre sodenly, and likly to perish with woodenes of fyre, he was prayd therfore hastly to come, and delay nat helpe to brynge to the howse nowe peryshynge and nowe fallynge. And to the serventes so yn soule he stunyid (fn. 74) and with grete feer affrayed, the same howseholde fadir answerde; 'Have nat I late me and myne commyttid to blessid Barthilmew the apostle, and him I have made and deputid keper of my hede and of all thyng that perteyneth to me. Yf therfore it plesith hym hys to kepe to hym self, he shall nat nede oure helpe, but also all hole and saf, not mynnschyd to the solace of his servantes yf he be wyllyng hys myght I know wel ys sufficient: forsouth yf it be the respecte of the ire of God from above, that sendith to us worthy paynys for oure demerites, what or how moche, yn withstandynge may oure besy purpos prevayle, as who seyth lityll. Suffir therfore noon of us put to his hande, lette us abyde yn sylence, and yn hope the sanacyon of God and the myght of oure tutore.' And yete as the word was yn the moweth of the speker, and at the nomynacion of the glorious apostle, the same fyre semyd to suffre violence, for the fflamys naturaly ascendyng upward, defawtid of ther power, and undir certyn lymytys were restreynyd. And whan this was broght to the howsholdfadir, beholde what he seid, 'Howh mykil avayleth the feith, and howh emynently apperith the vertu of the apostle, whan schulde the unpetuous flame yeve way to oure myghtis the whiche yn a momente by the apostle of God ys qwenchid, thankys of us therfore be to hym, that as nowe and also frohens forwarde wolde wouchesafe thus to kepe us'.

CAPITULUM XVII. of the shippemen yn peryll.

Certeyn men of the kyngis cyte of London went owte to fer cowntrees, and certeyn tyme made them redy to come home agayn with all thers. And whan they trustid them to the wavvys of the see, than blowynge of the syde the westryn wynde y callid ȝephirus, with a swifte curse they tendid to the desirid havyn, and they behelde aferre, as it were the space of ii furlonges, the high scharpe hedis (fn. 75) owte warde aperynge of rochis of stoyn by the whiche they most nedysly passe, yf it plesid them to go further by that wey. And the maister of the schippe seynge beforne grete perell to hym cummynge, yn that the schippe with the rochis schulde be gobettemele be mynusid and brokyn (fn. 76), her merchauntdise schulde peryssh, with the men, and noon hope ther was of scapynge. Nevertheles he exhortid them to truste yn the pyte of Oure Lorde, and mekely to porrecte (fn. 77) to hym ther prayers, to whom nothynge ys unpossible, nothynge to harde. And to this, seide the Londoners, 'What seide they drede we, men of letill feith, the which have blessid Barthilmewe, the doer of so grete merveles at London. And we have hym at home anyhe by us glorified, therfore lette us prostrate oure self yn prayer to hym, and to hym with all confidence offir oure avowys, and he that so grete and so shynyge benefetys sheweth to strangers, he schall nat hyde the bowelles of his mercy to his concytyseyns.' (fn. 78) And whan so prostrate they hadde so prayed to gedir they areysed up from ther prayer and lokid abowte them, this way and that way. Ther they sey them self by grete space y put of wher before ther prayer they semyd that they drewe full nye the peryl, therfore they were gladde and a noon as they came to lande, they dressid (fn. 79) them to the chirche of the gloriouse apostle, and ii tapers of grete quantyte offerid for ther vowe.

CAPITULUM XVIII. of an yonge growynge man.

Ther was a yonge man Osberne by name whoes right hande clevyd to his lyfte schuldyr, his hede compressid down to the hande laye unmevable, and nethir the hande from the shuldyr, ne the hede from the hande myghte be departed, this man cummynge a forne the auter of the blessid apostle Bartholomewe with sighynge terys his mercy mekely besought. And he deservyd graciousy to be herde. And therfore whan the fredome of his lymys were y hadde, God that is mervelous in his seyntes, he with alle them that wer present, with worthy preysyng magnyfied.

CAPITULUM XIX. of a woman contracte.

A certeyn woman in seynte Jonys parissh at London with longe sykenes febelid contynuelly kepte her bedde and, helth dispeyrid, she abided only the last houre of thys lyfe, whan she herde of her neyghbores how many and how grete thynges by the virtu of God were don yn the chirche of the holy apostle, by the virtu in her conceyvyd of unskunfitid (fn. 80) feith with goode hope she askid herself thider to be borne. And thidir whan she was i browght, that she hadde herde, by experience she provid, felynge the profit and consecutyng the effecte, of her peticion, grauntyng that, Oure Lorde Ihu Cryste the auctore of oure feith which helith contrite in herte and byndith up the contriciones of them.

CAPITULUM XX. of a childe blynde from his birth.

A childe blynde from his birth, oon ledynge hym, fadyr and modyr folowyng, was browght to the solempnyte of the glorious apostle, and as he enteryd the chirche he fill down to the erthe and ther a whyle turnyd hymself, now this way, nowe that way: and with tariyng restid undir the hande of the hevenly leche (fn. 81) that lightyth every man cummynge in to this worlde, in whoes light all we see light. And a noon the inward born blyndenesse fledde a way, and the blode from the yen by the chekis down rennynge, light and sight to the syke was restoryde, (fn. 82) nat that he hadde beforn, but than first it was yeve to the childe. And than he knew his parentys with opyn yen, that never he sawe beforne, and sundry thynges by ther propyr namys distynctly he callide.

CAPITULUM XXI. of wymunde that was dum.

A yonge man Wymund by name yn the courte of Eustase De Brooke, nat a litill while y nurysshed. Dumme he was, know to all men that hadde knowleche of hym, this man berynge hevyly the detrimente of his tonge, presumyng of mercy of God and on the meritys of the apostle, he drewe hym to his chirche and ther contynually kepte devoute wacche. And feithfully that he askid he deservyd to obteyne, upon a day aftir cumplyn the bonde of his tonge was losyd and with a grete voice he praysid the virtu of the apostle thankynge and blessynge the myght and the wysdome of God, the whiche openyth the dumme moweth, and the tongis of infantis maketh opyn and diserte.

CAPITULUM XXII. of godryke the bocher.

Whan trewly the plantacion that the hye fadyr hadde plantyd, that is to seye, the forseid chirche, whan it a roose hyer and the fame of the apostolike vertu everywhere to neyghbores perfitly sownyd, and was knowen; Rayer joynyd to hym a certeyn olde man Alfun byname, to whome was sadde age and sadnes of age with experience of longe tyme. This same olde man not longe beforne hadde bilid the chirche of seynt Gylys at the gate of the citye, that ynne englissh tonge is callid Cripilgate. And that goode worke happely he hadde endyd. Demynge Rayer this man profitable to hym, he deputyd him as his compayr; and with his counsell and helpe, that was for to be don, disposid and parformyd. It was manner and custome to this Alfunne, with mynystris of the chirche, to cumpasse and go abowte the nye placys of the chirche besily to seke and provyde necessaries to the nede of the poer men, that lay in the hospitall, and to them that were hyryd to the makynge up of ther chirche; and that, that was commyttid to hym, trewly to brynge home and to sundry men as it was nede for to devyde. And ther was a certeyn bocheyr Goderyke byname a man of grete sharpnesse, more than semyd hym, he was a streyt man, the whiche nat oonly to the asker wolde nat yeve, but was woonte with scornyng wordes to ynsawt them. It fil upon a day that while this forsaid Alfunyne wente abowte the bochers, man by man, and aftir othur whan he cam to this Godryke and mevid hym aftir the apostle with goode and honeste wordes oportunely and importunely by cause he was nat willynge to yeve, he perseveryd stedfastly and he wolde not go from hym voyde, and whan the olde man beheld that, nat for drede, nether for love of God, ne also for mannys shame he myght not tempyr the hardnes of that yndurat herte, from his rygoure he brake owte yn these wordes, 'O thou unhappy, O thou ungentle and unkynde man, to the yever of all goodys, that for the geifte of hevenly goodnes will nat comyn with the poremen of Cryist, I beseche the wrecche, put a way a litill and swage the hardnes of that unfeithfull soule, and take in experience the vertu of the glorious apostle, yn whom yf thou truste, I promytte the that every piece of thy, that thou yevest me aporcion of, shall the sonner be solde to othir, and no thynge to the mynyssynge or lessynge of the pryce, and what more.' He was mevyd nat with the ynstyncte or ynward sterynge of charite but overcummyn with importunyte of asker, he drewe owte a peis of vilest and castyd yt yn to his vessell callynge them trewantes, and bade them lightly go from hym; to whom Alfunyne answerd 'I shall not go fro the, tyll my worde and promysse be fulfilled'. And with owte tarynge, there was a cyteseyn covetynge to bye fleyssh, for hym and his housholde, and of that heip of the whiche Alfunyne spake before he boughte atte the wille of the seller, and bare hit with hym. And whan this was dyvulgate by all the bocherie, for a wurthy myracle, as it was fittynge, it was take. And from that tyme, they began to be more prompte to yeve ther almes, and also fervent in devocion. And stryvyd who myght prevent anothir yn yevynge, namely, he whoes hardness of unfeithfull soule, the virtu of Cryist, hadde undirnymyd, the whiche lorde promysid to the ȝever of a dyschfull of coolde water to hym that cummyth yn the name of a disciple nat to lake his meide. (fn. 83)

CAPITULUM XXIII. of eden the wyffe of edred.

An nothir tyme the same Alfunyne those thynges that nedid to the makyng of ale he went a bowte to matronys howsis in cumpasse and askid, and whan he came yn to the parissh of Seynt Giles of London, for this same gaderynge, he cam yn to a devoute matron, Eden by name, the wyf of Edred the whiche with mervellus devocion lovynge Cryistis apostle, her almes to his chirche, or els she broughte, or els was wonte to sende yt: to whom cummynge Alfunyne he prayed her of her blessyng, that sumwhat sche wolde departe with hym, for the love of God. And sche answerd that she hadde but oonly vii ceves ful of malte; and she shulde take a wey ony thyng of these, she myghte nat than, parforme the brethen, (fn. 84) that she hadde begunne, 'Never the lees,' she saide, 'albe that I be certeyn to have damage or harme, yete hadde I lever to suffir harme of myn ale, than yow to go voyde with owte frute of myn almes,' thus seyynge, she mesurid one cevefull and yave it to the mynystris, the whiche passynge forthe and i go, she began to mesure that remaynyd, and wondir to seye, vii mesures she fownde, the whiche her self trowynge to have errid in numberynge, began to telle ageyn: and than she fownde viii: the thirde tyme she numberid and fownde ix: and than at the foureth metynge fownde x. Beholde that she that studied to fulfill the plenytude of the lawe, that is charite, of the rightwys rewarder, for her mede fownde x. The which woman, that, that remanyd so habowndynge, commawndid to be born to the same chirche anoyn, and tolde everywhere, the mervelous encresse, blessynge God that by his seyntes workith tokenys and virtues to whom whan he wolle myghte is redy.

CAPITULUM XXIV. de godena contracta.

A certyn woman Godene by name, hadde her leggis returnyd to her thyys that never myght stonde upright, but with contynuall use of sittynge ledde a tedious lyfe, yn sorowe and wepynge she on a tyme was born to the chirche of the blessid apostle, and askid the yifte of parfit helth, and obteynyd it grauntynge that oure lord Ihu Criste the whiche losith stokkid (fn. 85) men, reysith up down pressid, and directith the rightwys.

CAPITULUM XXV. of a man that myght not slepe.

A certyn man at Norwiche opynly i know, (fn. 86) while on a tyme he wolde be lette blode and of hym self toke noon hede, as it was expedient, hadde lost the rest of slepe, the whiche how good, and how necessarie it is to man, for to expowne it is nat now necessarie, this reste longe and dayly sweites and labores allightith, and aftyr labur repayrith man aȝeyn to labour, and this reste nat onely of men but of bestis conservyth the nature sownde and hole. The sayed wrecchid man lackynge this rest ledde on nyghtys withowte slepe almost vii yere. And by and by his senowys were contracte pale and lene, and ryvelyd abowte the moweth all discolouryd, and all his bonys to be numbryd, apperid to the sight of them that byhelde hym: and to the heip and encrece of his greve and febylnes was putte to nedynesse, so moche that the man beforn was riche yn frendes and money, and nowe of bothe destitute he was applied to ydelnes ffor nethir to hym self, nethir to his, myght he ony thynge provyde. In vii ȝeire of his unfortune, whan the relikys of the same chirche of seynt Batholomewe, were browght and put yn, to the oratorye of sente Nicholas at ȝermoweth, (fn. 87) this man drewe to the same relikys devoutly, and mekely prostratte hymself, askyng and sekynge remedy. And he fownde that he sowght, he range at the doyr, and oure porter opynde to hym, and shewid to hym magnyfycently the bowelles of his mercy, and grovelynge to the grownde he multiplied his prayers and began to slepe: and whan he hadde slepte a grete while he roys up hole, and wente to his owne, yeldynge thankynges to God, that mortifieth and revyvyth, smytyth and helyth.

CAPITULUM XXVI. of a dum childe.

Also a childe that longe tyme was dumme, to the laude of the glorious apostle, the vertu of God opynde both tonge and moweth and right wesly he spake.

CAPITULUM XXVII. of an othur callid nychalas.

A childe faire of forme, Nicholas by name, so had he his legge so strecchid forth, to the upper parties of his thyy, that he myght nat putte yt forward ne drawe yt bakewarde, yn asmoche that the synowys were dryed up and alweys lackid bowablenesse, he therfore lenyng on a staffe usid that yn stede of his fote. This childe cummynge to the chirche of the blessid apostle Bartholomew was expert that Oure Lorde is full sweytt to al men and his mercy ys abovyn all his workys, by the merites of the most glorious apostle, hete of lyf was ynfowndid to seyr and drye membrys and anoon folowid full helth, the whiche chylde abided ther a while and servyd the chanons ther, yn ther kychyn, and for the yifte of his helth, he yave the servyce of his body.

CAPITULUM XXVIII. of adwyne the carpenter.

An nothir man Alfunyne by name in the towne of Dunwych that dwellid on the see syde, so was contracte that he myghte nat use the free office, nethir of hande, ne of fote, his legges were clevynge to the hynder parte of his thyes, that he myghte nat goo, and his handis turnyd bakewarde, no thynge with them myght be do, ne worke: the extremyteis of his fyngers were so rigorisly contracte in the synowys, that he myght unneith put mete to his moweth. In this grevous sykenes he passid his yonge age. And whan he attayned to mannys age and not yette hadde he power of his lymmys, yette sith the fame of tokenys and myracles of the blessid apostle come to hym by relacion of othir men, he began to leyfte up his sorowfull soule in to a better hope. And thow helth were yn that tyme dilaid, it was promysed to come. Therfore, for that he was ferre from that chirche, he yave shipmen for hyr hyyr and by shippe he was browght to the chirche, and put yn the hospitall of pore men. And ther a while of the almes of the same chirche y sustenyd. And he began yn the meyn while, by the vertu of the apostle to take breith unto hym, and he desirid helth, by certeyn incrementys began to come ageyn; ffirst with handys thow they were crokyd, he dyd make smale workys as disstafes, and antell, (fn. 88) and othir wommenys instrumentys, and forthermore by succession, whan othir membrys usyd ther naturall myghte he followid yn greter workys, hewerrys of wode with axe, and squarerys of tymbyr with chippynge axe, and nat longe aftir, the craft of carpentrye, yn the same chirche, and yn the cite of London he excercisid, as it hadde be taught hym from his childehode, blessynge God, whoes yen be oon them, that dredith hym, and uppon them that hope on his mercy.

CAPITULUM XXIX. of a dropvk man.

A certeyn dropik man that bare his surname of the happe (fn. 89) of this siknes, myght nat hyde away his ynwarde greyf, but to the sight of uttir beholders, he shewyd owte his greyf and wracchidnys soithly an humor reynnynge undir the skyn made a bolluyng inflacion and the wombe swellyng owte, shewid owtwarde, what pestilence was hydde ynward, this man was browght to the chirche of seynt Bartholomew, but for the gretnes of his doloure, he was turmentid, and in to dyvers parties he walowid hymself yn the pament: and at the last yn the sight of all men he cast owte wondir venym, and his ynwardes were purgid from this dedly fylthe and all hole returnyd to his awne howse.

here endith the firste boke.


  • 1. For description of the MS. (Brit. Mus. Vespasian B. ix) see Records and Authorities, p. xx.
  • 2. The above is not in the Latin copy, which has for a heading' Liber fundacionis ecclesie Sancti Bartholomei Londoniarum'.
  • 3. Towards.
  • 4. Elated.
  • 5. Embraced.
  • 6. Sowing pillows upon all elbows (Ezek. xiii. 18), he drew to friendship with himself those whom he had soothed with jokes and flatterings.
  • 7. Banquets.
  • 8. Foolish.
  • 9. Dimidiare: halve.
  • 10. Delicta: faults, scrapes.
  • 11. Ineptiis: follies.
  • 12. Ultimam horam: the final hour.
  • 13. Ad pauperum recreationem: for the restoration of poor men.
  • 14. Gathered together.
  • 15. Quatuor in the Latin.
  • 16. Inhorruit: shuddered.
  • 17. Vultu: in his countenance.
  • 18. Communi: common.
  • 19. Confortentur ergo manus tuae: therefore let thy hands be strengthened.
  • 20. Disappeared.
  • 21. Quid de visione apud se tractaverit: what he pondered with himself concerning the vision.
  • 22. Fluctuanti animo: wavering mind.
  • 23. Opinion.
  • 24. Negligire: neglect.
  • 25. Negligendo: by neglecting.
  • 26. Nutantum: faltering.
  • 27. Credere: trowed, believed.
  • 28. Fyre: inspiration ('that is the Holy Ghost' not in the Latin).
  • 29. Superbe erexerit: proudly raised.
  • 30. Attemptare: to tempt.
  • 31. Enfold, involve.
  • 32. See Joel i. 4. Not in the Latin.
  • 33. See Zech. i. 18, 19.
  • 34. Ventilaverunt: (the horns that) disquieted.
  • 35. See Psalm xci. 5.
  • 36. Wholesomely.
  • 37. Absortus: absorbed, swallowed up.
  • 38. Notis: acquaintances.
  • 39. Effected.
  • 40. Divinely.
  • 41. Diminish, minimize.
  • 42. Perpendens: considered.
  • 43. Decenti lapideo tabulatu: with suitable stone blocks in courses.
  • 44. Calixtus II, Pope, 1119–1124. William de Corbuil, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1123–1136. Richard de Belmeis, Bishop of London, 1108–1128. These references must refer to the founding, not to the dedication.
  • 45. Breve tunc admodum cimiterium: obscure: perhaps 'at that time a very small cemetery', see above, p. 48.
  • 46. Latin, anno XXX, et circiter tertium regni eius: for possible explanation see above, p. 49.
  • 47. Remota, far off, remote.
  • 48. Grete, a mistranslation, emenso mari: having passed over the sea entered England.
  • 49. Abounding.
  • 50. Damnati: damned, condemned.
  • 51. Speciem: the look or mien.
  • 52. Laicorum: laymen.
  • 53. Sure, secure.
  • 54. Humanarum aut divinarum scientia litterarum: with knowledge of letters human or divine.
  • 55. Admixti: mixed.
  • 56. Sed mentita est iniquitas sibi: but their wickedness deceives itself.
  • 57. Wodnesse=madness.
  • 58. Vestigia: steps or path.
  • 59. Malignantes: conspirators, malignors.
  • 60. Tandemque impendente mortis articulo: and at length the moment of death threatening him.
  • 61. Bone voluntatis: good intention.
  • 62. Each to one bishop.
  • 63. Shield, scutcheon.
  • 64. Frequentissimis: very many.
  • 65. [ ] not in Latin.
  • 66. Dugdale does not give the Latin text beyond this.
  • 67. Stools.
  • 68. Molem: heavy weight.
  • 69. Vel . . . vel: either . . . or.
  • 70. Aliorum: of others.
  • 71. porrectynge: offering.
  • 72. Alacritate: with readiness (of heart).
  • 73. Old Jewry.
  • 74. Consternatus: astounded.
  • 75. Prominerum scopulorum: of projecting rocks.
  • 76. Scopulis illisa frustratum: if dashed upon the rocks would be broken in pieces.
  • 77. Porrigere: to offer.
  • 78. Concivibus: fellow citizens.
  • 79. Contulerunt: betook.
  • 80. Invicte: unconquerable.
  • 81. Medici: physician.
  • 82. Geminum lumen non sane restituitur: sed tunc primum puero confertur: the light of his two eyes was not wholly restored to him, but light then for the first time was conferred on the boy.
  • 83. Mercede non carere: should not lack his reward.
  • 84. Cervisiam: the brewing, the beer.
  • 85. Compeditos: fettered, in the stocks.
  • 86. Notissimus: very well known.
  • 87. Sancti Nicholai apud Gernemutam: St. Nicholas, Little Yarmouth: one of the possessions of St. Bartholomew's (not St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth).
  • 88. Primo itaque manibus licet recurvus parva opuscula faciebat colos scilicet et pensa ceteraque muliercularum instrumenta: and so at first, bent though he was, he made with his hands little things such as distaffs, weights (probably weighed bundles of wool to spin) and other girls' gear.
  • 89. Ab eventu: by the occurrence.