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Gilbert was Thomas father name that true was and good
The ‘Harley text’ of the Life of St. Thomas of Canterbury, in the South English Legendary — in couplets
Note: For the ‘Laud text’ of this Life see 6687; MSS which omit the story of Gilbert, listed here now, formerly 728.
Title(s): South English Legendary
Subjects: Thomas of Canterbury, saint, life of; saints’ lives
Versification: — two-line — aa



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Addit. C.38 (SC 30236), ff. 5v-33v
First Lines:
Gilbert was seint Thomas fadirs name þat true man was & gode
He loued wel god and holi chirche sith he witte vndirstode…
Last Lines:
…Nou god for þe loue of seint Thomas þat suffred siche martirdom
Gyf us aftir oure ende þat ioie þat his soule to come
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Addit. C.220 (SC 29430), ff. 8v-18v
First Lines:
ENglonde wel glade þu be for þu myht wel y þe
& þu also holy chirche for one mannes deþe
þe erche bischepe sent Thomas þat wel dere aboute
With his blode & with his brayn þat þe scharpe swerdes soute…
Last Lines:
…Evel was hit þy rihte to gon on fote or vp suche best to ride
Holy chirche þow boutest dere þat me spekeþ of wel wyde…
Note: Lacks introductory section (life of Gilbert) and ends imperfectly; formerly 728.
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 43 (SC 6924), ff. 228v-259
First Lines:
ENgelond glad þu beo vor þu miȝt wel eþe
&al holi chirche also for one monnes deþe…
Last Lines:
…þei hi beo wel repentaunt as þis knyȝtes were ic wene
ȝut ne libbeþ hi niȝt half hor lif as hit was bi hem isene
4.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 779 (SC 2567), ff. 41v-66v
First Lines:
Gilbert was Tomas fadir þat trewe man was & gode
& loued god & holy cherche seþþe he wit ondirstode…
Last Lines:
…& for þat ilke swete loue þat seint tomas on þe þouȝt
brynge vs to þat ilke ioye þat he so dere abouȝt
Attributed Title: Saynt Thomas of canterbyrre (f. 41v)
5.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Eng. poet. c.3 (SC 30516), ff. 3-3v
First Lines:
Gilberd was seynt Thomas fadir þat trewe man was & good
He louyd god & holy chirche seþþe he wyȝt wndirstode…
Last Lines:
…ffor be nyȝt sche wente al on sche muste whedirwarde
& [ ] wit here nome to schethe þis Gilberde
Note: Lines 1-60 only.
6.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Addit. 3039, ff. 80v-104v
First Lines:
Inglande þou may be glad & blith boþe on lenghe & brede
And þou haly kirke also for lufe of one man dede
Þe archebishope sayn Thomas þat þe ful dere has boght
With his harneȝ & with his blode þat þe sharpe swerde soght…
Last Lines:
…If al þai þe repentaunte als þer knighteȝ wer I wen
Ȝet liffe þai noght halfe þer life on þam it was wele sene
Note: Lacks introductory section (life of Gilbert); formerly 728.
7.Source: Cambridge UK, Corpus Christi College 145, ff. 180-210v
First Lines:
Gilberd was sein thomas fader þat triwe man was & good
He louede god & holy churche suþþe he wit vnderstod…
Last Lines:
…Nou for þe loue of seint thomas þat soffrede so strang martirdom
Vs ȝyue part of þulke ioie þat is soule to com
Editions:
D’Evelyn, Charlotte, and A. J. Mill, eds. The South English Legendary: Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS. 145 and British Museum MS. Harley 2277, with variants from Bodley MS. Ashmole 43 and British Museum MS. Cotton Julius D.ix. EETS o.s. 235 (1959), 236 (1956); repr. 1967: 610.
8.Source: Cambridge UK, Magdalene College Pepys 2344, pp. 41-90
First Lines:
Gilbert was seint Thomas ffader name þat truwe man was & goed
He louede wel god & holy chirche suþþe he eny wit vnderstod…
Last Lines:
…Now god ffor þe loue of Seint Thomas þat soffrede such martyrdom
Ȝif vs þulke ioye wherto þat his soule com
Note: Pages 41 and 90 deleted.
Attributed Title: Thomas Cantuariensis (RT)
9.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College R.3.25 (605), ff. 188v-214
First Lines:
Gilberd was seint thomas fadere þat truwe man was & goude
he loued god & holy churche suþþe he wytte vnderstode…
Last Lines:
…Þey hii be wel repentaunt as þe knyȝtes were ic wene
ȝut lybbeþ hii noȝt al here lyf as hit was þer ysene
Attributed Title: Thomas Cantuarensis (RT)
10.Source: London, British Library Addit. 24078, ff. 275-276
Note: Fragments: lines 363-422.
11.Source: London, British Library Cotton Cleopatra D.IX, ff. 118r2-148v
First Lines:
Gilbert was Thomas fader name þat trewe was & god
And louede god & holi churche whan he witte vnderstode…
Last Lines:
…Þeiȝ hi beo wel repentaunt as hi were echon ic wene
Ȝut ne libbeþ hi nouȝt al her liþ as hit was bi hem isene
Note: Folio number reflects the most recent foliation.
12.Source: London, British Library Cotton Julius D.IX, f. 232v
Editions:
Thiemke, Hermann, ed. Die mittelenglische Thomas Beket-Legende des Gloucesterlegendar. Palaestra 131. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1919: 14.
13.Source: London, British Library Egerton 1993, f. 64
14.Source: London, British Library Egerton 2810 [olim Allan of Darlington], f. 145v
15.Source: London, British Library Harley 2277, f. 195v
Editions:
Black, William Henry. “The Life and Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket.” Percy Society 19. London: Richards, 1846.
Mätzner, Edouard Adolf Ferdinand. Altenglische Sprachproben, I: Poesie. Berlin: Wiedmann, 1867: 177 (lines 1787-2398).
16.Source: London, College of Arms, Arundel 8, ff. 80v-116v
First Lines:
GIlberd was thomas fader is name þat trew man was & goode
And loued god & holy chirche sith he witte vnderstode…
Last Lines:
…So that the Erchebishop steuyn of whome I yow seide
And the bishop Richard of Salesbery nome hem to rede…
Note: Ends imperfectly at line 2354. Catchphrase ‘And the pryoure’ on f. 116v)
Attributed Title: Incipit vita & passio beati thome cantuar (f. 80v, in rubric)