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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 6687
IMEV 4171
NIMEV 4171
Will ye not I-hear this English tale that is here I-write
The Life of St. Thomas of Canterbury, beginning with the story of Gilbert, father of St. Thomas, in the South English Legendary
Note: For other MSS see 1507.
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 Eng. poet. a.1 (SC 3938) [Vernon MS], ff. 73rb-80vb
First Lines:
WOlle ȝe nou vndurstonde hou hit is i write
Of seint Thomas of Canterburi hou he was bi ȝite…
Last Lines:
…þerto þei hedde wel luytel help and were ful sore agaste
Ac vr lord for seint Thomas loue his grace sone on hem caste…
Note: Imperfect at end due to loss of folios 81-88.
Facsimiles:
Doyle, I. A., ed. The Vernon Manuscript. A Facsimile of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Eng. poet.a.1, with an introduction by A. I. Doyle. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1987.
Scase, Wendy, and Nick Kennedy, eds. A facsimile edition of the Vernon manuscript: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. Poet. A. 1. Oxford: The Bodleian Library, 2011.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 108 (SC 1486), ff. 61-87v
First Lines:
Wolle ȝe nouþe i heore þis englische tale þat is here i write
Of Seint Thomas of Caunterburi al hou he was bi ȝite…
Last Lines:
…Þei beon swyþe repentaunt ase þis kniȝtes weren ich wene
ȝuyt ne libbeth heo nouȝt half heore lif ant þat was bi heom isene
Note: Continues with 4768 as if part of this text.
Attributed Title: Ici poez oyer coment Seint Thomas de kaunterbures nasqui e de queo manere gent de pere e de mere (f. 61)
3.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Laud misc. 463 (SC 1596), ff. 61-87v
Note: Omits Gilbert; formerly 728.
4.Source: London, British Library Stowe 949, ff. 110v-141
First Lines:
Engelond glad glad þou be for þou mayht wel eþe
& þou al so al holi churche for one monnes deþe…
Last Lines:
…ffor þe sauter seiþ þat suche men þat of trecherie beþ
Ne scholle naut half hor dayes lybbe as we alle yseþ
5.Source: London, Lambeth Palace Library 223, ff. 257v-290v
First Lines:
Wole ȝe now here now hit is y write
Of saynt Thomas of Canterburye how he was y gete…
Last Lines:
…Now Ihesu for þat love þat saynt Thomas on þoȝt
Ȝeve vs part of þat ioye þat he so dere boȝt Amen
Note: Some defacing of the text has been carried out by an antipapist whose focus seems to have been St. Thomas.
Attributed Title: Saynt Thomas of Canterbury
Editions:
Horstmann, Carl, ed. The Early South-English Legendary. EETS o.s. 87 (1887; repr. 1987): 106-77.
Thiemke, Hermann, ed. Die mittelenglische Thomas Beket-Legende des Gloucesterlegendar. Palaestra 131. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1919: 1 (lines 1-210).