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Letter from Bernard to King Henry I of England


To Henry, the illustrious King of England, that in his earthly kingdom he may faithfully serve and humbly obey the King of Heaven, from Bernard, styled Abbot of Clairvaux.
In your land there is an outpost of my Lord and your Lord, an outpost which he has preferred to die for than to lose. I have proposed to occupy it and I am sending men from my army who will, if it is not displeasing to you, claim it, recover it and restore it with a strong hand. For this purpose I have sent ahead these men who now stand before you to reconnoitre. They will investigate the situation carefully and report back to me faithfully. Help them as messengers of you Lord and in your persons fulfil your duties as a vassal of their Lord. And may he for his honour, the salvation of your soul, and the health and peace of your kingdom, bring you safe and happy to a good and peaceful end.

[The Letters of Bernard of Clairvaux, tr. B. S. James, rev. edn. B. M. Kienzle (Stroud, 1998), letter 95 (pp. 141-2)]


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