Scenes from Margery's Life Around King's Lynn (Bishop's Lynn as it was then.)

Visitation of Christ and the Return of Her Sanity

And when she had long been labored in this and many other temptations that men weened she should never 'a scaped or lived, then on a time as she lay alone and her keepers were from her, our merciful Lord Christ Jesu, ever to be trusted (worshiped be his name) never forsaking his servant in time of need, appeared to his creature, which had forsaken him, in likeness of a man, most seemly, most beauteous, and most amiable that ever might be seen with man's eye, clad in a mantle of purple silk, sitting upon her bed's side, looking upon her with so blessed a cheer that she was strengthened in all her spirits, said to her these words: "Daughter, why hast thou forsaken me, and I forsook never thee?" And anon as he had said these words she saw verily how the air opened bright as any levin, and he sty up into the air, not right hastily and quickly, but fair and easily that she might well behold him in the air till it was closed again. And anon the creature was stabled in her wits and in her reason as well as ever she was before, and prayed her husband as soon as he came to her that she might have the keys of the buttery to take her meat and drink as she had done before.

Brewing for Pride

And then, for pure covetise and for to maintain her pride, she gan to brew and was one of the greatest brewers in the town N a three year or four till she lost much good, for she had never ure thereto. For though she had never so good servants and cunning in brewing, yet it would never prove with them. For when the ale was as fair standing under barm as any man might see, suddenly the barm would fall down that all the ale was lost every brewing after other, that her servants were ashamed and would not dwell with her. Then this creature thought how God had punished her beforetime and she could not beware, and now eftsoons by losing of her goods, and then she left and brewed no more. And then she asked her husband mercy for she would not follow his counsel aforetime, and she said that her pride was cause of all her punishing and she would amend that she had trespassed with good will.

Margery & Her Husband Reach a Settlement

It befell upon a Friday on Midsummer Even in right hot weather, as this creature was coming from York-ward bearing a bottle with beer in her hand and her husband a cake in his bosom, he asked his wife this question: "Margery, if there came a man with a sword and would smite off my head unless that I should commune kindly with you as I have done beofre, say me truth of your conscience - for ye say ye will not lie - whether would ye suffer my head to be smit off or else suffer me to meddle with you again as I did sometime?" "Alas, sir," She said, "why move ye this matter and have we been chaste this eight weeks?" "For I will wit the truth of your heart." And the she said with great sorrow, "Forsooth, I had liefer see you be slain than we should turn again to our uncleanness." And he said again, "Ye are no good wife."

And then she asked her husband what was the cause that he had not meddled with eight weeks before, sithen she lay with him every night in his bed. And he said he was so made afeared when he would 'a touched her that he durst no more do. "Now, good sir, amend you and ask God mercy, for I told you near three year sithen that ye should be slain suddenly, and now is this the third year, and yet I hope I shall have my desire. Good sir, I pray you grant me that I shall ask, and I shall pray for you that ye shall be saved through the mercy of our Lord Jesu Christ, and ye shall have more meed in Heaven than if ye wore a hair or a habergeon. I pray you, suffer me to make a vow of chastity in what bishop's hand that God will." "Nay," he said, "that will I not grant you, for now I may use you without deadly sin and then might I not so." The she said again, "If it be the will of the Holy Ghost to fulfill that I have said, I pray God ye might consent thereto; and if it be not the will of the Holy Ghost, I pray God ye never consent thereto."

Then they went forth to-Bridlington-ward in right hot weather, the foresaid creature having great sorrow and great dread for her chastity. And as they came by a cross, her husband set him down under the cross, cleping his wife unto him and saying these words unto her, "Margery, grant me my desire, and I shall grant you your desire. My first desire is that we shall lie still together in one bed as we have done before; the second that ye shall pay my debts ere ye go to Jerusalem; and the third that ye shall eat and drink with me on the Friday as ye were wont to do." "Nay sir," she said, "to break the Friday I will never grant you while I live." "Well," he said, "then shall I meddle with you again."

She prayed him that he would give her leave to make her prayers, and he granted it goodly. Then she knelt down beside a cross in the field and prayed in this manner with great abundance of tears, "Lord God, thou knowest all thing; thou knowest what sorrow I have had to be chaste in my body to thee all this three year, and now might I have my will and I dare not for love of thee. For if I would break that manner of fasting which thou commandest me to keep on the Friday without meat or drink, I should now have my desire. But, blessed Lord, thou knowest I will not contrary to thy will, and mickle now is my sorrow unless that I find comfort in thee. Now, blessed Jesu, make thy will known to me unworthy that I may follow thereafter and fulfil it with all my might." And then our Lord Jesu Christ with great sweetness spoke to this creature, commanding her to go again to her husband and pray him to grant her that she desired, "And he shall have that he desireth. For, my dearworthy daughter, this was the cause that I bade thee fast for thou shouldest the sooner obtain and get thy desire, and now it is granted thee. I will no longer thou fast, therefore I bid thee in the name of Jesu eat and drink as thy husband doth."

Then this creature thanked our Lord Jesu Christ of his grace and his goodness, sithen rose up and went to her husbandm saying unto him, "Sir, if it like you, ye shall grant me my desire and ye shall have your desire. Granteth me that ye shall not come in my bed, and I grant you to quit your debts ere I go to Jerusalem. And maketh my body free to God so that ye never make no challenging in me to ask no debt of matrimony after this day while ye live, and I shall eat and drink on the Friday at your bidding." Then said her husband again to her, "As free may your body be to God as it hath been to me." This creature thanked God greatly, enjoying that she had her desire, praying her husband that they should say three Pater Noster in the worship of the Trinity for the great grace that he had granted them. And so they did, kneeling under a cross, and sithen they ate and drank together in great gladness of spirit. This was on a Friday on Midsummer Even.

Weeping at Saint Margaret's

Then on a Friday before Christmas Day, as this creature, kneeling in a chapel of Saint John within a Church of Saint Margaret, wept wondir sore, askyng mercy and forgiveness of her sins and her trepasses, our merciful Lord Christ Jesus, blessed must he be, ravished her spirit and said unto her: "Daughter, why weepest thou so sorely? I am comyn to the, Jesus Christ, that died on the cross suffering bitter pains and passions for thee. I, the same God, forgive thee thy sins to the utterest point. And thou shalt never come in hell nor in purgatory, but when thou shalt pass out of this world, within the twinkling of an eye thou shalt have the bliss of heaven. For I am the same God that have brought thy sins to this ammending and made thee to confess and be shriven of them.... Therefore I bid thee and command thee, boldy call me Jesus thy love. For I am thy love and shall be thy love without end.

The Fire at the Guild Hall and a Miracle

On a time there happened to be a great fire in Lynne's Bishop, which burned up the Guild Hall of the Trinitie and in the same town, was a hideous fire and grievously likely to burn the parish church that was dedicated in honor of Saint Margaret--a solemn place and richly honored, and also all the town, if the grace of a miracle not been given.   The said creature (Margery) being there present and seeing the peril and mischief of the town cried full loud many times that day and wept full abundantly, praying for grace and mercy for all the people. And not withstanding that in other times they might not endure her to cry and weep for the plenteous grace that our Lord had wroght in her, but on this day seeing their own bodily peril, they might suffer her to cry and weep as much as ever she would, and no man would bid her cease, but rather pray her to continue, full trusting and believing that through her crying and weeping our Lord would show them mercy.

Then came her confessor to her and asked if it were best too burn the sacrament in the fire or not. She said, "Yes, sir, yes. For our Lord Jesus Christ told me it shall be right well." So her confessor, the parish priest of Saint Margaret's Church, took the precious sacrament and went before the fire as devoutly as he could and then brought it again to the church and the sparks of the fire flew about the church. The said creature, desiring to follow the precious sacrement to the fire, went out at the church door, and as soon as she beheld the hideous flames of the fire, anon, she cried with a loud voice and great weeping, "Good Lord, make it well." ...Then she went again into the church... Soon after, came in to her three worshipful men with white snow on their clothes and said to her, "Lo, Margery, God hath wrought great grace for us and sent us a fair snow to quench the fire. Be now of good cheer and thank God therefore."