Debe saberse que los Judios mantuvieron secuestrado al niño durante diez días, alimentándolo con leche durante todo ese período, así que, mientras estuvo con vida, soportó toda clase de tormentos.
Cuando el rey, al regresar del norte de Inglaterra, fue informado de los hechos, amonestó a John por haber prometido respetar la vida y miembros de un ser tan retorcido, a lo que no tenía derecho, porque un blasfemo y asesino como él merecía mil muertes. Cuando el culpable vio que un castigo inevitable pendía sobre él, dijo «Mi muerte es inminente y John no puede ni ayudarme ni salvarme de perecer: ahora os contaré a todos la verdad. Casi todos los Judíos de Inglaterra acordaron la muerte de este niño, de la cual ellos (los Judíos) están acusados, y de casi cada ciudad de Inglaterra en la que los Judíos residen algunos de esa secta fueron escogidos y convocados para estar presentes en su sacrificio, como ofrenda de Pascua.»
Después de haber pronunciado estas palabras y otras locuras, fue atado a la cola de un caballo y arrastrado hasta la horca, donde fue entregado en cuerpo y alma a los espíritus malignos del aire. Los demás Judíos que habían participado en el crimen, hasta un total de noventa y uno, fueron trasladados hasta Londres en carromatos, y encerrados estrechamente. Y si algunos cristianos por ventura se compadecieron de ellos, no suscitaron lágrima alguna de compasión entre los Caursins (1), sus rivales.
Usureros oriundos de Cahors, en la Francia meridional, en la que se habían establecido banqueros lombardos.
De cómo dieciocho Judíos fueron arrastrados hasta la horca y colgados.
Más tarde, tras una investigación llevada a cabo por orden del rey, se descubrió y decidió que los Judíos de Inglaterra habían acordado crucificar y tomar la vida de un niño inocente, después de haberlo flagelado durante varios días; pero por este crimen, habiendo apelado al rey (Enrique III) la madre del citado niño contra ellos por el mencionado asesinato, Dios, Señor de la Venganza, les retribuyó de acuerdo a sus merecimientos. Porque, el día de San Clemente, dieciocho de los Judíos más ricos y poderosos de Lincoln fueron arrastrados hasta el nuevo cadalso, especialmente erigido para tal propósito, y fueron ahorcados y ofrecidos a los vientos. Más de ochenta otros fueron estrechamente encerrados en la Torre de Londres, en espera de similar destino…
Geoffrey Chaucer nació en Londres en 1343 y murió en la misma ciudad, el 25 de octubre de 1400.
Poeta, filósofo y diplomático, ha pasado a la historia por haber escrito los Cuentos de Canterbury, siendo el poeta inglés más importante de la Edad Media y el primero que recibió sepultura en el Rincón de los Poetas de la Abadía de Westminster.
En uno de los cuentos de la obra citada, Chaucer menciona el crimen de Hugh de Lincoln:
1 In Asia, in a city rich and great
2 There was a Jewry set amidst the town,
3 Established by a rich lord of the state
4 For usury and gain of ill renown,
5 Hateful to Christ and those who are His own;
6 And through that street a man might ride or wend,
7 For it was free and open at each end.
8 A little school for Christian folk there stood,
9 Down at the farther end, in which there were
10 A many children born of Christian blood,
11 Who learned in that same school, year after year,
12 Such teachings as with men were current there,
13 Which is to say, to sing well and to read,
14 As children do of whatsoever creed.
15 Among these children was a widow’s son,
16 A little choir boy, seven years of age,
17 Who went to school as days passed one by one,
18 And who, whenever saw he the image
19 Of Jesus’ Mother, it was his usage,
20 As he’d been taught, to kneel down there and say
21 Ave Maria, ere he went his way.
22 Thus had this widow her small son well taught
23 Our Blessed Lady, Jesus’ Mother dear,
24 To worship always, and he ne’er forgot,
25 For simple child learns easily and clear;
26 But ever, when I muse on matters here,
27 Saint Nicholas stands aye in my presence,
28 For he, when young, did do Christ reverence.
29 This little child, his little lesson learning,
30 Sat at his primer in the school, and there,
31 While boys were taught the antiphons, kept turning,
32 And heard the Alma redemptoris fair,
33 And drew as near as ever he did dare,
34 Marking the words, remembering every note,
35 Until the first verse he could sing by rote.
36 He knew not what this Latin meant to say,
37 Being so young and of such tender age,
38 But once a young school-comrade did he pray
39 To expound to him the song in his language,
40 Or tell him why the song was in usage;
41 Asking the boy the meaning of the song,
42 On his bare knees he begged him well and long.
43 His fellow was an older lad than he,
44 And answered thus: This song, as I’ve heard say,
45 Was made to praise Our Blessed Lady free,
46 Her to salute and ever Her to pray
47 To be our help when comes our dying day.
48 I can expound to you only so far;
49 I’ve learned the song; I know but small grammar.
50 And is this song made in all reverence
51 Of Jesus’ Mother? asked this innocent;
52 Now truly I will work with diligence
53 To learn it all ere Christmas sacrament,
54 Though for my primer I take punishment
55 And though I’m beaten thrice within the hour,
56 Yet will I learn it by Our Lady’s power!
57 His fellow taught him on their homeward way
58 Until he learned the antiphon by rote.
59 Then clear and bold he sang it day by day,
60 Each word according with its proper note;
61 And twice each day it welled from out his throat,
62 As schoolward went he and as homeward went;
63 On Jesus’ Mother was his fixed intent.
64 As I have said, as through the Jewry went
65 This little school-boy, out the song would ring,
66 And joyously the notes he upward sent;
67 O Alma redemptoris would he sing;
68 To his heart’s core it did the sweetness bring
69 Of Christ’s dear Mother, and, to Her to pray,
70 He could not keep from singing on his way.
71 Our primal foe, the serpent Sathanas,
72 Who has in Jewish heart his hornets’ nest,
73 Swelled arrogantly: O Jewish folk, alas!
74 Is it to you a good thing, and the best,
75 That such a boy walks here, without protest,
76 In your despite and doing such offense
77 Against the teachings that you reverence?
78 From that time forth the Jewish folk conspired
79 Out of the world this innocent to chase;
80 A murderer they found, and thereto hired,
81 Who in an alley had a hiding-place;
82 And as the child went by at sober pace,
83 This cursed Jew did seize and hold him fast,
84 And cut his throat, and in a pit him cast.
85 I say, that in a cesspool him they threw,
86 Wherein these Jews did empty their entrails.
87 O cursed folk of Herod, born anew,
88 How can you think your ill intent avails?
89 Murder will out, ‘tis sure, nor ever fails,
90 And chiefly when God’s honour vengeance needs.
91 The blood cries out upon your cursed deeds.
92 O martyr firm in thy virginity,
93 Now mayest thou sing, and ever follow on
94 The pure white Lamb Celestial- quoth she-
95 Whereof the great evangelist, Saint John,
96 In Patmos wrote, saying that they are gone
97 Before the Lamb, singing a song that’s new,
98 And virgins all, who never woman knew.
99 This widow poor awaited all that night
100 Her child’s return to her, but be came not;
101 For which, so soon as it was full daylight,
102 With pale face full of dread, and busy thought,
103 At school she sought and everywhere she sought,
104 Until, at last, from all her questioning she
105 Learned that he last was seen in the Jewry.
106 With mother’s pity in her breast enclosed
107 She ran, as she were half out of her mind,
108 To every place where it might be supposed,
109 In likelihood, that she her son should find;
110 And ever on Christ’s Mother meek and kind
111 She called until, at last, Our Lady wrought
112 That amongst the cursed Jews the widow sought.
113 She asked and she implored, all piteously,
114 Of every Jew who dwelt in that foul place,
115 To tell her where her little child could be.
116 They answered Nay. But Jesus, of His grace,
117 Put in her mind, within a little space,
118 That after him in that same spot she cried
119 Where he’d been cast in it, or near beside.
120 O Thou great God, Who innocents hast called
121 To give Thee praise, now shown is Thy great might!
122 This gem of chastity, this emerald,
123 Of martyrdom the ruby clear and bright,
124 Began, though slain and hidden there from sight,
125 The Alma redemptoris loud to sing,
126 So clear that all the neighbourhood did ring.
127 The Christian folk that through the ghetto went
128 Came running for the wonder of this thing,
129 And hastily they for the provost sent;
130 He also came without long tarrying,
131 And gave Christ thanks, Who is of Heaven King,
132 And, too, His Mother, honour of mankind;
133 And after that the Jews there did he bind.
134 This child, with piteous lamentation, then
135 Was taken up, singing his song alway;
136 And, honoured by a great concourse of men,
137 Carried within an abbey near, that day.
138 Swooning, his mother by the black bier lay,
139 Nor easily could people who were there
140 This second Rachel carry from the bier.
141 With torture and with shameful death, each one,
142 The provost did these cursed Hebrews serve
143 Who of the murder knew, and that anon;
144 From justice to the villains he’d not swerve.
145 Evil shall have what evil does deserve.
146 And therefore, with wild horses, did he draw,
147 And after hang, their bodies, all by law.
148 Upon the bier lay this poor innocent
149 Before the altar, while the mass did last,
150 And after that the abbot and monks went
151 About the coffin for to close it fast;
152 But when the holy water they did cast,
153 Then spoke the child, at touch of holy water,
154 And sang, O Alma redemptoris mater!
155 This abbot, who was a right holy man,
156 As all monks are, or as they ought to be,
157 The dead young boy to conjure then began,
158 Saying: O dear child, I do beg of thee,
159 By virtue of the Holy Trinity,
160 Tell me how it can be that thou dost sing
161 After thy throat is cut, to all seeming?
162 My throat is cut unto the spinal bone,
163 Replied the child. By nature of my kind
164 I should have died, aye, many hours agone,
165 But Jesus Christ, as you in books shall find,
166 Wills that His glory last in human mind;
167 Thus for the honour of His Mother dear,
168 Still may I sing ‘O Alma’ loud and clear.
169 This well of mercy, Jesus’ Mother sweet,
170 I always loved, after poor knowing;
171 And when came time that I my death must meet,
172 She came to me and bade me only sing
173 This anthem in the pain of my dying,
174 As you have heard, and after I had sung,
175 She laid a precious pearl upon my tongue.
176 Wherefore I sing, and sing I must, ‘tis plain,
177 In honour of that blessed Maiden free,
178 Till from my tongue is taken away the grain;
179 And afterward she said thus unto me:
180 ‘My little child, soon will I come for thee,
181 When from thy tongue the little bead they take;
182 Be not afraid, thee I will not forsake.’
183 The holy monk, this abbot, so say I,
184 The tongue caught out and took away the grain,
185 And he gave up the ghost, then, easily,
186 And when the abbot saw this wonder plain,
187 The salt tears trickled down his cheeks like rain,
188 And humbly be fell prone upon the ground,
189 Lying there still as if he had been bound.
190 And all the monks lay there on the pavement,
191 Weeping and praising Jesus’ Mother dear,
192 And after that they rose and forth they went,
193 Taking away this martyr from his bier,
194 And in a tomb of marble, carved and clear,
195 Did they enclose his little body sweet;
196 Where he is now- grant us him to meet!
197 O you young Hugh of Lincoln, slain also
198 By cursed Jews, as is well known to all,
199 Since it was but a little while ago,
200 Pray you for us, sinful and weak, who call,
201 That, of His mercy, God will still let fall
202 Something of grace, and mercy multiply,
203 For reverence of His Mother dear on high. Amen.
Matthew Paris’s English History. From the year 1235 to 1273. Translated from the latin by the Rev. J. A. Giles, D.C.L. Tomo III. Páginas 138 a 141.
The Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer.