Thief from BL Harley 2278, f. 109
Detail of a miniature of a thief stealing a jewel. Image taken from f. 109 of Metrical lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund, in the presentation copy for Henry VI, including the prologue (ff. 1v-5). Written in English and Latin.
Fremund was the son of a pagan king who reigned in England, named Offa. Offa was baptized, performed many miracles, converted his parents, and resigned his kingdom to his son. Danes, Hinguar and his brother, Hubba ravage England and put King Edmund to death. Offa sends twenty nobles to seek his son, and, finding him, they implore his aid, and he assents in consequence of a vision in which it is revealed that each of his companions shall appear a thousand to his enemies. He attacks and defeats 40,000 of the enemy with the twenty who have come to seek him, in addition to his two companions. In a great battle at Radford Semele, while he is prostrate in thanksgiving for the victory, Oswi, formerly one of Offa's commanders who had apostatized and joined the pagans, cuts off his head. Blood spurts over Oswi, who implores absolution and forgiveness, which the head pronounces. Fremund rises and carries his head some distance, when, a spring bursting forth, he washes his wound, falls prostrate and expires.