St Thomas Becket

St Thomas Becket

The murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 is one of the most famous events in English history, creating shock waves which reverberated across Europe. His shrine at Canterbury (destroyed in 1538) became the most famous in Christendom, and after his canonisation the cult of St Thomas of Canterbury was the most important of any English saint. Millions of pilgrims have made the journey to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the shrine and the site of the martyrdom. In modern times his life and death have been celebrated in music, literature, theatre and film. The story of Becket's life and work shows why it has continued to fascinate and enthral across the centuries. A brilliant young man, he studied in London and Paris, and after entering the service of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, in Bologna and Auxerre. He accompanied Theobald to Rome to enlist the support of Pope Eugenius III for Henry Plantagenet's claim to the English throne, and after Henry's accession as Henry II in 1154 Thomas became the new king's Chancellor. Becket's relations with Henry deteriorated after 1162, when he unwillingly accepted the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, and championed the rights of the Church in opposition to the wishes of the king. The conflict between the two men reached its tragic climax on the evening of 29th December 1170, when Thomas was murdered by four of Henry's knights in a side chapel of his own cathedral. . Here is a popular introduction to the life and work of this important English saint. Michael Green has spent most of his life in Kent, and in retirement took a degree in Social Science at Canterbury Christ Church University College. Married for fifty years and an active member of the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury.

Thomas Becket

His Last Days

Thomas Becket

Focusing on the last month of Becket's life after his return to Canterbury, the author describes the dispute that broke out with renewed ferocity culminating in his murder in the Cathedral by four of the King's knights and concludes with an Epilogue reviewing his reputation in the centuries since his death.

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket


Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket

Originally published in 1926, this book presents a biography of St Thomas ... Becket. Hutton reviews Becket's life from his birth until his martyrdom and eventual canonisation, and the preservation of his relics during the English Reformation. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in St Thomas's life and career.

The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175

The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 1-175

This is a major new edition of the letters written and received between 1162 and 1170 by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and victim of the 'murder in the cathedral'. It takes the reader to the very heart of the great dispute that rocked the English kingdom in the twelfth century.

Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket

Liturgies in Honour of Thomas Becket

Slocum analyzes the image of Thomas Becket as presented in the liturgies composed in his honour, and examines these within the context of the political and social history of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.

The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329

The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329

This is a major new edition of the letters written and received between 1162 and 1170 by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and victim of the 'murder in the cathedral'. It takes the reader to the very heart of the great dispute that rocked the English kingdom in the twelfth century.

Thomas Becket

Friends, Networks, Texts, and Cult

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket's life was lived on a European stage, his cause was conducted in a European setting, and the cult of the new martyr spread with extraordinary rapidity to the furthest reaches of Latin Christendom before the end of the twelfth century. Based on the critical examination of manuscripts and texts, this collection focuses first on the papal curia and Becket's household in exile. Studies deal with Becket's letters and their authorship and trace the explosion of Becket's cult, the transmission of hagiographical and liturgical texts to France, Germany, and Portugal, and the role of diverse agencies of dissemination.

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket

On 29 December 1170, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury was brutally murdered in his cathedral by four knights from the household of his former friend and patron, King Henry II. The horror that the killing inspired and the miraculous cures performed at Thomas's tomb transfigured him into one of the most popular saints in Western Christendom, and Canterbury became one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the West. Yet these were unexpected results. Thomas's extraordinary career had been, and remains, controversial. The transformation of a handsome, attractive, and worldly courtier into a zealous prelate, a bitter exile and finally a martyr was for many hard to understand. In this brilliant new biography, based on the original sources and informed by the most recent scholarship, Frank Barlow reconstructs Thomas's physical environment and entourage at various stages of his career, exploring the nuances and irregularities in the story that have been ignored in other studies.

The Lives of Thomas Becket

The Lives of Thomas Becket

Through the eye-witness and contemporary biographical accounts, this book provides valuable insight into the late-12th century world. The extracts, many previously untranslated, expose one of the most controversial figures of the Middle Ages. Written as the shock of Becket's murder in 1170 reverberated around Europe, the accounts provide vivid testimony to the most dramatic events of his life. They show how he became champion of the church and enemy of the king, fled into exile to lead a life of asceticism and political agitation, and returned to face martyrdom before the altar of his own cathedral.