Thomas Becket

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Thomas Becket
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{{bots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}}{{pp-pc1}}{{Use dmy dates|date=April 2019}}{{Use British English|date=January 2014}}{{redirect|Thomas a Becket||Thomas a Becket (disambiguation)|and|Thomas Beckett (disambiguation){{!}}Thomas Beckett}}

(age 50 or 51)|death_place = Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, Kingdom of England|buried = Canterbury Cathedral|religion = Roman CatholicGilbert Beket|Matilda}}|feast_day = 29 DecemberRoman Catholic Church|Anglican Communion}}Bishop (Catholicism)>Bishop and Martyr|beatified_date = 21 February 1173|beatified_place =|beatified_by =Pope Alexander III|canonized_date =21 February 1173|canonized_place = St Peter's Church in Segni|canonized_by = Pope Alexander III|attributes = Sword, martyrdom, episcopal vestments|patronage = Exeter College, Oxford; Portsmouth; Arbroath Abbey; secular clergy|shrine =Canterbury Cathedral|suppressed_date =


}}Thomas Becket ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|b|É›|k|ɪ|t}}), also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London and later Thomas à Becket{{refn|The name "Thomas à Becket" is not contemporary, and appears to be a post-Reformation creation, possibly in imitation of Thomas à Kempis.Barlow Thomas Becket pp. 11–12|group=note}} (21 December c. 1119 (or 1120) â€“ 29 December 1170), was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III.


The main sources for the life of Becket are a number of biographies written by contemporaries. A few of these documents are by unknown writers, although traditional historiography has given them names. The known biographers are John of Salisbury, Edward Grim, Benedict of Peterborough, William of Canterbury, William fitzStephen, Guernes of Pont-Sainte-Maxence, Robert of Cricklade, Alan of Tewkesbury, Benet of St Albans, and Herbert of Bosham. The other biographers, who remain anonymous, are generally given the pseudonyms of Anonymous I, Anonymous II (or Anonymous of Lambeth), and Anonymous III (or Lansdowne Anonymous). Besides these accounts, there are also two other accounts that are likely contemporary that appear in the Quadrilogus II and the Thómas saga erkibyskups. Besides these biographies, there is also the mention of the events of Becket's life in the chroniclers of the time. These include Robert of Torigni's work, Roger of Howden's Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi and Chronica, Ralph Diceto's works, William of Newburgh's Historia Rerum, and Gervase of Canterbury's works.Barlow Thomas Becket pp. 3–9

Early life

Becket was born about 1119,Butler and Walsh Butler's Lives of the Saints p. 430 or in 1120 according to later tradition. He was born in Cheapside, London, on 21 December, which was the feast day of St Thomas the Apostle. He was the son of Gilbert and Matilda Beket.{{refn|There is a story that Thomas's mother was a Saracen princess who met and fell in love with his English father while he was on Crusade or pilgrimage in the Holy Land, followed him home, was baptised and married him. This story has no truth to it, being a fabrication from three centuries after the saint's martyrdom and inserted as a forgery into Edward Grim's contemporary (12th century) Life of St Thomas.Staunton Lives of Thomas Becket p. 29Hutton Thomas Becket â€“ Archbishop of Canterbury p. 4 Matilda occasionally is known as Rohise.|group=note}} Gilbert's father was from Thierville in the lordship of Brionne in Normandy, and was either a small landowner or a petty knight. Matilda was also of Norman descent, and her family may have originated near Caen. Gilbert was perhaps related to Theobald of Bec, whose family also was from Thierville. Gilbert began his life as a merchant, perhaps as a textile merchant, but by the 1120s he was living in London and was a property owner, living on the rental income from his properties. He also served as the sheriff of the city at some point.Barlow "Becket, Thomas (1120?–1170)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography They were buried in Old St Paul's Cathedral.(File:Thomas Becket Memorial Plaque on Cheapside.jpg|thumb|left|Plaque marking Becket's birthplace along Cheapside)One of Becket's father's wealthy friends, Richer de L'Aigle, often invited Thomas to his estates in Sussex where Becket was exposed to hunting and hawking. According to Grim, Becket learned much from Richer, who was later a signatory of the Constitutions of Clarendon against Thomas.Beginning when he was 10, Becket was sent as a student to Merton Priory in England and later attended a grammar school in London, perhaps the one at St Paul's Cathedral. He did not study any subjects beyond the trivium and quadrivium at these schools. Later, he spent about a year in Paris around age 20. He did not, however, study canon or civil law at this time and his Latin skill always remained somewhat rudimentary. Some time after Becket began his schooling, Gilbert Beket suffered financial reverses, and the younger Becket was forced to earn a living as a clerk. Gilbert first secured a place for his son in the business of a relative—Osbert Huitdeniers—and then later Becket acquired a position in the household of Theobald of Bec, by now the Archbishop of Canterbury.Theobald entrusted him with several important missions to Rome and also sent him to Bologna and Auxerre to study canon law. Theobald in 1154 named Becket Archdeacon of Canterbury, and other ecclesiastical offices included a number of benefices, prebends at Lincoln Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral, and the office of Provost of Beverley. His efficiency in those posts led to Theobald recommending him to King Henry II for the vacant post of Lord Chancellor, to which Becket was appointed in January 1155.Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 84As Chancellor, Becket enforced the king's traditional sources of revenue that were exacted from all landowners, including churches and bishoprics. King Henry even sent his son Henry to live in Becket's household, it being the custom then for noble children to be fostered out to other noble houses.BOOK, Kristopher James, Ultimate Guide to...Canterbury Tales: General Prologue,weblink 20 August 2015, 4 May 2014,, 978-1-4475-9166-5, 16–, The younger Henry was reported to have said Becket showed him more fatherly love in a day than his father did for his entire life.{{citation needed|date=November 2014}}


Becket was nominated as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, several months after the death of Theobald. His election was confirmed on 23 May 1162 by a royal council of bishops and noblemen. Henry may have hoped that Becket would continue to put the royal government first, rather than the church. However, the famous transformation of Becket into an ascetic occurred at this time.Huscroft Ruling England pp. 192–195Image:StThomasEnthroned.jpgImage:StThomasReturn.jpgImage:StThomasSens.jpgBecket was ordained a priest on 2 June 1162 at Canterbury, and on 3 June 1162 was consecrated as archbishop by Henry of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester and the other suffragan bishops of Canterbury.A rift grew between Henry and Becket as the new archbishop resigned his chancellorship and sought to recover and extend the rights of the archbishopric. This led to a series of conflicts with the King, including that over the jurisdiction of secular courts over English clergymen, which accelerated antipathy between Becket and the king. Attempts by Henry to influence the other bishops against Becket began in Westminster in October 1163, where the King sought approval of the traditional rights of the royal government in regard to the church. This led to the Constitutions of Clarendon, where Becket was officially asked to agree to the King's rights or face political repercussions.

Constitutions of Clarendon

{{details|Constitutions of Clarendon}}(File:Jindrich2 Beckett.jpg|170px|14th-century depiction of Becket with King Henry II|thumb|left|alt=Manuscript illustration. The central man is wearing robes and a mitre and is facing the seated figure on the left. The seated man is wearing a crown and robes and is gesturing at the mitred man. Behind the mitred figure are a number of standing men wearing armour and carrying weapons.)King Henry II presided over the assemblies of most of the higher English clergy at Clarendon Palace on 30 January 1164. In sixteen constitutions, he sought less clerical independence and a weaker connection with Rome. He employed all his skills to induce their consent and was apparently successful with all but Becket. Finally, even Becket expressed his willingness to agree to the substance of the Constitutions of Clarendon, but he still refused to formally sign the documents. Henry summoned Becket to appear before a great council at Northampton Castle on 8 October 1164, to answer allegations of contempt of royal authority and malfeasance in the Chancellor's office. Convicted on the charges, Becket stormed out of the trial and fled to the Continent.Henry pursued the fugitive archbishop with a series of edicts, targeting Becket as well as all of Becket's friends and supporters, but King Louis VII of France offered Becket protection. He spent nearly two years in the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny, until Henry's threats against the order obliged him to return to Sens. Becket fought back by threatening excommunication and interdict against the king and bishops and the kingdom, but Pope Alexander III, though sympathising with him in theory, favoured a more diplomatic approach. Papal legates were sent in 1167 with authority to act as arbitrators.File:Arbroath Abbey Seal 01.jpg|thumb|A Seal of the Abbot of Arbroath, showing the murder of Becket. Arbroath AbbeyArbroath AbbeyIn 1170, Alexander sent delegates to impose a solution to the dispute. At that point, Henry offered a compromise that would allow Thomas to return to England from exile.


In June 1170, Roger de Pont L'Évêque, the archbishop of York, along with Gilbert Foliot, the Bishop of London, and Josceline de Bohon, the Bishop of Salisbury, crowned the heir apparent, Henry the Young King, at York. This was a breach of Canterbury's privilege of coronation, and in November 1170 Becket excommunicated all three. While the three clergymen fled to the king in Normandy,Warren Henry II pp. 500–508 Becket continued to excommunicate his opponents in the church, the news of which also reached Henry II, Henry the Young King's father.File:Reliquary Thomas Becket MNMA Cl23296.jpg|thumb|left|Becket's assassination and funeral, from a French enamelled chasse made about 1190–1200, one of about 52 surviving examples."V&A plaque", with latest count; Binski, 225, with a catalogue entry on one in the Burrell Collection in GlasgowGlasgowUpon hearing reports of Becket's actions, Henry is said to have uttered words that were interpreted by his men as wishing Becket killed.Huscroft Ruling England p. 194 The king's exact words are in doubt and several versions have been reported.Warren Henry II p. 508 The most commonly quoted, as handed down by oral tradition, is "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?",Knowles Oxford Dictionary of Quotations p. 370 but according to historian Simon Schama this is incorrect: he accepts the account of the contemporary biographer Edward Grim, writing in Latin, who gives us "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"Schama History of Britain p. 142 Many variations have found their way into popular culture.Whatever Henry said, it was interpreted as a royal command, and four knights, Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy and Richard le Breton, set out to confront the Archbishop of Canterbury.On 29 December 1170, they arrived at Canterbury. According to accounts left by the monk Gervase of Canterbury and eyewitness Edward Grim, they placed their weapons under a tree outside the cathedral and hid their mail armour under cloaks before entering to challenge Becket. The knights informed Becket he was to go to Winchester to give an account of his actions, but Becket refused. It was not until Becket refused their demands to submit to the king's will that they retrieved their weapons and rushed back inside for the killing.Stanley Historical Memorials of Canterbury pp. 53–55 Becket, meanwhile, proceeded to the main hall for vespers. The other monks tried to bolt themselves in for safety, but Becket said to them, "It is not right to make a fortress out of the house of prayer!," ordering them to reopen the doors. The four knights, wielding drawn swords, ran into the room saying "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to the King and country?!". The knights found Becket in a spot near a door to the monastic cloister, the stairs into the crypt, and the stairs leading up into the quire of the cathedral, where the monks were chanting vespers. Upon seeing them, Becket said, "I am no traitor and I am ready to die." One knight grabbed him and tried to pull him outside, but Becket grabbed onto a pillar and bowed his head to make peace with God.{{cn|date=March 2019}} (File:Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral 03.JPG|thumb|Altar marking the spot of Thomas Becket's martyrdom, Canterbury Cathedral. Installed in 1986, the dramatic new sculpture represents four swords for the four knights (two metal swords with reddened tips and their two shadows). The design is the work of Giles Blomfield of Truro.)Several contemporary accounts of what happened next exist; of particular note is that of Grim, who was wounded in the attack. This is part of his account:Another account can be found in Expugnatio Hibernica ("Conquest of Ireland", 1189) written by Gerald of Wales.BOOK, Giraldus Cambrensis – The Conquest of Ireland, Forester, Thomas, In Parentheses Publications, 2001, Cambridge, Ontario,

After Becket's death

File:158 Santa Maria de Terrassa, cicle de Tomàs Becket.jpg|thumb|200px|right| St Thomas Becket's consecration, death and burial, at wall paintings in Santa Maria de Terrassa (TerrassaTerrassaFollowing Becket's death, the monks prepared his body for burial. According to some accounts, it was discovered that Becket had worn a hairshirt under his archbishop's garments—a sign of penance.Grim, Benedict of Peterborough and William fitzStephen are quoted in Douglas, et al. English Historical Documents 1042–1182 Volume 2 p. 821 Soon after, the faithful throughout Europe began venerating Becket as a martyr, and on 21 February 1173—little more than two years after his death—he was canonised by Pope Alexander III in St Peter's Church in Segni. In 1173, Becket's sister Mary was appointed Abbess of Barking as reparation for the murder of her brother.BOOK, 'Houses of Benedictine nuns: Abbey of Barking', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 2, 1907, 115–122,weblink William Page & J. Horace Round, On 12 July 1174, in the midst of the Revolt of 1173–74, Henry humbled himself with public penance at Becket's tomb as well as at the church of St. Dunstan's, which became one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in England.Becket's assassins fled north to de Morville's Knaresborough Castle, where they remained for about a year. De Morville also held property in Cumbria and this may also have provided a convenient bolt-hole, as the men prepared for a longer stay in the separate kingdom of Scotland. They were not arrested and neither did Henry confiscate their lands, but he failed to help them when they sought his advice in August 1171. Pope Alexander excommunicated all four. Seeking forgiveness, the assassins travelled to Rome and were ordered by the Pope to serve as knights in the Holy Lands for a period of fourteen years.Barlow Thomas Becket pp. 257–258This sentence also inspired the Knights of Saint Thomas, incorporated in 1191 at Acre, and which was to be modelled on the Teutonic Knights. This was the only military order native to England (with chapters in not only Acre, but London, Kilkenny, and Nicosia), just as the Gilbertine Order was the only monastic order native to England. Nevertheless, Henry VIII dissolved both of these English institutions at the time of the Reformation, rather than merging them with foreign orders or nationalising them as elements of the Protestant Church of England.The monks were afraid that Becket's body might be stolen. To prevent this, Becket's remains were placed beneath the floor of the eastern crypt of the cathedral. A stone cover was placed over the burial place with two holes where pilgrims could insert their heads and kiss the tomb; this arrangement is illustrated in the "Miracle Windows" of the Trinity Chapel. A guard chamber (now called the Wax Chamber) had a clear view of the grave. In 1220, Becket's bones were moved to a new gold-plated and bejewelled shrine behind the high altar in the Trinity Chapel.WEB, Becket's bones return to Canterbury Cathedral, Drake, Gavin,, 23 May 2016, 23 May 2016,weblink The shrine was supported by three pairs of pillars, placed on a raised platform with three steps. This is also illustrated in one of the miracle windows. Canterbury, because of its religious history, had always seen many pilgrims, and after the death of Thomas Becket their numbers rose rapidly.

Cult in the Middle Ages

{{refimprove|section|date=December 2017}}(File:Canterbury - Ehemaliger Standort des Schreins von Thomas Becket.jpg|upright|thumb|right|Candle marking the former spot of the shrine of Thomas Becket, at Canterbury Cathedral)In Scotland, King William the Lion ordered the building of Arbroath Abbey in 1178. On completion in 1197 the new foundation was dedicated to Becket, whom the king had known personally while at the English court as a young man.On 7 July 1220, in the 50th jubilee year of his death, Becket's remains were moved from this first tomb to a shrine in the recently completed Trinity Chapel. This act of translation was "one of the great symbolic events in the life of the medieval English Church" and was attended by King Henry III, the papal legate, the Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton and large numbers of dignitaries and magnates secular and ecclesiastical. Thus a "major new feast day was instituted, commemorating the translation, that was celebrated each July almost everywhere in England and also in many French churches".JOURNAL, Sherry L., Reames, Reconstructing and Interpreting a Thirteenth-Century Office for the Translation of Thomas Becket, Speculum, 80, 1, January 2005, 118–170, 10.1017/S0038713400006679, 20463165, Quoting p.118, 119. This feast was suppressed in 1536 at the Reformation.JOURNAL, Robert E., Scully, The Unmaking of a Saint: Thomas Becket and the English Reformation, The Catholic Historical Review, 86, 4, October 2000, 579–602, 10.1353/cat.2000.0094, 25025818, Especially p. 592.The shrine stood until it was destroyed in 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, on orders from King Henry VIII.WEB,weblink The Origins of Canterbury Cathedral, Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral, 10 November 2011, The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated.WEB,weblink The Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket (Getty Museum), The J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 July 2007, As the scion of the leading mercantile dynasty of later centuries, Mercers, Becket was very much regarded as a Londoner by the citizens and was adopted as London's co-patron saint with St Paul: both their images appeared on the seals of the city and of the Lord Mayor. The Bridge House Estates seal used only the image of Becket, while the reverse featured a depiction of his martyrdom.Local legends regarding Becket arose after his canonisation. Though they tend toward typical hagiographical stories, they also display Becket's well-known gruffness. "Becket's Well", in Otford, Kent, is said to have been created after Becket had become displeased with the taste of the local water. Two springs of clear water are said to have bubbled up after he struck the ground with his crozier. The absence of nightingales in Otford is also ascribed to Becket, who is said to have been so disturbed in his devotions by the song of a nightingale that he commanded that none should sing in the town ever again. In the town of Strood, also in Kent, Becket is said to have caused the inhabitants of the town and their descendants to be born with tails. The men of Strood had sided with the king in his struggles against the archbishop, and to demonstrate their support, had cut off the tail of Becket's horse as he passed through the town.The saint's fame quickly spread throughout the Norman world. The first holy image of Becket is thought to be a mosaic icon still visible in Monreale Cathedral, in Sicily, created shortly after his death. Becket's cousins obtained refuge at the Sicilian court during his exile, and King William II of Sicily wed a daughter of Henry II. The principal church of the Sicilian city of Marsala is dedicated to St Thomas Becket. Over forty-five medieval chasse reliquaries decorated in champlevé enamel showing similar scenes from Becket's life survive, including the Becket Casket, originally constructed to hold relics of the saint at Peterborough Abbey, and now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


File:SouthNewington StPeterAdVincula StThomasBeckettMartyrdom.JPG|thumb|Wall painting of Thomas Becket's martyrdom painted in the 1330s in the parish church of St Peter ad Vincula, South Newington, Oxfordshire]]File:Canterbury Arms.svg|thumb|The coat of arms of Canterbury combines the arms of Thomas Becket (three Cornish choughs) with a lion from the coat of arms of England]]
  • In 1170 the king of Castille Alfonso VIII married Eleanor Plantagenet, the second daughter of Henry II. She honoured Becket with a wall painting of his martyrdom that is preserved in the church of San Nicolás de Soria in Spain.Enciclopedia del románico en Castilla y León: Soria III. Fundación Santa María la Real â€“ Centro de Estudios del Románico, pp. 961, 1009–17. The assassination of Becket made an impact in Spain; within five years after his death there was a church in Salamanca named after him, Iglesia de Santo Tomás Cantuariense.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is set in a company of pilgrims on their way from Southwark to the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
  • The story of Becket's life became a popular theme for the medieval Nottingham Alabaster carvers. One set of Becket panels is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum.WEB,weblink St Thomas Becket landing at Sandwich (Relief), Victoria & Albert Museum, en, 26 December 2018, WEB,weblink St Thomas Becket meeting the Pope (Panel), Victoria & Albert Museum, en, 26 December 2018, WEB,weblink Consecration of St Thomas Becket as archbishop (Panel), Victoria & Albert Museum, en, 26 December 2018,
  • The coat of arms of Canterbury, officially registered in 1619, but dating back to at least 1380, is based on the alleged arms of Thomas Becket, Argent three Cornish choughs proper two and one, accompanied by a chief in red with a gold lion from the Royal Arms of England.WEB, Canterbury (England) â€“ Coat of arms,weblink Heraldry of the World, 31 January 2017,
  • In 1884, England's poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote Becket, a play about Thomas Becket and Henry II. Henry Irving produced the play after Tennyson's death, and was celebrated in the title role.DNB12, Irving, Henry, Harold Hannyngton, Child,
  • Modern works based on the story of Thomas Becket include T. S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral, Jean Anouilh's play Becket (where Becket is no longer a Norman but a Saxon), which was made into a movie with the same title, and Paul Webb's play Four Nights in Knaresborough. Webb has adapted his play for the screen and sold the rights to Harvey and Bob Weinstein.NEWS,weblink Hollywood shines a light on geezers who killed à Becket, Malvern, Jack, 10 June 2006, The Times, 21 June 2010, London, The struggle between Church's and King's power is a theme of Ken Follett's novel The Pillars of the Earth, of which one of the last scenes features the murder of Thomas Becket. Medieval mystery author Jeri Westerson recreated Chaucer's pilgrims and their time in Canterbury, along with murder and the theft of Becket's bones in her fourth novel in the Crispin Guest series Troubled Bones.WEB,weblink Troubled Bones, An oratorio by David Reeves entitled Becket (The Kiss of Peace) premiered in 2000 at the Canterbury Cathedral, where the actual event took place, as a part of the Canterbury Festival and was used as a fundraiser for the Prince's Trust.WEB, Hughes, Peter, Music festivals: We pick 10 of the best,weblink Telegraph, 3 July 2018, 26 May 2000, {{Citation | author1=Reeves, David | author2=Bowman, James | author3=Wilson-Johnson, David | author4=Neary, Martin | author5=Slane, Phillip | author6=Novis, Constance | author7=Brink, Harvey | author8=Keith, Gillian | author9=Willocks, David | author10=English Chamber Choir | author11=English Festival Orchestra | title=Becket : The kiss of peace = Le baiser de la paix = Der Kuss der Friedens | date=1999 | publisher=English Gramophone/DRM Control Point ; Australia : manufactured in Australia under license | url= | accessdate=3 July 2018 }}
  • The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, interfaith, legal and educational institute dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions, took its inspiration and namesake from Thomas Becket.WEB,weblink Becket Fund, Becket Fund, 17 January 2010,
  • In a 2006 poll by BBC History magazine for "worst Briton" of the previous millennium, Becket came second behind Jack the Ripper.NEWS, Coughlan, Sean,weblink UK &124; Saint or sinner?, BBC News, 31 January 2006, 17 January 2010, The poll was dismissed as "daft" in The Guardian, and the result disputed by Anglicans and Catholics.NEWS, Weaver, Matthew, 31 January 2006, Asking silly questions, The Guardian, London,weblink News Blog, 2 May 2008, Historians had nominated one person per century, and for the 12th century John Hudson chose Becket for being "greedy", "hypocritical", "founder of gesture politics" and "master of the soundbite". The magazine editor suggested most other nominees were too obscure for voters, as well as saying, "In an era when thumbscrews, racks and burning alive could be passed off as robust law and order—being guilty of 'gesture politics' might seem something of a minor charge."
  • There are many churches named after Thomas Becket in the UK, including Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth, St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Canterbury,WEB,weblink Portsmouth Cathedral, St Thomas' Cathedral, Old Portsmouth, 3 December 2018, Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Monmouth,WEB,weblink Welcome to Monmouth, St Thomas Church Monmouth, 13 December 2011, St Thomas à Becket Church, Pensford,WEB, South West England,weblink Heritage at Risk, English Heritage, 243, St Thomas à Becket Church, Widcombe,{{NHLE |num=1394116 |desc=Church of St Thomas a Becket |accessdate=13 December 2011 }} Church of St Thomas à Becket, Capel,WEB,weblink Church of St Thomas a Becket, Capel, Kent, 13 December 2011, Churches Conservation Trust, St Thomas the Martyr, BristolWEB, Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Bristol, Bristol,weblink Churches Conservation Trust, 13 December 2011, and St Thomas the Martyr's Church, Oxford.WEB, St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, A Church Near You,weblink 13 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2007, and in France, including Église Saint-Thomas de Cantorbéry at Mont-Saint-Aignan (Upper-Normandy),WEB,weblink Saint-Thomas de Cantorbéry,, 18 June 2012, Église Saint-Thomas-Becket at Gravelines (Nord-Pas-de-Calais), Église Saint-Thomas Becket at Avrieux (Rhône-Alpes), Église saint-Thomas Becket at Bénodet (Brittany),WEB,weblink Saint-Thomas Becket (Bénodet),, 18 March 2008, 18 June 2012, etc.
  • As part of his obligations in contrition to Henry, William de Tracy significantly enlarged and re-dedicated the parish church in Lapford, Devon to St Thomas of Canterbury as it lay within his manor of Bradninch. The martyrdom is commemorated by the Lapford Revel to this day.{{cn|date=December 2018}}
  • There are many schools named after Thomas Becket in Great Britain, including Becket Keys Church of England School and St Thomas of Canterbury Church of England Aided Junior School.
  • There is a section of the city of Esztergom, Hungary named Szenttamás ("Saint Thomas"), on a hill called "Szent Tamás", both named after Thomas Becket, who was a classmate and friend of Lucas, Archbishop of Esztergom in Paris.JOURNAL, Györffy, György, 1970, Becket Tamás és Magyarország [Thomas Becket and Hungary], Filológiai Közlöny, 16, 1–2, 153–158, 0015-1785, harv,
  • Among the possessions of the treasury of the Fermo Cathedral is the Fermo chasuble of St. Thomas Becket, on display at Museo Diocesano.






  • BOOK, Barlow, Frank, Frank Barlow (historian), Thomas Becket, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1986, 978-0-520-07175-9,
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA, Barlow, Frank, Becket, Thomas (1120?–1170), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004,weblink 17 April 2011, 10.1093/ref:odnb/27201, {{ODNBsub}}
  • BOOK, Butler, Alban, Walsh, Michael, Butler's Lives of the Saints, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1991,
  • BOOK, Douglas, David C., David C. Douglas, Greenway, George W., English Historical Documents 1042–1189, Routledge, London, 1953, Second, 1981, 2, 978-0-415-14367-7,
  • BOOK, Fryde, E. B., Greenway, D. E., Porter, S., Roy, I., Handbook of British Chronology, Third revised, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, 978-0-521-56350-5,
  • BOOK, Hutton, William Holden, Thomas Becket â€“ Archbishop of Canterbury, Pitman and Sons Ltd, London, 1910, 978-1-4097-8808-9,
  • BOOK, Knowles, Elizabeth M., Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, Fifth, 978-0-19-860173-9,
  • BOOK, Lee, Christopher M., Christopher Lee (historian), This Sceptred Isle, 1997, BBC Books, London, 978-0-563-38384-0,
  • BOOK, Robertson, James Craigie, James Craigie Robertson, Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Longman, London, 1876, ii,
  • BOOK, Schama, Simon, Simon Schama, A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? : 3000 BC–AD 1603, BBC Books, London, 2002, 978-0-563-38497-7,
  • BOOK, Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, Historical Memorials of Canterbury, John Murray, 1855, London,
  • BOOK, Staunton, Michael, The Lives of Thomas Becket, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK, 2001, 978-0719054549,
  • BOOK, Staunton, Michael, Thomas Becket and His Biographers, Woodbridge, UK, The Boydell Press, 2006, 978-1-84383-271-3,
  • BOOK, Warren, W. L., Henry II, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1973, 978-0-520-03494-5,

Further reading

  • Duggan, Anne (2005), Thomas Becket, London: Hodder Arnold.
  • Guy, John. Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel (Random House; 2012) 424 pages
  • Knowles, David (1970), Thomas Becket, London: Adam & Charles Black.

  • Duggan, Anne (1980), Thomas Becket: A Textual History of his Letters, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Duggan, Anne (Hrsg.) (2000), The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury (1162–1170). 2 Bände, lat./engl., Oxford: Clarendon Press.

External links

{{House of Blois and Anjou Lord Chancellors}}{{Archbishops of Canterbury|state=collapsed}}{{Authority control}}{{Subject bar |portal1= Saints |portal2= Catholicism |portal3= England |portal4 = Middle Ages |portal5=Biography |portal6=Law |s=y |commons=y }}{{short description|12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and saint}}

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott