Becket controversy - Wikipedia
Thomas Becket's power struggle with Henry II still reverberates. a deep, complicated and symbiotic relationship between Becket and Henry. Category: European Europe History; Title: Thomas Becket vs Henry II. is the conflict of Henry II, King of England, and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. . always by Henry's side, and Henry would often refer to Becket for advice and. The relationship and the murder. Henry II and Thomas Becket. customer reviews. DawnTurner Files included (2). avesisland.info; HenryBecket.
Henry married the richest woman in Europe, Eleanor de Aquitaine in when he was Eleanor had been abandoned by a French King, Louis VI, for reasons that are too complicated to go into. The marriage brought Henry even greater estates than he had before, and his kingdom now stretched from the north of England south to the Pyrenees. These territories were enhanced by the homage of King Malcolm III of Scotland inand his recognition by the barons of Ireland as their overlord in All in all, young Henry had a very great deal going for him.
He was tall, bad tempered, athletic, good-looking and a typical Plantagenet. First, Henry had to deal vigorously with the mess, meyhem and ruin left by the disastrous previous reign and civil wars. His subjects were reminded that they must by Law equip themselves for military service.
He went on to initiate a number of legal reforms in the Assizes of Clarendon and Northampton. Henry and Eleanor had sons, each one of which provided endless complications for the King and Queen as father and mother. They were Henry, who died in his youth; Richard known as The Lionheart who became Richard I; John known as Lackland who became John I of Robin Hood fameand Geoffrey, by far the cleverest of the three, who never became anything important.
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Each of these roused rebellions against his father in the period between and Henry imprisoned all three at one time or another, as well as locking up his rich wife for years, on the grounds that she was backing his sons against him, especially Richard.
The latter was a great soldier and fine strategist who married Berengaria of Spain, though as he was an active homosexual there were no fruits of the marriage. The King thought in vain that through Becket he would be able to rule the Church, but Becket did not share this good idea. He excommunicated Beaumont and other important barons, and Henry, who had liked him very much, realised that Becket would have to go. In his cups with his faithful lords, he suggested it might be a good idea for Becket to die.
He lived to regret this, as four of the barons decided without informing the King of their intention to ride from London to Canterbury, where they entered the great church while Becket and a monk were celebrating High Mass. They slaughtered both Becket and the monk, thus creating a martyr. He also served as the sheriff of the city at some point.
One of Becket's father's wealthy friends, Richer de L'Aigleoften 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.
He did not study any subjects beyond the trivium and quadrivium at these schools.
Later, he spent about a year in Paris around age 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.
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Theobald in named Becket Archdeacon of Canterburyand other ecclesiastical offices included a number of beneficesprebends 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 His election was confirmed on 23 May by a royal council of bishops and noblemen.
However, the famous transformation of Becket into an ascetic occurred at this time. 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 Octoberwhere the King sought approval of the traditional rights of the royal government in regard to the church. Constitutions of Clarendon[ edit ] Further information: 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 Clarendonbut he still refused to formally sign the documents.
Henry summoned Becket to appear before a great council at Northampton Castle on 8 Octoberto 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. He spent nearly two years in the Cistercian abbey of Pontignyuntil 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 IIIthough sympathising with him in theory, favoured a more diplomatic approach. Papal legates were sent in with authority to act as arbitrators. Arbroath Abbey was founded 8 years after the death of St. Thomas and dedicated to him; it became the wealthiest abbey in Scotland.
InAlexander 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. This was a breach of Canterbury's privilege of coronation, and in November Becket excommunicated all three. While the three clergymen fled to the king in Normandy,  Becket continued to excommunicate his opponents in the church, the news of which also reached Henry II, Henry the Young King's father.
Becket's assassination and funeral, from a French enamelled chasse made about —, one of about 45 surviving examples Upon hearing reports of Becket's actions, Henry is said to have uttered words that were interpreted by his men as wishing Becket killed.
On 29 December 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.
The four knights, wielding drawn swords, caught up with him 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.
Installed inthe 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 Edward Grim, who was wounded in the attack.
This is part of the account from Edward Grim: The wicked knight leapt suddenly upon him, cutting off the top of the crown which the unction of sacred chrism had dedicated to God.
Next he received a second blow on the head, but still he stood firm and immovable. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living sacrifice, and saying in a low voice, "For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.
By this stroke, the crown of his head was separated from the head in such a way that the blood white with the brain, and the brain no less red from the blood, dyed the floor of the cathedral. The same clerk who had entered with the knights placed his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to relate, scattered the brains and blood about the pavements, crying to the others, 'Let us away, knights; this fellow will arise no more.