Simon de Montfort: Origins of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

  • On the 15th June 1215, the Magna Carta was signed at Runnymede.
  • On the 18th October 1216, King John dies at Newark Castle, and was buried at Worcester Cathedral. His nine year old son, becomes his successor and is crowned King Henry III of England.  Henry’s England is ruled by Regents until he becomes of age to rule.
  • 1254 was the first time, that each county in the land, was represented at Parliament, and they could have their say.
  • In the April of 1258, Barons confront the king whilst holding Parliament at Westminster, unhappy in the way he governs… calling for reforms.
  • In the June of 1258, the king is forced to accept the “Provisions of Oxford” act, which saw control of his kingdom passed to a council of fifteen. The kings and barons swore an oath to uphold the Provisions of Oxford act, and would meet three times a year to discuss any issues.
  • In the October of 1259, the council carried out further reforms in local government, and introduced new laws.
  • In 1261, Henry III regained his powers, as the act was axed. Simon de Montfort was not happy, and left England for France in 1262.  He returns in the April of 1263, and goes to war against Henry.
  • In the May of 1264, Simon de Montfort takes on the army of Henry III, wining a decisive battle, and capturing Henry III and his son Edward, at the “Battle of Lewes.”
  • In the years 1264-65, Simon de Montfort ruled England and controlled the king.
  • Simon de Montfort, calls representatives of counties and towns to attend Parliament in 1265.
  • On the 4th August 1265, Simon de Montfort is defeated in battle by Edward, son of Henry who had escaped his clutches. Simon dies at the “Battle of Evesham.”

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Medieval Warfare: The Longbow

The Medieval Longbow

The Medieval Longbow

The longbow dominated medieval warfare and came on the scene around 1280, when Edward I invaded Wales, yet the longbow has been around since pre-neolithic times.

The longbow measured six feet in length, and made from the yew tree.  In times of yew shortages, ash, elm or wych elm were also used.

The arrow was a straight shaft, measuring three feet in length, with a sharp point at one end.  Arrows were made out of ash, oak or birch.

Long Bodkin arrows were used for piercing mail armour.
Short Bodkin arrows were used for piercing armour plate.
Swallowtail arrows were used to bring down horses.

Description of the Longbow:

  • The Welsh were the first people in Britain to have and use the longbow.
  • Every medieval longbow was made to measure.
  • The length of the longbow therefore ranged from six to seven feet in length.
  • The majority of longbows were made from yew, but ash, hazel and elm were also used.
  • The bow stave was shaped into a D-section from a half cross section of a tree or branch.
  • The wood of the longbow was protected with a rub of “wax, resin and fine tallow.”
  • A skilled longbowman could release 10-12 arrows per minute.
  • The longbow could pierce the armour of a knight at ranges of more than 250 yards.
  • The string of the longbow was made from hemp as it was the strongest and least elastic fibre available. The string was then soaked in glue as some protection against moisture.
  • The weapon was particularly effective against opponents wearing plate armour.

The medieval knight had no protection against the arrows of the longbow.  They were responsible for many victories over the French, during the Hundred Years War.

The 13th century “English Archery Law,” stated that English men would become experts in the use of the bow and arrow.

In 1252, the “Assize of Arms” passed a law, that every man aged between 15 and 60, had to equip themselves with a bow and arrows.

King Edward III created the “archery Law” of 1363 which commanded the practice of archery on Sundays and holidays.

King Henry I proclaimed that an archer would be absolved of murder, if he killed a man during archery practice.

(Image) Medieval Longbow: realmofhistory

14th Century Peasants Revolt

Peasants Revolt

14th Century Peasants Revolt

Most English people worked the land during the 14th century, and produced food for the towns and cities.  Then in 1348, the Black Death plague crossed the water’s from Europe into England, bringing with it death on a large scale, no one was immune.  This disease took the lives of some fifty percent of the population.

Things had changed in England, and the peasant’s of this land were only too quick to see it.  There was plenty of land in need of farming, but limited manpower to carry out the work.

Peasant’s charged for their work, and with manpower shortages, the prices were driven higher and higher, and landowner’s profits were driven lower and lower.  Even landowners bartered with peasant’s to get their crops harvested and to market, even if it meant out-bidding fellow farmers.

Poverty-scene-3000-gty

The authorities had to step in amid growing chaos, and help farmers before it got completely out of control.  So it was in 1349, emergency legislation was passed in the form of the “Ordinance of Labourer’s” and the “Statue of Labourer’s” in 1351.  These bills were designed to re-set wages paid to peasants at pre Black Death rates.  Under these bills it became illegal to refuse work offered or break existing contracts, with fines being imposed for offenders.

By 1361, the legislation of these bills had been strengthened to such an extent, that anyone breaking the rules faced the possibility of branding or imprisonment, for their actions.

The peasant’s were forced to work on church land for up to two days for free, but this meant that no food was grown for their families.  They saw the church getting richer and richer, as they returned to olden times as they became one of the poor groups of society.

They wanted to break away from this tradition, for working for free on church land.  If landowners paid, why shouldn’t they…  John Ball a Priest from Kent backed their actions.

England had been at war with France, and more and more money was needed to take on their powerful armies.  Whilst King Edward III of England, pressed home his claims to the French throne, so the long running conflict, known as the “Hundred Years War” would continue.

However, the might of Charles V of France increased in 1369, with cross-channel raids on English coastal towns.

A new King came to the English throne, when in 1377 King Edward III died, only to be replaced by Richard II aged ten.

The young King’s biggest challenge was how to raise the money to pay for his armies battling with the French.  Early 14th century taxes were imposed on household’s moveable possessions; goods and livestock.

So Parliament introduced the controversial Poll Tax, where each person aged over 14, would have to pay.

By 1381, the peasant’s had witnessed the Poll Tax charges being rolled out three times over a four year period, and they had reached breaking point…  If you were on the tax register, you paid or they took goods to the value.

In May 1381, villagers from the Essex village of Fobbing made a stand against Poll Tax payments.  When John Brampton the tax collector arrived, checking why bills had not been paid, he was evicted from the village.  In June soldiers arrived to establish law and order, and they too were evicted.

Villagers from Fobbing and many other village’s joined forces and marched on London, taking their grievances to the young King.

Peasant’s from Kent, led by Wat Tyler marched on Canterbury, and entered the walled city and castle on 10th June without resistance.  The rebel force deposed the absent Archbishop Sudbury of Canterbury, and forced cathedral monks to swear allegiance to their cause.

The next morning Wat Tyler took his rebel force and marched on London, destroying tax records and burning down government tax houses on route.  Upon arrival in London, the city gates were opened for them, by those who believed in their cause.

King Richard II left Windsor Castle by boat, taking up residence at the Tower of London.

Both groups of peasant’s had reached London by the 12th June.  The Kent army of rebels camped at Blackheath and the Essex rebels at Mile End, north of the river Thames.

The King agreed to meet them on the afternoon of the 12th at Rotherhithe, but when faced by such a large army, he did not leave the Royal Barge, fearing for his safety and returned to the Tower of London.

On the 13th June rebels attacked the city, prisons were broken into, prisoners set free, and a number of people killed.

As parts of London burnt, Richard II agreed to meet with the rebel forces the very next day at Mile End, believing the looting and ransacking of the city would cease, and many would leave the city.

King Richard II

King Richard II

King Richard II rode out to meet Wat Tyler the leader of the rebel force at Mile End on the 14th June, where their demands were put forward:

  • Land rents were to be reduced to reasonable levels.
  • The Poll Tax was to be abolished.
  • Free pardons for all rebels.
  • Charters would be given to the peasant’s laying down a number of rights and privileges.
  • All traitors were to be put to death.

Richard agreed to their demands, with the added note, that a royal court would decide who is or not a traitor.

Wat Tyler wanted more; he outwitted the King and sneaked off with a group of rebels, and raided the Tower of London.  He found the Simon Sudbury the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Hailes the King’s Treasurer and John Legge creator of the Poll Tax.  These men were forcibly dragged out onto Tower Hill and beheaded; their heads were paraded around the city, before being fixed to London Bridge.

The peasant’s started leaving the city on mass and returning home, believing the charters they had, absolved them from charges, and their demands had been met.  What they didn’t know, was that their leader Wat Tyler and a select group of rebels remained behind, to meet with the King at Smithfield.  Wat Tyler was wounded by William Walworth, the Lord Mayor of London, at this meeting, and he died at the hands of a squire.

The King wanted his revenge on these peasant rebels.  The King so ordered the execution of any man brandishing a charter, for it became a notice of execution.  Thousands were slain by Royal Troops or sent to the gallows for their crimes.

Minor rebellions broke out across the country as rebel peasants returned home, and fire still burnt in their hearts.  Violence spread like a plague, gaols opened, prisoner’s set free, court records burned, property looted and destruction on a large scale.

Rebel leaders were rounded up, by Royal Troops, to stand trial for their part in the Revolt.

  • Jack Straw was captured in London and executed.
  • John Ball was captured in Coventry, tried for his charges in St.Albans and hung, drawn and quartered in the market place.
  • John Wrawe was tried in London, and gave evidence against his colleagues hoping to be pardoned, but the court still sentenced him to death. He was hung, drawn and quartered on 6th May 1382.
  • Sir Roger Bacon, was tried and imprisoned in the Tower of London, before being pardoned by the Crown.

The King announced that all peasants’ previous conditions of service would come into effect on the 30th June, and that the Royal Charters signed during the uprising would be revoked on the 2nd July.

What was the final outcome of the Peasant’s Revolt?

  • The peasants were crushed by a mightier force, their demands refused, and thousands executed, for taking part.
  • Parliament gave up getting involved; in landowners payment to peasant’s who worked on their land.
  • The Poll Tax was abolished.
  • The peasant class gained respect from landowners and government, and were no longer part of the land, and became free men in their own right.

The 14th Century Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 showed if pushed too far, the working man can rise up and take action.  What started as a local revolt centred around Essex spread across the South of England and up the East Coast.

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The Abbey of Fontevrault

Robert-Arbrissel

Robert d’Arbrissel

Robert d’Arbrissel, Archpriest of the Rennes Diocese, carried out reforms on behalf of his bishop, until his death in 1095.  Hostility erupted following the bishop’s death, amongst the local clergy, forcing the Diocese to step in and remove Arbrissel from his position.

Arbrissel became a hermit, practicing a life of penance in Craon forest.

In 1096 he founded a monastery of Canons at LaRoe, with himself as the first Abbot.

Pope Urban II summoned Arbrissel to Angers, appointing him as apostolic missionary, and granted him the right to preach anywhere.  His preaching drew crowds of devoted followers.

In 1099, Robert d’Arbrissel, settled in the Fons Ebraldi Valley, where he established his monastic community.

The foundation flourished, attracting more followers to his dream , a new monastic order; the Order of Fontevrault, consisting of a monastery and nunnery, within a single complex, governed by an Abbess.  As such nuns and monks lived by the Rule of St.Benedict.

Aristocratic ladies often retreated or retired to the Abbey of Fontevrault, banished from court, discarded mistresses of Kings.  Robert d’Arbrissel ruled that the Abbess would never be one from within, but drawn in from outside, one with worldly experience.  In 1201, Pope Innocent III removed this rule.

Fontevrault Abbey Image

Fontevrault Abbey

The Abbey of Fontevrault is located in the Pays de la Loire region, a monastic city of Europe, and royal necropolis cemetery of the Plantagenet dynasty.

In 1804, it was saved from destruction when Napoleon transformed it, into a prison, and it remained so until 1985.

Fontevrault Abbey Plantagenets Tombs

The Plantagenet Dynasty and Fontevrault Abbey

Founded in 1101 by Robert d’Arbrissel, known as the Royal Abbey of Fontevrault, characterised by its two orders, and governed by women.

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) was Queen to Louis VII, King of France and King Henry II of England.

In 1137, her father died and she became heiress of the duchy of Aquitaine, the richest province of Southern France.

In 1173, Eleanor backed her sons, when they revolted against their father; King Henry II.

Her actions came at a price, Henry defeated his sons and imprisoned Eleanor until his death in 1189.

Richard I (The Lionheart) became King, and appointed his mother, Eleanor as his regent when he was in the Holy Land.

Richard died in 1199, in her arms, and was succeeded by his brother Prince John (John Lackland).

Eleanor retired to the Abbey of Fontevrault where she died in 1204.

In the early years the Plantagenets became major benefactors of the Abbey, and during Isabella d’Anjou time as Abbess, Eleanor of Aquitaine, made the Abbey her home.

With the passing of the Plantagenet dynasty, Fontevrault fell on hard times, and Abbess Matilda of Flanders (1189-1194) complained of extreme poverty.

In 1247, during the time of Abbess Mabile of La Ferte, nuns were permitted to receive inheritances to provide income for their daily needs, which was contrary to monastic custom.

Abbess Louise de Bourbon left her crest on many of the alterations she made, during her term of office (1534-1575).

The Holy Order at Fontevrault Abbey was dispersed during the French Revolution, and in November 1789, all Catholic Church property, became the property of the nation.

On the 17th August 1792, by revolutionary decree, the evacuation of all monasteries was so ordered, and completed by the 1st October 1792.

The Holy Order’s last Abbess, Julie Sophie Charlotte de Pardaillan d’Antin (1765-1792) died of poverty in Paris of 1797.

List of Abbesses:

Petronille de Chemille (1115-1149)

Matilda of Anjou (1149-1155)

Audeburge of Hautes-Bruyeres (1155-1180)

Gilles (1180-1189)

Adelaide (1189-1189)

Matilda of Flanders (1189-1194)

Matilda of Bohemia (1194-1207)

Marie of Burgundy (1207-1208)

Alice of Bourbon (1208-1209)

Alice of Champagne (1209-1218)

Bertha (1218-1228)

Adele of Brittany (1228-1244)

Mabile of La Ferte (1244-1265)

Jeanne de Dreux (1265-1276)

Isabeau Davoir (1276-1284)

Marguerite de Pocey (1284-1304)

Eleanor of Brittany (1304-1342)

Isabel of Valois (1342-?)

Marie of Brittany (1457-1477)

Anne of Orleans (1477-1491)

Renee de Bourbon (1491-1534)

Louise de Bourbon (1534-1575)

Eleonore de Bourbon (1575-1611)

Louise de Bourbon de Lavedan (1611-1637)

Jeanne-Baptiste de Bourbon (1637-1670)

Gabrielle de Rochechouart de Mortemart (1670-1704)

Louise-Francoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart (1704-1742)

Marie-Louise de Timbrone (1753-1765)

Julie-Gillette de Pardaillan d’Antin (1765-1792)

Fontevrault Abbey during the Plantagenet dynasty became a mausoleum for King Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Richard I of England, Joan their daughter, grandson Raymond VII of Toulouse and Isabella of Angouleme.  Their remains possibly destroyed during the French Revolution, or during change of use to a prison.  Today, the Abbey house figures represent Plantagenet sovereigns… Counts of Anjou and benefactors of the Abbey.

During the early years of the 1980’s Fontevrault Abbey, a former Plantagenet Mausoleum underwent restoration, turning it from a prison back to that of an abbey.  Much was based on the Abbey’s writings and how a Cistercian Abbey should look.

The Chapter House, would be located around the cloists, and used for ceremonies.  Fontevrault was built in the 16th century and its walls painted, covering up monastic images and texts, when it became a prison.

The Warming Room, as it became known, was the only area to have heating.

Three Dormitories are located on the first floor, access by way of a Renaissance staircase, and date back to the 16th century.

The Infirmaries were built in the 12th century, then rebuilt in the early part of the 17th century and originally formed the main courtyard of the Abbey.  This is where Nuns would end their days.

fontevrault-abbey

Romanesque Kitchens

The Romanesque Kitchens were built in the 12th century.

Fontevrault, is no different to other Abbey’s, surrounded by gardens; Utilitarian kitchen garden, Cemetery orchard and a medicinal herb garden.

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Cistercian Abbey of L’Epau

abbey-of-lepau

Cistercian Abbey of L’Epau

The old Plantagenet town of LeMans rises high upon a pinnacle, with tiered houses in golden coloured stone, clinging for dear life, to the riverside hill.  Part and part girdled by a 3rd century Roman wall, with richly decorative brickwork, displaying the Empire’s wealth.

berengaria-of-navarre

Berengaria of Navarre

Berengaria of Navarre, daughter of Sancho VI, King of Navarre, was born in 1165, and married Richard the Lionheart in May of 1191 in Limassol, Cyprus.  In April of 1199, her estranged husband died.

England’s crown passed from Richard to his brother John.  John withheld funds due to Berengaria, and she lived a life of poverty, until she could stand no more, and threw herself at the mercy of the French Monarchy, who gave her the town of LeMans.

Berengaria opted to build the Cistercian Abbey of L’Epau between the town and forest in 1228.  Construction commenced on the 25th March 1229 by Citeaux monks, who resided in the area.  She retired to the Abbey and on the 23rd December 1230 died, and was buried within the Abbey.

Design of the Abbey, was based on a classic construction, similar in style to other Cistercian buildings.  The main buildings took till 1280 to complete and final construction was completed in 1365.

Monks fled the Abbey during the Hundred Years War, and the town inhabitants, feared troops would seize the building, as a base to attack LeMan.

In 1366, the damaged sections, destroyed the previous year were rebuilt by the Bourgeois (Middle Class Property Owners) of LeMans.

Charles VI taxed the local inhabitants, leading to the restoration of the Abbey and Church (1400-1444).  Guillaume de Bonneville, an artisan played a major part in its restoration.

berengaria-tomb-effigy

Berengaria: Tomb and Stone Effigy

In 1960 during the restoration of the Abbey, Pierre Terouanne uncovered a skeleton of a woman who died in her sixties, which is thought to be; Berengaria of Navarre.  The remains have been preserved beneath the stone effigy of the queen, which is now located in the Chapter House of the Abbey.

Wikipedia Images

Thomas Becket (Sonnet)

thomas-beckett-by-early-british-kingdoms

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket, man of God
once confidante, of the King,
transferred his allegiance to God
as church opposed the King.

The King called out in despair
will anyone rid me of this man,
knights hearing of their King’s despair
answered the call, to remove this man,

They killed him
this man of God,
they murdered him
upon his altar; to God,

Henry II and his knights
paid penance, for taking Becket’s life.

Thomas Becket Slain…

thomas-beckett-by-early-british-kingdoms

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket was born on the 21st December 1118, which was also the feast day of St.Thomas the Apostle.  The son of Gilbert Becket and his wife Matilda from France, a London Merchant and Sheriff of the city.

Becket was educated at Merton Priory in Surrey, then Paris.  Whilst studying abroad, his father’s fortune took a terrible crumble, and he was forced to return home.  For three years worked as an auditor in the City of London, also served as secretary to Lord Pevensey’s secretary.

By the time he reached his mid-twenties, had moved onwards and upwards, and worked within the Theobald household, for the Archbishop of Canterbury.  It was during this time; he entered the world of power and policy within the church, and then went on to study canon law at Bologna and Auxerre in Italy.

In the year 1154, Henry II was crowned King of England, and Becket was his Lord Chancellor, a post recommended by the then Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops, looking for a protector and defender of their rights.

It wasn’t long before the same Bishops who had recommended

Becket for the post of Lord Chancellor complained that he had forgotten the interests of the church.

His reply to these Bishops: I follow the rules of the church, and in the eyes of God remain a devout believer in a court full of promiscuous behaviour and over indulgence.  I attend mass at dawn and pray late into the night.

In 1162 Thomas Becket was nominated as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and on the 23rd May 1162 confirmed by the council of bishops and nobleman, and ordained on the 2nd June and consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on the 3rd June.

Henry had expected Becket would continue his work putting the royal government first, in front of those of the church.  This was not to be for he resigned his post as Lord Chancellor, to become a champion of ecclesiastical claims, which would see a rift grow between King Henry and Thomas Becket.

Henry, who believed in the rights of the justice system, was provoked by several errors, in the church courts, claiming the right to punish clerical criminals, after they have been degraded by the bishop’s court.  Becket felt compelled to oppose the King’s request, this angered him immensely.  Becket carried the full support of the bishops with him; but neither they nor the pope were prepared to go to any lengths in opposing Henry.  Eventually having to concede to Henrys demands, but not willingly.

Following the stand down by myself and the bishop’s, Henry put forward a document known as the ‘Constitutions of Clarendon’ relating to the way the church is run, but contrary to Cannon Law?

Becket was angered by this document, and the quarrel between Becket and Henry erupted once again, over how the church should be run.

Becket forced the King’s hand, which outraged him.

At Northampton Castle a council was held to fine Thomas Becket and charge him with alleged offences in his personal and ministerial life.

Before the King could have Becket formally charged for these offences, he escaped to France taking refuge in the Abbey of Pontigny, where he remained in exile for six years.

Whilst in exile, Becket gathered support from loyal followers for his cause, however, the pope and did not condone his actions.

In 1167, the King’s anger, enraged that the exiled archbishop had found safe refuge, decreed, that all English scholars studying on the continent were to return home.  Many students and teachers alike, gathered at Oxford, here they tried to re-create the scholarly atmosphere they had experienced in Paris and other universities in France.

Britain’s oldest university ‘Oxford’, owes its origin to the quarrel between King Henry II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.

As the year 1170 drew to a close.  The conflict which had divided England for the past six years, was reaching its climax.  It was in early December that Becket agreed to meet Henry in Normany, and there they reconciled their differences.

Thomas Becket had remained in exile over the King’s demands to have control over the church.  These demands were limitless.  Henry, had forbidden  the clergy to exercise their given rights, to appeal to Rome as the final authority in matters relating to the church.  Furthermore, he had ordered the priests of England to take an oath, against the pope.

When Becket returned to Canterbury he publicly excommunicated his enemies from the pulpit of the cathedral on Christmas Day 1170, to the utter disgust of Henry.

This was the final straw, Henry could take no more, he had met Becket in Normandy to discuss their differences and this is what he does in return.  In a moment of anger, Henry said, “idle cowards of my court, who stand by while this miserable priest insults me to my face”.  These hasty words were enough to inspire a deed, which shocked the whole of Christendom.

Four knights, Reginald FitzUrse, William de Tracy, Hugh de Morville and Richard le Breton took the King at his word.  To get rid of him, would surely be of great service to the realm.  They left the royal court and made their way to Canterbury.  There they had planned to arrest the archbishop Thomas Becket, imprison him to await the King’s pleasure, if this was not possible, they would take it upon themselves to kill him.

By the time the knights had reached Canterbury on December 29, 1170, crowds had gathered outside the cathedral, amid rumours of violence and murder.  FitzUrse ordered his men to stand guard at the cathedral gates, whilst he and his three loyal followers sought out Thomas Becket.

Upon hearing the commotion outside, Becket was escorted into the cathedral by the monks, fearing for his safety.

Moments later, the knights burst through the cathedral doors.  “Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to his king and kingdom? demanded FitzUrse.

“I am here, no traitor but a priest of God and an archbishop, “Becket replied from the steps leading to the High Altar.

It was here Becket was slain on the steps leading to the  High Altar by Reginal FitzUrse and his trusted followers, from King Henry II’s court.

But Thomas Becket had the final word, an eyewitness to the tragedy wrote that “the sun’s gaze was averted, its ray’s hidden from the earth and the day veiled in darkness…a terrible storm cloud overhung the firmament, the rain fell suddenly and swiftly and the thunder rolled around the heavens.  After this, the sky turned a deep red in token of the blood which had been shed in horror at the outrage.”

shrine-of-thomas-becket

Shrine dedicated to Thomas Becket

Within three years of this brutal murder, Thomas Becket, had been canonised by Pope Alexander III, and his tomb had become a shrine, for pilgrims from all over Europe.

It was one of those symbolic acts which colour and fortify the convictions of the many.  The few who were closely involved had to extricate themselves.

The penance of the four knights was fourteen years’ service with the Knights Templar in the Holy Land.

The King had to provide 200 knights for a year for the defence of Jerusalem.

In 1174, King Henry II himself was forced into doing a public penance – being whipped in Canterbury Cathedral on the site of Becket’s murder.

But this did not stop him in his purpose.  He succeeded in bringing the English Church, under royal control – a position which his successors, never lost.

Becket had failed in his ongoing struggle, by opposing the King, at every turn, as the rightful head of the Church.  He was slain in his own cathedral for his actions, and became a martyr to his cause.

For the next 360 yrs, his memory lived on in the shrine dedicated to him, and became one of the greatest centres of pilgrimages in the Christian world.

Becket’s fame spread further.  In the Holy Land, an order of Christian Knights was founded in his memory.

In the 1530’s, England broke with the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1536 an act of Parliament by order of Henry VIII saw the dissolution of the smaller monasteries, and this act was followed by the dissolution of Abbey’s in 1539.  Henry VIII ordered the shrine to be destroyed, and all the rich gifts, which had been lavished upon it over the centuries-confiscated.

But even this action could not destroy the legend, of a man of God, who perished for his beliefs.

Today, a plaque marks the spot in Canterbury Cathedral, where Archbishop Thomas Becket paid with his life in 1170 for his opposition to King Henry II’s demands.

Wikipedia Images