The Death of Thomas Becket: Case Analysis

Topics: Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, Canterbury Cathedral Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: October 4, 2012
Case: Thomas Beckets’ Death

Victim: Thomas Becket, Son of Gilbert and Matilda Becket. Born in 1118, Cheapside London. Occupation: Lord Chancellor- until death.
Time, Date & place of death:
Becket died on the 29th December 1170 early evening/late afternoon, at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral. Cause of death: Victim has been said to have been severely attacked by swords. Suffering from a mighty gash to the head- this being the cause of his death. Suspects: 1. King Henry 2nd

Motive: There had been a feud between the two (Henry & Becket) for quite a few years. They had both been close friends with one another, but, after Henry appointed Becket as “ Lord Chancellor” their friendship had taken a turn for the worst. Their on and off relationship caused more quarrels between the church, and their followers, and the kings courts. This happened because Becket would not allow foul punishments, according to some. Henry, known for his strong temper, needed to take Becket out the picture in order to have full control of the church. 2. Unidentified Knights.

Motive: We do not know if this violent attack was based on orders given to them(by Henry) Or if they had something against Becket themselves. Four knights have been said to have sliced Becket to death. Witnesses: 1. Edward Grim

This account is by Edward grim, a priest, who was with Becket at the time of his death. He Says;
“The murderers came in full armour, with swords and axes. The monks cried out to the Archbishop to flee to the church. But he had long since yearned for martyrdom and dreaded that it would be delayed if he fled to the church. But the Monks pulled, dragged and pushed him into the church. The four knights followed with rapid strides. The Archbishop ordered the doors of the church to be kept open. In a spirit of mad fury the Knights called out, ‘Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to the King and this country?’ At this he quite unafraid came down the steps and answered ‘ Here I am,...
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