2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Thomas à Becket
The outline of the life of St. Thomas à Becket is clear, but his motivations remain mysterious. Born c. 1118 in London, Becket was educated in London and Paris before becom ing a member of the household of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury. Theobald sent him to the Continent to study canon. In 1154, Becket was made archdeacon of Canterbury, a post h e refused to resign when he became Henry II's chancellor in 1155. As chancellor, he supported Henry's claim that clergy ought to be tried in civil courts. Becket reversed his pos ition when in 1162, he became Archbishop of Canterbury. He also opposed the king's plans to tax the church. To avoid trial on a point of feudal obligation, Becket fled to Rome in 1164. Six years later, the king and his former chancellor were reconciled. Becket was murdered in December , 1170, possibly at the king's command. Many saw him as a martyr. Pope Alexander III canonized him in 1173 and received Henry's penance the following year.
Karen Rae Keck
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