Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket is one of the most famous of the (so far) 105 archbishops of Canterbury, best-known for his violent end in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th December 1170. Fifty years later, his remains were translated (moved to a more prestigious position) for the benefit of pilgrims.

This is not a rags to riches story: Thomas was not so much ‘low born’ but what modern eyes would call respectable middle class. This lecture charts his rise from being a reluctant scholar who loved sports to being one of the most powerful men in the land. It follows his disputes with Henry II culminating in his shocking end and it tries to find the man behind the robes of office he loved so much. It is a story of great drama, but a human one, nonetheless.