2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket

1154-1170 Becket is in 12th Century Events.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Thomas Becket appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

On 23 May 1162 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 42) was elected Archibishop Canterbury by King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 29).

On 02 Jun 1162 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 42) was ordained.

On 03 Jun 1162 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 42) was consecrated Archibishop Canterbury by Bishop Henry of Blois (age 64).

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Siege of Toulose 1159

In 1159 Hamon Fitzrobert was killed during the Siege of Toulose 1159.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Baldwin III King Jerusalem Dies Almaric I King Jerusalem Succeeds

On 10 Feb 1163 Baldwin III King Jerusalem (age 33) died at Beirut. His brother Almaric I King Jerusalem (age 27) succeeded I King Jerusalem.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Constitutions of Clarendon

On 25 Jan 1164 King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 30) attempted to constrain ecclesiastical privileges by the sixteen articles of the Constitutions of Clarendon. Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 44) rejected the articles.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Trial of Thomas a Becket

In Oct 1164 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 44) was put on trial in Northampton, Northamptonshire [Map] by King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 31) on a charge of contempt. After a week of discussion Becket fled to Flanders with Bishop John of Salisbury (age 46).

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Becket's Relatives Banished

In 26 Dec 1164 King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 31) banished all of Thomas Becket's (age 45) relatives from England. Around 400 people were affected. They were stripped of their possessions and shipped to Flanders.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Louis VII's Heir

On 22 Aug 1165 King Philip II of France was born to Louis VII King Franks (age 45) and Adèle Blois in Gonesse. The much longed for heir to the crown of France; named after his father. He was also given the name 'Dieu Donné' meaning God Given. He a great x 2 grandson of King William "Conqueror" I of England.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Henry II meets Rosamund Clifford

Around Aug 1165 King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 32) commenced his affair with Rosamund Clifford (age 29) daughter of Walter Clifford 1st Baron Clifford (age 52). The location is reported by some sources to have been, possibly, Walter's house, or Rosamund's town, of Bredelais the location of which is unknown.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Death of King Malcolm IV of Scotland

On 09 Dec 1165 Malcolm IV King Scotland (age 24) died. His brother William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 22) succeeded I King Scotland, 6th Earl Huntingdon.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, William "The Lion" Crowned King Scotland

On 24 Dec 1165 William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 22) was crowned I King Scotland.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Birth of King John

On 24 Dec 1166 King John "Lackland" of England was born to King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 33) and Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 44). He was given the nickname "Sans Terre", aka "without land", or in English "Lackland" as a consequence of his being the youngest son.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Eleanor Ambushed by Guy de Lusignan

On 27 Mar 1168 Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 46) and her party were ambushed by brothers Guy I King Jerusalem (age 18) and Geoffrey Lusignan (age 18).

Patrick of Salisbury 1st Earl Salisbury (age 46) was killed. His son William of Salisbury 2nd Earl Salisbury (age 18) succeeded 2nd Earl Salisbury.

William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 22) held off the enemy, was wounded and captured whilst Eleanor escaped. Eleanor subsequently paid his ransom.

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Murder of Thomas a Becket

The Life of Thomas Becket by Edward Grim. Inspired by fury the knights called out, "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor to the king and realm?" As he answered not they cried out the more furiously, "Where is the archbishop?" At this, intrepid and fearless, as it is written, "The just, like a bold lion, shall be without fear," he descended from the stair where he had been dragged by the monks in fear of the knights, and in a clear voice answered "I am here, no traitor to the king, but a priest. Why do ye seek me?" And whereas he had already said that he feared them not, he added, "So I am ready to suffer in His name, Who redeemed me by His Blood: be it far from me to flee from your swords, or to depart from justice." Having thus said, he turned to the right, under a pillar, having on one side the altar of the blessed Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, on the other that of S. Benedict the Confessor: by whose example and prayers, having crucified the world with its lusts, he bore all that the murderer could do with such constancy of soul as if he had been no longer in the flesh. The murderers followed him; "Absolve," they cried, "and restore to communion those whom you have excommunicated, and restore their powers to those whom you have suspended." He answered: "There has been no satisfaction, and I will not absolve them." "Then you shall die," they cried, "and receive what you deserve." "I am ready," he replied, "to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace. But in the name of Almighty God, I forbid you to hurt my people whether clerk or lay." Thus piously and thoughtfully, did the noble martyr provide that no one near him should be hurt or the innocent be brought to death, whereby his glory should be dimmed as he hastened to Christ. Thus did it become the martyr-knight to follow in the footsteps of his Captain and Saviour Who when the wicked sought Him said: "If ye seek Me, let these go their way." Then they laid sacrilegious hands on him, pulling and dragging him that they might kill him outside the Church, or carry him away a prisoner, as they afterwards confessed. But when he could not be forced away from the pillar, one of them pressed on him and clung to him more closely. Him he pushed off calling him "pander," and saying, "Touch me not, Reginald; you owe me fealty and subjection; you and your accomplices act like madmen". The knight, fired with terrible rage at this severe repulse, waved his sword over the sacred head. "No faith," he cried, "nor subjection do I owe you against my fealty to my lord the king." Then the unconquered martyr seeing the hour at hand which should put an end to this miserable life and give him straightway the crown of immortality promised by the Lord, inclined his neck as one who prays and joining his hands he lifted them up, and commended his cause and that of the Church to God, to S. Mary, and to the blessed martyr Denys. Scarce had he said the words than the wicked knight fearing lest he should be rescued by the people and escape alive, leapt upon him suddenly and wounded this lamb who was sacrificed to God on the head, cutting off the top of the crown which the sacred unction of the chrism had dedicated to God; and by the same blow he wounded the arm of him who tells this. For he, when the others, both monks and clerks, fled, stuck close to the sainted archbishop and held him in his arms till the one he interposed was almost severed. Behold the simplicity of the dove, the wisdom of the serpent, in the martyr who opposed his body to those who struck that he might preserve his head, that is his soul and the Church, unharmed, nor would he use- any forethought against those who destroyed the body whereby he might escape. O worthy shepherd, who gave himself so boldly to the wolves that his flock might not be torn. Because he had rejected the world, the world in wishing to crush him unknowingly exalted him. Then he received a second blow on the head but still stood firm. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living victim, and saying in a low voice, "For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death." Then the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay, by which the sword was broken against the pavement, and the crown which was large was separated from the head; so that the blood white with the brain and the brain red with blood, dyed the surface of the virgin mother Church with the life and death of the confessor and martyr in the colours of the lily and the rose. The fourth knight prevented any from interfering so that the others might freely perpetrate the murder. As to the fifth, no knight but that clerk who had entered with the knights, that a fifth blow might not be wanting to the martyr who was in other things like to Christ, he put his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to say, scattered his brains and blood over the pavement, calling out to the others, "Let us away, knights; he will rise no more."

The Conquest of Ireland Chapter 20. The Martyrdom of St. Thomas

Raymond pursuing his journey and having arrived at court with the earl's letter, the king received him with great coldness, and being as usual much occupied with business, deferred his reply.

About that time, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, in England, perished by the hands of impious men, to the dismay of the great men of the realm, both lay and clerical; after having undergone the sufferings of banishment for nearly seven years in much grief, wearing sackcloth on every part of his body, and giving himself up to reading and prayer, besides, the most severe of all afflictions, a grievous proscription which spared no one, of whatever age or sex, his martyrdom at last filled up the measure of his sufferings and glory. He himself threw open the doors of the sanctuary to his furious enemies, and meeting boldly their drawn swords, bowed his consecrated head to their violence. This took place in the mother and metropolitan church, and before the altar. There he received four wounds on the crown of his head, the shaven crown which used to be regarded as a token of the protection due to the clergy, inflicted by four brutal retainers of the court, with more than brutal rage.1 The illustrious soldier and martyr of Christ was thus distinguished by intrepidly suffering in that part of the body which betokened Christ's sufferings during his passion, and exchanged a corruptible for an incorruptible crown. He also hallowed the holy week of Christmas by then shedding his blood; and as the fifth day before Christmas is consecrated to the memory of the first Thomas, so the second Thomas shed glory on the fifth day after Christmas.2 The one was the light of the East, the other of the West; one illuminated the infant church, the other the church of the latter days; and as the one cemented the foundations of the rising church with his blood, so the other, by shedding his blood, renewed the primitive virtues, and restored the edifice which in the lapse of so many ages had fallen to decay by the injuries of time, and the violence of the storms to which it had been exposed. The first Thomas was actuated by an ardent faith, the second was more than fervent when faith was now growing old. The one submitted to cruel torments while erecting the frame of the church, the other did not shrink from meeting death in order to preserve that frame uninjured. His triumphant claims to such glory are well summed up in the two following verses:

Pro Christi sponsa, Christi sub tempore, Christi

In templo Christi verus amator obit.

In Christ church, and at Christmas tide,

For Christ's spouse, Christ's true servant died.

Among his numerous miracles, there was one which was very memorable, and is well worthy of being mentioned namely, the marvellous way in which he restored organs which had been actually lost; for by this novel kind of miracle it plainly appeared that he was a new martyr. Hence some one has said,

Miratur rediisse virum neutratus, ocelli [He is surprised that the husband has returned, neutral, blind]

Succedunt oculis, albus hic, ille niger [The eyes succeed, this white, that black]

In order that no caviller might object that they were the same eyes which the sufferer had before, and to shew that they were not merely injured but actually plucked out, the new organs of sight were smaller and of a different colour, and had the power of seeing not only in the light of day, but in the dark.

Note 1. A quatuor aulicis canibus, rabie plusquam canina furentibns. [From the four court dogs, more rabid than canines]

Note 2. The feast of St. Thomas, the apostle, is held on the 21st December, and that of St. Thomas a Becket on the 29th December.

On 29 Dec 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket (age 51) was murdered at Canterbury Cathedral [Map] by four knights on behalf of King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 37). Whether the ordered the murder, or whether the four knights were acting without orders, is a matter of conjecture.

Edward Grim's Vita S Thomae 80 82. 80. ....

Quem insecuti carnifices, "Absolve," inquiunt, "et communioni restitue quos excommunicasti, et caeteris officium redde qui suspensi sunt."

Whom the butchers pursued, "Absolve", they said, "and restore to communion those whom you have excommunicated, and restore those you have suspended."

Quibus ille, "Nulla," ait, "satisfactio praecessit, nec eos absolvam."

To which he answered, "No", he said, "satisfaction is required, I will not absolve them".

"Et tu," inquiunt, "modo morieris, suscipiens quod meruisti."

"Then you", they said, "will die, receiving what you deserve".

"Et ego," ait, "pro Domino meo paratus sum mori, ut in meo sanguine ecclesia libertatem consequatur et pacem; sed meis, sive clerico sive laico, in nomine Dei omnipotentis interdico ne in aliquo noceatis.

"I", he said, "am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the church may obtain liberty and peace; but to my friends, whether cleric or layman, in the name of God Almighty I forbid you to do any harm.

"Quam pie suis, quam prudenter sibi, providit martyr egregius, ne videlicet laederetur proximus, innocens opprimeretur, ne gloriam properantis ad Christum proximi casus tristior obfuscaret!

How pious his friends, how wisely for him, provided the excellent martyr, lest the neighbor be injured, the innocent should be overpowered, lest the glory of the one who hastening to Christ would overshadow the sadness of his neighbor!

Decuit plane Ducis sui militem martyrem Salvatoris inhaerere vestigiis, qui cum quaereretur ab impiis, "Si me," inquit, "quaeritis, sinite hos abire."

It was right for the soldier martyr to cling to the footsteps of his Duke's Saviour, who was asked by the ungodly, "If me", he said, "you seek, let these go".

Edward Grim's Vita S Thomae 80 82. 81.

Igitur facto impetu manus sacrilegas injecerunt in eum, durius illum contrectantes et trahentes, ut extra fores ecclesiae aut jugularent, aut vinctum inde asportarent, sicut postmodum confessi sunt.

Then, making a violent attack, they laid the unholy hands on him, handling and towing him harder, to go outside the church's doors or to slay, or to transport him bound, as afterwards they confessed.

Sed cum facilie non posset a columna moveri, unum ex ipsis acrius insistentem et accedentem propius a se repulit, lenonem appellans, dicensque, "Non me contingas, Reinalde, qui fidem ex jure debes et subjectionem; insipienter agis cum tuis complicibus."

But since he could not move easily from the column, one of them pressed on and go nearer, calling him a pimp, saying, "Don't touch me, Reinarde, you owe me faith by law, and submission; you are acting unwisely with your accomplices".

Miles vero pro repulsione furore terribili totus incanduit, ensemque vibrans contra sacrum verticem, "Non fidem," ait, "non tibi subjectionem debeo contra fidelitatem domini mei regis."

But the soldier, before the expulsion, glowed with terrible fury, brandishing a sword against the sacred crown, "Unfaithful," he said, "I am not obliged to submit to you contrary to the fidelity of my lord the king".

Cernens igitur martyr invictus horam imminere quae miserae mortalitati finem imponeret, paratam sibi et promissam a Domino coronam immortalitatis jam proximam fieri, inclinata in modum orantis cervice, junctis pariter et elevatis sursum manibus, Deo et sanctae Mariae et beato martyri Dionysio suam et ecclesiae causam commendavit.

The indomitable martyr saw the hour that would put an end to his miserable mortality, ready to receive the crown of immortality promised by God, inclined his neck as if praying, joined together and raised up with both hands, to God and St. Mary and to the blessed martyr Dionysius [Denys] he commended his cause and the church.

Edward Grim's Vita S Thomae 80 82. 82.

Vix verbum implevit, et metuens nefandus miles ne raperetur a populo et vivus evaderet, insiliit in eum subito, et summitate coronae, quam sancti chrismatis unctio dicaverat Deo, abrasa, agnum Deo immolandum vulneravit in capite, eodem ictu praeciso brachio haec referentis.

Hardly had he said these words, and the fearful and unspeakable soldier lest he should be rescued by the people and escape alive, jumped on him suddenly, and the top of the crown, which the anointing of the holy chrism had dedicated to God, cut off, the lamb of God wounded in the head, and with the same blow cut off the forearm.

Is etenim, fugientibus tam monachis quam clericis universis, sancto archiepiscopo constanter adhaesit, et inter ulnas complexum tenuit, donec ipsa quam opposuit praecisa est.

In fact, all the fugitives, both monks and clerics, held onto the holy bishop, held in their arms and embraced, until they were also cut.

Ecce simplicitatem columbae, ecce serpentis prudentiam, in hoc martyre, qui corpus percutientibus opposuit, ut caput suum, animam scilicet vel ecclesiam, conservaret illaesam [-um?], nec contra carnis occisores, quo magis hac necessitate careret, cautelam vel insidias machinatus est!

Behold the simple bird, behold the wisdom of the serpent, in this martyr, who exposed his body to the attackers, and his head, the sould clearly of the church, kept spotless, against the slayers of the body, the more he lacked this necessity, against being ambushed.

O pastorem dignum, qui, ne oves laniarentur, seipsum luporum morsibus tam confidenter opposuit! et quia mundum abjecerat, mundus eum volens opprimere nescius sublimavit.

O worthy shepherd, who, lest the sheep should be torn in pieces, he poses himself so confidently! and because he had rejected the world, the world willing to crush him unwittingly elevated him.

Deinde alio ictu in capite recepto adhuc quoque permansit immobilis.

Then another blow to the head rendered whilst he was still immobile.

Tertio vero percussus martyr genua flexit et cubitos, seipsum hostiam viventem offerendo, dicens submissa voce, "Pro nomine Jesu et ecclesiae tuitione mortem amplecti paratus sum."

The third time the martyr was struck, he bent his knees and elbows, by offering himself a living sacrifice, saying in a low voice, "In the name of Jesus and I am ready to embrace death under the protection of the church."

At tertius miles ita procumbenti grave vulnus inflixit, quo ictu et gladium collisit lapidi, et coronam, quae ampla fuit, ita a capite separavit, ut sanguis albens ex cerebro, cerebrum nihilominus rubens ex sanguine, lilii et rosae coloribus virginis et matris ecclesiae faciem confessoris et martyris vita et morte purpuraret.

But the third soldier inflicted a severe wound, with which blow the sword was broken by the stone, the crown, which was large, thus separated from the head, get white blood from the brain, brain still red from blood, lily and rose colors of the virgin, and the face of the confessor's mother and he dyed the martyr's life and death purple.

Quartus miles supervenientes abegit ut caeteri liberius ac licentius homicidium perpetrarent.

The fourth soldier drove off the overcoming that the others would commit murder more freely and freely.

Quintus vero, non miles, sed clericus ille qui cum militibus intraverat, ne martyri quinta plaga deesset, qui in aliis Christum fuerat imitatus, posito pede super collum sancti sacerdotis et martyris pretiosi, (horrendum dictu,) cerebrum cum sanguine per pavimentum spargens, caeteris exclamavit, "Abeamus hinc, milites, iste ulterius non resurget."

The fifth, not a knight, but that clerk who had entered with the knights, not to miss the martyr's fifth stroke, who among others had imitated Christ, putting his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, (horrendous to say), spread the brain with blood on the floor, others cried, "Let's go from here, knights, he will not rise further."

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Battle of Alnwick

On 13 Jul 1174 an army commanded by Duncan II Earl of Fife entered Warkworth and set fire to the town, killing 300 of the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the church [Map].

On 13 Jul 1174 a small army commanded by Ranulf Glanville (age 62) with Hugh de Kevelioc Gernon 5th Earl Chester (age 27) surprised William "Lion" I King Scotland 1143-1214's army in a dawn raid known as the Battle of Alnwick near Alnwick, Northumberland [Map]. William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 31) was captured and imprisoned initially in Newcastle on Tyne Castle [Map]. He was subsequently moved to the more remote, and secure, Falaise Castle [Map].

2nd Millennium, 12th Century Events, 1154-1170 Becket, Treaty of Falaise

In Dec 1174 William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 31), imprisoned at Falaise Castle [Map], signed the Treaty of Falaise by which he agreed King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 41) was overlord of Scotland. He also agreed to marry a bride of Henry's (age 41) choosing. He married Ermengarde Beaumont Sarthe Queen Consort Scotland (age 4) twelve years later.

Simon Senlis 7th Earl Huntingdon 7th Earl of Northampton 1138 1184 7th Earl of Northampton (age 36) succeeded 7th Earl Huntingdon.

On 05 Sep 1186 William "Lion" I King Scotland (age 43) and Ermengarde Beaumont Sarthe Queen Consort Scotland (age 16) were married at Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire [Map] by Archbishop Baldwin Avigo (age 61). She by marriage Queen Consort Scotland at Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire [Map]. His bride had been chosen by King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 53) as part of the Treaty of Falaise. William received Edinburgh Castle [Map] as a wedding gift from King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England (age 53). The difference in their ages was 27 years. He the son of Henry Dunkeld 3rd Earl Huntingdon 1st Earl of Northumbria and Ada Warenne Countess Huntingdon and Northumbria. They were half fourth cousins. She a great granddaughter of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England.