On 29 December 1170, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury was brutally murdered in his cathedral by four knights from the household of his former friend and patron, King Henry II. The horror that the killing inspired and the miraculous cures performed at Thomas's tomb transfigured him into one of the most popular saints in Western Christendom, and Canterbury became one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the West.
Yet these were unexpected results. Thomas's extraordinary career had been, and remains, controversial. The transformation of a handsome, attractive, and worldly courtier into a zealous prelate, a bitter exile and finally a martyr was for many hard to understand. In this brilliant new biography, based on the original sources and informed by the most recent scholarship, Frank Barlow reconstructs Thomas's physical environment and entourage at various stages of his career, exploring the nuances and irregularities in the story that have been ignored in other studies.
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background and youth 11201143
Thelower rungs of the ladders 11431154
Royal chancellor 11551162
Archbishop of Canterbury 1162
the first year 11621163
The quarrel with the king 11631164
Thomas on the defensive November i 164April 1166
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A.II abbey abbot absolved Alexander appeal archbishop of Rouen archbishop of Sens archdeacon archiepiscopal Arnulf of Lisieux Barlow barons Benedict biographers bishop of London canon cardinals cathedral chancellor Christ Church Chron claimed Clarendon coronation council curia customs death Diceto earl ecclesiastical Edward Grim England English bishops English church excommunication Exeter exile favour Foreville France French Freteval friends Geoffrey Ridel Gervase GFol Gilbert Foliot Guernes Henry of Winchester Henry's Herbert of Bosham honour household Hugh Jocelin John of Oxford John of Salisbury king king's kingdom kiss of peace knights Louis martyrdom Master Mats miracles monks Normandy Northampton nuncios oath papal letters Paris perhaps Pontigny pope probably punishment Ralf Ranulf de Broc Reginald Richard of Ilchester Robert royal clerks royal court secular seems sent sentences servants St Thomas Stephen Theobald Thomas Becket Thomas Saga thought Torigni Vezelay William fitzStephen William of Canterbury Ymagines