Essay on Biography of St Thomas Becket

2129 Words 9 Pages
St Thomas Becket (December 21, 1118 – December 29, 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170. He engaged in a conflict with King Henry II over the rights and privileges of the Church and was assassinated by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

Life before his consecration

Thomas Becket (also known as Thomas à Becket, although many people consider this incorrect)[1] was born in London sometime between 1115 and 1120, though most authorities agree that he was born December 21, 1118, at Cheapside, to Gilbert of Thierceville, Normandy, and Rosea or Matilda of Caen. His parents were of the upper-middle class near Rouen, and Thomas never knew hardship as a child.

One of Thomas's father's rich friends, Richer de
…show more content…
This created both a hardship and a resentment of Becket among the English Churchmen. To further implicate Becket as a secular man, he became an accomplished and extravagant courtier and a cheerful companion to the king's pleasures. Young Thomas was devoted to his master's interests with such a firm and yet diplomatic thoroughness that scarcely anyone, except perhaps John of Salisbury, doubted his allegiance to English royalty.

King Henry even sent his son Henry, later the "Young King", to live in Becket's household, it being the custom then for noble children to be fostered out to other noble houses. Later that would be one of the reasons his son would turn against him, having formed an emotional attachment to Becket as a foster-father. Henry the Young King was reported to have said Becket showed him more fatherly love in a day than his father did his entire life.

Archbishop Theobald died April 18, 1161, and the chapter learned with some indignation that the king expected them to choose Thomas his successor. That election took place in May, and Thomas was consecrated on June 3, 1162, in accordance with the king's wishes.

Archbishop, 1162

At once there took place before the eyes of the astonished king and country an unexpected transformation in the character of the new archbishop. Having previously

More about Essay on Biography of St Thomas Becket

Open Document