Early 14th-century representation of Henry and Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket faces King Henry II in a dispute; Henry II and Thomas Becket. This is taken from ‘Peter of Langtoft, Chronicle of England’ which was probably written and pictures added during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327). In 1162 King Henry II persuaded his Chancellor Thomas Becket, to become Archbishop of Canterbury, although Becket warned him that his chief loyalty would then be to the Church and not to the king. They disagreed about many matters. One of the most important was whether clergy who had broken the law could be tried in the King’s courts or whether they could appear only before the Church courts. Eventually in 1170 Becket was murdered by four of the King’s knights and Henry was blamed.

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