Thomas Becket

About Thomas Becket

Who is it?: Saint
Birth Year: 1119
Birth Place: Cheapside, British
Appointed: 24 May 1162
Installed: 3 June 1162
Term ended: 29 December 1170
Predecessor: Theobald of Bec
Successor: Richard of Dover
Ordination: 1154 (deacon) 2 June 1162 (priest)
Consecration: 3 June 1162 by Henry of Blois
Buried: Canterbury Cathedral
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Parents: Gilbert Beket Matilda
Previous post: Archdeacon of Canterbury
Feast day: 29 December
Venerated in: Roman Catholic Church Anglican Communion
Title as Saint: Bishop and Martyr
Beatified: 21 February 1173 by Pope Alexander III
Canonized: 21 February 1173 St Peter's Church in Segni by Pope Alexander III
Attributes: Sword, martyrdom, episcopal vestments
Patronage: Exeter College, Oxford; Portsmouth; Arbroath Abbey; secular clergy
Shrines: Canterbury Cathedral
Monarch: Henry II
Preceded by: Robert of Ghent
Succeeded by: Geoffrey Ridel

Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket was born on 1119 in Cheapside, British, is Saint. Thomas Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his assassination in 1170 and was also popular as Saint Thomas of Canterbury or Thomas of London. He was the son of Gilbert and Matilda Becket. Over the course of history his father’s exact profession has somewhere been lost but it is believed that they were financially well off and Thomas received the best of education available. After school, he attended the University of Paris for a year and in the same time his father suffered a financial setback. To pay for his expenses he did secretarial work in a couple of offices before joining the household of Theobald, the then Archbishop of Canterbury. With his rigorous work ethic and remarkable diplomatic skills he won over the archbishop and became his most trusted employee. Theobald sent him to the University of Bologna to study canon law and when he returned, bestowed upon him several offices including that of deacon and later on the office of archdeacon. His life moved up a notch when he met King Henry II and became his Chancellor; the two developed a meaningful working relationship based on mutual admiration and respect. Trouble began brewing when the king elevated Thomas to the status of Archbishop, which ultimately led to the latter’s controversial assassination
Thomas Becket is a member of Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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Famous Quotes:

The wicked knight leapt suddenly upon him, cutting off the top of the crown which the unction of sacred chrism had dedicated to God. Next he received a second blow on the head, but still he stood firm and immovable. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living sacrifice, and saying in a low voice, "For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death." But the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay prostrate. By this stroke, the crown of his head was separated from the head in such a way that the blood white with the brain, and the brain no less red from the blood, dyed the floor of the cathedral. The same clerk who had entered with the knights placed his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to relate, scattered the brains and blood about the pavements, crying to the others, 'Let us away, knights; this fellow will arise no more.



The shrine stood until it was destroyed in 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, on orders from King Henry VIII. The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated.


Beginning when he was 10, Becket was sent as a student to Merton Priory in England and later attended a grammar school in London, perhaps the one at St Paul's Cathedral. He did not study any subjects beyond the trivium and quadrivium at these schools. Later, he spent about a year in Paris around age 20. He did not, however, study canon or civil law at this time and his Latin skill always remained somewhat rudimentary. Some time after Becket began his schooling, Gilbert Beket suffered financial reverses, and the younger Becket was forced to earn a living as a clerk. Gilbert first secured a place for his son in the Business of a relative – Osbert Huitdeniers – and then later Becket acquired a position in the household of Theobald of Bec, by now the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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