c.1118 - 1170
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas a Becket was born in London, England, the son of a wealthy Norman merchant. He studied in London and Paris, then took up canon law at Bologna. In 1155, he became chancellor of England under king Henry II.
A brilliant diplomat, he changed dramatically
when created Archbishop of Canterbury (1162).
In 1170 he was reconciled with Henry II, and returned to Canterbury. The
friendship did not last, new quarrels errupted, and on 29 Dec. 1170 Becket was murdered
in Canterbury cathedral by four of the king's knights. He was canonized in 1173, and
Henry did public penance at his tomb in 1174.
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