In 1154, King Henry II appointed Becket as his Chancellor. <ul><li>They became great friends. They worked well together. </li></ul><ul><li>The church courts which tried monks and priests were unfair. Their punishments were not harsh enough . </li></ul>
In 1161, Henry asked Becket to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury <ul><li>Henry announced all serious church </li></ul><ul><li>court cases could be tried in the </li></ul><ul><li>king’s courts. </li></ul>
In 1161, Henry asked Becket to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
Becket refused to help Henry reform the church courts. He would not change his mind Henry told him he should obey the King! Becket changed - he worked just as hard, but now for his new master: GOD !
Henry announced all serious church court cases could be tried in the king’s courts. Becket at first agreed, but in 1164 changed his mind. Henry was furious. Becket felt he was in danger and fled to France. In 1170, Henry ordered the archbishop of York to crown the next King. This was Becket’s job. He got really furious.
Henry and Becket met in France in summer 1170. They patched up their quarrel. However, Becket soon began excommunicating all Henry’s supporters! Henry flew into a rage shouting: “ Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?
Four knights heard this, and decided to carry out the King’s wishes. On 29th December 1170, four knights burst into Canterbury Cathedral. They demanded Becket obey Henry. Becket calmly refused. The knights tried to drag Becket from the Cathedral. Becket could not be moved. They cut and killed him with repeated sword blows.
The four knights decided that Henry wanted Becket dead and murdered him. Henry later claimed that he had not meant that at all.
Focusing on moral issues (what is right and what is wrong). Think about the following: The appointment of Becket as Archbishop • Should Henry have appointed Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury? • Should Henry have expected Becket to support him? • Should Becket have accepted the title of Archbishop? Henry, Becket and the Church Courts • Why was Henry eliminating Church Courts – what is your opinion about Henry’s reasons? • Why does Becket think the Church Courts should remain open? What do you think? The Murder of Thomas Becket • What do you think about the action of the four knights? • Is Henry to blame for Becket’s murder?