We ask four historians to consider the reputation of Henry II’s Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered 850 years ago this month.
Becket continues to be an enduring figure of controversy in the public eye. Why was he considered a saint in the first place?
Anthony Dent describes how this rich French province remained a royal English vineyard for a good three centuries.
J.J.N. McGurk describes how Gerald’s later years were filled with his excellent books on Wales and his unsuccessful struggle for a bishopric.
The son of a Norman Marcher lord and a Welsh princess, J.J.N. McGurk writes, ‘Giraldus Cambrensis’ was a brilliant recorder of British life in the twelfth century.
Arthur Bryant relates how Becket’s death, at the hands of Henry II's servants, made this once worldly prelate a popular religious hero.
In the twelfth-century conflict between Church and State, Henry II found his most determined opponent in his formerly devoted servant, Thomas Becket, as Arthur Bryant continues his Story of England series.
Nicholas Vincent celebrates the founder of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Richard Cavendish marks the anniversary of a royal marriage, on May 18th, 1152.
Described by John Ruskin as “the most beautiful sacerdotal figure known to me in history,” the heroic bishop triumphantly upheld his office against two proud and strong-willed English sovereigns.