“Is still not the blood of the blessed martyr Thomas fully avenged?”: Thomas Becket’s Cult at Canterbury under Henry III and Edward I

Wilkinson, Louise J. (2020) “Is still not the blood of the blessed martyr Thomas fully avenged?”: Thomas Becket’s Cult at Canterbury under Henry III and Edward I. History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 105 (367). ISSN 0018-2648

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-229X.13031

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'Is Still not the Blood of the Blessed Martyr Thomas Fully Avenged?' Thomas Becket's Cult at Canterbury under Henry III and Edward I
This is a peer-reviewed article, which has been published online in the journal History, and is published Open Access. This version was first published on 12 October 2020, and was accepted for publication on 15 August 2020.
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Abstract

In July 1220, the boy king Henry III attended the translation of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury, whereby the saint’s body was transferred from its original tomb in the crypt of Canterbury cathedral to a splendid new shrine in the main body of the church. This article explores the continuing appeal of Becket’s cult at Canterbury for elite ecclesiastical and lay circles in thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century England. It argues that the Englishmen, or holders of ecclesiastical office in England, who were canonised as saints in the thirteenth century were associated with St Thomas and his cult. Drawing on the records of the English royal household and wardrobe, alongside letters and charters, this article then examines the reception of Becket’s cult at the royal court. Although Henry III was more famous for his adult devotion to St Edward the Confessor, Henry and his wife, Eleanor of Provence, still paid their respects to Becket’s shrine at Canterbury. Royal interest in St Thomas of Canterbury, or St Thomas the Martyr, continued, but with added vigour, under Edward I, his wives and his children. Despite St Thomas’s appeal for opponents of the English crown, Becket’s cult remained firmly connected to the English ruling dynasty.

Keywords:St Thomas Becket, Canterbury cathedral, shrine, saint's cult, pilgrimage, Henry III, Eleanor of Provence, Edward I, Eleanor of Castile, Margaret of France, Barons' Wars, thirteenth century
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:42097
Deposited On:14 Oct 2020 09:18

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