Dec. 29, St. Thomas Becket, Martyr

"What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"

--King Henry II

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29, 1170.

He was canonized just three years later, and pilgrims began following the route of his last journey from Southwark to Canterbury.

Click here for a map of the route taken by Chaucer's pilgrims.

Thomas Becket has been the subject of many books, plays, and films, including:

Murder in the Cathedral, by T. S. Eliot;

Becket, a 1910 silent film, directed by Charles Kent, who also played the title role, and with William Shea as Henry II;

Frank Barlow's Thomas Becket, which "dazzles from its complexity and the dexterous way it weighs and juggles each twelfth-century account", published by the University of California Press in 1986.

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