Hello! I'm Henry II. I'm best friends with Beckett
Hello! I'm Thomas Beckett
I should have more power in the law!
Of course I’ll be the Archbishop of Canterbury!
Great! I knew I could count on you, my friend!
Henry II was best friends with a man called Thomas Beckett. Beckett was the son of a rich merchant. He was renowned for his massive parties and rowdy, fun personality.
I can still spite Henry here in France!
The king was constantly clashing with the Church. Both forces wanted more power. Henry also wanted to make the entire country subject to the King's law, rather than only those separate from the church.
Henry came up with a plan. He would make Beckett the Archbishop of Canterbury. This would improve relations with the Church.
Henry soon realised his plan had a flaw. Thomas Beckett seemed to have transitioned to a very holy mindset and began pioneering for the Church, rather than helping to control it. After a large disagreement, Beckett fled to France.
Eventually, (after six years in France) Beckett returned. Henry continued to be annoyed and was heard to say “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?!”. Four knights decided to go and get Beckett. When he refused to come quietly and provoked them greatly, they killed him.
The heinous crime was made even worse by the fact that it was in Canterbury Cathedral that he was murdered. The grave became a destination for pilgrims and was even said to have healing powers. Even Henry paid tribute to the grave at one point.