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Thomas Becket - Archbishop of Canterbury

It is believed that during the Council of Clarendon in January 1164, Thomas Becket stayed at Old Sarum.


King Henry II called the Council to resolve the dispute with Becket about the authority for trying and punishing clerics accused of civil crimes. Becket eventually conceded this authority, to the dismay of his clergy, but at Woodstock in August that year he refused to give an oath to the King confirming the King's authority. He then fled Woodstock and sought sanctuary with King Louis of France.


Four years later in December 1170 he returned to England, believing he had safe conduct from the King. As soon as he reached Canterbury however he was set upon and murdered by four Knights - Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy, Reginald Fitz Urse and Richard le Bret.

Image: 14thC depiction of Becket with King Henry II

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FURTHER READING in the Local History section of this website - John of Salisbury, present at the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170.

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