Language and History English two-minute tales, music and mental agility puzzles
The Assassination of Thomas Becket : Four knights thought they were helping their King, but they could not have made a greater mistake.
The Assassination of Thomas Becket

Based on ‘Cameos from English History’ by Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901).

Henry II (r. 1154-1189) appointed his friend Thomas Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury, thinking he would always do as he was told. But Becket proved very independent-minded, and even had to flee to France to escape his King’s anger.

THOMAS Becket was in exile in France, at a monastery in Pontigny, when he remarked to the Abbot, “I dreamt, last night, that I was put to death.”

“Do you think you are going to be a martyr?” smiled the Abbot. “You eat and drink too much for that!”

Henry allowed Becket to return to England in 1170, but the King’s supporters warned him that Becket would continue to fight for the Church’s independence. “As long as Thomas lives” said one Bishop to the King, “you will never be at peace.”

“What miserable traitors have I brought up in my household” Henry burst out, “who let their lord be treated with such contempt?”

Four knights heard it, and thinking they had received their King’s orders, cut Becket down in his own Cathedral, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.*

But all the trouble he had given his King while he was alive was nothing compared to the trouble he gave him dead.

* The 29th of December. It commemorates the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in about 4 BC (Matthew 2:13-18).

Based on ‘Cameos from English History’ by Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901).

More like this

Mediaeval History (60) History (393)

Picture: From Wikimedia Commons. View original
King Henry II and Thomas Becket in earnest dispute, as depicted in a 14th century manuscript.
Previous
Next
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
In the time of King George III, Parliament forgot that its job was not to regulate the people, but to represent them.
By Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)
A popular tale of scorched cakes and a scolded king.
Music by
Thomas Erskine, Earl of Kellie
An 18th century bon viveur and virtuoso violinist, Thomas Erskine is currently being ‘rediscovered’ by the classical music industry.
James calls Fr Huddleston to his brother’s deathbed, ready for a most delicate task.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens tells the story of King Henry II and the enchantingly beautiful Rosamund Clifford.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
Harriet Smith’s school gave her a grounding in good sense that even Emma Woodhouse could not quite overthrow.