Thomas Becket becomes Archbishop of Canterbury (252 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


Born in Cheapside, in London, sometime between 1118 and 1120, Thomas Becket had comfortable but relatively modest origins: he was the son of a merchant who had risen to become a landowner. Thomas was not educated to a very high level, and worked as a clerk for a time. His father managed, however, to secure him a place in the household of Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury. Through this connection, Becket was sent to the continent to study canon law, and was appointed Archdeacon of Canterbury in 1154. The following year he became Lord Chancellor, and through this position came to know the new Henry II very well, in some accounts filling a fatherly role to the young king. After he was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, however, …

Editors. "Thomas Becket becomes Archbishop of Canterbury". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012
[, accessed 30 April 2017.]

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