This special exhibition, timed to coincide with the 850th anniversary of his brutal murder, presents Becket's tumultuous journey from merchant son to archbishop and from revered deceased saint to “traitor” in the eyes of Henry VIII over 350 years later.
On December 29, 1170, Beckett was assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights with close ties to King Henry II, causing the upheaval of medieval Europe. Beckett was one of the most influential figures of his time, serving as the Royal Chancellor and then Archbishop of Canterbury. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to "get closer" to man, murder and legend through an incredible extensive collection of exhibits associated with Beckett; from manuscripts, some of which include eyewitness accounts of the murder, to jewelry and sacred relics. The exhibition features items from the British Museum collection, as well as important borrowings from major collections in the UK and Europe, including entire medieval stained glass windows rented for the first time from Canterbury Cathedral.