Monday, 1 February 2016

Early Life of Becket

Care must be taken to separate the hagiographical descriptions and features of the events concerning Becket's early life made by contemporary writers which are largely comparisons with Christ's own miraculous happenings at his birth, from those of historical  reality.

Becket was born on St Thomas the Apostle's day, 21st December, in 1118, if calculated from the ages for significant events given later for Becket by his biographers, a date which I personally favour, or far less likely, in 1120 if St Thomas the Apostle's day 21st December is accepted to be one of Becket's Memorable Tuesdays, considered to be so significant by some of his hagiographers later on. He was baptised and named after that saint that same evening in the neighbouring church of St Mary Colechurch. The son of Gilbert Becket and Rohesia his wife (or Matilda who may have been his second wife), he was born at his father's house in Cheapside, London, in a largish building on the corner of Ironmonger Lane on land owned by the Mandevilles. His grandparents probably had come from families which originated from Rouen and Caen, in Normandy, but who had moved to England after the Norman Conquest. Becket's mother tongue was Norman French. Gilbert, his father, was a well to-do merchant, who had many connections with several baronial families. He was now perhaps living off rents rather than trade. Certainly at one time he held the post of Sheriff in London. William the Conqueror had granted the citizens of London a charter in 1075: London was a growing trading city. Becket was born a freeman into a free family, unencumbered with feudal obligations, humble by not being aristocratic, but bourgeois and relatively well-off.  

At about the age of ten, ca 1128, he was sent to be schooled at Merton Priory in Surrey,an Augustinian establishment staffed by secular canons, one of whom was an Italian called master Guido   Later he was placed in one of the London grammar schools, closer to his home, perhaps nearby St Paul's. 

It was at about this time that he went to stay for a longish period, perhaps six months, with Richer de L'Aigle, baron, Lord of  Pevensey, in Sussex. Richer de L'Aigle was a significant baron of this period: later he was listed as being present when the Constitutions of Clarendon were enacted. Becket probably learned social and military skills here. Certainly he learned to ride, to hunt with dogs, hawking and perhaps jousting, all skills which were to stand him in good stead when he later became a friend and companion to king Henry II. Pevensey Castle was near to good hunting and hawking grounds on the marshlands and waterways of the Pevensey Levels. It was during this period he nearly drown after slipping from his horse crossing a bridge.

When he was about twenty, he spent about a year in Paris. Becket's experiences in early life, being sent abroad to study in Paris, and later on in Bologna and Auxerrre ensured that his cause was to be lived on an European stage, and that it would be conducted in an European setting. His early life helped him to build a European network of friends and sympathisers.

References

John Morris; Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1859). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Etc. Chapter I Gilbert and Mathilda. pp. 1–. 

John Morris; Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1859). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Etc. Chapter II The Court at Canterbury. pp. 12–.

John Morris; Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1859). The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Etc. Chapter III The Lord High Chancellor. pp. 20–.

Frank Barlow, ‘Becket, Thomas (1120?–1170)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27201 Thomas Becket (1120?–1170): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27201

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. Chapter 1 - The London Merchant's Son - Background and Youth 1120-1143: University of California Press. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

England under the Angevin kings Vol 1 p. 50- Kate Norgate

Archaeological Institute Of Great Britain And Ireland.
Old London. p. 270-9
Papers Read At The London Congress, July,1866
http://bit.ly/1Um31ax
Royal archaeological institute of Great Britain and Ireland (1867). Old London, papers read at the London congress, July, 1866. pp. 268–. 

William Benham; Charles Welch. Mediaeval London. The Macmillan Company.


Lewis Bostock Radford (1894). Thomas of London Before His Consecration. University Press.
Thomas of London before his consecration - Radford, L. B

thomas of london. Chapter 1 Thomas of London: CUP Archive. pp. 1–.
http://bit.ly/211pPfT

thomas of london. Chapter 2 The Servant of Theobald: CUP Archive. pp. 27–.
http://bit.ly/211pzNO

thomas of london. Chapter 3: Thomas the Chancellor: CUP Archive. pp. 57–.
http://bit.ly/211pzNO 
thomas of london. Chapter IV Foreign Affairs: CUP Archive. pp. 76–.
http://bit.ly/1QmxWhU
Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke; Gillian Keir (1975). London, 800-1216: The Shaping of a City. Gilbert Becket's Fire 1132: University of California Press. pp. 212–. ISBN 978-0-520-02686-5.


Annales monastici Vol 3 p. 434  Edited by H.R.Luard
Annals of Bermondsey 1132
In this year London was almost entirely burned by the fire of Gilbert Becket on April 11.

The chronicle of John of Worcester, 1118-1140

James Pilkington (1842). Sammlung. The Fire of Gilbert Becket: Printed at the University Press. pp. 606–.
James Scholefield (1842). The Works. publisher not identified. pp. 606–.

The chronicle of Florence of Worcester


Julia Barrow (2015). The Clergy in the Medieval World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-1-107-08638-8

Julia Barrow (2015). The Clergy in the Medieval World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 169–. ISBN 978-1-107-08638-8.

Julia Barrow (2015). The Clergy in the Medieval World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 230–. ISBN 978-1-107-08638-8.

Rye, W., & Thomas, S. (1924). Some New Facts as to the Life of St. Thomas À Becket: Tending to Show that He was... Connected... with Norfolk... Hunt.

Anne Duggan (2004). Thomas Becket. Chapter 1 - The Social Climber: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-0-340-74138-2.

Garnier, pp. 203–4; Materials, iv. 4, 78, Radford, p. 2.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.
Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. Notes on Royal Chancellor 1155-1162: University of California Press. pp. 287–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.


Raymonde Foreville (1967). Tradition et comput dans la chronologie de Thomas Becket. Impr. nationale.

Bulletin philologique et historique jusqu'à 1715 du Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Chapter II Early Life 1118-54. pp. 10–.

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket, Volume III William Fitzstephen and Herbert of Bosham

History of Latin Christianity Including that of the Popes to the Pontificate of Nicolas 5. by Henry Hart Milman: Vol. 5. John Murray. 1864. pp. 25–.

John Stow (1842). A Survey of London, witten in the year 1598 by John Stow. William Fitzstephen [Stephanides] - A Description of the Most Noble City of London: Whittaker. pp. 208–.
http://www.buildinghistory.org/primary/fitzstephen.shtml
Florilegium urbanum - Introduction - FitzStephen's Description of London

Thómas Saga Erkibyskups A Life of Archbishop Thomas Becket Volume I - Chapters II - XII Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence) ed. Walberg (1922). La vie de saint Thomas Becket. C.W.K. Gleerup. p. 8.
Stanzas 34-86 : Lines 166-430

Guernes (de Pont-Sainte-Maxence); Janet Shirley (1975). Garnier's Becket: translated from the 12th-century Vie saint Thomas le martyr de Cantorbire of Garnier of Pont-Sainte-Maxence. Part Chapter 1: Phillimore. pp. 6–12. ISBN 978-0-85033-200-1.

John Horace Round The Commune of London, and Other Studies. Forgotten Books. ISBN 978-1-331-12120-6.

The Commune of London and Other Studies - John Horace Round

Saint Thomas Becket
Ses Historiens, Son Culte Sa Naissance, Son Passage, Ses Parents Dans Le Beauvaisis
 
Great Britain. Exchequer (1844). The Great Rolls of the Pipe for the Second, Third, and Fourth Years of the Reign of King Henry the Second, A.D. 1155, 1156, 1157, 1158: Now First Printed from the Originals in the Custody of the Right Hon. the Master of the Rolls, Under the Care of the Rev. Joseph Hunter ... G.E. Eyre and A. Spottiswoode.

Herbert of Bosham and William FitzStephen

An Annotated Translation of the Life of St. Thomas Becket (Part One)
by Herbert Bosham trans Mary Imelda Horback (1945)
Loyola University, Chicago 

Volumes 1 and 2 pp. 8- 36

Gourde, Leo T. (1943), "An Annotated Translation of the Life of St. Thomas Becket by William Fitzstephen"
pp. 19-45

Volume III Vita Sancti Thomae, Cantuarensis Archepiscopi et Martyris, Auctore Willelmo Filio Stephani. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-04927-6


Saint Thomas (à Becket) (1845). "Vita Sancti Thomae Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi et Martyris. ,Auctore Willelmo Filio Stephani"Opera. Parker. pp. 171–.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #1. Edward Grim MTB 2 pp. 356-9 Omens of Future Greatness: Manchester University Press. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #2 Thomas Saga 1 pp. 28-40 Thomas as a Young Man: Manchester University Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #3 Roger of Pontigny Early Training: Manchester University Press. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #4 William FitzStephen Royal Chancellor: Manchester University Press. pp. 48–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #5 John of Salisbury Thomas' Difficulties at Court: Manchester University Press. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #6 Garnier The Chancellor's Hidden Piety Manchester University Press. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.
 Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. #7 William FitzStephen: The Chancellor in diplomacy and war: Manchester University Press. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Alan of Tewkesbury

Mary De Chantal Biala (1945). Annotated Translation of the Life of Saint Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury by John of Salisbury and Alan of Tewkesbury. Loyola University of Chicago
http://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1050&context=luc_theses p. 16-

Latin Lives

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 1 William of Canterbury pp.3-

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 2 John of Salisbury Alan of Tewkesbury pp. 302-

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 2 Edward Grim pp. 356-

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 3 William FitzStephen pp. 13-

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 3 Herbert of Bosham pp. 161-

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 4 Anonymous I [Roger of Pontigny] pp. 3- 

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 4 Anonymous II [Anonymous of Lambeth]

Materials for the history of Thomas Becket Vol 4 Quadrilogus pp. 269-

Latin/German
Thomas von Froidmont. tr. Paul Gerhardt Schmidt (1991), ed. Die Vita des heiligen Thomas Becket, Erzbischof von Canterbury. F. Steiner. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-3-515-05937-4.

Latin/Icelandic
Thomas saga erkibyskups: Fortælling om Thomas Becket, erkebiskop af Canterbury. To bearbeidelser samt fragmenter af en tredie. Tryckt hos B.M. Bentzen. 1869. pp. 1–.
Eirikr Magnússon (1869). A life of Thomas Becket. Volume 1 Longman. pp. 21–.
[The Latin text seems to be from Quadrilogus]
Icelandic/English
Thómas saga erkibyskups : a life of Archbishop Thomas Becket, in Icelandic. Volume 1 Chapters 3-13
https://archive.org/stream/thmassagaerkiby01magngoog#page/n40/mode/2up pp. 12-61

Others

Patrologia Latina  Tomus 190  Col 0196B
 

Memorable Tuesdays

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Memorable Tuesdays in Becket's Life. pp. 339–.

Raymonde Foreville (1967). Tradition et comput dans la chronologie de Thomas Becket. Impr. nationale.

Thomas F. Head (2001). Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology. Psychology Press. pp. 592–. ISBN 978-0-415-93753-5.

Reames, S. L. (2005). Reconstructing and interpreting a thirteenth-century office for the translation of Thomas Becket. Speculum80(01), 118-170.
Richer De L'Aigle and Pevensey Castle


Henry of Blois and Brian Fitz-Count
H. W. C. Davis
The English Historical Review Mary Angela Jeeves (1957). St. Thomas Beckett, "most mighty in England": a psychological study. A. H. Stockwell.
Vol. 25, No. 98 (Apr., 1910), pp. 297-303
Published by: Oxford University Press

Rye, W., & Thomas, S. (1924). Some New Facts as to the Life of St. Thomas À Becket: Tending to Show that He was... Connected... with Norfolk... Hunt.

Marjorie Chibnall (1992). Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1991. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-0-85115-316-2.


Richer de L'Aigle

David Crouch (2014). The Reign of King Stephen: 1135-1154. Routledge. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-1-317-89297-7.

J. D. Parry (1833). An historical and descriptive account of the coasts of Sussex. Pevensey Rape: Longmann. pp. 265–.
Pevensey Castle Map http://goo.gl/8roJAf


Kathleen Thompson, ‘Aigle, Richer de l' (c.1095–1176)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/47232
Richer de l' Aigle (c.1095–1176): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47232

Osbert Huitdeniers

Aka  Osbern Eightpenny "Octonummi" "Huit-deniers", possibly so nicknamed because he may have been a moneylender charging perhaps 8 pence [deniers] per mark [13s 4d],  that is a 5% interest for loans, although seeking profit on a loan was considered to be the mortal sin of usury.

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. pp. 19–.

Noonan, John T., Jr. 1993. "Development of Moral Doctrine." 54 Theological Stud. 662.
http://cdn.theologicalstudies.net/54/54.4/54.4.3.pdf 

Marjorie Chibnall (1992). Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1991. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-0-85115-316-2 

David Crouch (6 June 2014). The Reign of King Stephen: 1135-1154. Osbert Huitdeniers: Routledge. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-1-317-89297-7.

Henry of Blois and Brian Fitz-Count
H. W. C. Davis
The English Historical Review Mary Angela Jeeves (1957). St. Thomas Beckett, "most mighty in England": a psychological study. A. H. Stockwell.
Vol. 25, No. 98 (Apr., 1910), pp. 297-303
Published by: Oxford University Press
 
Archdeacons of Canterbury

'Archdeacons: Canterbury,' in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 2, Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces), ed. Diana E Greenway (London: Institute of Historical Research, 1971), 12-15, 
 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/fasti-ecclesiae/1066-1300/vol2/pp12-15

The incident at the mill whilst hawking

Arthur Beckett (1929). The Sussex County Magazine. Volume 3 1929. T.R. Beckett. p. 150.

The British Miscellany. R. Hastings. 1841. pp. 276–.

Robin S. Oggins (2004). The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England. Yale University Press. pp. 122–. ISBN 978-0-300-10058-7.


http://bit.ly/1RkgsoR § 357 § 358

 Roger of Pont l'Évêque
Abp.'s clk. (see Saltman, Theobald p. 164 n. 3 and cf. ibid. nos. 55, 58 etc.). Appd. after March 1148 (Gerv. Cant. 1 133). First occ. 26 Jan. 1149 (Cart. Worc. no. 73). Archdcn. until became abp. of York, cons. Oct. 1154.

Thomas Becket
Not appd. until after Oct. 1154, when still called abp.'s clk. (Saltman, Theobald no. 182). Already archdcn. when appd. royal chanc., by Jan. 1155 (Diceto 1 300; cf. L. B. Radford, Thomas of London before his Consecration (Cambridge, 1894) pp. 65-7). Also preb. of London. Abp. of Canterbury, el. May, cons. June 1162 (see above p. 4). Res. archdcnry. to king c. 25 Jan. 1163 (Diceto 1 308). 
 
Geoffrey Ridel
King's clk. Presum. appd. by king (Diceto 1 308), by [c. 8] March 1163 (Reg. Antiquissimum of Lincoln, 11 ed. C. W. Foster (Lincoln Record Soc. xxviii) p. 12; R. W. Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary of Hen. II (1878) pp. 59-60). Archdcn. until became bp. of Ely, el. Apr. 1173, cons. Oct. 1174 (see below p. 45).

Court, household and itinerary of King Henry II
by Eyton, Robert William (1878)
https://archive.org/stream/courthouseholdit00eyto#page/1/mode/1up

Out of Date Reportage

John Campbell (1845). The Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England: From the Earliest Times Till the Reign of King George IV. To the revolution of 1688. Murray. pp. 14–.

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