Thomas Becket’s shrine William Lawrence Sr Omnibit 1-22-20
No Miranda, you cannot retrace the trip taken in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, at least exactly. The pilgrims’ destination was the St. Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury Cathedral.
Becket was a pal of King Henry II who placed him in the important post of the Archbishop of Canterbury in a bit of convenient cronyism. Unfortunately for Henry, Becket started taking his job seriously which interfered with the King’s plans. The King expressed his annoyance to some of his knights who took matters in their own hands on Dec. 29, 1170 and killed the cleric in the Cathedral.
Canterbury Cathedral was destroyed by fire four years later. A magnificent replacement was built. Becket’s body was placed in a solid gold shrine, and became the destination for pilgrims as per “Canterbury Tales.”
In 1534, Henry VIII while performing his anti-Catholic pogrom summoned the dead saint to court to face charges of treason. When he didn’t appear, he was found guilty in abstentia. Henry VIII destroyed the shrine, took its gold and burned Becket’s body.