Sunday, July 22, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 5: Part 7: Canterbury Cathedral/Murder of Thomas Beckett

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral is called the "Mother Church of the Anglican Communion" and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site.

According to the website for the Cathedral (, the Cathedral's history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Tom and Rob outside the Canterbury Cathedral

Thomas Beckett's Tomb surrounded by teenage visitors

Thomas Becket (also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury) 1118 – 29 December 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.
  The monks were afraid that Becket's body might be stolen. To prevent this Becket's remains were placed beneath the floor of the eastern crypt of the cathedral.
  In 1220, Becket's remains were relocated from this first tomb to a shrine in the recently completed Trinity Chapel where it stood until it was destroyed in 1538,  on orders from King Henry VIII. The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated.


We went into the area of the Cathedral that has "Thomas" engraved on the floor, that marked his tomb (despite his bones being destroyed on Henry VIII's command). As I (Rob) was standing there I immediately got a headache in the back left side of my head, indicating that there was a ghost present. I immediately knew it was Thomas Beckett, and Beckett's ghost walked right through me!  I was chilled and I told him I don't appreciate that.
  Immediately, I sensed his personality and could understand why he was slain, and why Henry VIII had his bones crushed. He was very headstrong and very stubborn. Despite the church sainting him, I can tell you that he wasn't someone I cared to know.  His ghost was bad energy.
   We walked away from the tomb and under the church into the crypt. The crypt was the original part of the building, and it was built in 1070. There were a lot of bad feelings down there as well, and I couldn't wait to get outside.

Thomas Beckett's Tomb

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next