Professor David Carpenter will examine the political circumstances of the translation of St Thomas Becket to a new shrine in Canterbury Cathedral in July 2020. Carefully staged by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, the translation took place almost exactly fifty years after Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170. It was attended by several eminent churchmen and by the young Henry III, as recorded in now-lost paintings in the vaults of Canterbury’s Trinity Chapel. In anticipation of the 800th anniversary of the translation, Professor Carpenter will consider the political significance of the translation and Henry III’s ambivalent relationship with Becket.
David Carpenter is Professor of Medieval History at King’s College London. He is a leading authority on the history of Britain in the central middle ages, and has written widely on English social, economic, military and political history in the 13th century. He has also published on aspects of the history of art and architecture, including important studies of Westminster Abbey, Matthew Paris, Salisbury Cathedral and Windsor Castle. The first volume of his biography of Henry III covering the first forty years of his reign down to the revolution of 1258 will appear with Yale University Press in May 2020
Organised by Dr Tom Nickson (The Courtauld)