Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today In History: Troublesome priests.

On this date in 1170, Thomas Becket learned about separation of church and state the hard way.


staghounds said...

According to family legend, one of the four enforcers is an ancestor of mine.

Anonymous said...

The King: "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest."

"Err, Sire, they did."

"Crap. I didn't mean KILL him. Besides, guys, did you learn nothing on crusade? Assassination, nice and quiet, dark alleys, plausible deniability? No bells, eh? On the alter of a cathedral. For the love of Pete, they'll go make him a martyr now. Morons."

Jonathan said...
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Jonathan said...

the quote believed to be the most accurate was:

"What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their Lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"

a much more powerful statement, imho.

Oddly, it was Beckett's view of the Church's role in government that ultimately won out. Though we can more easily Understand Henry's more pragmatic view of the law and courts, and the Church's place within that hierarchy.

Plantagenets are a fascinating bunch.

phlegmfatale said...

The first time I visited Canterbury Cathedral, I happened upon a tour group with a guide at that spot. I heard a pinched American accent asking a tour guide "he was killed here? RIGHT here? You mean, they killed him RIGHT here?"

I booked it for points elsewhere, longing not to be associated.

So, um, like, someone was killed there? *hee*

Anonymous said...

Well, the King had raised Beckett to be a top administrator so he felt kind of agrieved when Beckett started telling him "no".

Jonathan said...
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Jonathan said...

Yeah, Beckett was a close friend of Henry's. Beckett was a hard drinking, cursing, womanizing partier. Henry and Becket were two peas in a pod.

Then Beckett gets an appointment with the church, has a conversion experience, and starts literally wearing a hair shirt.

beware the convert, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

the Fudgie Ghost says:

The main thing about the whole Beckett thing is this: In the movie, Richard Burton (as Beckett) walks in on the King (Peter O'Toole) who is in bed with a . . wench, I guess. . or is it a strumpet? Anyway, at some point the King slaps the girls (covered--hey it was the sixties)butt and exclaims "Round as an apple!"

I sometimes do this to my wife. She usually tells me to cut it out.

Carl H said...

Any chance the current Archbishop of Canterbury will walk under a ladder or something? Because that meddlesome priest chafes MY ass, I'm here to say. Perhaps a frozen toiletload from a passing 747 to adorn his pate? C'mon, worketh with me here, prithee.

Anonymous said...

The current Archbishop of Canterbury is a religious man.

I could have sworn he was a leftist politician too stupid to get elected.

Anonymous said...

As long as we're talking about "holy" men getting whacked by the state, let's not forget ol' Rasputin who was also done in on this day. And boy did he take some killing.