Thomas Becket - murder and the making of a saint

Thomas Becket - murder and the making of a saint

22 April – 22 August 2021

Room 35

The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery

Tickets More information coming soon. Members free

Discover the murder that shook the Middle Ages in this dramatic exhibition about the life, death and legacy of Thomas Becket.

On 29 December 1170, Becket was assassinated in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights with close ties to King Henry II, an act that left Medieval Europe reeling. Becket was one of the most powerful figures of his time, serving as royal chancellor and later as Archbishop of Canterbury. Initially a close friend of Henry, the two men became engaged in a bitter dispute that culminated in his violent and public death – an event that sent shockwaves across Europe and caused an immense political fallout.

Marking the 850th anniversary of his brutal murder, this special exhibition presents Becket's tumultuous journey from a merchant's son to an archbishop, and from a revered saint in death to a 'traitor' in the eyes of Henry VIII more than 350 years later.



  • Address
    British Museum Great Russell Street,
    London,
    WC1B 3DE
  • Telephone
    020 7323 8000
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