Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Salerna of Ifield Miracle Story

Salerna of Ifield, accused by her mother of stealing cheese, and threatened with being whipped to death unless she confessed her guilt, threw herself in a deep well, calling upon St. Thomas as she did so. The saint heard her prayer, and supported her in the well, placing her feet upon some kind of staff until help came and she was drawn out .
St. Thomas of Canterbury, his death and miracles #777 Story of Salerna of Ifield

Materials vol 1 p. 258-

Materials vol. 2 p. 263

Joseph Fontenrose (1971). The Ritual Theory of Myth. University of California Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-520-01924-9.

Rachel Koopmans (29 November 2011). Wonderful to Relate: Miracle Stories and Miracle Collecting in High Medieval England. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 139–. ISBN 0-8122-0699-1.

Ifield as place on Canterbury pilgrim's route
Francis Watt (1917). Canterbury Pilgrims and Their Ways. Methuen & Company, Limited. pp. 104–.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Legend of Becket's Mother as the Daughter of a Saracen Emir

Baptism of Becket's Mother
Marriage of Gilbert Becket and Becket's Mother
Birth of Thomas Becket

Emir is the Islamic equivalent of a Prince or Grand Duke.
Emir - Wikipedia
Saracen - Wikipedia

Giles reprinted in his second volume the legend of Thomas Becket's ‘Saracen’ mother. This legend occurs, in almost exactly the same words, in some late manuscripts of the life by Grim (from one of which it is printed in Robertson's Materials, vol. ii.), in the chronicle known as John Bromton's (Twysden's Decem Scriptores, cols. 1052–5), and in British Library Harleian MS. 978, of which Mr. C. L. Kingsford has given a full account in the introduction to his edition of the Song of Lewes (Clarendon Press Ser. 1890).'


Thomas Keightley (1841). The History of England: In two volumes. Longman. pp. 103–.

James Craigie Robertson (1859). Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Chapter II Early Life. pp. 10–.

Henry Hart Milman (1860). Life of Thomas à Becket. Sheldon & company. pp. 9–.

Sketches and Anecdotes Illustrative of Female Character. Russell, Odiorne & Company. 1833. pp. 189–.

(Patrologia Latina Tomus 190 Col 0346B) CAPITULUM II. DE ORTU MIRABILI BEATI THOMAE.
Edward Grim

Michael Staunton (2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. Manchester University Press. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Simon (Dunelmensis); Roger Twysden (1652). Historiae Anglicanae scriptores decem. Johannis Bromton 1052-5: Bee

Henry Hart Milman (1860). Life of Thomas à Becket. Sheldon & company. pp. 9–.

Helen Deeming; Elizabeth Eva Leach (28 May 2015). Manuscripts and Medieval Song. BL Harley 978: Cambridge University Press. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-1-107-06263-4.

The Song of Lewes by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford

Mills, R; (2012) Translation, Conversion and Becket's 'Heathen' Mother. In: Blurton, H and Wogan-Browne, J, (eds.)Rethinking the South English Legendaries. (pp. 381-402). Manchester University Press: Manchester.

Thomas Warton (1774). The History of English Poetry: From the Close of the Eleventh Century to the Commencement of the Eighteenth Century. Printed for, and sold by J. Dodsley. pp. 17–.

Minstrelsy (1827). Minstrelsy: ancient and modern, with an historical intr. and notes, by W. Motherwell. pp. 15–.

 Sir Lewis Morris's Gilbert Beckett and the Fair Saracen

Gilbert Beckett And The Fair Saracen Poem by Sir Lewis Morris - Poem Hunter

Friday, 25 September 2015

Reliquaries/Châsses of St. Thomas Becket

Some of the numerous extant Becket reliquary châsses made at Limoges in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries:


Centre de la Culture du Limousin Médiéval [Facebook]

Musée National du Moyen Âge [formerly Musée de Cluny], Paris

Musée Municipal de l'Évêché, Limoges

Châsse de Thomas Becket Vers 1200. H : 12,9 ; La : 12,5 ; Pr : 6,6. Limoges, musée municipal de l'Evêché [inv. 90.458] Achat, 1990 (B. Blondeel et P. Carlier).

thomas1 archived

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Guéret (Creuse)

Châsse de Thomas Becket Vers 1205-1215. H. 13 ; L. 12,3 ; La 6,7. Guéret, musée des Beaux-Arts [Inv. OA 4] Lieu de provenance inconnu.

thomas2 archived

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

Musée du Louvre, Paris
N° d’Inventaire OA11333
Châsse : Assassinat et Ensevelissement de saint Thomas Becket
N° d’Inventaire OA 7745

Musée d'art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand

Cathédrale de Sens

Le Vigéan, AuvergneChâsse de Thomas Becket


Agnani Cathedral Museum
Reliquary of Thomas Becket. Copper and enamel, 13th century. Museo della Cattedrale di Anagni, Anagni, Italy


Museo della Cattedrale di Lucca 


Museum Schnütgen (St. Cäcilien), Köln:


Martyrdom of Thomas Becket on reliquary in Trönö new church, Hälsingland
[Rescued from a major fire]

Trönö Reliquary

United Kingdom

Burrell Collection Glasgow

CHASSE DEPICTING THE MURDER OF THOMAS BECKET French. Limoges, c. 1200-1210 Copper with champleve ... Hunt; 1934, bt William Burrell, £125; given by Sir William and Constance, Lady Burrell to Glasgow Corporation in 1944

Victoria and Albert Museum,

British Museum

Loaned from Society of Antiquaries, London

One of the numerous Becket reliquary châsses made at Limoges in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries on loan from the Society of Antiquaries for London.

British Museum number 1878,1101.3 - Archived  


Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

87 North Main Street, Oberlin OH 44074
Glencairn Museum Pennsylvania

A Newly Discovered Reliquary of St. Thomas Becket
Thomas P. F. Hoving
Vol. 4 (Spring, 1965), pp. 28-30
The University of Chicago Press
International Center of Medieval Art

The Dormeuil Collection Auction in Paris, 19th Nov 2007

Lot 9: Limoges, Circa 1200-1210 A Gilt Copper Champleve Chasse With The Martyrdom Of St. Thomas Becket.
Sculptures, Works of Art
by Sotheby's London, July 9, 2002

A gilt copper champleve enamel châsse with the martyrdom of st. thomas becket, Limoges, circa 1200-1210 lot Sotheby's

Mr Thomas Astles Reliquary - from Vetusta Monumenta 1789

The Front View of Mr Thomas Astles Reliquary/ 1789

The Back View of Mr Astles Reliquary/ 1789

From an early owner of the Becket casket present location not known.
Antique engraving from Vetusta Monumenta a series of illustrated antiquarian papers on ancient buildings, sites, and artefacts, mostly of Britain, published at irregular intervals between 1718 and 1906 by the Society of Antiquaries of London. Folio sized papers, usually authored by members of the society, published individually, then later in volumes, Drawn by Jacob Schnebbelie (1760–1792) an English draughtsman, specialising in monuments and historical subjects. Schnebbelie was born in Duke's Court, St. Martin's Lane, London, on 30 Aug. 1760 Through Lord Leicester, the president, Schnebbelie obtained appointment as draughtsman to the Society of Antiquaries of London; the majority of the second and third volumes of Vetusta Monumenta were drawn by him.. These prints were engraved by James Basire. This was also engraved by J carter Images 45 x 30 cm Single page E arly and accurate architectural studies at affordable prices £95 PAIR post inclusive ( rolled as too large to send flat unless a number are needed)


Treasures of Heaven. - YouTube Andrew Graham-Dixon BBC

Andrew Graham-Dixon explores the ancient Christian practice of preserving holy relics and the largely forgotten art form that went with it, the reliquary.

Chasses de saint Thomas Becket - Wikipédia

Bits of Becket - Paradox Place

Émail de Limoges - Wikipédia

Narrative Art - PhD Thesis

Musée du Louvre; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) (1996). Enamels of Limoges: 1100-1350. Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-0-87099-758-7.

Les châsses reliquaires de Thomas Becket émaillées à Limoges: leur géographie historique. Societe archeologique et historique du Limousin. 1993.

Martine Yvernault. " Reading History in Enamel : The Journey of Thomas Becket's Experience from Canterbury to Limoges ", communication présentée lors du colloque organisé par le G.R.I.C. (Groupe de Recherche Identités et Cultures), " Canterbury : a Medieval City ", University du Havre, 12-13 mars 2009, in 

Catherine Royer-Hemet (2010). Canterbury: A Medieval City. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-1-4438-2608-2.

Cathedrals of southern France p. 111 

S. Caudron, "Les châsses reliquaires de Thomas Becket émaillées à Limoges", dans Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique du Limousin, CXXI, 1993

Actes Du Colloque International de Sedieres. Editions Beauchesne. pp. 233–.

Britt-Marie Andersson (1980). Emaux limousins en Suède: les châsses, les croix. Almqvist & Wiksell.

Musée du Louvre; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) (1996). Enamels of Limoges: 1100-1350. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-87099-758-7.

Limoges (France). Musée municipal (1999). Valérie et Thomas Becket: de l'influence des princes Plantagenêt dans l'œuvre de Limoges. Musée municipal de l'Évêché-Musée de l'émail. ISBN 978-2-9506813-6-2.

Extant Chasses

Anne Duggan (2007). Thomas Becket: Friends, Networks, Texts and Cult. Chapter IX footnote: Ashgate/Variorum. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7546-5922-8
Becket Limoges Chasses known to be extant either on public view on in private collections number a total of 45

France - 11
Germany - 7
Austria - 2
Spain - 1
Belgium - 1
Holland - 1
Luxembourg - 1
Poland - 1
Sweden -1
Norway - 1
USA - 4
Switzerland - 3
Britain - 11

Plus another 23 Reliquary Caskets

Châsses saint Thomas Becket


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Becket Images

A selection of images illustrating the story of Becket and his dispute with king Henry II.

1. The Becket Leaves (c.1220-1240) - British Library Loan MS 88

Janet Backhouse; Christopher De Hamel (January 1988). The Becket Leaves. British Library. ISBN 978-0-7123-0141-1.
The Becket Leaves  
Becket Leaves - Archived

2. Images by Joseph Strutt

 Joseph Strutt; James Robinson Planché (1842). The regal and ecclesiastical Antiquities of England; containing the representations of all the English monarchs, from Edward the Confessor to Henry VIII; and of many persons that were eminent under their several reigns.

Strutt, Joseph; Planché, James R.
The regal and ecclesiastical antiquities of England: containing the representations of all the English monarchs, from Edward the Confessor to Henry the Eighth
London, 1842


Plate IX, The Murder of Thomas Becket.
British Library MS Cotton Julius A.XL

Plate VIII. Henry the Second and Thomas Becket
From British Library Cotton MS Claudius D.2.

3. Mosaic Monreale Cathedral, Sicily

4. Queen Mary Psalter, British Library MS Royal 2 B VII

The Life of Thomas Becket

5. Boss in Exeter Cathedral

6. British Library MS Harley 5102

7. BL Cotton MS Claudius B II

Martyrdom of Thomas Becket - The British Library

9.  British Library Harley 5312 f.28v

Book of Hours Harley 5312 f. 28v

10. British Library  Harley 1251, f.48

Harley 1251 f.48 - Book of Hours

11. British Library Add MS 42130 f.51r - Luttrell Psalter  

File-Psalm 26 (27); Thomas Becket - Luttrell Psalter (c.1325-1335), f.51 - BL Add MS 42130.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Luttrell Psalter

12. British Library MS Stowe 12 f. 27v   

MS Stowe 12 f. 27v

13. Others

On 29 December 1170, the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas
Becket, was murdered by four knights in... ...

The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter
... The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter. ... Several details of this
image follow eye-witness accounts of Becket's death. ... 

The Burial of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter
... Thomas Becket, In A Psalter. The Burial of Thomas Becket, In A Psalter.
Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum. Date: 1225. ... 

Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, in Chronicle of Melrose Abbey
... Abbey. Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, in Chronicle of Melrose Abbey.
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum. Date: 1270. ... 

Antiphonal; Illuminated letter showing pilgrims & clergy at ...
... Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 – a "holy, blisful martyr", Chaucer
writes in his Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales'. ... 

Frontispiece To Psalms, In The Bible Of William Of Devon
... Facing the start of the book of Psalms are five scenes in compartments: the
Crucifixion; the martyrdom of Thomas Becket; the identifications of the ... 

14. Becket

Trinity College Cambridge MS B.5.5 f130v
15. Nottingham Alabasters

These are to be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London.
Made in second half  of 15th century.

a) Becket being consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury
b) Becket meeting the Pope at Sens
c) Becket returning from exile in France

This one is to be found in the British Museum, Blooomsbury, London.

d) Becket's martyrdom

Nottingham Alabaster  

16.  Sens Cathedral Bay 23 Stained Glass Windows

Bay 23 - St Thomas Becket      archived

17. British Library Royal MS 20 f7v

18. Pilgrim Badges

Pilgrim badge of St. Thomas Becket: 14th century
Museum of London 

19, Carrow Psalter Martyrdom of Becket

20. Chartres Cathedral

21. Metropolitan Museum New York

Martyrdom of Thomas à Becket (1400) Ivory