Consequences of Thomas Becket's Death

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INTRODUCTION

FEINT:

  • Henry did face immeditate concequences-Personally and Politically. 
  • Henry's God given right to rule was at question due to his 'ungodly' act. Threat to Royal Authority/loss of allies
  • Miracles at Beckets tomb.     

HOWEVER: TACTICAL DELAY AND DIPOLOMATIC SKILL...HENRY MANAGED TO SUPRESS.

Judgment: Was not a complete victory as Hnery did not INCREASE Royal authority. BUT

As Mortimer comments it was a 'BRILLIANT RECOVERY' from a potential disaster. 

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JUSTICE

Pre Beckets death: 

  • Hostile relations 
  • Theocratic/sacremental differences.
  • Why had the church become more indendant?-Georgian reforms. 

Constituations of clarendon: 10/16 clauses legalised, inc. Clergymen also being trialled by the crown. 

  • The death of Beckets caused Pope Alexander III to lift the double trial (except forrest offences) BARBER: 'Left a gaping hole in his police system' / 'victory for the papacy' 
  • Key Consequence as 1/6 of population were clergymen and Henry lacked judicial control over them. 

HOWEVER: WARREN argues Henry did not loose all judicial control as he still had control over:

  • Forrest offences
  • Identification of chruch staus befroe trial.

Judgement: Less control of Justice than orgianlly desired but more control than start of reign. 

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WIDER CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS

Compromise of Avranches: 

  • Lands returned to the church in Canterbury
  • Free Elections to Bishoprics 
  • Appeals to Rome

WEAKENED HENRY'S ROYAL AUTHORITY IN THE SHORT TERM. 

Counter: 

  • It was part of Henry's tactics to sumbit to the compromise to demonstrate to Pope Alex he was repentant and loosen control of the King as he would begin to trust him.

JUDEGMENT: Initial short term punishment would in the long term allow Henry to re-establish control to recover a potential defeat. 

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EXPLOITATION OF THE COMPROMISE OF AVRANCHES

EXPLOITED THE VAGNESS OF THE TERMS OF THE COMROMISE OF AVRANCHES

  • The 'new terms' were claimed as a revival of the customs of his Grandfather,Henry I.
  • Henry won the right to introduce new customs becuase of the 'vaguness' of the terms of the compromise of Avranches. 

Examples of new customs:

  • Royal permission needed for legates and bishops to enter and leave England. 
  • No excommuucation for Royal Officials 
  • Royal control of elections to Bishoprics and Abbeys. 

Henry had re-established the same control he had over the church before the Becket crisis. 

Becket was able to excerise authority but not a total victory as he did not gain total control which he orgianally aimed for but Royal Authority was recovered to it's orginal state. 

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POLITICAL AND MILITARY EFFECTS

Great Rebellion: 

  • Not an immediate concequencses but Beckets death justified and motivated the rebels. 
  • Becket was a symbol of defiance 
  • Rebellion was legitimate because of Henry's 'ungodly' act.Challeneged his God given right to rule 

Counter: 

Henry prevented the great rebellion from esculating into a major consequence as he gained support from POPE ALEXANDER III-Most significant ally. 

  • Henry gained this papal support becuase of his campaign to Ireland where he brought the Irish church under Papal authority 
  • Henry commended in two papal bulls. 

Due to Henry establishing good church realtions the rebellion against him was never condoned making it managable-not a serious consequence. 

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PERSONAL CONSEQUENCE

Persoanlly humilated:

  • Penance 4 times (Thrice in Normandy,once in Canterbury)
  • Campain to Ireland - WARREN: Henry's loyalty to the church was never in question

COLLABORATION WITH THE CHURCH WAS PERSOAL DEGRATION TO A POWER HUNGRY KING. 

Treaty of Avranches+Going on crusade +200 knights 

Did addresss/effect Henry's personal power but the concequence was not as serious as it could have been- Excommunication/inderdict of lands. This was possibly becuase it took place 10 months after Beckets death when tensions had died down. 

Jones: Henry tactically made church wait for him to return from Ireland to submit to his punshments,resulting in the legates accepting whatever Henry had to offer.

  • Became a trusted equal with church & chose own punishments.
  • funded 3 relgious houses instead of going on crusade.
  • Henry was in a authoritive position to alter punishment terms shows Beckets death did not cause Henry long term consequence that caused degration in power. 
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CONCLUSION

  • Faced many concequencses that may have led to destruction of kingdom
  • Henry tactically dealt with the consequenses
  • Avoided major consequencses such as excommunication as he allied with the church.
  • Initial consequenses handeled well which allowed him to re-esablish control back to original status. 
  • NOT an entire victory as he did not achieve original aims of establishing total authority over secular and relgious positions 
  • Recovered his control from potential disaster. 
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