The causes of the Henry-Becket dispute

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INTRODUCTION

  • Many points of dispute between Henry and Becket.
  • Kings enraged outburst led to Beckets murder.
  • Main source of argument from the 'triangular relationship (Mortimer) of the church and crown. 
  • Describe clash is theocratic/scaremental principle
  • Principles initiated conflict after Beckets ordination and was the key cause of Beckets exile.
  • Furthur disputes beyond exile was fuelled by clashing personalities,leading to Beckets death
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PRINCIPLES/WOODSTOCK

  • Before Beckets ordination in 1162.
  • William the conquerer and then William Rufus attempted to exert power over the church
  • Archbishop Anselm attempted to appoint church positions Rufus replies 'To what concern of this is yours? Arnt these abbeys mine?'
  • Henry though his decision to appoint Becket was strategic and would elimate all church-crown disputes as Becket was Hnery's trusted chancellor and would adhere to his own theocratic view. 
  • Becket was ambitious,powerhungry and unexpectedly switched to sacremental view? was he just serving his new role correctly in the church? 
  • WOODSTOCK1163- Denied Hnery's request that the money collected from sheriffs aid should go straight to the exchequer. WARREN: Becket was deliberatly picking a quarrel Henry. 
  • Becket disagreed with Henry to defend his scremental principle.
  • Becket was a pious man-Hair shirt 1169 and therefore at thois early stage his quarrels seemed motivated in honouring his sacremental view. 
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COUNCIL OF WESTMINISTER

  • Council of Westminister October 1163-Major conflict of principle. 
  • Excommunication of William,Lord of Eynsford-Becket did not notify/consult Henry
  • This angered Hnery as it went against his Theocratic principle. 
  • LED TO HENRY WANTING TO REFORM JUDICIAL SYSTEM
  • William the conquerer agrredd that church men should be trialed only in their own ecclesiastical court.
  • PROBLEM: Henry had to change this as 1/6 of the population were clergy and he had no control over their crimes--> led to minor punishments such as penance as the church could not 'SPILL BLOOD' 
  • Out of principle Becket could not agree with him put of priciple- Nahum 1:9 prevents double punishment. 
  • Underlying personal incetive for Becket to show independaence but moreso principle as he made compromise-increaed severeity of some cases. 
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CLARENDON&NORTHAMPTON

  • Paved the way for for personal motives to prioritse over prniciple. 
  • Still evidence of principle- Henry put forward 'ancient customs' at constituations of Clarendon 1164
  • Undermined the churches authority- Clauses such as the crown having control over ecclesiastical elections. 
  • Becket naturally through principle rejected 10/16 clauses in favour of sacremental prinicple.
  • BARLOW: The point where it came a fight of PRIDE NOT PRINCIPLE.
  • WILLIAM FITZSTEPHEN: Henry saw Beckets actions as an 'AFFRONT'- angered the King and set out to destroy Becket at Northhampton. 
  • Henry accuses Becket of embezzling funds-Henrys Barons forced to support. 
  • Bekect found gulity and felees into exile. 
  • True characters came to light in this intense situation
  • Henry= Angry / Bekcet=stubborn
  • BARLOW: 'CAUSED BY THEIR OWN CHARACTER'
  • Intial difference due to principle,but was exacerbated by a clash in personlity. 
  • Becket was 'Stubborn' not to part from principle,this angered Henry cause the conflict to worsen. 
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EXILE NEGOTIATIONS

  • Conflict driven by personlity. 
  • Principles were still a factor...Becket added 'SAVING MY ORDER' onto the end of the oath of alligience to Henry at Montrail- to maintain church principle. 
  • This led to an increase in conflict as negotions broke down. 
  • Henry undermined Beckets position as Archbishop-PRIMACY OFCANTERBURY. as he had Young Henry crowned by Archbishop of York JUNE 1170. 
  • The crowning of his son was out of spite not principle. 
  • PURSER&HUDSCROFT-DELIBERATE INSULT TO BECKET. 
  • Becket developed a profound distrust for Henry as was reluctant to return to England, negototiation had failed.
  • Both personalities caused the pair to act irrationally. 
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BECKET RETURNS TO ENGLAND

  • Becket and Henry caused further conflict due to their principles, but it was their personality that caused the climax of their conflict. 
  • Becket began excommunicating all in England who sided with Henry:
    -Roger of York&Bishop Filiot of London. 
  • Element of principle in the excommunications as Becket rightfully waited for permission from Henry and Pope Alexander.-Freteval July 1170
  • Henry was extremly angered by the excommunications, his outraging personality caused the conflict to peak.
  • 'Will no one rid me of this turbulent preist!' 
  • Beckets own persoanlity led to his death as the Knights gave him to choice to ebsolve the excommunications, in stubborness,Becket refused and was murderd. 
  • It was the two men’s final actions that were sparked by their personalities that caused the greatest issue in their conflict.

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CONCLUSION

-Began with opposing principles,underlying conflict due to personlaity.

OVERTIME, THE PINNCALE OF THE CONFLICT DECENDED INTO CLASH OF PERSONLITY, ACTS OF PRINCIPLE SHROUDED PERSONAL MOTIVES.  

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