Consequences of the Becket Affair

  • Created by: GhostRat
  • Created on: 25-02-19 18:53

Overall Facts.


  • Avaranches: Henry was to restore all of Canterbury’s possessions to the state they were in a year before Becket’s exile (1164) :)

  • Won the freedom of appeal to Rome at Avaranches..? BUT people could only appeal if it meant no harm was intended for the crown/kingdom! Ostensible gain… Henry basically had control over papal intervention in England :( Papal legates needed permission to enter and bishops could not attend courts abroad without a king’s license

  • Church could now hold free elections...? Henry only put his nominees forward: ‘I forbid you to elect anyone except Richard my clerk) → Ostensible gain

  • Henry promised NOT to keep churches vacant beyond a year unless there was an urgent necessity → kept 5 absent sees and gained 4000 a year from vacancies revenue → ostensible gain

  • The Church had never fully wanted Becket’s aims.. Everyone won as Becket was the issue..


  • :) Short term = continental lands placed under interdict & his envoys at Rome were refused an audience by the pope → short term papal control of England.

  • :) Short term = got Henry to agree to send 200 knights to the Holy Land for defence and take the cross within three years BUT LIMITED: Henry founded three monasteries instead of crusading and the 2,000 marks sent to the military orders could only be used at the Fall of Jerusalem

  • Henry had to swear allegiance to Alexander III and his Catholic successors which helped with the crisis with anti-Popes (FB & Calixtus III)


  • Henry seized the opportunity to campaign in Ireland from 1171-1172, angry passions subsided & legates were prepared to negotiate on reasonable terms (eased relations as Henry was conquering mostly Pagan land in the name of Catholicism, which previous Popes such as Adrian IV had requested) → long term gain (entered Avaranches in 1772 on better terms) → formally granted forgiveness: declared he had neither ordered/wished for murder but acknowledged his words may have occasioned it

  • Despite the Church saying that Henry should renounce all the customs that harmed the church, Henry still claimed they were ancient customs → customs stood & generally enforced → clerks retained benefit of the clergy BUT were to be judged in royal courts for forest offences (which were a source of royal revenue and exploitation) AND had to prove their benefit (clerk goes to prison, confiscation of chattels, hearing + taking of evidence); lay fee disputes remained the business of secular courts & was openly surrendered by Alexander III in 1178

  • July 1174 :( public penance → flogged with rods, walked barefoot in penitential robes & drank water mixed with Becket’s blood BUT same day = end of the GR with the capture of


No comments have yet been made