Letter from Empress Matilda to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1165

The Freelance History Writer

King Henry II and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury in an argument

In the early years of the government of King Henry II, he had relied on his mother, the Empress Matilda, for advice on many different matters. As she grew older, Matilda’s health declined, she became more pious and her influence over her son waned as he gained greater experience as a monarch. Regarding church matters, Henry and his archbishop of Canterbury, Theobald, had a good working relationship. Theobald had an experienced cadre of clerks working for him, many of whom made their way into the king’s administration, including Thomas Becket. Henry eventually appointed Becket Chancellor, the most important position in England.

Becket accompanied King Henry to Normandy several times on business and Matilda, who had made her primary residence in Rouen, may have met him there. Matilda knew Becket had a reputation for enriching himself and for…

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2 thoughts on “Letter from Empress Matilda to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1165

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