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The Story of Archbishop Saint Thomas Becket

Window in Chartres Cathedral - early 1200s


Back to Paradoxplace Chartres Cathedral Windows Page

Back to Paradoxplace Chartres Cathedral Page

Link to Canterbury Cathedral pages



A window telling the story of Archbishop Saint Thomas Becket, murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170 by armed knights loyal to King Henry II.  The window is in the south east ambulatory.  Our main source for the story line was the "Vitraux de Chartres" book, and things will hopefully improve when we get someone with a better command of French to help!  Note also that there is a relief showing the Becket execution somewhere in the North Portal ensemble.


Unlike English medieval narrative windows, French ones start at the bottom






Sick people seek healing from the Saint's body whilst an angel waves incense overhead.



The murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170.







Becket returns to his Cathedral in Canterbury, his murderers to be lurk sinisterly on the right.







Archbishop and King interact.




Communications between King Henry II and Archbishop Becket get so bad that the King Henry II can't even look at him.



Archbishop and King interact.


Thomas returns to England, landing at Sandwich in south east Kent (where le Paradoxe went to school).







Farewelled by Cistercian monks, Thomas rides off to talk with the King (of France?) again.







Thomas embarks for France.




Thomas meets the Pope (Alexander III)


Thomas is consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury by Bishop Henry of Winchester



Thomas talks with the King (of France?).







The second to bottom window section (above) is about the window's donors - the Tanners' Guild.  The photo shows the centre and left panels of the section.  One would normally expect to find this at the bottom of the window, and indeed the scenes now at the bottom (below) seem to belong timeline wise to mid window ... it was not unknown for rebuilders and restorers to get stuff mixed up - another example is the 1200s array of roundels illustrating Zodiac Signs, Labours of the Month, Sins, Virtues and Heraldic Beasts in Canterbury Cathedral.  And in this case in Southern Puglia we don't believe that they were trying very hard in the first place !







Becket meets a King (/ the King of France?)



Becket arrives in Sens, where he stayed for some time before going south to the Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny.



Becket is exiled from England.



Becket sets off with his friends.




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