Henry promoted Thomas to Lord Chancellor. Then, when the Archbishop of Canterbury died, Thomas was made the new Archbishop in 1162.
Henry thought by having his good friend as Archbishop he would be able to impose his will on the church. Thomas, however, had somewhat of a religious conversion and his allegiance went ultimately to the church.
Henry and Thomas were in frequent conflict over the rights of the church and the King leading to Thomas being exiled to France for six years.
He returned to England and whilst celebrating Mass at Canterbury Cathedral Thomas was murdered by four knights. Supporters of King Henry.
The Feast day of Saint Thomas Beckett is celebrated on 29th December.
Thomas is the Patron Saint of the Secular Clergy.
By Teresa Mulgrew