Pilgrim badge: Becket's Shrine
Time period:mid 14th to 15th Century
Product Dimensions: Dimensions;
Date to between 1350 and 1400. This badges shows the ornate purpose built shrine at Canterbury Cathedral. Above the gothic tracery is the recumbent figure of Becket and above his figure is the jewelled reliquary case that contains his bones. In the center panel of this chest there is a small figure who points to a large jewel. This was a massive ruby that was given as a gift by the King of France. Above the reliquary chest are two ships, again a reference to Beckets time in exile.
By far the most popular English Shrine was at Canterbury Cathedral, dedicated to the matyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket. To begin with he had been a close friend of King Henry the II, but after his election to Archbishop he became a religious zealot and was often in severe conflict with his King. In 1164 Becket sought exile in France returning in 1170. Within months his original conflicts with the King re-emerged and four knights, believing they were acting on the King's wish, set out to Canterbury in full armour. Here they entered the Cathedral and beheaded Becket as he knelt in prayer; an act that shook the Christian world.
Canterbury was the first English Shrine to manufacture pilgrim badges and one of the longest ongoing, with many different badges depicting almost every aspect of Beckets matyrdom.
Period: 1300 - 1400 AD