Monday, 29 December 2014

St Thomas of Canterbury...

And specially from every shire's end.
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

The feud between Henry II and St Thomas was...and I've gone blank (well, I am writing this on Christmass Day and I have a stinking cold and have had too much port). What I really want to say is that one cannot really have a devotion to St Thomas without having at least some deference to Fisher, More, and the other contemporary lords spiritual. Arguably Henry VIII wielded more power than Henry II, Magna Carta notwithstanding, but is there really much difference between the blissful martyr of Chaucer's pilgrimage and those who went to the block in defiance of the Act of Supremacy? I may be mistaken but I don't think there was a spontaneous cult of any of the Reformation martyrs (on the Roman side). Which was right, the King or the bishops?

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