4. Why Becket was made Archbishop in 1162

Charlotte Peacock
Flashcards by Charlotte Peacock, updated more than 1 year ago
Charlotte Peacock
Created by Charlotte Peacock about 7 years ago


AS - Level A Level History Revision (4. Dispute with Thomas Becket) Flashcards on 4. Why Becket was made Archbishop in 1162, created by Charlotte Peacock on 04/04/2014.

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Why was Becket appointed chancellor? When King Henry II came to power in 1154, the English church wanted an Englishman to take up his chancery, rather than a Norman or another foreigner. Becket, backed by Theobald, was their choice. Becket's life drastically changed, as he was on the largest salary of all household officials. He was at the centre of the government, acting as a diplomat, ambassador and advisor. Why was Becket a less ideal choice as archbishop in 1162? He was now worldly-wise, a wealthy man and a favourite of the king, all attributes that an archbishop should not have. Furthermore, no royal clerk had been appointed as a bishop since 1120. Also, no archbishops since the mid-12th century had been a monk. Thus, he was not an ideal candidate.
Why was Becket chosen? 1) Becket would be well placed to serve YH, who Henry was planning on crowing in his own reign. 2) Henry believed that Thomas, as chancellor, would be his man in the growing rights and powers of the church However, Becket soon put his archbishopric responsibilities before those of the chancellorship. E.g. when Henry wanted sheriffs aid to be paid into the royal treasury, thus increasing revenue, Becket (though chancellor) didn't support this refusing to pay from his estates or lands
In Germany Frederick Barbarossa had appointed his chancellor as archbishop in 1159. He had served his emperor well, continuing to seveve his temporal and spiritual masters without conflict or strain, therefore Henry expected Becket do to the same Though as soon as Becket received his pallium from the pope, he almost immediately began to adopt extreme and provocative stands on ecclesiastical immunities.
The higher clergy, such as Archbishop Roger of York, and the Bishop of London, strongly objected to this 'outside' appointment for archbishop Henry's motives in the appointment were governed more by reasons of state than by any consideration for the welfare of the church. He thought that his friend would help him curb the new freedoms of the church exercised during Stephen's reign
Henry saw improvement in the law as being a major factor in bringing greater stability to England, in the wake of the chaos of Stephen .
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