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The Murder of Becket by John Opie
The archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in AD 1170. This painting by John Opie was made over six hundred years later and shows this famous event. Following the murder, Becket was made a saint and a shrine was built in Canterbury Cathedral. Many people heard rumours that pilgrims visiting Becket’s shrine were being cured of all sorts of injuries and illnesses. As the rumours spread, more and more people came to Canterbury from all over Europe in hope of miracle cures.
The Beaney has a huge collection of Pilgrim Badges from the 12th – 15th Century. They are made of tin-lead and were bought by thousands of pilgrims to commemorate their journey to Canterbury. The badges were worn on either your hat or cloak. This one depicts Thomas Becket himself.