Casket of St. Thomas Becket on Display at Museum of Somerset Through April 2016

A casket that once held the relics of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is on display at the Museum of Somerset in Tauton, England, until April 2, 2016.  It is on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  The elaborately constructed casket was made in France around 1180 and is covered in jewels, gilt-copper, and enamel. It is one of the earliest, largest, and most elaborate of the several caskets that have housed his relics.  On the outside of the casket is a depiction of the Archbishop and his murders as they attack Becket with swords and an axe while two priests raise their arms in horror. It also shows the saint’s burial and the raising of his soul to heaven.

Casket of St Thomas Becket on Display Feb to April 2016

Casket of St. Thomas Becket, photo courtesy of Museum of Somerset

St. Thomas Becket was favored by Henry II and was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162.  He fell out of favor and was murdered on December 29, 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral by knights who were followers of King Henry II.

Entrance to the museum, including the exhibit of the casket of St. Thomas Becket, is free.

St. Thomas Becket, pray for us.

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