Friday, February 13, 2004

Hutton on the death of Thomas a Becket

From the Guardian's Huttonise history competition:

"I find the allegation by the Broadsheet of the Borough of Canterbury and its reporter, Andrew of Gillingham, that four knights acting on the orders of King Henry murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket to be totally without foundation and tantamount to libel.

"Archbishop Becket was a well known eccentric and I totally accept the evidence of the respected knights that he repeatedly ran at, and impaled himself upon, their swords when they entered the cathedral to make confession.

"The suggestion that the knights had previously had any communication with King Henry is a gross calumny on the part of the BBC.

"While the allegation that there had existed some dispute between the archbishop and the king is regarded by some as important, it is outside the remit of my inquiry and has no bearing on my investigation."

There's some other good ones there as well.