Henry and Thomas Becket – chronology card sort



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Henry and Thomas Becket – chronology card sort

Cut out the cards below and put them into the correct order to tell the story of Henry II and Thomas Becket.

In 1170, Becket and Henry patched up their differences. Becket promised to help the King as much as he could, but as soon as he set foot in England he began excommunicating (throwing out of the church) some of Henry’s most important friends.

When Henry found out that Becket had broken his promise to help him, he became uncontrollably angry. He is said to have shouted the words: ‘Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?’ Four knights overheard him.

Once Becket was dead, he became a martyr, and many of Henry’s enemies called Henry a murderer. The king was so sorry for what he had done that he went on a pilgrimage and allowed himself to be whipped as a punishment.

Henry and Becket had a huge argument! Becket was so afraid of what Henry might do that he ran away to France. While Becket was away, Henry asked the Archbishop of York to crown his son as the next king. Now Becket was really angry!

Henry II became King of England and most of France in 1154. He was a popular ruler but he had a very bad temper. He needed someone to help him rule. He chose Thomas Becket and made him his chancellor or chief adviser. Henry and Becket became good friends.

The knights went to Canterbury Cathedral, where Becket was praying, and tried to get him to return with them to apologise to Henry. Becket was really, really stubborn and refused. The knights wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They tried to drag him out of the cathedral and in the struggle, drew out their swords and cut off the top of Becket’s head!

After five years, Henry asked Becket to become Archbishop of Canterbury. He thought Becket would help him to control the church, which was becoming too powerful. Becket agreed, but as soon as he got the job of Archbishop he became very religious. Becket now thought God was in charge, not Henry. This made Henry very angry!



Correct sequence


  1. Henry II became King of England and most of France in 1154. He was a popular ruler but he had a very bad temper. He needed someone to help him rule. He chose Thomas Becket and made him his chancellor or chief adviser. Henry and Becket became good friends.

  1. After five years, Henry asked Becket to become Archbishop of Canterbury. He thought Becket would help him to control the church, which was becoming too powerful. Becket agreed, but as soon as he got the job of Archbishop he became very religious. Becket now thought God was in charge, not Henry. This made Henry very angry!

  1. Henry and Becket had a huge argument! Becket was so afraid of what Henry might do that he ran away to France. While Becket was away, Henry asked the Archbishop of York to crown his son as the next king. Now Becket was really angry!

  1. In 1170, Becket and Henry patched up their differences. Becket promised to help the King as much as he could, but as soon as he set foot in England he began excommunicating (throwing out of the church) some of Henry’s most important friends.

  1. When Henry found out that Becket had broken his promise to help him, he became uncontrollably angry. He is said to have shouted the words: ‘Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?’ Four knights overheard him.

  1. The knights went to Canterbury Cathedral, where Becket was praying, and tried to get him to return with them to apologise to Henry. Becket was really, really stubborn and refused. The knights wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They tried to drag him out of the cathedral and in the struggle, drew out their swords and cut off the top of Becket’s head!

  1. Once Becket was dead, he became a martyr, and many of Henry’s enemies called Henry a murderer. The king was so sorry for what he had done that he went on a pilgrimage and allowed himself to be whipped as a punishment.




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