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Why were Chaucer's pilgrims going to Canterbury?

9 replies

CarlingBlackMabel · 12/02/2013 16:07

I mean, why specifically Canterbury? What was it about Canterbury that established it as a destination for pilgrims in the C12? Was it St Augustine? Or the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket? And his Sainthood?

OP posts:
sassytheFIRST · 12/02/2013 16:08

Shrine of Becket

VeryDullNameChange · 12/02/2013 16:11

Tomb of St Thomas Beckett the martyr.

LIZS · 12/02/2013 16:11

It was a jolly, ostensibly to see the Shrine of Thomas a Becket. They each had differing motives some less pious than others !

TunipTheVegedude · 12/02/2013 16:15

Some of the pilgrim badges show the knights murdering St Thomas. here

TunipTheVegedude · 12/02/2013 16:17

Some of St Thomas's miracles (from wiki page:)

'Local legends regarding Becket arose after his canonisation. Though they are typical hagiographical stories, they also display Becket?s particular gruffness. "Becket's Well", in Otford, Kent, is said to have been created after Becket had become displeased with the taste of the local water. Two springs of clear water are said to have bubbled up after he struck the ground with his crozier. The absence of nightingales in Otford is also ascribed to Becket, who is said to have been so disturbed in his devotions by the song of a nightingale that he commanded that none should sing in the town ever again. In the town of Strood, also in Kent, Becket is said to have caused the inhabitants of the town and their descendants to be born with tails. The men of Strood had sided with the king in his struggles against the archbishop, and to demonstrate their support, had cut off the tail of Becket?s horse as he passed through the town.'

What a misery guts, re the nightingales!

CarlingBlackMabel · 12/02/2013 16:36

A sort of coach trip, then?

Thank you - very interesting!

OP posts:
TheNebulousBoojum · 12/02/2013 16:39

You do know Chaucer was 14th century?
But yes, very like a motley coach trip, some going for spiritual reasons, some to build up credit in heaven and some as a business opportunity to scam others.
And I always thought the WOB was along for the jollies.

CarlingBlackMabel · 12/02/2013 16:57

Oops, yes, C14th - so much for my O level English Blush.

OP posts:
TheNebulousBoojum · 12/02/2013 16:59

My favourite century.
Thomas a Becket was murdered in the 12th century.
Why the interest in Chaucer's pilgrims, just a random thought?

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