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Historical and legal controversy - Essay Example

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The dispute and controversy between Thomas Becket, who was the archbishop of Canterbury and King Henry II of England, was one of the most epic battles of supremacy that the world has ever witnessed. From the outset, it was expected that Thomas Becket would play a major and…
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Historical and legal controversy
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Download file to see previous pages In the correct context, it was expected that Thomas becket would have used his appointive position to defend the royal affairs, on the contrary, he began to champion for ecclesiastical rights. Specifically, there was the question of how the clergy who committed crimes were supposed to be dealt with. In the conventional world and sense, one would have expected that all clerics who took minor orders were supposed to be subjected to secular rigour and law when on the wrong. This was due to the fact that the so called minor clerics constituted up to one fifth of the population (Knowles, 9). In principle, it implies that one fifth of the population could have been spared from secular authority and instead be subjected to ecclesiastical hierarchy and judges. As a matter of fact, this situation whereby the clerics were to be tried under the ecclesiastical laws regardless of the nature of their crime is called the benefit of the clergy. According to Thomas Becket, all the clergy were supposed to enjoy the benefit of the clergy regardless of their position in the hierarchy or hegemony of clerical service
King Henry on the other hand believed that the proposition by his former ally turned nemesis that the clerics were to be excused from secular regimes of law was going to undercut his authority. In retrospect, the King opposed the position taken by the archbishop, thus controversy and discomfort did set in as a result. Another dispute arose when Thomas Becket endeavored to recover lost land that did belong to the diocese with a royal writ. In the long end, he made a lot of recoveries of land some of which were done in a high-handed manner. The subjects then took matter up with the king and it also contributed to the long standing dispute (Plucknett, 6). At one point, the archbishop, Thomas Becket tried to install a clerk or a clerical officer in a land ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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