Today is the Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury and the culmination of the delayed commemorations leading up to the anniversary of his martyrdom on this day 850 years ago.
Image: Supertock/ Church Times
The BBC News website had a most interesting article a few days ago about the apparent identification of a psalter which the Archbishop treasured. The illustrated report, which is very much a fascinating historical detective story can be seen at Has Thomas Becket's treasured 'little book' been found?
Assuming the identification is correct - and the case looks strong - then this is one more instance of treasures surviving in ‘plain sight’ and that collections such as that of the Parker Library at Corpus Christi Cambridge are such an amazing resource in having preserved unique and historic manuscripts. One might regret that Archbishop Parker gave such works away from Canterbury but that might well not have survived otherwise.
Christopher de Hamel’s account of the research The Book in the Cathedral: The Last Relic of Thomas Becket was published by Allen Lane this year - ISBN 978-0-241-47958-3. At only 58pages long it doubtless makes for excellent fireside reading in these dark and coronavirus ridden days, if only for an afternoon.
St Thomas of Canterbury Pray for us