Murder in the Cathedral

Hugh de Morville was Constable of the Castle of Knaresborough and leader of the unfortunate group of four knights who took King Henry II at his word when he said, “Will nobody rid me of this turbulent priest?” On December 29th, 1170 they murdered Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the steps of the altar of his cathedral. The four knights first fled to Knaresborough, where legend has it that they were reviled even by the dogs of the town, although Hugh is also said to have built Hampsthwaite Church and dedicated it to the canonised priest as an act of penance.