Thomas Becket became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, but by 1164 a bitter dispute with King Henry II had caused him to seek exile in France. However, Becket was invited to return from exile by the King, and to a tumultuous reception he landed at Sandwich in Kent on 2nd December 1170. Less than a month later he was dead, murdered in his own Cathedral at the behest of the King. Becket’s triumphant ride to Canterbury was thereafter marked by the annual feast of the Regressio Sancta Thome. At this time, Pilgrim badges such as this example, depicting Becket riding a dappled stallion and being led by a groom, would have been especially appropriate.
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