Benedictine. Dissolved in 1540 by Henry VIII.
Cathedral was erected near the church of St. Martin, itself built
during the days of Roman occupied Britain. St. Martin
had been given to the English Queen Bertha, who was the Christian
of the Frankish King Charibert, for her use by her husband Kentish King
Founded: Queen Bertha was
soon joined by a group of Benedictine monks sent by Rome for the
purpose of converting the people of England.
King Ethelbert converted to Christianity and was baptised in 597.
Augustine and his monks a house in Canterbury. Augustine rebuilt
the St. Martin's and concecrated
it as Canterbury Church in 603. A pagan temple outside Canterbury
to Saints Peter and
Paul, and this building became a Augustine's home and monastery, and
was known as St. Augustine's. A fire destroyed Canterbury
Church in 1067, and Lafranc began building a Cathedral on the site
in 1070. Of Interest: Supposedly, the
chair in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, made of grey marble, was
used by the Saxon Kings in Kent.
"Who will rid me of
this troublesome priest." The unlucky Archbishop Thomas Becket is
1170. His relics become a shine which attracts thousands of
and they help make the Canterbury dioceses very rich.
A historical note: "Situated
close to the highway, on the hill which eager travellers were about to
catch their first sight of the grand tower of Canterbury, the
Harbledown lepers benefited by the
gifts of pilgrims for three and a half centuries. Treasured in
the hospital was a relic
of 'the glorious martyrs' whose shrine they wended. [A
fragment of Thomas Beckett's
shoe]. ...Shortly after leaving the city, where the road becomes
steep and narrow, there
is...a hospital of a few old men. One of the brethren runs out,
sprinkles the travellers with holy
water, and presently offers them the upper part of a shoe, set with a
piece of glass
resembling a jewel. This the strangers are invited to
kiss." [They were also invited to
drop some money in the almsbox.]
From The Medieval Hospitals of England
by Rotha Mary Clay. 1909.
Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing.