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Becket’s personal psalter found in library

November 10, 2016

The personal psalter of St. Thomas Becket, who was martyred in 1170, has been found in a library at the University of Cambridge, according to Christopher de Hamel, a member of the university’s history faculty.

According to a 1321 document, “Becket’s personal psalter had been preserved after his death at the hands of four knights in the same cathedral in 1170,” according to Fine Books & Collections magazine.

“After reading the entry, Dr. de Hamel realized he had seen a book of psalms that exactly fit that description in the holdings of Cambridge’s Parker Library”—over 100 miles away from Canterbury cathedral, where the archbishop suffered martyrdom.

 
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  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Nov. 11, 2016 11:28 AM ET USA

    It is improbable that it would have been in anything resembling "English" in the 12th century. In the highly unlikely event that it was in anything other than Latin, it would most likely have been Norman French, being just a century after the Conquest of 1066, and St. Thomas himself being of Norman parentage.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 11, 2016 6:49 AM ET USA

    Imagine that: a Catholic who read the Bible prior to the Reformation. Maybe those ages were not as dark as the enlightened among us say they were. Does anyone know if the translation was in Latin or in English?