The giving (and taking) of the King’s Mill
This is just a quick post, and probably won’t mean much to most people, but when I saw this plaque on the High Street in Canterbury I had to smile, because I’m in the midst of reading (for the umpteenth time) all about Henry II and Thomas Becket in Sharon Kay Penman’s trilogy (When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance, and the Devil’s Brood).
The King’s Mill was granted by King Stephen to the abbey in 1144; but Stephen’s reign was much troubled, because he stole the crown from his cousin Empress Matilda (sometimes called Maude). After much civil war, Matilda’s son was declared Stepehen’s heir to the thrown, and became Henry II when Stephen kicked the bucket. He didn’t consider Stephen’s rule to be valid, and called in a time of “unlaw” … so he took the mill back! But then after Henry (inadvertently) caused Thomas Becket’s murder, he felt really guilt and gave the mill to Becket’s sister, Rohesia (or Rohese)!
So much drama and excitement, all commemorated by a small and simple plaque that most people walk right by!
Posted on 14/04/2011, in Castles & Cathedrals, Exploring the UK, travel and tagged Canterbury, Empress Matilda, Sharon Kay Penman, Stephen King of England, Thomas Becket, When Christ and His Saints Slept. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.