The British Museum is making this the year of St. Thomas Becket, 850 years after his assassination.

This 15th-century image of St. Thomas Becket being struck with a large sword is made of alabaster, a material for which English craftsmen were famed.

Reliquary casket of St. Thomas Becket

Made just a few years after Becket's martyrdom, this reliquary casket was created by the French masters in this field -- the craftsmen of Limoges.

Another view of Becket's assassination, this time in a psalter of around 1220.

There are few images of the saint that don't involve his violent death.
The location where Becket was struck down is marked by a suitably sword-based memorial.

Canterbury Cathedral

The soaring majesty and serenity of Canterbury Cathedral belie its bloody past.
King Henry II was a tortured man after the killing of his friend and former ally St. Thomas Becket. He died miserably in France and his remains were desecrated during the French Revolution.