Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury (Canonized by Pope Alexander III, AD 1173)
A scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, who became canon of Canterbury in 1859, James Craigie Robertson (1813–82) edited for the Rolls Series this seven-volume work, published between 1875 and 1885. Superseding the earlier work of J. A. Giles, it is a collection of contemporary Latin lives and letters relating to the life of Thomas Becket (c.1120–70). Rising through the ranks to become royal chancellor and then archbishop of Canterbury, Becket fell dramatically out of favour with Henry II and, on his return from exile, was famously murdered in the cathedral church at Canterbury. Following his canonisation in 1173, his reputation grew considerably throughout western Christendom. Volume 3 contains the lives compiled by William Fitzstephen, a close contemporary, and Herbert of Bosham, who campaigned for Becket's canonisation and was one of his longest-serving clerks and closest friends.