An inserted miniature in BL Harley 5102
Murder of Thomas Becket, England, late 12th-century



A larger image of the Murder of Thomas Becket in manuscript BL Harley 5102, England, late 12th-century.



Part 2
Title: Inserted miniatures
Date: last quarter of the 12th century
Decoration: 5 full-page miniatures in colours and gold, on inserted leaves, including the murder of Becket (ff. 17, 32, 68, 118, 129).

Folio 32
Description: Detail of a miniature of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket: he kneels before the altar, and one of the four knights, perhaps William de Tracy, delivers the first blow, which cuts into the arm of Edward Grim, the cross-bearer; Reginald FitzUrse (identified by the muzzled bear on his shield) strikes the top of Becket's head. Origin: England (E. Midlands?) British Library Harley 5102



Referenced as figure 191 in Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
191A-C ‘Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket’, psalter, Canterbury (?), early 13th century
(British Library, Ms. Harl 5102, f.32, London, England)

The style of the miniatures in this psalter are unlike the rest of the manuscript and may reflect strong French influence. The armour also includes some interesting features, the most important of which are, of course, the helmets (A and C). Though one is round and the other flat topped, both appear to have bands around the face similar to those seen on one of the Temple Church effigies. These could be mistaken for the edges of a lined mail coif, except that no such edge is shown on the coif worn without a helmet (B). Two of the mail hauberks have mittens (A and C) and one man wears mail chausses down the front of his legs (A). The swords are broad, slightly tapering, and with almost blunt tips.



Other Medieval illustrations of the Murder of Thomas Becket
Other 12th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers