Temple Church

Temple Church was built in the late 12th century as a London base for the crusading order of Knights Templars in the Holy Land. In the 14th century Temple Church claimed to possess as a relic one of the swords of the knights that had murdered Thomas Becket.

Canterbury Cathedral displayed the tip of Richard le Breton’s sword which had shattered when he cut the top of Becket’s skull off and Carlisle Cathedral claimed the sword of Hugh de Moreville, another of the knights. All four of the knights were sentenced to go to the Holy Land as penance (see Becket and the Holy Land), and Reginald FitzUrse gave some of his lands to the Templars before leaving so, if it was a genuine relic, the sword may have been his.

Sword pilgrim badge.
© The Trustees of the British Museum, 1856, 0701.2049
Origin/Date: England || 400 - 1500

Sacrament involving contrition, confession, satisfaction (e.g. prayer, fasting, almsgiving or pilgrimage) and absolution. From the Latin ‘poena’ meaning 'punishment'.

Thomas Becket

 English Archbishop (Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162) and martyr, famously murdered by knights at Canterbury Cathedral after a dispute with Henry II. Miracles were soon recorded at his tomb. Canonised in 1173, his shrine became one of the most popular pilgrimage centres in Christendom. Patron saint of London with St Paul.

Knights Templar

A military and religious order founded in Jerusalem in 1119 to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land