Thomas Becket memorial and the modern Cheapside street sign.
© The Worshipful Company of Mercers

Cheapside was one of the main commercial streets in medieval London, and as such was important to the wealth and status of the city. It was used for both royal and civic processions, connecting some of the major landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Guildhall together. The clock from the Hospital of St Thomas of Acre was used to keep time and dictate trading regulations for the entire street. Thomas Becket’s parents lived on this street and owned property in the area, indicating that they were a fairly prosperous family.

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.