Bay 18 (St Thomas Becket)

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Panel 11 - Thomas meets Pope Alexander III to discussing his dispute with the King

 © Stuart Whatling, 2008

During his exile in France, Thomas tried to persuade the Pope to excommunicate King Henry. Pope Alexander III, who was also in exile in France, following the expulsion of the Papacy from Rome by Frederick Hohenstaufen, was sympathetic to Thomas' arguments but fearful of the consequences of placing England under interdiction. Instead he advised diplomacy, much to the annoyance of Thomas.

This panel shows an interior scene beneath a rich arcade. The Pope is shown seated on the left wearing the conical Papal tiara. Thomas sits on a slightly lower seat and wears his Archbishop's mitre. Both figures employ hand gestures indicating debate.