The transformation in 1579 of the Hospice into a new English College in Rome, preparing priests for the dangerous post-Reformation mission to England and Wales, engendered further martyrdoms, with 44 members of the College being executed for serving as priests on the mission.
The VEC has just produced an impressive new book titled Memory, Martyrs, and Mission. Essays to Commemorate the 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket (c. 1118–1170). The e-book version of this volume is being made available to readers for a limited time.
In exile he would need money, so before leaving Northampton, Becket had secretly sent his closest confidant, the scholar Herbert of Bosham, to Canterbury, to gather as much as he could and to take it to the Abbey of St Bertin, near Calais. But there was also one other thing he wanted Herbert to find - a certain little book.
"The implication is that it was a book that was very important to Becket, and that Herbert would know what it was," Anne Duggan says.
"It's quite interesting that he doesn't tell us - so there is a mystery there. It wasn't a law book, it wasn't a gospel, it was a little book - a codicella." . . .