First published in 1920, this volume was written by the theologian, scholar, and canon of Canterbury Cathedral, Arthur James Mason. It was intended to bring together the known documentary evidence relating to the history of the relics of Thomas Becket. Divided into four sections, the book presents the narrative accounts of the death of Thomas Becket, the history of his tomb and the shrine dedicated to him, and the subsequent destruction of the shrine under the reign of Henry VIII. The last section, and the most significant for this study, is devoted to the discovery in 1888 of bones in the crypt of the cathedral thought to belong to Thomas Becket. The book offers a thorough overview of the evidence and circumstances of the discovery and encourages readers to draw their own conclusions.
Part I. The Narratives of the Passion: 1. William of Canterbury; 2. William Fitzstephen; Note on the Priory of Dover; 3. Benedict; 4. John of Salisbury; 5. Edward Grim; 6. Garnier de Pont St Maurice; Notes; Part II. The Tomb and the Shrine; Section 1. The Tomb; Section 2. The Translation: 7. The 'Polistorie'; 8. Appendix ad quadrilogum; 9. Thomas Saga Erkibyskups; 10. Matthew Paris; 11. Annals of Waverley; 12. Annals of Dunstable; 13. Higden's 'Polychronicon'; 14. Robert of Gloucester; Section 3. The Shrine and the Head: 15. Schassek; 16. Tetzel of Nuremberg; 17. Erasmus's 'Peregrinato Religionis ergo'; 18. Madame de Montreuil; Notes; Part III. The Destruction of the Shrine: 19. The King's letter for taking away shrines and images; 20. Commission for taking down St Richard's Shrine at Chichester; 21. Commission for taking down the Shrine of St Hugh at Lincoln; 22. Destruction of St Cuthbert's Shrine at Durham; 23. Shrine of St William at York; 24. Paul III's bull of excommunication against Henry VIII; 25. R. Pole's denuntiation; 26. N. Harpsfield's accusation; 27. Archbishop Parker's account; 28. The King's Proclamation, Nov. 16, 1538; 29. the King's Letter to the Justices, December, 1538; 30. C. Wriothesley's Chronicle; 31. Stow's Chronicle and Annales; 32. Holinshed's Chronicle; 33. Payment for 'disgarnisshinge' of the shrine; 34. Letters of J. Husee; 35. And of T. Wriothesley and others; 36. Official Denial of the burning of St Thomas's bones; 37. W. Thomas's Pellegrino Inglese; 38. John Bale; Note: the alleged posthumous trial of St Thomas; Part IV. The Supposed Discovery of the Bones: 39. Report of the Committee; 40. Miss A. Holland's letters; 41. Mr W. P. Thornton's account of the bones; 42. Other items of evidence; Conclusion; Index; Frontispiece: the skull found in 1888; Plan of the monastery of Christ Church in Canterbury.