This badge is dated to between 1350 and 1400. It shows the ship on which Becket returned after 6 years exile in France to avoid conflict with Henry II, Beckett finally returned to England in 1170. He is shown on board a square-rigged cog. The details show the large rudder at the rear: the anchor to the fore and various sailors both fore and aft and even atop in the rigging. To the left of the mast is the figure of the archbishop, his hand raised in blessing.
By far the most popular English Shrine was at Canterbury Cathedral, dedicated to the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket. To begin with he had been a close friend of King Henry the II, but after his election to Archbishop he became a religious zealot and was often in severe conflict with his King. In 1164 Becket sought exile in France returning in 1170. Within months his original conflicts with the King re-emerged and four knights, believing they were acting on the King’s wish, set out to Canterbury in full armour. Here they entered the Cathedral and beheaded Becket as he knelt in prayer; an act that shook the Christian world.
Canterbury was the first English Shrine to manufacture pilgrim badges and one of the longest ongoing, with many different badges depicting almost every aspect of Beckets martyrdom.