To mark Thomas Becket’s triple anniversary, Guildhall in the City of London is to be filled with a 16th-century style Livery Fair, and a brand new open-air musical production of his life.
The triple anniversary, which was in 2020, marked 900 years since his birth, 850 years since his death, 800 years since the translation to his shrine in Canterbury Cathedral. The Livery Fair was due to take place during the anniversary year, but I am sure we all know what happened to that.
The Guildhall is also a suitable location for the fair, not just because it’s a large open space, but because Thomas Becket was born just around the corner from the Guildhall, and you can see a marker on roughly the spot of his home on the corner of Cheapside and Ironmonger Lane.
Over the weekend of 17th/18th June, inspired by the guildsmen who staged the original pageant of 1519, and Becket’s origins as the son of a City merchant, Guildhall Yard will be styled as a 16th-century experience with period entertainers and a vibrant Livery Crafts Fair.
Up to eighteen Livery Companies will showcase the important contribution of the guilds past and present to the City, whilst providing practical demonstrations of their individual trades, including the evolution from old technologies to new. They will also be selling handcrafted merchandise direct from their stalls.
There will also be a specially brewed Becket Beer on sale on the day.
The Livery Fair will be free to visit on Fri 17th and Sat 18th June between 11am to 4pm.
There will also be an open-air musical, London’s Turbulent Son performed, and tickets for that are on sale here.