Becket headed north, making it to Lincoln in two days, then put on the rough, dark woollen tunic of a local religious order, adopted the name Brother Christian, and turned south into the wilderness of the fens. His companions were genuine lay brothers, able to lead him through the marshes and waterways to isolated hermitages and priories, where he would be able to plan his next moves. Had he been caught, the leading Becket expert Prof Anne Duggan says, the king could have chosen any punishment he liked – castration, blinding, even death.



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