1164 - Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, 45, began a six-year self-imposed exile in France. Once a close friend of England's Henry II, Thomas had more recently become an outspoken opponent of the king's royal policies.
1600 - Staunch Anglican theologian Richard Hooker died at 46. His last words were: 'God hath my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and He is at peace with me... and this witness makes the thoughts of death joyful.'
1789 - During the chaos of the French Revolution, the property of the Church in France was taken over by the state.
1830 - A general convention of Methodist reformers opposed to the episcopal (i.e., bishop-led) form of church government met in Baltimore, MD, to establish the Protestant Methodist Church.
1917 - British foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour, 69, issued the Balfour Declaration, calling for "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The document's recognition of a Jewish nationalism planted the seed which in 1948 led to an establishment of the modern state of Israel.
© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from
Almanac of the Christian Church