Avranches

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Avranches, compromise of. On 21 May 1172, at Avranches cathedral (Normandy), Henry II was publicly absolved by papal legates from complicity in the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket on condition that he provide 200 knights to serve in the Holy Land for one year, take the cross himself and fight either in the Holy Land or against the Moors in Spain, restore all properties seized from the church of Canterbury, allow appeals from the English church to Rome, and abolish all evil customs prejudicial to the church which he had introduced. The agreement paved the way for the re-establishment of sound relations between church and state in England after the Becket affair.

S. D. Lloyd

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Avranches (ävräNsh´), town (1993 est. pop. 9,520), Manche dept., NW France, in Normandy, on the English Channel. Because of its proximity to the rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel, Avranches has a large tourist trade. A Roman town, it became an intellectual center in the early Middle Ages; Lanfranc taught there. It was devastated in the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, and World War II.