King Henry ENGLAND, II
- Born: 5 Mar 1133, Le Mans, Sarthe, Maine, France
- Married (1): 11 May 1152, Bordeaux, Gironde, France
- Married (4): 18 May 1153
- Died: 6 Jul 1189, Chinon, Indre-Et-Loire, Tours, France
- Buried: 8 Jul 1189, Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France
Other names for Henry were FITZ EMPRESS, PLANTAGENET, "Curtmantel", ANJOU Count, ACQUITAINE Duke, ENGLAND King and NORMANDY Duke.
User ID: 18909744/37819510.
Henry FITZ EMPRESS (to contemporaries), Henry PLANTAGENET (to later generations), "Curtmantel", Duke of NORMANDY 1150, Count of ANJOU 1151, Duke of ACQUITAINE 1152, and King of ENGLAND Reigned 19 Dec 1154- 6 Jul 1189.
The Political History of England, George Burton Adams, 1905, Longmans Green and Co, Ch VIII, p188:
"On March 25, 1133, was born Matilda's eldest son, the future Henry II..."
Ch XVI, p357:  "...That [Henry]intended to give up all effort andrest satisfied with this result is not likely, and words he is said to have used indicate the contrary, but his disease and his broken spirits had brought him nearer the end than he knew. One more blow, for him the severest of all, remained for him to suffer. He found at the head of the list of those who had abandoned his allegiance the name of John. Then his will forsook hem and his heart broke. He turned his face to the wall and cried: `Let everything go as it will; I care no more for myself or for the world.' On July 6 he died at Chinon, murmuring almost to the last, `Shame on a conquered king,' and abandoned by all his family except his eldest son Geoffrey, the son, it was said, of awoman, low in character as in birth."
Eleanor of Aquitaine the Mother Queen, Desmond Seward, 1978, Dorset Press, p69.
A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, 1949, p2:
"The Counts of Anjou and their lovely but wicked wives gained such an unsavory reputation over the centuries that the people of England were appalled when they found that one of them was to become King of England. This was young Henry, the grandson of England's Henry I and of the Count of Anjou, and there was much angry muttering and shaking of heads. But the half of young Henry which was English predominated over the jalf which was Angevin. He proved a strong and able king and, although some who followed him displayed more of the wild and picturesque half of the blood inheritance, the days of their rule in England were fruitful and spectacular. The men were kingly and their women were lovely. They created an empire and they fought long and terrible wars and enriched the island with the booty they brought back. The English people were so proud of them that they often forgave their wickednesses and their peccadilloes."
p8: "...And then one day he received news which sent him skurrying to the Cotton-Hall, his feet recapturing some of the spring of youth. His eyes had lighted up and the message they conveyed to Adelicia was easy to interpret: `At last, sweet child, it can be forgive you that I have no son.'
"Matilda's son Henry had been born. Historians say that the nation rejoiced, but that statement has a spurious ring. The arrival of an heir made it certain that one day a scion of the much feared Angevin family would sit on the throne...It is impossible to conceive of these independent thinking burghers throwing their hats in the air because a man-child had come into the world who might someday try to trample on their hard-earned rights."
p20: "...The young Henry realized that the time had come to settle the issue once and for all. He organized a small force and landed in England in January 1153, setting up his mother's standard and summoning her supporters to take up arms again in her behalf...He marched toward Wallingford in readiness to do battle. Stephen's men held the northern bank of the Thames in equal readiness. The stage wasnow set for the first pitched battle of the war, which would also be, without a doubt, the decisive one...
"...It is not important who was responsible for the urgent suggestion [William d'Augibny or Archbishop Theobald] that the stage of the olive branch had arrived. The important thing is that Stephen rode down to the river on his side and young Henry Fitz-Empress came up on the south and a conference was held from bank to bank. The result was peace at last, a solution of the differences which had reduced England to such desolation.
"Stephen was to be King for the balance of his life and Henry was to succeed him. The Treaty of Wallingford, as it was called, provided, moreover, that Stephen was to disband his mercenaries and send them out of the country, the new castles were to be razed, and new sheriffs were to be appointed to proceed with the restoration of law and order."
p23: "The Epic Reign of a Great King"
"The reign of Henry II, calledthe first of the Plantagenets or Angevins, has all the elements of an epic novel, all the romance, color, conflict, and guile of the Arthurian legends which men began to write at this time. It is the record of a king who had all the qualitiesof a great monarch together with many of the faults of a bad one, who corrected Stephen's anarchy with a sure, iron hand, and who governed, part of the time at least, like a medieval Solomon. He dreamed, the great Henry, of making England the center of an empire more powerful than Charlemagne's and nearly succeeded in making it so. He married the most glamorous woman in Europe after antlering her husband, Louis of France, so that men clled the latter cuckold. He was blessed, or cursed, with many sons, including Richard of the Lionheart and the base John. He loved many women and stole the intended bride of one of his own sons. He put his beautiful wife in a prison for sixteen years. His whelps rose up in rebellion against him and made his last years a nightmare of hate and treachery.
"In this amazing reign of more than a third of a century, chivalry came to its fullest flowering and the voice of the troubadour was heard as often in the land as the clash of arms. Much more important by far, the first whispers rose of a religious unrest which led to John Wyclif and Lollardism and, eventually, to the Reformation...It was, above everything else, the time in which two strong men, Henry himself and thatunsolved enigma, Thomas a Becket, split the nation into camps in a contest of wills, giving to history one of its strangest stories."
p24: "...His chaplain, Peter of Blois, says of him: `He was ruddy but you must understand that my lord the king is sub-rufus, a pale red...His head is round as in token of great wit...His een pykeled and clear as to color, while his is of pleased will, but through disturbance of heart, like sparkling fire or lightning with hastiness. His head ofcurly hair when clipped square in the forehead, showeth a lyonous visage...'
"...He was a thickset youth, with the chest of a distance runner, a bull neck, and a leonine head. His color was high and his eyes, which were gray, protuded slightly and were said to show fire beneath the surface. He was a man of furious energy. Partly because of this, partly to fight corpulence to which even then he was prone, he seldom sat down...He was sparing of food and drink, and this was a greathardship, for he was a man of enormous appetities, for lands and power and gold and, yes, for women, as well as for the beef of England and the wines of Normandy.
"This is the first and most enduring impression one gets of Matilda's greatson, he tremendous and never-ending energy. It shows in everything known of him. It enabled him to carry a burden of administrative detail impossible to any other single individual...He was much more of a scholar than Henry I... He read a great deal and like to discuss what he learned with scholars and wise men...
"Another proof of Henry's desire to rule well was his practice of visiting the outlying parts of the kingdom...This mad young King! In addition to his accursed belief(to quote his staff) that a ruler should know his country and his people, he was completely unpredictable...Henry might set ten o'clock of a morning for his departure and be up at dawn, roaring orders and bundling up state papers himself to facilitate an immediate start. He was a hard master, but hardest always on himself.
"He had an infallible memory, an inheritance from his otherwise insignificant father. He never forgot a good turn or an ill one, he never entirely lost an affection, and certainly he never relaxed a hatred..."
p27: "Here, truly, was a man. How fortunate for England that the power fell into his hands at this time when the need was so great for the restoration of order after the anarchy. How much more fortunate it would have been if he had been content to rule the country, if he had not been consumed by an ambition which kept him away from the island for so much of his time. It has been estimated that of the thirty-five years of his reign only thirteen of them were spent in England. For the rest he was following a star which blazed directly above him and so blinded him that he found it hard to see anything else.
"A final word about his character: one writer of the daysays, `When at peace, there was a great sweetness in his eyes.'"
p119: "The laws which Henry had established in England and which he was now enforcing in his continental dominions were better laws for the people than those which had existed before. It was the nobility who objected. They saw their feudal power being pared, they were forced to pay heavier taxes, they found themselves subjects under these new laws instead of rulers. They had for Henry nothing but hatred, these chivalrous knights of Aquitaine and Poitou. But Henry was right and they were wrong.
"Unfortunately his sons lacked the insight which Henry possessed in such a great degree. It seemed to the three princes that their father was wrong and the barons who resisted him were right."
The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxix: Normans and Plantagenets Genealogy: Henry II Curtmantel, mar Eleanor Duchess of Aquitaine, reigned 1154-1189."
A History of the English Speaking People Winston S Churchill Vol I The Birth of Britain Dodd Mead & Co p195:
"In 1147 Robert of Gloucester died and the leadership of Maud's party devolved upon her son. Henry of Plantagenet was born to empire. His grandfather Fulk had made of the Angevin lands, Anjou, Touraine, and Maine, a principality unsurpassed in France and in resources more than the equal of Normandy. Fulk died in 1143, King of Jerusalem, leaving two sons to succeed him on that precarious throne, and a third, Geoffrey, as heir to his French dominions. Geoffrey's marriage with Maud had united the Norman and Angevin lands, and the child of this marriage was from his birth in 1133 recognised as the `master of many peoples.'To contemporaries he was best known as Henry Fitz-Empress; but he carried into English history the emblem of his house, the broom, the `Planta Genesta', which later generations were to make the name of this great dynasty, the Plantagenets. He embodied all their ability, all their energy, and not a little of that passionate, ruthless ferocity which, it was whispered, came to the house of Anjou from no mortal source, but from a union with Satan himself.
"When scarcely fifteen, in1147, Henry had actively championed his claim to the English throne on English soil. His small band of followers was then defeated by Stephen's forces, and he took refuge in Normandy. The Empress Maud gave up her slender hopes of success in thefollowing year and joined her son in the duchy..."
p196: "Henry was involved in a further attempt against England in 1149, but the campaign projected on his behalf by the King of Scots and the Earl of Chester came to nothing...In the meantime Henry was invested by his parents in 1150 as Duke of Normandy. The next year his father's death made him also Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine. In his gigh feudal capacity Henry repaired to Paris to render homage to his lord the King ofFrance, of which country he already possessed, by the accepted law of the age, a large part."
p197: "...From all sides the potentates confronted the upstart. The King of France, who cerainly had every conceivable cause of complaint; KingStephen of England, who disputed Henry's title to the Norman duchy, though without force to intervene across the Channel; the Count of Champagne; the Count of Perche; and Henry's own brother, Geoffrey- all spontaneously, and with good reason, fell upon him.
"A month after the marriage these foes converged upon Normandy. But the youthful Duke Henry beat them back, ruptured quality. The Norman army proved once again its fighting quality. Before he was twenty Henry had cleared Normandy of rebels and pacified Anjou. He turned forthwith to England. It was a valiant figure that landed in January 1153, and from all over England, distracted by civil wars, hearts and eyes turned towards him. Merlin had prophesied a deliverer;had he not in his veins blood that ran back to William the Conqueror, and beyond him, through his grandmother Matilda, wife of Henry I, to Cedric and the long-vanished Anglo-Saxon line?...
"...There followed battles: Malmesbury, where thesleet, especially directed by Almighty God, beat upon the faces of his foes; Wallingford, where King Stephen by divine interposition fell three times from his horse before going into action...A treaty was concluded at Winchester in 1153 whereby Stephen made Henry his adopted son and his appointed heir...and when a year later Stephen died he was acclaimed and crowned King of England with more general hope and rejoicing than had ever uplifted any monarch in England since the days of Alfred the Great."
p199: "The accession of Henry II began one of the most pregnant and decis- ive reigns in English history. The new sovereign ruled an empire, and, as his subjects boasted, his warrant ran `from the Arctic Ocean to the Pyrenees.' England to him was but one- the most solid though perhaps the least attractive- of his provinces. But he gave to England that effectual element of external control which, as in the days of William of Orange, was indispensable to the growth of national unity. He was accepted by English and Norman as the ruler of both races and the whole country. The membories of Hatings were confounded inhis person, and after the hideous anarchy of civil war and robber barons all due attention was paid to his commands. Thus, though a Frenchmen, with foreign speech and foreign modes, he shaped [England] in a fashion of which the outline remains to the present day.
"After a hundred years of being the encampment of an invading armyand the battleground of it quarrelsome officers and their descendants England became finally and for all time a coherent kingdom, based upon Christianity and upon that Latin civilisation which recalled the message of ancient Rome. Henry Plantagenet first brought England, Scotland, and Ireland into a certain common relationship; he re-established the system of royal government which his grandfather, Henry I, had prematurely erected. He relaid the foundations of a central power, basedupon the exchequer and the judiciary, which was ultimately to supersede the the feudal system of William the Conqueror. The King gathered up and cherished the Anglo-Saxon tradition of self-government under royal command in shire and borough; hedeveloped and made permanent `assizes' as they survive today. It is to him we owe the enduring fact that the English-speaking race all over the world is governed by the English Common Law rather than by the Roman. By his Constitutions of Clarendon he sought to fix the relationship of Church and State and to force the Church in its temporal character to submit itself to the life and law of the nation. In this endeavour he had, after a deadly struggle, to retreat, and it was left to Henry VIII, though centuries later, to avenge his predecessor by destroying the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury.
"A vivid picture is painted of this gifted and, for a while, enviable man: square, thick-set, bull-necked, with powerful arms and coarse, rough hands; his legs bandy from endless riding; a large, round head and closely cropped red hair; a freckled face; a voice harsh and cracked. Intense love of the chase; other loves, which the Church deplored and Queen Eleanor resented; frugality in food and dress; days entirely concerned with public business; travel unceasing; moods various. It was said that he was always gentle and calm in times of urgent peril, but became bad-tempered and capricious when the pressurerelaxed. `He was more tender to dead soldiers than to the living, and found far more sorrow in the loss of those who were slain than comfort in the love of those who remained.' He journeyed hotfoot around his many dominions, arriving unexpectedly in England when he was thought to be in the South of France. He carried with him in his tours of each province wains loaded with ponderous rolls which represented the office files of today. His Court and train gasped and panted behind him.Sometimes, when he had appointed an early start, he was sleeping till noon, with all the wagons and pack-horses awaiting him fully laden. Sometimes he would be off hours before the time he had fixed, leaving everyone to catch up as best they could. Everything was stirred and moulded by him in England, as also in his other much greater estates, which he patrolled with tireless attention...
p202: "Few mortals have led so full a life as Henry II or have drunk so deeply of the cupsof triumph and sorrow. In later life he fell out with Elea- nor. When she was over fifty and he but forty-two he is said to have fallen in love with `Fair Rosamond', a damsel of high degree and transcendent beauty, and generations have enjoyedthe romantic tragedy of Queen Eleanor penetrating the protecting maze at Woodstock by the clue of a silken thread and offering he hapless supplanter the hard choice between the dagger and the poisoned cup. Tiresome investigators have underminedthis excellent tale, but it certainly should find its place in any history worthy of the name..."
p203: "...The Battle of Hastings had made the greatest French subject, the Duke of Normandy, also King of England; but Henry II's accessionto the Islandthrone in 1154 threatened France with far graver dangers. Hitherto there had always been political relief in playing off over-mightly subjects one against another. The struggle between Anjou and Normandy in the eleventh century had rejoiced the French king, who saw two of his chief enemies at grips. But when in one hour Henry II was King of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Aquitaine, Brittany, Poitou, Anjou, Maine, and Guienne, ruler from the Somme to the Pyrenees of more than half of France, all balance of power among the feudal lords was destroyed.
"Louis VII found instead of a dozen principalities, divided and jealous, one single imperial Power, whose resources far surpassed his own. He was scarcelythe man to face such a combination. He had already suffered the irreparable misfortune of Eleanor's divorce, and of her joining forces and blood with his rival. By him she bore sons; by Louis only daughters..."
p205: "No episode opens to us a wider window upon the politics of the twelfth century in England than the quarrel of Henry II with his great subject and former friend, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury..."
p206: "...He had been his Chancellor, or, as Ranke first remarked, `to use a somewhat equivalent expression, his most trusted Cabinet Minister.' He had in both home and foreign affairs loyally served his master...The King felt sure that in Becket he had his own man- no mere servant, but a faithfulcomrade and colleague in the common endeavour. It was by the King's direct influence and personal effort that Becket was elected Archbishop..."
p207: "The struggle between Henry II and Becket is confused by the techni- cal details over which it was fought...The Crown resented the claim of the Church to interfere in the State; but in the Middle Ages no king dared to chal- lenge the Church outright, or, much as he might hope to limit its influence, thought of a decisive breach..."
p209: "...[Becket] declared that the Constitutions of Clarendon did not represent the relations between Church and Crown. When, in October 1164, he was summoned to appear before the Great Council and explain his conduct he haughtily denied the King's authority and placed himself under the protection of the Pope and God.
"Thus he ruptured that unity which had hitherto been deemed vital in the English realm, and in fact declared war with ghostly weapons upon the King. Stiffin defiance, Becket took refuge on the Continent...Only in 1170 was an apparent reconciliation brought about between him and the King at Freteval, in Touraine...~My lor,' said Thomas at the end, `my heart tells me that I part from you as one whom you shall see no more in this life.' `Do you hold me as a traitor?' asked the King. `That be far from thee, my lord,' replied the Archbishop..."
p210: "Meanwhile, in Becket's absence, Henry had resolved to secure the peaceful accessionof his son, the young Henry, by having him crowned in his own lifetime. The ceremony had been performed by the Archbishop of York, assisted by a number of other cleric. This action was bitterly resented by Becket as an infringement of a cherished right of his see. After the Freteval agreement Henry supposed that bygones were to be bygones. But Becket had other views.
"...He proceeded to renew his excommunication of the clergy who had taken part in the crowning of young Henry. These unfortunate priests and prelates traveled in a bunch to the King, who was in Normandy. They told a tale not only of an ecclesiastical challenge, but of actual revolt and usurpation. They said that the Archbishop was ready `to tear the crownfrom the young King's head.'
"Henry Plantagenet, first of all his line, with all the fire of his nature, received these tidings when surrounded by his knights and nobles. He was transported with passion. `What a pack of fools and cowards,' he cried, `I have nourished in my house, that not one of them will avenge me of this turbulent priest!' Another version says `of this upstart clerk.' A council was immediately summoned to devise measures for reasserting the royal authority. In the main they shared the King's anger. Second thoughts prevailed. With all the stresses that existed in that fierce and ardent society, it was not possible that the realm could support a fearful conflict between the two sides of life represented by Church and State.
"But meanwhile another train of action was in process. Four knights had heard the King's bitter words spoken in the full circle. The travelled fast to the coast. They crossed the Channel. They called for horses androde to Canterbury. There on December 29, 1170, they found the Archbishop in the cathedral. The scene and the tragedy are famous. He confronted them with Cross and mitre, fearless and resolute in warlike action, a master of the histrionic arts. After haggard parleys they fell upon him, cut him down with their swords, and left him bleeding like Julius Ceasar, with a score of wounds to cry for vengeance.
"This tragedy was fatal to the King. The murder of one of the foremost of God's servants, like the breaking of a feudal oath, struck at the heart of the age. All England was filled with terror. They acclaimed the dead Archbishop as a martyr...Here indeed was a crime, vast and inexpiable. When Henry heard the appallingnews he was prostrated with grief and fear. All the elaborate process of law which he had sought to set on foot against his rival power was brushed aside by a brutal, bloody act; and though he had never dreamed that such a deed would be done there were his own hot words, spoken before so many witnesses, to fasten on him, for that age at least, the guilt of murder, and, still worse, sacrilege.
"The immediately following years were spent in trying to recover what he had lost by agreat parade of atonement for his guilt. He made pilgrimages to the shrine of the murdered Archbishop. He subjected himself to public penances. On several anniversaries, stripped to the waist and kneeling humbly, he submitted to be scourged bythe triumphant monks. We may however suppose that the corporal chastisement, which apparently from the contemporary pictures was administered with birch rods, was mainly symbolic. Under this display of contrition and submission the King laboured perseveringly to regain the rights of State. By the Compromise of Avranches in 1172 he made his peace with the Papacy on comparatively easy terms. To many deep-delving historians it seems that in fact, though not in form, he had by the end ofhis life re-established the main principles of the Constitutions of Clarendon, which are after all in harmony with what the English nation or any virile and rational race would mean to have as their law..."
p212: "Eighteen years of life lay before the King after Becket's death. In a sense, they were years of glory. All Europe marvelled at the extent of Henry's domains, to which in 1171 he had added the Lordship of Ireland. Through the marriages of his daughters he was linked with the Norman King of Sicily, the King of Castile, and Henry the Lion of Saxony, who was a most powerful prince in Germany...Both Emperor and Pope invited him in the name of Christ and all Europe to lead a new Crusade and to be King of Jerusalem. Indeed, after the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, Henry stood next in Christendom...
"Yet Henry knew well that his splendour was personal in origin, tenuous and transient in quality; and he had also deep clouding family sorrows. During these years he was confronted with no less than four rebellions by his sons. For the three eldest he had provided glittering titles; Henry held Normandy, Maine and Anjou; Richard was given Aquitaine, and to Geoffrey went Brittany. These boys were typical sprigs of the Angevin stock. They wanted power as well as titles, and they bore their father no respect. Urged on by their mother, Queen Eleanor, who now lived in Poitiers apart from her husband, between 1173 and 1186 theyrose in revolt in various combinations. On each occasion they could count on the active support of the watchful King of France. Henry treated his ungrateful children with generosity, but he had no illusions. The royal chamber at Westminster atthis time was adorned with paintings done at the King's command. One represented four eaglets preying upon the parent bird, the fourth one poised at the parent's neck, ready to pick out the eyes. `The four eaglets,' the King is reported to havesaid, `are my four sons who cease not to persecute me even unto death. The youngest of them, whom I now embrace with so much affection will sometime in the end insult me more grievously and more dangerously than any of the others."
The Lives of The Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p24: "Henry II King of England, 1133-89, mar Eleanor of Aquitaine..."
The Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Edition, England 1154: "King of England 1154-1189, Son of Maud, who married Plantagenet Earl of Anjou, Conquered Ireland Oct 1171..."
The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk V, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXV, The Recovery of Europe, Sec VIII, England, p670: "On King [Henry I]'s death Stephen of Blois, grandson of the Conqueror, seized the throne, and England suffered fourteen years of death and taxes in a civil war marked by the most horrible cruelties. Meanwhile Henry II grew up, married Eleanor of Aquitaine and her duchy, invaded England, forced Stephen to recognize him as heir to the throne, and, on Stephen's death, became king (1154); so ended the Norman, and began the Plantagenet, dynasty. Henry was a man of strong temper, eager ambition, and proud intellect, half inclined to atheism. Nominally master of a realm that reached from Scotland to the Pyrenees, including half of France, he found himself apparently helpless in a feudal society where the great lords, armedwith mercenaries and fortified in castles, had pulverized the state into baronies. With awesome energy the youthful king gathered money and men, fought and subdued one lord after another, destroyed the feudal castles, and established order, security, justice, and peace. With a masterly economy of cost and force he brought under English rule an Ireland conquered and despoiled by Welsh buccaneers. But this strong man, one of the greatest kings in England's history, was shattered and humbled by encountering in Thomas a Becket a will as inflexible as his own, and in religion a power then mightier than any state...Four knights, apparently without the knowledge of the King, on December 30, 1170, found the Archbishop at the altar of the cathedral in Cnaterbury; and there they cut him down with their swords. All Christendom rose in horror against Henry, branding him with a spontaneous and universal excommunication. After secluding himself in his chambers and refusing food for three days, the King issued orders for the apprehension of the assassins, sent emmissaries to the Pope to declare his innocence...He rescinded the Constitutions of Clarendon, and restored all the previous rights and property of the Church in his realm...His stong will broke under the weight of general obloquy and mounting troubles in his realm. His wife Eleanor, banished and imprisoned by the adulterous King, plotted with her sons to depose him...Dying at Chinon (1189), he cursed with his last breath the sons who had betrayed him, and the life that had given him power and glory, riches and mistresses, enemies, contumely, treacheries, and defeat. He had not quite failed. He had surrendered to Becket dead what he hadrefused to Becket living; yet in that bitter dispute it was Henry's contention that won the accolade of time: from reign to reign, after him, the secular courts spread their jurisdiction over clerical, as well as lay, subjects of the king. He liberated English law from feudal and ecclesiastical limitations, and set it upon the path of development that has made it one of the supreme legal achievements since imperial Rome. Like his great-grandfather the Conqueror he strengthened and unified the government of England by reducing to discipline and order a rebellious and anarchic nobility. There he succeeded too well: the central government became strong to the verge of irresponsible and incalculable despotism; and the next round in the historic alternation between order and liberty belonged to the aristocracy and freedom."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol I, p372, Angevin (Norman) Empire: "The territories, extending in the latter part of the 12th century from Scotland to the Pyrenees, which were ruled by the English King Henry II and his immediate successors, Richard I and John; they were called the Angevin kings because Henry's father was Count of Anjou. Henry acquired most of his continental possessions before becoming King of England. By inheritance through his mother (King Henry I's daughter, Matilda), he became Duke of Normandy in 1150; he succeeded his father as Count of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine in 1151; and in 1152, by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, he acquired that duchy, together with Gascony, Poitou, and Auvergne. Brittany, first conquered by Henry I in 1113, was finally brought into the Angevin Empire when Henry II's son Geoffrey (died 1186), who married the heiress of Duke Conan IV, succeeded as Duke of Brittany in 1171. Although all these lands were fiefs, held of the King of France, their concentration in one man's hands was a serious threat to the French monarchy, which had direct controlof a much smaller area of land. As King of England from 1154, Henry had direct rule over all England and southern Wales, and suzerainty over the principality of Gwynedd in northern Wales. In 1171 he annexed Ireland and obtained direct control of the eastern part of the island and nominal control of the remainder. Finally, from 1174 to 1189, William I the Lion, King of Scotland, captured in a skirmish in 1174, was obliged to accept Henry as his overlord..."
Vol IV, p1023, Henry II of England: "Born 1133 Le Mans Maine France, Died 6 Jul 1189 Tours France. Able monarch who greatly increased his Anglo-French comains and strengthened the royal administration in England.
"The grandson of King Henry I, he became Duke of Normandy (1150) and Count of Anjou (1151). He acquired Aquitaine through marriage (1152) and succeeded to the throne of England in 1154. During his reign he extended his domains through conquests, diplomacy, and the marriages of his children. His quarrels with Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and with members of his family ultimately brought about his defeat. His administrative and judicial reforms, obscured for contemporaries by dramatic personal and political events, produced a highly successful administration."
Macropaedia, Vol VIII, p764, Henry II of England: "Henry II, King of England from 1154 to 1189, a man of great intelligence and ability, increased by war and diplomacy the dominions that he inherited and controlled finally continental territories wider than those of any other English medieval monarch. His greatest achievement was to strengthen the financial administration of thecountry, to rationalize tenurial and judicial procedure, and thus to control crime, to ensure peaceful possession of land, and to establish regular and equitable courts applying customary law.
"Henry was born at Le Mans, France, in 1133. The claim of his mother, Matilda, daughter of Henry I, to the English crown had been set aside by her cousin, King Stephen. After receiving a good literary education, part of it in England, Henry became Duke of Normandy in 1150, and Count of Anjou on the death of his father, Geoffrey Plantagenet, in 1151. In 1152 he advanced his fortunes by marrying the beautiful and talented Eleanor, recently divorced from King Louis VII of France, who brought with her the lordship of Aquitaine. Henry invaded England in 1153, and King Stephen agreed to accept him as coadjutor and heir. When Stephen died the following year Henry succeeded without opposition, thus becoming lord of territories stretching from Scotland to the Pyrenees...
"His career may be considered in three aspects: the defense and enlargement of his dominions, the involvement in two lengthy and disastrous personal quarrels, and his lasting administrative and judicial reforms. His territories are often called the Angevin Empire. This is a misnomer, for Henry's sovereignty rested upon various titles, and there was no institutional or legal bond between different regions. Some, indeed, were under the feudal overlordship of the king of France. By conquest, through diplomacy, and the marriages of two of his sons, he gained acknowledged possession of what is now the west of France from the northernmost part of Normandy to the Pyrenees, near Carcassonne. During his reign, the dynastic marriages of three daughters gave him political influence in Germany, Castile, and Sicily. His continental dominions brought him into contact with Louis VII of France, the German Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa), and, for much of the reign, Pope Alexander III. With Louis the relationship was ambiguous. Henry had taken Louis' former wife and her rich heritage. He subsequently acquired the Vexin in Normandy by the premature marriage of his son Henry to Louis' daughter, and during much of his reign he was attempting to outfight or outwit the French King who, for his part, gave shelter and comfort to Henry's enemy, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The feud with Louis implied friendly relations with Germany, where Henry was helped by his mothers's first marriage to the Emperor Henry V but hindered by Frederick's maintenance of an antipope, the outcome of a disputed papal election in 1159. Louis supported Alexander III, whose case was strong, and Henry became arbiter of European opinion. Though acknowledging Alexander, he continued throughout the Becket controversy to threaten transferrence of allegiance to Frederick's antipope, thus impeding Alexander's freedom of action.
"Early in his reign Henry obtained from Malcolm III of Scotland homage and the restoration of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmorland; and later in the reign (1174) homage was exacted from William the Lion, Malcolm's brother and successor. In 1157 Henry invaded Wales and received homage though without conquest. In Ireland, reputedly bestowed upon him by Pope Adrian IV, Henry allowed a expedition of barons from South Wales to establish Anglo-Normand supremacy in Leinster (1169), which the King himself extended in 1171.
"His remarkable achievements were impaired, however, by the stresses caused by a dispute with Becket and by discords in his own family. The quarrel with Becket, Henry's trusted and successful chancellor (1154-1162), broke out soon after Becket's election to the archbishopric of Canterbury (May 1162). It led to a complete severance relations and to the Archbishop's voluntary exile. Besides desrupting the public life of the church, this situation embroiled Henry with Louis VII and Alexander III; and though it seemingly did little to hamper Henry's activities, the time and service spent in negotiations and embassies was considerable, and the tragic denouement in Becket's murder earned for Henry a good deal of damaging opprobrium.
"More dangerous were the domestic quarrels, which thwarted Henry's plans and even endangered his life and which finally brought him down in sorrow and shame. Throughout his adult life Henry's sexual morality was lax; but his relations with Eleanor, 11 years his senior, were for long tolerably harmonious, and, between 1153 and 1167, she bore him eight children. Of these, the four sons who survived infancy- Henry, Geoffrey, Richard, and John- repaid his genuine affection with resentment toward their father and discord among themselves. None was blameless, but the cause of the quarrels was principally Henry's policiy of dividing his dominions among his sons while reserving real authority for himself. In 1170 he crowned his eldest son, Henry, as coregent with himself; but in fact the young king had no powers and resented his nonentity, and in 1173 he opposed his father's proposal to find territories for the favoured John (Lackland) at the expense of Geoffrey. Richard joined the protest of the others and was supported by Eleanor. There was a general revolt of the baronage in England and Normandy, supported by Louis VII in France and William the Lion in Scotland. Henry's prestige was at a low ebb after the murder of Becket and recent taxation, but he reacted energetically, settled matters in Normandy and Brittany, and crossed to England, where fighting had continued for a year. On July 12, 1174, he did public penance at Canterbury. The next day the King of Scots was teken at Alnwick, and three weeks later Henry had suppressed the rebellion in England. His sons were pardoned, but Eleanor was kept in custody for 11 years.
"A second rebellion flared up in 1181 with a quarrel between his sons Henry and Richard over the government of Aquitaine, but young Henry died in 1183. In 1184 Richard quarrelled with John, who had been ordered to take Aquitaine off his hands. Matters were eased by the death of Geoffrey (1186), but the King's attempt to find an inheritance for John led to a coalition against him of Richard and Philip II Augustus, the young king of France. Henry was defeated and forced to give way, and news that John also had joined his enemies hastened the King's death near Tours Jul 6, 1189.
"In striking contrast to the checkered pattern of Henry's wars and schemes, his governance of England displays a careful and successful adaptation of means to a single end- the control of a realm served by the best administration in Europe. This success was abscured for contemporaries and later historians by the varied and often dramatic interest of political and personal events; and, not until the 19th century...did the administrative genius of Henry and his servants appear in its true light.
"At the beginning of his reign Henry found England in disorder, with royal authority ruined by civil war and the violence of feudal magnates. His first task was to crush the unruly elements and restore firm government, using the existing institutions of government, with which the Anglo-Normand monarchy was well provided. Among these was the King's council of barons, with its inner group of ministers who were both judges and accountants and who sat at the Exchequer, into which the taxes and dues of the shires were paid by the King's local representative the sheriff (shire-reeve). The council contained anunusually able group of men- some of them were great barons, such as Richard de Lucy and Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester...Henry took a personal interest in the technique of the Exchequer, which was described at length for posterity in the celebrated Dialogus de scaccario' whose composition seemed to Maitland
one of the most wonderful things of Henry's wonderful reign.' How far these royal servants were responsible for the innovations of the reign cannot be known, though the development in practice continued steadily, even during the King's long absences abroad.
"In the early months of the reign the King, using his energetic and versatile chancellor Becket, beat down the recalcitrant barons and their castles and began to restore order to the country and to the various forms of justice. It was thus, a few years later, that he came into conflict with the bishops, then led by Becket, over the alleged right of clerks to be tried for crime by an ecclesiastical court. A result of this was the celebrated collection of decrees- the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)- which professed to reassert the ancestral rights of the King over the church in such matters as clerical immunity, appointment of bishops, custody of vacant sees, excommunication, and appeals to Rome. The Archbishop, after an initial compliance, refused to accept these, and they were throughout the controversy a block to an agreement. The quarrel touched what was to be the King's chief concern- the country's judicial system.
"Anglo-Saxon England had two courts of justice- that of the hundred, a division of the shire, for petty offenses, and that of the shire, presided over by the sheriff. The feudal regime introduced by the Normans added courts of the manor and of the honour ( a complex of estates). Above all stood the right to set up courts for important pleas and to hear, either in person or through his ministers, any appeal. Arrest was a local responsibility, usually hard upon a flagrant crime. A doubt of guilt was settled by ordeal by battle; the accused in the shire underwent tests held to reveal God's judgment. Two developments had come in since William the Conqueror's day: the accasional mission of royal justices into the shires and the occasional use of a jury of local notables as fact finders in cases of land tenure.
"Henry's first comprehensive program was the Assize of Clarendon (1166), in which the procedure of criminal justice was established; 12
lawful' men of every hundred and four of every village, acting as a
jury of presentment,' were bound to declare on oath whether any local man was a robber or murderer. Trial of those accused was reserved to the King's justices, and prisons for those awaiting trial were to be erected at the King's expense. This provided a system of criminal investigation for the whole country, with a reasonable verdict probable because the firm accusation of the jury entailed exile even if the ordeal acquitted the accused. In feudal courts the trial by battle could be avoided by the establishment of a concord, or fine. This system presupposed regular visits by the King's justices on circuit, and these tours became part of the administration of the country. The justices formed three groups: one on tour, one
on the bench' at Westminster, and one with the King when the court was out of London...
"Two other practices developed by Henry became permanent. One was scutage, the commutation of military service for a money payment; the other was the obligation, put on all free men with a property qualification by the Assize of Arms (1181), to possess arms suitable to their station.
"The ministers who engaged upon these reforms took a fully professional interest in the business they handled as may be seen in Fitzneale's writing on the Exchequer and that of the chief justiciar, Ranulf de Glanville, on the laws of England, and many of the expedients adopted by the King may have been suggested by them. By the multiplication of a class of experts in finance and law Henry did much to establish two great professions, and the location of a permanent court at Westminster and the character of its business settled for England (and for much of the English-speaking world) that common law, not Roman law, would rule the courts and that London, and not an academy, would be its principal mursery. Moreover, Henry's decrees ensured that the judge-and-jury combination would become normal and that the jury would gradually supplant ordeal and battle as being responsible for the verdict. Finally, the increasing use of scutage, and the availability of the royal courts for private suits, were effective agents in molding the feudal monarchy into a monarchical bureaucracy before the appearance of Parliament.
"Significance: Henry II lived in an age of biographers and letter writers of genius. John of Salisbury, Thomas Becket, Geraldus Cambrensis, Walter Map, Peter of Blois, and others knew him well and left their impressions. All agreed on his outstanding ability and striking personality and also recorded his errors and aspects of his character that appear contradictory, whereas modern historians agree upon the difficulty of reconciling its main features. Without deep religious or moral conviction, Henry nevertheless was respected by three contemporary saints, Aelred of Rievaulx, Gilbert of Sempringham, and Hugh of Lincoln. Normally an approachable and faithful friend and master, he could behave with unreasonable inhumanity. His conduct and aims were always self-centred, but he was neither a tyrant nor an odious egoist. Both as man and ruler he lacked the stamp of greatness that marked Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror. He seemed also to lack wisdom and serenity; and he had no comprehensive view of the country's interest, no ideals of kingship, no sympathetic care for his people. But if his reign is to be judged by its consequences for England, it undoubtedly stands high in importance, and Henry, as its mainspring, appears among the most notable of English kings."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol II, p965, Clarendon Constitutions of: "16 articles issued in January 1164 by King Henry II defining church-state relations in England. Designed to restrict ecclesiastical privileges and curb the power of the church courts, the constitutions provoked the famous quarrel between Henry and his archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.
"During the chaotic reign of Henry's predecessor, Stephen (1135-1154), the ecclesiastical courts, bolstered by the growth of canon law, had usurped many secular judicial prerogatives. The constitutions purported to restore the customs of the realm observed in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135), but their strict statement exceeded all precedent. By their provisions, the king's consent was required for clerics to leave the realm or for jucicial appeals to be made to Rome. The church was restricted in its powers of excommunication and interdiction and forbidden to act against laymen on secret information. The king was given the revenues from all vacant sees and monasteries and allowed discretion in the filling of vacancies. Cases of advowson (church patronage), church debt, and land held in lay fee were rewerved to secular courts.
"Church courts were given effective control over church property, but in cases where tenure was disputed between a layman and an acclesiastic, a secular jury had jurisdiction. The most controversial provision (clause 3) exposed priests charged with serious felony to secular punishment. Though ecclesiastical courts were notoriously lenient to criminous clerks', it was this provision that provoked the greatest protest from Becket.
"When the King presented the constitutions at Clarendon in January, the bishops led by Becket reluctantly swore their support- an action Becket regretted later. Within a year he repudiated his oath and was forced into six years of exile by Henry. Becket's martyrdom in 1170 forced Henry to mollify his attack on the clergy, but he did not specifically repudiate a single clause of the constitutions. By the 13th century, criminous clerks' were tried in secular courts for their second offense. First offenders enjoyed benefit of clergy'..."
Henry II. Plantaganet, first Plantaganet King of England (1154-1189),
known as Curt Mantel, was born at Le Mans, France, on March 15, 1133. At
eighteen in 1151 he was invested with the Duchy of Normandy, his mother's
heritage, and within a year became also, by his father's death, Count of
Anjou; while in 1152 he married Eleanor of Aquitaine, the daughter of
William X, Duke of Aquitaine, and divorced wife of King Louis VII. of
France, added Poitou and Guienne to his dominions.
In January 1153 he landed in England, and in November a treaty was agreed
to whereby Henry was declared successor to King Stephen; he was crowned
in 1154 and ruled until his death in 1189.
He confirmed the laws of his grandfather, King Henry I, reestablished the
exchequer, banished the foreign mercenaries, demolished the hundreds of
castles erected in Stephen's reign, and recovered the royal estates.
The whole of 1156 he spent in France, reducing his brother, Geoffrey of
Nantes, who died in 1158, and having secured his territories, he spent
the next five years warring and organizing his possessions on the
Henry's objective was that of all Norman kings, to build up the royal
power at the expense of the barons and the church. From the barons his
reforms met with little serious opposition; with the clergy he was less
successful. To aid him in reducing the church to subjection, he
appointed his chancellor, Thomas a Becket to the see of Canterbury.
Henry compelled him and the other prelates to agree to the 'Constitution
of Clarendon', but Bechet proved a sturdy churchman, and the struggle
between him and the monarch terminated only by his murder.
In 1174 Henry did penance at Bechet's tomb, but he ended by bringing the
church to subordination in civil matters.
Meanwhile he organized an expedition to Ireland. The English Pope,
Adrian IV, had in 1155 given Henry authority over the entire island of
Ireland; and a number of Norman-Welsh knights had gained a footing in the
country, among them Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, styled Strongbow,
who in 1155 married the heiress of Leinster and assumed rule as the Earl
Henry was jealous at the rise of a powerful feudal baronage in Ireland,
and during his stay there (1171-1172) he broke the power of Richard
Strongbow and the other nobles.
Henry also had a natural son by Rosamund Clifford (?), William Longsword
(Longespee), who became Earl of Salisbury by marrying the Countess Ela,
then aged twelve (1198). He was a councilor of John and commanded the
English part of the army which Philip Augustus of France defeated at
Bouvines (1214). He supported King John at Runnymede (1215), fought for
Henry III. at Lincoln and Sandwich (1217), and served with Hubert de
Burgh as "ruler of the King and kingdom" (1222). He [Longespee] died in
In 1188, while Henry II. was engaged in a war with Philip of France,
Richard joined the French King; and in 1189, Henry having lost Le Mans
and the chief castles of Maine, agreed to a treaty of peace granting an
indemnity to the followers of Richard. The sight of his favorite son John
in the list broke his heart; and he died at Chinon, on July 6, 1189.
On the whole, Henry was an able and enlightened sovereign, a
clear-headed, unprincipled politician, and an able general; his reign was
one of great legal reforms. At its height, Henry's power had been
greater than that of any other European ruler and his position was
comparable to that of such Holy Roman Emperors as Charlemagne and
Eleanor died in 1202.
("The Genealogy of Homer Beers James", V1, JANDA Consultants, © 1993
World Ancestral Chart No. 17779 James Carl Romans.
World Ancestral Chart No. 31759 Ancestors of Warren Cash 1760.
World Ancestral Chart No. 125360 Ancestors of Patricia Ann Kieffer.
Henry married Queen Eleanor Aquitaine ENGLAND, daughter of Duke William VIII AQUITAINE and Aenor De CHATELLERAULT, on 11 May 1152 in Bordeaux, Gironde, France. (Queen Eleanor Aquitaine ENGLAND was born about 1121-1122 in Chateau, DE Belin, Gironde, France, christened in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, died on 31 Mar 1204 in Fontevrault L'abbaye, Maine-Et-Loire, France and was buried in Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France.)
Henry also married Concubine England Ykenai Hikenai , I.
Henry also married Concubine II England Henry II.
Henry also married Concubine England Annabel Balliol , III, daughter of Barnard BALLIOL and Agnes PIQUIGNY, on 18 May 1153. (Concubine England Annabel Balliol , III was born about 1153 in , , England and died on 31 Mar 1204.)
Henry also married Concubine England Rosamond Clifford , IV, daughter of Vasavor Walter De Clifford HEREFORDSHIRE, Sr and Margaret De TONI. (Concubine England Rosamond Clifford , IV was born about 1136 in Castle, Clifford, Herefordshire, England, christened in Convent, Godstow, Lincoln, England, died about 1176 in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England and was buried about 1176 in Nunnery, Godstow, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, England.)
Henry also married Concubine England Henry II , V.
Henry also married Concubine England Henry II , VI.