Henry (II, King of England 1154-1189)

 Born  5 Mar 1133   Born At  
 Died  6 Jul 1189   Buried At  Fontevrault Abbey
 Father  Geoffrey (Plantagenet, 'The Fair', Count of Anjou)   Mother  Matilda (Daughter of Henry I)
Preceded by  Stephen (of Blois, king of England 1135-1154) Succeeded by  Richard (I, King of England 1189-1199)
 Royal House   Plantagenet

Titles Include

King of England from 1154 to 1189; Duke of Normandy from 1150; Duke of Aquitaine from 1152

Duke of Normandy

enry was born on the 5th of March 1133 at Le Mans. He was the son of Matilda (daughter of Henry I), and of Geoffrey Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou. Geoffrey was given the nickname 'Plantagenet' due to his habit of wearing a sprig of broom in his hat. The broom plant being called planta genista in France. The counts of Anjou were known as the Angevins and Henry was to become the first Angevin king. Henry first became the Duke of Normandy in 1151 and when his father died in the following year he inherited the Angevin empire. In 1152 Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine and through this marriage added the territories of Aquitaine to his already large empire.

Claim to the English throne

Matilda, Henry's mother, was heir to the English throne as she was the eldest daughter of Henry I, King of England. But Matilda's cousin Stephen had claimed the throne with some backing from the English Barons who were opposed to a female ruler. Matilda's attempts to reclaim the throne led to a damaging civil war in England but Matilda and Henry were victorious and in 1153 Stephen was forced to recognise Henry as heir to the throne. On Stephen's death in 1154 Henry became King of England as Henry II. Henry's empire now stretched from Scotland all the way down through England, Normandy, Anjou to Aquitaine, the heart of which was at Anjou, not England.

Henry's early years as king found him controlling the rebellious Barons who had used the chaos of the civil war to fortify their homes and illegally control their territories. The castles they built are now known as the 'adulterine castles'. In Scotland and Wales Henry stamped his authority and began the process of subduing Ireland. Henry was also responsible for bringing in new legal reforms including in 1166 the Assize of Clarendon which started the jury system.

Henry is most famous for his quarrels with his friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1164 Henry's Constitutions of Clarendon tried to bring the church into line with the state and one statement required that a member of the church should be tried in a state court and not in a church one. The rift between Henry and Becket forced the Archbishop to leave England. When in 1170 Becket returned to England an outburst of anger by Henry led to four knights murdering Becket at Canterbury. Although Henry was cleared of any direct involvement in the crime he did penance before the Cathedral Avrances in Normandy.

Henry and his sons also quarrelled which led to conflicts in England and abroad, including a rebellion by his Barons in 1173. Two of his sons were to become kings of England, Richard (the Lion Heart) and John.

Conflicts with Eleanor and his sons, helped by Philippe II of France continued until Henry died in 1189 at Chinon in France. Henry was succeeded by Richard, his third son.

This simplified family tree shows some of the more important descendents of Henry II

Henry (II, King of England 1154-1189)
   Eleanor (of Aquitaine)
Richard (I, King of England 1189-1199)
 John (King of England 1199-1216)
   Isabella (of Angouleme) 
 Henry (III, King of England 1216-1272)
   Eleanor (of Provence) 
 Edward (I, King of England 1272-1307)

Family Tree Details
Father: Geoffrey (Plantagenet, 'The Fair', Count of Anjou) ( - d.1151)
Mother: Matilda (Daughter of Henry I) (b.1102 - d.1167)
Henry (II, King of England 1154-1189) (b.1133 - d.1189)
+Eleanor (of Aquitaine) (b.1122 - d.1204) | =William (b.1153 - d.1156) | =Henry ('the Young King') (b.1155 - d.1183) | | +Margaret (Young Queen of England) (b.1158 - d.1197) | =Matilda (b.1156 - d.1189) | | +Henry (Duke of Saxony) | | =Otto (IV, Roman Emperor) (b.1182 - d.1218) | =Richard (I, King of England 1189-1199) (b.1157 - d.1199) | | +Berengaria (of Navarre, Queen of England) (b.1165 - d.1230) | =Geoffrey (Duke of Brittany) (b.1158 - d.1186) | | +Constance (of Brittany) | | =Eleanor (Fair Maid of Brittany) ( - d.1241) | | =Arthur (of Brittany) (b.1187 - d.1204) | =Eleanor (of England) (b.1162 - d.1214) | | +Alfonso (VIII, King of Castile) (b.1155 - d.1214) | | =Blanche (of Castile) (b.1188 - d.1252) | | +Louis (VIII, The Lion, King of France 1223-1226) ( - d.1226) | | =LOUIS (IX, King of France, St. Louis) ( - d.1270) | | +Margaret (of Provence) | | =Philippe (III, King of France 1270-1285) ( - d.1285) | =Joan (of England, Queen of Sicily) (b.1165 - d.1199) | | +William (II, King of Sicily) | | +Raymond (VI, Count of Toulouse) | | =Raymond (VII, Count of Toulouse) | =John (King of England 1199-1216) (b.1167 - d.1216) | +Isabella of Gloucester ( - d.1217) | +Isabella (of Angouleme) | =Henry (III, King of England 1216-1272) (b.1207 - d.1272) | | +Eleanor (of Provence) | | =Edward (I, King of England 1272-1307) (b.1239 - d.1307) | | | +Eleanor (of Castile) (b.1241 - d.1290) | | | | =Katherine (Daughter of Edward I) (b.1264 - ) | | | | =John (Son of Edward I) (b.1266 - d.1271) | | | | =Henry (Son of Edward I) (b.1268 - d.1274) | | | | =Eleanor (Daughter of Edward I) (b.1269 - d.1298) | | | | =Joan (of Acre) (b.1271 - ) | | | | =Alfonso (Son of Edward I) (b.1275 - ) | | | | =Margaret (b.1275 - d.1318) | | | | =Mary (Daughter of Edward I) (b.1279 - ) | | | | =Elizabeth (b.1282 - d.1316) | | | | =Edward (II, King of England 1307-1327) (b.1284 - d.1327) | | | +Margaret (of France) ( - d.1317) | | | =Thomas (Earl of Norfolk) ( - d.1338) | | | =Edmund (Earl of Kent) ( - d.1330) | | =Edmund (Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster) (b.1245 - d.1296) | | | +Fortibus, Aveline de | | | +Blanche (of Artois) | | | =Thomas (Earl of Lancaster) (b.1278 - ex.1322) | | | =Henry (Earl of lancaster) | | =Margaret ( - d.1275) | | | +Alexander (III, King of Scotland 1249-1286) ( - d.1286) | | | =Alexander (son of Alexander III) ( - d.1284) | | | =David (son of Alexander III) ( - d.1281) | | | =Margaret (daughter of Alexander III) | | =Beatrice ( - d.1275) | =Richard (Earl of Cornwall) (b.1209 - d.1272) | =Joan (Daughter of King John) (b.1210 - d.1238) | | +Alexander (II, King of Scotland 1198-1249) (b.1198 - d.1249) | =Isabelle (b.1214 - d.1241) | =Eleanor (Daughter of King John) (b.1215 - d.1275) | +Marshal, William (the younger) | +Montfort, Simon de ( - d.1265) | =Montfort, Henry de ( - d.1265) +Illegitimate =Plantagenet, Geoffrey (Archbishop of York) =Longsword, William

View Graphical Family Tree


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Partial Personal Timeline

1133 Mar 25  Future king Henry II is born
 Henry II was born on the first day of the traditional new year at Le Mans.[1] 
1140   7yrsWoodstock held by Matilda
 The Palace of Woodstock was held by Matilda's supporters during the conflict with Stephen. Henry (II) spent much of his time there.[2]

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1142 Sep  9yrsHenry (II) land in England
 Henry of Anjou, the future King of England landed on the south coast of England with his uncle Earl Robert of Gloucester and several knights, Henry spent a year in England at Bristol being taught by Master Matthew. Soon after landing in England Earl Robert captured Lulworth Castle, Rufus Castle on Portland and Wareham Castle. [1]

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1147   14yrsHenry arrives in England
 Henry landed in England with a small army intent on attacking Stephen. Unfortunately, Henry's army of mercenaries was small and they were not being paid enough. Stephen gave Henry money to pay the mercenaries and for Henry to return to Normandy. Henry left England.

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1149 Mar  16yrsHenry (II) lands in England
 Henry of Anjou landed in England in a second attempt to take the English throne from King Stephen. he travelled up via Salisbury and Gloucester north to Carlisle. 
 May 22  Henry (II) knighted by David
 Henry the future king of England (Henry II) was knighted at Carlisle by David, King of the Scots.[1]

Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda  
1150 Jan  17yrsHenry becomes Duke of Normandy
 Henry returned to Normandy from Scotland and he was given the title of Duke of Normandy by his father. 
1151   18yrsWar in Normandy
 Louis VII, the king of France, was not happy with Henry's new position as Duke of Normandy. Louis declared war on Henry. The dispute was sent to arbitration in Paris (who by - probably Knights Templar) and was resolved by Henry doing homage to Louis for Normandy and giving France the area of Vexin. 
 Sep  Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, dies
 After returning from Paris with his son Henry, Geoffrey fell ill and died. He was taken back to Le Mans in the province of Maine (France) and buried in St. Julien's Cathedral.  
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