Henry II Curtmantle of England PLANTAGENET
- Born: 25 Mar 1133, Le Mans, Anjou, France
- Marriage: Eleanore of Aquitaine on 18 May 1152 in Bordeaux, France
- Died: 6 Jul 1189, Chinon Castle, France at age 56
- Buried: Fontevraud Abbey, France
Born: 25 Mar 1133, Le Mans, Anjou
Marriage: Eleanor of Aquitaine on 18 May 1152 in Bordeaux, France
Died: 6 Jul 1189, Chinon Castle, France at age 56
Buried: Fontevraud Abbey, France
Henry II ruled over an empire which stretched from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees. One of the strongest, most energetic and imaginative rulers, Henry was the inheritor of three dynasties who had acquired Aquitaine by marriage; his charters listed them: 'King of the English, Duke of the Normans and Aquitanians and Count of the Angevins'. The King spent only 13 years of his reign in England; the other 21 years were spent on the continent in his territories in what is now France. Henry's rapid movements in carrying out his dynastic responsibilities astonished the French King, who noted 'now in England, now in Normandy, he must fly rather than travel by horse or ship'. By 1158, Henry had restored to the Crown some of the lands and royal power lost by Stephen; Malcom IV of Scotland was compelled to return the northern counties. Locally chosen sheriffs were changed into royally appointed agents charged with enforcing the law and collecting taxes in the counties. Personally interested in government and law, Henry made use of juries and re-introduced the sending of justices (judges) on regular tours of the country to try cases for the Crown. His legal reforms have led him to be seen as the founder of English Common Law. Henry's disagreements with the Archbishop of Canterbury (the king's former chief adviser), Thomas à Becket, over Church-State relations ended in Becket's murder in 1170 and a papal interdict on England. Family disputes over territorial ambitions almost wrecked the king's achievements. Henry died in France in 1189, at war with his son Richard who had joined forces with king Philip of France to attack Normandy.
Noted events in his life were:
â€¢ Acceded: 19 Dec 1154, Westminster Abbey, London, England. King of England.
Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine, daughter of William X the Toulousan of Aquitaine and Eleanor Châtellérault Rochefoucauld, on 18 May 1152 in Bordeaux, France. (Eleanor of Aquitaine was born circa 1122 and died on 31 Mar 1204 in Fontevrault.)
From Sir Winston Churchill Kt, 1675: "Henry II Plantagenet, the very first of that name and race, and the very greatest King that England ever knew, but withal the most unfortunate . . . his death being imputed to those only to whom himself had given life, his ungracious sons. . .
From Sir Richard Baker, A Chronicle of the Kings of England: Concerning endowments of mind, he was of a spirit in the highest degree generous . . . His custom was to be always in action; for which cause, if he had no real wars, he would have feigned . . . To his children he was both indulgent and hard; for out of indulgence he caused his son Henry to be crowned King in his own time; and out of hardness he caused his younger sons to rebel against him . . . He married Eleanor, daughter of William Duke of Guienne, late wife of Lewis the Seventh of France. Some say King Lewis carried her into the Holy Land, where she carried herself not very holily, but led a licentious life; and, which is the worst kind of licentiousness, in carnal familiarity with a Turk. "King Henry II Plantagenet, had many illegitimate children one of which was William de Longespee.
Henry married Eleanore of Aquitaine, daughter of William X the Touslousan of Aquitaine and Eleanor Chatellerault Rochefoucauld, on 18 May 1152 in Bordeaux, France. (Eleanore of Aquitaine was born circa 1122, died on 26 Jun 1202 in Fontevrault and was buried in Fontrevaud, Anjou.)