He was as much concerned with his empire in France as he was with England.
Aged 21, he already possessed a reputation for restless energy and decisive action. He was to inherit vast lands. As heir to his mother… Early life After receiving a good literary education, part of it in England, Henry became duke of Normandy in and count of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine on the death of his father, Geoffrey Plantagenetin Although the claim of his mother, Matildadaughter of Henry I, to the English crown had been set aside by her cousin, King Stephen, inHenry advanced his fortunes by marrying the beautiful and talented Eleanor, recently divorced from King Louis VII of France, who brought with her hand the lordship of Aquitaine.
Henry invaded England inand 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.
The young king lacked visible majesty. Of stocky build, with freckled face, close-cut tawny hair, and gray eyes, he Henry ii of england carelessly and grew to be bulky; but his personality commanded attention and drew men to his service.
He could be a good companion, with ready repartee in a jostling crowd, but he displayed at times an ungovernable temper and could be heartless and ruthless when necessary. Restless, impetuousalways on the move, regardless of the convenience of others, he was at ease with scholars, and his administrative decrees were the work of a cool realist.
In his long reign of 34 years he spent an aggregate of only 14 in England. Reign His career may be considered in three aspects: His territories are often called the Angevin Empire.
Some, indeed, were under the feudal overlordship of the king of France. By conquest, through diplomacy, and through 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 GermanyCastileand Sicily. With Louis the relationship was ambiguous.
In Henry invaded Wales and received homage, though without conquest. His remarkable achievements were impaired, however, by the stresses caused by a dispute with Becket and by discords in his own family.
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. Richard joined the protest of the others and was supported by Eleanor.
On July 12,he did public penance at Canterbury. The next day the King of Scots was taken at Alnwickand three weeks later Henry had suppressed the rebellion in England.
His sons were pardoned, but Eleanor was kept in custody until her husband died. A second rebellion flared up in with a quarrel between his sons Henry and Richard over the government of Aquitaine, but young Henry died in In Richard quarrelled with John, who had been ordered to take Aquitaine off his hands.
This success was obscured for contemporaries and later historians by the varied and often dramatic interest of political and personal events, and not until the 19th century—when the study of the public records began and when legal history was illuminated by the British jurist Frederic William Maitland and his followers—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-Norman monarchy was well provided.
The council contained an unusually able group of men—some of them were great barons, such as Richard de Lucy and Robert de Beaumont, earl of Leicester; others included civil servants, such as Nigel, bishop of Ely, Richard Fitznealeand his son, Richard of Ilchester. 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 clerics to be tried for crime by an ecclesiastical court. A result of this was the celebrated collection of decrees—the Constitutions of Clarendon —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, excommunicationand appeals to Rome.
The Archbishop, after an initial compliancerefused to accept these, and they were throughout the controversy a block to an agreement. Anglo-Saxon England had two courts of justice—that of the hundreda division of the shirefor 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. Arrest was a local responsibility, usually hard upon a flagrant crime.
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.
The justices formed three groups: Those at Westminster dealt with private pleas and cases sent up from the justices on eyre. Pleas brought to feudal courts could be delayed or altogether frustrated. As a remedy Henry established the possessory writ, an order from the Exchequer, directing the sheriff to convene a sworn local jury at petty assize to establish the fact of dispossession, whereupon the sheriff had to reinstate the defendant pending a subsequent trial at the grand assize to establish the rights of the case.
This was the writ of Novel Disseisin i. All these writs gave rapid and clear verdicts subject to later revision.Henry Plantagenet: A Biography of Henry II of England [Richard Barber] on rutadeltambor.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Henry II is the most imposing figure among the medieval kings of England.
His fiefs and domains extended from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean/5(6). Jun 20, · Henry II's position was more precarious at this point than at any previous time in his reign. If he even appeared to be losing, most of the nobles of England were poised to desert him.
Henry was born at Le Mans in north west France on 4 March His father was Count of Anjou and his mother Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England.
|BBC - History - British History in depth: The Character and Legacy of Henry II||He accordingly forced his highly reluctant daughter to marry the fifteen year old Geoffrey. The pair disliked each other from the outset of their union and neither was of a nature to pretend otherwise and so the scene was set for an extremely stormy marriage.|
Henry had named Matilda as his successor to. Jun 20, · Henry II's position was more precarious at this point than at any previous time in his reign. If he even appeared to be losing, most of the nobles of England were poised to desert him. Henry's mother, Matilda of Flanders, was the granddaughter of Robert II of France, and she probably named Henry after her uncle, King Henry I of France.
 Henry was the youngest of . Henry II: Henry II, duke of Normandy (from ), count of Anjou (from ), duke of Aquitaine (from ), and king of England (from ), who greatly expanded his Anglo-French domains and strengthened the royal administration in England.
His quarrels with Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, and with.