Henry II of England
|Reign||25 October 1154 – 6 July 1189|
|Coronation||19 December 1154|
|Junior king||Henry the Young King|
|Spouse||Eleanor of Aquitaine|
|House||House of Plantagenet|
|Father||Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou|
|Mother||Matilda of England|
5 March 1133|
Le Mans, France
|Died||6 July 1189
|Burial||Fontevraud Abbey, France|
Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (French: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Nantes, King of England (1154–89) and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also controlled Wales, Scotland and Brittany. Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, who was the daughter of King Henry I and took the title of Empress from her first marriage. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England, and was made the Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards married Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to the French king Louis VII had recently been annulled. King Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153, and Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later. Still quite young, he now controlled what would later be called the Angevin Empire, stretching across much of western Europe.
Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his royal grandfather, Henry I. During the early years of the younger Henry's reign he restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis's expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences and treaties no lasting agreement was reached. Although Henry usually worked well with the local hierarchies of the Church, his desire to reform England's relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's death in 1170.
As Henry's reign progressed he had many children with Eleanor, and tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged first by Louis VII and then Louis's son and successor Philip Augustus. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest against his father; he was joined by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey and by their mother, Eleanor. France, Scotland, Flanders and Boulogne allied with the rebels against Henry. The Great Revolt spread across Henry's lands and was only defeated by his vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Henry was mostly generous in victory and appeared for the moment to be at the height of his powers, but Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death. Despite invading Ireland to provide lands for his youngest son John, Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry would make John king, and a final rebellion broke out in 1189. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon in Anjou, where he died.
Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son John. Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, however, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems. Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed considerably over time. In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they also expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglocentric interpretations of his reign.
Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133 as the eldest child of Geoffrey the Fair, the Count of Anjou, and the Empress Matilda, so titled because of her first marriage to Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor.1 The French county of Anjou had been formed in the 10th century and the Angevin rulers had for several centuries attempted to extend their influence and power across France through careful marriages and political alliances.2 In theory the county answered to the French king but royal power over Anjou had weakened during the 11th century and the county had become largely autonomous.3
Henry's mother was the eldest daughter of Henry I, King of England and Duke of Normandy. She was born into a powerful ruling class of Normans, who traditionally owned extensive estates in both England and Normandy.4 Matilda was married at a young age to Henry V; after his death she was remarried to Geoffrey.5 Following Henry I's death in 1135, Matilda had hoped to claim the English throne but instead her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned king and recognised as the Duke of Normandy, resulting in civil war between their rival supporters.6 Geoffrey took advantage of the confusion to attack the Duchy of Normandy but played no direct role in the English conflict, leaving this to Matilda and her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester.7 The war, termed the Anarchy by Victorian historians, dragged on and degenerated into stalemate.8
Henry probably spent some of his earliest years in his mother's household, and accompanied Matilda to Normandy in the late 1130s.9 Henry's later childhood, probably from the age of seven, was spent in Anjou, where he was educated by Peter of Saintes, a noted grammarian of the day.10 In late 1142, Geoffrey decided to send the nine-year old to Bristol, the centre of Angevin opposition to Stephen in the south-west of England, accompanied by Robert of Gloucester.11 Although having children educated in relatives' households was common among noblemen of the period, sending Henry to England also had political benefits, as Geoffrey was coming under criticism for refusing to join the war in England.11 For about a year, Henry lived alongside Roger of Worcester, one of Robert's sons, and was instructed by a magister, Master Matthew; Robert's household was known for its education and learning.12 The canons of St Augustine's in Bristol also helped in Henry's education, and he remembered them with affection in later years.13 Henry returned to Anjou either in 1143 or 1144, resuming his education under William of Conches, another famous academic.14
Henry returned to England in 1147, when he was fourteen.15 Taking his immediate household and a small number of mercenaries, he left Normandy and landed in England, striking into Wiltshire.15 Despite initially causing considerable panic, the expedition had little success and Henry found himself unable to pay his forces and therefore unable to return to Normandy.15 Neither his mother nor his uncle were prepared to support him, implying that they had not approved of the expedition in the first place.16 Surprisingly, Henry instead turned to King Stephen, who paid the outstanding wages and thereby allowed Henry to retire gracefully. Stephen's reasons for doing so are unclear. One potential explanation is his general courtesy to a member of his extended family; another is that he was starting to consider how to end the war peacefully, and saw this as a way of building a relationship with Henry.17 Henry intervened once again in 1149, commencing what is often termed the Henrician phase of the civil war.18 This time, Henry planned to form a northern alliance with King David I of Scotland, Henry's great-uncle, and Ranulf of Chester, a powerful regional leader who controlled most of the north-west of England.19 Under this alliance, Henry and Ranulf agreed to attack York, probably with help from the Scots.20 The planned attack disintegrated after Stephen marched rapidly north to York, and Henry returned to Normandy.21nb 1
Henry was said by chroniclers to be good-looking, red-haired, freckled, with a large head; he had a short, stocky body and was bow-legged from riding.22 Often he was scruffily dressed.23 Not as reserved as his mother Matilda, nor as charming as his father Geoffrey, Henry was famous for his energy and drive.24 He was also infamous for his piercing stare, bullying, bursts of temper and, on occasion, his sullen refusal to speak at all.25 Some of these outbursts, however, may have been theatrical and for effect.26nb 2 Henry was said to understand a wide range of languages, but spoke only Latin and French.27nb 3 In his youth Henry enjoyed warfare, hunting and other adventurous pursuits; as the years went by he put increasing energy into judicial and administrative affairs and became more cautious, but throughout his life he was energetic and frequently impulsive.28
Henry had a passionate desire to rebuild his control of the territories that his grandfather, Henry I, had once governed.29 He may well have been influenced by his mother in this regard, as Matilda also had a strong sense of ancestral rights and privileges.30 Henry took back territories, regained estates and re-established influence over the smaller lords that had once provided what historian John Gillingham describes as a "protective ring" around his core territories.31 He was probably the first king of England to use a heraldic design: a signet ring with either a leopard or a lion engraved on it. The design would be altered in later generations to form the royal seal of England.32
By the late 1140s the active phase of the civil war was over, barring the occasional outbreak of fighting.33 Many of the barons were making individual peace agreements with each other to secure their war gains and it increasingly appeared as though the English Church was considering promoting a peace treaty.34 On Louis VII's return from the Second Crusade in 1149, he became concerned about the growth of Geoffrey's power and the potential threat to his own possessions, especially if Henry could acquire the English crown.35 In 1150, Geoffrey made Henry the Duke of Normandy and Louis responded by putting forward King Stephen's son Eustace as the rightful heir to the duchy and launching a military campaign to remove Henry from the province.36nb 4 Henry's father advised him to come to terms with Louis and peace was made between them in August 1151 after mediation by Bernard of Clairvaux.38 Under the settlement Henry did homage to Louis for Normandy, accepting Louis as his feudal lord, and gave him the disputed lands of the Norman Vexin; in return, Louis recognised him as duke.38
Geoffrey died in September 1151, and Henry postponed his plans to return to England, as he first needed to ensure that his succession, particularly in Anjou, was secure.38 At around this time Henry was also probably secretly planning his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, then still the wife of Louis.38 Eleanor was the Duchess of Aquitaine, a duchy in the south of France, and was considered beautiful, lively and controversial, but had not borne Louis any sons.39 Louis had the marriage annulled and Henry married Eleanor eight weeks later on 18 May.38nb 5 The marriage instantly reignited Henry's tensions with Louis: the marriage was considered an insult, it ran counter to feudal practice and it threatened the inheritance of Louis and Eleanor's two daughters, who might otherwise have had claims to Aquitaine on Eleanor's death. With his new lands, Henry now possessed a much larger proportion of France than Louis.41 Louis organised a coalition against Henry, including Stephen, Eustace, Henry the Count of Champagne, and Robert the Count of Perche.42 Louis's alliance was joined by Henry's younger brother, Geoffrey, who rose in revolt, claiming that Henry had dispossessed him of his inheritance.43 Geoffrey of Anjou's plans for the inheritance of his lands had been ambiguous, making the veracity of his son Geoffrey's claims hard to assess.44 Contemporaneous accounts suggest he had left the main castles in Poitou to Geoffrey, implying that he may have intended Henry to retain Normandy and Anjou and not Poitou.45nb 6
Fighting immediately broke out again along the Normandy borders, where Henry of Champagne and Robert captured the town of Neufmarché-sur-Epte.47 Louis's forces moved to attack Aquitaine.48 Stephen responded by placing Wallingford Castle, a key fortress loyal to Henry along the Thames Valley, under siege, possibly in an attempt to force a successful end to the English conflict while Henry was still fighting for his territories in France.49 Henry moved quickly in response, avoiding open battle with Louis in Aquitaine and stabilising the Norman border, pillaging the Vexin and then striking south into Anjou against Geoffrey, capturing one of his main castles.50 Louis fell ill and withdrew from the campaign, and Geoffrey was forced to come to terms with Henry.48
In response to Stephen's siege, Henry returned to England again at the start of 1153, braving winter storms.51 Bringing only a small army of mercenaries, probably paid for with borrowed money, Henry was supported in the north and east of England by the forces of Ranulf of Chester and Hugh Bigod, and had hopes of a military victory.52 A delegation of senior English clergy met with Henry and his advisers at Stockbridge shortly before Easter in April.53 Details of their discussions are unclear, but it appears that the churchmen emphasised that while they supported Stephen as king, they sought a negotiated peace; Henry reaffirmed that he would avoid the English cathedrals and would not expect the bishops to attend his court.54
In an attempt to draw Stephen's forces away from Wallingford, Henry besieged Stephen's castle at Malmesbury, and the king responded by marching west with an army to relieve it.55 Henry successfully evaded Stephen's larger army along the River Avon, preventing Stephen from forcing a decisive battle.56 In the face of the increasingly wintry weather, the two men agreed to a temporary truce, leaving Henry to travel north through the Midlands, where the powerful Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester, announced his support for the cause.56 Henry was then free to turn his forces south against the besiegers at Wallingford.57 Despite only modest military successes, he and his allies now controlled the south-west, the Midlands and much of the north of England.58 Meanwhile, Henry was attempting to act the part of a legitimate king, witnessing marriages and settlements and holding court in a regal fashion.59
Over the next summer, Stephen massed troops to renew the siege of Wallingford Castle in a final attempt to take the stronghold.60 The fall of Wallingford appeared imminent and Henry marched south to relieve the siege, arriving with a small army and placing Stephen's besieging forces under siege themselves.61 Upon news of this, Stephen returned with a large army, and the two sides confronted each other across the River Thames at Wallingford in July.61 By this point in the war, the barons on both sides were eager to avoid an open battle,62 so members of the clergy brokered a truce, to the annoyance of both Henry and Stephen.62 Henry and Stephen took the opportunity to speak together privately about a potential end to the war; conveniently for Henry, Stephen's son Eustace fell ill and died shortly afterwards.63 This removed the most obvious other claimant to the throne, as while Stephen had another son, William, he was only a second son and appeared unenthusiastic about making a plausible claim on the throne.64 Fighting continued after Wallingford, but in a rather half-hearted fashion, while the English Church attempted to broker a permanent peace between the two sides.65
In November the two leaders ratified the terms of a permanent peace.66 Stephen announced the Treaty of Winchester in Winchester Cathedral: he recognised Henry as his adopted son and successor, in return for Henry doing homage to him; Stephen promised to listen to Henry's advice, but retained all his royal powers; Stephen's remaining son, William, would do homage to Henry and renounce his claim to the throne, in exchange for promises of the security of his lands; key royal castles would be held on Henry's behalf by guarantors whilst Stephen would have access to Henry's castles; and the numerous foreign mercenaries would be demobilised and sent home.67 Henry and Stephen sealed the treaty with a kiss of peace in the cathedral.68 The peace remained precarious, however, and Stephen's second son William remained a possible future rival to Henry.69 Rumours of a plot to kill Henry were circulating and, possibly as a consequence, Henry decided to return to Normandy for a period.69nb 7 Stephen, however, fell ill with a stomach disorder and died on 25 October 1154, allowing Henry to inherit the throne rather sooner than had been expected.71
On landing in England on 8 December 1154, Henry quickly took oaths of loyalty from some of the barons and was then crowned alongside Eleanor at Westminster on 19 December.72 The royal court was gathered in April 1155, where the barons swore fealty to the king and his sons.72 Several potential rivals still existed, including Stephen's son William and Henry's brothers Geoffrey and William, but—fortunately for Henry—they all died in the next few years, leaving Henry's position remarkably secure.73 Nonetheless, Henry inherited a difficult situation in England, as the kingdom had suffered extensively during the civil war.nb 8 In many parts of the country the fighting had caused serious devastation, although some other areas remained largely unaffected.75 Numerous "adulterine", or unauthorised, castles had been built as bases for local lords.76 The royal forest law had collapsed in large parts of the country.77 The king's income had declined seriously and royal control over the mints remained limited.78
Henry presented himself as the legitimate heir to Henry I and commenced rebuilding the kingdom in his image.79 Although Stephen had tried to continue Henry I's method of government during his reign, the younger Henry's new government characterised those 19 years as a chaotic and troubled period, with all these problems resulting from Stephen's usurpation of the throne.80 Henry was also careful to show that, unlike his mother the Empress, he would listen to the advice and counsel of others.81 Various measures were immediately carried out although, since Henry spent six and a half years out of the first eight years of his reign in France, much work had to be done at a distance.82 The process of demolishing the unauthorised castles from the war continued.83nb 9 Efforts were made to restore the system of royal justice and the royal finances. Henry also invested heavily in the construction and renovation of prestigious new royal buildings.84
The king of Scotland and local Welsh rulers had taken advantage of the long civil war in England to seize disputed lands; Henry set about reversing this trend.85 In 1157 pressure from Henry resulted in the young King Malcolm of Scotland returning the lands in the north of England he had taken during the war; Henry promptly began to refortify the northern frontier.86 Restoring Anglo-Norman supremacy in Wales proved harder, and Henry had to fight two campaigns in north and south Wales in 1157 and 1158 before the Welsh princes Owain Gwynedd and Rhys ap Gruffydd submitted to his rule, agreeing to the pre-civil war borders.87
Henry had a problematic relationship with Louis VII of France throughout the 1150s. The two men had already clashed over Henry's succession to Normandy and the remarriage of Eleanor, and the relationship was not repaired. Louis invariably attempted to take the moral high ground in respect to Henry, capitalising on his reputation as a crusader and circulating rumours about his rival's behaviour and character.88 Henry had greater resources than Louis, however, particularly after taking England, and Louis was far less dynamic in resisting Angevin power than he had been earlier in his reign.89 The disputes between the two drew in other powers across the region, including Thierry, the Count of Flanders, who signed a military alliance with Henry, albeit with a clause that prevented the count from being forced to fight against Louis, his feudal lord.90 Further south, Theobald V, the Count of Blois, an enemy of Louis, became another early ally of Henry.91 The resulting military tensions and the frequent face-to-face meetings to attempt to resolve them has led historian Jean Dunbabin to liken the situation to the period of the Cold War in Europe in the 20th century.92
On his return to the continent from England, Henry sought to secure his French lands and quash any potential rebellion.93 As a result, in 1154 Henry and Louis agreed a peace treaty, under which Henry bought back the Vernon and the Neuf-Marché from Louis.29 The treaty appeared shaky, however and tensions remained—in particular, Henry had not given homage to Louis for his French possessions.94nb 10 In an attempt to improve relations, Henry met with Louis at Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel in 1158, agreeing to betroth Henry's eldest living son, the Young Henry, to Louis's daughter Margaret.96 The marriage deal would have involved Louis granting the disputed territory of the Vexin to Margaret on her marriage to the Young Henry: while this would ultimately give Henry the lands that he claimed, it also cunningly implied that the Vexin was Louis's to give away in the first place, in itself a political concession.97 For a short while, a permanent peace between Henry and Louis looked plausible.96
Meanwhile, Henry turned his attention to the Duchy of Brittany, which neighboured his lands and had traditionally been largely independent from the rest of France, with its own language and culture.98 The Breton dukes held little power across most of the duchy, which was mostly controlled by local lords.99 In 1148, Duke Conan III died and civil war broke out.100 Henry claimed to be the overlord of Brittany, on the basis that the duchy had owed loyalty to Henry I, and saw controlling the duchy both as a way of securing his other French territories and as a potential inheritance for one of his sons.101nb 11 Initially Henry's strategy was to rule indirectly through proxies, and accordingly Henry supported Conan IV's claims over most of the duchy, partly because Conan had strong English ties and could be easily influenced.103 Conan's uncle, Hoël, continued to control the county of Nantes in the east until he was deposed in 1156 by Henry's brother, Geoffrey, possibly with Henry's support.104 When Geoffrey died in 1158, Conan attempted to reclaim Nantes but was opposed by Henry who annexed it for himself.105 Louis took no action to intervene as Henry steadily increased his power in Brittany.106
Henry hoped to take a similar approach to regaining control of Toulouse in southern France.106 Toulouse, while technically part of the Duchy of Aquitaine, had become increasingly independent and was now ruled by Count Raymond V, who had only a weak claim to the lands.107 Encouraged by Eleanor, Henry first allied himself with Raymond's enemy Raymond Berenguer of Barcelona and then in 1159 threatened to invade himself to depose Raymond.107 Louis, however, had married his sister Constance to Raymond in an attempt to secure his southern frontiers; nonetheless, when Henry and Louis discussed the matter of Toulouse, Henry left believing that he had the French king's support for military intervention.108 Henry invaded Toulouse, only to find Louis visiting Raymond in the city.109 Henry was not prepared to directly attack Louis, who was still his feudal lord, and withdrew, settling himself with ravaging the surrounding county, seizing castles and taking the province of Quercy.109 The episode proved to be a long-running point of dispute between the two kings and the chronicler William of Newburgh called the ensuing conflict with Toulouse a "forty years' war".110
In the aftermath of the Toulouse episode, Louis made an attempt to repair relations with Henry through a 1160 peace treaty: this promised Henry the lands and the rights of his grandfather, Henry I; it reaffirmed the betrothal of Young Henry and Margaret and the Vexin deal; and it involved Young Henry giving homage to Louis, a way of reinforcing the young boy's position as heir and Louis's position as king.111 Almost immediately after the peace conference, however, Louis shifted his position considerably. Louis's wife Constance died and Louis married Adèle, the sister of the Counts of Blois and Champagne.112 Louis also betrothed his two daughters Marie and Alix to Theobald of Blois's sons, Theobald and Henry.113 This represented an aggressive containment strategy towards Henry rather than the agreed rapprochement, and caused Theobald to abandon his alliance with Henry.113 Henry reacted angrily; the king had custody of both Young Henry and Margaret, and in November he bullied several papal legates into marrying them—despite the children only being five and three years old respectively—and promptly seized the Vexin.114nb 12 Now it was Louis's turn to be furious, as the move clearly broke the spirit of the 1160 treaty.118
Military tensions between the two leaders immediately increased. Theobald mobilised his forces along the border with Touraine; Henry responded by attacking Chaumont in Blois in a surprise attack; he successfully took Theobald's castle in a notable siege.113 At the start of 1161 war seemed likely to spread across the region, until a fresh peace was negotiated at Fréteval that autumn, followed by a second peace treaty in 1162, overseen by Pope Alexander III.119 Despite this temporary halt in hostilities, Henry's seizure of the Vexin proved to be a second long-running dispute between him and the kings of France.120
Henry controlled more of France than any ruler since the Carolingians; these lands, combined with his possessions in England, Wales, Scotland and much of Ireland, produced a vast domain often referred to by historians as the Angevin empire.121 The empire lacked a coherent structure or central control; instead, it consisted of a loose, flexible network of family connections and lands.122 Different local customs applied within each of Henry's different territories, although common principles underpinned some of these local variations.123nb 13 Henry travelled constantly across the empire, producing what the historian John Jolliffe describes as a "government of the roads and roadsides".125nb 14 His travels coincided with regional governmental reforms and other local administrative business, although messengers connected him to his possession wherever he went.127 In his absence the lands were ruled by seneschals and justiciars, and beneath them local officials in each of the regions carried on with the business of government.128 Nonetheless, many of the functions of government centred on Henry himself and he was often surrounded by petitioners requesting decisions or favours.129nb 15
From time to time, Henry's royal court became a magnum concilium, a great council; these were sometimes used to take major decisions but the term was loosely applied whenever a large number of barons and bishops attended the king.131 A great council was supposed to advise the king and give assent to royal decisions, although it is unclear how much freedom they actually enjoyed to oppose Henry's intentions.132 Henry also appears to have consulted with his court when making legislation; the extent to which he then took their views into account is unclear.133 As a powerful ruler, Henry was able to provide either valuable patronage or impose devastating harm on his subjects.134 Using his powers of patronage, Henry was very effective at finding and keeping competent officials, including within the Church, in the 12th century a key part of royal administration.135 Indeed royal patronage within the Church provided an effective route to advancement under Henry and most of his preferred clerics eventually became bishops and archbishops.136nb 16 Henry could also show his ira et malevolentia—"anger and ill-will"—a term that described his ability to punish or financially destroy particular barons or clergy.138
In England, Henry initially relied on his father's former advisers whom he brought with him from Normandy, and on some of Henry I's remaining officials, reinforced with some of Stephen's senior nobility who made their peace with Henry in 1153.139 During his reign Henry, like his grandfather, increasingly promoted "new men", minor nobles without independent wealth and lands, to positions of authority in England.140 By the 1180s this new class of royal administrators was predominant in England, supported by various illegitimate members of Henry's family.141 In Normandy, the links between the two halves of the Anglo-Norman nobility had weakened during the first half of the 12th century, and continued to do so under Henry.142 Henry drew his close advisers from the ranks of the Norman bishops and, as in England, recruited many "new men" as Norman administrators: few of the larger landowners in Normandy benefited from the king's patronage.143 Henry frequently intervened with the Norman nobility through arranged marriages or the treatment of inheritances, either using his authority as duke or his influence as king of England over their lands there: Henry's rule was a harsh one. Across the rest of France, local administration was less developed: Anjou was governed through a combination of officials called prévôts and seneschals based along the Loire and in western Touraine, but Henry had few officials elsewhere in the region.144 In Aquitaine, ducal authority remained very limited, despite increasing significantly during Henry's reign, largely due to Richard's efforts in the late 1170s.145
Henry's wealth allowed him to maintain what was probably the largest curia regis, or royal court, in Europe.146 His court attracted huge attention from contemporary chroniclers, and typically comprised a number of major nobles and bishops, along with knights, domestic servants, prostitutes, clerks, horses and hunting dogs.147nb 17 Within the court were his officials, misteriales, his friends, amici, and the familiares regis, the king's informal inner circle of confidants and trusted servants.149 Henry's familiares were particularly important to the operation of his household and government, driving forward government initiatives and filling the gaps between the official structures and the king.150
Henry tried to maintain a sophisticated household that combined hunting and drinking with cosmopolitan literary discussion and courtly values.151nb 18 Nonetheless, Henry's passion was for hunting, for which the court became famous.153 Henry had a number of preferred royal hunting lodges and apartments across his lands, and invested heavily in his royal castles, both for their practical utility as fortresses, and as symbols of royal power and prestige.154 The court was relatively formal in its style and language, possibly because Henry was attempting to compensate for his own sudden rise to power and relatively humble origins as the son of a count.155 He opposed the holding of tournaments, probably because of the security risk that such gatherings of armed knights posed in peacetime.156
The Angevin empire and court was, as historian John Gillingham describes it, "a family firm".157 His mother, Matilda, played an important role in his early life and exercised influence for many years later.158 Henry's relationship with his wife Eleanor was complex: Henry trusted Eleanor to manage England for several years after 1154, and was later content for her to govern Aquitaine; indeed, Eleanor was believed to have influence over Henry during much of their marriage.159 Ultimately, however, their relationship disintegrated and chroniclers and historians have speculated on what ultimately caused Eleanor to abandon Henry to support her older sons in the Great Revolt of 1173–74.160 Probable explanations include Henry's persistent interference in Aquitaine, his recognition of Raymond of Toulouse in 1173, or his harsh temper.161 Henry had several long-term mistresses, including Annabel de Balliol and Rosamund Clifford.162nb 19
Henry had eight legitimate children by Eleanor, five sons—William, the Young Henry, Richard, Geoffrey and John, and three daughters, Matilda, Eleanor and Joan.nb 20 Henry also had several illegitimate children; amongst the most prominent of these were Geoffrey (later Archbishop of York) and William (later Earl of Salisbury).164 Henry was expected to provide for the future of his legitimate children, either through granting lands to his sons or marrying his daughters well.165 Henry's family was divided by rivalries and violent hostilities, more so than many other royal families of the day, in particular the relatively cohesive French Capetians.166 Various suggestions have been put forward to explain Henry's family's bitter disputes, from their inherited family genetics to the failure of Henry and Eleanor's parenting.167 Other theories focus on the personalities of Henry and his children.168 Historians such as Matthew Strickland have argued that Henry made sensible attempts to manage the tensions within his family, and that, had the king died younger, the succession might have proven much smoother.169
Henry's reign saw significant legal changes, particularly in England and Normandy.170nb 21 By the middle of the 12th century, England had many different ecclesiastical and civil law courts, with overlapping jurisdictions resulting from the interaction of diverse legal traditions. Henry greatly expanded the role of royal justice in England, producing a more coherent legal system, summarised at the end of his reign in the treatise of Glanvill, an early legal handbook.172 Despite these reforms it is uncertain if Henry had a grand vision for his new legal system and the reforms seem to have proceeded in a steady, pragmatic fashion.173 Indeed, in most cases he was probably not personally responsible for creating the new processes, but he was greatly interested in the law, seeing the delivery of justice as one of the key tasks for a king and carefully appointing good administrators to conduct the reforms.174nb 22
In the aftermath of the disorders of Stephen's reign in England there were many legal cases concerning land to be resolved: many religious houses had lost land during the conflict, while in other cases owners and heirs had been dispossessed of their property by local barons, which in some cases had since been sold or given to new owners.176 Henry relied on traditional, local courts—such as the shire courts, hundred courts and in particular seignorial courts—to deal with most of these cases, hearing only a few personally.177 This process was far from perfect and in many cases claimants were unable to pursue their cases effectively.178 While interested in the law, during the first years of his reign Henry was preoccupied with other political issues and even finding the king for a hearing could mean travelling across the Channel and locating his peripatetic court.179 Nonetheless, Henry was prepared to take action to improve the existing procedures, intervening in cases which he felt had been mishandled, and creating legislation to improve both ecclesiastical and civil court processes.180 Meanwhile, in neighbouring Normandy, Henry delivered justice through the courts run by his officials across the duchy and occasionally these cases made their way to the king himself.181 He also operated an exchequer court at Caen that heard cases relating to royal revenues and maintained a number of king's justices who travelled across the duchy.182 Between 1159 and 1163, Henry spent time in Normandy conducting reforms of royal and church courts and some measures later introduced in England are recorded as existing in Normandy as early as 1159.183
In 1163 Henry returned to England, intent on reforming the role of the royal courts.184 He cracked down on crime, seizing the belongings of thieves and fugitives, and travelling justices were dispatched to the north and the Midlands.185 After 1166, Henry's exchequer court in Westminster, which had previously only heard cases connected with royal revenues, began to take wider civil cases on behalf of the king.186 The reforms continued and Henry created the General Eyre, probably in 1176, which involved dispatching a group of royal justices to visit all the counties in England over a given period of time, with authority to cover both civil and criminal cases.187 Local juries had been used occasionally in previous reigns, but Henry made much wider use of them.188 Juries were introduced in petty assizes from around 1176, where they were used to establish the answers to particular pre-established questions, and in grand assizes from 1179, where they were used to determine the guilt of a defendant.188 Other methods of trial continued, however, including trial by combat and trial by ordeal.189 After the Assize of Clarendon in 1166, royal justice was extended into new areas through the use of new forms of assizes, in particular novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor and dower unde nichil habet, which dealt with the wrongful dispossession of land, the right of inheritance and the rights of widows respectively.190 In making these reforms Henry both challenged the traditional rights of barons in dispensing justice and reinforced key feudal principles, but over time they greatly increased royal power in England.191nb 23
Henry's relationship with the Church varied considerably across his lands and over time: as with other aspects of his rule, there was no attempt to form a common ecclesiastical policy.192 In so far as Henry had a policy it was to generally push back on papal influence, increasing his own local authority.193 The 12th century had seen a reforming movement within the Church, however, advocating greater autonomy from royal authority for the clergy and more influence for the papacy.194 This trend had already caused tensions in England, for example when King Stephen forced Theobald of Bec, the Archbishop of Canterbury, into exile in 1152.195 There were also long-running concerns over the legal treatment of members of the clergy.196
By contrast with the tensions in England, in Normandy Henry had occasional disagreements with the Church but generally enjoyed very good relations with the Norman bishops.197 In Brittany, Henry had the support of the local church hierarchy and rarely intervened in clerical matters, except occasionally in order to cause difficulties for his rival Louis of France.198 Further south, however, the power of the dukes of Aquitaine over the local church was much less than in the north, and Henry's efforts to extend his influence over local appointments created tensions.199 During the disputed papal election of 1159, Henry, like Louis, supported Alexander III over his rival Victor IV.115
Henry was not an especially pious king by medieval standards.200 In England, he provided steady patronage to the monastic houses, but established few new monasteries and was relatively conservative in determining which he did support, favouring those with established links to his family, such as Reading Abbey.201 In this regard Henry's religious tastes appear to have been influenced by his mother, and indeed before his ascension a number of religious charters were issued in their joint names.30 Henry did found a number of religious hospitals in England and France.202 After the death of Becket, Henry built and endowed various monasteries in France, primarily to improve his popular image.203 Since travel by sea during the period was dangerous, he would also take full confession before setting sail and use auguries to determine the best time to travel.204 Henry's movements may also have been planned to take advantage of saints' days and other fortuitous occasions.205
Henry restored many of the old financial institutions of his grandfather Henry I and undertook further, long-lasting reforms of the way that the English currency was managed; one result was a long-term increase in the supply of money within the economy, leading to a growth both in trade and inflation.206 Medieval rulers such as Henry enjoyed various sources of income during the 12th century. Some of their income came from their private estates, called demesne; other income came from imposing legal fines and arbitrary amercements, and from taxes, which at this time were raised only intermittently.207 Kings could also raise funds by borrowing; Henry did this far more than earlier English rulers, initially through moneylenders in Rouen, turning later in his reign to Jewish and Flemish lenders.208 Ready cash was increasingly important to rulers during the 12th century to enable the use of mercenary forces and the construction of stone castles, both vital to successful military campaigns.209
Henry inherited a difficult situation in England in 1154. Henry I had established a system of royal finances that depended upon three key institutions: a central royal treasury in London, supported by treasuries in key castles; the exchequer that accounted for payments to the treasuries; and a team of royal officials called "the chamber" that followed the king's travels, spending money as necessary and collecting revenues along the way.210 The long civil war had caused considerable disruption to this system and some figures suggest that royal income fell by 46% between 1129–30 and 1155–56.211 A new coin, called the Awbridge silver penny, had been issued in 1153 in an attempt to stabilise the English currency after the war.212 Less is known about how financial affairs were managed in Henry's continental possessions, but a very similar system operated in Normandy, and a comparable system probably operated in both Anjou and Aquitaine.213
On taking power Henry gave a high priority to the restoration of royal finances in England, reviving Henry I's financial processes and attempting to improve the quality of the royal accounting.214 Revenue from the demesne formed the bulk of Henry's income in England, although taxes were used heavily in the first 11 years of his reign.215 Aided by the capable Richard FitzNeal, Henry reformed the currency in 1158, putting his name on English coins for the first time and heavily reducing the number of moneyers licensed to produce coins.216nb 24 These measures were successful in improving his income, but on his return to England in the 1160s Henry took further steps.220 New taxes were introduced and the existing accounts re-audited, and the reforms of the legal system brought in new streams of money from fines and amercements.221 A wholesale reform of the coinage occurred in 1180, with royal officials taking direct control of the mints and passing the profits directly to the treasury.222 A new penny, called the Short Cross, was introduced, and the number of mints reduced substantially to ten across the country.223 Driven by the reforms, the royal revenues increased significantly; during the first part of the reign, Henry's average exchequer income was only around £18,000; after 1166, the average was around £22,000.224 One economic effect of these changes was a substantial increase in the amount of money in circulation in England and, post-1180, a significant, long-term increase in both inflation and trade.225
Long-running tensions between Henry and Louis VII continued during the 1160s, the French king slowly becoming more vigorous in opposing Henry's increasing power in Europe.106 In 1160 Louis strengthened his alliances in central France with the Count of Champagne and Odo II, the Duke of Burgundy. Three years later the new Count of Flanders, Philip, concerned about Henry's growing power, openly allied himself with the French king.226 Louis's wife Adèle gave birth to a male heir, Philip Augustus, in 1165 and Louis was more confident of his own position than for many years previously.227 As a result, relations between Henry and Louis deteriorated again in the mid-1160s.228
Meanwhile, Henry had begun to alter his policy of indirect rule in Brittany and started to exert more direct control.229 In 1164 Henry intervened to seize lands along the border of Brittany and Normandy, and in 1166 invaded Brittany to punish the local barons.230 Henry then forced Conan to abdicate as duke and to give Brittany to his daughter Constance; Constance was handed over and betrothed to Henry's son Geoffrey.230 This arrangement was quite unusual in terms of medieval law, as Conan might have had sons who could have legitimately inherited the duchy.231nb 25 Elsewhere in France, Henry attempted to seize the Auvergne, much to the anger of the French king.232 Further south Henry continued to apply pressure on Raymond of Toulouse: the king campaigned there personally in 1161, sent the Archbishop of Bordeaux against Raymond in 1164 and encouraged Alfonso II of Aragon in his attacks.233 In 1165 Raymond divorced Louis's sister and attempted to ally himself with Henry instead.232
These growing tensions between Henry and Louis finally spilled over into open war in 1167, triggered by a trivial argument over how money destined for the Crusader states of the Levant should be collected.232 Louis allied himself with the Welsh, Scots and Bretons and the French king attacked Normandy.234 Henry responded by attacking Chaumont-sur-Epte, where Louis kept his main military arsenal, burning the town to the ground and forcing Louis to abandon his allies and make a private truce.235 Henry was then free to move against the rebel barons in Brittany, where feelings about his seizure of the duchy were still running high.236
As the decade progressed, Henry increasingly wanted to resolve the question of the inheritance. He decided that he would divide up his empire after his death, with Young Henry receiving England and Normandy, Richard being given the Duchy of Aquitaine, and Geoffrey acquiring Brittany.237 This would require the consent of Louis as king of France. and accordingly Henry and Louis held fresh peace talks in 1169 at Montmirail.238 The talks were wide ranging, and culminated with Henry's sons giving homage to Louis for their future inheritances in France, and Richard being betrothed to Louis's daughter Alice.239
If the agreements at Montmirail had been followed up, the acts of homage could potentially have confirmed Louis's position as king, while undermining the legitimacy of any rebellious barons within Henry's territories and the potential for an alliance between them and Louis.240 In practice, however, Louis perceived himself to have gained a temporary advantage and immediately after the conference began to encourage tensions between Henry's sons.241 Meanwhile, Henry's position in the south of France continued to improve and by 1173 he had agreed an alliance with Humbert, the Count of Savoy, which betrothed Henry's son John and Humbert's daughter Alicia.233nb 26 Henry's daughter Eleanor was married to Alfonso VIII of Castile in 1170, enlisting an additional ally in the south.233 In February 1173, Raymond finally gave in and publicly gave homage for Toulouse to Henry and his heirs.233
One of the major international events surrounding Henry during the 1160s was the Becket controversy. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Theobald of Bec, died in 1161 Henry saw an opportunity to reassert his rights over the Church in England.242 Henry appointed Thomas Becket, his English Chancellor, as archbishop in 1162, probably believing that Becket, in addition to being an old friend, would be politically weakened within the Church because of his former role as Chancellor, and would therefore have to rely on Henry's support.243 Both Matilda and Eleanor appear to have had doubts about the appointment, but Henry continued regardless.244 His plan did not have the desired result, however, as Becket promptly changed his lifestyle, abandoned his links to the king and portrayed himself as a staunch protector of church rights.245
Henry and Becket quickly disagreed over a number of issues, including Becket's attempts to regain control of lands belonging to the archbishopric and his views on Henry's taxation policies.246 The main source of conflict, however, concerned the treatment of clergy who committed secular crimes: Henry argued that the legal custom in England allowed the king to enforce justice over these clerics, while Becket maintained that only church courts could try the cases. The matter came to a head in January 1164, where Henry forced through agreement to the Constitutions of Clarendon; under huge pressure, Becket temporarily agreed but changed his position shortly afterwards.247 The legal argument was complex at the time and remains contentious.248nb 27
The argument between Henry and Becket became both increasingly personal and international in nature. Henry was stubborn and bore grudges, while Becket was vain, ambitious and overly political: neither man was willing to back down.250 Both sought the support of Alexander III and other international leaders, arguing their positions in various forums across Europe.251 The situation worsened in 1164 when Becket fled to France to seek sanctuary with Henry's enemy, Louis VII.252 Henry harassed Becket's associates in England, and Becket excommunicated religious and secular officials who sided with the king.253 The pope supported Becket's case in principle but needed Henry's support in dealing with Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, so he repeatedly sought a negotiated solution; the Norman Church also intervened to try to assist Henry in finding a solution.254
By 1169, however, Henry had decided to crown his son Young Henry as king of England. This required the acquiescence of Becket as the Archbishop of Canterbury, traditionally the churchman with the right to conduct the ceremony. Furthermore, the whole Becket matter had become an increasing international embarrassment to Henry. He began to take a more conciliatory tone with Becket but, when this failed, had Young Henry crowned anyway by the Archbishop of York. Becket was allowed to lay an interdict on England, forcing Henry back to negotiations; they finally came to terms in July 1170, and Becket returned to England in early December. Just when the dispute seemed resolved, however, Becket excommunicated another three supporters of Henry: the king was furious, and infamously announced "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and promoted in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born clerk!"255
In response, four knights made their way secretly to Canterbury, apparently with the intent of confronting and if necessary arresting Becket for breaking his agreement with Henry.256 The Archbishop refused to be arrested by relatively low-born knights and was hacked to death by them on 29 December 1170.257 This event, particularly in front of an altar, horrified Christian Europe. Although Becket had not been popular while he was alive, in death he was declared a martyr by the local monks.258 Louis seized on the case and, despite efforts by the Norman Church to prevent the French church from taking action, a new interdict was announced on Henry's possessions.259 Henry was focused on dealing with Ireland and took no action to arrest Becket's killers, arguing that he was unable to do so.260 International pressure on Henry grew and, in May 1172, he negotiated a settlement with the papacy in which the king swore to go on crusade as well as effectively overturning the Constitutions of Clarendon.261 In the coming years, although Henry never actually went on his crusade, he exploited the growing "cult of Becket" for his own ends.262
In the mid-12th century Ireland was ruled by a number of local kings, although their authority was more limited than their counterparts in the rest of western Europe.263 Mainstream Europeans regarded the Irish as relatively barbarous and backward.264 In the 1160s King Diarmait Mac Murchada was deposed as King of Leinster by the High King of Ireland, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair. Diarmait turned to Henry for assistance in 1167 and the English king agreed to allow Diarmait to recruit mercenaries within his empire.265 Dermot put together a force of Anglo-Norman and Flemish mercenaries drawn from the Welsh Marches, including Richard de Clare.266 With his new supporters, Mac Murchada reclaimed Leinster but died shortly afterwards in 1171; de Clare then claimed Leinster for himself. The situation in Ireland was tense and the Anglo-Normans heavily outnumbered.267
Henry took this opportunity to intervene personally in Ireland. He took a large army into south Wales, forcing the rebels who had held the area since 1165 into submission prior to sailing from Pembroke and landing in Ireland October 1171.268 Some of the Irish lords appealed to Henry to protect them from the Anglo-Norman invaders, while de Clare offered to submit to Henry if he was allowed to retain his new possessions.267 Henry's timing was influenced by several factors, including encouragement from Pope Alexander, who saw the opportunity to establish papal authority over the Irish church.269 The critical factor though appears to have been Henry's concern that his nobles in the Welsh Marches would acquire independent territories of their own in Ireland, beyond the reach of his authority.270 Henry's intervention was successful and both the Irish and Anglo-Normans in the south and east of Ireland accepted his rule.271
Henry undertook a wave of castle-building during his visit in 1171 to protect his new territories—the Anglo-Normans had superior military technologies to the Irish, and castles gave them a significant advantage.272 Henry hoped for a longer term political solution, however, similar to his approach in Wales and Scotland, and in 1175 he agreed to the Treaty of Windsor, under which Rory O'Connor would be recognised as the high king of Ireland, giving homage to Henry and maintaining stability on the ground on his behalf.273 This policy proved unsuccessful, as O'Connor was unable to exert sufficient influence and force in areas such as Munster: Henry instead intervened more directly, establishing a system of local fiefs of his own through a conference held in Oxford in 1177.274
In 1173 Henry faced the Great Revolt, an uprising by his eldest sons and rebellious barons, supported by France, Scotland and Flanders. A number of grievances underpinned the revolt. Young Henry was unhappy that, despite the title of king, in practice he made no real decisions and was kept chronically short of money by Henry.275 Young Henry had also been very attached to Thomas Becket, his former tutor, and may have held his father responsible for Becket's death.243 Geoffrey faced similar difficulties; Duke Conan of Brittany had died in 1171, but Geoffrey and Constance were still unmarried, leaving his son in limbo without his own lands.276 Richard was encouraged to join the revolt as well by Eleanor, whose relationship with Henry, as previously described, had disintegrated.277 Meanwhile, local barons unhappy with Henry's rule saw opportunities to recover traditional powers and influence by allying themselves with his sons.278
The final straw was Henry's decision to give his youngest son John three major castles belonging to Young Henry, who first protested and then fled to Paris, followed by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey; Eleanor attempted to join them but was captured by Henry's forces in November.279 Louis supported Young Henry and war became imminent.280 Young Henry wrote to the pope, complaining about his father's behaviour, and began to acquire allies, including King William of Scotland and the Counts of Boulogne, Flanders and Blois—all of whom were promised lands if Young Henry won.281 Major baronial revolts broke out in England, Brittany, Maine, Poitou and Angoulême.282 In Normandy some of the border barons rose up and, although the majority of the duchy remained openly loyal, there appears to have been a wider undercurrent of discontent.283nb 28 Only Anjou proved relatively secure.282 Despite the size and scope of the crisis, Henry had several advantages, including his control of a large number of powerful royal castles in strategic areas, control of most of the English ports throughout the war, and his continuing popularity within the towns across his empire.285
In May 1173 Louis and the Young King probed the defences of the Vexin, the main route to the Norman capital, Rouen; armies invaded from Flanders and Blois, attempting a pincer movement, while rebels from Brittany invaded from the west.286 Henry secretly travelled back to England to order an offensive on the rebels, and on his return counter-attacked Louis's army, massacring many of them and pushing them back across the border.287 An army was dispatched to drive back the Brittany rebels, whom Henry then pursued, surprised and captured.288 Henry offered to negotiate with his sons, but these discussions at Gisors soon broke down.288 Meanwhile the fighting in England proved evenly balanced until a royal army defeated a superior force of rebel and Flemish reinforcements in September in the battle of Fornham near Fornham in East Anglia.289 Henry took advantage of this respite to crush the rebel strongholds in Touraine, securing the strategically important route through his empire.290 In January 1174 the Young Henry and Louis's forces attacked again, threatening to push through into central Normandy.290 The attack failed and the fighting paused while the winter weather set in.290
In early 1174, Henry's enemies appeared to have tried to lure him back into England, allowing them to attack Normandy in his absence.290 As part of this plan, William of Scotland attacked the south of England, supported by the northern English rebels; additional Scottish forces were sent into the Midlands, where the rebel barons were making good progress.291 Henry refused the bait and instead focused on crushing opposition in south-west France, and William's campaign began to falter as the Scots failed to take the key northern royal castles, in part due to the efforts of Henry's illegitimate son, Geoffrey.292 In an effort to reinvigorate the plan, Philip, the Count of Flanders, announced his intention to invade England and sent an advance force into East Anglia.293 The prospective Flemish invasion forced Henry to return to England in early July.294 Louis and Philip could now push overland into eastern Normandy and reached Rouen.294 Henry travelled to Becket's tomb in Canterbury, where he announced that the rebellion was a divine punishment on him, and took appropriate penance; this made a major difference in restoring his royal authority at a critical moment in the conflict.295 Word then reached Henry that King William had been defeated and captured by local forces at Alnwick, crushing the rebel cause in the north.294 The remaining English rebel strongholds collapsed and in August Henry returned to Normandy.296 Louis had not yet been able to take Rouen and Henry's forces fell upon the French army just before the final French assault on the city began; pushed back into France, Louis requested peace talks, bringing an end to the conflict.296
In the aftermath of the Great Revolt, Henry held negotiations at Montlouis, offering a lenient peace on the basis of the pre-war status quo.297 Henry and Young Henry swore not to take revenge on each other's followers; Young Henry agreed to the transfer of the disputed castles to John, but in exchange the elder Henry agreed to give the younger Henry two castles in Normandy and 15,000 Angevin pounds; Richard and Geoffrey were granted half the revenues from Aquitaine and Brittany respectively.298nb 29 Eleanor, however, was kept under effective house arrest until the 1180s.300 The rebel barons were kept imprisoned for a short time and in some cases fined, then restored to their lands.301 The rebel castles in England and Aquitaine were destroyed.302 Henry was less generous to William of Scotland, who was not released until he had agreed to the Treaty of Falaise in December 1174, under which he publicly gave homage to Henry and surrendered five key Scottish castles to Henry's men.303 Philip of Flanders declared his neutrality towards Henry, in return for which the king agreed to provide him with regular financial support.90
Henry now appeared to his contemporaries to be stronger than ever, and he was courted as an ally by many European leaders and asked to arbitrate over international disputes in Spain and Germany.304 He was nonetheless busy resolving some of the weaknesses that he believed had exacerbated the revolt. Henry set about extending royal justice in England to reassert his authority and spent time in Normandy shoring up support amongst the barons.305 The king also made use of the growing Becket cult to increase his own prestige, using the power of the saint to explain his victory in 1174, especially his success in capturing William.306
The 1174 peace did not deal with the long-running tensions between Henry and Louis, however, and these resurfaced during the late 1170s.307 The two kings now began to compete for control of Berry, a prosperous region of value to both kings.307 Henry had some rights to western Berry, but in 1176 announced an extraordinary claim that he had agreed in 1169 to give Richard's fiancée Alice the whole province as part of the marriage settlement.308 If Louis had accepted this, it would have implied that the Berry was Henry's to give away in the first place, and would have given Henry the right to occupy it on Richard's behalf.309 To put additional pressure on Louis, Henry mobilised his armies for war.307 The papacy intervened and, probably as Henry had planned, the two kings were encouraged to sign a non-aggression treaty in September 1177, under which they promised to undertake a joint crusade.309 The ownership of the Auvergne and parts of the Berry were put to an arbitration panel, which reported in favour of Henry; Henry followed up this success by purchasing La Marche from the local count.310 This expansion of Henry's empire once again threatened French security and promptly put the new peace at risk.311
In the late 1170s Henry focused on trying to create a stable system of government, increasingly ruling through his family, but tensions over the succession arrangements were never far away, ultimately leading to a fresh revolt.312 Having quelled the left-over rebels from the Great Revolt, Richard was recognised by Henry as the Duke of Aquitaine in 1179.313 In 1181 Geoffrey finally married Constance and became Duke of Brittany; by now most of Brittany accepted Angevin rule, and Geoffrey was able to deal with the remaining disturbances on his own.314 John had spent the Great Revolt travelling alongside his father and most observers now began to regard the prince as Henry's favourite child.315 Henry began to grant John more lands, mostly at various nobles' expense, and in 1177 made him the Lord of Ireland.316 Meanwhile, Young Henry spent the end of the decade travelling in Europe, taking part in tournaments and playing only a passing role in either government or Henry and Richard's military campaigns; he was increasingly dissatisfied with his position and lack of power.317
By 1182 Young Henry reiterated his previous demands: he wanted to be granted lands, for example the Duchy of Normandy, which would allow him to support himself and his household with dignity.318 Henry refused, but agreed to increase his son's allowance, but this was not enough to placate Young Henry.318 With trouble clearly brewing, Henry attempted to defuse the situation by insisting that Richard and Geoffrey give homage to Young Henry for their lands.319 Richard did not believe that Young Henry had any claim over Aquitaine and refused to give homage; when Henry forced Richard to give homage, Young Henry angrily refused to accept it.320 Young Henry formed an alliance with some of the disgruntled barons of the Aquitaine who were unhappy with Richard's rule, and Geoffrey sided with him, raising a mercenary army in Brittany to threaten Poitou.321 Open war broke out in 1183 and Henry and Richard led a joint campaign into Aquitaine: before they could conclude it, however, Young Henry caught a fever and died, bringing a sudden end to the rebellion.322
With his eldest son dead, Henry rearranged the plans for the succession: Richard was to be made king of England, albeit without any actual power until the death of his father; Geoffrey would have to retain Brittany, as he held it by marriage, so Henry's favourite son John would become the duke of Aquitaine in place of Richard.316 Richard, however, refused to give up Aquitaine; he was deeply attached to the duchy, and had no desire to exchange this role for the meaningless one of being the junior King of England.323 Henry was furious, and ordered John and Geoffrey to march south and retake the duchy by force.316 The short war ended in stalemate and a tense family reconciliation at Westminster in England at the end of 1184.324 Henry finally got his own way in early 1185 by bringing Eleanor to Normandy to instruct Richard to obey his father, while simultaneously threatening to give Normandy, and possibly England, to Geoffrey.325 This proved enough and Richard finally handed over the ducal castles in Aquitaine to Henry.326
Meanwhile, John undertook an expedition to Ireland in 1185, which was not a success. Ireland had only recently been conquered by Anglo-Norman forces, and tensions were still rife between Henry's representatives, the new settlers and the existing inhabitants.327 John offended the local Irish rulers, failed to make allies amongst the Anglo-Norman settlers, began to lose ground militarily against the Irish, and finally returned to England within the year.327 In 1186 Henry was about to return John to Ireland once again, when news came that Geoffrey had died in a tournament at Paris, leaving two young children; this event once again changed the balance of power between Henry and his remaining sons.326
Henry's relationship with his two surviving heirs was fraught, for, while the king had great affection for his youngest son John, he showed little warmth towards Richard and indeed seems to have borne him a grudge after their argument in 1184.328 The bickering and simmering tensions between Henry and Richard were cleverly exploited by the new French king, Philip Augustus.329 Philip had come to power in 1180 and he rapidly demonstrated that he could be an assertive, calculating and manipulative political leader.330 Initially Henry and Philip Augustus had enjoyed a good relationship. Despite attempts to divide the two, Henry and Philip Augustus agreed a joint alliance, even though this cost the French king the support of Flanders and Champagne.331 Philip Augustus regarded Geoffrey as a close friend, and would have welcomed him as a successor to Henry.332 With the death of Geoffrey, however, the relationship between Henry and Philip broke down.333
In 1186, Philip Augustus demanded that he be given custody of Geoffrey's children and Brittany, and insisted that Henry order Richard to withdraw from Toulouse, where he had been sent with an army to apply new pressure on Philip's uncle, Raymond.334 Philip threatened to invade Normandy if this did not happen.334 He also reopened the question of the Vexin which had formed part of Margaret's dowry several years before; Henry still occupied the region and now Philip insisted that the king either complete the long agreed Richard-Alice marriage, or return Margaret's dowry.335 Philip invaded the Berry and Henry mobilised a large army which confronted the French at Châteauroux, before papal intervention brought a truce.336 During the negotiations, however, Philip suggested to Richard that he should ally with the French king against Henry, marking the start of a new strategy to divide the father and son.337
Philip's offer coincided with a crisis in the Levant. In 1187 Jerusalem surrendered to Saladin and calls for a new crusade swept Europe.338 Richard was enthusiastic and announced his intention to join the crusade, and Henry and Philip Augustus announced their similar intent at the start of 1188.329 Taxes began to be raised and plans made for supplies and transport.329 Richard was keen to start his crusade, but was forced to wait for Henry to make his arrangements.339 In the meantime, Richard set about crushing some of his enemies in Aquitaine in 1188, before once again attacking the Count of Toulouse.339 Richard's campaign undermined the truce between Henry and Philip and both sides again mobilised large forces in anticipation of war.340 This time Henry rejected Philip's offers of a short-term truce in the hope of convincing the French king to agree a long-term peace deal, but Philip refused to consider Henry's proposals.341 A furious Richard, however, believed that Henry was stalling for time and delaying the departure of the crusade.341
The relationship between Henry and Richard finally dissolved into violence shortly before Henry's death. Philip held a peace conference in November 1188, making a public offer of a generous long-term peace settlement with Henry, conceding to his various territorial demands, if Henry would finally marry Richard and Alice and announce Richard as his recognised heir.342 Henry refused the proposal, whereupon Richard himself spoke up, demanding to be recognised as Henry's successor.342 Henry remained silent and Richard then publicly changed sides at the conference and gave formal homage to Philip in front of the assembled nobles.343
The papacy intervened once again to try to produce a last-minute peace deal, resulting in a fresh conference at La Ferté-Bernard in 1189.344 By now Henry was suffering from a bleeding ulcer that would ultimately prove fatal.345 The discussions achieved little, although Henry is alleged to have offered Philip that John could marry Alice instead of Richard, reflecting the rumours circulating over the summer that Henry was considering openly disinheriting Richard.344 The conference broke up with war appearing likely, but Philip and Richard launched a surprise attack immediately afterwards during what was conventionally a period of truce.346
Henry was caught by surprise at Le Mans but made a forced march north to Alençon, from where he could escape into the safety of Normandy.347 Suddenly, however, Henry turned back south towards Anjou, against the advice of his officials.348 The weather was extremely hot, the king was increasingly ill and he appears to have wanted to die peacefully in Anjou rather than fight yet another campaign.348 Henry evaded the enemy forces on his way south and collapsed in his castle at Chinon.349 Philip and Richard were making good progress, not least because it was now obvious that Henry was dying and that Richard would be the next king, and the pair offered negotiations.348 They met at Ballan, where Henry, only just able to remain seated on his horse, agreed to a complete surrender: he would do homage to Philip; he would give up Alice to a guardian and she would marry Richard at the end of the coming crusade; he would recognise Richard as his heir; he would pay Philip compensation, and key castles would be given to Philip as a guarantee.348
Henry was carried back to Chinon on a litter, where he was informed that John had publicly sided with Richard in the conflict.350 This desertion proved the final shock and he finally collapsed into a fever, only coming to for a few moments during which he gave confession.350 Henry died on 6 July 1189, aged 56; the king had wished to be interred at Grandmont Abbey in the Limousin, but the hot weather made transporting his body impractical and he was instead buried at the nearby Fontevraud Abbey.350
In the immediate aftermath of Henry's death, Richard successfully claimed his father's lands; he later left on the Third Crusade, but never married Alice as he had agreed with Philip Augustus. Eleanor was released from house arrest and regained control of Aquitaine, where she ruled on Richard's behalf.351 Henry's empire, however, did not survive long and collapsed during the reign of his youngest son John, when Philip captured all of the Angevin possessions in France except Gascony. This collapse had various causes, including long-term changes in economic power, growing cultural differences between England and Normandy but, in particular, the fragile, familial nature of Henry's empire.352
Henry was not a popular king and few expressed much grief on news of his death.353 Writing in the 1190s, William of Newburgh commented that "in his own time he was hated by almost everyone"; he was widely criticised by his own contemporaries, even within his own court.354 Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, however, had major long-term consequences. His legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for English Common Law, with the Exchequer court a forerunner of the later Common Bench at Westminster.355 Henry's itinerant justices also influenced his contemporaries' legal reforms: Philip Augustus' creation of itinerant bailli, for example, clearly drew on the Henrician model.356 Henry's intervention in Brittany, Wales and Scotland also had a significant long-term impact on the development of their societies and governmental systems.357
Henry and his reign have attracted historians for many years.358 In the 18th century the historian David Hume argued that Henry's reign was pivotal to creating a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain.359 Henry's role in the Becket controversy was considered relatively praiseworthy by Protestant historians of the period, while his disputes with the French king, Louis, also attracted positive patriotic comment.360 In the Victorian period there was a fresh interest in the personal morality of historical figures and scholars began to express greater concern over aspects of Henry's behaviour, including his role as a parent and husband.361 The king's role in the death of Becket attracted particular criticism.362 Late-Victorian historians, with increasing access to the documentary records from the period, stressed Henry's contribution to the evolution of key English institutions, including the development of the law and the exchequer.363 William Stubbs' analysis led him to label Henry as a "legislator king", responsible for major, long-lasting reforms in England.364 Influenced by the contemporary growth of the British Empire, historians such as Kate Norgate undertook detailed research into Henry's continental possessions, creating the term "the Angevin Empire" in the 1880s.365
Twentieth century historians challenged many of these conclusions. In the 1950s Jacques Boussard and John Jolliffe, among others, focused on the nature of Henry's "empire"; French scholars in particular analysed the mechanics of how royal power functioned during this period.366 The Anglocentric aspects of many histories of Henry were challenged from the 1980s onwards, with efforts made to bring together British and French historical analysis of the period.367 More detailed study of the written records left by Henry has cast doubt on some earlier interpretations: Robert Eyton's ground-breaking 1878 work tracing Henry's itinerary through deductions from the pipe rolls, for example, has been criticised as being too certain a way of determining location or court attendance.368 Although many more of Henry's royal charters have been identified, the task of interpreting these records, the financial information in the pipe rolls and wider economic data from the reign is understood to be more challenging than once thought.369 Significant gaps in historical analysis of Henry remain, especially the nature of his rule in Anjou and the south of France.370
Henry II appears in several modern plays and films. The king forms a central character in James Goldman's 1966 play The Lion in Winter, set in 1183 and presenting an imaginary encounter between Henry's immediate family and Philip Augustus over Christmas at Chinon. The 1968 film adaptation communicates the modern popular view of Henry as a somewhat sacrilegious, fiery and determined king although, as Goldman observes, Henry's passions and character are essentially fictional.371 The Lion in Winter has proved an enduring representation of Henry, being remade in 2003 for television. Henry also appears in the play Becket by Jean Anouilh, filmed in 1964; once again, however, the character of the king is deliberately fictitious, driven by the need for drama between Henry and Becket in the play.372 The Becket controversy also forms the basis for T. S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral, where the tensions between Henry and Becket form the basis both for a discussion of the more superficial events of Becket's death, and Eliot's deeper religious interpretation of the episode.373
|Ancestors of Henry II of England|
- Edmund King believes Henry's attack never got close to York; R. Davis believes that it did and was deterred by the presence of Stephen's forces.21
- The details of the chroniclers' descriptions are clearly influenced by biblical accounts, the historian Nicholas Vincent, for example, points out the close links between the account of Henry furiously eating straw, and the similar passage in Isaiah 11:7.26
- Historians are uncertain which dialect or dialects of medieval French were referred to in this context; the original chronicler simply refers to Henry speaking "gallica", "French".27
- There was an historical debate in the early 20th century, now resolved, as to the precise date that Henry was made duke of Normandy.37
- In the late 12th century, the annulment of a marriage for reasons of consanguinity was in effect a divorce process: large numbers of the marriages amongst the nobility broke the strict rules of consanguinity, and there was no alternative divorce process. The terms "divorce" and "annul" are used interchangeably in much of the historical literature to describe Louis's actions towards Eleanor.40
- Henry's younger brother Geoffrey later appears to have circulated a story that his father, on his deathbed, had insisted that Henry had been given Anjou and Maine only until he had conquered England, when they would be passed to Geoffrey, although the veracity of this story is doubted by many modern historians.45 Historian John Gillingham, though, gives more credence to the death bed story.46
- For a contrasting view of this period, see John Hosler, who argues the situation was more stable than is commonly thought.70
- This destruction lead to Victorian historians terming the conflict the period of "the Anarchy". The term "the Anarchy" as a label for this conflict originates with the Victorian scholar John Round, and has been subject to historical challenge.74
- Recent research has shown that Stephen had begun the programme of castle destruction before his death and that Henry's contribution was less substantial than once thought, although Henry did take much of the credit for this work.83
- Many earlier historians believed that Henry might have given homage to Louis in 1156. Little hard evidence beyond a single chronicler account exists to support this, however, and current scholarship discounts the alleged episode.95
- Historian Judith Everard's research into Brittany has shifted academic discussion of this period, stressing the indirect way that Henry expanded his power; earlier works had tended to describe Henry as conquering Brittany through a sequence of invasions; see, for example, John Gillingham's description of the period.102
- Henry's influence over the papal legates resulted from the schism that had occurred in the Church between Victor IV and Alexander III.115 The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick, who preferred Victor, called a council from across Europe to consider the case; to support this process, local discussions were held in France, England and Normandy, while a probable joint council sponsored by Henry and Louis occurred at Beauvais in July 1160.116 Contemporary chroniclers' accounts of the events and decisions at these gatherings are inconsistent, but it appears that after the July discussions the decision was taken to announce a joint preference for Alexander to become the pope, to be announced in due course by Henry.117 Henry used his power as the joint spokesman for England and France to convince the legates that it would be wise to marry his son.117
- Opinions as to the nature of Henry's empire have shifted over time and the term "empire" has itself been criticised. Earlier historians, such as Jacques Boussard, argued in favour of an "administrative coherence" featuring across the empire; this view is opposed by most current historians.124
- Henry did, however, have his favourite locations in his empire; Le Mans, for example, was his favourite town.126
- Over the course of his reign, Henry, like other leaders of the period, attempted to create more private space within his household, away from the throngs of supplicants.130
- By contrast, the number of earldoms in England, for example, shrank considerably, removing the potential for advancement for many traditional barons.137
- Among the chroniclers who documented the court were Walter Map, Gerald of Wales, John of Salisbury, Richard FitzNeal, Roger of Hoveden, Peter of Blois and Stephen de Fougères.148
- Earlier historians believed that Henry was a particularly active literary patron; the historian John Gillingham has more recently challenged some of these interpretations of Henry and the arts in favour of Henry being a more modest patron.152
- The rumours that Eleanor murdered Rosamund are not believed to be true by modern historians. Contemporary historians discounted Henry's liaisons as a probable factor in his martial breakdown.163
- Henry's son William died while still very young.
- Earlier generations of historians have placed greater emphasis on the transformative nature of Henry's legal reforms than more contemporary historians; the 19th century historian Frederick Maitland, for example, considered Henry's reign as "a critical moment in English legal history".171
- For a contrasting, earlier view, see historian W. Warren's argument that Henry played a more significant role in the details of the reforms.175
- See Matiland and Milson in Biancalana on this.175
- Henry inherited an old system of mints distributed around the country in the form of small, local workshops.217 These mints made money for the crown by taking a proportion of the silver melted down when old coins were brought in to be replaced and passing some of this to the crown.218 Historian Pamela Nightingale has put forward a theory that the 1158 reforms involved the dismissal of a previous class of royal moneyers; Martin Allen has however critiqued the evidence base for this theory.219
- Henry never formally became Duke of Brittany as he was only holding the duchy on behalf of Geoffrey and Constance.231
- Alicia died before the marriage could take place, although the alliance remained intact.233
- Current academic opinion broadly maintains that Henry was right to assert that the Constitutions represented the existing customs in England, but that Becket was also correct to argue that these customs were not in accordance with ecclesiastical law.249
- Earlier historical opinion emphasised the loyalty of the Duchy of Normandy during the Great Revolt; more recent scholarship, however, has altered this perspective and highlighted the prevailing tensions.284
- Accurately converting 12th century financial sums into modern equivalents is impossible; for comparison 15,000 Angevin pounds equated to £3,750 English pounds, at a time when the average English baron enjoyed an annual income of around £200.299
- King (2010), p.37.
- Bachrach (1978), p.298; Hallam and Everard, p.66.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.66–67.
- Power (2007), p.93.
- Warren (2000), p.12.
- Chibnall, pp.75–83.
- Bradbury, pp.49–52.
- Davis, p.89.
- Chibnall, p.144.
- Warren (2000), pp.38–39; Chibnall, p.144.
- King (2010), p.185.
- King (2010), p.185; Warren (2000), p.38.
- King (2010), pp.185, 274.
- Warren (2000), pp.30, 39.
- Warren (2000), p.33.
- Warren (2000), pp.32–34.
- King (2010), p.243; Barlow (1999), p.180.
- Hosler, p.38.
- King (2010), p.253.
- King (2010), p.255.
- Davis, p.107; King (2010), p.255.
- Warren (2000), pp.78–79; Vincent (2007a), pp.1–2; Carpenter, p.192.
- Warren (2000), pp.78–79.
- Warren (2000), pp.78, 630.
- Warren (2000), p.79; Vincent (2007a), p.2; Vincent (2007b), p.312.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.311–312.
- Vincent (2007b), p.326.
- White (2000), pp.3–4, 214.
- Gillingham (1984), p.21.
- Martinson, p.6.
- Gillingham (1984), pp.20–21.
- Vincent (2007b), p.324.
- Barlow (1999), p.180.
- Stringer, p.68; Davis pp.111–112.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.158–159; Warren (2000), p.42.
- Hallam and Everard, p.159; Warren (2000), p.42.
- Brooke and Brooke, pp.81–82; Poole, p.569.
- Warren (2000), p.42.
- Warren (2000), pp.43–44.
- Turner (2011), pp.104–15; Warren (2000), pp.43–44.
- Warren (2000), p.44; Hallam and Everard, p.160.
- Gillingham, (1984), p.17.
- Warren (2000), p.45.
- Warren (2000), pp.45–46.
- Warren (2000), p.46.
- Gillingham (1984), p.16.
- Warren (2000), p.45; Gillingham (1984), p.17.
- Gillingham (1984), p.17.
- Warren (2000), p.48; Gillingham (1984), p.17.
- Warren (2000), p.47; Gillingham (1984), p.17.
- Warren (2000), p.49; Gillingham (1984), p.18.
- Bradbury, pp.178–179; King (2007), p.24; Warren (2000), p.49.
- King (2007), pp.25–26.
- King (2007), p.26.
- Bradbury, p.180; Warren (2000), p.50.
- Bradbury, p.180.
- Warren (2000), p.50.
- Bradbury, p.181.
- King (2007), p.28.
- Bradbury, p.182; Warren (2000), p.50.
- Bradbury, p.183.
- Bradbury, p.183; King (2010), p.277; Crouch (2002), p.276.
- King (2010), pp.278–279; Crouch (2002), p.276.
- Davis, p.122; Bradbury, p.207;.
- King (2010), pp.279–280; Bradbury, pp.184, 187.
- King (2010), p.280.
- King (2010), pp.280–283; Bradbury pp.189–190; Barlow (1999), pp.187–188.
- King (2010), p.281.
- Crouch (2002), p.277.
- Hosler, p.47.
- King (2010), p.300.
- White (2000), p.5.
- White (2000), pp.6–7.
- Round (1888), cited Review of King Stephen, (review no. 1038), David Crouch, Reviews in History, accessed 12 May 2011.
- Barlow (1999), p.181.
- Coulson, p.69; Bradbury, p.191.
- Carpenter, p.197.
- White (1998), p.43; Blackburn, p.199.
- White (2000), p.2.
- White (2000), pp.2–3.
- King (2007), pp.42–43.
- White (2000), p.8.
- Amt, p.44.
- White (2000), p.7; King (2007), p.40.
- Warren (2000), p.161.
- White (2000), p.7; Carpenter, p.211.
- White (2000), p.7; Huscroft, p.140; Carpenter, p.214.
- Dunbabin, p.51; Power (2007), pp.124–125.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.160–161.
- Dunbabin, p.52.
- Warren (2000), pp.88–90.
- Dunbabin, pp.47, 49.
- White (2000), p.9.
- Gillingham (2007a), p.64; Dunbabin, p.53.
- Gillingham (2007a), p.64.
- Dunbabin, p.53.
- Gillingham (2007a), p.79.
- Hallam and Everard, p.65.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.65–66; Everard (2000), p.17.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.65–66.
- Everard (2000), p.35.
- Everard (2000), p.35; Gillingham (1984), p.23.
- Everard (2000), pp.32, 34.
- Everard (2000), p.38.
- Everard (2000), p.39.
- Hallam and Everard, p.161.
- Warren (2000), p.85.
- Dunbabin, p.50; Waren (2000), pp.85–86.
- Warren (2000), p.87.
- Dunbabin, p.56; Gillingham (1984), p.27.
- White (2000), p.9; Gillingham (2007a), p.77; Dunbabin, pp.55–56; Warren (2000), p.88.
- Warren (2000), p.88.
- Warren (2000), p.90.
- Dunbabin, pp.55–56.
- Barlow (1936), p.264.
- Barlow (1936), pp.264, 266.
- Barlow (1936), p.268.
- Gillingham (1984), p.28.
- White (2000), p.10.
- Dunbabin, p.56.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.304–205; Hallam and Everard, pp.221–22.
- Martindale (1999), p.140; Bachrach (1978), pp.298–299.
- Gillingham (1984), pp.58–59.
- Hallam and Everard, pp.221–224; Boussard, pp.572–532, cited Hallam and Everard, p.221; White; Gillingham.
- Jolliffe, p.140, cited by Gillingham (1984), p.53.
- Carpenter, p.194.
- White (2000), pp.8–9.
- Gillingham (1984), p.47.
- Vincent (2007b), p.310.
- Vincent (2007b), p.313.
- Warren (2000), p.303.
- Warren (2000), p.304.
- Brand, pp.229–230.
- Davies, pp.71–72.
- Jones, p.35.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.294, 319.
- Carpener, p.197.
- Huscroft, pp.70, 170; Mason, p.128.
- King (2007), pp.43–44.
- Peltzer, p.1203.
- Peltzer, p.1203; Jones, p.28.
- Power (2007), pp.94–95; Bates (2003), p.207.
- Power (2007), pp.98, 116–117.
- Gillingham (1984), p.35; Aurell, p.38.
- Gillingham (1984), pp.35, 38.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.299, 308; Warren (2000), p.301.
- Gillingham (1984), p.48; Vincent (2007b), pp.278, 284–285, 309, 330; Turner (2011), p.159.
- Vincent (2007b), p.278.
- Warren (2000), p.305.
- Warren (2000), p.310; Davies, p.31
- Vincent (2007b), pp.319–321; Turner (2011), p.157.
- Gillingham (2007b), pp.25–52, cited Strickland, p.189.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.319–321.
- Vincent (2007b), p.313; Warren (2000), p.141.
- Vincent (2007b), p.334.
- Vincent (2007b), p.323.
- Gillingham (1984), p.31.
- Chibnall, pp.164, 169.
- Turner (2011), pp.150–151, 184–185.
- Warren (2000), p.119; Turner (2011), p.142; Carpenter, p.223.
- Carpenter, p.223; Turner (2011), pp.217–219.
- Vincent (2007b), p.331.
- Turner (2011), pp.219, 306; Warren (2000), p.119.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.331–332; Warren (2000), p.119.
- Gillingham (1984), p.29.
- Bachrach (1984), pp.111–122, 130; Weiler, pp.17–18.
- Bachrach (1984), p.112.
- Warren (2000), p.119; Strickland, pp.187–188.
- Strickland, pp.205, 213–214.
- Brand, p.215.
- Warren (2000), p.360.
- Brand, p.215; Warren (2000), p.319, 333.
- Brand, p.235; Warren (2000), p.317.
- White (2000), pp.213–214; Brand, pp.235, 237.
- Warren (2000), pp.369–360.
- White (2000), pp.162–163.
- White (2000), pp.162, 174.
- White (2000), p.166.
- White (2000), pp.170–171, 174.
- White (2000), pp.177, 179.
- Power (2007), p.103.
- Power (2007), p.104.
- White (2000), pp.18, 215.
- White (2000), p.190.
- White (2000), pp.193–194, 199.
- White (2000), pp.198–199.
- Brand, pp.216, 232.
- Brand, pp.219, 234.
- Warren (2000), pp.357–358.
- Brand, pp.220–221, 227, 234.
- Biancalana, pp.434–438.
- Alexander, p.23.
- Duggan (1962), p.1.
- Duggan (1965), p.67, cited Alexander, p.3.
- Alexander, pp.2–3.
- Alexander, p.10.
- Peltzer, pp.1212, 1227.
- Everard (2000), p.63.
- Turner (2011), pp.179–180.
- Martinson, pp.1, 3.
- Martinson, pp.iii, 261.
- Martinson, p.262.
- Martinson, p.3.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.306–307.
- Vincent (2007b), p.308.
- Barratt, p.243; Allen, p.257; White (2000), pp.130, 159.
- Carpenter, pp.154–155.
- Musset, pp.10–11, cited Bates (1994, p.32; Carpenter, p.201.
- Turner (2011), pp.136–137.
- White (2000), p.131; Gillingham (1984), p.49; Vincent (2007b), p.299.
- White (2000), p.130.
- Allen, pp.258–259.
- Gillingham (1984), p.49.
- White (2000), pp.130, 159.
- Barratt, p.250; White (2000), p.150.
- Allen, pp.260–261; Warren (2000), p.268.
- Allen, p.275; Barratt, p.247.
- Allen, pp.264–265.
- Nightingale, pp.61–63, cited Allen p.260; Allen, p.260.
- White (2000), p.159.
- White (2000), p.159; Barratt, p.251.
- Allen, p.268.
- Allen, pp.269–271.
- Barratt, p.249.
- Barratt, p.243; Allen, p.257.
- Dunbabin, p.52; Hallam and Everard, p.161.
- Warren (2000), p.104.
- Warren (2000), pp.103–104.
- Everard (2000), pp.41–42.
- Everard (2000), p.42.
- Everard (2000), pp.43–44.
- Warren (2000), p.105.
- Gillingham (1984), p.27.
- Dunbabin, p.59.
- Dunbabin, p.59; Warren (2000), p.106.
- Everard (2000), pp.45–46.
- Hallam and Everard, p.223.
- Warren, p.497.
- Dubabin, p.59; Warren (2000), p.109.
- Everard (2000), p.47.
- Hallam and Everard, p.162.
- Huscroft, pp.192–195.
- Jones, p.30.
- Chibnall, p.167; Turner (2011), pp.139–140.
- Barlow (1986), pp.74–76, 83.
- Barlow (1986), pp.83–84, 88–89.
- Barlow (1986), pp.98–100.
- Alexander, pp.6, 11.
- Alexander, pp.6, 11–13.
- Alexander, p.6.
- Barlow (1986), pp.143–147.
- Barlow (1986), pp.108–114
- Barlow (1986), pp.144–148.
- Peltzer, pp.1215–1215.
- Barlow (1986), pp.234–235.
- Barlow (1986), p.236.
- Barlow (1986), pp.246–248.
- Barlow (1986), p.250.
- Peltzer, pp.1216–1217.
- Barlow (1986), pp.257–258.
- Barlow (1986), p.261.
- Barlow (1986), p.272; Weiler, pp.36, 39.
- Warren, pp.187–188.
- Warren, p.188; Davies, p.9.
- Warren, p.192.
- Warren, pp.192–193.
- Warren, p.194.
- Carpenter, p.215.
- Bull, p.124; Warren, p.197.
- Davies, pp.68–69.
- Warren, p.200.
- Carpenter, pp. 220–21; Davies, p.41.
- Warren, p.203.
- Warren, p.203; Davies, pp.64–65, 78.
- Jones, pp.29, 33–34.
- Everard (2000), pp.47–48.
- Huscroft, p.142.
- Aurell, p.54-56; Jones, p.24; Turner (2011), p.226.
- Warren (2000), pp.117–118.
- Warren (2000), pp.118, 121.
- Weiler, pp.20, 39–40; Warren (2000), pp.121–122.
- Warren (2000), p.122.
- Bates (2003), pp.85–87.
- Bates (1994), p.32; Bates (2003), p.87.
- Warren (2000), p.123; Jones, pp.35–36, 38; Carpenter, p.197.
- Warren (2000), pp.125–127.
- Warren (2000), p.127-128.
- Warren (2000), p.128.
- Warren (2000), pp.129–131.
- Warren (2000), p.132.
- Warren (2000), pp.132, 134.
- Warren (2000), p.134.
- Warren (2000), pp.134–135.
- Warren (2000), p.135.
- Weiler, pp.36, 39.
- Warren (2000), p.136.
- Warren (2000), pp.136, 139.
- Warren (2000), p.138.
- Turner (2011), pp.166, 229.
- Warren (2000), p.138; Turner (2011), p.245.
- Warren (2000), pp.139–140.
- Warren (2000), pp.140–142.
- Warren (2000), pp.138–139.
- Warren (2000), p.143; Aurell, p.27.
- Bates (2003), p.87; Brand, p.232.
- Bull, p.115.
- Warren (2000), p.144.
- Warren (2000), pp.144–145.
- Warren (2000), p.145.
- Warren (2000), p.146.
- Warren (2000), p.147.
- Warren (2000), pp.561–562.
- Warren (2000), pp.563, 573.
- Warren (2000), p.563; Everard (2000), pp.50, 53.
- Turner (2009), p.36.
- Turner (2009), p.37.
- Warren (2000), pp.581–582.
- Warren (2000), p.584.
- Warren (2000), p.587.
- Warren (2000), pp.587–588.
- Warren (2000), pp.586–589, 592.
- Warren (2000), pp.592–593.
- Turner (2009), p.37; Warren (2000), p.596.
- Warren (2000), pp.596–597; Turner (2009), p.37.
- Warren (2000), pp.597–598; Turner (2011), p.248.
- Warren (2000), p.598.
- Warren (1991), p.36.
- Warren (2000), pp.600–601.
- Warren (2000), p.602.
- Everard and Hallam, pp.164–165.
- Hallam and Everard, p.166; Dunbabin, p.52.
- Everard and Hallam, p.166; Warren (2000), p.611.
- Hallam and Everard, p.166.
- Warren (2000), pp.610, 614.
- Warren (2000), pp.611–612.
- Warren (2000), p.616.
- Warren (2000), p.616; Hallam and Everard, p.166.
- Warren (2000), pp.604–607.
- Warren (2000), p.618.
- Warren (2000), pp.619–620.
- Warren (2000), p.620.
- Warren (2000), p.621.
- Warren (2000), pp.621–622.
- Warren (2000), p.622.
- Warren (2000), p.625; Carpenter, p.244.
- Warren (2000), p.623.
- Warren (2000), pp.623–624.
- Warren (2000), p.625.
- Warren (2000), p.624.
- Warren (2000), p.626.
- Martindale (1999), pp.141–142.
- Gillingham (1984), p.31; Peltzer, p.1203.
- Strickland, p.187.
- White (2000), p.213; Vincent (2007b), p.330.
- Brand, p.216.
- Hallam and Everard, p.211.
- Davies, pp.22–23.
- Vincent (2007a), p.2.
- Vincent (2007a), p.2; Hume (1761).
- Vincent (2007a), p.3.
- Vincent (2007a), pp.5–7.
- Vincent (2007a), p.9.
- Vincent (2007a), p.10.
- Vincent (2007a), p.10; White (2000), p.3; Stubbs (1874).
- Aurell, p.15; Vincent (2007a), p.16.
- Aurell, p.19.
- Vincent (2007a), p.21.
- Vincent (2007b), pp.279–281; Bates (1998), pp.89–102, cited Vincent (2007b), p.287; Eyton (1878).
- Vincent (2007b), p.286, 299; Barratt pp.248–294.
- Vincent (2007a), p.22.
- Martinson, p.263; Palmer, p.46.
- Anouilh, p.xxiv.
- Tiwawi and Tiwawi, p.90.
- Alexander, James W. (1970). "The Becket Controversy in Recent Historiography". The Journal of British Studies 9 (2): 1–26. JSTOR 175153.
- Allen, Martin (2007). "Henry II and the English Coinage". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Amt, Emilie (1993). The Accession of Henry II in England: Royal Government Restored, 1149–1159. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-348-3.
- Anouilh, Jean (2005). Antigone. London: Methuen. ISBN 978-0-413-69540-6.
- Aurell, Martin (2003). L'Empire de Plantagenêt, 1154–1224. Paris: Tempus. ISBN 978-2-262-02282-2.(French)
- Bachrach, Bernard S. (1978). "The Idea of the Angevin Empire". Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 10 (4): 293–299. JSTOR 4048161.
- Bachrach, Bernard S. (1984). "Henry II and the Angevin Tradition of Family Hostility". Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 16 (2): 111–130. JSTOR 4049284.
- Barlow, Frank (1936). "The English, Norman and French Councils Called to Deal with the Papal Schism of 1159". The English Historical Review 51 (202): 264–268. JSTOR 553521.
- Barlow, Frank (1986). Thomas Becket. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. ISBN 978-0-297-79189-8.
- Barlow, Frank (1999). The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216 (5th ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education. ISBN 0-582-38117-7.
- Barratt, Nick (2007). "Finance and the Economy in the Reign of Henry II". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Bates, David (1994). "The Rise and Fall of Normandy, c. 911–1204". In Bates, David; Curry, Anne. England and Normandy in the Middle Ages. London: Hambledon Press. ISBN 978-1-85285-083-8.
- Bates, David (1997). "The Prosopographical Study of Anglo-Norman Royal Charters". In Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. Family Trees and the Roots of Politics: The Prosopography of Britain and France From the Tenth to the Twelfth Century. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-625-5.
- Bates, David (1994). "Introduction: La Normandie et l'Angleterre de 900 à 1204". In Bouet, Pierre; Gazeau, Véronique. La Normandie et l’Angleterre au Moyen Âge. Caen, France: Publications du CRAHM. ISBN 978-2-902685-14-1. (French)
- Biancalana, Joseph (1988). "For Want of Justice: Legal Reforms of Henry II". Columbia Law Review 88 (3): 433–536. JSTOR 1122686.
- Blackburn, Mark (1994). "Coinage and Currency". In King, Edmund. The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-820364-0.
- Boussard, Jacques (1956). Le Gouvernement d'Henri II Plantagenêt. Paris: F. Paillart. OCLC 489829937. (French)
- Bradbury, Jim (2009). Stephen and Matilda: the Civil War of 1139–53. Stroud, UK: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7509-3793-1.
- Brand, Paul (2007). "Henry II and the Creation of the English Common Law". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Brooke, Z. N.; Brooke, C. N. L. (1946). "Henry II, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine". The English Historical Review 61 (239): 81–89. JSTOR 554838.
- Bull, Marcus (2007). "Criticism of Henry II's Expedition to Ireland in William of Canterbury's Miracles of St Thomas Becket". Journal of Medieval History 33: 107–129.
- Carpenter, David (2004). The Struggle for Mastery: The Penguin History of Britain 1066–1284. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-014824-4.
- Chibnall, Marjorie (1993). The Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19028-8.
- Coulson, Charles (1994). "The Castles of the Anarchy". In King, Edmund. The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-820364-0.
- Crouch, David (2002). The Normans: The History of a Dynasty. London: Hambledon. ISBN 978-1-85285-595-6.
- Davis, Ralph Henry Carless (1977). King Stephen (1st ed.). London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-48727-7.
- Davies, R. R. (1990). Domination and Conquest: The Experience of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1100–1300. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-02977-3.
- Duggan, Charles (1962). "The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks". Bulletin of the Institute for Historical Research 35 (91): 1–28.
- Duggan, Charles (1965). "From the Conquest to the Reign of John". In Lawrence, Clifford Hughes. The English Church and the Papacy in the Middle Ages. London: Burns and Oates. OCLC 271420497.
- Dunbabin, Jean (2007). "Henry II and Louis VII". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Eyton, Robert William (1878). Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II. London: Taylor and Company. OCLC 5121556.
- Everard, Judith A. (2000). Brittany and the Angevins: Province and Empire 1158–1203. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-66071-6.
- Gillingham, John (1984). The Angevin Empire (1st ed.). London: Edward Arnold. ISBN 0-7131-6249-X.
- Gillingham, John (2007a). "Doing Homage to the King of France". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Gillingham, John (2007b). "The Cultivation of History, Legend and Courtesy at the Court of Henry II". In Kennedy, Ruth; Meechan-Jones, Simon. Writers in the Reign of Henry II. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-6644-5.
- Hallam, Elizabeth M.; Everard, Judith A. (2001). Capetian France, 987–1328 (2nd ed.). Harlow, England: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-40428-1.
- Hosler, John D. (2007). Henry II: A Medieval Soldier at War, 1147–1189. Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-15724-8.
- Holt, J. C. (1994). "1153: The Treaty of Westminster". In King, Edmund. The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-820364-0.
- Huscroft, Richard (2005). Ruling England, 1042–1217. Harlow, UK: Pearson. ISBN 0-582-84882-2.
- Jolliffe, John Edward (1963). Angevin Kingship (2nd ed.). London: Black. OCLC 10520929.
- Jones, Thomas M. (1973). "The Generation Gap of 1173–74: The War Between the Two Henrys". Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 5 (1): 24–40. JSTOR 4048355.
- King, Edmund (2007). "The Accession of Henry II". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- King, Edmund (2010). King Stephen. New Haven, US: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11223-8.
- Martindale, Jane (1999). "Eleanor of Aquitaine: The Last Years". In Church, Stephen D. King John: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0-85115-947-8.
- Martinson, Amanda A. (2007). The Monastic Patronage of King Henry II in England, 1154–1189 (Ph.D. thesis). St Andrews, UK: University of St Andrews. http://hdl.handle.net/10023/470.
- Musset, Lucien (1986). "Une aristocratie d'affaires anglo-normande après la conquête". Etudes normande 35 (3). (French)
- Nightingale, P. (1982). "Some London Moneyers, and Reflections on the Organization of English Mints in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries". Numismatic Chronicle 142: 34–50.
- Palmer, R. Barton (2007). "Queering the Lion Heart: Richard I in The Lion in Winter on Stage and Screen". In Kelly, Kathleen Coyne; Pugh, Tison. Queer Movie Medievalisms. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-7592-1.
- Peltzer, Jörg (2004). "Henry II and the Norman Bishops". The English Historical Review 114 (484): 1202–1229.
- Poole, Reginald L. (1927). "Henry II, Duke of Normandy". The English Historical Review 42 (168): 569–572. JSTOR 552415.
- Power, Daniel (2007). "Henry, Duke of the Normans (1149/50-1189)". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Round, John H. (1888). "Danegeld and the Finance of Domesday". In Dove, P. E. Domesday Studies. London: Longmans, Green, and Company. OCLC 25186487.
- Strickland, Matthew (2007). "On the Instruction of a Prince: The Upbringing of Henry, the Young King". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Stringer, Keith J. (1993). The Reign of Stephen: Kingship, Warfare and Government in Twelfth-Century England. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-01415-1.
- Stubbs, William (1874). The Constitutional History of England, in its Origin and Development. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. OCLC 2653225.
- Tiwawi, Subha; Tiwawi, Maneesha (2007). The Plays of T.S. Eliot. New Delhi: Atlantic. ISBN 978-81-269-0649-9.
- Turner, Ralph (2009). King John: England's Evil King?. Stroud UK: History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4850-3.
- Turner, Ralph (2011). Eleanor of Aquitaine. New Haven, US: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-17820-3.
- Vincent, Nicholas (2007a). "Introduction: Henry II and the Historians". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Vincent, Nicholas (2007b). "The Court of Henry II". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas. Henry II: New Interpretations. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.
- Warren, W. L. (1991). King John. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-45520-3.
- Warren, W. L. (2000). Henry II (Yale ed.). New Haven, U.S.: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08474-0.
- Weiler, Björn (2007). "Kings and Sons: Princely Rebellions and the Structures of Revolt in Western Europe, c.1170-c.1280". Historical Research 82 (215): 17–40.
- White, Graeme J. (2000). Restoration and Reform, 1153–1165: Recovery From Civil War in England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55459-6.
- Henry II at the Open Directory Project
- Henry II World History Database
- Medieval Sourcebook: Angevin England
- The Henry Project
Henry II of EnglandBorn: 5 March 1133 Died: 6 July 1189
|King of England
with Henry the Young King
Richard the Lionheart
|Duke of Normandy
Count of Anjou and Maine
with Henry the Young King
as sole ruler
|Duke of Aquitaine
|Count of Poitiers