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HENRY II, King of England, and Eleanor of Acquitaine

HENRY II, King of England. Curtmantle. [CHART A1].
Born (5-S5, S6)(25-S4) MAR 1133 at Le Mans, Anjou, France; son of Geoffrey V, Plantagenet, and Matilda of England. He was christened at LeMans. He was brought up in Anjou.

Peter of Blois left a description of Henry II in 1177: ...the lord king has been red-haired so far, except that the coming of old age and gray hair has altered that color somewhat. His height is medium, so that neither does he appear great among the small, nor yet does he seem small among the great... curved legs, a horseman's shins, broad chest, and a boxer's arms all announce him as a man strong, agile and bold... he never sits, unless riding a horse or eating... In a single day, if necessary, he can run through four or five day-marches and, thus foiling the plots of his enemies, frequently mocks their plots with surprise sudden arrivals...Always are in his hands bow, sword, spear and arrow, unless he be in council or in books.

Another contemporary, Gerald of Wales, described him thus: A man of reddish, freckled complexion, with a large, round head, grey eyes that glowed fiercely and grew bloodshot in anger, a fiery countenance and a harsh, cracked voice. His neck was poked forward slightly from his shoulders, his chest was broad and square, his arms strong and powerful. His body was stocky, with a pronounced tendency toward fatness, due to nature rather than self-indulgence -- which he tempered with exercise.

He was called Curt Mantle because of the practical short cloaks he wore, and sometimes "The Lion of Justice", which had also applied to his grandfather Henry I.

He visited England in 1149 to help his mother in her disputed claim to the English throne, in the civil war in which his mother Matilda had fought unsuccessfully for the English crown.

Henry succeeded his father as Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy in 1151, thus prior to coming to the throne he already controlled Normandy and Anjou.

He married Eleanor of Aquitane [110692417] on 18 MAY (1152-S4)(1153) in the Bordeaux Cathedral, Bordeaux, France.

In August 1152, Henry, previously occupied in fighting Eleanor's ex-husband Louis VII of France and his allies, rushed back to her, and they spent several months together. Around the end of November 1152 they parted: Henry went to spend some weeks with his mother and then sailed for England, arriving on 6 January 1153. Some historians believe that the couple's first child, William, Count of Poitiers, was born in 1153.

His marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine on 18 May 1152 added her holdings to his, including Touraine, Aquitaine, and Gascony. He thus effectively became more powerful than the king of France — with an empire (the Angevin Empire) that stretched from the Solway Firth almost to the Mediterranean and from the Somme to the Pyrenees. As king, he would make Ireland a part of his vast domain. He also maintained lively communication with the Emperor of Byzantium Manuel I Comnenus.

He acceded to the throne of England on 25 OCT 1154, succeeding his cousin Stephen as king of England. His official coronation was on 19 DEC 1154 at Westminster.

Coat of arms:

Henry II's coat of arms were gules a lion rampant or (red background with a golden lion on hind legs).

Following the disputed reign of King Stephen, Henry's reign saw efficient consolidation. Henry II has acquired a reputation as one of England's greatest medieval kings. During his reign he controlled at various times parts of Wales, Scotland, eastern Ireland, and western France. He ranks as the first of the Plantagenet or Angevin Kings.

During Stephen's reign the barons had subverted the state of affairs to undermine the monarch's grip on the realm; Henry II saw it as his first task to reverse this shift in power. For example, Henry had castles which the barons had built without authorisation during Stephen's reign torn down, and scutage, a fee paid by vassals in lieu of military service, became by 1159 a central feature of the king's military system. Record keeping improved dramatically in order to streamline this taxation.

Henry II established courts in various parts of England, and first instituted the royal practice of granting magistrates the power to render legal decisions on a wide range of civil matters in the name of the Crown. His reign saw the production of the first written legal textbook, providing the basis of today's "Common Law".

By the Assize of Clarendon (1166), trial by jury became the norm. Since the Norman Conquest jury trials had been largely replaced by trial by ordeal and "wager of battel" (which English law did not abolish until 1819). Provision of justice and landed security was further toughened in 1176 with the Assize of Northampton, a build on the earlier agreements at Clarendon. This reform proved one of Henry's major contributions to the social history of England. As a consequence of the improvements in the legal system, the power of church courts waned. The church, not unnaturally, opposed this and found its most vehement spokesman in Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, formerly a close friend of Henry's and his Chancellor. Henry had appointed Becket to the archbishopric precisely because he wanted to avoid conflict.

In 1170, his eldest surviving son Henry was crowned as joint king. However, Henry the younger died before his father in 1183, and so is not usually considered in the list of monarchs. The conflict with Becket effectively began with a dispute over whether the secular courts could try clergy who had committed a secular offence. Henry attempted to subdue Becket and his fellow churchmen by making them swear to obey the "customs of the realm", but controversy ensued over what constituted these customs, and the church proved reluctant to submit. Following a heated exchange at Henry's court, Becket left England in 1164 for France to solicit in person the support of Pope Alexander III, who was in exile in France due to dissention in the college of Cardinals, and of King Louis VII of France. Due to his own precarious position, Alexander remained neutral in the debate, although Becket remained in exile loosely under the protection of Louis and Pope Alexander until 1170. After a reconciliation between Henry and Thomas in Normandy in 1170, Becket returned to England. Becket again confronted Henry, this time over the coronation of Prince Henry (see below). The much-quoted, although probably apocryphal, words of Henry II echo down the centuries: "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" Although Henry's violent rants against Becket over the years were well documented, this time four of his knights took their king literally (as he may have intended for them to do, although he later denied it) and travelled immediately to England, where they assassinated Becket in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29, 1170.

As part of his penance for the death of Becket, Henry agreed to send money to the Crusader states in Palestine, which the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar would guard until Henry arrived to make use of it on pilgrimage or crusade. Henry delayed his crusade for many years and in the end never went at all, despite a visit to him by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem in 1184 and being offered the crown of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1188 he levied the Saladin tithe to pay for a new crusade; the chronicler Giraldus Cambrensis suggested his death was a divine punishment for the tithe, imposed to raise money for an abortive crusade to recapture Jerusalem, which had fallen to Saladin in 1187.)

Henry's notorious liaison with Rosamund Clifford, the "fair Rosamund" of legend, probably began in 1165 during one of his Welsh campaigns and continued until her death in 1176. However, it was not until 1174, at around the time of his break with Eleanor, that Henry acknowledged Rosamund as his mistress. Almost simultaneously he began negotiating the annulment of his marriage and to marry Alys, daughter of King Louis VII of France and already betrothed to Henry's son Richard. Henry's affair with Alys continued for some years, and, unlike Rosamund Clifford, Alys allegedly gave birth to one of Henry's illegitimate children.

Henry also had a number of illegitimate children by various women, and Eleanor had several of those children reared in the royal nursery with her own children. Some remained members of the household into adulthood. Among them were William de Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, (whose mother was Ida, Countess of Norfolk); Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, (son of a woman named Ykenai); Morgan, Bishop of Durham; and Matilda, Abbess of Barking.

Henry II's attempt to divide his titles amongst his sons but keep the power associated with them provoked them into trying to take control of the lands assigned to them (see Revolt of 1173-1174), which amounted to treason, at least in Henry's eyes. Gerald of Wales reports that when King Henry gave the kiss of peace to his son Richard, he said softly, May the Lord never permit me to die until I have taken due vengeance upon you.

When Henry's legitimate sons rebelled against him, they often had the help of King Louis VII of France. Henry's third son, Richard the Lionheart (1157–1199), with the assistance of Philip II Augustus of France, attacked and defeated Henry on 4 July 1189.

Henry died 6 July 1189 at Chinon Castle (Chateau Chinon), France; and was buried near Chinon at Fontevraud Abbey, France. Henry's illegitimate son Geoffrey, Archbishop of York also stood by him the whole time, and alone among his sons attended on Henry's deathbed.

Eleanor of Acquitaine. (Anore d'Aquitaine). Countess Of Saintonge, Angoumois, Limousin, Auvergne, Bordeaux, Agen. Duchess of Aquitaine
Born in (1122)(1124-S5) at Chateau De Belin, Guinne, France; Daughter of GUILLAUME X and Alienor of Chastellerault(William VIII), Count of Poiters and Duke of Guienne and Aquitaine and Alienor (Eleanor) de CHASTELLERAULT.

She married (1) LOUIS VII Capet "The Younger" King of France on 22 Jul 1137 at Bordeaux Cathedral, Bordeaux, France.

Their marriage was annulled in 1152.

She married (2) Henry II, King of England on 18 MAY (1151-S6 chronicles of Ralph de Diceto., i, 293 and S6 chronicles of Robert de Torigni)(1152-S4,S6 chronicles of S. Albini Andegav)(1153) in the Bordeaux Cathedral, Bordeaux, France and at Whitsuntide, ENG

She died (1162-Burke)(in 1202)(26 JUN 1202)(31 MAR 1204-S3,S5)(1 APR 1204-S6) at Fontevraud Abbey, Maine-et-Loire, France; and was buried at the Fontevraud Abbey.

CHILDREN of Eleanor and Louis:

CHILDREN of Henry II [110692416] and Eleanor of Aquitaine [110692417]:

HENRY II is associated with:
Daughter of Walter FitzRichard Fitzpons, Baron of Clifford, and Margaret de TOENI. She died in 1176. Rosamond Clifford is falsely stated by many sources to be the mother of Geoffrey and William. Modern scholarship shows that neither of them was her son. Apparently they had no children together. [See DNB 4, 531-3 for a biographical sketch of Rosamond Clifford-S6].

HENRY II is associated with:
Ida, Countess of Norfolk, wife of Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk.
While it had been known for some time that the mother of William was a "countess" Ida, her identity was only recently proven. As one of two known contemporary English countesses named Ida, the wife of Roger Bigod had already been a prime candidate [see Reed (2002), which was going to press just as the crucial discovery was made]. Convincing proof of her identity as the wife of Roger Bigod was only recently discovered by Raymond W. Phair, who announced his discovery in the soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup on 3 July 2002, and then published it in The American Genealogist [Phair (2002)], citing a list of prisoners after the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, in which Ralph Bigod was called a brother of the earl of Salisbury. The parentage of Ida remains unknown, but see Reed (2002) for the possibility that she might have been a daughter of Roger de Toeni and Ida of Hainault.

CHILDREN of Henry and Ida, Countess of Norfolk:

HENRY II is associated with:

CHILDREN of Henry and Ykenai:

HENRY II is associated with:
Alisa CAPET.
Born in 1150; daughter of LOUIS VII The Younger, King of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine. She married Theobald IV, Count of BLOIS about 1164. She died in 1198.

CHILDREN of Henry II and Alisa CAPET:

HENRY II is associated with:
Nesta (Nest-S6) BLOET.
(Daughter)(Wife-S6) of Sir Ralph BLOET. (Daughter of Iorwerth ab Owain, lord of Caerlon-S6).

CHILDREN of Henry II and Nesta BLOET:

OTHER CHILDREN OF HENRY II by unknown mistress:



HENRY II, King of England, md Ida.              
William I Longspee md Ela Fitzpatrick.           
William II Longspee md Idonie de Camville.        
Ela Longspee md James de Audley.                  
Hugh de Audley md  Isolde de Mortimer.            
Hugh de Audley md  Margaret de Clare.           
Margaret de Audley.   md Ralph de Stafford.      
Hugh Stafford.  md Philippa de Beauchamp.         
Edmund Stafford.  md Anne of Gloucester.        
Humphrey Stafford.  md Anne Neville.            
Margaret Stafford md Robert Dunham.             
John Dunham md Elizabeth Bowett.                
John Dunham II md Jean Thorland.                 
John Dunham III md Benedict Folgamsee.           
Ralph Dunham.  He married Elizabeth Wentworth.    
Thomas Dunham. He married Jane Bromley.          
John Dunham Sr.. He married Susanna Kenney/Keno.  
John Dunham Jr..  He married Mary.                
Mary Dunham. She married  James Hamblin.          
Elkenah Hamblin.  He married Abigail Hamblin.     
Sylvanus Hamblin.  He married Dorcas Fish.        
Barnabus Hamblin.  He married Mary Bassett.      
Isaiah Hamblin.  He married Daphne Haynes.       
Jacob Vernon Hamblin md Sarah Priscilla Leavitt. 
Ella Ann Hamblin md Warren Moroni Tenney.         
Clive Vernon Tenney md Minnie Williams
Mildred Ella Tenney = Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris