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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Hadrianus IV, Pope
Hadrianus IV, Pope
Henry Plantagenet
Stephen I died in 1154 and Henry Plantagenet became Henry II of England. He was descended from William the Conqueror and through his mother, Matilda, from the Anglo-Saxons.

He married Eleanor of Aquitaine who had been married to Louis VII of France and so Aquitaine passed from France to England.

Henry II saw the need for central government. He wanted to strengthen his control of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In 1157 Malcolm of Scotland paid homage to Henry and Scotland did not regain her independence until Richard I's reign.

Wales continued to be fractious and it was not until 1176 that the Welsh made their peace with Henry.

Ireland was next.

HENRY II (1133-1189)

  • Aged 14 he was fighting for his mother's claim to the English throne
  • In 1151 his father died and he became Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy
  • In 1152 he married Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • In 1154 he became King of England
  • In 1171 he invaded Ireland and was recognised as Lord by nearly all the Irish kings
  • In 1173 the Count of Toulouse paid homage
  • In 1173 his wife and sons turned against him and he quarrelled fatally with his one time friend Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Created the judicial system and the Common Law
  • Died 1189, Richard I became King

did you know?
Henry II's lands stretched from the Arctic to the Pyranees.

Select historical period

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1154Henry II becomes king
Nicholas Breakspear becomes Pope Adrian IV
1155Henry receives papal bull to conquer and rule Ireland
1162Thomas Becket becomes archbishop of Canterbury
1164Constitutions of Clarendon are issued
1165William I, the Lion, of Scots
1170Richard de Clare invades Ireland
1177Henry II's youngest son, John, is made lord of Ireland
1183Henry the Young King dies
1189Henry is defeated by his son Richard and Philip II Augustus of France
Richard I, the Lionheart, becomes king

1154-1189 Henry II
1189-1199 Richard I, the Lionheart
1199-1216 John I, Lackland
1216-1272 Henry III
1272-1307 Edward I
1307-1327 Edward II
1327-1377 Edward III
1377-1399 Richard II

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