Kevin Patrick Mostyn Family - Person Sheet
Kevin Patrick Mostyn Family - Person Sheet
NameHenry II 'Curtmantle' PLANTAGENET King Of England, 24G Grandfather
MotherMatilda Empress Of Germany (~1102-1167)
ChildrenMatilda (1156-1189)
 Eleanor (1162-1214)
 John 'Lackland' (1167-1216)
ChildrenWilliam (Illegitimate) (~1173-1226)
Web Notes notes for Henry II 'Curtmantle' PLANTAGENET King Of England
Reigned 1154-1189. He ruled an empire that stretched from the Tweed to the Pyrenees. In spite of frequent hostilities with the French King his own family and rebellious Barons (culminating in the great revolt of 1173-74) and his quarrel with Thomas Becket, Henry maintained control over his possessions until shortly before his death. His judicial and administrative reforms which increased Royal control and influence at the expense of the Barons were of great constitutional importance. Introduced trial by Jury. Duke of Normandy.

His mother was supposed to become Queen of England upon the death of her father, King Henry I, however her first cousin, Stephen of Blois, went straight to London on the death of Henry I, and was crowned King of England in 1135. For years Matilda waged civil war against King Stephen, to obtain the crown. By 1153, Matilda had retired to Normandy, but Henry had grown to manhood, and took her place. He was joined by all her old supporters, and this time the matter was settled without further bloodshed by the Treaty of Westminster. It was agreed that Stephen should retain the crown for life and that Henry should succeed him. In 1154, King Stephen died, and Henry became King Henry II of England.

From "Debrett's Kings and Queens of Britain" by David Williamson, ISBN 0-86350-101-X, p. 53-55:
Acceded 25 Oct 1154. Crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on 19 Dec 1154. He had a strong claim to the English throne: his mother was the only surviving legitimate child of King Henry I. During the civil war in England, his father had taken the opportunity to acquire Normandy from the preoccupied King Stephen of England and in 1150 invested his son Henry with the duchy. The next year, Geoffrey died, and Henry succeeded to the counties of Anjou and Maine. In 1152 he was seduced by Eleanor of Aquitaine, a woman 11 or so years his senior, and their subsequent marriage added further to his French dominions. King Stephen's agreement to his claim to the English throne, and his accession on Stephen's death in 1154 made him the ruler of a greater empire than any of his predecessors.
The early years of his reign were spent in restoring law and order and recovering Crown lands and prerogatives dissipated by King Stephen. In this he was ably assisted by the Church, and a brilliant young cleric Thomas a Becket, a protege of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury. Thomas rose swiftly to power as the King's chief advisor. Plans to invade Ireland in 1155 fell through, but Malcom IV, King of Scots, was forced to restore the northern counties of England which had been ceded to his grandfather David I. An invasion of North Wales took place in 1157 followed in 1159 by a campaign in France to assert Queen Eleanor's claim to the county of Toulouse. This was unsuccessful and an uneasy peace was concluded between Eleanor's former husband Louis VII, whose daughter Margaret, by his 2d wife, was betrothed to Henry and Eleanor's eldest surviving son.
Henry returned to England in 1163 and almost at once began a quarrel with the Church which occupied the next few years of his reign. Henry had raised his Chancellor Thomas a Becket to the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 1162, and in order to show that he was no mere cipher of the King, Becket set out to prove his independence. An argument developed between them over the issue of 'criminous clerks' and in 1164 Becket was forced to leave the country and Henry impounded the revenues of the archbishopric. Eventually, threat of a papal interdict forced a reconciliation and Becket returned to England in 1170. The story of Henry's exasperated utterance 'will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?' leading to Becket's murder in his own cathedral on 29 Dec 1170 was disastrous to Henry's cause against the Church, but he cannot be considered altogether culpable. He was stricken with remorse and his public penance at Becket's tomb, while expediently obtaining papal absolution at the price of a complete surrender over the matters in dispute, exhibited a genuine sorrow at the loss of a once dear and trusted friend.
In 1170 Henry had his eldest surviving son, a boy of 15 also called Henry, crowned at Westminster Abbey, borrowing a custom which had grown up at the French court to ensure a peaceful succession. Louis VII took exception to the fact that his daughter Margaret, the "Young King's" wife was not also crowned, and to satisfy him the ceremony was repeated at Winchester, with Margaret participating, in Aug 1172. At the banquet which followed the coronation King Henry II served his son himself, remarking that "No other King in Christendom has such a butler." "It is only fitting that the son of a Count should wait on the son of a King" was his son's reply. Young King Henry did not live to become Henry III, dying long before his father in 1183. His only child died in infancy and Margaret remarried and ended her days as Queen of Hungary.
The latter part of Henry's reign was taken up by quarrels with and between his sons, stirred into rebellion by their mother from whom he had separated. In 1189 Henry was at Tours when he received the news that his youngest and favorite son John was in league with his enemies. It broke his heart. At 56 he was prematurely aged, worn out by the exertion of trying to hold together his unwieldy empire. On 30 Jun he was struck down by fever, yet on 4 Jul set out to meet Philip of France at Colombieres. While the 2 Kings spoke, still mounted, a sudden thunder clap caused Henry's horse to rear and throw him. He made his peace with Philip and was carried in a litter to the Castle of Chinon. His last 2 days were embittered by wrangling with a deputation of monks from Canterbury come to demand further concessions for their order. Nearing his end, Henry asked to be carried before the altar of the castle church, where, deliriously cursing the day he was born and calling down heaven's vengeance on his sons, he suffered a violent hemorrhage and died almost immediately. He was buried in the Abbey of Fontevraud.
He was sturdily build with a large head. He was clean shaven, had grey eyes and inherited the red hair of his Norman ancestors, which he wore cut short. His nickname of 'Curtmantle' came from the short Continental cloak he wore, which appeared strange to English eyes. He was a man of action, athletic, energetic, and self-disciplined. He spoke not only Latin and French, but also all languages from the French sea to the Jordan. His mother, who retained a great influence on him until her death in 1167, had taken care with his education and he was well-grounded in law and history.

Before leaving Europe on the Crusades, he had a stormy meeting with his son Richard and King Philip of France, to whom Richard did homage for his French possessions, much to his father's annoyance.

From Irish Roots, 1994 #4, page 15, 'Surnames of County Leitrim':
One of the most momentous events in Irish history, the elopement of Dervorgilla, took place on O'Rourke territory. sometime around 1160 Tiernan O'Rourke's wife, Dervorgilla, eloped with Diarmuid MacMurrough. In 1166 O'Rourke marched on Leinster, where Diarmuid was king. MacMurrough sought aid from King Henry II of England and he, with the blessings of an English Pope, Adrian IV, sent Strongbow. This led effectively to the English occupation of Ireland.

From the book "The Oxford History of Ireland" edited by R. F. Foster, 1992, ISBN 0-19-285271-X, page 47-8:
The idea of invading Ireland had been discussed from time to time at the English court during the reigns of William the conqueror and Henry I, and immediately after the accession of King Henry II. The secretary of the archbishop of Canterbury was sent as an envoy of Henry II to the English pope, Adrian IV. As a result, the pope invested Henry and his successors with the right to rule Ireland, since, by virtue of a clause in the Donation of Constantine, the pope was held to be lord of all the islands of the sea. Henry II did not divert his forces towards Ireland because at the outset of his reign his hold on England itself was insecure. When King Dermot approached him for help in 1166, Henry II was not prepared to become actively involved. He accepted homage and fealty from the Irish ruler and authorized his own subjects to come to MacMurrough's aid.

King Henry II granted the O'Carroll country (in Ireland) to Philip de Worcester and Theobald Fitzwalter, but his son, King John, sold the same country to William de Braosa. This led to complications. Fitzwalter, who was the first of the Irish Butlers, entered into an arrangement with de Braosa, explained in some charters.118

Henry II., on his invasion of North Wales, in 1157, advanced to Rhuddlan without any resistance, repaired the castle, and strengthened the fortifications with additional works; and, previously to his return into England, garrisoned it with a strong body of his own forces. The Welsh chieftains having, in 1165, entered into a confederacy to throw off the allegiance which they had sworn to this monarch, Henry, aware of the importance of Rhuddlan Castle as a grand border fortress, and judging that it would be the first object of their attack, advanced hastily to protect it; but the enemy retiring upon his approach, the king, not being in sufficient force to pursue them, remained here only for a few days, and, having reinforced the garrison, returned to England.
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