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Showing posts from March, 2013

March Anniversaries

March 1176
Henry the Young King, after having spent almost two years on English soil solely in his father’s company, missing his former life on the tournament field, asked the latter’s permission to go on pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostella. With all probability it was meant to serve as a cover to escape his father’s influence. Henry II must have seen through his son, for he flatly refused to provide for so extended an expedition. Still he gave him leave to cross to the continent, where, as Ralph of Diceto wrote in his Images, ‘he passed three years in tournaments, spending a lot of money. While he was rushing around all over France he put aside the royal majesty and was transformed from a king into a knight, carrying off victory in various meetings. His popularity made him famous…’ (p.152).
2 March 1127 The murder of Count Charles of Flanders, who was assassinated while kneeling at morning prayer in the church of St Donatien in Bruges. Charles died childless and his dea…

Liebster Blog Award

Many thanks to my friend and Henry the Young King’s benefactor (I will never forget all the links and mentions of Henry blog) Kathryn Warner for giving me a Liebster (German for ‘favourite’) Blog Award! I cannot find proper words to express my gratitude, although the questions and the answers have given me many a sleepless night.
Here are the rules of the Liebster Blog Award:
Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.
My answers to Kathryn’s questions:
What’s your favourite novel and what do you love about it? Definitely Devil’s Brood

Henry’s Knighting, March 1173

Usually a knighting ceremony was an elaborate and elevated affair filled with religious pomp and followed by military games and exuberant celebration, which could extend in time long after the ceremony itself was over. But in case of Henry the Young King it might not have been so. It is hard to imagine our young lord undergoing the same rituals mentioned by John of Martimour in his Historia Gaufredi and concerning Henry’s grandfather, Geoffrey of Anjou. Why? The answer is simple: at the time of his knighting Henry was in the midst of a war campaign against his father.



Initially Henry the Young King was to be dubbed by his father-in-law, Louis VII of France, but chose to ask his most faithful companion and tutor in arms, William Marshal to lead him into manhood. It is worth to mention the events that preceded the ceremony. Young Henry had quarreled with his father over his status of the co-king of England. He had been crowned king in 1170, becoming also  co-duke of Normandy and co-count…

‘By the Example of the Undutiful Absalom’. 5 March 1173

King Henry the king’s son, following wicked advice, turned away from his father; and leaving Argentan* by night, the servants of his father who looked after his needs knowing nothing about it, he went on 23 March via Mortagne, a castle of Theobald count of Perche, to his father-in-law, King Louis of France. That same night his father sleeping at Alencon was woken and told of his son’s flight. (Diceto, Images of History)

On 5 March 1173 (Eyton, Itinerary, p.171)** Henry the Young King, under cover of the dark (with all probability before daybreak), slipped past the castle guards and escaped from Chinon, where, on his father’s order, he was held- there is no other way to put it- under house arrest. Via Alencon (6 March), Argentan (7 March) and Mortagne (8 March) he went to seek help and support at his father-in-law’s court (then at Chartres), the action which marked the beginning of the Great Revolt of 1173-74, although ‘nearly three months passed before war actually broke out.’ (Norgate…