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Showing posts from September, 2013

Montlouis and Other September Anniversaries

On 30 September 1174 aconference at Mountlouis, between Tours and Amboise brought the Great Revolt to an end. The victoriuos Henry IIopened the meeting probably the day before, Michaelmas being one of the traditional days for peacemaking in the medieval calendar.Henry the Young King and his younger brothers had no other choice but to accept their father’s terms. The young Henry received two castles in Normandy and £ 15,000 in Angevin currency per annum, but he was to allow his youngest brother John to have Nottingham, Marlborough, and estates in Normandy and Anjou to the value of £ 2,000 annually, plus five castles. Richard received two castles and half the revenues of Poitou, and Geoffrey received half the inheritance of his future wife, Constance, the heiress to Brittany. A general amnesty was granted, with the noble exceptions of William I of Scotland, the earls of Chester and Leicester, and a Breton lord Ralph de Fourages. Here are other important September anniversaries: August/Sep…

More Henry... Funny, Obscure, Hard to Believe. A Few Facts About Henry the Young King. Part II

I have decided to pluck from obscurity a few more interesting facts about the Young King. Enjoy the reading as much as I enjoyed the writing!
- Henry was first and foremost the champion and patron of the tournaments. And, although his own father, the king* and most of the contemporary chroniclers were unanimous in finding it his greatest sin, he won his fame rushing all over France and participating in virtually all possible meetings. As Professor Crouch underlines “… the career of Henry, the eldest son of King Henry II of England, cannot be understood unless you fully appreciate how he made the international tournament circuit his very own… [because] the tournament was not just an expensive amusement. Everyone who was anyone in the western aristocracies took to the fields of northern France…” (Tournament, p.21)

- Thanks to the History of William Marshal we know that in 1179 at the great tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne “there were fifteen flying their banners... and at least two hundred a…

A Few Facts About Henry the Young King

Henry the Young King was the only king of England crowned in his father’s lifetime. In this his father, Henry II followed the continental tradition. The Capetian rulers had their heirs crowned during their reign in order to avoid even a momentary interregnum and disorder. Louis VI, for instance, still active monarch, had his son, also Louis, anointed in Rheims cathedral already in 1131. It was not until 1137 that Louis began his independent rule and only upon his father’s death. The same Louis had his only son, Philip crowned in 1179, a year before he himself died. Today I would like to introduce a few facts about Henry the Young King everyone should know.
- Henry (b. 28 February 1155) was not meant to be a king. The crown was to be inherited by his elder brother, William (b.17 August 1153). Unfortunately, at the age of three, William became seriously ill and died, the only child of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, who failed to reach maturity. Upon his untimely passing, Henry, the s…

3 September 1189. Richard I's Coronation

After landing at Portsmouth on 13 August 1189, Richard, the younger brother of Henry the Young King, was crowned king of England “on the third of September, being Sunday, the feast of the ordination of Pope St Gregory”. Following the tradition, the ceremony- always an elaborate affair, consisting of prayers and rites- took place in Westminster Abbey on a Sunday*. It was described by Roger of Howden, whose account became the first full and detailed description of a coronation from this period. Thanks to Howden we know that the nineteen archbishops, bishops and bishops-elect, the thirteen abbots (two from France), the eleven earls, the seventeen great barons and officials participated. The elder brother of William Marshal, John was responsible for ‘carrying  in his hands two large and heavy spurs from the king’s treasure’, that Godfrey the Luci was the one who went next to him carrying the royal cope, and that William himself was carrying ‘the royal sceptre, on the top of which was a go…