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Showing posts from January, 2014

Henry the Young King's Household

On 14 June 1170 Henry the Young King was crowned co-king of England and established with a household of his own. The 12th century royal household consisted of two separate departments: the mesnie (military household) which together with the officers of the hall was a lay household and the Chancery which was the clerical household, and although Henry never ruled independantly his household was no different in this respect. Judging by his charters, however, the officers were mostly his father's men, at least in the earliest phase of his reign.*

Mesnie and lay officials
Henry's military household was fixed neither in size nor in composition (Painter, p.32). The number of knights and lay officials varied according to circumstances: "war and peace, sedentary periods and travel, great festivals or routine times.” (Bertlett, p.131) At the great tournament held at Lagni-sur-Marne in November 1179 to celebrate the coronation of Henry's brother-in-law, there were two hundred knig…

Henry the Young King's Brothers and Sisters

Today I will discuss briefly Henry's brothers and sisters, including his half-sisters and natural brothers. Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124-1204) and Henry II (1133-1189) had eight children together, seven of whom reached maturity. Moreover, Eleanor had two daughters by her first husband Louis VII of France (1120-1180), Marie (b.1145) and Alix (b.1151). Additionally Henry II fathered a few children born out of wedlock.
Henry the Young King’s eldest brother was William (1153-1156). He was the only child of Eleanor and Henry who failed to survive infancy. Two years older than Henry, he died in his third year and was buried at Reading Abbey, his great-grandfather, Henry I’s resting place. Upon his death, Henry (our Henry) became his father’s heir.
Richard(1157-1199), was Henry’s younger brother, who succeeded their father in 1189. He is most remembered as a crusader king, champion of Christendom, brilliant military commander and warrior. Formally recognised as the Duke of Aquitaine …

Conference at Montmirail. Epiphany Day 1169

Just a short note today, but the one that cannot be missed. On Epiphany Day 1169 Henry the Young King's father and Louis II of France held a conference at Montmirail, a town of Maine, near to the French frontier.Henry II’s three eldest sons were there, as well as Louis’s beloved Dieu-Donne [the God given] Philip [later Augustus]. 
According to the treaty the English princeswere to hold respectively: the young Henry Normandy, Brittany, Anjou and Maine, Richard Poitou and Guienne, Geoffrey Brittany under his brother Henry. It was also agreed that Richard would marry Alais, Louis's second daughter by his late wife Constance of Castile. Alais was the young Henry's sister-in-law. Furthermoreking Louis, the young Henry's father-in-law bestowed upon him the post of Seneschal of France, previously held by Theobald of Blois (the same year, on 2 February Henry, in person, would be attending Louis's table and performing his duties as required by the new position).
The next da…

Happy New Year And A Guest Post By Mr John Hinson

Happy New Year to Henry the Young King readers. May this coming year be a good one and see all our hopes fulfilled. It has already had an auspicous beginning: 21,000 views of our blog and a lovely New Year gift for our readers from a fellow Sharon Kay Penman's fan, John Hinson. John has kindly agreed to share with us his impressions after reading Devil's Brood, the novel in which Henry the Young King appears as one of the main characters. John wanted me to say that he has only been reading Miss Penman's books for a year now having an interest in history, but no in depth knowledge of the times. The author however has educated him so much that he feels confident to stand up and talk to a roomful of people about Medieval Europe! Over to you John....
Devil’s Brood was a truly exciting and educating read. Starting in a remote coastal outpost of medieval Wales, it chronicles the life of Henry II following the scandal of the murder of Thomas Becket. I found myself thoroughly absor…