Skip to main content

All Saints' Day 1179: How Henry the Young King Overshadowed Philippe Auguste

Yes, he really did it! Our Henry performed the feat, despite the low opinion the historians usually hold of him and despite their shared conviction that his reign would have proved a total fiasco, comparable only to the disastrous reign of his nephew and namesake, Henry III. Had Henry lived long enough, with Geoffrey's help, he might have hold on to the Angevin continental domains a little bit longer than his brother John. I am certain that even a cold fish like Philippe Capet would fall victim to Henry's natural charm. Anyway, the funny thing is that on 1 November 1179 Henry actually did not have to do anything to overshadow his brother-in-law. It was enough that he appeared in great style in Reims Cathedral, accompnied by his younger brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, flashed one of his sunny smiles and bedazzled all the present with the richness of his robes, retinue and gifts for Philippe. At least this is how I picture the scene. But enough with my active imagination! Let's rather focus on the facts and the facts can be found here, in one of my previous posts, in which I focused not only on the grand ceremony itself, but also on the tournament that had been organized to celebrate the occasion.

The 15th century manuscript illumination by Jean Fouquet, depicting the coronation of Philippe Auguste. The Young King is holding the crown (image: Wikipedia)

The tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne, in which Henry took part has been described in detail by the author of the History of William Marshal. You can read the whole excerpt here, at Ms Chadwick's brilliant blog. Happy reading! 

Comments

  1. I love that the Young King overshadowed Philippe. And I absolutely love the illumination featuring the Young King. He looks like he was a charmer. :) Shared on fb. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The illumination is a thing of beauty, and Henry in it is a thing of beauty, too :-) Thank you for sharing, Marsha!

      Delete
  2. Great post Kasia, hope all is well with you and yours :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Libby! I am happy you enjoyed it. We are all well here :-)

      Delete
  3. Guess the Young King had all the charm in the family....and John didn't!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judging from what I read about the youngest borther he must have been a charmer, too :-)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

The History of William Marshal on the War of 1183. Part I

The anniversary of Henry the Young King's untimely passing is fast approaching and though I have discussed the surrounding events many times here, on the blog, I have never focused solely on the version introduced by one John, the author of the History of William Marshal. If we are believe to him, this is what happened in the spring of 1183 and these are the roots of the conflict that broke out between the Angevins, the conflict in which brothers stood against each other, and sons stood against father (following the translation by Nigel Bryant):

'(...) the following Lent saw conflict between the three brothers. The Young King and his brother Count Geoffrey, lord of Brittany, angrily left their father, offended and enraged that their brother, the count of Poitiers, with their father's backing, had made so bold as to wage war on the highest nobles of that land and to treat them most unjustly. They'd complained to the Young King and declared that they would sooner serve hi…

28 February 1155: In Celebration of Henry the Young King's Birthday

On the pages of his Chronicon Geoffrey, prior of Vigeois, described in meticulous detail how young Henry packed as much repentance into his deathbed as he could before he passed away.  Geoffrey left nothing unsaid. The hair shirt, bed of ashes, halter around neck, Bernard, bishop of Agen administering the last rites, and many other men of religion … all was there to ‘draw the readers attention away from the affairs of this world to those of the next’. Of course, Geoffrey, a man of religion himself, must have seen young Henry’s untimely passing as a divine punishment. But there were other voices who disagreed with that of the prior. Thomas de Agnellis, for example, in his sermon claimed that as the Young King’s sad retinue was toiling over the jolly sunbathed hills and dales of Aquitaine, it became the focus for many miracles. The rumors of the late king’s sainthood began to circulate. The monasteries pillaged by him shortly before his death- as it happened some of the most sacred shri…