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Showing posts from February, 2016

28 February 1155: Birth of Henry the Young King

In the year 1155 England said farewell to three distinguished men: Geoffrey of Monmouth, the author of what was to become one of the most popular works of the Middle Ages, Historia Regum Britanniae; Henry of Huntingdon, who not only wrote the most extensive work of history of King Stephen's reign (Historia Anglorum), but also a number of formal letters and a collection of miracle stories, both of which he incorporated into his Historia; and Wulfric of Haselbury, the Wiltshire anchorite, but also "social arbitor, prophet and healer” (plus- the fact less known- quite wealthy man). On a more joyful note, 1155 also saw the arrival of a new prince. On 28 February the second son of Henry II of England and Eleanor, Queen of England and Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, was born in the manor of Bermondsey, London. The boy was named Henry and was to go down in history as "the Young King". Before he was safely delivered into this world, Henry could already boast about se…

Queen Eleanor and the Young King. Part II (Guest Post)

Today I am delighted to welcome my friend Ulrik Kristiansen with the 2nd part of his brilliant Eleanor of Aquitaine/Henry the Young King series. Over to you, Ulrik...

This is the second part in my 4-part guest post series. I am thrilled to be allowed to do this, since you probably know by know how interested I am in the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine - and that includes the life of her eldest surviving son. I aim to do a new installment each month, but that has already been derailed due to, well, real life and such.
I had originally written a first draft which put much more emphasis on the possible interpretations of ‘Eleanor’s choice’ of William Marshal as tutor for the Young King, but as I sifted through the source material I discovered - again -that one should be very careful by making too much out of a few lines here and there, which is all we have! So I leave you once again with a post which is as much about my speculations as it is about the few pieces of writing we have from the t…

February News and Anniversaries

February could be called the month of Henry the Young King. Two days ago, for instance, we celebrated an important - at least from Henry's own perspective - anniversary. On 2 February 1169 the then fourteen- year-old Henry performed the duties of Senschal of France at his father-in-law's court for the first time. The postion had been previously held by Theobald of Blois*, but earlier in 1169, at the conference at Montmirail**, Louis VII of France (1120-1180) bestowed it upon the young Henry. Here's what Encyclopedia Britannica says about the office itself: 'Seneschal, French Sénéchal, in medieval and early modern France, a steward or principal administrator in a royal or noble household. As time went on, the office declined in importance and was often equivalent to that of a bailiff; the office and title persisted until the French Revolution.' More info here. Even if the position was only representative one, to Henry - at the time a youth twenty-six days shy of his…