Skip to main content

Thomas Agnellus and De morte et sepultura Henrici regis iunioris

The Young King is dead. "All are overjoyed, all rejoice: the father alone bewails his son". Oh, how wrong Roger of Howden was when he penned this. By "all" he obviously meant Henry II's supporters, but also representatives of the Church who regarded the late king as "second Absalom" and parricide. As we know, however, the young king's untimely passing caused the universal outpouring of grief and his posthumous fame as a prodigal son who returned to his father on his deathbed and died almost a martyr's death triggered off the events that could have led to his canonization. When Henry lay dying in the humble house of a blacksmith in the obscure little town of Martel, Limousin, he couldn't have foreseen that his death, the surrounding events and its aftermath would become a subject of sermons and, in the long run, research and dissertations not only of the acclaimed academic medievalists, but also of a young and promising Polish historians of the University of Warsaw :)


Today Henry the Young King's posthumous fame continues to spread. Not only thanks to Professor Matthew Strickland's excellent biography, but also thanks to the aforementioned young and promising Polish historians. I have just finished reading my friend's M.A. thesis on Thomas Agnellus and his sermon which at the time of its creation was meant to build up the cult of the late Young King, but, as we all know, failed in achieving its ultimate goal - De morte et sepultura Henrici regis iunioris. The proclamation of royal sanctity in 12th century monarchy of the Plantagenets


Henry the Young King's birthday is fast approaching and thus I have invited Ms Katarzyna Ścierańska, the author of the thesis, to the blog. On 28th February we are going to discuss not only main points of her dissertation, but also main events of Henry's life and short career (his tournament fame included). Hope you will join us. Looking forward to meeting you all on the appointed day :)

Comments

  1. Excellent to hear there's a new thesis out about our favorite dys-family of the 12th cen! :D Is it publicly available (yet)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, no. And it's in Polish. But we will discuss it in detail on the 28th :)

      Delete
  2. I'm really looking forward to more insights for theYoung King!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful. I look forward to the post. 😘

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

14 June 1170. Henry’s First Coronation

On 14 June 1170, Henry II had his son Henry [since then called the Young King] crowned king of England at Westminster, with Rogerof Pont-l’Eveque, Archbishop of York performing the act instead of the exiled Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. Four English bishops assisted at the ceremony. These were Hugh of Durham, Gilbert of London, Jocelyn of Salisbury and Walter of Rochester. The Norman bishops present were Henry of Bayeux and Giles of Evreux. By crowning his eldest surviving son in his own lifetime Henry II followed the continental tradition, which had worked out for French and German kings. The king wanted to avoid future disputes over the succession. The coronation enraged Thomas Becket and renewed the long-lasting dispute over primacy betweenCanterbury andYork. The Archbishop of Canterbury reminded that it was the traditional right of the archbishop ofCanterbury, and not the archbishop ofYork, to perform coronations. In his turn, Archbishop Roger evoked Pope Gregory the Gr…