Henry Plantegent "Henry II"

Henry II, was born in Le Mans, France on 5th March 1133, his father was Geoffrey V, Geoffrey of Anjou, mother Matilda of England, daughter of Henry I of England. Henry II was also known as Henry Plantagenet. Henry became actively involved in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois, and was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards married Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had been annulled. Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153: Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death. Henry was crowned king on 19th December 1154.

During the early years of Henry's reign he restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII over several decades. Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse, despite numerous peace conferences and treaties no lasting agreement was reached. By 1172, he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France, an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Henry and Eleanor had eight children. As they grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest; he was joined by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey and by their mother, Eleanor. France, Scotland, Flanders and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by his vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death. The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry would make John king, and a final rebellion broke out in 1189. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon in Anjou, where he died. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Henry II died at the age of 56, on 6th July 1189, and was buried in Fontevrand Abbey, France. Henry II successor was Richard I.

Dover Castle's Great Tower was built in the reign of King Henry II,

Click on here for Dover Castle or Click the lInk the Henry Trail >