Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Henry II

Henry II., son of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, and Matilda or Maud, daughter of Henry I., was born in 1133 at Le Mans. He came to England in his ninth year, but passed the next few years at the Scottish court. In 1151 he became Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, and next year by his marriage with Eleanor, divorced wife of Louis VII. of France, acquired Aquitaine and other territory in the south of France. At the end of the Civil War he returned to England, and by the Treaty of Winchester (1153) was acknowledged heir to the crown, to which he succeeded at the end of 1154. He took up the work of his grandfather, and with the help of Archbishop Theobald and other officials, especially Thomas Becket (q.v.) the chancellor, demolished the baronial castles, reformed the coinage and re-established order under the authority of the Crown. This chiefly occupied the first ten years of the reign: the next eight saw the Becket quarrel, the Assize of Clarendon (1166) and the conquest of Brittany. After the death of Becket Henry went to Ireland, which country was granted him by the Pope in 1172. During the next two years (1173-74) the last great feudal revolt took place. The nobles were supported by the Kings of France and Scotland and the Count of Flanders, as well as by Henry's own sons; but it was, nevertheless, unsuccessful. The great legislative acts of the Assize of Northampton (1176), an expansion of that of Clarendon; the Assize of Arms (1181), the basis of the military system, subsequently developed under Edward I. in the

Statute of Winchester, and the Assize of the Forest (1184), signalised the next period of the reign. Henry's last years were embittered by the ingratitude of his sons, who, though all generously provided for, continually intrigued against him and allied themselves with his enemies. Henry, the eldest, was crowned in 1170 but in 1174 acted with his father-in-law, Louis VII., in the great revolt, and in the year of his death (1183) again with Geoffrey took arms against his own father. Philip Augustus, the new King of France, aided Henry's younger sons, and Henry was at war with them when in July, 1189, he died at Saumur. [Becket.]