Henry II's reforms

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  • Henry II's reforms/ strengthening royal power.
    • Finance
      • Sent home all mercenaries
        • Had been used by Stephan to attempt to maintain authority.
        • Were expensive and disliked by the public.
      • Reminted coinage twice, 1158, 1180
        • Alternative currencys had sprung up during the anarchy before Henry's reign, for example Matilada's.
      • Royal Demesne increased £8,000 to £25,000 by 1180.
      • Reforms to the exchequer- fully functional by 1169.
      • Carte Baronum 1166
        • investigation into the number of knights each earl was owed and how many they owed in scutage.
          • Changed the tax system so were now taxed of the number of knights owed by tenants not just the number they owed to the king.
          • Made every knight swear allegiance to him.
      • Recovered lands lost during the reign of Stephen.
    • Barons
      • Reduced the number of earldoms form 22 to 12.
        • Stephen had increased the number of earldoms to increase revenue ?
      • Decommissioned illegal castles and took back some into royal control.
        • Under Stephen may barons had built themselves castles without royal consent.
      • Sheriffs
        • Replaced half the sheriffs by 1162
        • Inquest of the sheriffs 22 of 29 sheriffs dismissed.
          • Survey of the money ( collected tax (farm)) handled by sheriffs.
          • Sheriffs took on a more investigative roll and instead of being local barons were more like civil servants.
    • Legal
      • Introduced standardized practice and centralized the court system.
        • Prevalence of judgment being reached by a sworn jury over ordeal.
        • Itinerant kings justices traveled circuits round the country (eyers)
          • Their judgment was carefully recorded and distributed.
          • The kings court bench becoming the focal point of the justice system.
        • Assizes of Clarendon (1166) and Northampton (1176)
    • Church.
      • wanted to assert the hierarchy of the courts, secular over ecclesiastical.
        • Attempted (but failed) this with the Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164.
          • Overall a large fail as issues of people getting off lightly for really bad crimes was not resolved.
      • Relations with the church very poor throughout Charles' reign, BECKET!- forced Charles to make several concessions to church power.
      • Failed to win argument over the appointment of b.hops.
    • Instablility during Stephen and Matilda's reign.
      • Complete lack of royal authority, barons carved out their own little kingdoms and law was very corrupt etc.
    • Clashes with family weaken royal power.
      • Not allowing Young Henry or his other sons much power leads to the going to Louis VII for help, almost culminates in a war for England.


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