HOW DID HENRY II SECURE THE REALM?

A brief summary of how Henry II secured his realm on his succession in 1154.

Refers to AQA A2 History (Angevin Kings)

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  • HOW DID HENRY II SECURE THE REALM?
    • Advantages when Henry became King of England in late 1154
      • UNDISPUTED HEIR TO THRONE
        • First smooth succession since 1042 (over 100 years earlier)
      • HENRY HAD TIME
        • He was recognised as Stephen's heir under the treaty of Winchester.
        • This gave hime time to familiarise himself with the Kingdom and choose chief minister carefully
      • A DESIRE TO KEEP THE PEACE
        • After the anarcy of Stephen's reign, there was a great desire in some parts of the county to restore peace.
    • Choosing the Justiciars
      • RICHARD DE LUCY
        • A man of great experience who had fought against him
        • Sheriff and Royal Justice in Essex under Stephen. Also in charge of the Tower of London/ Windsor Castle.
        • Trusted: Had served Stephen so faithfully the was known as 'the loyal'
      • ROBERT BEAUMONT, EARL OF LEICESTER
        • Had given support to Henry in 1153, and was intelligent and weel-educated.
        • Most Powerful English Earl after death of the Earl of Chester in 1153.
    • Choosing the Chancellor
      • Henry was expected to appoint someone from his own chapel, but instead consulted Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who reccomending his Arch-Deacon, Thomas Becket.
        • Won him support of Archbishop and English Church, and also some affinity with the Londoners, as Becket, the son of a Merchant, had served as clerks and accountants to the Sheriffs of London.
    • Dealing with the Barons
      • Overmightly Barons had flourished under Stephen, and the Country remains in a state of disorder, however, Henry achieved peace and stability within a year by...
        • EXPELLING FLEMISH MERCENARIES: This weakened the King's military base but increased the King's popularity
        • DEMOLISHED ILLEAGAL CASTLES: Attacked the heart of Baronial Power in the Provinces.
    • Law and Property
      • Justice had suffered in the anarchy of Stephen's reign, so the first year of Henry's reign was mainly spent hearing grievances about rights and lands
        • The starting points for 'lawful possession' was the death of Henry I, but the task proved difficult due to a lack of hereditary practices.
          • However, Henry II seemed to manage really well, labelled 'Henry the Peacemaker' by one Chronicler.

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