How did Henry II secure the realm?

Refers to AQA A2 History - Angevin Kings Module

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  • How did Henry II secure the realm?
    • Advantages on his succession
      • Henry was the UNDISPUTED HEIR to the throne
        • First smooth succession since Edward the Confessor - over 100 years earlier.
      • Henry had a year to sort things out, as he was identified under the TREATY OF WINCHESTER as Stephen's heir.
        • Gave himself time to familiarise himself with the Kingdom and carefully choose chief ministers.
      • There was a great desire amongst the people to KEEP THE PEACE after the anarcy of the reign of Stephen.
    • The Justiciars
      • Chose two men to be in charged of the royal administration
        • Richard de Lucy
          • A man of great experience who had fought against him.
          • Was in charge of the Tower of London and Windsor Castle
          • One of Stephen's most trusted servants - a member of the knightly class.
          • Had risen under Henry I and proved himself under Stephen so was known as 'THE LOYAL'
        • Robert Beaumont, Earl of Leicester
    • The Chancellor
      • Henry would have been expected to appoint a trusted man from his own chapel
        • BUT...
          • Consulted Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury who recommended THOMAS BECKET
            • Won him support of Archbishop and concequently English Church
            • Also gained him affinity with Londoners as Becket was a Londoner himself, having served as a clerk and accountant to the Sheriffs of London.
    • Dealing with the Barons
      • OVER-MIGHTY BARONS had flourished under Stephen, and continued to be a problem, even though the Civil War had ended in 1147.
      • The Royal Writ did not run in some parts of the country and FINANCES paid into the Exchequer were not consistent.
      • Henry achieved peace and stability within a year by...
        • Expelling the Flemish Mercenaries
          • Weakened the King's military base BUT had a positive effect on public opinion remembered for a generation.
        • Demolishing the illeagal castles that had been built in Stephen's reign
          • Attack to the heart of Baronial Power
            • Helped by the fact he was undisputed King
          • Did face OPPOSITION from the Earl of York, William Le Gros, the Earl of Hereford, Rodger, and Hugh Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore.
            • Henry marched against William in December 1154 - the earl was forced to SURRENDER his castles.
    • Law and Property
      • JUSTICE had been a major casualty since the reign of Stephen
        • Most of first year of reign hearing GRIEVANCES regarding rights and lands
          • Difficult after 20 years of conflict and confusion
      • The starting point for lawful possession was the death of Henry I, but the lack of hereditary practice made his task difficult
        • Nevertheless he managed with a GREAT DEGREE OF SUCCESS.
          • Named Henry the Peacemaker by one Chronicler

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