Chronological Notes on the Background to the Angevin Empire and Henry II's Reign

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Background to the House of Anjou
1106
o King Henry I of England's army invades Normandy
o Duke Robert `Curthose' of Normandy's army meets him in battle
o 28th September, Battle of Tinchebrai
o Henry wins ­ he had a larger army and used his cavalry effectively
o Robert `Curthose' is kept captive for the rest of his life and dies 1134
Henry now rules England and Normandy. He enforces his own rules, eg. Taxes. Imposes tithes on
the Church.
Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury had a rocky relationship with Henry I
o Investiture ­ a particular point of contention ­ who can appoint Bishops
Anselm was allowed out of exile when their differences were eventually settled
Henry encouraged new monastic orders
Henry's reign is important because he introduced standardised laws and efficient government
practice
o The `King's Writ'
Two powerful European lords ­ King Louis VI `the Fat' of France, and Count Fulk V of Anjou ­
object to Henry I's control of Normandy
Henry I looks to his allies ­ Brittainy, Maine and Blois for support. His nephews are Theobold
and Stephen of Blois. He grants them lands in England for their support.
1109 ­ 1110
o Fulk of Anjou and the King of France want to destabilise Henry I's governance, so they
advance the claims of William `Clito,' Duke Robert's son.
o They fought particularly over a key defensive point, the Vexin.
o The French King wanted Henry I to surrender his key fortress, Guisors.
1114 ­ 1115
o The two sides attempt a truce.
o Less skirmishes occur
o Theobold of Blois starts a dispute with the French King. Henry I is obliged to support his
nephew and ally.
1119
o The dispute resulted in battle
o Battle of Brémule
o Henry I of England fought Louis VI of France
o Henry defeats Louis
o This means that Henry has defeated his main opponent on the French mainland
o Henry marries his son, William `Aetheling' to the daughter of the Count of Anjou
1120
o William `Aetheling' dies in the `White Ship Disaster.'
o Henry has one other child ­ a daughter.
In the remaining part of his reign, Henry is obsessed with the continuation of his dynasty.
He remarries, but has no children.

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The French king promotes William `Clito's' claim to Normandy.
1127
o Clito dies in a skirmish.
William announced his daughter Matilda as his heir, and marries her to Geoffrey of Anjou.
There was much opposition to this ­ Anjou was traditionally Normandy's enemy.
Matilda has an heir, but Henry still worries about his dynasty.
He secures vows of fealty to Matilda from his Barons, ensuring their acceptance of her as Queen.
1137
o December 1st, Henry falls ill after eating too many eels.…read more

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Henry paid homage to Louis VII for his French lands
o He had to recognise Louis as his suzerain because Geoffrey of Anjou had rebelled
against him.…read more

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This undermined the primacy of Canterbury
o Thomas Beckett was in exile at this point
o Henry II forgot to invite `Young' Henry's `wife,' Margaret ­ a snub to Louis VII
o Thomas Beckett returns to England
o He is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and becomes a martyr
o Henry II is blamed for his death
1171
o Henry II goes to Ireland to `put down' Irish clans and Earls and gain control of
Ireland
1172
o Henry gives himself the title `Lord of Ireland'…read more

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He pays homage and signs the `Treaty of Falaise'
o Henry gains key castles in the North ­ Edinburgh, Jedburgh, Roxburgh, Stirling
and Birwick castles.
August, 1174
o Henry II defeats the forces of `Young' Henry, the Counts of Blois, Flanders and
Boulogne in battle in Normandy
o Richard surrenders in Poitou
September, 1174
o Geoffrey and `Young' Henry submit to their father
o Henry II admonishes his sons, but allows them to keep their inheritance.…read more

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Tours falls
o Henry has to submit to his son and Phillip II
o They meet at Colombieres to sign the `Treaty of Colombieres'
o Henry has to pay homage to Phillip II, pay him 20,000 marks and cede the
territory of Auvergne.…read more

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