The restoration and extension of royal authority 1154 - 72


Baronial power

During Stephen's reign = ignored royal authority and ran their land like their own mini kingdoms issuing coinage.

 By late 1153 England + barons wanted Henry to succeed Stephen than Eustance

 Treaty of Winchester - names Henry as Stephen's heir + William did homage to Henry for significant land in East Anglia.

Treaty signed at Westminster  

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Declining royal revenues

A major source of crown revenues was the farm 

By 1154 much of the royal demesne had been lost either because Stephen had branded it away attempting to build baronial support 

The exchequer was no longer working as it should monitor royal demesne 

Quality of coinage was deteriorated - the integrity of coinage, how much silver it contains 

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The extend of Angevin lands overseas

Henry II's family power base was Anjou and by 1154he held Normandy from 1150 and Anjou, Maine and Touraine from 1151 and through marriage to Eleanor acquired Aquitaine 1152

AMT were strategically valuable, joining Normandy with Aquitaine so territories are continuous = made lands easily accessible 

Aquitaine hard to govern - local lords fiercely independent and allegiance not taken for granted however it was land w/ flourishing wine, salt and pottery trades as well as major navigable rivers and trade routes

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The power of Eleanor of Aquitaine

She acted as co-regent for Henry in England despite frequent pregnancies, dealing w/ route matters of state, overseeing implementations of the king’s orders and policies and dispensing justices at Westminster.

She played important part in running Aquitaine after birth of John and death of Henry’s mother Matilda 1167.

Eleanor established her own court in Aquitaine and oversaw much of its day to day government with son Richard by her. 

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The weakening of Baronal power

1135 - H made charters which made very clear that baron's power would be taken 

One of first steps taken by H was expulsion of all foreign mercenaries 

Barons + boroughs - H ensured important towns (royal boroughs) such as London, Lincoln, York, Winchester, Exeter, Oxford and Leicester came under crown and not baronial 

Trimming earldoms - H reduced earldoms from 22 in 1154 to 12 by end of his reign  

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The destruction of illegal castles

Many barons had built castles without permission using them as power base to run own kingdom

At end 1154 a rapid programme of decommissioning and demolishing dozens of illegal castles 

In February 1155 H went north comforting William le Gros count of Aumale and earl of York in York and forced him to surrender and he reluctantly without a fight

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Cartae Baronum 1166

It was a national survey of all tenants in chiefs which required them to disclose the number of knights they were owed by their tenants - number of knights they actually had from tenants were usually lower 

Recorded info on:

  • Tenants in chiefs' own land holdings 
  • Their sub - tenants and the service they owed
  • Which sub - tenancies had been made before 1135 and which had been made since 
  • How many knights the tenants in chiefs had who were not enfeoffed but who received some other form of recompense enabling them to have more knights than they held knight's fees

All of knights sworn oath of allegiance to their lords 

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Inquest of Sheriffs 1170

Their jobs included: 

  • Collecting annual farms 
  • Presiding over the shire court 
  • Visiting hundred court 
  • Check tithings
  • Reading out writs and commands from king 

September 1155 H replaced 21 of Sheriffs + then half again 1162 

Assize of Clarendon increased power of Sheriffs - some felt they misuse this power 

Inquest of Sheriffs - demanded written reports of every payment made to sheriffs of each county in last four years 

After inquest 22/29 sheriffs dismissed - their replacements usually royal officials  

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Henry's Welsh expeditions

Henry's 1st + 2nd expeditions 1157 & 1163 - Henry met with barons at Northampton to secure their support against Owain:

  • Owain's brother Cadwaladr - member of Henry court = claims been deprived of rightful inheritance 
  • Owain most power native Welsh princes - his submission influence others to submit
  • Earldom of Chester which bordered North Wales where Owain strong was held in warship by Henry 

Henry led troops into ambush + royal standard - bearer thinking king dead panicked + Owain did homage to Henry 

Henry's 3rd expedition 1165 - summon council at Northampton October 1164 however Owain + princes of Powys united with Rhys' army 

Henry army begged down by rain- Henry ordered Welsh male hostages to be blinded + castrated & women to have nose + ears cut off 

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Anglo - Scottish relations

1157 Henry secured land south of the Solway and Tweed + Northumberland - Malcom IV agreed because he had no choice other than to accept it - Malcom made earl of Huntington 

William the lion succeeded 1165 + relations deteriorated - alliance with Louis VII 1168 

1170 - Henry crowned eldest son king + William & David came + Henry knighted David at Windsor 

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Submission of Irish kings and bishops

Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn was killed + Dermot MacMurrough driven out of Dublin by Rory O'Connor 

MacMurrough ➡️ Henry for help - gave soldiers from vassal including Richard fitz Gilbert (strongbow) 

MacMurrough offered his daughter to strongbow + succession of Leinster in return for help 

August 1170 Anglo-Norman force led by strongbow recaptured Waterford + Dublin from O'Connor - Strongbow claimed kingdom but angered Irish + Henry II 

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Acquisition and control of Britanny

Henry went to Louis VII who had to recognised him as Duke of Brittany 

·         Henry hoping for marriage alliance between son Henry + Margaret- Louis had no son 

·         Given military weakness of Capetian prudent policy was work with powerful vassals

Henry made Louis seneschal - Henry subsequent behaviour towards Conan + Bretons cause problems 

Henry spend much time in England + Wales - when returned to France 1166 marched to Maine + destroyed Combourg 

Betrothed Conan daughter Constance to Geoffrey - Henry control Brittany as both kids’ underage 

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Restoration and control of Normandy

Became duke 1150

Normandy had system similar to England - divided into vicomtés + bailliages overseen by duke's chosen barons + royal officials 

System of writs been in place 1135 + Henry established exchequer 1166 = gave him organised bureaucracy enabling enforcement of key policies also system of itinerant judges under his control 

To strengthen hold even further - launched investigation into land tenures + taxes 

Land + castles lost under Stephen taken back + feudal dues assessed + exploited 

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Relation and conflict with Louis VII

1156 Henry brother Geoffrey rebelled against him = Anjou, Maine + Touraine Geoffrey claim given by father

1152 Geoffrey join Louis + Eustace - 1156 Henry did homage to Louis for AMT+ defeat Geoffrey 

Vexin part of Margaret’s dowry - used papal schism 

1167 - laying waste to land of usurping barons in Auvergne Louis raided Vexin - Henry took Louis' arsenal by surprise sending mercenaries upriver to break in secretly. 

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Significance of peace of Montmirail

Terms - Henry inherit England, Normandy + Anjou - crowned in 1170

Richard inherit Aquitaine as vassal of French king + marry Alice.

Geoffrey have Brittany as vassal of young king. Young king then does homage to Louis for Brittany 

 Opportunity for Louis + henry end conflict, Henry renewed allegiance to Louis for French lands 

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