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  2. Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Fitzempress and Henry Curtmantle, was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. During his reign he controlled England , substantial parts of Wales and Ireland , and much of France (including Normandy , Anjou , and Aquitaine ), an area that altogether was later called the ...

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    • Early life
    • Reign

    Henry II was king of England from 1154 to 1189. The first of three Angevin kings of England, he expanded the Anglo-French domains and strengthened the royal administration. His quarrels with the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, and with various family members (including his son, Richard the Lionheart) ultimately brought about his defeat.

    How did Henry II become king of England?

    Henry, who was the duke of Aquitaine, had a claim to the English throne, and he invaded England in 1153. King Stephen agreed to accept Henry as his coadjutor and heir. When Stephen died the following year, Henry succeeded without opposition, thus becoming King Henry II of England.

    How did Henry II expand the kingdom of England?

    Henry acquired most of the Continental possessions that would expand the kingdom of England before he became king in 1154. He inherited the duchy of Normandy in 1150; succeeded his father as count of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine in 1151; and in 1152, marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, acquired Aquitaine, Gascony, Poitou, and Auvergne.

    What were Henry II’s greatest accomplishments as king?

    After receiving a good literary education, part of it in England, Henry became duke of Normandy in 1150 and count of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine on the death of his father, Geoffrey Plantagenet, in 1151. Although the claim of his mother, Matilda, daughter of Henry I, to the English crown had been set aside by her cousin, King Stephen, in 1152, Henry advanced his fortunes by marrying the beautiful and talented Eleanor, recently divorced from King Louis VII of France, who brought with her hand the lordship of Aquitaine. Henry invaded England in 1153, and King Stephen agreed to accept him as coadjutor and heir. When Stephen died the following year Henry succeeded without opposition, thus becoming lord of territories stretching from Scotland to the Pyrenees.

    The young king lacked visible majesty. Of stocky build, with freckled face, close-cut tawny hair, and gray eyes, he dressed carelessly and grew to be bulky; but his personality commanded attention and drew men to his service. He could be a good companion, with ready repartee in a jostling crowd, but he displayed at times an ungovernable temper and could be heartless and ruthless when necessary. Restless, impetuous, always on the move, regardless of the convenience of others, he was at ease with scholars, and his administrative decrees were the work of a cool realist. In his long reign of 34 years he spent an aggregate of only 14 in England.

    His career may be considered in three aspects: the defense and enlargement of his dominions, the involvement in two lengthy and disastrous personal quarrels, and his lasting administrative and judicial reforms.

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    His territories are often called the Angevin Empire. This is a misnomer, for Henry’s sovereignty rested upon various titles, and there was no institutional or legal bond between different regions. Some, indeed, were under the feudal overlordship of the king of France. By conquest, through diplomacy, and through the marriages of two of his sons, he gained acknowledged possession of what is now the west of France from the northernmost part of Normandy to the Pyrenees, near Carcassonne. During his reign, the dynastic marriages of three daughters gave him political influence in Germany, Castile, and Sicily. His continental dominions brought him into contact with Louis VII of France, the German emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa), and, for much of the reign, Pope Alexander III. With Louis the relationship was ambiguous. Henry had taken Louis’s former wife and her rich heritage. He subsequently acquired the Vexin in Normandy by the premature marriage of his son Henry to Louis’s daughter, and during much of his reign he attempted to outfight or outwit the French king, who, for his part, gave shelter and comfort to Henry’s enemy, Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury. The feud with Louis implied friendly relations with Germany, where Henry was helped by his mother’s first marriage to the emperor Henry V but hindered by Frederick’s maintenance of an antipope, the outcome of a disputed papal election in 1159. Louis supported Alexander III, whose case was strong, and Henry became arbiter of European opinion. Though acknowledging Alexander, he continued throughout the Becket controversy to threaten transference of allegiance to Frederick’s antipope, thus impeding Alexander’s freedom of action.

    Early in his reign Henry obtained from Malcolm IV of Scotland homage and the restoration of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmorland, and later in the reign (1174) homage was exacted from William the Lion, Malcolm’s brother and successor. In 1157 Henry invaded Wales and received homage, though without conquest. In Ireland, reputedly bestowed upon him by Pope Adrian IV, Henry allowed an expedition of barons from South Wales to establish Anglo-Norman supremacy in Leinster (1169), which the King himself extended in 1171.

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  3. Dec 10, 2019 · Henry II of England. National Portrait Gallery (Public Domain) Henry II of England ruled from 1154 to 1189 CE. He gained the throne by negotiation with his predecessor King Stephen of England (r. 1135-1154 CE) following the civil war that had raged between that monarch and Henry's mother Empress Matilda (l. 1102-1167 CE).

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  4. King Henry II was the first Plantaganet King of England, famous for his stormy relationship with Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Chris Oehring. 9 min read. Henry II seems to struggle to make an impact upon popular history. His reign falls in a century flanked by the Norman Conquest and Magna Carta.

  5. Henry II (5 March 1133 — 6 July 1189) also known as Henry of Anjou, Henry Plantagenet, Henry FitzEmpres, or Henry Curtmantle (Short Mantle) and nicknamed the Brave or the Strong was the King of England from 1154, Duke of Aquitaine (as Henry I) from 1152, and Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou from 1151 until his death in 1189.

    • 19 December 1154
    • Stephen
    • 25 October 1154 — 6 July 1189
    • Richard I
  6. www.britannica.com › summary › Henry-II-king-of-EnglandHenry II summary | Britannica

    For the full article, see Henry II . Henry II, known as Henry of Anjou or Henry Plantagenet , (born 1133, Le Mans, Maine—died July 6, 1189, near Tours), Duke of Normandy (from 1150), count of Anjou (from 1151), duke of Aquitaine (from 1152), and king of England (from 1154).

  7. www.bbc.co.uk › history › historic_figuresBBC - History - Henry II

    Henry II © King of England from 1154, Henry strengthened royal administration but suffered from quarrels with Thomas Becket and his own family. Henry was born at Le Mans in north west...

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