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Friday, August 15, 2014

11.c1.a Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquataine and has a few mistresses!

The life of this great grandfather followed in many ways that of his ancestors.  Mistresses, and illegitimate children.  Through his son King John, the Magna Carta was signed, and Robin Hood saw King John as the enemy!
Robin Hood and King John!

King Henry's wealth allowed him to maintain what was probably the largest curia regis, or royal court, in Europe.His court attracted huge attention from contemporary chroniclers, and typically comprised a number of major nobles and bishops, along with knights, domestic servants, prostitutes, clerks, horses and hunting dogs.

Within the court were his officials, misteriales, his friends, amici, and the familiares regis, the king's informal inner circle of confidants and trusted servants.Henry's familiares were particularly important to the operation of his household and government, driving government initiatives and filling the gaps between the official structures and the king.

Henry tried to maintain a sophisticated household that combined hunting and drinking with cosmopolitan literary discussion and courtly values. Nonetheless, Henry's passion was for hunting, for which the court became famous.

Henry had a number of preferred royal hunting lodges and apartments across his lands, and invested heavily in his royal castles, both for their practical utility as fortresses, and as symbols of royal power and prestige. The court was relatively formal in its style and language, possibly because Henry was attempting to compensate for his own sudden rise to power and relatively humble origins as the son of a count. He opposed the holding of tournaments, probably because of the security risk that such gatherings of armed knights posed in peacetime.
Chinon Castle used extensively by King Henry II

The Angevin empire and court was, as historian John Gillingham describes it, "a family firm". His mother, Matilda, played an important role in his early life and exercised influence for many years later.Henry's relationship with his wife Eleanor was complex:

 Henry trusted Eleanor to manage England for several years after 1154, and was later content for her to govern Aquitaine; indeed, Eleanor was believed to have influence over Henry during much of their marriage.

 Ultimately, however, their relationship disintegrated and chroniclers and historians have speculated on what ultimately caused Eleanor to abandon Henry to support her older sons in the Great Revolt of 1173-74

 Probable explanations include Henry's persistent interference in Aquitaine, his recognition of Raymond of Toulouse in 1173, or his harsh temper. Henry had several long-term mistresses, including Annabel de Balliol and Rosamund de Clifford and Ida de Toesny.

He had so many different ladies that some where considered "whores"  He even had a "Whoremaster" in his Court positions!  Go figure!

Henry had eight legitimate children by Eleanor, five sons—

William, IX Prince of England and Count of Poitiers  born 1152  died 1156
the Young Henry  Born 1155  died 1183  married Margaret of France
Richard I  King of Englang  born 1157 and died 1199  married Berengaria of Navarre
Geoffrey II Duke of rittany  born 1158  died 1186  married  Constance Duchess of Brittany
John, (Lackland) King of England  born 1166 died 1216  married  Isabel Fitzrobert
                                                                                         married Agatha De Ferrers
                                                                                         married Isabella De Taillefer
                                                                         Parents of Henry III King of England
 Matilda,   Duchess of Saxony  born 1156 and died 1189
                                                  Heinrich V Herzog von Braunschweig-Luneburg
  Eleanor Princess of England   born 1162  died 1214  and married Alfonso VIII King of Castile Spain
and Joan.  Princess of England born 1165  died 1199 married William II King of Sicily

King John of England, the youngest son of King Henry II became King following the early deaths of his brothers.  He signed the Magna Carta.

He is probably best known as the King John in Robin Hood legends.

John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216), also known as John Lackland (Norman French: Johan sanz Terre), was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death in 1216. Following the battle of Bouvines, John lost the duchy of Normandy to King Philip II of France, which resulted in the collapse of most of the Angevin Empire and contributed to the subsequent growth in power of the Capetian dynasty during the 13th century. 

The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of the Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered to be an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.

John, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Following the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, however, John became Henry's favourite child. He was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England and on the continent

 John's elder brothers William, Henry and Geoffrey died young; by the time Richard I became king in 1189, John was a potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's royal administrators whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade

Despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England, and came to an agreement with Philip II of France to recognise John's possession of the continental Angevin lands at the peace treaty of Le Goulet in 1200.


  It is interesting to note that two of King Henry II's  mistresses were related Margaret de Toeni was the aunt of Ida de Toesny and mother of Rosamund de Clifford.

Ida de Toesny, Countess of Norfolk was very likely a daughter of Ralph V de Tosny (died 1162) and his wife Margaret (born circa 1125 and living in 1185), a daughter of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester. 

 Relationship to Henry II

Ida de Tosny was a royal ward and mistress of King Henry II, by whom she was mother of one of his illegitimate sons - William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, (b c. 1176-March 7, 1226). For many years, until the discovery of a charter of William mentioning "Comitissa Ida, mater mea" (engl. "Countess Ida, my mother" it was assumed that Rosamund Clifford, a previous mistress of Henry's, was the mother, but painstaking genealogical detective work has since shown otherwise. Ida was not the first English royal ward to be taken as mistress by a King who was her guardian; that honour probably belongs to Isabel de Beaumont (Elizabeth de Beaumont), daughter of Robert de Beaumont, who fought at the Battle of Hastings with the Conqueror. That king's youngest son made Beaumont's daughter his mistress.

Around Christmas 1181, Ida de Tosny was given to Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk in marriage by Henry II, together with the manors of Acle, Halvergate and South Walsham, which had been confiscated from his inheritance after his father's death (Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk).[5] Ida and Roger had a number of children including:
  • Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk who married in 1206/ 1207, Maud Marshal, a daughter of William Marshal
  • William Bigod
  • Ralph Bigod
  • Roger Bigod
  • Margery, married William de Hastings
  • Mary Bigod, married Ralph fitz Robert
Many historians, including Marc Morris have speculated that the couple had a third daughter, Alice, who married Aubrey de Vere IV, 2nd Earl of Oxford as his second wife. If so, the marriage would have been well within the bounds of consanguinity, for the couple would have been quite closely related, a daughter of the second earl of Norfolk being first cousin once removed to the second earl of Oxford.

Lincoln Cathedral
Henry also had several illegitimate children; amongst the most prominent of these were
with Rosamond de Clifford

Peter Plantagenet  born 1159  died 1218     Archdeacon of Lincoln   1175  - 1212
Rosamond FitzHenry  born 1170

and then with a lady known as Ykenai another son

  Geoffrey (later Archbishop of York)    born 1152  died 1212  Archdeacon of Lincoln 1171 - 1175

Geoffrey Plantagenet was the illegitimate son of King Henry II, the first of the Plantagenet Kings. Geoffrey's mother's is not known with certainty, but she is thought to have been a woman named Ykenai. Geoffrey is known to have had a maternal half-brother called Peter.
Geoffrey was born before his father succeeded to the throne of England in 1154, shortly after Henry's accession to the throne, Ykenai brought her three year old son to court to present him to his father, the king acknowledged the child and took him into the royal household to be brought up with his legitimate children. 

What Henry's wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine's opinion was on the matter has gone unrecorded, but she can hardly have been pleased by this clear evidence of Henry's unfaithfullness even in the early days of their marriage.

Henry II decided that Geoffrey should pursue a career in the church and he had been appointed Archdeacon of Lincoln by September 1171 and in April 1173 the twenty one year old Geoffrey was elected as Bishop of Lincoln. In 1180 Geoffrey taxed his diocese so heavily that his actions incurred a stern rebuke from his father. 

In 1181 Pope Lucius III, concerned that Geoffrey had still not been ordained or consecrated, demanded that the bishop-elect's position be regularised, either through consecration as bishop or through his resignation, accordingly Geoffrey resigned the see of Lincoln on 6 January 1182, rather than be ordained as the Pope had ordered. The king had named him Chancellor of England in 1181, after Geoffrey indicated he was going to resign his bishopric.

When his half brother Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, rebelled against his father in 1187, in alliance with King Philip II 'Augustus' of France, Geoffrey fought by his father's side and was with him when he was driven out of Le Mans by Richard's forces in 1189, he was the only one of his sons to be with the ailing king during his final days, "You are my true son," the dying king uttered bitterly, "the others, they are the bastards"

 Henry, on his deathbed, expressed a desire that Geoffrey be made either Archbishop of York or Bishop of Winchester. After Henry's death the faithful Geoffrey escorted his body to Fontevrault Abbey for burial

William (later Earl of Salisbury).

 Henry was expected to provide for the future of his legitimate children, either through granting lands to his sons or marrying his daughters well. Henry's family was divided by rivalries and violent hostilities, more so than many other royal families of the day, in particular the relatively cohesive French Capetians.]

Various suggestions have been put forward to explain Henry's family's bitter disputes, from their inherited family genetics to the failure of Henry and Eleanor's parenting.
Other theories focus on the personalities of Henry and his children. Historians such as Matthew Strickland have argued that Henry made sensible attempts to manage the tensions within his family, and that, had the King died younger, the succession might have proven much smoother.

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