Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Henry the Young King, Duke of Normandy

Henry the Young King, Duke of Normandy[1]

Male 1155 - 1183  (28 years)

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  • Name Henry the Young King 
    • "[A] prodigy of untruth, a lovely palace of sin...." Walter Map. [2]
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Suffix Duke of Normandy 
    Nickname "The Young King" 
    Born 28 Feb 1155  Bermondsey Palace, Bermondsey, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Title 14 Jun 1170  Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6, 7
    Crowned King of England by the Archbishop of York. 
    France, 1144-1166
    France, 1144-1166
    Military 1173 - 1174  Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The War without Love 
    • In February 1273, Henry II pledged three castles to seal the marriage contract of five-year-old John to the daughter of Humber, Count of Maurienne. Henry the Young King found this the sort of wire-pulling that kept him sidelined, though crowned. Angry and frustrated, the Young King moved to sack his father. The King of France was all to happy encourage his son-in-law when he came calling in Paris. Louis gathered a consortium of allies including Philip of Flanders, Matthew of Bolougne, and members of the Angevin household, the Queen and Richard and Geoffrey. But the Capetian war effort was half-hearted and disorganized and the Old King was practiced in the art of war, politics and especially travel. An invasion of England and investment of Rouen were frustrated by the Old King's peripatetics. By July of 1174 the rebellion had fizzled. Henry II was gracious with his recalcitrant sons but not so with his wife: Eleanor spent the better part of a decade in close confinement. Young Henry shortly slipped his father's leash but this time for the tournament grounds. [8]
    Military Autumn 1182 - Jun 1183  Limoges, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    The Limousin Revolt 
    The Limousin Rebellion of 1182
    The Limousin Rebellion of 1182
    Tiring of the tournament and again chafing over his political irrelevance, the Young King saw an opportunity to take make his place by breaking with Richard; his opening was the simmering feud between his brother and the nobles of Limousin, trouble which had been sparked by the disputed succession to the County of Limoges in June 1181. Richard had bayed them relentlessly- and that with the assistance of Henry and the Old King- until bringing them to heel in July 1182. But sensing fresh opportunity, the Taillefers and and Angoulêmes sent overtures of fealty to the Young King. The bait was taken and war-footing against the Duke resumed. During Henry II's great Christmas court of 1182, Henry and Richard quarreled and, feigning reconciliation, Henry joined the rebels at Limoges while ostensibly bearing the Angevin olive branch. Richard responded with a series of lightening raids to prevent a concentration of forces and then invested Limoges. As for Henry II, he initially sat out the hostilities until an attempted parlay resulted in the felling of the king's horse. Thinking the arrow bolt was meant for him, the Old King was driven directly into the arms of Richard. The belligerents now declared for the Young King included King Philip of France, Geoffrey of Brittany, Duke Hugh of Burgundy, Count Raymond of Toulouse, Viscount Aimar V, and Geoffrey de Lusignan. (King Alfonso sided with the Old King and Henry as a check on Toulouse.) This impressive show of support, on the other hand, did not include funds and so Henry slipped out of Limoges to rob nearby abbeys in hopes that the proceeds would keep his mercenaries in the field. Richard's siege might have collapsed had Henry not fallen ill, succumbing finally to dysentery at Martel. With his death the rebellion collapsed. "Like the king in chess, the Young King had possessed very little power of his own, yet without him it was impossible to carry on the game." Gillingham, 75.
    Died 11 Jun 1183  Martel Castle, Martel, Lot, Occitanie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
    Cause: Dysentery 
    Buried Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, Normandy Find all individuals with events at this location  [16
    Henry the Younger
    Henry the Younger
    Rouen Cathedral
    Rouen Cathedral
    Rouen Cathedral
    Notes 
    • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 26, "Henry (1155-1183)," by Kate Norgate.

      HENRY (1155-1183), second son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was born in London on 28 Feb. 1155, and on 10 April was recognised as heir to the crown in case of his brother's death, an event which took place next year. His betrothal to Margaret, daughter of Louis VII of France, was proposed in 1158 and ratified in October 1160, when he did homage to Louis for Normandy; and on 2 Nov. King Henry caused the two children to be married at Neubourg. The boy's education was entrusted to his father's chancellor, Thomas Becket, who took him to live in his house, and treated him as an adoptive son. Early in 1162 Henry II determined to secure, as far as possible, the succession of his heir by having him crowned king; under the care of Thomas, therefore, the child was sent to England, and there received the fealty of the barons. The making of a crown for him was even put in hand (Pipe Roll, 8 Henry II, p. 43); but his coronation was delayed by the vacancy of the see of Canterbury, to which the right of crowning an English king specially belonged; and the filling of this vacancy by the appointment of Thomas Becket (June 1162) was followed by a change in the relations between Thomas and the king, which compelled Henry to postpone still further the realisation of his scheme. Before the close of 1163 the boy was removed from Thomas's household, and in January 1164 he was with his father at the council of Clarendon. His appearance there was probably intended as a manifestation of his inchoate right to a share in his father's regal dignity, which had already been acknowledged in the homage rendered to him by the Welsh princes and the Scot king at Woodstock in July 1163. At the peace of Montmirail in January 1169 he was invested by Louis VII with Anjou, Maine, and Brittany; shortly afterwards, as Count of Anjou, he officiated in Paris as seneschal to the French king; he also did homage to Louis's son, Philip Augustus, and received the homage of his own brother Geoffrey for Brittany, which Geoffrey was to hold under him. At last, on 14 June 1170, he was crowned at Westminster by the Archbishop of York; and on 27 Aug. 1172 he and Margaret were, to satisfy Louis, crowned together at Winchester by the Archbishop of Rouen. During the last two years the absence of Henry II, first in Normandy and then in Ireland, had left the ?young king??as his son is henceforth called?sole wearer of the crown in England; but the real powers of government remained with the justiciars. The discontented barons had done their utmost to excite young Henry's resentment at this withholding of the regal authority to which he deemed himself entitled by his coronation; their suggestions were backed by those of Louis, whom he visited in November 1172; and on his return he called upon his father to give him full possession of some part of the lands which fell to him. The demand was refused. In opposition to his father he also actively resisted the election of Richard, prior of Dover, after Becket's death to the see of Canterbury (Demimuid, Jean de Salisbury, pp. 265 sq.) Later the young king refused to ratify a grant of lands to his brother John, and fled by night from his father's court to that of his father-in-law. Louis received him as sole lawful king of the English, and all Henry's enemies broke at once into war. The young king joined the Count of Flanders in preparing a fleet for the invasion of England; but the fleet never sailed, the barons were crushed; young Henry's attempt to thwart his father's wishes respecting the appointment of a new primate by an appeal to Rome only resulted in the consecration of the elder king's favoured candidate by the pope himself; and in the autumn of 1174 father and son made peace. For nearly six years young Henry kept quiet. On All Saints' day 1179 he was present at the coronation of Philip Augustus at Reims, and as Duke of Normandy carried the crown in the procession. His tenure of the duchy was, however, merely nominal, and he still failed to understand that his father, in keeping him thus in dependence at his side, was really reserving him for higher things than his brother Richard, of whose independent position as actual ruler of Aquitaine he was bitterly jealous. The barons of Aquitaine, struggling unsuccessfully against Richard's control, wrought upon this jealousy for their own ends; Richard himself increased it by an encroachment upon land which the young king claimed as part of his Angevin heritage; and at the end of June 1182 young Henry joined the rebels at Limoges. The elder king's appearance on the scene, however, was followed by an immediate pacification, and this again by a fresh demand from his eldest son to be put in possession of his heritage, a fresh refusal, another flight of the young king to France, and his return on the promise of an increased allowance in money. At Christmas Richard's refusal to do homage to his elder brother caused another quarrel; the young king and Geoffrey followed Richard into Aquitaine, under pretence of ?subduing his pride? according to their father's orders, but in reality to head a rising of the whole country against both Richard and Henry. For six weeks Henry II besieged the rebels in Limoges; twice his eldest son came to him with offers of submission, but each time the offer was a feint; at last young Henry's shameless plunder of the townsfolk, and of the shrine of their patron St. Martial, opened their eyes to his real character, and on his return from an expedition to Angoulême they drove him back with insults from their gates. In the midst of a plundering raid upon the monastery of Grandmont and the shrines of Rocamadour, he was struck down by fever; he took refuge at Martel ?in the house of Stephen, surnamed the Smith,? and thence sent a message imploring his father to come and speak with him once more. The friends of Henry II, suspecting treachery, persuaded him not to go, but only to send a precious ring in token of his forgiveness. The young king had already made open confession of his sins; he now dictated a letter to his father, beseeching him to pardon all his fellow-rebels, to make atonement for the sacrileges which he had committed, and to bury him in the cathedral church of Rouen. Early on 11 June 1183, after repeating his confession, he begged to be wrapped once more in his cloak marked with the cross, which, rather in petulance than in piety, he had taken at Limoges; then he gave it to his friend William Marshal, charging him to bear it to the holy sepulchre in his stead. He next bade his followers strip him of his soft raiment, clothe him in a hair-shirt, drag him out of bed by a rope round his neck, and lay him on a bed of ashes; there he received the last sacraments, and there, kissing his father's ring, he died. In the selfish, faithless, unprincipled character displayed throughout young Henry's life, redeemed though it was by his deathbed repentance, it is difficult to discover the secret of the attraction which won him the friendship of such a man as William Marshal. It is hard to understand the grounds even of his general popularity, to which all the historians of the time bear witness, and which was curiously illustrated by a quarrel for the possession of his corpse. The people of Le Mans seized it on its way to Normandy and buried it in their own cathedral church, whereupon the citizens of Rouen threatened to come and reclaim it by force, and Henry II was obliged to order it to be disinterred and conveyed to Rouen for re-burial according to his son's last request. To the unthinking multitude the young king's charm probably lay in a stately, handsome person, a gracious manner, and a temper whose easy shallowness contrasted favourably, in their eyes, with the terrible earnestness of Richard. Henry and Margaret had but one child, who was born and died in 1177.

      [Gesta Regis Henrici, Roger of Hoveden, Ralph de Diceto, Gervase of Canterbury, ed. Stubbs; Materials for History of Becket, ed. Robertson; Thomas Agnellus, De Morte Henrici Regis Junioris, in Stevenson's edition of Ralph of Coggeshall, all in Rolls Series; Robert of Torigny, ed. Delisle (Soc. de l'Hist. de Normandie); Geoffrey of Vigeois, in Labbe's Nova Bibliotheca MSS. Librorum, vol. ii.]

      K. N. [17]
    Person ID I10831  Dickinson
    Last Modified 27 Nov 2017 

    Father Henry II, King of England,   b. 5 Mar 1133, Palais de Comtes du Maine, Le Mans, Sarthe, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1189, Chinon Castle, Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Eleanor d'Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine,   b. Abt 1124, Château de Belin, Guienne, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1204, Fontevraud Abbey, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 18 May 1152  Poitiers Cathedral, Poitiers, Poitou-Charentes, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [18, 19, 20
    Family ID F2977  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Marguerite de France, Ctss de Vexin,   b. ca. 1157,   d. 1197, Acre, Israel Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years) 
    Married 2 Nov 1160  [3, 21, 22, 23
    Children 
     1. William,   b. 19 Jun 1177, Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1177, Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 23 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F2994  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S336443] Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Douglas Richardson, (Salt Lake City, Utah: 2011), http://bit.ly/1R1pp3V.

    2. [S20] The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217, Richard Brooks, (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 46.
      Map offers what became the settled consensus among historians. Historian Thomas Asbridge has brought forward the testimony of other contemporaries which is not quite as damning.

    3. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008), 61.

    4. [S23] The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, Dan Jones, (New York: Viking, 2012), 46.

    5. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 76.

    6. [S20] The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217, Richard Brooks, (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 44.

    7. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 90.

    8. [S422] Richard I (English Monarchs Series), John Gillingham, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 41ff.

    9. [S422] Richard I (English Monarchs Series), John Gillingham, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 64ff.

    10. [S154] The Demon's Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty, Desmond Seward, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2014), 27.

    11. [S20] The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217, Richard Brooks, (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 46.

    12. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 25.

    13. [S336465] Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir, (New York: Ballantine iBook, 2008), 374.

    14. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 155-57.

    15. [S422] Richard I (English Monarchs Series), John Gillingham, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 75.

    16. [S336465] Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir, (New York: Ballantine iBook, 2008), 375.

    17. [S336351] Dictionary of National Biography, 63 volumes, Sir Sidney Lee, ed., (New York: McMillan and Company, 1885-1900), Public Domain., 26: 95-96.

    18. [S436] Chroniques des Églises d'Anjou, Marchegay & Mabille, eds., (Paris: 1869).
      Chronicæ Sanct Albini Andegavensis

    19. [S23] The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, Dan Jones, (New York: Viking, 2012), 30.

    20. [S336465] Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir, (New York: Ballantine iBook, 2008), 127.

    21. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 79.
      "Flying in the face of canon law and most people's notions of decency, the two were married in 1160: he was aged five; she was two. According to the terms of the agreement that Henry and Louis had made, as soon as the two had been joined in matrimony with 'the assent and consent of the Holy Church,' Henry was entitled to take control of the castles of the Vexin from the Templars, into whose hands they had been given for safe custody."

    22. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 88-9.
      "The wedding was a scandal, being in direct contravention of Church law, and it was later joked not only that Marguerite had been presented in a cot, but that both children wailed through the ceremony."

    23. [S422] Richard I (English Monarchs Series), John Gillingham, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 29.