Continuing to kick off the New Year with more of our regular Weekend Warrior series for those of you moving to London, England soon! We’ve had our hiatus in the previous weeks for our beloved Twelve Days of Christmas and to explain Boxing Day to you fellow non-UK/Commonwealth citizens, but now it’s time to roll with the rest of our British history lesson on King Henry II.
Last we saw of this monarch, he was kinda sorta indirectly responsible for the murder of Thomas Becket, who was sainted for his martyrdom. Overall, though, his reign has served to re-strengthen the monarchy, and he does patch up relations with the Church, even if it doesn’t fully restore government control over it.
Already a Norman ruler himself, Henry thwarts a potential second one to the west of England by claiming Irish territory over a claimant to the kingship there that is supported by Anglo-Norman forces. He also expands the kingdom’s reaches into Cumbria, Northumbria, and at the England/Scotland border, adding to his territories in France through inheritance and marriage.
Quite sadly, Henry II‘s worst foes are ultimately his own sons. Henry, Geoffrey, Richard, and John are in dispute over the lands allocated across each of them. With multiple rebellions against Henry II commencing as of 1173, even after the deaths of his brothers Henry and Geoffrey, Richard continues to attack his father and succeeds in defeating him in 1189 with the aid of Philip II of France. King Henry II dies that same year.