Henry II


Henry II

biographical name

(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). The son of Matilda and grandson of Henry I, he gained vast territories in France by marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine (1152). He invaded England, and, in settlement of the war, King Stephen named Henry as heir (1153). As king, Henry extended his holdings in northern England and western France, strengthened royal administration, and reformed the court system. His attempt to assert royal authority at the expense of the church (see Constitutions of Clarendon) led to a quarrel with the archbishop of Canterbury, his former close friend St. Thomas Becket, which ended with Becket's murder and Henry's subsequent penance at Canterbury (1174). His reign was plagued by disputes among family members, especially struggles for precedence among his sons, including Richard I (the Lionheart) and John (Lackland). Richard allied with Philip II of France to drive Henry from the throne in 1189.

Variants of HENRY II

Henry II known as Henry of Anjou or Henry Plantagenet

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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