History Timelines

Henry II Timeline

Henry II Timeline



Detailed Information

5th March 1133Birth

A son, Henry, was born to Matilda, daughter of Henry I and Geoffrey of Anjou.

7th Sept 1151Duke of Normandy & AnjouHenry became Duke of Normandy and Anjou following the death of his father, Geoffrey
18yh May 1152MarriageHenry married Eleanor of Aquitaine
Dec 1153Treaty of WestminsterThis treaty agreed that Stephen would hold the kingdom of England for the remainder of his life but that on his death he would be succeeded by Henry duke of Normandy.
26th Oct 1154AccessionHenry became king of England
1155Thomas Becket ChancellorHenry appointed his close friend, Thomas Becket, Chancellor of England
1157Return of Cumberland, Westmorland & NorthumbriaHenry successfully gained the return of the border lands of Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumbria ceded to King David I of Scotland by Stephen in 1139.
1162Thomas Becket Archbishop of CanterburyHenry appointed his Chancellor, Thomas Becket, to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry hoped that his friend Becket would help him to reduce the power of the church.
1162Church ReformsHenry accused the clergy of being too lenient in the punishment of wrongdoers within their own ranks. He also ordered that appeals to Rome, which had been allowed by Stephen, were to cease.
Oct 1163Council of WestminsterAs part of his desire to reform the church Henry demanded that clerics who had committed crimes should be unfrocked and handed over to the lay courts for punishment. Becket strongly opposed this move.
30th Jan 1164Constitution of ClarendonThis was a clear statement of the King's customary rights over the church. The document was comprised of sixteen articles that laid out the degree to which the pope had authority and also the customary rights enjoyed by the King over the church. The document required that the bishops promise to observe these customs in good faith.
1164Conflict with BecketBecket and the bishops refused to approve the Constitution of Clarendon and turned against Henry vigorously defending their ecclesiastical rights. The struggle between Henry and Becket grew and by the end of the year Becket had been exiled.
2nd Jan 1166Assize of ClarendonThis introduced measures for the trial by royal judges of those suspected of serious crimes. Royal judges were men who the king trusted - earls, barons abbots and counsellors.
1166BrittanyHenry occupied Brittany and installed his son Geoffrey as Duke.
1170Henry & BecketAfter five years in exile, Henry and Becket met in Normandy and it was agreed that Becket should return to England.
24th May 1170Coronation of HeirConcern about the succession prompted Henry to crown his eldest son and heir Henry. The young Henry became known as the young king.
1170Henry & BecketBecket returned to England determined to punish all those who had played a part in the young king's coronation. He brought with him an authorisation from the Pope for the excommunication of all bishops who had supported Henry during Becket's exile and all barons who had profited from his exile.
29th December 1170Murder of Thomas BecketHenry's heated words “will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest!” were taken literally by four of his knights. Anxious to win the kings favour they rode to Canterbury and murdered Becket in his own cathedral.
1171-1172WalesHenry reached an agreement with Rhys ap Gruffyd that he should become known as Lord Rhys and would be recognised as the effective ruler of Wales in return for loyalty to the King.
1171-1172IrelandRichard de Claire, nicknamed Strongbow, had married King Dermot's daughter and inherited his kingdom. Strongbow wanted to form an independent Norman state but Henry intervened and prevented this.
1172Bull of LaudabiliterThis papal bull issued in 1155 gave the support of the Pope to Henry to conquer Ireland, reform the Irish church and make it subject to Canterbury.
1173NormandyHenry the young king, supported by his mother, Eleanor of Aqitaine, and his brothers, Richard, Geoffrey and John, joined forces with Louis VII of France, gained the support of William (the lion) of Scotland and rose against Henry II.

Henry was forced to leave control of England to his justiciar Richard de Luci while he went to defend Normandy against his sons.

13th June 1174Battle of AlnwickWilliam (the lion) of Scotland was defeated and captured at Alnwick. He was forced to agree to the treaty of Falaise which made Scotland and its church subject to rule by Henry.
30th Sept 1174RouenLouis VII surrendered to Henry near Rouen
January 1176Assize of NorthamptonThis session reinforced trial by royal judges first introduced by the Assize of Clarendon in 1166
1176Sons ForgivenHenry was now stronger than ever and forgave his sons for turning against him. He decided to make his lands a federation of self-governing states that would be ruled over by his sons on his death.

Henry the young king would rule England, Normandy and Anjou
Richard would rule Aquitaine
Geoffrey would rule Brittany
John would rule Ireland

1179Trial by JuryHenry ruled that in cases concerning property rights a defendant could opt for trial by jury rather than trial by battle.
1180sRebellious sonsHenry's sons continued to be rebellious and antagonistic towards him
11th June 1183Death of Henry the young kingHenry the young king died during a new revolt.
19th August 1186Death of GeoffreyHenry's son Geoffrey died.
1186-1189Conflict in FrancePhilip Augustus of France made full use of the continuing quarrels between Henry and his sons, supporting Richard and John against their father in the hopes that he would be able to recover the Angevin Empire for France
6th July 1189DeathHenry died in France