Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Henry II,1519–59, king of France (1547–59), son of King Francis I. His robust physique contrasted with his weak and pliant disposition. Throughout his reign he was governed by Anne de MontmorencyMontmorency, Anne, duc de
, 1493?–1567, constable of France. He was made a marshal (1522) by Francis I, was captured with Francis at Pavia (1525), helped negotiate (1526) Francis's release, and soon after the king's return received the governorship of Languedoc, which
..... Click the link for more information. , by his mistress Diane de PoitiersDiane de Poitiers
, 1499–1566, duchess of Valentinois, mistress of King Henry II of France. Noted for her beauty, Diane, who was much older than Henry, retained her influence over him until his death (1559).
..... Click the link for more information. , and by François and Charles de GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise
The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
..... Click the link for more information. . He renewed the struggle against Holy Roman Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
..... Click the link for more information. (Charles I of Spain), allying himself with the German Protestants despite his own strong Catholicism. War continued under Charles's son King Philip IIPhilip II,
1527–98, king of Spain (1556–98), king of Naples and Sicily (1554–98), and, as Philip I, king of Portugal (1580–98). Philip's Reign
..... Click the link for more information. of Spain, who was allied with Mary Tudor of England, until the Treaty of Cateau-CambrésisCateau-Cambrésis, Treaty of
, 1559, concluded at Le Cateau, France, by representatives of Henry II of France, Philip II of Spain, and Elizabeth I of England. It put an end to the 60-year conflict between France and Spain, begun with the Italian Wars, in which Henry VIII
..... Click the link for more information. (1559) ended French pretensions in Italy. In 1558, Calais was conquered from the English. Henry issued a series of increasingly severe edicts against the Protestants and established more firmly the absolute royal power. His queen, Catherine de' MediciCatherine de' Medici
, 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II.
..... Click the link for more information. , played a minor role during her husband's reign. Henry, accidentally killed by Gabriel de Montgomery in a tournament, was succeeded by Francis II.
See H. N. Williams, Henry II: His Court and Times (1910).
Henry II,973–1024, Holy Roman emperor (1014–24) and German king (1002–24), last of the Saxon line. He succeeded his father as duke of Bavaria. When Otto III died without an heir, Henry, who was Otto's second cousin and the great-grandson of Henry IHenry I
or Henry the Fowler,
876?–936, German king (919–36), first of the Saxon line and father of Otto I, the first of the Holy Roman emperors. Henry succeeded his father as duke of Saxony in 912.
..... Click the link for more information. , was elected German king. After some opposition he was recognized by the German duchies. In 1004 he entered Italy and at Pavia was crowned king of the rebellious Lombards by the bishops. Italian resistance appeared to be broken when Pavia was destroyed in a conflict between the citizens and Henry's German followers, but his supremacy was still uncertain when he went north to meet Boleslaus IBoleslaus I
, c.966–1025, Polish ruler (992–1025), the first to call himself king; also called Boleslaus the Brave. He succeeded his father, Mieszko I, as duke of Poland, seized the territories left to his two brothers under their father's will, and set about
..... Click the link for more information. of Poland. Henry expelled (1004) Boleslaus from Bohemia, but the war dragged on until 1018, when Boleslaus was able to obtain territories in E Germany in fief from Henry. Returning (1013) to Italy, Henry was crowned (1014) Holy Roman emperor at Rome. On his third Italian campaign (1021–22), undertaken at the pope's behest, he restored order in Lombardy, reasserted his sovereignty in all Italy, and attended a synod at Pavia where he advocated far-reaching church reform. Always relying heavily on ecclesiastic support, Henry opposed the monastic clergy in its jurisdictional struggle with the bishops, and he forcefully exercised his right of nominating bishops. However, both Henry and his empress, Kunigunde of Luxembourg, were distinguished for piety and have been canonized. His most notable achievement was the foundation of the new bishopric of Bamberg, which became a center of scholastic culture and art. Henry died childless; he was succeeded by Conrad IIConrad II,
c.990–1039, Holy Roman emperor (1027–39) and German king (1024–39), first of the Salian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. With the end of the Saxon line on the death of Henry II, the succession passed to the matrilineal descendants of Otto I, and
..... Click the link for more information. . Feast: July 15.
Henry of Trastámara(trăstəmăr`ə), 1333?–1379, Spanish king of Castile and León (1369–79), illegitimate son of Alfonso XI. After taking part in several unsuccessful revolts against his half-brother, Peter the CruelPeter the Cruel,
1334–69, Spanish king of Castile and León (1350–69), son and successor of Alfonso XI. His desertion of his wife, Blanche of Bourbon, for María Padilla and his favors to the Padilla family aroused the opposition of the nobles and led to
..... Click the link for more information. , he secured the aid of Du GuesclinDu Guesclin, Bertrand
, c.1320–80, constable of France (1370–80), greatest French soldier of his time. A Breton, he initially served Charles of Blois in the War of the Breton Succession.
..... Click the link for more information. and Peter IV of Aragón and drove Peter from the throne in 1366. Peter allied himself with England and, with the help of Edward the Black PrinceEdward the Black Prince,
1330–76, eldest son of Edward III of England. He was created duke of Cornwall in 1337, the first duke to be created in England, and prince of Wales in 1343.
..... Click the link for more information. defeated Henry at Nájera (1367), but after Edward's departure, Henry defeated and killed Peter at Montiel (1369). John of Gaunt, son-in-law of Peter the Cruel, and Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1345–83, king of Portugal (1367–83), son and successor of Peter I. His ambitions and his private life plunged the realm into disaster, although during his reign agricultural reform was achieved and Portuguese commercial power grew.
..... Click the link for more information. of Portugal unsuccessfully contested his title as king and the succession of his son, John I.
Henry II,1133–89, king of England (1154–89), son of MatildaMatilda
1102–67, queen of England, daughter of Henry I of England. Henry arranged a marriage for her with Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and she was sent to Germany, betrothed, and five years later (1114) married to him.
..... Click the link for more information. , queen of England, and Geoffrey IVGeoffrey IV,
known as Geoffrey Plantagenet
[O.Fr.,=sprig of broom; he usually wore a sprig in his helmet], 1113–51, count of Anjou (1129–51); son of Fulk, count of Anjou and king of Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. , count of Anjou. He was the founder of the AngevinAngevin
[Fr.,=of Anjou], name of two medieval dynasties originating in France. The first ruled over parts of France and over Jerusalem and England; the second ruled over parts of France and over Naples, Hungary, and Poland, with a claim to Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. , or Plantagenet, line in England and one of the ablest and most remarkable of the English kings.
Henry's early attempts to recover the English throne, which he claimed through his mother, were unsuccessful. He was made duke of Normandy in 1150, and at Geoffrey's death (1151) inherited Anjou, Maine, and Touraine. His marriage (1152) to Eleanor of AquitaineEleanor of Aquitaine
, 1122?–1204, queen consort first of Louis VII of France and then of Henry II of England. Daughter and heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine, she married Louis in 1137 shortly before his accession to the throne.
..... Click the link for more information. brought him Aquitaine, Poitou, and Auvergne. By an invasion of England in 1153, he finally forced King StephenStephen,
1097?–1154, king of England (1135–54). The son of Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres, and Adela, daughter of William I of England, he was brought up by his uncle, Henry I of England, who presented him with estates in England and France and arranged his
..... Click the link for more information. to acknowledge him as heir, and in 1154 Henry ascended the English throne.
Restoration of Royal Authority
Henry's vast Continental domains (he ruled about half the area of present-day France) were to occupy him for much of his reign, but his first objective was to restore order and royal authority to an England ravaged by civil war. He did this (by razing unlicensed castles, reclaiming royal castles and alienated crown lands, and appointing capable crown officials) so effectively that the country was free of major disorder until 1173.
Henry's desire to restore royal authority to the level of that in Henry I's reign brought him into conflict with Thomas à BecketThomas à Becket, Saint,
or Saint Thomas Becket,
1118–70, English martyr, archbishop of Canterbury, b. London. He is called St. Thomas of Canterbury and occasionally St. Thomas of London.
..... Click the link for more information. , whom he had made (1162) archbishop of Canterbury. The quarrel, which focused largely on the jurisdiction of the church courts, came to a head when Henry issued (1164) the Constitutions of ClarendonClarendon, Constitutions of,
1164, articles issued by King Henry II of England at the Council of Clarendon defining the customs governing relations between church and state.
..... Click the link for more information. , defining the relationship between church and state, and it ended (1170) in Becket's murder, for which Henry was indirectly responsible. The crime aroused such indignation that Henry had to make his peace with the papacy in the Compromise of Avranches (1172). But, though he made some concessions, most clauses of the Constitutions remained in force.
Henry's most significant achievement lay in his development of the structure of royal justice. With the aid of such competent jurists as Ranulf de GlanvillGlanvill, Ranulf de
, d. 1190, English jurist. He served Henry II in many offices, finally as chief justiciar after 1180. He commissioned one of the great works of English law, the Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae
..... Click the link for more information. , he clearly established the superiority of the royal courts over private, feudal jurisdictions. His justices toured the country, administering a strengthened criminal law and a revised land law, based on the doctrine of seisin (possession). Procedural advances included the greatly extended use of writs and juries.
While these developments were taking place, Henry was also engaged in consolidating his possessions. He recovered (1157) the northern counties of England from Scotland and undertook (1171–72) an expedition to Ireland, where he temporarily consolidated the conquests already made by Richard de Clare, 2d earl of PembrokePembroke, Richard de Clare, 2d earl of,
d. 1176, English nobleman, also known as Richard Strongbow. He went as an adventurer (1170) to Ireland at the request of the hard-pressed Dermot McMurrough, king of Leinster.
..... Click the link for more information. . He was less successful in his attempts (1157 and 1165) to extend his authority in Wales. Henry also expanded his holdings in France, acquiring Vexin, Brittany, and Toulouse.
His Rebellious Sons
In 1169 the king distributed among his three oldest sons the titles to his possessions: Henry was to receive Normandy, Maine, and Anjou (he was also crowned king of England in 1170); Richard (later Richard IRichard I,
Richard Cœur de Lion
, or Richard Lion-Heart,
1157–99, king of England (1189–99); third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
..... Click the link for more information. ), Aquitaine; and GeoffreyGeoffrey
, 1158–86, duke of Brittany (1171–86); fourth son of Henry II of England. Betrothed (1166) to Constance, heiress of Brittany, he was recognized as heir to the duchy in 1169 and succeeded to it on the death of her father. He married Constance in 1181.
..... Click the link for more information. , Brittany. They did not receive actual authority, however, and, encouraged in their discontent by their mother and supported by Louis VII of France, they rebelled against Henry in 1173–74. The rebellion collapsed, but the king's sons continued to conspire against him. Richard and the youngest son, JohnJohn,
1167–1216, king of England (1199–1216), son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Early Life
The king's youngest son, John was left out of Henry's original division of territory among his sons and was nicknamed John Lackland.
..... Click the link for more information. , in alliance with Philip IIPhilip II
or Philip Augustus,
1165–1223, king of France (1180–1223), son of Louis VII. During his reign the royal domains were more than doubled, and the royal power was consolidated at the expense of the feudal lords.
..... Click the link for more information. of France, were actually in the course of another rebellion in 1189 when their father died. Since the young Henry had died (1183), Henry II was succeeded by Richard.
See biographies by J. T. Appleby (1962), R. W. Barber (1964, repr. 1967), and W. L. Warren (1973); A. L. Poole, From Domesday Book to Magna Carta (2d ed. 1955); F. Barlow, The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216 (2d rev. ed. 1962); J. E. A. Joliffe, Angevin Kingship (2d ed. 1963); T. K. Keefe, Feudal Assessments and the Political Community under Henry II and His Sons (1982).