ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The First Three King Henrys

Updated on April 2, 2019
John Welford profile image

John is a retired librarian who writes articles based on material gleaned mainly from obscure books and journals.

King Henry I
King Henry I

England was ruled by eight kings named Henry between 1100 and 1547, all of them being remarkable men who made a mark on English history. Here is a short account of the first three of them.

King Henry I

Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror. He was born in 1068 and was therefore 19 years old when his father died. The throne of England went to William’s third son, also named William, because Robert was given charge of the Dukedom of Normandy in his father’s will. The second son, Richard, had been killed in a hunting accident some years before.

In 1100 William II suffered the same fate as his brother, and in the same place, namely the New Forest in Hampshire. However, there is some doubt as to whether William’s death was really accidental or the result of a murder plot on Henry’s part. At all events, Henry lost no time in seizing the royal treasury and having himself crowned King.

In order to prevent Duke Robert from making a bid for the English throne, Henry invaded Normandy in 1106, defeated Robert in battle and imprisoned him in Cardiff Castle, where he died in 1134.

As King, Henry was a determined and efficient ruler who improved the process of tax collection and reformed the courts by combining the practices of Anglo-Saxon England with Norman ideas of justice.

The great tragedy of Henry’s life was the loss of his only son, William, in a shipwreck in 1120. Henry nominated his daughter Matilda as his heir, but on Henry’s death in 1135 the throne was seized by his nephew Stephen and a long period of civil war ensued.

King Henry II

He was born in 1133 as the son of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, and Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I. He became king in 1154 on the death of King Stephen, who had usurped the throne from Matilda on the death of the older Henry in 1135.

Henry II was therefore the first king of a new dynasty, which was officially termed Angevin (from Anjou) but the kings were more popularly known as the Plantagenets, from the nickname of Count Geoffrey who regularly wore a sprig of yellow broom (Planta genista) on his headgear.

Stephen’s reign had been a period of chaos of England in which the barons had become local warlords who offered little allegiance to the king. Henry’s first task was therefore to assert his authority, which he did in part by bringing in legal reforms, some of which have persisted to the present day.

His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor of Aquitaine added to his French estates, which meant that his realm extended from Scotland to the Pyrenees.

Henry’s strong rule, and intolerance of dissent, brought him considerable trouble. The most notorious incident during his reign was the murder, in his own cathedral, of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. This followed Henry’s angry words at Thomas’s refusal to do what Henry wanted, after which a group of four knights took this as an order to kill Becket, which is what happened.

Henry also managed to alienate his own family, leading to open rebellion by his wife and three of his four sons. The revolt had not ended when Henry died in 1183 and was succeeded by his son Richard.

King Henry II
King Henry II

King Henry III

Born in 1207 as the son of King John and grandson of King Henry II, Henry was only nine years old when his father died in 1216. The first years of his reign were therefore managed by competent regents who included William Marshal.

Henry declared himself to be of age in 1227 but he did not take full control until he was 29.

As king, Henry was full of bright ideas but lacked sufficient drive and determination to see them through, although he was able to oversee the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey.

A generally weak king, Henry was opposed by the barons, who called for government to be in the hands of competent ministers rather than the king. Chief among these opponents was Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who established England’s first Parliament and also led an armed revolt against Henry. De Montfort was indeed the effective ruler of England for a time.

Henry’s worst defeat was at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, but Henry recovered due largely to the efforts of his warlike son Edward. When the armies clashed again, at Evesham in 1265, de Montfort was killed along with many of his followers and Henry was able to resume his reign.

When he died in 1272 after a reign of 56 years, Henry was succeeded by Edward.


King Henry III
King Henry III

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)