also called Henry Curtmantle or
FitzEmpress (reigned 1154-1189)
was the eldest son of the Empress
Matilda and her second husband, Geoffrey of Anjou.
- As a young man, he helped his
mother in the war against her cousin, Stephen.
She thought she should be ruling England instead of him.
- Later, Henry fought Stephen on
his own and eventually Stephen agreed to leave him the Throne when he
- Henry became one of the greatest
Kings of England. He married the richest woman in Europe. Her name was
Eleanor of Aquitaine (in France). Together they ruled a vast Empire stretching from the
Scottish Border to the Spanish border. He even had a foothold in Ireland.
- Henry improved the way his Royal
servants ran the country and collected taxes. He also made sure his
Barons didn't become too powerful and that the law courts were
- He was also worried about the
power of the Church. This led to arguments with his old friend, Thomas
Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry's followers thought he
wanted the Archbishop dead and so they murdered him in his cathedral..
- By the time he died, Henry faced
several rebellions (wars against the proper king) from his own sons.
- The next king was his eldest
son, Richard the Lionheart.