The Board of the First Plantagenets

In 1154 the king of England became the great-grandson of William the Conqueror Count of Anjou Henry II Plantagenet. He became the founder of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry II owned considerable territories in France, which, with its ascent, the patron were annexed to England.

It is clear that such a huge state was not easy to manage. Despite his youth, Henry II managed to tame the unruly barons. He ordered the destruction of their locks, and appointed sheriffs for his posts as proxies.

One of the most important events of Henry II was the judicial reform. First of all, he introduced a jury trial: 12 representatives of petty chivalry or free peasants were involved in the consideration of the case. Under oath, they were to name the sheriff and the judges the names of the suspects in the crime. The supreme in the state became the royal court. Any free person could transfer consideration of his case from the seignorial court to the royal one for a fee.

In addition to

the judiciary, Henry II also carried out military reform. After the Norman conquest, the military forces of the English kings consisted of the people’s militia and the feudal army, in which, for 40 days a year, all the vassals were serving. Henry II allowed the feudal lords to refuse to serve, paying for this kind of military tax – Shield money. So the king got the opportunity to hire a permanent army, which fought as much as he demanded, and became less dependent on the armed forces of the feudal lords.

Henry II tried to subdue the English church. He demanded that the election of bishops and abbots take place with his participation, and also seeks to control church courts. This plan was angrily condemned by Archbishop Thomas Becket. Criticism so outraged the king that he said in his heart: “Is there not among all the cowards that I feed, anyone who would save me from this pathetic saint?” A group of courtiers rushed to the cathedral, where Thomas Becket ruled Mass, and killed him near the altar. This shameful action caused a flurry of indignation. The Pope, who forced the King of England with

all the people to repent at the grave of the Archbishop and stop interfering in church affairs, did not stay aside.

Strengthening of royal power was burdened by the obstinate English nobility, who repeatedly organized insurrections and raised uprisings against Henry II. In 1189 A great conspiracy against the king was discovered, in which his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and their sons Richard and John took part. Obviously, Heinrich experienced a very hard ego and died the same year. The English throne was taken by his son Richard, who during his lifetime received the nickname of the Lionheart.

Richard was born in England, spent his youth in Aquitaine, in the motherland of his mother, where he received a good education. From childhood, he was fond of poetry, tried to write poetry. Richard skillfully possessed weapons and often won at the chivalric tournaments, passionately loved hunting and dangerous adventures. The English perceived him as a “knightly” king, whose life goes on in endless wanderings. In general, during his entire reign Richard was not in England and a full year, did not even learn English. He considered England an inexhaustible financial source of the maintenance of the army, bringing him fame and satisfaction.

Shortly after the coronation, Richard went to the Third Crusade, during which he captured the island of Cyprus and the fortress of Akra. When the king secretly returned from the campaign to England, he was captured by his long-time foe to the Duke of Austria.

In December 1192, the king stopped to rest near Vienna and sent a servant to eat. There was a severe frost, so the servant took Richard’s warm mittens with the embroidered coat of arms of the King of England – a golden lion. They gave the imprudent traveler. When the servant was seized, he confessed under the threat of imminent death where the king was. So Richard was taken prisoner.

The place of detention of the English king was kept secret for a long time. According to legend, he was discovered by the young knight Blondel de Nel, the vassal of the king and a friend of his youth. Walking under the walls of the castle, he sang a song that they once put together. Hearing a familiar tune, Richard picked it up and so reported on the location of his location. Thanks to the efforts of Eleanor of Aquitaine, he was released for a large ransom.

Freed from captivity, Richard, after only a few weeks in England, went to Normandy, where he began preparations for war with the French King Philip II Augustus. He did not have to return to England alive. In 1199, he was mortally wounded by a poisoned arrow. This happened in his native Aquitaine during the siege of the castle, where supposedly the treasures of his father Henry II were hidden. Dying, Richard proclaimed his younger brother John the heir to the English throne.

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The Board of the First Plantagenets