On This Day

Henry II of England

King of England Henry II of England

Full Name: Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet
Profession: King of England


Why Famous: Henry II inherited the English crown from his uncle Stephen I and through his mother Matilda, herself a claimant to the throne. After becoming king aged 21 he ruled for 34 years and through his military efforts and energy regained control over a large Kingdom that included England, Wales and the French regions of Anjou, Maine and Touraine and Brittany.

Henry's reign is also remembered for the murder of his former friend and supporter Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket was killed, hacked to pieces by Henry's knights on the high altar of Canterbury Cathedral, and although without a direct order, damaged Henry's reputation.

Henry's later reign was marked by attempts by his four sons to seize power from their father and each other. Their battles hastened Henry's own demise and when he died he was succeeded by his son Richard the Lionheart.

Born: March 5, 1133
Birthplace: Le Mans, Maine, Kingdom of France
Star Sign: Pisces

Died: July 6, 1189 (aged 56)
Cause of Death: A bleeding ulcer

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Married Life

  • 1152-05-18 Eleanor of Aquitaine marries Henri of Anjou, handing the future King Henry II of England most of France, allowing future kings of England to claim France for centuries thereafter

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