Part I. The early Plantagenets ( Angeving kings) 6-16
1. Henry II 7-11
2. Richard I Coeur de Lion 12-13
3. John Lackland 14-16
Part II. The last Plantagenets 17-30
1. Henry III 17-18
2. Edward I 19-20
3. Edward II 21-22
4. Edward III 23-24
5. Richard II 25-30
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a monarchy, now Parliamentary and once an absolute one. That’s why the history of the country closely connected with the history of Royal dynasties.
Speaking about royal dynasties in England we should take in mind the fact, that the first one appeared in the country with the Norman invasion in 1066. In the ancient time after Anglo-Saxon invasion the country consisted of small kingdoms each ruled by its own king. Their representatives (Chieftains of the kingdoms)– the Witan – chose king of England (for example Edward the Confessor). It was William the Conqueror, who began the first dynasty – House of Normandy. William I the Conqueror –Duke of Normandy (1035-1087) invaded England, defeated and killed his rival Harold at the Battle of Hastings and became King of England. With the coronation of William the new period in history of England began. England turned into a centralizes , strong feudal monarchy. The period of small kingdoms ended and started the Era of Absolute Monarchy. William was Duke of Normandy and at the same time the King of England. He controlled two large areas: Normandy – inherited from his father and England – he won it. Both areas were his personal possession. To William the only difference was that in France he had a King above him and he had to serve him. In England he had nobody above him. Nobody could say who he was – an Englishman or a Frenchman. The Norman Conquest of England was completed by 1072 aided by the establishment of feudalism under which his followers were granted land in return for pledges of service and loyalty. As King William was noted for his efficient harsh rule. His administration relied upon Norman and other foreign personnel especially Lanfranc Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1085 started Domesday Book. In this book there was the reflection of what happened to England.
The next kings were kings of Plantagenet’s dynasty.
I have chosen the history of this dynasty as a subject for my course paper because, on the one hand, being a student of the English language I can’t but be interested in the history of this country, and, on the other hand, not so much is written about the Plantagenet’s kings, among which there were such world-known persons as Richard-the-Lion Heart and John Lackland.
Part I. The early Plantagenets (Angeving kings)
House of Plantagenet.
“The Plantagenet dynasty took its name form the “planta Genesta” (Latine), or broom, traditionally an emblem of the counts of Anjou. Geoffrey is the only true Plantagenet so-called, because he wore a spring of broom-genet in his cap. It was a personal nickname, such as Henry’s “Curt-manted”. Soon this nick-name habit was to die, to be replaced by names taken from one’s birthplace. Members of this dynasty ruled over England from 1154 till 1399. However, in conventional historical usage , Henry II (son of Count Geoffrey of Anjou) and his sons Richard I and John are Normandy termed the Angeving kings, and their successors, up to Richard II, the Plantagenets. The term Plantagenet was not used until about 1450, when Richard, Duke of York, called himself by it in order to emphasize his royal descent from Edward III’s fifth son, Edmund of Langley.”(1)
“Henry II, the first Plantagenet, born in 1133, was the son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count Of Anjou, and Matilda, the daughter of Henry I. Henry II, the first and the greatest of three Angevin kings of England, succeeded Stephen in 1154. Aged 21, he already possessed a reputation for restless energy and decisive actions. He was to inherit vast lands. As their heir to his mother and his father he held Anjou (hence Angevin) , Maine, and Touraine; as the heir to his brother Geoffrey he obtained Brittany; as the husband of Eleanor, the divorced wife of Louis VII of France, he held Aquitaine, the major part of southwestern France. Altogether his holdings in France were far larger than those of the French king. They have become known as the Angevin empire, although Henry II never in fact claimed any imperial rights or used the title of the emperor.” (2) From the beginning Henry showed himself determined to assert and maintain his rights in all his lands.
In the first decade of his reign Henry II was largely concerned with continental affairs, though he made sure that the forged castles in England were destroyed. Many of the earldoms created in the anarchy of Stephen’s reign were allowed to lapse. Major change in England began in the mid 1160s. The Assize of Clarendon of 1166. , and that Northampton 10 years later, promoted public order. Juries were used to provide evidence of what crimes had been committed and to bring accusations. New forms of legal actions were introduced , notably the so-called prossessory assizes, which determined who had the right to immediate possession of land, not who had the best fundamental right. That could be decid