Henry II

Previous king: Stephen       Reigned: 1154-1189       Next king: Richard I (son)

Henry II and Thomas Becket Henry II was the grandson of Henry I but he was not related closely to Stephen. So he started a new dynasty - the Plantagenets. The name comes from 'planat genista' which is Latin for the plant broom. This appeared on his badge.

Canterbury Cathedral Henry was the first king to appoint magistrates, who made judgements in law in the king's name. The church tried to maintain the power of their own courts. Henry appointed a friend, Thomas Becket, to become Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas Becket turned against the king (see left) and supported the church's cause. Henry lost his temper and said to his knights "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" His knights then murdered Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Henry had to do penance for this.

Wikipedia (external site) for further information       -       Kings and Queens index