King Henry II Mistress: Rosamund de Clifford

King Henry II was smitten by Rosamund de Clifford, a beauty to behold, also known as Fair Rosamund.  She was born around 1140 to parents Walter de Clifford a Welsh Lord and one of Henry’s knights and Margaret de Tosny.

Rosamund claimed the heart of Henry, as she took him from his wife and Queen, one Eleanor of Aquitaine.

A crime of passion was taking place between Henry II the unfaithful King and his mistress; one Rosamund de Clifford.  Both England and France knew of the affair, and Eleanor was growing angrier by the day.

Eleanor could take no more, this woman a thorn in her side had to go.  Henry and Eleanor had grown apart, she had given him what he so desired male heirs, and moved back to Poitiers to run her kingdom.  However, news reached her ears that her husband and king, was openly taking his mistress on his travels, he was openly flaunting her, across his lands.

Eleanor and her knights, secretly landed on British shores, and headed for Woodstock Palace, where Henry’s mistress was hidden.  Only a single brave knight protected Rosamund, and was no match for battle hardened knights.  Eleanor was to confront her nemesis… Rosamund was given a choice; death by dagger or poison, she chose poison and her life was slowly taken from her.

Henry mourned Rosamund’s death.  She died in 1176 at Godstow Nunnery, becoming a Nun on her deathbed, and buried in Godstow Abbey Convent Church.  In 1190 Bishop Hugh of Lincoln was horrified to discover Henry’s mistresses tomb had a place of honour, and was duly removed to the Nun’s Chapter House.

This is a historical act… What we have here is a situation, one consisting of a Queen and a King’s mistress, fighting to the death for the love of King Henry II.

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