Birth of the Plantagenets

The House of the Plantagenet, was a catalogue of crimes and atrocities that took place between the 12th century and the 1485 slaying of King Richard III, that which ended the Plantagenet line…

The French county of Anjou, was the homeland of the House of Plantagenets.

Matilda was born in 1102, to parents King Henry I and Matilda Queen Consort, daughter of Malcolm Canmore, the King of Scotland.

Matilda, married the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V of Germany on the 7th January 1114, and was recalled back to England in 1125, when her husband died… for she was Henry’s only remaining legitimate child.

Henry I insisted she marry Geoffrey of Anjou, for Henry had no male heir, and hoped Matilda’s marriage would produce a male heir.  A future Count of Anjou and King of England would be born.

In the meantime, Henry made Matilda his heir, a rare choice in an age when right of succession passed from father to son.

Henry forced his barons to swear an allegiance to his daughter Matilda, as the rightful Queen of England upon his death, many blatantly refused.

In the June of 1128, Matilda, a somewhat reluctant Matilda married the fourteen-year-old Geoffrey Plantagenet.  On the 5th March 1133 a son was born to Matilda and Geoffrey Plantagenet at Le Mans, Anjou, much to the delight of Henry.

England’s barons refused to accept Henry I choice of successor upon his death on the 1st December 1135, who died aged 67 in Rouen, France and was buried at Reading Abbey.  They invited Stephen, Matilda’s cousin to seize the English throne

Stephen’s actions sparked Civil War and strife over right of succession.  On the 22nd December, he seized the English throne, and was crowned on the 26th December at Westminster Abbey.

In the January of 1136, King David I of Scotland invaded English lands in support of Matilda believing she be the rightful and true heir to the English throne. He continued across England, capturing Carlisle and Newcastle.

Robert, the Earl of Gloucester, rebelled against King Stephen in 1138, a keen supporter of Matilda’s believing she should sit upon the English throne.

In the February of 1141, Stephen laid siege to Lincoln Castle, but was over whelmed by superior forces, captured and held prisoner at Bristol.

In the April of 1141, Matilda was elected Queen, and headed to London for her coronation, but was driven out by the citizens of London, who opposed her coronation.

Robert, the Earl of Gloucester, was captured under order of Stephen’s wife.  The captives were then mutually exchanged, and Stephen resumed his position as England’s King.

Around1142, Stephen believed he had the better of Matilda, trapping her in Oxford Castle.  In late December she fled the castle dressed in a white cloak to camouflage herself against the snow.

Robert the Earl of Gloucester died in 1147, Matilda’s most powerful ally in her fight for the English throne … the fight had been taken out of her, and in 1148 she returned to Normandy … never to step foot on English soil again.

In 1151, Matilda’s husband; Geoffrey of Anjou, died and their son Henry Plantagenet becomes Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy.

In 1153, Henry Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou, landed his forces on English soil to resolve the question of England’s rightful heir.  A wrong needed to be put right.  So, it came to pass an agreement was made between Stephen and Henry under the “Treaty of Westminster.”  Stephen would remain King of England, until his death, and then Henry Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou would become King Henry II of England.

In 1154 King Stephen died, and was succeeded by Henry Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou, the next King Henry II of England.

On the 10th September 1167 Matilda the rightful heir to the English throne died.  She who had been her father; King Henry I, chosen successor should have reigned.  That never came to pass… as England was pushed into a Civil War over the right of succession.

King Henry’s successors included Richard the Lionheart who went to the Holy Land, and the evil King John.

Some Historical Events which took place:

  • The murder of Thomas Becket
  • Edward I battle with William Wallace, who sought Scotland’s Independence.
  • Edward II and his love affair with Piers Gaveston.
  • Richard I and the Crusades
  • 1381 Peasants Revolt
  • Black Death
  • Battle of Agincourt
  • Wars of the Roses
  • 100 Years Wars

Just to name a few of the events that took place.

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