Friday, 28 February 2014

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King!

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King! My favourite person in history was born on this day in London, exactly 859 years ago. I wrote about the events accompanying Henry's birth here. Today I just want to mention that before he was safely delivered into this world, Henry could already boast about sea-crossing in a violent storm and attending, no more no less, but a coronation. We should consider ourselves lucky, for we know Henry's prenatal whereabouts, including exact dates and sites. On 7/8 December 1154 he crossed the Narrow Sea, from Barfleur to England with his mother (quite obvious :-)), father and two paternal uncles, Geoffrey and William. How did Eleanor, being seven months pregnant, manage to survive the voyage, I dare not guess. The important thing is that eleven days later, on 19 December, she was well enough to be crowned with her husband at Westminster. And their second son was there too, albeit incognito.

1155, the year of Henry's birth, also saw the births of the two of his future brothers-in-law, William II of Sicily and Alfonso VIII of Castile.Yes, they were all peers, each of them with bright prospects lying ahead. However, the world they entered was far from being safe and peaceful. To the contrary, it was in constant turmoil . Henry's father, freshly crowned king of England, was busy restoring peace in the realm ravaged by the nineteen years of a civil war. William of Sicily's father, also William, found himself and his subjects facing the threat of the Byzantine domination when the forces of Manuel Comnenus invaded the south of Italy and found an ally in Hadrian IV (Nicholas Breakespear), the only Englishman ever to become pope. The latter, too, had his hands full, restroing order in Rome after the unease caused by Arnold of Brescia and his followers, plus crowning Frederick I [Barbarossa] Holy Roman Emperor at St Peter's Basilica in June. Alfonso was to be born nine months after Henry, in November, to king Sancho III of Castile and his consort, Blanche of Navarre, only to be orphaned by the death of his father three years later, meaning his minority was to be marked by unrest and civil war.

1155 was the year England welcomed the arrival of a new prince, but also said farewell to three distinguished men: Geoffrey of Monmouth, the author of what was to become one of the most popular works of the Middle Ages, Historia Regum Britanniae; Henry of Huntingdon, who not only wrote the most extensive work of history of King Stephen's reign (Historia Anglorum), but also a number of formal letters and a collection of miracle stories, both of which he incorporated into his Historia; and Wulfric of Haselbury, the Wiltshire anchorite, but also "social arbitor, prophet and healer” (plus- the fact less known- quite wealthy man).



Special thanks to Ms Marsha Lambert, the Young King's benefactor, but also to Meine kleine Dame aus Berlin, Sonja Koch. Henry would be impoverished man without your help and kind support. 

Many thanks to Henry's loyal supporters, especially to dear Anerje, Kathryn, Joan and Gabriele

We are not forgetting about Ms Stephanie Churchil Ling, Ms Emilie Laforge, Mr Richard Willis, Mr Ken John, Mr David Parr, Mr Malcolm Craig, Mr Darren Baker, Ms Cristina Beans Picón, Ms Paula Lofting, Ms Elisabeth Millard, Ms Teka Lynn, Mr David Pilling (who is enjoying the Turkish sun at the moment :-)), Ms Jayne Smith

Biggest "Thank you!" to two very special ladies, who breathed a new life into the Young King, Ms Sharon Kay Penman and Ms Elizabeth Chadwick.

Dziękuję mojemu kochanemu mężowi i kochanym dzieciom, że godzą się dzielić mój czas z Młodym Królem :-)



17 comments:

  1. Hmm. Tried to post a comment and it disappeared. Will try again. Lol! Fantastic post. Happy Birthday to Henry. xx Thank you so much for my mention. I am honored. xx Shared on my timeline and on Sharon's page. Sonja was kind enough to post on Sharon's group page. Will share tomorrow on the Review for blog day. Take care, friend.

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  2. So, young Kasia, champion of the Young King. What was it about him and his history that first attracted you to him. I know you 'met' him at his mother's court, but what did he have that attracted you? What was it about him that grabbed your attention; enough for you to decide to research so much about him and preserve his story? I'm interested because I have followed a similar path in my tracing of Othon's past. I know why I have done it and would love to know why you, a lovely Polish lady, found such a passion for a long dead English king (well, almost).

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    1. Dear Ken, will it suffice if I say that it has been love at first sight? At least when I'm concerned :-D But to be serious, what was it about him? I think the same what won him hearts of his contemporaries. His proverbial charm, the air of charisma, his generosity and the fact he lost... He lost everything. And there was so much to gain...
      I'm not going to dwell on my personal losses, but the Young King and I have much in common :-)

      Here's our personal anthem, BTW ( I'm sure Henry would love it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls-aqMVACxg
      The words: "I need you now, like I never did" sound very compelling to me. As if the young King himself spoke to me ;-) I know, I'm an incurable romantic.

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    1. Dear Stephanie, thank you so much!!! For everything!

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  4. Somewhere, the young king is smiling, Kasia.

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  5. I'm sure he is! Thank you, Sharon! Such an honour! I cannot express how happy I am! Thank you!

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  6. The Young Prince must have been delighted by such a wonderful remembrance so many centuries after his birth! You do him great justice Kasia! :)

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    1. Thank you, dear Cristina! I'm very happy you think so.

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  7. Pen Blywydd Hapus y brenin ifanc, Henry, as we say in Wales! Henry's charisma lives on in this blog - and thanks for the mention - I to am honoured!

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    1. How could I not mention you, dear Anerje! You are one of the most loyal followers of the Young King (already a member of his household :-)).

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  8. I found this all very touching, Kasia. I must listen to that song on youtube. And you're so kind, you never fail to give kudos & praise. You & the young king are soul mates, plain & simple! I too am honored for the mention. Hey, incurable romantics have the joy of life......can't top that!

    warm wishes,
    Joan

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    1. Thank you, dear Joan! The song is great. Ihope you'll like it, too.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Henry. And his faithful herald Kasia.

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