Wednesday, 5 March 2014

5 March 1173. Henry the Young King escapes from Chinon

I want to wish Happy Birthday to one of the greatest medieval rulers (and one of my favourite), King Henry II, who was born on 5 March 1133 at Le Mans to Geoffrey le Bel of Anjou and Empress Matilda. Also, rather sheepishly, I have to mention that exactly forty years later, Henry’s eldest (surviving) son and heir, Henry the Young King gave his sire the worst birthday present ever. He escaped from Chinon Castle, where he was staying in his father's company, and made his way to the French territory, triggering what was to become the Great Revolt of 1173-74. Coming to his defence I need to point out that this was in greater measure Henry II’s own fault. To see what I mean, take a look at my last year's post entitled By the Example of Undutiful Absalom.

                          Chinon Castle today (image via Wikipedia)

12 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Henry II, one of the most fascinating, charismatic and flawed men of the Middle Ages! I had no idea or had forgotten that young Henry escaped on his father's 40th birthday, oh dear, though I loved Sharon Penman's fictional scene of it!

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  2. I too loved the brilliant escape scene in Devil's Brood, although, the Young King's behaviour that day/night must have drawn blood :-(

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  3. Blaming Henry II was his son's revolt? hehe! The whole family were such a conniving, feuding and treacherous bunch! I agree with Kathryn in describing Henry II as fascinating, charismatic and flawed - very flawed! They'd make great drama tv - far better than the Borgias!

    Managed to get my John post, erm, posted! Changed my browser - don't expect too much!

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    1. I would love to watch the Angevin mini series one day, but I'm afraid the would end up like the Tudors :-(

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  4. Actually, comparing the sketches of the Young King on your blog, and John's on mine - Young Henry looks far more impressive! Poor John, nothing ever goes right for him;)

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  5. Dear Anerje, I dare to disagree! I can't see any flaws in your post :-)

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  6. Happy Birthday to my favorite King!!! <3 A great and brilliant King who could have trusted his sons a bit more. :)

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    1. Shared on my timeline, Sharon's and on Sharon's fan page. :)

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    2. Exactly, Marsha! Why couldn't he trust them? And share responsibility and power?

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  7. Thank you for sharing :-) You too are Henry's champion!

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  8. I miss you, Kasia! I think of you often. Are you reading A King's Ransom?

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    1. I too miss you all, dear Jacqueline! How nice to hear from you. No, I'm not reading Ransom, but it should be here in the near future :-)

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