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Angevin Empire

Empire Plantagenêt  (French)[1]
1154–1214
The extent of the Angevin Empire around 1190
The extent of the Angevin Empire around 1190
StatusPersonal union, empire
CapitalNo official capital. Court was generally held at Angers and Chinon.
Common languagesOld French, Latin, Norman French, Anglo-Norman, Middle English, Gascon, Basque, Middle Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Middle Irish, Cumbric, Zarphatic
Religion
Roman Catholicism (official)
GovernmentFeudal monarchy
Emperor, King, Prince, Duke, Count and Lord 
• 1154–1189
Henry II
• 1189–1199
Richard I
• 1199–1216 (effective end of the Angevin Empire in 1214)
John
• 1216–1259 (de jure rule)
Henry III
Historical eraMiddle Ages
The Angevin Empire (/ˈænɪvɪn/; French: Empire Plantagenêt) describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England who held lands in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its rulers were Henry II (ruled 1154–1189), Richard I (r. 1189–1199), and John (r. 1199–1216). The Angevin Empire is an early example of a composite state.[2]

The Angevins of the House of Plantagenet ruled over an area covering roughly half of France, all of England, and parts of Ireland and Wales, and had further influence over much of the remaining British Isles. The empire was established by Henry II, as King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou (from which the Angevins derive their name), as well as Duke of Aquitaine by right of his wife, and multiple subsidiary titles. Although their title of highest rank came from the Kingdom of England, the Angevins held court primarily on the continent at Angers in Anjou, and Chinon in Touraine.

The influence and power of the House of Anjou brought them into conflict with the kings of France of the House of Capet, to whom they also owed feudal homage for their French possessions, bringing in a period of rivalry between the dynasties. Despite the extent of Angevin rule, Henry's son, John, was defeated in the Anglo-French War (1213–1214) by Philip II of France following the Battle of Bouvines. John lost control of most of his continental possessions, apart from Gascony in southern Aquitaine. This defeat set the scene for further conflicts between England and France, leading up to the Hundred Years' War.

Origin of the term and its application

The term Angevin Empire is a neologism defining the lands of the House of Plantagenet: Henry II and his sons House of Plantagenet ruled over an area covering roughly half of France, all of England, and parts of Ireland and Wales, and had further influence over much of the remaining British Isles. The empire was established by Henry II, as King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou (from which the Angevins derive their name), as well as Duke of Aquitaine by right of his wife, and multiple subsidiary titles. Although their title of highest rank came from the Kingdom of England, the Angevins held court primarily on the continent at Angers in Anjou, and Chinon in Touraine.

The influence and power of the House of Anjou brought them into conflict with the kings of France of the House of Capet, to whom they also owed feudal homage for their French possessions, bringing in a period of rivalry between the dynasties. Despite the extent of Angevin rule, Henry's son, John, was defeated in the Anglo-French War (1213–1214) by Philip II of France following the Battle of Bouvines. John lost control of most of his continental possessions, apart from Gascony in southern Aquitaine. This defeat set the scene for further conflicts between England and France, leading up to the Hundred Years' War.

The term Angevin Empire is a neologism defining the lands of the House of Plantagenet: Henry II and his sons Richard I and John. Another son, Geoffrey, ruled Brittany and established a separate line there. As far as historians know, there was no contemporary term for the region under Angevin control; however, descriptions such as "our kingdom and everything subject to our rule whatever it may be" were used.[3] The term Angevin Empire was coined by Kate Norgate in her 1887 publication, England under the Angevin Kings.[4] In France, the term espace Plantagenet (French for "Plantagenet area") is sometimes used to describe the fiefdoms the Plantagenets had acquired.[5]

The adoption of the Angevin Empire label marked a re-evaluation of the times, considering that both English and French influence spread throughout the dominion in the half century during which the union lasted. The term Angevin itself is the demonym for the residents of Anjou and its historic capital, Angers; the Plantagenets were descended from Geoffrey I, Count of Anjou, hence the term.[6] The demonym, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, has been in use since 1653.[6]

The use of the term Empire has engendered controversy among some historians over whether the term is accurate for the actual state of affairs at the time. The area was a collection of the lands inherited and acquired by Henry, and so it is unclear whether these dominions shared any common identity and so should be labelled with the term Empire.[7][8][9] Some historians argue that the term should be reserved solely for the Holy Roman Empire, the only Western European political structure actually named an empire at that time,[10] although Alfonso VII of León and Castile had taken the title "Emperor of all Spain" in 1135.[11] Other historians argue that Henry II's empire was neither powerful, centralised, nor large enough to be seriously called an empire.[10] Furthermore, the Plantagenets never claimed any sort of imperial title as implied by the term Angevin Empire.[12] However, even if the Plantagenets themselves did not claim an imperial title, some chroniclers, often working for Henry II himself, did use the term empire to describe this assemblage of lands.[10] The highest title was "king of England"; the other titles of dukes and counts of different areas held in France were completely and totally independent from the royal title, and not subject to any English royal law.[13] Because of this, some historians prefer the term commonwealth to empire, emphasising that the Angevin Empire was more of an assemblage of seven fully independent, sovereign states loosely bound to each other, only united in the person of the king of England.[14]

Geography and administration

At its largest extent, the Angevin Empire consisted of the Kingdom of England, the Lordship of Ireland, the duchies of Normandy (which included the Channel Islands), Gascony and Aquitaine[15] as well as of the counties of Anjou, Poitou, Maine, Touraine, Saintonge, La Marche, Périgord, Limousin, Nantes and Quercy. While the duchies and counties were held with various levels of vassalage to the king of France,[16] the Plantagenets held various levels of control over the Duchies of The adoption of the Angevin Empire label marked a re-evaluation of the times, considering that both English and French influence spread throughout the dominion in the half century during which the union lasted. The term Angevin itself is the demonym for the residents of Anjou and its historic capital, Angers; the Plantagenets were descended from Geoffrey I, Count of Anjou, hence the term.[6] The demonym, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, has been in use since 1653.[6]

The use of the term Empire has engendered controversy among some historians over whether the term is accurate for the actual state of affairs at the time. The area was a collection of the lands inherited and acquired by Henry, and so it is unclear whether these dominions shared any common identity and so should be labelled with the term Empire.[7][8][9] Some historians argue that the term should be reserved solely for the Holy Roman Empire, the only Western European political structure actually named an empire at that time,[10] although Alfonso VII of León and Castile had taken the title "Emperor of all Spain" in 1135.[11] Other historians argue that Henry II's empire was neither powerful, centralised, nor large enough to be seriously called an empire.[10] Furthermore, the Plantagenets never claimed any sort of imperial title as implied by the term Angevin Empire.[12] However, even if the Plantagenets themselves did not claim an imperial title, some chroniclers, often working for Henry II himself, did use the term empire to describe this assemblage of lands.[10] The highest title was "king of England"; the other titles of dukes and counts of different areas held in France were completely and totally independent from the royal title, and not subject to any English royal law.[13] Because of this, some historians prefer the term commonwealth to empire, emphasising that the Angevin Empire was more of an assemblage of seven fully independent, sovereign states loosely bound to each other, only united in the person of the king of England.[14]

At its largest extent, the Angevin Empire consisted of the Kingdom of England, the Lordship of Ireland, the duchies of Normandy (which included the Channel Islands), Gascony and Aquitaine[15] as well as of the counties of Anjou, Poitou, Maine, Touraine, Saintonge, La Marche, Périgord, Limousin, Nantes and Quercy. While the duchies and counties were held with various levels of vassalage to the king of France,[16] the Plantagenets held various levels of control over the Duchies of Brittany and Cornwall, the Welsh princedoms, the county of Toulouse, and the Kingdom of Scotland, although those regions were not formal parts of the empire. Auvergne was also in the empire for part of the reigns of Henry II and Richard, in their capacity as dukes of Aquitaine. Henry II and Richard I pushed further claims over the County of Berry but these were not completely fulfilled and the county was lost completely by the time of the accession of John in 1199.[citation needed]

The frontiers of the empire were sometimes well known and therefore easy to mark, such as the dykes constructed between the royal demesne of the king of France and the Duchy of Normandy. In other places these borders were not

The frontiers of the empire were sometimes well known and therefore easy to mark, such as the dykes constructed between the royal demesne of the king of France and the Duchy of Normandy. In other places these borders were not so clear, particularly the eastern border of Aquitaine, where there was often a difference between the frontier Henry II, and later Richard I, claimed, and the frontier where their effective power ended.[17]

Scotland was an independent kingdom, but after a disastrous campaign led by William the Lion, English garrisons were established in the castles of Edinburgh, Roxburgh, Jedburgh and Berwick in southern Scotland as defined in the Treaty of Falaise.[18]

One characteristic of the Angevin Empire was its "polycratic" nature, a term taken from a political pamphlet written by a subject of the Angevin Empire: the Policraticus by John of Salisbury. This meant that, rather than the empire being controlled fully by the ruling monarch, he would delegate power to specially appointed subjects in different areas.[citation needed]

Britain

England was under the firmest control of all the lands in the A

England was under the firmest control of all the lands in the Angevin Empire, due to the age of many of the offices that governed the country and the traditions and customs that were in place. England was divided in shires with sheriffs in each enforcing the common law. A justiciar was appointed by the king to stand in his absence when he was on the continent. As the kings of England were more often in France than England they used writs more frequently than the Anglo-Saxon kings, which actually proved beneficial to England.[19] Under William I's rule, Anglo-Saxon nobles had been largely replaced by Anglo-Norman ones who couldn't own large expanses of contiguous lands, because their lands were split between England and France. This made it much harder for them to revolt against the king and defend all of their lands at once. Earls held a status similar to that of the continental counts, but there were no dukes at this time, only ducal titles that the kings of England held.[citation needed]

Wales obtained good terms provided it paid homage to the Plantagenets and recognised them as lords.[20] However, it remained almost self-ruling. It supplied the Plantagenets with [20] However, it remained almost self-ruling. It supplied the Plantagenets with infantry and longbowmen.[citation needed]

Ireland was ruled by the Lord of Ireland who had a hard time imposing his rule at first. Dublin and Leinster were Angevin strongholds while Cork, Limerick and parts of eastern Ulster were taken by Anglo-Norman nobles.[21]

France

All the continental domains that the Angevin kings ruled were governed by a seneschal at the top of the hierarchical system, with lesser government officials such as baillis, vicomtes, and prévôts.[22] However, all counties and duchies would differ to an extent.

Greater Anjou is a modern term to describe the area consisting of Anjou, Maine, Touraine, Vendôme, and Saintonge.[23] Here, prévôts, the seneschal of Anjou, and other seneschals governed. They were based at Tours, Chinon, Baugé, Beaufort, Brissac, Angers, Saumur, Loudun, Loches, Langeais and Anjou, Maine, Touraine, Vendôme, and Saintonge.[23] Here, prévôts, the seneschal of Anjou, and other seneschals governed. They were based at Tours, Chinon, Baugé, Beaufort, Brissac, Angers, Saumur, Loudun, Loches, Langeais and Montbazon. However, the constituent counties, such as Maine, were often administered by the officials of the local lords, rather than their Angevin suzerains. Maine was at first largely self-ruling and lacked administration until the Angevin kings made efforts to improve administration by installing new officials, such as the seneschal of Le Mans. These reforms came too late for the Angevins however, and only the Capetians saw the beneficial effects of this reform after they annexed the area.[24]

Aquitaine differed in the level of administration in its different constituent regions. Gascony was a very loosely administrated region. Officials were stationed mostly in Entre-Deux-Mers, Bayonne, Dax, but some were found on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and also on the river Garonne up to Agen. The rest of Gascony was not administered, despite being such a large area compared to other smaller, well-administered provinces. This difficulty when it came to administering the region wasn't new – it had been just as difficult for the previous Poitevin dukes to cement their authority over this area.[25] A similar state of affairs was found in the eastern provinces of Périgord and Limousin, where there was not much of a royal administrative system and practically no officials were stationed. Indeed, there were lords that ruled these regions as if they were "sovereign princes" and they had extra powers, such as the ability to mint their own coins, something English lords had been unable to do for decades. The Lusignans, for example, became rivals to the Angevins during John's rule as he attempted to consolidate his power. Officials could be stationed in Poitou, however, due to a large concentration of castles compared to the rest of Aquitaine.[citation needed]

Normandy was the most administrated state of the Angevin Empire after England. Prévôts and vicomtes lost their authority to baillis, who held both judicial and executive powers. These officials were introduced during the 12th century in Normandy and cause an organisation of the duchy similar to the sheriffs in England. Ducal authority was the strongest on the frontier near the Capetian royal demesne.[citation needed]

Toulouse was held through weak vassalage by the Count of Toulouse but it was rare for him to comply with Angevin rule. Only Quercy was directly administrated by the Angevins after Henry II's conquest in 1159, but it did remain a contested area.[citation needed]

Brittany, a region where nobles were traditionally very independent, was under Angevin control during Henry II and Richard I's reigns. The county of Nantes was under the firmest control. The Angevins often involved themselves in Breton affairs, such as when Henry II arranged Conan of Brittany's marriage and installed the archbishop of Dol.[26]

The economy of the Angevin Empire was quite complicated due to the varying political structure of the different fiefdoms. England and Normandy were well administered and therefore would be able to generate larger revenues than areas such as Aquitaine. This is because England and Normandy were home to more officials to collect taxes and, unlike Aquitaine, local lords were unable to mint their own coins, allowing the Angevin kings to control the economy from their administrative base of Chinon. Chinon's importance was shown by the fact that Richard seized Chinon first when he rebelled against his father in 1187, and then when John immediately rushed to Chinon after his brother's death.[28]

Money raised in England was used mostly for continental issues.[19] Also, due to the high level of administration of England and, to a lesser extent, Normandy, these areas were the only lands where revenue was consistently and relatively high.[citation needed]

The English revenues themselves varied from year to year. When financial records begin in 1155 to 1156, the annual income of England was £10,500, or around half what the revenue had been under Henry I.[8][29] This was due in part to The Anarchy and King Stephen's loose rule resulting in the reduction of royal authority. As time went on, royal authority improved and the revenue consequently went up to an average of £22,000 a year. Due to the preparation for the [19] Also, due to the high level of administration of England and, to a lesser extent, Normandy, these areas were the only lands where revenue was consistently and relatively high.[citation needed]

The English revenues themselves varied from year to year. When financial records begin in 1155 to 1156, the annual income of England was £10,500, or around half what the revenue had been under Henry I.[8][29] This was due in part to The Anarchy and King Stephen's loose rule resulting in the reduction of royal authority. As time went on, royal authority improved and the revenue consequently went up to an average of £22,000 a year. Due to the preparation for the Third Crusade, revenue then increased to over £31,000 in 1190 under Richard. The number fell again to £11,000 a year whilst Richard was abroad. Between 1194–1198, revenue averaged £25,000. Under Richard's successor John, income fluctuated between £22,000 and £25,000 from 1199–1203. In order to fund for the reconquest of France, English income increased to £50,000 in 1210 but then rose to over £83,000 in 1211 before falling back down to £50,000 in 1212. Revenue then fell down to below £26,000 in 1214, and then further to £18,500 in 1215. The first three years of Henry III's reign brought in £8,000 on average due to the fragility the civil war had brought to England.[citation needed]

In Ireland, the revenue was fairly low at £2,000 for 1212; however, all other records did not survive. For Normandy, there were a lot of fluctuations relative to the politics of the Duchy. The Norman revenues were only £6,750 in 1180, then they reached £25,000 a year in 1198, higher than in England.[30] What was more impressive was the fact the Norman population was considerably smaller than England's, an estimated 1.5 million as opposed to England's 3.5 million.[31][32] This period has become known as the 'Norman Fiscal Revolution' due to this increase in revenue.[30]

For Aquitaine and Anjou, no records remain. However, it is not because that these regions were poor; there were large vineyards, important cities and iron mines. For example, this is what Ralph of Diceto, an English chronicler, wrote about Aquitaine:

Aquitaine overflows with riches of many kinds, excelling other parts of the western world to such an extent that historians consider it to be one of the most fortunate and flourishing of the provinces of Gaul. Its fields are fertile, its vineyards productive and its forests teem with wild life. From the Pyrenees northwards the whole countryside is irrigated by the River Garonne and other streams, indeed it is from these life-giving waters that the province takes its name.

[citation needed][citation needed]

The Capeti

The Capetian kings did not record such incomes, although the royal principality was more centralized under Louis VII and Philip II than it had been under Hugh Capet or Robert the Pious.[33] The wealth of the Plantagenet kings was definitely regarded as bigger; Gerald of Wales commented on this wealth with these words:

One may therefore ask how King Henry II and his sons, in spite of their many wars, possessed so much treasure. The reason is that as their fixed returns yielded less they took care to make up the total by extraordinary levies, relying more and more on these than on the ordinary sources of revenue.[34]

Petit Dutailli had commented that: "Richard maintained a superiority in resources which would have gi

Petit Dutailli had commented that: "Richard maintained a superiority in resources which would have given him the opportunity, had he lived, to crush his rival." There is another interpretation, not widely followed and proven wrong, that the king of France could have raised a stronger income, that the royal principality of the king of France generated alone more incomes than all the Angevin Empire combined.[33]

The Counts of Anjou had been vying for power in northwestern France since the 10th century. The counts were recurrent enemies of the dukes of Normandy and of Brittany and often the French king. Fulk IV, Count of Anjou, claimed rule over Touraine, Maine and Nantes; however, of these only Touraine proved to be effectively ruled, as the construction of the castles of Chinon, Loches and Loudun exemplify. Fulk IV married his son and namesake, called "Fulk the Younger" (who would later become King of Jerusalem), to Ermengarde, heiress of the province of Maine, thus unifying it with Anjou through personal union.[citation needed]

While the dynasty of the Angevins was successfully consolidating their power in France, their rivals, the Normans, had conquered England in the 11th century. Meanwhile, in the rest of France, the Poitevin Ramnulfids had become Dukes of Aquitaine and of Gascony, and the Count of Blois, Normans, had conquered England in the 11th century. Meanwhile, in the rest of France, the Poitevin Ramnulfids had become Dukes of Aquitaine and of Gascony, and the Count of Blois, Stephen, the father of the next king of England, Stephen, became the Count of Champagne. France was being split between only a few noble families.[citation needed]

In 1106, Henry I of England had defeated his brother Robert Curthose and angered his son, William Clito, who was Count of Flanders from 1127. Henry used his paternal inheritance to take the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England and then tried to establish an alliance with Anjou by marrying his only legitimate son, William, to Fulk the Younger's daughter, Matilda. However, William died in the White Ship disaster in 1120.[citation needed]

As a result, Henry then married his daughter Matilda to Geoffrey "Plantagenet", Fulk's son and successor; however, Henry's subjects had to accept Matilda's inheritance to the throne of England. There had been only one occurrence of a medieval European queen regnant before, Matilda to Geoffrey "Plantagenet", Fulk's son and successor; however, Henry's subjects had to accept Matilda's inheritance to the throne of England. There had been only one occurrence of a medieval European queen regnant before, Urraca of León and Castile, and it wasn't an encouraging precedent; nevertheless, in January 1127 the Anglo-Normans barons and prelates recognized Matilda as heiress to the throne in an oath. On 17 June 1128, the wedding between Matilda and Geoffrey was celebrated in Le Mans.

In order to secure Matilda's succession to the royal throne, she and her new husband needed castles and supporters in both England and Normandy, but if they succeeded, there would be two authorities in England: the king and Matilda. Henry prevented the conflict by refusing to hand over any castles to Matilda as well as confiscating the lands of the nobles he suspected of supporting her. By 1135, major disputes between Henry I and Matilda drove the nobles previously loyal to Henry I against Matilda. In November, Henry was dying; Matilda was with her husband in Maine and Anjou while Stephen, brother of the Count of Blois and Champagne, who was Matilda's cousin and another contender for the English and Norman thrones, was in Boulogne. Stephen rushed to England upon the news of Henry's death and was crowned King of England in December 1135.[36]

Geoffrey first sent his wife Matilda alone to Normandy in a diplomatic mission to be recognized Duchess of Normandy and replace Stephen. Geoffrey followed at the head of his army and quickly captured several fortresses in southern Normandy. It was then that a noble in Anjou, Robert III of Sablé, rebelled, forcing Geoffrey to withdraw and prevent an attack on his rear. When Geoffrey returned to Normandy in September 1136, the region had become plagued with internal, baronial infighting. Stephen was not able to travel to Normandy and so the situation remained. Geoffrey had found new allies with the Count of Vendôme and, most importantly, William X, Duke of Aquitaine. At the head of a new army and ready for conquest, Geoffrey was wounded and was forced to return to Anjou again. Furthermore, an outbreak of diarrhea plagued his arm

Geoffrey first sent his wife Matilda alone to Normandy in a diplomatic mission to be recognized Duchess of Normandy and replace Stephen. Geoffrey followed at the head of his army and quickly captured several fortresses in southern Normandy. It was then that a noble in Anjou, Robert III of Sablé, rebelled, forcing Geoffrey to withdraw and prevent an attack on his rear. When Geoffrey returned to Normandy in September 1136, the region had become plagued with internal, baronial infighting. Stephen was not able to travel to Normandy and so the situation remained. Geoffrey had found new allies with the Count of Vendôme and, most importantly, William X, Duke of Aquitaine. At the head of a new army and ready for conquest, Geoffrey was wounded and was forced to return to Anjou again. Furthermore, an outbreak of diarrhea plagued his army. Orderic Vitalis stated "the invaders had to run for home leaving a trail of filth behind them". Stephen finally arrived in Normandy in 1137 and restored order but had lost much credibility in the eyes of his main supporter, Robert of Gloucester and so Robert changed sides and supported Geoffrey and his half-sister Matilda instead. Geoffrey took Caen and Argentan without resistance, but now had to defend Robert's possessions in England against Stephen. In 1139, Robert and Matilda crossed the channel and arrived in England while Geoffrey kept the pressure on Normandy. Stephen was captured in February 1141 at the Battle of Lincoln, which prompted the collapse of his authority in both England and Normandy.[citation needed]

Geoffrey now controlled almost all of Normandy, but no longer had the support of Aquitaine now that William X had been succeeded by his daughter, Eleanor, who had married Louis VII of France in 1137. Louis was not concerned with the events in Normandy and England. While Geoffrey consolidated his Norman power, Matilda suffered defeats in England.[37] At Winchester, Robert of Gloucester was captured while covering Matilda's retreat so Matilda freed Stephen in exchange for Robert.[citation needed]

In 1142, Geoffrey was asked by Matilda for assistance but refused; he had become more interested in Normandy. Following the capture of Avranches, Mortain and Cherbourg, Rouen surrendered to him in 1144 and he then had himself anointed as Duke of Normandy. In exchange for Gisors, he was formally recognised by Louis VII. However, Geoffrey still didn't assist Matilda even as she was on the verge of defeat. After Geoffrey's investment as duke, further rebellion occurred in Anjou, including Geoffrey's younger brother, Helie, demanding Maine. It was during this period of Angevin unrest that Geoffrey then dropped the title of duke and formally invested his son Henry as Duke of Normandy in 1150, though still dominating Norman affairs.[citation needed]

Stephen hadn't given up his claim on Normandy because despite Louis VII recognising Geoffrey, and later Henry in 1151, as duke in exchange for concessions in the Norman Vexin, an alliance with Louis appeared possible. Geoffrey died in 1151, making Henry Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, with title also to Toraine and Maine. According to William of Newburgh, Geoffrey's vassals after his death forced Henry to give an oath that he would hand over Anjou to his younger brother, Geoffrey, if he was to gain the crown of England. This was the senior Geoffrey's dying wish and he had ordered that he be left without sepulture until Henry promised.[citation needed]

Henry II of England, the first Angevin king of England

In March 1152, Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine had their marriage annulled under the pretext of consanguinity at the council of Beaugency.[38] The terms of the annulment left Eleanor as duchess of Aquitaine but still a vassal of Louis. Eight weeks later she married Henry, thus Henry became duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and count of Poitiers. Now Henry refused to give Anjou to his brother because it would mean sp

In March 1152, Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine had their marriage annulled under the pretext of consanguinity at the council of Beaugency.[38] The terms of the annulment left Eleanor as duchess of Aquitaine but still a vassal of Louis. Eight weeks later she married Henry, thus Henry became duke of Aquitaine and Gascony and count of Poitiers. Now Henry refused to give Anjou to his brother because it would mean splitting his land in two. A coalition of Henry's enemies was formed by Louis VII: Stephen of England and his son Eustace IV of Boulogne (married to Louis' sister); Henry I, Count of Champagne (betrothed to Louis' daughter), Robert of Dreux (Louis' brother) and Henry's brother, Geoffrey, who saw he wouldn't receive Anjou.[citation needed]

In July 1152, Capetian troops attacked Aquitaine while Louis, Eustace, Henry of Champagne, and Robert attacked Normandy. Geoffrey raised a revolt in Anjou while Stephen attacked Angevin loyalists in England. Several Anglo-Norman nobles switched allegiance, sensing an impending disaster. Henry was about to sail for England to pursue his claim when his lands were attacked. He first reached Anjou and compelled Geoffrey to surrender. He then took the decision to sail for England in January 1153 to meet Stephen. Luckily enough, Louis fell ill and had to retire from the conflict while Henry's defences held against his enemies. After seven months of battles and politic

In July 1152, Capetian troops attacked Aquitaine while Louis, Eustace, Henry of Champagne, and Robert attacked Normandy. Geoffrey raised a revolt in Anjou while Stephen attacked Angevin loyalists in England. Several Anglo-Norman nobles switched allegiance, sensing an impending disaster. Henry was about to sail for England to pursue his claim when his lands were attacked. He first reached Anjou and compelled Geoffrey to surrender. He then took the decision to sail for England in January 1153 to meet Stephen. Luckily enough, Louis fell ill and had to retire from the conflict while Henry's defences held against his enemies. After seven months of battles and politics, Henry failed to get rid of Stephen but then Stephen's son, Eustace, died in dubious circumstances, "struck by the wrath of god." Stephen gave up the struggle by ratifying the Treaty of Winchester, making Henry his heir on condition that the landed possessions of his family were guaranteed in England and France—the same terms Matilda had previously refused after her victory at Lincoln. Henry became King Henry II of England upon Stephen's death on 25 October 1154. Subsequently, the question was again raised of Henry's oath to cede Anjou to his brother Geoffrey. Henry received a dispensation from Pope Adrian IV under the pretext the oath had been forced upon him, and he proposed compensations to Geoffrey at Rouen in 1156. Geoffrey refused and returned to Anjou to rebel against his brother. Geoffrey may have had a strong claim, but his position was weak. Louis would not interfere since Henry paid homage to him for his continental possessions. Henry crushed Geoffrey's revolt, and Geoffrey had to be satisfied with an annual pension. The Angevin Empire had now been formed.[citation needed]

In the earlier years of his reign, Henry II claimed further lands and worked on the creation of a ring of vassal states as buffers, especially around England and Normandy. The most obvious areas to expand, where large claims were held, were Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and, as an ally rather than a new dominion, Flanders.[citation needed]

King David I of Scotland had taken advantage of The Anarchy to seize Cumberland, Westmorland and No

King David I of Scotland had taken advantage of The Anarchy to seize Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumberland. In Wales, important leaders like Rhys of Deheubarth and Owain Gwynedd had emerged. In Brittany, there is no evidence that the Duke of Brittany, namely Eudes II, had recognised the Norman overlordship. Two vital frontier castles, Moulins-la-Marche and Bonmoulins, had never been taken back by Geoffrey Plantagenet and were in the hands of Robert of Dreux. Count Thierry of Flanders had joined the alliance formed by Louis VII in 1153. Further south, the Count of Blois acquired Amboise. From Henry II's perspective, these territorial issues needed solving.[8]

King Henry II showed himself to be an audacious and daring king as well as being active and mobile; Roger of Howden stated that Henry travelled across his dominions so fast that Louis VII once exclaimed that "The king of England is now in Ireland, now in England, now in Normandy, he seems rather to fly than to go by horse or ship." [39] Henry was often more present in France than in England;[40] Ralph de Diceto, Dean of St Paul's, said with irony:

There is nothing left to send to bring the king back to England but the Tower of London.[41]

Vernon and Neuf-Marché back in 1154.[42] This new strategy now regulated the Plantagenet-Capetian relationship. Louis VII had been unsuccessful in his attempt to break Henry II down. Because of the Angevin control of England in 1154, it was pointless to object to the superiority of the overall Angevin forces over the Capetian ones. However, Henry II refused to back down despite Louis' apparent change of policy until the Norman Vexin was entirely recovered. Thomas Becket, then the current Chancellor of England, was sent as ambassador to Paris in the summer of 1158 to lead negotiations.[43] He displayed all the wealth the Angevins could provide, and according to William FitzStephen, a Frenchman exclaimed "If the Chancellor of England travels in such splendor, what must the king be?"[44] Louis VII's daughter, Margaret, who was still a baby, was betrothed to Henry's heir, his eldest son, Henry the Young King with a dowry of the Norman Vexin.[43] Henry II was given back the castles of Moulins-la-Marche and Bonmoulins.[45] Theobald V, Count of Blois handed Amboise back to him.

Flanders

The relationship between Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders, who had taken part in the assaults against Henry II with Louis VII, and Henry II, who had expelled all Flemish mercenaries after his accession to the throne,[46] was not cordial at first. However, the wool trade between England and Flanders was profitable and meant that the count and Henry favoured a cordial relationship between the two of them. This relationship peaked when the Count appointed Henry guardian of his eldest son, Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders, who had taken part in the assaults against Henry II with Louis VII, and Henry II, who had expelled all Flemish mercenaries after his accession to the throne,[46] was not cordial at first. However, the wool trade between England and Flanders was profitable and meant that the count and Henry favoured a cordial relationship between the two of them. This relationship peaked when the Count appointed Henry guardian of his eldest son, Philip, who had been left as regent,[47] so that he could undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem without concern in 1157. In 1159, William of Blois died without an inheritance, he was Stephen's last son, leaving the titles of Count of Boulogne and Count of Mortain vacant. Henry II absorbed the County of Mortain but wanted to grant Boulogne to Thierry's second son, Matthew, who married Marie of Boulogne. The title of Count of Boulogne was accompanied with important manors in London and Colchester.[citation needed]

England traded much of its wool with Flanders via the port of Boulogne.[48] An alliance with these two counties was then logically sealed by this wedding and the concessions of manors. Henry II had to get Marie out of her

England traded much of its wool with Flanders via the port of Boulogne.[48] An alliance with these two counties was then logically sealed by this wedding and the concessions of manors. Henry II had to get Marie out of her convent first, which had been a common practice in England since the Normans. In 1163, the few official remaining documents show Henry II and Thierry renewed a treaty that had been made between Henry I of England, and Robert II of Flanders. Flanders would provide Henry II with knights in exchange of an annual tribute in money, known as a "money-fief".[49]

In Brittany, Duke Conan III declared his son Hoël a bastard and disinherited him on his deathbed in 1148.[50] It was his sister Bertha who became Duchess of Brittany making her husband of the time, Eudes, nominally Duke.[50] Hoël had to be satisfied as Count of Nantes. Bertha was the widow of Alan de Bretagne with whom she already had a son, Conan.[51] Conan, who had become Earl of Richmond in 1148, was Henry II's perfect candidate to become the future Duke of Brittany after Bertha, as any Duke with possessions of importance in England would be easier to control as they are directly a vassal of the English King.[52]

In 1156, Brittany was hit by civil unrest when Bertha died, ending in Conan IV's accession.[50] Meanwhile, in Conan IV's accession.[50] Meanwhile, in Nantes, the population attempted to oust their Count, Hoël, and called on Henry II for help.[52] Geoffrey, Henry's brother, was installed as Count by Henry, but died in 1158.[52] Conan IV then briefly ruled as Count, but Henry took the title that same year by mustering an army in Avranches to threaten Conan.[53] In 1160 Henry's cousin Margaret of Scotland married Conan.[54] Henry then supported Breton independence in 1161 when he secured the Archbishopric of Dol.[55] The jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Tours would have overrun into Brittany if Henry hadn't appealed to Rome.[55] Henry then appointed the archbishop of Dol, Roger du Hommet.[56][57] Without a tradition of a strong rule in Brittany, discontent grew among the nobles in the years following, culminating in a baronial revolt that Henry II ended in 1166.[58][59] He betrothed his own 7-year-old son, Geoffrey, to Conan's daughter, Constance, and later forced Conan to abdicate for his future son-in-law, making Henry II the ruler of Brittany, yet not the Duke.[60] Breton nobles strongly opposed this, and more attacks on Brittany occurred in the following years until 1173.[61] Each of these invasions were followed by confiscations, and Henry II installed his men, William Fitzhamo and Rolland of Dinan, in the area.[62] Although it was not formally part of the Plantagenet fiefdom, Brittany was under firm control.[63]

Henry II met Malcolm IV in 1157 about Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumberland previously seized by his grandfather, David I of Scotland. In 1149, before Henry II became powerful, he made an oath to David that the lands north of Newcastle should belong to the King of Scotland forever. Malcolm reminded him of this oath but Henry II did not comply. There is no evidence that Henry II got a dispensation from the pope this time, as William of Newburgh put it, "prudently considering it was the king of England who had the better of the argument by reason of his much greater power."[citation needed]

Malcolm IV gave up and paid homage in return for Huntingdon, which he inherited from his father.[64][65]

William the Lion, the next King of Scotland, was unhappy with Henry II since he was given Northumberland by David I in 1152 and therefore lost it to Henry II when Malcolm IV handed it back in 1157.

As a part of the coalition set by Louis VII, William the Lion first invaded Northumberland in 1173 and then again in 1174, as a result he was captured near Alnwick and had to sign the tough Treaty of Falaise. Garrisons were to be set in the castles of Edinburgh, Roxburgh, Jedburgh and Berwick.Huntingdon, which he inherited from his father.[64][65]

William the Lion, the next King of Scotland, was unhappy with Henry II since he was given Northumberland by David I in 1152 and therefore lost it to Henry II when Malcolm IV handed it back in 1157.

As a part of the coalition set by Louis VII, William the Lion first invaded Northumberland in 1173 and then again in 1174, as a result he was captured near Alnwick and had to sign the tough Treaty of Falaise. Garrisons were to be set in the castles of Edinburgh, Roxburgh, Jedburgh and Berwick.[18] Southern Scotland was from then under firm control just as Brittany was. Richard I of England would end the Treaty of Falaise in exchange for money to fund his own crusade, setting a context for cordial relationships between the two kings.[citation needed]

Rhys of Deheubarth, also called Lord Rhys, and Owain Gwynedd were closed to negotiations. Henry II had to attack Wales three times, in 1157, 1158 and 1163 to have them answer his summons to the court. The Welsh found his terms too harsh and largely revolted against him. Henry then undertook a fourth invasion in 1164, this time with a massive army. According to the Welsh chronicle Brut y Tywysogion, Henry raised "a mighty host of the picked warriors of England and Normandy and Flanders and Anjou and Gascony and Scotland" in order to "carry into bondage and to destroy all the Britons".[66]

Bad weather, rains, floods, and constant harassment from the Welsh armies slowed the Angevin army and prevented the capture of Wales (see the Battle of Crogen); a furious Henry II had Welsh hostages mutilated. Wales would remain safe for a while, but the invasion of Ireland in 1171 pressured Henry II to end the issue through negotiations with Lord Rhys.[20]

Ireland

John's accession to the throne

Following the news of King Richard I's death in 1199, John attempted to seize the Angevin treasury at Chinon in order to impose his control of the Angev

Following the news of King Richard I's death in 1199, John attempted to seize the Angevin treasury at Chinon in order to impose his control of the Angevin government.[98] Angevin custom, however, gave John's nephew, Duke Arthur, son of Geoffrey of Brittany, a stronger claim on Richard's throne, and the nobles of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine declared in favour of Arthur on 18 April 1199.[99] Philip II of France had taken Évreux and the Norman Vexin,[100] and a Breton army had seized Angers by this point. Le Mans refused to declare allegiance to John, so he ran to Normandy, where he was invested as duke in Rouen on 25 April. He returned to Le Mans with an army where he punished its citizens and then left for England. England had declared its support for John thanks to William Marshal and Archbishop Hubert Walter of Canterbury's support.[101] He was crowned on 27 May in Westminster Abbey.[citation needed]

Due to his mother's support, Aquitaine and Poitou supported John, and only Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Brittany remained disputed. In May, Aimeri, Viscount of Thouars, who was chosen by John to be his seneschal in Anjou, attacked Tours in an attempt to capture Arthur of Brittany.[102] Aimeri failed, and John was forced to return to the continent in order to secure his rule, through a truce with Philip II, after Philip had launched attacks on Normandy.Due to his mother's support, Aquitaine and Poitou supported John, and only Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Brittany remained disputed. In May, Aimeri, Viscount of Thouars, who was chosen by John to be his seneschal in Anjou, attacked Tours in an attempt to capture Arthur of Brittany.[102] Aimeri failed, and John was forced to return to the continent in order to secure his rule, through a truce with Philip II, after Philip had launched attacks on Normandy.[103] Philip was forced into the truce due to John's support from fifteen French counts and support from counts in the Lower Rhine, such as with Count Baldwin of Flanders, who he met in August 1199 in Rouen, and Baldwin did John homage.[103][104] From a position of strength, John was able to go on the offensive, and he won William des Roches, Arthur's candidate for the Angevin seneschal, to his cause following an incident with Philip.[105] William des Roches also brought Duke Arthur and his mother, Constance, as prisoners to Le Mans on 22 September 1199, and the succession appeared to have been secured in favour of John.[104]

Despite the escape of Arthur and Constance with Aimeri of Thouars to Philip II, and many of Richard's previous allies in France, including the counts of Flanders, Blois, and Perche, leaving for the Holy Land,[104] John was able to make peace with Philip that secured his accession to his brother's throne.[106] John met with Philip and signed the Treaty of Le Goulet in May 1200, where Philip accepted John's succession to the Angevin Empire, and Arthur became his vassal, but John was forced to break his German alliances, accept Philip's gains in Normandy, and cede lands in Auvergne and Berry.[106][107] John was also to accept Philip as his suzerain overlord and pay Philip 20,000 marks.[106] As W. L. Warren notes, this Treaty began the practical dominance of the French king over France, and the ruler of the Angevin Empire was no longer the dominating noble in France.[108] In June 1200, John visited Anjou, Maine, and Touraine, taking hostages from those he distrusted, and visiting Aquitaine, where he received homage from his mother's vassals, returning to Poitiers in August.[109]

Following the annulment of John's first marriage to Isabelle of Gloucester, John married Isabella, the daughter and heiress of Count Aymer of Angoulême, on 24 August 1200.[110] Angoulême had considerable strategic significance, and the marriage made "very good political sense", according to Warren.[110] However, Isabella had been betrothed to Hugh of Lusignan, and John's treatment of Hugh following the marriage, including the seizure of La Marche, led Hugh to appeal to Philip II.[111] Philip summoned John to his court, and John's refusal resulted in the confiscation of John's continental possessions excluding Normandy in April 1202 and Philip accepting Arthur's homage for the lands in July.[111] Philip went on to invade Normandy as far as Arques in May, taking a number of castles.[100][112]

John, following a message from his mother, Eleanor, rushed from Le Mans to Mirebeau, attacking the town on 1 August 1202, with William des Roches.[113] William promised to direct the attack on condition he was consulted on the fate of Arthur,[113] and successfully captured the town along with over 200 knights, including three Lusignans.[112] John also captured Arthur, but antagonised William,[114] failing to consult him on the future of Arthur, and causing him to leave John along with Aimeri of Thouars and siege Angers.[115] Under the control of Hubert de Burgh in Falaise, Arthur disappeared and John was seen as responsible for his murder.[116] The Angevin Empire was under attack in all areas, with the following year, 1203, being described as that "of shame" by Warren.[117] In D

John, following a message from his mother, Eleanor, rushed from Le Mans to Mirebeau, attacking the town on 1 August 1202, with William des Roches.[113] William promised to direct the attack on condition he was consulted on the fate of Arthur,[113] and successfully captured the town along with over 200 knights, including three Lusignans.[112] John also captured Arthur, but antagonised William,[114] failing to consult him on the future of Arthur, and causing him to leave John along with Aimeri of Thouars and siege Angers.[115] Under the control of Hubert de Burgh in Falaise, Arthur disappeared and John was seen as responsible for his murder.[116] The Angevin Empire was under attack in all areas, with the following year, 1203, being described as that "of shame" by Warren.[117] In December 1203, John left Normandy never to return, and on 24 June 1204, Normandy capitulated with the surrender of Rouen.[100] Tours, Chinon, and Loches had fallen by 1205.[116]

On the night of 31 March 1204, John's mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, died, causing a rush of "most of Poitou...to do homage to the king of France".[118] King Alfonso of Castile invaded Gascony, using the claim of his wife, John's sister Eleanor.[119] When John to the continent in June 1206, only the resistance led by Hélie de Malemort, Archbishop of Bordeaux had prevented Alfonso's success.[118] By the end of John's expedition on 26 October 1206, most of Aquitaine was secure.[120] A truce was made between John and Philip to last for two years.[120] The Angevin Empire had been reduced to England, Gascony, Ireland, and parts of Poitou, and John would not return to his continental possessions for eight years.[121]

By the end of 1212, Philip II was preparing an invasion of England.[122] Philip aimed to crown his son, Louis, king of England, and at a council at Soissons in April 1213, he drafted a possible relationship between the future France and England.[122] On 30 May, William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury, succeeding in crushing the French invasion fleet in the Battle of Damme and preventing French invasion.[121] In February 1214, John landed in La Rochelle after creating alliances headed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto.[123] The aim was for the Earl of Salisbury and John's German allies to attack Philip from the north, whilst John attacked from the south.[124]

By June 1214, John had the support of the houses of Lusignan, Mauléon, and Thouars,[125] but when John advanced into Anjou, capturing Angers on 17 June, the desertion of his Poitevin allies forced a retreat back to La Rochelle.[124] On 27 July, John's German allies lost the Battle of Bouvines, with many prisoners taken, including the Earl of Salisbury.[126] On 18 September, John and Philip agreed to a truce that would last until Easter 1220.[125][127] In October 1214, John returned to England.[127]

Capetian invasion of England