Author Topic: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine  (Read 20723 times)

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Offline Kimberly

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The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« on: September 17, 2006, 08:33:01 AM »
One of the books I am reading at the moment is the bio of Eleanor by Alison Weir. I know she has her own thread but it has rekindled an interest in her offspring. For example, I never realised quite what a nasty piece of work Richard was :o
With 5 sons and 3 daughters between them, this could turn into an informative topic,hopefully.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2006, 09:02:23 AM »
The children were:
1. William, Count of Poitiers (1153-1556)
2. Henry, crowned King of England in his father's life and called 'the Young King' (1155-1183). He married Marguerite of France, and his mentor was Thomas Becket, before his father fell out with Becket. When he died, Henry II reputedly said, "He cost me much, but I wish he had lived to cost me more." As it mentions on wiki, WL Warren said of him: "The Young Henry was the only one of his family who was popular in his own day. It was true that he was also the only one who gave no evidence of political sagacity, military skill, or even ordinary intelligence…" "He was gracious, benign, affable, courteous, the soul of liberality and generosity. Unfortunately he was also shallow, vain, careless, empty-headed, incompetent, improvident, and irresponsible."
3. Matilda (1156-1189). She married Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony.
4. Richard I, apparently his mother's favourite (1157-1189).
5. Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany (1158-1186). He married Constance, heiress of Britanny, and had three children - Eleanor, 'Maid of Brittany' (1184-1241 - imprisoned by King John), Maud (1185-1189) and Arthur (1187-1203 - murdered on John's orders).
6. Eleanor (or Leanora) (1162-1214). She married Alfonso VIII of Castile.
7. Joan (or Jeanne) (1165-1199). She married William II of Sicily. She was kept a prisoner by her husband's successor, unti rescued by her brother Richard. She was apparently Richard's favourite sister. He reputedly suggested marrying her to Al-Adil, Saladin's brother! She married secondly Raymond VI of Toulouse.
8. King John (1166-1216). Apparently his father's favourite.

I heard an interesting story about their eldest surviving son, the Young King. For some sort of ceremony, his father had to wait for him at table, and commented on what an honour it was. His son shot back that it was only right for the son of a count to wait on the son of a King.  ;D

Their daughter Eleanor, who married Alfonso VIII of Castile, apparently inherited her mother's political acumen. Her husband specified in his will that upon his death she was to rule alongside their son. When her husband died, she was too grief stricken to preside over the funeral, and died 28 days later.


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Offline Kimberly

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2006, 09:31:15 AM »
Thanks Liam ;). Henry II was by all accounts, an affectionate father, finding it hard to find fault with his sons. According to Walter Map, Henry (The Young King) only had to burst into tears and all would be forgiven. Henry II's sons seemed to have had very little respect for him and Eleanor seems to have taken sides with her boys against their father.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2006, 09:35:25 AM »
Thanks Liam ;). Henry II was by all accounts, an affectionate father, finding it hard to find fault with his sons. According to Walter Map, Henry (The Young King) only had to burst into tears and all would be forgiven. Henry II's sons seemed to have had very little respect for him and Eleanor seems to have taken sides with her boys against their father.

 ;D Well, no wonder they had no respect for a father who was such a pushover! I think Eleanor sort of channeled (sp?) all her anger about Henry's affairs into her children, which is why she encouraged them.

BTW, was Marguerite of France ever referred to as 'Queen of England' since her husband was King? Henry II acted very sneakily over that marriage - they were engaged as toddlers, and the King of France had agreed to hand over the Vexin territory when the marriage took place, assuming that wouldn't be for years. Henry arranged a rushed wedding for the children, forcing Louis to keep his promise.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2006, 12:18:44 PM »
One of the books I am reading at the moment is the bio of Eleanor by Alison Weir. I know she has her own thread but it has rekindled an interest in her offspring. For example, I never realised quite what a nasty piece of work Richard was :o
With 5 sons and 3 daughters between them, this could turn into an informative topic,hopefully.

Richard I - surely one of the worst English monarchs, ever. I much prefer John.

Any Info on Matilda of Saxony?

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2006, 12:49:37 PM »
I only know what I can glean from Wikipedia (which, as some would constantly remind us, isn't always accurate ;D). She spent her formative years with her mother, Queen Eleanor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda%2C_Duchess_of_Saxony

Henry II had planned to leave England and Normandy to the Young King, Aquitaine to Richard, Brittany to Geoffrey and Ireland to John, I think.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 12:53:51 PM by Prince_Lieven »
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2006, 01:04:09 PM »
Absolutely, John gets such a bad press doesn't he?
Re Matilda of Saxony. Weir writes about the quarrel between Henry the Lion (Matilda's husband) and Barbarossa, having been unjustly blamed for the failure of a campaign in Italy. The emperor confiscated the Duke of Saxony's estates and declared him an outlaw-he was exiled for seven years. The Duke, Matilda and children fled from Germany, seeking refuge in France, Denmark or England. They sought refuge at the court of Henry II at Rouen where they were welcomed and Henry immediately proceeded through diplomatic channels, to negotiate with Barbarossa for their peaceful return. Apparently, Hnery took great delight in his grandchildren- 3 boys (Otto,Henry and Lothaire) and 3 possibly4 girls (Richenza,Ingibiorg, Gertrude and possibly Eleanor).
That is as far as I have got so far. Its quite a good book
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2006, 01:08:14 PM »
I think John was originally going to be heading for the church.
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Offline ilyala

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2006, 03:57:07 AM »
john originally had no land to inherit - that's why he was called lackland. he married isabel of gloucester for her land, however, it wasn't as much and as important as his brothers' posessions.

interesting that henry was such a lenient dad when he was quite a strong king.
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Offline umigon

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2006, 05:27:09 AM »
Eleanor was a very popular queen in Castile, not only because of her reputed beauty and intelligence, but also because she was discreet and very fertile. She was Regent for her young son, King Henry I, between a short period of time in 1214, between her husband's and her own death.
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Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2006, 06:36:45 AM »
Weir's book on Eleanor sounds really good.  I am a big fan of hers and of Eleanor's.  I will have to get it soon.

I found it interesting that Eleanor survived all of her children, including the French daughters, except for Eleanor of Castile and John.

Also, I've always felt a little sorry for Geoffrey, who was, it seems, not a favored child.  I read somewhere that Eleanor had trouble looking at him, as he was not tall and golden like Richard and young Henry.

Is there any evidence that Henry was not the father of some of the children?
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2006, 07:09:59 AM »
Not that I have read so far, although I haven't finished the book yet. There appears to have been all sorts of rumours about Eleanor's "infidelities", but I don't think they are contemporaneous.
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Offline ilyala

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2006, 07:35:29 AM »
i don't think eleanor was unfaithful to henry. i think she loved him but what they had was a clash of strong personalities. that and henry's infidelities led to her hate (and hate comes from love, we all know it) and her rousing her children against him. but i don't think she was ever unfaithful, not to henry anyway.
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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2006, 09:41:07 AM »

I found it interesting that Eleanor survived all of her children, including the French daughters, except for Eleanor of Castile and John.


It does seem interesting on the face of it, but it's not that surprising when you remember that Eleanor lived to be 82, a great age for those days. None of her children lived very long by our standards.
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

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Re: The children of HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2006, 03:10:32 PM »
Weir seems to imply that Henry's infidelities began after Eleanor would have reached the menopause....don't know how realistic this is ???
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