Robert the Bruce
Robert I, popularly known as Robert the Bruce, was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England, he fought during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent country and is today revered in Scotland as a national hero. Descended from the Anglo-Norman and Gaelic nobility, his paternal fourth great-grandfather was King David I. Robert's grandfather, Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale, was one of the claimants to the Scottish throne during the "Great Cause"; as Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce supported his family's claim to the Scottish throne and took part in William Wallace's revolt against Edward I of England. Appointed in 1298 as a Guardian of Scotland alongside his chief rival for the throne, John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews, Robert resigned in 1300 due to his quarrels with Comyn and the imminent restoration of John Balliol to the Scottish throne.
After submitting to Edward I in 1302 and returning to "the king's peace", Robert inherited his family's claim to the Scottish throne upon his father's death. In February 1306, having wounded Comyn, rushed from the church where they had met and encountered his attendants outside, he told them what had happened and said, "I must be off, for I doubt I have slain the Red Comyn." "Doubt?" Roger de Kirkpatrick of Closeburn answered, "I mak sikker," and, rushing into the church, killed Comyn. For this Bruce was excommunicated by the Pope. Bruce moved to seize the throne and was crowned king of Scots on 25 March 1306. Edward I's forces defeated Robert in battle, forcing him to flee into hiding before re-emerging in 1307 to defeat an English army at Loudoun Hill and wage a successful guerrilla war against the English. Bruce defeated his other Scots enemies, destroying their strongholds and devastating their lands, in 1309 held his first parliament. A series of military victories between 1310 and 1314 won him control of much of Scotland, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Robert defeated a much larger English army under Edward II of England, confirming the re-establishment of an independent Scottish kingdom.
The battle marked a significant turning point, with Robert's armies now free to launch devastating raids throughout northern England, while extending his war against the English to Ireland by sending an army to invade there and by appealing to the Irish to rise against Edward II's rule. Despite Bannockburn and the capture of the final English stronghold at Berwick in 1318, Edward II refused to renounce his claim to the overlordship of Scotland. In 1320, the Scottish nobility submitted the Declaration of Arbroath to Pope John XXII, declaring Robert as their rightful monarch and asserting Scotland's status as an independent kingdom. In 1324, the Pope recognised Robert I as king of an independent Scotland, in 1326, the Franco-Scottish alliance was renewed in the Treaty of Corbeil. In 1327, the English deposed Edward II in favour of his son, Edward III, peace was concluded between Scotland and England with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, by which Edward III renounced all claims to sovereignty over Scotland.
Robert died in June 1329. His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while his heart was interred in Melrose Abbey and his internal organs embalmed and placed in St Serf’s Chapel, site of the medieval Cardross Parish church. Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale, the first of the Bruce, or de Brus, line arrived in Scotland with David I in 1124 and was given the lands of Annandale in Dumfries and Galloway. Several members of the Bruce family were called Robert, the future king was one of ten children, the eldest son, of Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, Marjorie, Countess of Carrick, claimed the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I, his mother was by all accounts a formidable woman who, legend would have it, kept Robert Bruce's father captive until he agreed to marry her. From his mother, he inherited the Earldom of Carrick, through his father, a royal lineage that would give him a claim to the Scottish throne; the Bruces held substantial estates in Aberdeenshire, County Antrim, County Durham, Essex and Yorkshire.
Although Robert the Bruce's date of birth is known, his place of birth is less certain, although it is most to have been Turnberry Castle in Ayrshire, the head of his mother's earldom. However there are claims that he may have been born in Lochmaben in Dumfriesshire, or Writtle in Essex. Little is known of his youth, he was brought up in a mixture of the Anglo-Norman culture of northern England and south-eastern Scotland, the Gaelic culture of south-west Scotland and most of Scotland north of the River Forth. Annandale was feudalised and the form of Northern Middle English that would develop into the Scots language was spoken throughout the region. Carrick was an integral part of Galloway, though the earls of Carrick had achieved some feudalisation, the society of Carrick at the end of the thirteenth century remained emphatically Celtic and Gaelic speaking. Robert the Bruce would most have become trilingual at an early age, he would have been schooled to speak and write in the Anglo-Norman language of his Scots-Norman peers and his father's family.
He would have spoken both the Gaeli
Eochaid, son of Rhun
Eochaid was a ninth-century Briton who may have ruled as King of Strathclyde and/or King of the Picts. He was a son of Rhun ab Arthgal, King of Strathclyde, descended from a long line of British kings. Eochaid's mother is recorded to have been a daughter of King of the Picts; this maternal descent from the royal Alpínid dynasty may well account for the record of Eochaid reigning over the Pictish realm after the death of Cináed's son, Áed, in 878. According to various sources, Áed was slain by Giric, a man of uncertain ancestry, accorded kingship after Áed's demise, it is uncertain if Eochaid and Giric were relatives, unrelated allies, or rivals. Whilst it is possible that they held the Pictish kingship concurrently as allies, it is conceivable that they ruled successively as opponents. Another possibility is that, whilst Giric reigned as King of the Picts, Eochaid reigned as King of Strathclyde. Eochaid's floruit dates about the time when the Kingdom of Strathclyde seems to have expanded southwards into lands possessed by the Kingdom of Northumbria.
The catalyst for this extension of British influence appears to have been the Viking conquest of this northern English realm. According to various sources and Giric were driven from the kingship in 889; the succeeding king, Domnall mac Custantín, was an Alpínid, could well have been responsible for the forced regime change. The terminology employed by various sources suggests that during the reigns of Eochaid and Giric, or during that of Domnall and his successors, the wavering Pictish kingdom—weakened by political upheaval and Viking invasions—redefined itself as a Gaelic realm: the Kingdom of Alba. Eochaid is not attested after 889. Nothing is recorded of the Kingdom of Strathclyde until the first quarter of the next century, when a certain Dyfnwal, King of Strathclyde is reported to have died. Whilst the parentage of this man is unknown, it is probable that he was a member of Eochaid's kindred, a descendant of him. A daughter of Eochaid may have been Lann, a woman recorded to have been the mother of Muirchertach mac Néill, King of Ailech.
Eochaid was a son of King of Strathclyde. Rhun's patrilineal ancestry is evidenced by a pedigree preserved within a collection of tenth-century Welsh genealogical material known as the Harleian genealogies. According to this source, he was descended from a long line of kings of Al Clud; the ninth- to twelfth-century Chronicle of the Kings of Alba evinces that Rhun was married to a daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts, states that a product of the union was Eochaid himself. Eochaid's maternal ancestry may be exemplified in the name. There is no known British form of the Gaelic Eochaid. In theory, a Pictish form of the name would be * Ebdei. In 870, during the reign of Rhun's father, Arthgal ap Dyfnwal, King of Al Clud, the fortress of Al Clud was captured and destroyed by the insular Scandinavian kings Amlaíb and Ímar. In the following year, Amlaíb and Ímar returned to Ireland with a fleet of two hundred ships, a mass of captives identified as English and Pictish. Arthgal died in 872.
The Annals of Ulster, Chronicon Scotorum reveal that he was slain at the behest of Rhun's brother-in-law, Custantín mac Cináeda, King of the Picts. The circumstances surrounding Arthgal's assassination are unknown, Rhun's reign commenced not long after his death. Prior to its fall, the fortress of Al Clud served as the capital of Arthgal's Kingdom of Al Clud, afterwards the capital appears to have relocated up the River Clyde to the vicinity of Govan and Partick; the relocation is exemplified by a shift in royal terminology. Until the fall of Al Clud, for example, the rulers of the realm were styled after the fortress. Either Arthgal or Rhun could have been the first monarch to rule to the reconstructed realm of Strathclyde, it is uncertain when Rhun's life ended. One possibility is. Custantín's death is dated to 876 by the Annals of Ulster; the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba appears to locate his fall in Atholl, whilst several king-lists locate his demise to a place variously called Inverdufat, an otherwise uncertain location that might refer to Inverdovat in Fife.
It is uncertain. If Rhun and Custantín both died in 876, Eochaid could well have succeeded his father. Custantín's brother, Áed mac Cináeda, succeeded as King of the Picts, ruled as such upon his death two years later. Whilst the Annals of Ulster reports that Áed was killed by his own companions, several mediaeval king-lists state that he was slain by a certain Giric. Quite who reigned as king after Áed is uncertain, although there are several plausible possibilities. According to the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, Eochaid succeeded Áed, held the kingship for eleven years; the chronicle adds that it was further said that Giric reigned during this period on account of the fact that he was Eochaid's alumnus and ordinator. A solar eclipse is noted during their reigns—an event dated to the feast of St Ciricius—and the two are stated to have been ejected from the kingdom; the chronicle reports. Since Áed indeed expired in 879, the chronicle's chronology is evidently accurate for the outset of Eochaid's reign.
As for the eclipse, the chronicle appears to place it in the
Duncan II of Scotland
Donnchad mac Máel Coluim was king of Scots. He was his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson; the identity of Duncan's mother is given by the Orkneyinga saga, which records the marriage of Malcolm and Ingibiorg, mentions "their son was Duncan, King of Scots, father of William". Duncan II got his name from that of Duncan I of Scotland; however Ingibiorg is never mentioned by primary sources written by English chroniclers. She might have a marriage not recognized by the church. William of Malmesbury calls Duncan an illegitimate son of Malcolm III; this account influenced a number of Medieval commentators, who dismissed Duncan as an illegitimate son. But this claim is propaganda reflecting the need of Malcolm's descendants by Margaret to undermine the claims of Duncan's descendants, the Meic Uilleim. There is no primary source which would indicate that Duncan was excluded from the royal succession. Duncan was given into the keeping of William the Conqueror in 1072 as a hostage.
The Annals of Ulster note that the "French went into Scotland and brought away the son of the king of Scotland as hostage". The primary source does not identify Duncan by name, but his known half-brothers were at the time either infants or yet to be born; the context of this event was the initial conflict between Malcolm William. Edgar Ætheling, the last remaining male member of the English royal family had fled to Scotland, in 1068, seeking protection from the invading Normans. Edgar sought Malcolm's assistance in his struggle against William; the relationship was reinforced when Malcolm married the Ætheling's sister, Margaret, in 1071. The Norman conquest of England involved William securing control over the areas of Northumbria. Malcolm perceived this move as a threat to his own areas of Cumbria and Lothian. In 1070 claiming he was redressing the wrongs against his brother-in-law, Malcolm responded with a "savage raid" of Northern England; the formal link between the royal house of Scotland and Wessex and Malcolm's forays in northern England were an obvious threat to William who counter-attacked with a full-scale invasion of southern Scotland in 1072.
Malcolm met William in Abernethy. In the resulting Treaty of Abernethy, Malcolm submitted to William for Malcolm's lands in England but not for Scotland. Though the facts are not clear, one of the conditions of the agreement may have been that Edgar Ætheling leave the Scottish court; the offering of Duncan, Malcolm's eldest son, as hostage was another term of the treaty. Duncan was raised in the Anglo-Norman court of William I, becoming familiar with the culture and institutions of his hosts, he was participated in William's campaigns. In 1087, William died, his eldest surviving son Robert Curthose succeeded him as Duke of Normandy. According to Florence of Worcester, Robert released Duncan from custody and had him knighted. Duncan was allowed to leave the Duchy of Normandy, he chose to join the court of William II of England, younger brother to Robert. His father, who by had many sons, appears to have made no effort to obtain Duncan's return. Edward, the eldest paternal half-brother of Duncan, had been designated as heir in his absence.
Duncan notably chose to stay with his adoptive culture due to the influence of 15 years of Norman life and in pursuit of personal wealth and glory, though he may always have had in mind that one day he would become Scotland's king, like his father and grandfather. In 1092, hostilities between Malcolm III and William II were ongoing. William managed to capture a major settlement of Cumbria. In 1093, William started construction of Carlisle Castle. Malcolm reacted by leading his last raid into Northumberland. While marching north again, Malcolm was ambushed by Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, whose lands he had devastated, near Alnwick on 13 November 1093. There he was killed by Arkil Morel, steward at the Battle of Alnwick. Edward was mortally wounded in the same fight. Malcolm's queen Margaret died days after receiving the news of their deaths from her son Edgar; the resulting power vacuum allowed Donald III of Scotland, younger brother of Malcolm, to seize the throne. The new monarch represented the interests of "a resentful native aristocracy", driving out the Anglo-Saxons and Normans who had come to the court of Malcolm and Margaret.
The event allowed Duncan to lay claim to the throne, attempting to depose his uncle. He had the support of William II, in exchange for an oath of fealty to his patron. Duncan married daughter of Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria; the marriage is recorded in the Cronicon Cumbriæ. They had William fitz Duncan. A surviving charter of Duncan II mentions him as "infans mei", indicating that William was an only child. Donald III had been unable to gain the support of certain landowners and church officials of the Scottish Lowlands, who had ties to the regime of his predecessor. Duncan took advantage, negotiating alliances with these disgruntled supporters of his father's and gaining essential military and financial support for his cause. While William II himself had no intention to join in the campaign, he lent part of the Norman army to the new "warrior-prince". Duncan was able to recruit further levies from local towns of England, he bought support with promises of land and privilege and title. By 1094, Duncan was leading a siz
Alexander I of Scotland
Alexander I, posthumously nicknamed The Fierce, was the King of Scotland from 1107 to his death. Alexander was the fifth son of Malcolm III by his wife Margaret of Wessex, grandniece of Edward the Confessor. Alexander was named after Pope Alexander II, he was the younger brother of King Edgar, unmarried, his brother's heir presumptive by 1104. In that year he was the senior layman present at the examination of the remains of Saint Cuthbert at Durham prior to their re-interment, he held lands in Lothian. On the death of Edgar in 1107 he succeeded to the Scottish crown. Edgar's will granted David the lands of the former kingdom of Strathclyde or Cumbria, this was agreed in advance by Edgar, Alexander and their brother-in-law Henry I of England. In 1113 at Henry's instigation, with the support of his Anglo-Norman allies, David demanded, received, additional lands in Lothian along the Upper Tweed and Teviot. David did not receive the title of king, but of "prince of the Cumbrians", his lands remained under Alexander's final authority.
The dispute over Tweeddale and Teviotdale does not appear to have damaged relations between Alexander and David, although it was unpopular in some quarters. A Gaelic poem laments:It's bad what Malcolm's son has done,dividing us from Alexander; the dispute over the eastern marches does not appear to have caused lasting trouble between Alexander and Henry of England. In 1114 he joined Henry on campaign in Wales against Gruffudd ap Cynan of Gwynedd. Alexander's marriage with Henry's illegitimate daughter Sybilla of Normandy may have occurred as early as 1107, or as at late as 1114. William of Malmesbury's account attacks Sybilla, but the evidence argues that Alexander and Sybilla were a devoted but childless couple and Sybilla was of noteworthy piety. Sybilla died in unrecorded circumstances at Eilean nam Ban in July 1122 and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey. Alexander did not remarry and Walter Bower wrote that he planned an Augustinian Priory at the Eilean nam Ban dedicated to Sybilla's memory, he may have taken steps to have her venerated.
Alexander had at least one illegitimate child, Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair, to be involved in a revolt against David I in the 1130s. He was imprisoned at Roxburgh for many years afterwards until his death some time after 1157. Alexander was, like his brothers Edgar and David, a notably pious king, he was responsible for foundations at Inchcolm. His mother's chaplain and hagiographer Thurgot was named Bishop of Saint Andrews in 1107 by Alexander's order; the case of Thurgot's would-be successor Eadmer shows that Alexander's wishes were not always accepted by the religious community because Eadmer had the backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ralph d'Escures, rather than Thurstan of York. Alexander patronised Saint Andrews, granting lands intended for an Augustinian Priory, which may have been the same as that intended to honour his wife. For all his religiosity, Alexander was not remembered as a man of peace. John of Fordun says of him: Now the king was a lettered and godly man, he manifested the terrible aspect of his character in his reprisals in the Mormaerdom of Moray.
Andrew of Wyntoun's Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland says that Alexander was holding court at Invergowrie when he was attacked by "men of the Isles". Walter Bower says the attackers were from Mearns. Alexander pursued to "Stockford" in Ross where he defeated them. This, says Wyntoun, is why he was named the "Fierce"; the dating of this is uncertain. However, in 1116 the Annals of Ulster report: "Ladhmann son of Domnall, grandson of the king of Scotland, was killed by the men of Moray." The king referred to is Alexander's father, Malcolm III, Domnall was Alexander's half brother. The Mormaerdom or Kingdom of Moray was ruled by the family of Macbeth and Lulach: not overmighty subjects, but a family who had ruled Alba within little more than a lifetime. Who the Mormaer or King was at this time is not known; as for the Mearns, the only known Mormaer of Mearns, Máel Petair, had murdered Alexander's half-brother Duncan II in 1094. Alexander died in April 1124 at his court at Stirling. Alexander I has been depicted in a fantasy novel.: Pater Nostras Canis Dirus: The Garrison Effect.
Alexander is depicted troubled by his lack of direct heirs, having no child with his wife Sybilla of Normandy. He points. Chambers, Robert. "Alexander I.". A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen. 1. Glasgow: Blackie and Son. Pp. 46–47 – via Wikisource
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain"; the two countries had shared a monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his double first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head. Prior to the Acts of Union there had been three previous attempts to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea, albeit for different reasons.
The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian Simon Schama said "What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history." Despite attempts by Edward I to conquer Scotland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the two countries were separate. However, when Elizabeth I became Queen of England in 1558, a union became likely as she neither married nor had children. From 1558 onwards, her heir was her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots who pledged herself to a peaceful union between the two kingdoms. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate as Queen of Scots and replaced by her infant son James VI, brought up as a Protestant and became heir to the English throne.
After Elizabeth died in 1603, the two Crowns were held in personal union by James, now James I of England, his Stuart successors, but England and Scotland remained separate kingdoms. When James became King of England in 1603, the creation of a unified Church of Scotland and England governed by bishops was the first step in his vision of a centralised, Unionist state. On his accession, he announced his intention to unite the two realms so he would not be "guilty of bigamy; the 1603 Union of England and Scotland Act established a joint Commission to agree terms but the English Parliament was concerned this would lead to the imposition of an absolutist structure similar to that of Scotland. James dropped his policy of a speedy union, the topic disappeared from the legislative agenda while attempts to revive it in 1610 were met with hostility; this did not mean James abandoned the idea. The problem was that the two churches were different in both structure and doctrine; the religious policies followed by James and his son Charles I were intended as precursors to political union.
The 1639–1640 Bishops' Wars confirmed the primacy of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland or kirk and established a Covenanter government in Scotland. The Scots remained neutral when the First English Civil War began in 1642, but grew concerned as to the impact of Royalist victory on Scotland after Parliamentary defeats in the first year of the war. Religious union with England was seen as the best way to preserve a Presbyterian kirk; the 1643 Solemn League and Covenant provided Scottish military support for the English Parliament in return for a religious union between the Church of England and the kirk. While it referred to'union' between England and Ireland, it did not explicitly commit to political union which had little support among their English supporters. Religious union was fiercely opposed by the Episcopalian majority in the Church of England and Independents like Oliver Cromwell; the Scots and English Presbyterians came to see the Independents who dominated the New Model Army as a bigger threat than the Royalists and when Charles I surrendered in 1646, they agreed to restore him to the English throne.
Both Royalists and Covenanters agreed the institution of monarchy was divinely ordered but disagreed on the nature and extent of Royal authority versus that of the church. After defeat in the 1647–1648 Second English Civil War, Scotland was occupied by English troops which were withdrawn once the so-called Engagers whom Cromwell held responsible for the war had been replaced by the Kirk Party. In December 1648, Pride's Purge confirmed Cromwell's political control in England by removing Presbyterian MPs from Parliament and executing Charles in January 1649. Despite this, in February, the Kirk Party proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain.
Henry III of England
Henry III known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons, his early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church. Following the revolt, Henry ruled England rather than governing through senior ministers.
He travelled less than previous monarchs, investing in a handful of his favourite palaces and castles. He married Eleanor of Provence, with. Henry was known for his piety, holding lavish religious ceremonies and giving generously to charities, he extracted huge sums of money from the Jews in England crippling their ability to do business, as attitudes towards the Jews hardened, he introduced the Statute of Jewry, attempting to segregate the community. In a fresh attempt to reclaim his family's lands in France, he invaded Poitou in 1242, leading to the disastrous Battle of Taillebourg. After this, Henry relied on diplomacy, cultivating an alliance with Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry supported his brother Richard in his bid to become King of the Romans in 1256, but was unable to place his own son Edmund on the throne of Sicily, despite investing large amounts of money, he was prevented from doing so by rebellions in Gascony. By 1258, Henry's rule was unpopular, the result of the failure of his expensive foreign policies and the notoriety of his Poitevin half-brothers, the Lusignans, as well as the role of his local officials in collecting taxes and debts.
A coalition of his barons probably backed by Eleanor, seized power in a coup d'état and expelled the Poitevins from England, reforming the royal government through a process called the Provisions of Oxford. Henry and the baronial government enacted a peace with France in 1259, under which Henry gave up his rights to his other lands in France in return for King Louis IX recognising him as the rightful ruler of Gascony; the baronial regime collapsed but Henry was unable to reform a stable government and instability across England continued. In 1263, one of the more radical barons, Simon de Montfort, seized power, resulting in the Second Barons' War. Henry mobilised an army; the Battle of Lewes occurred in 1264, where Henry was taken prisoner. Henry's eldest son, escaped from captivity to defeat de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham the following year and freed his father. Henry enacted a harsh revenge on the remaining rebels, but was persuaded by the Church to mollify his policies through the Dictum of Kenilworth.
Reconstruction was slow and Henry had to acquiesce to various measures, including further suppression of the Jews, to maintain baronial and popular support. Henry died in 1272, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, which he had rebuilt in the second half of his reign, was moved to his current tomb in 1290. Some miracles were declared after his death. Henry was born in Winchester Castle on 1 October 1207, he was the eldest son of King Isabella of Angoulême. Little is known of Henry's early life, he was looked after by a wet nurse called Ellen in the south of England, away from John's itinerant court, had close ties to his mother. Henry had four legitimate younger brothers and sisters – Richard, Joan and Eleanor – and various older illegitimate siblings. In 1212 his education was entrusted to the Bishop of Winchester. Little is known about Henry's appearance. Henry grew up to show flashes of a fierce temper, but as historian David Carpenter describes, he had an "amiable, easy-going, sympathetic" personality.
He was unaffected and honest, showed his emotions easily being moved to tears by religious sermons. At the start of the 13th century, the Kingdom of England formed part of the Angevin Empire spreading across Western Europe. Henry was named after his grandfather, Henry II, who had built up this vast network of lands stretching from Scotland and Wales, through England, across the English Channel to the territories of Normandy, Brittany and Anjou in north-west France, onto Poitou and Gascony in the south-west. For many years the French Crown was weak, enabling first Henry II, his sons Richard and John, to dominate France. In 1204, John lost Normandy, Brittany and Anjou to Philip II of France, leaving English power on the continent limited to Gascony and Poitou. John raised taxes to pay for military campaigns to regain his lands, but unrest grew among many of the English
House of Plantagenet
The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were counts of Anjou; the family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle. Under the Plantagenets, England was transformed – although this was only intentional; the Plantagenet kings were forced to negotiate compromises such as Magna Carta. These constrained royal power in return for military support; the king was no longer just the most powerful man in the nation, holding the prerogative of judgement, feudal tribute and warfare. He now had defined duties to the realm, underpinned by a sophisticated justice system. A distinct national identity was shaped by conflict with the French, Scots and Irish, the establishment of English as the primary language. In the 15th century, the Plantagenets were defeated in the Hundred Years' War and beset with social and economic problems.
Popular revolts were commonplace. English nobles raised private armies, engaged in private feuds and defied Henry VI; the rivalry between the House of Plantagenet's two cadet branches of York and Lancaster brought about the Wars of the Roses, a decades-long fight for the English succession, culminating in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, when the reign of the Plantagenets and the English Middle Ages both met their end with the death of King Richard III. Henry VII, of Lancastrian descent, became king of England; the Tudors worked to centralise English royal power, which allowed them to avoid some of the problems that had plagued the last Plantagenet rulers. The resulting stability allowed for the English Renaissance, the advent of early modern Britain. Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, adopted Plantagenet as his family name in the 15th century. Plantegenest had been a 12th-century nickname for his ancestor Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy. One of many popular theories suggests the common broom, planta genista in medieval Latin, as the source of the nickname.
It is uncertain why Richard chose this specific name, although during the Wars of the Roses it emphasised Richard's status as Geoffrey's patrilineal descendant. The retrospective usage of the name for all of Geoffrey's male-line descendants was popular during the subsequent Tudor dynasty encouraged by the further legitimacy it gave to Richard's great-grandson, Henry VIII, it was only in the late 17th century. Angevin is French for "from Anjou"; the three Angevin kings were Richard I and John. "Angevin" can refer to the period of history in which they reigned. Many historians identify the Angevins as a distinct English royal house. "Angevin" is used in reference to any sovereign or government derived from Anjou. As a noun, it refers to any native of Anjou or an Angevin ruler, to other counts and dukes of Anjou, including the ancestors of the three kings who formed the English royal house. There is disagreement between those who consider Henry III to be the first Plantagenet monarch, those who do not distinguish between Angevins and Plantagenets and therefore consider the first Plantagenet to be Henry II.
The term "Angevin Empire" was coined by Kate Norgate in 1887. There was no known contemporary collective name for all of the territories under the rule of the Angevin Kings of England; this led to circumlocutions such as "our kingdom and everything subject to our rule whatever it may be" or "the whole of the kingdom which had belonged to his father". The "Empire" portion of "Angevin Empire" has been controversial as these territories were not subject to any unified laws or systems of governance, each retained its own laws and feudal relationships. In 1986 a convention of historians concluded that there had not been an Angevin state, therefore no "Angevin Empire", but that the term espace Plantagenet was acceptable. Nonetheless, historians have continued to use "Angevin Empire"; the counts of Anjou, including the Plantagenets, descended from Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais, his wife Ermengarde of Anjou. In 1060 the couple inherited the title via cognatic kinship from an Angevin family, descended from a noble named Ingelger, whose recorded history dates from 870.
During the 10th and 11th centuries, power struggles occurred between rulers in northern and western France including those of Anjou, Brittany, Blois and the kings of France. In the early 12th century Geoffrey of Anjou married Empress Matilda, King Henry I's only surviving legitimate child and heir to the English throne; as a result of this marriage, Geoffrey's son Henry II inherited the English throne as well as Norman and Angevin titles, thus marking the beginning of the Angevin and Plantagenet dynasties. The marriage was the third attempt of Geoffrey's father, Fulk V, Count of Anjou, to build a political alliance with Normandy, he first espoused Alice, to William Adelin, Henry I's heir. After William drowned in the wreck of the White Ship Fulk married another of his daughter