Henry succeeded his father as count of Anjou and duke of Normandy in 1151, and his cousin Stephen as king of England in 1154, after the civil war in which his mother Matilda had fought unsuccessfully for the English crown. His marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152 also brought that region under his power. In 1170, his eldest surviving son Henry (who died before his father in 1183) was crowned as joint king. His later years were plagued by rebellions of his sons, of whom Richard I (1189-1199) and John (1199-1216) were the next two kings. [See DNB 9, 452-463; Warren (1973)]
Date of Birth: 5 March 1133.
[Chr. S. Albini Andegav.; Chr. S. Serg. Andegav.; Chr. Rob. Tor. (month only); R. Dic. i, 246 (month only)]
Place of Birth: Le Mans.
[Chr. S. Serg. Andegav., s.a. 1133 (which also places his baptism at the same place); Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1133; R. Dic. i, 246]
Date of Death: 6 July 1189.
[R. Dic. ii, 64; Ben. Pet. ii, 71]
Place of Death: Chinon.
[R. Dic. ii, 64; Ben. Pet. ii, 71]
Geoffrey V, d. 7 September 1151, count of Anjou, duke of Normandy.
[GND (Rob. Tor.) viii, 25 (v. 2, pp. 240-1)]
Matilda of England, d. 10 September 1167, claimant to the
throne of England, daughter of Henry I, king of England.
GND (Rob. Tor.) viii, 25 (v. 2, pp. 240-1)]
m. 1152 [Chr. S.
Albini Andegav., s.a. 1152; Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1151; R.
Dic., i, 293, s.a. 1151; The chronologies of both of the
chronicles of Robert de Torigni and Ralph de Diceto are a year
off at this point.] Eleanor of Aquitaine,
d. 1 April 1204 [Ann. Wav.], heiress of Aquitaine, daughter
of Guillaume X, count of Poitou and duke of
[See DNB 6, 593-6]
Most of Henry's children also have biographical sketches of their own in DNB, as indicated below.
William, b. 17 August 1153 [Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1152 , the eighth day after the feast of St. Laurence; R. Dic. (year only)], d. 1156 [Chr. Rob. Tor.], bur. at Reading at the feet of his great-grandfather Henry I [Ann. Wav., s.a. 1156].
Henry, b. 28 February 1155 [Chr. Rob. Tor.; R. Dic. i, 301],
d. at Martel, 11 June 1183 [R. Dic. ii, 19;
Ben. Pet. i, 301; Ann. Tewks.], joint-king
of England, 1170-1183, m. Marguerite de France [R. Dic. i, 203; Rog. Hov. i, 218].
Crowned as joint-king in 1170, and occasionally called Henry III (Henricus tertius) by his contemporaries [e.g., Ben. Pet. i, 301], he never ruled alone because of his premature death, and he is not generally included in the list of kings (or assigned a Roman numeral) by modern historians.
[See DNB 9, 546-7]
Matilda, b. 1156 [R.
Dic. i, 302], d. 13 July 1189 [R. Dic. ii, 65], m. 1167×1168 [Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1168; R. Dic. i, 330, s.a. 1167] Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion),
duke of Saxony.
[See DNB 13, 58-9]
Richard I, b. 8 September 1157 [Chr. S. Albini Andegav., s.a. 1157; Chr. Rob.
Tor., s.a. 1157 (month only); R. Dic. i, 302 (year only)], d. 6 April 1199, bur. Fontrevault [R. Dic. ii, 166; Rog. Hov. iv, 84],
king of England, 1189-1199, m. 12 May 1191 [Rog.
Hov. iii, 110], Berengaria
of Navarre [R. Dic. ii, 86; Rog. Hov. iii,
[See DNB 16, 1022-1031]
Geoffrey, b. 23 September 1158 [Chr. Rob. Tor.; R. Dic. i, 302 (year only)], d. 19 August 1186, bur. Paris [R.
Dic. ii, 41; Ben. Pet. i, 361 (year only)],
count of Brittany, m. Constance, heiress of
Brittany [R. Dic. i, 332; Rog. Hov. ii, 6].
[See DNB 7, 1015-7]
Eleanor, b. 1161×1162 [Chr. Rob. Tor. (1161); R. Dic. i, 306 (1162)], m. Alphonso VIII, king of Castille [R. Dic. i, 334 (1169); Ben. Pet. i, 39 (1177)].
son, died young.
Lewis (2002) would place an additional son either here or between Geoffrey and Eleanor, based on a statement of Ralph of Diceto that there were six sons, two of whom died young [R. Dic. ii, 17, 269]. Although Ralph is generally a trustworthy authority, this son is not confirmed by any other source.
Joan, b. October 1165 [Chr. Rob. Tor. (month only); R. Dic. i, 317 (year
only)], d. September 1199 [Rog. Hov. iv, 96 (month only)], m
(1) 13 Feb 1177 [Ben. Pet. i, 158; Chr.
Rob. Tor. (year only)] William,
king of Sicily ; (2)
1196 Raymond VI, count of Toulouse [Rog. Hov. iv, 13].
[See DNB 10, 823-5]
John, b. 1166 (or, less likely, 1167),
perhaps on or about 27 December 1166 [Chr.
Rob. Tor. (year only, 1167); R. Dic. i, 325 (year only, 1166);
see comments below], d. Newark, 19 October
1216, bur. Worcester [Ann. Wav.], king of England, 1199-1216, m. (1) 1189 [R. Dic. ii, 72; Rog. Hov. iii, 6]
Isabella of Gloucester, div. 1199 [R. Dic. ii, 166-7], m. (2) 1200 Isabella
of Angoulême [R. Dic. ii, 170; Rog. Hov.
[See DNB 10, 839-854]
With regard to the birthdate of John, there have been disagreements as to the exact date and year, because of discrepancies in the sources. This was recently discussed in detail in Lewis (2002), where the conclusion was reached that 1166 was more likely than 1167. A statement in the early thirteenth century that John received that name because he was born about the time of the feast of St. John (27 December) would, if true, indicate that date as a plausible date of birth [Ex chronico anonymi canonici, ut videtur, Laudensis, RHF 13, 678-9]. However, that source only indicates a birth on about that date ("circa festum S. Johannis natus fuit"), not on it.
In addition to Ykenai, Ida, and Ralph Bloet's wife, another well known mistress of Henry II who is worth mentioning is Rosamond Clifford, who was falsely stated by many sources to be the mother of Geoffrey and William, although modern scholarship shows that neither of them was her son. Despite her fame, no child is known to have come from the relationship. See DNB 4, 531-3 for a biographical sketch of Rosamond Clifford. Henry had three well documented sons, Geoffrey, William, and Morgan, plus a daughter Matilda with late, but reasonable, documentation. Some less certain cases, plus some falsely attributed bastards, are discussed in the Commentary section.
Walter Map [pp. 479, 495, with two different spellings], an enemy of Geoffrey's, is the only known source for the name of Geoffrey's mother, and refers to Geoffrey's mother as a prostitute ( publica, meretrix), suggesting that Geoffrey was really a son of one of her other lovers. However, Geoffrey's status as a son of Henry does not seem to have been doubted by his contemporaries, and Walter's statement seems to be no more than malicious gossip.
Geoffrey, d. 1212 [Ann.
Wav.], bishop of Lincoln, 1173-1182 [R. Dic. i, 368 (s.a. 1173); ii, 10 (s.a. 1182)], archbishop of York 1189-1212 [R.
Dic. ii, 78 (s.a. 1189)]. [Geoffrey's status as an illegitimate son of Henry II
is proven by numerous contemporary sources, e.g., R. Dic. ii, 10,
78; Rog. Hov. ii, 58, etc.]
[See DNB 7, 1018-24]
by Ida, wife of Roger
Bigod, earl of Norfolk:
While it had been known for some time that the mother of William was a "countess" Ida, her identity was only recently proven. As one of two known contemporary English countesses named Ida, the wife of Roger Bigod had already been a prime candidate [see Reed (2002), which was going to press just as the crucial discovery was made]. Convincing proof of her identity as the wife of Roger Bigod was only recently discovered by Raymond W. Phair, who announced his discovery in the soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup on 3 July 2002, and then published it in The American Genealogist [Phair (2002)], citing a list of prisoners after the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, in which Ralph Bigod was called a brother of the earl of Salisbury. The parentage of Ida remains unknown, but see Reed (2002) for the possibility that she might have been a daughter of Roger de Toeni and Ida of Hainault.
William "Longespee", b. ca.
1170 [See Reed (2002)],
d. 1226 [Rog. Wendover iv, 116-7], earl of Salisbury. [Rog. Hov.
iv, 13]; m. Ela, heiress
[See CP 11, 379; DNB 12, 115-118]
by the wife of Ralph
[Crouch (1990), 198-9, in an account of the Bloet family, identifies Ralph's wife as Nest, daughter of Iorwerth ab Owain, lord of Caerlon, but does not identify which of numerous cited sources for the family provides this specific information. (I have checked most of the sources given by Crouch in this account, without finding confirmation of this claim.)]
Morgan, d. 1216×7, provost of Beverley
1201-1216×7, bishop-elect of Durham in 1213.
Roger de Hoveden [iv, 174] states that he was made provost by his brother archbishop Geoffrey in 1201, and that it was said ("ut dicebatur") that he was a son of king Henry. Hist. Dunelm. [pp. 31, 35] and Ann. Dunelm. [s.a. 1213], evidently relying on a common source, state that Morgan was a brother of king John [and also of archbishop Geoffrey, Hist. Dunelm.], an illegitimate son of king Henry by the wife of Ralph Bloet, a knight, who, elected as bishop of Durham in 1213, would have been installed in that office if he had been willing to name Ralph Bloet as his father, but that he refused to disavow his relationship to the king. Morgan was living in Feb.×March 1216, when the pope granted him a dispensation [Cheney (1967), 177, #1067], and deceased by 6 November 1217, when Pope Honorius III wrote a letter to Archbishop Walter Gray of York regarding the goods of the recently deceased "M.", provost of Beverley [Reg. Gray 130].
by an unknown mistress:
Matilda, fl.1175-1198, abbess of
Weir (1989), 63, lists Matilda as an illegitimate daughter of Henry II, but without documentation. Matilda should not be confused with her niece of the same name (daughter of king John), who was also an abbess of Barking (listed with a question mark by Weir [p. 72] under John's bastards, also without documentation). These two Matilda's have often been overlooked in listings of royal bastards. On 7 September 1998, John Carmi Parsons, in a list of some bastards of John overlooked in Given-Wilson & Curtis (1984), pointed out in the soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup that VCH Essex 2, 120 and Monast. Angl. 1, 437, 441 named abbess Matilda, daughter of king John, and on 14 January 2003, Douglas Richardson pointed out in the same newsgroup that VCH Essex 2, 120 and Monast. Angl. 1, 437, 441 name Henry II's daughter abbess Matilda. VCH Essex 2, 120 cites Charter Rolls for 7-8 Richard II [1383-5] as the source for abbess Matilda, daughter of Henry, and that appears to be the earliest clearly dateable source for the present Matilda (the sources quoted in Monast. Angl. 1, 437, 441 both being later lists). However, Henry's daughter abbess Matilda is mentioned in a possibly earlier note of uncertain date, quoted in Monast. Angl. 1, 442, which was written sometime after the abbess Anne de Vere (fl. 1295), who is mentioned there. Although more contemporary documentation would be desirable, there does not appear to be any good reason to doubt these later sources regarding the existence of these two abbess Matildas.
The four bastards listed above are the only ones who can be attributed to Henry with a reasonable degree of certainty. Several other bastards have been attributed to him on various occasions, with varying degrees of likelihood, as follows.
son [Ben. Pet. 1,
160; Rog. Hov. iii, 99] (or
daughter [Chr. Melsa i, 256, a
much later source]) by Alice
of France (controversial).
King Richard I appears to have accused his father of having a son by Alice, but there is significant disagreement regarding the truth of that allegation. Richard certainly disliked his father enough to accuse him of such a thing, and clearly wanted to have some excuse for getting out of his promised marriage with Alice, but it is still possible that the story is true. Warren (1973), 611 argues against the story, pointing out the important fact that it has no support in the French chronicles. Gillingham (1999) 5, 82, 142 is inclined to accept it. Many are noncommittal (e.g., Kate Norgate, in her biographical sketch of Henry II in DNB 9, 461). If the child did in fact exist, then a son (as stated by contemporaries) would be more likely than a daughter. Weir (1989), 63, with no documentation, indicates four illegitimate children by Alice, one daughter and three of unknown gender.
(existence uncertain) by Alice of Porhoët, daughter of Eudon de Porhoët.
John of Salisbury stated that Eudon de Porhoët accused Henry of impregnating his daughter (ca. 1168), who had been in Henry's custody [Mater. Hist. Becket, 6: 455-6]. Sheppard (1964) argued that this child may have been William Longespee, earl of Salisbury, before it was known that William's mother was named Ida. The child (if there was a live birth) does not appear to be the same as any of Henry's known bastards.
Richard (extremely doubtful), fl. 6
Richard I [1194-5]
Sheppard (1964) gives Henry a possible illegitimate son Richard, based on a Pipe Roll for 6 Richard I [1194-5] mentioning a "Richard the King's son" (as quoted by Sheppard). [Pipe Roll Society 14 (1891), 16] In addition to alternate possibilities mentioned by Sheppard, such as being a son of Richard I (in whose reign the record occurs) or some other king, it must be noted (as pointed out in postings to soc.genealogy.medieval by "History Writer" and "Nichol" on 16 Jan. 2003) that the actual reading is in abbreviated form Ric' fil' Reg' (with apostrophes for the more elaborate abbreviation symbols printed there) could be read as Richard son of Reginald, or that it might be a misreading of the Ric' fil' Rog' earlier in the same record. Thus, the evidence for such an illegitimate son is less than convincing.
Peter (falsely attributed),
dean-elect of York (1193) [Rog. Hov. iii,
221], archdeacon of the West Riding (1194) [Rog. Hov. iii, 273], archdeacon
of Lincoln (1195) [Rog. Hov. iii, 287].
Roger of Hoveden refers to Peter as a brother of archbishop Geoffrey in each of the above three references. Since Roger, a contemporary, makes no mention of Peter being a son of Henry II, we can be reasonably certain that Peter was a brother of Geoffrey through his mother only. (In the case of Morgan already mentioned above, when Roger called him the brother of Geoffrey, he also mentioned the alleged connection to Henry II.) The suggestion that he was a bastard of Henry was advanced in Sheppard (1964), 365-6, n. 9 (with clear indications of uncertainty), and again in Sheppard (1965), 97 (referring to the previous article, but without the indication of doubt), but no good reasons were advanced for making Peter a son of Henry.
Hugh of Wells (falsely attributed), d. 1235, bishop of Lincoln.
[Weir (1989), 63, with a question mark] There seems to be no good reason for including him among Henry's illegitimate children. See Hugh's biographical entry in DNB 10, 168, where Hugh is called a son of Edward of Wells and brother of bishop Josceline of Bath and Wells.
Ann. Dunelm. = Annales Dunelmenses, in Frank Barlow, ed., "Durham Annals and Documents of the Thirteenth Century", Surtees Society 155 (1945), 1-84.
Ann. Monast. = Henry Richard Luard, ed., Annales Monastici, 5 vols. (Rolls Series 86, 1864). Contains the Annals of Bermondsey, Burton, Dunstable, Margam, Oseney, Tewkesbury, Waverly, Winchester, Worcester, and Wykes.
Ann. Tewks. = Annales de Theoksberia (Annals of Tewkesbury, 1066-1263), in Ann. Monast. (Rolls Series 86), i, 43-180.
Ann. Wav. = Annales Monasterii de Waverleia (Annals of Waverly, 1-1291), in Ann. Monast. (Rolls Series 86), ii, 129-411.
Ben. Pet. = William Stubbs, ed., Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi Benedicti Abbas (The Chronicle attributed to Benedict of Peterborough), 2 vols. (Rolls Series 49, 1867).
Cheney (1967) = C. R. Cheney and Mary G. Cheney, The Letters of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) concerning England and Wales (Oxford, 1967).
Chr. Melsa = Edward A. Bond, ed., Chronica Monasterii de Melsa (by Thomas de Burton, fl. 1399), 3 vols. (Rolls Series 43, 1866-8).
Chr. Rob. Tor. = L. C. Bethemann, ed., Roberti de Monte Chronica (a continuation by Robert de Torigni of the chronicle of Sigebert de Gembloux), MGH SS 6, 476-535.
Chr. S. Albini Andegav. = Chronicæ Sanct Albini Andegavensis, in Marchegay & Mabille, eds., Chroniques des Églises d'Anjou (Paris, 1869), 19-61.
Chr. S. Serg. Andegav. = Chronica Sancti Sergii Andegavensis, in Marchegay & Mabille, eds., Chroniques des Églises d'Anjou (Paris, 1869), 129-152.
CP = The Complete Peerage
Crouch (1990) = David Crouch, William Marshall - Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire 1147-1219 (London, New York, 1990). (Douglas Richardson, in a posting to soc.genealogy.medieval on 4 February 2003, pointed out that this source identified Morgan's mother.)
DNB = Dictionary of National Biography.
Gillingham (1999) = John Gillingham, Richard I (New Haven, 1999).
Given-Wilson & Curtis (1984) = Chris Given-Wilson and Alice Curtis, The Royal Bastards of Medieval England (London, Boston, Melbourne, Henley, 1984).
GND = Guillaume de Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, as edited in Elisabeth van Houts, ed. & trans., The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, 2 vols., (Oxford, 1992). Citation is by book and chapter of Guillaume's work, with the volume and page number of the edition by van Houts in parentheses. Unless otherwise stated, references are to Guillaume's work, and not to later additions by such authors as Orderic Vitalis and Robert de Torigni.
GND (Rob. Tor.) = Additions to GND by Robert de Torigni.
Hist. Dunelm. = J. Raine, ed., Historiæ Dunelmensis, (Surtees Soc. 9, 1839).
Lewis (2002) = Andrew W. Lewis, "The birth and childhood of King John: some revisions", in Bonnie Wheeler and John Carmi Parsons, eds., Eleanor of Aquitaine Lord and Lady (New York, 2002), 159-175.
Mater. Hist. Becket = James Craigie Robertson (vols. 1-7) and J. Brigstocke Sheppard (vol. 7), eds., "Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury", 7 vols. (London, 1875-85).
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
Monast. Angl. = William Dugdale, ed. (new ed. by Caley, Ellis, Bandniel), Monasticon Anglicanum (London, 1817-30).
Phair (2002) = Raymond W. Phair, "William Longespée, Ralph Bigod, and Countess Ida", TAG 77 (2002), 279-81.
R. Dic. = William Stubbs, ed., Radulfi de Diceto Decani Lundonensis Opera Historica - The Historical Works of Master Ralph de Diceto Dean of London, 2 vols. (Rolls Series 68, London 1876).
Reed (2002) = Paul C. Reed, "Countess Ida, mother of William Longesée, illegitimate son of Henry II", TAG 77 (2002), 137-49.
Reg. Gray = James Raine, ed., "The Register, or Rolls, of Walter Gray, Lord Archbishop of York", Surtees Soc. 56 (1872).
RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.
Rog. Hov. = William Stubbs, ed., Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Houedene, 5 vols. (Rolls Series 51, 1868). For an English translation, see Henry T. Riley, trans., The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, 2 vols. (London, 1853). Citations are from the edition of Stubbs.
Rog. Wendover = Henry G. Hewlett, ed., The Flowers of History of Roger de Wendover (Flores Historiarum), (Rolls Series 84, London, 1886-9).
Sheppard (1964) = Walter Lee Sheppard, "The Bastards of Henry II", The Genealogists' Magazine 14 (1964), 361-8. [I would like to thank Chris Phillips for providing me with a copy of this article.]
Sheppard (1965) = Walter Lee Sheppard, "Royal bye-blows - the illegitimate children of the English kings from William I to Edward III", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 119 (1965), 94-102.
TAG = The American Genealogist.
VCH = Victoria County History of ...
Walter Map = M. R. James, ed. & trans., Walter Map - De Nugis Curialum - Courtiers' Trifles (Oxford, 1983).
Warren (1973) = W. L. Warren, Henry II (University of California Press, 1973).
Weir (1989) = Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families - The Complete Genealogy (London, 1989).
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First Uploaded 27 June 2004.
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