Henry II of England

Date of reign: AD 1154-AD 1189

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Henry II of England.

Wikipedia derived information

Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (French: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Nantes, King of England (1154–89) and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also controlled Wales, Scotland and Brittany.

Henry was the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. He became actively involved by the age of 14 in his mother's efforts to claim the throne of England, then occupied by Stephen of Blois, and was made Duke of Normandy at 17. He inherited Anjou in 1151 and shortly afterwards married Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII of France had recently been annulled.

Stephen agreed to a peace treaty after Henry's military expedition to England in 1153: Henry inherited the kingdom on Stephen's death a year later.Henry was an energetic and sometimes ruthless ruler, driven by a desire to restore the lands and privileges of his royal grandfather, Henry I. During the early years of the younger Henry's reign he restored the royal administration in England, re-established hegemony over Wales and gained full control over his lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry's desire to reform the relationship with the Church led to conflict with his former friend Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

This controversy lasted for much of the 1160s and resulted in Becket's death in 1170. Henry soon came into conflict with Louis VII and the two rulers fought what has been termed a "cold war" over several decades. Henry expanded his empire, often at Louis' expense, taking Brittany and pushing east into central France and south into Toulouse; despite numerous peace conferences and treaties no lasting agreement was reached.

By 1172, he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France, an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.Henry and Eleanor had eight children. As they grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire began to emerge, encouraged by Louis and his son King Philip II. In 1173 Henry's heir apparent, "Young Henry", rebelled in protest; he was joined by his brothers Richard and Geoffrey and by their mother, Eleanor.

France, Scotland, Flanders and Boulogne allied themselves with the rebels. The Great Revolt was only defeated by his vigorous military action and talented local commanders, many of them "new men" appointed for their loyalty and administrative skills. Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again in 1183, resulting in Young Henry's death.

The Norman invasion of Ireland provided lands for his youngest son John, but Henry struggled to find ways to satisfy all his sons' desires for land and immediate power. Philip successfully played on Richard's fears that Henry would make John king, and a final rebellion broke out in 1189. Decisively defeated by Philip and Richard and suffering from a bleeding ulcer, Henry retreated to Chinon in Anjou, where he died.Henry's empire quickly collapsed during the reign of his youngest son John.

Many of the changes Henry introduced during his long rule, however, had long-term consequences. Henry's legal changes are generally considered to have laid the basis for the English Common Law, while his intervention in Brittany, Wales and Scotland shaped the development of their societies and governmental systems. Historical interpretations of Henry's reign have changed considerably over time.

In the 18th century, scholars argued that Henry was a driving force in the creation of a genuinely English monarchy and, ultimately, a unified Britain. During the Victorian expansion of the British Empire, historians were keenly interested in the formation of Henry's own empire, but they also expressed concern over his private life and treatment of Becket. Late-20th-century historians have combined British and French historical accounts of Henry, challenging earlier Anglo-centric interpretations of his reign.

Spouse: Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mother: Empress Matilda
Father: Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou
Succeeded by: Richard I of England
Date of birth: 1133-03-05+02:00
Date of death: 1189-07-06+02:00

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 1,004 examples.

PAS record number: YORYM-EBF827

Record: YORYM-EBF827
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver penny of Henry II dating to the period AD 1180 - 1189. Short cross reverse. Moneyer Alain V. Mint of London. Class 1. North Vol 1, p…
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PAS record number: SUR-AFEBBC

Record: SUR-AFEBBC
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A medieval silver penny of cross-and-crosslets 'Tealby' type of Henry II (1154-1180), probably bust E (North 960; c.1168-70). The moneyer rea…
Workflow: PublishedFind validated and published by finds advisers

PAS record number: BERK-9B2947

Record: BERK-9B2947
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A 'short cross' cut halfpenny of Henry II (AD 1154-1189). North Class 1b. Probably struck by Reinier in Winchester between AD 1180-1189. North…
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PAS record number: YORYM-0622A3

Record: YORYM-0622A3
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A silver penny of Henry II dating to the period AD 1180 - 1189. Short cross reverse. Moneyer Iefrei. Mint of London. Class 1b. North Vol 1, p…
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PAS record number: SUSS-F2681B

Record: SUSS-F2681B
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Description: A Medieval silver cut halfpenny of Henry II, dating from AD 1180-c. 1189. Probably North Class 1; possibly Class 1c. Mint probaly of London. M…
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Denominations issued

45 coin types issued

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