Henry II of England

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Definition

Henry II of England ruled from 1154 to 1189 CE. He gained the throne by negotiation with his predecessor King Stephen of England (r. 1135-1154 CE) following the civil war that had raged between that monarch and Henry's mother Empress Matilda (l. 1102-1167 CE). Henry would begin a new ruling dynasty, the Angevins-Plantagenets, and he would rule until 1189 CE, forming the largest 'empire' in western Europe and establishing himself as one of England's greatest ever kings. Two black marks which became impossible to erase from memory, however, were the murder of his chancellor and then archbishop, Thomas Becket in 1170 CE and the rebellions led by his own sons at the end of his reign. Henry was succeeded by his son Richard I of England, aka Richard 'the Lionheart' (r. 1189-1199 CE) and then his other son King John of England (r. 1199-1216 CE).

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