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Tuesday 9 October 2001

Henry I was Henry Beauclerc, the son of William the conqueror;
Henry I ‘s son was drowned in a boating accident so the succession went to his nephew Etienne de Blois, then his son in law Geoffroy, then passed to his grandson by his daughter. This was Henry Plantagenet who became Henry II.in 1154. By his succession and a marriage to Alienor of Aquitaine he was King of England , duke of Normandy, count of Anjou . and duke of Brittany Aquitaine and Poitiuc. He was master of a domain stretching from Scotland to the Pyrenees.
It was Henry II who was responsible for the murder of Thomas Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral. Thomas Beckett who was a boy hood friend of Henry, was promoted quickly from priest to archbishop. Henry hadn’t counted on Thomas taking his religious vows too seriously and was annoyed when Thomas opposed his actions. One night when drunk Henry asked his Barons to get rid of Thomas . They promptly went to find him and slew him in the cathedral.

1180 In 1180 Philippe Auguste came to the throne of France. He undertook, by various devious means to regain his empire. By marriage and annexing territory he regained Flanders and the Champagne region. He exploited the rivalry between Henry II and his son Richard lion heart. With the aid of Richard , Philippe invaded the Loire valley. Henry II was killed In the combat.

1189 Once crowned king Richard went off with Philipppe on a crusade. While they were away the argued and Philippe left Richard and returned home. When Richard was returning home later , a storm in the Mediterranean swept him on to the coast of Dalmatia and he fell into the hands of the German Emperor. Philippe took advantage of Richard’s capture to befriend Richard’s brother John. John ceded back to Philippe some regions of Normandy. But , in
1194 Richard escaped and returned to England. He reacted to this treatury by building a castle at Gaillard on the Seine. He also made several expeditions of conquest into Philippes territory. But during a siege on Chalus he was killed whilst reprimanding a vassal.
His brother John succeeded to the throne and he continued being conciliatory with Philippe . He gave back part of Normandy around Rouen and Evreux and possessions in the Auvergne. His niece was married to the son of Philippe. Philippe wasn’t satisfied by this. He took the occasion of a dispute between John and Lusignan de la Marche to confiscate all John’s territory in France. He gave all the territories except Normandy to John’ s nephew Arthur. This repartition was laid out on paper but to make it an established fact was another matter. Philippe set out to conquer Normandy,and Arthur was left to do the rest.
Arthur didn’t get very far . His army was defeated by John and Arthur was taken prisoner. He was later found strangled in a tower at Rouen. Philippe profited from this crime by using it to show how barbaric and unjust was the hold of John over his French possessions.
In face of the growing opposition to him, John stayed at home and let Philippe take back all his possessions till he was left with a territory in Aquitaine.

Philip didn’t rest there. His son , Louis, pursued the English over the channel and London fell to him. Philippe considered crowning himself king of England but on the death of John the pope intervened and maintained the succession of John’ s son Henry III.

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