Over the course of the next four years I will be stitching Bothy Thread's Kings and Queens at the slow pace of one monarch per month.
This energetic (hence the leapfrogging) monarch is a little later than planned this month as, when his time came, I didn't feel like stitching on him so found myself more than a bit distracted with my Halloween Banner. I did apologise to Henry for ignoring him and luckily he understood (had it been Henry VIII I might not be alive now to tell this tale!!) Also, his reign was extremely difficult to summarise into 300 words so that took a bit longer than expected too (so much fighting!)
Anyway, here is monarch number 5:
Finished - 16th May 2019
Total stitching time - 4 hours 55 minutes
I stitched his crown in metallic gold rather than the charted yellow (some monarchs have gold and others yellow crowns but I don't see why they all shouldn't be metallic gold) and will frog and adjust the ridiculous backstiching on his right leg by the time he's shown again in the Smalls SAL.
Now it's time for your History lesson about Henry II:
Preceded by Stephen (cousin)
Succeeded by Richard I (son)
Lived 1133 - 1189
Reigned 1154 - 1189
Married Eleanor of Aquitaine *
Fathered 5 sons and 3 daughters
Henry became king upon his cousin Stephen's death, a deal agreed between Stephen and Henry's mother on condition she renounce her rightful claim to the throne. Although of Norman descent, by taking his mother's married name, Henry became the first Plantagenet monarch.
Henry was relatively successful at restoring England and the monarchy to his Grandfather's pre 'Anarchy' days, and introducing a more equal country-wide judicial system.
He ruled over territories in England, France, Wales and Ireland; the 'Angevin Empire'. However, there were numerous disputes over lands in France, leading to tense relationships with the French kings, and the brokering and breaking of many treaties.
Henry also had tense relationships with his surviving sons regarding their inheritances. His eldest was crowned 'Young Henry' and all were given various titles and lands but none were satisfied. Rivalries ensued, sometimes encouraged by Eleanor.
Henry is probably best remembered for the Thomas Beckett 'will no one rid me of this turbulent priest' murder. Beckett had been a close friend and ally but when made Archbishop of Canterbury his conflicting views made him a thorn in Henry's side. Henry was blamed for Beckett's infamous murder at the alter of Canterbury Cathedral.
Henry later believed that his mounting conflicts were a punishment for Beckett's murder so undertook a pilgrimage to pay vigil at the alter. This humble gesture brought most of his conflicts to a close and helped secure his throne.
Henry died in France in 1189 and was buried in Fontevraud Abbey where his wife would later be buried beside him. Young Henry and Geoffrey had died before their father, leaving Richard (and later John) to inherit the throne.
* Does anyone remember that this was the answer which won Judith Keppel £1million on UK's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?