Plantagenet Period 1154-1399

Plantagenet Period from 1154 to 1399 is the name conventionally given to the English Royal family descended from Henry II.
In the 12th century, ‘Plantagenet’ was no more than a nickname given to Henry II’s father Geoffrey le Bel, Count of Anjou, arbitrarily believed to have been derived from ‘Planista  genista’ a sprig of which Geoffrey is said to have frequently worn in his cap. It has been adopted to mark one of the most powerful dynasties in the Medieval world.

The Plantagenet Monarchs.

The Plantagenet Kings and their family tree, has, is a tangled web, raising questions over centuries and has quite recently raised its head in the courts of England in the citations for the finding of a Monarch Richard of III of York, hundreds of years after his death to prove his lineage via DNA. So just who were they and why was this dynasty to prove to be quite so enduring in our modern minds?

Noteworthy members of the Plantagenet Dynasty include:-

  • Geoffrey Plantagenet and Empress Matilda: the founders of the Angevin and Plantagenet Empire
  • 1133-89 Henry II son of Geoffrey and Matilda:
  • Henry II King 1154-1189 was the eldest son of Geoffrey PLANTAGENET and Empress Matilda.
  • 1157-1199 Richard I, King of England 1189-1199 The Lionheart 3rd son of Eleanor of Acquitaine and King Henry II, also known as the legendary ‘Coeur de Lion’ He is buried at Fontveraud Abbey in France with his Mother.
  • 1167-1216 JOHN King of England 1199-1216: youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor. John would prove to be a poor King but one that produced a good outcome with the instigation,following disputes with the Barons over excessive taxation, of the first version of Magna Carta translation click here. and its importance as the enshrinement of the principles of common law which would shape the future of English law, the ‘Law of the Land.’
  • Henry III son of John and Isabella of Angouleme, the eldest sonhe came to the throne at only 9 years old but following the debacles of John’s reign and the Barons War which had led to Magna Carta, his early government was well and wisely governed by William ‘The Marshal’ , Peter des Roches and Hubert de Burgh. They were all hugely able men of the time and coped admirably with the immense military, financial and political problems that were facing the crown. But they were also in the winter of their lives and more troubles lay ahead with the 2nd Barons War and the fervent rebellion of the Montfortians. Henry would end his reign as King in name only , his greatest legacy arguably being his work on the mighty Westminster Abbey. His energetic son Price Edward would need to overcome the Montfortians and this would further impact on the ‘law of the land’ in his reign as Edward I.
  • 1239-1307 Edward I King 1258-1265: he became known due to his law making as the ‘English Justinian’ and went on to conquer Wales and establish it as royal principality for his son. He defeated the Montfortians. led by Simon de Montfort, when he forced the first version of the House of Commons. Arguably building on the commonly held beliefs and aims/intentions of Magna Carta and ‘No Tax without Representation’, it was a rebellion lost at Lewes but decisively won at Evesham. Edward I left an enduring imprint on our history but died heavily in debt, as a result of the huge cost of being at war on three fronts Wales, France and Scotland. He had 17 children (a large number would die young) from two wives Eleanor of CASTILLE and Margaret of FRANCEand was succeeded by Eleanor’s last born son, crowned King Edward II  after King Edward I died on route north to invade Scotland.
  • 1284-1327 Edward II King between (1307-1327) he was born at Caernarfon, England’s first Prince of Wales. He was a king obsessed by his own personal relationships and favourites namely Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser. His appalling lack of ability as a king would lead to his own wife and son agreeing to and promoting his deposition. He became the first English king to be deposed and the first to lead an army in war against Scotland and be defeated.
  • 1312-77 Edward III was King (1327-1377): he deposed his own father and came to the throne aged just seventeen years old having grappled control back from his own mother, executed her lover, deposed his own father and possibly had a hand in his murder.
  • 1330-1376  Edward the Black Prince, Edward III’s eldest son. His early promise after his military success and exploits in France was brought to an end by ill health. He died young and not inherit his birthright to be king but his son Richard would, how will he manage?
  • 1367-1400 Richard II King 1377- 1399 son of Edward The Black Prince and Joan of Kent: a royal grandson to inherit the throne in strict line of descendancy. Given his father’s exploits, what chance did Richard II have to rule as monarch?
  • The crisis of his poor kingship would see a huge fracture and division across the tattered threads of a Plantagement empire and inheritance with no obvious solution, would the hard won Plantagenet domination of the English crown and France completely fall away? John of Gaunt, one of the most powerful men in England and brother to Edward’s father helps him hold the throne but as Gaunt’s life wanes, his son Bolingbroke will no be martialled by his father much longer. Another usurpation or is it an abdication? Find out and follow how Richard’s life shapes-up and his impact on his kingdom. Is Richard II the Last of the Plantagenets?

Challenging for the Crown

  • 1366 – 1413 Henry IV of BOLINGBROKE, heir to John of Gaunt’s(his father) estate, the illegitimate son of Edward had a deep and close claim to the throne. Married Mary de BOHUN co-heiress of the earldom of Hereford. Whilst he some would say reluctantly deposed RICHARD II ill health would hinder his own Kingship and died aged just 46. His son Henry V would
  • 1387-1422 Henry V son of Henry Bolingbroke was King 1413-22 and despite Shakespeares recokoning of his mis-spent youth would be an effective King
  • 1411-1460 Richard of YORK : he became 3rd Duke of York aged just 4 when his uncle Edward was killed in Agincourt. Married to Cecily NEVILLE. He went on to challenge the LANCASTRIAN hold on the crown but was killed by execution (his head spiked with a paper crown) and later avenged subsequently by two sons Edward IV and Richard III who would briefly hold the crown for the Yorkists.
  • Henry VI 1421-1471 King two periods 1422-61 and 1470-1471.his first reign was due to the untimely early death of his father at just 9 months. The last of the last of  Lancastrian’s he failed to restore their supremacy. His son was killed at Twekesbury and despite temporary restoration when Edward IV fled to Holland with no heir he was subject to Edward IV’s decision that he had to be finally removed as a threat with no son to inherit. He was murdered in 1471. Remembered most for his inertia he has been criticised for allowing the country to slip into the War of the Roses.
  • 1442-1483 Edward IV King (1461-1483) propelled to the throne during the tumultuous War of the Roses at the age of just 18;
    • After his father’s death he became the Yorkist heir to the throne in 1460 and after successes at both the battles of MORTIMER’s CROSS and TOWNTON was proclaimed King. His one weakness perhaps was marrying the WHITE QUEEN, Elizabeth Woodville for love and this led to  a perpetual battle to retain control over his brother and Warwick. He ruled effectively and perhaps was able to do so as he balanced Kingship and its responsibilities with a rich enjoyment of life with a promiscuous lifestyle that led to his untimely death.
  • 1452-1485 Richard III was King just 2 years 1483-1485; 4th son of Richard of York, made Duke of Gloucester 1461 soon after his brother Edward IV became King.  This is the King who was recently rediscovered following a dig in Leicester carp park and being re-interred in that city as opposed to York. The case has been taken to the high court hundreds of years after his death. Thanks to the Richard III Society, he will finally receive a fitting burial. Much maligned by Shakespeare as a reflection of the political times in which he was writing, the truth about Richard III is still hotly debated. An extraordinary outcome given he was king for just two years.
  • c 1480-1452 Arthur Plantagenet, 6th Viscount of Lisle, illegitimate son of Edward IV
    •  served Henry VII and VIII and gained title after marriage to Elizabeth Grey in 1523, later imprisoned and accused of a papalist plot, found innocent he became known by way of his correspondence known as the Lisle Letters. He died it is recounted at the excitement of being found innocent of the supposed papal plot.

Plantagenets, Lancastrians and Yorkists how does a large extended family go to war with itself?

When you look at the family tree of these ruling families it is disturbing how brutal and savagely they sever relationships and close familial ties. Essentially all related, the blundering feuds and dynastic battles would almost seal their own oblivion. How do we end-up with the relative chaos of the period of events collectively known as the War of the Roses? Find out more via our related themes, centuries  and family trees. The next steps, take a loo a the specifics of the Lancastrian and Yorkist branches of this tangled web of shoots from the main Plantagenet roots. Find out some more about the Angevin and Plantagenet Empire here

Plantagenets latest articles

George Duke of Clarence

George Duke of Clarence

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series House of York

George Duke of Clarence may have been the only legitimate heir in the House of York he married the Kingmaker’s daughter what happened to their children? Margaret of York, Edward Plantagenet and Richard of York were born to rank and privilege but how would their lives stand-up to the brutal times of the War of the Roses?

Richard III son of York buried in Leicester

Richard III son of York buried in Leicester

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series House of York

Richard III son of York controversial king reinterment in 2015 in leicester. A new event on the House of York and Plantagement timeline, Whether you are a Ricardian or not, this has been a monumental week and here are some pictures resources and reflections on this intriguing moment in British history.

Richard III Bosworth

Richard III Bosworth

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series House of York

King Richard III Bosworth Field, where the King stood and faced the army of Henry Tudor and was defeated, his crown left tumbeld under a thorn bush, his body unceremoniously dumped at Grey Friars Leicester. This week is re-buried at Leicester Cathedral.

Richard III Illegitimate?

Richard III Illegitimate?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series House of York

The remains of King Richard III discovered in Leicester in 2013, continue to shed new light on the dynasty that ruled during the War of the Roses.

Elizabeth Woodville Queen of Edward IV

Elizabeth Woodville Queen of Edward IV

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series Intriguing Women

Elizabeth Woodville would marry a King but her sons would end their lives imprisoned by their uncle in the tower who would become the much maligned Richard III. He was this Queen who drove a King to marry in secret and fall out with his own family?

Edward IV 1442-1483

Edward IV 1442-1483

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series House of York

Edward IV a Plantagenet and 1st Yorkist King would be betrayed by both his brothers marry for love his Queen Elizabeth WOODVILLE, (the White Queen) what a tangled web he wove and shaped the events that contributed to the War of the Roses and his brother’s remains being rediscovered in Leicester in 2013

Cade’s Rebellion 1450

Cade’s Rebellion 1450

Cade’s rebellion by the people of Kent, is it the start of the War of the Roses and who else was involved and what created the climate for rebelliono with Henry VI on the throne of England?

Richard Duke of York 1411 1460

Richard Duke of York 1411 1460

Richard of York was born of Royal blood and lineage from both his parents, he would seek to usurp the ineffectual Henry VI and lead the Yorkist cause, he would be killed before the Yorks came to the throne but his death would urge his son Edward IV to seize the crown. Find out here about the intriguing events that drove his life and influence upon the outcomes of the War of the roses fought between the Lancasters and Yorks and eventually embroiling the TUDORS who would come to outlive and rule beyond both great houses.

King Richard III of England Found Facts and Fiction

King Richard III of England Found Facts and Fiction

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series British Monarchs

Richard III found in a Car Park with an Arrow in His back, can this be him, who was he and how can we distinguish him fact from fiction and the character assasination given him by William Shakespeare?
(This post will be updated, original posted in 2012.

DatesPlantagenets and the loss of the Angevin EmpireCategories
1128 Geoffrey PLANTAGENET (Count of Anjou, father of Henry II) marries Empress Matilda at Le Mans.Plantagenet and Angevin Empire Geoffrey and Matilda
1136-44 Geoffrey conquers NormandyPlantagenet and angevin Empire
1152 Henry II (son of Geoffrey) married Eleanor of Aquitaine.Plantagenet and Angevin Empire Henry II
Eleanor of Aquitaine
1153Treaty of Winchester
following the Anarchy and discord about the line of succession in England the Treaty of Winchester is negotiated with input by Henry de Blois, who was the Grandson of Norman the Conqueror, Henry II finally recognises Stephen de BLOIS , the brother of Henry de Blois as his heir.
Anarchy Treaty of Winchester Henry de Blois Hampshire History
Stephen de Blois
Henry de Blois Grandson of William IConqueror
1154-1399PLANTAGENET PERIOD 1154-1399Plantagenets
1154 - 1189Henry II Plantagenet
1156Henry II’s brother Geoffrey (namesake of his father Geoffrey Plantagenent) resigns his claims to Anjou.Plantagenet ad Angevin Empire
1157Henry II recovers Northumbria from the King of the Scots.Plantagenet Henry II Northumbria
Scots
Scotland
1157-1165 Henry II invades Wales four times.Plantagenet Henry II
Wales
1159 Henry II captures Cahors during his Toulouse expedition.Plantagenet Henry II
Cahors Toulouse Expedition
1166-1168 Henry II invades Brittany and install his son Geoffrey as Count of Brittany.Henry II and his son Geoffrey as Count of Brittany
1171-1172 Henry II invades Ireland.Henry II Plantagenets
Ireland
1173-1174 Eleanor and her sons rebel again Henry II
Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons (Henry the Young King, Geoffrey and future Richard I of Coeur de Lion fame, ) rebel against Henry II their father.
Henry II Plantagenets Eleanor Aquitaine
Geoffrey Henry the Younger and Richard I
1177Henry II creates John Lackland later King John as Lord of Ireland.Henry II King John
Plantagenets
1183 Henry II suffers further rebellion followed by death of Henry II’s son Henry the Young King.Henry II Plantagenets
Henry the Young King
1189 Henry II is defeated by Richard I and Philip II Augustus and Henry dies soon afterwardsHenry II Plantagenets
Richard I Lionheart or Coeur de Lion
1189 - 1199Richard IPlantagenet Richard I coeur de Lion the Lionheart
1193-4 Philip II Augustus invades Normandy and Anjou.
Plantagenet Normandy Anjou
1199 - 1216 John Plantagenet King John Richard I
1199Richard I killed at Chalus; John and Arthur of Brittany dispute succession. John has Arthur murdered and inherits the Crown.Plantagenet Richard I Chalus King John Lackland Arthur of Brittany
1200Treaty of Le Goulet; Philip recognised John as heir to the Angevin Empire.Philip II King John Plantagenet
Angevin Empire
1201Revolt of the Lusignans (the leading aristocratic family of Poitou in the 12th century
Lusignans played an important part in the politics of the Angevin Empire. It is this revolt following John’s marriage to Hugh of Lusignan’s fiancée Iasbella that precipitated the collapse of accord and the cohesion of the Angevin Empire.
Plantagenet
Angevin Empire
King John
1202Philip II declares the confiscation of all fiefs held of the crown of France.Philip II King John Plantagenet Angevin Empire
1202-1205 Philip II conquers Normandy and Anjou from the Plantagenets.Plantagenets Losses King John
Philip II
1204 Eleanor of Aquitaine mother of King John dies, Poitou recognised Philip II and Alfonso of Castile invades Gascony.Plantagenets King John Losses
Eleanor of Aquitaine
1206King John recovers Gascony and the Saintonge.Plantagenets
King John
Gascony and Saintonge
1214John and his allies defeated at Rocheau-Moine and BouvinesKing John
Plantagenets
France Losses Rocheau-Moine and Bouvines
1215Barons Rebellions and Magna CartaMagna Carta

Magna Carta Translation 1225Translation of Magna Carta
King John
Magna Carta
Plantagenets
1216-1217 Louis of France invades England (later becomes Louis VIII.) He invades at the invitation of the Rebel barons an attacks Dover Castle, He occupies the South of England. See Medieval Tunnels and underpinning foundations of the castle. King John dies in 1217.King John
Invasion of England of a sort
Louis VIII of France
Dover Castle Medieval Tunnels
1216 - 1272Henry III son of king John becomes King
Henry III
Plantagenet Henry III
1224Louis VIII captures La Rochelle.Henry III Plantagenet Louis VIII
1242Taillebourg campaign: Louis IX defeats Henry IIIHenry III Plantagenet
1259Treaty of Paris signed 1259
Henry III resigns all claims to Normandy, Anjou and Poitou. Between his father King John and Henry III all the gains of the Angevin Empire have been lost and wiped out.
Henry III Plantagenet
King John
1264Battle of of Lewes 1264Battle of Lewes 2nd Baron's War with Simon de Montfort against Henry III and his son subsequently Edward IHenry III Plantagenet
Who Was Simon de Montfort?Simon de Montfort
Battle of Lewes
1265Simon de Montfort defeated at Evesham in the Battle of EveshamHenry III Edward I Simon de Montfort
1272 - 1307King Edward IEdward IPlantagenet
1307 - 1327King edward II Edward IIPlantagenet Edward II
1327 - 1377King Edward III A king who with his mother deposed his own father who had failed in his kingship and then suffered the outrage of his mother's lover seeking to rule by proxy. Edward III would over come these early difficulties but struggled as most monarchs have to achieve cohesion and stability in his own line of succession. Plantagenet Edward III
1386Lords Appellant take over management of the Kingdon
1388The Merciless Parliament sit
1388Execution of Sir John Beauchamp
1377 - 1399King Richard II Last of the Plantagenet Kings or was he? son of the Black Prince and Joan of Kent he would inherit the throne as a vulnerable boy but failed to make the grade as an adult and endured his open usurpation at the mercy of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke either murdered on his orders or starved to death. There was little need for embellishment to create drama in Shakespeare's History play of the same name. Richard failed to heed the lessons of the Kings that preceded him and would be largely the master of his own downfall. Richard II
Plantagenet King son of the Black Prince and Joan of Kent, Grandson of Edward III and his Queen Philippa of Hainault.
Richard II King of England from 9 years old