Special Sub-Topic: The Mighty Plantagenets- Part 1
|The Plantagenet Dynasty was founded in which century?|
12th century. The Plantagenet Dynasty, was a branch of the Angevins and was founded in 1126 by Geoffery V of Anjou, the son of Fulk V of Anjou, and Eremburga of La Flèche. The name 'Plantagenet' comes from the broom flower called 'planta genista' which Count Geoffery often wore on his hat. Geoffery V of Anjou married the Empress Matilda, the 'Lady of the English' who was the daughter of Henry I of England and it is through Matilda's claim to England that the Plantagenet Dynasty became a ruling European power.
|Which of the following titles was NOT held by any monarch of the Plantagent Dynasty?|
King of Sicily. Edmund Crouchback (a son of Henry III of England) claimed the Crown of Sicily in the 13th century however the claim to the crown of Sicily was only taken seriously by himself and his father. In 1154 after the death of Stephen I of England the crown of England passed to Henry II of England, son of Geoffery V of Anjou and the Empress Matilda. Richard I of England also more commonly known as Coeur de Lion claimed the title of Lord of Cyprus in 1191 after his sister and fiancee Berengaria were stranded on the south coast. At times throughout the Plantagenet rule monarchs were also afforded the title King of Germany.
|King Henry II of England made the controversial marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine who was at the time the greatest heiress in Christendom. However, she had previously been married to which ruler?|
Louis VII of France. Eleanor of Aquitaine was married to King Louis VII of France (then the dauphin) at the age of fifteen. Their marriage lasted fifteen years and produced two daughters, Marie and Alix. Eleanor obtained an annulment on the grounds that they were too closely related and cited her reasons as wishing the king free to remarry so that he might obtain the male heir he so desperately needed as her daughters were barred from inheriting the throne due to their sex.
Many of the king's advisors at the time encouraged the annulement, most prominently Bernard of Clairvaux. Eleanor demanded the return of the lands she had brought to the marriage. Louis agreed and Eleanor was awarded the return of her lands - Aquitaine and Poitou which made Eleanor the greatest heiress in Christendom in the High Middle Ages.
|The marriage between Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine was prohibited within what degree?|
They were cousins in the third degree.. The marriage between Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine appears to have been tempestuous. However, the couple appeared to have a loving marriage until in 1170 their sons revolted due to the fact that Henry would not allow them any substantial power. This was extremely upsetting for the eldest son, Henry the Young King due to the fact that he had been crowned as King of England yet was not allowed any power. Eleanor supported her sons and Henry, furious over her involvement, imprisoned Eleanor until he died sixteen years later. Yet throughout her captivity Henry still depended upon her for many things such as the state of government in Aquitaine and Poitou where Eleanor was Duchess and a Countess titles preceded by her father and succeeded by her beloved son, Richard the Lionheart and another son.
|Which Plantagenet ruler attempted to conquer Wales, naming his son Prince of Wales, and later attacked Scotland?|
Edward I. Edward I attempted to create a British Empire by conquering Wales and later declaring his son to be the Prince of Wales. This was successful however Scotland continued to remain elusive to English rule and it was not until late in the reign of the Stuart Kings that Scotland became a part of the British Empire.
|Which respected Plantagenet leader founded the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 1348?|
King Edward III. The Order of the Garter is one of the oldest and respected orders in the world. Founded in 1348 by King Edward III, the Order brought together at the time 25 of the top military leaders in the country and brought about a sense of companionship. Although founded 650 years ago the Order of the Garter today still shares many of the original principles. The Order of the Garter consists of Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales and 25 companions. Women can be made ladies of the order but they are not ranked amongst the 25 companions. Foreign monarchs have been inducted into the Order since the 15th century.
|King Edward I 'Longshanks' is known to history by some historians as a great and respected leader while other historians have criticised 'Longshanks' for his very harsh treatment of ...?|
The Scots and the Jews. King Edward I is known to history as a ruthless yet respected leader. Due to his height and his temperamental nature many people were intimidated by him. King Edward was also known as the 'Hammer of the Scots'. In 1290 Longshanks issued an edict called the Edict of Expulsion. All Jews were expelled from England and the edict remained law until 1656 when it was overturned under Oliver Cromwell.
|Which Plantagenet ruler was the first to create a jury system in England?|
Henry II of England. Henry II of England was known as a just and sound ruler and is said to have been enraged by the fact that a member of the church, that is any clergyman from a parish priest to a cardinal was able to claim exemption from the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts for any crime they might commit and ask that he be tried by an ecclesiastical court. This dispute between him and his Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, led to great conflict and a feud that lasted over a decade. Henry set up civil courts in each county. He also introduced trial by jury, assizes and established the principle that a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice.
|The House of Lancaster was founded by John of Gaunt, who was the third son of Edward III. As such, he did not enjoy much power and gained this by marrying Blanche of Lancaster who brought with her considerable wealth.|
True. The House of Lancaster (a branch of the Plantagenet dynasty) was founded by John of Gaunt. He married Blanche of Lancaster and she brought considerable wealth with her, making John the greatest landowner in the kingdom after his father, the king. In 1399 when he died his lands were confiscated by Richard II and his exiled son Henry of Bolingbrooke later put himself at the head of an army to regain control of his rightful estates. This led to Richard II being deposed and dying in captivity while Henry assumed the throne of England as Henry IV. This is when the House of York, a contender for the throne first emerged.
|Which of the following was NOT a supporter of England throughout the Hundred Years' War with France?|
Bohemia. Throughout the Hundred Years' War both England and France experienced significant victories and defeats. For much of the war England appeared to be winning.
After about 1437 the course of the war changed to England's disadvantage. It now had had a young and weak monarch on the throne (Henry VI) who seemed more willing to forgive and forget rather than take back their lands. This weakness in the king and the crown's inability to pay many of the soldiers and commanders allowed the French to exploit the weaknesses within the English court.
|Which Princess of France in the 14th century became Queen of England through marriage and later deposed her husband and assumed the throne as regent for her son with her lover as her consort?|
Isabella of France. Isabella of France, sometimes called 'She Wolf of France', was the only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France. Isabella was brought to the English court at the age of twelve. Isabella's marriage to the king was strained and her husband Edward II was known to lavish gifts upon his favourite, Piers Gaveston.
After the death of Gaveston, however, Edward turned to a new and deadly favourite called Hugh Despenser the Younger. It appears that Isabella could not tolerate the King's new favourite and in 1325 Isabella travelled to France under the guise of a diplomatic mission however while in France, Isabella began an affair with Mortimer. In 1326 Isabella returned to England with an army and the King's forces deserted him. Isabella assumed the throne as regent for her son, the future Edward III along with her lover Roger Mortimer. In 1330 Edward III assumed the throne and executed Roger Mortimer. Isabella was admired for her beauty, intelligence and diplomatic skills. Isabella is portrayed in the movie "Braveheart" as a beautiful, intelligent peacemaker.
|The title Prince of Wales has been in use for many centuries. Who was the very first English Prince of Wales?|
King Edward II. King Edward II was created the very first Prince of Wales in 1301. Sometimes called Edward of Caernarfon (after his birthplace) Edward II's reign is sometimes called a disastrous reign when comparing his accomplishments to those of his son (Edward III) and his father (Edward I).
Edward II is memorable to history through his being the first monarch to establish colleges in both Oxford and Cambridge. Edward II died on 27th September 1327 after being allegedly murdered by his wife Isabella and her lover Mortimer. Some historians however have put forward the argument that Edward II did not in fact die in 1327 but instead lived out the rest of his years as an exile and died in 1341. This notion however is not widely accepted and it is known that a public funeral was held in 1327 and attended by his wife Isabella and his son Edward.
The earliest claim that he was murdered by having a red hot poker pushed through his anus into his body dates from 1352, about 25 years after his death. The story did not become popular till the following century, however.
|Who was the very last Plantagenet monarch before the throne was assumed by Henry Tudor who would be crowned as Henry VII of England?|
King Richard III. Richard III is mostly remembered for his role at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 where he was betrayed by his supporters who all fled to the side of Henry Tudor however Richard III is rarely remembered for the important role he played in the War of the Roses even before he became king. The eighth child of Edward, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, Richard had spent many of his younger years at Middleham Castle. In 1464 at the age of only 11, Richard was appointed by Edward IV (his elder brother) the sole commissioner of Array for the Western Countries. By the time he was seventeen, Richard assumed independent command. In 1471 at only 18 Richard played key roles in two battles that helped restore his brother to the throne- Barnet and Tewkesbury. Throughout the rest of Edward IV reign, Edward proved himself to be a loyal and skilled military commander. By 1471 Richard was the most powerful noble in England and held numerous honours. In the North especially Richard was regarded with much affection.
|Which Lancastrian King became King of England at the age of nine months after his famous father died on campaign of dysentery?|
King Henry VI. In 1422 while on campaign in France Henry V died of dysentery leaving the crown of England to his vulnerable son.
|Which Queen of England contracted a secret marriage to her Welsh Clerk of the Wardrobe in the 15th century that led to his arrest?|
Catherine of Valois. In 1427 Parliament passed an act that dictated that Catherine of Valois (now the Dowager Queen of England) could not marry without the King's (Henry VI, her son's) explicit permission and that permission could only be granted once the king reached his majority. The bill also dictated that should this be done the man in question would lose all lands and titles but that any children produced from the marriage would be regarded as members of the royal family. At the time, Henry VI was only six years old.
Despite this Catherine of Valois entered into a romantic relationship with her Welsh Clerk of the Wardrobe, Owen ap Tudor. Catherine bore Owen three sons and two daughters and she died at the age of 35, possibly from cancer. Henry VI later made their eldest two sons, Edmund and Jasper Earls of Pembroke and Richmond.
|Which King of England, upon hearing of his final loss of Bordeaux, is said to have lapsed into a coma that lasted for more than a year?|
Henry VI. Henry VI is known to history as a pious and gentle man who abhorred any form of violence or bloodshed. His wife however, Margaret of Anjou was not gentle like her husband and took advantage of his vulnerabilty to seize control of the court and advance her favourites, most notably Edmund, 2nd Duke of Somerset.
After the loss at Bordeaux however, the king slipped into a coma for more than a year that made him unaware of everything around him. It is said that even when his son was presented to him, Henry made no movement nor acknowledged his son's existence. This was exploited by Richard, Duke of York because under English law at the time, the king had to acknowledge any son he might have as his son for the child to be eligible for the English throne. And since the king had not acknowledged his son and was not ruling himself, this left a de facto vacancy as the King of England.
|Which Princess of England was originally married to a German Emperor and later a Count but considered herself "wasted" after such an advantageous first marriage?|
Princess Matilda. Princess Matilda, later known as "Lady of the English", was the daughter of Henry I of England and originally married the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. The couple had no children and after he died in 1125, Matilda returned to England and was married to Geoffery of Anjou then fourteen. Matilda was 26. Matilda considered herself wasted on Geoffery as he was "a mere count, where she had once been an Empress". The couple spent much of their marriage apart although Matilda bore Geoffery three sons, Henry, Geoffery and William.
|Katherine Swynford, the third wife of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault was the ancestor of which famous family that played an enormous role in the Wars of the Roses?|
The Beauforts. Katherine Swynford was the mistress of John of Gaunt and later became his wife. Katherine originally became affiliated with John as governess to his two young children by Blanche of Lancaster. The couple had four children together and after the death of John of Gaunt's second wife, the couple married. The couple's four children - John, Henry, Joan and Thomas - were legitimized and given the surname Beaufort. However, the Beauforts were barred from inheriting the throne through a clause of agreement between the Pope and King Richard but that was later overturned.
Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort, was the great-granddaughter of Katherine and John. This direct line of ancestry was later used by the Beaufort family so that they could obtain the crown.
|Until Queen Elizabeth in the sixteenth century, England had only ever had two ruling queens. One was Mary I ('Bloody Mary'). Who was the other?|
Queen Matilda. Matilda was the daughter of Henry I of England, a son of William the Conqueror. Before he died Henry I had all his nobles swear allegiance to Matilda as their future sovereign queen. Few however upheld this vow and as a result England was plunged into civil war with the Empress on one side and Stephen of Blois on the opposing side.
|Which King of England famously named his daughter after his first wife, though he was married to another?|
King Edward I. During the Middle Ages it was not uncommon to arrange a marriage, without thinking of the couple's happiness. However there are rare cases where arranged marriages led to happy marriages. One such marriage was that of King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile.
It is widely known and reported that during the 36 years of their marriage the couple were hardly apart. Indeed, Eleanor even gave birth whilst the couple were on campaign. When Eleanor died in 1290 the king was said to be heartbroken. A decade later, he remarried and named his daughter Eleanor after his first wife.
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