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Henry II Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Henry II Quizzes, Trivia

Henry II Trivia

Henry II Trivia Quizzes

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3 Henry II quizzes and 45 Henry II trivia questions.
  Henry II Part I   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
The first of the Plantagenets, Henry II was the monarch of an international empire. His influence extended for centuries.
Average, 15 Qns, tripeuro, Apr 08 11
1556 plays
  Henry II Part II    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Henry II ruled for 35 years. He was a strong and energetic ruler who, unfortunately, is better remembered for his struggle with Becket than his many accomplishments.
Tough, 15 Qns, tripeuro, Aug 28 04
865 plays
  Henry II Part III   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
For those of you who enjoyed my first two Henry II quizzes, I hope you find this one equally interesting.
Average, 15 Qns, tripeuro, Aug 13 05
826 plays
Related Topics
  Henry III [People] (2 quizzes)

  Henry IV [Literature] (2 quizzes)

  Henry V [Literature] (3 quizzes)

  Henry VI [Literature] (3 quizzes)

  Henry VII [People] (2 quizzes)

  Henry VIII [People] (11 quizzes)

  Henry VIII, Wives of [People] (28 quizzes)

Henry II Trivia Questions

1. During Henry's reign, he was often in conflict with his wife's first husband, the king of France. Who was this king?

From Quiz
Henry II Part III

Answer: Louis VII

Louis VII (aka the Young) and Eleanor of Aquitaine were married for fifteen years and had two daughters - Mary and Alice. Their marriage was annulled on the basis of consanguinity after a church council at Beaugency. Philip II (aka Philip Augustus) was the son of Louis VII by his third wife Adela of Champagne. Louis VI (aka Louis the Fat) was the father of Louis VII. Louis VIII (aka the Lion) was the son of Philip II.

2. When Henry came to the throne one of the things he did was reform the currency which had been debased. At that time, what denominations of currency were in use?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: only the penny

Henry recalled all the old currency and issued new pennies to replace those which had been debased in previous reigns. Although records indicate pounds, marks and shillings, they existed only as "coins of account" ie paper entities. The first pound was issued in 1487 and was called a sovereign due to the depiction of the enthroned king with crown, orb and sceptre. The first shilling was minted in 1504. The mark, equal to 100 pennies, was never minted.

3. Who was Henry's father?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Geoffrey of Anjou

Geoffrey of Anjou is the accepted father of Henry II. He wore a sprig of the Planta Genesta, a yellow gorse plant, in his helmet. It was from this plant that the name Plantagenet arose. William Clito was the son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, whose place on the English throne was taken by Henry I. Henry I was Henry II's grandfather. Stephen of Blois was the nephew of Henry I and was Henry's mother's rival for the throne of England. There are some grounds for the belief that Stephen was in fact Henry's father. Matilda, Henry's mother, was estranged from her husband Geoffrey and was in England in 1132. She hastily returned to France and reconciled with Geoffrey. Henry was born in 1133. In his will, Geoffrey left all his estates to his second son, Geoffrey, in the event that Henry became king of England. Henry did not honour that bequest.

4. Resolution of disputes often resulted in the need for face to face meetings between the English and French sovereigns. Where was the usual meeting place for such conferences?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: under an elm tree in Gisors

Gisors was located in an area known as the Vexin. The Vexin was a buffer state between the English possessions and the territory directly under the control of the French king. It was part of the dowry of Margaret, wife of Henry, the Young King. When the young king died, Henry refused to return the Vexin to France. Fort St George in Chinon was an English stronghold and therefore unacceptable to the French for security reasons. Rouen and Paris were also strongholds, one English (Rouen) and one French (Paris) and were likewise unacceptable. The last conference at Gisors was held in 1188. After three days of fruitless discussions, Philip II had the tree cut down. Although most authorities indicate that the tree was a great elm tree, Thomas B. Costain in "The Conquering Family" says it was an oak tree.

5. As part of his imperial concept, Henry had his eldest surviving son (also Henry) crowned as king of England. What title was given to his next son Richard?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: Duke of Aquitaine

Henry, the young king, received Normandy and Anjou as well as England. Richard, the favourite of his mother Eleanor, was made Duke of Aquitaine. Henry deposed Conrad Duke of Brittany for his failure to control his vassals. He then had Conrad's daughter, Constance, betrothed to his son, Geoffrey, with Brittany as her dowry. John was made Lord of Ireland - even more symbolic than the others since at that time England did not control Ireland. Henry, although seemingly devolving authority upon his sons, in fact retained control himself with his sons as figureheads.

6. Who was Henry's mother?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Empress Matilda

The Empress Matilda was the widow of Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V. After the drowning of her brother William she returned to England and was proclaimed heiress to the throne. She did not marry Geoffrey willingly since she felt that it was beneath her to take a mere count as her second husband. Her father, Henry I, was successful in convincing her but the marriage had its difficulties. Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William I and Henry II's great grandmother. Matilda of Boulogne was the wife of Stephen of Blois, Matilda's rival for the English throne. Matilda of Scotland was Henry II's paternal grandmother.

7. To whom was Henry II married?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a great heiress bringing with her almost all of southern France. Her first husband was Louis VII with whom she went on Crusade. She and Louis had two daughters. Her marriage to Louis was dissolved in Beaugency on March 18, 1152 and shortly after, on May 1, 1152, she married Henry II. Eleanor of Castile was the wife of Edward I. Eleanor of Provence was married to Henry III. Eleanor of Richmond was Henry II's granddaughter. King John held her in captivity due to her superior claim to the throne.

8. In 1173 Henry II had to face a rebellion led by his sons, who were aided by Louis VII. Which of his sons were involved in this rebellion?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: Henry, Richard and Geoffrey

The revolt lasted until 1174, at which time a truce was reached between Henry and his sons. In this rebellion the barony of England, used to the freedom of action that the Matilda and Stephen conflict had allowed them, began chaffing at the bit of Henry's control and joined in.

9. Upon election as Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket....

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: surrendered the Great Seal to Prince Henry

When Becket decided to resign as chancellor, he surrendered the Great Seal of England to Prince Henry, who was in Canterbury. Henry II was at the time in Rouen and Prince Henry, aged 12, was acting as his deputy. Some historians believe that if Becket had told Henry of his firm determination to resign as chancellor if elected Archbishop, Henry would not have instructed the monks of Canterbury to elect Thomas as archbishop, since his purpose was to combine the offices.

10. How many legitimate children did Henry have?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: 8

Henry II and Eleanor had five sons and three daughters only one of whom, their first born son, died in infancy. Henry also had at least 12 illegitimate children by five or more women.

11. Eleanor aided her sons in their rebellion. What happened to her?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: she was imprisoned at Winchester

Although from time to time she was released for particular reasons, for the next sixteen years Eleanor was confined, sometimes more strictly than others, at Winchester. Henry did make overtures to the pope for a dissolution of the marriage, but nothing came of these approaches.

12. During the Norman and Plantagenet eras, what city was the capital of the Duchy of Normandy?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: Rouen

Rouen was the capital of the duchy. It was in Rouen that Joan of Arc was tried and burned. Geoffrey of Anjou and his wife Matilda are buried in the cathedral there. Caen is the burial place of William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders. Falais was the birthplace of William the Conqueror and Le Mans was the birthplace of Henry II.

13. Henry's sons did not always fight against their father. Sometimes they fought amongst themselves. In 1183 this brother died while helping the Aquitanian rebels against his brother Richard. Which brother was it?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: Henry, the young king

In addition to assisting the rebels, the brothers raided monasteries in the region. John took no part in the quarrel while brother William died in infancy. Arthur was Geoffrey's son and was not born until after Geoffrey had died.

14. According to legend, Henry II had his most well known mistress Rosamonde Clifford secreted in a bower in a maze near which of his palaces?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: Woodstock

The legend of the fair Rosamonde usually ends with Rosamonde being poisoned by the jealous queen Eleanor. The whole relationship between Henry and Rosamonde is cloudy. Costain in "The Conquering Family" (a very readable history) states that Henry met Rosamonde prior to his marriage to Eleanor - during the civil war between the Empress Matilda and Stephen. They had a child named William. Henry returned to France while Rosamonde remained in England. When Henry returned to England after his marriage to Eleanor, he resumed a relationship with Rosamonde and another child, Geoffrey, was born. Soon after Henry's crowning, Rosamonde retired to the convent of Godstow where she remained until her death some 20 years later. Henry liberally endowed Godstow, gave lands to William and Geoffrey was raised at court, made bishop of Lincoln but did not take holy orders. When in 1181 the pope demanded that Geoffrey take holy orders he resigned as bishop and was appointed chancellor, a post he retained until the death of Henry II. Other historians say that the relationship with Rosamonde only commenced after Henry had imprisoned Eleanor following the first rebellion of his sons and that his two acknowledged illegitimate sons were not Rosamonde's children.

15. How did Henry, the young king, die?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: He died of dysentery

Henry contracted dysentery in Martel France. He and his brother Geoffrey had joined forces with rebels in Aquitaine against their brother Richard and their father Henry. The young king asked his father to visit him on his deathbed, but Henry II felt that the illness was a ruse in order to trap him and refused to visit his son. Young Henry's sins weighed heavily and he rambled about the need for forgiveness and repentance. Nearing the end, he asked for a bed of cinders and lay on it clad in a crusader's cloak with a noose around his neck, expiring shortly thereafter.

16. Henry II outlived three of his sons, William, Henry and Geoffrey. Geoffrey died in 1186. What was the cause of his death?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: He was trampled to death in a tournament.

Although Geoffrey, like his brothers, fought against his father, his death was accidental. He left a daughter, Eleanor the Fair Maid of Brittany and Arthur who was born posthumously. His wife Constance was in fact the Duchess of Brittany with her husband, Geoffrey, being its duke by marriage although, in accordance with the time, he exercised authority. Upon his death, Constance took over rule until she abdicated in favour of her son, Arthur, in 1196.

17. Why was Henry II angered at the final resolution of the court case of Philip de Brois?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: it showed the leniency of clerical courts

Philip de Brois held a clerical office and was of Norman descent. He killed a man whose daughter he had raped. The local sheriff took him into custody; however the church intervened and took him into clerical custody. Henry attempted to be moderate and an agreement was made to hear the case in a clerical court, with a jury made up in equal parts of churchmen and laymen. The verdict deprived Philip of the revenues of his clerical office for two years, and he was flogged naked by the sheriff. Henry felt that the sentence in no way reflected the severity of the offences and determined to ensure that all criminal cases be tried in civil courts.

18. English kings often were given nicknames. What nickname was applied to Henry II?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Curtmantle

Henry appeared at his coronation dressed in a doublet and short Angevin cloak and hence earned his nickname Curtmantle. Beauclerk was the nickname given to his grandfather Henry I. Henry V was known as Henry of Monmouth. Longshanks was the nickname given to Edward I due to his great height.

19. As a result of Becket's refusal to accept the Constitutions of Clarendon, Henry began to put pressure on Becket on matters arising from his term as chancellor. As a result of this pressure, Becket fled to France. Where was his refuge in France?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: the Cistercian monastery at Pontigny

Becket's exile lasted for more than seven years. He was given refuge initially at the Cistercian monastery at Pontigny. Henry then exerted pressure on the monks by threatening the English Cistercians with confiscation of their lands if their Pontigny brothers continued to harbour Becket. Becket then fled to Sens to live in proximity with Pope Alexander III - much to the pope's discomfort. William I was buried in the Abbaye aux Hommes at Caen. Both Cluny and Clairvaux were important abbeys in France but did not host Becket.

20. Nicholas Brakespeare was the only Englishman ever elected pope. He assumed that office in 1154, the same year as Henry II was crowned. What papal name did he take?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Adrian IV

Nicholas Brakespeare came to the attention of Pope Eugenius III and was sent on a delicate diplomatic mission to Scandanavia to resolve a dispute with respect to the creation of additonal bishoprics in the area. He was elected unanimously to the papacy after the death of Pope Anastasius IV. He was a strong pope but, due to the brevity of his reign, a forgotten one. Adrian VI was from Utrech, Holland. Elected to the papacy in 1522 he was the last non-Italian pope until the election of John Paul II in 1978. Pope Innocent III was the pope that placed England under an interdict during the reign of King John.

21. At the coronation of Philip Augustus, who held the crown above Philip's head during the coronation ceremony?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: Henry, the young king, son of Henry II

Henry the young king, Richard and Geoffrey all attended the coronation ceremony. As a king, Henry the young king, held the crown over the head of Philip Augusutus. Bertrand de Got, as pope Clement V removed the papal seat to Avignon beginning the so-called Babylonian captivity.

22. Thomas Becket's first diplomatic task was a mission from Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury to Pope Eugenius III. What was the purpose of that mission?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: persuade the pope to refrain from accepting Eustace as Stephen's heir

Stephen exerted every effort to have the pope recognize his son Eustace as his successor. Becket was dispatched to convince the pope that to do so would continue the divisions that existed in England. He was also to portray Henry as a man with the potential of being a good king, while Eustace did not have the same potential. The result of this mission was that the Angevin succession had quiet papal support.

23. Another aspect of Becket's diplomatic skills was the negotiation of the marriage of Henry's eldest son to the daughter of the King of France, Louis VII and Constance of Castile. Who was the daughter?

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Margaret

Margaret was only seven at the time of her betrothal and she was sent to England to be brought up with her husband only slightly older. She and Henry were placed in the chancellery with Becket as tutor to them both. Alice, the daughter of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine was married to Theobald V, count of Blois. Mary, another of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine's daughters was married to Henry, Count of Champagne. Alice, daughter of Louis VII and Constance of Castile was betrothed to Richard the Lionheart. Rumour had it that Henry II took her as a mistress and when Richard came to the throne, he returned her to her father. She was later married to Count William III of Ponthieu.

24. Where is Henry II buried?

From Quiz Henry II Part III

Answer: Fontevrault

Henry died at Chinon and was buried at nearby Fontevrault Abbey. This abbey also houses the bodies of his son Richard (the Lionheart), his wife Eleanor and his daughter-in-law Isabella of Angloueme. During the French Revolution, the abbey served as a prison.

25. Although the brunt of the blow was taken on the arm by Grim, a monk of Canterbury, who struck the first blow against Becket?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: William de Tracey

Although the first blow shattered Grim's arm, the point of the blade did strike the scalp of Becket and he began to bleed. A second blow, also by de Tracey was followed by blows from the others. The last words of Becket were reported to be "I am prepared to die for Christ and for His Church."

26. There have been two remarkable films dealing with Henry II and his life. The first was entitled "Becket" and the second "The Lion in Winter". Who played Becket in the first of the movies?

From Quiz Henry II Part II

Answer: Richard Burton & Burton

Both films, although they do take some limited dramatic license with the facts, are a good depiction of the time and events. Stay tuned for Henry II Part III.

27. A change of pace. This actress won an academy award for her portrayal of Henry's wife in the historical film "The Lion in Winter".

From Quiz Henry II Part I

Answer: Katherine Hepburn & Hepburn & Katharine Hepburn

The portrayal of Eleanor by Katherine Hepburn was a truly remarkable tour de force. Although the film did take some dramatic license with history, it was by and large true to the times and the events. I hope you enjoyed this quiz and will stay tuned for Part 2.

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