English Monarch. The son of Geoffrey IV, Count of Anjou and Queen Matilda, Henry was born in LeMans France, and acceded the throne of England in 1154, where he was crowned on December 19. He was the first of the Angevin kings, and one of England's most effective monarchs. He refined the government and created a self-standing bureaucracy. Henry was ambitious, intelligent, and energetic, and it is said he spoke every language used in Europe, though it is unlikely he spoke English. He married Eleanor of Aquitaine on May 18, 1152. This marriage brought under his rule the French counties of Brittany, Maine, Poitou, Touraine, Gascony, Anjou, Aquitaine, and Normandy - meaning Henry had more land and more power than the King of France. In 1162, Henry's best friend and chancellor, Thomas Beckett, was named Archbishop of Canterbury. Beckett distanced himself from Henry and angered the king when he opposed the coronation of young Prince Henry. In a fit of frustration, Henry publicly conveyed his wish to be free of Beckett. Four knights took the king at his word and murdered the archbishop in his cathedral. Henry endured a limited storm of protest over the incident, but the controvery quickly passed. As a result of the treachery of his sons, often with the encouragement of their mother, Henry was defeated in 1189 and forced to accept humiliation and peace. He died at Chinon, France at the age of 56.
Bio by: Kristen Conrad
Correct name of the location is: Abbaye de Fontevraud
Eleanor de Aquitaine
1122–1204 (m. 1152)