Henry II
          |                  |                |                 |
 Henry, the Young King   Richard I         Geoffrey           John
       (1155-1183)      (1157-1199)     Duke of Brittany    (1166-1216)
                                           (1158-1186           | 
                                               |                | 
                              |----------------|     |----------|----------|
                              |                      |                     | 
                      Arthur of Brittany          Henry III        Richard of Cornwall
                       Duke of Brittany          (1206-1272)         Earl of Cornwall
                          (1187-1203)                |                  (1209-1272
                                                     |                     |   
                                                  Edward I         Edmund Crouchback
                                                 (1239-1307)       Earl of Lancaster
                                                     |                 (1246-1296)
                              |                      |                      |
                          Edward II         Thomas of Brotherton   Edmund of Woodstock
                         (1284-1327)          Earl of Norfolk          Earl of Kent
                              |                  (1300-1338)            (1301-1330)
                              |                      | 
                          Edward III          John of Eltham
                         (1312-1327)          Earl of Cornwall
                              |                  1316-1336
          |                         |                 |                   |                   |                   
 Edward, the Black Prince  Lionel of Antwerp    John of Gaunt    Edmund of Langley  Thomas of Woodstock
     Duke of Cornwall      Duke of Clarence   Duke of Lancaster     Duke of York     Duke of Gloucester
       (1330-1376)             (1338-1368)       (1340-1399)         (1341-1402)          (1355-1397)
          |                                           |                   |
          |                                           |                   |
          |                                           |                   |       
      Richard II                              House of Lancaster     House of York

The First Plantagenet

The founder of the House of Plantagenet was one Henry son of Geoffrey of Anjou, otherwise known as 'Geoffrey the Handsome' and Matilda who claimed the throne of England by virtue of his mother Matilda, only surviving child of Henry I.

Matilda had indeed been Henry I's chosen successor but was elbowed out of the way by Henry's nephew Stephen; civil war ensued but Matilda and her supporters were never able to entirely dislodge Stephen. Eventually her son Henry was, by the Treaty of Winchester, acknowledged by Stephen as heir to the throne and therefore succeeded that king when he died shortly afterwards on the 25th October 1154.

Since Geoffrey was known to the English as 'Geoffrey Plantagenet', the line of kings descended from his have traditionally born the name of Plantagenet, although some prefer, by virtue of Geoffrey's birthplace in Anjou to refer to Henry and his successors as Angevin kings. Strictly speaking, the topic addressed here is that of the Angevin line of the Planatagenet kings; the Lancastrian line being dealt with in the House of Lancaster and the Yorkist line at the House of York.

Two Henries, a Richard and a John

Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine (by which marriage Aquitaine came into the hands of the English crown) and produced the following offspring.

There were three daughters;

Their first born son was a William, but he died before the age of three, the surviving sons were;

  • Henry, known as 'The Young King' by virtue of his coronation in 1170 and who was married to Margaret Capet (daughter of Louis VII of France) but their only son William who was stillborn in 1183, the same year in which Henry himself died of natural causes.
  • Richard, who being the second son naturally succeeded his father as king in 1189. Despite his marriage to Berengaria of Navarre there were no children.
  • Geoffrey Plantagenet who married Constance of Brittany, daughter and heiress of Conan IV the Duke of Brittany, a title which therefore passed into Geoffrey's hands and duly inherited by his son Arthur of Brittany. Strictly speaking Arthur should have become king in 1189, but the English nobility preferred the claims of his uncle John; rejecting Arthur on the grounds of his youth, French upbringing and reports of his bad character. Arthur was later imprisoned by his uncle John at Rouen in 1203, and is presumed to have been murdered at his uncle's orders sometime in April of that year. (There was also a daughter named Matilda (born 1186) died in infancy and a surviving daughter Eleanor (1184-1241) who was known as 'The Maid of Brittany' and never married.)
  • Finally there was John, the fourth surviving son, who as noted above succeeded his brother Richard I as king in 1199.

This John married Isabel of Angouleme a marriage which produced three daughters;

and two sons;

Henry III was aged nine when he succeeded his father in 1216; during his minority the government of the kingdom fell firstly to William Marshal the elder and later to Hubert de Burgh. Henry married Eleanor of Provence and from this marriage there were four sons, Richard (born c1247), John (born c1250), Henry and William and one daughter named Katherine (born 1253) who all died in childhood. Of the surviving children there were two daughters;

and two sons;

The Three Edwards

Edward I succeeded his father as king in 1272. He married Eleanor of Castile; from this marriage there is a long list of children that did not make it past childhood, seven daughters Joan (born 1265), Katherine (born 1271), Berengaria (born 1276), Isabel (born 1279, Alice (born 1280) Beatrice (born c1286), Blanche (born 1290) and two sons John (born 1266) and Henry (born 1267).

There were however five surviving daughters, namely; There were also two sons; (I make this 16 children in twenty six years, which is not bad going.)

After the death of Eleanor in 1290 Edward I married Margaret of France (daughter of Philip III of France); he was 60 at the time and Margaret 18, such was the nature of dynastic marriages at the time.

This marriage produced a daughter Eleanor (born 1306) who died at age 5 and two sons;

Edward I, conqueror of Wales, the hammer of the Scots, finally died in and was succeeded by Edward, the only surviving son of his first marriage. The second Edward married Isabel of France; there were two daughters;

and two sons, namely;

Edward II whose reign was troubled by a series of conflicts with his barons (most notably with the Contrarians led by Thomas, son of Edmund Crouchback) and was eventually deposed and killed in 1327 by the alliance of his wife and her newfound paramour Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, in favour of his son Edward III.

The younger Edward soon shook off the attentions of his mother and Mr Mortimer and established his personal rule. He married Philippa of Hainault. There were four children that died young, two Williams (born 1336 and 1348) a Thomas and a daughter Blanche (born 1342), and four surviving daughters in;

  • Isabel Plantagenet (1332-1382) Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy and Earl of Bedford
  • Joan Plantagenet (1335-1348) who died of the plague whilst enroute to Spain to marry Alphonso XI, King of Castile
  • Mary Plantagenet (1344-1362) married to John IV, Duke of Brittany
  • Margaret Plantagenet (1346-1361) wife of John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke

    Then there were the five surviving sons;

  • Edward, The Black Prince the Duke of Cornwall
  • Lionel of Antwerp the Duke of Clarence
  • John of Gaunt the Duke of Lancaster
  • Edmund of Langley the Duke of York
  • Thomas of Woodstock the Duke of Gloucester
  • Here Edward III introduced an innovation into English political life with the creation of his son Edward as the Duke of Cornwall, being the first such example of the title in the British Peerage. Not to left out each of his other four surviving sons were eventually accorded the same dignity of a dukedom.

    The Last of the Angevin Plantagenets

    Edward, The Black Prince married Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent who was herself the daughter of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent referred to above. Edward predeceased his father but had produced two sons by that time, namely;

    Lionel of Antwerp married Elizabeth de Burgh but later died in Italy in 1368 whilst celebrating the nuptials of his second marriage. His only daughter Philippa Plantagenet married an Edmund Mortimer. She and her descendants had arguably a 'better' claim to the throne than anyone else (once Richard II was out of the way), but this was largely ignored in the excitement after 1399. The Mortimer claim to the throne later passed by marriage to the descendants of Edmund of Langley (see below).

    John of Gaunt married Blanche of Lancaster, who was the great-grandaughter of the Edmund Crouchback mentioned above; his eldest son by this, his first marriage, was Henry Bolingbroke who returned from exile in 1399 to depose Richard II and take the trone for himself as Henry IV, thereby founding the House of Lancaster.

    Edmund of Langley married Isabella of Castille. His descendants, largely by virtue of their marriage into the Mortimer family inherited the claim of Philippa which was eventually made good by Edmund of Langley's great-grandson Edward IV thus founding the House of York.

    Thomas of Woodstock became one of the leading opponents of his nephew Richard II's policies and paid for this opposition with his life in 1397.

    As to Richard II, he was married twice, firstly to Anne of Bohemia and secondly to Isabel Valois, but neither marriage produced any issue. Like his great-grandfather Edward II, he had his problems with his barons, which ultimately proved his undoing.

    As noted above he was deposed on the 30th September 1399 by Henry Bolingbroke and later disappeared, presumed killed at Pontefract Castle by order of his successor.

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