Plantagenet England

Plantagenet Shield
Plantagenet Shield

Plantagenet England: What a barbaric time in our history.  One new form of punishment brought in around the 12thcentury; hung – drawn – quartered, another was burning the guilty at the stake.

The slow loss of dictatorship power by the English Kings, coupled with the introduction of parliamentary democracy.

The continuous battle that took place between England’s Kings and the Church in Rome, each seeking the higher ground.

The corruption and unchristian behaviour which took place between the Church based in Rome, especially through the Inquisition Office, which ordered mass killings of people who promoted peace in their lives, like the Cathars, and cash payments required to guarantee their passage to heaven.

The development of major universities (Oxford and Cambridge), centres which promoted free thought.

A slow but steady increase in power by Islamic forces in the Middle East, and European forces, who went to war against each other; Rome and Constantinople.  They attempted to save Jerusalem, their trading routes to the Far East.

Some 1,000 miles away, England’s forces played their part in the Pope’s Crusades with Richard I and military support sought by Henry IV.

Plantagenet Kings were more French than the Normans, who were predominary of Viking blood.  The first Plantagenet King was Henry II, whose father owned vast areas of Anjou.  Henry’s wife Eleanor ruled territories in the south of France; called Aquitaine.  Plantagenet Kings were the richest Monarchy in Europe, ruling England and parts of France.

All this changed when King John I was crowned King of England.  This weak King lost most of England’s French territories, which changed how England was ruled.

With the weakening and absolute power of the King via the development of the Magna Carta.  A Parliament of Barons and Bishops, followed by the House of Lords, House of Commons of elected Commoners, led to human rights ahead of European states.  Slow anglicanization of French bred English Kings.

The Pope created fear amongst his subjects rather than love, as both Kings and the ordinary people, feared death and hell and chose heaven upon death.  This enabled the Church to collect money from its subjects, on the promise that cash payments would guarantee passage to heaven.

The Pope acted as a single King within the European Parliament, and only he could grant one the right of marriage, permission to go to war, and who would be appointed to the post of Church leader and Archbishop.  All this changed in 1530 by order of King Henry VIII, and went on to separate Rome from England, and the creation of the Church of England with Henry at its head.

King Henry II is best remembered for the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury; Thomas Becket, as part of the actions he took to restore law and order which had broken down under his predecessor; King Stephen.  The church needed to respect the law to give a good example to its people. Henry installed Thomas Becket to aid his quest.

Under the rule of King Henry, he introduced the following laws:

  • Henry introduced trial by jury.
  • Henry set up civil courts in each county shire.
  • Henry changed the law, bringing the church under civil court rules.
  • No appeals to the Pope were permitted without Henry’s consent.
  • No man can be tried in a court of law twice for the same offence.
  • Excommunication requires the King’s consent.
  • Barons and Bishops must pay their taxes in cash, no longer in kind.
  • Forfeited goods can no longer be hidden in churches.
  • Diocese church revenues should go to the King, where there is no Bishop.
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