Henry, the eldest son of Matilda, the
daughter of Henry I, and Geoffrey Plantagent, Count of Anjou, was
born in Le Mans in 1133.
Although he married twice, Henry only had two legitimate children,
William and Matilda. When his son William drowned in 1120, Henry decided to
ask his barons to accept his daughter as the country's next ruler.
The barons were not happy about this but after much discussion they
accepted Henry's request.
When Henry I died in 1135, some of the barons did not keep their
promise to support Matilda. The Normans had never had a woman
leader. Norman law stated that all property and rights should be
handed over to men. To the Normans this meant that her husband
Geoffrey of Anjou would become their next ruler.
The people of Anjou (Angevins) were considered to be barbarians by
the Normans. Most Normans were unwilling to accept an Angevin ruler
and instead decided to help Stephen, the son of one of William the
Conqueror's daughters, to become king.
For the next eighteen years there was civil war between the
supporters of Matilda and Stephen.
As neither side was strong enough
to achieve an outright victory, the result was a long conflict that
created a great deal of hardship for the people of England.
William I, 1066-1087
William II, 1087-1100
Henry I, 1100-1135 Stephen, 1135-1154
Henry II, 1154-1189
Richard I, 1189-1199
John, 1199-1216 Henry III, 1216-1272
Edward I, 1272-1307
Edward II, 1307-1327 Edward III, 1327-1377
Richard II, 1377-1399
Henry IV, 1399-1413
Henry V, 1413-1422
Henry VI, 1422-1461
Edward IV, 1461-1483
Edward V, 1483-1483
Richard III, 1483-1485
Henry VII, 1485-1509
Henry VIII, 1509-1547
Edward VI, 1547-1553 Mary, 1553-1558
Elizabeth I, 1558-1603
James I, 1603-1625
Charles I, 1625-1649
Charles II, 1660-1685
James II, 1685-1688
Mary II, 1688-1694
William III, 1688-1702
George I, 1714-1727
George II, 1727-1760 George III, 1760-1820
George IV, 1820-1830
William IV, 1830-1837
Edward VII, 1901-1910
George V, 1910-1936
Edward VIII, 1936
George VI, 1936-1952