Week 5 The Medieval Britain Hand OutsPresentation Transcript
History of British Social and Culture Week 5 Medieval Britain (II)
Law and Order
William I was succeeded by his red-haired son, William Rufus.
He levied high taxes from the barons
He stole the money of the monasteries
Nobody liked him, so people were delighted when he was killed in 1100, while hunting in the New Forest.
William Rufus was succeeded by his younger brother, Henry I.
He had a son and a daughter, Matilda who later became his heir.
The Britons were not accustomed to be ruled by a female ruler, so that the barons asked her cousin, Stephen, to take over the throne. But Matilda was definitely objected.
They fought for the crown. Consequently, the law and order were threatened to break down.
The barons plundered their peasants’ land
The succession continued…
Just before the death of Stephen, Matilda’s son, Henry II, succeeded him.
Henry married the divorced wife of the French king, Eleanor. He inherited the duchy of Aquitaine known as Angevin Empire from his wife.
Henry is known as the first Plantagenet king
About Henry II
He was a brilliant and energetic ruler.
He restored the law and order in British Isles
He introduced a system of traveling judges.
He detested the death penalty. Instead, a murderer was punished either by the loss of a hand, or else by imprisonment and a fine.
He appointed advisers. His chief advisor was Thomas Becket. He made Becket Chancellor and appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury.
However, Henry and Becket could not agree to each other.
At last, four knights killed Becket.
Henry II’s Successor
Henry II was succeeded by his son, known as Richard Coeur de Lion (Richard the Lion Heart) because of his courage in battle.
He was not interested in responsibilities of government.
He preferred to spend his time competing in tournaments, or else fighting on the field of battle.
He came to throne in 1189.
During the ten years of his reign, he spent only a few months living in England.
He liked to fight other kings in Europe.
He spent most of his life by having adventures.
The Baron’s Revolt
After Richard died, his brother John inherited the throne.
During his reign, the barons were heavily taxed to pay for the crusades. Many parties were disappointed about him.
John’s unpopularity increased because of many things.
Nobody trusted him anymore. The barons especially decided that he had gone too far.
As the sanction, he must accept their demands for better treatment, or else the would rise in revolt.
On June 15, 1215, King John and the barons met at Runnymede on the Thames near Windsor.
After angry exchanges, the king was persuaded to put his seal on a document known as the Great Charter (Magna Carta).
Magna Carta affected all manner of things from standards of measurements to fish traps on the Thames.
One of the clauses stated: “No freeman might be imprisoned, outlawed, exiled, or in any way destroyed… except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”
King John could not fully honor accept it.
Finally a civil war occurred. He died in 1216.
The Magna Carta King John of England set his seal to the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215. The document limited the power of the English monarchy and granted rights to John’s vassals. Many English legal traditions, including the right to trial by jury and equal access to courts for all citizens, had their origins in the Magna Carta
The Seal of King John
After King John’s Reign
The civil war was won by the barons.
King John was succeeded by his successor, Henry III.
Henry III confirmed the terms of Magna Carta. Justice, roughly along the lines we experience today, had at last been established in England.
When Henry III agreed Magna Carta, he was still 10 years old.
Later, he contributed to the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey. But, nothing more did he do.