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regarded as having withdrawn her pretensions in his favour ; no express act of resignation ever took place, but both she and her husband (for Geoffrey also gave up something in abandoning the hope of a crown for his wife) were too much attached to their son, and too sensible, besides, of the present state of circumstances, and of what the exigency demanded, to stand in his way. He landed early in the year at the head of a considerable force, probably at Wareham, marched through the western counties, where he was joined by the Earl of Chester, the Earl of Hereford, and other barons; and made his way to his great-uncle King David of Scotland, who had been for some time in possession of the three northern counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, and whom he found at the head of an army in the town of Carlisle. During the festivities of Whitsuntide, which were distinguished on this occasion by extraordinary magnificence, Henry received the honour of knighthood from his uncle ; but he had no opportunity of gaining his spurs, a disappointment which vexed him the more that Stephen's son Eustace, who had been knighted about the same time, had been already put by his father in command of a military force, with which he was ravaging the lands of some of the very barons who were now lying in idleness with their retainers at Carlisle.
It must apparently have been during this visit that Henry met with his first mistress, so famous in song and story, the beautiful Rosamund de Clifford. Of the two sons which she bore to him it is known that the younger, Geoffrey, was older than Henry, his first-born by his queen, and also that he was nearly twenty when he was made Bishop of Lincoln in 1173; he was therefore probably born in 1153; and his elder brother William, surnamed Long-sword, who, having married the daughter and heiress of the Earl of Salisbury, succeeded to the estates and title of his father-in-law, may have been born in 1150. Both of them were educated along with Henry's legitimate sons : William survived till 1226; and Geoffrey, who resigned his bishopric in
1182, and was then made Lord Chancellor by his father,
Henry, finding that nothing could be done at present in England, returned, in the beginning of the year 1150, to Normandy; and soon after that duchy was resigned to him by his father, the French king Louis VII. (Le Jeune) having come thither in the autumn of this year, according to an agreement among all the parties concerned, and as feudal sovereign formally delivered it up to the young prince, reserving to himself, as the price of his compliance, the border district called the Vexin, which had always been a subject of contention between the dukes of Normandy and the kings of France. Some months afterwards, indeed, Louis, repenting of what he had thus done, made an attempt to wrest the fief again out of the hands of the Angevin prince, with the view of transferring it to Stephen's son, Eustace ; Henry showing a bold front, and a determination to defend his own, he soon desisted, and the quarrel was settled by his abandoning Eustace, and by Henry coming to Paris and renewing his homage there.
This then was Henry's first acquisition. His next was that of the three earldoms of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine,
into which he came into possession by the death of his father
about a year after. This was not long in being followed by another, for which he was still more directly or materially indebted to King Louis than he had been for his duchy of Normandy. That well-meaning but somewhat weak monarch had long been dissatisfied with his queen, Eleanor, or, as she is more commonly called in the chronicles of the time, Alienor or Aanor, daughter and heiress of William, Duke of Guienne or Aquitaine and Earl of Poitou, countries extending along the whole of the western coast of France, from the Loire to the Pyrenees, which her marriage, celebrated immediately after her father's death, in the year 1137, when she was only sixteen, had annexed to the French crown. It seems amazing that any considerations should have blinded Louis to the impolicy of allowing possessions of such extent and importance, constituting more than a third of his kingdom, to pass out of his hands after he had once got hold of them; yet so it was; he had been tormented by feelings of jealousy ever since Eleanor had been with him, in the year 1148, in the Holy Land, where he imagined she had had a variety of intrigues both with Christian and infidel lovers ; she on her part had come to look with contempt upon her husband, the character of whose mind seemed in her eyes to make him fitter for being a monk than a king; and the end was that in the beginning of the year 1152 she submitted to a divorce, or rather their marriage was dissolved by mutual consent; for, although at the council of bishops which assembled at Beaujency-sur-Loire to take the matter into consideration, and before which Eleanor made her appearance, Louis asked for a divorce on the plea of his suspicions of her fidelity, the council pronounced no opinion upon that point, but simply declared the marriage to have been null from the beginning, on the common and convenient ground of the consanguinity of the parties, who were fourth cousins, the canons of the Church forbidding marriage, without a previous dispensation from the pope, even between persons related within the seventh degree. The scandalous chronicles of the time affirm that Eleanor had already, before her separation from her husband, given way to a passion for young Henry Plantagenet, whom indeed she had seen at the French court on two recent occasions; first when he came, as just related, to renew his homage for the duchy of Normandy, and again when he returned soon after to receive investiture of the earldoms he inherited from his father. They at least were not long in finding out one another after she was at liberty to dispose of herself. The nullification of Eleanor's marriage with Louis immediately produced two consequences ; it bastardized two daughters that she had borne to him, and, as we have already intimated, it severed from the French crown the extensive dominions forming her inheritance. It was natural that she should now return to her own country, and accordingly she set out for Poitou as soon as the council had pronounced its sentence. But there were several aspirants to the rich prize which Louis had resigned or cast away, notwithstanding that he is said to have assured himself that she would never get another husband, declaring that her behaviour had made her too infamous for the poorest gentleman in his dominions to be willing to marry her. When she reached Blois, she received proposals from the young Thibaud, Earl of Blois, who had just succeeded to that fief on the death of his father, the elder brother of King Stephen ; and, when she declined his suit, it is affirmed that he formed a design of detaining her, and compelling her to marry him by force, which she only escaped by being warned of it and taking her departure in the middle of the night for Tours. Here another danger of the same kind met her. Henry Plantagenet's younger brother Geoffrey had been left by his father only the castles of Chinon and Loudon in Touraine, and that of Mi beau in Anjou, with their dependencies, and he could hardly therefore, even with his dubious prospect of succeeding at some future time to the chief possessions of his family, flatter himself that if he should set about woving the Duchess of Aquitaine in the common fashion he would, in present circumstances, have much chance of success. But either not being aware of or disregarding his brother's pretensions, and thinking that such an op
portunity of 'making his fortune was not likely again to present itself, he also, like Thibaud of Blois, resolved to try force, and posted himself at a port on the Loire, called Le Port de Piles, by which he supposed that Eleanor would pass, for the purpose of waylaying her and carrying her off. She received intelligence of his scheme, however, and, changing her route, got safe to her own town of Poitiers. From this she sent to Henry, then in Normandy, to tell him of her arrival, and of the perils through which she had made her way. He instantly set out to join her, taking with him only a few attendants, and travelling so as to attract as little observation as possible; and they were married on WhitSunday (May the 18th), not quite six weeks after Eleanor's separation from Louis. Henry was not yet twenty years of age, and his bride was full thirty ; “but with a good share of beauty," observes Lord Lyttelton, "and more of vivacity, she had still youth enough to gain the heart of a young man, though not to preserve it very long.' His lordship nevertheless declines affirming that Henry was really in love,—that his acceptance of Eleanor's offer of her hand was prompted by any other passion than his ambition. There were certainly some strong considerations to be got over, apart altogether from their difference in age.
Tbus was Henry already lord of nearly the half of France. From the situation of his previous possessions, he was of all the vassals of the French crown the one whom a union with Eleanor was fitted the most to aggrandize. As the duchy of Normandy, which he derived from or through his mother, was conterminous on the south with his three paternal earldoms of Anjou, Tour. aine, and Maine, so his wife's states of Poitou and Guienne lay immediately to the south of these last, the whole forming an unbroken continuation of territory extending from the English Channel to the Pyrenees. To these acquisitions, maternal, paternal, and matrimonial, he soon added another much more splendid than any or all of them, which he may be said to have mainly won for himself by his own right hand. For a brief space