An account of constitutional and social development in Britain during the reign of England's first four Plantagenet kings.
The Plantagenet family came to the English throne at a time of rapid change. It was a period of powerful, ambitious kings, both here and in Europe. During the early Plantagenet years royal power at first waxed, but was then curtailed in important respects as powerful subjects succeeded in restraining royal authority, firstly by the Magna Carta and then by the development of Parliament, whose membership was augmented by members from the common people in the shires and boroughs who could speak against taxation measures of which they disapproved.
1154 Henry II Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, etc. (1133-1189) becomes the first Plantagenet king. He and Queen Eleanor rule directly over more land in France than the French king does.
1155 Adrian IV (the only English pope) issues the papal bull Laudabiliter which encourages an invasion of Ireland by Henry II to bring the Irish Celtic church under papal control.
~ The king appoints Thomas Becket, clerk to Archbishop Theobald, as his Chancellor.