Henry II

Henry had felt compelled to become involved in Irish politics thanks to the unexpected success of Strongbow. He did not want a rival powerbase to grow just across the Irish Sea and especially with someone who had a reason to hold a grudge against him thanks to Henry depriving Strongbow of his Welsh lands. Initially, Henry ordered all Norman knights to return from Ireland, but this was ignored by Strongbow who went on to marry into the King of Leinster's family. When the King of Leinster died, Strongbow claimed his throne. It was at this point that Henry decided to personally intervene. Henry landed at Waterford with an army in October 1171. Strongbow agreed to pay homage to Henry II and forfeit of his title of King of Leinster in exchange for his Pembroke lands being returned to him and 100 knights to be provided by Henry. Henry remained in Ireland until 1172 receiving homage from other Irish lords along the coast. Henry II's intervention brought the English crown into Irish politics for the first time. This was thanks to the rise of his rival Strongbow, but it had the effect of giving the Norman King's of England a claim on a limited area of Ireland. This claim would prove to be an enduring one and would be returned to by later Kings of England.

Ireland | Significant Individuals


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by Stephen Luscombe