Seal, Henry II, L.F.Salzmann BA, FSA, Constable and Company, London 1917


  • King of England from 1154 – 1188
  • Famous for major dispute with his former Chancellor, Thomas Beckett, who was now Archbishop Thomas Beckett.
  • The dispute was about the right of clerics to be tried for crimes by an ecclesiastical court, and it led to the Archbishop’s voluntary exile. Bad press for Henry.
  • Beckett was murdered by 4 knights in Canterbury cathedral on December 29th, 1170. More bad press.
  • Henry refused to help Diarmuid Mac Murchada when he asked for troops. However he gave consent for Diarmuid to contact Richard de Clare (Strongbow).
  • As the invasion progressed, Henry became more and more annoyed at Strongbow’s progress.
  • He rushed across the Irish sea to make sure he got his piece of the pie, and made Strongbow swear an oath of allegiance.
  • Domnall Mac Gilla Mo- Cholmoc swore a similar oath of allegiance to Henry II. As a result, this proud clan was allowed to retain its lands. By skilful negotiation, the family had managed to survive the taking of Dublin ; now, by adapting to the Norman way of life, there was the chance to thrive.

Smal, Chris (1993), Ancient Rathdown and St. Crispin’s Cell, A uniquely historic landscape, Friends of Historic Rathdown, Greystones.

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