Louis VI, Louis VII, Henry II and the Murder of Thomas Becket
This text covers the reigns of Louis VI and VII of France, as well as the events surrounding the murder of Thomas Becket in England during the reign of Henry II. It discusses the ideology of “sacred monarchy” and authoritarianism that emerged in France, with an emphasis on the quasi-sacred character of the French Crown. The failed Second Crusade, Louis VII’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the subsequent rise of Henry II of England are also discussed. The murder of Becket and its aftermath are detailed, including Henry II’s public penance and the canonization of Becket.
Table of Contents
- The Ideology of “Sacred Monarchy”
- The Failed Second Crusade
- Louis VII’s Marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine
- The Murder of Thomas Becket
- Henry II’s Public Penance
- Canonization of Becket
- Richard the Lionhearted’s Absences
Question: What is the ideology of “sacred monarchy” that emerged in France during the reigns of Louis VI and VII?
Answer: The ideology of “sacred monarchy” emphasized the quasi-sacred character of the French Crown, which was seen as divinely appointed and above reproach. This ideology led to a strengthening of authoritarianism in France, with the king’s will being seen as above the law. This idea was bolstered by the support of the Church, which saw the king as its protector and a symbol of divine order.
Question: What was the outcome of the Second Crusade?
Answer: The Second Crusade was a resounding failure, as the Christian forces were unable to take back the Holy Land. This failure led to a loss of prestige for the French monarchy and a questioning of the ideology of “sacred monarchy”. It also led to a loss of support for Louis VII, who was blamed for the failure of the crusade.
Question: Who did Louis VII marry?
Answer: Louis VII married Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Europe at the time. This marriage gave Louis control over Aquitaine, which was a significant addition to his territories. However, the marriage was not a happy one and ultimately ended in divorce.
Question: What happened during the murder of Thomas Becket, and how did it affect Henry II?
Answer: Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights who were loyal to Henry II. The murder was a response to Becket’s criticism of the king’s attempts to exert royal authority over the Church. The murder provoked a public outcry, and Henry II was forced to publicly do penance for his involvement. The murder also led to Becket’s canonization, which turned him into a martyr and increased his cult following.
Question: What was the impact of Richard the Lionhearted’s absences from England?
Answer: Richard the Lionhearted was often absent from England, as he spent much of his time fighting in the Crusades. This absence weakened his hold on England and led to a rise in power for his brother John, who ultimately succeeded him as king. However, John’s reign was marked by conflict and eventually led to the signing of Magna Carta, which limited the power of the king.
Overall, the reigns of Louis VI and VII, as well as the events surrounding the murder of Thomas Becket, had a significant impact on the development of authoritarianism and sacred monarchism in France. While the failed Second Crusade and the divorce of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine led to a loss of prestige for the French monarchy, the murder of Becket and its aftermath had lasting effects on the power of the English monarchy and the Church.