King Henry II definitely made his mark and he became a very powerful man, albeit his power corrupted all those around him (FIFA have replicated this as a business model). However, there was one particular establishment that didn’t take too kindly to his legal revolution - the almighty Church. A power struggle ensued between Church and Crown. This bitter feud reached its climax when Henry had one of his most loyal friends savagely murdered on holy ground (not even the main baddie from Highlander dared do that).
The Church wasn’t willing to simply hand over its judicial powers without a fight and this will have pissed Henry off because most kings were probably psychopaths. When the Arch Bishop of Canterbury died, Henry saw an opportunity and replaced him with his most trusted friend. His name has gone down in history - Thomas Beckett. However, Henry soon saw Beckett’s true colours. Instead of siding with The Crown, Thomas went about actually increasing the power of The Church and ultimately himself (no doubt an inspirational figure to Jacob Rees-Mogg). This betrayal was simply unacceptable to a psychopath (Plantagenet King). Eventually, four ‘royal’ knights turned up in Canterbury and attempted to drag Thomas out of the cathedral, he clung onto a pillar and apparently called them “pimps and madmen” (now if that’s not a brilliant name for a US based 90’s hip-hop band then I don’t know what is). These knights took exception to being teased so they put a sword right through the middle of his fucking head. That was the end of ‘T-Beck’ (I’ve abbreviated his name to make this more appealing to American readers). Ridiculous rumours began to spread that his blood had miraculous powers and people actually started to buy drops of it because that is genuinely how human beings sometimes behave. The Church never missed out on an opportunity to cash in and they made a tidy profit selling all sorts of ‘T-Beck’ bullshit to the pilgrims. Then of course, The Pope, in all his wisdom, decided to make Beckett a saint. Well fuck me sideways.
Henry couldn’t believe that his dickhead mate was actually a saint now, what a load of utter bollocks. Meanwhile, his problems continued: this time it was his own family that turned against him. His four sons and his wife to be precise. Plantagenet sons were eager to exercise power and Henry II seemed to be out-living his welcome. The English barons hadn’t forgotten their castles being ripped down so Henry faced a rebellion from Henry (his son) and some angry barons. Then all his other sons then joined Henry (the son) and so did his ‘loving’ wife, Eleonor. Unbeknown to Henry (not the son), Eleonor had snuck out of France disguised as a man like some kind of reverse Bruce Jenner and joined the revolt. It fucked up and Henry II had Eleonor imprisoned for the next sixteen years, a lovely end to a marriage. He then faced further rebellions from his sons, the French monarchy and from barons all over the shop. Henry had defied God (the historical equivalent of Australian tax dodger Rupert Murdoch) and killed a saint - his reputation was in tatters. As a result, he was forced to repent for his sins by allowing himself to be beaten and whipped by priests (the kinky fuckers) at the shrine of his ex-besty, T-Beck. If you substitute priests for prostitutes and shrines for cocaine then you’ve basically got yourself a pre-cursor to The House of Lords.
On 6th July, 1189, the once almighty King Henry II lay on his death bed somewhere in France. His son Richard had besieged him and to his ultimate dismay, he then learned that his favourite son (John) had also joined this family betrayal. Gutted. His final words were said to be,
“Shame…shame on a conquered King”
I imagine they were the exact words that David Cameron used when he handed in his resignation and fucked off to France ‘with his trotters up’ to quote the ever-inimitable Danny Dyer. The English Crown now passed on to his treacherous dickhead son, Richard. He went on to become the English legend that is, Richard The Lionheart. In true English style, Richard only ever spent six months of his ten-year reign in England and he didn’t speak a word of English. This very French Frenchmen simply treated England as a cash cow to fund his crusades over to Jerusalem. A true English legend.
Richard was known to be a blood-thirsty warrior but luckily for him, The Pope (in all his wisdom) had declared that any murderous, blood-thirsty warrior who loved killing people could have all his sins forgiven if he went to Jerusalem and murdered people over there. Richard The Lionfart was totally all over that. Now before you make up your mind about Richard being a comprehensive twat then I’d like you to consider this. Despite the fact he had complete distain for England and only visited when he was crowned, he is rumoured to have said,
“I’d sell London, if only I could find a buyer”
And with one short sentence, Richard The Lionheart became my favourite Plantagenet. What a fantastic idea. I’m pretty sure that MP and hedge-fund manager Jacob Rees-Mogg could afford it although my sister and her family live there so if she ever decided to have an abortion she’d be up shit creek.
Richie took a crossbow to the shoulder on another one of his sieges and died in 1199, stupid cunt should have been stood further away. His idiot brother John then became king and completely fucked everything up. He was crap at fighting battles and ended up losing all the Plantagenet lands in France because a socialist terrorist with a bow and arrow called ‘Kevin Costner’ stole his taxes in Sherwood Forest.
Weirdly enough, King John’s shitness actually helped to define England as an individual nation. The barons no longer owned lands in France, their connection to the motherland was lost and their estates were handed over to other French dickheads who actually lived in France. It was now a case of, ‘oh well, let’s focus on what we’ve got here and write off all foreign assets, what else can we do?’ It was the 13th Century version of Brexit; but with a better deal.