English History Timeline 1160-1169

King Henry II

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1160 – 1169

The monarch for this period was Henry II

1160 (2nd November)
Prince Henry, eldest son of King Henry II, was formally betrothed to Marguerite, Louis VII of France’s daughter, as part of a peace treaty between England and France. Henry gained control of The Vexin as part of the deal.
1160 (during)
King Henry II granted the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel to the Knights Templar.
1161 (during)
King Henry II continued fighting in France to try to take control of Toulouse.
1161 (5th January)
Edward the Confessor, former King of England, was made a saint.
1161 (18th April)
Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1162 (23rd May)
Thomas Becket was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry hoped that his long-standing friendship with Becket would allow him to push through reforms reducing the church’s power.
1162 (3rd June)
Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on the Sunday after Pentecost (Whitsun). He immediately issued a decree that henceforth the first Sunday after Whitsun should be celebrated in honour of the Holy Trinity. This spread throughout the Christendom.
1162 (after June)
Henry and Thomas Becket disagreed over the Church. Henry believed that the clergy were too lenient in the punishment of churchmen that had committed crimes and wanted them tried by the state. Becket disagreed saying that members of the church could only be tried by church court.
1163 (January)
King Henry II put down a revolt in Wales and captured Rhys ap Gruffydd. Gruffydd was released a few weeks later and made an alliance with Owain Gwynedd.
1163 (1st July)
Henry summoned the Welsh princes and Malcolm IV of Scotland to pay homage to him at Woodstock.
1163 (1st October)
Henry demanded that clerics who had committed crimes should be handed over to the lay courts for punishment. Thomas Becket strongly opposed this, despite the fact that the Pope had asked him to try to work more closely with the English King.
1164 (30th January)
Constitution of Clarendon
This meeting of nobles, bishops and the King agreed that the King had jurisdiction over the Church and that the clergy would observe those rights in good faith. The constitution dealt particularly with ‘criminous clerks’ who had committed a secular crime but were being tried by ecclesiastical courts and not receiving due punishment.
1164 (2nd November)
Thomas Becket was found in contempt of court and exiled to France.
1165 (during)
King Henry II began an affair with Rosamund Clifford.
1165 (Summer)
Battle of Crogen
Henry II invaded Wales but was defeated by the Welsh forces.
1166 (2nd January)
Assize of Clarendon
This reformed the judiciary by introducing trial by royal judges for all those suspected of serious crimes. Royal judges were men who the King trusted – earls, barons, abbots or counsellors.
1166 (July)
Henry II conquered Brittany. He forced Conan of Brittany to abdicate in favour of his daughter, Constance. Henry then betrothed his son, Geoffrey to Constance of Brittany.
1166 (24th December)
A son, John, later King John, was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1167 (during)
Henry II banned English students from attending Paris University. As a result the numbers of students at Oxford University increased.
1167 (during)
The exiled King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada paid homage to Henry II.
1167 (10th September)
Henry II’s mother, Empress Matilda, died at Rouen, France.
1168 (1st February)
Henry’s daughter Matilda married Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony.
1169 (during)
Eleanor of Aquitaine left the English court and formed her own court based on chivalry and courtly love at Poitiers.
1169 (January)
King Henry II made peace with Louis VII of France. The peace was sealed with the betrothal of Henry’s son, Richard to Louis’s daughter Alys. The treaty also agreed that Henry would give Aquitaine to his son Richard, Brittany to his son Geoffrey and his other lands in France to his son Henry.
1169 (1st May)
A Norman force including Richard de Clare, vassal of Henry II, invaded Ireland in support of exiled Diarmait Mac Murchada to help him regain the throne of Leinster.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 27 2022 @ 11:01 am – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1160 – 1169. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/Eras/English_History/1160-1169.htm. Last accessed [date]


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