English History Timeline 1170-1179

King Henry II

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1170 – 1179

The monarch for this period was Henry II


1170 (Spring)
King Henry II and Thomas Becket met in Normandy and agreed that Becket, who had been exiled, should return to England.
1170 (14th June)
Concerned about the succession, King Henry had his eldest son, Henry, crowned by the Archbishops of York, London and Salisbury. He was known as the Young King.
1170 (November)
Thomas Becket was furious that the Archbishops of York, London and Salisbury had crowned the Young King saying that coronation was the privilege of the Archbishop of Canterbury and excommunicated all three for their actions. When word reached Henry, who was in Normandy, of Becket’s actions he shouted in rage ‘will no one rid me of this turbulent priest.’
1170 (29th December)
Four knights, Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy and Richard le Breton interpreted Henry’s words literally and broke into Canterbury Cathedral and killed Thomas Becket.
1171 (during)
King Henry and Rhys ap Gruffyd of Wales agreed to negotiate to try to find common ground.
1171 (16th October)
Henry II invaded Ireland and prevented Richard de Claire, known as Strongbow, from founding an independent Norman state in Ireland. Instead, Henry established a royal viceroy.
1172 (during)
Bull of Laudabiliter
This papal bull issued in 1155 gave Papal support to Henry to conquer Ireland, reform the Irish church and make it subject to Canterbury.
1172 (during)
Henry’s son, Richard, was created Duke of Aquitaine.
1173 (21st February)
Thomas Becket was canonised and Canterbury became a shrine for pilgrims.
1173 (March)
Henry the Young King supported by his mother and brothers joined forces with Louis VII of France and rose in revolt against King Henry II.
1173 (Spring)
King Henry II left England and went to defend Normandy against attack by his sons.
1174 (during)
Henry openly acknowledged Rosamund Clifford as his mistress.
1174 (during)
Horse racing at Newmarket was first recorded as an event.
1174 (7th April)
Richard of Dover became Archbishop of Canterbury.
1174 (13th July)
Battle of Alnwick
William the Lion attacked England from Scotland in support of the revolt of Henry’s sons. However, he was beaten by the English army and captured by Ranulf de Glanvill.
1174 (30th September)
The treaty of Montlouis brought the revolt of Henry’s sons to an end
1174 (8th December)
Treaty of Falaise
This treaty allowed for the release of William of Scotland providing he agreed to pay homage to Henry II. This gave Henry control of lands in Scotland.
1175 (during)
Henry began living openly with his mistress, Rosamund Clifford. Eleanor of Aquitaine remained abroad.
1175 (during)
Henry’s son, Richard, suppressed rebellions in Aquitaine.
1175 (during)
Treaty of Windsor
This was a treaty between Henry II and Rory O’Connor of Ireland. O’Connor agreed to pay homage to Henry in return for control of all Ireland except Leinster.
1176 (January)
Assize of Northampton
This reinforced the measures in the Assize of Clarendon (1166) for trial by royal judges.
1176 (during)
Work began on a stone bridge over the River Thames to be known as London Bridge.
1176 (during)
Henry’s mistress, Rosamund Clifford, died.
1176 (during)
Henry forgave his sons for rising against him. He wanted to make his vast lands a federation of states to be ruled by his sons after his death. Henry the Young King would rule England, Normandy and Anjou; Richard would rule Aquitaine; Geoffrey would rule Brittany; John would rule Ireland.
1177 (during)
The Treaty of Windsor signed in 1175 broke down when O’Connor was unable to prevent Norman Knights from taking land for themselves. Henry responded by making his son, John, Lord of Ireland.
1177 (21st September)
Pact of Ivry
This was a non-aggression agreement between England and France.
1179 (during)
The monks of Westminster Abbey founded Westminster School.
1179 (during)
Henry ruled that in cases concerning property rights a defendant would opt for trial by jury rather than trial by battle.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 27 2022 @ 11:46 am – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1170 – 1179.

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