Sunday, May 20, 2012

Murphysboro Centuries, 12th secular

Henry II, 1154-1189
- first king of the “Plantagenet” house, ruled over an “empire”, England and a large part of France (controlled more of France than the French king did) - educated, vigorous, with a violent temper
- the big problem during his reign was “benefit of clergy” - during Stephen’s reign, it became the custom that clergy (and anyone who could read was entitled to be called clergy) could only be tried in church courts, not the royal courts, regardless of the crime
- the king “fought” with his good friend Thomas Becket over this matter - Tomas had been made archbishop of Canterbury by Henry, and Henry was surprised to find that Thomas took the church’s side - one day when Henry was really upset, he was overheard to ask why no one could get rid of this annoying archbishop, and four knights who wanted to get in good with the king went and murdered Thomas Becket in the church
- also during Henry’s reign, the first permanent central court was established and English Common Law (good for the whole realm) began to be developed (that’s the law system the US has), which included using juries to decide the facts of cases, and the presumption of innocent until proven guilty
- in 1167, Oxford University was founded

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