Posted 6 years ago
Henry II was an English king, famously married to Eleanor of Aquitaine, and implicated in the "Murder in the Cathedral" of St. Thomas à Becket in 1170 AD at Canterbury Cathedral. He was also father of Richard Coeur de Lion and John Lackland among others. Unlike most of Henry's coinage struck in England, this was struck in Aquitaine as Duke of Aquitaine by right of his marriage to Eleanor. It is far less common than the frequently seen examples struck during the reign of Richard I, so I was happy to find this example even though it is weakly struck on the obverse and only in fine condition due to wear. The obverse inscription is "+ HENRICUS REX" around a central cross, while the reverse inscription is "+ AQUITANIE" in four lines between 4 pellets.
Henry & Eleanor are my 25th great grandparents, as I have the interesting distinction of descending through King John. Henry is again my grandfather through descent from William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury via Henry's mistress lady Ida de Tosny, also his ward. Later, Ida's hand in marriage was given to Roger le Bigod - Earl of Norfolk & Magna Charta surety. There were certainly some complex familial relationships in 12th century England :-)
TS Eliot - Murder in the Cathedral
"Now is my way clear, now is the meaning plain:
Temptation shall not come in this kind again.
The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason."