Henry of Anjou, for whom the way was opened to the throne of his grandfather so soon after the treaty with Stephen, was then in his twenty-second year. He was just in the youthful vigour of a life of more than usual physical strength, longer in years than the average man's of the twelfth century, and brilliant in position and promise in the eyes of his time. But his life was in truth filled with annoying and hampering conflict and bitter disappointment. Physically there was nothing fine or elegant about him, rather the contrary. In bodily and mental characteristics there was so much in common between the Angevin house and the Norman that the new blood had made no great changes, and in physique and in spirit Henry II continued his mother's line quite as much as his father's. Certainly, as a modern writer has remarked, he could never have been called by his father's name of "the Handsome." He was of middle height, strongly built, with square shoulders, broad chest, and arms that reminded men of a pugilist. His head was round and well shaped, and he had reddish hair and gray eyes which seemed to flash with fire when he was angry. His complexion also was ruddy and his face is described as fiery or lion-like. His hands were coarse, and he never wore gloves except when necessary in hawking. His legs were hardly straight. They were made for the saddle and his feet for the stirrups. He was heedless of his person and his clothes, and always cared more for action and deeds than for appearances.

In the gifts of statesmanship and the abilities which make a great ruler Henry seemed to his own time above the average of kings, and certainly this is true in comparison with the king who was his rival during so much of his reign, Louis VII of France. Posterity has also agreed to call him one of the greatest, some have been inclined to say the greatest, of English sovereigns. The first heavy task that fell to him, the establishment of peace and strong government in England, he fully achieved; and this work was thankfully celebrated by his contemporaries. All his acts give us the impression of mental and physical power, and no recasting of balances is ever likely to destroy the impression of great abilities occupied with great tasks, but we need perhaps to be reminded that to his age his position made him great, and that even upon us its effect is magnifying. Except in the pacification of England he won no signal success, and the schemes to which he gave his best days ended in failure or barely escaped it. It is indeed impossible to say that in his long reign he had before him any definite or clear policy, except to be a strong king and to assert vigorously every right to which he believed he could lay claim. The opportunity which his continental dominions offered him he seems never to have understood, or at least not as it would have been understood by a modern sovereign or by a Philip Augustus. It is altogether probable that the successful welding together of the various states which he held by one title or another into a consolidated monarchy would have been impossible; but that the history of his reign gives no clear evidence that he saw the vision of such a result, or studied the means to accomplish it, forces us to classify Henry, in one important respect at least, with the great kings of the past and not with those of the coming age. In truth he was a feudal king. Notwithstanding the severe blows which he dealt feudalism in its relation to the government of the state, it was still feudalism as a system of life, as a source of ideals and a guide to conduct, which ruled him to the end. He had been brought up entirely in a feudal atmosphere, and he never freed himself from it. He was determined to be a strong king, to be obeyed, and to allow no infringement of his own rights, - indeed, to push them to the farthest limit possible, - but there seems never to have been any conflict in his mind between his duties as suzerain or vassal and any newer conception of his position and its opportunities.

It was in England that Henry won his chief and his only permanent success. And it was indeed not a small success. To hold under a strong government and to compel into good order, almost unbroken, a generation which had been trained in the anarchy and license of Stephen's reign was a great achievement. But Henry did more than this. In the machinery of centralization, he early began a steady and systematic development which threatened the defences of feudalism, and tended rapidly toward an absolute monarchy. In this was his greatest service to England. The absolutism which his work threatened later kings came but little nearer achieving, and the danger soon passed away, but the centralization which he gave the state grew into a permanent and beneficent organization. In this work Henry claimed no more than the glory of following in his grandfather's footsteps, and the modern student of the age is more and more inclined to believe that he was right in this, and that his true fame as an institution maker should be rather that of a restorer than of a founder. He put again into operation what had been already begun; he combined and systematized and broadened, and he created the conditions which encouraged growth and made it fruitful: but he struck out no new way either for himself or for England.

In mind and body Henry overflowed with energy. He wearied out his court with his incessant and restless activity. In learning he never equalled the fame of his grandfather, Henry Beauclerc, but he loved books, and his knowledge of languages was such as to occasion remark. He had the passionate temper of his ancestors without the self-control of Henry I, and sometimes raved in his anger like a maniac. In matters of morals also he placed no restraints upon himself. His reputation in this regard has been kept alive by the romantic legend of Rosamond Clifford; and, though the pathetic details of her story are in truth romance and not history, there is no lack of evidence to show that Eleanor had occasion enough for the bitter hostility which she felt towards him in the later years of his life. But Henry is not to be reckoned among the kings whose policy or public conduct were affected by his vices. More passionate and less self-controlled than his grandfather, he had something of his patience and tenacity of purpose, and a large share of his diplomatic skill; and the slight scruples of conscience, which on rare occasions interfered with an immediate success, arose from a very narrow range of ethical ideas.

An older man and one of longer training in statecraft and the management of men might easily have doubted his ability to solve the problem which lay before Henry in England. To control a feudal baronage was never an easy task. To re-establish a strong control which for nearly twenty years had been greatly relaxed would be doubly difficult. But in truth the work was more than half done when Henry came to the throne. Since the peace declared at Winchester much had been accomplished, and most of all perhaps in the fact that peace deprived the baron of the even balancing of parties which had been his opportunity. On all sides also men were worn out with the long conflict, and the material, as well as the incentive, to continue it under the changed conditions was lacking. It is likely too that Henry had made an impression in England, during the short time that he had stayed there, very different from that made by Stephen early in his reign; for it is clear that he knew what he wanted and how to get it, and that he would be satisfied with nothing less. Nor did there seem to be anything to justify a fear that arrangements which had been made during the war in favour of individual men were likely to be disturbed. So secure indeed did everything seem that Henry was in no haste to cross to England when the news of Stephen's death reached him.

The Duke of Normandy had been occupied with various things since his return from England in April, with the recovery of the ducal lands, with repressing unimportant feudal disorders, and with negotiations with the king of France. On receiving the news he finished the siege of a castle in which he was engaged, then consulted his mother, whose counsel he often sought to the end of her life, in her quiet retreat near Rouen, and finally assembled the barons of Normandy. In about a fortnight he was ready at Barfleur for the passage, but bad winds kept back the unskilful sailors of the time for a month. In England there was no disturbance. Everybody, we are told, feared or loved the duke and expected him to become king, and even the Flemish troops of Stephen kept the peace. If any one acted for the king, it was Archbishop Theobald, but there is no evidence that there was anything for a regent to do. At last, at the end of the first week in December, Henry landed in England and went up at once to Winchester. There he took the homage of the English barons, and from thence after a short delay he went on to London to be crowned. The coronation on the 19th, the Sunday before Christmas, must have been a brilliant ceremony. The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated in the presence of two other archbishops and seventeen bishops, of earls and barons from England and abroad, and an innumerable multitude of people.

Henry immediately issued a coronation charter, but it is, like Stephen's, merely a charter of general confirmation. No specific promises are made. The one note of the charter, the keynote of the reign for England thus early struck, is "king Henry my grandfather." The ideal of the young king, an ideal it is more than likely wholly satisfactory to his subjects, was to reproduce that reign of order and justice, the time to which men after the long anarchy would look back as to a golden age. Or was this a declaration, a notice to all concerned, flung out in a time of general rejoicing when it would escape challenge, that no usurpation during Stephen's reign was to stand against the rights of the crown? That time is passed over as a blank. No man could plead the charter as guaranteeing him in any grant or privilege won from either side during the civil war. To God and holy Church and to all earls and barons and all his men, the king grants, and restores and confirms all concessions and donations and liberties and free customs which King Henry his grandfather had given and granted to them. Also all evil customs which his grandfather abolished and remitted he grants to be abolished and remitted. That is all except a general reference to the charter of Henry I. Neither Church nor baron could tell from the charter itself what rights had been granted or what evil customs had been abolished. But in all probability no one at the moment greatly cared for more specific statement. The proclamation of a general policy of return to the conditions of the earlier age was what was most desired.

The first work before the young king would be to select those who should aid him in the task of government in the chief offices of the state. He probably already had a number of these men in mind from his knowledge of England and of the leaders of his mother's party. In the peace with Stephen, Richard de Lucy had been put in charge of the Tower and of Windsor castle. He now seems to have been made justiciar, perhaps the first of Henry's appointments, as he alone signs the coronation charter though without official designation. Within a few days, however, Robert de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester, was apparently given office with the same title, and together they fill this position for many years, Robert completing in it the century and more of faithful service which his family had rendered to every successive king. The family of Roger of Salisbury was also restored to the important branch of the service which it had done so much to create, in the person of Nigel, Bishop of Ely, who was given charge of the exchequer. The most important appointment in its influence on the reign was that to the chancellorship. Archbishop Theobald, who was probably one of Henry's most intimate counsellors, had a candidate in whose favour he could speak in the strongest terms and whose services in the past the king would gratefully recall. This was the young Thomas Becket, who had done so much to prevent the coronation of Eustace.

Immediately after his coronation, at Christmas time, Henry held at Bermondsey the first of the great councils of his reign. Here the whole state of the kingdom was discussed, and it was determined to proceed with the expulsion of Stephen's mercenaries, and with the destruction of the unlawful castles. The first of these undertakings gave no trouble, and William of Ypres disappears from English history. The second, especially with what went with it, - the resumption of Stephen's grants to great as well as small, - was a more difficult and longer process. To begin it in the proper way, the king himself set out early in 1155 for the north. For some reason he did not think it wise at this time to run the risk of a quarrel with Hugh Bigod, and it was probably on this journey at Northampton that he gave him a charter creating him Earl of Norfolk, the title which he had obtained from Stephen. The expedition was especially directed against William of Aumale, Stephen's Earl of Yorkshire, and he was compelled to surrender a part of his spoils including the strong castle of Scarborough. William Peverel of the Peak also, who was accused of poisoning the Earl of Chester, and who knew that there were other reasons of condemnation against him, took refuge in a monastery, making profession as a monk when he heard of Henry's approach, and finally fled to the continent and abandoned everything to the king. Some time after this, but probably during the same year, another of Stephen's earls, William of Arundel or Sussex, obtained a charter of confirmation of the third penny of his county.

One of the interesting features of Henry's first year is the frequency of great councils. Four were held in nine months. It was the work of resumption, and of securing his position, which made them necessary. The expressed support of the baronage, as a whole, was of great value to him as he moved against one magnate and then another, and demanded the restoration of royal domains or castles. The second of these councils, which was held in London in March, and in which the business of the castles was again taken up, did not, however, secure the king against all danger of resistance. Roger, Earl of Hereford, son of Miles of Gloucester, who had been so faithful to Henry's mother, secretly left the assembly determined to try the experiment of rebellion rather than to surrender his two royal castles of Hereford and Gloucester. In this attitude he was encouraged by Hugh Mortimer, a baron of the Welsh Marches and head of a Conquest family of minor rank which was now rising to importance, who was also ready to risk rebellion. Roger did not persist in his plans. He was brought to a better mind by his kinsman, the Bishop of Hereford, Gilbert Foliot, and gave up his castles. Mortimer ventured to stand a siege in his strongholds, one of which was Bridgenorth where Robert of Belleme had tried to resist Henry I in similar circumstances, but he was forced to surrender before the middle of the summer. This was the only armed opposition which the measures of resumption excited, because they were carried out by degrees and with wise caution in the selection of persons as well as of times. It was probably in this spirit that in January of the next year Henry regranted to Aubrey de Vere his title of Earl of Oxford and that of the unfaithful Earl of Essex to the younger Geoffrey de Mandeville. It was twenty years after Henry's accession and in far different circumstances that he first found himself involved in conflict with a dangerous insurrection of the English barons.

Before the submission of Hugh Mortimer the third of the great councils of the year had been held at Wallingford early in April, and there the barons had been required to swear allegiance to Henry's eldest son William, and in case of his death to his brother Henry who had been born a few weeks before. The fourth great council met at Winchester in the last days of September, and there a new question of policy was discussed which led ultimately to events of great importance in the reign, and of constantly increasing importance in the whole history of England to the present day, - the conquest of Ireland. Apparently Henry had already conceived the idea, to which he returns later in the case of his youngest son, of finding in the western island an appanage for some unprovided member of the royal house. Now he thought of giving it to his youngest brother William. Religious and political prejudice and racial pride have been so intensely excited by many of the statements and descriptions in the traditional account of Henry's first steps towards the conquest, which is based on contemporary records or what purports to be such, that evidence which no one would think of questioning if it related to humdrum events on the dead level of history has been vigorously assailed, and almost every event in the series called in question. The writer of history cannot narrate these events as they seem to him to have occurred without warning the reader that some element of doubt attaches to his account, and that whatever his conclusions, some careful students of the period will not agree with him.

A few days before Henry landed in England to be crowned, Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman who ever became pope, had been elected Bishop of Rome and had taken the name of Hadrian IV. He was the son of an English clerk, who was later a monk at St. Albans, and had not seemed to his father a very promising boy; but on his father's death he went abroad, studied at Paris, and was made Abbot of St. Rufus in Provence. Then visiting Rome because of trouble, with his monks, he attracted the notice of the pope, was made cardinal and papal legate, and finally was himself elected pope in succession to Anastasius IV. We cannot say, though we may think it likely, that the occupation of the papal throne by a native Englishman made it seem to Henry a favourable time to secure so high official sanction for his new enterprise. Nor is it possible to say what was the form of Henry's request, or the composition of the embassy which seems certainly to have been sent, or the character of the pope's reply, though each of these has been made the subject of differing conjectures for none of which is there any direct evidence in the sources of our knowledge. The most that we can assert is what we are told by John of Salisbury, the greatest scholar of the middle ages.

John was an intimate friend of the pope's and spent some months with him in very familiar intercourse in the winter of 1155-1156. He relates in a passage at the close of his Metalogicus, which he wrote, if we may judge by internal evidence, on learning of Hadrian's death in 1159, and which there is no reason to doubt, that at his request the pope made a written grant of Ireland to Henry to be held by hereditary right. He declares that the ground of this grant was the ownership of all islands conveyed to the popes by the Donation of Constantine, and he adds that Hadrian sent Henry a ring by which he was to be invested with the right of ruling in Ireland. Letter and ring, he says, are preserved in England at the time of his writing. The so called Bull "Laudabiliter" has been traditionally supposed to be the letter referred to by John of Salisbury, but it does not quite agree with his description, and it makes no grant of the island to the king.[45] The probability is very strong that it is not even what it purports to be, a letter of the pope to the king expressing his approval of the enterprise, but merely a student's exercise in letter writing. But the papal approval was certainly expressed at a later time by Pope Alexander III. No doubt can attach, however, to the account of John of Salisbury. As he describes the grant it would correspond fully with papal ideas current at the time, and it would be closely parallel with what we must suppose was the intention of an earlier pope in approving William's conquest of England. If Henry had asked for anything more than the pope's moral assent to the enterprise, he could have expected nothing different from this, nor does it seem that he could in that case have objected to the terms or form of the grant described by John of Salisbury.

The expedition, however, for which Henry had made these preparations was not actually undertaken. His mother objected to it for some reason which we do not know, and he dropped the plan for the present. About the same time Henry of Winchester, who had lived on into a new age, which he probably found not wholly congenial, left England without the king's permission and went to Cluny. This gave Henry a legal opportunity, and he at once seized and destroyed his castles. No other event of importance falls within the first year of the reign. It was a great work which had been done in this time. To have plainly declared and successfully begun the policy of reigning as a strong king, to have got rid of Stephen's dangerous mercenaries without trouble, to have recovered so many castles and domains without exciting a great rebellion, and to have restored the financial system to the hands best fitted to organize and perfect it, might satisfy the most ambitious as the work of a year. "The history of the year furnishes," in the words of the greatest modern student of the age, "abundant illustration of the energy and capacity of a king of two-and-twenty."

Early in January, 1156, Henry crossed to Normandy. His brother Geoffrey was making trouble and was demanding that Anjou and Maine should be assigned to him. We are told an improbable story that their father on his deathbed had made such a partition of his lands, and that Henry had been required blindly to swear that he would carry out an arrangement which was not made known to him. If Henry made any such promise as heir, he immediately repudiated it as reigning sovereign. He could not well do otherwise. To give up the control of these two counties would be to cut his promising continental empire into two widely separated portions. Geoffrey attempted to appeal to arms in the three castles which had been given him earlier, but was quickly forced to submit. All this year and until April of the next, 1157, Henry remained abroad, and before his return to England he was able to offer his brother a compensation for his disappointment which had the advantage of strengthening his own position. The overlordship of the county of Britanny had, as we know, been claimed by the dukes of Normandy, and the claim had sometimes been allowed. To Henry the successful assertion of this right would be of great value as filling out his occupation of western France. Just at this time Britanny had been thrown into disorder and civil strife by a disputed succession, and the town of Nantes, which commanded the lower course of the Loire, so important a river to Henry, refused to accept either of the candidates. With the aid of his brother, Geoffrey succeeded in planting himself there as Count of Nantes, in a position which promised to open for the house of Anjou the way into Britanny.

The greater part of the time of his stay abroad Henry spent in passing about from one point to another in his various provinces, after the usual custom of the medieval sovereign. In Eleanor's lands he could exert much less direct authority than in England or Normandy; the feudal baron of the south was more independent of his lord; but the opposition which was later to be so disastrous had not yet developed, and the year went by with nothing to record. Soon after his coming to Normandy he had an interview with Louis VII who then accepted his homage both for his father's and his wife's inheritance. If Louis had at one time intended to dispute the right of Eleanor to marry without his consent, he could not afford to continue that policy, so strong was Henry now. It was the part of wisdom to accept what could not be prevented, to arrange some way of living in peace with his rival, and to wait the chances of the future.

It is in connexion with this expedition to Normandy that there first appears in the reign of Henry II the financial levy known as "scutage" - a form of taxation destined to have a great influence on the financial and military history of England, and perhaps even a greater on its constitutional history. The invention of this tax was formerly attributed to the statesmanship of the young king, but we now know that it goes back at least to the time of his grandfather. The term "scutage" may be roughly translated "shield money," and, as the word implies, it was a tax assessed on the knight's fee, and was in theory a money payment accepted or exacted by the king in place of the military service due him under the feudal arrangements. The suggestion of such a commutation no doubt arose in connexion with the Church baronies, whose holders would find many reasons against personal service in the field, especially in the prohibition of the canon law, and who in most cases preferred not to enfeoff on their lands knights enough to meet their military obligations to the king. In such cases, when called on for the service, they would be obliged to hire the required number of knights, and the suggestion that they should pay the necessary sum to the king and let him find the soldiers would be a natural one and probably agreeable to both sides. The scutage of the present year does not seem to have gone beyond this practice. It was confined to Church lands, and the wider application of the principle, which is what we may attribute to Henry II or to some minister of his, was not attempted.

Returning to England in April, 1157, Henry took up again the work which had been interrupted by the demands of his brother Geoffrey. He was ready now to fly at higher game. Stephen's son William, whose great possessions in England and Normandy his father had tried so carefully to secure in the treaty which surrendered his rights to the crown, was compelled to give up his castles, and Hugh Bigod was no longer spared but was forced to do the same. David of Scotland had died before the death of Stephen, and his kingdom had fallen to his grandson Malcolm IV. The new king had too many troubles at home to make it wise for him to try to defend the gains which his grandfather had won from England, and before the close of this year he met Henry at Chester and gave up his claim on the northern counties, received the earldom of Huntingdon, and did homage to his cousin, but for what, whether for his earldom or his kingdom, was not clearly stated. Wales Stephen had practically abandoned, but Henry had no mind to do this, and a campaign during the summer in which there was some sharp fighting forced Owen, the prince of North Wales, to become his man, restored the defensive works of the district, and protected the Marcher lords in their occupation. The Christmas court was held at Lincoln; but warned perhaps by the recent ill luck of Stephen in defying the local superstition, Henry did not attempt to wear his crown in the city. Crown wearing and ceremony in general were distasteful to him, and at the next Easter festival at Worcester, together with the queen, he formally renounced the practice.

Half of the year 1158 Henry spent in England, but the work which lay before him at his accession was now done. Much work of importance and many events of interest concern the island kingdom in the later years of the reign, but these arise from new occasions and belong to a new age. The age of Stephen was at an end, the Norman absolutism was once more established, and the influence of the time of anarchy and weakness was felt no longer. It was probably the death of his brother and the question of the occupation of Nantes that led Henry to cross to Normandy in August. He went first of all, however, to meet the king of France near Gisors. There it was agreed that Henry's son Henry, now by the death of his eldest brother recognized as heir to the throne, should marry Louis's daughter Margaret. The children were still both infants, but the arrangement was made less for their sakes than for peace between their fathers and for substantial advantages which Henry hoped to gain. First he desired Louis's permission to take possession of Nantes, and later, on the actual marriage of the children, was to come the restoration of the Norman Vexin which Henry's father had been obliged to give up to France in the troubles of his time. Protected in this way from the only opposition which he had to fear, Henry had no difficulty in forcing his way into Nantes and in compelling the count of Britanny to recognize his possession. This diplomatic success had been prepared, possibly secured, by a brilliant embassy undertaken shortly before by Henry's chancellor Thomas Becket. One of the biographers of the future saint, one indeed who dwells less upon his spiritual life and miracles than on his external history, rejoices in the details of this magnificent journey, the gorgeous display, the lavish expenditure, the royal generosity, which seem intended to impress the French court with the wealth of England and the greatness of his master, but which lead us to suspect the chancellor of a natural delight in the splendours of the world.

With his feet firmly planted in Britanny, in a position where he could easily take advantage of any future turn of events to extend his power, Henry next turned his attention to the south where an even greater opportunity seemed to offer. The great county of Toulouse stretched from the south-eastern borders of Eleanor's lands towards the Mediterranean and the Rhone over a large part of that quarter of France. A claim of some sort to this county, the exact nature of which we cannot now decide from the scanty and inconsistent accounts of the case which remain to us, had come down to Eleanor from the last two dukes of Aquitaine, her father and grandfather. The claim had at any rate seemed good enough to Louis VII while he was still the husband of the heiress to be pushed, but he had not succeeded in establishing it. The rights of Eleanor were now in the hands of Henry and, after consulting with his barons, he determined to enforce them in a military campaign in the summer of 1159.

By the end of June the attacking forces were gathering in the south. The young king of Scotland was there as the vassal of the king of England and was knighted by his lord. Allies were secured of the lords to the east and south, especially the assistance of Raymond Berenger who was Count of Barcelona and husband of the queen of Aragon, and who had extensive claims and interests in the valley of the Rhone. His daughter was to be married to Henry's son Richard, who had been born a few months before. Negotiations and interviews with the king of France led to no result, and at the last moment Louis threw himself into Toulouse and prepared to stand a siege with the Count, Raymond V, whose rights he now looked at from an entirely different point of view. This act of the king led to a result which he probably did not anticipate. Apparently the feudal spirit of Henry could not reconcile itself to a direct attack on the person of his suzerain. He withdrew from the siege, and the expedition resulted only in the occupation of some of the minor towns of the county. Here Thomas the chancellor appears again in his worldly character. He had led to the war a body of knights said to have been 700 in number, the finest and best-equipped contingent in the field. Henry's chivalry in refusing to fight his suzerain seemed to him the height of folly, and he protested loudly against it. This chivalry indeed did not prevent the vassal from attacking some of his lord's castles in the north, but no important results were gained, and peace was soon made between them.

Far more important in permanent consequences than the campaign itself were the means which the king took to raise the money to pay for it. It was at this time, so far as our present evidence goes and unless a precedent had been made in a small way in a scutage of 1157 for the campaign in Wales, that the principle of scutage was extended from ecclesiastical to lay tenants in chief. Robert of Torigny, Abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel, tells us that Henry, having regard to the length and difficulty of the way, and not wishing to vex the country knights and the mass of burgesses and rustics, took from each knight's fee in Normandy sixty shillings Angevin (fifteen English), and from all other persons in Normandy and in England and in all his other lands what he thought best, and led into the field with him the chief barons with a few of their men and a great number of paid knights.

Our knowledge of the treasury accounts of this period is not sufficient to enable us to explain every detail of this taxation, but it is sufficient to enable us to say that the statement of the abbot is in general accurate. The tax on the English knight's fee was heavier than that on the Norman; payment does not seem to have been actually required from all persons outside the strict feudal bond, nor within it for that matter; and the exact relationship between payment and service in the field we cannot determine. Two things, however, of interest in the history of taxation in relation both to earlier and later times seem clear. In the first place a new form of land-tax had been discovered of special application to the feudal community, capable of transforming a limited and somewhat uncertain personal service into a far more satisfactory money payment, capable also of considerable extension and, in the hands of an absolute king, of an arbitrary development which apparently some forms of feudal finance had already undergone. This was something new, - that is, it was as new as anything ever is in constitutional history. It was the application of an old process to a new use. In the second place large sums of money were raised, in a purely arbitrary way, it would seem, both as to persons paying and sums paid, from members of the non-feudal community and also from some tenants in chief who at the same time paid scutage. These payments appear to have rested on the feudal principle of the gracious or voluntary aid and to have been called "dona," though the people of that time were in general more accurate in the distinctions they made between things than in the use of the terms applied to them. There was nothing new about this form of taxation. Glimpses which we get here and there of feudalism in operation lead us to suspect that, in small matters and with much irregularity of application to persons, it was in not infrequent use. These particular payments, pressing as they did heavily on the Church and exciting its vigorous objection, carry us back with some interest to the beginning of troubles between Anselm and the Red King over a point of the same kind.

In theory and in strict law these "gifts" were voluntary, both as to whether they should be made at all and as to their amount, but under a sovereign so strong as Henry II or William Rufus, the king must be satisfied. Church writers complained, with much if not entire justice, that this tax was "contrary to ancient custom and due liberty," and they accused Thomas the chancellor of suggesting it. As a matter of fact this tax was less important in the history of taxation than the extension of the principle of scutage which accompanied it. The contribution which it made to the future was not so much in the form of the tax as in the precedent of arbitrary taxation, established in an important instance of taxation at the will of the king. This precedent carried over and applied to scutage in its new form becomes in the reign of Henry's son one of the chief causes of revolutionary changes, and thus constitutes "the scutage of Toulouse" of 1159, if we include under that term the double taxation of the year, one of the great steps forward of the reign of Henry.

At the close of the Toulouse campaign an incident of some interest occurred in the death of Stephen's son William and the ending of the male line of Stephen's succession. His Norman county of Mortain was at once taken in hand by Henry as an escheated fief, and was not filled again until it was given years afterwards to his youngest son. To Boulogne Henry had no right, but he could not afford to allow his influence in the county to decline, though the danger of its passing under the influence of Louis VII was slight. Stephen's only living descendant was his daughter Mary, now Abbess of Romsey. The pope consented to her marriage to a son of the Count of Flanders, and Boulogne remained in the circle of influence in which it had been fixed by Henry I. The wide personal possessions of William in England were apparently added to the royal domain which had already increased so greatly since the death of Stephen.

A year later the other branch of Stephen's family came into a new relationship to the politics of France and England. At the beginning of October, 1160, Louis's second wife died, leaving him still without a male heir. Without waiting till the end of any period of mourning, within a fortnight, he married the daughter of Stephen's brother, Theobald of Blois, sister of the counts Henry of Champagne and Theobald of Blois, who were already betrothed to the two daughters of his marriage with Eleanor. This opened for the house of Blois a new prospect of influence and gain, and for the king of England of trouble which was in part fulfilled. Henry saw the probable results, and at once responded with an effort to improve his frontier defences. The marriage of the young Henry and Margaret of France was immediately celebrated, though the elder of the two was still a mere infant. This marriage gave Henry the right to take possession of the Norman Vexin and its strong castles, and this he did. The war which threatened for a moment did not break out, but there was much fortifying of castles on both sides of the frontier.

It is said that the suggestion of this defensive move came from Thomas Becket. However this may be, Thomas was now near the end of his career of service to the state as chancellor, and was about to enter a field which promised even greater usefulness and wider possibilities of service. Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury died on April 18, 1161. For some months the king gave no sign of his intentions as to his successor. Then he declared his purpose. Thomas, the chancellor, was about to cross to England to carry out another plan of Henry's. The barons were to be asked to swear fealty to the young Henry as the direct heir to the crown. Born in February, 1155, Henry was in his eighth year when this ceremony was performed. Some little time before he had been committed by his father to the chancellor to be trained in his courtly and brilliant household, and there he became deeply attached to his father's future enemy. The swearing of fealty to the heir, to which the barons were now accustomed, was performed without objection, Thomas himself setting the example by first taking the oath.

This was his last service of importance as chancellor. Before his departure from Normandy on this errand, the king announced to him his intention to promote him to the vacant primacy. The appointment would be a very natural one. Archbishop Theobald is said to have hoped and prayed that Thomas might succeed him, and the abilities which the chancellor had abundantly displayed would account for a general expectation of such a step, but Thomas himself hesitated. We are dependent for our knowledge of the details of what happened at this time on the accounts of Thomas's friends and admirers, but there is no reason to doubt their substantial accuracy. It is clear that there were better grounds in fact for the hesitation of Thomas than for the insistence of Henry, but they were apparently concealed from the king. His mother is said to have tried to dissuade him, and the able Bishop of Hereford, Gilbert Foliot, records his own opposition. But the complete devotion to the king's will and the zealous services of Thomas as chancellor might well make Henry believe, if not that he would be entirely subservient to his policy when made archbishop, at least that Church and State might be ruled by them together in full harmony and co-operation, and the days of William and Lanfranc be brought back. Becket read his own character better and knew that the days of Henry I and Anselm were more likely to return, and that not because he recognized in himself the narrowness of Anselm, but because he knew his tendency to identify himself to the uttermost with whatever cause he adopted.

Thomas had come to the chancellorship at the age of thirty-seven. He had been a student, attached to the household of Archbishop Theobald, and he must long have looked forward to promotion in the Church as the natural field of his ambition, and in this he had just taken the first step in his appointment to the rich archdeaconry of Canterbury by his patron. As chancellor, however, he seems to have faced entirely about. He threw himself into the elegant and luxurious life of the court with an abandon and delight which, we are tempted to believe, reveal his natural bent. The family of a wealthy burgher of London in the last part of the reign of Henry I may easily have been a better school of manners and taste than the court of Anjou. Certainly in refinement, and in the order and elegance of his household as it is described, the chancellor surpassed the king. Provided with an ample income both from benefices which he held in the Church and from the perquisites of his office, he indulged in a profusion of expenditure and display which the king probably did not care for and certainly did not equal, and collected about himself such a company of clerks and laymen as made his household a better place for the training of the children of the nobles than the king's. In the king's service he spent his money with as lavish a hand as for himself, in his embassy to the French court or in the war against Toulouse. He had the skill to avoid the envy of either king or courtier, and no scandal or hint of vice was breathed against him. The way to the highest which one could hope for in the service of the state seemed open before him, and he felt himself peculiarly adapted to enjoy and render useful such a career. One cannot help speculating on the interesting but hopeless problem of what the result would have been if Becket had remained in the line of secular promotion and the primacy had gone to the next most likely candidate, Gilbert Foliot, whose type of mind would have led him to sympathize more naturally with the king's views and purposes in the questions that were so soon to arise between Church and State in England.

The election of Becket to the see of Canterbury seems to have followed closely the forms which had come into use since the compromise between Henry I and Anselm, and which were soon after described in the Constitutions of Clarendon. The justiciar, Richard de Lucy, with three bishops went down to Canterbury and made known the will of the king and summoned the monks to an election. Some opposition showed itself among them, apparently because of the candidate's worldly life and the fact that he was not a monk, but they gave way to the clearly expressed will of the king. The prior and a deputation of the monks went up to London; and there the formal election took place "with the counsel of" the bishops summoned for the purpose, and was at once confirmed by the young prince acting for his father. At the same time Henry, Bishop of Winchester, made a formal demand of those who were representing the king that the archbishop should be released from all liability for the way in which he had handled the royal revenues as chancellor and treasurer, and this was agreed to. On the next Sunday but one, June 3, 1162, Thomas was consecrated Archbishop at Canterbury by the Bishop of Winchester, as the see of London was vacant. As his first official act the new prelate ordained that the feast in honour of the Trinity should be henceforth kept on the anniversary of his consecration.

[45] See the review of the whole controversy in Thatcher, Studies Concerning Adrian IV (1903).