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  • Born: 1137, Surrey, England
  • Marriage: PLANTAGENET, Hamelin in Apr 1164 in Surrey, England
  • Died: 13 Jul 1199, Lewes, Sussex, England at age 62

bullet  General Notes:

Heiress and widow of the youngest son of Stephen of Blois (King Stephen), William of Blois. In about 1163, King Henry II decided to marry Isabel (Isabella) to his younger brother, William Plantagenet. The marriage was forbidden by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the flimsiest of grounds, and when William died soon afterwards -- some said of a broken heart -- Henry blamed Becket. It was one of numerous incidents which led Henry to believe that Becket was deliberately trying to provoke him, and to Henry's demand in 1164 that Becket submit publicly to royal authority. The Constitutions of Clarendon were a new code of sixteen laws which Henry claimed enshrined the customs of his ancestors. The third article laid down that clerics who committed crimes should be handed over to the royal courts for sentencing, one of many legal reforms Henry wished to implement. Under protest, and to the dismay of the Church and his fellow bishops, Becket consented to the reforms "in good faith," although he still refused to set his seal to the document. When the Pope learned of the Constitutions, he determined that the liberties of the Church were under threat, and condemned nearly every clause. Becket soon regretted his moment of weakness in capitulating to Henry's demands, and tried twice to escape to France. His attempts were thwarted by Henry's officers. The Bishop's change of heart infuriated Henry, who was now determined to oust Becket from his archbishopric. In October, Henry had Becket arraigned at a council at Northampton on a charge of contempt of court. Realizing the king was out to ruin him, Becket managed to flee England for Flanders. On the continent Becket continued to make trouble for Henry, portraying himself convincingly as a victim of the English King's deliberate attempt to limit the Church's power. Following a long exile from England, Becket eventually returned at Henry's request. Becket's murder at the hands of four of Henry's knights (though not on Henry's order) resulted in his eventual sainthood. 1


Isabel married Hamelin PLANTAGENET, son of Geoffrey "The Fair" PLANTAGENET Count of Anjou and Unknown CONCUBINE, in Apr 1164 in Surrey, England. (Hamelin PLANTAGENET was born in 1129 in Normandy, France and died on 7 May 1202 in England.)



1 Weir, Alison, Eleanor of Aquitaine, A Life (1999, Ballantine Books, New York). Surety: 3. One of many bastard children of Geoffrey V Plantagenet and half-brother of Henry II, King of England. Loyal to Eleanor of Aquitaine and her son, King Richard I, Hamelin was one of five officers appointed by Eleanor to raise the ransom needed to free Richard from imprisonment by Henry VI, Emperor of Germany. Richard had been captured during his return from the Third Crusade, and it was Eleanor and her loyal friends who protected his throne from his brother, John, until his eventual return.

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