How Henry regained royal authority from the barons

Charlotte Peacock
Flashcards by Charlotte Peacock, updated more than 1 year ago
Charlotte Peacock
Created by Charlotte Peacock over 6 years ago


AS - Level A Level History Revision (2.Restoration of Royal Authority) Flashcards on How Henry regained royal authority from the barons, created by Charlotte Peacock on 03/18/2014.

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Question Answer
First Actions: a) Henry and Becket took steps to restore law and order by reducing the power of the barons: 1. all 375 unauthorised castles were either puled down or taken under Henry's control 2. Mercenaries were persuaded to leave the country (with promise of future work) 3. All barons had to prove that they were lawful owners of their lands, and not just grants given by Stephen. Henry confiscated the land or returned if possible to their rightful owner.
b) Henry solved the Scottish problem by meeting with King Malcolm of Scotland. Henry didn't want his lands to be divided, therefore warned Malcolm that he intended to retrieve the lands by force if necessary. Realising Henry's greater strength, Malcolm agreed. In return Malcolm was granted the earldom of Huntingdon.
Further Actions 1159-1181: a) introduced the shield tax/scutage. Instead of the barons providing knights for Henry's army, each baron was to pay 20 shillings for each knight he owned. Any baron who refused was fined heavily This raised £180 000 in 1159. Money was then used to hire mercenaries.
b) 1170 - Inquest of Sheriffs. Officials were sent out to check on the conduct and efficiency of every sheriff. Many sheriffs under corrupt barons were dismissed and replaced by men loyal to the King. c) New coinage system. During Stephen's reign coins had been clipped, with new coins made from the clippings. All were reclaimed and replaced with new ones. Any coins not melted and reformed were no longer legal.
d) By the 'Assize of Arms' in 1181, Henry revived the old fryd system - all free men were to arm themselves according to their wealth. The rich with sword and helmet, the poor with leather jerkin and lance. All should be ready to answer the sheriffs call to arms. With mercenaries and the fryd, Henry could deal with any baronial uprisings.
After dealing with problems left by Stephen, Henry turned his attention to re-organising the civil legal system. Seen as his greatest achievements. - the system was unfair and corrupt - systems were regarded as old fashioned and unjust - many people didn't have access to the law system.
a) The Assize of Clarendon 1166: In order to establish royal justice throughout the country, a group of judges travelled around: ensuring justice was carried out, checking up on barons, calculating what taxes should be paid, supervising the work of sheriffs. - A jury would be formed in each area, made up by 12 law abiding citizens. They were responsible for presenting the facts of the case.
- All court cases were based on English Common Law to ensure a fair trial. - All fines from the cases went to the treasury, and not the barons - Sheriffs could confiscate lands and property of criminals - Local jails were built. Henry turned the English system into an efficient legal system, controlled by the royal court and the King's officers.
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