Medieval Information

Everything About the Dark Ages

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin



Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738 - 1814) was a French physician president of the Chamber of Provinces (1755, founder of the academy of medicine and deputy of the French Assembly.

It was Dr. Joseph-Ignace who argued for a way to make capital punishment as quick and painless as possible. It wasn't him who invented the guillotine - nor did he die in it - but his name is used to reffer to the deadly machine for unknown reasons since the early 1800's.

Related Resources:

-The Guillotine
-Medieval Torture

Henry II of England



Henry II (5 March 1133 - 6 July 1189) ruled not only as the king of England, but was also the count of Anjou and the Duke of Normandy.

His grandfather was Henry I, who had also been a king long before him.

His sobriquets were very numerous and he was often referred to as "The Lion of Justice (like his grandfather)", the "Curt Mantle" and the "Fitz Empress".

On May 18 1152, Henry II married a young and powerful lady known as Eleanor of Aquitaine who also added numerous pieces of land to his reign including Touraine, Aquitaine and Glascony.

Henry II was enthralled in conquering land and expanding his territory. Henceforth, he possessed - at one time - parts of Ireland, Scotland and western France.

Before the time of his death, Henry II divided his title among his five sons who fought against Henry II himself. This angered him and fought them back only to be killed by Henry's third son, Richard the Lionheart.

Nevertheless, Henry II is remembered as one of England's greatest rulers for he successfully adhered many laws and gave much justice to the poor.

William the Conqueror



Born at 1028, he was the son of Robert I, duke of Normandy. He was a descendant of the Vikings, thus he could easily claim the throne. When his father went on a pilgrimage in 1034 and died on the return trip, William became duke at the age of seven. His father's brother (who was the archbishop) moved to his house in order to protect him. Many of his relatives were assassinated. Even though many attempts were made to kill the young boy, he always managed to flee; in many nights, William had to hide.

Originally from Normandy, William spread feudalism throughout the land. After many years, he finally managed to form an army. When William arrived England, he was met with a fearsome battle that lasted all day; the battle of Hastings. Beginning at dawn, this battle was a struggle between opposing forces. At first, they were equal in strength, but as time passed, the Norman soldiers proved to be much better trained, thus defeating the Saxon army decisively. Harold himself was killed by an arrow making his army demoralized giving an abrupt end to the battle.

William conquered London in which many lords swore allegiance to him. He was crowned king on Christmas Day, 1066.

William established many castles throughout England. He ruled there for five years in which he stabilized rebellions, and addressed many political issues. He also built many fortresses, his most notorious one; which still stands today, is the Tower of London.

After this time, William returned to Normandy for 12 years. He solved many political unrests and after this time, he went back to England.

William died ill in Normandy on September 9, 1087.

Stephen the Medieval King



After Henry's reign, Stephen was crowned king in 1135. He ruled until 1154 when he died at the age of 56. The causes of his death are unknown.

Stephen married Matelda and had five children. During his reign, he saw a big interest in fortifying the land and building private castles everywhere.

He was said to have be a very good medieval king.

Henry 1 - King



When William II died, Henry was crowned king.

Henry was William II, younger brother and thus; he was also the son of William the Conqueror and Matilda (fourth son).

He ruled 35 years from 1100 to 1135 when he died of food poisoning in that same year.

William Two - The King



William II was a king from 1087 to 1100 who was the third son of William I and Matilda.

His passion was hunting more than being a ruler per se. This passion led him to his demise since a friend of his mistakenly shot an arrow that killed him quasi-instantly.

He was born in Normany in 1056 and lived until 1100.

William II was also called Rufus because of his physical complexion. He was said to rule with strength rather than with power which led to many economical problems of war. Nevertheless, this also made him conquer Scotland and manage many conflicts in Normandy.

When he died, the church refused to give him a burial as he was in constant struggles with the church.

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