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What's a Plantagenet?

The Plantagenets, predecessors to the Tudors, ruled England from 1154 to 1399. The word actually is a nickname of the family that was adopted as a surname. Geoffroy de Plantagenet, while riding into battle in France stuck a piece of blossoming broome into his hat facilitating identification by his soldiers. Broome "plantagenet in French" is a yellow, flowered cluster blooming in the spring and growing wild in France and England.

Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine were the first Plantagenets to rule England. Scholars in England believe if they were more compatible they could have ruled all of Europe. Unfortunately, "extra curricular" activities, especially one named Rosamund prevented this from happening. Legend has it that Rosamund died mysteriously and Eleanor although implicated, was never accused.

Henry II was the first great English king claiming the English throne through his mother. Henry succeeded King Stephen in 1154 and through his father, Henry I already ruled half the area of present day France.

Eleanor was a fascinating woman who lived to a ripe old age of 82. She was the wife of two kings, Louis VII of France and Henry and also the mother of two kings, Richard The Lionhearted and John. She was instrumental in surrounding herself with artisans who initially created the King Arthur legends. She also was instrumental in forming the Knight Templars, so English scholars now believe.

Henry and Eleanor's three sons were each given title to some of Henry's huge holdings in France, but Henry continually denied them any actual authority over these lands. Eleanor encouraged her sons' discontent and supported their rebellion, allying herself with her former husband, Louis VII. She spent 12 years in prison for her part in these failed uprisings but lived to see her third son, Richard (The Lionhearted) succeed to the throne upon Henry's death. Richard immediately released her from prison.

Henry, during his reign, widened the scope of fairness of royal justice in England by creating a system of formal writ, and initiating trial by jury. These, plus his resolution of church/state conflicts, are seen as his primary contributions to the growth of the English nation/state. On a smaller scale he minted a new coin for the land... the penny.

John became king after the death of his brother, Richard and is most famous for the Magna Carta sealed by King John on June 11th, 1215 at Runnymede, a meadow located near Windsor. Excerpts of this document were cited in many founding documents of the American colonies and were incorporated into the Constitution of the United States.

C. Derek Anderson, a direct descendant of the Plantagenet dynasty, founded Plantagenet Capital. He symbolizes to us who have worked with him the same scope of fairness, creativity, ethics and avant-garde thinking illustrated by Henry II and John, thereby continuing the Plantagenet tradition.

Mimi Korobow

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