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#OnThisDay in 1183: Henry the Young King of England died while attempting to usurp his father’s crown.

On this day in 1183 Henry the Young King of England died at 28

King Henry II had noticed that to wait until the death of the king to determine his successor only caused uproar in his family. So King Henry II decided that the solution was to make his son Henry the co-king, an idea that he had gotten from the French courts. Henry the Young King of England was not known for his intelligence or wisdom; in fact he was seen as incompetent, but he was well liked by the populace because he was exceptional at fighting in tournaments.

Henry the Young King of England revolted against his father to take his crown and claim England. It is unknown what caused his revolt, but it is believed that his father’s refusal to delegate authority to his son or even to give him any land to administer was a factor.

After hiring many mercenaries he had large amounts of debt, but Henry the Young King continued to fight against his father and his brother Richard. After pillaging monasteries with the intent to find money to pay his mercenaries, Henry the Young King became sick with dysentery. His court was aware that he would be dying soon and Henry the Young King confessed his sins and received the Last Rites. Penitent, he attempted to reconcile himself to his father, but King Henry II feared that this was a trick and refused to attend his son and instead sent a ring to Henry the Young King as a sign of forgiveness. A crusader, Henry the Young King requested that a friend take his crusader cloak to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Henry the Young King passed away clasping father’s ring in his hand. King Henry II purportedly cried out, “He cost me much, but I wish he had lived to cost me more,” having loved his son even after revolt.

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