On October 17th 1172, Henry II became the first king of England to set foot in Ireland. Henry had come in the hope of proclaiming himself lord over the entire island. Awaiting him were not just his own Norman subjects who had been fighting in Ireland since 1169 but also dozens of Gaelic kings. How these kings in particular would react to Henry’s claims would be crucial. The King however had prepared for all eventualities bringing an army of over 4,000 warriors and even prefabricated siege towers. In the show I look at how Henry was received, why he had come and what a medieval royal visit like this looked like.
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