Henry II Curtmantle fitzEmpress and Count of Flanders?

I've been pondering Henry II of England's actions if he wasn't married to Eleanor of Aquitaine.
In the absence of a suitable wife I've contrived a scenario whereby William Clito survives Aalst only to die like William Rufus in a "hunting accident". However he has a daughter who Empress Matilda marries to Henry c1145 as part of securing Normandy.
Henry becomes king roughly like OTL.

So I'm wondering if in the absence of extending Aquitaine if Henry goes after Flanders and what results from this.
 
Henry also becomes the Count of Anjou from his father's inheritance. If the Anarchy ends like OTL with him becoming King of England, then even without the Aquitanian inheritance he still will have a solid territorial bloc in northern France. Flanders won't be a walk in the park, but he has the resources... the problem is if the current Count of Flanders calls for his liege to help. Then, I suppose that the French monarchy won't put much of a fight. Until Phillip II Augustus, they were in a rather weakened position.

I think, however, that an English expansionism into Flanders might alarm the HRE, considering its emperors had their own designs to the Low Countries. I doubt that Henry's status as Matilda's son will do wonders if the HRE decides to back up Flanders.

Let's say that England prevails and Flanders is incorporated into this alt-Angevin monarchy... I think it overall will tend to be somewhat stable than OTL with its immense fiefs in western France. Holding Flanders might be easier and perhaps this allows for a more secure continental English dominion.
 
@Rdffigueira I was thinking the Flanders adventure would be in the 50/60s well after he was King.
Would he go for Flanders though?
It was a big deal for him to restore the powers and prestige of Henry I, and Henry I was a big supporter of Thierry as Count of Flanders.
 
The Count of Hainaut would certainly object since they claimed Flanders (from 1071) and made incursions themselves in the 60s.
 
Could Mathias, brother to Count Phillip, be a spur to Henry when he abducts Mary of Boulogne c1160?
Stephen's adoption of Henry II would make her technically Henry's sister so family honour would be a legitimate cassus belli.
 
@Kellan Sullivan @Kynan @Philippe le Bel @darthfanta et al
Any ideas?

I'm rewriting my Angevin TL following @LSCatilina 's critique and a non Angevin Aquitaine is likely. However Henry II spent a lot of time campaigning in Aquitaine confirming its borders and I'm wondering where he'd likely go instead.

Well if he's claiming (whether in his name or his wife's), the county of Flanders, we might see him spending the time that he was campaigning in Aquitaine OTL in the Low Countries instead. Otherwise,, he might try for Normandy if the king of France is testy about that. It also depends, are his brothers still alive yes or no? If one of them controls Brittany, and Henry himself rules England, Normandy and Flanders, I'm not sure the king of France is going to sit by and say "it's fine, would you like Anjou as well?" So there's probably going to be an Anglo-French war of some stripes.

Also, why is Henry not getting Aquitaine? I'm assuming it's because he didn't marry Eleanor of Aquitaine. The question is why? And where is she married instead? To the king of France? To one of Henry's brothers (can't remember which of them abducted her)? Because that can/will cause issues as well. The king of France isn't going to want anyone else to have Aquitaine, but he can't exactly risk war with someone ruling a considerable portion of the modern French coastline - from Brittany through Normandy to Flanders, since whether or not Eleanor is married to a Plantagenet prince, I could see Henry getting involved on behalf of his brother (married to Eleanor) or whoever is wed to her, to fight the king of France.
 
Well if he's claiming (whether in his name or his wife's), the county of Flanders, we might see him spending the time that he was campaigning in Aquitaine OTL in the Low Countries instead. Otherwise,, he might try for Normandy if the king of France is testy about that. It also depends, are his brothers still alive yes or no? If one of them controls Brittany, and Henry himself rules England, Normandy and Flanders, I'm not sure the king of France is going to sit by and say "it's fine, would you like Anjou as well?" So there's probably going to be an Anglo-French war of some stripes.
Well, as Henry is already married to Clito's atl daughter he's not available for marriage to Eleanor so she ends up with Theobald of Blois instead.
At least one of his brothers are going to aim for Anjou as OTL but I don't see them being that successful TTL either.
Henry will subjugate Brittany like OTL and will have a convenient younger son to be made Duke on marriage to Constance.

Also, why is Henry not getting Aquitaine? I'm assuming it's because he didn't marry Eleanor of Aquitaine. The question is why? And where is she married instead? To the king of France? To one of Henry's brothers (can't remember which of them abducted her)? Because that can/will cause issues as well. The king of France isn't going to want anyone else to have Aquitaine, but he can't exactly risk war with someone ruling a considerable portion of the modern French coastline - from Brittany through Normandy to Flanders, since whether or not Eleanor is married to a Plantagenet prince, I could see Henry getting involved on behalf of his brother (married to Eleanor) or whoever is wed to her, to fight the king of France.
With Blois married to Eleanor he'll be less an ally to Henry but not necessarily more for Louis either.

I'm stuck how he'd proceed after Brittany.
Would he go against Flanders? Would he merely subjugate Boulogne due to Matthias or actually try for Flanders in toto? Or merely part?
A move to claim Flanders would incite a war with the King and Blois is placed well to gain from either side.
 
With Blois married to Eleanor he'll be less an ally to Henry but not necessarily more for Louis either.

I'm stuck how he'd proceed after Brittany.
Would he go against Flanders? Would he merely subjugate Boulogne due to Matthias or actually try for Flanders in toto? Or merely part?
A move to claim Flanders would incite a war with the King and Blois is placed well to gain from either side.

I'm guessing the pronoun in bold refers to Henry rather than the French king. He might take more than one stab at Flanders. He might subjugate Boulogne as a start, but be unable to get anything more substantial on that try. Then when everyone's busy somewhere else or with something else, he can attack again, and maybe get more/all of it.

Flanders would cause a war with the king of France, butit's hardly as though Henry had no knowledge or experience with that to start with. Henry was a shrewd operator, and I think he would find a way to get Blois onside - or at least, to remain neutral. I personally can't see the king of France being any more content with the Comte de Blois having Aquitaine than with Henry. IMHO, the king of France isn't going to want anyone but himself to have Aquitaine. Whether he can make that a reality OTOH is another story altogether.
 
I'm guessing the pronoun in bold refers to Henry rather than the French king. He might take more than one stab at Flanders. He might subjugate Boulogne as a start, but be unable to get anything more substantial on that try. Then when everyone's busy somewhere else or with something else, he can attack again, and maybe get more/all of it.
Yes. Good points.
Probably holds Boulogne for himself/son even if technically still vassal of Flanders.

Flanders would cause a war with the king of France, butit's hardly as though Henry had no knowledge or experience with that to start with. Henry was a shrewd operator, and I think he would find a way to get Blois onside - or at least, to remain neutral. I personally can't see the king of France being any more content with the Comte de Blois having Aquitaine than with Henry. IMHO, the king of France isn't going to want anyone but himself to have Aquitaine. Whether he can make that a reality OTOH is another story altogether.
Oh indeed. And I've a way to resolve Aquitaine sorta by the 1190s regardless of Flanders.
Brittany itself won't accrue to England (it may come close at times!) and may gain Anjou proper. Not sure about Maine or Touraine yet.
 
Ok, so in summary so far we have Henry establishing control over Brittany roughly as OTL, and a more restrained war over Flanders which nets him Boulogne. And possibly kills Mathias. And Ida comes under his control.

Assuming Count Thierry dies as OTL 1168, making his son Phillip full Count of Flanders in addition to his wife's Vermandois, would this set off a rebellion? I can't see Henry being less parsimonious with his ATL sons than OTL and Phillip will be more anti Henry I assume.
 
Be interesting if Henry and company go more into the Low Countries instead of Aquitaine and Gascogne. Especially as Henry is of Imperial blood and could do with some Imperial politicking.
 
Promising ideas. I don't think I've seen a "Flanders (or bits of); not Aquitaine" idea before.

The French kings would be distinctly unhappy with the whole of the northern coast under, or under threat of, English dominion, and Aquitaine, and Poitou united with the Blois holdings.

How they attempt to deal with these threats would be very interesting.
 
Promising ideas. I don't think I've seen a "Flanders (or bits of); not Aquitaine" idea before.

The French kings would be distinctly unhappy with the whole of the northern coast under, or under threat of, English dominion, and Aquitaine, and Poitou united with the Blois holdings.

How they attempt to deal with these threats would be very interesting.
Cheers.
I'm beginning to think trying to take Flanders would be a bad idea because of the implied threat. Plus the absence of Aquitaine adds more balance so it's not an Angevin versus everyone situation.
 
Cheers.
I'm beginning to think trying to take Flanders would be a bad idea because of the implied threat. Plus the absence of Aquitaine adds more balance so it's not an Angevin versus everyone situation.
Taking it in one gulp might be a bit much, but some sort of presence in the Low Countries gives all sorts of opportunities for three-way spats between England, France and the Emperor, with local rulers appealing to, and siding with, however they please at the time.

On the second, it does give a delightful multipolar, rather than bipolar France. For story purposes, I'd make sure the Blois-Aquitainian line is blessed with plenty of strong, fertile boys. If there's ever only a daughter, they'll be betrothed to the French king/dauphin in the blink of an eye.
 
Also, why is Henry not getting Aquitaine? I'm assuming it's because he didn't marry Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Technically his wife's property wasn't ever his. It was his wife's and later his children's. But yes, I agree that without further explanation, the OTL marriage appears favorable to TTL Henry and Elanor
 
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