Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

‘Power of a Woman’

With nearly 300 line entries, this Eleanor of Aquitaine timeline is among the most complete.

Years did not always start on the first of January in the medieval world. Scribes observed different customs. Thus, I may suggest one year or the next. For example, Eleanor gave birth to John on December 24, in Oxford. However, the year may be given as 1166 or 1167. Similarly, Joanna was born in October of 1164 or 1165.

• Numbers thus – [21] – indicate chapters in Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine.

• If you find my Eleanor of Aquitaine timeline useful, download this PDF version


Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

1099 – Crusaders capture Jerusalem

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Eleanor of Aquitaine

1099 – Eleanor of Aquitaine’s father, Guilhem X, born

1099 – Robert d’Arbrissel establishes Fontevrault

1100 – King William Rufus killed. Henry I claims English throne

1100 – Henry’s Charter of Liberties binds future kings to the law

1103 c. – Eleanor of Aquitaine’s mother, Anor (Aenor), born

1115 – Bernard (later Saint) founds abbey at Clairvaux

1118 – Templars’ Order founded, at Jerusalem

1120 – Nov 26 – King Henry I’s heir, Wm. Atheling, lost at sea

1121 – Eleanor’s parents, Guilhem X and Anor, marry

1121 – The Church compels Abelard to burn his book, at Soissons

1122 c. – 1/. ELEANOR BORN at Belin, near Bordeaux (local tradition) [1]

1122 or 23 – 2/. ELEANOR BORN at Nieul

1127 – Eleanor’s grandfather, Guilhem “the Troubadour” dies

1127 – Geoffrey of Anjou marries Empress Matilda of Saxony

1129 – Philip, son of Louis VI, crowned as future king of France

1130 c. – Eleanor’s mother and brother, Guilhem Aigret (8), die [1]

1131 – A fall kills Philip, the crowned heir to France [1]

1133 – March 5 – The future Henry II born, at Le Mans

1135 – Dec 1 – King Henry I of England dies, at Rouen

1135 – Henry I’s death starts 19 year war for crown of England 

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

The Lion of Guyenne, or léopard d’or; sometimes called Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Lion. Image © Arnaud Leroy, 2003

1137 – Good Friday – Eleanor’s father, Guilhem X, dies, at Compostela [1]

  • June – Abbé Suger leads King Louis VI’s embassy to Eleanor [1]
  • July 25 – Eleanor marries King Louis’ son, Louis, in Bordeaux [1]
  • Aug 1 – King Louis VI dies on the “kalends of August” in Paris [1]
  • Aug 8 – Louis VII and Eleanor assume titles, at Poitiers [1]
  • Aug – Eleanor enters Paris as Louis VII’s queen [2]
  • Autumn – Louis VII quells rebels in Poitou [2]
  • Dec 25 – Louis VII crowned, at Bourges.

1140 – Bernard of Clairvaux condemns Abelard, at Sens [2]

1141/43 – Trouble at Bourges. Louis sacks Champagne, burns Vitry [3]

1142 – April 21 – Death of Peter Abelard

1143 – King Fulk of Jerusalem’s death spurs Muslim advances

1144 – June 11 – Abbé Suger consecrates renovated Abbey of St. Denis [3]

  • Dec 24 – Edessa falls to Muslims. Christians killed, enslaved

1145-Eleanor’s first living child by Louis, Marie, born [3]

  • News reaches Paris of Muslim victories in Holy Land [4]
  • Dec 25 – Louis announces intention to take the Cross, at Bourges [4]

1146 – end Lent – Bernard of Clairvaux calls for Crusade, at Vezelay [4]

  • Dec 25 – Emperor Conrad accepts Crusade, at Speyer [4]

1147 – May 12 – Louis and Eleanor march out of Paris [4]

  • June 11 – French, Angevin armies march on Crusade, from Metz [4]
  • Oct 4 – Louis and Eleanor enter Constantinople [4]
  • Oct – Armies waste time while leaders tarry in Constantinople
  • mid-Oct – French, Angevin armies cross to Asia Minor [5]
  • mid-Oct – Turkish cavalry routs Conrad’s German army [5]
  • Dec 25 – Storms destroy French, Angevin stores, men, horses [5]

1148 – Jan – Laodiceans refuse supplies to Frankish army [5]

  • Jan – Turkish cavalry ambushes Franks. Recriminations [5]
  • late winter – Leaders abandon infantry, take ship from Antalya [5]

    Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

    Eleanor of Aquitaine seems to conduct musicians set into cloister arches. “Profane arts found voice at our court; imagination took flight. We learned from the Welsh, who are expert at part-singing, although I swear they are in love with melancholy. They insist on tuning their strings to the dolorous scale of B flat.”

  • March 19 – Bulk of army reaches Antioch after two weeks at sea [6]
  • spring – Arguments on strategy strain relations with Raymond [6]
  • spring – Rift between Louis and Eleanor. Army leaves Antioch [6]
  • spring – Jerusalem welcomes Frankish army [7]
  • June 24 – Grand council, at Acre, decides to attack Damascus [7]
  • July 24 – Damascenes repulse “three kings’ attack” [7]
  • From Aug – Louis VII and Eleanor tarry in Palestine [7]
  • Abbot Suger’s many letters to Louis urge his return to Paris [7]

1149 – post-Easter – Louis and Eleanor take separate ships from Palestine [8]

  • late July – Both come ashore separately in Roger of Sicily’s lands [8]
  • Oct 9, 10 – Pope Eugenius refuses Eleanor’s divorce plea, at Tusculum [9]
  • Nov 11 – Abbot Suger escorts Louis and Eleanor to Paris [9]
1149/50 – mid-winter – Eleanor’s second daughter, Alix, born [11]
1151 – Jan 13 – Abbé Suger dies [11]
  • Aug – Count Geoffrey of Anjou and his son Henry visit Paris [11]
  • Sept 7 – Count Geoffrey (Plantagenet) dies, at Chateau du Loir [11]
  • autumn – Louis and Eleanor tour the south to divorce their affairs [11]

1152 – March 21 – Louis VII and Eleanor divorce, at Beaugency [11]

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

The Lion of Guyenne, sometimes called Eleanor’s Lion

1153 – Jan – Henry leaves for England. Eleanor based in Angers [13]

  • late Mar – Eleanor eludes attempts to seize her for ransom [11]
  • late Mar – Eleanor sets up her court at Poitiers [12]
  • spring – Negotiations between Eleanor and Henry of Anjou [12]
  • May 18 – Eleanor marries the future Henry II, at Poitiers [12]
  • spring – Henry beats back punitive raids by Louis and allies [12]
  • summer – Eleanor and Henry tour her lands [12]
  • summer – King Stephen’s heir to England, Eustace, dies [13]
  • Aug 17 – Guillaume, Eleanor’s first child by Henry, born [13]
  • Aug 20 – Bernard of Clairvaux (soon, Saint Bernard) dies [13]
  • Dec – Negotiations for peace in England succeed [13]

1154 – Jan 13 – Stephen accepts Henry as his heir [13]

  • April – Henry returns from England after negotiating for throne [13]
  • Oct 25 – King Stephen dies, at Dover [14]
  • Nov – Storms prevent Henry and Eleanor crossing Channel [14]
  • Dec – Henry II and Eleanor crowned, at Westminster [14]

1155 – early – Thomas à Becket named as Henry’s chancellor [15]

  • Feb 28 – Henry The Young King born at Bermondsey [15]

1156 – April – Guillaume (2) dies, at Wallingford Castle [15]

  • June – Matilda born, at London [15]

1157 – Sep 8 or 13 – Richard the Lionheart born, Beaumont Palace, Oxford [15]

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Eleanor’s seal. On the obverse: “Eleanor, by the Grace of God, Queen of the English, Duchess of the Normans.” The reverse reads: “Eleanor, Duchess of the Aquitanians and Countess of the Angevins.” Notice the sleeves extending to the floor, the height of fashion around 1170.

1158 – post-haying – Becket’s diplomacy-by-splendor mission to Paris [16]

  • at harvest – Henry & Louis affiance Marguerite, Young Henry [16]
  • Sept 23 – Geoffrey Prince of England born [16]

1159 – summer – Henry II’s costly failure to take Toulouse [17]

1160 c. – Philip of England born to Eleanor. Dies in infancy [17]

  • Oct 4 – Queen Constance gives Louis a daughter, and dies [17]
  • Oct – Eleanor summoned to bring Young Henry to Normandy [17]
  • Oct – Louis marries Adele of Champagne, strengthening ties [17]
  • Nov 5 – Strategic marriage: Young Henry (5) to Marguerite (2) [17]
  • Nov – Henry seizes the Vexin, Marguerite’s dowry [17]

1161 – April 18 – Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury dies [18]

Eleanor describes meeting her eldest child, Marie, after years apart: “I remember her dress; rose-colored with small, fine pleats below the waist – it was all the fashion those days – and pleated sleeves extending past the hand. She came to me; I stood quite still; she pulled back her sleeves; our hands reached out. And they touched. She said quite simply “Mother,” and I felt tears wash my face. (ch. 26)

1162 – post-Easter – Henry appoints Becket to See of Canterbury [18]

  • post-Easter – Becket to England w. Young Henry, Marguerite [18]
  • Oct 13 – Eleanor of England born, at Domfront, Normandy [18]

1163 – Jan 25 – Henry, Eleanor return to England after long absence [18]

  • July 1 – Welsh & Scots rulers do homage to Henry, Young Henry [18]
  • Oct – Becket objects to Henry forcing common law on Church [19]

1164 – Jan – Second argument over common law, at Clarendon [19]

  • Oct 12 – Henry tries, and fines, Becket, at Northampton [20]
  • Oct – Becket flees, via Sandwich, to Louis and the pope [20]
  • Dec 26 – Henry exiles four hundred of Becket’s kin from England [21]

1165 – summer – Henry, at war in Wales, meets “Fair Rosamond” Clifford [22]

  • Aug 22 – Philip, the future Philip II Augustus, born, at Paris [21]
  • Oct – (or 1164) Joanna born, at Angers [23]

1165/66 – winter – Henry divides time between law-making and Rosamond

1166 – Easter – Pope Alexander names Becket papal legal for England [24]

  • Pentecost – Becket excommunicates Henry’s officers, at Vezelay [24]
  • Dec 24 – (or 1167) John born, at King’s Manor House, Oxford
Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

King Henry II, from Cassell’s History of England (1902). The artist (Initials R.T.) drew on earlier likenesses of the king.

1167 – Henry’s mother, the Empress Matilda, dies

  • Young Matilda betrothed to Henry the Lion of Saxony
  • Eleanor decides to separate from Henry [23]
  • Eleanor leaves England, sets up her court at Poitiers

1168 – Feb 1 – Young Matilda marries Henry the Lion

1169 – Jan 6 – Henry II, sons meet Louis VII at Freteval

  • April – Richard proclaimed duke of Aquitaine [26]
  • Young Eleanor betrothed to Alfonso, heir to Castille

1170 – Jan – Pope demands Henry give Becket kiss of peace

  • Mar – Henry crosses to England to evade papal deadline
  • May 29 – Becket’s agent stops Mass at St. Paul’s & York
  • Jun 14 – Young Henry crowned, Westminster Abbey [25]
  • Jul 20 – Henry & Becket attempt reconciliation, at Freteval
  • Dec 1 – Becket returns to England, lands at Sandwich [25]
  • Dec 29 – Knights murder Becket in Canterbury Cathedral

1171 – Aug 8 – Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester, dies

  • Oct – Henry to Ireland, returns to England in spring

1172 – spring – Young Henry, Marguerite to Normandy

  • spring – Papal legates meet Henry [27]
  • spring – Thomas Becket canonized
  • Aug 27 – Young Henry crowned again, with Marguerite
  • autumn – Henry’s penance for Becket’s death [27]

1173-Peter of Blois joins Henry’s service

1173 – spring – Rift twixt Henry II and sons, abetted by Eleanor [27]

  • March 24 – Young Henry flees his father to refuge in Paris [27]
  • late Mar – Richard and Geoffrey also flee to Paris [27]
  • autumn – Henry and three sons attempt reconciliation, at Gisors

1174 – spring – Henry ransacks Eleanor’s allies, and court, at Poitiers [28]

  • June – Henry exiles royal women, including Eleanor, to England [28]
  • summer – Henry’s penance for Becket’s death, at Canterbury [28]
  • July – Louis, Young Henry and Philip of Flanders besiege Rouen [28]
  • Aug 11 – Henry II beats off the allies’ attack on Rouen [28]

1175 – Oct – Eleanor refuses Henry’s demand for a divorce [28]

1176-Rosamond Clifford dies, buried in Godstow Abbey [28]

  • Feb 13 – Joanna marries William II of Sicily, at St. Egidius, Palermo

1177-The curia denies Henry’s plea to divorce Eleanor [30]

  • Richard shows cruelty against rebels, in Limousin [30]
  • Sept 22 – Eleanor of England “Leonor” marries Alfonso, at Burgos

1179-Henry compels Eleanor to cede lands to Richard

  • May – Richard wars rebellious vassals, razes Taillebourg [30]
  • summer – King Louis visits Becket’s shrine, at Canterbury [31]
  • Nov 1 – Philip Augustus crowned on All Saints Day, at Reims [31]

1180 c. – Alfonso VIII founds Las Huelgas de Burgos for Leonor

  • c. – Joanna’s child by William, Boemond, dies in infancy
  • Feb – King Philip assumes his father’s regal powers [31]
  • March – Philip levies heavy taxes on Jews to replenish treasury
  • April 28 – King Philip’s first marriage, to Isabelle of Hainault
  • May 29 – Philip and Isabelle crowned, in St. Denis
  • Sept 18 – King Louis VII dies, at the abbey of Saint-Port [31]

1182 – summer – Henry II and Richard crush rebels in Aquitaine

  • autumn – Henry the Lion, Matilda and family exiled. Flee to Rouen

1183 – spring – Strife between Henry II and two sons, at Limoges [33]

  • June 11 – Henry The Young King dies, at Martel [33]
  • Dec – Henry II and King Philip confer, at Gisors [34]

1186-Henry the Lion and Matilda return to Saxony

  • summer – Henry, Eleanor and sons confer, at Windsor [34]
  • Aug 18 – Geoffrey dies, at Paris [34]

1187 – Sept 17 – Saladin’s forces capture Jerusalem

  • ’87/8-Blanca “Blanche” born, to Leonor, in Valencia

1188 – Jan 21, 22 – Henry and Philip make peace, take the cross, at Gisors [35]

  • Jan 22 – Archbishop of Tyre warns kings of Muslim victories [35]
  • Feb – Henry prepares English and Welsh barons for Crusade [35]
  • Mar 27 – Barbarossa and German barons take the cross, at Mainz
  • summer – Armed for Crusade, crusaders fight each other [35]
  • Aug 16 – French soldiers fell the parlay tree, the elm of Gisors [35]
  • Aug 16 – The kings learn that Saladin has taken Jerusalem [35]

1189-Henry II names Henry de Sully abbot of Glastonbury

  • to end Lent – Henry lies ill in his native city, Le Mans [36]
  • June 28 – Matilda dies, at Brunswick
  • July – King Philip and Richard dictate terms to the dying Henry
  • July 6 – Henry II dies, at Chinon [36]
  • July – Richard confirms father’s gift, a bride for Wm. Marshall [36]
  • July – Eleanor freed, assumes regency of England [37]
  • July 20 – Richard invested as duke of Normandy
Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Illustration: Henry II’s tomb lies beside Eleanor’s in the crypt at the Abbey of Fontevrault. As Eleanor puts it in Chapter 36: “Some years before I arrived here to live among the quick, Henry’s remains arrived, to rest among the dead. We make a fine complement, he and I: together we command two kingdoms, the quick and the dead.” Photo © Tourisme d’Aquitaine.

  • Sept 3 – King Richard crowned [37]
  • Nov 11 – William II of Sicily dies, leaving Joanna a widow
  • Dec 11 – King Richard takes the cross [38]

1190-Glastonbury monks find “Arthur’s” grave

  • Peter of Blois serves as Eleanor’s secretary until 1195
  • June 10 – Emperor Frederick Barbarossa drowns on Crusade
  • July 4 – Richard, Philip agree Crusade strategy, leave Vezelay
  • Aug 7 – Richard sails, ahead of army, from Marseilles [38]
  • Sept. 24 – Richard lands at Messina, Sicily, ahead of troops [38]
  • autumn – Philip joins Richard at Messina [38]
  • ’90/1 – winter – Richard rescues sister Joanna & property from Tancred [38]

1191 – Feb 2 – Richard and Philip quarrel, over Joanna and Alix [38]

  • March 30 – Philip sails from Messina, bound for Acre [38]
  • March 30 – Eleanor brings Richard’s bride, Berengaria, to Messina [38]
  • April 10 – Richard’s army sails from Messina, bound for Acre
  • Easter Day – Eleanor reaches Rome, lobbies Pope Celestine III [38]
  • May 12 – Richard marries Berengaria, at Limassol, Cyprus [39]
  • early June – Richard’s fleet reaches Acre [39]
  • July 12, 13 – Acre falls to Christian forces after two-year siege [39]
  • July 28 – King Philip leaves Acre [39]
  • Aug 20 – Richard executes two thousand prisoners of war [39]
  • Sep – Richard offers Joanna to Saladin’s brother. She refuses [39]
  • Sep 2 – Leaders agree to Treaty of Haifa [39]
Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

King Richard I (Lionheart) enthroned. The three lions on his shield identify him.

1192 – Aug 1 – Richard, with a small force, relieves Jaffa [39]

  • Aug 9 – Christians and Muslims reach a “three-year truce” [39]
  • Oct 9 – Richard leaves Palestine [40]
  • Dec 20 – Leopold captures Richard, near Vienna [40]
  • Dec – Richard described as “emperor’s enemy” [40]

1193 – March 23 – Duke Leopold relinquishes captive to Hohenstaufen [40]

  • April – Richard described as emperor’s “dearest” [40]
  • ’92/4-Eleanor works to collect Richard’s ransom [40]

1193 – Easter – Richard refutes Hohenstaufen’s charges, at Speyer [40]

  • Aug 14, 15 – King Philip marries, repudiates Ingeborg of Denmark [40]
  • Dec – Eleanor escorts Richard’s ransom to Mainz [40]

1194 – Feb 3 – Eleanor appears before Hohenstaufen with ransom [40]

  • Feb 3 – Richard is released [40]
  • Mar 13 – Richard and Eleanor land in England, at Sandwich [41]
  • spring – Richard retakes English towns, including Nottingham [41]
  • Richard’s only, brief, visit to Sherwood Forest [41]

1195 c. – Death of Alix, Eleanor’s second daughter by Louis [41]

  • Henry the Lion of Saxony, Matilda’s widower, dies [41]

1196 – Oct – Joanna marries again; Count Raymond VI of Toulouse [41]

1196 – June 11 – King Philip’s bigamous marriage to Agnes of Meranie [41]

1198 – March 11 – Death of Marie, Eleanor of Aquitaine’s firstborn [41]

1198 – July 10 – Aachen opens its gates to Otto’s troops

1198 – July 12 – Eleanor’s grandson Otto crowned emperor, in Cologne

1199 – Jan 13 – Innocent III imposes a truce on Richard and Philip

  • April 6 – Richard dies, at Chalus [42]
  • April 25 – John becomes duke of Normandy [42]
  • May 27 – John crowned king of England, at Westminster [42]
  • Aug-Sept – Joanna escapes rebellious troops. Reaches Rouen [42]
  • Sep 4 – Joanna delivers a son at Rouen. Both die. [42]
  • Sep – John escorts Joanna’s bier to Fontevrault [42]

1200 – New Year – Eleanor travels “after Christmas” to Castile [43]

  • mid-Jan – Eleanor reaches court of Alfonso and Leonor, Burgos [43]
  • Feb – Eleanor selects Blanca/Blanche to marry French heir [43]
  • Easter – Eleanor reaches Bordeaux with Blanche [43]
  • Mercadier stabbed and killed, at Bordeaux [43]
  • May 23 – Blanche marries future Louis VIII, at Pont Audemer [43]
  • Aug 26 – John marries Isabella, fiancée of Hughes le Brun [44]
  • Oct 8 – Isabella crowned, at Westminster [44]
  • Dec 1 – Bishop (later Saint) Hugh of Lincoln dies, at London [44]
  • Dec – John attends Bishop Hugh’s funeral, at Lincoln [44]
Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

Chapter 44 ~ Photo © Tourisme d’Aquitaine

1201 – summer – John and Isabella return to Normandy [44]

  • July – Amicable relations between Kings John and Philip [44]
  • July – Philip takes back Ingeborg; Agnes dies of shock [44]

1202 – April – Philip summons John to Paris. John does not attend [44]

  • spring – Philip, Arthur and Lusignans attack Normandy [44]
  • July – Eleanor flees Fontevrault for greater safety in Poitiers [44]
  • July 30 – Arthur of Brittany besieges Eleanor, at Mirebeau [44]
  • Aug 1 – John’s force breaks the siege, captures Arthur [44]
  • autumn – John’s alienated allies capture Angers [44]

1203 – Gd Fri Eve – Probable death of Arthur in John’s custody [44]

  • Angevin fortunes continue to decline [44]

1204 – March 31 or April 1 – Eleanor of Aquitaine dies, at Poitiers or Fontevrault [45]

“In this year of our Lord one thousand, two hundred and four in the month of March being the thirty-first day of the month Queen Aleänor came to her rest. God grant her great soul Grace. Her body lies at Fontevrault.”

 

Eleanor of Aquitaine Timeline

I asked forensic artist David Major to use The Cloisters bust of Eleanor as his model, and add fifty years to her age. I needed to see the face and its lifetime of living, the better to fetch up her words. ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine in Old Age‘ is Copyright David Major 2004. / RF