The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Boar's Head Feast for Young Henry, 1170

See: Notes On The Boar's Head Carols

Source: Raphael Holinshed, Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland. Volume Two of Six. (London: J. Johnson, et al., 1807), page 130.

Compare: Polydore Vergil's Account of Henry II's Coronation of His Son, 1170.
The History of England by William of Newburgh, Joseph Stevenson (1861)

King Henry II., returning from Normandy in the first week of March, 1170, survived a great storm that took many ships and over 400 lives. He then became concerned about the how to "assure the estate of the realme vnto his sons."

"Therefore to preuent the chances of fortune, he determined whilest he was aliue to crowne his eldest sonne Henrie, being now of the age of 17 yeares, and so to inuest him in the kingdome by his owne act in his lifetime: which deed turned him to much trouble, as after shall appeare."

He then called together a parlement of lords both spiritual and temporal in London, and on St. Bartholomew's Day, "proclaimed his said sonne Henrie fellow with him in the kingdome, whom after this on the sundaie following, being the foureteenth daie of June 1170, Roger archbishop of York did crowe according to the manner, being commanded so to doo by the king."

It was then noted that "Upon the daie of coronation, king Henrie the father serued his sonne at the table as sewer, bringing vp the bores head with trumpets before it, according to the maner. Whervpon (according to the old adage, Immutant mores homines cum dantur honores) the young man conceiuing a pride in his heart, beheld the standers-by with a more statly countenance than he had been wont." Henry Vizetelly tells us that the "sewer" was "The officer who placed and removed the various dishes." See: Boars Head Carols - Notes From Vizetelly.

Shortly thereafter, it was observed that "Thus the yoong man of an euill and peruerse nature, was puffed vp in pride by his fathers vnseemelie dooings. But the king his father hearing his talke, was verie sorrowful in his mind, and said to the archbishop softlie in his eare: 'It repenteth me, it repenteth me my lord, that I haue thus aduanced the boy.' For he gessed hereby what a one he would prooue afterward, that shewed himselfe so disobedient and froward alreadie." (p. 131).

It is recorded elsewhere that "Young Henry" would together with two of his brothers and his mother revolt against his father in 1173 and again in 1183, finally resulting in the death of "Young Henry." King Henry II would be succeeded by his third son, Richard I, of the House of Plantagenet, also known as "the Lionheart"  (September 8, 1157 April 6, 1199).

Note: For the full account by Holinshed, see The Crowning of Young Henry in 1170.

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