The Dublin Christmas Court of King Henry II
Irish History From The Annals




In 1171 the King of England, Henry II, spent Christmas in Dublin in a special palace built for the occasion.

Following the fall of the City of Dublin on 21st September 1170 to Dermot MacMurrough and his Anglo-Norman allies, Henry II, King of England and one of the most powerful rulers in Europe, prepared to intervene in Ireland. Henry landed in Waterford on the 16th of October 1171 with an army of 500 knights and 3,000-4,000 archers. On the 11th of November he entered Dublin and established his court there. Henry presided in a special palace constructed for the occasion.

Giraldus Cambrensis, the Welsh Chronicler of the invasion, recorded the events.

The feast of Christmas was drawing near, very many of the princes of the land repaired to Dublin to visit the King’s court, and were much astonished at the sumptuousness of his entertainments and the splendour of his household; and having places assigned to them at the tables in the hall, by the King’s command, they learnt to eat cranes which were served up, a food they before loathed.

 
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