The manor, royal demesne in 1086, was granted by Edmund Plantagenet in 1285 to the house of Ashridge, and the town developed under monastic protection.
Although in later ages its importance was enormously magnified, it differs only in degree, not in kind, from other charters granted by the Norman and early Plantagenet kings.
The scheme for producing a false Plantagenet was first renewed in Ireland, where Simnels imposture had been so easily taken up a few years before.
His personal morality was irreproachable, except that he inherited the Plantagenet taste for crooked courses and dissimulation in political affairs; even in this respect the king's reputation has suffered unduly at the hands of Matthew Paris, whose literary skill is only equalled by his malice.
The Plantagenet abjured the Constitutions of Clarendon, recognized the rights of the pope over the Church of England, and augmented the privileges and domains of the archbishopric of Canterbury.
When the Cowpers were Sussex landowners, while his mother, Ann, daughter of Roger Donne of Ludham Hall, Norfolk, was of the same race as the poet Donne, and the family claimed to have Plantagenet blood in its veins.
Throughout Plantagenet times it formed the chief point of embarcation for Ireland.
The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Henry Plantagenet in 1152 brought it under the sway of England; but when Richard Cceur-de-Lion married his sister Joan to Raymund VI., count of Toulouse, in 1196, Agenais formed part of the princess's dowry; and with the other estates of the last independent count of Toulouse it lapsed to the crown of France in 1271.
In the later days of the dynasty the surname of Beaufort was adopted by the legitimated issue of John of Gaunt by Katherine Swynford, but that of Plantagenet was bestowed on Arthur, natural son of Edward IV., who was created Viscount L'Isle.
When France had grown strong, under Philip Augustus, the house of Plantagenet still retained a broad territory in Gascony and Guienne, and the house of Capet could not but covet the possession of the largest surviving feudal appanage which marred the solidarity of their kingdom.