Henry I of England
Overview
 
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

. He succeeded his elder brother William II
William II of England
William II , the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales...

 as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

 in 1106. A later tradition called him Beauclerc for his scholarly interests— he could read Latin and put his learning to effective use— and Lion of Justice for refinements which he brought about in the royal administration, which he rendered the most effective in Europe, rationalizing the itinerant court, and his public espousal of the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 legal tradition.

Henry's reign established deep roots for the Anglo-Norman
Anglo-Norman
The Anglo-Normans were mainly the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. A small number of Normans were already settled in England prior to the conquest...

 realm, in part through his dynastic (and personal) choice of a Scottish princess who represented the lineage of Edmund Ironside
Edmund Ironside
Edmund Ironside or Edmund II was king of England from 23 April to 30 November 1016. His cognomen "Ironside" is not recorded until 1057, but may have been contemporary. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it was given to him "because of his valour" in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut...

 for queen.
Encyclopedia
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

. He succeeded his elder brother William II
William II of England
William II , the third son of William I of England, was King of England from 1087 until 1100, with powers over Normandy, and influence in Scotland. He was less successful in extending control into Wales...

 as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

 in 1106. A later tradition called him Beauclerc for his scholarly interests— he could read Latin and put his learning to effective use— and Lion of Justice for refinements which he brought about in the royal administration, which he rendered the most effective in Europe, rationalizing the itinerant court, and his public espousal of the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 legal tradition.

Henry's reign established deep roots for the Anglo-Norman
Anglo-Norman
The Anglo-Normans were mainly the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. A small number of Normans were already settled in England prior to the conquest...

 realm, in part through his dynastic (and personal) choice of a Scottish princess who represented the lineage of Edmund Ironside
Edmund Ironside
Edmund Ironside or Edmund II was king of England from 23 April to 30 November 1016. His cognomen "Ironside" is not recorded until 1057, but may have been contemporary. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it was given to him "because of his valour" in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut...

 for queen. His succession was hurriedly confirmed while his brother Robert was away on the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

, and the beginning of his reign was occupied by wars with Robert for control of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. He successfully reunited the two realms again after their separation on his father's death in 1087. Upon his succession he granted the baronage a Charter of Liberties
Charter of Liberties
The Charter of Liberties, also called the Coronation Charter, was a written proclamation by Henry I of England, issued upon his accession to the throne in 1100. It sought to bind the King to certain laws regarding the treatment of church officials and nobles...

, which linked his rule of law to the Anglo-Saxon tradition, forming a basis for subsequent limitations to the rights of English kings and presaged Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, which subjected the king to law.

The rest of Henry's reign, a period of peace and prosperity in England and Normandy, was filled with judicial and financial reforms. He established the biannual Exchequer
Exchequer
The Exchequer is a government department of the United Kingdom responsible for the management and collection of taxation and other government revenues. The historical Exchequer developed judicial roles...

 to reform the treasury
Treasury
A treasury is either*A government department related to finance and taxation.*A place where currency or precious items is/are kept....

. He used itinerant officials to curb the abuses of power at the local and regional level that had characterized William Rufus' unpopular reign, garnering the praise of the monkish chroniclers. The differences between the English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 and Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 populations began to break down during his reign and he himself married a descendant of the old English royal house. He made peace with the church after the disputes of his brother's reign and the struggles with Anselm
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

 over the English investiture controversy (1103-07), but he could not smooth out his succession after the disastrous loss of his eldest son William
William Adelin
William , surnamed Adelin , was the son of Henry I of England by his wife Matilda of Scotland, and was thus heir-apparent to the throne. His early death without issue caused a succession crisis.William was born in Winchester...

 in the wreck of the White Ship
White Ship
The White Ship was a vessel that sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur, on 25 November 1120. Only one of those aboard survived. Those who drowned included William Adelin, the only surviving legitimate son and heir of King Henry I of England...

. His will stipulated that he was to be succeeded by his daughter, the Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda , also known as Matilda of England or Maude, was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry to survive to adulthood...

, but his stern rule was followed by a period of civil war known as the Anarchy
The Anarchy
The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

.

Early life

Henry was born between May 1068 and May 1069, probably in Selby
Selby
Selby is a town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Situated south of the city of York, along the course of the River Ouse, Selby is the largest and, with a population of 13,012, most populous settlement of the wider Selby local government district.Historically a part of the West Riding...

 in Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

. His mother Queen Matilda
Matilda of Flanders
Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William the Conqueror and, as such, Queen consort of the Kingdom of England. She bore William nine/ten children, including two kings, William II and Henry I.-Marriage:...

 named the infant prince Henry, after her uncle, Henry I of France
Henry I of France
Henry I was King of France from 1031 to his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians...

. As the youngest son of the family, he was almost certainly expected to become a bishop and was given more extensive schooling than was usual for a young nobleman of that time. Henry's biographer C. Warren Hollister
C. Warren Hollister
Charles Warren Hollister was an American author and historian, "one of the best medieval generalists in the world" A professor emeritus, he was one of the founding members of the University of California Santa Barbara history department...

 suggests the possibility that the saintly ascetic Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, was in part responsible for Henry's education; Henry was consistently in the bishop's company during his formative years, ca 1080-86. "He was an intellectual", V.H. Galbraith observed, "an educated man in a sense that his predecessors, always excepting Alfred
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

, were not." The chronicler William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury was the foremost English historian of the 12th century. C. Warren Hollister so ranks him among the most talented generation of writers of history since Bede, "a gifted historical scholar and an omnivorous reader, impressively well versed in the literature of classical,...

 asserts that Henry once remarked that an illiterate king was a crowned ass. He was certainly the first Norman ruler to be fluent in the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

.

William I's second son Richard
Richard, Duke of Bernay
Richard of Normandy was the second son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, and a potential heir to the English throne. However, Richard predeceased his father and the throne was eventually inherited by his younger brother William II "Rufus"....

 was killed in a hunting accident in 1081, so William bequeathed his dominions to his three surviving sons in the following manner:
  • Robert received the Duchy of Normandy
    Duchy of Normandy
    The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

     and became Duke Robert II
  • William Rufus received the Kingdom of England
    Kingdom of England
    The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

     and became King William II
  • Henry received 5,000 pounds in silver.

The chronicler Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis
Orderic Vitalis was an English chronicler of Norman ancestry who wrote one of the great contemporary chronicles of 11th and 12th century Normandy and Anglo-Norman England. The modern biographer of Henry I of England, C...

 reports that the old king had declared to Henry: "You in your own time will have all the dominions I have acquired and be greater than both your brothers in wealth and power."

Henry tried to play his brothers off against each other but eventually, wary of his devious manoeuvring, they acted together and signed an accession treaty. This sought to bar Prince Henry from both thrones by stipulating that if either King William or Duke Robert died without an heir, the two dominions of their father would be reunited under the surviving brother.

Seizing the throne of England

When, on 2 August 1100, William II was killed by an arrow in a hunting accident in the New Forest
New Forest
The New Forest is an area of southern England which includes the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in the heavily-populated south east of England. It covers south-west Hampshire and extends into south-east Wiltshire....

, where Henry was also hunting, Duke Robert had not yet returned from the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

. His absence allowed Prince Henry to seize the royal treasury at Winchester, Hampshire, where he buried his dead brother. Conspiracy theories have been repeatedly examined and widely dismissed. Thus he succeeded to the throne of England, guaranteeing his succession in defiance of William and Robert's earlier agreement. Henry was accepted as king by the leading barons and was crowned three days later on 5 August at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.

Henry secured his position among the nobles by an act of political appeasement: he issued a coronation charter guaranteeing the rights of free English folk, which was subsequently evoked by King Stephen and by Henry II before Archbishop Stephen Langton
Stephen Langton
Stephen Langton was Archbishop of Canterbury between 1207 and his death in 1228 and was a central figure in the dispute between King John of England and Pope Innocent III, which ultimately led to the issuing of Magna Carta in 1215...

 called it up in 1215 as a precedent for Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

. The view of Henry and his advisors did not encompass a long view into constitutional history: the Coronation Charter was one of several expedients designed to distance him from the extraordinary and arbitrary oppressions of William Rufus' reign, claiming to return to the practices of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

, made clear in clause 13, a statement of general principles. Its first clause promised the freedom of the church and the security of its properties, and succeeding clauses similarly reassured the propertied class.

First marriage

On 11 November 1100 Henry married Edith, daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland. Since Edith was also the niece of Edgar Atheling and the great-granddaughter of Edmund Ironside (the half-brother of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

) the marriage united the Norman line with the old English line of kings. The marriage greatly displeased the Norman barons, however, and as a concession to their sensibilities Edith changed her name to Matilda upon becoming Queen. The other side of this, however, was that Henry, by dint of his marriage, became far more acceptable to the Anglo-Saxon populace.

Conquest of Normandy

In the following year, 1101, Robert Curthose, Henry's eldest brother, attempted to seize the crown by invading England. In the Treaty of Alton
Treaty of Alton
The Treaty of Alton was an agreement signed in 1101 between Henry I of England and his older brother Robert, Duke of Normandy in which Robert agreed to recognize Henry as king of England in exchange for a yearly stipend and other concessions...

, Robert agreed to recognise his brother Henry as King of England and return peacefully to Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, upon receipt of an annual sum of 3,000 silver marks, which Henry proceeded to pay.

In 1105, to eliminate the continuing threat from Robert, Henry led an expeditionary force across the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

.

Battle of Tinchebray

On the morning of 28 September 1106, exactly 40 years after William had made his way to England, the decisive battle between his two surviving sons, Robert Curthose and Henry Beauclerc, took place in the small village of Tinchebray
Tinchebray
Tinchebray is a commune in the Orne department in north-western France.It was the scene of the Battle of Tinchebray fought on 28 September 1106.-Heraldry:...

, Basse-Normandie
Basse-Normandie
Lower Normandy is an administrative region of France. It was created in 1956, when the Normandy region was divided into Lower Normandy and Upper Normandy...

. This combat was totally unexpected. Henry and his army were marching south from Barfleur on their way to Domfront and Robert was marching with his army from Falaise on their way to Mortain. They met at the crossroads at Tinchebray. The running battle which ensued was spread out over several kilometres; the site where most of the fighting took place is the village playing field today. Towards evening Robert tried to retreat but was captured by Henry's men at a place three kilometres (just under two miles) north of Tinchebray where a farm named "Prise" (grip or capture) stands today on the D22 road. The tombstones of three knights are nearby on the same road.

King of England and Ruler of Normandy

After Henry had defeated his brother's Norman army at Tinchebray he imprisoned Robert, initially in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, subsequently at Devizes Castle
Devizes Castle
Devizes Castle was in the town of Devizes, Wiltshire, England .The first motte and bailey castle on this site was built in 1080 by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury. This castle burnt down in 1113 and was rebuilt in stone by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, by 1120. He occupied it under Henry I and later...

 and later at Cardiff. One day, while out riding, Robert attempted to escape from Cardiff but his horse bogged down in a swamp and he was recaptured. (A story was later circulated that, to prevent further escapes, Henry had Robert's eyes burnt out: this is not accepted by Henry's recent biographer, Judith Green.) Henry appropriated the Duchy of Normandy
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy stems from various Danish, Norwegian, Hiberno-Norse, Orkney Viking and Anglo-Danish invasions of France in the 9th century...

 as a possession of the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 and reunited his father's dominions. Even after taking control of the Duchy of Normandy he did not take the title of Duke, he chose to control it as the King of England.

In 1113, Henry attempted to reduce difficulties in Normandy by betrothing his eldest son, William Adelin
William Adelin
William , surnamed Adelin , was the son of Henry I of England by his wife Matilda of Scotland, and was thus heir-apparent to the throne. His early death without issue caused a succession crisis.William was born in Winchester...

, to the daughter of Fulk, Count of Anjou
Fulk of Jerusalem
Fulk , also known as Fulk the Younger, was Count of Anjou from 1109 to 1129, and King of Jerusalem from 1131 to his death...

 at the time a serious enemy. They were married in 1119. Eight years later, after William's death in 1120, a much more momentous union was made between Henry's daughter, (the former Empress) Matilda and Fulk's son Geoffrey Plantagenet
Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
Geoffrey V , called the Handsome and Plantagenet, was the Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine by inheritance from 1129 and then Duke of Normandy by conquest from 1144...

, which eventually resulted in the union of the two realms under the Plantagenet Kings.

Activities as a king

Henry's need for finance to consolidate his position led to an increase in the activities of centralized government. As king, Henry carried out social and judicial reforms; he issued the Charter of Liberties and restored the laws of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

.

Between 1103 and 1107 Henry was involved in a dispute with Anselm
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, and Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II , born Ranierius, was Pope from August 13, 1099, until his death. A monk of the Cluniac order, he was created cardinal priest of the Titulus S...

 in the investiture controversy, which was settled in the Concordat of London in 1107. It was a compromise. In England, a distinction was made in the king's chancery between the secular and ecclesiastical powers of the prelates. Employing the distinction, Henry gave up his right to invest his bishops and abbots, but reserved the custom of requiring them to come and do homage for the "temporalities
Temporalities
Temporalities are the secular properties and possessions of the Christian Church. It is most often used to describe those properties that were used to support a bishop or other religious person or establishment. Its opposite description would be the spiritualities.In the Middle Ages, the...

" (the landed properties tied to the episcopate), directly from his hand, after the prelate had sworn homage and feudal vassalage in the ceremony called commendatio, the commendation ceremony
Commendation ceremony
A commendation ceremony is a formal ceremony that evolved during the Early Medieval period to create a bond between a lord and his fighting man, called his vassal . The first recorded ceremony of commendatio was in 7th century France, but the relationship of vassalage was older, and predated even...

, like any secular vassal.

Some of Henry's acts are brutal by modern standards. In 1090 he threw a treacherous burgher named Conan Pilatus from the tower of Rouen; the tower was known from then on as "Conan's Leap." In another instance that took place in 1119, Henry's son-in-law, Eustace de Pacy, and Ralph Harnec, the constable of Ivry
Ivry-la-Bataille
Ivry-la-Bataille is a commune in the Eure Department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. Ivry-la-Bataille was formerly known as Ivry.-History:The Battle of Ivry took place near Ivry on 14 March 1590...

, exchanged their children as hostages. When Eustace inexplicably blinded Harnec's son, Harnec demanded vengeance. King Henry allowed Harnec to blind and mutilate Eustace's two daughters, who were also Henry's own grandchildren. Eustace and his wife, Juliane, were outraged and threatened to rebel. Henry arranged to meet his daughter at a parley at Breteuil, only for Juliane to draw a crossbow and attempt to assassinate her father. She was captured and confined to the castle, but escaped by leaping from a window into the moat below. Some years later Henry was reconciled with his daughter and son-in-law.

During his reign, King Henry introduced a new monetary system known as the tally stick
Tally stick
A tally was an ancient memory aid device to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages. Tally sticks first appear as notches carved on animal bones, in the Upper Paleolithic. A notable example is the Ishango Bone...

, which started primarily as a form of record keeping. Since tally sticks could be used to pay the taxes imposed by the king, he created a demand for tally sticks. This demand for tally sticks expanded their role and they began to circulate as a form of money. This practice survived for many years, a little over 700 in fact, until it was finally retired in 1826. The Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 then continued to use wooden tally sticks until 1826: some 500 years after the invention of double-entry bookkeeping and 400 years after Johannes Gutenberg's invention of printing. The tally sticks were then taken out of circulation and stored in the Houses of Parliament until 1834, when the authorities decided that the tallies were no longer required and that they should be burned. As it happened, they were burned rather too enthusiastically and in the resulting conflagration the Houses of Parliament were razed to the ground.

Legitimate children

He had four children by Matilda (Edith), who died on 1 May 1118 at the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.
  1. Matilda
    Empress Matilda
    Empress Matilda , also known as Matilda of England or Maude, was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry to survive to adulthood...

    . (c. February 1102 – 10 September 1167). She married firstly Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor , the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor...

    , and secondly, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
    Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
    Geoffrey V , called the Handsome and Plantagenet, was the Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine by inheritance from 1129 and then Duke of Normandy by conquest from 1144...

    , having issue by the second.
  2. William Adelin
    William Adelin
    William , surnamed Adelin , was the son of Henry I of England by his wife Matilda of Scotland, and was thus heir-apparent to the throne. His early death without issue caused a succession crisis.William was born in Winchester...

    , (5 August 1103 – 25 November 1120). He married Matilda (d.1154), daughter of Fulk V, Count of Anjou.
  3. Euphemia, died young.
  4. Richard, died young.

Second marriage

On 29 January 1121 he married Adeliza
Adeliza of Louvain
Adeliza of Louvain, sometimes known in England as Adelicia of Louvain, also called Adela and Aleidis; was queen consort of the Kingdom of England from 1121 to 1135, the second wife of Henry I...

, daughter of Godfrey I of Leuven
Godfrey I of Leuven
Godfrey I , called the Bearded, the Courageous, or the Great, was the landgrave of Brabant, and count of Brussels and Leuven from 1095 to his death and duke of Lower Lorraine from 1106 to 1129...

, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and Landgrave
Landgrave
Landgrave was a title used in the Holy Roman Empire and later on by its former territories. The title refers to a count who had feudal duty directly to the Holy Roman Emperor...

 of Brabant
Brabant (landgraviat)
The Landgraviat of Brabant must be distinguished from the Duchy of Brabant. The Duchy of Brabant was initially a feudal elevation of the landgraviat, but its name was applied to the entire country under the control of the Dukes of Brabant, from the 13th century on.This imperial fief was assigned to...

, but there were no children from this marriage. Left without male heirs, Henry took the unprecedented step of making his barons swear to accept his daughter Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda , also known as Matilda of England or Maude, was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry to survive to adulthood...

, widow of Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor
Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor , the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor...

, as his heir.

Death and legacy

Henry visited Normandy in 1135 to see his young grandsons, the children of Matilda and Geoffrey. He took great delight in his grandchildren, but soon quarrelled with his daughter and son-in-law and these disputes led him to tarry in Normandy far longer than he originally planned.

Henry died on 1 December 1135 at Saint-Denis-en-Lyons (now Lyons-la-Forêt
Lyons-la-Forêt
Lyons-la-Forêt is a commune in the Eure department in Haute Normandie in northern France.Because of its architecture which has been maintained as it was at the beginning of the 17th century, it is also a well-known landmark within the very distinct geophysical and geocultural entity that is the end...

) in Normandy. According to legend, he died of food poisoning
Foodborne illness
Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as chemical or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms.-Causes:Foodborne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or...

, caused by his eating "a surfeit of lamprey
Lamprey
Lampreys are a family of jawless fish, whose adults are characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. Translated from an admixture of Latin and Greek, lamprey means stone lickers...

s", of which he was excessively fond. His remains were sewn into the hide of a bull to preserve them on the journey, and then taken back to England and were buried at Reading Abbey
Reading Abbey
Reading Abbey is a large, ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It was founded by Henry I in 1121 "for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of King William, my father, and of King William, my brother, and Queen Maud, my wife, and all my ancestors...

, which he had founded fourteen years before. The Abbey was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. No trace of his tomb has survived, the probable site being covered by St. James' School. Nearby is a small plaque
Commemorative plaque
A commemorative plaque, or simply plaque, is a plate of metal, ceramic, stone, wood, or other material, typically attached to a wall, stone, or other vertical surface, and bearing text in memory of an important figure or event...

 and a large memorial cross stands in the adjoining Forbury Gardens
Forbury Gardens
Forbury Gardens is a public park in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. The park is on the site of the outer court of Reading Abbey, which was in front of the Abbey Church. The site was formerly known as the Forbury, and one of the roads flanking the current gardens is still...

.

Although Henry's barons had sworn allegiance to his daughter as their queen, her gender and her remarriage into the House of Anjou, an enemy of the Normans, allowed Henry's nephew Stephen of Blois
Stephen of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

 to come to England and claim the throne with baronial support. The struggle between the former Empress and Stephen resulted in a long civil war known as the Anarchy
The Anarchy
The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

. The dispute was eventually settled by Stephen's naming of Matilda's son, Henry Plantagenet
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

, as his heir in 1153.

Illegitimate children

King Henry is famed for holding the record for more than twenty acknowledged illegitimate children, the largest number born to any English king; they turned out to be significant political assets in subsequent years, his bastard daughters cementing alliances with a flock of lords whose lands bordered Henry's. He had many mistresses, and identifying which mistress is the mother of which child is difficult. His illegitimate offspring for whom there is documentation are:
  1. Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
    Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
    Robert Fitzroy, 1st Earl of Gloucester was an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England. He was called "Rufus" and occasionally "de Caen", he is also known as Robert "the Consul"...

    . b. 1090 Often said to have been a son of Sybil Corbet.
  2. Maud FitzRoy, married 1113 Conan III, Duke of Brittany
    Conan III, Duke of Brittany
    Conan III of Cornwall or the Fat , was duke of Brittany, from 1112 to his death. He was son of Duke Alan IV and Ermengarde of Anjou....

  3. Constance or Maud FitzRoy, married 1122 Roscelin, Viscount de Beaumont (died ca. 1176)
  4. Mabel FitzRoy, married William III Gouet
  5. Alice FitzRoy
    Alice FitzRoy
    Alice FitzRoy was the illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England by one of his many mistresses. She was married to Matthieu I of Montmorency, the eldest son of Bouchard IV de Montmorency and Agnes de Beaumont-sur-Oise, lady of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in 1126 and had the following...

    , married Matthieu I of Montmorency and had two children Bouchard V de Montmorency ca 1130-1189 who married Laurence, daughter of Baldwin IV of Hainault and had issue and Mattheiu who married Matilda of Garlande and had issue. Mattheiu I went on to marry Adelaide of Maurienne.
  6. Gilbert FitzRoy
    Gilbert FitzRoy
    Gilbert FitzRoy was an illegitimate son of Henry I of England. His maternity is unknown as well as most everything about him, except that he died sometime after 1142....

    , died after 1142. His mother may have been a sister of Walter de Gand.
  7. Emma, married Guy de Laval IV, Lord Laval. This is based on epitaphs maintained in the chapterhouse of Clermont Abbey which appear to refer to Emma as the daughter of a king. There may be some confusion here, however, in that Guy's son, Guy de Laval V, was also married to an Emma who described herself as the daughter of Reginald de Dunstanville, Earl of Cornwall, who was an illegitimate son of Henry I as noted below. Additionally, if the elder Emma was also an illegitimate child of Henry I, this would make Guy and his wife Emma first cousins, something that casts more doubt on the claim.

With Edith

  1. Matilda
    Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche
    Matilda was an illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England by a mistress named Edith. She was Countess of Perche by her marriage and drowned in the sinking of the White Ship.Matilda's maternal family are unknown...

    , married in 1103 Count Rotrou III of Perche
    Rotrou III of Perche
    Rotrou III , called the Great , was the Count of Perche and Mortagne from 1099. He was a notable Crusader and a participant in the Reconquista in eastern Spain, even ruling the city of Tudela in Navarre from 1123 to 1131. He is commonly credited with introducing Arabian horses to the Perche, giving...

    . She perished 25 November 1120 in the wreck of the White Ship
    White Ship
    The White Ship was a vessel that sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur, on 25 November 1120. Only one of those aboard survived. Those who drowned included William Adelin, the only surviving legitimate son and heir of King Henry I of England...

    . She left two daughters: Philippa, who married Elias II, Count of Maine (son of Fulk, Count of Anjou and later King of Jerusalem), and Felice.

With Gieva de Tracy

  1. William de Tracy

With Ansfride

Ansfride was born c. 1070. She was the wife of Anskill of Seacourt, at Wytham
Wytham
Wytham is a village and civil parish on Seacourt Stream, a branch of the River Thames, about northwest of Oxford. It is just west of the Western By-Pass Road, part of the Oxford Ring Road ....

 in Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

 (now Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

).
  1. Juliane de Fontrevault (born c. 1090); married Eustace de Pacy in 1103. She tried to shoot her father with a crossbow after King Henry allowed her two young daughters to be blinded.
  2. Fulk FitzRoy
    Fulk FitzRoy
    Fulk FitzRoy was an illegitimate son of Henry I of England and Anfide, one of his mistresses. He was a monk at Abingdon. Since he was illegitimate and couldn't claim the throne, little is known about him. He, along with his fellow illegitimate siblings and half-siblings, was often overlooked when...

     (born c. 1092); a monk at Abingdon
    Abingdon Abbey
    Abingdon Abbey was a Benedictine monastery also known as St Mary's Abbey located in Abingdon, historically in the county of Berkshire but now in Oxfordshire, England.-History:...

    .
  3. Richard of Lincoln (c. 1094 – 25 November 1120); perished in the wreck of the White Ship
    White Ship
    The White Ship was a vessel that sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur, on 25 November 1120. Only one of those aboard survived. Those who drowned included William Adelin, the only surviving legitimate son and heir of King Henry I of England...

    .

With Sybil Corbet

Lady Sybilla Corbet of Alcester was born in 1077 in Alcester
Alcester
Alcester is an old market town of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow in Warwickshire, England. It is situated approximately west of Stratford-upon-Avon, and 8 miles south of Redditch, close to the Worcestershire border...

 in Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

. She married Herbert FitzHerbert, son of Herbert 'the Chamberlain' of Winchester and Emma de Blois. She died after 1157 and was also known as Adela (or Lucia) Corbet. Sybil was definitely mother of Sybil and Rainald, possibly also of William and Rohese. Some sources suggest that there was another daughter by this relationship, Gundred, but it appears that she was thought as such because she was a sister of Reginald de Dunstanville but it appears that that was another person of that name who was not related to this family.
  1. Sybilla de Normandy
    Sybilla de Normandy
    Sybilla of Normandy was queen consort of Scotland, wife to Alexander I.Sybilla was the first child of Henry I of England and his mistress Lady Sybilla Corbet of Alcester . Her maternal grandfather was Robert, Count of Mortain, Earl of Cornwall...

    , married Alexander I of Scotland
    Alexander I of Scotland
    Alexander I , also called Alaxandair mac Maíl Coluim and nicknamed "The Fierce", was King of the Scots from 1107 to his death.-Life:...

    .
  2. William Constable, born before 1105. Married Alice (Constable); died after 1187.
  3. Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall
    Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall
    Reginald de Dunstanville , Earl of Cornwall , High Sheriff of Devon, Earl of Cornwall, was an illegitimate son of Henry I of England and Lady Sybilla Corbet.Reginald had been invested with the Earldom of Cornwall by King...

    .
  4. Gundred of England (1114–46), married 1130 Henry de la Pomeroy, son of Joscelin de la Pomerai.
  5. Rohese of England, born 1114; married Henry de la Pomerai.
  6. Elizabeth of England married Fergus of Galloway
    Fergus of Galloway
    Fergus of Galloway was King, or Lord, of Galloway from an unknown date , until his death in 1161. He was the founder of that "sub-kingdom," the resurrector of the Bishopric of Whithorn, the patron of new abbeys , and much else besides...

     and had issue.

[G. E. Cokayne, in his Complete Peerage, Vol. XI, Appendix D pps 105-121 attempts to elucidate Henry I's illegiimate children. For Mistress Sybil Corbet, he indicates that Rohese married Henry de la Pomerai [ibid.:119]. In any case, the dates concerning Rohese in the above article are difficult to reconcile on face value, her purported children having seemingly been born before their mother, and also before the date of her mother's purported marriage.]

With Edith FitzForne

  1. Robert FitzEdith, Lord Okehampton
    Robert FitzEdith, Lord Okehampton
    Robert FitzEdith, Lord of Okehampton was an illegitimate son of Henry I of England and Edith Forne, who was one of Henry's many mistresses. Compared to his illegitimate siblings and half-siblings, much is known about him...

    , (1093–1172) married Dame Maud d'Avranches du Sap. They had one daughter, Mary, who married Renaud, Sire of Courtenay (son of Miles, Sire of Courtenay and Ermengarde of Nevers).
  2. Adeliza FitzEdith. Appears in charters with her brother, Robert.

With Nest ferch Rhys ap Tewdwr

Nest ferch Rhys, born about 1085, was a legitimate daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr
Rhys ap Tewdwr
Rhys ap Tewdwr was a Prince of Deheubarth in south-west Wales and member of the Dinefwr dynasty, a branch descended from Rhodri the Great...

, last King of Deheubarth by his wife, Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn of Powys. In 1093, her father was killed in battle, her older illegitimate half-brothers killed, executed, or imprisoned; what happened to Nest is unknown. She came to King Henry's attention sometime after 1100, and bore him a son, Henry fitzHenry (killed in battle in 1158). Sometime thereafter, the King married Nest to Gerald de Windsor
Gerald de Windsor
Gerald de Windsor, also known as Gerald FitzWalter, was the nobleman in charge of the Norman forces in Wales in the late 11th century. Notably, he was the progenitor of the FitzGerald and de Barry dynasties of Ireland...

 (aka Geraldus FitzWalter) a younger son of Walter FitzOther, Constable of Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 and Keeper of the Forests of Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, by his wife Beatrice. Gerald had lately been in rebellion against King Henry, together with the powerful Montgomery clan, but, with Nest as his wife, was restored by Henry to his former position in South Wales. After her husband's death, Nest was married to Stephen, Constable of Cardigan. By the latter, Nest had at least one son, Robert FitzStephen, a leader of the Norman invasion of Ireland. By Gerald she had five children, from whom descend the famous Fitzgerald clan of Ireland.

With Isabel de Beaumont

Isabel (Elizabeth) de Beaumont (after 1102 – after 1172), daughter of Robert de Beaumont
Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, Count of Meulan was a powerful English and French nobleman, revered as one of the wisest men of his age...

, sister of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester
Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester
Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester was Justiciar of England 1155–1168.The surname "de Beaumont" is given him by genealogists. The only known contemporary surname applied to him is "Robert son of Count Robert"...

. She married Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare , son of Gilbert Fitz Richard and Alice de Claremont, was sometimes referred to as "Strongbow", although his son is better remembered by this name, was the first Earl of Pembroke from 1138....

, in 1130. She was also known as Isabella de Meulan.
  1. Isabel Hedwig of England
  2. Matilda FitzRoy
    Matilda FitzRoy
    Maud, Abbess of Montivilliers was a natural daughter of Henry I of England and his young mistress Isabel de Beaumont , herself a sister of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester....

    , abbess of Montvilliers, also known as Montpiller

Fictional portrayals

Henry I has been depicted in historical novels and short stories. They include:
  • A Saxon Maid by Eliza Frances Pollard. Reportedly "a good short story of the Norman devastations", taking place in the reigns of William II and Henry I. The latter being a prominent character.
  • Old Men at Pevensey by Rudyard Kipling
    Rudyard Kipling
    Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

    , a short story included in the collection Puck of Pook's Hill
    Puck of Pook's Hill
    Puck of Pook's Hill is a historical fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash, in the area of Kipling's own house Bateman's, by people...

    (1906). Features both Henry I and Robert Curthose.
  • The King’s Minstrel (1925) by Ivy May Bolton
    Ivy May Bolton
    Ivy May Bolton was born in London on May 18, 1879. She was the daughter of Reginald Pelham Bolton and Kate Alice Behenna, and the sister of Guy Bolton, the playwright. She lived in England until she was fourteen, when the family came to the United States, settling in New York. Ivy attended St....

    . The titular character is Rahere
    Rahere
    Rahere was clergyman and a favourite of King Henry I. He is most famous for having founded St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1123....

    , depicted as "part jester, part priest, and more wizard than either". The King of the title is Henry I who is "prominently introduced".
  • The Tree of Justice by Rudyard Kipling, a short story included in the collection Rewards and Fairies
    Rewards and Fairies
    Rewards and Fairies is a historical fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling published in 1910. The title comes from the poem Farewell, Rewards and Fairies by Richard Corbet. The poem is referred to by the children in the first story of the preceding book Puck of Pook's Hill...

    (1910). Features both Henry I and Rahere.
  • The Pillars of the Earth
    The Pillars of the Earth
    The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy, between the time of the sinking of the White Ship and the...

    , a 1989 novel by Ken Follett
    Ken Follett
    Ken Follett is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple, and World Without End.-Early...

    , set during the Anarchy
    The Anarchy
    The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

     period. In the miniseries
    The Pillars of the Earth (TV miniseries)
    The Pillars of the Earth is an eight part 2010 TV miniseries, adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name. It debuted in the U.S. on Starz and Canada on The Movie Network/Movie Central on July 23, 2010. Its UK premiere was on Channel 4 in October 2010 at 9pm...

     based on the book King Henry was portrayed by Clive Wood
    Clive Wood
    -Film and television:Wood's first starring TV role was as Vic Brown, opposite Joanne Whalley and Susan Penhaligon, in the 1982 ITV drama series based on the novel A Kind of Loving. He has played Matt Kerr in Press Gang, DCI Gordon Wray in The Bill and Jack Morgan in London's Burning...


Ancestors



See also

  • Complete Peerage
  • Concordat of Worms
    Concordat of Worms
    The Concordat of Worms, sometimes called the Pactum Calixtinum by papal historians, was an agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V on September 23, 1122 near the city of Worms...

  • First Council of the Lateran
    First Council of the Lateran
    The Council of 1123 is reckoned in the series of Ecumenical councils by the Catholic Church. It was convoked by Pope Calixtus II in December, 1122, immediately after the Concordat of Worms...

  • Gesta Normannorum Ducum
    Gesta Normannorum Ducum
    Gesta Normannorum Ducum is a chronicle originally created by the monk William of Jumièges just before 1060. In 1070 William I had William of Jumièges extend the work to detail his rights to the throne of England. In later times, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni Gesta Normannorum Ducum (Deeds...

  • Giraldus Cambrensis
    Giraldus Cambrensis
    Gerald of Wales , also known as Gerallt Gymro in Welsh or Giraldus Cambrensis in Latin, archdeacon of Brecon, was a medieval clergyman and chronicler of his times...

  • Pipe Rolls
    Pipe Rolls
    The Pipe rolls, sometimes called the Great rolls, are a collection of financial records maintained by the English Exchequer, or Treasury. The earliest date from the 12th century, and the series extends, mostly complete, from then until 1833. They form the oldest continuous series of records kept by...

  • Quia Emptores
    Quia Emptores
    Quia Emptores of 1290 was a statute passed by Edward I of England that prevented tenants from alienating their lands to others by subinfeudation, instead requiring all tenants wishing to alienate their land to do so by substitution...

  • Robert of Torigny
  • Simeon of Durham
  • List of unusual deaths

Sources


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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