NameKing Henry I “Beauclerc” de NORMANDY Of England , M
Birth Dateabt 1068
Birth PlaceSelby, Yorkshire, England
Death Date1135
Death PlaceNormandy, France
Burial Date1135
Burial PlaceReading, Berkshire, England
Burial MemoReading Abbey
Spouses
Birth Date1080
Birth PlaceDunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Death Date1 May 1118
Death PlaceWestminster Palace, London, England
Burial Date1118
Burial PlaceWestminster, London, England
Burial MemoWestminster Abbey
FatherKing Malcolm III CANMORE Of Scots , M (1031-1093)
Marr Date11 Nov 1100
Marr PlaceWestminster, London, England
Marr MemoWestminster Abbey
ChildrenEuphemia , F (1101-)
 Matilda , F (1103-1167)
 William ”The Atheling” , M (1104-1120)
 Elizabeth , F (1105-)
2UNNAMED , F
Unmarried
ChildrenConstance / Maud , F
Unmarried
ChildrenSybilla , F (~1100-1122)
Notes for King Henry I “Beauclerc” de NORMANDY Of England
The children and grandchildren of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders

(1) Robert 'Curthose' Duke of Normandy (1054 -1134) m.Sybilla of Conversano
(i) William Clito, Count of Flanders (d.1128) m. Sybil of Anjou
(2) Richard (circa 1055 - 1081)
(3) WILLIAM II (circa 1056 - 1100)
(4) Cecilia (d.1126)
(5) Adeliza
(6) Adela (circa 1062 - 1138) m. Stephen, Count of Blois
(i) Matilda (d. 1120)
(ii) Theobald, Count of Blois (d. 1151)
(iii) Henry, Bishop of Winchester
(iv)STEPHEN, KING OF ENGLAND (d. 1154) m. Matilda of Boulogne
(v) William

(7) HENRY I (circa 1068 - 1135) m. (i)Edith of Scotland (ii) Adeliza of Louvain
Issue by (i):-
(i)William the Atheling (circa 1103-1128)m. Matilda of Anjou
(ii) MATILDA(circa 1103 - 1162) m. (i) Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (ii) Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou

Source: English Monarchs: http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/normans_8.html
———————————————————

Henry I was the fourth son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders and was born between May, 1068 and May, 1069 probably at Selby in Yorkshire. He was named Henry after his mother's maternal uncle, King Henry I of France.


On the death of his father, Normandy was bequeathed to his eldest son, Robert Curthose , England was left to the third son, William Rufus (a second son, Richard, had been killed whilst hunting in the New Forest) and to the youngest, Henry, he left a large sum of money.

Henry seized England's crown on the death of his brother, William Rufus on 2 August 1100.
He had been present on the hunting expedition in the New Forest which resulted in Rufus' death, either by accident or design and left abruptly and in indecent haste to seize the treasury at Winchester. The finger of suspicion has been pointed at Henry of complicity in his brother's death, Rufus was at the time refusing to sanction Henry's plans to marry the (half Saxon) Scottish Princess Edith.

Henry I was crowned at Westminster on 1st August, 1100 and granted a popular coronation charter, promising to reform the abuses of his brother's reign. He imprisoned the despised Ranulf Flambard, Rufus' chief justiciar, thereby evoking the popular support of the English people.

Unlike Rufus, Henry had been born in England, which endeared him to the Saxon people.
The historian William of Malmesbury leaves us with a contemporary description:-

'He was of middle stature, his hair was black, but scanty near the forehead; his eyes were mildly bright, his chest brawny, his body well fleshed. He was facetious in proper season, nor did multiplicity of business cause him to be less pleasant when he mixed in society. Not prone to personal combat, he verified the saying of Scipio Africanus, 'My mother bore me a commander not a soldier;' wherefore he was inferior in wisdom to no king of modern time; and I may also say, he clearly surpassed all his predecessors in England and preferred contending by counsel, rather than by the sword. If he could he conquered without bloodshed; if it was unavoidable, with as little as possible.'

Henry was well educated and able to read and write in English and Latin, from which was coined his nick-name 'Beauclerc, which was bestowed on him in the fourteenth century.

Marriage to Edith of Scotland

Henry further cemented his popularity, particularly among the Saxons, by marrying Edith of Scotland, the daughter of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots and the Saxon St. Margaret
(the sister of Edgar Atheling, of the Saxon Royal House) Edith, or Matilda, as she came to be known after her marriage, proved to be a good and a much respected Queen.

Following the example of her saintly mother, Edith devoted herself to good causes, and often washed the feet of the poor. Though Henry was seldom faithful to his Queen, their's was generally considered a good and happy marriage by Royal standards and helped to unite the rival claims of the Norman and Saxon Houses. Henry invited the much respected Anselm to return to England, a popular move, he had obviously learned from the mistakes of Rufus and was determined not to repeat them.

Henry I proved to be a serial adulterer and begat more illegitimate children than any other English King, in all he fathered twenty bastards, by a continuous string of mistresses. One of these was the beautiful Nesta, Princess of Wales, who became the mother of the King's son, Henry. By far the most famous of Henry's illegitimate offspring was Robert of Caen, later created Earl of Gloucester, he was born in 1090, by a Norman mother, before Henry came to the English throne and was later to play a leading part on the stage of English history. Sybil, his daughter by Sybil Corbet, who was born in the 1090's was married to Alexander 'the Fierce', King of Scots, the brother of Henry's Queen, Edith.

The Conquest of Normandy

Ranulf Flambard, imprisoned in the Tower of London, affected a daring escape and joined Robert Curthose in Normandy in 1101. Robert, being the elder brother, considered England to be his just inheritance and war broke out over the issue. Robert invaded England on his return from the First Crusade, he landed at Portsmouth on 20 July, 1101, with a small force of a few hundred men, where he was joined by a number of Anglo-Norman barons including Robert of Bellême and William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. The brothers met at Alton in Hampshire where agreement was finally reached between them, by the terms of the Treaty of Alton, Robert renounced his claims to England, while in return Henry renounced his claims in Normandy (with the exception of Domfront) and agreed to pay Robert a pension.

Regardless of the treaty, Henry began to inflicting penalties on those barons who had acted against him during his brother's invasion. William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, was accused of fresh crimes, which were not covered by the Alton amnesty, and was banished from England. In 1102 Henry acted against the most powerful of his barons, Robert of Bellême and his brothers. Bellême escaped and rose up against Henry, who besieged his castles at Arundel, Tickhill and Shrewsbury, and proceeded to attack Bridgnorth. Bellême was banished from England and left for his estates in Normandy.

Henry later led an English army into Normandy which he took from his feckless brother at the The Battle of Tinchebray which was probably fought on 28 September, 1106. The Saxons felt that fifty years later, the humiliation of Hastings had been truly avenged. Robert was held prisoner by his brother for the rest of his life and died in captivity at the age of eighty.

Henry I destroyed the power of the tyrannical Robert of Belleme. He set up a regular system of administration, ably aided by his minister Roger of Salisbury, who commended himself to the King by the speed he could get through mass. Henry clashed with Anselm over the rights of the church but eventually came to an agreement with him

The Tragedy of the White Ship

Although he had many illegitimate children, Henry had only two children by his wife, Edith.

A son, William, known as the Atheling, for his descent from the ancient Saxon Royal House, and
a daughter Matilda, or Maud, had been married in political alliance to the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V, in childhood. She had spent most of her life in Germany.

Tragedy struck when Henry's only remaining legitimate son, William, on returning from campaign in Normandy, was drowned in the English Channel in the wreck of the White Ship. William had got away in a lifeboat but went back for his illegitimate sister, the Countess of Perche, when his boat was overturned. Henry was overcome with immense grief.

In the hope of begetting another male heir to secure the succession, the King married for a second time to the young and beautiful Adelicia of Louvain, but the marriage produced no issue. After the death of her husband the Emperor, he recalled his daughter, by now known as the Empress, to England. He named her as his heiress and made the barons swear fealty to her.

The proud and haughty Matilda was ordered reluctantly into a marriage with the fifteen year old Geoffrey Plantagenet, son of the Count of Anjou, whom she personally loathed, a dislike which was reciprocated in full measure by her intended spouse. The marriage made an ally of Henry's erstwhile enemy, Fulk of Anjou. When the reluctant and quarrelsome pair were finally ordered by Henry I to do their duty and produce an heir to his throne, a son, the future Henry II, was born. Henry rejoiced that his dynasty was now secure and crossed to Normandy to see his new grandson, namesake and heir. The old king was said to have doted on the child.

The Death of Henry I

In 1135, Henry again crossed to Normandy to see his two grandsons, Henry and his younger brother, Geoffrey, in whom the aging king took great delight, dandling the young Henry on his knee
.
During his visit, he quarreled violently with the overbearing Matilda and her husband. Henry was now an aging lion, these quarrels with his daughter affected him badly and he died in Normandy on 1st December, 1135 at St. Denis le Fermont, from food poisoning, due to over indulging of his favourite dish of lampreys, which his doctors had forbidden him.

His body was returned to England and was buried at Reading Abbey. The Abbey was destroyed during the Reformation. No trace of Henry's tomb has survived. Nearby a small plaque and a large memorial cross has been erected in the adjoining Forbury Gardens.

After Henry's death, despite his oath of alliegiance, the throne was seized by his nephew Stephen. Nineteen years of Civil War known as 'the Anarchy' were to follow as Stephen and Matilda became locked in a bitter struggle for possession of the crown. In in 1153, a compromise was reached in the Treaty of Wallingford. By its terms, Stephen was to retain the crown for the remainder of his lifetime, whereupon it would revert to Matilda's son, Henry and his heirs.

King Stephen died of an apoplexy, the following year and was succeeded by Henry's grandson, Henry II, who became the the first of the great Plantagenet dynasty.

The Children of Henry I

(1) Euphemia (July/August 1101 - died young).

(2) Matilda of England (c. February 1102 - 10 September 1167)
married (1) Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
(2) Geoffrey V, 'Plantagenet' Count of Anjou
Issue by (2);
(i) KING HENRY II
(ii) Geoffrey, Count of Nantes
(iii) William X, Count of Poitou

(3) William the Atheling, (5 August 1103 - 25 November 1120) married Matilda (d.1154), daughter of Fulk V, Count of Anjou.
(4) Elizabeth {August/September 1104) - Died young

Although he had four children by his wife, Edith of Scotland, Henry I had more illegitimate children than any other British monarch, numbering twenty-four in all:-

(1) Robert of Caen, Earl of Gloucestercirca 1090-1147
(2) Sybil circa 1090-1122 m. Alexander I of Scotland, daughter of Sybil Corbet
(3) Reginald de Dunstanville, Earl of Cornwall c.1103-1175 son of Sybil Corbet
(4) William b. circa 1105 possibly the son of Sybil Corbet
(5) Rohese m. Henry de la Pomerai, possibly the daughter of Sybil Corbet
(6) Gundred possibly the daughter of Sybil Corbet
(7) Robert, d. 1172 son of Edith of Greystoke
(8) Richard c.1099-1120 son of Ansfride
(9) Juliane b. circa 1090 m. Eustace de Pacy, daughter of Ansfride
(10) Maud d.1120 m. Rotrou, Count of Perche, daughter of Edith, she drowned in the White ship.
(11) Maud m. Conan III, Duke of Brittany
(12) Alice m. Matthew de Montmoremci, Constable of France
(13) Constance m. Roscelin de Beaumont, Viscount of Maine
(14) Maud, Abbess of Montvilliers
(15) Isabel b. circa 1120 daughter of Isabel of Meulan
(16) Fulk, possibly son of Ansfride
(17) Gilbert b. circa 1130
(18) William de Tracy d. circa 1140
(19) Henry c. 1105-1157 son of Nesta, Princess of South Wales
(20) Sybil of Falaise m. Baldwin de Boullers

Henry had at least another three illegitimate daughters whose names have gone unrecorded.

Source: English Monarchs: http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/normans_3.htm
————————————————————
Notes for Edith / Matilda (Spouse 1)
Edith of Scotland was born circa 1080 at Dunfermline, she was the daughter of Malcolm III King of Scots 'Canmore' and Saint Margaret.
Her mother Margaret Atheling was born of the ancient Saxon House of Wessex, she was the daughter of Edward Atheling, otherwise known as 'Edward the Exile' and Agatha
(possibly a niece of Henry III, Emperor of Germany) and was born in Hungary in 1046.

In 1068, Edgar Atheling joined in rebellion with the northern Earls Edwin and Morcar against William's rule and shortly after the family were forced to flee, their ship was driven by storms to the Scottish coast, were welcomed at the court of King Malcolm Canmore. Malcolm Canmore, a widower, was attracted to the beautiful Saxon princess and no doubt the prospect of an alliance with the ancient Anglo-Saxon royal house was an added attraction. The couple were married some time before the end of 1070.

Robert Curthose, the eldest son of William the Conqueror stood as godfather at the christening of Edith of Scotland. While Queen Matilda of Flanders, William's wife, also stood as her godmother. Queen Margaret, a pious woman who was later cannonized, is described as a strict but loving mother to her children. At the age of around six, Edith and her sister Mary were sent to to recieve an education at Romsey Abbey, near Southampton, where their mother's sister Christina was abbess and at Wilton Abbey, near Salisbury. She was taught English, French, and some Latin. During her time at the abbey, Edith recieved a proposal from William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey which she turned down.

Edith's parents betrothed her to Alan Rufus, Lord of Richmond, in 1093, but, before the marriage was celebrated, her father quarreled with William Rufus, the King of England regarding the boundaries of Cumbria and Lothian. William Rufus, after driving the Scots north of the Solway, invited their King for talks. On the Scottish King's arrival at Gloucester, William delivered a stinging snub to Malcolm by refusing to receive him. Enraged at the insult to his dignity, Malcolm returned to Scotland and retaliated by riding with an army into Northumbria. On 13th November, 1093, on accepting the surrender of the Castle of Alnwick, Malcolm leaned forward from his horse to receive the keys from the point of the lance of its keeper, when the lance was treacherously thrust into his eye. He died in agony, his eldest son by Margaret, Edward, was also killed. The throne of Scotland was seized by Malcolm's brother Donald Bane. The disastrous news was carried to Margaret at Edinburgh Castle, the Queen was already mortally ill and the castle was under siege by her brother-in-law. She died three days later, leaving Edith an orphan. Alan Rufus, whom she was still betrothed to was betrothed to Gunhild of Wessex, a daughter of Harold Godwinson, instead, but died before the marriage could take place.

On the death of William Rufus in August 1100, the throne of England was seized by his youngest brother, who became Henry I, who wished to marry Edith. William of Malmesbury relates that Henry had "long been attached" to her, and Orderic Vitalis says that Henry had "long adored" her character. Henry had been born in England, he needed a bride with ties to the ancient Saxon line to increase his popularity with the English people and to reconcile the Normans and Anglo-Saxons.

Because the Scottish princess had spent most of her life in a convent, there was some controversy over whether she had actually taken vows as a nun, which would have rendered her ineligible for marriage. Henry sought permission for the marriage from Archbishop Anselm, who called a council of bishops in order to determine the canonical legality of the proposed marriage. Edith testified to the council that she had never taken holy vows, insisting that her parents had sent her and her sister to England for educational purposes, and her aunt Cristina had veiled her to protect her "from the lust of the Normans." She claimed she had pulled the veil off and stamped on it, and her aunt beat and scolded her for this act. The council concluded that Edith was not a nun and her parents had not intended that she become one, and granted their permission for the marriage of Edith and Henry.

Edith and Henry were married on 11th November 1100 at Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, she was crowned queen as Matilda, a Norman name. Their first child, a daughter, Euphemia, was born in July/August 1101 but died young. She was followed by Matilda, born in February 1102, her only son, William, known as 'the Atheling' was born in November 1103, a fourth child, Elizabeth arrived in August/September 1104-, but like her eldest sister, she died young.

The marriage led to improved relations with Scotland. Matilda often acted as regent for her husband during his frequent absences. During the English investiture controversy (1103-07), she acted as intercessor between her husband and archbishop Anselm. Matilda commissioned a monk, possibly Thurgot, to write a biography of her mother, Saint Margaret.

Following the example of her saintly mother, Matilda devoted herself to good causes, and often washed the feet of the poor. Though Henry was seldom faithful to his Queen, their's was generally considered a good and happy marriage by Royal standards and helped to unite the rival claims of the Norman and Saxon Houses.

Henry I proved to be a serial adulterer and begat more illegitimate children than any other English King , in all he fathered twenty bastards, by a continuous string of mistresses. One of these was the beautiful Nesta, Princess of Wales, who became the mother of the King's son, Henry. By far the most famous of Henry's illegitimate offspring was Robert of Caen, later created Earl of Gloucester, he was born in 1090, by a Norman mother, before Henry came to the English throne and was later to play a leading part on the stage of English history. Sybil, his daughter by Sybil Corbet, who was born in the 1090's was married to Alexander 'the Fierce', King of Scots, the brother of Henry's Queen, Edith.

Matilda died on 1st May 1118 at Westminster Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey. Two years later, her son, William, was drowned in the English Channel in the wreck of the White Ship on 25th November 1120. Henry I remarried in the hope of producing a male heir. Her daughter Matilda, became the mother of Henry II, first of the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Source: Monarchs of England: http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/normans_6.html
———————————————————
Notes for Sybil (Spouse 3)
Although he had four children by his wife, Edith of Scotland, Henry I had more illegitimate children than any other British monarch, numbering twenty-four in all:-

(1) Robert of Caen, Earl of Gloucestercirca 1090-1147
(2) Sybil circa 1090-1122 m. Alexander I of Scotland, daughter of Sybil Corbet
(3) Reginald de Dunstanville, Earl of Cornwall c.1103-1175 son of Sybil Corbet
(4) William b. circa 1105 possibly the son of Sybil Corbet
(5) Rohese m. Henry de la Pomerai, possibly the daughter of Sybil Corbet
(6) Gundred possibly the daughter of Sybil Corbet

(7) Robert, d. 1172 son of Edith of Greystoke
(8) Richard c.1099-1120 son of Ansfride
(9) Juliane b. circa 1090 m. Eustace de Pacy, daughter of Ansfride
(10) Maud d.1120 m. Rotrou, Count of Perche, daughter of Edith, she drowned in the White ship.
(11) Maud m. Conan III, Duke of Brittany
(12) Alice m. Matthew de Montmoremci, Constable of France
(13) Constance m. Roscelin de Beaumont, Viscount of Maine
(14) Maud, Abbess of Montvilliers
(15) Isabel b. circa 1120 daughter of Isabel of Meulan
(16) Fulk, possibly son of Ansfride
(17) Gilbert b. circa 1130
(18) William de Tracy d. circa 1140
(19) Henry c. 1105-1157 son of Nesta, Princess of South Wales
(20) Sybil of Falaise m. Baldwin de Boullers

Henry had at least another three illegitimate daughters whose names have gone unrecorded.

Source: English Monarchs: http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/normans_3.htm
————————————————————
Last Modified 15 Jul 2015Created 9 Jan 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh