Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

King Henri I of England, Beauclerc, Duc De Normandie

King Henri I of England, Beauclerc, Duc De Normandie

Male 1069 - 1135  (66 years)

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  • Name King Henri I of England 
    Suffix Beauclerc, Duc De Normandie 
    Born 1068-1069  Selby, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    History Source :
    "Henry I (c. 1068/1069 \endash 1 December 1135) was the fourth son of William I of England. He succeeded his elder brother William II as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy in 1106. A later tradition called him Beauclerc for his scholarly interests\emdash he could read Latin and put his learning to effective use\emdash 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 legal tradition.

    Henry's reign established deep roots for the Anglo-Norman realm, in part through his dynastic (and personal) choice of a Scottish princess who represented the lineage of Edmund Ironside for queen. His succession was hurriedly confirmed while his brother Robert was away on the First Crusade, and the beginning of his reign was occupied by wars with Robert for control of England and Normandy. 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, 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, 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 to reform the treasury. 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 and Norman 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 over the English investiture controversy (1103-07), but he could not smooth out his succession after the disastrous loss of his eldest son William in the wreck of the White Ship. His will stipulated that he was to be succeeded by his daughter, the Empress Matilda, but his stern rule was followed by a period of civil war known as the Anarchy.

    Early life
    Henry was born between May 1068 and May 1069, probably in Selby in Yorkshire. His mother Queen Matilda named the infant prince Henry, after her uncle, Henry I of France. 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 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, were not." The chronicler William of Malmesbury 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.
    William I's second son Richard 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 and became Duke Robert II
    William Rufus received the Kingdom of England and became King William II
    Henry received 5,000 pounds in silver.
    The chronicler Orderic Vitalis 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.

    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) 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 ... King of England and Ruler of Normandy ...

    Legitimate children
    He had four children by Matilda (Edith), who died on 1 May 1118 at the Palace of Westminster. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.
    - Matilda. (c. February 1102 \endash 10 September 1167). She married firstly Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, and secondly, Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, having issue by the second.
    - William Adelin, (5 August 1103 \endash 25 November 1120). He married Matilda (d.1154), daughter of Fulk V, Count of Anjou.
    - Euphemia, died young.

    Second marriage
    On 29 January 1121 he married Adeliza, daughter of Godfrey I of Leuven, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and Landgrave of Brabant, 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, widow of Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor, as his heir.

    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.[9] 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, b. 1090. Often said to have been a son of Sybil Corbet.
    2.Maud FitzRoy, married 1113 Conan III, Duke of Brittany
    3.Constance or Maud FitzRoy, married 1122 Roscelin, Viscount de Beaumont (died ca. 1176)
    4.Mabel FitzRoy, married William III Gouet
    5.Alice FitzRoy, married Matthieu I of Montmorency and had two children Bouchard V de Montmorency ca 1130\endash 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, 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, married in 1103 Count Rotrou III of Perche. She perished 25 November 1120 in the wreck of the White Ship. 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 in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire).
    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 (born c. 1092); a monk at Abingdon.
    3.Richard of Lincoln (c. 1094 \endash 25 November 1120); perished in the wreck of the White Ship.

    With Sybil Corbet
    Lady Sybilla Corbet of Alcester was born in 1077 in Alcester in Warwickshire. 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, married Alexander I of Scotland.
    2.William Constable, born before 1105. Married Alice (Constable); died after 1187.
    3.Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall.
    4.Gundred of England (1114\endash 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 and had issue.

    [G. E. Cokayne, in his Complete Peerage, Vol. XI, Appendix D pps 105\endash 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, (1093\endash 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, 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 (aka Geraldus FitzWalter) a younger son of Walter FitzOther, Constable of Windsor Castle and Keeper of the Forests of Berkshire, 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 \endash after 1172), daughter of Robert de Beaumont, sister of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester. She married Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke, in 1130. She was also known as Isabella de Meulan.
    1.Isabel Hedwig of England
    2.Matilda FitzRoy, abbess of Montvilliers, also known as Montpiller

    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-ForĂȘt) in Normandy. According to legend, he died of food poisoning, caused by his eating "a surfeit of lampreys", 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, which he had founded fourteen years before. The Abbey was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. No trace of his tomb has survived, the probable site being covered by St. James' School. Nearby is a small plaque and a large memorial cross stands in the adjoining Forbury Gardens.

    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 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 dispute was eventually settled by Stephen's naming of Matilda's son, Henry Plantagenet, as his heir in 1153. ..."  [1
    Died 1 Dec, 1135  Lyons-La-Foret, Normandie, France, age 67 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Reading, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I240  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 14 May 2017 

    Father William the Conquerer, King of England,   b. 1027, Falaise, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Sep, 1087, Rouen, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Mother Mathilde De Flandre, Queen of England,   b. 1031, Flandre, Belgique Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov, 1083, Normandie, France, age 52 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Family ID F115  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Matilda of Scotland,   b. 1080, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May, 1118, Westminister Abbey, London, England, age 38 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Matilda of England,   b. 7 Feb, 1102, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep, 1167, Normandie, France, age 65 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
    Last Modified 14 May 2017 
    Family ID F114  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Children 
    +1. Sir Robert De Caen, 1St Earl Of Gloucester,   b. Caen, Calvados, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1147, Bristol, Gls, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 May 2017 
    Family ID F301  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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  • Sources 
    1. [S13] Genealogy-Knights from Continental Europe to England'Ireland, Patrick R. Knight, (http://knight-france.com/geneal/names/1336.htm), http://knight-france.com/geneal/names/757.htm.