Home ~ Contact us
HENRY I, King of England, and Eadgyth
Henry I, King of England. Beauclerc. [Familytree].
Son of William the Conqueror and Matilda .
Henry was born most likely between mid-May and early September of 1068, but there is a bare possibility that it happened in 1069. A local tradition places his birth at Selby, Yorkshire, England, but no contemporary writer confirms that belief or provides a hint as to Henry's exact birthplace.
He was better educated than his brothers and felt at ease in the company of learned men (S2).
When his father died in 1087, Henry received no lands, but was given instead 5000 pounds in silver; and enormous sum. At once he left the King’s bedside and hurried to the Treasury to supervise the weighing out of the money. His elder brother, Robert of Normandy received the ancestral lands in Normandy and his brother William, named Rufus from his red beard, received the newly conquered lands in England. William was crowned King on 26 September 1087v (S2).
When Henry’s brothers quarreled, he flitted from one to another; always seeking his own advantage and eventually made himself thoroughly distrusted by both (S2).
In 1091, they were both temporarily reconciled and marched together against Henry. They made a treaty whereby they agreed that if either died without leaving a legitimate son he would be succeeded by the other. This was to disinherit Henry. (S2).
When Robert went on crusade, Henry's hopes naturally rose. Should the childless William die now, he was the man on the spot and the obvious heir. But by the summer of 1100, everyone knew that Robert was on his way home, accompanied by a rich and beautiful wife; and basking in the prestige due to a man who had fought his way into Jerusalem. (S2).
Henry's chance seemed to be slipping away from him. Perhaps it was just coincidence that William died when he did, struck down by an arrow on 2 AUG 1100 while hunting in the New Forest, but Henry too was hunting in the New Forest. As soon as he new that his brother was dead, Henry moved fast. It was as though he had been prepared for it to happen. He rode to Winchester and took possession of the Treasury. Then he went straight on to Westminster where he was crowned King on 5 August 1100. On the same day he issued his coronation charter, renouncing the oppressive practices of his brother and promising good government. (S2).
A few weeks later Robert arrived back in Normandy. Henry had to prepare to meet the inevitable invasion. His policy was to buy support by granting favors and making wide ranging concessions along the lines laid down in the coronation charter. If they ask for it give them York or even London, was the advice given to Henry by his shrewdest counselor, Count Robert of Meulan. By inviting Anselm to return, whom his brother had driven out of England from the Archbishopric at Canterbury, he hoped to win over both the English church and the papacy in Rome. (S2).
In NOV 1100 he married Edith, sister of King Edgar of Scotland and daughter of the former Scotish King Malcolm III, in order to ensure that he would not be attacked from the north while he had his hands full in the south. (S2).
He secured the alliance of France and Flanders, neither of whom wanted to see England and Normandy united under one powerful ruler. (S2).
Thus when Robert landed at Portsmouth in JUL 1101, he found that he could make little headway. With Anselm as the intermediary, a treaty was arranged. Henry was to keep England and pay his brother an annual pension of 2000 pounds. (S2).
But not for one moment did Henry trust those who had hoped to protect their Norman estates by aiding Duke Robert in 1101. Above all, he distrusted the rich and brutal Earl of Shrewsbury, Robert of Belleme; and he systematically set about the task of breaking him. This he accomplished in 1102. He captured Robert's chief strongholds in the Welch marches and then banished him. But Robert, like others in his position, found in his Norman properties a safe base from which he could hope to organize the recovery of his English lands. (S2).
By perpetuating the division of William the Conqueror's lands, the treaty of 1101 had ensured the continuance of political instability. So the pattern of the previous reign was repeated as Henry gradually maneuvered himself into a commanding position in Normandy. (S2).
In 1106 the issue was decided by the battle of Tinchebrai. The knights in Henry's vanguard dismounted in order to beat off the charge of Duke Robert's cavalry. Robert himself was captured in the battle and spent the last 28 years of his life as his brother's prisoner. Other great barons who fell into Henry's hands, including Robert of Belleme, were also condemned to life imprisonment. (S2).
Although in the first years of his reign Henry was preccupied with Norman affairs, he was not as free to concentrate on them as he would have liked. Traditional royal rights over the church were threatened by the new ideas associated with the Gregorian reform movement in the church, so called from the time of Pope Gregory VII. (S2).
The Gregorian reform movement wished to purify the moral and spiritual life of the clergy. In order to do so they believed it was necessary to free the church from secular control. The most hated symbol of this control was Lay Investiture, a ceremony in which a new abbot or bishop received the ring and staff of office from the hands of the secular prince who had appointed him. (S2).
Although the first papal decree against Lay Investiture had been issued as long ago as 1059, and many prohibitions had been published since; no one in England seems to have been aware of their existence until Anselm returned in the Fall of 1100. While in exile he attended papal councils at Bari in 1098 and Rome in 1099. There he learned of the papal attitude to Lay Investiture. Thus, although he had been invested by William Rufus in 1093, he now refused either to do homage to Henry or to consecrate those prelates whom Henry had invested. (S2).
This placed Henry in a difficult position. Bishops and abbots were great landowners, and key figures in central and local administration. He needed their assistance and had to be sure of their loyalty. On the other hand, unlike William Rufus, he was unwilling to provoke a quarrel. So for years he found it more convenient to postpone the problem rather than try to resolve it. Henry's delaying tactics were intolerable to Anselm, and in 1103 he once again went into exile (S2).
In 1105, at a critical moment in Henry's Normandy campaign, the Pope threatened to excommunicate him; so Henry hastened to come to terms. Agreement was reached in 1106 and ratified at a council in London in 1107. Henry renounced Lay Investiture, but prelates were to continue to do homage for their fiefs. In practice, the King's wishes continued to be the decisive factor in the making of bishops. To some extent it can be said that Henry gave up the form, but preserved the reality of control. (S2).
When Anselm died in 1109, Henry kept the Sea of Canterbury vacant for five years. Yet he had lost something and he knew it. In the fierce war of propaganda which accompanied the Investiture contest, the Gregorians insisted that the king was a layman and nothing more, and as such he was inferior to all priests, for the priests were concerned with the soul and the king only with the body. The church could not longer tolerate the old idea that anointed kings were sacred deputies of God. (S2).
In giving up Lay Investiture, Henry was acknowledging the merely secular nature of his office. It was an important moment in the history of kingship. And yet it is precisely at this time that we first come across the claim that kings possessed a healing magic. It was said that if a person suffering from scrofula were touched by a king, the disease known as the king’s evil would at once be cleared up. Whatever learned churchmen might say, in popular thought there was still something miraculous in kingship. (S2).
Once Normandy had been conquered and a compromise solution found to the investiture dispute, Henry’s main concern was to hold on to what he had. Few kings ever did this more tenaciously or effectively. He was a hard man who knew how to keep men loyal. He may not have won their hearts, but they looked forward to the rewards he had to offer, and they certainly feared his wrath. (S2).
In 1090 he had pushed a man off the top of Rouen Castle for betraying the oath of allegiance which he had sworn to Duke Robert. With this example before them, men took seriously the oaths which they swore to Henry. (S2).
The most famous of Henry’s servants was Roger of Salisbury, the archetypal bureaucrat, both competent and discreet. Under his direction there are clear signs of the development of the English civil service, notably the rise of the court of the exchequer. (S2).
Normandy was the most vulnerable part of Henry’s empire. After 1106 he spent mor than half the remainder of his reign there facing the traditional enemies of the Norman dukes. The year 1118, as described by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was typical. AKing Henry spent the whole of his year in Normandy on account of the war with the King of France, Count of Anjou and Count of Flanders.... England paid dearly for all this in numerous taxes from which there was no relief all year. (S2).
By 1119 all seemed well. Henry, who never risked battle until he had already won the diplomatic war which preceded it, beat King Louis VI of France in the battle of Bremule. Angevin friendship had been secured by the marriage of his only legitimate son, William, to the daughter of the Count of Anjou. But the whole carefully contrived edifice came tumbling down when William was drowned in the wreck of the White Ship in NOV 1120. (S2).
From then on the succession problem dominated the politics of Henry’s reign. Less than 3 months after William's death Henry married Adelaide of Louvain. Edith had died in 1118. But a hoped for heir was never born. (S2).
Although Henry acknowledged more that 20 illegitimate sons, he was survived by only one legitimate child, his daughter Matilda. When her husband, the Emperor Henry V of Germany, died in 1125, Henry recalled Matilda to his court and made the barons swear to accept her as their ruler in the event of his dying without a male heir. Somewhat against her will, Matilda was then in 1128 remarried to a 16 year old boy, Geoffrey of Anjou; for Henry was determined to continue the Angevin alliance. (S2).
But the prospect of being ruled by an Angevin did not please the Norman barons, and Geoffrey was well aware of this fact. Thus he was given custody of some key Norman castles while Henry was still alive and able to help. But Henry refused to give up any of his power. This resulted in war in the summer of 1135. In these melancholy circumstances Henry died, supposedly of a surfeit of lampreys, on 1 December 1135 (S2) at St. Denis-le-Fermont, near Gisors.
Although he ruled for 35 years, few English kings are as little known as Henry I. He was careful, sober, harsh, and methodical; and chose men of a similar stamp. When compared with his brother William Rufus, Henry and his court were drab, colorless characters. But from 1102 until the end of his reign there was no revolt in England. A king who could keep the peace for over thirty years so soon after the conquest was a master of the art of government. (S2).
Eadgyth. (Edith). (Matilda of Scotland). [Familytree].
Born in 1079-1080 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland; daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, and Marguerite.
At birth she was named Edith (the Old English being Eadgyth, meaning "Fortune-Battle"). Upon her marriage to Henry, she was crowned under a name favoured by the Normans, "Matilda" (from the Germanic Mahthilda, meaning "Might-Battle"), and was referred to as such throughout her husband's reign. Historians generally refer to her as "Matilda of Scotland". Matilda had blond hair and blue eyes and was said to be very attractive. (wikipedia).
When she was about six years old, Matilda and her sister Mary were sent to Romsey, England, where their aunt Cristina was abbess. In the later years of her stay at Romsey and also at Wilton, Matilda was much sought-after as a bride. She turned down proposals from both William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, and Alan Rufus, Lord of Richmond. William II of England may also have considered marrying her. (wikipedia).
In 1093, while in her early teens Matilda left the abbey for a time, and the future Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, grew concerned for her protection, wrote to the bishop of Salisbury to order the daughter of the king of Scotland to be returned to the monastery. (wikipedia).
She married Henry on 11 November 1100 in Westminster Abbey.
Because she had spent most of her life in a nunnery, however, there was some controversy over whether or not she had taken vows as a nun and would thus be ineligible for marriage. Henry sought permission for the marriage from Anselm of Canterbury, who had returned to England in September 1100 after a long exile during William II's reign. Professing himself unwilling to decide so weighty a matter on his own, Anselm called a council of bishops in order to determine the legality of the proposedmarriage. Matilda testified to the assembled bishops that she had never taken vows as a nun. She insisted that her parents had sent her and her sister to England only for educational purposes, and that her aunt Cristina had veiled her only to protect her "from the lust of the Normans." Matilda claimed at one point she had even pulled the veil off and stamped on it, and her aunt beat and scolded her most horribly for this. The council concluded that Matilda had never been a nun, nor had her parents intended that she become one, and gave their permission for the marriage. (wikipedia).
Matilda and Henry seem to have known one another for some time before their marriage. Twelfth century English historian William of Malmesbury states that Henry had "long been attached" to her, and the chronicler Orderic Vitalis says that Henry had "long adored" her character. Through her mother, Matilda was descended from king Edmund Ironside and thus from Alfred the Great. She was also a great-niece of Edward the Confessor and the old line of the kings of Wessex. The marriage represented a union between the new Norman rulers of England and the old Anglo-Saxon dynasty. This was important, as Henry hoped to make himself more popular with the English people, and in his and Matilda's children, the Norman and Anglo-Saxon dynasties would be united. Another benefit of the marriage was that England and Scotland became politically closer. Three of Matilda's brothers served as kings of Scotland at different times and were known to be unusually friendly to England. (wikipedia).
Matilda and Henry were married by Anselm on 11 November 1100 at Westminster Abbey. No longer to be known as Edith, she was crowned Matilda, a fashionable Norman name. She gave birth to a daughter, also named, Matilda, in February 1102, followed by a son, William, in November 1103. Two other children died in infancy.
As queen, she maintained her court primarily at Westminster, but accompanied her husband in his travels all across England. She is thought to have visited Normandy with her husband in 1106–1107. She was a member of Henry's curia regis (council of tenants-in-chief). She also served in a vice-regal capacity when Henry was away from court until 1118, when her son, William, was old enough to serve in her stead. (wikipedia).
A well-educated woman, Matilda brought both religious and cultural improvements to the court and acted as vice-regent when her husband Henry was away from England. She also commissioned the Gesta regum Anglorum of William of Malmsbury, considered to be one of the most important early histories of England. (wikipedia).
Well educated at the convents of Romsey and Wilton, Matilda increased the quality of literature and culture at court. Her court was filled with musicians and poets. She commissioned a monk, probably Thurgot, to write a biography of her mother. Like her mother, she was renowned for her devotion to religion and the poor. The twelfth century historian William of Malmesbury described her as attending church barefoot atLent, washing the feet and kissing the hands of the sick. She also administered extensive dower properties and was known as a patron of the arts, especially music. (wikipedia).
Matilda wrote many letters, a number of which still exist. The bulk of her surviving correspondence was with Anselm, the ranking ecclesiastic of England. Anselm went back into exile a second time from 1103-06 as a result of a dispute with Henry, during which time Matilda continued to write to him and to plead his case to Pope Paschal II and others. In addition to writing to the pope, she also corresponded with the monk Thurgot of Durham, Bishop Ivo of Chartres, Emperor Henry V, and Bishop Hildebert of Lavardin. Some of their responses also survive. (wikipedia).
She died 1 May 1118 at Westminster Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
CHILDREN of Henry I and Eadgyth:
- Matilda. [CHART A1]. (Empress Maud). Born about 1102-1104 at Winchester, England. She married (1) Henry V of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, on 7 January 1114 in Mainz, Germany. She married (2) Geoffrey V, PLANTAGENET, Count of Anjou and Maine on 22 May 1128. She died 10 September 1167 at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Pres, Rouen,; France; and was buried in the Rouen Cathedral.
- Euphamia. Born July 1101 in Winchester, England. She died young.
- William the Aetheling. Duke of Normandy. Born before 5 August 1103 in Winchester, England. He married Isabella (Matilda) in JUN 1119. He drowned 25 November 1120.
- Richard. He drowned 25 November 1120.
CHILDREN of Henry I and Adelaide of Louvain:
CHILDREN of Henry I and ?:
- Robert, Earl of Gloucester. He died on 31 October 1147.
- [S1]. The Royal Ancestry of the Hamblin Family. Compiled for the Hamblin Family Association by George Merrill Roy, I. A. G. Received from Geraldine Tenney Nelson.
- [S2]. The Lives of the Kings & Queens of England. Antonia Fraser. 1975. Alfred A. Knopf:New York.
- [S3]. National Politics Web Guide: Index of Politicians. http://lego70.tripod.com/frank/childebert2.htm
- [S4]. The official website of Alynia H. Rule. http://www.ancuairt.org/genealogy/matilda.htm
d. 1 Dec 1135, Lyons-la-Foręt, Normandy
Title: By the Grace of God, King of the English (Dei Gracia Rex Anglorum)2
Reign: 5 Aug 1100 - 1 Dec 1135
Chronology: 3 Aug 1100, a meeting of magnates at Winchester chose Henry king3
5 Aug 1100, crowned, Westminster Abbey
1 Dec 1135, deceased
Other names/titles: Count Henry (sometimes styled "comte du Cotentin") [created count between 1 Jan and 30 Mar 1088]; Duke of the Normans [after 28 Sep 1106]; byname: Henri Beauclerc
The fourth and youngest son of William the Conqueror, Henry inherited only a sum of money after the death of his father in 1087. Later Henry acquired small land possessions in Normandy and was created count by his brother Robert II "Curthose", duke of the Normans.
Henry stayed at the court of his brother, King William II Rufus, when the latter was killed while hunting (2 Aug 1100). Henry immediately rode to Winchester, where the royal treasury was turned over to him. He was anointed three days later by Maurice, Bishop of London. The throne of England was also claimed by Robert of Normandy, who invaded England in July 1101, but no battle was fought. During a personal interview, Robert gave up his claim to the throne and released Henry from the homage in exchange for a large annuity and Henry's lands in Normandy. However, the misgovernment of Robert in Normandy provided Henry with a pretext to conquer the duchy. The war in Normandy broke out in 1106 and culminated in the Battle of Tinchebray (28 Sep 1106). Robert was defeated and was taken prisoner for the rest of his life (27 years). Since then Henry assumed the ducal title and spent most of his reign in Normandy. In 1107 Henry reached an agreement with the Church settling the investiture controversy, which troubled his reign from the very beginning. In the next decade the local law and institutions of Saxon England, and the royal law and central institutions of the Normans, were merged. Henry centralized the administration of England and Normandy in the royal court, using "viceroys" in Normandy and a group of advisers in England to act on his behalf when he was absent across the Channel4. On 25 Nov 1120 Henry's only legitimate son, William the Ćtheling, perished in a shipwreck of the "White Ship". Henry faced a succession problem, but finally succeeded in persuading the barons to accept his daughter, Matilda, as heir to the throne (January 1127). In hopes of adding Angevin lands to the royal domain, Henry had Matilda married (8 Jun 1129) to to the heir of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine, Geoffroi "Plantagenęt" (future count of Anjou). In 1135 Henry scattered the forces of Norman barons instigated to revolt by his son-in-law. He died reportedly of food poisoning caused by a surfeit of lampreys according to "Historia Anglorum" of Henry of Huntingdon.
2 Henry I introduced his charters indiscriminately as "Henricus rex Anglorum" (most frequently), but also as "Henricus rex Anglie". From 1121 Henry I altered the legend on the reverse of his seal to HENRICUS DEI GRACIA DUX NORMANNORUM, although he rarely styled himself more than "rex Anglorum" even in documents relating to Normandy. The words "dei gracia" ("By the Grace of God") appearing on the Great Seal since the time of William II, were not, as a rule, added to the style of the king in charters and writs until the reign of Henry II.
3 This meeting, described by the Saxon chronicler as a rump witan, had no authority to elect Henry, but rather conceded to making him king. Henry immediately proceeded with appointing William Giffard as Bishop of Winchester, but despite this exercise of royal authority before the coronation, Henry counted his reign from 5 Aug 1100, when he was crowned at Westminster.
4 Absent from England: autumn 1104; spring - summer 1105; Jul 1106 - Mar/Apr 1107; Jul 1108 - May/Jun 1109; Aug 1111 - Jul 1113; Sep 1114 - Jul 1115; Apr 1116 - 26 Nov 1120; 11 Jun 1123 - 11 Sep 1126; 26 Aug 1127 - 15 Jul 1129; Aug/Sep 1130 - Aug 1131; Aug 1133 to his death.
Source: text: Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd ed., 1986; "Henry I", by C. Warren Hollister (Yale Univ. Press 2001); "From Domesday Book to Magna Carta 1087-1216" (The Oxford History of England, vol.3), by Austin Lane Poole (2nd ed., Oxford, Clarendon Press 1955); image: King Henry I, miniature from a 14th-century manuscript.
2002 National Politics Web Guide
Last Update: 12.02.2003
Henry I, King of England b Selby, York., 1070 d 1135 had illegitimate son Robert, E. of Gloucester b c. 1090 d 1147 by Maud FitzHamon d 1157
HOW ARE WE RELATED:
HENRY I, King of England. married Edith (Eadgyth)
Matilda. (Maud) md (1) Henry V of Germany.
HENRY II, King of England, md Ida.
William I Longspee md Ela Fitzpatrick.
William II Longspee md Idonie de Camville.
Ela Longspee md James de Audley.
Hugh de Audley md Isolde de Mortimer.
Hugh de Audley md Margaret de Clare.
Margaret de Audley. md Ralph de Stafford.
Hugh Stafford. md Philippa de Beauchamp.
Edmund Stafford. md Anne of Gloucester.
Humphrey Stafford. md Anne Neville.
Margaret Stafford md Robert Dunham.
John Dunham md Elizabeth Bowett.
John Dunham II md Jean Thorland.
John Dunham III md Benedict Folgamsee.
Ralph Dunham. He married Elizabeth Wentworth.
Thomas Dunham. He married Jane Bromley.
John Dunham Sr.. He married Susanna Kenney/Keno.
John Dunham Jr.. He married Mary.
Mary Dunham. She married James Hamblin.
Elkenah Hamblin. He married Abigail Hamblin.
Sylvanus Hamblin. He married Dorcas Fish.
Barnabus Hamblin. He married Mary Bassett.
Isaiah Hamblin. He married Daphne Haynes.
Jacob Vernon Hamblin md Sarah Priscilla Leavitt.
Ella Ann Hamblin md Warren Moroni Tenney.
Clive Vernon Tenney md Minnie Williams
Mildred Ella Tenney = Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris