Henry I Beauclerc King of England
- Born: Sep 1068, Selby, Yorkshire, England
- Marriage (1): Sybilla CORBET
- Marriage (2): Sybil CORBET
- Marriage (3): Mathilda Edith ATHELING Princess of Scotland on 11 Nov 1100 in Westminster Abbey, London, England
- Marriage (4): Adela DE LOUVAIN on 29 Nov 1121 in Westminster Abbey, London, England
- Died: 1 Dec 1135, Lyons-La-Foret, Rouen, France aged 67
- Buried: Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England
BIOGRAPHY: King Henry I of England was born September 1068 at Selby,Yorkshire, England, as the fourth son of King William I the Conqueror and Matilda de Flanders. He acceded 2 August 1100 and was crowned 5 August1100 at Westminster Abbey. He married Edith of Scotland on 11 November 1100. They had four children. He married Adela of Louvain on 29 January 1121. He died at Rouen Normandy on 1 December 1135 at the age of 65.
Henry I was a well-built man of average height. He was more placid and sober of temperament than his father William I or his brother William Rufus. He was capable of great cruelty and could be ruthless and unforgiving. He once pushed a man to his death from the top of Rouen Castle for breaking an oath of allegiance to the royal family. He was well-educated and could read and write in English and Latin. He was nicknamed "Beauclerc" and the "Lion of Justice" because he loved legal reform and administrative work. He was an excellent judge of a man's abilities and knew how to generate loyalty among his followers and keep on good terms with his wife Matilda, despite the fact that he had numerous mistresses and illegitimate children by them throughout their eighteen year marriage.
On hearing of his brother William II's death on 2 August 1100, Henry rode to Winchester and seized the royal treasure. He went straight from there to London where he was crowned on August 5th 1100. Such indecent behaviour might suggest that he knew more about King William II's death in a so-called hunting accident than he let on. He was certainly no fool when it came to placating a predominately Saxon population. He immediately promised good governance and introduced a number of important reforms, developing the Curia Regia (King's Council) to settle disputes between the crown and its tenants and expanding the system of travelling justices throughout the shires.
King Henry I's only legitimate son and heir, William, whom he named Duke of Normandy after Robert, eldest brother of King Henry, had been imprisoned for life in 1106, drowned in November 1120 while returning from Normandy to England aboard the White Ship. William lost his life when the inebriated pilot steered the vessel onto a rock where the ship quickly filled with water.
Henry's second wife Adela whom he married in 1121 after Matilda's death in 1118 failed to produce another heir. Henry then had to persuade the barons to accept his daughter Matilda as heir to the throne.
Extract from Find A Grave
Name: Henry I.
Birth: 1 September 1068
Death: 1 December 1135
Notes: English Monarch. Born in Yorkshire, he was the youngest son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, and their only child to be born on English soil. Originally destined for the clergy, Henry received an outstanding education at Abingdon Abbey, studying languages, English law, and natural history. This earned him the epithet Beauclerc, meaning "fine scholar," of which he was very proud. William left the crown of England to his second son, William Rufus, but Rufus was killed by an arrow while hunting in 1100. His eldest brother Robert was away on crusade, so Henry rushed to London, seized the keys to the royal treasury, and was declared king. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on August 5. He married Princess Edith, daughter of King Malcolm Ceann-Mor of Scotland on November 11, 1100 and the new queen changed her name to Matilda in honor of Henry's mother. Henry's eldest brother Robert, who had been left Normandy, returned from crusade to claim the throne of England as well. But Henry retaliated, invaded Normandy, and imprisoned Robert. His reign was also beset with strife from the church. Henry wanted the rights of the monarchy over the church, while the church wanted self-government and self-reform. Threatened with excommunication by the pope, Henry finally reached an unstable agreement with the church. Queen Matilda died in 1118, having given him only two children, Matilda and William. But Henry is credited with being the king with the largest number of illegitimate children: anywhere from 18 to 25. In a devastating blow to Henry and the succession, his son and heir William was killed in a fire at sea, along with two of his illegitimate children, in 1120. In a desperate attempt to provide heirs, he married a second time to the young Adelicia of Brabant in 1121. The marriage remained childless. Henry was forced to make his barons swear to accept his daughter Matilda as his heir. The king died after eating bad lampreys at St. Denis le Fermont in Normandy at the age of 67. His throne was awarded to his nephew, Stephen of Blois, resulting in a period of civil war and anarchy. Parents: William the Conqueror (1027 - 1087) and Matilda of Flanders (1030 - 1083)
Spouse: Matilda Dunkeld (1079 - 1118)
Matilda Of Perche (1086 - 1120)
Robert De Caen (1090 - 1147)
Sybilla of Normandy (1092 - 1122)
Richard Of Lincoln (1094 - 1120)
Matilda Alice (1102 - 1167)
William Adelin (1103 - 1120)
Cause of death: Food poisoning.
Burial: Reading Abbey (Ruins), Reading, Berkshire, England.
Henry married Sybilla CORBET. (Sybilla CORBET was born circa 1077 in Alcester, Warwickshire, England and died circa 1160 in Wales.)
Henry next married Sybil CORBET. (Sybil CORBET was born in 1075 in Alcaster, Warwick, England.)
Henry next married Mathilda Edith ATHELING Princess of Scotland on 11 Nov 1100 in Westminster Abbey, London, England. (Mathilda Edith ATHELING Princess of Scotland was born in 1079 in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland.)
Henry next married Adela DE LOUVAIN on 29 Nov 1121 in Westminster Abbey, London, England. (Adela DE LOUVAIN was born in 1103 in Brabant.)