Henry I (Normandie) of England

Henry (Normandie) of England (1068 - 1135)

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Henry (Henry I) "Beauclerc, FitzWilliam, King of England" of England formerly Normandie aka de Normandie
Born in Selby, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Westminster Abbeymap
Husband of — married in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Eure, Normandy, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Feb 2012
This page has been accessed 38,184 times.

Categories: House of Normandie | Battle of Tinchebray | Investiture Controversy | This Day In History August 02 | This Day In History December 01.

Image:King of England-61.png
Henry I (Normandie) of England is a member of the House of Normandie.
Preceded by
William II "Rufus"
King of the English
2 Aug 1100 – 1 Dec 1135
Succeeded by
British Aristocracy
Henry I (Normandie) of England was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Important Notice: Do not merge Named Mistresses as Unknown Mistresses.



Henry "Beauclerc" I, King of England.

He was sometimes referred to as "Beauclerc" in French, implying that he was well educated.


  • King of England 1100-1135 (a long reign)
  • Duke of Normandy 1106-1135.


b. SEP 1068 Selby, Yorkshire
Christening: 5 AUG 1100 Selby, Yorkshire
d. 01 DEC 1135 St Denis, Seine-St Denis[1][2][3]
bur: Reading Abbey, Reading, Berks[4]

Parents and siblings

William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders. He had two older brothers, William Rufus and Robert Curthose, who stood before him in the lines of inheritance for England and Normandy.

Marriage and legitimate children

Married twice, and had at least 2 legitimate children, both of whom have descendants.

m.1. Matilda (also known as Edith or Eadgyth) of Scotland (d. 01 May 11118) 11 Nov 1100 Westminster Abbey[1][5]
  • (disputed) Euphemia (daughter who d. young; possibly did not exist)
  • William Atheling (predeceased his father in the White Ship Disaster)
  • (disputed) Richard of Normandy[6]
  • heir nominated by Henry himself: Matilda, m. twice 1. Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor and 2. Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.
m.2. Adeliza of Louvain 29 JAN 1121 Windsor Castle.[1] No issue.

Mistresses and illegitimate children

There is no final and exact list of all mistresses and illegitimate children but Henry is thought to have had more than any English king since. Complete Peerage 2nd ed. has a special appendix by G H White about the subject which has been criticized in more recent publications.[7]

All major modern sources agree about the following (note that fitz Roy simply meant "son of the King" and inheritable family surnames were rare in this period):

  • Robert fitz Roy, or Robert of Caen, who became Earl of Gloucester
  • Richard fitz Roy, whose mother was Ansfride widow of Anskill
  • Fulk (or Foulques etc) proposed by White to have the same mother as Richard, though Thompson calls this especially unlikely.
  • Juliane (or Juliana) also speculated by White to have the same mother as Richard (without strong evidence). m. Eustache, lord of Pacy and Breteuil.
  • Reginald (or Reynald etc) de Dunstanville, who became Earl of Cornwall. His mother was named Sibyl, possibly Sibyl Corbett, and she later married Herbert fitz Herbert.
  • Robert fitz Roy (another one), also known as Robert fitz Edith, whose mother, Edith or Eda, later married Robert d'Oilly. Possibly she was a daughter of Forn, ancestor of the Greystoke family. m. Maud d'Avranches.
  • (likely) Adeliza. Robert probably also had a full sister named Alice or Adeliza who appears in one charter.
  • Henry fitz Roy, son of Nest, daughter of Rhys son of Tewdwr and wife of Gerald the steward. He was father of Meiler fitz Henry and his brother Robert, who were important in Ireland.
  • Mathilde (or Maud) m. Routrou de Perche, Count of Perche. her mother was named Edith but must be a different lady to the mother of Robert above.
  • Isabel, daughter of Isabel, the daughter of Robert de Beaumont Comte de Meulan, Earl of Leicester and Isabelle de Vermandois. Isabel the mother was later wife of Gilbert FitzGilbert de Clare Earl of Pembroke.
  • Gilbert fitz Roy
  • William de Tracy
  • Maud (or Mathilde) who married Conan III Duke of Britanny.
  • The wife, probably named Mabel, of Guillaume (William) de Gouet.
  • Constance (sometimes referred to wrongly by other names), who married Roscelin de Beaumont.
  • Aline (sometimes referred to wrongly by other names), who married Mathieu de Montmorency.
  • Matilda (Maud), abbess of Montivilliers (often confused with other daughters with this name).
  • (likely) Sibyl, the wife of King Alexander I of Scotland.

Also see illegitimate children in mistresses of Henry I.

Death and burial

The death and burial of King Henry I. (Royal Tombs of Medieval England) Henry I died at the royal hunting lodge of Lyons-la-Foret near Rouen on 2 December 1135, reportedly poisoned by a dish of lampreys. The king's organs were buried in the church of Sainte-Marse des Pres, near Rouen, a Benedictine house founded by his mother, Matilda. Henry's body was embalmed and wrapped in bull's hide to preserve it for burial in England. Bad weather delayed the return of the body to England and the king's remains were kept at Saint-Etienne in Caen, his father's burial place, for the best part of a month. This is the first recorded example of a divided English royal burial at a distant location. Henry was finally buried before the high altar in the abbey church at Reading on 5 January 1136 with full honors, unlike his father and brother.

Additional detail notes on death and burial of King Henry I. (Royal Tombs of Medieval England) Henry I died of food poisoning at Lyons-la-Foret, near Rouen. The king's brains, eyes and viscera (entrails) were buried at Rouen, and the body was wrapped in bull's hide to preserve it for burial at Reading Abbey. This was the first recorded example of English royal embalmment and the process appears to have been spectacularly unsuccessful.

Grave location of Henry I. (Royal Tombs of Medieval England) Reading Abbey was progressively demolished following the Dissolution (of the monasteries). The ruins of the south transept survive and stand to the south-east of the Forbury Gardens. A large cross in the Forbury Gardens commemorates Henry I's burial, but it stands on the site of the south nave aisle. The abbey choir, the most likely site of Henry I's grave, stood in the area now lying between the Forbury Day Centre and Reading Jail.


  • The first years of Henry's reign were concerned with subduing Normandy. His father divided his kingdoms between Henry's older brothers, leaving England to William and Normandy to Robert. For much of his reign he faced the risk of rebellions in Normandy.[8]
  • Drawn into controversy with the Church over the lay investiture issue,[9]
  • Mixed nepotism with violence to strengthen allegiance to the crown.[10]
  • Final years: war with France and succession worries.
  • Forced Barons to accept Matilda as his heir, but in the end they chose for King Stephen.[11][12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ancestral Roots. Fredrick Weis; 7th ed. 1992.
  2. Cause: Food poisoning from Lampreys
  3. Royalty for Commoners, Roderick W. Stuart, Gen. Pub. Co., Balt. 1992, p68.
  4. Abbey in ruins, bones scattered.
  5. Eadgyth was an Anglo-Saxon name. Later named Matilda, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland.
  6. Not to be confused with Richard of Lincoln
  7. Geoffrey H. White, "Henry I's Illegitimate children", CP 11, Appendix D (pp. 105-121). A major critique is Kathleen Thompson, "Affairs of State: the illegitimate children of Henry I", Journal of Medieval History 29 (2003): 129-151. Also see "Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 11: Henry I's Illegitimate Children" at http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cp/p_henryisillegitimate.shtml
  8. Henry inherited no land, but received ú5000 in silver. He played both sides in his brothers' quarrel, leading both to distrust Henry, and sign a mutual accession treaty barring their brother from the crown.

    Henry's hope arose when Robert went on the First Crusade; should William die, Henry would be the obvious choice. Henry was in the woods hunting on the morning of William's death, August 2, 1100. He moved quickly and was crowned king on August 5, his coronation charter denouncing William's oppressive policies and promising good government. Robert returned to Normandy a few weeks later, but escaped final defeat until 1106, at the Battle of Tinchebrai. Robert was captured and lived the remaining twenty-eight years of his life as Henry's prisoner.
  9. Practice of selling clergy appointments by the king to gain revenue. ... opposed by its reformers. He ignored the situation until threatened with excommunication by Pope Paschal II in 1105. Reaching a compromise with the papacy, he officially denounced the practice but prelates continued to do homage for their fiefs. In practice, it changed little, King still appointed ecclesiastical offices but it a marked a point when kingship was viewed as purely secular and subservient to the Church. A solution to the lay investiture controversy and conquest of Normandy were accomplished in 1106, allowing Henry to expand his power.
  10. Roger of Salisbury, the most famous of Henry's servants, was instrumental in organizing a department for collection of royal revenues, the Exchequer. The Exchequer quickly gained notoriety for sending out court officials to judge local financial disputes, weakening feudal courts, and won the title "Lion of Justice".
  11. As the sole surviving legitimate heir, she was recalled to Henry's court in 1125 after the death of her first husband. She was forced to marry sixteen-year-old Geoffrey of Anjou in 1128 to continue the Angevin alliance. Henry made the barons accept her as his heir upon his death. Matilda's marriage to Geoffrey of Anjou was unpopular with the Norman barons, but Matilda and Geoffrey produced a male heir, prompting Henry to force another oath from the barons in support of Matilda. In summer 1135, Henry refused to give custody of certain key Norman castles to Geoffrey, as a show of good will, and the pair entered into war. Henry's life ended in this sorry state of affairs - war with his son-in-law - in December 1135.
  12. Brian Tompsett's Royal Database; March, 1929 NYC - Rev. March 1980. Royal Line, The. Albert F Schmuhl; Some English Descendants of Malcome Canmore King Of the Scots RJCW 307. Gregory Lauder-Frost F.S.A. ((lauderfrost@@btinternet.com); The Magna Charta Sureties 1215; Encyclopedia Britannica, Treatise on Henry I; Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists

See also:

  • Royal Ancestry 2013 by Douglas Richardson Vol. I page 8
HENRY nicknamed Beauclerc King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Cotentin, 4th son born in 1068 or 1069. He married (1st) 11 Nov. 1100 MAUD OF SCOTLAND, daughter of Malcolm III (Ceannmor), King of Scots, by his 2nd wife, [Saint] Margaret, daughter of Edward AEtheling. She was born in 1079. They had one son, William, and one daughter, Maud. His wife, Maud, died at Westminster 1 May 1118. He married (2nd) at Windsor, Berkshire 29 Jan. 1121 ALICE (or ADELIZA) OF LOUVAIN, daughter of Gottfried (or Godefroy) I, Duke of Lower Lorraine, Count of Lorraine by his wife, Ida, daughter of Otto II, Count of Chiny. She was born about 1103. They had no issue. By various mistresses, he had eight illegitimate sons, and nine illegitimate daughters. HENRY I, King of England died at Lyons-la-Foret (near Rouen), Normandy 1 Dec, 1135, and buried at Reading Abbey, Berkshire.
  • "Royal Ancestry" 2013 D. Richardson Vol. I. page 108, 159, 197, 199, 302, 448, 479, 493, 536, 541, and 566
  • Royal Tombs of Medieval England M. Duffy 2003 page 22, 51, 52
  • Bartlett, R. (2000). "The struggle for succession 1075 - 1225." England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings 1075 - 1225. Oxford: Clarendon Press. eBook. ISBN 0-19-822741-8.
  • Stuart, R.W. (1992). Royalty for Commoners, (pp.68). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.
  • Weis, F.L. (1999). The Magna Charta Sureties 1215, (5th ed pp: 161-9).
  • Weis, F.L. (1999). Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, (7th ed, pp: 262-27, 33a-23).

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Memories: 6

On 30 Oct 2018 Gabrielle Estrada wrote:

28th great grandfather of mine. Wikitree confirmed.

On 2 May 2018 Catherine (West) West-Dossett-Davies wrote:

Wikitree has confirmed that He's my 27th great grandfather!.Catherine West

On 4 Dec 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Marlborough, England INFORMATION:

In 1067, William the Conqueror assumed control of the Marlborough area and set about building a wooden motte and bailey castle, sited on the prehistoric mound. This was completed in around 1100. Stone was used to strengthen the castle in around 1175. The first written record of Marlborough dates from the Domesday Book in 1087. William also established a mint in Marlborough, which coined the William I and the early William II silver pennies. The coins display the name of the town as Maerlebi or Maerleber.

He also established the neighbouring Savernake Forest as a favourite Royal hunting ground and Marlborough Castle became a Royal residence. Henry I observed Easter here in 1110. Henry II stayed at Marlborough Castle in talks with the King of Scotland.

Later Henry III was also married here. Henry III held Parliament here, in 1267, when the Statute of Marlborough was passed (this gave rights and privileges to small land owners and limited the right of the King to take possession of land). This seven-hundred-year-old law states that no-one shall seize his neighbour's goods for alleged wrong without permission of the Court. Apart from Charters, it is the oldest statute in English law which has not yet been repealed.

On 3 Dec 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

On 3 Dec 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Name: King Henry I

Born: September, 1068 at Selby, Yorkshire Parents: William I and Matilda of Flanders Relation to Elizabeth II: 24th great-grandfather House of: Normandy Ascended to the throne: August 3, 1100 aged 31 years Crowned: August 6, 1100 at Westminster Abbey Married: (1) Edith (Matilda), Daughter of Malcolm III (2) Adelicia, Daughter of Geoffrey VII, count of Louvain Children: Daughter Matilda, son William, and reputedly around 20 illegitimate children Died: December 2, 1135 at St Denis le Fermont, Normandy, aged 67 years, 2 months, and 29 days Buried at: Reading Reigned for: 35 years, 3 months, and 28 days Succeeded by: his nephew Stephen

King of England from 1100. Youngest son of William the Conqueror, he succeeded his brother William II. He won the support of the Saxons by granting them a charter and marrying a Saxon princess, Edith, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland. She was known as Matilda after her marriage, a name more acceptable to the Norman Barons than her Saxon name Edith. Henry's daughter was also called Matilda. He was an able administrator, and established a professional bureaucracy and a system of travelling judges. He was called Beauclerc because of his scholarly interests.

In 1101 his elder brother Robert, Duke of Normandy, attempted to seize the crown by invading England. However, after the Treaty of Alton, Robert agreed to recognise his brother Henry as King and returned to Normandy. They fought again in 1106 at Battle of Tinchebrai at which Robert was captured and Henry became Duke of Normandy as well as King of England. Henry's only legitimate son and heir, William, was drowned in 1120 in wreck of the White Ship and Henry tried to settle the succession on his daughter Matilda and her son Henry (later Henry II). However, Matilda widow of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, was unpopular when she re-married into the House of Anjou rival of the House of Normandy. The throne was taken by Henry's nephew Stephen, who, towards the end of his reign, agreed to adopt Matilda's son as his heir.

Henry died in Normandy in 1135 of food poisoning according to legend from eating a 'surfeit of Lampreys' (an eel type fish).

On 12 Nov 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

Henry I (circa 1068/1069 – 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— 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 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.

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Images: 5
Arms of Henry I
Arms of Henry I

Henry I King of England
Henry I King of England

Adeliza of Louvain: Children
Adeliza of Louvain: Children

Chart of Paternal Royal and Noble Ancestors
Chart of Paternal Royal and Noble Ancestors

Henry I and the sinking ''White Ship''
Henry I and the sinking ''White Ship''


On 14 Jun 2018 at 14:38 GMT Becky (Lawson) Gouge wrote:

my 26th great grandfather

On 30 May 2018 at 10:13 GMT Michael Griffiths wrote:

You are my 28th Great Grandfather, I am a direct descendant.

Regards, Michael Griffiths, New Zealand

On 25 Mar 2015 at 08:36 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

Normandie-45 and Plantagenet-1731 appear to represent the same person because: Same dates, intended to be the same person. LNAB is definitely Normandie, the Plantagenets were a later dynasty.

On 22 Nov 2014 at 17:46 GMT Doug Lockwood wrote:

Henry I (Normandie) of England is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables

On 30 Nov 2013 at 15:58 GMT Barbara (White) Bonanni wrote:

Have removed them as spouses as yes, she was a mistress. Still need him added as Henry FitzRoys father. Thank you

On 30 Nov 2013 at 13:00 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:

Hi; what are the sources for this profile's being linked to Henry I? Even if she was his mistress, she shouldn't be linked as his wife.

On 5 Feb 2012 at 20:21 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:

This is a final profile, as determined by the European Aristocracy user-group. Any merges will go INTO this profile.

On 22 Mar 2011 at 20:28 GMT Krissi (Hubbard) Love wrote:

Known as "Beauclerc".

Henry I is 28 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 28 degrees from Katy Jurado and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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