King Henry I Biography
interesting information about this famous Medieval King of England - King Henry I Biography
Short Biography about the life of King Henry I of England
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life of King Henry I King of England:
Country of Origin / Nationality:
English of Norman decent
Also Known by
the Nickname: Henry Beauclerc ( meaning fine scholar ) as
the youngest of four sons he was expected to become a bishop
Lifetime: 1068 -
Period he reigned as King
of England: 1100 to 1135
Exact date of birth unknown
Close family connections or relatives: He was the fourth son of William
the Conqueror. His mother was Queen Matilda of Flanders. He
had three brothers: King William Rufus : Robert, who was
called Court-hose or Short-legs; and Richard who died young
to the throne of England: Crowned on 5 August 1100 at
first wife was Edith, the daughter of Malcolm Greathead,
King of Scotland, and of a lady of the old English royal
line. She took the name of her mother-in-law and referred to
as 'Good Queen Maude' - they had two children William Adelin
and Maude (Latin name was Matilda) . His second wife was
Adeliza, daughter of Godfrey I of Leuven, they were
Date when King Henry I,
died: December 1135 at St. Denis le Fermont in Normandy
Cause of the
Death of King Henry I: His death was caused by eating too
much of the fish called lamprey, and he was buried in
King Henry I: He was the king "who would let no one break
the laws - but himself". Shrewd, tough, ambitious and brutal
Accomplishments and Achievements or why King Henry I was famous:
Restoring the English laws of King Edward the Confessor.
King Henry I
The story and biography of King Henry I which contains interesting information,
facts & the history about the life of King Henry I, Beauclerc.
William of Malmesbury (1095 – 1143) was an English historian during the 12th
century. William of Malmesbury described King Henry I as follows:
"He was of middle stature,
greater than the small, but exceeded by the very tall; his hair was
black and set back upon the forehead; his eyes mildly bright; his chest
brawny; his body fleshy."
King Henry I
The story of King
Henry I ( Nickname Beauclerc )
Henry, was the brother of William Rufus,
and was one of the hunting party when King William Rufus mysteriously
died. As soon as the cry spread through the forest that the king was dead,
rode off at full speed to Winchester, and took possession of all his
brother's treasure. William Rufus had never married and left no heir to the
throne of England. Henry claimed England promising to govern according to the old laws
of England. As king, Henry carried out social and judicial reforms which
included issuing the Charter of Liberties and restoring the English laws
of King Edward the Confessor.
Henry married a half English
lady called Maude (1080-1118) on 11 November 1100. Maude was the daughter of
Malcolm Greathead, King of Scotland, and of the old English
royal line. She was actually christened Edith, but her name was changed to Maude
or Matilda on her marriage, as a compliment to the mother of her new
husband, King Henry I. She was greatly loved by the English who called her
'Good Queen Maude'. Queen Maude died in 1118.
Robert, the older brother of
King Henry I, returned from the Crusades and tried to make himself King of
England. Henry soon drove him back to Normandy. The brothers continued to argue for some years, and Robert managed Normandy
wasted his money.
Some of the Normans could not bear this any longer, and invited King Henry
to come and take the dukedom of Normandy. King Henry I led an army, many of whom were
English, and fought a battle with Robert and his faithful Normans at Trenchebray, in Normandy.
King Henry I gained a great victory, and the English
thought it made up for Hastings. Robert was made prisoner by his
brother, who imprisoned him in Cardiff Castle, in Wales, where he lived
for twenty-eight years until his death. King Henry I, Beauclerc claimed the
title of the Duke of Normandy.
Henry and Maude had two children
called William (1103 – November 25, 1120) and Maude (1102 – September
10, 1167). Young Maude , her Latin name was Matilda, was married to
the German Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor and the boy William was to marry to
Isabella d'Anjou, daughter to the Count of Anjou. Twelve year old William was taken by his father to Anjou, and
there married to the little girl, and then she was left behind, while
he was to return to England with his father. Just as he was going to
embark, a man came to the king, and begged to have the honor of taking
him across in his new vessel, called the White Ship. Henry could not
change his own plans; but, as the man begged so hard, he said his son,
the young bridegroom, and his friends might go in the White Ship.
They sailed in the evening, and there was great merry-making on
board, till the sailors grew so drunk that they did not know how to
guide the ship, and ran her against a rock. She filled with water
and began to sink. A boat was lowered, and William safely placed in
it; but, just as he was rowed off he heard the cries of the ladies
who were left behind, and caused the oarsmen to turn back for them.
So many drowning wretches crowded into it, as soon as it came near,
that it sank with their weight, and all were lost on 25 November 1120.
The impact of White Ship
disaster was that it left Henry with no male heir. On 29 January 1121,
King Henry I, Beauclerc, married Adeliza, daughter of Godfrey I of
Leuven, Duke of Lower Lotharingia and Landgrave of Brabant, but there
were no children from this marriage.
King Henry's daughter Matilda had lost her German husband, and came home.
made her marry Geoffrey of Anjou, the brother of his son's wife. Henry then
called upon all his chief noblemen to swear that they would take her
for their queen in England, and their duchess in Normandy, after his
He did not live much longer. His death was caused, in the year 1135,
by eating too much of the fish called lamprey, and he was buried in
Reading Abbey. The barons who had vowed to support the accession of Matilda to
the throne reneged and Stephen, Matilda's cousin, seized the throne.
Famous Medieval Kings of the Middle Ages
- King Henry I
Interesting facts and information with a short biography about the Medieval Life, Times and history of King Henry I.
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