of Flanders, Matilda 1a

Birth Name of Flanders, Matilda
Nick Name Maud
Gender female
Age at Death 52 years, 10 months, 1 day


Matilda of Flanders (~1031 - 1083) was queen of England, the wife of William the Conqueror She was the daughter of count Baldwin V of Flanders, and Adela Capet (1000-1078/9), daughter of Robert II of France.

A spoiled young lady used to speaking her mind and getting her way, the 4'2"-tall Matilda (or "Maud") told the representative of William, Duke of Normandy (later king of England as William the Conqueror), who had come asking for her hand, that she was far too high-born (being descended from King Alfred the Great of England) to consider marrying a bastard. When that was repeated to him, William, all 5'10" of him, rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse (some said by her long braids), threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants, and then rode off. After that, she decided to marry him, and even a papal ban (on the grounds of consanguinity) did not dissuade her.

There were rumors that Matilda had been in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon so pale he was nearly an albino, named Brihtric (but nicknamed "Snow"), who was already married. Whatever the truth of the matter, years later when she was acting as regent for William in England, she used her authority to confiscate Brihtric's lands (without even any formal charges, much less a trial) and throw him into prison, where he died under suspicious circumstances consistent with poisoning.

When William was preparing to invade England, Matilda outfitted a ship, the Mora, out of her own money and gave it to him. For many years it was thought that she had something to do with creating the Bayeux Tapestry, but historians no longer believe that; it seems to have been commissioned by William's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and made by Saxons in Kent.

Matilda bore William ten children, and he was believed to have been faithful to her, at least up until the time their son Robert rebelled against his father and Matilda sided with Robert against William. After she died, in 1083 at the age of 51, William became tyrannical, and people blamed it on his having lost her. She was buried at St. Stephen's in Caen, Normandy (then, France now), and William was eventually buried there, too. Years later their graves were opened and their bones measured, which is how we know how tall they were.


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1031 Flanders, France   2
Death 1083-11-02 Caen, Calvados, France   2

Age: 52y

Burial   Church of the Holy Trinity (St. Stephen's), Caen, Calvados, France   2


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father of Flanders, Baldwin V1012
Mother of France, Adelais Capet10031079-01-08
    Sister     of Northumbria, Judith 1027 1094
         of Flanders, Matilda 1031 1083-11-02
    Brother     of Flanders, Robert I 1035 1094-08-17
    Brother     Foresturious, Richard 1050
    Brother     of Flanders and Hainault, Baldwin VI 1070


Family of de Normandie, William and of Flanders, Matilda

Married Husband de Normandie, William ( * 1024-10-14 + 1087-09-10 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1050 Castle of Angi, Normandy, France   3
Name Birth Date Death Date
of Normandy, Matilda
of Flanders, Gundrella1052
of Normandy, Robert III10541134-10-02
of Normandy, Cecilia1056
of England, William II1056
of England, Richard1057
of England, Adelidis10621136-03-08
of Normandy, Agatha1064
of Normandy, Constance1066
England, Henry I1069-02-211135-12-01

Family of de St. Omer, Gerbod and of Flanders, Matilda

Married Husband de St. Omer, Gerbod ( * 1025 + 1053 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1050     4
Name Birth Date Death Date
de St. Omer, Gundrada10551085-05-27

Source References

  1. Thomas: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=tmebl&id=I01956 @ RootsWeb LeGrande Family Tree
      • Source text:

        ID: I01956
        Name: Matilda * de Flandres
        Sex: F
        Name: Maude de Flandres
        Birth: 1032 in Hainault, Flandres, France
        Death: 2 NOV 1083 in Caen, Calvados, France
        Burial: 1083 Holy Trinity Church, Caen, Calvados, France
        Event: Title / Occ Queen of England
        Event: Title / Occ Comtesse de Flandres
        Event: OS Other Source Data
        Event: OS Birth 1031

        Father: Baudouin V * de Flandres b: 1012 in Hainault, Flandres, Belgique
        Mother: Adèle * Capet b: 1009 in Arles, Toulouse, France

        Marriage 1 Gerbod ** de St. Omer b: 1025 in Flandres, France
        Married: ABT. 1050
        Gundrada * de St. Omer b: 1055 in Normandie, France

        Marriage 2 Guillaume I * de Normandie b: 14 OCT 1024 in Falaise, Calvados, France
        Married: 1054 in Eu, Seine-Inferieure, France
        Event: OS Marriage 1053 in Castle d'Angi, Normandie, France
        Robert III * de Normandie b: 1054 in Normandie, France
        Cecilia * de Normandie b: 1055 in Normandie, France
        William II de Normandie b: 1056 in Normandie, France
        Adeliza de Normandie b: 1057 in Normandie, France
        Richard de Normandie b: ABT. 1058 in Normandie, France
        Matilda de Normandie b: 1059 in Normandie, France
        Constance de Normandie b: 1061 in Normandie, France
        Adèle * de Normandie b: 1062 in Normandie, France
        Agatha Matilda de Normandie b: 1064 in Breteuil, Eure, France
        Anna de Normandie b: ABT. 1066 in Normandie, France
        Henry I * de Brionne b: 21 FEB 1068/69 in Selby, Yorkshire, England
        Godiva * de Normandie b: 1073


      • Citation:


  2. http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jdp-fam&id=I4176 @ RootsWeb
  3. RCKarnes: http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=arciek&id=I16905&style=TABLE Carrie's Family Tree
  4. Thomas: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=tmebl&id=I04846&style=TABLE @ RootsWeb LeGrande Family Tree