King Henry I "Beauclerc" England King, son of William I "The Conqueror" King Of England and Matilda (Maud) Flanders [Queen England].
Born 1068 at Selby, Yorkshire, England, baptized Aug 5, 1100 at Selby, Yorkshire, England, died Dec 1, 1135 at Lyons-La-Foret, Normandy, France, 66 or 67 years, buried Jan 4, 1136 at Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England
Henry I was born in the year 1068---a factor he himself regarded as highly significant, for he was the only son of the Conqueror born after the conquest of England, and to Henry this meant he was heir to the throne. He was not an attractive proposition: he was dissolute to a degree, producing at least a score of bastards; but far worse he was prone to sadistic cruelty---on one occasion, for example, personally punishing a rebellious burgher by throwing him from the walls of his town.
At the death of William the Conqueror, Henry was left no lands, merely 5,000 pounds of silver. With these he bought lands from his elder brother Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, only to see them taken back again a few years later by Robert, in unholy alliance with his brother William Rufus.
Henry could do little to avenge such treatment, but in England he found numerous barons who were tired of the exactions and ambitions of their king. He formed alliances with some of these, notably with the important de Clare family. He and some of the de Clares were with William Rufus on his last hunting expedition, and it is thought that the king's death was the result of Henry's plotting.
Certainly he moved fast to take advantage of it; leaving Rufus's body unattended in the woods, he swooped down on Winchester to take control of the treasury. Two days later he was in Westminster, being crowned by the Bishop of London. His speed is understandable when one realises that his elder brother, Robert [Curthose], was returning from the crusade, and claimed, with good reason, to be the true heir.
Henry showed great good sense in his first actions as King. He arrested Ranulph Flambard, William's tax-gatherer, and recalled Anselm, the exiled Archbishop. Furthermore, he issued a Charter of Liberties which promised speedy redress of grievances, and a return to the good government of the Conqueror. Putting aside for the moment his many mistresses, he married the sister of the King of Scots, who was descended from the royal line of Wessex; and lest the Norman barons should think him too pro-English in this action, he changed her name from Edith to Matilda. No one could claim that he did not aim to please.
In 1101 Robert Curthose invaded, but Henry met him at Alton, and persuaded him to go away again by promising him an annuity of
Married at No Marriage to:
Isabel (Elizabeth) De Beaumont, daughter of 1st Earl Of Leicester Robert I De Robert Earl Of 1st Earl Of Leicester/Beaumont and Isabel Elizabeth De Vermandois.
Born ± 1094 at Leicester, Leicestershire, England, died Jan 6, 1147-1148 at Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales, approximately 54 years
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