woman Matilda Empress of Germany Queen of England‏‎, daughter of Henry I Beauclerc of England of England and Matilda Dunkeld of Scotland‏.
Also known as: /Adelaide/, born ‎ Aug 5, 1102 at Winchester, Hampshire, England, died ‎ Sep 10, 1169 at Notre Dame, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Normandy‎, 67 years
Empress Matilda (1141 AD)
Matilda is the Latin form of Maud, and the name of the only survivinglegitimate child of King Henry I. She was born in 1101, generally it issaid at Winchester, but recent research indicates that she was actuallyborn at the Royal Palace in Sutton Courtenay (Berkshire).

In something of a political coup for her father, Matilda was betrothed tothe German Emperor, Henry V, when she was only eight. They were marriedon 7th January 1114. She was twelve and he was thirty-two. Unfortunatelythere were no children and on the Emperor's death in 1125, Matilda wasrecalled to her father's court.

Matilda's only legitimate brother had been killed in the disastrous Wreckof the White Ship in late 1120 and she was now her father's only hope forthe continuation of his dynasty. The barons swore allegiance to the youngPrincess and promised to make her queen after her father's death. Sheherself needed heirs though and in April 1127, Matilda found herselfobliged to marry Prince Geoffrey of Anjou and Maine (the future GeoffreyV, Count of those Regions). He was thirteen, she twenty-three. It isthought that the two never got on. However, despite this unhappysituation they had had three sons in four years.

Being absent in Anjou at the time of her father's death on 1st December1135, possibly due to pregnancy, Matilda was not in much of a position totake up the throne which had been promised her and she quickly lost outto her fast-moving cousin, Stephen. With her husband, she attempted totake Normandy. With encouragement from supporters in England though, itwas not long before Matilda invaded her rightful English domain and sobegan a long-standing Civil War from the powerbase of her half-brother,Robert of Gloucester, in the West Country.

After three years of armed struggle, she at last gained the upper hand atthe Battle of Lincoln, in February 1141, where King Stephen was captured.However, despite being declared Queen or "Lady of the English" atWinchester and winning over Stephen's brother, Henry of Blois, thepowerful Bishop of Winchester, Matilda alienated the citizens of Londonwith her arrogant manner. She failed to secure her coronation and theLondoners joined a renewed push from Stephen's Queen and laid siege tothe Empress in Winchester. She managed to escape to the West, but whilecommanding her rearguard, her brother was captured by the enemy.

Matilda was obliged to swap Stephen for Robert on 1st November 1141. Thusthe King soon reimposed his Royal authority. In 1148, after the death ofher half-brother, Matilda finally returned to Normandy, leaving her son,who, in 1154, would become Henry II, to fight on in England. She died atRouen on 10th September 1169 and was buried in Fontevrault Abbey, thoughsome of her entrails may possibly have been later interred in herfather's foundation at Reading Abbey

. Matilda (Maud the Empress). See below.

In addition to these legitimate births, Henry is reported to have hadnineteen or twenty illegitimate children, the highest number of spuriousoffspring for a King of England to have acknowledged. The best known ofthem all is Robert the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, father of Maud, wifeof Ranulph de Meschines, 2nd Earl of Chester. Another was Reginald, anatural son from a relationship between Henry I. of England and hismistress, Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, Count ofMeulent and Earl of Leicester, (son of Roger de Beaumont and his wife,Adelina, Countess of Meulent) and his wife Elizabeth Vermandois, youngerdaughter of Hugh Magnus, the Great, of France, Count of Vermandois.Reginald, married Beatrix, daughter of William Fitz Richard, a potentlord in Cornwall. They had a daughter, Matilda, who married Robert, Countof Meulent, son of Waleran II., Count of Meulent, who married Agnes deMontfort. Waleran II. was a son of the aforementioned Robert Beaumont,and his wife, Elizabeth Vermandois. Robert and Matilda had two children:Waleran III. and Mabel de Beaumont, who married William de Vernon, Earlof Devon, who had three children: Baldwin, Mary Vernon and Joan. Theirdescendants are not identified.

Henry I. also married (2) Adeliza of Lorraine, daughter of GeoffreyBarbatus, Duke of Lorraine and Count of Barbant. Adeliza of Lorraine,upon the death of Henry I., married (2) William de Albini. See thecontinuation of that lineage under the Albini Line in Volume II.

12. Matilda (Maud the Empress) of England (1102-1167), was left the solelegitimate child of Henry I. by the loss of his son in the White Ship(1120). She married (1) Emperor Henry V, Emperor of Rome, and was crownedat Mainz (1114), but was widowed in 1125 and married (2) Geoffrey IV. leBel, Plantaganet, 10th Count of Anjou and Maine, Duke of Normandy, havingwon the Duchy from Stephen, son of Fulk V. the Younger, 9th Count ofAnjou, King of Jerusalem, and his wife, Ermengarde. See their ancestrallineage elsewhere in Vol. I. Her first husband was thirty years older,her second husband, ten years younger than herself. Henry made the baronsrecognize the Empress as his heir (1126, 1131, and 1133), but when hedied Stephen ignored her claim to rule England by hereditary right. TheNormans preferred his chivalrous geniality to her haughtiness and theydisliked the House of Anjou as much as they did the House of Blois, intowhich Stephen's mother, the Conqueror's daughter Adela, had married. TheEmpress appealed to the Pope in vain (1136) and Archbishop Thurstan ofYork defeated her uncle and champion, David I., King of Scotland(1084-1153) at the Battle of the Standard (1138); but at last she landedin England. Geoffrey was the original Plantaganet, so named by hiscompanions for the broom corn he wore on his person. Matilda and Geoffreyhad two sons as follows:

1. Henry II. See below.

2. Geoffrey, died in 1158.

It is through Geoffrey that the Plantaganet line from France was broughtinto the British royalty (see the lineage of the Counts of Anjouelsewhere). He died in 1151. After Geoffrey's death Matilda lived inNormandy, charitable and respected. Matilda died in 1167. Geoffrey wassucceeded by his eldest son, Henry.

Married ‎ 1114 (54 or 55 years married) to:


2nd marriage
woman Matilda Empress of Germany Queen of England‏‎, daughter of Henry I Beauclerc of England of England and Matilda Dunkeld of Scotland‏.

Married ‎ May 1127 (42 years married) to:



man Henry II Plantagenet King of England King of England‏
Born ‎ Mar 25, 1133 at Le Mans, Sarthe, France, died ‎ Jul 6, 1189 at Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France‎, 56 years, buried ‎ Jul 8, 1189 at Fontebralt Abbe, Maine-et-Lorie, France
Henry II (1154-1189)

Born: 5th March 1133 at Le Mans, Maine

Died: 6th July 1189 at Chinon Castle, Anjou

Buried: Fontevrault Abbey, Anjou

Parents: Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and the Empress Matilda

Siblings: Geoffrey, Count of Nantes & William, Count of Poitou

Crowned: 19th December 1154 at Westminster Abbey, Middlesex

Married: 18th May 1152 at Bordeaux Cathedral, Gascony

Spouse: Eleanor daughter of William X, Duke of Aquitane & divorcee ofLouis VII, King of France

Offspring: William, Henry, Matilda, Richard, Geoffrey, Eleanor, Joan &John

Contemporaries: Louis VII (King of France, 1137-1180), Thomas Beckett(Archbishop of Canterbury), Pope Adrian IV, Frederick I (FrederickBarbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, 1152-1190)
Henry II, first of the Angevin kings, was one of the most effective ofall England's monarchs. He came to the throne amid the anarchy ofStephen's reign and promptly collared his errant barons. He refinedNorman government and created a capable, self-standing bureaucracy. Hisenergy was equaled only by his ambition and intelligence. Henry survivedwars, rebellion, and controversy to successfully rule one of the MiddleAges' most powerful kingdoms.

Henry was raised in the French province of Anjou and first visitedEngland in 1142 to defend his mother's claim to the disputed throne ofStephen. His continental possessions were already vast before hiscoronation: He acquired Normandy and Anjou upon the death of his fatherin September 1151, and his French holdings more than doubled with hismarriage to Eleanor of Aquitane (ex-wife of King Louis VII of France). Inaccordance with the Treaty of Wallingford, a succession agreement signedby Stephen and Matilda in 1153, Henry was crowned in October 1154. Thecontinental empire ruled by Henry and his sons included the Frenchcounties of Brittany, Maine, Poitou, Touraine, Gascony, Anjou, Aquitane,and Normandy. Henry was technically a feudal vassal of the king of Francebut, in reality, owned more territory and was more powerful than hisFrench lord. Although King John (Henry's son) lost most of the Englishholdings in France, English kings laid claim to the French throne untilthe fifteenth century. Henry also extended his territory in the BritishIsles in two significant ways. First, he retrieved Cumbria andNorthumbria form Malcom IV of Scotland and settled the Anglo-Scot borderin the North. Secondly, although his success with Welsh campaigns waslimited, Henry invaded Ireland and secured an English presence on theisland.

English and Norman barons in Stephen's reign manipulated feudal law toundermine royal authority; Henry instituted many reforms to weakentraditional feudal ties and strengthen his position. Unauthorized castlesbuilt during the previous reign were razed. Monetary payments replacedmilitary service as the primary duty of vassals. The Exchequer wasrevitalized to enforce accurate record keeping and tax collection.Incompetent sheriffs were replaced and the authority of royal courts wasexpanded. Henry empowered a new social class of government clerks thatstabilized procedure - the government could operate effectively in theking's absence and would subsequently prove sufficiently tenacious tosurvive the reign of incompetent kings. Henry's reforms allowed theemergence of a body of common law to replace the disparate customs offeudal and county courts. Jury trials were initiated to end the oldGermanic trials by ordeal or battle. Henry's systematic approach to lawprovided a common basis for development of royal institutions throughoutthe entire realm.

The process of strengthening the royal courts, however, yielded anunexpected controversy. The church courts instituted by William theConqueror became a safe haven for criminals of varying degree andability, for one in fifty of the English population qualified as clerics.Henry wished to transfer sentencing in such cases to the royal courts, aschurch courts merely demoted clerics to laymen. Thomas Beckett, Henry'sclose friend and chancellor since 1155, was named Archbishop ofCanterbury in June 1162 but distanced himself from Henry and vehementlyopposed the weakening of church courts. Beckett fled England in 1164, butthrough the intervention of Pope Adrian IV (the lone English pope),returned in 1170.He greatly angered Henry by opposing to the coronationof Prince Henry. Exasperated, Henry hastily and publicly conveyed hisdesire to be rid of the contentious Archbishop - four ambitious knightstook the king at his word and murdered Beckett in his own cathedral onDecember 29, 1170. Henry endured a rather limited storm of protest overthe incident and the controversy passed.

Henry's plans of dividing his myriad lands and titles evoked treacheryfrom his sons. At the encouragement - and sometimes because of thetreatment - of their mother, they rebelled against their father severaltimes, often with Louis VII of France as their accomplice. The deaths ofHenry the Young King in 1183 and Geoffrey in 1186 gave no respite fromhis children's rebellious nature; Richard, with the assistance of PhilipII Augustus of France, attacked and defeated Henry on July 4, 1189 andforced him to accept a humiliating peace. Henry II died two days later,on July 6, 1189.

A few quotes from historic manuscripts shed a unique light on Henry,Eleanor, and their sons.

From Sir Winston Churchill Kt, 1675: "Henry II Plantagenet, the veryfirst of that name and race, and the very greatest King that England everknew, but withal the most unfortunate . . . his death being imputed tothose only to whom himself had given life, his ungracious sons. . ."

From Sir Richard Baker, A Chronicle of the Kings of England: Concerningendowments of mind, he was of a spirit in the highest degree generous . .. His custom was to be always in action; for which cause, if he had noreal wars, he would have feigned . . . To his children he was bothindulgent and hard; for out of indulgence he caused his son henry to becrowned King in his own time; and out of hardness he caused his youngersons to rebel against him . . . He married Eleanor, daughter of WilliamDuke of Guienne, late wife of Lewis the Seventh of France. Some say KingLewis carried her into the Holy Land, where she carried herself not veryholily, but led a licentious life; and, which is the worst kind oflicentiousness, in carnal familiarity with a Turk."

Henry II. Plantaganet, first Plantaganet King of England (1154-1189),known as Curt Mantel, was born at Le Mans, France, on March 15, 1133. Ateighteen in 1151 he was invested with the Duchy of Normandy, his mother'sheritage, and within a year became also, by his father's death, Count ofAnjou; while in 1152 he married Eleanor of Aquitaine, the daughter ofWilliam X, Duke of Aquitaine (see his ancestral lineage elsewhere in Vol.I.), and divorced wife of King Louis VII. of France, added Poitou andGuienne to his dominions. In January 1153 he landed in England, and inNovember a treaty was agreed to whereby Henry was declared successor toKing Stephen; he was crowned in 1154 and ruled until his death in 1189.He confirmed the laws of his grandfather, King Henry I, reestablished theexchequer, banished the foreign mercenaries, demolished the hundreds ofcastles erected in Stephen's reign, and recovered the royal estates. Thewhole of 1156 he spent in France, reducing his brother, Geoffrey ofNantes, who died in 1158, and having secured his territories, he spentthe next five years warring and organizing his possessions on theContinent. Henry's objective was that of all Norman kings, to build upthe royal power at the expense of the barons and the church. From thebarons his reforms met with little serious opposition; with the clergy hewas less successful. To aid him in reducing the church to subjection, heappointed his chancellor, Thomas a Becket to the see of Canterbury. Henrycompelled him and the other prelates to agree to the 'Constitution ofClarendon', but Bechet proved a sturdy churchman, and the strugglebetween him and the monarch terminated only by his murder. In 1174 Henrydid penance at Bechet's tomb, but he ended by bringing the church tosubordination in civil matters. Meanwhile he organized an expedition toIreland. The English Pope, Adrian IV, had in 1155 given Henry authorityover the entire island of Ireland; and a number of Norman-Welsh knightshad gained a footing in the country, among them Richard de Clare, Earl ofPembroke, styled Strongbow, who in 1155 married the heiress of Leinsterand assumed rule as the Earl of Leinster. Henry was jealous at the riseof a powerful feudal baronage in Ireland, and during his stay there(1171-1172) he broke the power of Richard Strongbow and the other nobles.Henry and Eleanor had many children as follows:

1. William Plantaganet, the eldest son, was born in 1153, but died inchildhood in 1156.

2. Henry Plantaganet, Associate King of England, born February 28, 1155,known as Henry "the Young King," was crowned as his father's successor in1170. Henry married Margaret, daughter of Louis VII., King of France. In1173, incited by their jealous mother, Queen Eleanor, this prince and hisbrother Richard rebelled against their father, and their cause wasespoused by the King of France and the King of Scotland. The latter, KingWilliam the Lion, was ravaging the north of England when he was takenprisoner at Alnwick in 1174, and to obtain his liberty he submitted to dohomage to Henry II. In a few months King Henry II. had reestablished hisauthority in all his domains. During a second rebellion, Prince Henrydied June 11, 1183. He married Margaret, daughter of Louis VII., King ofFrance.

3. Matilda Plantaganet, born in 1156, died in 1189, married Henry theLion, Duke of Saxony and Duke of Bavaria. They had a son, Otto IV. ofBrunswick, Emperor (1208-1215).

4. Richard Plantaganet, the Lion-Hearted, born in 1157, marriedBerengaria of Navarre, daughter of Sancho VI. of Navarre. Richard d.s.p.April 6, 1199. He reigned as King Richard I. of England and Duke ofNormandy, 1189-1199. Richard was imprisoned by the Emperor Henry VI in1192, while returning from a Crusade. His freedom was obtained by ransomin 1194. After his release he was in constant battle with PhilipAugustus, King of France. Berengaria died in 1230.

5. Geoffrey Plantaganet, Duke of Brittany, 1171-1186, died in 1158,married Constance of Brittany, daughter of Conan IV. of Brittany. Shedied in 1201. In 1186, he was killed in a tournament. He and his wife hadtwo children:

1. Eleanor, who died in 1240.

2. Arthur, Duke of Brittany, born in 1187 and murdered in 1204, while inconflict with his uncle, King John I. King John saw him as a rival to thethrone.