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King Henry “Beauclerc” de Normandie, I

King Henry “Beauclerc” de Normandie, I

Birth
Selby, Selby District, North Yorkshire, England
Death 2 Dec 1135 (aged 67)
Saint-Denis-le-Ferment, Departement de l'Eure, Haute-Normandie, France
Burial Reading, Reading Borough, Berkshire, England
Memorial ID 1949 · View Source
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English Monarch. Born in Yorkshire, he was the youngest son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, and their only child to be born on English soil. Originally destined for the clergy, Henry received an outstanding education at Abingdon Abbey, studying languages, English law, and natural history. This earned him the epithet Beauclerc, meaning "fine scholar," of which he was very proud. William left the crown of England to his second son, William Rufus, but Rufus was killed by an arrow while hunting in 1100. His eldest brother Robert was away on crusade, so Henry rushed to London, seized the keys to the royal treasury, and was declared king. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on August 5. He married Princess Edith, daughter of King Malcolm Ceann-Mor of Scotland on November 11, 1100 and the new queen changed her name to Matilda in honor of Henry's mother. Henry's eldest brother Robert, who had been left Normandy, returned from crusade to claim the throne of England as well. But Henry retaliated, invaded Normandy, and imprisoned Robert. His reign was also beset with strife from the church. Henry wanted the rights of the monarchy over the church, while the church wanted self-government and self-reform. Threatened with excommunication by the pope, Henry finally reached an unstable agreement with the church. Queen Matilda died in 1118, having given him only two children, Matilda and William. But Henry is credited with being the king with the largest number of illegitimate children: anywhere from 18 to 25. In a devastating blow to Henry and the succession, his son and heir William was killed in a fire at sea, along with two of his illegitimate children, in 1120. In a desperate attempt to provide heirs, he married a second time to the young Adelicia of Brabant in 1121. The marriage remained childless. Henry was forced to make his barons swear to accept his daughter Matilda as his heir. The king died after eating bad lampreys at St. Denis le Fermont in Normandy at the age of 67. His throne was awarded to his nephew, Stephen of Blois, resulting in a period of civil war and anarchy.

Bio by: Kristen Conrad



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1949
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for King Henry “Beauclerc” de Normandie, I (21 Sep 1068–2 Dec 1135), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1949, citing Reading Abbey (Ruins), Reading, Reading Borough, Berkshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .