Born in 1068
Died on 1st of December 1135
Henry I was the youngest son of William The Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, he was born in 1068 in Selby, Yorkshire. His brothers were Robert Of Normandy who was the eldest, and William Rufus. On the death of their father Robert inherited Normandy in France, and William Rufus inherited the English crown, Henry was given a sum of money. The division of the crown had it's own problems, with the powerful Nobles who owned land in both Normandy and England, as allegiance to one was sure to be deemed as disloyal to the other. However, Robert was disinclined to rule Normandy, preferring instead to go off on the Crusade, which left William to reign over both lands. Henry was with his brother William whilst on a hunting trip in the new Forest, when William was fatally wounded by an arrow on the 2nd August 1100, seizing his opportunity he left his brother and journeyed to Winchester to claim the throne, he was crowned just a few days later at Westminster Abbey.
Henry was well educated and hungry for knowledge, he received instruction from the Monks at Abingdon Abbey in Berkshire, and spoke both English and French, and was tutored in Latin and Law, which earned him the nickname of Beauclerc, which meant fine scholar. He decided to marry princess Edith known as Matilda, she was the eldest daughter of King Malcolm Canmore Of Scots, although she died in 1118, he then married Adelaide Of Louvaine. Henry had three legitimate children with his first wife Matilda, Empress Matilda, Richard who died at the age of 16, and William, although Henry was said to have fathered twenty illegitimate children. His son William sadly drowned in the English Chanel on his return from Normandy, when the White Ship floundered and ultimately sunk, as there was no other male heir Henry ensured that his daughter was named as heir to the throne in his will.
When his brother Robert Curthose returned from the Crusades, he rallied his Norman troops and journeyed to England to challenge Henry, but he was defeated, and placed in the Tower of London, then moved to Wales, however, Robert made a desperate attempt to escape. Henry was infuriated and ordered that Robert's eyed were to be burned out. Henry died of severe food poisoning in December, 1135, aged 67 years, whilst he was in Rouen in France, his body was transported back to England and he was later buried at Reading Abbey. Henry was to become known through the passages of time as a skilled diplomat and wise monarch. He was succeeded by Stephen Of Blois, after Civil War had ensued following the death of Henry, and the succession, troubles were finally settled between Matilda and Stephen, by him declaring that her son, Henry would inherit the throne. Stephen ascended to the throne and was crowned on 22nd December 1135.
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