3. all the kings children


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The children of William the Conqueror

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3. all the kings children

  1. 1. All  the  King’s  Children  William and Matilda had 4 sons and, depending on the source, up to 6 daughters.Robert (Robert Curthose), Robert II, Duke of Normandy (b. c. 1051-4, d. 1134)Considered extremely personable but of poor judgment. During the absence of his parentsin 1068, he was made administrator of Normandy. In 1078, he demanded independentcontrol of Normandy and the Norman acquisitions in Maine. Alliances andencouragement from Flanders and France led to open military rebellion. Eventualreconciliation led to a promise of succession in Normandy. During William’s last yearshe was again in rebellion in collaboration with France. In spite of this he succeeded to theDuchy of Normandy. His spirit of adventure led him to seek money to finance his activities, selling partsof Normandy to Henry and during the First Crusade in 1095 pawning Normandy toRufus.On his return he sought not just Normandy but England as well. His failed invasion leadsto a renunciation of England in 1101. Henry, alleging misrule in Normandy, invaded in1105 and 1106. Capture at Tinchebrai in Normandy, Robert spent the rest of his life inluxurious confinement. His son, William Clito, was a possible candidate for succession.Richard (b.c. 1055, d.1075) Killed in a hunting accident in New Forest.William (William Rufus), (b. c. 1056-60, d. 1100) King William II of England (1187-1200)Considered very brave and loyal to those he favored. His contemporaries and later writerssuspected homosexuality and he never married (or had identified illegitimate children).Considered an enemy of the Church, nevertheless a number of major Cathedrals wereinitiated during his reign – Durham, Ely and Norwich. His main exploit was to use hispower over Church appointments to leave the offices vacant and take the revenues fromchurch lands, particularly monasteries for himself. An ally in this was his laterappointment as Bishop of Durham, Ranulf Flambard. In a moment of illness, he appointed Anselm as Archbishop of Canterbury.Anselm was to initiate the movement against royal control of the English church. Killed by an accidental (?) arrow in New Forest.Obituary in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. He was very harsh and severe over his land and his men, and with all his neighbors; … and through the counsels of evil men, that to him were always agreeable, and through his own avarice, he was ever tiring this nation with an army, and with unjust contributions. For in his days all right fell to the ground, and every wrong rose up before God and before the world. Gods church he humbled; and all the bishoprics and abbacies, whose elders fell in his days, he either sold in fee, or held in his own hands, and let for a certain sum; because he would be the heir of every man, both of the clergy and laity; so that on the day that he fell he had in his own hand the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the bishopric of Winchester, and that of Salisbury, and eleven abbacies, all let for a sum; and (though I may be tedious) all that was loathsome to God and righteous men, all that was customary in this land in his time.
  2. 2. And for this he was loathed by nearly all his people, and odious to God, as his end testified: -- for he departed in the midst of his unrighteousness, without any power of repentance or recompense for his deeds.Daughters and alliances with neighbors.Adela, m. Stephen I, Count of Blois Significant for her sons: Stephen who became Stephen I of England and Henry of Blois who became abbot of Glastonbury and Bishop of Winchester as well as the richest cleric in England, she also was a confidante of her brother, Henry.Constance, m. Alan of BrittanyHenry (Henry Beauclerk), (b. >1066, d. 1135) King Henry I of England (1100-1135)The only son who is credited with any education. He was excluded from the inheritanceexcept for cash and some land. He used both to good stead in acquiring allies. Hecompleted the loop back to the pre-Conquest aristocracy by marrying Matilda (née Edith)of Scotland, a descendant of Æthelred. In spite of a continuation of the quarrels betweenAnselm and King, Church writers looked him upon favorably and during his reign manymonastic establishments were initiated. Henry is credited with major changes in the Anglo-Norman bureaucracy leading toinstitutions that became embedded in English government: the exchequer, circuit courts,monetary reform, and the chancellery. They were not necessarily new but their activitiesbecame more systematic during his administration.Promises, promises. From the Coronation Oath of Henry I Church vacancies. And since the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust exactions, I …make the Holy Church of God free, so that I will neither sell nor put at farm nor, on the death of an archbishop, bishop, or abbot, take anything from the demesne of a church, or from its men, until a successor enters upon it. Inheritance. If any one of my barons, earls, or other men who hold of me dies, his heir shall not redeem his land as he did in the time of my brother, but he shall relieve it by a just and legitimate relief [essentially an inheritance tax] Marriage. …if any one of my barons or other men wishes to give in marriage his daughter, sister, niece, or [other] female relative, let him talk with me about the matter; but I will neither take anything from his property for this permission nor prohibit him from giving her [in marriage], unless he wishes to wed her to an enemy of mine. … If, [a] wife survives with children, she shall yet have her dowry and marriage portion so long as she keeps her body legitimately, and I will not give her [in marriage] except in accord with her wish. Tax The common monetagium,[a sales tax] … which did not exist in the time of King Edward, I utterly abolish for the future. Debts. I pardon all pleas and debts that were owed to my brother Crime I also pardon all murders [committed] before that day on which I was crowned king, and those that have been committed afterwards are to be paid for by just compensation according to the law of King Edward. King’s Property. By the common counsel of my barons, I have kept in my hands the forests as they were held by my father. 2
  3. 3. If any one, since the death of my brother William, has taken anything from my property or from the property of any one else, let him at once restore it without penalty; but if any one keeps anything [of that sort], he on whom it may be found shall pay me heavy compensation. Law and Order I establish my firm peace throughout the whole kingdom and command that it be henceforth maintained. I restore to you the law of King Edward, together with those amendments by which my father, with the counsel of his barons, amended itDiplomacy and sex. Henry I, as William of Malmesbury informs us on the highest authority, was ‘completely free from fleshly lusts’, and he succumbed to female blandishments not for sexual gratification but for the sake of issue. In his endeavours in this area, as in so much of the rest of his life, Henry was eminently successful. Kathleen Thompson “Affairs of State: the illegitimate children of Henry I” J. mediev. hist.. 29, 129 – 151 ( 2003) ,Henry’s only legitimate son was killed in the White Ship disaster. His survivinglegitimate daughter was to contend with his nephew, Stephen for England and Normandy.The illegitimate results of his ‘endeavors’ served to make many useful alliances.Obituary in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A good man he was; and there was great dread of him. No man durst do wrong with another in his time. Peace he made for man and beast. Whoso bare his burthen of gold and silver [that is, in spite of his taxation], durst no man say ought to him but good.SuccessionIn England there was only a single established right to a claim on the throne, kin-right, bywhich the successor should be related to the predecessor. Two other justifications wereadvanced:Primogeniture- the successor would be the eldest surviving son. This was commoninheritance practice on the Continent after 1000 CE but was not necessarily followed inEngland.Porphyrogeniture- the successor would be the a son of a reigning king and queen. Thiswas a Byzantine practice and used by Henry I since he was the only son born after 1066.Another arrangement was that what one inherited from one’s father should be passed onto the oldest son, but whatever was obtained afterwards was at the discretion of theperson making the will. 3
  4. 4. Chronology1087 William the Conqueror dies; William Rufus succeeds to England1088 Revolt by Odo, the Conqueror’s half-brother, and other Anglo-Norman barons. Rufus prevails.1091 Archbishopric of Canterbury vacant on death of Lanfranc. Malcolm of Scotland invades.1093 Anselm appointed Archbishop of Canterbury1095 Rufus sends Henry against Robert in Normandy. Campaigns in the North because of lack of fealty of the Earl of Northumberland.1095-1100 Robert goes on crusade and pawns Normandy to Rufus.1097 Anselm goes to Rome without leave of Rufus.1097-8 Wars in Vexin (against France) and Maine. William Rufus captures Maine. Truce in Vexin.1100 Rufus dies. Henry crowned. Robert returns and opposes him in England as well as Normandy. Henry invites Anselm back. Marriage to the Anglo-Saxon descendant Edith/Matilda of Scotland. Charter of Liberties (Coronation Oath). A grant of limited rights to the baronsand the Church.1101 Robert’s attempts to invade defeated in spite of help from Ranulf Flambard. Robert loses Maine.1105 Henry wins parts of Normandy from Robert1106 Final defeat and imprisonment of Robert. Normandy and England both under Henry.1107 Concordat of London. Henry I gives up the right to appoint (invest) bishops and abbots but retained their homage as a result of their control of property.1109 Henry’s then 7-year-old daughter, Matilda, betrothed to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor.1114 Marriage of Matilda and Henry V accompanied by a dowry financed by special taxation.1116-1120 War between England and France under Louis VI. 4