Henry I of England, King of England, was born 13 June 1068 in Selby, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom to William I of England (1027-1087) and Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) and died 1 December 1135 St. Denis-le-Fermont near Gisors, Picardy, Lyons-la-Forêt, Eure, France of food poisoning from eating a surfeit of lampreys. He married Matilda of Scotland (c1080-1118) 11 November 1100 JL in Westminster Abbey, Greater London, England, United Kingdom. He married Adeliza of Leuven (1103-1151) 29 January 1121 JL in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom. William I of England (1027-1087), Charlemagne (747-814), Alfred the Great (849-899), Hugh Capet (c940-996), Rollo of Normandy (860-932), Charlemagne (747-814)/s.

Henry I was King of England from 1100, when he succeeded his brother William II, to 1135. In 1106 he conquered Normandy from his oldest brother, Robert II, and ruled it until his death. Third English king of the House of Normandy.

When William I died in 1087, his son William Rufus became king and ruled until his accidental death in 1100, leaving no heir. Henry I quickly siezed the English throne. In 1106 Henry I made war with his elder brother, Robert III, Duke of Normandy, defeating him soundly at the Battle of Tinchebray. Robert was spent his remaining 30 years in a Norman dungeon.

Marriages, Mistresses and Family

Henry had a considerable sexual appetite and enjoyed a substantial number of sexual partners, resulting in a large number of illegitimate children, at least nine sons and 13 daughters, many of whom he appears to have recognized and supported. It was normal for unmarried Anglo-Norman noblemen to have sexual relations with prostitutes and local women, and kings were also expected to have mistresses. Some of these relationships occurred before Henry was married, but many others took place after his marriage to Matilda. Henry had a wide range of mistresses from a range of backgrounds, and the relationships appear to have been conducted relatively openly.

1st Marriage: Matilda of Scotland

On 11 November 1100 Henry married Matilda of Scotland (c1080-1118), the daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland (c1031-1093). Henry was now around 31 years old, but late marriages for noblemen were not unusual in the 11th century. The pair had probably first met earlier the previous decade, possibly being introduced through Bishop Osmund of Salisbury. Matilda had originally been named Edith, an Anglo-Saxon name, and was a member of the West Saxon royal family, being the niece of Edgar Æþeling of England (c1050-c1130), the great-granddaughter of Edmund Ironside and a descendant of Alfred the Great. For Henry, marrying Matilda gave his reign increased legitimacy, and for Matilda, an ambitious woman, it was an opportunity for high status and power in England. Following the birth of these children, Matilda preferred to remain based in Westminster while Henry travelled across England and Normandy, either for religious reasons or because she enjoyed being involved in the machinery of royal governance.

  1. Matilda of Normandy (1102-1167) AKA: Empress Matilda - in 1108, Henry betrothed his six-year-old daughter, Matilda, to Henry V, the future Holy Roman Emperor, a crucial political alliance, but he died early. Her second marriage to Geoffrey Plantagenet would lead to the founding of the royal House of Plantagenet, and their son Henry II of England (1133-1189) would become king. With no male heir, Henry I went to great lengths to have the kingdom revert to Matilda, but the English barons revolted after his death and Matilda became an outcast instead.
  2. William of Normandy (1103-1120): Prince of England - Heir to the Royal Throne. his untimely death in the White Ship Disaster of 1120, would throw Henry's succession plans into a crisis.
  3. Richard of Normandy (c1125-) - it is possible that they also had a second son, Richard, who died young.

2nd Marriage

The White Ship disaster left Henry with no legitimate son, his various nephews now the closest male heirs. Henry announced he would take a new wife, Adeliza of Leuven (1103-1151), opening up the prospect of a new royal son, and the two were married at Windsor Castle in January 1121. Henry appears to have chosen her because she was attractive and came from a prestigious noble line. Adela seems to have been fond of Henry and joined him in his travels, probably to maximize the chances of her conceiving a child.

Henry and his second wife had no children.


  1. Matilda FitzRoy (c1090-1120) - (Matilda or Maud, Countess of Perche') an illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England by a mistress identified only as Edith. . She died with other family members in the White Ship Disaster.


Offspring of Henry I of England and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (1090-1147) 1090 England, United Kingdom 1147 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom Isabel de Douvres (c1090-)
Mabel of Gloucester (c1095-1156)
Maud FitzRoy (c1091-) 1091 England Conan III de Bretagne (1095-1148)
Constance FitzRoy (c1092-) 1110 Roscelin de Beaumont-au-Maine (-1176)
Mabel FitzRoy (c1093-) 1093 Guillaume Gouët (bef1080-)
Alice FitzRoy (c1116-bef1141) 1116 1141 Mathieu I de Montmorency (1100-1160)
Gilbert FitzRoy (c1095-)
Emma FitzRoy (c1110-c1157) 1110 1157 Guy III de Laval (-c1140)

Offspring of Henry I of England and Ansfrid (1070-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Juliane de Fontevrault (1090-)
Fulk FitzRoy (1092-)
Richard of Lincoln (1094-1120) 1094 25 November 1120 English Channel

Offspring of Henry I of England and Matilda of Scotland (c1080-1118)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Matilda of Normandy (1102-1167) 1102 Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom 10 September 1167 Rouen, France Heinrich V of the Holy Roman Empire (1086-1125)
Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou and Maine (1113-1151)
William of Normandy (1103-1120) 5 August 1103 Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom 25 November 1120 English Channel Matilda of Anjou (1111-1154)
Richard of Normandy (c1125-)

Offspring of Henry I of England and Sybil Corbet (1077-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Sybilla de Normandy (c1106-)
William Constable (c1108-)
Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall (c1110-1175) 1110 1 July 1175 Mabel FitzRichard (c1100-c1147)
Beatrice de Vaux
Gundred of England (1114–1146)
Rohese of England (1114-)
Elizabeth of England (c1115-)

Offspring of Henry I of England and Edith (bef1135-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Robert FitzEdith (c1111-)
Matilda FitzRoy (c1090-1120) 1090 25 November 1120 English Channel Rotrou III du Perche (c1075-1144)
Adeliza FitzEdith (c1113-)
Henry FitzHenry (c1114-)
Isabel Hedwig of England (c1115-)
Matilda FitzRoy (c1116-)

Offspring of Henry I of England and Gieva de Tracy (bef1135-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William de Tracy (-c1189)

Offspring of Henry I of England and Nest ferch Rhys (c1073-aft1136)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Henry FitzRoy (1103-1158)

Maps of Henry's Reign

Europe 1100 CE

England 1100 map.jpg


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
¶ Death
§ Remains
  • His remains were sewn into the hide of a bull to preserve them on the journey, and then taken back to England and were buried at Reading Abbey, which he had founded fourteen years before. The Abbey was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. No trace of his tomb has survived, the probable site being covered by St James' School. Nearby is a small plaque, and a large memorial cross stands in the adjoining Forbury Gardens.
  • Wikipedia article on Henry I of England -

John Kenney, Phlox, Robin Patterson