Henry I Beauclerc (b.1069 r.1100-1135)
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Henry I Beauclerc (b.1069 r.1100-1135)

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Henry I was not a creator of institutions; he contributed nothing to the theory of kingship or to the philosophy of government. He created men. It was his contribution to English society and government and society to insert into the social fabric men who depended on royal government for their rise, and on its continuance for their survival.
R.W. Southern, The Place of Henry I in English History.

Additional Information on
Henry I Beauclerc (b.1069 r.1100-1135)

Henry was the youngest son of William I and Matilda. Henry was crowned within days of his brother William II's death. He promised to maintain peace and justice and worked hard at running England more efficiently. Henry quickly married Edith, sister of the King of Scotland to ensure safety from the north because he had to concentrate on danger from France in the form of his brother Robert. The quarrels with Robert over the English throne lasted until 1106 when Henry triumphed and Robert was captured, spending the last 28 years of his life in prison. Henry now became ruler of Normandy as well as England. He was a powerful leader who introduced popular reforms in the administration of justice. He loved the church and encouraged learning: at this time the two were closely connected. Because of this Henry was nicknamed 'Beauclerc' - 'good scholar' in French. He had 3 children, 1 drowned in infancy. In 1120 Henry's legitimate son and heir drowned in the tragedy of the White Ship. Therefore, when Henry died in 1135 he left the throne to his daughter Matilda (married to Henry V German Emperor), but the council considering her unfit to rule offered the throne to Henry's nephew Stephen.


The king praises no one whom he has not resolved to ruin.
- Bishop Bloet, in Henry of Huntingdon, History of England.

He was very wanton as appeareth from his numerous natural issue, no fewer than fourteen, all by him publicly owned, the males highly advanced, the females richly married, which is justly reported to his praise, it being lust to beget, but love to bestow them.
Thomas Fuller, Worthies of England, 1622.

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