Matilda (1101-69), Queen of England 1141 (Page 4)

Matilda born 1101, was her father Henry I's heiress as his sole surviving legitimate issue. The barons of England and Normandy, at Henry's insistence, swore to uphold her right to the throne, but when her father died and her cousin Stephen landed in England, most of them backed him instead. The civil war which ensued, lasted for many years before Stephen finally agreed to make Matilda's son Henry, his own heir.


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Matilda (1101-69), Queen of England 1141
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Death of William Adelin

Pope Calixtus had now patched up things between Henry I and Louis "the Fat" King of France.  Stroll states that the peace agreement was that Louis would accept "the rule of the English king in Normandy, while Henry I had to accept Normandy as a vassal, and to acknowledge the feudal rights of the Capetians." ("Calixtus 2", p 141).  William Adelin, in the presence of his father, in the Spring or Summer of 1120, did homage to Louis for Normandy.  But then in November 1120, William Adelin was drowned in the wreck of the White Ship, without issue.  The Laud Chronicle under 1120 states :
"On the passage two of the king's sons, William and Richard, were drowned, together with Richard, earl of Chester, and Ottuel, his brother, and a great many of the king's household, stewards, chamberlains, cupbearers, and officials of different kinds, besides a countless number of very outstanding men.  To their friends the death of these men was a double tragedy; not only because they departed this life so suddenly, but also because few of their bodies were recovered afterwards."

Henry of Huntingdon :
"But in the passage, the king's two sons, William and Richard, and his daughter and niece, with the Earl of Chester, and many nobles, were shipwrecked, besides the king's butlers, stewards and bakers, all or most of whom were said to have been tainted with the sin of sodomy.  Behold the terrible vengeance of God!" (Chronicle, 1120)

And Orderic gives us a long and dramatic description. (Orderic Vitalis, Book XII, Chapter XXV)  Orderic tells us three hundred people were on the ship, and there was just a sole survivor.  Stephen, Count of Blois, who will figure so largely in my account, had been aboard, but left the ship "upon observing that it was overcrowded with riotous and headstrong youths."  Orderic states that at his death, William had "almost reached his seventeenth year" and that his bride Matilda "was nearly of his own age". (ibid. p 38)  Henry of Huntingdon ascribes to William : "pride, love of pomp, and splendour, and an eager anticipation of future greatness as king."


No Male Heir!

The marriage of William and Matilda (Fulk's daughter) produced no children, and so by rights her dowry should return to Fulk.  Fulk however, who must have left for Jerusalem in the Summer of 1119 then, was still in Jerusalem, Cawley's "Medlands" citing Orderic Vitalis states that he remained there "for some time attached to the Knights of the Temple" (Medlands, "Foulques V")

A few months after his son William's death, Henry married again, on 29 Jan 1121, at Windsor, to the very young, Adelicia of Brabant, daughter of Godfrey the Duke of Brabant (aka Lower Lotharingia).  Stroll states that this choice was for "geopolitical reasons" without elaboration. ("Calixtus 2", p 142)  Adelicia was crowned the following day by the archbishop. (Source)  Perhaps Henry was trying to get more male heirs, but he and Adelicia were not destined to have any children together, and she would outlive him by almost sixteen years.  Henry's son Robert, had been married in Jun 1119 to the heiress Mabel FitzHamon, by which Robert gained several advantageous properties and duties, but it was evidently not until this time, that Henry granted to his son Robert the title of Earl of Gloucester. CP "Gloucester", citing J.A. Round states that this grant was sometime between May 1121 and the end of 1122.  Stroll citing Chibnall states that "in May, 1122 Matilda planned to visit her father, but Charles, count of Flanders, and vassal to Louis VI refused to allow her passage." (ibid p90)


Gregory's Fall

"After Gelasius II's death, when Calixtus II had been elected Pope in 1119, Henry V was induced to change papal allegiance, in the Concordat of Worms of 1122. Calixtus II entered Rome, and Gregory VIII left, going to Sutri, where he was in April 1121, when papal troops of Calixtus II closed up the city for eight days until its citizens surrendered antipope Gregory VIII. He was taken to Rome and imprisoned in the Septizonium. After having been moved in confinement from monastery to monastery, he finally died at La Cava, Salerno, some time after August 1137." ("Gregory VIII", Wikipedia)


Fulk Count of Anjou

The Laud Chronicle under 1121, right after mentioning how Henry took troops into Wales in the summer, states: "In this same year the count of Anjou returned to his land from Jerusalem, and afterwards sent hither to this country to have his daughter brought back: she had been the wife of William, the king's son."  At Christmas, 1122, the Laud Chronicle states that King Henry was at Dunstable when "messengers from the count of Anjou visited him there."  Apparently soon after 10 Jan "the messengers departed without coming to any agreement with the king, and cared nothing for his favours."  Garwonsway here, in a note suggests the reading might be "got no satisfaction about his (Fulk's) dowry." (Meaning here the county of Maine which Henry did not want to give back.)

Fulk then switched sides yet again, marrying his next daughter Sybil in 1123 to William "Clito" the nephew of Henry I and dispossessed heir to Normandy. (Source,  Medlands "Guillaume de Normandy")  Henry himself had dispossessed this nephew from Normandy, by imprisoning his father Robert, who was Henry's brother.  So this was a slap, from Fulk to Henry, probably on account of the failed negotiation over the county of Maine. Under 1124, the Laud Chronicle now states: "King Henry spent the whole of this year in Normandy, on account of the hostilities he was engaged in against King Louis of France and the count of Anjou, but most of all against his own subjects....  All this strife was on account of the son of duke Robert of Normandy, named William.  This same William had taken to wife the younger daughter of Fulk, count of Anjou; and for this reason the king of France, all the counts, and all the powerful men supported him, and said that it was wrong for the king to hold his brother Robert in captivity and unjustly to banish his son William from Normandy."


See Also

Matilda (1101-69), Queen of England 1141
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