Henry I (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Henry I did much to organize and regularize the laws and government of England. Under him, reforms were achieved in judicial and fiscal matters. By his marriage to Matilda of Scotland, a descendant of Edward the Confessor, Henry I won the support of many of his English subjects, although the marriage was less pleasing to Normans.
Born in 1068, Henry I was the only English-born son of William the Conquerer. He was the only one of William’s sons to have been born after their father had become King of England; his brothers had been born while William was Duke of Normandy. It is reputed that Henry I learned to read and write Latin and studied the English language and law, but later scholars have found little to support his supposed intellectual habits, although they do concede that he had some knowledge of Latin and spoke some English. On the death of William the Conquerer, in 1087, Normandy was willed to his eldest son, Robert, while England was awarded to his second son, William Rufus. Henry received lands in both Normandy and England. As he thus became a vassal of both of his brothers, he was inevitably brought into the quarrels between them.
Henry was a member of the royal hunting party, in the New Forest, when William Rufus was fatally injured by an arrow, whether by accident or murder (this question has never been answered). There have been hints that Henry may have had at...
(The entire section is 1402 words.)
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