Fact of the day: 5th August

On this day in 1100 Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.

Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to 1135.

Henry was the fourth son of William the Conqueror and was educated in Latin and the liberal arts.

On William’s death in 1087, Henry’s older brothers William Rufus and Robert Curthose inherited England and Normandy respectively, but Henry was left landless.

Henry purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091.

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Henry gradually rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert.

Henry was present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, and he seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William’s less popular policies.

Henry married Matilda of Scotland but continued to have a large number of mistresses, by whom he had many illegitimate children.

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