Henry I

Previous king: William II (brother)       Reigned: 1100-1135       Next king: Stephen (nephew)

Henry I Robert, the oldest son of William I had been prevented from becoming King of England by William II. When William II died, Henry I (the youngest son of William I) seized the throne of England. Robert invaded England unsuccessfully. Henry in turn invaded Normandy, defeated Robert, and became Duke of Normandy as well as King of England.

The Anglo-Saxons had been beaten by the Normans at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and the Normans had taken their land. This meant that the Anglo-Saxons resented the Normans. Henry I married Edith, who was descended from the old English kings. This made him more acceptable to the Anglo-Saxons.

Leper Chapel in Cambridge As well as cathedrals, the Normans built smaller churches. Barnwell Leper Chapel in Cambridge was built around 1125 (see right). It was built outside Cambridge. People were afraid of catching leprosy from lepers, so they were forbidden to enter the city.

Henry had a son William who was his heir, but in 1120 William was drowned. Henry wanted his daughter Matilda to become Queen after he died, and told his nobles to swear support for her. But his nephew Stephen had other ideas.

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