...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Monarch...

Empress Matilda, The Forgotten Queen (7 February 1102 - 10 September 1167) daughter of Henry I King of England and Matilda of Scotland. Her, and her brother, William were the only legitimate heirs of Henry I. William died young, leaving Matilda as the last heir from the her paternal line, William the Conqueror.

She was betrothed at age seven to Germany's King Henry V~Holy Roman Emperor. She was sent to Germany at age nine to be prepared to be Henry's wife. She was married at age 12 to Henry acquiring the title Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry and her had no children when Henry died in 1125 leaving Matilda a widow at 21 years old.

Matilda became heir to the English throne in 1120 when her brother William drowned in a ship wreck, leaving Matilda as the only legitimate child of Henry I. Like Matilda her cousin Stephen of Blois was also a legitimate grandchild of William I (the Conqueror), but Matilda's paternal line to William I made her senior of Stephen's maternal line to William I.

Matilda,23 years old, returned to England as the dowager Empress. Her father, Henry I arranged a political marriage between Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou a young man of 15 years old, 11 years her junior. The couple had three sons, Henry II, Geoffrey, and William.

While she was with her husband living in Anjou, her father King Henry I died in 1135. Matilda was too far away from London to prevent the events that would rival her claim to the throne. Her cousin Stephen of Blois rushed to England and moved quickly to seize the crown of England. He was successful in London and was proceeding to do the same in Normandy, creating a civil war. Matilda launched a military campaign against Stephen almost immediately. She was successful in retrieving the crown in April 1141. Her reign lasted all of seven months and in November 1141 Stepehn regained power. She barley escaped and returned to Normandy retiring from the campaign. I would be her son Henry II that would the beginning of England's Great Kings. She died at the age of 65 in 1167 and is buried in the Rouen Cathedral in France.

Point of interest:Her epitah reads: Great by Birth, Greater by Marriage, Greatest in her Offspring: Here lies Matilda, the daughter, wife and mother of Henry.. How interesting is that, she was daughter to Henry I, wife to Henry V of Germany, and mother to Henry II. Henry II would be surrounded by agressive women all his life, his mother Matilda and his wife Eleanore of Aquitine, my 22nd and 21st greatgrandmothers.

Suggested reading:

Jean Plaidy: The Passionate Enemies, the third book of her Norman Trilogy
Sharon Penman: When Christ and His Saints Slept
Haley Garwood: The Forgotten Queen
Ken Follett: The Pillars of the Earth

You may like these posts as well:

Matilda of Flanders

John of Gaunt


  1. One of my favorite series included When Christ and His Saints Slept! I very much admired Mathilda. I loved Pillars of the Earth, but yet to read The Passionate Enemies (collecting all Plaidy novels) or The Forgotten Queen (added to wishlist), so thank you for the write up!

    I always felt bad that she never got the throne she fought so hard for. She was one tough lady!

  2. This is a time period I want to definitely learn more in depth. I was always fascinated by Mathilda's story. Wasn't she the only female ever to rule before Mary I (in England)? Her story has got to be fascinating. I also need to read that Plaidy one;)

  3. Yes, she was the only queen before Mary. She was the reason that the Kings following her would only leave throne to male heir, because of the civil war that resulted in her battle for the throne.

  4. That's right! Now I remember- hence Henry VIII's obsession for a male heir..

  5. I'd like to learn more about this time period. I'd like at some point to just focus on reading historical novels at some point for a while.

  6. very interesting reading. Thank you Susie.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...