1100 (2nd August)
King William II
was killed while hunting in the New Forest. There is continued speculation among historians as to whether William’s death was an accident or whether he was murdered perhaps on order of William’s younger brother Henry
who subsequently claimed the throne for himself.
1100 (5th August)
Henry I was crowned King of England at Winchester.
1100 (5th August)
Coronation Charter of Liberties
Henry issued this charter on the day of his coronation, denouncing his brother’s oppressive rule and promising a return to good and fair government. Henry knew that when Robert Curthose returned to Normandy from Crusade there could be trouble so he promised to grant favours to the Barons if they agreed to support him.
1100 (15th August)
, favourite of King William II, was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London on a charge of embezzlement. Henry I wanted to punish Flambard as an example to the people that his rule would be different to that of his brother. Flambard was the first person to be imprisoned in the Tower. He was not confined to a cell but had the run of the building.
Henry’s elder brother, Robert Curthose
, arrived back in Normandy. He was not happy that his brother had seized the English throne.
Anselem of Bec
received an invitation from King Henry I to return to England. Upon his return, Anselem refused to pay homage to Henry stating that the Pope had ordered against this. Anselem refused to acknowledge those bishops and abbots that Henry had appointed, claiming that appointments could only be made by high churchmen. This put Henry in an awkward position since the bishops and abbots he had appointed were great landowners and he needed their support.
1100 (11th November)
Henry I married Edith of Scotland
, daughter of Malcolm Canmore
King of Scotland. Upon her marriage she took the Norman name Matilda and was known as Queen Matilda.
1100 (14th November)
Matilda was crowned Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey.
King Henry I sent an embassy to the new Pope Paschal II appealing against the ban on lay investiture claiming that the right to appoint church positions was traditionally in the hands of the monarch.
Pope Paschal replied to King Henry stating that the ban on lay investiture made by Pope Urban II was to be upheld.
William II’s favourite, Ranulf Flambard, escaped from the Tower of London and went to Normandy where he offered to support Robert Curthose’s campaign to take the English throne.
The English nobles were required to swear fealty to King Henry I.
1101 (20th July)
Robert Curthose landed at Portsmouth to lay claim to the English throne. Many influential barons led by Robert of Belleme flocked to his side, believing him to be the true King of England. However, the former court of Rufus, led by Robert of Meulan and the English church remained loyal to Henry. Conflict was avoided when they agreed to negotiate.
1101 (late Summer)
Treaty of Alton
This treaty was agreed between Henry I and Robert Curthose. Robert agreed to recognise his younger brother Henry I as King of England while Henry renounced claims to all but one of his possessions in Normandy and agreed to pay Robert a yearly pension of 3,000 marks.
Robert of Belleme, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his family were banished to Normandy for supporting Robert Curthose. Henry seized his possessions and took his castle at Arundel.
Council of London
This Roman Catholic Church council decided that sodomy was a sin against God and also condemned the trade in slaves.
1102 (7th February)
A daughter, Matilda
, was born to Henry I and his wife Matilda.
Anselem of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, held a general church council in London. He established the Gregorian Reform in England. The Gregorian Reform maintained the independence of the clergy. It also set moral standards for clerics which included celibacy and sobriety.
1102 (25th October)
Henry I married some of his illegitimate daughters to nobles in Normandy hoping to strengthen his position there.
1103 (27th April)
Having sent a second deputation to Rome, Henry I now falsley claimed that the Pope had now agreed that clerics should pay homage to their monarch. Anselem of Bec refused and instead made the journey to Rome to find out for himself.
1103 (5th August)
A son, William
, styled Aetheling, was born to Henry I and his wife Matilda.
1103 (10th August)
A very bad storm destroyed the harvest.
A worsening situation in Normandy forced Robert Curthose to ally with Robert Belleme, Henry’s enemy. This gave Henry the chance to invade Normandy claiming that Robert Curthose had broken the terms of their peace treaty.
After meeting with Anselem, Pope Paschal excommunicated those English Bishops that had been appointed by the King.
Henry sent his trusted friend Robert Fitzhamon into Normandy. After provoking a fight with Robert Curthose, Fitzhamon was captured. Henry invaded Normandy in protest at Fitzhamon’s imprisonment in Bayeux and placed Bayeux under siege. When the town refused to surrender Henry burnt it. Having seen the fate of Bayeux the town of Caen surrendered to Henry. A new peace treaty was made between Henry and Robert Curthose but it did not hold and sporadic fighting dragged on throughout the year.
1105 (22nd July)
Henry and Anselem of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury finally reached an agreement over their differences following a meeting at L’Aigle. Henry gave up his right to invest clergy but in return it was agreed that churchmen should pay homage to the King in respect of land owned by their church.
King Henry returned to England for Christmas.
Henry I invaded Normandy hoping to make further gains.
1106 (15th August)
King Henry I travelled to Bec in Normandy to meet with Anselem who was refusing to return to England. Henry agreed to restore all confiscated land to Canterbury and to exempt the clergy from taxation for three years.
1106 (28th September)
Battle of Tinchebrai / Tinchebray
Henry fought this decisive battle against the combined forces of Robert Curthose and Edgar Aetheling in Normandy. Curthose and Edgar Aetheling were taken prisoner by Henry who declared himself Duke of Normandy.
Anselem of Bec returned to England.
Robert’s young son, William Clito was put forward as rightful Duke of Normandy. His claim was backed by Louis VI of France and Count Fulk V of Anjou. Henry was forced to return to Normandy where he successfully defended his claim to be Duke of Normandy.
King Alexander of Scotland married Sybilla, illegitimate daughter of Henry I by Sybilla Corbet.
1107 (11th August)
Henry I and Anselem of Bec finally resolved their differences. The occasion was marked by a mass consecration of bishops by Anselem at the Palace of Westminster.
Chichester Cathedral was consecrated.
The Tower of Winchester Cathedral collapsed.
1108 (29th July)
Louis VI became King of France. He immediately set about asserting his authority including insisting that Henry pay homage to him and surrender two castles on the Norman/French border. Henry refused.
1108 (10th April)
Henry’s daughter Matilda was betrothed to Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor.
1109 (21st April)
Anselem of Bec died. Henry did not immediately replace him but decided to keep the position of Archbishop of Canterbury vacant. After the problems caused by Anselem of Bec, Henry did not want further confrontation with the Church.