1902 Encyclopedia > Henry I, King of France

Henry I, King of France

HENRY I. (1005-1060), king of France, son of King Kings of Robert and Constance of Aquitaine, and grandson of Hugh France. Capet, came to the throne in 1031. On his accession his mother, who favoured her youngest son Robert, allied her-self with the chief feudal nobles, and drove Henry to take refuge at the court of Duke Robert II. of Normandy. With the duke's help he soon broke up her league. Constance died in 1032, and Henry, by granting him the duchy of Burgundy, secured the goodwill of Bobert his brother, who thus became head of the first house of Burgundy. After the death of Bobert " the Devil," Henry, who had first supported William the Bastard, in 1053 and 1054, tried to weaken the power of the Nor-mans. Leaguing himself with the count of Anjou, and calling his brother Eudes into the field, he invaded Nor-mandy from Evreux. When, however, Eudes had been defeated at Mortemer, Henry drew back in haste, and left the Normans to themselves. In 1059 he had his eldest son Philip crowned as joint-king, and died in 1060. He was an active prince, with his sword rarely in the scabbard, being little more than a great feudal chief, who enjoyed the feudal pastime of petty war. Henry's acts and character did little to strengthen the monarchy in its relations with its feudal neighbours. His political horizon was very narrow. The Normans were independent of him, with their frontier barely twenty-five miles west of Paris; to the south his authority was really bounded by the Loire; in the east the count of Champagne was little more than nominally his subject. Henry's first wife (if indeed she was more than affianced to him) Maud, daughter (or niece) of Conrad the Salic, died childless; his second, Anne, daughter of Jaroslav, grand-duke of Bussia, bore him two sons,—Philip his successor, and Hugh, count of Vermandois.

See Rodolf Glaber's Chronicle ; Chron. Andegavense ; Historia de Henrico I.; Epist. Deoduini ; Dom Bouquet, Recueil, tom. xi.

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