~ the battle for England between Stephen of Blois and Matilda The Empress ~


08 July 2010

Biographies: Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou

• Matilda - Emperor Henry V and Geoffrey of Anjou

Birth: c.1102/1104, Winchester
Death: 10 September 1167, Rouen
Burial: Fontevrault (Fontevraud) Abbey?; Rouen Cathedral
Father: Henry I Beauclerc, King of England
Mother: Edith (Matilda) of Scotland
Marriage: (1) 7 January 1114, Mainz - Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
Marriage: (2) 22 May 1127/8, Le Mans - Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
Henry II Curtmantle, King of England
Geoffrey VI of Anjou, Count of Nantes
William, Count of Poitou

NOTES: Matilda was sent as a child to be raised in Germany and marry the Emperor, Henry V. There were no children produced during the course of this marriage, and after his death in 1125 she was recalled to the English court. She was declared heiress presumptive by her father in 1126, and he made his barons swear their fealty to her and to uphold her claim to the English throne. In 1127/8 Henry married her, apparently against her will, to the youthful Geoffrey of Anjou, nicknamed "the Handsome". She was possibly a twin with her brother William, who perished in the White Ship disaster of 1120, and after Henry I's death she disputed the throne with Stephen (an indepth look at the events of 1135-1154 is still to come). Although spurned by the English and ultimately defeated in her campaign to inherit the throne, in her latter years Matilda proved to be an able and just ruler in Normandy as Regent during her son Henry's frequent absences. Matilda, The Empress, died in September 1167 in Rouen. Some sources state she was buried at Fontevrault Abbey while others give her burial place as the Abbey of Bec. In the mid 1800's her remains were apparently moved to Rouen Cathedral.

Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou
Birth: c.1113
Death: 7 September 1151, Chateau du Loir
Burial: Saint Juliens, Le Mans
Father: Fulk V, Count of Anjou
Mother: Ermengarde of Maine
Marriage: 22 May 1127/8, Le Mans - Matilda

NOTES: Geoffrey, The Handsome, succeeded his father Fulk V as Count of Anjou, Maine and Touraine in 1128, when Fulk went to the Holy Land to marry Melisende of Jerusalem, the daughter of King Baldwin II. Henry I negotiated the marriage of his daughter and heir Matilda to Geoffrey in order to secure peace between England, Normandy, and Anjou. Their marriage was said to be an unhappy one however it produced three sons including the future Henry II. Geoffrey fought staunchly for Normandy and secured the Duchy in 1144, assuming the title Duke of Normandy until he and Matilda ceded it to their son, Henry in 1149. In 1151 Geoffrey fell ill with fever and died at the relatively young age of 38 years old. It was Geoffrey's habit to wear a sprig of broom, planta genista, on his hat and his badge became the origin of the family name Plantagenet.

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