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King Henry I
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Monarch
    (circa 1068-December 1, 1135)
    Born in Selby, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
    Son of William the Conqueror
    Younger brother of William II Rufus, King of England, and Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy
    King of England (1100-1135) and Duke of Normandy (1106-1135)
    His brothers got so tired of his jockeying for power that they agreed that if either William or Robert died without children, their realms would be united under the surviving brother.
    He probably arranged for the assassination of his brother William.
    He then took advantage of Robert’s absence on the First Crusade to seize the English throne.
    He invaded Normandy and overthrew his brother Robert. (Although, to be fair, Robert had earlier invaded England in an unsuccessful attempt to dethrone Henry.)
    After Robert tried to escape, Henry had him blinded.
    He set a record for English monarchs by siring at least 20 children out of wedlock.
    He died from eating ‘a surfeit of lampreys.’
    After his death, the kingdom slipped into civil war.
    He was initially expected to become a bishop and thus received a more extensive education than his brothers.
    He was nicknamed the ‘Lion of Justice’ for his judicial reforms.
    He granted the English barons a Charter of Liberties that was a precursor to the Magna Carta.
    He helped break down barriers between the English and Norman populations and married an English woman.
    His heir and sole legitimate son died in a shipwreck (1120).
    His father correctly predicted, ‘You in your own time will have all the dominions I have acquired and be greater than both your brothers in wealth and power.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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