HENRY I King of France

HENRY I King of France. (Henri). A member of the Capetian Dynasty. He was also Duke of Burgundy from 1016 to 1032, when he abdicated the duchy to his brother Robert Capet.

Born in 1008 at Reims, Champagne, France; son of ROBERT II, The Pious, King of France, and CONSTANCE de Toulouse. (Constance of Arles).

The reign of Henry I, like those of his predecessors, was marked by territorial struggles. Initially, he joined his brother Robert, with the support of their mother, in a revolt against his father (1025). His mother, however, supported Robert as heir to the old king, on whose death Henry was left to deal with his rebel sibling. In 1032, he placated his brother by giving him the duchy of Burgundy which his father had given him in 1016.

He was crowned King of France at the Cathedral in Reims on May 14, 1027, in the Capetian tradition, while his father still lived. He had little influence and power until he became sole ruler on his father's death.

In an early strategic move, Henry came to the rescue of his very young nephew-in-law, the newly appointed Duke William of Normandy (who would go on to become William the Conqueror), to suppress a revolt by William's vassals. In 1047, Henry secured the dukedom for William in their decisive victory over the vassals at the Battle of Val-ès-Dunes near Caen. A few years later, when William, who was cousin to King Edward the Confessor of England (1042–66), married Matilda, the daughter of the count of Flanders, Henry feared William's potential power. In 1054, and again in 1058, Henry went to war to try to conquer Normandy from William, but on both occasions he was defeated. Despite his efforts, Henry I's twenty-nine-year reign saw feudal power in France reach its pinnacle.

Henry had three meetings with Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—all at Ivois. In early 1043, he met him to discuss the marriage of the emperor with Agnes of Poitou, the daughter of Henry's vassal. In October 1048, the two Henries met again, but the subject of this meeting eludes us. The final meeting took place in May 1056. It concerned disputes over Lorraine. The debate over the duchy became so heated that the king of France challenged his German counterpart to single combat. The emperor, however, was not so much a warrior and he fled in the night. But Henry did not get Lorraine.

Henry I was betrothed to Matilda, the daughter of the Emperor Conrad II (1024–39), but she died prematurely in 1034. Henry I then married (1) Matilda, daughter of Liudolf, Margrave of Frisia, but she died in 1044, following a Caesarean section. Casting further afield in search of a third wife, Henry I married (2) ANNA Agnesa, Grand Duchess of Kiev on 19 May 1051, France.

King Henry I died on 4 August 1060 in Vitry-en-Brie, France; and was interred in the Abbey de St Denis, St. Denis, France. He was succeeded by his son, Philip I of France, who was 7 at the time of his death; for six years Henry I's Queen, Anne of Kiev, ruled as regent.

ANNA Agnesa, Grand Duchess of Kiev. Anna Jaroslavna Kievskaja.
Born in 1036 in Kiev, Ukraine; daughter of YAROSLAV I, Grand Duke of Kiev, and INGRID Olafsdotter. She married HENRY I, King of France, on 19 May 1051in France. Acted as Regent, the first Queen ever to do so, upon the death of her husband and her son Philip being crowned as King at the age of 7. Her co-regent was Baldwin V of Flanders (1036–67). She died in 1089 in France; and was buried at Abbey de Villiers, La-Ferte-Alais, France.

CHILDREN of HENRY I, King of France, and ANNA of Kiev:
  1. HUGH de Vermandois. (Hugh of Vermandois). Born in (1053-S2)(1057-S2). He married Adele of Vermandois, the daughter of Herbert IV of Vermandois and Adele of Valois. He helped institute and joined the First Crusade in 1096. He joined the minor Crusade of 1101, but was wounded in battle with the Turks in September, and died of his wounds in October in Tarsus in 1102.
  2. Philip I, King of France (May 23, 1052 – July 30, 1108). King of France from 1060 to 1108. Although he was crowned King at the age of seven, until age fourteen in 1066 his mother acted as Regent
  3. Robert (c. 1055–c. 1060)
  4. Emma (dates unknown)