Robert the Devil....m....Herleva of Falise
 Normandy 1028-1035    |
                       |
                       |
           William the Bastard.... m....Matilda of Flanders
                 William I         |   
           Normandy 1035-1087      |
            England 1066-1087      |
                                   |
                                   |
       |---------------------------|----------------------|----------------------|
       |                           |                      |                      |
       |                           |                      |                      |
 Robert Curthose            William Rufus              Henry I            Adela..m..Stephen of Blois
 Normandy 1087-1106          William II          England 1100-1135               |
                           England 1087-1100      Normandy 1106-1135             |
                                                          |                      |
                                                          |                      |
                                    |---------------------|                  Stephen
                                    |                             England 1135-1141 and 1141-1150
        |---------------------------|                                    Normandy 1135-1140 
        |                           |
        |                           |
 William Aetheling     Matilda the Empress....m....Geoffrey of Anjou
    died 1120                England 1141         |     Normandy 1144-1150
                                                  |
                                                  |
                                                  |
                                                  |
                                                  |
                                              Henry II
                                           Normandy 1150-1189
                                            England 1154-1189

The chart above shows the descent of William I of England and the Norman kings of England and their relationship with Henry II the first Plantaganet or Angevin king of England.

The first Norman king of England was of course William the Bastard aka William the Conqueror aka William I, the illegitimate offspring of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy and Herleva the tanner's daughter from Falaise.

William married Matilda the daughter of the Count of Flanders, they had four sons Robert, Richard, William and Henry and six daughters.

As regards the sons;

  • Richard died comparatively young (hunting accident in the New Forest around the year 1081)
  • Robert lost out to brother William Rufus when his father died but got the consolation prize of Normandy
  • William Rufus ruled England for thirteen years before his unexpected death (another hunting accident in the New Forest) and despite a reputation for sexual incontinence failed to produce a male heir
  • Henry then took over, Robert was on his way back from the First Crusade and didn't have much say in the matter, and Henry eventually had Robert locked up

Henry married Matilda of Scotland daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland. It is often said that in so-doing he united the bloodlines of the new with that of the old 'Anglo-Saxon' dynasty, as Matilda's mother was Margaret of England, grand-daughter of Edmund II aka Edmund Ironside ruler of England between 980 and 1016. Much the same however could have been said of William I himself as his wife Matilda of Flanders was a direct descendent of Alfred the Great (Alfred having married one of his daughters to the Count of Flanders)

Although Henry managed to produce at least twenty-one children (most of them with women other than his wife) his only surviving legitimate male heir was William Aetheling. When he drowned in the Tragedy of the White Ship Henry picked daughter Matilda as his heir.

Matilda was however, pushed aside by Stephen whose claim was based on his mother Adele daughter of William I, and despite briefly losing control of England in 1141, managed to survive as king until his death in 1154, the last of the House of Normandy to sit on the throne of England. Stephen was however forced in the Treaty of Winchester to accept Matilda's son Henry as his heir who in due course became the first of the House of Plantaganet to take the throne.

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