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Empress Matilda

  • By: Sue Kentlyn
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Matilda of England (1102–67), was the daughter of Henry I of England and granddaughter of William the Conqueror; her first marriage to the German Henry V made her Holy Roman Empress in 1114. Widowed and childless in 1125, Matilda returned to England. After her brother William perished in the wreck of the White Ship, her father named Matilda his heir to the English throne and the Duchy of Normandy, forcing all the Anglo-Norman barons and clergy to swear fealty to her. He then arranged her marriage to Geoffrey of Anjou, by whom she had three sons, Henry (later Henry II), Geoffrey, and William.

On the death of her father she was in Anjou, and Henry I's nephew Stephen of Blois seized the throne; Matilda invaded England ...

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