On a pilgrimage to Rome in 855, Ethelwulf married (2) Judith of Bavaria, the 12 year old daughter of Charles II., the Bald, King of the West Franks and his wife, Ermentrude. See the genealogical details elsewhere in Royalty of France in Vol. I. When Ethelwulf returned home it is said that he made his son, Ethelbald, King of Wessex, and retained Kent for his own rule. He died January 13, 857, and was buried at Stamridge, his body later being removed to Winchester. Ethelwulf was succeeded by each of his four sons in turn, the fourth and youngest of whom was Alfred.
Alfred the Great died in 911, Lady Alswitha died in 918.
By the second marriage, he and his wife, Elfrida,
had a son as follows:
Ethelred married in 1002 (2) Emma of Normandy,
"The Flower of Normandy", daughter of Richard I., Duke
of Normandy, and sister of Richard II., Duke of Normandy. See
his lineage elsewhere in Volume I. This marriage was one of the
first that joined the Anglo-Saxon lines to the French. They had
children as follows:
Emma married (2) Canute the Great (Cnut) I,
son of Swein Forkbeard, the Dane, who died in 1016. Canute reigned
over England from 1016 to 1035, and died in 1014. They had Harthacnut
(Cnut II), King of England from 1040 to 1042, after his half brother,
Harold I, who ruled from 1037 to 1040. Canute (Cnut) had a first
marriage to Aelfgifu (Elgifrig) of Northampton (Mercia). From
that marriage there were two sons: Swein, King of Norway, who
died 1036, and Harold I., King of England (1035-1040).
[Note: Homer Beers James, compiler of these
records, in about 1971 appeared in the play "Ceremony of
Innocence," based on the events and life of King Ethelred,
at the First Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh, PA., unaware at the
time that he was a direct relative.]
In addition to these legitimate births, Henry
is reported to have had nineteen or twenty illegitimate children,
the highest number of spurious offspring for a King of England
to have acknowledged. The best known of them all is Robert the
Consul, Earl of Gloucester, father of Maud, wife of Ranulph de
Meschines, 2nd Earl of Chester. Another was Reginald, a natural
son from a relationship between Henry I. of England and his mistress,
Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulent
and Earl of Leicester, (son of Roger de Beaumont and his wife,
Adelina, Countess of Meulent) and his wife Elizabeth Vermandois,
younger daughter of Hugh Magnus, the Great, of France, Count of
Vermandois. Reginald, married Beatrix, daughter of William Fitz
Richard, a potent lord in Cornwall. They had a daughter, Matilda,
who married Robert, Count of Meulent, son of Waleran II., Count
of Meulent, who married Agnes de Montfort. Waleran II. was a
son of the aforementioned Robert Beaumont, and his wife, Elizabeth
Vermandois. Robert and Matilda had two children: Waleran III.
and Mabel de Beaumont, who married William de Vernon, Earl of
Devon, who had three children: Baldwin, Mary Vernon and Joan.
Their descendants are not identified.
Henry I. also married (2) Adeliza of Lorraine, daughter of Geoffrey Barbatus, Duke of Lorraine and Count of Barbant. Adeliza of Lorraine, upon the death of Henry I., married (2) William de Albini. See the continuation of that lineage under the Albini Line in Volume II.
It is through Geoffrey that the Plantaganet line from France was brought into the British royalty (see the lineage of the Counts of Anjou elsewhere). He died in 1151. After Geoffrey's death Matilda lived in Normandy, charitable and respected. Matilda died in 1167. Geoffrey was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry.
Henry also had a natural son by Rosamund Clifford (?), William
Longsword (Longespee), who became Earl of Salisbury by marrying
the Countess Ela, then aged twelve (1198). He was a councilor
of John and commanded the English part of the army which Philip
Augustus of France defeated at Bouvines (1214). He supported
King John at Runnymede (1215), fought for Henry III. at Lincoln
and Sandwich (1217), and served with Hubert de Burgh as "ruler
of the King and kingdom" (1222). He died in March, 1226.
In 1188, while Henry II. was engaged in a war with Philip of France,
Richard joined the French King; and in 1189, Henry having lost
Le Mans and the chief castles of Maine, agreed to a treaty of
peace granting an indemnity to the followers of Richard. The
sight of his favorite son John in the list broke his heart; and
he died at Chinon, on July 6, 1189. On the whole, Henry was an
able and enlightened sovereign, a clear-headed, unprincipled politician,
and an able general; his reign was one of great legal reforms.
At its height, Henry's power had been greater than that of any
other European ruler and his position was comparable to that of
such Holy Roman Emperors as Charlemagne and Frederick Barbarossa.
Eleanor died in 1202. Henry was succeeded by his surviving son,
"sportively brandishing swords in
front of the English troops, while they were lost in amazement
at his gambols, slew one of their standard-bearers. A second
time one of the enemy fell. The third time he was slain himself."
On the other hand Wace says that Taillefer
called to Duke William,
"A boon, sire. I have long served
you and you owe me for all such service. Today, so please you,
you shall repay it. I ask as my guerdon and beseech you for it
earnestly that you will allow me to strike the first blow in the
To which the Duke replied, "I grant it."
Then Taillefer put his horse to a gallop, charging before all
Isabella was the mother of all his legal children,
she was only 12-years of age when she was married. She married
(2) Hugh X. of Lusignan, by whom she had the following children:
Henry, Count of La Manche; William of Valence, died in 1269, father
of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (1307-1324); Guy of Valence:
Geoffrey of Lusignan; Aymer, Bishop of Winchester, died in 1280;
and Alice le Brun, who married John de Warenne. Isabella died
King John, who reigned as King of England
from 1199 to 1216, traveled extensively in England, as few of
his predecessors had done, often dealing with mundane financial
and legal matters. He reluctantly signed the Magna Charta, permitting
basic rights to the barons and landowners, a landmark document
in the history of western civilization. [Editor's Note: Of interest
from a genealogical standpoint is the fact that the majority of
barons opposed to King John all became common ancestors as the
royal family and the baronial families intermarried in the following
several generations. The specific baronial families who had signers
of the Magna Carta are detailed in Volume II. of this genealogical
According to the Plantaganet Chronicles,
"John was a great prince but scarcely
a happy one, experiencing the ups and downs of Fortune. He was
munificent and liberal to outsiders but a plunderer of his own
people, trusting strangers rather than his subjects, wherefore
he was eventually deserted by his own men and, in the end, little
He and his second wife, Isabella, had the
He married (2) Sanchia, 3rd daughter and co-heir
of Raymond Berenger V., Count of Provence and his wife, Beatrix
of Savoy. Sanchia was the sister of Queen of England, Eleanor
of Provence, wife of Henry III., the sister of the Queen of France,
Margaret of Provence, wife of Louis IX., and the sister of Beatrice,
wife of Charles of Anjou, who was the brother of Louis IX. Richard
and Sanchia had the following children:
John Plantaganet, Lackland, died at Berkhampstead
in 1279. He also had natural children as follows:
There are reports that John had a total of
seven or eight illegitimate children during his lifetime; other
names that have been reported are as follows:
He fully accepted those articles of The Great
Charter (Magna Charta) of King John which had been set aside at
the beginning of his father's reign, and which required that the
king should levy scutages and aids only with the consent of the
Great Council or Parliament. The further requirement of the barons
that they should name the ministers of the crown was allowed to
fall into disuse. Edward was a capable ruler, and knew how to
appoint better ministers than the barons were likely to choose
for him. He was eminent not only as a ruler but as a legislator
and succeeded in enacting many wise laws, because he knew that
useful legislation is possible only when the legislator has an
intelligent perception of the remedies needed to meet existing
evils, and is willing to content himself with such remedies as
those persons who are to be benefited by them are ready to accept.
The first condition was fulfilled by Edward's own skill as a
lawyer, and by the skill of the great lawyers whom he employed.
The second condition was fulfilled by his determination to authorize
no new legislation without the counsel and acquiescence of those
who were most affected by it. Not until late in his reign did
he call a whole parliament together as Earl Simon de Montfort
had done. Instead, he called the barons together in any manner
which affected the barons, and the representatives of the townsmen
together in any manner which affected the townsmen, and so with
other classes. In 1295 he summoned the "Model Parliament,"
so called because it became the form for future Parliaments.
Every king of England since the Norman Conquest
had exercised authority in a twofold capacity: (1) as head of
the nation and (2) as the feudal lord of his vassals. Edward
laid more stress than any former king upon his national headship.
Early in his reign he divided the Curis Regis into three courts:
(1) The Court of King's Bench, to deal with criminal offenses
reserved for the king's judgment and with suits in which he was
himself concerned; (2) The Court of Exchequer, to deal with all
matters touching the king's revenue; and (3) The Court of Common
Pleas, to deal with suits between subject and subject. Edward
took care that these Courts should administer justice, and dismissed
judges and many other officials for corruption. In 1285 he improved
the Assize of Arms of King Henry II., to assure national support
for his government in time of danger. His favorite motto "Keep
Troth" indicates the value he placed upon a man's oath.
Alexander III. was King of Scotland in the
earlier part of Edward's reign, and his ancestors had done homage
to Edward's ancestors, but, in 1189, William the Lion had purchased
from Richard I possessions which Henry II. had acquired by the
treaty of Falaise. The Lion's successors, however, held lands
in England, and had done homage for them to the English kings.
Edward would gladly have restored the old practice of homage
for Scotland itself, but to this Alexander had never consented.
Edward coveted the prospect of being lord of the entire island,
as it would not only strengthen his position, but would bring
the two nations into peaceful union. A prospect of effecting
a union by peaceful means offered itself to Edward in 1285, when
Alexander III. was killed by a fall from his horse, near Kinghorn.
Alexander's only descendant was his grand-daughter Margaret,
the child of his daughter and King Eric of Norway. In 1290 it
was agreed that she should marry the Prince of Wales but that
the two kingdoms should remain absolutely independent of each
other. Unfortunately the Maid of Norway, as the child was called,
died on her way to Scotland and this plan for establishing friendly
relations between the two countries came to naught. If it has
succeeded, three centuries of warfare and misery might possibly
have been avoided.
Edward I. married in 1254 (1) Eleanor of Castile, daughter
of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Leon, and his wife Jeanne
of Dammartin, who was the daughter of Simon Dammartin and his
wife, Marie, Countess of Ponthieu, and on her death in 1279 that
country came by descent to Eleanor.
Jeanne of Dammartin died on November 20, 1290. Her body was
brought for burial from Lincoln to Westminster, and the bereaved
husband ordered the erection of a memorial cross at each place
where the body rested. The years that followed were filled with
wars with France and with difficulties in Scotland. Edward married
September 8, 1299 (2) Margaret of France, daughter
of Philip III., King of France. King
Edward died, during the third invasion of Scotland, at Burgh-on-the-Sands
near Carlisle, July 8, 1307, and was buried at Westminster. Margaret,
the second wife of King Edward I., died February 14, 1317 and
was buried at Grey Friars, London.
It was King Edward I. who first conferred
the title Prince of Wales, thus designating the fourth son, Edward,
who was the oldest to survive, and who later became Edward II.,
King of England. The children of King Edward I. and his first
wife, Eleanor of Castile were as follows (Ref: Parsons, "The
Year of Eleanor of Castile's Birth and Her Children by Edward
I." Medieval Studies, xlvi (1984), pp 249- 265,
where Parsons lists 14 children with the probable existence of
2 more unnamed):
Edward I. and his second wife, Margaret (Marguerite) of France, daughter
of King Philip III. of France and his second wife, Mary of Brabant,
and half-sister of King Philip IV. of France.
Edward I. and Margaret had the following children: