The Fortune of War: Henry I and Normandy, 1116 – 1120

Henry I mourning the death of his sonThe Fortune of War: Henry I and Normandy, 1116 – 1120

Dillon Byrd

Oklahoma Christian University, Tau Sigma, Journal of Historical Studies, Vol.21 (2013)


Henry I had great success in keeping the peace in England and Normandy, aside from the first two years of his reign. There were only two Norman uprisings against Henry, the first from roughly 1118-1119 and the second, with only five months of actual warfare, from 1123-1124. Henry I was devoted to maintaining peace throughout his kingdom, and the most dangerous threat he encountered in Normandy was the rebellion in 1118-1119. The uprising had its origins in Henry’s attempt to secure his heir’s future as Duke of Normandy. After Henry called upon the great lords of Normandy to swear oaths of allegiance to William Adelin in 1115 and came to an agreement whereby Louis VI would receive William Adelin’s homage, Louis VI refused and instead supported the claim of William Clito. War broke out as Count Baldwin of Flanders and Louis VI began their invasion in 1117.

Louis VI’s refusal to recognize William Adelin’s homage and his support for William Clito’s claim to the duchy of Normandy forced Henry I to put down the rebellions throughout Normandy and destroy the alliance between Fulk of Anjou, Baldwin of Flanders, and Louis VI in order to defend his Norman lands and his son’s succession from Louis and greedy, rebellious nobles.


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