During this time the king of France, in alliance with the duke of Brittany, attacked William's continental possessions and encouraged the province of Maine to revolt. Matilda, realizing the danger to Normandy, sent to her husband for help. William was at war with the king of Scotland , but sent the son of Fitz-Osborn, his great supporter, to help the queen. He then made a hasty peace with the Scottish king and traveled to Normandy with a large army.
He crushed the rebellion and forced France to sue for peace, bringing stability to Normandy again. Added to this, one day when two of Robert's brothers poured filthy water on him from a balcony above to humiliate him, William chose not to punish them for the prank. In a more serious vein, Robert's brother William Rufus wanted to replace Robert as inheritor to his father.
Eventually, the situation evolved exponentially into a new Norman rebellion. It ended only when King Philip added his military support to William's forces, thus allowing him to confront Robert in battle at Flanders. During the battle in , Robert unhorsed a man in battle and wounded him. He stopped his attack only when he recognized his father's voice. Realizing how nearly he had come to killing his father, he knelt in repentance to his father and then helped him back on his horse. Humiliated, William cursed his son, then halted the siege and returned to Rouen, after which William revoked Robert's inheritance.
William later discovered Matilda's emissary carrying money to Robert. When he confronted her, she cried and answered that her mother's love could not allow her to abandon her needy son. At Easter , father and son were reunited by the efforts of Matilda, and a truce followed. However, they again quarreled and she fell ill from worry until she died in Matilda had been duchess of Normandy for 31 years and queen of England for Her dying prayer was for her favorite son, Robert, who was in England when she passed. After her death at the age of 51, William became more tyrannical, and people blamed it at least in part on his having lost her love and good counsel.
Contrary to the belief that she was buried at St. An eleventh century slab, a sleek black stone decorated with her epitaph, marks her grave at the rear of the church. It is of special note since the grave marker for William was replaced as recently as the beginning of the nineteenth century. Years later, their graves were opened and their bones measured, proving their physical statures.
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During the French Revolution both of their graves were robbed and their remains spread about, but the monks were able to retrieve the bones carefully back into their caskets. Some doubt exists over how many daughters there were. This list includes some entries which are obscure.
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Poitiers was archdeacon of Lisieux, one of the most important cathedrals in Normandy. As such, he was well acquainted with the ducal family and the workings of the Norman court. It seems unlikely that Robert would have entrusted his kingdom to one quite so young. GRA, I, pp. This saint had been uncelebrated in Normandy until Duke Robert acquired one of his fingers during his pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Bates, William the Conqueror , p. His great-grandson, Henry II, snubbed the bishop of Lincoln at a picnic one day because they had quarreled.
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The king was mending a leather bandage on his finger with a needle and thread. See also Searle, Chronicle of Battle Abbey , pp. According to Malmesbury, the two men were of very different character. Rapin, p. Indeed, another account claims that on a later occasion he killed her instantly by kicking at her from his horse and driving his spur into her breast.
See p. Robert had also repudiated his first wife, Rozala of Italy, when she failed to give him an heir. Ironically, his third wife, Constance of Arles, gave him the sons he had hoped for but incited them to rebel against their father. Blaauw, pp. See also Mason, William II , p. Prentout, pp. Davis, I, p. A number of references contained within Domesday Book to a man named Frederic from Flanders led Stapleton to conclude that he, too, was a brother of Gundreda—and therefore a son of Matilda. XVIII, no. Green, I, pp. Clay, pp. Strickland, pp. Gundreda is included among the latter.
BL Harleian fo. In , her lead coffin was discovered by workmen during the construction of the Lewes and Brighton railway. Pancras Priory, Lewes, which they had founded. The coffins were later reinterred in a specially constructed chapel at the priory. If they were not mother and daughter, Matilda and Gundreda do seem to have been well acquainted.
The evidence suggests that she was of noble birth, and the intriguing inscription on her tomb implies that she was part of the ducal family itself. There is no Gundreda listed among their children, but the records concerning female offspring are notoriously sketchy during this period, and she could in any case have been illegitimate. It has even been suggested that Gundreda was adopted by Matilda and William as a child.
Certainly, the couple seem to have held her in some esteem, for they granted various estates to her and her husband. Gundreda, for her part, was grateful to Matilda, for she later gave her the manor of Cariton in Cambridgeshire as a gift. See also H. This had been a controversial marriage.
According to one account, Richildis had proved as unwilling a bride as Matilda, and had refused to marry Robert for fear of offending the emperor. This had prompted Count Baldwin to take matters into his own hands. He gathered a troop of soldiers together and took Richildis by force to Flanders, where she was married to his son before any further protests could arise. Lair, pp. Round, p. GG, p. Presumably Matilda would also have been presented with lavish gifts by her husband-to-be, as this was traditional.
Licquet claims that it was celebrated at Rouen: Turgis, p. Wace, meanwhile, asserts that the venue was Eu: Burgess and Holden, p. Bates, Normandy Before , pp. See also Bates, William the Conqueror , pp. A recent biography of Lanfranc supports this theory, and cites a letter from Pope Nicholas to Lanfranc implying that the prelate had not visited Rome during the early part of , when the ban was lifted. Gibson, pp. Wulfnoth and Haakon would remain in Normandy for the next thirteen years.
Another theory is that they were there as part of a bargain struck between Earl Godwine and King Edward. One source claims that William Rufus was born as early as However, his biographer, Professor Barlow, places his date of birth at around Barlow, William Rufus , p. See, for example, GRA, I, pp. This is discussed further in Mason, William II , pp. This may have been a tactful omission because he was conscious of the turbulent relationship between William and his eldest son.
Matilda of Flanders - Queen of the Conqueror - History of Royal Women
GND, II, pp. Some of the most useful analyses include Barlow, William Rufus , pp. See also Madden, p. See, for example, Douglas, William the Conqueror , p. Carey, p. The ministrations of doctors often did more harm than good. For example, the treatment advocated for a woman who suffered excessive bleeding after childbirth was to bleed her first from one ankle and then the other.
Leyser, p. There is no known source for this name from either side of the family, nor does it have any other obvious connections. Indeed, its absence from most contemporary sources suggests that it was a highly unusual name. OV, III, p. See also James, pp. The theory continues that youth was from twenty-nine to fifty; dignity from fifty-one to seventy; and thereafter was old age.
Migne, p. Matilda also witnessed a grant to Rouen cathedral by Simon in Bates, Regesta Regum , pp. Other notable examples of mothers advising their sons on political affairs included Berthe de Blois, who upon the death of her husband, Hugh IV of Maine, advised their young son Herbert to ingratiate himself with Duke William. GG, pp. OV, V, p. David, p. Fauroux, pp. As king of England, William would be widely criticized for the draconian measures that he introduced to protect game.
Malmesbury condemned him for the destruction that was entailed in creating his favorite hunting ground, the New Forest, and Orderic claimed that sixty parishes were laid waste in the process, although this was an exaggeration. See also Forester, p. The Lateran Councils of the Roman Catholic Church were so named because they were held in the Lateran Palace, a former papal residence, in Rome between the seventh and the eighteenth centuries.
The same stone was later used for building work in England, notably the choir of Canterbury Cathedral. For this we must rely upon Orderic Vitalis, but his accounts leave room for doubt. In the Gesta Normannorum Ducum , he claims that Abbess Matilda ruled for forty-eight years, but in his Historia Ecclesiastica he says it was forty-seven years. There is some confusion as to when he dated her tenure from—i. OV, II, pp. OV, VI, p. This would be completed by her youngest son, Henry, who turned it into the priory of Le Bec. His heart was later buried there, which may have been intended as a compliment to his mother.
She commissioned the paintings when the abbey was built.
They survived until the seventeenth century, when the room in which they were housed was demolished. Paris, — Morris, vol. V, no. Delisle, Rouleaux des Morts , pp. An excellent summary of the unification of England is given in Bates, William the Conqueror , p. See also Fletcher, pp. Eadmer, meanwhile, attests that Harold and his men were stripped of all their most valuable possessions before being released.
Eadmer, p. There is a great deal of confusion among the contemporary sources about which daughter was betrothed to Harold. The chroniclers differ not only from each other, but also within their own accounts. He claims that Matilda had just two daughters, Cecilia and Adela, and he is the only chronicler who attests that Adela was betrothed to Harold: Burgess and Holden, pp.
We can be reasonably certain that Adeliza, Adelida, and Agatha were one and the same girl, and given that Adela was not even born when Harold visited Normandy, his intended bride must have been Adeliza. Hill, pp. An earlier proponent of this theory is Turgis, pp.
Andrew Bridgeford provides a compelling account of this mystery, alongside a myriad of others that the tapestry poses, in his excellent study. The endowments that they brought with them made the abbey so prosperous that it was able to survive with no other income until the French Revolution. None of the contemporary sources corroborate this theory, and the evidence is stronger that Adeliza was the eldest. Meanwhile, M. Green, I, p. OV, III, pp. The tapestry depicts ten men in the ship, but this was undoubtedly representative of many more. Another account describes the sails as being painted in several places with three lions—the device of the Norman ensign—although this is doubtful, because armorial ensigns were not introduced until much later.
The figure was also thought to represent their third son, William Rufus. Figureheads had long been believed to have a magical as well as a symbolic function. For this reason, it was customary to remove them from ships before they arrived at their destination, because the inhabitants of the land that received them were afraid of being cursed. This could have been a jest implying that Matilda was unwise to let her husband embark upon such a risky enterprise. The evidence suggests that Matilda chose one of her own servants to captain the ship.
Orderic Vitalis names him as Stephen, son of Airard. For other English commentaries on the phenomenon, see Riley, pp. See also Barlow, Carmen de Hastingae Proelio , pp. Thorpe, II, p. See also OV, II, p. A recent source claims that Matilda and Anne of Kiev were friends and that their sons Robert and Philip played together as children. Beguiling though this image is, there is no evidence for it in the contemporary sources. Fettu, p. William held at least three great councils as he made his preparations to invade England: one at Lillebonne, another at Bonneville-sur-Touques, and a third at Caen.
There has in fact been some debate as to whether Montgomery was among those who stayed behind when the duke embarked upon his enterprise. However, the former chroniclers were closer to the events, both in time and geography, so their accounts are more reliable. He seems, though, to have been confused with his father, Richard, who is known to have fought at Hastings, and there is compelling evidence that Hugh did not go to England until the following year.
I have taken possession of the land in my two hands. This account is corroborated by Searle, Chronicle of Battle Abbey , p. His account is taken from William of Poitiers: GG, p. He is cited as such by Orderic Vitalis, but Professor Barlow has questioned whether a French bishop would have attended a duchess of Normandy.
True, Matilda had strong family connections with France, and Guy was also descended from the French royal family. Barlow, Carmen de Hastingae Proelio , p. Orderic Vitalis claims that Guy had already written the poem when he came to England with Matilda in Some scholars believe the poem was not his work at all and that it was written much later. Particularly convincing is the fact that William of Poitiers almost certainly made use of it when writing his history.
Matilda was not mentioned in the prologue, as might be expected if she had commissioned it, but it is possible that her name appeared at the end of the work, which has since been lost. See, for example, GG, pp. II Paris, , p. See also Bridgeford, pp. William did not grant her the county of Kent as he had promised, but instead gave it to his half-brother Odo. The reason for this is not clear.