Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens by Alison Weir

  You ought, if you please, [to] employ the diligence of a mother and the authority of a lady to recall him to duty, you who acquired the kingdom and duchy for him with much effort, and transmitted hereditary rights to him in succession, by the use of which the Church is now oppressed and trampled, innocents punished, and the poor intolerably afflicted. We willingly do what we can for your salvation and his soul, imploring the mercy of God by our prayers as best we can continuously. We will pray more confidently if, with peace restored to the churches, he returns to God, his author and benefactor, with prompt devotion. Let him not be ashamed to humble himself before God in penitence, when to ancient kings who are blessed in memory, nothing was a source of greater glory than the title of penitent, the zeal for divine law, veneration of priests, and most faithful humility, guardian of virtues. For by such sacrifices, David, Hezekiah, Josiah, and Constantine pleased the Lord, and achieved glory among men from generation to generation.26

  Harold Godwinson swears to make William king of England.

  Thirteenth-century wall paintings of William, Matilda and their eldest son, Robert, from the abbey of Saint-Étienne, Caen.

  William sails to England in the Mora, the ship given to him by Matilda.

  The abbeys founded by Matilda and William in Caen in penance for their forbidden marriage: (first image) Matilda’s, Holy Trinity; (second image) William’s, Saint-Étienne.

  Charter to Holy Trinity bearing the crosses of William and Matilda.

  Westminster Abbey, where Matilda was crowned queen in 1068.

  Copy of the portrait taken from William’s corpse 435 years after his death.

  William I granting a charter to the City of London.

  Matilda with her infant son Henry.

  Matilda as patroness of Gloucester Abbey.

  This aerial view of Windsor shows the footprint of William I’s castle. The Round Tower stands on the site of the wooden keep on its high mound (or motte) in the center, with the two large baileys on either side. The royal apartments have always been in the upper ward.

  Matilda’s tomb in the abbey of Holy Trinity, Caen, with its original marble ledger stone.

  Embroidering a myth: Queen Matilda at work on the Bayeux Tapestry. Painting by Alfred Guillard, 1848.

  William and Matilda as founders of Selby Abbey, with Abbot Benedict of Auxerre.

  Statue of William the Conqueror in his birthplace, Falaise.

  The ill-fated Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy.

  The Norman Kings from a manuscript of 1250: (top) William I and William II,(bottom) Henry I and Stephen.

  Anselm of Aosta, Archbishop of Canterbury, whom Matilda revered.

  The foundations of Malcolm’s Tower, Dunfermline, where Matilda of Scotland was born.

  Margaret, Queen of Scots, Matilda’s saintly mother.

  Matilda as benefactress of St. Alban’s Abbey.

  Statue that may represent Matilda from the west door of Rochester Cathedral.

  Matilda’s brother, David I, King of Scots. He was to champion the cause of her daughter Maud.

  Matilda’s seal, the earliest one of an English queen to survive.

  The wedding feast of the Lady Maud and the Emperor Heinrich V.

  Probably Adeliza of Louvain, Henry I’s second Queen.

  Henry I mourning the loss of his son in the White Ship disaster.

  The burial of Henry I in Reading Abbey, 1135.

  The ruthless Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou.

  The Norman keep of Arundel Castle, where the Empress Maud sought shelter with Queen Adeliza in 1139.

  Stone heads, probably of Adeliza and her second husband, William d’Albini, on either side of the east window, Boxgrove Priory, Sussex.

  Head said to represent Matilda of Boulogne, from Furness Abbey.

  Victorian engraving of Matilda of Boulogne, based on the stone head.

  The great Norman cathedral at Winchester, where Maud was received as “Lady of the English” in 1141.

  Robert, Earl of Gloucester, loyal mainstay of the Empress Maud.

  King Stephen’s brother, the wily Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester.

  The Empress Maud: modern illustration showing the kind of dress she would have worn.

  Seal of the Empress Maud.

  Artist’s impression of the Empress Maud, based on her seal.

  Coin showing Stephen and Matilda of Boulogne, struck to mark the King’s restoration in 1141.

  St. George’s Tower, Oxford Castle, from which Maud descended by ropes in 1142.

  One of many popular images of Maud, camouflaged in white, making her miraculous escape from Oxford.

  Wallingford Castle, where Maud sought refuge with the devoted Brian FitzCount.

  The wall encircling the mound and the gatehouse are all that remain of the mighty Devizes Castle, Maud’s headquarters for several years.

  Hedingham Castle, Essex, where Matilda of Boulogne died.

  Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Contemporary stained glass in Poitiers Cathedral commemorating their marriage in 1152.

  Interior of the keep at Hedingham Castle, showing the largest surviving Romanesque arch in Britain.

  The marriage of Maud’s granddaughter, Matilda, to Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, in 1168. In this manuscript illustration, Maud appears posthumously, standing beside her son Henry II on the right, and taking precedence as empress over Queen Eleanor, who is behind her.

  Henry II quarreling with Archbishop Thomas Becket. Maud tried to broker a peace between them.

  Golden, jewel-studded reliquary cross from the abbey of Valasse, of German work, said to have been the gift of the Empress Maud.

  The chapel of Saint-Julien at Petit-Quevilly, founded by Henry II in 1160, and adorned with frescoes that may have been commissioned by Maud.

  Rouen Cathedral, where Maud’s remains were reinterred in 1847.

  To Wendy and Brian,

  and to Eileen Don and Eileen Latchford,

  who are examples to us all,

  with love.

  Select Bibliography


  The Rolls Series, referred to below, comprises a collection of original sources known as Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages, published by HM Stationery Office, London, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls.

  “Les actes de Guillaume le Conquérant et de la reine Mathilde pour les abbayes caënnaises” (ed. L. Musset, Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie, vol. 37, 1967)

  Actus pontificum in urbe degentium (ed. G. Busson and A. Ledru, Société des Archives historiques de Maine, 2, 1902)

  Additional Charters (The British Library)

  Additional MSS (The British Library)

  Adelard of Bath: Des Adelard von Bath Traktat De eodem et diverso zum ersten Male herausgegeben und historisch-kritisch untersucht (ed. Hans Édouard Ernst Wilner, Münster, 1903)

  Aelred of Rievaulx: “Eulogium Davidis Regis Scotorum” (in Vitae antiquae sanctorum qui habitaverunt in ea parte Britanniae nunc vocatia Scotia)

  ———“Genealogia regum Anglorum” (in Patrologia Latina, vol. 195)

  ———Relatio de Standardo (in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I)

  Ambrose (fl. c.1190): L’Estoire de la Guerre Sainte (ed. Gaston Paris, Paris, 1897)

  Analectes pour server a l’Histoire Ecclesiastique de la Belgique (ed. E. de Marneffe, Louvain, 1864)

  Ancient Charters, Royal and Private, prior to AD 1200 (ed. J. H. Round, Pipe Roll Society, 1888)

  Ancient Lives of Scottish Saints (tr. W. M. Metcalfe, Paisley, 1895)

  Andrew of Wyntoun: The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland by Androw of Wyntoun (3 vols., ed. David Laing, Edinburgh, 1872)

  Anglica, Hibernica, Normannica, Cambrica, a veteribus scripta: ex quibus Asser Meneuensis, Anonymus de vita Gulielmi Conquestoris, Thomas Walsingham, Thomas de la More, Gulielmus Gemeticiensis, Giraldus Cambrensis (ed. William Camden, Frankfur
t, 1602)

  The Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets and Epigrammatists of the Twelfth Century (2 vols., ed. Thomas Wright, Cambridge, 1872)

  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ed. and tr. G. N. Garmonsway, London, 1953)

  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: The authentic voices of England from the time of Julius Caesar to the coronation of Henry II (tr. and ed. Anne Savage, London, 1982)

  “Annales Abbatae de Bermondsey” (in Annales Monastici)

  Annales Monastici (5 vols., ed. H. R. Luard, Rolls Series, 1864–69)

  Annales Patherbrunnenses (ed. Paul Scheffer-Boichorst, Innsbruck, 1870)

  “Annals of Margam, 1066–1232” (in Annales Monastici)

  “Annals of Tewkesbury Abbey” (in Annales Monastici)

  “Annals of Waverley Abbey” (in Annales Monastici)

  The Anonimalle Chronicle, 1333 to 1381: From a MS. Written at St Mary’s Abbey, York (ed. V. H. Galbraith, Manchester, 1970)

  Anselm of Aosta: The Letters of St Anselm of Canterbury (3 vols., tr. Walter Fröhlich, Kalamazoo, 1990–94)

  ———S. Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi opera omnia (6 vols., ed. F. S. Schmitt, Seckau, 1938–61; Edinburgh, 1946–63)

  ———Sancti Anselmi Opera omnia (2 vols., ed. J. Migne, Paris, 1854)

  Archaeologia, or Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Antiquity (102 vols., various editors, The Society of Antiquaries of London, 1773–1969)

  Archives départementales du Calvados

  Asser, Bishop of Sherborne: Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources (tr. Simon Keynes and Michael Lapidge, London, 1983)

  Baldwin of Avesnes (1219–95): “The Chronicle of Baldwin of Avesnes” (tr. Frank Jewett Mather Jr., Record of the Museum of Historic Art, Princeton University, vol. 5, 1, 1946)

  Baudri de Bourgeuil: Oeuvres poétiques (ed. P. Abrahams, Paris, 1926)

  Beati Lanfranci opera omnia (ed. L. d’Archery, Paris, 1648)

  Benedeit: The Anglo-Norman Voyage of St Brendan (ed. Ian Short and Brian S. Merrilees, Manchester, 1979)

  Benoît de Saint-Maure (d. c.1173): Chronique des ducs de Normandie (3 vols., ed. Carin Fahlin, Uppsala, 1951–54)

  Bernard of Clairvaux: Sancti Bernardi Opera (8 vols., ed. J. LeClercq and H. Rochais, Rome, 1955–77)

  Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum (6 vols., ed. Philipp Jaffé, Berlin, 1869)

  Boece, Hector: The Chronicles of Scotland, compiled by Hector Boece (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1938)

  The Brut, or the Chronicles of England (2 vols., ed. F. Brie, Early English Texts Society, London, 1906, 1908)

  Calendar of Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office (6 vols., London, 1903)

  Calendar of Documents preserved in France illustrative of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 1: 918–1206 (ed. J. H. Round, London, 1899)

  Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland (5 vols., ed. Joseph Bain, Edinburgh, 1881–88)

  Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland (ed. W. H. Bliss, 1893; London, 1960)

  Calendar of Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office (London, 1906)

  Calendars of Charter Rolls (The National Archives)

  Calendars of Close Rolls (The National Archives)

  Calendars of Patent Rolls (The National Archives)

  Camden, William: Annales rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum regnante Elizabetha (London, 1615)

  Capgrave, John (1393–1464): The Book of the Illustrious Henries (ed. and tr. F. C. Hingeston, London, 1858)

  ———The Chronicle of England (ed. F. C. Hingeston, London, 1858)

  Cartulaire de l’Abbaye d’Affligem (1432) (in Analectes pour server a l’Histoire Ecclesiastique de la Belgique)

  “Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Sainte-Trinité du Mont de Rouen” (ed. Achille Deville, in Collection des cartulaires de France, Paris, 1840)

  Le cartulaire de la chapitre cathedral de Coutances (ed. Julie Fontanel, Saint-Lo, 2003)

  The Cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate (ed. Gerald A. J. Hodgett, London Record Society, 1971)

  Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum (ed. J. A. Herbert, London, 1883–1910)

  Charters of David I (ed. G.W.S. Barrow, Woodbridge, 1999)

  Charters and Documents illustrating the History of the Cathedral Church and Diocese of Salisbury in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (ed. W. R. Jones and W. D. Macray, Rolls Series, 1891)

  Charters and Records among the Archives of the Ancient Abbey of Cluni in the National Library of France, from 1077 to 1534 (2 vols., ed. G. F. Duckett, Lewes, 1888)

  Chartes de Saint-Julien de Tours 1000–1300 (ed. J.-L. Denis, Le Mans, 1912–13)

  The Chartulary of Boxgrove Priory (ed. L. Fleming, Sussex Record Society, 59, 1960)

  “Chronicae Sancti Albini Andegauensis” (in Chroniques des églises d’Anjou)

  The Chronicle of Battle Abbey (ed. E. Searle, Oxford, 1861)

  “The Chronicle of Holy Trinity, Aldgate” (printed as an appendix to The Cartulary of Holy Trinity, Aldgate)

  Chronicle of London, 1089–1483 (15th C) (ed. Sir Harris Nicolas, The Society of Antiquaries of London, 1827)

  “The Chronicle of Melrose” (in The Church Historians of England)

  The Chronicle of Tewkesbury Abbey, 1066–1262 (Bodleian Library MS. Lat. misc. b. 2 [R])

  “The Chronicle of Tours” (Chronicon Turonense) (in Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France)

  Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I (ed. R. Howlett, Rolls Series, 1885)

  Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon (2 vols., ed. Joseph Stevenson, Cambridge, 1858)

  Chronicon Valassense (ed. F. Sommenil, Rouen, 1868)

  Chronique du Bec (ed. A. A. Porée, Rouen, 1883)

  La Chronique de Marigney (ed. Léon Mirot, Paris, 1912)

  Chroniques Anglo-Normandes (3 vols., ed. Francisque Michel, Rouen, 1836)

  Chroniques des comtes d’Anjou (1100–60) (ed. L. Halphen and R. Poupardin, Paris, 1913)

  Chroniques des comtes d’Anjou et des seigneurs d’Amboise (ed. P. Marchegay and A. Salmon, Paris, 1856–71)

  Chroniques des églises d’Anjou (ed. Paul Marchegay and Emile Mabille, Paris, 1869)

  Chroniques de Normandie (1350–70) (ed. Francisque Michel, Rouen, 1839)

  The Church Historians of England (5 vols., ed. J. Stevenson, London, 1856)

  Clare, Osbert de: The Letters of Osbert de Clare, Prior of Westminster (ed. E. W. Williamson, Oxford, 1929, reprinted 1998)

  A Collection of Wills of the Kings and Queens of England from William the Conqueror to Henry VII (ed. J. Nichols, Society of Antiquaries of London, 1780)

  “Constitutio Domus Regis” (1136) (in Dialogus de Scaccario, and Constitutio Domus Regis)

  Contemporary Chronicles of the Middle Ages (tr. Joseph Stephenson, Felinfach, 1988)

  Continuatio Chronici Afflegemiensis (in Veterum Aliquot Scriptorum Qui in Galliae Bibliothecis, maxime Benedictinorum latuerant, Spicilegium, Vol. 10, Paris, 1671)

  Corpus Christi College MS. 373

  Cotton MSS (The British Library)

  Crispin, Milo (d.1149): “Vita Lanfranci” (in Beati Lanfranci opera omnia)

  The Culture of Christendom: Essays in Medieval History in Commemoration of Denis L. T. Bethell (ed. Marc A. Meyer, New York, 1993)

  Curia Regis Rolls (National Archives)

  Dialogus de Scaccario, and Constitutio Domus Regis/The Dialogue of the Exchequer, and The Establishment of the Royal Household (ed. Emilie Amt and Stephen Church, Oxford, 2007)

  Domesday Book (Ordnance Survey, 1861–64)

  Dugdale, William: Monasticon Anglicanum: a History of the Abbies and other Monasteries, Hospitals, Frieries, and Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, with their Dependencies, in England and Wales (6 vols., London, 1817–30)

  The Durham Liber Vitae (British Library Cotton MS. Domitian VII)

  Eadmer: Historia Novorum in Anglia (ed. M. Rule, London, 1884; tr. G
. Bosanquet, London, 1964)

  ———Vita Sancti Anselmi (ed. M. Rule, London, 1884)

  The Early Charters of the Augustinian Canons of Waltham Abbey, Essex 1062–1230 (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion) (ed. Rosalind Ransford, Woodbridge, 1989)

  Early Sources of Scottish History, AD 500–1286 (2 vols., ed. Alan Orr Anderson, Edinburgh, 1922)

  Early Yorkshire Charters (13 vols., ed. William Farrer and Charles Travis Clay, Cambridge, 1914–65)

  Encomium Emmae Reginae (1041–42) (ed. Alistair Campbell, London, 1949; reprinted Cambridge, 1998)

  English Coronation Records (ed. Leopold George Wickham Legg, London, 1901)

  English Episcopal Acta 28: Canterbury 1070–1136 (ed. Martin Brett and David Michael Smith, Oxford, 2004)

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