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Henry I
Henry I

Henry I (1068-1135) was the youngest son of William the Conqueror and third of the Norman line of kings. He succeeded his brother, William II, in 1100, and was crowned within 3 days. Henry was challenged by his eldest brother, Robert, Duke of Normandy, whom he defeated in battle and imprisoned for life. Henry helped to unite the Saxons and Normans in England. To gain the favour of the Saxons, Henry married Matilda, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland and his Saxon wife Margaret.

During his reign, Henry worked to restrain the growing power of the barons. He promoted the Norman system of centralized rule and gave the royal courts greater authority. His wars against rebellious nobles in France helped start a feeling of English nationalism.