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  • ID: I246
  • Name: Matilda de Flandre
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: 1031 in Flanders, Belgiurm 1
  • Death: 2 NOV 1083 in Caen, Normandie, France 1
  • Burial: Holy Trinity Abbey, Caen, Normandy 2
  • Reference Number: 971
  • Note:
    Matilda of Flanders (c. 1031 ? 2 November 1083) was Queen consort of the Kingdom of England and the wife of William the Conqueror.

    She was the daughter of count Baldwin V of Flanders, and Adela Capet (1000-1078/9), daughter of Robert II of France.

    A spoiled young lady accustomed to speaking her mind and getting her way, the 4'2"-tall (Britain's smallest queen) Matilda (or "Maud") told the representative of William, Duke of Normandy (later king of England as William the Conqueror), who had come asking for her hand, that she was far too high-born (being descended from King Alfred the Great of England) to consider marrying a bastard. When that was repeated to him, William, all 5'10" of him, rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse (some said by her long braids), threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants, and then rode off. After that, she decided to marry him, and even a papal ban (on the grounds of consanguinity) did not dissuade her. They were married in 1052.

    There were rumors that Matilda had been in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon so pale he was nearly an albino, named Brihtric (but nicknamed "Snow"), who was already married. Whatever the truth of the matter, years later when she was acting as Regent for William in England, she used her authority to confiscate Brihtric's lands (without even any formal charges, much less a trial) and throw him into prison, where he died under suspicious circumstances consistent with poisoning.

    When William was preparing to invade England, Matilda outfitted a ship, the Mora, out of her own money and gave it to him. For many years it was thought that she had something to do with creating the Bayeux Tapestry, but historians no longer believe that; it seems to have been commissioned by William's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and made by Saxons in Kent.

    Matilda bore William ten children, and he was believed to have been faithful to her, at least up until the time their son Robert rebelled against his father and Matilda sided with Robert against William. After she died, in 1083 at the age of 51, William became tyrannical, and people blamed it on his having lost her. She was buried at St. Stephen's in Caen, Normandy (then, France now), where William was also eventually buried. Years later, their graves were opened and their bones measured, proving their physical statures.

    Matilda was descended from Alfred the Great as follows:
    -6. Alfred the Great
    -5. Aelfthryth
    -4. Arnulf I, Count of Flanders
    -3. Baldwin III of Flanders
    -2. Arnulf II, Count of Flanders
    -1. Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders
    0. Baldwin V, Count of Flanders
    1. Matilda of Flanders
    3 1
  • Change Date: 24 FEB 2007 at 23:55:13




    Father: Baldwin V Ňof LilleÓ of Flanders b: ABT 1012/1013
    Mother: Alice de France

    Marriage 1 William I The Conqueror (King of England 1066-1087) b: ABT 1027 in Falise Castle, Falaise, Normandy, France
    • Married: 1053 in Cathedral of Notre Dame d'Eu, Normandy
    Children
    1. Has Children Henry I Beauclerc (King of England 1100-1135) b: SEP 1068 in Selby, Yorkshire, England c: 5 AUG 1100 in Selby, Yorkshire, England
    2. Has No Children William II 'Rufus' (King of England 1087-1100) b: ABT 1060 in Normandy, France

    Marriage 2 William I the Conqueror of England b: bet 9 Sep 1028 - 9 Sep 1029 in Falaise, Normandy
    • Married: 1053 1
    Children
    1. Has Children Henry I Beauclerc (King of England 1100-1135) b: SEP 1068 in Selby, Yorkshire, England c: 5 AUG 1100 in Selby, Yorkshire, England
    2. Has No Children Adele of Normandy b: ABT 1062
    3. Has No Children William Rufus of England b: bet 1056 - 1060
    4. Has No Children Robert "Curthose" of Normandy b: bet 1050 - 1054
    5. Has No Children Constance of Normandy

    Sources:
    1. Author: Weis, Frederick Lewis
      Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1992
    2. Author: Douglas, David C.
      Publication: University of California Press, 1964
    3. Title: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_of_Flanders
      Abbrev: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_of_Flanders
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