Module HTH-2145:
The Lion of Justice - Henry I

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Mark Hagger

Overall aims and purpose

'Then shall succeed a lion of justice at whose roar the towers of Gaul and the island dragons shall tremble.' To Henry's contemporaries, it was obvious that this one of the Prophecies of Merlin referred to him. This module examines Henry's life and reign, from his tumultuous youth to his sudden death in 1135 - his demise was attributed to a `surfeit of lampreys'. Henry's career saw him defenestrate a rebel in 1091, seize the crown of England in 1100, conquer Normandy in 1106, defeat rebellions in 1119 and 1124, lose a son in the wreck of the White Ship in 1120, and leave his throne to his daughter in 1135 - with disastrous results. But besides the drama of his life and times, students will learn about Henry's government, his relations with the Church, something of his personality, and the way that he welded England and Normandy together - for it is with his reign that the Norman Conquest finally bore its fruit. Emphasis will be placed on the stunning array of primary sources that teach us about his reign, with particular emphasis on the Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis and the Gesta regum Anglorum of William of Malmesbury, the finest of all Anglo-Norman narratives.

Course content

  1. Background; 2. The youngest brother, 1068-1100; 3. King of the English, 1100-1106; 4. The conquest of Normandy, 1106; 5. The governance of the Anglo-Norman regnum; 6. Henry and the Church; 7. Rebellion and disaster, 1118-1124; 8. The monastic chroniclers: Orderic Vitalis and William of Malmesbury; 9. Henry's personality, family, and environment; 10. The end of the reign and its aftermath. Students taking the course will study these topics using both primary sources and the modern historiography.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

There are three grades for lower second-class performance:

C+ (58%) Work will receive a C+ mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains partially superficial; covers the important aspects of the relevant field, but in some places lacks depth; advances a coherent and relevant argument; employs some evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only a few or no mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.

C (55%) Work will receive a C mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains superficial; covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth; advances a coherent and largely relevant argument; employs some limited evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only limited mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, contain some mistakes or be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient.

C- (52%) Work will receive a C- mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but little knowledge of in-depth studies (for first-year work the student may not have read beyond a few standard works; at second or third year the student may not have read a good selection of journal articles and specialist monographs); covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth or misses a significant area (for second- and third-year work this may mean that it fails to deploy the historical details found in specialist literature); advances a coherent, and sometimes relevant argument, but drifts away from tackling the task in hand (for example, by ordering the argument in an illogical way, becoming distracted by tangential material, or lapsing into narrative of only partial pertinence); usually employs evidence to back its points, but occasionally fails to do so or deploys an insufficient range; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways, but may fail to get to the heart of the central scholarly debate or fully understand a key point (in second- and third-year work this may extend to a failure to discuss important subtleties or ambiguities in the evidence, or to a lack of awareness of the current state of historical or archaeological debate); is reasonably well presented and contains appropriate references and bibliography, but makes some mistakes in presentation or appropriate use.

excellent

There are four grades for first-class performance:

A* (95%) At this level, first-class work earns its mark by showing genuine originality. It may advance a novel argument or deal with evidence which has not been considered before. Such originality of ideas or evidence is coupled with the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected of first-class work graded at A or A+. At this level, the work exhausts relevant secondary material, includes in dissertation work extensive and often unanticipated primary evidence, and betrays no factual or interpretative inaccuracy. It can also show a mastery of theory and deploy hypotheses subtly and imaginatively. In the case of essays and dissertations, work of this standard will be impeccable in presentation and will be publishable.

A+ (87%) At this level, first-class work will also have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail, but will further deploy the evidence consistently accurately and give indications of deploying unexpected primary and secondary sources. It will habitually demonstrate a particularly acute and critical awareness of the historiography and/or archaeological debate, including conceptual approaches, and give a particularly impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It will show a particularly sophisticated approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. It will be original work. The standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently first-class work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be very high.

A (80%) At this level, first-class work will have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail. It will usually also demonstrate an acute awareness of historiography and/or archaeological debate, and give an impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be high.

A- (74%) A first-class mark at this level is often earned simply by demonstrating one or more of the features of a good upper-second essay to a peculiar degree, for example presenting a particularly strong organization of argument, strong focus, wide range of reading, engagement with the historiography and/or archaeological debate, depth of understanding, an unobjectionable style, and strong presentation.

good

There are three grades for upper second-class performance:

B+ (68%) Work will receive a B+ mark if it is consistently strong in: covering the necessary ground in depth and detail; advancing a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analysis and deployment of an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and consideration of possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

B (65%) Work will receive a B mark if it: is clear that it is based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in depth and detail; advances a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

B- (62%) Work will receive a B- mark if it: is clearly based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in some depth and detail; advances a properly-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.

threshold

Threshold students (D- and D) will have done only a minimum of reading, and their work will often be based partly on lecture notes and/or basic textbooks. They will demonstrate in their written assessments some knowledge of at least parts of the relevant field, and will make at least partially-successful attempts to frame an argument which engages with historical controversies, but they will fail to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; and/or deploy only some relevant material but partly fail to combine it into a coherent whole; and/or deploy some evidence to support individual points but often fail to do so and/or show difficulty weighing evidence (thereby relying on unsuitable or irrelevant evidence when making a point). Alternatively or additionally, the presentation of the work might also be poor, with bad grammar and/or punctuation, careless typos and spelling errors, and a lack of effective and correct referencing.

Learning outcomes

  1. Synthesize historical arguments about developments in the Anglo-Norman regnum (in degree essays); and present detailed historical arguments about specific aspects of the period and subject (in the exam).

  2. Judge between the alternative historical interpretations of the period, including current historiographic positions.

  3. Illustrate a detailed knowledge of specific aspects of the period and subject.

  4. Demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the life and reign of Henry I between 1068 and 1135.

Assessment Methods

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

One x one hour seminar for ten weeks, usually beginning in the second week of the module

10
Lecture

two x one hour lecture every week for ten weeks

20
Private study

Reading before and after lectures and seminars relating to the specific topics discussed, as well as around the subject of the module more generally, as well as research for essays and exams.

170

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
  • understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
  • being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
  • being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
  • producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • preparing effective written communications for different readerships
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
  • collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
  • appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions

Resources

Resource implications for students

Purchase of one or two textbooks at most

Reading list

  1. Primary Sources: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. M. Swanton (London, 1996) Eadmer of Canterbury, Eadmer’s History of Recent Events in England, trans. G. Bosanquet (London, 1964) Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum, ed. and trans. D. Greenway (Oxford, 1996) Historia Ecclesie Abbendonensis: The History of the Church of Abingdon, ed. and trans. J. Hudson, 2 vols (Oxford, 2002–7) John of Worcester, The Chronicle of John of Worcester, ed. and trans. P. McGurk et al, vol 3 (Oxford, 1998) Orderic Vitalis, Historia ecclesiastica, ed. and trans. M. Chibnall, 6 vols (Oxford 1969–80) Wace, Roman de Rou, trans. G. S. Burgess (Woodbridge, 2004) William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum ducum, ed. and trans. E. M. C. van Houts, 2 vols (Oxford, 1992–1995) William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum Anglorum, ed. and trans. M. Winterbottom, vol 1 (Oxford, 2007) William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum, ed. and trans. R. A. B. Mynors, R. M. Thomson and M. Winterbottom, vol 1 (Oxford, 1998) William of Malmesbury, Historia Novella, ed. and trans. E. King and K. R. Potter (Oxford, 1998) Henry’s acts are summarized in: Regesta regum Anglo-Normannorum, II. Regesta Henrici Primi, ed. Charles Johnson and H. A. Cronne (Oxford, 1956). Some useful translations are found in: English Historical Documents, II. 1042–1189, ed. D. C. Douglas and G. W. Greenaway (London, 1953)

  2. Key Secondary Sources: F. Barlow, The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042–1216 (London, 1961) R. Bartlett, England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075–1225 (Oxford, 2000). M. Chibnall, Anglo-Norman England, 1066–1166 (Oxford, 1986) M. Chibnall, The World of Orderic Vitalis: Norman Monks and Norman Knights (Woodbridge, 1984) M. Clanchy, England and its Rulers, 1066–1307 (third edition, 2006) D. Crouch, The Normans: The History of a Dynasty (London, 2002) J. A. Green, Henry I: King of England and Duke of Normandy (Cambridge, 2006) C. W. Hollister, Monarchy, Magnates and Institutions in the Anglo-Norman World (London, 1986) C. W. Hollister, Henry I (New Haven and London, 2001) F. Neveux, A Brief History of the Normans: The Conquests that changed the Face of Europe, trans. H. Curtis (London, 2008) J. Le Patourel, The Norman Empire (Oxford, 1976)