The Lion of Justice - Henry I
The Lion of Justice: The Life and Reign of Henry I (1068-1135) 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
'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.
- 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 chroniclers: Orderic Vitalis, William of Malmesbury, and others; 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.
- Demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the life and reign of Henry I between 1068 and 1135.
- Demonstrate an ability to research and to write a sophisticated and cogent argument based on that research (in the essay and exam)
- Illustrate a detailed knowledge of specific aspects of the period and subject.
- Judge between the alternative historical interpretations of the period, including current historiographic positions.
- Synthesize historical arguments about developments in the Anglo-Norman regnum and present detailed historical arguments about specific aspects of the period and subject.