Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche


Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche

Matilda (died 25 November 1120) was an illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England [1] by a mistress named Edith. [2] She was Countess of Perche by her marriage and drowned in the sinking of the White Ship.

Matilda's maternal family are unknown. Her father was the fourth son of King William I of England and his wife Matilda of Flanders.

She is named as daughter of King Henry I by Orderic Vitalis, who specifies that the king "built up [her husband's] power by greatly augmenting his estates and wealth in England". [3] Her father gave her lands in Wiltshire as her dowry. [4] Matilda married in 1103 to Rotrou III, Count of Perche as his second wife. She married at the same time as her half-sister Juliane de Fontrevault. Rotrou was a direct vassal of King Henry in England, where he held fiefs jure uxoris, in right of his wife. He was not often in England, but it is purported that Rotrou and Matilda had a close relationship.[5] They had at most two daughters:

  • Philippa, married Elias II, Count of Maine and had issue
  • Felicia, excistance disputed [6]

Matilda travelled to England with members of her family, including her half-brother William Adelin on the White Ship in November 1120. When the ship set off in the dark, its port side struck a submerged rock (this rock can still be seen from the cliffs of Barfleur), and the ship quickly capsized. Matilda perished along with everybody else aboard with the exception of a butcher from Rouen. Other people aboard were William Adelin, Thomas FitzStephen, Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester and Matilda's cousin Lucia-Mahaut of Blois.

After Matilda's death, her husband left for Spain. His parting may have been an act of penitence (perhaps he believed his sins had brought on the tragedy), or perhaps a public demonstration of grieving, since his wife was a daughter of the king. He created a monastery at La Trappe in memory of Matilda. He married one final time to Hawise de Salisbury, by whom he had issue.

Amongst Matilda's descendents are: Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I of England and Elizabeth II. [7]

References

  1. ^ ENGLAND KINGS, Medieval Lands
  2. ^ Hunter, J. (ed.) (1833) Magnum rotulum scaccarii vel magnum rotulum pipæ de anno 31 regni Henrici primi (London) ("Pipe Roll 31 Hen I (1129/30)"), Devonshire, p. 155.
  3. ^ Orderic Vitalis, Vol. VI, Book XIII, p. 399.
  4. ^ Domesday Descendants, p. 236.
  5. ^ Villegas-Aristizábal, 121.
  6. ^ Orderic Vitalis, Vol. VI, Book XI, p. 41, and WT XIV.I, p. 607.
  7. ^ Family Tree

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