King Henry I is notorious among English royalty for siring at least 20 illegitimate children. He produced only two legitimate offspring with his first wife Edith (Matilda) of Scotland, Matilda and William, the latter drowning on the White Ship while still in his teens. Perhaps Edith's routine habit of kissing leper's feet might have have something to do with the statistic! Henry is said by one chronicler to have been a slave to his lust. Another exonerated him by saying that he only indulged because he liked children! I have always thought that he was a man with a high sex drive who saw the by-product of his flings as an extremely useful political tool. Nothing like making marriage alliances and affinities with your sons and daughters.
So, who were the bastard children of Henry I? How many can be named? The below is taken from a chart in Judith A. Green's biography of Henry I
Not in chronological order:
Robert Earl of Gloucester - mother's name unknown
Richard - mother's name Ansfrida
Fulk - mother the same as Richard
Juliana - mother the same as the 2 above. Juliana married Eustace of Breteuil.
Reginald Earl of Cornwall - mother's name Sibyl
Robert - mother's name Ede
Gilbert - mother's name unknown, but the sister of Walter de Gant
William de Tracy - mother's name unknown
Henry - mother's name Nest (slight speculation)
Sibyl queen of Scots - mother's name unknown
William - brother of above Sibyl
Matilda Countess of Perche - mother's name Edith
Matilda - mother's name uknown. Married Alain Fergant Count of Brittany
Mabel - mother's name unknown. Married William Gouet
Constance - mother's name unknown. Married Roscelin of Beaumont sur Sarthe
Aline - mother's name unknown. Married Matthew de Genevieve Montgomery
Isabel - mother's name Isabel de Beaumont, sister of Waleran and Robert de Beaumont.
Matilda Abbess of Montvilliers - mother's name unknown
Emma - mother's name unknown. Married Guy de Marie Laval
Daughter - name and mother unknown. Married Fergus of Galloway.
Today's research photo: This is a finger ring belonging to Maurice de Sully, Bishop of Paris from 1160 - 1196