Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony
|Matilda of England|
|Spouse||Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and of Bavaria|
|Matilda, Countess of Perche and Coucy
Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine
Lothar of Bavaria
Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Duke of Swabia
William of Winchester, Lord of Lunenburg
|House||House of Plantagenet (by birth)
House of Welf (by marriage)
|Father||Henry II of England|
|Mother||Eleanor of Aquitaine|
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
|Died||28 June 1189
Brunswick, Lower Saxony
|Burial||Brunswick Cathedral, Lower Saxony|
Matilda of England (also called Maud; 1156 – 28 June 1189) was the eldest daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Through her marriage with Henry the Lion, she was Duchess of Saxony and of Bavaria.
Matilda was a younger maternal half-sister of Marie de Champagne and Alix of France. Henry the Young King was her older brother. She was also an older sister of Richard I of England, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, Joan of England and John of England. Matilda seems to have spent much of her early life in the company of her mother, Queen Eleanor. She was named after her paternal grandmother.
In 1165 Rainald of Dassel, Archbishop of Cologne, arrived at the court of King Henry II at Rouen, to negotiate a German match for Matilda. There was conflict during the negotiations, however, when Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester refused to greet the archbishop, alleging him to be a schismatic and a supporter of the anti-pope, Victor IV. The original plan to match a daughter of Henry II with a son of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, was abandoned, and instead Matilda left England in September 1167 to marry Henry the Lion.
- Richenza (English chroniclers call her Matilda) (1172–1209/10), married Geoffrey III Count of Perche and Enguerrand III, Lord of Coucy
- Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173/1174 – 28 April 1227)
- Lothar (1174/1175 – 16 October 1190).
- Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor and Duke of Swabia (1175/1176 – 19 May 1218).
- William, Duke of Lüneburg (11 April 1184 – 12 December 1213).
Three other children are listed, by some sources, as having belonged to Henry and Matilda:
- Eleanor (born 1178); died young
- Ingibiorg (born 1180); died young
- Son (stillborn 1182)
Regency and exile
At the time of their marriage, Henry the Lion was one of the most powerful allies of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor. Matilda governed her husband's vast estates during his absence in the Holy Land from 1172 to 1173. In 1174, Henry the Lion became involved in a conflict with the Emperor Frederick, and Henry and Matilda were forced to flee Germany and take refuge in Normandy at her father's court in 1182. During this time at the royal court at Argentan, Matilda became acquainted with the Troubadour Bertran de Born, who, calling her "Elena" or "Lana", made her the object of his desire in two of his poems of "courtly love".
Matilda, her husband, and their family remained in Normandy under the protection and support of King Henry until 1185, when they were allowed to return to Saxony. Early in 1189 the Emperor again ordered Henry the Lion to go into exile. This time Matilda remained at Brunswick to defend the interests of her husband but died just three months later.
|Ancestors of Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matilda of England.|
- Ralph of Diceto
- Robert of Torigny
- Wheeler, Bonnie. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, 2002
- Diggelmann, Lindsay. Exile and the Poetic Standpoint of the Troubadour Bertran de Born, 2005
Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony
Cadet branch of the House of AnjouBorn: c. 1156 Died: 13 July 1189
Title last held byClementia of Zähringen
|Duchess consort of Saxony
Judith of Poland
|Duchess consort of Bavaria
Title next held byAgnes of Loon