World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

William FitzEmpress

Article Id: WHEBN0008783165
Reproduction Date:

Title: William FitzEmpress  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Empress Matilda, House of Plantagenet, Richard le Breton, 1136 births, Geoffrey, Count of Nantes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

William FitzEmpress

William FitzEmpress
House House of Plantagenet
Father Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou
Mother Empress Matilda
Born (1136-07-22)22 July 1136
Argentan, Normandy
Died 30 January 1164(1164-01-30) (aged 27)
Burial Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Rouen

William FitzEmpress (22 July 1136 at Argentan, Normandy,[1][2] – 30 January 1163/64 at Rouen, Normandy[1][2]) was the youngest of the three sons of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Empress Matilda, daughter of King Henry I of England.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Obstruction 3
  • Death 4
  • Ancestry 5
  • References 6

Early life

His eldest brother was King Henry II of England, and his second brother was Geoffrey, Count of Nantes. William was Viscount of Dieppe.[1] He was also known as William FitzEmpress and as William of Anjou.


In 1156, aged 20, he was with his brother Henry at the siege of Chinon.[1] This siege was occasioned by the rebellion of their brother Geoffrey.[3] He also conducted the siege at the castle of Mountreuil-Bellay. While doing so he had the writings of the Roman military theorist Vegetius read to him; he then did what Vegetius had done, and the siege ended the next day.[4]

In September 1155, King Henry held a council at Winchester where he enthusiastically considered invading Ireland and giving it to William, making him king. The plans were abandoned when their mother, Empress Matilda, objected: she did not consider Ireland worth conquering.[5][6] Henry did, however, make William one of the richest men in England, granting him seven manors (Maldon in Essex; Dartford, Hoo, and Shorne in Kent; Aylsham and Cawston in Norfolk; and Hintlesham in Suffolk).[1] He also had land surrounding Dieppe, Normandy, of which he was made vicomte (viscount).


In 1162 he was to marry Isabel de Warenne, Countess of Surrey, one of the great heiresses in England. She was widow of William of Blois, count of Boulogne and Mortain, the son of King Stephen, and a cousin of William. Because of this relationship, the marriage required a dispensation from affinity; such dispensations were usually granted without difficulty, However Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused to support the request for a dispensation and it was not granted because of that.[7]


William died suddenly shortly thereafter, it was said of a broken heart, and was buried in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Rouen.[8] Henry blamed Becket for his brother's death, and this might well be the beginning of the great conflict between them. When Becket was murdered 29 December 1170, one of the assailants was Richard le Breton who had been a knight in William's employ. When Breton delivered his fatal blow he shouted, "Take that, for the love of my lord William, the king's brother!"[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Amt, Emile (2004). William FitzEmpress (1136–1164).  
  2. ^ a b Baldwin, Stewart (27 June 2004). """Geoffrey V "le Bel" or "Plantagenet. Henry Project. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  3. ^ Warren, W L (28 November 1977). Henry II. Univ. of California Press. p. 65.  
  4. ^ Duby, Georges (8 December 1993). Juliet Vale, trans., ed. France in the Middle Ages, 987–1460: From Hugh Capet to Joan of Arc. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 178.  
  5. ^ Warren 1977, p. 195.
  6. ^ Weir, Alison (2001). Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life. Ballantine Books. p. 145.  
  7. ^ Warren 1977, p. 449.
  8. ^ Stevenson, Joseph, ed. (1991). The Chronicles of Robert de Monte. Llanerch Publishers. p. 99. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.