The re-united kingdom : Henry I Beauclerc

Between Normandy and England

Despite the establishment of institutions intended to ensure continuity of power, such as the post of Grand Justiciar, the regular presence of the Duke-King at his court in different parts of his lands remained essential.

The situation under the reign of Henry was exactly the reverse of that under William the Conqueror. England was pacified, and it was Normandy and its southern border which were periodically at war.

Henry spent 17 years of his 30 year reign in Normandy, and 13 in England, but these periods were punctuated by twenty or so return trips lasting between a few months and two years, rarely more.

All the rulers of his time were subject to regular upheavals of their court or armies, but for the Duke of Normandy, King of England, the distance to be travelled extended from the Scottish border to that of Maine and involved a sea crossing.

When Henry died in Normandy in 1135, the crown of England passed to the first of the pretenders to cross the sea: his nephew Stephen.

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