Matilda was born around 1080 in Dunfermline, the daughter of Malcolm I II of Scotland and Saint Marg…

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Matilda was born around 1080 in Dunfermline, the daughter of Malcolm I II of Scotland and Saint Margaret. She was christened Edith, and Rober t Curthose stood as godfather at her christening. Queen Matilda was al so present at the font and may have been her godmother.

When she was about six years old, Matilda (or Edith as she was then pr obably still called) and her sister Mary were sent to Romsey, where th eir aunt Cristina was abbess. During her stay at Romsey and Wilton, th e Scottish princess was much sought-after as a bride; refusing proposa ls from William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, and Alan Rufus, Lord o f Richmond. Hermann of Tournai even claims that William II Rufus consi dered marrying her.

She had left the monastery by 1093, when Anselm, Archbishop of Canterb ury, wrote to the Bishop of Salisbury ordering that the daughter of th e king of Scotland be returned to the monastery that she had left.

After the death of William II Rufus in August 1100, his brother, Henry , soon seized the royal treasury and crown. His next task was to marr y and Henry's choice was Matilda. Because Matilda had spent most of he r life in a convent, there was some controversy over whether she wa s a nun and thus be ineligible for marriage. Henry sought permission f or the marriage from Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, who returned t o England in September 1100 after a long exile. Professing himself unw illing to decide so weighty a matter on his own, Anselm called a counc il of bishops in order to determine the legality of the proposed marri age. Matilda testified that she had never taken holy vows, insisting t hat her parents had sent her and her sister to England for educationa l purposes, and her aunt Cristina had veiled her to protect her "fro m the lust of the Normans." Matilda claimed she had pulled the veil of f and stamped on it, and her aunt beat and scolded her for it. The cou ncil concluded that Matilda was not a nun and never had and her parent s had not intended that she become one, giving their permission for th e marriage.

Matilda and Henry seem to have known one another for some time befor e their marriage - William of Malmesbury states that Henry had "long b een attached" to her, and Orderic Vitalis says that Henry had "long ad ored" Edith's character.

Her mother was the sister of Edgar the Ætheling, the proclaimed but un crowned King of England after Harold, and through her, Matilda was als o descended from Edmund Ironside and thus from the ancient royal famil y of Wessex, which in the 10th century, became the royal family of a u nited England. This was very important as Henry wanted to make himsel f more popular with the English people and Matilda represented the ol d English dynasty. In their children, the Norman and English dynastie s would be united. Another benefit of the marriage was that England an d Scotland became politically closer; three of her brothers became kin gs of Scotland and were unusually friendly to England during this peri od.

Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
about 1080
943 2 904 38 Never
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