Matilda(redirected from Mathilda)
Also found in: Dictionary.
Maud,1102–67, queen of England, daughter of Henry IHenry I,
1068–1135, king of England (1100–1135), youngest son of William I. He was called Henry Beauclerc because he could write. He quarreled with his elder brothers, William II of England and Robert II, duke of Normandy, and attempted with little success to
..... Click the link for more information. of England. Henry arranged a marriage for her with Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and she was sent to Germany, betrothed, and five years later (1114) married to him. Empress Matilda was popular in Germany and seemed more German than English, but after her husband's death (1125) she returned to England. Since her only legitimate brother had died (1120), her father devoted himself to securing for her the succession to the English throne, and the barons did in fact recognize her as Henry's heir in 1127. In 1128 she married Geoffrey IVGeoffrey IV,
known as Geoffrey Plantagenet
[O.Fr.,=sprig of broom; he usually wore a sprig in his helmet], 1113–51, count of Anjou (1129–51); son of Fulk, count of Anjou and king of Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. of Anjou, to whom she bore three sons, the eldest being the future Henry IIHenry II,
1133–89, king of England (1154–89), son of Matilda, queen of England, and Geoffrey IV, count of Anjou. He was the founder of the Angevin, or Plantagenet, line in England and one of the ablest and most remarkable of the English kings.
..... Click the link for more information. . Both she and her marriage were unpopular in England, however, and on Henry I's death in 1135 the barons gave their support to Matilda's cousin StephenStephen,
1097?–1154, king of England (1135–54). The son of Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres, and Adela, daughter of William I of England, he was brought up by his uncle, Henry I of England, who presented him with estates in England and France and arranged his
..... Click the link for more information. , who seized the throne. In 1139, Matilda, aided by her half-brother Robert, earl of GloucesterGloucester, Robert, earl of,
d. 1147, English nobleman; illegitimate son of Henry I. Henry created (c.1121) the earldom of Gloucester for him. After his father's death (1135), Robert appeared to accept the seizure of the throne by Henry's nephew, Stephen, to whom he did
..... Click the link for more information. , undertook to recover the throne. After the defeat and capture of Stephen in 1141, she was elected "Lady of the English"; but her arrogance alienated supporters, and the captive Stephen had to be freed in a prisoner exchange for Gloucester. Before the end of the year her forces were routed at Winchester, and the same powerful clergy who had enthroned her then deposed her and declared for Stephen. The struggle continued, but never greatly in her favor. In 1148 she withdrew; her son Henry inherited her claim to the throne and was recognized as heir in 1153. Matilda spent her remaining years in Normandy and became noted for her charity.
Matilda,1046–1115, countess of Tuscany, called the Great Countess; supporter of Pope Gregory VII in the papal conflict with the Holy Roman emperors. Ruling over Tuscany and parts of Emilia-Romagna and Umbria, she controlled the most powerful feudal state in central Italy. It was at her castle at Canossa that Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV humiliated himself before Pope Gregory VII in 1077. Soon afterward Matilda made a donation (renewed in 1102) of her lands to the Holy See; she retained them as fiefs from the papacy. Her first husband having died in 1076, she married (1089) Duke Welf V of Bavaria. After the expedition (1110–11) of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VHenry V,
1081–1125, Holy Roman emperor (1111–25) and German king (1105–25), son of Henry IV. Crowned joint king with his father in 1099, he put himself at the head of the party desiring reconciliation with the pope and, with the approval of Pope Paschal II,
..... Click the link for more information. to Italy, Matilda willed her lands to him on her death. He seized them in 1116. The dispute over the ownership of Matilda's lands played a large part in the conflicts between the popes and the emperors, particularly the Hohenstaufen. The cities of Tuscany emerged as independent communes from the struggle; the other lands left by Matilda eventually fell under papal rule.
Born 1046; died July 24, 1115, in Bondeno. Countess of Tuscany.
During the investiture controversy, Matilda supported the popes, especially Gregory VII. The famous meeting between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV took place in her castle at Canossa. After her death, the margravate, which she bequeathed to the papacy, became an object of struggle between popes and emperors (until the early 13th century).