William I Hauteville, "the Bad" king of Sicily

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William I Hauteville, "the Bad" king of Sicily

Italian: Guglielmo I d'Altavilla, "il Malo" re di Sicilia
Also Known As: "the Bad", "the Wicked"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Monreale, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Death: May 07, 1166 (44-46)
Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
Place of Burial: Cathedral, Palermo, Sicilia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger II "the Norman" de Hauteville, king of Sicily & Africa and Elvira Alfónsez, infanta de Castilla y León
Husband of Margherita di Navarra, regina consorte di Sicilia
Ex-partner of (No Name)
Father of ..., av Sicilien; Roger IV, Duke of Apulia; Robert, Prince of Capua; William II Hauterville, "the Good" king of Sicily and Henry, Prince of Capua
Brother of Roger III de Hauteville, duke of Apulia; Tancred de Hauteville, prince of Bari and Alphonse de Hauteville, prince of Capua
Half brother of ... de Hauteville, of Sicily; ... de Hauteville, of Sicily; Adelisa of Loreto, of Sicily; Marina (illegitimate daughter of Roger II of Sicily) and Constance Hohenstaufen, Queen of Sicily

Occupation: King of Sicily 1154-1166
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William I Hauteville, "the Bad" king of Sicily

- https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guglielmo_I_di_Sicilia

William I (1131 – May 7, 1166), called the Bad or the Wicked, was the second King of Sicily, ruling from his father's death in 1154 to his own in 1166. He was the fourth son of Roger II and Elvira of Castile. William's title "the Bad" seems little merited and expresses the bias of the historian Hugo Falcandus and the baronial class against the king and the official class by whom he was guided.

William was the son of King Roger II of Sicily, grandson of Roger I of Sicily and great-grandson of Tancred of Hauteville. He grew up with little expectation of ruling. The deaths of his three older brothers Roger, Tancred, and Alfonso between 1138 and 1148 changed matters, though when his father died William was still not well-prepared to take his place.

On assuming power, William kept the administration which had guided his father's rule for his final years. Only the Englishman Thomas Brun was removed, and the chancellor Maio of Bari was promoted. Maio continued Roger's policy of excluding the nobles from the administration, and sought also to curtail the liberties of the towns. The barons, always chafing against the royal power, were encouraged to revolt by Pope Adrian IV, whose recognition William had not yet sought.

At the end of 1155, Greek troops recovered Bari, Trani, Giovinazzo, Andria, Taranto and began to besiege Brindisi. William and his army landed on the peninsula and destroyed the Greek fleet (4 ships) and army at Brindisi on May 28, 1156 and recovered Bari. Adrian came to terms at Benevento on June 18, 1156 where he and William signed the Treaty of Benevento, abandoning the rebels and confirming William as king. During the summer of 1157, he sent a fleet of 164 ships carrying 10,000 men to sack Euboea and Almira. In 1158 William made peace with the Greeks.

The policies of Maio led to a general conspiracy, and in November 1160, Maio was murdered in Palermo by Matthew Bonello, leader of the Sicilian nobles. The barons, however, had long been plotting to overthrow the king. Desiring a weak power on the throne, they had been eyeing the king's eldest son, Roger, Duke of Apulia, as a possible replacement for his father.

After the assassination of Maio, the royal palace was stormed by two of the king's own relatives: his illegitimate half-brother Simon, whom he had dispossessed of Taranto early in his reign and his bastard nephew Tancred, the count of Lecce. The king was captured along with his whole family, his life being barely spared by Richard of Mandra. Roger was then paraded through the streets and it was announced that he would be crowned in the cathedral in three days.

For a while the king remained in the hands of the conspirators, but the people and the army rallied round him. He recovered power, crushed the Sicilian rebels, had Bonello blinded, and in a short campaign reduced the rest of the Regno, avenging the rebel burning of Butera. During the initial assault on the palace, to release the captive king, the king's son Roger was killed by a wayward arrow (though the historian Falcandus, seemingly ever-ready to impugn the royal character, has the king kicking his "faithless" son dead).

Thus freed from feudal revolts, William gave the government to men trained in Maio's school, creating a triumvirate: the grand protonotary, Matthew of Ajello; Count Sylvester of Marsico, who had inherited Maio's property; and the Bishop Palmer of Syracuse, elect, but not consecrated. His latter years were peaceful; he became the champion of the true pope against the holy roman emperor, and Alexander III was installed in the Lateran Palace in November 1165 by a guard of Normans.

William died on May 7, 1166 and was interred in Palermo Cathedral, although he was later moved to Monreale Cathedral by his son and heir William II of Sicily when that building was completed.

Children of William I, King of Sicily and wife Margaret of Navarre:

  • Roger IV, Duke of Apulia (b. 1152 – d. 1161).
  • Robert, Prince of Capua (b. 1153 – d. 1158).
  • William II of Sicily (b. 1155 – d. 1189).
  • Henry, Prince of Capua (b. 1158 – d. 1172).

Links to additional material:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I_of_Sicily

William I (1131 - May 7, 1166), called the Bad or the Wicked, was the second king of Sicily, ruling from his father's death in 1154 to his own. He was the fourth son of Roger II and Elvira of Castile. His maternal grandparents were Alfonso VI of Castile and his queen Isabella.

William's title "the Bad" seems little merited and expresses the bias of the historian Hugo Falcandus and the baronial class against the king and the official class by whom he was guided. It is obvious, however, that William was far inferior in character and energy to his father, and was attached to the semi-Muslim life of his gorgeous palaces of Palermo.

Contents

1 Early life

2 Kingship

3 Later years

4 References


Early life

He grew up with little expectation of ruling. The deaths of his three older brothers Roger, Tancred, and Alfonso between 1138 and 1148 changed matters, though when his father died William was still not well-prepared to take his place.

Kingship

The Kingdom of Italy as it existed at the ascension of William I of Sicily in 1154. The borders would remain virtually unchanged for 700 years.On assuming power, William kept the administration which had guided his father's rule for his final years. Only the Englishman Thomas Brun was removed, and the chancellor Maio of Bari was promoted. The real power in the kingdom was at first exercised by this Maio, a man of low birth, whose title ammiratus ammiratorum was the highest in the realm. Maio continued Roger's policy of excluding the nobles from the administration, and sought also to curtail the liberties of the towns. The barons, always chafing against the royal power, were encouraged to revolt by Pope Adrian IV, whose recognition William had not yet sought, by the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, and by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.

At the end of 1155, Greek troops recovered Bari, Trani, Giovinazzo, Andria, Taranto and began to besiege Brindisi. Landing on the peninsula, William's army destroyed the Greek fleet (4 ships) and army at Brindisi (May 28, 1156) and recovered Bari. Adrian came to terms at Benevento in a treaty of the same name (June 18), abandoning the rebels and confirming William as king. During the summer of AD 1157, he sent a fleet of 164 ships carrying 10,000 men to sack Euboea and Almira. In 1158 William made peace with the Greeks.

These diplomatic successes were probably due to Maio; on the other hand, the African dominions were lost to the Almohads, and it is possible that he advised their abandonment in face of the dangers threatening the kingdom down from the north. In 1156, a revolt began in Sfax and quickly spread. Nothing was done to put it down. In 1159, the admiral Peter led a raiding expedition against the Saracen-held Balearic Islands with 160 ships. He tried to relieve besieged Mahdia with the same fleet, but turned around just after engaging in battle. Peter did not fall out of favour, but no further assistance was sent to the Christians holding out in Mahdia and the city surrendered on 11 January 1160, ending the "African Empire."

The policy of Maio led to a general conspiracy, and in November 1160 Maio was murdered in Palermo by Matthew Bonello, leader of the Sicilian nobles. The barons, however, had long been plotting to overthrow the king. Desiring a weak power on the throne, they had been eyeing the king's eldest son, Roger, Duke of Apulia, as a possible replacement for his father.

After the assassination of Maio, the royal palace was stormed by two of the king's own relatives: Simon, his illegitimate half-brother, whom he had dispossessed of Taranto early in his reign, and Tancred, his bastard nephew, the count of Lecce. The king was captured along with his whole family, his life being barely spared by one Richard of Mandra. Roger was then paraded through the streets and it was announced that he would be crowned in the cathedral three days thence.


William's sarcophagus.For a while the king remained in the hands of the conspirators, who purposed murdering or just deposing him, but the people and the army rallied round him; he recovered power, crushed the Sicilian rebels, had Bonello blinded, and in a short campaign reduced the rest of the Regno, avenging the rebel burning of Butera. Sadly, during the initial assault on the palace, to release the captive king, the king's son Roger was killed by a wayward arrow (though Falcandus, seemingly ever-ready to impugn the royal character, has the king kicking his "faithless" son dead).

Later years

Thus freed from feudal revolts, William confided the government to men trained in Maio's school, creating a triumvirate: the grand protonotary, Matthew of Ajello; Count Sylvester of Marsico, who had inherited Maio's property; and the Bishop Palmer of Syracuse, elect, but not consecrated. His latter years were peaceful; he was now the champion of the true pope against the emperor, and Alexander III was installed in the Lateran Palace in November 1165 by a guard of Normans.

William died on May 7, 1166 and was interred in Monreale Cathedral. By his wife, Margaret of Navarre, daughter of García Ramírez of Navarre, he had four sons:

Roger IV, Duke of Apulia (b. 1152 - d. 1161).

Robert, Prince of Capua (b. 1153 - d. 1158).

William II of Sicily (b. 1155 - d. 1189).

Henry, Prince of Capua (b. 1158 - d. 1172).

Preceded by

Tancred Prince of Taranto

1138–1144 Succeeded by

Simon

Preceded by

Roger III Duke of Apulia and Calabria

1154–1166 Succeeded by

Roger IV

Preceded by

Roger II King of Sicily

1154–1166 Succeeded by

William II


William I of Sicily

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William I (b. 1131 - d. May 7, 1166), called the Bad or the Wicked, was the second king of Sicily, ruling from his father's death in 1154 to his own. He was the fourth son of Roger II and Elvira of Castile. His maternal grandparents were Alfonso VI of Castile and a concubine (perhaps wife) baptised Isabella, but born Zaida.

William's title "the Bad" seems little merited and expresses the bias of the historian Hugo Falcandus and the baronial class against the king and the official class by whom he was guided. It is obvious, however, that William was far inferior in character and energy to his father, and was attached to the semi-Muslim life of his gorgeous palaces of Palermo.

Early life

He grew up with little expectation of ruling. The deaths of his three older brothers Roger, Tancred, and Alfonso between 1138 and 1148 changed matters, though when his father died William was still not well-prepared to take his place.

Kingship

On assuming power, William kept the administration which had guided his father's rule for his final years. Only the Englishman Thomas Brun was removed, and the chancellor Maio of Bari was promoted. The real power in the kingdom was at first exercised by this Maio, a man of low birth, whose title ammiratus ammiratorum was the highest in the realm. Maio continued Roger's policy of excluding the nobles from the administration, and sought also to curtail the liberties of the towns. The barons, always chafing against the royal power, were encouraged to revolt by Pope Adrian IV, whose recognition William had not yet sought, by the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, and by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.

At the end of 1155, Greek troops recovered Bari, Trani, Giovinazzo, Andria, Taranto and began to besiege Brindisi. Landing on the peninsula, William's army destroyed the Greek fleet (4 ships) and army at Brindisi (May 28, 1156) and recovered Bari. Adrian came to terms at Benevento in a treaty of the same name (June 18), abandoning the rebels and confirming William as king. During the summer of AD 1157, he sent a fleet of 164 ships carrying 10,000 men to sack Euboea and Almira. In 1158 William made peace with the Greeks.

These diplomatic successes were probably due to Maio; on the other hand, the African dominions were lost to the Almohads, and it is possible that he advised their abandonment in face of the dangers threatening the kingdom down from the north. In 1156, a revolt began in Sfax and quickly spread. Nothing was done to put it down. In 1159, the admiral Peter led a raiding expedition against the Saracen-held Balearic Islands with 160 ships. He tried to relieve besieged Mahdia with the same fleet, but turned around just after engaging in battle. Peter did not fall out of favour, but no further assistance was sent to the Christians holding out in Mahdia and the city surrendered on 11 January 1160, ending the "African Empire."

The policy of Maio led to a general conspiracy, and in November 1160 Maio was murdered in Palermo by Matthew Bonello, leader of the Sicilian nobles. The barons, however, had long been plotting to overthrow the king. Desiring a weak power on the throne, they had been eyeing the king's eldest son, Roger, Duke of Apulia, as a possible replacement for his father.

After the assassination of Maio, the royal palace was stormed by two of the king's own relatives: Simon, his illegitimate half-brother, whom he had dispossessed of Taranto early in his reign, and Tancred, his bastard nephew, the count of Lecce. The king was captured along with his whole family, his life being barely spared by one Richard of Mandra. Roger was then paraded through the streets and it was announced that he would be crowned in the cathedral three days thence.

For a while the king remained in the hands of the conspirators, who purposed murdering or just deposing him, but the people and the army rallied round him; he recovered power, crushed the Sicilian rebels, had Bonello blinded, and in a short campaign reduced the rest of the Regno, avenging the rebel burning of Butera. Sadly, during the initial assault on the palace, to release the captive king, the king's son Roger was killed by a wayward arrow (though Falcandus, seemingly ever-ready to impugn the royal character, has the king kicking his "faithless" son dead).

[edit]Later years

Thus freed from feudal revolts, William confided the government to men trained in Maio's school, creating a triumvirate: the grand protonotary, Matthew of Ajello; Count Sylvester of Marsico, who had inherited Maio's property; and the Bishop Palmer of Syracuse, elect, but not consecrated. His latter years were peaceful; he was now the champion of the true pope against the emperor, and Alexander III was installed in the Lateran Palace in November 1165 by a guard of Normans.

William died on May 7, 1166 and was interred in Monreale Cathedral. By his wife, Margaret of Navarre, daughter of García Ramírez of Navarre, he had four sons:

Roger IV, Duke of Apulia (b. 1152 - d. 1161).

Robert, Prince of Capua (b. 1153 - d. 1158).

William II of Sicily (b. 1155 - d. 1189).

Henry, Prince of Capua (b. 1158 - d. 1172).

References

Norwich, John Julius. The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194. Longman: London, 1970.

History of the Tyrants of Sicily at Patrologia Latina.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.


BIOGRAPHY: b. 1131 d. May 7, 1166, Palermo, kingdom of Sicily [Italy]

byname WILLIAM THE BAD, Italian GUGLIELMO IL MALO, Norman king of Sicily, an able ruler who successfully repressed the conspiracies of the barons of his realm. His epithet was bestowed on him by his hapless enemies. He patronized science and letters and showed religious tolerance; among those who frequented his court were many Muslims.

The deaths of William's three elder brothers made him heir apparent in 1148. He was associated in kingship in 1151 with his father, Roger II, and was crowned king after Roger's death in the Cathedral of Palermo on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1154.

On the advice of his minister, Maione of Bari, William energetically pursued his father's policy of strengthening royal authority over the towns and the barons, who rallied around his cousin Robert of Loritello and looked to the German king Frederick I Barbarossa for help. When Frederick's projected expedition to Italy came to naught, the rebels sought support from the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus. In 1155 the Byzantines invaded southern Italy and overran Apulia, but William won a resounding victory at Brindisi and reconquered the province. He next settled his disputes with Pope Adrian IV in the Concordat of Benevento (1156), winning papal acknowledgment of his authority over all the territories that had come under Norman control.

The loss of the kingdom's African possessions (1158-60) weakened William's prestige, and the assassination of Maione in November 1160 exposed him to new danger from the conspiring barons, led by a Norman noble, Matteo Bonello. An attempt to depose him nearly succeeded, and rebellions broke out in Sicily and on the mainland. The royal palace in Palermo was plundered of its treasures, including the silver planisphere of the great Arab geographer al-Idrisi, who was forced to flee Sicily as the island's Muslims became targets of mob attacks. But William quickly suppressed the disorders. He imposed stern punishment on the dissidents, who this time received no help from abroad. At his death his kingdom passed intact to his young son, William II.

Copyright © 1994-2001 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

History: William I (of Sicily) (1120-66), Norman king of Sicily (1154-66). The son of King Roger II, William continued his father's policy of excluding the principal nobles from participation in the central government. Encouraged by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) and Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, the nobles rose in rebellion, but by 1160 William succeeded in crushing them. In 1159 he had also helped to install Pope Alexander III in the Holy See against Frederick's opposition and the claims of several antipopes.

History: Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002. © 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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