Henry I "The Fowler", king of Germany

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German: Heinrich, Portuguese: Henrique, Italian: Enrico, Latin: Henricius
Also Known As: "Heinrich I. 'der Vogler' König von Ostfranken"
Birthplace: Ostenfrankenreich, Memleben, Herrschaft Ostfalen (Present Burgenlandkreis), Herzogtum Sachsen (Present Sachsen-Anhalt), Germany
Death: July 02, 936 (59-60)
Memleben, Herrschaft Ostfalen (Present Bugenlandkreis), Herzogtum Sachsen (Present Sachsen-Anhalt), Ostenfrankenreich (Present Deutschland)
Place of Burial: Quedlinburg, Landkreis Har, Sachsen-Anhalt, Deutscland
Immediate Family:

Son of Otto I the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony and Hedwig of Babenberg
Husband of Hatheburg, Countess of Merseburg and Matilda of Ringelheim
Father of Thankmar da Saxonia; Tietmaro de Merseburgo; Liudolfo da Saxonia; Matilde da Saxonia; Lugarda da Saxonia and 9 others
Brother of NN von Babenberg; Thankmar von Sachsen; Duke Liudolf von Sachsen; Oda von Sachsen of Saxony, Queen of Lorraine and East Francia; Liutgard (Dodica), Abbess of Gandersheim and 1 other
Half brother of NN

Occupation: Duke of Saxony, König des Ostfrankenreichs, King of Eastern Franconia, Emperor of Germany, Duke of Saxony from 912 and King of the Germans from 919 until his death. Henry the Fowler, Heinrich der Finkler or Heinrich der Vogler;
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About Henry I "The Fowler", king of Germany

  • Wikipedia
  • King of Germany (formally King of East Francia) Reign 24. May 919 – 2. July 936 Coronation none

Predecessor: Conrad I Successor: Otto I

  • Duke of Saxony Reign 30. November 912 – 2. July 936

Predecessor: Otto the Illustrious Successor: Otto I


HEINRICH, son of OTTO "der Erlauchte" Graf [im Südthüringau] & his wife Hedwig [Babenberg] ([876]-Memleben[142] 2 Jul 936, bur Quedlinburg Stiftskirche). Thietmar records that Heinrich was "born of the noble lineage of Otto and Hadwig"[143]. According to the Annalista Saxo, he was son of the unnamed sister of Adalbert [Babenberg], with whom he and his brothers fought against the Konradiner family, his complete parentage being recorded in a later passage[144]. He was elected as HEINRICH I "der Vogelsteller/the Fowler" King of Germany at Fritzlar 6 May 919, but Thietmar reports that he refused unction offered by Heriger Archbishop of Mainz[145]. King Heinrich re-established Saxon domination over the Slavs after successful campaigns against the Hevelli in 928 and against the Daleminzi and Bohemians in 929[146]. Thietmar records that he founded Meissen in [928/29][147], and defeated "Knud I" King of Denmark[148]. Widukind records that he defeated the Magyars at the battle of Riade near Merseburg in 933, their first major setback in their raids on western Europe[149]. The necrology of Fulda records the death "936 Kal Iul" of "Heinrih rex"[150]. Thietmar records the death of King Heinrich 2 Jul 936 at Memleben "in the…sixtieth year of his life" and his burial at Quedlinburg "which he himself had constructed from the ground up"[151]. The necrology of Merseburg records the death "2 Jul" of "Heinricus rex pater magni Oddonis"[152].

m firstly (906, divorced 909) as her second husband, HATHEBURG, widow of ---, daughter of EBERWIN & his wife ---. ...

m secondly (Wallhausen 909) MATHILDE, daughter of Graf THEODERICH [Immedinger] & his wife Reginlind --- ([896]-Quedlinburg 14 Mar 968, bur Quedlinburg Stiftskirche). ... ...

King Heinrich & his first wife had one child:

King Heinrich & his second wife had five children:



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Emperor Elect of the Holy Roman Empire 919-936, Herzog von Sachsen.

Leo: Europäische Stammtafeln, Band I, Frank Baron Freytag von Loringhoven, 1975, Isenburg, W. K. Prinz von, Reference: Page 3.

Leo: The Holy Roman Empire, A Dictionary Handbook , Zophy, Reference: biography.

Born in Memleben, in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Henry was the son of Otto the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony, and his wife Hedwiga, daughter of Henry of Franconia and Ingeltrude and a great-great-granddaughter of Charlemagne, or Charles I. In 906 he married Hatheburg, daughter of the Saxon count Erwin, but divorced her in 909, after she had given birth to his son Thankmar. Later that year he married St Matilda of Ringelheim, daughter of Dietrich, Count of Westphalia. Matilda bore him three sons, one called Otto, and two daughters, Hedwig and Gerberga, and founded many religious institutions, including the abbey of Quedlinburg where Henry is buried and was later canonized.


Henry became Duke of Saxony upon his father's death in 912. An able ruler, he continued to strengthen the position of his duchy within the developing Kingdom of Germany, frequently in conflict with his neighbors to the South, the dukes of Franconia.

On 23 December 918 Conrad I, King of East Francia and Franconian duke, died. Although they had been at odds with each other from 912–15 over the title to lands in Thuringia, before he died Conrad recommended Henry as his successor. Conrad's choice was conveyed by Duke Eberhard of Franconia, Conrad's brother and heir, at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in 919. The assembled Franconian and Saxon nobles duly elected Henry to be king. Archbishop Heriger of Mainz offered to anoint Henry according to the usual ceremony, but he refused to be anointed by a high church official — the only King of his time not to undergo that rite — allegedly because he wished to be king not by the church's but by the people's acclaim. Duke Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new King, but Duke Arnulf of Bavaria did not submit until Henry defeated him in two campaigns in 921. Last, Henry besieged his residence at Ratisbon (Regensburg) and forced Arnulf into submission.

In 920, the West Frankish king Charles the Simple invaded Germany and marched as far as Pfeddersheim near Worms, but he retired on hearing that Henry was arming against him.[2] On 7 November 921 Henry and Charles met each other and concluded a treaty of friendship between them. However, with the beginning of civil war in France upon the coronation of King Robert I, Henry sought to wrest the Duchy of Lorraine from the Western Kingdom. In 923 Henry crossed the Rhine twice. Later in the year he entered Lorraine with an army, capturing a large part of the country. Until October 924 the eastern part of Lorraine was left in Henry's possession.[citation needed]


Henry regarded the German kingdom as a confederation of stem duchies rather than as a feudal monarchy and saw himself as primus inter pares. Instead of seeking to administer the empire through counts, as Charlemagne had done and as his successors had attempted, Henry allowed the dukes of Franconia, Swabia, and Bavaria to maintain complete internal control of their holdings. In 925, Duke Gilbert of Lorraine again rebelled. Henry invaded the duchy and besieged Gilbert at Zülpich (Tolbiac), captured the town, and became master of a large portion of his lands. Thus he brought that realm, which had been lost in 910, back into the German kingdom as the fifth stem duchy. Allowing Gilbert to remain in power as duke, Henry arranged the marriage of his daughter Gerberga to his new vassal in 928.

Legend of the German crown offered to Henry, Hermann Vogel (1854–1921) Henry was an able military leader. In 921 Hungarians (Magyars) invaded Germany and Italy. Although a sizable force was routed near Bleiburg in the Bavarian March of Carinthia by Eberhard and the Count of Meran[3] and another group was routed by Liutfried, count of Elsass (French reading: Alsace), the Magyars repeatedly raided Germany. Nevertheless Henry, having captured a Hungarian prince, managed to arrange a ten-year-truce in 926, though he was forced to pay tributes. By doing so he and the German dukes gained time to fortify towns and train a new elite cavalry force.[citation needed]

During the truce with the Magyars, Henry subdued the Polabian Slavs, settling on the eastern border of his realm. In the winter of 928, he marched against the Slavic Hevelli tribes and seized their capital, Brandenburg. He then invaded the Glomacze lands on the middle Elbe river, conquering the capital Gana (Jahna) after a siege, and had a fortress (the later Albrechtsburg) built at Meissen. In 929, with the help of Arnulf of Bavaria, Henry entered Bohemia and forced Duke Wenceslaus I to resume the yearly payment of tribute to the king. Meanwhile, the Slavic Redarii had driven away their chief, captured the town of Walsleben, and massacred the inhabitants. Counts Bernard and Thietmar marched against the fortress of Lenzen beyond the Elbe, and, after fierce fighting, completely routed the enemy on 4 September 929. The Lusatians and the Ukrani on the lower Oder were subdued and made tributary in 932 and 934, respectively.[4] However, Henry left no consistent march administration, which was implemented by his successor Otto I.

In 932 Henry finally refused to pay the regular tribute to the Magyars. When they began raiding again, he led a unified army of all German duchies to victory at the Battle of Riade in 933 near the river Unstrut, thus stopping the Magyar advance into Germany. He also pacified territories to the north, where the Danes had been harrying the Frisians by sea. The monk and chronicler Widukind of Corvey in his Res gestae Saxonicae reports that the Danes were subjects of Henry the Fowler. Henry incorporated into his kingdom territories held by the Wends, who together with the Danes had attacked Germany, and also conquered Schleswig in 934.[citation needed]


Henry died on 2 July 936 in his palatium in Memleben, one of his favourite places. By then all German peoples were united in a single kingdom. He was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey, established by his wife Matilda in his honor.

His son Otto succeeded him as king, and in 962 would be crowned Emperor. His second son, Henry, became Duke of Bavaria. A third son, Brun (or Bruno), became archbishop of Cologne. His son from his first marriage, Thankmar, rebelled against his half-brother Otto and was killed in battle in 936. After the death of her husband Duke Giselbert of Lotharingia, Henry's daughter Gerberga of Saxony married King Louis IV of France. His youngest daughter, Hedwige of Saxony, married Duke Hugh the Great of France and was the mother of Hugh Capet, the first Capetian king of France.[citation needed]


Himmler at Henry's grave, 1938 Henry returned to public attention as a character in Richard Wagner's opera, Lohengrin (1850), trying to gain the support of the Brabantian nobles against the Magyars. After the attempts to achieve German national unity failed with the Revolutions of 1848, Wagner strongly relied on the picture of Henry as the actual ruler of all German tribes as advocated by pan-Germanist activists like Friedrich Ludwig Jahn.

There are indications that Heinrich Himmler saw himself as the reincarnation of the first king of Germany.[5] The Nazism ideology referred to Henry as a founding father of the German nation, fighting both the Latin Western Franks and the Slavic tribes of the East, thereby a precursor of the German Drang nach Osten.

Family and children[edit]

See extensive Wikipedia info for furthur info.


He is generally considered to be the founder and first king of the medieval German Empire known until then as the East Franconian Kingdom. He was an avid hunter, and he got the nickname of "The Fowler" because he was allegedly fixing his birding nets when the messengers arrived to inform him that he was to be the king. In the year 918, King Conrad I of the East Franconian Empire when at the point of death recommended him as his successor. Heinrich had three sons who held significant positions in history. His son Otto I became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as did his grandson Otto II and his great grandson Otto III. A second son Heinrich became Duke of Bavaria and a third son Bruno became Archbishop of Cologne.

OTTO "der Erlauchte", son of Graf LIUDOLF & his wife Oda [Billung] (-30 Nov 912, bur Gandersheim Stiftskirche).

m HEDWIG [Hathui], daughter of HEINRICH dux [Babenberg] & his wife Engeltrudis --- ([850/55]-24 Dec 903). Graf Otto & his wife had [seven] children:

1. [daughter ([865/70][175]-). "Wundilgartam Henrici regis de filia neptim" is named in the Chronicle of St Gall, which also names her husband[176]. The commentary in the printed text interprets this as "granddaughter of Heinrich I King of Germany", but this is chronologically impossible assuming that the approximate death date of Wundelgart's husband is correct. If there is any truth in the text, it is more likely that Wundelgart was the niece of King Heinrich by his sister, although this is far from certain considering the broad range of interpretation possible for the word "neptis". However, the chronology is tight even for this interpretation, as shown by the estimated birth date range of this daughter, which must mean that she was one of her parents' older children. Another possibility is that she was illegitimate. The same source in a later passage names "Ekkehardo…diacono et Purchardo puero post abate consobrinis suis"[177]. As Wundelgart was the mother of abbot Burkhard, this gives the essential clue about the name of this daughter's husband, who in the same source is named as the father of the sisters who were mothers of the younger Ekkehard and abbot Burkhard. m as his first wife, EKKEHARD [I], son of ---.]

2. THANKMAR (-before 30 Nov 912). "Thancmarus et Liudolfus", sons of Otto & Hathwiga, died before their father according to the Annalista Saxo, which implies they were older than their brother Heinrich who "ecce fratribus defunctis, tota hereditas in ipsum iam ducem derivatur"[178].

3. LIUDOLF (-before 30 Nov 912). "Thancmarus et Liudolfus", sons of Otto & Hathwiga, died before their father according to the Annalista Saxo, which implies they were older than their brother Heinrich who "ecce fratribus defunctis, tota hereditas in ipsum iam ducem derivatur"[179]. m ---. The name of Liudolf's wife is not known. Liudolf & his wife had one child:

a) EKKEHARD (-killed in battle 25 Sep 936). Widukind names "Ekkardus filius Liudulfi", when recording his death[180]. m ---. The name of Ekkehard's wife is not known. Ekkehard & his wife had [one possible child]:

i) EKKEHARD (-[30 Aug 954] or 4 Sep 954). The descent of Ekkehard from an older brother of Heinrich I King of Germany is proposed by Hlawitschka[181].

- see MEISSEN.]

4. HEINRICH ([876]-Memleben 2 Jul 936, bur Quedlinburg Stiftskirche). Thietmar records that Heinrich was "born of the noble lineage of Otto and Hadwig"[182]. According to the Annalista Saxo, he was son of the unnamed sister of Adalbert [Babenberg], with whom he and his brothers fought against the Konradiner family, his complete parentage being recorded in a later passage[183]. He was elected as HEINRICH I King of Germany at Fritzlar 6 May 919.

5. ODA ([884]-[2 Jul] after 952). Jackman speculates that Oda must have been born in [884], although this appears to be designed to fit with his theory about Oda's supposed third marriage[184]. Regino records the marriage in 897 of "Ottonem comitem…filiam Odam" and King Zwentibold[185]. Regino records that "Gerhard comes" married "Odam uxorem Zuendiboldi regis" after killing her first husband in battle in 900[186]. "Otto…rex" confirmed the donation of property " in loco Dauindre…in pago…Hamalant in comitatu Vuigmanni" to St Moritz at Magdeburg by "nostra amita…Uota" by charter dated 30 Dec 952[187]. Jackman speculates[188] that Graf Eberhard married Oda as her third husband, Oda von Sachsen, for onomastic reasons as the name of Eberhard's supposed daughter (her affiliation also being based only on his own separate onomastic hypothesis) was that of Oda's maternal grandmother. This is an interesting theory but it accumulates one onomastic hypothesis on another and must be considered highly speculative. m firstly ([Worms] [27 Mar/13 Jun] 897) ZWENTIBOLD King of Lotharingia [Carolingian], illegitimate son of Emperor ARNULF King of Germany & his mistress --- ([870/71]-killed in battle 13 Aug 900, bur [S%C3%BCsteren or Echternach]). m secondly (900) Graf GERHARD [Matfride], son of --- (-killed in battle 22 Jun 910). [m thirdly (after Jun 910) EBERHARD Graf im Oberlahngau Pfalzgraf, son of KONRAD Graf in der Wetterau und im Wormsgau [Konradiner] & his wife Glismod --- (-killed in battle near Andernach 23 Oct 939).] http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SAXONY.htm#OttoErlauchtedied912

6. LIUTGARD [Dodica] (-21 Jan 923). Europäische Stammtafeln[189] names Liutgard as daughter of Otto & his wife, but the primary source which confirms this has not so far been identified. Abbess of Gandersheim 919/923.

7. IRMINBURG (-before 936). Europäische Stammtafeln[190] names Irminburg as daughter of Otto & his wife, and records her marriage, but the primary source which confirms this has not so far been identified. m as his first wife, SIEGFRIED, son of THIETMAR [Ostmark] & his wife --- (-[3 Dec 936/941]).]http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SAXONY.htm#OttoErlauchtedied912

Mistress (1): ---. The name of Otto's mistress is not known. Graf Otto had one illegitimate daughter by Mistress (1):

8. daughter. 932. Widukind names "sorore regis quæ nupserat Widoni Thuringo…ex concubina nata"[191]. m WIDO, from Thuringia. http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SAXONY.htm#OttoErlauchtedied912

"King Henry I"

In those fighting , HEINRICH had recognized the importance of a place that had long played a role as a border festival against the Sorbs. It was Merseburg that was in the early stages of urban development and whose "old castle" belonged to Count Erwin . In the mighty belt, the goods of the Liudolfing house moved from the Harz to S-Thuringia, westwards to Eichsfeld and Hersfeld Abbey, from the Elbe to Werra and Fulda. There was only one major gap in this move: on that Saalebogen, as crowning and dominating the country was Merseburg. From here, the count Erwin den Hasgau and den , who had probably been tested and perhaps fallen in the border fightGau Friesenfeld (Frisonenfeld) managed. His daughters were two daughters; one of them, Hatheburg , married but widowed again, the other unknown by name and fate. The Church had focused on the rich and politically significant inheritance; under her influence, Hatheburg probably took the veil.

W aitz, Georg: Page 15



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Henry I "The Fowler", king of Germany's Timeline

Ostenfrankenreich, Memleben, Herrschaft Ostfalen (Present Burgenlandkreis), Herzogtum Sachsen (Present Sachsen-Anhalt), Germany
Sachsen, Germany
Köln, (Present North Rhine-Westphalia), Herzogtum Lotharingia, Ostenfrankenreich (Present Germany)
November 23, 912
Wallhausen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
November 30, 912
- May 6, 919
Age 36
Sachsen, Germany