Henry I., the third French king of the Capetian dynasty, born about 1011, died Aug. 4, 1060. As early as 1027 he was associated in the government by Robert, his father, whom he succeeded in 1031, notwithstanding the rebellion raised against him by his stepmother Constance. This he quelled through the assistance of Robert the Devil, duke of Normandy. Henry's weakness encouraged his vassals to rebel, and more than once he had to take the field against them; and toward the end of his reign he was even embroiled in a war with his former ally, the duke of Normandy. The hostilities were soon terminated by a treaty of peace, but were the beginning of the ill feeling which lasted so long between the kings of France and the English descendants of the dukes of Normandy. During his reign, France was afflicted by a dreadful famine and by many private wars. The church attempted to allay the latter curse, by enforcing agreements known as the "peace of God" and "truce of God;" but Henry declined to abide by them.
Henry I., king of Germany, surnamed the Fowler or Falconer (der Finkler or Vogler), the first of the line of Saxon sovereigns of Germany, born in 870, died in 930. He was the son of Otho the Illustrious, duke of Saxony, on whose death he succeeded to the dukedoms of Saxony and Thuringia. His father had been elected in 911 to the sovereignty of Germany, but had caused Conrad, duke of the Franks, to be elevated in his stead. This sovereign undertook to deprive Duke Henry of part of his inherited estates, but the latter fought his enemy at Eresburg (modern Stadt-berge), and compelled him to acknowledge all the ducal rights of Saxony and Thuringia. Conrad discovered the great qualities of his opponent, and, having been mortally wounded in an expedition against the Hungarians, designated Henry as his successor, and sent messengers to make known his choice. The envoys, it is said, found the duke in the Hartz mountains, with a falcon upon his wrist, and this was the origin of his surname. Henry's election was formally declared in 919, by the nobles of Franconia and Saxony. The dukes of Swabia and Bavaria refused their homage, but were speedily brought to submission. Henry also conquered Lorraine, which had hesitated to accept him.
He erected the fief into a duchy, giving his daughter in marriage to Duke Giselbert; and having thus consolidated the sovereignty of Germany, he turned all his attention to arresting the Slavic and Hungarian inroads. In 924 the Hungarians advanced into the very heart of Saxony. Their leader was captured, and in exchange for him Henry obtained a truce of nine years. He made the most of the truce by organizing his army, building castles, fortifying cities, and reducing Brandenburg, together with the tribes on the Eider and the Elbe, and extending his rule to Prague. From this period dates the fealty of the Bohemian princes to Germany (929). On the expiration of the truce war with the Hungarians was renewed, and Henry gained a complete and decisive victory on the banks of the Saale (933), which for the time relieved Germany from all danger of invasion. In 934 he defeated the Danes, who were ravaging the coasts of his northern provinces. Henry reigned nearly 18 years, and left his kingdom powerful and prosperous.