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The White Ship: 1120

A white ship sails from Normandy for England. On it are many leading members of the court of the English king, Henry I. They are accompanying William the Aetheling, the king's only legitimate male heir (though he has as many as nine bastard sons, together with eleven illegitimate daughters).

When the ship strikes a rock off the Cherbourg peninsula, everyone on board is drowned except a butcher from Rouen. In response to the disaster, Henry tries to win acceptance for his daughter Matilda to succeed him - a task in which he probably, on his deathbed in 1135, believes he has succeeded. But events prove otherwise.

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