William IX, Count of Poitiers

William (17 August 1153 – 2 December 1156) was the first son of Henry II, King of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.[1] He was born in Normandy on the same day that his father's rival, Eustace IV of Boulogne, died.

William IX
William IX, from an early 14th century genealogical tree
British Library Royal MS 14 B VI.
Count of Poitiers
Born17 August 1153
Normandy, France
Died2 December 1156 (aged 3)
Wallingford Castle, Berkshire
Reading Abbey, Berkshire
HousePlantagenet / Angevin
FatherHenry II of England
MotherEleanor of Aquitaine

William died in 2 December 1156,[lower-alpha 1] aged three.[3][4] This was due to a seizure at Wallingford Castle, and he was buried in Reading Abbey at the feet of his great-grandfather Henry I.[2]

At the time of his death, William was reigning as Count of Poitiers, as his mother had ceded the county to him. For centuries, the dukes of Aquitaine had held this as one of their minor titles, so it had passed to Eleanor from her father; giving it to her son was effectively a revival of the title, separating it from the duchy. Some authorities say he also held the title of "Archbishop of York", but this is probably an error. His half-brother Geoffrey (died 1212), who was born a year before William, later held that office, causing the confusion.


  1. According to art historian Ron Baxter, William died in April 1156 of a seizure.[2]


  1. Warren 1995, p. 137.
  2. Baxter 2016, p. 77.
  3. Huscoft 2016, p. 110.
  4. Strickland 2007, p. 184.


  • Baxter, Ron (2016). The Royal Abbey of Reading. The Boydell Press.
  • Huscroft, Richard (2016). Tales From the Long Twelfth Century: The Rise and Fall of the Angevin Empire. Yale University Press.
  • Strickland, Matthew (2007). "On the Instruction of a Prince: The Upbringing of Henry, the Young King". In Harper-Bill, Christopher; Vincent, Nicholas (eds.). Henry II: New Interpretations. The Boydell Press.
  • Warren, W. L. (1995). Henry II. University of California Press.
William IX, Count of Poitiers
Born: 17 August 1153 Died: April 1156
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry and Eleanor
Count of Poitiers
Succeeded by
Henry and Eleanor
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