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Stephen of England
had to fight for the Throne (reigned 1135-1154)
 
  • King Stephen -  Nash Ford PublishingStephen was the son of King Henry I's sister. His father was the Count of Blois in France.
  • King Henry brought him up after his father died.
  • He became a close advisor to his uncle and helped him run the country.
  • When King Henry died, his daughter, Matilda, should have inherited the Throne. But England had never had a Queen before and Stephen was made King instead.
  • At first, things ran smoothly, but then Matilda decided to invade from Normandy.
  • A civil war, sometimes called 'The Anarchy', was fought between the two sides from 1139 until 1154.
  • Matilda was helped by her powerful half-brother, Robert of Gloucester. His base was in Bristol. Stephen's base was in London. He was helped by the Church. His brother was Henry, the Bishop of Winchester.
  • The war did not affect ordinary people much, but their were lots of battles. Stephen was captured at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141.
  • For a few months Matilda was in charge. But she upset the Londoners and had to flee the City.
  • When Robert of Gloucester was captured at the 'Rout of (retreat from) Winchester', Matilda decide to swap Stephen for him.
  • Eventually, she got bored and went back to Normandy. However, her son Henry II, later returned with an army.
  • Because Stephen's own son died, he signed the Treaty of Wallingford with him. In this, they agreed that Henry should become king after Stephen's death. 

 

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