Stephen, King of England

Stephen, the son of Stephen, Count of Bloise and Adela, daughter of William I, was born at Blois in France in about 1098.
He married Matilda, daughter of Eustace III, Count of Boulogne and Mary, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland, in 1125

Above: Stephen, Count of Blois and King of England.
Below: Bloise, France


Stephen usurped the English throne of the death of Henry I. Though he had agreed to accept his cousin, Matilda, as Queen of England, this did not prevent him from invading in 1135 and taking the throne by force, plunging the country into civil war.

Matilda, In pursuit of her claim, landed in 1139 and with the help of Robert, the Earl of Gloucester, she captured Stephen during a battle at Lincoln. By then Matilda had won sufficient support to be proclaimed ‘Lady of the English’.

Stephen's followers however, managed to turn the tables and captured Robert of Gloucester forcing Matilda to exchange prisoners. Freed from prison, Stephen regained his support and compelled Matilda to return to France leaving her son, Henry, to continue the struggle.

Henry agreed to a Treaty which stated that Stephen could continue to reign unopposed, but that he would succeed to the English throne on the King's death.

Stephen died at Dover, Kent, October 25 1154 and is buried in Faversham Abbey. He was succeeded by Henry II.

Matilda died at Hedingham Castle, Essex, and is also buried at Faversham.