Stephen of England

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Stephen (c. 1096 – 25 October 1154), often referred to as Stephen of Blois (French: Étienne de Blois, Medieval French: Estienne de Blois), was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne jure uxoris. His reign was marked by civil war with his cousin and rival the Empress Matilda, often called The Anarchy. He was succeeded by Matilda's son, Henry II, the first of the Angevin or Plantagenet kings.

Contents

Early life

Stephen was born at Blois in France, son of Stephen, Count of Blois, and Adela of England, the daughter of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders. One of ten children, his surviving brothers were Theobald II, Count of Champagne, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, and William of Sully. He also had four sisters, including Eléonore of Blois.

Stephen was sent to be raised at the English court of his uncle, King Henry I, in 1106. He became Count of Mortain in about 1115, and married Matilda, daughter of the Count of Boulogne, in about 1125, who became Countess of Boulogne soon after their marriage. Stephen was joint ruler of Boulogne until 1150. His wife was an important supporter during the struggle for the English crown.

Reign

King of England

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