Stephen, the son of Stephen, Count of
Blois and Adela, daughter of William I was born in about 1097.
father went on the First Crusade and was killed at Ramlah in 1102.
Adela ruled Blois and Chartes until 1107 when she handed over power
to her son Theobald.
In 1125 Stephen married Matilda of Boulogne and two years later
swore an oath recognizing his cousin, Matilda, the daughter of Henry
I, as heir to the English throne. However, when Henry died in
December 1135, Stephen broke his promise and quickly had himself
crowned king of England.
At the time of her father's death, Matilda was with her husband,
Geoffrey of Anjou in Normandy. It was not until 1139 that Matilda
landed in England with her army. Stephen was eventually captured at
the battle of Lincoln (February, 1141).
When Matilda went to be
crowned the first queen of England, the people of London rebelled
and she was forced to flee from the area.
Stephen's army captured Matilda's half-brother, Robert of
An exchange of prisoners was agreed, and Stephen
obtained his freedom.
William I, 1066-1087
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