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Monarch 101: King Stephen/Matilda?

Monarch 101: King Stephen/Matilda?

Last 101, we were left on a cliffhanger- Henry I had died, his only heir had drowned and his daughter and nephew were both fighting for the throne.

Stephen of Blois and Matilda both had strong claims: Stephen was a man and was William the Conqueror’s grandson, BUT Matilda was the old king’s daughter.


Hmmmmm, tricky… FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, not FIGHT fight just yet. Stephen was crowned king and had a short war with Scotland. He also introduced jousting.

BUT the big fights are still to come. In 1138 Matilda invaded but got completely WHOPPED!!!! The reason Stephen didn’t like Matilda was that Matilda was a women. Yes, women were not expected to have high authority.

So, what happened next…. CIVIL WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Soon, Matilda’s supporters from all over England started attacking and soon an all-out war broke out. In 1141 Stephen was captured and imprisoned and Matilda was declared Queen. Declared, remember that word.

Matilda ruled for most of that year but the IDIOT BARONS FORGOT TO ACTUALLY CROWN HER! In November she was booted off the throne by Stephen and he ruled rather peacefully.

By “rather”, I mean his son dying and being forced to accept Matilda’s son as Stephen’s heir.

So, who do YOU think should have been the ruler? Next time, we will find out what happened to Matilda’s son, Henry II…


About Ben Williams

I am a 17 year old pop culture addict from the south of England. I write about Doctor Who, superheroes, fantasy, films and occasionally dive into the random world of British culture.

2 responses »

  1. It should have been Matilda but that was never going to happen…

  2. Under today’s rules of succession, it would definitely be Matilda, but back then I can understand why a man would have been preferred – there had never been a female ruler of England at that time, and there would not be one for another 400 years. Also, as I understand it, Stephen was a very popular person and easy to get along with whereas Matilda was a bit of a witch.
    From what I have read, I would probably have backed Stephen.


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