Matilda England


January 21, 2022

Matilda of England was the leader of a faction during the Lawlessness, the English Civil War. She was the daughter of King Henry I. As a child she was sent to Germany where she married the future emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Henry V. She traveled with her husband to Italy in 1116, was crowned under controversial circumstances in St. Peter's Basilica and served as imperial regent of Italy. Matilda and Henry had no children, and when he passed away, Lothar, one of his political enemies, claimed the crown. Meanwhile, Matilda's younger brother, William Adeline, drowned during the shipwreck of the White Ship 1120, leaving England facing a potential inheritance crisis. After the death of Henry V, Matilda's father invited him to Normandy and arranged for him to marry Joffre of Anjou in order to form an alliance that would protect the southern borders of his kingdom. Henry I had no more legal children and proposed Matilda as his successor, ordering his courtiers to swear allegiance to her and her children, but this decision was not popular at the Anglo-Norman court. Henry died in 1135, but Matilda and Joffrun encountered resistance from the Norman barons and were unable to meet their demands. Matilda's cousin Stephen of Blois took over the throne instead, when he was supported by the English clergy. Stephen took steps to consolidate his power, but encountered threats from neighboring powers and opponents in his kingdom. Matilda moved to England in 1139 to forcibly regain the kingdom. She was supported by her half-brother Robert of Gloucester and her uncle, David I of Scotland, while Joffre was busy conquering Normandy. Matilda's army captured Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141, but Matilda's attempt to be crowned at Westminster Abbey failed due to strong opposition from the London population. Due to this withdrawal, Matila was never officially proclaimed Queen of England and instead received the title of Lady of England. Robert was captured after the Battle of Winchester at Winchester in 1141, and Matilda agreed to exchange Stephen. Matilda was surrounded by Stephen's army in Oxford Castle that winter, and she was forced to flee overnight across the Isis River to avoid capture. The war turned into a stalemate

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