A True History of the Isles Part 23 The Start of the Avegins. The Isles Become Full of Memorable Folk (Hence the Long Chapter). It’s Not All About You Henry!!

Because most of the family of Henry II are incredibly interesting, colourful, argumentative and prone to rebel or imprison each other AND encourage other folk to act likewise it is necessary to mention dates a lot more than usual otherwise everyone will get confused.

Henry was born 5th March 1133 son of the Geoffrey and Matilda (see previous Chapter 21). In his early years he learnt the family businesses of conquering and claiming thrones. In the latter he was instructed by his mother who as we will have read had quite a bit of experience in the matter, so much so that even though she had fought King Stephen (the Affable- see previous Chapter 21), she convinced Stephen, Henry should be king because his grandfather (Henry’s not Stephen’s- do keep up) had been. Stephen agreed, and Henry being young was so excited and naturally impatient on the matter kept coming over to England to see if Stephen (The Not So Affable) had died. To while away the time and ensure his credentials were impeccable in 1151 he married Eleanor who had once been queen of France (she had divorced Louis on the ground of he being Louis; he on the grounds of she being Eleanor), but more importantly she was ‘of Aquitaine’, which as anyone in those days knew meant more than being a queen of France

As noted earlier Stephen (The Affable) had died of Matildas upon the 25th October 1154, thus upon the 19th December 1154 Henry became king.

Such was his vigour, and drive that he didn’t care he was but an II and set to organising England and also planned to invent the United Kingdom; he being king of course. This went as follows:

Wales

At the time Wales was almost organised into the South being ruled by Rhys Ap Gruffyd and the north by Owain ap Gruffudd. Rhys was an easy-going sort who only massacred those who were a real threat. Henry took a liking to him, told him to pay no attention to the army Henry had brought along (kings have to do these things don’t they), but due to all the documents signed by various kings, princes etc it seemed he Henry was obliged to rule Wales. Rhys who had taken a liking to Henry more than any of the welsh nobility, agreed and it was decided he could be Prince of The Welsh. Owain ap Gruffudd  disagreed. He ruled Gwneydd of the Northern bit and came from a llong (sic- welsh joke) and famous line who had gone to a lot of trouble to ensure he could be Prince of Wales, which sounded a lot more important than Prince of the Welsh, as the former inferred entitlement to the land too. Thus Henry with the help of Owain’s brother Cadwaladr (who had been denied his gruntles by Owain) was obliged to invade North Wales in 1157. Owain defeated Henry by cleverly fighting well and Henry judging that half a Wales was better than none retreated, safe in knowledge that Owain would have trouble with relatives. In actual fact he died of Archbishops in 1170, but was so popular the local clergy said that his excommunication didn’t count as it wasn’t written in Welsh.

Ireland.

This topic was partially covered in the previous Chapter. However it should be noted that the situation was somewhat confusing for Henry as some Irish had asked him to invade to protect them from more Anglo-Normans who had invaded earlier. Henry consulted with some Irish and The Pope (see previous Chapter) and thus invaded officially in 1171 (having sorted out some welsh rebels in Pembroke who didn’t want Rhys, he being from South-East Wales- it’s a welsh thing).All seemed to go well, what with the magnificently named Rory O’Connor being installed as High King while agreeing Henry was even higher, but anglo-normans kept on invading. Henry was very distracted by other things and made his son John Lord of Ireland to sort it out. He didn’t.

Scotland

 He didn’t invade Scotland as David I had mostly died and Malcolm IV ruled. Scots administration was very poor at the time as he was recorded as being Malcolm the Maiden. He wanted so hard to be well thought of by Henry that he followed him all over the place even to France Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine etc, Eventually to get him out of his hair Henry knighted him, but then Malcolm died young of rebellions in 1165 it thus it was a bit of a waste of time. After Malcolm came William (The Lion) who wanted Northumbria officially even though the scots had kept it unofficially for some time. William was also known as the rough and was very bold. To ensure his reputation he helped organise the Great Revolt of 1173-74 claiming Scotland was now independent. As far as Henry’s Court was concerned, in the first place the scots had been doing what they pleased all along BUT not wishing to appear pedantic and since all of Henry’s family were seeing William’s side of things went along with the business. Although very gallant William was captured and was obliged to see Henry’s side of things. He thus had to restrict himself to being rough and bold in Scotland and having many ‘natural’ children, just to ensure there would be many claimants, false or otherwise to the scots throne It also kept the scots so cross that the everyone else tended not to invade them, much.

Henry II – The Administrator

Naturally Henry also spent time involved in the affairs of Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine etc, and also being rude to the king of France, whoever it was. However he found time to attend to matters in his realm, as follows:

Law

Henry was very interested in the Law. As with other Norman kings he thought it was less fuss and a bit cheaper to make someone guilty or even better illegal than raising an army against them. By the time he took over the throne things were in a bit of a mess, lots of people who had had land stolen during the Stephen and Matilda’s struggle wanted the land back and both the church and the civil courts were quite overwhelmed; only when lawyers assembled did you hear the cry ‘Merry England’; eventually Henry was obliged to rely on a military man General Eyre to take charge. This move enabled Henry to prove that all criminals were committing crimes against him and he should have their property

Church and Religion.

It wasn’t so much that Henry objected to the Church; but he did like it to keep to its own business. This was ironically problematic since the Church was also insisting that kings should stick to their own business. Thus both sides got into fearful arguments over whose business was whose and why. There were rare instances of agreement, such as the persecution of hapless minorities, the burning of heretics and the invasion of Ireland (the Irish strongly objecting to being associated with the either of the other two groups).

Henry’s main problem was with Thomas who was a Beckett. He had been Henry’s chancellor and BFF, so when Theobald of Bec The Annoying (by Henry’s standards) Archbishop of Canterbury died in 1161, Henry thought making Thomas the next Archbishop would be a safe move. Unfortunately, Thomas took the job very seriously and so didn’t agree with Henry who claimed that clergy could be arrested by him or his officials if they did something wrong. Thomas said only the church could arrest them. Henry thought this a benefice too far and said so. At this stage, Thomas responded by excommunicating people. Henry responded by trying to do things legally, but then the two got into an argument over whether to use the Church or Civil courts. Henry was so angry with Thomas that he wouldn’t let him do the usual traditional thing of fleeing to France. Thomas managed to and excommunicated some more people on the way. While in France he wrote letters and excommunicated so many people that Henry was obliged to reconcile with Thomas. (Henry was having family problems and needed all the help he could get.) Reconciliation was achieved in 1170, though not before Thomas had excommunicated three more people who happened to be on Henry’s extended staff. Their apparent crime being to crown Henry’s son as a Young King without asking Beckett. Henry, with some justification it must be said, was so angry that he roared out something in Norman-French fortunately for future generations of teachers this has passed into history as the more acceptable ‘Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?’. This was overheard by four knights. Now knights of that era were not taught to think, the skills of charging into the opposition of stabbing, hacking, gouging and pummelling being considered more applicable to their calling. Thus seeing things from their rather limited viewpoint these knights rode henceforth, tried to arrest Thomas but since he was being difficult did for them the next best easiest and slew(ed) him.

This naturally caused fearful fuss. The Pope made Thomas a Saint and Henry was obliged to wear cheap shirts and be hit by members of the Church without being allowed to hit back. Monks hid Beckett’s body, so the tourist trade in pilgrimage flourished as people went in all directions. The four knights were also obliged to wear cheap shirts, and be lectured by the Pope, but after that were allowed to go to the so-called Holy Land where they could slaughter as many Jews, Muslims and Christians who weren’t doing it right as they liked. So they got off quite well.

The Great Revolt of 1173-74

At the outset it must be said that as revolts were going on all the time it could only be because Henry was so incredibly ‘Henry’ that any revolt against him must have had to be ‘Great’. Anyway the origins were thus.

Henry decided his son Henry (The Young) should be made officially heir to the throne, as in those days being the oldest son didn’t mean buttons to being a claimant when old man died. Henry (the Young) being a typically surly ungrateful young sprog was soon moaning that he didn’t get enough king-ish things to do. Henry (The II) told him to wait, or if he wanted something to do with his time go and sort out a revolt, incursion, dispute (they were all the same thing in those days) in Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine etc or be rude to whoever was the King of France. Henry (The Young- Ungrateful Little Jerk) appeared to do this, but actually went to plot with his mother (Eleanor- of Aquitaine) and his brothers Richard (The Loud) and Geoffrey  (The not talked about very much); all of whom were fed-up with Henry (The II) being henry-ish and saying everything and everyone was his. Also involved were William I of Scotland who being as loud as Richard saw in kindred spirit, a bunch of nobles from Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine etc, and the King of France Louis VII who in addition to feeling that folk should pay attention to him was father-in-law to Henry (The Young- Mummy’s Boy) and wanted to take Henry (The II and more interesting) down a peg or II.

Although armies invaded from Scotland Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine etc, Henry (The II and easily more capable) defeated everyone, captured the important ones and (naturally) slew the common folk who rebelled. Henry (The Young King-like he deserved it) said he was sorry and annoyingly everyone was in a hurry to say what a nice lad he was and it was his advisors who were to blame. He was thus pardoned and appeared to settle down to a life of tournaments and adultery. In 1183 without any advisors he tried to rebel again, went about it the wrong way by pillaging monasteries and died of campaigning, his mother’s attempts to get him made a saint caused much ironic merriment in the Church.

Henry II- a conclusion

By his efforts Henry II had made not only his family, but other folk very memorable; but Richard (the Big Mouth) was not content with just being a memorable son and rose in rebellion in 1188 by saying if he couldn’t be king of England then he preferred to be ruled by the new king of France who was a Phillip. Henry was shocked by this and although went on campaigning against Richard; it was just not the same and Henry died of campaigning and families on 6 July 1189.

Much to literary historians’ puzzlement Shakespeare never wrote a play about him.

In the following chapters we shall exam why members of his family were so memorable.

Part 22 of The True History of The Isles- Normans and their approach to assimilation (known back then as Conquering

A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?

Advertisements

Advice (Sage) and Example (Tragic)- Only the Other Way ‘Round, On Account of It Working Out That Way.

And much to my delight I completed the first draft of The Patchwork Warriors, by the 31st January 2017, as scheduled. The whole writing process was fun; there were times when it was necessary to stop because of a ‘What In the Name of My Ragged Trainers is going to happen next?’ interlude; and thus would be the time on pondering until eventually came a ‘Ding’ moment and onwards would flow the narrative. Watching the characters develop not in the initial way intended was quite paternal; they certainly taught me quite a great deal. With such a diverse crew running about the story there were times, Dear Reader, when I felt quite tolerant to almost all of my fellow human beings; which is quite enriching. Now will come the bit I really have a good time with; the re-write. Some might find this a hard slog, not myself, reading the story again there are times when I do experience a ‘Jumping Jell-Beanz! That’s not half-bad’ moment, and thus carry on encouraged. Yep at some stage the novel will be there, all tided up with 99% of spelling mistaks and 98% of all true grammatical errors does get sorted right.

And???

Ah Dear Reader

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”  (MacBeth).

‘Cuz this is the bit where the true import of the underlying theme of this blog comes into monstrous bloom, that does chill the blood of gentle souls, and yet should fire bright defiant inspiration into the hearts of those who are warriors willing to enter into the lists at the Muse’s clarion call.

In short at this stage

There will have been zero information about this work on Twitter, Facebook and other sites or platforms I am too lazy to read about.

I will have gone about my usual business of no contact realised or intended with anyone involved in the publishing process. So professional or very astute semi-professional input will be lacking.

No thought will have been given to a book cover, despite there being some very talented folk in the WP community who can produce such things

Aside from this blog and its 200+ followers, to whom I extend my thanks, and gratitude, no one knows ‘spiffle’ about this book.

Marketing is something other and more astute folk do.

Whereas I know all of which I should be doing, I have a feeling I shall simply seek out an Amazon Kindle format and do things the kina cheap ‘n cheerful way in the vague hope that I will gather a cult following who will do all the hard work for me.

Now understandably at this stage any far better organised, motivated, dedicated and serious writers who are reading this will wish they could find a cyber brick to throw at me in the hope of knocking some sense into my stupid head.

For those of you new to my blog I would repeat that one of the themes of this blog is for new readers to read it and do the opposite of whatever I am doing and thus be in with a chance of of doing reasonably well with their work. Hence the title of the blog. Hence the title I use.

And thus endeth the Example (Tragic) bit.

But why dear writer? You ask Why do you carry on thus?

Because Dear Reader I….LOVE….WRITING! It is the sole motivation. There will never be any large financial return. I write for the joy of seeing a creation move from the mind to the page. I soar on the growth of the characters and the twists and turns their journeys take. I create because I can, and because I want to. There is little I can do to change this world we live in, but within my writing in my own universe in which my beliefs, my intentions, my perceptions can grow. There will come a time when a project is completed and I will set this precious artefact out upon its own voyage into the literature and cyber-verses and thus will leave its fortunes to the various tides and courses of Natures. And I will be content. For the creation of thoughts into words is the most important aspect of response to the Muse. To sat down and worked, melding ideas, sculpting thoughts, crafting the words on pages over and over until they flow as a stream is sufficient for a writer. It may seem, the work is unknown, by the shallow standards of today the efforts have gone unnoticed. This is not so, a writer creates, a writer records that creation and thus becomes in a small way a part of the journey of Humanity; the work may in time be discovered by others and viewed interesting, a view of these times and thus maybe invaluable.

It is enough fellow writer that you worked and created.

And thus endeth the Advice (Sage).

I wish you all, all the very best in your endeavours. Belong to the Ages. You can achieve. No one can stop you. Just wave to me as you pass me by, still hacking away on my own furrow.

‘Curiouser and Curiouser,’ said Alice…(smart young lady)

So I visited the WP forum where WP folk post up details about changes, like to READER….and folk who know what they are doing with their various devices and also how to correctly manage, navigate and arrange their WP make sensible technical statement.

Me….I’m just an embarrassment to those who know me……pogo.stick.10

 

 

 

melodramaOh woe! He does vex(ed) me so with his variable manners.

My post:

I’ll start by saying I shouldn’t be allowed on a computer without assistance, however that said.

It was interesting to read about the update because:

  1. When I try to reply on Reader at some stages the site feels the need to show me my Notifications status half-way through my typing a reply; then forgets what we were doing and I have to start again.
  2. Sometimes it loses interest in what I am typing, forgets, and insist I go back to the original notification and start again.
  3. Decides whatever I might have to say can be of no possible interest to anyone and doesn’t give me the opportunity to reply.

 

In addition the site is very severe with me. If I do not look at notifications at least every hour it grows very cross. When I scroll down the posts it will again get bored with the process and not move for a while. Then when I do find where I was it plays tricks by slipping back making me suppose a contributor has posted the same post several times.

 

I suspect these are all teething problems which arise whenever something new is introduced and I shall preserve.

If however any one can enlighten by dim mid-20th century brain over something is obvious to a more modern person I would be grateful.

And I shall on record that I do perversely enjoy WP.

Anyhows….

If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know that WP have extracted me to give me a stern lecture:Gunner Sargeant Hartman

 

 

 

Part 22 of The True History of The Isles- Normans and their approach to assimilation (known back then as Conquering

Although the next era is full of very colourful characters and resulting impacts on the Isles it is essential that we consider the effects and affects of The Normans in general.

The Past

To summarise the history to date. The Celts came along and forced out, or subdued or unpleasantly removed the First Folk, The Beaker people. They tried to consign them to legends as big hairy giants, or small furtive creatures or folk of indeterminate natures. Unfortunately for the Celts, The Beaker people had Stonehenge and thus haven’t truly gone away. Once the Celts had spread out so much they started being Britannic, Pitcky, Scots (or Irish) and displayed so much Gall that the Romans invaded; resulting in Romano-Britains. These weren’t up to much and suffered from Galls, Picts, Irish (or Scots) and if that wasn’t bad enough Franks and Saxons and a few Jutes. As Roman was declining the latter two decided to stay but the Saxons decided The Jutes’ territories were jutting out too much and obliged the Jutes to go back to what would become Denmark. As the Saxons advanced the Britons re-invented themselves as Welsh or Cornish, except for a few who stayed North and insisted Strathclyde was theirs; meanwhile the Scots (or Irish) and The Irish or (Scots) argued with the Picts. This was all put on hold when the Vikings arrived and all was jumbled up until memorable kings arose, showed the Vikings they knew a thing or two about slaughtering as well and in the meantime invented Ireland, Scotland and England; the Welsh & Cornish being a couple of centuries ahead of the game. The Normans were about to change all that.

The Norman and Their Cultural Outlook

The Normans had been used to the very cramped conditions of the west of France, which resulted in them arguing amongst themselves as well as folk in Anjou, Brittany, Maine, Aquitaine etc as well as any King of France who tried to insist they should pay attention to him. Thus, when they invaded and conquered the Saxons who had been used to their own angles, they were much pleased to find there was only one kingdom and some folk on the extremities (ie Wales, Scotland Ireland… And The Isle of Mann whose folk had a parliament which ill-informed outsiders didn’t pay attention to).

The Initial Normanisation

Firstly the Normans mixed with the Anglo-Saxons, and some became quite Anglo-Norman; these were looked upon with suspicion by their fellow Normans. As they saw it, the Anglo-Saxons being the subject people should have become Normo-Anglo-Saxons. The Church said this would be too fiddly to translate into Latin, deemed the whole business beneath the concerns of the Ecclesiastic authorities and thus consigned it to The Rather Common Law of the Time. The various kings said it didn’t matter as long as everyone realised they belonged to the King, and recognised him, even if they hadn’t met him.

The Kings had also been quite forceful telling those Anglo-Saxon nobility who hadn’t been correctly slaughtered in battle or found guilty of something that if they knew what was good for them they should seek employment elsewhere. Some took the hint and emigrated to Norse lands where people would understand, others took extravagant (ie costly) oaths (ie bribes) of loyalty, some took the cheaper method and joined the Church.

Why The Normans Had problems With Wales

With such a dearth of nobility many Norman ascended up the Social Ladder and so were entitled to follow the kings about; both Williams as it will be recalled developed a fascination with Wales and The Welsh; so did some of the followers. They stayed only to find they had become Cambro-Normans, which meant they had not only to speak Norman-French but also Welsh and probably some Cornish. They also discovered that Welsh politics was far too complicated. The Norman noble was a simple straightforward fellow; if someone annoyed him or was a rival he attacked them with a retinue (and a big sword or axe). The Welsh went in for betrayals, false alliances and often conducted their politics in a bear-pit. Thus the average Cambro-Norman was inclined to seek out easier options.

Celtic Failures to Understand Normans

Now whereas prior to 1066 all the nobles, kings and their relatives spent a high proportion of their time entering into alliance, breaking them, betraying folk and generally behaving in an unsporting manner, no one really took it personally, as there was always tomorrow when (if you have survived) you could pay them back in the same way. (See above example; Wales) However, the mistake the various Celtic folk were going to keep on making for many centuries was that the Normans didn’t see if that way. They had come to conquer as one large Norman enterprise and by Saint Whoever that was the way it was going to be! (The Celts were still miffed with the Anglo-Saxons so didn’t ask them what it was like to be on the business end of a Norman)

The Irish and the Normans (Or the other way Around)

The first to make this mistake was Dermot MacMurragh ex- king of Leinster. He had been un-kinged by a rival and having heard how good these Normans were at battle, he asked some if they would care to help him get his kingship back in exchange for some portions of land (which were not his to give away actually). The Cambro-Normans were quick to take up this offer and in 1169 Dermot and a lot of Cambro-Normans landed. Although he got his kingship back he found out that the Cambro-Normans were not content with the footly bits of land and began to spread themselves about.

At this time the King of England was Henry II who being a very active fellow was planning on setting up an empire based on Normans and believed thus in the principal The Norman, The Whole Normand and Nothing But The Norman, irrespective whether they were Anglo or Cambro. On hearing, how well the latter were doing in Ireland, he turned up in 1170 with even more Normans (probably Anglo). In this venture, he was assisted by the support of Pope Adrian IV, the ONLY pope so far to have originated from these Isles. Adrian was a very piously dogmatic sort of fellow, that’s when he wasn’t being dogmatically pious. He (and the Vatican) was fed-up with the way the Irish kept being Celtic about their Christianity and thought Henry II was just the one to get them into line and do things properly in Latin. Thus Ireland was properly conquered, as England had been in 1066.

Henry The II went back to England to continue to be very colourful (see future chapters) thinking the Normans (of various sorts) left behind would be sufficient to make Ireland much like England. As he had not spent much time there he didn’t realise this was not how things were done thereabouts. Over the passage of time, liking the general country, the way folks conducted themselves and there being less Latin to learn, both Henry’s Normans and the Cambro-Normans decided they wanted to be Hibro-Normans and thus became more Irish than the Irish. This would cause the Kings (and Queens) of England a lot of problems in later centuries.

The Scottish and Good King David I (if you were on his side that is). All rather jolly to begin with.

As it will be recalled from pervious chapters David the I of Scotland had been quite impressed with the way Normans did things, and since he was having trouble with Morays, Norse-Gaels, Highlanders, Islander, laggardly Vikings who had not got the hint and a few niggling unrepentant Picts he had reckoned the answer was Normans. These settled in bits of Scotland which probably had not been part of Scotland proper but bits of England the Scots had only recently appropriated. With his south secured this allowed David the deal with the Morays, Islanders, Highlanders etc. These Normans were probably not of the best Norman stock as they didn’t do any of the usual conquering, just to showed their appreciation to David by saying they were now Scoto-Normans. It is likely Henry II was not best pleased with this cultural abrogation but since he was being colourfully confrontational with his equally colourful family and a Beckett he didn’t really have the time to say much on the matter.

Thus did the Normans impact upon many parts of The Isles. As there is no record of the Anglo, Cambro, Hibro and Scoto- Normans getting together from time to time for a celebration of things Norman suggests the reverse was also happening.

Next we shall look at a real soap-opera family.

A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?

As was shown in the previous chapter the first king of England to be a Henry (not a Willy or a Sam- old British Musical Reference-check it yourself, if successful award yourself something and let The World know) died of eels and his son (actually a William, not a Sam) of drunken sailors (this has been left in as misleadingly salacious). Thus England in 1135 did not have a king’s son to take over. This was not really settled until 1154 and Henry the II. So turbulent was the period 1135-1154 that some Victorian historians who lived in a proper era were so upset they suggested the country was ruled by an Arky which it can only be surmised they thought was a very obscure and not very efficient medieval official. It is this period and the impact of the succession crisis had on all the Isles which will be covered in this chapter.

The crisis was caused by there being the not usual case of more than one claimant to the throne. These being:

Stephen of Blois (grandson of William The I & Conqueror)

Matilda (or Maude) (daughter of Henry The I &something of a conqueror)

Stephen was born in region of Blois which although only a county was a powerful one. Thus not being involved in the usual rebellions, disputes etc in Normandy allowed him to build up reserves of land, and marry well. When Henry (the I) died Stephen was encouraged by his brother Henry (a bishop) and several barons to come over and be king. Stephen was known as an affable and generous fellow and not wishing to appear rude took up the offer.

This was not appreciated by Maude (or possibly Matilda), and you have to see her point of view. For at the age of 8 she was married off to another Henry; he was a ‘V’ and such an emperor that folk thought he should be a roman. She took the role of empress quite well, trying her hand a bit of ruling while her husband was being holy. As he died young and empresses were not allowed to emperors Mauilda was packed off back to her father, who promptly married her off to a Geoffrey of Anjou as she was 28 and he was 15 she was far from happy; naturally as he was 15 he was obviously not happy anyway, and it took Henry the I of England and a pope to settle them down. Matudal’s father Henry had said she could probably be king if there was no one else around, but probably only to keep her from nagging him, so there was not much support for her, but that did not put her off. She having the support of Robert of Gloucester who being half a brother and not having had Stephen being very affable to him thought it was time for a change.

In addition, Maditla was assisted by David the I of Scotland. In his youth when escaping relatives, a few stubborn Vikings and probably some Moray eels he had been hidden at the court of her father. David thought that The Norman way of doing things, taking folk through the due processes of law then massacring them if that didn’t work was a much more civilised way and so when he became of king not only bought in Norman laws but also some Anglo-Normans who could teach the locals how to be legal or if they preferred massacred. Thus when Matilaud said she was going to be king he thought it was only rite he support her. He also managed to seize a large portion of north England and not give it back but offered to settle it by legal means. The Arch Bishop of York thought otherwise and there was a Standard Battle in 1138, although the Scots lost they stubbornly refused to go away.

In 1139 Matliadu used cunning strategy of getting her husband out of his room where he had been listening to very loud lute and discordant music and giving him the hobby of conquering Normandy, which hadn’t been for some time. This allowed her to build up resources to land in England the same year.

At this, still being new to kingship and still affable Stephen was very chivalrous to Mautilad, who as a woman didn’t have be in return. She was ruthless and having been an empress also understandably imperious; had she been a man this would have endeared to the barons, but being a woman she ended up being besieged; Stephen being a good sort let her go, so she could imperiously seize the south west of England and bits of Wales whose inhabitants didn’t see much difference anyway.

At this stage several nobles who although were not half or even quarter brothers, never mind being removed cousins to Maultilud thought Stephen had not been very affable to them either and thus became revolting. There were so many of them that by 1141 despite being noble, brave, chivalrous and astute in battle Stephen was captured at Lincoln. Thus to ensure folk knew who she was Matiulda said she was now Matilda and king of England.

Although probably king Matilda failed to crowned because she couldn’t find London, but more importantly she had overlooked Stephen’s wife. She was also called Matilda, her mother was a Scottish saint and she didn’t want to be king, but said her husband still was; thus she endeared herself to many barons and through her efforts Stephen was not forgotten, exiled, blinded or castrated.

As there were now two quite formidable Matildas loose in the kingdom, the barons became quite afraid they might end up supporting the wrong one, or annoying them both. Many of the barons adopted the solution of building very large castles and pretending they were not at home when a Matilda came calling. After either Matilda, had gone away the barons claimed they were actually quite strong and ruthless by terrorising the peasantry and lesser nobles who couldn’t afford castles.

Whereas he had not been nobly captured in a battle as Stephen had Robert of Gloucester nonetheless found himself imprisoned by Mrs Stephen’s forces. Although it is likely both Matildas found this rather amusing they decided it would be best for the general masculine pride of England if there was a simple exchange of prisoners, then the men could go back to doing what they were supposed to.

Stephen was not quite as affable as he used to be and on finding out that many castles had been built with royal permission began 1142 by attacking a lot of them. During one occasion on finding a Matilda was in one and thinking his wife might be held captive, he swam across river to romantically save her. On finding it was the wrong Matilda he allowed her to escape when she proved her true royal blood by skating across a frozen river in her nightclothes.

During the next few years both sides besieged each other in the remaining castles, while Geoffrey of Anjou (Mr Matilda, ex-empress) kept invading Normandy until everyone there said his wife should be King of England. Although this was of some significance, the situation in England was only resolved when various important nobles began to die of age, sieges, and Matlidas. Most importantly Stephen’s son Eustace died of circumstances, though there was some contemporary evidence he had actually been struck down by God’s Wrath in 1152; this distressed many of the surviving nobility as this was usually a fate reserved for far more memorable folk than someone who was just Eustace. (Although later studies Eustace may have died of Bishops; a common ailment in those times).

Since neither of Stephen’s daughters wanted to be king discussions were opened between Stephen and Matilda (The Not His Wife), she had a son called Henry, and since this had an air of continuity about it Stephen said he would think about it. As David (The I of Scotland) was now busy conquering or re-conquering the north of Scotland (and probably massacring in a pious way), Stephen tarried on the matter. He had a more promising son who was a William but inexplicably William caught a disease from the gates of Toulouse and died in 1159, since this showed a rather weak constitution Stephen was quite right to choose Henry who was known to be robust

Although peace had sort of seeped out after all these years Stephen was no longer affable and this showed as he constantly argued with the Church over who could appoint who and who should reform what and when, and if a Cistern should be installed. In addition, Matilda (The One in France)’s son Henry was nagging that he should be king now.

To prove he still had what it took to be king, in 1154 Stephen embarked on a busy schedule of reforming currency, travelling around the south of England, issuing royal writs then moving to York and even further north to remind the local nobility it was he and not David The I who was king and producing a writ to prove it. On learning David was also married to a Matilda Stephen’s health suffered and he travelled to Dover issuing royal writs as he went (probably decrying no one should be now named Matilda), He intended to visit with Theiry The Count of Flanders who was famous for recognising who was King of England. The strain of the journey proved too much for Stephen and he died in 1154, obviously of Matildas.

Legacy

Sadly whereas we know of Alfred The Great and William The Conqueror, very people give much thought to Stephen The Affable.

Although there will be the very interesting Plantagents, it is important we next look at the other nations of These Isles and also how cultures evolved

A True History of The Isles Part 20- The England Has Its First Henry. Scotland an Edgar, an Alexander and a David.

 

 

 

Listen to Mama…

Says it all!

seekthebestblog

mamasideeye Mama throwing serious side-eye!

My 22 year-old son and I are very close.

We always have been.

From the moment he was born, he and I were inseparable.

I can remember turning down plenty of opportunities to go hang out with friends; opting instead to stay home with my baby boy.

People would say, “I know the perfect babysitter.”

To which I would respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know that person and neither does my son…so there’s that.”

Sounds harsh doesn’t it?

Oh well!

Anyway, suffice it to say, whenever my son (or my daughter) would ask to do things that were borderline ‘iffy,’ I’d think long and hard before deciding whether or not I would allow them to partake.

And, whenever I decided NOT to allow them to do something, I would explain, sometimes ad nauseum,  why I came to the conclusion that I did.

Then I would punctuate…

View original post 312 more words