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Battle of Lincoln


King Stephen Taken Prisoner, Battle of Lincoln 1141

When King Henry I of England died in 1135, Henry's daughter, Matilda was to have been made Queen but Stephen, with the support of the barons, usurped the throne from his cousin. Stephen was crowned king of England in Westminster Abbey in December 1135.
Stephen of Blois was favoured by his uncle Henry I and was given extensive estates in England, this along with his mother, Adela, who was the daughter of William the Conqueror, convinced Stephen that he had a claim to the English throne.
After a while some of the barons and lords realised they had picked the wrong sovereign and asked Matilda to be Queen.
This created a civil war which was to last for nineteen years, starting with the baronial revolts in Norfolk and Devon. Then in 1138, King David I of Scotland invaded England in support of his neice Matilda, but was defeated at the Battle of the Standard in Yorkshire.
In 1141, Matilda's forces, led by her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester, defeated Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln and Stephen was taken prisoner. he was moved to Bristol and imprisoned there.
Matilda's arrogance and dictorial behaviour angered the barons ruining her chances of ever being crowned Queen of England and she was eventually driven out of the kingdom. Robert of Gloucester was captured at Winchester and Stephen was released from captvity in exchange for Robert.
Stephen was restored to the throne but still the civil war continued.
In 1152, Matildas son, Henry of Anjou, invaded England claiming to be the rightful heir to the English throne. Henry met Stephen at Wallingford, on the Thames, where both men reached an agreement by which, due to Stephen having no surviving heir, Henry would become King of England on Stephen's death. This brought an end to the long civil war, sometimes known as the 'Nineteen Long Winters'.
Stephen died in 1154, and was the last Norman King, Henry of Anjou became Henry II of England and started the dynasty of the very successful Plantagenets.

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