Post-classical history



There is little doubt that by about 1147 Stephen had come out of the conflict better than his opponents. The deaths of Miles of Gloucester, Earl of Hereford, in a hunting accident on Christmas Eve 1143, and of Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1144, the taking of Faringdon in 1145, the death of Robert of Gloucester in 1147, and the retreat of Matilda to Normandy by early March of 1148, all point in the direction of a royal victory.

But Stephen’s victory was not complete. His series of arrests had given him control of a number of vital castles, but had also succeeded in alienating a succession of key figures in the realm. Such victories were Pyrrhic. Because of the diminishing level of chronicle sources as the reign continues, our knowledge of the details of these events is increasingly slight, and analysis of motivation progressively difficult. Even the fullest source for the reign becomes less full at this point.

The Gesta Stephani was thought to end in 1147. The part of the chronicle which covers the years from 1147 to 1154 was only found by Professor R.A.B. Mynors quite recently, in time to be included in the 1955 edition of the work by K.R. Potter.1 The Valenciennes manuscript is a very valuable addition to the relatively scanty sources for the later reign. This is not the place to argue the matter in full, but it may be that the previous editors were incorrect in seeing it merely as a lost section of the work of one author. There are several glaring differences between the later part of the work and the earlier, though the division begins before the end of the known section. That is to say, that two authors may have written the original work, and it was the last part of the work of the second writer which formed the lost section.

We must remember that only copies survive. The chapters become much shorter and more laconic, and the attitude of the writer becomes pro-Angevin rather than pro-royalist, seeing Henry of Anjou as ‘the lawful heir’, no longer scorning David, King of Scots, when taking flight from York. Whereas Earl Ranulf of Chester’s arrest in the first section is called prudent and wisely counselled, now it becomes an arrest which broke a safe conduct. The first writer approves of Walter de Pinkeney, the commander of Malmesbury for the king in 1145, ‘a man of resolution and very well approved’, but the second writer thinks him a man of ‘cruelty and wickedness’.2 There is a prima facie case for believing that the lost section is part of a continuation by a different hand, whose work commences at the end of 1147.

Part of this second work was retained in the known section, and that part with the whole of the continuation had been added before the lost part went missing. The writer of either section is unknown, and there is no autograph manuscript.3 The copies which survive also have missing sections in the middle.

Davis argued for the authorship of the Bishop of Bath, Robert of Lewes, and made an interesting but not conclusive case.4 One problem would be that the first writer is hostile to Henry of Blois, whereas the Bishop of Bath had been close to Henry and employed by him for work in his own abbey. The second author shows more interest in the north than the first writer, whose interests are predominantly west country. Nor is it clear why the sections end in 1147 and 1154, when the bishop lived on until 1166. Davis argued that the differences in viewpoint came from a change of attitude, rather as if a modern politician changed from Conservative to Labour. This is not unknown, now, and not impossible, but is not the only possible solution or even the most likely. Hundreds, probably a majority, of medieval narrative sources are the work of more than one person; continuing an existing work was a normal process. We conclude that the differences before and after 1147 in the Gesta Stephani are more likely to represent the work of two men with differing views than the work of a single individual who changed his mind. Certainly after 1147 the source becomes hostile to Stephen and supportive of Henry of Anjou, which it had not been previously.

We now need to examine the events which led up to Henry of Anjou’s bid for the throne. There was some sporadic fighting in the period after 1145, but it went largely in Stephen’s favour: the episode with Ranulf of Chester, the rebellion in Kent which saw Stephen capture three castles from Gilbert fitz Richard of Clare, Earl of Hertford; the loss but then recapture of Henry of Blois’ castle of Downton from Earl Patrick in 1148.

But it is equally clear that although it was a sort of victory for Stephen, it was not a complete one. Matilda’s young son Henry was growing to manhood and seemed intent on claiming his mother’s rights; in place of the older generation which had been divided against itself in the Matildine war, was emerging a new generation of sons, not always with quite the same allegiances as their fathers. Parts of England, though restricted in area, which had been consistently pro-Angevin, were still not under the authority of the king, and had been added to by the desertions from the king since 1145. This was the situation in England, but in Normandy Stephen had lost the war against the Angevins, and the outcome there seemed more thoroughly settled than in England.


With the Henrician episode of the civil war in England, it is even less clear who was the military victor. Some historians, following the pro-Angevin chroniclers, who were nearly all writing after the outcome was known and when Henry was king, have seen Henry’s final expedition in 1153 as a triumph. Politically it was, but not militarily. Henry had been to England before 1153, and his experiences had been largely humiliating. Henry probably visited England four times during Stephen’s reign, and before 1153 he made little impact.

His first visit was with Robert of Gloucester as a boy from 1142, when he may have stayed for several years. His second visit was in response to the urgent requests for aid from the desperate Angevins in England. What they wanted was intervention and cash from Geoffrey of Anjou; all they got was the teenage Henry. In 1147 Henry brought with him only a few mercenaries, whom he could not even afford to pay.

At first a rumour spread that he had come with an enormous army and much treasure, which created a stir, and disheartened the royalists. When it proved that neither point was true, interest waned. He had only a few knights, and only promises of money to come. According to the Gesta Stephani, he had arrived without forethought or judgment, a mistakenly premature expedition. At Cricklade, in Wiltshire, which Henry attacked, his force was put to flight, and at Purton in the same county, his force fled in panic. Stephen ‘had the upper hand over them in the kingdom’.5

Those knights who had come with Henry, left him, and he could not afford to pay off his mercenaries. Neither his uncle, Robert of Gloucester, ‘brooding like a miser over his moneybags, [who] preferred to meet his own needs only’, nor his mother, the empress, was prepared to underwrite Henry’s costs.6 Only a desperate and secret appeal to Stephen as a relative, provided enough cash to pay off the mercenaries and allow Henry himself to return to Normandy. This act of the king’s has been seen then and since as another foolish piece of chivalry, ‘even childish’, but is perfectly justifiable.7 As things stood in 1147, Stephen could afford to be generous. The presence of Henry, ineffective as it had been, was about the only hope left to the Angevins at that time, so a little cash in order to see him off the premises must have seemed a good investment.

Henry of Anjou came to England again in 1149, a little older and wiser, but not much stronger. His apparent motive was to receive knighting at the hands of his great uncle, David, King of Scots. Probably it was also an attempt to feel out the chances of reviving the struggle in England under his own banner. If so it could not have been very encouraging, though he did reach Carlisle safely, and was knighted by David on 22 May 1149.

There he also made contact with the newly amenable Ranulf de Gernons, fourth Earl of Chester, who has been called one of the ‘major troublemakers’ of the reign, and who gave hope to the Henrician phase of the war in the same way that Robert of Gloucester did to the first phase.8 Ranulf was indeed Robert of Gloucester’s son-in-law, married to his daughter Matilda, and a very powerful magnate with lands stretching from the Welsh border, across the midlands into the north and Lincolnshire. He had been an obstruction against all Stephen’s attempts at peace ever since causing the Battle of Lincoln by seizing the castle in 1141, but he had not been a very staunch Angevin either. Round was not far wrong in believing that ‘the real springs of his policy are found in Carlisle and Lincoln’.9 In 1146, as we have seen, he actually deserted back to Stephen, in the hope that the king would be more likely to assist him in Wales than the Angevins. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ranulf was arrested on ‘bad counsel’, and released ‘on worse counsel’, when he ‘flew to arms’. He was not to be dealt with as easily as Geoffrey de Mandeville had been.10 He failed to take Coventry or to recover Lincoln in 1146, but he became a powerful new aid to the failing Angevin cause, prepared even to give up Carlisle to the Scots. When Stephen went against Coventry, he was wounded, which one might say was the first small victory for Ranulf’s secession to the Angevins.

Another development of the 1140s was the rise of Stephen’s eldest son, Eustace. He began to take part in the war on his father’s behalf, and though at times showing a certain rashness, seemed a worthy warrior with ‘soldierly qualities’, and a proper heir to his father. He was already showing abilities as a knight though his beard had hardly begun to grow.11 He also shared some of the better traits of his father, being gentle, courteous, and generous.

Since Stephen was the properly anointed king, and his coronation had been confirmed by the papacy afterwards, there is no doubt that in any normal concept of heredity, then or now, Eustace was the ‘lawful heir’. Only a convinced supporter of Henry of Anjou, persuaded by Angevin propaganda, could really believe otherwise. There would be no legal or ecclesiastical case for Henry. Of course, he posed as the lawful heir to give his claim some validity. Stephen groomed his eldest son to succeed him, knighting him in 1147, giving him lands and his own retinue, and passing to him Queen Matilda’s rights, and his own, to make Eustace Count of Boulogne.

However, let us pursue the 1149 visit of Henry. Henry had reached an age when he was ready to be knighted, and chose to go to his great uncle, David, King of Scots, for this purpose. Roger, Earl of Hereford, and a number of young noble Angevin supporters, went with him to the north. Henry was also clearly feeling out the position in England. He sent messengers on ahead to prepare King David for his coming, and then set out. The King of Scots welcomed him, and agreed to bestow knighthood upon him at Carlisle.

David and Henry also made a pact of mutual aid, which included the promise of alliance from Ranulf, Earl of Chester, who had joined the party. It would appear as if in 1149, the new Angevin party was formed after the retirement of its former leader, the empress, in the previous year. Having made some contact with his potential allies, including Ranulf, the hopes of the visit soon fell apart. The allies planned an attack on York, but Stephen was warned of events, and received an appeal for aid from yet another city which showed its sympathy to him rather than his opponents. The king turned up with an army in the north, before expected, and the coalition simply broke up and made a run for it, each to his own base.

Henry had to dodge about to avoid a series of attempted ambushes, travelling well to the west by ‘lonely and devious’ ways to escape attention, a sign of royalist strength throughout the country.12 Traps were laid first by Stephen and then by his son Eustace. Henry’s supporters made diversionary moves – Ranulf against Lincoln, Payn Beauchamp at Bedford, and Hugh Bigod in East Anglia – none with much success. But Henry got to Hereford safely, and then moved on south.

Almost nowhere, though, was entirely safe. Eustace, in particular, set traps for him, even in Gloucestershire. Henry evaded the ambushes at Dursley, having to leave in the middle of the night in order to do so. From a base at Oxford, Eustace raided around Bristol, in Avon, against Marlborough, Devizes and Salisbury in Wiltshire. It is clear from the placing of these attacks that the Angevins were entirely on the defensive now. Meanwhile, Stephen was busy in the north, going to York; another sign of his spreading power. Then he joined Eustace in the south once more. Soon he was off again, to Lincoln, where Ranulf was keeping his part of the bargain made at Carlisle, by trying to take the castle which he would never abandon hope of recovering. But Stephen saw him off, and built a new castle which restricted Ranulf’s activities.

Once back in Angevin territory, Henry did make one or two aggressive moves, including the capture of Bridport, whose castellan had earlier surrendered it to the king. He also raided the lands of Stephen’s western supporter, Henry de Tracy. But Henry withdrew his men into his castles, and Henry of Anjou achieved little against him.


Plan of Devizes Castle.

At Devizes, Eustace made a sudden attack, which almost succeeded, breaking into the outer part of the castle. Devizes stood on a spur with steeply descending slopes, jutting out over the level of the land, and was a powerfully built castle with a deep ditch, the work of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury.13 As we have seen, it had experienced a good deal of action through the war, and had changed hands several times. In the end Henry saved Devizes, which was important, but hardly a great military triumph.

In effect the 1149 visit produced little for his supporters to crow about. It had, as Warren said, been little more than ‘a private escapade’.14 It was clear that most of England was still firmly in Stephen’s hands, and that Henry’s very life was in danger if he ventured beyond the safe Angevin territories. According to Henry of Huntingdon, writing about 1149, Stephen was now ‘holding the upper hand everywhere’. The Gesta Stephani says much the same, and in the 1150s saw Stephen ‘successful all over England’. In fact, his advisers suggested that Henry return to Normandy to try and persuade his father, yet again, to send the help which his party so sorely needed in England. They saw little hope otherwise in the current position.15

The pro-Angevin leaders, Reginald of Cornwall and Roger of Hereford, soon appealed to Henry to come back to England, because they were ‘in sore distress’. They had been ‘weakened by the king’s superior might’. They sent to Henry to tell him that his own supporters ‘had all bound themselves to him [the king] by pledge of peace and friendship’, and those who remained loyal (to Henry), like Brian, found their castles besieged and battered, and their lands stripped bare by royal pillagers.16 Henry spent four years out of England after 1149, a period of some difficulty for his supporters, with Stephen in the ascendant, taking Newbury in 1152, and besieging Wallingford. They appealed to him to take urgent action, not only if he wanted to save his claim, but also if he had any regard for his supporters. He promised to come, but there was a very long delay before he kept the promise, and some began to despair of him ever doing so.


The greatest irony of Stephen’s reign, is that although he was, on the whole, militarily successful in England, events elsewhere, in the end, determined the fate of his kingdom. It would have been possible for the kingdom of England and the duchy of Normandy to go their own separate ways again, England under the Blesevins and Normandy under the Angevins. But the strong tendency of the age was for the nobles, many of whose families had acquired lands on both sides of the Channel, to favour one ruler over both regions and thus avoid almost inevitable conflicts of interest with a concomitant risk of losing lands. That tendency had worked in favour of Stephen against the chances of his brother Theobald in 1135; it worked against him now.

Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, although he was never even to visit England, played a very great part in its fate. He was born in 1113, the son of Fulk V, Count of Anjou, the later King of Jerusalem (1131–43). Fulk V had been a considerable threat to the stability of Henry I’s Normandy, defeating that king at Alençon in 1118, and participating in the 1119 invasion of the duchy. He was the first Angevin count to rule directly over the county of Maine, which had formerly been possessed by the Norman dukes. Geoffrey V’s marriage to the Empress Matilda had sealed a peace with Henry I which that king had been seeking for some time in order to counter the menace of William Clito. In 1129 Fulk V had said farewell to his family, and left his young son Geoffrey, at the age of sixteen, to rule in his place while he went off to seek his fortune in the Holy Land.

Although the marriage to Matilda had begun rather stormily, with her leaving him to return to her father for a while, it produced children, including three sons: Henry in 1133, Geoffrey in 1134, from whose birth Matilda nearly died, and William in 1136. Geoffrey felt that Henry I had not fulfilled the promises made at the time of the marriage. Certain castles on the southern border of Normandy had been promised, but Henry had retained control of them, and ‘the proud youth took umbrage’.17 In the end Geoffrey had sought to recover them by force in 1134. Henry was also annoyed that Geoffrey had dealt summarily with Roscelin, the Viscount of Maine, without reference to himself, though Roscelin was married to his illegitimate daughter Constance.

The war over these castles between Geoffrey and his father-in-law was still in progress in 1135 when Henry I died. Geoffrey seems to have made no move either on his own, or on his wife’s or son’s behalf, to claim either England or Normandy in 1135, but he did seize the disputed castles. There is no doubt that in 1135 the Norman nobility had no wish to accept a claim from Geoffrey. An assembly in the duchy made its views clear by selecting first Theobald of Blois, and then his brother Stephen. The old prejudices against Anjou must still have had force, as witnessed by the hostility shown to the Angevins as invaders over the next few years.

But there had been some nobles who had been at odds with Henry I, and who welcomed Geoffrey’s opposition to that king. One of these was William Talvas, son of the disgraced Robert of Bellême. Henry had recently taken back Alençon from William, who was one of the first allies of the Angevins in their efforts to win Normandy. Robert of Torigny says William also surrendered his castles into the count’s hands, probably meaning that he offered him the use of them with his homage. In any case he received them back.18

Geoffrey knew the weight of opposition against him, but he was a shrewd and effective operator. He did not bite off more than he could chew. He was always cautious about overreaching himself. Thus, he never weakened his own forces and resources in any significant degree in order to assist either Matilda’s or Henry’s efforts in England. England he felt could look after itself. Nor did he expect to conquer all Normandy at a blow. He knew that here, as in England, in the end, it was solid control of the strong points, especially the castles, which would ensure that a conquest was permanent.

Geoffrey’s first efforts had secured only a handful of castles on the central southern Norman border: Argentan, Exmes and Domfront, handed over by Guigan Algason, but they were the ones most easily supplied from his own territories. He also took control of a number of castles on the border with Brittany, namely Ambrières, Goron and Châtillon-sur-Colmont, which were given to Juhel de Mayenne to hold, in return for his aid in Normandy. The southern castles were strengthened, supplied and garrisoned, and they were never lost to his enemies. Geoffrey’s conquest was one of gradual expansion outwards from his home territory.

Geoffrey’s allies in Normandy had also been active. William Talvas had defeated Gilbert of Clare and captured Henry de Ferrières. Roger of Tosny, in conflict with the Beaumont twins at this time, had probably also allied himself with Geoffrey. Roger was involved in fighting against Stephen’s brother, Theobald, and was another who had opposed Henry I late in the reign. Another probable ally for Geoffrey, given his name, was Robert Poard of Bellême, who defeated Richer of Laigle near La Ferrière. What we are suggesting is that, as in England, the 1138–9 rebellions were not haphazard and coincidental risings but a concerted effort to support Robert of Gloucester’s defiance, so in Normandy the examples of disturbers of the peace given by Orderic and others were really acting in alliance with the Angevin count: William Talvas, Roger de Tosny, and Robert Poard of Bellême among them.

Geoffrey’s difficulties should not be minimized; expeditions into hostile territory were far from easy. In 1135 the local people of Normandy had themselves halted the Angevin advance. Geoffrey’s invasion of Normandy in 1136 was a disaster, and lasted only thirteen days.

The state of his men, and of Geoffrey himself, meant that on the next day the whole expedition had to be abandoned. ‘Plagued by diarrhoea, they left a trail of filth behind and many were barely capable of dragging themselves back home’. Waleran of Meulan added to the Angevin defeat by capturing their ally, Roger of Tosny. On the journey there were even further problems, and the count’s baggage, with his robes and precious vessels, was stolen. But even this campaign with its disgusting conclusion, had not been an entire write-off. Geoffrey was unable to keep all that he had taken, but he did retain territory to the north of Sées.

In 1137, as stated earlier, Stephen had mounted his own personal campaign in Normandy. Stephen’s arrival in March caused a postponement of Geoffrey’s plans. Geoffrey invaded Normandy in that year, as he had every year since 1134. Orderic says he was acting as his wife’s ‘mercenary commander’, but this was an unwarranted sneer, and tells us more about Orderic’s attitude to the Angevin count than it does about Geoffrey’s role in the conquest.19 He attacked the Hiémois, burned Bazoches-au-Houlme and subjugated a number of monasteries.

Stephen had made his peace, both with his brother Theobald, and with the King of France, incidentally denying their possible aid to Geoffrey. He had also made efforts to deal with the problems of law and order in the duchy, successfully reducing the castles of several troublemakers. Stephen had planned a head-on attack against Geoffrey at Argentan, but then had occurred the problems with his own troops. There had been the obscure attempt against Robert of Gloucester which may have impelled that noble into the enemy camp, or encouraged him in a direction already taken. There had been the quarrel between Stephen’s Flemish mercenaries and his Norman troops, possibly also involving Robert of Gloucester against William of Ypres, and leading to the desertion of many of the Norman nobles. Stephen had meant to approach Argentan, or even go beyond Normandy, with the intention of bringing Geoffrey to battle, but the whole project had to be abandoned at Livarot because of the disagreement among his own troops.20


Geoffrey’s invasion of Normandy, I: 1136–41.


Geoffrey’s invasion of Normandy, II, the west: 1142–3.

Nevertheless, Geoffrey had still been willing enough to make peace with Stephen, and had agreed a truce in return for an annual pension of 2,000 marks out of the English revenues, beginning in the present year. It is also noticeable that Stephen’s activities had been almost entirely confined to the eastern part of the duchy, which proved throughout his rule there, to be his most secure base.

The peace did not last long, its existence quickly threatened by Robert of Gloucester’s defiance. Geoffrey also gained other adherents, including Reginald of Dunstanville, later to become Matilda’s Earl of Cornwall. At this moment, Reginald’s lands in the Cotentin were a useful addition to the territorial control of the Angevins. It is clear that what is presented by Orderic as an extremely chaotic situation, with virtually everyone at war with everyone else without reason, was really much more akin to the English Civil War.

In Normandy most of the fighting was a war between Stephen and those who were loyal to him against the Angevins and their supporters. Reginald and his friends were resolutely opposed by Roger the viscount for Stephen. But then Roger was ambushed by unnamed enemies, and his throat was slit. However, Engelran de Saye won a victory for the king against Reginald, Baldwin de Redvers and others. In these early years the king’s party more than held its own.

June of 1138 saw a new Angevin invasion of Normandy. Through Robert of Gloucester, Geoffrey was promised a number of major western Norman strongholds, including Bayeux and Caen. But when Waleran and William of Ypres put an army into the field, the Angevins decided to abandon their expedition, and it seems that even Caen refused to surrender itself, Robert keeping quiet inside.

However, by the time the Count of Anjou besieged Falaise on 1 October, it was in company with Robert of Gloucester. The captain of the garrison was Richard de Lucy, who every day opened the gates and taunted the besiegers to come in if they could. The garrison was well provisioned and well armed and felt secure. The Angevins stayed nearly three weeks, until 19 October, and then abandoned the attempt. Orderic says the Angevins fled suddenly, leaving behind tents, food, wine, weapons and clothes, but does not say why. One would guess news, perhaps false news, of an approaching army. Ten days later Geoffrey returned and recovered some of his abandoned possessions.

The expedition ended with another disaster, this time at Touques. The Angevins arrived there in November, which at least meant that they had broken right through central Normandy to the sea. Geoffrey intended to use the town as a base for an attack on the nearby castle of Bonneville-sur-Touques. Many of the citizens fled, and the invaders found empty houses well stocked with food and drink. Others were still at home and were taken prisoner as they sat in their chairs. The Angevins prepared feasts in celebration.

William Trussebot, the castellan of the nearby castle, had heard of the arrival of the enemy. He contacted the citizens of Touques and arranged a plan. Boys and women were sent quietly back to start no less than forty-six fires in every part of the town. Chaos followed. The relaxing Angevins were taken by surprise. Outside the town Trussebot waited with his men, but there was so much confusion that no real conflict took place. The Angevins panicked and fled, both sides confused by the billowing smoke. Count Geoffrey found himself sheltering in a cemetery. At dawn he decided to abandon Touques and rode for Argentan, ‘not without disgrace’.21

By 1141, Geoffrey had made a little steady progress, but was far from certain of complete or even partial success. Stephen’s appointed deputies, at first William of Roumare and Roger the viscount, later Waleran of Meulan and William of Ypres, defended the duchy effectively. From the little that Orderic has to say about the period, one would suspect that Normandy was relatively peaceful from 1139 to 1141, though Geoffrey did make one or two further incursions, including a revenge attack on Robert Marmion for holding Falaise against him.22 This involved besieging and then taking Robert’s castle of Fontenay-le-Marmion, near Exmes, on the right bank of the Orne, which was then destroyed.

The Battle of Lincoln had a dramatic effect upon the Norman situation. As in England, most magnates believed that Stephen’s reign was ended and that Matilda would take over in the kingdom and perhaps in the duchy. At any rate, the sensible thing to do was seek terms with the man on the spot, and save one’s estates. Orderic says ‘when Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, heard that his wife had won the day, he came at once into Normandy, sent out envoys to the magnates and commanded them as of right to hand over their castles to him’.23

Geoffrey’s power was soon established as far as the Seine, and opposition to him began to look a very risky choice. As in England in 1141 most nobles came to terms with Matilda, so in Normandy they did with her husband. Even some of Stephen’s chief supporters at that time, now did the prudent thing, including Waleran, Count of Meulan, one of Stephen’s main representatives in defending the duchy against Geoffrey, who was ‘superior to all the rest of the Norman nobles in castles, wealth and the number of his connections’.24 Rotrou, Count of Mortagne, and John, Bishop of Lisieux, head of the administration of Normandy for Stephen, and who had resisted Geoffrey’s previous attempts to take his city, both joined Geoffrey.

Waleran of Meulan’s desertion was perhaps reluctant. So far as is known he never opposed Stephen directly in arms after his move, and at the end of the reign, after going on the Second Crusade, was helping the king again indirectly through a second change of allegiance to the King of France.25 But it was a serious loss to Stephen’s power in Normandy in 1141.

One must remember that Robert of Gloucester was also a major Norman landholder, so that Geoffrey’s position in the duchy was now transformed. Geoffrey’s conquest would undoubtedly have progressed faster, had he not at the same time been reinforcing comital power at home. He had to subdue two major rebellions in Anjou during the decade which saw the conquest of the duchy. By the end of that decade his authority was firmly established in both areas.

The Norman nobility held an assembly at Mortagne to debate the situation with Stephen in prison, and decided once again to offer the rule of the duchy to Stephen’s brother, Theobald of Blois. Theobald not only refused, but actually suggested that they should offer it to Geoffrey, on condition that Geoffrey recognize his right to Tours, release Stephen, and restore him. Geoffrey was not likely to fulfil these conditions, but Theobald seems now to have lost any desire to rule Normandy in person. The outcome of all this was that the Normans accepted Geoffrey, and ‘many who had previously resisted the Angevins had now given way to them … [and] recognized the lordship of Count Geoffrey and Matilda’.26

Geoffrey’s steady accumulation of castles continued. One recalls that the visit of Robert of Gloucester in 1142 to seek aid in England merely resulted in Robert being dragged along in the count’s wake as he captured some ten castles, including Aulnay and Mortain. It was the beginning of Geoffrey’s westwards push, and was obviously encouraged by the assistance of a major landholder in that region, Robert himself.

The Rout of Winchester and the release of Stephen had reversed the direction of events in England in 1142 for over a decade. Most of the former supporters of the king rejoined his ranks. But Normandy did not follow the same pattern. This was probably because, during the year’s interval, Geoffrey had made a better job of securing the duchy than Matilda had of the kingdom, and the events of 1142 in England seemed less immediate across the sea.

But though Geoffrey’s position was now far more secure, he still persevered with the gently, gently, approach of solid castle gains. He also proceeded in a logical manner to reduce the duchy by sections, with a strategic plan. His first aim had always been to move forward from his southern Norman base and keep that secure. His next drive, which took several years, was to divide the duchy in two by moving forward to the coast so that he would hold the whole of central Normandy.

From 1142, with this objective achieved, he then turned to the isolated western block of the duchy, much weakened after the change of allegiance by Robert of Gloucester. He mopped up resisting strongholds across the Orne. He then attacked each major stronghold in turn in the Cotentin, capturing Avranches and Coutances, then St-Lô and Cherbourg after short sieges. With western Normandy taken, only the vital eastern area around Rouen remained.

Geoffrey turned his attention eastwards at the same time as he was finishing off operations in the west, in 1143, taking Verneuil, and making the Seine his frontier. By January 1144 Geoffrey was able to concentrate all his efforts on eastern Normandy. He crossed the Seine at Vernon accompanied by Waleran of Meulan who had considerable influence in the eastern part of the duchy, and they besieged the Norman capital, Rouen. The Count of Anjou camped on a hill overlooking the city, at La Trinité-du-Mont. Trees were felled, throwing engines set up, and the walls given a hammering.

The town soon surrendered, though Geoffrey’s attack had dealt a fair amount of damage in the meantime, as did a strong wind on the very day he entered Rouen. Then Rouen’s castle, known as the Tower, was besieged, which still held out under the Earl of Warenne. One side of it collapsed under the weight of stones hurled against it. The siege was a dramatic climax to the conquest of Normandy, and it was three long months before the castle finally capitulated in 1144, when running short of supplies. Other places then quickly capitulated.

Normandy had changed hands, and Geoffrey began to style himself duke. One last stronghold remained to be taken in the far north-west of the duchy, Arques. It was defended by William the Monk, a Flemish renegade from religion, now a mercenary captain in Stephen’s pay. When William the Monk was accidentally killed by an arrow during the following summer, the siege came to a quick end. There was no resistance left. By 1145 Normandy had been added to the great swathe of Angevin territories. The conquest had been a remarkable achievement, not least in that it had been achieved without a single battle throughout a whole decade of warfare. It had been accomplished by unremitting effort, by sieges and diplomacy; ‘those he subdued, he won over to himself more by clemency than by force’.27

Geoffrey ruled Normandy as duke, issuing over forty charters which have survived, and making decisions in his own name, not in either that of his wife Matilda or his son Henry. Nor is it likely that he in some way abdicated before his death, though historians frequently suggest this to be the case. What he almost certainly did do, was to begin to associate his eldest son, Henry, in the government of Normandy, with himself. This was a relatively common practice, and was grooming Henry for the succession, but does not mean that Geoffrey stood aside. Geoffrey’s rule brought peace to Normandy, and was regarded there much as his son’s rule in England. Under the previous regime, the chroniclers like Orderic had described much disorder, the duchy ‘cruelly harassed by its own sons’, who ‘gnawed themselves with their own teeth’.28 John of Marmoutier wrote that now ‘the land was quiet under the watchful count for about ten years’.29 The main problems remaining were to establish internal government, and fend off external attacks. Louis VII and Eustace made attempts to overthrow Geoffrey, but the latter arranged a peace with the king and foiled the efforts of Eustace.

It is necessary to pause a moment and consider the value of the work by John of Marmoutier, especially the History of Geoffrey, Duke of the Normans and Count of the Angevins. It is an unusual work, placed somewhere between a chronicle and an epic poem. It is partly biographical, following the exploits of Geoffrey, but is not strictly chronological, preferring generally to pursue a theme around one aspect of the count’s character or exploits. It is written in prose, but often in poetic style. I have suggested elsewhere that it may have been based upon a verse work now lost.30 It also repeats several well-known topoi and adapts them to fit its own hero. John himself admits a debt to several earlier writers, the most obvious one being Thomas of Loches, since many of the stories in theHistory are placed in and around Loches. He also, unusually for a medieval chronicler, names the men who have been his sources of information and who brought him new tales every day, including Renard Ruffus. He says he has ‘worked in the long watches of the night on this little product of my labour, searched out evidence in many places, and condensed it all’, in order to bring it to his reader.

The History was written later, well into the reign of Henry II, so as well as being poetic in style it is also not contemporary. For these sort of reasons it has been largely ignored or dismissed by historians. But the English and Norman chroniclers give us little information about Geoffrey, and that generally hostile, so the History is a useful antidote, and also is often detailed. Clearly we need to have some care in using it, but better that, than excluding its information.

The author identifies himself in the prologue as ‘Brother John, the most humble of the monks of Marmoutier, himself a cleric’, and he dedicated the work to the Bishop of Le Mans. Others he said had travelled far to tell stories of foreign lands, but ‘we undertake in our compilation only to describe the facts closest at hand, the domestic deeds of an exceptional man, Geoffrey, Duke of the Normans and Count of the Angevins’.31 He gives us a description of Geoffrey: ‘tall in body, handsome and ruddy in appearance, lean and taut, with sparkling eyes … grown strong through nature and through exercise … gentle, charming and generous of spirit.’32

Geoffrey’s was no passive rule. He had long experience by now of rule in Anjou. In a story told by John of Marmoutier, the count was lost during a hunting expedition.33 He met up with a soot-covered peasant, who did not recognize him. ‘Tell me, good fellow,’ he asked, ‘what do men say about our count?’ The peasant replied that Count Geoffrey was a lover of the law, a guardian of peace, a conqueror of his enemies and a helper of the oppressed, but also went on to point out the abuses by some of his officials, of which the count was ignorant. Humbly, the peasant said he had better stop ‘in case by jabbering on in my rustic fashion, I offend your elegant ears’. Geoffrey assured him that nothing was better than speaking the truth.

As the man finished his complaints they entered in through the city gates of Loches. Then, of course, Geoffrey put right the abuses, and rewarded the peasant for his honesty. He ordered his local castellan to provide 500 shillings from the revenues kept within the castle to be given to the peasant, ‘in case the work he has lost for my sake should seem to be lost in vain’. He freed him from all exactions, and from his serfdom. He then investigated complaints from other subjects and corrected them, and punished those whose guilt had been revealed by the peasant’s remarks. He threatened to execute any who did not now confess to the abuses they had committed in his name. The author gives the count’s philosophy in a quotation: ‘value justice, you who have jurisdiction over the land’.34

It was a considerable compliment that the man who was seen with such contempt before the conquest by Orderic, became to another Norman chronicler ‘a man of great worth and energy’.35 It should not be forgotten that Geoffrey was the literate count, ‘well read’, good at debate, ‘not least when it came to a knowledge of antiquity’, who could benefit from reading Vegetius, and who was a lover of music, an intelligent and cultured man, ‘dedicated to liberal studies’.36

In Normandy, Duke Geoffrey developed an organized chancery, and under him Norman charters were streamlined by his chancellor, Thomas of Loches. Every year for the rest of his life Geoffrey spent some time in the duchy, and his son was educated there. The damage done to Rouen during the siege was repaired, including the bridge over the river and the stonework of the Tower. Geoffrey, in the government of Normandy, brought in some of his own people, such as Jocelyn de Tours, but he also employed Normans such as Robert de Neubourg, who became his steward. It has been suggested that Geoffrey was the first to introduce seneschals into Norman government.37 He used itinerant justices and the sworn inquest, and introduced the supervisory local baillage – all of which were probably inspirations for the government of Henry II. In Normandy Geoffrey had done much to produce a stable duchy for his son to rule, and it became the launching point for the successful attack upon England.


Only in comparison to his earlier efforts was the 1153 campaign a success for Henry of Anjou. In practice, even in 1153, Henry won only a few new strongholds, and made little military impact on the steadily royal regions. At best, militarily, he had reopened a war which had seemed dead – but this was perhaps the kernel of his overall victory.

Henry, now Duke of Normandy, arrived in England again on 6 January 1153, braving rough seas in a winter crossing. Even now he could not afford a large force. He brought a mere 140 knights, with 3,000 infantry, in 36 ships. The mercenaries he brought proved unpopular, and his friends persuaded him to send them back to Normandy. Many of them in fact drowned on their return journey. Henry’s hope was to raise forces in England. News of his arrival spread through the land, ‘like a quivering bed of reeds swept by the blasts of the wind’. But again there was disappointment that his force was not larger.38

Henry was certainly a person of greater standing in 1153 than he had been in 1149. He had become sole Duke of Normandy as well as Count of Anjou on his father’s death in 1151. Henry also acquired at least a claim to Aquitaine through his marriage to Eleanor in 1152, ‘unlooked-for good fortune’. Eleanor was the heiress to the great duchy of Aquitaine in southern France. She had been married to Louis VII, King of France, but it had been a troubled match. She had gone with her husband on the Second Crusade, and dallied with her attractive uncle, Raymond of Tripoli. She said that being married to Louis was more like being wed to a monk than a king. She bore him daughters, but no son, and Louis decided upon a divorce.

Henry of Anjou and his father had been in Paris to make their peace with Louis, and probably met Eleanor during that period. By the time her divorce was arranged on 21 March, Geoffrey was dead and she left her husband’s court, evaded a number of hopeful suitors and sought out the young Henry of Anjou. The attractions of the lady, and perhaps even more of her inheritance of Aquitaine, soon won over Henry, and they were promptly married on 18 May.39 But the marriage incensed Eleanor’s former husband, Louis VII of France, who now joined with Stephen and Eustace to try and dislodge the Angevins from Normandy.

Henry held off attacks on the duchy by Louis VII in alliance with Eustace, but it would still be taking a very considerable risk to come to England in 1153. Waleran of Meulan, for one, took advantage of his absence to cause trouble in the duchy. But Eustace, like his father, gave his priority to the English war, and followed Henry across the Channel.

The 1153 campaign was seen by Leedom as a triumph, Henry showing himself to be ‘a brilliant military commander’. He claimed that Henry ‘won impressive victories over King Stephen in that year’.40 But this view has been queried. Henry had some success, but also some failure, for example at Bedford and Crowmarsh. In the early pipe rolls of Henry II’s reign, the burgesses of Bedford were compensated for the harm they suffered against Stephen, presumably partly at least those inflicted on this occasion. The rival armies twice confronted each other, but there was to be no battle, and on at least one of these occasions it was Henry rather than Stephen who refused a fight.

The delicacy of Henry’s position is clear. In the poetic lines of Henry of Huntingdon:

  Before thee, Stephen’s countless hosts advance,

  Behind thee, low’rs the might pow’r of France.41

Henry knew that he could not be absent from Normandy for long. Robert of Torigny says that the Normans had believed, when Louis VII invaded, that Henry would lose all his possessions. There had also been rebellion in Aquitaine. Torigny told an obscure tale about a man who had been advised in a dream that he ought to cut off his hands and feet in order to be saved, did so, and then expired. It seems like a heavy hint that Henry had to beware. There were some significant desertions from Stephen, but in truth only a few men of standing came over to him. Robert, Earl of Leicester, was Henry’s main new acquisition, possibly driven by the need to defend the family position, threatened by Waleran’s problems in France and the conflict over Waleran’s previous holding at Worcester. As we have suggested earlier, Robert’s desertion may have occurred before 1153.

However, the recent support Henry was receiving from such as Ranulf of Chester and Hugh Bigod, could not be greatly relied on, and was bought dear. Ranulf was promised the honor of Peverel of Nottingham, a promise which antagonized Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby. Robert of Leicester was promised the restoration of the family honor of Breteuil in Normandy for his son, and was himself made steward to Henry in England and Normandy.

Henry attacked Malmesbury Castle, but Stephen’s castellan, Jordan, fought more stoutly than expected, and the citizens of the town showed their loyalty to the king by lining the walls. Henry ordered archers to shoot against those manning the walls, and began a mining operation. His men used ladders to scale the wall and broke into the town, taking over a church which sheltered some monks. Priests and monks were killed in the attack, and even the altar was robbed.42 It was the ruthless behaviour of Henry’s mercenaries at Malmesbury which led to his English supporters requesting that the foreign troops be sent home. The town was taken and now Henry besieged the castle.


Approximate areas of control, 1153.

The castellan, Jordan, escaped and himself went to Stephen with an appeal for help. The king brought an army to relieve the place: ‘as though he meant to fight a pitched battle’. The two armies faced each other over the Avon, Stephen to the north, his banners glittering gold. Stephen sought battle; Henry with a smaller army refused it.43 But Stephen gained nothing because of the heavy rain and storm, which blew against his force ‘in the faces of the king and his troops, so that they could hardly support their armour or handle their spears, soaked with rain’. It also proved impossible to cross the river, so the king tamely gave up and returned to London.44 It seems that he was also persuaded to this action by the knowledge of how difficult it would be to maintain his force in the field in a hard winter and with a famine in the region. ‘It seemed as if God Himself were fighting for the duke.’45

Stephen also knew that some of his men were in negotiation with Henry and were planning to desert him, though how far we should see him as Stephen’s man by 1153 is open to doubt. It has been suggested that Robert, Earl of Leicester, may have been one of these. The whole business left Stephen feeling depressed, gloomy and downcast. Both leaders were reluctant, but both agreed a truce. The castellan, Jordan, who was supposed to destroy the castle, then surrendered it to Henry, another man apparently disillusioned by the actions of his master. Henry of Anjou had reason to feel ‘more cheerful than usual’ after Malmesbury than for many a year.46 This was the turning point in the Henrician war, and it was the attitude of the English barons, rather than any military action, which had given Henry cause for hope.

Henry had other successes in the midlands, marching through Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, successes which included the taking of Tutbury and the surrender of Warwick to him. The latter was handed over by the Countess of Warwick, in May or June of 1153, though her husband was with Stephen at the time, and is said to have died of shame over his wife’s action. The countess was half sister to Robert of Leicester and seems to have made the decision on her own behalf, managing somehow to take control of the castle from the royal soldiers who were there. The castle was taken by ‘tricking the royal garrison’ rather than by assault.47

One of Henry’s successes in 1153 was brought upon him by his favours to Ranulf of Chester, when he was forced to deal with the dissident Robert, Earl of Derby. Henry attacked, and the earl’s castle at Tutbury surrendered to him. Robert, Earl of Leicester, had made the decision to abandon Stephen, and joined Henry at this siege.48 The Earl of Derby then made an agreement with Henry, but it was a reluctant submission rather than a desertion, since Henry held his son as a hostage.

The Angevin position in the midlands was much improved in 1153, but rather because he now had the support and territories of Ranulf of Chester and Robert of Leicester, than because of military gains. He captured a few castles, including Tutbury, but he failed to take Bedford. Bedford had also come within the Beaumont territories since it had been given to Hugh the Poor by Stephen. It had passed through the marriage of his daughter, to the Beauchamp family. Henry arrived suddenly, using the sort of tactics which had served Stephen so well through the castle war. But although he set fire to the town and plundered it, he was not able to capture the castle and went away again.

By the time Henry confronted Stephen at Wallingford, according to David Crouch, he ‘had achieved little’ from his military efforts. Stephen made Wallingford his chief target in 1153, having built two counter castles against it in 1152, which were described as elaborate of their type, and set up a permanent blockade.49 Several times in the past he had besieged and attacked this constant thorn in his flesh, but always he had failed. Wallingford was a powerfully built castle on a good natural site. It was also the Angevins’ flagship castle, more easterly than any of their permanent strongholds. And it was held by that devoted and reliable friend of the Angevins, Brian fitz Count. But by 1153 the Angevin garrison was in sore straits from lack of food.

This time Stephen’s most trusty allies, the Londoners, provided a force to assist him against Wallingford, and other lords came in as well. Stephen was reaching the climax of his war. The king took the bridge over the Thames which led to the town. Roger of Hereford had joined Brian inside the castle, and they made a strong sortie, but could not break through the king’s blockade.

Roger of Hereford’s loyalty to the Angevin cause was less firm than that of his father, Miles. Probably disheartened by the blockade of Wallingford, and not hopeful for Henry’s success, he sent secretly to Stephen to suggest a deal. He would surrender to the king, on condition that Stephen assist him in gaining Worcester. The latter place was held for Waleran of Beaumont, formerly Stephen’s leading magnate, but now in the other camp, whose men had captured the rival Angevin magnate seeking to hold Worcester, William Beauchamp, and imprisoned him. William was on good terms with Roger of Hereford, and it must have seemed like a good opportunity for the king, who had little to lose, since his own influence in the town had virtually vanished. It was another opportunity offered to Stephen because of division within the Angevin ranks. Indeed, Stephen was convinced, and raised a force to besiege Worcester. This was to prove an abortive hope for Stephen. Because he was worried about other events, in the end he left Roger to continue the siege alone, though some royal troops also stayed. When Roger eventually won back Worcester, he then immediately abandoned Stephen once more. Of the cynical baronial moves during the reign, of which there were probably fewer than have been imagined, this was surely one of the most barefaced.

Henry now approached Wallingford and besieged the counter castle at Crowmarsh, which was on a high mound and guarding the bridge, with Wallingford just over the river. This indecisive meeting was to prove the last major conflict of the war. According to Gervase of Canterbury, the counter castle at Crowmarsh possessed a wooden tower.50 Henry arrived there suddenly, his men clambering up the slopes and entering the outer enclosure. But he had been outmanoeuvred, and hidden royal forces suddenly appeared and set upon the Angevin troops. Henry did not give up his attempt, and ‘erected a strong earthwork encircling both the king’s castle and his own army’. He also managed to get in some supplies to the garrison of Wallingford. Henry succeeded in capturing a wooden tower, possibly a siege tower or belfry is meant, with a garrison of twenty men. He also captured and beheaded sixty royal archers. So Henry had some success at Wallingford, but the royal army was not defeated.

The king had seen the significance of the conflict over Wallingford, and sent a considerable force of 300 knights to nearby Oxford, with orders to them and to royalists of the region, to harass the Angevin army.51 Then the king assembled an ‘inexpressibly large’ force of his own, and accompanied by Eustace and other nobles, approached Wallingford. The armies again faced each other across a river, and again recoiled from a battle. They ‘shrank on both sides from a conflict’.52 Stephen was thrown from his horse no less than three times, when it kept rearing, which left him shaken, and may have affected his attitude so that he was ready to settle for a truce.53

The nobles, nay rather the traitors of England, arose and discussed terms of peace among themselves. They loved indeed nothing better than discord, but were unwilling to commit themselves to war; for they wanted to raise up neither one nor the other of the claimants to the crown, lest by humbling the one they might become entirely subject to the other.

The chronicler adds that both leaders were ‘aware of the treachery of their followers, and were reluctantly compelled to make a truce’. During their private conference, when the two leaders had conferred alone across a stream, ‘both complained bitterly of the disloyalty of their nobles’.54 One wonders what was Stephen’s impression of his young rival; was it the occasion when he was swayed towards his eventual decision over the succession? Certainly, afterwards, Eustace rode off in a very bad temper.

Although Stephen was not defeated on either occasion, his loss of Malmesbury, and now his agreement of a truce at Wallingford which allowed the destruction of his counter castle at Crowmarsh, shows that in the negotiations at least, Henry was gaining the upper hand, and given their relative strengths, this is itself a curious fact.

The truce in any case did not halt the fighting for long. But after Wallingford, there were only minor operations by either side. Henry went on to drive a small royalist force back into Oxford, capturing twenty prisoners, and then to attack Stamford. He broke into the town, but had to besiege the castle. Because Stephen was unable to come to its aid, diverted by Hugh Bigod, Stamford surrendered on terms on 31 August.

At Nottingham, Henry again suffered a military reverse. Ranulf of Chester had an interest here, since he had an enduring hatred of its constable, William Peverel of Nottingham. It was said that the latter, when Earl Ranulf was his guest, had tried to kill him and his men with poisoned wine. Three men died, but Earl Ranulf, after suffering agonizingly, recovered because he had drunk less than the others. This is one of those stories which is impossible to verify.55 Henry took the town, but the castle resisted, and when the garrison itself fired the town, he was forced to move out.

At Winchester the armies approached each other again, but this time a more lasting peace was agreed. The civil war, in fact, was over, though possibly few realized it at first. The fighting of 1153 was neither very dramatic nor decisive. Henry’s position was stronger than it had ever been, but mainly because a number of people had switched their allegiance to him. The main feeling that comes from studying the warfare of 1153, is its desultory nature, as if men on both sides were simply fed up with war.


  1.  The new manuscript is known as the Valenciennes or Vicoigne, having been found in the municipal library at Valenciennes, but having formerly belonged to the abbey of Vicoigne, a daughter house of Laon. It seems to be a copy of the Laon ms, made when that was complete to 1154.

  2.  The lost section begins in Gesta Stephani, p. 215, and Henry is the lawful heir in line two of the text, and several times afterwards. The section by the second writer, however, probably begins on p. 205, which Davis suggests as the break point for what in his view was written by the same author in two parts, and the first reference to lawful heir occurs just after this. On King David, pp. 216–17; on Ranulf, pp. 184–5, 236–7 and p. 236 n. 2; on Walter de Pinkeney, pp. 178–9, 212–13.

  3.  Even the Laon manuscript, which was edited in 1619 by Duchesne but has not been seen since, was probably not the autograph, and had four important gaps due to lost leaves. The Laon ms came to an end in 1147.

  4.  R.H.C. Davis, ‘The authorship of the Gesta Stephani’, EHR, lxxvii, 1962, pp. 209–32.

  5.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 204–07.

  6.  Ibid., pp. 206–07.

  7.  Ibid.

  8.  C.W. Hollister, ‘The magnates of Stephen’s reign: reluctant anarchists’, HSJ, v, 1993, p. 79.

  9.  J.H. Round, ‘King Stephen’, pp. 87–91.

10.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 198–9.

11.  Ibid., pp. 208–9.

12.  Ibid., pp. 216–17.

13.  R.H. Cunnington, Some Annals of the Borough of Devizes, Devizes, 1925; E.H. Stone, Devizes Castle, Devizes, 1920; R.H. Cunnington, ‘Devizes Castle: a suggested revision’, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, li, 1945–7, pp. 496–9; R.H. Cunnington, ‘The Borough of Devizes’, VCH, Wiltshire, ed. E. Crittall, x, 1975.

14.  W.L. Warren, Henry II, 1973, p. 33.

15.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 226–7.

16.  Ibid., pp. 228–31.

17.  Orderic, vi, pp. 444–5.

18.  Robert of Torigny, in Stevenson, p. 46; Torigny, in Howlett, iv, p. 128.

19.  Orderic, vi, pp. 482–3.

20.  Robert of Torigny, RS, p. 132 says he planned to enter the land of Geoffrey: ‘in terram comitis’.

21.  Orderic, vi, pp. 526–9.

22.  Robert of Torigny, in Stevenson, p. 52; Torigny, in Howlett, p. 139.

23.  Orderic, vi, pp. 546–7.

24.  Torigny, in Howlett, p. 142: ‘qui omnibus Normanniae primalibus, et firmitatibus et redditibus et affinibus praestabat’.

25.  G.H. White, ‘The career of Waleran, Count of Meulan and Earl of Worcester, 1104–1166’, TRHS, 4th ser., xvii, 1934, pp. 19–48, p. 47.

26.  Orderic, vi, pp. 548–51.

27.  John of Marmoutier, p. 177.

28.  Orderic, vi, pp. 454–62.

29.  John of Marmoutier, p. 215.

30.  Bradbury, ‘Geoffrey V’.

31.  John of Marmoutier, pp. 172–5, the prologue.

32.  Ibid., pp. 176–7.

33.  Ibid., pp. 183–91.

34.  Ibid., p. 191.

35.  Robert of Torigny, in Howlett, iv, pp. 162–3.

36.  Bradbury, ‘Geoffrey V’ pp. 21–38.

37.  C.H. Haskins, ‘Normandy under Geoffrey Plantagenet’, EHR, xvii, 1912, pp. 417–44.

38.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 291; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 285: ‘subitis afflata rumoribus infrenduit terra, velut arundinetum Zephyro vibrante collisum’.

39.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 226–7.

40.  J.W. Leedom, ‘The English Settlement of 1153’, History, lxv, 1980, pp. 347–64, pp. 357, 347.

41.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 290; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 285.

42.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 230–3.

43.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 291; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 286.

44.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 292; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 286.

45.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 291; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 286: ‘ut Deus ipse videretur pro duce rem agere’; Gervase, Opera, i, p. 152, makes the same point ‘as if they were contending against God’.

46.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 232–5, and p. 235, n. 2.

47.  Ibid., pp. 234–5; Robert of Torigny, in Stevenson, p. 70; Torigny, in Howlett, p. 172.

48.  Ibid., pp. 234–5.

49.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 226–7.

50.  Gervase, Opera, i, p. 153.

51.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 236–9.

52.  Ibid., pp. 238–9.

53.  Gervase, Opera, i, p. 153.

54.  Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Forester, p. 293; Henry of Huntingdon, ed. Arnold, p. 288: ‘de proditione procerum suorum anxie conquerentes uterque’.

55.  Gesta Stephani, pp. 236–7.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!