Sometimes, history has to make a side step to clear the way for the bigger path in time, things need to be cleaned up or explained better , someone married someone else before and had offspring who would later cause trouble for the right inheritence of the throne.. , some nephew survived and had a better claim or daughters had sons who would come to cause trouble in their mother's name.. find out below who was who, why and what .. and of course what to read to know a bit more about them.
William the Conqueror had several sons and daughters .. to understand this part of history you need to know about 2, Henry Beauclrec ( who became king henry I, click this link to check out his page) and his sister Adela of England.
He married and had a son and a daughter, she married the duke of Blois and gave birth to a lot of offspring including 3 sons who are important to this story .
Henry's son died on a shipwreck just outside the harbour of Barfleur in 1120, leaving henry in a predicament on the succession of his throne. He only had a daughter and had trouble getting any other heirs by his second wife Adeliza of Louvain, this was probably because of the many bastard children he had sired over the years because with William d' Aubigny,Earl of Lincoln, Adeliza had many children after Henry died.
His sister Adela had at least 3 sons ; Theobald, duke of Blois, Stephen who was a favorite of his uncle Henry 1 because he was of the same age as his deceased son William Aetheling, and Henry of Blois who was made Abbot of Glastonburry and Bishop of Winchester.
Henry 's only daughter Matilda was married to Henry 5, the holy roman Emperor by the age of 8 in 1110 and spend 15 years in Europe supporting her husband and even as a regent for some time.
After the emperor died childless in 1125 her father Henry 1 summoned her back to England as a important negotiation pawn for futher alliances.
He married her off at the age of 26 to the 11 years younger Geoffrey of Anjou, future duke of that Anjou.
It was not a happy marriage and Matilda never used the title Countess of Anjou, after some time though the couple managed to have 3 sons and lived seperatly after that but always with their joined interest in Anjou, Normandy and later England.
Geoffrey invaded and conquered Normandy for Mathilda and their sons while she was busy going to war in England... but I'm getting ahead of myself..
So matilda and Stephen where first cousins and probably shared in eachothers company before the rift.
Stephen was even summoned to London to pay hommage to Matilda as heir to henry 1.
But when Henry died in 1135 matilda was in her last term of pregnancy and held court in Anjou, she was in no condition to travel to England.
Stephen hurried to London and had himself crowned king and that's the reason why Matilda and Stephen fought wars over the throne.
Why Geoffrey of Anjou invaded Normandy .. and why bastard son's and daughters could be very important to the royal family ( Matilda's half-brother Robert of Gloucester proved to be a very good right-hand man for Matilda while she was in England)..
But neither had the power to make the deceicive blow and that's why after 18 years of unsteady rule , in 1153, Stephen signed the Treaty of Westminster.
In this treaty he promised to make Henry FitzEmpress, Matilda's 20 year old son, his only heir.
That way he could keep the throne until his dead.
It was a sour contract for Stephen because his wife and son had already died and so it must have felt like a kingship without a sparkle.. he died a year later..
For Matilda the treaty was a welcome succes after her long struggle for the throne, she never was officially queen of England and made a series of fatal mistakes in England that set the people of London against her, after the loss of her half-brother she left England and left the struggle to her then 16 year old son Henry... who became Henry II , king of England and duke of Anjou, Normandy, Poitou and Acquitaine.. the first Plantagenet king.
Want to read about Matilda? scroll down to see a few suggestions about her.
For Stepehen I suggest you go to his page : Stephen.
Henry 2 is our next king in the Royal family tree, click this link to go to his page!
Click on the image below to see the whole picture
Click on this image to go back to my
kings and queens of england page
Click on Henry I image to find out more about him ..