11 Facts About The Anarchy


Origins of the Anarchy lay in a succession crisis involving England and Normandy.

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The Anarchy's husband died in 1125 and she was remarried in 1128 to Geoffrey V of Anjou, whose county bordered the Duchy of Normandy.

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The Anarchy's parents allied themselves with Henry, and Stephen, as a younger son without lands of his own, became Henry's client, travelling as part of his court and serving in his campaigns.

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The Anarchy was known for his qualities as a statesman, his military experience and leadership ability.

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The Anarchy had established her court in Gloucester, close to Robert's stronghold of Bristol but far enough away for her to remain independent of her half-brother.

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The Anarchy started by attacking Wallingford Castle which controlled the Thames corridor; it was held by Brien FitzCount and Stephen found it too well defended.

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The Anarchy was initially left confined in relatively good conditions, but his security was later tightened and he was kept in chains.

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The Anarchy had made a private deal with the Empress Matilda that he would deliver the support of the church, if she agreed to give him control over church business in England.

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The Anarchy left his father and returned home to Cambridge to gather more funds for a fresh campaign, where he fell ill and died the next month.

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The Anarchy began issuing royal writs for the south-west of England and travelled to York where he held a major court in an attempt to impress upon the northern barons that royal authority was being reasserted.

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Much of the modern history of the civil war of the Anarchy is based on accounts of chroniclers who lived in, or close to, the middle of the 12th century, forming a relatively rich account of the period.

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