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Unformatted text preview: of the general ill police and turbulent government, extremely abounded.r These mercenary troops guarded his throne, by the terrors of the sword; and Stephen, that he might also overawe all malcontents by new and additional terrors of religion, procured a bull from Rome, which ratified his title, and which the pope, seeing this prince in possession of the throne, and pleased with an appeal to his authority in secular controversies, very readily granted him.s Matilda and her husband Geoffrey, were as unfortunate in 1136. Normandy as they had been in England. The Norman nobility, moved by an hereditary animosity against the Angevins, first applied to Theobald, count of Blois, Stephen’s elder brother, for protection and assistance; but hearing afterwards, that Stephen had got possession of the English crown, and having many of them the same reasons as formerly for desiring a continuance of their union with that kingdom, they transferred their allegiance to Stephen, and put him in possession of their government. Lewis the younger, the reigning king of France, accepted the homage of Eustace, Stephen’s eldest son, for the dutchy; and the more to corroborate his connexions with that family, he betrothed his sister, Constantia, to the young prince. The count of Blois resigned all his pretensions, and received in lieu of them, an annual pension of two thousand marks; and Geoffrey himself was obliged to conclude a truce for two years with Stephen, on condition of the king’s paying him, during that time, a pension of five thousand.t Stephen, who had taken a journey to Normandy, finished all these transactions in person, and soon after returned to England. Robert, earl of Glocester, natural son of the late king, was a man of honour and abilities; and as he was much attached to the interests of his sister, Matilda, and zealous for the lineal succession, it was chiefly from his intrigues and resistance, that the king had reason to dread a new revolution of government. This nobleman, who was in Normandy when he received intelligence of Stephen’s accession, found himself much embarrassed concerning the measures, which he should pursue in that difficult emergency. To swear allegiance to the usurper appeared to him PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 198 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 dishonourable, and a breach of his oath to Matilda: To refuse giving this pledge of his fidelity was to banish himself from England, and be totally incapacitated from serving the royal family, or contributing to their restoration.u He offered Stephen to do him homage and to take the oath of fealty; but with an express condition, that the king should maintain all his stipulations, and should never invade any of Robert’s rights or dignities: And Stephen, though sensible, that this reserve, so unusual in itself, and so unbefitting the duty of a subject, was meant only to afford Robert a pretence for a revolt on the first favourable opportunity, was obliged, by the numerous friends and retainers of that nobleman, to receive him on those terms.w The clergy, who could scarcely, at this time,...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08