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Unformatted text preview: f great hopes, to take a journey into England, and appear at the head of his partizans. This expedient, however, 1143. produced nothing decisive. Stephen took Oxford after a long siege: He was defeated by earl Robert at Wilton: And the empress, though of a masculine spirit, yet being harassed with a variety of good and bad fortune, and alarmed with continual dangers to her person and family, at last retired into Normandy, whither she had sent her son some 1146. Continuation of time before. The death of her brother, which happened nearly the civil wars. about the same time, would have proved fatal to her interests, had not some incidents occurred, which checked the course of Stephen’s prosperity. This prince, finding that the castles built by the noblemen of his own party encouraged the spirit of independance, and were little less dangerous than those which remained in the hands of the enemy, endeavoured to extort from them a surrender of those fortresses; and he alienated the affections of many of them by this equitable demand. The artillery also of the church, which his brother had brought over to his side, had, after some interval, joined the other party. Eugenius III. had mounted the papal throne; the bishop of Winchester was deprived of the legantine commission, which was conferred on Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, the enemy and rival of the former legate. That pontiff also, having summoned a general council at Rheims in Champagne, instead of allowing the church of England, as had been usual, to elect its own deputies, nominated five English bishops to represent that church, and required their attendance in the council. Stephen, who, notwithstanding his present difficulties, was jealous of the rights of his crown, refused them permission to attend;s and the pope, sensible of his advantage in contending with a prince who reigned by a disputed title, took revenge by laying all Stephen’s party under an interdict.t The discontents of the royalists at being thrown into this situation, were augmented by a comparison with Matilda’s party, who 1147. enjoyed all the benefits of the sacred ordinances; and Stephen was at last obliged, by making proper submissions to the see of Rome, to remove the reproach from his party.u The weakness of both sides, rather than any decrease of mutual 1148. animosity, having produced a tacit cessation of arms in England, many of the nobility, Roger de Moubray, William de Warenne, and others, finding no opportunity to exert their military ardor at home, inlisted themselves in a new crusade, which with surprising success, after former disappointments and misfortunes, was now preached by St. Barnard.w But an event soon after happened, which threatened a revival of hostilities in England. Prince Henry, who had reached his sixteenth year, PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 204 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 was desirous of receiving the honour of knighthood; a ceremony which every ge...
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