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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 53

MATILDA OF BOULOGNE, QUEEN OF STEPHEN. whose gates flew open to the tramping Bound of his horses, and whose citizens with their myriad voices joyously hailed him as their King, No less favourably was he received by the good citizens of Winchester, who, influenced by his brother, Henry do lilois, their bishop, freely admitted him within the gates of the royal city, and, to crown his good fortune, William do Pont de la Arche resigned to him the toys of the royal castle, which at once put him in possession of the royal jewels and £100,000 in money, a sum equal in the present day to about a million and a half, and which he speedily expended in futile attempts to firmly fix the crown on his usurping brow. Meanwhile, Hugh Bigod, the late king's steward, and a hot partizan of Stephen's, solemnly swore before an assembly of the barons and prelates, that King Henry on his death-bed had disinherited the Empress Matilda, and constituted his favourite nephew, Earl Stephen, his successor. This bold statement of Bigod's—whether true or false —afforded the assembly what they so much desired, a pretext for breaking the oaths of fealty they had thrice sworn to the daughter of the late king. Accordingly the Archbishop of Canterbury absolved them of their vows, which he declared were null and void, as the English had never suffered a woman to reign over them ; and on the twenty-sixth of December, the day dedicated to his titular saint, Stephen, after swearing to restore the good laws of the sainted Edward, was crowned at Westminster, amidst the deafening acclamations of his faithful Londoners. Matilda of Boulogne, sometimes styled Maud of Boulogne, the subject of the present memoir, and the consort of Stephen, did not arrive in England till the spring of the succeeding year; when on Easter Sunday, 1136, the solemnization of her coronation took place, accompanied by gorgeous pageants, and succeeded by hearty and long-continued rejoicings, for the people beheld in her a worthy successor to Matilda the Good, whose memory they still fondly cherished. Very little is known of the early life of Matilda. She is said to have received her education in England, and the Abbey of Jiermondsey, of which her mother was a munificent patroness, has been pointed to as the school of her childhood, but this is only conjecture. Her mother, Mary of Scotland, was the daughter of Malcolm Canmore, king of the Scots, and sister of Matilda the Good,* first consort of Henry the First of England. Mary of Scotland was educated with her elder sister in the royal nunneries of iiumsey and Wilton, and like the good Matilda, she, in the bloom of her maidenhood, resigned the seclusion of the cloister for the endearments of the married state. In compliance with the wish of her brother-in-law, King Henry, she gave her hand in marriage to Eustace, Count of Boulogne, a knight renowned for deeds of chivalry in the Holy Land, and a possessor of large estates in Essex in addition to the county of Boulogne, and whose brothers, Godfrey and Baldwin, had successively wore the warrior crown of Jerusalem. Matilda of Boulogne, the last of the Anglo-Norman Queens of England, was the sole offspring of the marriage, and Beauclerc, being desirous to secure to his own kindred the valuable possessions to which she was inheritrix, gave her in marriage to his favourite nephew Stephen, then Earl of Blois. After being previously knighted by his uncle Henry, Stephen fought valiantly at the famous battle of Tinchohraye, where, having taken the Count of Mortagnc prisoner, he received the titles and lands of Mortagnc; and on his marriage with Matilda, which probably took place in 1113, he, in her right, became Count of Boulogne. On the return of King Henry from Normandy, in 1120, Stephen embarked on board the fatal White Ship ; but perceiving that both tho passengers and the crew were young, headstrong, and addicted to riotous carousing, he, with other prudent nobles, left the vessel, declaring that such company greatly increased the perils of the voyage. Had Henry's heir, William, acted as discreetly * See her Memoir,

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