Matilda and Stephen 

A Royal Struggle

Wallingford was an important place in the struggle for the throne between Empress Matilda, Henry I’s daughter and royal heir, and her cousin Stephen, who had seized the crown while Matilda was in France. The period of the struggle (1135–1154) is known as The Anarchy.

Brien FitzCount

Brien FitzCount, Lord of Wallingford Castle, declared his support for Matilda, and strengthened the castle against attack from Stephen’s forces. Stephen laid siege to Matilda’s supporters at the castle many times, building countercastles nearby from which they could attack. FitzCount captured William Martel, Stephen’s chief steward and put him in the “Cloere Brien”, the prison he had built within the castle.

Matilda and Henry of Anjou

Matilda famously escaped imprisonment at Oxford Castle for the safety of Wallingford Castle by descending on ropes and then fleeing across the snow dressed in white. Henry of Anjou, Matilda’s son, hearing that Matilda was under siege, came across from France, and attacked Stephen’s countercastles, killing many of his troops.

Treaty of Wallingford

A battle between Stephen and Henry of Anjou was avoided through a truce, which was later confirmed as the “The Treaty of Wallingford”. The treaty said that when Stephen died, Henry would become king, rather than Stephen’s heir.

The Town Charter

Henry II showed his gratitude to Wallingford by granting the town its charter in 1155. This gave it the right to hold certain markets and exempted it from some taxes, and limited interference from its neighbours.

David Hemming

Our website makes use of non-invasive (no personal data) cookies to provide you with an enhanced user experience. By continuing to use the site, you consent to this.Close More
The UK Law now requires us to get consent from you for the use of cookies.

A cookie is a small file containing text and numbers generated by the website and passed from your browser back to our website when you revisit the site.

A cookie is used here to allow you to navigate the site, log in etc. Without this cookie (called a session cookie), this site would not work properly and so this has already been set.

We use a popular statistics tool called Google Analytics which uses non invasive cookies to allow us to find out how effective our marketing is, based on referencing how you got to our website (search engine, direct, or from another site etc).

We use an animation based rotating image which uses a cookie to know which image was last displayed so that as you move from page to page you are not seeing the same image every time.

We can also make use of third party services such as video clip players which can set cookies, for example to enable them to know that you part played a video clip previously, or to store customised settings such as brightness or volume. Close
Visitors | Your Town | Town Council | Business | What's On | History | Sitemap
©Copyright Wallingford Partnership Ltd | Powered by web design Oxford