English History Timeline 1130-1139

King Henry I King Stephen

This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1130 – 1139

The monarchs for this period were:
King Henry I to 1135
King Stephen from 1135


1130 (around)
A son, Eustace, was born to Stephen of Blois and Matilda of Boulogne.
1131 (during)
King Henry’s daughter Matilda was persuaded to return to her husband Geoffrey of Anjou. She had been dissatisfied with the marriage feeling that it was a step down from her previous marriage to the Emperor of Germany.
1132 (during)
Benedictine monks founded Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire.
1133 (during)
A royal charter established the annual Bartholomew Fair at Smithfield, London.
1133 (around)
A daughter, Matilda, was born to Stephen of Blois and Matilda of Boulogne.
1133 (5th March)
A son, Henry was born to Matilda daughter of King Henry I of England and Geoffrey of Anjou at Le Mans in France.
1134 (during)
Henry I was now openly quarrelling with his daughter and son-in-law who wanted Henry to pass power to Matilda while he was still alive. However, despite the feud with his daughter and son-in-law he still hoped that they would succeed to the throne.
1134 (10th February)
Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, who had been imprisoned in Cardiff Castle since 1106, died.
1134 (1st June)
A second son, Geoffrey was born to Matilda and Geoffrey Plantagenet at Rouen in France.
1135 (around)
Stephen of Blois’ son, Baldwin, died.
1135 (around)
A son, William, was born to Stephen and Matilda.
1135 (early)
King Henry I’s daughter Matilda was concerned that she did not have much support in England and asked her father to strengthen her position by giving her land and property in Normandy and to make the nobility swear a new oath of allegiance to her. King Henry refused her request and relations between the two became distant.
1135 (26th May)
A fire in London damaged St Paul’s Cathedral and London Bridge.
1135 (late November)
King Henry I became ill after eating lampreys against his doctor’s advice. It soon became evident that Henry I was dying. His daughter and son-in-law were in Anjou and some days away from England. Henry’s nephew, Stephen, on the other hand, was in Boulogne, a mere days travel from England.
1135 (22nd November)
King Henry I died. On his deathbed he nominated his daughter, Matilda, to be his successor. Matilda made a claim for the throne but had little support from the barons. She was also pregnant and unable to make the journey to England.
1135 (22nd November)
When Stephen of Blois heard of the death of his uncle, he rode to Winchester, where, with the support of his brother, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, he took control of the treasury. Roger of Salisbury also supported Stephen’s bid to be King instead of Henry I’s daughter, Matilda.
1135 (22nd December)
Stephen took the throne of England. He was supported by the Barons, who generally felt that women were unfit to rule.
1135 (26th December)
The Archbishop of Canterbury was persuaded to crown Stephen. It was argued that the oath of allegiance sworn to support Matilda was invalid as it had been exacted by force. A fictitious story was also put about that King Henry had changed his mind about the succession on his deathbed.
1136 (during)
Geoffrey of Monmouth published his History of the Kings of England (Historia Regum Britanniae).
1136 (early)
Geoffrey of Anjou invaded Normandy in his wife’s name, but had little success.
1136 (1st January)
Battle of Llwchwy
This was a revolt against Norman rule in South Wales which saw the Welsh defeat the English.
1136 (January)
David I of Scotland invaded England and took Carlisle, Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. On hearing the news Stephen marched north with an army.
1136 (4th January)
Henry I was buried in Reading Abbey.
1136 (5th February)
Treaty of Durham
This was a peace treaty between King Stephen and David I of Scotland which gave Stephen control of Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle, while David I gained control of Carlisle, Cumberland and Lancashire.
1136 (22nd March)
Stephen’s wife, Matilda, was crowned Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey.
1136 (15th April)
Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Norman lord of Ceredigion, was ambushed and killed by Welsh rebels.
1136 (22nd July)
A third son, William, was born to Matilda and Geoffrey Plantagenet at Argentan.
1136 (October)
Battle of Crug Mawr
This battle in Wales saw the Normans defeated by the forces of Owain Gwynedd.
1136 (21st November)
William de Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1137 (Spring)
Following the murder of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, South Wales rose in rebellion led by Owain Gwynedd and Gruffydd ap Rhys. The rebels made gains including Carmarthen Castle. Richard’s brother Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de Clare and Lord Robert Fitz Harold of Ewyas were sent to put down the rebellion but had little success.
1137 (Spring)
King Stephen decided against committing more troops to subdue Wales.
1137 (March)
King Stephen invaded Normandy. He tried to form an alliance with King Louis VI of France but lost control of his army and was forced to agree peace with Geoffrey of Anjou. Stephen agreed to pay 2000 marks per year if Geoffrey maintained peace on the Norman border.
1137 (8th March)
Adela of Blois, Stephen’s mother and daughter of William I, died.
1138 (late January)
David I of Scotland made a number of raids in Northumberland. He took Norham Castle and put Wark Castle to siege.
1138 (May)
The Anarchy
Matilda’s half brother Robert of Gloucester decided to support Matilda’s bid to be crowned Queen. This move marked the beginning a period of Civil War known as The Anarchy.
1138 (10th June)
Battle of Clitheroe
King David I’s nephew, William Fitz Duncan, defeated the English in this battle fought on the Bowland Fells.
1138 (22nd August)
Battle of the Standard
David I of Scotland was defeated at Cowton Moor near Northallerton in Yorkshire. The English army, raised by Archbishop Thurstan of York, fought round a wagon bearing the banners of the northern saints giving the battle its name.
1139 (8th January)
Theobald of Bec became Archbishop of Canterbury.
1139 (9th April)
Second Treaty of Durham
King Stephen did not want to fight a war on two fronts and so decided to make peace with David I of Scotland. This second Treaty of Durham ceded control of much of Northumberland to David’s son, Henry.
1139 (June)
Stephen ordered the arrest of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury and Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln for refusing to give up their castles to the King.
1139 (30th September)
Matilda landed near Arundel. She had the support of her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester and David I of Scotland.
1139 (October)
Stephen marched south and put the castle of Arundel to siege but then backed down and allowed Matilda to leave and join with Robert of Gloucester.
1139 (after October)
Supported by Robert of Gloucester, Matilda quickly gained control of the south-west of England
1139 (7th November)
Robert of Gloucester’s forces took Worcester.
1139 (11th December)
Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, died.


First published 2016; updated and republished May 17 2022 @ 3:18 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016 – 2022). English History 1130 – 1139.

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