SigakuKenkyu_168_68.pdf 1.07 MB
Stephen's Anarchical Reign (1135-54) and the Church in England
It has generally been said that in the anarchical reign of Stephen the Church elevated its status by making use of the conflicts between Stephen and his cousin, Empress Matilda. This paper clarifies how the Church strengthened its position at every opportunity during the reign. The moments crucial for Stephen and Matilda were often the occasions favourable to the Church. It should also be remembered that the relationship between the king and the Church was influenced both by domestic conditions and by the situations on the continent, especially that in the Papacy.
The following events are examined to exemplify how the Church strengthened its position. 1) Stephen's coronation realized by the help of his brother, Henry of Blois Bishop of Winchester and the Church's gaining the king's charter for the freedom of the Church. 2) The case of the arrest of Roger Bishop of Salisbury and his nephews, Bishops of Lincoln and Ely and the trial and 'election' of the king at the Church councils. 3)Pope Eugenius III's consecration of a new Archbishop of York in the face of the king's opposition. 4) Theobald Archbishop of Canterbury's firm rejection of the anointment for the royal succession of Eustace, Stepen's son.