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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Count Stephen-Henri of Blois & Countess Adela of Normandy

 319838530. Count Stephen-Henri of Blois & 756441989. Countess Adela of Normandy

1045, “Etienne-Henri” born in Blois, France, s/o 639677060. Count Thibaut III of Blois & Champagne & 639677061. Garsinde du Maine.

1049, Stephen’s father repudiated his mother; who was sent to northern Italy where she remarried Marquis Azzo. (S) Battle Conference, 1993, P106.

5/23/1059, Philip I crowned King of France.

1064, Geoffrey of Chamont witnessed 3 gifts confirmed by Stephen-Henry. (S) Battle Conference, 1993, P107.

10/25/1066, William I [the Conqueror] crowned King of England.

~1067, Adela, born in Normandy, France, d/o 378220548. William the Conqueror & 378220549. Matilda of Flanders.

1068 Fulk of Anjou bought off Stephen of Blois’ agression by giving homage for Touraine. (S) England Under the Angevin Kings, 1887, P221.


Bef. 1074, Adela betrothed to Simon Crispin, Count of Amiens.

1075, Stephen of Blois and Chartres demanded to be married to Adela [which was refused.]

1077, Simon refused to marry Adela and became a monk.

1/11/1078, A charter to Cluny subscribed by: ‘… Tetbaldi comitis, Stephani comitis, Adeladis comitisse.’

Bef. 1080, Geoffrey of Chamont was again allied with Thibaud III and his son Stephen-Henry in support of King William of England. (S) Battle Conference, 1993, P112.

[–––Stephen & Adela–––]

1080, Stephen of Blois and Chartres again demanded to be married to Adela; which was accepted. Adela was married [by proxy] at Breteuil.

1081-84, Stephen of Blois killed notorious Count Bouchard of Corbeil with a blow from his lance. (S) Victory in the East, France, 1994, P50.

~1083, In Chartres, Stephen publically married Adela.

11/2/1083, Adela’s mother died.

9/26/1087, Adela’s brother William Rufus crowned King of England. Her brother Robert, Duke of Normandy.

1089, Stephen’s father died leaving him as heir of Blois and Champagne [his half-brothers Odo, and then Hugh, receiving Epernay, Bar-sur-Aube and Vitry.] At the time Stephen’s father described him as generous, sober, steady and mature.

1092, Adela swore for herself and her husband to defend Ivo of Chartres who had been captured by Hugh le Puiset.

1093, Stephen’s older brother Eudo [Odo] died; Stephen his heir. (S) The Normans, Crouch, 2006, P239.

Bef. 10/1093, Ivo sent a letter to Adela counseling against the use of force against Hugh le Puiset. [Ivo was released 10/1093 when the people of Chartres paid his ransom.]

10/28/1095, Stephen and Adela with members of the family, and Constance, d/o King Philip, attended the religious festival of the removal of St. Helena’s honoured remains to a place which had been prepared for them in the neighborhood of Hautvilliers. (S) Lives of the Queens of England, Hall, 1854, P152.

11/27/1095, at Clermont, Pope Urban proposed the 1st crusade; with a new doctrine that the blood they shed would not be held against them.

1096, Charter of Stephen-Henry: Pater meus … comiti Gaufredo Martello, … est abbatiam Majoris Monasterii, … (S) Battle Conference, 1993, P104.

1096, Stephen of Blois took the cross of a crusader. Adela assumed regency while he was away.

9/1096, Stephen a co-commander with Duke Robert Curthose of Normandy as they set out on crusade. They traveled south to Lucca, then Rome, then the south coast of Italy to the port of Bari. Not having access to ships, they wintered at Calabria.

1096-97, While Stephen was on crusade, Adela sought episcopal approval for the creation of a parish church at Francheville.

1097, Adela sent 100 soldiers to Prince Louis of France to help suppress a Norman revolt.

1097, Adela hosted Anselm, abbot of Bec and archbishop of Cantebury, traveling from England to Rome, who was in conflict with her brother King William II of England.

4/1097, The crusaders sailed from Brindisi to Durazzo; then overland by the Via Egnatia road to Constantinople.

5/1097 from Constantinople Stephen wrote: “My Countess … By the grace of God … the city of Constantinople. The Emperor received me with dignity, … In this whole army of God there is no duke, no count nor any other person of consequence, whom he trusts and befriends above me. … your father my beloved gave me many great gifts, but this generosity was as nothing compared to this.”

6/1097, The crusaders reached Nicea, joining a siege in process, while be harrassed by mounted archers of Kilij Arslan [who’s wife was in the city].

6/1097, Stephen sent a letter home: “Count Stephen to countess Adela, his sweetest friend, his wife … I tell you, my beloved, that from Nicaea, which I have spoken so much about, we shall reach Jerusalem in five weeks, unless Antioch prevents us.”

6/30/1097, Stephen and his contingent traveling with half the forces a day ahead of the other half encamped in a valley near Dorylaeum in Aisa Minor. The next morning they were attacked by archers of Kilij Arslan. Forming a defensive perimeter, they held off the attack until the Moslems were supprised by the arrival of the 2nd half of the force and had to flee, leaving behind horses and camels, as well as treasure. They then moved south.

8/1097, The crusaders reached Iconium in Asia Minor, closely populated by Armenian Christians.

8/1097, Traveling east, the crusaders engaged Seljuks at Heraclea, easily winning the city. The crusaders then divided their forces again, one part taking the Roman road that went shortest distance, but required difficult mountainous conditions; the other taking a longer, safer route, that could encounter early snowfalls. Stephen was with the main body of forces on the longer route to Caesarea-in-Cappadocia.

1097, Leaving Caesarea, they traveled through the mountains capturing small towns including Coxon. Clearing the Taurus mountains, they arrived at Antioch [which Stephen said of it: “a very great city, stronger than one can imagine, and utterly impregnable.”]

10/1097 at Antioch, the crusaders 1st captured the Iron Bridge to seal access from the east.

1096-97, While Stephen was on crusade, Adela sought the support of Ivo of Chartres to get the nuns at Faremoutiers to reform themselves.

12/1097-2/1098, Cold and rain prevented much activity. Stephen wrote: “We have suffered … throughout the whole of winter, from excessive cold and great deluges.” During this time Stephen was titled ‘leader, planner and manager’ of the army, and put in charge of the treasury. [A chronicler noted that by February, as many had died of sickness as had died in battle.]

4/1098, letter of Stephen: “Count Stephen to Adele, his sweetest and most amiable wife, to his dear children, and to all his vassals of all ranks, his greeting and blessing. … the messenger whom I sent to give you pleasure, left me before Antioch safe and unharmed, … our princes, with the common consent of the whole army, against my own wishes, have made me up to the present time the leader, chief and director of their whole expedition. … after the capture of the city of Nicaea we fought a great battle with the perfidious Turks and by God's aid conquered them. Next we conquered for the Lord all Romania and afterwards Cappadocia. And we learned that there was a certain Turkish prince Assam, dwelling in Cappadocia; thither we directed our course. All his castles we conquered by force and compelled him to flee to a certain very strong castle situated on a high rock. … city of Antioch, we besieged it and very often …, we fought with the fiercest courage, … these seven battles by the aid of the Lord God, we conquered and most assuredly killed an innumerable host of them. In those battles, indeed, and in very many attacks made upon the city, many of our brethren and followers were killed and their souls were borne to the joys of paradise. … 12,000 picked Turkish horsemen suddenly came to aid the inhabitants of Antioch. … we attacked them at three leagues' distance with 700 soldiers, on a certain plain near the "Iron Bridge." God, however, fought for us, His faithful, against them. For on that day, fighting in the strength that God gives, we conquered them and killed an innumerable multitude, … The emperor of Babylon also sent Saracen messengers to our army with letters, and through these he established peace and concord with us. … during Lent [a battle on the bridge] the number of Turks and Saracens killed is reckoned at 1,230, but of ours we did not lose a single man.”

6/2/1098, Stephen took his Blois contingent and returned to the coast, and then Alexandretta; from which he returned home. [A letter to his wife implies he may have been ill. Antioch fell the next day; but the were then put under siege by another Muslim army.]

1098, Adela became seriously ill, and attributed her recovery to the intercession of St. Agiles.

1099, Stephen returned home from the crusade, somewhat disgraced for leaving the siege of Antioch.

8/5/1100, Adela’s brother Henry I crowned King of England.

1100-01, Charte de Comte Hugues: “… These witnesses are: … Adela, countess and daughter of the king of the English, and her three sons, William, Thibaut, and Stephen …”

6/1101, At Adela’s urging, Stephen on the minor crusade with William, count of Poitou, departed from Nicomedia. (S) 1st Crusade, Riley-Smith, 2009, P162.

1101, Ivo, humble minister of the church of Chartres, to Adela, excellent countess, greetings and the gift of prayers. … [letter addressed church rights].

5/19/1102, Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres, killed on crusade at the battle of Ramla.


1102, Adela regent for her sons [and  her childless brother-in-law Hugh, Count of Troyes, while he was on crusade]. Adela’s regencey covered over 350 castles and large properties throughout France including Chartres.

1103, Adela, hosting Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury at her home, met with the Pope who was visiting Chartres.

1103, Ivo of Chartres wrote a letter to Adela about things being said about him not being true.

1104, Hildebert of Lavardin sent a letter to Adela requesting safe conduct.

Bef. 5/1105, Adela, feigning an illness, asked Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, on his way to England to excommunicate her brother King Henry, to take a detour to visit her. [This gave King Henry time to prepare a response to the papal order.]

5/24/1105, Anselm wrote to the Pope praising Adela’s mediation in the dispute between her brother King Henry and himself.

1105, Adela restored to the canons of Bourgmoyen, Blois, their liberties and petitioned Ivo of Chartres for his confirmation.

4/1106 at Chartres, Adela of Blois, countess of Blois-Champagne, hosted the wedding of Constance Capet, sister of Louis VI [‘rex designatus’] and Bohemond I of Antioch. Constance’s father King Philip I attended. (S) Early Gothic Column-Figure Sculpture in France, Snyder, P167.

4/1107, Ivo, humble minister by the grace of God of the church of Chartres, to Adela, excellent countess, to know good and do it. We heard that you have by your order forbidden travel, bread, water, and all the necessities of this life which are in your power to our sons, canons of St. Mary [Notre Dame].  … [The Pope, again at Chartres, settled the dispute between Adela and Ivo.]

1107, Adela granted to Sainte-Poi, Coulommiers, 7 hospites formerly belonging to William Normandus, magister of one of her sons. (S) Medieval Mothering, Parsons, 1999, P318.

Aft. 1107, Baudri, archbishop of Dol, wrote his longest and best-known poem, dedicated to Adela. In it he described her bedchamber as having walls covered by tapestries of Biblical scenes as well as the battle of Hastings; adorned with statues representing Philosophy, the Seven Liberal Arts, and Medicine. The sky and constellations were depicted on the ceiling, and a map of the world on the floor.

1108, Hugh le Puiset attacked Adela’s lands. Adela and her son Theobald traveled to Paris to seek support of King Philip. [Hugh was defeated by their joint forces.]

8/3/1108, Louis VI crowned King of France.

1109, Letter from Adela to the monks of Bonneval: “It is known to all with no need of persuasion that in order to safeguard peace the truth of things done should be committed to writing. I, countess Adela, wife of count Stephen …”

1109, Adela resigned her regency in favor of her son Theobald.

1110, Hugh de Fleury wrote a letter to Adela giving details of her ancestry back to Charlemagne. He also sent her his ‘Historia ecclesiastica’, which he wrote for her stating ‘members of the female sex should not be deprived of knowledge of deep things.’ (S) To the Glory of Her Sex, Ferrante, 1997, P97.

9/14/1110, King Louis took the abbey of Bonneval under his special protection and confirmed the charter in which Adela of Blois had relinquished certain rights over the abbey. (S) Social Origins of Medieval Institutions, O’Callaghan, 1998, P275. [Adela’s sons Theobald and Stephen had both consented to the grant.]

1111-12, Guy of Gallardon wrote to his ruler, countess Adela, mentioning Amaury of Montfort and Hugh de Crecy making a pact in which Amaury is to be with Lord Milo of Bray as long as Adela wiched.

1112, In the presence of Countess Adela, and at her suggestion, Hugh le Puiset signed a charter making reparation for past offenses agains the abbey of St.-Jean-en-Vallee. (S) Social Origins of Medieval Institutions, O’Callaghan, 1998, P277.

1112-13, Adela sent her son Stephen to the court of her brother King Henry in England.

1113, Adela was influential in getting her son Theobald to ally himself with King Henry against King Louis.

1117-18, Adela influenced her son Theobald to side with her brother King Henry against the King of France. [King Henry’s efforts had little effect.]

1118, Preuilly, in the diocese of Sens, founded by Adela and her son Theobald. (S) Cistercians in the Middle Ages, Burton, 2011, P25.

1119, “I Adela, countess of Blois, and Thibaut, my son, …, that we have granted our fair of Sezanne, which is on the feast of St. Nicholas, completely to clothing the poor monks of Christ of the church of St. Mary of Molesme …”

6/1120, Adela paid homage to her brother King Henry, now recognized by King Louis as having the right to Normandy. [The peace agreement was orchestrated through Adela’s papal contacts.]

11/25/1120, Adela’s daughter Matilda died in the White ship disaster with her husband, Richard, earl of Chester.

1122-25, Adela retired to the convent of Marcigney on the Loire.

1126-29, King Henry gave the nunnery of Marcigny, home of his sister Adela, freedom from customs and futher stipulated that the nuns could not be impleaded except in the presence of the King. (S) Henry I, Hollister, 2003, P408.

1128, Thibaud, son of Adela, at her urging, remitted the St. Martin prebends into the hands of the successor of Ivo of Chartres.

1130, Adela, countess of Blois, wrote a letter to her son Theobald, count of Blois. (S) Letters of Medieval Women, Sutton, 2002, P-IV.

1133-37, Letter from Adela to her son Thibaut: “To her dearest son, count T of Blois, A, nun of Marcigny, the affection of maternal love …”

9/1134, A fire ravaged Adela’s town of Chartres, damaging the hospital and church.

12/1/1135, Adela’s brother, King Henry I died.

12/1135, The abbot of Cluny wrote to Adela informing her of her brother’s death. [Leaving Adela as the last surviving child of William the Conqueror.]

12/26/1135, In a coup, Adela’s son, Stephen de Blois became King of England.

1136, Letter from Peter the Venerable to Adeal; Peter announces to Adela the death of her brother, King Henry I, with information about his death and burial.

1136, King Stephen issued letters of protection to the abbey of Marcigny in Burgundy, “where my mother is a nun.”

3/8/1137, ‘Adela, filia regis’ died at the convent; buried at Caen beside her mother and sister Cecilia in the abbey of the Holy Trinity. [There are many documents of Adela which are undated.]

(S) Epistol√¶. (S) Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, Kilber, 1995. (S) Conqueror’s Son, Lack, 2007. (S) King Stephen, King, 2011. (S) Proceedings of the Battle Conference, 1991. (S) DNB, V1, 1885, P135.

Family notes:

Other sons: William [the eldest] passed over; Henry became bishop of Winchester; Philip became the abbot at Chalons; Humbert died young; Eudo named in 1 charter.

Daughter Adela married Milo de Brai, viscount of Troyes [annulled].

Children of Stephen and Adela:

i. William of Blois (1512946736), born ~1082 in France.

ii. Thibaut II of Champagne (378220994), born 1090 in France.

iii. King Stephen of England (189110430), born 1092 in France.

iv. Eleanore of Champagne, born by 1100 in France.

Eleanor married Count Raoul of Vermandois [a cousin of the King], seneschal of France, s/o Count Hugh de France & Adele of Vermandois.

1142, Eleanor was put away by her husband to marry Petronilla, sister of the Queen of France.

v. Henry of Blois, born ~1098 in France.

1126, Henry abbot at Glastonbury abbey.

10/4/1129, Henry, bishop of Winchester [consecrated 11/17/1129.]

12/15/1135, Henry, bishop of Winchester, delivered an agreement under which Stephen [Henry’s brother] would grant extensive freedoms and liberties to the church, in exchange for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Papal Legate supporting his succession to the throne.

3/1/1139, Henry became a papal legate.

8/29/1139, King Stephen was summoned by his brother Henry, the bishop, to answer charges that he had violated church liberties.

3/2/1141, Empress Matilda met with Bishop Henry, the king’s brother, and the papal legate in England, near Winchester. Matilda promised to consult him on important legal matters, and Henry gave his allegiance to her.

4/7/1141 at Winchester, Empress Matilda acknowledged as “Lady of England and Normandy” by Bishop Henry. [Soon after Stephen again crowned King of England.]

9/23/1143, Henry lost his legatine commission.

8/8/1171, Henry, known as the ‘king without a throne’ died [now buried at Winchester cathedral.]

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