On the death of Henry I, his nominal heir was his daughter, Matilda. However, his nephew, Stephen of Blois, crossed the Channel to claim the English throne for himself, claiming that this would ensure the preservation of order in the kingdom. Since Matilda was in Normandy at the time, and pregnant with her third child, she was unable to prevent him taking power. However, she and her husband, Geoffrey of Anjou, first asserted their power in Normandy, and then in 1139 they moved to challenge Stephen in England. He was defeated at the Battle of Lincoln in February 1141, and Matilda seized the throne under the title of "Lady of the English". However, she was only able to hold onto power for a few short months, partly because she refused to g…
Editors. "Reign of King Stephen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=654, accessed 18 April 2015.]