Matilda of Boulogne
|Matilda of Boulogne|
|Tenure||22 December 1135 - 3 May 1152|
|Coronation||22 March 1136|
|Tenure||1125 – 3 May 1152|
|Spouse||Stephen of England|
|Baldwin of Boulogne
Matilda of Boulogne
Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne
William of Blois
Marie of Boulogne
|House||House of Blois|
|Father||Eustace III, Count of Boulogne|
|Mother||Mary of Scotland|
She was born in Boulogne, France, the daughter of Eustace III, Count of Boulogne and his wife Mary of Scotland, daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland and Saint Margaret of Scotland. Matilda was first cousin of her husband's rival, Empress Matilda. Through her maternal grandmother, Matilda was descended from the pre-Conquest English kings.
In 1125, Matilda married Stephen of Blois, Count of Mortain, who possessed a large honour in England. When Matilda's father abdicated and retired to a monastery the same year, this was joined with Boulogne and the similarly large English honour Matilda inherited. On Eustace III's death, Matilda and her husband became joint rulers of Boulogne. Two children, a son and a daughter, were born to the Countess and Count of Boulogne during the reign of King Henry I, who had granted Stephen and Matilda a residence in London. The son was named Baldwin, after Matilda's uncle, King Baldwin I of Jerusalem. The daughter was named Matilda. Baldwin died in early childhood and the young Matilda is thought to have died during childhood too, although some scholars state that she lived long enough to be espoused to the count of Milan.
On the death of Henry I of England in 1135, Stephen rushed to England, taking advantage of Boulogne's control of the closest seaports, and was crowned king, beating his rival, the Empress Matilda. Matilda was heavily pregnant at that time and crossed the Channel after gaving birth to a son, Eustace, who would one day succeed her as Count of Boulogne. Matilda was crowned queen at Easter - March 22, 1136.
In the civil war that followed, known as the Anarchy, Matilda proved to be her husband's strongest supporter. After he was captured at the Battle of Lincoln she rallied the king's partisans, and raised an army with the help of William of Ypres. Empress Matilda was besieging Stephen's brother Henry of Blois, but she, in turn, besieged the Empress, driving her away and capturing the Empress's brother, Robert of Gloucester.
Around 1125, her father died and she succeeded as Countess of Boulogne. She ruled this area jointly with her husband until 1150, when she reigned alone until 1151, when the County was given to her eldest son Eustace, then her surviving son William inherited it, and then her daughter Marie.
Matilda died of a fever at Hedingham Castle, Essex, England and is buried at Faversham Abbey, which was founded by her and her husband.
Stephen and Matilda had three sons:
- Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne
- Baldwin of Boulogne (d. before 1135)
- William of Blois, Count of Mortain and Boulogne and Earl of Surrey
They also had two daughters:
- Matilda of Boulogne
- Marie of Boulogne