~ the battle for England between Stephen of Blois and Matilda The Empress ~


01 November 2010

Extract: The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy

Ch. XLI. The Countess Matilda and Robert, Earl of Gloucester land at Arundel and proceed to Bristol

In the autumn, Matilda, countess of Anjou, crossed the sea to England, with her brother Robert of Caen, Guy de Sable, and several others; and being well received at Arundel, she obtained leave from the king to pass without interruption to the castles which belonged to her partisans. It may be remarked that this permission given by the king was a sign of great simplicity or carelessness, and prudent men regret that he was regardless of his own welfare and the kingdom's security. It was in his power at this time to have easily stifled a flame which threatened great mischief, if, with a policy becoming the wise, he had at once driven away the wolf from the entrance of the fold, and, for the safety of the flock, nipped the growth of malignancy in the bud, and, like his fathers, crushed the deadly efforts of those whose enterprise threatened the country with pillage, slaughter, and depopulation, by smiting them with the sword of justice.

~ Historia Ecclesiastica by Orderic Vitalis

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