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Matilda of Boulogne

Matilda of Boulogne (c.1103–52), queen of Stephen. Matilda was a doughty supporter of Stephen's cause in the civil war against the Empress Matilda. Heiress to the lands of the counts of Boulogne in France and England, she provided her husband with substantial resources and a power base in the home counties which facilitated his seizure of the kingdom in 1135. After 1135 she made a considerable contribution to his cause, playing a central role in disrupting the empress's plans during Stephen's imprisonment in 1141–2, and arranging an important marriage between their son Eustace and the daughter of the French king Louis VII in 1140, which gave her husband a useful ally. Stephen's cause declined quite rapidly after her death.

David Richard Bates

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