English History 1130 – 1139

King Henry I

King StephenThis timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in English History for the years 1130 – 1139

The monarchs for this period were: 
Henry I to 1135
Stephen from 1135

1133 (during)
A royal charter established the annual Bartholomew Fair at Smithfield, London.
1133 (5th March)
A son, Henry was born to Matilda daughter of King Henry I of England and Geoffrey of Anjou at Le Mans in France.
1134 (10th February)
Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, who had been imprisoned in Cardiff Castle since 1106, died.
1134 (1st June)
A second son, Geoffrey was born to Matilda and Geoffrey Plantagenet at Rouen in France.
1135 (early)
King Henry I’s daughter Matilda was concerned that she did not have much support in England and asked her father to strengthen her position by giving her land and property in Normandy and to make the nobility swear a new oath of allegiance to her. King Henry refused her request and relations between the two became distant.
1135 (26th May)
A fire in London damaged St Paul’s Cathedral and London Bridge.
1135 (1st December)
King Henry I died. On his deathbed he nominated his daughter, Matilda, to be his successor. Matilda made a claim for the throne but had little support from the barons. She was also pregnant and unable to make the journey to England.
1135 (22nd December)
Stephen of Blois, Matilda’s cousin, with the support of Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, seized the English throne.
1135 (26th December)
Stephen of Blois, nephew of Henry I, was crowned King Stephen at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
1136 (during)
Geoffrey of Monmouth published his History of the Kings of England (Historia Regum Britanniae).
1136 (early)
Geoffrey of Anjou invaded Normandy in his wife’s name, but had little success.
1136 (1st January)
Battle of Llwchwy
This was a revolt against Norman rule in South Wales which saw the Welsh defeat the English.
1136 (January)
David I of Scotland invaded England and took Carlisle, Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. On hearing the news Stephen marched north with an army.
1136 (4th January)
Henry I was buried in Reading Abbey.
1136 (5th February)
Treaty of Durham
This was a peace treaty between King Stephen and David I of Scotland which gave Stephen control of Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle, while David I gained control of Carlisle, Cumberland and Lancashire.
1136 (15th April)
Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Norman lord of Ceredigion, was ambushed and killed by Welsh rebels.
1136 (22nd July)
A third son, William, was born to Matilda and Geoffrey Plantagenet at Argentan.
1136 (October)
Battle of Crug Mawr
This battle in Wales saw the Normans defeated by the forces of Owain Gwynedd.
1136 (21st November)
William de Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1137 (Spring)
Following the murder of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, South Wales rose in rebellion led by Owain Gwynedd and Gruffydd ap Rhys. The rebels made gains including Carmarthen Castle. Richard’s brother Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de Clare and Lord Robert Fitz Harold of Ewyas were sent to put down the rebellion but had little success.
1137 (March)
King Stephen invaded Normandy. He tried to form an alliance with King Louis VI of France but lost control of his army and was forced to agree peace with Geoffrey of Anjou. Stephen agreed to pay 2000 marks per year if Geoffrey maintained peace on the Norman border.
1137 (8th March)
Adela of Blois, Stephen’s mother and daughter of William I, died.
1138 (late January)
David I of Scotland made a number of raids in Northumberland. He took Norham Castle and put Wark Castle to siege.
1138 (May)
The Anarchy
Matilda’s half brother Robert of Gloucester decided to support Matilda’s bid to be crowned Queen. This move marked the beginning a period of Civil War known as The Anarchy.
1138 (10th June)
Battle of Clitheroe
David I’s nephew, William Fitz Duncan, defeated the English in this battle fought on the Bowland Fells.
1138 (22nd August)
Battle of the Standard
David I of Scotland was defeated at Cowton Moor near Northallerton in Yorkshire. The English army, raised by Archbishop Thurstan of York, fought round a wagon bearing the banners of the northern saints giving the battle its name.
1139 (8th January)
Theobald of Bec became Archbishop of Canterbury.
1139 (9th April)
Second Treaty of Durham
King Stephen did not want to fight a war on two fronts and so decided to make peace with David I of Scotland. This second Treaty of Durham ceded control of much of Northumberland to David’s son, Henry.
1139 (June)
Stephen ordered the arrest of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury and Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln for refusing to give up their castles to the King.
1139 (30th September)
Matilda landed near Arundel. She had the support of her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester and David I of Scotland.
1139 (October)
Stephen marched south and put the castle of Arundel to siege but then backed down and allowed Matilda to leave and join with Robert of Gloucester.
1139 (7th November)
Robert of Gloucester’s forces took Worcester.
1139 (11th December)
Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, died.


Published Jul 30, 2016 @ 12:32 – Updated – Jun 17, 2020 @ 6:06 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016). English History 1130 – 1139. Available: http://www.totallytimelines.com/english-history-1130-1139. Last accessed August 23rd, 2021