Over the course of the next four years I will be stitching Bothy Thread's Kings and Queens at the slow pace of one monarch per month.
I am already 4 months in so here is the rather angry monarch number 4:
Finished - 13th April 2019
Total stitching time - 5 hours 15 minutes
For those who also like the little History lesson, here's a bit about Stephen's reign (which was exceptionally difficult to condense into 300 words!):
Preceded by Henry I (uncle)
Succeeded by Henry II (cousin)
Lived 1092/6 - 1154 (birth date unknown)
Married Matilda 1125-1152 (died)
Fathered 5 legitimate and 3 illegitimate children
Stephen, a grandson of William I, was raised in his uncle Henry's court and became a popular, charismatic and generally likeable person (although, as King, lacked strong decisive leadership qualities).
Like the nobles of Henry's court, Stephen had sworn to support Henry's daughter Matilda as his successor. However, upon Henry's death, Stephen (supported by many who switched allegiance to him) claimed the crown, consolidating his position by granting land, titles and power to his supporters, and stripping assets from those loyal to Matilda.
Matilda was naturally angry at being usurped so, supported by her half brother Robert, began moves to claim her crown. Thus began 'The Anarchy', a civil war which blighted Stephen's reign.
Matilda was captured in 1139 but released unharmed. Stephen was captured in 1141, thus releasing the crown for Matilda. However Londoners disliked Matilda and prevented her entering the city for her coronation! Robert was then captured, and stalemate ensued until Robert and Stephen were released in a prisoner exchange.
Stephen was welcomed back and threats gradually petered out - Robert died in 1147, Matilda left England and died in 1151. Matilda's son, Henry, then aimed continued her cause.
Peace was finally achieved in 1153 when Stephen agreed to disinherit his own sons, Eustace and William, in favour of Henry becoming his successor, providing Henry supported him in the meantime. Eustace was angry (but died a short while later) whereas William agreed (and benefited greatly under Henry II).
Stephen, the last of the Norman Kings, died in 1154 and was buried at Faversham Abbey alongside his wife.
His successor, Henry II, became the first of many Plantagenets.
So next month, Henry II.