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Roger and his family were also enemies of Waleran, who disliked their control of the royal administration. This threat was backed up by the arrest of the bishops, with the exception of Nigel who had taken refuge in Devizes Castle ; the bishop only surrendered after Stephen besieged the castle and threatened to execute Roger le Poer. Anglo-Norman warfare during the civil war was characterised by attritional military campaigns, in which commanders tried to raid enemy lands and seize castles in order to allow them to take control of their adversaries' territory, ultimately winning slow, strategic victories.

Stephen and Matilda's households centred on small bodies of knights called the familia regis ; this inner circle formed the basis for a headquarters in any military campaign. The Normans had first developed castles in the 10th and 11th centuries, and their occupation of England after had made extensive use of them. Most castles took the form of earthwork and timber motte-and-bailey or ringwork constructs; easily built with local labour and resources, these were resilient and easy to defend.

The Anglo-Norman elite became adept at strategically placing these castles along rivers and valleys to control populations, trade and regions. Unlike the more traditional designs, these required expensive skilled labourers and could only be built slowly over many seasons.

Although these square keeps would later prove to have vulnerabilities, the ballistae and mangonels used in the s were significantly less powerful than the later trebuchet designs, giving defenders a substantial advantage over attackers. Both sides responded by building new castles, sometimes creating systems of strategic fortifications. In the south-west Matilda's supporters built a range of castles to protect the territory, usually motte-and-bailey designs such as those at Winchcombe , Upper Slaughter , or Bampton.

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Another feature of the war was the creation of many " counter-castles ". At least 17 such sites have been identified through documentary and archaeological research, but this likely under-estimates the number that were built during the conflict. While most survive poorly, the earthworks of 'the Rings' near Corfe in Dorset is an unusually well preserved example. King Stephen was extremely wealthy, well-mannered, modest and liked by his peers; he was also considered a man capable of firm action. The Empress's faction lacked an equivalent war leader to Stephen. Matilda had a firm grounding in government from her time as empress, where she had presided in court cases and acted as regent in Italy with the Imperial army on campaign.

Geoffrey and Matilda's marriage was not an easy one; it had almost collapsed altogether in For most of the war, therefore, the Angevin armies were led into battle by a handful of senior nobles. The most important of these was Robert of Gloucester, the half-brother of the Empress. He was known for his qualities as a statesman, his military experience and leadership ability. Fitz Count was apparently motivated by a strong moral duty to uphold his oath to Matilda and proved critical in defending the Thames corridor. The Angevin invasion finally arrived in August.

Baldwin de Redvers crossed over from Normandy to Wareham in an initial attempt to capture a port to receive the Empress Matilda's invading army, but Stephen's forces forced him to retreat into the south-west. Stephen responded by promptly moving south, besieging Arundel and trapping Matilda inside the castle. Contemporary chroniclers suggested that Henry argued that it would be in Stephen's own best interests to release the Empress and concentrate instead on attacking Robert, and Stephen may have seen Robert, not the Empress, as his main opponent at this point in the conflict.

Although there had been few new defections to the Empress, Matilda now controlled a compact block of territory stretching out from Gloucester and Bristol south-west into Devon and Cornwall, west into the Welsh Marches and east as far as Oxford and Wallingford, threatening London. At the start of , Nigel , the Bishop of Ely, whose castles Stephen had confiscated the previous year, rebelled against Stephen as well. While Stephen and his army besieged Lincoln Castle at the start of , Robert of Gloucester and Ranulf of Chester advanced on the king's position with a somewhat larger force.

Robert took Stephen back to Gloucester, where the king met with the Empress Matilda, and was then moved to Bristol Castle , traditionally used for holding high-status prisoners. He had made a private deal with the Empress Matilda that he would deliver the support of the church, if she agreed to give him control over church business in England. The clergy gathered again in Winchester after Easter to declare the Empress "Lady of England and Normandy" as a precursor to her coronation. Meanwhile, Geoffrey of Anjou invaded Normandy again and, in the absence of Waleran of Beaumont, who was still fighting in England, Geoffrey took all the duchy south of the River Seine and east of the Risle.

His friend and advisor Waleron was one of those who decided to defect in mid, crossing into Normandy to secure his ancestral possessions by allying himself with the Angevins, and bringing Worcestershire into the Empress's camp. Other supporters of the Empress were restored in their former strongholds, such as Bishop Nigel of Ely, and others still received new earldoms in the west of England. The royal control over the minting of coins broke down, leading to coins being struck by local barons and bishops across the country.

Stephen's wife Matilda played a critical part in keeping the king's cause alive during his captivity. Queen Matilda gathered Stephen's remaining lieutenants around her and the royal family in the south-east, advancing into London when the population rejected the Empress. The Empress's position was transformed by her defeat at the rout of Winchester. Following their retreat from London, Robert of Gloucester and the Empress besieged Henry in his episcopal castle at Winchester in July.

With both Stephen and Robert held prisoner, negotiations were held to try to agree a long term peace settlement, but Queen Matilda was unwilling to offer any compromise to the Empress, and Robert refused to accept any offer to encourage him to change sides to Stephen. During the middle of Robert returned to Normandy to assist Geoffrey with operations against some of Stephen's remaining followers there, before returning in the autumn.

Matilda stayed with Fitz Count for a period before reestablishing her court at Devizes. The war between the two sides in England reached a stalemate in the mids, while Geoffrey of Anjou consolidated his hold on power in Normandy, being recognised as duke of Normandy after taking Rouen in Once again, the Angevin cavalry proved too strong, and for a moment it appeared that Stephen might be captured for a second time.

In late , Stephen faced a new threat in the east, when Geoffrey de Mandeville , the Earl of Essex , rose up in rebellion against the king in East Anglia.

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For a period, the situation continued to worsen. Ranulf of Chester revolted once again in the middle of , splitting up Stephen's Honour of Lancaster between himself and Prince Henry. After the war ground on, but progressing slightly better for Stephen. The character of the conflict in England gradually began to shift; as historian Frank Barlow suggests, by the late s "the civil war was over", barring the occasional outbreak of fighting. One potential explanation is his general courtesy to a member of his extended family; another is that he was starting to consider how to end the war peacefully, and saw this as a way of building a relationship with Henry.

Many of the most powerful nobles began to make their own truces and disarmament agreements, signing treaties between one another that typically promised an end to bilateral hostilities, limited the building of new castles, or agreed limits to the size of armies sent against one another. Matilda remained in Normandy for the rest of the war, focusing on stabilising the duchy and promoting her son's rights to the English throne.

His prestige and power increased further when he unexpectedly married Eleanor of Aquitaine in ; Eleanor was the attractive Duchess of Aquitaine and the recently divorced wife of Louis VII of France , and the marriage made Henry the future ruler of a huge swathe of territory across France.

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In the final years of the war, Stephen too began to focus on the issue of his family and the succession. Henry FitzEmpress returned to England again at the start of with a small army, supported in the north and east of England by Ranulf of Chester and Hugh Bigod. Over the summer, Stephen intensified the long-running siege of Wallingford Castle in a final attempt to take this major Angevin stronghold. In the aftermath of Wallingford, Stephen and Henry spoke together privately about a potential end to the war; Stephen's son Eustace, however, was furious about the peaceful outcome at Wallingford.

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He left his father and returned home to Cambridge to gather more funds for a fresh campaign, where he fell ill and died the next month. It is possible, however, that Stephen had already begun to consider passing over Eustace's claim; historian Edmund King observes that Eustace's claim to the throne was not mentioned in the discussions at Wallingford, for example, and this may have added to Stephen's son's anger. Fighting continued after Wallingford, but in a rather half-hearted fashion.

Stephen lost the towns of Oxford and Stamford to Henry while the king was diverted fighting Hugh Bigod in the east of England, but Nottingham Castle survived an Angevin attempt to capture it. Stephen's decision to recognise Henry as his heir was, at the time, not necessarily a final solution to the civil war. Henry did not feel it necessary to hurry back to England immediately. On finally landing on 8 December , however, Henry quickly took oaths of loyalty from some of the barons and was then crowned alongside Eleanor at Westminster. England had suffered extensively during the war.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded how "there was nothing but disturbance and wickedness and robbery". Among Henry's first measures was to expel the remaining foreign mercenaries and continue the process of demolishing the unauthorised castles. The post-war period also saw a surge of activity around the English borders. The king of Scotland and local Welsh rulers had taken advantage of the long civil war in England to seize disputed lands; Henry set about reversing this trend. Much of the modern history of the civil war of the Anarchy is based on accounts of chroniclers who lived in, or close to, the middle of the 12th century, forming a relatively rich account of the period.

The use of the term "the Anarchy" to describe the civil war has been subject to much critical discussion. The phrase itself originates in the late-Victorian period. Many historians of the time traced a progressive and universalist course of political and economic development in England over the medieval period. This work highlighted an apparent break in the development of the English constitution in the s, and caused his student John Round to coin the term "the Anarchy" to describe the period.

The civil war years of the Anarchy have been occasionally used in historical fiction. Stephen, Matilda and their supporters feature in Ellis Peters 's historical detective series about Brother Cadfael , set between and Although Follett begins his book with Austin Poole 's account of the White Ship' s sinking to set the historical scene for the subsequent events, in many other ways Follett uses the war as a location for a story about essentially modern personalities and issues, a feature reproduced in the epic costume TV adaptation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the political philosophy that advocates a society without a state or hierarchy, see Anarchy. England and Normandy. The Anarchy. Main article: Siege of Oxford We have not been self-sufficient in food since the late 18th century, but the situation is rapidly worsening. In , 27 per cent of UK food was imported. By it was 37 per cent.


The situation is obviously more critical in cities: London imports more than 80 per cent and a food shortage would hit the capital the hardest. The situation is worsened, of course, by the fact that we are having to compete for supplies on the global market with many more nations than ever before. For centuries, the typical Chinese diet consisted of rice and vegetables, but as the Chinese pour into the newly emerging cities, so their diets are changing. In , the average Chinese ate just 4kg of meat per year: by that figure was 60kg and rising. The result has placed huge pressure not only on prices, but on natural resources required to cope with this increased demand.

It is not simply that we do not have enough land to grow the grain to feed the animals which in turn feed us. In the past two decades, pressure on our natural resources has increased to a level which many experts fear has become unsustainable.

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For example, in the U. The world has a finite supply of fresh water too, yet 70 per cent of all freshwater is used for agriculture, often horribly wastefully. And that's before we factor in climate change, which many believe will render great swathes of land infertile. Certainly, intensive farming methods are only adding to the problem: according to the UN, animal farming now accounts for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, due to forest clearances and the methane emitted by cattle.

The net result is a looming crisis of which soaring oil prices could simply be the starting gun. In this regard, the dominance of the supermarkets in British food retailing contributes massively to our vulnerability. Rising energy prices have an immediate impact on many of the food giants' common practices. Their reliance on diesel trucks for 'Just in time delivery' and ' warehousing on wheels'; their endless plastic packaging and their transportation of processed foods and raw materials around the world means that our supermarkets have been hit doubly hard by the high oil price.

How much longer, I wonder, will the seafood business Young's of Scotland find it economic to fly prawns to Thailand to be cleaned and de-shelled, before flying them back to Scotland for packaging? During the fuel protests of September , we caught a glimpse of how even the supply of basic foodstuffs are dependent on oil: Justin King, the CEO of Sainsbury, warned Blair that we would be 'out of food' within 'days not weeks' if the protests continued. Today, we stand on the brink of a longer-term problem.

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Yet even now, the Government has not woken up to the immediacy of the problem. Indeed, it doesn't even have a coherent means of taking control of the situation. Food, and its related issues, currently straddles no fewer than 19 different ministries. When I questioned Joan Ruddock about whether the Government would change its policy about allowing pig farmers to feed their animals swill made from left-over food scraps a practice banned after the food-and-mouth outbreak she replied that she couldn't answer the question because it fell under the jurisdiction of a different department.

This is madness. Food, along with shelter and safety, is one of our most basic needs. But in the meantime, alarm bells should be going off all over Westminster about the scale and impact of the impending food crisis. Suddenly, that warning of being 'nine meals from anarchy' no longer seems such a distant or improbable threat.

Share or comment on this article: Nine meals from anarchy - how Britain is facing a very real food crisis. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Search. Fury as 'outnumbered' police simply look on as Extinction Rebellion protesters Legal expert is left sickened after she was bombarded with sexually harassing messages on Virgin Atlantic's Pictured: Superfit runner, 35, who collapsed and died on finish line of Cardiff Half Marathon a year after Is the pill past its sell-by date?

There are now 15 types of female contraception - from a week jab to Cocaine made me a monster: He binged so much even Keith Richards took a dim view - and as Elton John reveals Elton Uncensored: Rehab? Mope just had its European premiere at the Sitges Film Festival yesterday.

Our own Shelagh Rowan-Legg reviewed Mope when it played at Screen Anarchy has been asked to present to you the teaser poster for an upcoming thriller from Australia called Subject. It is a nifty piece of teaser work. We like it. Reading through the accompanying press release we read At a glance, without any context of what's happening in Brazil, as the Bacurauans get rid of foreigners and traitors, the film is a silly, tacky man-hunting-man horror movie akin to The Most Dangerous Game or Naked Prey or even Hostel or Ruins.

But it isn't.

Bacurau highlights the resilience and resolve of Brazilian people against mounting assault of multi-national corporations backed by government military to devastate their beautiful, once burgeoning country in the global crisis era we live in. It's an activist film in a B-Horror movie disguise. This handsome piece of key art for American indie picture, the Louisiana set Burning Cane, evokes the posters for a hit from a similar region of the US from a few years ago, Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Clearly, it With the horror-day season up on us we have a whopper of a giveaway this month. In October there will be seven co-releases between the Episode two of the new Creepshow anthology series on Shudder began streaming yesterday. If you have not seen the new episode yet, turn back now, cause you get no grace period from us.

We're diving right in to each tale, I know Gigi has said that nothing will ever come between our friendship, that she will never be too famous for me, but at this rate I don't think she is going to have a say in the matter any Not that things have been quiet for the director but they have certainly picked up recently. It was just announced this week