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robert, two brothers fought on his side in the civil wars that ensued, and which
bossu. continued to rage during the greater part of the reign of this monarch.
The Empress Maude, only daughter of the late King, having landed in
England, accompanied by her natural brother the Earl of Gloucester and
1139. a small retinue of 140 knights, took refuge in the Castle of Arundel, the
residence of her stepmother the Queen-dowager, which Stephen imme-
diately invested. The remainder of this story I shall give in the words of
Henry the historian : —
" The Queen-dowager, dreading his resentment, sent an apology tor
having admitted the Empress into her castle, which she said she could not
deny to the only daughter of her late husband, King Henry ; and intreated
him to respect the ties of blood, and the sacred laws of hospitality, and
allow the Empress to retire to her brother's castle at Bristol. This strange
request was seconded by the King's brother, the Bishop of Winchester ;
and, to the surprise of all the world, Maude was honourably escorted by
that prelate, and by Walleran, Earl of Mellent, her greatest enemy, and
Stephen's chief confidant, and safely delivered to her brother the Earl of
Gloucester. This, it must be confessed, is a most astonishing event,
and, like some other things in the story of this reign, hath more the ap-
pearance of romance than of real history."
Of this earl, Dugdale says that he was appointed to and exercised the
office of Chief Justiciary of England for fifteen years.
In the famous dispute between Henry the Second and Thomas a Becket,
the Earl was concerned. He concurred with the King in his endeavours
to check the turbulence and overgrown power of that ambitious and
haughty prelate.
When Becket was summoned to attend a parliament held at North-
ampton, being charged by the King with contumacy and disrespect, he
came in great state to the meeting, attended by a tumultuous crowd of
the lower orders, and carrying a cross in his hand. Henry, informed of
the manner of his approach, withdrew into an adjoining apartment, at-
tended by his barons, while Becket, entering the parliament-house, sat
down, with apparent unconcern, in his usual place.
Henry, after consulting with his barons, deputed a few of their number,
at the head of whom was the Earl of Leicester, to state to the Archbishop,
that, unless he altered his arrogant and disrespectful behaviour, and

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