Eustace Fitz John and the Politics of Anglo-Norman England: The Rise and Survival of a Twelfth-Century Royal Servant

Speculum 71 (2):358-383 (1996)

In a seminal and distinguished lecture published a little over thirty years ago, Sir Richard Southern examined the exercise of patronage as a means of government and as an instrument of social change in England in the reign of King Henry I. Focusing on the careers of some of the king's servants who rose in wealth and status by working in his administration, Southern elucidated their opportunities and methods of advancement, their rewards, and their manipulation of power and position to bolster their local authority. In the years since Southern wrote, the important themes he opened up about these servants have been reexamined and developed by a number of scholars. These themes are further illuminated by the career of one of the most important of Henry's servants, Eustace Fitz John, lord of Malton and Alnwick, who rose from relatively obscure origins to a position of considerable prominence in the government of northern England. Eustace's career also tells us much about the means used by Henry I to complete and consolidate the Norman conquest of the north, integrate the region within the Norman system of government, and provide for its security and about the cross-border relationships of his northern administrators. A study of Eustace's career is additionally valuable because it throws light on many important aspects of the history of King Stephen's reign and the reign of Henry II
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DOI 10.2307/2865417
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