1139 (The People's Chronology)
England's bishop of Winchester assembles a synod at Westminster to hear charges of impiety against the usurper Stephen of Blois, who has the support of Normandy-born councilor Richard de Lucy. Princess Matilda lands September 22 on the south coast of England and asserts her right to the throne of her late father, joining forces with Henry I's widow, Adeliza (Adelais), in an insurrection. Adeliza, who had expected Matilda to bring a larger force, grows fearful (see 1138). Matilda holds Arundel Castle but, to ease her stepmother's fears, gives it up to Stephen, who allows her to leave for Bristol and thence to join her half brother Robert, earl of Gloucester (see 1140).
Heinrich II der Stolze (the Proud), duke of Saxony, assembles an army at Quedlinburg with a view to recovering Bavaria but falls ill suddenly and dies at Quedlinburg October 20 at age 31 (approximate) after a 13-year reign (see 1138); his 10-year-old son will reign until 1380 as Heinrich III der Löwe (the Lion) (see 1142; Austria, 1141).
Norway's former king Magnus IV and Sigurd I Slembi gain support from Denmark to attack the forces of Inge I Haraldsson and Sigurd II, but the sightless Magnus is killed in battle at age 24 (approximate) as civil war continues (see 1136; 1142).
Portugal gains her independence from the Moors and begins to achieve identity as a sovereign nation (see 1128). Portuguese forces under Afonso Henriques defeat the Muslim Almohads July 25 in the Battle of Ourique in Allentejo (see 1143).
Provençal preacher Peter of Bruis has a bonfire of religious statuary built at the mouth of the Rhône on Good Friday, having inveighed against Church wealth and embarked on a campaign of pillaging churches and burning crucifixes. He turns his back for a moment and irate townspeople throw him into the flames, but resentment against Church excesses continues in various parts of Europe (see 1145; Cathars, 1167).