The abduction in 1160 of Romsey’s abbess Marie, daughter of King Stephen and Queen Matilda of England, attracted considerable attention in England and Northern Europe. Medieval chroniclers theorized about those who had arranged the raptus, emphasizing that they had targeted a holy bride of Christ. At the scandal’s crux was the altered status of the abbess who had unexpectedly become sole heir to her family’s lands, wealth, and titles. This transformation occurred for Marie when the last of her family died in the waning months of 1159. With astonishing speed, Marie transitioned from her role as a high-status abbess to one of heiress-countess. This article examines the evidence concerning the abduction’s backstory, the resulting marriage, and the aftermath of Marie’s nine years as a married countess. It presents Marie in light of her ability to adapt to and exploit the changing political, social, and cultural landscapes that she inhabited.
The Abduction of Romsey’s Abbess
Linda D. Brown
The Large-Scale Rituals of the Repkong Tantrists in Tibet
religious specialist, the ngakpas [sngags pa], or ‘tantrists, as they are most commonly called in Western languages. 4 As opposed to monks, these practitioners do not pronounce monastic vows and typically constitute family lineages in a paternal line