On December 26, 1135 Stephen is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. He was born around 1097 in Blois, France, the son of the Count of Blois and Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror. He was sent to England to be raised at the court of his uncle, Henry I. Although Stephen and other nobles pledged to support Henry's daughter, Matilda, as Henry's successor there was widespread unhappiness at the thought of a woman ruler. Consequently, after Henry I died in December 1135, the leading lords and bishops welcomed Stephen as the new king. He was not a natural leader, rapidly making concessions that exposed his weakness. He appointed large numbers of new earls, an expensive act that brought little reward and alienated his nobles with his desperate measures to build support and with the lawlessness of his Flemish mercenaries.