Nigel was at first retained in Stephen's service; but, like his uncle and his brothers, incurred the suspicion of leaning towards the Angevin interest, when Roger of Salisbury and Alexander of Lincoln were arrested by Stephen (January 1139).
Ranulph, his first treasurer and representative at Ely, had been extortionate and dishonest, and the monks accused Nigel, probably with some justification, of spending the estates and treasures of the see in maintaining knights and gaining court influence.
Amongst the older partisans of the Angevin house the most influential were Archbishop Theobald, whose good will guaranteed to Henry the support of the Church, and Nigel, bishop of Ely, who presided at the exchequer.
Phillips, Berlin, 1828); by the Dialogus de scaccario of Richard fitz Nigel (Oxford, 1902); the Pipe Rolls, printed by J.
His father was Nigel Theobald, and he is sometimes called Simon Theobald or Tybald.