Robert FitzRobert

Male 1110 - 1170  (60 years)

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  1. 1.  Robert FitzRobert was born 1110, England (son of Robert FitzRoy, Knight, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Mabel FitzHamon, Countess of Gloucester); died 1170, England.

    Robert — Hawise Reviers. Hawise was born ~1126, Hampshire, England; died ~1215. [Group Sheet]

    1. Mabel FitzRobert was born 1142, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England; died Aft 1214, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Robert FitzRoy, Knight, 1st Earl of Gloucester was born Bef 1100, (France) (son of Henry I, King of England and unnamed partner); died 31 Oct 1147.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Robert Rufus, Robert de Caen, Robert Consul


    Robert Fitzroy, 1st Earl of Gloucester (before 1100 – 31 October 1147[1]) (alias Robert Rufus, Robert de Caen, Robert Consul[2][3]) was an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England. He was the half-brother of the Empress Matilda, and her chief military supporter during the civil war known as The Anarchy, in which she vied with Stephen of Blois for the throne of England.

    Early life

    Robert was probably the eldest of Henry's many illegitimate children.[1] He was born before his father's accession to the English throne, either during the reign of his grandfather William the Conqueror or his uncle William Rufus.[4] He is sometimes and erroneously designated as a son of Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, last king of Deheubarth, although his mother has been identified as a member of "the Gay or Gayt family of north Oxfordshire",[5] possibly a daughter of Rainald Gay (fl. 1086) of Hampton Gay and Northbrook Gay in Oxfordshire. Rainald had known issue Robert Gaay of Hampton (died c. 1138) and Stephen Gay of Northbrook (died after 1154). A number of Oxfordshire women feature as the mothers of Robert's siblings.[5][6]

    He may have been a native of Caen[1][7] or he may have been only Constable and Governor of that city, jure uxoris.[2]

    His father had contracted him in marriage to Mabel FitzHamon, daughter and heir of Robert Fitzhamon, but the marriage was not solemnized until June 1119 at Lisieux.[1][8] His wife brought him the substantial honours of Gloucester in England and Glamorgan in Wales, and the honours of Sainte-Scholasse-sur-Sarthe and âEvrecy in Normandy, as well as Creully. After the White Ship disaster late in 1120, and probably because of this marriage,[9] in 1121 or 1122 his father created him Earl of Gloucester.[10]


    Robert and his wife Mabel FitzHamon had seven children:[11]

    William FitzRobert (111?–1183): succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Gloucester
    Roger FitzRobert (died 1179): Bishop of Worcester
    Hamon FitzRobert (died 1159): killed at the siege of Toulouse.
    Philip FitzRobert (died after 1147): lord of Cricklade
    Matilda FitzRobert (died 1190): married in 1141 Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester.
    Mabel FitzRobert: married Aubrey de Vere
    Richard FitzRobert (1120/35-1175): succeeded his mother as Sire de Creully.
    He also had four illegitimate children:

    Richard FitzRobert (died 1142): Bishop of Bayeux [mother: Isabel de Douvres, sister of Richard de Douvres, bishop of Bayeux (1107–1133)]
    Robert FitzRobert (died 1170): Castellan of Gloucester, married in 1147 Hawise de Reviers (daughter of Baldwin de Reviers, 1st Earl of Devon and his first wife Adelisa), had daughter Mabel FitzRobert (married firstly Jordan de Chambernon and secondly William de Soliers)
    Mabel FitzRobert: married Gruffud, Lord of Senghenydd, son of Ifor Bach. This couple were ancestors of Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the U.S.A.[12]
    Father of Thomas

    Relationship with King Stephen

    There is evidence in the contemporary source, the Gesta Stephani, that Robert was proposed by some as a candidate for the throne, but his illegitimacy ruled him out:

    "Among others came Robert, Earl of Gloucester, son of King Henry, but a bastard, a man of proved talent and admirable wisdom. When he was advised, as the story went, to claim the throne on his father's death, deterred by sounder advice he by no means assented, saying it was fairer to yield it to his sister's son (the future Henry II of England), than presumptuously to arrogate it to himself."
    This suggestion cannot have led to any idea that he and Stephen were rivals for the Crown, as Geoffrey of Monmouth in 1136 referred to Robert as one of the 'pillars' of the new King's rule.

    The capture of King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln on 2 February 1141 gave the Empress Matilda the upper hand in her battle for the throne, but by alienating the citizens of London she failed to be crowned Queen. Her forces were defeated at the Rout of Winchester on 14 September 1141, and Robert of Gloucester was captured nearby at Stockbridge.

    The two prisoners, King Stephen and Robert of Gloucester, were then exchanged, but by freeing Stephen, the Empress Matilda had given up her best chance of becoming queen. She later returned to France, where she died in 1167, though her son succeeded Stephen as King Henry II in 1154.

    Robert of Gloucester died in 1147 at Bristol Castle, where he had previously imprisoned King Stephen, and was buried at St James' Priory, Bristol, which he had founded.

    In popular culture

    Robert of Gloucester was a central character in the struggle during The Anarchy as portrayed in Ken Follet's 2003 novel The Pillars of the Earth and in the 2010 mini-series of the same name.

    Robert is also a figure in many of the novels by Ellis Peters in the Cadfael Chronicles, where he is seen as a strong moderating force to his half-sister (see Saint Peter's Fair). His efforts to gain the crown for his sister by capturing King Stephen and her own actions in London are part of the plot in The Pilgrim of Hate. His capture by Stephen's wife Queen Mathilda is in the background of the plot of An Excellent Mystery. The exchange of the imprisoned Robert for the imprisoned Stephen is in the background of the plot of The Raven in the Foregate. Robert's travels to persuade his brother-in-law to aid his wife Empress Maud militarily in England is in the background of the novel The Rose Rent. His return to England when Empress Maud is trapped in Oxford Castle figures in The Hermit of Eyton Forest. Robert's return to England with his young nephew Henry, years later the king succeeding Stephen, is in the background of the plot of The Confession of Brother Haluin, as the battles begin anew with Robert's military guidance. Robert's success in the Battle of Wilton (1143) leads to the death of a fictional character, part of the plot of The Potter's Field. In the last novel, he is a father who can disagree with then forgive his son Philip (see the last novel, Brother Cadfael's Penance). In that last novel, Brother Cadfael speculates on the possibly different path for England if the first son of old King Henry, the illegitimate Robert of Gloucester, had been recognised and accepted. In Wales of that era, a son was not illegitimate if recognized by his father, and to many in the novels, Robert of Gloucester seemed the best of the contenders to succeed his father.


    ^ Jump up to: a b c d David Crouch, ‘Robert, first earl of Gloucester (b. before 1100, d. 1147)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 1 Oct 2010
    ^ Jump up to: a b "Complete Peerage" Vol IV(1892), p38, "Gloucester", "Robert filius Regis" quoting Round "Consul is often used for Earl in the time of the first age of the Norman Kings"
    Jump up ^ The Complete Peerage claims only that he is "described" as consul, as are most Earls of his time.
    Jump up ^ William of Malmesbury
    ^ Jump up to: a b David Crouch, Historical Research, 1999
    Jump up ^ C. Given-Wilson & A. Curteis. The Royal Bastards of Medieval England (London, 1984) (ISBN 0-415-02826-4), page 74
    Jump up ^ Cawley, Charles, "Henry I", Medlands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[better source needed]
    Jump up ^ "Complete Peerage", "Gloucester"
    Jump up ^ "In the aftermath of the White Ship disaster of 1120, when his younger and legitimate half-brother, William, died, Robert shared in the largesse that the king distributed to reassert his political position. Robert was given the marriage of Mabel, the heir of Robert fitz Haimon, whose lands in the west country and Glamorgan had been in royal wardship since 1107. The marriage also brought Robert the Norman honours of Evrecy and St Scholasse-sur-Sarthe. Robert was raised to the rank of earl of Gloucester soon after, probably by the end of 1121." David Crouch, ‘Robert, first earl of Gloucester (b. before 1100, d. 1147)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 1 Oct 2010
    Jump up ^ CP citing Round for between May 1121 and the end of 1122, but see William of Malmesbury, ed Giles who cites 1119
    Jump up ^ Cawley, Charles. Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands: England, Earls Created 1067–1122, Chapter 11, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[better source needed]
    Jump up ^ Descent of Franklin Pierce from Henry I Beauclerc


    J. Bradbury, Stephen and Matilda: The Civil War of 1139–53 (Stroud, 1996)
    D. Crouch, "Robert of Gloucester's Mother and Sexual Politics in Norman Oxfordshire", Historical Research, 72 (1999) 323–332.
    D. Crouch, 'Robert, earl of Gloucester and the daughter of Zelophehad,' Journal of Medieval History, 11 (1985), 227–43.
    D. Crouch, The Reign of King Stephen, 1135–1154 (London, 2000).
    C. Given-Wilson & A. Curteis. The Royal Bastards of Medieval England (London, 1984)
    The Personnel of the Norman Cathedrals during the Ducal Period, 911–1204, ed. David S. Spear (London, 2006)
    Earldom of Gloucester Charters, ed. R.B. Patterson (Oxford, 1973)
    R.B. Patterson, 'William of Malmesbury's Robert of Gloucester: a re-evaluation of the Historia Novella,' American Historical Review, 70 (1965), 983–97.
    K. Thompson, 'Affairs of State: the illegitimate children of Henry I,' Journal of Medieval History, 29 (2003), 129–151.
    W.M.M. Picken, 'The Descent of the Devon Family of Willington from Robert Earl of Gloucester' in 'A Medieval Cornish Miscellany', Ed. O.J. Padel. (Phillimore, 2000)

    Robert married Mabel FitzHamon, Countess of Gloucester 0___ 1107. Mabel (daughter of Robert Fitzhamon, Knight, Lord of Glamorgan and Sybil de Montgomery) was born 0___ 1090, Gloucestershire, England; died 29 Sep 1157, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. [Group Sheet]

  2. 3.  Mabel FitzHamon, Countess of Gloucester was born 0___ 1090, Gloucestershire, England (daughter of Robert Fitzhamon, Knight, Lord of Glamorgan and Sybil de Montgomery); died 29 Sep 1157, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.


    Mabel FitzRobert, Countess of Gloucester (1090 – 29 September 1157[1]) was an Anglo-Norman noblewoman, and a wealthy heiress who brought the lordship of Gloucester, among other prestigious honours to her husband, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester upon their marriage. He was the illegitimate son of King Henry I of England.

    Her father was Robert Fitzhamon, Lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan. As she was the eldest daughter of four, and her younger sisters had become nuns, Mabel inherited all of his honours and properties upon his death in 1107.

    As Countess of Gloucester, Mabel was significant politically and she exercised an important administrative role in the lordship.[2]

    Mabel was born in Gloucestershire, England c1090 or later, the eldest of the four daughters of Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan, and his wife, Sybil de Montgomery. Her three younger sisters, Hawise, Cecile and Amice[3] all became nuns, making Mabel the sole heiress to her father's lordships and vast estates in England, Wales, and Normandy.

    Her paternal grandfather was Hamon, Sheriff of Kent, and her maternal grandparents were Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Mabel Talvas of Belleme.

    In March 1107, her father died in Normandy, leaving his lordships and estates to Mabel. Her mother married secondly Jean, Sire de Raimes.[4]

    Cardiff Castle in Wales, was one of the properties Mabel brought her husband, Robert upon their marriage


    In 1107, Mabel married Robert of Caen,(also called FitzRoy and FitzEdith), an illegitimate son of King Henry I (not by his mistress Sybil Corbet - other sources say Robert's mother was of the Gai family of Oxfordshire). Their marriage is recorded by Orderic Vitalis who also names her parents.[5] He would later become an important figure during the turbulent period in English history known as The Anarchy which occurred in the reign of King Stephen of England. Throughout the civil war, he was a loyal supporter of his half-sister Empress Matilda who would make him the chief commander of her army. He had originally sworn fealty to King Stephen, but after quarrelling with him in 1137, his English and Welsh possessions were forfeited, and thus he joined forces with Matilda.[6]

    Countess of Gloucester

    Mabel brought to her husband the honours of Gloucester in England, Glamorgan in Wales, Sainte-Scholasse-sur-Sarthe, Evrecy and Creully in Normandy. By right of his wife, he became the 2nd Lord of Glamorgan, and gained possession of her father's castle of Cardiff in Wales. In August 1122, he was created 1st Earl of Gloucester; henceforth, Mabel was styled as Countess of Gloucester.

    As countess, Mabel exercised a prominent administrative role in the Gloucester lordship.[7] Her political importance was evident when she was made responsible for seeing that her husband upheld his side of the agreement in the treaty he made with Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford.[8] She also witnessed four of Robert's charters; as well as giving her personal consent for his foundation of the Abbey of Margam, whose endowment came from her own lands.[9] Later, after Robert's death, Mabel assumed control of the honour of Gloucester's Norman lands on behalf of her eldest son William.[10]


    Together Robert and Mabel had at least eight children:

    William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester (23 November 1112- 23 November 1183), married Hawise de Beaumont by whom he had five children, including Isabella of Gloucester, the first wife of King John of England, and Amice FitzRobert, Countess of Gloucester.
    Roger, Bishop of Worcester (died 9 August 1179)
    Hamon FitzRobert, (died 1159), killed in the Siege of Toulouse.
    Robert FitzRobert of Ilchester (died before 1157), married Hawise de Redvers, by whom he had a daughter Mabel who in her turn married Jordan de Cambernon.
    Richard FitzRobert, Sire de Creully (died 1175), inherited the seigneury of Creully from Mabel, and became the ancestor of the Sires de Creully. He married the daughter of Hughes de Montfort by whom he had five children.
    Philip FitzRobert, (died after 1147), Castellan of Cricklade. He took part in the Second Crusade.
    Maud FitzRobert (died 29 July 1190), married Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester by whom she had three children.
    Mabel FitzRobert, married Aubrey de Vere
    Robert also sired an illegitimate son, Richard, Bishop of Bayeux by Isabel de Douvres.


    Mabel's husband died on 31 October 1147. Mabel herself died on 29 September 1157 in Bristol at the age of sixty-seven years.


    Jump up ^ Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Gloucester 1122-1225
    Jump up ^ Ward, p.106
    Jump up ^ Cawley states in Medieval Lands that Amice might have married a count of Brittany, but no further details are known
    Jump up ^ Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earl of Gloucester 1122-1225)
    Jump up ^ Cawley
    Jump up ^ Cawley
    Jump up ^ Jennifer C. Ward (2006). Women in England in the Middle Ages. London: Hambledon Continuum. p.106. Google Books, retrieved 27-10-10 ISBN 1-85285-346-8
    Jump up ^ Ward, p.106
    Jump up ^ Ward, p.106
    Jump up ^ Ward, p.106
    Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Gloucester 1122-1225

    1. William FitzRobert, Knight, 2nd Earl of Gloucester was born 23 Nov 1116, (Wales); died 23 Nov 1183, (Wales).
    2. Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester was born (Gloucestershire, England); died 29 Jul 1189.
    3. 1. Robert FitzRobert was born 1110, England; died 1170, England.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Henry I, King of EnglandHenry I, King of England was born 1068-1070, Selby, Yorkshire, England; was christened 5 Aug 1100, Selby, Yorkshire, England (son of William the Conqueror, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England); died 1 Dec 1135, Saint-Denis-en-Lyons, Normandy, France; was buried 4 Jan 1136, Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Henry Beauclerc
    • Also Known As: Henry of Normandie


    Born: ABT Sep 1068, Selby, Yorkshire, England
    Acceded: 6 Aug 1100, Westminster Abbey, London, England
    Died: 1 Dec 1135, St Denis-le-Fermont, near Gisors
    Buried: Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England

    Notes: Reigned 1100-1135. Duke of Normandy 1106-1135.

    His reign is notable for important legal and administrative reforms, and for the final resolution of the investiture controversy. Abroad, he waged several campaigns in order to consolidate and expand his continental possessions. Was so hated by his brothers that they vowed to disinherit him. In 1106 he captured Robert and held him til he died. He proved to be a hard but just ruler. One of his lovers, Nest, Princess of Deheubarth, was known as the most beautiful woman in Wales; she had many lovers.

    He apparently died from over eating Lampreys. During a Christmas court at Windsor Castle in 1126 that Henry I, who had no legitimate male heir, tried to force his barons to accept his daughter Matilda as his successor.

    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles reported that "...there he caused archbishops and bishops and abbots and earls all the thegns that were there to swear to give England and Normandy after his death into the hand of his daughter". Swear they did, but they were not happy about it. None of those present were interested in being among the first to owe allegiance to a woman. The stage was set for the 19-year-long bloody struggle for the throne that rent England apart after Henry's death. Ironically, the final resolution to that civil war, the peace treaty between King Stephen and Matilda's son Henry of Anjou, was ratified on Christmas Day at Westminster in 1153.



    History & issue of Henry I, King of England ...

    Family and children


    House of Normandy
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    William the Conqueror invades England
    William I[show]
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    Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry I of England.

    Henry and his first wife, Matilda, had at least two legitimate children:

    Matilda, born in 1102, died 1167.[89]
    William Adelin, born in 1103, died 1120.[89]
    Possibly Richard, who, if he existed, died young.[100]
    Henry and his second wife, Adeliza, had no children.


    Henry had a number of illegitimate children by various mistresses.[nb 32]


    Robert of Gloucester, born in the 1090s.[332]
    Richard, born to Ansfride, brought up by Robert Bloet, the Bishop of Lincoln.[333]
    Reginald de Dunstanville, Earl of Cornwall, born in the 1110s or early 1120s, possibly to Sibyl Corbet.[334]
    Robert the King's son, born to Ede, daughter of Forne.[335]
    Gilbert, possibly born to an unnamed sister or daughter of Walter of Gand.[336]
    William de Tracy, possibly born in the 1090s.[336]
    Henry the King's son, possibly born to Nest ferch Rhys.[335][nb 33]
    Fulk the King's son, possibly born to Ansfride.[335]
    William, the brother of Sybilla de Normandy, probably the brother of Reginald de Dunstanville.[337]


    Matilda FitzRoy, Countess of Perche.[338]
    Matilda FitzRoy, Duchess of Brittany.[338]
    Juliana, wife of Eustace of Breteuil, possibly born to Ansfrida.[339]
    Mabel, wife of William Gouet.[340]
    Constance, Vicountess of Beaumont-sur-Sarthe.[341]
    Aline, wife of Matthew de Montmorency.[342]
    Isabel, daughter of Isabel de Beaumont, Countess of Pembroke.[342]
    Sybilla de Normandy, Queen of Scotland, probably born before 1100.[342][nb 34]
    Matilda Fitzroy, Abbess of Montvilliers.[342]
    Gundrada de Dunstanville.[342]
    Possibly Rohese, wife of Henry de la Pomerai.[342][nb 35]
    Emma, wife of Guy of Laval.[343]
    Adeliza, the King's daughter.[343]
    The wife of Fergus of Galloway.[343]
    Possibly Sibyl of Falaise.[343][nb 36]

    History, maps & photos of Selby, England ...

    Reading Abbey is a large, ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It was founded by Henry I in 1121 "for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of King William, my father, and of King William, my brother, and Queen Maud, my wife, and all my ancestors and successors".

    For more history & images of Reading Abbey, go to:

    Henry — unnamed partner. [Group Sheet]

  2. 5.  unnamed partner
    1. 2. Robert FitzRoy, Knight, 1st Earl of Gloucester was born Bef 1100, (France); died 31 Oct 1147.

  3. 6.  Robert Fitzhamon, Knight, Lord of Glamorgan was born 1045-1055; died 0Mar 1107, Falaise, Calvados, Normandie, France.

    Other Events:

    • Residence: Gloucestershire, England


    Robert Fitzhamon (died March 1107), or Robert FitzHamon, Seigneur de Creully in the Calvados region and Torigny in the Manche region of Normandy, was the first Norman feudal baron of Gloucester and the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan, southern Wales. He became Lord of Glamorgan in 1075.

    As a kinsman of the Conqueror and one of the few Anglo-Norman barons to remain loyal to the two successive kings William Rufus and Henry I of England, he was a prominent figure in England and Normandy.

    Not much is known about his earlier life, or his precise relationship to William I of England.

    Parentage and ancestry

    Robert FitzHamon (born c. 1045-1055, d. March 1107 Falaise, Normandy) was, as the prefix Fitz (fils de, "son of") suggests, the son of Hamo Dapifer the Sheriff of Kent and grandson of Hamon Dentatus ('The Betoothed or Toothy', i.e., probably buck-toothed). His grandfather held the lordships of Torigny, Creully, Mâezy, and Evrecy in Normandy, but following his death at the Battle of Val-áes-Dunes in 1047, the family might have lost these lordships.

    Career in England and Wales[edit]
    Few details of Robert's career prior to 1087 are available. Robert probably did not fight at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and does not appear in the Domesday Book of 1086, although some of his relatives are listed therein. He first comes to prominence in surviving records as a supporter of King William Rufus (1087-1100) during the Rebellion of 1088. After the revolt was defeated he was granted as a reward by King William Rufus the feudal barony of Gloucester[3] consisting of over two hundred manors in Gloucestershire and other counties. Some of these had belonged to the late Queen Matilda, consort of William the Conqueror and mother of William Rufus, and had been seized by her from the great Saxon thane Brictric son of Algar, apparently as a punishment for his having refused her romantic advances in his youth.[4] They had been destined as the inheritance of Rufus's younger brother Henry (the future King Henry I); nevertheless Fitzhamon remained on good terms with Henry.

    Conquest of Glamorgan

    The chronology of Fitzhamon's conquest of Glamorgan is uncertain, but it probably took place in the decades after he received the feudal barony of Gloucester.

    The Twelve Knights of Glamorgan

    One explanation is the legend of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, which dates from the 16th century, in which the Welsh Prince Iestyn ap Gwrgan (Jestin), prince or Lord of Glamorgan, supposedly called in the assistance of Robert Fitzhamon. Fitzhamon defeated the prince of South Wales Rhys ap Tewdwr in battle in 1090. With his Norman knights as reward he then took possession of Glamorgan, and "the French came into Dyfed and Ceredigion, which they have still retained, and fortified the castles, and seized upon all the land of the Britons." Iestyn did not profit long by his involvement with the Normans. He was soon defeated and his lands taken in 1091.

    Whether there is any truth in the legend or not Robert Fitzhamon seems to have seized control of the lowlands of Glamorgan and Gwynllwg sometime from around 1089 to 1094. His key strongholds were Cardiff Castle, which already may have been built, on the site of an old Roman fort, new castles at Newport, and at Kenfig. His descendants would inherit these castles and lands.

    Rhys's daughter Nest became the mistress of King Henry I of England and allegedly was mother of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester who married Mabel, Fitzhamon's daughter and heiress and thus had legitimacy both among the Welsh and the Norman barons.[5] (Robert of Caen's mother is however unknown to historians and genealogists).

    Founder of Tewkesbury Abbey (1092)

    He also refounded Tewkesbury Abbey in 1092. The abbey's dimensions are almost the same as Westminster Abbey. The first abbot was Giraldus, Abbot of Cranborne (d. 1110) who died before the abbey was consecrated in October 1121. The abbey was apparently built under the influence of his wife Sybil de Montgomery. [3], said to be a beautiful and religious woman like her sisters.

    Fitzhamon and His Kings

    Legend has it that Robert had ominous dreams in the days before Rufus' fatal hunting expedition, which postponed but did not prevent the outing. He was one of the first to gather in tears around Rufus' corpse, and he used his cloak to cover the late king's body on its journey to be buried in Winchester. How much of these stories are the invention of later days is unknown.

    In any case Fitzhamon proved as loyal to Henry I as he had been to his predecessor, remaining on Henry's side in the several open conflicts with Henry's brother Robert Curthose. He was one of the three barons who negotiated the 1101 truce between Henry I and Robert Curthose.

    In 1105 he went to Normandy and was captured while fighting near his ancestral estates near Bayeux. This was one of the reasons Henry crossed the channel with a substantial force later that year. Fitzhamon was freed, and joined Henry's campaign, which proceeded to besiege Falaise. There Fitzhamon was severely injured in the head; although he lived two more years he was never the same mentally. He was buried in the Chapter House at Tewkesbury Abbey, which he had founded and considerably enriched during his lifetime.

    Marriage and progeny

    Fitzhamon married Sybil de Montgomery around 1087 to 1090, apparently the youngest daughter of Roger of Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury by his first wife Mabel Talvas, daughter of William I Talvas. She survived her husband and is said to have entered a convent with two of her daughters. By his wife he is said to have had four daughters including:

    Mabel FitzHamon, eldest daughter, who inherited his great estates and in about 1107 married Robert de Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester, a natural son of King Henry I (1100-1135). Fitzhamon's huge land-holdings in several counties formed the feudal barony of Gloucester[6] which was inherited by his son-in-law Robert de Caen, who in 1122 was created 1st Earl of Gloucester.[7] Fitzhamon is sometimes called Earl of Gloucester, but was never so created formally. Robert Fitzhamon's great-granddaughter Isabel of Gloucester married King John (1199-1216).
    Isabella (or Hawisa) FitzHamon, said to have married a count from Brittany, but no further details exist.
    1860 Depiction at Kilkhampton[edit]

    1860 imaginary depiction of Robert FitzHamon (d.1107) (left) and his younger brother Richard I de Grenville ( 1142) (right), Church of St James the Great, Kilkhampton, Cornwall
    An imaginary depiction of Robert FitzHamon (d.1107) and his younger brother Richard I de Grenville ( 1142)[8]) is contained within one of the two Granville windows by Clayton and Bell[9] erected in 1860 by descendants of the latter within the Granville Chapel of the Church of St James the Great, Kilkhampton, Cornwall. The seat of the Grenville family ("Granville" after 1661 when elevated to the Earldom of Bath[10]) was Stowe within the parish of Kilkhampton. Below the left-hand figure is inscribed: "Rob. FitzHamon Earl of Corboyle", with attributed arms under showing: Azure, a lion rampant guardant or impaling Azure, a lion rampant or a bordure of the last. The right hand figure is of Richard de Granville, the younger brother of Robert FitzHamon and one of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan who followed his brother in effecting the conquest of Glamorgan. He holds in his hands the church of his foundation of Neath Abbey, Glamorgan. Below is inscribed: "Ric. de Granville Earl of Corboyle" with attributed arms under showing: Gules, three clarions or (the arms of the Grenvilles' later overlord and Robert FitzHamon's heir in the feudal barony of Gloucester,[11] Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, which arms were later adopted by the Grenvilles[12]) with an inescutcheon of pretence of Gules, three lions passant argent. The Granvilles claimed in the 17th century to have been the heirs male of Robert FitzHamon (who left only a daughter as his sole heiress) in his supposed Earldom of Corboil.[13] The windows were erected in 1860 by the heirs of the Grenville family: George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland KG (1786-1861); John Alexander Thynne, 4th Marquess of Bath (1831–1896); George Granville Francis Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (1823–1862); Lord John Thynne (1798-1881), DD, Canon of Westminster, a younger son of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath (1765-1837), KG.[14]


    C. Warren Hollister, Henry I
    Lynn Nelson, The Normans in South Wales, 1070-1171 (see especially pp. 94–110 in chapter 5)
    Cardiff Castle
    Norman invasion of South Wales
    Tour of the Abbey
    Lord of Bristol refers to Robert Fitzhamon as Lord of Bristol, which town and castle became important to his son-in-law.
    Robert of Caen, son-in-law is said here to be grandson of a Welsh prince but most other sources say that his mother was an unnamed woman of Caen.
    Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 63-26, 124A-26, 125-26, 185-1.


    Jump up ^ Sir Charles Isham's "Registrum Theokusburiµ" gives a full-page illustration of these noble brothers, "par nobile fratrum," as Dr. Hayman calls them, in which they are termed "duo duces Marciorum et primi fundatores Theokusburiµ" i.e., two Earls of the Marches and first founders of Tewkesbury. Each knight is in armour, and bears in his hand a model of a church. Both are supporting a shield (affixed to a pomegranate tree) bearing the arms of the Abbey, which the blazoning on their own coats repeats.(Massâe, H. J. L. J., The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury with some Account of the Priory Church of Deerhurst Gloucestershire (Bell's Cathedrals)) original illustration as shown on folio 8 verso, Bodleian Library Manuscript: Top. Gloucester, d. 2, Founders' and benefectors' book of Tewkesbury Abbey [1]
    Jump up ^ Bodleian Library Manuscript: Top. Gloucester, d. 2, Founders' and benefectors' book of Tewkesbury Abbey [2]
    Jump up ^ Sanders, I.J., English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, p.6, Barony of Gloucester
    Jump up ^ According to the account by the Continuator of Wace and others, quoted in Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, part 2 (notes), 24,21, quoting "Freeman, E.A., The History of the Norman Conquest of England, 6 vols., Oxford, 1867–1879, vol. 4, Appendix, note 0"
    Jump up ^ Four Ancient Books of Wales: Introduction: Chapter VI. Manau Gododin and the Picts
    Jump up ^ Sanders, p.6
    Jump up ^ Sanders, p.6
    Jump up ^ Round, J. Horace, Family Origins and Other Studies, London, 1930, The Granvilles and the Monks, pp.130-169, p.137
    Jump up ^ Church Guidebook, St James the Great Kilkhampton, 2012, p.11
    Jump up ^ Round, J. Horace, Family Origins and Other Studies, London, 1930, The Granvilles and the Monks, pp.130-169
    Jump up ^ Sanders, I.J., English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, p.6, Barony of Gloucester
    Jump up ^ Round, J. Horace, Family Origins and Other Studies, London, 1930, The Granvilles and the Monks, pp.130-169
    Jump up ^ Round, J. Horace, Family Origins and Other Studies, London, 1930, The Granvilles and the Monks, pp.130-169
    Jump up ^ Per brass plaque below easternmost window

    Robert — Sybil de Montgomery. [Group Sheet]

  4. 7.  Sybil de Montgomery
    1. 3. Mabel FitzHamon, Countess of Gloucester was born 0___ 1090, Gloucestershire, England; died 29 Sep 1157, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  William the Conqueror, King of England, Duke of NormandyWilliam the Conqueror, King of England, Duke of Normandy was born 14 Oct 1024, Chateau de Falaise, Falaise, Normandy, France; was christened 0___ 1066, Dives-sur-Mer, Normandie, France (son of Robert de Normandie and Harriette de Falaise, Countess of Montaigne); died 9 Sep 1087, Rouen, Normandy, France; was buried Saint-Etienne de Caen, France.

    Other Events:

    • Residence: Hastings, England
    • Also Known As: Guillaume de Normandie
    • Also Known As: William I Normandie, King of England
    • Also Known As: William the Bastard
    • Military: Victor over the English in the Battle of Hastings, 1066
    • Burial: 10 Sep 1087, St. Stephen Abbey, Caen, Calvados, France


    William I the Conqueror of England and Normandy, Duke of Normandy, King of England, was born 9 September 1027 in Falaise, France to Robert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) and Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050) and died 1087 in Rouen, France of unspecified causes. He married Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083) 1051 JL . Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.

    William I, King of England, Duke of Normandy was a mediµval monarch. He ruled as the Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087 and as King of England from 1066 to 1087. As Duke of Normandy, William was known as William II, and, as King of England, as William I. He is commonly refered to as William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquâerant) or William the Bastard (Guillaume le Băatard).

    The name "William the Bastard", a name used by his enemies arose from the fact that his mother was a Tanner's daughter who agreed to be his father Robert II's mistress. She demanded that their relationship not be secret, and had a position in court. After the affair was over, she married a Viscount. William retained the favour of his father and when Robert II left for the Holy Land, he forced his lords to pledge fealty to William. Robert II never returned from the Holy land and the oath was quickly forgotten, and intrigue surrounded the boy Duke. William's guardian Gilbert of Brionne was murdered, as was his tutor, as was his uncle Osbern- killed while protecting William from kidnappers found in his bedroom. William was sent away from home for his protection, and it was common practice for William's uncle Walter to awaken him in the night to move him to a new location.

    By age fifteen, William was knighted, and by twenty he went to war against his cousin Guy of Normandy to defend his title of Duke of Normandy. With the help of King Henri I of France, he subdued his enemies who were forced to swear allegiance to William.

    William asked for the hand of Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders, but Matilda would have none of it. Purportedly, she was in love with the English ambassador to Flanders, a Saxon named Brihtric, who declined her advances. As for William, she told his emissary that she was far too high-born (being descended from King Alfred the Great of England) to consider marrying a bastard. When that was repeated to him, William, all of 5'10", rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse (some said by her long braids), threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants, and then rode off. Another version states that William rode to Matilda's father's house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by the braids), and hit her (or violently shook her) before leaving.

    William convinced Matilda to relent, but the pope opposed the marriage because they were distant cousins. For a period of time all of Normandy was excommunicated along with their duke because William disregarded the pope's advice and married Matilda. In return for the construction of two abbeys, the excommunication of Normandy was lifted.

    In 1051, William visited his cousin Edward the Confessor, king of England. Edward was childless, and William's account is that the king made him his heir. According to supporters of William, Edward sent his brother in law Harold Godwinson to see William in 1063. Other accounts say that Harold was shipwrecked. All accounts agree that William refused to let Harold depart until he swore on holy relics that he would uphold William's claim to the throne of England, and agreed to marry his daughter (then an infant) Agatha. After winning his release, Harold reneged on both promises.

    In support of his claim to the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts| in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.

    His reign brought Norman culture to England, which had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign also saw changes to English law, a programme of building and fortification, changes in the English language and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.

    For additional details beyond William's family history, see more here.

    Residence at Falaise
    In Falaise France, is a series of statues that pays tribute to the six Norman Dukes from Rollo to William Conqueror. The castle here was the principal residence of the Norman Knights.

    Chăateau Guillaume-le-Conquâerant Place Guillaume le Conquâerant / 14700 Falaise / Tel: 02 31 41 61 44

    History of Norman Dukes
    Homepage - Falaise Castle of William the Conqueror - In French.


    Offspring of William I of England and Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Robert III, Duke of Normandy (c1051-1134) 1051 (Normandy) 10 February 1134 (Cardiff Castle+ Glamorganshire+ Wales) Sybilla of Conversano (-1103)

    Richard of Normandy (c1054) 1054 Normandy 1081 New Forest, Hampshire
    Adeliza of Normandy (c1055) 1055 Normandy 1065
    Cecilia of Normandy (c1055) 1055 Normandy, France 30 July 1126 Caen, Calvados, France
    William II of England (c1056-1100) 1056 Normandy, France 2 August 1100 New Forest, England, United Kingdom
    Adela of Normandy (c1062) 1062 Normandy, France 8 March 1138 Marcigny, Saăone-et-Loire, France Stephen II, Count of Blois (c1045-1102)

    Agatha of Normandy (c1064) 1064 1079
    Constance of Normandy (c1066-1090) 1066 1090 Alain Fergent de Bretagne (c1060-1119)

    Henry I of England (1068-1135) 13 June 1068 Selby, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom 1 December 1135 St. Denis-le-Fermont near Gisors, Picardy, Lyons-la-Forăet, Eure, France Ansfrid (1070-?)
    Matilda of Scotland (c1080-1118)
    Sybil Corbet (1077-?)
    Gieva de Tracy
    Nest ferch Rhys (c1073-aft1136)
    Isabel de Beaumont
    Adeliza of Leuven (1103-1151)

    Common ancestors of William I of England (1027-1087) and Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083)

    Fulk II, Count of Anjou (?-958)
    Gerberge of Maine (?-?)
    Noteworthy descendants include

    Henry II of England (1133-1189)
    William I of England (1027-1087)

    Footnotes (including sources)
    ‡ General
    wikipedia:en:William the Conqueror
    Burke's Guide to the Royal Family, London, 1973 , Reference: 193, 310

    end of biography

    Click here to view William the Conqueror's biography...

    Click here to read about the historic Norman Conquest by William ...

    Click here to view his 9-generation pedigree ...

    William the Conqueror is the 26th & 27th great grandfather of the grandchildren of Vernia Swindell Byars (1894-1985)

    end of comment

    Click this link to view lots of pictures of William I & a video from the, "Bayeux Tapestry";

    Victor over the English in the Battle of 1066

    a seminal moment in English history...

    The Abbey of Saint-âEtienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ("Men's Abbey"), is a former Benedictine monastery in the French city of Caen, Normandy, dedicated to Saint Stephen. It was founded in 1063[1] by William the Conqueror and is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Normandy.

    Photos, history & source:,_Caen

    at the Priory of St. Gervase...

    William married Matilda of Flanders, Queen of England 0___ 1053, Normandie, France. Matilda was born Abt 1031, Flanders, Belgium; died 2 Nov 1083, Caen, Calvados, Normandie, France; was buried Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, Normandie, France. [Group Sheet]

  2. 9.  Matilda of Flanders, Queen of EnglandMatilda of Flanders, Queen of England was born Abt 1031, Flanders, Belgium; died 2 Nov 1083, Caen, Calvados, Normandie, France; was buried Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, Normandie, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Maud
    • _HEIG: 5' 0"


    Matilda of Flanders (French: Mathilde; Dutch: Machteld) (c. 1031 – 2 November 1083) was Queen of England and Duchess of Normandy by marriage to William the Conqueror, and sometime Regent of these realms during his absence. She was the mother of ten children who survived to adulthood, including two kings, William II and Henry I.

    As a niece and granddaughter of kings of France, Matilda was of grander birth than William, who was illegitimate, and, according to some suspiciously romantic tales, she initially refused his proposal on this account. Her descent from the Anglo-Saxon royal House of Wessex was also to become a useful card. Like many royal marriages of the period, it breached the rules of consanguinity, then at their most restrictive (to seven generations or degrees of relatedness); Matilda and William were third-cousins, once removed. She was about 20 when they married in 1051/2; William was four years older,24, and had been Duke of Normandy since he was about eight (in 1035).

    The marriage appears to have been successful, and William is not recorded to have had any bastards. Matilda was about 35, and had already produced most of her children, when William embarked on the Norman conquest of England, sailing in his flagship Mora, which Matilda had given him. She governed the Duchy of Normandy in his absence, joining him in England only after more than a year, and subsequently returning to Normandy, where she spent most of the remainder of her life, while William was mostly in his new kingdom. She was about 52 when she died in Normandy in 1083.

    Apart from governing Normandy and supporting her brother's interests in Flanders, Matilda took a close interest in the education of her children, who were unusually well educated for contemporary royalty. The boys were tutored by the Italian Lanfranc, who was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1070, while the girls learned Latin in Sainte-Trinitâe Abbey in Caen, founded by William and Matilda as part of the papal dispensation allowing their marriage.


    Matilda, or Maud, was the daughter of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders, and Adela, herself daughter of King Robert II of France.[1]

    According to legend, when the Norman duke William the Bastard (later called the Conqueror) sent his representative to ask for Matilda's hand in marriage, she told the representative that she was far too high-born to consider marrying a bastard.[a] After hearing this response, William rode from Normandy to Bruges, found Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse by her long braids, threw her down in the street in front of her flabbergasted attendants and rode off.

    Another version of the story states that William rode to Matilda's father's house in Lille, threw her to the ground in her room (again, by her braids) and hit her (or violently battered her) before leaving. Naturally, Baldwin took offence at this; but, before they could draw swords, Matilda settled the matter[2] by refusing to marry anyone but William;[3] even a papal ban by Pope Leo IX at the Council of Reims on the grounds of consanguinity did not dissuade her. William and Matilda were married after a delay in c.?1051–2.[4] A papal dispensation was finally awarded in 1059 by Pope Nicholas II.[5] Lanfranc, at the time prior of Bec Abbey, negotiated the arrangement in Rome and it came only after William and Matilda agreed to found two churches as penance.[6]

    Rumored romances

    There were rumours that Matilda had been in love variously with the English ambassador to Flanders and with the great Saxon thegn Brictric, son of Algar, who (according to the account by the Continuator of Wace and others[7]) in his youth declined her advances. Whatever the truth of the matter, years later when she was acting as regent for her husband William in England, she is said to have used her authority to confiscate Brictric's lands and throw him into prison, where he died.[8]

    Duchess of Normandy

    When William was preparing to invade England, Matilda outfitted a ship, the Mora, out of her own funds and gave it to him.[9] Additionally, William gave Normandy to his wife during his absence. Matilda successfully guided the duchy through this period in the name of her fourteen-year-old son; no major uprisings or unrest occurred.[10]

    Even after William conquered England and became its king, it took her more than a year to visit the kingdom.[11] Despite having been crowned queen, she spent most of her time in Normandy, governing the duchy, supporting her brother's interests in Flanders, and sponsoring ecclesiastic houses there. Only one of her children was born in England; Henry was born in Yorkshire when Matilda accompanied her husband in the Harrying of the North.[12]


    Statue of Matilda of Flanders, one of the twenty Reines de France et Femmes illustres in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, by Carle Elshoecht (1850)

    Tomb of Matilda of Flanders at Abbaye aux Dames, Caen

    Tomb of William of Normandy at Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Caen
    Matilda was crowned queen on 11 May 1068 in Westminster during the feast of Pentecost, in a ceremony presided over by the archbishop of York. Three new phrases were incorporated to cement the importance of English consorts, stating that the Queen was divinely placed by God, shares in royal power, and blesses her people by her power and virtue.[13][14]

    For many years it was thought that she had some involvement in the creation of the Bayeux Tapestry (commonly called La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde in French), but historians no longer believe that; it seems to have been commissioned by William's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and made by English artists in Kent.[15]

    Matilda bore William nine or ten children. He was believed to have been faithful to her and never produced a child outside their marriage. Despite her royal duties, Matilda was deeply invested in her children's well-being. All were known for being remarkably educated. Her daughters were educated and taught to read Latin at Sainte-Trinitâe in Caen founded by Matilda and William in response to the recognition of their marriage.[16] For her sons, she secured Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury of whom she was an ardent supporter. Both she and William approved of the Archbishop's desire to revitalise the Church.[17]

    She stood as godmother for Matilda of Scotland, who would become Queen of England after marrying Matilda's son Henry I. During the christening, the baby pulled Queen Matilda's headdress down on top of herself, which was seen as an omen that the younger Matilda would be queen some day as well.[18]

    Matilda fell ill during the summer of 1083 and died in November 1083. Her husband was present for her final confession.[19] William died four years later in 1087.

    Contrary to the common belief that she was buried at St. Stephen's, also called l'Abbaye-aux-Hommes in Caen, Normandy, where William was eventually buried, she is entombed in Caen at l'Abbaye aux Dames, which is the community of Sainte-Trinitâe. Of particular interest is the 11th-century slab, a sleek black stone decorated with her epitaph, marking her grave at the rear of the church. In contrast, the grave marker for William's tomb was replaced as recently as the beginning of the 19th century.


    Over time Matilda's tomb was desecrated and her original coffin destroyed. Her remains were placed in a sealed box and reburied under the original black slab.[20] In 1959 Matilda's incomplete skeleton was examined and her femur and tibia were measured to determine her height using anthropometric methods. Her height was 5 feet (1.52m), a normal height for the time.[21] However, as a result of this examination she was misreported as being 4 feet 2 inches (1.27m)[22] leading to the myth that she was extremely small.

    Family and children

    Matilda and William had four sons and at least five daughters.[23] The birth order of the boys is clear, but no source gives the relative order of birth of the daughters.[23]

    Robert, born between 1051 and 1054, died 10 February 1134.[24] Duke of Normandy, married Sybil of Conversano, daughter of Geoffrey of Conversano.[25]
    Richard, born c. 1054, died around 1075.[24]
    William Rufus, born between 1056 and 1060, died 2 August 1100.[24] King of England, killed in the New Forest.
    Henry, born late 1068, died 1 December 1135.[24] King of England, married Edith of Scotland, daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland. His second wife was Adeliza of Louvain.[26]
    Agatha, betrothed to Harold II of England, Alfonso VI of Castile, and possibly Herbert I, Count of Maine, but died unmarried.[b][27]
    Adeliza (or Adelida,[28] Adelaide[26]), died before 1113, reportedly betrothed to Harold II of England, probably a nun of St Lâeger at Prâeaux.[28]
    Cecilia (or Cecily), born c. 1056, died 1127. Abbess of Holy Trinity, Caen.[27]
    Matilda,[28] "daughter of the King", born around 1061, died perhaps about 1086,[26] or else much later (according to Trevor Foulds's suggestion that she was identical to Matilda d'Aincourt[29]).
    Constance, died 1090, married Alan IV Fergent, Duke of Brittany.[27]
    Adela, died 1137, married Stephen, Count of Blois.[27] Mother of King Stephen of England.
    There is no evidence of any illegitimate children born to William.[30]

    William was furious when he discovered she sent large sums of money to their exiled son Robert.[31] She effected a truce between them at Easter 1080.

    (or Sainte Trinitâe) for women which was founded by Matilda around four years later (1063)...


    The problem has been and maybe still is that William the Conqueror and Matilda (dau. of Baldwin V of Flanders & Adelaide of France) had relatively great difficulty is obtaining a papal dispensation for their marriage. It was not immediately obvious that there was any impediment that needed a dispensation. This problem of what the relationship between Matilda and William was that required a dispensation generated a vigorous debate earlier this century. Weis or Weis's source (as you report it) goes for a theory that makes Matilda and William cousins of sorts.

    1. Adela of Normandy was born ~ 1067, Normandy, France; died 8 Mar 1137, Marcigny-sur-Loire, France.
    2. 4. Henry I, King of England was born 1068-1070, Selby, Yorkshire, England; was christened 5 Aug 1100, Selby, Yorkshire, England; died 1 Dec 1135, Saint-Denis-en-Lyons, Normandy, France; was buried 4 Jan 1136, Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire, England.

Generation: 5

  1. 16.  Robert de Normandie was born ~1005, Normandie, France (son of Richard de Normandie, II and Judith de Bretagne); died 22 Jul 1035, Nicaea, Bithynia, Turkey.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Robert the Magnificent


    Robert I the Magnificent of Normandy, Duke of Normany, was born 1000 in Normandy, France to Richard II, Duke of Normandy (963-1027) and Judith of Brittany (982-1017) and died 22 July 1035 in Nicaea, Bithynia, Turkey of unspecified causes. Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.

    Robert, called "The Magnificent" (French, "le Magnifique") for his love of finery, and also called "The Devil" was the son of Duke Richard II of Normandy and Judith, daughter of Conan I, Duke of Brittany.

    When his father died, his elder brother Richard succeeded, whilst he became Count of Hiâemois. When Richard died a year later, there were great suspicions that Robert had Richard murdered, hence his other nickname, "Robert le diable" (the devil). He is sometimes identified with the legendary Robert the Devil. Robert aided King Henry I of France against Henry's rebellious brother and mother, and for his help he was given the territory of the Vexin. He also intervened in the affairs of Flanders, supported Edward the Confessor, who was then in exile at Robert's court, and sponsored monastic reform in Normandy.


    Offspring of Robert I of Normandy and Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    William I of England (1027-1087) 9 September 1027 Falaise, France 1087 Rouen, France Matilda of Flanders (c1031-1083)

    Robert — Harriette de Falaise, Countess of Montaigne. Harriette was born 1003, Falaise, Calvados, Normandie, France; died ~1050, Mortagne-au-Perche, Normandie, France. [Group Sheet]

  2. 17.  Harriette de Falaise, Countess of MontaigneHarriette de Falaise, Countess of Montaigne was born 1003, Falaise, Calvados, Normandie, France; died ~1050, Mortagne-au-Perche, Normandie, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Herleva of Falaise
    • Also Known As: Herleve, Arlette, Arletta, Arlotte and Harlette


    Herleva[a] (c. 1003 – c. 1050) was a Norman woman of the 11th century, known for three sons: William I of England "the Conqueror", an illegitimate son fathered by Robert I, Duke of Normandy; and Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain, who were both fathered by her husband Herluin de Conteville. All three became prominent in William's realm.


    The background of Herleva and the circumstances of William's birth are shrouded in mystery. The written evidence dates from a generation or two later, and is not entirely consistent, but of all the Norman chroniclers only the Tours chronicler asserts that William's parents were subsequently joined in marriage.[b] The most commonly accepted version says that she was the daughter of a tanner named Fulbert from the town of Falaise, in Normandy. The meaning of filia pelletarii burgensis[6] is somewhat uncertain, and Fulbert may instead have been a furrier, embalmer, apothecary, or a person who laid out corpses for burial.[7]

    Some argue that Herleva's father was not a tanner but rather a member of the burgher class.[8] The idea is supported by the appearance of her brothers in a later document as attestors for an under-age William. Also, the Count of Flanders later accepted Herleva as a proper guardian for his own daughter. Both of these would be nearly impossible if Herleva's father was a tanner, which would place his standing as little more than a peasant.

    Orderic Vitalis described Herleva's father Fulbert as the Duke's Chamberlain (cubicularii ducis).[9]
    Relationship with Robert the Magnificent

    According to one legend, it all started when Robert, the young Duke of Normandy, saw Herleva from the roof of his castle tower.[10] The walkway on the roof still looks down on the dyeing trenches cut into stone in the courtyard below, which can be seen to this day from the tower ramparts above. The traditional way of dyeing leather or garments was to trample barefoot on the garments which were awash in the liquid dye in these trenches. Herleva, legend goes, seeing the Duke on his ramparts above, raised her skirts perhaps a bit more than necessary in order to attract the Duke's eye.[10] The latter was immediately smitten and ordered her brought in (as was customary for any woman that caught the Duke's eye) through the back door. Herleva refused, saying she would only enter the Duke's castle on horseback through the front gate, and not as an ordinary commoner. The Duke, filled with lust, could only agree. In a few days, Herleva, dressed in the finest her father could provide, and sitting on a white horse, rode proudly through the front gate, her head held high.[10][11] This gave Herleva a semi-official status as the Duke's concubine.[12] She later gave birth to his son, William, in 1027 or 1028.[13]

    Some historians suggest Herleva was first the mistress of Gilbert of Brionne with whom she had a son, Richard. It was Gilbert who first saw Herleva and elevated her position and then Robert took her for his mistress.[14]
    Marriage to Herluin de Conteville

    Herleva later married Herluin de Conteville in 1031. Some accounts maintain that Robert always loved her, but the gap in their social status made marriage impossible, so, to give her a good life, he married her off to one of his favourite noblemen.[15]

    Another source suggests that Herleva did not marry Herluin until after Robert died, because there is no record of Robert entering another relationship, whereas Herluin married another woman, Fredesendis, by the time he founded the abbey of Grestain.[16]

    From her marriage to Herluin she had two sons: Odo, who later became Bishop of Bayeux, and Robert, who became Count of Mortain. Both became prominent during William's reign. They also had at least two daughters: Emma, who married Richard le Goz, Viscount of Avranches, and a daughter of unknown name who married William, lord of la Fertâe-Macâe.[17]

    According to Robert of Torigni, Herleva was buried at the abbey of Grestain, which was founded by Herluin and their son Robert around 1050. This would put Herleva in her forties around the time of her death. However, David C. Douglas suggests that Herleva probably died before Herluin founded the abbey because her name does not appear on the list of benefactors, whereas the name of Herluin's second wife, Fredesendis, does.[18]

    end of biography

    1. 8. William the Conqueror, King of England, Duke of Normandy was born 14 Oct 1024, Chateau de Falaise, Falaise, Normandy, France; was christened 0___ 1066, Dives-sur-Mer, Normandie, France; died 9 Sep 1087, Rouen, Normandy, France; was buried Saint-Etienne de Caen, France.
    2. Adelaide of Normandy was born ~1030, Normandie, France; died Bef 1090, (Normandie, France).

Generation: 6

  1. 32.  Richard de Normandie, II was born 23 Aug 0963, Normandie, France (son of Richard de Normandie, I and Gonor de Crepon, Duchess of Normandy); died 28 Aug 1027, Normandie, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Duke of Normandy
    • Also Known As: Richard II "the Good"
    • Also Known As: Richard of Normandy


    Richard II of Normandy, Duke of Normandy, was born 23 August 963 in Normandy, France to Richard I, Duke of Normandy (933-996) and Gunnora, Duchess of Normandy (c936-1031) and died 28 August 1027 in Normandy, France of unspecified causes. He married Judith of Brittany (982-1017) 996 JL . He married Papia of Envermeu . Ancestors are from France.


    Offspring of Richard II of Normandy and Judith of Brittany (982-1017)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Richard III of Normandy (997-1027) 997 1027 Adáele of France (1009-1079)

    Adelaide of Normandy (1002-1038) 1002 1038 Renaud I de Bourgogne (c990-1057)

    Robert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) 1000 Normandy, France 22 July 1035 Nicaea, Bithynia, Turkey Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050)
    Estrid of Normandy (1001)

    William of Normandy (c1008-aft1025) 1008 1025
    Eleanor of Normandy (c1012-aft1071) 1012 1071 Baldwin IV of Flanders (980-1036)

    Matilda of Normandy (c1014-aft1033) 1014 1033

    Offspring of Richard II of Normandy and Papia of Envermeu
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Mauger de Rouen (c1019-c1055) 1019 1055
    Guillaume de Talou (c1022-aft1054) 1022 1054 Beatrice de Ponthieu (c1035-c1082)

    Noteworthy descendants include

    Henry II of England (1133-1189)
    William I of England (1027-1087)
    Namesakes of Richard II, Duke of Normandy (963-1027)

    Richard married Judith de Bretagne ~1000. Judith (daughter of Conan of Rennes, I, Count of Rennes, Duke of Brittany and Ermengarde of Anjou) was born 0982, Rennes, France; died 1017, Normandy, France. [Group Sheet]

  2. 33.  Judith de Bretagne was born 0982, Rennes, France (daughter of Conan of Rennes, I, Count of Rennes, Duke of Brittany and Ermengarde of Anjou); died 1017, Normandy, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Judith of Brittany


    Judith of Brittany was born 982 to Conan I of Rennes (927-992) and Ermengarde of Anjou (bef967-) and died 1017 of unspecified causes. She married Richard II, Duke of Normandy (963-1027) 996 JL . Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.
    Judith is a 10th generation descendant of Charlemagne (747-814) through her mother. There are two disputed lines (through her father and her maternal grandfather) that place her in generations 9.


    Offspring of Judith of Brittany and Richard II, Duke of Normandy (963-1027)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Richard III of Normandy (997-1027) 997 1027 Adáele of France (1009-1079)

    Adelaide of Normandy (1002-1038) 1002 1038 Renaud I de Bourgogne (c990-1057)

    Robert II, Duke of Normandy (c1000-1035) 1000 Normandy, France 22 July 1035 Nicaea, Bithynia, Turkey Herleva of Falaise (1003-1050)
    Estrid of Normandy (1001)

    William of Normandy (c1008-aft1025) 1008 1025
    Eleanor of Normandy (c1012-aft1071) 1012 1071 Baldwin IV of Flanders (980-1036)

    Matilda of Normandy (c1014-aft1033) 1014 1033

    Noteworthy descendants include

    Henry II of England (1133-1189)
    William I of England (1027-1087)

    1. Richard Normandie was born ~0997, Normandie, France; died 6 Aug 1027, (Normandy, France).
    2. 16. Robert de Normandie was born ~1005, Normandie, France; died 22 Jul 1035, Nicaea, Bithynia, Turkey.

Generation: 7

  1. 64.  Richard de Normandie, IRichard de Normandie, I was born 28 Aug 0932, Fecamp, Normandie, France (son of William of Normandy, I, Duke of Normandy and Sprota); died 20 Nov 0996, Fecamp, France; was buried Fecamp, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Count of Rouen
    • Also Known As: Jarl Richart (Old Norse)
    • Also Known As: Richard I of Normandy
    • Also Known As: Richard of Normandy
    • Also Known As: Richard Sans-Peur (French)
    • Also Known As: Richard the Fearless


    Richard I (28 August 932 – 20 November 996), also known as Richard the Fearless (French: Richard Sans-Peur; Old Norse: Jarl Richart), was the Count of Rouen or Jarl of Rouen from 942 to 996.[1] Dudo of Saint-Quentin, whom Richard commissioned to write the "De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum" (Latin, "On the Customs and Deeds of the First Dukes of Normandy"), called him a Dux. However, this use of the word may have been in the context of Richard's renowned leadership in war, and not as a reference to a title of nobility.[2][3] Richard either introduced feudalism into Normandy or he greatly expanded it. By the end of his reign, most important Norman landholders held their lands in feudal tenure.[4]

    Richard was born to William Longsword, princeps (chieftain or ruler)[5] of Normandy, and Sprota.[1] His mother was a Breton concubine captured in war and bound to William by a more danico marriage.[6] He was also the grandson of the famous Rollo. William was told of the birth of a son after the battle with Riouf and other Viking rebels, but his existence was kept secret until a few years later when William Longsword first met his son Richard. After kissing the boy and declaring him his heir, William sent Richard to be raised in Bayeux.[7] Richard was about ten years old when his father was killed on 17 December 942.[1] After William was killed, Sprota became the wife of Esperleng, a wealthy miller. Rodulf of Ivry was their son and Richard's half-brother.[8]

    With the death of Richard's father in 942, King Louis IV of France installed the boy, Richard, in his father's office. Under the influence of Arnulf I, Count of Flanders the King took him into Frankish territory[9]:32–4 and placing him in the custody of the count of Ponthieu before the King reneged and seized the lands of the Duchy of Normandy.[10] He then split up the Duchy, giving its lands in lower Normandy to Hugh the Great. Louis IV thereafter kept Richard in close confinement at Lăaon,[11] but the youth escaped from imprisonment[9]:36–7 with assistance of Osmond de Centville, Bernard de Senlis (who had been a companion of Rollo of Normandy), Ivo de Belláesme, and Bernard the Dane[12] (ancestor to the families of Harcourt and Beaumont).[a]

    In 946, at the age of 14, Richard allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders in France and with men sent by King Harold of Denmark. A battle was fought after which Louis IV was captured. Hostages were taken and held until King Louis recognised Richard as Duke, returning Normandy to him.[9]:37–41 Richard agreed to "commend" himself to Hugh, the Count of Paris, Hugh resolved to form a permanent alliance with Richard and promised his daughter Emma, who was just a child, as a bride, the marriage would take place in 960.[9]:41–2

    Louis IV working with Arnulf I, Count of Flanders persuaded Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor to attack Richard and Hugh. The combined armies of Otto, Arnulf and Louis IV were driven from the gates of Rouen, fleeing to Amiens and being decisively defeated in 947.[9]:41–2[13] A period of peace ensued, Louis IV dying in 954, 13 year old Lothair becoming King. The middle aged Hugh appointed Richard as guardian of his 15-year-old son, Hugh Capet in 955.[9]:44

    In 962, Theobald I, Count of Blois, attempted a renewed invasion of Rouen, Richard's stronghold, but his troops were summarily routed by Normans under Richard's command, and forced to retreat before ever having crossed the Seine river.[14][15] Lothair, the king of the West Franks, was fearful that Richard's retaliation could destabilize a large part of West Francia so he stepped in to prevent any further war between the two.[16] In 987 Hugh Capet became King of the Franks.

    For the last 30 years until his death in 996 in Fâecamp, Richard concentrated on Normandy itself, and participated less in Frankish politics and its petty wars. In lieu of building up the Norman Empire by expansion, he stabilized the realm and reunited the Normans, forging the reclaimed Duchy of his father and grandfather into West Francia's most cohesive and formidable principality.[17]

    Richard was succeeded in November 996 by his 33-year-old son, Richard II, Duke of Normandy.

    Relationships with France, England and the Church
    Richard used marriage to build strong alliances. His marriage to Emma of Paris connected him directly to the House of Capet. His second wife, Gunnora, from a rival Viking group in the Cotentin, formed an alliance to that group, while her sisters formed the core group that were to provide loyal followers to him and his successors.[18]

    His daughters forged valuable marriage alliances with powerful neighboring counts as well as to the king of England.[18] Emma marrying firstly Ąthelred the Unready and after his death in 1016, the invader, Cnut the Great. Her children included three English kings, Edward the Confessor, Alfred Aetheling and with Cnut, Harthacnut so completing a major link between the Duke of Normandy and the Crown of England that would add validity to the claim by the future William the Conqueror to the throne of England.

    Richard also built on his relationship with the church, undertaking acts of piety,[19]:lv restoring their lands and ensuring the great monasteries flourished in Normandy. His further reign was marked by an extended period of peace and tranquility.[18][20]


    Richard & his children
    His first marriage in 960 was to Emma, daughter of Hugh "The Great" of France,[1][21] and Hedwig von Sachsen.[21] They were betrothed when both were very young. She died after 19 March 968, with no issue.[1]

    According to Robert of Torigni, not long after Emma's death, Duke Richard went out hunting and stopped at the house of a local forester. He became enamored with the forester's wife, Seinfreda, but she was a virtuous woman and suggested he court her unmarried sister, Gunnor, instead. Gunnor became his mistress and her family rose to prominence. Her brother, Herfast de Crepon, may have been involved in a controversial heresy trial. Gunnor was, like Richard, of Viking descent, being a Dane by blood. Richard finally married her to legitimize their children:[b]

    Richard II "the Good", Duke of Normandy[1]
    Robert, Archbishop of Rouen, Count of Evreux[1]
    Mauger, Count of Corbeil[1]
    Emma of Normandy, wife of two kings of England[1]
    Maud of Normandy, wife of Odo II of Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Chartres[1]
    Hawise of Normandy m. Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany[1]
    Papia of Normandy
    Orielda (963-1031) wife of Fulk Seigneur de Guernanville, Dean of Evreax [22][23]
    Illegitimate children

    Richard was known to have had several other mistresses and had children with many of them. Known children are:

    Geoffrey, Count of Eu[1][24]
    William, Count of Eu (ca. 972-26 January 1057/58),[24] m. Lasceline de Turqueville (d. 26 January 1057/58).
    Beatrice of Normandy, Abbess of Montvilliers d.1034 m. Ebles of Turenne[1] (d.1030 (divorced)
    Possible children
    Muriella, married Tancred de Hauteville[1][25][26]
    Fressenda or Fredesenda (ca. 995-ca. 1057), second wife of Tancred de Hauteville.[1][26][27]
    Guimara (Wimarc(a)) (b. circa 986), died Abbey of Montivilliers, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, wife of Ansfred (Ansfroi) II "le Dane" le Goz, vicomte of Exmes and Falaise, mother of Robert FitzWimarc[28]
    Richard died of natural causes in Fecamp, France, on 20 November 996.[29]

    Depictions in fiction
    The Little Duke, a Victorian juvenile novel by Charlotte Mary Yonge, is a fictionalized account of Richard's boyhood and early struggles.

    Count of Rouen
    Reign 17 December 942 – 20 November 996
    Predecessor William Longsword
    Successor Richard II
    Born 28 August 932
    Fâecamp Normandy, France
    Died 20 November 996 (aged 64)
    Fâecamp Normandy, France
    Spouse Emma of Paris
    Issue Richard II of Normandy
    Robert II (Archbishop of Rouen)
    Mauger, Count of Corbeil
    Robert Danus
    Emma of Normandy
    Maud of Normandy
    Hawise of Normandy
    Geoffrey, Count of Eu (illegitimate)
    William, Count of Eu (illegitimate)
    Beatrice of Normandy (illegitimate)
    Robert (illegitimate)
    Papia (illegitimate)
    House House of Normandy
    Father William I Longsword
    Mother Sprota

    end of biography

    Richard — Gonor de Crepon, Duchess of Normandy. Gonor (daughter of Harold Gormsen, VII, King of Denmark and Gunhild von Denmark) was born ~0941, Rouen, France; died 5 Jan 1031, Normandie, France. [Group Sheet]

  2. 65.  Gonor de Crepon, Duchess of NormandyGonor de Crepon, Duchess of Normandy was born ~0941, Rouen, France (daughter of Harold Gormsen, VII, King of Denmark and Gunhild von Denmark); died 5 Jan 1031, Normandie, France.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Gunnor
    • Also Known As: Gunnora


    Gunnora (or Gunnor) (circa 936 – 5 Jan 1031) was a Duchess of Normandy and the wife of Richard I of Normandy.


    The names of Gunnora's parents are unknown, but Robert of Torigni wrote that her father was a forester from the Pays de Caux and according to Dudo of Saint-Quentin she was of noble Danish origin.[2] Gunnora was probably born c.? 950.[3] Her family held sway in western Normandy and Gunnora herself was said to be very wealthy.[4] Her marriage to Richard I was of great political importance, both to her husband[b] and her progeny.[5] Her brother, Herfast de Crepon, was progenitor of a great Norman family.[4] Her sisters and nieces[c] married some of the most important nobles in Normandy.[6]

    Robert of Torigni recounts a story of how Richard met Gunnora.[7] She was living with her sister Seinfreda, the wife of a local forester, when Richard, hunting nearby, heard of the beauty of the forester's wife. He is said to have ordered Seinfreda to come to his bed, but the lady substituted her unmarried sister, Gunnora. Richard, it is said, was pleased that by this subterfuge he had been saved from committing adultery and together they had three sons and three daughters.[d][8] Unlike other territorial rulers, the Normans recognized marriage by cohabitation or more danico. But when Richard was prevented from nominating their son Robert to be Archbishop of Rouen, the two were married, "according to the Christian custom", making their children legitimate in the eyes of the church.[8]

    Gunnora attested ducal charters up into the 1020s, was skilled in languages and was said to have had an excellent memory.[9] She was one of the most important sources of information on Norman history for Dudo of St. Quentin.[10] As Richard's widow she is mentioned accompanying her sons on numerous occasions.[9] That her husband depended on her is shown in the couple's charters where she is variously regent of Normandy, a mediator and judge, and in the typical role of a medieval aristocratic mother, an arbitrator between her husband and their oldest son Richard II.[9]

    Gunnora was a founder and supporter of Coutances Cathedral and laid its first stone.[11] In one of her own charters after Richard's death she gave two alods to the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, namely Britavilla and Domjean, given to her by her husband in dower, which she gave for the soul of her husband, and the weal of her own soul and that of her sons "count Richard, archbishop Robert, and others..."[12] She also attested a charter, c.?1024–26, to that same abbey by her son, Richard II, shown as Gonnor matris comitis (mother of the count).[13] Gunnora, both as wife and countess,[e] was able to use her influence to see her kin favored, and several of the most prominent Anglo-Norman families on both sides of the English Channel are descended from her, her sisters and nieces.[9] Gunnora died c.?1031.[3]


    Richard and Gunnora were parents to several children:

    Richard II "the Good", Duke of Normandy[14]
    Robert, Archbishop of Rouen, Count of Evreux, died 1037[14]
    Mauger, Count of Corbeil[14]
    Emma of Normandy (c.?985–1052), married first to Ąthelred, King of England and secondly Cnut the Great, King of England.[14]
    Hawise of Normandy, wife of Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany[14]
    Maud of Normandy, wife of Odo II of Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Chartres[14]

    end of biography

    1. 32. Richard de Normandie, II was born 23 Aug 0963, Normandie, France; died 28 Aug 1027, Normandie, France.
    2. Emma of Normandy, Queen consort of England was born ~0985, Normandie, France; died 6 Mar 1052, Winchester, Hampshire, England; was buried Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England.
    3. Robert d'Evereux

  3. 66.  Conan of Rennes, I, Count of Rennes, Duke of Brittany was born 0927; died 27 Jun 0992.


    Conan I le Tort of Rennes, Count of Rennes, Duke of Brittany, was born 927 to Judicael Berengar (-bef979) and died 27 June 992 at the Battle of Conquereuil of unspecified causes. He married Ermengarde of Anjou (bef967-) .

    Conan may have married his second cousin once removed: Herbert I, Count of Vermandois (c848-907) may have been his great-grandfather and was his wife's great-great-grandfather.

    Conan — Ermengarde of Anjou. Ermengarde (daughter of Geoffrey of Anjou and Adele of Meaux) was born Bef 0967, (Anjou, France). [Group Sheet]

  4. 67.  Ermengarde of Anjou was born Bef 0967, (Anjou, France) (daughter of Geoffrey of Anjou and Adele of Meaux).
    1. 33. Judith de Bretagne was born 0982, Rennes, France; died 1017, Normandy, France.

Generation: 8

  1. 128.  William of Normandy, I, Duke of NormandyWilliam of Normandy, I, Duke of Normandy was born Normandy, France (son of Rollo and Poppa of Bayeux); died 17 Dec 0942.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Count of Rouen
    • Also Known As: Guillaume Longue-âEpâee (French)
    • Also Known As: Longsword
    • Also Known As: Vilhjâalmr Langaspjâot (Old Norse)
    • Also Known As: Willermus Longa Spata (Latin)


    William Longsword (French: Guillaume Longue-âEpâee, Latin: Willermus Longa Spata, Old Norse: Vilhjâalmr Langaspjâot; c. 893 – 17 December 942) was the second ruler of Normandy, from 927 until his assassination in 942.[1]

    He is sometimes anachronistically dubbed "Duke of Normandy", even though the title duke (dux) did not come into common usage until the 11th century.[2] Longsword was known at the time by the title Count (Latin comes) of Rouen.[3][4] Flodoard—always detailed about titles—consistently referred to both Rollo and his son William as principes (chieftains) of the Norse.[5]


    William Longsword was born "overseas"[a][6] to the Viking Rollo (while he was still a pagan) and his Christian wife Poppa of Bayeux.[7][8] Dudo of Saint-Quentin in his panegyric of the Norman dukes describes Poppa as the daughter of a Count Beranger, the dominant prince of that region.[9] In the 11th century Annales Rouennaises (Annals of Rouen), she is called the daughter of Guy, Count of Senlis,[10] otherwise unknown to history.[b] Despite the uncertainty of her parentage she was undoubtedly a member of the Frankish aristocracy.[11] According to the Longsword's planctus, he was baptized a Christian probably at the same time as his father,[12] which Orderic Vitalis stated was in 912, by Franco, Archbishop of Rouen.[13]


    Longsword succeeded Rollo (who would continue to live for about another 5 years) in 927[14] and, early in his reign, faced a rebellion from Normans[15] who felt he had become too Gallicised and too soft.[16] According to Orderic Vitalis, the leader was Riouf of Evreux,[16][17][18] who was besieging Longsword in Rouen. Sallying forth, Longsword won a decisive battle, proving his authority to be Duke.[19]:25-6 At the time of this 933 rebellion Longsword sent his pregnant wife by custom, Sprota, to Fâecamp where their son Richard was born.[20]

    In 933 Longsword recognized Raoul as King of Western Francia, who was struggling to assert his authority in Northern France. In turn Raoul gave him lordship over much of the lands of the Bretons including Avranches, the Cotentin Peninsula and the Channel Islands.[21][22][23]:lii The Bretons did not agree to these changes and resistance to the Normans was led by Alan Wrybeard, Duke of Brittany and Count Berenger of Rennes but ended shortly with great slaughter and Breton castles being razed to the ground,[19]:24 Alan fleeing to England and Beranger seeking reconciliation.[24]

    In 935, Longsword married Luitgarde,[1] daughter of Count Herbert II of Vermandois whose dowry gave him the lands of Longueville, Coudres and Illiers l'Eveque.[18] Longsword also contracted a marriage between his sister Adela (Gerloc was her Norse name) and William, Count of Poitou with the approval of Hugh the Great.[25] In addition to supporting King Raoul, he was now a loyal ally of his father-in-law, Herbert II, both of whom his father Rollo had opposed.[26] In January 936 King Raoul died and the 16 year old Louis IV, who was living in exile in England, was persuaded by a promise of loyalty by Longsword, to return and became King. The Bretons returned to recover the lands taken by the Normans, resulting in fighting in the expanded Norman lands.[23]:lii

    The funerary monument of William Longsword in the cathedral of Rouen, France. The monument is from the 14th century.
    The new King was not capable of controlling his Barons and after Longsword's brother in law, Herluin II, Count of Montreuil, was attacked by Flanders, Longsword went to their assistance in 939,[19]:28-9 Arnulf I, Count of Flanders retaliated by attacking Normandy. Arnulf captured the castle of Montreuil-sur-Mer expelling Herluin. Herluin and Longsword cooperated to retake the castle.[27][28] Longsword was excommunicated for his actions in attacking and destroying several estates belonging to Arnulf.[29]

    Longsword pledged his loyalty to King Louis IV when they met in 940 and, in return, he was confirmed in lands that had been given to his father, Rollo.[30] [23]:liii In 941 a peace treaty was signed between the Bretons and Normans, brokered in Rouen by King Louis IV which limited the Norman expansion into Breton lands.[23]:liii The following year, on 17 December 942 at Picquigny on an island on the Somme, Longsword was ambushed and killed by followers of Arnulf while at a peace conference to settle their differences.[18][28] Longsword's son, Richard becoming the next Duke of Normandy.

    Longsword had no children with his wife Luitgarde.[31] He fathered his son, Richard the Fearless, with Sprota [c] who was a Breton captive and his concubine.[32] Richard, then aged 10, succeeded him as Duke of Normandy in December 942.[31]

    end of biography

    William — Sprota. Sprota was born 0911, Bretagne, France; died 0940. [Group Sheet]

  2. 129.  Sprota was born 0911, Bretagne, France; died 0940.

    Other Events:

    • Residence: Fecamp, Normandie, France


    Sprota was the name of a Breton captive who William I, Duke of Normandy took as a wife in the Viking fashion (more danico)[1][2] and by her had a son, Richard I, Duke of Normandy. After the death of her husband William, she became the wife of Esperleng and mother of Rodulf of Ivry.[3][4][5]


    The first mention of her is by Flodoard of Reims and although he doesn't name her he identifies her under the year [943] as the mother of "William’s son [Richard] born of a Breton concubine".[6] Her Breton origins could mean she was of Breton, Scandinavian, or Frankish origin, the latter being the most likely based on her name spelling.[7] Elisabeth van Houts wrote "on this reference rests the identification of Sprota, William Longsword’s wife 'according to the Danish custom', as of Breton origin".[8] The first to provide her name was William of Jumiáeges.[9][10] The irregular nature (as per the Church) of her relationship with William served as the basis for her son by him being the subject of ridicule, the French King Louis "abused the boy with bitter insults", calling him "the son of a whore who had seduced another woman's husband."[11][12]

    At the time of the birth of her first son Richard, she was living in her own household at Bayeux, under William's protection.[4] William, having just quashed a rebellion at Prâe-de Bataille (c.936),[a] received the news by a messenger that Sprota had just given birth to a son; delighted at the news William ordered his son to be baptized and given the personal name of Richard.[10] William's steward Boto became the boy's godfather.[13]

    After the death of William Longsword and the captivity of her son Richard, she had been 'collected' from her dangerous situation by the 'immensely wealthy' Esperleng.[3] Robert of Torigni identified Sprota's second husband[b] as Esperleng, a wealthy landowner who operated mills at Păitres.[4][14]

    1. 64. Richard de Normandie, I was born 28 Aug 0932, Fecamp, Normandie, France; died 20 Nov 0996, Fecamp, France; was buried Fecamp, France.

  3. 130.  Harold Gormsen, VII, King of Denmark was born ~0895, Germany (son of Gorm the Old, King of Denmark and Elgiva of Wessex, Queen of Denmark); died 1 Sep 0986, Gormshoj, Denmark.

    Harold — Gunhild von Denmark. Gunhild was born ~0920, Copenhagen, Denmark. [Group Sheet]

  4. 131.  Gunhild von Denmark was born ~0920, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    1. 65. Gonor de Crepon, Duchess of Normandy was born ~0941, Rouen, France; died 5 Jan 1031, Normandie, France.

  5. 134.  Geoffrey of Anjou

    Geoffrey — Adele of Meaux. Adele (daughter of Robert De Vermandois, Count of Meaux and Adelaide-Werra de Chaton) was born ~0950; died ~0980. [Group Sheet]

  6. 135.  Adele of Meaux was born ~0950 (daughter of Robert De Vermandois, Count of Meaux and Adelaide-Werra de Chaton); died ~0980.


    Adele Carolingian of Meaux was born 950 to Robert de Vermandois (918-968) and Adelaide-Werra de Chalon (920-967) and died 980 of unspecified causes. She married Lambert de Chalon (930-979) . She married Geoffrey I of Anjou (-987) . Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814). Ancestors are from France, Germany, Belgium.

    The French Wikipedia has her first husband marry her mother,[1] which is unlikely, given her age. The same source has her a daughter Gerberge marry King Adalberto of Italy. This would make Adele a grandmother at the age of 12. However, in the reconstruction shown here, Adele is married to two men at once, with her youngest daughter from her first marriage born around 972 and her eldest daughter from her second marriage born around 965.

    Note that Genealogie Quebec merges her with her sister.[2]


    Offspring of Adele of Meaux and Lambert de Chalon (930-979)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Hugh I de Chalon (?-1039)
    Mahaut de Chalon (?-1019) Henri I de Bourgogne (c948-1002)
    Geoffroi de Semur (?-c990)

    Aelis of Chalon (?-?) Guy I de Macon (975-1006)

    Elizabeth de Chalon (970-1014)

    Offspring of Adele of Meaux and Geoffrey I of Anjou (-987)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Gottfried of Anjou (?-987) 987
    Fulk III, Count of Anjou (972-1040) 972 21 June 1040 Metz, France âElisabeth de Vendăome (c979-999)
    Hildegarde de Beaugency (c990-)

    Ermengarde of Anjou (bef967-) 967 Conan I of Rennes (927-992)

    Gerberge of Anjou (965-1041) 965 1041 Guillaume III Taillefer of Angoulăeme (960-1028)
    ^ wikipedia:fr:Lambert de Chalon

    Noteworthy descendants include

    William I of England (1027-1087)

    1. 67. Ermengarde of Anjou was born Bef 0967, (Anjou, France).