William of Normandy, I, Duke of Normandy

William of Normandy, I, Duke of Normandy

Male - 0942

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  • Name William of Normandy 
    Suffix I, Duke of Normandy 
    Born Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Also Known As Count of Rouen  [2
    Also Known As Guillaume Longue-‚Ep‚ee (French)  [2
    Also Known As Longsword  [1
    Also Known As Vilhj‚almr Langaspj‚ot (Old Norse)  [2
    Also Known As Willermus Longa Spata (Latin)  [2
    Died 17 Dec 0942  [1
    Person ID I51021  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 10 Mar 2018 

    Father Rollo,   b. ~846, Maer, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 931 
    Mother Poppa of Bayeux,   b. (850), Bayeux, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. Rouen Cathedral, Rouen, Normandy, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Y  [1, 3, 4
    • Poppa was captured in a raid and married to Rollo of Normandy.
    Residence (Family) Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F19013  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sprota,   b. 0911, Bretagne, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0940  (Age ~ 29 years) 
    Married Y  [1
    Residence (Family) Rouen, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Residence (Family) Bayeux, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
     1. Richard de Normandie, I,   b. 28 Aug 0932, Fecamp, Normandie, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Nov 0996, Fecamp, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F18989  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - - Normandy, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - - Rouen, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - - Bayeux, France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    William I 'Longsword'
    William I "Longsword"

  • Notes 
    • William Longsword (French: Guillaume Longue-‚Ep‚ee, Latin: Willermus Longa Spata, Old Norse: Vilhj‚almr Langaspj‚ot; c. 893 Ė 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] Flodoardóalways detailed about titlesóconsistently 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 F‚ecamp 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 [2]

  • Sources 
    1. [S12470] "Richard I of Normandy", Biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_I_of_Normandy, abstracted by David A. Hennesse.

    2. [S12479] "William Longsword", Biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Longsword, abstracted by David A. Hennessee, info@.

    3. [S12471] "Rollo", Biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo, abstracted by David A. Hennessee, info@classroomfurniture.com,.

    4. [S12540] "Berengar II of Neustria", Biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berengar_II_of_Neustria, by David A. Hennessee, info.

    5. [S12538] "Sprota", Biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprota, by David A. Hennessee, info@classroomfurniture.com, revisited.