The Normans were the people who gave their name to
Normandy, a region in northern France. They were
descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory
and the native population of mostly Frankish and
Gallo-Roman stock. Their identity emerged initially in
the first half of the 10th century, and gradually
evolved over succeeding centuries.
On Page Two we ended with Henry I of England and here we
pick up with His father, William the Conquer and
continue back in time to his (and our) ancestor, Rolo
William I (Abt 1028– 9 September
1087), also known as William the Conqueror, was the
first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until
his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035
until his death, under the name William II. Before his
conquest of England, he was known as William the Bastard
because of the illegitimacy of his birth.
press his claim to the English crown, William invaded
England in 1066, leading an army of Normans, Bretons,
Flemings, and Frenchmen (from Paris and Île-de-France)
to victory over the English forces of King Harold
Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed
subsequent English revolts in what has become known as
the Norman Conquest.
William is known to have had
nine children, though Matilda, a tenth daughter who died
a virgin, appears in some sources.
(1054–1134), Duke of Normandy, married Sybil of
Conversano, daughter of Geoffrey of Conversano.
2.Richard (c. 1055 – c. 1081), Duke of Bernay, killed by
a stag in New Forest.
3.Adeliza (or Alice) (c. 1055 –
c. 1065), reportedly betrothed to Harold II of England.
4.Cecilia (or Cecily) (c. 1056–1126), Abbess of Holy
5.William "Rufus" (c. 1056–1100), King
of England, killed by an arrow in New Forest.
6.Agatha (c. 1064–1079), betrothed to Alfonso VI of
7.Constance (c. 1066–1090), married Alan IV
Fergent, Duke of Brittany; poisoned, possibly by her own
8.Adela (c. 1067–1137), married Stephen,
Count of Blois.
9.Henry "Beauclerc" (1068–1135), King
of England, married Edith of Scotland, daughter of
Malcolm III of Scotland. His second wife was Adeliza of
Robert the Magnificent
(22 June 1000 – 3 July 1035), also called Robert the
Devil, was the Duke of Normandy from 1027 until his
death. Owing to uncertainty over the numbering of the
Dukes of Normandy he is usually called Robert I, but
sometimes Robert II with his ancestor Rollo as Robert I.
He was the son of Richard II of Normandy and Judith,
daughter of Conan I of Rennes. He was the father of
William the Conqueror.
By his mistress, Herleva
of Falaise, he was father of the future William I of
England (1028–1087). He also had an illegitimate
daughter, but the only chronicler to explicitly address
the issue, Robert of Torigny, contradicts himself, once
indicating that she had a distinct mother from William,
elsewhere stating that they shared the same mother. This
daughter, Adelaide of Normandy (1030 – c. 1083), married
three times: to Enguerrand II, Count of Ponthieu,
Lambert II, Count of Lens, and Odo II of Champagne.
After making his illegitimate son William his heir,
he set out on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. According to the
Gesta Normannorum Ducum he travelled by way of
Constantinople, reached Jerusalem, and died on the
return journey at Nicaea on 2 July 1035. Some sources
attribute his death to poison and date it to 1 or 3
July. His son William, aged about eight, succeeded him.
Richard II (born 23 August 970, in
Normandy, France – 28 August 1026, in Normandy), called
the Good, was the eldest son and heir of Richard I the
Fearless and Gunnora.
Richard attempted to
improve relations with England through his sister Emma
of Normandy's marriage to King Ethelred, but she was
strongly disliked by the English. However, this
connection later gave his grandson, William the
Conqueror, part of his claim to the throne of England.
He married firstly (996) Judith (982-1017), daughter
of Conan I of Brittany, by whom he had the following
Richard (c. 1002/4), duke of Normandy
(c. 1003/5), married Renaud I, Count of Burgundy
Robert (c. 1005/7), duke of Normandy
1007/9), monk at Fécamp, d. 1025
Eleanor (c. 1011/3),
married to Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders
1013/5), nun at Fecamp, d. 1033
married Poppa of Envermeu, by whom he had the following
Mauger (c. 1019), Archbishop of Rouen
William (c. 1020/5), count of Arques
Richard I of Normandy (born 28
August 933, in Fécamp Normandy, France died 20 November
996, in Fécamp) was the Duke of Normandy from 942 to
996; he is considered the first to actually have held
that title. He was called Richard the Fearless count of
He was born to William I of Normandy,
ruler of Normandy, and Sprota. He was still a boy of
around 10 years of age when his father died on 17
December 942. His mother was a Breton concubine captured
in war and bound to William by a Danish marriage. After
William died, Sprota became the wife of Esperleng, a
wealthy miller; Rodulf of Ivry was their son and
He married 1st (960) Emma
(not to be confused with Emma of France), daughter of
Hugh "The Great" of France, and Hedwiga de Sachsen. They
were betrothed when both were very young. She died 19
Mar 968, with no issue.
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 enamoured of the forester's wife,
Seinfreda, but she being a virtuous woman, suggested he
court her unmarried sister, Gunnor, instead. Gunnor
became his mistress, and her family rose to prominence.
Her brother, Herefast de Crepon, may have been involved
in a controversial heresy trial. Gunnor was, like
Richard, of Norse descent, being a Dane by blood.
Richard finally married her to legitimize their
Richard II "the Good", Duke of Normandy
(996), died 1026.
Robert, Archbishop of Rouen, Count
of Evreux, died 1037.
Mauger, Earl of Corbeil, died
Robert Danus, died between 985 and 989
Emma of Normandy (c.985-1052) wife of two
kings of England.
Maud of Normandy, wife of Odo II of
Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Chartres
of Normandy (b. ca. 978), d. 21 February 1034. m.
Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany
Orielda of France
Richard was known to have had
several other mistresses and produced children with many
of them. Known children are:
Geoffrey, Count of Eu,
(b. ca. 970)
William, Count of Eu (ca. 972-26 January
1057/58) m. Leseline de Turqueville (d. 26 January
Beatrice of Normandy, Abbess of
Montvilliers d.1034 m. Ebles of Turenne (d.1030
"Papia" m. Gilbert de St Valery
(based on a claim his wife as a daughter of "Richard of
Normandy" -- the only Richard who chronologically fits
is Richard I. Name is not confirmed in any source. ref)
Richard may have had at least two more illegitimate
Fressenda (ca. 995-ca. 1057)
William I Longsword (893 – 17
December 942) was the second Duke of Normandy from his
father's death until his own assassination. The title
dux (duke) was not in use at the time and has been
applied to early Norman rulers retroactively; William
actually used the title comes (count).
ambushed and killed by followers of Arnulf on 17
December 942 at Picquigny on the Somme while at a
meeting to settle their differences.
Richard the Fearless, child of his first wife, Sprota,
Rollo (c. 846 – c. 931), baptized
Robert and so sometimes numbered Robert I to distinguish
him from his descendants, was a Norse nobleman of
Norwegian or Danish descent and founder and first ruler
of the Viking principality in what soon became known as
Normandy. His descendants were the Dukes of Normandy.
The name "Rollo" is a Latin translation due to the
clerics from the Old Norse name Hrólfr, modern
Scandinavian name Rolf but Norman people called him Rouf,
and later Rou. He married Poppa. All that is known of
Poppa is that she was a Christian, and the daughter to
Berengar of Rennes, the previous lord of Brittania Nova,
which eventually became western Normandy.
Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (911) with King Charles,
Rollo pledged feudal allegiance to the king, changed his
name to the Frankish version, and converted to
Christianity, probably with the baptismal name Robert.
In return, King Charles granted Rollo land between the
Epte and the sea as well as Brittany and the hand of the
Kings daughter, Gisela. He was also the titular ruler of
Normandy, centred around the city of Rouen. There exists
some argument among historians as to whether Rollo was a
"duke" (dux) or whether his position was equivalent to
that of a "count" under Charlemagne.
legend, when required to kiss the foot of King Charles,
as a condition of the treaty, he refused to perform so
great a humiliation, and when Charles extended his foot
to Rollo, Rollo ordered one of his warriors to do so in
his place. His warrior then lifted Charles' foot up to
his mouth causing the king to fall to the ground.
Rollo married twice:
1. Poppa, the daughter
of Berengar II of Neustria and had issue:
Crispina, who married Grimaldus I
Kadlin, who married a Scottish
King called Bjolan, and had at least a daughter called
Midbjorg, she was taken captive by and married Helgi
2. Gisela of France (d.919), the
daughter of Charles III of France.