Richard III, Duke of Normandy
Richard III was the Duke of Normandy who reigned from August 1026 to his death. His brief reign opened with a revolt by his brother. Richard III was the eldest son of Richard II of Normandy. Around 1020, Richard was sent by his father in command of a large army to rescue his brother-in-law, Reginald Count of Burgundy, by attacking bishop and count Hugh of Chalon, who had captured and imprisoned Reginald; when Richard II died in August 1026, his eldest son, Richard III became Duke of Normandy. Shortly after his reign began his brother Robert, discontented with his province of Hiemois on the border of Normandy, revolted against his brother, he laid siege to the town of Falaise, but was soon brought to heel by Richard who captured him released him on his oath of fealty. No sooner had Richard returned to Rouen, when he died suddenly; the duchy passed to his younger brother Robert I. In January 1027 he was married to Adela, of a noble lineage, she is identified with Adela, a younger daughter of King Robert II of France, who after Richard's death 6 August 1027, remarried to Baldwin V, Count of Flanders.
Richard's marriage to Adela was childless. By an unknown woman, he had two children: Alice, who married Ranulph, Viscount of Bayeux Nicholas, monk at Fecamp, Abbot of Saint-Ouen, Rouen
Robert of Torigni
Robert of Torigni was a Norman monk, prior and twelfth century chronicler. Robert was born at Torigni-sur-Vire, Normandy c.1110 most to an aristocratic family but his family name was abandoned when he entered Bec Abbey in 1128 In 1149 Robert of Torigni became the prior of Bec replacing Roger de Bailleul who had by that time become abbot. In 1154 Robert became the abbot of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. In November 1158 Robert hosted kings Louis VII of France and Henry II of England at Mont Saint-Michel. Three years Robert de Torigni, along with Achard of St. Victor, Bishop of Avranches, stood as sponsors to Eleanor, born to Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor at Domfront in 1161. In 1163 he was in Rome, he was known to have visited England representing Mont Saint-Michel. In June 1186 Robert died and was buried in the nave of the chapel at Mont Saint-Michel under a simple grave marker. In 1876 a lead disc was found in his coffin bearing his epitaph; the translation reads: Here lies Robert Torigni, abbot of this place, who ruled the monastery 32 years, lived 80 years.
Robert developed a reputation as being a pious monk, an accomplished diplomat, a skilled organizer and a great lover and collector of books. Under Robert de Torigni Mont Saint-Michel became a great center of learning with sixty monks producing copious manuscripts and a library collection so vast it was called the Cité des Livres. Robert himself was called "The Great Librarian of the Mont". Robert's principal interest was not so much in man's path to salvation, or in the moral lessons of history, he made no attempts to interpret history but wrote plainly "without a trace of romance in his soul."Stevenson said, Torigni was not always correct in his chronology and made errors in matters in Normandy of which he should have known better, yet he was always honest and truthful and his mistakes did not affect the overall value of his chronicle. Modern writers too have pointed out errors in his work. Delisle wrote that it was through Robert's affection for Henry II that he made no mention in his chronicle of the death of Thomas Becket or Henry II's involvement.
He is best known as the last of the three contributors to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum, a chronicle written by William of Jumièges, appended to by Orderic Vitalis and lastly Robert de Torigni, who brought the history up to the time of Henry I. Robert relied more on Orderic's work than that of William of Jumièges and added information regarding the reign of William the Conqueror, a history of Bec, a volume on Henry I. Another source he used was Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum. Henry, the Archdeacon of Huntingdon, had visited Bec in 1139 and during his stay there provided Robert with much of the information regarding the reign of Henry I which Robert used in his own chronicles. Robert, in turn, introduced Henry to a new work by Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Historia Regum Britanniae, a copy of which first reached Bec circa 1138. John Bale, the sixteenth-century English churchman and historian, in his Index Britanniae Scriptorum, identified Robert as the author of two Arthurian romances, based in part by the author's initialing his work with the letter "R".
These were De Ortu Waluuanii and Historia Meriadoci, but this identification remains controversial and is doubted by some authorities. Robert de Torigni's "Chronicles" Robert de Torigni's "Chronicles"
Château de Domfront
The Château de Domfront is a ruined castle in the town of Domfront, in the Orne département of France. The Château de Domfront has been protected as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1875; the ruins include the keep, the enceinte, towers and the former Sainte-Catherine et Saint-Symphorien chapels. The castle ruins have been repaired since 1984 by the Association pour la Restauration du Château de Domfront; the ruins are open to the public free of charge. In 1051, the castle at Domfront, belonging to Guillaume II Talvas, lord of Bellême, occupied by the forces of Geoffrey of Anjou, was besieged by William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy. In 1092, the people of Domfront revolted against Robert II de Bellême, Earl of Shrewsbury, transferring their allegiance to the third son of William the Conqueror, Henri Beauclerc, who became Duke of Normandy and King of England. In 1169, it was at the Château de Domfront that Henry II of England received the papal legates who came to reconcile him with Thomas Becket.
Taken in 1204 - Domfront being the personal possession of John Lackland - it was conceded to first to Renaud de Dammartin, Count of Boulogne, to Philippe Hurepel. With the death of his successor, Jeanne, in 1251 Domfront returned to the royal domain. In 1259, Louis IX of France gave Domfront to Count of Artois, as dowry for his wife. After his death, in compensation for not getting Artois, in 1332 his grandson Robert III of Artois was given the Norman property and appanages, confiscated. In 1342, Philip VI of France ceded the Domfront country to the Count of Alençon who, in 1367, reunited Domfront and Alençon. In the meantime, in 1356, troops of Charles II of Navarre, king of Navarre, commanded by Sir Robert Knolles, took the place and held it until 1366. During the winter of 1417-1418, the castle was besieged by the English commanded by the Duke of Clarence and fell on the 10 July 1418; the French recaptured it for a time in 1430. It was taken by the French on 2 August 1450. Ownership was again disputed in 1466-1467.
In 1574, the Château de Domfront, serving as a refuge for the Count of Montgomery, was besieged by royal troops under the Marshal of Matignon, capitulating on 27 May. The count was beheaded in Paris in 1574 on the orders of the Queen. Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully ordered the demolition of the castle in 1608. List of castles in France Ministry of Culture listing for Château de Domfront Ministry of Culture photos Richesheures.net and photos on the Château de Domfront Site of the Association pour la Restauration du Château de Domfront
Normandy is one of the 18 regions of France referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy. Normandy is divided into five administrative departments: Calvados, Manche and Seine-Maritime, it covers 30,627 square kilometres, comprising 5% of the territory of metropolitan France. Its population of 3.37 million accounts for around 5% of the population of France. The inhabitants of Normandy are known as Normans, the region is the historic homeland of the Norman language; the historical region of Normandy comprised the present-day region of Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the departments of Mayenne and Sarthe. The Channel Islands are historically part of Normandy. Normandy's name comes from the settlement of the territory by Danish and Norwegian Vikings from the 9th century, confirmed by treaty in the 10th century between King Charles III of France and the Viking jarl Rollo. For a century and a half following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman and Frankish rulers.
Archaeological finds, such as cave paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Celts invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC; when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Celtic tribes living in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the usual methods: Roman roads and a policy of urbanisation. Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy. In the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates. Christianity began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east; as early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis. Vikings started to raid the Seine valley during the middle of the 9th century; as early as 841, a Viking fleet appeared at the mouth of the Seine, the principal route by which they entered the kingdom. After attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagne's empire to take northern France.
The fiefdom of Normandy was created for Rollo. Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for his homage and fealty, Rollo gained the territory which he and his Viking allies had conquered; the name "Normandy" reflects Rollo's Viking origins. To this day, in Norwegian language the word nordmann denotes a Norwegian person; the descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and intermarried with the area's native Gallo-Roman inhabitants. They became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Norsemen and indigenous Franks and Romans. Rollo's descendant William became king of England in 1066 after defeating Harold Godwinson, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, at the Battle of Hastings, while retaining the fiefdom of Normandy for himself and his descendants. Besides the conquest of England and the subsequent subjugation of Wales and Ireland, the Normans expanded into other areas.
Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, Rainulf Drengot and Guimond de Moulins played important parts in the conquest of southern Italy and the Crusades. The Drengot lineage, de Hauteville's sons William Iron Arm and Humphrey, Robert Guiscard and Roger the Great Count progressively claimed territories in southern Italy until founding the Kingdom of Sicily in 1130, they carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor and the Holy Land. The 14th-century explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands in 1404, he received the title King of the Canary Islands from Pope Innocent VII but recognized Henry III of Castile as his overlord, who had provided him aid during the conquest. In 1204, during the reign of John Lackland, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under King Philip II. Insular Normandy remained however under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognized the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris.
His successors, however fought to regain control of their ancient fiefdom. The Charte aux Normands granted by Louis X of France in 1315 – like the analogous Magna Carta granted in England in the aftermath of 1204 – guaranteed the liberties and privileges of the province of Normandy. French Normandy was occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War in 1345–1360 and again in 1415–1450. Normandy lost three-quarters of its population during the war. Afterward prosperity returned to Normandy until the Wars of Religion; when many Norman towns joined the Protestant Reformation, battles ensued throughout the province. In the Channel Islands, a period of Calvinism following the Reformation was suppressed when Anglicanism was imposed following the English Civil War. Samuel de Champlain founded Acadia. Four years
Gesta Normannorum Ducum
Gesta Normannorum Ducum is a chronicle created by the monk William of Jumièges just before 1060. In 1070 William I had William of Jumièges extend the work to detail his rights to the throne of England. In times, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, extended the volumes to include history up until Henry I; the Gesta Normannorum Ducum by William of Jumièges has become the principal work of Norman historical writings, one of many written to glorify the Norman conquest of England. But unlike most it was started in the late 1050s as a continuation of Dudo's De moribus; the monk William returned to his writing after the Conquest, most at the request of William the Conqueror. The final version of his history was written at his monastery at Jumièges c. 1070–1071. During the twelfth century there were interpolations and additions, first by Orderic Vitalis by Robert of Torigni, who added an entire book on Henry I of England. During the medieval period his work was circulated and read, was an essential work in most monasteries and was the basic source on which the histories of Wace and Benoît de Sainte-Maure were based.
William's Gesta Normannorum Ducum survives today in forty-seven manuscripts. Jules Lair undertook a modern translation; the work was completed M. Jean Marx, a French scholar who published his translation in 1914; the original version had ended with the reduction of the north by the Conqueror in 1070, but a passage mentioning Robert Curthose as duke appears to be a revision sometime after 1087. However, there was no evidence that William made a continuation beyond 1070; this text displays a difference from William's writing and so would seem to be of an unknown origin, but it was included by Marx in his translation, assuming it was by the original author. The most recent translations were edited and translated by Elisabeth M. C. van Houts and were published in two volumes, volume I in 1992 and volume II in 1995, both by the Clarendon Press, Oxford. Draco Normannicus Duchy of Normandy Wace's Roman de Rou The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni. Edited and translated by Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995
William the Conqueror
William I known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later; the rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son. William was the son of Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva, his illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process, not complete until about 1060.
His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church, his consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, by 1062 William secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had promised the throne to him and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London.
He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, by 1075 William's hold on England was secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent. William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholdings in England along with their pre-Conquest and current holders. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, was buried in Caen, his reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire but instead continued to administer each part separately. William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England.
Norsemen first began raiding in. Permanent Scandinavian settlement occurred before 911, when Rollo, one of the Viking leaders, King Charles the Simple of France reached an agreement surrendering the county of Rouen to Rollo; the lands around Rouen became the core of the duchy of Normandy. Normandy may have been used as a base when Scandinavian attacks on England were renewed at the end of the 10th century, which would have worsened relations between England and Normandy. In an effort to improve matters, King Æthelred the Unready took Emma of Normandy, sister of Duke Richard II, as his second wife in 1002. Danish raids on England continued, Æthelred sought help from Richard, taking refuge in Normandy in 1013 when King Swein I of Denmark drove Æthelred and his family from England. Swein's death in 1014 allowed Æthelred to return home, but Swein's son Cnut contested Æthelred's return. Æthelred died unexpectedly in 1016, Cnut became king of England. Æthelred and Emma's two sons and Alfred, went into exile in Normandy while their mother, became Cnut's second wife.
After Cnut's death in 1035, the English throne fell to Harold Harefoot, his son by his first wife, while Harthacnut, his son by Emma, became king in Denmark. England remained unstable. Alfred returned to England in 1036 to visit his mother and to challenge Harold as king. One story implicates Earl Godwin of Wessex in Alfred's subsequent death. Emma went into exile in Flanders until Harthacnut became king following Harold's death in 1040, his half-brother Edward followed Harthacnut to England. William was born in 1027 or 1028 at Falaise, Duchy of Normandy, most towards the end of 1028, he was the only son of Duke Robert I, son of Duke Richard II. His mother, was the daughter of Fulbert of Falaise, she was a member of the ducal household, but did not marry Robert. Instead, she married Herluin de Conteville, with whom she had two sons – Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain – and a daughter whose name is unknown. One of Herleva's brothers, became a supporter and protector of William during his minority.
Robert had a daughter, Adelaide, by another mistress. Robert became Duke of Normandy on 6 August 1027, succeeding his elder brother Richard III, who had only succeeded to the title the previous year. Robert and his brother had been at odds over the succession, Richard's death
A benefice or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered, its use was adopted by the Western Church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice from a church is called a precaria such as a stipend and one from a monarch or nobleman is called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority. In ancient Rome a benefice was a gift of land for life as a reward for services rendered to the state; the word comes from the Latin noun beneficium, meaning "benefit". In the 8th century, using their position as Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel, Carloman I and Pepin II usurped a large number of church benefices for distribution to vassals, Carolingians continued this practice as emperors; these estates were held in return for oaths of military assistance, which aided the Carolingians in consolidating and strengthening their power.
Charlemagne continued the late Roman concept of granting benefices in return for military and administrative service to his empire. Thus, the imperial structure was bound together through a series of oaths between the monarch and the recipient of land, he ordered and administered his kingdom and his empire through a series of published statutes called capitularies. The Capitulary of Herstal distinguished between his vassals who were styled casati and non-casati, those subjects who had received a benefice from the hand of the king and those who had not, towards the end of Charlemagne's reign it appears that a royal vassal who had satisfactorily fulfilled his duties could always look forward to the grant of a benefice in some part of the Empire. Once he had received a benefice, he would take up his residence on it. In the year 800 Pope Leo III placed the crown of Holy Roman Emperor on the head of Charlemagne; this act caused great turmoil for future generations, who would afterward argue that the emperor thereby received his position as a benefice from the papacy.
In his March 1075 Dictatus Papae, Pope Gregory VII declared that only the pope could depose an emperor, which implied that he could do so just as a lord might take a benefice away from a vassal. This declaration inflamed Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and furthered the friction caused in the Investiture Conflict; the expanded practice continued through the Middle Ages within the European feudal system. This same customary method became adopted by the Catholic Church; the church's revenue streams came from, amongst other things and profits arising from assets gifted to the church, its endowment, given by believers, be they monarch, lord of the manor or vassal, also upon tithes calculated on the sale of the product of the people's personal labour in the entire parish such as cloth or shoes and the people's profits from specific forms of God-given, natural increase such as crops and in livestock. The Catholic Church granted buildings, grants of land and greater and/or lesser tithes for life but the land was not alienated from the dioceses.
However the Council of Lyons of 566 annexed these grants to the churches. By the time of the Council of Mainz of 813 these grants were known as beneficia. Holding a benefice did not imply a cure of souls although each benefice had a number of spiritual duties attached to it. For providing these duties, a priest would receive "temporalities". Benefices were used for the worldly support of much of its pastoral clergy – clergy gaining rewards for carrying out their duties with rights to certain revenues, the "fruits of their office"; the original donor of the temporalities or his nominee, the patron and his successors in title, held the advowson. Parish priests were charged with the temporal care of their congregation; the community provided for the priest as necessary as organisation improved, by tithe. Some individual institutions within the church accumulated enormous endowments and, with that, temporal power; these endowments sometimes concentrated great wealth in the "dead hand" of the church, so called because it endured beyond any individual's life.
The church was exempt from all taxes. This was in contrast to feudal practice where the nobility would hold land on grant from the king in return for service service in war; this meant that the church over time gained a large share of land in many feudal states and so was a cause of increasing tension between the church and the Crown. The holder of more than one benefice known as a pluralist, could keep the revenue to which he was entitled and pay lesser sums to deputies to carry out the corresponding duties. By a Decree of the Lateran Council of 1215 no clerk could hold two benefices with cure of souls, if a beneficed clerk took a second benefice with cure of souls, he vacated ipso facto his first benefice. Dispensations, could be obtained from Rome; the benefice system was open to abuse. Acquisitive prelates held multiple major benefices; the holding of more than one benefice is termed pluralism. An Engli