The Hissem-Montague Family
This early family has been well documented for one so early in England's history. They were related to the Ducal family of Normandy through the Gunnor, wife of Richard I, Duke of Normandy. Her neice, Joscelina, married Hugh de Montgomery.
“The earliest records of the family of Montgomery place its origin in the northern part of France in the ninth century, and the name it is suggested, probably had its origin, or is a corruption descent of Mons Gomeris. “Gomer’s Mount” the ancient Gauls claiming descent from Gomer, son of Japhet, the family taking their name from the locality or territory over which they ruled as feudal lords.” - from “Colonial Families of Philadelphia” by John W Jordan, 1911The family held the castle of St. Foy de Montgomery, just south of Lisieux [Liseaux], in France. The village still exists and it was along a road near here that Field Marshall Erwin Rommel was strafed and badly injured by Allied fighters in WWII. Falaise, the birthplace of Duke William, was just to the west. One legend claims that Gomeric was a Viking, the son of Ingvar Ragnarson, the King of East Anglis and Northumberland. Gomeric settled in the Calvados area of Normandy and fortified a hill which gave the family its name - Mons Gomerici. Another part of the family, seeking deeper roots, claimed the name could be traced back to a Roman commander called Gomericus. Yet another, below, made the earliest members of the family part of the indigenous Frankish nobility of Normandy.
A mythological descent includes,
(-13) Radbert, King of Gardarige (c638) who married Aud, the daughter of Ivar Vidgarne, King in Sweden,
(-12) Randver (c670),
(-11) Sigurd, King in Sweden (c730-812),
(-10) Halfdan Sigurddson (c750),
(-9) Ragnar Halfdansson of Uppsala who married Asberg Sigurdsdottir,
(-8) Ingvar Ragnarsson (c873), and
(-7) Gomer Ingvarisoon (c844-911).
From “Colonial Families of Philadelphia” - "The first known to bear the name, according to William, surnamed Calculus, the monk, of Jumieges, the earliest historian of Normandy, who died 1099. Whose work remains to this day an authority on the events of his time, was Roger de Montgomerie, who was Count of Montgomerie before the conquest of Normandy by the Northmen under Duke Rollo, A. D. 912. A native of Neustria, his ancestors were doubtless for many generations’ back natives of that province. When conquered it became known as Normandy, and he probably belonged to that numerous class of natives of noble lineage who welcomed Rollo as a relief from the internecine struggles with France was rent by the ambitious designs of the descendants of Charlemagne."
The territory of Neustria, the western part of the kingdom of the Franks from the 6th to the 8th centuries, was comprised of the Seine and Loire country and the region to the north. Its chief cities were Paris and Soissons. It originated with the division of the lands of King Clovis I among his disputatious sons. Dynastic rivalries involved the nation in almost constant warfare with its neighbor to the east, Austrasia. The Carolingian kings, which culminated in the rule of Charlemagne, united the regions. Afterwards the names Neustria and Austrasia gradually disappeared. Under the Norman onslaught much of the region fell to the Viking conquerors and is now known as Normandy.
|William of Jumièges
A Benedictine historian of the 11th century. Practically nothing is known of his life except that he was apparently a Norman by birth and became a monk at the royal abbey of Jumièges, in Normandy. His only claim to fame consists in his "Historia Normannorum", in eight books, which is the chief authority for the history of the Norman people from 851 to 1137. He is criticized for being an apologist for William the Conqueror's claims to the English throne.
If the above is true, and Roger was the Count before Rollo's conquest in 912, then he must have been at least in his thirties at the time, or born in about 880.(-5) Roger de Montgomery Magnus (c910)
Roger de MOnte Gomerii or Gummeri. He married Hiemois. He had two sons, Roger [or William], and Bernard, who fathered the de Beaumont line of England.(-4) Roger de Montegomeri (c940)
Vicomte, of St. Germain de Montgomery, Calvados, Normandy, France. His motte, that is the raised hill and surronding ditch of a no-longer existing fortification, still survives. It has never been excavated.
Alternately he may be William de Montegomeri who married Elizabeth de Tripon.
Normandy was a Duchy, but the Dukes ruled it as an independent Kingdom with little interference from their liege, the Kings of France. It is divided into five districts, Seine-Maritime, Eure, Orne, Calvados, and Manche. St. Germain de Montgomery was located in Calvados, where Duke William established his capital, at Caen. The boundaries of the Duchy were not set and moved as challenges from its neighbors were made and met.
Normandy was a rich, well-administered province and one of the strongest militarily in Europe.
Or Hugh. Seigneur de Montgomery. He was born in about 980 in St. Germain, Normandy. He married Josceline de Pontaudemer, the daughter of Tourude de Harcourt [Thorold de Ponteaudemer], Sire de Pont-Audemer. Second he married Wevia (Aveline) Duceline de Crepon or Sainfrie (Sibell) de Crepon, her sister. There is little agreement on these women's names, but all concur on the relationship to Gunnor, wife of Duke Richard I.
Wevia was the daughter of Herbastus [Herfast], Prince of Denmark, and Cyrid, Queen of Sweden. Her sister was Duchess Gunnora [Gonner], the wife of Duke Robert, and mother of William the Conqueror. Wevia's brother was Osberne, Seneschal of Normandy and the guardian of young Duke William.
He had large holdings in central Normandy, chiefly in the valley of the Dives. Hugh died in 1034.(-2) Roger de Montgomery (c1000)
Of St. Germain, Normandy. Some descents leave out Roger and make Hugh the father of the Earl of Arundel, below. Others consider him to be the earliest of the family that can be authentically traced.
Roger's wife maya have been Emma, but others cite Josceline de Bolbec, the daughter of Osberne. Their children were Roger, Hugh [Hugo], Robert, William, Gilbert, and Mabel. All but Roger were murdered in revenge for William's killing of Osberne de Crepon, the Duke's guardian and their uncle, during the Duchy's war of succession.
William was the bastard son of Robert, the Duke of Normandy. His mother was Herleva, the daughter of a tanner in the town of Falaise. In 1035 the old Duke set out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Before he left he demanded that his nobles swear fealty to the young William, the Duke's only son. Gilbert of Brionne, Osberne the Seneschal and Alan of Brittany became William's guardians. Duke Robert never returned. From "The Normans" by Sarah Orne Jewett -
"While his father lived, the barons paid the young heir unwilling respect, and there was a grim acquiescence in what could not be helped . . . Robert's death was the signal for a general uprising of the nobles, and William's life was in peril for a dozen years. He never did homage to the king of France, but for a long time nobody did homage to him either; the barons disdained any such allegiance, and sometimes appear to have forgotten their young duke altogether in their bitter quarrels, and murders of men of their own rank. We trace William de Talvas, still the bastard's fierce enemy, through many plots and quarrels;. - it appears as if he were determined that his curse should come true, and made it the purpose of his life. The houses of Montgomery and Beaumont were linked with him in anarchy and treachery; it was the Montgomeries' deadly mischief to which the faithful Alan fell victim. William himself escaped assassination by a chance . . . There had never been a blacker deed done within those walls than when William was only twelve years old, and one of his playmates, who slept in his chamber, was stabbed as he lay asleep. No doubt the Montgomery who struck the cruel blow thought that he had killed the young duke, and went away well satisfied; but William was rescued, and carried away and hidden in a peasant's cottage, while the butchery of his friends and attendants still went on . . ."All of William's guardians were eventually killed, but William survived the attempted murders, kidnappings and anarchy which enveloped his realm, eventually being recognized as the rightful Duke.
Roger's children were,
(-1) Roger de Montgomery II (1022)
(-1) William de Montgomerie (c1020)
(-1) Hugh de Montgomerie (c1020)
(-1) Robert de Montgomerie (c1020)
(-1) Gilbert de Montgomerie (c1020)
(-1) Mabel de Montgomerie (c1020)
Count of Montgomery and Viscount of Exmes, in Orne, Normandy. Despite his brothers' rebellions, he was a close friend of the Duke and, through the marriages of his forebears, closely related to him. He had been born between 1005 and 1022 in Normandy. He became one of William's principal councillors. He was entrusted with the government of the Duchy during the invasion of 1066, though he contributed 60 ships to William's force. Some sources claim that Roger commanded a wing at the Battle of Hastings, but this was probably a reference to his son, Robert, below.
In 1048 [or c1052] he married Mabel de Talvas of Alencon, the daughter of William de Talvas, Seigneur de'Alencon and Bellême, who famously cursed William I in his cradle. Mabel was said to be an extremely strong willed woman, shrewd, politically adept, but also cruel. She was killed in her bath in 1082 by a Norman lord who she had succeeded in disinheriting. Roger became Seigneur of Bellême and Count of Alencon by right of his wife upon the death of her uncle, Ivo de Bellême, the Bishop of Sees.
After William I's victory at Hastings he became the First Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, and held the city of Chichester. Arundel was the site of a formerly vast roman villa which had been connected by its own road to Stane Street, the Roman road which ran from London to Chichester, but abandoned seven centuries previous. He became lord of Montgomery, in north Wales, by conquest. He built many castles including Montgomery, Shrewsbury, Arundel, Ludlow, Clun, Hopton and Oswestry. From a poem about Earl Roger:
He returned to Normandy with Queen Matilda and William's son, Robert, as William's representative in Normandy. He became head of the council that governed the Duchy of Normandy in the Conqueror's frequent absences in England.
He rebelled against William I's son, William Rufus, in 1088 in favor of his elder brother, Robert Curthose. However the King eventually won Roger over to his side. When the rebellion collapsed he was thus able to hold on to his land holdings in England.
He later married Adelaide de Puiset, a more amiable and virtuous woman. She was the daugther of Everard de Puiset. He died on 27 July 1094 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England and was buried in the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul. See also "The Conqueror and His Companions" by J.R. Planche, 1874.
Arms: Azure, a rampant lion or. He had ten children,(1) Sybille de Montgomery (c1050)
The wife of Robert Fitz Hamon of Gloucester. He was a great-grandson of Richard I, Duke of Normandy, through his son, Mauger, and Hamon "Dentatus" [of the teeth]. Robert's uncle was William "the Warling" who lost the county of Mortagne to Robert de Burgh, half-brother of William I. Robert Fitz Hamon was Lord of Corboil [Corbeil], Creulli [Creil], and Thoringni [Thurgau] in Normandy. Lord of Glamorgan and of Tewkesbury.(1) Robert de Bellême de Montgomery (c1052)
Of Perche, Farnce. The eldest son of Rober. He is sometimes referred to as Roger, even in those descents that list Roger of Poitou as his brother. The confusion about whether Robert's father, Roger, was at Hastings is probably due to Robert's presence there.
Robert was characterized as one of the most brutal men of a brutal era. He was an early supporter of Robert Curthose against his father, William I, and aided him in the rebellionof 1077. He was pardoned for this.
Robert succeeded to his mother's estates in Normandy in 1082 and was made Count of Alencon and Bellême [Bellême]. In 1088 he joined the rebellion against William Rufus, King of England, in an attempt to put his brother, Robert Curthose, on the throne. This rebellion failed and Robert returned to Normandy where he fought with his cousin, Geoffrey, over possessions in the county of Mortagne-au-Perche, including the great castle of Domfront.
Upon the death of Earl Rober in 1094, Robert succeeded to the family's Norman estates, while his brother, Hugh, succeeded to the English ones. Upon Hugh's death in 1098 Robert succeeded to those estates as well, becoming the third Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, and Lord of Montgomery. Robert had to "purchase" these from William Rufus for 3000 pounds.
Robert married Agnes of Ponthieu, the daughter of Guy I, the Count of Ponthieu, and Ada.
After the death of William "Rufus" in 1100 his brother, Henry, seized the throne. Henry's elder brother, Duke Robert of Normandy, had been on crusade, but quickly returned. In 1101 he landed at Portsmouth to claim the throne. Many of the Barons, led by Robert de Montgomery, with his brothers, Roger and Arnulf, and his cousin, William of Mortain, supported him. When conflict was avoided and an agreement was made that left Henry I with the English throne, the Montgomery's were left badly exposed. In 1102 Henry I overthrew Robert and his brothers who were with him in Arundel castle when it fell. He was exiled and his lands in England were forfeited to the crown. Henry brought an army over to Normandy and finally put Duke Robert's pretensions to an end at the battle of Tinchebrai, jailing the Duke for the rest of his life.
Earl Robert continued to support Robert Curthose, attempting to free the Duke, but he was finally seized in 1112 and jailed himself. Robert died in prison at Warham castle, Dorset in 1131 after starving himself. The Castle and Honor of Arundel eventually fell to the FitzAlan family.
His children were,
(2) Adelbert III de Montgomery
(2) William Talvas (c1080)
The possible first son of Robert. Adelbert's daughter, Ponce, married Wulgrim II Taillefer, the Count of Angouleme.(2) William Talvas (c1080)
Of Shrewsbury. Also known as Duke Guillaume III D'Alencon. The son of Robert and his second wife, Agnes of Ponthieu. He was Baron de Talvas and Count of Ponthieu and Alencon. He married Aliss/Helie de Bourgogne 'Ela Borel', the daughter of Eudes I Borel, Duke of Burgundy. He died on 30 June 1171. Their son, Guy II, was Count of Ponthieu.(1) Hugh de Montgomery (c1054)
Roger's second son, Hugh succeeded to his father's English estates of Arundel, Chichester and Shrewsbury in England and was made the Second Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, and Lord of Montgomery, on the Welsh marches. In 1098, he joined forces with Hugh d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester, in an attempt to recover Anglesey, which was lost by Hugh of Chester in the Welsh revolt of 1094. He was killed there while fighting off a raid by King Magnus "Barefoot" of Norway at the eastern end of the Menai Straits. He was shot dead by an arrow said to have been fired by Magnus himself. The Welsh knew him as "Hugh Goch," or Hugh the red-headed.
Hugh's English estates were intended for his younger brother, Arnulph, but his elder brother, Robert, out maneuvered him and succeeded as the 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury. This must have made family reunions difficult.(1) Roger "the Poitevin" de Montgomery (c1058)
The third son was Count Roger. He was called de Poitou in consequence of his marriage to Almodis de la Marche, the daughter of Alberic [Adalbert] III, Count de la Marche in Poitou. She was heiress of the childless Boso III.
Sometime after 1086 Roger was made the first Earl of Lancashire, though it was a very poor region at the time. He held some 45 coastal holdings from West Derby north to the Ribble, an area generally known as the Argarmeles. He also held lands in Essex, Suffolk, and Hampshire. Note that the Gernet's held lands in those regions as well. Were they sub-enfeooffed of Roger for those as well?
He joined in the rebellions of 1088 and 1094 against William Rufus, in 1101 against Henry I. He was in Arundel Castle with his brother Robert and Arnulph when they yielded to Henry. All were allowed to retire to Normandy, but forfeited their English possessions. Roger settled on his wife's property in Poitou.
|The Residence of Norman Lords
If Roger de Poitou held Lancashire, did he also live there? Probably not. While Roger's signature on charters signed in Lancaster indicate that he visited the region, most of his interest would have been in Normandy or southeastern England. The estates of Lancashire and other counties were given to him mainly to provide him with an income. Note that William I, despite many long campaigns in Engalnd to secure his throne, still spent the majority of his time after 1066 in Normandy.
Did the Gernet's live in Lancashire? That is hard to say. Their interests may have been more circumscribed, but it may well be that early members of the family spent much of their time at their old estates in France.
His children were Aldebert IV, Boso IV, and Odo II of La Marche, and Ponce, who married Vulgrin II, the Count of Angouleme.(1) Philip "Grammaticus" de Montgomery (c1062)
Philip remained in Normandy and later accompanied Duke Robert of Normandy on the first crusade to the Holy Land and died there in 1098 at the siege of Antioch. He probably died of a fever contracted in the wet/cold winter and exascerbated by the starvation conditions. His nickname meant Grammarian or Clerk. This probably meant that he had received an education and was possibly training for the priesthood. However, he clearly did not finish this education for he married and had a daughter, Matilda. She succeeded her Aunt Emma as Abbess of Alemenesches in 1113.
|The First Crusade
Pope Urban IV called for the first Crusade in 1095 in response, in part, to a plea from the Byzantine Empire for assistance against the unremitting attacks of the Turks, but also in an attempt to find an outlet for the aggressive behavior of the nobility that was tearing Europe apart. The call excited the nobility and peasantry of Europe alike. The Peasants' crusade ended tragically when they were wiped out by the Turks in Anatolia [Asia Minor] and the survivors sold into slavery.
The nobility arrived in Constantinople in the spring of 1097. They captured Nicaea in May and surrendered the city to Alexius, the Byzantine Empereor. In October they began the siege of Antioch, which is today in northwestern Syria. Unfortunately for the westerners, the city was well stocked and the crusaders quickly spent their supplies. A particularly hard winter became a time of starvation for the besiegers. The city finally fell in June 1098, however, through betrayal.
In June 1099 the crusaders finally arrived before Jersulam and soon took the city. Baldwin was selected as the first King of Jerusalem. He reigned from 1100 to 1118. This was to be the most successful of the many crusades eventually launched.
Also as Arnald, the youngest son of Roger and Mabel. Of St. Germain, Normandy. Arnulph became, by conquest, the 1st Earl of Pembroke, in south Wales, and built a castle there. In 1096 when Rufus gave him the lordship of Holderness.
He married Lafracoth [Lafracota] O'Brien, the daughter of Murtagh [Muirchertach] O'Brien, the King of Ireland, and Dubchoblaig ingen Diarmait, in about 1100. Murtagh was not a loving father-in-law. He carried off Lafracoth and tried to murder his son-in-law. Murtagh supported Arnulph, however in the rebellion of 1101. In the defeat of that rebellion Arnulph was deprived of his lands and exiled by King Henry I in 1102.
Arnulph was subsequently in the entourage of Fulk V, Count of Anjoy. He died in 1125. His children were Alice, who married Maurice Fitz Gerald, the Lord of Maynooth and Naas, and Robert de Montgomerie.(2) Robert de Montgomery (1103)
Robert married Marjory FitzAlan, the daughter of Walter FitzAlan, First hereditary High Steward of Scotland. He became the First Earl of Eaglesham, Renfrewshire, Scotland after receiving those lands as dowry from Walter. He died in 1178.(3) Alan de Montgomery
Earl of Eaglesham.(4) Sir John de Mongomerie
Third Earl of Eaglesham. John married Helen, the daughter and co-heiress of Robert de Kent of Innerswick.(1) Emma de Montgomery
The Abbess of Almenache [Alemenesches].(1) Matilda de Montgomery
Or Matildis/Maud. The wife of Robert de Burgo [de Brugh], Count of Mortain and Earl of Cornwall, as well as being the half-brother of William I. He was the son of Herluin de Conteville and Herleve de Falaise, the mother of William I. Robert received the lands of Mortain from his half brother, King William, when they were forfeited by William "the Warling" for rebelling against "the Conqueror."
Their son was William of Mortain. He joined in the rebellion of 1101 against Henry I and was captured at the battle of Tincherbrai. He was jailed along with Duke Robert Curthose.(1) Mabel de Montgomery
The wife of Hugh de Chateauneuf-en-Thimerais.(1) Everard de Montgomery
The son of Roger and his second wife, Adelaide [Adeliza] de Puiset. He took holy orders and was chaplain to William Rufus and Henry I.(-1) William de Montgomerie (c1020)
Of St. Germain, Normandy. He succeeded his father as Count. He was accused of the murder of Osberne de Crepon, High Steward of Normandy and the guardian of the infant Duke William. He was besieged and killed in his castle by Baron de Glos, Osberne’s successor as Steward.(-1) Hugh de Montgomerie (c1020)
He was killed in the aftermath of the murder of Osberne de Crepon.(-1) Robert de Montgomerie (c1020)
He was killed in the aftermath of the murder of Osberne de Crepon.(-1) Gilbert de Montgomerie (c1020)
He may have been amongst the brothers killed in the aftermath of the murder of Osberne de Crepon, though there is also a story that he was "accidently" poisoned in 1063 by Mabel Talvas, his brother's wife. Mabel, as you'll read below, had a notorious reputation. It seems she was actually trying to poison someone else.(-1) Mabel de Montgomerie (c1020)
She married Gervase de Chateuaneuf. Their son was Hugo.
Other excellent sites about the Montgomery family include Our Folk by Albert Douglass Hart, Jr., and Montgomerie Family .