Gerbod "The Fleming" de St. Omer
|Nicknames:||"Gerbod Fleming", "Gherbod St.Omer"|
|Birthplace:||Gare de Lille Flandres|
|Death:||Died in Flanders, France|
Son of Gherbod I de St. Omer and Gherbod's mother
|Occupation:||Comte, de Chester|
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Gerbod "The Fleming" de St. Omer
The first Earl, Gerbod de Fleming, was the son of one Gerbod, hereditary advocate of the abbey of Saint-Bertin. The family held the lordships of Oosterzele and Sheldewindeke, the overlordship of Arques and territorial rights in Saint-Omer. Gerbod probably fought with William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He is recorded as fighting in the Battle of Cassel in February of 1071 in his native Flanders, according to some sources, he was held captive by his enemies after the battle and died a prisoner, others relate that Gerbod, having slain Arnulf III, Count of Flanders in the battle, fled to Rome to seeking attonement for the sin of taking the life of his liege lord and became a monk at Cluny. Which ever was the case, King William gave the vacant Earldom to another of his vassals, Hugh d'Avranches. ________________________________________________________________________________
Father of Gerbod 1st Earl of Chester. Parents unknown.
Not married to Mathilda of Flanders (?!)
All primary sources listed there.
William I King of England granted the city of Chester and large areas surrounding it to Gerbod, avoué of the abbey of St Bertin in Flanders, in early 1070. According to Orderic Vitalis, Gerbod was "continually molested by the English and Welsh alike". He returned to Flanders where he fought and was captured at the battle of Cassel 22 Feb 1071. The king must have considered this grant thereby forfeited or otherwise ineffective, as he granted the city and county of Chester to Hugues d'Avranches in 1071. Cheshire is described as a "County Palatine" but it is unclear what practical difference this made to its constitution or administration. On the death of Ranulf "de Blundeville" Earl of Chester in 1232, King Henry III appointed John "le Scot", son of David of Scotland Earl of Huntingdon, as Earl of Chester. After his death in 1237, the earldom remained vacant until King Henry created his son Edward (later King Edward I) Earl of Chester in 1254. The earldom was held briefly by Simon de Montfort Earl of Leicester in 1265, but after his death at the battle of Evesham 4 Aug 1265 King Henry III annexed the earldom of Chester to the crown. Since then, the title Earl of Chester has been one of the titles granted to the eldest son of the monarch until the present time.
A. EARL of CHESTER 1070-1071
Brother and sister, parents not known. As noted below, one charter suggests that Gundred´s mother was Mathilde de Flandre, wife of William I King of England, by an earlier husband who is not otherwise recorded, but this information is dubious as discussed further below:
1. GERBOD (-after 22 Feb 1071). William I King of England granted the city of Chester and large areas surrounding it to Gerbod, avoué of the abbey of St Bertin in Flanders, in early 1070, whereby he is taken to have been created Earl of Chester. According to Orderic Vitalis, Gerbod was "continually molested by the English and Welsh alike". He returned to Flanders where he fought and was captured at the battle of Cassel 22 Feb 1071.
2. GUNDRED (-Castle Acre, Norfolk 27 May 1085, bur Lewes Priory). Her marriage is recorded by Orderic Vitalis who also specifies that she was Gerbod´s sister. "Willelmus de Warenna…Surreie comes [et] Gundrada uxor mea" founded Lewes Priory as a cell of Cluny by charter dated 1080. This charter also names "domine mee Matildis regine, matris uxoris mee", specifying that the Queen gave "mansionem quoque Carlentonam nomine" to Gundred. It is presumably on this basis that some secondary works claim, it appears incorrectly, that Gundred was the daughter of William I King of England. Weir asserts that the charter in question "has been proved spurious", although it is not certain what other elements in the text indicate that this is likely to be the case. Assuming the charter is genuine, it is presumably possible that "matris" was intended in the context to indicate a quasi-maternal relationship, such as foster-mother or godmother. The same relationship is referred to in the charter dated to [1080/86] under which William I King of England donated property in Norfolk to Lewes priory, for the souls of “…Gulielmi de Warenna et uxoris suæ Gundfredæ filiæ meæ”. Gundred died in childbirth. m (1070) as his first wife, WILLIAM de Warenne, son of RODULF [Raoul] de Warenne & his first wife Beatrix --- (-Lewes 24 Jun 1088, bur Lewes Priory). He was created Earl of Surrey in [late Apr] 1088, although he and his immediate successors usually styled themselves "Earl de Warenne".
B. EARLS of CHESTER 1071-1120 (AVRANCHES)
HUGUES d'Avranches "Lupus", son of RICHARD "le Goz" Vicomte d'Avranches & his wife Emma [de Conteville] (-St Werburg's Abbey, Chester 27 Jul 1101). He is named as son of Richard "le Goz" by Orderic Vitalis. A manuscript relating to St Werburgh´s Chester records that “Hugo Lupus filius ducis Britanniæ et nepos Gulielmi magni ex sorore” transformed the foundation into a monastery. This suggests that the mother of Hugues may have been a uterine sister of King William, and therefore daughter of Herluin de Conteville. However, no indication has been in other primary sources which supports the contention that Hugues was the son of a duke of Brittany. It is assumed therefore that both lines of his parentage have been romanticised in this document to improve his status and reputation. Robert of Torigny's De Immutatione Ordinis Monachorum records that "Hugo vicecomitis Abrincatensis postea…comes Cestrensis" founded "abbatiam Sancti Severi in Constantinensi episcopatu". Orderic Vitalis records that William I King of England granted Hugues the whole of the county palatine of Chester in 1071, whereby he is held to have become Earl of Chester. He succeeded his father in  as Vicomte d'Avranches. Florence of Worcester records that, in 1098, he and Hugh de Montgommery Earl of Shrewsbury led troops into Anglesey where they mutilated or massacred many of the inhabitants of the island. "…Hugonis comitis…" subscribed a charter dated 14 Sep 1101 under which Henry I King of England donated property to Bath St Peter. He founded the abbeys of Saint-Sever in Normandy and St Werburg in Chester, becoming a monk at the latter four days before he died. Orderic Vitalis states that Hugues was "a slave to gluttony, he staggered under a mountain of fat" and was "given over to carnal lusts and had a numerous progeny of sons and daughters by his concubines". The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1101 of "Hugo comes Crassus urbis Legionum". A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records the death “VI Kal Aug” of “Hugo primus comes Cestriæ”.
m () ERMENTRUDE de Clermont, daughter of HUGUES de Clermont [en-Beauvaisis] dit de Mouchy & his wife Marguerite de Roucy [Montdidier]. She is named as the wife of Hugues by Orderic Vitalis, who also records her parentage. The Genealogiæ Scriptoris Fusniacensis refers to a sister of "comes Rainaldus" as husband of "comiti Hugoni de Cestre".
Earl Hugh & his wife had one child:
1. RICHARD d'Avranches (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records that “Richardus filius eius” was “puer septem annorum” when he succeeded “Hugo primus comes Cestriæ”. He is named as the only son and heir of Hugues and Ermentrude by Orderic Vitalis. He succeeded his father in 1101 as Earl of Chester and Vicomte d'Avranches. William of Malmesbury records that Richard drowned with his wife following the sinking of the “Blanche Nef [White Ship]”. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester names "…Ricardus comes Cestrensis, Otthuel frater eius…" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship. m (1115) MATHILDE de Blois, daughter of ETIENNE II Comte de Blois & his wife Adela de Normandie (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). Her marriage is recorded by Orderic Vitalis, who also states her parentage. William of Malmesbury records that she drowned with her husband following the sinking of the “Blanche Nef [White Ship]”. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester names "…neptis regis Comitissa de Cestria" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship.
Earl Hugh had three [known] illegitimate children by unknown mistresses:
2. OTTIWELL [Otuel] (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). He was tutor to the children of Henry I King of England. The Continuator of Florence of Worcester names "…Ricardus comes Cestrensis, Otthuel frater eius…" among those drowned in the sinking of the White Ship. m ([1116/19], as her second husband, MARGUERITE, widow of WILLIAM de Mandeville, daughter and heiress of EUDO de Rie, dapifer, of Colchester, Essex & his wife Rohese ---. The Genealogia Fundatoris of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire names “Margareta” as daughter of “Eudoni dapifero Regis Normanniæ”, adding that she married “Willielmo de Mandavill” by whom she was mother of “Gaufridi filii comitis Essexiæ et iure matris Normanniæ dapifer”. According to the Complete Peerage, this genealogy is “probably erroneous” but it does not explain the basis for the doubts. Her second marriage is suggested by a charter dated [1141/42], under which Empress Matilda made various grants of property including a grant to "Willelmo filio Otuel fratri…Comitis Gaufredi" (identified as Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex). The only contemporary "Otuel" so far been identified is the illegitimate son of Hugh Earl of Chester. Ottiwell & his wife had [one] child:
a) [WILLIAM FitzOttiwell (-after [1141/42]). Empress Matilda made various grants of property including a grant to "Willelmo filio Otuel fratri…Comitis Gaufredi" (identified as Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex). It is not certain that "Otuel" was the same person as the illegitimate son of Earl Hugh, although as noted above no other person of this name has yet been identified.]
3. ROBERT (-after 1102). Recorded as the son of Hugh Earl of Chester by Orderic Vitalis, who specifies that he was a monk at the abbey of Saint-Evroul , Normandy. He was appointed Abbot of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in 1100 by Henry I King of England, but deposed in 1102 by Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury at the Council of London.
4. GEVA . “Geva, filia Hugonis comitis Cestriæ, uxor Galfridi Ridelli” founded Canwell priory, with the consent of “Ranulfi comitis Cestriæ cognate mei…hæredum meorum…Gaufridi Ridelli et Radulfi Basset”, by undated charter. m GEOFFREY Ridel, son of --- (-drowned off Barfleur, Normandy 25 Nov 1120). He was granted Drayton Basset in Staffordshire. Orderic Vitalis records that Geoffrey Riddell drowned in the sinking of the White Ship.
Gherbod was the very first Earl of Chester after the conquest. He is also the father of Gundred, wife of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. Allegedly the mother was William the Conqueror's wife, Matilda of Flanders, who married or had an affair with Gherbod, before she m. William I. For a long time genealogists thought Gundred was a daughter of William I.
EARLDOM of CHESTER (I) - Gherbod, a Fleming, Avoue of the Abbey of St. Bertin, received, on the dismemberment of Mercia, early in 1070, a large portion of that district, together with the city of Chester, the said portion being formed into a County Palatine (under the name of Cheshire) whereby he became Earl of Chester. He returned shortly afterwards, to his native country, where he was taken prisoner at the battle of Cassel, 1071, and kept captive for a long period, never coming back to England. [Complete Peerage III:164
Gerbod "The Fleming" de St. Omer's Timeline
Gare de Lille Flandres
Normandy, , , France
February 20, 1071
Advocate of the Abbey of Saint Bertin