Humphrey "The Bearded" or "The Old" de Bohun, I (c.1040 - 1113) MP

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Nicknames: "Honfroy", "Onfrei", "Onfroi", "Unfridus", "Humfridus", "with the Beard"
Birthplace: St Georges de Bohon, Manche, Normandy, France
Death: Died in Tatterford, Norfolk, England (Domesday tennant)
Occupation: 1st Baron
Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:

About Humphrey "The Bearded" or "The Old" de Bohun, I

Godfather of William the Conqueror

Excerpted from Les Seigneurs de Bohon by Jean LeMelletier, Coutances: Arnaud-Bellee, 1978. http://mahan.wonkwang.ac.kr/link/med/society/class/Bohun/bohon.html

HUMPHREY THE OLD (died before 1093) was a modest Norman nobleman. He gained his fortune at an early age by accompanying William the Conqueror on his grand adventure. He founded the Bohon priory in Normandy and gave birth to two branches of the family.

(Honfroy, Onfrei, Onfroi, Unfridus, Humfridus)

Humphrey I, also called The Old, was the founder of the house of Bohon. He is mainly known as a companion of William the Conqueror at the conquest of England and as the founder of the Bohon priory. Old English books designate him Humfridus cum Barba or Humphrey with the Beard. His beard distinguished him from other Norman knights of the period because they habitually shaved.

Humphrey was the godfather of William and was certainly close to him because we see the names of William, duchess Mathilde, and their children associated with Humphrey's children.

The oldest mention of Humphrey that we know of is in William's journals. It confirms a donation made at the abbey of St. Trinite du Mont at Rouen by Gilbert, Osbern's vassal. William's signature is accompanied by that of Humphrey, son of Richard, listed with the rest of William's men.

In 1062 we find Humphrey again with William at the Hogue de Biville, along with Roger de Montgomery and William, son of Osbern. At a meal in the middle of the road, William said they should be free like the common people of the neighboring priory of Heauville. In recounting the story, a monk said that a fellow diner criticized William's liberalism. Not taking too kindly to criticism, William threatened to strike him with a shoulder of pork.

According to a paper from about 1060, the knight Humphrey, a rich and noble man, granted the priory he founded, St. Georges de Bohon, to the abbey of St. Martin of Marmoutier. Humphrey tells us

with the inspiration of God and the patronage of lord earl William for the relief of my soul, and those of the late Richard of Mary, my father, and of the late Billeheude, my mother...in the octave of the Pentecost before the venerable father Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances... I protect the abbey of St. Martin, the servants Arnouf, Heribert, and Roger, and the other people whose names are inscribed here.

The authenticity of this act, of which the original documents were unfortunately destroyed, does not seem to bear to be contested.

The latest dates proposed for the founding of the priory come from dates of estate foundings (from Martene and Miss Gantier 1068; Gerville and the Bernard abbey 1092; L. Musset between 1066 & 1087). However, the title of earl was given to William before 1066 and the founding of the priory was earlier.

Originally the priory was settled by four secular canons. The act of including the priory with the abbey was precisely to entrust it with the lands of a knight. (A knight cared for and protected his lands and those who lived there from thieves, warring lords, etc.)

In later years St. Martin became very popular. It was at Marmoutier that William himself joined the Battle Abbey, founded to commemorate the Battle of Hastings where it was fought.

A document signed by Sir William, duke of the Normands, before 1066 shows that Humphrey de Bohon gave a garden from his fief (holdings) in Puchay to the nuns of St. Amand in Rouen for the repose of his soul and those of his three wives when one of his daughters became religious.

The monastery of St. Leger in Preaux was given the deeds to Barbeville, St. Marie's Church, the town of Carentan, and the neighboring rectory. Later Humphrey bequeathed the monastery a convent that his second daughter entered. Humphrey's sons Robert and Richard agreed with his actions.

By 1066 Humphrey had been married three times, two daughters had entered the convent, and sons Robert and Richard were old enough to assume their inheritance. Humphrey was a senior citizen.

Wace cited among the soldiers of Hastings: E de Bohon the older Humphrey.

Humphrey's name, a bit distorted, is seen on a majority of other lists of William's battle companions. As Wace's poem was written more than a hundred years after the events happened, some feel that Humphrey was not among the people at the Battle of Hastings. Taking into account the type of document (poem), it is very probable that Humphrey did participate in the battle. He was also with several neighbors of Cotentin and probably vassals, whose names were associated with his.

On the Bayeux tapestry, in a meal scene presided over by Bishop Odo, a bearded man is sitting to William's right. It is possible that this is Humphrey de Bohon--with the Beard--who would occupy a place of honor at the table out of respect for his age.

Ten years after Hastings, William was in England, so Queen Mathilda was left in charge of the government in Normandy. We know Humphrey was also in Normandy because of the act of Cherbourg, about 1076. Under the king's orders, he rendered justice with the monks at the Heauville priory against Bertram de Bricquebec, viscount of Cotentin, who had levied unfair taxes on his people.

Humphrey is mentioned in the Domesday Book (a great census taken of all the lands and people in England as ordered by William, between 1080 and 1086) as a champion and defender of the throne, and as lord of Taterford in Norfolk. Much of his wealth is attributed to the goodwill of William and the spoils of the campaigns, which was not a unique situation. However, the possession of large estates and properties in England was not all fun; they were hard to protect from raiders and warring lords. Humphrey probably also benefitted from Normandy's continued growth and profits from his holdings.

Humphrey's signature is on:

A treaty at Bayeaux. The king presided over the treaty between the abbey of Mont St. Michel and William Paynel.

Two documents of Boscherville on 30 January 1080, with the signatures of his son Richard, and William, Mathilda, and their two sons. One is the endowment of the church of St. Georges de Boscherville; the other documents a gift of St. Gervais Church and St. Portais to St. Florent de Saumur with other revenues by William de Briouze.

A document of William the Conqueror at Caen confirming the foundation of the Lessay Abbey on 14 July 1080.

Another document for the foundation of the Montebourg Abbey.

Humphrey's decision to combine the priory with the abbey was contested by Geoffrey (son of Nervee) who reclaimed the priory. The case was settled in favor of Humphrey by a judgment of the king's court on 27 December 1080 at Cherbourg. Among the witnesses were Humphrey de Bohon, his son Richard, and Torchetil de Bohon.

Continually Humphrey added his border lands to his holdings. In answer to his request, he received a formal deed from King William at Bernouville, probably at the end of 1081.

Other religious establishments benifitted from his generosity.

Humphrey died between 1080 and 1093. He had four sons that we know of: Robert, Humphrey, Richard, and Enguerran, and two daughters. Robert died young, before his father. Enguerran became a monk at Marmoutier in the Bohon priory. Richard began another branch, whose descendents include (in France) Enjuger de Bohon and Richard de Bohon, bishop of Coutances, and (in England) the Bohons of Midhurst, Jocelin, bishop of Salisbury, and Reginald and Savary, bishops of Bath. Humphrey became the illustrious ancestor of the earls of Hereford.

------------------------------------------------------

from tudorplace.com:

Humphrey "with the Beard" BOHUN (1º B. Bohun of Taterford)

Born: BEF 1066 Died: BEF 1113

Notes: is said to have been a kinsman and a companion in arms of William the Conqueror. Humphrey was the godfather of William and was certainly close to him because we see the names of William, duchess Mathilde, and their children associated with Humphrey's children.

Old English books designate him Humfridus cum Barba or Humphrey with the Beard. His beard distinguished him from other Norman knights of the period because they habitually shaved.

He was in possession of the lordship of Taterford in Norfolk.

This family originated from Bohon in the arrondissement of St. Lo in the Cotentin, Normandy, where there still exists St. Andre and St. Georges De Bohon. The mound of the old castle is still visible.

Humphrey is reported in the chronicles of Wace as the companion of the Conqueror at Senlac. He is reputed to have been a near kinsman of Duke William, but how or in what degree is unknown. The fact remains that the witnesses to the Benedictine priory at St George's in 1092, were all members of King William's immediate family or branches thereof.

Humphrey is mentioned in the Domesday Book (a great census taken of all the lands and people in England as ordered by William, between 1080 and 1086) as a champion and defender of the throne, and as lord of Taterford in Norfolk. Much of his wealth is attributed to the goodwill of William and the spoils of the campaigns, which was not a unique situation. However, the possession of large estates and properties in England was not all fun; they were hard to protect from raiders and warring lords. Humphrey probably also benefitted from Normandy's continued growth and profits from his holdings.

Father: Henry De BOHUN (Sir)

Mother: Margaret D'EU

Married 1: ¿? Married 2: ¿? Married 3: ¿?

Children:

1. Robert BOHUN (d. young)

2. Richard BOHUN

3. Humphrey "The Great" De BOHUN (2º B. Bohun of Taterford)

4. Enguerrand De BOHUN (Monk at Marmoutier)

5. Adela De BOUN (Nun)

6. Dau. De BOUN (Nun)

7. Ellen De BOHUN

--------------------

He was also known as Humphrey "with the beard" and Onfroy de Bohun.

He was a cousin of William the Conqueror. -------------------- Humphrey I "the Bearded," seigneur de Bohon, was designated in Old English books as Humfridus cum Barba or Humphrey with the Beard, because his beard distinguished him from other Norman knights of the period (they habitually shaved).

Humphrey was mentioned in the Domesday Book as a champion and defender of the throne, and as lord of Taterford in Norfolk.

He was also called Humphrey "the Old" de Bohon.

He was a knight and a rich and noble man circa 1060.

He granted the priory he founded, St. Georges de Bohon, to the abbey of St. Martin of Marmoutier circa 1060. Humphrey tells us "With the inspiration of God and the patronage of lord earl William for the relief of my soul, and those of the late Richard of Mary, my father, and of the late Billeheude, my mother...in the octave of the Pentecost before the venerable father Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances... I protect the abbey of St. Martin, the servants Arnouf, Heribert, and Roger, and the other people whose names are inscribed here."

Humphrey was with William, Duke of Normandy, at the Hogue de Biville, along with Roger de Montgomery and William, son of Osbern in 1062. He gave a garden from his fief (holdings) in Puchay to the nuns of St. Amand in Rouen for the repose of his soul and those of his three wives when one of his daughters became religious before 1066.

He was married three times, with two daughters already having entered the convent, and with sons Robert and Richard old enough to assume their inheritance, before 1066.

Humphrey was mainly known as a companion of William the Conqueror at the conquest of England (however, he is not recorded in the records as having fought at Hastings on 14 October 1066) and as the founder of the Bohon priory in 1066. He bequeathed the monastery of St. Leger in Preaux a convent that his second daughter entered after 1066.

He rendered justice with the monks at the Heauville priory against Bertram de Bricquebec, viscount of Cotentin, who had levied unfair taxes on his people, with the act of Cherbourg circa 1076 in Normandy.

See "My Lines"

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p58.htm#i7139 )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm ) -------------------- Lord of Waterford (Ireland). King William I gave him lands in Ireland. -------------------- Humphrey with the Beard (died before 1113) was a Norman soldier and landed aristocrat who took part in the Norman conquest of England as one of the original companions at Hastings.[1]

Humphrey may have been a relative of William the Conqueror, probably through one of Humphrey's marriages. He was married three times, as his donation of a plow and garden to the nuns of Abbaye Saint-Amand at Rouen states, but the names of his wives are unknown. This donation is witnessed by William as comes (count), indicating that he had not yet succeeded to the throne of England and was still only Duke of Normandy. This suggests that Humphrey was advanced in age by 1066, which corroborates the description of him given at line 13,583 of the Roman de Rou of Wace: De Bohun le Vieil Onfrei ("from Bohun the old Humphrey").[1] His nickname, "with the beard" (cum barba), was a distinguishing one in eleventh-century Normandy, where the custom was to shave the face and back of the head.[2]

At the time of the Conquest Humphrey possessed the honour of Bohun (today comprising two communes, Saint-André-de-Bohon and Saint-Georges-de-Bohon) in western Normandy. After the Conquest he received an honour with its seat at Tatterford in Norfolk, as recorded in Domesday Book (1086). The small size of his reward in England, despite his relations with William's family, may be a result of his age. He later donated the church of Saint-Georges-de-Bohon to the Abbey of Marmoutier. By his wives he left three sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Robert, predeceased him unmarried, and his second son, Richard, was the progenitor, in the female line, of the Bohuns of Midhurst. His youngest son and namesake is commonly numbered Humphrey I because by his marriage he was "the founder of the fortunes of his family".[1] [edit] -------------------- Baron of Taterford; born in Aynho, Oxfordshire, England.

src: Tudorplace.com.ar/Bohun.htm

--------------------

said to have been a kinsman and a companion in arms of William the Conqueror. Humphrey was the godfather of William and was certainly close to him because we see the names of William, duchess Mathilde, and their children associated with Humphrey's children. Old English books designate him Humfridus cum Barba or Humphrey with the Beard. His beard distinguished him from other Norman knights of the period because they habitually shaved. He was in possession of the lordship of Taterford in Norfolk. This family originated from Bohon in the arrondissement of St. Lo in the Cotentin, Normandy, where there still exists St. Andre and St. Georges De Bohon. The mound of the old castle is still visible. Humphrey is reported in the chronicles of Wace as the companion of the Conqueror at Senlac. He is reputed to have been a near kinsman of Duke William, but how or in what degree is unknown. The fact remains that the witnesses to the Benedictine priory at St George's in 1092, were all members of King William's immediate family or branches thereof.

Humphrey is mentioned in the Domesday Book (a great census taken of all the lands and people in England as ordered by William, between 1080 and 1086) as a champion and defender of the throne, and as lord of Taterford in Norfolk. Much of his wealth is attributed to the goodwill of William and the spoils of the campaigns, which was not a unique situation. However, the possession of large estates and properties in England was not all fun; they were hard to protect from raiders and warring lords. Humphrey probably also benefitted from Normandy's continued growth and profits from his holdings.

--------------------

Humphrey is said to have been a kinsman and a companion in arms of William the Conqueror. Humphrey was the godfather of William and was certainly close to him because we see the names of William, duchess Mathilde, and their children associated with Humphrey's children. Old English books designate him Humfridus cum Barba or Humphrey with the Beard. His beard distinguished him from other Norman knights of the period because they habitually shaved. He was in possession of the lordship of Taterford in Norfolk. This family originated from Bohon in the arrondissement of St. Lo in the Cotentin, Normandy, where there still exists St. Andre and St. Georges De Bohon. The mound of the old castle is still visible. Humphrey is reported in the chronicles of Wace as the companion of the Conqueror at Senlac. He is reputed to have been a near kinsman of Duke William, but how or in what degree is unknown. The fact remains that the witnesses to the Benedictine priory at St George's in 1092, were all members of King William's immediate family or branches thereof.

Humphrey is mentioned in the Domesday Book (a great census taken of all the lands and people in England as ordered by William, between 1080 and 1086) as a champion and defender of the throne, and as lord of Taterford in Norfolk. Much of his wealth is attributed to the goodwill of William and the spoils of the campaigns, which was not a unique situation. However, the possession of large estates and properties in England was not all fun; they were hard to protect from raiders and warring lords. Humphrey probably also benefitted from Normandy's continued growth and profits from his holdings.

view all 17

Humphrey "The Bearded" or "The Old" de Bohun I's Timeline

1040
1040
St Georges de Bohon, Manche, Normandy, France
1074
1074
Age 34
St. Georges de Bohon, Manche, Normandy, France
1075
1075
Age 35
Gloucester, England
1080
1080
Age 40
Bohon, Normandy, France
1113
March 24, 1113
Age 73
Tatterford, Norfolk, England (Domesday tennant)
1113
Age 73
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
????
????
????
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