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Latin: Matildis, French: Mathilde
Also Known As: "Matilda de Bretagne"
Birthplace: England
Death: Lincolnshire , England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Alain "Rufus" de Bretagne, lord of Richmond and Gunhild Haraldsdatter
Wife of Walter de Ayncourt
Mother of Ralph Deincourt, 2nd Lord d’Eyncourt; William Deincourt and Walter Deincourt

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Matilda


MATILDA, daughter of ---.  An undated charter of King Henry II confirms the possessions of York St Mary and lists donations including the donations made by "Walterus de Daincourt" and the donation of “unam carucatam terræ quæ fuit Brutinæ in Corby et silvam…decimam de domino de Abbingtuna et de Lins et de Thudesham et decimam Ribaldi de Pikenham de altera Lins, et decimam de Herinthorp, decimam Normanni de Fliccaburh, decimam Gerrardi in Apelby et Gamesthorp et terram…Northuuda juxta Burtunam in Lincolschira” made by “Matildis uxor eius”[7]. 

Richard Sharp suggests that she was Mathilde, [illegitimate] daughter of Alain "Rufus" de Bretagne Lord of Richmond & his mistress Gunhild ---[8].  This is based on her apparent royal ancestry which is indicated in the epitaph which records the death of [her son] "Wi[llelmus] filius Walteri Aiencuriensis…regia styrpe progenitus"[9].  It should be noted that the epitaph ("Wi[llelmus] filius Walteri Aiencuriensis consanguinei Remigii episcopi Lincolniensis…prefatus Willelmus regia styrpe progenitus") distinguishes between Walter’s relationship with the bishop of Lincoln and William’s being “regia styrpe progenitus”, which indicates that the latter connection must come from his mother’s family.  Some of the property which she donated to York St Mary was previously held by Alain "Rufus" (including Little Abington in Cambridgeshire, which he had acquired with the lands of "Eddeva Pulcra"). 

Married 1.         WALTER [I] de Aincourt (-[1103]).  The epitaph of his son William indicates that Walter was "consanguinei Remigii episcopi Lincolniensis" but his precise relationship to Remy Bishop of Lincoln has not been ascertained.  Domesday Book records “Walter d'Aincourt” holding land in Morton, Old Brampton, Pilsley, Holmesfield, Elmton and Stony Houghton in Derbyshire; land in Flawborough, Staunton-in-the-Vale, Cotham, East Stoke, Hockerton, Knapthorpe, Bulcote…Granby, in Nottinghamshire; land in Wombwell, West Melton, Toftes and Rawmarsh in Yorkshire West Riding; land in Belton and Great Gonerby Hundreds, in Old Somerby, Humby, Westhorpe, Houghton, Sudwelle, land in the hundreds of Swinstead, Burton-le-Googles, and Branston, in Blankney, and land in Potterhanworth Hundred, all in Lincolnshire[4].  He was related to Remy Bishop of Lincoln, according to the epitaph which records the death of his son "Wi[llelmus] filius Walteri Aiencuriensis consanguinei Remigii episcopi Lincolniensis…"[5].  An undated charter of King Henry II confirms the possessions of York St Mary and lists donations including the donations of “ecclesiam [in Beltona]…decimas suas de Hanawarda et de Blankanaie et de Coreby et de Cotes et de Turgaston et de Greneby et de Hikalinga et de Cnapthorp et de Cartune” made by “Walterus de Daincourt”[6]. 

Walter [I] & his wife had two children: 

  • a)         RALPH de Aincourt (-1158 or before).  The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.   The 1130 Pipe Roll records "Rad fil Walti" returning in Lincolnshire for "terra Godwini"[10].  “Radulfus de Ayncourt” founded Thurgarton priory, Nottinghamshire, for the soul of “Basiliæ mulieris meæ”, by undated charter[11].  m firstly BASILIE, daughter of ---.  “Radulfus de Ayncourt” founded Thurgarton priory, Nottinghamshire, for the soul of “Basiliæ mulieris meæ”, by undated charter[12].  m secondly as her second husband, MATILDA, widow of RALPH FitzOdo, daughter of ---.  The primary source which confirms her marriages has not yet been identified.   Ralph & his first wife had [two] children: ...
  • b)         WILLIAM de Aincourt (-30 Oct [1088/98]).  An epitaph records the death "III [Ka]l Nov", while at the court of King William II, of "Wi[llelmus] filius Walteri Aiencuriensis consanguinei Remigii episcopi Lincolniensis…prefatus Willelmus regia styrpe progenitus"[19]. 


J.R. Planché believed, on the basis of Walter's son William D'Aincourt being so described on a plaque found in his tomb, that Walter's wife Matilda was of royal descent.[5] On this basis, plus proof that Walter and Matilda made donations on Alan Rufus's behalf, and chronological considerations, Matilda is argued[6] by the historian Richard Sharpe to be a daughter of Count Alan Rufus and of Gunhild of Wessex, and thus a granddaughter of Harold Godwinson, a view that Katharine Keats-Rohan finds convincing[7] (Sharpe's article also cites a suggestion by Trevor Foulds that Matilda d'Aincourt might have been the Princess Matilda who was a daughter of King William the Conqueror and his wife Queen Matilda.)

A more interesting case is that of Walter I de Aincourt, who was dead by 1116. A major Lincolnshire tenant-in-chief, one of his sons died in childhood at the court of William II. A still surviving epitaph described William’s father Walter as a kinsman of Bishop Remigius of Lincoln, and went on to describe his son William as of royal stock. A slip in Domesday People pointed out by Chris Phillips, made Walter himself into a relative of the Norman kings, although the inscription is quite clear that it was his son who was of royal stock.7 A paper published in 2008 by Richard Sharpe examined this question in detail, and came to some startling, but to my mind convincing conclusions.8 He embarked on his investigation because he wanted to understand why Walter de Aincourt had made gifts at the foundation of St Mary’s Abbey, York. Closely associated with Count Alan Rufus, lord of Richmond, the abbey lay in a county with which Walter had little connexion. Moreover, and most unusually, Walter’s wife Matilda made gifts at the same time to the abbey on her own account.


Walter and his wife Matilda had many descendants, such as the later members of the House of Neville, including Warwick the Kingmaker.

Deincourt descent

  • Walter I Deincourt 1st Lord d’Eyncourt, Lord of Blankney (Lincolnshire) [1042-1103] of Normandy, France m. Matilda
  • Ralph Deincourt 2nd Lord d’Eyncourt [1072-1158] of Blankney, m. Basilie
  • Walter Deincourt 3rd Lord d’Eyncourt [1100-1168]
  • John I Deincourt 4th Lord d’Eyncourt [1132-1183] m. Alice Murdac [1133-] daughter of Ralph Murdac of Broughton and Beatrice de Chesney
  • Oliver I Deincourt 5th Lord d’Eyncourt [1162-1246] m. Nichole de Camville [1198-] daughter of Gerald de Camville and Nichola de la Haye
  • John II Deincourt 7th Lord d’Eyncourt [1226-1257] m. 1244 Agnes de Neville [1221-1293] daughter of Sir Geoffrey 1st Baron de Neville and Margaret
  • Sir Edmund 1st Baron Deincourt, 8th Lord d’Eyncourt [1248-1326] m. Isabel de Mohun [1248-1280] daughter of Sir Reynold II de Mohun Lord of Dunster and Isabel de Ferrers
  • John Deincourt [1270-1326]
  • Sir William 2nd Baron Deincourt, 9th Lord d’Eyncourt [1301-1364] m. 1326 Milicent la Zouche [1307-1379] daughter of Sir William 1st Baron la Zouche of Haryngworth
  • Margaret Deincourt [1344-1380] m. Robert 3rd Baron de Tibetot [1341-1372] of Nettlestead, son of John 2nd Baron de Tibetot and Margaret de Badlesmere ~~~


  • "Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England". Department of History and the Centre for * Computing in the Humanities, at King’s College, London, and in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, at the University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  • Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons accessed May 2007.
  • "Walter of Aincourt, Domesday Book". Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  • a b Thurgarton Abbey at British-History accessed 13 December 2007.
  • a b The Conqueror and His Companions by J.R. Planché, Somerset Herald. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1874 accessed 13 December 2007.
  • Nottingham Medieval Studies 36: 42–78. Sharpe, Richard (2007). "King Harold's Daughter". Haskins Society Journal: Studies in Medieval History 19: 1–27 GoogleBooks
  • (sic).
  •,_York The Abbey of St Mary is a ruined Benedictine abbey in York, England and a Grade I listed building.[1] The original church on the site was founded in 1055 and dedicated to Saint Olaf II of Norway. After the Norman Conquest the church came into the possession of the Anglo-Breton magnate Alan Rufus who granted the lands to Abbot Stephen and a group of monks from Whitby. The abbey church was refounded in 1088[1][3] when the King, William Rufus, visited York in January or February of that year[4] and gave the monks additional lands. ....
  • Fould, Trevor. The Thurgarton Cartulary. Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1994. p. cxv. Table 1a: Deyncourt Main Branch. link
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Matilda's Timeline

Blankney, Lincolnshire, England
Lincolnshire , England