Osulf "fil Frane" du Plessis, seigneur de Belvoir

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Osulf "fil Frane" du Plessis, seigneur de Belvoir

Also Known As: "Osule du Plessis "fil Frame"", "Osulf le Fresne", "Osulf du Fresne"
Death: circa 1067 (80-96)
Immediate Family:

Son of Frane de Belvoir and Lady of Belvoir
Husband of NN wife of Osulf du Plessis
Father of Grimoult du Plessis and Adeliza FitzOsulf du Plessis, Heiress of Belvoir

Occupation: sgr de Belvoir
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Osulf "fil Frane" du Plessis, seigneur de Belvoir

Birth and death dates are approximations. Was documented as living and as an adult as of 1036 [In the Battle of Beaumont-le-Roger, in 1036, Onfroi de Vieilles fought against Roger de Toeni, and his close ally, Osulf du Fresne].

In An Essay towards a Topographical History of the COUNTY OF NORFOLK [Vol.5, 1806, pp. 431-432] Francis Blomefield states in relation to the village, ‘FRAMLINGHAM EARL’:

‘There are two small villages of this name in Henstede hundred, in the liberty of the Duke of Norfolk; they were both but one at the time of the Conquest, and, was early called Framlingham-Parva, or Little Framlingham, to distinguish it from Framlingham-Magna, or Great-Framlingham in Suffolk, which also belonged to the same family… Mr Le Neve says that the name of Framlingham signifies ‘the seat or abode of the son of Frame, who was a Saxon of great note in these parts…’ The term ‘son of Frame’ is quite specific and likely refers to Osulf fil Frame / Frane who was also a thegn to King Edward the Confessor. Chronology and status suggest that his father was probably Fráni or Frane ‘of Rockingham’ (fl.993).

This Fráni or Frane was a benefactor of Peterborough Abbey and his name was on a list of sureties (No.164) for estates bought for Peterborough by Æthelwold. His name is also recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (E version) for 993 and he was possibly among the thegns who witnessed the exemplar upon which the Thorney Charter was based [Cyril Roy Hart, The Early Charters of Eastern England, 1966, pp.174, 244]. Amongst a number of land holdings, Fráni’s son, Osulf fil Frane/Frame held Belvoir in Framland, Leicestershire prior to 1066. Post-Conquest, most of his landholdings passed to his son-in-law Robert de Tosny who married his daughter Adeliza. Osulf’s son, Grimoult du Plessis, was a lord of Le Fresne, canton Trévières Calvados, Normandy.


Alternately, this Osulf may have been the following:

Osulf II of Bamburgh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 (Redirected from Osulf, Earl of Bamburgh)

Osulf (also Oswulf) was the son of Eadulf III, Earl of Bamburgh (killed 1041), and grandson of Uchtred the Bold, Earl of Northumbria (killed 1016). Osulf’s family ruled as "High-Reeves" or ealdormen of Bamburgh from 954 until 1041, when Siward the Stout killed Eadulf and reunited Northumbria under one ruler.

In 1065 Morcar succeeded Tostig as Earl of all Northumbria, and he appointed Osulf to rule the portion north of the River Tyne. However, because of Morcar’s resistance to William the Conqueror in 1066, he was deposed and imprisoned. William then appointed Copsig, Tostig’s former deputy, as Morcar's replacement.

In February 1067 Copsig came north and forced Osulf to seek shelter in the hills. Osulf began to gather an army. Because Copsig was seen as an invader and a tax-gatherer for William, he was deeply unpopular amongst the Northumbrians north and south of the Tees, and Osulf had no trouble in gathering recruits. On March 12 he surprised Copsig and his men at a banquet at Newburn-upon-Tyne. Copsig fled to a nearby church, but this was set on fire, forcing Copsig out. Osulf then had Copsig's head cut off.

Osulf seemed to have seized control of the earldom of Bamburgh, and was not threatened by any expeditions to remove him. However in the autumn of 1067, Osulf, who appears to have been carrying out his duties as earl, intercepted an outlaw and was run through by the man’s spear.

He was succeeded as earl by his cousin, Cospatric, who purchased the earldom from King William.


   * Aird, William M., "Osulf , earl of Bamburgh (d. 1067)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , accessed 30 Dec 2008
   * Kapelle, William E., The Norman Conquest of the North, University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
   * Stenton, Sir Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England Third Edition. Oxford University Press, 1971.

http://www.freewebs.com/stanhopefamily/THE FAMILY OF FRESNE

Adeliza du Plessis was the sister of Grimoult du Plessis, who lost his estates, situated mainly in Coutances, after siding against William the Bastard at Val des Dunes. The name Plessis was of topographical origin, signifying [O.F] a pallisade, and [Lat.] an enclosure, referring to the castle held by the family at Plessis-Grimoult. [The Priory of Plessis-Grimoult was endowed by the Beaumont/Harcourt family; almost invariably a sign that there was a familial connection between them and the founder's family - Mem. Soc. Ant. Norm., vol ii., 23, no. 238.] The original name of the family was Fresne, or, more anciently, Freyne, signifying an ash tree, a derivative of which is the surname Frame. [ G. F. Black, Surnames of Scotland; Their Origin, Meaning, and History, p. 278, 1946.] The father of Adeliza and Grimoult was titled Osulf le Fresne. Their holdings in Coutances abutted those of the family of the wife of the aforementioned Onfroi de Vieilles, who, as said, was of the family of Haye/Haie; of Haye-du-Puits, Manche, arr. Coutances. [The lord of this barony, at the date of the conquest, was Raoul, sénéchal of the Earl of Mortaigne, and father of Robert de la Haie, a contemporary of Henry I. Raoul seems to have been the son of Hubert de Rye, to whom was entrusted the governorship of the castle and county of Nottingham, and who is frequently mentioned in Domesday Book.] In the Battle of Beaumont-le-Roger, in 1036, Onfroi de Vieilles fought against Roger de Toeni, and his close ally, Osulf du Fresne. Such military and political alliance usually stemmed from familial and consequent topographical connections. Later acts of the Abbey of Conches support this notion, with this Fresne family being noted as feudatories of the Anglo-Norman Toeni family, holding of them land centred around Mesnil-Hardray, canton Conches. In the same regard, Grimoult du Plessis was lord of le Freyne,

Discussion on GEN-MEDIEVAL-L: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/2007-02/1171199049

From: "Genie" <jfalk@bigpond.net.au> Subject: Osulf Fil Frame / Frane - son of Frane (Lord Belvoir) Date: 11 Feb 2007 05:04:09 -0800

...I found this reference to Osulf Fil Frane on the Internet:


  • Vol 2 page 395 TOR Linc. 343 b.Homo Episcopi Baiocensis (Man of Bishop) Bishop Odo of Baieux, Uterine Brother to Wm the Conqueror
  • Vol 2 page 198 OSULF Hertf. 138 bis. Buck. 149. Bedf.
  • 215 ter. Osulf filius Frane Teignus (Osulf son of Frane Baron)
  • Vol 2 page 364 Osulf Yorksh. 316 b. He had the same land previous to the Survey, which he now held as an under-tenant to Gilbert de Laci
  • Vol 2 page 112 FRANE Yorks. fillius Tor (son of Tor)
  • Vol 2 page 112 Frane et frater (brother)
  • Vol 2 page 267 Wiga Homo Soulfi, fillii, Frane (sister)

Whilst the above records refer to Osulf as Osulf filius Frane, there are many others recorded as Osulf Fil Frame. His father Frane is referred to as a Baron above, and his grandfather named as Tor.

After attempting to digest this information and exploring further, I became confused with what seems to be two prominent Osulfs in the same time-frame. The one mentioned above I imagine would have been an ally of William the Conqueror, and the another, Osulf son of Eadulf of the House of Bamburgh, who held Northumbria under Morcar, a foe...unless he changed allegiance. I presumed the second Osulf would have been the thegn to Edward the Confessor, but it is difficult for the mere beginner to determine. Sometimes there seems to be an overlap that I could be misinterpreting i.e. Horninghold Victoria County History Publication: A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5 Year published: 1964 Supporting documents: Note on abbreviations Pages: 153-57Citation: 'Horninghold', A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5: Gartree Hundred (1964), pp. 153-57.

...MANOR. Before the Conquest HORNINGHOLD was one of a group of estates apparently held by four thegns, Osulf, Osmund, Roulf, and Levrick. In 1086 the vill was said to be held by Robert de Todeni, lord of Belvoir, (fn. 14) though it may have been given before this date to Robert's priory of Belvoir, which had been founded in 1076. (fn. 15) At the beginning of the 12th century it was farmed by William D'Aubigny. (fn. 16) Horninghold formed part of the original endowment of the priory and remained in its possession until the Dissolution. (fn. 17) It was confirmed to the priory at various times during the Middle Ages. (fn. 18)

And this reference in Domesday Book and Beyond: Three Essays in the Early History of England by F.W. Maitland

'...Therefore let us look at two Hertfordshire villages. In one of them there is a manerium which Ralph Basset holds of Robert of Ouilly.(27*) It has been rated at 4, but is now rated at 2 hides. There is land for 4 teams. In demesne are 2 teams; and 3 1/2 villani with 2 sokemen of 1 hide and 5 bordarii have 2 teams. There are 1 cottager and 1 serf and a mill of 10 shillings and meadow for 3 teams. It is now worth £3; in King Edward's day it was worth £5. Now here, we say, is a pretty little manor of the common kind. Let us then explore its past history. 'Five sokemen held this manor.' Yes, we say, before the Conquest this manor was held in physically undivided shares by five lords. Their shares were small and they were humble people; but still they had a manor. But let us read further. 'Two of them were the men of Brihtric and held 1 1/2 hides; other two were the men of Osulf the son of Frane and held 1 1/2 hides; and the fifth was the man of Eadmer Atule and held a hide.'

As I said, this is all very new territory for me, and I have gotten myself into a right muddle trying to figure it out! Was Osulf son of Frane the thegn to Edward the Confessor, or was it Osulf of the House of Bamburgh or were they one and the same? I am also very confused as to whether there were two Belvoirs or one. I would really appreciate some clarity on this situation if possible. ...

Julie Frame Falk NSW Australia

From: "Matt Tompkins" <mllt1@le.ac.uk> Subject: Re: Osulf Fil Frame / Frane - son of Frane (Lord Belvoir) Date: 12 Feb 2007 03:23:13 -0800

...I won't try to disentangle all the references to Anglo-Saxon Osulfs which you have found, except to say that Osulf was not an uncommon name and they are unlikely all to have been the same man.

It must also be unlikely that the Frani who was Osulf's father, or any other Frani (there seem to have been several of them), was the ancestor of the modern Frames, because patronymic surnames did not become hereditary until much later, in the 13th and 14th centuries, or even later. In fact I think it is safe to say that there is no patronym formed from an Anglo-Saxon personal name which can be shown to have begun with an Anglo-Saxon living at the time of the Conquest. There are of course a number of patronyms formed from Anglo-Saxon personal names, but these are names which were still in use among the English population at the time when patronymic surnames were adopted and became hereditary.


Matt Tompkins

Julie replied: ... Osulf Fil Frame keeps crossing my path one way or another and keeps me pondering. I began to question whether there might still have been a Frame connection with Suffolk when I saw that Roger Bigod, the husband of Odulf's granddaughter Adeliza de Toeni, "obtained Framlingham in Suffolk as a gift from the Crown. Roger established a dynasty which dominated East Anglia from the 1140s, as earls of Norfolk, until 1306." [Who's Who in Early Medieval England, Christopher Tyerman, Shepheard-Walwyn, Ltd., London,1996]... ...

Matt replied:

Framlingham is a place-name meaning 'the ham [or home] of the people of Framela', or some name similar to that. Framela would have been an Anglo-Saxon living several centuries before the Norman Conquest, and we know of his existence only from the place-name. If centuries later a place of this name were granted to the husband of a grand-daughter of a man called Frame that could never be relevant to the surname Frame, which cannot have originated before the 12th century at the earliest. (There is a place in Norfolk called Framingham, presumably once the home of the people of a man called Fram, and a few other place-names may also incorporate the personal name Fram or Frame, but they equally irrelevant, for the same reason.)

In any event Osulf's father was probably called Frani or Frane, not Frame (as far as I can tell the spelling in -m- is an invention of modern genealogists). But even if he had been called Frame, it remains extremely improbable that any modern person surnamed Frame is descended from him, simply because few, if any, patronymic surnames began with people living in the 11th century. Patronyms (and most surnames) only became hereditary much later, and the modern surname Frame would have began with other later individuals called Frame (or possibly nicknamed Frame), probably 13th-century peasants. It is unlikely that we will ever know who the first Frames were.

...I will leave it to those who specialise in that kind of thing to comment on whether Robert de Tosni really did marry a daughter of Osulf filius Frani, whether she really was called 'de Frame', and whether they left any descendants surnamed Frame, and just point out that (i) if Adeliza was born in Normandy in 1024, four decades before the Norman Conquest, then she can hardly have been the daughter of an Anglo-Saxon thegn and (ii) 'filius Frani' is a patronymic surname, and 'de Frame' is a toponymic one - that is to say, Osulf was surnamed 'son of Frani' and Adeliza was surnamed 'of a place called Frame'. She could not have derived a toponymic surname from her grandfather's personal name.

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Osulf "fil Frane" du Plessis, seigneur de Belvoir's Timeline

Age 23
Normandy, France
Age 48
Colombiers, Lower-Normandy, France
Age 88