Ralph (Rodolphe) de Torta

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Ralph (Rodolphe) de Torta

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Saint-Lô, Manche, Lower Normandy, France
Death: 1010 (71-79)
Dammartin-en-Goële, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Husband of Wife of Ralph de Torta
Father of Emma de Torta, comtesse de Varenne and Gautier de Torta, Bishop of Paris

Managed by: Eric Michael Anderson
Last Updated:

About Ralph (Rodolphe) de Torta

Raoul Torta was apparently working in service for Duke Richard of Normandy as a financial administrator but was so harsh that he was sent in exile to Paris, where he stayed under the protection of his father Gautier Bishop of Paris.

As Sir Francis Palgrave wrote in The history of Normandy and of England, Volume 2 (London, John Parker, 1857; pp. 506-509)

But there was one personage about the Court virtually above them all, detested by all, from the scullion upwards to the sovereign, and venue. This was Raoul Torta.—" Be it better, be it worse, be ruled by him who rules the purse," is the expression of a social law, universal upon earth as the law of gravitation.—Possessed of the purse, and tying the purse-strings as tightly as tight could be, Raoul Torta kept every member of the State in subjection, for most eminently was the prepotent Seneschal supported by the all-commanding power of money. King Louis was expelled, but Raoul, through whom the French King had earned so much obloquy, remained at Rouen, firm as ever, in the position he had acquired during the foreign ascendancy. Since the death of Guillaume Longue-epee, Raoul had been Normandy's manager, nay, a species of independent governor; and young Richard, to use the legal phrase, could not obtain livery of his inheritance, for Raoul retained the whole usufruct in his own hands.

Raoul was tenant in possession of the ducal domains, Raoul received the Duke's rents, Raoul reaped the Duke's corn, mowed the Duke's meadows, milked the Duke's cows, rode the Duke's horses, sheared the Duke's flocks, stuck the Duke's pigs, and slaughtered the Duke's beeves. Sparing might have been excused, but Raoul's stinting was intolerable. The prisoners, deprived of their accustomed doles, starved in the gaol; the knights lost their pay; and, rote and rebeck silenced, the mournful minstrels wandered disconsolate, lacking their usual guerdon. Thus was the Court reduced to Tortus penury; and, if we accept the expressions employed by historians literally, the sum allowed by the Minister of Finance to the young Duke Richard out of his Ducal Treasury, for the support and maintenance of himself and his whole household, was ultimately reduced to eighteen sous per diem, or, as some authorities assert, twelve. If, during the French usurpation, Raoul Torta had rendered himself hateful to the villanage, he now incurred the peril of becoming infinitely more odious to the higher classes. All ranks and parties coalesced for the purpose of effecting his expulsion. It has been surmised, and not without some appearance of probability, that in the main, Raoul Torta sought to be a faithful administrator. His conduct, according to this view, was honest and conscientious:—Raoul earnestly desired to husband the Ducal revenues, particularly since, as his partizans might plead, he laboured under the apprehension that the resources of the State would be exhausted through the extravagancies of the youthful Richard's boon associates, and that the offence he gave resulted simply from his adherence to principle.

However, such was not the opinion entertained either by the monarch or the majority. Raoul Torta's fall was decreed. Normandy must cast off the incubus, yet not by violence, and proceedings were conducted in judicial form. Richard convened his Lieges, and made careful enquiry into the extent of his rights.The Treasurer, it was alleged, had juggled himself into the possession and exercise of all the property as well as the power which pertained to the Sovereign; not merely destroying the Duke's influence, but bringing him to shame. Raoul was solemnly summoned to appear before the Duke, and answer for his misdeeds. Whether trusting in his own rectitude or struck by terror, Raoul endeavoured to gain time by delay, and humbly implored the Duke's mercy. Richard did not peremptorily reject the supplication.

Raoul was the head of a formidable faction; it suited Richard's purpose to temporize: and, for this reason, the defendant was peremptorily ordered to quit Rouen, repair to a hamlet about a league off, and there abide his judgment. Richard declared, that, should any show of resistance be manifested on the part of the fallen Minister or his adherents, he would invoke the aid of all his subjects and allies. Raoul Torta dared not stand his trial; he fled from Normandy, and, taking refuge at Paris, placed himself under the protection of his father the Bishop, nor did he ever return to plague the Normans again.


Raoul Torta was apparently working in service for Duke Richard of Normandy as a financial administrator but was so harsh that he was sent in exile to Paris, where he stayed under the protection of his father Gautier Bishop of Paris.

As Sir Francis Palgrave wrote in The history of Normandy and of England, Volume 2 (London, John Parker, 1857; pp. 506-509)

But there was one personage about the Court virtually above them all, detested by all, from the scullion upwards to the sovereign, and venue. This was Raoul Torta.—" Be it better, be it worse, be ruled by him who rules the purse," is the expression of a social law, universal upon earth as the law of gravitation.—Possessed of the purse, and tying the purse-strings as tightly as tight could be, Raoul Torta kept every member of the State in subjection, for most eminently was the prepotent Seneschal supported by the all-commanding power of money. King Louis was expelled, but Raoul, through whom the French King had earned so much obloquy, remained at Rouen, firm as ever, in the position he had acquired during the foreign ascendancy. Since the death of Guillaume Longue-epee, Raoul had been Normandy's manager, nay, a species of independent governor; and young Richard, to use the legal phrase, could not obtain livery of his inheritance, for Raoul retained the whole usufruct in his own hands.

Raoul was tenant in possession of the ducal domains, Raoul received the Duke's rents, Raoul reaped the Duke's corn, mowed the Duke's meadows, milked the Duke's cows, rode the Duke's horses, sheared the Duke's flocks, stuck the Duke's pigs, and slaughtered the Duke's beeves. Sparing might have been excused, but Raoul's stinting was intolerable. The prisoners, deprived of their accustomed doles, starved in the gaol; the knights lost their pay; and, rote and rebeck silenced, the mournful minstrels wandered disconsolate, lacking their usual guerdon. Thus was the Court reduced to Tortus penury; and, if we accept the expressions employed by historians literally, the sum allowed by the Minister of Finance to the young Duke Richard out of his Ducal Treasury, for the support and maintenance of himself and his whole household, was ultimately reduced to eighteen sous per diem, or, as some authorities assert, twelve. If, during the French usurpation, Raoul Torta had rendered himself hateful to the villanage, he now incurred the peril of becoming infinitely more odious to the higher classes. All ranks and parties coalesced for the purpose of effecting his expulsion. It has been surmised, and not without some appearance of probability, that in the main, Raoul Torta sought to be a faithful administrator. His conduct, according to this view, was honest and conscientious:—Raoul earnestly desired to husband the Ducal revenues, particularly since, as his partizans might plead, he laboured under the apprehension that the resources of the State would be exhausted through the extravagancies of the youthful Richard's boon associates, and that the offence he gave resulted simply from his adherence to principle.

However, such was not the opinion entertained either by the monarch or the majority. Raoul Torta's fall was decreed. Normandy must cast off the incubus, yet not by violence, and proceedings were conducted in judicial form. Richard convened his Lieges, and made careful enquiry into the extent of his rights.The Treasurer, it was alleged, had juggled himself into the possession and exercise of all the property as well as the power which pertained to the Sovereign; not merely destroying the Duke's influence, but bringing him to shame. Raoul was solemnly summoned to appear before the Duke, and answer for his misdeeds. Whether trusting in his own rectitude or struck by terror, Raoul endeavoured to gain time by delay, and humbly implored the Duke's mercy. Richard did not peremptorily reject the supplication.

Raoul was the head of a formidable faction; it suited Richard's purpose to temporize: and, for this reason, the defendant was peremptorily ordered to quit Rouen, repair to a hamlet about a league off, and there abide his judgment. Richard declared, that, should any show of resistance be manifested on the part of the fallen Minister or his adherents, he would invoke the aid of all his subjects and allies. Raoul Torta dared not stand his trial; he fled from Normandy, and, taking refuge at Paris, placed himself under the protection of his father the Bishop, nor did he ever return to plague the Normans again.

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Ralph (Rodolphe) de Torta's Timeline

935
935
Saint-Lô, Manche, Lower Normandy, France
960
960
Age 25
Normandy, France
1010
1010
Age 75
Dammartin-en-Goële, Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France, France
????