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Anglo-Norman families: Seigneurs of Tosny (de Tosny / Toeni / Toni)

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  • Hugues I de Calvacamp (c.890 - c.980)
    content to clean up==Please see Peter Stewart's "Origin and Early Generations of the Tosny Family" (July 2009, rev. March 2012) at
  • Raoul de Tosny, I, Seigneur de Tosny (aft.915 - aft.991)
    GRESLEYS OF DRAKELOWE COMPILED BY FALCONER MADAN, M.A. FELLOW OF BRASENOSE COLLEGE, OXFORD PRINTED FOR SUBSCRIBERS 1899 has an excellent section on the de Toeni from 2-15 and Robert de Stafford 16-17Ch...
  • Raoul II de Toeni, seigneur de Tosny (c.955 - aft.1023)
    Peter Stewart's work: Updated May 2018RAOUL [II] de Tosny, son of RAOUL [I] [de Tosny] & his wife --- . "…Rodulphi filii Rodulphi de Todeniaco…" subscribed the undated charter under which "Richardus…No...
  • Roger I 'd'Espagne' de Tosny (aft.985 - bef.1043)
    This is Roger de Tosney, d'Espagne (The Spaniard) NOT Roger de Tosny, seigneur de Conches CURATOR'S NOTE from Pam Wilson, 18 May 2018. For many years, historians and genealogists have considered Roger ...
  • Robert de Toeni, Lord of Stafford (c.1031 - 1088)
    son of Roger II de Tosny and his wife Godechildis. married Avice de Clare [Curator's Note: though some sources have him married to Adelisa de Savona, this is not strongly supported, and we have detache...

This important family of early Norman England has been studied in depth in a recent publication by medieval genealogist Peter Stewart, Origins and Early Generations of the Tosny Family, which is available online.

Charles Cawley in his Medieval Lands database on the FMG site also has an extensive section on the Seigneurs of Tosny on his Norman Nobility page.


House of Tosny
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The House of Tosny[1] was an important noble family in 10th and 11th century Normandy, though it did not include any comtes or vicomtes. Its founder was Raoul I of Tosny (died after 1024).


Determining the origins of the Tosny family is difficult since the records of that time are rare and often written a century or more after the events. Among the most accepted historical accounts of this period and region is that of Orderic Vitallis who wrote in the early 12th Century. In his works, Orderic Vitallis relates the story of the origins of the Tosny family as being Scandinavian. In fact, he is quite clear as to who their relations are: the Dukes of Normandy. In clarifying the ancestry of the family it is stated that Roger de Tosny, then Lord of Tosny and Conches, was “de stirpe Malahulcii qui Rollonis ducis patruus...”[2] (trans. “of the line of Malahulc uncle of Rollo the Duke”). This claim is corroborated by the unknown monk who wrote the Acta Archiepisc Rotomag (The Acts of the Archbishops of Rouen written in the 1070s or 1080s) who states that the Archbishop Hugo (named Archbishop in 942 by then Duke of Normandy William) was the son of Hugo de Calvacamp who was “vero fuit prosapia clarus...”[3] of Malahulc (trans. “of the illustrious stock of”). Considering that no one at the time contested this claim, including the Dukes of Normandy (who were also at this time Kings of England and at odds with the Tosny family at various times throughout this era) it is hard to imagine there could be any other origin. It appears as though the earliest challenges to this story come in the 19th century[citation needed]; about a millennium after it first appears.

None of the early references were commissioned by the Tosny family and in fact they do not paint a flattering picture of the founders of the family. Malahulc's son (or grandson) who is the father of the first Tosny (his son's being Hugo, Archbishop of Rouen and Ralph/Rauol, to whom Hugo granted the lands around Tosny making him the first Lord of Tosny) is called “Hugonis de Calvacamp.”[4] The appellation is somewhat troublesome because it does not appear to be a real word in any language of the region. The simplest explanation for the word is that it was simply a scribe's error and the word should have been of the masculine gender instead of the feminine: Calvocampo. Calvocampo is an actual word and means bare field;[5] not a terribly flattering appellation to say the least. There have been other suggestions as to the origin of this name, but they all require quite special linguistic gymnastics and never firmly settle on any concrete answer. I choose to accept the simplest answer; however, as none of the answers actually imply a national origin for “Hugonis” the name seems to simply imply that this man was not very wealthy.

So how could it be that this man, the descendant of the uncle of the Duke of Normandy could be so poor. The answer would seem to lie in Hugo's reported ancestor and the uncle of Hrolfr/Rollo/Robert the first Duke of Normandy, Malahulcii or Malahulc. Again, a unique name written by an author who wrote two centuries after his subject lived. Nowhere in the historical record do we find the name Malahulc in any of the cultures even remotely close to Normandy: not French nor Scandinavian. However, there is a very simple, possible explanation: Mael is the Breton word for chief or prince[6] and Hulc was a very common Norwegian name at the time, if you put the two of them together you would have Maelhulc. This would be similar to someone being called Duke Richard or King Louis. Being written down for the first time about two centuries after the subject lived it would not be surprising for the two words to be pressed together. This would mean that Hulc or Prince Hulc or Mael Hulc would have had to have some connection to Brittany[citation needed].

Although there is not nearly as much history about the Vikings in Brittany as there is about their exploits in Normandy it is reasonably well documented[citation needed]. Many documents have been lost over the years; there will be no Breton equivalent to the French Treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte from 911 between King Charles of France and Hrolfr, who Orderic Vitallis tells us was the nephew of Mael Hulc. However, it is known that such treaties were made in Brittany as well as at other places and with other Vikings in France[citation needed]. It is also well known that many Vikings assimilated into the societies they sought to rule and like Hrolfr would take local titles and occasionally local names as well: in Hrolfr's case he became Duke Robert. It would not be too long of a stretch to see a Viking chief named Hulc taking the title Mael and becoming Mael Hulc.

Why is this possible scenario important to the story of the Tosny/Toney family? In 942, Hugo de Calvocampo appears in Norman records as the father of the man, also named Hugo, which Duke William Longsword, heir of Duke Robert, wanted to name Archbishop of Rouen. The year 942 is important because in 939 the once exiled Alain the Great, heir to the throne of Brittany, defeated the massed armies of the Vikings at Trans and forced them from his kingdom. Alain began his campaign against the Vikings in 930 and it is recorded that the Vikings from Normandy assisted their brethren (in some cases probably literally brethren) in their efforts against the Bretons. With difficulties of their own, the Normans shortly had to concentrate on defending themselves and Alain prevailed. Alain did not kill all the Vikings that had been in Brittany. So where did they go? The expelled Vikings went to a lot of different places and many of them went to Normandy.

Therefore, in late 939 early 940 there is an influx of Vikings into Normandy at a time of great upheaval in that land as well. Duke William Longsword of Normandy is at odds with his neighbors in Flanders and France: both want to see him removed. In 942 William is assassinated through the efforts of the Duke of Flanders and the Duke and the King of France attempted to prevent his son Richard from ascending to the “throne” of Normandy. This is a period of great violence that sees Richard prevail and claim his “throne.” A result of this conflict was the beginning of the Tosny family. The records show that Hugo de Calvocampo's son Hugo was named Archbishop of Rouen and he quickly granted the lands around Tosny on the Seine to his brother Ralph .

It is also notable that many of the lands given by the Archbishops to others were later reclaimed by the Dukes of Normandy; but not the lands given to the Tosny's. These lands were kept through the generations despite the many conflicts between the Tosny's and the Dukes of Normandy; including the exile of the Lords of Tosny in the eleventh century.

A model aristocratic family

Formation of its power

As with several Norman families (such as the Beaumont), the origin of the house of Tosny's power derived from two sources :

  • recovery of church goods. According to Lucien Musset, Hugues, archbishop of Rouen (942-989) split off lands from his cathedral's lands and gave them to his brother Raoul I of Tosny
  • grants of land by the dukes of Normandy, notably Richard II

More unusually, the house of Tosny probably acquired part of its fortune from foreign adventures - Raoul I and Roger I fought in the County of Apulia and in Iberia in the first quarter of the 11th century.

The dangers in its history

Raoul II of Tosny participated in the Norman Conquest in 1066, and was rewarded with domains in England, most notably the two baronies of Flamstead (Hertfordshire) and Wrethamthorpe (Norfolk). Three other family members were also rewarded : Raoul's brother Robert de Stafford, Robert de Beauvoir and his son Béranger, belonging to a collateral branch.[7] However, it seems that on the whole the Tosnys did not play an important role in England. In the Duchy of Normandy, they were particularly active during the troubles which followed William I's death (1087) and the subsequent conflict between Empress Mathilda and Stephen (1135–1144). Nevertheless, the 12th century gives the impression of a decline in the Tosny family fortunes in comparison to some of the neighbouring houses in eastern Normandy, such as the houses of Beaumont-Meulan, Montfort and Harcourt.

In 1204 Roger IV of Tosny lost his continental fiefdoms as a result of his support for John and thus the family had to withdraw to England to begin again. In 1309, its male line became extinct.

The management of its goods

Like all Norman barons, the Tosnys had fiefdoms scattered throughout Normandy and England. In 1077, a marriage between Raoul II and Isabelle de Montfort allowed the Tosnys to direct the châtellenie of Nogent-le-Roi, which they held onto until around 1200. The family possessions thus stretched as far as the border of the duchy of Normandy.[8] Nevertheless, the heart of their continental lands was centred around Conches-en-Ouche. Parts of their fiefdoms were enfeoffed to a small clientele of vassals.

The family made grants to abbeys, notably to those they had founded themselves (the Saint-Pierre de Castillon monastery c.1035).[9] After 1066, as Lucien Musset remarks, the Tosnys showed themselves especially liberal to their English fiefdoms but avoided diminishing their Norman lands.

The texts give little information on the administration of these lands, though we know prévôts were installed in the main centres.

The honour of Conches and of Tosny

With its two axes, Conches-en-Ouche and Tosny (in the bend of the Seine immediately upstream of Andelys), the barony of Tosny was a two-headed one.

According to the 1172 state of its fiefdoms, the "honneur"[10] amounted to 50 or 51 knights' fiefs. The lands were mostly found in Haute-Normandie, more precisely between Risle and Iton. The vast forêt de Conches formed its centre. It also had scattered domains in the Eure valley (Fontaine-sous-Jouy, Cailly-sur-Eure, Planches, Acquigny), the Seine valley (Tosny, Villers-sur-le-Roule, Bernières-sur-Seine), in Vexin Normand (Vesly, Guerny, Villers-en-Vexin, Hacqueville, Heuqueville, Val de Pîtres), in Pays de Caux and Talou around Blainville-Crevon, Mortemer (Seine-Maritime, Mortemer-sur-Eaulne), Dieppe and Yerville.[11] Many of these lands were let out to vassals, notably les Clères.

Orderic Vitalis mentions four main castles in the barony in 1119 : Conches-en-Ouche, Tosny, Portes, Acquigny.


Hugues de Calvacamp
│ ├─>Hugues, archbishop of Rouen (942-989) │
│ └─>Raoul I of Tosny († 1024/1025)

  │  │
  │  ?
  │  └─>Robert of Tosny († 1088), lord de Belvoir
  │     │
  │     │
  │     ├─> Béranger de Tosny
  │     │
  │     │
  │     └─> Alice de Tosny († après 1129)
  │         X Roger Bigot
  └─>Roger I of Tosny, Or Roger d'Espagne († c.1040)
     X Godehildis/Gotelina
     ├─>Herbert († c.1040)
     ├─>Helinant († c.1040)
     ├─>Raoul II de Conches and de Tosny († 1102)
     │  X Isabelle de Montfort
     │  │      
     │  ├─>Raoul III of Tosny, called the young († 1126)
     │  │  X Adelise daughter of Waltheof II, Earl of Northumbria
     │  │  │  
     │  │  │  
     │  │  │
     │  │  ├─>Roger III († c.1157/1162)
     │  │  │  X Ida de Hainaut
     │  │  │  │
     │  │  │  │
     │  │  │  └─>Raoul IV († 1162)
     │  │  │     X Marguerite of Leicester
     │  │  │     │
     │  │  │     └─>Roger IV († 1208/1209) 
     │  │  │        X Constance de Beaumont        
     │  │  │
     │  │  └─>Hugues († c.1140)
     │  │
     │  │
     │  ├─>Roger II († 1090/1091)
     │  │
     │  └─>Godehilde († 1097)
     │     X (1) Robert I of Meulan (doubtful)
     │     X (2) Baldwin of Boulogne, king of Jerusalem
     ├─>Robert de Stafford († 1088)
     │  │
     │  └─>Nicolas de Stafford († vers 1138)
     │     │
     │     └─>Robert II de Stafford († c.1177-1185)
     │        │
     │        └─>Robert III de Stafford († c.1193/1194)
     ├─>Herbert († c.1040)
     ├─>Helinant († c.1040)
     ├─>Béranger l'Espagnol 
     │  X Guillaume Fils Osbern  
     └─>Berthe († c.1040)

===Notes and references===

This article is based in large part on a translation of the article Famille de Tosny from the French Wikipedia on 19 May 2008.

  1. In English : Toeny, Tonei, Toni, Tony.
  2. Guill Gemet Gesta or Gesta normannorum ducum or The Events of the Duchy of Normandy by William of Jumièges (which Orderic Vitallis was ordered by his superiors to update) book ii 94.
  3. Acta Archiepisc Rotomag (Acts of the Archbishops of Rouen) 278.
  4. Ibid 278.
  5. Origin and Early Generations of the Tosny Family, Peter Stewart July 2009, p. 7.
  6. "".
  7. Source - Domesday Book of 1086. This collateral branch became extinct in the first half of the 12th century. Katherine Keats-Rohan, "Belvoir : the heirs of Robert and Beranger de Tosny" Prosopon Newsletter, July, 1998.
  8. A. Rhein, la Seigneurie de Montfort-en-Iveline depuis son origine jusqu'à son union avec le duché de Bretagne, Versailles, Aubert, 1910, p.32-33
  9. later known as Saint-Pierre de Conches
  10. Technical name for large 12th century Norman baronies
  11. Lucien Musset, "Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante : les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIe siècle", Sonderdruck aus Francia Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte, Munich, 1978, p.68

See also

  • Normandy portal
  • Duchy of Normandy
  • Roger I of Tosny
  • Raoul II of Tosny
  • Tosny
  • Anglo-Norman


(French) Lucien Musset, "Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante : les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIe siècle", Sonderdruck aus Francia Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte, Munich, 1978, p. 45-80


The French wikipedia article as of March 2015:

Famille de Tosny

La famille de Tosny1 est un important lignage aristocratique de la Normandie ducale (xe-xiie siècles) même si elle ne compta aucun comte ou vicomte. Son premier membre est Raoul Ier de Tosny (mort après 1024).

Le duché de Normandie dans la seconde moitié du XIe siècle avec les principaux châteaux de la famille de Tosny (en noir)

Personnages marquants

Venus certainement d'Île-de-France2, les Tosny se sont installés en Normandie au xe siècle pour collaborer avec les descendants des Vikings. Ils font partie de cette nouvelle élite qui apparaît autour des ducs Richard Ier et Richard II à la charnière du xe et du xie siècle. En 991, Raoul Ier de Tosny est le témoin du premier traité international qu'ait conservé l'histoire normande (accord entre le duc Richard Ier et le roi anglo-saxon Æthelred II). Parmi les premiers Normands, il part combattre en Italie du Sud. Son petit-fils Raoul II fait partie des plus grands barons autour de Guillaume le Conquérant (1035-1087). Il est le porte-étendard des Normands en 1054.

Des récits, plus ou moins légendaires, se sont dessinés autour d'eux : les chroniqueurs rapportent les exploits de Roger Ier, le Mangeur de Maures, en Espagne. Sa femme, Godehildis/Gotelina, est liée à un miracle à Sainte-Foy de Conques. Au début du xiie siècle, Orderic Vital explique que la famille descendrait de Malahulce, oncle de Rollon3.

Une famille aristocratique modèle

La constitution de sa puissance

Comme plusieurs lignages normands (par exemple les Beaumont), l'origine de puissance des Tosny provient de deux sources :

la récupération de biens d'Église. Selon Lucien Musset, l'archevêque de Rouen Hugues (942-989) aurait distrait du patrimoine de sa cathédrale quelques terres au profit de son frère Raoul Ier
la concession de terres de la part des ducs de Normandie, notamment Richard II. Plus original, les Tosny ont probablement acquis une partie de leur fortune par des aventures lointaines. Raoul Ier et Roger Ier ont combattu en Apulie et en Espagne dans le premier quart du xie siècle.

Les aléas de son histoire

Raoul II de Tosny participe à la conquête de l'Angleterre en 1066. Le duc le récompense assez chichement de domaines outre-Manche : les deux baronnies de Flamstead (Hertfordshire) et de Wrethamthorpe (Norfolk) en sont les parties les plus notables. Trois autres membres de la famille sont gratifiés : Robert de Stafford, le frère de Raoul, Robert de Belvoir et son fils Béranger, appartenant à une branche collatérale4. Globalement les Tosny ne paraissent pas jouer de rôle important en Angleterre. En Normandie, ils sont particulièrement actifs durant les troubles qui suivent la mort de Guillaume le Conquérant (1087) et lors du conflit entre Mathilde et Étienne de Blois (1135-1144). Cependant, le xiie siècle donne l'impression d'un déclin familial, par rapport à quelques lignages voisins de Normandie orientale : les Beaumont-Meulan, les Montfort, les Harcourt.

En 1204, Roger IV de Tosny par son soutien à Jean sans Terre perd tous ses fiefs continentaux. La famille doit donc se replier en Angleterre où elle mène une carrière de second plan. En 1309, la lignée masculine s'éteint.

La gestion des biens

Comme tout baron normand, les Tosny ont des fiefs dispersés dans toute la Normandie et l'Angleterre. En 1077, le mariage entre Raoul II et Isabelle de Montfort permet aux Tosny de diriger la châtellenie de Nogent-le-Roi, jusqu'aux alentours de 1200. Les possessions de la famille dépassent donc la frontière du duché de Normandie5. Toutefois, on repère très bien que sur le continent, le cœur de leur patrimoine se situe autour de Conches-en-Ouche. Une partie des fiefs est inféodée à une petite clientèle de vassaux.

La famille donne aux abbayes, notamment à celle qu'elle a fondée (le monastère Saint-Pierre de Castillon vers 1035)6. Après 1066, comme le remarque Lucien Musset, les Tosny se montrent surtout libéraux avec leur fiefs anglais alors qu'ils évitent de diminuer leur patrimoine normand.

Les textes apportent peu d'informations sur l'administration des biens. On sait que des prévôts étaient installés dans les principaux centres.

L'honneur de Conches et de Tosny[modifier | modifier le code]
Avec ses deux pôles, Conches-en-Ouche et Tosny (dans la boucle de la Seine immédiatement en amont des Andelys), la baronnie des Tosny a la particularité d'être bicéphale.

Selon l'état des fiefs de 1172, l'honneur7 comptait 50 ou 51 fiefs de chevaliers. Les terres se trouvent essentiellement en Haute-Normandie, plus exactement entre Risle et Iton. La vaste forêt de Conches en forme le centre. Il faut ajouter des domaines dispersés en vallée d'Eure (Fontaine-sous-Jouy, Cailly-sur-Eure, Planches, Acquigny), en vallée de la Seine (Tosny, Villers-sur-le-Roule, Bernières-sur-Seine), en Vexin Normand (Vesly, Guerny, Villers-en-Vexin, Hacqueville, Heuqueville, Val de Pîtres), en Pays de Caux et Talou autour de Blainville-Crevon, de Mortemer-sur-Eaulne, de Dieppe et de Yerville8. Beaucoup de ces terres sont inféodées à des vassaux, notamment les Clères.

Orderic Vital mentionne les quatre principaux châteaux de la baronnie en 1119 : Conches-en-Ouche, Tosny, Portes, Acquigny.


Hugues de Calvacamp
│ ├─> Hugues, archevêque de Rouen (942-989) │
│ └─> Raoul (I) († 1024/1025)

   │  │
   │  ?
   │  └─> Robert († 1088), lord de Belvoir
   │      │
   │      │
   │      ├─> Béranger
   │      │
   │      │
   │      └─> Alice († après 1129)
   │          × Roger Bigot
   └─> Roger (I), ou Roger d'Espagne († vers 1040)
       × Godehildis/Gotelina
       ├─> Herbert († vers 1040)
       ├─> Helinant († vers 1040)
       ├─> Raoul (II) de Conches et de Tosny († 1102)
       │   × Isabelle de Montfort
       │   │   
       │   ├─> Raoul (III) de Tosny, dit le jeune († 1126)
       │   │   × Adelise, fille de Waltheof de Northumbrie
       │   │   │
       │   │   ├─> Roger (III) († vers 1157/1162)
       │   │   │   × Ida de Hainaut
       │   │   │   │
       │   │   │   └─> Raoul (IV) († 1162)
       │   │   │       × Marguerite de Leicester
       │   │   │       │
       │   │   │       └─> Roger (IV) († 1208/1209) 
       │   │   │           × Constance de Beaumont        
       │   │   │
       │   │   ├─> Goldchilde × Robert de Neubourg, seigneur de Neubourg
       │   │   └─> Hugues († vers 1140)
       │   │
       │   │
       │   ├─> Roger (II) († 1090/1091)
       │   │
       │   └─> Godehilde († 1097)
       │       × (1) Robert Ier, comte de Meulan (douteux)
       │       × (2) Baudouin de Boulogne, roi de Jérusalem
       ├─> Robert de Stafford († 1088)
       │    │
       │    └─> Nicolas de Stafford († vers 1138)
       │        │
       │        └─> Robert (II) de Stafford († vers 1177-1185)
       │            │
       │            └─> Robert (III) de Stafford († vers 1193/1194)
       ├─> Herbert († vers 1040)
       ├─> Helinant († vers 1040)
       ├─> Béranger l'Espagnol      
       ├─> Adelise
       │   × Guillaume Fils Osbern  
       └─> Berthe († vers 1040)

===Notes et références===

  1. ↑ en anglais : Toeny, Tonei, Toni, Tony.
  2. ↑ comme la famille Giroie
  3. ↑ Le chroniqueur normand se fait sûrement l'écho de rumeurs contemporaines. Ce Malahulce est inconnu des historiens. Les Tosny étaient certainement d'origine française mais il semble qu'il était à l'époque plus prestigieux de se donner une ascendance scandinave et une parenté avec la famille ducale.
  4. ↑ D'après le Domesday Book en 1086. Cette branche collatérale tomba en quenouille dans la première moitié du xiie siècle. Katherine Keats-Rohan, « Belvoir : the heirs of Robert and Beranger de Tosny » Prosopon Newsletter, July, 1998.
  5. ↑ A. Rhein, la Seigneurie de Montfort-en-Iveline depuis son origine jusqu'à son union avec le duché de Bretagne, Versailles, Aubert, 1910, p. 32-33
  6. ↑ connu plus tard sous le nom de Saint-Pierre de Conches
  7. ↑ = nom technique des grands baronnies normandes au XIIe siècle
  8. ↑ Lucien Musset, « Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante : les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIe siècle », Sonderdruck aus Francia Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte, Munich, 1978, p. 68

Voir aussi

  • Duché de Normandie
  • Baronnage anglo-normand
  • Roger Ier de Tosny
  • Raoul II de Tosny
  • Tosny


Lucien Musset, « Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante : les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIe siècle », Sonderdruck aus Francia Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte, Munich, 1978, p. 45-80

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