Arques-la-Bataille Castle

Arques-la-Bataille Castle


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The picturesque Arques-la-Bataille Castle is a ruined 12th century fortress built on a rocky promontory overlooking the eponymous city in Normandy, France.

A fortification stood on the site from at least the 11th century and indeed in 1052 William the Conqueror laid siege to the site during the rebellion by his uncle William of Talou. In 1204 Arques Castle was also the last Norman fortress to lay down its arms before the victorious king of France, Philippe Auguste, who had tried in vain to take it two years earlier.

The fortress was the location of many confrontations during the Hundred Years War, during which the castle proved impregnable, with the English only occupying it after the cession of Normandy by the Treaty of Troyes of 1420. It was also at Arques Castle that Henri IV of France won a decisive battle against the troops of the Catholic League in 1589.

In 1688 , the castle was abandoned militarily and much of the structure was pillaged for building materials over the decades which followed.

The castle has been classified as a historic monument since 1875.


Arques-la-Bataille

Arques-la-Bataille is a town in Seine-Maritime in region Normandy, 5 km south-east of Dieppe.

The approximately 14 square kilometers of its territory have an undulating appearance, three rivers (Eaulne, Bethune and La Varenne) joining them to form the Arques, which flows into the sea at the port of Dieppe.

Moreover, many remained wooded areas.

The city is still famous for the battle that took place here in September 1589, when King Henry IV who could enter Paris, entrenched in the castle of Arques pending British reinforcements, eventually defeating Charles of Lorraine, Duke Mayenne, head of the League's armies. However, it must wait for 1882 that the town officially became Arques-la-Bataille to avoid confusion with the homonymous resort of Pas-de-Calais.

In the nineteenth century, thanks to the railway, the village became industrialized (coal trade and implementation of a viscose production unit) and urbanization reflects this development (creation of housing estates).

Its rich heritage and its garden make Arques-la-Bataille (about 2700 inhabitants) a pleasant stop near the coast and the Caux.


The castle of ARQUES-LA-BATAILLE

The Castle of Arques-la-Bataille stands on top of a dry and rocky hill, dominating 2 valleys and encircled by a man-made ditch. It was originally surrounded by a protective palisade. The castle was allegedly built between 1040 and 1045 by William of Arques. A few years after its edification, William the Conqueror, Nephew of William of Arques, laid siege to the castle. Famine forced him to capitulate after one year of painful siege. In 1123, the youngest son of William the Conqueror, who became Henry 1st, King of England strengthened the castle with a square keep and a wall.

In 1204, Philippe Auguste annexed Normandy and took the castle from Richard the Lion Heart it was the last Norman fortress to give itself up to the king of France. In 1668 the edifice was pulled down once the military abandoned it. From 1735 to 1771 the site of the castle was converted into a quarry without any authorisation. Louis XVI closed down the stronghold and the locals were allowed to take away the stones.

In 1860, the rooms were converted into a museum, the inside was cleaned and the visits were conducted by a guard. The museum was permanently closed in 1939, with the start of the Second World War and was occupied by the Germans. At the rout in 1944, the occupants had to withdraw by blowing up ammunitions and leaving behind a very dilapidated castle.


The Rouen Chronicles: Arques La Bataille, Dieppe

It is fifty years since it was my good fortune to spend a year in France, a junior year abroad in a very well-organized program of St. Lawrence University, where I got my undergraduate degree (and that in French!). Now a half century on, I have tried to mark the occasion in a number of ways, among them:

– reading as much Balzac as I can

– reading the works (in French) of one of our professors at the University of Rouen – Robert Merle, who was one of the finest professors I have had the pleasure of studying with.

– seeing the films made of Robert Merle’s books (Day of the Dolphin, Weekend A Zuydcoote).

– remembering some of the places I had the good fortune of visiting that memorable year and writing about them, places whose significance I barely understood at the time, among them Arques-La-Bataille and Dieppe.

I first visited Arques-La-Bataille nearly half a century ago with Dominique, Didier and “Mr.’ Vergos and Frank Kappler. It was a part of a day trip on which the Vergoses were kind enough to take Frank K. and me. We were in the midst of our junior year abroad (September 1964 – July 1965) in Paris and then Rouen France. In Rouen we lived with the Vergos family at their home at 75bis rue de Renard (Fox St.) . After poking around the castle at Arques-La-Bataille for an hour, mostly climbing around the ruins, we went on the spend the rest of the day in Dieppe. It was a wondrous day all in all, filled with vivid impressions. Years later – 25 to be exact, in July 1989 – with Nancy, Molly and Abbie – I visited the same places. We stayed about a week just outside of Dieppe and took a day trip to Arques-La-Bataille. That summer was the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution of 1789, an interesting time to be there.

What do I recall being told by Monsieur Vergos about Arques-La-Bataille?: that it was a castle from which – or one of the castles from which – William-The-Conqueror launched his invasion of England in 1066. That was about it although that leaves out much of the more weighty history of the place, the details of which I would only learn more recently. An imposing place even in ruins, the castle at Arques was actually built by William-The-Conqueror’s uncle, one William of Talou between 1040 and 1045. It stands on top of a rocky hill dominating two valleys encircled by a man-made ditch. Not trusting his own uncle (imagine!), William-The -Conqueror besieged and occupied it after a year and half siege. using it as a base for the invasion of England. In 1123, Henry 1st, King of England, the youngest son of William-The-Conqueror, strengthened the castle by re-enforcing the wall. Not long afterwards, in 1204, French King Philippe Auguste took the castle from Richard-The-Lion-Heart, the last Norman fortress to fall to France.

In the ensuing centuries it changed hands frequently eventually, in 1419 becoming a base for the English in Normandy. They were expelled in 1449. 140 years later, Arques-La-Bataille was the scene of one of the most decisive battles in French history of that period. It was just after the assassination of Henry III at St. Cloud by fanatic catholic priest. Henry IV would not be formally crowned until five years later, but nearby Dieppe was a key base for his operations against the Catholic League.

There, at Arques, during the two-week period between September 15-29, 1589, Henry IV, then leader of the Huguenot faction, whose right to the crown was contested by the Catholic League, met his adversaries on the battle field at Arques. It was a fierce battle in which the outcome was in doubt much of the time. In facing down the Catholic League, Henry IV was facing an army twice his size. If successful, he military leader of the Catholic League, Charles, Duke of Mayenne, had promised to take Henry IV back to Paris in a cage, parade him through the city so that people could spit and throw refuge at him, have him tried for heresy, and then garroted.

Coming to the aid of her Protestant ally, at a critical moment, Elizabeth I of England gave what turned out to be decisive aid that turned the tide on the battle field in Henry’s favor. In less than three day’s time, England sent 4000 troops, among them 40 English officers and 1200 Scottish troops to engage their Catholic opponents. With this aid, the Catholic League forces, led by Charles de Lorraine, the Duke of Mayenne, younger brother of the Duke of Guise, were decisively defeated.

As a consequence of Henry’s victory, the Huguenots maintained control of the key port city of Dieppe, a mere six kilometers away from Arques. Dieppe controlled the lucrative trade both from Amsterdam and London at the time. Had the Catholic League won the battle, and thus moved to control Dieppe and its rich commercial resources, it is unlikely that Henry IV would have had the momentum to seize the French crown (which was rightfully his). The consequences of the battle went far beyond France to the United Provinces (today the Netherlands). It strengthened the hand of the United Provinces in their fight against Spanish domination, by weakening the Spanish-Catholic position. Spanish troops in the Netherlands had to be diverted south towards France to counter Henry IV’s growing influence giving the Dutch needed breathing space.

In the period after Henry’s victory at Arques, 1589 – 1595, with a weaker Spanish military presence in the Netherlands, the Dutch were able to push the Spanish back from areas in the eastern and southern zones of the Netherlands, adding greater protection to the rich port cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc. The Dutch would battle Spain for their legal independence for another half century, but their ability of wrest control of territory during those critical years when Spanish attention was fixated on countering French influence helped the United Provinces consolidate their economic and political control. It was during this period of extended political control of its surrounding regions that the Dutch, while still at war with Spain, launched their maritime ventures into the Mediterranean and shortly thereafter to East Asia – India and (modern-day) Indonesia.

Its days of glory behind it, in 1668 the castle edifice was abandoned by the military and experienced a long period of decay. The site was used as a quarry from 1735 to 1771 without any formal authorization and then formally closed down by Louis XVI not long before he lost his crown and his head. Then in 1860 the remaining rooms in the mostly decayed castle were converted into a museum, the inside cleaned up and visits were permitted. The museum was permanently closed in 1939. The next year, the invading Nazi armies occupied Arques-La-Bataille. Forced to withdraw with the advent of the D-Day Allied Invasion of June 6, 1944, the Germans blew up the ammunition dump they had used there, leaving the behind a very ruined castle, now with almost a millennium of history. It has been left untouched since – still a fascinating place to poke around – and was in that state when visited in 1965 and again in 1989.

In a wheat field above the chalk cliffs just north of Dieppe, just east and above Le Puys. Julius Caesar’s army was said to camp on the spot and it is from here that Caesar launched his invasion of England in 55 B.C. From these heights Nazi machine gunners massacred a Canadian raiding party on August 17, 1942

That same day long ago that with the Vergoses and Frank Kappler I visited Arches-La-Bataille, we went on and spent several hours in Dieppe where we walked on the beach and visited the chateau, now a local museum where the city’s rich maritime history was on display. That was in April, 1965. Twenty four years later, in the summer of 1989, I returned with the family, Nancy, Molly, Abbie. Molly was twelve, Abbie seven at the time. Through the intervention of a French friend in Finland where I was working at the time, we were able to get accommodations at what we were told was “a chateau” a few kilometers north of town right on the English Channel where we stayed for ten days.

The accommodations were, well, less than luxurious, yet we adjusted to the situation well enough and had a fine time all the same. The chateau was not so much a chateau but a youth hostel whose hospitality we shared with a large group of Italian teenagers who woke up talking, spent their waking hours doing likewise and did not stop until sleep finally overcame them. It turns out that during World War II, the same facility, no more than 100 yards from the beach up a narrow ravine that led to the top of the cliffs, was apparently the headquarters of the Nazi SS, on the alert for an allied invasion.

Dieppe today is a shadow of its former self, a pleasant enough seaside resort and fishing town, but a shrunken version of what was 400 years ago one of France’s most active ports engaged in global trade and exploration. The maritime history of Dieppe is everywhere, from the port and market place where fresh fish were for sale daily, to the chapel for lost sailors at sea just north of town, to the museum that sits just south of the main part of town on a hill overlooking the beach and the sea. Mementos of World War II abound, from the nearby Allied cemeteries to the memorial to, “Operation Jubilee”, the aborted Canadian landing of August 1942, a precursor of sorts to the D-Day invasion.

Forty seven years later, in 1989 when we last visited, locals told us that more often than not Canadians visiting Dieppe drink in the town’s bars for free, in appreciation for the botched mission. It was only decades later (in the past few years actually) that the rationale for the operation, which, for anyone looking up from the beach at the cliffs makes little tactical sense. In a recent documentary, Dieppe Uncovered, and book Dieppe Decoded, Canadian historian David O’Keefe argued that the mission was designed solely to provide cover for 15 to 20 ultra-secret commandos. That unit, pulled together specifically for Dieppe, had their eye on Hotel Moderne, where they hoped to snatch documents, books, even the infamous Enigma machine, anything that would help crack the Germans’ revamped coding system.

The Canadians were ordered to attack the Nazi positions at Dieppe, which meant scaling the cliffs to reach the high grounds. It turned into a turkey shoot for the German Canadians were slaughtered by Nazi machine gun fire as they tried to storm the ravines or climb the cliffs by ropes. Considered the worst Canadian military debacle of the war, of the 4,963 Canadians involved, only 2,210 returned to England after the Dieppe raid, according to Veterans Affairs Canada. Another 1,946 were taken prisoner and 913 were killed. The commando unit never got close to the Hotel Moderne. Two years later, the Allies liberated Dieppe.

Earlier History…

From Arques-La-Bataille, the Arques River flows north through nearby Dieppe emptying into the English Channel. By the time that Henry IV defeated the Duke of Guise in 1589, Dieppe had already had a long history and strategic location. First mentioned historically as early as 1015 as Deppa the derivation of the term coming from the Old English deop or old Norse djupr of the same meaning.The same adjective can be recognized in other place-names like Dieppedalle (f. e. Saint-Vaast-Dieppedalle) and Dipdal in Normandy, which is the same as Deepdale in Great Britain. It is first mentioned, as might be expected as a fishing village. By the time of the Hundred Years War (1337 to 1453) largely between England and France, during which time England maintained a base in northern France. By then it had become a port of some strategic value. The French kings, realizing the strategic importance of the town, granted it numerous privileges when it was occupied by the English during the Hundred Years’ War, the inhabitants expelled them at the first opportunity, in 1435.

As was the case in much of Northern France, Dieppe with is well established merchant class, was deeply influenced by the Protestant Reformation. Huguenot influences were strong there. In 1588, Phillip II of Spain connived with France’s Duke of Guise, head of the Catholic League, to seize Dieppe and use it as a naval base from which to launch the assault of the Spanish Armada. But the plan was neutralized by forces loyal to Henry III (of France) who nipped it in the bud. Failing in that effort, the Catholic League with Spanish help seized Calais northeastward up the coast.

As a result Dieppe’s support of Protestantism, it suffered greatly during the Wars of Religion, its darkest period coming in the second part of the 17th century. In 1668 almost 10,000 of its people died during a plague in 1685 the Protestants of the town were persecuted after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes which had granted Protestants religious freedom. Always a commercial prize as well, in 1694 the town was almost completely destroyed by the English and Dutch fleets, rendering the port inoperable in any serious manner for more than a century. Efforts to rebuild the port were undertaken during the 19th century. The 1694 bombing probably prevented Dieppe from emerging as France’s premier northern port, its importance being eclipsed by Le Havre, Brest and Cherbourg.

Dieppe Cartography School

In its commercial heyday in the 16 century Dieppe produced some of the world’s finest explorers, navigators and one of the world’s finest cartography (map-making) schools. The heyday for L’École de cartographie de Dieppe (the Dieppe Cartography School) was from 1540 – 1585 its great cartographers included Pierre Desceliers, Jean Rotz, Guillaume Le Testu, Nicolas Desliens, Nicolas Vallard et Jacques de Vau de Claye. Although latitude is indicated, like other 16th century maps, those of the Dieppe School do not show longitudinal lines. Longitude begins to appear on maps as of 1568, those of Mercator but these are absent from Dieppe maps.

In David Woodward’s History of Cartography (2007) Sarah Toulouse has published a detailed list of 37 maps and atlases created between 1542 et 1635, apparently by the Dieppe School or other Norman map makers. The maps thus created were utilized and reflect the early French efforts to colonize Canada, with many of the original French settlers there coming from Dieppe itself. They maps also give examples of the Spanish conquest of Peru, and the Portuguese conquest of the Indonesian region at the time. Toulouse speculates that many of the details of the Dieppe cartographers were based on Portuguese sources, especially the earlier ones. The Portuguese explorers had taken the lead early in the 16th century in global exploration (Magellan, etc). Professor Gayle K. Brunelle of California State University has argued that, although the Dieppe school of cartographers was active for only a generation—from about 1535 to 1562—the cartographers associated with it were acting as propagandists for French geographic knowledge and territorial claims in the New World . The decades when the Dieppe school was flourishing were also the decades in which French trade with the New World was at its 16th century height, in terms of the North Atlantic fish trade, the still fledgling fur trade, and, most important for the cartographers, the rivalry with the Portuguese for control of the coasts of Brazil and the supplies of lucrative Brazilwood .


Ближайшие родственники

About Guillaume d'Arques, vicomte d'Arques & lord of Folkestone

-http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/normacre.htm#GuillaumeArquesMBeatri.
GUILLAUME d'Arques (-[1090]). Guillaume de Jumièges records that "Gunnor" had 𠇎xcepta Sainfria. duas sorores Wewam et Avelinam”, adding that “tertia. sororum Gunnoris comitissæ” [Aveline, from the context] married “Osberno de Bolebec”, by whom she had “Galterium Giffardum primum et Godefridum patrem Willelmi de Archis”[48]. "Guillelmus et Gislebertus filii Godefredi Archarum vicecomitis" donated land in Montvilla to Sainte-Trinité de Rouen dated 1059[49]. Vicomte d'Arques. Lord of Folkestone[50]. A charter dated 1080 relates that "Gozelinus vicecomes de Archis𠉬um coniuge sua et filiis" founded Sainte-Trinité de Rouen and donated property, and that "Willelmus de Archis heres defuncti𠉪vi sui Gozelini" confirmed the donation[51]. [Orderic Vitalis records �garus Adelinus et Robertus Belesmensis atque Guillelmus de Archis monachus Molismensis” as the advisers of Robert [III] Duke of Normandy, dated to [1089][52]. It is possible that the third named person was Guillaume Vicomte d𠆚rques but no other record has been found that he became a monk at Molesme in Burgundy before he died.]

m BEATRIX Malet, daughter of GUILLAUME [I] Malet & his wife Esilia [Crespin]. �trix soror Roberti Malet” donated property to Eye priory, for the souls of 𠇏ratrum meorum Roberti Maleth et Gilberti Malet”, by undated charter[53]. Brown indicates that Beatrix donated Redlingfield to Eye by undated charter which confirms her as husband of "William vicomte of Arques"[54]. “Willielmus de Abrincis miles dominus de Folkestan” confirmed donations to Folkestone priory, including the donations made by "Beatrix post mortem domini sui Willielmi de Archis" of "terram dotis suæ de Newenton" by undated charter[55]. Guillaume & his wife had two children:

  • (a) MATHILDE d'Arques . Guillaume de Jumièges records "Mathildis" as the daughter of “Willelmi de Archis”, adding that she married “Willelmus camerarius de Tancarvilla” by whom she had 𠇏ilium Rabellum qui ei successit”[56]. m GUILLAUME [I] de Tancarville, son of RAOUL [I] de Tancarville & his wife Avicia --- (-1129).
  • (b) EMMA d'Arques (-after 1140). “Willielmus de Abrincis miles dominus de Folkestan” confirmed donations to Folkestone priory, including the donations made by "domini Nigelli de Munevilla quondam domini de Folkestan antecessoris mei𠉬um uxore sua Emma" for the souls of "antecessorum suorum…Willielmi de Archis et Beatricis uxoris illius" by undated charter, which also records that Nele died without male heirs and that Henry I King of England married "filiam eius…Matildam" to "Rualoni de Abrincis"[57]. “Manasses Gisnensis comes et Emma uxor eius𠉯ilia Willielmi de Arras” founded Redlingfield priory by charter dated 1120, witnessed by “Widonis fratris mei, Rosæ filiæ meæ”[58]. The Historia Comitum Ghisnensium names "Emmam filiam Roberti camerarii de Tancarvilla in Normannia, viduam Odonis de Folkestane in Anglia" as wife of "Manasses"[59], which appears to be incorrect. "Manasses Gisnensium comes et Emma comitissa" granted the administration of the church of Saint-Léonard to Saint-Bertin by charter dated 1129[60]. According to Domesday Descendants she became a nun at Saint-Leonard de Guines after the death of her second husband[61]. m firstly NELE de Muneville, son of --- (-1103). Lord of Folkestone. m secondly (before 1106) MANASSES Comte de Guines, son of BAUDOUIN Comte de Guines & his wife Adela [Christina] [of Holland] (-Ardres 1137).

Ben M. Angel notes: A large number of the existing online profiles for Guillaume seem to refer to "The Origins of Some Anglo-Norman Families":

William of Arques has been the subject of an exhaustive study by Professor D. C. Douglas in the introduction to his edition "The Domesday Monacharum of Christ Church Canterbury", where full references are given to the authorities and it is unnecessary to go over the ground again. Briefly he held Folkestone, Kent, and was the son of Godfrey Vicomte of Arques. The identity of the tenant of Folkstone is established by the fact that it passed to Nigel de Monville who had married his daughter and coheiress Emma. He must not be confused with William of Arques, a monk of Moleme who was a counsellor of Robert Curthose, and still less with William, count of Arques, the uncle of William the Conqueror. The ruined castle of Arques-la-Bataille is well known.

I've tried to "go over that ground again" and seek out D.C. Douglas' "Domesday Monacharum of Christ Church Canterbury," but it isn't available (for free) online. It seems like the passages related to Guillaume would be vital in determining his participation in the Conquest and his relationship with Osbern, who is presumed to be son of Guillaume d'Arques and Beatrice de Bolbec.

The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy's Medlands project has an entry for Guillaume (son of Godfroi, married to Beatrix), but it shows that he had only two daughters (son Osbern is not listed). From the page on Normandy Nobility:

GODEFROI Giffard, 1059, Vicomte d'Arques, married --- de Rouen, daughter of GOZELIN Vicomte de Rouen & his wife Emmeline ---.

Godefroi & his wife had [four] children:

Guillaume de Jumièges names Guillaume d'Arques as son of Godefroi[527].

"Guillelmus et Gislebertus filii Godefredi Archarum vicecomitis" donated land in Montvilla to Sainte-Trinité de Rouen dated 1059[528].

Vicomte d'Arques. Lord of Folkestone[529].

A charter dated 1080 relates that "Gozelinus vicecomes de Archis𠉬um coniuge sua et filiis" founded Sainte-Trinité de Rouen and donated property, and that "Willelmus de Archis heres defuncti𠉪vi sui Gozelini" confirmed the donation[530].

m BEATRIX Malet, daughter of ---. She is named in Domesday Descendants[531] as the mother of Emma d'Arques but the primary source on which this is based has not yet been identified.

Guillaume & his wife had two children:

Guillaume de Jumièges names Mathilde as daughter of Guillaume d'Arques and wife of "Guillaume de Tancarville le Camérier", and adds that they were parents of one son Rabel[532].

m GUILLAUME de Tancarville, son of RAOUL de Tancarville & his wife Avicia --- (-1129).

(b) EMMA d'Arques (-after 1140).

“Manasses Gisnensis comes et Emma uxor eius𠉯ilia Willielmi de Arras” founded Redlingfield priory by charter dated 1120, witnessed by “Widonis fratris mei, Rosæ filiæ meæ”[533]. The primary source which confirms her first marriage has not yet been identified. The Historia Comitum Ghisnensium names "Emmam filiam Roberti camerarii de Tancarvilla in Normannia, viduam Odonis de Folkestane in Anglia" as wife of "Manasses"[534], which appears to be incorrect. "Manasses Gisnensium comes et Emma comitissa" granted the administration of the church of Saint-Léonard to Saint-Bertin by charter dated 1129[535].

According to Domesday Descendants she became a nun at Saint-Leonard de Guines after the death of her second husband[536].

m firstly NELE de Muneville (-1103). Lord of Folkestone.

m secondly (before 1106) MANASSES Comte de Guines, son of BAUDOUIN Comte de Guines & his wife Adela [Christina] [of Holland] (-Ardres 1137).

The Child from this marriage was:

4. i. Osbern D' ARCHES was born about 1059 in Arques, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France and died about 1116 in Thorp Arch, West Riding, Yorkshire, England about age 57.

Guillaume next married Beatrice 'Beatrix' MALET (See Link for Ancestry), daughter of William I MALET Sheriff Of York, Seigneur de Graville and Hesilia 'Elise' CRISPIN, circa 1065. Beatrice was born circa 1047 in Graville, St Honorine, Normandy, France and died of Thorp Arch, West Riding, Yorkshire, England.

The Child from this marriage was:

5. i. Emma D' ARQUES Heiress of Folkstone was born circa 1070 in Prob Thorp Arch, West Riding, Yorkshire, England and died of Folkstone, Kent, England

Geoffrey DE BOLBEC (Osbern II DE 1) was born about 1015 in Bolbec, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France and died in Bolbec, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France. Geoffrey married Wife of Geoffrey DE (BOLBEC) UNKNOWN circa 1034. Wife was born circa 1015 and died of Bolbec, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France.

Children from this marriage were:

3. i. Beatrice DE BOLBEC (Geoffrey DE 2, Osbern II DE 1) was born circa 1035 in Bolbec, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France and died circa 1060 in Prob Arques-la-Bataille, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France at age 25. Beatrice married Guillaume D' ARQUES Vicomte d'Arques (See Link for Ancestry), son of Godfrey DES ARQUES Viscomte des Arques and Amelie DE ROUEN, circa 1055. Guillaume was born about 1035 in Arques, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France and died about 1086 in Thorp Arch, West Riding, Yorkshire, England about age 51

4. ii. Hugh DE BOLBEC was born about 1036 in Bolbec, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France and died after 1086 in Hartwell, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.

See the Guillaume D' ARQUES Vicomte d'Arques Entry for this Couple's Children and Descendants.


In the 12th century, there was a conflict between the viscount of Carcassonne and several seigneurs, including Arques and Lagrasse. The estates at Arques became the property of the seigneurs of Termes.

In 1217, Béranger d'Arques was one of the associates of Guillaume de Peyrepertuse.

In 1210, after the defeat of the Château de Termes during the Albigensian Crusade, Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, attacked Arques. After having burned the village (Villa de Arquis), situated on the banks of the Rialsès, he gave this part of Razès to one of his lieutenants, Pierre de Voisins.

In 1284, Gilles de Voisins bagan work on building a castle, with the intention of defending the Rialsès valley and controlling the transhumance routes leading to the Corbières Massif.

In 1316, Gilles II de Voisins, known as "Gilet", altered and completed the castle.

In 1518, Françoise de Voisins, the last of the Voisins, married Jean de Joyeuse who took the barony of Arques. The castle was abandoned in favour of Couiza.

In 1575, the castle was besieged by Protestants and only the keep managed to resist the assault.

By the start of the French Revolution the castle had fallen into ruin. It was sold as a national asset and subsequently suffered severe damage.

The castle consists of an enceinte and a high square keep with four turrets. It was built after Albigensian Crusade of the 13th century on lands given to Pierre de Voisins, one of Simon de Montfort's lieutenants.

The almost square enceinte (51m by 55m) encircles the castle with a gateway furnished with machicolation and surmounted with a keystone bearing the arms of the Voisin famil ("De gueules à trois fusées d'or en fasce, accompagnées en chef d'un lambel à quatre pendant de même"). Numerous buildings must have existed the length of the enceinte. Two well-preserved residential towers remain.

The square keep, 25 m high, is a work of military architecture inspired by castles in the Ile de France. It has four levels served by a spiral staircase. The various rooms were constructed with extreme care. The top floor was given over to defence of the castle. Forty soldiers could defend it thanks to numerous murder holes and rectangular bays set symmetrically into the walls.

It is a good example of the progress in military construction in a strategically important region.

The castle is owned partly by the commune and partly privately. It has been listed since 1887 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. [1] It has been renovated and, in part, reconstructed. It is open to visitors.


DE PONTHIEU, Enguerrand II Comte de Ponthieu

    Enguerrand II (d. 1053) was the son of Hugh II count of Ponthieu. He assumed the county upon the death of his father on November 20, 1052.

Enguerrand II was the eldest son and heir of Hugh II, Count of Ponthieu and his wife Bertha of Aumale, heiress of Aumale.[1] Enguerrand was married to Adelaide, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Normandy and sister of William the Conqueror.[2] But at the Council of Reims in 1049, when the proposed marriage of Duke William with Matilda of Flanders was prohibited based on consanguinity, so was Enguerrand's existing marriage to Adelaide, causing him to be excommunicated.[3] The marriage was apparently annulled c.1049/50.[4] He had given her in dower, Aumale, which she retained after the dissolution of their marriage.[5]

The Conqueror's uncle, William of Arques, who had originally challenged Duke William's right to the duchy based on his illegitimacy, had been given the county of Talou by Duke William as a fief, but still defiant and on his own authority proceeded to build a strong castle at Arques.[6] Enguerrand was allied to William of Arques by virtue of the latter being married to Enguerrand's sister.[1] By 1053 William of Arques was in open revolt against Duke William and Henry I of France came to William of Arques' aid invading Normandy and attempting to relieve the castle of Arques.[7] Duke William had put Arques under siege, but had remained mobile with another force in the countryside nearby.[8] To relieve the siege Enguerrand was with Henry I of France and on October 25, 1053 was killed when the Normans feigned a retreat in which Enguerrand and his companions followed and were ambushed, a tactic the Normans used again to great success at the Battle of Hastings.[7]

Enguerrand married Adelaide of Normandy, Countess of Aumale, daughter of Robert I, Duke of Normandy.[a][9] By her he had a daughter:

• Adelaide II, Countess of Aumale, m. William de Bréteuil, Lord of Bréteuil, son of William FitzOsbern, 1st Earl of Hereford.[10]
As Enguerrand died without male issue[10] he was followed by his brother Guy I as Count of Ponthieu.[11]

References
1. Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4 (Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, Marburg, Germany, 1989), Tafel 635
2. George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, ed. Vicary Gibbs, Vol. I (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., London, 1910), pp. 350-2
3. Kathleen Thompson, 'Being the Ducal Sister: The Role of Adelaide of Aumale', Normandy and its Neighbours 900-1250 Essays for David Bates, ed. David Crouch, Kathleen Thompson (Brepols Publishers, Belgium, 2011), p. 68
4. Kathleen Thompson, 'Being the Ducal Sister: The Role of Adelaide of Aumale', Normandy and its Neighbours 900-1250 Essays for David Bates, ed. David Crouch, Kathleen Thompson (Brepols Publishers, Belgium, 2011), p. 71
5. Collectanea topographica et genealogica, Volume 6, ed. Frederic Madden, Bulkeley Bandinel, John G. Nichols (John B. Nichols & Sons, London, 1840), p. 265
6. Elisabeth Van Houts, The Normans in Europe (Manchester University Press, Manchester & New York, 2000), p. 68
7. Jim Bradbury, The Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare (Routledge, NY, 2004), pp. 160-1
8. David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1964), p. 388
9. George Andrews Moriarty, The Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa (Mormon Pioneer Genealogy Society, Salt Lake City, UT, 1985), p. 13
10. George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, ed. Vicary Gibbs, Vol. I (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., London, 1910), p. 351
11. Thomas Stapleton, 'Observations on the History of Adeliza, Sister of William the Conqueror', Archaeologia, Vol. 26 (J.B. Nichols & Sons, 1836), pp. 349-360

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In Cotman’s Footsteps through Normandy: #3 Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe

This is the third article in an occasional series exploring Normandy subjects in the Cotman collection at Leeds Art Gallery. In September 2016 I spent the month travelling through Normandy and visited all the sites represented at Leeds. Cotman’s port of landing on his first visit to Normandy in 1817 was Dieppe. In the first article I explored Cotman’s depictions of the Church of St Jacques, the second of Dieppe castle and harbour and here I follow him to the nearby Castle of Arques-la-Bataille, albeit in mostly torrential rain.

At Arques la Bataille.
Photography by Olivia Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.49 GMT

Cotman landed at Dieppe on 20 June 1817 and put up at the Hotel de Londres on the harbour front. His letters record that the weather was very hot and on the 21st he made Arques-la-Bataille, an hour to an hour and a half’s walk and of his very first sketching objective in France.

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Google Earth map of Dieppe and Arques la Bataille area. Google Earth map of Arques la Bataille area

Cotman’s letters of 1817 give a splendidly vivid account of his activities. A local official, Monsieur Gaillon, put himself at Cotman’s service, and at six a.m. on Friday 21st June – his first day proper on French soil – ‘did me the favour of accompanying me to the Chateau d’Arques, a very fine ruin of immense size, & not totally unlike Conway or Harlech, but four times their size & Thickness, – many of the Towers going to a great depth below y outward base of the vaults – which are of frightful depth, and are seen in various places open on the hill – ‘

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Castle of Arques la Bataille, the east range from the north-east corner
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 13.04 GMT

‘I have several sketches of it. We breakfasted in y bourg at a small Inn – upon Wine, Eggs & Tea, – accompanied with smiles, no beauty, two pocket knives that wd not open or shut, two four-pronged pewter forks, – no tea-spoons, bad bread, good butter, – a very clean table cloth, a napkin for each – y latter certainly an extra from the orders of M. Gallion – all this was at 10 o’clock & I ate most heartily – the room had but one chair, which was placed for me but I am now a Frenchman, therefore took a stool from y many about. Mr G’s attentions were delicate in every point. Two large folding windows that opened from top to bottom a Table, mess stools, one chair & three barometers, made up y furniture of the room. – Our return was dreadful we made the circuit of y valley, saw the most elegant church of d’Arques, which I shall return to sketch, – and arrived at my Hotel at 3 o’clock perfectly exhausted from Heat, having been obliged to lay down several times on y road, – refreshed myself with wine, eggs &c, & took to my couch – & slept till six o’clock.’ It seems plain that Cotman travelled the road of many first time visitors to France. It does not seem to have occurred to him that there might have been a connection between him drinking wine for breakfast and lying in the road in the middle of the afternoon.

Arriving at the castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.28 GMT

The main objective of the expedition was to sketch the huge castle mouldering along the ridge above the modern village. Given its impressive bulk from close up, the castle does not present itself that prominently from most of the contemporary routes of arrival. Its access looks most unlikely up a narrow, winding, and badly surfaced road signposted from the main square in the town but perseverance will be rewarded once the goal is attained. The castle was built by the uncle of William the Conqueror, but was captured by the nephew in 1053. It reached its full size during the early sixteenth century, when the massive walls moat, bank and bastions that form the present subject were built.

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Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.32 GMT

Cotman recorded his first impression of the castle gateway flanked by massive round towers, with the rest of the building seen in sharply receding perspective, surrounded by a moat and bank. His original sketch of the subject is lost, but he developed a fine sepia watercolour of the subject dated 1818 now at the British Museum (1902,0514.51).

John Sell Cotman
Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, 1818
Graphite and sepia wash on paper, 218 x 264 mm
British Museum, London (1902,0514.51)
Image by courtesy of the British Museum.
To see this subject on the British Museum’s own online catalogue click on the following link, and use your browser’s ‘back’ button to return to this page:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=745572&partId=1&searchText=cotman+arques&page=1

The principal purpose of his tour of Normandy was to collect subjects to turn into etchings to be included in a fine folio set to be published under the title of ‘Architectural Antiquities of Normandy’. The complete series of one hundred etchings was published at intervals up to its completion in 1822. The gateway to the Castle of Arques was not only one of the first subjects that Cotman sketched in Normandy, but it also took its place as the first plate and point of entry into the published series.

John Sell Cotman
Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, 1819
Etching, printed in brown/black ink on thick, off-white, wove paper, image 216 x 297 mm, on plate 250 x 316 mm. Leeds example on sheet 277 x 395 mm, trimmed to plate margin at bottom as published folio, 354 x 496 mm
Drawn, etched and editioned 1 October 1819 by John Sell Cotman as plate 1 of his Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, published 1822
Leeds Art Gallery (1949.744)
Image courtesy of Leeds Art Gallery. To be included in the forthcoming catalogue of the Leeds Cotman collection, October 2017.

Leeds has an impression of the published etching. The impression is lettered in upper plate margin, right ‘Pl.1’, and in the lower plate margin, left ‘Drawn & Etched by J S Cotman’ and right, ‘London, Published 1st Oct. 1819 by J & A Arch, Cornhill’ and titled in centre ‘Castle of Arques/ principal entrance’. The plate was drawn and etched by John Sell Cotman and editioned by J & A Arch in London on 1 October 1819 as the first plate of his ‘Architectural Antiquities of Normandy’, published in 1822. The remains are somewhat dilapidated and in the foreground are the crumbling piers of a former drawbridge, dwarfing a figure working in the moat. There are glimpses of a wooded landscape beyond the banks on either side. Cotman exactly captures the mouldering character of the ruins, and the fascinating variegation of its surfaces. The latter called for some his finest hieroglyphics and the etching is worth examining with a magnifying glass to appreciate the inventiveness and originality of his drawing with the burin.

John Sell Cotman
Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, 1819
Etching, detail of Cotman’s hieroglyphics

It is remarkable how unchanged are the ruins from Cotman’s time, despite various attempts at depredation (see http://www.normandythenandnow.com/on-being-a-normandy-castle-at-arques-la-bataille/). Cotman’s composition does not quite do justice to the extent of the ruins, which take a good fifteen to twenty minutes to walk around along the top of the bank. It may be noted that the drawbridge piers have disappeared under a modern ramp at the entrance, and that the entrance itself appears to have acquired an outer wall masking the semi-circular-headed opening shown by Cotman. It was pleasing to note, however, on a rainy visit to the site in September 2016, that the glimpses of trees over the banks at either side are perfectly observed. The castle gate, however, was firmly locked, for despite several hundred thousand Euros recently being spent on shoring up walls, the interior is too unstable to permit public entry. It was some compensation to see a small figure working his way along the bottom of the moat – initially in exactly the same spot as Cotman’s. On investigation he turned out to be collecting snails.

Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.35 GMT Gateway to the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe
Detail: collecting snails
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.35 GMT

None of Cotman’s on-the spot sketches at Arques la Bataille are now known. Miklos Rajnai in his catalogue of Cotman’s Normandy subjects at the Castle Museum, Norwich published in 1975, under no.6 gives a comprehensive account of the known subjects. Besides the present subject Cotman also drew an oblique view of the towers in the east curtain – to the left of the present subject (Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford), which was not used in ‘Architectural Antiquities’ but supplied the idea of the small figure that appears in the present etching.

Mary Ann Turner after John Sell Cotman
Tower on the East side of the Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, 1820
Etching, printed in brown/black ink on india paper bonded to thick, off-white, wove paper, image 131 x 100 mm, on plate 170 x 142 mm. on sheet as published octavo, 242 x 150 mm
Etched by Mary Ann Turner after the drawing at Bedford by John Sell Cotman and published in Dawson Turner’s ‘A Tour in Normandy’, 1820, Volume 1, opposite p.37.
Collection: The Author
Photograph by David Hill

There are also drawings of part of the keep (Horne Collection, Florence), the inner gateway (untraced, but known through a copy by Elizabeth Turner), and treatments in pencil and sepia of the panoramic view from the east (Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1967.624 and NWHCM : 1951.235.169 Rajnai 1975 nos.7, 6). The latter are interesting for being landscape subjects more than architectural and antiquarian, and offer evidence, as with his drawing of ‘Dieppe from the Heights’ discussed in part 2 of this series, that on his first trip to Normandy in 1817, Cotman had still not settled on an exclusively architectural focus for his Normandy work. Once again he let the Turner’s etch his drawing and publish it in their ‘Tour of Normandy’. One can at least say that when Cotman himself got round to etching such prospects himself, the results were somewhat superior.

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Castle of Arques la Bataille from the East
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 14.08 GMT
The exact viewpoint of Cotman’s drawings is today a little hemmed in by buildings, but there are open views of the castle over the nearby lake as here.

John Sell Cotman
Castle of Arques la Bataille from the East, 1819
Graphite on wove paper, 195 mm x 391 mm
Norwich Castle Museum NWHCM : 1967.624
Image from Miklos Rajnai and Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, ‘John Sell Cotman : Drawings of Normandy in Norwich Castle Museum’ [Norwich: Norfolk Museums Service, 1975] no.7, repr. John Sell Cotman
Castle of Arques la Bataille from the East, 1819
Graphite and sepia wash on wove paper, 187 x 391 mm
Norwich Castle Museum NWHCM : 1951.235.169
Image from Miklos Rajnai and Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, ‘John Sell Cotman : Drawings of Normandy in Norwich Castle Museum’ [Norwich: Norfolk Museums Service, 1975] no.6, repr.

Mary Ann Turner after John Sell Cotman
Castle of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, from the East, 1820
Etching, printed in brown/black ink on india paper bonded to thick, off-white, wove paper, image 99 x 200 mm, on plate 136 x 226 mm. on sheet as published octavo, 150 x 242 mm
Etched by Mary Ann Turner after the drawing by John Sell Cotman and published in Dawson Turner’s ‘A Tour in Normandy’, 1820, Volume 1, opposite p.33.
Collection: The Author
Photograph by David Hill

Having done what he could in the heat of the 21st, and resting up on the road on his way home, he spent the next couple of days sketching in Dieppe before returning on the 24th to Arques la Bataille to sketch the church. Cotman’s drawing of the church is now lost, but once more (four full-page plates in the first forty pages of Volume 1) Cotman allowed his work to be etched and published by the Turners in their ‘Tour of Normandy’.

Church of Arques la Bataille from near the Castle
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 12.27 GMT Church of Arques la Bataille
Photograph by David Hill, taken 5 September 2016, 14.25 GMT Mary Ann Turner after John Sell Cotman
Church of Arques la Bataille, near Dieppe, West Front, 1820
Etching, printed in brown/black ink on india paper bonded to thick, off-white, wove paper, image 146 x 121 mm, on plate 183 x 138 mm. on sheet as published octavo, 242 x 150 mm
Etched by Mary Ann Turner after the drawing by John Sell Cotman and published in Dawson Turner’s ‘A Tour in Normandy’, 1820, Volume 1, opposite p.40.
Collection: The Author
Photograph by David Hill

In addition the Norwich Castle Museum has two later drawings, probably made by Miles Edmund Cotman for the series of drawings used by Cotman for teaching when he was Master of Drawing at King’s College School, London, from 1834 onwards (NWHCM : 1996.153.1.11/14). These testify to the importance that the site retained for him right up to the end of his career. The castle of Arques la Bataille was his first subject in France, and the first plate of his great work of the ‘Architectural Antiquities of Normandy’. It is plain that he invested especial care and graphic expressiveness into the etching. It is doubly appropriate in the context that the subject is an entrance and it seems plain too, that like the diminutive figure in the moat, he sensed that he had an imposing work before him.


Richard FitzPons

Richard Fitz Pons[1] (c. 1080 – 1129)[2] was an Anglo-Norman nobleman, active as a marcher lord on the border with Wales.

He is described as a follower of Bernard de Neufmarche, and probably first builder of Bronllys Castle.[3] He started construction at Llandovery Castle[4] in 1116. [5]

His father was Pons fitz Pons.[6][7]

He married Matilda Fitz Walter (died after 1127), daughter of Walter Fitz Roger, sheriff of Gloucester, and Bertha de Ballun.[8] Walter de Clifford was one of their four children.[9][10].

Richard was the heir of Drogo fitz Pons and Walter fitz Pons, both mentioned in the Domesday Survey. He is now taken to be their nephew.[11] They had lands in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Pinxton in Derbyshire, Glasshampton in Worcestershire[12][13]

  1. ^ fitz Pontz, fitzPontz, fitz Poyntz, fitzPoyntz, fitzPonce.
  2. ^ Ancestors of Eugene Ashton ANDREW & Anna Louise HANISH Richard Fitz Pons CLIFFORD ANDREW ANGERMUELLER HANISH STRUDELL Decendants
  3. ^ Bronllys Castle
  4. ^ Llandovery Castle
  5. ^ Archaeology in Wales - Archaeoleg CAMBRIA Archaeology
  6. ^ [1].
  7. ^ There is uncertainty. Another story would make him son of William of Talou, Count of Arques-la-Bataille, known as Guillaume d'Arques, William de Normandie.[2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ Charles Cawley (2010). Medieval Lands, English earls 1067-1122
  10. ^ thePeerage.com - Person Page 10486
  11. ^ Keats-Rohan, Domesday People I:180-181, 455-456.
  12. ^ Worcestershire History Encyclopaedia: Astley <!Document Title>
  13. ^ Drogo also in Wiltshire, large holdings in Devon.[4].

c) RICHARD FitzPons (-[1127/29]). "Ricardus filius Puncii" donated �lesiam de Lecha" to Great Malvern monastery, Worcestershire, for the soul of "uxoris meæ Mathildis et liberorum meorum…", by undated charter, witnessed by "Simon et Osbernus fratres mei…"[1383]. "…Ricardo filio Poncii…" witnessed the charter dated 1121 under which Henry I King of England confirmed the grant of "heredibus suis Herefordiam [parvam et] Ullingeswicam" to "Waltero de Gloec" by the bishop of Hereford[1384]. The charter dated to [10 Apr/29 May] 1121 which records the arrangements for the marriage of "Miloni de Gloec" and "Sibilia filia Beorndi de Novo Mercato" refers to land held by "Ric fil Pontii"[1385]. A charter dated to [1127] records that "Ricard Pontii filii" granted the manor of "Lechia" to "Mathildi uxori mee in matrimoniu" in exchange for her original marriage portion, the manor of Ullingswick in Herefordshire, which he gave to "Helie Giff in mat-monu cum filia mea Berta"[1386]. Richard presumably died before [1129] as he is not named in the [1129/30] Pipe Roll. Henry I King of England confirmed a donation to Llanthony priory which "Ricardus filius Pontii" had made with the consent of "Hugonis filii Pontii", by charter dated [1130][1387].

m MATILDA, daughter of [WALTER of Gloucester & his wife Berthe ---] (-after [1127]). A charter dated to [1127] records that "Ricard Pontii filii" granted the manor of "Lechia" to "Mathildi uxori mee in matrimoniu" in exchange for her original marriage portion, the manor of Ullingswick in Herefordshire, which he gave to "Helie Giff in mat-monu cum filia mea Berta"[1388]. Round indicates that this charter means that Matilda must have been the daughter of Walter of Gloucester, noting that Ullingswick was recorded in Domesday Book as belonging to the church of Hereford, and also that King Henry I confirmed its grant and that of Little Hereford by the bishop of Hereford to Walter of Gloucester by another charter[1389]. The fact that Matilda named two of her children after her supposed parents also indicates that this parentage is probably correct (although the name Walter was already used in the FitzPons family before Richard´s marriage). See below under the wife of her son Walter [I] for some further speculation about Matilda´s parentage, involving the Tosny family, which appears to be incorrect. "Ricardus filius Puncii" donated �lesiam de Lecha" to Great Malvern monastery, Worcestershire, for the soul of "uxoris meæ Mathildis et liberorum meorum…", by undated charter, witnessed by "Simon et Osbernus fratres mei…"[1390].

Richard & his wife had four children:

i) SIMON FitzRichard (-[before 1127]). A charter of Edward III King of England records that Clifford priory, Herefordshire was founded by “Simonem filium Ricardi filii Poncii quondam dominum de Clifford antecessorem comitissæ Lincolniæ”[1391]. The text does not specify which countess of Lincoln is referred to. It is assumed that Simon was the older son of Richard as he founded the priory in his name. "…Simo filii ei…" witnessed the charter dated to [1127] which records that "Ricard Puncii filii" granted Aston, Gloucestershire ("Hestoniam") to "Mathilli uxori mee"[1392]. He presumably died before [1127] as he did not witness the charter estimated to that date under which his father reassigned the marriage portion of his mother.

ii) ROGER FitzRichard (-[1127/29]). "Rog fil Ric, Walti fr eius…" witnessed the charter dated to [1127] which records that "Ricard Pontii filii" granted the manor of "Lechia" to "Mathildi uxori mee in matrimoniu" in exchange for her original marriage portion, the manor of Ullingswick in Herefordshire, which he gave to "Helie Giff in mat-monu cum filia mea Berta"[1393]. Roger presumably died before [1129] as he is not named in the [1129/30] Pipe Roll.

iii) WALTER [I] FitzRichard (-1190). His parentage is confirmed by the undated charter, dated to before 1190, under which "Hugh de Say and Lucia his wife, daughter of Walter de Clifford, son of Richard fitz Poncius" donated the mill of Rochford to Haughmond Abbey[1394].

iv) BERTHA . A charter dated to [1127] records that "Ricard Pontii filii" granted the manor of "Lechia" to "Mathildi uxori mee in matrimoniu" in exchange for her original marriage portion, the manor of Ullingswick in Herefordshire, which he gave to "Helie Giff in mat-monu cum filia mea Berta"[1395]. m ([1127]) ELIAS Giffard, son of ELIAS Giffard & his wife Ala --- (-after 1166).

1. Burke, B. "Clifford - Earls of Cumberland and Barons

Clifford" in "Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire" pp.122-124.

2. Cokayne, G.E. "Giffard" in "The Complete Peerage" Vol. V, pp.639, note c.

son of Pons NOT William I King of England

Richard Fitz Pons was an Anglo-Norman nobleman, active as a marcher lord on the border with Wales.

He is described as a follower of Bernard de Neufmarche, and probably first builder of Bronllys Castle. He started construction at Llandovery Castle in 1116.

His father was Pons fitz Pons.

He married Matilda Fitz Walter (died after 1127), daughter of Walter Fitz Roger, sheriff of Gloucester, and Bertha de Ballun. Walter de Clifford was one of their four children.

Richard was the heir of Drogo fitz Pons and Walter fitz Pons, both mentioned in the Domesday Survey. He is now taken to be their nephew. They had lands in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Pinxton in Derbyshire, Glasshampton in Worcestershire.

The early motte and bailey castle was built on a cliff overlooking a ford on the River Wye in 1070 by William Fitz Osbern. When his heir, Roger de Breteuil, 2d Earl of Hereford, forfeited his lands for rebellion against the King in 1075, the castle was granted to Ralph Tosny, who held it directly from the Crown. From Ralph, it passed to his son in law Richard des Ponts (more correctly, Richard Fitz Pons). Richard's son, Walter Fitz Richard, later took the name of Walter de Clifford after he seized the castle from its Tosny overlord before 1162. Much of the stone castle would seem to have been built before 1162, as it much resembles the Tosny Conhes Castle in Normandy.

Source -- Wikipedia / "Clifford Castle" Richard Fitz Pons (c. 1080 – 1129)

  • Anglo-Norman nobleman, active as a marcher lord on the border with Wales.
  • Follower of Bernard de Neufmarche,
  • probably first builder of Bronllys Castle.
  • Started construction at Llandovery Castle in 1116.
  • Father was Pons fitz Pons - Another story would make him son of William of Talou, Count of Arques-la-Bataille, known as Guillaume d'Arques, William de Normandie. - Lundy, Darryl. "p. 15846 § 158451". The Peerage
  • Married Matilda Fitz Walter (died after 1127), daughter of Walter Fitz Roger, sheriff of Gloucester, and Bertha de Ballun. Walter de Clifford was one of their four children.

Richard was the heir of Drogo fitz Pons and Walter fitz Pons, both mentioned in the Domesday Survey. He is now taken to be their nephew. They had lands in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Pinxton in Derbyshire, Glasshampton in Worcestershire


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