Alan fitz Flaad

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Alan fitz Flaad (born 1070, died in 1114[1]) was a Breton knight who held the feudal barony and castle of Oswestry in Shropshire.[2][3][4] His duties as a "valiant and illustrious man"[5] included supervision of the Welsh border.[6]


Alan was the son of Flaad, who was in turn a son (or possibly a brother) of an Alain who had been a crusader (in 1097) and dapifer to the Ancient Diocese of Dol in Dol-de-Bretagne.[7] The area of Dol which is near Mont-Saint-Michel and has figured in the history of the Duchy of Brittany since at least the rule of Nominoe. "Alan Dapifer" is found as a witness in 1086 to a charter relating to Mezuoit, a cell of St. Florent, near Dol.[7]


Flaad and his son Alan had come to the favourable notice of King Henry I of England who, soon after his accession, invited Alan to England with other Breton friends, and gave him forfeited lands in Norfolk and Shropshire, including some which had previously belonged to Ernulf de Hesdin and Robert de Belleme.[8] Robert had proved a threat to Henry in both the Welsh Marches and in Normandy, so the king was determined to insert reliable supporters to counterbalance or replace his network of supporters. Alan received more land as he proved his worth. A large portfolio of lands in Shropshire and around Peppering, near Arundel in Sussex, was taken from the holdings of Rainald de Bailleul,[9] ancestor of the House of Balliol, who were later to provide a king of Scotland.

Religious foundations[edit]

"Flaad filius Alani dapiferi" was present at the dedication of Monmouth Priory in 1101/2, and his son Alan was a witness to two charters of Henry I confirming the foundation of Holy Trinity Priory, York, as a cell of Marmoutier. Alan also founded Sporle Priory on land he held in Norfolk (probably at Sharrington), as another cell of St. Florent.[8][10] He also acquired the site in Shropshire on which Haughmond Abbey was later built and it is possible that he was the founder of the religious community there, although its existence is not definitely attested before a grant by his son, William, around 1135.[9]


Alan fitz Flaad married Adeline de Hesdin, daughter of Arnulf de Hesdin (killed on crusade at Antioch).[11][12] Their issue was:


  1. ^ Round, J. Horace, Studies in Peerage and Family History, London, 1901, pp. 129-31
  2. ^ Burke, John & John Bernard, The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, and Their Descendants &c., volume 2, London, 1851, p. xl.
  3. ^ Cokayne, G. E., edited by Vicary Gibbs & H. A. Doubleday, The Complete Peerage, London, 1926, vol. v., p. 391
  4. ^ Chalmers Caledonia, Edinburgh, 1807, vol.I, pp: 572-575
  5. ^ Round (1901) p.126, citing a Marmoutier charter of 1130.
  6. ^ Ritchie, R. L. Graeme, The Normans in Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, 1954, p. 280-81
  7. ^ a b Round (1901) p.122
  8. ^ a b Ritchie (1954) p.280-1
  9. ^ a b A T Gaydon, R B Pugh (Editors), M J Angold, G C Baugh, Marjorie M Chibnall, D C Cox, Revd D T W Price, Margaret Tomlinson, B S Trinder: Victoria County History: Shropshire, Volume 2, Chapter 9: the Abbey of Haughmond
  10. ^ Round (1901) pps:120, 123, and 127
  11. ^ Round (1901) pps: 116 and 123
  12. ^ Ritchie (1954) p. 98n
  13. ^ a b Ritchie (1954) p.281
  14. ^ Cokayne et al. (1926), vol. v, p. 392
  15. ^ Round (1901) p.125
  16. ^ Round (1901) p.126
  17. ^ Ritchie (1954) p.348n
  18. ^ Round (1901) p.125/6n