Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester

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Maud of Gloucester
Countess of Chester
Spouse(s) Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester

Issue

Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester
Richard of Chester
Beatrice of Chester
Ranulf of Chester
Father Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
Mother Mabel FitzHamon of Gloucester
Born Unknown
Died 29 July 1189

Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester (died 29 July 1189), also known as Matilda, was an Anglo-Norman noblewoman and the daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England and Mabel, daughter of Robert fitz Hamon.[1] Her husband was Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester (died Dec. 16, 1153).[2]

Family[edit]

Lady Maud FitzRobert was born on an unknown date, the daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Mabel FitzHamon of Gloucester. She had seven siblings including William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester and Roger, Bishop of Worcester. She also had an illegitimate half-brother, Richard, Bishop of Bayeux, whom her father sired by Isabel de Douvres.

Her paternal grandparents were King Henry I of England and his mistress, Sybil Corbet. Her maternal grandparents were Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan, and Sybil de Montgomery, daughter of Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Mabel Talvas of Belleme.

Lincoln Castle where Maud was besieged by the forces of King Stephen in 1141

Marriage and issue[edit]

Sometime before 1141, possibly as early as 1135, Matilda married Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester, and was accorded the title of Countess of Chester. Her husband had considerable autonomy in his palatine earldom.

In January 1141, Earl Ranulf and Countess Matilda were at Lincoln Castle when it was besieged by the forces of King Stephen of England. The following month, a relief army loyal to Empress Matilda and led by her father Robert earl of Gloucester defeated and captured the king in the fierce fighting, later known as the First Battle of Lincoln. In return for his help in repelling the king's troops, the countess's father compelled her husband to swear fealty to Empress Matilda, who was Earl Robert's half-sister.

On August 29, 1146, Earl Ranulf was seized by King Stephen at court in Northampton. Stephen later granted him the castle and city of Lincoln sometime after 1151.[3]

Children[edit]

Ranulf had an illegitimate son, Robert FitzCount (died before 1166), by an unknown mistress. His date of birth was not recorded. Robert married Agnes fitz Neal as her second husband.

One account contains an unsubstantiated rumor that Countess Maud poisoned her husband with the assistance of William Peverel of Nottingham, but there is no evidence that she did so; Earl Ranulf confirmed her grant to one of her servants, probably on his deathbed.[4] She served as her minor son's guardian for nine years.

She was an important patron of Repton Priory in Derbyshire.[5] She also made grants to Belvoir Priory.

The Rotuli de Dominabus of 1185 records property Wadinton de feodo comitis Cestrie, held by Maud, Countess of Chester.[3] Although she was said to be about 50 years of age in that document, she was probably closer to 60 in that year.

Maud died on 29 July 1189, although the Annals of Tewkesbury records her death in 1190.[3]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Complete Peerage, v. III, p. 167.
  2. ^ Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Chester 1120-1232 (Family of Ranulf "le Meschin")
  3. ^ a b c Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Chester 1120-1232 (Family of Ranulf "le Meschin")
  4. ^ Susan Johns, "Wives and Widows of the Earls of Chester, 1100-1252", Haskins Soc. Journal (1995), p. 125.
  5. ^ http://www.thePeerage,com/p.10472.htm#104718
General sources