William, Count of Mortain

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William of Mortain, Count of Mortain, 3rd Earl of Cornwall (bef. 1084–aft. 1140) .

Life[edit]

William was the son of Robert, Count of Mortain, the half-brother of William I of England[1] and Maud de Montgomery, daughter of Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Mabel de Bellême.[2] William was born apparently before 1084.[3]

From childhood, he harbored a bitter dislike for his cousin Henry I of England,[a] and proudly demanded from him not only his father's earldoms of Mortain and Cornwall, but his uncle Odo, Bishop of Bayeux's Earldom of Kent. Clues to the character of William are to be found in the Hyde Chronicle, calling him "incorrigibly turbulent" and in William of Malmesbury's depiction of William as having "shameless arrogance."[4] The king kept putting off William's demands for the earldom of Kent and instead offered him the hand of Mary of Scotland, Queen Matilda's sister, which William promptly rejected.[4] Henry in turn gave her in marriage to Eustace III, Count of Boulogne. Henry continued to stall William's demands until he had dealt with the Montgomerys, William's uncles, and exiled them from England.[4] Henry then removed lands in Cornwall from William he had allegedly misappropriated, after which William angrily left for Normandy joining forces with Robert Curthose.[4] In Normandy William attacked several of Henry's holdings giving the king ample reasons to strip William of all his English honors.[5]

He was captured with Duke Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai (1106) and stripped of Mortain. William was imprisoned for many years, in the Tower of London and in 1140 became a Cluniac monk at Bermondsey Abbey[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Among the reasons for intensely disliking Henry I, almost certainly included his mother's family, specifically his uncles Robert of Bellême, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury, Hugh of Montgomery, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury, Arnulf of Montgomery, and Roger the Poitevin who were all devout enemies of Henry. They had all been dispossessed of their English holdings and exiled from England shortly after Henry became king. See: J. F. A. Mason, 'Roger de Montgomery and His Sons (1067-1102)', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series vol. 13 (1963), pp. 1-28.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4 (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 694B
  2. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4 (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 637
  3. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. III, Ed. Vicary Gibbs (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., London. 1913), p. 428
  4. ^ a b c d C. Warren Hollister, Henry I (Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2003), p. 182
  5. ^ David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty Hambledon Continuum, London & New York, 2007), p. 173
  6. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant Extinct or Dormant, Vol. III, Ed. Vicary Gibbs (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd., London. 1913), pp. 428-9
French nobility
Preceded by
Robert
Count of Mortain
1095–1106
Succeeded by
Robert II
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert
Earl of Cornwall
1095–1104
Succeeded by
Forfeit