Ida de Tosny

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Ida de Tosny
Noble familyde Tosny
Spouse(s)Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk
IssueWilliam Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury (illegitimate)
Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk
William Bigod
Roger Bigod
John Bigod
Ralph Bigod
Mary fitz Robert
Margery de Hastings
Ida Bigod
FatherRalph IV de Tosny
MotherMargaret de Beaumont

Ida de Tosny, Countess of Norfolk (died after 1181), was a Norman royal mistress. Named after her grandmother Ida de Hainaut, she was the daughter of Ralph IV de Tosny (died 1162) and his wife Margaret (born c. 1125 and living in 1185), a daughter of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester.[1]

Relationship to King Henry II[edit]

Ida de Tosny was a royal ward and mistress of Henry II, King of England, by whom she was mother of one of his illegitimate sons, William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury,[2] (c. 1176 – 7 March 1226), as demonstrated by the discovery of a charter of William mentioning "Comitissa Ida, mater mea" (Countess Ida, my mother).[3] Ida was not the first English royal ward to be taken as a royal mistress. Isabel de Beaumont (Elizabeth de Beaumont), was the ward of King Henry I and the mistress of one of his sons.[1]


Around Christmas 1181, Ida de Tosny was given by Henry II in marriage to Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk, together with the manors of Acle, Halvergate and South Walsham, which had been confiscated from Roger's inheritance after the death of his father Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk.[1] Ida and Roger had a number of children, including:

Many historians have speculated that the couple had a third daughter, Alice, who married Aubrey de Vere IV, 2nd Earl of Oxford, as his second wife.

Ida de Tosney in fiction[edit]

Ida de Tosny and her husband Roger are the main characters in Elizabeth Chadwick's The Time of Singing (Sphere, 2008), published in the US as For the King's Favor. They appear as minor characters in other of her books set at the same time, notably To Defy a King, which concerns the marriage of their son Hugh to Maud, a daughter of William Marshal.


  1. ^ a b c Morris, Marc, The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century. Woodbridge, Suffolk; Boydell Press, 2005, p. 2
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Salisbury, William Longsword, Earl of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 78.
  3. ^ Bradenstoke Cartulary, 1979