Ida de Tosny

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Ida de Tosny
Noble familyde Tosny
Spouse(s)Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk
Father(likely) Ralph IV de Tosny
Mother(likely) Margaret de Beaumont

Ida de Tosny, Countess of Norfolk (died after 1181), was very likely a daughter of Ralph V de Tosny (died 1162) and his wife Margaret (born circa 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 proven 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.[4]


Around Christmas 1181, Ida de Tosny was given in marriage to Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk by Henry II, together with the manors of Acle, Halvergate and South Walsham, which had been confiscated from his inheritance after his father's death (Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk).[5] Ida and Roger had a number of children including:

Many historians, including Marc Morris have speculated that the couple had a third daughter, Alice, who married Aubrey de Vere IV, 2nd Earl of Oxford as his second wife. However this is highly unlikely as the marriage would have been well within the bounds of consanguinity, for the couple would have been quite closely related, a daughter of the second earl of Norfolk being first cousin once removed to the second earl of Oxford.

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 USA 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. ^ Marc Morris: The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2005, page 2)
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Salisbury, William Longsword, Earl of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 78.
  3. ^ Bradenstoke Cartulary, 1979
  4. ^ Marc Morris [The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the thirteenth century (2005), p. 2]
  5. ^ Marc Morris [The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the thirteenth century (2005), p. 2]