Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester

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Richard d'Avranches
Richard d'Avranches.svg
The coat of arms of Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester[citation needed]
Born 1094
Died 25 November 1120
Cause of death Drowned on the White Ship
Title Earl of Chester
Term 1101–1120
Predecessor Hugh d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester
Successor Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester
Spouse(s) Lucia-Mahaut of Blois

Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester (1094 – 25 November 1120) was the son of Hugh, 1st Earl of Chester and Ermentrude of Clermont.

Early life[edit]

He was seven years old when his father, known as Hugh the Fat, died. Due to his age, a stewardship would have ruled until he was old enough. He probably became Earl of Chester in 1107. He married Lucia-Mahaut, daughter of Stephen, Count of Blois and Adela of Normandy, daughter of William the Conqueror.

Military career[edit]

At the age of twenty, in 1114, Richard was on military campaign and was styled the Earl of Chester. Together with King Alexander of Scotland, he led an Anglo-Norman army into Gwynedd as part of a three-pronged campaign organised by Henry I of England against Gwynedd, and Gruffudd ap Cynan. Gruffudd, rather than risk battle, satisfied the King with an oath of homage and a suitable fine. The campaign soon fizzled out, and Richard returned to Chester.

White Ship[edit]

The line of the d'Avranches as Earls of Chester failed when Richard, his wife, and his illegitimate half-brother Ottuel, joined the young William Adelin, heir to the English King Henry aboard the doomed White Ship. The ship went down, drowning all but one boy, in the year 1120. Richard died aged twenty-six, leaving no issue. His wife Lucia-Mahaut and half-brother Ottuel also died in the tragedy.

The earldom then passed through his father Hugh's sister Maud to Richard's first cousin Ranulph I, in 1121.

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Hugh d'Avranches
Earl of Chester
Succeeded by
Ranulf de Meschin