Raoul II of Tosny

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Raoul II de Tosny[a] (1027 - died 9 April 1102), lord of Conches-en-Ouche, was a Norman nobleman of the House of Tosny, son of Roger I of Tosny and older brother of Robert de Stafford / Tosny.[1][2] He was active in Normandy, England and Wales.

Before Hastings[edit]

Raoul was probably a minor when his father Roger I of Tosny was killed in battle, and spent his minority under Richard of Evreux, who married his mother, Godehildis. At some point after 1054, Roger de Cleres, Ralph's vassal, killed Robert de Beaumont, son of Humphrey de Vieilles, finally avenging the death of Raoul's father, Roger I of Tosny.

In 1054 Raoul participated in the Battle of Mortemer , probably as a standard-bearer of William the Conqueror. [3] Around 1061 Raoul was exiled and deprived of his lands, together with Arnold d'Échaffour and Arnold's cousin Hugh de Grandmesnil. They returned c.1063 thanks to the intercession of Simon de Montfort-l'Amaury and Waleran de Breteuil-en-Beauvaisis.[4] Raoul married Isabel de Conches, daughter of Simon, but is unclear if this was done before, during or after his exile. [4]

Hastings (1066) and its aftermath[edit]

He is one of the few proven companions of William the Conqueror known to have fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.[5] Tradition says he gave up the role of standard bearer, his hereditary office, to Walter Giffard, in order to be able to fight closer to William, duke of Normandy.

After the conquest, Raoul held a significant amount of lands in England. His western lands were concentrated in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, while his eastern possessions were mainly in Norfolk. The timing of these acquisitions is unclear. Some of it came directly after the conquest, but other parts probably came after the death of William FitzOsbern in 1071 and the forfeiture of Roger, earl of Hereford in 1075. [4] He was granted Clifford Castle,[6] and it is also believed that he held assets in the village of Hose, Leicestershire, which was split into two manors, Tosny's and that of the title holder of the Norman Belvoir Castle. However, most of his activity can be traced to Normandy, and he is said to have participated in Robert Curthose's rebellion in 1078. [3]

After William the Conqueror's death in 1087, Raoul expelled the ducal garrisons from his castles, and fought for Robert Curthose in 1088. In 1090, he fought against William of Breteuil and his half-brother William, Count of Évreux, sealing a victory when he captured the former. He obtained 3000 livres and the recognition of his son Roger as the heir to both. [4]

In the conflict of 1094, Raoul fought for William Rufus against Robert Curthose. After the death of William Rufus, Raoul and Count William attacked Robert Beaumont. Raoul died in 1002 or 1003, and he was buried at the Abbey of Conches.


Raoul married Isabel, daughter of Simon I de Montfort.[7] They had:

Other sources also say she married Robert de Neubourg, son of Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick - William of Jumièges mentions this marriage and states that she was the daughter of 'Raoul II' de Tosny. Perhaps she married both men, unless William of Jumièges and others have made a mistake[11]


  1. ^ Ralph Tosny, Ralph de Toeni, Ralph de Tonei, Ralph de Tony, Ralph de Toni, Ralph de Todeni, Ralph de Tosney, Raoul de Conches, Raoul de Toeny, Raf Thoney, Rafe de Tosny.



  1. ^ Falconer Madan M.A. - The Gresleys of Drakelow, Toeni pedigree page 223 and Chapter 2, page 16 (Oxford, 1899)
  2. ^ Mason 1979, p. 209.
  3. ^ a b Vitalis, Orderic. Historia Ecclesiastica.
  4. ^ a b c d Moore, James (2017). The Norman Aristocracy in the Long Eleventh Century: Three Case Studies (PhD thesis). University of Oxford.
  5. ^ Mason 1979, p. 124.
  6. ^ Lewis 1985, p. 208.
  7. ^ Châtelain 1983, p. 86.
  8. ^ a b Mason 1979, p. 125.
  9. ^ Murray 2000, p. 31.
  10. ^ Traill, Vanessa Josephine (2013). The Social & Political Networks of the Anglo-Norman Aristocracy: The Clare, Giffeard & Tosny Kin-groups, c.940 to c.1200 (PhD thesis). University of Glasgow.
  11. ^ William of Jumièges - Histoire des Normands, par Guillaume de Jumiège. — Vie de Guillaume-Le-Conquérant, par Guillaume de Poitiers. — published in 1826 within Collection des Mémoires Relatifs à l’histoire De France. Depuis la Fondation de la Monarchie Française jusqu’au 13e Siècle, by M. Guizot, Professeur D’histoire Moderne A L’académie De Paris (Chez J.-L.-J. Brière, Libraire, Rue Saint-André-Des-Arts, No. 68). Page 308: "Il prit pour femme la sœur de Roger du Ternois, fille de Raoul II, nommée Godechilde" (Note: William of Jumièges used the spelling 'de Ternois' and 'de Toëni' for the 'de Tosny' family)


  • Barlow, Frank (1983). William Rufus. University of California Press.
  • Châtelain, André (1983). Châteaux forts et féodalité en Ile de France, du XIème au XIIIème siècle (in French). Nonette.
  • Johns, Susan M. (2003). Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm. Manchester University Press.
  • Lewis, Christopher (1985). "The Norman Settlement of Herefordshire under William I". In Brown, Reginald Allen (ed.). Anglo-Norman Studies VII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1984. Vol. VII. The Boydell Press.
  • Mason, Emma (1979). "Magnates, curiales, and the Wheel of Fortune". In Brown, Reginald Allen (ed.). Proceedings of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies: 1979. Vol. II. The Boydell Press.
  • Moore, James (2017). The Norman Aristocracy in the Long Eleventh Century: Three Case Studies (PhD thesis). University of Oxford.
  • Murray, Alan V. (2000). The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic History 1099-1125. Prosopographica et Genealogica.