Talk:Companions of William the Conqueror

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Let's get this party started! Rhode Islander 03:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

This article would get a lot by being translated from french. PurpleHz 12:16, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

list bretons wrong[edit]

Votre liste de bretons est fausse (wrong) en partie, Alain IV n'était pas present selon les historiens d'aujourd'hui, Mme keats-rohan par exemple, c'est une erreur de chroniqueur, regardez l'article equivalent sur wifi français bien plus complet. Par exemple, il y a Alan Rufus et Alan the Niger, fils d'eudo de Penthièvre, raoul de Gael, etc. Les bretons possédaient apès 1066, 25% des fiefs, juste après les Normands, dont l'honour de Richemont, l'un des plus riche, . Les stuart et votre reine, viennent d'un breton de Dol, Alain Fitz Flaad. patay marc —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Re Alan IV "Fergant" (French for "Iron glove"), it is quite so that he could not have been a combatant in the battle of Hastings: in 1066, he was three years of age! (His father Hoel, regent of Brittany, resigned in 1084 when Alan IV reached his majority and assumed the ducal duties. This is an upper bound on Alan IV's age, based on 21 being the age of majority.) Zoetropo (talk) 23:27, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


William of Poitiers is eminently impeachable: his deep-seated prejudices manifestly slant everything he says: as Duke William's chaplain, he was excessively adulant of him and thus his attribution to him of so many great deeds on the field of battle are quite suspect, and his bigotry against the whole Breton way of life and his calumnies against them renders him utterly unreliable as a source for anything concerning them and their actions. (We might as well credit Lanfranc when in 1075 he decribed Bretons as "dung", while apparently blissfully unaware that a great many of King William's ancestors were Breton, and moreover that William's most loyal officer and cousin, Alan Rufus, was chief of the Bretons in England.)

Moreover, William of Poitiers was not present at the battle, so he is no eye-witness, nor am I aware that he named any of his sources. This makes it extraordinary that the Carmen de Hastingae Proelio, a very early source (Frank Barlow thought it most likely written in 1067), is excluded from the list of "unimpeachable" sources, especially as internal evidence shows it to be largely based on the evidence of Bishop Guy of Amiens' nephew Guy I of Ponthieu who was among the Flemings who first reached King Harold's position and witnessed his being chopped to death. Guy I and the other officers present were severely reprimanded by Duke William for this atrocity. Indeed, one of the reasons historians have adduced for the composition of the Carmen was to appease William's wrath against Guy's family.

If one is determined to trust William de Poitiers to the extent posited in this article, then one should accept his claim that javelins were employed by both sides during the battle, against the assertion made by several historians that this was not so. Zoetropo (talk) 00:52, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Removal of Unreferenced Names[edit]

Due to the inclusion of many unsupported and unreferenced names, these have been removed to the talk page, here, for safe-keeping and replaced with a new list, fully referenced to unimpeachable sources, based on the excellent article in French Wikipedia "Compagnons de Guillaume le Conquerant".(Lobsterthermidor (talk) 13:53, 19 November 2010 (UTC))"Normans:


  • De la Poer[1]



Any of these names can of course be reinstated, but with reliable sources being provided, please.(Lobsterthermidor (talk) 13:57, 19 November 2010 (UTC))

My understanding is that Roger II of Montgomery (like William of Poitiers) was left behind to administer Normandy in Duke William's absence. Both may have been present at Dives to wave on the fleet, and perhaps Poitiers contributed a blessing. Roger was Governor of Normandy, and thus was responsible for its affairs during Duke Conan II of Brittany's lightning campaign against Anjou and Norman-occupied Maine. (Conan had announced to Duke William that he would make an attempt on Normandy itself while William was away in England.) Given Roger's family history, Conan's alleged poisoning can plausibly be attributed to Roger; Duke William was campaigning in south-east England at the time. Zoetropo (talk) 01:02, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ Round, John Horace (1892). Geoffrey de Mandeville: A Study of the Anarchy. London: Longmans,Green, & Co. 
  2. ^ Sewell, Robert. "Battle Abbey Roll". Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
On your list, there are only proofs for Odo of Bayeux, Robert de Mortain, William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, Richard Fitz Gilbert de Bienfaite and Eustace II of Boulogne. PurpleHz (talk) 16:16, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree, lost my internet connection before I could update the article with the list of 15 "Proven Companions". Please see revised article, in 10 minutes' time, hopefully.(Lobsterthermidor (talk) 17:43, 19 November 2010 (UTC))

Eric Genealogist Edit: I would like to add the following companions that may have been Breheny-Brewer Knights that accompanied William The Conqueror to Britain. I state the names that translate to Brehon, Brewers and Briennes that were both British and French names that were fairly interchangiable during the time period.

These names I had seen at another genealogy website on the internet that has now been apparently deleted at about a year ago. Plaque Numbers (22) Auvrai Breton(61) Drew de la Berviere (de la Bervihre) (66) Ernies de Baron. Other names included these such as Raoul de Bruiere (de la Bruihre), Guillaume d'Eu, Guillaume Comte d'Evreux, Herve le Berruier, Honfoi de Bohon, Hugue de Brebeuf. British translations of these names are very compatiable to LeBrus (The Bears), Son Of Bruis, Son Of Braose, de Braose, Baron de Braose etc. The French Knights names above mentioned would also have translated into the British names of "Brewers". All these names in my 19years of research span the Breheny-Brehon-Brewster Family names that are mentioned in the Domesday Books of the 10th Century and that I have used to do my genealogy up to the present date. On other websites on the internet are other source material that refer to the same names that I have written above that correspond to the Dives-sur-mer Church Plaque.

Additional Ancestorial Names of the Breheny-Brewster Genealogy of interest with dates continuation: (Family Tree and Royal Cousins Exerpts) Personal Genealogy Family Names Sheets Of "eric_historian" Sub Group Page 2 Family (13) Richard I "The Fearless" Duke Of France b. 933AD-Dd. 996AD Aprx (14) Richard II "The Good" Duke Of Normandy France b. 963 Dd. 1026AD, Page 3 FG (15) Alice Of Normandy, Richard III Duke Of Normandy, Robert I "The Magnificent", (16) Robert I "The Magnificent" Duke Of Normandy b. 999AD Dd. 1035AD, (17) William I "The Conqueror" King Of Britain b. 1024AD Dd. 1087AD, (18) Richard I "The Fearless" Duke Of Normandy" b. 933AD Dd. 996AD, Child: Geoffery Brionne b. 953AD Dd. 996AD, (19) Gilbert FitzGodfrey Crispin Count d'Eu And Brionne Normandy France b. 1000AD Dd. 1040AD-Was assassinated-Wife Gunnora d'Anjou b. 984AD France, (21) Gilbert Count d'Eu And Brionne-Married Esilia Crispin-Child: Richard FitzGilbert 1st Earl Of Clare, (22) Count Jean Brienne b. 1050AD Dd.1136-7AD -Child: Jean de Brienne.

There is a host of other names that I may add to this list later on but at this time the readers of this talk can get the idea and perhaps finish this list of names, as I have noted these are my ancestors that I have spent 19years of research on, when I get more time then I will complete this list up to 1066AD.

Eric Brewster GenealogistEric Genealogist (talk) 00:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Eric Brewster GenealogistEric Genealogist (talk) 16:57, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Guillaume de Moulins la Marche in Roman_de_Rou
  • Guillaume de Moulines S. de Falaise in the Falaise Roll
  • Guillaume de Falaise in the Dives sur Mer
  • Sir Guillaume de Moulins, de Falaise in Battle Abbey Roll.
  • Guillaume Desmoulins. in Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland

That's 5 out of 8 of all the secondary sources for William De Moulin (Guilliam des moulin - Molyneux).

I'm almost for certain at this point this name can be added. Also they descended from Molyneux-sur-seine in Normandy where they were guardians of Chateau Robert de Diable and into the Earls of Sefton (molyneuxs) after being granted massive land grants by William the Conqueror himself after the battle of Hastings. 08:23, 29 January 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Gaimar's L'Estoire des Engles[edit]

Granted that Gaimar draws on mythical elements for the early history of Britain, but he was personally acquainted with the second generation of families involved in the Conquest (those who flourished in the late 11th and early 12th century). He should be considered in parallel with Wace. Zoetropo (talk) 00:52, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Alan Rufus[edit]

I'm surprised that there is no mention here of Count Alan Rufus of Brittany (c.1040-1093), Duke William's double-second cousin, who is the Alan mentioned by Wace as doing "the English great damage".

Gaimar in one (apparently older) edition of his work extolled Alan and his men for "striking well" in the battle of Hastings, and wrote that "they and the others struck so well that the battle was won".

We know Alan was an early associate of William's because in a document dated 1066x1067, Duke William attested Alan's donation of two churches in Rouen (one of which had been a gift from William).

Domesday records that Wyken Farm in Suffolk was owned during the reign of Edward the Confessor by "Alan". An abundance of circumstantial evidence suggests that this was Alan Rufus. This is not surprising as Alan's father was a maternal first cousin of Edward's and a personal acquaintance of Ralph the Staller, an Anglo-Breton aristocrat who was one of Edward's high officials in East Anglia.

Alan was very early awarded all but one of the Cambridgeshire manors of Eadgifu the Fair, who is believed by Keats-Rohan and other creditable historians to be identical with Edith "Swannesha" ("Gentle Swan"), King Harold's Danish-law wife. In the mid-1090s, Archbishop Anselm wrote two letters to Harold's and Edith's daughter Gunhild, berating her for living with Alan. He quoted her as saying that she loved Alan, and he loved her.

Alan's status is evidenced at the long siege of Sainte-Suzanne in Maine (c. 1083-1085), when he was the commander of King William's household knights; Anvrai the Breton was his second-in-command, and the eminent William de Warenne was present but lower down in rank order.

Domesday records that of Earl Gyrth's estates, William took 29 manors and gave an equal number to Count Alan, which suggests Alan's presence in his customary position beside William, and thus in the Norman central "battle" (division) of the army.

Alan's father Count Eudon (c.999-1079) (one of several Breton double-cousins of Duke William's father Duke Robert of Normandy) provided many of the Breton troops for the invasion, and his name was honoured by its inclusion (as "Eudon, Lord of Brittany" beside those of Geoffrey (III) Count of Anjou and "Richard (I?) Duke of Normandy") into the "Song of Roland" for its Norman French version.

Incidentally, Aimeri ("Haimo") Viscount of Thouars is listed here as a "proven companion"; his family were closely associated with Alan's for centuries and it is accepted that Aimeri fought on the left wing of the army with the Angevins, Bretons and men of Maine.

The question then arises, who led the Bretons? Count Brian, a brother of Alan's, is a candidate: he was a commander in the force that defeated King Harold's sons in 1069; he then led his army north to join William's at the Battle of Stafford. Another possibility is Ralph the Staller, who attested a charter by Duke Alan III, Eudon's elder brother, in Brittany during or before 1034 (while Canute was King of England), and was later rewarded by King William I with the Earldom of East Anglia. (Intriguingly, Ralph's son and heir Ralph de Gael et de Montfort allied with Eudon against Hoel only months after the younger Ralph had rebelled against King William and lost many of his lands to Alan.) Zoetropo (talk) 00:52, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

"unimpeacheable" and "secondary merit"[edit]

I see objections have been raised before to the term unimpeachable, and I've switched that wording. Secondary merit also seems a bit flowery to me. And it also hides from our readers that the first one mentioned, the Carmen, is often treated as one of the strongest sources. I think eventually it needs to be given a bit more explanation and "status"?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:02, 26 November 2016 (UTC)