William II, Count of Eu

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William II, Count of Eu, feudal baron of Hastings[1] (d. circa 1095)[2] was a first generation Anglo-Norman nobleman, Count of Eu and rebel.

Origins[edit]

According to most authorities he was the son and heir of Robert, Count of Eu,[3] (d.pre-1093), by his wife Beatrix de Falaise.

Career[edit]

William of Eu held about 77 manors in the west of England and was one of the rebels against King William II in 1088. Although he made his peace with that King, together with William of Aldrie (his wife's nephew), Roger de Lacy and Robert de Mowbray, he conspired to murder William II and to replace him on the throne with Stephen of Aumale the King's cousin.

In 1095 the rebels impounded four Norwegian trading ships and refused the King's demand to return the merchandise. King William conducted a lightning campaign, outflanking the rebels at Newcastle upon Tyne and capturing a rebel stronghold at Morpeth in Northumberland. He besieged the rebels at Bamburgh Castle and built a castle facing the surviving one. During January 1097 in Salisbury, William was formally accused of treason, challenged to trial by battle and was defeated by Geoffrey Baynard, former High Sheriff of Yorkshire.[4] It was finally decided that William was to be blinded and mutilated.[4] William died sometime later and was buried at Hastings.[5] William's son Henry inherited the countship of Eu and also became Lord of Hastings.

Marriage & progeny[edit]

William married twice:[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119
  2. ^ Sanders
  3. ^ Professor David Douglas disputed this identification, basing himself on the genealogical researches of Edmund Chester Waters. In support of Douglas, while the west country estates of William were confiscated by the Crown in 1095, the strategically important Honour of Hastings was left in the hands of the Counts of Eu. It seems likely therefore that different people are referred to
  4. ^ a b Edward Augustus Freeman, The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First, Vol.2, (Clarendon Press, 1882), 63-65.
  5. ^ Emma Cownie, Religious Patronage in Anglo-Norman England, 1066-1135, (Royal Historical Society, 1998), 213.
  6. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119, note 7
  7. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119, note 7
  8. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119, note 7
  9. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.147, note 3
  10. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119
  11. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.119, note 7, who does not give her first name or father's name