Successor to his father Richard I in 996, Richard II was the first of his family to be unambiguously referred to as duke of Normandy, a title that is also often given anachronistically to his three predecessors. At his death in 1026, Richard was succeeded in turn by his sons Richard III and Robert.
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: 23 August 1026.
[GND v, 17 (vol. 2, pp. 40-1, year only); Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1026 (year only), MGH SS 6: 478; Ex Obituario Gemmeticensi, RHF 23: 421 (23 Aug.); Notæ Monasterii Montis Sancti Micaelis, RHF 23: 579 (23 Aug.)]
Place of Death: Fécamp.
[GND v, 17 (vol. 2, pp. 40-1)]
Father: Richard I "of Normandy", d. 21 November 996.
Mother: Gunnor, d. January 1031.
m. (1) 996×1008, Judith de Rennes [GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 28-9)], d. 28 June 1017 [Chron. Rothomag., RHF 10: 322 (year only); Ex Obituario Gemmeticensi, RHF 23: 420 (28 June); Notæ Monasterii Montis Sancti Micaelis, RHF 23: 579 (28 June)], daughter of Conan I of Bretagne (Brittany). [GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 28-9) places the marriage when Richard II and Judith's brother Geoffrey of Brittany were both ruling, thus after 996 (the date of Richard I's death) and before 1008 (the date of Geoffrey's death). As discussed by Douglas (1950), 289-291, the marriage probably took place well before 1008.] Other death dates in the same month have been offered for Judith, but the evidence for these dates is unclear. [e.g., Breese (1988), 208 (17 June 1017); ES 2: 79 (16 June 1017)]
m. (2) probably soon after 1017, Papia [GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 102-3)].
by Judith de Rennes:
[GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 28-9)]
Richard III, d. 5 or 6 August 1027 [See Douglas (1950)], duke of Normandy.
Robert I "le Magnifique", d. 1×3 July 1035, duke of Normandy.
William, d. 1025 [Chron. Rothomag., RHF 10, 32], monk at Fécamp.
Adélaide, m. Renaud I, count of Burgundy.
NN, m. Baldwin IV,
count of Flanders.
She has sometimes been called Eleanor (or Ainor) or Judith in late secondary sources, but there does not seem to be a good primary source that gives her name. For the interesting (but unproven) conjecture that this daughter was the same person as Ainor, later wife of Geoffrey, viscount of Thouars, see Beech (1986). This marriage of Baldwin IV is also discussed on the page of Judith of Flanders.
Mathilde, d. 1033 [Chron.
Rothomag. (Annals of Rouen), RHF 11, 386].
GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 28-9) states only that the third daughter of Richard and Judith died as an adult virgin ("tertia ian adulta obiit uirgo"), and does not given her name. See Stasser (1990) for the identification of this daughter with the Mathide, daughter of count Richard, whose death is entered under the year 1033 in the Annals of Rouen.
[GND iv, 13 (vol. 2, pp. 102-3)]
Mauger, archbishop of Rouen, 1037-1054×5.
Guillaume (William), count of Arques.
See Commentary for supposed additional children.
wife or intended wife (of either Richard II or his son Robert):
Estrid/Margaret, daughter of Svend I of Denmark, and mother of Svend II of Denmark by her husband Jarl Ulf.
See the page on Robert for more discussion of the accounts that suggest that Estrid was a wife of either Richard II or his son Robert.
Falsely attributed children:
Papia, m. Gulbert,
advocate of St. Valéry-en-Caux.
Gulbert's wife (whose name may or may not have been Papia) was probably a daughter of Richard I. Since Gulbert's son was old enough to witness a charter in 1025, it is obviously chronologically impossible for her to have been a daughter of Richard II by his second wife Papia, as given by some [Stasser (1990), 66; ES 2: 79 (with a husband named "Wicbert")]. Even if one attempted to make her an illegitimate daughter of Richard II born before his marriage to Judith, the chronology would only be barely possible. Gulbert's wife is discussed more fully on the page of Richard I,
Muriella, m. Tancred de Hauteville.
Fredesende, m. Tancred de Hauteville.
Sometimes also placed as daughters of Richard I [e.g., ES 2: 79], Muriella and Fredesende are given as daughters of Richard II by Stasser (1990), who cites the article Szabolcs de Vajay, "Mahaut de Pouille, comtesse de Barcelone et vicomtesse de Narbonne dans le contexte social de son temps", Béziers et le Bitterois: Fédération historique du Languedoc méditerranéen et du Roussilon, XLIII Congrès (Montpellier, 1971), 129-147 (which I have not seen). However, the primary sources given in support of this claim are late, and a contemporary authority, Geoffrey Malaterra [as quoted in van Houts (2000), 238-9], states that Muriella "was notable both for her birth and good character" and that Fresenda "in birth and morals was by no means inferior to his first wife", both of which seem unusual things to say about supposed sisters who were allegedly daughters of the duke of Normandy, and we should accept the statement of van Houts [ibid., 239, n. 48] that "It has been wrongly argued that both Moriella and Fresenda were illegitimate daughters of Richard II" [citing Stasser and Szabolcs de Vajay].
Beech (1986) = George Beech, "The Participation of Aquitanians in the Conquest of England 1066-1100", Anglo-Norman Studies 9 (1986), 1-24.
Breese (1988) = Lauren Wood Breese, "Early Normandy and the emergence of Norman Romanesque architecture", Journal of Medieval History 14 (1988), 203-216.
Douglas (1950) = David Douglas, "Some Problems of Early Norman Chronology", English Historical Review 65 (1950), 289-303.
ES = Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln (neue Folge), (Marburg, 1980-present).
GND = Guillaume de Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, as edited in Elisabeth van Houts, ed. & trans., The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, 2 vols., (Oxford, 1992). Citation is by book and chapter of Guillaume's work, with the volume and page number of the edition by van Houts in parentheses. Unless otherwise stated, references are to Guillaume's work, and not to later additions by such authors as Orderic Vitalis and Robert de Torigni.
MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.
RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.
Stasser (1990) = Thierry Stasser, "'Mathilde, Fille du Comte Richard': Essai d'identification", Annales de Normandie 40 (1990), 49-64.
van Houts (2000) = Elisabeth van Houts, ed. & trans., The Normans in Europe (Manchester & New York, 2000) [gives English translations of many of the primary sources relevant to early Norman history].
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First uploaded 8 February 2004
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