MALE Robert I "le Magnifique" ("the Magnificent")

Duke of Normandy, 1027-1035.

When his father Duke Richard II died in 1026, Robert was made count of Hiémois under his elder brother Richard III as his share of the inheritance. Less than a year later, Richard III had died and Robert became duke of Normandy. Having set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem early in 1035, Robert died at Nicaea during the return trip, and was succeeded by his young son William, later known as William "the Conqueror".

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknosn.

Date of Death: 1×3 July 1035.
[GND vi, 12(13) (vol. 2, pp. 84-5): 1035 (with 2 July added to GND by Orderic); Ex Obituario Gemmeticensi, RHF 23: 420 (3 July); Ex Uticensis Monasterii Necrologio, RHF 23: 487 (1 July); Notæ Monasterii Montis Sancti Micaelis, RHF 23: 579 (2 July)]
Place of Death: Nicaea.
(also buried there) [GND vi, 12(13) (vol. 2, pp. 84-5)]

Father: Richard II, d. 23 August 1026, duke of Normandy.

Mother: Judith de Rennes, d. 28 June 1017, daughter of Conan I of Brittany.


Herleva, daughter of Fulbert.

See Commentary section for possible wife (or intended wife).


by Herleva:
[GND vi, 11(12) (vol 2, pp. 80-1, mother not named); GND (Orderic) vii, (3) (vol. 2, pp. 96-7, naming Herleva as mother); Chr. Rob. Tor., s.a. 1026, MGH SS 6: 478 (naming Herleva as mother)]

MALE William I "the Conqueror", b. prob. 1027×8, d. 9 September 1087, duke of Normandy 1035-1087, king of England, 1066-1087.

illegitimate child, mother unknown (but not Herleva):

FEMALE Adelaide, m (1) Enguerrand II, count of Ponthieu, (2) Lambert, seigneur of Lens, (3) Eudes, count of Champagne.
Stapleton (1836), 350-1, quotes part of a charter mentioning count (consul) Enguerrand (son of Berta, daughter of Guerinfridus, who built the castle of Aumâle), his wife Addelidis, daughter of king William of England, countess Addelidis, daughter of Enguerrand and Addelidis aforesaid, and countess Judith (daughter of Addelidis the mother). Robert de Torigny, in his additions to GND, states in one place that Stephen, count of Aumâle, was son of count Eudes of Champagne and a nephew of William the elder through a sister ("... Stephanus, comes de Albamarla filius Odonis comitis de Campania, Willelmi autem regis Anglorum senioris ex sorore nepos ...") [GND (Rob. Tor.), viii, 3 (vol. 2, pp. 206-7)], and in another that Waltheof, earl of Huntingdon, had three daughters by his wife, a daughter of the countess of Aumâle, who had been a "uterine sister" of William ("Habuit enim idem Walleus tres filias ex uxore sua, filia comitisse de Albamarla, que comitissa fuit soror uterina Willelmi regis Anglorum senioris.") [GND (Rob. Tor.) viii, 37 (vol. 2, pp. 270-3)]. The Chronicle of Robert de Torigny states that Robert's daughter "Aeliz" (not strictly the same name as "Adelaide", but often confused with it, both then and now) was by a concubine other than Herleva ("... Robertus frater eius, qui genuit Willermum de Herleva non sponsata, qui postea Angliam conquisivit, et unam filiam nomine Aeliz de alia concubina.") [s.a. 1026, MGH SS 6, 478]. The name of Adelaide's second husband Lambert comes from two Scottish sources. The "Life of Waltheof" states that Waltheof's wife Judith was a niece of William the Conqueror, a daughter of count Lambert of Lens, and a sister of count Stephen of Aumâle [translation of relevant passage given in ESSH 2: 33], and the Chronicle of the Canons of Huntingdon also states that Judith was a daughter of count Lambert of Lens [ESSH 2: 28].
The above stated evidence combines to give a consistent picture for Adelaide's three marriages listed above. The evidence presents some minor problems, but they do not seem to be serious. Stapleton (1836) argued that count Eudes was married to the younger Adelaide, daughter of the present Adelaide by her first husband Enguerrand, but the evidence is consistent in making the younger Adelaide, Judith, and Stephen the children of Adelaide by three different husbands (although no single source gives all of this information). The most significant contradiction would appear to be Robert de Torigny's statement in one place that Adelaide was "soror uterina" to William, but, as pointed out Elisabeth van Houts, Robert uses the same adjective "uterine" in one other place to refer to duke Richard II of Normandy and his paternal half-brother count William of Eu [GND (Rob. Tor.), vii, (20) (vol. 2, pp. 128-8); van Houts (2002), 23, n. 22]. Thus, the evidence clearly suggests that William and Adelaide had different mothers. (Geoffrey White had left the matter of Adelaide's maternity open in his discussion of William's siblings in The Complete Peerage [White].) Another problem concerns Adelaide's second marriage to count Lambert of Lens. Morton & Muntz (1972), 127, stating that the Life of Waltheof was the only source for the second marriage (but erroneously, as the Chronicle of the Canons of Huntingdon also mentions Lambert as Judith's father: see the previous paragraph), and noting that Lambert died less than a year after Enguerrand, suggested that no such marriage took place. However, Barlow (1999), xlv, pointed out that Enguerrand was excommunicated in 1049 for "incest" (evidently because Enguerrand's sister had been married to Adelaide's uncle), leaving open the possibility that Lambert had married Adelaide before 1053.
[Note: Adelaide and her daughter Judith were the subject of numerous discussions on the soc.genealogy.medieval/GEN-MEDIEVAL internet newsgroup/mailing list in March 2003, of which postings by Chris Phillips (pointing out the van Houts paper and the Tabularia website), Douglas Richardson (pointing out that the Life of Waltheof was not the only source naming Lambert as the father of Judith) and Nathaniel Taylor (pointing out the discussion in Carmen de Hastingae Proelio) were particularly helpful.]


Possible spouse or intended spouse (of Robert or his father Richard II):
daughter of Svend I, king of Denmark.
Rodulfus Glaber, 108, states that Robert was married to a sister (not named) of king Canute, and that he was father of William by a concubine. Adam of Bremen [Book 2, chapter liv(52), p. 92], who obtained some of his information from king Svend II (son of Estrid by her marriage to jarl Ulf), stated that before her marriage to Ulf, Svend's mother Margaret (called Estrid in other sources) was married to Richard (II) of Normandy, father of Robert, but then goes on to show confusion by saying that Margaret married Ulf after Richard set out for Jurusalem, where he died. (Richard did not set out for Jeruslaem, but Robert did.) Unfortunately, there are significant problems with the statement that Estrid married either Richard or Robert, discussed in detail by Douglas [Douglas (1950), 292-5]. Nevertheless, despite the problems, it is difficult to believe that there is nothing to these two similar, and apparently independent, accounts of two near contemporary writers. Given the difficulty of reconciling a marriage with the evidence, a possible betrothal of Estrid to either Robert or Richard II would seem like a reasonable alternative.


Adam of Bremen = Francis J. Tschan, trans., Adam of Bremen - History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York, 1959).

Barlow (1999) = The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio of Guy bishop of Amiens (Oxford, 1999).

Chr. Rob. Tor. = L. C. Bethemann, ed., Roberti de Monte Chronica (a continuation by Robert de Torigny of the chronicle of Sigebert de Gembloux), MGH SS 6, 476-535.

CP = The Complete Peerage.

Douglas (1950) = David Douglas, "Some Problems of Early Norman Chronology", English Historical Review 65 (1950), 289-303.

ESSH = Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1922, reprinted Stamford, 1990). [Contains English translations of many of the primary records]

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 Torigny.

GND (Orderic) = Additions to GND by Orderic Vitalis.

GND (Rob. Tor.) = Additions to GND by Robert de Torigny.

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Morton & Muntz (1972) = The Carmen de Hastingae Proelio of Guy bishop of Amiens (Oxford, 1972).

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Rodulfus Glaber = Maurice Prou, ed., Raoul Glaber - les cinq livres de ses histoires (900-1044) (Paris, 1886).

Stapleton (1836) = Thomas Stapleton, "Observations on the History of Adeliza, sister of William the Conqueror", Archaeologia 26 (1836), 349-357.

van Houts (2002) = Elisabeth van Houts, "Les femmes dans l'histoire du duché de Normandie (Women in the history of ducal Normandy)", Tabularia «Études» nº 2, 2002, p. 19-34, 10 juillet 2002.

White = Geoffrey H. White, "The Conqueror's brothers and sisters", in CP 12, Appendix K (pp. 30-4 in second pagination at end of volume).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 8 February 2004

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