Urso d'Abetot was the son of Aumary d'Abetot, an appellation derived from the lands of St. Jean d'Abetot, canton of Calbose, arrondissement of Havre, the lordship of which belonged to the family of Tankerville, as appears from the charter of formation of the college of St. George de Bosherville, to which Ralph Fitz Gerald, in 1050, gave the church and tithes of Abetot for the support of the monks of that college, which was made an abbey in 1124.

This Ralph Fitz Gerald, who is the Chamberlain of Tankerville, was the elder brother of Aumary d'Abetot. Their father being the Gerold who was the husband of Helisendis, and who probably, as Sire de Tankerville, held the hereditary office of chamberlain to the Dukes of Normandy, which we find his son Ralph and his grandson William enjoying in succession.

Aumary, his younger son, inherited the fiefs of Abetot, and was the father of two sons, Urso and Robert, the latter distinguished as "Despencer," an office which gave a name to the noble families of Le Despencer and Spenser, who trace their descent from the niece of this Robert d'Abetot. After the conquest Urso was made sheriff of the counties of Gloucester and Worcester. In 1073 he was one of the King's council, and rendered great service in the suppression of the rebellion of the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk. His character, however, as a spoiler and devastator is amongst the worst recorded of the Norman settlers in England, and he appears to have especially oppressed the Church of Worcester, building so close to it that the hole of the castle encroached on the cemetery of the monks.

His son Roger d'Abetot, having killed a servant of Henry I, was banished and his confiscated estates given by the King, with the hand of his sister Emmeline d'Abetot, to Walter de Beauchamp of Bedford.

Urso was living as late as the reign of Henry I. His wife, Atheliza was a witnessed the charter to Great Malvern.


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