Guillaume d'Arques

Donjon d Arques
Donjon d Arques
Photo © Jplm, 15 April 2001

Guillaume d'Arques held estates in 1086 (Domesday) under Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, in Kent and Suffolk, in which latter county Bernard St-Ouen held under him. He also possessed the great barony of Folkestone and had two daughters, one of whom, Emma, married Ralph de Monneville, son of Nigel de Monneville, a tenant-in-chief in Yorkshire in 1086 (Domesday), whose only child, Mathilda, inherited the whole barony of Folkestone and was given in marriage by king Henry I, soon after he ascended the throne, to Ruallon d'Avranches. Their son William apparently lost his estates, for in 1141 the empress Matilda gave to Alberic III, earl of Guisnes, the lands of William d'Avranches together with the inheritance he claimed on the part of his English grandmother, Emma de Monneville, daughter and one of the rich co-heiresses of William d'Arques. The other daughter of William d'Arques, Mathilda, married by command of the same king, William de Tancarville, his chamberlain, who inherited the Norman estates of her father.

There has been considerable controversy concerning the identity of this William d'Arques of Folkestone. The personage here referred to was William, vicomte d'Arques, who resided most of his time after the conquest at his castle of Arques in Normandy, which accounts for his not having been mentioned more frequently in England. He was the son of Geoffroi de Bolbec, son of Osborne Giffard, sire de Bolbec and Wevie, sister of the duchess Gonnor. Geoffroi became viscount of Arques and Rouen through marriage with Beatrice, the daughter of Gosselin, viscount of Rouen and Arques. The latter after he had founded the abbeys of La Trinite du Mont (later changed to that of St-Catherine) of Rouen and that of St-Amand, in 1030, was made viscount of Arques with the guardianship of that county which name he assumed. William his grandson succeeded his father Geoffroi in that dignity in 1053. William, vicomte d'Arques, received king William for a few hours on 6 September, 1067, at the castle of Arques, when the Conqueror was on his return to England. In 1074, he was a witness at Vernon, Normandy, to a confirmation of a charter of Hugh de Vernon by his nephew Richard de Vernon, in favour of the abbey of Jumieges. He took in 1088 the monastic robe in the abbey of Pre, situated in the bourg of Ermaudreville, to-day St-Sever of Rouen, and died about 1090. Osborne d'Arques, his younger brother, also a warrior at Hastings, held in barony and in chief in both the West and North Riding of Yorkshire in the former numerous domains in thirty-two different localities, with several houses under the bishop of Coutances. In Lincolnshire he was a tenant-in-chief under the name of -"Us tiorn de Arcis."

--(Falaise roll)

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