Blanche-Nef - The White Ship
from Casstell's History of England
Orderic Vital remarks "Thomas, son of Stephen, had obtained an audience of the king (Henry I) and offering him a gold mark, said to him, Stephen, son of Airard (Erard), was my father and during his whole life he was in your father's service as a mariner. He it was who conveyed your father to England in his own ship, when he crossed the sea to make war on Harold." This Thomas was chosen captain of the ill-fated Blanche-Nef (White Ship), which was wrecked on its voyage from Normandy to England in December, 1120. The two sons of Henry I, with several hundred of the flower of the younger nobility of England, perished in this catastrophe. This ancient family was established in Normandy from 868, and Erard, a descendant, in command of a Danish army, came to the rescue of Richard I. duke of Normandy. The "Stefanus Eiraidi filius," written in Domesday, is beyond doubt identical with the subject of this paragraph. He appears as a tenant-in-chief in Berkshire and in Dorsetshire underheld of Aiulf the Chamberlain, and he was the head of this house in Normandy.
The White Shp