Baldwin de Meules

Exeter Castle
Exeter Castle, Devon
Photo © leondz, May 2005

Baldwin de Meules was the younger brother of Richard de Beinfaite. Although no special deeds are recorded of him, he is said to have brought with him many knights, who were foremost in the fight and trampled down the English with their powerful war horses. For his part in the battle he was rewarded by the gift of one hundred and sixty-four manors in the west of England, one hundred and fifty-nine being in the county of Devon, besides nineteen houses in Exeter, and a site within the walls to build a castle on for his own residence, the government of the city and the shrievalty of the county being confided to him. He is therefore called Baldwin the Viscount, or the Sheriff, and Baldwin of Exeter, in addition to his Norman appellations, Baldwin de Sap, Baldwin de Meules, or, as it is latinised, de Molis (the two estates which were restored to him by Duke William at the same time that his brother Richard received Bienfaite and Orbec), and his patronymic Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de Brionne, or sometimes simply Baldwin de Brionne.

By his wife Albreda, who is said to have been a daughter of an aunt of the Conqueror, and by some his niece, he had issue three sons, Richard, Robert, and William, the second of whom in 1090 was intrusted with the custody of the Castle of Brionne. --Planche

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