Hugue de Montfort le Connestable

Dover Castle, Kent
Dover Castle, Kent - Photo © Ron Strutt, June 2004

The famous house of Montford emanated from Montfort-sur-Risle, near Brionne, arrondissement of Pont-Audemer, Normandy, and were the hereditary marshals of that duchy. According to Wace (l. 13612), "Hue le' sire de Montfort" and "sire de VezPont " rescued William Malet from death at the battle of Hastings. Oslac, baron of Briquebec, living in the l0th century, the progenitor of the family, was the father of Turstan de Bastenburg, the father of Hugh Barbatus (with the beard), who had a son, Hugh de Montfort II. The latter was a companion of the Conqueror and furnished fifty ships and sixty knights for the expedition. He is referred to by Orderic Vital in this connection as "earl Hugh the constable" and William of Poitiers and Benoit de St-More also affirm his presence at Senlac. Hugh came into prominence at the battle of Mortimer in 1054, in which engagement he was one of the leaders. The Conqueror for his part in the conquest of England rewarded him with 113 manors in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent, with a large portion of Romney marsh, and he was one of the noblemen whom the Conqueror entrusted with the government of England when that monarch visited Normandy in 1067. The governorship of the castle of Dover, the chief fortress in the earldom of Kent belonging to bishop Odo, was entrusted to him by that prelate. The exact date of his death is unknown but he died at the abbey of Bec. William of Jumieges informs us that he was twice married, one wife having been the daughter of Richard de Bellofogo (Beaufoe) by a daughter of the count of Ivry. He had issue Hugh and Robert, both of whom died without issue and a daughter Alice, who eventually became their heir, and married Gilbert de Gand. --(Falaise Roll).

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