Roger de Montgomeri

Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire
Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire

The ancestry of the family of Roger de Montgomery II, seignior of Montgomery in the arrondissement of Lisieux, and count of Alencon and Belesme in the right of his wife, was quite definite at the time of the conquest. Roger had four brothers, Hugh, Robert, William. and Gilbert. William murdered Osberne de Crepon, guardian of the young duke William, who was the son of Herfast, brother of the duchess Gonnor, in revenge for which act the vassals of Osberne murdered Hugh, Robert and William. Gilbert, the youngest son, was unintentionally poisoned by a sister-in-law. This left only Roger, the trusted councillor and follower of duke William. Wace tells us that Roger de Montgomery was in command of a wing of the army at Senlac time. Roger contributed sixty ships to duke William's fleet and received from him, in addition to the earldoms of Arundel and Shrewsbury, the honour of Eye in Suffolk and various estates in other counties amounting to 157 manors, the cities of Chichester and Shrewsbury and the castle of Arundel.

Roger de Montgomery was the son of another Roger. The eldest son of Roger I was Hugh. The name of the father of Roger I was undoubtedly Hugh, since a Hugh de Montgomery is reported as the husband of one of the nieces of the duchess Gonnor, viz. Sibell, the fifth daughter of Herfast her brother, which fits in properly with the number of generations required for Roger de Montgomery II, earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, to have lived at the time of the Conqueror. Roger de Montgomery II died in 1094, having left numerous progeny by his wife, Mabel de Belesme, daughter of William Talvas, lord of Belesme, and a niece of Ivo, bishop of Seez, whom he married in 1048. They had issue, Robert, count of Alencon and seignior of Belesme, Hugh, earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, Roger, surnamed de Poitou, who married Almodis, countess of March, and called therefore earl of Lancaster, Philip, who accompanied duke Robert to the Holy Land and died at Antioch and Arnoul, married to Lafracta, daughter of the king of Ireland, called earl of Pembroke. The daughters were Emma, abbess of Almenathe, Maud, wife of Robert, count of Mortain and earl of Cornwall, Mabel, wife of Hugh de Chateau-Neuf, and Sibil, wife of Robert Fitz Hamon, lord of Creulli in Normandy. By his second wife he had only one son, Everard, chaplain to king Henry I. Hugh inherited the estates of his father in England, thus becoming earl of Shrewsbury, Chichester and Arundel. Robert de Belesme received his Norman possessions and on the death of his brother Hugh, c. 1098, purchased his English earldoms from William Rufus for f3,000 which he forfeited in 1102, when he rebelled against king Henry I and was banished from England. King Henry, when he married Adeliza of Louvain, gave to her the earldom of Arundel. --(Falaise Roll)

Shrewsbury Castle was founded by Roger de Montgomery around the year 1070, and was built using red sandstone.

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