Corbet le Normand

Moreton Corbet
Moreton Corbet Castle, Shropshire
photo © Keith Havercroft Aug 2005

The family came from Pays de Caux, Normandy, and according to Blakely, ascended from a very remote antiquity, probably of Scandinavian origin. Corbet Le Normand had four sons, Hugue, Roger, Reynaud, and Robert, the second and fourth sons, Roger and Robert, came to the conquest of England with their father, while Hugue and Reynaud remained in Normandy, where the former is mentioned in charters of the abbey of Bec, and Reynaud with his sons Robert and Guy were in Palestine in 1096. Roger and Robert were known in Normandy before the conquest by the surname of Moreton and are so inscribed upon the Falaise tablet, although after their arrival in England they were designated as FitzCorbet or Corbet. With his two sons, Corbet settled in Shropshire where they assisted Roger de Mont- gomery in the government of his earldom of Shrewsbury and the former died before the compilation of Domesday. Roger FitzCorbet at that time held 24 lordships, while Robert possessed 14, all of which were in Shropshire. In 1102 Roger FitzCorbet defended Bridgnorth for Robert de Belesme against the forces of king Henry but three months later was compelled to surrender it to the king. Roger built a castle at Alfreton, which was the head of his barony and named Caux from Pays de Caux, his former home in Normandy. It was one of the border fortresses which stood in a strong position commanding the pass of the valley of the Rea. From him descended Peter Corbet of Caux castle, summoned to parliament as a baron by Edward I, and hence the Corbets of Moreton-Corbet. Robert FitzCorbet his brother held Longden and Alcester in Warwickshire, but his male line died out in the following generation. From him descended through the female line the Herberts, earls of Pembroke, Finches, earls of Winchelsea, and the earls of Huntingdon. Annora, sister of Alice, co-heir of Robert Corbet, who married William Botterill, was the mother of Reginald, earl of Cornwall, by Henry I. --(Falaise Roll).

Sundorne Castle
Sundorne Castle, Shropshire
Photo © Mark Evison, Feb 2006

Corbeau, a noble Norman, came over with the Conqueror, and, with his two sons, Robert and Roger, was employed by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel. Of the earl and his servants, Ordericus Vitalis says, "That the earl was a prudent and moderate man, a great lover of equity and of discreet and modest persons, and being freely assisted by the wisdom and courage of the said Corbeau, and his two sons, Roger and Robert, was as glorious amongst the greatest nobles as any of them all, by keeping the Welsh in awe, and that whole province in peace." At the general survey, Roger, the elder son, held twenty-four lordships in Shropshire, and Robert, the younger, fourteen in the same county. Robert had a son, another Robert, Lord of Alcester, in Warwickshire, and two daughters: - Sibil, from whom the Herberts, Earls of Pembroke, and Finches, Earls of Winchelsea, descend, and Alice, from whom the Earls of Huntingdon. Roger, the elder son of the first Corbeau, left a son, William de Corbet, of Caus Castle and Wattlesborough, Co. Salop, who was father of Sir Robert de Corbet, from a younger son of whom descended Peter Corbet, of Caus Castle, who was summoned to parliament, as a baron, temp. Edward I. The eldest son, Thomas Corbet, was Esq., grandfather of Richard Corbet, Esq., who settled at Moreton Corbet, and his direct line continues still to reside there, being represented by Sir Andrew Vincent Corbet, Bart., of Moreton Corbel, co. Salop. The junior branches are the Corbets of Longnor, and Leighton, the Corbets of Elsham and Darnhall, the Corbets of Sundorne Castle, &c. --(Battle Abbey roll)

Return to Main Index