Geoffrey, son of Rotrou, Seigneur de Mortagne, Compte de Perche

Geoffrey was a man of character and was described as ‘magnanimous handsome and strong; he feared God, was a devout friend of the Church, a staunch protector of the clergy and the poor. In peace he was gentle and courteous, and of most obliging manners; in war he was powerful and successful, and became formidable to the neighbouring princes who were his enemies. The nobility of his own birth and that of his wife Beatrice rendered him illustrious above all his compeers, and he had amongst his subjects warlike barons and brave governors of castles. He gave his daughters in marriage to men of the rank of counts: Margaret to Henry, Earl of Warwick, and Juliana to Gilbert de l'Aigle, from whom sprung a noble race of handsome children. The glory of Count Geoffrey was exalted by such a progeny, and he maintained it by his valour and courage, his wealth, and alliances. Above all, having the fear of God, he feared no man, but marched boldly with a lion's port. Laying claim to the strong Castle of Domfront, which had belonged to his great-grandfather, Warin de Belesme, and other domains as his right, he endeavoured to dispossess his cousin Robert (de Belesme) of them. He was grieved to harass the unarmed and innocent, but he could not bring the public enemy (for such assuredly was Robert de Belesme) with whom he had a just quarrel to a fair field for deciding it.’

"Towards the close of the year 1100, Geoffrey fell sick unto death, and having called about him the lords of Le Perche and Le Corbonnais, who were vassals to him as Count of Mortagne, he put his affairs in order with great wisdom, praying them to keep his lands and strong places for his only son Rotrou, who had gone in pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Then the brave lord having duly received all the rites of the Church, and assumed the habit of a Cluniac monk, died in his Castle of Nogent-le-Rotrou in October 1100, and was buried in the church of the monastery of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, founded in 1030 by his grandfather, Geoffrey I., and which he richly endowed with lands and other possessions."

At the close of the year his son Rotrou returned in safety from the Holy Land, and took possession of his estates. On the fifth day after reaching home, being Sunday, he paid his devotions at the Church of St Denis, at Nogent, where his father had been buried, and made his offering on the altar of St. Denis, with the palms he had brought from Jerusalem.

By his wife Beatrice, daughter of Hilduin, fourth Comte de Montdidier and Ronci, Geoffrey had four children. Rotrou, who succeeded him. Margaret married Henry, Earl of Warwick, Juliana married Gilbert de l'Aigle , and a third daughter named Mahaut or Mathilde, married first to Raymond I., Vicomté de Turenne, and secondly to Gui de las Tours, in Limousin.

From his daughter Margaret, Countess of Warwick, descended the celebrated Beauchamps and Nevils, Earls of Warwick, and many other illustrious personages. --Planche

Return to Main Index