Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury

Roger de Montgomerie
Born (ca. 1030), France
Died 1094
Office Earl of Shrewsbury
Preceded by New Creation
Succeeded by Hugh of Montgomery

Known as Roger the Great de Montgomery, son of another Roger de Montgomerie, who was a relative, probably a grandnephew, of the duchess Gunnor, wife of duke Robert I of Normandy, was the first earl of Shrewsbury. The elder Roger had large holdings in central Normandy, chiefly in the valley of the Dives, which the younger Roger inherited.

Roger was one of William the Conqueror's principal counselors. He did not fight in the initial invasion of England in 1066, instead staying behind to help govern Normandy. Afterwards he was entrusted with land in two places critical for the defense of England, receiving the Rape of Arundel at the end of 1067 (or in early 1068), and in November 1071 he was created Earl of Shrewsbury. (A few historians believe that while he received the Shropshire territories in 1071 he was not created earl until a few years later.)

Roger was thus one of the half a dozen greatest magnates in England during William the Conqueror's reign. In addition to the large part of Sussex included in the Rape of Arundel, and seven-eights of Shropshire which were associated with the earldom of Shrewsbury, he had estates in Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

After Williams's death in 1087, Roger had joined with other rebels to overthrow the newly crowned king William Rufus in the Rebellion of 1088. However William was able to convince Roger to abandon the rebellion and side with the king, which was fortuitious as the rebels were beaten and lost their land holdings in England. Roger first married Mabel of Bêlleme, who was heiress to a large territory on both sides of the border between Normandy and Maine. By her he had 10 children:

Name Birth Death Notes
By Mabel of Bêlleme.
Roger Montgomery   1066  
Robert of Bellême     3rd Earl of Shrewsbury
Hugh of Montgomery      
Roger the Poitevin      
Philip   d. 1099 Died while on crusade at the Siege of Antioch
Arnulf of Montgomery      
Emma, abbess of Almenchêches      
Matilda     m. Robert, Count of Mortain.
Mabel     m. Hugh of Châteauneuf-en-Thimerais.
Sibyl     m. Robert Fitzhamon.

Roger then married Adelaide de Le Puiset, by whom he had one son, Everard, who entered the Church.

After his death, Roger's estates were divided. The eldest surviving son, Robert, received the bulk of the Norman estates (as well as his mother's estates); the next son, Hugh, received the bulk of the English estates and the earldom of Shrewsbury. After Hugh's death the elder son Robert inherited the earldom.


  • J. F. A. Mason, "Roger de Montgomery and His Sons (1067-1102)", Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series vol. 13 (1963) 1-28
  • Kathleen Thompson, "The Norman Aristocracy before 1066: the Example of the Montgomerys", Historical Research 60 (1987) 251-263
Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl of Shrewsbury Succeeded by:
Hugh of Montgomery


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