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CONTVILLE

1. HERLUIN, VICOMTE DE CONTEVILLE

m.1. HERLEVA de FALAISE (mistress of ROBERT I, DUKE of NORMANDY)


2. Fredesendis
d.c. 1066, bur. Grestain Abbey

Herluin was Vicomte de Conteville and founded the abbey of Grestain with his son Robert after 1050 in the
hopes of a cure for his leprosy or other similar disease.

Herluin married first Herleve, mistress of Robert II, Duke of Normandy. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-
Fontaines refers to the mother of Duke Guillaume as "filia…Herbertus pelliparius et uxor eius Doda sive
Duwa", specifying that the family was from Chaumont in the diocese of Liège but moved to Falaise
although others said that they were from Huy, and specifies her marriage to "Herlewino de Vado
comitis"(2). Orderic Vitalis calls her "Duke Robert's concubine", and specifies her marriage, referring to
her husband as stepfather to Duke Guillaume(3). Guillaume de Jumièges names "Herlève fille le Fulbert
valet de chamber du duc" as mother of Duke Guillaume II, recording that "un certain Herluin, brave
chevalier, prit Herlève pour femme" after the death of Duke Robert. It is assumed that this marriage took
place after Duke Robert's death as no record has been found of the Duke having a subsequent relationship.
She presumably died before her husband founded the abbey of Grestain as she is not referred to in the
abbey's confirmation charter dated 14 Nov 1189(4). Robert of Torigny's De Immutatione Ordinis
Monachorum records that "Herluinus de Contevilla…et Herleve uxor eius" were buried in "mon. Sanctæ
Mariæ Gresteni"(5). Herluin married secondly, Fredesendis who is named as the wife of Herluin in the
confirmation charter to the abbey of Grestain, 14 Nov. 1189.(6)

A manuscript relating to St Werburgh´s Chester records that “Hugo Lupus filius ducis Britanniæ et nepos
Gulielmi magni ex sorore” transformed the foundation into a monastery(1). This suggests that Hugues´s
mother may have been a uterine sister of King William, and therefore daughter of Herluin de Conteville.
However, no indication has been in other primary sources which supports the contention that Hugues was
the son of a duke of Brittany. It is assumed therefore that both lines of his parentage have been
romanticised in this document to improve his status and reputation.

Issue- first four children by Herleve, last three children by Fredesendis


 I. Eudes- d. Jan. 1097, bur. Palermo Cathedral. Odo was Bishop of Bayeux.
 II. Robert- m.1. Mathilde de Montgomery, 2. Almodis, d. 8 Dec. 1090, bur. Grestain Abbey. Robert
was Count of Mortain.
 III. ______- m. Guillaume, Seigneur de la Ferte-Mace
 ?IV. EMMA- m. RICHARD le GOZ, VICOMTE d'AVRANCHES
 V. Raoul- Raoul was listed in Domesday as a landowner in Somerset and Devon in 1086.
 VI. Jean-
 VII. Richard Fitz Herluin-

Ref:

(1) Monasticon- Dugdale, Chester, St. Werburgh- Vol. I, p. 384


(2) Chronica Albrici Monachi Trium Fontium- 1032, MGH SS XXIII, pp. 784-5
(3) Orderic Vitalis- Vol. IV, Book VII, p. 99
(4) The Complete Peerage- Vol., VII, p. 125 footnote
(5) Robert de Torigny- Vol. II, p. 201
(6) The Complete Peerage- Vol., VII, p. 125 footnote

Notes sur l'aristocratie Normandie: Hughes, évêque de Bayeux (1011 env. - 1049) et Herluin de Conteville
et sa famille- David Bates, Annales de Normandie- Vol. 23 (1973), pp. 7-38

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