Duke of Normandy
August 28, 933-November 20, 996
Father: William "Longsword" I, Duke of Normandy (893-December 17, 942)
Mother: Sprota (?-?)
Wife 1: Princess Emma (943-March 19, 968
Wife 2: Gunnora (c.936-1031)
- FACTS: Duke of Normandy from 942 to 996; he is considered the first to actually have held that title.
His mother was a Breton concubine captured in war and bound to William by a Danish marriage. After William died, Sprota became the wife of Esperleng, a wealthy miller; Rodulf of Ivry was their son and Richard's half-brother.
Richard was still a boy when his father died, and so he was powerless to stop Louis IV of France when he seized Normandy. Louis kept him in confinement in his youth at Lâon, but he escaped with the assistance of Osmond de Centville, Bernard de Senlis (who had been a companion of Rollo of Normandy), Ivo de Bellèsme, and Bernard the Dane (ancestor of families of Harcourt and Beaumont). In 968, Richard agreed to "commend" himself to Hugh, Count of Paris. He then allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders, drove Louis out of Rouen, and took back Normandy by 947. He later quarrelled with Ethelred II of England regarding Viking invasions of England because Normandy had been buying up much of the stolen booty.
Richard was bilingual, having been well educated at Bayeux. He was more partial to his Danish subjects than to the French. During his reign, Normandy became completely Gallicized and Christianized. He introduced the feudal system and Normandy became one of the most thoroughly feudalized states on the continent. He carried out a major reorganization of the Norman military system, based on heavy cavalry. He also became guardian of the young Hugh, Count of Paris, on the elder Hugh's death in 956.
- DEATH: November 20, 996, Fecamp, France
Children by Gunnora:
Richard II, Duke of Normandy (August 23, 963-August 28, 1027)
Robert, Archbishop of Rouen, Count of Evreux (?-1037)
Geoffrey, Count of Eu (c.962-c.1015)
Mauger, Earl of Corbeil (?-?)
Robert Danus (?-985/989)
Emma of Normandy (c.985-1052)
Maud of Normandy (?-?) *wife of Odo II of Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Chartres
Beatrice of Normandy (?-1034) *Abbess of Montvilliers; *married Ebles of Turenne (divorced)
Papia (?-?) *married Gilbert de St Valery
Fressenda (c.995-c.1057) *married Tancred of Hauteville
Muriella (?-?) *married Tancred of Hauteville
Children by Mistresses:
Geoffrey, Count of Brionne (c.970-?)
William, Count of Eu (c.972-January 26, 1057/58) *married Leseline de Turqueville
Hawise of Normandy (c.978-February 21, 1034) *married Geoffrey I of RENNES
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