Baldwin de Brionne

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Baldwin de Brionne
1st Lord of Okehampton
Sheriff of Devonshire
BaldwinFitzGilbert AttributedArms.PNG
Armorial Bearings Attributed to the Lord Okehampton[1]
Hereditary
PredecessorNone, 1st creation
SuccessorAdeliza FitzBaldwin, 2nd Baroness of Okehampton
FamilyHouse de Clare
FatherGilbert de Brionne, 2nd Count of Eu
MotherUnknown Daughter of the Count of Flanders
Born1035
Meulles, Duchy of Normandy, Kingdom of France
Died1090
St. Neot's Priory, Huntingdonshire, England
BuriedSt. Neot's Priory, Huntingdonshire, England
Map showing manors in Normandy associated with the origins of Baldwin FitzGilbert
Surviving motte and ruins of keep of Okehampton Castle, built by Baldwin de Brionne and caput of his Lordship of Okehampton


Baldwin de Brionne, 1st Lord of Okehampton, Sheriff of Devonshire(alias Baldwin the Sheriff, Baldwin of Exeter, Baldwin de Meulles/Moels, Baldwin fitzGilbert and Baldwin du Sap) was the second and youngest son of Gilbert de Brionne, 2nd Count of Eu, 2nd Count of Bronne (1000-1040). His mother was one daughters of the Count of Flanders, which remains a secret of history. He married Albreda de le Goz (1032-1088), daughter of Richard le Goz, Viscount of Avranches, and had had five children by that marriage: three sons and two daughters. He was one of the 52 Devon Domesday Book tenants-in-chief of King William the Conqueror.

Life

Together with his eldest brother Richard FitzGilbert, 1st Lord of Clare, in 1066 Baldwin accompanied William Duke of Normandy in the Norman Conquest of England.[2] Following William the Conqueror's successful siege of the Saxon city of Exeter, that king appointed Baldwin castellan of the newly built Rougemont Castle in Exeter, a royal castle, and appointed him hereditary Sheriff of Devon, which position he held until his death. Exeter Castle was thenceforth the official seat of the Sheriff of Devon. King William I also granted him the very large feudal barony of Okehampton in Devon, at the caput of which he built Okehampton Castle.[3][4]

English Landholdings

Baldwin's fiefdom in Devon was the largest in that county,[5] listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as comprising 176 holdings, mostly manors or estates, except the first two listed holdings which consisted of groups of houses in Exeter and Barnstaple.[6] He is listed in the Domesday Book as "Baldvinus Vicecomes", literally translated as "Baldwin the Viscount", a Norman title signifying deputy to the Count of Devon, another Norman title called in the Anglo-Saxon language "Earl of Devon", which office was almost synonymous with the Sheriff of Devon, an Anglo-Saxon office, for which reason Baldwin is commonly known as "Baldwin the Sheriff".[7] These landholdings comprised the feudal barony of Okehampton, later held by the Courtenay family, later also feudal barons of Plympton and Earls of Devon.

Marriage & progeny

He married twice, firstly to Albreda and secondly to Emma. All three of his sons died successively without progeny, and were succeeded by the progeny of their two sisters, about which surviving sources are obscure. :[8]

  • Richard FitzBaldwin, eldest son and heir.
  • William FitzBaldwin
  • Robert FitzBaldwin
  • Adeliza FitzBaldwin, her father's ultimate sole heiress.
  • Matilda FitzBaldwin (uncertain). She married William fitzWimund, who is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as holding land at Dolton, Devon in North Tawton Hundred, from his father-in-law Baldwin.[9]

Death and succession

Baldwin died in 1090. Following the deaths of his three sons without heirs, his daughter Adeliza was his ultimate sole heiress.

Notes

  1. Pole, S. W. (1791). Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon: Now First Printed from the Autograph in the Possession of His Lineal Descendant. J. Nichols.
  2. William Rufus (1983), p. 162, confirming his father and brother
  3. Barlow, p. 446.
  4. Essay On The Belle-Balliol Dynasty - Historical Study On The Belle-Balliol Dynasty
  5. Thorn & Thorn, part 2 (notes), chap.16
  6. Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, part 1, chapter 16: 1-176
  7. The heading at the start of the listing of his Devon lands is Terra(e) Baldvini Vicecomitis ("lands of Baldwin the Viscount" (genitive case)
  8. Barlow, p. 469.
  9. Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (1999). Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066–1166: Domesday Book. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. p. 162. ISBN 9780851157221.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>