House of Tosny

The House of Tosny[1] was an important noble family in 10th and 11th century Normandy, though it did not include any comtes or vicomtes. Its founder was Raoul I of Tosny (died after 1024).

The duchy of Normandy in the second half of the 11th century, with the principal castles of the house of Tosny (in black)

OriginEdit

The earliest account of the origin of the Tosny family is that of the late-11th century Acta Archiepiscoporum Rotomagensium (The Acts of the Archbishops of Rouen), which refers to a 'powerful man', Raoul, son of Hugh de Calvacamp, of illustrious stock, and brother of Hugh, Archbishop of Rouen, active from 942 to 989. He had formerly been a monk at St. Denis, suggesting a French origin for the family. The Archbishop gave Raoul lands at Tosny, taken from the church's holdings.[2] They formed part of this new elite which appeared around dukes Richard I and Richard II at the turn of the 10th to 11th century, and by the early 12th-century, this French family had been given a Norman pedigree, chronicler Orderic Vitalis writing in an interpolation into the Gesta Normanorum Ducum of William of Jumièges that Roger de Tosny, then Lord of Tosny and Conches, was “de stirpe Malahulcii qui Rollonis ducis patruus...” (of the lineage of Malahulc, uncle of Duke Rollo.[2] This claim is corroborated by the unknown monk who wrote the Acta Archiepisc Rotomag (The Acts of the Archbishops of Rouen written in the 1070s or 1080s) who states that the Archbishop Hugo (named Archbishop in 942 by then Duke of Normandy William) was the son of Hugo de Calvacamp who was “vero fuit prosapia clarus...”[3] of Malahulc (trans. “of the illustrious stock of”). Considering that no one at the time contested this claim, including the Dukes of Normandy (who were also at this time Kings of England and at odds with the Tosny family at various times throughout this era) it is hard to imagine there could be any other origin. It appears as though the earliest challenges to this story come in the 19th century; about a millennium after it first appears. It is also notable that many of the lands given by the Archbishops to others were later reclaimed by the Dukes of Normandy; but not the lands given to the Tosny's. These lands were kept through the generations despite the many conflicts between the Tosny's and the Dukes of Normandy; including the exile of the Lords of Tosny in the eleventh century.

As with several Norman families, the Tosnys gained power through the recovery of church goods. According to Lucien Musset, Hugues, archbishop of Rouen (942-989) split off lands from his cathedral's lands and gave them to his brother Raoul I of Tosny. They also received grants of land from the dukes of Normandy, notably Richard II. The house of Tosny probably acquired part of its fortune from foreign adventures. Raoul I, who in 991 witnessed an accord between Duke Richard I and the Anglo-Saxon king Ethelred II, fought in the County of Apulia as part of the Norman conquest of southern Italy, while the chroniclers report the somewhat legendary exploits of Roger I in Hispania during the first quarter of the 11th century. His wife, Godehildis/Gotelina, was linked to a miracle at Sainte-Foy de Conques.

Expansion and DeclineEdit

Raoul II, grandson of Roger I, was at the court of William the Conqueror (1035–1087), and was the Norman standard bearer in 1054. For his participation in the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, he was rewarded with domains there, most notably the two baronies of Flamstead (Hertfordshire) and Wrethamthorpe (Norfolk). Three other family members were also rewarded: Raoul's brother Robert de Stafford, and also Robert de Todeni of Belvoir and his son Béranger, who belonged to a collateral branch.[3]

In the Duchy of Normandy, the 1077 marriage between Raoul II and Isabelle de Montfort allowed the Tosnys to direct the châtellenie of Nogent-le-Roi, which they held onto until around 1200. The family possessions thus stretched as far as the border of the duchy of Normandy.[4] They were particularly active during the troubles which followed William I's death (1087) and the subsequent conflict between Empress Mathilda and Stephen (1135–1144).

 
Arms of de Tosny: Argent, a maunch gules, adopted in the 13th century

After 1066, as Lucien Musset remarks, the Tosnys showed themselves especially liberal to their English fiefdoms but avoided diminishing their Norman lands. Orderic Vitalis mentions four main castles in their Norman barony in 1119: Conches-en-Ouche, Tosny, Portes, Acquigny. According to the 1172 state of its fiefdoms, the "honneur"[5] amounted to 50 or 51 knights' fiefs. The lands were mostly found in Haute-Normandie, more precisely between Risle and Iton. The vast forêt de Conches formed its centre. It also had scattered domains in the Eure valley (Fontaine-sous-Jouy, Cailly-sur-Eure, Planches, Acquigny), the Seine valley (Tosny, Villers-sur-le-Roule, Bernières-sur-Seine), in Vexin Normand (Vesly, Guerny, Villers-en-Vexin, Hacqueville, Heuqueville, Val de Pîtres), in Pays de Caux and Talou around Blainville-Crevon, Mortemer (Seine-Maritime, Mortemer-sur-Eaulne), Dieppe and Yerville.[2] Many of these lands were let out to vassals, notably les Clères.

In spite of these extensive holdings, the 12th century gives the impression of a decline in the Tosny family fortunes in comparison to some of the neighbouring houses in eastern Normandy. In 1204 Roger IV of Tosny lost his continental fiefdoms as a result of his support for John and thus the family had to withdraw to England. In addition to their barony of Flamstead in Hertfordshire, they captured Pain's Castle in Elfael. In 1309, the male line of the Tosnys became extinct, and their English lands passed to their sole heiress, Alice de Toeni, Countess of Warwick.

GenealogyEdit

Hugues de Calvacamp
│
├─>Hugues, archbishop of Rouen (942-989)
│
│
└─>Raoul I of Tosny († 1024/1025)
   │
   ├─>...
   │  │
   │  ?
   │  └─>Robert of Tosny († 1088), lord de Belvoir
   │     │
   │     │
   │     ├─> Béranger de Tosny
   │     │
   │     │
   │     └─> Alice de Tosny († après 1129)
   │         X Roger Bigod of Norfolk
   │
   └─>Roger I of Tosny, Or Roger d'Espagne († c.1040)
      X Godehildis/Gotelina
      │
      ├─>Herbert († c.1040)
      │
      ├─>Helinant († c.1040)
      │
      ├─>Raoul II de Conches and de Tosny († 1102)
      │  X Isabelle de Montfort
      │  │	
      │  ├─>Raoul III of Tosny, called the young († 1126)
      │  │  X Adelise daughter of Waltheof II, Earl of Northumbria
      │  │  │  
      │  │  │  
      │  │  │
      │  │  ├─>Roger III († c.1157/1162)
      │  │  │  X Ida de Hainaut
      │  │  │  │
      │  │  │  │
      │  │  │  └─>Raoul IV († 1162)
      │  │  │     X Marguerite of Leicester
      │  │  │     │
      │  │  │     └─>Roger IV († 1208/1209) 
      │  │  │        X Constance de Beaumont        
      │  │  │
      │  │  └─>Hugues († c.1140)
      │  │
      │  │
      │  ├─>Roger II († 1090/1091)
      │  │
      │  └─>Godehilde († 1097)
      │     X (1) Robert I of Meulan (doubtful)
      │     X (2) Baldwin of Boulogne, king of Jerusalem
      │
      ├─>Robert de Stafford († 1088)
      │  │
      │  └─>Nicolas de Stafford († vers 1138)
      │     │
      │     └─>Robert II de Stafford († c.1177-1185)
      │        │
      │        └─>Robert III de Stafford († c.1193/1194)
      │  
      ├─>Béranger l'Espagnol	
      │
      ├─>Adelise
      │  X William FitzOsbern, 1st Earl of Hereford  
      │
      └─>Berthe († c.1040)

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ In English : Toeny, Tonei, Toeni, Toni, Tony.
  2. ^ a b c Lucien Musset, "Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante: les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIIe siecle", Francia 5 (1978), 46-77
  3. ^ Source - Domesday Book of 1086. This collateral branch became extinct in the first half of the 12th century. Katherine Keats-Rohan, "Belvoir : the heirs of Robert and Beranger de Tosny" Prosopon Newsletter, July, 1998.
  4. ^ A. Rhein, la Seigneurie de Montfort-en-Iveline depuis son origine jusqu'à son union avec le duché de Bretagne, Versailles, Aubert, 1910, p.32-33
  5. ^ = Technical name for large 12th century Norman baronies

See alsoEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • (in French) Lucien Musset, "Aux origines d'une classe dirigeante : les Tosny, grands barons normands du Xe au XIIe siècle", Francia, vol. 5 (1878), pp. 45-80