Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester
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Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester (died 29 July 1189), also known as Matilda, was an Anglo-Norman noblewoman and the daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England, and Mabel, daughter and heiress of Robert fitz Hamon. Her husband was Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester (died 16 December 1153).
|Maud of Gloucester|
|Countess of Chester|
|Died||29 July 1189|
|Spouse(s)||Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester|
Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester
Richard of Chester
Beatrice of Chester
Ranulf of Chester
|Father||Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester|
|Mother||Mabel FitzHamon of Gloucester|
Lady Maud was born on an unknown date, the daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Mabel of Gloucester. She had seven siblings, including William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester and Roger, Bishop of Worcester. She also had an illegitimate half-brother, Richard, Bishop of Bayeux, whom her father sired with Isabel de Douvres.
Her paternal grandparents were King Henry I of England and his mistress, Sybil Corbet. Her maternal grandparents were Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan, and Sybil de Montgomery, daughter of Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Mabel Talvas of Belleme.
Marriage and issueEdit
Sometime before 1141, possibly as early as 1135, Matilda married Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester, and was accorded the title of Countess of Chester. Her husband had considerable autonomy in his palatine earldom.
In January 1141, Earl Ranulf and Countess Matilda were at Lincoln Castle when it was besieged by the forces of King Stephen of England. The following month, a relief army loyal to Empress Matilda and led by her father Robert earl of Gloucester defeated and captured the king in the fierce fighting, later known as the First Battle of Lincoln. In return for his help in repelling the king's troops, the countess's father compelled her husband to swear fealty to Empress Matilda, who was Earl Robert's half-sister.
- Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester (1147- 30 June 1181), married Bertrade de Montfort of Évreux, by whom he had five children, including Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, Maud of Chester, and Hawise of Chester, 1st Countess of Lincoln.
- possibly Richard of Chester (died 1170/1175), buried in Coventry.
- Beatrice of Chester, married Raoul de Malpas
- possibly Ranulf of Chester, fought in the siege of Lisbon, granted the lordship of Azambuja by Afonso I of Portugal.
Ranulf had an illegitimate son, Robert FitzCount (died before 1166), by an unknown mistress. His date of birth was not recorded. Robert married Agnes fitz Neal as her second husband.
One account contains an unsubstantiated rumor that Countess Maud poisoned her husband with the assistance of William Peverel of Nottingham, but there is no evidence that she did so; Earl Ranulf confirmed her grant to one of her servants, probably on his deathbed. She served as her minor son's guardian for nine years.
The Rotuli de Dominabus of 1185 records property Wadinton de feodo comitis Cestrie, held by Maud, Countess of Chester. Although she was said to be about 50 years of age in that document, she was probably closer to 60 in that year.
Maud died on 29 July 1189, although the Annals of Tewkesbury records her death in 1190.
|Ancestors of Maud of Gloucester, Countess of Chester|
- Complete Peerage, v. III, p. 167.
- Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Chester 1120-1232 (Family of Ranulf "le Meschin")
- Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Chester 1120-1232 (Family of Ranulf "le Meschin")
- Susan Johns, "Wives and Widows of the Earls of Chester, 1100-1252", Haskins Soc. Journal (1995), p. 125.
- "Maud fitz Robert". The Peerage. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- General sources