Ralph de Gacé

Ralph de Gacé († 1051) (a.k.a. Raoul de Gacé) Seigneur de Gacé and other estates in Normandy, was a member of the House of Normandy[a] who played a significant role during the minority of William the Conqueror.

LifeEdit

Ralph[b] was the middle son of Robert, Archbishop of Rouen and his wife Herlevea[1] and as such a member of the royal house of Normandy.[2] While his older brother Richard received the countship of Évreux, Ralph was given the seigneury of Gacé in Lower Normandy.[3] He also held Bavent, Noyon-sur-Andelle (now Charleval), Gravençon (near Lillebonne), and Écouché.[4] After the death of Robert I Duke of Normandy in Nicaea, Archbishop Robert assumed the regency of Normandy for the duke's young illegitimate son William.[5] The archbishop was able to keep order in Normandy but at his death in 1037, rebellions and private wars erupted.[6]

One of the rebellious lords was Ralph de Gacé.[7] In 1040, assassins acting under the orders of Ralph de Gacé murdered the chief tutor of young duke William, Gilbert, Count of Brionne, while he was riding near Eschafour.[7] In 1043, Duke William and his advisors William Count of Talou and Archbishop Mauger decided to convince Ralph de Gacé to support the duke.[8] Ralph, now in command of the duke's army next campaigned against Thurstan le Goz who along with the king of France had occupied Falaise.[8] Ralph captured Falaise, forced Thurstin into exile, and King Henry I of France to withdraw from Normandy.[8] While Ralph remained a key member of Duke William's inner circle,[9] Ralph was known to have made large donations to the abbey of Jumieges.[10] Ralph died in 1051.[2]

FamilyEdit

Ralph married Basilla, daughter of Gerard Flaitel. They had a son:

  • Robert de Gacé, who died without heirs.[11]

After Ralph's death, Basilla married a second time to Hugh de Gournay.[10]


NotesEdit

  1. ^ Ralph de Gacé was a first cousin of Robert I, Duke of Normandy making him the cousin once removed of William the Conqueror. See: Europäische Stammtafeln, Band II (1984), Tafel 79.
  2. ^ Ralph was jokingly called Tète d'Ane or 'Ass-head' due to his large head and shaggy hair. See: William M. Aird, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy: C. 1050-1134 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2008), p. 128 n. 130.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ordericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, Trans. Thomas Forester, Vol. II (, London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854), p.160
  2. ^ a b Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 79.
  3. ^ David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 33
  4. ^ Francis Palgrave, The history of Normandy and of England till 1101, Vol. 4 (London: Macmillan & Co., 1864), p. 246
  5. ^ The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis, and Robert of Torigni, Ed. & Trans. Elizabeth M.C. Van Houts, Vol. I (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), pp. 80-5
  6. ^ David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 64
  7. ^ a b David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 41
  8. ^ a b c David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 63
  9. ^ David Crouch, The Normans; The History of a Dynasty (London & New York: Hambledon Continuum, 2007), p. 64
  10. ^ a b Anselme de Sainte-Marie, Histoire de la Maison Royale de France, et des grands officiers (Paris: Compagnie des Libraires, 1726), p. 478
  11. ^ Surrey Archaeological Society, Surrey archaeological collections, relating to the history and antiquities of the county (London : Lovell Reeve & Co., 1858), p. 38