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Roger de Breteuil, 2nd Earl of Hereford

Roger de Breteuil, 2nd Earl of Hereford (1056 – after 1087), succeeded in 1071 to the earldom of Hereford and the English estate of his father, William Fitz-Osbern.[1] He is known to history for his role in the Revolt of the Earls[2][3][4]

Disobeying King WilliamEdit

Roger did not keep on good terms with William the Conqueror, and in 1075, disregarding William's prohibition, Roger married his sister Emma to Ralph Guader, Earl of Norfolk.[1]

Revolt of the EarlsEdit

Immediately afterwards, the two earls rebelled. Roger, who was to bring his force from the west to join forces with those of the Earl of Norfolk, was held in check at the River Severn by the Worcestershire fyrd, which the English Bishop Wulfstan, Walter de Lacy, and other Normans.[1]

Trial, sentence, and reprieveEdit

On the collapse of their rebellion uprising, Roger was tried for treason[5] before the Great Council, for his role in the Revolt of the Earls. Roger was deprived of his lands and earldom in 1075, and sentenced to perpetual imprisonment.[1] Ralph Breton and Waltheof, 1st Earl of Northumberland were charged as co-conspirators.[5]

Roger was released, with other political prisoners, at the death of William I in 1087.


Though Roger is not known to have married, he left two sons, Reginald and Roger. Living during the reign of Henry I of England, they were described as young men of great promise, but nonetheless were excluded from succeeding to Roger's lands. This has led to disagreement among scholars as to whether or not they were of legitimate birth. Reginald fitz Count, son of Earl Roger, would marry Emmeline de Ballon, the daughter and heiress of Hamelin de Ballon, whose inherited land he held in her right. Their descendants, using the de Ballon surname were lords of Much Marcle.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fitz-Osbern, Roger". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 446.
  2. ^ C. P. Lewis, « Breteuil, Roger de, earl of Hereford (fl. 1071–1087) », Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  3. ^ Orderic Vital, Histoire de Normandie, Éd. (Guizot, 1826), vol.II, livre IV, p. 256.
  4. ^ Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England 3rd édition, (Oxford University, 1971), p. 610-613.
  5. ^ a b Placita Anglo-Normannica [electronic resource] : Law Cases from William I to Richard I — Preserved in Historical Records (London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1879) p11
  6. ^ J. Horace Round, "The Family of Ballon and the Conquest of South Wales", Studies in Peerage and Family History (1901), pp. 181-215.
  • Remfry. P.M., The Herefordshire Beacon and the Families of King Harold II and the Earls of Hereford and Worcester (ISBN 1-899376-73-9)

See alsoEdit