Name: Roger BIGOD , of Earsham, Sir 1 2
ALIA: Roger /Bigot/, Earl of East Anglia
Birth: ABT 1065 in St Sauveur, Manche, Normandy, France 3
Death: 8 SEP 1107 in Earsham, Depwade, Suffolk, England 4
The first of this great family that settled in England was Roger Bigod who, in the Conqueror's time, possessed six lordships in Essex and a hundred and seventeen in Suffolk, besides divers manors in Norfolk. This Roger, adhering to the party that took up arms against William Rufus in the 1st year of that monarch's reign, fortified the castle at Norwich and wasted the country around. At the accession of Henry I, being a witness of the king's laws and staunch in his interests, he obtained Framlingham in Suffolk as a gift from the crown. We find further of him that he founded in 1103, the abbey of Whetford, in Norfolk, and that he was buried there at his decease in four years after, leaving, by Adeliza his wife, dau. and co-heir of Hugh de Grentesmesnil, high steward of England, a son and heir, William Bigod, steward of the household of King Henry I. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 53, Bigod, Earls of Norfolk]
Roger Bigod was one of the tight-knit group of second-rank Norman nobles who did well out of the conquest of England. Prominent in the Calvados region before 1064 as an under-tenant of Odo of Bayeux, he rose in ducal and royal service to become, but 1086, one of the leading barons in East Anglia, holding wide estates to which he added Belvoir by marriage and Framlingham by grant of Henry I. His territorial fortune was based on his service in the royal household, where he was a close adviser and agent for the first three Norman kings, and the propitious circumstances of post-Conquest politics. Much of his honour in East Anglia was carved out of lands previously belonging to the dispossessed Archbishop Stigand, his brother Aethelmar of Elham, and the disgraced Earl Ralph of Norfolk and Suffolk. Under Rufus --- if not before --- Roger was one of the king's stewards. Usually in attendance on the king, he regularly witnessed writs but was also sent out to the provinces as a justice or commissioner. Apart from a flirtation with the cause of Robert Curthose in 1088, he remained conspicuously loyal to Rufus and Henry I, for whom he continued to act as steward and to witness charters. The adherence of such men was vital to the Norman kings. Through them central business could be conducted and localities controlled. Small wonder they were well rewarded. Roger established a dynasty which dominated East Anglia from the 1140s, as earls of Norfolk, until 1306. Roger's byname and the subsequent family name was derived from a word (bigot) meaning double-headed instrument such as a pickaxe: a tribute, perhaps to Roger's effectiveness as a royal servant; certainly an apt image of one who worked hard both for his masters and for himself. [Who's Who in Early Medieval England, Christopher Tyerman, Shepheard-Walwyn, Ltd., London, 1996]
The following information was contained in a post-em by Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemann AT yahoo.com:
born ca 1060 St. Saveur (sic), Normandy [Ref: McBride] father: possibly Robert le Bigot, but seems unlikely on chronological grounds [Ref: CP IX:575], Robert le Bigot [Ref: Wurts p422] Parentage not certainly known [Ref: CP IX:575] Descended from Sveide The Viking, a Norse King who died 760 [Ref: Holloway p4]
Research note 1: McBride2 citing Burke's p53 indicates his parents were Wigot de St. Denis & a sister of Turstin Goz:
"According to Wace, the Bigot family originated in Maletot, near Caen, Canon (chanon) in the arrondissement of Lisieux and either Les Loges, near Aunay, or another commune of the same name, near Falaise. The original name of the family was Wiggott, Wigott, Bygod. The family of Bigot or Wigot, was descended from Wigort de St. Denis, one of the great nobles of Normandy, who made grants to Cerisy abbey in 1042, and in 1050 witnessed a charter of Duke William at the head of the Norman barons. He married*, father of Richard d'Avranches, by whom his younger son, Roger Wigot or Bigot, was ingratiated into the good graces of Duke William of Normandy." (* Note: part of the citation seems to be missing. Since McBride did not indicate which publication of Burke’s he used, I am unable to look this up & complete the citation. But since Burke's is not considered reliable, especially about origins of lineages, what’s the point...Curt)
Research note 2: He was the son of Roger/Robert Bigod and .... Saint Saveur. [Ref: Utz 10 Jan 1999]
died: 8 oder 15.IX 1107 (8 or 15 Sep 1107) [Ref: ES III:705] Sep 8 or 15 1107 [Ref: CP IX:577] Sep 15 1107 [Ref: Watney #109] Sep 8 1100 [Ref: Holloway p4] 1107 [Ref: DNBiography II:484, Keats-Rohan Belvoir p3, McBride2 citing Burke's p53], place: Earsham, Norfolk [Ref: CP IX:577, ES III:705]
Jim pls note: Earsham, Norfolk not Evesham, Suffolk… Curt)
Buried: Abbey of Whetford, Norfolk, England [Ref: McBride2 citing Burke's p53, Wurts p42] Norwich Cathedral, Norwich (Norfk) [Ref: CP, ES] Research note: is the Abbey of Whetford in the Norwich Cathedral or are they separate places? Also Keats-Rohan calls it "priory of St. Mary at Thetford" ...Curt
m1 Adeliza Grantmesnil names: [Ref: Holloway p14, McBride2 citing Burke's p53] Roger BIGOD & Adelaide (NN) [Ref: CP IX:577]
Research note: ...known marriage before ca 1090, and that was to a woman named Adelais who was perhaps the same as his "second" wife Adela de Tosny. If they were two different women, there is no firm evidence I'm aware of to ascribe the first to the Grandmesnil family. [Ref: Peter Stewart 17 Jun 2001]
m2 Adeliza (Alice?) de Toeni [Ref: CP IX:577, Watney #109, Weis MC5 155:1]
1086: held 6 lordships in Essex and 117 in Suffolk [Ref: Watney #109]
Sheriff of Suffolk, founder the Priory of Thetford [Ref: Holloway p4]
Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk [Ref: CP]
1103: founded the Abbey of Thetford in Norfolk [Ref: CP IX p577, Wurts p42] in lieu (it is said) of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and before it was finished granted it to Cluny [Ref: CP IX:577]
of Earsham, Suffolk (held of Bishop Stigand), ca 1071; sheriff of Norfolk and possibly Suffolk, at time of Domesday Book, 1086 [Ref: John P. Ravilious 14 Aug 2003]
Possessed six lordships in Essex and 117 in Suffolk beside many manors in Norfolk. In 1103 he founded the Abbey of Whetford in Norfolk and was buried there four years later. [Ref: Utz 10 Jan 1999]
Roger Bigot, also called Roger the Sheriff. From Les Loges, Calvados. Daughter married Robert of Stafford. Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1086. Ancestor of Bigot family, the earls of Norfolk. Large holdings in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. [Ref: Domesday Online] Note: I find no other source stating a dau married Robert of Stafford. His dau Gunnora m1 Robert fitzSuain/Sweyn de Essex, but was he "of Stafford"?... Curt
...Roger Bigod, born before 1050, seigneur of Les Loges & Savenay, sheriff of Norfolk 1081-7 & 1092-1107, steward of the royal household 1092, lord of Framlingham, who died at Earsham, Suffolk 8/15 September 1107. [Ref: Peter Stewart 17 Jun 2001]
Roger Bigod is not traced in the English records before 1079, but by this time he may have been endowed with the forfeited estates of Ralph de Gauder, earl of Norlfolk, whose downfall took place in 1074. In Doomsday he appears as holding six lordships in Essex, and 117 in Suffolk. From Henry I he received the gift of Framlingham, which became the principal stronghold of him and his descendants. He likewise held the office of king's dapifer, or steward, under William Rufus and Henry I. He died in 1107, and was succeeded by his eldest son, William who, however, was drowned in the wreck of the White ship. [Ref: DNBiography II:484]
Roger Bigod was present at Senlac and received large grants for his services at the Conquest, comprising one hundred and twenty three (123) manors in Essex and Suffolk, only six being in the latter county, besides divers manors in Norfolk. Roger adhering to the party that took up arms against William Rufus, in the first year of that monarch's reign, fortified the castle at Norwich, and wasted the country around. At the accession of King Henry I. being a witness of the king's laws, and staunch in his interests, he obtained Framlingham in Suffolk, as a gift from the crown. He must have been a young man at that time, as he did not die until 1107, when he was buried in the Abbey of Whetford in Norfolk, which he had founded in 1103. Roger married Adeliza Grantesmesnil (sic), daughter and co-heir of Hugh de Grantesmesnil, High Steward of England. He and his wife had seven children [Ref: McBride2 citing Burke's p53] - Note: McBride citing Burke's does not show a second marriage & indicates the mother of all of Roger's children was Adeliza Grantmesnil ...Curt
Roger Bigod tenant-in-chief in Norfolk, holding the manor of Thetford in demesne.
… founded the priory of St. Mary at Thetford
Seigneur of Les Loges and Savenay in Normandy, dépt.. Calvados, under the bishop of Bayeux (Red Book 646), Sheriff of Norfolk for most of William 1's reign, and from 1100 until his death in 1107; during the 1070s and 1080s alternated with Robert Malet as sheriff of Suffolk. Father of William (d. 1120) by his first wife. His second wife, mother of his heir Hugh, was Alice daughter and eventual coheiress of Robert de Tosny of Belvoir. His brother William is mentioned in Domesday Book; he was probably also a brother of Hugh Bigot, who occurs in DB Suffolk. His sister Matilda was married to his tenant Hugh de Hosdenc (q.v.). He was doubtless also related to Earl Hugh of Chester's tenant Bigot of Loges, and to Robert Bigot, son of Norman, lord of Pirou and Cerisy in the Cotentin, benefactor in the 1090s of Sées (Arch. Orne 62b-63 no. cxxxix). This Robert, husband of Emma and father of Richard and Robert, was perhaps the same as the Robert Bigot, kinsman of Richard of Avranches (father of Earl Hugh), mentioned by Ord. Vit. in his interpolations of William of Jumiéges ed. van Houts, ii 126-7). Roger founded the priory of the EVM at Thetford, 1103-4; colonized by monks from the Warenne foundation at Lewes, it was a dependency of Cluny. He died in 1107. [Ref: http://www.linacre.ox.ac.uk/research/prosop/dbase.stm]
Research notes re: who was the mother of Roger's children:
It is probable that Roger was married only once, although he is usually credited with two wives of the same name on the inconclusive evidence of a pro anama clause in a charter of his son William. Roger and his wife Adelisa gave charter for Rochester priory which referred to their sons and daughters and was attested by their children William, Humphrey, Gunnor and Matilda. This charter tellingly refers to King Henry, making it highly unlikely that Roger acquired a second wife and second family before his death in 1107.
 Mon. Ang. iii, 330-1.
 BL Cotton Domitian A x, fol. 201v-2r. [Ref: PROSOPON 9 Belvoir: The Heirs of Robert and Berengar de Tosny by K.S.B. Keats-Rohan http://www.linacre.ox.ac.uk/research/prosop/PRSPN9.stm]
On 2 Dec 1997, Todd A. Farmerie wrote an article on the subject "Aubigny," in which he states that Maud and Cecily Bigod were full sisters, but daughters of Roger Bigod's first wife, Adelaide, not daughters of Alice de Todeni. The reference which Todd gives which is most pertinent to this identification of parentage, I take it, is to Andrew Wareham, "The motives and politics of the Bigod family, c. 1066-1177," Anglo-Norman Studies XVII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference, 1994, pp. 223-242.
Wareham does indeed, first on a charted family tree on p. 230, clearly assign all three daughters, Gunner, Cecily, and Matilda to Adelaide, the first wife of Roger Bigod. He thereafter refers to these three sisters as step-daughters of Alice de Tosny, or as half-sisters of Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk.
Although his essay densely cites primary or near-primary sources, Wareham does not explicitly point out any document which would confirm his assignment of parentage. It is as though his family tree were the "received wisdom." Indeed one finds no clue, when reading his essay, that anyone had ever thought that Cecily Bigod, for example, was a daughter of Alice de Tosny. None of the sources which I quoted above are referred to.
On p. 231 Wareham says: ". . .By 1130 Roger's widow Alice de Tosny still owed a relief of [pounds] 198 for the inheritance of her father's estates, but the Tosny fees in Leicester [presumably Belvoir] which formed the dowry of Alice's step-daughter Cecily Bigod were under the control of the latter's husband, William d'Albini Brito.. . . ." Wareham argues that King Henry I effectively disinherited Alice de Tosny after Roger Bigod's death and before his children came of age, but, perhaps because he did not consider it problematical, he does not make it clear in the text that his sources specify that Cecily was a step-daughter rather than a full daughter. The parentage of these Bigod sisters is not, of course, the primary topic of Wareham's essay.
On page 234 Wareham says: "Hugh Bigod's loss of ten knights fees to the husband of his half-sister may have cut very deep, and the only record of a gift passing the other way was that of three hides and forty acres which William I d'Albini granted to Thetford Priory. This was barely a token in comparison to Matilda Bigod's dowry. In nine (sic: none?) of Hugh Bigod's charters does he make provision for the souls of his half-sisters and their descendants, but a charter drawn up for William I d'Albini records how at the death of Matilda Bigod her husband was weeping and bewailing his loss. . . ."
Footnote 69 reads: "Monasticon v. 142."
Footnote 70 reads: "BL ms Landsdowne 229 fo. 148, Vitelius F iv, fos 159v and 176 (Bigod); and BL ms Titus C viii, fos 18-18b (d'Albini)." [Ref: Utz 10 Jan 1999]
It is now thought that Roger Bigod had just one wife, Adelaide de Todeny, and she was mother of both Maud, wife of William d'Aubigny Pincerna, and Cecily, wife of William d'Aubigny Brito. [Ref: TAF 31 Oct 2002]
Sorry for the length of this. Perhaps it should be cut to the most salient genealogical data/conclusions only, but I like to keep the background arguments in my database to see why I chose the data I chose, especially when it differs from previously accepted pedigrees in major sources.
Father: Robert BIGOD , of Avranches b: ABT 1036 in Avranches, Manche, Normandy, France
Mother: daughter de ST. SAUVEUR b: ABT 1036 in St Sauveur, Manche, Normandy, France
Adeliza (Alice) de TOENI , Heiress of Belvoir b: ABT 1070 in Tosni, Louviers, Eure, Normandy, France
in Only wife 5 6
- Maud BIGOD b: ABT 1088 in Belvoir Castle, Belvoir, Leicestershire, England
- Cecily BIGOD , Heiress of Belvoir b: ABT 1090 in Belvoir Castle, Belvoir, Leicestershire, England
- Jane BIGOD b: ABT 1093 in Belvoir Castle, Belvoir, Leicestershire, England
- Hugh BIGOD , 1st Earl of Norfolk b: ABT 1095 in Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, England
- Gunnor BIGOD b: ABT 1096 in Earsham, Depwade, Suffolk, England
- Title: Magna Charta Sureties 1215, Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr, 5th Edition, 1999
Page: 155-1, 156-1, 157-2
- Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968
Text: Roger Bigot
- Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups - google.com
Page: Marie-Claire Bauche, 1 Dec 2000
- Title: Magna Charta Sureties 1215, Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr, 5th Edition, 1999
Text: Sep 1107
- Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
Page: I:233, XIV:37
Text: states 2nd wife
- Title: Some Corrections and Additions to the Complete Peerage, www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cp/index.shtml
Page: Volume IX: Norfolk (Proposed Section)
Text: only wife, according to Keats-Rohan