The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I08400
  • Name: Odo Bishop of BAYEUX , 1st Earl of Kent 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: 01st Earl of /Kent/, Eudes Bishop of Bayeux
  • Birth: ABT 1030 in Bayeux, Calvados, Normandy, France 3 2
  • Death: FEB 1096/97 in Palermo, Sicily on 1st Crusade (dsp legit) 2
  • Burial: Cathedral at Palermo, Sicily
  • Note:
    EARLDOM OF KENT (I) 1067 to 1088

    EUDES [ODO], Bishop of Bayeux in Normandy, son of Herluin DE CONTEVILLE, by Herleve, mother of William the Conqueror, was born probably about 1030, and in 1050 was Bishop of Bayeux, holding this see till his death. He witnessed charters of Duke William for St. Evroult 25 September 1050, for St. Wandrille in 1051, and for Mont St. Michel in 1054. He was present in 1063 at the consecration of Rouen Cathedral and the Provincial Council held there, and at the ducal council at Lillebonne in 1066 which decided on the invason of England. He is said to have taken an active part in the gathering of men and arms for the expedition, and to have supplied ships for the conveyance of troops. He was present at the Battle of Hastings. William rewarded him with a grant of over 500 manors in England, of which about 200 were in Kent, and made him EARL OF KENT and Warden of Dover Castle. In Lent 1066/7 he and William FitzOsbern were viceroys during the King's absence in Normandy, and are said by the chroniclers to have built castles throughout the land and to have oppressed the poor. Eudes then and later acted as Justiciar, though the office may not have been definitely created at that time. In 1067, while he was away north of the Thames, the men of Kent revolted and summoned Eustace, Count of Boulogne, to their aid, so that the King was compelled to return to England. Eudes was a witness to William's charters to St. Martin's-le-Grand in 1068 and to Deerhurst in 1069. After the death of William (FitzOsbern), Earl of Hereford, 20 February 1070/1, Eudes was Vice-Regent of the whole of England. He wrongfully acquired many manors, and after a trial by the county at Penenden Heath was made to surrender those in Kent which he had usurped from the lands of Christchurch, Canterbury. At Whitsuntide 1077 he was present at a national synod to decide on the primacy of Canterbury over York, and attested its decrees, and in the same year attended a Provincial Council at Rouen. He was again present at a Council at Rouen in 1074. In the same year William granted to him and his successors in the see of Bayeux the honour of Grimold du Plessis, which had been forfeited after the battle of Val-Ús-dunes in 1047. He was one of the leaders of the force of English and Normans which suppressed the rebellion of the Earls of Norfolk and Hereford in the summer of 1075. In 1077 he took part in the dedication of the abbey churches of St. Stephen at Caen and Le Bec, this last on 23 October. He presided in April 1080 at the court at Kentford which framed the liberties of Ely, and later in the year was sent to Northumberland to avenge the murder, in May, of Bishop Walcher at Gateshead. He harried the whole district and carried off some of the ornaments of the church of Durham. He witnessed numerous charters: early in 1081 those to Malmesbury by the King and Queen, in June following the King's charter at Winchester, confirming the liberties of St. Edmund's Abbey, and in 1082 the charter of Bishop William of St. Calais concerning the liberties of St. Cuthbert, and charters of the King to the Abbeys at Caen. By this time wealth and power may have corrupted him, and, according to Orderic, he began to scheme to become Pope, sending great gifts to influential men in Rome, and stirring up the Normans in England, who had begun to hanker after fresh adventures, to accompany him to Italy. The King, hearing of this, came over from Normandy and arrested him, not, as Bishop of Bayeux, but as Earl of Kent, responsible to the King for the trust reposed in him. He was sent over to Normandy and kept in prison at Rouen till 1087, when William on his deathbed ordered his release and that of other state prisoners. He was present at the King's funeral at Caen. William II restored Eudes to his earldom, and he attended the King's Christmas court in London. He was present at the foundation of St. Mary's, York, in 1088. In the rebellion which broke out at Easter in this year Eudes was one of the chief conspirators who sought to place his nephew Robert, Duke of Normandy, on the throne. He fortified the castle of Rochester, plundered the King's lands in Kent, and especially harried those of Lanfranc, whom he believed to be the cause of his arrest and imprisonment. The King took Tonbridge Castle, when Eudes fled to his brother Robert's castle of Pevensey, which, however, surrendered after six weeks' siege. He was sent guarded to Rochester to give the King possession of that castle, but the garrison sallied out and took him, and his guards prisoners, so that he was once more besieged. When the castle eventually capitulated, Eudes, "qui fere fuit secundus rex Angliae," was baniishad from England and lost irrevocably his honours and possessions in this country (a). He became Duke Robert's chief minister in Normandy. In 1095 he attended the Council of Clermont, at which Urban II proclaimed the Crusade, and was present at the Council of Rouen in February 1095/6, where the decrees of Clermont were promulgated (b). In September 1096 he accompanied the Duke on the Crusadc, and, dying at Palermo in February 1096/7, was buried in the cathedral there. At his death the Earldom of Kent became extinct. It was unsuccessfully claimed by his nephew William, Count of Mortain. [Complete Peerage VII:124-9, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]

    (a) Orderic puts into the mouth of William the Conqueror two speeches which describe the character of Eudes in the severest language: (i) made when he arrested Eudes, (ii) when he reluctanctly liberated him in 1087. The latter reads: "I wonder that you do not weigh more prudently who and what sort is the man for whom you plead. Do you plead for one who has been this long time a despiser of religion and a keen instigator of deadly sedition? Have I not kept in restraint for four years this bishop, who while he ought to have been the truly just ruler of the English made himself the vilest oppressor of the people and the destroyer of monsteries? By setting free this seditious man you do ill and are inviting an enormous penalty for yourselves. It is quite clear that my brother Eudes is light and ambitious, cleaving to fleshly desires and great cruelties, and will never alter from his harlotries and offensive vanities. I have found this out quite clearly in many points, and therefore have shut up not a bishop, but a tyrant. And there cannot be a doubt that if he goes free he will disturb the whole country, and cause injury to many thousands. I say all this, not as an enemy, but as father of my country, taking care of the Christian people. Had he behaved himself chastely and modestly as a priest and minister of God ought ever to do, I should have had greater joy in my heart than I could express."

    (b) ... His illegitimate son, John, was held in great esteem at the court of Henry I for his eloquence and probity.

    Father: Harlevin (Herlouin) Vicomte de CONTEVILLE b: 1001 in Conteville, Eure, Normandy, France
    Mother: Herleve (Arlette) de FALAISE b: ABT 1003 in Falaise, Calvados, Normandy, France

    Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown
    • Married: in No Marriage
    1. Has Children John de BAYEUX b: ABT 1056 in Bayeux, Calvados, Normandy, France

    1. Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -
      Page: Suzanne Doig, 24 Nov 1999
    2. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: VII:124-9
    3. Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -
      Page: Suzanne Doig, 24 Nov 1999
      Text: c 1031/5
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