Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 11: Henry I's Illegitimate Children (PROPOSED CORRECTIONS)


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Volume 11, Appendix D, page 105:
No complete catalogue of Henry's bastards is given by any contemporary writer ...

Various others have been suggested as possible illegitimate children of Henry I, in addition to those discussed in this appendix.

Emma, the wife of Guy V de Laval

Traditionally, Emma, the wife of Guy IV de Laval (which Guy d. after 1130) has been said to be an illegitimate daughter of Henry I [Bertrand de Broussillon, La Maison de Laval, vol. 1 (Paris, 1895), p. 79], and the traditional version has been followed by Given-Wilson and Curteis [The Royal Bastards of Medieval England (1984), p. 178] (who classify her as a "possible" daughter of Henry) and Keats-Rohan [Domesday Descendants (2002), p. 543] (who accepts her as Henry's daughter). But it is very unlikely that Emma was a daughter of Henry I, for the reasons given below.

According to Broussillon, there is no contemporary evidence to support the assertion. However, it is claimed that the chapter house of Clermont Abbey contained one or two inscriptions commemorating "EMMA ANGLORUM REGIS FILIA DOMINAQUE LAVALLENSIS" [Broussillon, p. 79; A. Angot, Généalogies Féodales Mayennaises du XIe au XIIIe Siècle (1942), p. 294] and (apparently) "Emma Regis ... filia ... Lavallensis" [Angot, p. 286]. From Angot's discussion, it seems clear that neither he nor de Broussillon had seen the inscription(s) in question. Although Angot treats them as distinct, attributing the first to Emma, the wife of Guy IV de Laval, and the second to Emma, the wife of Guy IV's son Guy V, he quotes a comment by de Broussillon that there were unlikely to be two distinct epitaphs so similarly worded.

Moreover, Angot [p. 294] gives an extract from a charter dated 1202, in which Emma, the wife of Guy V, describes herself as the daughter of Reynold, Earl of Cornwall. This Reynold (d. 1175) was an illegitimate son of Henry I. Guy V himself is identified by charter evidence as the son of of Guy IV's wife Emma [see Broussillon, pp. 99, 104-106]. It is therefore extremely unlikely that the first Emma could have been a daughter of Henry I, as this would imply that Guy V and his wife were first cousins. Viewed in this light, it seems that there must have been a single epitaph at Clermont commemorating the younger Emma and referring to her descent from Henry I.

[The traditional identification of the elder Emma was pointed out in October 1997 by S. E. Epstein, citing Given-Wilson and Curteis, and again in January 2003 by Leo van de Pas. Douglas Richardson, in January 2003, posted the charter evidence for the parentage of the younger Emma. The problem was also discussed by Stewart Baldwin, Rosie Bevan and Peter Stewart. Thanks to Paul Reed for providing copies of Angot's text.
Item last updated: 6 December 2003.]

Volume 11, Appendix D, page 109, note l (continued on p. 110):
Grace, who m. John de Sudeley, of Sudeley Castle and Toddington, co. Gloucester, 3rd s. of Harold de Ewias, lord of Ewias (co. Hereford) and Sudeley ...

But in the Complete Peerage article on Sudeley [volume 12, part 1, page 413], John is said to be Harold's eldest son. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan [Domesday Descendants, p. 725] supports the version given above, making John the third son of Harold.

[This contradiction was pointed out by Tim Powys-Lybbe in February 2003.
Item last updated: 20 April 2003.]

Volume 11, Appendix D, page 114:
... ,(k) who m. William GOUET III, LORD OF MONTMIRAIL and other fiefs in that part of Perche which, at a much later date, became known as Perche-Gouet; ...
Note k:
R. de Torigny does not name her, and Marx does not try to ascertain her name; nor has it been found in charters. She is called Eustacie by Ramsay, presumably through confusion with her mother-in-law; see p. 115, note "h" below.
Page 155, note h:
As Cobbe and Ramsay call Henry I's daughter Eustacie or Eustacia, they evidently identify her with the wife of William Gouet II; but that couple were married before 1080 (note "b" above), when Henry was a child.

Todd Farmerie, in June 2002, pointed out that a wife of William Gouet III named Mabel appears in charters [citing K. Thompson, "The Formation of the County of Perche: the Rise and Fall of the House of Gouet", pp. 299-314 in K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, ed., Family trees and the roots of politics (1997)].