Person Sheet

Name William l de Braose, M
Birth Date abt 1049
Birth Place Brienze, Normandy, France
Death Date abt 1087 Age: 38
Death Place Bramber, Sussex, England
Misc. Notes
Guillaume de Briouze is recorded in lists of those present at the Battle of Hastings. He became the first Lord of Bramber Rape by 1073 and built Bramber Castle. (Right - remains of the gatehouse) William made considerable grants to the abbey of Saint Florent, Saumur to endow the foundation of Sele Priory near Bramber and a priory at Briouze. He continued to fight alongside King William in the campaigns in Britain, Normandy and Maine.

The latest evidence for William is his presence at the consecration of his church at Briouze in 1093. In 1096 his son Philip was isuing charters. From this we can deduce that William died between 1093 and 1096.

Father: Uncertain.

Mother: Gunnor (See Round, Cal. Doc. Fra. p148)

Brydges edition of Collins' Peerage claims he was first married to Agnes, dau of Waldron de Saint Clare but no evidence for this can be found. It may be an example of Bruce - Braose confusion.

According to L C Perfect, a 13th century genealogy in the Bibliothèque de Paris gives the name of his wife as Eve de Boissey, widow of Anchetil de Harcourt. There is a lot of evidence from contemporary charters which supports this view.
1 Agnes de St Claire, F
Birth Date abt 1054
Birth Place Barnstaple, Devonshire, England
Father Waldron de St Claire , M (~1015-)
Mother Helen le Bon , F (~1030-)
2 Eva de Boissey, F
Misc. Notes
William de Braose's wives (first or second) are not named in any surviving charters.

The usual source for William de Braose's marriage to Agnes de Saint Clare is Dudley G Cary Elwes, The Family of de Braose 1066-1326 (1883). His source is Arthur Collins in The Peerage of England, Volume 3 (1756-8), who gives no supporting evidence. Indirect evidence, however, may confirm the marriage. William de Braose III's transactions included lands known to have been held by the Saint Clares, for example in 1184 Esquerdreville, south west of Cherbourg.

The evidence for William de Braose's second (or only) marriage to the widow Eve de Boissey is slightly more convincing. Records of the Templars in England in the Twelth Century, The Inquest of 1185 with Illustarative Charters and Documents, edited by Beatrice A Lees MA (London, published for the British Academy by Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1935), page 227, has a charter which provides the clue.

Philip de Harcourt (son of Robert and grandson of Eve de Boissey and Anchetil de Harcourt) refers to Philip de Braose (son of William I) as "patruus", ie uncle on the father's side, in this charter dated circa 1139 by Lees. Philip de Harcourt grants Shipley, formerly held by his brother Richard from Philip de Braose, as a gift to the Templars. He says:

Hec omnia Ricardus Frater meus a Philippo de Braosia suo et meo patruo habuit et tenuit.

In an accompanying charter of the same date William de Braose II confirms the gift of Shipley, which he says was held from his father Philip de Braose by Richard, brother of Philip de Harcourt.

In 1103 (Pipe Roll Society, Vol ume 71, number 544), Philip de Braose was supported by "his brother Robert, the son of Anketill" in yet another court battle between the abbeys of Saint Florent and FĂ©camp. Rev. L C Perfect (The de Braose Family in the 11th and 12th Centuries and Their Connection with the Conquest of the Middle Marches of Wales - Oxford, unpublished) says about William de Braose I that:

a genealogy in a thirteenth century list in the Bibliotheque de Paris gives the name of his wife as the widow, Eva de Boissey, of Anchetill d'Harcourt.

The families of de Braose and de Harcourt were closely linked. If William de Braose's marriage to Eva de Boissey is rejected, no other solution is satisfactory. An unconfirmed genealogy refers to the wife of Robert de Harcourt (or le Fort) as Matilda de Braose, daughter of William de Braose I. If she was married to Robert, she was not his only wife. Robert is known to have married Colette d'Argouges.

An example of this view appears in the Sussex County Magazine, vol.7 (1933). The Rev. H E B Arnold MA writes in The Story of Saint Mary's, Bramber:

Philip was the son of that Robert le Fort who married a daughter of the first de Braose and built Knepp Castle in Shipley parish.
Children Philip , M (<1073-~1134)
Last Modified 21 Sep 2005 Created 3 Jun 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh

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