Bigod, Roger

Birth Name Bigod, Roger
Gender male
Age at Death 47 years, 8 months, 14 days


# Note:

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]

Title: The Magna Charta Sureties 1215, Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr, 5th Edition, 1999
Page: 155-1, 156-1, 157-2


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1060 St. Saveur, Normandy, France   1
Death 1107-09-15 Egersham, Norfolk, England   1
Event Note

D: 15 Sep 1107/1108

Age: 47y


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Bigod, Robert10351071
Mother Saint Sauveur1040
         Bigod, Roger 1060 1107-09-15


Family of Bigod, Roger and de Toeni, Adeliza

Married Wife de Toeni, Adeliza ( * 1064 + 1135 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1098 Leicestershire, England   1
Name Birth Date Death Date
Bigod, Mary10871136
Bigod, Jane1090
Fitz de Bigod, Herveyabout 10901140
Bigod, Hugh10951176-03-06
Bigod, Gunnor1096
Bigod, Cicely1100