woman Matilda (Maud) of Flanders‏‎, daughter of Baudouin V Count of "@N54402@" Flanders and Adele (Aelis) Princess of France‏.
Born ‎ 1032 at Flanders, France, died ‎ Nov 3, 1083 at Caen, Calvados, France‎, 50 or 51 years, buried ‎ at Church of Holy Trinity, Caen

For many years it was assumed that Gundred, who married William de Warrene, was a daughter of William I and Matilda (as indicated in The Plantagenet Ancestry). However it is now known that Gundred was a daughter of Gherbod the Fleming (as indicated in Ancestral Roots). The following information strongly suggests that Gundred's mother was Matilda (thus the mistaken notion that she was daughter of William I).

copied from Bill Crawford's ancestry: crawfolk data base on World Connect Project, rootsweb.com

Had Matilda of Flanders as many husbands as Adelaide, Countess of Ponthieu, and, like her, issue by each? What was the real cause of the inhibition of her marriage with William, Duke of Normandy, - its delay for six years? What truth is there in the story of her unreturned affection for the Angio-Saxon Brihtric Meaw, and of her vindictive conduct to him after she became Queen of England? I have hesitated to believe in the popular tradition that Duke William grossly assaulted the daughter of Baldwin in the street or in her own chamber, not that I have any doubt about his being capable of such an outrage, but because he was too politic to commit it, and she was not the woman to have forgiven it, assuming that the offence was the simple refusal of his hand on the ground of his illegitimacy. It is obvious, however, that the early life of Matilda is involved in mystery, and it is highly probable that a clearer insight into it would enable us to account for much which we now reject as legend, or fail to reconcile with acknowledged facts. If there be any foundation for the story of William's brutality, the outburst of ungovernable fury might have been due to a much greater provocation than has been assigned for it. Brihtric, the son of Algar or Alfar, sumamed Meaw (Snow), from the extreme fairness of his complexion, an Anglo-Saxon Thegn, possessor of large domains in England, had been sent on an embassy from King Edward the Confessor to the Connt of Flanders. Matilda, we are told, fell desperately in love with him, and offered herself to him in marriage! Either disgusted by her forwardness, or preferring another, he declined the flattering proposal. "Hell hath no fury like a woman foiled," and she kept her wrath warm till she was in a position to ruin the man she had so passionately loved. She had no sooner become the Queen of England than she induced William to confiscate, on some pretence, all Brihtric's estates, and obtained the greater proportion for herself. The unfortunate Thegn was arrested at his house at Hanley, in Worcestershire, on the very day Saint Wulfstan had consecrated a chapel of his building, dragged to Winchester, and died in a dungeon! The truth of this story is supported by the impartial evidence of Domesday, in which Hanley and the principal manors held by Brihtric in the time of King Edward are recorded as the possessions of Queen Matilda, and the remainder passed to Fitz Hamon.

After her hand had been rejected by the noble Saxon, it is presumed she became the wife of a Fleming, named Gherbod, who appears to have held the hereditary office of Advocate of the Abbey of Saint Bertin, in St. Omers, and by whom she had at least two children, viz., Gherbod, to whom William gave the earldom of Chester, and Gundred, "the sister of Gherbod," and wife of William de Warren. Was this a clandestine or an informal marriage, which, as it has never been acknowledged by any chronicler, contemporary or other, might have been unknown to the Duke of Normandy, when he proposed to one whom he believed to be the maiden daughter of the Count of Flanders, and the corporal chastisement inflicted, however unworthy of a man, passed over, sub silentio, for prudential reasons, by the parties wlio had been guilty of a disgraceful suppression of facts? The subsequent marriage under such circumstances will awaken no surprise in any one who has studied the character of William. Utterly unscrupulous, destitute of every generous, noble, or delicate feeling, every action of his life was dictated by POLICY alone. An alliance with the Count of Flanders might be considered by the crafty schemer sufficiently advantageous to warrant his overlooking any objectionable antecedents in the conduct of a granddaughter of a king of France, his first discovery of which had provoked his savage nature into a momentary ebullition of fury. Her being the mother of two children was a point in her favour with a man whose sole motive for marrying was the perpetuation of a dynasty, and the fair prospect of legitimate issue, in whose veins the blood of the Capets should enrich that of the Furrier of Falaise, would overcome any hesitation at espousing the widow of an Advocate of St. Bertin. On the other hand, Count Baldwin would be too happy to embrace the opportunity of reinstating his daughter in a position befitting her birth, and, as well as the lady herself, gladly condone past insults for future advantages and the hope of smothering, in the splendour of a ducal wedding, the awkward whispers of scandal.

I have said thus much simply to show the view that may be taken of these mysterious circumstances, in opposition to the rose-coloured representations of some modern historians, who, upon no stronger evidence, elevate the Conqueror into a model husband, and describe Matilda as the perfection of womankind.

Married ‎ at 1st husband? to:

man Gherbod the Fleming , 1st Earl of Chester‏‎
Born ‎± 1027 at Flanders, France, died ‎ /71 at Taken prisoner at Battle of Cassel, Flanders‎, approximately -956 years

Gherbod was the very first Earl of Chester after the conquest. He is also the father of Gundred, wife of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. Allegedly the mother was William the Conqueror's wife, Matilda of Flanders, who married or had an affair with Gherbod, before she m. William I. For a long time genealogists thought Gundred was a daughter of William I.



Gherbod, a Fleming, Avoue of the Abbey of St. Bertin, received, on the dismemberment of Mercia, early in 1070, a large portion of that district, together with the city of Chester, the said portion being formed into a County Palatine (under the name of Cheshire) whereby he became Earl of Chester. He returned shortly afterwards, to his native country, where he was taken prisoner at the battle of Cassel, 1071, and kept captive for a long period, never coming back to England. [Complete Peerage III:164]


woman Gundred of Flanders‏‎
Born ‎± 1052 at Flanders, France, died ‎ May 27, 1085 at Castle Acre, Norfolk, England (in childbirth)‎, approximately 33 years, buried ‎ at Priory of Lewes, Sussex, England

Gundred (daughter of Gherbod the Fleming), d. 27 May 1085; m. bef. 1077, William de Warenne, d. Lewes 24 June 1088, created 1st Earl of Surrey, son of Rudolf de Warenne and Beatrice. [Magna Charta Sureties]


He married, 1stly, Gundred, sister of Gerbod the Fleming, EARL OF CHESTER, possibly daughter of Gerbod, hereditary advocate of the Abbey of St. Bertin at St. Omer. She died in child-birth, 27 May 1085, at Castle Acre, Norfolk, and was buried the chapter-house at Lewes. [Complete Peerage XII/1:493-5, XIV:604 (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]

Note: I think that Gundred was daughter of Gerbod the Fleming, Earl of Chester. He was also advocate of the Abbey of St. Bertin of St. Omer (as CP itself indicated-see notes under Gherbod) . As far as I know there is only one Gerbod.


According to Magna Charta Sureties (and CP in a way), a daughter of Gherbod the Fleming. According to the Plantagenet Ancestry, a daughter of William the Conquerer and Matilda of Flanders. The following discussion in soc.genealogy.medieval illustrates the proof for Gundred being daughter of Matilda, wife of William I, and also the controversy still being debated about her ancestry. I happen to believe that the Lewes Chartulary is not false on the basis that there is no reason for forging a relationship to Queen Maud, but not King William I.

From: Phil Moody (moodyprime@cox.net)
Subject: Re: tombstone of Gundrad, wife of William de Warenne
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2002-12-30 21:52:15 PST

"Chris PHILLIPS" wrote"

> There was never any question of Gundred being an illegitimate daughter of
> William I, but rather it was a case of a fraudulent claim that she was a
> legitimate daughter. The reason people used to think that Gundred was a
> daughter of William the Conqueror was because the monks of Lewes forged some
> charters which stated that. But I don't think anyone now seriously maintains
> that these charters are authentic.
> Gundred is known to have been a sister of Gerbod, who was briefly earl of
> Chester under William the Conqueror. It's clear they were members of a
> Flemish family who were advocates of St Bertin's Abbey in St Omer, and who
> held Oosterzele and Scheldewindeke, although the genealogy isn't altogether
> clear.

PLM: There is some doubt in my mind, however. Per your earlier assistance to me; I do now have "The Chartulary of the Priory of St. Pancras of Lewes", vol. I, ed. L. F. Salzman, and published by the Sussex Record Society in 1032 [sic?]. There is a lengthy charter by William Warrene nearly six pages in length; so I will not quote it's entirety, but this bit is curious.

Page 3:

"..., I have given for the welfare of my soul and that of Gundrada my wife and for the soul of my lord King William who brought me into England and by whose license I caused the monks to come and who confirmed my former gift, and for the welfare of my lady Queen Maud the mother of my wife and for the welfare of my lord King William his son after whose coming to England I made this charter and who made me Earl of Surrey,..." UNQ

PLM: It is quite clear from this charter, that Gundrada is the daughter of Queen Maud, and the lack of a reference to William I being the father of Gundrada is highly significant. If I were to rely solely on this evidence, I would have to conclude that Gundrada was NOT the daughter of William I at all.

People have referred to forged charters from Lewes, but what is the basis of these assertions, and which references discuss these "supposedly proven forgeries"? The premise of such an accusation appears to be up side down, in relation to the above charter. It seems illogical to forge a document that makes Gundrada the daughter of the Queen, as opposed to the King of England; which would essentially diminish her social standing, instead of elevating it, as most forgeries tend to do?


- - - - -

From: Chris PHILLIPS (cgp@medievalgenealogy.org.uk)
Subject: Re: tombstone of Gundrad, wife of William de Warenne
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2002-12-31 01:54:55 PST

Paul Reed posted a quite detailed summary of the arguments that the charter was spurious, on 11 March 1998, entitled: "Gundred, the Conqueror, and the spurious charter of 1085 (LONG)".

Apart from the internal evidence that the charter has been tampered with, and the existence of a copy of the foundation charter, which doesn't mention Gundred's parentage, in the cartulary of Cluny, the parent house, there are also statements by two other sources that Gundred was the brother of Gerbod. Admittedly these could be circumvented by the suggestion that Gundred was only William's step-daughter, and that Gerbod's father had previously been married to Matilda (although there is no indication elsewhere that this was the case, despite quite a lot of documentation relating to Gerbod's family, and of course to the counts of Flanders).

What clinched the long-running Victorian controversy was the point made by Chester Waters, that when a marriage was proposed between an illegitimate daughter of Henry I and a son of Gundred, it was prohibited on the grounds of a 4th/6th-generation consanguinity. If Gundred had been Matilda's daughter they would have been first cousins, so this, rather than the much more distant relationship, would surely have been mentioned.

Chris Phillips

- - - - - -

From: Linda (lindas4@aol.com)
Subject: Re: tombstone of Gundrad, wife of William de Warenne
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2002-12-31 08:52:44 PST

As with other "proof", I am curious about how conclusive Mr. Waters' arguement is. People being the political animals that they are, it would seem to me that a closer relationship might not be mentioned if it were politically sensitive for some reason. I have no thoughts on what that might be, but Mr. Waters' arguement, while persuasive, still does not seem to me to CONCLUSIVELY prove anything, simply because we cannot possibly know everything was going on in people's minds 1000 years ago (or today, for that matter).

I guess it's my background in math and computers that makes me question these things. It does not seem to me that either side of this controversy has anything that could be considered absolute proof - just circumstantial evidence and theories, all of which can be contested with more theories. There seem to be plenty of sincere and knowledgeable people on both sides of the issue, and I wonder if, barring discovery of new documentation, the issue will ever be resolved. I keep going back to that tombstone - the only piece of evidence that is truly "cast in stone".

- - - - - -

Note: I happen to feel that Chester Water's analysis which invalidates the Chartulary is not altogether conclusive. The fact remains that the marriage WAS invalidated on the grounds of consanguinity; quite possibly for political reasons the church chose a more distant relationship for invalidating the marriage (4th or 6th cousin rather than 1st cousin); the church may not have wanted to emphasize the illegitimacy of Gundred, ancestor of the Warennes, a very powerful family.

2nd marriage
woman Matilda (Maud) of Flanders‏‎, daughter of Baudouin V Count of "@N54402@" Flanders and Adele (Aelis) Princess of France‏.

Married ‎± 1053 at Eu, Seine-Inferieure, France (approximately 30 years married) to:

man William I "The Conqueror" King of England‏‎, son of Robert I "The Magnificent" Duke of Normandy and Herleve (Arlette) de Falaise‏.
Born ‎ Oct 14, 1027 at Falais, Calvados, France, died ‎ Sep 9, 1087 at Hermenbraville, Seine-Maritime, France‎, 59 years, buried ‎ at Abbey of St Step, Caen, Calvados, France



man Robert II "Curthose" Duke of Normandy‏‎
Born ‎± 1054 at Normandy, France, died ‎ Oct 2, 1134 at Cardiff Castle, Glamorganshire, Wales‎, approximately 80 years, buried ‎ at Died an old man as prisoner of Henry I
man William II "Rufus" King of England‏‎
Born ‎± 1056 at Normandy, France, died ‎ Aug 2, 1100 at New Forest, near Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England‎, approximately 44 years, buried ‎ at Winchester, Hampshire, England

Following copied from Barry Hummel, Jr, World Connect db=siderhummel, rootsweb.com:

Strong, outspoken and ruddy (hence his nickname 'Rufus'), William II (reigned 1087-1100) extended his father's policies, taking royal power to the far north of England. Ruthless in his relations with his brother Robert, William extended his grip on the duchy of Normandy under an agreement between the brothers in 1091. (Robert went on crusade in 1096.) William's relations with the Church were not easy; he took over Archbishop Lanfranc's revenues after the latter's death in 1089, kept other bishoprics vacant to make use of their revenues, and had numerous arguments with Lanfranc's popular successor Anselm. William died on 2 August 1100, after being shot by an arrow whilst hunting in the New Forest.


In 1100 Rufus was shot in the back with an arrow and killed while hunting in the New Forest in Hampshire. The incident was probably an assassination, and Rufus' alleged slayer, Walter Tirel, lord of Poix in Ponthieu, may have been under orders from the king's younger brother, Henry. Henry promptly seized the English throne as King Henry I. [Encyclopaedia Britannica]
woman Adela of Normandy , Princess of England‏
Born ‎± 1062 at Rouen, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France, died ‎ Mar 8, 1136/37‎, approximately 74 years

Adela, French AD
man Henry I "Beauclerc" King of England‏
Born ‎ 1068 at Selby, West Ride Yorkshire, England, died ‎ Dec 1, 1135 at Lyons-La-Foret, Normandy, France‎, 66 or 67 years, buried ‎ at Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England

After discussing with Betty Knoche, the various opinions from different sources about the mistresses and illegitimate children of Henry I (who probably had more than any other English monarch), I discovered an Appendix D in Volume XI of The Complete Peerage which lists all of the "known" children and connects them, where possible, with the known mistresses. I have scanned the text and included it in the notes below. Please excuse any errors in scanning/translating the text.

HENRY I'S ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN (According to the Complete Peerage)

Henry I and Charles II were the only Kings of England to beget a large brood of bastards. Charles II