Robert "the Chamberlain" Bigod

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Robert Bigod, Chamberlain to William I Duke of Normandy and King of England

Also Known As: "Roger", "Bigot", "le Bigod"
Birthplace: Avranches, Basse-Normandie, France
Death: 1071 (51-60)
Malitot Loges, Chanon, Normandy, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Thurstan le Goz, viscount of Avranches and Judith de Montanolier
Husband of Mlle. de St. Sauveur
Father of Helene Ridel; Roger Bigod, I, Earl of East Anglia; William Bigod and Maud Bigod
Brother of Thurstan (Richard) Haldup; Renouf / Ranulf le Goz d'Avranches; Honfroi FitzAmfrid de Tilleul, Seigneur de Tilleul-en-Auge; Richard le Goz, Viscount of Avranches; Gislebert / Gilbert le Goz and 2 others

Occupation: Chamberlain to William I Duke of Normandy and King of England, Knight
Managed by: Pam Wilson (on hiatus)
Last Updated:

About Robert "the Chamberlain" Bigod

Robert le Bigod was a poor Knight who gained the favour of William, Duke of Normandy, by informing him of the intended treachery of William Werlenc, Count of Mortain. Robert held the lands of Malitot, Loges and Chanon in Normandy and served Duke William as one of his seneschals. He is described at the Battle of Hastings as; "Small of body, but brave and bold, he assaulted the English gallantly".



This family is descended in the direct male line from the Viking jarls of More, one branch of which came to Normandy in the shape of Rolf the Ganger, founder of the ducal house; his younger brother Hrollaug, who lived in Iceland, was grandfather of Ansfred le Goz, grandfather of Thurstan le Goz, who also came to Normandy and had an elder son who fathered the line of the viscounts of Avranches and a younger son who was known as Robert le Bigot.

Very little is known about Robert le Bigot (c1015-1071), except that he lived in Avranches and held several manors along the Norman coast (near Caen and Lisieux). The meaning of the surname he adoped is unknown. A "bigot" is a mattock in medieval French, but most likely it was the name of the manor where he usually lived (though no such manor can be found). There are other interesting theories: it is how the French heard "by God," and perhaps Robert swore a lot (in English, though?); or it is a corruption of "Goth" or "Visigoth" (Vikings were sometimes called Goths) but this seems very unlikely.

Robert had a son, also Robert le Bigot, who married a daughter of Niel or Nigel, vicomte de St-Saveur (see Aubigny). The legend has it that he was very poor, and planned to follow the Norman invaders to Sicily, but was persuaded by his lord the Count of Mortain to join Duke William's invasion of England instead. It seems unlikely that he was poor.


Robert BIGOD

Born: ABT 1034, Avranches, Normandy, France

Christened: Malitot, Loges, Chanon

Died: 1071, France

Father: Thurstan Le BIGOD

Mother: Judith De MONTANOLIER

Married: Dau. St. SAUVEUR ABT 1060, France


1. Roger BIGOD (E. East Anglia)

2. William BIGOD

  • Robert Bigod

born Abt 1015 Avranches, Normandy, France

died 1071


  • Toustien Le Goz

born Abt 0989 Of Normandy, France


  • Judith De Montalier

born Abt 0994 Of, Normandy, France

married Abt 1014

(end of information)


Humphrey De Tillieul or Bigod born Abt 1017 Of, Euphemia, Normandy, France

  • Richard D' Avranches born Abt 1025 Avranches, Normandy, France

died 1066


  • wife of Robert Bigod

born Abt 1015 Avranches, Normandy, France

died 1071

married Abt 1034


  • Robert or Roger Bigod

born Abt 1035 Of, St Saveur, Normandy, France

christened Of, Malitot, Loges, Chanon, Normandy, France

biographical and/or anecdotal:

notes or source:


See "My Lines"

( )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( )

Robert le Bigod de Loges

    Robert le Bigod de Loges was born at Normandy, France.
    He was among those who were awarded lands in recognition of their loyalty and success with William 'The Conqueror'. He was called Robert le Bigod de Loges who had held lands in Normandy at Malitot, Chanon and Loges, all in Calvados. He had gained the favour of William after disclosing the intended treachery of William of Mortain, being appointed Seneschal in William's household. Both Robert and his son Roger appear to have fought at the Battle of Hastings.

Children of Robert le Bigod de Loges

   * Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk d. 1177
   * Roger Bigod+ b. c 1060?, d. 1106

See "My Lines"

( )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( )

The first person who, bearing the name of Bigod or Bigot,appears in history is Robert le Bigod, a poor knight, who gainedthe favour of William, Duke of Normandy, by discovering to himthe intended treachery of William, count of Martain. This Robertmay have been the father of Roger, and one or the other, orboth, may have been present at the battle of Hastings. He mayalso be the same mentioned as holding lands at Malitot, Loges,and Chanon in Normandy, and as serving the duke in his householdas one of his seneschals. He was small of body, but brave andbold, and assailed the English gallantly. [Ref: DNBiographyII:484]

FWIW, if you go to Keats-Rohan's PROSOPON at

a (sample) chart of the COEL database also indicates a dauMatilda Bigod who m. Hugo de Hosdenc & had a son Humfrid Bigod.

Roger Bigod (died 1107) was a Norman knight who came to England in the Norman Conquest. He held great power in East Anglia, and five of his descendants were Earl of Norfolk. He was also known as Roger Bigot, appearing as such as a witness to the Charter of Liberties of Henry I of England.

[edit] Biography

Roger came from a fairly obscure family of poor knights in Normandy. Robert le Bigot, certainly a relation of Roger's, possibly his father, acquired an important position in the household of William, Duke of Normandy (later William I of England), due, the story goes, to his disclosure to the duke of a plot by the duke's cousin William Werlenc.[1]

Both Roger and Robert may have fought at the Battle of Hastings, and afterwards they were rewarded with a substantial estate in East Anglia. The Domesday Book lists Roger as holding six lordships in Essex, 117 in Suffolk and 187 in Norfolk.

Bigod's base was in Thetford, Norfolk where he founded a priory later donated to the great monastery at Cluny. In 1101 he further consolidated his power when Henry I granted him licence to build a castle at Framlingham, which became the family seat of power until their downfall in 1307. Another of his castles was Bungay Castle, also in Suffolk. Both these were improved by successive generations.

In 1069 he, along with Robert Malet and Ralph de Gael (the then Earl of Norfolk), defeated Sweyn Estrithson (Sweyn II) of Denmark near Ipswich. After Ralph de Gael's fall in 1074, Roger was appointed Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and acquired many of the dispossessed earl's estates. For this reason he is sometimes counted as Earl of Norfolk, but he probably was never actually created earl. He acquired further estates through his influence in local law courts.

In the Rebellion of 1088 he joined other Anglo-Norman barons against William II, who, it was hoped, was to be deposed in favour of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. He seems to have lost his lands after the rebellion had failed, but got them back again.

In 1100, Robert Bigod was one of the King's witnesses recorded on the Charter of Liberties, an important precursor to the Magna Carta of 1215.

In 1101 there was another attempt to bring in Robert of Normandy by unseating Henry I, but this time Roger Bigod stayed loyal to Henry.

He died on 9 September 1107 and is buried in Norwich. Upon his death there was a dispute between the Bishop of Norwich, Herbet Losinga, and the monks at Thetford Priory, founded by Bigod. The monks claimed that Roger's body, along with those of his family and successors, was due to them as part of the foundation charter of the priory (as was common practice at the time). The issue was apparently resolved when the Bishop of Norwich stole the body in the middle of the night and dragged it back to Norwich.

For some time he was thought to have two wives, Adelaide/Adeliza and Alice de Tosny. It is now believed these were the same woman, Adeliza(Alice) de Tosny(Toeni,Toeny). She was the sister and coheiress of William de Tosny, Lord of Belvoir.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, William Bigod, and, after he drowned in the sinking of the White Ship, by his second son, Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk, who later became Earl of Norfolk. He also had 3 daughters: Gunnor, who married Robert, Lord of Rayleigh; Cecily, who married William d'Aubigny "Brito"; and Maud, who married William d'Aubigny "Pincerna", and was mother to William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel.

[edit] Notes

1.^ mentioned by William of Jumièges in Gesta Normannorum Ducum.

Retrieved from ",_1st_Earl_of_Norfolk"

Categories: 1107 deaths | Anglo-Normans | Bigod family | Earls of Norfolk | Normans

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Robert "the Chamberlain" Bigod's Timeline

Avranches, Basse-Normandie, France
Norfolk, England
of St. Sauveur, Calvados, Normandie, France
Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, , England
Norfolk, England
Age 56
Malitot Loges, Chanon, Normandy, France
Malitot, Loges, Chanon, Normandy, France