Where was William Rufus born?

+5 votes
ODNB has no birthplace for William Rufus. It seems unlikely to me that he was born in Brittany. Whatever was Matilda doing there? There must be a source for this somewhere. Do we have it?
WikiTree profile: William II of England
in The Tree House by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)

The "fact" that he was born in Plougineau seems only to be known to genealogy websites who usually style it as the nonsensical "Normandy, Plouigneau, Bretagne, France". No real source seems to exist.

Ironically the profile manager is the leader of the EuroAristo project. He presumably thinks the best way to refer to William Rufus's father is: Guillaume (William I the Conqueror) "Duke of Normandy, King of England"  de Normandie formerly Normandie.

John didn't make the rules, he only inherited them.

They aren't laying claim to any famous sons


They would if they could.

7 Answers

+5 votes
by Eddie King G2G6 Pilot (715k points)
They don't know, either.
+6 votes
We aren't sure how many kids she had or what order they were born in.  So I'm not surprised that sort of detail isn't out there.

It's only a tradition that Henry I was born at Selby.  There's no primary source.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (649k points)
So? That just makes Brittany seem so much more absurd. Rouen would be a better guess if we're guessing, or just plain Normandy (uncertain) if we're not.
+5 votes
Pickling holes but surely Brittany wasn't in France at that time. Same could be debated about Normandy. The lovely part of the Forest where he is said to have died is definitely in Hampshire.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)

Definitely Hampshire, even if the Rufus Stone might be a few miles out.

I frequently pickle my holes!

I followed up on the idea that  suggested that the death took place nearer Beaulieu than Minstead.

I found this

 https://beaulieuhistorysociety.org.uk/images/newsletters/BHSNewsletter03Final.pdf which includes a summary of the research by Arthur Lloyd, a local historian

He cites  several  strands of evidence.  These are the few I've been able to check

1) The Waverley Abbey Chronicles say that King John built the Cistercian Abbey of  Beaulieu Abbey (Bellum Locum) close to the place where King William Ruffus was slain. (the Abbey was built in about 1204)

Rex Johannes quandam abbatiam  de ordine cisterciensi construxit, quod bellum locum nominavit, propre locum ubi Willemus rex Ruffus occisus est.


2) Two much later writers give similar place names

Leland,(1502-1552) writes 'the place where it is sayde that Tyrelle kyllyd King William Rufus ys caullid  Thorougham, and there standeth yet a chapel'

 Stow,1525-650 writes,that  William  was hunting in' the New Forest of Hampshire,in a place called Chorengham,whence since a chapel was builded' (Lloyd suggests that the C is in error for a T)


Thorougham, no longer exists, it was, writes Lloyd, the later name of  one of several manors called Truham and Trucham  mentioned in the Domesday survey,  These stood on the banks of the River Otter (from 1205 the River Beaulieu)

The National Archives website also stages  that  Truham/Trucham  was 'in' Beaulieu

 'Througham, In Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire, Folio 51 R .Domesday place name Truham/Trucham  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7300843

I think that there is no question that the death place should be changed to New Forest, Hampshire . Perhaps, changing it to Beaulieu,New Forest,  might be a bit radical, since there is no certainty . (and it would presumably have been called either Truham or Trucham then )Nevertheless,  the tradition goes back to whenever that bit of the Waverley Annals was written (the preface seems to suggest that the bit from 1157 onwards was near contemporaneous, so it would have been written about 100 years after William's death )

Edit, have been bold and changed death place to New Forest, Hampshire, written a paragraph with the details above. 

Edit 2

If its a nice day, the Sir Walter Tyrell looks to be an excellent place to pickle ones holessmiley

Was assaulted by a mare there once when I was walking on her favoured path. Never heard her behind me then bang, went flying. Tourists don't realise how dangerous those pretty ponies are.
+3 votes
Okay. We've had a nice little chat and a bit of a giggle. What is the protocol now? I'm never quite sure. Wait til PM notices, Email him or just change it to Normandy and New Forest, Hampshire. Unsourced. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle version E just says he was killed while hunting, taken to Winchester and buried next day. I have no other source to hand.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
Douglas Adams wrote about recreational impossibilities like getting the Brantisvogan Civil Service to acknowledge a change of address. This would be relatively easy compared to getting a EuroAristo profile corrected.
+3 votes
There may be an implicit assumption in some posts that everything on a profile was written (and endorsed) by the profile manager.  Once you have been around WikiTree for a while, you realize this assumption is wrong.  

To see who added what information to a profile look under Changes.  You'll see on many that it came from an initial Gedcom upload, often without sources.  Today's profile managers are attempting to clean these up.  But we're all volunteers, and every one of our clocks has no more than 24 hours.

I'm profile manager on many profiles I created, but I also adopted profiles -- not because they're already beautiful but because they need work and I want to work on them in the future.  

So please if you see something questionable about a profile, jump in to help, in the spirit of collaboration, but don't be singling out the profile manager for blame.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (478k points)
Jack, I wasn't picking on anyone. I know how diligent John is. What I have not determined is what one is supposed to do with little bits of stuff like that when a profile is protected. Had I believed it was within the protocol I'd have done it myself. Changing the place of birth is a significant change to a profile, I presume.
The fact that someone else is the profile manager is not supposed to prevent others from making a contribution to a profile.  

The most appropriate place to contribute is by adding either a comment -- when you have a question -- or if you have a source, by adding the correct information to the biography along with the source.  And then if you're confident about the source, change the birth information in the data field, especially if there is not already a good source in the biography.

Anything and everything in the data field is pure fiction.  PURE fiction -- unless it is backed up by sourced information in the narrative.  So when you have a good source and there is no source backing up the data field at the moment, you not only have permission to make the change, you have the responsibility to make the change!

I do try to leave a sentence in the narrative that "popular genealogies sometimes show the person to have been born in Timbuktu, however sources to support this have been found."

If there's any question, ask to be on the trusted list.  That lets the profile manager(s) know you're working on the profile and if they have any concerns they can share them then.
Thanks for the above. My question is really about project protection. What then? Also note that this conversation has done more for the profile than I would have been able to do myself. Cheers everyone.
Project Protection simply means you can't change the LNAB and the links to parents, wives and children.  Now we're moving toward every profile that has PPP on it should also have a project as one of the profile managers.  That tells you that the project has an extra level of interest, and if you write a comment, it goes to everyone on the project's google group.  

But it shouldn't discourage you from adding facts to the profile.  That's why we retain a change history.  If it's a goof, it can be fixed.  If it's vandalism a click of the link will put the profile back the way it was before you touched it.  So the system is designed to encourage improvements, not retard them.
Thank you.

"jump in to help, in the spirit of collaboration"

Sorry Jack, but, with all respect, jumping in without consultation and discussion is not collaboration.

And yet, Wikipedia is collaborative.
People add, subtract, and change things to profile I manage all the time.  I manage the profile, I don't own it.  The changes show up in my feed and I check them out.  My most frequent response is "thank you."  Sometimes I send the person a note asking for better sourcing and sometimes I need to tell them why their change was wrong.
+5 votes
I have changed his birth to probably Normandy, France, and added a birth section to the profile.  If anyone thinks they can be more precise, they just need to add a source.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (265k points)
Late comment (G2G works strangely) but I agree with this approach. I remove "nice guess" birth and death places that clearly have no real sourcing, and I have discussed that approach before on G2G without hearing too many complaints that I recall. Normally the guesses are not even really nice guesses, but based on something else in the same family tree, like the big castle where the grandson lived.
+2 votes

William II's exact date of birth is unknown, although apparently he was born in Normandy.


by J-M Mustchin-Gibson-Mooney G2G6 Mach 1 (10.9k points)

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