Herlève  (Falaise) de Mortain

Herlève (Falaise) de Mortain (abt. 1003 - abt. 1055)

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Herlève (Herleva) "Arlette, Harlette" de Mortain formerly Falaise aka de Falaise
Born about in Calvados, Normandy, Francemap [uncertain]
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
Wife of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Mortain, Normandy, Francemap
Falaise-2 created 14 Sep 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 30 Sep 2017
09:18: Maryann (Thompson) Hurt edited the Biography for Herleva (Falaise) de Mortain. (changed category to narrower category) [Thank Maryann for this]
This page has been accessed 12,700 times.

Categories: Royal Mistresses | Famous People of the 11th Century.


Contents

Biography

Name

  • Herleve[1]  : Herlava; Arlette (c.1003- c.1050)[2][3]
  • Arlette [1]

Parents

Herleve's father was Fulbert de Falaise. [4][5]

Herleve's mother was named Doda or Duwa. [5] [6]

Bree Ogle | Mar 2014 WikiTree -- The earliest accounts of Herleva come from Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. 1142).[7] They were not written down until 80 years after she met Robert the Magnificent. It was only through Wace and Benoit in the 12th century, and later 17th century writings, that she became known as a the daughter of tanner.[8]

Scholarship discounts this based on examination of the original source, the context of the public heckling of Duke William, and the Latin and French words later chroniclers had trouble translating.[8]

According to van Houts (1986), Fulbert was probably a mortician. He is described as, "a person who laid out corpses," and "might have embalmed bodies." As Chamberlain of the ducal court, this was one of Fulbert's duties.[8]

The Legend of Robert and Herleve

According to one legend, still recounted by tour guides at Falaise, it all started when Robert, the young Duke of Normandy saw Herleva from the roof of his castle tower. The walkway on the roof still looks down on the dyeing trenches cut into stone in the courtyard below, which can be seen to this day from the tower ramparts above. The traditional way of dyeing leather or garments was for individuals to trample barefoot on the garments which were awash in the dyeing liquid in these trenches. Herleva, legend goes, seeing the Duke on his ramparts above, raised her skirts perhaps a bit more than necessary in order to attract the Duke's eye. The latter was immediately smitten and ordered her brought in (as was customary for any woman that caught the Duke's eye) through the back door. Herleva refused, saying she would only enter the Duke's castle on horseback through the front gate, and not as an ordinary commoner. The Duke, filled with lust, could only agree. In a few days, Herleva, dressed in the finest her father could provide, and sitting on a white horse, rode proudly through the front gate, her head held high. This gave Herleva a semi-official status as the Duke's mistress. [9]

1027 Robert I and William the Bastard

There is some controversy as to whether Herleve married Robert. Freeman reports their relationship as a marriage: "Herleve married first Robert, Duke of Normandy. Issue: William the Conqueror [10]

There is also the possibility that they were married according to "More danico", the "Danish Way". [11] She was referred to in the Grestain abbey as "a legitimate wife according to old Norman traditions." [12]

At the same time, up-and-coming reformists like pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand of Sovana) hoped to ban these customs and establish authoritarian rule. As a "concubine" through this lens, a "frilla" like Herleve is a glance at the long process of the Christianization of Europe, and the outing of indigenous culture.[13][14]

Still struggling for power and legitimacy, the seat of Rome had barely cleaned up its own house, before it got caught between the Roman aristocracy, and the slaughter of the Saracens and unstoppable Norman "barbarians." Unable to maintain its own security, the papacy cut a deal with the devil, and asked for the backing of the Norman military. It worked, but Rome paid a fateful price before it was able to achieve absolute rule.[14]

So at this juncture, the lack of a wedding sanctioned by the Roman church was no threat to the rank or inheritance of England's future Norman king.[15] And by the time the Conqueror was on the throne, the papacy was lucky to have any influence on him at all.[16] Incidentally, William was born around c.1028 in Falaise, Normandy.[17]

Nevertheless, contemporary genealogists such as Douglas Richardson state that "she became the mistress of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, and by him had one illegitimate son, William the Conqueror, King of England, Duke of Normandy."[1]

It should also be noted that while William was never known as "the Conqueror" during his life time, he was often referred to as "William the Bastard." [18]

1030 Marriage of Herleve and Herluin

About 1030 Herleve married Herluin de Conteville, Vicomte, seigneur of Conteville. [1] Some writers assume that the marriage to Herluin occurred only after Robert's death.

Herleve and Herluin had two sons, and one daughter:[1]

  1. Eudes or Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Earl of Kent, died Jan 1097 [1]
  2. Robert de Mortain, Count of Mortain, [1] born after 1040 - d. 8 Dec 1090.
  3. Muriel. [1]

1050 Grestain Abbey: ✝ Abbey Notre Dame de Grestain ✝

Herluin founded Grestain Abbey i Normandy about 1050. He and his wife renounced their claim to the tithe of Toutainville and to the vill called Mesnil-Dastin to Preaux Abbey. [1][19]

At some point, Herlave's second husband supposedly had leprosy.[20] This is said to have inspired the couple to found the Abbey Notre-Dame de Grestain in 1050,[20] but other sources state Herleva had no part in it.[21] It's assumed Herlave is buried there or Mortain, Haute-Normandie.[22]

1050 Death

Herluin's wife, Herleve, is thought to have been living in 1050-51, but died soon afterwards. [1]

Herluin and his first wife, Arlette, were buried in Grestain Abbey. [1]

Remarriage of Husband

Herluin married, 2nd, Fredesende. They had two sons, Jean, who appears to have died young, and Raoul Fitz Herluin (or de Conteville), seigneur of Corneville-sur-Risle and Martainville-en-Lieuvin, presumably Domesday tenant of Chapel Allerton, Huish (in Burnham), Adber (in Trent) and Brent, Somerset. Herluin de Conteville died about 1066. [1]

His widow, Fredesende, granted part of dower lands at Le Neubourg, Cantelou, and Honnaville, to Grestain Abbey. [1]

Issue

Documented Children

Herleve had children by both Robert and Herluin. Herleve and Herluin had two sons, and one daughter:[1]

  1. Guillaume de Normandie or William of Normandy, son of Herleve and Robert of Normandy, born at Falaise Castle in Normandy in 1027.
  2. Eudes or Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Earl of Kent. [1], born 1030, died 1097.
  3. Robert de Mortain, Count of Mortain, [1] born after 1040 - d. 8 Dec 1090.
  4. Muriel. [1]

Other Children Attributed to Herleve

  1. An uncertain daughter married Guillaume de la Ferté-Macé. She might have been the dau. of Frendesendis [23]
  2. Adelais de Lens, born 1035 in Falaise Castle. [24]
  3. Emma d'Avranches born April 30, 1039 in Conteville, Calvados


Note

.[25]

living 1049.[6]

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Kimball G. Everingham, ed. Salt Lake City, Utah: 2013. Volume 5, page 487
  2. Cawley, C. (2006). Medieval Lands. [1]
  3. Wikipedia: Herleva;
  4. Stewart Baldwin, Henry Project. [2]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Charles Cawley, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medieval Lands Database. [3]
  6. Royals and Nobles: A Genealogist's Tool. pp.45. iUniverse, 2002).[4]
  7. Wikipedia: Orderic Vitalis
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Van Houts, (1986). The Origins of Herleva, Mother of William the Conqueror. The English Historical Review, 101(399), pp. 399-404. Oxford University Press. JSTOR. Retrieved 26 Mar 2014.
  9. Posted by Roger Wehr, 2011
  10. "When the said William had been born, in that same year Duke Robert took as his wife the boy's mother, whom he had deflowered." (Freeman, 1870, pp.615)
  11. Danish Way."
  12. Arlette. Abbey Notre-Dame de Grestain
  13. Abbey Notre-Dame de Grestain: The family of Arlette.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Norwich, J. J. (2011). A History of the Papacy: Absolute Monarchs. NY: Random House. eBook.
  15. Danish Way
  16. Wikipedia:Pope Gregory VII
  17. "William the Conqueror," (n.d.). bio.com. Web. Accessed 08 Mar 2014.
  18. Wikipedia. William the Conqueror. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Conqueror. Accessed May 12, 2017. jhd
  19. Wikipedia: Grestain Abbey; Abbey Notre-Dame de Grestain;
  20. 20.0 20.1 Wikipedia: Grestain Abbey
  21. Wikipedia: Herleva
  22. Ogle, B. (2014, March 26). Herlave Falaise Mortain: Biography. WikiTree. Web.
  23. Cawley, 2006.[5]
  24. 1 GEDCOM asserts she had another daughter with Robert named Adelaide of Normandy (1029-1090).[citation needed]
  25. place of birth unknown. Some say family was from Chaumont in diocese of Liège but moved to Falaise, Calvados, Basse Normandie. Other state they were from Huy.[citation needed]

See also:

Abbott, J. (1903). William the Conqueror (pp. 41). N.p.

Chronicle of St-Maxentius.

Crouch, D. (2002). The Normans- The History of a Dynasty, (pp 52–53, 58). Hambledon.

Douglas, D.C. (1964). William the Conqueror, (pp. 15, 381-382). Berkeley and LA: University of California Press.

Freeman, E. A. (1867). The History of the Norman Conquest, (pp. 530, 615). N.p.

McLynn, F. (1999). 1066: The Year of the Three Battles, (pp. 21–23). N.p.

Palgrave, F. (1864). The History of Normandy and of England, (pp.145). N.p



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Memories: 1

On 4 Dec 2011 Roger Wehr wrote:

According to one legend, still recounted by tour guides at Falaise, it all started when Robert, the young Duke of Normandy saw Herleva from the roof of his castle tower. The walkway on the roof still looks down on the dyeing trenches cut into stone in the courtyard below, which can be seen to this day from the tower ramparts above. The traditional way of dyeing leather or garments was for individuals to trample barefoot on the garments which were awash in the dyeing liquid in these trenches. Herleva, legend goes, seeing the Duke on his ramparts above, raised her skirts perhaps a bit more than necessary in order to attract the Duke's eye. The latter was immediately smitten and ordered her brought in (as was customary for any woman that caught the Duke's eye) through the back door. Herleva refused, saying she would only enter the Duke's castle on horseback through the front gate, and not as an ordinary commoner. The Duke, filled with lust, could only agree. In a few days, Herleva, dressed in the finest her father could provide, and sitting on a white horse, rode proudly through the front gate, her head held high. This gave Herleva a semi-official status as the Duke's mistress.[



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Collaboration

On 23 Jun 2017 at 17:15 GMT Jack Day wrote:

There is no documentation that Herleve, mistress of Robert, Duke of Normandy and mother of William the Conqueror, was ever married to Robert, therefore I have delinked them as husband and wife. Links for cros-reference remain in the narrative.

On 23 Apr 2017 at 20:44 GMT Sarah (Murtaugh) Heiney wrote:

De Falaise-133 and Falaise-2 appear to represent the same person because: Clear duplicate

On 19 Mar 2016 at 17:50 GMT Marc Cohen wrote:

Unknown-290714 and Falaise-2 do not represent the same person because: Unknown-290714 contains nothing but a name and a DOB that is wildly different from Falaise-2. There is no useful information in it, and no way of knowing what person it represents. This merge was previously proposed and has already been rejected.

On 19 Mar 2016 at 05:29 GMT Marc Cohen wrote:

I agree with David Robinson. About Unknown-290714 all we have is a name and a DOB that is nowhere near Falaise-2. The simplest solution is just to drop the nearly vacuous profile for Unknown-290714.

On 19 Mar 2016 at 04:24 GMT David Robinson wrote:

Unknown-290714 and Falaise-2 do not represent the same person because: Dates way off; not enough info in Unknown-290714. More research needed.

On 18 Mar 2016 at 09:54 GMT Paul Skinner wrote:

Unknown-290714 and Falaise-2 do not represent the same person because: not the same

On 23 Oct 2015 at 23:09 GMT Robert Richards wrote:

De Falaise-133 and De Falaise-135 appear to represent the same person because: This is 1 of 3 Arlettes after this the remaining is De Falaise-2

On 3 Nov 2014 at 07:10 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

Follow the links - UNKNOWN-2800 is the mother of William the Conqueror (duplicate) and her "husband" is Duke Robert.

On 31 Oct 2014 at 15:01 GMT Robin Wood wrote:

UNKNOWN-2800 and Falaise-2 are not ready to be merged because: Too little info to be certain they are the same person

On 31 Oct 2014 at 15:00 GMT Robin Wood wrote:

Unknown-248089 and Falaise-2 are not ready to be merged because: not convinced they are the same person

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Herleva is 27 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 24 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 32 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 25 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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