White Ship

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 25 Nov 1120 to 25 Nov 1120
Location: English Channel, Barfleur, Normandy, just off coastmap
Surname/tag: pre-1500
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The White Ship (French: la Blanche-Nef; Medieval Latin: Candida navis) was a vessel that sank in the English Channel near the Normandy coast off Barfleur, on 25 November 1120. Only one of the around 300 people aboard survived.[1] Those who drowned included William Adelin, the only legitimate son and heir of King Henry I of England, his half-sister Matilda, his half-brother Richard, Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester, and Geoffrey Ridel (royal justice). William Adelin's death led to a succession crisis and a period of civil war in England known as the Anarchy.[1]

The victims of the White Ship disaster on 25 November 1120 (called 7 kalends of December by Farrer[1]) have been unevenly identified by various sources. The impact of the disaster on the throne of England is well-documented, and this article presents the details of what is known (and/or believed) about the crew and passengers of the ill-fated voyage as well as those who chose not to travel on her.[2]


The Dead

Thomas Fitz-Stephen, Captain
Helmsman (unnamed), apparently drunk
Approximately 50 rowsmen and sailors (named)
William Adeline, Duke of Normandy
Matilda (Mathilde) FitzRoy, Countess of Perche
Richard of Lincoln
Richard d'Avranches, 2nd Earl of Chester
Lucia-Mahaut (Matilda), Countess of Chester
Ottuel d'Avranches
Geoffrey Ridel
Gilbert d'Aigle, Vicomte of Exmes
Geoffroy de l'Aigle
Engenulf d'Aigle
William Bigod, steward of the household of King Henry
Gisulf, the king's "iniquitous secretary"
Robert I of Mauduit, chamberlain to the king
Stewards, chamberlains, cupbearers and various officers
An armed marine force, who were apparently very disorderly, drunk and scarcely paid attention to anyone on board
Walter of Everci
Richard Anskill
Richard de Bostock
Robert Mauconduit
Hugh of Molines
Ralph the Red (Ralph le Roux) of Pont-Echanfray
Ivo II de Grandmesnil
William de Grandmesnil
William of Rhuddlan, son of Robert of Rhuddlan
Geoffrey, Archdeacon of Hereford
William, son of Roger, Bishop of Coutances, with his brother and three nephews
Dietrich (Theodoric), son of Heinrich (d. 1105), a relative of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor.

Sole Survivor

Berold, a butcher from Rouen, who was likely on board to collect the debts owed to him by the travelers.

Almost Sailed

Henry I, King of England
Matilda, wife of William Adelin and daughter-in-law of Henry I
Two monks of Tiron (names unknown)
Stephen of Blois
William de Roumare, Earl of Lincoln
Edward of Salisbury, High Sheriff of Wiltshire and chamberlain to the king
Rabel, son of the chamberlain Robert I of Mauduit
Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester
William de Pirou, steward to the king


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "White Ship," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, [1] (accessed June 24, 2020).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Victims of the White Ship disaster," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, [2] (accessed June 24, 2020).

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Thank you for attempting this. Several profiles linked don’t have the death date at 1120. Excelsior
posted by Kristen (Martin) Faust

Categories: White Ship