Individual Page


Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Rohese GIFFARD: Birth: ABT 1034 in Longueville, Normandy, FRA. Death: AFT 1113 in ENG

  2. Person Not Viewable


Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Walter Giffard: Death: 15 JUL 1102 in ENG


Sources
1. Title:   New England Historical & Genealogical Register
Page:   75:60
2. Title:   The Complete Peerage
Page:   2:386
3. Source:   NEHGR, VOL 75

Notes
a. Note:   NEHGR Volume 75, p. 60: Count of Longueville, who assumed the name of Gyffarde (cf. Ordericus Vitalis). Called Walter Giffard the Elder in the histories of Ordericus Vitalis and William of Jumieges. In 1035 he was a companion of his brother-in-law, Hugh de Gournay, in the abortive attempt of Edward, son of King Ethelred, to recover the crown of England. He gained renown in the armies of Duke William (the Conqueror), in the war between Normandy and France, and in 1053 he was left by Duke William in command of the forces blockading the castle of Arques. When Duke William invaded England (1066), Walter Gyffarde, then well-advanced in years, furnished 30 vessels and 100 men at arms.
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  "Walter Giffard "the elder," as he is styled in the chronicles of Orderic Vitalis nad William de Jumieges, flourished between the years 1035 and 1084. The story of his relationship to the Ducal House of Normandy is told by the latter historian, who relates how the Earl Richard, being lodged in the house of one of his foresters during a hunting expedition, was so struck with the beauty of the forester's wife, he ordered her to be conducted at night to his chamber. The forester sadly recounted these orders to his wife, who, being a virtuous woman, consoled him by saying that she would put in her place her sister Gunnora, who was younger and much better looking than herself. This was done, and the Duke, after he was informed of the deception passed upon him, was rejoiced to find that he had not committed so great a sin. Gunnora afterwards lived with him for many years as his mistress, until, wishing to promote Robert, one his sons by her, to the Archbishopric of Rouen, the Earl was informed that the canonical laws would not permit an illegimate son to be consecrated, and for that reason he married Gunnora according to Christian rites, and in this way legitimated all his offsrping by her. "The story "*si non e vero e ben trovato*," but it bears too close a resemblance to a well-known scriptural incident, and was probably invented by the monks to embellish the reputation of Gunnora after she had become Duchess of Normandy. Like our own Queen Elizabeth Woodville, in somewhat similar circumstances, Gunnora had a bevy of younger sisters whom she promoted by marrying them to the Duke, and in this way the third sister, Avelina, was given in marriage to Osbern de Bolebec, Lord of Longueville, by whom she had Walter Giffard the first, and Godfrey, father of William d'Arques. "Walter married one of the daughters of Girard Flatel or Fleitel, and had issue Walter Giffard the second and several daughters, one of whom, Rohais, married Richard, the son of Earl Gilbert (de Brionne) [footnote: *Histoire des Normands*, by William of Jumieďż˝ges, chapters 36 and 37. The reader will note the origin of the names of Osbern and Gerard afterwards borne by the Giffards. Gunnora is the Danish Gunnor, from which is derived Guinevra, Guinevere, and finally Genevieve."]. As Duke Richard died in 996, even allowing for the fact that Osbern de Bolebec was a mere youth at the date of his marriage with Avelina, Walter Giffard the first must have been far advanced in life at the date of the conquest of England in 1066, and this agrees with all we have been told of him from other sources. He first appears in 1035, as a companion of his brother-in-law, Hugh de Gournay, in the abortive attempt of Edward, son of King Ethelred, to recover the crown of England. [Planche''s *Conqueror and his Companions*, Vol. I, p. `63.] He is next heard of in 1053, when he was left by Duke William in command of the forces blockading the Castle of Arques. For the invasion of England he found thirty vessels and a hundred men-at-arms, and Wace informs us in his *Roman de Rou* that previous to the battle Raoul de Conches, the hereditary standard bearer of Normandy, having asked to be quit of the service that he might fight with greater freedom, the Duke called to him Walter Giffard and desired him to bear the gonfanon. Walter prayed to be excused on the ground that he was too old and feeble. "For the mercy of God, Sire," said the old knight, "look upon my white and bald head. My strength is impaired, and I am short of breath." Whereupon the Duke excused him. Orderic Vitalis names Gauthier Giffard amongs the Conqueror's companions of most military reputation, and in another part of his chronicle states that "Gauthier surnomme' Giffard eut en partage le Comte' de Buckingham," at the same time as William de Warenne and Ralph de Guader received the Earldoms of Surrey and Norfolk." [continued under Walter (2) GIFFARD] --- Maj.-Gen The Hom. George Wrottesley, *Giffards from the Conquest to the Present Time*, in *Collections for a History of Staffordshire*, vol V. New Series, London (Harrison and Sons) 1902, p 4-5.


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