William de Braose 1st Lord of Bramber
(Abt 1049-Between 1093/1096)


Family Links

1. Agnes de Saint Clare

William de Braose 1st Lord of Bramber 1 2

  • Born: Abt 1049, Briouze, Normandy (Basse-Normandie), France
  • Marriage (1): Agnes de Saint Clare
  • Died: Between 1093 and 1096, Bramber Castle, Bramber, Sussex, England

   Another name for William was Guillaume de Briouze.

  Research Notes:

From Wikipedia - William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber :

William de Braose, First Lord of Bramber born 1049 in Briouze, Normandy (today part of the Argentan Arrondissement in the region of Basse-Normandie ). (d. 1093/1096) was a Norman nobleman who participated in the victory at the Battle of Hastings over King Harold Godwinson in support of William the Conqueror as he and his followers invaded and controlled Saxon England . His name at this early stage would have been Guillaume de Briouze.

Norman victor
De Braose was given lands in Sussex , England at Bramber in 1073, where he was lord of the Rape of Bramber [1] and where he built Bramber Castle . De Braose was also awarded lands in the Welsh Marches , and became one of the most powerful of the new Lords of the early Norman era.

He continued to bear arms alongside King William in campaigns in England , Normandy and Maine in France .

He was a pious man and made considerable grants to the Abbey of St, Florent, Samur and to endow the formation of a Priory at Sele, West Sussex near Bramber and a Priory at Briouze .

He was soon installed in a new Norman castle at Bramber, to guard the strategically important harbour at Steyning and so began a vigorous boundary dispute and power tussle with the monks from Fécamp , in Normandy to whom King William I had granted Steyning, brought to a head by the Domesday Book , completed in 1086.

Domesday Squabble
It found that de Braose had built a bridge at Bramber and demanded tolls from ships travelling further along the river to the busy port at Steyning. The monks also challenged Bramber's right to bury people in the churchyard of William de Braose's new church of Saint Nicholas, and demanded the burial fees for themselves, despite it being built to serve the castle not the town. The monks then produced forged documents to defend their position and were unhappy with the failure of their claim on Hastings , which were very similar. The monks claimed the same freedoms and land tenure in Hastings as King Edward had given them at Steyning. Though on a technicality William was bound to uphold all aspects of the status quo before Edward's death, the monks had already been expelled 10 years before that death. King William wanted to hold Hastings for himself for strategic reasons and ignored the problem until 1085, when he confirmed their Steyning claims but swapped the Hastings claim for land in the manor of Bury (near Pulborough in Sussex). In 1086 the King William called his sons, Barons and Bishops to court (the last time an English king presided personally, with his full court, to decide a matter of law) to settle this. It took a full day, and the Abbey won over the baron, forcing William de Braose to curtail his bridge tolls, give up various encroachments onto the Abbey's lands, including a farmed rabbit warren, a park, eighteen burgage plots, a causeway, and a channel to fill his moat, and organise a mass exhumation and transfer of all Bramber's dead to the churchyard of Saint Cuthman's Church in Steyning.

A Norman Dynasty Commenced
William de Braose was succeeded as Lord of Bramber by his son, Philip . William de Braose was present for the consecration of a church in his hometown of Briouze , near Falaise in Normandy , France , whence the name de Braose originates, in 1093, so we know he was still alive in that year. However, his son Philip was issuing charters as Lord of Bramber in 1096, indicating that William de Braose died sometime between those dates probably at Bramber.

  Noted events in his life were:

• Fought: at Battle of Hastings, 1066. with William the Conqueror

• Granted: lands in Sussex, England, 1073.

• Lord of the Rape of Bramber, 1073.

William married Agnes de Saint Clare, daughter of Waldron de Saint Clare and Helena le Bon. (Agnes de Saint Clare was born between 1048 and 1054 in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England and died in 1080.)


1 http://www.familysearch.org.

2 Wikipedia.org, William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber.

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