Earl of Hereford

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Earl of Hereford was a hereditary title of nobility , which was awarded three times in Anglo-Saxon England and in the Anglo-Norman Peerage of England . The title was named after the English County of Hereford (Herefordshire) .

Awards and history of the title

The first Anglo-Saxon Earl / Ealdorman of Hereford was Sweyn Godwinson , son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex , who received an earldom from King Edward the Confessor in 1043 , which consisted of Herefordshire , Gloucestershire , Oxfordshire , Berkshire and Somerset . Its headquarters was Hereford , where he had Hereford Castle built. In 1051 Sweyn was banished from England by the king. King Edward the Confessor thereupon appointed his nephew Ralph de Mantes as Earl of Hereford in 1052 . In 1055 this was attacked by the exiled Earl of Mercia, Ælfgar , and the Welsh King of Gwynedd , Gruffydd ap Llywelyn , who plundered the town of Hereford and destroyed Hereford Castle. Raoul then fell out of favor with the king and died in 1057. The king conferred the earldom third to Harold Godwinson , the Earl of Wessex and East Anglia . Harold was crowned King himself as Harald II on January 6, 1066 , whereby his earl title became extinct by merging with the crown.

In the same year, the Norman conquest of England began by Duke William II of Normandy , who was crowned King of England as William I on December 25, 1066 . He bestowed the title of Earl of Hereford in February 1067 at the latest to his second uncle, William de Crépon, called FitzOsbern . His son Roger de Breteuil , the 2nd Earl, revolted unsuccessfully in 1075 in the uprising of the counts against King Wilhelm, whereupon his titles were stripped from him and his lands were confiscated.

During the turmoil of the Anarchy , Queen Matilda bestowed the title on her constable Miles of Gloucester on a charter dated July 25, 1141 . When his childless eldest son Roger Fitzmiles , the 2nd Earl, died, King Henry II declared the Earldom to be extinguished and confiscated the lands connected to it, although younger brothers with inheritance rights still existed.

On April 28, 1199, King John bestowed the title on his constable Henry de Bohun . This was a grandson of a daughter of the Miles of Gloucester. His son, Humphrey de Bohun , the 2nd Earl, was also elevated to the Earl of Essex in 1236 . His great-grandson Humphrey de Bohun , who later became the 7th Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, also inherited the title of 2nd Earl of Northampton in 1360 . When the latter died on January 16, 1373, he left no male descendants, so that his titles became void.

List of the Earls of Hereford

Anglo-Saxon awards

First award (1043)

Second award (1052)

Third award (1058)

  • Harold Godwinson (1022-1066), crowned as Harald II in 1066 - title merged with crown

Anglo-Norman awards

Fourth award (1067)

Fifth Award (1141)

Sixth award (1199)

See also


Web links

Notes and individual references

  1. Ann Williams: Swein [Sweyn], earl (d. 1052). In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . 2004, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/26831
  2. Fitz-Osbern, Roger . In: Encyclopædia Britannica . 11th edition. tape 10 : Evangelical Church - Francis Joseph I . London 1910, p. 446 (English, full text [ Wikisource ]).
  3. ^ The Complete Peerage. Volume 4, p. 215
  4. His possessions were divided between his two underage daughters Eleanor (around 1366-1399) and Mary (1369-1394). The lands in Herefordshire fell to Mary, who had married Henry Bolingbroke in 1381 . When Mary came of age in 1384, he took their lands in possession and kept them after her death in 1394. In 1397 he was raised to Duke of Hereford and in 1399 crowned King Henry IV .