Gerbod the Flame

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Gerbod the Flame († after 1075) was a Flemish knight and Earl of Chester in the 11th century.

As Ordericus Vitalis reports, Gerbod the Flame ( Gherbodo Flandrensi ) was entrusted with the county of Chester by William the Conqueror in 1070 . Apparently he had previously made a contribution to the conquest of England. But the following year he was called back to his Flemish homeland by his followers, as his goods there were threatened. This year there was a struggle for succession in Flanders for rule between Robert the Frisian and his nephew, Count Arnulf III. , erupted.

As Vitalis further reports, Gerbod had hardly returned to his enemies' captivity in Flanders and died soon after, which is obviously wrong. Because two Flemish chronicles name him as a participant in the decisive battle of Cassel (February 22, 1071), in which he fought on the side of Robert the Friesian and the young Count Arnulf III. he hit. Despite the victory thus achieved, Gerbod, according to the report of Giselbert von Mons , was afflicted with deep remorse because of his deed and therefore made a pilgrimage to Rome to personally ask the Pope for absolution. After he had shown his steadfastness by having the hand with which he had killed the Count amputated, Pope Gregory VII granted him absolution. On a papal advice, Gerbod renounced worldly life and entered the Benedictine monastery of Cluny as a monk .

Gerbod is documented for the last time in a document issued to the abbot of Saint-Bertin around 1075 , which he attested as advocatus of this abbey. He had a sister, Gundrada († 1085), who was married to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey .


  • CP Lewis: The Formation of the Honor of Chester 1066-1100 , in: Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society (JCAS) 71 (1991), pp. 37-68

Individual evidence

  1. The ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis , vol. II, ed. by Marjorie Chibnall (1990), p. 260
  2. La Chronique de Saint-Hubert dite Cantatorium , ed. by Karl Hanquet (1906), pp. 65-69
  3. Gislebertus of Mons, Chronicle of Hainaut , ed. by Laura Napran (2005), pp. 6-7
  4. The Flemish Nobility before 1300 , vol. II, ed. by E. Warlop (1975-1976), p. 382, ​​no. 249
  5. The ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis , vol. II, ed. by Marjorie Chibnall (1990), p. 264

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predecessor Office successor
--- Earl of Chester
Hugh d'Avranches