Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk

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Coat of arms of Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk

Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk (* around 1143; † before August 2, 1221 ) was an English magnate . He belonged to the aristocratic opposition that forced King John Ohneland to recognize the Magna Carta .

Origin and inheritance dispute

Roger Bigod came from the Anglo-Norman family Bigod . He was the only son from the marriage of Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk and his first wife Juliana de Vere, a sister of Aubrey de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford . His mother was rejected by his father, after which his father married Gundred, a daughter of Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick . He had other children with her, including sons Hugh and William. After his father's deaths in 1176 or 1177, Gundred claimed that her husband installed their son Hugh in place of their stepson Roger as heir to the Bigod family estates, especially since he allegedly did not acquire many of those estates until after Hugh was born. King Henry II took advantage of this inheritance dispute to take revenge for Hugh Bigod's support for Henry the Younger , who had rebelled against his father in vain from 1173 to 1174. Although Roger, unlike his father, stayed on the king's side during the rebellion and supported him in the years that followed, the king made no decision in the inheritance dispute and confiscated the lands disputed between the half-brothers, in addition to which he declared the title of Earl of Norfolk forfeited due to the rebellion. Only King Richard the Lionheart gave Bigod the title of Earl of Norfolk again on his accession to the throne in 1189 for a relatively small fee of 1,000 marks (about £ 666).

Vassal of the English kings

In return, Bigod remained a loyal vassal during the king's crusade , presumably even traveling to Germany to accompany the king, who had been captured on his return from the crusade, home after his release. Accordingly, Bigod was in high favor with the king and was one of the four earls who wore a silk canopy over the king when he was again coronated in 1194. From 1194 to 1196 he served as Baron of the Exchequer , he served as a royal judge and steward of the royal household . The dispute with his half-brother Hugh over the inheritance of their father was not settled until 1199, however, in a settlement Roger had to hand over a small property to his half-brother. Around this time he was able to begin rebuilding Framlingham Castle , the main seat of the family, which was destroyed after the rebellion of 1174 . In doing so, he fortified the castle according to the latest findings of castle construction with a strong ring wall with several towers open to the courtyard instead of a central keep. Richard's brother and successor, Johann Ohneland, also served Bigod loyally for years. He took part in the king's coronation on May 27, 1199, after which he was part of the embassy that led the Scottish King William I to England, where he paid homage to John for his English possessions. He then accompanied King John during the Franco-English War from 1202 to Normandy and during the campaign of 1206 to Poitou . He also took part in the campaigns to Scotland in 1209, to Ireland in 1210 and Wales in 1211.

Rebel against the king

Despite his loyal service to date, Bigod rebelled against the king from 1215 onwards. One of the main reasons for this was the ever increasing financial demands made by the king on his barons. To finance his numerous campaigns, the king repeatedly raised shield money from his barons, depending on the size of the property , so that the wealthy Bigod was supposed to pay shield money for 160 Knight's fee . This forced him in 1211 to sign a payment agreement with the royal treasurer. He was supposed to pay a one-time fee of 2000 marks (£ 1333) for the open shield money, and it was agreed that in future he would only have to pay shield money for 60 Knight's fee. Bigod paid 1,340 marks until 1212, then he was waived the outstanding 360 marks. Bigod, however, had other reasons for his discontent with the king. When he became involved in a lawsuit with William the Falconer in 1207 , he found the chosen judges biased, but his objections were rejected by the king and the trial against him continued.

When the armed opposition rallied at Stamford in April 1215 to defend their rights against the king, Bigod and his eldest son Hugh joined them. Under pressure from the rebels, the king had to recognize the Magna Carta in June and Bigod was elected one of 25 barons to oversee the king's compliance with the Magna Carta. When the king, with the support of the Pope, revoked his recognition of the Magna Carta in September, Bigod and his son were among the leaders of the rebellion in East Anglia during the ensuing war of the barons against the king . For this he and his son were in December by Pope Innocent III. excommunicated . After the king had led a successful campaign against the rebels in northern England in early 1216, he then turned against the rebels in eastern England. In March 1216 King Johann was able to conquer Framlingham Castle , the headquarters of the bigods, after a brief siege. He pardoned the captured followers of Bigod and offered him to submit, otherwise he threatened to expropriate him. Nevertheless, Roger and his son continued to fight on the side of the rebels until, after the Peace of Lambeth in September 1217 , they joined the Regency Council, which was responsible for the underage new King Henry III. the government led, subjugated. Bigod got his lands and titles back by April 1218, but now over 70 years old he increasingly withdrew and died three years later.

Roger Bigod rebuilt the destroyed Framlingham Castle with a strong curtain wall instead of a central keep

Family and offspring

Bigod had married Ida, whose origin is unclear. He had several children with her, including:

His heir became his eldest son, Hugh.

Religious foundations

Bigod, like many of his noble contemporaries, was a generous benefactor who supported a number of monasteries throughout his long life. Like his ancestors, he promoted Earls Colne Priory in Essex , as well as the Abbeys of Wymondham in Norfolk and Rochester in Kent . Other monasteries he supported were Carrow and Hickling in Norfolk and Bungay , Leiston and Sibton in Suffolk.

Web links

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predecessor Office successor
Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk
Hugh Bigod