Wilhelm (Mortain)

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Wilhelm († after 1140) was a Norman and Count of Mortain and Earl of Cornwall from the House of Conteville . He was a son of Count Robert von Mortain and Mathilde de Montgommery, his uncle was William the Conqueror .

Wilhelm followed his father, who died in 1090, in his Norman and English possessions. He supported the accession of Henry I Beauclerc to the throne in 1101 in the hope of receiving from him the county of Kent , which had once belonged to his uncle, Bishop Odo of Bayeux . The new king rejected this request and instead offered Wilhelm a marriage to the Scottish princess Maria, who was a sister of the English queen Edith / Mathilde . Wilhelm refused this offer and moved to Normandy to the side of his older brother, Duke Robert Kurzhose , who was at war with the king , which cost him the possession of Cornwall. In 1106 Heinrich Beauclerc attacked Normandy and besieged Wilhelm's Tinchebray Castle . During Duke Roberts' attempt at relief, the battle of Tinchebray took place on September 22nd , in which the King of England was victorious and the Duke as well as Wilhelm fell into captivity.

Henry of Huntington reported that William was secretly blinded by the king's orders. The annals of the Clunician monastery of Bermondsey , written in the 15th century, report that Wilhelm had joined their monastic community as a monk in 1140. It is possible that he was released from custody by King Stephen , who incidentally had been given the county of Mortain by Heinrich I Beauclerc around 1113, and recommended to the abbey, with which he had good relations.

Wilhelm had supported the establishment of the Blanche Abbey in Mortain by Adeline, the sister of St. Vitalis, the founder of the Savigny Abbey .

See also Rape (Sussex)


  • C. Potts: The earliest Norman counts revisited: the lords of Mortain. In: The Haskins Society Journal. Volume 4, 1992, pp. 23-35

Individual evidence

  1. DE Greenway: Henry of Huntington and the Manuscripts of his Historia Anglorum. In: Anglo-Norman Studies (ANS). Volume 9, 1987, pp. 121 and 126
  2. Annales Monastici , III, ed. by HR Luard in Rolls Series (1864-1869), pp. 432 and 436

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predecessor Office successor
Robert Count of Mortain
ducal domain
Robert Earl of Cornwall
royal domain