Gilbert EU (c. 980-1040)

1. Gilbert (Giselbert) "Crispin", Count of Brionne and EU was born circa 0980. He died in 1040. He married Constance de EU.

 

Parentage

Some sources say Gislebert was the son of Godfrey of Brionne and Eu, others that he was the son of Gilbert, Baron of Bec. Still others claim that his father was Crispin de Bec (b. 940). Some say he was the son of an illegitimate child of Richard the Fearless. Gislebert's mother was apparently Haloise de Guines (b. 942).

Life

Whatever his parentage, he inherited Brionne, becoming one of the most powerful landowners in Normandy. He married Gunnora d'Aunou (Gunmore d'Ainon) in 1012. He had children by his wife and a mistress. The name "Crispin" is said to have referred to the family's erect curly hair.

Gislebert was a generous benefactor to Bec Abbey founded by his former knight Herluin in 1031.

When Robert I, Duke of Normandy died in 1035 his illegitimate son William inherited his father's title. Several leading Normans, including Gilbert of Brionne, Osbern the Seneschal and Alan of Brittany, became William's guardians.

Death

A number of Norman barons including Raoul de Gacé would not accept an illegitimate son as their leader. In 1040 an attempt was made to kill William but the plot failed. Gilbert however was murdered while he was peaceably riding near Eschafour. It is believed two of his killers were Ralph of Wacy and Robert de Vitot. This appears to have been an act of vengeance for wrongs inflicted upon the orphan children of Giroie by Gilbert, and it is not clear what Raoul de Gacé had to do in the business. Fearing they might meet their father's fate, his sons Richard and his brother Baldwin were conveyed by their friends to the court of Baldwin, Count of Flanders.

Children

Gilbert was the great progenitor of the illustrious house of Clare, of the Barons Fitz Walter, and the Earls of Gloucester and Hertford.

 

Constance de EU and Gilbert (Giselbert) "Crispin", Count of Brionne and EU had the following children:

 

Richard Fitz Gilbert, Earl of Clare, Lord of Beinfaite, Orbec and Tonbridge (1035-1090). Richard was born in 1035 in Normandy. He married Rohese Giffard in 1054. He died in 1090 in St. Neot's Priory, Huntingdonshire.