The Supporting Cast: William’s Brothers

William, Duke of Normandy, was accompanied during his invasion of England by two half-brothers: Odo of Bayeux and Robert of Mortain.  They were the sons of William’s mother, Herleva, and Herluin de Conteville. Both played key roles in support of William’s conquest.

Although Odo was an ordained Christian cleric, he is best known as a warrior and statesman. He found ships for the invasion of England – a crucial commodity for an invasion the size of William’s. Though Odo was present at the Battle of Hastings, he probably did not actually fight, instead encouraging the troops from the rear. After the battle he wold commission the Bayeux tapestry.

Odo’s brother and William’s half-brother, Robert, was made Count of Mortain in the Cotentin, in place of one William Warlenc, who had been banished by Duke William on suspicion of treason.  Five years later Robert supported William against the French King Henri I’s invasion of Normandy. He was later at the council of Lillebonne in 1066, held to discuss the Duke’s planned conquest of England .  There, Robert agreed to contribute 120 ships to the invasion fleet, making him one of the undoubted Companions of the Conqueror, who fought at William’s side at the Battle of Hastings where he commanded a company of knights from the Cotentin.

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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