A Conversation for Yorkshire's Castles: Middleham Castle
Alan Rufus, Ribald and King William
zoetropo Started conversation Apr 15, 2014
Although described in the grant of Earl Edwin's Yorkshire lands to Alan Rufus 1069 as King William's "nephew", Alan was in fact a younger double-second cousin. The effect of the designation "nephew" was to recognise Alan as an heir to the throne, as confirmed by the use of the phrase "secundus a rege" in Alan's epitaph.
Ribald was an illegitimate son of Alan's father, Count Eozen Penteur, which makes the gift of Middleham castle even more remarkable.
Richmond Castle's first constable, Enisant Musard, was the husband to one of Eozen's illegitimate daughters, and Alan also gave Enisant a goodly number of manors in such far flung locations as Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire.
The Bretons seem to have liked getting William the Conqueror to sign documents that described him as "the Bastard King of England", but, given the above instances of generosity to their other illegitimate relatives, perhaps they meant it affectionately?
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