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Roger Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk

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Roger Bigod (d. 1107) was a Norman knight who came to England in the Norman Conquest. He became the 1st Earl of Norfolk in 1074, and four of his descendants held that earldom after him.

In his native pre-invasion Normandy, Roger had been a relatively poor and unimportant person. However, after 1066 he started to amass many small or scattered landholdings, making him the most important person in East Anglia and beyond. The Domesday Book lists him as holding 6 lordships in Essex, 117 in Suffolk and 187 in Norfolk.

Two of the places associated with Roger Bigod are Framlingham and Bungay in Suffolk. Framlingham Castle and Bungay Castle were built and improved by successive generations.

In 1069 he, along with Robert Malet and Ralph de Gael (the then Earl of Norfolk), defeated Sweyn I of Denmark near Ipswich.

In 1074 he was created Earl of Norfolk. At that time he was also Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.

In 1087 he joined in a rebellion against William II, who was to be deposed in favour of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. He seems to have lost his lands after the rebellion had failed, but got them back again.

In 1101 there was another attempt to bring in Robert of Normandy by unseating Henry I, but this time Roger Bigod stayed loyal to Henry.

He died on September 9, 1107 and is buried in Norwich.

His first marriage was to Adelaide/Adeliza. Amongst the children was William de Bigod, the Lord of Framlingham.

His second marriage was to Alice de Toeny. One of the children was Hugh Bigod (1095-1177).


See: Earls of Norfolk for the other Roger Bigods



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