Roger de Montgomerie, also known as Roger the Great de Montgomery (died 1094), was the first Earl of Shrewsbury. His father was also Roger de Montgomerie, and was a relative, probably a grandnephew, of the Duchess Gunnor, wife of Duke Richard I of Normandy. The elder Roger had large holdings in central Normandy, chiefly in the valley of the Dives, which the younger Roger inherited.
Roger was one of William the Conqueror's principal counsellors. He did not fight in the initial invasion of England in 1066, instead staying behind to help govern Normandy [Some controversy here- Neil Ludlow (Pembroke Castle) states the Earl led the Norman right flank at the Battle of Hastings]. Afterwards he was entrusted with land in two places critical for the defense of England, receiving the rape of Arundel at the end of 1067 (or in early 1068), and in November 1071 he was created Earl of Shrewsbury; a few historians believe that while he received the Shropshire territories in 1071 he was not created Earl until a few years later.
Roger was thus one of the half dozen greatest magnates in England during William the Conqueror's reign. In addition to the large part of Sussex included in the Rape of Arundel, and seven-eighths of Shropshire which were associated with the earldom of Shrewsbury, he had estates in Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
After William I's death in 1087, Roger joined with other rebels to overthrow the newly crowned King William II in the Rebellion of 1088. However, William was able to convince Roger to abandon the rebellion and side with him. This worked out favourably for Roger, as the rebels were beaten and lost their land holdings in England.
Roger first married Mabel of Bellême, who was heiress to a large territory on both sides of the border between Normandy and Maine. By her he had 10 children:
|By Mabel Talvas (Mabel of Bellême).|
|Robert of Bellême||1052||c. 1130||3rd Earl of Shrewsbury|
|Hugh of Montgomery||1098||2nd Earl of Shrewsbury|
|Roger the Poitevin||c. 1058|
|Philip 'the Grammarian'||1099||Died while on crusade at the Siege of Antioch|
|Arnulf of Montgomery||c. 1068|
|Emma, abbess of Almenchêches|
|Matilda||m. Robert, Count of Mortain|
|Mabel||m. Hugh of Châteauneuf-en-Thimerais|
|Sibyl||m. Robert Fitzhamon|
Roger then married Adelaide de Le Puiset, by whom he had one son, Everard, who entered the Church.
After his death, Roger's estates were divided. The eldest surviving son, Robert, received the bulk of the Norman estates (as well as his mother's estates); the next son, Hugh, received the bulk of the English estates and the Earldom of Shrewsbury. After Hugh's death the elder son Robert inherited the earldom.
|Peerage of England|
Hugh of Montgomery