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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:

Name Birth Death Notes
By Mabel Talvas (Mabel of Bellême).
Roger Montgomery   1066  
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.

On screen, Roger was portrayed by actor John Greenwood in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series Theatre 625.


  • J.F.A. Mason, "Roger de Montgomery and His Sons (1067–1102)", Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series vol. 13 (1963) 1-28
  • Kathleen Thompson, "The Norman Aristocracy before 1066: the Example of the Montgomerys", Historical Research 60 (1987) 251-263
  • Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis Lines: 124-26, 185-1

External links

Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Shrewsbury
Succeeded by
Hugh of Montgomery


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