Richard I 3rd Duke of Normandy
- Born: 933
- Marriage (1): Emma
- Marriage (2): Gunnora DE CREPON
- Died: 996 aged 63
- Buried: Abbaye de la Trinité de Fécamp, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
Another name for Richard was Richard "the Fearless".
Extract from "Biographia Britannica: Vol. 4" by W. Innys (1757)
William the Long Sword succeeded his father, anno dom. 912. He was in all respects one of the most accomplished and virtuous princes of his time, which, however, did not hinder his being most infamously assassinated by the count of Flanders, ano domini 943. He espoused the daughter of Herbert, count of Vermandois, and by her had Richard, further named the Hardy, who though he succeeded to the Duchy a child, yet he governed long, and with great reputation. He married first Emma, daughter to Hugh Capet, by whom he had no issue; but by a Danish lady of great quality, whose name was Gunnora, whom he first kept as a concubine, and afterwards married, he had three sons: Richard, who succeeded him; Robert, Archbishop of Roan; and Maliger, or as it is commonly pronounced, Mauger, count of Corboile. He had also three daughters, of whom the youngest was Emma, surnamed the Flower of Normandy, married to Ethelred, and Canute, both Kings of England, mother, by the latter, to Harold, surnamed Harefooot; and by the former, of Edward the Confessor, who were also both kings of England.
Extract from Wikipedia
Richard I., of Normandy (933-996), also known as Richard the Fearless (Sans Peur, in French), was the Duke of Normandy from 942 to 996. He was born to William I of Normandy (William Longsword), princeps or ruler of Normandy, and Sprota, who was a Breton concubine captured in war and bound to William by a Danish marriage. He was about 10 years old when his father was killed on 17 December 942. On William's death, Louis IV of France seized Normandy, installed the boy Richard in his father's office, then placed him in the care of the Count of Ponthieu. Louis kept Richard in confinement at at Lâon, but he escaped with the assistance of Osmond de Centville, Bernard de Senlis, Ivo de Bellèsme, and Bernard the Dane.
In 946, Richard agreed to "commend" himself to Hugh, Count of Paris. He then allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders, drove Louis out of Rouen, and took back Normandy by 947. Until his death in 996, Richard concentrated on Normandy itself, and participated less in Frankish politics and petty wars. In lieu of building up the Norman Empire by expansion, he stabilized the realm, and united his followers into a cohesive and formidable principality.
Richard used marriage to build strong alliances. His marriage to Emma connected him to the Capet family. His wife Gunnor, from a rival Viking group in the Cotentin, formed an alliance to that group, while her sisters form the core group that was to provide loyal followers to him and his successors. His daughters provided valuable marriage alliances with powerful neighboring counts as well as to the king of England.
He also built on his relationship with the church, restoring their lands and ensured that the great monasteries flourished. His reign was marked by an extended period of peace and tranquility.
His first marriage (960) was to Emma, daughter of Hugh "The Great" of France, and Hedwig von Sachsen. They were betrothed when both were very young. She died after 19 March 968, with no issue.
According to Robert of Torigni, not long after Emma's death, Duke Richard went out hunting and stopped at the house of a local forester. He became enamoured of the forester's wife, Seinfreda, but she being a virtuous woman, suggested he court her unmarried sister, Gunnor, instead. Gunnor became his mistress, and her family rose to prominence. Gunnor was, like Richard, of Viking descent, being a Dane by blood. Richard finally married her to legitimize their children:
(1) Richard II "the Good", Duke of Normandy;
(2) Robert, Archbishop of Rouen, Count of Evreux;
(3) Mauger, Earl of Corbeil;
(4) Emma of Normandy, wife of two kings of England;
(5) Maud of Normandy, wife of Odo II of Blois, Count of Blois, Champagne and Chartres;
(6) Hawise of Normandy m. Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany;
(7) Papia of Normandy;
(8) William, Count of Eu.
Richard I. died in Fecamp, France on 20 November 996.
Extract from Find A Grave
Name: Richard I., "the Fearless", Duke of Normandy
Notes: Richard I, "the Fearless", Duke of Normandy, Leader of the Normans of Rouen, was born in 933 in Fecamp, Normandy, France.
He was the son of William I "Longsword" Duke of Normandy. A minor at the assassination of his father, William, in 942, it was largely during Richard's long period of rule that what eventually became the duchy of Normandy evolved from what was essentially a pirate principality into a feudal state.
In 960 Richard married Emma of Paris, daughter of Hugh Magnus Count of Paris, Orleans and Vexin, Duke of France for political reasons. He did not love her, and chose not to reside with her. Emma lived a solitary life at Rouen, and died very young in 962.
About 978 Richard married his lifelong love, Gunnor of Crêpon, daughter of Herbastus de Crêpon. It is quite probable that Richard and Gunnor had some of their children prior to Richard's marriage to Emma of Paris. Richard and Gunnor married after Emma's death, thereby legitimizing all the children.
Richard the Fearless rebuilt an ancient ruined abbey at Fécamp, where he had a palace. The church, one of the first of which we have any details, was costly and magnificent for the time. It was adorned by lofty towers, beautifully finished outside and richly ornamented within.
There was one object which excited much speculation. It was a large block of stone placed right across the path which led to the doorway, close enough to be beneath the eaves. Fashioned and located by the order of Richard I, the stone was hollowed out so as to form a huge strong chest, which might be used as a coffin or a sarcophagus. Its initial use, however, was for the living. On each Saturday the chest was filled to the brim with the finest wheat-corn, then a luxury. The poor came to this chest and each filled his measure of grain and also received a dole of money. When Richard died, the purpose of the chest was made clear. 'His last instructions were that the chest should contain his corpse, lying where the foot should tread and the dew descend, and the waters of heaven should fall. He marked for his own, close to those cloistered steps, a burial-place, that every foot might fall with heavier tread, trampling his vileness.'
Richard I "the Fearless" Duke of Normandy died in 996 in Fecamp, Normandy, France, at age 63 years. He was succeeded by his son, Richard II.
Information Source: The Life, Letters, and Sermons of Bishop Herbert de Losinga by Herbert de Losinga, Edward Meyrick Goulburn, Henry Symonds. (Google Books)
Father: William '2nd Duke of Normandy' Longsword (893 - 942)
- Richard II Duke of Normandy
- William I Count of Eu (____ - 1057)
Burial: Abbaye de la Trinité de Fécamp, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
Richard married Emma.
Richard next married Gunnora DE CREPON, daughter of DE CREPON and Unknown. (Gunnora DE CREPON was born circa 936 and died in 1031.)