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Origin and history of the montgomerys

A book, entitled: "Origin and History of the Montgomerys comtes de Montgomery, Ponthieu, Alencon and Le Marche, Earls of Arundel, Chichester, Shrewsbury, Montgomery, Pembroke, Lancaster, Mercia, Eglington and Mountalexander Princes de Bellame, Marquis de Montgomery de Lorges. A history of the surname "Montgomery." Written by B. G. de Montgomery. The book is a "family history" or "genealogy" of the surname, "Montgomery." Includes Nordic history, northern European history, Normandy, France, Sweden, German.

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Origin and history of the montgomerys

  1. 1. O R I G I N A N D HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS Comtes de Montgomery, Ponthieu, Alençon and La Marche Earls of Arundel, Chichester, Shrewsbury, Montgomery, Pembroke, Lancaster, Mercia, Eglinton and Mountalexander Princes de Bellême Marquis de Montgomery de Lorges By B. G. DE M O N T G O M E R Y
  2. 2. JAMES DAVID MONTGOMERY'S SEAL As reconstructed by the College of Arms, London
  5. 5. P R E F A C E H ISTORY begins where archaeology leaves off. Separating these two fields of human knowledge, however, is a wide borderland—the land of sagas and folklore. Here the historian never feels on really safe ground and is inclined to reject everything that is not absolutely palpable, while the archaeologist is all too prone to let the sagas get the better of his imagination and wanders off into fantastic speculation. And yet, it is just in this borderland—while prudently dealing with sagas and folk- lore, chronicles and annals—that archaeology has to be linked up with historical research. Only by doing this is it possible to carry the history of a nation or of a royal house back to its remotest origin. The period of the sagas in Scandinavia is shrouded in mystery. Here we can only grope our way along by comparing the Edda poetry, Beowulf, Langfedgetal, the Icelandic sagas and Snorre with the Danish, Icelandic, Saxon, French and German chronicles and with the works of French and German historians of the time. All these sources, however, must be treated with the utmost caution. They are generally a mixture of fact and fancy and the borderline between the two is hard to distinguish. But at the same time we must be grateful for all the facts of real value they do give us. To be critical of these sources to the point of com- pletely refusing to acknowledge their value in historical research would be a grave mistake. Such a hypercritical attitude would not only display a questionable sense of judgment but also disclose the fact that the critic himself is uncritical of his own criticism. Generally speaking, it is not difficult to criticize. But to reconstruct, to infuse life into the little one knows of those ancient days, when memorials were carved in stone and history handed down by word of mouth from father to son, is quite another matter. To do this one has to sift carefully the written material, separating the wheat from the chaff. ix
  6. 6. H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S When deducing the truth from the sagas and from the in- complete and often obscure chronicles of the monks one must tread warily, and it is by no means an easy task to reassemble the true and probable facts so that they form a complete picture of the historical development. In England and France the saga period was shorter and also better known than in Scandinavia because of the monkish chron- icles. Offshoots of the higher culture of these countries reached Scandinavia, and an observant investigator, by drawing com- parisons with conditions in these countries, can arrive at certain conclusions regarding the historical development in the North The subject dealt with in the following pages falls partly within this obscure period; for the Montgomerys are sprung from the same roots as the Scandinavian kings, whose history in turn is known to us chiefly through the sagas and folklore. The fortunes of early Scandinavian kings and dynasties are a much favoured subject with Scandinavian historians of the Middle Ages and during the beginning of the modern era. Generally, however, they were far too uncritical in their judgment of historical relationships to be able to draw as true a picture of the period as is desired. Very often sagas were confused with reality; dynasties were established with the help of a lively imagination; often, too, schedules of kings and royal pedigrees were reckoned as one and the same thing, i.e. kings were accepted as sons of their pre- decessors, even in cases where they had achieved power through conquest or marriage. Patriotism, and particularly local patriot- ism, often played a decisive role when relating historical incident to certain countries or areas, while the connection between the history of Scandinavia and that of other countries was completely overlooked. The similarities between Scandinavian, Saxon and German heroic sagas were noted, yet no attempts were made to draw any conclusions from this remarkable fact. Even the im- portant role played by hereditary claims in the history of the Vikings was passed over, and it was never realized that the Ulvunga kings
  7. 7. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS xi in Håtuna and Lejre were the principal kings in Scandinavia, to whom not only the minor kings (Fylkes-kings) in Sweden, Denmark and Norway paid homage, but also the Stol-kings (' Chair-kings ') of Upsala. In the opening chapters I have sought to make this point clear and to show how the descendants of the Asar, the powerful Ulvungar or Uffingas, led the historical development of Europe for nearly a thousand years. From the sagas it is possible to follow this family through the Middle Ages right down to the present day. As far as I am aware, only two branches of this family can trace their ancestry on the paternal side back to the Ulvungar— the Montgomerys and the Harcourts. Not only ancient tradition and statements in the Germanic genealogical records, kept in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, serve to confirm their descent from the Ulvungar, but also clear circumstantial evidence. In studying the history of the Montgomery family, I have not confined myself to the genealogical side, but have also dealt with the subject in a wider sense—as a matter of history—many person- alities of this family having played notable and at times decisive roles in the countries in which they have lived and worked. It is only natural that in such an old tree there are some decayed branches, but the odd thing is that it is still capable of pushing out new shoots. The oldest branch of the family, the Norman line, died out on the paternal side at the beginning of the thirteenth century, but the Scottish branch was more resistant. It is still alive and has sent its members to many parts of the world. From Scotland one branch emigrated to France at the beginning of the fifteenth century, where it came into possession of the domains and feudal rights of the extinct French line. Later the main Scottish branch spread to Ireland and Sweden during the seventeenth century, and to America at the beginning of the eighteenth century. A younger branch settled in Sweden about 1720. The second line in France
  8. 8. H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S died out in 1731, but was replaced at the beginning of the nineteenth century by another branch which emigrated from America. The wide dispersion of the family has naturally increased the difficulties of research, which has been done partly by corre- spondence, partly by the aid of paid research workers. For my own part, I have concentrated on the most important archives: Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, British Museum and Record Office in London, Register House in Edinburgh, Riksarkivet and Krigsarkivet in Stockholm. The principal collections examined are: French: Généalogies d'Allemagne, cabinets des titres; Collec- tion Baluze; manuscrits nouveau-latins; manuscrits français; manuscrits du fonds Godefroy; Trésor des Chartes; manuscrits de la Bibliothèque impériale; Archives de Saône-et-Loire; Archives de la Côte-d'Or; manuscrits Clairambault. English: State Papers, Domestic and Foreign; Close Rolls; Fine Rolls; Hundred Rolls; Patent Rolls; Acts of the Privy Council; Feudal Aids; Exchequer Rolls; Rotuli Normanniae; Rymer's Foedera; Patronymica Britannica; Ancient Deeds; Ancient Charters; Chronicles of the White Rose of York; Issue Rolls of the Exchequer; Parliamentary Writs; Papal Petitions; Carew Manuscripts; Harleian Manuscripts; Pepys Collection. Scottish: State Papers of Scotland; Exchequer Rolls of Scot- land; Registers of Sasines, Testaments and Services of Heirs; Acts of Parliament; Military Reports of Scotland; Register of the Privy Council of Scotland; Registrum Secreti Sigilli; Registrum Magni Sigilli. Irish: State Papers; Cartulary of St. Mary's Abbey; Calendar of Documents; Inquisitions; Charters; Letters. Dutch: Muster Rolls of Dutch General Staff. Swedish: Riksregistraturet; Rantekammarboken; Axel Oxen- stiernas Brev och Koncept; Stegeborgssamlingen; Förteckningar
  9. 9. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS på vårvat krigsfolk i Pommern 1630-48; Hinterpommerische Journal; Sköldebrevsamlingen; Letters and pedigrees in the Montgomery archives. .The most important sources for studying the origin of the Norsemen are: Pytheas, in Pliny's Historia Naturalis, 300 B.C.; Caesar, De Bello Gallico, about 50 B.C.; Tacitus, Germania, about A.D. 100; Ptolemy, Geographice hyphegis, A.D. 150; Eutropius, Breviarium Historiae Romanae, A.D. 370; Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, A.D. 380 ; Orosius, Historiarum Adversus Paganos, libri vu, A.D. 420; Jordanes, De Rebus Geticis, A.D. 500; Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, end of the sixth century A.D.; Procopius, Histories, end of the sixth century A.D. The history of the Suevic kings is dealt with in the following sagas, early historical works and chronicles: Beowulf, end of the eighth century; the Edda poetry, end of the ninth century; Widukind, Res Gestae Saxonicae, end of the tenth century; Amoine, Historia Francorum, end of the tenth century; Dudo de St. Quentin, De Moribus et Actis Primorum Normanniae Ducum, beginning of the eleventh century; Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hamburgensis and De Situ Daniae, end of the eleventh century; William of Jumièges, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, end of the eleventh century; William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum; Rerum Gallicarum Scriptores, beginning of the twelfth century; Ordericus Vitalis, Historia Ecclesiastica, twelfth century; Wace, Roman de Rou, twelfth century; Lang- fedgetal, twelfth century; Saxo Grammaticus, Gesta Dannorum, beginning of the thirteenth century; Snorre Sturleson, Konun- gasagor, beginning of the thirteenth century; Annales Bertiniani; Annales Fuldensis; Annales Danici Bartoliniani; Annals of Ireland; Annals of Ulster; Annals of Inishowen; Annales Cambriae; Annals of the Four Masters; Annales Xantenses; Petrus Olaus, Minoritae Roskildensis Annales Rerum Dannicarum; Florence of Worcester, Chronicon Saxonicum; Chronicles of Man; Chronicon Scotorum; Cornelli Hamsfortii Series Regum Daniae; Anonymi Roskildensis
  10. 10. xiv HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS Chronicum Danicum; De Ecclesia Bremensi Vetus Scriptum; Chronologia Rerum Septrionalium; Brut y Tywysogion; Einhard Vita Caroli Magni Imperatoris; Vita Sancti Anscharii, Sancto Remberto conscripta; Vita Sancti Willehadi, Anschario conscripta; Series Runica Regum Daniae, prima; Series Runica Regum Daniae, altera; Muratori, Antiquitates Italicae Medii Aevi. Modern textbooks in this field are very numerous and space does not permit a list of all the works, from early and later times, which deal with the history of the Suevic kings. Among the more important historians who have dealt with different aspects of this subject the following may be mentioned: Bugge, Collingwood, Depping, Dozy, Duchesnes, Du Motey, Dümmler, Fahlbeck, Favre, Freeman, Geijer, Herzberg, Lair, Liebermann, Lindqvist, Mabille, Montelius, Nerman, Rydberg, Steenstrup, Stevenson, Storm, Strinnholm, Suhm, Tegnér, Vogel, Weibull, Wenck, Worsaae. One of the most important books dealing with this subject is A. O. Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, London, 1922, which covers a much wider field than the title suggests. A number of works on the Montgomery family have been published previously, the most notable of which is: William Fraser, Memorials of the Montgomeries, Earls of Eglinton, Edin- burgh, 1859. What makes Fraser's book particularly valuable is the fact that it contains a number of original documents relating to the family, which have been preserved in Scotland. The book deals with the main Scottish branch of the family, and also with the Seton branch. Another work of considerable historical value is The Mont- gomery Manuscripts, compiled by William Montgomery of Rose- mount about 1700. A printed edition was published by George Hill in Belfast in 1869. The book deals principally with those branches of the family which settled in Ireland at the beginning of the seventeenth century, particularly Viscounts Montgomery of Great Ardes, and the Earls of Mountalexander.
  11. 11. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS The Broomlands Manuscript, written by Hugh Montgomery of Broomlands about 1760, has only been published in part. The information it contains about the earlier history of the family is valuable, as it is believed to be based on copies of family papers which were destroyed when Eglinton Castle was burnt down in 1528. It is not altogether reliable. Among other valuable works relating to the Montgomery family may be mentioned: William Anderson, A Genealogical Account of the Family of Montgomery, formerly of Brigend, Edinburgh, 1859. John Anderson, Montgomerie, Earl of Eglinton, in the Scots Peerage, Edinburgh, 1906. The author is very critical of Fraser 's Memorials, but his criticism is not always well founded. E. G. S. Reilly, A Genealogical History of the Family of Mont- gomery, printed for private distribution in 1842. John Hamilton Montgomery, Genealogy of the Family of Montgomery, compiled from various authorities—remains in manuscript. Thomas Harrison Montgomery, A Genealogical History of the Family of Montgomery, Philadelphia, 1863. James Paterson, History of the County of Ayr, Edinburgh, 1847; Account of the Families and Parishes of Ayrshire, Edinburgh, 1863 ; History of the Counties of Ayr and Wigton, Edinburgh, 1863-64. William Robertson, Ayrshire and its Historic Families, Ayr, 1908. Du Motey, Origine de la Normandie, Paris, 1920; and Robert II de Bellême, Paris, 1923. Amédée Boudin, Généalogie de la Maison de Montgomery, Histoire Généalogique du Musée des Croisades, Paris, 1858 (unreliable). Léon Marlet, Le Comte de Montgomery, Paris, 1890. D. E. Montgomery, Bidrag till Âtten Montgomerys Historia, Personhistorisk Tidskrift, 1913, and his article 'Montgomery' in Svenska Adelns Attartavlor, edited by Elgenstierna.
  12. 12. HISTORY OF T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S I wish to make grateful acknowledgment to all those who have assisted me by offering useful suggestions or kindly answering my letters regarding particular branches of the family. I owe a special debt of gratitude to kinsmen, near and distant, who have lent me family papers or biographical notes. B. G. DE MONTGOMERY
  13. 13. ORIGIN OF THE NORDIC RACE D URING the nineteenth century German anthropologists and ethnologists generally held that the races of Europe had sprung from the very countries where they were to be found in greatest numbers. This meant breaking with the earlier theory, that the Indo-European or Caucasian group of races first developed in the highlands of Iran, from whence it spread in stages over the European continent. Modern scientific research seems to favour a return to this older theory, with the reserva- tion always that in certain countries there is left a stratum of palaeolithic man from the Glacial Age. All trace of settlements in Scandinavia, Finland, Russia and northern Germany was completely defaced by the inland-ice, and it was only when the ice gradually melted that the fauna and human life spread to these areas. The extreme south of Sweden was laid bare some 15,000 years ago and the melting—as far north as Jamtland—of the mighty crust of ice, which was in places nearly 3000 feet deep, took more than 5000 years. Theoretically it is possible that man settled in Scandinavia as soon as Scania was inhabitable—at the time when there was still land connection with Denmark—but the archaeologists seem to favour the opinion that the earliest immigration began about 6000 years ago. At this time there were no Goths in Europe. Very likely the first settlers in Scandinavia belonged to the Cro-Magnon race. This long-skulled and large-limbed race of giants—one of the races that lived in the south of Europe during the Glacial Age—has left clear traces both in Scania and other parts of Sweden. It was a magnificent sub- stratum upon which the Nordic race was built. Swedish archaeologists generally do not believe that Sweden was ever inhabited by Celts. For my own part I am perfectly convinced that the Celts, on their westward wandering, also over- flowed Scandinavia and remained there for a considerable length of time. In fact, this is in my opinion the second layer of the A
  14. 14. 2 H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S Nordic race. The Greek word Keltos, which means 'the well- bred,' has given this race its name. In the Indo-European group of races they were the nearest relations of the Goths, whom they excelled as well in appearance and deportment as in craftsmanship. One needs only to glance at the many beautiful works of art from the Bronze Age which have been excavated in Sweden to under- stand that they are of Celtic and not of Gothic origin. The Celts were the first to leave the racial home in the highlands of Iran, and they were soon followed by the Goths. In the European countries where they settled they became the ruling upper class. The subjected classes belonged either to the short- skulled Alpine race or to the long-skulled Aurignac and Cro- Magnon races, which lived in Europe in the Palaeolithic Age. During the Bronze Age Celts ánd Goths were certainly much closer connected than their descendants are to-day, both in appear- ance and language. It must have been difficult at that time to distinguish them from each other. They were both tall, blond and blue-eyed. The eyes of the Celts were lighter blue, almost steel- grey. It was only by mixture with the Iberic and Alpine races that the Celts turned dark. The Celtic language has also been strongly influenced by the language of these races and was every century carried farther away from the tongue of the Goths. The theory brought forward by Professor A. Bugge, that the Cimbri, à large tribe that left Jutland in 120 B.c. and struggled against the Romans, was of Celtic origin and of the same strain as the Cymric population of Wales, has not been generally accepted by ethnologists. But I am convinced that this theory is correct. The reason why the Cimbri have been called a Teutonic tribe was no doubt the difficulty of distinguishing between Celts and Goths. It was probably for the same reason that Tacitus questioned whether the Caledonians in Scotland did not belong to the Ger- manic race. They were no doubt Celts but belonged to a tribe *"hieh had not by that time been mixed with the Iberic people, in i consequently much more resembled the Goths. The Cimbri
  15. 15. O R I G I N O F T H E N O R D I C R A C E 3 of Jutland probably belonged to some of those Celtic tribes which lived in Scandinavia long before the arrival of the Goths, and Jutland was called after them the Cimbric peninsula. According to Roman historians they were gigantic and had thunder-like voices. It does not seem unlikely that the Cimbri had been mixed with some of the Cro-Magnon tribes, which were the earliest inhabitants of Jutland. The chief of the Cimbri had the Celtic name Bojorix, while the leader of the Teutons had the Gothic-sounding name of Teutobuch. The Cimbri were defeated by Marius at Verona in ioi B.c. and the whole tribe was completely dispersed. Whether the remnants of this tribe fled to Wales or the Cimbri of that country came by sea straight from Jutland is not known. In the middle of the fourth century B.c. the Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia made a journey to Britannia and Scandinavia. His diary has not been preserved, but Polybius, Strabo and Pliny have seen to it that fragments of this most important document have reached posterity. In the Historia Naturalis Pliny describes the land of the Guttons according to Pytheas—as it seems he had never been there himself. The coast of this country, from which the Romans got their amber, was low and marshy, some 6000 stades long. This was obviously the coast of Prussia and Pomerania. It had the Celtic name of Mentonoon (Menntonnman is the Cimbric name for a marshy land which at times is under water). On the authority of Tacitus we know that the Gotins were a people of Celtic origin, and the fact that the country of Guttons bore a Celtic name seems to indicate that they were also a Celtic tribe, or at any rate a people mixed with Celts. It is quite possible that both Guttons and Gotins were a Celto-Gothic product, the Gothic strain being stronger in the Guttons, the Celtic stronger in the Gotins. In any case, it must have been very difficult at the time of Tacitus—owing to the proximity of these races both in language and appearance—to tell with certainty whether a people was preponderantly Gothic or Celtic.
  16. 16. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS Celtic tribes seem to have spread as far north as Esthonia, for Tacitus has made the important observation that the people of Esthonia 'have the same habits and appearance as the Sueves, but a language that more resembles the British.' There has always been intimate communication between Esthonia, Gottland and the Swedish coastal countries, and it seems likely that at the time of Tacitus the inhabitants of Esthonia were closely related to the Celto-Gothic Guttons of Gottland and Ostro-Gothia. It seems reasonable to conclude that this population mixed with the Fenni in Finland, where one sometimes meets as good-featured men and women as in Scotland and Ireland. Fenni no doubt belongs to the same root as the Irish Sinn Fein. The time of the first Gothic immigration into Scandinavia is not known with certainty. It seems probable that it took place in stages and that the Celts who had previously settled in Scan- dinavia were gradually merged into this new race. Yet even nowadays there are people in Norway, Jamtland, Darlecarlia and Gottland of purely Celtic type. The newcomers also mixed with the still older race of Scan- dinavia. In the Nordic sagas, which speak about giants and the giant-people, we see them not only as mythological beings but also as men of flesh and blood. It often happened that a Gothic man entered into marriage with a giantess. These broad-shouldered, heavy forms belonged with certainty to the Cro-Magnon race, which handed over to the Gothic people both weight and gigantic strength. The skeleton of a woman from the Stone Age measuring 183 centimetres in length, which is 24 cm. above the Swedish average for that period, was recently found during excavations at Va near Kristianstad. The Celtic empire reached its maximum extension by the middle of the fourth century B.c. It covered Gaul, Spain, Britain, northern Italy, parts of Germany, parts of Scandinavia and the Baltic states. In all probability there were also Goths in Scandinavia by that time. As early as 513 B.c. when the Persian king Darius Hystaspes
  17. 17. ORIGIN OF THE NORDIC RACE 5 launched his great campaign against the Scythians, the Thracians, a people noted for valour and culture, were called the Getae. Greek and Roman writers later on refer to the same people as Goths. To the west of them, round the affluents of the Danube, lived another Gothic tribe, the Daci. The Getae (Anglo-Saxon geatas or eatas) were the ancestors of the Jutes, while the Daci have given Denmark her name. In his book on Caracalla, Spartianus has definitely declared that Gothi and Getae were the same people. This opinion is also expressed by Procopius, and Orosius writes about A.D. 400: 'Getae illi, qui nunc Gothi.' The Romans also referred to the Daci as Goths. The Gothic tribes penetrated through Denmark into Scan- dinavia or travelled in their ships down the Vistula to the Baltic, which they crossed. At a later period a small stream flowed in the opposite direction, and it is this secondary movement of the Gothic people which made many historians and anthropologists believe that this people originally came from the North. Jordanes' Getica, written in the sixth century A.D., describes a Gothic emigration from Scanza (Scandinavia) to the south of Europe. This gave rise to the theory that Scandinavia was the earliest home of the Gothic people and, in fact, the very cradle of Europe. The sagas of Snorre pointed in the opposite direction, but Swedish historians in the seventeenth century, being all too anxious to glorify their great new power, gave preference to the testimony of Jordanes. The theory that Scandinavia was the original home of the Gothic people found many supporters and was embodied in the voluminous work Atland, published by Olaus Rudbeck the elder about 1700. This rag-gatherer of human knowledge presented his book with such a magnificence that people bowed in admiration of so learned and brilliant a scholar. Intelligent men like Örnhielm and Hadorph, Dahlin and Atterbom tried in vain to disperse the phantom. The 'patriotic' theory of Rudbeck has triumphed in
  18. 18. 6 HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS Sweden ever since, and a new edition of this 'giant-book' is just being published. When reading up the facts about the Gothic people it is im- possible to understand how historians of the Rudbeck type, who make the Goths a product of the snowy North, have ever found ready listeners for their ideas. The great people which ruled over Thrace five hundred years before Christ, conquered the whole south of Russia and later overthrew the Celtic empires in Gaul and Spain, had certainly not sprung into being from the little expeditions described in Jordanes' Getica. It is not only probable, but absolutely certain, that the big movements went in the opposite direction. The emigrations of little groups of Goths from the scantily populated Sweden were occasional and secondary events without any influence on the big developments in Europe. From Caesar we know that the Svessiones, a tribe of Gothic descent, had conquered Belgium before the great contest between Caesar and Ariovistus. 'Most Belgians,' he writes, 'are descended from the Germans and have in olden times crossed the Rhine. They settled in Gaul as it was a fertile country and drove away the Gauls which previously inhabited these parts. They were the only people who, when Gaul was devastated in the times of our fathers, prevented the Teutones and Cimbri from crossing their borders. . . . In our time they had a king named Divitiacus, the most powerful ruler in the whole of Gallia, who governed not only these provinces but also Britain.' Caesar has thus informed us that the Svessiones ruled not only over Belgium but also over Britain, before the Romans arrived, and that they had settled in Gaul before the country was invaded by the Cimbri and Teutones, i.e. before 100 BX. The Svessiones of Caesar and the Sviones of Tacitus are probably the same people and identical with the Suear, the leading Gothic people in Sweden. This tribe belonged to the Suebic or Suevic group of Gothic tribes. Suebia or Suevia was the name Tacitus
  19. 19. ORIGIN OF THE NORDIC RACE 7 gave to Scandinavia, a country 'divided by one long unbroken mountain ridge.' Ariovistus, who was defeated by Caesar in 53 B.C., was the chief of the Sueves. It was probably after this event that they turned northward and invaded first Denmark, where they settled side by side with the Jutes, and later Scandinavia. Hengist and Horsa, who invaded Britain in A.D. 455, were Sueves. Their homeland was Schleswig, and their grandfather Vitta or Vecta is described in Beowulf as a Suevic chief. He was the son of the Saxon chief called Woden. Caesar has given the following characteristics of the Sueves: 'They are the biggest and most warlike of the Germanic nations. . . . Merchants are allowed to visit them, more because they wish to sell what they have captured in the wars than to export anything. They do not even import horses which the Gauls much love and procure at considerable cost. They use their own horses, which are ill-bred and clumsy, but by daily practice they make them support the hardest work. . . . The import of wines is not allowed, since they believe that men thereby lose their strength and become incapable of supporting hardships. . . . They spend the whole of their life hunting or in warlike practices. From childhood they are accustomed to perseverance. Those who remain in a state of continence are highly praised, as this is considered to increase stature and to harden the nerves.' It is interesting to note that the Asa-cult had not developed among the Sueves in Caesar's time. Among the gods they counted only those whose favours theyenjoyed—Sun, Fire and Moon. From this we can infer that Ariovistus was never deified, like Woden. In the Germania, written about 150 years later, Tacitus makes it clear that the Asa-cult had not even then been accepted by the Sueves. Among the gods they worshipped in the first instance Mercury (in Greek, Hermes; in the Saxon pedigrees, Heremod; in the Nordic pedigrees, Heremotre), to whom on certain days of the year they sacrificed human beings.
  20. 20. 8 H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S The cult described by Tacitus reminds one in many ways of the Asa-cult, but the names of Woden and Thor never appear, which proves that these gods came into being at a later time. According to his various pedigrees, Woden was descended in the ninth generation from Heremotre. In Konungasagor Snorre has written the story of Woden. This story has been told from father to son generation after generation, and by learned men and scalds to the kings. It is impossible now to determine the exact elements of truth in Snorre's relation, but to dismiss it as a myth would certainly be a mistake. Even if it only contains a core of truth it is valuable as a clue when looking for the origin of the early Nordic and Saxon kings. In this connection it may be mentioned that the Swedish state has guarded this tradition. The preface of Svea Rikes Lag (The Laws of Sweden) clearly states that the first royal house of Sweden came into the kingdom from Asia. Snorre tells us that Woden and his hosts came from a strong- hold called Asgaard situated east of Tanaqvisl (the river Don). Woden was chief of the Asar and leader of the worship and sacri- fice. He owned large domains in Turkey. It should be noted that all pedigrees of Woden trace back to the kings of Troy. Woden is said to have fled before the Romans and wandered right across Europe. He established his rule over Saxony, where he left some of his sons, proceeded to Denmark and settled at Odense in Funen. He later on crossed to Sweden and eventually settled at Fornsigtuna on the lake of Malar, where he had his place of sacrifice. The story of Woden must be seen against the background of the general developments in Europe. When the Goths, many centuries earlier, emigrated from their original home in the high- lands of Iran they had apparently left their Deity behind. Woden and his Asar belonged to the oldest and most famous of all Gothic families, and wherever they appeared they were offered hospitality by the Gothic tribes and accepted as their natural leaders. It is
  21. 21. ORIGIN OF THE NORDIC RACE 9 Snorre's opinion that Woden fled before the Romans. It seems more likely, however, that it was the westward march of the Huns that compelled Woden and his hosts to look for a safer abode. 'As Woden was a prognostic and a magician,' so Snorre tells us, 'he knew that his descendants would live in the northern half of the world.' From the Saxon sons of Woden are sprung the royal houses of Denmark, Sweden, France, Wessex and Northumberland. Woden belonged to the Suevic group of Goths, but it seems more likely that the Semnones were his tribe, and not the Sviones, which settled in Sweden long before his time. According to Tacitus, the Semnones were the most noble of all the Gothic tribes and were charged with the sacrificial service for the tribes. It was typical for the Semnones to settle in a village community of one hundred (hundrade), vide Erlinghundra, Fjårdhundra, Lyhundra, Långhundra, Nårlinghundra, Seminghundra and Sju- hundra, the names of communities in Upland where Woden settled down. The same communities are also to be found among Franks and Anglo-Saxons. In England the 'hundred' is a division of the county. As we shall see in the following chapter, Woden must have arrived in Denmark some time at the beginning of the fourth century A.D. Danish archaeologists have proved that at that time a foreign invasion of Denmark took place, and the archaeological finds seem to indicate that the invaders had been in close contact with the Romans. It seems more probable that the invaders were Gothic tribes trying to escape from the advancing Slavs, than Slavs themselves, who as a rule destroyed everything in their way. The Frankish historians were unanimously of the opinion that their own royal house, the Merovings, were descended from Danish kings, and through them from the kings of Troy. As we have seen, Snorre mentioned that Woden had large domains in Turkey (Tyrkland). Tacitus had already called attention to some
  22. 22. i o H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S sepulchral mounds and monuments with Greek inscriptions at Augsburg (Asciburg). This gave rise to the idea that the town of Augsburg was the very place that Snorre called Asgaard. A more natural explanation seems to be that this monument was raised in commemoration of Asgaard in Russia by some Gothic tribes who had been in contact with Greek civilization in Thrace. Another possible solution is that Tacitus took Runic letters for the Greek alphabet, to which they bear a certain resemblance. The intercourse between the Gothic tribes and the Huns, which is very evident from the Edda poetry, has made some people think that they were closely related. A Danish ethnologist has even gone so far as to assign his own people to the Huns. That this theory, if one can speak at all of a theory in this connection, is absurd appears from the fact that the Huns were a Turkish tribe and thus semi-Mongolian. When Woden had properties in Turkey the country was not populated by Turks but by Troyans. That makes the whole difference. On the other hand, the stories of Huns and Hunaland in the Edda and other Nordic sagas clearly prove that Huns and Goths were to some extent intermingled. Both Ostro-Goths, Visi-Goths and Alans were at times under Hunnish dominion, and, as we have already stated, it was probably the pressure exercised by the Huns that drove Woden from Asgaard. The Nordic tradition about a passage of arms with Romans certainly originated from the times of Ariovistus and Caesar, when the Gothic tribes were expelled from Gaul. In the fifth century A.D. the Visi-Goths wandered into Europe, plundered Rome and conquered Gaul and Spain. It is interesting to note that in the battle of the Catalaunian Fields in 451, when the Roman general Aëtius defeated the Huns under Attila, the Visi- Goths and the Franks fought on the Roman side, whereas the Ostro-Goths, who were then under Attila's dominion, took his side m the battle. After this event, however, they freed themselves from the Huns, and in 493 their king, Theoderic the Great,
  23. 23. O R I G I N O F T H E N O R D I C R A C E n conquered Rome, where the Ostro-Goths remained in power for a period of fifty years. The first Viking raids began in the sixth century, but it was only when the Gothic tribes in Scandinavia had increased suffi- ciently in numbers and strength, in the ninth and tenth centuries, that they became a real plague to western Europe. When reading a relation of these raids one easily gets the impression that they aimed at nothing but plunder and destruction. This opinion, however, is somewhat one-sided. It is quite true that the raids of the Vikings were both cruel and voracious, but we must not forget that they were often out for conquest and laid under their rule great countries, which they afterwards adminis- tered with skill and sagacity. Claims of inheritance often played an important role in these raids. Nordic descendants of dethroned kings in Gaul and Britain returned to demand the soil of their ancestors or com- pensation for it, and in many cases they were successful. We shall see in the following chapter how extremely interwoven the royal houses of Scandinavia, France and England were, and here is to be found the chief explanation of the great wars and Viking raids of the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries.
  24. 24. T H E S U E V I C D Y N A S T I E S T HE Suevic kings, descended from the Suevic or Saxon Woden, are in England known under the name of Ylvings or Uffingas. In Sweden they were called Ulvungar, Ylvingar or Ynglingar, the last being a distortion for which Tjodulf of Hvin and Snorre are responsible. In Germany they were called Völfungen or Vôlsungen, and in Beowulf, Vylfings. In Denmark the Ulvungar were often mistaken for Sköldungar or Skilvingar (in Beowulf, Scyldings), descended from earlier Gothic kings. The name is derived from U f f e , Ulf or Völf, a king in Jutland, who was a lineal descendant of the Saxon Woden. Some historians have given his name as Völsung, but this shows complete ignorance of the way in which the Gothic words were formed. The termina- tion ung means descendant of. Thus the name of the king was Völf and the name of his descendants Völfungen. Ynglingatal, the royal pedigree drawn up by Tjodulf of Hvin and quoted by Snorre, is an omnium gatherum of invented and real names. The same may be said of all other Nordic pedigrees, whether they trace back to Woden or through him and the royal trees of Troy to Japhet, Noah and Adam. The reason of this confusion is first of all that Woden has been placed too far back in time—about 300 years—the gap being filled by invented kings. The series : Fridleif, Fridfrode, Fridleif, Havarr and Frode seems very much artificial; also the sequence: Yngve Frej, Fjolner, Svegder, Vanland, Visbur, Domald, Domar, Dyggve and Dag. These kings are certainly nothing but a fiction, produced by the scald with the intention of connecting later generations with a Woden who lived at the time of Christ. The Anglo-Saxon pedigrees are, notwithstanding many de- ficiencies, far more reliable. By comparing these pedigrees with historical facts and dates given in contemporary Saxon and French chronicles it is possible also to produce a pedigree for the Nordic 12
  25. 25. THE SUEVIC DYNASTIES 13 kings which satisfies reasonable demands for probability and reliability. On the one hand, we have to fix the approximate time for Woden's arrival in Scandinavia. On the other hand, we must always keep in mind that not only Scandinavia but also the whole of western Europe became the dominion of Woden's descendants. They conquered all the countries of this large territory and guarded through intermarriage the interests of the divine dynasties. Every royal house descended fromWoden had claims of inheritance on one or several of these countries, and often the Ulvungar sat as superior kings in countries ruled over by local kings of less famous dynasties. The ancient Danish dynasties in Jutland, Funen, Lolland and Zeeland did not descend from Woden, but possibly from some of his ancestors far back in time. The Danish Sköldungar, Scyldings or Skilvings had as their ancestor Sköld, Sceldwea or Scealdne, who according to Saxon chronicles lived nine generations earlier than Woden. He was the son of Heremotre, who, at the time of Tacitus, was worshipped as a god and may be considered as the elder Woden. The intimate connection between the Nordic and the West European dynasties has been noticed by Professor E. G. Geijer in Svea Rikes Havder. 'But the Nordic stories about Woden also make him and his Asar from the Black Sea come through Russia to the lands of Saxon and Frank before they turned to Scandinavia, and that the ancient sagas of those nations are closely related to our own can be proved by mutual testimonies. Here in the north we traced the royal pedigree of the Franks from Woden, and the story of his descendants, the Völsungar, was a favourite theme of the ancient Nordic sagas. But the descent of the kings was almost everywhere in the ancient sagas equally that of the people, and the Franks were considered, according to their own attestation, as descendants of the Danish and Nordic people. With the Saxons there is the same tradition. Ynglingasagan and the Edda tell us that their kings as well were descended from Woden, and the
  26. 26. H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S Saxon chronicles from heathen times, which are better preserved than those of the Franks, who became Christians earlier, give even stronger evidence to this effect, for to Woden the Saxon kings themselves traced their descent, and this Saxon Woden was no doubt identical with the Nordic Woden.' Thus Geijer clearly recognized that there was a close connec- tion between the saga-woven annals of the Nordic and West European countries, and in the following chapter we shall see that this unanimity was so strong that in many cases the same kings ruled both in Scandinavia, Gaul and Britain. According to Saxon chronicles, Woden had two sons : Beldaeg (Nordic, Balldr or Balder) and Vegdegg or Vecta (Nordic,Vetta,Vitta orVidar). The formerwas ancestor of the kings of Wessex, and to him Asser traced the tree of King Alfred. From Vegdegg were descended the Frankish kings, the Suevic chiefs Hengist and Horsa,who led the Saxon invasion of England in 455, and the Swedish kings. Gregory of Tours, who lived in the sixth century, has translated the answer of the Frankish king Clodvig to his wife when she urged him to become a Christian: 'Your god cannot be proved to belong to the strain of gods.' Clodvig was obviously quite convinced that he himself was descended from the gods, while Gregory was sufficiently unprejudiced to point out that the gods of Clodvig were only human beings and magicians. The French theory of the divine origin of kings has certainly its explanation in the fact that they traced their descent from Woden. That Woden was a Gothic chief, and a magician at that, appears clearly from Snorre. It was certainly first after his death that he was deified. O. Verelius and J. Peringskiöld have contended that Woden during his lifetime bore the prosaic name of Sigge Frid- leifsson, and that the town of Sigtuna was called after him. This theory is by no means improbable, but another explanation may be that the town was called after his descendant Sigmund, who gave to his son Helge Hundingsbane the royal estate of Håtuna in the neighbourhood of which the town of Fornsigtuna grew up.
  27. 27. T H E S U E V I C D Y N A S T I E S 15 Let us now try to determine the approximate time for Woden's arrival in western Europe. On Catstane near Edinburgh, Sir James Simpson has found the inscription of a Gothic chief Vetta,dated 364. It may reasonably be inferred that this Vetta was identical with Woden's son Vecta. This in turn leads to the conclusion that Woden must have arrived during the latter half of the third or the first half of the fourth century, and that in fact he must have led the invasion of Denmark which, in the opinion of Danish archaeologists, took place at that time. This overthrows in one stroke all the Scandinavian pedigrees, which make Woden a contemporary of Christ, but gives a strong support to the much shorter Saxon pedigrees. The eldest son of Woden was Beldaeg or Balder, from whom the kings of Wessex and Alfred the Great claimed descent. The kings of Northumberland belonged to a younger branch of this family. It should be noted that both the kings of East Anglia and the kings of Kent were descended fromWoden's younger sonVegdegg or Vecta. The following table shows the descent from Woden of the early Saxon kings: Beldaeg Bo Vegdegg I I Brond Sigear Geuvis Vaermund Vuetgis Elesa Uffe Hengist Cerdic Sigmund Oeric Creoda Tytla Octa Cynric a son Eormenric Ceaulin a son Ethelbert, d. 616 Cuthwine Redwald, d. 627
  28. 28. 16 HISTORY OF T H E MONTGOMERYS Alfred the Great was descended in the ninth generation from Cuthwine. The descendants of Uffe, kings of East Anglia, were called Uffingas or Uffingi, and belonged to the same family as the Ulvungar and Ylvingar in Sweden and the Völfungen in Frankland. The conquering chiefs Hengist and Horsa were the sons of Vaer- mund's brother Vuetgis. They were ancestors of the kings of Kent. To this family belonged Eormenric or Jörmunrek, who married Svanhilda, daughter of Sigurd Fafnesbane, the most famous of all Völfungen whose deeds were celebrated both in Nordic and German poems. According to Saxo's Baldersaga, Woden had a son, Bo, by a Ruthenian princess, Rind. Bo, who in the Edda is called Vale or Vale, avenged the death of Balder. According to the Nordic sagas, the Frankish dynasty traced their descent from Sigge, said to have been the son of Woden. The Saxon chronicles, however, make Sigear the son of Vecta and the grandson of Woden. This is probably correct. Also in this case the Frankish kings are descended from Sigge, for Sigear and Sigge are clearly the same man; the fact that he was the grandson and not the son of Woden is of little importance. The main thing is that Sigge, from whom the Nordic sagas traced the descent of the Frankish kings, also appears in the Saxon pedigrees. The Annales Islandorum Regii state that Faramund, the first king of the Franks, the son of Marcomir, ruled for eleven years. History knows the name of Marcomir from the Roman Emperor Julian's campaign against the Batavians in 358. Gregory of Tours also mentions Marcomir as a Chattish chief, who was attacked in 392 by Argobast, a Roman general of Gothic descent. According to Asser, Clodio succeeded Faramund as king of the Franks in 430. At the death of Clodio the crown was taken over by Merovaeus, but French historians seem to hold the opinion that he was not the son of his predecessor. Already Gregory of Tours had expressed doubt on this point : ' Some say that King Merovée, who had a son Childerik, was born within his (Clodio's)
  29. 29. T H E S U E V I C D Y N A S T I E S 17 family' (Historia Francorum, ed. Guizot, p. 76). As we shall see presently, it seems more probable that Merovaeus was the son of Faramund. According to an ancient Frankish tradition, a god, coming from the sea, forced Clodio's wife, who after that bore him a son. This boy was given the name of Merovaeus or Merovig, which means 'from the sea' (German, Meer-Weg; French, mervoie), and became the king of the Franks after Clodio. To derive the name of the Gothic king, as some have done, from the Latin, mereo, or from Sanskrit, mar, seems more far-fetched. With regard to the contention in French and Nordic chronicles that the Merovaean kings were descended from Woden, it seems natural to infer that at the back of the above tradition lies a Suevic conquest of the land of the Batavians, the two peoples being fused into one, with a Suevic king and a Suevic upper class. Faramund would in that case be identical with Vaermund the Wise, a Suevic king in Jutland. Chronologically this theory fits in very well, for Vaermund was the great-grandson of Woden and must have lived about A.D. 430. If Merovaeus was the son of Vaermund by Clodio's wife, he was thus unquestionably of 'divine descent.' His claim to the Frank throne was probably not based upon the conquest of his father, but on the right of inheritance from his mother. The Icelandic annals state that Faramund was the son of Marcomir, probably because Merovaeus was the grandson of Marcomir. The explanation seems to be that Clodio's wife was the daughter of Marcomir and by his mother Merovaeus was thus the grandson of Marcomir, the Batavian chief. This must have been the ground upon which he eventually established his claim. The Greek historian Priscus tells us in his Fragmenta that on the death of Clodio there were rivals for the Frank throne. Only Merovaeus is known by name. He applied for Roman support of his claim, whilst the other pretender was backed by Attila. Priscus met Merovaeus during his stay in Rome and describes him as ' quite a young man with an abundance of long, fair hair, dropping B
  30. 30. i8 H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S down over his shoulders.' Thus there can be no mistake about the fact that Merovaeus was of Nordic descent. The Roman general Aètius also met Merovaeus in Rome and tried to win his friendship by precious gifts. As we know, Mero- vaeus afterwards fought side by side with Aetius in the great battle of the Catalaunian Fields, where the power of Attila was broken for ever. Merovaeus' rival for the throne was probably his half- brother, the son of Clodio. After Attila's defeat Merovaeus had nothing to fear from his brother. The following table shows the descent of Merovaeus according to the above analysis : Woden I Vegdegg, 364 Sigear Marcomir, 358, 392 seized Vaermund = Clodio's wife=Clodio I IMerovaeus a son As we have seen, this genealogy fits in well with the Frankish tradition about the Danish descent of the Merovaean kings (vide Ermoldus Nigellus, ninth century) and the statement of the Edda that the Nordic kings were also kings in Frankland. The doctrine of the divine descent of the French kings is another matter which in this way finds its solution. The Nordic sagas tell a great deal about the ancient kings of Sweden and Denmark, but as there has been no determination of time they have been vague and mysterious figures, whose existence has been doubted. As we have mentioned already, some of them were simply invented, but a comparison with certain historical dates in England and France makes it possible to determine which of them really existed and the approximate times when they lived. In this way they have been brought back to reality. U f f e or Ulf, the ancestor of Ulvungar, Völfungen and Uffingas,
  31. 31. THE SUEVIC DYNASTIES 19 was according to the Edda (Sången om Hyndla) the son of Sjöfare. In practically all chronicles Uffe is said to have been the son of Vaermund, while the latter must have been identical with Sjöfare. Since Uffe was the son of Vaermund (the chronicles) and Merovaeus was the son of Vaermund or Faramund, Uffe and Merovaeus must have been brothers. In all probability they had different mothers. From Merovaeus, who was probably the elder brother, was descended the French dynasty, while Uffe was the ancestor of the Swedish kings. The Edda gives us the key of the lineage of the Swedish king Ottar Wendelkråka. Hyndla sings: 'You are Ottar by Innsten begot, as Innsten was by Alf the Old, as Alf by Ulf, Ulf by Sjöfare (Seafarer) and Sjöfare by Sven Rôde (Sweyn the Red).' Ottar belonged to the same generation as the Frankish king Clotar, who died in 561, while Innsten was contemporary with Clodvig, who died in 511. Alf lived at the same time as Childeric or Heidrec, who died in 481. According to the Edda, Heidrec had a daughter Borgny. The Danish king Hjålprek (Chilperic) was probably the brother of Heidrec. According to the Edda, Hjålprec was the father of Borghild, who married the Völfung king Sigmund of Frankland. This king was equally king in Sweden, for he gave Håtuna, where half the king's army was kept, to his son Helge Hundingsbane, elder brother of Sigurd Fafnesbane. Helge also received as a gift Ringstad in Zeeland. By Borghild Sigmund had another son called Håmund, Amund, or Anund. This all shows how extraordinarily interwoven the Suevic dynasties in France, Denmark and Sweden already were at this time. A comparison with the French kings gives us the following approximate dates for the Swedish kings: Uffe, about 450 Alf, 490 Sigmund, 490 I I Innsten, 520 Helge, 520 I Ottar, 550
  32. 32. 2o H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S Helge Hundingsbane inherited his mother's Danish dominion. Gregory of Tours tells us in Historia Francorum that a Frank king about the year 500 fled to Denmark to seek the protection of King Cochilaik (Hugleik, Helge). The French chronicles record that Cochilaik devastated Flanders in 515. Sigmund of Frankland married first Borghild, daughter of King Hjålprek of Denmark, and secondly Hjördis, daughter of King Öilime. On the death of Sigmund she married his brother Alf. The Prose Edda states that Alf was the brother of Borghild, which is a mistake. He was her brother-in-law, and from Sangen om Hyndla we know that he was the son of Ulf. According to the Edda, Sigmund had by his sister Signy a son called Fjötle, in Beowulf Fitela, and in the Saxon chronicles called Tytla or Tytili. From him was descended Redwald of East Anglia, who was tributary king under Ethelbert of Kent, the son of Jörmunrek and Svanhilda. The names of the Suevic dynasties, which appear in the Edda, in Beowulf and in the chronicles, are as follows: Skoldungar, Skilvingar (Edda) and Scyldings (Beowulf) were the descendants of Sköld (Nordic), Sceldwea or Scealdne (Saxon), the son of Heremod (Saxon) or Heremotre (Nordic). From Sköld descended the ancient kings of Denmark, and Woden, although he arrived later in Denmark, was the male representative of the oldest branch of this family. He was ninth in descent from Sköld. All the Suevic kings were Scyldings, whether or not they, for the sake of distinction, called themselves Uffingas, Merovings or any other name. In England the Danish kings were mostly known as the Scyldings. The main line of this family led from Beldaeg down to King Alfred. Rodungar descended from Sigear or Sven Rôde, the son of Vegdegg and the grandson of Woden. Vaermundingar descended from Vaermund, the son of Sigear. Merovings descended from Merovaeus, the son of Vaermund. Ulvungar, Ylvingar, incorrectly Ynglingar, descended from Uffe, Ulf or Völf, the son of Vaermund. This name was generally
  33. 33. THE SUEVIC DYNASTIES applied to the royal house of Sweden, descended from Alf, the son of Ulf. Völfungar were also descended from Uffe, Ulf or Völf, but the name was generally applied to Sigmund, the son of Völf, and his sons Helge Hundingsbane and Sigurd Fafnesbane. Uffingas descended from Uffe, but the name was generally applied to the descendants of Tytla, the son of Sigmund and the grandson of Uffe. To this dynasty belonged King Redwald of East Anglia. Both Sigmund and Helge Hundingsbane were Chief kings over Denmark and Sweden and also ruled over parts of Frankland. Their Nordic dominions were governed from the two strong places Håtuna on the lake of Malar and Ringstad in Zeeland. At these places they kept their armies and fleets (Helge Hundingsbane I, 26). In the Langfedgetal and Ynglingatal there is no distinction made between Ulvungar and Völfungar. Apart from the fact that many of the kings are pure inventions, especially the early ones, there is nothing to show that these tables are pedigrees. On the contrary, it seems clear that when a Völfung king appears in this list he is either placed there as a Chief king or breaks the pedigree of the Ulvungar. In the Ynglingatal Ulf and his son Alf are taken up as joint kings under the names of Yngve and Alf. In the Langfedgetal Yngve is made contemporary with his grandson Helge. Anund in the Ynglingatal is surely identical with the Völfung Håmund, brother of Helge. In order to make the generations fit, Anund the Old has been given an age of 210 years. In Jörund we recognize Jormunrek, the son-in-law of Sigurd Fafnesbane. He was probably king in Sweden only by name. After the expulsion of Ingiald Illråde's descendants at the beginning of the seventh century, other less famous families than the Ulvungar got into power. About 100 years later, however, the Ulvungar returned stronger than ever, not the descendants of Ingiald, but those of Ingvar, younger brother of Brötanund.
  34. 34. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS We are now in a position to give the pedigree of the elder Ulvungar. ^ Alf I Innsten I Ottar I Adils .. I Osten Brötanund Ingvar Ingiald Illråde According to the sagas, Olof Tràtàlja, the son of Ingiald, was sacrificed by his people to the gods. Snorre states that his son Ingiald was king of Vårmland. Others hold that he settled in England. In fact, there was a King Ingiald in England who died in 720. If he was identical with Olofs son, the pedigree of King Alfred should branch off at that point and go back through the Ulvungar to Woden. Walther Vogel writes (Die Normannen und das Frankische Reich, p. 18): ' Svear and Göter had one king in common who had his seat at Sigtuna.' The observation of the German historian is correct both in respect of that time when the Völfungar ruled in the North, and for that later period when the Ulvungar had re- turned into power. It must be noticed, however, that many of these Chief kings at Sigtuna ruled over dominions far beyond the frontiers of Sweden—in Denmark, Norway, England, Frankland and Esthonia. In Sweden their principal fastness was Håtuna, from which the entrance to Upsala was controlled. It seems probable that Alf and his descendants down to Ingiald Illråde resided at Upsala, while the Volfunga kings, Sigmund, Helge and
  35. 35. T H E S U E V I C D Y N A S T I E S 23 Hårnund, stayed at Håtuna, when they returned for the summer to the North from their expeditions in southern countries. The later Ulvunga kings, Sigurd Ring and his descendants, resided at Håtuna in Upland, at Ringstad in Zeeland and in Ringerike in Norway. We now proceed to a study of this powerful line of Ulvungar or Ylvings, the house of Ingvar.
  36. 36. I N G V A R ' S L I N E O F Y L V I N G S M ANY historians have made desperate efforts to connect the pedigree of the Swedish King Olof Scottking, who died in 1020, with Ingiald Illråde in order thereby to trace his descent back to Woden. Ingiald's son Olof was supposed to have had a son Inge, from whom Olof Scottking was descended in the fourth generation. In order to get Ragnar Lodbrok (Lothroc or Lothbroc) into this pedigree as well, a marriage was arranged between Inge and Ragnar's daughter. By doing this, however, they overlooked the not quite unimportant detail that there were five generations between Olof Tråtalja and Ragnar. This pedigree was in fact a very poor construction. That famous house which has given to history Sigurd Ring, Ragnar Lodbrok, Sigurd Snake-eye, Biorn Jarnsithe, Sweyn Fork- beard, Canute the Great, Rollo and William the Conqueror, traced its descent from Woden, not through Ingiald Illråde, but through his uncle Ingvar, king of Esthonia and Ingria. His son Skira was the father of Radbart, father of Randver, father of Sigurd Ring, king of Sweden. Aud the Deep-minded, daughter of the Scylding king, Ivar Wide-fathom, overlord of Sweden, Denmark, North- umberland, parts of Norway and Saxony, married the Danish king Roric. There is no evidence to prove the statement of the pedigrees that Aud took Radbart for her second husband. In fact this seems most improbable, since the Runic series definitely says that Ring was the son of Harold Hylthetan's sister, and it is not likely that Randver married his half-sister. The Swedish king, Sigurd Ring, Randver's son, defeated his uncle, Harold, in the battle of Brâvalla in Ostro-Gothia about 780, the first phase of a long struggle for predominance between the Ylvings, represented by Sigurd, and the Scyldings, headed by Harold Hylthetan. In describing the battle Saxo has emphasized this fundamental contrast by letting Woden himself appear in the battle in the disguise of Bruno, who gave Harold the mortal 24
  37. 37. INGVAR'S LINE OF YLVINGS 25 wound. After this victory Sigurd Ring, an Ylving and descendant of Woden, also became a king in Denmark. But the whole of Denmark did not come under his sceptre, only Zeeland, Scania, Halland, Blekinge and Viken. The rest of the country was held by Harold, the son of Harold Hylthetan. The struggle between Ylvings and Scyldings continued. Harold's son Godfrid or Goder had two sons, Olof and Horic. In 810 they attacked and killed Annulo, the son of Halfdan and the grandson of Sigurd Ring, and conquered his part of the country. Annulo's brothers Harold Klak and Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbroc then turned to the Roman Emperor for support and eventually recovered their father's dominions. At the wish of the Emperor they were baptized in 826, when Ragnar took the Christian name of Raginfrid (Reginfred, Reinfrid). According to Adam of Bremen, discord arose between the brothers and Ragnar was compelled to leave Denmark. From his father Halfdan he had inherited Ragnarike (Viken), and parts of Norway which once belonged to Ivar Wide-fathom, and was, in fact, a Norwegian king (G. Schönning, Norges Riiges Historie, Soroe, 1773, pp. 61, 445). About 860 Ragnar conquered the Orkney Islands, from where he and his sons organized Viking raids on a large scale. It should be noticed that Ragnar, who moved up the Schelde in 836 and died during this expedition, was never called Lothbroc in the chronicles, and the Danish chief, Ragnar, who became famous for his conquest of Paris in 845, was the brother of the Danish king Horic. He died in 847. During an expedition to England Ragnar Lothbroc was captured by Ella, the King of Northumberland, and put to a cruel death in a snake-pit. The time when this happened is not known with certainty. Icelandic chronicles give different dates. Hamsforth says that Ragnar was killed and succeeded by his sons Ivar and Sigurd in 854. The Saxon chronicles are probably more reliable. According to their version, Raghnall, the son of a Norwegian king Halfdan, was cruelly killed by Ella in 865. The correctness of
  38. 38. 26 H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S this statement is vouched for by the fact that England was invaded the following year by very strong forces under the command of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish kings and earls, foremost among whom were the sons of Ragnar. The first onset was made upon Deira. Ella fell during the initial stages of the campaign and his country was conquered. This was the beginning of the big struggle which eventually led to the Danish conquest of England. The sons of Ragnar Lothbroc were Sigfrid or Sigurd Snogeoeje (Latin, anguis in oculo; Swedish, Ormöga), Bier Costa Ferreae or Biorn Jarnsithe (Swedish, Björn Jàrnsida), Ivar (Benlös or Bagsaeg) and Halvdan Ylving (Fornaldar Sögur, I, 387-8), in Swedish Vitserk, Ingvar Ragnarson and Ubbe. The annals and chronicles add four more sons : Aryc, Ormic, Godfrid and Rothulph. These, however, were Ragnar's grandsons or nephews. Thus Aryc was Eric, the son of Biorn, while Ormic was Ingvar's son Gorm or Gormeric. Godfrid and Rothulph were the sons of Ragnar's brother, Harold Klak. It seems unlikely that Sigfrid, who was a great Viking chief, ever settled down in Denmark as a king, but his son, Hardesnuth, appears in the records as a Danish king. Biorn resided at Sigtuna on Ansgar's first visit to that town in 829, when the Swedish king was Anund or Onund Upsale. On his second visit the name of the king at Sigtuna was Olof (vide pedigree, p. 29). In all prob- ability the brother of Horic had, during Biorn's absence abroad, been recognized as a Swedish king. Olof led several successful expeditions to Poland and the Baltic countries. It is known that Ansgar was sent to Olof by Horic on a special mission, probably telling his brother of his approaching death. Horic died in 854 and Olof succeeded him. Olof was succeeded in Denmark by his son Edmund. In Series Runica, prima we read: 'Then was Edmunder king, Olafs son.' On his return to Denmark Biorn was proclaimed king, and after him his son Harold. 'Then was Biorn king, Jarnsithe. Then was Harald king, Biorn's son,' say the runes.
  39. 39. INGVAR'S LINE OF YLVINGS 27 Biorn's younger son, Eric, was at some time a king in Sweden, but he was succeeded by the Scylding king Edmund's son Eric, who got the surname Weatherhat. The latter was succeeded by his son Biorn, the father of Eric the Victorious and the grandfather of Olof Scottking, who was thus a Scylding and a descendant of Harold Hylthetan. In Denmark Horic's son Horic ruled for some time, but on his death the crown reverted to Gorm, the son of Harold and grandson of Biorn Jarnsithe. The runes tell us 'then was Gorm king, the Old, Harald's son.' He was succeeded by his son Harold Bluetooth, father of Sweyn Forkbeard, father of Canute the Great who died in 1035. The Scylding King Edmund or Anund had a younger brother Guthorm who became a great ruler in England. On his arrival in East Anglia the Ylving chiefs Ingvar and Ubbe, sons of Lothbroc, departed (Matthew of Paris, Chronicon Majora, ed. 1857, I, 399). There was never any real friendship between the repre- sentatives of these two dynasties in England, and they often fought against each other in spite of the fact that they belonged to the same nation. The table on pp. 28-9 shows the main lines of these families:
  40. 40. 28 HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS Y L V I N G K I N G S overlords in Scandinavia who ruled their dominions from Ringerike in Norway, Ringstad in Zeeland, Ringsta in Ostro-Gothia, Håtuna in Upland and Sotanes in Ragnarike. Sigurd Ring 1 I Halfdan Harold Klak Ragnar Lothbroc 2 Godfrid Torny Sigfrid Biorn: Ingvar4 d. 872 Ragnhild Hardesnuth Harold Rollo 5 d. 931 Gormeric e Harold Fairhair d. 933 Gorm William William Bernardus Sihtric the Old Longsword Danus fl. 942 d. 950 d. 942 fl. 930-50 1 Ring Kunung Haralths suster sun Hylthetans (Series Runica, prima). - Ragnar had three more sons : Ivar Boneless, Halfdan Vidserk, Ubbe. 3 Biorn Kunung Jarnsithe, Haralth Kunung Biorns sun, Gorm Kunung hin gamle Haralths sun (Ibid, and Runic inscription at Jellinge in Jutland). 4 Annales of Ulster. 6 and 6 Vide pp. 30-32.
  41. 41. INGVAR'S LINE OF YLVINGS 29 S C Y L D I N G K I N G S rulers over Jutland, the Danelaw in England and Sweden as rivals of the Ylvings. Harold Hylthetan I Harold 1 I Godfrid Olof3 Horic, d. 854 Ragnar, d. 847 Edmund Guthorm (Aethelstan) d. 890 3 Horic, d. 868 Eric Bothar I Gorm á.918 Sihtric d. 926 Biorn Godfrid Olof Quaran Olof Eric the Victorious Styrbiorn Olof Scottking the Strong d. c. 1020 1 Haralth Kunung Hylthetan sun (Series Runica, prima). * Olaf Kunung Rings Bane Goders sun (Ibid.). 3 DCCCCXIV moritur Gormo Danus in Anglia succedente filio Siderico qui ducta Editte Tyrae sorore, genuit Olaum et Gotoricum (Hamsfortii Chrono- logia, secunda, ad. arm.). Guthorm died in 890 (English chronicles). Gorm Danus was killed at the battle of Tempsford in 918.
  42. 42. R O L L O ' S A N D G O R M E R I C ' S D E S C E N D A N T S S NORRE made Rollo (Hrolf the Ganger or Going Rolf) the son of the Norwegian earl Ragnvald of More. This theory has been much discussed by Danish and Norwegian his- torians, and many arguments have been raised for and against it. The Norwegians have supported Snorre, while the Danes have asserted the opinion that Rollo was a Danish prince. There is no doubt that in all this discussion patriotic feelings have influenced the arguments of the contending parties, but such feelings are particularly out of place in this connection, since Rollo was an Ylving and his ancestors were rulers both in Denmark and Norway. The pedigree of Rollo and Gormeric, ancestor of the Mont- gomerys, given on p. 28 is supported by the following clear or circumstantial evidence : 1. The statement of Dudo de St. Quentin (De Moribus et Actis Primorum Normanniae Ducum) that Rollo was a Danish prince. 2. Dudo wrote his story some sixty years after Rollo's death at the request of Richard I, Rollo's grandson. Snorre wrote his saga two centuries later. 3. The inconsistency of Snorre's story. He tells us that Ragnvald Jarl was Harold's dearest friend. It does not seem likely, therefore, that Ragnvald's son descended on Viken as an enemy. If Rollo raided Viken, it is far more probable that he did this to establish his claim of inheritance or to avenge some wrong he had suffered. As the grandson of Lothbroc he had a better right to Viken (Ragnarike) than Harold Fairhair, whose mother was Ragnar's granddaughter. 4. The existence of another Earl Rolf or Riulf in Normandy, whom Snorre may have mistaken for Rollo. 5. According to Dudo, Rollo had a brother with the name of Gorm. This prince arrived in France in the company of his uncle Sigfrid, Ragnar's son, and of Godfrid, the son of Harold Klak. 30
  43. 43. ROLLO'S AND GORMERIC'S DESCENDANTS 31 He took a prominent part in the battle of Saulcourt fought on the 3rd of August, 881 (Alberic of Trois-Fontaines, Rerum Gallicarum Scriptores, IX, 58 B) and passed to Lorraine. He used the palace of the Emperor Otto at Aachen as stables (Adam of Bremen) and in the treaty of Esloo he was paid off in gold and silver ('plura millia argenti et auri' according to Chronologia Rerum Septrionalium, Langebek, V, 127). 6. Rollo was present at the siege of Paris in 885, and according to Dudo, Aethelstan sent Rollo presents asking him to leave the siege and come to his assistance against his rebellious subjects. Thus we know that Rollo was fighting in France with the sons of Lothbroc, like his brother Gorm. 7. According to the Germanic genealogies in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (Cabinet des titres, vol. 20780), the ancestor of the Montgomerys was Gommer, 'one of the princes who accom- panied Duke Rollo at the conquest of Neustria in 885.' This prince must be identical with Gorm. That he was of Danish nationality is clear from the fact that his son Bernard (Christian name for Biorn) was called Danus. 8. Bernardus Danus, who was thus a first cousin of William Longsword, was regent in Normandy during Richard's minority. 9. That the Montgomerys were of Nordic descent is clear from the fact that Gommer's lineal descendant Roger de Mont- gomery signed himself ' ego Rogerius ex Normannis Normannus ' in the foundation charter of Troarn, 1050 (original document in Bibliothèque Nationale, Collection Baluze, vol. 554v ). 10. Gommer had three sons : Guillam, ancestor of the Mont- gomerys; Bernardus Danus, ancestor of the Dukes of Harcourt; and Sihtric, a Viking chief, described as the grandson of Ingvar Ragnarson (Annals of the Four Masters). Bernardus Danus called Sihtric to his assistance against the King of France (vide p. 28). 11. The Danish name Gorm or Gormeric (Saxon, Eormenric) has in Frankish been distorted into Gommer or Gommeric and
  44. 44. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS in Gaelic into Ormic, and is mentioned among the descendants of Lothbroc (Annal. Esrom, Langebek, I, 229). 12. William the Conqueror was a descendant in the fifth generation from Rollo, Ingvar's son. After his arrival in England William opened Ingvar's grave (Ragnar's Saga, ch. 22). During many generations the families of Hrolf the Ganger and of Gormeric were closely connected. Bernard the Dane was the chief counsellor of Rollo's son Guillam, and during the minority of Richard I he was regent in Normandy. Bernard's grandson, Thurold de Pont-Audemer, married Aveline, the sister of Gunnor, wife of Richard I, and Roger de Montgomery married Josceline, daughter of Senfrie, another sister of the Duchess. When William the Bastard conquered England, Roger de Montgomery led the operations, while Roger de Beaumont, the grandson of Thurold de Pont-Audemer, was regent of Normandy. Ever since armorial bearings came into use the Montgomerys have carried much the same arms as the royal houses of Denmark, France and England. The royal arms of Denmark are: or three lions passant guardant azure, while the arms of Philip de Mont- gomery the crusader were: azure a lion rampant or lampassé argent. The arms of Plantagenet were : gules three lions passant guardant; those of the Counts of Montgomery and Alençon, when they did not use the arms of Bellême: gules a chevron ermine between three lions passant guardant or. The Swedish Folkings, the royal house descended on the female line from the Ylvings, used arms similar to those of Montgomery and Plantagenet, while the not regal branch of the Folkings used a fleur-de-lis. The arms of Capets and Bourbons, the royal houses of France, were : azure, three fleurs-de-lis or. Those of the Scottish Montgomerys were the same as these in first and fourth. All these houses were closely related. It is only natural, therefore, that they used the same or similar arms. The Danish house of Ylvings descended from Biorn Jarnsithe became extinct
  45. 45. ROLLO'S AND GORMERIC'S DESCENDANTS 33 on the death of Hardesnuth, the son of Canute the Great, in 1042. The Norman line descended from Hrolf the Ganger died out with Henry I in 1135, but the Ylvings descended from Lothbroc's grandson Gormeric survived in the families of Montgomery and Harcourt. The former remains in Scotland, Ireland, England, Sweden, France, the United States of America and Canada; the latter in France and England.
  46. 46. MONTGOMERYS OF NORMANDY B L A S O N Philip de Montgomery, 1096 (Ar- Shield: Azure lion rampant or morial des Salles des Croisades, lampassé argent. Musée de Versailles). T HE large domains situated within the present departe- ments Calvados and Orne, which once formed part of the feudal county of Montgomery, comprised nearly 150 different enfeoffments, in the first place, Saint-Germain- de-Montgomery, Saint-Foy-de-Montgomery, La Chapelle-Haute- Grise, Vignet and Mesle-sur-Sarthe. The greater part of these lands was probably conquered in 885 by Gormeric, nephew and companion-in-arms of Sigurd. After Rollo's conquest of the country they were held as enfeoffments by Gormeric's descendants. According to Généalogies d'Allemagne (Cabinet des titres, vol. 20780), Gormeric built the stronghold after which the family later got its name. The MS., referring to Gommer, reads: 'fit bastir la maison nomma de son surnom et de la situation du lieu, qui lui escheut au departement de Normandie.' The English historian E. A. Freeman, who personally examined the remains of this ancient stronghold, writes (History of the Norman Conquest, London, 1867, II, 197): 'That renowned name first belonged to a spot in the southern part of the diocese of Lisieux, where three successive dwellings have borne the name of the castle of Montgomery. In two of them we at first sight see no reason for a name which bespeaks a fortress set on a hill. On no lofty ground, on either side of a small stream, stand the small remains of a mediaeval castle and a house of the sixteenth century of no great pretensions. This last belongs to times when the name of Montgomery calls up quite another meaning from that which it bore in the days of William. But, high above both these rose the true castle of Montgomery, the fortress 34
  47. 47. MONTGOMERYS OF NORMANDY 35 reared on the true Mons Gomerici, no square donjon, but a vast shell- keep, on a mighty mound, girded by a fosse worthy of the famous spot which it fences in. Only the faintest traces of the building itself can be made out, but the mound and the fosse are there, to keep up the memory of the great house to which that hill gave its name, and which has, in so strange a way, spread its name over many lands. For the castle of Montgomery enjoys a peculiar privilege above all other castles in Norman geography. Other spots in Normandy have given their names to Norman houses, and those Norman houses have given their names to English castles and English towns and villages. But there is only one shire in Great Britain which has had the name of a Norman lordship impressed upon it for ever.' It seems doubtful whether Gormeric's son William already used the name of Montgomery. One knows with certainty, however, that William's grandson Roger bore the name. Of Gormeric's sons, Bernard was the most famous, and, as we shall see, it was largely owing to his shrewd policy that the Norman throne was saved for Rollo's descendants. BERNARD THE DANE The Norman chiefs exchanged when they were christened their heathen Nordic names for names which sounded better to Christian ears. Thus Hrolf the Ganger took the name of Robert after Robert, Count of Paris, who acted as sponsor at his baptism. Equally, Bernardus Danus must have been the Christian form for the Nordic name Biorn Danske(Latin,Bern or Berno; French,Bier). The following biographical notes about Bernardus Danus are based chiefly on the relation given by Dudo de St. Quentin in De Moribus et Actis Primorum Normanniae Ducum. Even if this great Norman historian sometimes lets his imagination play him false his story is invaluable, written as it is by a man attached to the court of Richard I. Hardly more than a generation younger than Bernard, he had received first-hand information from eye-witnesses.
  48. 48. 3 6 H I S T O R Y O F T H E M O N T G O M E R Y S Where his relation of events is obviously wrong it has been corrected. The Norman Duchy was only nineteen years old when its great founder laid his head to rest for ever. The young Duke William was hardly equal to the occasion, swaying as a reed before the breeze which soon grew into storm. French plans of conquest and usurpers' intrigues made the dominion creak in every joint. A strong hand and a wise leadership was indeed required to safeguard the existence and development of the new state. It was in this grave moment for his country that Bernard the Dane, Gormeric's son, seized the reins of government, determined that the Ylving dynasty should be protected and never renounce its superiority. His first care was to turn the weak Duke into a hard warrior, capable of riding out the approaching storm. William had not inherited his father's strength and genius. Educated by monks and accomplished in manners, he preferred the company of his mother's family and friends in Paris to the rough-and-ready Norman barons in his own country. These had not yet received the Christian refinement which after another two generations distinguished them favourably from their heathen kinsmen in the North. Many Normans despised the Duke for his friendly attitude towards the French, and those heathens who lived in the districts of Besin and Cotentin and still sacrificed to the gods of their ancestors feared that they would be deprived of the freedom they had enjoyed in Rollo's time. Their displeasure found expression in hostile demonstrations against the Duke. At the head of these unruly citizens was a Norwegian jarl, Riulf or Hrolf, probably the very man whom Snorre mistook for Rollo. Wace calls him in the Roman de Rou Count of Cotentin. His intention was apparently to make himself the Lord of the country. In order to equalize the distribution of power Hrolf demanded large territories situated east of the river Risle. The Duke answered that he was not prepared to cede any land to Hrolf and his men, but he would listen to their counsel in matters of
  49. 49. MONTGOMERYS OF NORMANDY state interest and act in common with them against all enemies of the country. He also promised them splendid gifts of armour and horses. This friendly answer was interpreted by the Northmen as a sign of weakness, and Hrolf, scenting an excuse to usurp the power, gave his bands the order of a general advance against Rouen. When informed about the new move of the rebels the Duke was seized with fear, and his negotiator now offered also to accept their demands for land. This new concession only strength- ened the rebels in their intention of driving the Duke from the throne. Hrolf declared that he no longer recognized the super- iority of the Duke and advised him to remove to his friends in France as soon as possible, else Rouen would be taken by assault, in which case William's life would not be spared. Fearing the worst, the Duke left the town with his counsellors and climbed a hill, from whence he could follow the moves of the hostile army. There his own men, all Christian soldiers, eventually assembled and waited for the order of their lord. At this critical moment William turned to Bernard the Dane suggesting that the town should surrender to the rebels without resistance while he and his party proceeded to France and asked for the assistance of Bernard of Senlis, his kinsman. Bernard the Dane, who spoke on behalf of the Council and the Army, declared: 'To Epte we shall follow you, but we shall not go with you into France. I have previously together with your father fought and killed many Franks, whose descendants are still alive and who are not likely to look at us with gentle eyes. As for yourself, do you prefer to lead a useless life dependent upon the grace and charity of others to governing and defending your own country? I and my companions-in-arms will not come with you. We would much rather go back to our ships and return to the North, there to look for a prince and defender worthy of governing such a dukedom as Normandy. A man like you, who is weak as a woman and fears death at the hands of your enemies, is no longer worthy of ruling over us ! '
  50. 50. 3 8 HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS The words of the old Danish warrior brought the Duke to his senses. Instead of fleeing from the enemy he decided to attack him in the open field. At the side of Bernard the Dane he led his men in the assault, which came as such a surprise to the rebels and was directed with so much skill by Bernard that the hostile army, which was vastly superior in number, was completely overthrown. The whole rebel army was dispersed. Those who were not killed, drowned or captured, fled for their lives. According to La Petite Chronique de Tours, Hrolf and his son Anschetil were slain and the enemy camp was totally destroyed. The rumour of the victory spread like wildfire not only through the Duchy of Normandy but also through France, and for the time being the dynasty of Hrolf the Ganger was saved. The first to be credited with victory was certainly Bernard the Dane, but from that day the Duke had become a power to reckon with. Under the influence of Bernard he developed into one of Normandy's greatest warriors, known to history by the surname of Longsword. At his court assembled a brilliant circle of nobles, and his name was mentioned with reverence by all princes in Europe who were not envious of his position. Arnulf of Flanders was one of those who could not get over the success of the Duke of Normandy, and at his instigation William was stabbed by an assassin on 17th December 942. His son Richard was then only eight years of age, and Bernard the Dane took the reins. For ten years he was Regent of Normandy, and once more the son of Gormeric had the privilege of saving the Norman state. When the news of William's death reached Hugo the Great, Count of Paris and Duke of Burgundy, he at once raised an army and marched towards Normandy to seize parts of the country. He captured Evreux, but his two allies, the Counts Allan and Berenger of Brittany, were defeated by the Normans under Bernard the Dane. Louis VI, King of France, arrived at Rouen with the avowed intention of securing the loyalty of the regency to their
  51. 51. M O N T G O M E R Y S O F N O R M A N D Y 39 feoffor. His real object was probably the reunion of Normandy with France, if a favourable opportunity arose. During his visit to Rouen, however, he did nothing which might disclose such a plan. On the contrary, he behaved as a friend of the Norman state, promised to avenge the death of William and confirmed on oath his wish to respect the rights and possessions of Richard. He also promised him protection against his enemies. Even Bernard the Dane was misled by the King's benevolent and friendly attitude and raised no objection when he proposed taking Richard to Laon in order to give him a good education and that knowledge of the arts of chivalry which became a prince. Whether the King only feigned friendship, or changed his views under the influence of his counsellors once he had the young Duke in his power, is not known, but after his return to France he reversed his attitude towards Normandy. He came to an under- standing with Arnulf of Flanders, and at the Count's suggestion he had the young Duke put into semi-captivity. Arnulf reminded the King of all the evils the Normans had done to France for generations and advised him to burn the heels of the Duke and to impose heavy taxes on the Norman state. Luckily the King did not listen to his advice, and Richard returned to Normandy. According to an older story he was rescued by a faithful servant, but modern historians hold that the King himself released the Duke and sent him back to Normandy after negotiations with the Regent. But soon afterwards the King and Count Hugo made a pact by which the Norman state should be divided between them. Arnulf readily promised his support for the realization of this plan. Big armies were raised in different parts of France, and never before had there been a more deadly threat to the safety and liberty of the Norman state. Now again Bernard was responsible for the safety of his country. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, he was determined to take no risks and sent messengers to a powerful Danish chief who had settled at Cotentin to ask for his assistance.
  52. 52. 4 o HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS As his name was Harold (in French Aigrold), Dudo identified him with the Danish king Harold Bluetooth. However, the chronicles of Frodoard and of the monk Richer prove that Dudo was mistaken on this point. Bernard also asked his brother Seitric (Sihtric) for his support. In order to allay suspicion Bernard sent Louis messengers protesting friendship and loyalty. He also paid the King a personal visit and had a heart-to-heart talk with him about the threatening crisis. He pointed out to the King that he had a bad ally in Hugo, his most dangerous rival in France. There was no necessity to wage war on Normandy. The King had only to come and take possession of it. The thought of French dominion did not alarm the Normans : what they feared was a division of the country, which would not only encroach upon their own dignity but also on the rights of France. Should the King nevertheless insist upon his plans, Bernard would go north to raise an army and then return to fight France as Hrolf the Ganger had done. 'Then it might well be, that the country will be neither yours nor Hugo's.' Before his arguments and obvious threat the King yielded, little suspecting that Bernard had already sent his messengers to Harold. Consequently he requested Hugo to raise the siege of Bayeux and withdraw his troops from Normandy. The Duke of Burgundy, who feared united action between Louis and the Normans, reluctantly complied with the King's demand. Once Bernard had succeeded in creating a breach between Hugo and Louis he spread the rumour all over Normandy that the French intended to seize all big properties in the country and that Louis had chosen Bernard's own wife for one of his men. While the King and Count Arnulf planned the peaceful occupation of Normandy Bernard thus prepared opinion against them, and when Harold's fleet of 60 long-ships cast anchor at Cherbourg the Danes were greeted by the Normans as friends, and warriors streamed forward from all parts of the Duchy to join forces with them. Now the situation had changed and it was no longer Louis but
  53. 53. MONTGOMERYS OF NORMANDY 41 Bernard the Dane who held the trumps. The French army suffered a smarting defeat at Varaville on 13th July 945 and the King himself was captured at Rouen where he had taken refuge. He was handed over to Hugo the Great of Burgundy, who had gone over to Bernard's side, and was not released until he had guaranteed the independence of the Norman state. His sons Lothar and Carloman and several French officials were kept by Bernard as hostages until the peace treaty was solemnly signed. Through this treaty Normandy was ensured the position of a sovereign and independent state, which it had not been according to the agreement between Charles the Simple and Hrolf the Ganger signed at Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911. Some historians have severely criticized Bernard the Dane for his deceitful policy. We must remember, however, that Bernard acted under very strong provocation. Assassination, treason, violence and plundering marked the path of his enemies. Against those who were guilty of such offences no complaint is raised, perhaps because their wickedness is so generally known. But Bernard was a high-minded statesman who placed the welfare of his country before every other consideration. This is just the reason why the critics have been so hard on him. A good man is always more severely criticized than a bad man, when he departs from the generally recognized code of morality. 'Right or wrong—my country' is a much disputed principle, but seldom has its application been better justified and founded on more unselfish motives than in the case of Bernard's hard struggle for the life of the Norman state. ROGER I DE MONTGOMERY Gormeric's eldest son, William, had a son Hugo. His son Roger de Montgomery is the first member of the family of whom one knows with certainty that he used the surname. The French historian, the Vicomte Du Motey, calls Roger 'one
  54. 54. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS of the most powerful Norman Barons at the end of the tenth century.' William the Bastard, the name of the Norman Duke before he conquered England and gained the prouder surname of the Conqueror, was the son of Robert II and Ariette or Herlève, the daughter of one Fulbert, tanner of Falaise. Judging by his great care of churches and monasteries, Roger must have been a very religious man. No wonder, therefore, that after Robert's death he refused to recognize William, born out of wedlock, as the legitimate heir to the throne. He and his sons Hugo and Robert organized the opposition against the young Duke, whose guardian was Allan, Duke of Brittany. They struggled against heavy odds, since the Duke's supporters were far more numerous, but Mont- gomery defended himself with great courage and tenacity behind the walls of his castle. Allan died at Vimoutiers during the siege, but in the end Montgomery had to surrender. He was banished from the country and went to France, where he was well received by Henry I, who shared his views. Roger died in Paris about 1040. According to the Cartulary of Troarn, his wife Josceline was still alive in 1068. During Roger's exile his sons remained in Normandy, continu- ing to fight for what they considered a just cause. This struggle eventually developed into sheer vendetta. Allan's successor as guardian of the young Duke was Osbern de Crépon, the son of Herfast, brother of Duchess Gunnor. He was a cousin of Richard II and also of Roger de Montgomery's wife Josceline. In spite of this kinship Osbern pitilessly persecuted Roger's sons, and one of them, William, determined to capture the Duke, who lived with Osbern in the strongly fortified castle of Vaudreuil. The guardian watched like a hawk over his precious life, but one night William and his confederates managed to penetrate within the castle to the Duke's chamber. He was not there, but Osbern, whom they found alone, was summarily strangled. Ordericus says that on this occasion the Duke's life was saved by his uncle Gautier,
  55. 55. M O N T G O M E R Y S O F N O R M A N D Y 43 brother of Arlette, who had hidden him in his bed. Some days later one of Osbern's men, Barnous de Glos, surprised William in his quarters and killed him during his sleep. Now the vendetta was accomplished and the way open to reconciliation between the Duke's party and the Montgomerys.
  56. 56. HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS ROGER II DE MONTGOMERY The question whether Roger II de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, was the son or the grandson of the elder Roger has been the subject of much unnecessary controversy. With this question has been combined another : whether it was the elder Roger or his son Hugo who was married to Josceline, niece of Gunnor, Duchess of Normandy. The cause of all this discussion is the following statement by William of Jumièges (Vol. VIII, ch. 35): 'Rogerius Comes, filius Hugonis de Monte Gomerici . . . natus est ex quadam neptium Gunnoris comitissae, scilicet ex Joscelina filia Weviae.' Robert of Caen, Benoit and Francisque Michel have given the same pedigree. From his own words in the third Charter of Troarn we know, however, that Roger II was the son of Roger L This statement reads: 'Ego Rogerius, ex Normannis Normannus, magni autem Rogerii filius ' (Cartulary of Troarn, fol. 1). After the discovery of this charter the question was settled. That Josceline was married to Roger I and mother of Roger II is clear from the above statement when compared with the pedigree given by Ives, Bishop of Chartres, in a letter to Henry I. He writes : ' Gonnora et Senfria sorores fuerunt . . . ex Senfria excivit Joscelina, ex Joscelina, Rogerius de Monte Gummeri, ex Rogerio, Mabilia soror Roberti Bellimensis' (Migne, Patrologia latina, CLXII, 261). This pedigree also informs us that Josceline was the daughter of Senfrie, Gunnor's eldest sister, and not of Wevie as stated by William of Jumièges. Roger I had by Josceline five sons: Hugo, Robert, William, Roger and Gilbert. William, we know with certainty, was killed during the succession war after the death of Robert II. Hugo and Robert probably met with the same fate. In any case, they seem to have been dead in 1050 when Roger inherited the feudal domains. That Hugo was older than Roger is proved by the fact that he signed
  57. 57. MONTGOMERYS OF NORMANDY 45 an endowment charter of Jumièges together with his father. Under his signature was written ' Signum Hugonis filii ejus ' (Rotuli Scacc. Normanniae, I, 73). Gilbert was poisoned in 1063 by Mabile de Bellême (Ordericus Vitalis, II, 81, 106-7). The first time we meet Roger II de Montgomery is during the siege of Domfront in 1052. Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou, had attacked the Duke and by means of treachery come into posses- sion of the strongly fortified castle of Domfront. The Norman army raised in Hiémois was commanded by Roger de Mont- gomery, William of Breteuil, the son of Osbern, and William of Talou, Count dArques, the son of Richard II. The Duke decided to seize Domfront, but the garrison left by Martel put up a strong defence and the siege was making slow progress. Mean- while the Duke and his companions-in-arms made merry by hawking in the Domfront grounds. One day a report reached the Duke that the Count of Anjou was approaching with a strong army. Now the Duke suddenly found himself between two fires, since the strong garrison might at any moment venture a sally. He decided immediately to raise the siege and to attack Martel as far as possible from Domfront. By forced marches the Norman army hastened in the direction of the enemy, while Roger de Montgomery and William of Breteuil were sent in advance to reconnoitre the enemy's movements. Approaching his advanced posts they were met by an officer followed by a horn-blower. He informed them that the Count of Anjou intended to attack the Duke the following day, and described the horse he would ride in the battle, his armour and arms. The object of giving this information was apparently to inspire his enemy with fear, but Roger simply declared that the Duke would soon be there and intended to lead the attack himself. Martel rose early the following morning, drank a wine-soup and put on his armour. Hearing that the Duke's army was quite close, he drew the conclusion that Domfront had fallen, and fearing to meet his dangerous enemy alone he ordered retreat. This soon
  58. 58. 4 6 HISTORY OF THE MONTGOMERYS developed into a rout after some of his troops had been caught in an ambush laid by the Duke. Roger de Montgomery is de- scribed on this occasion as 'young and very brave' (William of Malmesbury, ed. Saville, p. 96). But Roger was also a man with a strong sense of spiritual values. In 1050 he founded the church of Troarn. His father had made an endowment for the support of twelve deacons, but he made provision for twelve monks. Roger's own domains stretched from Hiémois almost to the sea. Besides the castles of Montgomery, Trun, Saint-Sylvin, Thuit and Montaigu-la-Brisette he owned the town of Bernay and the major part of the forests of Gouffern and Auge. Through his marriage to Mabile de Bellême, the daughter and heiress of Guillaume Talvas, Prince de Bellême, he more than doubled his domains, which covered almost one-third of all land in Normandy. Very probably his marriage was arranged by the Duke out of regard to the defence of the Norman frontier. Bellêmois had an exposed position and always received the first blow when the Count of Anjou attacked Normandy. Moreover, the people in Bellêmois were not altogether reliable. In this part of the country the Duke needed an experienced warrior who was equally a man with a strong will. Such a man was Roger, and he was therefore chosen as husband to the richest heiress in the Duchy. Through his marriage to Mabile de Bellême Roger wás tied to this restless corner of Normandy after the death of her father. Mabile was no ordinary woman. Du Motey gives this portrait of her: 'His future wife was a young girl, quite small, with an exceptional ''finesse d'esprit" and full of energy. She was cheerful, expressed herself with great ease and made her decisions boldly. These qualities have been recognized even by a bitter slanderer (Ordericus Vitalis), who does not hesitate to darken the picture by calling her cruel and inclined to do evil ' (Origine de la Normandie, Paris, 1920, p. 219). She was undoubtedly a great and fascinating