Skip to content


Relationship between the Dukes of Normandy and the de Brus and d'Aumale families Click to enlarge
Relationship between the Dukes of Normandy and the
de Brus and d’Aumale families,
derived from various sources

The history of the d’Aumale family cannot be understood without a backward glance at their ancestors and their links to the royal families of France, England and even Scotland through the noble families of those kingdoms.

Before 1066 the East Riding of Yorkshire contained many scattered estates, built up piecemeal over the Anglo-Saxon period, and it was not until after the harrying of the North that it was consolidated by William the Conqueror. William granted all of Holderness (except for the church lands) as a single holding to his companion Drogo de la Beuvrière, along with many estates in Lincolnshire and manors elsewhere in England. Drogo was a Fleming, who probably came from the village of Labeuvrière near Béthune, an excellent soldier and a relative of Matilda of Flanders, the Conqueror’s wife. It is said that Drogo’s wife suffered a violent death at the hands of her husband, at which point he fled back to Flanders, as by 1087 King William had granted Holderness to Odo, the dispossessed Count de Champagne, who had arrived at the then Duke’s court in Normandy after the death of his father in c1047, on which occasion his uncle had seized his lands. Odo subsequently married William’s sister, Adelaide of Normandy, for whose support he received the “island of Holderness” and lands in Lincolnshire. It was Adelaide who brought to the marriage the title of d’Aumale. Aumale was frontier town, often changing hands between Normandy and France until its final capture by the French in 1204, when the d’Aumale title was also confiscated, but the English kings continued to recognise it in the title of Albemarle. Adelaide and Odo passed their titles – Count d’Aumale and Lord of Holderness – to their son Stephen, but he is known to history by the former. The d’Aumale title was passed down through the generations, coming to an end with the death of Aveline in 1274.

William le Gros, son of Stephen d’Aumale and so named after his great size which grew so vast that he could no longer ride a horse, received the further title of Earl of York from King Stephen as a reward for his services at the Battle of the Standard. It was undoubtedly this ambitious grand nephew of the Conqueror who influenced his sister Agnes to marry Adam I de Brus, first son and heir of Robert I de Brus and inheritor of large estates in Yorkshire. Adam I de Brus died while his son and heir Adam II de Brus was still underage, which no doubt suited the manipulative and exploitative William, who acquired the wardship of his nephew, though it should rightly have gone to the boy’s mother, William’s sister. This “acquisitive and aggressive magnate”, not content with his own already large inheritance, appropriated some of the de Brus lands, including Danby in Eskdale with its associated castle at Castleton, and gained control of the wapentake of Langbaurgh where the de Brus lands were centred. He also seized lands at Scarborough, founding the castle, and took over the castle at Pickering and the manor at Howden, the latter action earning him excommunication from the bishop of Durham and his growing power the sobriquet of “more truly the king beyond the Humber” than King Stephen. In later life William went on the found the abbeys of Thornton and Vaudey in Lincolnshire and Meaux in Holderness, the latter to absolve himself of his vow to go to Jerusalem, which owing to his age and weight he was unable to fulfil.

Castle Bytham Lincolnshire, 2015
Castle Bytham
Lincolnshire, 2015
Burstwick castle fishpond East Yorkshire, 2015
Burstwick castle fishpond
East Yorkshire, 2015
Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire, 2015
Thornton Abbey
Lincolnshire, 2015
Skipsea castle, East Yorkshire, 2015
Skipsea castle
East Yorkshire, 2015
Scarborough castle, N. Yorks., 2015
Scarborough castle
North Yorkshire, 2015

Adelaide of Normandy, sister of William the Conqueror, was awarded the title of comtesse d’Aumale in her own right. Aumale is a town in Normandy formerly known as Albemarle, which is derived from the latin Alba Maria. The title passed to her son Stephen and then to her grandson, William le Gros. As William had no male heirs, it passed to his daughter Hawise and her three husbands, but was later confiscated by the Kings of France. However, the English kings continued to recognise the title as Albemarle.

The de Brus and the d’Aumale families were linked when the sons of Robert I de Brus took as brides members of the d’Aumale family. Robert II de Brus of the Scottish (Annandale) line married Eufemia, niece of William le Gros, whereas Adam de Brus I of the Yorkshire (Skelton) line married Agnes d’Aumale, sister of William le Gros.

St. Martin d'Auchy Abbey, Aumale
St. Martin d'Auchy Abbey, Aumale
Entrance to Aumale Abbey
Entrance to Aumale Abbey
d'Aumale lordship c1150 Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship
d'Aumale lordship c1150
Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship 1066-1154

1st Generation

1. Robert the Magnificent of NORMANDY, Duke of Normandy, born June 1000, died July 1035, had children by Herleva UNKNOWN (daughter of Fulbert UNKNOWN) born c1003 Falaise, Normandy, died c1050.
1.1. William I of ENGLAND
1.2. Adelaide of NORMANDY

2nd Generation

1.1. William I of ENGLAND and William II of Normandy, born c1028 Falaise, Normandy, France, died September 1087 Rouen, Normandy, France, buried Caen, Normandy, France.

1.2. Adelaide of NORMANDY countess d’Aumale, born c1030, married 1st count Enguerrand II de PONTHIEU (son of Hugh(es) II de PONTHIEU and Berthe ?CAPET?) married 2nd Lambert II de LENS (son of Eustace I de BOLOGNE and Maude de LEUVEN) died 1054 Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, married 3rd Eudes (Odo) III de CHAMPAGNE (son of Etienne (Stephen) II de TROYES and Adele UNKNOWN) count of Champagne, count of Meaux, lord of Holderness.
Children of Adelaide of NORMANDY and Eudes de CHAMPAGNE:
1.2.1. Stephen d’AUMALE

3rd Generation

1.2.1. Stephen d’AUMALE Count d’Aumale, Lord of Holderness, born c1079 Aumale, Normandy, France, died 1127, married Hawise of MORTIMER (daughter of Ralph of MORTIMER).
Children: William d’AUMALE Agnes d’AUMALE Enguerrand d’AUMALE

4th Generation William d’AUMALE “William le Gros”, Count d’Aumale, Lord of Holderness, Earl of York, born August 1127, died August 1179, buried Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire, married Cicely FITZDUNCAN (daughter of William FITZDUNCAN and Alice de RUMILLY).
Children: Hawise d’AUMALE Agnes d’AUMALE born possibly 1115, died after 1170, married 1st Adam I de BRUS, Lord of Skelton, Lord of Cleveland (son of Robert de BRUS and Agnes UNKNOWN) born c1105, Skelton, North Riding, died c1143 Skelton, North Riding, married 2nd William de ROUMARE II.

See de Brus / Bruce Enguerrand d’AUMALE married Unknown UNKNOWN.
Children: Eufamia d’AUMALE

5th Generation Hawise d’AUMALE Countess d’Aumale, died March 1214 married 1st 1180 William de MANDEVILLE (son of Geoffrey de MANDEVILLE and Rohese de VERE) Earl of Essex, Count d’Aumale, died 14 November 1189, married 2nd William de FORZ I died 1195, married 3rd Baldwin de BETHUNE (son of Robert V de BETHUNE and Alice de SAINT-POL) knight, born c1158, died 1212 Burstwick, East Riding.
Children of Hawise d’AUMALE and William de FORZ I: William II de FORZ Eufamia d’AUMALE born c1130 Carrick, Argyleshire, Scotland, married Robert II de BRUS, 2nd Lord of Annandale.

6th Generation William II de FORZ Count d’Aumale, born c1193, married Aveline de MONFICHET (daughter of Richard de MONTFICHET).
Children: William III de FORZ

7th Generation

Tomb of Aveline de Forz
Westminster Abbey William III de FORZ Earl of Albemarle, born before 1216, died 1260, married 1st Christiana of GALLOWAY (daughter of Alan of GALLOWAY and Margaret of HUNTINGDON) married 2nd Isabel de REDVERS (daughter of Baldwin de REDVERS and Amice de CLARE).
Children of William III de FORZ and Isabel de REDVERS: Thomas de FORZ William de FORZ Edward de FORZ Aveline de FORZ (Child) de FORZ (Child) de FORZ

8th Generation Aveline de FORZ Countess of Aumale, born 20 January 1259, died 10 November 1274, buried Westminster Abbey, married 8 April 1269 Westminster Abbey Edmund CROUCHBACK (son of Henry III of ENGLAND and Eleanor de PROVENCE).

Biographical details available on request.

The Brus Family in England and Scotland, 1100-1295
, Ruth Margaret Blakely:
The Bruses of Skelton and William d’Aumale, Ruth M. Blakely: Yorkshire Archealogical Journal, volume 73, 2001,_1st_Lord_of_Annandale
The History and Antiquities of the Seigniory of Holderness vol. 1, George Poulson:
The Victoria History of the Counties of England, volume 5, University of London
The Lords of Holderness 1086-1260
, Barbara English
Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship, 1066-1154,
Paul Dalton:
The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543, edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith:
Yorkshire Lay Subsidy 1297, edited by William Brown:,_1st_Earl_of_Albemarle