Tuesday 17 October 2017

Mabel de Bellême 

Meet Mabel - one of my least friendly direct ancestors.

Mabel de Bellême  was born to William I Talvas (995 – 1052) and Hildeburg Beaumont / De Freeland. In her lifetime she was known by various titles such as Dame de Alencon, Dame de Séez, Dame de Bellême, Countess of Shrewsbury, and Lady of Arundel.

At some point between 1050 and 1054, she married Roger II de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

The chronicler Orderic described Mabel as “small, very talkative, ready enough to do evil, shrewd and jocular, extremely cruel and daring.”

In 1063, she obtained parts of Arnold de Echauffour's lands when she convinced Duke William of Normandy (1024 – 1087) to confiscate his estates. Arnold was promised them back by William, and in order to prevent this, Mabel attempted to murder Arnold by poisoning a glass of wine, but he refused to drink. Her husband's brother rode up, saw the wine, drank it and promptly died. She succeeded in poisoning Arnold at the second attempt.In 1077, Mabel took the hereditary lands of Hugh Bunel by force. On 2 December 1079, while taking a bath, she was killed by some men who had gained entry to the Castle of Bures on the Dives, Normandy. Hugh and his three brothers struck off her head with a sword.

Mabel de Bellême

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