1st Earl of Leicester and Count of Meulan (Mellente), Seigneur of Beaumont, Pont-Audemer, Brionne, and Vatteville. He was a Norman nobleman. He was with William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. He distinguished himself early in the day by a charge on the right wing in which he was the first to break down the English palisade. "A certain young Norman soldier, son of Roger de Bellomont and nephew and heir to Hugh, Earl of Mellent, making the first onset in that fight, did what deserveth lasting fame, boldly charging and breaking in upon the enemy with the regiment he commanded." In 1068, he was rewarded with large grants in Warwickshire. About 1080, through the right of his mother, he succeeded to the county of Meulan (Mellente) in Normandy that had been his uncle Hugh's. In 1089, on the death of William the Conqueror, he and his brother espoused the cause of William Rufus, and were afterwards high in his favor. He succeeded his father to the family fiefs of Beaumont and Pont Audemer and became a powerful vassal in England, Normandy, and France. In the struggle between Robert of Normandy and William Rufus he sided actively with William in Normandy. In 1097, when William Rufus invaded France to recover the Vexin, he threw in his lot with his English lord, and by admitting him to his castle of Meulan (Mellente), he opened the way for William to Paris. He then became the king's chief advisor. On August 2, 1100, he and his brother were present at the king's death, and both accompanied Henry I in his hasty ride to London. Henry I probably created him earl of Leicester, but, being already count of Meulan, he was never so styled. He adhered firmly to Henry in the general rising that followed, and became his trusted counsellor. In 1104 he was one of the Norman barons who adhered to Henry on his arrifval in Normandy. He was present in the KingÕs army at Tinchebrai, September 28, 1106. "He impressed the imagination of his contemporaries by his unbroken prosperity under successive kings, by his steady advance in wealth and power, while those around him were being ruined, but above all by his unerring sagacity." He was described as "a cold and craft statesman" and was appealed to "as the Oracle of God." He is said to have introduced the fashion of a single meal in a day in place of "the Saxon profuseness." He was almost the last survivor of the Conquest generation. He had five daughters and three sons.