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Ralph III de Conches de Toeni
24 Mar, prob 1101/02
He was banner bearer of the Normans. In 1054 he took part in duke WilliamÕs victory over the French at Mortemer and was sent by the duke to alarm the King of France with the news. About 1060, Ralph, Hugh de Grandmesnil, and Ernald dÕEchauffour were deprived of their inheritance by the duke and banished. In revenge Ralph and Ernald made incursions into Normandy and burnt the town of St. Evroul, but in 1063 they were recalled and their lands restored. Ralph was one of the nobles summoned to a council when the duke heard of the death of Edward the Confessor and the coronation of Harold. He took part in the invasion of England and fought at the battle of Hastings. At some time between the battle and the Domesday survey in 1089, the Conqueror gave him estates in Berkshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Worcestershire. His lands included the castle of Clifford, Herefordshire, which had been built on waste land by William FitzOsbern, 1st earl of Hereford. The caput of his honor, however, was at Flamstead, Hertfordshire. About 1078 he supported Robert Curthose against the King. Probably about 1080 he went on pilgrimage to Spain; on his safe return, as he had promised, he made gifts to the abbey of St. Evroul, in recompense for having burnt the town. After WilliamÕs death in 1087, he was one of the Norman nobles who expelled the royal garrisons from their castles. In 1088 he served under duke Robert in the war against Maine. His wife Isabel having angered her sister-in-law, Hawise, wife of her brother William, count of Evreux, the countess induced her husband to attack Ralph. He appealed in vain to the duke for help; he then sent envoys to William Rufus, who ordered his adherents in Normandy to go to RalphÕs aid. In November, the count of Evreux beseiged Conches, but his forces were defeated, and after three years of fighting peace was concluded. When William Rufus and his brother made peace in 1091, the duke granted to the King all the land of Gerard de Gournay and Ralph de Conches, after which Ralph remained one of the KingÕs strongest supporters. After RufusÕs death, Ralph and the count of Evreux invaded the count of MeulanÕs barony of Beaumont in August, 1100, in revenge for his having prejudiced the late King against them.
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