Montbray, Geffroi De

Montbray, Geffroi De a French prelate, was born at Montbray, near Saint Lo, in the early part of the 11th century. Descended from a noble family of Normandy, he was early devoted to the Church, and on April 10, 1049, was consecrated bishop of Coutances. He was present at the assembly held in 1066 by William, duke of Normandy, at Lillebonne, in which it was resolved to invade England. One of the principal promoters of that war, he followed the duke, his friend, to the conquest, and acquitted himself very courageously at the battle of Hastings. He accompanied William to London, and in the ceremony of the coronation at Westminster acted as chamberlain for the states of Normandy. When the Conqueror was recalled to his duchy, he left Geffroi de Montbray at the head of his soldiery. In 1067, when he had defeated the two Anglo-Saxon princes, Edmund and Godwin, Geffroi entered Dorset and Somerset, and there destroyed all who rose in arms, or who were suspected of having taken up arms. Some years after the earls of Northumberland, Norfolk, and Hereford, having rebelled against the Conqueror, Geffroi powerfully aided in the victory of Fagadon, obtained over them in 1074, and forced them to take refuge in Norwich, where he besieged and took them by capitulation. As a reward for these noble and numerous deeds, William gave to him in fief 280 manorial lands. After the death of that prince (1087) he was obliged to return to Normandy, where lie died, February 2, 1094. See Ordericus Vitalis, Historia ecclesiastica; Gallia Christiana, volume 11; Thierry, Hist. de la Conquete de l'Angletere par les Normands; Lecanu, Hist. des Eveques de Coutances; Fisquet, France poontificale.

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