Geoffrey of Countances

Geoffrey of Coutances came from a prominent family in Normandy. A close friend of William the Conqueror he joined the invasion of England in 1066 and was present at his coronation at Westminster on 25th December 1066.

Geoffrey attended all major councils in England during William's reign and in 1075 helped to crush the rebellion against the Normans. Afterwards he ordered that all rebels should have their right foot cut off. By 1086 Geoffrey was one of the top ten wealthiest magnates in England.

Robert Curthose, William's eldest son, was expected to become king of England when his father died. However, William preferred William Rufus and became king of England in 1087. The following year, Geoffrey, Odo of Bayeux, Robert of Mortain and Richard Fitz Gilbert led a rebellion against his rule. Many Normans remained loyal and William defeated the rebels when he captured Tonbridge Castle.

Geoffrey was forced to flee to Normandy where he died in 1093.