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Fitzosbern, William, earl of Hereford

Fitzosbern, William, earl of Hereford (d. 1071). Fitzosbern, steward at the court of Normandy, was one of William the Conqueror's most trusted advisers and fought at his side at Hastings. In reward he was given great estates in the west country, the rank of earl, and palatine powers. Much of his energy went into fighting the Welsh and establishing the Norman position in Glamorgan. He began the building of a number of castles, notably Chepstow, Monmouth, Berkeley, Hereford, and Wigmore. As viceroy in William's absence in 1067 he had to subdue a rising by Edric the Wild in Herefordshire. In 1070 Fitzosbern was sent to Normandy but he was killed in battle the following year, fighting on behalf of the countess of Flanders, whom he had just married.

J. A. Cannon

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