James Moore, The Norman aristocracy in the long eleventh century : three case studies, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2017 (Université d’Oxford)
This is a study of three aristocratic families significant in Normandy and England in the eleventh century – namely the house of Tosny, the counts of Eu, and the house of Montgommery. It seeks to uncover their careers, estates and relationships before and after 1066. It also attempts to understand the balance of power between the Norman dukes and the aristocracy, and considers how aristocratic families were affected by the union of Normandy and England. The introduction outlines the aims of the thesis and the reasons why it is necessary. It explores some important historiography relating to the Norman aristocracy and its place in the cross-Channel polity. It discusses the main sources which will be used, and it outlines the shape and structure of the thesis. Chapter 1 is a case study of the house of Tosny until the death of Ralph III de Tosny in 1102 or 1103. It shows how the fortunes of individual families were affected not just by their relationships with the dukes, but also by their relationships, friendly or hostile, with other aristocratic families. Chapter 2 is a study of the counts of Eu, who offer a different perspective on the relationship between aristocracy and rulers because they were close relatives of the dukes, entrusted with concentrated, castle-based lordships on the frontiers of both polities. Chapter 3 focusses on the house of Montgommery, and on Roger II de Montgommery in particular, until his death in 1094. It shows how dukes could raise their own favourites to the very highest level of the aristocracy, and reveals some of the ways the challenges of a cross-Channel career were navigated. The conclusion brings together the key observations from each case study and seeks to explain some of the differences and similarities between each family’s experiences of the long eleventh century.