Tancred of Hauteville

Tancred of Hautveille

Curtis, Edmund (1912) Roger of Sicily and the Normans in Lower Italy 1016-1154. London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, pp. 39-40.

"At Hautville-la-Guichard, eight miles or so north-east of Coutances, the ruins of an ancient castle marked until recently what was once the home of tancred, the father of the conquerors of Apulia, and the grandfather of Roger II. of Naples and Sicily. Tancred was a knight of small patrimony, possessing apparently a single manor. He was born in the latter half of the tenth century at a time when only two generations separated the Normans, now becoming Gallicised in blood, physique, and culture, from their Norse ancestors who, heathens and barbarians, had sailed with Rollo up the Seine and shared the duchy of Normandy with him. Many legends testify to the tremendous physical strength and personal address of the old Tancred, the worthy founder of a great race. Poor as he was in possessions, he imparted courage, strength, and high gifts to twelve sons who grew up round him and found the patrimony too narrow for them. They were the product of two marriages: Muriella was the mother of William, Drogo, Humfrey, Geoffrey, and Serlo; a second wife, Fredesinda or Fressenda, bore him Robert afterwards called Guiscard, Mauger, another William, Alveredus or Auvray, Tancred, Humbert, and Roger. Of the twelve, eight sought their fortunes in Italy. Five proved to be conquerors of the first rank."

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