1088 Rebellion Against William II

Shortly after William II (Rufus) was crowned in 1087, Bishop Odo of Bayeux fomented a rebellion against him. Odo was William I’s half brother and one of the most powerful men in England. His plot was to install Duke Robert of Normandy (William I brother) as ruler of England.  Odo was supported in Sussex by Earl Roger, his sons and the Count of Mortain.

Appealing to their strong sense of justice and with the promise of land and money, William persuaded some of the rebelling barons, including Earl Roger, to support him. William then attacked Odo and his supporters at Rochester.

Odo and Robert of Mortain were forced to flee to Robert’s stronghold at Pevensey, where the king laid siege. Duke Robert tried to return from Normandy to reinforce his supporters, but rough weather and the kings ships prevented his return. Running out of food and with no relief in site Pevensey surrendered after 6 weeks. 

After swearing an oath to be loyal to William and forfeiting his land in England, Odo was allowed to return to Normandy and never return. He later served Duke Robert in Normandy and eventually died on the first crusade, en-route to Palestine. Robert of Mortain quickly swore an oath to support William and was allowed to keep his land in England.


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