yeovil people

William, count of eu

Tenant-in-Chief of Hendford Manor


William, Count of Eu, was a Norman aristocrat from Eu, port of Seine-Maritime. He was the second son of Count Robert, Lord of Hastings, and his second wife, who was the sister of Hugh of Chester.

After the Conquest he had considerable holdings in nine southern and western counties, including the manor in Yeovil that was to become known as Hendford Manor.

In 1088 he rebelled and conspired with Robert de Mowbray, Roger de Lacy and William of Aldrie to murder William II and install the king's cousin, Stephen of Aumarle, in what turned out to be a long campaign. In 1095 the rebels impounded four Norwegian trading ships and refused the king's demand to return the merchandise. King William II mounted a rapid counter-campaign and outflanked the rebels at Newcastle upon Tyne and captured a rebel stronghold at Morpeth. He then besieged the rebels at Bamburgh and built a castle facing the existing one.

In January 1096 William d’Eu was formally accused and challenged to trial by combat at Salisbury. He was defeated by Geoffrey Baynard, the former High Sheriff of Yorkshire and was blinded and castrated, being the traditional punishment of the condemned. Not surprisingly, he died of these mutilations a few days later.