(-After 1071)
Roger [I] FitzCorbet 1st Baron of Caus
(-After 1121)


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Roger [I] FitzCorbet 1st Baron of Caus 1

  • Marriage (1): Unknown 1
  • Died: After May 1121 1

  General Notes:

ROGER [I] Corbet (-after [May 1121]). Orderic Vitalis records "Guillelmum cognomento Pantulfum et Picodum atque Corbatum, filiosque eius Rogerium et Rodbertum" as vassals of Roger de Montgommery in Shropshire, dated to [1071] from the context. Domesday Book records that "Roger Fitz Corbet" held the manor of Fairley, parish of Pontesbury, Shropshire. Domesday Book records "Roger fitzCorbet" holding Welbatch, Stapleton, Acton Burnell, Wentnor, Winsley, Wollaston and several other places in Shropshire. "Rogerius filius Corbet, Robertus frater eius" subscribed the charter dated to [May 1121] under which Henry I King of England confirmed Shrewsbury abbey. A manuscript reciting the foundation of Shrewsbury abbey records donations including by "Rogerus Corbeth" of "villam…Wenelegam", with the consent of "filiis suis Willelmo et Eurardo". "…Rogero Chorbet, Roberto Chorbet" subscribed the undated charter under which "Rogerus comes Salopesberić" founded Shrewsbury abbey.

m ---. The name of Roger's wife is not known.

Roger [I] & his wife had [three] children: William, Everard and [Simon].

[FMG/Medieval Lands]


ROGER FITZ CORBET, for an account of whose parentage and brethren I am content to refer elsewhere, [7] was probably a young man at the time of Domesday, seeing that he was living at least thirty-five years after the date of that Survey. A Legend, not indeed very authoritative, has named his Father, Corbet, as one of the Lords who was consulted by William the Conqueror as to the defence of the Welsh Marches. [8] If so, Corbet was probably living in 1080-1, when King William's personal attention was first directed towards Wales, and consequently Roger fitz Corbet cannot have been more than five years in possession at the time of Domesday. However, I hold it to be much more likely that the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury organized the frontier defences of Shropshire, than the King of England. That the Earl was ably seconded by Corbet and by Ralph de Mortimer, is more than probable. Ordericus gives the names of certain faithful and very valiant men whom Earl Roger employed in the government of his province. Corbet and his sons, Roger and Rodbert, are named by the Historian, I presume, in the order of seniority. Corbet's English possessions had been apparently divided before Domesday between these two sons. The far more extensive fief of Roger is another proof of his seniority.

A Charter of Earl Roger to Shrewsbury Abbey, which must have passed between 1083 and 1086, and so before Domesday, is attested by Roger Corbeth. [9] Again, in the very year of the Domesday return, Roger Corbet attests the Earl's Foundation-Charter of Quatford Church. [10] After Domesday we have Roger, son of Corbet, attesting another Deed of the Earl's, [11] and the Earl's general Charter to Shrewsbury Abbey, passing between 1086 and 1094, is witnessed both by Roger Chorbet and Robert Chorbet.

Earl Roger is said to have died on July 27, 1094; but probably 1093 was the actual year of his decease. We are told, in a very credible manner, that "when the Earl was dead, and when his body was being consigned to the grave in the Church of St. Peter (Shrewsbury Abbey), Roger fitz Corbeth gave to the Monks the Church of Wentnor (printed Nutenora), with the tithe of the same Vill and the tithe of Yockleton (printed Jochehulla)". [12] Earl Hugh, succeeding in 1093-4, and slain in 1098, seems to have been attended in most of his public acts by Roger fitz Corbet. One Charter of that Earl, attested by Roger Corbet, has already been questioned as spurious. [13] It is not the less suspicious, in that it assures the tithes of Lokelthulla (Yockleton) to Shrewsbury Abbey, as if the Earl himself had given them. A less suspicious Charter of Earl Hugh, also tested by Roger Corbet, records how the Monks had, by gift of the said Roger, "the Church of Wontenoure and two parts of the tithes of the demesne of Ihokethul". [14] A third, and undoubtedly genuine, Charter of Earl Hugh has the attestations of "Roger Corbeth and Rotbert his brother". [15]
The next that we hear of Roger Corbet is his adherence, in 1102, to the treason of Earl Robert de Belesme, his defence of Brug Castle, and his ultimate surrender thereof to Henry I. Whether he suffered in estate for his rebellion, more than he profited by his timely discretion, is a question,- a question which can only be settled by summing up those manorial details on which I have as yet hardly entered.

Roger Corbet and his brother Robert appear in company and concert with the Viceroy Belmeis, both before and after the consecration of the latter to the See of London (July 26, 1208). King Henry I.'s Confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey passed undoubtedly in May 1121. The two Corbets attested it with all formality. Ego Rogerius filius Corbet subscripsi. Ego Robertus frater ejus subscripsi, are words showing that the two Domesday Lords were still living. This Charter also recites Roger Corbet's grants of the Church and tithes of Wantenouura and the tithe of Joclehulle.

Between this time (1121) and 1136 Roger Corbet gave to the Abbey of St. Peter the Vill of Wineslega (Winsley). His Charter is preserved, and is tested in a manner quite consistent with its presumed antiquity, viz. by Robert Corbet, Reinald de Henewode (Hanwood), Osegot de Winesleg, William Furmage, Woret, Eduinus Stabularius, Beccho Faber, Ordricus Sacrimarius. [16]

I have already adverted to a statement that in 1134 Caus Castle, being in the hands of Pagan fitz John (then Sheriff of Shropshire), was taken and burnt by the Welsh. [17] I cannot imagine any cotemporary forfeiture or escheat of the House of Corbet to tally with this story. The unscrupulous mode in which Pagan fitz John is said to have exercised his provincial power is all that I can suggest in explanation of his being thus seized of the Castle of a less powerful Baron.

King Stephen's Charter, confirming, in 1136, Roger Corbet's grant of Wenelega to Shrewsbury Abbey, embodies a valuable piece of genealogical evidence, when it adds that Roger Corbet's act was with the concession of his sons William and Evrard. [18] We conclude that William and Evrard were the two eldest sons of Roger Corbet, but that at the time of their concession the eventual inheritance was expected to be in Evrard, probably because William was unmarried or childless. Between 1136 and 1155 we have an indication that William Corbet was dead, and that Ebrard's prospective heir was his son, or his younger brother Simon. The fact of Ebrard's succession, and the doubt about Simon's relationship to Ebrard, arise in this way.- Henry II., confirming to Shrewsbury Abbey in 1153, recites the following grants.- De dono Rogeri Corbeth ecclesiam de Wantenoura, et decimas ejusdem villae, et decimas de Jocheshulla, et Wineslegam. De dono Ebrardi et Symonis filii ejus unum ferndellum in Wantenover. [19] But I think that Henry III.'s confirmation to Shrewsbury Abbey, though much later, embodies a truer reading of this passage. Instead of the words De dono Ebrardi et Symonis filii ejus, etc., it has the words De dono Ebrardi et Simons filiorum ejus, etc. [20] I conclude that when Ebrard Corbet, between the years 1136 and 1155, granted a ferdendel in Wentnor to Shrewsbury Abbey, he expected to be succeeded by his brother Simon. In perfect consistency with that idea is the fact that when, in the same interval, Everard Corbeth granted Edestan to Haughmond Abbey he had the consent of Simon Corbeth. [21] The non-statement of their relationship leaves it more probable that they were brothers, than that they were father and son.

[7] Sheriffs of Shropshire, pp. 38, 39.
[8] Leland's Collectanea, I. 230.
[9] [10] Supra, Vol. I. p. 110, note 21, and p. 111.
[11] Supra, Vol. I. p. 109.
[12] Monasticon, III. p. 518, a.
[13] Supra, Vol. I. p. 33, note.
[14] [15] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 3, 4.
[16] Salop Chartulary, No. 258.
[18] Monasticon, III. p. 519, a.
[17] Supra, Vol. V. p. 242.
[19] [20] Salop Chartulary, Nos. 36, 37.

[Antiquities of Shropshire, Rev. R. W. Eyton] 1


• Manorial Estate, 1086, Pontesbury Manor, Pontesbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY5, GB. "The same Roger (fitz Corbet) holds Pantesberie (of Earl Roger de Montgomery). Ernui held it (in Saxon times) and still holds it under Roger (Fitz Corbet). Here are 4˝ hides geldable, and 1˝ hides not geldable. In demesne are 4 oxteams, and (there are) 7 Serfs, 10 Villeins, 5 Bordars, and 1 Radman with 5 teams; and there might be 3 more teams hereon. A mill here renders an annual Corn Rent, and there is a wood which will fatten 40 swine. In King Edward's time the Manor was worth Ł8 per annum. Now it is worth Ł6."

[Domesday Book]

Ennui had held Oakes, part of Wrentnall and possibly part of Brompton in Condover Hundred, in addition to Westbury, Pontesbury, Fairley, and part of Onslow. He eventually lost all his estates, but in 1087 he retained the last three, holding them under Roger and Robert fitz Corbet of Caus. Pontesbury was later held under the Corbets by the Fitz Herberts, the ancestors of the Earls of Pembroke.

Roger married.1


1 Charles Cawley, <i>Medieval Lands</i>.

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