Shivers Family Legends Website ©
A Family History of Religious Migration
Battle of Hastings East Sussex England. The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, the Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, beginning the Norman conquest of England. The Chateau of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, can still be seen in Falaise, Normandy. Listed on the roll at Falaise are the 500 Followers of William the Conqueror. William "Guillaume Le Chievre" and brother Raul de Pomerai appear in the roll and also in the Domesday Book as holding 47 lordships in barony in Devon along with two houses in Exeter and no doubt followed in William the Conquerors footsteps during the many battles defining the landscape of England and Ireland as we know it.
The Chateau of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, can still be seen in Falaise, Normandy. Listed on the roll at Falaise are the 500 Followers of the Conqueror, William "Guillaume Le Chievre" and brother Raul de Pomerai appears in the roll and also in the Domesday Book as holding 47 lordships in barony in Devon along with two houses in Exeter.
Undoubtedly, William Chevers, walked in the halls of the Conqueror. . William had a brother or cousin, Aegidio de Chivre d'Anjou from whom the French House of Chievre descends, connected to the houses of Grimaldi, Gramont and Hainault. Guillame Le Chievre and Roger de La Pommeraie were brothers who accompanied William the Conqueror in the invasion of England and fought at the Battle of Hastings. Although brothers, and Ralph de Pommeraye came to have different surnames. Note that it was just at this time that surnames were being adopted. The heavy reliance on pedigree within feudalism, especially as practiced by the Normans, required them. Guillame Le Chievre translates to 'William the goat', de La Pommeraie translates to 'of the apple grove'.
Sources: The Battle Abbey (also known as Battell Abbey) was erected on the site of the Battle of Hastings where King Harold and his army were defeated. The Abbey was erected at the instruction of William the Conqueror, with the monks instructed to preserve a record of those who shared in the victory and to pray for those who died in battle. The result was the 'Honor Roll of the Battle Abbey'. The roll contains about 368 names, thus only the gentry, and only a very small percentage of the 10,000-13,000 men who accompanied William. These are the men who provided the ships, horses, and troops for the invasion. The original 'Honour Roll of Battell Abbey' was lost to fire, but copies have survived. Copies tend to vary; there was much to be gained by having one's name within this list, and no doubt some were 'enhanced'. The Roll is thus considered unsatisfactory as a source document. However, with respect to many on the list (and certainly for Guillaume Le Chievre and Roger de La Pommeraie), the lordships granted (and documented in the Domesday Book, below) corroborates their role in the Norman Conquest. Related is a bronze tablet over the entrance to the Church of Dives (St. Pierre-sur-Dives), near Caen, in Normandy, which contains the names of about 500 'companions of William the Conqueror'. Dives was the starting point for part of William's fleet. The first church was built here in 1012 by Countess Lesceline, William the Conqueror's aunt. The Dives list was compiled in 1866, for the 800th anniversary of the Conquest, by Lepold Delisle. The tablet contains about 500 names, including Guillaume La Chevre and Raoul de La Pommeraie. There is a similar bronze memorial in the chapel of the castle of Falaise in Normandy (Faliase is the birthplace of William the Conqueror). This list (the 'Falaise Roll') contains 315 names, and the memorial was erected in 1931. This list again contains Guillaume Le Chievre and Raoul de La Pommeraie. Companion of Wm the Conq. 1066 "La Capra" The fief of William Chievre, later known as the honour of Bradnich, escheated and was regranted to William de Tracy, a natural son of Henry I. William de Tracy was also one of the group of four knights who, on December 29 1170, murdered Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, for King Henry II. (The others involved were Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Murville and Richard le Breton). The book above is the one that uses the word 'escheated', and the use of that word raises some questions. Normally 'escheated' means 'reversion of property to the crown when there are no legal heirs'. 'Escheated' is also sometimes used incorrectly as a synonym for 'confiscated'. The former case would be troubling, since it would challenge the prevailing view that William Chievre had a son Gosfred, and Gosfred's son William accompanied Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare in the Norman Invasion of Ireland below. Interpreting 'escheated' as 'confiscated' would be more reassuring, as it would put the Chievre family into a parallel situation as the fitz Gilberts. Namely, it's well known that Richard's father, Gilbert de Clare, had had his fief confiscated by King Stephen (who succeeded Henry I) because his uncle supported Empress Matilda as the rightful successor of Henry I. The loss of fief is what led Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare to seek greater fortunes in Ireland. Since there is some doubt on what happened to the honour of Bradnich, it is worth mentioning until I find more information William "Guilliume" Le Chievre fathered a son, Gosfred, and a daughter Sibylla. Together with his son, he was probably the William Capra of William and Gosfred Capra who witnessed a charter at Montacute