Osbern fitzRichard (died after 1088) was a Frenchman, perhaps Norman, who was a landowner and tenant-in-chief in England.
Background and family
Osbern was the son of Richard Scrob, who arrived in England before the Norman Conquest of England. Richard was the builder of Richard's Castle in Herefordshire, one of the few castles that predates the Norman Conquest in England.
Osbern married Nesta or Nest, the daughter of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn and Ealdgyth. Ealdgyth was the daughter of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia.
Osbern's heir was his son Hugh fitzOsbern. He also had a daughter, Nesta (or perhaps Agnes), who married Bernard de Neufmarché. Both Hugh and Nesta were the children of his wife, but Osbern perhaps had another son, Turstin, who is named as the brother of Hugh fitzOsbern in a charter of Osbern fitzPons.
Osbern held Richard's Castle at the time of Domesday Book in 1086. His holding of Richard's Castle as a tenant-in-chief is considered to have made him a feudal baron. Domesday Book records Osbern as owning lands adjacent to his father's lands in 1066, while his father was still alive.
Osbern added to the lands he had held in 1066 not only by inheritance from his father, but also from his marriage, from royal gifts, and by enfeoffment from other landholders such as the bishop of Worcester and the Robert de Montgomery, the earl of Shrewsbury. His lands in 1086 were situated in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, and Bedfordshire. They were worth over 100 pounds a year.
Osbern served as a royal judge in Worcestershire during the 1080s, and in 1088 took the side of the baronial rebels against King William II. His disaffection from the king was not long-lasting, as he later served William.
Osbern's date of death is unknown, occurring sometime after 1088, perhaps after 1100.