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Richard III, Duke of Normandy

Richard III, Duke of Normandy

Duke of Normandy
The basics
Quick Facts
Gender male
Birth Normandy
Death February 3, 1027 (Normandy)
Mother: Judith of Brittany
Father: Richard IIDuke of Normandy
Siblings: Robert IDuke of NormandyMaugerWilliam of Talou
Spouse: Adela of FranceCountess of Flanders
Children: Nicolas of Normandy
The details

Not to be confused with Richard III (English monarch)
Richard III (997/1001 – 6 August 1027) was the eldest son of Richard II who died in 1026. Richard's short reign lasted less than a year. It opened with a revolt by his brother and finished in his death by unknown causes.


Around 1020, Richard's father sent him in command of a large army to rescue his brother-in-law, Reginald, later Count of Burgundy, by attacking bishop and count Hugh of Chalon, who had captured and imprisoned Reginald.

When Richard II died in August 1026, his eldest son, Richard III became Duke of Normandy. Shortly after his reign began his brother Robert, discontented with his province of Hiemois on the border of Normandy, revolted against his brother. He laid siege to the town of Falaise, but was soon brought to heel by Richard who captured him, then released him on his oath of fealty. No sooner had Richard disbanded his army and returned to Rouen, when he died suddenly (some say suspiciously). The duchy passed to his younger brother Robert I.


In January 1027 he was married to Adela, of a noble lineage. She is usually identified with Adela, a younger daughter of King Robert II of France, who after Richard's death 6 August 1027, remarried to Baldwin V, Count of Flanders.


Richard's marriage to Adela was childless.

By an unknown woman, he had two children:

  • Alice/Alix, who married Ranulph, Viscount of Bayeux
  • Nicolas, Monk at Fecamp, Abbot of Saint-Ouen, Rouen (died 26 Feb 1092)
  • ^
  • See David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (1977): 93 (“At the beginning of Duke William’s reign the vicomte of the Bessin was Rannulf, who was the son of a vicomte named Anschitil. He married a daughter of Duke Richard III and was among the defeated rebels at Val-ès-Dunes. None the less, the office continued in the family, for he was succeeded by another Rannulf (II) who was established at Avranches before the Norman conquest, and who survived until after April 1089. Moreover, this second Rannulf married Maud, daughter of Richard, vicomte of the Avranchin, thus linking together two powerful vice-comital dynasties which were later in turn to determine the succession of the earldom of Chester.”).
  • David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (University of California Press, 1964), p. 32. See also Wailly et al., Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France 23 (1894): 379 (E Directorio Monasterii Sancti Audoeni Rotomagensis, Ex Calendario: “26 Febr. Obiit Nicholas abbas.”), 385 (“Selon cheu qui est contenu es croniques des Normans, Richart li tiers, duc de Normendie, fix du secont Richart duc, out un fix appelé Nichole, qui fu moine à Fescampe, et après fu abbe de l’abaie de Saint-Ouen de Rouen”), 387 (Extrait des Chroniques de Saint-Ouen de Rouen: Nicholas, Abbot of Saint-Ouen, Rouen styled “son of Duke Richard III” [Nichole, fix au tiers duc Richart de Normendie]).

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