Nest Bloet

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Nest Bloet (died 1224/5), sometimes called "Nest of Wales", was a Welsh noblewoman, best known for her many romantic liaisons, including an extramarital affair with King Henry II of England. She was the daughter of Angharad, daughter of Uthred Bishop of Llandaff, and Iorwerth ab Owain, the lord of Caerleon. [1]

Henry II of England King of England

Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 to his death. King Louis VII of France made him Duke of Normandy in 1150. Henry became Count of Anjou and Maine upon the death of his father, Geoffrey of Anjou, in 1151. His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII had recently been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine. He became Count of Nantes by treaty in 1185. At various times, Henry also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Bishop of Llandaff ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff

The Bishop of Llandaff is the ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff.

Caerleon village and community in Wales

Caerleon is a suburban town and community, situated on the River Usk in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport, Wales. Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the location of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hillfort. The Wales National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum are in Caerleon close to the remains of Isca Augusta. The town also has strong historical and literary associations, as Geoffrey of Monmouth elevated the significance of Caerleon as a major centre of British history in his Historia Regum Britanniæ, and Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote Idylls of the King while staying there.

Contents

Llandaff Cathedral Cathedral from the North, Llandoff (i.e. Llandaff), Wales-LCCN2001703501.tif
Llandaff Cathedral

Marriage and Relationship with Henry II

Raglan castle Raglan Castle.jpg
Raglan castle

She married Ralph Bloet III (d.1199) of the Marcher Lordship of Striguil (centred at Chepstow) before 1175. [2] Ralph III was son of Ralph II, son of Ralph I, son of Walter Bloet [3] , who was rewarded for his services with the vill of Raglan by Richard de Clare (Strongbow) c.1171, making the family significant landowners in the marches of south-east Wales and in south-west England. [4] The match between Nest and Ralph therefore linked neighbouring Welsh and marcher elite families.

Striguil or Strigoil is the name which was used from the 11th century until the late 14th century for the port and Norman castle of Chepstow, on the Welsh side of the River Wye which forms the boundary with England. The name was also applied to the Marcher lordship which controlled the area in the period between the Norman conquest and the formation of Monmouthshire under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542.

Chepstow town in Wales

Chepstow is a town and community in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the River Wye, about 2 miles (3.2 km) above its confluence with the River Severn, and adjoining the western end of the Severn Bridge. It is 16 miles (26 km) east of Newport, 28 miles (45 km) east-northeast of Cardiff, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Bristol and 110 miles (180 km) west of London.

Vill is a term used in English history to describe the basic rural land unit, roughly comparable to that of a parish, manor, or tithing.

Nest is most famous for her affair with King Henry II. [5] This affair probably took place in the early or mid 1170s. [5] She may have met the king when he came to meet with a number of Welsh lords at Gloucester in 1175 and restored Caerleon to her father, [6] although Henry and Iorweth also met one another three years earlier. [5]

Gloucester City and Non-metropolitan district in England

Gloucester is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the west, 19 miles (31 km) east of Monmouth, 17.5 miles (28.2 km) east of Wales. It has the first traditional crossing point across the longest river in the country, modernised into multiple lanes, connecting Over, a place over the water hence the name of that village — southern counties of England for many decades have been linked by three very long, lower Severn crossings in the very south-west corner of Gloucestershire, quite close to Bristol and Avonmouth on the far side of which is the River Wye being the border of South Wales for several miles.

Henry II Henry 2.jpg
Henry II

This affair produced a son, Morgan, who was raised by Ralph and Nest but acknowledged by Henry II. [7] He became provost of Beverley and later bishop-elect of Durham, but encountered difficulty when Pope Innocent III refused to confirm in the position because of his illegitimacy. Innocent suggested that he could claim Ralph instead of Henry as a father, since Nest and Henry's affair was conducted after her marriage to Ralph, but Morgan refused and did not take his place as bishop. [8]

Morgan was a medieval Bishop-elect of Durham.

Beverley Town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Beverley is a historic market town, civil parish and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The town is known for Beverley Minster, Beverley Westwood, North Bar and Beverley Racecourse. It inspired the naming of the city of Beverly, Massachusetts, which in turn was the impetus for Beverly Hills, California.

Durham, England City in England

Durham is a historic city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the south-west of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a centre of pilgrimage in medieval England. The cathedral and adjacent 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832. HM Prison Durham is also located close to the city centre. City of Durham is the name of the civil parish.

Offspring

In addition to Morgan, Nest had four sons and a daughter by her husband Ralph.

Widowhood

Nest was widowed in 1199 and used the legal capabilities newly available to her as a widow to conduct litigation against Robert Bloet, her brother-in-law, and Hywel ab Iowerth, her brother. [5] [9] She seems to have enjoyed the patronage of King John and this may have been why these disputes were settled in her favour, leaving her with a substantial dower settlement. John also included several of Nest's sons in his household, and one, Roland, died fighting for John against Morgan ap Hywel of Caerleon, who was his maternal cousin. [5]

Nest died between autumn 1224 and summer 1225 of unknown causes.

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References

  1. Trett, Robert (2006). "A history of Caerleon Castle".
  2. Bartrum, P.C. (1983). Welsh Genealogies 400-1400. Aberystwyth.
  3. https://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/Portals/0/Lackham%20House%20History/Bluet%20Family.pdf
  4. Coplestone-Crow, Bruce (Autumn 2000). "Strongbow's grant of Raglan to Walter Bluet". Gwent Local History: 3.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Crouch, David (2008). "Nest Bloet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 16 Oct 2015.
  6. Gillingham, John (2000). The English in the twelfth century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political values. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell. p. 61. ISBN   978-0-85115-732-0.
  7. Barlow, F (1945). Annales Dunelmenses in Durham Annals and Documents of the Thirteenth century. Surtees Society. pp. 1–2.
  8. Given-Wilson, Chris & Curteis, Alice (1984). The Royal Bastards of Medieval England. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 99. ISBN   9780710200259.
  9. Curia Regis Rolls, volume one. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1922. pp. 382, 393, 397.