" Robert Bertram, ki esteit torz."
Rom. de Rou, l. 13,633.
Here we have not only the baptismal name, but a personal description to assist us in identifying this companion of the Conqueror. "Robert Bertram, who was crooked, but was very strong on horseback, had with him a great force, and many men fell before him."
Notwithstanding these particulars, and the fact that Bertram, surnamed "le Tort," or the crooked, is a real personage, who was Seigneur of Briquebec, near Valonore, who founded, before the Conquest, the Priory of Beaumont-en-Auge, and on his death bed (imminente morte) made sundry donations to the Abbey of St. Stephen at Caen, about 1082, M. le Prévost tells us it is commonly considered that it was not Robert Bertram who took part in the expedition, but William Bertram, probably his brother; and also that he was son or grandson of Toustain de Bastenbourg, progenitors of the Lords of Briquebec and those of Montfort.
Mr. Taylor presumes that both William and Robert were in the battle, which I will not dispute; but I believe Wace to be right in this instance, as well as in many others which have been questioned but not disproved. Robert Bertram was evidently dead before the compilation of Domesday; and Dugdale makes no mention of him, beginning his account of the family with William, Baron of Mitford, who, with the consent of Hawise his wife, as also of Roger, Guy, William, and Richard, his sons, founded, temp. Henry I, the Priory of Brinkholm, Northumberland, for canons regular of the order of St. Augustin. The branch of the Bertrams of Bothall I take to be the eldest, and Richard, the first of that line mentioned, to have been a grandson of Robert, as he held the barony of Bothall in capite of the King, Henry II, by the service of three knights' fees, as his ancestors had done, "de veteri feoffemento," and confirmed to the monks of Loirmouth two sheaves out of his lordship of Bothall, which they had of the gift of his ancestors.
The male line of the Bertrams of Mitford failed in the reign of Edward II, and that of Bothall in the reign following. Agnes, eldest sister and co-heir of Roger, the last Baron of Mitford, married Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam of Sprotborough, an ancestor of the Earls Fitzwilliam.
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.