ROBERT FITZ ERNEIS
Here we have a companion of the Conqueror who fought and fell at Senlac -- one of the very few recorded to have done so -- a most remarkable fact, for surely the names of men who died in the hour of victory were as deserving of commemoration as those of the survivors. That a list of the killed, if not of the wounded, should not have been specially drawn up, and preserved "in memoriam" by the pious monks of Battle, or, at any rate, distinguished by some mark in the Roll, is to me incomprehensible, in days, too, when mortuary Rolls were compiled in nearly every monastic establishment. I cannot help thinking some such document has unfortunately perished, although the silence of Wace and of all other chroniclers respecting the slain at Senlac may be adduced in proof of the little regard paid at that period to the subject. Robert Fitz Erneis, the only Norman mentioned by Wace as having fallen in battle was, as his name imports, the son of Erneis, a collateral descendant of the family of Taisson, by his wife Hawise, sister of Fulk d'Aunou. His death is thus described by Wace: "Robert Fitz Erneis let fall his lance, took his shield and galloped towards the standard, sword in hand, hewing down with its trenchant blade an Englishman who stood before it, and, fighting his way through many others, reached the standard, and endeavoured to cut it down, but the English surrounded it, and killed him with their guisarmes.* [A fearful weapon, combining a pike and a curved blade like that of a reaping hook. Several may be seen in the Tower. No such weapon, however, is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry.] He was found on the spot, when they afterwards sought for him, lying dead at the standard's foot."
He married a lady named, like his mother, Hawise, and had a son called after himself Robert Fitz Erneis, who, in a charter printed in Gallia Christiana (vol. ix. Instrumentum, 334), mentions his father's death "Eodem vero Patre meo in Anglia occiso."
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.