I shall conclude this chapter with a few lines containing all I have hitherto discovered respecting this personage, who is only known as the sworn brotherin-arms of Robert d'Oiley, and who appears to be equally entitled with him to claim companionship with the Conqueror, yet I do not find his name in any roll or catalogue, nor can I detect him amongst the many unidentified leaders mentioned by Wace. That he is not a myth, however, is clear from the fact of his having received from Robert d'Oiley a large share of the spoil, and specially the honor of St. Waleries; but whether he married or left issue does not appear. His patronymic would point to a descent from Ralph, Comte d'Ivri, or Yvery (latinized Ibreio and Iberico), half-brother of Richard I, being the son of Sprote, mistress of William Longsword, Duke of Normandy, by Asperleng, the wealthy Miller of Vaudreuil, whom she married after the death of the Duke.
Aubree or Alberade, wife of Count Ralph, built the famous Castle of Ivri. The architect was Lanfred, whose reputation transcended that of all the masters of his craft at that period. Having, with vast labour and expense, constructed a fortress unequalled in Normandy, the bright idea occurred to the lady that it should so remain as far as Lanfred was concerned. In order, therefore, that his skill should not be exercised by an endeavour to surpass himself for the benefit of some other, perhaps hostile employer, she prudently had his head cut off as soon as his work was completed. The lady eventually suffered the same fate at the hands of Count Ralph, her husband, who, though he seems to have connived at her murder of the architect, considered her attempt to expel him from his own castle was an offence amounting to no less than treason, and made her pay the penalty of such high crime and misdemeanour.
She had borne to him two sons, Hugh, Bishop of Bayeux, and John, Bishop of Avranches and afterwards Archbishop of Rouen. The name of John indicates some family connection between the Archbishop and the friend of Robert d'Oiley. There was also a Roger d'Ivri, who was cupbearer to King William the Conqueror, and married Adeline, one of the daughters of Hugh de Grentmesnil, the founder of the Abbey of Ivri in 1071, and was probably the brother of John I. The father of Roger was Waleran d'Ivri, who held one knight's fee in the bailiwick of Tenchebrai, in Normandy, by service of cupbearer to the Duke, so that the office appears to have been hereditary in the family; also eight and a half knights' fees in the town and castle of Ivri. They were not lords of Ivri, but apparently hereditary castellans of the fortress until the close of the eleventh century.
According to tradition, Count Ralph had Ivri given to him by Duke Richard, his uterine brother, in consequence of his slaying a monstrous bear when they were out hunting together. The fief appears to have passed from Ralph to Fitz Osbern, and in the second year of the reign of Rufus was in the possession of William de Breteuil.
Ascelin Goel de Percival, son of Robert d'Ivri, Lord of Breval, took the Castle of Ivri by surprise and delivered it to Robert Court-heuse. De Breteuil, unwilling to lose it, redeemed it from the Duke for fifteen hundred livres. Having recovered his castle, to punish Goel he deprived him of the hereditary right to its custody, and of everything he held in his lordship. The fierce Lord of Breval avenged himself by laying waste the whole neighbourhood. Aumari de Montfort, called Le Fort, having fallen in an inroad he was making on the lands of William de Breteuil, Richard, his brother, devoted himself to avenge his death, and joining his forces with those of Ascelin Goel, they attacked and defeated De Breteuil in a pitched battle, taking him prisoner, and consigning him to a noisome dungeon, in which he lingered until Richard de Montfort relenting, succeeded, with the assistance of Hugh de Montgomeri, Earl of Shrewsbury, Gervase de Neuchatel, and many others, in making peace between Ascelin Goel and his feudal lord and prisoner. According to the terms of the treaty concluded at Breval, William de Breteuil gave his illegitimate daughter Isabel in marriage to Goel, and ransomed himself at the expense of a thousand livres of Dreux, besides horses, arms, and other property. With great sorrow he added also the impregnable Castle of Ivri. "The infamous freebooter," as Orderic calls Goel, "thus enriched, grew intolerably insolent, and enclosed his castle,* [Breval, I presume, for Ivri was in no need of further defences. It was, as we have seen, a model fortress.] which was indeed a very den of thieves, with deep ditches and stout palisades, passing his life there in continued rapine and bloodshed. He had seven sons by his wife Isabel, who, as they grew in years, increased in wickedness, so that the cries of the widow and the destitute followed their evil deeds." Of these seven very bad men only three are known, Robert, lord of Ivri, Roger le Begue, and William Louvel (Lupellus, the little Wolf), ancestors of the Lovels of Tichmarsh, the Lords Lovel of Kary, and the Percivals, Earls of Egmont. The introduction, therefore, of the name of Lovel in the Roll of Battle Abbey, Brompton's List, and the second list in Leland is completely unjustifiable, as William the son of Ascelin Goel, on whom it was first bestowed, could not have been born for at least thirty years after the Conquest. The same observation applies to that of Percival, unless a Sire de Percival can be found earlier than Ascelin Goel.
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.