We have already heard of a Raoul Taisson, Lord of Cingueleiz, at the battle of Val-egrave;s-Dunes in 1047; descended, it is supposed, from the Counts of Anjou, and the founder of the Abbey of Fontenay. Three Lords of Cingueleiz were so named in succession during the time of the Conqueror. The "Raol Teisson" mentioned by Wace as present at Hastings, is presumed to have been the second, and the son of the combatant at Val-egrave;s-Dunes.
The name of "Rodulfi Taisson," the father, is appended to the foundation charter of the Priory of Sigi by Hugh de Gournay before 1035, the other witnesses being Neel the Viscount, Geoffrey the Viscount, William the Count, son of the glorious Robert, Duke of the Normans, and William, "Magistri Comitis," whoever he may be. After Val-egrave;s-Dunes we find him summoned by the Duke to his aid on the invasion of the French in 1054. He is not named in any account of the battle of Mortemer, and was therefore most probably with the Duke himself.
His son, Raoul Taisson II, followed him to Hastings. He is presumed to have been killed in the battle, as no more is known about him, nor of any of his descendants in England, although for some time flourishing in Normandy, and M. le Prévost speaks of an opulent family existing in France, which claims a descent from the Norman Lords of Cingueleiz.
This Raoul Taisson, the second of the name, married Matilda, daughter of Walter the uncle of King William, who had so carefully watched over his childhood. Both she and her father are subscribing witnesses to the foundation charter of the Abbey of Fontenay, the lady describing herself most explicitly as "Mathildis filia Gualteri avunculo Gulielmi Regis Anglorum." She was, therefore, a first cousin of the Conqueror; but what was the worldly estate of her father Walter does not appear, nor who was the mother of the said Matilda. By her, however, Raoul had a son Jordan and a daughter Letitia, *[Jordan Taisson married one of the daughters of the last Neil de St. Sauveur (Hardy's Rot. Nom. 16); her name, according to M. de Gerville, was Letitia.] in whose fortunes we are less interested than in those of their mother and grandfather, some knowledge of which would be invaluable as illustrating a branch of the Conqueror's family which has been singularly neglected by chroniclers and genealogists both past and present, the few facts discovered by the late Mr. Stapleton only whetting our appetite for more.
From the period of the accession of the boy William to that of the foundation of the Abbey of Fontenay, we hear nothing of uncle Walter but what his dying nephew relates respecting his care of him when a child.
The marriage of his daughter Matilda with so important and wealthy a person as Raoul Taisson, Sire de Cingueleiz, indicates that Walter held some rank and possessions in Normandy at that period, although they have never been specified.
Who was Walter de Falaise, father of an undoubted companion of the Conqueror, of whom I will next speak in order to continue this inquiry; namely, William de Moulins.
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.