Interesting Facts About Alan Rufus: ‘Alan the Red’

Alan Rufus (c. 1040–1093), 1st Lord of Richmond, was a relative and companion of William the Conqueror (Duke William II of Normandy) during the Norman Conquest of England.
He was born in 1040. He was collectively known as Alan the Red. He died in 1093 and his remains transported to the abbey at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Alan Rufus is the 11th century military companion of William The Conqueror which has an estimated net worth of $178.65 billion.
He was the second son of Eozen Penteur (also known as Eudon, Eudo or Odo, Count of Penthièvre) by Orguen Kernev (also known as Agnes of Cornouaille). William the Conqueror granted Alan Rufus a significant English fief, later known as the Honour of Richmond, about 1071.
During his time, he served for William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. Alan Rufus held some properties in Rouen and became the Lord of Richmont.
With Rufus’ acquisitions around England included vast land titles that had been in the possession of Edith, King Harold’s wife. In 1067, he witnessed the charter of King William to the monks of the St. Peter’s at Westminister.
Four years later, Rufus began the construction of Richmond Castle. He also witnessed the several documents of King William in England and Ghent, and for Queen Matilda. He also active donating for a number of religious houses.
Let’s now find out more interesting facts about Alan Rufus:
1. His power base was the north and his building work demonstrates how important it was for him to make his mark upon the landscape.  He also built the first castle at Middleham which was in the hands of his brother.  By the time of his death he was the fourth largest landowner in England.
2. His ambitions included marriage to the King of Scotland’s daughter Edith also known as Matilda.  William the Conqueror saw this as a step too far but somehow or other Alan had become entangled with another royal lady during this time.
Edith was living at the nunnery of Wilton.  It appears that King Harold’s daughter Gunnhild was living there as well.  She may well have been sent there for her education as well as her own protection.
3. Some confusion between Alan ‘Rufus’ and Alan ‘Fergant’ is persistent and dates back to the Norman chronicler known to us as ‘Wace’. Most historians get it right, although the error has filtered into popular genealogy – much like Hereward ‘the Wake’ in romances such as Jean Plaidy;s Norman Conquest trilogy.
The exact relationship between the two is that Alan ‘Rufus”, maternal uncle Hoel of Cornouaille was father to ‘Fergant’, whose mother Duchess Hawise of Brittany was maternal first cousin to ‘Rufus’.
They were therefore first cousins on one side and first cousins once removed on the other. Both were russet-haired and formidable military leaders. William I had no success against ‘Fergant’, so he gave the Breton his daughter Constance in appeasement.
4. Alan was among the first four magnates to support William II of England against the Rebellion of 1088 in favor of the Duke of Normandy, Robert Curthose. The uprising was led by the recently freed Odo, Earl of Kent, Bishop of Bayeux, and joined by several major magnates.
Beginning in March 1088, Alan was granted additional territory by King William from the confiscated lands of his neighbors who had rebelled. In or before 1089, Alan Rufus issued a charter at Rochester, Kent, Bishop Odo’s former principal manor.
5. By 1086 Alan had become one of the richest and most powerful men of England. Alan is mentioned as a lord or tenant-in-chief in 1017 entries of the Domesday Book, behind only King William I and Robert, Count of Mortain in the number of holdings.
The most powerful magnate in East Anglia and Yorkshire, he also possessed property in London, in Normandy (e.g. in Rouen and Richemont), and in Brittany. Alan Rufus is third (not including the King and his immediate family) among the barons in terms of annual income, which was about £1,200. His income in the year of his death, 1093, was £1,100.

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