Berthe, wife of Walter of Gloucester

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Also Known As: "Berta", "Bertha", "not Emma de Ballon"
Birthplace: France
Death: Devon, England
Place of Burial: Unknown
Immediate Family:

Wife of Walter of Gloucester
Mother of Matilda; Miles FitzWalter, 1st Earl of Hereford and daughter of Walter of Gloucester

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Berthe, wife of Walter of Gloucester

Not the mother of Agnes FitzWalter


Berthe, wife of Walter FitzRoger, styled as Walter of Gloucester, was not the daughter of Dru de Ballon & his wife.

Walter & his wife had [three] children[1]:

  • Miles of Gloucester, Earl of Hereford (d 24 Dec 1143) (m. Sybil Neufmarché)
  • Matilda (m. Richard FitzPons)
  • _ _ _ _ _. (Had child Renaud, d 25 Aug 1149)

King Henry I confirmed the grant to Walter of Gloucester and his heirs to Little Hereford and Ullingswick by the Bishop of Hereford in 1121.(4) By an undated charter Walter of Gloucester, with the assent of his son Miles and his wife Bertha, donated the churches of Cernay and Saint Helen and the land of Westwode to Gloucester St. Peter.(5)

Walter de Gloucester was Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1097 and again from 1104 until about 1121. He was constable of Gloucester Castle and made improvements to its fortifications before 1112. The family held the castle until 1155 when it was retained by the Crown. The castle kept in repair until the reign of Richard III when it was then used as a county jail until the remains of the castle was torn down in 1787.

Disputed origins


Did Walter marry Emma instead?

Some modern sources make the spurious claim that Walter married Emma, sister of Hamelin de Balun.

This was put forward by the herald Robert Glover, apparently in an attempt to explain the association with the lordship of Abergavenny. Brian fitz Count granted the honour of Abergavenny to Miles of Gloucester between July 1141 and December 1142, Empress Matilda issuing a charter confirming the deed. Abergavenny bordered Miles’s honour of Brecknock, solidifying his base in the region. [2]

2. Reed, Paul C. "The Seymour Family of Hatch, Somerset, and de la Mare Family of Little Hereford" (2010) p. 229. < PDF >


According to Charles Cawley's Medieval Lands database, Berthe's parentage is unclear, although the Peerages suggest that she was a member of the de Ballon/Balun family.

She married Walter FitzRoger de Pitres of Gloucester, Earl of Hereford.

BERTHE, daughter of ---. The primary source which confirms her marriage has not yet been identified. The Complete Peerage suggests that Berthe was a relative of Hamelin de Ballon Lord of Abergavenny, citing the passage from the Historia fundationis cum fundatoris genealogia of the priory of Abergavenny quoted above[292]. However, there are two difficulties with this hypothesis. Firstly, it is Walter, not his son, who is described as “consanguineo” of Brien FitzCount, suggesting that the relationship must have been through Walter´s parents not his wife. Secondly, doubt exists about the relationship between Brien FitzCount (generally identified as the illegitimate son of Alain IV Duke of Brittany, although the primary source which confirms that this affiliation is correct has not yet been traced) and Hamelin de Ballon, as discussed more fully in the document WALES (Lords of Abergavenny). The Complete Peerage also cites[293] the undated charter under which “Willielmus de Braosa” confirmed donations to Abergavenny Priory by “Hamelinus de Balon et Brientius comitis filius et Walterus de Herefort et Henricus de Herefort”[294]. This document does suggest a close relationship between the two families. However, a family connection through the mother of Miles of Gloucester is not the only possibility.

m WALTER of Gloucester (-1129 or after[285]). The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. Hereditary Sheriff of Gloucester. Constable [of Gloucester Castle][286]. The Historia fundationis cum fundatoris genealogia of the priory of Abergavenny records that “Brientio filio comitis de Insula, nepoti suo de sorore sua…Lucia” granted the lordship of Abergavenny to “Waltero constabulatio totius Angliæ, consanguineo suo”[287]. The precise relationship between Walter and his predecessor has not yet been established. Henry I King of England confirmed the grant of "heredibus suis Herefordiam [parvam et] Ullingeswicam" to "Waltero de Gloec" by the bishop of Hereford by charter dated 1121, witnessed by "…Ricardo filio Poncii…"[288]. Henry I King of England granted the lands of "Edrici fil Chetelli" to "Walto de Gloec" by charter date [3/10] Jun 1123[289]. A charter dated to [1123] records that "Walt de Gloec" gave Little Hereford in fee to "Willo de Mara nepoti suo"[290]. "Walter de Gloecestria, Milo fili ei…Willelm de Mara" witnessed the charter dated to [1127] which records that "Ricard Puncii filii" granted Aston, Gloucestershire ("Hestoniam") to "Mathilli uxori mee"[291].

Walter & his wife had [three] children:
i) MILES of Gloucester (-24 Dec 1143, bur Lanthony Priory, Gloucester). The Historia fundationis cum fundatoris genealogia of the priory of Abergavenny names “Milonem” as son of “Waltero constabulatio totius Angliæ”[295]. Henry I King of England appointed him Constable of England[296]. He was created Earl of Hereford in 1141.

ii) [MATILDA (-after [1127]). A charter dated to [1127] records that "Ricard Pontii filii" granted the manor of "Lechia" to "Mathildi uxori mee in matrimoniu" in exchange for her original marriage portion, the manor of Ullingswick in Herefordshire, which he gave to "Helie Giff in mat-monu cum filia mea Berta"[297]. Round indicates that this charter means that Matilda must have been the daughter of Walter of Gloucester, noting that Ullingswick was recorded in Domesday Book as belonging to the church of Hereford, and also that King Henry I confirmed its grant and that of Little Hereford by the bishop of Hereford to Walter of Gloucester by another charter (see above)[298]. The fact that Matilda named two of her children after her supposed parents also indicates that this parentage is probably correct (although the name Walter was already used in the FitzPons family before Richard´s marriage). "Ricardus filius Puncii" donated “ecclesiam de Lecha" to Great Malvern monastery, Worcestershire, for the soul of "uxoris meæ Mathildis et liberorum meorum…", by undated charter, witnessed by "Simon et Osbernus fratres mei…"[299]. m RICHARD FitzPons, son of PONS & his wife --- (-[1127/29]).]

iii) [--- .] m ---. One child: (a) RENAUD (-25 Aug 1149). A manuscript listing abbots of Evesham records that ”Reginaldus, monachus Gloucestriæ, nepos comitis Milonis Herefordiæ” was appointed abbot in 1122 and died “VIII Kal Sep 1149”[300], although another manuscript records his death “VIII Kal Sep 1136”[301].

Source: Reed, Paul C. "The Seymour Family of Hatch, Somerset, and de la Mare Family of Little Hereford" (2010) p. 229. (document attached)


  1. [No daughter Berthe is found in the family of DREUX de Baladon, and his daughter Emma or Emmeline married 1) Walter de Lacy 2) Arnoul de Hesdin]
  2. cites
    2. Reed, Paul C. "The Seymour Family of Hatch, Somerset, and de la Mare Family of Little Hereford" (2010) p. 229, footnote 76. < PDF >
    3. Weber, Jim. "The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest," RootsWeb. (Dead link).
  4. cites
    1. (1) Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon- J. Stevenson, Ed., London, 1858- Vol. II, p. 1
    2. (2) Historia et Cartularium Monasterii Sancti Petri Gloucestriae- W. H. Hart, London, 1863- Vol. I, p. lxxvi
    3. (3) Ibid- Vol. I, p. 81
    4. (4) Ibid- Vol. I, LXXV, p. 188
    5. (5) Ibid- Vol. I, CCCXLVII, p. 349
    6. Domesday People- K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Boydell Press, 1999- p. 451
    7. Domesday Descendants- K.S.B. Keats- Rohan, Boydell Press, 2002- p. 480
    8. Tim Powys-Lybbe's web page at:
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Berthe, wife of Walter of Gloucester's Timeline

Frampton, Gloucestershire, England
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
sisters md father son