1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shrewsbury, Earls of

SHREWSBURY, EARLS OF. The earldom of Shrewsbury, one of the most ancient in the English peerage, dates from the time of William the Conqueror. Roger de Montgomery (c. 1030–1094), son of another Roger de Montgomery, known as “the Great,” was a councillor of William, duke of Normandy, before his invasion of England, and was probably entrusted by William with the government of Normandy during the expedition of 1066. Roger carne to England in the following year and received extensive grants of land in different parts of the kingdom. Obtaining thus a large territory in Sussex, including the city of Chichester and the castle of Arundel, he became earl of Arundel, or probably and more correctly earl of Sussex. In 1071 the greater part of the county of Shropshire was granted to him, carrying with it the title of earl of Shropshire, though, from his principal residence at the castle of Shrewsbury, he like his successors was generally styled earl of Shrewsbury. He probably exercised palatine authority. He was the founder of Shrewsbury Abbey in 1083. His first wife was Mabel, daughter of the seigneur of Belesme and Alençon; hence his son Robert, who, after the death of another son, Hugh, succeeded to the earldoms of Shrewsbury and Arundel, was generally known as Robert de Belesme (q.v.), one of the most celebrated of the feudal nobles in the time of Henry I. Robert having been deprived of all his English estates and honours in 1102, the earldom of Shrewsbury was next conferred in 1442 on John, 5th baron Talbot, whose descendants have borne the title to the present day. (See Talbot; and Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of, below.)