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 Episcopi Primi

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PostSubject: Episcopi Primi   Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:00 pm

After the death of King William I of England, Urse continued to serve William's sons and successors, Kings William II Rufus and Henry I.[11] While William I granted the duchy of Normandy to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, England went to his second surviving son, William Rufus. Henry (later Henry I), the youngest son, was given a sum of money.[50] In 1088, shortly after William Rufus became king, Urse was present at the trial of William de St-Calais, Bishop of Durham,[51] and is mentioned in De Iniusta Vexacione Willelmi Episcopi Primi, a contemporary account of the trial.[52] During William I's reign, Urse had served the king mainly as a regional official, but during William II's reign Urse began to take a broader role in the kingdom as a whole.[41] Urse became a constable in the king's household for both William II[53] and Henry I,[54] and under William II, he ascended to the office of marshal.[55]

Urse was an assistant to William II's main minister, Ranulf Flambard,[56] and frequently served as a royal judge. The historian Emma Mason argues that Urse, along with Flambard, Robert Fitzhamon, Roger Bigod, Haimo the dapifer, or seneschal, and Eudo, another dapifer, were the first recognizable barons of the Exchequer.[51] During his absence from England, the King addressed a number of writs to Urse, along with Haimo, Eudo, and Robert Bloet, ordering them to enforce William's decisions in England. The historian Francis West, who studied the office of the justiciarship, asserts that Haimo, Eudo, and Urse, along with Flambard, could be considered the first English justiciars.[57]



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