Bertha of Hereford

Bertha of Hereford
Lady of Brecknock
Lady of Abergavenny
Lady of Hay
Lady of Bramber
Spouse(s) William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber


William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber
Roger de Braose
Bertha de Braose
Sibyl de Braose
Maud de Braose
Noble family de Pitres
Father Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford
Mother Sibyl de Neufmarche
Born c.1130
Died unknown

Bertha of Hereford, also known as Bertha de Pitres (born c.1130), was the daughter of Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford, and a wealthy heiress, Sibyl de Neufmarché. She was the wife of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber to whom she brought many castles and Lordships, including Brecknock, Abergavenny, and Hay.


Bertha was born in England in about 1130. She was a daughter of Miles, Earl of Hereford (1097- 24 December 1143) and Sibyl de Neufmarché.[1] She had two sisters, Margaret of Hereford,[2] who married Humphrey II de Bohun, by whom she had issue,[3] and Lucy of Hereford, who married Herbert FitzHerbert of Winchester, by whom she had issue. Her brothers, included Roger Fitzmiles, 2nd Earl of Hereford, Walter de Hereford, Henry Fitzmiles, William de Hereford, and Mahel de Hereford.[4]

Her paternal grandparents were Walter FitzRoger de Pitres,Sheriff of Gloucester and Bertha de Balun of Bateden,[5] a descendant of Hamelin de Balun, and her maternal grandparents were Bernard de Neufmarché, Lord of Brecon, and Nesta ferch Osbern.[6] The latter was a daughter of Osbern FitzRichard of Richard's Castle, and Nesta ferch Gruffydd.[7] Bertha was a direct descendant, in the maternal line, of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (1007- 5 August 1063) and Edith (Aldgyth), daughter of Elfgar, Earl of Mercia.

Her father Miles served as Constable to King Stephen of England. He later served in the same capacity to Empress Matilda after he'd transferred his allegiance. In 1141, she made him Earl of Hereford in gratitude for his loyalty. On 24 December 1143, he was killed whilst on a hunting expedition in the Forest of Dean.[8]

Marriage and issue

Abergavenny Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales, was one of the castles Bertha of Hereford brought to her husband William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber

In 1150, she married William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber (1112–1192), son of Philip de Braose, 2nd Lord of Bramber and Aenor, daughter of Judael of Totnes. William and Bertha had three daughters and two sons, including William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber.

In 1173, her brothers all having died without issue, she brought the Lordships and castles of Brecknock and Abergavenny, to her husband.[8] Hay Castle had already passed to her from her mother, Sibyl of Neufmarche in 1165, whence it became part of the de Braose holdings.

In 1174, her husband became Sheriff of Hereford.

Her children include


Bertha died on an unknown date. She was the ancestress of many noble English families which included the de Braoses, de Beauchamps, de Bohuns and de Ferrers; as well as the Irish families of de Lacy and de Burgh.[14]



  1. Lundy 2010, p. 10257 § 102563 cites Cokayne 2000, p. 21.
  2. Lundy 2011, p. 10257 § 102564 cites Cokayne 2000a, p. 457
  3. Lundy 2006, p. 21390 § i213894 cites Cokayne 2000a, p. 457.
  4. Lundy 2011, p. 10257 § 102564 cites Cokayne 2000, pp. 20, 21
  5. Lundy 2004, p. 62 § 615 cites Cokayne 2000, p. 20
  6. Lundy 2003, p. 10257 § 102565 cites Cokayne 2000, p. 20
  7. Lundy 2008, p. 10257 § 102568 cites Weir 1999, p. 36
  8. 1 2 Round 1890, pp. 438–430.
  9. Lundy 2010, p. 10257 § 102563 cites Cokayne 2000, p. 22.
  10. Cawley 2012 cites Dugdale 1894, p. 134.
  11. or Reynold de Briouse (Cawley 2012 cites Dugdale 1894, p. 134).
  12. This daughter is given in many older genealogies. Further research indicates that she is a daughter of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber and that her marriage was to William de Beauchamp, Walter's father (Cawley 2012 ).
  13. Cawley 2012 cites Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, IV, p. 393.
  14. Cawley 2012.

Further reading

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