Roger fitzReinfrid

Roger fitzReinfrid

Ruins of Lesnes Abbey, where Roger donated property
Royal justice
In office
Sheriff of Sussex
In office
Sheriff of Berkshire
In office
Personal details
Died 1196
Spouse(s) Alice
Relations brother Walter de Coutances
brother or nephew John of Coutances
Children Gilbert fitzReinfrey
Occupation royal administrator

Roger fitzReinfrid (sometimes Roger fitzReinfrey;[1] died 1196) was a medieval English sheriff and royal justice.

Roger was the brother of Walter de Coutances, who was Archbishop of Rouen from 1184 to 1207.[2] Another relative was John of Coutances, who was either the brother of Walter and Roger,[3] or their nephew.[4] John went on to become Bishop of Worcester from 1196 to 1198. Possibly another brother of Roger's was Odo of Coutances, a canon at Rouen Cathedral.[3]

Roger and Walter's family was probably of knightly rank. In 1161, Roger paid scutage on property in Dorset, which was probably his inheritance.[5] From 1168 to 1178, Roger was in the household of Richard de Lacy. Later he served as a royal justice.[2] Another patron of Roger's was Simon de Senlis, the Earl of Huntingdon and Earl of Northampton, who gave a soke in London to Roger in July 1175.[6] Roger was regularly employed by the king as a justice.[7] In 1176, Henry II summoned Roger as a Serjeant-at-law, one of the first identifiable members of that order in the historical record.[8][lower-alpha 1] In 1177 Roger, along with Richard de Luci, the justiciar and Gervase de Cornhill, assessed land taxes and heard judicial cases in Middlesex and Hampshire.[9]

In 1173, Roger was granted custody of Windsor Castle, and retained control of Windsor until 1193,[10] gaining the title of constable of the castle in 1179.[11] In 1176, Roger was one of the 18 men named as justicias errantes, which were sent out in three panels of six men after the Assize of Northampton in January 1176.[12] King Henry II of England named Roger as Sheriff of Sussex in 1176, which office he retained until 1187. Roger was also Sheriff of Berkshire from 1186 until the death of King Henry II in 1189.[10]

After the death of King Henry, Roger's brother Walter was put in charge of England while Henry's son Richard I was away on Crusade from 1191 to 1193. Roger profited from his brother's rise to power by receiving custody of Wallingford Castle, the Tower of London, and Bristol Castle.[10]

Roger granted land to Launceston Priory for his and his wife's souls. He also held land at Ramsden Bellhouse, half a knight's fee, which he was granted by Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London. The church on this land was later granted to Lesnes Abbey by Roger.[2]

Roger's son Gilbert fitzReinfrey became a royal administrator.[1] It appears, however, that Gilbert was illegitimate, as he did not inherit his father's lands.[13] Another son was William, who became a canon of Lincoln Cathedral, and was named Archdeacon of Rouen by Walter de Coutances.[3] Roger died in 1196.[14] Roger's wife was named Alice.[2] His wife and mother were to be buried at St Mary Clerkenwell.[15]


  1. The others summoned by Henry were: 1168: Reginald de Warenne 1174: John de Cumin, William fitzRalph, and William fitzStephen 1176: William Basset along with Roger 1177: Hugh de Cressy 1179: Hugh de Gaerst, Ranulf de Glanvill, and Hugh Murdac 1182: William de Auberville and Osbert fitzHervey 1184: Ralph fitzStephen.[8]


  1. 1 2 Dalton "Fitzreinfrey, Gilbert (b. before 1181, d. 1220)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. 1 2 3 4 Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants p. 942
  3. 1 2 3 Turner English Judiciary p. 62
  4. Greenway British Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: volume 3: Lincoln: Archdeacons of Oxford
  5. Turner English Judiciary p. 27
  6. Turner English Judiciary p. 30
  7. Richardson and Sayles Governance of Mediaeval England p. 250
  8. 1 2 Warren "Serjeants-at-Law: The Order of the Coif" Virginia Law Review p. 919 and footnote 18
  9. West Justiciarship in England p. 47
  10. 1 2 3 Turner English Judiciary p. 42
  11. Bond "Medieval Constables" English Historical Review p. 238
  12. Turner English Judiciary p. 20
  13. Turner English Judiciary p. 59
  14. Turner English Judiciary pp. 74–75
  15. Turner English Judiciary p. 264 footnote 29


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