Monastic Wales.

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Roger le Poer , bishop of Salisbury

Born: c. 1068   Died: 1139 (11 Dec)   

A chief minister in Henry I's reign, he was elected to the see of Salisbury in 1102 and became a leading figure in royal government. Roger built the castles at Devizes, Malmesbury and Sherborne, as well as at Kidwelly. Following the death of Hywel ap Goronwy in 1106 Roger secured control of SW Wales and duly reorganised this as the marcher lordship of Kidwelly. The foundation of Kidwelly Priory was part of the Norman process of conquest and consolidation - castle, borough and monastery.

Roger reformed and reorganised royal government and may have been responsible for the inauguration of the Pipe Rolls (Kemp). Following Henry's death in 1135 Roger supported the new king, Stephen, and he and his family were rewarded for their loyalty. But c. 1138 they fell from royal favour when it was alleged that they planned to renounce their fealty to Stephen and support the Empress. Roger died soon thereafter of a quartan fever, caused by his recent maltreatment. But many who resented his rise to power saw his decline as Divine justice.

Sites associated with this person

Kidwelly Priory, Carmarthenshire (founder)

Llanthony Prima Priory, Monmouthshire (admirer)

Bibliographical sources

Web links (open in new window)

Kemp, Brian, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online - Roger of Salisbury (View website) (Subscription reqd.)