William III, Count of Ponthieu

William III of Ponthieu (c.1093[1] – 1172) also called William (II; III) Talvas.[lower-alpha 1] He was seigneur de Montgomery in Normandy and Count of Ponthieu.

William III of Ponthieu
Coat of Arms of the Counts of Ponthieu
Noble familyHouse of Bellême
Spouse(s)Helie of Burgundy
FatherRobert II of Bellême
MotherAgnes of Ponthieu


William was son of Robert II of Bellême and Agnes of Ponthieu.[2][3][4] He succeeded his father as count of Ponthieu some time between 1105 and 1111,[2] when he alone as count made a gift to the abbey of Cluny.[3] His father Robert de Bellême had turned against Henry I on several occasions, had escaped capture at the battle of Tinchebrai in 1106 commanding Duke Robert's rear guard and later, while serving as envoy for King Louis of France, he was arrested by Henry I and imprisoned for life.[5] William was naturally driven by this to oppose King Henry. In June 1119, however, Henry I restored all his father's lands in Normandy. Sometime prior to 1126, William resigned the county of Ponthieu to his son Guy but retained the title of count.[3] In 1135 Henry I again confiscated all his Norman lands to which William responded by joining count Geoffrey of Anjou in his invasion of Normandy after Henry I's death[3]


He married, abt. 1115, Helie of Burgundy, daughter of Eudes I, Duke of Burgundy.[2] The Gesta Normannorum Ducum says that they had five children, three sons and two daughters. Europäische Stammtafeln, however, shows eleven.[2] The five both agree on are:


  1. Kathleen Thompson, 'William Talvas, Count of Ponthieu, and the Politics of the Anglo-Norman Realm', England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. David Bates, Ann Curry (Hambledon Press, London, 1994), p. 170
  2. Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4, Das Feudale Frankreich und Sien Einfluss auf des Mittelalters (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 638
  3. G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XI (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1949) p. 697
  4. K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166, Volume II Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum (Boydell & Brewer, UK & Rochester, NY, 2002), p. 310
  5. G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XI (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1949) pp. 693-4

Additional References

  • The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis, and Robert of Torigni, edited and translated by Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995.


  1. Orderic Vitalis and Robert de Torigny both mentioned his nickname 'Talvas' but he is not known to have used it when granting or attesting his own charters,[G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XI (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1949) p. 697 n. (a)] but in a notification by the monks of St. Michel he was styled Willelmus Tallevat comes Pontivi. [Calendar of Documents Preserved in France, ed. J. Horace Round (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1899), no. 737]
William III, Count of Ponthieu
Born: c.1093 Died: 20 June 1172
Preceded by
Count of Ponthieu
before 1105 before 1129
Succeeded by
Guy II

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