Odo of Bayeux

Definition

Odo of Bayeux (d. 1097 CE) was the bishop of Bayeux in Normandy and half-brother of William the Conqueror (r. 1066-1087 CE). After the Norman conquest of England in 1066 CE, Odo was given vast Anglo-Saxon estates and made, as the Earl of Kent, the second most powerful man in England after the king. The bishop-earl often acted as regent whenever William travelled to Normandy, and he is also the most likely candidate as the sponsor of the Bayeux Tapestry which, made between 1067 and 1079 CE, records the key events of the conquest and presents Odo in a prominent role in the drama. After the conquest, Odo fell out of favour with William, possibly by promoting himself as a candidate for Pope. Ambitious and immensely rich, Odo is portrayed variously as a talented and just ruler or a ruthless pillager of lands and monasteries, depending on which medieval source one favours.

More about: Odo of Bayeux

Timeline

  • 1049
    Odo, half-brother of William, Duke of Normandy, is made the bishop of Bayeux.
  • 1067 - 1079
    The Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest of Anglo-Saxon Britain is made.
  • 1088
    Rebels, led by Odo of Bayeux, are defeated and Rochester Castle is besieged and taken by William II of England.
  • 1097
    Death of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and also the Earl of Kent.
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