Gunnora Haraldsdottir de Crepon de Danemark
Gunnora was born in about 936 ce in western Normandy, there is no definitive name for her father but it was speculated to be either a forester from Pays de Caux or , most likely, Harald Bluetooth, a Danish king. She was known to be wealthy and her brother was landed and married well himself. Her marriage to Richard I (she was his second wife) was considered as important to him as to her family. Their marriage was initially what we would consider common law or as they called it, more danico. They only married in the Christian church so that their son Robert would be appointed Archbishop of Rouen.
She created ducal charters, which stated which land monasteries held, up until sometime after 1020. She knew a number of languages and was known for having an excellent memory, which she used to help Dudo of St. Quentin in his history of the Normans. She was a partner to Richard and many of the charters were signed jointly by them. She acted as “regent of Normandy, a mediator and judge, and in the typical role of a medieval aristocratic mother, an arbitrator between her husband and their oldest son Richard II.” 1 And after Richard’s death she often worked with her sons.
She founded and supported Coutances Cathedral and even laid its first stone. To honor her husband after hid death she donated lands that she had received as dower to the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, namely Britavilla and Domjean. She later also charted some of that land in her sons name at the same abbey.
She died about 1031 ce.
Gunnora is quite possibly a twice over ancestress on both the Jaynes and Mortimer sides of my family.
Monastic Revival and Regional Identity in Early Normandy By Cassandra Potts