Gomeric a Viking originated the Montgomery clan

Summarizing the previous page:

1. Among the Viking chieftains who ravaged Europe in the 9th century was Gomeric, son of Ingvar Ragnarsson, the King of East Anglia and Northumbria, a kingdom in medieval England.

Gomeric son of Ingvar Ragnarsson Rollo

2. In 876 AD Gomeric’s brother, Hrólfr better known as Rollo, conquered the Norman city of Rouen in the France of its day. In 9111 AD, Rollo then went on to sign the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, a foundational document of the Duchy of Normandy, establishing Rollo as the first Duke of Normandy in exchange for his loyalty to the king of West Francia, King Charles III, following the Siege of Chartres. (For his part, Rollo agreed to defend the territory from other Vikings, and that he and his men would convert to Christianity.)

3. In the late 880’s, Gomeric settled in the Calvados area of Normandy and fortified a hill —which became known as Mount Gomeric, or Mont Gommeri or Mons Gomerici— which gave the Montgomery family its surname.

Mons Gomerici Mount Gomeric Mont Gommeri

4. In 1064, William Duke of Normandy received word that the King of England, Edward the Confessor, designated him as his heir to the throne. (Edward was the son of Æthelred and Emma of Normandy.) However, when the old King Edward died, Harold (the brother-in-law of Edward) crowned himself King! Hearing this news, William decided to cross the English Channel to claim his throne. His ships landed and the Norman army made its way towards Hastings, where they took up their positions. On 14 October 1066, the decisive battle between Norman and Anglo-Saxon troops began, ending with Harold being hit in the eye by an arrow and dying in battle. And William the Conqueror became England’s third King of 1066!

5. After the 1066 AD Norman Conquest of England, Gomeric‘s great-great-grandson Roger de Montgomerie (a counselor to William the Conqueror) was rewarded with British titles and wealth. (Roger did not actively participate in the 1066 Battle of Hastings, as he was commissioned by William, Duke of Normandy, to assist Duchess Matilda in governing the Duchy of Normandy.)

6. About 1160 AD, Robert Montgomery (the grandson of the above-mentioned Roger de Montgomerie) became the first of the family in Scotland, who along with two younger brothers, went north with Walter Fitzalan, the first High Steward of Scotland, in the reign of David I. In 1165, Robert de Montgomery received a grant of the manor of Eaglesham in Renfrewshire, Scotland (that is, west of Glasgow), which his descendants owned for seven centuries.

7. Following are further historical highlights of the Scottish Montgomery Clan, courtesy of Wikipedia and other sources:

14th Century & Anglo-Scottish border conflicts

A descendant of Robert was Sir John Montgomery who led the Clan Montgomery at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 where the English were defeated. He was one of the heroes of the day as he distinguished himself by capturing Sir Henry Percy who was known as “the Hotspur”. The Percy family paid a great ransom for the release of Henry “Hotspur” Percy and this money enabled the Clan Montgomery to build the Polnoon Castle.

15th & 16th Century Clan Conflicts

In 1488 the Clan Montgomery burned down the Clan Cunningham’s Kerelaw Castle. The two clans had been on opposing sides at the Battle of Sauchieburn, with Hugh Montgomery among the victorious rebels and Alexander Cunningham, the 1st Earl of Glencairn slain with the defeated James III. A longstanding rivalry (principally over the Bailieship of Cunninghame) was now a vendetta.

During the 16th century the long-running feud continued. Edward Cunningham of Auchenharvie was slain in 1526 and Archibald Cunningham of Waterstoun in 1528; Eglinton Castle (southwest of Glasgow) was burned down by the Cunninghams in the same year.

The government of King James VI of Scotland eventually managed to make the chiefs of the two clans shake hands. In 1661 Lord High Chancellor William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn, married Margaret Montgomery, daughter of Alexander, 6th Earl of Eglinton, drawing a line under the feud.

The 2nd Earl of Eglinton led the Clan Montgomery in support of Mary, Queen of Scots, at the Battle of Langside in 1568, where the Queen was defeated. The Earl was declared guilty of treason and imprisoned in Doune Castle. When the Earl, chief of Clan Montgomery was released he tried to secure the safety and toleration of Catholics in the wake of the Reformation.

Sir Hugh Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of the Great Ards (c. 1560 –1636) was an aristocrat and a soldier, known as one of the “founding fathers” of the Ulster-Scots along with Sir James Hamilton, 1st Viscount Claneboye. Montgomery was born in Ayrshire at Broadstone Castle, near Beith, Scotland, the son of Adam Montgomery, the 5th Laird of Braidstane, and his wife Margaret Montgomery of Hessilhead.

Sir Hugh Montgomery’s friendship with King James proved useful in establishing a Settlement in Ireland in 1606 (preceding the Plantation of Ulster in 1610).

17th Century & Civil War

When the second Earl of Eglinton, chief of Clan Montgomery was released after the battle of Langside he had tried to secure the safety and toleration of Catholics in the wake of the Reformation. Ironically his daughter Lady Margaret married Robert Seton of the Clan Seton, the 1st Earl of Winton who was a loyal Covenanter during the Civil War.

Their son, Alexander Seton took his mother’s maiden name of Montgomery and became the 6th Earl of Eglinton. He was a Protestant supporter of King Charles II. He was imprisoned by General Monck for his Royalist sympathies in 1659.

Another branch of the Scottish Montgomeries settled in Donegal in Ireland in 1628 and Viscount Montgomery of Alamein came from this line.

At the Battle of Worcester in 1651 much of the Royalist army was under the command of Major General Montgomery who was wounded in the action.

18th Century & Jacobite Uprisings

During the Jacobite Uprisings the Clan Montgomery supported the British government. The clan chief and 9th Earl of Eglington was on the Privy Council of King William and Queen Anne of the United Kingdom. In 1715 during the first rebellion the chief of Clan Montgomery, 9th Earl was involved in training soldiers for the government.

Colonial Wars

Many Montgomery’s left Scotland for what is now Northern Ireland during the “Plantation” of the 1600s. There they grew, but few prospered. Driven by economics and politics between 1700 and 1850, many Montgomery’s flocked to the New World. 

The 11th Earl and chief of Clan Montgomery raised the British 77th Foot Highlanders Regiment from members of the clan. The 77th Regiment was one of the first three Highland Regiments to fight in North America during the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763) between France and Great Britain. Their exploits in the campaign against the French are legend.

General Richard Montgomery was killed in the storming of Quebec on December 31, 1775. He was the first American general to die in the American Revolution. Many of the “Montgomery” place names which dot the nation honor his memory.

World War II

Perhaps the most famous of all Montgomery’s was Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. He came from the direct line of Scottish Montgomery’s who settled in Ireland in 1628. He was a British Army officer, often referred to as “Monty”. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major battle in World War II, and troops under his command were largely responsible for the expulsion of Axis forces from North Africa. He was later a senior commander in Italy and North-West Europe, where he was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord and then until after the Battle of Normandy.

From Normandy to Normandy, full circle! Gomeric to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery!