From the early Jersey Le Bretons back to Dukes of Brittany, via Thomas a Becket's assassin

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Descendants of Eudes de Bretagne, Le Breton


This tree was added to the site in 2010. It purports to trace the earliest Le Bretons known in Jersey to the counts of Brittany via Richard Le Bret (or Le Breton) (Generation 8, b 1150) who was one of the murderers of Thomas a Becket. Several of the links in this descendancy (notably at Generations 7, 14, 15 and 16) are unproven, and dates in the first seven generations have been 'massaged' so that the generations fit. This is something we would never normally do, but the tree is offered purely for entertainment value. It is not known whether the earliest Le Bretons in Jersey came to the Island via England, or direct from Brittany, which has always been assumed to be more likely, in which case this descendancy would have no validity.

The name Le Breton is derived from Brittany, whereas the names Brito and Le Bret were usually used in the wake of the Norman Invasion to indicate that people in England were of British birth rather than Norman or French. This has led to considerable confusion between Le Brets and Le Bretons and the links made by some genealogists between the two are often somewhat fanciful.

The Wikipedia entry for Richard Le Breton shows him as an ancestor of Lillie Langtry. This is unlikely, because even if the Le Breton lineage can be reliably traced back from Lillie’s father William Corbet Le Breton to Richard’s generation, it is likely to be his cousin Reginald from whom Lillie is descended.

The descendancy, and variations, is widely quoted, largely based on information shown by Burke's Landed Gentry in an entry for John Edward Francis Le Breton, born in England in 1952. However, the entry starts with the entirely false claim that it was Sir Reginald Le Breton who was one of the four knights concerned in the death of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. It was, in fact, his first cousin Richard. However, whether either Richard or Reginald retired to Jersey after the assassination, as claimed in Burke's, is open to considerable doubt.

The generations from 9 to 19 were extracted in 2019 and added to our Le Breton master tree.

The dates given up to Generation 18 are highly speculative

Le Breton family page and links to other trees

In common with the majority of our trees, this descendancy has been subject to regular review by site editors and checked against Jersey church records. Trees including French ancestry have also been checked as far as possible against French primary records. It is not always possible to carry out such checks on sections of trees with United Kingdom and/or colonial content

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More information on our 2018/2019 review of family trees

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  • 1. Comte Eudes de Bretagne (999-1079) m Orguen Agnes de Cornouaille (1022- )
    • 2. Alain de Bretagne (1022-1093)
    • 2. Maud de Bretagne (1023-) m Baron Walter I Deincourt (1042-1090)
      • 3. Ansgar Brito (1042-)
        • 4. Walter Brito (1060-)
          • 5. Ansgar Brito (1080-)
            • 6. Roger Brito (1100-)
              • 7. Simon Le Bret (1125-)
                • 8. Richard Le Bret (1150-) Claimed to be the actual slayer of Thomas a Becket in 1170
                  • 9. Matilda Le Bret (1180-)
                • 8. Edmund de Sanford Le Bret (1160-)
              • 7. Unknown Le Breton (1130-)
                • 8. Reginald Le Breton (1155- ) Alleged slayer of Thomas a Becket in 1170
                  • 9. Herbert Le Breton (1180-) Speculative son of the above. Shown by Burke's as receiving in 1236 a pension of 20 sols sterling in the Island of Jersey for damages suffered in his service to the King.
                    • 10. Alexandre Le Breton (1210-) Seigneur du Franc-Fief au Breton, Jersey, in 1269, holding it from the Abbot of Mont St Michel, who was Seigneur de Noirmont. He and his descendants are said to have pursued a lawsuit against the Abbey for 100 years
                      • 11. Philippe Le Breton (1240-1291-) son and heir, Seigneur (as above) in 1284
                        • 12. Guillaume Le Breton (1270- ) successor; Seigneur (as above) in 1309
                          • 13. Guillaume Le Breton (1305-) successor; Seigneur du Franc-Fief au Breton; Jurat of the Royal Court of Jersey from 1362-1370-
                            • 14 Unknown Le Breton (1340- )
                              • 15. Unknown Le Breton (1370-)
                                • 16. Unknown Le Breton (1400-)
                                  • 17. Thomas Le Breton (1430-1486) Shown by Burke's as grandson or great-grandson of Guillaume. Burke seemingly has a generation missing.
                                    • 18. Jean Le Breton (1460-)
                                      • 19. Jean Le Breton (1485-1545) m Michelle Guerdain (1487-1542)
                                      • 19. Servais Le Breton (1490-1567) m Helen Le Sueur
                                      • 19. Louise Le Breton (1493-) m Philippe de la Rocque (1490-)
                                      • 19. Ambroise Le Breton (1495-1554) m Genette Bisson (1520-1554)
                                      • 19. Perrinne Le Breton (1497-) m Thomas Briard (1495-)
                                      • 19. Drouet Le Breton (1500-1563) m Marie Barbey (1510- )
                                      • 19 Thomasse Le Breton (1505-) m Matthieu Regnault (1505-)
                                  • 17. Raoulin Le Breton (1440-1485)
                                    • 18. Abey Le Breton (1465-)
                                      • 19. Raoulin Le Breton (1500-) m Perrine de Gruchy (1500-)
                                      • 19. Vincenne Le Breton (1500-)
              • 7. Walter II Brito (1140-)
                • 8. Walter III Brito (1160-)
    • 2. Geoffrey de Penthierve (1046-1093)
    • 2. Brien de Bretagne (1048-)
    • 2. Bodin de Bretagne (1052-)
    • 2. Comte Etienne I de Bretagne (1065-1136) m Hawise de Guingamp (1072-1135)
      • 3. Duc Alain V de Bretagne (1088-1146) m Bertha de Bretagne (1122-1167)
        • 4. Conan IV de Bretagne (1140-1171) m Margaret of Huntingdon (1144-1201)
      • 3. Matilda de Bretagne (1090-) m Gautier de Gand (1080-)
      • 3. Olive de Bretagne (1110-1187) m Henry I de Fougeres (1095-1154)
      • 3. Eleanor de Penthievre (1095-)
      • 3. Theophania de Bretagne (1104-)
    • 2. Ribald de Bretagne (1050-1121)
    • 2. Bardolf de Bretagne (1045-1120)
      • 3. Akaris FitzBardolf (1080-1161)
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