Alan was connected somehow with Eadgifu "Swannesha", first wife of Harold Godwinson - perhaps she was related to King Edward? - and obtained most of her manors, as well as a share of Earl Gyrth's properties equal in number to King William's.
Alan cultivated good relations with the native English, retaining them as local lords in Richmondshire to the exclusion of Normans. He even brought both Kings William I and William II up to York to humbly reconcile with the citizens - a development that was sure ro provoke a reaction. In 1088, he allied with the English Fyrd to defeat a nationwide uprising by a majority of the Norman magnates.
Archbishop Anselm around 1093-94 twice accused Harold's daughter Gunhild, whom he regarded as a Wilton Abbey nun, of having an affair with Alan Rufus and then, on his death, with his brother Alan Niger, but he later removed these letters from his archive - had he mistaken the nature of the relationship?