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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3.a.3 David le Cleric m Constance de Kevlioc d Idonea de Malpas m Sir Urian de Pierre d Joanne and Katherin

But like all the relationships that seem to cross match this branch is no different

Constance de Kevlioc married David le Cleric de Malpas.  Their daughter was Idonea de Malpas.

But David's uncle Sir William had a brother Peter le Cleric de Malpas and he with his wife Agnes had a son Sir Ranulph le Roter Lord of Thornton, who just happens to be another great grandfather from his line

Again we have great grandfathers who are also great uncles, just to make life a bit more confusing!

We will follow the Thorntons in another branch

Sir Ranulph le Roter knight, Lord of Thornton

  • Born: Thornton-le-Moors, Chesire, England
  • Marriage: Amicia de Kingsley 713,720
  • Died: After 18 Dec 1182, Thornton-le-Moors, Chesire, England 924
bullet   Another name for Ranulph was Sir Ranulph Lord of Thornton Knight.

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol II, p. 628, father of Cecily, wife of David de Eggerton

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol II, p. 17, Sir Ranulph le Roter, als. de Thornton, Knt., son and heir lord of Thorneton, living at the time of Philip de Orreby and Sir John de Grey, ob. ante 28 Henry 3. 713

bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Randle was the son and heir of Peter the Clerc, by his wife Agnes. He assumed the name of le Roter, also the name de Thornton from his place of residence, and sometimes by both. He is termed "godson of Randle, Earl of Chester," in a the confirmation of the grant of Thorton to his father, Peter, given by Sir John de Arderne, and also in a grant of the vill of Onston by the Earl of Chester himself.

Randle died before the 28th of Henry III. He was married to Amicia, daughter of Richard, and sister and coheir of Randle de Kingsley, as appears by a deed bearing the date of that year, in which Henry Done gives on bovate of land in Kingsley to this lady, then a widow. 

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol II, pp. 15, 17

Who was Sir Urian de Pierre?

Sir Urian de St. Pierre Knight

  • Born: Abt 1220, St. Pierre, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Marriage: Idonea de Malpas 
  • Died: 1290-1300, Cheshire, England 
bullet   Other names for Urian were Sir Urian de Sancto Petro Knight and Sir Brain St. Peter Knight.

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol II, p. 598, Urian de St. Pierre, son of John who was the son of William de St. Pierre. He married Idonia de Malpas, daughter of Sir David de Malpas, natural son of David le Clerc de Malpas. Urian de St. Pierre and Idonia were the parents of John de St. Pierre who married Katherine Dutton, as well as the grandparents of Ellena who married Philip de Egerton.

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol II, p.596, He was the first to set up the standard of Prince Edward in the Earldom of Chester after the prince's escape from Simon de Montfort, and seized Beeston Castle* on the prince's behalf in 1265.

~Genealogy of the Dutton family of Pennsylvania, compiled by Gilbert Cope, printed in 1871, p.17, calls him "vulgo Sampier" and says, "I have no authority for this, but it is from an old Pedigree." I've found other sources which appear above and below.

Sir Urian Sancto Petro is given as Joan's father in both:

~New England Families, Vol. III, p. 1609, Joan Sancto Petro married to Sir Hugh Dutton, son of Sir Thomas Dutton, and she was the daughter of Sir Urian.

~The Coucher Book of Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, Vol. I, p. 19, Also lists Joan, daughter of Sir Urian de Sancto Petro, as the wife of Hugh de Dutton."

~Boyer's Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell, p. 212, According to Boyer, the Sir Urian Sancto Peter, a.k.a. Urian St. Pierre who was the father of John was also the father of Johanna who married Hugo Dutton. 

 He also points out that St. Pierre was commonly written as Saint Peter or Sancto Pietro, as well as Sampier, in the records. According to Burke's Peerage (1939), p. 434, descendants used the name Bunbury.

Urian married Idonea de Malpas, daughter of David de Malpas and Constance verch Owain. (Idonea de Malpas was born in Malpas, Cheshire, England and died before 1295 in Malpas, Cheshire, England 

Idonea de Malpas and Sir Urian De Pierre had 3 children

  1. Joanne de Sanoto Pierre  b 1246  who married Sir Hugh Dutton b 1250
  2. John     de Pierre             b 1255  who married Katherine Dutton   b 1259
  3. Katherin de Pierre           b  1266  who married Randolph Thornton

Now our family is linked again with interweaving branches.

Hugh Dutton and Katherine Dutton were siblings, the children of Sir Thomas De Dutton VII and his wife Philippa Lady Standon of Staffordshire.

Joanne de Pierre married Sir Hugh de Dutton
                                  had a son another Sir Hugh de Dutton      Our lineage

Katherin De Pierre married Randolph (Peter) de Thornton         Our lineage               
                                 They had a son Sir Peter Thornton      

Sir Hugh de Dutton Knight, Lord of Dutton

  • Born: 8 Dec 1276, Dutton, Cheshire, England 
  • Christened: 9 Dec 1276, Great Budworth 
  • Marriage: Joanna de Holland in Lancashire, England 
  • Died: 1326, Dutton, Cheshire, England at age 50 
bullet  General Notes:

~Genealogy of the Dutton family of Pennsylvania, compiled by Gilbert Cope, printed in 1871, pg.17, he was made Steward of Halton about a year before his death.

~Memorials of the Duttons of Dutton . . ., Ch. IV, pg 13, says that Hugh de Dutton, son of Sir Hugh de Dutton, had the first recorded baptism when he was baptized at the Great Budworth Church the day after he was born.

~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol I, pg. 645-646
bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Sir Hugh Dutton, of Dutton, Knight, son and heir of Sir Hugh dutton, born the eighth day of December, 5 Edward I, 1276, at Dutton and baptized at Great Budworth the following day. he sued the Prior of Norton, before Adam Burum and Nicolas Gruchundelee, Commissaries of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, at the Visitation of the Arch-Deanery of Chester, Annon Domini 1315, for not finding a Chaplain and Lamp at Roosey Chappel, according to the original Grant, which he there produced; and John Olton, then Prior, confessed the same, and was ordered to find them. This Priory was the Order of St. Augustine.

He married John, daughter of Sir Robert Holland, of Holland in Lancashire, and had issue, Thomas Dutton, son and heir; William, Parson of Thornton, 22 Edward 3, Geffrey Dutton, and Robert Dutton.

This Sir Hugh was made Steward of Halton, 24 Decembris, 20 Edward 2, and died I Edward 3, 1326, at the age of fifty years.

Joan, his widow, afterwards married Edmund Talbot, of Bashall; and after, to Sir John Ratcliff, of Urdeshall, in Lancashire, living 11 Edward 3 and 20 Edward 3.
~The Duttons of Dutton, pg. 17
~George Ormerod's The History of County Palatine and City of Chester, Vol I, pg. 645-646

Hugh married Joan de Holland, daughter of Sir Robert de Holland Knight and Elizabeth de Samlesbury, in Lancashire, England 169,713 (Joan de Holland died after 1347.)

*The Castle was built by our great uncle!

Image result for beeston castle
Beeston Castle in Cheshire

Beeston was built by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, as an impregnable stronghold and a symbol of power. The siting of the castle's outer bailey walls was chosen to take advantage of the fortifications remaining from the earlier Iron Age rampart. In medieval documents the castle is described as Castellum de Rupe, the Castle on the Rock.

 It is one of three major castles built by Ranulph in the 1220s, shortly after his return from the Fifth Crusade. The others are Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire, and Chartley, Staffordshire, both of which share similar architectural features with Beeston; in particular the design of the towers.

Engraving of 1727 by the Buck Brothers, showing Beeston Castle from the south

Unlike many other castles of the period, Beeston does not have a keep as its last line of defence. Instead the natural features of the land together with massive walls, strong gate houses, and carefully positioned towers made the baileys themselves the stronghold. The defences consisted of two parts.

 Firstly, a rectangular castle on the summit of the hill, with a sheer drop on three sides and a defensive ditch up to 30 feet (9 m) deep in places cut into the rock on the fourth side. Secondly, an outer bailey was built on the lower slopes, with a massive gatehouse protected by a 16 feet (5 m) wide and 10 feet (3 m) deep ditch.

The outer bailey was roughly rectangular, with 6 feet (2 m) thick walls faced in sandstone and infilled with rubble. The walls, parts of which still remain, contain a number of D-shaped towers, an innovation in English castles at that time. 

The towers allowed defenders to fire across the walls as well as forwards, and their open-backed design meant that they would not offer cover to any attackers who gained access to the outer bailey. The inner bailey was situated on the rocky summit at the western end of the crag.

To provide the castle's inhabitants with a supply of fresh water two wells were dug into the rock, one of them, at 370 feet (113 m) deep,one of the deepest castle wells in England.

Royal castle Beeston Castle is built on a rocky summit 350 feet (110 m) above the Cheshire Plain.

Although most of the defences were in place by the time of Ranulph's death in 1232, there were no living quarters, and neither were there on the death of Ranulph's successor John in 1237. John died without a male heir, allowing King Henry III to take over the Earldom of Cheshire

Henry enlarged Beeston Castle during his wars with Wales, and used it as a prison for his Welsh captives.
No attempt was made to equip the castle as a permanent residence with halls and chambers; garrisons were probably housed in wooden structures within the outer bailey.

In 1254 Henry gave Beeston, together with other lands in Cheshire, to his son Prince Edward. He also gave the title Earl of Chester to the prince, a title that has been conferred on the heir to the throne of England ever since. Edward was crowned king of England in 1272, and completed the conquest of Wales.

In the middle of the 14th century there are references to men of Cheshire who were made constables of the royal castle. The constable would probably have lived in or near the gatehouse.

 The habitation was described in an account of the castle in 1593 by Samson Erdeswick, which describes, "a goodly strong gatehouse, and strong wall with other buildings, which when they flourished were a convenient habitation for any great personage."

Beeston was kept in good repair and improved during Edward's reign, and throughout the 14th century. However, by the 16th century, the castle was considered to be of no further use to the English Crown, and in 1602 it was sold to Sir Hugh Beeston (c. 1547–1626) of Beeston Hall.

There have been persistent rumours of a treasure hidden by Richard II somewhere in the castle grounds. Richard is supposed to have hidden part of his personal wealth at Beeston on his journey to Chester in 1399, before boarding a ship to Ireland to suppress a rebellion there. 

On his return, Richard was deposed by Henry, Duke of Lancaster, the future Henry IV, and his treasure is said to have remained undiscovered. Many searches have been carried out, most of them focusing on the deep well in the inner bailey, but nothing has ever been found.

 The rumour of hidden treasure may not be well-founded, as Henry IV is recorded as having recovered Richard's gold and jewellery from its various hiding places.

Civil war

During the English Civil War many neglected castles were pressed into service

. Beeston was seized on 20 February 1643 by Parliamentary forces commanded by Sir William Brereton. The walls were repaired and the well was cleaned out. During 1643 part of the royal army of Ireland landed at Chester.

 On 13 December 1643 Captain Thomas Sandford and eight soldiers from that army crept into Beeston at night (possibly aided by treachery) and surprised the castle governor, Captain Thomas Steele, who was so shaken by the event that he surrendered on the promise that he would be allowed to march out of the castle with honours. Steele was tried and shot for his failure to hold the castle.

The Royalists survived a siege by parliamentary forces from November 1644 until November 1645, when their lack of food forced them to surrender. The castle was partially demolished in 1646, to prevent its further use as a stronghold.

The Earldom of Chester was created by King William the Conqueror between 1067 and 1070 when he granted it to his follower Gerbod de Fleming. The Earldom's holdings consisted of the city of Chester and large part of the county of Cheshire.

Gerbod the Fleming

The first Earl, Gerbod de Fleming, was the son of one Gerbod, hereditary advocate of the abbey of Saint-Bertin. The family held the lordships of Oosterzele and Sheldewindeke, the overlordship of Arques and territorial rights in Saint-Omer. Gerbod probably fought with William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He is recorded as fighting in the Battle of Cassel in February of 1071 in his native Flanders, according to some sources, he was held captive by his enemies after the battle and died a prisoner, others relate that Gerbod, having slain Arnulf III, Count of Flanders in the battle, fled to Rome to seeking attonement for the sin of taking the life of his liege lord and became a monk at Cluny. Which ever was the case, King William gave the vacant Earldom to another of his vassals, Hugh d'Avranches.

Hugh d'Avranches, 'the Wolf' c1047- 1101

Hugh d'Avranches Arms Hugh d'Avranches was the son of a Norman lord, Richard le Goz, Viscount de Avranches and Emma de Conteville. Emma was the daughter of Herluin de Conteville a knight and Herleva, the Conqueror's mother, thus making Hugh William's half-nephew. Prior to his creation as Earl of Chester, Hugh held extensive estates in Normandy and had held Tutbury Castle for William.
Hugh Lupus Earl of ChesterHugh became engaged in fighting the Welsh, during which time he was given the nickname Lupus, meaning the Wolf, on account of his savage ferocity. He was aided by his cousin, Robert of Rhuddlan, in his campaigns and succeeded in subdueing part of North Wales.

 Hugh captured and imprisoned Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd. The Welsh prince was held prisoner at Chester Castle and his lands were granted to Hugh's kinsman Robert of Rhudlan. 

Robert himself was killed fighting the Welsh in 1088 whereupon Hugh took control of his lands, making him the virtual ruler of much of North Wales. Gruffydd of Gwynedd escaped and led a Welsh revolt against Norman rule in 1094, when Hugh lost Anglesey and much of the rest of Gwynedd.

In the summer of 1098 Hugh marched again into Wales, to recover his lands, aided by Hugh of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, known as 'the Red'. Gruffydd retreated to Anglesey and later fled to Ireland. King Magnus III of Norway, also known as Magnus Barefoot, in alliance with Gruffydd ap Cynan, attacked the Normans to the east of the Menai Straits. Hugh of Shrewsbury was killed in the fighting.

 A Norse poet relates that Hugh of Shrewsbury was so completely enveloped in armour that nothing could be seen but one eye. "King Magnus let fly an arrow at him, as also did a Heligoland man who stood beside the King. They both shot at once. The one shaft struck the nose-guard of the helmet, and bent it on one side, the other arrow hit the Earl in the eye and passed through his head, and this arrow was found to be the King's." The wheel of fortune having turned once again in his favour, Gruffydd returned from Ireland in 1099 to reclaim his lands.

Owing to excessive gluttony, Hugh earned a second, less flattering, nickname, 'le Gros', meaning the fat. He married the Norman Ermentrude of Claremont, by whom he had sons, Richard, Robert and Hugh and daughters, Matilda, Maud, Helga and Geva d'Avranches, he also produced many illegitimate offspring.

Hugh had regarded the saintly Anselm as his friend, and displayed great liberality to religious houses. He transformed the Chester Cathedral into a grand Benedictine monastery, assisted by Anselm, who later became Archbishop of Canterbury In July 1101, suffering from a fatal illness, he became a monk at the Abbey of St. Werburgh, and died there four days later on 27th July, 1101.

Richard, d'Avranches

Richard d'Avranches armsHugh was succeeded by his seven year old son, Richard.
On reaching the age of twenty, in 1114, like his father before him, Richard led a campaign into Gwynedd. Together with King Alexander of Scotland, he led an Anglo-Norman army into Wales forming part of a three-pronged campaign under William the Conqueror's youngest son, King Henry I of England. His father's old enemy, Gruffydd ap Cynan, reluctant to meet Henry in battle, paid homage to the English king and paid a fine.

In 1120, at the age of twenty-six Richard, sailing from Normandy with his illegitimate half-brother Ottuel, Richard embarked upon the tragic White Ship with the young William Atheling, the son of Henry I. The vessel's port side struck a submerged rock off Barfleur and the ship quickly capsized. The only known survivor was a butcher from Rouen. Richard left no issue and his Earldom passed to his cousin.

Ranulf de Meschin

Arms of Ranulph de MeschinRanulf de Meschin was the son of the Norman viscount Ranulf de Briquessart and Maud, the sister of Hugh d'Avranches and was born circa 1070 at Briquessart, Livry, France.

At the time of his succession to the Earldom of Chester, Ranulf was already a major landowner in England through his marraige to Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire, who was related to the old Anglo-Saxon nobility. Lucy was probably the daughter of the Saxon Thorold of Lincoln, who was a brother of Godiva, the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.

Ranulf accompanied King Henry I on his invasion of Normandy, in attempt to wrest it from the control of his brother, the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert Curthose in 1106. Ranulf commanded a wing at the Battle of Tinchebrai at which Curthose was captured by his brother and held in lifelong captivity. 

Either as a reward for the part he played at Tinchebrai, or by right of his wife Lucy of Bolingbroke, Ranulf also possessed the lordship of Carlisle and Cumberland and founded Wetheral Priory in Cumbria, but probably had to give up his lands in the north on becoming Earl of Chester. Ranulf died in January 1129 and was suceeded as Earl of Chester by his son, Ranulf de Gernon.

Ranulf II, de Gernon

Ranulf was born at the Chateau Guernon, in Normandy, in around 1100. He was the son of Ranulf le Meschin and the heiress Lucy of Bolingbroke.

On the death of King Henry I in 1136, England's crown was claimed by his nephew Stephen, who usurped the throne from Henry's daughter Matilda, the appointed heir, Matilda had the support of her husband Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and her illegitimate half-brother, Robert of Gloucester. 

Her maternal uncle, King David I of Scotland, crossed the border into England to also support her claim to the throne. He captured Carlisle, Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle upon Tyne and marched on to Durham. Stephen arrived to meet him at Durham on 5th February, 1136, and a treaty was negotiated a treaty by which David was granted the towns of Carlisle and Doncaster, for the return of Wark, Alnwick, Norham and Newcastle. Along with Carlisle, much of Cumberland and the honour of Lancaster, lands that had once belonged to Ranulf's father were lost to the Scots. These lands had been surrendered to Henry I in return for the Earldom of Chester. Ranulf was furious at these concessions to the Scots and left Stephen's court in a rage. In the second Treaty of Durham (1139), Stephen granted the Earldom of Northumbria to King David's son, Henry.

Prince Henry of Scotland planned to attend the English court that Michaelmas and Ranulf plotted to seize him on his return to Scotland, however, Stephen's queen, Matilda of Boulogne caught news of the plot against Henry and persuaded her husband to escort the prince back to Scotland. Ranulf, not to be thwarted, seized Lincoln Castle. Agreement was reached with the king, whereby Stephen made William de Roumare Earl of Lincoln and Ranulf was given administrative and military powers over Lincolnshire and the town and castle of Derby.

 The citizens of Lincoln, disatisfied with the treatment they recieved at the hands of Ranulf, appealed to the king for aid, who marched to Lincoln in January 1141 and laid seige to the castle. Ranulf managed to escape and appealed to his powerful father-in-law, Robert of Gloucester, whose daughter Maud was still besieged at Lincoln, in return he had to agree to support the Empress Matilda. Robert joined forces with Ranulf at Lincoln, the result was that the king was captured by Robert of Gloucester. In the confusion that followed Stephen's capture, Ranulf siezed the Earl of Richmond’s northern castles and took him prisoner.

Ranulf Gernon, Earl of Chester Matilda was proclaimed queen and in September 1141, laid seige Winchester with Robert of Gloucester. Stephen's queen, Matilda of Boulogne, marched to Winchester and surrounded the army of the empress. Robert of Gloucester was captured by the queen trying to fight his way out. Ranulf managed to escape and fled to Chester. 

Later that year, Robert was released in exchange for Stephen.
Since 1141 David of Scotland had switched his alliegence back to Matilda. In 1145, or early 1146, Ranulf switched his allegiance from the Empress to Stephen, allowing him to again resume his old quarrel with David regarding his lands in the north. Ranulf aided Stephen in capturing Bedford and supported him at the siege of Wallingford.

 He wanted the king to take part in a planned campaign against the Welsh, however Stephen feared treachery and contrived a quarrel with Ranulf at Northampton, after which the Earl was accused of treason, was arrested and imprisoned in chains. Terms were reached on 28 August 1146, when it was agreed that Ranulf would be released, provided he surrendered all the royal lands and castles he had seized (Lincoln included), gave hostages and took a solemn oath not to resist the king in future. Ranulf, as he saw the matter, had been arrested in contravention of the previous oath the king had sworn to him at Stamford, openly revolted on regaining his freedom. 

He marched to Lincoln to recover the city but failed to break into its north gate. He also tried to recover the castle at Coventry, by building a counter castle. Stephen marched to Coventry and although he was wounded in the ensueing fighting, drove Ranulf back and took hostages, including his nephew Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Hertford, whom Stephen refused to release unless Gilbert surrendered his own castles. Gilbert, similarly angered, agreed to the condition and revolted as soon as he was at liberty.

The young Prince Henry Plantagenet, the son of the Empress Matilda, met the king of Scotland and Ranulf at Carlisle in 1149, Ranulf reached agreement with the King of Scots, The southern portion of the honour of Lancaster, (the land between the Ribble and the Mersey), was conceded to Ranulf, who in return resigned his claim on Carlisle and their allied forces planned an attack on York. Stephen marched north to meet them at the head of a large force forcing the rebels to disperse.

In 1153 Henry Plantagenet granted Staffordshire to Ranulf. In the same year, whilst staying as a guest at the house of William Peverel the Younger, his host attempted to poison him. Three of Ranulf's men who had drunk the wine died, while Ranulf himself suffered agonizing pain. A few months later Henry Plantagenet became England's king on the death of Stephen. He exiled Peverel as punishment but Ranulf succumbed to the poison and died on 16 December 1153. He was suceeded as Earl of Chester by his son Hugh.

Hugh de Kevelioc

Arms of Hugh de KevilocHugh de Kevelioc was the son of Ranulf de Gernon and Maud of Gloucester, daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, making him the great-grandson of Henry I. He was born in 1147, most probably at Kevelioc in Monmouthshire.

He joined the baronial Revolt of 1173-1174 against King Henry II and was captured and imprisoned after the Battle of Alnwick. His estates were restored in 1177, after which he served in Henry's campaigns in Ireland. In 1169 he married the king's cousin, Bertrade de Montfort of Evreux, the daughter of Simon III de Montfort.

Hugh died on 30 June 1181 at Leek, Staffordshire, and was succeeded as Earl of Chester by his son, Ranulf.

Ranulf de Blondeville

Arms of Ranulf de BlondevilleRanulf de Blondeville was born in 1172 at Oswestry, the son of Hugh de Kevelioc and Bertrade de Montfort of Evreux. He succeeded his father as Earl of Chester at the age of nine.

He was married at the age of seventeen to Constance Duchess of Brittany in 1189. Constance was the widow of Henry II's son Geoffrey, but the king did not trust her and wanted her married to a magnate whose loyalty he could rely on. 

The marriage gave Ranulf control of the earldom of Richmond and the duchy of Brittany, but was not a success, Constance openly disliked the spouse that had been forced upon her and the couple separated. 

In 1196, Constance had a nine year old son, Arthur, by her previous marriage to Geoffrey Plantagenet whom Richard I 'the Lionheart' named as his heir. Richard summoned Arthur and his mother to Normandy.

 On the journey to Rouen she was abducted by her estranged husband. Richard the Liomheart, enraged at Ranulfs's actions, marched to rescue his nephew. Arthur, however, was secretly taken to the court of the French king Philip II. In 1199, the marriage of Constance and Ranulf was finally dissolved and Ranulf married again to Clemence of Fougeres.

Ranulf de Blondeville, Earl of ChesterKing John, Richard I's brother and successor, did not trust Ranulf and in the winter of 1204-5 suspected him of plotting to revolt with the Welsh and reacted by estates temporarily confiscating some of his estates. Thereafter Ranulf seems to have been loyal to the king, he fought in John's Welsh wars 1209-12, helped secure the peace with the pope in 1213-14 and was also one of the few lords to witness the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

 He remained loyal to John during the civil war when rebel barons had offered the throne to Louis, the heir to the French throne. Louis invaded England during the summer of 1216 and took Winchester. Ranulf aided in the defeat of the rebels at Lincoln in 1217.

 Following the battle, on 23 May, 1217, he was created Earl of Lincoln by John's son Henry III.

In 1218, Ranulf decided to take part in the Fifth Crusade. The weather, however, affected the crusaders morale greatly, an icy winter was followed by a scorching summer. During September 1219, the Sultan offered terms, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and central Palastine and Galilee, so long as the Crusaders gave up their war in Egypt. 

 Ranulf was in favour of accepting the offer but , Bishop Pelagius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem refused. Damietta was attacked and taken. Discontent was rife in the Crusader camp and Ranulf left Damietta in September 1220, leaving behind an indecisive force under the command of Bishop Pelagius and the Military Orders. The crusade was not a success and he returned to England.

On his return from crusade Ranulf founded Beeston Castle, known as the 'Castle on the Rock'. The outer bailey was roughly rectangular in shape, with 6 feet (2 metre) thick walls. The walls, sections of which still remain today, contain a number of D-shaped towers, an innovation in English castles at that time. He led an army into Poitou in 1230-1, in support of Henry III's ill fated attempt to regain the lost Plantagenet lands in France. The campaign concluded in a three year truce with the French King.

Ranulf de Blondevile died on 26 October 1232 at Wallingford, at the age of sixty. His various estates were divided between his sisters Matilda, Mabel, Agnes, and Hawise. The earldom of Chester passed to the Scottish House of Dunkeld, through his oldest sister Matilda.

John the Scot

Arms of John Earl of HuntingdonJohn the Scot was born circa 1207, the son of David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon and Matilda of Chester, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester.
 On the death of his l uncle, Ranulf de Blondeville on 26 October 1232, the Earldom of Chester was inherited by John's mother Matilda of Chester, who was Ranulf's eldest sister. Matilda gave an inter vivos gift of the earldom to her son John who became Earl of Chester by right of his mother. He became Earl of Chester in his own right six weeks later on the death of his mother in January 1233.

John the Scot died at the age of thirty, with no issue, on 6 June 1237, leaving his four sisters as his co-heirs. The sisters came to an agreement to share the estates between them, and to make the husband of the eldest sister Christian, William de Forz, Earl of Chester and Huntingdon by right of his wife. However King Henry III intervened and decided that the earldoms should be annexed to the crown.

A very rich family history indeed.

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