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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

22a. The various ancestors of Margaret Creagh Many of her ancestors are in our other trees as well.

Margaret Creagh came from a long line of merchants.


Her maternal lineage through Henry Cock (1574 to 1624) can again be traced to influential landowners of the region.  Henry Cock a Mayor or Newcastle in 1627, married Dorcas Shafto. They are the 10th great grandparents.

There is a lot of information about the various families on the Internet.  I have included some facts about different families.

From Gorm the Old Gormsson, the first historically recognised King of Denmark, who is 31st great grandfather to Dorcas Shafto, who was Margaret Creagh’s grandmother, including stories of the  lineages of:

De Crepon

De Vielles

De Beaumont

De Quincy


De Umfreville

De Haggerston



Many of the families came from France, many were involved with or supporters of William the Conqueror and the invasion of England.

Some were responsible for writing the Magna Carta (an interesting discovery)

Some became great grandparents twice over.

I hope you enjoy another step back in time!

The de Umfraville Lineage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Umfraville is the name of an English baronial family, derived from Amfreville in Normandy. Members of this family obtained lands in Northumberland, including Redesdale and Prudhoe, from the Norman kings, and a later member, Gilbert de Umfraville (died 1245), married Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, earl of Angus, and obtained this Scottish earldom.

Gilbert's son, Gilbert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus (c. 1244-1308), took part in the fighting between Henry III of England and his barons, and in the Scottish expeditions of Edward I of England. He was governor of Forfar and was given the right of appointing the wardens of the marches.  Gilbert married Elizabeth de Comyn.   They are the 20th great grandparents

His son Robert, earl of Angus (1277–1325), was taken prisoner by the Scots at Bannockburn, but was soon released, though he was deprived of the earldom of Angus and of his Scottish estates.

Robert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus, Lord Umfreville.    (19th Great grandfather)

m firstly LUCY de Kyme, daughter of Sir PHILIP de Kyme 1st Lord Kyme & his wife --- le Bigod. A manuscript genealogy of the Gant family records that “Roberto de Umphravil comiti de Anguishe” married “Willielmus de    Kyma… Luciæ sorori suæ”[18].
m secondly as her first husband, Eleanor (Alienor) Lumley, (b.abt 1297 d. 31 March 1368) daughter of Robert de Lumley and Mary FitzMarmaduke. She married secondly (before 16 August 1327) Sir Roger Mauduit of Eshot, co. Northumberland.

Earl Robert & his first wife had one child:

1. GILBERT de Umfreville (1310-6 January 1381). A manuscript genealogy of the Gant family names “Gilbertus Umphravil” as son of “Roberto de Umphravil comiti de Anguishe” and his wife “Willielmus de Kyma…Luciæ sorori suæ”, adding that he died without heirs and was succeeded by “Waltero Taylboys filio filiæ sororis suæ”. 

He succeeded his father in 1325 as Earl of Angus, Lord Unfreville. He was disinherited in Scotland in 1329. m firstly JOAN Willoughby, daughter of Sir ROBERT Willoughby 1st Lord Willoughby & his wife Margaret Deincourt (-16 July 1350). m secondly (before October 1369) MAUD de Lucy, daughter of Sir THOMAS Lucy 2nd Lord Lucy & his wife Margaret Multon (-18 December 1398). 

She married secondly (before 3 October 1383) as his second wife, Henry Percy 1st Earl of Northumberland. Earl Gilbert & his first wife had one child:
a) Sir ROBERT de Umfreville (-before 25 May 1368). m (licence 20 January 1340) as her first husband, MARGARET Percy, daughter of Sir HENRY Percy Lord Percy & his wife Idoine Clifford (-Gyng [Buttsbury], Essex September 1375). She married secondly (before 25 May 1368) as his second wife, Sir William Ferrers 3rd Lord Ferrers of Groby.

2. ELIZABETH de Umfreville . A manuscript genealogy of the Gant family records that “Gilbertus Umphravil” was succeeded by “Waltero Taylboys filio filiæ sororis suæ”[20]. m GILBERT de Boroughdon [Burdon].

Earl Robert & his second wife Eleanor (Alienor) Lumley ..had two children:
3.ROBERT de Umfreville (-before 10 October 1379).

4.THOMAS de Umfreville of Hessle, Yorkshire, and Holmside, co. Durham (-21 May 1387). He inherited the castle of Harbottle and the manor of Otterburn 1375[21] m[22] JOAN de Roddam, daughter of ADAM de Roddam & his wife ---. Thomas & his wife had two children:
a) Sir THOMAS de Umfreville of Harbottle (1360-12 February or 8 March 1391). m AGNES GREY (b.abt 1365 d.25 October 1420), daughter of Thomas de Grey and Margaret de Pressene--. Sir Thomas & his wife had six children:
i) Sir GILBERT de Umfreville of Harbottle (Harbottle Castle 18 October 1390-killed in battle Baugé, Anjou 22 March 1421). m (before 3 February 1413) ANNE Neville, daughter of RALPH Neville 1st Earl of Westmoreland & his first wife Margaret Stafford of Stafford.
ii) ELIZABETH de Umfreville (1391-23 November 1424). m Sir WILLIAM Elmeden of Elmeden [Embleton], co. Durham.
iii) MAUD de Umfreville (1393-4 January 1435). m Sir WILLIAM Ryther of Ryther, Yorkshire.
iv) JOAN de Umfreville (1395-after 1446). m Sir THOMAS Lambert .
v) MARGARET de Umfreville (1397-23 June 1444). m firstly WILLIAM Lodington of Gunby, co. Lincoln (-9 January 1420). m secondly (before 26 April 1423) JOHN Constable of Halsham in Holderness.
vi) AGNES de Umfreville (1399-after 1446). m THOMAS Haggerston of Haggerston, co. Durham.                                                                                             16th Ggrandparents
b) Sir ROBERT de Umfreville (-before 10 October 1379).  

(From: Medieval Lands Project-Scottish Nobility)-

His first son and heir by Lucy de Kyme, Gilbert de Umfraville (1310–1381), claimed the earldom, which he hoped to gain by helping Edward Baliol to win the Scottish crown, but he failed, and on his death without issue the greater part of his English estates passed to his niece, Eleanor, the wife of Sir Henry Talboys (died 1370), while others, including Redesdale, Harbottle, and Otterbourne, came to his half-brother, Sir Thomas de Umfraville(d.1386) a son by Lady Eleanor(Alienor) Lumley,. Sir Thomas's son, another Sir Thomas de Umfraville (1362–1391), left a son, Gilbert de Umfraville (1390–1421), who fought on the Scottish border and in France under his warlike uncle, Sir Robert de Umfraville (died 1436).

Although not related in blood he appears to have inherited the estates in Lincolnshire of the Kyme family, and he was generally known as the Earl of Kyme, though the title was never properly conferred upon him. In 1415 he fought at the Battle of Agincourt; he was afterwards sent as an ambassador to Charles VI of France, and arranged an alliance between the English and the Burgundians. He was killed at the Battle of Bauge on 22 March 1421.

The de Haggerston Lineage

The name of Haggerston is of great antiquity in Scotland, and local from Halkerston.  William and Richard Haggerston are witnesses to a donation in 1190.  John de Haggerston was once of the Scots barons who swore fealty to King Edward, 1296.  Robert de Haggerston is a witness in a donation to the abbey of Culture 1468, Sir Thomas Haggerston was made travelling-governor to Alexander Stuart, son of James IV 1506.

Sir Thomas de Haggerston was the son of Henry de Haggerston and Mary Selby. He was born in 1390.                                                   

Haggerston Castle was first mentioned in sources in 1311, when Edward II visited the castle, and again in 1345, when it was described as a 'strong tower' and was granted a licence to crenellate by Edward III in the same year. This licence is recorded in the Calendar of patent rolls (1343-45), p. 479. His heir was his uncle Sir Robert, who died on 29 January 1436, when the male line of the Umfraville family became extinct. The chronicler John Hardyng was for many years in the service of Sir Robert, and in his Chronicle he eulogizes various members of the family.

The inhabitants of the castle, the de Hagardestons, are believed to have been part of the invading force of William the Conqueror, who invaded as far north as Berwick-upon-Tweed. The land at Haggerston was, at that time, boggy and wet, the remaining lake serving as a reminder of this. 

There are few records of the early part of the history of Haggerston Castle, as later fires destroyed much of the castle, along with its documents. It is known that John de Hagardeston inhabited the castle in the late 12th and early 13th century, his death having been documented circa 1210. He married into the Manners family, of Cheswick. The name of de Hagardeston appears to have changed to the anglicized spelling of Haggerston with Thomas Haggerston, born circa 1458.

In 1642, Sir Thomas Haggerston was created the first baronet of Haggerston, in the Baronetage of England. The Haggerstons married into many great families, such as the Cheswick family, gaining large amounts of land, but Haggerston eventually became a minor estate, connected to the Maxwell and Constable families, and passed to the Maxwell Lord Herries of Terregles, through Winifred Maxwell, who married William Haggerston-Constable, second son of the third Baronet. Their grandson, William Constable-Maxwell, became the 10th Lord Herries of Terregles when the title was restored in 1858.

Sir Thomas de Haggerston and Agnes de Umfreville had a daughter Margaret de Haggerston.

The Swinburn Lineage

John Swinburne (1428 – 1488) lived in Nafferton, Northumberland in England and he married Margaret Hagerston.  They had a son Thomas Swinburne, (1453 – 1509).  He married Margaret Mitchelson (1460 Durham d 1485 Eddingham).  Margart was the daughter of Rovert Irving Mitchelson and his wife Janet Henderson Mc Farlane.

John was the son of Sir William Swinburne VII and Elizabeth Collingwood.


William Swinburne’s ancestors had lived for many years at Capheaton, where they owned extensive estates. They also acquired the manors of Chollerton and Great Heaton, which were settled upon William’s father and mother during the lifetime of his grandfather and namesake, Sir William Swinburne. William’s father died at some point before March 1363, while he was still a minor, leaving his mother, Joan, the daughter of Sir Robert Ogle, to manage the family affairs. A quarrel had by then arisen between Joan and her kinswoman, Agnes Swinburne, who was likewise trying to protect the interests of a young son, although they managed to reach a compromise over the payment of rents at Chollerton which was to last until the two boys came of age and could arrange matters for themselves. William had probably achieved his majority by February 1371, when he attended the baptism of (Sir) John Widdrington* near Morpeth while on his way to serve with the garrison at Roxburgh. 

That he was recognized as capable and trustworthy from an early age is evident from a lease made to him in 1374 by John, earl of Salisbury, of the castle and barony of Wark, right on the Scottish border. Yet despite his prowess as a soldier, which was repeatedly proven in skirmishes and raids over the next 30 years, Wark fell into the hands of the enemy in June 1386, and he himself was briefly taken prisoner by the Scots.

Meanwhile, in May 1378, William was confirmed in possession of unspecified ancestral estates in Tynedale and Redesdale. He was later able to augment these holdings when his relative, Sir Thomas Swinburne*, the bulk of whose property lay in Essex, sold him his maternal inheritance in the Northumbrian villages of Stamfordham and Heugh. William agreed to pay 50 marks for the land on the condition that he might be allowed a few weeks in which to change his mind or alter the terms of the sale. The transaction must have been completed to his satisfaction, as subsequently, in 1399, he bought out that other half of these properties which had gone to Sir Thomas’s kinsman, William, Lord Hilton. 

We do not know exactly when he married Mary, the widow of Sir John Strother, but his connexion with her family evidently dated from 1381, if not before. In December of that year he and two other of his many relations, his cousin, Sir Robert Ogle, and Sir Thomas Blenkinsop*, had joined with the influential northern landowner, Sir Ralph Euer*, and the earl of Northumberland in pledging securities of £300 that they would surrender certain goods which had belonged to the late Alan Strother. An assignment of dower in Longframlington, Felton, Thirston, Moneylaws and the surrounding countryside was made to Mary in January 1386, by which date she and William, who had recently been knighted, were man and wife. She was, indeed, a valuable prize, for in addition to the customary third of her husband’s estates, she also held land in Langton, Newton and Kirknewton which Henry Strother had settled upon her as a jointure in 1351 when she married his son.

 Furthermore, as one of the three daughters and coheirs of Sir Alan Heton, she stood to inherit a share of other widespread estates in Northumberland. Her sister, Joan, was, in fact, married to Sir Robert Ogle, and was the mother of the two shire knights, John Bertram* and Sir Robert Ogle*. Not long after Sir Alan’s death, in the spring of 1388, a partition was made which left Mary and Sir William with holdings in Ingram, Lowick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Unthank and Tritlington. 

Some rents had been lost through devastation by the Scots, but even after certain re-adjustments were effected, in 1394, to compensate for this, Mary’s income must still have been quite considerable. Sir William remained on friendly terms with the Strothers, and in 1389 Margaret Strother (whose husband, the abovementioned Sir Thomas Blenkinsop, had just died in enemy hands) made him her attorney to take custody of various ‘treasures and jewels’ with which she had planned to ransom him and Margaret, the mother of Sir Thomas Gray*, from captivity in Scotland.

By now a figure of some consequence in northern society, Sir William owed his growing influence not only to his wife, but to other important personal connections as well. In 1384, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, retained him at a fee of £20 p.a. as a member of his affinity, and continued to pay the annuity until 1397 if not later. Although far less powerful than the duke at a national level, Henry, earl of Northumberland, exercised far greater authority in the north by virtue of his dominant position as a landowner. He, too, demanded Sir William’s allegiance in terms which brooked no argument, commanding his attendance at ‘march days’ (when the English and Scots met to discuss their grievances) and other quasi-military gatherings.

On one occasion he wrote sharply to Sir William, expressing his surprise and annoyance at the latter’s failure to appear when summoned to a love-day at Kershope Bridge. ‘We wish to compel you to do right and justice, so take this to heart’, he added somewhat ominously; and on another occasion Sir William was tersely reminded that any further disobedience could well result in forfeiture or worse. (‘And know indeed, in case you are unwilling, we shall distrain your body and goods to recompense ourself.’) Although relations between the earl and Gaunt were often tense and difficult—a fact which may well explain Sir William’s rather fraught relationship with Northumberland—one or other of the two magnates could, nevertheless, be relied upon for help in emergencies. 

For example, when Sir Henry Heton threatened to disrupt arrangements for the partition of the Heton inheritance, Sir William promptly appealed to Gaunt’s son, the earl of Derby, asking him to use his influence with Northumberland so that Sir Henry could be restrained. Far more serious problems arose as a result of violent confrontations between Sir William and certain tenants of Edmund, duke of York, in the bailiwick of Tynedale. At all events, his ‘raiding, plundering, oppression and extortion’ incurred the wrath of the duke, who took from him securities of 500 marks, in February 1390, that he would submit to his judgement and behave peacably in future. However, Sir William’s energies were usually directed against the Scots, for despite his frequent (albeit reluctant) presence at meetings with delegations from across the border, he could not himself resist the prospect of an illicit raiding party into enemy territory. At some unknown date, he and his friend, Sir Thomas Gray, planned such an expedition with some members of the Percy retinue and other local gentlemen, all of whom were sworn to secrecy.

During the 1390s, Sir William extended his estates even further by leasing property from others. In the summer of 1392, for example, he contracted with the collegiate church of Windsor to farm the lands and tithes of the parish church of Simonburn (where some of his ancestors were buried) at a rent of 26 marks a year; and at the same time he agreed to pay (Sir) John Widdrington £5 p.a. for the use of his demesnes at Haughton. Naturally enough, the electors of Northumberland chose to return him to Parliament, in 1395, although somewhat surprisingly this marks his only known appearance in the Lower House. 

That he continued to occupy a leading position in county society is evident from his acquisition, in 1396, of land in Whittington, and the award to him in the following year of a royal pardon freely excusing ‘all manner of escapes by felons, forfeitures, judgements or decrees, transgressions, negligences and misprisions, etc.’. Further letters of pardon were issued in his name in November 1398, by which date he had been appointed to audit the accounts of Robert Waldby, the late archbishop of York. 

This commission not only gave him the opportunity to purchase outright for £36 all the debts still owing to Waldby in Hexhamshire, but also to take over the stewardship of the archiepiscopal liberty there. Sir John Clavering*, the bailiff, complained to Richard II that Sir William had acted ‘with false and rashly assumed authority’, and he was promptly ordered either to relinquish the post or else defend his action before the royal council. Despite this brush with the authorities, Sir William was named in the autumn of 1398 as one of the parties to a truce on the west march between the English and the Scots.

 He also had the satisfaction of marrying his daughter, Joan, to John, the son and heir of the wealthy northern landowner, Sir Robert Lisle*.

Capheaton is a village in Northumberland, in England, about 25 miles (40 km) to the northwest of Newcastle upon Tyne. It was built as a planned model village in the late eighteenth century. The name Capheaton is really Caput Heaton, i.e., Heaton Magna, nearby Kirkheaton being the original Heaton Parva.

The Capheaton archives are at the Northumberland Record Office.
he Devil's Causeway passes the village just over 1 mile (2 km) to the east. The causeway is a Roman road which starts at Port Gate on Hadrian's Wall, north of Corbridge, and extends 55 miles (89 km) northwards across Northumberland to the mouth of the River Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Capheaton Hall, is an English country house, the seat of the Swinburne Baronets and the childhood home of the poet Algernon Swinburne. It counts among the principal gentry seats of Northumberland. It is a Grade I listed building.

The house, which was built for Sir John Swinburne in 1667-68 by Robert Trollope of Newcastle, is a provincial essay in Baroque, of local stone with a giant pilasters on high bases supporting sections of entablature dividing the main front into a wide central bay and flanking bays, under a sloping roof with vernacular flat-footed dormers. The estate was improved with a model farm in Gothic taste, designed by Daniel Garrett for Sir John Swinburne, ca 1746, one of the earliest examples of the Gothic Revival. The north front was rebuilt for Sir John in 1789-90 by a local architect, William Newton.

The house stands in rolling parkland in the manner of Capability Brown. The naturalistic setting of Sir Edward's Lake south of the house was designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance in 1983 for the wintering and breeding wildfowl it harbours.

Two miles north-east of the village is East Shaftoe Hall, a mostly 16th century house, much altered in the 17th and 18th centuries, which incorporates a pele tower dating from the late 13th or early 14th century.

                                              Edlingham Castle,Northumberland the Home of the Swinburnes

Edlingham Castle is a small castle ruin, having Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building status, in the care of English Heritage, in a valley to the west of Alnwick, Northumberland, England. It has been described as " of the most interesting in the county", by Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural historian  Edlingham itself is little more than a hamlet with a church alongside the castle.

The ruins are mostly laid low though much of the solar tower still stands despite an impressive crack running several stories down to ground level. The foundations and part of the walls of the hall house, gatehouse, barbican and other courtyard buildings are still visible, most dating from the 16th century.
The castle - more properly a fortified manor house typical of many medieval houses in the North of England - guards one of the few approaches to Alnwick through the hills to its west. Its fortifications were increased in response to the border warfare which raged between England and Scotland in the period from about 1300 to 1600.

By 1174, a manor house at the location was in the possession of a John of Edlingham. In 1294, a descendant, Walter of Edlingham sold it to William de Felton, who strengthened it by building strong ramparts and a gatehouse, fortifying the main hall and adding other buildings inside a courtyard. In 1396 Elizabeth de Felton inherited it, marrying Sir Edmund Hastings, who added a strong solar tower. Their descendants occupied the castle and estate until 1514; it was then it was purchased by George Swinburne; a constable of Prudhoe, whose family held it until the 18th century.

During this time it gradually fell into disrepair, with most of the buildings dismantled to build nearby farmhouses in the 1660s, but leaving the solar tower intact. In 1978 the Department for the Environment acquired the site and conducted extensive archaeological excavations, prior to which rubble filled the solar tower to a height of three metres.

The site is now in the care of English Heritage and is easily accessible from the nearby church of St John the Baptist, Edlingham. William de Felton is buried there. There is an interpretation board on-site, while more detailed leaflets are available from the church for a small donation.

Sir Thomas Swinburne and Margaret Mitchelson had a daughter Elizabeth Swinburne b 1481 in Little Bovington d 1501.  She married into the Shafto family.  Her husband was Edward Shafto.  They are the 14th great grandparents.

Edward’s parents were William Shafto and Miss Bavington. William’s father was Thomas Folliott of Shafto-Crag, who then styled his name Thomas Shafto.  Again the place name reflects the surname of many of the ancestors.

Bavington Hall is a 17th-century privately owned country house at Little Bavington in Northumberland. It is a Grade II* listed building.

A tower house (Little Bavington Tower) was recorded on the site in 1415,but this was replaced in the late 17th century by the Shafto family.

The Shaftos acquired the estate when William Shafto married the Bavington heiress in the 15th century. In 1716 William Shafto and his son John were attainted for their part in the Jacobite uprising of 1715 and the estate was forfeited and sold by the Crown to Admiral George Delaval. 

On his death Delaval restored the property to the Shafto family by bequeathing the estate to his brother-in-law George Delaval Shafto (High Sheriff of Northumberland 1739 and Member of Parliament for Northumberland 1757-74).

Significant alterations and improvements to the three-storeyed, seven-bayed house were carried out in 1720, 1851 and 1930.

Edward and Elizabeth had a son Ninian Shafto, (1538 d 1581). He married Anne Brandling (1549 – 1596)

The Shafto Lineage

Shafto family

Articles from Wikipedia and others

SHAFTO a Border Reiver name   by David Simpson

Shafto or Shaftoe, the family surname takes its name from the place Shaftoe found in the upper reaches of the River Wansbeck near Wallington Hall west of Morpeth. The surname came about in the twelfth century when a certain Cuthbert Foliot of Shaftoe Crags changed his name to Cuthbert Shaftoe. Shaftoe the place means 'Shaft-hoh' a shaft shaped ridge or crag and the nearby crags seem to confirm this origin. In 1304 the Shaftoes made the nearby Bavington Hall their principal seat. Shaftoes were actively involved in the Border troubles including the Reidswire Fray at Carter Bar in 1575 and were supporters of the Jacobite cause in the eighteenth century.

 In 1652 the Shafto family acquired the Whitworth Estate near Spennymoor in County Durham and this became their principal place of residence. Robert Shafto, an MP for the County of Durham from 1760-68 was born at Whitworth and was immortalised in the famous northern song Bonny Bobby Shafto. The song was used as an election ditty and is thought to be based on the hopes of Mary Bellasis of Brancepeth castle who believed that Bobby Shafto would come back and marry her. 

He married someone else and Mary is said to have died of a broken heart. Robert Shafto was one of a number of Shaftos who became Members of Parliament, his father John Shafto, uncle Robert Shafto and son Robert Eden Duncombe Shafto of Whitworth were all MPs for the City of Durham. Whitworth Hall remained Shafto property until purchased by local businessman Derek Parnaby in October 1981. (See also Belasis)

The Ffolliot family were established by the 14th century at Shafto Crag, Northumberland and adopted the alternative surname of Shafto.

Shafto of Little Bavington, Northumberland

In the 15th century William Shafto married the heiress of Bavington and Bavington became the family seat. The medieval house was replaced in the 17th century when Bavington Hall was built.

William Shafto was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1646 as was his son John in 1675. In 1716 both were attainted for their part in the Jacobite uprising of 1715 and the Bavington estate was forfeited to the Crown. William's nephew George Shafto (later George Shafto Delaval) married a daughter of George Delaval of North Dissington and sister of Admiral George Delaval. The latter bought the sequestered estate and restored it to the Shaftos.

George Shafto Delaval was High Sheriff in 1740 and Member of Parliament for Northumberland 1757/74. He was succeeded by his nephew Sir Cuthbert Shafto, High Sheriff in 1795 and later by his son Robert.

Robert Ingram Shafto held Bavington in 1835 but the male line became extinct and the estate passed to cousins in a junior branch of the family of Beamish Hall, Co Durham. When Slingsby Duncombe Shafto sold Beamish in 1949 that branch of the family moved to Bavington. The estate was later sold by the family in 1994.

Shafto of Newcastle and Whitworth

Mark Shafto, third son of Edward Shafto of Bavington, married Margaret Riddell of Newcastle. He became a merchant in that city and served as its Mayor in 1548. His first son, Edward a merchant adventurer, married Isabel Ogle (see Ogle family). His second son, Mark was Sheriff of Newcastle in 1575 and Mayor in 1578. A third son Ninian, married a daughter of Henry Brandling (see Brandling of Newcastle).

Ninian's son, Robert Shafto was Sheriff of Newcastle in 1607. He bequeathed Benwell Towers to his eldest son also Robert (see later). Roberts younger brother Mark Shafto (1601-1659), was a Grays Inn barrister, and was appointed Recorder of Newcastle in 1648. In 1652 he purchased the Whitworth Hall estate in Co Durham.

His son Robert Shafto (1634-1705), was also a barrister and was appointed Recorder of Newcastle in 1660. He was knighted in 1670 and was appointed Sergeant at law in 1674. He married Catherine Widdrington.Their son Mark Shafto was High Sheriff of County Durham in 1709. Two of their sons represented Durham City in Parliament. Robert from 1712 until his death in 1729 and John 1729-1742.

John's son Robert Shafto (1732-1797) was a politician known famously as 'Bobby Shafto'. He married heiress Anne Duncombe. He was Member of Parliament for County Durham 1760-1768 and later for Downton, Wiltshire 1780-90. He was succeeded by his son Robert Eden Duncombe Shafto (1776-1848) at Whitworth and as Member for County Durham 1804-08. He added the additional surname of Eden following his marriage to Catherine Eden (see Eden baronets).

Their son Robert Duncombe Shafto (1796-1888), was member for North Durham 1847-68. His son Robert Charles died in 1909 without a male heir. His daughter Rosa married her cousin Robert Charles Duncombe Shafto (b1879), second son of Rev Slingsby Duncombe Shafto of Beamish. The Hall at Whitworth was severely damaged by fire in 1872 and apart from the library wing, was demolished and replaced with a new house about 1900. The estate was sold by the family in 1981.

The song

The song is said to relate the story of how he broke the heart of Bridget Belasyse of Brancepeth Castle, County Durham, where his brother Thomas was rector, when he married Anne Duncombe of Duncombe Park in Yorkshire. Bridget Belasyse is said to have died two weeks after hearing the news,although other sources claim that she died a fortnight before the wedding of pulmonary tuberculosis. 

Even if the song was not composed about him, his supporters almost certainly added a verse for the 1761 elections with the lyrics:
Bobby Shafto's looking out,
All his ribbons flew about,
All the ladies gave a shout,
Hey for Bobby Shafto!
Thomas and George Allan, in their Tyneside Songs and Readings (1891), argued that the "Bobby Shafto" of the song was in fact a relative, Robert Shafto (1760–1781) of Benwell.[7] It is likely that his grandson, Robert Duncombe Shafto, also used the song for electioneering in 1861, with several of the later verses being added around this time.

Shafto of Benwell

Robert Shafto, Sheriff of Newcastle in 1607 bequeathed his estate at Benwell Towers to his son Robert Shafto (died 1670). He was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1653 and 1668. He was followed by three further Roberts all of whom served as High Sheriff in 1695, 1717 and 1756 respectively. The last of these was the subject of an oil by Sir Joshua Reynolds. He outlived his only son. His daughter Camilla married William Adair of Newton Hall but the estate was sold to William Ord of Fenham in 1756/63.
The Mitre is a building situated in the Benwell area in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is a Grade II listed building.
A tower house known as Benwell Tower was built in 1221. It became home to a branch of the Shafto family of Bavington Hall until the 1770s, when it was sold by Robert Shafto  (the son of Bobby Shafto, immortalised in the song of the same name).
In 1831, the present building (originally known as Benwell Towers) designed by the Tyneside architect John Dobson replaced the old house and has since provided a number of different functions. It became the residence of the Bishop of Newcastle in the 1880s (when Newcastle upon Tyne became a separate see from the diocese of Durham). During World War II it became a fire station, and then became a training centre for the National Coal Board in 1947.
By the 1970s the building had become The Mitre pub, before achieving national fame in 1989 as the Byker Grove youth club in the BBC children's television series, Byker Grove. The final episode of Byker Grove was filmed in August 2006, and its future is unknown. Benwell Towers was put up for sale by the owners in 2007.

Whitworth Hall which stands in Whitworth Hall Country Park, near Spennymoor, County Durham England, is a country house, formerly the home of the Shafto family and now a hotel. It is a listed building.

Descendants of the Shafto family of Shafto Crag, Northumberland, served as Aldermen, Mayors and Sheriffs of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1652 Mark Shafto, Recorder of Newcastle, purchased the manor of Whitworth. His son Robert, knighted in 1670 was Recorder from 1660 and his grandson was High Sheriff of Durham in 1709.

Two sons of Mark Shafto junior represented Durham City in Parliament: Robert Shafto 1712/3 and 1727/30 and John Shafto 1729-42. John was the father of Robert Shafto, better known as Bobby Shaftoe, who vastly increased the family fortune by his marriage in 1774 to Anne Duncombe of Duncombe Park.

 Their son Robert Eden Duncombe Shafto, (also Member of Parliament for Durham City and later High Sheriff in 1842), who married Catherine Eden, daughter of Sir John Eden Bt of Windlestone Hall, replaced the old manor house with a new mansion in 1845. The house was substantially destroyed by fire and all that now remains of the 1845 rebuild is the detached library wing. The present two-storey seven-bayed house dates from the rebuild of about 1900.

Branches of the Shafto family had seats at Bavington Hall, Beamish Hall and Windlestone Hall.

The Branderling Lineage

The name Brandling occurs at a very early date in the records of Northumberland.

Robert Brandling 1461 – 1552, married Miss Selbye of Newcastle 1464 -1492..

 They had a son Sir John Brandling b 1487 – 1578.  He married Elizabeth Helye b 1498 d 1585 in Gosworth.  John Brandling married Elizabeth Heyle , he was sheriff of Newcastle in 1506 and mayor in 4 terms from 1509.  Her father was William Heyle

They had a son Henry Brandling (1515 – 1578) and he married firstly Margaret Midford, then to Ursula Buckton (b 1526 d 1593).  Ursula was the daughter and heiress of William Buckton of Buckton.

Ursula was the daughter of William Buckton (1500 – 1529) who married Eleanor Newport (b 1506 – 1595)

The Brandlings of Newcastle were a wealthy family of merchants and land and coal owners in Newcastle upon Tyne and Northumberland.

Sir John Brandling, who was knighted at Blackheath in 1497 and married Elizabeth Helye of Northumberland, settled in Newcastle where he served as sheriff in 1505 and as mayor in 1509, 1512, 1516 and 1520.
His son, Sir Robert Brandling (d. 1568), served as sheriff of Newcastle in 1524 and also as mayor in 1536, 1543, 1547 and 1564. In 1547, whilst mayor, he was knighted by the Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, following the Battle of Musselborough. He was Custos Rotulorum of Northumberland.

Another son, Henry Brandling (1515–1578), was Sheriff of Newcastle in 1566 and mayor of the city in 1568, 1575 1576. His brother Thomas Brandling (1512–1590) was educated at the newly-established Royal Grammar School and founded the land and coal owning dynasty.

The Brandlings had Catholic sympathies, and during the English Civil War Robert Brandling (1617–1690) served in the king's army in the rank of colonel. With the king's fortunes waning, he escaped to Scotland where he remained until after the Restoration. He avoided sequestration of his estate and returned to England. His brother Roger, however, was killed in battle during the war.


The family acquired by marriage Alnwick Abbey and estates at Gosforth, but by 1605 their seat had been established at Felling Hall, Felling, County Durham.    
                                                              Alnwick Abbey gatehouse

The family fortunes were largely derived from the exploitation of coal reserves under their lands. Coal was worked at Felling from about 1670. The deep mine at Felling Colliery was sunk by the Brandlings in 1779. Their mines were linked to the River Tyne by wagonways.

A disaster at their Felling Colliery in 1812, when 91 lives were lost, was largely responsible for the pressure to develop a miners safety lamp. Ironically, Felling Hall fell victim to mining subsidence and had to be demolished.

Other estates acquired included Shotton near Peterlee, Durham, and Middleton near Leeds in West Yorkshire.

Charles Brandling (1733–1802) was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1781 and was Member of Parliament for Newcastle 1784–1798. He married Elizabeth Thompson, heiress of Shotton near Peterlee, and built a new mansion house, Shotton Hall, there in about 1760.

He also built a new mansion, to a design by architect Payne, at Gosforth House between 1755 and 1764, and this house became the family seat.

 Gosforth House now known as Brandling House is a Grade II listed building built as a mansion house and now serving as a hospitality and conference centre at Gosforth Park Racecourse,

The Gosforth Park estate of about 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) was owned from about 1509 by the Brandling family. The house was built between 1755 and 1764 for Charles Brandling (1733–1802) to a design by architect James Paine. Brandling also laid out the park and a 50-acre (200,000 m2) lake.

Charles John Brandling (1797–1856) suffered financial problems as a result of which he sold the estate in 1852 to Thomas Smith. In 1880 the house was sold with 807 acres (3.3 km2) to High Gosforth Park Ltd a company formed to establish a racecourse on the estate.

Charles John Brandling (1769–1826) of Gosforth was Member of Parliament for Newcastle 1798–1812 and for Northumberland 1820–1826. He married Henrietta Armitage, heiress of Middleton, near Rothwell, West Yorkshire. In 1815 he chaired the committee set up to establish the remuneration to be paid to George Stephenson for the invention of the Geordie lamp. His mining interests included Felling, Gosforth (where a deep mine was sunk in 1825), Heworth, Coxlodge, Kenton and Middleton. At Middleton he employed John Blenkinsop who in 1812 converted the wagonway from Brandling's collieries into a rack and pinion steam railway, the Middleton Railway. However he overindulged in coal speculations which led to financial difficulties and the sale of many of the family's estates: Shotton in 1850, and Gosforth and Felling in 1852. Thereafter the family seat was Middleton Lodge, Middleton, West Yorkshire. 

Gosforth is an affluent area of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, situated to the north of the city centre. Gosforth constituted an urban district from 1895 to 1974, when it became part of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne. It has a population of 23,620. There are two electoral wards that bear the Gosforth name, East Gosforth and West Gosforth, and modern day Gosforth includes other wards such as Parklands.

Ninian Shafto and Anne Brandling had a son Robert Shafto.  He was born 1569 died 1623.  Robert married Jane Eden, daughter of Robert Eden.  Jane was born 1575 and died 1631. 

 They had a daughter Dorcas Shafto. She was born 1622 and died 1625.  She married Henry Cock and they are the 11th great grandparents.

The Lineage of Elizabeth de Comyn

Elizabeth was the daughter of Alexander “earl of Buchan” Constable of Scotland Comyn

Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan (died 1289) was a Scoto-Norman magnate who was one of the most important figures in the 13th century Kingdom of Scotland. He was the son of William Comyn, jure uxoris Earl of Buchan, and Marjory, Countess of Buchan, the heiress of the last native Scottish Mormaer of Buchan, Fergus. During his long career, Alexander was Justiciar of Scotia (1258–89), Constable of Scotland (1275–89), Sheriff of Wigtown (1263–66), Sheriff of Dingwall (1264–66), Ballie of Inverie (in Knoydart) and finally, Guardian of Scotland (1286–89) during the first interregnum following the death of King Alexander III.

 In 1284 he joined with other Scottish noblemen who acknowledged Margaret of Norway as the heiress to King Alexander. He died sometime after 10 July 1289.

Alexander had at least nine children with his wife, Elisabeth, daughter of Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester:
  • John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan, Alexander's successor as Earl of Buchan
  • Roger
  • Lord Alexander Comyn, sheriff of Aberdeen, married Joan, sister of William le Latimer, and had issue. Henry de Beaumont would claim the Earldom of Buchan through marriage to their daughter, Alice.
  • Lord William Comyn, Provost of St. Mary's Church, St. Andrews
  • Lady Marjorie Comyn, m. Patrick Dunbar, 8th Earl of Dunbar
  • Lady Emma Comyn, m. Maol Íosa III, Earl of Strathearn
  • Lady Elisabetha Comyn, m. Gilbert de Umfraville, 1st Earl of Angus
  • Lady Elena Comyn, m. Sir William de Brechin
  • Lady Annora Comyn, m. Nicholas de Soules

Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester (1195? – 25 April 1264) was a medieval nobleman who was prominent on both sides of the Anglo-Scottish border, as Earl of Winchester and Constable of Scotland.

He was the second son of Saer de Quincy, 1st Earl of Winchester, and Margaret de Beaumont.
He probably joined his father on the Fifth Crusade in 1219, where the elder de Quincy fell sick and died. His elder brother having died a few years earlier, Roger thus inherited his father's titles and properties. However, he did not take possession of his father's lands until February 1221, probably because he did not return to England from the crusade until then. He did not formally become earl until after the death of his mother in 1235.

Roger married Helen of Galloway (b.c1208), eldest  daughter and co-heiress of Alan, Lord of Galloway. Without legitimate sons to succeed him, Alan's lands and dignities were divided between the husbands of his three daughters, so Roger acquired Alan's position as Constable of Scotland, and one-third of the lordship of Galloway (although the actual title of Lord of Galloway went through Helen's half-sister Devorguilla to her husband John I de Balliol), and part of the de Morville lands in Lauderdale.

The Galwegians rebelled under Gille Ruadh, not wanting their land divided, but the rebellion was suppressed by Alexander II of Scotland. Roger ruled his portion of Galloway strictly, and the Galwegians revolted again in 1247, forcing Roger to take refuge in a castle. Faced with a siege and little chance of relief, Roger and a few men fought their way out and rode off to seek help from Alexander, who raised forces to again suppress the rebellion.

In the following years Roger was one of the leaders of the baronial opposition to Henry III of England, although he fought for Henry against the Welsh in the 1250s and 1260s.

Following Ellen's death in 1245, Roger married Maud de Bohun, daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford, around 1250. Maud died only two years later, and Roger married his third wife, Eleanor de Ferrers, daughter of William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby the same year.

Roger had three daughters by his first wife, but no sons. His subsequent marriages produced no issue. After his death his estates were divided between the daughters, and the earldom of Winchester lapsed. The three daughters of Roger and Helen of Galloway were:
1.     Ellen, who married Alan la Zouche, Lord Zouche of Ashby;
2.     Elizabeth (also known as Isabel), who married Alexander Comyn, 2nd Earl of Buchan;
3.     Margaret (or Margery), who married William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby (and was thus stepmother to her own stepmother).
He bore arms, different from his father's.

At thie point the family tree crosses once again.  Roger III The Earl of Winchester and Helen of Galloway are the 22nd Great grandparents, twice.

Roger II Earl of Winchester was the son of Saer De Quincey and his wife Margaret de Beaumont.                            They are 23rd great grandparents

Saer de Quincy, 1st Earl of Winchester (1155 – 3 November 1219) (or Saieur di Quinci was one of the leaders of the baronial rebellion against King John of England, and a major figure in both Scotland and England in the decades around the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Scottish Upbringing

Saer de Quincy's immediate background was in the Scottish kingdom: his father, Robert de Quincy, was a knight in the service of king William the Lion, and his mother Orabilis was the heiress of the lordship of Leuchars in Fife (see below). His rise to prominence in England came through his marriage to Margaret, the younger sister of Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester: but it is probably no coincidence that her other brother was the de Quincys' powerful Fife neighbour, Roger de Beaumont, Bishop of St Andrews.

 In 1204, Earl Robert died, leaving Margaret as co-heiress to the vast earldom along with her elder sister. The estate was split in half, and after the final division was ratified in 1207, de Quincy was made Earl of Winchester.

Earl of Winchester

Following his marriage, de Quincy became a prominent military and diplomatic figure in England. There is no evidence of any close alliance with King John, however, and his rise to importance was probably due to his newly-acquired magnate status and the family connections that underpinned it.

Seal of Robert Fitzwalter(d.1235). So close was the alliance between both men that Robert's seal shows the arms of de Quincy on a separate shield before his horse

One man with whom he does seem to have developed a close personal relationship is his cousin, Robert Fitzwalter (d. 1235). They are first found together in 1203, as co-commanders of the garrison at the major fortress of Vaudreuil in Normandy; they were responsible for surrendering the castle without a fight to Philip II of France, fatally weakening the English position in northern France. Although popular opinion seems to have blamed them for the capitulation, a royal writ is extant stating that the castle was surrendered at King John's command, and both Saer and Fitzwalter had to endure personal humiliation and heavy ransoms at the hands of the French.

In Scotland, he was perhaps more successful. In 1211 to 1212, the Earl of Winchester commanded an imposing retinue of a hundred knights and a hundred sergeants in William the Lion's campaign against the Mac William rebels, a force which some historians have suggested may have been the mercenary force from Brabant lent to the campaign by John.

Magna Carta

In 1215, when the baronial rebellion broke out, Robert Fitzwalter became the military commander, and the Earl of Winchester joined him, acting as one of the chief negotiators with John; both cousins were among the 25 guarantors of the Magna Carta. De Quincy fought against John in the troubles that followed the signing of the Charter, and, again with Fitzwalter, travelled to France to invite Prince Louis of France to take the English throne. He and Fitzwalter were subsequently among the most committed and prominent supporters of Louis' candidature for the kingship, against both John and the infant Henry III.

The Fifth Crusade

When military defeat cleared the way for Henry III to take the throne, de Quincy went on crusade, perhaps in fulfillment of an earlier vow. In 1219 he left to join the Fifth Crusade, then besieging Damietta. While in the east, he fell sick and died. He was buried in Acre, the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, rather than in Egypt, and his heart was brought back and interred at Garendon Abbey near Loughborough, a house endowed by his wife's family.


The family of de Quincy had arrived in England after the Norman Conquest, and took their name from Cuinchy in the Arrondissement of Béthune; the personal name "Saer" was used by them over several generations. Both names are variously spelled in primary sources and older modern works, the first name being sometimes rendered Saher or Seer, and the surname as Quency or Quenci.

The first recorded Saer de Quincy (known to historians as "Saer I") was lord of the manor of Long Buckby in Northamptonshire in the earlier twelfth century, and second husband of Matilda of St Liz, stepdaughter of King David I of Scotland by Maud of Northumbria. This marriage produced two sons, Saer II and Robert de Quincy. It was Robert, the younger son, who was the father of the Saer de Quincy who eventually became Earl of Winchester. By her first husband Robert Fitz Richard, Maud was also the paternal grandmother of Earl Saer's close ally, Robert Fitzwalter.

Robert de Quincy seems to have inherited no English lands from his father, and pursued a knightly career in Scotland, where he is recorded from around 1160 as a close companion of his cousin, King William the Lion. By 1170 he had married Orabilis, heiress of the Scottish lordship of Leuchars and, through her, he became lord of an extensive complex of estates north of the border which included lands in Fife, Strathearn and Lothian.

Saer de Quincy, the son of Robert de Quincy and Orabilis of Leuchars, was raised largely in Scotland. His absence from English records for the first decades of his life has led some modern historians and genealogists to confuse him with his uncle, Saer II, who took part in the rebellion of Henry the Young King in 1173, when the future Earl of Winchester can have been no more than a toddler. Saer II's line ended without direct heirs, and his nephew and namesake would eventually inherit his estate, uniting his primary Scottish holdings with the family's Northamptonshire patrimony, and possibly some lands in France.

By his wife Margaret de Beaumont, Saer de Quincy had three sons and three daughters:

The De Beaumont Lineage

Margaret de Beaumont (1156 to 1236) was the daughter of Robert III (Earl of Keicester) de Beaumont and his wife Petronilla Pernel de Gransmesnil.

Roger de Beaumont     From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about a Norman nobleman.

 For his grandson, see Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick
For his great great grandson the bishop of St Andrews, see Roger de Beaumont (bishop).

Bearded Norman nobleman depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry (c.1066), possibly representing Roger de Beaumont (d.1094). The figure is seated at the right hand of Duke William of Normandy, who himself occupies the place of honour at the ceremony of the blessing of the food at Hastings by Bishop Odo, well before the time of the battle              Robert is the 27th great grandfather

Roger was the son of Humphrey De Vielles and  Audrey de La Haie.  Their lineage is to the Danes.
ET HIC EPISCOPUS CIBU(M) ET POTU(M) BENEDICIT ("And here the bishop blesses the food and drink"). The feast at Hastings, after which a castle was ordered to be built, following which battle was joined. Roger de Beaumont is possibly depicted as the bearded figure, see detail above. Bayeux Tapestry

Roger de Beaumont-le-Roger, feudal lord (Seigneur) of Beaumont-le-Roger and of Pont-Audemer (c. 1015 – 29 November 1094) was a powerful Norman nobleman and close advisor to William the Conqueror.


He was a son of Humphrey de Vielles (who was a great-nephew of the Duchess Gunnora of Normandy) by his wife Albreda de la Haye Auberie. Roger de Beaumont was thus a second cousin once removed of William the Conqueror. His Norman feudal lordship had its caput and castle at Beaumont-le-Roger, a settlement situated on the upper reaches of the River Risle, in Normandy, about 46 km SW of Rouen, the capital of the Duchy. He was also feudal lord of Pont-Audemer, a settlement built around the first bridge to cross the River Risle upstream of its estuary, shared with the River Seine.

 Physical appearance

Roger was nicknamed La Barbe (Latinised to Barbatus) (i.e. "The Bearded") because he wore a moustache and beard while the Normans usually were clean shaven. This peculiarity is believed to be recognized in the thirty-second panel of the Bayeux Tapestry where he is depicted sitting at a feast near Hastings, well before the battle, at the right-hand of Duke William, who in turn was seated at the right hand of his brother Bishop Odo of Bayeux, who is shown blessing the food at a feast.


Planché described him as "the noblest, the wealthiest, and the most valiant seigneur of Normandy, and the greatest and most trusted friend of the Danish (i.e. Norman) family". The explanation for his exalted position appears to be that as an older cousin who had never rebelled against the young Duke, he was part of the kinship group of noblemen that William relied upon in governing Normandy and fighting-off frequent rebellion and invasions. The historian Frank McLynn observed that William relied heavily on relatives on his mother's side, namely his half-brothers Bishop Odo and Robert, and brothers-in-law, and on relatives descended from the Duchess Gunnora's sisters, since his own paternal kin had proved unreliable.

Wace, the 12th century historian, wrote that: "At the time of the invasion of England, Roger was summoned to the great council at Lillebonne, on account of his wisdom; but he did not join in the expedition as he was too far advanced in years". Although Roger could not fight, he did not hesitate in contributing a large share of the cost, and provided at his own expense sixty vessels for the conveyance of the troops across the channel. Furthermore, his eldest son and heir fought bravely at Hastings as noted in several contemporary records. As a result, Roger's elder sons were rewarded generously with lands in England, and both eventually were made English earls by the sons of the Conqueror. Wace's statement may therefore cast doubt on the possibility of Roger being depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry feasting at Hastings. However it is possible that he crossed the Channel so he could continue to act as a valued member of the Duke's council, perhaps giving advice on military tactics, yet stayed well behind the line of battle at headquarters.

Marriage & progeny

He married circa 1048 or earlier Adeline of Meulan (c. 1014-1020 - 8 April 1081), who was buried at the Abbaye du Bec, the daughter of Waleran III, Count de Meulan by Oda de Conteville, and sister and heiress of a childless Count of Meulan. Meulan eventually passed to their elder son who became Count of Meulan in 1081. Their surviving children were:

Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1102 – 12 June 1153) was the elder son of Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick and Marguerite, daughter of Geoffrey II of Perche and Beatrix of Montdidier. He was also known as Roger de Newburg.

He was generally considered to have been a devout and pious man; a chronicle of the period, the Gesta Regis Stephani, speaks of him as a "man of gentle disposition". The borough of Warwick remembers him as the founder of the Hospital of S. Michael for lepers which he endowed with the tithes of Wedgnock, and other property; he also endowed the House of the Templars beyond the bridge. In the reign of Stephen he founded a priory dedicated to S. Kenned at Llangennilth, Co. Glamorgan and he attached it as a cell to the Abbey of S. Taurinus at Evreux in Normandy.

Family and children

He married 1130 Gundred de Warenne, daughter of William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and Elizabeth de Vermandois and had children:
  1. William de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Warwick.
  2. Waleran de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Warwick (1153 – 12 December 1204).
  3. Henry de Beaumont, was Dean of Salisbury in 1205.
  4. Agnes de Beaumont, married Geoffrey de Clinton, Chamberlain to the King and son of Geoffrey de Clinton, the founder of Kenilworth Castle and Priory.
  5. Margaret de Beaumont.
  6. Gundred de Beaumont (c.1135–1200), married:
    1. Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk;
    2. Roger de Glanville.
Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1104 – 5 April 1168) was Justiciar of England 1155–1168.
The surname "de Beaumont" is given him by genealogists. The only known contemporary surname applied to him is "Robert son of Count Robert". Henry Knighton, the fourteenth-century chronicler notes him as Robert "Le Bossu" (meaning "Robert the Hunchback" in French).

Early life and education

Robert was an English nobleman of Norman-French ancestry. He was the son of Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan and 1st Earl of Leicester and Elizabeth de Vermandois, and the twin brother of Waleran de Beaumont. It is not known whether they were identical or fraternal twins, but the fact that they are remarked on by contemporaries as twins indicates that they were probably identical.

The two brothers, Robert and Waleran, were adopted into the royal household shortly after their father's death in June 1118 (upon which Robert inherited his father's second titles of Earl of Leicester). Their lands on either side of the Channel were committed to a group of guardians, led by their stepfather, William earl of Warenne or Surrey. They accompanied King Henry I to Normandy, to meet with Pope Callixtus II in 1119, when the king incited them to debate philosophy with the cardinals.

 Both twins were literate, and Abingdon Abbey later claimed to have been Robert's school, but though this is possible, its account is not entirely trustworthy. A surviving treatise on astronomy (British Library ms Royal E xxv) carries a dedication "to Earl Robert of Leicester, that man of affairs and profound learning, most accomplished in matters of law" who can only be this Robert. On his death he left his own psalter to the abbey he founded at Leicester, which was still in its library in the late fifteenth century. The existence of this indicates that like many noblemen of his day, Robert followed the canonical hours in his chapel.

 Career at the Norman court

In 1120 Robert was declared of age and inherited most of his father's lands in England, while his twin brother took the French lands. However in 1121, royal favour brought Robert the great Norman honors of Breteuil and Pacy-sur-Eure, with his marriage to Amice de Gael, daughter of a Breton intruder the king had forced on the honor after the forfeiture of the Breteuil family in 1119. Robert spent a good deal of his time and resources over the next decade integrating the troublesome and independent barons of Breteuil into the greater complex of his estates. He did not join in his brother's great Norman rebellion against King Henry I in 1123–24. He appears fitfully at the royal court despite his brother's imprisonment until 1129. Thereafter the twins were frequently to be found together at Henry I's court.

Robert held lands throughout the country. In the 1120s and 1130s he tried to rationalise his estates in Leicestershire. Leicestershire estates of the See of Lincoln and the Earl of Chester were seized by force. This enhanced the integrity of Robert's block of estates in the central midlands, bounded by Nuneaton, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray and Market Harborough.

In 1135, the twins were present at King Henry's deathbed. Robert's actions in the succession period are unknown, but he clearly supported his brother's decision to join the court of the new king Stephen before Easter 1136. During the first two years of the reign Robert is found in Normandy fighting rival claimants for his honor of Breteuil. Military action allowed him to add the castle of Pont St-Pierre to his Norman estates in June 1136 at the expense of one of his rivals. From the end of 1137 Robert and his brother were increasingly caught up in the politics of the court of King Stephen in England, where Waleran secured an ascendancy which lasted till the beginning of 1141. Robert participated in his brother's political coup against the king's justiciar, Roger of Salisbury (the Bishop of Salisbury).

Civil war in England

The outbreak of civil war in England in September 1139 brought Robert into conflict with Earl Robert of Gloucester, the bastard son of Henry I and principal sponsor of the Empress Matilda. His port of Wareham and estates in Dorset were seized by Gloucester in the first campaign of the war. In that campaign the king awarded Robert the city and castle of Hereford as a bid to establish the earl as his lieutenant in Herefordshire, which was in revolt. It is disputed by scholars whether this was an award of a second county to Earl Robert. Probably in late 1139, Earl Robert refounded his father's collegiate church of St Mary de Castro in Leicester as a major Augustinian abbey on the meadows outside the town's north gate, annexing the college's considerable endowment to the abbey.

The battle of Lincoln on 2 February 1141 saw the capture and imprisonment of King Stephen. Although Count Waleran valiantly continued the royalist fight in England into the summer, he eventually capitulated to the Empress and crossed back to Normandy to make his peace with the Empress's husband, Geoffrey of Anjou. Earl Robert had been in Normandy since 1140 attempting to stem the Angevin invasion, and negotiated the terms of his brother's surrender. He quit Normandy soon after and his Norman estates were confiscated and used to reward Norman followers of the Empress. Earl Robert remained on his estates in England for the remainder of King Stephen's reign.

 Although he was a nominal supporter of the king, there seems to have been little contact between him and Stephen, who did not confirm the foundation of Leicester Abbey till 1153. Earl Robert's principal activity between 1141 and 1149 was his private war with Ranulf II, Earl of Chester. Though details are obscure it seems clear enough that he waged a dogged war with his rival that in the end secured him control of northern Leicestershire and the strategic Chester castle of Mountsorrel. When Earl Robert of Gloucester died in 1147, Robert of Leicester led the movement among the greater earls of England to negotiate private treaties to establish peace in their areas, a process hastened by the Empress's departure to Normandy, and complete by 1149. During this time the earl also exercised supervision over his twin brother's earldom of Worcester, and in 1151 he intervened to frustrate the king's attempts to seize the city.

 Earl Robert and Henry Plantagenet

The arrival in England of Duke Henry, son of the Empress Mathilda, in January 1153 was a great opportunity for Earl Robert. He was probably in negotiation with Henry in that spring and reached an agreement by which he would defect to him by May 1153, when the duke restored his Norman estates to the earl. The duke celebrated his Pentecost court at Leicester in June 1153, and he and the earl were constantly in company till the peace settlement between the duke and the king at Winchester in November 1153. Earl Robert crossed with the duke to Normandy in January 1154 and resumed his Norman castles and honors. As part of the settlement his claim to be chief steward of England and Normandy was recognised by Henry.

Earl Robert began his career as chief justiciar of England probably as soon as Duke Henry succeeded as King Henry II in October 1154. The office gave the earl supervision of the administration and legal process in England whether the king was present or absent in the realm. 

He appears in that capacity in numerous administrative acts, and had a junior colleague in the post in Richard de Luci, another former servant of King Stephen. The earl filled the office for nearly fourteen years until his death, and earned the respect of the emerging Angevin bureaucracy in England. His opinion was quoted by learned clerics, and his own learning was highly commended.

He died on 5 April 1168, probably at his Northamptonshire castle of Brackley, for his entrails were buried at the hospital in the town. He was received as a canon of Leicester on his deathbed, and buried to the north of the high altar of the great abbey he had founded and built. He left a written testament of which his son the third earl was an executor, as we learn in a reference dating to 1174.

Church patronage

In addition to the abbey of St. Mary de Pré, in Leicester, the earl founded in England the Cistercian abbey of Garendon in 1133, the Fontevraldine priory at Nuneaton between 1155 and 1160, the priory of Luffield, and the hospital of Brackley. He refounded the collegiate church of St Mary de Castro as a dependency of Leicester abbey around 1164, after suppressing it in 1139. 

Around 1139 he refounded the collegiate church of Wareham as a priory of his abbey of Lyre, in Normandy. His principal Norman foundations were the priory of Le Désert in the forest of Breteuil and a major hospital in Breteuil itself. He was a generous benefactor of the Benedictine abbey of Lyre, the oldest monastic house in the honor of Breteuil.

Family and children

He married after 1120 Amice de Gael, daughter of Raoul II de Gael, seigneur (Lord) of Gael and Montfort (himself a son of Ralph de Gael, 1st Earl of Norfolk, and grandson maternally of William FitzOsbern, 1st Earl of Hereford, a cousin and companion of the Conqueror). She brought to him part of Fitzosbern's inheritance at Breteuil; both families had lost their English inheritances through rebellion in 1075. They had four children:
  1. Hawise de Beaumont, who married William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester;
  2. Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester;
  3. Isabel, who married:
    1. Simon II of St Liz, 4th Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton;
    2. Gervase Paynel of Dudley.
  4. Margaret, who married Ralph V de Toeni

Roger’s father was Tourude De Harcourt and his mother Audrey (Aubreye) de La Haie. They came from France.

Tourade’s father was Seigneur de Torville Torf and his mother Ertemberge de Brioquibec.

Her father was Anflec Lancelot de Brioquibec  Her mother was Gerlotte De Blois
Gerlotte was the daughter of Roll Thurstand Bigod born in Norway and her father Hrollager Ragnvaldsson. He was born in Norway and died in Orkney Scotland.

Tourude de Harcourt married Wevia De Crepon.

Her parents were Harald (Buetooth) Gormsson, King of Denmark and Norway.  He died in Denmark.  He was the son of Gorm (The Old) Gormsson, the first historically recognised King of Denmark.

Harald married Gynrithe Olafsdatter from Denmark.

Gorm married Thyra Dannebod from Denmark.

Bernard the Dane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bernard the Dane (French: Bernard le Danois) (c. 880 – before 960) was a Viking jarl (earl) of Danish origins. He put himself in the service of another jarl installed at the mouth of the Seine, Rollo (before 911). After the accords of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte that officially gave birth to the duchy of Normandy (911), Bernard converted to the Christianity at Rouen the following year (912) and shortly afterwards received from Rollo the county of Pont-Audemer in Roumois (today in the Eure département) then, later, the city of Harcourt.

Under Rollo's son and successor Duke William, Bernard was charged at the beginning of the 930s with putting down the serious uprising led by a certain Riouf (a Norman from the west, who had besieged the Duke in Rouen). Around 935 he put down a revolt in Bessin and Cotentin by Viking communities completely independent from the young and fragile power of the dukedom, unlike the east of the duchy of Normandy where its ducal power was affirmed a little later.

Later, on William's premature death by assassination, Bernard became regent of the duchy of Normandy in December 942, beside Anslech de Bricquebec, Osmond de Conteville and Raoul Taisson.

In 945-946, he appealed to Harald Bluetooth and his Danes to defend the duchy when it was attacked by the Carolingian king Louis of Outremer and Hugh the Great, duke of the Franks. Louis was attempting to retake the lands of the west in Normandy that had been granted to the Viking bands thirty years earlier.

Bernard died a few years later (before 960). He is supposed to have been the ancestor of two great Anglo-Norman baronial families, the Beaumonts and the Harcourts.

Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson (Old Norse: Haraldr blátǫnn

Gormsson, Danish: Harald Blåtand Gormsen) (probably born c. 935) was a King of Denmark and Norway. He was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod. He died in 985 or 986 having ruled as King of Denmark from c. 958 and King of Norway for a few years probably around 970. Some sources say his son Sweyn Forkbeard forcibly deposed him as King

King Gorm, favoring his son Canute, made an oath to execute the messenger who brought news of Canute's death. Quenn Tyra hung black cloth in the palace, and when the king asked for whom they were mourning, she replied, "Lord King, you had two falcons, one white and the other gray. The white one flew far afield and was set upon by other birds which tore off his beautiful feathers and is now useless to you. Meanwhile, the gray falcon continues to catch fowl for the king's table." The king immediately understood her metaphor.    


Margaret de Beaumont’s mother was Petronilla Pemel de Granmesnil

The Lineage of de Grandmesnil

Throughout the lives of our ancestors, many become entwined with the lives of King William the Conqueror.  This involvement often resulted in them becoming the owners of vast tracts of lands in England.  The ancestry of the 24th great grandmother Petronilla reveals that link.

Their decendants probably had no idea of how they were all related to the families of Europe through their English heritage.

Often when researching a particular line, I am amazed at just how much information is available.

One of such family who were in volved in the invasion of England was that of Hugh De Grandmesnil.  Hugh was born in 1032 in Normandy, France, and is my 27th great grandfather.

His story is quite interesting.

Hugh’s parents were Robert de Grentmesnil and Hawise De Eschauffon who were both from Grentemesnil, in France.     28th great grandparents

Robert’s parents were Gervase De Grentmesnil and Advise de Escalfoy from Normandy region.
Hawise De Eschauffon was the daughter of Giroie De Eschauffo and Gisella de Montfort from Bayeux in France.

Hugh de Grandmesnil (1032 – 22 February 1094),also known as Hugh or Hugo de Grentmesnil or Grentemesnil, is one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror known to have fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Subsequently he became a great landowner in England.

He was the elder son of Robert of Grandmesnil and Hawise d'Echaffour. Robert of Grandmesnil was his younger brother.

Following the conquest William I of England gave Hugh 100 manors for his services, sixty-five of them in Leicestershire. He was appointed Sheriff of the county of Leicester and Governor of Hampshire. Hugh's possessions are listed in some detail in the Domesday book  p 652-6).

Hugh's family

The story of the Grandmesnils begins in the mid-eleventh century, in central Normandy, where the family were famous for the breeding and training of war horses. The De Grandmesnils had made a fortune from a string of stud farms which they owned on the plains of Ouch, but during the minority of Duke William the stability of Normandy began to break down. Old scores were settled as the barons made a grab for each other’s territories.

Roger de Beaumont brought savage warfare to the lands of Roger de Tosny, as he tried to grasp control of the Risle valley, in 1041. De Tosny was joined by his ally Robert de Grandmesnil, but in June their forces were shattered in a surprise attack by the Beaumont clan. In the savage fight, de Tosny and two of his sons were killed. Robert de Grandmesnil fared little better. He was carried from the field mortally wounded only to die of his wounds three weeks later. His two sons, Robert and Hugh, divided his property between them; Robert joined the church, while Hugh took on his father’s mantle of warrior politician.

Hugh de Grandmesnil wielded power at the court of William Duke of Normandy, but the paranoid Duke banished Hugh in 1058. For five years Hugh was out of favour at court. In 1063 he was reinstated as Captain of the castle of Neufmarche-en-Lions. The Grandmesnil star continued to rise and Hugh was made a cavalry commander for the invasion of England in 1066.

There is a popular story that Hugh de Grandmesnil almost came to a sticky end at the battle of Hastings. As fierce battle raged, Hugh’s horse leapt a bush, during a cavalry charge and his bridle broke. Barely able to keep upright in the saddle, and with no control over his horse, Hugh saw to his dismay that he was all alone, and careering towards a band of Englishmen. Just as Hugh was preparing to die and his enemies leaped in for the kill, the Saxons gave out a great shout in triumph. Hugh's horse immediately shied in fear and bolted in the opposite direction. The stallion carried its helpless master away from the English and back to the safety of his own lines.

The battle for Leicester

Hugh had become one of William the Conqueror's main men in England. In 1067 he joined with William Fitz Osbern and Bishop Odo in the government of England, during the King's absence in Normandy. He also was one of the Norman nobles who interceded with the Conqueror in favour of William's son Robert Curthose, and effected a temporary reconciliation.

Following the conquest William I assailed Leicester, and took the city by storm in 1068. In the assault a large portion of the city was destroyed, along with St. Mary's Church. William handed the Government of Leicester over to Hugh de Grandmesnil.

He also gave De Grandmesnil 100 manors for his services, sixty-five of them in Leicestershire, including Earl Shilton. He was appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire and Governor of Hampshire. He married the beautiful Adeliza, daughter of Ivo, Count of Beaumont-sur-l'Oise, from whom he gained estates in Herefordshire, and three lordships in Warwickshire.

Death of Adelize

Adelize the wife of Hugh de Grandmesnil died at Rouen in 1087, and was buried in the Chapter House of St. Evroult. They had five sons and as many daughters together - namely, Robert, William, Hugh, Ivo de Grandmesnil, and Aubrey; and daughters Adeline, Hawise, Rohais, Matilda, and Agnes.

On the death of William the Conqueror, also in 1087, the Grandmesnils, like most of the Norman barons, were caught up in the civil war raging between his three surviving sons. Now lands in Normandy and England had two different masters, as Robert Curthose became Duke of Normandy and William Rufus became king of England. Royal family squabbles put fortunes at risk if Barons took the wrong side, and ultimately this was the fate of the Grandmesnil family for they tended to support the fickle Duke of Normandy against the English king, although allegiances changed continually. Duke Robert did not always support his barons loyalty, which is illustrated in Hugh’s later struggles.

Old age

By 1090 Hugh de Grandmesnil was still defending his lands in Normandy. Hugh made a stand along with his friend Richard de Courci at the Castle of Curçay-sur-Dive, as Robert de Belesme laid siege to them. Belesme had driven his army into the lands along the river Orne. Other barons had joined the fight. This led to an extended siege at Courcy, Calvados in 1091 of three weeks . 

Robert de Belesme did not have enough troops to surround the castle of Courci. He set about building a wooden siege engine, the Belfry. This was a great tower, and could be rolled up to the castle walls. Every time the Belfry was rolled forward, Grandmesnil sallied from the castle and attacked a different part of the line. Soldiers manning the Belfry were urgently needed elsewhere to beat back Grandmesnil's attack. These skirmishes were frequent savage and bloody. On one occasion William, son of Henry de Ferrers (another Leicestershire landowner, whose family would become Earls of Derby), and William de Rupiere were captured by de Grandmesnil and ransomed for a small fortune.
 But the boot was on the other foot when Ivo de Grandmesnil, Hugh’s son, and Fitz Gilbert de Clare were seized by the attackers. Ivo was later released, but de Clare did not survive Belesme's dungeon (Planche).
As the siege continued a deadly ritual was played out. The inhabitants of Courci had built their oven outside the castle's fortifications, and it now lay midway between the main gate and the enemy's Belfry. The men of Courci therefore, would stand to arms and rush from the castle to surround the oven, so that the baker could go to work. Here they would defend their bread, as the attackers would attempt to carry it off.

This would often lead to a general engagement as each side poured more troops into the fray. On one occasion Grandmesnil’s charge was so ferocious that De Belesme’s men were scattered. The men of Courci overran the great siege engine and burned it. But this success was short lived, as Duke Robert of Normandy took sides with De Belesme. It now looked all over for De Grandmesnil and De Courci. Then William Rufus arrived with a fleet in arms against his brother, and so Duke Robert and De Belesme simply packed up and went home.

Hugh's death

In 1094, Hugh de Grandmesnil was again in England, worn out with age and infirmity. Feeling his end approaching, in accordance with the common practice of the period, he took the habit of a monk, and expired six days after he had taken to his bed on 22 February 1094 at Leicester. His body, preserved in salt and sewn up in the hide of an ox, was conveyed to the valley of the Ouche in Normandy by two monks. He was laid to rest at the Abbey of St. Evroult, and buried by the Abbot Roger on the south side of the Chapter House, near the tomb of Abbot Mainer.


Hugh’s eldest son, Robert de Grandmesnil, inherited his Norman lands in the Ouch valley, while Ivo de Grandmesnil became Sheriff of Leicester, and master of Earl Shilton manor.

William's brother Odo and many others, who had rebelled against William Rufus in 1088, felt that the First Crusade was a good way to avoid the English kings wrath. All of these men showed bravery in the field, a fact which contradicts later rumours that they were deserters at Antioch.

On the third day of the siege of Antioch, after a terrible battle on the walls, William Grandmesnil, his brother Aubrey and Ivo of Grandmesnil, banded together with Count Stephen of Blois, father of the future king of England, and several other knights, to let themselves down from the wall on ropes under the cover of darkness. They fled on foot to the coast and the port of St. Simeon where they were transported away by ships belonging to the Knights Hospitalier. 

The papacy referred to this retreat as an act of cowardice, but evidence emerging from recent research on Blois and his family holdings, as well as Thebaudian revealations from the annals of Champagne, refer to the escape as a strategic move to protect certain treasures. Count Stephen, who was married to Adella, daughter of William the Conqueror, returned to Chartres with maps and strategic building plans that contributed to the formation of the Norman Gothic architectural revolution both in England (Winchester, Glastonbury, Salisbury) and in France (Amiens and Chartres.)

In 1102 Stephen Blois returned to Jerusalem under a cloud of undeserved shame, and died in a battle charge. His cousin Hugh de Payans, formed the first group of Knights Templars the following year.
Henry I of England had moved swiftly to take the English throne, in Robert Curthose's absence. It appears that Ivo de Grandmesnil was influenced by his brother Robert, who held the family lands in Normandy, and joined the faction fighting against Henry of England. War quickly followed.
Duke Robert set sail for England in 1101 and his army caught up with Henry at Alton, on the Winchester road. A peace was quickly negotiated and Robert went back to Normandy with promises of English gold. 

Unfortunately, this left the Duke’s supporters high and dry and king Henry, ‘a famously unpleasant individual’ took note of his enemies, including the Grandmesnils (Morris).

King Henry bestowed the manors of Barwell, Burbage, Aston, Sketchley and Dadlington on Hugh de Hastings, as he set about getting rid of any baronial opposition. Thus, Ivo, Sheriff of Leicester, found that he was in disgrace at court, and also swamped with lawsuits and delayed judgements by the king. The cronies of the king’s court treated Ivo like a standing joke, and courtiers openly called him ‘ropedancer’, a reference to his escape from Antioch. His star was definitely on the wane, and when he overreacted to the jibes, Ivo was fined for turbulent conduct at court. To escape his situation, Ivo had little choice but to finance another trip to the Holy Land, where he could regain his honour fighting for god.

Ivo approached Robert Beaumont, Count Meulan, to procure a reconciliation with the king, and to advance him five hundred silver marks for his expedition. For this service the whole of Ivo's domains were pledged to Beaumont as a security for fifteen years. Beaumont was also to give the daughter of his brother Henry, Earl of Warwick, in marriage to Ivo's son, Baron Hinckley, who was still in his infancy, and to restore him his father's inheritance. This contract was confirmed by oath, and ratified by the King. But Ivo died on his crusade to Jerusalem, and when he did not return Robert Beaumont broke his oaths and took control of the whole of Leicester.

He dispossessed Ivo's children, forgot about the marriage, and added all the Grandmesnil estates to his own. By sleight of hand, Earl Shilton manor was now held by Robert Beaumont, who was created the first Earl of Leicester by the king.

Ivo’s nephew and heir, Hugh de Grandmesnil, Baron Hinckley, never recovered the honour of Leicester. The eventual heiress, Petronella, married Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester.
Hugh's daughter Adeline or Adelina was married to Roger d'Ivry, who was the sworn brother-in-arms of Robert D'Oyly.

Hugh and Adeliza's holdings in England            (looks like they owned half the country)

The Domesday book lists Hugh's lands in Leicestershire in the following order Wigston Magna, SapcoteFrolesworthSharnfordEarl ShiltonRatbyBromkinsthorpeDesfordGlenfieldBraunstoneGrobyKirkby MalloryStapletonNewbold VerdonBrascotePeckletonIllston on the HillThorpe LangtonStockerstonBurton OveryCarlton CurlieuNoseleyThurcastonBelgraveBirstallAnsteyThurmastonHumberstoneSwinfordBruntingthorpeSmeeton WesterbyLestoneTwyfordOadbyPeatling ParvaShearsbySapcoteWilloughby WaterlessCroftBroughton AstleyEnderbyGlenfieldSutton CheneyBarlestoneSheepy MagnaCotesbachEvingtonIngarsbyStoughtonGaulbyFrisbyShangtonStonton WyvilleEast LangtonGreat GlenSystonWymeswoldSilebyAshby de la ZoucheAltonStaunton HaroldWhitwickWaltham on the WoldsThorpe ArnoldMarket Bosworth and Barton in the Beans.

In Northamptonshire his lands include pieces in West FarndonMarston TrussellThorpe LubenhamWeedon BecAshby St LedgersOsbernWeltonStaverton and Thrupp Grounds

Additionally in Nottinghamshire he had interests in Edwalton and Thrumpton.

And in Warwickshire his lands included p. 663) HillmortonWilloughby and Butlers Marston.

He also had interests in Gloucestershire including Quinton (Upper & Lower), Weston-on-Avon and Broad Marston.

Aleliza's lands in Bedfordshire included Lower and Upper SheltonHoughton Conquest and Chalton.

Hugh and Adelize had a son Robert de Grandmesnil.  He was born 1054 and died 1136 in Leicester.  He married Emma de Stuteville, born 1078 d 1125.  Emma was the daughter of
Robert I de Stutevil, and Adeliza De Beaumont.

They had a son William De Grandemesnil.  William married Mabillia Guiscard of Apulia.

Her parents were Robert (Duke of Apulia) Guiscard and Silelgaita of Salemo    
(Its should be noted that while there is a great deal of evidence that William married Mabillia, the daughter of Robert and Silelgaita, the dates seem quite incorrect.  However William was living in Europe at the time.

Robert was the son of Tancreed de Gauteville and Fredesende de Normandie.

William had a daughter Petronilla Permel de Grandmesnil.  She was born in 1134 and died in 1212.   She inherited her parent’s lands.

Petronilla de Grandmesnil, Countess of Leicester (c. 1145—1212) was the daughter of one of three Grandmesnil brothers, William, and wife of Robert de Beaumont III, earl of Leicester, known as “Blanchmains” (d. 1190). She was buried in Leicester Abbey following her death on April 1, 1212.

The chronicler Jordan Fantosme wrote that Earl Robert and his wife Petronilla were participants in the 1173-1174 rebellion of Henry "the Young King" against King Henry II, his father. Jordan claimed that Earl Robert participated because of grievances against King Henry and credits dismissive remarks about the English who were fighting on the king's side to the countess: "The English are great boasters, but poor fighters; they are better at quaffing great tankards and guzzling.

 Countess Petronilla accompanied her husband on his military campaign against English troops under the command of the earl of Arundel and Humphrey de Bohun. During the final showdown, she is said to have fled from the battle, only to be found in a ditch. "The earl’s wife wanted to drown herself, when Simon of Odell saw to pulling her out: ‛My lady, come away from this place, and abandon your design! War is all a question of losing and winning." 

She was noted as wearing male armour when captured. Earl Robert was also captured and his holdings were confiscated. Countess Petronilla was released and during the earl's continued imprisonment he wrote to her asking that she discharge the bequests stated in his father's will.

Countess Petronilla claimed to be the heiress of the Grandmesnil barony but the records do not record the names of her parents. The countess, married in the mid-1150s, bore at least seven children:
  • William (d. before 1190)
  • Robert IV, 3rd earl of Leicester, “fitz Parnel/Petronilla” (d. 1204) married Loretta de Braose
  • Roger, bishop of St. Andrews (d. 1202)
  • Amice married (1) Simon de Montfort III (d. 18 July before 1188), (2) William de Barres (d. 3 Sept. 1215)
  • Margaret married Saher de Quincy, later earl of Winchester
  • Hawise, who became a nun at Nuneaton Priory
  • Pernel/Petronilla
  • Two additional children are possible: Geoffrey and Mabel

She  married Robert III de Beaumont, Earl of Leicester

William de Grandmesnil’s mother was Emma de Stuteville.  She was the daughter of Rober I de Stuteville and Adeliza (Alice) de Beaumont. (b 1040 d 1091)  Her parents were Yves II Count de Beaumont and Judith de Beaumont.

Her mother Adeliza was the daughter of Yves Ivo De Beaumont and Judith Adelaide de Gournay.
Her father was the son of Robert de Estouteville and Jeanne de Talleboit.  Their home was France.

Petronilla De Grandmesnils married Robert III Earl of Leicester de Beaumont.

His mother was Arnice De Gael.  Arnice was the daughter of Emma Fitzosborne and Ralph (Seigneur of Gael) de Gael.

Robert II Earl of Leicester de Beaumont was the son of Robert I (Earl of Leicester) Count Meulan de Beaumont.  He married Countess Elizabeth Isabel (of Leicester) de Vermandois. 

Isabel (or Elizabeth) de Vermandois (c. 1081 - February 13, 1131) is a fascinating figure about whose descendants and ancestry much is known and about whose character and life relatively little is known.  She was twice married to influential Anglo-Norman magnates, and had several children (among whose descedants are numberd many kings and some queens of England and Scotland.  Her Capetian and Carolingian ancestry was a source of much pride for some of these descendants (who included these arms as quarterings in their coats-of-arms).  However, the lady herself led a comewhat controversial life.

Elizabeth de Vermandois
Elizabeth de Vermandois was the third daughter of Hugh Magnus and Adel of Vermandois. 

Her paternal grandparents were King  Henry I of France   and Anne of Kiev. 
Anne of Kiev

King Henry I

King Henry I was the son of King Robert (The Pious) of France and Constance de Taillefer

King Robert
Queen Constance
This makes King Robert and Queen Constance great grandparents twice over. 29th and 34th.

 Her maternal grandparents were Herbert IV of Vermandois and Adele of Vexin. 

Adele of Vexin
Herbert IV of Vermandois

Her mother was the heiress of the county of Vermandois and descendant of a junior patrilineal line of descent from Charlemagne.  

The first Count of Vermandois was Pepin of Vermandois. 

He was a son of Bernard of Italy, grandson of Pepin of Italy and great-grandson of Charlemagne and

As such, Elizabeth had distinguished ancestry and connections.  Her father was a younger brother of Philip I of France and her mother was among the last Carolingians.  She was also distantly related to the Kings of England, Dukes of Normandy, Counts of Flanders and, through her Carolingian ancestors, to practically every major nobleman in Western Europe.

In 1096, while under age (probably aged 9-11) Elizabeth married Robert de Beaumont, lst Earl of Leicester.  Meulan was over 35 years her senior which was an unusual age difference even for this time period.  He was a nobleman of some significance in France, having inherited lands from his maternal uncle Henry, Count of Meulan, and had fought bravely and with distinction at his first battle, The battle of Hastings in 1066, then aged only 16.  

His parents, Roger de Beaumont, Lord of Beaumont-le-Roger and Pont-Audemar and Adeline of Meulan, heiress of Meulan had died long before; Roger was a kinsman and close associate of William the Conqueror.  de Beaumont had inherited lands in Normandy after his father died circa 1089 and had also been given land in England after his participation in the Norman conquest.  However, at the time of the marriage, he held no Earldom in England while his younger brother was already styled Henry de Beaumont, lst Earl of Warwick.

Planche states that the bride (Elizabeth) agreed willingly to the marriage although this means little in the context.  Despite the immense age difference, this was a good marriage for its times.  de Beaumont was a respected advisor to three reigning monarchs:  William II of England, Robert Curthose of Normandy and Philip I of France.

According to Middle Age custom, brides were often betrothed young - 8 being the legal age for betrothal and 12 for marriage (for women).  The young betrothed wife would often go to her husband's castle to be raised by his parents or other relatives and to learn the customs and ways of her husband's family.  The actual wedding would not take place until much later.  Some genealogists speculate that the usual age at which a noble bride could expect the marriage to be consummated would be 14.  This is consistent with the date of birth of Elizabeth's first child, Emma, in 1102 when she would have been between 15 and 17.

The marriage produced several children, including most notable two sons who were twins (born1104) and thus remarkable in both surviving and both becoming important noblemen.  They are better known to historians of this period as the Beaumont twins, or as Waleran de Beaumont, Count of Meulan and his younger twin, Robert Bossu(the Humpback) or Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester.(Readers of Ellis Peters' Cadfael historical mystery series will find both twins mentioned frequently).  Another notable child of this marriage was Elisabeth or Isabel de Beaumont, one of the youngest mistresses of Henry I of England and later mother (by her first marriage) of Richard Strongbow.

Some contemporaries were surprised that the aging Count of Meulan (b circa 1049/50) was able to father so many children, given how busy he was with turmoil in England and Normandy from 1102 to 1110 (or later) and acting as Henry I's unofficial minister.  One explanation is offered below; another might simply be an indication of his good health and energy (expended mostly in dashing from one trouble spot in Normandy to England and back to Normandy).

William II died suddenly in a purported hunting accident and was hastily succeeded not by the expected heir but by the youngest brother, Henry.  This seizure of the throne led to an abortive invasion by the older brother, Duke Robert of Normandy, followed by an uneasy truce between the brothers, followed by trouble in both England and Normandy for some time (stirred up by Duke Robert and by an exiled nobleman, Robert of Bell'eme, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury).  Finally, Henry invaded Normandy and in the Battle of Tinchebray (September 28, 1106) destroyed organised opposition to his takeover of Normandy and imprisoned his ineffectual older brother for his lifetime.  de Beaumont and his brother, Warwick,  were apparently supporters of Henry during this entire period and de Beaumont was rewarded with the Earldom of Leicester in 1103.  By 1107, he was in possession of substantial lands in three domains.  In 111, he was able to revenge himself on the attack on his seat Meulan by Louis VI of France.  He avenged himself by harrying Paris.

Elizabeth, Countess of Meulan, apparently tired of her aging husband at some point during the marriage.  The historian, Planche, says (1874) that the Countess was seduced by or fell in love with a younger nobleman, William de Warenne (c. 1071- May 11, 1138) himself the thwarted suitor of Edith of Scotland, Queen consort of Henry I of England.  Warenne, whose mother was Gundred,  has been alleged (in modern times) to be the Conqueror's daughter and stepdaughter by some genealogists, was said to want a royal bride and Elizabeth fitted his requirements, even though she was also another man's wife.

In 1115, the Countess was apparently carried off or abducted by Warenne, which abduction apparently concealed a long-standing affair.  There was some kind of separation or divorce between de Beaumont and his wife which, however, did not permit her to marry her lover.  The elderly Leicester died, supposedly of chagrin and mortification in being thus publicly humiliated, in the Abbey of Preaux, Normandy on 5 June 1118, leaving his properties to his two elder sons whom he had carefully educated.

Elizabeth married, secondly, William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, sometime after the death of her first husband.  By him, it is alleged, she already had several children (all born during her marriage to Leicester).  She also had at least one daughter born while she was living out of wedlock with Warenne (1115-1118).  It is unclear whether this daughter was Ada de Warenne, wife of Henry of Scotland, or Gundred de Warenne, wife of Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick (her half-brothers' first cousin). 

The later life of Elizabeth de Vermandois is not known.  Her sons by her first marriage appear to have a good relationship with their half-brother William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey, Although on opposing sides for much of the wars  between Stephen and Matilda.  Her eldest son, Waleran, Count of Meulan, was active in supporting the disinherited heir , William Clito, son of Robert Curthose, until captured by Henry.  He was not released until Clito's death without issue in 1128.  

Her second son, Robert, inherited his father's English estates and the Earldom of Leicester and married the heiress of the FitzOzborne Counts of Breteuil.  Her daughter, Isabel, However, became a king's concubine or mistress at a young age;  it is unclear whether her mother's own life or her eldest brother's political and personal treavails in this period played any part in the decision.  Before her mother died, Isabel had become wife of Gilbert de Blare, later (1147) Earl of Pembroke, so had adopted a more conventional life like her mother.

There are no known biographies of Elizabeth de Vermandois, nor any known fictional treatments of her life.

Her parents were Sir Hugh (Great) de Magnus de Vermandois (Leader Crusade), and her mother was Countess Adelaide de Vermandois de Cleremont.

Hugh  Count of Vermandois                         27th Great grandfather.   

 free encyclopedia 

Hugh I of Vermandois (1057 – October 18, 1101), called Magnus or the Great, was a younger son of Henry I of France and Anne of Kiev and younger brother of Philip I. He was in his own right Count of Vermandois, but an ineffectual leader and soldier, great only in his boasting. Indeed, Steven Runciman is certain that his nickname Magnus (greater or elder), applied to him by William of Tyre, is a copyist's error, and should be Minus (younger), referring to Hugh as younger brother of the King of France.

In early 1096 Hugh and Philip began discussing the First Crusade after news of the Council of Clermont reached them in Paris. Although Philip could not participate, as he had been excommunicated, Hugh was said to have been influenced to join the Crusade after an eclipse of the moon on February 11, 1096.

That summer Hugh's army left France for Italy, where they would cross the Adriatic Sea into territory of the Byzantine Empire, unlike the other Crusader armies who were travelling by land. On the way, many of the soldiers led by fellow Crusader Emicho joined Hugh's army after Emicho was defeated by the Hungarians, whose land he had been pillaging. Hugh crossed the Adriatic from Bari in Southern Italy, but many of his ships were destroyed in a storm off the Byzantine port of Dyrrhachium.

Hugh and most of his army were rescued and escorted to Constantinople, where they arrived in November 1096. Prior to his arrival, Hugh allegedly sent an arrogant, insulting letter to Eastern Roman Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. According to the Emperor's biography written by his daughter Anna Comnena (the Alexiad), he demanded that Alexius meet with him:
"Know, O King, that I am King of Kings, and superior to all, who are under the sky. You are now permitted to greet me, on my arrival, and to receive me with magnificence, as befits my nobility."

Alexius was already wary of the armies about to arrive, after the unruly mob led by Peter the Hermit had passed through earlier in the year. Alexius kept Hugh in custody in a monastery until Hugh swore an oath of vassalage to him.

After the Crusaders had successfully made their way across Seljuk territory and, in 1098, captured Antioch, Hugh was sent back to Constantinople to appeal for reinforcements from Alexius. Alexius was uninterested, however, and Hugh, instead of returning to Antioch to help plan the siege of Jerusalem, went back to France.
There he was scorned for not having fulfilled his vow as a Crusader to complete a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and Pope Paschal II threatened to excommunicate him. He joined the minor Crusade of 1101, but was wounded in battle with the Turks in September, and died of his wounds in October in Tarsus.

Family and children

He married Adelaide of Vermandois, the daughter of Herbert IV, Count of Vermandois and Alice, Countess of Valois. They had nine children:
  • Mathilde (1080–1130), married Raoul I of Beaugency
  • Elizabeth of Vermandois, Countess of Leicester (1081–1131)
  • Beatrice (1082 – after 1144), married Hugh III of Gournay
  • Ralph I (1085–1152)
  • Constance (born 1086, date of death unknown), married Godfrey de la Ferté-Gaucher
  • Agnes (1090–1125), married Boniface del Vasto
  • Henry (1091–1130), seigneur of Chaumont en Vexin
  • Simon (1093–1148)
  • William (c. 1094 – c. 1096)
Elizabeth of Vermandois, or Elisabeth or Isabel de Vermandois (c.1085–c.1148), was the third daughter of Hugh Magnus and Adelaide of Vermandois,and as such represented both the Capetian line of her paternal grandfather Henry I of France, and the Carolingian ancestry of her maternal grandfather Herbert IV of Vermandois As the wife of two Anglo-Norman magnates, Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester and William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, she is the ancestress of hundreds of well-known families down to the present time.

She is the cousin of William the Conqueror

Countess of Leicester

In 1096, Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan reputed to be "the wisest man in his time between London and Jerusalem" insisted, in deference to the laws of the church, on marrying a very young Elizabeth, he being over fifty at the time. 

 In early 1096 Bishop Ivo, on hearing of the proposed marriage, wrote a letter banning the marriage and preventing its celebration on the grounds the two were related within prohibited degrees. In April of that year Elizabeth's father count Hugh left on Crusade, his last act being to see his daughter married to count Robert. The crusader was able to convince Pope Urban to issue a dispensation for the marriage which then went forward.

Her husband was a nobleman of some significance in France, having inherited lands from his maternal uncle Henry, Count of Meulan, and had fought at the Battle of Hastings as a known companion of William the Conqueror. 

 He was rewarded with ninety manors in the counties of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire. The count of Meulan was one of Henry I's "four wise counsellors and was one of the king's commanders at the Battle of Tinchebray 28 September 1106. 

 In 1107 Robert became Earl of Leicester.

Countess of Surrey

Elizabeth, Countess of Meulan apparently tired of her aging husband at some point during the marriage. The historian James Planché says (1874) that the Countess was seduced by or fell in love with a younger nobleman, William de Warenne for whom she left her husband Robert. 

William II de Warenne had sought a royal bride in 1093 in a failed attempt to wed Edith who later married Henry I,but obtained a bride of royal blood when he married Elizabeth in 1118, at the death of Earl Robert. Elizabeth survived her second husband William, dying c. 1147–1148.


By her first husband, Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, (d 5 June 1118), Elizabeth had three sons (including twin elder sons) and five or six daughters:
  • Emma de Beaumont (born 1102), was betrothed as an infant to Aumari, nephew of William, Count of Évreux, but the marriage never took place. She probably died young, or entered a convent.
  • Waleran IV de Beaumont, Count of Meulan (born 1104) married and left issue.
  • Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester (born 1104) married and left issue.
  • Hugh de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Bedford (born c. 1106) lost his earldom, left issue.
  • Adeline de Beaumont (b ca 1107), married 1stly, Hugh IV, 4th Lord of Montfort-sur-Risle, and 2ndly Richard de Granville of Bideford (d. 1147).
  • Aubree (or Alberee) de Beaumont (b ca 1109), married Hugh II of Châteauneuf-en-Thimerais.
  • Maud de Beaumont (b ca 1111), married William Lovel.
  • Isabel de Beaumont (b Aft. 1102), a mistress of King Henry I of England. She married firstly Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke and secondly Hervé de Montmorency, Constable of Ireland.

By her second husband, William de Warenne, Elizabeth had three sons and two daughters:

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