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Saturday, November 29, 2014

40.2.3 Establishing the Durnfords in England - from the invasions and different lineage possibilities


Other researchers have compiled a comprehensive website for information regarding the Durnford families.

 There is a comprehensive family website:

The descendants are located primarily in the UK, Canada and US, with only a handful in Australia.

Within the website, are two distinct references, one called the Military Durnfords, (our line) and the other line which was established in Newfoundland by Samual Durnford, who travelled from Poole, Plymouth.  There are many in Canada and the US from the Military Durnfords.

Where did these ancestors come froum?

Pervensey Castle where William and the troops landed, nothing much is left anymore, it was raining when we went, the pigeons inhabited the gallows, and this aerial shot from wikipedia is much better than my photos  Bit hard to imagine landing 7000 men, all the horses, the ships and the supplies, 1000 years ago!

One theory is that it came from a Knight travelling with King William and the other that it is a very old Anglo Saxon family.

Looking at the two prospects, there doesn't seem to be anyone in the published list of Knights who traveled from France with King William, from any place in France called Derneford nor with a resemblance of that name.

In those times people were known as William de Normandy, or Hugh de Averenges, meaning the first name, de - "of" -place name.

Prior to leaving France the Knights and William attended a church service to wish them well, from research it is the records of this service which provides the list of his supporters.

King William rewarded his knights with massive amounts of land throughout the length and breadth of the country.  They became the nobility of the day, as many of our ancestors were, and due to their position within the regal courts and churches, there is plenty of evidence which substantiates their lives after the invasion.

While that list provides a list of names, of the probable Knights, it may not be fully correct in its source.  While tracing our Ancestors footsteps we stumbled upon an amazing museum where a lot of research had been done on the different people the elderly curator insisted that I photocopy his records and then directed me to other research

Before learning he was a great grandfather, and doing our trip, I never realised just how much influence William had .
I am sure we never learnt that at school, just the boring old King Henry V for me!  

The Knights and their barony

William the Conqueror established his favoured followers as barons by enfeoffing them as tenants-in-chief with great fiefdoms to be held per baroniam, a largely standard feudal contract of tenure, common to all his barons.

Such barons were not necessarily always from the greater Norman nobles, but were selected often on account of their personal abilities and usefulness. Thus for example Turstin FitzRolf, the relatively humble and obscure knight who had stepped in at the last minute to accept the position of Duke William's standard-bearer at the Battle of Hastings, was granted a barony which comprised well over twenty manors.

Lands forming a barony were often located in several different counties, not necessarily adjoining. The name of such a barony is generally deemed to be the name of the chief manor within it, known as the Caput, Latin for "head", generally assumed to have been the seat or chief residence of the first baron. So, for instance, the barony of Turstin FitzRolf became known as the barony of North Cadbury, Somerset.

The exact date of creation of most feudal baronies cannot be determined, as their founding charters have been lost. Many of them are first recorded in the Domesday Book survey of 1086.

As many of the family came from Somerset and Dorset areas, the following list from the

Curry Malet   Somerset                             Roger de Courcelles
Beverstone   Gloucestershire                   Robert de Gurney
Erlestoke        Wiltshire                             Roger I de Mandevill
Stowey            Somerset                             Alfred de Hispania

North Cadbury    Somerset                          Turstin FitzRolf      in    1086
Winterbourne      St Martin Dorset             widow of Hugh FitzGrip
Chitterne             Wiltshire                          Edward of Salisbury      1086
 Hastings             Sussex                              William, Count of Eu     1086

The one of interest is Turstin Fitz Rolf  (son of Rolf)

Turstin FitzRolf was a Norman magnate, one of the few proven Companions of William the Conqueror who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As his name indicates, he was the son of (fils de) a certain Rolf, synonymous with Rou (Norman-French popular form) and Rollo (Latinization). 
His first name appears as Tosteins, Thurstan and other variants.  He appears to have originated in Bec-de-Mortagne, Pays-de-Caux, Normandy, according to the Roman de Rou poem written by Wace in about 1170. 

He was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as holding as a sub-tenant, the castle of Caerleon, at the southern end of the English frontier with unconquered Wales. 

He also appears to have been the first holder of the extensive Barony of North Cadbury, Somerset, which included several manors in nearby counties. He is chiefly remembered as the standard bearer of William the Conqueror at Hastings, as recorded by the reliable 12th-century chronicler Orderic Vitalis

For his loyalty, William gave him 77 manors!

Held from the King

  • Alvington, Gloucestershire (Alwintune)
  • Ampney Crucis, Gloucestershire (Omenel). There were 2 other holdings here, “Baldwin” from the King and Humphrey the Chamberlain.
  • Fretherne, Gloucestershire (Fridorne)
  • Hillesley, Gloucestershire (Hildeslei). Sub-enfeoffed to Bernard (Pancevolt?)
  • King's Stanley, Gloucestershire (Stantone). Tovi also held a manor here.
  • Oakley, Gloucestershire (Achelie). There were 3 manors here, thought to have lain to the immediate west of Cirencester, by Coates. Turstin's is thought to have been Oakley Wood.
  • Tortworth, Gloucestershire (Torteword)
  • Blackford, Somerset (near Wincanton) (Blacheford/Blachafort). There were 2 manors here, one held by Glastonbury Abbey, sub-enfeoffed to “Alwaker”, the other held by Turstin sub-enfeoffed to “Alfward”.
  • Little Keyford, Somerset (Caivel/Chaivert/Kaivert). 2 manors, one held by Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances, sub-enfeoffed to “Nigel”, the other held by Turstin, sub-enfeoffed to “Norman”.
  • Maperton, Somerset (Malpertone/Malperettona). Sub-enfeoffed to “Geoffrey”.
  • North Cadbury, Somerset (Cadeberie/beria). The later caput of the eponymous barony which retained many of Turstin's landholdings.
  • Pitcombe, Somerset (near present Godminster Farm) (Pidecome/coma)
  • South Cadbury, Somerset (Sudcadeberie/Sutcadaberia/deberia). Sub-enfeoffed to Bernard Pancevolt “a clerk and an Englishman”. Thought to be the site of Camelot Castle.
  • Syndercombe, Somerset (now flooded by Clatworthy Reservoir) (Sindercome)
  • Woolston, Somerset (in South Cadbury) (Ufetone/tona/tuna). There were 2 holdings here: Robert, Count of Mortain, 1st Earl of Cornwall, held one part, sub-enfeoffed to “Drogo”, the 2nd part was held by Turstin FitzRolf, seb-enfeoffed to “Leofgeat”. The connection to Robert Mortain should not be taken as evidence of any identity of Turstin with Turstin Sheriff of Cornwall, as Robert held many hundred manors throughout the kingdom.
  • Sparsholt, Berkshire (now Oxon.)
  • Coleshill, Berkshire. (now Oxon.)Turstin held 1 of 5 manors here.
  • Childrey, Berkshire (now Oxon.) (“Celrea”). Turstin held 1 of 3 manors here, sub-enfeoffed to Roger.
  • Upton, Berkshire (now Oxon.). (“Optone”)
  • Little Kimble, Buckinghamshire (“Kemble Parva”). Sub-enfeoffed to Albert.
  • Hardwick, Buckinghamshire (“Harduic”). 1 of 3 manors held by Turstin, others held by Robert of Mortain and Miles Crispin, both sub-enfeoffed.
  • Gillingham, Dorset (“Gelingeham”) Turstin held 1 manor of 5 or 6, subenfeoffed to Bernard (Pancevolt?)
  • Allington, Dorset (“Adelingtone”)
  • Nyland, Dorset (“Iland”/”Inlande”) 1 of 2 manors held by Turstin, the other by Robert of Mortain.
  • Stoke Wallis, Dorset (“Stoche”) 1 of 2 manoprs held by Turstin, sub-enfeoffed to Ranulf.
  • Little Marcle, Herefordshire (“Merchelai”). 1 of 2 manors held by Turstin, sub-enfeoffed to another “Turstin”. The other manor was held by Roger de Lacy.
  • Newton Valence, Hampshire (“Newentone”)

Held from Bishop of Worcester

  • Aust, Gloucestershire (Austreclive). 5 hides.
  • Gotherington, Gloucestershire (Godrinton).

Held from Abbot of Westminster

  • Hasfield, Gloucestershire (Hasfelde). 1 ½ hides.
  • Eckington, Worcestershire (“Aichintune”) 1 of 3 manors held by Turstin.

Held from Walter Giffard

Walter Giffard, 1st Earl of Buckingham(died 1102) was a Norman magnate and fellow proven Companion of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The caput of his feudal honour was at Crendon, Buckinghamshire.

  • Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
Must have had a busy time trying to keep up with all his tenants!

The Barony of Wiltshire

Clearly Turstin had "kindred" and "heirs" as referred to by Wace, yet these may have been in Normandy only, since no record of any familial inheritance exists for his English holdings. Turstin is said by some sources to have had a son named Ralph (FitzTurstin) who went on crusade to the Holy Land, where he died.

 Most of Turstin's lands, which later constituted a feudal barony, did not pass to his son, if indeed such existed, but to another apparently unrelated Norman magnate Wynebald de Ballon, who served for a time as seneschal of Caerleon Castle, whilst his elder brother Hamelin de Ballon had founded Abergavenny Castle 15 miles higher up the River Usk, and founded a barony seated at Much Marcle, i.e. next to, and possibly subsuming, Turstin's own manor of Little Marcle.

Wynebald also inherited, almost intact, the lands comprising Turstin's fief, which is known collectively as the barony of North Cadbury. The reason for this transfer is not clear, whether by death or by his having fallen out of royal favour.

It is possible that Turstin was a supporter of Duke Robert of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son who tried to wrest the kingdom of England from William Rufus, his younger brother who had had himself crowned very rapidly at Westminster following the Conqueror's death.

Turstin would therefore have found himself on the losing side, and as is known to have happened to others in that situation, would have forfeited his lands. It is interesting to note that such banishment is known to have been the fate of Turstin's other 2 neighbours at Oakley in Gloucestershire, Gislebert FitzTurold and Roger de Lacy, both banished from the kingdom in 1088.

The name Cadbury means Cada's fort and refers to Cadbury Castle.

The parish was part of the hundred of Catsash.

Feudal barony of North Cadbury

In the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor is recorded as held as part of the extensive fiefdom of Turstin FitzRolf, the supposed standard-bearer to William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The lands held by Turstin were subsequently proved to have been held under the feudal tenure per baroniam, making the holder a feudal baron. The caput of this barony is stated by Professor Ivor Sanders (1960) to have been North Cadbury, although Turstin's central area of operation seems to have been around Caerleon Castle on the English border with Glamorgan, South Wales. 

Turstin seems to have been banished in about 1088, possibly having opposed King William II of England in his struggle for the English crown with his elder brother Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. The fiefdom then passed to Wynebald de Ballon, newly arrived with his brother Hamelin de Ballon from Maine, France.

 Wynebald was a close associate of King William Rufus, and probably received Turstin's fiefdom as a reward for services unknown. Wynebald's centre of operation was at Caerleon Castle, on the River Usk, higher up which was founder Abergavenny Castle by his brother Hamelin. Even further up the river Usk was situated the caput of the great Marcher Lordship of Bernard de Newmarch at Brecon. Wynebald de Ballon's 2 sons died without issue and his heir to the barony became his daughter Mabilia, the wife of a certain "Henry de Newmarch".

 No evidence has survived as to the ancestry of Henry de Newmarch, but circumstantial evidence suggests that he was descended from Bernard de Newmarch, Marcher Lord of Brecon, by a first marriage. Bernard's sole heiress was certainly his only daughter by his last marriage to Sibila. Bernard is said to have had children by a first marriage, as mention of them is made in a charter to the monks of Brecon, in which he speaks of sons and daughters, especially devising the lands of Costinio for the welfare of the soul of his son Philip.

The barony of Wynebald, which can at this stage in its history be termed the "barony of North Cadbury", descended into the family of his son-in-law Henry de Newmarch (d.1198). Henry had 2 sons, Henry (or possibly William) the eldest who died without issue in 1204, and James (d.1216) who according to Wiffen (1883)

He married Maud, later the wife of Otto FitzWilliam. James had no son but left 2 co-heiresses, Isabel and Hawise, who being heirs of a tenant-in-chief became wards of the king. 

The king (either King John just before his death in 1216, or more likely the council of his infant son King Henry III (1216–1272)) granted the wardship, which included the marriage also, of Isabel the elder daughter to John Russell (d.1224) of Kingston Russell, Dorset. 

Russell had been a household knight of Kings Richard I (1189–1199) and of his brother King John (1199–1216) and of the latter's infant son Henry III, the latter whom he also later served as household steward. The wardship of Hawise the younger the king granted to John de Boterel, confirmed to the latter by Henry III in 1218, per the Close Rolls. 

Russell was by then elderly and already married with a family so he married-off Isabel to his eldest surviving son Ralph Russell, which action raised Ralph to the status of a feudal baron and gave him possession of a moiety of the lands comprising the barony of North Cadbury. 

John de Boterel was clearly then unmarried and perhaps younger for he exercised his grant by marrying Hawise himself; however he was not to live much longer and following his death without issue Hawise married secondly in about 1230 Nicholas de Moels.

 The descendants of both daughters retained all or some of the North Cadbury baronial lands they inherited until the 16th. c., when the Russell moiety was then held by the Denys family of Siston, Gloucestershire.

On the death of Thomas Russell in 1431, the 21 year old son of Maurice Russell, knight (d.1416) of Dyrham, Gloucestershire, the heirs to the Russell lands became Thomas's elder half-sisters Margaret, whose first husband had been Gilbert Denys, knight (d.1422), upon the issue of which marriage her inheritance had been settled, and Isabel, then wife of Stephen Hatfield, her 4th husband.

The de Moels share passed successively by marriage to the Barons Botreaux (1337), (who may by coincidence have been from the same family as Hawise's first husband John de Botrel), Barons Hungerford (1462) and the Barons Hastings in 1468.

40.2.1 Establishing where the early Durnfords came from - Anglo Saxons?

The theory of being an established Anglo Saxon family name and perhaps some additional research can be of assistance to others.

From the website:

The name Durnford derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "dierne ford" for "hidden ford" possibly due to the concealed crossing place over the nearby river Avon (Avon is Celtic for "river").

 Early documents usually spelled the name Derneford. Other variants were Darnford, Dornford, Durnsford, and Dunford.

The villages of Great Durnford and Little Durnford lie on the river Avon, where it meanders between tree-lined banks in Wiltshire, England. Apparently there is a way to ford the river at Great Durnford. 

They are also the closest villages to historic Stonehenge. The main road to the north (the A303) is one of the seven great highways that survived into the middle ages from Roman times.

The Surnames of the United Kingdom; a Concise Etymological Dictionary (Henry Harrison, Eaton Press) lists the Durnford surname as (English) Dweller at the Secret or Private Ford [Old English dierne + ford].

There has been speculations that the name came over with the Norman invaders in 1066 because of Roger and his father William de Derneford who were Normans. However, it was the practice for the Norman overlords to suffix their possessions to their own name with "de",

 Hence, there is no specific proof that the name Durnford came from Normandy or it was the local name adopted by the Norman conquerors. (for more information on the "de" in French names go to

Also,since the village name is Old English it is highly unlikely that the family roots started in Normandy. 

In Britain, hereditary surnames were adopted in the 13th & 14th centuries, initially by the aristocracy but eventually by everyone. By 1400, most English had acquired surnames. Henry VIII (1491–1547) ordered that marital births be recorded under the surname of the father.*

A Dictionary of English surnames (Reaney, Percy Hide & Wilson, Richard Middlewood) shows Durnford/Dornford: Roger de Derneford 1190 P (W); William de Durneford 1255 RH (W). From Durnford (Wilts). cf. DANFORD.

Liber niger scaccarii** mentions Roger de Derneford who held the fifth part of a knight's fee in Wiltshire in 1165.  He was born in 1135, his father in 1090, and his grandfather in 1040 in Normandy.  

The full names of the latter two are not given, so we cannot tell when the family took on the property in Durnford or when they received a last name.

Lands that were obtained for loyal service were in Cornwall (Southwest England) and included the section called Ramshead, thus the Ramshead in the families coat of arms, also Mount Edgecombe's and part of Stonehouse, Plymouth.

 This land passed into the Edgecombe family during the time of Henry VIII when daughter Jane, sole heir of Stephen Durnford married Sir. Peter Edgecombe. During the English Revolution, the junior branch espoused the Royal Cause and was at that time scattered to various sections of England. Some branches were in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. 

40.2. Establishing the Durnfords Wiltshire - and the old Saxon Town of Durnford

Prior to the invasion in 1066, Wiltshire, and the town of Durnford were farmed by the Saxons.

In fact the town was already named at the time of the invasion.  The residents would have been known as   First name de Durnford, which then can be very difficult in tracing particular lineages, as not all the residents would be from the same family.  In 1086 there was a population of 300.

In the Baroncy list the first distribution of Wiltshire was in 1086.

Castle Combe                                      WiltshireHumphrey de Insula1086
Erlestoke                 Wiltshire    Roger I de Mandevilletempus H I
Trowbridge              Wiltshire    Brictric                               1086
West DeanWiltshire                   Waleran the Huntsman       1086
ChitterneWiltshire                      Edward of Salisbury           1086

Elston-in-Orcheston St GeorgeWiltshireOsbern Giffard        1086
Keevil                                       Wiltshire Ernulph de Hesdingpre.1091

In 1086, William of Eu held a 16 hide estate called Durnford, later Great Durnford Manor. Richard Fitzgilbert, Earl of Pembroke, who died in 1176, held this at the time of his death

Durnford was well populated in 1086 with an estimated population of between 300 and 350 people. I 

In 1086 William of Eu (d. c. 1095) held a 16-hide estate called Durnford. Much of it evidently became Great Durnford manor, the remainder Southend manor and the manors and other estates of Netton and Salterton. In 1086 it included 4 houses in Wilton.

GREAT DURNFORD manor, sometimes called Northend manor, was held by Richard Fitz Gilbert, earl of Pembroke (d. 1176), possibly a descendant of William of Eu. On Richard's death the overlordship may have been taken into the king's hands;  afterwards it was held by William, earl of Salisbury .  1196), descended like Amesbury manor to William Longespée, styled earl of Salisbury (d. 1250), and was last mentioned in 1243.

Richard, earl of Pembroke, subinfeudated the manor to John Bishop,  presumably the John Bishop who held it in 1191–2.  Jordan, son of John Bishop, held it in 1242–3,  and John Bishop (d. c. 1324), a Wiltshire coroner, held it in 1317.

It passed to John's relict Alice and to their son Jordan,  who in 1344 conveyed it to his daughter Beatrice and her husband John Everard.  In 1361 Beatrice settled it on her daughter Edith and Edith's husband Richard Marwardine, who together sold it in 1416 to Sir John Blackett, perhaps a feoffee.

Blackett's feoffees sold it in 1426 to Walter Hungerford, (fn. 108) Lord Hungerford (d. 1449). The manor passed to Walter's son Sir Edmund, who in 1469–70 settled it on his son Edward (will proved 1507).  After Edward's death it passed in the direct line to Robert (d. 1517), Robert (will proved 1558), Walter  (d. 1601), and John  (d. 1636). John's relict Elizabeth (will proved 1650) held the manor for life, after which it again passed in the direct line to Edward  (will proved 1667), Sir George (d. 1712), and Walter (d. 1754). Walter devised it to his nephew John Keate (d. 1755). It passed to John's son Lumley Hungerford Keate (d. s.p. 1766) and, as tenants in common, to Lumley's sisters Henrietta Maria, from 1769 the wife of George Walker, and Elizabeth Macie, a widow.

Brictric son of Algar was a powerful Saxon thane whose many English landholdings, mostly in the Westcountry, are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

According to the account by the Continuator of Wace and others, in his youth Brictric declined the romantic advances of Matilda of Flanders (c. 1031 – 1083), later wife of King William the Conqueror, and his great fiefdom was thereupon seized by her. Brictric's lands were granted after her death in 1083 by her eldest son King William Rufus (1087–1100) to Robert FitzHamon (died 1107),

GREAT DURNFORD manor, sometimes called Northend manor, was held by Richard Fitz Gilbert, earl of Pembroke (fn. 98) (d. 1176),

Durnford parish  lies between Salisbury and Amesbury.  Its main part, on the east bank of the Christchurch Avon, contains the villages or hamlets of Great Durnford, Little Durnford, Netton, Salterton, and Newtown; Normanton, nearby on the west bank, was a detached part. 

In 1885 Normanton, c. 656 a., was transferred to Wilsford parish, and Durnford parish was reduced to 3, 102 a. (1,255 ha.).

The parish has simple boundaries. The main part is bounded by the Avon on the west and a long and straight road across downland on the east: an estate in the south part of the parish was defined by those boundaries in the 10th century. The short east and west boundaries of Normanton are marked by the Avon and a line of barrows respectively; the long boundaries between them cross downland and are roughly straight.

It was a very substantial Saxon town, and was established in the Iron Age before Stonehenge 

On the downs of both parts of the parish there was much prehistoric activity. In the main part a group of barrows on Little down is possibly Bronze-Age,  Ogbury camp is an early Iron-Age hill fort of c. 62 a.,  and there may have been a small settlement on the high ground south-east of Great Durnford from the early Iron Age to the 4th century A.D. 

A prehistoric field system of 450 a. lies north of Ogbury camp, one of 400 a. and one of 160 a. lie south of it.  Normanton down is in the hinterland of Stonehenge.

On it there is a Neolithic mortuary enclosure,  an extensive Bronze-Age cemetery with barrows of several types, and a ritual shaft 100 ft. deep and 6 ft. wide which contained votive offerings. A hoard of pewter, found c. 1635 and possibly Roman, may have been on the downland of Normanton.

The villages and hamlets of the parish all have Saxon names and all stand on gravel near the Avon. In the main part of the parish there were evidently only two estates in 1086, Durnford in the north and what was later called Little Durnford in the south.

There may already have been several settlements; later the larger estate was subdivided and there were five settlements in the main part of the parish each with an east—west strip of land on which there were open fields.

The north end of Great Durnford, the south end of Great Durnford, Little Durnford, Netton, and Salterton were almost certainly such settlements in the 13th century; Newtown had been planted as an offshoot of Salterton by the early 14th century  but did not have its own fields.

Great Durnford. The village has three elements, the north end, the south end, and a 20th-century part east of the south end. For the first two the riverside road from Amesbury formed a village street.
The north end includes the church, the site of a house which belonged to the prebendary of Durnford,  the vicarage house, and Durnford Manor.

Little Durnford

In the Middle Ages Little Durnford was presumably, like the others in the parish, a small village beside the Avon. Most of its buildings were presumably near the ford, after which the village was named and by which an east—west road crossed the river

King Edgar granted to his chamberlain Winstan 3 cassati in 963 and 4 cassati, including the 3, in 972.  Although said to be at Avon, Winstan's estate was that later called LITTLE DURNFORD manor.

There were evidently open fields at Little Durnford in 963

It passed to Wilton abbey which held 4 hides at Durnford in 1066.  The manor was subinfeudated, but the abbey continued to receive a small rent from Little Durnford until the Dissolution.

Three Englishmen held Little Durnford of Wilton abbey in 1066, Edward of Salisbury in 1086.

The manor may have passed to Edward's descendants, earls of Salisbury,  but by 1222 had been further subinfeudated. William, styled earl of Salisbury, was recognized as overlord in 1242–3,  and the overlordship evidently descended like that of Shrewton to later earls of Salisbury.

 In 1086 there was enough land for 3 teams: there were 4 bordards and 1 team of 6 oxen on the demesne, and two Englishmen had 2 teams on the other arable land. There were 12 a. of meadow and 4 square furlongs of pasture.

In 1222 John, son of Bernard, and his wife Sibyl conveyed the manor to William of Durnford,  who held it in 1242–3.

In 1242–3 William Longespée, styled earl of Salisbury, was overlord of ¼ knight's fee in Durnford, later called SOUTHEND manor and presumably part of William of Eu's estate in 1086.

The overlordship apparently descended with the overlordship of Shrewton and the earldom of Salisbury until the 15th century  or later.

Walter son of Bernard was the *mesne lord in 1242–3 and William of Durnford held the estate of him. From then until 1410 the manor descended with Little Durnford manor.

In 1286 William of Durnford, presumably another, conveyed it to (Sir) Henry de Préaux, who conveyed it in 1322 to John Wahull or Woodhill (d. 1336).

*(in feudal society) a lord who held land from a superior lord and kept his own tenants on it

There were two open fields in 1348. The demesne of Little Durnford manor then had 60 a. in each, 4 a. of meadow, and pasture for 8 oxen. It had been leased by 1409;  it perhaps included then, as it did later, all Little Durnford's farmland, making formal inclosure of the open fields unnecessary.

Durnford Church

Salisbury cathedral owned Durnford church from c. 1150 or earlier.  Although no licence to appropriate is extant the cathedral is known from later evidence to have taken the great tithes from most of the parish.

 By c. 1150 it had endowed a prebend with the RECTORY estate.  In addition to the tithes the estate included 3 houses and 1 yardland with pasture rights given to Durnford church by Isabel de Tony or her husband Walter son of Richard in the mid 12th century

Isabel and Walter also gave all tithes from their land in the parish.  In 1405 the prebendary was said to have 43 a.,  in 1622 c. 120 a.

 In 1086 William of Eu's estate evidently included the whole parish except Little Durnford and Normanton. It had land for 14 ploughteams: 2 were on the 4 demesne hides with 2 servi, 12 were shared by 26 villani and 37 bordars. There were 30 a. of meadow and 20 square leagues of pasture


The open fields of Salterton were worked from Salterton village and, by c. 1300, from Newtown. In 1299 the demesne of Salterton manor comprised 140 a. of arable, 18 a. of meadows, and a possibly several downland pasture worth 12s. The arable was estimated at 300 a. in 1309 and, if the figures for 1299 and 1309 are correct, there may have been a two-field system with an amount comparable to the 140 a. left fallow in 1299.

In 1309 the demesne comprised, besides the arable, a downland pasture for 250 sheep, and a pasture for 16 oxen. There was a freehold of 2 yardlands, and since 1299 the number of customary holdings had been reduced to eight, each of 1 yardland. Like tenants at Netton each yardlander owed labour service on 32 occasions between 1 August and 29 September or 4s. additional rent. The freehold and three or more of the customary holdings were evidently based at Newtown.  In 1421 the demesne was said to comprise c. 200 a. of arable, 40 a. of meadow, and 300 a. of pasture: some of the 300 a. were several. (fn. 308)

In 1086 there was a mill at Little Durnford and three others in the remainder of the parish excluding Normanton. (fn. 321) Great Durnford manor included a mill in the later 12th century and the earlier 14th. (fn. 322) There was a mill on Southend manor in 1389 (fn. 323) and in 1612, when there were two or more under one roof. (fn. 324) Durnford Mill at the south end of Great Durnford is likely to stand on the site of the mills on Southend manor.

Records of Great Durnford manor court survive for 1537–52, 1590–3, 1601, 1605, 1609, 1622–1713, and 1730– 6. At the court common husbandry was regulated and copyhold tenants were admitted; among offences presented were fishing in the Avon from boats, encroaching on and building on the waste, and failing to repair buildings. John Duke, a freeholder, was often presented in the earlier 17th century for failing to keep his part of the river bank in good repair.

Records of a court leet held twice yearly on the Rectory estate survive for 1412–14. The tithingman presented offences by brewers and at three courts the unlawful raising of the hue and cry.

At Salterton manor court, records of which survive for 1674–1713, 1718–51, and 1766–1807, copyhold business was transacted, common husbandry was regulated, and encroachments on the waste were presented. From the later 18th century the court was held only when business required it.

Records of courts held for Little Durnford were extant c. 1407, but none is known to have survived.

In 1275 Roger la Zouche claimed to have gallows and hold the assize of bread and of ale in Normanton.  No record of a court of the manor is known.

The present church at Great Durnford was built c. 1140,  evidently belonged to Salisbury cathedral
 c. 1150, and was confirmed to the cathedral in 1158. Its revenues were used to endow a prebend,  and a vicarage had been ordained by c. 1281.

Walter, the vicar, was murdered in the vicarage house c. 1281

ST. ANDREW'S church was so called by c. 1150.  It is of rubble with ashlar dressings and comprises a chancel, a nave with north and south porches, and a west tower.  The chancel and the nave are both of c. 1140.  The chancel has thick walls and a pilaster buttress on the north side, and the chancel arch has a single order of chevrons.

St Andrew's Church Durnford

The north and south walls of the nave are divided into four bays by pilaster buttresses, and the doorways have semicircular patterned tympana surrounded by chevrons. The chancel was substantially altered in the 13th century and most of the architectural features to survive in it are of that date. The tower was built in the later 13th century, the roofs of the chancel and the nave were reconstructed in the 14th, and new windows were inserted in the south wall of the chancel and in the nave in the 15th.
Old grave headstones

40.1.2 Establishing the early Durnfords Landholdings in Cornwall

When considering where ancestors lived 1000 years ago, it is important to remember that they did not have surnames, rather they belonged to an area, ie de West Holme, and unless they were well educated, in the Church they could not write. 

 After the invasion, there became a distinct language problem.  The people of the south west spoke a language of their own, as did the Scots.  Communication was difficult, and William had to rely on some trusted Anglo Saxons in order to relate to the holders of lands.  It is also important to remember the families had numerous children, a great many died, and there were no records, apart from those kept by the Priests.

All lands owned prior to the invasion, by Anglo Saxons were confiscated, and placed under the control of King William who distributed them to his loyal followers.

Research has revealed that the de Dereneford families lived in several locations in Cornwall and Devon, some of those places are included here.  Originally some of the lands were known as Devon then become part of Cornwall.


In the east part of the parish there were two estates at ALUREDSTON in 1066, both in Lydney hundred. One comprised three hides held by Bondi, the other two hides held by Ulnod. In 1086 both were held by William of Eu, a claim to Bondi's manor by Henry de Ferrers being dismissed on the grounds that it had formerly been held by Ralph de Limesi, whose estates were acquired by William of Eu c. 1075.

Lords of the Middle Ages were those who leased land or other property to an individual or individuals.  In the Middle Ages one had to be of the nobility before they could be a lord.

Tidenham Manor ruins

 Aluredston did not form part of the grant of Woolaston to Tintern Abbey by Walter de Clare in 1131  but remained part of the lordship of Striguil and until 1302 followed the same descent as Tidenham manor, being held by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, in 1223.

West Holme, a manor, farm, hamlet, and tything, in Hasler hundred, situated about a mile and a half east of Stoke, on a rising ground near the south side of the the river in the Isle of Purbeck.

Sir W. Dugdale says, “Holme” in Saxon signifies a place wholly or partly compassed with waters, or in a nook between two rivers.

The name of this place anciently was always written Holne.

In Domesday book, Walter de Clavile held Holne in demesne, and it was taxed for two hides and a virgate; Eldred held it before the Conquest. The posterity of Walter de Clavile continued owners in the reign of Edw. I., when William Claville left issue two daughters, Margaret and Alice, who were his co-heirs.

It was held of the honour of Gloucester, by service of one knight’s fee. In an assize roll of the 12. Hen. IV. We have a curious history of the descent of this manor, showing the insecurity of property, the disregard of rights of minors, and the difficulty of obtaining justice at that remote period. In an assize at Dorchester on Monday next after the Feast of St. Peter in Cathedrâ, Robert Chyke and Johanna his wife, Thomas Mere and Agnes his wife, John Fry and Margery his wife, and William Burdon and Alice his wife, sought to recover from Thomas Brideport and Margaret his wife, six messuages, 100a. of arable, 20a. of meadow, 200a. of pasture, 100a. of moor, 20a. of wood, and a moiety of a water mill in West Holne.

The jury find that on the death of William Clavell before mentioned, his estates were divided between his two daughters, and, on a partition, Holne was allotted to Margaret the eldest.

She married John Russel of Tyneham, after whose death she, by charter dated on Sunday the morrow of St. Peter ad Vincula, 32 Edw. I. (2 Aug. 1304), released and quitclaimed to William Russel her son and heir, and to Alice daughter of John de Derneford, whom he shortly after married, and to the heirs of William, all her right and interest in the lands in West Holne, which fell to her by the death of William Clavile of Holne, her father.

After the death of William Russel, Alice his widow married John Smedmore, and had issue by him one daughter Elizabeth Smedmore, who became the wife of Robert Sherard.

By her first husband Alice de Derneford had a son John Russel, who, being under age at her death, was kept out of his inheritance by John Smedmore, his step-father. On attaining his majority, however, he made his entry, but was ousted by John Smedmore.

 After the death of the latter, Elizabeth Smedmore his daughter entered and took possession as his heir-at-law. She married Robert Sherard and had issue. John Russel made verbal claim to the estate during the whole of his life, and once made an entry thereon, but never recovered actual possession.

He died during the lifetime of Robert Sherard, who survived his wife and attained possession of the property. During his tenure of it, Henry Smedmore, uncle and heir-at-law of Elizabeth Sherard, being brother of John Smedmore before mentioned, supposing as he alleged that Robert Sherard held the estate for his life, as tenant by the curtesy, by charter dated in the Feast of the Annunciation 36 Edw. III. (25 March, 1362), conveyed the reversion to Thomas de Brideport and his heirs, by the name of the reversion of the moiety of the manor of West Holne in Purbeck, and Robert Sherard attorned and afterwards surrendered his life estate to the said Thomas Brideport.

All this was done whilst John Russel, the son of John and Alice de Derneford, was still in his minority. Thomas de Brideport, by indenture dates at Holne on Sunday next after the Feast of Petronilla the Virgin, 37 Edw. III. (4 June, 1363), settled the premises, by the name of the manor of Holne, on himself and Alianor his wife and the heirs of their bodies, remainder to his own right heirs.

They had issue Thomas de Brideport, against whom the present action was brought. On John Russel’s attaining his majority, he claimed the premises against the said Thomas and Alianor, but made no entry, for Thomas de Brideport threatened him that if he did he should be beaten.

Thomas de Brideport then died, and Alianor his widow married William Payn senior, against whom John Russel continued to prefer his claim, but verbally only, and he did not enter. The fact was he had been arraigned concerning the death of someone, and fearing to make William Payn his enemy, he on that account did not venture to enter.

On his death he left issue John Russel his son and heir, who died a minor without issue, and four daughters, who became their brother’s co-heirs, and who, together with their husbands, were the plaintiffs in the present assize.

The husbands of the co-heirs entered in right of their wives, and were seized of the premises until they were ousted by Thomas Bridport the defendant. But whether this ouster amounted to a disseisin or not, the jury declare they are unable to decide, and crave the discretion of the court.

The justices seem to have had a difficulty in making up their minds upon this point of law, for the parties were to appear at Ilchester, on Thursday next after the Feast of St. Peter in Cathedrâl(26 Feb. 1411), to hear judgement given. Judgement, however, was again postponed and was not finally delivered till Monday next after the Feast of St. Margaret the Virgin, 13 Hen. IV. (26 July, 1412), when it was pronounced at Dorchester in a special assize in favour of the plaintiffs, who were adjudged to recover the land with the intermediate profits as well as the costs they had incurred in the suit.

East Stonehouse was one of three towns that were amalgamated into modern-day PlymouthWest Stonehouse was a village that is within the current Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in Cornwall. It was destroyed by the French in 1350. The terminology used in this article refers to the settlement of East Stonehouse which is on the Devon side of the mouth of the Tamar estuary, and will be referred to as Stonehouse.
Settlement in the area goes back to Roman times and a house made of stone was believed to have stood near to Stonehouse Creek. However other stories relate to land owned in the 13th century by Robert the Bastard. This land subsequently passed to the Durnford family through marriage to the Edgecombe family in the 14th and 15th centuries. The site of the original settlement of Stonehouse is now mostly occupied by the complex of Princess Yachts. One wall survives as a listed building.

As part of our commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of the 'Three Towns' of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse we'll be featuring a work of art connected to each. Here our focus is on Stonehouse and this lovely painting of Admiral's Hard.

Although it's a very different scene to what we'd witness today, there are some familiar sights including a Royal William Yard building to the left, sailboats out on the water and people queuing up to cross the river.

In the foreground you can see a group of people having a picnic to pass the time. To their left a man in a black hat and red jacket looks like a soldier out with his family. I'm not sure how practical some of the women's beautiful dresses would have been for getting in and out of the boats!

Did you know that the ferry crossing at Cremyll dates back to Norman times?

It was originally owned by the Valletort family who had houses on the Cornish bank of the Tamar.
In the 18th century the growth of Plymouth Dock (Devonport) brought increased usage, including the transport of mail on horseback to most areas of Cornwall.

The old river crossing from Devil's Point to Barn Pool, near Mount Edgcumbe House, was eventually moved to Cremyll.

By 1884 the rowing boats that are depicted in this painting were replaced by a steam launch, reducing the crossing from 30 to 15 minutes.

Though known as William Gibbons of Plymouth, the man who created this painting was actually born in Exeter.

The son of a shoemaker, he moved here to work as an artist and delighted in recording the bustling life of the town and the changing moods of the sea. He is buried in Ford Park Cemetery.

One of King William's largest landholders was William of Eu.

He came over with William, and he was rewarded for his efforts, as they all were:

William of Eu, (died January 1097) was a first generation Anglo-Norman aristocrat and rebel. Most historians identify him with Count William of Eu, who succeeded his father, Robert, at latest by 1093.

However Professor David Douglas disputed the identification, basing himself on the genealogical researches of Edmund Chester Waters. In support of Douglas, while the west country estates of William were confiscated by the Crown in 1095, the strategically important Honour of Hastings was left in the hands of the Counts of Eu. It seems likely therefore that different people are being considered.

William of Eu held some 77 manors in the west of England and had been amongst the rebels against William II in 1088. He made his peace with the King, but with his wife's nephew, William of Aldrie, he conspired with Roger de Lacy and Robert de Mowbray to murder William II and install the king's cousin Stephen of Aumale.

(Changing sides must have been the order of the day)

In 1095 the rebels impounded four Norwegian trading ships and refused the king's demand to return the merchandise.

King William conducted a lightning campaign, outflanking the rebels at Newcastle upon Tyne and capturing a rebel stronghold at Morpeth. He besieged the rebels at Bamburgh Castle and built a castle facing the existing one.

During January 1097 in Salisbury, William Eu was formally accused of treason, challenged to trial by battle and was defeated by Geoffrey Baynard, former High Sheriff of Yorkshire. It was finally decided that William was to be blinded and mutilated.

William died sometime later and was buried at Hastings.

He is the son and heir of Robert d'Eu († 1089/1093) . Between 1091 and 1093, he succeeded him as Count of Eu and Lord of Hastings .

In 1088, William takes part in the rebellion against the King of England William Rufus , to place the elder brother of one Courteheuse Robert , Duke of Normandy at the head of the kingdom . He leads including a campaign against Royal Lordship of Berkeley, Gloucestershire . After the failure of the rebellion, he is forgiven, like most of the rebels.

In 1091, when William of intervention attempt Rufus in Normandy , his father is one of the English king supports. Robert Eu dies soon after (in the period 1091-1093) and William endorses Robert Courteheuse , to which he pays homage to his county . William Rufus, who considers Eu and castle as his beachhead in Normandy, in case he wanted to invade, resolved to buy the loyalty of the new Count of Eu .

In 1095, takes place in England a great revolt against King William Rufus . The two leaders are William, Count of Eu and Robert de Mowbray , a rich and powerful Anglo-Norman baron , earl of Northumbria . The conspiracy must place Stephen of Aumale on the English throne. These include, in addition to William, his cousin and Seneschal Guillaume Andrieu, Robert de Mowbray , Roger de Lacy , Hugues de Montgomery , Earl of Shrewsbury and his brother Philip, and Eudes 's uncle by marriage of the king . King raises an army to besiege the castle, which is located at the mouth of the Tyne .

After the failure of the rebellion, William II, Count of Eu denies any part in the conspiracy and to justify it duels against Geoffrey Baynard, former sheriff of Yorkshire .

He loses the judicial duel and is neutered and has his eyes gouged out. He did not survive his mutilation . This is Hugh of Avranches , Earl of Chester, his wife's brother Hélisende, which requires it to be enucleated and castrated because he mistreats .

It seems to have survived his injuries . Indeed, a "Hélisende, widow of Count of Eu" is mentioned in a story dated 1096 .              (not a pretty story, as Hugh is a great grandfather)

Worth Travers

Worth Matravers, a parish covering 2,700 acres, lies in the S. part of the Isle of Purbeck, 3 miles W. of Swanage. It stretches N.N.E. from the steep cliffs of St. Aldhelm's Head across an almost flat limestone tableland formed by the underlying Portland and Purbeck Beds, between 350 ft. and 450 ft. above O.D., drained by three deeply cut valleys in which small streams flow S. to the sea.

In the W. is Hill Bottom, and in the E. are Winspit and Seacombe Bottoms, both marked by impressive flights of strip lynchets of the former open fields of Worth Matravers. In the N. of the parish the limestone ends in a steep scarp below which is the wooded valley of the E. Corfe river on Wealden Beds around 150 ft. above O.D.

As elsewhere in Purbeck, the mediaeval settlement pattern is one of many small hamlets and farms, each with a more or less rectangular area of land, the boundaries of which are still marked by continuous lines of field walls and hedges. On the high limestone tableland are Renscombe Farm, Weston Farm, Worth Matravers and Eastington Farm. Domesday Book mentions holdings in Renscombe and numerous holdings in Worth, among which Weston and Eastington Farms are probably included.

In the Corfe Valley are Woodyhyde, Downshay and Quarr, all probably much earlier than their earliest documentary references. The lands belonging to the farms in the valley stretched up on to the limestone plateau and included some of the principal medieval sources of Purbeck stone and marble.

The local stone is generally used for walls and roofs giving the village a picturesque quality though none of the houses individually is of architectural importance. The outlying farmhouses representing the early settlements are mostly of the 17th century. The Parish Church and St. Aldhelm's Chapel are the principal monuments.


Five of the old Saxon hidage boundaries can still be traced, running in straight lines from the village street southwards to the cliffs. By the Thirteenth Century these strips of land, each of which had originally been allocated to a family, had developed into three manors, remains of which still exist. 

In the east the Manor of Langton Mautravers stretched westwards as far as the church. In the west, stretching far beyond the confines of the parish, lay the great Manor of Langton Wallis. 

Between these lay the tiny one-hide Manor of Durnford.

The Manor of Langton Mautravers is named after its mediaeval lords who had arrived with William of Normandy in 1066. They also owned Worth Matravers for a short time, but they lived at Woolcombe Matravers and later at Lytchett Matravers, further north in Dorset.

 Remains of this manor now belong to the Encombe Estate which purchased it in 1875. The huge western manor was also named after its mediaeval lords, the Le Walleys family, who came from Brittany in 1066. 

From the early Seventeenth Century this manor was owned by the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy until 1982, when it was bequeathed to the National Trust. Together with Corfe Castle, it now forms part of the Trust's Purbeck Estate. 

The lords of these two large manors were always absentees (the le Walleys family lived at Chickerell) so there were no manor houses in their Langton lands. 

However, the lords of the tiny Manor of Durnford, who were called De Derneford, 
resided in the village.  

There are now six farms in this parish, as well as several ‘small holdings’. Coome Farm and
Putlake Adventure Farm are part of the Encombe Estate. Wilkswood and Spyway Farms are
tenanted from the National Trust, which now owns the greater part of the parish. Other farms
include Knitson and Knaveswell.

Some of these farms retain their original Saxon names: Knitson is ‘the farm settlement of
Cnightwine’; Knaveswell is sited where a youth found a spring of pure water; Putlake
(originally Puck Lakes) is situated on a mischievous stream prone to flooding the area (Puck
being a sprite and ‘lake’ an early Saxon word for ‘water’); Wilkswood was reclaimed from a
section of the royal hunting warren managed by a Saxon called Wilic; Coombe is situated in a
short valley in the side of a hill; Acton was and still is a sheep-farm (‘taca-ton’). 

From this information it could be assumed that the people who lived here were styled de Derenford and perhaps had links to the early Saxons.

Worth Matravers  is also set in beautiful countryside with the added advantage of long views down to the sea in all its changing moods. It is also one of the oldest villages, with evidence of continuous occupation for around 6000 years. Once a village for quarrymen, fishermen and farm-workers     

Clive Hannay in Purbeck’s deservedly renowned village  The Dorset Magazine

Buckland Newton is a village in Dorset located between Sherborne to the north and the Countytown of Dorchester to the south.  According to the publication 'Dorset Place Names - their origins andmeanings' (A D Mills, published by Countryside Books) the name derives "from Old English bocland 'charter land' i.e. 'land in which certain rights and privileges were granted by charter'.

The relatively recent addition of Newton is from Sturminster Newton, because at one time the Hundreds of Sturminster and Buckland were combined".

The village of Buckland Newton is situated in beautiful Dorset countryside on the edge of the Dorset Downs and within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

(This area also features in the ancestors of one of our maternal lineages)


The area around Tavistock (formerly Tavistoke), where the River Tavy runs wide and shallow allowing it to be easily crossed, and near the secure high ground of Dartmoor, was inhabited long before the historical record.

The surrounding area is littered with archaeological remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages and it is believed a hamlet existed on the site of the present town long before the town's official history began, with the founding of the Abbey.

The abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Rumon was founded in 961 by Ordgar, Earl of Devon. After destruction by Danish raiders in 997 it was restored, and among its famous abbots was Aldred, who crowned Harold II and William I, and died Archbishop of York.

In 1105 a Royal Charter was granted by Henry I to the monks of Tavistock to run a weekly "Pannier Market" (so called after the baskets used to carry goods) on a Friday, which still takes place today.

In 1116 a three-day fair was also granted to mark the feast of Saint Rumon, another tradition that is still maintained in the shape of the annual "Goosey" fair on the second Wednesday in October.

By 1185 Tavistock had achieved borough status and in 1295 became a parliamentary borough, sending two members to parliament. The abbey church was rebuilt in 1285. In 1305, with the growing importance of the area as one of Europe's richest sources of tin, Tavistock was one of the four stannary towns appointed by charter of Edward I, where tin was stamped and weighed and monthly courts were held for the regulation of mining affairs.

Parish church

The church of Saint Eustachius (Eustace) (named after the Roman centurion who became a Christian) was dedicated by Bishop Stapledon in 1318 though there are very few remains of that building today.

It was rebuilt and enlarged into its current form between 1350 and 1450, at which time the Clothworkers' Aisle (an outer south aisle) was included, an indication of the growing importance of the textile industry to the local economy—the trade was protected by a 1467 statute. The whole is in the Perpendicular style and consists of a nave and chancel; both with two aisles, tower and outer south aisle.

It possesses a lofty tower supported on four open arches, one of which was reputedly added to accommodate the nineteenth century "tinners" or tin miners. Within are monuments to the Glanville and Bourchier families, besides some fine stained glass, one window being the work of William Morris and another of Charles Eamer Kempe.

It also has a roof boss featuring one of the so-called 'Tinners' Hares', a trio of rabbits/hares joined at and sharing three ears between them. The font is octagonal and dates from the fifteenth century.

Shaftesbury is a town on the Dorset border, 28 miles north-east from Dorchester. Roman coins have been found during excavations and the town was mentioned in the Domesday Book. An abbey was established in the 6th century and it was a place of pilgrimage at one time. The town is on a hill for which there is a steep ascent.

The parish of St Peter covers the main part of the town, St James covers the lower part of the town and was described as mainly small tenements in the 19th century. Holy Trinity is to the south and west. Under the Local Government Act of 1894 large parts of the  three parishes became the borough of Shaftesbury. 

Marnhull /ˈmɑrnəl/ is a village and civil parish in the county of Dorset in southern England. It lies in the Blackmore Vale in the North Dorset administrative district, 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the small town of Sturminster Newton. The resort towns of Bournemouth and Weymouth are approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south. Marnhull is sited on a low ridge of Corallian limestone above the valley of the River Stour, which forms the northern and western boundaries of the parish.

Saxon charters show that Marnhull existed as a village in the 10th century,[4] although the village's site has seen human occupation as early as the Iron Age,[4] and a Roman settlement was established at Ashley Wood in the east of the parish.

40.1. Establishing the Durnford family - The Conquest and Barony's in Cornwall - Some early history

To determine how the Durnfords became established, early research in to the lands,  after King William's invasion in 1066, provides some valuable background information

When King William divided the land into Barony's the holders of lands in Cornwall were:

Hugh de Port
post 1100
Adam I de Boivill(?)
post temp. H I
William de Stuteville
c. 1175
Descent as Earl of Cornwall
Hugh de Grandmesnil
Long Crendon
Walter I Giffard
Geoffrey I de Mandeville
temp. Henry I
Juhel de Totnes
Reginald I de Vautort (held from Count of Mortain)
Winterbourne St Martin
widow of Hugh FitzGrip
Richard FitzTurold
temp. William I(1066–108
Tarrant Keynston
Ralph de Kaines
Temp. Henry I

Earldom of Cornwall.                                 

The history of this title, before it was settled upon the King's eldest son, justifies Dr. Borlase's observation. William the Conqueror gave it to his relation, Robert Earl of Morteyne, commonly called Moreton, by whose son William, it was forfeited in the reign of Henry I.

The natural son of that monarch, Reginald Fitz-Henry, who was invested with the title by King  Stephen, left no legitimate male issue. King Henry II. gave the Earldom to his son John.

After this, Henry Fitz-Count, natural son of Reginald above-mentioned, enjoyed it for a few years by sufferance.

In 1219, he resigned it into the hands of King Henry III., and in 1224, the King's son Richard, afterwards King of the Romans, was created Earl of Cornwall.

From a painting Richard Earl
This Richard, Earl of Cornwall, left an only son Edmund, who dying without legitimate male issue, in 1300, the title again lapsed to the crown. King Edward II. gave it to his favourite, Piers de Gaveston, who was beheaded at Warwick in 1312.

After this, the title was not revived till the year 1328, when it was bestowed by King Edward III. on his second brother, John of Eltham.

The following year the King created his eldest son (afterwards known by the name of the Black Prince) Duke of Cornwall, and some years after procured an act of parliament for settling this title (together with the large possessions annexed to it) on the first-begotten son of the King of England.

On the death of this illustrious Prince, his son, afterwards Richard II., being not entitled to the dukedom by the act then lately passed, was created Duke of Cornwall by his grandfather. Since his time, the title has been enjoyed under this act , without creation, by the following illustrious personages:—Kings Henry V. and Henry VI., before their accession to the throne; Edward, son of the latter; Edward V.; Edward, son of Richard III.; Arthur, son of Henry VII., and his younger brother Henry, afterwards Henry VIII.; Henry, son of James I., and his younger brother Charles, afterwards Charles I.; Charles II.; King George II.; Frederick Prince of Wales, and its present possessor, His Royal Highness the Prince Regent.

Launceston Castle*

The Earls of Cornwall had their chief residence at Launceston castle; they also resided occasionally at the castles of Tintagel, Liskeard, Rostormel, and Moresk. Trematon was not in the immediate possession of the Earls till the reign of Edward III., from which time they have all ceased to be inhabited; for the county has never been honoured with the ducal residence, "by reason of which," says Carew, "the strength of their castles could not so guard them against the battery of time and neglect, but that from fair buildings, they fell into foul reparations; and from soul reparations, are now sunke into utter ruine."

*This castle is typical of what King William ordered to be built around the country, high on a hill with tremendous views!

Cornish Families which have been ennobled.

Edgcumbe, Earl Mount-Edgcumbe.—Although this nobleman's mansion of Mount-Edgcumbe, whence he takes his title, and which is his constant countryresidence, is situated in Devonshire, yet, as his demesne extends into Cornwall, the church-town of Maker, the parish in which Mount-Edgcumbe is situated, being in that county; — as Cotehele, the ancient residence of his ancestors, before they possessed Mount-Edgcumbe, still kept up and occasionally visited by the family, is on the Cornish bank of the Tamar;—as he possesses large estates in Cornwall, forfeited by Sir Henry Bodrugan, whose capital mansion of Bodrugan was many years a seat of the Edgcumbes; — his family comes expressly under the title prefixed to this head.

The Edgcumbes were originally of Eggescombe, or Edgecumbe, in the parish of Milton-Abbots, in Devonshire. In the reign of Edward III., William de Eggecombe married the heiress of William de Cotehele, and fixed his residence at Cotehele, in the parish of Calstock; his son married the heiress of Denset; his grandson, Joan, the heiress of Holland.     (daughter of John Holland and his wife Margaret)

 (not to be confused with Ann daughter of 3rd Duke of Exeter)

Sir Richard Edgcumbe, son of the latter, was a zealous and active friend of the Earl of Richmond, by whom he was knighted, at Bosworth-field, and from whom, after his accession to the crown, he received more substantial marks of his favour, by the appointment of Comptroller of the Household, the grant of Sir Henry Bodrugan's valuable estates before-mentioned, and the whole honor of Totness in Devonshire, forfeited by Lord Zouche.

Sir Piers Edgcumbe, son of Sir Richard, married the heiress of Dernford, (daughter of James Derneford and Margaret Bigbery) by which match he became possessed of Mount-Edgcumbe and Stonehouse, and considerable estates in Maker and Rame.

Richard Edgcumbe, Esq., the immediate descendant, was created Baron Edgcumbe of Mount-Edgcumbe in 1742.
George from a painting

In 1781, his younger son George, the third Lord Mount-Edgcumbe (having succeeded his elder brother in 1761) was created, in 1781, Viscount Mount-Edgcumbe and Valletort; and in 1789, Earl Mount-Edgcumbe. His son Richard, the present Earl, is LordLieutenant of the county of Cornwall.

Boscawen, Viscount Falmouth. — This ancient family were originally of Boscawen-Rose, in the parish of Burian, where they are traced to about the year 1200. They removed to Tregothnan, in St. Michael-Penkevil, in consequence of the marriage of John Boscawen with the heiress of Tregothnan, about the year 1330.

The descendants of this John have ever since continued at Tregothnan, having married the heiresses of Albalanda, Brett, and Trevanion, and coheiresses of Halep, Carminow, Trethurfe, Clinton, and Godfrey. The elder branch of the Boscawens became extinct in 1701, by the death of Hugh Boscawen, who married one of the coheiresses of Theophilus, Earl of Lincoln.

Bridget, a daughter, and eventually sole heiress of Hugh Boscawen, married Hugh Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh in Devonshire, on whom the title of Lord Clinton and Say was conferred by King George I.

The male line of the Boscawens was continued by Edward, a younger son of Hugh Boscawen, who died in 1641. Hugh Boscawen, Esq., of Tregothnan, son and heir of Edward, was in 1720 created Baron Boscawen-Rose, and Viscount Falmouth. Edward, the present and fourth Viscount Falmouth, is grandson of Admiral Boscawen, a most distinguished naval officer, who was a younger son of the first Viscount.                                              (The Boscowans were Sir Sidney Medows family)

Eliot, Lord Eliot. — This noble Lord's family is descended from the Eliots of Cutland, in Devonshire, which estate was given in exchange in the year 1565, by Richard Eliot, Esq., for the priory estate at St. Germans. The site of the priory became the residence of the Eliot family, and acquired the name of Port Eliot.

Daniel Eliot, Esq., who died in 1702, left an only daughter married to Browne Willis, Esq., the celebrated antiquary. To keep up the name of his family, he bequeathed his estate to Edward Eliot, grandson of Nicholas, fourth son of Sir John Eliot, who died in 1632, as we are informed on Browne Willis's authority.

Edward Eliot, Esq., a nephew of Edward above-mentioned, was created Baron Eliot of St. Germans, in 1784, and was succeeded by John Eliot Craggs, the present and second Lord Eliot. The Eliot family, after their settling in Cornwall, married the coheiress of Carswell, and sole heiress of Gedy. The late Lord Eliot married the heiress of Ellison, of South-Weald in Essex.

Trefusis, Lord Clinton and Say. — Although the ancient Cornish family of Trefusis did not acquire the barony of Clinton and Say till 1794, we are aware that his barony stands fourth in the list of English barons.

The Trefusis family is to be traced, as resident at Trefusis, in Milor, the seat of their descendant Lord Clinton, four generations before 1292. During the course of twenty-three descents, they have married the heiresses of Delechamp, Treviados, and Balun; and coheiresses of Martin, Halep, Tresithney, Colan, Trevanion, Gaverigan, and Cotton; besides the match with Rolle, through which the barony of Clinton and Say was acquired, Francis Trefusis, Esq. having married Bridget, daughter of Robert Rolle, Esq., of Heanton, who had married Arabella, the elder daughter and coheir of Theophilus Clinton, Earl of Lincoln.

The barony of Clinton and Say being in abeyance between the coheirs of this Earl, was given by King George I., in 1721, to Hugh Fortescue, son and heir of Hugh Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh, in Devonshire, by Bridget, sole heiress of Hugh Boscawen, of Tregothnan, who had married one of the coheiresses of Clinton, and who in 1746 was created Baron Fortescue, and Earl Clinton.

On His Lordship's decease without issue, in 1751, the barony of Clinton and Say  devolved to Margaret, only daughter of Samuel Rolle, Esq. (only brother of Bridget above-mentioned), then recently become the widow of Robert Walpole, second Earl of Orford. On the death of her son George, Earl of Orford, in 1791, this title was claimed by George William Trefusis, Esq., the descendant, in the fourth generation, of Francis Trefusis and Bridget Rolle.

The claim was allowed by the House of Lords in 1794. Robert Cotton St. John Trefusis, the present Lord Clinton and Say, succeeded his father in 1797, being then a minor. Trefusis house is still the family-seat.

Basset, Lord de Dunstanville. — The ancient family of Basset of Cornwall and Devonshire are descended from Osmund Basset, most probably a younger son of Sir Ralph Basset, the justiciary, in the reign of Henry I., as Sir Ralph was, in all probability, the grandson of Osmund Basset of Normandy, whose name appears, in 1050, as witness to an agreement respecting the abbey of St. Ebrulf, at Utica.

The connection of the Bassets of Cornwall with the ancient family of Dunstanville is incorrectly stated in pedigrees apparently of the first authority, which represent them as descended from Thomas Basset and Alice Dunstanville.

The fact is, that Thomas Basset, son of Gilbert, a younger son of the justiciary, and himself one of the justices of England (22 Henry III.), did marry Alice, daughter of Robert de Dunstanville, by whom he had three sons, Gilbert, Thomas, and Alan: Gilbert, the eldest, was founder of Bicester priory, in Oxfordshire, and to him King Henry II. confirmed the manors of Shalefeld and Aldeford, in Surrey, as having been the marriage-portion of his mother Alice Dunstanville ; the sole heiress of this Gilbert married Verdun, and afterwards Camville, and the sole heiress of Camville, William de Longespee, Earl of Salisbury.   (one of our great grandfathers)

 Thomas, the second son of Thomas Basset, and Alice, above-mentioned, inherited part of the barony of Namptwich in Cheshire, and left three daughters coheiresses; Sir Alan, the third son, possessed Compton in Oxfordshire, by the gift, as some say, of his uncle, Walter de Dunstanville, or, according to Dugdale, of his elder brother Gilbert , to whom it had been given by the said Walter.

This Sir Alan, who died 17 Henry III., had a son and heir, Gilbert, who was ancestor of the Bassets of Wycombe, Bucks, (a baronial family,) whose sole heiress married Roger de Bigod, Earl of Norfolk.
Having traced the posterity of Thomas Basset and Alice Dunstanville, to show that the Bassets of Cornwall are not descended from them, we have only to state briefly, that William Basset, Lord of Stoke-Basset and Ipsden, in Oxfordshire, (son of John, son of Osmund, which Osmund lived in the reign of Richard I. , and was, as we suppose, a younger son of the justiciary) married Cecilia, daughter of Alan de Dunstanville , with whom he is said to have had Menalida, in Cornwall, as a marriage-portion.

Sir Alan, son of William Basset, had Whitechapel and Heyne in Devonshire, as a marriage-portion with Lucy Peverell. Their chief Devonshire seats were Umberlegh, and Heanton-Court, both of which came into the family with the heiress of Beaumont.

From an early period, they resided also at Tehidy, in Cornwall, the mansion-house, probably, of the same estate which, at the time of the first William Basset's marriage, might have been called Menalida. William Basset had the royal licence to embattle his manor-house of Tehidy in Cornwall, in 1330.

English: John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton(1602-1678) 
About the middle of the sixteenth century, the family of Basset became divided into two branches; the Devonshire branch descended from John, elder son of Sir John Basset, by Honora Grenville, which branch became extinct, in the male line, by the death of Francis Basset, Esq., about the year 1796; and the Cornish branch descended from George, younger son of Sir John and Honora above-mentioned.

 Before the separation of the branches, this ancient family had married the heiresses of Balun, Walleis, Helligan  , Beaumont, and Budockside. Since that separation, the Cornish branch has married the heiresses of Delbridge, Hele, and Pendarves, and coheiresses of Spencer and Prideaux.

By the coheiress of Spencer there was no issue. Francis Basset, Esq., the immediate descendant and male representative of the Bassets of Devonshire and Cornwall, was created a baronet in 1779, and in 1796 a baron, by the title of Lord de Dunstanville, of Tehidy Park, in the county of Cornwall, to him and the heirs-male of his body: in 1797, he was created also Lord Basset of Stratton, with remainder, in default of his own issue-male, to Frances, his only daughter, and her issue male.

The Ancient Feudal Manor and Lordship

of Winterborne St. Martin (Dorsetshire)

The family of Fitz Grip

After the conquest in 1066, King William assumed the position of Edward's lawful successor. Every man who had fought against him was judged unworthy of holding any English land and for some one hundred years Englishmen were disqualified from holding any position of authority or honour in the church or State. 

The effects on Dorset were profound. Much pillaging took place at the hand of the Sheriff of Dorset, Hugh Fitz Grip during which many manors between Dorchester and Exeter were sacked and seized together with half of Dorchester's houses. Hugh Fitz Grip and his wife also seized land of the Abbot of Abbotsbury.

In 1086, the widow of Hugh de St Quentin son of Grip, ("Uxor Huonis filii Grip") held the manor of Martinstown from the king and the value had gone down to £6.00. Some commentators consider this was a consequence of her widowhood and inability to manage her estates as well as her husband rather that a reflection of the economics of the time. 

Such was Martinstown by the end of the first Millennium. At the Domesday Survey the Commissioners returned her as holding 47 manors or parcels of land of which ten were in Purbeck. Besides these she held other lands as subtenant. 

Her husband, Hugh Fitz Grip (also known as Hugh of Wareham), had also been a landowner in Dorset, holding eight manors of Queen Matilda, (wife of King William 1). He died before 1086. His lands had escheated (passed back) to the Crown (no doubt for want of issue), and were then held by the King. Little of him is known except that he was sheriff of the county.

A charter of William the Conqueror relating to Abbotsbury Abbey is addressed to "Hermano Episcopo et H. Filio Grip omnibusque barononibus suis," and it was customary at that early date for the King to address charters to the bishop (Hermano Episcopo) and sheriff (Filio Grip omnibusque Barononibus Suis) of the county.

Domesday offers no answer to the parentage of this wealthy widow, and how she had acquired this large estate. A charter found amongst the grants of the Norman Abbey of Montivillier and printed in "Gallia Christiana" throws light on the subject. It shows that Hadwidis, daughter of Nicholas de Baschelvilla, wife of Hugh de Varham (Wareham), son of Gripon, gave the manor of Waldune (the adjoining manor of Waddon), with the advice and consent of her husband to the church of the Monastery of "Saint Mary Villarensis" for the health of her own soul and that of her husband and of her friends, the great King William assenting, before his barons.

They included Jeffery Martel, brother of Hugh fitz Grip. The houses of Martel and Baschelvilla were of common origin. Little is known of Nicholas de Baschelvilla but it can be presumed this was a reward by the Duke of Normandy who rewarded him for his services by a grant of this Barony.

Today, none of the honours conferred by William Rufas, Henry I, Stephen, Henry II, Richard I or John exist.

At the time marriages were bought and sold, the overlord being entitled to the purchase money. It cannot be supposed that this wealthy heiress would be long permitted to enjoy the independence of widowhood. There is no direct or positive evidence of her re-marriage, but circumstantial evidence leads to the conclusion that she had for her second husband, Alured (or Alfred) de Lincoln.

One of the influences in the decline of many rural communities were changes in ownership or tenancy. The cumulative effect on estates that became united by marriage, led to a change in geographical focus that often resulted in movement of labour. 

Mention of marriage raises an interesting issue of medieval social history, namely the inheritance of land through heiresses as witnessed with the wife of Hugh fitz Grip and later with the daughters of Alured de Lincoln IV.

The lack of male heirs to Dorset estates often led to estates being passed through the female line, and what were, in effect mergers, had great influence on the settlements on the estates. Prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, unmarried women had little choice other than marriage or the surrender of their property to the Church. 

Thus union has enlarged many of the largest estates in the county with estates inherited by heiresses whose subsequent marriage owed more to necessity than choice.

The unsentimental manner in which marriages were contracted and the kind of pressure put upon ladies to marry men selected for them is shown later in the record of King John in 1204.
"Know that we have given in marriage to Randolf Tirell, our servant, a daughter of Falk de Oiri, who was the wife of J Belet, and we command her that she receive him as her husband".
And so it was that the settlement of Frome Belet near Dorchester would disappear. 

The Osmyngtone families appear to have lived in the Dorset area since around the time leading up to Domesday, 1086/8, where we find Hugh Fitz Grip known as Hugh De Quarham i.e. Hugh of Warham.

Hugh Fitz Grip (Hugh of Warham) had also been a landowner in Dorset, holding eight manors of Queen Matilda, wife of King William 1. He died before 1086. His lands had escheated (passed back) to the Crown (no doubt for want of issue), and were then held by the King. Little of him is known except that he was sheriff of the county.

Hugh and his wife Hadwidis had close links to Osmington and the surrounding area as much pillaging took place at the hand of this Sheriff of Dorset, Hugh, during which many Manors between Dorchester and Exeter were sacked and seized together with half of Dorchester’s houses. Hugh and his wife also seized lands of the Abbot of Abbotsbury.