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
Hugh de Port
Adam I de Boivill(?)
post temp. H I
William de Stuteville
Descent as Earl of Cornwall
Hugh de Grandmesnil
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
temp. William I(1066–108
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|
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.
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)|
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
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.
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.