Captain Gernegan

Part 6 of the Jerningham Story

Concluding our search for Bryan, Prince of Denmark
root of the Jerningham Tree.

Bryan is a Breton name. So it’s not surprising that our quest has brought us to the North Riding of Yorkshire in 12th-13th century where the greater part of the land was held of the honour of Richmond. Since from the Domesday Survey until the early Tudors, the lords of that honour were Bretons.

  • Alan I Lord of Richmond 1071-89
  • Alan II Lord of Richmond 1089-1093 (Alan I’s brother)
  • Count Stephen, Lord of Richmond 1093-1135 (Alan I & IIs brother)
  • Alan III Lord of Richmond 1135-1146 (son of Count Stephen)
  • Conan IV Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1146-1171 (son of Alan III)
  • Constance Countess of Richmond 1171-1186 (daughter of Conan)
  • Geoffrey II (Plantagenet), Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1181-1186 (husband of Constance)
  • Arthur I, Plantagenet, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1187–1203 (son of Constance and Geoffrey)
  • Eleanor, Maid of Brittany, imprisoned Countess of Richmond (Arthur’s sister)
  • Reverted to Crown
  • Peter de Dreux, Earl of Richmond 1219 – 1235 (husband of Alice, daughter of Constance)
  • Reverted to Crown
    John I, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1268-1286 (son of Peter de Dreux)
  • John de Dreux, II, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1286-1305 (son of John I)
  • John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond, 1306-1334 (son of John II)
  • John III, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1334-1341 (John of Brittany’s nephew; grandson of John II)
  • John IV, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond 1341-1342
  •  and on . . .


Bedale, a parish in the North Ridings of Yorkshire, south of Richmond, sits amid the rich green pastures of the Swale valley. Within its bounds are the villages of Askew, Firby, Burrill and Cowling, Crakehall and Langthorne –  or so says the author of A History of the County of York North Riding, Volume 1.

Before the Normans came and changed everything, the lord of Bedale had been Thorfinnr, and Bedale had been but a part of his vast estate. But our interest isn’t with him. Rather, it lies with the post-Hastings’ holder. In 1086 Bedale was part of Count Alan’s honour of Richmond, held of him by Bodin.

Bodin also held Ravensworth of the honour of Richmond, land which again had been Thorfinnr’s, pre-Hastings.

Breton genealogiest used to claim Bodin was one of Alan’s illegitimate brothers; Bardolf, and Ribald, lord of Middleham, were two others. The argument ran that since both Count Alan and Bodin had brothers named Bardolf that they must be one and the same. But the only evidence that Bardolf was Bodin’s brother was the fact that Bodin left his land to Bardolf when he became a monk at St Mary’s Abbey in York – which act was repeated by Ribald with his ‘brother’ Bardolf. Bardolf, the beneficiary of both wills, became suddenly ‘landed’. He’d held nothing in 1086.

The trouble with this scenario is that both the FitzHughs and the FitzAlans claim land descended from Bodin, but only the FitzHughs are able to Bardolf. Whence the FitzAlans land?

More recent genealogists have put on their thinking caps and come up with this suggestion. Bodin had no brother Bardolf. The Bardolf to whom his willed half his land was his son-in-law – who probably was the brother of Count Alan and Ribald. In effect, Bodin has been disinherited, no longer the (illegitimate) son of Eudes, Count of Penthievre.

The genealogists say more. This Bodin had not one, but two daughters to whom he left lands, which accounts for the claims of both the FitzHughs and FitzAlans.

It is this second daughter who interests us. She married one Scolland, given in the Bedale account as ‘dapifer’ or steward to Alan III Lord of Richmond (1135-1146). Moreover, Scolland begot a son upon Bodin’s unnamed daughter. They named the said son Brian. We find this same Brian, son of Scolland, circa 1183, as lord of Bedale.

Unknown father
~ Bodin, became a monk
~ ~ daughter m Bardolf, illegitimate son/Eudes, count of Penthievre (ancestor to the FitzHughs)
~ ~ daughter m Scolland, steward to Alan III, lord of Richmond (ancestor to the FitzAlans)
~ ~ ~ Brian, son of Scolland

We also find Brian son of Scolland in Norfolk, at Castle Acre. In the company of Jernegan.

“This family is said to be of Danish extraction. The first I meet with upon record is Jernegan, which is mentioned in the Castle Acre Register, fo. 63b, as a witness to a deed without date, by which Bryan, son of Scolland, confirmed the church of Melsombi to the monks of Castle Acre, and died about the year 1182. He married Sibilla, who in 1183 paid 100l, of her gift into the Exchequer. His son was called

” 2. Hugh or Hubert Fitz Jernegan: he gave a large sum of money to King Henry II and paid it into the Exchequer anno 1182. He was witness to a deed in 1195, by which divers lands were granted to Byland Abbey in Yorkshire. He married Maud, daughter and co-heir of Thorpine, son of Robert de Watheby, and died anno 1203 . . .”

The Baronetage of England, Vol 1
Rev William Betham, 1801

This account, Betham tells us in a footnote, was mostly taken from “Blomefield’s Norfolk.”

Francis Blomefield’s account in his An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 2,Hundred of Forehoe: Cossey’, pp. 406-419, reads almost identical:

“The first that I meet with of this family was called

1. Hugh, without any other addition, whose son was named

2. Jernegan, and was always called Jernegan Fitz-Hugh, or the son of Hugh; he is mentioned in the Castle-Acre Register, fo. 63b, as a witness to a deed without date, by which Brian, son of Scolland, confirmed the church of Melsombi to the monks of Castle-Acre. He married Sibill, who, in 1183, paid 100l. of her gift into the Exchequer, after her husband’s death; (fn. 18) his son was called

3. Hugh, or Hubert, son of Jernegan . . .”
[original layout]

Castle Acre
William de Warenne, more usually known as the Earl of Warenne, founded the priory of Castle Acre in 1088 as a cell of the Cluniac house at Lewes (In the Domesday Book, William de Warenne held the honour of Lewes). Although the de Warenne family started the ball rolling with gifts of Norfolk churches, it wasn’t long before every Norman lord in the land was donating. Brian son of Scolland was not alone in it. But Blomefield’s account in his History of Norfolk for Castle Acre gives us no more information of this. So we must return to A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 edited by William Page, ‘Melsonby‘, pp. 104-109.

The church at Melsonby dates at least to 1086. We’re told here, the same as Blomefield and Betham have said, that Brian son of Scolland, lord of Bedale, “is said to have confirmed the church to the monks of CastleAcre”. That gift of the church could be called into question, since in 1208 the advowson was still held by Brian’s successor, Brian FitzAlan, whose descendants became the later lords of Bedale. Perhaps there were two churches in Melsonby, although only one is given in Domesday Book.

But whether the gift was made of this particular church or another, the passage does confirm beyond any doubt that Jernegan, “always called Jernegan Fitz-Hugh, or the son of Hugh” stood witness to Brian son of Scolland. There is a connection.

But was the connection more than Jernegan being on hand when Brian made the grant? Was there perhaps some family relationship? We do not suggest that Jernegan might be Brian’s son, as implied by, for Jernegan “was always called Jernegan Fitz-Hugh, or the son of Hugh”.

Neither could Gernegan and Brian be brothers, since Brian was son of Scolland. At last, not unless Brian and Hugh were one and the same.

So who was this Scolland?


Count Alan built for himself a castle at Hindrelagh on the banks of the Swale. Richmonte, he called it. Perhaps it was complete by 1086 although there is no mention of it in the Domesday Book. Like all Norman castles, its intent was to dominate. And it does. Even to this day the high, blank curtain wall that surrounded the main court rears up like a solid cliff-face. Also remaining in exceptional state of preservation, is Robin Hood’s Tower and Scolland’s Hall. All belong to 11th century.

Scolland must have been an important personage at the castle for a hall to be named for him, a name that has remained to this day. The online surname database suggests the Scolland name derives from “the rare Norman personal name Escotland, composed of the ethnic name ‘Scot’ plus ‘land’ meaning ‘territory’,” more specifically from around Loch Leven in Kinross. The compilers date the name’s appearance to 1081 in Kent, and 1086 in feudal documents from the abbey of St Edmundsbury. I found it in Sussex, in Twineham Benfield, a manor Scolland held of William de Warenne.

This might explain why his son Brian was so inclined as to donate a Yorkshire church to the de Warenne’s Norfolk priory. It might also explain why we find mention of one Gernegan and his son Ralph in the same southern county.

“Inspeximus and confirmation by Ralph the second, bishop of Chichester, the king’s chancellor, of a charter whereby Sefrid the second, bishop of Chichester, his predecessor, confirmed to the canons regular of the causeway of Arundel (de Calceto Arundell’), serving God therein the hostel of the poor of Christ . . . of the gift of Gernagan de Palinges, and by the grant of his son Ralph:—part of their land, as they confirmed it . . .”

Two witness lists are given: those for the initial grant, and those for the confirmation. The floruit dates of the persons of the first list dates the grant to between 1178 and 1192.

From  A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds:
Volume 5
, Deeds: A.11501 – A.11600, pp. 155-174.

This date is confirmed by a mention in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester‘, Rogate’ pp. 21-27.

“Gernagod’s holding later became known as the manor of Wenham, described as a member of Harting in 1195, and was held of the Bohuns of Midhurst. Gernagan and his wife Basile gave to the Abbey of Durford, Alwin Bulluc and his land. Ralph son of Gernagan gave the abbey the tithes of his mill at Wenham, and in 1195 land of Ralph Gernagan at Wenham was an escheat . . .”

That this Ralph son of Gernegan is of our same target family is as close as confirmed by the index of a CD Book, Richmondshire Churches by H. B. McCall where we find listed:

  • Hugh, son of Gernegan of Tanfield
  • Ralph, son of Gernegan.of Tanfield

Returning to Scolland: At some time between 1137 and 1146 he us named in a charter of Alan II, Earl of Richmond, “native of England, and a count of Brittany.”

“. . . [Alan] gives to the church of the Holy Trinity of Savigny, in alms, for the souls of his father and mother, of his wife and son, all his land of Englebye, into the hands of Dom (domnus) Peter the monk, to be held for ever, to the service of God, quit of all demands. He desires that this gift may be manifest to all who come after him, specially to (tibi precipue) Roald as his constable, Theobald his chaplain, Scolland and all, French and English, both clerk and lay, that he grants it free of all service and gives the said Peter all that he held in the abbey’s land. All his posterity, therefore is to know that this land given by him in meadows and woods, in pastures and waters, is to be possessed in peace.
[my italics]
(Original in archives of Mortain Cartulary, fo. 76. Trans. Vol. III. fo. 88.)

From Calendar of Documents Preserved in France: 918-1206
La Manche: Part 2, pp. 281-308

  • Roald as his constable
  • Theobald his chaplain
  • Scolland
  • and all, French and English, both clerk and lay

How easily are errors made and replicated. For in this Calendar of Documents Preserved in France: 918-1206, ‘General Index: S, T, U’Scolland appears as “chaplain of Alan, count of Britanny.” But Scolland was steward, Theobald was chaplain.

Eppleby is given as one of several manors in the parish of Gilling, (pp. 71-84, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1).It was assessed at half a knight’s fee, but was part of the larger fee known as the ‘fee of the chamberlain’ of the lords of Richmond, the remainder being in Askham, Fencotes and Killerby. In 12th century the chamberlain was Robert, son of Odo who was chamberlain in 1086. Theobald was so of Robert. But the position of chamberlain soon became divorced from the hold of the fee, and by 1204, when Theobald’s son Fulk held land in Eppleby, the chamberlains had become mere mesne lords.

Odo, chamberlain to Lord of Richmond fl 1086
~ Robert, chamberlain, lord of Eppleby
~ ~ Maud (see below) dbef 1204
~ ~ Theobald, chaplain to Alan III fl 1135-46
~ ~ ~ Fulk, lord of Eppleby fl 1204

Meanwhile . . .

“. . . the place of the chamberlain in Scolland’s Hall in Richmond Castle came to Conan de Kelfield . . .”

The author doesn’t tell us yet we know that Conan de Kelfield is the same Conan son of Torphin de Watheby, he being grandson of Goderida, daughter of Hermer, lord of Kelfield and Manfield.(See Casterton graphic, Northern Roots). Conan, we’re told, was “ancestor of the Fitz Henrys of Liverton and Manfield, who were afterwards enfeoffed in Eppleby and Fencotes”. But this Conan is Conan “son of Henry”. From the Manfield account we know that Conan had a son named Henry (fl 1202), who in turn had a son named Henry (fl 1274). And they being English we can as good as guarantee that Henry had another son named Conan.

Conan de Kelfield, Chamberlain in Richmond Castle fl. 1204, son/Torphin of Manfield
~ Henry fl. 1227 of Liverton and Manfield
~ ~ Conan FitzHenry
~ ~ Henry FitzHenry fl 1287

The account goes on, ploughing through Conans and Henrys until the head implodes; we’ll move on.

A second part of this ‘fee of the chamberlain’ was held by the FitzHughs of Ravensworth, who traced descent from Bardolf, brother of Count Alan (see above).

To refresh our memories:
~ Bodin
~ ~ daughter m Bardolf, son/Eudes, count of Penthievre (ancestor to FitzHughs)
~ ~ daughter m Scolland (ancestor to FitzAlans)
~ ~ ~ Brian, son of Scolland

The Bardolf line can be expanded using information given in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, Kirkby Ravensworth, pp. 87-97:

Bardolf, Lord of Ravensworth
~ Acharis d 1160
~ ~ Hervey d 1182
~ ~ ~ Henry dbef 12112 m Alice, dau/Randulf FitzWalter
~ ~ ~ ~ Ranulf FitzHenry dbef 1238 m Alice, dau/Adam, Lord of Stavely

Ranulf FitzHenry held the second part of the ‘fee of the chamberlain’ in Eppleby in 1227. Maud, daughter of Robert the Chamberlain (see above)also held here, but she died before 1204.

We can safely conclude that Scolland, and perhaps Brian too, served the lords of Richmond as steward. Not as chaplain or chamberlain. But what of Gernegan, son of Hugh?

We must now head cross country to the East Riding of Yorkshire – or rather to the 1976 publication A History of the County of York East Riding (K J Allison, Editor, A P Baggs, G H R Kent, and J D Purdy) ‘Volume 3: Ouse and Derwent wapentake. Here we find Kelfield.

Kelfield is a village in the parish of Stillingfleet. Some 7 miles south of York, on the banks of the river Ouse, it too was a part of the honour of Richmond. In 1086 Hermer (fl 1089-1114) held it of Count Alan; it remained with his heirs until, in 1346, it was given to Selby abbey.

The lordship of Kelfield passed from Hermer’s family to Henry son of Conan, “sometimes described as ‘of Kelfield’.” (See Northern Roots)

Others held manors here, Hugh son of Baldric, for example. He held Moreby.

“. . . by 1346 this had become part of the Marmion fee. (fn. 85)   . .”

From A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 3:
Ouse and Derwent wapentake,
Stillingfleet, pp. 101-112.

Footnote 85:

“. . . Avice (fl. 1280), daughter and heir of Jernegan son of Hugh a descendant of Hugh, the earl of Richmond’s steward in 1138-45, married Rob. Marmion . . .”
[my italics].

Now are we to read this as:
Jernegan son of Hugh was a descendant of Hugh, the earl of Richmond’s steward?
Or that Avice was a descendant of Hugh, the earl of Richmond’s steward?

Avice claimed descent, through her mother, from Hermer de Kelfield. And

“. . . the place of the chamberlain in Scolland’s Hall in Richmond Castle came to Conan de Kelfield . . .”

Avice claimed descent from the chamberlain, not the steward, at Richmond castle. Which means the correct reading of the passage is that Jernegan son of Hugh was a descendant of Hugh, the earl of Richmond’s steward.

Which presents a problem.

We now have two stewards, Scolland and Hugh, both of whom served Alan III, earl of Richmond, 1135-1146. That, of course, is an eleven year period, ample time for one to die and the other replace him. But, as with that of the chamberlain, around this time, or even before, the position of steward became hereditary. This made sense since the son learned from his father, making him intimate with whatever the peculiarities of the castle. So who was the father and who the son?

Was it this?
Hugh fl 1135, steward to Alan III
~ Scolland fl 1086 m daughter/Bodin
~ ~ Brian dc 1180 w/o issue
~ Gernegan dc 1182 m Sibilla
~ ~ Hugh/Hubert Fitz Jernegan d 1203 m Maud de Morville, dau/Torphin de Watheby
~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert Jernegan of Horham d 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan of Horham and Stonham d 1272 m Ellen Inglesthorpe

Or this?
Scolland fl 1086 m daughter/Bodin
~ Brian dc 1180 w/o issue
~ Hugh fl 1135, steward to Alan III
~ ~ Gernegan dc 1182 m Sibilla
~ ~ ~ Hugh/Hubert Fitz Jernegan d 1203 m Maud de Morville, dau/Torphin de Watheby
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert Jernegan of Horham d 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan of Horham and Stonham d 1272 m Ellen Inglesthorpe

Or to ask it another way: Was Gernegan the uncle of Brian, or was Brian Gernegan’s uncle? Either way, Gernegan was not the son. And considering what few dates that we have, I’d say rather it was the latter, that Scolland, evidenced in 1086, was the father, and Hugh, whose son Gernegan died circa 1182, was the son.

But we come now to another problem.

The Steward

In 1086, the manor of Aske was held of the honour of Richmond by Wihomarc (Wimer or Wymar) Count Alan’s steward. We’ve already remarked that the positions of Richmond’s steward, chamberlain (and constable) were in the process of bcoming hereditary. But were they yet?

We find, still with the manor of Aske, in the parish of Easby, that Wihomarc’s son Warner also was steward. We’re told that the descendants of Wihomarc took the territorial name of Aske, and that the office of steward was theirs. And we’re also told that Roger de Aske, a tenant of Warner son of Wymar, fl.1154-71, was also a steward.

“ . . . both Warner the Steward son of Wymar and Roger the Steward were witnesses to an undated charter of Count Stephen, while Roger son of Wymar was among the men of Count Stephen in 1131 and was possibly Roger his steward . . .”

 From: A History of the County of York North Riding:
Volume 1, Easby, pp. 51-64.

But then we’re told that Conan de Aske, steward in 1183 “had care of the wapentakes”. And there lies the answer.

A magnate such as the lord of Richmond had more than one steward. It might help our understanding if we rename the steward as ‘manager’. And there would be a manager for the castle, and a manager for the home-farms, and then managers for each of the collections of manors in the widely dispersed regions of the honour . . . In the case of the honour of Richmond, one might expect a steward to oversee the East Anglian holdings, which probably was Wihomarc’s role since in 1086 he held seven manors there and only three in Yorkshire.

Scolland was steward at Richmond castle. This we know. There is a hall at the castle named particularly for him. For Hugh the evidence is thinner. Yet ‘the Earl of Richmond’s steward’ does imply that he served at the castle rather than the wapentakes or yet farther afield. And the Gernegan name is consistently linked to that of Scolland and his son Brian. That makes it a 90% safe conclusion.


I must at this point be honest. I believe that ‘Bryan Jerningham’ was added in to the accounts at some recent date. A mistake stemming from the grant of the church of Melsombi to the monks of Castle-Acre. Bryan was slipped from Scolland to Jerningham. I can even guess at whose nimble fingers effected the error; an error that was then endlessly multiplied in every reference to the Jerningham tree.

Yet that error has directed us to the honour of Richmond and to Hugh and to Scolland, the castle stewards. It has led not to the uncovering of a lie, as I had expect when first I began this journey, but to the discovery that Brian, though not the actual root of the tree, still was related, an uncle of the ancestral Gernegan fitz Hugh.


It is tempting to leave the quest here. We have done what we set out to do, to uncover the truth of Bryan Jerningham. From the start I’ve said that his name was Breton. So it is saftisfying to discover him the son of Bodin, a Breton. Moreover, our results confirm the conclusion of others seeking the origin of the Gernegan/Jernegan name, namely that the name came from Brittany. gives Jernigan:

“. . . variant spelling of English Jernegan, which is of uncertain derivation. Reaney believes it to be of Breton origin, probably identical with the Old Breton personal name Iarnuuocon ‘iron famous’, taken to East Anglia by Bretons at the time of the Norman Conquest.” offers Jernigan:

“. . . a combination of Norwegian, Welsh and French origin. Closely related to the name of Dragoo, which is a surname for Jernigan, refers to soldiers. The last name took on usually by French soldiers, that happened to be mounted, but not cavalry.”

Urbandictionary then goes on to say:

“Earliest record found in Dooms Day Book of William the Conqueror, as Jernigen . . .”

When first I bought the Penguin paperback translation of the Domesday Book, so fired up with enthusiasm I set about inputting it to spreadsheet, the easier to access. My enthusiasm waned by the time I reached Norfolk (I was working through the counties alphabetically), so I added Yorkshire, which was my prime interest, and abandoned the project. However, I have more recently inputted the data for Suffolk. Lo! I found Jarnagot, or Jarnacot, holding Battisford and Wattisham of Eudo fitz Spirewic, who also was Breton. The French having an aversion to initial G, unless combined with ‘-u-‘, this Jarnagot almost certainly translates as Gernegot. The –ot is a typical French ending.

I have since scanned the remaining counties – Northamptonshire to Wiltshire – and though I might have missed it, I much doubt it. So I must conclude that the urbandictionary’s Jernigen is either this same Jarnagot or is taken from the later Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry III: volume 7: 1251-1253, pp. 228-239 – July 1252.

“Willelmus le Bretun constitutus est etc. ad assisam nove disseisine capiendam quam Willelmus de Cyricy arramiavit versus Hugonem Jarnigan de quadam via obstructa in Parva Stanham’. Et mandatum est vicecomiti Suff’.”
[my italics]

I tried very hard to connect ‘Gernegan, son of Hugh’ to this Jarnagot, Suffolk tenant of Eudo fitz Spirewic – especially since during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) Sir Hubert Jernegan, son of Hugh fitz Gernegan and Maud de Watheby, is much evidenced in the same county, being by then a tenant of the honour of Eye. But there is no evidence of their connection and so we must conclude they are two different families.

Blomefield, in his Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 2(1805), Cossey, pp. 406-419, also points us to Brittany, though in a round-about way.

“. . . it was a common name in France, as we find from Lobmeau in his History of Britain, vol. i. p. 105, where Jernegon de Pontchasteau, and some others of the name, are mentioned . . .”

Lobmeau wasn’t easy to find. He didn’t write a History of Britain but a History of Bretaigne (Brittany). And I still haven’t found it.

What I did find in the process was Thomas Fuller’s The Church History of Britain, Vol 1, published 1845 and available as a free ebook download from Thomas Fuller, 1608-1661, seems to have had a passion for the Battle Abbey Roll of Companions, i.e. those who supposedly fought at the Battle of Hastings. He has analysed the several versions from every angle. But what interests us is that no Jarnagot or Gernegan or any other version of the name appears in the lists.

Perhaps the Jernegan family felt no need to bribe to scribes to be included – for most of those listed are late additions, penned to give credence to the lords-come-lately. The Jernegans didn’t need this. They had evidence of their ancestral feet standing upon English soil long before William arrived with his Normans.

Before leaving the subject of the Gernegan name, consider this: Iarnuuocon = iron-famous (we’ll come to what exactly that means in a moment). The name can be divided into its two component parts: Iarnu- ‘iron’, and –uocon ‘famous’,or ‘renowned’.

To take the second part first, this is formed on the Indo-European root, gen-, gno-, the same root gives us ‘genius’ and ‘gnostic’. Breton is a language developed from Welsh, and in 1066 the two sounded exactly the same. The Linguistics Research Centre for the University of Texas has an excellent searchable database of Proto Indo-European Etyma and Reflexes, but it’s an ongoing project with as yet more Germanic languages covered than Celtic. So we must rely upon a modern English-Welsh lexicon.

Here we find that ‘renowned’ when used as an adjective is enwog. We can see easily enough how that follows.

–uoc-on ‘famous’, Old Breton
(en)wog. ‘renowned’ Modern Welsh

So now for the first element, iron.

The word for ‘iron’ in Old English was isern, in Old Saxon isarn, in Old Norse, likewise, isarn. Not much variation there. But a change appears in Icelandic with jarn. And likewise in Danish, jarn.

But the language we label as Old Norse had been universally spoken across the Scandinavian lands – and that includes Danelaw and anywhere else the Vikings had settled: Normandy; the coasts and river-valleys of Brittany. Until in the eleventh century when Danish began to change away from the Old Norse that would evolve into Icelandic. That jarn is the same in Icelandic as in Danish, yet differs from the earlier Old Norse isarn suggests that the change dates to the eleventh century – to the time of Swein Forkbeard and his son, King Cnut.

And what is the old Breton word for ‘iron’? Pre-Roman colonisation, the word was *isarno- (see ProtoCelt.pdf), the same as in the Germanic languages. Yet in modern Welsh it is haearn.

The Brythonic branches of the Celtic language – Gaulish, Welsh, Cumbrian, Cornish, Breton – has a feature shared with ancient Greek, perhaps because they evolved in close proximity. They take an initial S- of a word and make it H-. The most obvious example of this is ‘salt’, which with the initial change gave us Halstatt, the famous Iron Age settlement around the salt-mines of Celtic Austria.

So we ought not be surprised that the Brythonic Celts of Gaul took *isarno- and made it haearn.

Except, if they did this, how then did Gernegan’s Iron-Renowned ancestor acquire the name of Iarnuuocon? If this name had arisen in the native Celtic tongue surely it would have been Harnuocon. There would be no reason to make the initial I– into a J– to then become the G– of Gernegan.

So, while accepting that the name of Gernegan is evidenced in Brittany, we ought to query whether it arose there. Jarnegan, ‘Iron Renowned’ was more likely a Danish name, one to be found in the English Danelaw, as well as amongst the old Viking settlements of Brittany.

As to its meaning. . . The epithet ‘Iron Famed’ refers to one skilled at pattern-welding, a particular feature of northern blade-technology, a must for every serious Viking warrior. And one able to perfect the craft surely would be famed. Since this was a skill passed from father to son the name would soon have become detached from the craft.

Captain Gernegan

To quote in full a footnote from Rev William Betham’s Baronetage of England, Vol 1

 “. . . Weever, fo. 770, tells us, that ‘the name of Jerningham has been of exemplary note from before the conquest, and adds the following account, as extracted out of the pedigree of the family, anno MXXX. Canute, king of Denmarke and of England, after his return from Rome, brought with him diverse captains and souldiers from Denmarke, whereof the greater part were christened here in England, and began to settle themselves here, of whom Jernegan or Jerningham, and Jenihingo, now Jennings, were of most esteem with Canute, who did give unto the sayde Jerningham certaine royalties; and at a parliament held at Oxford, the sayde King Canute did give unto the sayde Jerningham certaine manors in Norfolk; and to Jennings certaine manors, lying upon the sea side, neere Harwich in Suffolke, in regard of the former services done to his father, Swenus, king of Denmark . . . I have not been able to discover whence the above note was taken by Weever; the pedigree however of this family can be traced up to a period little subsequent to the conquest . . .”

From this arises two questions:

  1. Why did the Jernegans claim Danish ancestors at a time when it was safer to be Norman or Breton?
  2. Where were these “certaine manors” in Norfolk?

Plus I have a third:
How did Scolland, who in 1086 is evidenced as a tenant of William de Warenne in Sussex, by 1135 become steward to the Bretons of Richmond?


Before we begin this stage of our journey, to enable us the better to fill in the gaps, I have gathered together every gleaned shred of evidence to produce a gene-chart for the Gernegan roots. It is not one that is found anywhere else. The numbered members are those not previously mentioned, or have additional evidence relating. The evidence for each follows, mostly as cut-&-paste quotes.

Hugh (speculated)
~ Scolland, steward at Richmond Castle m dau/Bodin
~ ~ Gernagot of York, monk at Whitby fl 1120-1153 (1)
~ ~ ~ Nicholas fl 1161-1194, cleric (2)
~ ~ Hugh, steward at Richmond Castle
~ ~ ~ Gernegan fl 1202 (3) m Basile/Sibilla (4)
~ ~ ~ ~ Ralph of Paling fl 1195 (3)
~ ~ ~ ~ Roger Gernegan (3)
~ ~ ~ ~ Constance m Hervey de Multon (3)
~ ~ ~ ~ Cecily m Sir Alexander Harsick d 1241 (5)
~ ~ ~ ~ Hugh/Hubert fitz Gernegan d 1203 (3) m Maud de Morville
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Gernegan dbef 1214 m Rosamund
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Avis m Robert Marmion
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hubert Jernegan of Horham d 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John de Pinchinni fl 1246 (6)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ William Gernegan fl 1209 (7) m Julian Gymingham of Polsted Hall, Burnham
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan of Horham m Ellen Inglethorpe
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Nicholas
~ ~ Brian dc 1150 w/o issue
~ ~ daughter m Brian, son/Alan III of Richmond (1135-1146) (8)
~ ~ ~ Constance m Ranulf de Rye (8)
~ ~ ~ ~ Thomas fl 1231 d w/o issue (8)

1: Gernagot of York, monk at Whitby fl 1120-1153

“Gernagot (fn. 220)

First occ. as can. c. 1120 × 1129 (EYC II no. 874). Also occ. 1143 × 53 (ibid. Ino. 450). ‘Garnagotus Eboracensis canonicus’ became monk at Whitby, giving land in York, near Minster, 1148 × 53 (ibid. no. 279). (fn. 221) Perhaps father of Nicholas son of Gernagot, can. (below).”

“(fn. 220)
Also ‘Gernegan’, ‘Jernegan’. Prob. a member of the family of Jernegan of Tanfield, for which see EYC V 40-4.”

“(fn 221)

For date of abbot Richard (1148-75), see Heads of Relig. Houses p. 78; the gift was included in a privilege of pope Eugenius III (1145-53) (Cart. Whitby I 117-20, at p. 119, Jaffé no. 9645). The narrative at the beginning of Cart. Whitby, at pp. 5, 6, identifies Gernagot’s gifts as three mansure in Fishergate and one in Stonegate.”

From Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6: York(1999), ‘List 51: Dignitaries and canons whose prebends cannot be identified: Canons whose prebends cannot be identified’, pp. 118-135

2: Nicholas fl 1161-1194, cleric

“Nicholas son of Gernagot

First occ. as can. 1161 × 67 (EYC I no. 562). Occ. frequently, last 1191 × 94 (YMF I nos. 23, 36; cf. II no. 62). Usual form of his name ‘Nicholaus Gernagoti’ often abbreviated `Nicholao Gernag” and misunderstood as the names of two individuals, Nicholas and Gernagot. Prob. mistranscribed as ‘Nicholao Granger’ in ch. of 1189 × 94 (EYC II no. 842). Prob. also occ. as Nicholas can. (e.g. YMFII no. 61, cf. no. 62). Perhaps the son of Gernagot, can., who became a monk of Whitby 1148 × 53 (above).”

From Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6: York(1999), ‘List 51: Dignitaries and canons whose prebends cannot be identified: Canons whose prebends cannot be identified’, pp. 118-135

3: Gernegan of Tanfield (Yorks), of Paling (Sussex), of Bassingbourn (Cambs)

Gernegan of Tanfield, Hugh, his son:

Feoffment WYL 230/167 (ca 1170-1200) of land in Ripley, Yorkshire

“From Bernard de Rippll’ to Richard his brother of 4½ carucates of land in Ripley held of Geoffrey Trussebut with advowson of the church, and the mill . . .

“Witnesses: Gernegan de Thanefeud, Hugh his son, Wimer son of Warner, Roger son of Ralph, Helis de Bedale, Roger de Karletun, Alan de Sinderby, Roger Bret, Simon his son, Robert de Mercingtun, Swain de Thorntun, William de Scottu . . .”

Feoffment WYL230/167 – WYL 230/1256, confirmation of the above:

“Witnesses: Hugh son of Gernegan, Roger his brother, Wimer son of Warner, Roger son of Ralph, Helis de Bedale, Roger de Karletun, Alan de Sinderbi, Alan Childermaister, Henry de Heserbec, Gerard de Asmunderbi, Michael de Laibrun, Simon Bret, Alan de Hiserbec, Isaac de Timbel, John Forester, Robert de Merigtun . . .”

From Ingilby Records, 12th century-1980 held by West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Gernegan de Bassingburn, Hervey de Multon and Constance his wife:

Cowling, aka Thorneton, in Bedale, N Riding, Yorks . . .

“. . . this land was settled by Gernagan de Bassingburn on Hervey de Multon and Constance his wife in 1202 . . .”

From A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1
Bedale’, pp. 291-301

Note: Bassingbourn, in Cambs, was part of the honour of Richmond. Constance is a typically Breton name. Although not outright said, this passage does imply that Constance was daughter of Gernegan and that the land was settled upon the newly-wed couple as part of her dowry.

Gernegan of Palinges, Ralph, his son fl 1195

“Inspeximus and confirmation by Ralph the second,[1224] bishop of Chichester, the king’s chancellor, of a charter whereby Sefrid the second, bishop of Chichester, [1178 or 1197] his predecessor, confirmed to the canons regular of the causeway of Arundel (de Calceto Arundell’), serving God therein the hostel of the poor of Christ . . . of the gift of Gernagan de Palinges, and by the grant of his son Ralph:—part of their land, as they confirmed it. . . . ; of the gift of the said Ralph:—the land of Horsecroft, together with Brache, as extended from the land of Colewell to the land of St. Bartholomew [and St.] Thomas, and from the ditch of the Hospital of the House of Palinges to the land of their bonds-men (rusticorum suorum) . . . “
[my italics]

From A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds: Volume 5 Deeds A.11501 – A.11600 (A11537), pp. 155-174

Ralph Garnegan, Lord of Palinges

“Sadelescombe and Shipley

“Ralph Garnegan, Lord of Palinges, transferred to the Templars the 6s. a year due to him from Mathew Avenell, as testified by the esquire of Bohun (armigero de Bohun) and his brother, William Bastard, William Avenell, Garagan de Bromhurst, and Ralph de Palinge . . .”

From archive org “Sussex Archaeology”

4: Gernagan’s wife Basile

“Gernagod’s holding later became known as the manor of Wenham, described as a member of Harting in 1195, and was held of the Bohuns of Midhurst. Gernagan and his wife Basile gave to the Abbey of Durford, Alwin Bulluc and his land. Ralph son of Gernagan gave the abbey the tithes of his mill at Wenham, and in 1195 land of Ralph Gernagan at Wenham was an escheat.
[my italics]

From A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester, Rogate, pp. 21-27.

Note: Basile, like Sibilla is a form of Elizabeth and Isabelle. At this period, in the records, they tended to be interchangeable.

5: Cecily m Sir Alexander Harsick, d 1241

South Acre is listed with Castle Acre and West Acre in Domesday Book and was held of William de Warenne by Wimer. Blomefield, gives him as the probable ancestor of the Harsick family.

“Sir Eudo de Arsik held this lordship of the Earl Warren about the reign of Hen. I. [1100-1135] by the service of being castellan or keeper of his castle at Acre or Castle-acre, in which office . . . Sir Eudo his son succeeded, and died 6th July, 1179, leaving his son . . . Sir Eudo, who was a considerable benefactor to the abbey of Castleacre . . . this last Sir Eudo, Alice his wife, and their son and heir Sir Alexander Harsick, were living in 1239 . . . Sir Alexander, their son and heir, married Cecily, daughter of Jernegan, and was a benefactor also to the monks of Castleacre . . .”

From An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 6 South-Acre, pp. 77-87.

6: John de Pinchinni fl 1246

“A. 919. Release by John de Pinchinni, son of Hubert Gernegan, to Sir Philip Basset, of the land he had by feoffment of Robert de Windervill in Charsfeud . . . Witnesses:—Sirs Ralph de Ardene, Hugh de Ardene, William de Insula, William de Holebroc, Master William de Brumford . . .”

From A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds: Volume 1 Deeds A.901 – A.1000, pp. 106-116.

This deed is listed against Gloucestershire yet most of these witnesses are found as Suffolk landholders. The deed shown below is listed against Suffolk. Pinkeny’s Manor was in the parish of Tattersett, North Norfolk.

“A. 11008. Feoffment by Robert de Wildervile to Sir Philip Basset, for his homage and service of all his land of inheritance in the town of Chasfeld, to wit with his whole messuage, buildings, rents, mill, suit of the said mill &c., with all his meadow which he had in the town of Debach, and with ½ mark yearly rent in the town of Fresingefeld, to be received from John de Gloucestre and Thomas de Bradefeld; together with the whole land which John de Pinkeni for any time held of him in the same town of Chasfeld, with all the appurtenances which could descend to him within and without the town of Chasfeld; rent, to him and his heirs, a pair of white gloves, price 1d., at Whitsuntide for all service . . . Witnesses:—Sir Matthew de Leyham, Sir Ralph de Arderne, Sir Richard Filleil . . . and John de Ressemere, who made this writing. Done, 30 Henry III, in the month of May . . .”

From A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds: Volume 5 Deeds A.11001 – A.11100, pp. 77-93.

7: William Gernegan fl 1209 (7) m Julian Gymingham of Polsted Hall, Burnham

“. . . in 10 John [1209], Hugh de Polstede and Hawys his wife, William Jernegan and Julian his wife, divided the estate, which came to them, as heirs to the Grandcourts, and the said Julian was remarried to Sir William de Gymingham . . .”

From An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 7 Burnham Westgate, pp. 32-40

Note: Rev William Betham in his Baronetage of England makes William Jernegan the son and heir of Sir Hubert Jernegan of Horham; he died without issue and his younger brother, Hugh, succeeded as heir. But I would query this. The dates don’t sit well. They work better if he is the son or brother of the Hugh fitz Gernegan who married Maud de Watheby.

8: daughter of Scolland m Brian, son/Alan III of Richmond (1135-1146)

Brignall, 1086 was in the soke of Count Alan’s manor of Gilling; it remained part of the honour of Richmond.

“Roger de Mowbray, who died about 1188, was at one time mesne lord of Brignall, which was held of him by William de Logi his man but there is no further mention of this mesne lordship or of any descendants of William de Logi . . . In 1211–12, or a little earlier, Ranulf (de Rye) son of Robert of Gosberton, Lincolnshire, held one knight’s fee of the honour of Richmond, and this fee must have been Brignall; it was perhaps acquired by Ranulf after his marriage with Constance daughter of Brian and granddaughter of Scolland . . .”

From A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 , Brignall, pp. 49-51.

As we saw from the Bedale evidence, Brian son of Scolland is believed to have died without issue. But the Bedale account continues:

“. . . for in the middle of the 12th century Bedale came into the possession of the family known later as Fitz Alan, possibly by the marriage of its founder Brian, second son of Alan III of Richmond, with a daughter of Scolland . . .”
[my italics]

From A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, Bedale, pp. 291-301.

This Brian, second son of Alan III was the younger brother of Conan IV, Earl of Richmond, Duke of Brittany.


We ought now to be in a better position to reconstruct the lost story.

Danish ancestors

Scolland, we saw, is generally taken to mean ‘from Scotland”. Not “to be Scottish”, that would be simply ‘Scot’, but to hail from there.

As can be seen from the map below, the coasts of Scotland, and of Cumberland and Northumbria too, were regions of heavy Norse settlement. York itself, though existing before, flowered in the Norseman’s hold.

Danes and Norse in Britain

As we have already seen, the family of Hugh fitz Gernegan’s in-laws – Torphin de Watheby, his brothers Robert and Alan de Warcop, their father Robert, their grandfather Copsi – had its origin in Norse-settled Cumberland. Indeed, Hugh fitz Gernegan married the Lord of Cumberland’s granddaughter. So finding the homeland of Scolland ought to be no problem. Surely he was a Norseman who hailed from Scottish-held Cumberland.

BUt two things say against this.

  1. In 1086 Scolland held land in Sussex of William de Warenne.
  2. Weever’s source didn’t say “diverse captains and souldiers from Norway, Cumberland and Northumbria; it said “from Denmark”.

The point that source wished to make was that the Jernegan ancestors were “of Danish extraction”, as Betham puts it.

Whatever Weever’s source, the author most certainly had access to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. For in the Peterborough and Worcester manuscripts – there are six versions in all, but alas, to my knowledge, no online translation – we find:

“1028 . . . Here King Cnut went from England to Norway with fifty ships, and drove King Olaf from the land, and appropriated that land for himself . . .”

“1029 . . . Here King Cnut came back home to England . . .”

“1030 . . . Here King Olaf came back into Norway, and that people gathered against him and fought with him, and he was killed there . .”

Then for 1031 the Peterborough manuscript has:

“1031 . . . Here Cnut went to Rome, and in the same year he went to Scotland, and Malcolm, the king of Scots, submitted to him – and two other kings, Mælbeth and Iehmarc [submitted to him too] . . .”

The Worcester manuscript repeats this but with a slight variation:

“1031 . . . Here Cnut went to Rome, and as soon as he came home then he went to Scotland; and the king of Scots surrendered to him and became his man . . .”

But King Cnut visited Rome for Easter 1027, on the occasion of the coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II. He thereafter gathered a strong English force and, in 1028, went campaigning in Norway. There he defeated and killed Olaf Haraldsson and Anund Jacob and returned to England triumphant – in 1030.

Somehow the chroniclers have taken the entry for 1027 and placed it after the expedition to Norway. And Weever’s source repeats it.

“ . . . anno MXXX. Canute, king of Denmarke and of England, after his return from Rome, brought with him diverse captains and souldiers from Denmarke, whereof the greater part were christened here in England, and began to settle themselves here . . .”

Yet according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles those “diverse captains and souldiers” were not heathen men from Denmark, but “a strong English force”. It’s of interest that this account is found in what are classed as the ‘northern’ manuscripts. The Abingdon, Cambridge and Canterbury versions are all-but silent for the duration.

Danelaw and the Norse

To refer back to last week’s post, Northern Roots, there, in what might have seemed a diversion of some verbosity, we saw that Cumberland shared Danelaw’s system of land division. Proof positive that even the northern reaches of Cumberland, formerly included in Strathclyde, were secure in Danish hands.

But the Danes and Norse, though they shared a language, were not exactly on kissing terms.

Around 750 CE, several Danish chieftains, perhaps under the influence of the Holy Roman Empire, started to act as if kings. Like the Franks, they started to push at the borders. Like the Franks, they took the conquered into their rule. Like the Franks, they were not to be thwarted.

To the north of the Danevirke, a massive earthwork that was probably intended to keep the Holy Roman Empire from expanding into the heathen north-lands, were the lands of the first recorded Danish king. Angantyr (Ongendus). There later is found Halfdan, brother of Gudfred, son of Sigfred, who was probably Angantyr’s son. This Gudfred, Halfdan’s brother, together with his cousin Hemming, stamped their mark upon the Frisian fringes of the Rhine.

Meanwhile, arising possibly in Sweden or maybe in the old Danish heartland of Zeeland, was Sigurd Hring, supposed father of Ragnar Lodbrok, whose name is redolent of Viking adventures.

These Danish dynasties, expanding their borders, soon would clash in an ultimate fight for power. For, as was happening across the waves in England, Denmark had room for only one king.

Gorm the Old, possibly the son of the legendary Harthacnut who was son of Sigurd son of Ragnar Lodbrok the supposed son of Sigurd Hring, annihilated Angantyr’s dynasty and took Thora, daughter of Harald Klak, son of Halfdan son of Sigfred, to wife. The resultant dynasty, via Harald Bluetooth, arrived on England’s shores as Swein Forkbeard and his son Cnut.

Across the straits, the numerous Norse kings knew, if they were to survive, they must copy the Danes. For strength lay in numbers. One king in particular set out to achieve this. Harald Fairhair.

Stories abound of Harald Fairhair yet, like a Scandinavian Arthur, little is known. We do know that in 872 CE, after a great victory at a fjord near Stavanger, Harald became king over the whole country. But he was not popular. As he expanded his rule, so the Norsemen left. They founded new colonies in Iceland, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, the Hebrides and Faroes, and Ireland.

These Norse were not part of the Micel Here, the Great Army, that in the second half of the 9th century forced the English kings to unite. They were a force apart, as shown by the map above.

It was in reading, again, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles for this post that something that long had puzzled me was finally resolved.

I was actually looking for the earliest reference to the Norse of Strathclyde. For pages and pages all I could find was such entries as:

“832 . . Here heathen men raided across Sheppey. . .”

“833 . . . the Danish had possession of the place of slaughter . . .”

“835 . . . Here a great raiding ship-army came to Cornwall . . .”

Heathen men, Danish, ship-army, but no Norse are mentioned. And the years wear on and the Great Army comes and the Chroniclers follow it blow by rapine-and-pillaging blow. But never is there mention of Norsemen. And of no land but for Northumbria. Such as this:

“867 . . . Here the raiding-army went from East Anglia over the mouth of the Humber to York city in Northumbria . . .”

Until . . .

“875 . . . and the raiding-army conquered that land [Northumbria], and often raided among the Picts and among the Strathclyde Britons . . . and that summer (875) King Alfred went out to sea with a raiding ship-army and fought against 7 ship-loads and captured one of the them and put the others to flight . . .”

Then . . .

“876 . . . and the king made peace with the raiding-army, and they swore him oaths on the scared ring . . .”

At the very moment of the Great Army’s defeat, when King Alfred had them on the run, he illogically agreed that Guthrum, one of the surviving leaders of this great host of Danes, should have half the country to rule as its king, to govern using the Dane-laws. Why?

Because the previous year, as the Chronicle says, those same land-hungry men “often raided among the Picts and among the Strathclyde Britons”; and by now the Picts and Strathclyde Britons were riddled through with Norsemen.

Danelaw extended from the eastern shores of Northumbria to the western shores of Cumberland – where those Norsemen who had fled in equal measure from Harald Fairhair and Harald Bluetooth now were settling. But that western shore wasn’t called Norse-law. It was Danelaw.

We cannot dispute that Captain Jernegan, ancestor of Scolland and Hugh, in 1028 served King Cnut as one of his “strong English force” who helped him to conquer rebellious Norway. But did Captain Jernegan, hail from this Norse-settled, Scots’ harried, Danish-ruled region of Cumberland?

Thorfinnr and Copsi did, no doubt of it. Indeed, Copsi is probably the same man as King William promoted to earl of these regions . . . and who shortly afterwards had his head parted from body by his patriotic country-men.

But again there’s the Domesday evidence of Scolland in Sussex. Not that that intrinsically rules against it. But it might be as well to take a look at what happened in 1066.

Before we do, we need some dates.

Captain Jernegan bc 990 fl 1030
~ Hugh (speculated name) bc 1030
~ ~ Scolland bc 1065 fl 1086-1135, steward at Richmond Castle m dau/Bodin
~ ~ ~ Brian bc 1085 dc 1150 w/o issue
~ ~ ~ Hugh bc 1100 fl 1135-1182, steward at Richmond Castle

The birth dates here are tentative only, based on the fact that 1: most men are 20+ before they start a family, 2: they can continue that till their dying day, 3: 70 was considered the normal life expectancy, 4: a man must be 21 to come into property.

This last is based on later laws, perhaps it didn’t hold in 1086. Even so, we might expect Scolland to be about 20 years old in 1086. That would make him 70 in 1135, which allows him a few years as steward before his son, Hugh, takes over.

By the same logic, Captain Jernegan would have been at least 20 years old when he helped Cnut’s father King Swein.

“. . . the former services done to his father, Swenus, king of Denmark . . .”

We need not ask what service this was, Taken from my notes, sources long since lost:

“August 1013: Swein arrived at Sandwich, fresh from Scandinavia; made his way north along the North Sea coast, past East Anglia, to Humber, thence to Gainsborough on the Trent. He took not one animal, slave, or penny, he burnt no field in anger. Yet at Gainsborough half of England capitulated to him.

“Here, Swein received in rapid succession and without hostilities the surrender of Northumbrians, Lindsey, and the Five Boroughs, and all the armed men north of Watling Street [this looks like a gleaning from Anglo-Saxon Chronicles] – in other words, all the folk of Danelaw. The accord included all those forces in Mercia and Northumbria not under the control of Eadric Streona.

“That so many would rather have Swein as king than Ethelred says much of the people’s confidence in him. The process had obviously been coordinated in careful detail, the time and place pre-arranged well in advance.”

One can assume this coordination in careful detail had been the work of Captain Jernegan, amongst others.

1066 Battle of Hastings

One thousand years on, and the date of that battle is solidly lodged in most English brains. Why? Because, as the history books tell us, that battle and the harrying that followed effectively eradicated the English nobility.

But that’s not true. The men who fought at the Battle of Hastings were precisely that – men. But how many of their sons, some only toddling, some crying out to follow after their brave father, lived beyond that day, to grow into men during the subsequent years? Despite the Norman’s efforts at ethnic cleansing, still a goodly number, I’d say.

The thegns were killed, but for the most part their families were not. Mostly the widows and daughters, like it or not, were married off to the incoming Normans and Flemings, Bretons and French. It helped to validate their new land-holdings. “Here, have this manor, the dead lord’s daughter as well.” Of course, a good many fled from this fate, seeking security in the many convents. But not all could hide there.

Scolland was born circa 1065. He would not have fought at Hastings. But what of his father who we’ve speculatively named Hugh? He would have been of eligible age. But then what happened to Scolland’s mother, Hugh’s wife? Was she wedded, screaming and kicking, to one of William de Warenne’s men? Is that why, in 1086, Scolland is holding land of him?

That is a possibility. But here is another.

In 1040 Macbeth killed Duncan I, king of the Scots. Duncan had married Sybil, a woman from Northumberland, believed to be the sister of Siward, the Scandinavian earl installed by King Cnut. Duncan’s son, Malcolm, a mere lad of 9 years, was rushed into exile, to seek safety with his ‘uncle’, Earl of Northumberland – who in turn took him to the court of King Edward the Confessor, there to be educated.

In 1054, Malcolm now a grown man of 23 years, King Edward decided it was time to return him home and so he “ordered Earl Siward to put Malcolm on the throne of Scotland”. Edward even supplied some of his own housecarls and men.

There was the inevitable battle, with the resultant bloody deaths. Many who died in support of Macbeth were Normans who, two years previously, had been chased from King Edward’s court by Earl Godwine and his sons – but that is another story. Listed amongst the losses on Malcolm’s side were Earl Siward’s own son Osbern, and a good many English and Danes, including some of the housecarls.

Malcolm III – as now he was called – took possession of Lothian and Cumberland – leased to Malcolm I in 945 by the English king Edgar. Earl Siward went home.

But now Malcolm was king, Malcolm had plans for his uncle’s earldom. He launched several attacks – which lasted until Siward was replaced by Tosti – brother of Harold of Hastings fame. Earl Tosti solved the problem by becoming Malcolm’s ‘oath brother’; it was a Danish thing. Of course, as soon as Tosti went to Rome on pilgrimage, Malcolm was at it again.

In 1066, having parted company from King Harold on very bad terms, Earl Tosti sort help from King Malcolm in Scotland – and from King Harald Hardrada, who already had designs upon the English throne. In early September 1066, their combined fleets entered the mouth of the Ouse and headed for York. The earls Edwin and Morcar engaged this over-sized host on 20th September but failed to hold. On 25th September, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, King Harold did a thorough job. He slaughtered the lot. But he’d no time to mourn his brother or rest on his laurels – for Duke William of Normandy had just arrived on the coast of Sussex and was harrying Harold’s own lands.

(History overview after Edward the Confessor by Frank Barlow, 1997, Yale English Monarchs, ISBN 0-300-07156-6)

How does our Captain Jernegan and his son, Hugh, fit into this?

I propose – but there is no shred of evidence to support it – that Captain Jernegan and/or his son Hugh were amongst those men sent by King Edward in support of Malcolm III’s claim to the Scottish throne. In 1954 Hugh, born ca 1030, would have been of marriageable age. If Hugh had there wed a Scottish lady . . . then Scolland, born in Scotland of a Scottish mother would warrant that ‘Scolland’ name.

But why would Captain Jernegan and his son Hugh be at the court of King Edward?

King Cnut granted to Captain Jernegan (or whatever his name) certain manors in Norfolk. Plural. But whether a king grants one or several manors, those manors are from the king’s own lands. Double bonus if the previous tenant has recently died and an heiress sits lonesome within the hall as the king’s ward.

In those days, holding land of the king qualified the lucky recipient as a thegn. But, as the Geþyncðu manuscripts tell us, there were four different types of thegn.

“. . .at the top stood the thegn who rode in the king’s household band (hired) and had a ‘median thegn’ to serve him and to represent him in court with a preliminary oath (for-að). A less privileged type is the king’s thegn who was without any such representative. On the next level is the median thegn, who likewise held five hides of his own, but served a king’s thegn, attended him in the king’s hall and was qualified to represent him with an oath. Finally, there was also a lower type of median thegn, who did not (yet) meet these requirements of land and service . . .”

Which sort of thegn was Captain Jernegan? The passage quoted from Betham strongly suggests that if he didn’t ride “in the king’s household band,” then at least he was the next type of thegn. He would have attended the court. And if Captain Jernegan attended upon King Cnut, so too we can expect his son Hugh to attend upon King Edward.

But having sent Captain Jernegan and/or his son Hugh to Scotland, we need to return them. This would not have been possible until after 1072. Or rather, had the family returned they’d not have been welcomed by any Norman, and certainly not granted a manor by William de Warenne who was a Norman magnate of highest standing.

The Northern Uprising

(History after William The Conqueror, David C Douglas, Yale English Monarchs, 1999, ISBN 978-0-300-07884.)

In 1069 Swein Estridsson, grandson of Swein Forkbeard, one time king of England, launched an attack on England – a fleet of 240 ships carrying some of the finest, high-ranking warriors in Denmark. The fleet showed itself first off the coast of Kent – a guarantee of attention – before heading northward. As it entered the Humber, this was a signal for the general uprising in Yorkshire.

In Yorkshire the English earls and thegns and even the churchmen had rallied around Edgar Atheling who, for all William’s bluster, really was the true King of England. He had been elected by the nobles – probably the very next day after Harold Godwinsson was killed at Hastings. Moreover, he was of the Wessex noble line. His only fault was in being young; yet three years on from Hastings, he was older now. Edgar’s supporters joined with the Danes and together they moved upon York.

The Yorkshire uprising set off others. To the west, to the south; it seemed everywhere the English were in arms, rebelling against the bastard William. And Malcolm III, king of Scotland, added his full wieght to the rebels. He even married Edgar Atheling’s sister, the future St Margaret of Scotland. It must have seemed to William that his glorious conquest was crumbling.

Desperate and fearful, William struck, and struck hard. It was a holocaust. He ordered that a deep swathe of land, from coast to coast, was wasted. There was a total killing of all its inhabitants, men, women and children, all who hadn’t yet fled. Crops were fired. livestock slaughtered. William’s own chroniclers were sickened by it. And in 1086 the Domesday Survey recorded of that land: it is waste, it is waste, it is waste.

The north quelled, William returned to Normandy, but returned at Easter 1072. He brought with him a massive force. They headed north, to Scotland, arriving by land and by sea. Wisely, Malcolm capitulated and swore to be William’s man. He gave hostages, and expelled Edgar Atheling from his court.

Only now could Hugh fitz Captain Jernegan and his son, the seven year old Scolland, go home.

There is no evidence to say this is what happened with Scolland. Yet it’s the only story that fits with what we know.

Certaine Manors In Norfolk

Ironically, as if to thwart us, while a good many charters of King Cnut’s reign remain, those from 1029-32 are missing. How then can we find these manors?

Perhaps they were the manors which are earliest mentioned as being in Jernegan hands: Hillington and Congham, both held of the Earl de Warenne.

But no, these were both had through marriage, clever moves in the Gentry Game.

Congham Manor:
Held by “Earl Warren” at the Domesday Survey . . .

“. . . and afterwards held under him by different persons . . . in the 52d of [King Henry III, i.e. 1268] Hugh Jernegan and Ela his wife released by fine . . . a messuage, 90 acres of land, and 10s. rent, here and in Hyllington, with all their wards, reliefs, escheats, &c. being Ela’s inheritance, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas de Ingaldesthorp . . .”
[my italics]

From An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 8, Congham, pp. 382-391.

Also a manor of early mention, was purchased.

“. . . Jernegan’s, or Jerningham’s Manor [in Hethel] was sold in 1297, by Ralf de Wedon and Alice his wife . . . it after belonged to Sir Hugh Jernegan, who settled it on John Leiston, who married Joan his daughter and heiress. In 1345, Henry Jernegan had it, and in 1355, John Jernegan . . .”

From An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk:
volume 5,
Hethill, pp. 104-114.

The best we can say is that when the Jernegan family first appears in Norfolk it is as marriage partners to various of the de Warenne’s tenants: Congham, Hillington, South Acre, Pinkeny’s manor in Tattersett, Polsted Hall, Burnham, all manors held of the earls de Warenne.

Gernegan lands in West Norfolk

It is interesting how these manors cluster towards the west of the county, towards the Wash beyond which is Lincolnshire – as one might expect of a family whose ancestor was involved in coordinating the Gainsborough Accord.

Perhaps one branch of the family still held the ancestral estate. Between 1260 and 1270 one Gernegan de Neuport, bailiff of Lincoln, was witness to the will of Henry de Colebi of Lincoln.

“. . . these being witnesses, William de Holgate, then mayor of the city of Lincoln; John de Kirkestede and Gernegan de Neuport, then bailiffs (balliuis) of Lincoln . . . Endorsed: Lincoln, in the parish of St. George . . .”

From ‘Appendix: Lincoln Wills: volume 2, 1505-1530
Henry de Colebi of Lincoln, pp. 215-218.

The is no earlier evidence of Gernegan, Jernegan or Jarnigan in Lincolnshire. In Dane-speak Gernegan, ‘iron famous’.would be Jarneroth, or variations of, e.g. Arnlod. But neither is this name found, though there are several names formed on ‘Arn’ in the Lincolnshire pages of the Domesday Book.

And so we must leave the second question unanswered. We cannot say where these “certaine manors” were in Norfolk. Will we have better success with the third question?

How did Scolland, who in 1086 is evidenced as a tenant of William de Warenne in Sussex, by 1135 become steward to the Bretons of Richmond?

This might be better rephrased as: How did Scolland change from a tenant of William de Warenne in Sussex, to said steward of the Bretons of Richmond?

The answer is here: William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, was a loyal supporter of King William I, and of his son, King William II. William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, was not.

In fact, William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, had nursed bad feelings for King William II from the day that the king forbade him to marry Matilda, daughter of king Malcolm III. In reaction, he supported the claim  to the throne of England by the king’s elder brother, Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy.

This grudge continued into the reign of Henry I. When in 1101 Robert Curthose invaded England, intending to take the throne from his newly-enthroned younger brother Henry, there was William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, at Robert’s side, lending his arms and his men.

Robert Curthose surrendered to Henry I, but William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, lost his English lands and titles and was exiled to Normandy. It took Robert’s appeal to Henry in 1103 for William de Warenne to be restored to his lands and earldom. Thereafter William de Warenne must prove his loyalty. This he did in 1106, when at the Battle of Tinchebray he fought on Henry’s side against Robert Curthose.

To repeat: In 1101 William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, was forfeit his lands and titles and exiled to Normandy.

In contrast, the Lords of Richmond, who in the person of Count Alan had loyally served at the court of King William I, continued loyally to serve first King William II, then his younger brother Henry I. And Scolland is next found with them.

It seems clear enough. Scolland took employment with the Bretons of Richmond – and thereby offset the fact that he had served the earl of Surrey, now a rebel in exile. In transferring his service to the lords of Richmond he had declared his own loyalty to King Henry I and thereby safeguarded his family.

His son Gernegan was left behind in Sussex, to became, briefly, a tenant of the king. Thus we can say that Gernegan was the elder son, the inheritor of the patrimony, i.e. those lands held of William de Warenne (See Gentry Game). The younger son Hugh went with his father, and later inherited the Yorkshire grants, the acquired land, along with the position of steward at the castle. (Again, in keeping with the rules of the Gentry Game.)

Some fifty years later, with the earl reinstated, William de Warenne’s daughter Gundreda married William I of Lancaster – their daughter Hawise would later marry Richard de Morville (See Northern Roots). Perhaps travelling in her entourage came one or more of Gernegan’s sons, eager to join their brother Hugh on the north. Perhaps Ralph made the journey, named for Ralph de Warenne, the earl’s younger son.

The family could also have travelled north with Ada de Warenne, Ralph and Gundreda’s sister who in 1139 was married to Henry of Scotland. Ada’s and Henry’s daughter, Margaret of Huntingdon, married Conan IV, Duke of Brittany. To refresh the memory, Conan IV was son of Alan III, Lord of Richmond, and elder brother of the Brian who married Scolland’s unnamed daughter (see gene-chart above, (8) Brian of Bedale)

It is speculation, yet grounded in fact, taking the dots and joining them. In that it differs not a jot from the account provided by Rev William Betham in his Baronetage of England. But we can take it no further. We have found Brian. We have provided the Jernegan’s with a viable ancestor of Danish extraction, we have given a feasible account of the years 1016 to 1182. Only one thing remains.



“He is mentioned by the name of Hubert de Jernegan, in the Black Book of the Exchequer, as published by Herne (Vol. O. p. 301) among the Suffolk knights who held of the honour of Eye . . .”

So says Rev William Betham in his The Baronetage of England, Vol 1.

How did the Yorkshire born son of Hugh fitz Gernegan and Maud de Watheby, become Sir Hubert de Horham, a knight holding land of the honour of Eye, circa 1219?

First, a definition. In feudal terms a typical honour was comprised of the hundreds of manors held by a magnate, in-chief of the king. These manors might be far scattered, as with the honour of Richmond, or they might be quite a tight cluster, as were those of the honour of Eye. Regardless, the caput, or head of the honour, was almost always a castle, and the name of the castle gave the name to the honour. Hence Richmond, hence Eye.

Determining which manors were part of the honour of Eye is quite simple. A quick look in the Domesday Book. For in 1086 the honour was held by Robert Malet. It was he, in fact, who built the castle.

Honour of Eye

Before we can answer our question, we need to find the earliest date at which a Jernegan scion held land of the honour of Eye. And it was not Sir Hubert Jernegan as we’ve been led to believe.

On 17th July 1561 William Hervey, Esq, otherwise called Clarenceulx, Principal Herald and King of Arms of the South, East and West parts of England, set out from the river Trent to visit the gentry in their houses to inspect or otherwise verify their claimed coats of arms. In time he reached the borders of Suffolk, and in due course visited the Jernegans of Somerleyton Hall.

William Hervey recorded his Visitation on what is now Harleian MS 1103, part of a collection held by the British Museum. Fortunate for us, in 1882 this was privately printed on behalf of Walter Metcalfe FSA and is available as a free download from

Scrolling to page 46, we find the Jernegans of Somerleyton. And a surprise.

“Sir William Jernegan of Horeham, co-Suff, Kt, mar. [Isabella, da. of Thomas Aspall of Aspall] and had issue, — Sir Hubberd, son and heir . . .”

Those square brackets are intrinsic to the quote, used to denote an addition made by the editor at time of printing; i.e., at the time of the Visitation the name of Isabella, was not recorded.

This interesting document provides the following gene-chart:

Sir William Jernegan of Horeham m Isabella, dau/Thomas Aspall
~ Sir Hubberd (Hubert) Jernegan of Horeham m Maude, dau/—, heiress of Harlinge
~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan of Horeham m Ellen Inglethorpe, dau-heir/Sir Thomas Inglethorpe
~ ~ ~ Jane m John Leyston
~ ~ ~ Sir Walter Jernegan of Somerleyton m Isabel Fitz Osborn of Somerleyton
~ ~ ~ ~ Peter Jernegan m Ellen, dau/Sir Roger Huntingfield
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John Jernegan m Agatha, dau/Sir — Shelton, Kt
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John Jernegan m Jane Loudham, dau/Sir William Kelvedon

And so it goes, down through the generations to Sir Edward Jernegan of Somerleyton, with no more surprises.

The first thing to note is that the placename Aspall does not refer to Stonham-Aspall, one of three manors in the Stonham parish. The other two are Stonham-Jernegan and Stonham-Earl. Aspall here refers to the parish of Aspall which, on a map of Suffolk, is a short drop south from Eye. A quick look at the Domesday Book tells us it was part of the honour of Eye – as was Stonham and Horham – and Finningham, Gisleham, also early mentions:

“April 1262

“Rex Gilberto de Preston’ salutem . . . Johanne de Cokefeud’ versus Hugonem Gernegan de tenementisin Giselingham, Finigham . . .”

From Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry III: volume 12:
, April 1262, pp. 118-123

Does this Visitation provide valid evidence? If so, why does Betham and Blomefield not include it?

The answer is that Betham and Blomefield do include it. It’s just they place it out of order.

“[3. Sir Hubert Jernegan of Horham fl 1216] . . . married Margery, daughter and heir of Sir — de Herling, of East Herling in Norfolk, Knt, and by her had issue four sons, Godfrey, William, Robert, and Hugh. He was succeeded by his second son,

4. Sir William Jernegan, Knt, who married Julian, daughter and co-heir of Sir — Gymingham of Burnham, Knt. He died without issue, and was succeeded by his youngest brother,

5. Sir Hugh Jernegan, Knt, who in the year 1243 . . .”
[original layout]

From The Baronetage of England, Vol 1, Rev William Betham

The marriage of William Jernegan to the heiress Julian produced no issue. Not knowing of Isabella Aspall, the first wife of William, Betham made Sir Hugh the heir.

Then there is the matter of dates:

“. . . in 10 John, Hugh de Polstede and Hawys his wife, William Jernegan and Julian his wife, divided the estate, which came to them, as heirs to the Grandcourts, and the said Julian was remarried to Sir William de Gymingham . . .”

From An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 7 Burnham Westgate, pp. 32-40

The tenth year of John would be 1208-1209. And in 1208 Sir William Jernegan had already married Julian.

Yet Betham makes him son of Sir Hubert of Horham who died in 1239. Not impossible, of course; we expect a man to live 30 years or so after his son’s marriage. These days.

But as said above, that date of 1209 fits more snugly with Sir Hugh (or Hubert) who married Maud de Watheby and died in 1203. It fits more neatly with the Gernegan who married Basile or Sibilla and is evidenced alive in 1202.

Anyone who has tried to trace their ancestors through the available British Censuses (with the first in 1841, the data collected 10 yearly, there are 8 available for public view) will know it’s essential to check the birth-marriage-death records as well, and then to see those actual records.

Betham, and Blomefield, had access to more records than us. Yet those records formed mere dots which still must be joined with conjectured lines of descent. Exactly the same as we’re doing here.

William and Julian had no children. So Sir William could not be on the line of descent, Yet 150 years previously, William Hervey, Principal Herald and King of Arms – whose job was to verify claims of descent at a time when to falsify was a serious offence – found that a ‘Sir William Jernegan’ had married Isabella, daughter of Thomas Aspall, and produced at least the one male heir.

I believe Sir William fits into the gene-chart as shown below, as son of Gernegan and Sibilla/Basile, as brother of the Hugh (or Hubert) who married Maud de Watheby:

~ Scolland
~ ~ Hugh, steward at Richmond Castle
~ ~ ~ Gernegan fl 1202 m Basile/Sibilla
~ ~ ~ ~ Ralph of Paling fl 1195
~ ~ ~ ~ Roger Gernegan
~ ~ ~ ~ Constance m Hervey de Multon
~ ~ ~ ~ Cecily m Sir Alexander Harsick d 1241
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh/Hubert d 1203 m Maud de Watheby
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir William Jernegan of Horham m 1stly Isabella, dau/Thomas Aspall
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert of Horham d 1239 m Maude/Margery, dau/—, heiress of Harlinge
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John de Pinchinni fl 1246
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan of Horham m Ellen Inglethorpe
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir William Jernegan of Horham m 2ndly Julian Gymmingham of Polstede Hall, Burnham

This, coincidently, puts William Gernegan, father of Hubert, as a knight of Eye in the late 1100s. As we have already noted, the Liber Niger, or Black Book of the Exchequer, was compiled by Gervase of Tilbury in the reign of Henry II (1154-1172), as a roll of the military tenants.
The question asked was: How did the Yorkshire born son of Hugh fitz Gernegan and Maud de Watheby, become Sir Hubert de Horham, a knight holding land of the honour of Eye, circa 1219?

The answer is: He didn’t. No Yorkshire-born son of Hugh fitz Gernegan and Maud de Watheby became a knight of the honour of Eye. Sir Hubert of Horham was Hugh fitz Gernegan’s nephew. And that doubles the reason for trashing the story that Wathe manor, in North Cove, was in any way inherited from Robert de Watheby.

Sir William, son of Gernegan, became a knight of the fee of the honour of Eye when he married Isabella of Aspall. The Jernegan’s Suffolk holdings all stem from that marriage.

Sir William’s son, Sir Hubert of Horham, then married Margery de Herling. Herling, like Burnham and South Acre, Hillington and Congham, was held of the earls de Warenne.

Manors held of Warenne and of Eye

Only one thing remains. Who was the lord of Eye who was so pleased with Sir William that he rewarded him with land and a wife?

In answer, from 1159 until at least 1189 the castle and honour of Eye was in royal hands, first with Henry II, then Richard I the Lionheart.

The Great Revolt

In 1173 the eighteen year old handsome, spirited Henry ‘the Young King’, already crowned heir to the throne, turned against his father, Henry II. He wanted more money and he wanted more power. His mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, also piqued with the king, encouraged this turning. The kings of France and Scotland and the duke of Flanders all supported Henry ‘the Young King’. His brothers, Richard Lionheart and Geoffrey duke of Brittany, also joined him. The only son not involved was the king’s favourite, the youngest, John. He was too young. Yet before it was over he too showed his face and ripped at his father’s heart.

These kings, princes, dukes, et al, were joined by a goodly show of English barons and earls, keen to grasp the opportunity to recover their traditional powers, recently eroded by Henry II’s new clerics and sheriffs.

The fighting endured for two years. In France. In England. In East Anglia in particular, the Flemings trampled the Suffolk-man’s crops. Doubtless these Suffolk folk gleefully rubbed their hands when, on their way to the north, many of ‘the foreigners’ drowned in the fens.

In the aftermath, King Henry confiscated every lord’s castle – and during the fighting new ones had arisen. Those of the rebel barons were destroyed. Amongst those were the castles of the powerful Bigod family, earls of Norfolk and Suffolk since 1095.

In the aftermath, King Henry rewarded those who had offered him special service, supporting the king when others turned against him. One such man was William Jernegan. Born of Gernegan and his wife Basile/Sibilla, probably in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, where he’d have been close to the trampling feet of those mercenaries.


There. We have no more questions. We have found, if not validated, then at least, satisfactory answers. Though much remains untold of the Jerningham story, our quest is finally at an end.

For those with an interest in learning more you’ll find amongst the pages of this series of posts are many links to aid further research. And I wish you the best with it.


Next post on Crimson’s History?
I’ve not yet decided. Perhaps something shorter!

Northern Roots

We left the Jerningham story with Sir Peter Jernegan and his son Sir John now barons, tenants-in-chief, having inherited the manors of Somerley Town and Wathe, in North Cove, Suffolk. To continue . . .

Part 5 of the Jerningham Story

Manor of Wathe or Wade Hall or Woodhall . . . 

“This manor was probably called after Robert Watheby, of Cumberland, who held it in the time of Hen. II [1154-1189]. From Robert de Watheby the manor passed to his son and heir Thorpine, whose daughter and coheir Maud married Sir Hugh or Hubert Fitz-Jernegan, of Horham Jernegan, Knt., and carried this manor into that family. He died in 1203, and the manor vested in his son and heir, Sir Hubert Jernegan.”

From W A Copinger, Manors of Suffolk, Vol VII

To clarify that:

Robert Watheby of Cumberland fl 1154-1189
~ Thorpine de Watheby
~ ~ Maud de Watheby m Sir Hugh/Hubert Fitz Jernegan d 1203
~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert Jernegan of Horham d 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~Sir Hugh Jernegan d 1272 m Ellen Inglesthorpe
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Walter Jernegan m Isabel FitzOsbert d 1311
Additional material from The Baronetage of England, Vol 1
Rev William Betham, 1801

How odd, then, to find this 60 years later:

“To Walter de Glouc[estria], escheator* this side Trent . . .

“. . . Order to deliver to Katharine, late the wife of Roger son of Peter son of Osbert, the manors of Somerleton, Wathe and Uggechale, co. Suffolk, Haddescou and Wyghtlyngham, co. Norfolk, which he has taken into the king’s hands by reason of Roger’s death, and to deliver to her the issues received thence . . .”

From the Close Rolls, Edward I, June 1306, volume 5

The manor was included in the inheritance of Katharine, late the wife of Roger son of Peter FitzOsbert, sister-in-law of Sir Walter Jernegan.

Then some thirty years later, when in 1338 Katherine died, we find the same inheritance – i.e. of Somerleyton, Wathe, Uggeshall, Hadeston (not Haddescou as given) and Whitlingham – divided between Sir Peter Jernegan and Sir John Nougon as Katherine’s late husband’s sole surviving heirs. Further, in 1362, when the last of the Nougons died, whatever they had held of the FitzOsbert inheritance landed fairly into the Jernegans’ hands.

To clarify that line of inheritance:
Osbert m Petronel or Parnel fl ca 1140
~ Roger Fitz Osbert fl 1216 d 1239 m Maud/Agnes fl 1249
~ ~ Osbert (possibly a late fictitious insertion)
~ ~ ~ Peter FitzOsbert of Somerley town d 1275 m Beatrix d 1278
~ ~ ~ ~ Roger FitzOsbert d 1305 m 1stly Sarah, dau/Bartholomew de Creke
~ ~ ~ ~ Roger FitzOsbert d 1305 m 2ndly Katherine d 1338
~ ~ ~ ~ Isabel Fitz Osbert d 1311 m (2ndly) Sir Walter Jernegan dbf 1306
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Peter Jernegan dc 1346 m (1stly) Matilda de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir John Jernegan fl 1362 m Agatha Shelton
~ ~ ~ ~ Alice/Catharine Fitz Osbert fl 1281 m Sir John Noion of Salle d 1325
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir John de Nougon d 1341 m Beatrice
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir John de Nougon d 1349
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John de Nougon d 1362 aged 17

So by what circuitous route did this manor of Wathe move from the hold of Sir Hubert Jernegan to that of the FitzOsbert’s – only to return some 60 years later?

The author of the Manors of Suffolk repeats the account of Davy (1769–1851). David Davy was the Suffolk equivalent of Francis Blomefield in that he traversed the county, nosing into churches and the great halls and shuffling around in their papers. He was what the Victorians called “an English antiquarian”, and he worked in conjunction with one Henry Jermyn. Their mss are currently held by the British Museum.

According to Davy, on the death of Sir Hugh Jernegan in 1272 the manor went to Roger son of Peter FitzOsbert. Which in effect shortens the manor’s stay in FitzOsbert’s hands to a mere 30 years.

Copinger remarks that Davy

“. . . apparently assumed the manor to have come to the Jernegans like the Somerleyton estate through the marriage of Sir Walter Jernegan with Isabella, sister and coheir of Sir Roger Fitz Osbert . .”

The way it is worded suggests that Copinger did not believe it. Yet the evidence is there in the Close Rolls. Wathe, together with Somerleyton, was inherited by Katherine from her deceased husband Roger FitzOsbert.

But how could the manor have passed from Sir Hugh Jernegan to Roger son of Peter FitzOsbert? Copinger doesn’t say ‘sold’, he says ‘went to’ and that implies Roger received it as inheritance.

Yet everywhere Sir Hugh’s heir is given as Sir Walter Jernegan – he who married the sister of Roger.

The only other means by which a manor might be passed as inheritance is if it were used as dower or dowery. Since we’re nowhere told of Katherine’s father, perhaps she was daughter to Sir Hugh Jernegan. Sir Hugh then bestowed the manor Wathe upon her as dowery, attracting a hefty-sized dower from Sir Roger her husband in return.

But as the order preserved in the Close Roll of Edward I, June 1306, later states:

“. . . the manors of Somerleton and Wathe are held of the king in chief . . . and the king has taken Katharine’s fealty for [them] . . .”

Were it not for that we could say that Katherine was Sit Hugh’s daughter. But a manor held in-chief of the king was not lightly used as dower or dowery. (see The Gentry Game)

So we ask again, how came it to be part of Katherine’s inheritance from her husband Roger?

To continue to Copinger’s account of Wathe Manor:

“. . . The King . . . granted the lordship of all [Sir Hubert Jernegan’s (d 1239)] large possessions, and the marriage of his wife and children to Robert de Veteri Pont or Vipont [Vieuxpont], so that he married them without disparagement to their fortunes . . .”

As witness the subplots of many a Robin Hood movie, the wardship of orphans and widows made for lucrative pickings. While delaying their marriage, the guardian – or warder as he usually was called – raked in the rents of his wards’ various holdings. The larger the holdings, the juicier the take. Why hurry the marriage in such situation. Some kings allowed this to happen, taking a cut from the profits. King Stephen (1135-1154) was one, King John (1199-1216) another. But other kings, particularly Henry I (1100-1135) and Henry II (1154-1189), empowered their sheriffs to act as the warders, thereby reducing the risk of abuse.

Sherefore Copinger’s statement, that the king granted the lordship of Sir Hubert Fitz-Jernegan’s large possessions, and the marriage of his wife and children to Robert de Vieuxpont, need be read as no more than that: Robert de Vieuxpont, as sheriff, was merely performing his usual duty.

But here we hit a problem. While it is true that Robert de Vieuxpont was a sheriff, in fact High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests and later also High Sheriff of Westmorland, he died several years too early – in 1228.

Sir Hubert Jernegan died in 1239. Robert de Vieuxpont died in 1228.

Yet the position of High Sheriff of Westmorland was in the process of becoming hereditary. And so we find Robert followed, at least in 1235, by John de Vieuxpont, who in turn was followed in 1242, though for only a year, by a younger Robert, of a new generation. Thereafter, John de Vieuxpont 1242–1264, and the sisters Isobella and Idomea Vieuxpont 1264-1308.

But that’s not much help. In 1239-40 there was no Sheriff Robert de Vieuxpont. Anywhere. But it does move our focus northward.

Robert de Watheby of Cumberland

The first mention of Wathe manor finds it in the hold of Robert de Watheby of Cumberland. Copinger, following Davy and Jermyn, suggests it takes it name from de Watheby.

I would disagree, and point to several other manors and villages named Wathe, or Wade, which take their name from being next to a river – as is Wathe manor in North Cove. The name means a ‘wading place’. The same name underlies the Norfolk market town of Watton.

However, those who had access to more evidence than we, were convinced of the association. And so we must follow it.

Robert de Watheby held this manor of Wathe. But did he hold it as tenant-in-chief of the king? Or of some other northern-based lord?

If he held of another and said other was forfeit his lands, then the manor would have been granted to another. Robert de Watheby, or his heirs, would still hold it, merely the overlord has changed. In time it would have passed to Sir Hubert Jernegan and his son Sir Hugh, who would have held of this new tenant-in-chief.

It’s quite a story we are constructing. For it depends upon the manor coming to Sir Roger FitzOsbert as tenant-in-chief. At this point the Jernegans would have been his tenants and done fealty to him, as it is known they did for the manors of Stoven and Bugg.(See Betham’s Baronetage of England, Vol 1)

In this story, when Sir Roger FitzOsbert died, Katherine his widow would have become the Jernegan’s new overlord. And when she died . . . they became their own lords.

But was this what happened? It might help to determine it’s truth if we can find an overlord for Robert de Watheby. And for that we need first to find Robert.

In addition to the amazing collection of historical documents available at British History Online, there are also the County Histories. These mostly were written in 19th century, at the height of the Victorian craze for antiquities. In my trawl through these, hoping to find clues to the roots of the Jernegan tree, I came upon this.

Watheby Genes Graphic

To convert that to the form we’ve been using:
~ Copsi de Watheby fl 1146 m Goderida, dau/Hermer, lord of Kelfield & Manfield
~ ~ Robert de Watheby
~ ~ ~ Robert de Warcop
~ ~ ~ Alan de Warcop
~ ~ ~ Torphin de Watheby, lord of Manfield, fl 1210
~ ~ ~ ~ Robert d w/o issue
~ ~ ~ ~ Agnes m x 3
~ ~ ~ Matilda [Maud] m 1stly Hugh or Hubert, son/Gernegan d 1204

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Gernegan m Rosamund dbef 1215
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Avice dc 1284 m Robert Marmion d 1240
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Nicholas
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hugh, son/Hugh fitz Gernegan
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Isabel

I have particularly laid the chart this way, with Gernegan first and his brother Hugh, better given as Sir Hubert of Horham, third, despite that the above graphic shows the reverse, because Gernegan is given as Maud’s heir; Hugh is not though in this graphice he appears to be first-born.

Also, I have changed the year of Torphin’s demise. In the graphic it’s given as 1194 yet in the account of Torphin’s manor of Manfield we find this:

“. . . [Torphin de Watheby] who from 1169 to 1172 was one of the surveyors of the works of Bowes Castle, paid 2 marks for his lands in Richmondshire in 1210-12 . . .”
My italics

Which proves he was still alive in 1212.

Manfield is a parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Yet the above graphic was found in Records relating to the Barony of Kendale: volume 2 (1924), pp. 326-340.

Kendal and Westmorland.


As Wikipedia’s article tells us, in the medieval period, Westmorland was part of the greater Northumbria, i.e. that land which lies north of the Humber river yet not into Scotland. The eastern parts of Northumbria became Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland, while those to the west became Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland. Since 1974 Westmorland and Cumberland have functioned together as Cumbria.

Strathclyde and Northumbria

For convenience, I’ll refer to the region north of the river Ribble as Cumberland and south of the river, yet north of the Mersey, as Lancashire.

In pre-Roman times this entire north of Britain, south of Carlisle, was home to the Brigantes, “the hill tribes”. It might be argued that even in 6th century, while the Angles were establishing their kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, the Brigantes still held there, despite  the 400 years of Romanisation. But Brigantes or not, the tribes here were Britons, akin to the Cornwallians, Bretons and Welsh. And to their north lay the equally British kingdom of Strathclyde.

Yet already by then, those piratical Celts from northern Ireland, known to the Romans as Scotti, had established themselves along the west coast of Scotland, centred on Argyll, and with claymore in hand had proceeded to dominate Scotland’s native population of Picts. Hence the northern reaches of Britain are known as Scotland, not Pictland.

There was another ethnic group here, come as raiders, soon to settle and take wives from the Britons, Scots and Picts around them. The Norsemen. They are often forgotten, so well did they blend with their hosts. In Russia, within two generations the Viking founders of Novgorod and Kiev had all but disappeared into the local Slavic population.

After the Vikings came the Normans. William I made small inroads. His son, William II, aka Rufus, is said to have conquered the region. Thereafter it was the Anglo-Normans who (most often) held this north western corner of Britain.

The Anglo-Norman hold was tenuous. The Britons, Picts and Scots frequently raided south into Northumbria and Cumberland. Or at least in the histories written by the English it’s the Scots etc who raided south. I’m sure the Scots would say it was the English raiding north. Either way, this entire area resembled a beach with an ever-advancing/retreating strand-line. Who owned the beach and who the sea depended upon one’s affinity. It was a situation that didn’t stabilise until after 1603 when England and Scotland shared a king.

It is therefore easy to see how in Cumberland the wise holder of land was he who knew how to swiftly change sides, swearing fealty first to one overlord, then to another, to English, to Scots.


The tenants-in-chief of Lancashire and Cumberland

  • Pre-Hastings
    Lancashire was held by Harold’s brother Earl Tosti, Thorfinnr and a few English thegns.
  • 1086 (Domesday Survey)
    Lancashire was divided between the king and Roger de Poitou
    An occasional manor was held by an old English thegn, e.g. Arnulf, Orm, Dwan, Ulf, Thorulf.
    Earl Hugh of Chester also had a foot in.

Throughout this region the king’s lands were under the charge of the sheriff of Yorkshire. The holdings of Roger de Poitou, also tenant-in-chief of extensive holdings in the Midlands, Lincolnshire and East Anglia, were held of him by a notorious pluralist, Ernwin the priest; Ernwin held of Roger de Poitou in other counties too.

  • Pre-Hastings
    Cumberland – or at least the more westerly parts abutting Yorkshire – was divided between Earl Tosti and Thorfinnr (Torfinnr shares his name with the later Torphin de Watheby)
    The southerly area, abutting Lancashire and known as Kentdale (later Kendal) was in the hands of one Gillemicel. (Micel here is not intended as the archangel Michael, but is Micel as in Mickle or Muckle Hill, i.e. big.)
  • 1086 (Domesday Survey)
    Cumberland – or that part into which King William had made a wee inroad – was, as you’d guess, in the hands of the king and Roger de Poitou. Almost exclusively.
    This changed when, as said, in 1092 William II invaded and conquered the area.

Wikipedia’s article on the County of Westmorland says that William II then divided Cumberland into the baronies of Kendal and Westmorland, although the article on the barony of Westmorland says the area was divided and made into baronies only in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135). But what’s the difference of 10 years between tenants and overlords.

Baronies of Kendal and Westmorland

To quote Wikipedia’s article:

“The Barony of Kendal is a subdivision of the English traditional county of Westmorland. It is one of two ancient baronies which make up the county, the other being the Barony of Westmorland (also known as North Westmorland, or the Barony of Appleby).”

In other words, the barony of Appleby, or Westmorland, lies to the north. And the barony of Kendal ( anciently Kentdale) occupies the south – abutting Lancashire.

To return to 11th century: William II, alias Rufus, granted his portion of Cumberland, including parts surrendered by Roger of Poitou, to his royal steward, Ivo de Taillebois.

Ivo had accompanied William I from Normandy, and had played a prominent part in breaking Hereward the Wake’s rebellion in 1071. An astute player of the Gentry Game, he had married Lucy, daughter of Turold, sheriff of Lincolnshire in whose name he later held the Lincolnshire ‘honour of Bolingbroke’. It is rumoured, but no where documented, that said daughter Lucy was granddaughter of the English Mercian earl, Alfgar. It is also only a rumour that Lucy was daughter of Turold for she is documented as being his niece. (See below, The Foundation of Medieval Genealogy)

Ivo de Taillebois is a good place to start our quest for the region’s tenants-in-chief circa 1238-72, the reign of Henry III (1216-1272).

From Wikipedia’s article on Ivo de Taillebois we can construct this gene-chart:

Ivo de Taillebois m 1stly unknown
~ Beatrix m Ribald, brother of Alan, Lord of Richmond
Ivo de Taillebois m 2ndly Lucy, dau/Turold of Lincolnshire
~ unnamed daughter m Eldred of Lancaster

The Ancient Families site, fair-brimming with genealogies from Bagabigna of the Armenian Orontid dynasty (fl 550 BCE) to George V, King of England, 1910-36, passing through every European country along the way, would make a more useful resource if each entry carried at least a note of its source. However, Ancient Families does provide us with the following, starting at the family’s origins in Normandy:

Reinfrid Taillebois
~ Ivo de Taillebois of Lincoln & Kendal m 1stly Gundred, dau/William Earl of Warenne
~ ~ Gilbert de Taillebois
~ ~ Orme de Taillebois
~ ~ William de Taillebois
~ ~ dau m Richard de Morville
~ Ivo de Taillebois of Lincoln & Kendal m 2ndly Lucy, dau/Turold of Lincolnshire
~ ~ Beatrix Taillebois m Ribald, illegitimate son /Eudes, Count of Penthievre
~ ~ ~ Ralph Taillebois m Agatha, dau/Robert de Bruis
~ ~ ~ ~ Robert Taillebois m Helewise, dau/Ranulph de Glanville
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Randolph Taillebois m Mary, dau/Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Ralph Taillebois m Anastasia, dau/William Percy
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Mary d 1320 m in 1270 Robert Neville
~ Gilbert FitzReinfrid
~ ~ William of Lancaster

Anyone with passing knowledge of the nobility of the day will recognise at once the heavy-weights in this gene-charts.

In contrast to Ancient Families lack of references, the Foundation of Medieval Genealogy’s website not only provides the sources but each is given in full and discussed. The site represents a major resource for any historian researching the period. Though the authors make no attempt at presenting in graphic form (wisely), from the  quoted charters I picked out the following:

Ivo de Taillebois d 1094 m 1stly daughter/William Bardolf
~ Beatrix m Ribald, illegitimate son/Eudes, Count of Penthièvre
Ivo de Taillebois d 1094 m 2ndly Lucy d 1138, niece/Thorold of Lincolnshire
~ daughter m Eldred
~ ~ Ketel fl 1120 m Christiana, dau/unknown
~ ~ ~ William
~ ~ ~ Orme m 1stly Gunhilda, dau/Gospatrick, Earl of Northumberland
~ ~ ~ Orme m 2ndly Ebrea, dau/unknown
~ ~ Goditha m Gilbert de Lancaster, son/unknown
~ ~ ~ Roger m Sigrid, widow/Waltheof
~ ~ ~ Robert
~ ~ ~ Gilbert de Lancaster
~ ~ ~ Warin de Lancaster dbef 1194 m unknown
~ ~ ~ ~ Henry de Lancaster fl 1190
~ ~ ~ William “Taillebois” de Lancaster, Baron of Kendal, fl 1166 m 1stly unknown
~ ~ ~ ~ Hawise de Lancaster m 1stly William Peverel of Nottingham
~ ~ ~ ~ Hawise de Lancaster m 2ndly Richard de Morville^
~ ~ ~ William “Taillebois” de Lancaster m 2ndly Gundred de Warenne^^

^ Richard de Morville was son of Hugh de Morville & Beatrice de Beauchamp.

^^ Gundred de Warenne, widow of Roger de Beaumont Earl of Warwick, was daughter of William de Warenne Earl of Surrey and his wife Elisabeth de Vermandois

To continue:
~ ~ ~ William “Taillebois” de Lancaster m 2ndly Gundred de Warenne
~ ~ ~ ~ Jordan dbef 1160 (may have been child of 1st marriage)
~ ~ ~ ~ William de Lancaster fl 1156 d 1184 m Helewise, dau/Robert de Stuteville
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hawise de Lancaster m 11884-89 Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid Lord of Kendal

Gilbert FitzReinfrid

Against this documented chart, the chart provided by Ancient Families holds reasonably well – until one reaches Gilbert FitzReinfrid, there given as brother of Ivo de Taillebois and father of William de Lancaster. Yet by the evidence of the charters he was definitely the husband of Hawise de Lancaster, daughter of William de Lancaster II.

The Foundation of Medieval Genealogy provides all that is known of Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid’s ancestry, which is only two generations.

Roger FitzReinfrid Lord of Kendal m unknown
~ Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid dbef 1220 m 1184/89 Hawise de Lancaster (above).
~ ~ William de Lancaster dc 1247 m Agnes de Brus
~ ~ daughter m Roger de Kirkeby
~ ~ Hawise de Lancaster m Peter (III) de Brus, Lord of Skelton, son/Peter de Brus (II)
~ ~ Alice de Lancaster dbef 1247 m 1220 William de Lindsay, son/Walter de Lindsay
~ ~ Serota de Lancaster m Alan de Multon

Wikipedia’s article, the Barony of Kendal, makes William de Lancaster I the first true Baron of Kendal, i.e.

Ivo de Taillebois d 1094 m 2ndly Lucy d 1138, dau[niece]/Thorold of Lincolnshire
~ daughter m Eldred
~ ~ Goditha m Gilbert de Lancaster, son/unknown
~ ~ ~ William “Taillebois” de Lancaster, Baron of Kendal, fl 1166

That article’s author cites William Farrer, co-editor with John F Curwen of the Records relating to the Barony of Kendale which 3 volumes were published in 1923. Since these are available at British History Online, we’ll go to source.

In the Introduction of volume 1, Farrer defines the area which in 11th and 12th centuries was covered by Kentdale . . .

“. . . in that part of North-Western England, which had lain within the power sometimes of the earls of Northumbria and sometimes of the earls of Mercia . . .”

As proof of its Danelaw connections (and this is relevant to our quest) Farrer cites the system of assessment by ploughlands or carucates, as seen in the Domesday Book, which are peculiar to Danelaw and which here overlies the earlier system of English hides.

As further evidence, the northern half of this region, known as “Westmaringaland” would later be divided into East, Middle and West wards, thus echoing the three-way land divisions found elsewhere in  Danelaw, e.g. the Ridings of Yorkshire and Lindsey. The land south and seaward of “Westmaringaland” shows two such three-way divisions: Amounderness, Lonsdale, Kentdale, Cartmel, Furness and Copeland.

Ivo de Taillebois received the grant of Kentdale, Beetham and Kirkby Stephen. When he died circa 1097, his widow Lucy, who Farrer makes daughter of Thorold of Angers, then married Roger Fitz-Gerold (Roger de Romar the son of Gerald de Romar, as given by The Foundation of Medieval Genealogy).

It might be expected that this Fitz-Gerold and his heirs would succeed to Ivo’s possession of Kentdale but this wasn’t so – or at least there’s no evidence of it. Instead, it seems that Kentdale returned to the crown – until Henry I (1100-35) gave almost the entirety of the region to Nigel d’Aubigny. Though there’s no surviving document-evidence for this either.

Around the year 1114, Henry I granted the honour of Lancaster (“Twixt Ribble and Mersey”), late the hold of Roger de Poitou, to his nephew Stephen of Blois, later King Stephen. Included in this grant was the region of Kentdale. So it seems Nigel d’Aubigny held Kentdale as sub-tenant only. And if Nigel d’Aubigny held as such, it seems likely that so too did Ivo de Taillebois.

In short, so far we find the sub-tenants; we do not find the tenants-in-chief and it is those we seek.

Nigel d’Aubigny died in 1129. His son and heir, Roger de Mowbray, then being a minor of 11 or so years, the vast estate forming the d’Aubigny’s inheritance was taken into the king’s wardship. We know this, for the estate’s many parts were listed in the Pipe Roll of that year. Yet there is no mention of Kentdalin in that Pipe Roll. Neither is Kentdale included in “Westmaringaland” which at that time was in the king’s hands.

But if Kentdale was not in the king’s hands, where was it?

The following reign, of King Stephen (1135-1154), generally presents the local historian with an unfathomable black hole devoid of evidence. Not only did Stephen abuse the land and tenants entrusted to him, his reign was marked by constant warring. That’s never a good time for the keeping of records – they tend to char when the castles and manor-houses are fired. However, a charter was issued between 1145–1154 by Roger de Mowbray, now of age, which enfeoffed a certain knight “of his land of Lonsdale, Kentdale and Horton in Ribblesdale, to hold by the service of four knights”. Said knight was William de Lancaster, son of Gilbert and his wife Goditha.

Goditha, you’ll remember, was granddaughter of Ivo de Taillebois and  Lucy niece of Thorold of Lincolnshire and/or Angers.Her husband, though termed ‘de Lancaster’ was son of unknown.

The terms of the grant weren’t to last long, for the entire area of Cumberland, as far south as beyond the Ribble and into Lancashire, was soon in the hands of David, king of Scotland. David I granted the whole of Westmaringaland to Hugh de Morville. This name might seem familiar; we’ll come to that later. As yet, Hugh de Morville was the king of Scotland’s closest friend and later would become Constable of Scotland.

But, despite the change of kings and overlords, William de Lancaster still held land in Westmarieland and Kentdale – just now he held them of Hugh de Morville instead of de Mowbray. And he continued to hold of Hugh de Morville even after Henry II had ousted the Scots from Cumberland. For despite he had served the Scottish king, who anyway was great-uncle to Henry II . . .

St Margaret of Scotland, sister to Edgar Atheling of Wessex m Malcolm III of Scotland
~ David I of Scotland b 1084
~ Maud aka Edith b 1080 m Henry I b 1068
~ ~ Mathilda (Holy Roman Empress) b 1102 m 2ndly Geoffrey de Anjou dc 1151
~ ~ ~ Henry II b 1133 d 1189

Henry II adopted Hugh de Morville as a favourite, and granted him continued possession of Westmarieland.

Hugh de Morville

When, circa 1106, Henry I of England gave the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy to his brother-in-law David, future king of Scotland, Hugh de Morville, resident of the area, joined the future king’s household. Thus Hugh travelled to England with the household when, in 1113, David married Maud, daughter of the English Waltheof (whose involvement with the Three Earls’ Rebellion of 1075 had earned him an emasculating death), and heiress of the earldom of Huntingdon and Northampton. David, inheriting the earldom, granted to Hugh a couple of his manors. He was later to grant Hugh the baronies of Lauderdale and Cunningham in Scotland, as well as the lordship of the greater part of Westmorland.

Hugh de Morville died in 1162. His son Richard succeeded him, not only to the lordship of Westmorland but also as Constable of Scotland. Richard, as we’ve seen, married Avice, or Hawise, daughter of William de Lancaster I.

When in 1170 William de Lancaster died, Richard made promise of 200 marks to Henry II for the right to claim his wife’s lands – but those lands were in Lancaster, not in Kentdale. Other lands of Richard and Hawise mentioned in charters are found likewise to be in Lancaster, not in Kentdale. The boundaries of Lancaster and Kentdale had changed, fixed for all time by royal confirmation during the first decade of Henry II’s rule (1154-1164).

William de Lancaster

In 1174 the borderlands of Cumberland were again in Scottish hands. Though briefly. For on 13 July, 1174, William the Lion, King of the Scots 1165-1214, was defeated and captured at Alnwick by troops led by Ranulf de Glanvill – and Westmarieland was taken into Henry II’s hands. For the next few years William de Lancaster’s former lands were held by an official of the crown. No name is given.

William de Lancaster II was son of William “Taillebois” de Lancaster by his second wife, Gundred daughter of the Earl de Warenne. These are names we need to remember.

William “Taillebois” de Lancaster m 2ndly Gundred de Warenne
~ William de Lancaster II fl 1156 d 1184 m Helewise, dau/Robert de Stuteville
~ ~ Hawise de Lancaster m 1184-89 Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid Lord of Kendal

William de Lancaster II died in 1184, leaving an only daughter, a precious heiress, Helewise or Alice or Hawise or Avice or other variations. Her wardship was given to William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. Marshal gave her in marriage to Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid, son of his steward, along with her entire inheritance which included the land of Westmarieland and Kentdale. Richard I the Lionheart confirmed the grant at Rouen on 20 July, 1189.

King Richard further granted to Gilbert . . .

“. . . his whole forest of Westmarieland, Kentdale and Furness, to hold as fully as William de Lancaster I had held it and by the same bounds, together with the forest in Kentdale that he had given to Gilbert, with six librates of land, to hold in as beneficial a manner as Nigel de Aubigny had ever held it; further that what was “waste” in the woods of Westmarieland and Kentdale, in the time of William de Lancaster I, should be “waste” still, excepting purpresture (i.e. encroachment or improvements) made by the licence and with the consent of the lords of the fee of Kentdale and Westmarieland . . .”

From: Introduction, Records relating to the Barony of Kendale:
volume 1 (1923), pp. VII-XVII

William de Lancaster III

William de Lancaster III was son and heir of Hawise de Lancaster and Gilbert FitzRoger FitzReinfrid.

In 1225, Henry III (1216-1272) addressed to him the following letter:

“. . . We have heard grave complaint on the part of the knights and true men of the county of Westmarieland that, whereas we granted and commanded with all of our realm that all the woods, except our own demesne woods, should be disafforested which were afforested by King Henry II, our grandfather, or King Richard, our uncle, or King John, our father, since the time of the first coronation of the said King Henry, our grandfather, and in the charter of that liberty was contained that as we held ourself towards our own dependents, so our magnates should hold themselves towards theirs; you nevertheless hold as forest in the same state as they formerly were certain woodlands and moors afforested since the time abovestated, to the injury and loss of knights and others, your true men and neighbours. Wherefore we command and firmly enjoin that you permit the said woodlands afforested since the aforesaid time to beholden disafforested in accordance with the tenour of our said charter above expressed; so doing in that behalf lest, if you act otherwise, repeated and more serious complaint thereof be borne to our ears. Witness the King, at Westminster on June 30th, 1225 . . .”

Legal jargon never changes. A letter soiked in similar terms was sent to Robert de Vieuxpont, lord of Appleby, Appleby being the name for what was to be the barony of Westmorland.

From: Introduction, Records relating to the Barony of Kendale:
volume 1 (1923), pp. VII-XVII.

Another charter was issued by Richard I in 1189, wherein he granted to Gilbert FitzReinfrid certain crown estates in Kentdale, and coincidently revealed that in the time of Henry II the lords of Kentdale merely held their land of the lord of Appleby. This charter allows us an interesting glimpse of who held what and where.

Quoting from: Introduction, Records relating to the Barony of Kendale:
volume 1 (1923), pp. VII-XVII.

  • Over Levens, where the Hall stands, was granted by William de Lancaster II to Norman de Redman with the reservation of the fishery in the Kent.
  • The “de Bethum” family held the major part of Farleton and Beetham, and in John’s reign were possessors of the fishery between Arnside and Blawith.
  • Gospatric son of Orm and his son, Thomas, held the major part of Preston Patrick and Holme
  • Patrick de Culwen, or Curwen, younger brother and eventually heir of Thomas, gave his name to the former place.
  • Lands in Burton in Kentdale and Lupton were held early in the 13th century by the “De Burton” family.

How pleasing it would be to find such a charter relating to Robert de Watheby.Though we’re now very close to discovering who was his overlord.

Though the de Lancasters had held Kentdale of Hugh de Morville, they had never been barons. Yet through the process of various grants made during the reign of Richard I (1189-1199), Gilbert FitzReinfrid finally made it to baronial status – i.e. as tenant-in-chief. The lands he held in Kentdale, fixed at the service of a meagre two knights, were the very lands which pre-Hastings had been held by Thorfinnr and Earl Tosti.

To quote Farrer’s in summary, which is given in clipped form by the Wikipedia article:

  • no barony or reputed barony of Kentdale existed prior to the grants of 1189–90
  • neither William de Lancaster son of Gilbert, nor William de Lancaster II, his son and successor, can rightly be described as “baron” of Kentdale.
  • Westmarieland was in the hands of Hugh de Morville by grant of Henry II down to Michaelmas 1176 when it was taken into the king’s hands
  • during this time “Noutgeld” [what amounts to a rent] . . . was paid to Hugh de Morville and received by him as part of the issues of his land of Westmarieland
  • It appears therefore improbable, if not impossible, that Kentdale was held by barony prior to 1190.
  • That it was a barony after that date is proved by . . . the Pipe Roll for “Lancastre” of 5 Henry III (1221)

From: Introduction, Records relating to the Barony of Kendale:
volume 1 (1923), pp. VII-XVII.

Thus there can be no denying who was the big man in this particular part of Cumberland. If Robert de Watheby held here, then he held either of William de Lancaster, and he of Hugh de Morville; or he held direct of de Morville. He could not have been a tenant-in-chief.

Westmarieland or the Barony of Appleby

So much for the precursor of the barony of Kendal. But Watheby (or Waitby as it is now) and Warcop are in the northern barony, that of Appleby, or Westmorland.

The Introduction to The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby is considerably shorter than that to the Barony of Kendal. It begins with Henry II, who enfeoffed Hugh de Morville, as we have seen. It skips lightly over the expulsion of the same knight who, though not mentioned in the previous account of him, was one of the four who spilled the brains of Archbishop Becket on 29 December, 1170 and made of the man a saint. Though, oddly, this wasn’t the reason for de Morville’s expulsion. It was that he had aided the Scottish invasions and Northern Rising of 1173–74.

In 1179 Henry II granted the honour of Westmarieland to his chief justice, Ranulph de Glanville, he who had led the charge at Alnwick. But he too was deprived of it, this time by Richard 1 in 1190. The Crown again resumed possession.

Next, in 1203 King John granted . . .

“Appleby and Brough with all their appendages with the bailiwick and the rent of the county with the services of all tenants (not holding of the king by military service) to hold by the service of four knights . . .”

From: North Westmorland: The barony of Appleby,
The Later Records relating to North Westmorland:
or the Barony of Appleby


Although this is given as evidence of when military service first was due from Appleby/Westmarieland, thus making it a barony, yet it’s of interest to us because of the recipent of the grant. Robert de Vieuxpont.

The author and editor, John F. Curwen (Farrer being now deceased) continues . . .

“. . . the lordship passed down from Robert de Veteripont to his great grand-daughter, Isabella, who married Roger de Clifford in 1269; and from them it passed down through twelve generations to Lady Anne Clifford whose daughter, Margaret, married John Tufton, 2nd Earl of Thanet in 1629 . . .”

I think we can safely say that Robert de Veteripont (Vieuxpont) was overlord to Robert de Watheby’s heirs, at least during the years 1203 to 1228. But that covers only the period from Sir Hugh or Hubert Fitz-Jernegan’s death in 1203, to midway through the life of his son, Sir Hubert, who died in 1239. This is not the most satisfactory of answers.

And, as Copinger tells us in his Manors of Suffolk, Vol VII this same Robert de Vieuxpont was  granted wardship of Jernegan’s lands, widow and children. It could be time to look at this from a different angle.

Maud, daughter of Torphin de Watheby

Maud was heir to her father Torphin. There is no problem there, except one asks what of her sister Agnes. It was usual, while an inheritance passed intact to the eldest surviving son (see Gentry Game), if no such son existed then the inheritance was shared between daughters. So one must assume that Agnes got her share too – which didn’t included Wathe manor, in North Cove, Suffolk. Perhaps Maud was given this as convenient to her Suffolk-based husband. Though, as we shall see, there is ample evidence of the Gernegan family, now given the harder Yorkshire ‘G’, holding lands ‘up north’.

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, published 1914, editor William Page, is available at British History Online. This is another wonderful resource for local historians; most of the parish articles here include lists of placenames found in earlier centuries but now lost. For our first stop – Manfield, a village lying close-to, yet a safe distance from, the Roman-built Watling Street – these 12th and 13th century place-names include:

and Standandestaynecrosse

Pinkney Carr is mentioned in 1717. While in Cliffe, a small village included in the Manfield parish, are found :

Willow Pound
Scroggy Pasture [love that one]
Lime Kill-fields
and Carlberry.

From: Parishes: Manfield,
A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1
(1914), pp. 186-190.

In 1086 Manfield was in the soke of Count Alan’s manor of Gilling. It was part of the honour of Richmond, and so it remained through the centuries.

Sometime before 1137 Count Stephen, younger brother of above Count Alan (see Foundation 2, the Manor), had enfeoffed one Hermer of Kelfield as under-tenant at Manfield. Hermer was succeeded by his daughter Gutherith – Goderida as given in the graphic above.

Torphin son of Robert son of Copsi is the next mentioned, confirmed with his heirs in the tenancy of Manfield at two knights’ fees by Conan IV Earl of Richmond 1146-1171, Duke of Brittany. Hermer and his daughter Goderida are here given as ancestors of Torphin, though bluntly, without more explanation. But we’ve seen that Goderida married Copsi de Watheby, and thus was grandmother to Torphin.

Interesting things are said of Torphin.

  1. he was known as Torphin de Manfield, de Brough and de Watheby. Brough, you’ll note, is in the Barony of Appleby/Westmorland
  2. he had a station at Richmond Castle, this being between the kitchen and the brewery. This implies he served as butler to the Bretons of Richmond, which in those days was an honoured and trusted position. Wine, drunk by the magnates only, did not come cheap.
  3. that while he was descended from a previous lord of Manfield, “his claim to this place must have been through his wife, for the two knights’ fees were divided on his death between his daughters (apparently her children) and the descendants of his son Conan.”
  4. that from 1169 to 1172 Torphin was one of the surveyors of the works of Bowes Castle
  5. that in 1210-12 he paid 2 marks for his lands in Richmondshire.
  6. that he had three daughters:
    1. Parnel.
      It is suggest she might be his natural daughter. (Note, she’s not mentioned in the graphic above). Torphin married her to Geoffrey de Bretaneby – of whom I can find no other reference
    2. Agnes
      Who became wife of Robert Tailbois of Hurworth. Hurworth lies to the south of Darlington, Manfield to the west; though there’s no great distance between them, yet one is in Yorkshire, the other in Co Durham. The river Tees forms the boundary.
    3. Maud
      Who had four successive husbands:

      1. Robert [it’s suggested this is in error and ought to be Hubert]
      2. Nicholas de Bueles
      3. Philip de Burgh, given as son of Thomas de Burgh. That’s probably Burgh-by-Sands, near Carlisle, not Burgh Castle on the Suffolk-Norfolk border; though it could be Burgh-le-Marsh in Lincolnshire.
      4. and John
  7. that Agnes and Maud were their father’s heirs and that both were called ‘de Morvill.’
    Now that is interesting in view of what we have learned of Westmorland and Kendal.
    The author suggests the ‘de Morvill’ is from their mother whose name is otherwise unkown. Apparently, both daughters were granted a share of the church and the mill to St. Agatha’s Abbey. But the author is rather dismissive of Agnes, there being no further evidence of her or her descendants in connection with Manfield. I found mention of her in Kelfield.
  8. that Maud’s son and heir was Gernegan.
  9. that Gernegan’s heir was his daughter Avis who was still a minor when he died.
  10. that said heiress Avis was made ward of Robert Marmion whom, it’s believed, she subsequently married.
    Robert or another, she did marry into the Marmion family for the family held Manfield for several subsequent generations. They then were succeeded there, as at Tanfield (more anon), by the Greys of Rotherfield.

All this is thoroughly referenced in footnotes; see Parishes: Manfield, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, pp. 186-190.

When I first passed this way I was seeking the roots of the Jerningham-Jernegan-Gernegan tree. So having scooped what seemed the jackpot, I moved on to further explore the North Riding of Yorkshire. But now we are trying to understand the descent of an inheritance it might be as well to look at the wider connections.

There was another family holding land in Manfield, known in 13th century as the FitzConans and later as the FitzHenrys of Kelfield. As seen in the graphic and gene-chart above, Robert de Watheby was descended on his mother’s side from one Hermer of Kelfield. But what wasn’t shown in the graphic was that Torphin had a son in addition to Robert. Conan. Conan’s son, Henry, held lands in Manfield in 1202. His grandson, also named Henry, is on record as dividing the mill at Manfield with Avice Marmion (see above) and the Abbot of Easby in 1274. By 1282 Torphin’s holdings at Manfield, two knights’ fees, had been inherited jointly by this same grandson Henry and Avice Marmion.

So, to extend the gene-chart for the Watheby family of Manfield:

~ Copsi de Watheby fl 1146 m Goderida, dau/Hermer, lord of Kelfield & Manfield
~ ~ Robert de Watheby
~ ~ ~ Robert de Warcop
~ ~ ~ Alan de Warcop
~ ~ ~ Torphin de Watheby, lord of Manfield, fl 1210
~ ~ ~ ~ Matilda [Maud] de MorvilleHugh/Hubert, son/Gernegan d 1204
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Gernegan m Rosamund dbef 1215
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Avice dc 1284 m Robert Marmion d 1240
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Nicholas
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hugh
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Isabel
~ ~ ~ ~ Agnes m x3
~ ~ ~ ~ Robert d w/o issue
~ ~ ~ ~ Conan de Manfield and Kelfield
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Henry Fitz Conan fl 1202
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Henry FitzHenry fl 1274

This clearly shows Torphin’s heirs, at least for Manfield, to have been Maud and Conan; and Maud’s heir to have been Gernegan, not Hugh.

The FitzHenrys of Kelfield continued to hold here as mesne lords until 1496. Unlike Wathe and Somerley Town in Suffolk, this was not land held in-chief of the crown, but held of the honour of Richmond.

The Gernegan family held several manors in North Ridings of Yorkshire.

For example in A History of the County of York North Riding, Volume 1 West Tanfield, pp. 384-389 we find Hugh son of Gernegan as tenant of two and a half fees. He is described as a contemporary of Torphin de Manfield and husband of Maud de Morvill, one of the heirs of Torphin de Manfield. And again we’re told that their son Gernegan succeeded to Maud’s inheritance, but nothing is said of their Suffolk-based son, Sir Hubert of Horham.

This is the second mention of Torphin’s daughter and heir being Maud de Morvill, and we’ve already seen that Hugh de Morvill held land that was to become the barony of Appleby or Westmorland, first of David I king of Scotland, and later of Henry II. Since Hugh died 1182, it’s fair to say that Robert son of Copsi, and Torphin too held the manor of Watheby direct of him. In fact, the author of Records relating to the Barony of Kendale: volume 2 Casterton, pp. 326-340, is quite certain that in the 12th century the lords of Manfield in Yorkshire, and of Waitby and Warcop in Westmorland, i.e. Copsi, Robert and Torphin, were lords in Casterton too. To quote:

“. . . [in 1222] Nicholas de Buelles and Matilda [Maud] his wife, one of the daughters and eventually co-heirs of Torphin son of Robert de Manfield, granted for themselves and Matilda’s heirs to Alice [Helewise] daughter of Gilbert, the tenant, a moiety of the manor of Casterton for 30 marks and a palfrey. This Alice, daughter of Gilbert, was undoubtedly the daughter of Gilbert Fitz-Reinfrid and sister of William de Lancaster III. Before the year 1235 she married William de Lindesay and in that year he and Alice his wife called William de Lancaster to warrant to them concerning the third part of the mill in Casterton . . .”

If I’m reading this right then Alice, daughter of Gilbert Fitz-Reinfrid, held land of Maud de Manfield, aka de Morvill.

When we first looked at The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby, we went only as far as Robert de Vieuxpont who held the lordship from 1203 till his death in 1228. The lordship remained in his family, till his great-granddaughter, Isabella, who in 1269 married Roger de Clifford. The lordship then passed to the Cliffords.

That account continues, moving now to the Barony of Kentdale

“. . . it would appear that the lordship over it had been taken from Roger de Mowbray, at or before the accession of Henry II, and united to Westmarieland as a mesne lordship held by the service of £14. 6s. 3d. for noutgeld. So that the Williams de Lancaster, the first and the second, were ipso facto tenants of Hugh de Morvill . . .”
My italics.

To repeat:

“The lordship remained in his family, till his great-granddaughter, Isabella, who in 1269 married Roger de Clifford.”

To connect the dots: if Alice de Lancaster held Casterton of Maud de Watheby, aka Maud de Morvill, it seems quite certain that said Maud de Morvill was heir to Hugh de Morvill. A child could reason it.

So now we can answer from whom did Maud de Watheby hold the manor of Wathe. If she was the heir to Hugh de Morvill then the answer must be of the king as tenant-in-chief.

But wouldn’t that destroy our story of how the manor passed out of Sir Jernegan’s hands and into those of Roger FitzOsbert?

So let’s first make sure that Maud de Watheby really was heir to Hugh de Morvill.

The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby, being the later records are by no means thorough in their coverage of the earlier centuries. However, in St Laurence, Crosby Ravensworth we find this.

Mauld’s Meaburn Hall

“. . . King’s Meaburn and Mauld’s Meaburn were anciently one manor and continued undivided until the time of Hugh de Morville’s rebellion in 1173–4. The king then escheated the manor, saving a portion which was allowed to remain to de Moreville’s only daughter, Maud. Maud married William de Veteripont [Vieuxpont] and about 1230 Ivo de Veteripont granted to his daughter, Joan, for her homage and service one toft with a croft . . .”

Maud daughter of Hugh de Morvill married William de Vieuxpont.

“The King . . . granted the lordship of all [Sir Hubert Jernegan’s] large possessions, and the marriage of his wife and children to Robert de Veteri Pont or Vipont, so that he married them without disparagement to their fortunes . . ”

From Manors of Suffolk, Vol VII, W A Copinger
Manor of Wathe or Wade Hall or Woodhall

Sir Hubert Jernegan’s mother was Maud de Watheby, aka de Morvill. But was she the same Maud, daughter of Hugh de Morvill who had married William de Vieuxpont?

When Hugh de Morville died in 1162, he was succeeded both as Constable of Scotland and in his English and Scottish estates by his son Richard. His English estate was quite extensive, including manors in Northamptonshire, Rutland, and Huntingdon, and of course, the barony of Westmorland and part of Kentdale.

Hugh de Morville d 1162
~ Richard de Morville d 1189 m Avice (Alice, Hawise) de Lancaster
~ ~ William de Morville fl 1180, d w/o issue
~ ~ Malcolm de Morville – killed while hunting
~ ~ Maud de Morville m William de Vieuxpont, Lord of Westmorland
~ ~ Elena de Morville bc 1170 m Roland of Galloway

From Wikipedia’s article on Richard de Morville

According to that article, it was Elena, not Maud, who was the “eventual sole heir” to her father Richard.

But in the article on Hugh de Morville we find there were two Hugh de Morville’s, father and son, and that the Hugh de Morville who co-assassinated Thomas Becket was Hugh the son. See Gene-chart below.

It was this same Hugh de Morville, the son, who later (1174) forfeited the Lordship of Westmorland, inherited from Hugh de Morville the father. Said land and lordship of Westmorland then was granted to Maud, his sister, the same Maud who married William de Vieuxpont.

Yet Wikipedia’s article on Richard de Morville gives this Maud who married William de Vieuxpont as daughter of Richard and thus niece of Hugh, the son of Hugh de Morville. With such conflicting statements we are entitled to be confused.

Hugh de Morville d 1162 m Beatrice, dau-heir/Robert de Beauchamp
~ Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland (the assassin or Thomas Becket)
~ Maud de Morville m William de Vieuxpont.
~ Richard de Morville d 1189 m Avice (Alice, Hawise) de Lancaster
~ Ada de Morville m Roger Bertram, Lord of Mitford, Northumberland
~ Simon de Moreville d 1167, of Kirkoswald, m Ada de Engaine

I checked this genealogy against that given by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy

Hugh de Morville d 1162 m Beatrice de Beauchamp
~ Hugh de Morville daf 1153
~ Richard de Morville d 1189, heir to Hugh his brother m aft 1155 Hawise de Lancaster, widow/William Peverel (disputed by FMG)
~ ~ William de Morville d 1196 m unknown
~ ~ Helen de Morville d 1217 m Roland Lord of Galloway
~ Malcolm de Morville
~ Ada de Morville dc 1227 m 1stly Richard de Lucy
~ Ada de Morville dc 1227 m 2ndly as 2nd wife, Thomas de Multon
~ Joan de Morville m Richard Gernon

Maud de Morville is absent from FMG, both as sister of Richard de Morville, and as daughter. This doesn’t mean she didn’t exist, only that her name doesn’t feature with others of the family in any of the surviving charters.

So back to the Hugh de Morville article in Wikipedia; what are the sources? Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Stringer (2004). Unfortunately the DNB requires subscription to access The article on Richard de Morville cites the same DNB, though not specifically in reference to Maud, sister or daughter.

However, Wikipedia’s article on Robert de Vieuxpont repeats of Maud de Morville as wife William de Vieuxpont, she being mother of Robert. Here, in ‘References’ is a link to a ‘Biography, of Robert de Vieuxpont in service of King John 1203’ To quote:

“Vieuxpont [Veteri Ponte, Vipont], Robert de (d. 1228), administrator and magnate . . . was the younger son of William de Vieuxpont (d. in or before 1203), who became an important Anglo-Scottish landowner, and his wife, Maud de Morville (d. c.1210), whose father Hugh (in 1170 one of the assassins of Thomas Becket) forfeited the barony of Westmorland in 1173 . .

“. . . in February 1203 he was given custody of the castles of Appleby and Brough, to which the lordship of Westmorland was added a month later; then in October 1203 custody during pleasure was changed to a grant in fee simple, for the service of four knights, and Vieuxpont had become one of the leading barons in northern England.”

Sources? Well, while the author provides an impressive list he doesn’t note which belongs to what.

The other link given as ‘References’ is to Westmorland Barony, an informative site that covers the history of Barony of Appleby from 1066.

“. . . William the Norman Conqueror gave the whole of Cumberland, and this great barony, to Ranulph de Meschiens, who married Lucia, the sister of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester . . .”

Ranulph de Meschiens and Lucia had a son Ranulph, heir to all but a large portion of Cumberland which had previously been granted to “his uncle William and others”.

When Ranulph de Meschiens, junior, became Earl of Chester he gave the barony of Appleby to his sister, wife of Robert d’Estrivers, or Trevers. Their daughter married Ranulph Engain, who thus was the next to acquire the barony. Ranulph Engain’s granddaughter “passed it to Simon de Morville”, assumingly through marriage. And Simon de Morville’s son Hugh was one of the four knights that assassinated Thomas-a-Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Wrong – or at least, not unless Simon de Morville was alias Hugh de Morville the elder. Wrong too that the king seized his estates in reaction to the assassination. As we’ve already seen, Hugh de Morvill lost his hold of Westmorland/Appleby because of his involvement with a northern rebellion.

“. . . the barony then was retained by the crown till King John granted it to Robert de Veteripont, (Lord of Curvaville, in Normandy), together with the custody of the castles of Appleby and Brough, and the “Sheriffwick and rent of the county of Westmorland,” in perpetuity . . .”

From Westmorland Barony.

In 1228 John de Vieuxpont succeeded his father Robert as sheriff of Westmorland. In 1242 John’s son and heir, Robert de Vieuxpont, being a minor was taken into the king’s wardship. He later joined the barons in rebellion against Henry III and died in 1264 of his wounds. The barony was subsequently restored to his daughters Isabella and Idonea.

This might seem an improvement, for now we have certain evidence of a Robert de Vieuxpont alive at the time of Sir Hubert Jernegan’s death. Yet he was an infant.

And the source for the above history? None is given.

Returning to Wikipedia, what are we told about William de Vieuxpont? After all, he was the one who married Maud de Morville.

“. . . William de Vieuxpont, Lord of Westmorland married Maud, daughter of Richard de Morville (1189-?). She died in 1210. He died in 1203 . . ”

And the source? The Oxford National Dictionary of Biographies.

So Maud was daughter of Richard de Morville, not his sister. But this Maud de Morville, who married William de Vieuxpont, could not be the same Maud de Morville, daughter of Torphin de Watheby. She is already the daughter of Richard de Morville. Yet she could be the unnamed wife of Torphin and mother of Hugh fitz Gernegan’s wife, Maud de Morville.

Alice de Lancaster held Casterton manor of Maud de Watheby, aka Maud de Morvill, aka Maud de Manfield.

But then how could this Maud de Morville have time to marry Torphin and produce, at the least, daughters Agnes and Maud, and then for the daughter Maud to marry Hugh fitz Gernegan, when said Hugh fitz Gernegan died in 1203 – and so too did Maud de Morville’s first husband, William de Vieuxpont.

The answer is twofold:

  1. we – and the authors of these histories – are looking at the evidence from a future perspective and this causes distortion in the sequence of events. i.e. a woman might be widowed and remarried ten, even twenty, years after her daughter has married and produced five or so grandchildren. Which leads to the second part of the answer.
  2. Agnes and Maud were not Thorpin’s daughters. It clearly says that in the History of the County of York North Riding; Manfield

“. . . the two knights’ fees were divided on [Torphin’s] death between his daughters (apparently her children) and the descendants of his son Conan . . .”
My italics, but not my brackets.

And that is why Robert, who died without issue, is shown on the Casterton graphic, and why Conan is not.

And that is why Agnes and Maud/Matilda are shown on the Casterton graphic, but their step-sister Parnel is not.

So to amend and update the Manfield gene-chart:
~ Copsi de Watheby fl 1146 m Goderida, dau/Hermer, lord of Kelfield & Manfield
~ ~ Robert de Watheby
~ ~ ~ Torphin de Watheby, lord of Manfield, fl 1210 m 1stly unknown
~ ~ ~ ~ Parnel
~ ~ ~ ~ Conan de Kelfield
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Henry FitzConan fl 1202
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Henry FitzHenry fl 1274
~ ~ ~ Torphin de Watheby, lord of Manfield, fl 1210 m 2ndly Maud de Morville, widow/William de Vieuxpont
~ ~ ~ ~ Robert d w/o issue

Hugh de Morville d 1162 m Beatrice de Beauchamp
~ Hugh de Morville daf 1153
~ Richard de Morville d 1189 m aft 1155 Hawise de Lancaster
~ ~ Maud de Morville m 1stly William de Vieuxpont
~ ~ ~ Agnes m x3
~ ~ ~ Maud de Watheby m 1stly Hugh/Hubert, son/Gernegan d 1204
~ ~ ~ ~ Gernegan m Rosamund dbef 1215
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Avice dc 1284 m Robert Marmion d 1240
~ ~ ~ ~ Nicholas son of Gernegan
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert Jernegan dc 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ Isabel
~ ~ Maud de Morville m 2ndly Torphin de Watheby
~ ~ ~ Robert d w/o issue


Now we have journeyed north, to North Ridings of Yorkshire, we’re in a better position to find Bryan, the very root of the Jerningham tree. Though Prince of Denmark? That I still doubt. For as I said at the start, Brian is not Danish name. It was a name common amongst Bretons of this period, as much as was Conan and Alan. And at this period in the North Riding of Yorkshire Bretons abounded.

But word-counts and deadlines have again tripped me. I have just enough time to add this, then the rest must wait for next week.

We have seen how, in the account of Wathe Manor in Copinger’s Manors of Suffolk, the names given in the early part all have northern providence. Robert de Watheby and his daughter Maud, Robert de Vieuxpont. Even the Jernegan family are represented in the north. And I have said of the name of the manor, that it’s formed upon wade, and is a name found in many places, north to south, throughout England.

Wathe – the wading-place

“At the east end of Hurworth village there is another bridge across the Tees, and there are fords near Neasham village called High Wath and Low Wath . . .”

From A History of the County of Durham:
Volume 3 (1928), Hurworth, pp. 285-293

Wath, or Wathe, a wading-place. Some have grown to be villages.

Wath St Mary:

“. . . a parish, partly in the wapentake of Allertonshire, and partly in that of Hallikeld, N. riding of York; containing, with the townships of Melmerby, Middleton-Quernhow, and Norton Conyers . . . “


“ . . . a township, in the parish of Hovingham, union of Malton, wapentake of Ryedale, N. riding of York, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Malton . . . “

Wath-Upon-Dearne (All Saints):

“. . . a parish, in the union of Rotherham, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York . . .”

From A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 486-490.

But to return to the parish of Wath that straddles the Allerton and Hallikeld wapentakes in the North Riding of Yorkshire, which in 1831 comprised the township of Wath and the chapelries of Melmerby, Middleton Quernhow and Norton Conyers . . .

The manor of Wath had been held, pre-Hastings, by Archil and Roschil. Archil the father of Copsi, already met in the Casterton graphic. By 1086 the manor had become part of Count Alan’s extensive honour. And so it remained, held of the Bretons of Richmond down through the centuries.

But there is an interesting story told here. It seems the whole of Wath and the church were granted, before 1156, to the abbey of Mont St. Michel. Yet, almost as if he didn’t know, Alan III, Lord of Richmond, went ahead and granted the land to Brian, lord of Bedale.

“. . . and that Brian or his son enfeoffed of it one of the ancestors of the Marmions, probably Gernegan son of Hugh, against whom the monks of Mont St. Michel brought a plea concerning land in Wath in 1176-7 . . .”

To compound the matter, a few years previous, Brian, younger brother of Conan IV, Earl of Richmond, Duke of Brittany (1146-1171) had confirmed his predecessor’s grant to the abbey. The monks were not about to settle quietly out of court and the dispute rolled on for some sixty years. It came to a head in 1239 when the monks took it to the Papal Court.

The abbey claimed they’d always had two monks on the manor. (Though how that proves their right I’m sure I don’t know.) Sir Robert Marmion claimed he had it by right of his wife – Avis daughter of Gernegan, who again we have met. Moreover, Sir Robert offered to prove by duel that the manor was his. And, foolishly, the then-abbot accepted.

The duel duly was fought

“ . . . in a place appointed by the king, the knight bringing a multitude of armed men, and the knight’s champion was more than once brought to the ground, on which the knight’s party interfered to rescue him, and threatened death to the abbot and his champion, so that the abbot, fearing that death would ensue, came to the spot and renounced his right, which renunciation the knight would not admit save by way of peace and payment of a sum of money . . .”

From: A History of the County of York North Riding:
Volume 1
(1914), Wath, pp. 390-396.

The rights and wrongs of the case are irrelevant, though it was later judged by the pope that the Marmions did have the right of the claim. What is relevant is that Wath in North Riding of Yorkshirewas held by one Hugh, son of Gernegan the elder, husband of Maud de Watheby. And this at a time when Robert de Vieuxpont was active as a sheriff of the northern reaches – the same Robert de Vieuxpont who was the son of William de Vieuxpont and Maud de Morville, these being Hugh Fitz Gernegan’s in-laws.

I believe there has been a mistake, a perfectly understandable muddling of one place for another. I believe the account we’re given by Copinger and Blomefield belongs to the northern Wath. I believe the Suffolk manor of Wathe to be named merely for the fact of its location, beside the river Waveney at a point that might be waded. I believe that manor was not in Jernegan hands until inherited along with Somerley Town by Sir Peter Jernegan in 1338.


And in the next post, finally, we’ll meet with Bryan. But will he be Danish, or Breton?

The Roots Of A Name

What’s In A (Sur)Name

It is claimed – by one of those websites that purport to explain the meaning of your surname while trying to sell you coasters and tea-towels emblazoned with your never-existent family crest and arms – that surnames became a legal requirement during the reign of Edward III. Said site said that said law was passed to facilitate the collection of Poll Tax.

Never one to believe what I’ve read until I have verified it at source, I went in search of this law. As I mentioned in Foundations 2: the Manor poll tax was already in existence before 1377 when Richard II, not Edward III, wanted to raise it fourfold. Parliament refused him.

In seeking proof of this earlier poll tax, called subsidy, I found this.

The Yorkshire Lay Subsidy

From Introduction, Yorkshire Lay Subsidy: pp. VII-XIX.

“This volume contains the return for Yorkshire, as far as preserved, to the grant of a subsidy of a Fifteenth of all personalty made to Edward I. at the Parliament held at Lincoln in the spring of 1300–1. The only other subsidy for this reign which is extant, namely, a Ninth granted in 1297, has been printed in Volume xvi. of this series.The Account for Manfield

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . s . . . . d
De Dionisia que fuit uxor Roberti_______xxiiij. . . . ij
De Willelmo Tynay____________________ v . . .  j . . . . q
De Elena uxore Willelmi_______________viij .  . . v . . . . o
De Alano de Craneswyke______________ vj . . . . v
De Rogero filio Stephani_______________viij . . . .vj . . . . o
De Johanne de Cliffe__________________ vj . . .viij . . . . q
De Hermero Preposito_________________ x . . . . . . . . . .q
De Ricardo filio Ricardi Fabri____________vij . . . . j . . . . q
De Galfridi Pouer_____________________ iiij. . . . x
De Rogero Leny______________________iiij . . . . ij
De Willelmo Skargil____________________iij . . . . v
De Rogero Clerico_____________________vj  . . viij
De Galfrido filio Willelmi_____________________xiij . . .o q
De Willelmo Utting’_________________________xx
De Reynero Scot__________________________xij . . . . o
De Galfrido Fouel_____________________ij . . . . ij
De Johanne Rycheman_____________________ ix . . . . o q
De Johanne Scot__________________________viij
De Roberto filio Nelle________________________ x . . . . q
De Thoma de Werdale_____________________xviij . . . . o q
De Rogero Ilger___________________________xvij
De Willelmo Rugel_________________________ xiij
De Roberto Salthare___________________ij. . . . . . . . .. . . o
De Roberto Hare______________________ij . . . . . iij . . . . o
De Roberto Prestman__________________ ij . . . . . v
De terra Henrici Pygot________________________iiij
De Galfrido Knagarde___________________v .  . . . iij . . . . o q
De Willelmo filio Reyneri________________ ij . . . . . v . . . . q
De Thoma Chapeleyn__________________ iij . . . . .ix . . . . o q
De Roberto Fabro_____________________ iiij . . . . . j . . . . o
De Malyn Grym_____________________________xvij . . . . o q
De Johanne Turnay_____________________ij . . . . vij . . . . o
De Johanne filio Willelmi ______________________iiij
Summa______________________vijli . . . . . ij . . . . . vj . . . . o

From: ‘The Subsidy: Wapentake of Gilling’, Yorkshire Lay Subsidy:
30 Ed. I (1301) (1897), pp. 8-26.

In 1301 the tax collectors managed well enough to assess the number of adults in each household, to name the head of that household and to collect the calculated tax from each head without enforced use of surnames. True, there were surnames; some describe the person, some the said person’s trade, others tells us whence his family.

  • Thomas Chapeleyn
  • Roger Clark (Cleric)
  • Geoffrey (Galfrid) Fouel
  • Malyn Grym
  • Robert Hare
  • Roger Ilger
  • Geoffrey Knagarde
  • Roger Leny
  • Geoffrey Pouer
  • Hermer Preposito
  • Robert Prestman
  • Henry Pygot
  • William Rugel
  • John Rycheman
  • Robert Salthare
  • Reyner Scot
  • William Skargil
  • Robert Smith (Fabro)
  • John Turnay
  • William Tynay
  • William Utting

But then again, not all heads of household listed here bore what we’d call a surname. Some were merely defined by where they held land:

  • Alan de Craneswyke
  • John de Cliffe
  • Thomas de Werdale

Their sons or grandsons would eventually drop that ‘de’ and then they’d be simply Alan Craneswyke, John Cliffe and Thomas Werdale. But for now that little ‘de’ defines them as holders of land and not merely villagers whose grandparents lived in some other place, be it far away Scotland or local Skargill.

The remainder bear names that raise more questions than they answer.

  • Dionisia wife of Robert
  • Robert son of Neil
  • Elena wife of William
  • Geoffrey son of William
  • John son of William
  • William son of Reyner
  • Roger son of Stephan
  • Richard son of Richard Smith

Who was this William with a wife named Elena? Was he the same William whose son was Geoffrey? Had he a second son, John? And was he the same William whose father was Reyner? The collector of taxes would have known, and if not him then the village spokesman who probably was Dionisia wife of Robert. Judging by the size of her tax demand she had a good number of employees as well as her family which implies she was the Lady of Manfield.

Dionisia was of that class whose names present the local historian with the greatest problem: the mesne lords.

It was usual for the mesne lord to appel himself by his home manor. Sir Hubert de Horham. But he might hold several manors, and the business in hand might relate to a different location. Then we might find his name given as Sir Hubert de Hethil, or Sir Hubert de Bugg. And then when, by wily playing of the Gentry Game, he inherits new estates through his heiress-wife he might change his name again, to that of his latest acquisition. Sir Hubert de Horham, or de Hethil or de Bugg becomes Sir Hubert de Herling. What hope then of the local historian trying to follow him.

As if that’s not enough, while the landless gentleman awaited the demise of his lordly father which would immediately promote him to baron, he was usually known as son of his father, as in Geoffrey son of Godfrey. Good for Geoffrey’s reputation when Godfrey’s vast wealth was almost a byword, but not so good if Godfrey was currently on trial for treason.

A hundred years before the subsidy of 1301, we find, for example in the Plea Rolls Of The Reign Of Henry III for Staffordshire for the year 1219 even more frequent use of the ‘de’:

  • Walter de Arderne
  • Geoffrey de Canvill
  • Gerome de Curzun
  • William de Kileby
  • Roger de Mulewic
  • Ralph de Picheford
  • William de Parlis

Though this might reflect the nature of the evidence; mesne lords were more likely to be involved in court action as accused, plaintiff or witness. Yet there is also a smattering of what we would recognise as surnames:

  • Albreda Marmiun
  • Stephen Meverel
  • Eustace Purcel
  • John Ruffus

And names that depend upon family relations:

  • Alice, widow of Philip fitz Bishop
  • Richard fitz William
  • Alina, wife of Nigel de Newinton

Spellings varied, sometimes widely, this due to different clerks, each spelling phonetically.

  • Albreda Marmiun is given even within the month as Albreda Marmigiun
  • Geoffrey de Canvill is given as de Canvill, de Caunvill, de Chanvill, and Coleville, though this last I suspect is a more recent rendering.

How much of this reflects the dialectal differences of the recording clerks places of origin.

From: ‘Plea Rolls for Staffordshire: 1219-20’,
Staffordshire Historical Collections, vol. 4 (1883), pp. 9-14.

Documents exist from earlier times. But the earlier they are the less likely they are to contain the names of the plain village man. Most of the earliest names come from the witness lists of the plentiful charters.

However, from London and Middlesex Fines: Richard I (r.1189-1199)

  1. Roger, son of Pascarius, and Peter Passator. 10 messuages and half a virgate of land and half an acre of meadow in Westminster. Anno 10.
  2. John, son of Edward, and Hibernicus de Luitone and Matilda, his wife. One acre of meadow in Westminster. Anno 10.
  3. Clementia and Juliana, daughters of Martin, and Gilbert le Brazur. One messuage in Westminster. Anno 10.
  4. Matilda, daughter of Alwin Tornegold, and Richard le Paumer, William, son of Asketill, and William Ruffu’. Half a virgate, and 2 acres of land and one messuage in Stanewell and Bedefunte. Anno 10.
  5. Geoffrey, son of Osbert, and Andrew Plundit (?). 40 acres of land in Stebehee. Anno 10.
  6. Ailwin de Alprinton and Richard de Hinton. One virgate of land in Greneford. Anno 10.
  7. Walter, son of Gerard, and Matilda, daughter of Alexander. One hide of land in Bedefunte. Anno 10.
  8. Richard de Ely, and Constantine, son of Alulf. One virgate of land in Egeswere. Anno 10.
  9. Ailward de Cherringe and Hawisia, his wife, and the abbot of Westminster. 3 virgates of land in Tudinton. Anno 9.
  10. Ralph de Septemfontibus, and John, son of Eadward Prepositus. One acre of land in the vill of Westminster, next the road towards the Hospital of St. James. Anno 9.
  11. Roger Enganet and Geoffrey Picot. One acre of meadow in the vill of Westminster, in Langedich’, in exchange for two acres of land in the fields of Westminster, which Matilda, who was the wife of Alnoth, held within the Long Hedge (Longa Haia). Warranty by Nicholas, son of Geoffrey, and William, son of Ordric. Anno 9.
  12. Lucy, daughter of Wufr’ Boquinte, and John, her son. 2 carucates of land in Heggeswer; to wit, all the land which the same John holds of the fees of William de Reimes and Adam Boquinte in Heggeswer, and 5s. rent from the land where timber is sold, which Robert Barun gaveto the same Lucy. Anno 9.
  13. William, son of Thurstan de Coleham, and William, abbot of Westminster. Concerning a proxy (senescantia) of the abbey of Westminster. Anno 9.
  14. Ralph de Cormeiles and Matilda, his wife, and Estrilda, sister of the same Matilda, by John Burguinum, their attorney, and Henry, son of Ailwin. One virgate and a half of land in Stebenee which belonged to Edwin Bilewit, Walter Bilewit, and John Bilewit. Anno 9.
  15. Richard, son of Edward, and Ralph de Septemfontibus. One virgate of land in Chelchud’. Anno 8.
  16. Ralph de Heirun of Estre, and Ralph de Heirun of Edelm’. A fourth part a knight’s fee and one virgate of soccage land (terra de soccag’) in Edelmer’. Anno 8.

From: ‘London and Middlesex Fines: Richard I’,
A Calendar to the Feet of Fines for London & Middlesex:
volume 1: Richard I – Richard III (1892), pp. 1-4.

To isolate and group these . . .

Those named for their home manor:
Ailwin de Alprinton
Ailward de Cherringe
Ralph de Heirun
Richard de Hinton
Hibernicus de Luitone
Ralph de Septemfontibus
Ralph de Septemfontibus

And those named for place of origin:
Richard de Ely
William de Reimes
Ralph de Cormeiles

Those name for their husband, sister or father:
Clementia and Juliana, daughters of Martin
Constantine, son of Alulf
Estrilda, sister of Matilda
Geoffrey, son of Osbert
Hawisia, wife of Ailward de Cherringe
Henry, son of Ailwin
John, son of Eadward Prepositus
Lucy, daughter of Wufrid Boquinte
Matilda, daughter of Alexander
Matilda, wife of Alnoth
Matilda, daughter of Alwin Tornegold
Matilda, wife of Hibernicus de Luitone
Matilda, wife of Ralph de Cormeiles
Nicholas, son of Geoffrey
Richard, son of Edward
Roger, son of Pascarius
Walter, son of Gerard
William, son of Asketill
William, son of Ordric
William, son of Thurstan de Coleham

Those with attributes:
Gilbert le Brazur
Richard le Paumer

Those with “surnames”:
Robert Barun
Edwin Bilewit
Walter Bilewit
John Bilewit
Adam Boquinte
John Burguinum
Roger Enganet
Peter Passator
Geoffrey Picot
Andrew Plundit
William Ruffus

Comparing the three dates, there is a noticable change. In 1189 the majority of people recorded are identified by reference to parent or place. By 1301, the majority bear recognisable surnames.

So when did the use of surnames arise?

It’s generally agreed that, at least in Western Europe, the first surnames began as by-names, what we’d today call nicknames. These were  prevalent in Germanic and Scandinavian countries and probably long before the conversion to Christianity when they begin to appear in written records. The most popular bynames recorded in the earliest days of the Icelandic colonies were:

inn gamli = the old
goði = a local leader though also usually the priest
inn hvíti = the white
inn sterki = the strong
inn auðgi = the rich

But these names weren’t inheritable. Eilifr might have been exceptionally strong, but was the son? And Thorny might have had black hair but his sons all turned out to be blond.

It’s more likely that names relating to trades were the first to be attached to a family, simply because in this the sons tended to follow their father. Thus the sons of Torald the Smith would also be smiths; those of Wibert the Miller would be millers.

Names that related to a particular feature of a settlement would also be early. The sons of Olaf Atte Well would also be surnamed Atte Well – unless they moved away from the well. Young Tovi who served the bishop might be named for that, Biscopi. If his sons followed him in this service they too would be Biscopis.

Trade and place names would have preceded names of personal attributes as hereditary.

And what of the women, how were they named. The sad truth, as we’ve seen, is that a girl before marriage was named as her father’s daughter. Once married she was wife of her husband. Only after his death, when she inherited his estate, his smithy or mill might she be named for that instead.

None of this makes it easier for the local historian to winkle-out the hidden roots of a family. As we’re to discover in the next post, Bryan Prince of Denmark.

Lady Isabel and the Jernegan Lords

Jernegan Osbert Creke Manors

Map of the manors mentioned in the text.

The Jernegans of Somerley Town

“Sir Walter Jernegan of Horham, and of Stonham-Jernegan, Knt . . . married Isabella, daughter and at length heir of Sir Peter Fitz-Osbert of Somerley Town in Suffolk, Knt. . . . She afterwards became co-heir to her brother, Roger Fitz-Osbert, summoned among the barons to parliament 22 Edward I [1294]. Sir Walter must have died before the 34th Edward I [1306] his wife Isabella being described that same year as a widow, 40 years of age.”

From The Baronetage of England, Vol 1, by Rev William Betham, 1801

When Sir Walter Jernegan (of Horham and Stonham-Jernegan, see Map) was contracted in marriage to Isabella, daughter and at length heir of Sir Peter Fitz-Osbert, she had a brother, Roger Fitz-Osbert. And he a wife. So he might be expected to produce an heir. And even after his first wife died (Sarah de Creke) and he married another (Katherine) there still was a chance. Yet in 1306 when he died . . .

“To Walter de Glouc[estria], escheator* this side Trent.

Order to deliver to Katharine, late the wife of Roger son of Peter son of Osbert, the manors of Somerleton, Wathe and Uggechale, co. Suffolk, Haddescou and Wyghtlyngham, co. Norfolk, which he has taken into the king’s hands by reason of Roger’s death, and to deliver to her the issues received thence, as the king learns by an inquisition taken by the escheator that Roger and Katharine jointly acquired the manors from John Blome, to hold to them and to Roger’s heirs, and that Roger and Katharine continued their seisin thereof until Roger’s death, and that the manors of Somerleton and Wathe are held of the king in chief and the manors of Uggechale and Haddiscou are held of Roger le Bygod, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England, and the manor of Whitlyngham is held of Richard de la Rokele, and the king has taken Katharine’s fealty for the manors of Somerleton and Wathe, which he has rendered to her.”

From: ‘Close Rolls, Edward I: June 1306’, Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward I: volume 5: 1302-1307 (1908), pp. 389-399.

* Escheat
The process whereby the property of a person who died without immediate heirs was temporarily reclaimed by the Crown while an inquest was held. The land then was granted to whatever heirs had been found else, in their absence, returned to the leaser, which might be the Crown.

The statement of 1st June 1306, found in the Close Rolls of Edward I, is packed with information:

  1. the immediately ancestry of Roger Fitz-Osbert — “Roger son of Peter son of Osbert”
  2. the name of Roger’s widow — Katharine
  3. that Katherine was found to be his heir — i.e. Roger died without issue
  4. the extent of Roger’s estate at the time of his death — the manors of Somerleton, Wathe and Uggechale, co. Suffolk, Haddescou and Wyghtlyngham = Somerleyton, Wathe manor in North Cove, Uggeshall, Whitlingham, and not Haddescou as given but Hadeston (to which we’ll return)
  5. that these manors were jointly acquired from John Blome
  6. the manors of Uggechale and Haddiscou were held of Roger le Bygod, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England
  7. the manor of Whitlyngham was held of Richard de la Rokele
  8. the manors of Somerleton and Wathe were held of the king
  9. the king had taken Katharine’s fealty for these last two manors

“These manors were jointly acquired from John Blome”

This brief but vital statement implies to the modern mind that Roger and Katherine bought (or leased) the said manors from the said John Blome; that these were not part of a greater inheritance but had newly come to the family.

Curious of why this untitled John might have the king’s manors to sell, I went in search of him. He was not easily found and required a lengthy trawl. However, I discovered him lurking in Francis Blomefield’s An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk available at British History Online, Volume 7, pp. 66-78: Hundred of Humble-Yard: Newton.

The Manor of Blundeville’s, or Newton-Hall

“. . . which had its name from its owners, and to which the mediety of the advowson of the church belonged; the first that I find of this name owner here, was Will. de Blundeville, Blomevyle, or Blunnel, (fn. 4) who had it of the gift of Henry de Rhye, with Blomevyle’s manor in Depham . . .”

After a dry discourse on the descent of the manor through the hands of the heirs, there is notice of the patrons of the above-said church and the rectors appointed.

“1294, John Blumvyle, rector; he was escheator for the King in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgshire, Huntingdonshire, Essex, and Hertfordshire, in 1289. Will. de Blumville, patron.”

Having found him once of course he appeared again: now in “Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: North-Creak’, volume 7, pp. 66-78.

“. . . in 18 Edward II [1325] Alice, widow of John de Thorp, had the King’s writ directed to John de Blomvill, eschaetor of Norfolk and Suffolk, Cambridge, &c. dated April 18, at Beauliau, for dower to be assigned her, out of certain knight’s fees . . .”

Although neither excerpt make explicit that John Blome and John Blumvyle are one and same, yet it was common at this time to drop the French ‘ville’, as did Bishop Turbe of Norwich,  given also as Turbeville.

So, what the above statement was saying, wasn’t that Roger and Katherine had bought these manors, but that they had paid the fines incurred in the process of transferring from deceased to heir (these were later replaced by death duties). The said deceased, from whom Roger and Katherine jointly inherited, was, as recounted by Betham in his Baronetage of England, Sir Peter Fitz-Osbert of Somerley Town.

But the transference of estate had not gone smoothly as here evidenced:.

“May 4. Winchester

To Walter de Gloucestr[ia], escheator this side Trent. Order to deliver to Katharine, late the wife of Roger son of Peter son of Osbert, tenant in chief, the manors of Somerleton, Wath and Uggehale, co. Suffolk, and the manors of Hadiscou and Witlingham, co. Norfolk, which he has taken into the king’s hands by reason of Roger’s death, to be held by her in tenencia until the octaves of the Holy Trinity next, so that she may answer to the king for the issues thereof if they ought to pertain to him, although the king learned by an inquisition taken by the escheator concerning the lands that belonged to Roger that Roger and Katharine acquired the manors from John Blome to them and the heirs that he should beget upon Katharine, with remainder to Roger’s right heirs, and the king has ordered another inquisition to be taken by the escheator by reason of certain defects found in the said inquisition.” [My italics]

From: ‘Close Rolls, Edward I: May 1306’, Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward I: volume 5: 1302-1307 (1908), pp. 379-388

And what were these “certain defects”?

An account concerning the Osbert estate is given in the ‘Close Rolls, Edward I: June 1306’, Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward I: volume 5: 1302-1307 (1908), pp. 389-399 already quoted.

“June 21. Dunstable

The king sent his writ to Walter de Gloucestr[ia], escheator this side Trent, dated at Bishops Sutton, 6 May, in his thirty-fourth year, which is set out in full, ordering the escheator to take into the king’s hands all the lands that Roger son of Peter son of Osbert held at his death both by the courtesy of England of the inheritance of Sarah, his late wife, and of his own inheritance, and to cause them to be kept safely until further orders, and to make inquisition what land Roger held of the king in chief of the said inheritance, and what he held of others, and by what service, and how much the land is worth yearly in all issues, and who is Sarah’s nearest heir.”

The disputed estate was not that of Roger Fitz-Osbert, but of Sarah, his first wife. And that estate was no back-door yard as witness:

“By virtue of which writ Walter returned an inquisition by which it is found that Roger at his death held by the courtesy of England of Sarah’s inheritance the manors of Cumbes and Helmyngham, co. Suffolk, and the manors of Hillington and Northcrek, co. Norfolk . . .”

From his returns I have assembled these figures, representing the estate before the division made on 10th November 1306:
Head-count is approximate; perches and pennies rounded-up

North Creak manor:

  • the chief messuage = 5 acres
  • 714 acres arable land
  • 34 acres meadow and pasture
  • 94 acres of heather
  • 44 acres of plain
  • a rabbit-warren
  • a windmill
  • the proceeds from a market on Tuesday and of a yearly fair at Michaelmass
  • the advowson of the church
  • rents from 29 free tenants yielding £3 16s 4d per annum plus their services
  • rent in the form of 10 capons yearly from the Binham priory and 3 other tenants
  • rents from 310 acres let out to 96 tenants yielding £5 12s per annum
  • 172 acres held by another 72 tenants on labour-terms alone.
  • 5 knights’ fees.

Hillington manor:

  •  the chief messuage = 2 acres and 5 perches
  • 234 acres, 2 roods and 26 perches of arable
  • 2 acres of meadow
  • 111 acres, 2 roods and 5 perches of pasture
  • rents of £1 3s 3d per annum from 17 free tenants
  • rents, unspecified, (with services) from another 3 tenants holding a total of 18 acres. If let out at the same rents as above, estimated income = 12s 9d.
  • 12 acres and 2 roods held by 2 tenants by labour alone
  • the advowson of the church

Combs manor:

  • the enclosed stew outside the gate [! a bathhouse, or a brothel?]
  • 254 acres, 3 rood and 18 perches of arable land
  • 34 acres, 1 rood and 30 perches of meadow
  • 23 acres 3 roods and 25 perches of pasture
  • 36 acres, 2 roods and 9 perches of wood
  • the mills of the manor
  • the fines, amercements, forfeitures and emends from the leet court
    the advowson of the church
  • £13 14s 7d of rent of assize received yearly from the free tenants
  • 21s of yearly scutage received at Michaelmass from 57 tenants – including the master of the hospital of St John at Battisford, the abbot of St Osyth and the prioress of Flixton
  • £7 16s 8d of rent from 114 tenants with their tenements, suits and offspring, customs and services rendering annually
  • a further 57 hens and 204 eggs

Helmingham manor:

  • 5 acres, 3 roods and 4 perches of the messuage
  • 170 acres, 22 roods of arable land
  • 10 acres, 1 rood of meadow
  • 6 acres, 2 roods, 28 perches of pasture
  • 22 acres, 35 perches of wood
  • a windmill
  • £2 7s 9d of rent of assize of 28 free tenants
  • £2 18s. 2d rent from 14 customary-tenants with their services
  • 12 knights’ fees

In a land where a man with acres sufficient to feed his family could count himself rich, the de Creke estate was wealth indeed.

Charged with investigating who was heir to this disputed estate Walter de Gloucestr[ia] returned with the following:

  1. Sarah, late wife of Roger Fitz-Osbert, was daughter of Sir Bartholomew de Creke (d 1252) and Margery, daughter and heiress of Geffrey de Anos.
  2. While Geoffrey de Anos, or Hanes, had brought to the Game Table the manors of Hillington, Uphall and Netherall in Norfolk, Sarah’s father, Sir Bartholomew de Creke, had been heir to the Glanville estate.

Sarah’s ancestral connections are best understood in graphic form.

William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey m Elizabeth de Vermandois
~ Gundred de Warenne m Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick
~ ~ Countess Gundred de Beaumont (c.1135–1200) m 1stly Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk
~ ~ Countess Gundred de Beaumont m 2ndly Roger de Glanville (see below)

Bartholomew de Glanville* fl 1206 granted Combs manor to Sir Robert de Creke (see W A Copinger Manors of Suffolk Vol VI available online or as free download)

>~ ~ ~ Hervey de Glanville, son or grandson, unclear
~ ~ ~ ~ William de Glanville
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Agnes de Glanville m Sir Robert de Creke dbf 1232
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Bartholomew de Creke d 1252 m Margery fl 1275, dau-heir/Geffrey de Anos
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Robert de Creke fl 1252 d w/o issue
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Geffrey de Creke d 1267 w/o issue
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ John de Creke d 1283 w/o issue
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sarah de Creke dc 1292 m Roger FitzOsbert d 1305 

Gene chart gleaned from
North-Creak, Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds, volume 7, pp. 66-78

* Is this Bartholomew de Glanville fl 1206 the same alias Bartholomeus Anglicus, born before 1203, died 1272, There is no conflict of dates.

Bartholomeus Anglicus, a member of the Franciscan order, is best known for his De proprietatibus rerum (“On the Properties of Things”), an early form of encyclopedia dated to 1240. But apart from that, little is known of him. Of unknown parentage, he’s thought to have studied at Oxford University, later moving to Paris where he is attested as a teacher. He held several senior positions within the Church, and was appointed Bishop of Łuków, though not consecrated to that position.

We know little more of Roger de Glanville, other than he was a son of Gundred de Warenne and Roger de Beaumont, earl of Warwick.

Roger de Beaumont is described in the Gesta Regis Stephani, a contemporary chronicle, as “a man of gentle disposition”. A devout and pious man, he founded the Hospital of St Michael for lepers in Warwick, and St Kenned’s priory at Llangennilth, Co. Glamorgan. In this his son followed suit; he founded Bungay priory beside the river Waveney on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.

Born c1112 at Stratford, Suffolk, Chief Justiciar Ranulf de Glanvill was another of the de Glanville family. He too founded a leper hospital – at Somerton on the edge of the Norfolk Broads – and two Suffolk abbeys: Butley Abbey (for Black Canons) and Leiston Abbey (for White Canons). He married Bertha de Valoignes, daughter of Theobald de Valoignes who was lord of Parham, Suffolk. The de Valoignes claimed descent from Peter de Valognes, tenant-in-chief of manors scattered throughout East Anglia, and sheriff of Essex in 1086. It is the same de Valoins family we see in the disputed de Creke inheritance case.

William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, was also a major East Anglian land-holder.

Isabel Jernegan and the de Creke Inheritance

But what has all this to do with Isabel and Sir Walter Jernegan?

Simply this: Sir Bartholomew de Creke died in 1252, his sons all dead before him. Sarah de Creke inherited all, and this had became the estate of Roger FitzOsbert, her husband. But now Roger was dead and as his sisters, his estate ought to come to Isabel and Alice, as per the much simplified gene chart, gleaned from the pages of Francis Blomefield’s History of Norfolk, supplement by W A Copinger’s 7 volumes of the Manors of Suffolk.

Osbert m Petronel or Parnel fl ca 1140
~ Roger FitzOsbert d 1239 m Maud/Agnes fl 1249
~ ~ Osbert
~ ~ ~ Peter FitzOsbert of Somerley Town d 1275 m Beatrix
~ ~ ~ ~ Roger FitzOsbert d 1305 m Sarah, dau/Bartholomew de Creke; m 2ndly Catherine d 1338
~ ~ ~ ~ Isabel FitzOsbert d 1311 m 1stly Sir Henry de Walpole; m 2ndly Sir Walter Jernegan dbf 1306
~ ~ ~ ~ Alice/Catharine FitzOsbert fl 1281 m Sir John Noion of Salle d 1325

Osbert son of Roger FitzOsbert is almost certainly fictitious, inserted to explain the surname of Peter FitzOsbert of Somerley town.

Roger FitzOsbert, our present subject, was also known as Roger Le Fitz-Osbert, and Roger Fitz Oubern. Though Osbert and Osbern were interchangeable, I’m curious of whence the ‘FitzOubern’ name; that sounds more like auburn, as in the hair colour, and the family first appears as neighbours of the power d’Aubigny family, earls of Arundel.

As found in ‘Eynford Hundred: Salle’, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 8, pp. 269-276, the de Noion family was also given as de Negoun, de Nougon, de Nugun, de Nugoun, de Noioun and de Noiun; they gave their name to Nugoun’s Manor in said parish of Salle, which manor they’d held at least from the reign of King John (1199-1216).

Now if only half the Osbert’s estate was to come to Isabel and Sir Walter, that would provide a hefty oomph up that Game Ladder. Though, as already noted, by now Walter was dead. It would be his son, Sir Peter, who benefitted.

But Roger’s death had alerted the vultures. Questions were asked by those who wanted a share. Those questions must be answered. An inquest was called.

The Complex Path of the de Creke Inheritance

Walter de Gloucestr[ia] was tasked with discovering who had entitlement to the estate. He returned with a list of heirs given here as a gene chart.

Heir 1:
Agnes de Glanville m Sir Robert de Creke dbf 1232
~ Margery/Margaret de Creke fl 1274 m Sir John Fitz-Robert de Thorp

Heir 2:
Agnes de Glanville m Sir Robert de Creke dbf 1232
~ Isabella de Creke m Lord John Valoins
~ ~ Robert de Valoins of Hickling
~ ~ ~ Robert de Valoins
~ ~ ~ ~ Rosia de Valoins m Edward/Edmund de Pakenham

Heir 3:
Agnes de Glanville m Sir Robert de Creke dbf 1232
~ Isabella de Creke m Lord John Valoins
~ ~ Robert de Valoins of Hickling
~ ~ ~ Robert de Valoins
~ ~ ~ ~ Cecilia de Valoins m Sir Robert de Ufford

What! No Isabel?

Of course, Isabel was immediately at the king’s court. It is recorded in the same Close Roll where she is given as “Isabel de Walpole” from her previous marriage from which she’d been widowed. And not only Isabel put in her claim, but also Sir John Noion of Salle, husband of Alice FitzOsbert. They asserted ‘before king and council’ that since Roger died seised of the said manors of North Creak, Combs and Hillington, and they were his nearest heirs, those manors ought to descend by right of his death to them.

Neither were they the only claimants.

“Robert de Lyvermere came into the king’s court before him and his council at Westminster and asserted that an omission had been made of him in the inquisition and that he is a co-heir and parcener of the manors with the said John de Thorp, Roesia and Cecily . . .”

This Robert claimed that Bartholomew had a third sister named Maud, born of the same father and mother, and that as Maud’s (grand) son and heir he now demanded his share.

Seeing their inheritance about to diminish, John de Thorp, Roesia de Valoins and Edmund de Pakenham, and Cecily de Valoins and Robert de Ufford denied such a sister.

Isabel put her claim thus, having removed the archaic wording:

  1. Isabel was sister of Roger FitzOsbert and therefore his heir
  2. Roger FitzOsbert was husband of deceased Sarah de Creke and what had been hers on marriage became his
  3. Sarah de Creke had acquired the manors of North Creak and Combs from her mother, Margery de Creke, widow of Bartholomew; they thus were Roger’s
  4. Sarah de Creke had acquired the manor of Hillington from her father, Geoffrey de Anes or Hanes; it thus was Roger’s.
  5. The one fly was a certain Agnes, daughter of Geoffrey Godspere. Geoffrey Godspere of Beccles, or rather Jeffery Giltspur as he is elsewhere given, had married Agnes de Creke, sister to Bartholomew. But she had waived her claim to these manors in favour of Roger

Naturally, John de Thorp, Rosia de Valoins and Edmund de Pakenham, and Cecily de Valoins and Robert de Ufford contested the claim. While they agreed with the account of Margery’s inheritance, they said that she then had enfeoffed her son Robert with the manor of Combs, and her son Geoffrey with the manor of North Creak, while Sarah, before her marriage was given the manor of Hillington. No dispute there. But as the brothers died childless the manors were given first to the younger brother John, and only when he died did Sarah inherit. Then, they claimed, on Sarah’s death the brothers’ manors of Combs and North Creak ought to have returned to the heirs of Margery, and not be held by the heirs of Sarah. In other words, since Sarah’s death in 1292 her husband Roger and his second wife had wrongly held the manors.

To complicate matters, it then was shown, before king and council, that one Robert, son and heir of Warin de Insula (d’Lisle), tenant-in-chief though a minor in the king’s wardship, was really the right heir of these manors, since he too was kinsman and heir of Margery and Sarah – though I cannot find any mention of him to explain his relationship to the de Crekes.

The king’s head probably had worse indigestion than mine at this point. He ordered the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk to form a jury of 24 knights of the county “by whom the truth in the premises may be best known and enquired”.

But for whatever reason, on the appointed day, though John de Thorp, Edmund de Pakeham and Robert de Ufford came in person and Rosia and Cecily de Valoins sent their attorneys, neither Robert de Lyvermere nor Isabel, wife of Sir Walter Jernegan, appeared. And though John de Nougon/Noion or other spelling came, yet he said nothing. The same with Robert d’Lisle who was represented by Benedict de Cantebr[igge].

Therefore their claims were dismissed.

Old Lady Isabel

One asks why Isabel did not pursue the matter. The answer might lie in this quote from William Betham’s The Baronetage of England:

“Isabella was widow of Sir Henry de Walpole, Knt, ancestor of late earls of Orford, and was endowed with third part of manor of Houghton in same county, as appears by a charter*. In said charter she is styled “the lady Isabella Jernegan, late wife of Sir Henry de Walpole, father of Sir Henry de Walpole”

*Rot.16 de Talley-Court, Plitae Jurris assis. Coram Willo de Ebor. Apud Bucks, 25 Henry III [1241] (not available online)

If Isabel was endowed by charter in 1241, in 1306 she must have been in her 70/80s. Though oddly this seems to be contradicted by the same William Betham. Fron his Baronetage of England, as already given:

“Sir Walter Jernegan must have died before 34 Edward I [1306] as his wife Isabella is described that year as a widow of 40 years age.”

But no, she was not a widow aged 40 years, but widowed these past 40 years. Since she is mentioned in 1306 in regard to the de Creke inheritance as Lady Isabel de Walpole, one assumes the 40 years widowed refers to her first husband, Sir Henry Walpole, and not to Sir Walter Jernegan whose year of death we do not know.

So an old lady in her 70/80s, Isabel did not pursue the claim. Perhaps she died. And the Jernegans lost out on the rich estate of Sarah FitzOsbert, nee de Creke.

Yet they were to inherit the estate of Roger FitzOsbert, formerly that of Sir Peter Osbert of Somerley Town – given time.

The Estate of Roger FitzOsbert 

In June 1306 the estate of Roger FitzOsbert, which included the manors of Somerleyton, Wathe (in North Cove) and Uggeshall in Suffolk, Haddescou (Hadeston, see below) and Whitlingham in Norfolk, was confirmed upon his widow, Katharine.

Katherine died 1338. The only reference I can find to this is in W A Copinger’s account of the manor of Uggeshall in his Manors of Suffolk Vol II pp 174-175; he cites I.P.M., 12 Edw. III. 15 (again, not available online).

With no heirs to her name, Katherine’s estate was divided between her late husband’s sisters Isabel and Alice. But by now Isabel was dead (died 1311), so too her husband. The portion destined for Isabel thus went to her son, Sir Peter Jernegan. It’s not known when Sir Peter died. As can be seen from the following gene chart dates his death to 1346.

Sir Walter Jerningham m Isabel FitzRobert
~ Sir Peter Jerningham d 1346 m 1stly Matilda de Herling; m 2ndly Ellen Huntingfield
~ ~ Sir John Jerningham fl 1362 m Agatha Shelton

However, William Betham in his Baronetage of England says merely that Sir Peter “appears to have died at advanced age, towards the middle of the reign of Edward III [1327-1377], and was succeeded by his son.”

Certainly he was still alive January 1338 when the following notice appears:

“To the sheriff of Suffolk. Order to cause a coroner for that countyto be elected in place of Peter Gernegan, who is insufficiently qualified.”

From: ‘Close Rolls, Edward III: January 1338’, Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward III: volume 4: 1337-1339 (1900), pp. 225-236.

The other heir to the widow Katherine’s estate was Isabel’s cousin, Sir John Noion/Nougon of Salle. But he too was dead, succeeded by his son, also named John.

Thus it was Sir John Nougon, jnr, of Salle and Sir Peter Jernegan who inherited the much-desired estate of the FitzOsbert family. But what was that estate, and which of the heirs inherited which part of it?

Unfortunately the results of that inquest are not available online. And a trawl through Blomefield’s History of Norfolk and Copinger’s Manors of Suffolk proved equally fruitless. Roger FitzOsbert held x, y, and z manor but, apart from the five manors noted in the Close Roll of Edward I, no history beyond his death is given. The one exception is Carleton manor which was not included in the notice to the escheator on 1st June 1306.

Carleton Manor
This was the capital manor at Carleton Rode, Norfolk, there being originally five. It contained that part which the freeman Oslac had held of Roger Bigot in 1086. Perhaps the Osbert family were Oslac’s heirs; it is here they are first seen. Their manor also contained that part, assumingly adjacent, which had belonged to Costessey, i.e. of the honour of Richmond. This had been extended when Empress Maud gave it to Countess Gundred de Beaumont (c.1135–1200), then wife of Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk. It was no idling manor, already worth £10 per annum. The Countess then enfeoffed the whole to Osbert, and Petronel (or Parnel) his wife.

This manor passed from Osbert to his son Roger FitzOsbert, founder of St Olave’s priory in Herringfleet, Suffolk, circa 1216. It next passed to Roger’s son Peter FitzOsbert, he of Somerley Town. From Peter it passed to Roger FitzOsbert (the younger) on whose death it passed to Katherine his widow.

When Katherine died it seems her heirs, said John Nougon of Salle and Sir Peter Jernegan, settled the manor on one Sir Walter de Norwich, and his wife Catherine. Blomefield gives no indication of who this Sir Walter de Norwich might be, and I have found none, yet he had a son named Roger. One wonders the relationship there, perhaps Catherine was Sir Peter’s sister.

From: ‘Hundred of Depwade: Carleton-Rode’, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 5, pp. 125-130.

So what of these others?

Uggeshall Manor
Here three manors are recorded in Domesday Survey but it seems that subsequently the manor of Hugh Bigod, earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, swallowed its neighbours. In 1239 this one was held by Peter FitzOsbert, and in 1275 by Roger FitzOsbert. At Roger’s death the manor passed to Katherine, his wife, for life. Upon her decease in 1338, it “devolved upon Isabella, eldest sister and coheir of the said Roger, and wife of Sir Walter Jernegan, of Stonham, Jernegan, Knt.”

The account goes on:

“. . . it is said in 1334 Sir Peter Jernegan sold this manor to Sir Edmund de Sortelee . . .”

But this date is several years adrift since Sir Peter didn’t inherit until Katherine died in 1338.

And what was the monetary value of this manor? Apparently £20 per annum, as disclosed in a notice in the Close Rolls of 1339 relating to the dower of Mary, late wife of Thomas, Earl of Norfolk.

From W A Copinger’s Manors of Suffolk, Vol II

This is recorded in Domesday Book as held by Robert de Courson of Roger Bigot. According to Blomefield, his son William de Courson sold it to Osbert and Parnel his wife. It thereafter passed with the manor of Carleton, i.e. remained in the FitzOsbert family, until 1320 when it passed to Sir Peter Jernegan.

But again there must be an error of dates for Katherine didn’t die until 1338.

In 1342 Sir Peter ‘conveyed it’ to William Berte.

From: ‘Hundred of Henstede: Witlingham’, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 5, pp. 455-457.

Somerley Town i.e. Somerleyton
According to W A Copinger the whole village was taken into the hands of William the Conqueror, who gave its stewardship to Roger Bigod, and Bigod in turn gave the manor to Baldwin, Abbot of St Edmundsbury, who in turn gave it to Frodo, his brother.

I don’t know whence his information. He cites Domesday Book. Yet in the Domesday Book the manor is held, as said, in stewardship by Bigod with no further sub-holdings. Elsewhere Frodo does indeed hold – in Suffolk he held of the king the manors of Thelnetham, Hessett, Worlingham, Tuddenham, Kentwell, Lavenham, and Buxhall; and of his brother Baldwin, Abbot of St Edmundsbury and former doctor to the late Edward Confessor, he held Somerton, Tostock, Gt Livermere, Troston and Mendham. But Somerton, not Someleyton. They are two distinct places. Somerleyton, consisting two parts, was held one by Bigod as said, and the other by Ralph the crossbowman.

But no matter its earlier history, by 1239 the manor was in the possession of Peter FitzOsbert upon whose death it passed “with the manor of Uggeshall”, i.e. it went to Roger FitzOsbert. Apparently in 1303 Roger and wife Katherine paid required fee to John Blome, escheator, to settle the manor upon themselves.

And here is the only mention I find of any child of Roger’s:

“. . . on Roger’s death without surviving issue (for Margaret his daughter died before him) the manor passed to his widow for life, and on her death in 1338, to his sister Isabella, wife of Sir Walter Jernegan, of Horham Jernegan . . .”

From W A Copinger’s Manors of Suffolk, Vol V

It would appear that the Jernegan’s were scooping the lot. Did Sir John not inherit anything?


“[Sir Walter] . . . was succeeded by his son, Sir Peter Jernegan of Somerley-Town, Knt, who on the death of his mother succeeded to the large possessions of the Fitz-Osbert family; for his maternal uncle, Roger baron Fitz-Osbert, dying without issue, the estates devolved to Isabella, his mother, and to the issue of Alice, her sister and co-heir, married to Sir John Noyoun, Knt, on a division made between the two sisters, the manor of Somerley-Town and Uggeshall, in Suffolk, and Hadeston and Wittingham in Norfolk, were settled upon Isabella . . .” [My italics]

From the Baronetage of England, Vol 1, by Rev William Betham, 1801

Yet according to the editor and translator of the Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward I, June 1306, “Hadeston and Wittingham” ought better to read as “Haddescoe, and Whitlingham”:

“To Walter de Glouc[estria], escheator this side Trent.

Order to deliver to Katharine, late the wife of Roger son of Peter son of Osbert, the manors of Somerleton, Wathe and Uggechale, co. Suffolk, Haddescou and Wyghtlyngham, co. Norfolk, which he has taken into the king’s hands by reason of Roger’s death, and to deliver to her the issues received thence, as the king learns by an inquisition taken by the escheator that Roger and Katharine jointly acquired the manors from John Blome . . . “

That Betham is right and the editor wrong is shown by another of the entries in the Close Rolls, this one found in Close Roll, Edward III: March 1339, volume 5: 1339-1341, pp. 24-40:

“. . . Order to assign to John de Segrave and Margaret his wife, eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas earl of Norfolk, the following knights’ fees, which the king has assigned to them to hold as her purparty with the assent of Edward de Monte Acuto and Alice his wife, other daughter and heir to wit . . .”

Included in the accinpanying list of knights’ fees is this:

“a fee in Hadeston, in the same county [Norfolk], which the heirs of Robert son of Osbert hold, extended at 100s. yearly . . .” [100s = £5]

Moreover, when checking this against Blomefield’s account – ‘Clavering Hundred: Hadescoe’ (History of the County of Norfolk: volume 8, pp. 13-16) he gives no mention of Katharine, or of Roger, Peter or Osbert. And though Blomefield’s words might sometimes swell and entangle like wrack on the storm-tossed sea, yet his publication was tantamount to the bible of the day on the subject of manors and their descent through heirs and purchasers.

So where was Hadeston?

It is a manor within the parish of Bunwell, Norfolk.

Hadeston, Fitz-Osbert’s, Peter’s-Hall

“Peter’s, commonly called Perse-Hall [Pier’s Hall] manor in Bunwell, took its name from Peter Fitz-Osbert, its lord . . . Rob. de Curcun held it of Roger Bigot at the Conqueror’s survey . . . it passed with Carleton manor to Walter de Norwich . . .”

Blomefield’s account gives the impression that the manor never reached the hands of Roger’s widow Katherine. Yet the Close Roll says that it did. Therefore this must be read not that Sir Walter de Norwich inherited the manor, but that he rented it. The same was probably so regards Carleton manor, which sits comfortably close on the map.

From: ‘Hundred of Depwade: Bunwell’, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 5, pp. 131-141.

Which leaves Wathe. Wathe manor lies in North Cove, Suffolk, which itself nestles into a loop of the river Waveney.

Manor of Wathe or Wade Hall or Woodhall
I am quoting the full passage here, for a reason.

“This manor was probably called after Robert Watheby, of Cumberland, who held it in the time of Hen. II [1154-1189]. From Robert de Watheby the manor passed to his son and heir Thorpine, whose daughter and coheir Maud married Sir Hugh or Hubert Fitz-Jernegan, of Horham Jernegan, Knt., and carried this manor into that family. He died in 1203, and the manor vested in his son and heir, Sir Hubert Jernegan. The King, however, granted the lordship of all his large possessions, and the marriage of his wife and children to Robert de Veteri Pont or Vipont, so that he married them without disparagement to their fortunes. From the death of Sir Hubert Jernegan about 1239 ‘the manor is said to have passed in the same course as the Manor of Horham Jernegan’s, in Hoxne Hundred, to the death of Sir John Jernegan in 1474, and is included in a fine levied in 1303 by John Polone [Blome] against Roger, son of Peter, son of Osbert and Katherine his wife.”

From W A Copinger, Manors of Suffolk, Vol VII

To clarify the line of descent given:

Robert Watheby of Cumberland fl 1154-1189
~ Thorpine de Watheby
~ ~ Maud de Watheby m Sir Hugh or Hubert Fitz-Jernegan d 1203
~ ~ ~ Sir Hubert Jernegan fl 1239 m Margery de Herling
~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Hugh Jernegan m Ellen Inglesthorpe
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sir Walter Jernegan m Isabel FitzOsbert d 1311

The astute will see the contradictions, and indeed Copinger remarked upon it. If the Jernegans held the manor of Wathe in 1239, how came it to be in Roger FitzOsbert’s possession, to be again inherited at Katherine’s death?

That’s a question better explored it in the next post: Bryan Prince of Denmark

Sir John Jernegan Takes A Step Up

Sir Peter Jernegan was no doubt pleased with his inheritance, though by then it could not have been unexpected. Yet with no personal effort he had increased the family’s holdings. And within a generation those holdings were to increase again.

Alice/Catharine FitzOsbert m Sir John Noion of Salle d 1325
~ Sir John de Nougon d 1341 m Beatrice
~ ~ Sir John de Nougon d 1349
~ ~ ~ John de Nougon d 1362 aged 17

From: ‘Eynford Hundred: Salle’, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 8, pp. 269-276.

“ . . . John . . . dying without issue in the 35th [of Edward III, i.e. 1362], John Jernegan was found his cousin, and heir to the Fitz-Osberts lands, being son of Peter, son of Walter, who married Isabel, the other sister and coheir of Roger Fitz Osbert . . .”

 When, circa 1260, Sir Walter Jernegan married Isabel FitzOsbert he could not have known that her brother would die without heirs. Then that the line of Isabel’s cousin John de Nougon would also fail, this at his grandson.

It thus mattered not a wit how the FitzOsbert estate was divided at Katherine’s death in 1338, for it all landed square in the hands of Sir John Jernegan. And I assume this is the reason that neither Blomefield nor Copinger cared to trace the descent through a mere 24 years.

With his marriage to Isabel, Sir Walter provided his family with a ‘cheat’, a fast doubling of land and step up the Ladder. Tenant-in-chief, a baron eligible for summons to parliament. It meant his heirs now could look to other barons for wives. It meant larger dowries. It meant, alas, larger dowers too, though those now could be provided. But without that marriage to Isabel:

  • Elizabeth Denton nee Jernegan, aunt of Sirs Edward and Richard Jerningham, would not have been Mistress of the Nursery to Prince Henry (Henry VIII) in 1496, and later governess to Princess Mary (Queen Mary I)
  • Lady Anne Grey, nee Jerningham, daughter of Sir Edward Jerningham, would not have accompanied Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII’s sister, when she married King Louis XII of France, and later Lady of the Privy Chamber to Queen Mary
  • Sir Richard Jerningham, uncle of Sir Henry, who started this backward exploration, would not have been Deputy and Treasurer of the City and Marches of Tournay, Knight of the Body and later ambassador to the French King.
  • Sir Edward Jerningham, father of Sir Henry, would not have been Chief Cup Bearer of the Queen’s Chamber at the coronation of Henry VIII.
  • Sir Henry Jerningham, (1509-1572) would not have been at the court of Henry VIII to be Master of Horse for Princess Mary, and subsequently:
    • Steward to the household of Princess Mary
    • Gentleman Pensioner at the court of Henry VIII
    • Constable of Gloucester castle
    • Steward of Tewkesbury hundred
    • Keeper of Greenwich manor and park, of Horn park and of Eltham Palace and park in Kent
    • Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Kent
    • Vice Chamberlain of the Household
    • Captain of the Guard and Master of the Horse

From history of parliament online

Queen Mary would not have granted Sir Henry the manor of Cossey, and I would have written my very first story, aged nine, The Green Lady.