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.
~ 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 . . .”
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 tudorplace.com, 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.
(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
- 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:
~ ~ 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.
“. . . 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 . . .”
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
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.
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.
Ancestry.com 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.”
urbandictionary.com 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’.”
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 archive.org. 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.
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:
- Why did the Jernegans claim Danish ancestors at a time when it was safer to be Norman or Breton?
- 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.
~ 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).”
Also ‘Gernegan’, ‘Jernegan’. Prob. a member of the family of Jernegan of Tanfield, for which see EYC V 40-4.”
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, 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) . . . “
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.
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 , 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 . . .”
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.
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.
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.
- In 1086 Scolland held land in Sussex of William de Warenne.
- 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.
“. . .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.
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 . . .”
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.
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 archive.org
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:
“Rex Gilberto de Preston’ salutem . . . Johanne de Cokefeud’ versus Hugonem Gernegan de tenementisin Giselingham, Finigham . . .”
From Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry III: volume 12:
1261-1264, 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 . . .”
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:
~ ~ 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.
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.
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!