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u Genealogical enquiries and local topography, so far from 
being unworthy the attention of the philosophical enquirer, are 
amongst the best materials which he can use, and the fortunes 
and changes of one family, or the events of one upland township, 
may explain the darkest and most dubious portions of the annals 
of a realm." PALGRAVE. 

"The expansion and extension of genealogical study is a very 
remarkable feature of our own times. Men are apparently 
awaking to the fact that there are other families besides those 
described in the peerage, that those families have their records, 
played their part in history, furnished the bone and sinew of 
national action, and left traces behind them which it behoves 
their descendants to search out and keep in remembrance. There 
is nothing in this that need be stigmatised as vain and foolish; it 
is a very natural instinct, and it appears to me to be one of the 
ways in which a general interest in national history may be 
expected to grow." STUBBS. 

" Let no one deem that, because a false pedigree is a thing to 
be eschewed and scouted, therefore a true pedigree is a thing to be 
despised. A true pedigree, be it long or short, is a fact. . . . 
To those to whom it belongs it is a possession ; and, like any 
other possession, it is to be respected. It is only the false imita- 
tion of the true which is to be despised." FREEMAN. 

"Falsum committunt viri docti, qui hominibus de plebe 
nobilitatem, insignia et antiquitatem generis adfingunt . . . 
Et potest profecto debetque mercenariorum illorum poena tune, 
quum reipublicae valde per eos nocitum, atque fides monumentorum 
et historiae turbata est, ad ultimum supplicium proferri." 

THE STEWART WINDOW (seep. 138). 
Reproduced by the courtesy of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 









R C, 







SOUTH WALES . . . . . .181 



vii THE RISE OF THE SPENCERS . . . .279 







Erratum et Addenda 

Page 13. The Irish earldom of Llandaff (1797) is now 
similarly assumed, if not the barony of Cahir. 

Pages 126-7. Too late for insertion in the text I discovered 
that Jordan Fitz Alan (Fitz Flaald) and his son Alan Fitz Jordan 
were lords of Tuxford, etc., in Notts, and that Alan was suc- 
ceeded there, as in Norfolk, by his daughter and heiress Olive. 
Further, Olive is there found to be identical with that Olive who 
was wife (i) of Robert de St. John, of St. Jean-le-Thomas (see 
my paper on "The Families of St. John and of Port " in Genealogist 
[N.S.], XVI. 45), and (2) of Roger de Monbegon, who gave 500 
marcs for her and her inheritance in I John. This completes 
the pedigree of the line. 

Their Nottinghamshire estate consisted of Tuxford, with lands 
in Walesby and Kirton, together with West Markham and 
Warsop, all of which had formed part of the escheated fief of 
Roger de Busli (see Thoroton's Notts, III. 213, 214, 219, 22O, 
227, 354, 369), and must have been bestowed by Henry I. on 
this favoured family. It was as holding the 6 carucates at which 
these lands were assessed that Jordan had his I2sh. of danegeld 
remitted in 1130. Alan Fitz Jordan enfeoffed Geoffrey de le 
Fremunt at Walesby and Kirton, and his daughter Olive (who 
occurs in the Rufford Cartulary) kept her court at Tuxford. 

This discovery enables us to identify two of the churches 
given to the abbey of Tiron by Alan Fitz Jordan as " seneschal 
of Dol." In my Calendar of Documents preserved in France 
they occur as ' Tophor ' and < Garsop ' (p. 358) ; but they were 
clearly Tuxford and Warsop. The scattered character of tenures 
in this obscure period is illustrated by this seneschal of Dol 
holding land independently in the counties of Lincoln, of Norfolk, 
and of Notts. 

Page 152. The elder Eustace must, however, have been dead 



in 1088, for Florence speaks of the then count as Eustace "jun- 
ior," and the Anglo-Saxon chronicle styles him " the younger." 

Page 169. Among the Crown lands bestowed by Stephen on 
his son earl William were Woking, Godalming, Gomshall, 
Stoke, and Walton, in Surrey, valued in all at 95 a year in 
1155 (Liber Rubeus, p. 654). 

Page 171, line 14. For Maud read Mary (as on p. 172). 

Pages 385-6. With reference to Glamorgan's * commission 
patent* of I April 1644, which Mr. Gardiner insists is 
genuine, and which I denounce as a forgery, Mr. Gardiner 
holds that Endymion Porter was concerned with Glamorgan in 
the sealing of it, and observes that " Endymion Porter, it will be 
remembered, was believed to be associated with a similar per- 
formance in affixing the great seal to a document despatched to 
Ireland in 1641 " (Eng. Hist. ^.,11.692). Unfortunately, this 
latter document is described by Mr. Gardiner himself as an un- 
doubted forgery (History [1884], X. 92-3). 

Pages 454-5. Another case of assumption and subsequent 
recognition by the Crown is that of Powys. After the barony of 
that name had fallen into abeyance (1427), the title, like those of 
Mowbray and Segrave, was assumed by both the co-heirs, and 
this assumption was inadvertently recognised) by the Crown in 
the case of Lord Tiptoft (1449), if not also in that of the Greys, 
the other co-heirs. This case has a direct bearing on that or 



THE studies contained in this volume are intended 
to illustrate that new genealogy which is of com- 
paratively recent growth, and to stimulate the 
movement for honesty and truth in peerage and 
family history. It is evident that, both in 
England and America, there is an increasing interest 
in genealogical research, and, with the rapid growth 
of the published materials available, it is likely to 
increase further. If it is conducted on the right 
lines, that is, on the modern system, such research 
is wholly praiseworthy, and is in no way liable to 
the taunts levelled against that older genealogy 
which consisted either in inventing pedigrees or in 
repeating without question the unsupported state- 
ments of a herald. Works, indeed, of this character, 
as will be shown in these pages, are still produced 
even now ; but the efforts of the new school of 
genealogists are surely, if slowly, bearing fruit. 
The hold, however, on the public at large of the 
old fables and the old beliefs would seem, from the 
newspaper press, to be almost as strong as ever. 

That this is so is doubtless due to the sanction 
they appeared to receive from their quasi-official 
and persistent repetition in the pages of Burkis 



Peerage and of other c Burke' publications. 1 But, for 
the source of these fables, or at least of the worst 
and the most venerable, we have to penetrate 
behind 'Burke' to the authors of these fabrications, 
the heralds and the antiquaries of the sixteenth and 
the seventeenth centuries. The joyous age of the 
old genealogy ranged from the days of Henry VIII. 
to those of Charles I. ; and, of pedigrees published 
in modern books, many were concocted at that 
period and duly certified as true by officers of the 
Heralds' College. 

A glimpse of the gulf that severs the c old ' from 
the * new ' genealogy is afforded by the ancient 
house of Lyte of Lytes Gary. Under queen Eliza- 
beth and James I., the Lytes, father and son, were 
unrivalled exponents of the former. Henry Lyte, 
the father (d. 1607), compiled 

A table wherby it is supposed that Lyte of Lytescarie sprange 
of the race and stocke of Leitus (one of the five capitaynes of 
Beotia that went to Troye) and that his ancestors came to England 
first with Brute. 

The family's seat Lytes Gary was alleged to de- 
rive its name from " Caria in Asia," and its members 
bore upon their coat " Three sylver swannes, as 

1 Even as this preface goes to press the World (\*] Oct. 1900), 
in an article on " Sir Humphrey de Trafford at home," asserts that 
" Randolf, Lord of Trafford, was the patriarch of the family, which 
for nearly nine centuries after him has produced an uninterrupted 
line of heirs male. The first recorded Trafford lived in the 
reigns of King Canute and Edward the Confessor, being succeeded 
by his son Ralph," etc. This grotesquely impossible tale is duly 
found in Burke* s Peerage, although it is shattered by Domesday 


from the shield which Leit at Troy did beare," 1 
Thomas Lyte, the son, drew up for James I. his 
genealogy " from Brute, the most noble founder of 
the Britains," which was not only graciously ac- 
cepted by the king in 1610, but was hung up 
at court " in an especiall place of eminence," and 
extolled by the great Camden, Clarencieux king 
of Arms. It was in gratitude for this pedigree 
that James bestowed upon its author the famous 
Lyte jewel, which, purchased by Baron Ferdinand 
de Rothschild for nearly 3,000, is now preserved 
among the Waddesdon gems in the British 

It is an interesting, indeed a unique circum- 
stance that the present representative of the same 
house, the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, 
has himself compiled a history of the Lytes which 
is a masterpiece of modern genealogy. 2 The 
e old ' and the c new ' are thus brought into 
strange and direct contrast. But, wide as is the 
gulf that divides them, the former lingers on. 
Pedigrees compiled in the age of the Lytes and by 
heralds contemporary with Camden are still pub- 
lished year after year, are still valid at the College 
of Arms. Indeed, within the last few years, one 

1 A learned Dominican, Father O'Daly, published even so late 
as 1655 a history of the Geraldine earls of Desmond, which 
began with the assertion : " It is a fact beyond questioning that the 
Geraldines, Earls of Desmond a race renowned for valour 
derived their origin from the ancient Trojans," their " founder " 
having fled to Italy, after the siege, with JEneas. 

3 "The Lytes of Lytescary " (Somerset Arch. Trans. [1892], 
XXXVIII. [2], 3-101). 



family has " proved and recorded," in the archives 
of that institution, 323 quarters to its coat of arms, 
consisting largely of coats assigned to " British 
kings " (in Blanche's words) " as visionary as those 
in Banquo's glass." We are indebted for this re- 
markable information to Mr. Fox-Davies' Armorial 
Families^ in which this monstrous shield is depicted 
as well as described. 1 Among the arms there re- 
cognised as authentic by the Heralds' College are 
those of a potentate who died in 318, as well as 
those of Coel Godebog, that primitive and con- 
vivial soul. We further learn that 

The present representative is 6yth in descent in an unbroken 
MALE line from Belinus the Great (Beli Mawr) King of Britain, 
as shown by the Records fully registered down to the present 
time in Her Majesty's College of Arms. See Norfolk xvi. 45 
Coll. Arms. 8 

The arms of Beli himself appear repeatedly in 
the shield, on the strength, of course, of this pedi- 
gree, proved by " Records " to what must be the 
early days of the Christian era. One is glad to 
learn what " Records " mean at " Her Majesty's 
College of Arms." 8 

1 Ed. 1899, PP- 512-4. Compare p. xiv. : "Some families 
are undoubtedly entitled to a very great number [of quarterings]. 
. . . Anyhow, at the Heralds' College, I believe, the record 
is held by the family of Lloyd of Stockton, who have proved and 
recorded 323." In the 1895 edition of the same work, "the 
record" is assigned to the family of Lane-Fox, with 136, the 
Lloyds of Stockton having then only 102. This enables us to 
date [1895-1899] the proving and recording of the rest. 

8 Ibid. 

Since the above passage was written Mr. Gwenogvryn Evans 



It would seem desirable to point out that even 
so ardent a champion of the College as the author 
of 'The Right to Bear Arms maintains that " we are 
still without any definite evidence that such a thing 
as a coat of arms, in the sense we now understand 
the term, had any existence whatsoever at the time 
of the First Crusade" (p. 4). Mr. Fox-Davies, 
also, holds that such heraldry " had no existence at 
the time of the Norman Conquest," 1 while he stoutly 
proclaims that " Planche is the truest writer who has 
yet set pen to paper on the subject of Heraldry." 2 
Now Planche not only ridiculed the coats of "Brit- 
ish kings," but placed the beginning of armorial 
bearings a century at least after the Conquest. 

has expressed himself, on the subject of Welsh pedigrees, as 
follows : 

" When a pedigree reaches back beyond the third generation of 
the time in which it was originally drawn up, unless supported by 
independent documentary evidence, the work of even the most 
honest men cannot be trusted. Take for instance the vellum roll 
(some seven yards long) of pedigrees at Mostyn Hall, in the hand 
of Guttyn Owen, a man thoroughly trustworthy as to the matters 
of his own time, and yet, in that roll, certain pedigrees are traced 
back to * Adam son of God,' without any conscious sense of the 
incongruous. It does seem as if reason took its leave of every 
genealogist sooner or later " (Report to Commission on His- 
torical MSS. on the Peniarth collection, p. vi.). Even in our own 
famous volume, The Red Book of the Exchequer, the official who 
compiled it, Alexander Swereford, solemnly records that he wrote 
in the year 1230, in the I5th year of king Henry III., whose 
pedigree he proceeds to trace, through Noah, to Adam ** son of the 
living God." 

1 Armorial Families, p. v. 

2 Ibid. p. xxix. Mr. Woodward also, in what is perhaps the 
leading work on English heraldry, gives his " entire adherence " 
to Mr. Planches conclusions (I. 32). 



Yet, having thus proclaimed his faith, Mr. Fox- 
Davies accepts as genuine the " bogus " coats of 
British kings because "proved and recorded" at Her 
Majesty's College of Arms. 1 

Are not, indeed, the " bogus " arms assigned to 
Edward the Confessor, in right of his kingdom of 
England the arms for using which the gifted earl 
of Surrey suffered death upon the scaffold found 
in a * record ' at the Heralds' College ? We read of 
the alleged grant of these arms by Richard II. to 
Thomas Mowbray, then duke of Norfolk, that 

The authority for this statement is doubtless an entry in one of 
the records of the College of Arms (R. 22, 67), which is itself a 
copy of another record, and which runs as follows . . . 

" Et dedit eidem Thome ad pertandum (sic) in sigillo et vexillo 
quo (sic) arma S tl Edwardi." * 

We have only to turn to the Monasticon (VI. 
321) to learn that this precious 'record' is not 
a record at all, but is a mere copy of a monastic 
narrative, which is grossly and demonstrably 
inaccurate. Moreover, when the writer, whose 

1 "There are many people who grandiloquently assert that * they 
don't recognise the authority of the College of Arms.' Such a 
statement may sound very big, but it is pure nonsense " (Preface 
to Armorial Families). 

8 Genealogical Magazine, II. 401 (signed " F.-D.") ; and The 
House of Stourton, II. 811. As bearing on the authorship of the 
latter work, it will be found interesting to compare these two 
volumes, especially the illustrations on pp. 378, 398, 399 with 
those on pp. 812, 808, 810, and the text of the following pages, 
397 with 746, 397-402 with 808-813, 402-3, 438-9 with 
832-834, and 439-441 with 828-830. In the Latin extract 
cited above we find " pertandum " and " et utraque " (for " ex 
utraque") in both volumes (see further p. 61 below). 



initials, I may repeat, are " F.-D.," assists us on "the 
arduous journey in pursuit of heraldic knowledge," 
by informing us that the alleged grant was a " grant 
of the arms of Plantagenet, which thus technically 
became thereafter the arms of Mowbray," l he 
betrays extraordinary confusion. He is even good 
enough to explain to us that 

the knowledge that the arms of Plantagenet had been re- 
granted to the Mowbrays is not very general, and we take it that 
there are very few who are aware that in the strictly technical 
sense, and also, by the way, in strict conformity with the laws of 
arms, the Duke of Norfolk and his predecessors of the House of 
Howard bear and have borne these Royal Plantagenet arms, not 
as the quartering for " Thomas of Brotherton," but as a quartering 
for Mowbray, to which family the arms of Plantagenet were 
granted, as we have seen, to be borne (with the arms of King 
Edward the Confessor) as their chief and principal arms. 2 

But " we have seen " nothing of the kind. For it 
is not even alleged in the above monastic narrative 
that Richard II. granted more than the arms of 
Edward the Confessor, with which the arms of 
" Plantagenet " had nothing in the world to do. 

The critical treatment, in this volume, of the 
heralds and their so-called " records " has been made 
necessary by recent efforts to exalt the authority of 
their documents and to terrorize the public, in the 
matter of arms, by crude and violent language. 3 
Those who may have been impressed by this ex 
parte clamour will learn with some surprise, from 

1 Genealogical Magazine^ II. 401 (cf. p. 439) ; and The House of 
Stourton, II. 813. 

2 Genealogical Magazine, II. 442 (see also II. 509). 

3 See The Right to Bear Arms, by < X,' and Mr. Fox-Davies' 
Armorial Families. 



the evidence here collected, that heralds themselves 
have been among the worst of purveyors of spurious 
pedigrees, and have taken advantage of their official 
position to give these productions a cachet they 
would never otherwise have obtained. It will fur- 
ther be found that, in arms also, they have been 
grievous sinners. The modern officer of arms will 
say that all this is now changed, and that pedigrees 
and proofs of right to arms are subjected to close 
scrutiny. But the point on which I have to insist 
is that the College is handicapped by its past ; the 
follies and the frauds of past heralds are binding on 
its present members, for are they not " on record " ? 
One of the greatest snares in genealogical study is 
the putting of " new wine " into " old bottles," the 
combination of the new genealogy, based on record 
evidence, with the old heraldic pedigrees teeming 
with fiction and with error. These two methods 
of genealogy cannot possibly be combined, and, 
however strict the officers of arms may now be in 
admitting proofs, they are bound to accept, at the 
same time, the pedigrees " recorded " by heralds in 
the past ; and thus the "records" of the College are 
a millstone about its neck. 

Of this assertion we have recently been afforded 
the most conclusive proof. For one of the heralds 
has himself published, within the last two or three 
years, an elaborate account of his own family "from 
the Norman era to the present day." 1 The pedi- 
gree he gives for the modern period is, doubtless, 

1 Genealogical Magazine (not to be confused with The Genealogist), 
I. 459- 



absolutely correct ; but, having claimed as his 
direct ancestor a John in the Lane (" en la Lone ") 
a surname common enough in the I4th century 
he produces as his father " Adam de Lona of 
Hampton, co. Stafford, and of Halton, co. Chester, 
son and heir of Sir Richard de Lone/' Moreover, 
like the ancestor of most of the Smiths " Sir 
Michael Carington " to wit, this Adam was 
" among the Crusaders who went to the Holy 
Land," we read, " under the banner of Cceur de 
Lion" (ngo). 1 It is true that beyond Adam's 
grandfather, that gallant knight " Sir Reginald de 
Lona, of Halton, co. Chester," the descent of " this 
ancient and loyal family " has not as yet been 
proved ; but of him at least they are the heirs- 
male, 2 while one of them, it is added, under Wil- 
liam Rufus, married into one of those " leading 
families " whose daughters have always been kept 
in stock at Her Majesty's College of Arms. 
Now, in spite of the fact that " Sir Reginald de 
Lona " is, we learn, " upon record," the history of 
the family is this. They were townsfolk of Wol- 
verhampton in the i4th century, townsfolk who 
derived their name from the e lane ' in which 
they dwelt. The pedigree can, it is probable, be 
proved up to John e in the Lane,' whose father 
is said to have been Adam ; but Adam cannot, 
even as a farrier, have taken part in a crusade 
before he was even born. His alleged grandson is 
known to have been living in the reign of Edward 

1 Genealogical Magazine, I. 130. 

2 Ibid. I. 130, 459. 

xvii b 


III. In the same reign the " ancient and loyal " 
house of " in le Lone " were displaying an energy 
at Wolverhampton worthy of a Boxer clan. One of 
them was long c wanted ' for felony, and three others 
were among the rioters who plundered and assaulted 
an unfortunate man, "cut out his tongue," and 
" plucked out his eye " ; they were also charged 
by John de Sutton with having " assaulted his men 
and servants and cut off their tongues and noses." 
This is the house that, we now read, " has been 
seated in the county of Stafford for seven hundred 
years," and in that of Cheshire earlier still. The 
worst of it is that the true pedigree has long been 
perfectly known, 2 and that there is nothing to sug- 
gest a descent from alleged Cheshire knights. But 
need one add that the latter origin is duly asserted 
as a fact in Burke's Landed Gentry ', where Wolver- 
hampton is, with much judgment, idealized as 
"West Hampton"? Thus it is that a family 
pedigree, which is by no means devoid of interest, 
is made by the heralds merely absurd. 

But indeed the whole system of " record " badly 
needs the light of day. I have never been able to 
ascertain the actual meaning of " on record," or on 
what principle some documents are so dignified 
and others not. It is pretty certain that if a 
scholar, trained to deal with documents and to 
gauge their authority and value, were let loose on 
the College "records," we should have some 

\ ^ al ^r of Patent Rolls, 1338-1340, pp. 364, 366. 

See Shaw s Staffordshire (1798), II. 97, and Salt Archaeological 
Society (\Wo) y I. ( 2 ), p. 325. 



strange revelations. This remark applies specially 
to the evidence of grants of arms. When the 
College has to send to Oxford for particulars of 
such grants, when it offers to " record " at the 
present day grants that were made, but were not 
recorded, two or three centuries ago, when it picks 
up stray manuscripts in auction-rooms in the hope 
of filling some of the gaps in its vaunted, but 
imperfect "records," we can afford to smile at the 
daring statement by the author of The Right to 
Bear Arms that " arms are good or bad as they are 
recorded or unrecorded" at the Heralds' College. 
And when, further, the same writer deems it his 
duty to "insult publicly" 1 those who use arms 
which are not there recorded, it becomes desirable 
to enlighten the public on a state of things which 
destroys his case, and which shows that the absence 
of such record is no proof that the arms are 
c bad.' 

It is a different matter when these writers de- 
nounce the flagrant abuse by which the arms of 
old families, belonging to them alone, are assumed, 
or rather pirated by those who happen to possess 
the same name, but are not descended from them. 
In this denunciation one is bound to join, although 
it is possible that one may exaggerate the heinous- 
ness, in practice, of this assumption, which often 
springs from ignorance, for it would probably be 
unnoticed by the vast majority of men. Moreover, 
in such extreme cases as those of Stuart and Mont- 

1 "One has to insult him publicly in black and white" (The 
Right to Bear Arms, p. xiv.). 



morency it has received the official sanction of 
heralds themselves. 1 It does, however, amount to 
an assertion that one is a member of a family to 
which one does not belong, and this is why the 
above writers denounce it as the act of a snob. 
But of a wholly distinct character is the use of 
arms which are not those of any other family of 
one's name, but which do not happen to have 
been ' recorded ' (or c registered ') at the Heralds' 
College. In this case there is no pretension to be- 
long to another family, and, therefore, no possible 
ground for denouncing the act as snobbish. The 
above writers, however, have endeavoured to con- 
fuse the public on the subject and to class together 
all those whose right to the arms they use is not 
' registered ' at the College. 2 The object is to compel 
them alike to take out fresh grants, these being, as 
is well known, a lucrative matter for the heralds. 3 

As a matter of fact, the oldest and the purest 
right to arms was that conferred by user. In the 
heyday of chivalry, when heraldry was still a living 
science, in the age of Crecy and Poitiers and of the 
founders of the Garter, it was user that determined 
the right to arms. In the well-known case of 
Scrope and Grosvenor (i 389), as in that of Warble- 
ton and Gorges (1347), the decision was based on 

1 See pp. 20, 144 below. 

J Mr. Fox-Davies classes them together as all " bogus pre- 
tenders." (See Introduction to Armorial Families, p. xxx.) 

1 See Mr. Button's article on "A Reformed College of 
Arms " : "A considerable proportion of the fees exacted go into 
the pocket of the official who happens to have the particular job 
in hand" (Contemp. Rev., July 1900, p. 97). 



user alone. 1 The Crown was only appealed to to 
decide who could prove the prior user. When 
coats were used to distinguish their bearers, it was 
essential that no two should be the same, and some 
authority had to be invoked to decide, where this 
was so, who had the prior claim. And the 
authority invoked was the king. It was only 
thus, and for this purpose, that the Crown came to 
intervene. The evidence in the cases cited above 
proves that it was on the king's "viages" (i.e. 
military expeditions) that controversies arose from 
the same coat being borne by more than one 
person. 2 Consequently, when he was preparing 
for a great viage into France, Henry V. ordered 
the sheriffs (2 June 1417) to see that no one 
should appear with c coat-armours ' at the musters 
" unless he possesses or ought to possess them by 
ancestral right (jure antecessorio) or by the gift of 
some one having the power to give them (ad hoc] ." 
Now this order, which had in view only the viage 
in question (in present* viagio nostro), distinctly 
states on what depended the right to bear arms. 
A man had either to prove user, i.e. that his fore- 
fathers had used them ; or he had to show that 
they had been given him by someone who possessed 

1 As it was also in that of Fakenham and Sitsilt(i333), which, 
however, I do not cite, as the documents are only known to us 
through Bossewell (Workes of Armor ie [1597], pp. 79-81). 

2 The great importance, in war, of armorial bearings for 
recognition is illustrated by the well-known story of Simon de 
Montfort's barber being sent up into a tower, before the battle of 
Evesham, to identify, as an expert, the advancing host by their 



that right. 1 Of grant by the Crown there is no 
word. And yet this is the one document on which 
those who assert that no arms can be borne except 
by a grant from the Crown are compelled to take 
their stand. 2 

As a matter of fact, the right conferred by 
established user continued, on the most reluctant 
showing of ' X ' himself, to be recognised. In his 
opinion, at the Heralds' visitations, 

The definite production of a specific grant for the arms in 
question was not necessarily insisted upon by the Heralds, who 
allowed and confirmed arms as borne by right when the right to 
these was established to their satisfaction. . . . What proofs 
the Heralds required the production of to establish this legal right 
I am utterly unable to say. . . . One can only surmise. 
In the case of less important families using arms which 
in no way interfered with the rights of other people, one's ex- 
perience leads one to suppose that the claimants were treated 
more easily and the arms admitted (that is, they were recorded 
and confirmed with little or no alteration) upon the strength of 
usage for a certain period. 3 

This, as is well known, was sometimes done. 
* "Certain is it that in the year 1418 (sic) he [Henry V.] 
issued a writ. . . . It is on this writ that I take my stand," 
etc., etc. (The Right to Bear Arms, pp. 17, 20). The writer ekes 
out his case (pp. 21-2) by a warrant of Charles II., reciting inter 
alia that the descendants of Lord Ogle, by the heiress of the 
Percys, could not quarter the arms of Percy " according to the 
law of Armes without the special dispensation and license of us." 
And yet, according even to Mr. Fox-Davies, they would be " en- 
titled by the English law" to do so without permission. (See 
Armorial Families, p. xiii.) On p. 159 the above writer goes 
further and asserts, in general terms, that "Charles II. says of the 
assumption of name and arms," etc., etc., as proof that a man 
cannot assume arms for himself. But the king is merely speaking 
of the old arms of Percy, not of a man assuming fresh arms 
himself. ' The Right to Bear Arms, pp. 87, 99. 



No attempt is made by the writer to give any 
reason why the Heralds should not now do what, 
he himself admits, they seem to have done then. 
And yet they avowedly decline to do it, apparently 
in order that they may be able to obtain the fees 
on a grant de novo. 1 And, meanwhile, the above 
writer classes arms which are not pirated, and for 
which user can be proved, with those which are 
stolen from another family, as no less " bogus " and 
" illegal " (p. 1 1 6). As there is, in spite of the 
writer's bluster, no law in existence against such 
arms being borne, it is probable that county 
families who have borne them, as such, for genera- 
tions, will continue to do so until such time as the 
College of Arms consents to revive its ancient 
practice. They only profess, by so doing, that 
their position entitles them to use arms, a fact 
which the Heralds would themselves admit, if they 
should apply for a grant ; and they will but find 
themselves in company with two and twenty peers, 
and over thirty baronets, who, according to the 
author of Armorial Families^ " have no right what- 
soever to the arms they bear." That those whom 
he describes as " prominent people, whose social 
position is undoubted," may even esteem more 
highly the arms their ancestors have borne than those 
which a retired tradesman has lately been induced to 
purchase, may indeed be inconceivable to a person 
of vulgar mind. 2 But the fact remains. Indeed, 

1 I take this suggestion from their own mutual recriminations 
about the time of James I. 

2 ' X,' for instance, exclaims that they " in their lunacy prefer 
a bogus coat" (The Right to Bear Arms, p. 165). 



in a sudden burst of emotion the writer himself 
exalts "the aristocracy of birth," and admits that 
"the cachet of birth" is what "the plebeian" lacks. 1 
But, as it is the object of his work to prove that 
plebeians are those, of whatever birth, who have 
not had a grant of arms (or been included in its 
limitation), it is obvious that the poor man is 
simply contradicting himself. 

There is one more point on which I may en- 
lighten the public. Loud assertion is not evidence, 
although it may impose upon the timid. Mr. 
Fox-Davies loudly asserts that "nothing can alter the 
fact that the officers ... of the College of 
Arms . . . have the sole authority and control 
of armorial matters "... [are] " the sole 
authority upon matters of arms." And the author 
of The Right to Bear Arms closes his work with the 
confident assertion " that matters armorial have 
been delegated in England in all due form to the 
control and supervision of the Earl Marshal and the 
College of Arms" (p. 83). Yet he himself cites 
Dallaway for the fact that " Appeals from the Earl 
Marshal's Court could be carried into the King's 
Bench" (p. 38), and Dallaway (whose work is 
dedicated to the Earl Marshal himself) tells us 

Appeals from its jurisdiction . . . were referred to the 

1 Armorial Families, pp. xviii.-xix. So too : " Money will 
do much. . . . But money cannot purchase real ancestry " 
(an observation admirably true). Unhappily it can and does 
purchase a grant of arms. 

8 Armorial Families, pp. viii., xxx. (the italics are his own). 



king's bench, by which the awards were sometimes superseded, 
and always liable to revision, which . . . invalidated the 
general opinion of the necessity of the existence of the court. 1 

To this I may add the interesting fact that in 
1625 (or 1624) the law officers of the Crown (to 
whom the matter was referred) " uppon long serch 
of recordes and presidentes " certified that it was 
"just and lawfull " to appeal from the Court of 
Chivalry to the Court of Chancery in a suit con- 
cerning the bearing and quartering of certain 
arms. 2 So much for what Mr. Fox-Davies terms 
the " legal side." 

The fact is that, in harping on "the legal apart 
from the scientific and antiquarian view of the 
study of Armory " (p. xxix.), Mr. Fox-Davies does 
but reproduce the attitude of modern heralds, one 
of whom was the first, he tells us, to impress on 
him that there is " a legal side to Armory as well 
as an antiquarian" (p. xxxi.). The " scientific " 
side, we are told, " might well have been left " for 
the present. To the real student and lover of 
heraldry nothing, on the contrary, can be more 
uninteresting than its modern commercial develop- 
ment in the hands of the Heralds' College. To 
certain members of that corporation, as also to c X ' 
and Mr. Fox-Davies, the most interesting thing in 
heraldry may be the modern grant ; but the result 
is that the present movements in favour of the 
intelligent study of the science, of the revival or 

1 Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry 
in England, pp. 95, 289-90. 

2 Pixley's History of the Baronetage, p. 138. 



pure and artistic design, and of the new honest 
genealogy, have all originated not within, but 
without the walls of the Heralds' College. 1 

" As a lover of Armory," Mr. Fox-Davies pleads 
for an Act of Parliament which " would in ^ some 
measure restore the ancient respect for Arms." In 
stirring words the prophet cries : 

When the glory of knightly honour once more shall hold sway 
in these kingdoms three, and these marks of honour take their 
rightful place, let it not be said that whilst in our charge we have 
allowed their splendour to be tarnished or their lustre to be 
dimmed (p. xxxii.). 

After which it is painful to return to the facts of 
everyday life, and to be reminded, as we recently 
were, how these " marks of honour " are obtained. 

It is a matter of common knowledge that payment of the fees 
claimed will always secure a grant, apart from the rule, now 
somewhat meaningless, . . . that grants are not made to 
retail shopkeepers. 2 

Mr. Hutton rightly ridicules the pretence, in these 
circumstances, that a grant is a special favour from 
the Crown. As strenuous efforts are made to 
bamboozle the public on the point, it is needful 
to insist upon the fact that the Crown knows 
nothing of the grant. Take for instance this 
passage from The Right to Bear Arms (pp. 165-7, 
170) : 

A grant of Arms is a patent of gentility in precisely the same 

1 See further, for the Heralds and their ways, pp. 144-146, 
308-321 below. 

* " A Reformed College of Arms " (by Mr. Hutton), in Cont. 
Review, July 1900, p. 98. 



manner as the letters patent creating a peerage constitute a patent 
of what we here in England commonly and colloquially call 
nobility. . . . Each of them grants a definite honour. 
. . . But every Peerage patent that is issued carries with it 
the obligation of certain fees. . . . When a Patent of Arms 
is applied for, certain fees are payable. . . . But the cases 
of a Patent of Arms and a Patent of Peerage are identically the 
same, inasmuch as on the issue of either patent certain fees are 
required to be paid. . . . Consequently, if a coat of arms 
granted by patent is to be stigmatised as bought from the Crown, 
then of a surety every Peerage granted by Patent is equally 
< bought.' 

The writer, of course, is well aware that no such 
parallel exists. In the first place, the grant of a 
peerage proceeds directly from the Crown, and 
involves its special sanction ; in the second, and 
this is the essential point, a peerage cannot be 
purchased by the mere payment of fees. Even a 
man who has no pretentions to be, by birth or 
breeding, what is termed a gentleman can obtain a 
grant of arms by merely paying the fees. Let 
him, if he accepts the above writer's statements, 
attempt to obtain a peerage dignity by similarly 
offering to pay the fees. If he should actually be 
led to do so, his faith in the above writer is likely 
to be rudely shaken. 

And this is the essence of the case. A peerage 
is the object of ambition, because but few can 
obtain it ; a grant of arms is of no account, 
because nobody values what " anyone " can obtain. 
And no amount of rhodomontade can alter or 
obscure the fact. ' X,' indeed, wildly exclaims : 

Why do people object to have their arms described as 'bogus'? 
. . . Because in the frantic struggle to get into Society nine 



men out of ten will tell lie upon lie, to prove that their fathers 
were not labourers or ' dans cette galere,' and will therefore use 
bogus arms, to show that they and their people are not of the 
vulgar crowd. That is what I call snobbery, rank, utter and 
absolute. 1 

But even if the right to bear arms gave the entree 
to any ' Society ' but that which he himself adorns, 
the anonymous author must be aware that there is 
nothing to prevent a labourer's son from becoming 
" a gentleman of coat-armour," if, in the sarcastic 
language of the World^ he has " a few pounds to 
spare to the accommodating fossils of Queen 
Victoria Street." 2 The above writer, who angrily 
complains that the word ' gentleman ' is " applied 
in an idiotic manner " to those not entitled to it, 
and " even to a man of polite and refined manners 
and ideas," insists that 

Nothing a man can do or say can make him a gentleman 
without formal letters patent of gentility in other words with- 
out a grant of arms. 3 

May one not venture to suggest to composers of 
comic operas that they might introduce a chorus 
of heralds with some such refrain as this ? 

Seventy-six pound ten ! 

Seventy-six pound ten ! 
The sum isn't large, 
Yet it's all that we charge 

For making you gen tie men. 

Solvitur ridendo. It is only by showing its ridicu- 
lous aspect that one can effectually expose " a 

1 The Right to Bear Arms, pp. x.-xi. 

2 Article entitled "Order Arms ! " in World of 1 6 Aug. 1899. 

3 The Right to Bear Arms, p. 8. 



standard of social and personal measurement which 
makes plebeians of men of county family and 
established position, and c gentlemen ' of all the 
c bounders ' in the kingdom " who care to pay the 
fees. 1 What I am exposing is not the practice of 
granting arms, but the effort to persuade the public 
that the grant is a special privilege, when it is 
notoriously obtained by the mere payment of cash. 

It is hoped to show in these pages that genealogy 
and the study of the peerage may, when intelli- 
gently pursued, be useful handmaids to history. 
The paper, for instance, on the Counts of Boulogne 
will explain the devolution of some great territorial 
c Honours,' and will throw what seems to be a 
fresh light on the acceptance by Stephen and his 
son of Henry II. 's succession. The study on the 
family of Ballon introduces the Norman Conquest 
of South Wales ; and that on the Peers under 
Henry VIII. involves a new theory on his action 
in ' the Reformation Parliament.' In " Charles I. 
and Lord Glamorgan " a famous problem in 
English history is approached trom the standpoint 
of a student, not only of the peerage, but of docu- 
ments. Without professing to have demolished 
Mr. Gardiner's conclusions on the subject, one 
may claim that the evidence in the case, when 
scientifically stated, raises at least grave doubts, and 
proves that his arguments are not consistent, while 
his treatment of the documents concerned has been 
neither critical nor exact. " The succession to the 

) 1 6 Aug. 1899. 


Crown" raises the question whether that succes- 
sion, in certain contingencies, is at present clearly 
provided for. It is argued that the wording of the 
Act of Settlement was based on a misconception, 
and that its legal interpretation might involve the 
vacancy of the throne. 

In view of the points of law discussed in these 
pages, it is perhaps desirable to mention that I am 
not, directly or indirectly, connected with the legal 
profession. I may also explain that publication 
has been unavoidably delayed, and that these papers 
were in type before Lord Mowbray and Stourton 
had "claimed to be heir of line and senior [?] co- 
heir general to the ancient earldom of Norfolk 
created in 1312. "* His lordship's petition to the 
Crown to determine the " abeyance " of the earl- 
dom is of great interest for peerage history, and the 
last paper in this volume will be found to bear on 
the question. For the same reason there is no 
mention, on p. 184, of Miss Bateson's valuable 
papers in the English Historical Review on the 
"Laws of Breteuil," while the last edition (1900) 
of Burke's Landed Gentry has also appeared too 
recently to be noticed in these pages. 

I have to thank Mr. Murray for permission to 
incorporate in the paper on "the Peerage" the 
bulk of my article on that subject which appeared 
in the Quarterly Review. " Our English Haps- 
burgs" is reproduced, with some additions, from 

Times, 21 July 1900. It will be seen that on p. 436 I 
have questioned whether any proof of the alleged seniority of the 
Howard co-heiress has been adduced. 



the Genealogist, and the argument on the Mowbray 
barony, which is here enlarged and developed, 
originally appeared in the pages of the Law 
Quarterly Review. With these exceptions the 
contents of the volume are now published for the 
first time. Mr. Lindsay, Q.C., Windsor Herald, 
was good enough to allow me to collate Dugdale's 
extracts from the College of Arms MS. H. 13 
with the original manuscript, and thereby to detect 
the errors and alterations in the printed text. 

J. H. R. 


The Peerage 

NEARLY a quarter of a century ago Professor Free- 
man, in a famous article, set himself to expose, in 
language of almost unexampled scorn, the fables 
and the fictions which passed current for genuine 
family history in the well-known c Peerage ' of Sir 
Bernard Burke, Ulster King-of-Arms. 1 The state 
of things, as it then existed, was described by him 
as follows : 

When we turn over an English peerage, or a book of English 
pedigrees of any kind, we are tempted to put Juvenal's question 
. . . What are pedigrees worth ? when stage after stage, 
not in mythical, but in recorded ages, not among gods and heroes, 
but among men who ought to be real, is purely mythical if 
indeed mythical is not too respectable a name for what must be 
in many cases the work of deliberate invention. I turn over a 
peerage or other book of genealogy, and I find that, when a pedi- 
gree professes to be traced back to the times of which I know 
most in detail, it is all but invariably false. As a rule, it is not 
only false, but impossible . . . The historical circumstances, 
when any are introduced, are for the most part not merely fictions, 
but exactly that kind of fiction which is, in its beginning, deliber- 
ate and interested falsehood. 

Mr. Freeman then proceeded to make his posi- 

1 "Pedigrees and Pedigree-Makers" [Contemporary Review^ 
XXX. 11-41]. 

I B 


tion clear ; he explained that there was " no reason, 
to blame the present representatives of the families 
concerned " for accepting " tales which they have 
heard from their childhood, and which it is a kind 
of family honour to believe"; his quarrel was 
with the peerage editor, who gave not only 
currency but a quasi-official stamp to tales of 
" manifest falsehood," and who made himself re- 
sponsible " for the monstrous fictions which appear 
as the early history of so many families." That 
this position was a fair and just one is shown by the 
very different attitude of two peerage editors whose 
works, we shall see, have been published since Mr. 
Freeman wrote, and who have rejected without 
hesitation whatever appeared to them false. But, 
apart from this justification for the criticism of 
published pedigrees, it seems to me that a wrong 
is done to those families who endeavour to give a 
truthful account of their origin and history some- 
times at the sacrifice of beliefs handed down for 
generations when, by the side of their honest 
pedigrees, there are printed, year after year, the 
exploded fictions which the public and the press 
accept as no less genuine on the strength of their 
appearance in that well-known work which is sub- 
jected, as they are assured, to constant revision and 

By the side of what has been termed this " gor- 
geous repertory of genealogical mythology," there 
have appeared, since Mr. Freeman wrote, two 
works devoted to the Peerage, of which honesty 
and even frank scepticism have, throughout, been ' 


distinctive notes. The first is the Peerage and 
Baronetage of Mr. Joseph Foster (1880-1883) ; the 
second is the great Complete Peerage of c G. E. C.' 
(1884-1898). Mr. Foster, whose services to gene- 
alogy were recognised by an honorary degree con- 
ferred by Oxford University, on the completion of 
his great work, Alumni Oxonienses, confined his 
labours to the members of the existing Peerage and 
Baronetage ; the Complete Peerage, in its eight vol- 
umes, comprised, on the contrary, the whole Peerage, 
extinct, extant, dormant, or in abeyance, of all 
three realms. The first attempt, in modern times, 
to produce a work of this character was that of 
Sir Harris Nicolas, whose useful Synopsis of the 
Peerage (1825) re-edited by Courthope as the 
Historic Peerage, in 1 857 was restricted to English 
dignities. Although he gave no pedigrees, and 
had, therefore, not much temptation to deviate 
from history or from truth, Nicolas deserves all 
credit for his manful statement of his principles, 
made, as it was, when the study of genealogy was 
still at its lowest ebb, and when peerage writers 
had brought their craft into well-deserved con- 

To the merit of sedulous care, of rigid impartiality, and to 
having acted upon the resolution of not stating a single word 
which he did not believe to be strictly true, with the view of 
flattering the pride or gratifying the ambition of others, he 
conscientiously feels that he is entitled. . . . He has felt that 
with respect to hereditary honours, more than with any other 
worldly possession, 


" Rien n'est beau que le vrai," 


and that to attribute a dignity to an individual who has no legal 
right to it, is a species of falsehood which, if not so injurious, is 
at least as morally culpable as any other deviation from truth. 

Since that time there has arisen a school of criti- 
cal genealogists, whose work, unfortunately much 
scattered, is now chiefly represented by that recog- 
nised organ of research in the field of family 
history, the Genealogist. To the labours of these 
devoted students in clearing away the false, and 
substituting for it the truth, the Complete Peerage, 
as its footnotes show, has been very largely in- 

Before discussing Burke's Peerage by the side 
of this great work of reference, I am anxious to 
explain that the criticisms I may offer will be no 
mere rechauffe of Mr. Freeman's article. The 
Professor admitted that he wrote only as the his- 
torian of the Norman Conquest. " I shall keep 
myself," he wrote, "strictly to those pedigrees 
which touch the English history of those times of 
which I believe myself to have some minute know- 
ledge," though, as he added, " the period in which 
I am most at home happens to be the period where 
it is most needful unsparingly to wield the critical 
hatchet against the thick growth of genealogical 
falsehood." It has, indeed, if I remember right, 
been somewhere wittily said by the present 
bishop of Oxford that " it would seem that every- 
body whose ancestry didn't go away in the May- 
flower must have come over with the Conqueror's 
ships " ; but many a spurious pedigree begins later 
than the Conquest, while even within the field to 



which Mr. Freeman confined himself there are 
still fictions to be exposed. Moreover, the Pro- 
fessor did not understand scientific genealogy ; l 
while, as for the Peerage, although he was entrusted 
with the article on that subject in the Encyclopedia 
Britannica, he knew hardly anything of peerage 
law and history. As evidence of this I may appeal 
to his almost incredible blunder on the doctrine 
of ennobling the blood. In a violent pamphlet 
against the House of Lords he told the people (to 
whom it was addressed) that 

when a certain body of men go on, age after age, making in- 
ferences, laying down rules which are altogether in their own 
interest and not at all in the interests of the other powers in 
the State, we are tempted to call that process corruption or usurp- 
ation rather than healthy growth or development. Now this 
is what the House of Lords has been doing ever since it began 
to be a distinct House of Lords. The Lords laid down the rule 
that the King's writ " ennobled the blood " and bestowed a hereditary 
seat in Parliament a thing which nobody would have found out from 
the writ itself. . . . The body which thus disloyally, almost 
rebelliously, flouted the Crown has no right to claim respect on 
any grounds of antiquity or traditional dignity when, in the like 
spirit, they turn round and flout the people. They have, to be 
sure, their " noble blood," strange effect of King Edward's writ 

1 He wrote, for instance, in this article : " There is, we will 
say, a deed . . . which is done, say, by John of Sutton, 
with the consent of his wife Agnes and his son Richard ; there is 
another deed done by Richard of Sutton with the consent of his 
mother Agnes and his son William ; here is real evidence for 
three stages of the pedigree." But, with names so common as 
these, it is quite possible that there might be two men named 
Richard of Sutton, each of them with a mother Agnes. It is the 
proof of identity in such cases as these, that is, as the expert 
knows, the usual crux in genealogy. 



of summons. Let us wait and see what their " noble blood " 
can do for them when they have turned every other power of the 
State against them. 1 

The assertion italicized above is absolutely con- 
trary to fact. " Whenever," Mr. Freeman wrote, 
" the Lords have decreed or resolved or acted in 
any way by themselves and for themselves, they 
have always acted with the very narrowest aim of 
narrowing the access to their own body, in the 
interest of the phantasy of ' ennobled blood.' ' 
Now the doctrine or " phantasy " of " ennobled 
blood," for which the Lords were abused by Mr. 
Freeman, was not, as a matter of fact, laid down 
by them at all, but by the judges of England ! 
We have only to refer to the original authority, 
the Journals of the House of Lords (XII. 629-630), 
to learn that the doctrine on which is based the 
right to many baronies by writ, the doctrine that 
when a man had received a "writ of summons 
. . . his blood was thereby ennobled," was 
" laid down " in a unanimous c opinion ' of the 
judges, to whom the Lords had referred the ques- 
tion as a point of law. We also find that the 
Lords' resolution in this (the Clifton) case did not 
contain anything about c ennobled blood,' and was 
not even accompanied by any rationes decidendi. 
Lastly we learn from the Third Report on the Dig- 
nity of a Peer (Ed. 1829), pp. 31-2, that the above 
'Opinion' was discussed by the Lords in no favour- 

[ The Nature and Origin of the House of Lords. By Edward A. 
Freeman, D.C.L., LL.D., Regius Professor of Modern History 
in the University of Oxford. 



able spirit, the question being even raised how far 
it might be still binding on them. But perhaps 
the most astounding of the Professor's statements 
on the subject is his assertion that 

it is the same doctrine which has led to the anomalous position 
of the judges with regard to the House of Lords. . . .It 
was possible to keep them from ever winning a full parliamentary 
position, and they have never won it. ... It was the 
superstition, perhaps one should rather say the cunningly devised 
fable, about hereditary right, ennobling of blood, and the like, 
which kept them out for ages. 

When we learn that the authors of this in- 
justice to the judges, of this " cunningly devised 
fable," were no other than the judges themselves, 
we realize the recklessness of the misrepresenta- 
tion into which the writer was betrayed by his 
almost frantic prejudice. 1 

It will be seen, therefore, that, in citing Pro- 
fessor Freeman's criticisms, I do so merely in order 
to show that the statements found in Burke's 
Peerage, as to the origin and early history of 
certain great families, would be even more pre- 
posterous than they are at the present time, if he 
had not, by his public and merciless exposure, 
compelled, here and there, a tardy and reluctant 
amendment. How hard it is to bring about any 
improvement in the pages of c Burke ' is shown by 
its persistent repetition of errors, misstatements, 
and absurdities, exposed by me in the Quarterly 

1 See my communication to the St. yames* Gazette of 24th June, 
1885, on "Professor Freeman and the House of Lords." No 
reply was made to this exposure by himself or any one else. 



Review seven years ago. 1 With very few excep- 
tions, no advantage has been taken of the information 
I then placed at the disposal of the editors of 
c Burke/ in spite of the announcement that, last 
year, a " more thorough revision than usual of its 
contents was possible." We shall find, indeed, that 
this ' revision ' has resulted in the actual revival 
of certain exploded fables. 

The extreme difficulty of improving c Burke ' is 
shown also by comparison, not only with the 
infinitely superior Complete Peerage, but even 
with 'Debrett,' of which the editor is far more 
ready than those responsible for Eurke's Peerage 
to correct his work. It would not be necessary to 
insist at such length upon the point were it not 
that, owing to it having been edited by the late 
Ulster King of Arms, and connected after his 
death with a member of the Heralds' College, the 
book has acquired, in the eyes of the public, a semi- 
official status, for which, in spite of its cover, there 
is absolutely no warrant. Most of the absurd 
statements in the press on the subject of noble 
families can be traced to those fables which have 
obtained currency through its pages. 

The Complete Peerage^ of which the modest 
author prefers to be known by his initials only, is 
distinguished further from other works dealing 
with ennobled families by involving many points 
of peerage law and history, with which only a 
few students are familiar and on several of which 

1 Article on "the Peerage," October, 1893. 


there still exist uncertainty and doubt. On some 
of these I advanced views in my Quarterly Review 
article at variance with those expressed in that 
work, and in the c Corrigenda ' * its author has 
accepted, on most of these, my conclusions. In- 
deed, he has been content, for the baronage of the 
feudal period, to rely chiefly upon others, his own 
studies having been directed to more modern 
periods. He tells us, in his preface, that " Mr. 
Courthope's work is an almost infallible guide as 
far as it extends," and he has clearly treated it as 
such. The consequence is that, on some points, 
he is, as indeed are others, hopelessly behind the 
times. Thus, for instance, in a matter of such 
importance as the earliest writs of summons, he 
simply follows Courthope (1857), who had virtu- 
ally copied from Nicolas (1825). Accordingly, 
his work is based throughout on the belief of 
Nicolas that there was no record of any valid writs 
of summons between the Parliament of Simon de 
Montfort in 1264 and that held by Edward I. in 
1295 ; also that the writs of 1294 and 1297 were 
for Parliaments of doubtful validity. All this has 
now been changed. It is, however, right to men- 
tion that the late Deputy-Keeper of the Records 
(Sir T. D. Hardy) held the same belief, as is evi- 
dent from the Minutes of Evidence on the Hastings 
case (1841) : 

1 Vol. VIII. pp. 250-537. It has long been difficult, if not 
impossible, to obtain complete copies of the book, its high value 
as a work of reference having been quickly recognised. 



Q. Have you made any search whether there are any writs of 
summons to Parliament from the forty-ninth of Henry the Third 
to the twenty-third of Edward the First ? 

A. I have. 

Q. Do you find any ? 

A. I do not. 

Moreover, in his Constitutional History (1875) 
Dr. Stubbs himself followed Courthope, writing 
as follows : 

The importance of 1264 and 1295 arises from the fact that 
there are no earlier or intermediate writs of summons to a proper 
Parliament extant ; if, as is by no means impossible, earlier writs 
addressed to the ancestors of existing families should be discovered, 
it might become a critical question how far the rule could be 
regarded as binding. 

Yet Sir Francis Palgravehad long before (1830) 
published his Parliamentary Writs^ containing those 
of summons to the Parliament of Shrewsbury in 
1283. These, which every one, we have seen, had 
completely disregarded, were, in 1876, sprung by 
Counsel on the Committee for Privileges, and 
accepted by them without question, and apparently 
without the slightest conception that they were 
establishing a precedent of the most momentous 
consequence. When it is added that the contested 
writs of 1 294 and 1297 were a l so allowed to be put 
in evidence without question, and that the writ ot 
1283 affects a hundred baronies, it will be seen 
that the Mowbray decision (1877) unconsciously 
wrought a revolution, and that the history of 
baronies by writ must now be undertaken de novo. 
This decision has also finally disposed of the 1264 
writs, which had been accepted in the cases of Le 



Despencer and De Ros, and thereby raised a question 
of precedence as yet insoluble. But G. E. C. has 
overlooked the fact that the Hastings decision 
(1841) had already ignored those writs, and set up 
a wholly new date by recognising sittings, in lieu 
of writs, in 1290. This barony is assigned by him, 
we find, to 1295, and by Courthope to 1264, 
though, as I have said, the authorized date is 
1290 (18 Edward I.). 1 These changes are so 
important, and are clearly so imperfectly under- 
stood, that I have thought it well to explain them 
in detail. 

We may now select some test cases of the ver- 
dicts on doubtful titles, now, happily, few in num- 
ber. ' Burke ' recognises the assumption by Lord 
Mar of the title c Lord Garioch,' although signifi- 
cantly unable to assign to it any creation : G. E. C., 
however, denies "that any Parliamentary Barony ot 
that name was ever vested in" the Earls of Mar. 
In this conclusion he had the support of the late 
Lyon [Mr. Burnett], although they both sided with 
Lord Mar in the matter of his earldom. Again, 
at the death of the late Lord Eglinton (1892), it 
was asserted by those who claimed to be specially 
well informed that his father had succeeded in 
1840 to the Scottish Earldom of Winton (i6oo). 2 
c Burke ' admits this succession, although the only 
proof is that, after the title had been dormant 

1 My correction has been accepted by the author in his 
4 Corrigenda.' 

2 This was one of the points noted by me in the Quarterly 
Review article. 



nearly a century, Lord Eglinton caused himself 
to be " served heir male general " to the earls of 
Winton : G. E. C. does not admit the validity of 
this proof, and pronounces the title of earl of 
Winton (United Kingdom), conferred on the family 
in 1859, to have been "a very improper one" 
under the circumstances. We observe that G. E. C. 
considers the attainder of 1716 (ignored by Ulster) 
a bar to the succession, though Mr. Riddell, I 
believe, held that it was saved by a specialty. 
Into the thorny subject of Scottish retours and 
services, their trustworthiness and their validity as 
proofs of extinctions, or even as instructing the 
right to a peerage, under the present dispensation, 
I do not propose to enter ; but, as the sympathies 
of G. E. C. are clearly with the Scottish school, I 
do not think he is quite consistent in opposing 
himself to that unhappy system which was re- 
sponsible (as even its advocates admit) for the fact 
that there was in Scotland no "salutary check to 
undue assumption or usurpation." Indeed, under 
'Angus,' he boldly assigns that historic earldom to 
the dukes of Hamilton, although they have, as 
yet, only claimed it. Turning to the dukedom of 
Chatellerault, we find that, according to 'Burke/ 
it is vested in the duke of Abercorn, while the 
late duke of Hamilton was only said to " claim " 
that ghost-like relic of a distant past. 1 Neither of 
the dukes, though holding between them nearly 
thirty Peerage dignities, would waive his claim to 

1 This is omitted in < Burke ' since the late duke's death. 



this shadowy title ; and ' Burke/ while assigning 
to the Irish Duke, " in the point of honour, over 
all," the escocheon of the French Duchy, engraves it 
also on the arms of his rival, observing with courtly 
felicity that "his Grace places" it there. But in 
the painfully candid Complete Peerage the duke 
of Abercorn himself is only recognised as a claim- 
ant, an elaborate note reminding us that it is even 
quite doubtful whether the contested title was ever 
created at all. The Irish Viscountcy of Valentia 
is another of those cases in which the Complete 
Peerage appears to great advantage by the side of 
the careless ' Burke.' On the death of the gth 
Viscount (1844), the title was assumed by "his 
distant cousin," who, adds G. E. C., "took no steps 
to establish his right thereto." According to the 
same authority there were senior branches of the 
family of which the extinction " has never been 
proved." 1 Of all this we learn nothing, under 
" Valentia," in ' Burke,' though reference to a roll 
hidden away at the end of the volume will show that 
the right to this title is as yet unproved, and that, 
consequently, no vote can be given in respect of 
it at elections of representative peers for Ireland. 
However valid the claim may be, it is surely, in the 
highest degree, unsatisfactory that its validity should 
thus remain unproved indefinitely. The same re- 
mark applies to the Scottish Barony of Belhaven. 
It is stated by G. E. C. that the gth Lord, who 
died in 1893, was succeeded by his "4th cousin 

1 Vol. VIII. p. 15, note b. 


and heir male . . . who succeeded to the 
peerage 6th September, 1893, his claim thereto 
being established in July, iS^." 1 But, the error 
having been pointed out to him, he substituted for 
" established " the words : " recognised so far as 
having been served heir and as voting for Scotch 
Representative Peers, but not by the Committee for 
Privileges in the House of Lords. 3 Here again 
the claim may be valid, but 'Burke' gives us no hint 
of the actual state of affairs. 3 The far more re- 
markable case of the Barony of Ruthven of Free- 
land will be discussed separately below. Here it 
need only be said that its existence is energetically 
denied by G. E. C., as it was by Mr. Foster in his 
c Peerage ' ; Debrett also admits the title only as 
" claimed and assumed by Walter James Hore 
Ruthven as 8th 'Baron' " and pronounces it "more 
probable" that the barony " really ceased with the 
extinction of the direct male line." The cause ot 
all this trouble, as I have repeatedly insisted, is the 
absence of any valid check on the assumption ot 
Scottish and Irish titles. The last case I select is 
that of the exalted, but mysterious, foreign digni- 
ties claimed by the earls of Denbigh. These 
noblemen are descended, in the words of Professor 
Gardiner, from " the plain country gentleman who 
had the good luck to marry Buckingham's sister in 
the days of her poverty." Rising with Bucking- 
ham, he became a peer, and, in due course, the 

1 Vol. VIII. P . 307. * Vol vm p 532> 

It is only right to add that this criticism applies to 'Debrett' 
also in the case of these two titles. 



family revealed a fact which they had hitherto kept 
to themselves, namely, that they were not of 
English origin, but were descended in the male 
line from the mighty house of Hapsburg. It was 
this illustrious descent that inspired the pen of 
Gibbon when, alluding to their pedigree of a 
thousand years, he wrote that " the successors of 
Charles V. may disdain their brethren of England ; 
but the romance of Tom Jones, that exquisite pic- 
ture of human manners, will outlive the palace of 
the Escurial, and the imperial eagle of the House 
of Austria." Lord Denbigh, according to c Burke,' 
down to the present year, is " count of Hapsburg, 
Laufenburg, and Rheinfelden," and, as such (it 
was added), "a count of the Holy Roman Empire." 
An eagle of Austria bore his arms, and the antiquity 
of his countship is so great that its date of creation 
is unknown. Yet on all these honours G. E. C. is 
mute, though he hints in a footnote tha*t no "men- 
tion of this illustrious origin is made in the Heralds' 
visitations." As will be seen below, 1 1 have critically 
examined the story and pronounced it an absolute 
concoction, without, strange as it may seem, one 
shred of truth. This year, 'Burke ' at last abandons 
under c Denbigh ' the countships and the arms (as 
indeed c Debrett ' had previously done) ; but under 
"Foreign Titles of Nobility" (p. 1894) we still find 
"Hapsburgh, etc., see Denbigh," while even under 
"Denbigh," the family pedigree is still traced to 
" GefFery, count of Hapsburgh." 

1 See the paper on " Our English Hapsburgs." 


These cases are, of course, conspicuous, but the 
little points which tempt the honesty and test the 
accuracy of peerage writers are more easily over- 
looked. It is by his treatment of such points that 
G. E. C. inspires confidence, especially when his 
statements are fortified by a dense array of dates. 
If Sir Bernard Burke inclined to mercy, and flat- 
tered the vanity of his patrons, the opposite ten- 
dency is visible in G. E. C. He takes a positive 
delight in explaining that the first Lord Kensington 
was the son of " a purser, 5 ' that Lord Kingsale 
(1759-1776) was "bred a carpenter," or that the 
founder of Lord Carrington's family was a " re- 
spectable draper at Nottingham." For pretentious 
affectations he is pitiless. Thus he very sensibly 
observes of the title ' Ffrench ' : 

The ludicrous mode of spelling the name with a double "f" 
has been stereotyped by its adoption in the patent of 1798. It 
probably arose from ignorance that the form of the capital " F " 
was that of the small " f " duplicated, . . . and, considering 
the spread of education, is not likely to occur again. 

We note, however, that under "De Freyne" he 
accepts the statement that " this title is merely an 
archaic form of the family name, otherwise de Freigne 
or de Fraxinis" Now this is simply absurd. "The 
family name " was plain " French," and its deriva- 
tion obvious. When Playfair composed his Baronet- 
age as a monument of sycophantic folly, he dis- 
covered that Smith was derived from Smeeth, "a 
level plain," but confessed that he could find for 
Baker no possible derivation. In the same spirit 
the French family, discarding its obvious origin, 



assumed an imaginary descent from " De la freigne" 
(De Fraxineto). Yet on the rage for c De ' in the 
last hundred years, G. E. C., we find, is unsparing 
in his sarcasm. Such titles as c De Tabley,' ' De 
Mauley,' and c De Ramsey ' arouse in him the 
same scorn as a " modern Gothic castle." Even 
c De Grey/ as he points out, is a modern innova- 
tion on Grey. Supplementing the cases he quotes, 
one may here attempt a list illustrating the manu- 
facture of the imitation article in feudal nobility. 
The immortal creator of c jeames,' who from 
c Yellowplush ' became ' De la Pluche,' did but 
satirize that process of conversion which has 
changed the names of Smith, Bear, Hunt, Robin- 
son, Aldworth, Smithson, Wilkins, Wigram, 
Morres, Lill, Smith, Supple, Mullins, Green, and 
Gossip, into Vernon, De Beauchamp, De Vere, De 
Grey, Neville, Percy, De Winton, Fitzwygram, 
De Montmorency, De Burgh, De Heriz, De 
Capell Brooke, De Moleyns, De Freville, and De 
Rodes. Bottom is indeed translated. The marvel 
is that such tempting examples have not been more 
widely followed. 

What can delay 

De Vaux and De Saye, 
* * * # * 

Fitzwalter, FitzOsbert, FitzHugh, and Fitzjohn ? 

It is alleged in A treatise on the law concern- 
ing names and changes of names that " an appli- 
cation to assume the particle c De ' in front of a 
name is usually granted where unquestionable evi- 
dence can be produced of descent from some 

17 c 


ancestor who so wrote his name." Yet, so re- 
cently as 1863, the Irish family of Power, which 
holds a Papal countship, obtained a Royal license 
to change its name to ' De la Poer.' Count c de 
Poher de la Poer ' claims to be lord c le Power 
(and Coroghmore) ' as heir male of the body of ' Sir 
Richard Power, Kt.,' who was so created in 1535.* 
Here then we have four forms of the name, 
three of which le Power, de Poher, and de la 
Poer contradict one another. And the origin ol 
this dreadful jumble is simply the desire of a 
family as old as the Conquest of Ireland to repu- 
diate their purely personal surname and to claim 
for it a territorial origin. The name is very fre- 
quently met with, in the lath century, in Eng- 
land, and in Ireland after the Conquest, and when 
it has a prefix at all, that prefix is le. Therefore, 
whatever its meaning, the name must be personal. 
A Mr. Redmond, who wrote an account of this 
family, calmly overcame the difficulty by changing 
' le ' into ' de ' in the case of its early members, 
which enabled him to arrive at the conclusion that 
" it may fairly be presumed that the family sprang 
from the counts or princes of Le Poher." 3 This in- 
deed is what it claims, and, accordingly, it has now 
adopted the names of Alan, Rivallon, and Yseult. 
It is only fair, however, to observe that, so far 

1 Genealogical Magazine, II. 451. 

2 See Burke' s Peerage, Burke' s Landed Gentry, and Genealogical. 
Magazine, I. 140, 207, 270. 

5 Le Poher was a Comte in Britanny which ceased to exist as 
a separate organization in 937. 



back as 1767, the idiotic form of c la Poer ' crept 
in at the time of Lady Tyrone's claim, although 
that claim was made under a writ to ' Nicholas le 
Poer' (1375), and since that time the Beresford 
family have used it as a Christian name in the 
developed form of c De la Poer.' The Trench 
family, one of whom had similarly married a 
Power heiress in the last century, have, with more 
regard for facts and grammar, used (as earls of 
Clancarty), 'Power' and c Le Poer' as Christian 
names. I have elsewhere shown that this name 
has no more to do with a Breton Comte than has 
Smith to do with " Smeetb, a level plain," and that 
it is purely personal. 1 Count ' de Poher de la 
Poer ' has twice replied, 2 but has not even at- 
tempted to prove that the name had ' De ' before 
it, or to deny that its prefix, when it had one, was 

* Le.' Indeed, he very frankly quoted the verdict 
of M. de Guyencourt (Secretaire de la Societe des 
Antiquaires de la Picardie) : 

II est absolument certain que les Pohiers sont les habitants de 
Poix en Picardie. Aujourd'hui encore on leur donne ce nom ; ils 
se le donnent a euxmmes. Le mot Pohier tait Latinise en 
Poherus : " Pontivi comitem sequuntur in arma Poheri." 

This would be one origin of the name ; but 
there are others, though I do not go so far as Mr. 
Rye, who approves of my strictures on the tam- 
pering with the name and asserts that it meant 

* the poor man.' J 

1 Genealogist, [N.S.] XII. 215, XIII. 15-16. 

2 Ibid. XII. 221-3, XIII. 131-2. 

3 Ibid. XII. 288. See also Eyton's Shropshire, III. 197-8. 



It is Ireland also that provides the most mon- 
strous case of all, that of c De Montmorency.' 
Mr. Freeman scoffed at 

the singular fact that a family named Morres, dissatisfied with a 
very respectable name . . . thought proper in the last 
century to change it into Montmorency, and to give out that a 
branch of the house of the first Christian baron followed the 
banner of the Norman. 

With grim humour he pointed out that this " is 
one of the very few cases where the faith, even, of 
Sir Bernard Burke gives way," and " when he 
comes to this monstrous fable," we find that " there 
is somewhere a last pound which breaks the back 
even of an Ulster King-at-arms." 1 The alleged 
descent, indeed, is ignored by Burke' s Peerage and 
absolutely laughed to scorn by G. E. C. Yet it is 
not fair to treat the claim as a mere private as- 
sumption. As Colonel Morres boasted at the 
time, his proofs were " verifies avec la plus 
scrupuleuse attention par Tautorite competente et 
sanctionnes desormais par Tautorisation du prince 
qui gouverne aujourd'hui 1'empire britannique." a 
But, unfortunately, "Tautorite competente" was, 
as c X ' and Mr. Fox-Davies are always so loudly 
insisting, the officer-of-arms concerned. Sir 
William Betham, Deputy-Ulster, certified, in his 
official capacity, that the alleged pedigree was 

1 Cont. Rev., XXX. 38. 

2 "Les Montmorency de France et les Montmorency d'Irlande, 
ou Precis historique des demarches faites a Toccasion de la reprise 
du nom de ses anctres par la branche de Montmorency-marisco- 
morres" (Paris, 1828), p. 25. 



" established on evidence of the most unquestion- 
able authority, chiefly from the ancient public 
records." May one not apply to this certificate 
the words that c X,' as the heralds' champion, 
applies to the unfortunate public : 

The Psalmist in his haste remarked that all men were liars, 
and spoke with no experience of armorial bearings or of the 
temptation they afford to depart from the truth. 1 

For the absolute falsehood of Betham's certificate 
is demonstrated, beyond the possibility of question, 
in my article on "The Montmorency Imposture," 2 
where I have proved that, on its own showing, the 
entire pedigree collapses. Yet the Crown, naturally, 
could only accept the statement of its own officer of 
arms, and it accordingly described the alleged descent 
as duly proved and recorded. 3 The energetic protest 
of the French house was wholly disregarded, and so 
perfect was this " modern antique," which dates, 
like others, from the Wyatville period, that the 
family assumed not only the arms, with the name, 
of that historic house, but also its motto, " Dieu 
Ayde," as if conscious that the proof of their 
claims was beyond the power of man. And now 
there has crept in the name of ' Bouchard/ the 
tenth-century patriarch of the French house. It 
was bound to come. Have not the Douglases 
stereotyped in ' Sholto ' the legend of the c dark-grey 
man/, the Ashburnhams in ' Bertram ' the victim of 

1 The right to bear arms (p. 176). 

2 Feudal England, pp. 519527. 

3 London Gazette, Sept. 9, 1815 ; Dublin Gazette, Aug. 12, 



the Conquest, the Stourtons in ' Botolph ' its 
English hero, and the Fieldings in c Rudolph ' their 
glorious descent ? The mythical Otho is com- 
memorated in the family nomenclature of Fitz- 
geralds, and in that of the Grosvenors has appeared 
a most traditionary ' Lupus,' while the Russells 
perpetuate in c Odo ' their imaginary Norman 
origin. Although this fashion is modern, it was 
strangely forestalled by the Percys, whose well- 
known ' Algernon ' referred to the supposed sobri- 
quet of their founder, and began some four 
centuries ago, though not, there is reason to believe, 
as a true Christian name. But in even earlier days 
the Beauchamps had shown the way, Guy de 
Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, who was born in 
1278, being named after the famous Guy, the 
mythical ancestor of the Earls temp. Athelstan, 
whose adventures with dragons and with pagan folk 
were long the joy of the romancer. The name has 
been revived in our own time, being borne by the 
present earl of the Greville house. 

Apart from the " modern antiques " at which 
we have glanced above, the Complete Peerage is 
severely critical of the efforts made by certain 
families to connect themselves, by title or by sur- 
name, with houses of older standing to which they 
are unrelated. The most glaring of these cases is 
that of the banking family of Smith, originating, 
as observed above, in " a respectable draper at 
Nottingham." 1 When raised to the peerage by 

1 Martin's Stories of Banks and Bankers, quoted by G. E. C. 
It is interesting to learn, of the barony conferred on this family, 



Pitt about a hundred years ago, it selected as the 
title of its barony c Carrington,' doubtless, as is 
pointed out by G. E. C., because an older family 
of Smith, " in no way connected with the family 
of the grantee," had borne that title from 1643 to 
1 706.* And this latter house had itself selected 
that title because of a c cock-and-bull ' story that its 
real ancestor was Sir Michael Carrington, standard 
bearer to Richard I. in Palestine, a descendant of 
whom, John Carrington, "fled out of England 
and named him selfe Smith." 2 As if this were 

that " According to Wraxall, this was the only instance in which 
George III.'si objections to giving English peerages to those en- 
gaged in trade were overcome" (Dictionary of National Biography). 

1 It was, perhaps, unfortunate that in the person of Lord 
Boringdon, the Parkers of Devonshire should have taken 'Morley' 
as the title of their earldom (created 1815), in view of the fact 
that the ancient barony of Morley (1299), now in abeyance, had 
been held by a family of Parker, with which they had no con- 
nection, for two and a half centuries. But this can hardly be 
held to justify the violent note on the subject in the Complete 
Peerage (V. 374): "It is impossible to speak too strongly or 
the contemptible and vulgar vanity and want of all right reeling 
which induced the grantee of 1815 to select his title . . . 
in the hope of [fraudulently] palming himself off as being of the 
ancient stock." Such violent language as this is not only exces- 
sive, but is a subject for regret in a work of reference. 

' The authority of Elizabethan heralds was vouched for this 
story : " Of whose family I may not omit to observe what I have 
seen attested by Sir William Dethick, sometime garter principall 
King of Armes, and Robert Cooke Clarenceux ; viz., that the 
said John Smyth (the baron) was grandson to John Carington ; 
and the said John Carington lineally descended from Sir Michael 
Carington, knight, standard-bearer to the famous King Richard 
the First in the Holy Land" (Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 60 1). 
Subsequently, however, in his Baronage, Dugdale only asserted 



not enough, the above modern family of Smith, 
though not even claiming connection with the 
descendants of the alleged standard bearer, changed 
its name, in 1839^0 'Carrington' (and subsequently 
to ' Carington'), presumably because it sounded 
nicer, and without even a baseless tradition to 
support the change. Another branch of the same 
family now appears among the Baronets, as c Brom- 
ley/ while a third has recently been ennobled 
under the title of ' Pauncefote.' This latter 
creation gave rise to a wondrous paragraph, which 
appeared on all sides in the press, tracing the new 
peer's descent from a Sir Grimbald Pauncefote 
living in the Middle Ages, whose name indeed 
used to appear at the head of the family pedigree 
in Burke's Landed Gentry^ The distinguished 
diplomatist in question, however, is in no way 
descended from the Pauncefotes, and in Burke's 
Peerage the pedigree begins, in the most straight- 

that the family " do derive themselves " as above. Their actual 
founder, Sir John Smith, a baron of the Exchequer, who died 
1547, is alleged to have been a great-grandson of Sir Thomas de 
Carington, who died 1383 ! But the family arms have mysteri- 
ously changed more than once (see Complete Peerage, II. 167). 

As might be expected, many a Smith turned with longing eyes 
to "Sir Michael Carington" as an ancestor. The 1886 edition 
of Burke's Landed Gentry guardedly observed that "Several 
families [of Smith] claim descent from the earlier branches " of 
" the Caringtons, who are stated to have changed their surname 
to Smith," among them one whose " immediate ancestor " died 
in 1795. This modest claim had developed in the 1894 edition 
into the five-columned pedigree of " Smith-Carington," traced 
back to " Sir Mychell de Carinton," and thence to the Conquest. 

1 See the editions of 1886 and 1894. 



forward manner, with his actual ancestors, the 

In sharp contrast with such instances as this 
of an honest and straightforward descent, Lord 
Lytton's pedigree in c Burke ' still commences with 
" Sir Robert de Lytton of Lytton, in the county 
of Derby, comptroller of the household to King 
Henry IV.," although it will be found, on close 
scrutiny, that the present owner of Knebworth 
descends from " William Robinson," tout court^ a 
stranger in blood to the old Lyttons, who obtained 
the property by bequest, in 1710, to the exclusion, 
as is pointed out by G. E. C., " of the heirs at 
law and representatives of the race of Lytton." * 
Bearing in mind that the present family have not, 
in the words of the same authority, " any descent 
from the old family of Lytton of Knebworth," 
there is something exquisitely comic in this 
sonorous passage from the panegyric of Alison the 
historian on Sir E. Bulwer Lytton. 

" Born of a noble family, the inheritor of ancestral halls of un- 
common splendour and interest, he has received from his Norman 
forefathers the qualities which rendered them noble. No man 
was ever more thoroughly imbued with the elevated thoughts, 
the chivalrous feelings which are the true mark of patrician 

1 The present Lyttons, though descended in the female line 
from an old Norfolk family, the Ballings, are in the male 
line Wiggetts, a family on which Mr. Walter Rye, in his 
Popular History of Norfolk, has something to say. It is a singular 
coincidence that another branch of the same family (the Wiggetts) 
has now become ' Chute of the Vyne,' inheriting that most in- 
teresting old Hampshire seat, like their kinsmen at Knebworth, 
without any descent from the Chute family. 



blood ; and which, however they may be admired by others, 
never perhaps exist in such purity as in those who, like the Arab 
steeds of high descent, can trace their pedigree back through a 
long series of ancestors." 

"The dining-room at Knebworth, in Hertfordshire, Sir E. 
Bulwer Lytton's noble family mansion, originally built by a Norman 
follower of the Conqueror, is fifty-six feet long and thirty high, 
hung round with the armour which the family and their retainers 
wore at the battle of Bosworth, and ended by the gallery in 
which the minstrels poured forth their heart-stirring strains." * 

The admiration here expressed by Disraeli's 
" Mr. Wordy " contrasts quaintly with Thackeray's 
bitter caricature of the aristocratic novelist. 

" Look again at me friend Bullwig. He is a gentleman, to be 
sure, and bad luck to 'im, say I ; and what has been the result of 
his litherary labour ? I'll tell you what, and I'll tell this gintale 
society, by the shade of Saint Patrick, they're going to make him 
a Barinet." 

" And pray what for ? " 

" What faw ? " says Bullwig. " Ask the histowy of litwatuwe 
what faw ? Ask Colburn, ask Bentley, ask Saunders and Otley, ask 
the gweat Bwitish nation, what faw ? The blood in my veins 
comes puwified thwough ten thousand years of chivalwous 
ancestwy . . . and the Bwitish government, honowing 
genius in me, compliments the Bwitish nation by lifting into the 
bosom of the heweditawy nobility the most gifted member of the 
democwacy." 2 

Whether the solemn Scottish writer was hoaxed 
or not by his host, it adds to the humour of the 
whole story when we find that even the old Lyttons 
did not purchase Knebworth till after Bosworth fight. 
It was bought, according to c Burke/ in 7 Hen. VII. 
(1491-2), by "Sir Robert de Lytton of Lytton," 

1 Alison's History of Europe (1852), I. 480. 

2 Yellowplush Papers. 



son of the above Sir Robert de Lytton, who lived, 
we learn, under Henry IV. (1399-1413). The 
editor's notions of regnal chronology seem to be as 
strange here as they are in the case of the St. 
Johns. Nor is our confidence increased when we 
find that this Lytton (a property in Tideswell, then 
valued at forty shillings a year) was held, in 1431, 
not by a Robert, not by a knight, not even by an 
esquire, but by Richard Lytton, c gentilman.' l 

An instance of the scrupulous exactitude or. 
G. E. C. is afforded by the title of Warwick. He 
points out that this should rightly be Brooke and 
Warwick, the Earls taking precedence under 
Brooke (1746). Though adopting the style of 
Warwick (1759) alone, their petition for assigning 
to Warwick the precedence of Brooke was never, 
he observes, granted. He is further careful to 
explain that when these honours were conferred, 
the family, in spite of the flourishes of peerage 
writers, were not even co-heirs of a younger branch 
of the old earls of Warwick, whom therefore 
they in no way represent, although their coat-of- 
arms is decked with the swan and the bear of the 
Beauchamps, together, he adds, with the suggestive 
motto, " Vix ea nostra voco." We must also agree 
with him on the impropriety of granting the 
baronies of Lovel and Holland to Lord Egmont's 
ancestor (1762), when he was in no way a co-heir 
to the ancient baronies of these names. The Lovel 
quartering on Lord Egmont's coat is most mis- 

1 Feudal Aids, I. 287. 


leading, implying, as it does, a non-existent repre- 
sentation in blood. 

Nor is it only on names and styles that G. E. C. 
is outspoken. He reminds us of the origin of 
the earldom of Orkney, and is careful to explain 
that Lord Winchilsea's Viscountcy of Maidstone 
was obtained (1623) by bribery, and that so re- 
cently as 1747 the viscountcy of Folkestone was 
purchased for 12,000 through the notorious 
countess of Yarmouth, who "is stated to have 
derived considerable sums from the sale of peerages." 
Holies, we see, according to him, bought his 
barony (1616) through Buckingham for 10,000, 
and the coveted earldom of Clare (1624) f r an 
additional 5,000. I had imagined that the latter 
cost him more, but, though the purchase system 
was as fully recognised in the peerage then as in 
the army afterwards, the facts are not easy to 
ascertain. The barony of Teynham (1616) was 
undoubtedly said to have been purchased for 
10,000, but I have seen it stated that the earl- 
doms of Devonshire (1618), Northampton (1618), 
and Warwick (1618) cost no larger a sum. The 
Scottish barony of Fairfax (1627) is also said to 
have been paid for. 1 G. E. C., by the way, would 
seem to be unaware of Dugdale's letter on the 
difficulty (surmounted by a bribe to courtiers) of 
inducing Charles II. to recognise at the Restora- 
tion the suspicious Dudley patent of 1 644. Again, 
under ' Guilford,' G. E. C. revives the North 

1 Markham's Life of the great Lord Fairfax^ p. 14. 


ecclesiastical scandals ; though under c Feversham * 
he does not allude to the origin of the Duncombe 
wealth. Macaulay and Professor Freeman, be- 
tween them, were outspoken enough on the sub- 
ject, the latter writing : 

Lord Macaulay's readers know how " the once humble name 
of Duncombe " got transferred to the lands which had once been 
the reward of Fairfax ; and students of local genealogy may 
know how the name passed, not only to the lands the lands 
which the House of Commons proposed to confiscate as a punish- 
ment of their owner's fraud but also to their later possessors. 
Now, if Brown chooses to call himself Duncombe, or if Dun- 
combe insists that Brown shall call himself Duncombe, no great 
harm is done to anyone, and Brown most likely is pleased. But 
when the lands of Helmsley were made to take the name of 
Duncombe, a real wrong was done to geography. . . . 
The thing is a fraud on nomenclature as great as any of the 
frauds which the first Duncombe, " born to carry parcels and to 
sweep down a counting-house," contrived to commit on the 
treasury of the nation. 1 

An unsparing footnote is suggested to G. E. C. 
by the restoration of the earldom of Devon (1831), 
contrasting strangely with the famous panegyric of 
Gibbon on the Courtenays, who " still retain the 
plaintive motto, which asserts the innocence, and 
deplores the fall, of their ancient house." Another 
note carefully explains that, in 1837, a jury "only 
took 1 5 minutes to determine upon their verdict " 
implying that the Premier Baron of England had 
cheated at cards. 2 

But the limit of what is permissible is reached 
in such comments as these, and one cannot but 
regard that this limit is passed in certain objection- 

1 English towns and districts, p. 310. 2 Vol. VI. p. 407. 



able notes. It is possible to compile an honest 
Peerage without making it a chronique scandaleuse^ 
and a work of reference is only disfigured by 
remarks which offend, surely, against good taste. 

A point upon which G. E. C. permits himself 
to speak strongly is the practice of calling out of 
abeyance certain ancient baronies in favour of 
modern co-heirs but distantly connected with them. 
His remarks on this subject (under c Beaumont ') 
deserve quoting : 

The early years of the Queen's accession were the halcyon 
times for the Peerage lawyers. Supporters of the Whig Govern- 
ment (Lord Melbourne's) who, under other Ministers, might 
have entered the peerage from below, had now good reason to ex- 
pect to be placed over the heads of almost the entire Baronage 
(e.g., over such families as Stourton, St. John, Dormer, Roper, 
Clifford, Byron, etc.), provided only that the Peerage lawyer 
could prove that there was in them . . . some small frac- 
tion of co-representation of some one of the prodigious number 
of early Baronies, which (according to modern interpretation) 
were created in fee by the numerous writs of summons issued by 
the Plantagenet kings. Before the time of George III. (passing 
over the anomalous case of Le Despencer) no abeyance had been 
terminated that had existed more than the space of some thirty 
years or so ; that king, however, in four (Botetourt, Zouche, 
Roos, and Howard de Walden) out of the eight Baronies [sic] he 
thus terminated, introduced the pernicious practice of reviving 
Baronies whose estates had been entirely alienated, and where the 
dignities themselves had lapsed for a century or more. It was re- 
served, however, for the short space of little more than three 
years (March 1838 to May 1841) to terminate the abeyance ot 
six Baronies of which five had long been disused, the 'caput 
Baroniae ' and all estates belonging to them having been alienated 
and their very names become unfamiliar. These five were : 
VAUX, which had been in abeyance about 175 years ; (2) BRAYE, 
about 300 years, the newly established Baroness representing one 
of the younger of the six sisters and co-heirs (all of whom left 



issue) of the second Lord ; (3) BEAUMONT, about 350 years ; (4) 
CAMOYS, above 400 years ; and, finally, (5) HASTINGS, which, 
though in abeyance only 300 years, had been dormant for about 
450 years. . . . Had this pace of terminating abeyances 
been continued, the Peerage would, since the Queen's accession, 
have by this time been * adorned ' with about I oo such (strange) 
Baronies . . . but, happily, the good sense of the Crown 
itself preserved the Peerage from being thus swamped. 

This most objectionable system ... is admirably de- 
scribed by Disraeli in his novel called Sybil (1845), where Mr. 
Hatton, the famous Peerage lawyer of the Inner Temple, ex- 
plains how he can make a Peer. . . . "If you wish to be 
Lord Bardolph, I will undertake to make you so ... it 
will give you precedence over every other Peer on the roll, except 
three (and I made those)" 

This complaint is repeated by the writer as he 
comes to each of the obnoxious baronies, and as a 
protest against the abuse of the prerogative it has 
much justification. There is also a good deal of 
truth in his comment on the modern barony of 
Fitz- Walter, granted in 1868 as a consolation to 
Sir Brook Bridges on his failing to establish his 
right to the ancient barony of that name : 

A very different treatment was shown to this (Conservative) 
claimant of a peerage to what had been, a few years previously, 
shown to the (Liberal) claimants of the Baronies of Vaux, 
Camoys, Braye, Hastings, etc. . . . while in this case the 
Barony had continued uninterruptedly from 1295 to 1755, and 
the claimant represented an undoubted moiety, if indeed not the 
entirety thereof. 

Another case, one may add, of contrasting treat- 
ment in the matter is afforded by the barony of 
Ferrers. With the exception of short spells of 
abeyance, 1646-1677 and 1741-9, this barony 
existed continuously from 1299 to 1855. But it 


is not so much upon that ground that it might 
have been selected as an ideal case for the deter- 
mination of the abeyance as from the singular and 
happy circumstance that its senior co-heirs, the 
family of Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton, were also 
the heirs male of the great house of Ferrers, as is 
shown by G. E. C. in an admirable chart pedigree 
(III. 334-5). It is hard enough for our ancient 
nouses to trace an undoubted male descent from 
even the humblest Norman mentioned in Domes- 
day Book, but the house of Ferrers was already 
mighty when the Conqueror rilled the throne, and 
had attained the dignity of an earldom in the early 
days of Stephen. The heir male of such a house 
as this would be worthy indeed to take his seat 
among the ancient barons of the realm. And yet 
the existence of such a line, outside the House of 
Lords, serves to remind us that, in England, a 
simple country gentleman can still look down in 
calm disdain, from the heights of immemorial 
noblesse^ on the scramble for the newest of peerage 
dignities or for those baronetcies which are fast 
becoming the peculiar perquisite of the nouveau 
riche. 1 

1 I am tempted to allude to the little-known fact that the 
royal instructions to the special Commissioners, at the foundation 
of the order (1611), commanded them to " proceed with none, 
except it shall appear unto you, upon good proof, . . . that 
they are, at the least, descended of a grandfather (by the father's 
side) that bore arms." And those admitted were, accordingly^ 
gentry of high position and ancient lineage. The status of these 
early baronetcies is, therefore, quite different from that of those 
conferred, according to the modern practice, on persons who to 



The first two Stuart kings are often charged 
with the degradation of hereditary titles of honour, 
not only by creating them too profusely, but also 
by virtually selling them. 1 There is, unfortunately, 
in this charge a good deal of truth ; but it would 
be grievous hypocrisy to pretend that the practice 
was restricted to those monarchs, or that even in 
these decorous days peerage dignities are invari- 
ably conferred for public services alone. 2 The 
question involved is a very wide one ; indeed, for 
those who look ahead and who watch the signs of 
the times, it is one of national importance. That 
the highest honours which the Crown has it in its 
power to bestow should at all times be granted 
with jealous care, if their value and their dignity 
are to be maintained, is a self-evident proposition ; 
but the point that is apt to be overlooked, the now 
growing danger, is the risk that " the trail of 
finance " should sully the honour of the Peerage, 
should hasten the ever-increasing tendency to sub- 
stitute a plutocratic for an aristocratic class. That 
this country has been saved from much that is, 
beyond dispute, deplorable in the public life of the 
United States is, it may be confidently and boldly 
asserted, due to the existence of a social standard 
other than that of mere wealth. This is a matter 

quote the Quadripartite [Ed. Liebermann], describing the novi 
homines of 1 1 1 4 " vera morum generositate carentes et honesta 
prosapia, longo nummorum stemmate gloriantur." 

1 See p. 28 above, and compare Pike's Constitutional History of 
the House of Lords , p. 355. 

2 See, for instance, the significant note in Complete Peerage 
(VIII. 47) on the notorious "resignation honours" of 1895. 

33 D 


not of prejudice, but of observation and of fact. 
The social standard of this country may, like others, 
have its faults, but it has, at least, saved us, thus 
far, from making the accumulation of wealth, how- 
ever acquired, the sole national ideal. Nor is it 
among the least ot the services rendered to the 
nation by its army and its navy that the officers 
of those great professions have kept before us, in 
a corporate form, the conception of a life of which 
the aim was, not the making of money, but the 
discharge of duty. 

It is, and always has been, easy to sneer at the 
claims of birth, but if English political and social 
life is not to be degraded to the level reached in 
the United States, if great abilities are still to be 
attracted to the service of the public and the State 
rather than to that of Mammon, there is absolutely 
no means by which this can be effected other than 
that of maintaining barriers which wealth alone 
cannot overleap, of rewarding service by distinctions 
which money cannot buy, of upholding a social 
standard based on something else than the dollars 
a man has acquired by fair means or foul. 

We are not called upon to settle what should be 
the social standard in Utopia ; what we have to 
do is, here in England, to see that wealth does not 
usurp the position of that standard. And this, 
because its doing so would lower the whole tone 
of national life. 

When Mr. Gladstone urged the argument, in 
the House of Commons, on the Royal Grants Bill, 
that " the habits of society have in the course of 



years become more and more expensive, and, as I 
may say, luxurious," 1 he was taken to task by one 
of his followers, the member for Sunderland, as 
follows : 

When the right hon. gentleman tells me that the cost of living 
has increased, I admit that the cankerworm of extravagance, the 
precursor of decay and ruin of nations, has eaten deeply into Lon- 
don Society. 

Mr. Storey proceeded to urge that a member of 
the Royal Family should rather " by an honourable 
simplicity of life attempt to discourage luxury than 
. . . undertake a race of competitive extravagance 
with the plutocrats and aristocrats of the time." 
One need not approve of Mr. Storey's taste, one 
need not share his political opinions, to feel that a 
great truth underlay his words. It would be hard 
to vulgarize royalty, or to degrade aristocracy, more 
effectually than by stooping to compete, on its own 
level, with wealth alone. The whole matter is one 
of standard, and we cannot wonder that the newly 
rich should strive to make that standard what it is 
in the United States. 3 Here, as yet, even a baron- 
etcy, at least when Conservatives are in power, is 
not always to be bought, as we learned the other 
day, for 50,000. That no money, under any 
circumstances, should be able to buy a peerage 

1 Hansard, 4th July, 1889, col. 1483. 

2 Ibid. 2$th July, 1889, cols. 1307-8. 

[ To close observers it is a sign of the times that, of late, the 
term ' middle class,' which formerly denoted those beneath the 
rank of gentry, has been largely applied to those of moderate 
fortune irrespective of their birth. 



dignity is, if a dream, at least a dream which, in 
the national interest, men of both parties might 
well combine to realize. There at least a barrier 
might be found, if in social life no leaders can be 
found bold enough to stem the flood. If society 
is doomed, we may at least strive to avert the de- 
gradation of the Peerage, not in the interests of a 
class, but in those of the whole people. 

The Stuart kings might plead, if arraigned at 
the bar of history, that whether they received 
money or not, they bestowed their peerage digni- 
ties on those qualified by birth to receive them, on 
men who already belonged to the ranks of the 
English gentry. 1 Nor, it may be added, was the 
danger from the tyranny of mere wealth one that 
had then to be reckoned with. And Charles, 
quick to make his point, would doubtless turn to 
such a charter as that which he granted to the 
borough of Colchester, excluding even from the 
franchise itself brewers and all those connected 
with the traffic in drink, and, with an air of well- 
bred surprise, would inquire if it were indeed the 
fact that a peerage was now the reward for the 
acquisition of a fortune by the sale of a recognised 
source of national poverty and crime. 

There are few points connected with the Peer- 
age on which so much misconception prevails, 
among the general public, as the doctrine of abey- 
ance. It appears to be usually considered imma- 

1 See the cases above on p. 28. 



terial whether a dignity is spoken of as c dormant ' 
or 'in abeyance.' Yet the two conditions are 
radically distinct. A dignity is said to be c dor- 
mant ' when it is in existence but is not assumed : 
it falls into c abeyance ' when, being descendible 
(as in the case of a barony by writ) to heirs- 
general, its heirs are two or more sisters, who, 
having an equal share in the dignity, can neither 
of them assume it. In Scotland, where the eldest 
daughter inherits such dignities, such a state of 
affairs cannot arise ; but in England, where except 
for vague traces of an esnecia or droit d'amesse the 
sisters rank equally, it has led to curious develop- 
ments. Lady Otway-Cave, in whose favour the 
barony of Braye was called out of abeyance in 
1839, had four sons and five daughters, so that the 
succession seemed well secured. Yet, at her death 
(1862), the barony fell into abeyance, and only 
emerged in 1879, on four of the five daughters 
having died childless, so that the fifth became sole 
heir. This case aptly illustrates the two methods 
by which the abeyance of a dignity can be c deter- 
mined,' viz. (i) by the intervention of the Crown 
in favour of one of the co-heirs ; (2) by the 
natural extinction of all the co-heirs but one. 

Instructive, and in many respects memorable, 
was the determination of the abeyance of the his- 
toric baronies of Mowbray and Segrave in favour 
of Lord Stourton (1877-8), which will be the 
subject of a separate study in this volume. I have 
already referred to its bearing on the dates ot 
baronies by writ, but I cannot pass over the novel 



principle it enunciates, with equal unconsciousness, 
in the doctrine of abeyance. Yet, apart from the 
points of law involved, it was eminently fitting 
that these ancient dignities should be c called out ' 
in favour of one whose ancestors had already been 
peers of the realm for more than four hundred 
years. Moreover, it served to accentuate the fact 
that the heirship in blood of that colluvies gentium 
which had made the fortunes of the Howards had 
long passed from the dukes of Norfolk, although 
they had succeeded in diverting in their favour the 
historic estate and some of the dignities so ac- 
quired. So too the anomalous barony of Percy, 
vested in the duke of Athole, similarly reminds 
us that the dukes of Northumberland have ceased 
to represent the Percys, whose estates, however, 
they retain. It is, perhaps, as little realized that 
the right heir of Nelson is not the holder of the 
Nelson earldom, who is descended from a sister of 
the admiral, but Lord Bridport, who represents his 
brother, and is accordingly duke of Bronte. So 
also the dukes of Marlborough are but the junior 
co-heirs of Churchill, the representation of his 
elder daughter (suo jure duchess of Marlborough) 
being vested in the late Lord Conyers. We are 
not told on what grounds the princedom of the 
Empire is alleged to have descended with the 
dukedom to a junior co-heir. G. E. C., indeed, 
appears to doubt the fact (V. 255). 

The consideration of the Mowbray descent 
brings me to a question of heraldry never, so far as 
I know, raised till I wrote in the Quarterly Review 



(Oct. 1893) as follows. Few coats are more 
familiar than that of the house of Howard, with 
its famous Flodden augmentation. For the bene- 
fit of non-heraldic readers one may explain that, 
like the scalp that adorns the Indian brave, an 
c augmentation ' granted for a victory commonly 
bore an armorial allusion to the vanquished leader. 
Accordingly, the Howards' victory at Flodden, and 
the death on the field of the King of Scots, were 
commemorated by the grant of an augmentation 
adapted from the King's arms, but so imperfectly 
described in the original as to make the accepted 
blazon somewhat open to question. My point, 
however, is that this honourable distinction was 
granted to the duke of Norfolk " et heredibus suis 
temporibus futuris imperpetuum." Dugdale ren- 
ders this as a grant in tail male, and the late Dr. 
Brewer, in his official calendar of Henry VIII. 
papers (vol. I. p. 729), similarly terms it a "grant 
in tail male." Now this is a rather serious matter. 
Rightly or wrongly, Dr. Brewer enjoyed a great 
reputation, and it may appear incredible that he 
should so misread the grant. Yet there is no 
doubt about it ; I have examined the original roll 
(Pat. 5 Hen. VIII. , pars 2, m. 13, alias 18) more 
than once. It is possible that, as in the grant of 
the dukedom, which precedes it, and that of es- 
tates, which follows it, the habendum is to heirs 
male of the body, Dr. Brewer hurriedly took the 
words of inheritance to be the same in all three 
cases. The augmentation, however, we have seen, 
was granted in fee simple, and would therefore de- 



scend to heirs general. In this case the Lords 
Mowbray and Petre are now alone entitled to it, 
and it is wrongly borne by the duke of Norfolk, 
whose shield so proudly figures in front of the Col- 
lege of Arms, of which, as Earl Marshal, he is the 
hereditary head. The vision of the Earl Marshal 
of England summoning himself before his own 
court for using a coat to which he is not entitled, 
is irresistibly suggestive of a Savoy libretto. But, 
seriously speaking, if mine is not, as it surely must 
be, the right interpretation, the alternative is that 
the coveted distinction ought to be forthwith re- 
moved from the coats of Lord Mowbray and Lord 
Petre. But in either case, be it observed, it is 
wrongfully assumed by all the other Howards, 
although invariably assigned to them by ' Burke ' 
and every one else. The difference between a 
grant to a man and his heirs and a grant to all his 
race is well seen in the case of the Seymour aug- 
mentation (i5th Aug. 1547), which was granted 
not only to the Duke and his heirs, but also 
" omnibus posteris suis totique familie." I may 
add that the lions in this augmentation were not 
(as proudly blazoned by 'Burke' and others) 'lions 
of England,' but lions regardant (not gardant) and 
"langued and armed with azur" a correction 
which revives our doubts on the blazon of the 
Howard augmentation. 

Since I wrote the above passage, the question 
has been independently approached by Mr. Fox- 
Davies, who has arrived, I find, at the same con- 
clusion on the actual facts as myself. In two 



articles dealing with " the arms of Mowbray and 
Howard," 1 he observes that the grant of the 
Flodden augmentation is 

especially remarkable inasmuch as whilst it is contained in the 
same Letters Patent creating the dukedom of Norfolk with a 
limitation to the heirs male of his body, the augmentation is given 
to the Duke < et heredibus suis.' . . . Now, the meaning of 
'heredibus suis' is * heirs general.' Of that there can be no 
question. The ' heirs general ' of the said Duke at the present 
time (1899) are Lord Mowbray, Segrave, and Stourton, and 
Lord Petre, and it has frequently been stated that the augmenta- 
tion has descended to them and to them only, such devolution 
being of course the strict and proper interpretation of the grant 
(p. 441). 

I cite the passage because its writer is the ardent 
and avowed advocate of the jurisdiction of the 
heralds and of their head in all armorial matters. 
He adds, it is true, that " Probably, however, 
subsequent records and exemplifications have regu- 
larized its use by other members of the Howard 
family " ; but as he does not even hint that the 
limitation has been changed, he can only mean 
that the Earls Marshal now bear by collusion with 
the heralds what he would term a " bogus " dis- 

One may further add, while on heraldry, that 
' Burke ' persists in repeating that story of the 
Percy arms which has long been conclusively dis- 
proved. The heiress of the Norman Percys mar- 
ried, in the iath century, "Joscelin of Lovain," 
we read, " son of Godfrey Barbatus, duke of 

1 Genealogical Magazine, vol. II. [1899], PP- 39^~43> 438- 



Lower Brabant, and count of Brabant, who was 
descended from . . . the Emperor Charle- 
magne." Of this heiress we then read, with 
characteristic anachronism, 

Her ladyship (sic), it is stated, would only, however, consent to 
this great alliance on condition that Joscelin should adopt either 
the surname or arms of Percy ; the former of which, says the old 
family tradition, he accordingly assumed, and retained his own 
paternal coat in order to perpetuate his claim to the principality 
of his father should the elder line of the reigning duke at any 
period become extinct. 

Alas for " the old family tradition " ! Joscelin, it 
is known, did not take, as alleged, the name of 
Percy, and indeed it is even doubtful whether his 
wife was an heiress in his lifetime or, at any rate, 
when he married her. As to his c paternal coat,' 
which ' Burke ' describes, in its blazon of the pre- 
sent duke's bearings, as " the ancient arms of the 
duke of Brabant and Lovaine," * it was never the 
coat of that potentate (who, by the way, is 
wrongly described) and, so far from having been 
borne by Joscelin, the shield of his descendants the 
Percies, as Mr. Longstaffe has observed, 2 shows no 
trace of " the blue lion until the reign of Edward 
I." Joscelin, whose legitimacy has been questioned, 
was the son of Godfrey ' Barbatus ' duke of Lower 
Lorraine, and previously count of Louvain, 3 who 

This statement has been also made by Mr. Fox-Davies in 
his Armorial Families. 2 The Old Heraldry of the Percys. 

3 He is styled in < Burke,' as above, " Duke of Lower Brabant 
and Count of Brabant " ! Louvain is the * Lovaine ' of the 
heralds, which is perpetuated in the barony of 'Lovaine' (1784) 
now vested in the duke of Northumberland. 



was also father of Adeliza queen of Henry I. No 
arms of the house are known for fully half a cen- 
tury after Godfrey's death, and when they appear 
they are "sable, a lion rampant, or," while those 
borne by the dukes of Northumberland, in the 
first quarter, are " or, a lion rampant azure." The 
account in ' Burke,' therefore, is wrong on every 
point. 1 Its version of the origin of the Percys is 
no less wildly erroneous. "The family," we read, 
" of Percy of Normandy deduced its pedigree from 
Geoffrey (son of Mainfred, a Danish chieftain), 
who assisted Rollo in 912 in subjugating that prin- 
cipality." This gigantic fable can be traced, one 
need scarcely add, to an Elizabethan herald. Such 
also, no doubt, is the source of the statement as to 
William de Percy, founder of the house in Eng- 
land, that 

his wife, Emma de Port, (was) a lady of Saxon descent, whose 
lands were among those bestowed upon him by the Conqueror ; 
and according to an ancient writer, " he wedded hyr that was 
very heire to them in discharging of his conscience." 

As a matter of fact, Emma was the daughter of a 
Norman from the Bessin, Hugh de Port, who ob- 
tained a large fief in Hampshire, on which he gave 
a solitary manor with her in marriage to William ! 
Even, therefore, for the origin of this famous Eng- 
lish house ' Burke ' can give us nothing better than 
exploded fables. I may take this opportunity of 

1 It is further complicated by the arms in question being also 
described as the " arms of Hainault," which were wholly differ- 
ent. See, on this point, Mr. Watson's note in Complete Peerage, 
VI. 228-9. 



mentioning the interesting fact that the service due 
to the Crown from the fief of the early Percys was 
that of 30 knights. Some nine or ten other 
great English fiefs owed the same quota, the whole 
system being based, as I have shown, on a unit of 
5 (or i o) knights. 1 On the death of William de 
Percy, the last male of his line, each of his sisters 
inherited half the fief; the quota of each, therefore, 
became 1 5 knights. Joscelin of Louvain, who had 
married one of them (by whom he was ancestor of 
the later Percys) was himself by no means a bad 
match, having secured from his sister's husband 
(the earl of Arundel) the honour of Petworth, part 
of the great Arundel fief, which he held, in the 
days of Henry II., by the service of 22^ knights. 
Thus these Sussex estates came to be united with 
the Percy fief; and united they remained till about 
the middle of the i8th century, when Petworth 
passed away by will to the Wyndhams, earls of 
Egremont, and from them to their illegitimate 
descendants, the Lords Leconfield. 2 

The mention of Joscelin de Louvain above re- 
minds me of a story that will probably be new to 
most of my readers. The ambitious founder (ne 
Smithson) of the present line of dukes, boldly 
refusing a marquessate as a " modern rank," asked 
for a dukedom of Brabant in right of his wife's 
descent. The king promised to " give satisfaction 
to a very respectable person," and eventually be- 

1 Feudal England, pp. 246-262. 

Their Sussex estates are given by G. E. C. as over 30,000 
acres in 1883. 



stowed on him, as a compromise, that of North- 
umberland (1766). 

But it is time that I should more particularly 
address myself to that familiar volume which is 
yearly issued, bearing on its title-page the insignia 
of the late Ulster King-of-Arms. 

Of Burke's Peerage I desire to speak with all 
fairness. It has long been the fashion to pour con- 
tempt on peerage writers' pedigrees, and it cannot 
be denied that it was fully justified by the absurd 
fables which the Burke family, like the Randle 
Holmes in the past, have recklessly repeated in 
their productions. But, in justice, it is right to 
add that these fables were, at the worst, repeated 
rather than invented, and that slowly but steadily, 
under the pressure of ridicule and competition, 
they are being weeded out. The Temples, for 
instance, are no longer derived from earl Leofric 
of Mercia, though here again c Burke ' succeeds 
in stultifying itself, for the arms, under Temple of 
Stowe, 'Baronet,' are given as "Quarterly, ist 
and 4th, or, an eagle displayed sa., bearing the 
arms of the Heptarch [ ! ] kingdom of Mercia, 
which have been borne by the family since 
their ancestors were earls of that county." ] 
This statement is actually made at the foot of 

1 These arms, invented by some herald, must be recognised as 
valid at the College, for Mr. Fox-Davies assigned them to Sir 
Richard Temple of the Nash, and blazoned them, under the 
Duchess of Buckingham, as borne " for Leofric " (Armorial 
Families, 1st Ed., pp. 961, 962), though his own Introduction 
denies the use of armorial bearings in Leofric's times. 



a pedigree beginning somewhat humbly in the 
days of Henry III. The absurd legend of the 
origin of the Berties has been so ruthlessly de- 
molished that the pedigree now modestly begins 
about the time of Henry VII. This last instance 
calls to remembrance the article on " Pedigrees and 
Pedigree Makers," in which the alleged origin ot 
the family was ridiculed so ruthlessly. We may 
note, in several other cases, the wholesome effects of 
that bitter attack, but some families, obdurate still, 
cling sturdily to the legends it exposed. The Ash- 
burnhams, proud of their " stupendous antiquity," 
persisted that " there is scarcely a pedigree deduced 
from so remote a period so capable of proof as " 
theirs. We were still assured, so recently as 1895, 
that Bertram de Esburnham was " Sheriff of the 
counties of Surrey, Sussex, and Kent, and Constable 
of Dover Castle in the reign of King Harold," and 
was beheaded, with his sons, by the Conqueror for 
his defence of that fortress. I observed in my 
Quarterly Review article that Sir Bernard would 
find it difficult to name those " ancient records and 
trustworthy writers " where any such facts are re- 
corded or even hinted at. From later editions of 
his ' Peerage ' we learn at last that his authority for 
the story that so enraged Mr. Freeman was simply 
" Francis Thynne writing in the reign of Eliza- 
beth." And Thynne, I need hardly add, was a 

One of the stories in Burke's Peerage which 
specially stirred Mr. Freeman's wrath was that 
with which the pedigree of Fitz-William then 



began in its pages. " Sir William Fitz-Godric, 
cousin to king Edward the Confessor," was made 
father of " Sir William Fitz- William," ambassador 
to Normandy, who, joining duke William " in 
his victorious expedition against England," fought 
with great valour at the battle of Hastings. This 
drew from the Professor one of his fierce out- 
bursts : 

It is perhaps needless to say that all this is a pure fable ; but 
one really stands aghast at the utterly shameless nature of the 
fable. . . . When one is inventing falsehoods about a 
family, it is as easy to invent falsehoods to its credit as falsehoods 
to its dishonour. Whoever invented the pedigree of Earl Fitz- 
william was of another way of thinking. He had the strange 
fancy of wishing to be descended from a traitor. 1 

The explanation clearly was that the fashion of 
the time required that the founder of a family 
should have fought on the duke's side at the Con- 
quest. Now the founder in this case was William 
Fitz-Godric living under Henry II. As his 
name implied an English, not a Norman, origin, 
the pedigree-maker threw him back more than a 
hundred years, and invented the story of the 
embassy to Normandy, to account for his coming 
over with William and to do so by an explanation 
which assigned him eminence at the time. 

Something of course had to be done after the 
Professor's outburst ; so the pedigree was over- 
hauled. There was not the slightest difficulty in 
ascertaining the facts. One of our ablest historical 
antiquaries in the early part of this century was the 

1 Cant. Rev. XXX. 29. 


Rev. Joseph Hunter, whose c South Yorkshire ' 
stands high among our county histories. The 
first volume of this work (1828) was dedicated to 
Lord Fitz- William, and the origin of the family 
was there discussed and established on record 
evidence (pp. 332-3). It was founded by the 
marriage of William Fitz-Godric (as her second 
husband) with Albreda de Lisoures, a Yorkshire 
heiress, whose father's lands, including Sprot- 
borough, passed to her son by him, William Fitz 
William. 1 This marriage took place about 
H70. 2 In spite, therefore, of its Norman name, 
this family can claim the very rare distinction of 
descent from an English thegn, Godric by name. 3 
These being the known facts, how was the 
pedigree reconstructed by the editors of Bur he's 
Peerage ? The above William Fitz-Godric, the 
husband of Albreda de Lisoures, was transformed 
into William Fitz- William, and then, in mathe- 
matical language, ' produced ' to the days of the 
Conqueror. This is done by providing him with 

1 The great Laci inheritance, to which she succeeded through 
her mother, passed to the descendants of another husband. 

2 Mr. Hunter found William Fitz-Godric paying 6 1 31. 4^. 
for it in 1178 (Pipe Roll 24 Hen. II.), but held that it must 
have been earlier. I connect it, therefore, with the appearance 
of this William Fitz-Godric on the Roll of 1170 (16 Hen. II.). 
I cannot agree with Mr. Hunter's suggestion that this William 
may have been identical with another husband of Albreda, 
William de Clerfait, founder of Hampole Priory. Godric was so 
essentially an English name that, when Henry I. married a queen 
of native birth, his courtiers bestowed it on him as a nickname. 

3 The persistence of English thegns and drengs, after the 
Conquest, in the North of England is a very interesting fact. 


a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather, 
each of them named Sir William Fitz- William 
and all of them alike fictitious. Each of these 
fictitious knights is made lord of Sprotborough, 
and the second is provided with the one piece of 
definite evidence vouchsafed us. We read that 
he was 

living 1 1 1 7, as appears from a grant made by him of a piece or 
wood in Elmley to the monks of Piland (sic). To this grant 
is a round seal, representing a man on horseback, completely 
armed and circumscribed, S. IVillmi Ft/it Willml Dnl de Emma- 
lala ; and on the reverse the arms of Fitzwilliam ; viz., Lozengy. 

Really this addition to " the genealogical and 
heraldic value " of the work * compels one to ask 
whether Somerset Herald possesses any trustworthy 
book on heraldry, and, if so, whether he actually 
believes that armorial seals, such as this, were 
in use in 1117. As a matter of fact, the seal 
belongs, as was fully explained by Mr. Hunter, 
not to 1117, but to 1217. And thus the only 
scrap of evidence for these imaginary Fitz- 
Williams is at once demolished. As for ' Piland,' 
it would seem to denote the well-known Abbey of 

But not content with this performance, the 
pedigree in Burke's Peerage makes the third 
of our imaginary knights marry " Ella dau. and 
co-heir of William de Warren, Earl of Surrey, and 
d. 1 148." Here again Mr. Hunter had explained 
most carefully that this match was impossible, as 
"there is abundant evidence " that the earl left but 

1 See preface to the 1900 edition. 

49 E 


one daughter and heiress. The fact is that there 
has been a muddle between two earls William 
living at different epochs. Hence this imaginary 
marriage. And yet " the heralds of Elizabeth's 
reign not only admitted the fact, but allowed the 
quartering of Warren to the later Fitz- Williams." 1 
Precisely what one would expect of them ! 2 

Mr. Freeman, again, in his famous article, was no- 
where more severe than in dealing with the origin of 
the Stourtons. He dealt with it at some length as 
a type of those pedigrees " which bring in large 
pieces of professed history which are nothing in 
the world but sheer invention." The story which 
excited his wrathful indignation was this : 

This noble family, which derives its surname from the town of 
Stourton, co. Wilts, was of considerable rank antecedently to the 
Conquest ; for we find at that period one of its members, Botolph 
Stourton, the most active in gallantly disputing every inch of 
ground with the foreigner, and finally obtaining from the duke 
his own terms. . . . From this patriotic and gallant soldier 
lineally descended - 3 

On this story (of which I omit the strategic 
details), Mr. Freeman thus commented (pp. 
25-6) :- 

Now if we did not know that a pedigree-maker will do any- 
thing, it would really be past belief that anybody could have 
ventured on such monstrous fiction as this. . It would have been 
more respectable to trace the house of Stourton to Jack the Giant 
Killer, or Jack and the Beanstalk, for they have at least a received 

1 Hunter's South Yorkshire^ 1-335. 

2 Compare Dugdale's erroneous allowance of the earl of 
Richmond's coat, as a quartering, to the Stapletons. 

3 Cent. Rev. XXX. 25. 



legendary being, while Botolph Stourton and his exploits are 
invented of set purpose to swell the supposed credit of a family 
whose real beginnings seem to be in the fourteenth century, 
. . . the whole thing is fiction. There is nothing of the 
kind anywhere in history or in legend. We have a Gesta 
Herewardi^ mythical enough to be sure in part ; but we have no 
Gesta Botolphi. Yet the exploits of Botolph greatly surpass the 
exploits of Hereward. ... If William granted to Botolph 
whatever he demanded, it was clearly not land that he demanded, 
least of all the lands of Stourton. At page 72 of Domesday, we 
find Stourton in Wiltshire plainly enough ; but its lord is not any 
Botolph ; its actual holder is not any Botolph ; its former owner 
is not any Botolph. ... So Botolph Stourton vanishes from 
Stourton, and he equally vanishes from every other spot ; for not 
a man of the name appears in Domesday as holding, or having 
held, a rood of land anywhere. The tale is sheer invention ; it 
is mere falsehood, which might at any time be confuted by the 
simple process of turning to Domesday. . . . When the 
pedigree was invented, Domesday was doubtless still in manu- 
script ; but is it possible that there is no copy of those precious 
volumes in the library of Ulster King-at-Arms ? 

Mr. Freeman's fierce outburst could not be dis- 
regarded, and so, down to the present year, Burke* s 
Peerage was content to begin the Stourton pedigree 
with "Sir William Stourton," living 1325 and 1341, 
and even pointed out that Dugdale began it with 
"John de Stourton," who lived in 1377, though it 
added that " Brydges's Collins carries back the pedi- 
gree, however, to Botolph Stourton temp. Conques- 
toris" But now, in 1900, Mr. Freeman being 
dead, the " laborious researches " of Somerset 
Herald, 1 a son of Sir Bernard Burke, are seen in 
the resuscitation of the rudely evicted ' Botolph,' 
and in the discovery that his namesake, the present 

1 See Preface to 1900 Edition. 


Lord Stourton, is his direct descendant. The 
story now runs thus : 

The aforesaid BOTOLPH, * primus Dominus de Stourton post 
Conquestum' (from whom the present Lord Mowbray Segrave 
and Stourton is 29th in the direct line of male succession) m. y 
according to the ancient pedigrees, Anne, dau. of Earl Godwin, 
sister of King Harold II., of which marriage there was issue, 
ROBERT and Galfridus (sic). The elder son, 

SIR ROBERT DE STOURTON is believed to have built the mansion 
or castle of Stourton, etc., etc. 

It is frightful to think of what the effect of this 
crowning outrage would have been on Mr. Free- 
man's mind, and, above all, on his language. If 
Botolph and his exploits led him to write of 
" monstrous fiction " and " mere falsehood," what 
would he have said of the " pedigree-maker " who 
had dared to assign to Botolph for a wife a daughter 
of his beloved Godwine, a sister of his adored 
Harold ? " When in doubt, try ' Anne.' " This 
maxim, I sometimes think, was dear to the pedi- 
gree-maker's heart ; but in Harold's ' sister Anne ' 
he overshot the mark. More than twenty years 
ago it was Mr. Freeman's complaint that 

The readers of the book accept the stories on the faith of the 
author or editor .... Indeed Sir Bernard Burke himself tells 
us, in his ' Prefatory Notice ' prefixed to the thirty-second edition 
of his Peerage and Baronetage, that he has " again subjected its pages 
to searching revision and extensive amendment." Here, then, Sir 
Bernard Burke distinctly takes on himself what reason would have 
laid upon him even if he had not taken it upon himself, namely 
responsibility for his own book. It is the Ulster King of Arms, 
not the unknown persons who send him the accounts of this or 
that family, whom we must blame for the monstrous fictions 
which appear as the early history of so many families. 1 

1 Cent. Rev. XXX. 12-13. 


But what shall we say when the Botolph fiction 
appears in Burke's Peerage, not as a relic of a 
careless age, but as the result, in 1900, of " a more 
thorough revision than usual " of its pages ? 

Is it possible that we owe this increase of its 
" genealogical value " to the access enjoyed by 
Somerset Herald to the priceless records of the 
college ? What, one wonders, is their verdict 
in the matter ? Luckily, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 
when he was writing his history of Wiltshire, " pro- 
cured from the College of arms " its authorized 
Stourton pedigree. 1 And, even more luckily, he 
gave it not only in narrative form, but in chart 
form also,* heading the latter : 

This pedigree, down to the year 1721, was ratified and con- 
firmed under the Seal of the College of Arms, on the 26th day of 
September, A 1722. 

This delightful composition duly begins with 
" Botolph or Bartholomew de Stourton, temp. 
Will. Conq.," who married " Ann, dau. of God- 
win, earl of Kent." The story, therefore, must be 
true ; for is it not ratified and confirmed by the 
seal of the College of Arms ? And yet, Mr. Fox 
Davies cries, 

There are very many people who grandiloquently assert that c they 
don't recognise the authority of the College of Arms.' Such a 
statement sounds very big, but it is pure nonsense. 3 

1 Vol. I. p. 43. *Ibid. pp. 43, 47-8. 

3 Preface to Armorial Families. The same protest recurs, of 
course, in The right to bear arms by ' X ' : " and yet there are some 
silly fools who don't recognise the authority of the College " 
(p. 163). The pure and classic style of these twin writers should 
be noted. 



Surely it is not without a cause that, in the great 
history of the Stourtons, which has just made its 
appearance, the head of the house is shown in its 
frontispiece with his hand resting on the book 
from which these words are taken. 

Of the two gorgeous volumes in which that 
history is contained I speak here with some hesi- 
tation. For they are only a private production, and 
they have for their wholly meritorious object the 
setting on record a trustworthy account of an 
ancient English house. It is, indeed, to be wished 
that more of our historic houses would, as in Scot- 
land, produce such histories, and would, like Lord 
Mowbray and Stourton, resolve to give us facts 
only, in the place of so-called " tradition." His 
lordship's preface is emphatic on the point : 

There can be no question of unsubstantiated statements having 
been intentionally or carelessly inserted as facts upon the mere 
strength of family tradition ; and throughout the progress of the 
book I have always insisted upon absolute accuracy, etc., etc. 

It is with some surprise, in view of these words, 
that one reads in the same preface the unqualified 
assertion (as in Burke* s Peerage) that 

The Stourton pedigree commences at the Conquest, since 
which time there has been an unbroken male descent (I am the 
in the direct male line of succession). 

But it is with more than surprise it is with 
bewildered amazement that one finds even the 
legendary Botolph, with whom the pedigree com- 
mences at the Conquest, insufficient as an ancestor. 
* Tradition ' is invoked for the existence of a far 



earlier Botolph, himself descended from a long line 
of fighting and Heptarchic Stourtons. 

The Stourtons of Stourton, co. Wilts were traditionally a 
powerful and warrior family in the Saxon period, and are stated 
to have fought under the banner of the Saxon line of the Kings of 
Wessex, and, after the Saxon divisions of the Heptarchy became 
united, under the Kings of England. According to tradition, 
King Alfred the Great made the head of the Stourton family a 
Saxon Thane and this probably testified to the ownership of the 
lands of Stourton for his great valour and bravery while fighting 
in the service of the King, probably at Bonham, in the county of 

The Lord of Stourton who fought under King Alfred is tradi- 
tionally said to have been a Botolph de Stourton, ancestor of that 
Botolphus de Stourton who flourished during the reigns of Edward 
the Confessor, Harold, and William the Conqueror, and who is 
said to have obtained a settlement from the last named King on 
his own terms, by which he presumably retained possession of 
part of the parish of Stourton (p. 5). 

Should we entertain the slightest doubt, the writer 
is prepared to smite the Philistines (such as was 
Professor Freeman), not indeed with the jawbone 
of an ass, but with the thighbone of an ancestor. 
At Warwick Castle they show the rib of the cow 
slain by the ancestor ; at Stourton they preserved 
the thigh of the ancestor himself. The only 
question that can possibly arise is what ancestor it 
was. Let us continue the quotation. 

One of these Botolphs of Stourton was a man of gigantic 
stature. The positive reiteration of this fact is one of the few 
surviving traditions of the Stourton family, and it is proved (sic) 
by two circumstances, namely, this tradition and the actual exist- 
ence of a large thigh-bone, the os femur of a human being, 
. . . which was positively and confidently asserted to have 



belonged to him. The general belief is that this bone may 
have belonged more correctly to the Botolph temp. Conquestoris. 

That a human thighbone, though now lost, was 
actually in existence is proved by the evidence of 
two witnesses who had seen it with their own eyes. 
Aubrey, who saw it in the buttery at Stourton, 
declared that it " exceeds the proportion of human 
thigh-bones, and, besides, . . . not of the 
figure or shape of a human bone." A Benedictine 
father, consulted by Lord Mowbray and Stourton, 
wrote, in reply, that he remembered 

the existence of the (so-called) thigh-bone of your ancestor, 
a very large bone, almost as much as one could lift ; it 
was sometimes called Lord Stourton's thigh-bone, or the thigh-bone 
of a giant, but little credence was put in the designation, which was 
used to * gull ' the innocents. By people of mature age it was re- 
garded as the bone of some enormous animal. 

Such is the evidence on which avowedly rests the 
existence of Botolph's thigh-bone, and that bone 
seems to be the best proof forthcoming of Botolph's 
own existence. 

The net conclusion at which we arrive is that 

the settling of the Stourton family at Stourton must, according 
to tradition, date at least from the time of king Alfred the Great. 

When the country, after the defeat of the Danes at Stourton 
and elsewhere, in 1016, was eventually under the government or 
the Saxon Kings, the Lords of Stourton again came into promin- 
ence, and another Botolph of Stourton was deemed of sufficient 
status and estate to marry a daughter of Godwin, Earl of Kent, 
etc. . . . 

The position of Botolph, Lord of Stourton, who lived during the 
reigns of his two royal brothers-in-law, Edward the Confessor and 
Harold II., and took an active part against the Norman invaders, 
and who himself made such a strong resistance against the Con- 
queror personally, led that monarch to arrange with Botolph on 



his own terms when the Conqueror invaded the Western parts or 
England. ... All this is history, and it has been chronicled 
that it was actually at the residence of Botolph at Stourton 
that the Conqueror came to meet his opponents to arrange there 
the terms which these Saxon warriors had demanded and actually 
obtained from him (p. 12). 

One shudders to think what treatment these 
statements would certainly have received at Pro- 
fessor Freeman's hands ; for we have already seen 
what language he applied to such history. The 
c Botolph ' story, in these volumes, is actually 
more elaborate and positive than that which the 
Professor chastised. 

Botolph de Stourton, being a brother-in-law of Harold, no 
doubt took part in the battle of Hastings. ... In fact, 
the tradition which has survived is that he was present at both 
the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings (p. 13). 

That Botolph Stourton was a great personage and Saxon 
warrior cannot be denied . . . seeing he was brother-in- 
law respectively to Edward the Confessor and Harold II. 

To Botolph Stourton tradition has attributed the thigh-bone, 
but whether it really belonged to him, or to his ancestor of the 
same name, who fought under Alfred the Great, cannot for cer- 
tain be determined. 

That is where the caution of the true historian comes 
in. Confidence, however, at once returns : 

It is clear, however, that the Stourton family must have been 
settled at Stourton early in the Saxon period, and also were there 
at the Norman Conquest. 

Unfortunately the grants of William the Conqueror, or any 
of his sons, are not in existence, and, therefore, one has only to 
fall back on Doomsday and the most able authorities to ascertain 
facts (pp. 18-19). 

Just so ; and what Domesday tells us we have 
heard in Mr. Freeman's words. With the ex- 



ception of a weird ' Paul Plod/ who is much 
cited for the early history, the " able authori- 
ties " seem to resolve themselves into a c painter- 
stainer,' Munday by name, living in the time of 
Charles I., who suggested that perhaps Ralph, 
the Domesday holder of Stourton, was not Ralph, 
but Bartholomew, and a certain Mr. William 
Turner, who wrote a book on ' remarkable pro- 
vidences ' in 1697, anc ^ w ^ * s g rave ly cited as 
evidence for facts of Norman history. There 
was also, no doubt, the Heralds' pedigree with 
its Botolph lord of Stourton, unknown to his- 
tory or to Domesday. But that was all. 

Stay ! There was, we find, another authority, 
and one whose date carries back the first appear- 
ance of the story. It is very difficult to say why 
Lord Mowbray and Stourton should not have 
appealed to this authority, for it is not only of 
respectable antiquity, but carries back the origin 
of the Stourtons to even earlier times. All the 
writers who have dealt with this old Roman 
Catholic house are fairly surpassed by the famous 
Jesuit, Robert Parsons (1546-1610). According 
to him, at the coming of Augustine (597), 

there flourished among the first converts and benefactors [of 
the Church] two satraps Sturtonus and Sturleius y who so favoured 
the divine work, that they were the first to establish the Catholic 
Church at Canterbury. . . . Wherefore they received and 
still bear a representation of their benefactions in their arms (scutis 
gentilitiis) ... the other (Stourton) a monk girt with a 
girdle, and armed with a scourge. . . . This antiquity in- 
duced Botolph Sturton, in the time of William the Conqueror, 
to combine with the abbot of Glastonbury and Stigand archbishop 



of Canterbury, and, meeting with success, he obtained from the 
Conqueror, for himself and for the whole tract in which he lived, 
conditions of peace. 1 

Canon Jackson, the well-known Wiltshire anti- 
quary, who quotes the original passage in Latin, 
observes thereupon : 

It is stated in some of the * Peerages ' that the Stourtons were 
4 of considerable rank before the Conquest, and dictated their 
own terms to the Conqueror ' ; but of this there is no evidence in 
Wiltshire County History. If there was any such family in this 
County at the Conquest, it was not by their position, or extent of 
property here, that they were qualified to be formidable to the 
Conqueror. The name is found, apparently for the first time, 
among Wiltshire landholders in the reign of Edward L, when a 
Nicholas Stourton was holding one knight's fee here, under the 
Lovells of Castle Cary. 2 

In the Complete Peerage its learned editor goes 
even further, observing that 

The manor of Stourton, which in the I4th century was held by 
the family of Fitzpayne, was, however, acquired before 1427 by 
that of Stourton (vii. 252). 

It is, indeed, a singular fact that the family of 
Fitz Payne is found, for several generations, hold- 
ing Stourton of the lords of Castle Cary pre- 
cisely as the Stourton family held it before and 
afterwards. 3 This tenure has yet to be explained ; 
but in the meanwhile one may point out that 
Canon Jackson (followed by G. E. C.) was unjust 
(accidentally) to the Stourtons in beginning their 
history only " in the reign of Edward I." The 

1 * A treatise of the three Conversions of Paganism to the 
Christian religion.' 

2 Aubrey's Wiltshire Collections, Ed. Jackson (1862), pp. 390-1. 

3 See Hoare's History of Wiltshire. 



record in question 1 can be shown, from internal 
evidence, to belong to the winter of 1242-3, 
some thirty years before Edward's reign began. 

Nor is this all. On the one hand, we have 
c unsubstantiated statements ' based on c family 
tradition ' or the guesses of painter-stainers ; on 
the other, we have mere negation. But it is not 
enough to destroy c fiction ' ; the modern scientific 
genealogist must give us facts instead. And facts 
can be given. Stourton appears in Domesday 
book as a portion of the great fief held by 
Walter de Douai, which included, in Somerset, 
Castle Gary, where he can be shown to have 
had a castle, and in Devon the great manor of 
Bampton, which had belonged to Edward the 
Confessor. Walter's tenant Ralph, who had suc- 
ceeded c Alwacre ' at Stourton, had also succeeded 
him (as ' Elwacre ') in three Somerset manors. 2 
This throws some light on the dispossessed thegn, 
by whom Stourton had been held before the Con- 
quest. Moreover, Walter's great fief is found, in 
the next century, divided into the c Honour of 
Bampton,' which passed to the Paynel family, and 
the ' Honour of Castle Gary,' held by the Lovels. 
Stourton formed part of the latter, and it is strange 
that those who have sought to carry back the 
Stourton family have not observed that Robert 
' de Sturtone ' was the chief tenant of Henry 
Lovel in 1166, holding from him three fees. 3 

1 Testa de Nevill, p. 153. 2 Domesday, I. 

3 Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 234. 



Thus, if Lord Mowbray and Stourton, instead ot 
consulting Richmond Herald or possibly (as his 
frontispiece suggests) the author of Armorial Fami- 
lies^ had employed a competent record agent or 
asked an historian to assist him, he might have 
produced genuine evidence that his house was 
of greater antiquity than Mr. Freeman and the 
writers quoted above believed to be the case. But 
the ignis fatuus of c Botolph ' and the wife found 
for him by the heralds has led him to make an 
ancient house a prey to just ridicule. Whether, in 
the future, Burke 's Peerage will continue to pub- 
lish the baseless pedigree it has now taken from 
his lordship's work time alone can show. But its 
repetition will be most unjust to the genuine pedi- 
grees in the same work. And that is one of the 
reasons why a protest is required. 

Let me now turn to certain fables that I have 
myself noted as needing revision and correction. 
Of these the majority, as might be expected, are 
traceable to the old eagerness for descent from a 
companion of the Conqueror, and are the fruit of 
invention tempered only by the worthless Battle 
Roll. How familiar they are, these old friends ! 
Here is that c very strong man ' not Mr. Thomas 
Atkins who, " according to the venerable and al- 
most uniform tradition, . . . landed in England with 
his master in the year 1066," and " protecting him 
with his shield from the blows of an assailant " at 
the Battle of Hastings, became known as Fortescu, 
and was progenitor to the family of that name. 
Here, too, is the patriarch of the St. Legers, 



though he no longer gives his arm to the Con- 
queror as he steps ashore. Lord Bolingbroke's 
pedigree still begins with the Conqueror's " grand 
master of the artillery and supervisor of the 
wagons and carriages " ; a tale to which I shall 
recur below. Lord Alington, however, since the 
appearance of my article, no longer seeks his pro- 
genitor in " Sir Hildebrand de Alington " a name 
that would have gladdened Sir Walter Scott 
' under-marshal to William the Norman at the 
Battle of Hastings ' ; but Lord Verulam still traces 
to " Sylvester de Grymestone, . . . standard- 
bearer in the army of William the Conqueror." 
In this last case the descent was actually recognised 
in the preamble to the patent of creation (1719), 
in which the grantee (who had taken the name of 
Grimston) is asserted to be descended non interruptd 
lined from this hypothetical vexillifer ! Some of 
these strange stories contain their own refutation ; 
and the growing tendency to appeal to Domesday, 
in deference to modern historical research, is 
powerless to save them. Thus " Sir Mauger le 
Vavasor," we read, occurs in Domesday Book " as 
holding in chief of the Percys, earls of Northum- 
berland." But the Percys were not then earls of 
Northumberland ; and if Sir Mauger was their 
tenant, he could not hold ' in chief/ and if he did 
he would not be a vavassor (i.e. an under-tenant) . 
" Sir Elias de Workesley," who " it is stated in an 
old family record," was the founder (longo intervallo) 
of the Worsleys, is unknown to chroniclers or to 
Domesday Book. As for Lord Derby's progenitor, 



who came over with his sons at the Conquest, their 
coming " from Aldithley in Normandy " is one of 
the curiosities of geography ; and the c portgrave of 
Hastings ' under the Conqueror, who is claimed as 
Lord Huntingdon's progenitor, is an official un- 
known to history. 

The pedigree-maker, I observe, in these latter 
days, has found a way of adapting Domesday 
Book for his purpose. Any family they are 
countless in number of which the name is de- 
rived from a locality mentioned in Domesday 
Book is now assumed to descend from the tenant 
who was then holding there. Under c Valentia,' 
for instance, we read of the Annesleys that " This 
family derives its surname from the Lordship of 
Anneslei, co. Nottingham, where its patriarch 
RICHARD DE ANNESLEI was seated at the time or 
the general survey." Now c Anneslei ' was cer- 
tainly held by a ' Richard,' but there is nothing to 
show who he was, nor could a descent from him 
be proved. As this point is of some importance, 
I may illustrate it further by the case of " Sandford 
of Sandford." Mr. Eyton, who devoted much 
study to the early history of this ancient house, 
came to the conclusion that " Richard de Sand- 
ford, the first known representative of his line, 
occurs in 1 1 67." l No one could know so much as 
Mr. Eyton on the subject, and yet Burke's Landed 
Gentry makes a genuine pedigree absurd by carry- 
ing back the family for three generations to the 
Conquest, and asserting that 

1 Shropshire, IX. 222. 


THOMAS " DE SAUNDFORD," a Norman, held the manor under 
Gerard de Tournay, a powerful Baron, whose name is in the 
Domesday Book. 

This statement is sheer fiction ; Sandford is en- 
tered in Domesday as held by " Gerard," of the 
Earl ; Domesday knows nothing of Thomas, and 
still less of "Thomas de Saundford." An even 
worse case is that of the pretentious pedigree of 
Smith-Carington, 1 which is carried up, in its latest 
development (1898), to " Hamo, Lord of Carinton, 
co. Chester, temp. William I." As a matter of fact, 
Carington (Cheshire) is not mentioned in Domesday 
Book, but it was appurtenant to Dunham, which, 
with six other estates, is entered in Domesday as 
held of the earl of Chester by ' Hamo.' Now 
this Hamo was the well-known founder of the 
Massys, barons or Dunham c Massy/ and had no- 
thing to do with a Carington or a Smith. As if to 
attain a climax of confusion, the name of the family 
having been accounted for by its connection with 
Carington in Cheshire, the ' Lineage ' in ' Burke ' 
commences with the statement that " The family 
derives its name from the castle, town, and port of 
Carenton (sic) in Normandy " ! 

Wilder, however, than the claims to descent 
from Norman invaders are those of the families who 
would c go one better ' by asserting an earlier origin. 
What is to be said to such a passage as this f 

There still remain in England a few families, and Wolseley of 
Wolseley is one, that can prove by authentic evidence an unbroken 

1 See p. 24 above. 


descent from Saxon times, and show the inheritance of the same 
lands in the male line from a period long anterior to the Norman 
Conquest. A legend in the family narrates that their ancestor 
was given the lands of Wlselei (now Wolseley) for destroying 
wolves in co. Stafford, in the reign of King Edgar, when wolves 
were finally destroyed in England. 

And so the " authentic evidence " consists of " a 
legend in the family/' itself dependent on another 
legend, namely, that wolves were " finally destroyed 
in England " under Edgar, whereas I have seen 
them alluded to as in existence in twelfth- 
century charters, while they were not extirpated, 
of course, till an even later date. Wolseley (in Col- 
wich), as a matter of fact, was held at the time of 
Domesday (1086) by the bishop of Chester, whose 
under-tenant was a certain Nigel, unknown to the 
Wolseley pedigree. Equally absurd is the state- 
ment that the Derings are " one of the very few 
houses still existing in England of undoubted Saxon 
origin ; an origin confirmed not only by tradi- 
tion, but by authentic family documents." What 
possible family documents can establish the 
history of the house before the Conquest ? As for 
" Randolphus de Traffbrd," who lived ante Con- 
questum, " as the family pedigree sets forth," we 
may leave him to the company of an impossible 
' Eduni,' the " earliest known ancestor " of the 
Trelawnys, who is alleged, on the authority of 
Domesday Book, to have held "Trelawny or 
Treloen in the time of Edward the Confessor." 
Eadwig, who seems to be intended, was no more 
connected with c Treloen ' than he was with seve- 
ral other manors, and in no instance were their 

65 F 


Norman possessors descended from him. An equally 
impossible "Hugh Fitz Baldric, a Saxon thane," was 
a well-known Norman tenant-in-chief. As for the 
Pilkington who survived the Conquest as the Due 
de Levis weathered the Deluge, he is a ' worthy 
peer ' of that early Fitz William who was already 
using an armorial seal when no one else possessed 
one, and who set up, " engraven in brass," some 
lines of sorry doggrel, thoughtfully composed in 
the English of a far later age. 

Let us now examine the statements at the head 
of Lord Bolingbroke's pedigree. 

WILLIAM DE ST. JOHN (the name was taken from the terri- 
tory of St. John near Rouen), who came into England with the 
CONQUEROR, as grand master of the artillery and supervisor of the 
wagons and carriages ; whence the horses' hames or collar was 
borne for his cognizance (Brydges 9 Collins, vol. VI. p. 42). He 
m. Oliva, da. of Ralph de Filgiers, of Normandy. 

It can be positively shown, as to these state- 
ments : (i) that the St. John family did not come 
in with the Conqueror, but, in the next century, 
under Henry I ; (2) that their name was taken 
from St. Jean-le-Thomas, near Mont St. Michel, 
which was far away from Rouen ; (3) that the 
William de St. John who married the above 
4 Oliva ' was living a century after the date of the 
Conqueror's death, and was in fact the imaginary 
patriarch's alleged great-grandson ; (4) that Oliva 
herself was the mother, not the daughter, of Ralph de 
Fougeres (not Filgiers) of Britanny (not Normandy). 1 

1 See, for all this, my article on "The families of St. John and 
of Port " in Genealogist for July, 1899. 



As for William the Conqueror's artillery and 
army service corps, the tale is obviously one of 
those venal herald's fables which even Dugdale, in 
his Baronage, was ashamed to repeat. 

A few lines further down we read that : 

JOHN ST. JOHN was killed at the battle of Evesham 43 (sic) 
Henry III. He had been in the Holy Wars with Richard L, 
who at the siege of Aeon, in Palestine, adopted the device of tying 
a leathern thong, or garter, round the left leg of a certain number 
of knights (one of whom was this John de St. John) that they 
might be impelled to higher deeds of valour. 

One can only ask in blank amazement whether 
the brothers Burke possess a p rimer of English 
history. From it they would learn that the battle 
of Evesham was fought not in 43, but in 49 Hen. 
III., and that they have made a man who fought 
"in Palestine" in 1190 fight and fall at Evesham 
in 1265! That 'Aeon' was Acre is more, per- 
haps, than any herald could understand ; but 
what is the authority for John de St. John receiv- 
ing a distinction which cruelly suggests that Richard 
urged him to greater valour by curling a whip- 
thong about his legs ? 

But even when we pass to Ireland, where Ulster, 
one would have thought, should have been specially 
at home, we meet under the earldom of Fingall 
with a statement so grotesque as that " so early as 
the eleventh century we find John Plunkett was 
seated at Beaulieu, or Bewley, co. Meath, the 
constant residence of the elder branch of his 
descendants." What business either John or 



c Beaulieu ' could have had to be in Ireland at the 
time passes the wit of man to discover. But as his 
successor, a John Plunkett " living temp. Henry HI." 
(1216-1272), was father, we learn, of a man who 
sat in the Parliament of 1374, the family history 
was clearly unique. Now, why should this ancient 
and distinguished house be made ridiculous by such 
statements, when its name occurs both in England 
and Normandy in authentic records of the twelfth 
century, which are here completely ignored ? Or, 
again, why should the ancestor of the Dillons, 
one of the Irish conquistadores> be assigned the 
absurd and impossible title of ' Premier Dillon, 
Lord Baron Drumrany ' ? And what authority can 
there be for c Sir Geoffrey de Estmonte, Knt. of 
Huntington, in co. Lincoln/ being one of " the 
thirty knights who landed at Bannow" in 1172 ? 
Again, c Burke ' has yet to learn that the Burkes 
themselves are not descended, as stated under 
c Clanricarde,' from 'William Fitz-Adelm' [/>. 
Audelin] 1 governor of Ireland under Henry II., a 
legend, as is now known, devoid of foundation. Per- 
haps, however, one ought to be thankful that they 
are not still derived, as they used to be, in direct male 
descent from Charlemagne himself. Betham, Sir 
Bernard Burke's predecessor in the office of Ulster, 
actually issued a formal certificate under his " seal 
of office," as " Ulster King of Arms and Principal 
Herald of all Ireland," certifying that this monstrous 
concoction rested on " original documents of un- 

1 See my Feudal England, pp. 517-8. 


questionable authority " and " is registered in the 
Archives of Ulster's Office of Arms " ! * 

Again, under Leinster, " Premier Duke, Mar- 
quess, and Earl of Ireland," the pedigree of Fitz 
Gerald still begins with a story which is not only 
absolutely, but also demonstrably false : 

The Fitz Geralds are descended from " Dominus OTHO," who 
is supposed to have been of the family of the Gherardini of 
Florence. . . . This noble passed over into Normandy, and 
thence, in 1057, mto England, where he became so great a 
favourite with Edward the Confessor, that he excited the jealousy 
of the Saxon thanes. However derived, his English possessions 
were enormous, which, at his death, devolved on his son, WALTER 
FiTzOrHO, who, it is somewhat remarkable, was treated after the 
Conquest as a fellow-countryman of the Normans. In 1078 
(sic) he is mentioned in Domesday Book as being in possession of 
his father's estates. 

Such circumstances are certainly " somewhat re- 
markable," their explanation being that they are at 
complete variance with the facts. " Walterius films 
Otheri " (sic), the undoubted founder of the house, 
first occurs in Domesday Book (not 1078, but 
1086), where he is found in several counties as a 
tenant-in-chief. It nowhere styles him a son of 
Otho (of which ' Otto ' was the Domesday form), 
and it does not state that his possessions had be- 
longed to his father, but, on the contrary, proves 
them to have belonged to forfeited Englishmen. 
Thus the ' Otho ' story is shown to be absolute 
fiction. Will Sir Bernard, I asked in my review 
of the 1892 edition of his Peerage, 2 continue to 

1 See my paper on " The Barons of the Naas " in Genealogist 
[N.S.], XV. 5. 2 Quarterly Review, as above. 



repeat it while assuring the public that he has 
" endeavoured to render minutely correct the 
ancestral details of the lineages " ? We turn 
to the edition for 1900, subjected, as we are 
informed, to a " more thorough revision than 
usual/' and we read with awe of " the laborious 
researches " by which Somerset Herald has so 
greatly increased " the genealogical value of this 
work." And then we find the whole fiction 
repeated word for word, including the gross blun- 
der on the date of Domesday Book. 

Let us take also from the Irish Peerage an 
instance of another kind. In the pedigree of the 
ancient house of Howth we still find this state- 
ment : 

Nicholas St. Lawrence 23rd Lord of Howth. His lordship d. 
in 1643, and was succeeded by his surviving son William 24th 

In editing the Register of Colchester Grammar 
School, for the Essex Archaeological Society, I made 
the startling discovery, with the help of a parish 
register on the Essex and Suffolk border, that there 
had flourished there a Lord of Howth, between the 
above two peers, who had, in 1643, succeeded his 
brother Nicholas, and who was the real father of 
the above William. A discovery so unlikely as 
this is not only " part of the romance of gene- 
alogy," l but is of much potential importance for 
the heirship to this barony, of which the heir- 
presumptive is, apparently, so remote as to be un- 
known. The Complete Peerage^ in its c corrigenda ' 

1 Preface to my edition of the above Register. 


(viii. 425-6), accepted the discovery and observed 
that it had been made by me. ' Burke ' wholly 
ignores it. Is it pride that prevents the editor 
from availing himself of the results of genealogical 
research ? Or is it, in spite of all professions, just 
mere indolence ? The case below of the barony of 
Kingsale, so closely associated, by tradition, with 
that of Howth in its origin, points to the latter 

To see how a genuine pedigree can and should 
be constructed, we need only turn to that of Lord 
Wrottesley, the work, no doubt, of that excellent 
antiquary, General Wrottesley, in which the 
family's possession of Wrottesley is carried up to 
within a century from the Conquest, while the 
pedigree itself is traced to the days of the Con- 
queror. Injustice is done to those who can prove 
such a pedigree as this, when the wild traditions 
we have glanced at are published as sober history ; 
nor have families of undoubted antiquity, such as 
those of Lord Hereford or Lord Iddesleigh, any- 
thing to gain by appealing, in support of their 
earliest history, the former to pipe rolls which do not 
exist, 1 and the latter to c an ancient record ' which 
appears to have been nothing of the kind. 2 

1 " The great roll of the Pipe 35 Hen. I. and 5 Stephen." The 
pedigree opens with an odd reference to "the theory of the 
Heralds' College, London." 

2 The Northcote pedigree is asserted (ed. 1 900) to be " clearly 
proved by an ancient and copious pedigree preserved in the 
College of Arms . . . which pedigree is continued down to 
the Visitation of 1620." The character of this precious docu- 
ment may be gathered from such of its contents as are rashly 



On the other hand, in one or two instances, the 
pedigree, instead of being carried too far, is not 
carried far enough. The founder of the present 
house of Berkeley is bluntly introduced as ' Robert 
Fitzhardinge,' who, like Melchizedek, had no 
father, although competent genealogists have held, 
and Professor Freeman thought it " in the highest 
degree probable," that he was the son of Harding, 
son of Eadnoth, the latter being, the Professor held, 
no other than Eadnoth the Staller, a magnate under 
Edward the Confessor. The probability of so 
unique a descent might at least have been referred 

Again, the ancient and well-known house of 
Tichborne is traced only to Roger Tichborne 
" who flourished in the reign of Henry II. " But 
I could take it back to his father Walter living 
under Henry I. and Stephen. Moreover, as 
descents in the female line are in some cases given, 
as those, for instance, of the duke of Northum- 
berland and Lord Beauchamp (perhaps because the 
houses of Smithson and of Pindar are compara- 
tively modern) it is strange that under ' Rutland ' 
we have only a pedigree of the Manners family. 
For the boast, too often falsely made, that lands have 
descended from the days of the Conquest in an un- 

given to the public. The first ancestor " on record," is * Galfri- 
dus Miles,' who 'had his seat at Northcote ' in 1103, an( * whose 
second successor was seated there in 1118 (sic), a record being 
actually vouched for the fact. As a grandson of this latter 
gentleman was married in 1288-9 (17 Ed. I.), the whole pedigree 
is doubtless worthy of the heralds and the College of Arms. 



broken line, is absolutely true in the case of the 
historic estate of Belvoir. I was lately enabled to 
ascertain its true descent in the Norman period, 
which, as I had long suspected, has always been 
wrongly given. 

And now for the house of Howard. Fiercely 
fighting the hydra of falsehood which he found 
resplendent in Burke s Peerage, Mr. Freeman, in the 
name of historical truth, smote the pedigree of 
Wake. 1 The singular feature in this pedigree is 
that it betrayed the usual desire to begin with a 
companion of the Conqueror, and yet hankered 
after claiming a forbear so famous in story as Here- 
ward " the Wake." Hence much confusion and 
c hedging/ which the Professor mercilessly printed 
in full. One need only quote this passage : 

Hence the family is supposed to have been of importance prior 
to the Conquest. The celebrated Archbishop Wake wrote a 
history of the Wake family, in which he ascribes to Hereward le 
Wake the feat of having successfully opposed and finally made 
terms with William the Conqueror. As Augustine (sic) also 
mentions Wakes in Normandy, it is probable that there were two 
parties in the family at that time. 

As Mr. Freeman forcibly observed, " it does very 
directly touch the historian when pedigree-makers 
. . . lay their hands on one of our national 
heroes in the form of Hereward." Vigorously 
denouncing this "trumpery piece of genealogical 
fiction," the Professor exclaimed with indigna- 
tion : 

Nor can the historian calmly look on while Hereward becomes 

1 Cont. Rev., XXX. 31-3. 


the sport of pedigree-makers. His authentic history is short, but 
he has an authentic history. . . . But as for connecting 
him with the family of Wake or any other existing family, there 
is not a scrap of evidence for it. 1 

The Wakes, however, appear to have c declared to 
win ' with Hereward, reviving his name, as that 
of their ancestor, together with that of his legendary 
wife " Torfrida," just as " Sir Brian Newcome ot 
Newcome" set the seal to his family legend by 
giving his children " names out of the Saxon calen- 
dar." Kingsley, moreover, had made their alleged 
descent famous by inserting this passage in his well- 
known novel on Hereward : 

Hereward the Wake, Lord of Bourne, and ancestor or that family 
of Wake the arms of whom appear on the cover of this book. 
These, of course, are much later than the time of Hereward. 
Not so, probably, the badge of the ' Wake Knot.' ... It 
and the motto c Vigila et ora ' may well have been used by Here- 
ward himself. . . . 

Hereward's pedigree is a matter of no importance save to a few 
antiquaries, and possibly to his descendants, the ancient and 
honourable house of Wake. 2 

1 Reference may also be made to articles on Hereward in the 
Saturday Review of 1st Nov. 1862, and I9th May, 1866, which 
seem to be from Mr. Freeman's pen. 

2 It is a striking instance of the firm hold that these legends 
obtain on the imagination of the public that, even as I write, this 
statement appears in the columns of a newspaper : " Sir Here- 
ward Wake bears one of the oldest names in England, being a 
descendant of the famous ' Hereward the Wake.' Perhaps one 
of the most interesting things in connection with this family, 
especially in these days when lands change hands so frequently, is 
the fact (sic) that the Wakes have had the same property from 
generation to generation ever since the days of the Saxons, and 
echoes of those times are still to be heard in the Christian names 
of all the Wakes" (nth March, 1900). 



But we see the fruits of Mr. Freeman's scorn in 
the guarded phrase which now appears at the head 
of the Wake pedigree : " The Wakes claim Saxon 
origin " ; while the actual pedigree modestly begins 
in the latter part of the I4th century. 1 This is 
scarcely worthy treatment of one of our oldest 
families, one of the very few that belonged to the 
feudal baronage, and that can be traced back with 
certainty to within a century of the Conquest. 2 

I spoke above of ' the hydra of falsehood ' in 
this unfortunate compilation. No sooner had the 
Wake pedigree been thus mercilessly lopped than 
the gallant Hereward reappeared as the founder of 
quite another family, indeed of no less famous a 
house than the Howards, dukes of Norfolk. 

As might have been expected, the Howards 
or, at least, the heralds on their behalf have tried 
hard to extend their pedigree beyond the known 
founder of their house, William Howard, who 
rose by the law, becoming a judge towards the 
close of the ijth century. Collins' Peerage (1779) 

1 Burkis Peerage, 1900. 

2 Its founder was Hugh Wac, who married the daughter and 
heiress of Baldwin Fitz Gilbert, and thus acquired Baldwin's 
fief. This Baldwin was son, not of Gilbert de Gant as alleged 
by Dugdale and other antiquaries, but, as I have shown (Feudal 
England, p. 474) of Gilbert de Clare, the head of that famous 
house. Hugh Wac was in possession of the fief in 1166, but I 
have urged that he is the "h'Wac" who attests a charter of king 
Stephen that I assign to 1142 (Geoffrey de Mandevllle, p. 159). 

As I have shown elsewhere (Feudal England, p. 161), Hereward, 
who was never known as " the Wake," had that name bestowed 
on him by some early pedigree-maker, who wished to annex him 
as the ancestor of the Wake family. 



gives us "the descent as settled by Mr. Harvey, who 
was Clarencieux King of Arms in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, and with whom Glover (Somerset 
Herald), Philipot, etc., agree" (I. 52-3). This 
was the wild descent from "Auber, Earl of Passy " 
spoken of by Mr. Rye in a passage quoted below. 
In 1638, Lilly, then "Rouge Dragon," produced 
quite a different story, compiling " The genealogie 
of the princelie familie of the Howards, exactly 
deduced in a right line from the xvth yeere of the 
raigne of King Edgar, sole monarch of England 
in the yeere of our redemption DCCCCLXX. before 
the Norman Conquest 96 years, etc." 1 Dugdale, 
however, as in other cases, ignored the work of 
the officers of arms, the value and character of 
which he was, doubtless, competent to judge, and, 
in his Baronage, wrote this : 

There are those perhaps who will expect that I should ascend 
much higher in manifesting the greatness of this honourable and 
large-spreading family of Howard in regard I do not make any 
mention thereof above the time of King Edward I., some sup- 
posing that their common ancestor in the Saxon time took his 
original appellation from an eminent office or command ; others 
afterwards from the name of a place. And some have not 
stuck to derive him from the famous Hereward. ... I shall, 
therefore, after much fruitless search to satisfy myself as well as 
others on this point, begin with William Howard, a learned and 
reverend judge of the court of common pleas. 

In 1879, Sir Bernard Burke was still quoting 

1 " A finer heraldic volume than this need not be wished for ; 
the drawings and their colourings are of the first class." This MS. 
is said to be in the possession of Lord Northampton. 


these words of Dugdale at the head of his Howard 
pedigree, though he added that : 

Despite, however, of Dugdale's inability to discover the parent- 
age of the judge, it appears clearly proved from various charters 
that that learned personage was son of John Howard and grandson 
of Robert Howard or Herward, * films Hawardi,' and that the 
name was originally Herward. 

But in 1880 there was substituted this version : 

The Ducal and illustrious Howards . . . represent a 
family undoubtedly of Saxon origin. Recent enquiries enable 
us to trace the ancestors of the Howards to a period much more 
remote than Sir William Dugdale thought possible and to estab- 
lish the pedigree by undoubted evidence. Ingulph and Matthew 
Paris concur in stating that Howard or Hereward was living in 
the reign of King Edgar, 957 to 973, and that he was a kinsman 
of Duke Oslac, and that his son, Leofric, was the father of Here- 
ward, who was banished by the Conqueror. The very ancient book 
of the church of Ely entirely confirms the statement. It appears 
that Hereward was subsequently allowed to return, and it is cer- 
tain that his family retained Wigenhall and other portions of 
their inheritance in Norfolk. Hereward's grandson, Hereward or 
Howard, and his wife Wilburga, in the reign of Henry the Second, 
granted a carucate of land in Terrington in Norfolk to the church 
of Len (Lynn), and directed that prayers should be said for the 
souls of Hereward his father, and of Hereward the Banished, or 
the Exile, his grandfather. Robert Howard, the son of Hereward, 
was seized of Wigenhall, Terrington, and other estates in Nor- 
folk, and was the father of John Hereward or Howard of Wigen- 
hall, who, by Lucy Germund his wife, was the father of SIR 

Of this audacious story one can only say that 
no statements of the kind are made by Mathew 
Paris, while what ' Ingulf really says (under 
1062) is that Leofric lord of Brunne married 



Ediva, c trinepta ' of " that magnificent duke Oslac, 
the contemporary of king Edgar." 1 To Leofric 
himself, who is made to die in the days of William 
I., no father is assigned, and, even if it contained 
(which it does not) the alleged statement, the 
whole chronicle called Ingulfs is now known to 
be a forgery ! Yet this mixture of ignorance and 
falsehood is set forth, in 1900, as the fruit of 
" recent enquiries " and as proved by " undoubted 
evidence." Strong language, it may be said ; yet 
not a whit too strong. For so far back as 3oth 
January, 1886, Mr. Walter Rye wrote to the 
Athenaum on the subject of the wild story in 
c Burke,' and urged that " surely the pedigree of 
the Head of the College of Arms should be above 
suspicion," while in the same widely-read journal 
(i3th March, 1886), I denounced it "as a scandal 
to our historical and antiquarian scholarship that 
the ridiculous farrago of this ' mythical descent ' 
should be thus annually repeated to the public in 
a quasi-official form." Again, in my Quarterly 
Review article (October, 1893), I pilloried "that 
wildly impossible story " to which " Ulster steadily 
adheres," and complained that he "persists in 
publishing this nonsense, and justifies, so long as 
he does so, the sternest criticism of his work." 
Yet the story is still repeated when its falsehood 
has been publicly denounced. It is not, we shall 

1 Ed. Gale, P . 67. 

2 The Almanac de Gotha, naturally misled, proclaims the How- 
ards a " maison f<6odale Anglo-Saxonne que Ton fait remonter a 
Leofric . . . vers 950." 



find, in pedigree alone that revision is required in 
the history of the ducal house of Norfolk. 

We have seen above the strange shifts to which 
the makers of Howard pedigrees have been put, in 
their efforts to get beyond the judge who founded 
the family toward the end of the I3th century. 
But we have not seen them all. In his well-known 
popular History of Norfolk (1887), Mr. Walter 
Rye selected " a few of the worst cases " of 
spurious pedigrees in Norfolk, and placed at their 
head that of " Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Premier 
Peer and Earl Marshal of England." 

This family descends from Sir William Howard, who was a 
grown man and on the bench in 1293, whose real pedigree is 
very obscure and doubtful, and who invariably spelt his name 
Ha ward. 

. . . Two Coram rege rolls, referred to by the heralds as 
mentioning William c de ' Howard and William ' Hauward,' have 
each been tampered with to make them so read the ' le,' which 
was undoubtedly in the first, having been cut out, 1 and the tail 
of the * y ' in the second having been also removed with a knife, 
to make ' Hay ward ' read ' Hauward.' 

Mr. Rye then continues : 

The pedigree itself was concocted very carelessly, and can de- 
ceive no one. It traces the Howards to * Auber, Earl of Passy, in 
Normandy,' whose grandson, Roger Fitz Valerine, is said to have 
owned the castle of Howarden, or ' Howard's den ' (!). Alliances 
with the Bigods, the St. Meres, the Bardolphs, the Brus, and the 
Trusbuts are liberally provided, to bring in nice-looking quarter- 
ings, while an alternative descent from Hereward the Wake is 
also put forward. 

1 Compare the remarks in this paper on the efforts to change 



Well might the writer urge that such concoc- 
tions as this form " an instructive commentary on 
the value of the work of the older heralds and of 
the ' visitations. 5 " 1 

But now we come to the strangest part of the 
whole Hereward story, one of the quaintest epi- 
sodes, I think, in modern genealogy. In 1896 
there appeared a fresh claimant for the honour of 
descent from Hereward. In his Hereward the 
Saxon Patriot, Lieut.-General Harward not only 
claimed the patriot as his own " illustrious ances- 
tor," but fiercely denounced the other families 
which had made a like claim and all who had 
aided and abetted them. " No weaker claim, or 
one supported by more unreliable evidence," could 
be imagined than that of the " grasping family " 
of Howard ; " the claim of the Temples . 
is too weak and frivolous to be seriously enter- 
tained " ; and " the last, and weakest, not to say 
most ludicrous claim ... is that of Wake 
of Courteen Hall, Northampton." Poor Charles 
Kingsley, as the chief abettor of this claim, was 
charged with " utter incapacity," with writing 
" unintelligible nonsense," and with a " mad esca- 
pade as Professor of English History in twisting 
the hero of these pages, the renowned Hereward, 
into a peg on which to hang a Northampton family 
named Wake or Jones." Worse than " a silly 
archbishop of their name," this " still more foolish 

1 For some criticisms on the value of these belauded ' visita- 
tions ' see the papers in this volume on the families of Stewart 
and of Spencer. 



prebendary turns a somersault over the professorial 
chair," and " was most liberally remunerated " for 
doing so ! 

From Kingsley the gallant and fiery author 
turned to " the shortcomings of the Heralds' 
Office," and insisted " that a public office should 
cease to disseminate barefaced fabrications." This 
demand was perfectly justified ; but when we turn 
from the heralds' " fabrications " to the author's 
own descent, what, to our amazement, do we find ? 
On the authority of a heralds' visitation of War- 
wickshire (1619), it is traced up to "John Here- 
ward de Pebwith" circa 1235, but no higher. 2 
" Pebwith " can only be Pebworth in Gloucester- 
shire, and the great Hereward, who lived at the 
time of the Norman Conquest, was connected, so 
far as records go, with Lincolnshire and with 
Lincolnshire alone. 3 A century and a half has to 
be covered before we come to the Gloucestershire 
man alleged to have lived circa 1235, and of evi- 
dence to connect him with the great Hereward 
there is not one scrap. 4 Yet on the assumption of 
such descent the author constructs his pedigree and 
denounces, as above, those families who claim a 
baseless connection with " Hereward the Saxon 
patriot." Of the genealogical curiosities contained 
in this extraordinary book it would be difficult to 

1 " The so-called * visitations ' and the records in the Heralds' 
College derived from them are in numerous cases untrustworthy 
and always suspicious " (p. 64). 

2 Hereward the Saxon Patriot , p. 91. 

3 Feudal England, pp. 160-162. 

4 The name, of course, was in no way distinctive. 

8l G 


give an idea. One can only draw attention to the 
really significant fact that it is possible to publish, 
even now, a work of this character and to have it 
seriously, and even favourably, reviewed by unin- 
structed scribes. 

A pleasing contrast to the Howard pedigree is 
afforded by that of the duke of Fife. Its rise and 
fall is so curious a story that one may be pardoned 
for giving it in detail. When William Duff was 
raised to an earldom in 1759, he selected the titles 
of Viscount MacDuff and Earl Fife ; c evidently,' 
as G. E. C. observes, " to indicate a descent from 
the ancient earls of Fife of the house of Macduff." 
The same descent was implied in the marquessate 
of Macduff and dukedom of Fife granted so 
recently as 1889. Accordingly, till some years 
ago, c Burke ' gave as the origin of the family : 

This noble family derives from Fyfe Macduff, a chief of great 
wealth and power, who lived about the year 834, and afforded to 
Kenneth II., King of Scotland, strong aid against his enemies the 

This descent was traced through the Duffs of 
Muldavit, of whom the first, living in 1404, was 
said to be a cadet of the old earls of Fife. Baird, 
who wrote a genealogical history of the family 
about 1773, set forth the pedigree without ques- 
tion, as did others ; in 1783 Lord Fife procured a 
charter giving the name of MacDuff to the port 
he had created at Doune ; and, finally, the family, 
who had adorned their mausoleum with inscriptions 
proclaiming it and with the crest of the old earls 
of Fife, ventured on a crowning step. Incredible 



though it may seem, c a fine stone effigy, with a 
singularly well-preserved inscription/ erected, it is 
supposed, to an Innes of Innes about 1539, was 
removed from Cullen Church to the Duff mauso- 
leum, where, by altering the inscribed date to 1 404 
(in Arabic numerals !) it was made to figure: as that 
of the first Duff of Muldavit. No less an author- 
ity than the late Mr. Stodart, Lyon Clerk Depute, 
informed c G. E. C.' that this was probably done 
in 1792 "to add to the glory of [the then] Lord 
Fife " ! Moreover, an imitation antique inscrip- 
tion was cut at the same time recording in detail 
the spurious descent. The credit of unmasking 
these remarkable proceedings belongs to Mr. 
William Cramond, who, with indefatigable zeal, 
established the real facts. The descent from the 
old earls of Fife was soon seen to be untenable, but 
the family was still traced to Duff of Muldavit 
in 1404, and the Almanac de Gotha preserves 
this version; 1 Mr. Cramond, however, eventu- 
ally disproved this also and showed that the 
family could not be traced beyond the middle 
of the i /th century. 'Burke' has at last sur- 
rendered at discretion, and now begins the 
pedigree with Adam Duff, who died between 
1 674 and 1 677, and " laid the foundation of 
the prosperity of the family." Sic transit gloria 
mundi. If, as we presume, the present pedigree 
appears with the sanction of the duke of Fife, 

1 It is only just to Mr. Foster to mention that he from the 
first, in his ' Peerage,' had independently refused to admit even 
the Muldavit descent. 



he has set an example to others, by this frank re- 
cognition of facts, which we hope may be widely 

The story of the translated effigy and the 
manufactured genealogical inscription is not, 
though startling, unique. Tampering has not 
been confined to the will or to the parish register. 
Only students of genealogy, perhaps, remember 
the famous Coulthart imposture, in which the 
evidences for the pedigree were one and all 
forged, "monuments to the imaginary line of the 
Coultharts " being erected in two Scottish church- 
yards in the shape of altar-tombs commemorating 
successive lairds of Coulthart ! Even this per- 
formance was eclipsed by the Deardens at 
Rochdale, who, according to a writer in the 
Gentleman's Magazine (1852), had constructed in 
Rochdale Church an apocryphal c family chapel,' 
with sham effigies, slabs, and brasses to the memory 
of imaginary ancestors. This statement, I may 
add, was actually true, the work having been 
executed about 1847 ; and although most of these 
monstrosities have now been buried, "five imitation 
antiques" were allowed to remain. A similar per- 
formance, so far back as the days of Henry VIII., 
was exposed not long ago, in a learned paper on 
" the Hughenden effigies," by Mr. E. J. Payne. 1 
He showed that monuments in Hughenden 
church, which had successfully imposed on Stoth- 
ard and other antiquaries, even in the present 

1 Records of Buckinghamshire, vol. VII. (1896), pp. 362-412. 



century, were spurious, having been erected by 
a family of Wellesbourne to connect themselves 
with the Montforts. One existing effigy was 
c adapted ' and the others fabricated for the pur- 
pose. His conclusions were : 

that they caused a monumental effigy of this imaginary ancestor 
to be carved in the style of the thirteenth century . . . 
that they adapted the plate-armour effigy to their purpose by 
cutting similar arms on the skirts, and that they had the three 
rude effigies fabricated by way of filling up the gap between the 
fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

Oddly enough, the same county contains a church 
in which, within the present century, monumental 
inscriptions have been erected for the purpose of 
asserting a descent which is now known to be 
spurious. I can supplement these cases by yet 
another. An American family of Sears, in search 
of English ancestors, laid violent hands on a family 
of Sayer, formerly of Colchester, and having con- 
structed for themselves a spurious descent from 
that house, obtained permission to erect in St. 
Peter's, Colchester, a brass (appropriate metal !) 
recording that descent and testifying to a human 
weakness ctre ferenmus. 

Indeed, even since my article appeared, the now 
notorious c Shipway frauds ' have revealed the fact 
that such proceedings are still quite possible. The 
extraordinary story is thus told by one of the clergy 
of the parish : 

In the fall (sic) of 1896, by an elaborate system of impudent 
frauds, an unscrupulous attempt was made to claim these 
monuments for one who was an entire stranger to the parish. 



An agent from London 1 was employed in a search for a pedigree. 
He, by fraudulent means, concocted a very plausible story. 
Genealogies were manufactured, tombs were desecrated, registers 
were falsified, wills were forged : in a word various outrages 
were committed with many sacred things in this parish and 
elsewhere. These two figures, as part of the pedigree, were 
deposited in a niche in the chantry ; ... on either side 
were huge brass tablets on which were engraven various un- 
truthful and unfounded statements. 

In this case, we learn, 

the Bishop of Bristol directed [1898] that a faculty should be 
applied for to remove the glass case and inscriptions, and to 
restore the tombstones in the churchyard to their proper 
places. He further directed that the forged inscriptions, etc., 
in various parts of the church should be removed. 2 

We shall find, in dealing with c the origin of the 
Stewarts,' that among the adornments of Ely 
cathedral is a prominent inscription similarly 
intended to support " untruthful and unfounded 
statements." Nothing, however, can be done in 
the case of these statements, for is not their truth 
vouched for by the records of the Heralds' College ? 
One of the victims to this weakness was Lord 
Brougham himself. It was said of another ardent 
Radical, who had compiled a voluminous gene- 
alogy, that he sat under the largest family tree 
to be found in Christendom. But Lord Brough- 
am's tree, in its rapid growth, rivalled the Indian 
mango. Perhaps the Dictionary of National Bio- 
graphy, to which G. E. C. triumphantly appeals, 

1 Dr. Davies, who was the author or the frauds of which he 
was subsequently convicted. 

2 Our Parish : Mangotsfield (1899). 

86 ' 


errs on the side of incredulity ; but those who are 
curious in such matters may turn with advantage 
to the Gentleman's Magazine for 1848, where they 
will find that the same romantic genealogist was 
a friend of Mr. Dearden and of Lord Brougham, 
and will read the wondrous story of the so-called 
c Crusader's tomb.' 

What Mr. Cramond accomplished for the 
pedigree of the duke of Fife, Mr. Foster did for 
that of Lord Tweedmouth. Certainly there has 
been, in our time, no genealogical question of purely 
academic interest so bitterly and so stubbornly 
contested as that of the Marjoribanks pedigree 
e recorded ' in the Lyon Office. On the creation 
of the Tweedmouth peerage in 1 8 8 1 , the pedigree 
of the new peer was duly communicated to the 
two rival Peerage editors, Sir Bernard Burke and 
Mr. Foster. The former, after his wont, pub- 
lished it without question ; the latter, as a critical 
genealogist, deemed it unsatisfactory, and warned 
his readers that it was wanting in proof and there- 
rore doubtful. Thereupon the Lyon Clerk 
Depute ridiculed him for daring to question a 
" proved and registered pedigree." Despising him 
as a merely c English ' genealogist, the Scottish 
authorities were wholly unprepared for the result 
of this rash challenge. One after another they 
entered the field to be overwhelmed in turn. Mr. 
Foster was found, to their great surprise, to have 
at his fingers' ends their public and burghal 
records. He could tell them more than they ever 
knew ; and he tore their pedigree (or rather 



pedigrees) to shreds. His straightforward on- 
slaught contrasted strongly with the pitiful subter- 
fuges of his opponents. As an example of these 
he was accused by the then Lyon king of arms 
of fabricating a date (1688) which "occurs in 
no printed account of the family except Mr. 
Foster's," for the purpose of demolishing it. As 
a matter of fact, the date, so far from being his 
fabrication, was given by Ulster in his ' Peerage/ 
and remains there, it will be found, to this day ! 
Mr. Foster's determined honesty had, of course, 
made many enemies, who joined eagerly in the 
attack ; but, finding it at length useless to uphold 
the discredited descent, they coolly abandoned it as 
a matter " of little interest to genealogists " ! My 
readers may be left to draw their own conclusion, 
and to estimate from this the value of pedigrees 
' proved and registered ' in the Lyon Office. 

We shall have, however, to wait till Mr. Foster 
resumes the publication of his c Peerage ' for a 
trustworthy account of Lord Tweedmouth's de- 
scent, ' Burke ' having altered it, it is true, but 
only in matters of detail. The founder of the 
family, Joseph Marjoribanks of Edinburgh, mer- 
chant burgess, is still made the grandson of a 
Lord Clerk Register " of that ilk and of Ratho," 
although, as Mr. Foster has proved, his parentage 
has not been traced. 1 

The Marjoribanks pedigree reminds us, by the 

1 Mr. Foster's article (Collectanea Genealogua^ I. 94-107) 
may be recommended to those interested in the subject as a 
brilliantly destructive criticism of official genealogy. 



way, that there are several problems of Scottish 
genealogy for light on which we turn in vain, 
as ever, to the pages of ' Burke.' We still read of 
Lord Polwarth that " by failure of the male heirs 
of Sir Robert Scott of Murthockstone (from whom 
derives the noble house of Buccleugh), his lordship 
claims the chieftainship of all the Scotts in Scot- 
land"; and yet, under 'Napier and Ettrick,' our 
accommodating editor traces the male heirs of 
Sir Robert, through the Scotts of Howpaisley 
and Thirlestaine, and duly assigns them the Scott 
coat with the Murdochstone bend. Turning to 
another coveted heirship, the male representative 
of the Stewards (Stuarts) of Scotland, we find 
Lord Galloway's undoubted ancestor, Sir William 
Stewart of Jedworth (executed in 1402), asserted 
to be the son of Sir John c of Jedworth/ whose 
father was slain at Falkirk in 1298. But there is 
well known to be no proof that Sir William 
was the son of this Sir John ; the missing link has 
still to be found, and even a generation, it may 
be, is omitted. It is unfortunate also that the 
c Peerage ' opens with a characteristic passage 
(under c Abercorn ') where, instead of frankly 
deriving the Hamiltons from Walter Fitz Gilbert, 
who first appears on the ' Ragman Roll ' of 
homage (1296), 'Burke' temporizes after its 
wont. It discreetly drops the time-honoured 
legend, originating in, or commemorated by, the 
crest of the family ; but, while declining "to trace 
the exact descent of the illustrious Scottish house 
of Hamilton from the great and powerful stock 



of the ancient de Bellomonts (sic], Earls of 
Leicester," the editor, as did his father, still leaves 
it to be supposed that somehow or other the 
Hamiltons did descend from that " magnificent 
Norman race." And he persists in beginning their 
definite pedigree a generation too soon. 

From Scottish pedigrees I pass to two Scottish 
titles. I hope my readers will not be alarmed 
by the name of the earldom of Mar, suggesting, 
as it does, Lord Palmerston's dictum on the 
Schleswig-Holstein question, that only one man 
really understood it, and that he went mad. I shall 
not enter, of course, into the merits of the original 
decision by the House of Lords (1875), which, as 
Lord Selborne and the Lord Chancellor observed 
in the 1877 debate, "must be considered as final, 
right or wrong, and not to be questioned." Nor 
shall I discuss the wild pretension that an existing 
earldom was created "before 1014," for it is 
admitted that the first undisputed earl of the 
house died about 1 244.* My remarks will here 
be confined to the 'Restitution Act' of 1885, 
based as it is on what one of its ardent advocates 
has described as " a hypothesis which can with 
difficulty be apprehended even as a legal fiction 

1 Genealogist [N.S.], IV. 181. It is uncertain whether he 
inherited the earldom through his father or his mother, nor can 
the connection of either with the previous holders be established 
(Ibid. II. 68-9 ; IV. 178-180). The idiotic anachronism, 
"creation, before 1014," still appears in Bur he's Peerage, but 
G. E. C., in his Complete Peerage, sensibly treats a ' Ruadri ' who 
appears in 1115 as the first bearer of the title. 



by a Scottish historical antiquary." 1 At the 
commencement of this great controversy, it had 
been admitted, on all hands, that there was but 
one earldom of Mar, the dignity which figured 
on the Union Roll and which was undoubtedly 
vested in the earl of Mar and Kellie who died 
in 1866. At his death that dignity was " assumed 
by Mr. Goodeve-Erskine [WGoodeve], sister's son 
and next of kin, or heir-at-law, to the deceased 
earl " to quote the words of his champion, Lord 
Crawford as a dignity of medieval origin, 
descending to heirs of line. But it was sub- 
sequently claimed by Lord Kellie, as the late 
earl's heir-male, on the ground (to quote the same 
writer) that it was " a new creation by Mary, 
Queen of Scots, in 1565 . . . descendible . . . 
to the heirs-male of the body of the patentee." 
The question at issue was thus clear ; and the 
House decided in favour of Lord Kellie, on the 
avowed grounds (as Lord Crawford admitted) that 
" the earldom of Mar which now exists on the 
Roll of Scottish Peers, and which was held by 
the earl of Mar and Kellie who died in 1866, was 
a new creation by queen Mary, and not the 
restitution by her of an ancient dignity ; and 
[that] the new dignity created by queen Mary 
was limited to heirs-male of the body, and not 
descendible to heirs-general." 

In any other case this would have settled the 
question. But Mr. Goodeve-Erskine, having 
assumed the title, declined to drop it, though 

1 Genealogist [N.S.], III. 22. 


the House of Lords, holding rightly " that his 
assumption was without warrant " (as Lord Craw- 
ford wrote), had ordered him to drop the title 
when appearing before them. This raises the 
whole question of the assumption of Scottish titles, 
and, as strenuous efforts have been made to 
represent the Restitution Act as the sanction of 
this assumption, it is important to observe that, 
on the contrary, it styled Mr. Goodeve-Erskine 
by that name throughout, thereby denying the 
validity of his assumption (1866-1885), and 
involving the corollary that but for this Act he 
would not be earl of Mar. 

And now for the Act. As it was impossible 
to undo, at least in form, what the Lords had 
done, it was resolved by Lord Mar's supporters 
to resort to what his own champion termed " an 
equivocation on the facts of the case." The letter 
of the Lords' resolution was accepted, while 
repudiating the rationes on which alone it was 
based. All that was needed was to assume that 
the earldom of Mar could not possibly have 
been created in 1565 (which was precisely 
what the Committee decided, teste Lord Crawford, 
it had been), and that, consequently, Lord Kellie 
had been awarded a dignity which, as G. E. C. 
(one is sorry to see) puts it, was " apparently 
a creation by the Committee for Privileges in 
1875." Although this language betrays the 
absurdity of the position (the Committee of course 
awarding an existing, not creating a new, dignity), 
it was treated as a brilliant discovery that the 



e ancient ' earldom of Mar was vested in Mr. 
Goodeve-Erskine, and on this daring petitio principii 
the Act of c Restitution ' was based. 1 As might 
be expected, a measure which avowedly repre- 
sented an c equivocation ' failed to satisfy either 
party, because, while virtually revoking the 
decision of 1875, it pretended to do nothing of 
the kind. Hence protests at Holyrood, hence 
debates at Westminster, and all because clamour 
and agitation had been allowed to render ridi- 
culous a decision which they could not reverse. 

The Mar case, apart from the points of law 
involved, evoked a good deal of false sentiment, 
owing to the apparent injustice of a title which 
had come to the Erskines " through a lass," being 
retained by them as heirs-male instead of passing 
to the heir-general. But the peculiarities of the 
Scottish system have wrought in other cases the 
same or greater injustice, without protest being 
made. Another Erskine title, the earldom of 
Buchan, although nominally the old earldom or 
1469, has been held, since 1695, by a branch 
of the family which, as G. E. C. observes, is 
" in no way connected with any of the previous 

1 I would particularly invite attention to the fearful confusion 
and contradiction into which counsel, ' Lyon,' and even law 
lords plunged, when the pedigree was 'proved,' before the 
Committee for Privileges in 1885. This was demonstrated by 
me, in an article on "Janet Barclay wife of Sir Thomas 
Erskine" (Genealogist [N.S.], IX. 131-137), to which no reply 
has been, or can be, attempted, for it is based throughout on 
the official " Minutes of Evidence, Mar Restitution Bill " 



earls," to the detriment of their descendants and 
heirs-general. This case, therefore, is even 
stronger than that of Mar, to which Moray, 
however, is a good parallel. The earldom of that 
name came through an heiress to the family 
who now possess it, but they diverted its descent 
in favour of their heirs-male. It is alleged that 
this was done by a re-grant of the ' comitatus,' 
upon resignation, in 1 6 1 1 ; but when the right to 
the title came incidentally (not on a remit) before 
the House of Lords (1790-1793), the decision 
in favour of Lord Moray was based, it is virtually 
known, not upon this charter (1611) which 
according to the Sutherland decision (1771) 
could not have carried the honours but upon the 
same principles as the Mar decision (1875) 
itself. And indeed, apart from those principles, 
the construction of these charters, at the very 
period of transition, is notoriously a moot point. 
The parallel is carried further by the fact, that 
however the charter might operate on the 
honours, it undoubtedly vested the estates in the 
heir-male. In England, owing to the absence 
of the system of resignation and re-grant, such 
cases do not arise, the only successful attempt in 
that direction being the special Arundel entail 
of 1627. Yet, through the whole of the I7th 
century, the main issue in peerage cases was the 
famous doctrine that an earldom ' attracted ' a 
barony in fee ; that is, diverted its descent in 
favour of the heirs-male. c The British Solomon,' 
I may add, curiously justified that name by divid- 



ing the contested dignity in such cases as Aber- 
gavenny (1604), Roos (1616 and 1618), and 
Offaley (1620), awarding a barony to the heir- 
male and another to the heir-general. Thus, 
he divided the barony of Roos into those of 
c Roos ' and c Roos of Hamlake.' Yet in this he 
only followed the precedent which gave us such 
twin dignities as Dacre of the North and Dacre of 
the South ; and it is practically the same illogical 
and bewildering compromise which has given us 
in our own day two earls of Mar. And yet it was 
James himself who gave us the sound maxim that 
" it cannot stand with the ordour and consuetude 
of the countrie to honnour two earlis with ane title." 
My next Scottish dignity is the barony of 
Ruthven of Freeland. Now this is a subject of 
some delicacy, on which it is, unhappily, neces- 
sary to speak plainly. This dignity is on a 
different footing from any other in the Peerage, 
and is the greatest of all its curiosities. For, 
wrongfully assumed in the first instance, it has 
been wrongfully borne ever since. This fact, I 
hasten to add, is no new discovery : Riddell, to 
whom Sir Bernard appealed as " the most eminent 
of Scottish Peerage lawyers," went into this matter 
in his Remarks on Scotch Peerage Law (1833); 
and though denouncing the ' apologies ' for the 
assumption of the title as " too trivial and flimsy 
for criticism," he condescended to expose them 
in all their absurdity. They have also, we have 
seen, been rejected by Mr. Foster and by G.E.C. 
and called in question by ' Debrett.' 



The facts, apart from these c apologies,' are few 
and simple enough. The barony is said to have 
been created " in 1651," but even the date of the 
patent is unknown. The original document has 
long been lost it is not proved how or when 
and, as it was never registered, nor a copy made 
of it, and as moreover there is no " docquet or 
sign-manual thereof," its contents are wholly 
unknown. 1 Under these circumstances there is 
unconscious satire in the motto of the family : 
" Deeds show." For there is no adminicle of 
evidence to show what the limitation of the 
dignity really was. 

When this is the case, as is well known, the 
law presumes a limitation to heirs-male of the 
body, this being, as Lord Cranworth observed in 
the Herries case (1858), "a settled rule of law." 
This would agree with the only clue we possess 
to the terms of the patent ; namely, a contem- 
porary MS. in the Advocates' Library, which 
states that the limitation was to c heirs-ma/e.' On 
the extinction, however, of the direct male line 
in 1701 or 1704 (for even this date is uncer- 
tain) the title, though described as ' extinct ' in 
Crawfurd's Peerage of Scotland (1716), seems to 
have been tentatively and fitfully assumed by the 
last lord's youngest sister, who had succeeded to 
his estates. At her death the estates passed to 

1 It is very singular that if, as alleged, it was preserved for 
a hundred years, no attempt was ever made to set its terms on 
record, as was done in the similar case of Rollo, a barony 
created the same year (1651). 


their nephew, Sir William Cunningham, who, 
already heir of line, became thereby heir of 
tailzie as well to the last lord. Yet he did not 
assume the title. But his cousin and heir, Mrs. 
Johnston, tentatively revived the assumption, and 
receiving a summons to the coronation of 
George II. "in a jesting way," according to Lord 
Hailes, " she said that this was her patent, and 
that she would preserve it as such, in her charter- 
chest." It was not, however, till 1764 that 
Douglas "a most indifferent peerage-writer," says 
Riddell, " and little, indeed, to be ever trusted " 
gave a half-hearted recognition to this curious 
assumption. And now comes the striking point. 
In order to homologate the assumption and present 
a consistent story, the pedigree had to be falsified 
by cutting out both ' Baroness ' Jean and Sir Wil- 
liam Cunningham, and passing straight to 'Baroness' 
Isabel ! The existence of the two former being 
a fatal flaw in the case, they were carefully kept 
out of sight by Douglas, Wood, and ' Burke ' in 
turn down to 1883. But by that time the terrible 
Mr. Foster had unearthed these individuals, and 
had openly impugned the assumption. Accord- 
ingly, Sir Bernard had to shift his ground ; and, 
in his 'Peerage' for 1884, the account of the 
assumption was entirely re-written, and the old 
' apologies J for it revived, thereby revealing the 
fact that apology was needed. I need only print 
side by side the two versions of the critical period 
in order to prove my point : 

97 H 



DAVID, 2nd baron, a lord DAVID, 2nd lord, 
of the Treasury, died without He entailed his estates, etc. etc. 
issue in 1701, when the barony . . . Dying unmarried 
devolved upon his niece, THE 1701, he was succeeded by his 
HON. ISABELLA RUTH VEN, as ist youngest sister JEAN, who as 
baroness. BARONESS RUTHVEN made up 

her titles to the estates, 1 and 
whose right to the peerage was 
unchallenged in her lifetime. 
She d. unm. 1722, and the next 
holder of the title was her niece 

But even now the intervention of Sir William 
Cunningham between the two ' Baronesses ' is care- 
fully ignored. 

I cannot, of course, enter here into all the de- 
tails, but must refer the editor of ' Burke/ or 
anyone else desirous of really learning the truth, to 
the elaborate article I wrote on the subject in Part 
XIII. (pp. 167-186) of Mr. Foster's Collectanea 
Genealogica (1884), where all the 'apologies' are 
discussed seriatim^ and clearly shown to be inept. 3 
The Complete Peerage refers throughout (VI. 457- 
462) to this article as dealing " exhaustively " with 
the case and as " amplifying Riddell's crushing de- 
molition of the ' apologies ' for such assumption." 
Its editor asserts that " On the death of the second 

1 Yet it was only as " Mrs. Jean Ruthven " that she petitioned 
the Court of Session to record the entail, 1721. 

! This version still appears (1900). 

3 Reference may also be made to papers by G. E. C. and myself 
in Notes and Queries, 6th S. VII. 153, 168 et seq., 290, 389, 



Lord the title was arbitrarily assumed/' and he 
refuses to accept any of those who have assumed it 
since 1701 as entitled to do so. 

This title, in fact, is a solitary survival of those 
assumptions of Scottish dignities which formed in 
the last century so grave a scandal that repeated 
but unsuccessful efforts were made to check it. 
Owing to the peculiar Scottish system these assump- 
tions passed ' unchallenged ' unless a counter-claim 
brought the question to an issue, or votes tendered 
in respect of them turned the scale at an election. 
This was frankly admitted by the Lord Clerk 
Register in his evidence before the Select Com- 
mittee of 1882: "As the law now stands, the 
title may be held for generations by persons who 
have never taken any steps whatever to establish 
their claim "; l while even Lyon, though devoted 
to the system, conceded that " in Scotland there are 
individuals as to whom it may be matter of dispute 
as to whether they are Peers." 1 Even in England, 
though the intervention of the writ of summons 
offers a safeguard against such assumptions, there is 
no such check in the case of a Baroness ; and it is 
a most remarkable fact that there were at least 
three wrongful assumptions of that dignity during 
the last century. ' Baroness Cromwell/ by whom 
that title was erroneously assumed from 1687 to 
1709, actually walked as a Peeress at the funeral of 
queen Mary and the coronation of queen Anne ; 
'Baroness Dudley' assumed that title from 1757 
to 1762; and 'Baroness le Despencer,' as Lady 
1 'Minutes,' 71. * Ibid. 185. 



Austen styled herself from 1781 to 1788, was also 
a title erroneously assumed. All three cases will 
be found in the admirable work of G.E.C., where 
the origin of the error in each case is explained. 
The whole subject of dignities assumed, recognised, 
and even created in error, is one of curious interest. 
Thus the Scottish Barony of Lindores was success- 
fully assumed, like that of Ruthven, from 1736 
and those who assumed it allowed to vote till the 
accident of the vote being challenged at a close 
election led to the assumption being stopped in 
1793.* So the Barony of Willoughby of Parham 
was actually held from 1679 to 1765 by a younger 
son, summoned in error, and his descendants. But 
this being an English barony, it is held that the 
writ of summons, though issued in error, created a 
dignity ; and the same famous doctrine of the c en- 
nobling of the blood,' by (rightly or wrongly) 
sitting in the House, is responsible for the existence 
of three baronies Clifford (1628), Strange (1628), 
and Percy (1722) created by writs of summons 
issued under a misapprehension. With these we 
may perhaps compare the Irish Barony of ' La 
Poer,' allowed to Lady Waterford and her heirs in 
1767, although it was limited to heirs-male by the 
creation of 1535. It would thus be virtually 

1 On this important case I follow Riddell (The Law and Prac- 
tice in Scottish Peerages, pp. 7779) * "In this case, the assumption 
of the honour, from 1736 to 1790 ... a period of fifty- 
four years, with voting at Elections of the Sixteen Peers, were 
held to go for nothing, which bears upon the law as to prescription 
in honours." 



parallel to the cases of Cromwell (1687) and Percy 

(I722). 1 

Passing from Scotland to Ireland, we observe 
with satisfaction that G. E. C. dwells, in his pre- 
face, on our imperfect knowledge of its peerage, of 
which " no comprehensive account exists." The 
subject has, indeed, been strangely neglected, and, 
when investigated by a competent scholar, will 
yield extremely interesting and somewhat surpris- 
ing results. But although so well informed on the 
peerage of modern times, G. E. C., as I have said 
before, is not at home in the feudal period. He 
has therefore found himself dependent partly on a 
worthless and misleading list of the early peerage 
in the Liber Hibernie, and partly on the works of 
Mr. Lynch, the ablest writer, no doubt, upon the 
subject, but, we must remember, a partisan. 
Lynch wrote with the object of establishing, as a 
rule of law, a presumption in favour of heirs-male 
in the descent of Irish dignities. Betham, in spite 
of his official position, was so poor an advocate of 
the opposite view, that we cannot wonder at 
G. E. C. following Lynch throughout. But this 
is a matter that cannot be narrowed to a question 
of decisions and precedents. A broader view will 
take us deep down among the roots of Anglo-Irish 
difficulties. The native tribal principle, invincibly 
in favour of agnates, strove, here as elsewhere, 
against the principles of English law. I imagine 
that at first the latter prevailed, especially within 

1 See further, upon this subject, the paper below on "The 
Barony of Mowbray." 



the pale, but with the ebb of the English rule the 
native principle revived ; and even the Anglo- 
Normans, ' Hibernis Hiberniores,' adopted, in the 
wilder parts, the old tribal system Bourke (Mac- 
William), Berminghanv(MacPhioris), FitzMaurice 
(MacMorrish), for instance or at least elaborately 
entailed their estates upon heirs-male. Thus there 
arose, in practice, a system of male succession, 
although, in my opinion, it had not prevailed at 
first. It is largely due to this development that 
the houses of the conquistador es present so long and 
illustrious a descent in the male line, instead of 
merging in heiresses, as in England would have 
been their fate. 

G. E. C. adopts for his sheet-anchor the ranking 
of the Irish peers at Windsor, when summoned 
there by Henry VII. (1489), combining it with 
the ranking by the c Lords Commissioners ' in 1615. 
From these rankings he endeavours to determine 
the probable antiquity of their dignities. But here 
we have the old mistake of trusting to secondary 
and late evidence instead of investigating the facts 
for oneself. The enemy of peerage history is 
peerage law. We are confronted under ' Athenry ' 
with the difficulties to which it leads. The right 
order of precedence was Athenry, Kingsale, Kerry, 
upon which G. E. C. remarks : 

As the Lords Commissioners (in 1613 \rectl 1615]) admitted that 
" the FitzMaurices, Lords of Kerry and Lixnaw, proved their 
possession of that dignity to be as ancient as the Conquest " (i.e. 
1172), and as "the same Lords Commissioners adjudged the 
antiquity of the Lords Courcy of Kingsale to be still greater than 



that of the Lords Fitzmaurice of Kerry," it follows that the anti- 
quity of the Barony of Athenry, which immediately precedes that 
of Kingsale, cannot be later than 1172 ; in which same year 
(according to their Lordships' authority) we must suppose the 
Barony of Kingsale, as well as that of Kerry, to have been also 
created, for certainly no such Baronies could have been created 
before the Conquest above named. 

The writer fails to perceive that what really 
' follows ' is the reductio ad absurdum of the Lords 
Commissioners' ruling. Under c Kerry ' he repeats 
his dilemma, again observing that "29 May, 1223, 
which date is, in all probability, that of the origin 
of the peerage of Kingsale," is incompatible with 
the above conclusion. The origin of the difficulty 
is, I would suggest, that while, in England, the 
c creation ' of a barony is reckoned to date from the 
first proved writ of summons, in Ireland the writ 
of summons has been comparatively ignored, and 
dignities traced to the earliest period at which 
their possessors were barons by tenure. This 
principle, though pressed upon them, has always 
been rejected by our own House of Lords, so that 
the apparent superior antiquity of Irish over Eng- 
lish baronies has no foundation in fact. 1 

The most famous, probably, of early Irish digni- 
ties is the celebrated barony of Kingsale. Who 
has not heard of its thirty lords descended in direct 
male succession from that John de Courci, c Earl of 

1 It is only right to mention that the editor of the Complete 
Peerage, always anxious to improve his work and bring it up to 
date, has cited the above criticisms on his views (which appeared 
in my Quarterly Review article) in his Corrigenda (vol. VIII. p. 




Ulster,' whose wondrous deeds procured for them 
the right of remaining covered in the presence of 
the king ? But it is not only 'butter and patriots ' 
that are produced in county Cork : it has also 
given us in the Courci myth the wildest of peerage 
fictions. It is certain, from the testimony of 
Giraldus, that John de Courci left no heir ; it is, 
further, certain that his wondrous geste^ so elabor- 
ately related in Burke 's Peerage is sheer and im- 
possible fiction ; and it is, lastly, certain that the 
alleged privilege of remaining covered in the royal 
presence is an even later addition to this late 
legend. 1 And yet ' Burke ' though it now admits 
that John de Courci probably died childless 
continues to inform us that "Lord Kingsale enjoys 
the hereditary privilege (granted by king John to 
De Courcy, Earl of Ulster) of wearing his hat in 
the royal presence." No instance, I believe, is 
known of this c right ' being exercised before the 
days of William III., although it had become 
familiar by the middle of the last century, when 
Montagu wrote to Horace Walpole, of the new 
Lord Kingsale (1762), that "our peers need not 
fear him assuming his privilege of being covered, 
for till the King gives him a pension he cannot 
buy the offensive hat." G. E. C. waxes merry 
over what he terms the ' hat trick/ but it was not 
he who detected the flaws in the Courci legend, 

1 See my articles on " John de Courci, Conqueror of Ulster," 
in Antiquarian Magazine and Bibliographer^ February 1883, and 
subsequent numbers ; also my life of John de Courci in Dictionary 
of National Biography. 



nor, we shall find, when left to himself, has he 
escaped disaster. 

In spite of what Planche described as their 
" worthless and unmannerly " privilege, and of the 
falsehood of its alleged origin, the Lords Kingsale 
were undoubtedly seated in their baronial territory 
of c Courcy 's ' from the days of Henry III., and 
possess a peerage dignity of great antiquity. But 
what their title really was no one seems to know. 
It has bewildered G. E. C., who sets forth its 
various forms, but himself adopts, all through, that 
of c Baron Kingsale and Ringrone.' c Burke/ on 
the other hand, adopts the incongruous style, ' Lord 
Kingsale, Baron Courcy of Courcy, and Baron of 
Ringrone.' The true title, however, was not 
' Kingsale ' but ' Courcy,' and so late as 1613 the 
then peer sat in Parliament as ' Lord Courcy ot 
Ringroane.' In the list drawn up preliminary to 
that Parliament he is styled c the Lord Baron 
Cursie ' ; and ' Lord Courcy,' simply, was the style 
by which these peers had always been known. 
The creation, however, of a Viscount Kingsale, in 
1625, was resented by Lord Courcy as an encroach- 
ment on his own territory, and, in 1627, he 
obtained from Royal Commissioners a misleading 
report " that the Lord Courcy was not only Lord 
Courcy, but Baron of Kingsale and also of Ring- 
rone." In 1634 the Lords' Journals still style him 
c Lord Courcy ' in their list, but eventually c King- 
sale ' in lieu of c Courcy ' was adopted as the title 
of their peerage dignity, which, however, continues 
to be but one. 



What is the date of its creation ? My readers 
might imagine that if anyone knew the date of the 
Premier Barony of Ireland, it would have been 
Ulster King-of-Arms. Not so. It used to be 
alleged (and is still, I believe, in some popular 
* Peerages ') that the barony of c Kingsale * dates 
from 1 1 8 1 . This date Sir Bernard abandoned, 
although his Peerage still asserts that John de 
Courci " was created in 1 1 8 1 (being the first 
Englishman dignified with an Irish title of honour) 
Earl of Ulster." The objection to this date, as an 
Irishman might say, is that John was never created 
earl of Ulster at all. But, as to the barony, we are 
now told, both in the narrative and at its foot, that 
its 'creation' was in ' 1223.' Now, in this case, 
G. E. C. is in complete accord with ' Burke.' He 
repeatedly traces c the peerage of Kingsale ' to a 
grant by Henry III., 2gth May, 1223, which he 
treats as a fixed point bearing upon other dates. 
In my experience an exact date is hardly ever 
an invention : it has an origin somewhere. But 
this date long baffled me. Its actual origin is a 
marvel. Lodge had writen in his Irish ' Peerage,' 

King Henry [III.] conferred on him [Miles, son of John de 
Courci] the Barony of Kingsale, to hold per integrant Earoniam^ 
and confirmed all the lands of Ulster to Lacie by patent, dated 
29 May, 1223, 7 of his reign. 

This date, obviously, refers to the grant of Ulster 
to c Lacie,' but has been carelessly read as applying 
to c the Barony of Kingsale.' There is, however, 

1 06 


no such grant of Ulster on that date. What is the 
solution of the mystery ? Simply that a genuine 
grant of 7 John (1205) has been stupidly given as 
of 7 Henry III. (1223). Therefore the date 
should be 1205, not 1223, and has, moreover, 
nothing to do with the Courcys or with Kingsale ! 

And with this imaginary date everything goes 
by the board. There is no evidence that Henry 
III. granted a c Barony of Kingsale/ no evidence 
that it ever belonged to Miles de Courcy c the first 
lord,' no evidence that he was the father of that 
Patrick de Courci who is the first of the family on 
record. The whole story has been patched to- 
gether to connect this fatherless Patrick with John, 
the conqueror of Ulster. 

It is not alleged that any Courcy actually sat as 
a peer in Parliament till 1339-1340, a date (if 
genuine) inferior, of course, to that of several 
English baronies ; and, whatever the family's status 
was, it required, we learn from ' Burke,' to be 
" confirmed by patent 1 397." G. E. C. assigns this 
confirmation to "1396-97, 20 Ric. II.," and both 
writers clearly copy from Lodge's statement that 
the then lord, " by the letters patent of the king, 
received a confirmation of the honours and titles of 
Baron of Kingsale and Ringrone." But here again 
they get their date by misreading Lodge, who 
does not supply one. As the earliest patent for an 
Irish barony is assigned to 1462, the terms of this 
Courcy patent would be of extreme interest, and 
it is much to be regretted that Lodge did not quote 
them. Possibly they implied a creation de novo, and 



would thus have been distasteful to his patrons. 
In any case, so long as it is kept in retentis, a doubt 
must surround this document, and I expressed, in 
1893, t ^ ie hP e tnat Ulster King-of-Arms would 
give us the terms and the exact date either from 
the patent itself or from its enrolment. 

The above criticisms on this barony, which 
appeared in my Quarterly Review article, have been 
frankly accepted by G. E. C. in the ' Corrigenda ' 
to his Complete Peerage (vol. VIII. pp. 435-6). He 
also, on his own account, caused search to be made 
for the mysterious alleged patent of 20 Ric. II. ; 
but no trace of it could be found either in Ireland 
or in England (Ibid. pp. 436-7). In striking con- 
trast with his zeal for the truth is the fact that 
'Burke ' (1900) continues to repeat all the absurd- 
ities I have here exposed, thus illustrating its 
editor's conception of " a more thorough revision 
than usual." 

But really, as to dates of creation, what can be 
said of the extraordinary carelessness in a matter 
most keenly discussed, with which ' Burke,' year 
after year, treats the barony of Hastings ? In 
Garter's Roll, which is given in the work, Lord 
Mowbray is ranked above Lord Hastings ; while 
in his own " relative precedence," Sir Bernard, 
when I wrote (1892), took upon himself to reverse 
this ranking, apparently on the ground that Hastings 
dates from c 1264,' which was indeed the date 
assigned to its creation at the foot of his account of 
that barony. Now, however, the confusion is 
worse than ever. For, although, in its table of 



relative precedence (p. 1657) c Burke ' now ranks 
Mowbray above Hastings, it there still assigns to the 
latter the date ' 1264,' though, under 'Hastings,' 
it gives the creation, at the foot of its account, 
as c 19 Dec. 1311,' while actually, in narrating the 
determination of its abeyance, speaking of it (in 
that same account) as " created by Edward I. in 
1290 " ! The latter date, I may add, is the right 
one, as there is proof of the first lord's sitting in 
that year, and, though the writ is not extant, Lord 
Cottenham presumed, and the House accepted, its 
existence from the sitting. So Burke s Peerage^ 
in this instance, flatly contradicts itself. 

The mention of Mowbray naturally leads me to 
glance at those Howard titles from which that 
barony has been severed. The guidance of 
Burkes Peerage is here most untrustworthy. 
The duke of Norfolk is Earl Marshal under a 
'creation/ not of 1483, but 1672 ; he is earl of 
Arundel, not ' by possession of Arundel Castle 
only,' but under the special entail of the dignity, 
created by Act of Parliament in 1627 ; finally, he is 
duke of Norfolk, whatever any one may say, 
under the ' creation ' of 1514, not under that of 
1483. Even 'Burke' speaks of his ancestor as 
"created duke of Norfolk " in 1514, and that 
creation by Henry VIII. naturally ignored the 
Yorkist creation of 1483, which perished with 
Richard III. Nor, even apart from creation, 
is 1483 the date of the precedence implied. 
Moreover, the final act of restoration (which 
has modified, we shall find, the limitation of 



the dignity) was passed, not (as c Burke ' states) in 
c 1664,' but in 1660, being confirmed in 1661. 
The restored duke, by the way, was a lunatic living 
at Padua. As an instance of the extraordinary 
carelessness prevailing in these matters, I may add 
that Mr. Fleming, that most eminent Peerage 
counsel, in opening the case for Lord Stourton, 
asserted that this " restoration extended by express 
words to all who could claim under the first duke 
of Norfolk " (Proceedings on the Mowbray Peerage 
Claim, joth May, 1876, p. 6), and that the Com- 
mittee allowed this assertion to pass unquestioned. 
But the Act, as I read it, excludes the Effingham 
line (as they are also excluded from the dignity of 
Earl Marshal) ; so that only those who can claim 
under the ' fourth ' duke are now in remainder to 
either dignity. 1 

My original criticism of Burke s Peerage^ writ- 
ten shortly before the death of the late Ulster 
King of Arms, closed with these words : 

We trust that what we have said may be of service to Sir 
Bernard Burke, by enabling him to correct still further what may 
be fairly described as our standard work upon the Peerage. Nor 
is it only correction that is needed. The sense of proportion is 
at present wanting, some families being assigned undue space and 
importance relatively to others. . . . But what we would 
specially press upon him is that he should follow the example set 
him by G. E. C. in honesty and fidelity to fact. Let him not 
wait till critics or rivals have compelled him to reluctantly abandon 
his legends one by one. Let him remember that his official 

1 The views I have expressed on the Howard titles are all, I 
believe, virtually accepted by G. E. C. (Complete Peerage^ VI. 
45-48, 59). 



position invests his book, in the eyes of the public, with a quasi- 
official character, which lays on him a grave responsibility for the 
statements it contains. We hope that, as an earnest of his desire 
for accuracy, he will investigate the Ruthven assumption and 
state the facts more fairly ; and if he should hesitate, from kind- 
ness of heart, between the desire to avoid offence and the wish 
to let the truth be known, we commend to him the words of 
Aristotle : 'A/A(f>ow <$i\olv OVTOIV, oviov irpori^av TTJV a\ij6eiav. 1 

Those who have perused the present article will 
agree, I think, with me that the result of this 
appeal has been singularly disappointing. It would 
seem that only Mr. Freeman's lash, wielded with a 
fierceness of which I have not ventured to illustrate 
the full measure, could extort from the editors 
of ' Burke ' any real or substantial reform. The 
means of amendment placed at their disposal 
are persistently rejected or ignored, while the 
" thorough revision " to which the work, as the 
public is assured, has been subjected is found to 
involve the introduction or revival of fictions of 
the worst type. 

And yet the ' Peerage ' is by no means the most 
misleading of the books which appear beneath the 
name and the official insignia of the late Ulster 
King of Arms. Five and thirty years ago there 
appeared a pungent work on Popular Genealogists : 
the art of Pedigree-making^ which is known to 
have proceeded from the pen of a well-known 
officer of arms. It was pointed out in that volume 

while the c Peerage ' may be to a slight extent improving from 

1 Quarterly Review, as above. 


year to year, the ' Landed Gentry ' is deteriorating. The succes- 
sive editions are marked by a gradual disappearance of families 
of status and historical repute, while their places are to a 
large extent filled by persons whose sole connexion with land 
arises from their having been purchasers of a few acres in a 
county where their very names are unknown. 

The immense majority of the pedigrees in the ' Landed Gentry,' 
including more especially the Scottish pedigrees, cannot, I fear, be 
characterized as otherwise than utterly worthless. The errors of 
the ' Peerage ' are as nothing to the fables which we encounter 
everywhere. . . . 

The reader who has followed me thus far will probably be of 
opinion that the works which we have been examining are in no 
respect worthy of the present condition of genealogical science. 
It is a remarkable circumstance that side by side with the laborious 
and critical genealogists, there should have sprung up a set of 
venal pedigree-mongers, whose occupation consists in garbling 
truth and inventing falsehood, a calling which they pursue with 
the most untiring assiduity. But it is unfortunate, indeed, that 
the easy credulity of Sir Bernard Burke should allow him to 
be led blindfold by these obscure persons, whose most palpable 
fictions he seldom shows the least hesitation in adopting. State- 
ments which would never otherwise have obtained a moment's 
credit have been allowed to go forth with the imprimatur of the 
chief herald of Ireland, on the strength of which they are relied 
on by a large section of the public . . . both his ' Peerage ' 
and * Landed Gentry ' are profusely quoted in books circulating on 
the Continent as well as in Britain. Year by year new fictions, 
belonging not to respectable legend, but to regular imposture, are 
obtaining general acceptance on their authority ; it is, therefore, 
high time that the public should be disabused of their faith in 
these works. 

One would hesitate to repeat these words if matters 
had improved since they were written, but their 
caution to the public is, unhappily, even more im- 
peratively needed now. As a mere record of the 
Landed Gentry, the work which bears their name 
has gone from bad to worse ; the acreage and the 



real social standing of the * landed ' families now 
admitted would amaze the public if it were 
known ;* and, as observed in the above extract, 
the longest pedigrees are sometimes those of 
families with the least claim to figure in the 
work at all. Happily a project is now on 
foot to issue an absolutely truthful and in 
every way trustworthy record of the real 
landed families of standing, with their history 
and the acreage they hold. It will be curious, in- 
deed, to see how many of Burke's ' Landed Gentry ' 
will be able to make good their claim to admission 
within the select covers of the first really exclusive 
and absolutely straightforward work that it has 
been attempted to produce. 2 

It is still, unfortunately, true that, as observed 
by the above writer, " the errors of the Peerage 
are as nothing to the fables which we encounter " 
in other works bearing the name of ' Burke.' For 
proof of this assertion we may turn to an abso- 
lutely crushing review of one of the latest of these 
productions, Burke s Colonial Gentry? Its writer 
ventures to express his regret that 

1 As an amusing instance in point, one gentleman in business, 
who is not a landowner at all, is actually credited with two 
* seats ' (not mere < residences '), one of which he used to rent, and 
the other of which (within the walls of a town) he rents at the 
present time. And his family is described as ' of ' the former. 

2 I refer to the great series of volumes on our county families 
in connection with the Victoria History of the Counties of 
England (Archibald Constable & Co.). 

3 Genealogist [N.S.], XII. (1896), 66-71. 

113 I 


Sir Bernard Burke's sons deem it consistent with their reputa- 
tion to issue to the public works of this character, in which the 
same loose statements, the same unbridged chasms, the same apocry- 
phal legends, sometimes, it is true, tempered with the qualifying 
" It is said " or " It is probable," appear in edition after edition. 

Instance after instance is then given of statements 
such as even Burke s Peerage would hardly now 
venture to admit. Whether we approve or not 
of Mr. Freeman's strong language, it would really 
seem that nothing less can move the editors of 
c Burke,' or open the eyes of the public at large to 
the worthless nature of the statements which it has 
been led to accept and repeat on the strength of 
their appearance in edition on edition of works 
appearing beneath the agis of a herald and bear- 
ing the name of a King of Arms. 



The Origin of the Stewarts 

OF the problems upon which new light is 
thrown by my Calendar of documents in France 
relating to English history, none, probably, for 
the genealogist, will rival in interest the origin 
of the Stewarts. It has long been known that the 
Scottish Stewarts and the great English house of 
Fitz Alan possessed a common ancestor in Alan, 
the son of Flaald, living under Henry the First. 
This was established at some length by Chalmers 
in his Caledonia (1807) on what he declared to be 
" the most satisfactory evidence." * According to 
him, " Alan the son of Flaald, a Norman, acquired 
the manor of Oswestrie, in Shropshire, soon after 
the Conquest," and " married the daughter of 
Warine, the famous sheriff of Shropshire." Mr. 
Riddell, the well-known Scottish antiquary, fol- 
lowed up the arguments of Chalmers, in 1843, 
with a paper on the " Origin of the House of 
Stewart," 2 in which he accepted and enforced 
the views of Chalmers, including his theory that 
Walter Fitz Alan brought with him to Scotland 
followers from Shropshire and gave them lands 

1 Vol. I. pp. 572-575. 2 Stewartiana, pp. 55-70. 


there. But research has hitherto been unable to 
determine the origin of Flaald father of Alan, or 
even to find, in England, any mention of his name. 
No less an authority on feudal genealogy than 
the late Mr. Eyton devoted himself to a special 
investigation on the subject of Alan " Fitz Flaald," l 
and arrived at the conclusion that, after all, he was 
a grandson of " Banquo, thane of Lochaber," whose 
son " Fleance " fled to England. " My belief is," 
Mr. Eyton wrote, " that the son of Fleance was 
named Alan . . . and that he whom the 
English called Alan Fitz Flaald was the person 
in question." 2 He admitted, however, of the 
priories of Andover, Sele, and Sporle, cells of 
the Abbey of St. Florent de Saumur, that he 
could " show a connection between Alan Fitz 
Flaald or his descendants and each of these cells, 3 
which suggested an Angevin origin, and for which 
he could not account. But where he really ad- 
vanced our knowledge was in showing that Alan 
Fitz Flaald married, not (as alleged) a daughter of 
Warine the sheriff, but Aveline daughter of Ernulf 
de Hesdin, a great Domesday tenant. I have now 
been able to trace Ernulf to Hesdin (in Picardy) 
itself, in connection with which his daughter 
' Ava ' also is mentioned. 4 In 1874, an anony- 

1 History of Shropshire (iS$$), VII. 211-232. 

2 Ibid. p. 227. It is essential to bear in mind that the old 
Scottish writers made Walter, the first Steward, a son of 
'Fleance,' wholly ignoring Alan his real father (see p. 119 
below). This invalidates their whole story. 

5 Ibid. 219. 4 See Preface to my Calendar, p. xlvii. 



mous work, The Norman People, approached the 
problem from the foreign side, and adduced evi- 
dence to prove that Flaald was a brother of Alan, 
seneschal of Dol. But there was still not forth- 
coming any mention of Flaald in England, while 
the rashness and inaccuracy which marred that 
book resulted in his being wrongly pronounced a 
" son of Guienoc." The great pedigree specially 
prepared a few years ago for the Stuart exhibition 
by Mr. W. A. Lindsay (now Windsor Herald) 
still began only with Alan son of Flaald, to whom a 
daughter of Warine the sheriff was assigned as wife. 
Moreover, in the handsome work on The Royal 
House of Stuart (1890), which had its origin in that 
exhibition, Dr. Skelton could only tell us that 
" there was (if the conclusions of Chalmers are 
to be accepted) an Alan son of Flathauld, a 
Norman knight, who soon after the Conquest 
obtained a gift of broad lands in Shropshire " 
(p. 5). Alan, we shall find, was not a Norman; 
the lands he was given were widely scattered ; 
and he did not obtain them " soon after the 

The latest authoritative statement on the subject 
is that, it would seem, of Sheriff Mackay in the 
Dictionary of National Biography (i%<)6}. 1 He tells 
us, of the House of Stewart, that 

1 This passage is found in the biography of the first Stewart 
king, so that I only lighted upon it after this paper was written. 
It gave me the clue to Mr. Hewison's book, of which I had not 
previously heard, but which I have now read just in time to add 
his results to this paper (24th Jan., 1 900). 



Its earlier genealogy is uncertain, but an ingenious and learned, 
though admittedly in part hypothetical, attempt to trace it to 
the Banquho of Boece and Shakespeare, Thane of Lochaber, has 
been recently made by the Rev. J. K. Hewison (Bute in the 
Olden Time [vol. II.] pp. 1-38, Edinburgh, 

Mr. Hewison's volume opens with the words : 

The origin of the royal house of Stewart has long remained a 
mystery, perplexing historical students, who feel tantalized at 
knowing so little concerning the hapless victim of the jealousy of 
King Macbeth Banquo, round whom Shakespeare cast the glamour 
of undying romance, and to whom the old chroniclers of Scot- 
land traced back the family of Stewart. 

The author's ' glamour ' augurs ill, and in spite 
of the unique advantage he enjoyed in having 
access to the late Lord Crawford's MS. collections 
on the subject, we soon find ourselves wandering, 
alas, with Alice in Wonderland. 

It may be concluded that Walter, the son of Fleadan, son of 
Banchu, is identical with Walter, son of [A]llan (or Flan), son of 
Murechach of the Lennox family, if not also with Walter, son 
of Amloib, son of Duncan of the other genealogy. Chronology 
easily permits of the equation of Murdoch, the Maormor of Leven 
. . . with Banchu . . . who might have survived even 
his son Fleance we, meantime, only assuming that Fleance was 
slain in Wales. Ban-chu, the pale warrior, would be his compli- 
mentary title ; the old surname of his family . . also 
descended to his son, Flan-chu, the red or ruddy warrior, known 
to his Irish kinsmen as Fleadan. 

We are surely coming to the Man-chu dynasty. 
But no. 

This Irish form of the name Fleadan tan (i.e. either Fleadan 
the Tanist or Fleadan the younger) imports a significant idea 

1 Vol. XL VIII. p. 344. 


namely, flead ... a feast, which corresponds in signification 
with Flaald. . . . 

Then there bursts upon us yet another dis- 
covery : 

Fleanchus ... is the Latinised form of Flann-chu, the Red 
or Ruddy Dog . . . and is also a sobriquet the Bloodhound. 
. . . This nomenclature is evidently a reminiscence of the dog- 
totem or dog-divinity, etc., etc. 

There remains, however, the standing puzzle 1 
why Walter the first Stewart was made by the 
old romancers a son of Fleance son of Banquo, 
though his father was indisputably Alan son of 
Flaald. One solution offered by our author is 
that " Ailin or Allan may have become the family 
name " ; but his own view is that 

The native name of Banquo's son would be the common 
Goidelic one Flann^ which signifies rosy or fair, and has an 
equivalent in Aluinn, beautiful, fair, to which the word Alan, 
both in Britanny and Ireland, may be traced. 

Thus it was that ' Flann ' would become ' Alan ' in 
Britanny, " more especially when, in the vulgar 
tongue of Dol, the former, denoting a pancake, 
would sound like a nickname." And if we should 
still have our doubts, is there not, at Dol, to this 

an imposing edifice, built of granite, in the purest Norman 
style of architecture of the twelfth century, which tradition names 
'La maison des Plaids,' and avers was the revenue office and 
court-house of the archbishops. This name, " the House of the 

1 See p. 1 1 6, note 2, above. It will be seen that to assert, 
as here, that Alan and c Fleance ' were the same will not over- 
come this difficulty. 



Plaids," is touchingly significant of Fleance with the royal wearers 
of the tartan. . . . 

But I really cannot pursue further these " in- 
genious and learned " new lichts. A dreadful 
vision of dog-totems, arrayed in the Stewart 
tartan, and feasting, with fiery visage, on pan- 
cakes in the streets of Dol, warns me to leave 
this realm of wonders and turn to the world in 
which we live. From " the House of the Plaids " 
I flee. 1 

Fortunately Flaald is a name, for practical pur- 
poses, unique ; and we need not, therefore, hesitate 
to recognise in "Float films Alani dapiferi " who 
was present (No. 1136) at the dedication of Mon- 
mouth Priory (noi or 1102) the long-sought 
missing link. We thus connect him with the 
fourth, the remaining cell of St. Florent de 
Saumur in England. But we have yet to account 
for his appearance as a ' baron ' of the lord of 
Monmouth, William son of Baderon. The best 
authority on Domesday tenants, Mr. A. S. Ellis, 
confessed that he had failed to trace the lords of 
Monmouth in Britanny. 2 The key, however, to 
the whole connection is found in the abbey of St. 
Florent de Saumur and in its charters calendared 
in my work. In the latter half of the eleventh 
century many Bretons of noble birth were led to 

1 It is positively the fact that the author so renders the name 
of the < Maison des Plaids,' where the (Arch)bishops are supposed 
to have held their pleas (" plaids "). 

8 Domesday Tenants of Gloucestershire, p. 46. 



take the cowl. Among them was William, eldest 
son of that Rhiwallon, lord of Dol, whom, on the 
eve of the Norman Conquest, Duke William and 
Harold of England had relieved when he was 
besieged by his lord. Rhiwallon's son William, 
who was followed by his brother John (No. 
1116), entered the abbey of St. Florent de 
Saumur, and became its abbot himself in 1070. 
Zealous in the cause of the house he ruled, he 
clearly urged its claims at Dol, receiving not only 
local gifts, but also, as its chronicle mentions, the 
endowments it obtained in England. Of the two 
families with which we are concerned the lords 
of Monmouth can, by these charters, be traced 
to the neighbourhood of Dol, for William son of 
Baderon confirms his father's gifts at Epiniac and 
La Boussac (No. 1 134), which places lay together 
close to Dol. The presence among the witnesses 
to these charters of a Main of La Boussac and a 
Geoffrey of Epiniac affords confirmation of the 
fact. Guihenoc, the founder of the house in 
England (probably identical with " Wihenocus 
films Caradoc de Labocac)," 1 undoubtedly became 
a monk of St. Florent, 2 and resigned his English 
fief to his nephew William (son of his brother 
Baderon), who is found holding it in Domes- 

Some charters were specially selected by me 
from the Liber Albus of St. Florent (Nos. 1 152-4) 
to illustrate, about the end of the Conqueror's reign, 

1 Lobineau, Histoire de Bretagne, II. 219. 

2 Calendar, Nos. 1117, 1133. 



the little group of Dol families who were about 
to settle in England. 1 Among the witnesses to one 
of them are Baderon and his son the Domesday 
tenant. But the one family we have specially to 
trace is that which held the office of " Dapifer " 
at Dol. " Alan Dapifer " is found as a witness, 
in 1086, to a charter relating to Mezuoit 2 (a cell 
of St. Florent, near Dol). He also, as " Alanus 
Siniscallus," witnessed the foundation charters 
of that house (ante 1080) and himself gave it 
rights at Mezuoit with the consent of "Fledal- 
dus frater ejus," the monks, in return, admitting 
his brother Rhiwallon to their fraternity. 3 He 
appears as a witness with the above " Badero " in 
No. 1152, and in 1086 as a surety with Ralf de 
Fougeres (No. 1154). Mentioned in other St. 
Florent documents, 4 he is styled in one, " Dapifer 
de Dolo. 6 And it is as " Alanus dapifer Dolensis " 
that he took part in the first crusade, log/. 6 This 
style is explained in a charter of 1095, recording a 
gift to Marmoutier by Hamo son of Main, with 
consent of his lord " Rivallonius dominus Doli 
castri, filius Johannis archiepiscopi," in which we 
read : 

1 It would, no doubt, be a rash conjecture that the " Herveus 
botellarius" of these charters (Nos. 1153, 1154) was the ancestor 
of those Herveys, from whom the Butlers of Ireland are descended. 
But if it should eventually prove to be no mere coincidence, the 
Butlership of Ireland would have had an origin curiously parallel 
to the Stewardship of Scotland. 2 Lobineau, p. 250. 

8 Ibid. 137, 138, collated by me with the Liber Albus at Angers. 

4 Ibid. 232, 234. 6 Ibid. 310. 

6 Ordericus Vitalh (Socit de Thistoire de France), vol. III. 507. 



Hoc donum factum est per manum Guarini monachi nostri de 
Lauda Rigaldi tune temporis prioris Combornii, testibus his : 
Alano siniscalco Rivallonii predict!, etc. 1 

His brother's son, Alan fitz Flaald (ancestor, as has 
been seen, of the Stuarts) also occurs, in these 
Breton documents, as releasing his rights in the 
church of " Guguen " 2 to Bartholomew abbot of 
Marmoutier ; 3 while two charters of Henry I. 
confirming the foundation of Holy Trinity Priory, 
York, as a cell of Marmoutier, and prior to 1 108, 
contain his name as a witness (No. 1225). Again, 
a charter of donation to Andover Priory reveals 
him as present in the New Forest with William 
son of Baderon and " Wihenocus monachus " 
(William's uncle) early in the reign of Henry I. 4 
It was Alan also who founded Sporle Priory, Nor- 
folk (No. 1 149), on land he held there, as another 
cell of St. Florent, the Bretons who witness his 
charter further attesting his origin. Among them 
is seen Rhiwallon " Extraneus," the founder of the 
Norfolk family of Le Strange, which, more than 
five centuries later, was so ardent in its loyalty to 
Alan's descendants, the Stuart kings of England. 5 

It will have been observed that " Float filius 
Alani dapiferi " is assumed above to have been the 

1 Transcripts from (Bretagne) cartulary of Marmoutier in 
MS. Baluze 77, fo. 134, and in MS. lat. 5441 (3) fo. 323. Alan 
is also brought into conjunction with this Hamo son of Main 
in No. 1152. 2 Cuguen, near Dol. 

3 Lobineau^ II. 310 ; MS. lat. 5441 (3) fo. 235. 

4 Mm. Ang. VI. 993. 

5 His name has hitherto remained doubtful, and is given as 
Roland in the Dictionary of National Biography. 



brother, not a son, of the crusader. This assump- 
tion is based upon the facts that the crusader's gift 
at Mezuoit was c conceded ' by his brother 
' Fledald/ who was, therefore, his heir at the time, 
and that his office of " dapifer " at Dol was after- 
wards held a fact hitherto unsuspected by 
descendants of Alan fitz Flaald. The crusader, it 
must therefore be inferred, left no heir. 

The sudden rise of Alan fitz Flaald and his evi- 
dent enjoyment of Henry's favour from the early 
years of the reign, were thought by Mr. Eyton to 
be due to his (fabulous) Scottish origin. But it 
might, with some probability, be suggested that his 
Breton origin accounts for the facts. When Henry 
was besieged in Mont St. Michel, he is known to 
have had Breton followers ("aggregatis Britonibus ") 
and, after his surrender, " per Britanniam transiit, 
Britonibus qui sibi solummodo adminiculum con- 
tulerant, gratias reddidit " (Ordericus). 1 Dol was 
his nearest town in Britanny, and Alan may thus, 
like Richard de Reviers, have served him across 
the sea, when he was but a younger son. 

It would seem, indeed, although the fact has 
been hitherto overlooked, that a group of families 
whom Henry had known when lord of the Cotentin 
were endowed by him when king with fiefs in 
England. In addition to Alan Fitz Flaald, founder 
of the house of Stewart, and to Richard de 

1 Elsewhere, Orderic observes that Henry, " dum esset junior 
. . . ut externus, exterorum, id est Francorum et Eritonum 
auxilia quaerere coactus est." 



Reviers, ancestor of the earls of Devon, 1 the Hayes 
of Haye-du-Puits were given the Honour of 
Halnaker (Sussex), the Aubignys, afterwards earls 
of Arundel, obtained from him a fief in Norfolk ; 
the two St. John brothers, from St. Jean-le-Thomas, 
were granted lands in Oxfordshire and Sussex, and 
founded another famous house ; 2 while the family 
of Paynel also, sprung from the Cotentin, owed to 
Henry lands in England. 

Among the documents calendered in my volume 
are Papal bulls to the abbey of St. Florent, ranging 
from 1146 to 1187 (Nos. 1124-9), which suggest 
that Alan's son William, who acquired by marriage 
Clun castle, must have bestowed its church of St. 
George, with all its dependent churches, on Mon- 
mouth Priory, a fact hitherto unsuspected. Mr. 
Eyton thought that the gift of this church to 
Wenlock Priory by his widow (temp. Ric. I.) 
represents the first occasion on which it is men- 

Alan fitz Flaald has hitherto been credited with 
two well-known sons, William and Walter, ances- 
tors respectively of the Fitzalans and the Stewarts. 3 

1 He is found, seemingly, in Domesday, holding a single lord- 

2 See my paper on "The Families of St. John and of Port" in 
Genealogist, July, 1899, p. I. And compare p. 66 above. 

3 A third son, " Simon," is claimed as the ancestor of the 
Boyds, and is assigned to him, with William and Walter, in Mr. 
Lindsay's great Stewart pedigree, the standard authority on the 
subject. But although a Simon c brother ' of Walter occurs as 
a witness in the Paisley cartulary, his name is very low on the 
list, and he may have been only a uterine or even a bastard 



He had, however, another son, who needs to be 
specially dealt with. This was Jordan, his heir in 
Britanny, and, apparently, at Burton in England. 
Mr. Eyton knew of his existence, but could state 
little about him. In No. 1220 we find him, as a 
" valiant and illustrious man," making restitution 
to Marmoutier in 1130, with his wife Mary and 
his sons Jordan and Alan. In the same year we 
detect him entered on the English Pipe Roll in 
several places, though one of the entries suggests his 
Breton connection. 1 He may safely be identified 
with that " Jordanus dapifer " who witnessed a 
charter to Mont St. Michel in 1 128-9 (No. 722) ; 
and consequently he held the family office. We 
find him also in a St. Florent charter, 2 and in one 
of Marmoutier. 3 Of his sons, Jordan restored to 
the priory of St. Florent at Sele the mill at Burton 
given it by Alan fitz Flaald, 4 but was, probably, 
soon succeeded by his brother Alan, who confirmed 
to a priory of Marmoutier (No. 1221) another 
gift of his grandfather, Alan fitz Flaald, at Burton, 
mentioning his wife Joan and his son Jordan. 5 This 

brother. The Empress Maud's bastard brothers are styled her 
* brothers ' in her charters, nor was this unusual. 

1 Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I., p. n. 

2 Lobineau, II. 232. 3 Ibid. 146. 

4 "Jordanus films Jordani filius Alani hominibus suis de 
Burt[ona]. Sciatis me reddidisse monachis S. Florentii de Sal- 
mur molendinum de Burt[ona] sicut habuerunt tempore Alani 
filii Flealdi et tempore Jordani patris mei " (original charter at 
Magdalen College). 

5 It was either this Jordan or his grandfather who, as " Jor- 
danus filius Alani siniscalli," confirmed a gift to Combourg 
(MS. lat. 5441 [3] 437). 



Alan, who meets us also, as his father's son, in a 
Savigny charter (No. 824), is identical with that 
" Alanum filium quondam Jordani Dolensem senes- 
callum," who confirmed the grant of his grand- 
father Alan (fitz Flaald) at Cuguen, and himself 
added the church of Tronquet 1 about n6o. 2 We 
have further in No. 1013 the confirmation by 
Alexander III. of his gifts to the abbey of Tiron, 
including the church of Sharrington and three 
others in England. He attested a charter of the 
lord of Dol in ii45, 3 anc ^> m or a bout 1165, a 
royal charter at Winchester concerning a release by 
his fellow-countryman Geoffrey son of Oliver de 
Dinan. 4 He also leads the list of witnesses in a 
dispute about the abbey of Vieuville (in the parish 
of Epiniac) in 1167, as " Alanus filius Jordani 
dapifer." 6 His wife Joan and daughter Olive were 
benefactors to the abbey of Vieuville for his soul. 6 
With this clue we return to England, and detect 
the heiress of the Stewards of Dol in that Olive, 
daughter of Alan "filius Jordani," who in 1227 
was impleaded by one of her Breton tenants, his 
father Iwan had been enfeoffed by her own father 
Alan, at Sharrington, Norfolk. The record of 

1 MS. lat. 12,878, fo. 248^., and Lobineau, II. 310. 

! The gift is wrongly assigned in Gallia Christiana (XIV. 
1074) to 1133-1147, as being made before Hugh archbishop 
of Tours. The prelate was Hugh " archbishop " of Dol, whose 
date was 1155-1161 (Ibid. 1050). 

3 LobineaU) II. 147. 4 Mon. Ang., VI. 486. 

5 Lobineau, II. 308 ; MS. lat. 5476, fo. 98^. 

6 " Johanna uxor Alani dapiferi de Dolo et filia ipsius Oliva." 
Lobineau^ II. 310 ; MS. lat. 5476, fo. 91. 



the suit gives us the name of Alan's mother, 
Mary, mentioned, as we have seen, in No. I22O. 1 

In the middle, therefore, of the I2th century, 
this family flourished simultaneously in Scotland, 
England, and Britanny. 

A short pedigree (see page 129) will make the 
descent clear. 

A chronological difficulty is created by Mr. Ey- 
ton's statement that Alan Fitz Flaald was " dead ante 
1 1 14," for his son (it will be seen) the Steward of 
Scotland lived till 1 177. It is desirable, therefore, 
to examine his authority for this date. Dugdale 
was acquainted with a confirmation by Sybil, lady 
of Wolston (Warwickshire), of a gift by her 
mother Adeliza to Burton Abbey of land in Wol- 
ston. In his History of Warwickshire (p. 33) he 
held that she was probably a daughter of Alan 
Fitz Flaald, because Alan was " enfeoft of this Lord- 
ship " before her. Mr. Eyton accepted Dugdale's 
f conclusion, and therefore identified her mother 
c Adeliza ' as that c Avelina ' de Hesdin, whom he 
had so skilfully shown to be the wife of Alan. 
Further, as the land ex hypothesi belonged to Alan 
himself, and yet was given by her, she must, he 
held, have been a widow at the time of the gift ; 
and as the abbey was already in possession at least 
as early as 1114, Alan, he concluded, must have 
been dead before that date. 2 These conclusions 

1 Bractorfs Note-book, III. 620. Compare 'Feet of Fines' 
(Pipe Roll Society), II. 160. 

8 History of Shropshire, VII. 221-223, 228. 



Dapifer [Dolensis] 



Dapifer Dolensis 

occurs in Britanny 

ante 1080 and in 

1086 ; a leader in 

first Crusade 



occurs at 


noi or 1102 

* frater ' (et 

4 filius ') Alani 



Founder of Sporle Priory 


Monk of 

St. Florent 

occurs 1129-30 
Benefactor of 

Sele Priory 
Occurs also in 

Britanny as 
" Dapifer (Dolensis) 




of Haugh 



(? Benefactor or 


" Dapifer Regis 
Scotis " 
ob. 1177 


th Priory) Paisley 

der of 


" Senescallus 

Scotis " 

Ill I 



Dapifer Dolensis 1 a quo Fitz 

Founder of Tronquet Alan, Earl 

1155-1161 of Arundel 
living 1167 

1 Among the obits at Dol we find that of another daughter of 
Alan fitz Jordan : " Kal. Sept. obiit Alicia uxor G[uillelmi] 
Espine filia Alani Jordanis quae dedit episcopo et capitulo Dol 
. . . pratum senescalli," etc. (Gaigneres' Transcript of Car- 
tulary, MS. lat. 5211 C). A charter of her husband William 
Spina, son of Hamo, confirms the donations made to Vieuville 

129 K 


created difficulties, but, on Mr. Eyton's great 
authority, they have been duly accepted. 1 Yet the 
whole edifice rests on Dugdale's careless reading of 
a document in the Burton Cartulary. 2 That docu- 
ment does not connect Alan Fitz Flaald with 

The facts are these. In Domesday the three 
Warwickshire manors of Church Lawford, Wol- 
ston, and Stretton-on-Dunsmore are entered to- 
gether (fo. 239) as held of Earl Roger (of Shrews- 
bury) by that ' Rainaldus,' whom the historian of 
Shropshire so brilliantly identifies with Renaud de 
Bailleul. 3 We find him, accordingly, as " Rainal- 
dus de Bailoul," 4 confirming in No. 578 the gifts 
at.Wolston and Church Lawford of his own under- 
tenant, a certain Hubert Baldran. Another of the 
charters in my Calendar (No. 579) proves that this 
Hubert (not Alan Fitz Flaald), was the father of 
Sybil, lady of c Wlfrichestone ' (Wolston), from 
whom we started. Thus Adeliza, mother of Sybil, 
and wife of Hubert Baldran, was quite distinct 
from " Avelina " wife of Alan Fitz Flaald, with 

"de feodo Aeliz uxoris mee filie Alani Dolensis senescalli . . . 
concedente Alano filio nostro" (MS. lat. 5476, fo. 85). His 
father Hamo Spina occurs immediately after " Alan films Jordanis 
dapifer" in the above letter of 1167 (Ib. fo. 98^). As we read 
of " Gaufridus Spina Doli senescallus" (Ib. fo. gid) it would 
seem that the Dol office was inherited by the Spina family, and 
the English estates by the other daughter. 

1 Burton Cartulary, Ed. Wrottesley (Salt Arch. Collections, 
1884), pp. 32, 33. 2 Ibid. p. 33 bis. 

3 History of Shropshire, VII. 206 et seq. 

4 See my Calendar, p. 202. 



whom Mr. Eyton rashly identified her. 1 Alan 
may have lived, and probably did, beyond 1114; 
and his gift at Stretton to Burton Abbey was made 
after he was placed in the shoes (as Mr. Eyton has 
shown) of Renaud de Bailleul. 

We have thus seen how a single charter may 
prove of great importance, not only in establishing 
the true facts, but in demolishing erroneous con- 
clusions with the corollaries based thereon. 

Within the last few weeks there has unex- 
pectedly been revived that view of the origin of 
the Stewarts which had long, one thought, been 
abandoned. As the whole story is most curious, 
and has, moreover, an important moral, I propose 
to discuss it in some detail. The pedigree of 
the Stuarts "of Hartley Mauduit," who hold a 
baronetcy dating from 1660, began in Burkes 
Peerage, so recently as last year, with Sir Nicholas 
Stuart the first baronet, " son of Simeon Stuart, 
Esq." But now, in this year of grace 1900, 

A more thorough revision than usual has been possible. 
To the laborious researches and experienced counsel of my 
brother, Mr. H. Farnham Burke, Somerset Herald, the genea- 
logical and heraldic value of this work is much indebted and 
is gratefully acknowledged (sic). 

The " laborious researches " of Somerset Herald 
have indeed developed the Stuart pedigree, thanks 

1 She has been even further promoted in the British Museum 
Catalogue of Stowe MSS., where, in the abstract of the original 
deed (Stowe charter 103), she is strangely identified with queen 
Adeliza, widow of Henry I. 


to those " invaluable documents the Heralds' Visi- 
tations, documents of high authority and value." 1 

The illustrious ancestry of this family is given fully in the 
Visitations of Cambridge (sic), 1575 and 1619, in which is traced 
their descent from the Royal Stuarts. 

ANDREW STUART, younger son of Alexander Stuart, 2nd son or 
Walter Stuart, seneschal of Scotland, great-grandson of Walter, 
ist high steward of Scotland, grandson of Banquo Lord of 
Lochaber. He m. the daughter of James Bethe, and had an 
only son. 

ALEXANDER STUART, to whom Charles VI. of France granted 
an honourable augmentation of his arms. 

And so the pedigree proceeds through another eight 
generations down to the first baronet. 

Dear old c Banquo/ " whom we miss " ! 2 What 
a pleasure it is to welcome him back among us once 
more, and to know that he, and not Flaald, was 
the founder of the house of Stuart on the un- 
impeachable authority of the Heralds and their 
c Visitations ' ! It is true that, according to the 
" Royal Lineage " 3 contained in the same volume, 
it was not descended from Banquo at all, and that 
the " above Alexander Stuart, 2nd son of Walter 
Stuart," had no existence ; but these are details 
which the editor, doubtless, will see to in his next 
edition. It is also true that the new pedigree 
would at once make Sir Simeon Stuart heir-male 
of " the Royal Stuarts," an honour foolishly 
claimed by sundry Scottish families. 4 Let us hope 
that Somerset Herald will inform Lyon King of 

1 Preface to Burke's Landed Gentry, Ed. 1898. 2 Macbeth. 
3 Burke s Peerage, 1900, pp. cliii.-cliv. * Sec p. 89 above. 



Arms that his " laborious researches " have de- 
cided this long-contested question. 

But, seriously speaking, what is the origin of 
the new descent, which, this year, makes its ap- 
pearance in Burke' *s Peerage ? Well, the story is, 
or ought to be, familiar to all genealogists. For, 
owing to Oliver Cromwell's mother having been 
a member of this family, his Stuart descent was 
alluded to by Carlyle, which has given genealo- 
gists the opportunity of making merry at his 
expense. The alleged descent was, for several 
years, discussed in the recognised organ of genea- 
logical research ; l but of this discussion Somerset 
Herald is, no doubt, ignorant. So far back, in- 
deed, as 1878 the very interesting heraldic glass 
of which I am enabled to give an illustration was 
exhibited to the Archaeological Institute, and that 
well-known Scottish authority, Mr. Joseph Bain, 2 
discussed the whole story thereon before it. He 
then observed of the alleged grant by " Charles 
VI. of France," to which Somerset Herald ap- 
peals : 

In M. Michel's Les Ecossais en France, published in 1862, he 
gives a drawing of this very design, and the text of the asserted 
grant by Charles VI. of France in the fifth year of his reign, 
conferring the strange coat of arms on Sir Alexander Stuart on 
account of the merits of his father Andrew. . . . M. 
Michel says that c it is enough to cast the eye on these pretended 

l The Genealogist [N.S.], vols. I. (1884), II., III., VIIL, X. 

2 Editor of the ' Calendar of documents relating to Scotland,' 
the c Hamilton Papers,' the ' Calendar of letters and papers re- 
ferring to the Borders,' etc. etc. 



letters of concession, to recognise the patois or an Englishman 
little familiar with the language spoken at Paris at the end of the 
fourteenth century, and to doubt the fact asserted by the writer ' 
an opinion which will be shared by anyone moderately versed in 
Old French. 1 

The alleged grant only exists in the form of a 
transcript in a private MS. of the i6th century ; 2 
but we shall see below that not only deeds, but 
even sealed deeds, were among the fabrications of 
those who concocted false pedigrees. 3 

That well-known critical genealogist, Mr. 
Walter Rye, set himself, a few years later, to destroy 
the alleged descent and all its wondrous tales in the 
Herald's " Visitation " and elsewhere. The con- 
clusion at which he arrived was that the " Sty- 
wards," as these alleged descendants of the Scottish 
Stuarts wrote their name, were simply " a Norfolk 
family, probably of illegitimate descent, and cer- 
tainly of no credit or renown, which had been 
settled at Swaffham long before the alleged Scottish 
ancestor is supposed to have landed in England 
with his royal master and kinsman." 4 He further 
held that three other deeds, in Norman-French, 
found in the above cartulary, were forgeries, and 
that Augustine Steward, a lawyer, to whom we 
owe the cartulary, was " the vagabond who, I 
suspect, concocted the whole pedigree in 1567." 
No one attempted to challenge Mr. Rye's conclu- 
sion ; but Mr. Bain wrote that " Augustine 

1 Archaeological Journal, XXXV. 302-3, 399. 

2 Add. MS. 15,644. 

3 See the paper on " Our English Hapsburgs." 

4 Genealogist [N.S.], II. 34-42. 



Steward's pedigree of the Stewards prior to John 
is an absurd fiction ; that [portion] subsequent to 
him has been treated according to its deserts by 
Mr. Rye." 1 

I have satisfied myself, however, that, in details, 
Mr. Rye's conclusion is somewhat crude and is 
based on an insufficient knowledge of the above 
cartulary and other documents. The concoction 
was of earlier date than he supposed, and more 
than one member of the family was concerned in 
the matter. In the Genealogist 2 1 was able to show 
that Robert Welles alias Steward, last Prior and 
first Dean of Ely, had far more to do with the 
matter than the above critics had known. It is 
recorded in Wharton's Anglia Sacra that 

Decanatum adeptus, nomen gentilitium Stewarde homo ventosus 
deinceps adhibuit ; et nobilitatis suae opinione inflatus, familiae 
suse genealogiam scriptis commendavit (I. 685). 

The whole descent, set forth by himself, is, luckily, 
there preserved, and is alleged to be " breviter 
extracta e rotulis Heraldorum anno MDXXII." 
The heraldic tastes of Robert are confirmed by the 
armorial drawings found in his MSS., 3 and the dean 
of Ely has been so kind as to verify for me 
Wharton's statement and to examine personally the 
MS. return of the Prior's possessions made by this 
Robert to Henry VIII., now in the muniment 
room at Ely. 4 On the vellum title-page is found 

1 Ibid. III. in. 2 [N.S.], vol. X. 1 8. 3 Anglia Sacra, I. xlvii. 

4 It is headed " Annuus valor omnium terrarum et possessionum 
Prioratus de Elye anno Henrici Regis Octavi tricessimo secundo " 
[i.e. 1540-1541]. 



the coat as now borne by the family, that is, the 
arms of " the Royal Stuarts " with " le lion ruge 
batty de baston node d'or," as an augmentation of 
honour, in an inescutcheon of pretence. And this 
coat, I observe, hangs from a ragged staff (as in 
Add. MS. 15,644), this being the staff with which 
the feat depicted in the window was performed. 
The Dean informs me that the same coat is found 
elsewhere in the volume and that it is also de- 
picted on the cover with " 1549 " and" Steward " 
below it. 1 It is clear, therefore, that the whole 
story can be carried back some twenty years further 
than Mr. Rye supposed, and that it began with this 
Robert, last Prior of Ely. 

A short chart pedigree will show the connection 
of the members of the family concerned. 2 












STEWARD Prior and Dean 



of Ely. The 

the " vagabond " 

died in 1570. 

compiler of the 

thought by Mr. 

Monument to 

1522 pedigree. 

Rye to have 

him in Ely 

WILLIAM Died 1557 

concocted the 



pedigree in 

" who, in 1574, 


had the glass 

window made" 

(see frontispiece) 

1 The Dean has further been good enough to send me sketches 
of the arms. 2 See also my paper in Genealogist [N.S.], X. 18-19. 



In 1817 Mr. William Stevenson produced a 
supplement, with notes, to Bentham's History of 
Ely, in which he complained of Wharton charging 
the dean of Ely with " vanity," and offered this 
" apology in excuse of his vanity " : 

If the pride of ancestry be allowable and commendable in any- 
one, and if the genealogy of Dean Steward is to be depended 
upon, we believe very few can vie with him, or justly blame him 
on that score ; for an office copy of his pedigree, giving an history 
of the family, the patents, and grants of their arms, with their 
marriages into the first families of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge- 
shire, etc., shows that he was descended in a direct line from 
Banquo, King of Scotland, in 1048. . . . The account is 
continued to the year 1576 (p. 121). 

The " office copy " in Mr. Stevenson's posses- 
sion must have been supplied by the Heralds' 
College, and the date he names (1576) is of 
importance ; for it points to the Visitation of 
Cambridgeshire in 1575. This Visitation was 
made by the notorious Cooke c Clarencieux,' 1 and 
it was to Cooke that Augustine Steward had 
shown the alleged grant by Charles VI. of France. 2 
We have now seen that (as indeed Somerset 
Herald implies) 3 the official recognition of this 
family's descent from " the Royal Stuarts " dates 
at least from the Visitation of 1575. Bearing this 
date in mind, we may turn to the two stately 
monuments erected in Ely Cathedral to Robert 
Steward (d. 1570) and his brother Sir Marcus 
Steward (d. 1603), who were cousins of the dean 

1 Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa. 

2 See p. 143 below. 3 See p. 132 above. 



of Ely. The latter bears a long inscription, setting 
forth the whole story, together with a coat of arms 
of twenty-three quarterings ; 1 but the other, I 
observe, has but nine quarterings on the tabard 
borne by the effigy and on the two shields below 
it, and the famous coat of the Stewarts is not 
among them. 2 The fact that the shield above the 
effigy displays eleven quarterings, including the 
Stewart coat, suggests to me a subsequent addition 
as in the case of the monument erected to Sir 
Robert Spencer (d. 1522)? 

It is needless to repeat the absurd stories which 
embellish the concocted pedigree ; but something 
must be said of the glass window represented in 
the frontispiece. It has been well observed that 
as this window was set up by Oliver Cromwell's 
grandfather, it was probably a familiar object to 
the future Protector in his youth. He there saw 
his maternal ancestor, bearing on his shield the 
pure arms of the head of the house of Stewart, 
smiting with a ragged staff, for his sword had 
broken, " le faux et fatise usurpeur et coart Lion 
de Balliol," while the hand of the French king, 
extended from above, bestows on him, in memory 
of his exploit, the " honourable augmentation " of 
" le lion ruge batty de baston node d'ore." This 
' striking ' scene, within the royal double tressure, 

1 A coat with the same number is found on the monument of 
another brother (d. 1603) in Norfolk. Compare p. 86 above. 

2 See the illustrations of these monuments in Bentham's 
History of Ely. 

3 See paper below on " The Rise of the Spencers." 



was surrounded by a genealogical tree, not of 
Jesse, but of " Banquho." * 

This, then, is how it comes to pass that Sir 
Simeon Stuart, at the present day, bears for arms 
" Or, a fess chequy arg. and az., on an escutcheon 
of pretence arg. a lion rampant gu. debruised by 
a bend raguly or," that is to say, the very coat 
which is conferred in the apocryphal grant by 
Charles VI. of France, and which is depicted, as 
so conferred, in the frontispiece to this volume. 
This coat, it should be observed, is that of " the 
Royal Stuarts," pure and undefiled, with the addi- 
tion of an augmentation of honour, such as is 
granted, in modern times, to a victorious general. 

We need not discuss the ingenious speculation 
of Mr. Walter Rye that the whole story origi- 
nated in the Norfolk Sty wards bearing a " bend 
sinister " over a rampant lion, as a mark of illegiti- 
macy. 2 It will be found that a similar, though 
less artistic story, was invented to connect the 
Feilding arms with those of the House of Austria, 3 

Viewing the evidence as a whole, I arrive at 
the following conclusion. The family, as they 
rose in the world, were eager, as in certain other 
cases ancient and modern, to claim connection 

1 The centre piece is carefully depicted twice in the margin 
of Augustine Steward's cartulary (Add. MSS. 15,644). 

2 Genealogist [N.S.], II. 40-41. It is significant that on the 
monument of Robert Steward (1570), the lion debruised by a 
ragged staff is still found as his own coat ; and the concocted 
grant by Charles VI. seems to me to be so worded as to account 
for the awkward fact that these arms were used. 

3 See the paper, below, on " Our English Hapsburgs." 



with some great house of the same or of similar 
name. With singular audacity they seized on the 
reigning house of Scotland. Their own name, it 
is true, was c Styward ' ; they were of obscure 
Norfolk origin ; and the arms they bore were as 
different as they could be from those of the house 
of Stewart. The first difficulty they overcame by 
representing the Scottish Stewarts as being rightly 
' Stywards ' ; l to meet the second they concocted 
evidences to connect certain members of the 
Scottish house with Norfolk ; 2 the heraldic 
obstacle only evoked still greater daring. They 
had to account for the awkward fact that they 
did not bear the Stewart coat, but one wholly 
different. They invented, therefore, the story of 
the French king's grant ; but as an ordinary 
" augmentation of honour " would not be sufficient 
for their purpose, they introduced a special clause 
which gave them the option of bearing " d'argent 
ov le lion ruge batty de baston node d'ore, sole- 
ment^ comme son escu de guerre." Having thus 
accounted for their discontinuing to bear the 
Stewart coat, and for their bearing in its place the 
lion coat alone, they further forged (in my opinion) 
a confirmation by Garter Wriothesley, purporting 
to be granted I4th Sept., 1520, to Robert 
' Steward ' of Ely, clerk, in which he officially 
certified from his ' Registers ' that " thancestors 
of the said Robert for their first cote did bere in 

1 They are actually so entered in the Cambridgeshire Visitation 
(Ed. Harl. Soc.). 

2 Mr. Rye has dealt with this part of the story. 



gould a fesse chekey of silver and azure, 1 being in 
truth proper to their bloud and name, quartered 
with a red lyoun offended of a ragged staff bend- 
wise," but that sometimes this latter coat had been 
borne as the first quarter, and sometimes as an 
escutcheon of pretence. To make a good job of 
the concoction while they were about it, they 
further made Garter certify that their ancestors 
had borne a crest based on the story told in the 
picture : 

And there I also find the auncient cognizance used with the 
armes to be a ragged staffe standing upon a broken sword crossed 
saltirewise. 2 

It was here, we shall find, that they overreached 
themselves ; but the question of the crest seems 
to have escaped previous critics. I do not say 
that Garter Wriothesley was not capable of any- 
thing. He himself claimed descent from a family 
with which he was in no way connected on the 
strength of a pedigree which the late Mr. Eyton, 
the learned historian of Shropshire, has styled " a 
tissue of falsification and forgery," containing at 
least one deliberately falsified document and one 
" detestable forgery." Still his alleged confirma- 
tion is so demonstrably untruthful, and supplies so 
exactly what the family required, that I place it in 
the same boat with the French king's grant. 

Armed with these evidences and with their 
alleged deeds, the family approached the heralds 

This was what they coveted the pure Stewart coat. 
2 Add. MS. 15,644, fo. i. Compare p. 136 above. 



seeking their acceptance of the story, and evidently 
hoping to " resume" (as it is termed in these cases) 
the coat of their alleged ancestors. The result, at 
first, was not encouraging. Augustine Steward 
transcribed in his cartulary a confirmation by 
William Harvie, Clarencieux King of Arms, i 
May 1558 (4 and 5 Philip and Mary), granted 
at the request of " Symeon Stewarde of Laking- 
heathe, in the Countye of Suffolke, Esquyer." 
Clarencieux certified that 

I coulde not without theire greate Iniurye assigne unto him 
any other armes then those which from the begynninge did 
apperteyne and belonge to that howse and famylye, whereof he 
is descended. 

And as he found no crest assigned to the family, 
he granted, " by waye of encrease," for crest, " a 
Roo bucke in his proper collers," etc. etc. 1 It is 
evident from the sequel that Clarencieux refused to 
recognise the crest alleged to have been confirmed 
by Wriothesley, and that he did not allow the 
Stewart coat. The next document transcribed 
(fos. 63 et seq.), is a detailed certificate, in Latin, 
by the same Clarencieux, 27 June 1558, for 
Robert c Stywarde ' of Ely, son of the above 
Symeon, setting out the whole descent from 
Banquho and reciting the grant by the French 
king. But he refuses to recognise the crest 
claimed, and mentions that, on this account, he 
had granted a new one. Then follows (fo. 70) a 
document of 9 May 1564 (6 Eliz.), in which 

1 Add. MS. 15,644, fo. 62. 


the same Harvie Clarencieux certifies that Augus- 
tine c Stewarde ' of the inner Temple, gentleman, 
" port dargent un lion rampant gueles debruse dun 
baston noue dore et sur son healme un capriole 
proper,'' etc. 1 Poor Augustine, therefore, was 
"no forwarder." Lastly (fo. 71) comes the con- 
firmation by Cooke Clarencieux in English, 14 
February 1573 (15 Eliz.), reciting textually and 
exemplifying the alleged grant "by Charles the 
Frenche kinge," and setting forth, at the request 
of " Augustine Stywarde gent.," the whole descent 
from " Walter of Dundevayle," 2 " because of itself 
the manifestation of trewthe is a vertuous and 
lawdable thinge, to the settinge forthe and 
avauncement whereof all men are of dutie bounde." 
I do not think that this heraldic Chadband thereby 
confirms to the family the Stewart coat, though 
Mr. Bain appears to have formed that impression. 
It is not till we come to the Cambridgeshire 
Visitations that we obtain at last heraldic authority 
for the coat now borne by the family " or, a 
fess chequy az. and ar. 3 on an escutcheon of the 
third a lion rampant gu. debruised by a baston 
raguly, or." This is the first or nine quarters, 
and it heads a pedigree of great magnificence 
deduced from Banquo, on one side, to James I. 

This document is in Latin. 

2 This odd form, which recurs throughout, is surely a mis- 
reading of * Dundonal'[d], which seems to be the relative form 
in Boece. 

3 So printed. And Burke s Peerage (backed by Somerset 
Herald) so blazons it. But Mr. Fox-Davies' Armorial Families 
(backed by Richmond Herald) blazons it ar. and az. 



of England, and on the other to the Cambridge- 
shire Stywards, now Stuarts. 1 In this instance the 
evasive plea that these are not the true Visitations 
cannot, as it happens, be urged, for it is precisely 
to those Visitations that Burke' s Peerage, assisted, we 
have seen, by Somerset Herald, appeals for the 
above pedigree. They must, therefore, contain it. 

The point on which one has to insist is that 
here is " a Norfolk family, probably of illegitimate 
descent, and certainly of no credit or renown," 
duly authorized by the heralds themselves to bear, 
with " an honourable augmentation," the arms of 
" the Royal Stuarts," with whom they were in no 
way connected. It will not avail to plead that the 
arms were merely an imitation granted, as such, to 
a family bearing a similar name ; for they were 
allowed, as indeed is seen in Burke s Peerage 
for 1900, in right of a spurious descent from the 
house to which they belonged. The case, we 
shall find, is on all fours with that of the Spencers 
of Althorpe, who were similarly allowed an old 
coat on the strength of their alleged, but spurious, 
descent from the feudal house of Despencer. 

We are now in a position to gauge aright the 
denunciation, in certain quarters, of those who 
break " the Laws of Arms " and disregard the 
heralds. We read, for instance, in the Preface to 
Burke's Landed Gentry (1898) : 

1 Visitations of Cambridgeshire, 1575 and 1619. (Ed. 
Had. Soc.), pp. 7-11. 2 See p. 134 above. 



Unfortunately, the laws of arms have been, in these later days, 
very frequently set at naught, and the well-known ensigns of our 
historic families have been assumed by strangers in blood if not 
in name, though by their own act they have but erected a per- 
manent memorial to the obscurity of their origin. 

Again, in The right to bear arms^ ' X ' exclaims as 
the champion of the College, 

Better modern gentility, better even raw new gentility, if it 
be genuine, than a bogus claim to ancient ancestry. ... Is 
it not contemptibly snobbish to proclaim yourself to be related to 
some noble family of your name, when even the name of your 
grandfather is perhaps unknown to you ? Yet this is done every 
day (pp. xii. xiii.). 

Mr. Fox-Davies goes further. Greatly daring, he 
tells us that the heralds did their best to check 
these frauds, which were the work of the "painter- 

Centuries ago the heralds deplored and tried to keep in check 
the vagaries and usurpations of these " painter-fellows," as they 
then described them. . . . Had these handicraftsmen stopped 
their hands at these legitimate limits, little abuse, comparatively 
speaking, could have crept in, but they did not ; they hankered 
after the fees in their eyes veritable flesh-pots of Egypt of the 
official heralds. Then, as now, the true position and authority of 
the Officers of Arms was not properly known or understood. 
Then, as now, these " painter-fellows " encroached, and then, as 
now, they profited by the lack of heraldic knowledge current 
among the general public, and they purposed to grant, confirm, 
and assign Arms . . . which were perfectly legitimate, 
and which belonged to ancient families, which legitimate coats- 
of-arms these " painter-fellows " assigned to other families bearing 
the same or similar names, without the ghost of a pretence, and 
without the shadow of a possibility of establishing a descent from 
the bona fide holders. That was how the abuse began centuries 
ago. At the present time, at the close of the nineteenth century, 

145 L 


this same abuse runs riot, and now, as then, it is in the forefront, 
and the most prominent of all heraldic follies. 1 

Surely, it is only " the lack of heraldic knowledge 
current among the general public " that could 
enable such statements to be made with any 
chance of acceptance. It was the heralds them- 
selves who, " centuries ago," provided the Russells 
and the Spencers, we shall find, with spurious 
pedigrees " without the shadow of a possibility of 
establishing " the descent ; it was they who 
authorized the Norfolk Stywards, on the strength 
of a ' bogus ' grant, to bear the coat of " the Royal 
Stuarts " with an augmentation of honour ; and it 
is they who, at the present time, grant to ' new ' 
families such close imitations of the arms belong- 
ing " to other families bearing the same or similar 
names, without the ghost of a pretence " of a con- 
nection, that the public is deceived into the belief 
that such a connection exists. Let the pirating of 
arms, by all means, be denounced as strongly as it 
deserves ; but let it, at least, be denounced by 
those who have not shown the way. 

1 Preface to Armorial Families (1899). 



The Counts of Boulogne as English Lords 

WHEN, towards the middle of the eleventh cen- 
tury, Eustace " aux Grenons " count of Boulogne 
married c Goda ' daughter of ^Ethelred and sister 
of Edward the Confessor, " this prince, whom," 
Mr. Freeman writes, " English history sets 
before us only in the darkest colours," laid the 
foundation of a close connection, which lasted 
more than a century and a half, between his heirs 
and the English realm. That he, like other 
Frenchmen, enjoyed king Edward's favour is 
manifest from the warmth with which the king 
supported him in his quarrel with the men of 
Dover. But whether he was given lands in 
England is, to say the least, doubtful. His wife, 
indeed, as " Goda comitissa," is entered in Domes- 
day, Mr. Freeman observed, as having held land 
in Sussex, Surrey, Dorset, Middlesex, Bucks, 
Gloucestershire, and Notts j 1 and it is his conjecture 
that "Eustace succeeded to the lands of his wife" 

1 I have grave doubts whether it was she who held in all these 
counties, as I think there has been confusion, especially in Sussex, 
with the mother of Harold. 



at her death, in 1056 or earlier, and held them till 
he was forfeited by William for " his treason in 
I067." 1 

The reader is invited to observe the difficulties 
which surround, at the very outset, such inquiries as 
that upon which I am now about to enter. Though 
the daughter and the sister of an English king, 
and the mother of a possible successor, in Mr. 
Freeman's view, to their throne, Coda's matri- 
monial career is involved, he will find, in doubt. 
Whose widow was she when Count Eustace 
married her ? Who was the father of her son ? 

We have to make our choice between three 
versions. On the one hand, the Art de verifier les 
dates makes her marry (i) Drogo count of the 
French Vexin, by whom she had several children, 
(2) Walter count of Mantes, (3) Eustace count 
of Boulogne. Our ablest writer on the Domesday 
tenants, Mr. A. S. Ellis, adopts the same version, 
in dealing with " Harold son of Earl Ralf," Coda's 
grandson, and a Gloucestershire tenant-in-chief. 
" Earl Ralf," he writes, " was the elder son of the 
Countess Coda sister of king Edward, by her first 
husband, Drogo count of the French Vexin, who 
died ... in June, 1035 . . . She 
married, secondly, Walter II., count of Mantes, 
dead 1051, and thirdly Eustace"; 2 and no less 
eminent an authority on these subjects than Mr. 

1 See, for all this, the Appendix on " the possessions of Count 
Eustace " in The History of the Norman Conquest, vol. IV. 

2 Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Transactions, vol. IV. 
Mr. Ellis appends a chart pedigree based on this version. 



Eyton himself adopted, in full detail, the same 
version. 1 

Second, there is William of Malmesbury's ver- 
sion : 

Eustachius erat comes Bononiae, pater Godefridi, etc. . . . 
habebatque sororem regis Godam legitimis nuptiis desponsatam, 
quae ex altero viro Waltero Medantino^ filium tulerat Radulfum 
qui eo tempore erat comes Herefordensis (Gesta Regum). 

This misled Mr. Freeman into inadvertently 
terming earl Ralf of Hereford, " Ralf the Timid, 
the son of Walter and Godgifu." 2 

The third version is that of Mr. Freeman him- 
self, who elsewhere ignores Walter of Mantes as 
a husband of Goda ( c Godgifu ') and makes Drogo 
her only husband, before Eustace, and the father of 
her children. This is the right version, as we 
learn from Orderic, who writes (1063) : 

Walterius Pontesiensium comes, filius Drogonis comitis, qui 
cum Rodberto seniore Normannorum duce in Jerusalem ierat et in 
illo itinere peregrinus obierat. Drogo, ut dicitur, erat de prosapia 
Caroli Magni regis Francorum, eique sepedictus dux Rodbertus in 
conjugium dederat consobrinam suam, Godivam, sororem Edwardi 
regis Anglorum, ex qua orti sunt Radulfus et Gauterius Comites 
et venerandus Fulco praesul Ambianensium. 

The interest of determining the true origin of 
earl Ralf of Hereford consists in the fact that his 
descendants in the direct male line continued to our 
own time in the ranks of the peerage, and, indeed, 
still exist. The splendour of such a pedigree as 
this, covering a thousand years, attracted Mr. 

1 Key to Domesday : Dorset, p. 79. 

2 Norman Conquest, vol. II. (2nd Ed.), p. 562. 



Freeman's special interest, 1 as indeed it may enlist 
our own. 

We have now seen that Eustace aux Grenons 
married Goda or Godgifu, sister of Edward the 
Confessor, and widow of Drogo count of the 
French Vexin, who died 1035. The whole con- 
fusion, I expect, has arisen from William of 
Malmesbury speaking of Drogo as Walter^ which 
was the name of his son and successor. As the 
French Vexin contained Mantes and Pontoise, its 
count might be styled from those towns, as, in 
England, the earl of Sussex was also styled, under 
Stephen, earl of Chichester or of Arundel. 2 Thus 
was evolved Goda's imaginary husband, " Walter 
count of Mantes." 

The next point that we have to determine is the 
devolution of Goda's estates, as her husband Count 
Eustace long survived her. Mr. Freeman, holding 
that she probably died before 1056, argued that 
Eustace seems to have " succeeded to the lands of 
his wife, that they were confiscated by William 
after his treason in 1067, and that the estates which 
Eustace afterwards held were later grants after 
his reconciliation." 3 But Goda, who had no 
children by Eustace, had left, we have seen, a son 
and grandson as her rightful heirs ; and there is 
nothing to show, or even to suggest, that Count 
Eustace obtained her lands. Mr. Freeman, how- 

1 See his article on " Pedigrees and Pedigree-makers," in Con- 
temporary Review , XXX. 24. 

2 See my Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 320. 

3 'Norman Conquest, IV. 746. 



ever, urged that the above view was strengthened 
by the fact that 

three lordships in Dorset (85) were held at the time of the 
Survey by Ida the second wife of Eustace, which she is also said 
to have held T.R.E. This looks as if Eadward had made 
grants to the second wife of his friend, which were not confiscated 
by William along with the lands of her husband. 1 

Domesday, unfortunately, records most explicitly 
(85) of these three lordships, that " Hasc tria man- 
eria tenuit U/veva T.R.E.," so that the statement, 
with the argument based on it, falls at once to the 
ground. Oddly enough, on the opposite page, Mr. 
Freeman wrote of " Wulfgifu, who was also Ida's 
predecessor in some (sic) of her Dorset lands " (p. 
747). He had simply read his Domesday, as in 
some other cases, hurriedly and without care. 

The last point that we have to deal with is the 
identity of the Count Eustace with whom we meet 
in Domesday. Here Mr. Freeman was misled, 
not unnaturally, by the usually accurate Ellis. We 
find him writing (pp. 745-6) : 

Sir Henry Ellis (I. 385, 416) quotes a charter in which his 
second wife Ida is described as 'venerabilis Ida tune vidua' as 
early as 1082. 

Ellis refers us to Gallia Christiana (X. 1594), 
where, however, we only read that, according to 
the editors 

Quippe, post annum 1082, adveniens illuc venerabilis Ida tune 
vidua, piissimi Gerardi Taruannensis episcopi assensu consilioque 
roborata, etc. etc. 

It seems clear to me that the editors got their 

1 Ibid. 


date "after 1082 " from the name of the bishop, 
for they say (X. 1 541) that he was appointed " anno 
1083 aut saltern 1084." His assent, therefore, 
must have been given "after" 1082. The bishop's 
name gives us the limit 1083-4 1096 for Ida's 
appearance as a widow, which is quite compatible 
with her husband living, as stated in the Art de 
verifier les dates ', till 1093, and, at any rate, with 
his being the Domesday count of 1086. Mr. 
Freeman, however, held, on the above mistaken 
ground, that 

The count Eustace of Domesday is not Eustace the Second or 
Boulogne, who plays so important a part in our history, but his 
son Eustace the Third (IV. 745). 

" Sainte Ide," as the French call her, brought to 
her husband Bouillon, from which her famous son 
Godfrey, the crusader king, was named. Through 
her the counts of Boulogne traced their descent 
from " the Knight of the Swan," and the town of 
Boulogne, from the same source, bears to-day 
the swan for its cognisance. At Feversham 
Abbey, founded by Stephen and his wife, the 
heiress of Boulogne, the legendary tale was on 
record. 1 

The more prosaic record of Domesday shows us 
Ida as holding five manors in England. All five 
found their way into the hands of religious houses. 

1 See the Red Book of the Exchequer , pp. 753-4, where the 
Feversham book is quoted. The swan-drawn knight appears be- 
neath the walls of Bouillon, rescues its beleaguered heiress, marries 
her, and becomes the father of Ida. Ida in turn marries " magnus 
comes Boloniae Eustacius [as Gernuns]." 



Nutfield (" Notfelle "), Surrey, was bestowed on 
the canons of St. Wulmer de Boulogne ; Kings- 
weston (" Chinwardestone"), Somerset, on Ber- 
mondsey Priory ; and the three Dorset manors on 
another Cluniac priory, that of Le Wast in the 
Boulonnais. These three last manors, Winter- 
bourne Monkton, Bockhampton in Stinsford, and 
Eightholes in Swanage, became one as Winter- 
bourne- Wast, the Priory from which they took the 
name retaining them far on into the fourteenth 
century. The record of a case in Trinity term 
1227 shows us the prior of Le Wast producing in 
court the charter of " Count Eustace " by which 
he " gave " the Priory this manor, together with 
the Kentish churches of Westerham and Boughton 
Alulf. 1 So the actual gift seems to have been made, 
not by " Saint Ide," but by her son. The monks 
of Le Wast were excused Danegeld on 1 1 hides, 
in Wiltshire, in 1 1 30 ; 2 but the i ii hides of the 
Dorset manor seem to be assigned to Stephen, 
whose wife was Ida's heir. 3 The interesting 
incident in the history of the manor was its 
seizure by John, in grim irony, as a reward for 
Eustache le Moine, who fought for him against 
Boulogne. 4 

Turning now to Ida's husband, Eustace (" aux 
Grenons") count of Boulogne, I have elsewhere 
shown that he first appears, after William's victory, 
in a very unexpected quarter. As " Eustace eorl " 

1 Bractorfs Note Book (Ed. Maitland), II. 216. 

2 " Monachis de Sancto Michaele de Wasto " (Pipe Roll or 
1130, p. 22). 3 Ibid. p. 1 6. 4 Testa de Nevill, p. 164. 



he is addressed, with bishops Herman and Wulfstan, 
in an English writ of William, which I assign to 
the beginning of 1067. 1 The document implies 
that he already held an official, or at least a high, 
position in the counties of Wiltshire and Glouces- 
tershire. But it was not in this region that he 
received his great possessions. Mr. Freeman held 
that "the Domesday holdings of Eustace were grants 
later than his reconciliation with William " after 
his condemnation and forfeiture " by the Gemot " 
at the close of 1067. 2 It must be remembered, 
however, that, on his own hypothesis, the Domes- 
day holder was not this Count Eustace, but his son. 
In one of those fine passages in which we see him 
at his best, he wrote of Eustace : 

He himself was dead at the time of the Survey, but his widow 
and son appear there as holders of lordships, both in various other 
shires in those western lands which on the day of his sentence 
were still unconquered. The names of Ida and Eustace, the 
widow and the son of the coward of Boulogne, the mother and 
the brother of the hero of Jerusalem, are found as owners of 
English soil on spots which would have a strange propriety if we 
could deem that they were ever honoured with the sojourn of the 
mightiest of the foes of Paynimrie. One of the western posses- 
sions of the house of Boulogne lies nestling at the foot of the 
north-western crest of Mendip, where the power of evil of the old 
Teutonic creed has left his name in Count Eustace's lordship of 
Loxton. Another, Kenwardston, the dowry of the widowed 
Countess, crowns the wooded height which looks full on that in- 
land mount of the Archangel which shelters the earliest home of 
Christianity in Britain. 3 

1 Feudal England, pp. 422-425. 

2 For his raid, in William's absence, on Dover, from Boulogne, 
earlier in that year. 

3 Norman Conquest, vol. IV. I must not be understood as com- 



It is in these descriptive passages that Mr. Free- 
man's pen excelled. 

The six or seven Somerset manors held by the 
counts of Boulogne were an outlying portion of their 
fief. With the exception of a manor apiece in 
Oxfordshire and Hants, the rest of their estates 
were in the east of England, and the bulk of them 
lay in Essex. These estates were partly those of a 
number of English c predecessors,' and partly repre- 
sented the lands acquired by Ingelric the priest. 
This man, it would seem, was one of those useful 
officials who enjoyed the favour of William as well 
as the favour of Edward. 1 He was dean of St. 
Martin's-le-Grand, a house of secular canons, and 
this connection led to trouble between Count 
Eustace, as his successor, and its canons. His 
lands were not confined to Essex, but extended into 
Hertfordshire and Suffolk. Count Eustace secured 
them all, including those which Ingelric, in the 
Domesday Survey, is charged with seizing wrong- 
fully under William ; and he also obtained lands 
in Kent, Surrey, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, 
Huntingdonshire and Norfolk. Thus was formed 
the great fief which, for some centuries 

mitting myself to the view that the < Lochestone ' (Loxton) of 
Domesday derives its name from Lok, " the power of evil " ; or 
that the countess was widowed at the time and held Kenwardston 
in dower ; or that Glastonbury was " the earliest home of Chris- 
tianity in Britain." 

1 See my paper on " Ingelric the priest " in the Commune of 
London and other studies (pp. 2836) ; also English Historical Re- 
view, XL 740, and History of the Norman Conquest, vol. IV. 



after, was known as c the Honour of Boulogne.' 1 
On this fief Domesday shows us three interesting 
tenants. Four of its Somerset manors were held 
by Alvred de ' Merleberg ' (Maryborough), lord of 
the castled mound at Ewias on the Welsh border. 
It would seem to have escaped notice that Alvred, 
an important tenant-in-chief in 1086, was already 
established in England under Edward the Confes- 
sor, 2 as was his uncle Osbern 3 probably Osbern 
' Pentecost.' 4 His successor was that Harold from 
whom Ewias takes its name, Harold the son of 
Earl Ralf, and the grandson of Goda, countess of 
Boulogne. 5 And this is why ' Harold of Ewias ' is 
found among the knights of count Eustace under 
Henry I., and why his heir, Robert de Tregoz was 
a tenant of the ' Honour ' under John. In Bed- 
fordshire and Cambridgeshire, Ernulf de Ardres, a 
follower from the count's own country, was en- 
feoffed by him in six estates. 6 In Essex, no fewer 
than eleven estates were obtained by another of his 
followers, " Adelolf de Merc." Deeper than the 
counts themselves or than any other of their 

1 The memory of its double origin was preserved in its posses- 
sion of two feudal courts, one of which, it is interesting to note, 
was that of St. Martin's-le-Grand. (See Morant's Essex, I. 309, 
where an Inq. p.m. of 1333 is quoted.) The monthly court of 
the Honour was held at Witham. 

2 See Domesday, fo. 175, where he is entered as having then 
held an important Worcestershire manor under St. Mary's, 
Worcester. 3 Ibid. fo. 186. 

4 See my Feudal England, pp. 322-4. 6 See above, p. 148. 

6 See my paper on " The Lords of Ardres " in Feudal England, 
(pp. 462-464). 



vassals, have Adelolf and his heirs stamped their 
name on the East-Saxon land. This younger 
branch of the vicomtes of Marck, near Calais, which 
was at that time in the Boulonnais, is commemo- 
rated in the parish of Marks Tey, as in the 
manor of Merks or Marks in Dunmow, which 
was held by Adelolf himself in 1086, by his heir 
Enguerrand de Merc in 1258, and by the 
same family in 1340. Mark Hall, in Latton, 
is another of the manors which takes its name 
from this family, and was held by Adelolf, its 
founder, in 1086. His descendants increased and 
multiplied in the land : Fulc de Merc and M. de 
Merc attended the count's feudal court, in Essex, 
before 1 120 ; * Geoffrey and Enguerrand de Merc 
of Essex are found on the Pipe Roll of 1130 (p. 
57) ; Henry and Simon de Merc are recorded as 
holding lands on the Boulogne fief in the days of 
John. 2 As we have mention of a Eustace de 
" Oeys," son of Henry de " Merc," in connection 
with the manor of East Donyland, on the 
Boulogne fief, and as Oye adjoined Marck in the 
Calaisis, and was connected with it, we have here 
further evidence of the true origin of the names. 
Among the witnesses to this last document (which 
must belong, from the names of the leading ones, 
to 1 1901 193) are John and William de Merc. 3 
Although the enfeoffment of Boughton, Kent, 

1 See below. 

2 Testa de Nevill. This family is also found in Northants in 
the i 2th century. 

3 Colchester Cartulary (Roxburghe Club), p. v s6. 



was effected by the counts later than Domesday, 
we may note that its name of Boughton ' Alulf/ 
derived from one of its holders, preserves a 
Christian name then common in the Boulonnais. 1 
Keeping, however, for the moment to Domesday, 
we find Count Eustace holding the great manor of 
Tring in Hertfordshire, which paid him 22 a 
year of. assayed money, "ad pensum ejusdem 
comitis." 2 From this we learn that the count had 
introduced a standard of his own into England for 
weighing the money due to him. 

Among the tenures created on the fief later than 
1086, it is interesting to find two c serjeanties,' one 
of them, at Boughton Alulf, being that of acting as 
' veauttor,' c veltrarius,' or ' falconarius ' to the count, 
and the other that of serving as his cook. 3 It might 
hardly be supposed that, in the i2th and I3th 
centuries, the connection with the Boulonnais was 
so close that its seigneurs could still be holding lands 
in the east of England. Yet this was actually 
the case. The hamlet of Austruy, in the Bou- 
lonnais, gave name to one of its pairies, the here- 
ditary constableship of the comte. In England, the 
lord of Austruy was enfeoffed in five knight's fees, 
partly at Shopland and Chich (St. Osyth) in Essex, 
and partly at Cowley near Oxford. 4 When, in the 

1 Willelmus de Bouton cum Elya herede Alulfi de Bouton 
. . et est de honore Bolonie (Testa, p. 216). 

2 Domesday, fo. 137. 

3 Testa de Nevi/t, pp. 216, 217. 

4 " Baldewinus de Osterwic [i.e. Austruy] v. milites, scilicet, in 
Schopiland ii. mil. et dim. et in Chicche, quam abbas tenet, et 



reign of Henry I., the great Augustinian Priory ot 
St. Osyth had been founded at Chich, we read that, 
under Stephen, there was bestowed " ex dono Bal- 
dewini constabularii et ex confirmatione comitis 
Stephani et Matildis uxoris suas et Willelmi comitis 
[Bolonise] et heredis eorum tenementum de Chiche 
quod est de feodo Boloniae." It was thus the con- 
stable of Boulogne himself, and not a cadet of his 
house, who held these lands in England. A later 
constable of the same name was among the 
prisoners captured by John, during the struggle 
with the barons, in Rochester Castle (30 Nov. 
1215) and had to pay 120 for his ransom ; 1 but 
after the war we find Shopland recovered by him 
as Baldwin d'Austruy, he being styled its rightful 
heir. 2 

Another baronial family of the Boulonnais, that 
of Doudeauville, held estates in Huntingdonshire 
by the service of five knights to the Count, 
while a family which took its name from Wissant 
(" Whitsand ") held lands of the count at Parndon, 
Essex, by knight-service. 3 

But the greatest of the barons of the Boulonnais, 

in Covel, quam Templarii tenent secus Oxoniam ii. milites et 
dim." (Testa de Nevit/, p. 274). The entry is omitted in the 
parallel list on p. 273, and confused with a wholly different one 
in the Liber Rubeus (p. 576). 

1 Calendar of Patent Rolls, 2 and 19 May 1216. 

2 " Schopelaund . . . post guerram recuperavit Baldewy- 
nus de Ostrewic . . . sicut rectus heres et tenet 
per servicium duorum militum " (Testa de Nevill, p. 268). 

3 Testa de Nevill, as above. Wissant was the predecessor or 
Calais as the landing place from England in the Middle Ages. 



in the twelfth century, in England was Feramus 
or Pharamus seigneur of Tingry, whom I have 
made the subject of a monograph. 1 Known in 
England as Faramus " of Boulogne/' he was the 
son of a William " of Boulogne," who held land 
in Surrey and Northamptonshire under Henry I., 
and a grandson of Geoffrey son presumably 
natural son of Count Eustace II. Maternally, 
Faramus was a grandson of a Domesday tenant- 
in-chief, Geoffrey de Mandeville, ancestor of the 
earls of Essex. A charter of his in the British 
Museum, 2 recording an agreement between him 
and a great citizen of London, has among its 
witnesses several Boulonnais, three of whom took 
their names from Hesdigneul, one from Quest- 
reques, and another from Liembronne. Their 
names show that Faramus was already in posses- 
sion of the Tingry fief at a date not much later 
than 1130. He was prominent under Stephen in 
England as a supporter of the king and queen, but 
Henry II., after his accession, gave him lands, in 
Buckinghamshire, at Wendover and Eton. It is 
just possible that these were given as compensation 
for the constableship of Dover Castle, which may 
have been entrusted to him by Stephen. He was 
also a witness, about this time, to three charters 
of Count William of Boulogne, Stephen's sur- 
viving son, and the count bestowed on him the 
manor of Martock, in the county of Somerset, 
which then belonged to the honour of Boulogne. 

1 Genealogist [N.S.], XII. 145-151. 

2 Add. Cart., 28, 345. 



He was thus a holder of land in three English 
counties. But, in addition to this, he held lands of 
the Honour of Boulogne in three other counties, 
Essex, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire, for which 
he owed the count the service of six knights. 

All these lands descended, with Sibyl, his daughter 
and heiress, to his son-in-law Enguerrand de Fiennes, 
another baron of the Boulonnais, who was killed 
at (St. Jean d') Acre in 1189. Thus the chdtelains 
of Fiennes inherited valuable estates in England 
together with his fief at Tingry. 

I have, however, denied in my last book 1 that 
they were, as has been always supposed, constables 
of Dover Castle from the time of the Norman 
Conquest. The Constable's Tower preserves their 
name, but the legend seems to be of late growth. 
It is the sort of tale that one would naturally 
assign to some Elizabethan herald. The family, 
I may add, were not forgetful of their I2th 
century ancestor, as we are reminded by the 
wondrous name of the Rev. Pharamus Fiennes, 
who lived in the days of Charles the Second. 

From the families of the Boulonnais I turn to 
those of its religious houses which were then con- 
nected with England. Of these there were more 
than has been known. As we have seen, St. Wul- 
mer de Boulogne obtained from c Sainte Ide ' Nut- 
field in Surrey, while the priory of Le Wast 
secured her three Dorset manors as one estate, 

1 The Commune of London and other studies (Constable & Co.), 
pp. 279-282. 

l6l M 


which became known thence as Winterbourne 
" Wast/' It was not till 300 years after the 
Conquest (1370) that the prior of Le Wast 
finally parted with this estate, to which a Count 
Eustace had added the churches of Westerham 
and Boughton Alulf in Kent. 1 To the priory of 
Rumilly-le-Comte Eustace III.i had given, in his 
last illness, 10 a year from his English manor of 
Fobbing (Essex), while it held at least one church 
on the count's English fief, that of Coggeshall, 
before Stephen there founded an abbey for monks 
of Savigny. From Fobbing also 20 a year was 
paid " to the monks of St. Wulmer," 2 that is St. 
Wulmer de Samer, to which abbey also Stephen, 
when count of Boulogne, gave the church at Fob- 
bing as well. The same house possessed tithes at 
Rivenhall, Essex, a Boulogne manor. The abbey 
of St. Josse was given by Count Matthew (Stephen's 
son-in-law) 10 a year from Norton; the abbey 
of La Capelle is said to have held English churches 
named in a bull of Pope Pascal (28 Oct. nio), 
and the abbey of Licques received a small endow- 
ment at Caenby, Lincolnshire. Of other houses, 
the ' Maladrerie ' de Boulogne received from Count 
Eustace 20 a year payable from his manor of 
Boughton Alulf in Kent, and this gift was con- 
firmed by Stephen as count of Boulogne before he 
became king of England. The hospital of Wis- 
sant received before 1 156 5 a year payable from 

1 See p. 153 above. 

* ' Monachis de Sancto Wlmero ' (Liber Rubeus de Scaccario\ 
p. 501. 



crown lands in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, 
and, shortly afterwards, Henry II., when visiting 
St. Omer, bestowed an endowment on the hospital 
of Santingefeld. 1 

Apart from endowments, there was a close con- 
nection through two religious houses, the abbey 
of Licques, which through its daughter-house at 
Newhouse, Lincolnshire, became the mother-house 
of the Order of Premontre in England, and the 
abbey of Arrouaise. Both in England and in the 
Boulonnais, there were several houses of Augus- 
tinian canons owing allegiance to Arrouaise and 
bound to attend its chapter. 2 

Let me now speak of the fief held by the Counts 
in England. This was augmented under Henry I., 
for he and Count Eustace the younger had both 
married daughters of king Malcolm of Scotland, 
and they were on friendly terms. The Queen's 
sister, the countess of Boulogne, who died 1 8 April 
1118, was buried at Bermondsey Priory, a house 
belonging to that Order of Cluni, which was always 
in high favour with the house of Boulogne. 3 

It has, so far as I know, been hitherto unsus- 
pected that, on the death of Eudo Dapifer (the son 
of Hubert of Rye), early in 1120, some of his 
estates were given by the Crown to Count Eustace 

1 On these somewhat confused grants, see much information 
in Cobbe's Luton Church (1899), a work of great erudition. 

2 For much local information on the families and religious 
houses of the Boulonnais, I have to thank my friend, M. V.-J. 
Vaillant of Boulogne, Officier d' Academic. 

3 See MonasticoHy V. 94, for her epitaph. 



of Boulogne. This is proved by the Colchester 
Cartulary. 1 The count's statement is confirmed 
by the return of the tenants of the Honour of 
Boulogne in the time of king John, in which all 
these manors are named as held of the Honour. 

The list of witnesses to his charter deserves, 
from its interest, to be quoted : 

Testpbus] ejusdem Comitis Eustachii filiis Radfulfo] scilicet 
et Eustachio, Baldwino constabulario, 2 Heroldo de Ewias, Roberto 
filio ejus, Rogero de Sumeri, 3 Baldwino filio Widonis, 4 Eustachio 
de Merc, 5 Willelmo de Curtone, 6 Eustachio de Pauc'be, Baldwino 
de Wizant, 7 Ernulfo de Q Q uecultr Q , 8 Willelmo camerario, 
Huberto. 9 

Ralf and Eustace, c sons ' of the Count, are, I 

1 In the possession of Earl Cowper (now privately printed for 
the Roxburghe Club), which contains (p. 47) a charter of 
" Eustachius Dei gratia Bolonie comes," confirming to St. John's 
Abbey, Colchester, the gift of Eudo "de decimis maneriorum 
suorum que mihi rex donavit " (fo. 1 9). The six manors named 
are : < Lillechurch ' (Kent), < Gamelegeia ' (Cambs.), < Neuselle ' 
(Herts), 'Roinges' (Essex), 'Widham' (Essex), 'Ereswelle' 

2 This would be Baldwin d'Austruy (the fief of the constables 
of the counts) represented under John by Baldwin " de Osterwic " 

8 " Rogerus de Sumeri " was the Domesday tenant of Elmdon. 

4 Wido held of the count at Finchingfield and Little Chishall 
in Domesday. 

5 Adelolfus de Merc was one of the count's largest Domesday 
tenants (see above, p. 157, and Feudal England, pp. 463-4). 

6 ' Ogerus de Curtun ' is found holding of the Honour in 
Tend ring, Fifield, and Donyland temp. John. 

7 Represented under John by William de Witsand, who held 
a fee at Parndon of the Honour (see p. 159). 

8 This name is read, in the printed text, " Grauecultura." 

9 Probably the Huberto 'armigero' or 'scutario' of other 




believe, unknown. One can only suppose that, 
like that Geoffrey " filius comitis Eustachii " who 
figures in Domesday Book, 1 they were not of 
legitimate birth. The second may well have been, 
it seems to me, the father of that " Eustacius filius 
Eustacii filii comitis" who is charged 10 marcs 
for his relief, under Essex and Herts, on the Pipe 
Roll of ii Henry II. (1165). By far the most 
interesting of the other witnesses are Harold of 
Ewias and Robert his son, whose appearance 
among the count's tenants is accounted for above 
(p. 156). The return temp. John shows us Robert 
de Tregoz, who married the heiress of their house, 
holding of the Honour by knight service. 2 

Of the six manors named in the charter, Lille- 
church is specially to be noted, because its true 
descent is proved by this evidence, and the 
positive statement of Hasted shown to be with- 
out foundation. As " Hecham " (Higham in 

1 See my " Faramus of Boulogne " in the Genealogist (as on 
p. 1 60 above). 

2 For our knowledge of the " Honour of Boulogne," and of 
the manors of which it was composed, we are largely indebted to 
this return, which is found in two versions, both of them corrupt, 
in Testa de Nevill, pp. 273-275 (compare p. 265 for the record 
of its scutage). The first of these is also found in the Red Book of 
the Exchequer, pp. 575-583, and the other in the Black Book of the 
Exchequer (Ed. Hearne). It seems probable that both versions 
are derived from a common original return, and in any case (as 
I have shown in my Studies on the Red Book of the Exchequer) the 
editor of the Red Book is mistaken in asserting (p. 575) that 
the Black Book version represents a return of "earlier date," 
and is also mistaken in speaking of it as " hitherto unknown," for 
it was duly printed by Hearne in his well-known edition of the 
Black Book. 



Kent) this manor had been held in Domesday 
by " Adam " of the bishop of Bayeux. On the 
bishop's forfeiture his tenants had become tenants- 
in-chief, and " Adam " (the son of Hubert) thus 
obtaining the manor, was succeeded, clearly, by his 
brother Eudo " Dapifer." Eudo gave some tithes 
there (as at " Lillecherch ") to his abbey at Col- 
chester, which must also have obtained the church, 1 
for we find the convent granting it to the nuns of 
Lillechurch, at the request of Stephen and Matilda, 
and receiving, in compensation, from the queen, 
land at East Donyland belonging to her Honour 
of Boulogne. Meanwhile, they had need, for the 
abbey they founded at Faversham, of the manor of 
Faversham, which had been granted by them to 
William of Ypres. He, therefore, gave it back to 
them, receiving in exchange the manor of Lille- 
church (Higham). 2 This is destructive of Hasted's 
assertion that the manor had reverted to the Crown 
on the death of Bishop Odo, and had thus come to 
Stephen as royal demesne. 

The Colchester Cartulary also contains the con- 
firmation of the Count's charter by Stephen, his 
son-in-law and successor. 

Stephanus comes de Moret' . . . Sciatis quod ego et mea 

1 Morant, in his account of the Abbey, took it by mistake for 
the church of Higham, Suffolk. 

2 " Dedimus ego et Mathildis regina mea Willelmo de Ipra in 
excambium pro manerio de Favresham Lillechirch cum perti- 
nentiis suis de haereditate reginae " (Mon. Ang.^ IV. 573). It 
was of her inheritance because Count Eustace, her father, had 
acquired it as above. 



conjux Matildis concessimus monachis * . . . sicut illi 
monachi umquam tenuerint plenius et liberius de Eudone dapifero 
et de comite Eustachio, ita ego et uxor mea Matildis con- 
cedimus, etc. . . . 

Testes isti concessionis fuerunt Robertas de Salkavilla, Galfridus- 
camararius, Willelmus camararius, Warnerius frater ejus, Willel- 
mus filius Hervei, Hubertus scutarius, Walterus Mascherel, 2 
Wlfgarus de Cokeshale, 3 Eurardus de Colcestra, Galfridus nepos 
abbatis, Gilebertus et Osbertus frater ejus, Osbernus palmarius. 

When the whole fief was complete, the counts 
received from that portion of it which they had 
granted out to tenants the service of more than 
120 knights. 4 It became known afterwards as 
" the Honour of Boulogne," which was specially 
named in Magna Carta, and still existed in name 
at the beginning of the 1 6th century. 

The existence of this great fief, as an appendage 
of the comte of Boulogne, leads us to consider a 
point which seems to have been overlooked hitherto 
by all historians. At the death of Henry I. his 
nephew Stephen was not only count of Boulogne, 
in right of his wife, and in Normandy count of 
Mortain (a very important comte] , by grant from 
his uncle, but was also, perhaps, the greatest land- 
owner in England itself. For he there possessed 
at least : 

(i) The whole Boulogne fief. 

(a) The forfeited fief of Robert Malet (" the 

1 The church of < Lillecherch ' is included in this grant. 

2 Founder of the Benedictine nunnery at Wix, Essex. 

3 Coggeshall, Essex. 

4 Testa de Nevill, p. 275. But perhaps the right total should 
be rather smaller. 



Honour of Eye"), containing over 250 
manors, and supplying over 90 knights. 

(3) The forfeited fief of Roger " de Poitou " 

(son of Earl Roger de Montgomeri), con- 
taining about 400 manors, and comprising 
" the Honour of Lancaster." 

(4) Certain crown lands, which had been granted 

him (as had the two above fiefs) by his 
uncle Henry I. 1 

We find, accordingly, in the Pipe Roll for 1130 
entries of remission of Danegeld on his lands in 
seventeen counties, although the returns for several 
counties are wanting. 

Now the wealth and influence conferred by the 
possession of these vast fiefs must have greatly 
assisted Stephen in obtaining the throne, as they 
also did, after he was king, in providing for his 
greedy followers. 2 I hope to show that they were 
also to some extent the cause of his agreeing to 
the succession of Henry II. in the place of his 
own son. For his younger son William, who 
became his heir on the death of his brother 
Eustace (10 Aug. 1153), ^ad himself married the 
greatest heiress in England, the daughter of the 
earl de Warenne. She brought him the castles of 

1 See my Feudal England^ pp. 202-3, 21 1. 

2 Some instances of this are given in my Geoffrey de Mandeville. 
The possession of the Boulogne fief had also enabled him to found 
the abbey of Coggeshall, while that of * the Honour of Lancaster ' 
had placed at his disposal endowments for the abbey of Furness. 
Both these houses, of which the latter was founded before his 
accession, were affiliated to the order of Savigny, with which, as 
count of Mortain, he had doubtless been brought in contact. 

1 68 


Lewes (Sussex), Castle-Acre (Norfolk), and Conis- 
borough (Yorkshire), together with a whole 
" Rape " of Sussex and more than 200 manors in 
other counties. This vast increment would render 
his private possessions even greater than his father's. 
But, even in addition to this, his father had given 
him large estates in England, so that it might well 
seem better for the young count of Boulogne, as 
he was already styled, to have these estates secured 
to him by Henry of Anjou than to claim a con- 
tested crown. Moreover, Henry, as duke of Nor- 
mandy, was in actual possession of the Warenne 
inheritance in Normandy, and of the comte of 
Mortain. As part of the bargain, therefore, he 
offered to give all this to William, and, in addi- 
tion, further lands in England itself if he was 
allowed to succeed peaceably to the crown. 

Thus it was that the terms secured by the 
young count of Boulogne occupied a very large 
place in the treaty arranged between Stephen and 
Henry in the autumn of 1153. Count William 
obtained a confirmation of all that his father had 
given him, 1 together with fresh grants as part of 
the bargain, 2 including the castle of Pevensey and 

1 " Incrementum etiam quod ego Willelmo filio meo dedi ipse 
Dux ei concessit, castra scilicet et villas de Norwico cum septin- 
gentis libratis terre et totum comitatum de Nordfolk 
praeter ilia quae pertinent ad ecclesias," etc. This addition to the 
Warenne fief in East Anglia and the great Honour of Eye placed 
the whole region in his power. 

2 u Item ad roborandam graciam meam et dilectionem, dedit 
ei dux et concessit quicquid Richerus de Aquila habebat de 
honore Peneveselli, et preter hec castra et villas Peneveselli, et 


the c Rape ' of Sussex adjoining his own. But 
under the terms of this treaty the count of 
Boulogne would be too powerful for Henry's 
safety as king. He had castles in the south, in 
the east, and in the north of England, in the east 1 
and in the west of Normandy ; his estates were 
absolutely gigantic. Henry, even after mounting 
the throne, had, for a time, to temporize. 
But the policy he kept steadily in view was (i) 
to reclaim estates alienated from the Crown, (2) 
to obtain possession of the castles. Accordingly, 
in spite of the solemn treaty of 1153, the count 
of Boulogne had to surrender to him, in 1 1 57, 
all his castles, together with all the additions to 
his inheritance guaranteed to him by Henry in 
H53. 2 But the count of Boulogne, Mortain, 
and Warenne (as he always styled himself 3 ) was 
allowed to retain the vast estates which his 
father Stephen held, we saw, before his acces- 

servitium Faramusi preter castra et villas de Doure, et quod 
ad honorem Doure pertinet." (Compare p. 160 above.) 

1 At Bellencombre and Mortemer near Neufchatel. 

2 " Guillelmus films Stephani regis qui erat comes civitatis Con- 
stantiarum, id est Moritonii, et in Anglia comes Surreiae, id est 
de Warenna, propter filiam tertii Guillelmi de Warenna, quam 
duxerat, reddidit ei Penevesel et Norwith et quicquid tenebat 
de corona sua et omnes munitiones proprias tam in Normannia 
quam in Anglia ; et rex fecit eum habere quicquid Stephanus 
pater ejus habuit in anno et die quo rex Henricus avus ejus 
fuit vivus et mortuus " (Robert of Torigny [abbot of Mont St. 
Michel], pp. 92-3 [Rolls Series edition]). 

3 The omission of one of these three titles (Mortain) in his 
very fine charter exhibited at the British Museum can, I think, 
be explained. 



sion, together with those of his wife in Eng- 
land and Normandy. There is evidence that he 
was in actual possession of the c Honours ' of 
Lancaster, 1 of Eye, 2 and of Boulogne, 3 as well 
as of the comte of Mortain. 4 

At this point a brief chart pedigree may enable 
the reader more easily to grasp the descent of the 
Honour and of the accretions it received (see next 

When in 1159 the count died in the Toulouse 
campaign, where he fought in Henry's host, his 
death presented a great temptation to the English 
king. The sole surviving child of Stephen was 
Maud abbess of Romsey, and the great domains 
of Count William were doomed, as it seemed, to 
be broken up. But, as her namesake and great 

1 Cal. Rot. Chart., I. (i) 28, for instance. 

2 Stephen's possession of this great ' Honour ' is proved by his 
charter, as king, to Eye Priory, confirming its possessions as held in 
the time of Robert Malet, " et tempore meo antequam rex 
essem" (Monasticon, III. 406). His son's tenure is similarly 
proved by his charter of confirmation to that same house as 
" comes Boloniae, Warennae, et Moritonii " (Ibid.). 

The fact of the possession of this Honour by Stephen explains 
the remission to him, under Suffolk, in 1130, of nearly 46 for 
Danegeld (Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I. p. 99), implying that his lands 
in that county were assessed at the vast sum of some 460 hides 
(or their equivalent) ; and it accounts, for Fulcher ' de Pleiforda ' 
paying to have his case tried " in Anglia in curia comitis 
Moriton'," (Ibid. p. 99). For Playford (Suffolk) belonged to the 
Honour of Eye, and Stephen, before his accession, had confirmed 
the gift of its church to Eye Priory (Harl. MS. 639 [D'Ewes' 
Transcript], fo. 59^). See also p. 176 below. 

3 See the important charter printed by me in " The Honour Oi 
Ongar" (Essex Arch. Trans. [N.S.], VII. 144). 

4 See my Calendar of documents preserved in France, p. 285. 



Count of Boulogne 

Count of Mortain 




of Scotland 


Countess of Boulogne 

in her own right 

d. 1152 








" Count of 

Count of 


Countess of 



d. s. p. 


and of 
d.s.p. 1159 

heiress of the 
earls de 
(of Surrey) 

(on death of 



Countess of Boulogne 



aunt, " the good queen Molde," had been taken 
from the same cloister, some half a century before, 
to become the king's wife though, unlike her, 
most unwillingly the great heiress was restored 
to the world, by special permission of the Pope, 
and married to Mathew, a younger son of the 
count of Flanders. Becket, like Anselm in the 
previous instance, protested vigorously, but in 
vain. As for king Henry he was quite willing 
that the comte of Boulogne should pass to a son 
of the count of Flanders, whose cousin and friend 
he was ; but the great fiefs, English and Norman, 
in his own dominions were another matter ; these, 
it is clear to me, were swept into the royal net. 1 

1 The vast estates of the Warenne family provided, later, an 
appanage for his natural brother Hamelin, who received them 
with the hand of the count's widow. 



Mathew, however, was by no means ready to 
acquiesce in this arrangement. He claimed them 
all, in right of his wife, and eventually king 
Henry "promised" probably in 1166 to give 
him the then enormous sum of 1,000 in com- 
pensation. 1 

But the bribe was insufficient. In 1167 the 
king's difficulty was the count's opportunity, 
and the absence of Henry in France inspired him 
with the daring conception of an armed descent 
on England in support of his claim. For the 
mention of this curious episode, which seems to 
have escaped notice, 2 we are indebted to Gervase 
of Canterbury, who wrote, of course, with local 
knowledge. He tells us 3 that the king being busy 
with the troubles oversea, 4 the count assembled 
a fleet, it was said, of six hundred ships, which 

1 " Ibi enim rex mille libras Matthaeo Comiti Boloniae se 
daturum spopondit " (Materials for history of Thomas Becket, VI. 


2 It is not mentioned in the most elaborate and recent history 
of the reign, that of Miss Norgate. 

8 "Mathaeus etiam comes Boloniae, frater vero Philippi comitis 
Flandriae, secentas naves, ut fama fuit, Flandrensibus armavit, 
juratus in Angliam venire, unde motus magnus in Anglia factus 
est. Subtraxerat enim ei rex quosdam redditus in Anglia quos 
dicebat sibi de jure antique competere. Quos quia prece non 
potuit armis conatus est revocare. Sumpsit audaciam suae prae- 
sumptionis eo quod rex Angliae transmarinis dissentionibus esset 
occupatus. Verumptamen conatus ejus inanis efFectus est, 
Ricardo de Luci cum Anglicana militia custodiam procurante " 
(Gervase of Canterbury [Rolls Series], I. 203). 

4 Henry was in Aquitaine, this year, until the spring, was then 
fighting the French king in the north till August, after which he 
had to quell an important rising in Britanny (Eyton). 



he filled with Flemings, swearing that he would 
extort his rights by force of arms. Much alarm 
was caused for the time ; but the famous " Richard 
de Luci the loyal," who had charge of the realm 
in the king's absence, kept the coast with the 
English " militia," and the count's attempt came 
to naught. 1 The story is confirmed, I think, by the 
Pipe Roll of the year, which shows us that Dover 
Castle was provisioned, and its defences strength- 
ened, 2 that weapons were sent from London to 
the coast, precautions taken for the safety ot 
Canterbury, and seven ships despatched from 
Southampton to Dover " on the king's service." 
Instead of revenging himself upon the count, 
Henry, with the Becket trouble on his hands, and 
with war and rebellion in prospect, came to terms 
with Mathew, bought off his claim to his wife's 
inheritance, and, in 1168, secured his help against 
the French king. 3 The price he had to pay for 

1 Strangely enough, Richard de Luci's own castle of Ongar, 
the head of his newly-formed Honour, had been part, with its 
appurtenant manors, of the Boulogne fief, and had been given 
him by Stephen and his queen (as Count and Countess) and 
confirmed by their son Count William. (See my paper on " The 
Honour of Ongar" in Essex Arch. Trans. [N.S.], VII. 142-152). 

2 The famous keep was not erected till some years later. 

3 " Rex vero Henricus caute agens cognatum suum Mathaeum 
comitem Boloniae, sibi pacificavit, spondens ei se daturum per 
annum maximam partem pecuniae pro calumnia relaxanda comi- 
tatus Moritonii. Habebat enim filiam regis Stephani, qui fuerat 
comes Moritonii. Cum autem idem Mathaeus ad auxilium regis 
Anglorum, domini et cognati sui, veniret, Johannes comes Pontivi, 
non permisit eum transire per terram suam, unde, necessitate 
cogente, navali subvectione ad regem cum multis militibus accessit " 
(Robert ofTongm [Rolls Ed.], p. 238). 



this was the gift of a fresh fief in England itself. 
It can be positively proved from the Pipe Rolls 
that, although the count did not obtain the Bou- 
logne fief, or even part of it, he received as com- 
pensation over three hundred " librates " of other 
land. The Roll of the i4th year (Michaelmas 
1 1 68) shows that the count was then drawing 
200 " blanch " a year from Kirton-in-Lindsey, 
65 from Ixning, Suffolk, and >T6i from Bamp- 
ton, Oxon. And by Michaelmas 1170 he was 
drawing, in addition, 60 from Dunham, Notting- 
hamshire, which had been previously received by 
his brother the count of Flanders. 1 He did not, 
however, long retain these English possessions, 
for, on joining Henry, " the young king," he was 
treated as having forfeited them all at, or soon 
after, Easter ii73- 2 The "consideration" by 
which he had been won to the cause of Henry's 
rebellious heir was the promise of the coveted 
comte of Mortain, with a confirmation of the 
important manor of Kirton-in-Lindsey, and a 
grant of the great Honour of Eye, which had 
been held by Stephen. 3 Fighting in the cause 

1 Pipe Roll, 1 6 Hen. II. This brought up the total to nearly 
400. It is remarkable that we find Count Mathew bestowing 
the church of St. Nicholas at Droitwich on the abbey of Fon- 
tevrault for the local nuns of Westwood (Monastlcon y VI. 1006-7), 
and his successor Ida confirming the gift. I should be inclined 
to connect this with the rights at Droitwich that are entered in 
Domesday as appurtenant to Bampton (fo. 154^). 

2 Pipe Roll, 19 Hen. II. 

8 Hoveden, II. 46. But the Gesta (I. 44) says that the Honour 
of Eye was promised to Hugh Bigot. 



of " the young king," he was mortally wounded 
in Normandy (July 1173), exactly five years, as 
the chronicler observes, after he had solemnly 
sworn fealty to Henry II. 1 

The hereditary claims of the Countess Mary 
passed to her heirs by Count Mathew, their 
daughters, Ide and Maud. These, in 1180, were 
given in marriage by their uncle Philip, count of 
Flanders, Maud, the younger, becoming the wife 
of Henry " the Warrior " duke of Lorraine. 
Some sort of hereditary claim seems to have been 
recognised in her and her husband, for the latter 
received from Richard I. the great Honour of Eye, 
which had been held by Stephen, and by his son 
Count William after him. 2 But the geogra- 
phical position of the Boulonnais in the relations 
of England, France, and Flanders during the 
latter half of the I2th century made the succes- 

1 " Quod divino judicio factum esse pro certo cognoscimus. Nam 
quia propositis et tactis sacrosanctis reliquiis, inter quas et manus 
Sancti Jacobi praesentaliter habebatur, quinquennio jam transacto 
in festo Sancti Jacobi fidelitatem patris regis juraverat, et, sicut 
modo apparuit, in omnium oculis dejeraverat, in ultionem tanti 
sceleris, in die festo Sancti Jacobi letali vulnere percussus est " (R. 
Diceto, I. 373). This statement gives us the date of their pre- 
vious reconciliation, namely, 25 July 1168. 

2 " Et tenuit ilium honorem iij annis, qui mortuus fuit in servicio 
Regis in exercitu de Tulosa [1159] . successit Ricardus 
Rex et dedit eundem honorem duci Loeringie cum nepte comitis 
predicti Willelmi que erat proxima heres. Et Dux Loheringie tenet 
ilium honorem [1212] sicut hereditatem uxoris sue" (Testa de 
Nevill, 296). It had then 90^ knight's fees (Red Book of the 
Exchequer, 477). It was * restored ' to Duke Henry so late as 
9 Hen. III. (1224-5). 



sion to English lands which had been held by its 
counts a matter of policy rather than of right. 

The elder sister, to whom was given the comte 
of Boulogne, brought it eventually to Reginald de 
Dammartin, son of a Count Aubrey de Dammar- 
tin, who himself had held some land in England. 1 
In conjunction with her he confirmed, in 1201, 
to the Hospital of Austin Canons at Cold Norton, 
Oxfordshire, the gifts of his predecessors. 2 John, 
on 24 April 1200, had sanctioned the arrange- 
ment by which the count had charged on Kirton- 
in-Lindsey the 5 a year, with which Count 
Mathew had endowed St. Mary of Longvillers, in 
the Boulonnais, at Norton. 8 Becoming John's ally 
against France by the treaty of Chateau Gaillard 
(18 August 1 1 99), 4 Count Reginald had secured 
his wife's English inheritance at Kirtbn, Bampton, 
and Dunham ; 6 and nine months later (9 May 
1200), at Roche d'Orival (that is at Chateau Fouet 
on the Seine), he obtained from John the curious 
grant that if, in the course of the war between 
Philip and himself, the strife should reach the 
Boulonnais, the count might come to England 
with his wife and daughter and reside there 
freely, and that, in case of his death, his daughter 
and heiress should only be married by her friends' 
advice, and " according to the custom of the 

1 In East Anglia (Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 60 ; cf. p. 128). 

2 Monasticon Anglicanum, VI. 421. 

3 Rot. Chart., I. (i) 47. The endowment can be traced at 
Kirton in later times. 4 Ibid. p. 30. 

5 Count Mathew had alienated to followers lands at Exning. 

177 N 


Boulonnais." Reginald, it seems, knew his John, 
and he did not trust him far. The alliance was 
not of long duration, for the count forfeited his 
English lands, apparently in 1203, by going over 
to Philip. 

In 1212 there was another sharp change. The 
comte of Boulogne was confiscated by Philip, and 
the count fled to Otho and Germany, and thence 
to England. Doing homage to John at Lambeth, 
3 May (1212), he received a grant, the next 
day, of an annuity of 1,000 for three years, 
during which the rights of his wife and himself 
in England and Normandy should be ascertained. 
He also recovered Kirton, Dunham, and Bampton 
with Norton (Oxon.), and received in addition 
Norton (Suffolk), Ryhall (Rutland), and Wrestling- 
worth and Piddington (Beds.). 2 These three last 

1 " Quod si occasione nostri vel werre nostre in Buluneys' werra- 
tum fuerit, et quod placuerit illi in terram nostram Anglic venire, 
ipsi et uxori et fitie sue salvum venire et salvum stare et salvum 
inde recedere Et ipsum securum . . . per 
cartam nostram et per barones nostros quod sive tempore pacis vel 
tempore werre nostre, sicut predictum est, illuc venerint, filiam 
suam libere ... et si de eo humaniter contigisset, ad 
ipsam maritandam secundum consuetudinem de Buluneis per consilium 
amicorum suorum. Si vero . . . quod absit, interim conti- 
gisset, barones nostri nichilominus earn libere dimittent ut predic- 
tum est" (Rot. Chart., I. (i) p. 58). 

2 " Sciatis quod reddidimus Reginaldo de Dammartin comiti 
Boloniae Kirketon', Dunham', et Norton* quod est in comitatu 
Oxon', [Bampton], et praeterea Norton' quod est in comitatu Suff', 
Ridal', et Wrestlingehal' et Pedint' cum omnibus pertinentiis suis 
in dominicis feodis et serviciis sicut ea tenuit die qua ilia cepimus 
in manum nostram. Reddidimus eciam eidem comiti Boloniae 
Ixning cum pertinentiis suis salvis militibus et libere tenentibus 



manors had formed part of the Honour of Hunt- 
ingdon. A recognition so splendid as this bound 
the count closely to the cause of John. Next 
year he is found as one of the commanders of the 
king's fleet at the naval victory of Damme, and in 
1214 he fought for him most gallantly at the 
famous but disastrous battle of Bouvines. After 
himself unhorsing Philip, he was taken prisoner by 
the French, and carried off in fetters to remain 
captive till his death. 

There is something pathetic, when his fate is 
remembered, in a formal entry on our close rolls, 
some five years later (15 July, 1219), that the 
count is to be given Cold Norton and Dunham, as 
he held them when captured in Flanders, in John's 
service, and at the outbreak of war between John 
and the barons. 1 

Thus tragically closed the long but chequered 
connection of England and the counts of Boulogne. 
One of those counts had invaded England, by the 
side of Duke William, in 1066, and had again 
invaded her, on his own account, in 1067. 
Another had landed on her shores in 1135, and 
had mounted, and held, her throne. A third had 
endeavoured to invade her in 1 1 67, lured by the 

feodis et tenementis que Matheus pater Ide comitisse Bolonie uxoris 
sue eis dedit per servicium quod inde debent et pro defectu aliarum 
terrarum quas exigit tanquam jus suum et jus uxoris sue predicte 
Ide dabimus ei annuatim mille libras sterlingorum ... a 
Pascha anno regni nostri quatuordecimo usque in tres annos 
proximo sequentes ut interim jus suum et jus uxoris sue possimus 
inquirere" (Rot. Chart., I. (i) p. 186). 
1 Rot. Litt. Claus., I. 396. 



hope of regaining their great English possessions. 
A fourth, fighting by sea and land, in the cause of 
her tyrant king, died a captive and dispossessed, 
owning nothing but the land which he held within 
the island realm. 



The Family of Ballon and the Conquest 
of South Wales 

AMONG the Norman nobles of the Conquest 
there is no more striking figure than that of 
William Fitz Osbern. Son of the loyal guardian of 
the infant Duke William, that Osbern who had 
paid for his fidelity with his life (1040), William 
became, in Mr. Freeman's words, the Duke's 
" nearest personal friend . . . the Duke's 
earliest and dearest friend, the son of the man 
who had saved his life in childhood, the man who 
had himself been the first to cheer on his master 
to his great enterprise." * In another place Mr. 
Freeman speaks of him as the duke's " chosen 
friend . . . the man who had done more 
than any other man to bring about the invasion 
of England." Lord of Breteuil, seneschal of Nor- 
mandy, joint regent for a while of England (1067), 
earl of Hereford on the morrow of the Conquest, 
and lord of the Isle of Wight, he was entrusted at 
one time with the castle at Winchester, at another 
with the " tower " at York, and yet found time 
within the four years which covered his English 

1 Norman Conquest, vol. III. 


life " to make some fearful inroads " on the Welsh 
neighbours of his earldom. Mr. Freeman, indeed, 
went so far as to say that we have in these inroads, 

the beginning, though only the beginning, of that great Norman 
settlement in South Wales which was a few years later to make 
Morganwg, above almost every other part of the Isle of Britain, 
a land of Norman knights and Norman castles ; but this work 
was to be done by other hands than those of William Fitz 
Osbern. 1 

I am dealing in another quarter with the traces 
of this great noble's rule, not only in the Isle of 
Wight but in Hampshire. 2 Here I can deal only 
with his rule in his border earldom, where he 
played the part of a petty sovereign. The position 
of Herefordshire on the Welsh border was one of 
such strategic importance that the district had to 
be organized on a quasi-military system, a system 
which left its traces for centuries in the exceptional 
status of " the March " and of its lords. Edward 
the Confessor had led the way by making his 
French nephew, Ralf, earl of Hereford, and en- 
trusting the borough and the shire to him and 
to his foreign knights. Under his successor, the 
same task was taken up anew, and Domesday 
shows us Herefordshire divided by William Fitz 
Osbern into castleries, each of which must have 
had for its centre the moated and palisaded mound 
which formed the fortress of the time. It was 
hardly exaggeration on Mr. Freeman's part to 
speak of Earl William's " reign " in the feudal 

1 Norman Conquest, vol. IV. 

2 See Introduction to the Domesday Survey of Hampshire in 
the Victoria Series of County Histories. 



principality thus created. He made, indeed, a 
special law on behalf of the warrior knights whom 
his lavish pay attracted, that none of them should 
pay, for any offence, a higher fine than seven 
shillings. And this privilege was still in force 
when William of Malmesbury wrote in the fol- 
lowing century. Of more interest, however, was 
a privilege, to which Mr. Freeman did not allude, 
bestowed by him on the French burgesses who 
had settled under him at Hereford. To them he 
granted that, like their fellows clustered round 
his castle of Breteuil on the edge of the forest 
of that name, 1 they should enjoy certain c customs,' 
of which the most important was that they 
should not be fined more than 12 pence for 
any offence, save three reserved pleas. 

As these ' customs ' of Breteuil spread from 
Hereford to other English towns, it seems desir- 
able to explain a matter which, hitherto, has 
either been overlooked or been misunderstood. 
In accordance with my standing principle of 
Domesday interpretation, I here collate the two 
passages bearing on these c customs.' 


Anglici burgenses ibi man- Ipsis burgensibus annuerunt 

entes habent suas priores con- leges et consuetudines que sunt 

suetudines. Francig[enae] vero in Hereford et in Bretuill, 

burgenses habent quietas per scilicet quod per totum annum 

xii denarios omnes forisfacturas de aliqua forisfactura non da- 

suas preter tres supradictas (pa- bunt nisi xii denarios praeter 

cem [regis] infractam et hein- homicidium et furtum et Hein- 

faram et forestellum) I. 179. far praecogitata I. 269. 

1 In the south-west of the Department of the Eure. 



I cannot find any mention of either of these 
passages in Professor MaitlancTs work, Domesday 
Book and Beyond ; nor can I find a reference to the 
Rhuddlan one in the History of English Law. 1 
Still less can I discover any attempt to collate 
them, although they, clearly, illustrate one another. 
The conclusions that I draw from this collation 
are : (i) that the burgesses of Rhuddlan which 
Domesday speaks of as a " new borough " founded 
by the earl of Chester and Robert of Rhuddlan 
jointly 2 were granted the c customs ' of Breteuil 
only as used at Hereford, and not directly from 
Breteuil ; (2) that these ' customs ' had for their 
chief feature the limitation of fines to 1 2 pence ; 

(3) that the Domesday record of such limitation 
at Hereford represents the c customs ' of Breteuil ; 

(4) that this limitation was granted only to its 
burgesses of ' French ' birth ; (5) that three " pleas 
of the Crown " were excepted, in both cases, from 
this limitation, and that their names are by no 
means the same. 

The above laws or customs enjoyed by the 
borough and the shire were by no means the only 
lasting traces of Earl William's rule. The abbeys 
he had founded on his Norman lands at Cormeilles 
and La-Vielle-Lyre 3 were richly endowed from 
his English fief. In Herefordshire, Hampshire, 

l Ey Profs. Maitland and Sir F. Pollock, 1895. See vol. II. 
pp. 452-3- 

2 Orderic writes that " Decreto regis oppidum contra Gallos 
apud Rodelentum constructum est." 

3 Both now in the Department of the Eure. 


Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire, churches, 
tithes and lands, were theirs by the gift of their 
pious founder, while even the revenues from the 
boroughs of Hereford and Southampton were 
charged by him in their favour. I have urged, 
in dealing with the Hampshire Domesday, that 
these endowments have a special value as enabling 
us to trace those lands which had been held by 
Earl William and by his son and successor. This 
value is no less evident in the case of the Here- 
fordshire Domesday, where the frequent mention 
of the Abbey of Cormeilles 1 points to the previous 
tenure of royal manors in that shire by Earl Wil- 
liam Fitz Osbern, a fact at which Domesday only 
occasionally hints. Therefore, when Pope Alex- 
ander III. is found confirming to the Abbey " de- 
cimas reddituum villae de Munemuta, de Troy," 2 
we may safely infer that Monmouth (with Troy) 
had been held by William Fitz Osbern. For when 
Wihenoc and his nephew, William the son of 
Baderon, were installed there by the Conqueror, 
they bestowed all the endowments they could on 
the Abbey of St. Florent de Saumur. 3 

But Earl William's power did not extend only 
beyond the modern shire to the castled outpost of 
Monmouth ; it extended down the border of South 
Wales to the very mouth of the Severn. Seizing 
the great manor of Tidenham, which belonged to 

1 Especially on fo. 179^. 

2 In 1 1 68. Monasticon, VI. 1076-7. 

3 See Domesday, fo. i8o, and the paper on "The Origin or 
the Stewarts " above. 


Bath Abbey, he obtained the important angle of 
land formed by the Severn and the Wye, while by 
evicting the holders, royal, clerical, and lay, of the 
manors of Alvington, Lydney, and Purton, he ex- 
tended his territory some distance up the right 
bank of the Severn. 1 From this district, as a base 
of operations, he pushed across the Wye into 
Wales, raising the famous castle of Strigul, now 
Chepstow, as a fortified tete de pont on its right 
bank. 2 Having thus entered the land of Gwent 
(the lowlands between the Wye and the Usk) the 
indefatigable earl soon reduced it to subjection, 
portioning out some of it in ploughlands for his 
follower Ralf de Limesi and other Norman 
knights, 3 while, by permission of king William, 
he allowed king GrufFyd and the Welsh to hold 
the rest, 4 on the native system, the grouped frevs 
paying in kind their cows, their pigs, and their 
honey, with a commutation for the hawks. 5 

All this Earl William had accomplished in the 
course of his " short reign." At the close of 
1070 he left England for Normandy, having con- 

1 See the Gloucestershire Domesday for all this. 

2 " Castellum de Estrighoiel fecit Willelmus comes et ejus tern- 
pore reddebat xl solidos tantum de navibus in silvam euntibus. 
Tempore vero comitis Rogerii, filii ejus, reddidit ipsa villa xvi 
libras, et medietatem habebat Radulfus de Limesi." Domesday, 
I. 162. 

3 " In eodem feudo dedit Willelmus comes Radulfo de Limesi 
1 carucatas terrae sicut fit in Normannia." Domesday, I. 162 (and 
see the entries adjoining). 

4 " Hos misit Willelmus comes ad consuetudinem Grifin regis 
licentia regis Willelmi." Ibid. 

5 Cf. Seebohm's English Village Community, p. 207. 



quered within those four years Yorkshiremen in 
the north-east and Welsh in the south-west. From 
Normandy he soon set out for Flanders, " as 
though," says Orderic, " to sport," to join king 
Philip in the conquest of Flanders, and to win its 
countess as his bride. And there, at the battle of 
Cassel, he was slain. So fell one who " had ever 
been the man whom William had most trusted, 
and whom he had ever chosen for those posts 
which called for the highest displays of faithful- 
ness, daring, and military skill." 1 Four years 
more, and Roger, his son and successor, forfeited 
all the great possessions won by his father's sword. 
The fatal c bride-ale ' at the wedding of his sister 
with the earl of Norfolk was followed by his 
rising, capture, and imprisonment (1074), and the 
greatness of his fall proved, we shall find, a text 
on which the chronicler could moralize to his 
heart's content. 

At the time of the Domesday Survey (1086) 
changes had followed on his fall. Monmouth was 
already in the hands of the father of its Breton 
lords ; and in Gwent Ralf de Limesi had been 
succeeded in his lands by a new holder, William 
de Ou (Eu), himself destined to forfeiture for trea- 
son under William Rufus. But the land was still 
in the Norman's grip. Caerleon-upon-Usk is 
mentioned as theirs, 2 and Caldecote, then or later 
' castled,' was in the hands of the king's sheriff. 
One Norman lord, on whom we have to keep our 

1 Freeman's Norman Conquest. 2 Domesday, I. 162. 


eyes, had penetrated even beyond the Usk into 
what was then Gwenllwg. 

Turstin the son of Rolf has between Usk and Wye 17 
plough-teams. Four and a half of these are on his demesne ; 
the others are (those) of his men. . . . Of this land, the 
king's reeves claim five and a half plough [lands], saying that 
Turstin took them without their being given him. 

The same Turstin has 6 carucates of land beyond Usk ; and 
there his men have 4 plough-teams, etc., etc. 1 

Moreover, I have a strong suspicion that this 
Turstin was already established at Caerleon-on- 
Usk itself. For the Herefordshire ' castlery ' or 
William de Scohies is most unexpectedly headed 
by that of c Carlion,' where there were eight 
" carucates of land " (the same measure, be it ob- 
served, as in the above entry), together with 
"three Welshmen living under Welsh law " and a 
render of honey. And all this was held of him 
by 'Turstin.' 2 

There is just a doubt as to whether this Turstin 
Fitz Rolf was the ardent warrior of that name who 

1 Domesday, I. 162. The land "between Usk and Wye" is 
now East Monmouthshire ; " beyond Usk " lay what is now 
the western portion of the shire. 

2 " Willelmus de Scohies tenet viii to carucatas terrae in Cas- 
tellaria de Carlion, et Turstin tenet de illo. Ibi habet in 
dominio unam carucam, et iii Walenses lege Walensi viventes 
cum iii carucis et ii bordarii cum dimidia caruca, et redd[i]t iiii 
sextaria mellis." Domesday, I. 185^. 

It seems to me not improbable that the Herefordshire lands of 
William de Scohies were given him for the support of this Nor- 
man outpost at Caerleon, in which case its acquisition was as early 
as the days of William Fitz Osbern. But this can only be con- 



bore the duke's standard at the battle of Hastings. 
Genealogists, also, have been baffled hitherto in 
seeking to trace the descent of his lands in England 
and South Wales. 1 For when we close Domesday 
Book, a thick darkness settles down on Gwent and 
its Norman lords. 

It is at Abergavenny that this darkness is first 
broken by gleams of light. Dugdale begins his 
account of the family that he terms c Baalun ' with 
this marvellous passage : 

In the time of King Edward the Confessor Dru de Baladon 
(or Balon) had issue three sons, viz. Hameline, Wyonoc and 
Wynebald, as also three daughters, Emme, Ducia, and Beatrix. 
Which Hameline came into England with William the Con- 
queror ; and being the first lord of all that territory in Wales 
called Over- Went, built a strong castle at Bergavenny, where 
a Gyant called Agros had raised one formerly. 

This Hameline also founded the Priory of Bergavenny, and 
departing the world in 3 Will. Rufi, was there buried ; but, 
having no issue, gave that castle to Briene, son of the earl of the 
Isle, his nephew (commonly called Brientius filius Comitis)^ viz. 
son of his sister Lucie. 1 

It would be difficult to pack more errors into so 
small a space ; and yet Dugdale copied faithfully 
the story of the Abergavenny monks, who had 
compiled, after the manner of their kind, one of 
those " histories of the foundation " which are re- 
sponsible for more false genealogy than any other 
medieval documents. 

I shall now set myself to prove (i) that Hamelin 
and Wynebald were two brothers who took their 

1 See p. 194 below. 2 Baronage, I. 453. 



name from Ballon (near Le Mans) in Maine, and 
were benefactors, in England, to the great abbey of 
St. Vincent at Le Mans ; (2) that they were 
brought over by William Rufus ; (3) that they 
were placed in the valley of the Usk, Hamelin at 
Abergavenny and Wynebald at Caerleon ; (4) that 
Wynebald at least was provided for from the lands 
of Turstin Fitz Rou in England and Wales. 
Lastly, I shall trace the descent of their fiefs and 
shall reveal the unsuspected origin of the later 
bearers of their name. 

In my Calendar of Documents preserved in France 
(pp. 3679) I have given abstracts, in English, 
from the cartulary of the abbey of St. Vincent, 
of the charters of Hamelin and Winebaud de 
Ballon (Baladone)) the former of whom distinctly 
states that he was born at Ballon, and that his lands 
in England were given him by William Rufus. 
Mr. Freeman, although he knew nothing of the 
tale I am now unfolding, dealt in great detail with 
the Red King's campaigns in Maine and in 
Wales, 1 campaigns which must have been re- 
sponsible, between them, for the settlement in this 
country of Hamelin and Winebaud de Ballon. 

This family must not be confused with that 
which held, and took its name from, the barony or 
Bolam in Northumberland. Dugdale treated them, 
quite properly, as wholly unconnected (vol. I. pp. 
453, 680) ; but in the Rolls Series edition of The 
Red Book of the Exchequer the editor (Mr. Hubert 
Hall) treats the two names as identical and jumbles 

1 See his Reign of William Rujus y passim. 


up the two families (p. 1097). And, by way of 
further confusing the pedigree, he assumes (one 
cannot imagine why) that the c Roger ' de Baalun 
who was still living (if indeed he was) in 1 1 6 1 is 
identical with that ' Reginald ' de Baalun who 
occurs 1 1 90- 1 20 1. 1 

In a fine passage Mr. Freeman writes as follows 
of Ballon, when, alone among the fortresses of 
Maine, it refused to admit the duke of the Nor- 
mans (1088) : 

The fortress which still held out, one whose name we shall 
again meet with more than once in the immediate story of the 
Red King, was a stronghold indeed. About twelve miles north 
of Le Mans a line of high ground ends to the north in a steep 
bluff rising above the Cenomannian Orne, the lesser stream of 
that name which mingles its waters with the Sarthe. . . . 2 
The hill forms a prominent feature in the surrounding landscape ; 
and the view from the height itself, over the wooded plains and 
gentle hills of Maine, is wide indeed. He who held Ballon 
against the lord of Normandy, the new lord of Le Mans, might 
feel how isolated his hill-fort stood in the midst of his enemies. 
. . . The hill had clearly been a stronghold even from pre- 
historic times. The neck of the promontory is cut off by a vast 
ditch, which may have fenced in a Cenomannian fortress in days 
before Caesar came. This ditch takes in the little town of 
Ballon with its church. A second ditch surrounds the castle 
itself, and is carried fully round it on every side. 

Although Duke Robert succeeded in obtaining 

1 It would be unnecessary to refer to the fearful confusion 
between the lords of Monmouth, descendants of c Baderon ' (see 
p. 1 20 above), and the family of ' Balladon,' named " from 
Baladon a castle in Anjou" (!), in that singular work The Nor- 
man People (pp. 148, 291), were it not that it is freely cited in 
the Duchess of Cleveland's excellent Battle Abbey Roll, as if an 
authority. 2 William Rufus y I. 209-211. 



possession of Ballon, it was betrayed to William 
Rufus, ten years later (1098), by the same com- 
mander, Payn de Montdoubleau, who had held it 
against Duke Robert. William placed it in the 
hands of the famous Robert of Belleme, by whom 
it was successfully defended on his behalf. 

Returning now to this country, we find Hamelin 
de Ballon giving to the abbey of St. Vincent, not 
only the endowment for a priory at Abergavenny 
itself, but " all the tithes of all Wennescoit, both 
of his own [demesne] and of the lands which he 
has given or may give [in fee]. 1 Here " Wennes- 
coit " appears to stand for " Gwent Iscoed " (lower 
Gwent) ; but as his territory was upper Gwent, it 
must represent Gwent Uchcoed. He further gives 
the churches of ' Capreolum ' and c Luton,' of 
which we are only told that they were in England. 
Their identification proved a work of great diffi- 
culty, but from later evidence I have satisfied my- 
self that they were Great Cheverel and Great 
Sutton in Wilts. 2 

As an instance of the difficulties often found in 

1 Calendar of Documents preserved in France, No. 1046. 

2 These were not held, in 1086, by Turstin Fitz Rou. They 
are identified by a return in the Testa de Nevill (p. 151), where 
the Honour "de Mortelay " is,- we shall find, that of Much Marcle ! 
From the Testa also we learn (pp. 135, 138) that Little Cheverel 
was held by the earl of Salisbury, which proves, as he was a suc- 
cessor of Ernulf de Hesdin, that the latter's Domesday ' Chevrel ' 
was Little Cheverel. Mr. Jones, in his Domesday of Wiltshire^ 
thought that it included both Great and Little Cheverel, but the 
* Cheverel ' on fo. 64^, which he did not identify, may possibly 
have been Great Cheverel. This would account for its being 
at the Crown's disposal. 



identifying the names in these charters, and of the 
interesting discoveries to which their solution may- 
lead us, we will now take a gift by Winebaud, 
the brother of Hamelin, to the same abbey of St. 
Vincent (? circ. noo). 1 He gives it the churches 
of ' Torteoda ' and c Augusta ' and the tithes of 
' Godriton ' and c Pedicovia,' together with the 
tithes of his lands in Wales. The difficulties here 
are (i) that there is no clue as to where these 
places are; (2) that Winebaud is a new-comer, 
and not the heir of a Domesday tenant, so that 
Domesday will not help us ; (3) that the names, 
as is so often the case in foreign cartularies, may 
not be trustworthy. What, for example, can be 
the places styled c Augusta ' and c Pedicovia ' ? 
The clue is found in c Torteoda ' alone. This was 
clearly Tortworth, Gloucestershire, which Domes- 
day shows us held by Turstin son of Rou. Fol- 
lowing this clue, we discover that c Pedicovia ' is 
the c Pidecome ' 2 which is found at the head of 
Turstin's fief in Somerset and is now Pitcombe. 
But the other two manors can nowhere be found 
in Turstin's Domesday fiefs. Guided, however, 
by his name, we discover them in two manors 
held of the bishop of Worcester by him in 
Gloucestershire, namely Aust (the c Austreclive ' 
of Domesday) and Gotherington in Bishop's 
Cleeve. I would invite special attention to the 
fact that we here find a newcomer obtaining not 
merely those manors which Turstin had held in 
capite from the Crown, but also those which he 

1 No. 1047. 2 "vi" having been read for "m." 

193 o 


held from others as a mere under-tenant. 1 One 
would like to learn by whom Winebaud was 
placed in the latter capacity in Turstin's shoes. 

Keeping, however, to the main point, we find 
that Winebaud de Ballon was provided for in Eng- 
land out of the fief of Turstin Fitz Rou, which 
had come, by escheat or forfeiture, into the hands 
of the Crown. This leads us to the interesting 
solution of a problem which has hitherto puzzled 
the experts. Mr. Ellis, an unsurpassed authority 
on the tenants in Domesday Book, observes that 
"the fief of Turstin fitz Rou, in 1166, was in 
the possession of Henry de Newmarch, but in 
what way it came to him is not apparent." 2 Sir 
Henry Barkly can only tell us that " Turstin Fitz 
Rolfs Domesday barony . . . came in some 
way to the ancestor of the Newmarchs." Here 
I would observe that Henry de Newmarch held 
in 1 1 66 two fees from the abbot of Westminster 
in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. 4 As Tur- 
stin was a tenant of the abbot (1086) in both 
these counties it is evident that here again his 
under-tenancies had passed to those who obtained 
his tenures in capite. 

The heirship of Newmarch to Winebaud is ex- 

1 He was already in possession of them in 1095, for, as Wine- 
bald de Balaon, he is found among the tenants of the bishop who 
were ordered to pay relief in that year (Feudal England, p. 39)- 

2 " Domesday Tenants of Gloucestershire " (Bristol and Glou- 
cestershire Arch. Tram., vol. IV. 

3 Testa de Nevill " (Ibid. vol. XIV.). * Newmarch' was the 
English form of the name ' NeufmarcheV 

4 Liber Rubeus (Rolls), p. 188. 



plained by a charter which Dugdale had seen, but 
of which the bearing escaped him. He read, in 
a cartulary of Bermondsey Priory (to which Wine- 
baud de Ballon was a benefactor in 1092) that 
Henry de Newmarch " ratified all those grants 
which Winebald his grandfather ', and likewise Roger 
and Milo sons of the same Winebald had given." 1 
Moreover, a Tewkesbury charter clinches the 
proof : 

Carta Henrici de Novoforo qua confirmat manerium de 
Amenel ecclesiae Theok* quod Winebaldus de Ealun avus suus ex 
parte dedit et ex parte vendidit eidem ecclesie primo anno 
Henrici regis primi, etc. 2 

The place was Amney, Gloucestershire, held as 
'Omenie' by Turstin in 1086. These charters 
are decisive, and give us the following pedigree : 






If further confirmation were needed, we should 
find it in a gift of Winebaud to St. Peter's, Glou- 
cester, with consent of " Roger his son." 3 

The very considerable barony inherited by 

1 Baronage, I. 435. (The italics are mine.) 

2 Monasticon, II. 73, where the charter is followed by a writ 
of Henry II. in connection with it. 

3 Cartulary of St. Peter's, Gloucester, I. 61. 



Henry de Newmarch (over 1 5 knight's fees in 
1 1 66) explains his grandfather Winebaud's de- 
scription of himself as " unus de magnis regis 
Henrici post conquestum primi baronibus " in a 
charter of 1 126. 1 In spite of this position, Wine- 
baud is scarcely known, while the name of his 
brother Hamelin is fairly familiar. This is prob- 
ably due to the fact that Hamelin founded a 
religious house at his stronghold of Abergavenny, 
and was consequently commemorated by its monks. 
Winebaud, on the contrary, scattered his benefac- 
tions. In addition to those to Bermondsey Priory 
and to St. Peter's, Gloucester, set out in Dugdale's 
Baronage, he bestowed endowments also on St. 
Vincent's Abbey at Le Mans 2 and on the Cluniac 
Priory of Montacute, Somerset. His patronage 
of this last house was due, doubtless, to the fact 
that he held a considerable portion of Turstin Fitz 
Rou's fief in Somerset. 3 In addition to Pitcombe, 
from which he gave an endowment to St. Vincent's, 
at least four other of Turstin's manors must have 
passed to him, for they are found in the hands of 
his heir, James de Neufmarche. It was this pos- 
session of a Somerset fief that explains his presence 
at the bishop of Bath's court in 1120 or ii2i. 4 

1 Cartulary of St. Peter's, Gloucester, I. 61. 

2 See above, and my Calendar of Documents preserved in France. 

3 Mr. Eyton seems to have been unaware of this (Domesday 
Studies : Somerset), for he only mentioned that some of Turstin's 
manors appear to have gone to his under-tenant, Bernard Pance- 
volt and his heirs. 

4 Bath Cartularies (Somerset Record Society), I. 50. Also 
Bigelow's Placita Anglo-Normannica (citing Madox's Exchequer), 



His gift to Montacute consisted, according to the 
cartulary of that house, of " the mill of Cadebiri 
with the man and the land belonging thereto, and 
the church of Karion." The mill was at North 
Cadbury, one of his Somerset manors, but the 
church of ' Karion ' requires interpretation. For 
that interpretation we must turn to the Book of 
Llandaff, where we find Pope Honorius (II.) in- 
forming Urban bishop of LlandafF that 

Winebaldus de Baeluna terrain de Cairlion monachis de Montea- 
cuto pro animal suae remedio dare disposuit 

and that he is to give them possession accordingly. 2 
As this missive is dated from the Lateran i June, 3 
it cannot be earlier than 1125. The appearance, 
in this endowment, of Winebaud at Caerleon is of 
special interest because it is probable, as I said 
above, that his predecessor Turstin Fitz Rou was 
there already in 1086. 

Winebaud was succeeded by his son Roger, of 
whom we read under Somerset (where was the 
caput of the barony) in 1 1 6 1 : " Rogerius de 
Baelon debet xxii marcas, sed debet auferri." 4 

p. 114. The document is dated 1121, but the first writ must be 
previous to the king's son's death in 1 1 20. 

1 Charter of Henry II. (Ed. Somerset Record Society, p. 127). 

2 Register of Llandaff. Book of Llan Dav (1893), pp. 30, 53. 
See also Monastlcon^ V. 167. 

3 In the text on p. 53 of c the Book of Llan Dav ' it is *xvi 
kal. Julii.' 

4 Pipe Roll 7 Hen. II., p. 50. A Roger de Baalon joined 
with his wife, Hawise (de Gournai) in giving the church of 
Inglishcombe, Somerset, to Bermondsey Priory. The gift is 
assigned to 1 1 1 2, but Hawise belonged to a later generation, so 
that there seems to be some error. 



We have seen above how this baro;iy passed, 
before 1166, to a branch of the house of Neuf- 
marche, from whom it descended in turn, about 
the close of John's reign, with the two daughters 
and co-heirs of James de Neufmarche, of whom 
one married Ralf Russell of Kingston Russell, 
thus raising that family to baronial rank, 1 while 
the other's moiety came to her second husband, 
Nicholas de Moels, and his heirs. 

The statements that Winebaud's brother, Hame- 
lin de Ballon, died "in 3 Will. Rufi " (1089-1090) 
and that he had " no issue J> are alike false. Both 
brothers are found at the court of Henry I. in 
1 10 1, where they witness as "Ego Winebaldus 
de Baalun, Ego Hamelinus frater ejus." 2 And 
Hamelin is a witness to a Monmouth charter in 
iioi or iioa, 3 and again to one of Henry I., 
granted between 1103 and no6. 4 

The statement that he died without issue is 
similarly derived, we saw, from the mendacious 
narrative of the Abergavenny Priory monks. It is 
absolutely disproved by his grandson's carta in 
1 1 66. William son of Reginald, who made his 
return of knight's fees under Herefordshire, then 

1 See below : " The Origin of the Russells." 

2 Bath Cartularies (Somerset Record Society), I. 44. And 
see on p. 45 their mention in a charter (noo) of Patrick de 
Sourches, whose origin (like their own) from Maine, together 
with the true form of his name, I have established in my Calendar 
of Documents preserved in France, p. xlviii. 

3 See the same Calendar, p. 408. 4 Ibid. p. 369. 



certified that he rendered the service of one knight 
from his demesne, and that 

Hamelinus de Balun, avus suus, feodatus fuit de veteri fefamento 
ad servitium predict! militis faciendum. Deficit ei Cheverel, 
quae est in praecepto domini Regis et honor de Bergeveni, unde 
deberet servitium suum domino Regi si ei placeret. 1 

The sequel to this return is found, I venture to 
say, in the following entry on the Fine Roll of 
1207 : 

John de Balun dat c marcas et unum palefridum ut finis factus 
inter Reginaldum de Balun patrem ipsius Johannis et Gaufridum 
filium Ace et Agnetem uxorem suam de terra que fuit Hamelini 
de Balun unde cirographum factum fuit inter eos in curia Regis 
Henrici patris domini Regis teneatur. 2 

The only clue to the locality is that the Roll 
places it in Wilts. But it was clearly that Great 
Cheverel, which Hamelin had held as c Capreo- 
lum, J which his grandson stated he had lost 
possession of, and which John c de Balon ' is 
found holding under Henry III. 3 It is certain 
then that what had happened was that Regin- 
ald de Ballon, the successor of that William 
who had made his return in 1166, recovered 
Cheverel by fine before the death of Henry 
II. This Reginald was still living in 3 John, 
when the Pipe Roll shows him, under Hereford- 
shire, holding a knight's fee " quod fuit Willelmi 
filii Reginaldi. 4 

In the Testa de Nevill (p. 151) John c de Balon ' 

1 Black Book text. 2 Fine Roll, 9 John, m. n, p. 382. 

3 Testa de Nevi// y pp. 141, 145, 151. 

4 Red Book of the Exchequer , p. 158.1 



is said to hold his Wiltshire fief of the king ' de 
honore de Mortelay.' The explanation is found 
on page 68, where we find, under Herefordshire, 
the "Feoda honoris de Martley," and on page 65, 
where we finally discover that the place is Much 
Marcle ( c Magna Markele'), where, in 1243, John 
c de Balun ' held 1 5 hides by the service of one 
knight "de veteri feoffamento." It was for this fief 
that the return was made in II66, 1 and it was 
here, as stated therein, that Hamelin de Ballon 
had been enfeoffed. We may now, therefore, 
construct this pedigree. 


living temp. 
and in 

William II. 


i" son of Reginald " 

and grandson of Hamelin 

living 1 1 66, 1 1 68 


At this point, in order to grasp the interest of 
the genealogical discovery to which we are now 
(Coming, we must return to our starting-point, 
William Fitz Osbern. His great but brief career, 
and his son's tragic fall, had impressed vividly the 
world. " Where," cried Orderic Vitalis, " is that 
William Fitz Osbern, earl of Hereford, and Vice- 
jroy 2 (of England), steward of Normandy, and 

1 JJnder Herefordshire. 2 " Regis vicarius,." 



leader of knights ? Truly he was the first and 
greatest oppressor of the English. . . . But 
the just Judge seeth all things. . . . Even as 
he butchered many with the sword, so hath he 
himself by the sword perished suddenly." Then, 
speaking of his son's fall, he tells us of the latter's 
sons, Reginald and Roger, gallant youths, striving, 
as he wrote, by arduous service but striving, as 
it seemed, in vain to gain king Henry's favour. 
" Thus," he added, " William's stock has been so 
utterly uprooted, that it does not own (unless I am 
mistaken) a yard of land in England." * After this 
mention, the two brothers disappear so absolutely 
from view that in a recent genealogical work we 
read, of Earl Roger, that his " issue was soon 
extinct." 2 

Let us turn, however, to the cartulary of God- 
stow, now in the Public Record Office. Under 
the heading of c Etona ' we find three charters 
showing how that manor was bestowed on the 

1 " Rogerius vero de Britolio comes Herfordensis . . . secun- 
dum leges Normannorum judicatus est, et amissa omni hereditate 
terrena in carcere regis perpetuo damnatus est. . . . Rain- 
aldus et Rogerius filii ejus optimi tirones Henrico regi famulantur, 
et clementiam ejus (quae tardissima eis visa est) in duris agonibus 
praestolantur. . . . Guillelmi progenies eradicata sic est de 
Anglia ut nee passum pedis (nisi fallor) jam nanciscatur in ilia." 
(Ed. Socie"te de Phistoire de France, II. 264-5.) M. Delisle con- 
siders that the ' book ' in which this passage occurs was written 
in 1 125, a date of importance for the light it throws on Reginald's 
age, half a century after his father's fall. 

2 Madan's Gresleys of Drake low e (1899), p. 7. So, too, in the 
Complete Peerage we read that " his issue is said by Ordericus 
Vitalis to have been (in his time) extinct" (IV. 211). 


monastery. Two of them proceed from " Regi- 
nald son of Roger earl of Hereford " and Emelina 
his wife, and the third is a confirmation by 
" Reginald de Baelun son of Reginald son of the 
earl " ! 


Episcopo Lincolnie et omnibus Sancti Dei ecclesiae fidelibus, 
etc. Reginaldus filius Rogeri comitis Herefordiae et Emelina 
uxor sua in Christo salutem. Universitati vestrae notum sit me 
Reginaldum praedicti comitis filium et uxorem meam Emelinam 
necnon filios et filias meas Willelmum, scilicet, Reginaldum et 
Hamelinum necnon Agnetem et Julianam, dedisse et concessisse 
in perpetuam elemosinam sanctimonialibus de Godestow Eatonam 
manerium meum de p[ropri]o dominio nostro pro salute nostra 
et remedio peccatorum meorum necnon pro animal Henrici regis 
etc., et quod teneant et habeant illud bene et in pace sicut nos 
melius illud habuimus dum in manu nostra fuit, tempore regis 
Henrici, et postea regis Stephani. Testes : Ricardo de Canvilla, 
Hugo de Berneriis, Rogerio Britone milites (sic) regis. 1 

Notum sit omnibus me Reginaldum de Baelun Reginaldi filii 
comitis filium, et Emelinae de Baelun, concessisse et confirmasse 
illam donationem quam pater meus et mater mea fecerunt de 
manerio suo, scilicet Eatona, sanctimonialibus in Godestow in 

1 This and the following charter are printed in the Monasticon 
from Glover's collections only, so that the text is not perfect, while 
the interesting witnesses and the date are omitted. The third 
charter in the cartulary is practically the same as the one above 
with a different address. The charter printed above contains, 
in the cartulary, this important clause : "cujus [i.e. regis Stephani] 
etiam carta hec nostra donacio confirmata est anno x regni 
sui, testibus Alexandro episcopo Lincolniensi, et Roberto episcopo 
Herefordensi, et Roberto priore Oxenfordie, et Waltero archi- 
diacono Oxenfordensi," etc., etc. This gives us a date (1145-6) 
for the many witnesses named, including Robert (of Cricklade) 
prior of St. Frideswide's. 



perpetuam elemosinam . . . sicut Reginaldus pater meus 
melius tenuit dum in manu sua fuit, et sicut Hamelinus de Baelun 
avus meus melius et liberius in vita sua tenuit. Hiis testibus : 
Hugone Brit[one], Hamelino de Baelun,' etc. 

With this clue we can now identify the mys- 
terious "Raginaldus filius comitis" who was excused 
Danegeld on 26 hides in Wilts in 1 130,^8 the son 
of Roger earl of Hereford, who held in Great 
Cheverel etc. the fief of his father-in-law, Hamelin 
de Ballon. 2 The 'Eatona' of these charters is some- 
what difficult to identify, as Jones' Domesday for 
Wiltshire does not help us. The Record Office, in- 
deed, seems to have been baffled, for, in its recent 
Ministers' accounts, it suggests ' Yatton Keynell,' as 
the equivalent of ' Etone monialium ' (p. 340 and 
Index). But the Hundred Rolls, together with a 
document printed in the Monasticon, prove that 
the place was Eaton in Stapley Hundred. 3 Under 
the Hundred of Stapley we read in the former (II. 

Item dicunt quod Johannes de Balun tenet I feodum militis in 
manerio de Eton de Rege in capite pertinens ad baroniam suam. 

1 Pipe Roll 31 Hen I., p. 22. 

3 I see no reason to suppose that the earl's son was illegitimate. 
Mr. Freeman wrote of him and his brother striving " to merit the 
restoration of some part of their father's possessions" (IV. 592), and 
Orderic's words imply, surely, that they were his disinherited 
children. The same impression is conveyed by a passage in 
Heming's Cartulary (I. 2637) : " filius ejus, paterne hereditatis 
parvo tempore dominus, pro traditione quam regi facere voluit 
publica custodia mancipatus, omne vite sue explevit tempus ergas- 
tulo religatus, omnisque ejus progenies ilia hereditate lege publica pri- 
vatus est." 3 In the extreme North-East of Wilts. 



Et Abbatissa de Godestouwe tenet dictum manerium de dicto 
Johanne in elemosina sed nesciunt quomodo alienat' nee a quo 
tempore. 1 

We may now briefly recapitulate what we have 
discovered about the fief held by Hamelin de 
Ballon. In addition to Abergavenny and its lord- 
ship, he held, in Wiltshire, Great Cheverel, Great 
Sutton, and Eaton. It is this Wiltshire fief which 
enables us to trace his heirs for at least two 
centuries. Opposite is the most remarkable pedi- 
gree to which that possession leads us. 

We saw above (p. 199), that John de Ballon, 
living in 1207, was son of a Reginald de Ballon, 
who was living under Henry II. ; so that the only 
possible question is whether there were two Regi- 
nalds, father and son, living under Henry II. 
Beyond the fact that the fief was in possession of 
a Reginald de Ballon so late as iaoi, 2 there is 
no reason to presume this, nor would it affect, in 
any way, the directness of the descent. 3 The 
head of the Ballons' barony, we have seen, was at 
Much Marcle, Herefordshire, and was so at least 
as early as 1 166. As it was held of 'the old feofF- 
ment,' it must have been given by the Crown 
before 1135,* but, unfortunately, there is nothing 
to show whether it was given, as seems probable, 
like the rest of the fief, to Hamelin de Ballon, 

1 His manor of Great Sutton is entered, as half a fee, on p. 277. 

2 As proved by the Pipe Rolls. 

3 When the later Pipe Rolls are in print, they may decide 
this point. 

4 See my correction of Mr. Oman, on this most important 
^late, in The Commune of London and other studies , pp. 5^~9- 




nephew of Duchess Gunnor 

Dapifer of Normandy 

Guardian of Duke William 

Murdered circ. 1040 

dau. of FITZ OSBERN widow of FITZ OSBERN 

de Toeni 

of Normandy 
Earl of Hereford 
Lord of the 

Count of 

of Exeter 

Isle of Wight 
Slain 1071 

Lord of 

Heir to his 


father in 

and of a 


Wiltshire fief 

ob. s.p. leg. 


circ. noo 




Lord of the 

Isle of Wight 

Forfeited 1074 




ng m 



Heiress to 
her father 

held the Ballon fief in 
Wilts 1130 jure ux. 
Living 1 145 


! 1 1 





Heir to confirm 

ed his 

Hameline parents' 
de Ballon Wilts) to 
in 1 1 66 Held the 

gifts (in 
fief 1175 


living 1207 


or was bestowed on Reginald ' Fitz Count ' as a 
small possession in that shire over which his 
grandfather and father had reigned as sovereign 

For the later history of the Ballons, lords of 
Much Marcle, reference may be made to Cooke's 
continuation of Buncombe's history of Hereford- 
shire, 1 which contains an elaborate history of the 
manor. It would be difficult to compress more 
errors into thirteen lines (pp. 2-3) than has here 
been done in the early history of the Ballon 
family. It is worse than worthless. But, as 
usual, with the reign of John we emerge into the 
light of day. John de ' Balun ' of Much Marcle 
joined the baronial party under John, was deprived 
of his lands accordingly in July I2i6, 2 but re- 
covered them from the Crown in June lai/. 3 
The last name on the list of barons who witnessed 
the confirmation of the charters in 1225 is that of 
John de ' Baalun.' The barony or honour of John 
de 'Balun,' in 1243, included Much Marcle, and 
Great Cheverel with Great Button, Wilts. 4 In 
1248-9 (33 Hen. III.), Auda, wife of John 'Balun,' 
was found heir to William Paynel of Somerset, 6 
but, as she died childless, her lands passed away. 
Like his predecessor John ' de Balun ' joined the 
baronial party under Henry III., losing his lands 
in consequence, till he recovered them under the 
'Dictum' of Kenilworth. This John figures in the 

1 Vol. III. (1882), pp. i et seq. 2 Close Rolls, II. 278. 
3 Ibid. p. 311. 4 Testa de Nevill. 

6 Calendarium Genealogicum y pp. 22, 23. 



Hundred Rolls as lord of Much Marcle, etc., 1 but 
was succeeded in 1275 by his next brother 
Walter, who married Isolde daughter of Edmund 
de Mortimer and wife after his death of Hugh 
de Audley. Much litigation followed, after Wal- 
ter's death, between his widow and his next 
brother and heir, Reginald. There is preserved 
among the Lansdowne MSS. (No. 905, fos. 80- 
89^) a series of transcribed deeds relating to Much 
Marcle in the I3th century, which throw some 
further light on the Ballons. There are also, 
at the British Museum, three original charters of 
some interest. Of these, the first is a feoffment 
by John de Balon " in manerio meo de Merke- 
lai," which is dated by the name of Maurice de 
Arundel, archdeacon of Gloucester, as between 
1 2 10 and I245. 2 Another mentions the land of 
"dominus Walterius de Balun" in Much Marcle, 3 
and the third is a charter of " Reginaldus de Balun 
Dominus de Magna Markeleya," dated 12 94.* 
This is of special interest on account of its armorial 
seal. The official catalogue blazons the coat as 
" 3 bars dancettees," but I think it is a barry 
dancetty coat, as indeed it seems to be blazoned on 
the old Rolls of arms. 

It is needless to work out in detail the later 
pedigree of the family, beyond pointing out that it 
ended, at Much Marcle, in three brothers, John, 

1 See above p. 203. The Inquest for Stapley Hundred was 
taken in March 1275. 

2 Harl. Cart. 111. D. 18. It has an equestrian seal. 

3 Eg. Cart. 346. 4 Ibid., 352. 



Walter, and Reginald, who were successively its 
lords. At Michaelmas 1258 John de 'Balun' be- 
stowed an annuity of i o a year on Reginald de 
'Balun' and his heirs, 1 and Walter de 'Balun,' when 
in possession, leased the manor for three years 
from 8 September 1285 to Edmund de Mortimer 
(whose daughter he had married) for 60 a year. 2 
How the manor was lost to the Ballons is not quite 
clear. Edmund de Mortimer, however, did obtain 
possession of it, and bestowed on his daughter one- 
third of it (which she was holding in dower), 
known afterwards as " Purparty Audley," from 
Audley, her second husband. The remaining two- 
thirds was known as " Purparty Mortimer." In 
the History of Herefordshire? from which we learn 
this, it is stated that Reginald de Ballon sold the 
manor to Mortimer for 500. On the other 
hand there is an entry which looks as if Reginald, 
on the contrary, had redeemed the manor for 500 
in I294. 4 But the extraordinary thing is that, 
nearly two hundred years after they had lost the 
manor (1490), we find "the manor called ' Aude- 
leys' in Much Marcle, held of John Balom, service 
unknown. " The tendency of the name, on Eng- 

1 Lansd. MS. 905, fo. 83^. 2 Ibid. fo. 84. 

3 Ed. Cooke ut supra. 

4 " Acquietancia Edmundi de Mortuo Mari facta Reginaldo de 
Babun (jjir) domino de Magna Markelea pro ccccc libris receptis 
per ipsum pro redempcione dicti manerii de Markelea " (Abbre- 
viatio placitorum y p. 234). 

6 Calendar of Inquisitions : Henry VII. , vol. I. p. 46. I have re- 
ferred to the original, where the words are : " et tenetur de 
Johanne Balom, sed per quod servicium ignorant." 



lish lips, to become corrupted into 'Balom* suggests 
that, perhaps, through folk-etymology, we may 
have in some obscure c Balaam ' the heir-male of 
the body of the great Viceroy of England. 

That male descendants of these Ballons, in all 
probability, exist, is shown by the mention of 
cadet lines. Apart from a certain John c de Balun,' 
a small holder in Much Marcle, who was hanged 
for felony at the close of Edward I.'s reign, 1 we 
find there a " dominus Reginaldus de Balun " and 
John his son in 1290-1 (19 Ed. I.). 2 Now, only 
three years earlier (16 Ed. I.), a John "filius 
Reginald! de Balun" occurs in a good position in 
Dorset ; 3 and we find that he was an under-tenant 
of Colbury and Stokk, in Sturminster Newton 
Castle, Dorset, and that these were held by John 
' de Balun ' under Edward II. 4 Again, in Hamp- 
shire we have Maihel c de Baalun ' occurring as a 
holder of land in n68, 5 and Roger c de Baalun,' 
its coroner, deceased shortly before 27 Dec. I225. 6 
Here too we have 'John Balom ' named in the list 
of gentry for the county under Henry VI. 

But the most interesting younger branch is that 
which settled in Somerset. In 1 166 we meet with 
Hamelin c de Baalun ' and Mathew c de Baalun ' as 
tenants by knight-service of Henry de Neufmarche, 
grandson and heir of Winebald de Ballon in Som- 

1 Calendarium Genealoglcum, and Calendar of Close Rolls 
1307-1313, p. no. 2 Lansd. MS. 905, fo. 86. 

3 Abbreviatio rotulorum originalium, I. 58. 

4 Hutchins' Dorset, IV. 340. 

5 Pipe Roll, 14 Henry II., p. 186. 6 Close Rolls. 

209 P 


erset and elsewhere. 1 In 1199-1200 William de 
Neufmarche grants to Hamelin ' de Balun,' in his 
court, a mill and land at Cadbury, 2 where Roger 
' Balon ' seems to have been holding under Henry 
III. 3 Their Somerset home, however, was at Dun- 
kerton, some four miles south of Bath, which was 
held in Domesday by our old friend Turstin Fitz 
Rou. 4 Walter ' de Balun ' was installed there in 
I256, 5 and Petronilla, his widow, occurs in I295. 6 
In 1316 John c Balon ' was one of the lords of 
c Dunkerton cum Cridelcote ' (Credlington), 7 for 
they went together, and so late as 1417-8 (5 Hen. 
V.) they were held by John ' Balon.'- 8 I have now 
given sufficient clues for those who may be inter- 
ested in the history of the family, after it had sunk 
from baronial rank, to follow out its fate by local 

We may return, therefore, to the fate of Aber- 
gavenny, which, we have seen, did not descend to 
the heirs of Hamelin de Ballon. Dugdale's state- 
ment that, having no issue, he " gave that castle to 
Briene, son to the earl of the Isle, his nephew/' is 
as erroneous as it can be. The assertion in the 
valuable Complete Peerage* that Hamelin was suc- 

1 See p. 195 above. 

2 See p. 197 above. The record is a Somerset fine in the 
Somerset Record Society's volume of them, p. 4. 

3 Calendar of Close Rolls, 1330-1333, p. 514. 

4 See p. 196 above. 

5 Bath Cartularies (Som. Rec. Soc.), I. 71. 

6 Somerset Fines (Ibid.\ p. 294. 7 Nomina villarum. 
8 Inq. p.m. 9 Vol. I. p. 12. 



ceeded by "Brientius de Insula or de Wallingford, 
(his) son and heir/' is, if possible, wider of the 
mark. Brian who had nothing to do with the 
Isle, but was a natural son of Count Alan of 
Britanny obtained Abergavenny and ' Overwent ' 
(the appendant district of Upper Gwent) from 
Henry I., of whom he was a trusted officer, and 
was established there at least as early as 1119, 
when we find him named by Pope Calixtus among 
the magnates of the diocese of Llandaff. 1 It was 
as governor of this district that, as late as 1136, 
he escorted Richard (Fitz Gilbert) de Clare on his 
way back from- England to Cardigan. Giraldus Cam- 
brensis, describing his approach to Abergavenny, 
from Cardigan, "through that narrow wooded [pass] 
known as the evil pass of Coit Wroneu, that is of 
the wood of Gronwy," writes : - 

Contigit autem paulo post obitum Anglorum regis Henrici 
primi, nobilem virum Ricardum Clarensem, qui cum honore de 
Clara Kereticam regionem in australi Kambria possidebat ab 
Anglia in Walliam hac transire. Et cum provinciae illius tune 
dominum, Brienum videlicet Gualinfordensem, cum militibus 
multis, usque ad passum praedictum socium habuisset et deduc- 
torem, tarn ipsum invitum [tamen] in ipso silvas ingressu cum suis 
remisit, quam contra ejusdem monita silvam inermis intravit. 2 

Between July 1141 and December 1142 the 
empress Maud, to whom Brian was as faithful as 
he had been to her father, granted at his request 
" and (at that) of Maud de Wallingford his wife," 
that Milo earl of Hereford should hold from them 
the castle of Abergavenny, with all its appurtenant 

1 The Book of Llan Dav y p. 93. 

2 Ed. Rolls Series, VI. 47-8 (cf. p. 118). 



" Honour," by the service of three knights. 1 This 
Milo had already acquired the lordship of Brecon, 
adjoining Overwent on the north-west, by his 
marriage, in 1 1 2 1 , with Sibyl, the daughter of its 
conqueror, Bernard de Neufmarche. 2 

In the meanwhile, Chepstow, with the lordship 
of Nether-Gwent, which had passed into the hands 
of the Crown in IO74, 3 had been bestowed by 
Henry I. on Walter, a son of Richard de Clare, 4 
who there founded Tintern Abbey, and at whose 
death his possessions passed to his nephew, Gilbert 
de Clare, first earl of Pembroke or of ' Strigul ' 
(Chepstow). The part taken by the house of 
Clare in the conquest of South Wales has never 
yet been worked out, although it was of great 
importance. In addition to the grant of the pre- 
sent Cardigan to Gilbert the head of the house, 6 a 
footing was established in Caermarthenshire, under 
William Rufus, by the Devonshire branch of the 
family. This most interesting fact seems to have 
escaped notice. In the Brut y Tywysogion 1 we read, 
under 1096 (' 1094'), that 

William, son of Baldwin died, who founded the castle of Rhyd 

1 See my Ancient Charters (Pipe Roll Society), p. 43, where 
this charter is fully discussed (pp. 445). 

2 Ibid. pp. 8-9. 3 See p. 187 above. 

4 He heads, as 'Walter the son of Richard,' a list of the 
magnates of the diocese of Llandaff in Oct. 1119, being followed 
immediately by Brian Fitz Count (Book of Llan Dav y p. 93). 

6 See Clare pedigree in my Feudal England (facing p. 472), and 
my Commune of London (p. 309), and my article on "The Family 
of Clare " in Archaeological Journal (LVI. 221-231). 

6 In 1 1 1 1 , it is said. 7 Rolls Series. 



y Gors by the command of the king of England, and after his 
death the custodians left the castle empty. 

Again, under 1 104 (' 1 102 '), we find this entry : 
Rickart, son of Baldwin stored the castle of Rhyd y Gors. 

Lastly, we are told, under the year 1 102 ( c 1 100'), 
that Henry I., to gain over the Welsh chieftain 
lorweth son of Bleddyn, promised him 

half of Dyved, as the other half had been given to the son of 

Mr. Freeman appears to have thought that the 
important castle of Rhyd-y-Gors, which had suc- 
cessfully resisted a Welsh attack before 1096, was 
in north-east Wales ; for he wrote that 

Earl Roger meanwhile, from his capital at Shrewsbury and his 
strong outpost at his new British Montgomery, pushed on his 
dominion into Powys. The king at least approved if he did not 
at this stage help 'in the work; the castle of Rhyd-y-Gors was 
built by William son of Baldwin. 

[Note]. Was this William son of that Baldwin from whom 
Montgomery took its Welsh name ? 1 

But in the Brut the castle is associated with the 
valley of the Towy ('Tywi'), and Sir James 
Ramsay is doubtless right in placing it " near the 
town of Caermarthen." 2 Moreover, the note- 
worthy statement that " half of Dyved " had been 
given to " the son of Baldwin " must refer to the 
lord of Rhyd-y-Gors ; and Dyved (Pembroke- 
shire) adjoined Caermarthenshire. 

It is at this point that a knowledge of Norman 

1 William Rufus y II. 97 (where the marginal heading is " North 
Wales"). 2 Foundations of England, II. 180. 



genealogy comes to our help and enables us to 
identify those sons of Baldwin by whom the above 
historians were puzzled. It was, as I have else- 
where observed, the habit of the members of the 
house of Clare to distinguish themselves only by 
the Christian names of their fathers. The follow- 
ing pedigree will show clearly the connection of 
this mighty house with the conquest of South 


son of Gilbert. 

Of Clare and 

Tunbridge in 1086 

son of Gilbert. 
Sheriff of Devon 
in 1086 





son of Richard 

son of Richard 

son of Baldwin 

son of Baldwin 

son and heir. 

Lord of Nether 

Sheriff of 

Sheriff of 

Lord of 






d. s. p. 

Held Rhyd- 
Died s. p. 1096 

Held Rhyd- 
in 1 104 


son and heir succeeded 

Lord of Cardigan his uncle 

slain 1136 Walter in 

Nether Gwent 

It is possible that Richard son of Baldwin, who 
was in favour with Henry I. in 1102, received 
from him " half of Dyved " on the forfeiture of 
Arnulf de Montgomery. 



We may perhaps find another hint that the 
Normans invaded Caermarthenshire from Devon 
in the fact that a small religious house at St. Clears, 
in the valley of the Taf, was a cell of St. Martin 
des Champs, which was also the mother house of 
the priory at Barnstaple opposite. It may be 
worth noting that the peninsula of Gower, lying 
to the south of Caermarthenshire, was occupied, 
according to a Welsh authority, by " Saxons from 
Somerset " under " Harry Beaumont." It is quite 
true that this Henry (the first earl of Warwick) 
did obtain possession of it ; and he founded there 
the priory of Llangennith as a cell of St. Taurin of 
Evreux. 1 But I gather from the charter I found 
at Evreux that he did so earlier than the Brut 
implies, perhaps even before the Conqueror's death. 

To complete these notes on the conquest of 
South Wales, I may point out that " Rickert son 
of Ponson," who is found in the Brut y Tywysogion 
holding Cantref Bychan, with the castle of Llan- 
ymddyvri (Llandovery) in 1115 ('1113'), is no 
other than the ancestor of the Cliffords, Richard 
the son of Pons, who held that district East Caer- 
marthenshire, lying along the east bank of the 
Towy, between it and Brecon in 1121 and circa 

I I27. 2 

1 See my Calendar of Documents preserved in France, No. 316. 

2 See my Ancient Charters (Pipe Roll Society), pp. 8-9, 21. 
I have proved on the latter page that his wife was a sister of 
another of the Conquist adores, Miles of Gloucester, Lord of 
Brecknock. His gifts to Malvern of the church of Llandovery (?) 
and tithes in the district will be found in the Monasticon, III. 448. 


Our English Hapsburgs : a Great 

ROMANTIC in its story, unique in its splendour, the 
descent of the Feildings, earls of Denbigh, is with- 
out a rival in the English Peerage. Their earldom, 
comparatively ancient (1622) though it be, is, 
as it were, but a creation of yesterday by the 
side of that dignity of count of Hapsburg, which 
they have held for centuries in the male line as 
members of the proudest and one of the mightiest 
of the reigning houses of Europe. For it is no 
mere question of pedigree that is involved in their 
illustrious descent : the earls, according to Burke s 
Peerage^ were counts of Hapsburg, Lauffenburg 
and Rheinfelden ; an eagle of Austria bears their 
arms, which are surmounted by the cap of a count of 
the Empire ; and the name of Rudolph, which the 
heads of the house have borne now for two genera- 
tions, keeps before our eyes a descent immortalized 
by the pen of Gibbon. 

Nor is it only in Burke s Peerage that this descent 
was fully recognised. 1 In Dugdale's Warwickshire 

1 So, in Mr. Shirley's well-known Noble and Gentlemen of Eng- 



and in his Baronage it is accepted as an undoubted 
fact. It has been recognised, one may say, by the 
English Crown in the patent of creation for the 
barony of St. Liz (1664) : it is said to have been 
always recognised by the emperors of Austria them- 
selves, and is at least, as I am credibly informed, 
admitted by the reigning sovereign. Indeed, I 
have seen it stated, on what ought to be good 
authority, that an earl of Denbigh has been treated 
by the Imperial Ambassador at Rome " in all 
respects as a member of the Imperial House," and 
" as if he was one of the Grand Dukes." 

There is no lack of documentary evidence in 
support of the family claims. In addition to the 
documents given by Dugdale, many others will be 
found in the elaborate history of the family, com- 
posed for its head in 1670 by the Rev. Nathaniel 
Wanley, and printed in what is perhaps the best 
known of our county histories, Nichols' Leicester- 
shire. 1 

The story, as I have said, is somewhat romantic. 
Geoffrey, count of Hapsburg, Laufenburg and 
Rheinfelden (d. 1271), head of the younger line of 

land we read : " The princely extraction of this noble family is 
well-known ; its ancestor Galfridus, or Geoffrey, came into Eng- 
land in the twelfth year of the reign of Henry III, and received 
large possessions from that monarch. The name is derived from 
Rin felden in Germany, where, and at Lauffenburg were the 
patrimonial possessions of the House of Hapsburg." 

1 Vol. IV., Part L, pp. 273-290. It is there stated that there 
was another similar history of the family executed " before the 
year 1658," which being sent to London by command of George 
II., for his inspection, " unfortunately perished by fire.'* 



Hapsburg, is said to have been reduced to com- 
parative poverty by his cousin Rudolph (afterwards 
the first Hapsburg emperor) and to have sent his 
son and namesake Geoffrey to England, temp. Hen. 
III. This younger Geoffrey married Maud de 
Colville over here, took the name of Feilding 
(" Felden "), and had issue a son and heir Geoffrey, 
who, by his wife Agnes de Napton, was the direct 
ancestor of the earls of Denbigh. Geoffrey, the 
father, returning to Germany, was refused his in- 
heritance for having married Maud de Colville 
without his family's permission ; and Geoffrey his 
son, likewise disinherited, eventually (1309) ob- 
tained from Count Rudolph, the uncle who had 
supplanted him, a sum of 7,000 marcs in compen- 
sation for his claim on Rheinfelden. The deeds 
relating to this transaction are carefully preserved 
by the family. 

I have, for some time, been interested in this 
unique story, because, unless it is wholly false, it 
must be wholly true, in which case it is difficult to 
exaggerate the splendour of the claim it involves. 
A certain John Vincent, of whom we shall hear 
again, spoke of Feilding's " originall from that 
greate German family of Hapsburg, that hath pro- 
duced so many emperors, kings, and great nobility, 
in many countries of Christendome," and the 
worthy Wanley urged their right " to claime alli- 
ance with the godds, meaning crowned kings." 

But now comes the strange point that first raised 
my suspicion. I found that although the family 

1 Nichols ut supra, 278. 


had come here, we are told, under Henry III., 
their earliest assumption of the German dignities 
seems to have been under Charles II. (i 675-1 685). 1 

As to the German descent it first appears in print, 
so far as I can find, in Dugdale's Warwickshire 
(i656). 2 In short, as was observed in the Quarterly 
Review? it was only after their lucky rise, through 
marriage with Buckingham's sister, 4 that, " in due 
course, the family revealed a fact which they had 
hitherto kept to themselves, namely that they were 
not of English origin, but were descended, in the 
male line, from the mighty house of Hapsburg." 
Let us turn for proof of this assertion to four 
sources of information : ( i ) the family monuments, 
(2) a glass window put up by the family at their 
seat, (3) the family pedigrees, (4) the family 

On the family monuments and brasses, of which 
several are recorded, we find neither mention of the 
Hapsburg descent, nor use of the Hapsburg arms. 5 
To the family window of painted glass I attach 

1 This is the date of the third earl, in whose time there was 
executed an engraving of the family seat, on which he was 
assigned the style of " Comes de Hapsburg, Dom's Loffenburg & 
Rinfelden in Germania, Baron of Newnham Padox and S nt Liz, 
Viscount Feilding & Earle of Denbigh in England," etc., etc. It 
is probably to this that 'Burke' referred when it said that 
" William, third Earl of Denbigh, resumed the ancient de- 
nomination of HAPSBURG, which his descendants still use." 

2 In Burton's Description of Leicestershire it had not yet appeared. 
(See Nichols, p. 251.) 3 Oct. 1893, p. 390. 

4 See Gardiner's History of the Civil War and the Dictionary of 
National Biography^ XVIII. 290. 

5 See Dugdale's Warwickshire and Nichols* Leicestershire. 



considerable importance. It may be remembered 
that the famous imposture by which the Cam- 
bridgeshire Stewarts were derived from the Royal 
Stuarts of Scotland was supported by a similar glass 
window, which was made to confirm the descent. 
The Feilding window was put up (or at least com- 
pleted), it would seem, about the close of the 
sixteenth century, for the first Lord Denbigh's 
parents are the last members of the family that it 
depicts. Erected ad majorem gloriam gentis^ we 
might fairly expect it to make the most of their 
pedigree, especially at a period, in these matters, so 
unscrupulous. Yet it only begins with Geoffrey 
Feilding, who married Agnes de Napton, an heiress, 
under Ed. II. or Ed. III. Coming now to our 
third source the pedigrees, we find the Visitation 
Pedigree of 1563 1 beginning in the same way with 
this Geoffrey and Agnes. The Visitation of 1619 
raises a difficult question. The copy of this Visita- 
tion among the Harleian MSS. is in the actual 
handwriting of Sampson Lennard, Bluemantle, and 
bears his arms upon the cover, as we learn from 
the official catalogue. Now he was one of the 
deputies who actually took this Visitation for Cam- 
den. We may therefore claim this MS. as the 
very best authority. Humphrey Wanley, to whom, 
I believe, we owe the long note on it in the official 
catalogue, discusses its relation to the College copy 
(C. 7), which is less full, and, in that sense, imper- 
fect. This discussion is worth reading by all who 
are interested in the genesis and modus operandi of 
1 Coll. Arm. G. xi., fo. 46 ; H. xii., fo. 31. 



Visitations. Now the Feilding pedigree, which is 
duly found in Bluemantle's own copy, 1 is here car- 
ried back for two generations to a "John Feldinge," 
but an alternative descent is also entered as " out of 
Mr. Feilding's pedigree." This carries back the 
descent from Geoffrey and Agnes for nine genera- 
tions (!), and is one of those familiar concoctions 
that nobody nowadays accepts. Its only value lies 
in its witness that the family were already trying to 
get beyond Geoffrey, though the glorious vision of 
Hapsburg had not yet burst upon their view. 

Turning next to our fourth source, a comparison 
of the family patents of creation leads us to the 
same conclusion. The original patent for the 
barony (30 Dec. 1620) recites that " Willelmus 
Feilding miles genere et nomine clarus et illustris 
ex antiqua Willingtoniorum quondam baronum 
hujus regni familia per multas baronum et equitum 
auratorum successiones oriundus est." 2 This claim 
can scarcely be said to err on the side of modesty, 
for according even to Dugdale, the panegyrist of 
the family, the new peer's ancestor was William 
Wellington, " a wealthy merchant of the staple," 
who bought a property at Barcheston, Warwick- 
shire, 14 Sept. 23 Hen. VII., "depopulated the 
town" in the following year, and died in I555- 3 

1 See the Harl. Soc. edition of the Warwickshire Visitation 
(1619). 2 Nichols, 289. 

3 See, for details of the depopulation (in 1509), Mr. Leadam's 
Domesday of Enclosures, II. 4167 : " quasi totum hamelettum 
de Barcheston desolatur et adnichilatur . . . et 24 persone 
de suis mansionibus expelluntur et lacrimose de victu et opere, 
evitantur et sic in miseria perducuntur." 



According to Dugdale, he was 

son to John Wellington of Todnam in Gloucestershire, and he 
of William Willington of the same place, son of another John ; 
descended, as 'tis probable, from that Ralph de Wylinton, who 
lived in E. I time, of which line / conceive that John de Wylinton 
and Ralph de Wylinton were, who in the times of King Edward 3 
and Ric. 2 had successively summons to Parliament amongst the 
Barons of this Realm. * 

So much for the long succession of barons and 
equites aurati from whom, according to this vera- 
cious patent, Lord Feilding derived his descent. 
But even in this patent there is, we see, no trace 
of the Hapsburg claim. Nor is it found two years 
later, when the earldom was created (1622). But 
when we come to the St. Liz patent of 1664, we 
read : 

Cum Basilius comes Denbigh a celeberrima et antiquissima 
prosapia comitum de Hapsburg in Germania, per Galfridum 
quondam comitem de Hapsburg oriundus, etc., etc. 2 

Having thus made good my point that, in Eng- 
land, this splendid descent was not revealed till 
about the middle of the seventeenth century, I 
shall now show that on the German side the alleged 
descent has not been recognised by historical or 
antiquarian authorities, nor even by the House of 
Austria itself, as alleged, in the past. 

I select for this purpose three typical authorities 
from the seventeenth, the eighteenth, and the nine- 
teenth centuries. The first of these is Francis 
Guilliman, whose Habsburgica dedicated to the 
then emperor Rudolf, was published in 1609. I 

1 Warwickshire (1730), 601. 2 Nichols, 291. 



have quoted from the revised edition of 1696. 
The title runs : 

Francisci Guillimanni Habsburgisca 

sive de antiqua et vera origine domus Austriae 
* * * * 

Ad Rudolfum II 

Habsburgi Austriacum Imperatorem semper Augustum (Editio 
nova, a plurimis mendis purgata). 

Ratisbonae . . . 1696. 

The subject was taken up where Guilliman left 
it by a writer of unimpeachable, because official 
authority. I allude to the great work of Herrgot, 
the Imperial Historiographer, based on original 
documents throughout. It was executed for and 
dedicated to the emperor Charles. 

Genealogia Diplomatica Augustas gentis Hapsburgicae, 
continentur vera gentis hujus exordia, antiquitates, propagationes, 
possessiones, et praerogativae, chartis ac diplomatibus maxima 
parte ineditis asserta . . . opera et studio R. P. Marquardi 
Herrgot . . . sacrae Gaesareae Regiaequae Catholicae Majestatis 
Consiliarii et Historiographi . . . Viennae . . . 1737. 


Augusto Caesari Carolo Hapsburgensi D. Leopoldi F. patriae 
patri optimo maximo. 

Guilliman devotes his seventh book to the counts 
of Hapsburg of the Laufenburg line, and, combin- 
ing his work with that of Herrgot, the pedigree 
runs as shown on the next page : 

The scene of our story, it is needful to explain, 
is on the south or Swiss bank of the Rhine from 
Basle on the west to Constance on the east. 
Ascending the river eastwards from Basle, we first 
pass the town of Rheinfelden of which more 




(" the taciturn ") 
count of Hapsburg. 




1 1 1 





f Ochsen- 

count of Haps- 

bishop of 

count of 

ob. s. p. 

stein] 1 

burg and lord 



of Lauffenburg, 

d. 3 April 

jure uxoris 

Otho, ob. s. p 

d. 29 Sept. 



1271, bur. at 



ob. s. p. 


b. puer, bur. with his father 
at Wettingen] 


count of Hapsburg, lord of Lauffenburg 
and jure uxoris of Rapperschwyl, d. 1314 


count of Hapsburg, lord 
of Lauffenburg. 


count of Hapsburg, lord of Rapperschwyl, 
slain at Morgarten, 15 Nov. 1315. 

anon then Sackingen, the site of an abbey, with 
which the Hapsburgs were connected, and lastly 
Laufenburg, the "castle of the rapids," the pic- 
turesque and ancestral home of our counts. 

Their line was founded by Rudolf, " the Taci- 
turn " (d. 1249), f rom whose elder brother de- 
scended the Hapsburg emperors of Austria. With 
Gotfrid, his son and heir, our story begins. This 
Gotfrid was lord of Laufenburg, which he held of 
the abbey of Sackingen. In one document he 
occurs as "comes de Laufenburg" (1258) ; in all 
others as " dominus Lauffenburgi," or count of 
Hapsburg only. Guilliman assigns him Elizabeth 

1 In Guilliman only. 


Ochsenstein as a wife : Herrgot says the fact rests 
on Guilliman's authority alone. By the latter he 
is assigned two sons, Gotfrid (the Feildings' alleged 
ancestor), who, dying shortly after his father, was 
buried at Wettingen in the same grave, and 
Rudolf, both of them left in ward to their uncle, 
Bishop Rudolf. 1 Herrgot ignores Gotfrid alto- 
gether (p. 236) probably from his dying too 
young to be mentioned in any documents. That, 
in any case, he cannot long have survived his 
father is shown by an important deed of 1274, 
printed by Herrgot, 2 from the archives of Wettin- 
gen, 3 which runs : " per legitimum tutorem aut 
tutores Ruodolfi domicelli nostri, filii videlicet bonas 
memorias Comitis Goetfridi." 

Herrgot lays special stress on the fact that this 
Rudolf alone continued the line : 

totam progeniem lineae Lauffenburgo Habsburgicae, absque 
controversial, Rudolpho ejus [Gotfridi] filio, de quo hie agimus, 
esse adscribendam. 

Rudolf remained in ward till 1288,* and we 
have accordingly a deed, of 5 June 1287, printed 
by Herrgot " ex Archive Wettingensi," 6 in which 
the bishop, his uncle and namesake, styles him- 

1 "Uxor fuit Elisabetha Ochsensteinia. Ex qua filii Got- 
fridus, qui paullo post patrem excedens, eodem tumulo insertus 
est, et Rudolfus : uterque sub tutela Rudolfi praepositi et post 
episcopi, patrui," p. 549. 2 p. 447. 

3 The great abbey of Wettingen, the burying-place of the 
family, is situated on the line from Basle to Zurich, considerably 
south of the Rhine. 

4 Allgemeine Deutsche Blographie. 6 DCXLII., p. 533. 

225 Q 


R. dei gratia Constantiensis episcopus, tutor pupilli R[udolfi] 
Comitis de Hapsburg. 

and refers " pradicto R[udolfo] Comiti nostro 
nepoti." This long minority, Herrgot observes, 
greatly improved the family estate. 

I now pass to my third authority, representing 
the results of the latest German research on the 
subject (1879). This is the article on the house 
of " Hapsburg-Laufenburg " in the Allgemeine 
Deutsche Biographic (vol. X. p. 284), which is 
based on the monographs of Munch in Argovia, 
the local historical organ, supplementing Herrgot's 
work. The pedigree there given is as follows : 


the Taciturn, of Laufenburg, 
d. 6 July, 1249 

of Laufenburg, 
d. 1271 

RUDOLF, of Laufenburg (and afterwards = Elizabeth, heiress or 
of Rapperschwyl, jure uxoris\ b. 15 July Rapperschwyl, widow 
1270, in ward to his uncles till 1288. of Ludwig von Hom- 

berg, mar. 1296. 

It is here positively stated that Rudolf was the 
only son (" der name H[apsburg] L[aufenburg] 
blieb jetzt dem einzigen am 1 5 July 1270 geborenen, 
Sobne Graf Gottfrieds I, Rudolf III"). The 
Feildings' alleged ancestor is wholly ignored ; and 
Rheinfelden is not included in the possessions 
assigned to the house. The date of Rudolf's birth, 
which this article gives us, explains his long 



minority from 1271 to 1288. Had the original 
concoctor of the pedigree known of these dates, 
he would have hesitated to make Rudolf's brother 
come to England under Henry III. (1216-72). 

Now, bearing in mind the true pedigree, as 
given by the German authorities, let us see how 
the original concoctor of the Feildings' spurious 
pedigree set to work. He had to affiliate their 
undoubted ancestor and founder of their house, 
Geoffrey Feilding, husband of the Napton heiress, 
who must have lived under Edward II. and Edward 
III. For this purpose he boldly pitched upon 
Gotfried, 1 the son of Count Gotfried, who died, 
according to Guilliman, just after his father. 
Probably, as I have said, he was unaware that Got- 
fried was an infant at his father's death (1271) and 
that his brother, as we know now, was only born 
in 1270. Wanley had read, it is true, in Bucel- 
linus : " Gotfridus secundus obiit in juventute " ; 
but he got over this difficulty by holding that this 
"jwentus, in the gradations of the yeares of man, 
may be extended to the period of fourty yeares " ! 
This enabled him to assign to Gotfried a career of 
which, on the German side, there is no trace. 
Bringing him to England, in his father's lifetime, 
at some unspecified date in the reign of Henry III. 
(1216-1272), he made him there marry Matilda 
de Colville and have children. Then, at a date 
equally unspecified, he made him return to Ger- 
many, to satisfy the authorities who say that he 
was buried at Wettingen. A difficulty faced him, 

1 See pedigree, supra p. 224. 


ot course, in the fact that in all the English docu- 
ments the Christian name is " G^/fridus," and in 
all the German ones " Gtfrfridus." The two 
names might occasionally be confused, but such 
unanimity as this cannot be explained away. He 
got over it, however, by simply converting every 
"Gotfridus " of the house of Hapsburg into "Gal- 
fridus." ' 

But the chief obstacle, of course, in his way 
was the utter absence of any evidence for his 
story, combined with the utter ignoring of it by 
every German authority. Now I shall not profess 
to state each step in the growth and development 
of the legend. I can only take the alleged proofs 
as they stand. First, then, in an evil hour for him- 
self, the concoctor endeavoured thus to explain the 
name of Feilding : 

Memorandum quod Galfridus Comes Hapsburgicus propter 
oppressiones sibi illatas a Comite Rodolpho, qui postea electus erat 
Imperator, ad summam paupertatem redactus, unus ex filiis suis, 
nomine Galfridus militavit in Anglia sub Rege Henrico tertio. 
Et quia pater ejus Galfridus Comes habuit pretensiones ad certa 
dominia in Lauffenburg & Rinfelden, retinuit sibi nomen de felden^ 
Anglice Filding. 

Dugdale, who printed this " Memorandum " in 
his History of Warwickshire? declared the MS. to 
be " written about K. Edward 4 time/' but, 
even if genuine, the style of the handwriting, it 
will be found, is of the time of Henry VIII. 
We shall see that this unlucky derivation has 

1 Compare the similar conversion of the Scottish Stewarts into 
Sty wards on p. 140 above. 2 (2nd Ed.) I. 86. 



proved fatal to the whole imposture. In the 
meanwhile, we may note that the excellent Wan- 
ley was somewhat puzzled by the occurrence of a 
"Feilding" at Lutterworth (their abode) before the 
arrival of the mysterious German, the alleged 
founder of the family ;* but he suggested that 
perhaps the exile adopted Feilding as " by a 
double reflection the fittest surname for this 
family " ! 

Let me now enumerate the deeds and docu- 
ments on which rests the alleged descent : 

(a) Six German deeds, namely, two of 1307, 

two of 1309, and two of I365. 2 

(b) Eleven English deeds (as I reckon them) of 

the fourteenth century. 

(c) Several English documents or memoranda 

(printed in Dugdale's Warwickshire and 

Nichols' Leicestershire) . 3 

Taking these in order, I begin with the German 
deeds. The first point to strike the expert is a 
strange air of unreality, a sense of there being 
" something wrong " ; the expressions are strange, 
the language unusual. The next point is that 
their concoctor has overdone his part : in his 
extreme anxiety to introduce the story of Count 
Geoffrey's settlement in England, in his eagerness 
to connect the name of Feilding, through Felden, 
with Rheinfelden, he has shown his hand too 
plainly and only raised our strong suspicions. The 

1 Nichols, pp. 278-9 

2 All in Nichols (pp. 280, 281, 286). 

3 Two in Dugdale (p. 86), the rest in Nichols. 



third point is that " Germania " is used through- 
out for Germany, whereas the right name, in deeds 
and documents of the time, is, of course, " Ale- 
mania." I may add that, as we might expect, 
"family" is rendered " familia " ! 

Let us, however, examine in detail the first two 
charters. Wanley describes them as being "jointly 
in one deed," but the first is dated at Sackingen 
" primo kalend' Junii" (!) 1307, and the second at 
Rheinfelden " decimo kalend' Decembris," 1307. 
In the first of these documents, John " de Rot- 
bery," as " procurator specialiter delegatus " for 
the abbey of Sackingen, testifies that John 
" Steine," the " servus familiaris " of the exiled 
noble's son and heir, has come to claim on his be- 
half "omnia dominia, feoda, et servitia tarn in 
comitatu de Rhynfelden quam in diversis aliis locis 
in Germania," and that the Abbess and Convent 
can only pray to God " et omni curie celestium 
animarum " (!) 

ut exaltent ilium ad dignitates non indignas viro tarn alti san- 
guinis, ut qui a longa serie comitum et principum de Hapsburg, 
tandem a primis Francorum regibus genus suum deducens, mereatur 
honorem et estimationem in illo glorioso regno Angliae, sicut justum 
et decorum esse videatur. 

This extract may serve as a sample of these 
ridiculous documents, of which the dog-Latin is 
at times exquisitely funny. But their concoctor 
might at least have avoided introducing into those 
of 1307 the clause " regnante domino Adolpho 
Imperatore," considering that the Emperor Adolph 
had died in 1298 nine years before ! 



The hand of the forger stands revealed. 

After this it is useless to waste time over the 
deeds of 1309, of which the first has the seal, 
alas ! " broken off from the label." This reminds 
us that the abbess of Sackingen had, we are told, 
reasons of her own for not affixing her seal to the 
first of these deeds, so that her proctor used his 
own by her orders ("ex ordine suo"). So with 
the two deeds of 1365, of the first of which we 
read that " the bishop's seal was, by the motions 
of several journeys broken off, but exactly copied 
out before." The last of these documents has, 
indeed, the seal of " Sir George Hirschorn, 
knight," still " entire " ; but this proves to be 
only a fancy rebus on his name, which anyone 
could invent. It is singular that an English deed 
(2 Ed. III.) of considerable importance for the 
descent " had the seal of the eagle affixed to it, 
but by accident broke off" (p. 284). Another 
English deed (28 Ed. III.) was " so defaced as 
not thought fit to be made use of amongst other 
evidences whose originals remain so clear and 
entire 1 especially since the seal, which had the 
impression of a lion rampant, in its passage from 
London into Warwickshire, was unfortunately 
thrown into the water with the sumpter-horse, 
wherein it was (as also by the motion of the 
horse) broken off and mouldered to nothing ; the 
type of which seal was taken long before, and 
remains yet in the earl of Denbigh's Book of 
Evidences." How provoking these seals were ! 

1 No doubt ! 


There was a deed of 3 Ric. II. which " had affixed 
to it the seal of an eagle," which is what we want, 
but " by often removals broken off, though 
before entered into the earl of Denbigh's Book 
of Evidences" (p. 285). How prescient it was 
to enter these seals, and how invaluable are the 
entries now ! 

But to return to the German deeds or "1365," 
which are respectively dated " tertio die mensis 
Martii " and " tertio Calend' Martii " rather an 
awkward combination (p. 286). I must explain 
at the outset that though they are composed in 
the same queer Latin as the others, they ought 
to be in old German. Herrgot prints, in his great 
work, some seventy charters for the period 1360- 
1390 ; they relate to the same parties as these two 
documents, the duke of Austria, bishop of Basle, 
counts of Hapsburg, etc., etc., and, without one 
exception^ they are all in old German. But doubt- 
less old German was more than the forger could 
attempt. The story these deeds tell is really 
rather a clever one. They relate to " William 
Filding, Esq., of Lutterworth," whom they trans- 
form into " Willielmus de Hapsburg, natione 
Anglus vocatus autem in Anglia Felden^ ex antiqua 
prosapia comitum et principum de Hapsburg in 
Germania oriundus." According to them, " post 
multas devastationes ab Anglicis commissas in 
Alsatia et aliis partibus Germaniae," this William 
"in illo exercitu 1 prefectus equitum," was taken 
prisoner, " fortiter dimicans," near the Rhine, by 

1 " in exercitu Anglorum," in the other deed. 


the bishop of Basle's men. His alleged kinsman, 
Duke Leopold of Austria, heard that he was 
undergoing greater hardships " quam convenire 
poterit dignitate (sic) Germanicas gentis, vel 
nataliis ipsius Willielmi, qui ab antiquis comitibus 
de Hapsburg originem suam deducit." He inter- 
vened, therefore, to help him in his distress (" in 
tempore distressus sui " !), and procure his libera- 
tion at the hands of the bishop. Now, what, it 
may be asked, could an English army be doing 
at this time in Alsace ? Well, a celebrated leader 
of the time, Enguerrand de Coucy, Earl of Bed- 
ford, and Knight of the Garter, son-in-law of 
Edward III., maternal grandson of Duke Leopold 
of Austria, and son of the proudest baron in 
Europe, raised an army to enforce his claims, 
through his mother, on Austria, in which was 
comprised a picked force of 6,000 Englishmen. 
Hence this army was known as the " English " 
bands, and the scene of its defeat between Basle 
and Lucerne is still known as " the English 
Barrow." Moreover, it actually did march to 
the banks of the Rhine, and through Alsace 
into Switzerland. But, alas, all this took place, 
not in 1365, but in 1375, and the ingenious 
forger has clearly confused it with the raid of 
Cernola's French freebooters in 1365 ! This is 
sad, for had he only made his document quite 
accurate, it would have gone far to support the 
Hapsburg claim. 

Passing to the English deeds and documents, 
I select, as the simplest test, their mention, among 



the family dignities, of Rheinfelden. The best 
known, probably, of these evidences is that letter 
of attorney of 1316 (9 Ed. II.), in which Geoffrey 
Feilding (the real ancestor, as I term him) styles 
his grandfather " Comes de Hapsburg et Dominus 
in Laufenburg et Rinfilding in Germania." For, 
Dugdale having selected it for insertion in his 
Warwickshire and his Baronage^ it found its way 
into Collins' Peerage^ etc., etc. The attempt to 
make the name of the place approximate to that 
of the family will, of course, be observed. The 
same form recurs in a deed assigned to Geoffrey, 
his alleged father (the one who came to England 
temp. Hen. III.). 1 There are several other of 
these documents in which the name is found ; 
and in two of them at least the style runs, not 
" dominus," but " Comes de Hapsburg, Laffenberg 
& Rinfelden " which is that used by the Feilding 
family. If it can be shown that the Hapsburgs 
of Laufenburg were neither lords nor counts of 
Rheinfelden, and did not so style themselves, these 
documents are, obviously, forgeries. I turn, there- 
fore, to the German authorities for information on 
the subject. 

In his chapter " de dominio et burggraviatu 

Rhinfeldensi," 2 Herrgot, who elsewhere tersely 

says : " in nostris monumentis nullus occurrit 

Comes Rhinfeldensis," discusses the early history 

of Rheinfelden, and shows that the town, at an 

early period, belonged directly to the Emperor. 

An imperial charter of 1225 guaranteed this 

1 Nichols, 277. 2 Lib. I. cap. xi. 



position, and promised that the town should not 
be severed from the imperial domain. 1 Accord- 
ingly in June 1243 we ^ nc ^ ^ administered by 
Ulric de Liebenburg " Sacri Imperii Ministerialis 
et Burgravius in Rinfelden." 2 So again we find 
the emperor Rudolf granting liberties to " omnes 
nostros de Rinvelden " (31 July I2j6)? It 
would, therefore, he observes, be waste of time 
to discuss the supposition that the Laufenburg 
counts had any connection with Rheinfelden. 
And indeed in his vast collection of charters 
relating to the family, there is not one to be found 
in which they occur as lords of it, or claim any 
rights over it. Guilliman had written no less 
positively : 

De Hapsburgi Comitibus qui ad avitum prater LaufFenberg 
dominium nihil tituli addiderunt . . . Hapsburgi comitum 
nomen retinuerunt, neque ad id adjunxerunt aliud, quam ex 
Lauffenbergo oppido Rheni denominationem." 

Lastly, the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographic (1879), 
enumerating the possessions of these Hapsburg 
counts, wholly omits Rheinfelden, and gives 
Laufenburg as their residence, till their marriage 
with the heiress of Rapperschwyl made them 
occasionally reside there also. This point is the 
more important because the second, third and 
fourth of the spurious German deeds are all dated 
from Rheinfelden, an obvious attempt to introduce 
the name which has merely increased the evidence 
against them. 4 

1 Vol. II. p. 231. 2 Ibid. p. 269. 3 p. 269. 

4 I mean the deeds professing to be German in origin, not in 



But how, it may be asked, did the daring con- 
coctor come to make Rheinfelden the keystone 
of his story ? This raises the difficult question 
whether Rheinfelden was merely introduced to 
patch together a connection between Feilding and 
Hapsburg, or was itself the origin of the whole 
story by the tempting termination Rhein/^/db?. 
In either case he had clearly got hold of some 
foreign work which assigned Rheinfelden, in 
error, to the Laufenburg Hapsburgs. Exactly 
such a work is found in the Basiltkon of Elias 
Reusnerus, of which the first edition was pub- 
lished in 1592, and which is actually referred to 
throughout by Wanley. 1 

Now this writer gives us (p. 26) the following 
pedigree (see next page) : 

But, indeed, even Wanley tacitly rejects this 
erroneous pedigree, and points out that Reusnerus 
had confused Gotfrid [d. 1271], who fought 
against Berne, with his son. Yet it is to such 
untrustworthy writers that we are referred 
throughout, and when appeal is made to the 
Annales Murenses for confirmation, 2 we find they 
do not include Rheinfelden among the family 

We may therefore safely reject every Feilding 
deed or document in which Rheinfelden occurs ; 
and difficult almost impossible though it be to 

1 His general reference at the end is to " Hemminges, Reus- 
nerus, Albicius, Bucelinus, and all the German writers on this 
subject as well ancient as modern " (Nichols, 290) ! 

2 Nichols, 265. 



facta divisione cum fratre, Lauffenburgi et 
Khynfeldee sortitus est comitatus, cum Advo- 
c.atia Seckingensi . . . tandem a fra- 
truelo Rudolpho Cesare * pro- 

scriptus, obiit in exilio. 

I I I 


etc., etc. gius Dynasta LaufFenburgi & copus Constan- 

Rbynftld*. Naturae concessit tensis, etc., etc. 
1271. Tumulatus Wettingae. 

JOANNES I. Comes Hapsburgius 
et LaufFenburgius in caenobio 
Wettingensi prope fratrem se- 
pultus. Uxor N. Comitissa a 

JOANNES II. Comes Hapsburgi 
et Kiburgi. 

GOTOFRIDUS II. Comes LaufFen- 
burgius et Rhynfeldemis Bernates 
. . . bello aggresus aliquam- 
diu quidem afflixit, sed 
arma vertit in Rudolphum Au- 
gustum ... In quo sane 
bello occubuit. Sepultus in 
ccenobio Wettingensi. 

RUDOLPHUS II. Comes Lauf- 
fenburgi, Palatinus Burgundiae 
. . . [ob.] 1314. 

[To show how wildly erroneous is this pedigree, I need only 
print its outline by the side of the true one : ] 


[GOTFRID] RUDOLF, d. 1314 





JOHN RUDOLF, d. 1314 

1 Rudolph, of course, was not emperor till many years after 
the count's death. 



believe that all these evidences were forged to 
prove the pedigree, the facts leave us no alternative 
to this astounding conclusion. 

I now pass from the pedigree to the arms. 

Strenuous efforts were made by those who were 
responsible for the Hapsburg descent to connect 
the arms of Fielding with those of Hapsburg. 
The former are " Arg. on a fess Az. three lozenges 
Or," the latter, " Or a lion rampant Gu." (now 
" ducally crowned Az."). The attempt to prove 
the user of the latter having virtually failed, an- 
other line was adopted. The arms of Austria 
which are quite distinct from those of Hapsburg 
and are now borne, separate, by their side on the 
emperor's shield were pressed into the service. 
These are Gu. a fess Arg. It is needful to re- 
member that the Laufenburg Hapsburgs had no- 
thing to do with Austria, and of course (as their 
seals prove), did not use its arms. Undaunted, 
however, the bold concoctor produced a document 
" Extract' ex antiquis historicis et evidenciis comi- 
tum de Hapsburg," 1 of which "the handwriting 
cannot be of lesser antiquity than the latter end 
of King Henry VI., or the beginning of King 
Edward IV. of England." This precious docu- 
ment narrates that : 

Galfridus comes de Hapsburg filius Rodulphi comitis, cum 
ambiret in uxorem Margaretam viduam et haeredem Austriae, in 
signum amorosi obsequii [!] saepe in hidis equestribus et in sigillis 
usitare solitus erat tramitem cum tribus cuneis ornatum, postpositis 
armis suis gentilitiis, scilicet leone. 2 

1 Nichols, 276. 

3 It will be observed that this story is curiously parallel to that 

238 ' 


Then it goes on to say how he sent his son 
Geoffrey, " tune exutum patrimonio in comitatu 
Rinfeldensi" to [England, temp. Hen. III. A vari- 
ant (in English) of this document is quoted by 
Nichols (p. 251) "from a MS. written about the 
middle of the seventeenth century " a significant 
date. Wanley follows it by some sapient remarks, 
with which should be compared those he makes 
on p. 286. As to the palm tree crest now used 
by the family, he opines (p. 275) that it may 
refer to a tournament " in the time of Frederick 
the Second/' at which their ancestor was " said to 
carry away the palme " ! 

I do not undertake to identify positively the 
original culprit (or culprits) in this colossal im- 
posture. According, indeed, to Dugdale, the belief 
is of great antiquity : but where the whole evi- 
dence is so tainted with forgery, one cannot be 
blamed for looking on every document with sus- 
picion. I cannot at present find that the claim 
was advanced even by the first earl of Denbigh ; 
but when we come to his son, the second earl 
(1643-1675), we find him identified with it at 
every point. It was by his command that Na- 
thaniel Wanley drew up the family history ; it 
was in his time that Dugdale was induced to pub- 
lish the claim for the first time, in his Warwick- 
shire and Baronage ; it was he who obtained the 
St. Liz Patent, in 1664, containing a formal re- 

which was concocted by the Cambridgeshire Stywards to account 
for their bearing a lion coat instead of the fess of their alleged 
ancestors, the "royal Stewarts" (see pp. 138-141). 



cognition of the claim ;* it was he who put up, at 
his family seat, a window, introducing for the first 
time, as it seems, the palm tree crest ; 2 it was he 
who corresponded, we shall find, with Ashmole 
(1670) about the Hapsburg claim; it was he (/ 
am told] who subscribed to rebuilding the College 
of Arms, and thus secured the entry in the book 
of " benefactors " of his Hapsburg descent ; and it 
was he who employed John Vincent, that " needy, 
seedy " man, as I have heard him described, in con- 
nection with it. For we find an entry by Vincent 
in Lord Denbigh's Book of Evidence s> concerning a 
chimney-piece he had seen at Lutterworth in 1665, 
" having some relation to the renowned family of 
Hapsburg, from whence the right eminent family 
of Feildings thereabouts (most truly and clearely 
deriving their discent) doe very frequently use a 
lyon rampant crowned in theire scales." 3 

Now this clue is worth following up, for John 

1 Ante, p. 195. This title represented his claim to descend from 
St. Liz, earl of Northampton, through the Seytons (who were 
alleged to be " alias St. Liz "). As G. E. C. points out, under 
Denbigh, he held already a barony of earlier date (1620), which 
renders strange his desire for this one. But besides gratifying his 
evident craving for ancient descent, it gave him (as a friend has 
pointed out to me) the opportunity of introducing the Hapsburg 
claim into the patent. 

2 He also introduced an eagle crest. Dugdale asserts (War- 
wickshire, I. 87) that they had used "for their crest sometime an 
Eagle, and at other a Palm Tree, though of later times alterned." 
But the old glass window and the Visitation pedigrees show only 
the true crest, a nuthatch with a fructed bough. 

3 Nichols, 278. This makes an important addition to the 
memoir of Vincent by Nicholas, in which it is stated (p. 100) 
that "no trace has been found" of him after 1653. 



was the son of Augustine Vincent, and inherited his 
heraldic collections. According to Noble, 

John Vincent was ... a good genealogist, herald, and 
antiquary ; but so ill an economist and so fond of liquor that he 
frequently pawned some of his father's literary labours to pay 
tavern expences. 1 

This character may be derived from a remark by 
Anthony a Wood, in a letter of 14 October 1685, 
on the Sheldon MSS. (now among the treasures of 
the College of Arms) : 2 

John Vincent, the sometime owner of them, had pawned 
several of them in alehouses before he died. 3 

A further statement of Anthony a Wood serves 
to clinch the connection : 

You must know that John Vincent was a boone companion 
and a great company keeper with noblemen, especially with Basil 
Earl of Denbigh , and being always inquisitive and happy in a good 
manner might learn these things. 4 

Have we then in John Vincent the clever forger, 
who as Meschini in Sanf Ilario forged the docu- 
ments for Prince Montevarchi supplied the too 
ambitious Earl with the evidences he required 
We cannot say, as yet, for certain ; but if Mar- 
lowe died in a tavern brawl, there is nothing, 
perhaps, derogatory in the thought that the Haps- 
burg evidences may have been concocted to pay 
for pots of ale. 

1 History of the College of Arms , p. 241. 

2 Nicolas terms it " that unrivalled collection." 

3 Nicolas, Memoir of Augustine Vincent l , p. 99. 

4 HarL MS. 1056, fo. 44 (Nicolas, p. 94). 

241 R 


Now that we have so closely identified the 
second earl with the Hapsburg claim, we can 
approach the very remarkable letter he wrote to 
Ashmole, 26 June 1670 : 

. . . The other day, ransacking among my papers, I found 
three letters from Prince Thomas of Savoy ; one of them I send 
you inclosed to be restored at our next meetings, wherein hee 
stiles me his cosen. This putt me in minde of the curious serche 
Duke Vittorio Amadeo, the eldest Prince of that family, made 
after my armes and descent both in my private travells and when 
I was the late Kings amb r of glorious memory with his highnesse, 
who asking me which were the cristen names of my ancestors, I 
replied Jeffrey, John, Everard, Basill, and hee presently declared 
by my armes, sirname, and these Christian names, I must descind 
from the howse of Hapsburg, with whom, espetially the Earles 
Geffrey and Everard, his ancestors had bene engaged against in 
the warrs and att other times in treaties of correspondence, upon 
w ch occasion, joynd to the dignity of a viscount in England, hee 
treated me ever in his letters with the stile of his cousen, an honor 
not given to any, as I was told, under the degree of a duke and 
peer of France. That Prince's letters I cannot yet finde, but I 
am certaine they are amongst my papers. Upon the same 
account Monsieur Bernegger of Strasburg, a great historian and 
antiquary of Germany, gave me those lights w ch beefore ware 
not so cleerely discovered to mee, nor indeed ware my studies and 
inclinations att that time taken upp with notions of this kinde. 
For that reason did the city of Basill treat me with great honor 
and respect in my private travells, and my brother-in-law, Duke 
Hamilton, beeing entered into Germany with a great army 
(1631) to second the King of Swedes attempts and designs, the 
Emperor, then Ferdinand II., att Ratisbone thought my honor a 
sufficient tye to separate me from all other interests but his owne 
if I would have accepted of those great advantagious offers he 
made me, etc., etc. 1 

It is not pleasant to be obliged to say what one 
thinks of this letter. In the first place, the names 

1 Fourth Report on Historical MSS., I. 262. 


of the writer's ancestors 1 were Geoffrey (one), John 
(one), Everard (one), Basil (two), and William (foe). 
It is odd that he should have omitted the chief 
one, which happens not to suit his theory. More 
serious, however, is the statement that the Prince 
" declared by my armes, sirname, and those 
Christian names, I must descend from the house 
of Hapsburg." The arms of Feilding are totally 
distinct, we have seen, from those of Hapsburg : 
the sirname of " Feilding " cannot possibly have 
suggested that of Hapsburg. As to the Christian 
names, there was nothing in "Basil" to suggest 
the Hapsburgs, while Geoffrey, John, and Everard 
were common names enough. It is thus abso- 
lutely certain that the writer must here have been 
romancing. We must therefore doubt what he 
tells us about " the city of Basill " (the spelling 
suggests that he connected its name with his 
own) ; nor can we believe that the emperor's 
offers were connected with his alleged Hapsburg 
descent, when we find it so completely ignored in 
Herrgot's great work. And, for my part, I doubt 
" Duke Vittorio," in the seventeenth century, re- 
collecting and taking so keen an interest in the 
Hapsburg cadets of the thirteenth. The letter is, 
throughout, that of a man trying to make out a 
case for the descent on which he has set his 

But when we come to " Monsieur Bernegger," 

I must confess that it looks to me as if we may 

have in him the ingenious antiquary who supplied 

1 Visitation of 1563, and the glass window. 



(or gave the " local colour " for) what I term the 
" German " deeds. The name of " Stein," for 
instance, savours of a local knowledge which 
even the " inquisitive " Vincent is scarcely likely 
to have acquired. And the story told in the deeds 
of "1365" might well have occurred to a Stras- 
burg man. Still, they are rather poor imitations, 
and " a great historian and antiquary " would, 
perhaps, have done better. 

Strange to say, such a man as was required was 
actually engaged on a similar task, in the same part 
of the world, perhaps at the very time when the 
Feilding story was concocted. Even as Basil, Lord 
Denbigh, claimed, on the strength of these deeds, 
a Hapsburg origin for his house, so did Jerome 
Vignier, an Oratorian priest, who was a year or 
two his senior, claim for the Hapsburgs them- 
selves a new and Alsatian origin on the strength of 
a manuscript fragment which he had discovered in 
Lorraine. This discovery he published in his La 
veritable origine des tres-illustres maisons a* Alsace, de 
Lorraine ', d'Austriche (1649). His c find J proved as 
immediately successful as Bertram's manuscript 
" Richard of Cirencester." Even as Stukeley 
accepted and gave its vogue to the latter, 1 so 
Chiflet, who had written on the Hapsburgs, 
promptly retracted his conclusions and accepted 
Vignier's new theory in his Stemma Austriacum 
annis abhinc millems (1650). Wanley alludes to 
this in his history of the Feilding family (1670) : 

1 See a letter of Stukeley in my Calendar of the Round MSS. 
(i4th Report Hist. MSS. IX. 293-4), 



The last derivation comes from the princes and lantgraves or 
Alsatia, which chevalier Chiffletius (a worthy and gentile writer) 
seems to fix upon in his last volume, though in his former he 
fell upon King Sigebert. This latter opinion is so backed with 
authority and proofes that I refer you to them for satisfaction. 1 

Eccard also adopted the results of Vignier's 
discovery in his work on the Hapsburg family 
(1721). At last a brilliant French scholar, whose 
untimely death was much deplored, I mean M. 
Julien Havet, pointed out that Jerome Vignier 
had successfully imposed upon the world. It was, 
he observed, " a remarkable circumstance" that 
his manuscript fragment " was full of genealogical 
details, that is to say, exactly what he wanted in 
order to prove his theory." This, we have seen, 
was also a feature of those convenient Feilding 
deeds. M. Havet tersely inferred that 

II est clair que nous avons la simplement un faux de plus a 
enregistrer, et que celui qui 1'a commis est le me'me auquel on 
doit imputer le faux testament de Perpe"tue, la fausse donation de 
Micy et les autres falsifications dont il a 6te" question. 2 

As in the case of the Shipway pedigree, only the 
other day, Father Vignier had discovered just 
what he went to find. There is nothing, however, 
to connect him directly with Basil Lord Denbigh. 
It will have been seen that two questions are 
raised by this paper. That the Hapsburg descent 
is an absurd fiction has been abundantly demon- 
strated, but its actual author and the date of its 
origin cannot be so surely decided. Everything 
points to Basil, second earl of Denbigh (1643- 

1 Nichols' Leicestershire, IV. (l), p. 273. 

2 Bibliotheque de TEcole des Chartes, XL VI. 267-8. 



1675) ; but if all the documents were concocted 
for him, it is difficult to see how Dugdale could 
speak of those known to him 1 as " authentique 
evidences " in the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. Either his honesty or his critical power is 
thereby gravely impugned. If on the other hand 
some of these "evidences" were, as alleged, of 
earlier date, they could not have been concocted 
till the error about Rheinfelden found its way into 
England about the beginning of the seventeenth or 
end of the sixteenth century. Thus in no case 
should they have seemed in Dugdale's days " au- 
thentique." Perhaps the great Herald looked 
with partial eyes on documents produced by a 
peer of the realm, who was also a Warwickshire 

As to the recognition, whatever it may be, that 
this claim has now obtained abroad, it is suffi- 
ciently explained by the natural belief that a 
descent recognised by the English Crown and 
admitted by the most famous of all our officers of 
arms, could not be a sheer invention, and must 
therefore be true. 2 The evidence of the deeds 
proves the descent, and no one could suppose that 
a noble family would rely for its pedigree on a 
pack of forgeries. The strange thing is that this 

1 Wanley seems to have had access in 1670 to many more 
than Dugdale. 

2 In vol. XXV. of " Johannes von Mttller sammtliche Werke, 
herausgegeben von Johann Georg Mttller " (Tubingen, 1817), we 
find it recognised on Dugdale's authority only " Wenn Dugdale's 
Briefe ... wen diese Schriften ihre Richtigkeit haben." 



pretended descent should be coveted by such a 
family as that of Feilding. For whether the an- 
tiquity of their earldom be considered, or that of 
their position as county gentry, they must rank 
high among what in England is deemed ancienne 
noblesse. It is, however, only right to add that 
the family do but inherit this claim from their 
ancestors, and, though it has been, no doubt, 
accentuated by the introduction of the name 
Rudolph, they are wholly guiltless of its original 
concoction, and could scarcely, indeed, be expected 
to abandon it, till it was, as now, disproved. 

This article, when first published, ended here. 
Its results remain to be told. The first, naturally 
enough, was that I was vehemently assailed ; in- 
deed, I am told that the British Museum contains 
a reply to my criticism almost libellous in its 
virulence. The question, however, had to be 
faced by the author of Armorial Families^ for its 
avowed object is to make it clear " which coats- 
of-arms are lawfully and legally borne," and which 
are " bogus." The way he dealt with it was this. 
In his first edition (1895) he ignored the claim, 
with the arms and titles based upon it, in the case 
of Lord Denbigh himself and of one of his uncles ; 
but in the cases of another uncle and a cousin he 
recognised the claim, without question, by assign- 
ing to each " the cap of his rank as Count of the 
Holy Roman Empire." But in one of these cases 
he ignored the ' quarters ' borne in right of the 
above claim, and gave only the impossible coat 

247 ' 


" Quarterly i and 4 " which is a description as 
absurd as that of a square with only two sides. 
In the other case he blazoned the four " quarters " 
in full, and placed the whole on an Austrian eagle, 
of which he gave a gorgeous engraving. But he 
added this curious note : 

The right to the second and third quarterings and to the 
Austrian eagle has not been formally established in the College 
of Arms, and the engraving was executed under the mistaken 
supposition that it was, though the Editor understands it is capable 
of proof. 

One might suppose that in his third edition (1899) 
Mr. Fox-Davies would have tried to put matters 
right, or, at least, to have made his statements 
consistent. But this is not so. The impossible 
coat of two quarters again makes its appearance, 
and the engraving, admittedly executed by mis- 
take, is now more conspicuous than ever, that 
" fearful wild fowl," the Austrian eagle, being here 
transferred to the text itself, while the same note 
as before is appended with the trivial addition of 
a ' yet/ 1 On what possible ground does he blazon 
in Roman type armorial bearings and a crest 
which, he admits, are still not " formally estab- 
lished," and which, accordingly, in other cases, he 
would print in italics as " bogus " ? This ex- 
posure of his methods and of his self-contradic- 
tions should, of itself, be sufficient to destroy any 
semblance of authority in his work. 

Turning to Debrett, now probably the most 
accurate of the peerage books, we find that the 

1 " not yet been formally established." 


whole Hapsburg claim silently disappeared some 
time ago. The absence of its recognition in con- 
tinental books has always been so marked that one 
is not surprised to find the Gotbaiscbes Tascbenbucb 
der Graflicben Hduser (1899) ignoring it altogether, 
although the well-known countship of the Empire 
held by Lord Arundel of Wardour is duly recog- 
nised in that work. But Burke s Peerage hardened 
its heart, and continued to insert every year the 
German titles, the Hapsburg arms, the Austrian 
eagle, and the Count's cap. It is only a few 
weeks ago that my conclusions were accepted even 
there; in Burke' s Peerage for 1900 the whole 
story has disappeared, lock, stock, and barrel. 
The inevitable surrender has come at last : Magna 
est veritas et prcevalebit. 



The Origin of the Russells 

IT would be at once impertinent and superfluous 
to insist on the position of the house of Russell 
among " the great governing families " of English 
political life. Whether as leaders of the Whig 
party, or as holders, for more than two centuries, 
of the highest rank in the peerage, its chiefs 
have occupied a foremost place in the eyes of their 
fellow-countrymen . 

As is matter of common knowledge, the Rus- 
sells belong to that group of families which rose 
to wealth and power on the ruin of the monastic 
houses. But this " new nobility " of the Tudor 
reigns was by no means all of parvenu character. 
If Paget, Petre, " Wriothesley," and, we probably 
may add, Thynne, were of humble origin, the 
Paulets and Seymours were knightly houses, and 
the Cavendishes and Russells were, at least, already 
country gentlemen. Yet the sudden access of 
wealth and rank was accompanied, in these as in 
other cases, by that desire for a longer pedigree 
which rarely remains unfulfilled. It would cer- 
tainly not so remain in those halcyon Tudor days, 



when the reigning house itself had provided a 
gorgeous example, and when heralds were always 
ready to give reins to a brilliant imagination. 
The real difficulty, however, is to learn when and 
where the Russell pedigree first makes its appear- 
ance. I have spent much time and toil in the 
effort to ascertain this; but, although I can find 
no trace of it in the volumes of Visitations at the 
British Museum, it is hardly likely that the earls 
of Bedford waited till the reign of Charles I. to 
provide themselves with this appendage. . It is, 
however, we shall find, at about the beginning of 
that reign, that the fully developed pedigree was 
compiled. This is the " authentic pedigree " of 
which Jacob speaks, and which must also have 
been seen by Mr. Wiffen, who styles it the 
"genealogy in the Bedford Office." 1 It is to this 
last writer that we owe the clue to its origin and 
date. He wrote that, in the eleventh century, 
" Hugh du Rozel," patriarch of the house, 

in variation of the Bertrand arms, bore argent, the lion ram- 
pant gules, uncrowned, with the addition of a chief sable ; which 
arms we find ascribed to him in a descent drawn out by William 
Le Neve, York Herald, preserved with the other archives of the 
Russells, dukes of Bedford. 2 

It is quite clear that this, which I shall call the 
' authentic ' pedigree, was adorned throughout with 
coats of arms. 3 

1 Memoirs of the House of Russell, I. 86, 153, 155, 156 (notes). 

2 Ibid. p. 28. 

3 There is also, Mr. Wiffen states, "a pedigree in the 
Herald's Office," from which we learn " that the shells (on the 



Unfortunately, this pedigree has never been 
published exactly as it stands. So, at least, I 
gather. It has been tinkered here and there by 
those who have used it as the basis of their ac- 
counts, so that one never knows with what one is 
actually dealing. In fact, the attempt to pour, as 
it were, new wine into old bottles has proved as 
disastrous as usual. And it affords us a really 
excellent example of how a pedigree should not 
be constructed. When a statement in a herald's 
pedigree is actually disproved by records, it is use- 
less to tinker the production by altering it here 
and there; we have to face the fact that all its 
statements are, when unsupported, thenceforth un- 

The " authentic " pedigree was the work, as I 
have said, of William Le Neve, York Herald, and 
must, therefore, have been compiled between 1625 
and 1633.* I cannot think (see above) that this 
was the first attempt. Indeed, the monument to 
the first earl (d. 14 March 1554-5) implies 
that it was not. This monument was erected by 
the second earl (1555-1585), whose own monu- 
ment is also at Chenies, and should be carefully 
compared with it. According to Lipscomb's 
Bucks^ the first earl's monument bears the follow- 
ing coats : (i) Russell ; (2) a tower machicolated 
and embattled ; (3) 3 barrulets, a crescent for 

chief) were borne by Robert de Rosel, the son of Hugh the Second, 
so early as the tenth year of King Henry I." (Ibid. p. 43, note.) 

1 See Mr. Walter Rye's "Preface to Le Neve Correspon- 
dence" (1895), p. xviii. 



difference ; (4) 3 lucies hauriant in pale ; (5) 
a griffin segreant ; (6) 3 chevronels ermine. 
These coats appear to represent : (i) Russell ; 
(2) De la Tour; (3) Muschamp ; (4) Herring; 
(5) Godfrey; (6) Wyse. When we turn to the 
monument of the second earl (d. 1585), we find 
eight coats in his shield. But the first six of these 
coats are identical with those in his father's shield, 
with one significant exception : the fifth coat, in- 
stead of a simple griffin segreant, shows us " a 
griffin segreant, arg., between 3 cross-crosslets 
fitche of the second." Now this was the coat ot 
the first earl's grandmother, a Froxmere ; and it 
comes here in its right place between that of his 
mother, who was a Wyse, and of his great grand- 
mother, who, we shall find, was a Herring. I 
suspect, therefore, that the Godfrey coat in the 
first earl's shield was merely a mistake for that 
of Froxmere. It will have, however, to be 
borne in mind, because we shall meet with it 
again. 1 

The two really important coats, however, on 
these monuments are those of De la Tour and 
Muschamp. The whole pedigree will be found 
to hang on a marriage with a De la Tour heiress ; 
and if the conclusion I have reached is right, the 
coats both of Muschamp and of De la Tour indi- 

1 The monument to the second earl's son, Lord Russell of 
Thornhaugh, at Thornhaugh, Northants, is described in Bridges' 
Northamptonshire (II. 598). Here the De la Tour coat is given 
as " Sable, three towers argent"; and the "griffin segreiant argent" 
has no cross-crosslets in the field. 



cate that heralds had already found a baseless 
descent for the family. 

Working back from the first earl we come to 
his father, James Russell of Berwick (or Barwick) 
in Swyre (co. Dorset), Esq., who married Alice 
Wyse of the Wyses of Sydenham, Devon. There 
is no reason to doubt that the first earl's grandfather 
was the John Russell Esq. who died in 1505 and 
was buried in Swyre church. 1 Moreover, we can 
now prove this John Russell's tenure of Berwick as 
early as 148 5.* It is beyond this that the difficulty 
begins. We must now, therefore, turn to the 
family's " authentic " pedigree and see what its 
statements are. 

As this pedigree extends from the Conquest to 
the days of Henry VII., it will be convenient to 
divide it into three distinct sections. The middle 
section is that which deals with the " baronial " 
Russells, and extends from the reign of John to 
about 1340. This section need not be questioned. 
The first section is that which connects the " baro- 
nial " Russells with the Conquest ; and the third is 
that which connects them with the owners of 
Berwick. These are the two questionable sections, 
and they can be considered separately. 

In default of access to the authentic pedigree, I 
append the early section from Lipscomb's Bucks 
(III. 248), which seems to represent it. 

1 "beneath a plain stone inlaid with brass, which bears above a 
shield of arms, Russell impaling Frocksmere," etc., etc. (Wiffen, 

1. 1 74 ). 

3 See Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem : Henry VII. , vol. I. 




temp. Hen. II. 



Rot. Pat. 14 John 


Constable of Corfe 


dau. of John 

NEWMARCH d. 29 Ed. I. 

This, it will be seen, almost tallies, down to John, 
with the version in a little work published under the 
patronage of the family : 

On the invasion of England by William the Norman, in 1086, 
Hugh de Russell, or Rossel, (who took that name from his estate 
in Normandy,) was one of his attendant barons. . . . The 
portion of this baron was in Dorsetshire, from whence he and his 
successors assumed the title of Russells of Barwick. His two 
immediate successors were of the same name. To them 
succeeded Odo, whose son and heir, Sir John Russell, married the 
daughter of Lord Bardolph. . . . Nothing very remarkable 
is recorded of his descendants for upwards of I oo years, although 
one of them, Sir John Russell, was twice Speaker of the House of 
Commons during the reign of Henry VI. 1 

1 " The origin and genealogy of the Russell family " in Dodd's 



In his cumbrous peerage (1766) l Jacob had re- 
peated this derivation of the family from " Hugh 
de Rossel or Russel," but makes his grandson 
" Robert Russell of Barwick in the county ot 
Dorset, whose son Odo was living and in possession 
of the estate at Barwick in the fourteenth of King 
John." But he was so perplexed as to whether 
Odo's alleged son John married " the sister of Doun 
Bardoffe" or "Jane, a daughter of John Tilley," 
that he would have abandoned the point in despair, 
when, " by the favour of" the duke of Bedford, he 
was "furnished with an authentic pedigree of the 
Russels," according to which John's " son James 
(omitted by Dugdale, Collins, Edmondson, etc.) 
married Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Tilley, 
knight, and was constable of Corfe Castle, in 
Dorsetshire, A.D. 1221," and father of Ralph 
Russell. Here the " authentic pedigree " is de- 
monstrably quite wrong. James and his wife are 
sheer inventions. Ralph was certainly the son of 

Jacob then gives us the later pedigree (see next 
page), presumably from the " authorized pedigree." 
It is to Jacob's credit that, though the second John 
was " said to have been speaker of the house of 
Commons " in 2 and 10 Hen. VI., "there is not," 
he observes, " sufficient authority to clear this point 
against those who insist that the speaker at that 
time, although named John Russel, was of another 
family" (p. 216). 

History of Woburn (1818), pp. 72-3. This work was dedicated 
to the duke and duchess of Bedford. l Vol. I. p. 215. 



THEOBALD = (2) ALICE dau. and heir 

of Kingston 

of John de la Tour 






; called of Kingston 
Russel " 

daughter of 
John Herringham 


But we must keep for the present to the early 
pedigree, and see what Mr. Wiffen had to say 
about it, enjoying access as he did to all the avail- 
able materials, including the " authentic " pedigree. 
His version, though somewhat difficult to follow, 
works out as given on the next page. Mr. Wiffen's 
own contribution to the early history of the 
family, namely, that the first Hugh du Rozel 
was a son of " William, baron of Briquebec," 
of the house of Bertrand, need not detain us, 
for it is really only a guess, and, as Hutchins 
observed, " he adduces no evidence in support of 
this statement, which seems to rest merely upon 

1 Vol. I. p. 1 8, and chart pedigree facing p. I. 

257 S 


conjecture." It is amusing, however, to learn 

Hugh du Rozel, in variation of the Bertrand arms, bore argent 
the lion rampant gules, uncrowned, with the addition of a chief 
sable, which arms we find ascribed to him in a descent drawn out 
by William Le Neve, York Herald, preserved with the other 
archives of the Russells, dukes of Bedford (I. 28). 



of Kingston-Russell 

1 1 

(Manche) (Calv 
Lord of 



1 1 I 

DE RUSSELL children 
of Kingston-Russell 

I 1 1 1 

DE RUSSELL children 
of Kingston-Russell 

RUSSELL sister of 
(temp. JOHN) Doun Bardolf 


Now John Russell, temp. John, is a man whose 
existence is well established. He held Kingston- 
Russell, co. Dorset, by serjeanty, and the tenure 

1 Hutchins' Dorset, Vol. II. p. 780 (Ed. 1863). 


is said, in a 'Testa entry, to be as old as the reign of 
the Conqueror. But John's parentage cannot, so 
far as I know, be proved. This seems to be 
admitted, now, in Burke' s Peerage, where we read 

the first whose name ? is mentioned is RICHARD RUSSELL, who 
held a knight's fee in Dorset 12 Hen. II., and who was living in 
the 3 ist of that reign. He was succeeded by John Russell, Con- 
stable of Corfe Castle. 1 

There was a Robert Russell who held a fee in 1 2 
Hen. II., but no ' Richard. 5 The narrative in 
c Burke,' therefore, starts with a fiction. 

To me the interesting thing is to discover how 
the pedigree was concocted down to John Russell ; 
for it serves to illustrate the methods of a herald 
at that date. Such pedigrees were by no means the 
fruit of mere invention. As in the great genea- 
logy of the Westons drawn up about the same time 
(1632) by Garter himself (Segar), 2 records, public 
and private, were adduced in support of the state- 
ments made. Unfortunately, as was sometimes the 
case with a well-known genealogist of our own 
time, if the evidences themselves were true, the 
pedigree based on them was not. In the case of 
the Russells, York Herald first provided John with 
a father, by identifying him with a John son of Odo 
Russell, who occurs on the Patent Roll of 14 John. 
Then, deeming it a point of honour to carry 

1 A footnote adds : " For the early history of the Russells and 
their presumed descent from the Du Rozels of Normandy refer to 
Wiffins' (sic) Memoirs of the House of Russell" 

2 Now in the British Museum (Add. MS. 31,890). 



back his patrons to the Conquest, he gave them 
for a patriarch Hugh de Rosel, whom he found as 
a witness in a charter of the Abbaye des Dames, 
Caen, about the time of the Conquest. To bridge 
the gap between him and Odo, he had only a 
rather suspicious charter to Cannington Priory, 
Somerset (" from the original with Mr. Robert 
Treswell "), which gave him a " Robert de Russell," 
temp. Stephen, apparently. 1 This Robert, how- 
ever, he made father to Odo ; and then he dupli- 
cated (or triplicated) the family patriarch, Hugh, 
so as to " let him down " till he should reach 
Robert. And that is how the trick was done. 

It was left for the too ingenious Mr. Wiffen 
to clothe this skeleton with flesh. " Hugh de 
Rosel " blossomed out into " Hugh Bertrand, lord 
of Le Rozel " ; from " love of adventure " only, for 
he was " neither greedy nor necessitous," he " sailed 
with his prince and fellow-barons to Pevensey, 
and pitched his tent (!) upon the celebrated field 
of Hastings." It is " a little singular," Mr. Wiffen 
admits, that this potent baron cannot be found 
anywhere in Domesday Book ; but this, of course, 
he explained away. A more serious difficulty 
remained. " It is difficult," Mr. Wiffen tells us, 
" to account for the entire obscurity that hangs 
over the life of Odo de (sic) Russell. Not a single 
act of his has come to light, either by the evidence 
of public records or by reflection from domestic or 
monastic grants." But the truth is that John son 

1 Wiffen, I. 85-6. 


of Odo Russell, who occurs on the Patent Roll of 
14 John, is found there only as the presentee to a 
living then in the king's hands ! He was, there- 
fore, most certainly not the John Russell who 
flourished during that reign at Kingston Russell. 
This was " nasty " for Mr. Wiffen, but he glozed 
it over by writing that the king conferred on John 
" the advowson (!) of a church in Gloucester- 
shire." l Odo, therefore, like all before him, must 
be swept away from the pedigree of the house, 
which, however, perpetuated his memory in the 
late Lord Odo Russell, first Lord Ampthill. 

There is a grim irony in the fact that Dugdale 
himself bluntly ignored everything before John 
Russell's appearance on the Pipe Roll of 3 John 
(1201). If he knew of the gorgeous pedigree 
constructed by York Herald, he did not believe a 
word of it. 

With the evidence before us there is no reason 
to suppose that the surname Russell was territorial 
at all. There were persons styled " de Rosel," 
from Rosel now in the Calvados (which had 
nothing to do with Le Rozel, Manche, from which 
Mr. Wiffen derived the race) ; but the name 
" Rossellus," or c * Russellus," was common enough, 
and represented simply " Roussel " the little red- 
haired man. Mr. Wiffen scraped together all who 
bore that name, interpolated freely a " de " before 
it, seized upon every genuine " de Rosel," and 
joined the whole menagerie in one connected 

1 Vol. I. p. 100. 


Let us now pass to the third section, the most 
important of the whole pedigree ; namely the 
links connecting the earl of Bedford's grandfather 
with the Russells of Derham and Kingston Russell. 

It will be remembered that the " authorized 
pedigree " was, according to Jacob, this : 


of Kingston 

dau. and heir of 
John de La 




RUSSEL | dau. of 

" called of Kingston I John Herringham 
Russel " 

of John ist Earl 
of Bedford) 

The only subsequent alteration of importance that 
has been made in this pedigree has been the sub- 
stitution of Eleanor (or Alianore) for " Alice " as 
the name of the De La Tour heiress, in deference 
to records which prove that the former was the 
name of Theobald Russell's widow. With the 
exception of this alteration and of the name 'Mes- 
champ,' which has been variously given, Jacob's 



pedigree appeared so recently as 1887 in Worthy's 
Devonshire Parishes : l 

Upon the death of Eleanor Gorges, Theobald Russell took to 
wife Eleanor, daughter and heir of John de la Tour, and by her 
he had William, who married the daughter and heir of Mustian, 
and had issue Henry, whose son John, by Elizabeth, his wife 
dau. and heir of John Heringham, was the father of Sir John 
Russell, Kt., who was Speaker of the House of Commons in the 
second and tenth years of king Henry VI., and who married 
Alice, daughter of Freuxmere. 

James Russell, son and heir of the Speaker, " married Alice, 
daughter of John Wyse." . . . His son John, mentioned 
in the will, is stated to have been born at Kingston Russell, the 
ancient seat of the family, etc., etc. 

Mr. Wiffen, however, here as elsewhere, be- 
stowed upon the bare pedigree much artistic 
decoration. He knighted William ; he knighted 
Henry, and made him serve with distinction in 
France ; and then he knighted the first John, and 
made him Speaker of the House of Commons. 
The second John he reduced to an Esquire, for the 
inscription on his tomb, unfortunately, so describes 

The difficulty of identifying this John, who 
died in 1505, with a Speaker of the House of 
Commons in 1423, has been always felt to be 
serious. Mr. Wiffen solved it by transferring the 
Speakership (of which he, obviously, could not de- 
prive the family) from the younger to the elder 
John. Jacob, we have seen (p. 256), had admitted 
(1766) that the Speaker probably belonged to 

1 Vol. II. pp. 260-1. Mr. Worthy spoke of "the noble 
House of Russell, descended from the Du Rozels of Normandy." 



another family ; and, in Great Governing Families, 
it is questioned whether the Bedford Russells can 
claim him as an ancestor. But in Burke" s Peerage 
the younger of the two Johns in the pedigree is 
annually recognised as the Speaker ; and, stranger 
still, the whole story, as concocted by Mr. Wiffen, 
has now found its way into the Dictionary oj 
National Biography, where the elder of the two 
Johns is identified as the Speaker : 

Sir John Russell, Speaker of the House of Commons, was son 
of Sir Henry Russell, a west of England knight who had fought 
in France in the hundred years' war, and who was several times, 
M.P. for Dorchester and once for Dorset, and who married a 
lady of the family of Godfrey of Hampshire. John was a 
member of Parliament in 1423, when he was chosen Speaker of 
the House of Commons. . . . The Speaker is doubtfully 
said to have had two sons, John and Thomas. John . . . 
left . . . . a son James . . . father of John Russell, 
first earl of Bedford. 2 

Mr. Archbold, the writer of this article, is also 
responsible for that on the first earl of Bedford, 3 
who, we read, was probably born in 1486. 

He occupied some position at the court in 1497, and Andrea 
Trevisan, the ambassador, says that when he made his entry into 
London in 1497, Russell and the Dean of Windsor, 'men of 
great repute,' met him some way from the city. 

How Russell could have become a ' man of great 
repute ' at the age of eleven I do not profess to 

But keeping to the Speaker, no question as to 

1 By Sanford and Townsend, 1865. 

2 Vol. XLIX. (1897), pp. 441-2. 3 Ibid. p. 444- 



his identity can arise. He was clearly the John 
Russell who was knight of the shire for co. Here- 
ford in seven consecutive Parliaments, 1417-1423, 
and again in five consecutive Parliaments, 1426- 
1433. He was Speaker in that which met in 
October 1423, and again in that which met in 
May 1432. John Russell of Dorset was not even 
born at the former of these dates. 

Having thus deprived the family of its Speaker, 
I shall further show that there was but one John 
Russell of Dorset, the grandfather of the first earl of 
Bedford. The pedigree -makers have converted 
him into two ; they have made the first half of 
him a knight, and assigned him his own mother as 
wife ; and then they have discovered that he filled 
the post of Speaker of the House of Commons 
several years before he was born. And all this is 
reproduced, year by year, in Burke' s Peerage. 

From John I turn to his father Henry, the 
alleged warrior knight. 1 Henry Russell really 
existed, and he did, as Mr. Wiffen states, endow 
a foundation at Weymouth ; but he was not a 
warrior, nor even a knight. 

With this Henry Russell of Weymouth we are 
at last on sure ground. It was he who in 1445 
was part owner of a "barge" called the "James 
of Weymouth"; 2 it was he who was returned 
as burgess for Weymouth in 1425, 1428, 1433, 
and 1442 ; it was probably he whose name occurs, 
with that of Stephen Russell, in a list of Dorset 
men in 12 Henry VI. who were able to spend 

1 Wiffen, I. 159-162. 2 Hutchins' Dorset (1863), II. 421. 



12 a year and upwards; and it was he who 
endowed the chantry priest of the gild of St. 
George, Weymouth, with seventeen messuages, 
etc., in Weymouth, (West) Knighton, Wootton 
Glanville, Portland, and Wyke Regis. I have 
examined the return of the Inq. quod damnum? 
together with the writ commanding it, 24 Feb- 
ruary 1454-5, and find the name given as Henry 
Russell "de Weymouth." No relatives, unfortu- 
nately, are named ; but among those to be com- 
memorated are Adam Moleyns, "lately dean of 
Sarum" (who, as bishop of Chichester, had been 
murdered at Portsmouth five years before), and 
Henry Shelford, late parson of the church of 
Wyke Regis (the mother church of Weymouth). 
It is clear that Henry Russell had his home at 
Weymouth, where he was doubtless a wealthy 
townsman. He married in the neighbourhood, 
his bride being a woman of good family, Elisa- 
beth, daughter and co-heir of John Herring of 
Chaldon Herring (East Chaldon). 

This marriage is of great importance, not only 
as helping us to the true pedigree, but also as 
demolishing the false one. In the latter, Henry 
Russell is made to marry a Godfrey, while Elisa- 
beth, daughter of John " Herringham," is made 
the wife of his son John ! This wild blunder has 
been steadily repeated by Jacob, Collins, Wiffen, 
etc., and duly figures in Burke s Peerage for 1899. 
The strange thing is that, in Hutchins' History of 
Dorset the Herring pedigree correctly gives Henry 

1 Thursday after 24 June 1455. 


and John Russell as respectively the husband and 
the son of Elisabeth Herring. 1 The true pedigree, 
in short, is this : 



of Weymouth, 

M.P. for Weymouth, 

living 1455 



dau. and 

co-h. of John 

Herring of 

East Chaldon, Dorset. 
She was dead in 1456 

of Berwick in 
Swyre, Dorset 
(? M.P. for Weymouth 
1450), d. 1505 

dau. of John 



of Berwick in 
Swyre, Dorset, 

d. 1509 


dau. of John 

Wyse, Esq., 

of Sydenham. 

ist earl of Bedford. 

At present the pedigree cannot be carried beyond 
Henry Russell, nor is it probable that it ever will 
be. But there is at least a fair presumption that 
he was descended from, or related to, Stephen 
Russell, a bailiff of Weymouth in September and 
October I388, 2 and M.P. for the borough in 

1 Ed. 1862, vol. II. p. 520. 

2 Ancient Deeds (P.R.O.), C. 144 and C. 2375. 



1395. It is also probable that William Russell, 
returned as burgess for the adjacent borough of 
Melcombe Regis in 14 Ed. III. (1340), and 
Thomas Russell similarly returned in 8, 11, and 
13 Ric. II. (1384, 1388, 1390), belonged to the 
same family. It was doubtless this Thomas who, 
in 1397, was one of those presented by the jurors 
of Melcombe Regis for depositing dung "at the 
east end of the tenement of Thomas Russell, to the 
nuisance of the whole vill." 1 

The Inquisition on the death of John Herring 
(who died 6 Oct. 34 Hen. VI.) makes the pedi- 
gree certain. 2 Chaldon Herring, we find, was 
strictly entailed, the remainder being "Johanni 
Russell, filio et heredi apparenti Henrici Russell 
de Waymouth," with remainder over to his brother 
William, then to Joan their sister, then to Christian, 
then to Isolda Lynde. John Russell is described 
as aged "viginti quatuor annorum et amplius." 
This would imply that he was born in, or shortly 
before, the year 1432. He would thus be the 
John Russell who died in 1505, and the father of 
that James Russell who died in 1509. If the latter 
date is borne in mind, it will be clearly seen that 
there is no room for more than one John Russell. 

It must be explained that there is no authority 
for the form HerringAzw. Mr. Wiffen found it 
in the " authentic pedigree," and consequently 
gave what he termed the " Lineage of Harange or 

1 Borough Records of Wey mouth. 

2 The writ was issued 4 Feb. 34 Hen. VI., and the Inquisition 
taken 25 Oct. 35 Hen. VI. 



Heringham" (I. 163-166), although, on his own 
showing, the family name was Herring (in its 
various forms). 

At this point we may pause to consider how the 
pedigree was here concocted. York Herald if, 
as it would seem, he was the guilty party must 
have faced the problem thus : " I have to connect 
the genuine ancestor, Henry Russell of Weymouth, 
who was living under Henry VI., with the 
baronial Russells. Now I find there was a 
William Russell returned for Melcombe Regis, 
which adjoins Weymouth, in 14 Ed. III. I shall 
claim him therefore as father of Henry ; but as he 
lived too early for the purpose, I shall throw back 
Henry a generation by making two John Russells 
out of one. Keeping the Herring(ham) heiress 
in her place, I must now find respectable wives 
for the two men at the head of my tree. I find 
on the monument of the first earl 1 a coat which 
looks to me like that of the Godfreys of Hamp- 
shire, 2 after that of Herring ; so I shall say that 
Henry married one of that family. I also find, 
before Herring, a coat which I take to be Mus- 
champ ; this will give me a wife for William. 
In neither case shall I venture on particulars. I 
shall then have provided a pedigree comprising all 
the coats on that monument." 3 

1 See p. 252. 

2 This is the coat which I hold to be intended for Froxmere. 

3 But, as I pointed out above (p. 253), the 'Godfrey' coat 
follows Herring, and must be intended for Froxmere, which 
should appear in that position. 



All this, however, turns on the question I raised 
at the outset, namely, whether the coats on the 
monument erected by the second earl (d. 1585) 
do not imply that the whole of this section of the 
pedigree was concocted at an earlier date. And 
this question is specially raised by the coat of De 
La Tour which figures on that monument. For 
the masterstroke of the whole pedigree was to 
make the above William a cadet of the Derham 
Russells, and to make him inherit Berwick, the 
seat of his alleged descendants, from his mother, 
an heiress of the De La Tours, to whom it had 
previously belonged. As the wives of the Derham 
Russells were known, and none of them was a De 
La Tour, the heiress was assigned as a second wife 
to Theobald Russell of Derham, who was probably 
selected as her husband because the house of De 
La Tour disappears from view at about the time 
he lived. By this ingenious arrangement the in- 
heritance of Berwick by a younger son of the 
Russells was accounted for. 

The most critical link in the whole pedigree is 
this, which connects the alleged ancestor of the 
Bedford Russells' branch with the parent house of 
Russell seated at Kingston Russell, and afterwards 
at Derham. It needs, therefore, close scrutiny. 
Now " the authorised version " originally was that 
given by Jacob, namely that William the founder 
of the Bedford Russells' line was the son of a 
Theobald Russell by his second wife, " Alice, 
dau. and heir of John de la Tour." But then 
the tinkering began. As the name of this Theo- 



bald's widow is proved by records to have been, 
not Alice, but Alianore, the pedigree was altered 
accordingly. But she was still represented as 
heiress of Berwick, which " became the fixed resi- 
dence of the branch " of the Russells descended 
from her. 1 Two difficulties, it is true, arose ; for 
her brother John is described as " co-heir with " 
herself 2 to the De la Tour estates, an obvious 
impossibility ; and the statement that " the greater 
portion " of the De la Tour estates came ultimately 
to her heirs 3 is not true. She cannot, therefore, 
have been, as alleged, the heiress of her house. 
But this is by no means all. 

Let us see how the pedigree here works out on 
Mr. Wiffen's own showing. 




d. 1341 "at 
age of 32 " 

the early 
(p. 140) 






1 1 

" the yoi 
son of 

Russell," M.P. 
Melcombe 1339 
(P- 157)- ' 

That is to say, William " the youngest son of Sir 
Theobald " (by a second wife) was returned to Par- 
liament when bis father was only thirty years old ! 4 

1 Wiffen, I. 157. 2 Ibid. 156. 8 Ibid. 

4 Sir Theobald, as a fact, seems to have been 37 (not 32) at 
his death, but this makes little difference. 



Let us take another test. According to Mr. 
Wiffen, Sir Theobald was born in 1304, for he 
was "but seven years of age " in 1311 (p. 133), 
and his minority terminated in 1325 (p. 135). 
Yet we read that " Sir " John de la Tour, father of 
Eleanor his second wife, "died so early as 1272" 
1 (P- 1 5S)- She must therefore have been, at least, 
more than thirty years older than her husband, 
and scarcely less than sixty when she married him, 
as above, and became the mother of William the 
duke of Bedford's ancestor ! 

Having now discovered the difficulties that here 
surround the pedigree, let us boldly examine the 
alleged link and ask not merely whether it is true, 
but whether it cannot be proved to be false. 

The alleged marriage of Theobald Russel to 
Alice de la Tour, as his second wife, is of vital 
importance to the pedigree. For, in the first place, 
it is from this match that the Bedford Russells 
claim descent ; and, in the second place, it is as 
heirs of Alice, heiress of the De la Tours of 
Berwick, that they account for their ancestors' 
possession of Berwick as their seat. What then is 
the evidence for this marriage ? None whatever is 
vouchsafed. The facts of the case are these. 
Theobald, it is admitted, married Alianore 
Gorges. It is certain that his widow was 
named Alianore, and it is no less certain that she 
bore, on her own seal, the Gorges arms. Who 
then could she be but Alianore Gorges, Theo- 
bald's so-called c first ' wife ? In that case, his 
c second ' wife is a sheer, deliberate invention. 



But let me prove the seal. Mr. Wiffen actually 
described and depicted it, 1 and admitted that its 
arms were Russell of Derham impaling Morville 
or Gorges. 2 But as he had c dodged ' the difficulty 
of c Alianore ' instead of c Alice,' so he did with 
her use of the arms of Gorges instead of De la 
Tour. His feeble suggestion that these arms were 
" perhaps considered more appropriate to a deed 
relative to lands which she held in dowry of the 
lords of Derham, than her own ancestral arms" 
will be found in his note upon the seal. I have 
myself examined the seal and deed, 3 which is 
granted by " Alianora que fuit uxor Theobaldi 
Russel," and in which we read : " in cujus rei 
testimonium presentibus sigillum meum apposui." 
As for the seal, I had better quote from the official 
Catalogue of Seals (III. 461), British Museum : 

" Alianora widow of Theobald Russel of co. 
Somers. (dau. of Ralph de Gorges). 

" 13,167 [A.D. 1356] . . . originally fine 
. . . [Cott. Chart., XXIX. 37]. 

" A shield of arms : per pale dex., on a chief 
three bezants 4 Russell ; sin. lozengy Gorges. 
Betw. four small lozenge-shaped shields of arms : 
the two at the sides (1. h. side wanting) Russell, 
the two at top and bottom, Gorges." 

I claim, therefore, to have now shown that the 

1 p. 156 and plate V. 

2 Gorges, he thought, had adopted the Morville arms, having 
married an heiress of that house (Ibid. pp. 1367). But the 
assumption of "lozengy, or and az." by the father of Alianore 
Gorges seems to be unconnected with the Morville coat. 

3 Cotton Chart., XXIX. 37. 4 Misprinted < lozants.' 

273 x T 


match on which the pedigree depends is a sheer 

But the seal takes us further. Mr. Wiffen 
asserted of Ralf, Theobald's eldest son, that 

By way of distinction from the old ancestral arms that con- 
tinued to be borne by his half brother, the son of Eleanor de la 
Tour, he assumed a new coat, viz. argent, on a chief gules, 3 
bezants or " (p. 142). 

But this most improbable story is at once disposed 
of by our seal, which shows that these were the 
arms of his father, that is of Russell of Kingston 
Russell. Nor do we stop even here. "Planche's 
Roll of Arms/' which the late Mr. James Green- 
street published in the Genealogist, can, according 
to him, " be pretty safely assigned to the close of 
the reign of king Henry III." * In this roll we 
find " Raufe Russell " assigned " Arg., on a chief 
Gu. three roundles Or." 3 Now it was precisely 
at the close of the reign of Henry III. that Ralph 
Russell of Kingston Russell flourished. 3 

The arms, therefore, of the Bedford Russells, 
with their rampant lion gules and their escallop 
shells argent on a chief sable, are not " the old 
ancestral arms," but, on the contrary, a new coat, 
evidently granted to distinguish them from the 
house from which they claim descent. 

Mr. Wiffen held that the Russell lion was 
originally that of Bertrand (p. 13 and plate II.), 
and that 

1 Genealogist (N.S.), III. 149. 2 Ibid. V. 176. 

3 He died early in the reign of Edward I. (Wiffen, I. 117). 
He was jure uxoris of baronial rank. 



Hugh [Bertrand] du Rozel, in variation of the Bertrand arms, 
bore argent, the lion rampant gules, uncrowned, with the addition 
of a chief sable ; which arms we find ascribed to him in a descent 
drawn out by William Le Neve, York Herald, preserved with the 
other archives of the Russells, dukes of Bedford (p. 28). 

This patriarch first appears, he held, in 1066, 
and was father of " Hugh II. de Rosel," who, 
" probably in token of his return as a victorious 
palmer from Jerusalem . . . added to the 
lion of his father's shield the three escallop-shells 
which are borne by his descendants" (I. 42-3). 
In proof that this was so, we read : 

It appears, by a pedigree in the Herald's Office, that the shells 
were borne by Robert de Rosel, the son of Hugh the Second, so 
early as the tenth year of King Henry I. (I. 43, note). 

If so, one can only say, ' so much the worse for 
the Heralds' College ' ! 

The c variation ' of " or a lion rampant vert, 
langued and unguled gules^ crowned argent" (p. 13) 
into " argent^ a lion rampant gules ^ on a chief sable^ 
three escallops of the first," is, indeed, a curiosity 
of heraldry, apart from the fact that it all took 
place before armorial bearings were even in exis- 


Of all those who have been concerned in this 
egregious imposture, Mr. Wiffen was, I fear, the 
worst. For, though living in an age of greater 
enlightenment and of freer access to authorities, he 
deliberately and largely added to the fictions pre- 
viously existing ; he set himself to explain away 
the flaws he could not but perceive ; and he then 



ultroneously proclaimed that his researches were 
" based always upon authentic records," and had 
enabled him "to complete, in an unbroken line, the 
chain of family descent, and to ascertain the pre- 
cise spot whence the House derived its surname." 
On his own showing (p. xi.), the initiative was 
his ; and it was not till he had spent two years 
upon the work that the then duke was approached 
by him, and fell, not unnaturally, a victim. His 
Grace's " liberality," we read, charged him with 
a mission to Normandy ; nor do we read with any 
surprise : " I went upon a tour of four weeks I 
stayed as many months." This is by no means, I 
believe, an uncommon experience with those who 
charge these gentlemen with similar missions. 
Mr. Wiffen, indeed, was so loth to leave the 
pleasant Norman land that his grief broke forth 
in verse, which the ducal liberality enabled him 
to embalm in print : 

But, hark the snorting steeds that prance 
To whirl me on my homeward way ! 

Farewell to Fancy's musing trance 
Adieu each loved and lorn Abbaye. 

Now break the cup ! the spell is past 
The guest gone by the banquet o'er ; 

'Tis vain ! 'tis vain ! the fragments cast 
Yet brighter lights than beam'd before. * 

Poor Mr. Wiffen ! He had at least served his 
ducal patron with ' butter in a lordly dish.' Even 
the enterprising gentleman who discovered Colonel 
Shipway's ancestors would not have ventured to 

1 Appendix to vol. I. 


begin the pedigree, about the year 600, with "Olaf 
the sharp-eyed, king of Rerik." 

When an author sends forth his work "to under- 
go the same frank ordeal of opinion, which I my- 
self have exercised," and to be received with his 
own " candour," he compels the critic to observe 
that the evidence is c doctored ' throughout with the 
very reverse of candour. The territorial " de " 
is interpolated where it is not found ; fancy knight- 
hoods are bestowed on those who did not enjoy 
the honour ; and, at every step, the evidence is 
distorted ad majorem gloriam gentis. Thus, for 
instance, an entry on the Rolls which is vouched 
for the statement that " John Russell Esquire " 
took part " in public affairs " as " keeper of the 
royal artillery in Carisbrook Castle," 1 proves, on 
verification, to refer to an ordinary soldier, whose 
wages were threepence a day. 

But I have now sufficiently exposed the true 
character of the work. It is, perhaps, the strangest 
part of the story, and not the least instructive, that 
the present century should have brought to perfec- 
tion a legend on which Dugdale himself remained 
ominously silent. Though giving his pedigree of 
the later family " ex relatione Willelmi comitis 
Bedf.," he stopped short with William Russel of 
Kingston Russell temp. Edw. I. and guardedly pro- 
ceeded : 

Touching the descendants of this William, considering they 
stood not in the ranks of peers of this realm, I have no more to say 
until I come to John Russel Esq. whose residence was at Barwick. 2 

1 Vol. I. p. 170. 2 Baronage, II. 377-8. 


He then takes up his tale anew with the first earl 
of Bedford. 

Shirley in his famous Noble and Gentle men, 1 fol- 
lowed Wiffen and ' Brydges' Collins/ writing : 

Although this family may be said to have made their fortune in 
the reign of Henry VIII. . . . yet there is no reason to 
doubt that the Russells are sprung from a younger branch of an 
ancient baronial family of whom the elder line . . . were 
barons of Parliament in the time of Edward III. 

But, in their Great Governing Families (1865), San- 
ford and Townsend dismissed the story with these 
sceptical words : 

They may possibly have an old pedigree. Immense labour has 
been expended in tracing it by genealogists dependent on the 
family, and it now lacks nothing except historic proof (II. 25). 

It was, however, hardly fair to assert that, be- 
yond 1509, "all is genealogical, i.e. more or less 
plausible guesswork." There is no reason to doubt 
the pedigree up to Henry Russell, returned, as we 
have seen, for Weymouth, under Henry VI. The 
association, therefore, of the Russells with the 
House of Commons, can be carried back at least 
four and a half centuries, while it is quite possible 
that men of their race represented in Parliament 
their fellow-burgesses five hundred years ago. It 
was thus appropriate enough that this great Whig 
name should have been so closely connected with 
the passing of the first Reform bill, which placed 
the balance of political power in the hands of that 
very class from which the Russells originally 

1 3rd Ed., 1866. 

The Rise of the Spencers 

THAT quaint old work Lloyd's State Worthies is 
responsible for this sketch of the first Lord 
Spencer : 

He was the fifth knight of his family, in an immediate succes- 
sion, well allied and extracted, being descended from the Spencers, 
earls of Gloucester and Winchester. In the first year of the 
reign of king James [1603], being a moneyed man, he was 
created baron of Wormeleiton in the county of Warwick. He 
had such a ready and quick wit, that once speaking in parliament 
of the valour of their English ancestors in defending the liberty of 
the nation, returned this answer to the earl of Arundel, who said 
unto him : " Your ancestors were then keeping of sheep " ; " If 
they kept sheep, yours were then plotting of treason." 

This 'scene/ which made, at the time, no small 
stir, took place on 8 May 1621. It is somewhat 
differently recorded by Dr. Gardiner, on the 
authority of a State Paper. According to him it 
was Lord Spencer who first reminded Arundel that 
two of his ancestors had been condemned to death, 
upon which Arundel, " stung by the retort . . . 
replied, with all the haughty insolence of his 
nature " : 

I do acknowledge that my ancestors have suffered, and it may 



be for doing the king and the country good service, and in such 
time as when, perhaps, the lord's ancestors that last spoke, were 
keeping sheep. 

An interesting biography of this, the first Lord 
Spencer, is contained in Colvile's Warwickshire 
Worthies (pp. 712-721), the information being 
brought together from a number of sources. 
From Arthur Wilson's Life of James is quoted the 
panegyric : 

Like the old Roman dictator from the farm, he made the 
country a virtuous court, where his fields and flocks brought him 
more happy contentment than the various and mutable dis- 
pensations of a court can contribute ; and when he was called to 
the Senate he was more vigilant to keep the people's liberties 
from being a prey to the encroaching power of monarchy, than 
his harmless and tender lambs from foxes and ravenous creatures. 1 

The wealth, the hospitality, and the high 
character of this Lord Spencer were spoken to by 
divers writers, Camden terming him " a worthy 
encourager of virtue and learning." 2 He seems to 
have inherited the tastes of his ancestors, with 
whom Lord Arundel taunted him, and, like ' Coke 
of Holkham,' in later times, to have devoted himself 
to farming and breeding stock. Thus it was that 
Fuller, himself a Northamptonshire man, tells us, 
writing about the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, that Warwickshire was famous for its sheep, 
to which the Spencers had owed their rise. They 

. . . most large for bone, flesh, and wool about Worm- 

1 This passage is also quoted in Collins 1 Peerage (1779), I. 

357- * ** 



leighton [the Spencers' seat]. In this shire the complaint of 
J. Rous [d. 1491] continueth and increaseth that sheep turn 
cannibals, eating up men, horses, and towns ; their pastures make 
such depopulation. 1 

The first lord's grandfather and namesake, who 
died in 1586, had "employed his thoughts on 
husbandry as of most skill and profit to his country; 
for at his death he had numerous flocks of sheep 
and other cattle in his grounds and parks of 
Althorp and Wormleighton." 2 

The haughty words of the head of the Howards 
referred to a fact of much interest, which 'was then, 
probably, notorious. Alone, perhaps, among the 
English nobility, the Spencers owed their riches 
and their rise, neither to the favour of a court, nor 
to the spoils of monasteries, nor to a fortune made 
in trade, but to successful farming. That a fortune 

1 Fuller's Worthies. Compare the testimony of Dugdale 
below, p. 285. Fuller seems to be referring to Rous' Historia 
Regum Anglie (Ed. Hearne, 1745), pp. 120-137, where the writer 
denounces to Henry VII. the destruction of townships in East 
Warwickshire. It is interesting to note that Hodnell and Rad- 
bourne are among those he names. 

2 Collins ut supra. Harrison had complained about this time 
of the "enormity" of the aristocracy dealing with "such like 
affairs as belong not to men of honour, but rather to farmers or 
graziers ; for which such, if there be any, may well be noted 
(and not unjustly) to degenerate from true nobility, and betake 
themselves to husbandry." A case in point is that of Thomas 
Lord Berkeley (1523-1533), styled by Smyth, the historian of his 
house, "Thomas the Sheepmaster." This bearer of a famous 
title is described by him as " living a kind of grazier's life, having 
his flocks of sheep sommering in one place and wintering in other 
places as hee observed the fields and pastures to bee found and 
could bargaine best cheape." 



could then be made by a pursuit which now spells 
ruin, may seem at first sight strange ; but there 
was a time in England, under the early Tudors, 
when sheep-farming meant a road to fortune, as it 
did, in our own time, for Australia's " shepherd 
kings." Those were days when a sheep's wool 
proved indeed a " golden fleece." l 

The trend of historical study, of late, towards 
economics and social evolution, has caused much 
attention to be given to the great development of 
pasture, at the cost of arable, resulting from the 
large profits derived from the growth of wool. 2 
For more than a century the face of the country 
was undergoing a vast change, and its economic 
conditions being profoundly modified, by the de- 
population of the rural districts, where the highly 
profitable growth of wool was ousting the labours 
of the plough. In vain did Henry VII. and 
Henry VIII. alike endeavour to check this great 
movement by acts of parliament and other mea- 
sures, backed though they were, in Mr. Corbett's 
words, " by all the preachers and thinkers of the 
day." John Spencer was one of those ordered by 
Wolsey to destroy his enclosures, and restore his 
land to tillage, in 1518 or 1519, but we find an 
act of parliament in 1534 still denouncing 

. . . "divers persons to whom God in His goodness hath disposed 
great plenty," studying " how they might accumulate into few 

1 Harrison (circ. 1580) wrote, of "our great sheepmasters," 
that sometimes one owned 20,000 sheep. 

2 See, for instance, Mr. Leadam's Domesday of Inclosures (2 
vols.), published by the Royal Historical Society, 



hands, as well great multitude of farms as great plenty of cattle, 
and in especial sheep, putting such land to pasture and not tillage, 
whereby they have not only pulled down churches and towns, 1 
but enhanced the prices of all manner of agricultural 
commodities almost double ... by reason whereof a marvellous 
number of the people of this realm . . . be so discouraged 
with misery and poverty that they . . . pitifully die for 
hunger and cold." 

Indeed some fifty years later, in the lifetime of his 
grandson, Sir John Spencer (p. 281 above), the 
complaints were as loud as ever. 

Husbandman. . . where threescore persons or upwards 
had their livings, now one man with his cattle has all, 
which is not the least cause of former uproars. . . . Ye 
raise the price of your lands, and ye take farms also, and 
pastures to your hands, which was wont to be poor Men's 
livings, such as I am. 

Merchant. On my soul ye say truth. 

Husbandman. Yea, those sheep is the cause of all these mis- 
chiefs. 2 

It was, as ever, useless to fight by legislative enact- 
ment against land being put to the most profitable 
use, however unpopular the change might be. 
The grazing farms of Connaught, at the present 
time, are denounced by the small tenants, who 
would have them parcelled out ; but they have 

1 As villages were then termed. 

2 A compendium and brief examination of certain ordinary com- 
plaints of divers of our countrymen in these our days. By W. S., 

1581. Harrison observes, about the same time, that "where in 
times past many large and wealthy occupiers were dwelling with- 
in the compass of some one park. . . . some owners, still 
desirous to enlarge those grounds, as either for the breed and feed- 
ing of cattle, do not let daily to take in more, not sparing the 
very commons, whereupon many townships now and then do 



proved to be the best use to which that land can 
be put. It is, however, doubtless true that, like 
all great economic changes, the conversion of arable 
into pasture dislocated rural life, and involved suffer- 
ing and loss to individuals if not to classes. And 
therefore, although wholly consistent with the 
laissez faire principles of the old Liberal party, it 
figures among the sins in English history with 
which the owners of land are so often charged 
by the present Radical factions. 1 But the founder 
of the Spencers was shrewd enough to seize the 
opportunities of his time. As he is stated to have 
been, maternally, a nephew of Richard Empson, the 
famous (or infamous) official employed by Henry 
VII. to fill his treasury, his evidently rapid acqui- 
sition of wealth may not have been unconnected 
with the fact that Empson was in power at the 
time. 2 But, so far as the known evidence takes us, 
it was by stock farming that he made, as he said, 
" his lyvyng." 

1 By the irony of fate we have lately witnessed exactly the 
same phenomena, namely, the conversion of arable into pasture 
(or now, sometimes, into waste), ruined and deserted farmsteads, 
and rural depopulation, as the direct result of that policy of 
which Cobden secured the adoption by the false assurance that 
such result could not possibly follow it. And the Radicals, in 
their hatred of the landed interest, rejoice in its present result. 

2 i.e. till 1509. 

3 It may seem strange that a * grazier ' could acquire sufficient 
wealth to purchase Wormleighton and Althorpe, and could even 
become high sheriff of his county. But we learn from Harrison 
(p. 324 below), in this century, that such men "live wealthily, 
and with grazing ... do come to great wealth," and buy 
gentlemen's estates. Nor was a rapid social rise any strange 



In this paper, however, the subject I propose to 
discuss is that of the Spencer pedigree and arms. 
For theirs, it will be found, is a typical case of the 
Heralds' College providing a family, when it has 
acquired wealth, with arms to which it is not 
entitled, on the strength of a pedigree concocted 
for the purpose. I lay the guilt at the heralds' 
door, not at that of the family itself, because its 
founder, John Spencer, the purchaser ofAlthorpe 
and Wormleighton, made, we shall see, no claim 
to any other than his true origin ; while its first 
peer, although " for his skill in antiquities, arms, 
alliances it was singular," desired, in his will, to 
be buried " not in the pompous traine of Heraulds 
and glorious Ensignes, nor in dumbe ceremonies, 
and superfluous shewes, but in a decent and 
Christian manner, without pomp or superfluities." 

It was at the beginning of the sixteenth century 
that this family of Spencer first emerged from 
obscurity ; and it is quite evident that they were 
then wealthy graziers, living in the south-east of 
Warwickshire, on the Northamptonshire border. 
Their true pedigree was as given on the next page. 
Hodnell and Radbourne lay together just to the 
north of Wormleighton. When Dugdale wrote 
(1640), Hodnell, which had "been antiently well 

phenomenon in the days of the Tudor kings. But, indeed, 
grazing could still lead to it two centuries later ; for Nash writes 
of Tredington, in S.E. Worcestershire : " Here lived Mr. Snow, 
an eminent butcher and grazier, who by extensive dealing and 
great integrity raised a very considerable fortune : he was high 
sheriff of the county" in 9 George II. (Worcestershire, II. 427). 





(said to have been) of Hodnell, 

of Radbourne, War- Warwickshire 

Sept. 1496 
25 Jan. 

wickshire will dated 15 

j proved C.P.C. 

| | He d. 4 Jan. 1496-7 

JOHN THOMAS Inq. p. m. 5 Nov. 1499 


exor. to his uncle John, mentioned in THOMAS 

1496, being then "of uncle's will 1496 ; SPENCER 
Snitterfield." included in the of Hodnell. 

Removed to grant of arms 1504. 

Hodnell, 1497. 
Had grant of arms 

26 Nov. 1504. 
Purchased Wormleigh- 

ton, 3 Sept. 1506. 
Purchased Althorpe 1508. 
High Sheriff of " 
Northants 1511. 
Knighted in or after 1519. 

inhabited, and had a church, whereof, now, the 
ruines are scarce to be seen," had shrunk to in- 
significance, as had Radbourne, which, "from a 
village of divers inhabitants, and having a church, 
is now by depopulation shrunk into one dwelling." 
It was the fate of such villages as these that had 
stirred Sir Thomas More to his outburst against 
" the noblemen and gentlemen, yea, and certain 
abbots, that lease no ground for tillage ; that en- 
close all into pasture, and throw down houses ; 
that pluck down towns, and leave nothing standing, 

1 4 Home. 


but only the church, to be made into a sheep 
house." x 

The social position of John Spencer, the future 
purchaser of Althorpe, when living at Hodnell 
after his uncle's death, is proved by a deed now 
preserved among the British Museum manuscripts, 2 
which is dated 26 Nov. 1497. Tin 8 deed is also 
of interest from its mention of his neighbour, 
William Graunte, " husbondman " ; 3 for he him- 
self, according to his monument, had married a 
daughter of Walter Graunt, of Snitterfield, as had 
his uncle also. 

Noverint universi per presentes nos Johannem Spenser de 
Hodenhill in Com. Warr. Grasier, Willelmum Graunte de 
Priours Herdewyk in Com. Warr. husbondman, Rogerium 
Belcher de Gyldesburgh in Com. Northt. husbondman, et 
Thomam Lawney de Maydeford in Com. Northt. husbondman, 
teneri et firmiter obligari Thome Haselwode armigero in decem 
libris sterlingorum. . . . Dat' vicesimo sexto die mensis 
Novembris anno regni Regis Henrici Septimi tercio decimo. 

1 Compare the words of Fuller above, p. 280, and those of 
Harrison (arc. 1580): "It is an easy matter to prove that 
England was never less furnished with people than at this present ; 
for if the old records of every manor be sought, ... it 
will soon appear that, in some one manor, 17, 18, or 20 houses 
are shrunk. I know what I say by my own experience . . . 
of towns pulled down for sheep-walks, and no more but the lord- 
ships now standing in them. ... I could say somewhat ; 
. , . Certes, this kind of cattle is more cherished in England 
than standeth well with the commodity of the commons or 
prosperity of divers towns, whereof some are wholly converted to 
their feeding." 2 Add. Chart. 21,448. 

3 As William Graunt ' de Haidewyke ' he entered, with Alice 
his wife, in 1493, the Knowle Guild, which was joined by his 
neighbour John Spencer in 1495. 



It need hardly be said that the seals affixed by 
the parties to this deed are not armorial. On the 
death of John Spencer, his uncle and namesake, 
the future purchaser of Althorpe went to reside at 
Hodnell, doubtless to carry on the grazing business 
as his uncle's executor. When his cousin came of 
age, he had to leave Hodnell, and he had bought 
Wormleighton, according to his own account, to 
provide himself with a home. 

All this we learn from his own interesting 
petition to Henry VIII., against being forced to 
restore to tillage his pastures at Wormleighton. 
We owe the text of this document to the industry 
of Mr. Leadam, who has printed it from the 
original, among Lord Spencer's MSS., in his Domes- 
day of Inc/osures. 1 

John Spencer of Wormeleighton . . . bought the seid 
lordship of the seid William Coope . . . wherupon he 
made hym a dwelling place, where he had noon to inhabit hym- 
self in his countrey where he was borne, for at Hodnell where 
he dwelt byfore he had yt no longer but during the nanage of his 
unkyls son, which now there dwellith and hathe doone this iij 
yeeris, and so this iij yeris the seid John Spencer hathe be in 
bylding in Wormeleighton to his great cost and charge. 2 

Mr. Leadam assigns this petition to 1519. In 
it John Spencer goes on to plead that to restore 
the land to tillage would be " to his uttour un- 
doyng " 

for his lyvyng ys and hathe byn by the brede of cattell in his 
pastures, for he ys neythir byer nor seller in comon markettes as 
other grasyers byn, but lyvyth by his own brede of the same 

1 Issued by the Royal Historical Society. 2 Vol. I. pp. 485-6. 



pastures, and sold yt when it was fatt to the citie of London and 
other places yerely as good chepe in all this v or vj yeris past as 
he dyd in other yeres when they were best chepe within ijs. in a 
beste and ijd. in a shepe. 1 

In 1512 the same energetic man had acquired, 
by exchange, Wicken, in Northamptonshire, and 
had promptly extended its park and turned arable 
into pasture. 2 Even before his purchase of Worm- 
leighton which had cost him, he claimed, first 
and last, two thousand pounds John Spencer had 
felt himself in sufficiently good circumstances to 
aspire to a grant of arms. Accordingly, on 26 
Nov. 1504, " Richemount, otherwise Claren- 
cieux," granted to John and Thomas Spencer, sons 
of William Spencer of the county of Warwick, 
az. a fess erm. between six sea-mews' beads erased 
arg., as a coat. 

There seems to have prevailed a doubt among 
those who have written on the family as to whom 
this coat was granted to. Sir Egerton Brydges 
did not know, and Baker guessed that it must have 
been obtained by the father of the actual grantees, 
William Spencer. It was granted, however, as 
above. One could hardly conceive a coat differing 
more widely from that of the baronial Despencers ; 3 
and it is equally to the credit of John Spencer and 
of the herald who made the grant that this should 

1 Vol. I. p. 487. 

2 "et quatuor persone que ibidem nuper manentes et labo- 
rantes (sic) abinde penitus in magnum suum dampnum reces- 
serunt et vagarunt " (Ibid. pp. 285, 286). 

3 Quarterly arg. and gu. in the 2nd and ^rd quarters a fret or, 
over all a bend sable. 

289 u 


have been so. The coat, also, of the Bedford 
Russells differed widely, we saw, from that of the 
baronial Russells. In both cases the practice of 
the heralds at this period of their history appears 
to very great advantage by the side of that which 
they adopted later and which prevails at the 
present day. I propose to return to this subject 

The grant of this coat in 1504 is obviously 
hostile to the claim that the family was already 
entitled to the arms of the baronial Despencers. 
For if it had been, John Spencer was hardly likely 
to apply for new ones before the Heralds' Visitations, 
with their coercive powers, had begun ; and he 
was even less likely to change, as has been sug- 
gested, the coat to which he was entitled for a 
new one pointedly implying that he was not of 
the Despencer stock. When the Heralds' Visita- 
tions began, the Spencers were satisfied with this 
coat and with John, who obtained it, as their 
ancestor. Nay, they were using it at least as late 
as 1576; for Sir John Spencer of Althorpe and his 
son Thomas were parties, in that year, to a deed 
to which they affixed their seals, bearing only the 
coat granted in I5O4. 1 

Moreover, the head of their other house, 
Thomas Spencer of Everdon, obtained a fresh 
grant of arms so late as circ. 1560. Descended as 

1 Add. Chart. 21,996 (in British Museum). The official 
catalogue of the Museum seals describes the coat as " a fess be- 
tween six pigeons' heads erased " ; but the heads, even to the 
naked eye, are clearly those of seamews. 



he was from an uncle of John, the purchaser of 
Althorpe, he did not come within the limitation 
of the 1504 grant. The coat assigned him, in the 
language of the day, was " Sables, on a fece golde 
betw. 3 bezantes 3 lions heads razid of the field " 
with a very complicated crest. He evidently 
made no claim to be entitled to a Despencer coat, 
or, for the matter of that, to any arms at all. 1 

Baker indeed asserts, of the first Spencer or 
Althorpe, that 

The arms of his great grandfather, Henry Spencer, which had 
been disused for several generations, were resumed by Sir John 
Spencer, 2 as is evident from their being blazoned on his monu- 
ment, and that they were not deemed " a late assumption where 
the want of authority is fatal to the right," needs no other proof 
than the simple fact of their having been uninterruptedly borne 
by his noble descendants under the sanction of the college of 
arms. 3 

With the value of this " sanction " I shall deal 
in due course ; for the present I have to point 
out that the above monument has been " faked." 
Whether it was erected on Sir John Spencer's 
death (1522), or somewhat later, 4 this effigy dis- 
plays on its tabard no other coat than that which 
was granted in 1504. The first effigy on which 
is found the differenced coat of the baronial 

1 This is not mentioned by Baker, and seems to be a new 

2 To whom, on the contrary, the new coat had been granted 
in 1504. 3 History of Northamptonshire, I. 106. 

4 It speaks of his eldest son as a knight ; and Collins* Peerage 
states (on the authority of Cotton MS. Claud. C. 3), that he was 
not knighted till 1529. But Mr. Metcalfe's book gives Sir James 
Spencer as then knighted. 



Despencers is that of the Sir John Spencer who 
died in I586. 1 As we found this Sir John, in 
1576, using the coat granted in 1504, we might 
suppose that the change was made between 1576 
and 1586. 

But was this monument erected at the time or 
his death ? It was not. This I can prove from 
the evidence of the inscription itself. It speaks of 
one of his daughters as " married to George Lord 
Hunsden " (who did not succeed to that barony 
till 1596). The monument, therefore, cannot 
have been erected before 1596. 

At this point of the enquiry we may turn to the 
invaluable testimony of one who was himself a 
member of the College, Mr. Townsend, Windsor 
Herald. From him we learn the true genesis of 
the pedigree deriving the Althorpe house from 
the famous baronial Despencers. 2 

The family of Spencer of Wormleighton and Althorpe re- 
corded its pedigree at the Heralds' Visitation of the County of 
Northampton in 1564 (H. IV. in Coll. Arms) beginning with 
Sir John Spencer of Hodnell, in the County of Warwick Kt 
who died in 1521. At that time no pretension was made to a 
descent from the Despencers or of any relationship to the earls of 
Winchester and Gloucester, nor was there the least similitude in 
the arms. 

Clarencieux Lee in 1595 made a pedigree for the then Sir John 
Spencer or Wormleighton and Althorpe, in which he drew the 
descent nearly in the manner in which Dugdale has given it ; 
he professes to have compiled it from divers records, registers, 

1 These effigies and all the monuments are fully described in 
Baker's Northamptonshire, and are beautifully depicted in colours 
in a British Museum MS. (Add. MS. 16,965). 

2 See Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, vol. V. p. 6, note. 



wills, and other good and sufficient proofs which he had diligently 
and carefully perused, and in his character of Clarencieux King 
of Arms he confirms and allows it officially. Whatever the 
proofs which he saw and examined, I confess that I cannot give 
implicit credit to his work. 

So it was Clarencieux King of Arms who 
foisted this pedigree on Sir John Spencer in 1595. 
The family had, by that time, largely increased its 
wealth, for Sir John's mother was a daughter of 
the well-known Sir Thomas Kytson, who had 
acquired a great fortune as a mercer in London. 
Lee, to whom queen Elizabeth said that " if he 
proved no better " than his predecessor Cooke, 
Clarencieux, " yt made no matter yf hee were 
hanged," 1 must have felt that it was Sir John's 
duty to " pay, pay, pay " for a new pedigree and 
coat. For a hungry King of Arms he was a 
marked man. Now we understand how it was 
that the monument erected in or after 1596 dis- 
plays the e Despencer ' coat, while those already 
existing in the interesting Spencer chapel were 
bedecked, right and left, with the fruits of Lee's 
discovery. When the heralds next " visited " the 
county (16178), the new baronial pedigree was 
entered in all its splendour. 2 The shepherd peer 
was now of the stock of " y e Earles of Winchester 
and Glocester." A year later he had soared higher ; 

1 So, at least, Segar (afterwards Garter) asserted. 

2 It will be found in Harl. MS. 1,187 (a copy of the Visitation) 
with the alleged proofs. Baker prints it from this source, and it 
is also printed in Lipscomb's Bucks and set forth in Collins' 
Peerage, with references to " Visitat. Com. Northampton in Coll. 
Arm., anno 1617." 



he was in direct male descent from " Ivon Viscount 
de Constantine," who had married, even before the 
Conquest, a sister of the "earl of Britanny." l Can 
we wonder that c the noble lord' took a leading part 
in the petition to the king, in 1621, against those 
Irish and Scottish creations " by which all the 
Nobility in this realm " were injured in " their 
birthrights " ? Did not a peer of Hebrew ex- 
traction and very recent creation sign the petition 
against erecting the statue to Oliver Cromwell, 
who abolished the House ot Lords and gave us, 
instead, the Jews ? 

The pedigree to which Mr. Townsend refers 2 is 
headed : 

The pedegree or S r John Spencer Kt. of Althrope and 
Wormleighton in the Countyes of Northampton and Warr. 
being a branche issueing from the ancient familly and chieffe of 
the Spencers, of which sometymes were y e Earles of Winchester 
and Glocester and Barons of Glamorgan and Morgannocke. 

It begins with "Thurstanus pater Americi et 
Walterii," and at its foot we read : 

This pedegre and discent of S r John Spencer of Althroppe 
and Wormleighton in y e countyes of Northampton and Warr. 

1 Baker's Northamptonshire, I. 108, from Harl. MS. 6,135. 
But the real authority for this descent is the Heralds' Visitation 
of Warwickshire, in 1619, as found in Harl. MS. 1,563. See 
the paper on "Our English Hapsburgs " (p. 220) for the authority 
of this, as Bluemantle's own copy. It is, however, only right to 
add that the college copy of this Visitation (C. 7) begins the pedi- 
gree, I believe, only with Henry Spencer of Badby (on whom see 
p. 326 below). 

2 It is incorporated in the Visitation pedigree of ' 1617 ' in MS. 
Harl. 1,187. 



Kt. issueing from the auncient family of the Spensers herein set 
downe together w th the armes and coates thereunto belonginge 
collected out of divers records, registers, evidences, ancient scales 
of Armes, sundry willes and Testamentes with other good and 
sufficient proofes of y e truth havinge beene diligently and care- 
fully scene and perused, is allowed of and confirmed by me 
Richard Lee als. Clarencieux Kinge of Armes, of the East, 
West, and South parts of England at my office 8 May 1595. 

[Signature follows]. 

This pedigree proves, for the early period, to be 
little more than a skeleton. Eighty-six years later 
it was brought down, by a certain J. T., to 1679, 
and, though the early portion remained unchanged 
(save for the alteration of ' Thurstan ' to c Tris- 
tram'), an addition was made by carrying it back, 
as in the Harl. MS. 1 563 Visitation, four generations 
(through the lords of Dutton !) to " Ivo Viscount 
of Constance in Normandy," who married " Emme 
sister to Alane Earl of Brittaine." 1 

It is desirable to print a portion of Clarencieux 
Lee's pedigree (see next page), as it has proved the 
foundation of all after it. We shall see below that 
this descent, on which the whole pedigree hangs, 
can be absolutely proved to be false. For the 
present we need only note that Clarencieux, hav- 
ing made one Geoffrey into two (to eke out his 
pedigree), 2 threw back, as even his own dates sug- 

1 Harl. MS. 6,135. This, as the cookery books say, is 
" another way " of serving up the pedigree, and figures accord- 
ingly among Baker's three alternatives (Northamptonshire, I. 108). 

2 Cf. pp. 265, 269, above. The pedigree here given must be kept 
in mind throughout ; and it must be grasped that the elder Geoffrey 
is a mere invention of the heralds. 




als. Spencer 
Kt. ob. 1251 36 H. 3 


the Justiciary 

slain at 
Evesham, 1265 



2nd son 

Lord of Martlee 
co. Wore. 


de Martlee, co. Wore. 

T. Ed. I. 






"qui habuit 
Defford et 

"qui habuit 
maneria de 


Stanley et 
in Com. Glouc." 

gest, the death of the husband of Emma (1251) 
to that of his imaginary father ! 

It may have been observed that Mr. Townsend, 
though expressing suspicion of the pedigree, left 
its truth undecided. Shirley, in the same way, 
wrote, in his Noble and Gentle Men, that 

1 The authority cited is : " Emma que fuit uxor Galfridi le 
Despenser habuit custodiam Johannis filii et heredis ipsius 
Galfridi A 35 Hen. III." 

2 The authority given is "Johannes le Despenser tenuit 
manerium de Marthlee in Com. Wigorn Ao I Ed. I." 



The Spencers claim a collateral descent from the ancient 
baronial house of Le Despencer, which without being irreconcil- 
able perhaps with the early pedigrees of that family, admits of 
very grave doubts, and considerable difficulties. 

Instead, however, of investigating that claim, he 
included the family without question, although it 
had not, we have now seen, his qualification for 
admission, namely, that of " being regularly estab- 
lished either as knightly or gentle houses before the 
commencement of the sixteenth century." Brydges, 
again, in his Collins* Peerage^ expressed his doubts 
in a running commentary on the Spencer pedigree 
as recorded ; but he did not attempt disproof. 
Baker, somewhat petulantly, complains of Brydges' 
criticisms that 

the glaring discrepancies in the leading line of Despenser have 
escaped his animadversions, whilst he has minutely scrutinised 
every step of the descent from Geoffrey to Sir John Spencer. 1 

And yet Brydges was right. For there is no 
occasion to discuss the early Despencer pedigree, 
until the fact has been established that the Spencers 
are descended from them. If the links connecting 
the two families will not bear investigation, the 
historian of the Spencers need not discuss the 
origin of the baronial house. 

Let us first take the version published in 1764 
in the c Baronagium Genealogicum . . . origin- 
ally compiled from the publick records and most 
authentic evidences by Sir William Segar Knt. 
Garter Principal King of Arms and continued to 

1 History of Northamptonshire^ I. 1 06. 


the present time by Joseph Edmondson Esqr. 
Mowbray Herald Extraordinary ' : l 


ist wife 

JOAN, dau. 

of Robert le 

Lou. ob. s. p. 

ob. 26 Hen. III. 

= SIR 

dau. of 


2nd wife 
= dau. of 


40 Henry III. 
1256, ob. 2 

Edw. I., 1274 



first son 
ob. s. p. 



second son, styled 
of Belton, but seated 
at Defford, co. Worcester 
ob. 1328. 

This descent had been greatly elaborated by 
1779, when it appeared in Collins" Peerage fortified 
by ample proofs. 3 The odd blunder of the two 
Geoffreys was still retained, on the authority of the 
Visitation in the College of Arms, which was also 
the authority vouched for the fact that " Sir John 
Despencer had two sons, Adam who died young 
and William Le Despencer his heir." But an 
Inq. p. m. of 3 Ed. III. (1329) is cited in that 
work as proof that this Sir William " resided at 

1 Vol. L, plates 39, 40. 

2 The authority here vouched is * Visit, com. Northant. in coll. 
Arm. Ao. 1617.' 3 Vol. I. pp. 348-9. 



Deffbrd, in com. Wigorn, and died possessed there- 
of." Lee had recorded him (see above, p. 296) 
as " qui habuit Defford et Burlingham." 

Baker (1822) gave virtually, at this point, the 
same pedigree : 



of Marchley 

or Martley 

co. Worcester 

obiit 1242 (26 

Henry III.) 


had the 

custody of 

John s. and 

h. of Geoffrey 

35 Henry III. 


dau. of 

Robert le 

Lou, ob. 

s. p. 


knighted 40 

Hen. III. (1256) 

ob. 1274 

dau. of 


seised at 

DefFord, co. Wore, 
ob. 1328, Esch. 2 
Edw. III. No. 13 



of DefFord. 



of Stanley 

and Leck- 

hampton, co. 

Glouc. ob. 23 

Ed. III. (1349) 



In Lipscomb's History of Buckinghamshire 
there is a pedigree of the family 

Vol. I. p. 565. 


From the most authentic sources, collated with the Family 
evidences of his Grace the Duke of Marlborough and Earl 
Spencer with extracts from a Book in the Althorpe Collection, 
containing the Genealogical Descents, collected and certified by Sir 
Isaac Heard, Knt. Garter King of Arms, dated 3 June 1803, 
and compared with the Original, as farther certified under the 
hand of the Right Honourable George John Earl Spencer K.G. 
21 Feb. 1827. 

This version is the same as Baker's save that " Sir 
William Spencer Knt. of Defford " reappears with 
his title, of which Baker had deprived him. 

Now the saying that the strength of a chain is 
that of its weakest link is nowhere more true than 
in the case of such a pedigree. The Spencer 
pedigree reaches up ; the Despencer pedigree 
reaches down : between the two there is a gap to 
be filled, a gap of several generations. According 
to the heralds, the point of junction between the 
ancient and the modern house is found, as we have 
just seen, in a second marriage of 'Sir' John Le 
Despencer (nephew of Hugh Le Despencer, the 
Justiciary, 1 from whom descended the Despencer 
earls) , by which he left a son' Sir ' William " Spencer " 
of Defford (d. 1328), ancestor of the Spencers 
when they first meet us a century and a half later. 

For this "Sir William Spencer" of Defford 
the reference is proudly given ; and so we can test 
his existence. It is perfectly true that an "inquest 
after death" was held at Pershore (23 Jan. 1329- 
30), but, unfortunately, William " Le Spencer" 
turns out to have been only a socage tenant of 
Geoffrey Dabitot, holding of him a messuage, four 

1 See pedigree on p. 296 above. 


virgates of land, and two acres of meadow in 
Defford. 1 

But the heralds not only knighted this William 
" Le Spencer"; they also, we have seen, made him 
the son of " Sir John le Despencer " who died in 
1 274. And here at last we " have " them. For 
the inquests taken after the death of this John Le 
Despencer are not only quite decisive, but must 
have been examined by the heralds when con- 
structing this pedigree. In two separate returns 
(11 June 1275) we read that "Hugo films 
Hugonis le Dispenser est propinquior heres predicti 
Johannis le Dispencer et fuit aetatis quatuordecim 
annorum primo die Martii ultimo praeterito." 2 It 
is, therefore, absolutely certain that this John le 
Despencer left no issue. I can, further, identify 
his heir as the son of Hugh le Despencer, the 
Justiciar, who was slain at the battle of Evesham 
(1265), and as the Hugh who himself afterwards 
became famous as the favourite of Edward II. 
and earl of Winchester. For his age in 1275 
proves the fact. 3 

1 " dicunt quod Willelmus le Spencer die quo clausit extre- 
mum non tenuit aliquas terras ut tenens de domino Rege in 
capite. Dicunt etiam quod tenuit apud Defford de Galfrido 
Dabitot unum mesuagium, quatuor virgatas terre, duas acras 
prati, cum pertinentiis, in liberum socagium per servicium octo- 
decim solidorum redditus," etc., etc. (Chancery Inquisitions 3 
Edw. III., No. 13.) 

2 Chancery Inquisitions 3 Edw. I., No. 2. The returns re- 
late to manors in Leicestershire. 

3 Compare the Inquest 9 Ed. I., No. 9, returning him as heir 
to his mother, and then aged 20 ; also, his proof of age. 



It is needless, after this exposure, to pursue the 
pedigree further. We are, once more, simply deal- 
ing with one of those lying concoctions hatched 
within the walls of the Heralds' College, certified 
by its Kings of Arms, and still " on record " 
among its archives. This, be it observed, is no 
case of a tradition rashly or credulously accepted. 
Clarencieux compiled the pedigree, as he said he 
had done, from records ; but, with these records 
before him, he deliberately and fraudulently in- 
vented a descent which their evidence proves to 
be false. He knew, therefore, perfectly well that 
what he officially certified to be true was a lie of 
his own invention. Recorded by Vincent at the 
Visitation of 1617, accepted by Garter Segar, and 
certified by Garter Heard even in the present 
century, this impudent concoction is indeed an 
instance of what we owe to the College of Arms. 

The pedigrees with which it is hardest to deal 
are those in which fact and fiction are cunningly 
intertwined. Here, for instance, it is perfectly true 
that John le Despencer married Joan, daughter 
(and heiress) of Robert le Lou (Lupus), who 
brought him the manor of Castle-Carlton, co. 
Line. This we learn from the Lincolnshire In- 
quest taken after his death, which proves that Joan 
died without surviving issue, and that John held the 
manor, by the courtesy of England, till his death. 
John himself had inherited the manor of Martley, 
co. Wore., which had been granted to his father 
by Henry III. 1 The heralds must have seen the 

1 See Inq. p. m. The Inquests on the death of this John are 



difficulty caused by its not descending to his al- 
leged sons, but being, on the contrary, afterwards 
found in the hands of the Hugh Despencers. For 
they " doctored " the pedigree accordingly. But 
their real crime was providing John with a wholly 
fictitious second wife, in order to make him the 
father of men with whom he had nothing to do. 

The resemblance of the modus operandi here to 
that employed in the Russell pedigree is so close 
as to tempt one to suggest that there was a " Com- 
pleat Herauld " for the use of the College of Arms. 
In both cases a modern family had to be derived 
from a baronial house ; in both, the entries in 
genuine records were fraudulently used and con- 
nected; and in both, the worst crux was surmounted 
by the same device, namely, that of providing one 
of the baronial house with a wholly imaginary 
second wife, by whom he could be made the an- 
cestor of the artful herald's dupes. 1 

Although, as I have said, we are not called 
upon to investigate the origin of the baronial 
Despencers, they played, in the history of their 
time, so conspicuous a part that one may be par- 
doned a brief digression on a problem that is 
deemed obscure. All the three origins set forth 
in Baker's Northamptonshire (I. 108) are wrong 
alike. The clue has to be sought in the descent 
of the manor of Arnesby, 2 which was held in two 

fully abstracted in Collins' Peerage, but the fatal finding as to the 
heir is of course ignored. l See p. 272. 

2 In the Hundred of Guthlaxton, co. Leic. 



moieties by the above John le Despencer, accord- 
ing to the Inquisition of 1275. Arnesby having 
escheated to the Crown with the rest of the fief of 
c Peverel of Nottingham/ Henry II. bestowed it 
on Hugh de Beauchamp, and Hugh proceeded to 
enfeoff there " Elyas Dispensator, Radulphus de la 
Mare, Hugo de Alneto." These three feoffees 
were represented in or about 1212 by " Thomas 
Dispensator et Jacobus de Mara et Hugo de Al- 
neto," who then held " in Ernesby " of Hugh de 
Beauchamp. The two first held by the service of 
a quarter of a knight each, and the third by that 
of a tenth, " of the honour of Peverel." 3 Thomas 
was succeeded in this quarter-fee at " Erendebi " 
by his younger brother Hugh, who was accord- 
ingly charged 25 shillings for relief on it in 
121 8, 4 this being the regular rate on fees held 
" ut de honore." But this sum was remitted to 
him in 1225, he being then in the king's ser- 
vice. He and his heirs continued to hold this 
estate in capite (the overlordship of Beauchamp 

1 This is set forth in the Testa de Nevill (p. 88), the descrip- 
tion there of Henry II. as proavus of Henry III. being clearly a 
mistake. Nichols, in his History of Leicestershire (VII. 9-10), 
gives the facts very imperfectly. 

2 Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 586. 

3 Ibid. p. 1 80. This accords exactly with their respective 
holdings there, 15 virgates, 15 virgates, and 6 virgates (Testa de 

4 " Pro relevio suo de quarta parte feodi unius militis in Eren- 
debi que ei excidit per mortem Thome Dispensarii fratris sui 
primogeniti cujus heres ipse est " (Excerpts from the Fine Rolls, 
vol. I. p. 1 8). 

5 Rot. Claus. 9 Hen. III., Ko. 12. 



having been eliminated), but by 1235 Geoffrey 
Despencer had been subenfeoffed in this quarter- 
fee. 1 Thus it was that the latter's heir, the above 
John le Despencer, was found by the Inquisition 
of 1275 to hold the manor of Arnesby in two 
moieties, 2 one of them from Hugh le Despencer 
as a quarter-fee, the other from Wigan " de La- 
mare " (representing the original feoffee of that 
portion, Ralph c de la Mare '). We must there- 
fore trace the origin of the family to Elyas c Dis- 
pensator ' of Arnesby (who was a benefactor there 
to Sulby Abbey), though neither he nor his suc- 
cessor Thomas is even mentioned in any one of 
the three versions of the pedigree. 3 

Hugh le Despencer the first prospered in the 
service of Henry III. 4 He was given Ryhall, with 
Belmethorpe, Rutland, in the 8th year of the reign, 
and Loughborough in the 1 1 th year, while Freeby 
and Hugglescote, also in Leicestershire, increased 
his possessions, which passed to his namesake, the 
Justiciar Hugh le Despencer, as his heir. We 
have thus a house which rose to wealth in the 
service of Henry III., which then (in the person 
of the Justiciar) joined the barons against him, 
and which finally became obnoxious for the favour 
it received from his grandson. 

In the meanwhile, Geoffrey, its cadet, who was 

1 " De quarta parte militis quam Galfridus Dispensator tenet 
in Hernesbi " (Testa de Nevill, p. 92). The exact relationship of 
this Geoffrey seems to be undetermined. 

2 Chancery Inquisition 3 Edw. I., No. 2. 3 Baker, I., 108. 
4 He acted as a sheriff and governor of castles. 

305 x 


given the royal manor of Martley (co. Wore.), 
seems to have speculated in wardships. In Janu- 
ary, 1230, he bought for 100 the heir of John 
de St. John (of Stanton St. John), and his marriage ; 
and ten years later he bought, in like manner, 
the c wardship ' of the heir and lands or Robert 
Musard for 500 marcs, being pardoned, 9 May 
1243, 5 mar cs of that amount. Lastly, in 1247, 
he secured for 80 marcs the custody of Robert le 
Lou's manor, during the minority of his heiress, 
who was herself secured as a wife for his son John. 
This John was himself under age at his father's 
death, his wardship being bought by his mother 
Emma (June 1251) for 400 marcs. It was this 
John whom we found, above, dying without sur- 
viving issue in 1275, and succeeded by his relative 
Hugh le Despencer, son of the Justiciar. 

Having now traced, for the first time, as it seems, 
the rise of the Despencers, I return to the Spencer 

The proved falsehood of the alleged link con- 
necting the ' Spencers ' with the ' Despencers ' does 
not merely shatter the pedigree ; it is absolutely 
fatal to the bona fides of the herald by whom it was 
concocted. Consequently, when we find him 
citing evidences that are not now forthcoming, 
it is impossible to accept his statements as valid 
evidence. He asserts, for instance, that Henry 
Spencer, the alleged great grandfather of John (the 
purchaser of Althorpe), sealed his will with a coat- 
of-arms identical with that differenced Despencer 



coat now borne by the family in 1476 (16 Edw. 
IV.) ; and he further asserts that John, Henry's 
son, used, in 1473-4 and 1479-80, a seal bear- 
ing the arms of his mother (a Lincoln) quartered 
with those of his wife (a Warsted) ! This most 
amazing heraldry is actually given as the reason 
why the family ceased to use their own illus- 
trious coat till their right to it was rediscovered 
by the too ingenious Lee in 1595 ! It is obvious 
that these alleged facts were intended to explain 
away the family's application for a fresh grant in 
1504, and the no less awkward fact, which seems 
to have escaped notice, of the Everdon branch 
obtaining yet another fresh coat. 

It was difficult to know how to deal with the 
1504 coat after the " resumption " of the ancestral 
arms in 1595 by the Althorpe branch. But the 
heralds overcame the difficulty by placing it in 
the second quarter, where, marshalled with the 
arms of Lincoln, Warsted, Graunt, and Ruding, it 
figures in endless shields adorning the Spencer 

And now let me once more insist on the modus 
operandi of Clarencieux Lee, the original rascal, and 
the " onlie begetter " of this precious pedigree. 
He took from the records Spencers and Despencers 
wherever he could lay hands on them, fitted them 
together in one pedigree at his own sweet will, 
rammed into his composition several distinct 
families, 1 and then boldly certified the whole as 

1 For instance, the Despencers of Stanley Regis, Gloucester- 
shire, an entirely different family, who had received that estate 



gospel truth. To him enter Vincent (1617), be- 
loved of the College still, but ready to swallow, as 
a loyal herald, whatever had been certified as true 
by a " Clarencieux Roy d'Armes." Vincent's Visi- 
tation pedigree, of course, was evidence enough 
for Segar, Garter King of Arms, who indeed had 
himself certified for the Westons, with all formal 
solemnity, a little concoction of his own (163 a). 1 
Lastly comes Sir Isaac Heard, Garter in the present 
century, ready, as we learn from Lipscomb, to 
certify the pedigree anew, and doubtless to pocket 
his fees like a herald and a man. One seems to 
understand why a King of Arms bears around 
his crown the suggestive words " Miserere mei 

It was at a great time that the Spencer pedigree 
was forged. Four years earlier (1591) the then 
Lancaster herald had endowed the Mauleverer 
family with a no less spurious descent ; and only 

from the Crown as early as the 1 2th century. Lee got from them 
his Almerics and his Thurstans (see pp. 295, 299 above, and compare 
my article on " the Red Book of the Exchequer " in Genealogist, 
XIV. 4). It is doubtless from this imaginary descent that the 
Spencer Churchill branch have taken the Christian name of 
* Almeric.' 

1 Segar, who was Garter 1607-1633, traced their pedigree in 
a direct line from " Haylerick de Weston Saxonicus " to Sir 
Richard Weston of Sutton, and signed it as * Garter principal 
King of Arms ' throughout. It is worth while quoting, for com- 
parison with Lee's certificate of the Spencer pedigree, Segar's 
certificate of this Weston one as compiled : " Ex publicis regni 
Archivis et privatis ejusdem Familiae archetypis, ecclesiis, monu- 
mentis, historiis, monasteriorum registris, et rotulis armorum 
vetustissimis, aliisque reverendae antiquitatis et indubitatae rebus 
maximo labore ac fide oculata." 



two years later (1597) tne ear l f Kent brought an 
action against Garter King of Arms for wronging 
him in a peerage case, and the Commissioners who 
tried the charge " determined that part of the 
pedigree made by Garter to be unlawful," and the 
arms dependent on it, therefore, to be unlawfully 
borne. 1 This case would seem to be exactly 
parallel with that of the arms assigned to the 
Spencers on the strength of a spurious descent. 

But, it may be said, all this happened long ago. 
Why revive it ? The answer is that it has become 
absolutely necessary to insist upon these facts since 
the appearance of the present attempts to exalt the 
paramount authority of the officers of arms and 
of their records. 

In an article on " the Pedigree of the Fane and 
Vane Family," 2 Mr. W. V. R. Fane set himself 
" to test the authenticity of the Fane pedigree as 
given in the Heralds' Visitations of Kent, pre- 
served at the College of Arms, by the light of 
contemporary records." Of this he wrote that 

when we refer to generations twelve to sixteen of that pedi- 
gree, which can be tested by such contemporaneous evidence, we 
find them constantly incorrect, while the various copies of the 
pedigree in the Heralds' Visitations do not even agree in all points 
among themselves. If this is so even in the 120 years imme- 
diately preceding the first appearance of the pedigree, how much 
less probable does the authenticity of the first eleven generations 
appear. 3 

1 See " Arms and the Gentleman " in Cant. Review, August, 
1899. 2 Genealogist [N.S.], XIII. 81. 

3 I am merely concerned here with the reliance on ' Visita- 
tion ' authority as against Mr. Fane's case. 



Mr. Keith Murray, replying on behalf of the 
College of Arms, and supplied by York Herald 
with the necessary information from its records, 
seemed to be shocked at any one rashly daring to 
question " the genuineness of the pedigree regis- 
tered by a Herald acting under Royal Commis- 
sion/' The writer who masquerades under the 
pseudonym of ' X,' exalts in the same manner the 
authority of Heralds' Visitations. Dealing with 
" the right to bear arms," he assures us that a fair 
copy was made when the herald returned to Lon- 
don, and then 

the pedigrees and arms were checked by the records con- 
tained in the College. The whole was carefully corrected, and the 
corrected and authoritative copy was delivered into the custody or 
the College of Arms in conformity with the requirements of the 
Royal Commission. 2 

So also the latest edition (1898) of Burke's 
Landed Gentry appeals in the preface to "the 
Heralds' visitations, documents of high authority 
and value . . . invaluable documents," and 
insists upon " the royal commission under which 
the Visitations were held." To appraise the value 
of this ' Royal Commission,' we need not appeal 
to the Spencer pedigree ; we have only to cite the 
words, written in his official capacity, of a present 
member of the College. Windsor Herald (Mr. 
Lindsay, Q.C.) drew up a formal memorandum at 

1 Genealogist [N.S.], XIII., p. 209. The pedigree appears in 
Visitations of 1574 and 1592 (Ibid. p. 212). 

2 Genealogical Magazine, II. 24. And compare the same 
writer's book on The Right to Bear Arms, p. 105. 



the College, 27 August 1896, in which he thus 
exposed a single generation of the pedigree of the 
Pepys family, recorded at a 1684 Visitation by 
Clarencieux St. George : l 

The following corrections require to be made in the Visitation 
pedigree : 

Robert did not die unmarried ; Thomas called Black did not 
die unmarried, nor without issue ; Thomas called Red did not die 
unmarried, nor without issue ; no daughter married Sir Gilbert 
Pickering ; there were two daughters not mentioned in the 
Visitation pedigree Elizabeth, who married an Alcocke, and 
Edith, who lived to be 28, but died unmarried. There are other 

Truly a fine collection of blunders for one generation of a 
pedigree which, being reported under a Royal Commission, is 
ipso facto evidence and primd fade proof in a court of law ! 2 

After this specimen of what was done even at 
the last Visitation, it is difficult to repress a smile 
at the sorrowful lament of c X ' that these precious 
Visitations were discontinued : 

That no further Visitation has since been made is infinitely to 
be regretted. It is the saddest thing one can find to chronicle in 
the history of British armory. 3 

I desire to call attention to the fact that a fresh 
pedigree of Pepys, for the period, has now been 
' recorded ' at the College in the place of that 
which Mr. Lindsay has demolished. This is one 

1 It is in the previous Cambridgeshire Visitations that the 
spurious Stuart pedigree is recorded (pp. 132, 144 above). 

2 ' Pepysiana ' Volume (in Mr. Wheatley's edition of Pepys), 
pp. 56. Mr. Lindsay points out that it was even in the life- 
time of the famous diarist that his grandfather was ' recorded ' as 
dying childless, and indeed unmarried ! 

3 Genealogical Magazine, II. 25. 



of the little ways that the Heralds' College has. 
Their c recorded ' pedigrees are sacrosanct until 
they are found out ; and then well, they alter 

In the same spirit they allow it to be proclaimed 
in the works of c X ' and Mr. Fox-Davies, the 
latter avowing his dependence on the help of one of 
their number, 2 that arms are c bogus ' or illegally 
borne unless they are c on record ' at the College 
of Arms. 3 And yet so perfectly conscious are the 
heralds of the grave deficiencies in their records 
that they had it is no secret to go to Oxford, 
not long ago, for the particulars of grants of arms 
of which they had no record. It will be interest- 
ing to see whether Mr; Fox-Davies will venture to 
deny a fact which demolishes his whole case. For 
unless every grant of arms was duly recorded at the 
College, the absence there of a record of any given 
coat being granted is no proof whatever that the 
coat is c bogus.' 

A good test of the heraldic value of ' Visitation ' 
evidence is found in the case of the pedigree and 
arms of the Yorkshire family of Stapleton. About 
1530 a member of that family compiled for it a 
gorgeous pedigree, 4 tracing its descent from " Sir 
Myles Stapelton Knight, one of the founders of 

1 Compare Cont. Review (Aug. 1899), Vol. 76, p. 258. 

2 " Without his help I could have done but little." Armorial 

3 "Arms are good or bad as they are recorded or unrecorded." 
The Right to Bear Jrms y p. 108. 

4 Now in the Harleian MSS. 



the Garter, by the dau. and one of the heires of 
John de Bretagne Earl of Richmond by his wife 
Beatrice dau. of King Henry III." This story 
was accepted by the great Dugdale himself when 
he made his Visitation of Yorkshire (1666) ; and, 
on the strength of it, he allowed the family to 
quarter " Cheeky or and azure within a bordure 
gu. a canton Ermine," l as the coat of Britanny and 
Richmond. It is now known, and fully admitted, 
that it was not Sir Miles who made this match, 
but his uncle Sir Nicholas, 2 and that the family, 
consequently, are not descended from this alleged 
heiress, and have, therefore, no right to this 
illustrious quartering. And yet they can claim it 
as allowed by Dugdale and thus on record at the 
College, and this they do. Mr. Chetwynd- 
Stapylton, the historian of the family, writes as 
follows : 

The Earl's arms have always been quartered on the shield of 
Stapelton. They are represented in Christopher Stapelton's pedi- 
gree ctrc. 1530, and Dugdale places them among the quarterings 
of the family in 1665. Numerous monuments and painted 
windows at Carlton and Wighill and Myton, also prove that 
successive generations have always maintained their connection 
with the Earl's family, though being descended from Sir Gilbert, 
the younger brother of this Sir Nicholas, none of them can 
actually claim Plantagenet blood. 3 

The author omits to mention that Dugdale only 
allowed the quartering in the belief that the family 

1 Genealogist [N.S.], XII. 129 ; The Stapeltons of Yorkshire, pp. 
58, 241. 

2 Ibid. pp. 4, 58, 307-8. 3 Ibid. (1897), p. 58. 




were lineally descended from the Earl, a descent 
which he himself denies. 

But in spite of monuments, glass, and c Visita- 
tion,' the arms as well as the descent are, if I may 
use the graceful term of Mr. Fox-Davies, " bogus." 
Not only have the Stapletons no descent from this 
alleged heiress ; but even if they had, she was not, 
as they allege, a daughter of the earl of Richmond. 
She is now, indeed, made a daughter, not of the 
son-in-law of Henry III., but of Earl John c de 
Bretagne/ his son ; but this does not mend 
matters, for this latter earl died unmarried ! 1 In- 
deed, Mr. Chetwynd - Stapylton, in despair, is 
driven to describe her in the strange terms 
" daughter, it may be illegitimate, but at least one 
of the heirs of John de Bretagne Earl of Rich- 
mond." 2 His sole evidence consists of his belier 
that she brought her husband an estate at Kirkby 
Fleetham, which estate, it can be shown from his 
own book, the Stapletons had held before. 3 

I need not labour the point further. When 
c the veiled prophet ' of the College of Arms 
adjures the public to place its faith in the College 
records, and in no others, it ought to be sufficient 

1 See Complete Peerage, VI. 353. 

2 The Stapeltons of Yorkshire ^ p. 58. 

3 I emphasize this point because the author has no right to 
consider that he has disproved the conclusion of that eminent 
genealogist Mr. Thomas Stapleton that she was not a daughter 
of the earl of Richmond. The point here, it should be observed, 
is that a quartering wrongfully assumed one of the abuses com- 
plained of by Mr. Fox-Davies and his friends has the authority 
of the Heralds' College on the strength of its absurd " records." 


to quote the words written by the great Blackstone 
even in the last century. 

The marshalling of coat-armour, which was formerly the pride 
and study of all the best families in the kingdom, is now greatly 
disregarded, and has fallen into the hands of certain officers and 
attendants upon this court called heralds, who consider it only as 
a matter of lucre, and not of justice, whereby such falsity and 
confusion have crept into their records (which ought to be the 
standing evidence of families, descents, and coat-armour) that, 
though formerly some credit has been paid to their testimony, 
now even their common seal will not be received as evidence in 
any court of justice in the kingdom. 1 

" Who consider it only as a matter of lucre " : 
that is, unhappily, the point. The deplorable 
system by which the heralds, when they were 
needy or greedy men, were dependent for their 
income on the fees they could obtain, lies at 
the root of the evil. In the old days, they were 
ready to construct such pedigrees as those I have 
discussed ; in later times they have had to look to 
their profits from grants of arms. The history of 
the College in the past is smirched by the sordid 
squabbles of its members squabbles originating, 
as is well known, in the rivalry for fees thus 
obtained. 2 Nor can one imagine any system 

1 See article on " Arms and the Gentleman " in Cont. 
August, 1899. 

2 Cooke, Clarencieux King of Arms, was accused by Segar 
(afterwards Garter) of having given " Armes and Creasts without 
number to base and unworthy persons for his private gayne 
onlye " ; and by Dethick, another famous herald, of having 
" prostituted his office in the vilest manner for money " 
(Noble's History of the College of Arms). See also the out- 
spoken letter from Peter Le Neve, Norroy King of Arms 



better calculated to bring about the degradation 
of coat-armour than that which made all con- 
cerned, from the King of Arms to the herald's 
tout, gainers in proportion to the number of 
coats for which the members of the British 
public could be induced, by cajolery or by 
terrorism, to apply. 1 Happily there are, in the 
present day, among the members of the College, 
gentlemen of social distinction and of independent 
means, who could never act in the spirit of trades- 
men with wares to push. It is, therefore, greatly 
to be hoped that they will soon publicly repudiate 
that beating of drums and clashing of cymbals in 
front, metaphorically speaking, of their grave and 
sober walls with which they are not in any way 
connected, and which can only arouse their pro- 
found disgust. 

If the self-appointed champions of the College 
would heap their indignation on the real abuse by 
which the arms belonging to an old family are 

(1704-1729), to Sir John Vanbrugh, Clarencieux King of Arms 
(1704-1726), asking him "how it came to pass" that Sir 
John had bagged the 15 fee on a grant to one of the family 
of Smith " when in my province " (Calendar of Le Neve Corre- 
spondence^ by F. Rye, edited by Walter Rye, p. 193). 

1 In the Morning Post of 20 January 1899 an advertisement 
from " Two Single Clergymen," who desired " Good social 
introductions to Persons of means," was followed by one inti- 
mating that " A Gentleman, moving in good Suburban Society, 
can, by introducing an historical subject, benefit his income. 
Apply, Herald" etc. It is, of course, impossible to suppose 
that anyone connected with the Heralds' College can have been 
responsible for this attempt to add to the existing horrors of 
" good Suburban Society." 



pirated by any nouveau riche who happens to 
possess the same name, they would have a strong 
case. But when they denounce with equal fer- 
vour those who are guiltless of such piracy, and 
make no pretence to belong to any family but 
their own, one sees that, for them, the real crime 
is not to have paid heralds' fees. As a matter of 
fact, the College itself is virtually the worst offen- 
der in the above piracy of arms. Instead of dis- 
tinguishing pointedly, as it should, the new family 
from the old, it will grant the former if the fees 
are paid as near an imitation as it dares of the 
old coat. Just as it confirmed to the modern 
Spencers a form of the old Despencer coat, so, 
when still more modern Spencers required armorial 
bearings, they were granted so close an imitation 
of the coat granted to Lord Spencer's ancestor in 
1504 as to be absolutely undistinguishable in a 
seal or engraving, and virtually so even in colour. 1 
Surely such devices are worthy only of a trades- 
man who should try to make his margarine look 
like butter. 2 

A very apposite case in point is afforded by the 

1 1 refer to the coat of Spencer of Cannon Hall, Yorks., as now 
borne, quarterly with Stanhope, by Mr. Spencer-Stanhope and 
blazoned by Mr. Fox-Davies as ax. a fess erm. between six sea- 
mews' heads erased ppr. The Spencer coat granted in 1504 
was az. a fess erm. between six seamews 9 heads erased arg. 

2 So obviously wrong is this system that even the champion of 
the College himself has to admit that " there is much to be said 
in favour of the contention" of its opponents, and indeed that 
this contention has his "thorough sympathy" (The Right to 
Bear Arms, 1899, pp. 172-3). 



arms of Buxton. The Derbyshire Buxton gave 
name to a family which held land there, and which 
is entered as of "yeoman" rank in I43I. 1 When 
it came to bear arms, its coat was " Sa. two bars 
ar., on a canton of the second a buck of the first 
attired or." 2 Removing to Brassington in the 
same county, this family had a cadet branch, de- 
scending from a second son, temp. Elizabeth, 3 
which resided in the adjoining parish of Brad- 
bourne, and entered its pedigree at the Derbyshire 
Visitation of 1662-3, when it bore the arms given 
above, differenced by the addition of 3 mullets 
argent between the bars. 4 

But there is, in Norfolk, another Buxton, and 
this place must have given name to a Norfolk 
family of Buxton, which emerged towards the 
close of the I5th century, at Tibenham, and, 
under Elizabeth, acquired Shadwell, which place 
is still its seat. This family, most properly, bore 
a coat entirely distinct from that of the Derby- 
shire Buxtons, viz.: "ar., a lion rampant sa., tail 
elevated and raised over the head." The crests, 
also, of the two families were entirely different in 
character. So far, so good. But now comes the 
amazing development sanctioned by the Heralds' 
College. 6 The Shadwell Buxtons were actually 

1 Feudal Aids, I. 281. 2 Papworth's Ordinary. 

3 Burke's Armory. 

4 Lysons* Derbyshire, p. Ixxx. ; and Genealogist , III. 123. 
Compare the cases below of differencing a cadet coat by adding 
3 mullets. 

6 See Mr. Fox-Davies' Armorial Families, Ed. 1895, 1899. 



allowed to quarter the coat of the Derbyshire 
Buxtons 1 and to use the latter's crest in addition 
to their own (as if they had married their heiress), 
although they had nothing in the world to do 
with them ! This absolutely crazy heraldry is, if 
possible, even worse than allowing the Norfolk 
family to annex the Derbyshire coat in the place 
of its own. 

But the real chance of the College of Arms 
came when a third family of the name required 
to be fitted with a coat. The well-known brew- 
ing family of Buxton, nonconformist clothiers, 
in the last century, at Coggeshall, Essex, where 
they had lived since the latter part of the i6th 
century, were, as usual, granted the arms of the 
Buxtons of Shadwell, with the addition only, for 
difference, of two mullets to the shield, almost 
the very addition employed by the Derbyshire 
Buxtons to difference the arms of their cadet 
branch. Can one wonder that such grants as 
these encourage the belief which indeed they 

1 In Burkis Peerage for 1886 we read: "A second coat is 
stated to have been granted by Charles II., viz. Sa., two bars 
arg. ; on a canton of the second, a buck of the first attired or." 
But the engraving of the family arms had previously shown this 
latter coat in the first quarter. When the above sentence was 
inserted (between 1880 and 1883), the coat disappeared alto- 
gether from the engraving. In Armorial Families (1899) it is 
placed in the second quarter. 

Apart from the above coat there was one with two bucks in it 
used, earlier, in connection with their own by the Tibenham 
Buxtons. It is styled "the ancient coat of the family" in 
Farrer's Church Heraldry of Norfolk, I. 51, 210. Compare 
Blomefield's Norfolk [1806], V. 276. 



imply, it heraldry means anything, that the 
grantee is a cadet of a house which declines to 
recognise him as such, but which cannot prevent 
the College from assigning him a 'colourable 
imitation' of its own arms P 1 

We have already seen that the Bedford Russells 
were assigned a coat of which the c lion ramp- 
ant ' rendered it quite distinct from that of the 
' baronial ' Russells, while the ancient Worcester- 
shire house of Russell of Strensham bore a coat 
charged with a chevron between three crosslets. 
Thanks to this sound heraldry, there was no possi- 
bility of confusing the families although they bore 
the same name. The modern heralds, on the 
contrary, in accordance with their vicious system, 
have assigned to Lord Russell of Killowen's house 
the arms of the Bedford Russells (with whom it is 
wholly unconnected) differenced only by a bor- 
dure. The coat which follows it in Burke s 
Peerage completes the case against them. It is 
that of Russell of Swallowfield, and its origin is 
thus accounted for : 

1 Indeed, even after the modern family had received this new 
grant, Mr. Charles Buxton, in his Life (1848) of his distin- 
guished father a work which passed through thirteen editions 
wrote that " William Buxton, his lineal ancestor, died in 1624 ; 
Thomas, the son of William Buxton, claimed and received 
from the Heralds' College in 1634 the arms borne by the family 
of the same name settled before 1478 at Tybenham, Norfolk, 
and now represented by Sir Robert Buxton, Bart." This was 
an entire misapprehension, as the fact of a new grant being 
necessary proves. But the nature of the arms granted encour- 
aged the belief. 



This family came originally from Worcestershire, and their 
arms, until slightly altered on the creation of the first baronet, 
were the same as those of the Russells of Strensham in that 
county, of whom the last baronet died in 1705. 

To those who can read between the lines it is 
obvious that the real story is that this family of 
Russell, which appears to have emerged at Dover 
in the i8th century, had assumed the arms of 
Russell of Strensham, and that, when the first 
baronet was created (1812), these arms were dis- 
allowed and a fresh coat granted. But, to gratify 
the family, this coat was based on that of Russell 
of Strensham, and is now adduced, as we see 
above, even in Burke's Peerage, to support a 
descent which must have been rejected in 1812. 
Such is the natural result of this deplorable system. 
But indeed one could go further. When the 
heralds' champions furiously denounce, as on pp. 
145-6 above, the "contemptibly snobbish" use of 
arms belonging to "some noble family of your 
name " when you cannot trace descent from it, 
what have they to say to the case of the Howards, 
earls of Wicklow, who use, with full heraldic 
sanction, 1 the famous arms of the c Norfolk ' How- 
ards (as borne by that family before the battle 
of Flodden, and as they ought to be borne by it 
now), 2 although, according even to Burke' *s Peerage 
itself, they do not claim descent from that house, 
and cannot trace their ancestry beyond the father 
of a Dublin physician who died in 1710? 

1 See Mr. Fox-Davies* Armorial Families. 

2 See pp. 39-41 above. 

321 Y 


It is a pleasure to turn from the heralds and 
their ways to the family of Spencer itself. Pre- 
cisely as its ancestor was content to trace, in 
1564, his pedigree to the purchaser of Althorpe, 
so are his descendants in the Peerage books to- 
day. As Egerton Brydges well observed : 

The present family of Spencer are sufficiently great, and have 
too long enjoyed vast wealth and high honours, to require the 
decoration of feathers in their cap which are not their own. 

Baker, who set an example to all county historians 
by the thoroughness, the patience, and the skill 
displayed in his great work on Northampton- 
shire, protested, it is true, indignantly against 
the remarks of Brydges, urging that "in the 
absence of positive^ there is all the circumstantial 
evidence which the nature of the case will 
admit." This somewhat "impotent conclusion" 
was due, perhaps, to the fact that Baker had 
examined the records for himself, when con- 
structing his great pedigree, 2 and had thereby 
become conscious of the fatal flaw that they re- 
vealed. But his position was most difficult ; he 
had not only received assistance, locally, from 
Lord Spencer, but had dedicated to him his 
volume in terms of humble gratitude. Dug- 
dale, on the other hand, though he would not 
be likely to offend a Warwickshire magnate, 
treated the records of his own College with 
the silent contempt that they deserved. // les 
connaissait si bien. In his Baronage he began the 

1 History of Northamptonshire, I. 106. 2 Ibid. p. 108. 



pedigree with John, the purchaser of Althorpe, 
of whose origin he was so careless that he made 
him the son of his uncle. 1 

There is no reason even to suppose that the 
name of Spencer suggests descent from the great 
house of Despencer. It is found, at a compara- 
tively early period, scattered about the country, 
in counties, for instance, so far apart as Somer- 
set and Norfolk, while in Warwickshire itself, 
to my own knowledge, there were Spencers at 
Rowington at least as early as the middle or 
the 1 5th century. 2 Mr. Skeat, in his Etymolo- 
gical Dictionary^ explains that the " Middle 
English " word spensere or spencere is equivalent 
to cellerarius in the " Promptorium parvulorum." 
The family, therefore, we may safely say, has de- 
rived its name from the buttery or the cellar, and 
has bestowed it, in turn, on an overcoat and a 

The time, happily, has come at last for honest 
genealogy and for truth. Those responsible for 
the new histories of our counties and their county 
families have resolved to seek the truth only, 
without favour and without fear. 

Every effort will be made to secure accuracy of statement, 

1 " Son to John Spenser of Hodenhull, as it seems " (II. 418). 
He says indeed that the Spencers " do derive their descent from a 
younger branch of the antient Barons Spenser," but, under ' De- 
spencer,' he ignores them. 

2 A Richard ' Spenser ' occurs a few years later, at Halesowen, 
in a Hagley charter. 



and to avoid the insertion of those legendary pedigrees which 
have in the past brought discredit on the whole subject. 1 

And facts will be found to possess an interest that 
no fiction, however elaborate, can in these days 
claim to arouse. 

Nor is the new genealogy a work of destruction 
only. It will show that the Spencers were sub- 
stantial yeomen, members of a class famous in our 
history, when the House of Tudor obtained the 
throne. 2 John Spenser " de Snytfylde," 3 I find, 
was already styled ' Master ' when he joined the 
great Warwickshire Guild of Knowle in 1495. 
The writers on the family, strangely enough, 
have ignored the important Inquest after death 
of John Spencer of Hodnell, taken 5 Nov. 1499 
(15 Hen. VII.). It not only gives us the date of 
his death (4 Jan. 1496-7) and recites the provi- 
sions of his will, but contains the particulars of a 
deed of feoffment of some of his lands (including 

1 Prospectus of the Victoria History of the Counties of England 
(Archibald Constable & Company). 

2 Harrison wrote of the yeomen, in the days of Queen Eliza- 
beth, that " This sort of people . . . live wealthily, keep 
good houses . . . and with grazing ... do come to 
great wealth, insomuch that many of them are able and do buy 
the lands of unthrifty gentlemen," and leaving their sons " suffi- 
cient lands, whereupon they may live without labour, do make 
them by those means to become gentlemen. These were they 
that in times past made all France afraid." He elsewhere observed 
that " some such graziers are reported to ride with velvet coats 
and chains of gold about them," and that, owing to their " cun- 
ning " and their large profits, " the poor butcher . . . can sel- 
dom be rich or wealthy by his trade." The tables are turned now. 

3 He is styled of " Snitterfield " in his uncle's will (1496). 



those in Wormleighton) , so far back as 15 Jan. 
1491-2. As the first of the feoffees was Sir Ed- 
ward Raleigh (of Farnborough) himself charged 
with devastation for pasture in that very year 
(I492) 1 we gather that John's position was 
good, and obtain, further, some probability for 
the statement in Lee's pedigree that John Spencer 
' of Wormleighton and Hodnell ' 2 had joined " in 
divers deeds of feoffment with Sir Edward Rau- 
leighe of Farneborowe Kt. and others "in 13 
and 19 Ed. IV. (1473-4 and 1479-80). But 
it is precisely this mixture of genuine evidences 
with false genealogy that makes the pedigree so 
deceitful. John Spencer, for instance, is assigned 
only the T /ife mentioned in his will (1496), who 
is made the mother of his three children, although 
Baker subsequently found that he had been mar- 
ried before, and that his eldest child was by his 
first wife. Moreover, when we read that his 
"grandfather " Henry had made his will 3 only 
twenty years (1476) before his own, we cannot 
but suspect that there may be some fearful con- 
fusion, and that two entire generations were made 
by Lee out of one. If so, his composition becomes 
more worthless than ever. 4 

1 Domesday of Enclosures , p. 413. Farnborough adjoins Worm- 

2 Hodnell is close to Wormleighton, but the latter estate did 
not belong to this John Spencer the elder. It was only bought 
by his nephew and namesake many years later (see p. 288 above). 

3 This is the will alleged to have been sealed with the present 
arms of the family. 

4 One must repeat that Lee's deeds and persons may be 



The above Inquest states that Thomas, son ot 
John Spencer of Hodnell, was six years old when 
it was taken (1499). This date is of some interest, 
because it proves that John, the purchaser of 
Althorpe and Wormleighton, resided at Hodnell, 
his uncle's house, till his cousin came of age in 
1 5 1 4. 1 According, therefore, to this evidence, 
the date of his petition (p. 288 above) would be 
1517, i.e. a little earlier than Mr. Leadam thought. 
It is recorded on the monument of this, the first 
Spencer of Althorpe (d. 1522), that his wife was 

one of the daughters and coheirs of Walter Graunt of 
Snitterfield in the countie of Warwick Esquire ; her mother 
was the daughter and heir of Humphrey Rudinge of the Wich 
in the county of Worcester Esquire. 

And her mantle of arms displays Graunt quartering 
Rudinge. But the inscription seems of doubtful 
accuracy. Walter Graunt was a bailiff of Droit- 
wich ( c the Wich ') in 1494^ and a parishioner of 
Salwarp, close to Droitwich, in I496. 3 Snitterfield 
is a long way off. There has always, also, been 

genuine, but that he connected and combined them at his own 
sweet will (compare my article on "The Origin of the 
Thynnes" in Genealogist [N.S.], XL 193). It is, for instance, 
quite possible that he found a Henry Spencer obtaining a lease of 
tithes at Badby in 20 Hen. VI. (1441-1442), and that his wife's 
name was Isabel ; for, although it has been supposed that there 
is now no evidence for this Henry, I have found Henry Spencer 
'of Badby,' with Isabel his wife, occurring in 1468. 

1 I find that his cousin joined the Knowle guild in 1514 as 
" Mr. Thomas Spensar de Hodnell." 

2 Calendar of Inquisitions : Henry VII., I. 380. 

3 Nash's Worcestershire^ II. 340. 



some difficulty about the Rudinge match. 1 Lee, 
as a matter of fact, gave Walter's wife as " Eliza- 
beth dau. and heir of Edmund Rudinge de Wiche" 
[Droitwich], but adds, as a note : " Sir Robert 
sayth she was daughter of Humfrey Rudinge, and 
hath a deed to prove it." This e Sir Robert ' can 
be no other than the first Lord Spencer, then 
(1595), clearly, a youthful knight; and we thus 
learn that he assisted Lee with his " singular skill" 
in alliances and arms.' 2 

And now I will close this paper with a suggest- 
tion about the origin of the arms allowed by Lee 
to the Spencers. These were no mere colourable 
imitation of an old coat in a new grant ; they 
were the actual arms of the Despencers, with a 
recognised cadet c difference,' allowed them in 
right of their alleged descent from a cadet branch 
of that house. And all their descendants to this 
day, Spencers and Spencer-Churchills, are thus 
heraldically proclaimed a branch of the baronial 
Despencers. The placing of three escallops argent 
on the bend of the Despencer coat was, I have 
said, a recognised difference. The armorial bear- 
ings of the Claverings are an instance specially to 
the point. In the excellent History of Northumber- 
land now in course of publication, there is a 
"genealogy of the lords of Warkworth and Claver- 
ing," whose coat was quarterly or and gules ; a bend 
sable. It is there pointed out that 

1 See Grazebrook's Heraldry of Worcestershire. 

2 See p. 285 above. 



Sir John de Clavering bore (during his father's lifetime) a label 
vert Caerlaverock, 1300 ; Sir Alexander charged the bend with 
three mullets argent, as did Sir Alan with three mullets or. 

Sir Hugh de Eure * and his descendants bore three escallops 
argent on the bend. 2 

The Clavering difference, it should be observed, 
originated about the very time when we find 
Geoffrey a cadet of the Despencers, holding Arnes- 
by and Martley. 3 It would have been, therefore, 
in accordance with the practice that he should 
adopt such a coat as is now borne by the Spencers 
as his alleged descendants. 4 

It is, perhaps, a little rash to go even further. 
But now that heraldry is beginning to be rescued 
from the heralds' hands, and to be intelligently 
studied in the true historical spirit, it is worth 
while making the suggestion that the original 
Despencer coat itself may have been based on 
that of c Beauchamp of Bedford ' (both coats were 
quarterly with a bend), even as the latter was 
directly derived from those of Mandeville and 
De Vere. For, as I have shown above (p. 304), 
the ancestors of the Lords Despencer first appear 
as feudal tenants of the Beauchamps of Bedford. 
In that case we should start with the coat of 

1 A younger son of the lord of Clavering, living circa 1274. 

2 Vol. V. (1899) pp. 25-6. Compare also Dallaway's 
Heraldry, 129, and the instances there given, and Woodward's 
Heraldry, II. 49. 3 See p. 306 above. 

4 In his important work on Heraldry Mr. Woodward observes, 
of the Despencer coat, that "This coat Sir Hugh le Despencer, in 
the reign of Edward II., differences by charging the bend with 
3 mullets arg. ; for which in 1476 Henry Spencer substitutes 3 
escallops arg." (II. 50). 



Mandeville, Quarterly or and gules ^ which Beau- 
champ of Bedford adopted, as a relative, with 
the addition of a bend. 1 Then Despencer, as a 
tenant of Beauchamp, would adapt the coat by 
altering the tincture of the first and fourth quarters, 
and adding a fret in the second and third. 2 And 
lastly, a Despencer cadet would add yet another 
' difference ' by placing three escallops argent on the 
bend. If this view should be accepted, the evolu- 
tion of the coat in question would be one of 
peculiar interest for the student of feudal arms, 
of heraldry as a living science. There is reason 
to believe that this branch of archasological research 
is about to receive worthy treatment at the hands 
of competent scholars. 3 We may then learn, at 
length, what armory once meant before the days 
of its decline and fall in the hands of the Heralds' 

1 See my Geoffrey de Mandeville^ p. 392. The Clavering coat, 
referred to above, was derived from the same source (Ibid.). 

2 ' Frets ' and ' fretty ' seem to have been sometimes used for 

3 Mr. St. John Hope and Mr. Oswald Barren have in hand 
what ought to prove the standard work upon the subject. 


Henry VIII. and the Peers 

SUMMARIZING the labours of the Parliament which 
sat from 1529 to 1536, Mr. Froude, in his 
History^ has extolled its importance as " the first 
great Parliament of the Reformation, . . . 
which had commenced and concluded a revolution 
which had reversed the foundations of the State." 
But the House of Commons was, for him, the 
Parliament ; he saw but " an ornament " in the 
House of Lords. It is difficult to reconcile this 
treatment of the Upper House as a cipher with 
his own description of the opening session (3 Nov. 
to 17 Dec. 1529) of this seven years' Parliament. 
He describes the .situation, at that time, as follows : 

It seemed likely for a time that an effective opposition might 
be raised in the Upper House. The clergy commanded indeed 
an actual majority in that house from their own body, which 
they might employ if they dared. . . . "In result," says 
Hall, " the acts were sore debated ; the Lords spiritual would in 
no wise consent, and committees of the two houses sate continually 
for discussion." 

At length the obnoxious bills were passed, " to 
the great rejoicing," says Hall, " of the lay people 
and the great displeasure of the spiritual persons." 



I propose to ask in this paper whether we may 
not be able to trace a special creation of peers by 
the king, in accordance with the modern constitu- 
tional theory, at the very time of this clerical 
obstruction in the Upper House. 1 

Although the reign of Henry VIII. admittedly 
witnessed a vast change in the composition of the 
House of Lords substituting, as it did, a decided 
lay for a decided clerical majority I have never 
seen the process worked out in detail. When we 
compare the summonses to Parliament in 1529 
with those in 1523 we find that the lay peers 
summoned numbered 44 as against 28, the estate 
of the clergy, of course, remaining the same (i.e. 
about 48 or 49) , 2 The details are as follows : 

1523* 1529' 

Dukes ... 2 3 

Marquises . o 2 

Earls ... 7 9 

Viscounts. i 3 

Barons . . . 18 27 

28 44 

1 Mr. Wakeman observes, in his History of the Church of Eng- 
land (1897), that, for "the legislation against the pope" in this 
parliament, " the only danger of serious opposition came from the 
spiritual lords and the clerical estate," and that the anti-clerical 
statutes of its first session were passed " in spite of the opposition 
of the clergy " (p. 212). 

2 See below. Dr. Stubbs reckons them, in these years, at 5 1 . 

3 Dugdale's Summons of Nobility (from Roll in College of 
Arms), pp. 4923. This appears to be the only authority 

4 Ibid. pp. 494-5 (from Roll in Petty Bag Office). This 



But the forty-four lay peers summoned to the 
Parliament which met in November 1529 were 
soon substantially reinforced. The lamentable 
gaps, at this period, in the Lords' Journals 
22 Dec. 1515 (I. 57) to 15 Jan. 1534(1.58) 
leave us dependent on other sources, includ- 
ing a MS. in the College of Arms (H. 13), which 
has not, hitherto, it seems to me, received scien- 
tific treatment. From this MS. are printed by 
Dugdale, in his c Summonses/ two passages, fo. 
398^ (p. 500) and fo. 403*2 (p. 496). The first 
of these, which is of great importance, is thus 
headed by him in his book : 

The names of the Barons as they sate and entred in the 
Parliament in order, in the xxviij year of the Reign of King 
Henry the Eighth [i.e. 1536-1537]. 

It may seem scarcely credible that he has 
actually interpolated, himself, the words I have 
here italicized, which are not, I discovered on 
collation, found in the MS. ! As Mr. Gairdner, 
in his official Calendar (No. 104) reproduces this 
list from Dugdale, assigning it (in accordance with 
the interpolated words) to 18 July 1536, it be- 
comes of interest to enquire whether this im- 
portant list was actually drawn up in the summer 
of 1536. The name of the very first baron, 
George Lord Abergavenny, is decisive. He can- 
not have " sat " in this Parliament, because he had 
died the year before (1535). "John Lord Ber- 
ners," also, had died in 1533. "The Lord Tail- 
proves on collation to be virtually accurate. Rymer printed the 
list from the Close Roll. 



boys of Kyme" was not summoned in 1536; 
and lastly, the entry " Lord Hastings, George, 
after created Earl of Huntingdon," is proof, from 
its form, that it deals with a sitting before the 
creation of the earldom of Huntingdon, 8 Dec 
1529, and therefore quite at the beginning of the 
seven years' Parliament. 1 

On the other hand, the last two entries relating 
to Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, admitted " 8 
June" 1536, and Lord Cromwell " of Wimble- 
ton," admitted " by writ and patent the last day of 
the Parliament, sciL 18 July" 1536, prove that this 
list, which is written in one hand, must have been 
so written after the latter date. But it does not 
describe, as Dugdale, by his heading, makes it do, 
the state of things in the summer of 1536. It 
represents a list of the barons, according to their 
precedence in the Parliament of 1529, brought up 
to date, with two additional barons added from the 
Parliament of 1536. All this has been fused 
together in the list, as now existing in the MS., 
which was actually written not earlier than 18 
July 1536 

But Dugdale has not only erred in making a 
wrongful addition to the heading. He could not 
even print the text accurately. George Boleyn 
Lord Rochford was " admitted," not " anno 
xxvij " but " anno xxiiij." 2 Lord Bray was ad- 

1 At any later date there need only have been mentioned the 
precedence of the earldom, and the dignity would not have 
appeared at all in this list of " barons." 

2 This grave error is reproduced by Mr. Gairdner in his Calendar. 



mitted, not " the xxiiij day," but " the iiij day " 
of December ; Lord Conyers the 1 6th, not the 
1 7th of January. 

Leaving for the present this list, I turn to that 
on fo. 4030 (pp. 496-7). This is a Garter's list 
of 25 peers who "made their first entry into 
the Parliament Chamber " in the Parliament of 
1529^ The last seven were barons created after 
it had met ; the others, except the prior of St. 
John and Lord Lumley (an anomalous case) , 2 had 
succeeded to their dignities since the previous 
Parliament. It is not, however, easy to say why 
Garter does not claim from such barons as Mon- 
tague, Rochford, and Vaux, who cannot have sat 

As I shall have to rely largely on the former of 
these lists, I may mention that (when explained 
as above) it seems to me deserving of credit, 
though its legal status appears to have been left 
somewhat hazy by the House of Lords. It evi- 
dently divides the barons into sets : (i) those who 
had been created before the Parliament of 1529, 
ending with Lord Sandys and Lord Vaux ; 3 (2) 
those created by writ or patent, after it had met. 
But while Montague, Rochford, Maltravers, and 
Talbot are treated as pre-existing dignities, Burgh 
(" Borough ") of " Gaynesborough," which the 

1 " A Reward " being claimed by him " for their said entries." 

2 John Lord Lumley, as rightly given in the summons. Dug- 
dale's Summonses gives " Thomas " in error. 

3 These dignities are alleged to have been created together 
27 April 1523 (see below). 



peerage writers assign to 1487, is here ranked as 
a new creation in December 1529, as indeed it 
continued to be. 1 

I shall now, in the light of Dugdale's lists, his 
"Summonses" for 1529 and 1534, and the Lords' 
Journals for the latter year, endeavour to trace the 
changes, between these dates, in the composition 
of the House. 

A very careful collation ot the lists leads to the 
conclusion that no fewer than twelve barons were 
added, in the course of this Parliament, to the 
twenty-seven summoned to its opening session. 
These may be classed as follows : 


(1) George Boleyn,son of] 

the earl of Wilt- [Lord Rochford. 
shire and Ormond 2 j 

(2) Henry Fitz-Alan, son 

of the earlof Arun- 

(3) Francis Talbot, son of 
the earlof Shrews- 

Lord Maltravers. 

Lord Talbot. 

1 This is a point of some importance in view of the fact 
that the last summons had been to Lord Burgh's grandfather 
more than thirty years before (1495). 

2 Strictly this was a new creation, as his father was only a co- 
heir of the Barony of Rochford ; but it was ranked above 
the two next and several ancient baronies, higher, it seems, 
than the old barony of 1495. This was probably, however, 
believed to be the precedence to which the old barony was en- 




(4) Henry Pole, son of] 

the countess of Sal-^Lord Montague. 1 
isbury J 


(5) John Hussey Lord Hussey of Slea- 


(6) Andrew Windsor Lord Windsor of Stan- 


(7) Gilbert Tailboys LordTailboysofKyme. 

(8) Thomas Wentworth Lord Wentworth. 

(9) Thomas Burgh Lord Burgh of Gains- 

borough. 2 

(10) Edmund Bray Lord Bray, 

(n) John Mordaunt Lord Mordaunt. 


(12) Thomas Vaux 3 Lord Vaux of Har- 


If we now arrange these additions to the barons 
in chronological order, we have : 

1 This is styled a restoration, but the barony, if extant, was 
in his mother at the time, and I should therefore consider it a 
summons like the three preceding. He was allowed precedence 
above Lord Rochford. This would seem to have been a much 
higher precedence than was enjoyed by the old barony, but no 
holder of it had sat as Lord Montacute since 1336. 

2 See Note I on p. 335. 

3 I cannot but think that his omission was due to his being 
under age when Parliament was summoned. The date of his 
subsequent summons seems to have been that of his majority. 



ist Dec. 1529 Lord Montague. 

Lord Hussey. 

Lord Windsor. 

Lord Tailboys. 

and Dec. 1529 Lord Wentworth. 

Lord Burgh. 

4th Dec. 1529 Lord Bray, 

i gth Jan. 1531 Lord Vaux. 2 

7th Feb. 1533 Lord Rochford. 

Lord Maltravers. 3 

(?) Feb. 1533 Lord Talbot. 4 

4th May 1533 Lord Mordaunt. 3 

Of the twelve barons stated above to have 
been admitted to the House of Lords before the 
Prorogation of May 1533, eleven are found 
members or the House in the session which 
opened 15 January 1534. Lord Tailboys alone 
was omitted, being dead. 5 

On the other hand, of the twenty-seven 
originally summoned to that Parliament, the 

1 " Admitted " on these dates (H. 13). 

2 "Entered" on this date (H. 13). 

1 " Admitted " on this date (H. 13). 

4 The Henry VIII. "Calendar" has brought to light the 
very interesting fact that fiants for writs of summons were 
issued to Lord Rochford and Lord Maltravers on 5 Feb. 
1533, and to Lord Talbot twelve days later. This strikingly 
confirms the accuracy of H. 13, which states that the two 
former were * admitted* 7 Feb. (1533), while it gives us the 
date, hitherto unknown, of Lord Talbot's summons. Lord Roch- 
ford's summons, as I have explained (Athenaum, 25 June 1898) 
is exactly parallel, in its anomalous character, to that of Lord 
Mowbray in 1640 (see p. 335, note 2). 5 See below, p. 350. 

337 Z 


names of three are not found among the Barons 
in January 1534. Hastings had become earl of 
Huntingdon; Sutton, Lord Dudley, had died; 1 
and Lord Ogle was not summoned. 2 Deducting 
these three, together with Lord Tailboys (four 
in all), from the barons, who had been increased 
by twelve, we obtain a net increase of eight. 
Accordingly 35 barons were on the roll for 1534 
as against the 27 summoned in 1529^ 

The alleged summonses to Parliament for the 
session of 1534 gave me extreme trouble. They 
will be found in Dugdale's Summonses (pp. 4978) 
from which they have duly found their way into 
the Record Office Calendar for 1534 (No. 55),* 
Mr. Gairdner citing Dugdale's list as his authority. 
But not only did these writs of summons issued in 
the midst of a Parliament strike me as singular ; I 
also wanted to know Dugdale's authority. He 
himself prints in the margin, " Ex diario domus 
Procerum in Parliamento " ; but no such list is 
found in any volume of the kind. At last, the 
explanation was discovered. This list, which has 
been gravely cited as if an original authority, is 
an absolute concoction by Dugdale himself, who 

1 In Jan. 1532. His successor, " being a weak man of under- 
standing," had begun at once to alienate his estates, and having 
to subsist "on the charity of his friends," was "commonly called 
the Lord Quondam " (Dugdale). 

2 There seem to have been no summonses to the Ogles 
between 1529 and 1554. 

3 Berners, however, must be deducted, being inserted in error 
(see below, p. 340). 

4 There entered as " Writs or summons to the Parliament." 



has simply taken the Lords' Journals, where they 
recommence, and constructed from them writs of 
summons in what he thought would be their 
form ! 1 Nor is even this the extent of his offence. 
He overlooked the earl of Sussex, who appears at 
the opening of the session, to say nothing of the 
earl of Oxford and the Lords Sandys and Mount- 
joy, who are found on the roll two days later 
(17 Jan.), thus bringing up the total of the lay 
peers to 54, as against the 50 given by Dugdale 
as " summoned " to this session. 2 

While on the subject of this unintentional, but 
splendidly successful hoax, I may explain that 
writers on the historic peerage have been so com- 
pletely imposed upon by Dugdale, that they have 
even quoted as genuine his concocted Latin writs. 
Courthope stated that George Boleyn was sum- 
moned to Parliament by writ 5 Jan. I533 3 as 
"Georgio Bullen de Rochford" (p. 402), and is 
followed in this by the editor of The Complete 
Peerage (VI. 382). Nay, this valuable work, now 
our standard authority, has even gone further than 
Courthope in inventing a new peerage dignity 
" Bullen de Ormond and Bullen de Rochford " 
on the strength of Dugdale's work. For on p. 
492 of the Summonses, in a list similarly constructed 

1 His remark in the closing paragraph of his Preface would 
hardly lead one to suspect he had gone so far as this. 

2 Dr. Stubbs reckons the maximum for the reign as 51 (in 


This date is Dugdale's error for 15 Jan. 1533-4 (the date, 
moreover, not of a writ, but of Parliament reassembling). 



from the Lords' Journals (though no authority is 
cited), Dugdale constructed from the word " Or- 
mond " an imaginary writ " Thoma Eullen de 
Ormond " in 1515! Evidently what had really 
happened was that the writ (apparently lost) had 
been issued to Thomas earl of Ormond (and Lord 
Rochford), who had died about the time of its 
issue. Dugdale, knowing he was dead, had coolly 
assumed that the writ was issued to Sir Thomas 
Boleyn, who was not, as a matter of fact, raised 
to the peerage till several years later. 1 Of his 
concocted writs for Jan. 1534 one more instance 
must be noted. The Barons' roll in the Lords' 
Journals includes on the opening day (15 Jan.) 
the name of Lord " Barnes." Dugdale concocted, 
on the strength of this, a writ of summons " Hum- 
phrido Bourchier de Berners, chel'r," which has 
sorely puzzled the peerage writers. For the only 
possible Lord Berners was named John, and had 
died some ten months before. Courthope, in his 
Historic Peerage, repeated the speculations of 
Nicolas as to who this Humphrey could be, and 
they are now copied into the Complete Peerage 

(I- 345)- 

Before leaving the above Parliament of 1515, I 

would note that Mr. Brewer, like his successor in 
the editorship of the Henry VIII. Calendar, was 
imposed upon by a list, not indeed constructed, but 
actually copied, from the Lords' Journals, 1 2 Nov. 

1 This instance may serve to illustrate the liberties Dugdale 
took with his names. In other cases, such as those of Lumley 
and Grey de Powis, he erred in the Christian name. 



1515. It is calendared as a "modern copy." 1 One 
is really tempted to copy a page from the printed 
Journals of the House of Lords, and to leave it 
about in the Public Record Office, in the hope 
that one's manuscript may be calendared among 
the treasures of the nation. 

Having compared the numbers of the lay peers 
summoned in 1523 and 1529,* we will now com- 
pare the numbers summoned at the latter date 
with those upon the roll for the session which 
opened on 15 Jan. 

I 5 2 9- 
Dukes ... 3 ... 3 

Marquises . . 2 ... 2 

Earls .... 9 ... 1 3 

Viscounts . 3 ... i 

Barons ... 27 ... 35 

44 54 

The total increase of ten may not seem large ; 
but it was sufficient to convert the lay peers from 
a minority to a majority. The composition of 
the House, according to the Lords' Journals (15 
Jan.), was now as follows : 

1 Calendar 1515-1518, No. 1131. 

2 p. 331 above. 

3 By an unlucky slip (p. 497) Dugdale prints the date "quinto 
[instead of c quintodecimo '] die Januarii." 



Spiritual peers 48 

Lay peers 5 1 l 

Prior of St. John . ... i 2 


The addition of the earl of Oxford and Lords 
Sandys and Mountjoy raised the number of lay 
peers to 54 at the very outset of the session (17 
Jan.), while the spiritual peers, simultaneously, 
shrink on the Journals to 37. 

The importance of these figures lies in the fact 
that the spiritual peers are supposed to have re- 
tained their majority till the Dissolution of the 
Monasteries (1540). Hallam was emphatic on 
the subject : 

The fall of the mitred abbots changed the proportions of the 
two estates which constitute the upper house of parliament. 
Though the number of abbots and priors to whom writs of 
summons were directed varied considerably in different parlia- 
ments they always, joined to the twenty-one bishops, pre- 
ponderated over the temporal peers. It was [now] no longer 
possible for the prelacy to offer an efficacious opposition to the 
reformation they abhorred. 3 

Mr. Pike would seem to take the same view, for 
he writes that 

The most important of all permanent changes ever effected at 
any one time in the constituent parts of the House of Lords was 

1 I. 58-9. One more than Dugdale's total, because he omits 
the earl of Sussex. As the lists tally in all else, the omission is 
obviously an error. 

2 Sat at the head of the barons. 

3 Const. Hist. (Ed. 1832), I. 99. 



that which befel when the greater monasteries were dissolved. 
. . . The Lords Spiritual, reduced now only to archbishops 
and bishops, could never again command alone a majority in the 
House of Lords. 1 

Mr. Taswell-Langmead, again, was quite positive 
on the subject : 

The dissolution of the monasteries . . . reduced from a 
majority to a minority the Spiritual Peerage, who alone were 
likely to be sufficiently independent to offer a serious opposition. 2 

Mr. Lecky also appears to hold the same view : 

The Reformation had a capital influence on the constitution of 
the House. By removing the mitred abbots it made the temporal 
peers a clear majority. 3 

Lastly, Mr. Amos, in his monograph on the 
Reformation Parliament, 4 took only the numbers 
summoned at its outset (44 lay lords, 48 spiritual 
lords), and observed that "The Spiritual Peers did 
not, in fact, avail themselves of their numerical 
strength to oppose Henry's measures against the 
Pope and the Anglican Church " (p. 4). 

Dr. Stubbs, I find, has a paragraph on the sub- 
ject in a monograph on " Parliament under Henry 
VIII." 5 He holds that 

The number of lay peers varied little, for there were few new 

1 Constitutional History of the Home of Lords (1894), pp. 349, 
351. 2 Constitutional History of England (Ed. 1890), p. 399. 

3 Democracy and Liberty (1896), I. 302. 

4 Observations on the Statutes of the Reformation Parliament. By 
A. Amos (1859). 

5 Lectures on Medieval and Modern History (1886), pp. 269 



creations except where an old peerage had been extinguished. 
The minimum number was called in 1523, being only 28, 
several of the peers being that year employed in military affairs 
abroad ; the maximum was in 1536, in the parliament called to 
approve of the destruction of Anne Boleyn, and the number was 
51. In the other parliaments it varied between 36 and 46. It 
will be thus observed that until the dissolution of the monasteries, 
the spiritual lords were always in a numerical majority. 

But he guards himself by adding that 

the tendency was decided towards an equalisation, a tendency 
which is ocularly perceptible in the journals where, in the list of 
attendances which from 1515 onwards are marked daily, the two 
bodies are arranged in parallel columns. 1 

And he proceeds to urge that as the lay peers 
attended much more regularly than the spiritual 
lords, the former may have had more voting 
power, unless the spiritual lords had given proxies, 
which they may often have omitted doing. He 
admits, however, on the next page that proxies 
were largely used by them. 

To those who have followed my narrative above 
there can be little question that so far back even 
as the close of 1529 the king's creations had 
deliberately given the lay peers a majority by 
raising their number to 51. And the Lords' 
Journals, extant for the last part of the Parlia- 
ment (1534-1536), show at a glance the substan- 
tial majority possessed throughout that period by 
the lay peers. 

To the summer Parliament of 1536 (8 June, 

1 But there is a serious gap in the Journals (i5 I 5~ I 534)> as 
I observed above (p. 332). 



28 H. VIII.) there were summoned, according to 
Dugdale, 5 1 peers, divided as follows : 

Dukes .... 3 

Marquises ... 2 

Earls . . . 13 

Viscount ... i 

Barons . . 32 

5 1 

But this is another of Dugdale's concocted lists, 1 
and is distinctly unreliable. It cannot be identi- 
fied, I think, with any particular list in the Lords' 
Journals ; and it omits Lords Conyers a<nd Mount- 
joy, who, as we know from the Journals, were on 
the Roll. In the case of this parliament there is 
record evidence for the writs (27 April), namely 
the Close Roll of 28 H. VIII., m. 43^., from 
which the list of summonses is printed in Rymer's 
Fcedera. From this authentic list we find that 
Dugdale omitted no less than three peers who on 
this occasion received writs of summons. These 
were Arthur Viscount Lisle, Christopher Lord 
Conyers, and Charles Blount Lord Mountjoy. On 
the other hand, he added an imaginary writ, 
"Thorns Cromwell (de Wimbleton) Chivaler " 

1 He describes it as "Adhuc ex dicto diario [Procerum]." In 
this case he has successfully imposed, it is clear, on Dr. Stubbs, 
who, in his monograph on the subject, asserts of the lay peers 
that "the maximum was in 1536 . . . and the number 
was 51." 



(p. 499). He further made George Lord Cobham 
into Thomas, and Edward Lord Grey de Powys 
into John. The net result of substituting the cor- 
rect figures from Rymer is that 53 lay peers were 
summoned. The exact constitution of the House, 
as summoned, was this : 

Lay peers . . -53 
Prelates . . 17 

Keepers of spiritualities . 4 
Abbots . . 27 

Prior .... i 
Prior of St. John . . i 


But on June 1 3 there are only 40 spiritual peers 
and the prior of St. John on the roll as against 52 
lay peers. 

A new lay peerage was created on this occasion 
in Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, who was 
admitted to the House 1 3 June, 1 and a further one 
by the admission of Thomas Cromwell as a baron 
on the last day of the Parliament (18 July) "by 
writ and patent," says H. 13, but, according to 
the Lords' Journals, under the writ. The date of 
his patent was 9 July. 

Lastly, if we take the Parliament which opened 
28 April 1539 (31 Hen. VIII.), we find that the 

1 Lords' Journals, I. 86. Not " the eighth day of June," as 
in Dugdale's Summonses (p. 500). He produced his writ, which, 
according to Rymer, had been issued with the others on 27 April. 



summonses, according to Dugdale, give these 
totals : 

Prelates . . .20] 

Abbots . . . 19] 

Dukes ... 2 

Marquis i 

Earls . . 15 

Viscount ... i 

Barons . . .29 

But the Lords' Journals (I. 104) give us on the 
opening day : 

Spiritual peers . . 40 
Lay peers 2 . . -5 


For ten years before the Dissolution, it seems 
clear to me, the king had systematically secured a 
majority of lay peers ; and this majority, as the 
crisis approached, he made decisive. At the same 
time, it is notable that the Parliament of 1539 
presents the opposite tendency to that of the ses- 
sions 1534-1536. For, instead of the lay majority 
increasing, it now diminished, though continuing 
to exist. On the last day that the abbots sat (28 
June) the Lords' Journals show us the lay peers in 
a majority of only six. 

1 Summonses, p. 501. 

2 They omit Viscount Lisle (who is given by Dugdale), but 
have three more barons. 



And now, from this historical enquiry, I would 
pass to a more antiquarian subject, namely, the fate 
of the seven baronies created, as we have seen, 
in the Parliament of 1529. My reason for doing 
so is that our dependence on a single MS. (H. 13, 
Coll. Arm.) for their first appearance has led, not 
only to much confusion among peerage writers on 
the subject, but also to conflicting action in the 
treatment of these dignities. The question is 
not one of mere academic interest, for it may 
actually arise at any moment before the Committee 
for Privileges. 

If we take these peers in order, we find the first 
three are Hussey, Windsor, and Tailboys, all 
admitted alike i Dec. (1529) : 

(1) John Hussey, rightly stated in Complete Peerage 

to have taken his seat as above. 

(2) Andrew Windsor, wrongly there stated to 

have been summoned by writ 3 Nov. 1529.* 
There is no such writ. 

(3) Gilbert Tailboys, there stated " to have been 

summoned to Parliament as a baron in or 

before 1529." 

The next two are Wentworth and Burgh, both 
alike admitted the day following (2 Dec. 1529) : 

(4) Thomas Wentworth, stated in Complete Peer- 

age to have been summoned toi Parliament 
by writ from 2 Dec. 1529.* There is no 
such writ. 

1 This simply repeats Courthope's statement. 

2 This, again, repeats Courthope. 



(5) John Burgh, wrongly there stated to have 

been summoned to Parliament 3 Nov. 
1529.* There is no such summons. 

Sixth is Bray, admitted 4 Dec. (1529) : 

(6) Edmund Bray, stated in Complete Peerage to 

have been " summoned as a baron from 3 
Nov. I529-" 1 A footnote adds that "the 
reasoning in support of such summons was 
deemed conclusive, in 1839, by the House of 
Lords, though neither the original writ nor 
the enrolment thereof could be found." But 
this is a misconception. 2 

Seventh and last is John Mordaunt, admitted 
4 May 1533 : 

(7) John Mordaunt, stated in Complete Peerage to 

have been " summoned to Parliament as a 
baron from 4 May 1529.* This date is four 
years too early, and impossible to boot. 

Now the sole authority for the dates of all seven 
creations is H. 13, and Dugdale's book containing 
its list was before the editors of both works. Yet 
only for the first of the seven has its evidence been 
rightly reproduced, and this only in the Complete 

1 This, again, repeats Courthorpe. 

2 It was only " Resolved that it appears to this Committee that 
Edmund Lord Bray was summoned to Parliament and sat in the 
House in the Twenty-First year of the reign of King Henry the 
Eighth." The sole evidence adduced for his doing so was 
H. 13, which merely records his admission (4 Dec.) as above. 



The fate of these seven baronies has varied 
widely. It may be summarized thus : 

(1) Hussey. Forfeited 1537. 

(2) Windsor. Fell into abeyance 1641. Called 

out 1660. Abeyance again 1833. Called 
out 1855. Extant. 

(3) Tailboys. Seems to disappear (in Parliament) 

after 1529.* 

1 The peerage writers are all wrong about this interesting 
barony. The Complete Peerage, following Courthope, states that 
Gilbert Lord Tailboys (who had doubtless received the barony 
as the husband of the king's mistress) died 15 April 1539. But 
the inscription on his monument states that he died 15 April 
1530 (Genealogist [O.S.], vol. II.) ; that is, within a few months 
of his becoming a baron. This is confirmed by entries in the 
Henry VIII. " Calendar," which show that his wife was a 
widow before 24 May 1532 (No. 1,049). Their son George is 
regularly termed Lord Tailbois. He is still spoken of as a minor 
in 1538, but in April or May 1539 he married Margaret 
daughter of Sir William Skipwith. He was among the peers in 
attendance upon Anne of Cleves on her arrival, Dec. 1539. 
There is an entry in the Lords' Journals, 17 May 1539 : 
* quaedam allata est billa concernens stabilimentum quarundam 
terrarum Domino Tailboys et Domine Anne uxoris ejus," but it is 
clear from the Calendar that his wife's name was Margaret. He 
is named in a Lincolnshire commission of Sept. 1540, but had 
been succeeded by his brother before 15 Feb. 1541, when "Robert 
Lord Talboys," a minor, occurs in a royal grant. His name 
is an addition to the peerage. He was dead 19 May, 1542. 

The above account, it will be found, differs widely from that in 
the Complete Peerage, according to which the father died 1 5 April, 
and the son 6 Sept. 1539, the latter being unmarried. The 
father's death in 1530, and the fact that his sons were minors, 
explain the absence of the name in Parliament ; but the barony 
was fully recognised. 

It became the subject of an important decision, as to a hus- 
band's right to be styled a baron jure uxoris, on a Mr. Wimbish, 



(4) Wentworth. Fell into abeyance 1815. 

Emerged 1850. Merged in Lovelace, 1893. 

(5) Burgh. Fell into abeyance 1601 (?). 

(6) Bray. Fell into abeyance 1557. Called out 

1839. Extant. 

(7) Mordaunt. Fell into abeyance 1836. 

Thus Wentworth alone is inherited by the sole 
heir of the original grantee ; Mordaunt was so 
inherited down to 1836; and Windsor, though 
falling twice into abeyance, has only remained in 
that condition some forty years in all. Compared 
with these three dignities the barony of Braye has 
been the subject of what is rightly deemed very 
peculiar treatment. After remaining in abeyance 
for no less than 282 years, it was "called out" 
(1839) in favour of one of several junior co-heirs. 1 
At this point it may be well to observe that 
there is confirmatory evidence aliunde for the 
creation of all these baronies in the Parliament of 
1529. It is not a little remarkable that the first 
four of the barons " admitted " in December (i 529) 
had been returned to this Parliament as knights of 
the shire. 2 The new peers, probably, are first 

who had married the sister and eventual heiress (in 1542) of the 
above George, claiming (unsuccessfully) to be styled Lord 
Tailboys in her right. * See also pp. 30-31 above. 

2 "Sir John Husee, now Lord Husee," and "Sir Gilbert 
Tailboys, now Lord Tailbois" for Line. ; "Thos. Wentworth, now 
Lord Wentworth," for Suff. ; and " Sir And., now Lord Wynde- 
sore " for another county. It is clear from these entries and that 
of "Sir John Neville, now Lord Latymer" (Yorks), that this 
Record Office list, as printed, is not earlier than 1530 (see Calen- 
dar, 1529, No. 6,043[2]). 



found collectively in a curious copy of their auto- 
graph signatures appended to a draft act. 1 Mr. 
Gairdner dates this interesting list, "Nov. 1529," 
which is certainly too early, for the earls of Wilt- 
shire and Sussex were not so created till 8 Dec. 
The signatures run thus : 

Henry R. Thomas More, cancellarius T. Norfolk Charlys 
Suffolk Thomas Dorset H. Exeter W. Arrundell John 
Oxynford E. Derby H. Worcester Thomas Rutland T. 
Wylsher Robt. Sussex Arthur Lysle G. Bergevenny Aude- 
lay T. Berkeley Henry Montagu Willm. Dacre 3 Harry 
Morley Edward Grey 4 William Graye 5 John Berners 
W. Mountjoy Henry Daubney (?) T. Darcy T. Mountegle 
John Husey A. Wyndesore T. Wentworth Thomas 
Burgh Edmond Bray. 

It is obvious that the list must be previous to 
the resignation of Sir Thomas More (May 1532), 
and indeed to the Marquis of Dorset's death, 
10 Oct. 1530. It is therefore much earlier than 
Lord Mordaunt's creation. But as Lord Tailboys' 
name alone is absent among those of the newly 
created barons, I am disposed to associate his 
absence with his death in 1530 (15 April) ; and 
therefore to date this list as later than 1529. We 
have, at any rate, for extreme limits, 8 Dec. 1529 
10 Oct. 1530. 

1 Cott. MS. Titus B. IV. 114. 

2 Calendar, Vol. IV., No. 6,044. 

3 Of Gillesland. 4 Of Powys. 5 Of Wilton. 

6 This investigation has a further bearing. The object or 
these " Articles condescended and agreed by the king's highness 
and the noblemen of this his realm of England being assembled in 
this present Parliament," etc., was to secure the full rights of the 
Crown in wardships, which was the motive for the Statute of 



I would specially call attention to the fact that 
the barons' precedence in this list is precisely the 
precedence assigned them in H. I3, 1 with the sole 
exception that Lord Morley and Lord Dacre 
change places. Of the newly-created barons the 
precedence is the same in both : Hussey, Windsor, 
Wentworth, Burgh, Bray. 

The next list in which we find them is that of 
: 3 J u ty 1 S3> when the peers sign an address to 
the Pope. 2 Here again the junior barons are : 
(i) 'John Husey,' (2) 'Andrew Wyndesor/ 
(3) c Thomas Wentworth/ (4) ' Thomas Burgh.' 
Tailboys, as I said, was dead : Bray is unaccounted 
for. Sir John Mordaunt (the last creation) was 
still so styled in March 1532 ; but is "John Lord 
Mordaunt" 16 May 1 5 32, 3 twelve days after his 
admission (according to H. 13) to the House of 

Before dealing with the treatment of these 
baronies by the Crown or the House of Lords, we 
must glance at one of the difficulties created by the 
want of evidence, namely, the question whether 
we should hold them to have been created by 

Uses. Consequently, it proves that this legislation was initiated 
by Henry from the earliest days of this Parliament, and not, as 
historians have held, introduced towards its close. Hall states 
that the king sent down the Bill to the Commons, as approved by 
the Lords and himself, in his 24th year [1532-1533]. 

1 Fo. 398^ (see p. 332 above). 

2 Calendar, No. 6,513. The appearance of "George Roche- 
ford " as the second baron on the list, at this early date, is difficult 
to account for, as his first known summons was in Feb. 1533- 

3 Calendar, No. 1,023. 

353 A A 


patent or by writ of summons. It is difficult to 
say what, if any, should be the presumption on 
this point in the reign of Henry VIII. It is now, 
I believe, recognised that Eure and Wharton were 
baronies created by patent (1544). Yet in the 
absence of evidence on the point, the House of 
Lords treated the latter, in 1845, as a barony by 
writ, and actually recognised a right to co-heirship 
to that dignity accordingly. 1 In this, indeed, it 
did but follow the precedent of 1836, when the 
Committee for Privileges accepted the strenuous 
contention of the Vaux and Bray claimants that 
the non-enrolment of a patent of creation, and the 
failure to discover one, constitute a sufficient pre- 
sumption that the creation was by writ. The 
creation of Eure and Wharton by patent (1544) 
seems to be well established ; 2 and the fact that 
this is so, though the patents are not enrolled, has 
a grave bearing on the doctrine of presumption in 
cases of future occurrence. 

The strange uncertainty of practice at the time 
is shown by the curious fact that the Cromwells, 
father and son, were apparently created barons 

1 Resolution of 28 July 1845 (repeating that of the Committee 
for Privileges) : " That the Barony of Wharton is a Barony 
created by Writ and Sitting on the 26th of Nov. 2nd Edw. VI., 
in the year 1548, and is descendible to heirs general." The 
Resolution further asserts that this barony fell into abeyance in 


We know now that the barony was created by patent four 
years earlier (1544), though efforts have been made to dispute this. 
(Notes and Queries [1899], 9th S. IV. 459). 

2 See Complete Peerage. 



both by writ and by patent. Thomas, summoned 
(it would seem) by writ to the Parliament of 1 536, 
was created Lord Cromwell by patent on the gth 
of July. He took his seat on the i8th, " by writ 
and patent," says H. 13, but, according to the 
Lords' Journals, under the writ. 1 Gregory, his son, 
summoned by writ to the Parliament of (28 April) 
I539, 2 was created Lord Cromwell by patent, 
1 8 Dec. 1540. 

I believe that there was a change of practice 
about the year 1536. In that year Thomas 
Cromwell, summoned to Parliament by writ, was 
also, we have seen, created a baron by patent 
(9 July). In 1539 Lords Russell, St. John, and 
Parr were all created barons by patent (9 March). 3 
Gregory Cromwell, indeed, was summoned by writ 
to the Parliament of 28 April 1539,* but was 
created baron by patent 18 Dec. 1540. Lord 
Wriothesley was created by patent i Jan. 1 544, as 
also (we now know) were Lords Eure and Wharton 
(?24Feb.) 1544. 

The immediate precedents for the baronies I am 
discussing are the creations in the opening days 
of the Parliament preceding (15 April 1523). 

1 Compare p. 346 above. 

2 There is much confusion on this subject in the Complete 
Peerage (I. 119, II. 433), due to the erroneous supposition that 
this was a summons in his father's barony. 

3 There is some doubt about the date of Parr's creation, but, 
as he sat below Russell and St. John in 1532, he cannot have 
been created before them. 

4 According to Dugdale's Summonses-, p. 501 (from original 



These were the Viscountcy of Lisle and the 
baronies of Berkeley, Sandys, and Vaux. Nothing 
could be more unsatisfactory than the authorities 
vouched for these creations in the pages of the 
Complete Peerage. None whatever is cited for 
Vaux ; " Dugdale " alone is quoted for Sandys ; 
while, for Berkeley, we read that " Fitz James* 
letter and this (contemporary) account in the 
c Chronicle of Calais ' are the only proofs of the 
alleged summonses" (rectius summons). The 
evidence for all four creations is as follows : 

(1) "In the month of Aprell [1523], a parliament 

being holden at Westmynstar, ser Arthur 
Plantagenet was made vicounte Lile and ser 
Morreis Barkley, lyvetenaunte of Calleis, 
was made lorde Barkley, ser William Sands 
was made lorde Sands, ser Nicholas Vauxe 
was made lorde Vauxe." 1 

(2) "The 27th of April was Sir Arthur Plantagenet, 

a bastard son to King Edward the Fourth, 
at Bridewell, created Viscount Lisle in the 
right of his wife, which was some time wife 
to Edward Dudley, beheaded ; Sir Maurice 
Berkeley, lieutenant of Calais, was made Lord 
Berkeley ; Sir William Sandys, Lord Sands, 
and Sir Nicholas Vaux, Lord Vaux." 

(3) " In parliament Sir Arthur Plantagenet has 

been created Viscount Lisle. Sir Thomas 
Boleyn, 3 Sir William Sandys, Sir Morres 

1 Chronicle of Calais (Camden Soc.), pp. 32-3. 

2 Stew's Chronicle, Ed. Howes, II. 520. 

3 This name is inserted by error. 



Barkeley, and Sir Nicholas Vaux have been 
made barons, and summoned by writ of the 
Parliament. No acts have yet passed the 
Lords or the Commons." 1 

Of these three witnesses, the first could not be 
better. Lord Berkeley was lieutenant of Calais, 
Lord Vaux, lieutenant of Gumes, and Lord Sandys, 
treasurer of Calais. 

There is abundance of concurrent testimony 
from independent sources. A letter to Surrey, 
14 May 1523, speaks of "Lord Vaux" (he is 
said to have died that day) as " sick and in great 
danger." 2 Two days later Sir W. Fitzwilliam is 
appointed governor of Gumes, " as held by 
Nicholas Lord Vaux " ; 3 and the latter's Inq. 
p. m. styles him late " Lord Harrowden." More- 
over, his son, as " Lord Harrewden," landed at 
Calais with Wolsey 11 July i$2() 5 (being then 
about 1 8). 

Berkeley did not long survive ; but a letter of 
Wolsey to Henry VIII., 20 Aug. 1523, speaks of 
" letters to Lords Sandes and Berkeley," 6 and eight 
days later there " landyd at Caleis 100 soldiers sent 
to the Lord Barkley." 7 He died 12 Sept. 1523, 
and the writ to make Inquisition for his lands as 
" Maurice Lord Berkeley " followed on October 

1 Letter of 28 April 1523 from Richard Lyster to Lord 
Darcy (Calendar of Henry VIII. documents 1519-1523, p. 
1,260). 2 Ibid. p. 1,272. 3 Ibid. p. 1,273. 

4 See Vaux case (Minutes of Evidence) for this and some other 
proofs. 5 Calais Chronicle ', p. 38. 

6 Calendar (ut supra\ p. 1,352. 7 Calais Chronicle, p. 33. 



24.* We have also the important letter of 6 May 
(1523) from his counsel Fitz James, touching his 
precedence as a peer. 2 

Sandys presents no difficulty, as the new peer 
lived on till I542. 3 

Given the above evidence, we ask whether these 
baronies were created by writ or patent ? Fitz 
James, who as a lawyer understood the subject, 
wrote to Lord Berkeley of the honour " which the 
king's grace by his write hath late callid yowe to." 
And this expression harmonizes well with that 
in Lyster's letter. 4 The statement of Banks that 
Lord Vaux was created by patent, and that this 
patent was wilfully destroyed by the infamous Lady 
Banbury in the next century, 5 seems to be unsup- 
ported. Moreover, her alleged object to prevent 
her husband's brother succeeding is absurd, for 
he would have been the heir to the dignity 
whether created by writ or by patent. As to the 
subsequent decision of the question by the House 
of Lords, the Complete Peerage assigns to 1 8 3 8 6 (the 
Vaux case) the " rather rash " assumption that the 
creation was by writ. But the House had decided 
the point so far back as 1660-1661, when an 
heir-general obtained the barony of Sandys, 7 which 
was on all fours with that of Vaux. 

1 Calendar (ut supra), p. 1,453. 

2 Smyth's Lives of Berkeley s, II. 208 ; and Complete Peerage, I. 
332. It was cited in the Vaux case. 

3 " The xxij of Auguste Landyd at Caleis 100 men to go into 
France with lorde Sands." Calais Chronicle, p. 33. 

4 P- 357 above. 5 Complete Peerage, VIII. 18. 
6 Rectius 1836. 7 Ibid. VII. 57. 



Let us now return to the baronies created in the 
parliament of 1529, and ask whether their creation 
was by writ or by patent. The answer must be 
sought in the case of the barony of Tailboys, the 
bearing of which has been imperfectly realized. 
In this case attention has been concentrated on the 
claim of a husband to the style of his wife's 
dignity. 1 But for our purpose the point is that 
the Crown accepted, without a question, its inheri- 
tance by a female within some fifteen years of its 
creation. Now as Tailboys was one of several 
baronies which all appear simultaneously, 2 we must 
presume them all alike to have been created by 
writ and descendible to heirs-general. The ques- 
tion arose in the case of another of these baronies, 
that of Braye, and was argued at .length in the 
Vaux case, which came on, oddly enough, about 
the same time. 3 

But the question had arisen long before in the 
case of another of these dignities, the barony of 
Windsor. Although unnoticed, it would seem, in 
Cruise's Treatise on Dignities, the Windsor case 
(1660) has been held to be the earliest certain 

1 Cruise on Dignities, pp. 1067. 2 See P- 337 a bove. 

3 See Mrs. Cave's claim to the barony of Braye, pp. 5-8, 
where the argument is very full, and Mr. Bourchier Hartopp's 
claim to that of Vaux, pp. 8 II, and p. 15. The evidence 
collected in the Vaux case certainly creates a very strong presump- 
tion in favour of a writ. A petition from the Vaux claimant 
that his case might be heard before the committee came to any 
decision as to the creation or limitation of the barony of Braye 
was read in the House 29 Feb. 1836. In his case the object was 
to assign the creation to the summons of 1536, in order to prove 
that Vaux was a barony by writ and not by patent. 



instance of the determination of an abeyance by 
the Crown, 1 the method then adopted being a 
declaratory patent. Mr. Pike, in his Constitutional 
History of the House of Lords (1894), has given 
great attention to this case (pp. 133135, ^S) as 
" the earliest case in which anything like the 
doctrine of abeyance was recognised." But neither 
he nor any one else (though Dugdale alludes to it) 
seems to have known of the singular " grant " of 
Feb. 1645-6, which I here transcribe from the 
Signet Office Docquet Book 1644-1660. 

A graunt whereby (reciting that Henry sometime Baron 
Windsor of Bradenham in the County of Bucks to him and his 
heires dyed and left issue Thomas his only sonn and heire who 
was Baron Windsor to him and his heires now deceased without 
issue and two daughters, Elizabeth the elder married to Dixey 
Hickman Esq. and now also deceased and another daughter. 
And that Thomas Windsore Windsore als. Hickman Esq. 
is sonn and heire of the said Elizabeth and Dixey) his 
Majestic is hereby pleased to dispose conferre and confirme 
the said Barony and honour to the said Thomas Windsore and 
the heires males of his body, and to declare, accept, elect, and 
ratify him and his heires males to bee Barons Windsore. And if 
this declaracion bee ineffectuall in Law, his Majestic hereby 
erecteth, confirmeth and establisheth to him and his heires males 
the said dignity with all priviledges and immunities thereunto 
belonging. And declareth, approveth, confirmeth, restoreth and 
establisheth to him and his heires males the same place degree and 
Precedency in Parliament and elsewhere, and the same priviledges 
and immunities as the said Henry or Thomas Barons Windsore 
enjoyed. Subscribed by Mr. Attorney General upon signification 
of his Majesty's pleasure and his signe manuall procured by 
Mr. Secretary Nicholas. 

The immediate point of this document is the 

1 Courthope's Historic Peer age , p. xxxiv. 


bearing on the 1529 creations of its recital that 
the late Lord Windsor held the dignity " to him 
and his heires" thereby making it a barony by 
writ. But still greater is the interest of this effort 
on the part of the grantee to hold the dignity, 
when thus " disposed " of in his favour to him 
" and the heires males of his body." The Crown's 
doubt of its power in the matter is very signifi- 
cant ; and the effort was completely abandoned at 
the Restoration, when the dignity was simply con- 
firmed to the same grantee " and his heirs." 

The question of these baronies and their origin 
arose next in the Wentworth case i April 1702, 
when Martha, wife of Sir Henry Johnson, claimed, 
before the House of Lords, to be Baroness Went- 
worth. 2 The Minute Book containing notes of the 
evidence produced on this occasion was discovered 
in time to be adduced in the Braye case, 22 March 
1836. They ran thus : 

They produced the Heralds' proofs. Sir Henry St. George : 
He says This Book hath been in my office ever since his Time, 
and looked upon to be very good. 3 

"This Book" was clearly H. 13,* and on its 

1 Pike, p. 134 ; from Signet Office Docquet Book, June 1660. 
Henry VIII. did, indeed, create Sir William Paulett, Kt. of 
Basing, who was similarly a co-heir of the lords St. John of Basing, 
in 1539, lord St. John with limitation to his heirs male, but this 
was a new creation, and the barony was ranked accordingly. 

2 Lords' Journals, XVII. 91. 

3 Braye case : Minutes of Evidence, pp. 34-5. 

4 This is evident from " Brief of case of the Barony of Went- 
worth " in the Heralds' College. (See Mrs. Cave's Braye 
claim, p. 7.) 



decidedly flimsy (till corroborated) evidence the 
House clearly accepted Wentworth as a creation of 


The whole question, however, was investigated 

much more thoroughly in the Braye case ; but 
the procedure, on that occasion, was very strange. 
H. 13 and the Wentworth minute book of evi- 
dence were put in for the claimant, but " the 
Counsel were informed that they could not be 
used as Evidence." Nevertheless, although the 
committee had no other evidence before it to prove 
that Edmond Bray was summoned to Parliament 
or sat in it before 25 Hen. VIII., it was 

Resolved that it appears to this committee that Edmund Lord 
Braye was summoned to Parliament and sat in the House in the 
Twenty First year of the Reign of King Henry the Eighth. 1 

This resolution, it will be found, simply accepts 
the opening words of Mrs. Cave's original petition 

Sir Edmond Braye of Braye in the County of Bedford Kt. 
was summoned to Parliament as a Baron of the Realm, by Writ, 
in the 2ist year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, anno 
1529, and sat in Parliament in pursuance of such writ. 

This was an assertion based on nothing but H. 13, 
and its acceptance, therefore, as valid, was an 
acceptance of that MS. as equivalent to legal 

Nevertheless the Crown, when determining the 
abeyance, did not specify the year of the reign in 
which the barony was created. Here are the 

1 Lords' Journals, 1839, p. 647. 


letters patent from the London Gazette of 10 Sept. 
1839 (p. i^o). 1 

Whitehall, Sept. 7, 1839. 

The Queen has been pleased to direct Letters Patent to be 
passed under the Great Seal, declaring Sarah Otway Cave . . . 
Baroness Braye, she being one of the co-heirs of John the last 
Lord Braye, and as such one of the co-heirs of the Barony of 
Braye originating by writ of summons granted to Sir Edmund 
Bray in the reign of King Henry the Eighth ; and that she, the 
said Sarah Otway Cave, shall be Baroness Braye, and have, hold, 
and enjoy the said Barony of Braye, together with all the rights, 
titles, privileges, pre-eminences, immunities and advantages, and 
the precedency thereunto belonging, to hold to her and the heirs 
of her body, in as full and ample manner as John the last 
Lord Braye held and enjoyed the same. 

The barony was ranked, quite properly, after 
that of Wentworth, as, we have seen, it was from 
its earliest days. The relative precedence of 
Windsor was not then in question, that barony 
having been, since 1682, merged in the earldom of 
Plymouth, and being, moreover, actually in abey- 
ance since 10 July 1833. When that abeyance 
was terminated (1855), the Braye precedent ought 
to have been strictly followed, the evidence for the 
origin of the two dignities being absolutely the 
same. But, instead of that, it will be seen, the 
proof of sitting in 25 Hen. VIII. was now 
treated as the earliest evidence for the existence of 
the dignity. 

1 The precedent here followed, as to date, seems to have been 
that of Vaux, in which the House (following the committee) 
resolved, 2 March 1837, "That the Barony of Vaux of Har- 
rowden was a Barony created by writ in the reign of King Henry 
the Eighth and therefore descendible to Heirs General." (The 
italics are mine.) 


Whitehall^ October 15, 1855. 

The Queen has been pleased to direct letters patent to be 
passed under the Great Seal declaring Harriet Clive (commonly 
called Lady Harriet Clive), Widow, Baroness Windsor, she being 
one of the coheirs of Other Archer, last Baron Windsor (sixth 
Earl of Plymouth), deceased, and as such one of the coheirs of 
the Barony of Windsor, originating by writ of summons to 
Parliament, granted to Sir Andrew Windsor, in the twenty-fifth 
year of 1 the reign of King Henry the Eighth, and that she 
shall be Baroness Windsor, and have, hold, and enjoy 
the said Barony of Windsor, together with all the rights, titles, 
privileges, pre-eminences, immunities, and advantages, and with 
the precedency belonging, to hold to her and the heirs of her body 
in as full and ample manner as Other Archer ... or any 
of his ancestors, Barons Windsor held and enjoyed the same. 2 

The importance of this action by the Crown is 
that it virtually ignores the evidence of H. 13, 
although, as I have now shown, that evidence is 
strikingly confirmed by what has elsewhere been 
brought to light. 

But in abandoning H. 13 as evidence for the 
creation of the dignity in 1529, the Crown has 
only increased the confusion. For the alleged 
writ of summons granted " in the twenty-fifth 
year " is wholly imaginary ! It is actually found 
only in Dugdale's deliberate concoction. 3 The 
result of the whole muddle is that no one can tell 
what is really held by the Committee for Privileges, 
the House, or the Crown. What, for instance, is 
the origin to be assigned to Vaux of Harrowden ? 
It is historically certain that its creation belongs to 
1523 ; but there is no legal evidence that the first 

1 The italics are mine. 

2 London Gazette^ 16 Oct. 1855 (p. 3,797). 

3 See p. 339 above. 



peer either received a writ of summons or ever sat 
in the House, and Mr. Hartopp's elaborate claim 
seemed to treat the general summons in 1536 as 
the origin desired (in order to reject a creation by 
patent). 1 In the Windsor case, the letters patent 
(1855) deduce, we have seen, the issue of a writ 
from the fact of a proved sitting ; in the Braye 
case, and apparently in that of Wentworth, no 
legal proof for either writ or sitting was produced 
as evidence of creation, for which H. 13 seems to 
have been deemed sufficient by the Committee for 
Privileges and the House. 

It is one of my objects in this paper to call 
attention to the unsatisfactory, because unsystematic, 
practice of the Committee for Privileges and the 
House of Lords. In the Mowbray case, (1877), 
as I have elsewhere shown, 2 the modern doctrine 
of abeyance was carried back centuries per saltum. 
But even more important, though apparently over- 
looked, was the startling acceptance without ques- 
tion of writs of summons to the " parliaments " 
of 1283, 1294, and 1297. For the validity of 
the writs to the meeting at Shrewsbury in 1283 
affects of itself a hundred baronies, and the 

1 The Lords, we have seen, evaded the difficulty by resolving 
that the barony had been created " in the reign of Henry VIII." 
The Complete Peerage holds, somewhat strangely, that this in- 
dicates "the date 1529, being that in which there is the first 
notice of a sitting in this Barony" (VIII. 18). But there is no 
such notice in 1529, or indeed till 1534, though H. 13 places the 
young lord's entry into the House in Jan. 1531* 

2 " The Determination of the Mowbray Abeyance " (Law 
Quarterly Review, X. 68-77) an( * i n tms work below. 



Mowbray decision, as I have observed, thus effects 
a revolution in peerage law. 1 

The position, at present, of the Tudor baronies 
specially discussed in this paper is somewhat 
analogous to that which has been caused by con- 
flicting decisions on Simon de Montfort's Parlia- 
ment. De Ros and Despencer are ranked as dating 
from that Parliament, while its summons has not 
been deemed valid in the case of other baronies. 

It is, in any case, quite clear that the present 
ranking of these baronies Wentworth, Braye, 
Windsor is altogether wrong. In the Parlia- 
ment beginning June 1536, the precedence found 
both in the enrolment of summonses and in the 
Lords' Journals is precisely that which we have 
found in H. 13 and elsewhere: (i) Hussey, (2) 
Vaulx, 2 (3) Windsor, (4) Wentworth, (5) Burgh, 
(6) Braye, (7) Mordaunt. 3 This being so, Lord 
Windsor is certainly entitled to claim a higher 
precedence ; and the closing words of the letters 
patent of 15 Oct. 1855 undoubtedly enable him 
to do so. 

1 See p. 10 above ; and cf. Stubbs' Constitutional History (1875), 
II. 116, 131, 184, 223, 225. 

1 Vaux is not one of the baronies in question. Its ranking 
here seems anomalous (see p. 365 note i). In H. 13 (fo. 398^) it 
is ranked with Sandys above Hussey in the Parliament of 1529 
1536 ; and it is so ranked in the Lords' Journals where they re- 
commence in Jan. 1534. This would seem to be the right 

3 Journals, 12 June 1536 (28 Hen. VIII.). 



Charles I. and Lord Glamorgan 


FOR some two hundred and fifty years indeed, 
ever since their creation or alleged creation the 
dukedom of Somerset and earldom of Glamorgan, 
bestowed on Lord Herbert, the son of the marquis 
of Worcester, have been surrounded by a baffling 
haze of mystery and doubt. But while the duke- 
dom has long been so forgotten that it is not 
even mentioned by modern writers on the Peerage, 
the earldom has continued to vex the souls not 
only of antiquaries, but of historians. For on the 
authenticity of these dignities and of the documents 
affecting them there hangs, to some extent, the 
solution of a great problem. This problem is 
that of Glamorgan's secret treaty (1645), of which 
his biographer observes that 

The genuineness of the commissions and of the patents on 
the authority of which he acted a question involving the cha- 
racter of Charles I., has since been one of the most intricate and 
fiercely debated points in English history. 1 

1 Dictionary of National Biography ', LIII. 233. It may be as 



I have dealt elsewhere with the earldom of 
Glamorgan, and shown that, save in two documents 
which I reject as forged, we can find no mention 
of it earlier than the month of January, i645 2 
A bill for its creation reached the signet office 
in the following April, but, as Mr. Gardiner ob- 
serves, " nothing further was done in it." Lord 
Herbert, however, styled himself c Glamorgan,' 
and was so addressed by the king in 1645 an ^ 
1646, till he succeeded to his father's marquisate. 
It was my suggestion that Charles may have 
purposely kept back the patent in order that the 
prospect of securing it might serve as a hold on 
the grantee and as an incitement to success. 

We may now turn from the earldom of Gla- 
morgan to the dukedom of " Somerset and Beau- 
fort." The peerage writers seem to have generally 

well to give the references for the previous steps in the discussion 
between Mr. Gardiner and myself. In " The True Story of the 
Somerset Patent 1644" (Academy, 8 Dec. 1883), I showed 
how strong was the belief after the Restoration that Glamorgan's 
patents were forged. In the English Historical Review, October 
1887, Mr. Gardiner dismissed my criticisms, and in "Charles I. 
and the Earl of Glamorgan " (pp. 687-704) upheld the validity 
of all the documents. In the Athenteum, 15 Jan. 1898, I 
published a paper on " Charles I. and Lord Glamorgan," urging 
that the latter's letter to Clarendon in 1660, on which Mr. 
Gardiner relied, did not refer, as he had assumed, to events in 
1644, and was too confused in its statements to afford reliable 
evidence. To this Mr. Gardiner replied, 26 Feb. 1898, frankly 
admitting that he had " built on too unstable a foundation in 
regard to this letter." Lastly, I contributed to the Genealogist 
for April 1898 an article on "The Earldom of Glamorgan." 

1 E. H. R., II. 694, note. 

2 Genealogist, April 1898 (N.S. XIV. 213-5). 



assumed 1 that the patent produced, at the Restora- 
tion, by the marquis of Worcester, as granting 
him a dukedom was the curious quasi-patent of 
April i, 1644, in which inter alia occurs this 
relative passage : 

We give and allow you henceforward . . . the title of 
Duke of Somerset to you and your heirs male for ever, and from 
henceforward to give (sic) the Garter to your arms, and, at your 
pleasure, to put on the George and blue ribbon. 2 

But this most " casual " clause, inserted in the 
middle of a commission, was not the document 
upon which he relied. 3 Dugdale, in the private 
letter to which I originally drew attention, 
writes : 

The Marquis of Worcester did exhibit a patent under the 
Great Seal pretended to be granted to him by the late king at 
Oxford for creating [him] Duke of Somerset and Beaufort ; but 
this being in truth suspected to be forged, there appearing no 
vestige of it at the signet or privy seal, nor any other probable 
way, and my Lord of Hartford being prepared to make such 
objections against it as might have tended much to the dishonour 
of my Lord of Worcester before a committee of Lords, about three 
days since the Marquis of Worcester was pleased to tell the 
Lords that he must confess that there were certain private con- 
siderations upon which that patent was granted to him by the 
late king, which he performing not on his part, he would not 
insist thereon, but render it to his Majesty to cancel if he so 
pleased. 4 

1 This idea originated with Birch, author of the Inquiry in 
the middle of the last century. 2 See Collins' Peerage. 

3 It was supposed to be so by Birch (1756) in his Inquiry 
(p. 23), by Sir C. Young, and by Courthope, etc., afterwards. 

4 Dugdale to John Langley 25 Aug. 1660. (Hist. MSS. 
Commission, 5th Report, App., p. 178. 

369 B B 


From the phrase " duke of Somerset and Beau- 
fort" it is certain that the patent in question must 
have been that which contains that title, and which 
alone contains it. This patent, of which, as I 
have said, the existence is ignored by the peerage 
writers, is still preserved at Badminton, where it 
was examined by Mr. Gardiner. As it has never, 
I believe, been printed, except a portion of the 
preamble by Dircks, it may be of interest to give 
here the words of creation, and those of the limi- 
tation which Mr. Madan, of the Bodleian Library, 
has most kindly copied for me from the Carte 
MSS., which contain a transcript of it. 1 

Passing over, for the present, the preamble, we 
come to the actual creation. 

His igitur perspectis, Sciatis quod nos de gratia nostra speciali 
ac ex certa scientia et mero motu nostris praefatum Consan- 
guineum nostrum Edvardum Comitem Comitatus nostri Gla- 
morgan ad statum, gradum, stilum, dignitatem, titulum, et 
honorem Ducis de Somerset et Beaufort ereximus, praeficimus 
(sic\ insignivimus, constituimus et creavimus, ipsumque Edvardum 
Comitem Comitatus Glamorgan Ducem de Somerset et Beaufort 
tenore presentium erigimus, praeficimus, insignimus, constituimus 
et creamus, eidemque Edvardo nomen, statum, gradum, stilum, 
dignitatem, titulum, et honorem Ducis de Somerset et Beaufort 
imposuimus, dedimus et praebuimus, et per praesentes imponinimus 
(sic) damus et praebemus, ac ipsum Edvardum hujusmodi statu, 
gradu, stilo, titulo,-:dignitate, nomine et honore Ducis de Somerset 
et Beaufort per gladii cincturam capae honoris et circuli aurei 
impositionem insignimus, investimus, et realiter nobilitamus per 
praesentes, habendum et tenendum, etc. 

The limitation is as follows : 

1 Bodleian MS. Carte 129, fo. 349 (Carte's foliation 228). 
This is transcribed by Carte from Anstis' copy. 



praefato Edvardo et haeredibus suis masculis legitime procreatis 
et procreandis in perpetuum, volentes et per praesentes concedentes 
pro nobis haeredibus et successoribus nostris quod praedictus 
Evardus (sic) et haeredes sui praedicti praedictum nomen, statum, 
gradum, stilum, titulum, dignitatem et honorem Ducis de Somer- 
set et Beaufort successive gerant et habeant et eorum quilibet 
gerat et habeat. 

The first point to arrest attention, here, is the 
double title found only in this patent and in Dug- 
dale's letter referring to it. The great aim of the 
family or at least of Glamorgan himself was to 
revive the title of Somerset, borne by the Beau- 
forts, from whom they were illegitimately de- 
scended. The double title (suspicious in itself) 
must have been adopted to distinguish this duke- 
dom from that which had been held by the house 
of Seymour, 

The next point is the limitation, of which the 
language is important ; for Mr. Gardiner observes 
that it " was not as usual to the heirs of Glamor- 
gan's body, but to his heirs male, implying that in 
case of his own sons predeceasing him the title 
was to go to his father or his brother." If, as 
Mr. Gardiner has observed, such problems as 
those of the Glamorgan documents " are not to be 
solved even by the most impartial person who 
approaches the subject from a purely antiquarian 
point of view," 2 it is no less true that they cannot 
be solved without antiquarian knowledge. We 
here find him, for instance, accepting a limitation 
to " heirs male " as equivalent to a limitation to 
heirs male collateral in spite of the doubt notori- 

1 E. H. ., II. p. 693. 2 Ibid. p. 687. 


ously surrounding that construction, 1 and, in the 
second place, restricting the parties to whom the 
dukedom was limited to the grantee's " father or 
his brother," a construction which, on any hypo- 
thesis, is obviously inadmissible. But this is not 
all. It will have been observed that the words of 
the patent are : 

haeredibus suis masculis legltime procreatis et procreandis in per- 

This anomalous formula, which here replaces the 
normal " de corpore suo exeuntibus," must be 
construed (I am assured by a well-known peerage 
counsel) as a limitation to the heirs male of the 
grantee's body. 

From this limitation I now pass to the date at 
which the dukedom was granted. The patent 
gives this as " quarto die Maij anno regni nostri 
vicessimo primo " (i.e. 4 May 1645). Anstis had 
pointed out that the word " primo " had been 
added, and Mr. Gardiner, accepting this as indis- 
putable, held that Glamorgan had added the word 
" to gain easier credence for what was otherwise 
a true tale." This was, he urged, " the full ex- 
tent of Glamorgan's forgery." 2 And this conclu- 
sion he applied in the case of Glamorgan's nego- 
tiations, urging that "just as in 1660 he did not 
scruple to add primo to the date of his patent," so 
did he treat his powers when he made his secret 
treaty. 3 And again, in a later proposal of his, 

1 See Complete Peerage^ III. 107-109. 

2 E. H. R. y II. 689, 694-5. ' 3 Ibid. p. 705. 



Mr. Gardiner sees " the work of the man who 
subsequently added the word primo to a patent." 1 
But, in the next volume, Mr. Gardiner withdrew 
his conclusions, and suggested that Glamorgan had 
forged nothing, but that when a warrant for a 
dukedom of Somerset was sent to his father the 
marquis of Worcester (Jan. 1645), tne date f tne 
son's patent was formally altered by the Crown to 
avoid a question of precedence. 2 The suggestion 
is as plausible as it is ingenious. 

Mr. Gardiner found the precedence difficulty in 
the singularly conflicting evidence on the grant of 
this dukedom. For, according to him, we have : 

(1) i April 1644. The anomalous grant to 
" Glamorgan" of " the title of Duke of Somer- 

(2) 4 May 1644. The patent creating him 
duke of Somerset and Beaufort. 

(3) 6 Jan. 1645. The warrant for a signed 
bill creating his father, Worcester, duke of 
Somerset 3 (enclosed in a letter of 10 Jan. to 
Lord Worcester from the king). 

(4) 12 Feb. 1645. A letter from Charles to 
Glamorgan himself, mentioning that he sends 
him " a warrant for the title of Duke of 
Somerset." 4 

1 E. H. R. y II. p. 707. 2 E. H. ., III. 125. 

3 Hist. MSS. 1 2th Report, IX. p. 14 ; Dircks, p. 104. 

4 Dircks, p. 74. " And yet," says Mr. Gardiner, " Glamor- 
gan subsequently informed Rinuccini that the dukedom was to be 
his father's" (E. H. R., II. 694). 



It is no wonder that Mr. Gardiner finds this 
last letter " not very easy to understand." But 
that is only because of his belief in the earlier 
documents as genuine. 

The difficulty, it will be seen, is that (i) Gla- 
morgan is made a duke by patent ; then (2) his 
father, Worcester, is sent a warrant for the duke- 
dom ; and (3) only a month later, Glamorgan is 
sent a warrant for it himself. Now, bearing in 
mind the above evidence, as given in Mr. Gar- 
diner's article, we turn to his History, where we 
read : l 

The informal patent conferring a dukedom on Glamorgan was 
allowed to fall asleep. There is reason to believe that his father 
was displeased that his son should be a duke whilst he himself 
remained a marquis, and though the steps of the process cannot 
be distinctly traced, it is plain that the intention was already 
formed of making the old man a duke instead of the son. In 
February (sic) a warrant to that effect was actually sent to Wor- 
cester ; but, as in the case of his son's earldom, complete secrecy 
was both enjoined and observed, no attempt being made to carry 
the grant beyond the initial stage. 2 

The marginal heading to this passage is " Feb- 
ruary 12. Worcester to be a duke." It is scarcely 
credible, yet a fact, that, referring to his own 
article, Mr. Gardiner has so confused its evidence 
that he mistakes the warrant sent to Glamorgan on 
February 1 2 for the warrant sent to Worcester on 

1 History of the Civil War (Ed. 1894), II. 166-7. 

2 Mr. Gardiner adduces no proof that secrecy was either en- 
joined or observed in the case of the earldom of Glamorgan. 
Indeed he cites " a catalogue of lords," published in 1645 as proof 
that it was " a matter of public notoriety " (E. H. R., II. 694). 



January 10 (more than a month before), and by 
leaving out the former, ignores the main difficulty. 

Indeed, he seems quite to have forgotten the let- 
ter to Glamorgan of Feb. 12 (1645), w ^h i* 8 fresh 
warrant for the dukedom, when he holds that 
his patent of 4 May 1644 had its date altered to 
4 May 1645, tnat ^ m ight not take precedence 
of his father's warrant. 1 For this implies that it 
was still valid in 1645. 

Mr. Gardiner's theory, therefore, is that Gla- 
morgan could not make use of his patent till his 
father was dead, and that as this did not happen 
till Dec. 1646 his first opportunity of doing so 
came at the Restoration. 2 But what would become 
of this theory if we found that, long before the 
latter date, he was trying to obtain the coveted 
dukedom ? Now among the MSS. at Badminton 
is a letter to him (as marquis of Worcester) 
from Charles II., so early as Oct. 1649, which can 
only be a reply to an application for a duke- 
dom : 

I feare that in this conjuncture of tyme it will not be season- 
able for me to graunt, nor for you to receyve the addition of honour 
you desire, neyther can I at this tyme send the order you mention 
concerning the garter, but be confident that I will in due tyme 

1 E. H. R., III. 125 : "If Worcester lived to produce his 
warrant and to have the patent made out, his son, whose patent 
was now dated 4 May 1645, could not come before him ; 
whereas, if Worcester died before sending his warrant to the 
signet office, Glamorgan could show his own patent, and it would 
not be of much consequence to him whether it was dated in 1644 
or in 1645." 2 E. H. R., II. 693. 



give you such satisfaction in these particulars, and in all other 
things that you can reasonably expect from me, as shall lett you 
see with how much trueth and kindness I am 

Your affectionate friend, 


Here we have the two things on which the 
marquis had set his heart : (i) the dukedom ; 
(2) the garter. Fortunately, it does not matter 
whether the letter is genuine (there is no reason 
to suspect it), for, in any case, it alters the whole 
problem. The marquis here makes (or represents 
himself as making) a request for a dukedom, al- 
though, in Mr. Gardiner's belief, he was actually 
in possession of a genuine patent (to say nothing 
of a subsequent warrant) conferring one on him. 
This request is refused, and a most guarded pro- 
spect of future reward held out. What we 
naturally ask is whether such a letter is consistent 
with the applicant's possession of a patent from 
Charles I. granting him a dukedom. At the 
Restoration, he produced such a patent, instead of 
asking the king to grant him a new one, as, from 
this evidence, he clearly did in 1649. 

The king's letter, I maintain, is an answer to a 
new application ; from which we must infer that 
the applicant did not at the time possess, or even 
believe himself to possess, a patent granting him a 
dukedom. Baffled in this attempt to obtain such 
a patent from Charles II., he must have fallen 
back on that document which he produced at the 

1 Charles II. to the Marquis of Worcester (i2th Report on 
Historical MSS., IX. p. 47 ; Dircks, p. 190). 



Restoration as a valid patent of dukedom from 
Charles I. 

I have said above that the two objects on which 
he had set his heart were a dukedom of Somerset 
and the garter. Throughout, the two are found 
together ; and it is singular that the story of the 
one is no less a puzzle than the story of the other. 

How does the matter of the c Garter ' stand ? 

(1) i April 1644. In the preposterous docu- 
ment bearing this appropriate date, Charles 
empowers Glamorgan " from henceforward 
to give (!) the garter to your arms, and at 
your pleasure to put on the George and blue 

(2) 4 May 1644. In the patent of dukedom 
assigned by Mr. Gardiner to this date, Gla- 
morgan is formally styled " Knight of the 

(3) 12 Feb. 1645. Charles writes to Gla- 
morgan saying that he sends him " the Blue 
Ribbon and a warrant for the title of Duke 
of Somerset, both which accept and make 
use of at your discretion " (Glamorgan's dis- 
cretion !). 

(4) 13-21 Oct. 1649. Charles II. declines 
Glamorgan's (Worcester's) application for the 
Garter. 1 

1 " neyther can I at this tyme send the order you mention 
concerning the garter " (Hist. MSS. Report, ut supra^ p. 47). It 
should be observed that Lord Ormonde had been given the Garter 
a month before (18 Sept.), which may account for Worcester's 



Remembering that all the first three are ac- 
cepted as genuine by Mr. Gardiner, it would be 
interesting to learn how he reconciles their evi- 
dence, and, still more, how he reconciles it with 
that of the fourth. 

We have now discovered the suspicious and 
contradictory character of the evidence for Gla- 
morgan's dukedom and for his ' Garter ' as well. 
Especially should it be observed that a warrant 
is sent him for the dignity on 12 Feb. 1645, 
although he was already in possession, on Mr. 
Gardiner's hypothesis, of an actual patent of it. 

From this external evidence I turn to the 
document itself. 

So strangely careless was Mr. Gardiner here 
that his views must be received with caution. He 
first tells us that an opinion of Anstis " decidedly 
unfriendly to the dukedom patent follows the copy 
of it in the Carte MSS.," 1 and then that 

As to the dukedom patent . . . Anstis, who does not say 
there was any fault with it y 2 allows that Willis, who countersigned 
it, was the proper person to do so. 3 

I am compelled to give further evidence of Mr. 
Gardiner's singular inaccuracy, or carelessness, in 
this minute and full enquiry. While thus contra- 
dicting himself over the dukedom patent, he tells 
us that "a hostile opinion" of the 1644 (April i) 
document, " which is not now to be found at Bad- 
minton, by Anstis garter king of arms in the 

1 E. H. R., II. p. 688. 2 The italics are mine. 
3 Ibid. p. 692. 

378 ' 


middle of the eighteenth century, is embodied in 
the ' Case of the Royal Martyr ' (p. Hi)." 1 Now, 
on referring to the work cited, we find Anstis 
quoted as follows : 

As they [Anstis and Carte] often talked together of the Earl of 
Glamorgan's unaccountable conduct, so Mr. Anstis as often 
answered him (Carte) " that all the pretended Patents of that 
Nobleman were forged ; that some of them he had seen and con- 
sidered with great exactness ; that, observing the Matrix of the 
Great Seal in all of them to be considerably thicker than he had 
ever observed before, he had the curiosity to examine one of them, 
and found the Great Seal to be formed of two Great Seals, clapped 
together, so as to inclose the Label fixed to the Patent." In the 
year 1737, October 3, he shewed me, says Mr. Carte, two of 
these patents which he had been curious enough to copy. One 
of them was the same which was afterwards published by Mr. 
Collins in 1 74 1 2 . . . The other ... is the very 
same which Mr. Anstis, upon the nicest Examination, found to be 
an arrant forgery. " This," says Mr. Anstis, " is a copy of the 
very Patent which I examined so curiously, and found the Seal to 
be composed of two Great Seals, clapped together, so as to inclose 
the Label" (pp. i4i~3). 3 

Yet Mr. Gardiner, actually citing (p. 692) " the 
Case of the Royal Martyr, pp. 142, 143," from 
which the latter part of the above passage is taken, 
tells us that it was the " commission patent " of i 
April of which " Carte reports from Anstis " that 
" it is composed of two great seals clapped together 
so as to inclose the label." l It was, on the contrary, 
the dukedom patent of which Anstis so reported 5 
(pp. 142-6). 

1 E. H. R. y II. 688. 

* This is the document of April I, 1644. 

J This, as the writer goes on to explain, is the dukedom patent. 

4 E. H. ., II. 692. 

5 It will be found that Mr. Gardiner carried his confusion so 



The document itself, therefore, was as unsatis- 
factory to Anstis, a well-qualified expert, as is the 
external evidence concerning its grant. 

With the anomalous and blundered limitation in 
this patent I have already dealt, 1 so that we have 
only its preamble left. Its inflated description of 
the grantee's services ought to be compared with 
his own description of them in the wild speech he 
composed for delivery, under Charles II., in the 
House of Lords. 2 For our present purpose, we 
need only consider the words I have italicized 
below : 3 

Whereas our right trusty and well-beloved cousin Edward 
Somerset, alias Plantagenet, Knight of the most noble Order of 
the Garter, Earl of our county of Glamorgan, son and heir 
apparent of our right trusty and well-beloved cousin Henry, Earl 
and Marquess of Worcester, Baron of the Honours of the Castles 
of Raglan, Chepstow, and Gower, a man eminent for the noble- 
ness of his blood, . . . illustrious by a long train of noble 
ancestors, and by the high nobility transmitted by paternal succes- 
sion from John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and his son John 
Plantagenet Duke of Somerset, from the place of his nativity 
surnamed Beaufort and by other connections of blood with the 
Royal Houses of Lancaster and York, etc., etc. 

With what courage and successful conduct did he take Good- 
ridge Castle, the Forest of Dean, and the city of Hereford ? In 
short, with what remarkable good fortune, with what unhoped-for 
success he made himself master of the strongly fortified town of 
Monmouth ? And not content with the confined limits of one 

far as to connect this report of Anstis on the dukedom patent with 
a passage in Worcester's letter to Clarendon referring (he held) 
" to the commission patent" (Ibid.}. l p. 371 above. 

2 Hist. MSS. Report, ut supra, pp. 56-63. 

3 In the text they run : " et unius regni finibus non contentus 
in ultimas trans oceanum oras per medios hostes et naufragia 



kingdom, go to the most distant places beyond the seas, through the 
midst of hostile forces and the dangers of shipwreck, . . . that 
he might raise succours for the support of the tottering crown of 
his King. 1 

Really, one need only quote Mr. Gardiner's un- 
conscious comment : 

On the 25th [March 1645] he sailed from Carnarvon on this 
hopeful enterprise. A storm drove him northward, and on the 
28th he was wrecked on the Lancashire coast, whence, slipping 
past the Parliamentary forces in the neighbourhood, he made his 
way to the safe refuge of Skipton Castle. 

But to this may be added Digby's words, 21 May 
1645, in a letter to Ormond : 

As to my Lord Herbert he made a dangerous escape, but I 
hope is now well on his way towards you from Skipton Castle. 2 

How perfect a confirmation do these passages afford 
of the statement in the patent that the earl is 
striving to cross the seas " per medios hostes et 
naufragia " if that patent was granted in the spring 
of 1645. But Mr. Gardiner has burnt his ships ; 
" to the later investigator " he writes, " to myself 
even more than to Anstis, 1 645 is an impossible 
date." 3 

The patent, therefore, can only, he holds, have 
been granted in 1644 nearly a year before the 
earl's shipwreck, to which it so magniloquently 
alludes ! For my part I prefer to believe that the 

1 Dircks (translation), pp. 162-3. ^ should be observed that 
this allusion to his dangerous journey refers, like those preceding 
it, to a definite achievement. Glamorgan himself (as Worcester) 
refers to the incident in his letter to the duke of Albemarle, 29 
Dec. 1665 : "besides hazard by sea, even of shipwreck." 

2 Carte's Ormond, III., No. 388. 3 E. H. R., II. 694. 



artist by whom it was concocted intended to assign 
it to May 1645, ^ ut omitted by error the word 
primo, which was inserted at a subsequent time, to 
correct his error. 

It has been shown above that the documents 
which are used by Mr. Gardiner himself are enough, 
when placed side by side, to make the grant of this 
dukedom a matter of inextricable confusion. He 
has, unfortunately, increased that confusion by mis- 
taking, as we saw, one of them for another, by 
misquoting the testimony of Anstis, and by misun- 
derstanding the patent. When he writes anew 
as he doubtless will this portion of his history, 
he will examine, I trust, the preamble in the light 
of the suggestion I have made, and will come, I 
venture to think, to the same conclusion as myself. 

I can scarcely suppose that any one who has 
followed the evidence with care will henceforth 
accept as genuine this patent of dukedom. Re- 
garded as a forgery at the Restoration, and criticised, 
in the next century, by such an expert as Anstis, 
it is further discredited, for ourselves, by all the 
external evidence now available to the student. 
Therefore, with even greater confidence than in 
1883, I can now repeat Dugdale's words : 

The Marquis of Worcester did exhibit a patent under the 
Great Seal, pretended to be granted to him by the late King at 
Oxford for creating [him] Duke of Somerset and Beaufort ; but 
this being in truth suspected to be forged, there appearing no 
vestige of it at the signet or privy seal, nor any other probable 
way, and my Lord of Hartford being prepared to make such 
objections against it as might have tended much to the dishonour 
of my Lord of Worcester before a committee of Lords, about 



three days since the Marquis of Worcester was pleased to tell 
the Lords that he must confess that there were certain private 
considerations upon which that patent was granted to him by 
the late King, which he performing not on his part, he would 
not insist thereon, but render it to His Majesty to cancel if he 
so pleased. 1 

The lameness of this excuse for withdrawal is 
obvious from the fact that, if valid, it ought to 
have precluded the claim being brought forward 
at all. It seems to have been only remembered by 
the marquis when his patent was denounced as a 

Let us now return to Mr. Gardiner's case : 

In itself the question of the irregularity of this dukedom 
patent would only indirectly concern an inquirer into the Gla- 
morgan treaty ; but it is closely connected with another patent 
granting to Glamorgan a commission conferring on him very 
extraordinary powers to command an army in chief, and em- 
bodying the " certain private considerations " referred to by 
Dugdale, and paving the way for his subsequent employment 
in Ireland. 2 

The close connection between the two docu- 
ments (for which Mr. Gardiner accepts the dates 
of i April and 4 May 1644) is indisputable. 
Anstis believed them both to be frauds, and this 
was also, we shall now see, the belief at the 

1 Dugdale to Langley, 25 Aug. 1660 (Hist. MSS. Commission, 
App. to Fifth Report, p. 178). Mr. Gardiner, repeating the 
above quotation, erroneously treated it as a mere expression of 
Dugdale's personal opinion, and refused to follow him " in the 
inference which he drew" (E. H. ., II. 688). It will be seen 
that Dugdale is speaking of the current belief. 

2 E. H. ., II. 688. 



As touching the King's declaration upon his father's grant of 
the title of Duchess to the old lady you mention, with place 
and precedency to her daughter, this is the account which I can 
give you thereof, viz., that Sir Edward Walker did draw a 
petition for this now Duchess to the King, and being assisted by 
Secretary Nicholas, moved His Majesty in it, but could not 
prevail ; for he told me in private that the King had no great 
opinion of the truth of the pretended grant from his father, which 
they showed under the Great Sea/, but deemed it to be one of those 
counterfeits which the now Marquis of Worcester is shrewdly suspected 
to be guilty of (there being one for himself, which creates him Duke 
of Somerset and a Knight of the Garter, nay, which gives him power 
to create any degree of honour under an Earl, now in question before 
the Parliament of which you will hear more perhaps very shortly). 
But not [withstanding that Sir Edw. Walker and the secretary 

could not set the whole agoing, one doctor B (one of the 

King's physicians), and one Thomas Killegrew (an old courtier) 
as I am credibly [in prfjvate informed, did the business, not 

without good reward you may be sure. Mr. William told 

me it was 500 ... I hope you will keep this letter 
private, for it [is] not fit that any but yourself should be ac- 
quainted therewith, nor would I impart so much to [any] one 
but an entire friend as I know you to be. 1 

I explained the references in this letter to the 
c Duchess Dudley ' patent on a previous occasion, 2 
so need only mention here, in further illustration, 
that Worcester, two days before writing formally 
to the Lord Chancellor (Clarendon) in defence of 
the genuineness of his " commission," at " the 
amplitude " of which, he admitted, " your Lordship 
may well wonder, and the king too," wrote to 
him (9 June 1660) ; in strict privacy, offering him 
his mansion, Worcester House, rent free, so long 
as he himself lived, if he would be his " friend." 

1 Dugdale to Langley, 30 Aug. 1660. 
3 Academy, Dec. 8, 1883, p. 383. 
3 Dircks, pp. 235-7 (from Clarendon). 


As to the really preposterous document " the 
commission patent" Mr. Gardiner terms it of 
i April 1644, one could hardly treat it seriously, 
did he not insist on doing so. What it was, what 
it professed to do, and why it was given, must all 
be mysteries alike to any student of documents. 

Was it a patent ? Its own description of itselt 
is as follows : 

And for your greater honour, and in testimony of our reality, 
we have with our own hand affixed our great seal of England 
unto these our commission and letters making them patents. 

I pass over the absurd phraseology ; I pass over 
the pertinent enquiry how, when the great seal 
was in the due keeping of Lyttelton, it came to 
be in Charles' hands, for this irregular purpose ; 
and I pass straight to Mr. Gardiner's explana- 
tion : 

Not only was the English of the commission patent very 
unofficial in its character, but its seal was everything that it 
ought not to have been. As Carte reports from Anstis, it is 
composed of two great seals clapped together so as to inclose 
the label 1 This is, however, no more than Glamorgan 

himself acknowledged with respect to the commission patent. 

" In like manner " (he writes to Clarendon) " did I not stick 
upon having this commission inrolled or assented to by the 
king's counsel, nor indeed the seal to be put unto it in an 
ordinary manner, but as Mr. Endymion Porter and I could 
perform it, with rollers and no screw-press." 2 

But how could Glamorgan and Endymion Por- 
ter have sealed this " commission patent," when, 

1 I have shown above (p. 379) that Mr. Gardiner here con- 
fuses the two patents discussed by Carte and Anstis. 

2 E. H. ., II. 692. 

385 cc 


according to itself \ the king " with our own hand 
affixed our great seal " ? Yet even this is not 
all. Mr. Gardiner now, admitting the force of 
my criticism that, in his letter to Clarendon, 
Glamorgan was not describing this amazing Com- 
mission, 1 suggests that it may have been another 
which was thus irregularly sealed : 

What then is the commission which was irregularly sealed 
by Glamorgan and Porter ? Was it the commission mentioned 
some time before, or is it a synonym for the powers given to 
Glamorgan to treat with the Pope and Catholic princes men- 
tioned much more recently ? If the latter interpretation is right, 
then we need not be troubled by the mention that ' it ' con- 
ferred powers to create a mint. The first-mentioned commission 
may have been that of April ist, 1644, tne second commission 
that for treating with the Pope and erecting a mint. 2 

But what becomes of his original explanation, 
if he is thus ready to abandon the identity of the 
document referred to in the letter to Clarendon ? 

While thus oscillating between hypotheses, 
which, as he himself admits, are " plausible but 
. no more," 3 Mr. Gardiner proceeds to 
suggest " the following sequence of events " : 

On April ist, 1644, when there was a chance of getting an 
Irish army from the Irish agents at Oxford, Charles gives Gla- 

1 Mr. Gardiner had assumed that the document referred to in 
Worcester's letter to Clarendon was what he terms the 'com- 
mission patent' of I April 1644 ; but I pointed out that Wor- 
cester's letter spoke of a commission giving him power " to erect 
a mint anywhere and to dispose of ... delinquents' es- 
tates," which power was given him expressly by other documents 
that he produced, but not by the c commission patent ' (Athenaum^ 
15 Jan. 1898). 

2 Athen&um, 26 Feb. 1898, p. 279. 3 Ibid. 



morgan a wide commission, and, either then^ or a few days later y 
another empowering him to treat with the Pope and other princes for 

But the words I have italicized are a counsel of 
despair : they are the first mention that has ever 
been made of such a commission being granted in 
April 1644. Indeed, Mr. Gardiner himself had 
written that he felt " little doubt that the powers 
of 12 Jan." 1645 ( nme months later) were those 
referred to in the letter to Clarendon as authoriz- 
ing " financial arrangements with the pope and 
catholic princes." 2 Can he have forgotten his own 
words ? 

The point is of such importance that I venture 
to drive it home. Alike in his original article and 
in his History, based upon it, Mr. Gardiner had 
strongly urged that Glamorgan was commissioned 
by Charles, in the year 1645 (i) to raise troops 
abroad, (2) to negotiate with the Pope and 
Catholic princes for money with which to pay 
them. This, he held, was the right explanation 
of the warrant of 12 Jan. 1645. Here are his 
own words : 

That these words are these words . . .are more 

perilously wide is beyond appropriate to the other negotia- 

question ; but is there any tion with which Glamorgan was 

reason to believe that they entrusted, the negotiation with the 

had anything to do with the Pope and the Catholic powers for 

Irish peace ? Not only do money to pay the armies which 

they seem much more ap- were to be brought from the Con- 

propriate to the negotiations tinent in support of the troops 

which Glamorgan would from Ireland. 

1 Athenaum, 26 Feb. 1898, p. 279. 2 E. H. R., II. 697-8. 



have to carry on 1 with foreign 
powers for the money with 
which the foreign levies were 
to be paid (E. H. R. y II. 

'The maintenance of this army 
of foreigners,' wrote Glamorgan 
in explanation many years after- 
wards, 'was to have come from 
the Pope and such Catholic princes 
as he should draw into it. ... 
And for this purpose had I power 
to treat with the Pope and Catho- 
lic princes,' etc., etc. ... In 
all probability the powers referred 
to in this explanation are the war- 
rants mentioned by Charles (12 
Jan. 1645). . . . 

This interpretation of the mean- 
ing of Charles' warrant of the 1 2th 
is the more probable as that war- 
rant followed closely on a commis- 
sion granted on the 6th under the 
great seal ... by which 
Glamorgan was empowered to 
levy troops not only in Ireland 
but on the Continent as well 
(History, II. 167-8). 

Yet, having thus emphatically urged that 
Charles commissioned Glamorgan to negotiate, 
in 1645, for men and money on the Continent, 
Mr. Gardiner, hard pressed, argues, in the 
Atheruzum^ that that is just what Charles would 
not, and did not do ! He there urges : 

Another point in my favour is that in April, 1644, the arrange- 
ments for foreign succours were directly in the hands of the king, 
whereas in 1645 they were in the hands of the queen, and instead 
of sending Glamorgan to the Pope, she then employed Sir Kenelm 
Digby ... he (Charles) leaves this negotiation to the queen 
in the first months of 1645, leaving Glamorgan to carry out his 

1 The italics are mine. 


instructions in Ireland, and to take military command of Irish and 
foreign forces invading England. 1 

The sole cause of all this trouble is Mr. Gardi- 
ner's resolve to believe in the document of i April 
1644, and to connect it with the statements in 
Worcester's letter (n June 1660), of which he 
has to confess, after my criticism, that 

his statement appears to me on re-examination to be too confused 
to build with certainty upon it. 2 

No doubt his history would be gravely affected, 
should he be driven from both positions. 

When we next ask what it is that this ridicu- 
lous document professes to do, we find at its tail 
this addition : 

We give and allow you henceforward . . * the title of 
Duke of Somerset to you and your heirs male for ever ; and from 
henceforward to give (sic) the Garter to your arms and at your 
pleasure to put on the George and blue ribbon. 

Is this a creation of a dukedom, or is it not ? If 
it is, why was it necessary to create it, on Mr. 
Gardiner's hypothesis, by a later patent (4 May 
1644), de novo? If it was not, what was the 
use of it ? 

And the Garter ? Mr. Gardiner writes : 

On 2 Aug. 1644, Charles writes to Worcester that he is to 
have the first vacant garter ; the garter, it will be remembered, 
having before been promised to the son. 3 

But the Garter is not " promised " by the above 

^ 26 Feb. 1898, p. 279. The other point in Mr. 
Gardiner's favour is left obscure. 

2 Atheneeuni) as above. 3 E. H. R.> II. p. 693. 



document : it is given, and " from henceforward." 
Indeed, in the patent of dukedom, which Mr. 
Gardiner accepts as genuine, and assigns to 4 May 
1 644, the son is already styled " Knight of the 

In both these documents, admittedly " closely 
connected," we find Lord Herbert styled " Earl 
of Glamorgan," although, as I have shown, he has 
nowhere else been found so described before 
1 645.* In both he is described as "Edward 
Somerset alias Plantaginet " as he again describes 
himself in his formal ratification to the nuncio, 
1 8 Feb. 1 645-6. 2 He was as eager to be- 
come a " Plantagenet " and a duke as was his 
contemporary, Lord Denbigh, to become a 
" Hapsburg " and a German count. 8 They both, 
at about the same time, appear to have been 
playing the same game. 

"Your son Plantaginet" is, in this document, 
the unintelligible style applied to the grantee's 
boy. Among its " startling concessions," as Mr. 

1 I attach considerable importance to this point. For even so 
late as 27 Aug. 1644 the alleged earl of Glamorgan, writing 
privately to his father, signs himself only "Ed. Herbert" (see 
facsimile of his signature in Dircks, p. 77). In 1645 he uses 
the title openly. Mr. Gardiner (History , II. 158) asserts that in 
or about March 1644 Charles "conferred on him the title of 
Earl of Glamorgan by warrant," which warrant was " presented at 
the Signet Office." But in his own article he rightly states that 
the " signed bill " was only " received at the signet office in April 
1645," i.e. a year later (E. H. R., II. 694). 

* Nuncio's Memoirs, fo. 1,087 (^V^i P* T 77)* 
3 They succeeded, respectively, to their fathers' honours in 
1646 and 1643, so were v i rtua lly contemporaries, 



Gardiner terms them (although they do not shake 
his faith), is the "promise of our dear daughter 
Elizabeth" as a wife for this boy with 300,000 
in dower. This, Mr. Gardiner does admit, is 
" very startling indeed " ; yet he deems the state- 
ment corroborated by a letter from the king to 
Worcester, in which occurs the passage : 

As by a matche propounded for your grandchilde you will 
easily judge. The particulars I leave to your son Glamorgan 
his relation. 

But it turns out that this letter was written on 
Jan. 10, 1645 (a likely time), that is, more 
than nine months after the date of the alleged 
patent assuring (not propounding) that " matche " 
under the Great Seal. 

As to the instructions of 2 Jan. 1645, which 
Mr. Gardiner deems so " singularly confirmatory 
of the genuineness of the commission of i April 
1 644," 1 from their containing certain similar clauses, 
I should, on the contrary, draw the inference that 
Glamorgan " faked " the earlier document out of 
some genuine instructions etc. of 1645,* adding to 
their language what he wished to add, and, in 
short, " flavouring to taste." 

And this (to anticipate), in my belief, was also 

1 E. H. R., II. 697. 

2 Even these instructions, unfortunately, are known to us only 
from Dircks (pp. 72-4), being unmentioned in the Report to the 
Historical MSS. Commission. Mr. Gardiner accepts them with- 
out question, but we do not know the nature of the document or 
even whether it exists. 



how he produced the warrant alleged to have 
been granted on 12 March 1645.* 

To the historical side of the " commission 
patent " I have scarcely the space to do justice. 
As for the grantee's military achievements, he had, 
early in 1643, received a local command in South 
Wales, where he had raised a little " mushroom 
army/' as Clarendon terms it, which was routed at 
the first blow. His "judgement," moreover, we 
shall find, was frankly distrusted by Charles. Yet 
we here find him suddenly appointed " General- 
issimo of three armies, English, Irish, and for- 
eign, and Admiral of a fleet at sea " ; he is even 
to exercise his own judgment whether he will 
obey the king's orders. 2 To all this farrago of 
nonsense the answer is plain and brief. Mr. 
Gardiner has failed to produce one scrap of evi- 
dence that there was the slightest intention of 
employing " Glamorgan " in any such capacity 
in the spring of 1644. 

When, at the close of the year, the king de- 
cided to employ him, it was, admittedly, as a 
negotiator, to act as intermediary between Or- 
mond and the Catholics. 3 And when Ormond, 
in the following spring, " was quite ready to take 
up the negotiation on Charles' terms, there was 

1 I mean, of course, that he adapted the language, not the 
document itself. 

2 " And lest through distance of time or place we may be mis- 
informed, we will and command you to reply to us, if any of 
our orders should thwart or hinder any of your designs for our 
service." 3 E. H. R. y II. 695-6. 



no immediate necessity for Glamorgan's presence 
in Dublin." 1 It would, then, have been equally 
unnecessary, had the treaty been carried through, 
at Oxford, a year before. 

I have not the slightest doubt that Glamorgan's 
references to the " army of foreigners " and its 
payment by the Pope and Catholic princes, in 
his letter to Clarendon (n June 1660), apply to 
the royal schemes in the winter of 1644-5, as 
indeed Mr. Gardiner himself held, 2 and cannot 
possibly be forced into confirmation of the " com- 
mission patent " as part of " a plan for raising half 
Europe to take arms on behalf of Charles and the 
Catholic cause," 3 in April 1644. 

As Mr. Gardiner has, here, now shifted his 
ground, I will briefly contrast the schemes on foot 
in the spring of 1644 and in January 1645. It is 
rightly observed in his History that, only after the 
Irish treaty had broken down at Oxford (1644), 
did Charles turn to the Continent for help. It was 
not till May 30 that he requested the prince of 
Orange to find transport for troops whom he hoped 
(but, as yet, merely hoped) to obtain from France. 4 
The foreign army was intended to be a substitute 
for the army hoped for from Ireland, not part of 
the same scheme. But, in 1645, t ^ ie Irish 

1 E. H. ., II. 700. 2 See p. 387 above. 

3 History, II. 158-160, and Athentsum, 15 Jan. 1898, p. 86. 

4 Groen van Prinsterer, 2nd Ser., IV. IOO, 103 ; History, I. 
348 : "Mazarin, it is true, had hitherto made no promise to 
allow Charles the benefit of this little army (4,000 French foot 
and 2,000 French horse)." 



the foreign armies were both hoped for. 1 And the 
foreign army was to be partly composed of a con- 
tingent from the Low Countries. 

This latter occasion (1645), therefore, must be 
that to which Glamorgan (Worcester) alludes in 
his letter to Clarendon. He there says that there 
was to be an Irish and a foreign army, the latter 
comprising " 2,000 men," drawn out of Flanders 
and Holland. 2 And yet Mr. Gardiner, quoting 
this letter and both the requests to the prince of 
Orange, would persuade us of the very opposite. 3 

It is a striking coincidence that the instructions 
(as above) of 2/12 Jan. 1645 were issued on the 
very same day as those to Glamorgan himself. 
Mr. Gardiner dates them correctly in his History, 
but now strangely speaks of them as " given to 
Goffe in February or the end of January, 1645 " 4 

1 Ibid. pp. 123, 126. Also History (Ed. 1893), II. 171, 
where we read that the queen " on January 2 instructed Dr. 
Goffe, her agent at the Hague, to urge the Prince of Orange . . . 
to lend 3,000 soldiers for service in England and to supply vessels 
in sufficient numbers, not only to transport this contingent, but 
also to convoy across the sea such forces as might be obtained 
from France or Ireland." 

1 The actual number, we see, was 3,000. 

3 Athenceum^ 26 Feb. 1898, p. 279. 

4 Atherusum^ 26 Feb. 1898, p. 279. The same strange loose- 
ness of statement, where dates are concerned, is seen in Mr. 
Gardiner's contention that Glamorgan, in his letter to Clarendon, 
"could not possibly refer to a commission granted in 1645, be- 
cause, as everybody then knew, Sir Henry Gage was killed in 
January, 1644/5 " (E. H. ., II. 690). I pointed out (Atken&um, 
15 Jan. 1898) that "so far from being dead, Gage was at the 
height of his reputation" in the first week of January, 1645, the 
date required (see p. 397). 



an absolutely impossible date ; for Goffe had 
actually arrived in Holland and communicated his 
instructions in January. 1 Indeed Mr. Gardiner 
himself, in his History (II. 172) holds that these 
instructions were superseded so early as 1 7 January 
in consequence of the duke of Lorraine's promises 
reaching the queen. 2 

Mr. Gardiner, in fact, has found himself driven 
from conjecture to conjecture, and plunged, as I 
have shown above, into even greater confusion, 
solely because of his resolve to uphold, at all costs, 
the impossible document of i April 1644. This 
document and the dukedom patent with which, as 
he rightly says, it was so closely connected, must 
be frankly and absolutely recognised by him as 
forgeries before he can extricate himself from the 
bog into which they have plunged him. And with 
them there will go by the board all that he has 
written on the great scheme, based upon their evi- 
dence, for 1 644. Nor can he stop even here. For, 
as he himself wrote (1887) : 

It is necessary to come to some understanding on the history 
of both these patents before proceeding to that of the later docu- 
ments which Glamorgan produced in Ireland. As Mr. Round 
says, if both or either of these were forged in i66o, 3 there is an 
end of Glamorgan's credit, and the warrants which he produced 
to justify his conduct in Ireland must be regarded with grave 
suspicion. 4 

1 Zuylichem to Jermyn, 6 Feb. 1645 (N.S.) ; Groen van 
Prinsterer, and Ser., vol. IV. p. 127. 2 Ibid. p. 125. 

3 I am not responsible for this date. 

4 E.H.R., II. 688. 



To the historian, Glamorgan's dukedom and the 
documents connected with it are of interest only 
for their bearing on " the main question at issue," 
as Mr. Gardiner terms it, " Glamorgan's actual 
mission to Ireland in 1645." To quote his own 
summary of the case : 

It is well known that in the course of that year he signed a 
peace with the Irish, the particulars of which he did not com- 
municate to the Lord Lieutenant, and that he produced to them 
certain documents signed by Charles which, as he contended, 
authorized him to enter upon a secret negotiation. 1 

It will be desirable to t commence by setting forth 
in order the letters, instructions, and powers pro- 
ceeding from the king, when he had resolved on 
despatching Glamorgan to Ireland. Their dates 
are of importance, and still more so are the authori- 
ties upon which the documents rest. For these 
latter differ widely in character. 


(i) 27 Dec. 1644. Letter from Charles to 
Ormond announcing that Glamorgan (" Lord 
Herbert ") was coming. 2 

1 English Historical Review, p. 695 (pp. 695-708 of Mr. 
Gardiner's article relate to the Irish negotiations). 
8 Letter in Carte's Ormond. 



(2) 2 Jan. 1645. Instructions to Glamorgan, 
giving him powers. 1 

(3) 5 Jan. 1645. Warrant granting to Gla- 
morgan (as Lord Herbert) lands to the value 

Of 40,OOO. 2 

(4) 6 Jan. 1645. Warrant for preparing signed 
bill creating the marquis of Worcester duke 
of Somerset. 8 

(5) 6 Jan. 1645. Commission to Glamorgan 
to levy troops " vel in nostro Ibernias regno, 
aut aliis quibusvis partibus transmarinis." 4 

(6) 10 Jan. 1645. Letter from Charles to 
Worcester, referring gratefully to his " sonnes 
endeavours." 5 

(7) 12 Jan. 1645. Wide powers to Glamorgan 6 
(for his Continental schemes, according to Mr. 
Gardiner) . 

This group of 2-12 January stands by itself. It 
is here collected, I believe, for the first time ; 
but even now it may not be complete. The 
earldom of Glamorgan, for which the signed bill 

1 Dircks, p. 73 (nature of the document itself not stated). 

2 Signet Office Docquet Book (March 1663-4), fo. 293. 

3 Now in possession of the duke of Beaufort (Historical MSS. 
Report, XII. 9, p. 14 ; Dircks, p. 104). 

4 Only known from the Nuncio's Memoirs (Lord Leicester's 
MS,fo. 713). 

Report ut supra (from duke of Beaufort's MSS.), p. 14 ; 
Dircks, p. 103 (undated). 

6 " Dircks, p. 79," is the authority cited by Mr. Gardiner ; but 
Dircks merely copied the text from " Birch and others " ! Birch 
(Inquiry, p. 48) cites for it "Nuncio's memoirs, fo. 715, and 
Carte, vol. I. p. 554." 



reached the signet office so mysteriously in the 
following April, was, according to my own sug- 
gestion, 1 probably granted (though not certified) at 
this very time. , 

We have next a further group of documents, of 
which the existence is only known to us from sub- 
sequent allusion : 

(1) "A commission to coin money anywhere 
in the king's dominions, 2 and to impower 
others to do the same ; to name one Secretary 
of State, a Treasurer, either the Attorney or 
Solicitor-General, and two of the Privy Coun- 
cil in England ; 3 and to make concessions in 
point of religion in Ireland, by way of sup- 
plement to the Lord Lieutenant's authority." 

(2) " Among other patents and commissions 
signed by the King and brought by the Earl 
of Glamorgan from England, there is one 
appointing him Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 
upon the expiration of the Marquis of Or- 
monde's term of holding that post, or in case 
the Marquis should, by any fault, deserve to 
be removed from it." 4 

1 Genealogist, April 1898. 

1 This is referred to by Glamorgan (then Worcester) in his 
letter of 1 1 June 1660, as part of his Commission the Com- 
mission, as Mr. Gardiner imagined (until the appearance of my 
criticism in the Athen&um) of I April 1644 in which Commission, 
however, no such power is found. 

3 It would be interesting to learn if Mr. Gardiner believes even 
this to be genuine. 

4 Nuncio to Pamphili 21 Sept. 1646, in Nuncio's Memoirs, 



It should be observed that the first of these 
(which may, from the text, be one or more) is 
known to us only from " a paper in Italian," pre- 
sented by Glamorgan to the Nuncio, and headed : 

Patents and Commissions granted to me by the King my 
Master, with which I desire to serve the Catholic religion, the 
Apostolic see," etc., etc. 1 

He had already communicated to the Nuncio the 
famous warrant of 1 2 March and the king's letter 
of 30 April, which, we shall find, he treated as his 
powers. 2 The above " paper " was only intended 
to display to the Nuncio his influence with the 
king. 3 

To the above second group we cannot assign a 

It will be best to treat as a third group these two 
letters from Charles to Glamorgan : 

fo. 1,376 (Inquiry ', pp. 2534). This is fully accepted by Mr. 
Gardiner in his History , where he adds the gloss that the fault 
meant " in the event of his persisting in his refusal to carry on 
the negotiation on the lines indicated by his last instructions " 
(II. 165). Writing to Ormond, 29 Sept. 1646, when this pre- 
tension had leaked out, Glamorgan evasively claimed only " a 
promise from the king " to that effect. Digby, who was in the 
confidence of the king, queen, and prince, wrote that " the fool " 
had certainly " forged new powers from his Majesty to take upon 
him the command at least of Munster, if not of Ireland " (Digby 
to Ormond, 18 Oct. 1646). 

1 Nuncio's Memoirs, fo. 1,004 (Inquiry, p. 79). 

2 Ibid. fos. 998-1,002 (Inquiry, p. 77). 

3 According to Birch, it " particularly mentions the patent of 
I April 1644" (impugned by me) but not (unless the Inquiry 
omits it) the Lord Lieutenancy. 




(1) 12 Feb. 1645. Letter to Glamorgan from 
Oxford, urging him to hasten his departure, 
and sending him " the blue ribbon and a 
warrant for the title of duke of Somerset." l 

(2) 12 March 1645. Letter to Glamorgan 
from Oxford, expressing surprise that he has 
not started. 2 

Last of all is a fourth group, containing the 
special powers to which Glamorgan referred the 
Nuncio as his authority for the Irish Catholics : 


(1) 12 March 1645. Warrant pledging 
Charles to ratify and perform " whatsoever " 
Glamorgan should promise them. 

(2) 30 April 1645. Letter to the Nuncio 
pledging Charles " a perfectioner ce que a 
quoy il [Glamorgan] s'obligera en nostre 

nom." 3 

The question we have now to consider is : what 
were the powers really granted by Charles to 
Glamorgan, either in written documents or, secretly, 
by word of mouth ? 

1 Dircks, p. 74. 

3 Dircks, p. 75. Both these letters (with others printed by 
Dircks) are strangely omitted in the Report to the Historical 
MSS. Commission, as if they were no longer to be found at 

3 The authority for these two documents, which are of the 
utmost importance in the matter, will be fully discussed below. 



The issue in this famous controversy was, at 
first, crude enough. Did Glamorgan forge all the 
documents he produced, or were they all genuine ? 
Did Charles I. intend to make concessions to the 
Catholics, or did he not ? Such were the questions 
that men asked, and undertook to answer. But 
the historian of to-day replies Distinguo. If 
Glamorgan forged one or more of his documents, 
the rest may yet be genuine : Charles, again, may 
never have intended to offer what Glamorgan 
promised, and yet he may have intended to make 
certain concessions. 

It is here that Mr. Gardiner has rendered an 
inestimable service to the student by narrowing the 
controversy to certain points and clearing the 
ground of others. On the one hand, he has 
shown that, of all the warrants and commissions 
granted to Glamorgan, only that of 12 March 
1645 was rea lly cited by him as the power for 
his famous treaty ; on the other, he has shown 
(conclusively, I think) that " the two concessions " 
which Ormond refused, and which Glamorgan 
granted in his Treaty 1 (25 August 1645) were 
concessions which Charles cannot possibly have 
authorized him verbally to make, since the king 
had strenuously objected to them throughout. 2 

Mr. Gardiner himself put forward an avowedly 
novel explanation of the whole difficulty : 

1 Mr. Gardiner describes them as "(i) the surrender to the 
catholics of the churches in their possession, and (2) the abandon- 
ment of the jurisdiction of the protestant clergy over the 
catholics." 2 E. H. R. y II. pp. 699-700, 702, 703-4, 707-8. 

401 D D 


On one side it has been held that these documents were forged 
by Glamorgan, but the prevailing opinion has been that Charles 
really authorized him to make the secret treaty, and mendaciously 
disavowed him when the truth lurked 1 out. I now propose to 
show that neither of these views is correct, and that all the 
evidence consistently points to an explanation of a different 
character from either. 2 

That explanation is that Charles 

merely meant him to assist the lord lieutenant, and to use his own 
zeal and opportunities as a catholic with the confederates whilst 
he was guided by Ormond's judgment. 3 

The earl, in fact, was merely to be a go-between ; 
" Ormond might, as he desired [to do], keep in 
the background and guide Glamorgan with that 
judgment in which Charles acknowledged his new 
emissary to be deficient." 4 

Of this explanation I will only say that, to me 
as to Mr. Gardiner, all the evidence seems to point 
in that direction. But I think that Mr. Gardiner 
might have made his case at once clearer and 
stronger. To understand clearly the part Glamorgan 
was intended to play, we must remember that, in 
all this business, the difficulty was to persuade the 
Catholics that concessions which Ormond was 
only privately empowered to grant would be 
subsequently ratified by the king. Therefore, 
apart from Ormond's reluctance to mix himself up 
in the matter at all (the point on which Mr. 
Gardiner dwells), we have the Catholics' anxiety 
to make sure of the concessions, intensified by the 

1 (?) leaked. 2 E. H. ., II. p. 695. 

3 Ibid. p. 696. 4 Ibid. 



fact that Ormond was a sturdy Protestant. 1 If 
Glamorgan, a zealous Catholic (" ter Catholicus ") 
and a man high in the king's favour, could person- 
ally pledge himself that Charles would ratify 
what Ormond did, his co-religionists would more 
willingly believe the concessions real. And this is 
what the king commissioned him to do. 2 

Again, Mr. Gardiner might fairly have appealed 
to the letter from Charles to Ormond, when the 
secret treaty was discovered, and to the important 
letter (if genuine) from Charles to Glamorgan 3 
(12 March 1645), distinctly treating the earl not 
as a plenipotentiary, but as subordinate to Ormond. 
From first to last, on this at least, Charles is abso- 
lutely consistent : he never authorized Glamorgan, 
he says, " to treat independently of Ormond.'' 4 

What then, I ask, was the state of affairs ? 
Glamorgan, arriving in Ireland, 5 finds negotiations 

1 Rinuccini's words on this point are very interesting. He 
denies that the hope of Ormond's conversion, entertained at 
Rome, " has any foundation, as the dogmas taught by the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury are firmly implanted in his mind, and I 
know that he has several times declared in private the impossibility 
of believing two articles in the Catholic creed, viz. : the presence 
of Christ in the sacrament, and the authority of the Roman 
pontiff" (Embassy, p. 136 ; Nunxiatura, p. 106). The italics are 
mine. The said archbishop must be Laud. 

2 " First, you may engage your estate, interest, and credit, that 
we will most really and punctually perform any our promises to 
the Irish," etc., etc. (E. H. ., p. 697). 

3 Mr. Gardiner, I find, does quote this letter in his History. 
He may have overlooked it when he wrote his article. 

The actual words are Mr. Gardiner's (E. H. R., p. 697). 
5 Mr. Gardiner writes that he " arrived at Dublin in August " 
(1645) ; but so early as 23 June Charles wrote to the earl 



at a standstill, because " Ormond refused to grant " 
the confederates' " request for the abolition of the 
jurisdiction of the king or of the clergy, and for 
the retention of the churches." 1 Glamorgan there- 
upon leaves Ormond, follows the confederate 
delegates who had withdrawn to Kilkenny, and, 
on August 25, makes a secret treaty with their 
Supreme Council, conceding both the points 
which, as he and they knew, Ormond refused to 

Now what, under these circumstances, would be 
the first question that the confederates would ask 
him ? They would ask to see his powers for treat- 
ing independently of Ormond. Glamorgan, there- 
upon, produced precisely what was wanted, the 
famous warrant of 12 March ; and this was in- 
corporated in the treaty as his authority for making 
it. That he himself appealed to it as empowering 
him to act independently is certain. 2 Nor can I 
conceive it possible that any one would read it 

But, in that case, what becomes of Mr. Gardiner's 
theory ? There are two ways of meeting the 
difficulty, assuming that theory to be sound. Mr. 
Gardiner, on the one hand, urged that " these 

expressing his pleasure that he " was gone for Ireland " (E. H. R. y 
p. 701). He may therefore have arrived somewhat earlier. 
1 E. H. R., p. 703. 

"Est mihi potestas in Ibernia faciendi concessiones (in 
Proregis supplementum) Catholicorum gratia, . . . idque 
sine relations ad ullum alium " (Nuncio's Memoirs, fo. 1,004). 
" This evidently refers," Mr. Gardiner writes, " to the powers of 
12 March." 



powers do not contemplate any action independent 
of the lord lieutenant." l I, on the contrary, shall 
hold that they do, but that they were forged by 
Glamorgan for that express purpose. 

Although Mr. Gardiner has done so much to 
clear the issue by fixing our attention on the 
warrant of 1 2 March, as the document in virtue 
of which Glamorgan made his treaty, it is necessary 
to observe that Glamorgan himself, when insisting 
on his powers to the Nuncio, placed on a level 
with that warrant the king's letter of 30 April, 
sent through himself to the Nuncio. Writing on 
6 Feb. 1645-6 he proposed to the latter to send 

the articles agreed on between his Holiness and Sir Kenelm 
Digby to the King my master, in the form of an agreement made 
between your Lordship and me, by virtue of the authority given 
me by his Majesty and of the security given your Lordship by the 
King's own letter? 

Again, in another letter, very shortly afterwards, 
he urges the Nuncio thus : 

whom I beseech to consider the authority granted your Lord- 
ship by his Holiness, and to recall to your memory the letter 
written by the King my master to your Lordship and my powers for 
treating with your Lordship. 3 

Glamorgan would, most naturally, lay stress upon 
this letter, for it afforded precisely that independent 
confirmation of his warrant of 1 2 March of which 
he found the need in dealing with the cautious 
Nuncio. Its reference to himself ran thus : 

1 E. H. R., p. 699. 2 Inquiry, p. 157. 3 Ibid. p. 175. 



avec qui ce que vous resolvez, nous nous y tiendrons oblige'z, 
et 1'acheverons a son retour. Ses grandes merites nous obligent 
a la confidence que sur tous nous avons en luy . . . rien 
ne manquera de nostre cost6 a perfectionner ce que a quoy il 
s'obligera en nostre nom, au prix des faveurs receues par vos 
moyens. Fiez vous doncques a luy. 1 

Nothing could be more sweeping than this. 
Glamorgan is treated as a plenipotentiary, and 
Ormond absolutely ignored. There can be no 
question that the Nuncio would attach great im- 
portance to this private letter of Charles, if it 
indeed was what it professed to be. 2 But was it ? 
He himself had his doubts. He writes to Rome 
(27 Dec. 1645) tnat 

The Earl of Glamorgan, after having showed me two patents 
in which the King gives him secret but full powers to conclude 
a peace with the Irish . . . presented to me a letter directed 
to myself from his Majesty, in the ordinary form sealed with a 
small seal in two places with the superscription in French and 
dated 3Oth of April last. . . . 3 

This letter has raised a variety of doubts in my mind, as I 
cannot understand why in the month of April, when the King 
was as yet not much cast down, he should have shown such a 
desire for peace and assistance from Ireland or why he should 
have given such full powers to Glamorgan. 4 

1 RintKCtnFs Embassy, p. 104. Also Inquiry, p. 29. 

2 Glamorgan appealed to it as " propriam regis epistolam " 
(Nuncio's Memoirs, fo. 1,069 ; E. H. R., p. 707. The author 
of the Nuncio's Memoirs observes that Glamorgan "nedum 
facultates superius positas, quibus ad pacem contrahendam munitus 
esset, ostendit, sed etiam literas eidem a Rege Gallice scriptas 

quibus Regem manu propria subscripsisse video." 
Fo. 998 (Inquiry, p. 27). 

3 " literas a sua Majestate ad me ipsum directas ; . . . 
datas praeterito Aprilis die 30" (Memoirs, fo. 1,002). 

4 Embassy, pp. 103, 105 ; Nunziatura, pp. 81-83. 



Apart from its contents, the date arouses grave 
misgivings as to this letter. Glamorgan had been 
wrecked on the Lancashire coast 25 March, and, 
says Mr. Gardiner, 

Here arises a fresh question, which has often been asked, but 
never answered. Why is it that if Glamorgan was trusted with 
a secret mission of such tremendous importance, he was allowed 
to stay in England for three months after his shipwreck, appa- 
rently without the slightest attempt being made to hasten his 
departure ? I, at all events, find no difficulty. As soon as Charles 
became aware that Ormond did not insist on resigning, and was 
quite ready to take up the negotiation on Charles's terms, there 
was no immediate necessity for Glamorgan's presence in Dublin. 
I must leave it to those who think that Glamorgan was to have 
given a secret consent to much more than this to explain his delay 
as best they can. 1 

Mr. Gardiner holds that the whole negotiation 
was now left to Ormond, and that the first inti- 
mation of any hitch is -found in his letter of 8 
May. 2 And yet it was during these very weeks, 
when Charles believed (in Mr. Gardiner's view) 
that the negotiation could be carried through with- 
out Glamorgan's help, that he is represented as 
writing this letter (30 April) referring the Nuncio, 
when he should arrive, to Glamorgan alone as his 
plenipotentiary authorized to negotiate secretly ! 

So much for the date. But indeed it is waste 
of time to discuss this letter seriously. For Mr. 
Gardiner does not attempt to defend its authenticity. 
He dismisses it in a footnote so amazing that it 
must be quoted verbatim : 

I have taken no notice of a letter from the king presented by 

1 E. H. ., p. 700. 2 Ibid. p. 701. 



Glamorgan to the nuncio. It has been correctly said that its 
language and its date are inconsistent with the supposition that it 
proceeded from Charles himself. The obvious explanation is that 
it was written by Glamorgan's secretary on a blank signed by the 
king. Some criticisms on this and other documents connected 
with this affair would lead one to suppose that those who make 
them imagine that Charles wrote formal documents with his own 
hand. The flowery language of the patents is no doubt traceable 
to Glamorgan ; but that is only what is to be expected. 1 

It is difficult to comment on this note in lan- 
guage that would not be indecorous in dealing with 
so pre-eminent an authority. In spite of its almost 
contemptuous allusion to those who have criticised 
this letter, we must remember what the Nuncio 
received from Glamorgan's hands. It was no for- 
mal document, but a strictly secret letter, 2 ending 

Vostre Amis 


De nostre Cour d'Oxford 
Le o esme d'Avril 

Of what it professed to be, there is no question 
whatever. And Glamorgan, we have seen, more 
than once, referred the Nuncio to it as of equal 
consequence with his warrant. Yet Mr. Gardiner 
calmly tells us that, date and all, it was concocted 
by Glamorgan's secretary, and implies that this was 
quite regular and not in any way a fraud ! 

To the Nuncio it could only be one of two 
things, a private letter to himself from the king, 

* E.H.R.,p. 7 os. 

2 " combien il importe que se tient secret, il n'y a pas besoign 
de vous persuader, ny plus de recommander," etc., etc. 

3 I take the text from Rinuccini's Embassy. 



written from Oxford on 30 April, or, as he anx- 
iously suspected, a mere 'fraud. 

The obvious inference from this document was 
duly drawn in the last century : 

If his Majesty had wrote his name in a blank in England, the 
letter itself was certainly wrote in Ireland. This undoubted 
forgery proves plainly that the person who was guilty of it would 
not probably have scrupled any other. 1 

Certainly the secretary who concocted on a blank 
(as the Nuncio feared and Mr. Gardiner admits) 
the Oxford letter of 30 April might equally well 
have concocted on a blank the Oxford warrant of 
12 March. The effect of the two documents 
was the same : they, and they alone, pledged the 
king to perform anything that Glamorgan might 

But, before proceeding to the warrant, it may be 
well to speak of that mysterious letter to the Pope, 
concerning which the Nuncio writes, in the same 
despatch as above (27 Dec. 1645) : 

The Earl . . . allowed me to see a letter from the King 
consisting of a quarter of a sheet, folded in the smallest possible 
compass, and directed to his Holiness thus : " Beatissimo Patri 
Innocentio Decimo," but he neither explained its contents nor 
when it was to be sent. 2 

The reason for mentioning this letter is that 
there exists at Badminton a mysterious letter " in 
a formal clerk's hand," beginning " Beatissime 
Domine " and ending impossibly : 

1 See Inquiry, p. 330. 2 Rinuccini's Embassy, p. 103. 



Datum apud curiam nostram pene carcerem in Insula de Wight, 
2O Aprilis 1649. 

Sanctitatis Vestrae 

devinctissimus CHARLES R. 

Three months after his head was cut off, Charles 
here urges " His Holiness " to place faith in (Gla- 
morgan now) the marquis of Worcester, "omnium 
subditorum nostrorum optime merito." 1 On the 
document some one has written : " It is perhaps a 
forgery." For us, it is chiefly of interest for its 
blundered date, suggestive, as this is, of the earlier 

And now at length we come to the warrant, 
"the famous Warrant of 12 March." 

When I was at Balliol, I once attended a lecture 
on Thucydides by Jowett, where he had to deal 
with a famous crux on which we hoped for dis- 
quisition. But in this we were disappointed, " This 
passage," the Master piped, " should be taken 
thus." It is somewhat in the same spirit that Mr. 
Gardiner treats the warrant : 

" That this document was genuine there can be no reasonable 
doubt " (E. H. R., p. 698). 

But that is precisely the question that we have 
to discuss. 

Mr. Gardiner, unfortunately, could not say 
what had become of the original. 2 As a matter 
of fact, it is now preserved in the library of 

1 Hist. MSS. Report, XII. 9, p. 33. 

2 " What became of it afterwards I have been unable to discover, 
but I have in my possession a photograph taken of it by Mr. 
Bruce whilst it was in Canon Tierney's possession. . . . Un- 
fortunately the photograph itself is now too faded to admit of 



Ushaw College. 1 The superscribed "Charles R." 
is doubtless written by the king, and Mr. Gardiner 
adds : " The only question is whether the body 
of the document is not also in Charles' hand- 
writing." 2 Well, this is a point on which any 
one can satisfy himself by examining the facsimile 
prefixed to Mr. Gardiner's article. One has only 
to compare the king's signature with the " Charles " 
written below it to see that the two handwritings 
are frankly and glaringly distinct. But this, of 
course, merely proves that the body of the docu- 
ment may have been written, without the king's 
knowledge, on a blank having his signature. 

We have, therefore, to ask ourselves whether it 
was so written ; for if so, it can only be described 
as a deliberate and wilful fraud. Now Glamorgan 
comes before us as a man under grave suspicion. 
The king's letter produced by him in connection 
with this warrant was, we have seen, admittedly 
fabricated by this very process. And his two 
patents of the previous year have been shown by 
me, I hope, to have been sheer forgeries. It is, 
then, antecedently probable that he would concoct 
this warrant if he found it essential for his purpose. 

reproduction by photography, but a facsimile prepared by the 
ordinary process is published with the present article " (pp. 

1 First Report on Historical MSS. (1874), p. 92: "It is 
signed by the king at the top, the Royal Signet is affixed, and it is 
endorsed, ' the Earl of Glamorgan's especial Warrant for Ireland.' 
There is here also the draft of a somewhat similar document 
in a different form, not executed." This last remark is suggestive. 

2 E. H. R., pp. 698-9. 



1 have argued above that it was essential, for 
without it he had no power to treat indepen- 
dently of Ormond. Mr. Gardiner urges that 

powers are limited by instructions, and that, however enormous 
is the authority conveyed, Glamorgan would be bound only to use 
them in assisting Ormond, as he was there directed to do." l 

It is here that I definitely join issue. If this 
warrant of 1 2 March represents his powers under 
the Instructions (2 Jan.), it ought to have been 
given him at the same time, in the first group of 
documents. Had it been given him at that date, 
Mr. Gardiner's argument might have been urged 
with at least some force. But it does not make 
its belated appearance till fully two months after- 
wards, at a date when Glamorgan ought to have 
been gone, for some time, on his mission. But 
this incomprehensible delay is at once explained 
if the earl forged it as a subsequent enlargement, 
by the king, of his powers, intended to override 
the instructions of January 2. 

Let us place the two side by side : 


you may engage your es- ... Authorise and give 

tate, interest, and credit, that you power to treate and conclude 

we will most readily and punc- with the Confederat Romaine 

tuelly perform any our promises Catholikes in our Kingdome of 

to the Irish, and as it is neces- Ireland if upon necessity any 

sary to conclude a peace sud- thing be to be condescended 

denly, whatsoever shall be con- unto wherein our Lieutenant 

1 E. H. R., p. 699. By " there " is meant the instructions of 

2 January, though, by an unlucky slip of the pen, Mr. Gardiner 
describes them as "of 12 Jan.," the date of quite another docu- 



sented unto by our lieutenant, the can not so well be scene in as 
marquis of Ormond, we will not fitt for us at the present 
die a thousand deaths rather publikely to owne and therefore 
than disannul or break it ; and we charge you to proceede ac- 
if upon necessity anything to be cording to this our warrant with 
condiscended unto and yet the all possible secresie, and for 
lord marquis not willing to be whatsoever you shall engage your 
seen therein, or nott fit for us selfe upon such valuable con- 
at the present publicly to own, siderations as you in your iudge- 
do you endeavour to supply the ment 1 shall deeme fitt, we promise 
same. in (sic) the worde of a Kinge and 

a Christian to ratifie and per- 
forme the same that shall be 
graunted by you and under your 
hand and seale, etc. etc. 

Now the point I wish to emphasize, to the very 
utmost of my power, is that the warrant of 12 
March is so far from being governed, as Mr. 
Gardiner holds, by the Instructions of 2 Janu- 
ary, that its very object is, on the contrary, to 
supplant and supersede them. It will be seen 
that both the above extracts refer to absolutely 
the same matter, namely the concessions to be 
made to the Irish. But while the first document 
pledges the king to grant only " whatsoever shall 
be consented unto " by Ormond, the second 
wholly ignores Ormond, 2 treats Glamorgan as a 
plenipotentiary, and solemnly pledges the king to 
" ratifie and performe " anything whatsoever that 
the earl may grant. 3 

1 Of which Charles had said in his famous postcriptto Ormond : 
" I will not answer for his judgement " (E. H. R., p. 695). 

2 By which I mean that it wholly ignores the necessity of any 
consent of his. 

3 I draw the same inference from the words " power to treate 



This, as we have seen, was Glamorgan's view of 
his warrant ; and it certainly is mine. But I go 
further. If Mr. Gardiner is right in holding that 
the document is genuine, and that Glamorgan 
offended only in making undue concessions and 
acting independently of Ormond, why did not 
the king adopt this defence when the secret 
treaty was discovered ? Why did he command 
Nicholas, when writing to Ormond and the Coun- 
cil, to impugn the document itself, if, as Mr. 
Gardiner holds, it was not the document that was to 
blame, but the use which Glamorgan made of it ? 
Is not this letter an admission that the warrant 
would, if genuine, have given Glamorgan, as he 
claimed, independent powers ? 

Let me now explain my theory, and show on 
what I agree with Mr. Gardiner and on what 
we differ. We are absolutely agreed in holding 
that the earl was not empowered to make the two 
concessions which he did, and that he knew he 
was doing wrong. As Nicholas wrote to Ormond 
and the Council : 

The Lord Herbert did not acquaint the Lord Lieutenant with 
any part of it before he concluded l with the said Roman 
Catholics nor ever advertised his Majesty, the Lord Lieuten- 
ant or any of his Council here or there what he had done in 
an affair of so great moment and consequence four months before, 
till it was discovered by accident. This doth not sound like good 
meaning, and I am sure is not fair dealing. 2 

and conclude." It is significant, perhaps, that this phrase is also 
found in Glamorgan's letter of 1660 : "my powers to treat and 
conclude " (E. H. R., II. 698). 1 Note again the use of this word. 
2 Carte's Ormond, III. p. 446 (No. 426). 



To this I may add that the very man who had 
drawn up the secret treaty was instructed to deny 
its existence to the Nuncio, till the latter could 
reach Ireland and be urged to secrecy. In the 
matter, by the earl. 1 Mr. Gardiner draws the 
same conclusion from the " defeasance " which ac- 
companied the treaty. 2 Glamorgan knew that he 
had done wrong, but was sanguine that he would 
be forgiven, if he only revealed what he had done 
after he had brought the Irish army to the king's 
help : 

When once there was an Irish army in England, and perhaps 
an army of continental catholics as well, Charles would forget 
his scruples. 3 

Where we differ is that I believe the earl's 
offence to have consisted in forging the warrant 
by which alone he could claim to make the treaty. 
It seems clear that he possessed " blanks " bearing 
the king's sign manual and the impression of his 
pocket signet. 4 There was nothing to prevent his 

1 " This same gentleman (Barren) tells me that in the General 
Assembly nothing had been concluded about a peace ; the truce 
only was tacitly continued, and that no more will be done before 
my arrival. In proof of this he brought me a letter from the 
Earl of Glamorgan," etc. Letter from Nuncio 5 Oct. 1645 
(Embassy, p. 74). 2 E. H. R., p. 704. 3 Ibid. p. 705. 

4 "facultas Glamorgano concessa, quae tota consistebat in foliis 
albis et concessionibus sigillo Regis cubiculario et private signatis, 
quibus sua Majestas non poterat legitime obligari" (Nuncio's Me- 
moirs; Inquiry, p. 334). An interesting illustration of this prac- 
tice of giving " blanks," ready signed, is afforded by fourteen 
being sent, in March, 1646-7, to Ormond himself by the Queen 
and Prince. The fact is cited in Inquiry, pp. 3367, on the 
authority of Father Leyburn. 



secretary writing the warrant on one of these, 
without having actually " counterfeited " the king's 
hand. Digby and Nicholas, secretaries themselves, 
naturally seized on the suspicious fact that the 
warrant describes itself as given " under our signet 
and royal signature." As a matter of fact, it only 
bears the impression of the pocket or private 
signet, which was quite devoid of such authority 
as the signet. Digby, in his letter to Nicholas 
(4 Jan. 1646), writes : 

I believe you will be as much startled as I was to find the 
signet mentioned in my Lord of Glamorgan's transactions. But it 
seems that was mistaken, and that he now pretends to some kind 
of authority under the king's pocket signet, which I certainly 
believe to be as false as I know the other. 1 

Nicholas, writing to Ormond and the Council 
(31 Jan. 1646), observes that 

The warrant, whereby his Lordship pretends to be authorized 
to treat with the Roman Catholics there, is not sealed with the 
signet, as it mentions. 

To Ormond himself he points out that 

his Lordship's pretended warrant and power is alledged to be 
(confirmed to him under the signet), though there be no signet 
to it. 

That their criticism was sound is seen when 
we compare the warrant of March 12 with that 
of Jan. I2. 2 

1 Inquiry, p. 105. 

8 Printed opposite one another in Inquiry, pp. 20, 21. 



12 Jan. 12 March. 

. . . your sufficient war- ... a sufficient warrant, 

rant. Given at our court at Ox- Given at our court at Oxford 

ford under our sign manual and under our signet and royal signa- 

private signet^ ture. 

I do not undertake to say that even the earlier 
document is genuine, but at least it illustrates 
the difference between the private and the official 
" signet." 2 

There is another point which has, I believe, 
escaped notice hitherto. The unhappy school 
of thought to which Charles belonged led him, 
if he wished to be believed, to make a statement 
in writing, as in his letter to Ormond, " upon 
the faith of a Christian." 3 This, at least, he 
regarded as binding. Now in the warrant of 
12 March Mr. Gardiner's own facsimile makes 
him " promise in the worde of a King and a 
Christian." 4 Is it credible that Charles himself, 
or even an English secretary, could perpetrate 
this blunder ? But if the warrant was written 
by " a Romish Priest " for Glamorgan, 5 he might 
have easily made a slip suggested by a Latin 
idiom. 6 

1 This is from the text as given by Carte and Birch. 

2 The Nuncio, as we have seen above, fully realized that the 
earl's documents were only sealed with the private signet, which 
was not binding on the king. 

3 Letter of 30 Jan. 1645-46 (Carte's Ormond). 

4 Mr. Gardiner escapes the difficulty by printing it (doubt- 
less from oversight) "on the word " (p. 698). 

5 Cf. Inquiry, pp. 330, 333. 

6 " in verbo veritatis," which Ducange describes as a " sacra- 
menti formulam " specially used by princes. In the letter from 

417 E E 


It can hardly be necessary to labour the point 
further. What remains to be done is to consider 
how the conclusion I have drawn affects the 
characters of Glamorgan and of Charles. 

Fantastic, ardent, " feather-brained," the earl 
is a fascinating study. He has a " scheme " for 
reducing the Rock of Cashel, if he is but allowed 
jTioo " and four or five barrels of gunpowder " ; l 
he has a " method " for enabling Charles to 
employ him, even after the great exposure ; 2 and 
"when first with his corporall eyes he did see 
finished a perfect tryall of his water-commanding- 
engine," he records an "ejaculatory " prayer " that 
he may not be puffed up by this and many more 
unheard-of and unparalleled inventions." 5 He is at 
all times ready to promise money, artillery, ships, 
and men, till Digby cynically exclaims, " Lord, 
increase our faith ! " And yet with all his rash 
assurance, his colossal but naive vanity, he was filled 
with a chivalrous devotion to the causes of his 
church and of his king. It will not, I hope, be 
deemed unfair to suggest that his Catholic and 
foreign training may have imbued him with the 
faith that " the end justifies the means," and that 
he may have applied that maxim in the case of his 

Charles to Glamorgan, 12 March 1645, alleged by Dircks (p. 75) 
to exist at Badminton, the king pledges himself "on (sic) the 
word of a king and a Christian " (compare the formula in the 
warrant) ; but Mr. Gardiner, misquoting Dircks, omits the words 
"and a Christian" (History, II. 175). 

1 Inquiry, p. 221. 2 29 March 1646 (Ibid. p. 189). 

3 Hist. MSS. Report, ut supra, p. 49. 



secret treaty. As Ormond finely phrased it, in a 
stately and dignified rebuke : 

I understand not what your Lordship's authorities from his 
Majesty are, or what ways you mean to take to serve him ; 
and therefore can give no judgment of either. ... In 
the mean time, I must take the freedom of a better subject than 
most your Lordship meets with there, and of one that wishes 
you happiness, to advise you to be careful how you affirm your 
desires to serve the King to be powers from him. 1 

The paramount necessity of obtaining an Irish 
army for the king must have overridden, in his 
mind, every other thought, while his optimism, 
doubtless, led him to believe that, in gratitude, 
his master would confirm the concessions he 
had made to his church. Only success, in short, 
was needed. As Dr. Jameson exclaimed, to Sir 
William Harcourt's horror, he knew that, had 
he succeeded, he would have been forgiven. 

As for Charles, on whose character this famous 
question has always been held to have so grave a 
bearing, Mr. Gardiner has, at least, rejected the 
gravamen of the charge against him, namely that 
he gave instructions to Glamorgan to make the 
concessions in the secret treaty behind Ormond's 
back. 2 He does, however, charge him with 
shuffling in his disavowal. 

In one document, and in one only, does Charles 
seem to shuffle in the matter of Glamorgan's 

1 Ormond to Glamorgan, 6 Oct. 1646 (at a later stage in 
the negotiations). 

2 "That Glamorgan had secret instructions from Charles, 
empowering him to act as he did, is a notion which may be 
promptly dismissed " (History, III. 34). 



powers. In his formal despatch to Ormond and 
the Council, he explains with what object Gla- 
morgan was sent : 

and i withal knowing his interest with the Roman Catholic 
party to be very considerable, we thought it not unlikely that 
you might make good use of him by employing that interest in 
persuading them to a moderation, and to rest satisfied, upon his 
engagement also, with those above mentioned concessions, of 
which, in the condition of our affairs, you could give them no 
other than a private assurance. To this end (and with the 
strictest limitations that we could enjoin him merely to those 
particulars concerning which we had given you secret instruc- 
tions, as also even in that to do nothing but by your especial 
directions) it is possible we might have thought fit to have given 
unto the said Earl of Glamorgan such a credential as might give him 
credit with the Roman Catholics, in case you should find occasion 
to make use of him, either as a further assurance unto them of 
what you should privately promise, or in case you should judge it 
necessary to manage those matters, for their greater confidence, 
apart by him, of whom, in regard of his religion and interest, 
they might be the less jealous. This is all and the very bottom 
of what we might have possibly intrusted unto the said Earl of 
Glamorgan in this affair, etc., etc. ... he was bound up 
by our positive commands from doing anything but what you 
should particularly and precisely direct him to do, both in the 
matter and manner of his negotiation. 1 

The words I have italicized, no doubt, have a 
very ugly sound. But do they apply to the famous 
warrant of 1 2 March ? From the great care with 
which, throughout, Charles insists on having made 
his envoy a mere subordinate to Ormond, it is 
clear to me that they cannot. Mr. Gardiner, 
however, has jumped at the conclusion that they 
do, 2 but that this is not a necessary inference is 

1 Despatch of 31 Jan. 1645. 

2 " In a public despatch to the Irish Council he allowed himself 



proved by two letters from the Nuncio. On Dec. 
23, 1645, he writes that Glamorgan made his 

in virtue of two most ample but secret powers . . . given 
by his Majesty to the Earl. 1 

And four days later he writes that the earl 

showed me two patents in which the king gives him secret but 
full powers to conclude a peace with the Irish on whatsoever terms 
he thinks advisable. 2 

But, whatever the Nuncio may here refer to, my 
own suggestion is that, in the above despatch, 
Charles refers to the instructions of 2 January, en- 
titled " Several heads whereupon you our right 
trusty and right well-beloved earl of Glamorgan 
may securely proceed in execution of our com- 
mands." These, if carefully studied, would be 
certainly " a credential," and for such a purpose as 
the king describes. And if it be asked why Charles 
should thus grudgingly own them, it must be 

to cast doubts upon the genuineness of his warrant to Glamorgan 
[the one of March 12 is always intended] by speaking of it as a 
credential which he might possibly have given, whilst he per- 
mitted Nicholas at the same time to call attention to its defects as 
an official document" (History^ III. 47). 

Is it probable that Charles would thus " give himself away " by 
admitting that " he might possibly have given " the warrant of 
12 March, while instructing Nicholas to assail its genuineness 
from its internal evidence ? As I have argued above, if the 
document itself was blameless, what occasion was there to assail 
its genuineness ? 

1 Embassy , p. 95. 

2 Ibid. p. 103. These were irrespective of the king's (alleged) 
letter to the Nuncio (which Siri describes as " credenza "). 



remembered that Ormond's Council were so op- 
posed to the Catholic demands that Ormond had 
had to keep them in the dark as to Charles' letter 
of 27 February (1645) to himself, enlarging his 
concessions. That Charles had given any " cre- 
dential " at all to a Catholic envoy in the matter 
was a fact that he grudged confessing to a Council 
of alarmed Protestants. 

In the preceding paper, dealing with Glamor- 
gan's dukedom, I suggested that the document of i 
April, ' 1 644 ', was developed by him from genuine 
documents of 1645, anc ^ tnat this might be also 
how he produced the warrant of 12 March. 1 
Since doing so, I have found that a precisely 
similar conclusion had been reached by Mr. Gar- 
diner, independently, on another great contested 
document, the " commission J> from Charles L, 
bearing a Great Seal, which Sir Phelim O'Neill 
produced in Ireland 25 Nov. 1641. 

That this document was forged there can be no doubt what- 
ever, 2 but it does not follow that it was not forged upon the lines 
of a real document, sent from Edinburgh by the King to the 
Catholic Lords. 3 

It is necessary to distinguish the motives by 
which Glamorgan was inspired, and to remember 
the policy of the men with whom he had to deal. 
Rinuccini and the Protestant Ormond represented 
the two extremes. Between them stood the 
Supreme Council (of the Confederate Catholics), 

1 p. 391 above. 

2 Compare the equally confident verdict on p. 410 above, 

3 Ed. 1884, vol. X. p. 92. 



far too ready, in the Nuncio's view, to come to 
terms with Ormond and with Charles. From the 
time of his reaching Ireland (1645), ne P en ty 
and stubbornly strove, on the one hand, to extort, 
for the Catholics, more extensive concessions, on 
the other to obtain greater security for the fulfil- 
ment of those concessions. In less than a year the 
situation had developed into his arrest, at Kil- 
kenny, of the leaders of the Supreme Council ( 1 9 
Sept. 1646), for making peace with Ormond, 
while Glamorgan, who had soon become a mere 
puppet in his hands, had sworn " before the most 
holy sacrament " that he would adhere to his party 
" against the marquis of Ormonde and all his 
relations and favourers." 

In dealing, therefore, with the Nuncio, Glamor- 
gan found the need of producing more evidence 
than the Catholic leaders had required. And this 
evidence assumed the form of documents and letters 
intended to prove the absolute confidence reposed 
in him by Charles and the almost unlimited extent 
of his powers. We must consequently look with 
grave suspicion on such evidence as this when 
found in the Nuncio's Memoirs alone. 

Glamorgan's own champions unconsciously reveal 
his ways. We are shown him writing to the 
Nuncio, 6 Feb. 1646, urging the necessity of 
sending, " without the least delay, 3,000 men to 
succour " Chester, while " the other seven thousand 
soldiers" (of the 10,000) need not be sent till they 

1 19 Feb. 1646 (Inquiry ', p. 182, from Nuncio's Memoirs). 



had communicated with the king. 1 Two days later 
(8 Feb.) he writes to Ormond : 

Myself alone having, by the interest and goodwill of the 
Nuncio, gained this point, that three thousand soldiers are designed 
to be sent to the relief of Chester ; and to-morrow or next day 
he is to have the chief management of that proposal in the 
General Assembly. 2 

This was either false or a strange delusion ; the 
Nuncio, so far from supporting this proposal, held 
out stubbornly at the meeting on the gth. It was 
only after Glamorgan's abject submissions to the 
Nuncio on the i6th and igth February that " the 
Nuncio being satisfied with this, went two days 
after to the Assembly, exhorting them ... to 
hasten the three thousand soldiers to the relief of 
Chester." 3 Moreover, having instantly hurried to 
Waterford " to attend the transportation of those 
troops," i he wrote only two days later to the king 
(23 Feb.): 

I am now at Waterford, providing shipping immediately to 
transport 6,000 (sic) foot ; and 4,000 foot are by May to follow 
them. 6 

And on 28 Feb. he similarly wrote to Lord Hop- 
ton, " that the ten thousand men are designed for 

1 Memoirs, fos. 1,066-9 (Inquiry, pp. 157-8). 

3 Ibid. p. 162. *Ibid. p. 183. 4 Ibid. 

5 Ibid. p. 184 (from Rushworth). Mr. Gardiner cites the 
Carte MSS. for yet another letter in which "on February 24 
Glamorgan was able to assure Ormond that not 3,000 but 6,000 
men would be sent, and that he was himself starting for Water- 
ford to expedite their embarkation " (History, III. 153). Yet his 
bargain with the Nuncio was only that 3,000 should be sent and 
7,000 kept back. 



his Majesty's service, six (sic) thousand of which 
are ready for transportation." * 

There is something, in these instances, more 
than sanguine imagination : there is that incor- 
rigible bombast, that vainglorious exaggeration, 
which seems inseparable from everything he writes 
or (in his forgeries) makes others write about 
himself and his performances. The glowing 
recital of his military services in the patent 
alleged to create his dukedom was repeated by 
him in his letter to Albemarle (29 Dec. 166$)? 
and in the speech he proposed to deliver in 
the House of Lords (i666~7). 3 Yet even Dircks, 
his own most ardent panegyrist, dismisses these 
achievements in no sparing terms. 4 It must have 
been, however, on the strength of these perform- 
ances that this amazing man caused himself to be 
depicted " as a Roman general, seated by his lady 
attired in a modern costume of pale blue satin." 

1 Ibid. p. 187. 2 Dircks, p. 279. 

3 " Soe immediately and in eight dayes tyme I raysed six regi- 
ments, fortified Monmouth, Chepstow, and Ragland, 
Garrisoned likewise Cardiffe, Brecknock, Hereford, Goodridge 
Castle, and the Forest of Dean, after I had taken them from the 
enemie" (iath Report Hist. MSS., IX. 62). 

4 " The achievements, as thus recorded, are sufficiently high- 
sounding, but no contemporary historian seems to have considered 
them of sufficient importance to put on record. Neither his own 
letters, nor those of his numerous family and connexions, neither 
political nor religious partizans nor opponents give us a glimpse 
of our general's skill, bravery, and final successes ; while the few 
particulars actually recorded leave but a faint impression as regards 
facts, and a most unfavourable one as regards results. In short, 
in his military capacity he bears a most mythical character " 
(pp. 66-7). 



His Lordship presents a singular appearance in a toga and tight- 
fitting hose of deep scarlet, an ornamented leather jerkin, and 
wearing a wig [?] streaming over his breast and shoulders . . . 
while his left (hand) hangs negligently over the arm of the chair 
in proximity with a mighty sheathed sword. 

His lordship's expression, one may add, is that of 
fatuous complacency. 1 

But more serious is the painful question whether 
the earl " ran straight," whether his statements, 
when unsupported, should always obtain credit. 
Glamorgan, Mr. Gardiner holds, had been in- 
structed by Charles to act in loyal co-operation 
with Ormond, and to be guided by his judgment. 
Yet, having made the secret treaty (25 Aug.) 
behind Ormond's back, he wrote to him (9 Sept.) 
a letter in which 

To prevent Ormond from becoming aware of the real state of 
the case, Glamorgan professed entire ignorance of the requests 
which would now be made by the agents of the Supreme 
Council. 2 

And again, on November 28 

In writing to Ormond Glamorgan not only gave no hint of 
this secret negotiation, but assured him with the most fulsome 
expressions of devotion that he was but carrying out the direc- 
tions which he had received at Dublin. 3 

It is no wonder that Nicholas wrote, in his indig- 
nant letter to Ormond and the Council (31 Jan. 
1646) : 

1 See the frontispiece to Dircks' volume and his description on 
pp. 30, 31. But, from the child's age, I should date the picture 
as not earlier than 1643 or 1644. 

8 Gardiner, History , III. 37. 

3 Ibid. p. 38. 



This doth not sound like good meaning ; and I am sure is not 
fair dealing. 

We again find him, a year later, playing the same 
double game. He writes to Ormond (n Sept. 
1 646) as " Your Excellency's most really affec- 
tionate kinsman and devoted servant/' to assure 
him that he is about to leave Ireland, unless 
Ormond persuades him to remain and prove " my 
affection to your person, to whom my professions 
have been ever real." l Yet, at this very time, he 
was scheming with his foe the Nuncio to supplant 
him as Lord-Lieutenant, and " being desirous of 
advancing himself to the Marquis' post," was 
soliciting the support, for that purpose, of the 
Catholic generals and clergy, who had it " in their 
view to transport the Holy Faith into England by 
their arms," 2 and who were actually in the field 
against Ormond ! Is this the sort of man whose 
statements should command credit ? 

Now that we have seen the startling frauds of 
which the earl was capable, .every document with 
which he had to do is tainted in an expert's eyes. 
It is a singular circumstance that Mr. J. A. Ben- 
nett, in his report on the duke of Beaufort's MSS. 
to the Historical MSS. Commission, 3 prints hardly 
any of the documents given by Dircks as existing 
among the Badminton MSS. What has become 
of the others ? Where, for instance, are the let- 

1 Dircks, p. 179, from Carte MSS. 

2 See Nuncio's letter of 21 Sept. 1646 in Inquiry, pp. 253-6 
(from the Memoirs, fos. 1,376-9). 

3 1 2th Report, IX. pp. 1-115 (1891). 



ters of 12 Feb. and 12 March 1645 - ? I do not 
say that they are not genuine, but we ought to see 
them, if they exist, before deciding the question. 
Mr. Gardiner, although he has visited Badminton, 1 
quotes his documents from Dircks alone, as if that 
writer, though admittedly not qualified for their 
treatment, were an original authority. 2 

It is, however, on the documents quoted from 
the Nuncio's Memoirs alone that the gravest doubt 
must rest. And these are of great importance for 
the attitude assumed by Charles, after the exposure 
of the treaty, towards Glamorgan and his conduct. 

Charles, we must remember, would not be harsh 
to one who had erred from zeal for his cause, who 
had supported him eagerly in the past, and might 
yet help him in his need. But did he, to take a 
definite instance, write to Glamorgan, from New- 
castle (20 July 1646), the extraordinary letter 
that Mr. Gardiner quotes ? Moved by its con- 
tents to the sarcastic comment that " Charles' 
notions of bad faith were all his own," 3 he quotes 
from it this passage : 

If you can raise a large sum of money by pawning my king- 
doms for that purpose, I am content you should do it ; and if I 

1 E. H. R. y II. 688. 

2 See p. 397 above, and compare E. H. R., II. 708, and 
History, III. 48, where he cites ' Dircks ' for an important letter 
of Charles in Harl. MSS. 6,988 (fo.\i<)i), where I found it to be 
of singular character. 

3 History, III. 154. Mr. Gardiner again appeals to it on 
p. 1 60 as "the enthusiastic letter in which Charles had expressed 
his eagerness to place himself in the hands of Glamorgan and 



recover them, I will fully repay that money. And tell the Nuncio 
that if once I can come into his and your hands, which ought to 
be extremely wished for by you both, as well for the sake of 
England as Ireland, since all the rest, as I see, despise me, I will 
do it (Dircks, 174). 

One would certainly imagine, from the reference 
to " Dircks," that the letter was at Badminton. It 
is not a little surprising to find that Dircks merely 
quotes it from Birch's Inquiry (p. 245), where it is, 
in turn, translated from the Latin text in the 
Nuncio's Memoirs (fo. 1,373) ' Although he 
enjoyed the great advantage of access to these 
memoirs, Mr. Gardiner cites this letter from 
c Dircks ' alone. Such treatment of authorities, 
surely, is somewhat out of date. 

But when we turn to the contents of this epistle, 
what are we to say ? We see the king suggesting 
to Glamorgan the " pawning " of his " kingdoms " 
as if they were his watch. Who was to act the 
pawnbroker's part ? And who was to advance the 
" large sum " on the strength of a suggestion in a 
private letter ? For other security there was none. 
Moreover, if a pawnbroker was wanted, why seek 
him in Ireland, when the king's recognised agent 
was, at this time, the queen in France ? But there 
is another question, which is of historical import- 
ance. Mr. Gardiner's charge against the king is 
that, while he was employing Ormond to arrange 
a peace in Ireland, he was eager to place himself 
in the hands of the Nuncio, " whose policy in 
Ireland had crossed Ormond's at every step." * As 

1 History, III. 154-155. 



a matter of fact, the two men were, at this date, 
open foes. This, it will be seen, is a grave charge ; 
but is it true ? 

What are the facts ? Charles had privately in- 
structed Ormond 1 to disregard his formal dispatch 
of June 1 1 (1646) and to hurry on the Irish peace. 2 
Ormond, on July 30, proclaimed the peace, which 
was instantly denounced by the Nuncio. But it 
was to Ormond that Charles looked : 

On Sept. 1 6 he wrote to Ormond, suggesting the seizure and 
fortification of a spot on the Lancashire coast as a means "of 
helping " him " to make use of the Irish assistance." 3 

Mr. Gardiner, indeed, can here be quoted against 
himself. For the situation in the summer of 
1646 resembled that in the spring of 1645. At 
both periods the king had placed the Irish peace 
in Ormond's hands ; and when he did so, Mr. Gar- 
diner holds, Glamorgan was dropped. 4 Still less, 
while looking to Ormond, would Charles en- 
deavour to obtain the peace through the Nuncio, 
Ormond's foe, whose object was not mere tolera- 

1 Ibid. p. 154. 

8 Mr. Gardiner's statements are contradictory, but only by 
a slip : 

III. 151. III. 153. 

" On June 1 1 he had been " On June 24 Ormonde re- 
forced to direct (sic) Ormond to ceived the letter of June n, in 
abandon all further negotiations which Charles forbade (sic) him 
with the rebels." to abstain from further negotia- 


The first passage is the right one. 
8 History, HI. 144. 

4 E. H. R. y II. 7 00 ; History, II. 176. 



tion, but the subjugation of the three kingdoms to 
the faith of Rome. 1 This would be even more in- 
credible than the king's employment, the previous 
year, of Glamorgan as a secret rival to Ormond was 
pronounced to be by Mr. Gardiner himself. 3 So 
much for the charge of intriguing behind Ormond's 

But what of the statement that Charles wished 
to join Glamorgan and the Nuncio ? s If he 
thought of fleeing, it was to France. 4 Yet this is 

1 " The Nuncio was of opinion that under the conduct of so 
zealous a Catholic as the Earl, a way would be opened for ex- 
terminating the Protestant religion from Ireland and the conver- 
sion of the king, if he should come thither ; or at least for trans- 
porting a strong and faithful army out of Ireland into England ; 
by the junction of which with the English Catholics, his Majesty 
might be restored, and the Catholic religion triumph over the Pro- 
testants in England and Scotland, who were extremely divided 
among themselves " (Inquiry, p. 253, from Nuncio's Memoirs, 
fo. 1,376, where the Latin runs: "ad haeresim tota Ibernia 
eliminandam " . . . " fides catholica in Anglia quoque et 
Scotia de haereticis inter se discordibus triumpharet "). It would 
be to nourish these hopes that the Newcastle letter was concocted 
(if, as I suggest, it was forged). It was meant to illustrate, for 
Glamorgan's purpose, what the memoirs term " the confidence 
in his Lordship testified by his Majesty in his letters to him " 

2 " Ormond is to drive as good a bargain as he can. . . . 
Is it to be supposed that he [Charles] was at the same time 
privately authorising Glamorgan to purchase a peace at any 
price ? " (E. H. R. y H. 700). " That he [Glamorgan] had any 
secret instructions to abandon the Acts of Appeal and Praemunire 
is an idea which may be rejected as incredible " (History, II. 1 74). 

3 The Pope, it is said, shed tears on receiving a copy of this 
letter, from which it would seem that, if I am right, Glamorgan 
succeeded in hoaxing, not only the Nuncio, but the Pope. 

4 "On the 8th (July) he wrote to Ashburnham that he 



not the evidence on which I take my stand. At 
this period we read (of the king's objects) : 

It was Charles' firm conviction that he was dividing his ene- 
mies by his policy. 1 

Now if there was one step by which he would 
instantly, infallibly, compel those enemies to unite, 
it would be by throwing himself into the arms of 
the Nuncio and Glamorgan. The Scots, the army, 
the English Presbyterians would present an un- 
broken front. And they would be joined even by 

at a time when all English parties were resolutely opposed to 
every idea which had found favour at Kilkenny. 2 

Nay, in Ireland itself, not only the Presbyterians, 
but Ormond and his Council, were unshakeably 
hostile to the Nuncio and all his. schemes. Charles 
at the worst was no fool : he was perfectly aware 
that such a step would destroy his last chance of 
recovering, as he hoped, his kingdoms. It would 
be the act of a madman. 

And it would, moreover, have been useless. 
How could Charles, even if he sacrificed all his 

believed himself to be lost unless he could escape to France 
before August" (History, III. 132). Glamorgan and the Nuncio 
drew up (according to the latter's memoirs) a reply to the alleged 
letter of 20 July, urging Charles to come, as it suggested, to 

1 History ', III. 140. 

2 Ibid. p. 162. At the moment of returning this proof for 
press I find that Charles, in his letters to the queen (19 Aug., 
31 Aug., 7 Sept. 1646) assures her that even Ormond's peace 
(which the Nuncio rejected) would " infallibly " hamper his nego- 
tiations in England (Add. MS. 28,857). 

432 " 


other supporters, hope to gain the Nuncio and his 
followers, when he had made it, Mr. Gardiner 
admits, a point of honour and of conscience never 
to grant those two concessions on which the 
Nuncio had inexorably insisted throughout as the 
minimum price of his support. 1 His stubborn 
insistence on these concessions culminated in the 
rejection of the treaty between Ormond and the 
Supreme Council (12 Aug. 1646), because it did 
not contain them, and in his arrest of the Council's 
leaders. 2 As for Glamorgan, he had " surrendered 
himself body and soul to the Nuncio, swearing by 
all the saints that he would obey every one of his 
commands and would never do anything contrary 
to his honour and good pleasure." 3 Charles, on 
the other hand, had firmly declared (31 July 1645) 
that he would " rather chuse to suffer all extremity 
than ever to " make these concessions, 4 and had 
privately assured the queen (March 1 646) that he 
could never hope " to enjoy God's blessing " if he 
did. 5 Mr. Gardiner observes that " it was hopeless 
to expect him to change his mind," 6 and that 
though " there is always something arbitrary in 
the selection of a limit to concession, that limit 
had now been reached by Charles." 7 How then 
could he hope for the Nuncio's help ? 

Has Mr. Gardiner even asked himself how the 
king could " pawn " his kingdoms ? Or whether 
he would do so in this manner ? Or whether he 

1 See History, III. 39, 40. 2 Ibid. pp. 156, 159. 

3 Ibid. p. 52. 4 E.H.R., II. 703. 5 Ibid. p. 708. 

6 History, II. 174. 7 Ibid. III. 34. 

433 FF 


wished to take a step which meant his instant 
ruin ? Apparently not. He finds a letter in 
' Dircks ' (which is merely taken from Birch's 
Inquiry, where it is retranslated from a Latin trans- 
lation found in the Nuncio's Memoirs), and ac- 
cepting its evidence without question as that of 
an original authority, he charges the king with a 
stupid treachery at obvious variance with all the 
facts as given even in his own History. \ 

When shall we learn, in England, how to use 
our evidence ? If one document is as good as an- 
other, if their critical treatment is deemed needless, 
vain is the writer's talent, and vain the student's 


The Abeyance of the Barony of 

SEVERAL points of great interest to the student of 
Peerage law were raised in the Mowbray and Se- 
grave case decided in 1877. But on the present 
occasion I do not propose to call attention to more 
than one the alleged determination, ' in some 
way or other/ in favour of the Howard co-heir, of 
the abeyance into which the baronies of Mow- 
bray and Segrave had fallen in the i 5th century. 

Anne, the child-heiress of the Mowbrays, 
dukes of Norfolk, was an infant of three years 
old at her father's death (1476) and affianced to 
a son of Edward IV. (one of " the princes in the 
Tower "), who was thereupon created earl of Not- 
tingham, and subsequently duke of Norfolk. She 
died in tender years, leaving the succession to the 
baronies and vast estates of her house open to the 
heirs of her relatives, Isabel and Margaret, wives 
respectively of James Lord Berkeley and Sir 
Robert Howard. Now these ladies were the 
daughters of the first duke of Norfolk, son of 
John Lord Mowbray, by his marriage with the 



daughter and heir of John Lord Segrave, whose 
wife Margaret, countess of Norfolk, was the heiress 
of Thomas c de Brotherton,' son of Edward I., and 
Earl Marshal. Thus the death of the little heiress 
proved the means of a vast accession to the fortunes 
of the house of Berkeley, while it virtually founded 
those of the house of Howard. The Mowbray 
baronies were divided between them, Lord Berke- 
ley being created earl of Nottingham and Lord 
Howard duke of Norfolk the same day (June 28, 
1483). It is a singular circumstance that the 
seniority of the heiresses seems to be undeter- 
mined, c Burke ' declaring Lady Howard to be the 
elder, while the Complete Peerage of G. E. C. as- 
signs that position to Lady Berkeley, as, appar- 
ently, did Dugdale. But in any case the Berke- 
leys had an equal share in the representation of 
this illustrious line, which makes it the more 
strange that the Howards should have been tacitly 
allowed to monopolize it as they virtually have 
done. In 1777 this representation, with all that 
it involved, passed away from the Howards to 
their heirs-general, the Lords Stourton and Petre ; 
and in 1882 the share of the Berkeleys similarly 
passed to their heir-general, Mrs. Milman, since 
recognised as Baroness Berkeley. Thus, in 1877, 
there were three co-heirs to the house of Mow- 
bray, namely the de jure earl of Berkeley (whose 
right to that title has been confirmed by a subse- 
quent decision, but who never assumed it), who 
inherited one moiety, and the Lords Stourton and 
Petre, who shared the other. The Committee 



for Privileges decided, however, that the abey- 
ance of the Mowbray and Segrave baronies had 
been determined in favour of the Howards " pre- 
viously to the reign of Queen Elizabeth," and 
believed that it was done by Richard III. 

The first point in this decision that invites close 
attention is its bearing on the doctrine of abey- 
ance. The best authorities have agreed in placing 
the earliest undoubted case of the determination 
of an abeyance by the Crown so late as 1660, the 
previous cases being all more or less doubtful. 
The Mowbray decision, however, carried back the 
practice per saltum to the days of Richard III. ! 
But far more extraordinary, and indeed revolution- 
ary, was the view taken of the evidence in proof 
of the abeyance being determined in favour of the 
Howard co-heir. In the Windsor case (1660) 
the determination was effected by formal patent, 1 
but in that of Ferrers of Chartley (1677) merely 
by the issue of the writ, which has since been 
the usual practice. But in the Mowbray case 
there is no evidence how or even when the abey- 
ance was determined. 

Down to the time of Lord Stourton's claim the 
position of the question was this. The barony of 
Segrave (though the Berkeleys had constantly in- 
cluded it among their titles) was believed to be 
still in abeyance. Mr. Fleming, Lord Stourton's 
own counsel, had himself admitted in the Scales 
case (p. 26) that the barony of Segrave is in abey- 
ance "between Lords Stourton and Petre . 
1 See p. 361 above. 


and the heir of the late earl of Berkeley." So 
universal was this belief that a modern barony 
of Segrave was created in favour of the Fitz- 
hardinge Berkeleys (1831). As to Mowbray there 
were doubts. Mr. Courthope, in his Historic 
Peerage (1857), referring to the Mowbray sum- 
mons of 1 640, held that " it may reasonably be 
doubted whether this writ of summons did not 
create a new barony instead of affecting the abey- 
ance of the ancient dignity" (p. 340). l But, in 
any case, no other evidence than this writ, for 
the determination of the abeyance, was sup- 
posed to exist. In Lord Stourton's original peti- 
tion it was accordingly claimed " that the Barony 
of Mowbray continued in abeyance * . 
until the year 1 640, when King Charles the First 
was pleased to determine the abeyance by sum- 
moning Henry Frederick Howard ... as 
Lord Mowbray." This allegation, of course, 
ignored the difficulty that the party to whom the 
writ was issued was not a co-heir to the dignity 
at the time. 

The claim, however, was subsequently altered in 
consequence of the discovery of Letters-missive 
from Richard III., including the baronies of 
Mowbray and Segrave in the duke's style. In 

1 It should be noted that, by a strange error, Courthope gave 
the date of this summons as "13 April 1639" (sic), and was 
followed in this by the Complete Peerage (VI. 54 ; but compare 
VIII. 480). This error, which is constantly repeated, probably 
arose from the summons being dated 21 March '1639* (i.e. 
1640), the Parliament meeting on 13 April 1640. 

438 ' 


Lord Stourton's "additional case" it was confidently 
urged by his counsel that these Letters proved (but 
did not constitute) the determination of the abey- 
ance. 1 

These Letters, on which Mr. Fleming insisted 
so strenuously throughout, were, with singular 
eagerness, accepted as proof by the Committee. 
I append the relevant extracts from their judg- 
ment : 


" As to the abeyance of the Segrave barony, it appears to me 
that the Letters-missive of the 2nd of Richard III., signed by 
the King, would of itself be sufficient evidence that in some way 
or other the abeyance had been terminated by the sovereign." 


"As to the abeyance, I should say that the Letters-missive of 
King Richard III. are of themselves, without any question being 
raised as to the admissibility of the garter-plates in evidence, quite 
sufficient to prove the determination of the abeyance of the 
baronies. The King recognises the determination of the abey- 
ance ; . . . and however it may have been accomplished 
. . . I think the evidence with regard to the determination 
of the abeyance of the baronies is perfectly sufficient." 


" If it [the determination] is done by a document, under the 
hand of a sovereign, by his sign manual, that is quite sufficient. 
Now here is evidence that the abeyance was so terminated. . . . 
I think myself, if it were necessary, it [the Letters-missive] 
should be construed as operating as an original grant under his 

1 See Additional Case, No. 27 (p. 9), and the note there- 
upon : " It is confidently submitted on the part of the Petitioner 
that the abeyance . . . was determined in favour of John 
Lord Howard Duke of Norfolk shortly after her [Anne's] death, 
and before the 24th of September, 1484 [the date of the Letters 



hand to determine the abeyance ; for I am not aware that the 
King could do more. ... I think the Letters-missive of 
king Richard III. are quite conclusive upon the matter." 


" I myself do not accept that [the garter-plates] as evidence 
with regard to the determination of the abeyance, but I think 
the other evidence of the determination of the abeyance is satis- 
factory, namely the Letters-missive of king Richard III." 

These extracts sufficiently establish the Com- 
mittee's acceptance of Mr. Fleming's contention 
that " the abeyance of the baronies . . . was de- 
termined in favour of John Howard, the first Duke 
of Norfolk,," 1 and that this determination, proved 
by the Letters-missive, " forms the sole ground " 
for the subsequent user of the titles. 

Let us first consider the consequences of the 
principle thus laid down. It revolutionizes the 
doctrine of abeyance, as hitherto understood, in 
the direction aimed at by Mr. Fleming in the 
Scales case, and thus opened the door to a new 
series of claims. The Leicester patent of 1784, 
for instance, can now be invoked as determining 
(or proving the determination of) the Bourchier 
abeyance ; and other recognitions by the Crown 
in formal instruments, however erroneous, can now 
be similarly interpreted. 

Incidentally, it may here be added that, accord- 
ing to Lord Stourton's " original case " (p. 1 1), the 
duke of Norfolk received, Feb. 24, 148!, a 
general pardon " describing him by all the titles 
and names which could be attributed to him," but 

1 Special Case, p. 290. 2 Ibid. p. 26. 



the Pardon Roll reveals that the baronies of Mow- 
bray and Segrave are not to be found among them. 
So too with his patent of creation on June 28 
preceding. This then narrows the date of the 
alleged determination to February September, 
1484. And though the time and manner of such 
determination, at this very early date, should have 
been clearly established, we have only the Lord 
Chancellor's belief that it took place " in some 
way or other " on some unknown occasion. 

Assuming, however, that Mr. Fleming was 
right, and that, in the words of the petitioner's 
case, " the abeyance . . . was determined in 
favour of John Howard Duke of Norfolk previ- 
ously to the 24th of September," 1484, what 
evidence is there of the user of the titles by the 
Howards ? The petitioner was not able to ad- 
duce one till 1564, when the funeral certificate of 
the duchess of Norfolk styles her husband " Lorde 
Mowbray Segrave and of Brews" (p. 265). And 
this was dismissed, in his judgment, by Lord 
Blackburn (who oddly seems to have imagined 
that it was a coffin-plate inscription *) as " no evi- 
dence at all." With that exception the petitioner 
adduced no evidence of user till the garter-plate of 
1611 (p. 265). Now what is the cause of this 
hiatus ? 

Assuming, as I have said, that the baronies of 
Mowbray and Segrave were duly vested in John 

1 " The mere fact that a duke of Norfolk put upon his duchess' 
coffin-plate a statement that she was the wife of the Lord Mow- 
bray and Segrave is no evidence at all." 



duke of Norfolk (d. 1485), they were obviously 
forfeited by the Act of Attainder in i Hen. VII. 
(P- I 35)- Of *his there can be no question. 
Now the act of " restitucion " in favour of his son 
" Thomas late erle of Surrey " (4 Hen. VII.) ex- 
pressly stipulates " that this statute of adnullacion 
and restitucion extend not for the said "Thomas to eny 
honour estate name and dignite but onely to the honour 
estate name and dignite of Erie of Surrey" (p. I4O). 1 
This would obviously exclude the baronies of 
Mowbray and Segrave as well as that of Howard 
and the dukedom of Norfolk. Accordingly when 
this Thomas Howard was created Earl Marshal (2 
Hen. VIII.) and duke of Norfolk (5 Hen. VIII.) 
he was only styled earl of Surrey and had no 
baronies assigned him. Now the subsequent at- 
tainders and restorations of the house could do no 
more than place its heads eventually in the shoes 
of this Thomas. 

It has indeed been argued that the above pro- 
vision applied only to Thomas himself, not to his 
heirs, and that the baronies, therefore, remained, as 
it were, in a state of suspended animation during 
his life. But this argument would, obviously, apply 
to the dukedom of Norfolk also, and is inconsistent 
with the new creation, in 1514, of that dignity, in 
favour of Thomas and his heirs male. Moreover, 
on carefully reading the act, it will be seen that its 
object was to deprive the earl not only of the 
Honours, but also of the lands derived from or 

1 Naturally enough, these words are not those italicized in the 
Minutes of evidence. 



through his father, 1 whose great share of the Mow- 
bray inheritance was to remain vested in the 
Crown, while that of the Berkeleys was assured to 
them by a special act which followed. Now it is 
clear, from the case of the lands, that the provision 
partially excluding Thomas excluded his heirs also. 

If, then, the abeyance was indeed determined 
under Richard III., the baronies were forfeited by 
attainder and have remained so ever since. 

The actual resolution, however, adopted by the 
Committee did not pledge them (in spite of their 
rationes decidendi) to a determination in or before 
Sept. 1484. Although it was avowedly on 
this that their decision was based, they illogically 
resolved ob majorem cautelam we may presume 
that the abeyance was determined " previously to 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth." 

Now, either the abeyance was determined pre- 
viously to Sept. 1484, or it was not. If it 
was not, then the earliest proof of that determi- 
nation accepted by the Committee is the Act of 

1 " And that it be enacted by the said auctorite that this Statute 
of Adnullation and Restitution extend not for the said Thomas 
to any Honour Estate Name and D ignite but onely to the 
Honour Estate Name and Dignite of Erie of Surrey nor to any 
Manors Lordshippes Landes Tenements and other Enheritaments 
wherto the Kyngs Highnes was at any tyme entitled by reason 
of either of the said Atteyndres, other then the said late Erie 
had in the right of his wife, ... or such Manors Lord- 
shippes Londes Tenementes and other Inheritaments which if the 
said Act of Atteyndre had not be, shuld herafter discend, remayne 
or reverte to the said Thomas and his Heires by any other 
Auncestre than by the said John late Duke of Norfolk " (Rot. 
Par!., VI. 410-411). 



1604, which implied, according to the construc- 
tion placed upon it by the petitioner, that the 
baronies must have been vested in Duke Thomas 
at his attainder (1572) ; that is to say, the abey- 
ance was determined previous to 1572. But what 
is the proof that it was determined " previously to 
the reign of Queen 'Elizabeth" (i.e. to 1558) ? Ab- 
solutely none was given ! 1 

Adopting, then, this hypothesis, it is clearly far 
more difficult to assume the determination of an 
abeyance at this comparatively late epoch than it 
would be under Richard III., a period relatively 
obscure. Moreover, in this case there is no such 
evidence as was afforded even by the Letters- 
missive of 1484. We are therefore, admittedly, 
dependent on a retrospective induction from the 
Act of 1604. And to this I propose now to ad- 
dress myself. 

The words relied on by the claimant were : 

To the Honour, State, and Dignitie of Erie of Surrey and to 
such dignitie of baronies only which the said late Duke of Norfolk 
forfeited and lost by the said attainder. 

The word c only ' has been understood as ex- 
cluding any claim to the duke's territorial c baron- 
ies.' But, in any case, these guarded words could 
not do more than restore to the earl such baronies 

1 This extraordinary expression may have originated in the pe- 
titioner's claim (Additional Case, p. 27) that the baronies " were 
vested in the reign of Elizabeth in Thomas . . . Duke of 
Norfolk," a loose expression which is by no means equivalent to 
" at the accession of Elizabeth." 



as he could prove to have been vested in the late 
duke. They were not, and did not profess to be, 
a determination of abeyance, nor did they even 
name a single barony. It was urged by counsel 
that the only baronies they could refer to were 
those he claimed, which must, therefore, have 
been vested in the duke. But I reply, firstly, 
that they do not name any baronies as vested in 
the duke ; secondly, that even if they had, the 
recognition of a wrongful assumption could not 
operate as a creation or even a determination of 

It is the very essence of my case that the com- 
mittee accepted as valid, and indeed decisive, evi- 
dence the recognition in formal documents (as in 
the Letters-missive) by the Crown, of minor 
dignities as vested in an earl or duke, although it 
can be demonstrated, and ought to have been 
shown by the Attorney General, for the Crown, 
that such evidence is not valid, and that the facts 
of the case can be perfectly explained on the hypo- 
thesis of error. 

The assumption of dignities was an ancient 
practice. In the early days of the Tudors, Lady 
Hungerford, who held three baronies, took the 
styles of six, two of them not genuine and one in 
abeyance. Her contemporary, Thomas earl of 
Derby, took upon himself, as for instance in a 
warrant sealed with his seal and bearing date 8 
Nov. 8 Hen. VIII. (1516), the style of Vis- 
count Kynton, Lord Stanley and Strange, lord of 
Knokyn and Mohun, Bassett, Burnell and Lacy, 



lord of Man and the isles. 1 Yet Stanley and 
Strange were the only baronies actually vested in 
him, while his viscountcy was a fancy title taken 
from a c member ' of the Stranges' lordship of 
Ness, Shropshire. The earls of Northumberland 
assumed the baronies of Fitz Payne and Bryan, to 
neither of which had they any right. In the 
1 6th century the Radcliffes, earls of Sussex, suc- 
cessively assumed the baronies of Egremont and 
Burnel, though (Multon of) Egremont was in 
abeyance and Burnel also. So too, though the 
barony of Latimer fell into abeyance in 1557, two 
of its four co-heirs, the earls of Danby and 
Northumberland, coolly assumed it temp. Charles 
I. (as was pointed out in the Fitzwalter case), and 
even had it assigned to them on their garter-plates 
at Windsor. 2 Lastly the barony of Badlesmere, 
also in abeyance, was similarly assumed by the 
earls of Oxford, together with a ' fancy ' viscountcy 
of Bulbeck. And this brings us to the very reign 
when the similar wrongful assumption of Mow- 
bray was recognised (I hold) in error by the 

For that the Crown did so err I now proceed to 
show. An armorial decision of the Court of 
Chivalry in 1410 induced the then Lord Grey de 

1 Inq. p.m. of 15 Sept. 1523 in Chancery Inquisitions, vol. 40, 
No. 25 (15 Henry VIII.). 

2 It was aptly observed by Lord Redesdale (who seems to have 
known his business better than the Law Lords) : " You show 
that there were co-heirs of the barony of Mowbray ; you show 
that an individual assumed the title ; . . . but there is no 
proof of the abeyance being determined" (Proceedings, pp. 14-1 5). 



Ruthyn to assume the baronies of Hastings and 
' Weysford' [Wexford], and both these titles were 
duly assigned by the Crown to his heir when he 
was created earl of Kent, 1465 (and in 1484, 
1486). Yet 'Weysford' was a fancy title and 
Hastings one to which the Longueville decision 
(1640) proved the family had no right. So reten- 
tive were the Greys of their c plumes,' that, as 
G. E. C. reminds us, they " clung tenaciously to the 
barony of Grey de Ruthyn " even after their heir- 
general had proved his right to it and taken his 
seat. With the same tenacity the Manners family 
clung to the barony of Roos after it had been 
decided, against them, that the right to that dig- 
nity had passed to the heirs general of the earl of 
Rutland who died in 1587. The first duke was 
actually divorced by Act of Parliament as Lord 
Roos (1670), and the style was still used by the 
family at least as late as 1770 without any right 
thereto. 1 More striking, however, are the assump- 
tions of the Devereux family and their heirs. 
Walter Devereux, earl of Essex (d. 1576), assumed 
among his styles the earldom of c Ewe,' the vis- 
countcy of Bourchier, and the barony of Lovayne : 
the first was a Norman countship extinct since 
1539, the second also an extinct dignity, and the 
third a fancy title. Now my point is that these 

1 See Complete Peerage, VI. 405, 465-70. The present 
duke maintains indeed that " their claim to it was admitted by 
the Sovereign and Parliament up to the close of the last century " 
(Ibid. VIII. 500) ; but he has accepted a modern barony of 
" Roos of Belvoir" (1896) in its place. 



titles, wrongfully assumed though they were, were 
recognised nominatim^ in the Devereux Act of 
Restoration (1604), as having been "lawfully and 
rightly " held by the earls of Essex ! This, as will 
be seen, is evidence far stronger than that of the 
Howard Restoration Act, in the very same year 
(1604), which vaguely speaks of" such dignitie of 
Baronies " as the Howards may have lost by the 
attainder of 1572. And yet this latter Act was 
actually treated as a sheet-anchor in 1877, and ac- 
cepted as conclusive proof that the baronies of 
Mowbray and Segrave, which were not even men- 
tioned by name, must have been lawfully vested in 
the duke who was attainted in 1572! 

The Committee and the House indeed went so 
far as to resolve " that by Act of Parliament the 
said Baronies were restored to Thomas earl of 
Arundel ... in the year 1604" ; but if we 
turn to the Act of 1627 passed in favour of 
his son, we find it speaking of " the baronies of 
Fitzalan, Clun and Oswaldestre, and Maltravers," 
and annexing these " titles, names, and dignities " 
with all their " places, pre-eminences, arms, en- 
signs, and dignities " to the earldom and castle of 
Arundel. 1 Now, in spite of this Act of Parlia- 
ment, no one now pretends that Fitzalan, Clun and 
Oswaldestre had any existence as peerage dignities, 
or were anything but ' plumes ' assumed by the 
family for its own adornment. Of what possible 
value, therefore, can the far vaguer language of the 
1604 Act be deemed as evidence, when all that 

1 Tierney's Arundel^ I. 132-3. 


could be urged was that its mention of baronies 
must allude to more than that of Howard, and 
must consequently comprise those of Mowbray and 
Segrave ? 

To any one conversant with the practice in 
such matters the worthlessness of such evidence 
needs no demonstration. 

We have now seen that, if the claim based on 
the Letters-missive of Richard III. be abandoned, 
the case stands thus: The abeyance must have 
been determined after the restoration of 1489 and 
before the attainder of 1572, but nothing is 
known as to how, or even when, it was done, 
while the only ground for supposing that it was 
ever done at all is an Act of Parliament at a later 
period, which does not state that the abeyance 
was determined, and does not even name the 
baronies in question. 

So little was the supposed determination sus- 
pected at the time, that the Lords Berkeley styled 
themselves Lords Mowbray and Segrave con- 
stantly from 1488 to 1698, a fact which counsel, 
of course, kept carefully out of sight. For Mr. 
Fleming's argument was that all such assumptions 
were valid ; and yet, if this one was so, there was 
at once an end of his case. 

The view that I shall myself advance removes 
every difficulty. The Mowbray summons of 1 640 
is, I hold, exactly parallel with the Strange and 
Clifford summonses of 1628. All these were 
issued in error. It can be shown that great nobles 

449 G G 


were in the habit of annexing minor titles in the 
most casual manner ; and that the Crown, in this 
matter, so far took them at their own valuation as 
to allow them, in most formal documents, these 
ornamental appendices. Of this there are most 
curious examples, although they are little known. 
These minor titles were sometimes retained, wrong- 
fully, by heirs-male, sometimes those of baronies in 
abeyance, sometimes mere inventions. Let us take 
the first. The strange doctrine that an earldom (in 
tail male) ' attracts ' a barony (in fee) was advanced 
in the cases of Roos (1616) now De Ros and 
Fitzwalter (1668), but was disposed of by the judges 
in the latter. And yet the arguments in the How- 
ard of Walden case (1691-2), now made more 
accessible by the publication of a House of Lords 
MS., 1 are important as showing that, even at this 
late date, it was urged on behalf of the earl of 
Suffolk (heir-male) by his counsel, Mr. (afterwards 
chief baron) Ward and Mr. Wallop that the 
barony was vested in him, not in the heirs-general 
(in spite of the 1668 decision ut supra). For this 
they relied inter alia on the Strange and Clifford 
cases (1628), in which, as we now hold, the titles 
were recognised in error. Failing this, they urged 
that the barony was wholly at the King's disposal, 
without preference, to the heirs-general over the 
heirs-male. For this view their precedent was the 
case of the earldom of Oxford (1626), "in which 
case it was decided that the baronies were at the 

1 1 3th Report on Historical MSS., App. V. pp. 479-489. 



King's disposal." 1 The precedents put in on be- 
half of the earl of Suffolk, and certified by Wind- 
sor Herald, confirm further my statements as to 
the assumption of dignities. Of these, the two 
most important for my purpose are : 

(1) Derby. In this case, on the death of Ferdi- 

nand, earl of Derby (1594), the baronies 
vested in him are held to have fallen into 
abeyance between his three daughters. 

" The Baronies, notwithstanding, were used and enjoyed by 
William, Earl of Derby, brother and heir-male to the said Ferdi- 
nand, and being chosen Knight of the Garter (at his installation, 
according to custom), the said William's titles and stile were pro- 
claimed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth in 1601, which were 
William Stanley, Earl of Derby, Lord Stanley, Strange of Knock- 
ing and of the Isle of Man, and were also engraven upon his 
plate under his arms at the back of his stall, and continue still 
[1692] to be used by the present Earl of Derby, without the least 
dispute, which we do esteem a good precedent " (p. 486). 

(2) Oxford. In this case the judges had re- 

ported (1626) that the three baronies in 
dispute " descended to the general heirs of 
John, the I4th Earl of Oxford," in 1526. 

"The Baronies, notwithstanding, accompanied the Earldom, 
and Aubrey de Vere, the present Earl of Oxford, when installed 
Knight of the Garter, with the title of Earl of Oxford, were (sic) 

1 The judges had reported that " they, in strictness of law re- 
verted to, and were in the disposition of, king Henry the Eighth." 
But the House resolved " that the baronies of Bolbecke, Sandford, 
and Badlesmere are in his Majesty's disposition" (Lords' Journals, 
III. 537), 22 March 1625-6, and certified the King (5 April) 
that " they are wholly in your Majesty's hand, to dispose at your 
own pleasure" (p. 552), according to the judges. 



also proclaimed his baronies of Bolebec, Sandford, and Badles- 
mere, in the presence of the King, and are also engraven upon 
his plate at the back of his stall at Windsor, which we do esteem 
also a precedent" (p. 487). 

These cases have a grave bearing on the admis- 
sibility of garter-plates in evidence. Considerable 
stress was laid on their testimony in the Mowbray 
case itself ; and if that of the Letters-missive must 
now be abandoned, a garter-plate will not be found 
an efficient substitute. 

One of the arguments for the doctrine of c at- 
traction ' was that, otherwise, ancient earldoms 
" should lose the plumes of their honour." This 
happily expresses the spirit of those great nobles 
who decked themselves with such plumes, too 
often c borrowed plumes,' either by inventing 
baronies which had no existence, or by retaining 
those which should have passed to heirs-general. 
Sometimes they did both. Thus in the case of 
the earldom of Oxford (1626) the judges held that 
the baronies of " Bulbeck, Sandford, and Badles- 
mere " had passed away to heirs-general a century 
before, but that five earls, in succession, had since 
" assumed these titles nominally in all their leases 
and conveyances, and the eldest son [is] called still 
by the name of Lord Bulbeck." But modern re- 
search has further shown that " Bulbeck and Sand- 
ford " had never even existed as peerage baronies 
while Badlesmere was in abeyance, an abeyance 
determined by the earls themselves in their own 
favour, as was that of Mowbray (I hold) by the 
Howards. So, too, the Howards, in 1627, foisted 



upon the Crown " the titles and dignities of the 
baronies of Fitz-alan, Clun and Oswaldestre, and 
Maltravers," which they employed, though it is 
admitted that Maltravers alone was a genuine 
peerage barony. The Crown was actually induced 
not only to recognise them all (to the eternal con- 
fusion of peerage students), but to wrench them 
from their natural descent and entail them, together 
with the earldom and castle of Arundel, on the 
Howards by a special Act of Parliament. The 
same Act recognised by its preamble the preten- 
sion that Arundel was an earldom by tenure, 
though our better knowledge of history has shown 
the absurdity of the claim. Thus these baronies 
were made, by violence, to c attend ' the earldom, 
much as James I., in 1620, by a similar stretch of 
the prerogative, had annexed the barony of Offaley 
to the earldom of Kildare. 1 

The best known and latest instance of erroneous 
recognition by the Crown, is the patent of creation 
for the earldom of Leicester in 1784. In this 
instrument three baronies were recognised as vest- 
ing in the earl, to none of which he could prove 
a right. 

From such recognitions it was but a step to 
summoning the son and heir of an earl in a barony 

1 In an article on ' The Earldom of Kildare and Barony of 
Offaley ' (Genealogist [N.S.], IX. 2O2~5), cited in Complete Peer- 
age (VI. 1 1 3-4), I have urged that this very barony of Offaley 
may have been another case of assumption, and that it is doubtful 
whether it even existed when James was called upon to decide by 
whom it ought to be inherited. 



to which his father was supposed to be entitled. 
This was done, I suggested above (p. 337), in the 
case of George Boleyn's summons in the barony 
of Rochford ; it was certainly done, by universal 
admission, in the case of the earl of Derby's son, 
summoned as Lord Strange in 1628, though the 
earls, since 1594, had not been entitled to that 
barony, as also in that of the earl of Cumberland's 
son, summoned in 1628 as Lord Clifford, though 
that barony had passed away from the earldom in 
1605. It was again done in 1722, when a sum- 
mons in the barony of Percy was issued in error. 
In all three cases the result of this error was, ad- 
mittedly, the creation of a wholly new barony. 
My contention is that the Mowbray summons of 
1640 was an error precisely similar. And as for 
the admission of the original precedence, it was 
similarly admitted in the case of Percy. 1 

An exact parallel to the Mowbray summons of 
1 640, a parallel of great importance for the alleged 
determination of the abeyance, is found in the Say 
summons of 1 6 1 o. ^1399 the barony of Say fell 
into abeyance (according to the modern doctrine) 
between the descendants of three sisters, one of 
whom was the Lord Clinton who died in 1432. 
He thereupon assumed the style " Dominus de 
Clynton et de Say." His son went so far (i Nov. 
1448) as to grant to his kinsman James Fiennes 
(who was not a co-heir of the barony), "and to his 
heirs and assigns for ever, the name and title of 

1 It is a singular coincidence that Lord Strange was one or 
Lord Mowbray's two introducers in 1640. 



Lord Say"; 1 and the grantee's barony of c Saye ' 
has descended to the present Lord c Saye and Sele.' 
Yet the Clintons continued to use the title, and 
when Edward Lord Clinton, who had taken his 
seat as Lord Say in 1536 and had been then 
ranked, avowedly, as Lord Say, 2 was created earl of 
Lincoln (4 May 1572) the heralds proclaimed his 
style as " Sir Edward Fynes Conte de Lincoln, 
Seigneur Clinton et Say." His grandson was re- 
turned as member for Grimsby, In his father's 
lifetime (1601-4) as " Lord Clynton and Saye, 3 and 
was called up to the House of Lords in 1610 as 
"Thomas Clynton de Say" precisely as Henry 
Frederick Howard was called up in 1640 in the 
barony of Mowbray. 

Again, what of the writs of summons addressed 
to Lord Darcy as " Conyers de Darcie et Mey- 
nill" (1678-1680)? Did they determine the 
abeyance of Meynill, of which barony he was a 
co-heir ? Or were they simply issued in error, as 
were those to his relative, as " Johanni Darcy et 
Meinill," from 1605 to 1629? And what of 
'Baroness Dudley' (1757-1762), 'Baroness Le 
Despencer ' (1781-1788), and 'Baroness Crom- 
well' (1687-1709), who was actually summoned 
as such, in error, to two coronations ? 

As might be expected, the decision of the Com- 
mittee, in 1877, has opened the door to further 

1 Dugdale's Baronage. 

2 Dugdale's Baronage (from H. 13, fo. 387^7, compare p. 332 

3 i4th Report Hist. MSS., App, VIII. p. 279. 



claims based on user and its recognition. We 
now, for instance, read that 

the Barony of Braose was continually and uninterruptedly 
assumed and claimed by the Mowbray family and by their 
successors the Howards, both of which families styled themselves 
or were styled Lords Braose l in Charters, Letters Patent, and 
Funeral Certificates, and on their monuments and Garter plates. 
This persistent and perpetual usage of the title must inevitably 
cause one to think they had good reason to believe that the 
abeyances had been determined in their favour. Comparing the 
evidence available for the purposes of establishing this fact with 
that similarly available in relation to the Barony of Segrave in 
1877, it is not an unlikely supposition that sufficient evidence 
could be produced to justify the Committee for Privileges in 
accepting the determination in favour of the Howards as an 
established fact. 2 

Precisely so ! If a Committee for Privileges has 
not yet mastered the elementary fact that titles 
in England, as in Scotland and Ireland, have un- 
doubtedly been assumed, used, and even recognised 
in error, it is capable of accepting the wildest 
claims and of plunging Peerage history into utter 
and hopeless confusion. 

To recapitulate, I claim to have shown : 
(i) That the words of the Resolution, 'pre- 
viously to the reign of Queen Elizabeth ' (i.e. to 
1558), are merely a careless blunder; and that 
what was meant was c previously to ' the death of 
Thomas duke of Norfolk (i.e. to 1572), who lived 
in the reign of Elizabeth. 

1 Unluckily for this argument the Berkeley co-heirs of the 
Mowbrays similarly assumed this title with those of Mowbray 
and Segrave (Complete Peerage, I. 333-4). 

* The House of Stourton, II. 994. 



(2) That the Letters-missive of Richard III. 
were vouched by the Petitioner as the proof of 
the determination of the abeyance (before their 
date), although such evidence never had been, and 
never ought to be accepted as the proof of such 

(3) That if the abeyance was then determined, 
the baronies of Mowbray and Segrave are now 
under attainder. 

(4) That the determination of the abeyance pre- 
vious to Sept. 1484 must therefore be abandoned 
as a ratio decidendi^ and the Resolution be construed 
as asserting a determination between 1489 and 

(5) That of such determination there is no proof, 
Petitioner having vouched the Letters-missive as 
the ' sole ground ' for the user of the titles, and 
the Committee having deemed them essential to 
his case. 

The moral, surely, is obvious enough. If peer- 
age claims are to be thus decided on ex parte 
evidence, the most fatal flaws in the Petitioner's 
case may, as on this occasion, pass undetected. 



The Succession to the Crown 

ON the lamented death of the duke of Clarence 
in 1892 it was universally assumed, and was the 
subject of general comment, that only the life of 
the duke of York stood between the duchess of 
Fife and the ultimate succession to the Crown. 
But it seems to be at least open to question whether 
this was legally the case, and indeed whether the 
event of such a contingency occurring is at present 
clearly provided for. 

It is no doubt generally believed that in the 
event of the succession opening to two or more 
sisters, the Crown, in England, would always pass 
to the eldest sister as of right. But it is not a 
question of general belief ; it is a question of an 
Act of Parliament. Although the fact is often 
forgotten, the crown of these realms is held by the 
present royal family under the Act of Succession 
and under that Act alone. The descent of the crown, 
therefore, is determined by the wording of that 
Act, and the interpretation of that wording is 
a matter, not of supposition, but of law. I here 
append the actual wording of the clause limiting 



the succession in 12 and 13 William III. cap. 2, 
and by its side I print the parallel clause from the 
previous Act of Succession, i William and Mary, 
sess. 2, cap. 2. 

I Will, and Mary, sess. 2, cap. 2. 
The said lords spiritual! and 
temporall and commons assembled 
at Westminster doe resolve that 
William and Mary Prince and 
Princesse of Orange be and be de- 
clared King and Queene of Eng- 
land France and the dominions 
thereunto belonging to hold the 
crowne and royall dignity of the 
said kingdomes and dominions to 
them the said prince and princesse 
dureing their lives and the life of 
the survivour of them. And that 
the sole and full exercise of the 
regall power be onely in and exe- 
cuted by the said Prince of Orange 
in the names of the said prince 
and princesse dureing their joynt 
lives and after their deceases the 
said crown and royall dignitie of 
the said kingdoms and dominions 
to be to the heires of the body of 
the said princesse and for default 
of such issue to the Princess Anne 
of Denmarke and the heires of her 
body and for default of such issue 
to the heires of the body of the 
said Prince of Orange. 1 

The whole question turns on the words " the 
heirs of her body." Is there any precedent for 
construing these words as a limitation to the eldest 

1 Statutes Revised, II. II. 2 Ibid. pp. 94-5. 


1 2 and 1 3 William III., cap. 

for default of issue of the 
said Princess Ann and of 
his Majesty respectively the 
crown and regall government 
of the said kingdoms of Eng- 
land France and Ireland and 
of the dominions thereunto 
belonging with the royall 
state and dignity of the said 
realms and all honours stiles 
titles regalities prerogatives 
powers jurisdictions and au- 
thorities to the same belong- 
ing and appertaining shall be 
remain and continue to the 
said most excellent Princess 
Sophia and the heirs of her 
body being Protestants? 


alone of two or more daughters ? The authors of 
the History of English Law 1 observe, in their 
chapter on " The Law of Descent," that 

The manner in which our law deals with an inheritance 
which falls to ... daughters may give us some valuable 
hints as to the history of primogeniture. If we look merely at 
the daughters and isolate them from the rest of the world, their 
claims are equal, and the law will show no preference for the first- 
born. This principle was well maintained, even though some of 
the things comprised in the inheritance were not such as could be 
easily divided, or were likely to become of less value in the process 
of division. For example, if there was but one house, the eldest 
daughter had no right to insist that this should fall to her share, 
even though she was willing to bring its value into account. No, 
unless the parceners could agree upon some other plan, the house 
itself was physically divided (II. 273). 

When we turn to peerage dignities, themselves 
also (we shall see below) deemed real estate, we 
find that, in the case of baronies, the impartible 
nature of such dignities leads, not to their inheri- 
tance by the eldest co-heiress alone, but to their 
disappearance by falling into " abeyance." The 
latest writer on the doctrine of abeyance is Mr. L. 
O. Pike, who traces its growth and insists on the 
late date of its acceptance. 2 He cites the well- 
known conclusion of the judges on the earl of 
Oxford's baronies (1626) that they "descended 
upon the said daughters as his sisters and heirs ; 
but, those dignities being entire and not dividable, 
they became uncapable of the same, otherwise 

1 Prof. Sir F. Pollock and Prof. Maitland. 

2 Constitutional History of the House of Lords, pp. 131-139. 
Mr. Pike agrees, as a lawyer, with my criticism of the alleged 
determination of the Mowbray abeyance. 



than by gift from the Crown." The Lords them- 
selves treated this opinion as extinguishing the 
right to the baronies in question ; for they reported 
to the king that " they are wholly in your Majesty's 
hands to dispose at your own pleasure." Mr. 
Pike holds that " the earliest case in which any- 
thing like the doctrine of abeyance was recognised 
was, it is almost certain, that of Lord Windsor in 
the reign of Charles II." This case (1660), he 
admits, did imply that the king's " power in re- 
lation to the barony does not extend beyond the 
co-heirs and their representatives." Apart from 
the fact that the writer, we have seen, was not 
acquainted with the earlier action taken in respect 
of this barony by king Charles I., 1 he appears to 
have also overlooked the most interesting patent 
creating the barony of Lucas of Crudwell (7 May 
i663). 2 There was a special proviso in this 

that if at any time or times . . . there shall be more 
persons than one who shall be co-heirs of her body by the said 
Earl, so that the King or his heirs might declare which of them should 
have the dignity ', or otherwise the dignity should be suspended or 
extinguished, then, nevertheless, the dignity should not be 
suspended or extinguished, but should go and be held and enjoyed 
from time to time by such of the said co-heirs as by course of 
descent and the common law of the realm should be inheritable 
in other entire and indivisible inheritancy, as namely an office of 
honour and public trust, or a castle for the necessary defence of 
the realm, and the like, in case such inheritance had been given 
and limited to the said Countess and the heirs of her body by 
the said Earl begotten. 

1 See p. 360 above. 

2 This barony is now vested in Lord Cowper. 



The object of this clumsy and quite exceptional 
proviso, under which the barony has been inherited 
more than once by an eldest daughter and co-heir, 
was to prevent the dignity ever falling into abey- 
ance, as abeyance was then understood. This 
patent was overlooked, I have said, by Mr. Pike ; 
for the words I have italicized should, clearly, be 
compared with those in the Windsor docquet : 
" that it belongeth to his Majesty to declare which 
of the said co-heirs shall enjoy the dignity of their 
ancestors." The allusion to " a castle for the 
necessary defence of the realm " is of special in- 
terest, because it seems to refer to Bracton's 
doctrine, ages before, that among the very few 
indivisible things were a castle and a caput taronue, 
for the reason that, if they were divisible, " earl- 
doms and baronies would be brought to naught, 
and the realm itself is constituted of earldoms and 
baronies." 1 As for the assertion, which appears to 
be made, that an " office of honour and public 
trust " would pass by " the common law of the 
realm" to one of two or more co-heirs, it is 
directly contradicted by the case of the office of 
Great Chamberlain. For this most dignified 
" office of honour," which was an inheritance in 
fee, was decided by the House of Lords, in 1781, 
to vest jointly in the two sisters of the last duke of 
Ancaster (d. 1779) with the awkward result that 
there has since been no one person entitled, as of 
right, to that office. 2 

1 History of English Law, II. 273. 

2 Complete Peerage, I. 207. 



Having now shown that, in the case of a barony, 
the words " heirs of her body " were well under- 
stood to mean that two or more daughters would 
inherit equal rights to the barony, and that there- 
fore a special proviso was needed to avert its 
becoming " suspended or extinguished," I advance 
to the case of an earldom. So far back as 1627 t ' ie 
earldom of Arundel (with appendant baronies) was 
entailed by Act of Parliament on " Thomas Earl of 
Arundel and Surrey and the heirs male of his 
body ; and for default of such issue, to the heirs of 
his body." l But this remainder has never come, 
and is never likely to come, into play. The 
question, however, has been raised in very recent 
years by the limitation of the earldom of Cromartie, 
in its strange patent of creation (1861), to the 
grantee's second surviving son, with a special 
remainder over to " the heirs of his body." On 
the death of Lord Cromartie (24 Nov. 1893), 
without male issue, the " heirs of his body " were 
represented by his two daughters and co-heiresses, 
and what was to become of the earldom no man 
could say. It was well recognised that, under the 
limitation, the two co-heiresses had in law an equal 
right to inherit the dignity, and, had it been a 
barony, the Crown need only have ' called it out of 
abeyance ' in favour of one or the other. But there 
was no precedent for extending to an earldom the 
modern doctrine of abeyance. Consequently, 

1 See Tierney's History of Arundel^ p. 133; also pp. 137-8, 
on the impossibility of understanding such remainder, which Lord 
Redesdale (in the Lords' Reports) deemed due to inadvertence. 



Burkes Peerage contained, in 1894 and 1895, the 
following account of the dignity, treating it as in 
suspension : 

The limitation of this earldom being to the heirs male of the 
late Earl, and on failure of such to his heirs, with other remainders 
over, a question naturally arises as to whether or not this dignity 
is now in abeyance between his two daus. and co-heirs. 

In 1895 the Gordian knot was cut by the Crown 
mero motu suo taking direct action. 

The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent . . . 
bearing date the 25th day of February 1895 to declare that 
Sibell Lilian Mackenzie, commonly called Lady Sibell Lilian 
Mackenzie, the elder of the two daughters of Francis, late Earl 
of Cromartie ... is and shall be Countess of Cromartie, 
etc., etc. . . . And to give, grant, and confirm the said 
Earldom of Cromartie, etc., etc. ... to the said Sibell Lilian 
Mackenzie ; to have and to hold the said Earldom, Viscountcy, 
and Baronies, together with all the rights, privileges, pre-emi- 
nences, immunities, and advantages, and the place and preced- 
ence due and belonging thereto, to her, and to the heirs of her 
body . . . in as full and ample a manner as the said Francis 
Earl of Cromartie or his mother, Anne Duchess of Sutherland 
deceased . . . held and enjoyed the same. 1 

It is by no means clear how we should describe 
this action of the Crown. The form employed is 
not the same as that which is used when a barony 
is called out of abeyance in favour of one of its co- 
heiresses, 2 for in this case the strong words " to 
give, grant, and confirm " are introduced. In the 
Complete Peerage, indeed, the letters patent are 
boldly described as " terminating the abeyance of 
her father's peerage in her favour " ; 3 but it is not 

1 London Gazette, 5 March 1895. 

2 See pp. 363, 364 above. 3 Vol. VIII. 359. 



too much to say that, down to 1895, tne doctrine 
of abeyance had not been applied to the case of an 
earldom, and still less had such abeyance been 
determined by the action of the Crown. I am 
probably not alone in thinking that the Crown, on 
this occasion, may have acted ultra 'vires and have 
exceeded its powers in deciding proprio motu a legal 
question of inheritance. For so recently as 7 
Feb. in the present year Mr. Justice Barnes, in 
delivering a considered judgment on the Cowley 
case, observed that 

The dignities of the Peerage having been originally annexed to 
lands were considered as tenements or incorporeal hereditaments 
wherein a person might have a real estate ; and although dignities 
are now becoming little more than personal honours and rights, 
yet they are still classed under the head of real property (Cruise, 
c. 4, i, i ; C. Litt. 16s). 1 

The Crown, it may be urged, is the fountain of 
honour ; but when dignities have once been created, 
they can only descend according to law, under the 
limitation in the patent. 2 

1 The Times, 8 Feb. 1900, p. 14. The above is simply a 
repetition of the opening words of chapter iv. of * Cruise on Dig- 
nities ' (1823). 

2 Although the above assertion in the text would be now 
accepted on all sides, it is but right to mention that the early 
Stuart kings appear to have endeavoured, upon this point, to 
stretch the prerogative. It is possible that this attempt, which 
seems to have escaped notice, may be due to their familiarity 
with the Scottish system of resignation and regrant. In the 
Windsor case, for instance (p. 360 above), Charles I. endeavoured 
(1646) to bestow the old barony of Windsor, then in abeyance 
between two co-heirs, on one of them in tail male, though he seems 
to have thought that this declaration might be " ineffectual in 

465 H H 


The Crown, it must be remembered, has not the 
power to alter the limitation even of dignities 
created by itself. Of this we were reminded less 
than three years ago, when, according to the news- 
papers, Lord Burton (cr. 1886) was granted an 
alteration in his patent enabling his daughter to 
succeed to the barony, but when, as a matter of 
fact, a fresh barony, with a special remainder to 
his daughter, had to be created (29 Nov. 1897) 
for the purpose. Indeed, it has now been laid 
down that, even in creating dignities, the Crown 
must c play the game.' Lord Chancellor Cairns, 
in his judgment on the Buckhurst case, enunciated 
this doctrine in the words : 

It is the well-established constitutional law of the country that 
Peerages partake of the qualities of real estate, inasmuch as they 
must be descendible in a course known to the law ... it had 
been clearly laid down by the Committee for Privileges . 
that the Crown could not give to a grant of a peerage a quality 
of descent unknown to the law. 1 

Law." The same thing, however, had been done, in 1641, in 
the Conyers case, when the Conyers barony, with its old prece- 
dence, was bestowed on one of two co-heirs in tail male. The 
precedent had been set by James I. so early as 1604, when the 
old barony of Abergavenny was diverted from its legal descent in 
favour of the heir-male (it has since descended in tail male, 
though it is not known why). The Roos (1616), Offaley 
(1620) and Arundel (1627) cases a ^ illustrate the efforts made at 
this period to divert the descent of dignities in fee in favour of 
heirs-male, though in the Dacre case (1604) they signally failed. 
It is a curious circumstance that the same tendency has resulted 
in the three most famous ducal castles in England, Alnwick, 
Arundel, and Belvoir, passing away from the heirs of their feudal 
lords to the families of Smithson, Howard, and Manners, who are 
not their present representatives. * Times, 19 July 1876. 



In the same case the Attorney-General had ad- 
mitted on behalf of the Crown that 

Although her Majesty was the fountain of honour and could 
ennoble those whom she chose, yet all grants of dignities must be 
made in accordance with the rules of Parliament and in the cus- 
tomary manner. 1 

It was resolved by the Committee that the chal- 
lenged proviso was invalid, that is to say, that the 
Crown had exceeded its powers by inserting it 
in the patent of creation. 2 

This decision is considered to apply, of necessity, 
to the Cromartie patent also, which had been 
granted three years earlier (1861), for both patents 
contained, in the words of G. E. C., the same " ex- 
traordinary proviso, whereby the attempt is made 
to subject a peerage dignity to a shifting remainder 
(so that, on certain contingencies happening, it 
would pass from one person to another)." While 
on the subject of the action of the Crown in 
determining the descent of peerage dignities, I may 
glance at its autocratic treatment of the historic 
barony of Berkeley. On the death, in 1882, of 
Thomas de jure earl of Berkeley, the right to the 

1 Times, 19 July 1876. 

2 The resolution ran : " That the said barony to which the 
said Reginald Windsor so succeeded did not under or by virtue of 
the declaration and proviso in the Letters Patent cease or deter- 
mine on the succession of the said Reginald Windsor to the 
earldom of De La Warr." Lord De La Warr had petitioned 
for a declaration "that the shifting clause . . . was not 
valid and effectual to pass the said title dignity and honour," and 
"that the said shifting clause in the said Letters was and is 
wholly inoperative" (House of Lords' Journals). This was in 
effect the conclusion at which the Committee arrived. 



earldom passed to his heir male, but the ancient 
barony of Berkeley, which, for more than two 
centuries (1679-1882) had been merged in that 
earldom, passed, it was generally supposed, to his 
niece Mrs. Milman, as his heir-general. The 
title, however, was not assumed by her ; * but 
when she consulted me (as an amateur), I expressed 
a decided view in favour of her right to the dig- 
nity. In the Complete Peerage^ also, at the request 
of the editor, I expressed an equally strong opinion 
to that effect (1885), which is there printed 
verbatim (I. 338). In that work the difficult 
history of this historic 'barony was very fully dis- 
cussed, and Mrs. Milman pronounced to be " de 
jure (apparently) Baroness de Berkeley," although 
she had "taken no steps towards establishing her 
right to the Peerage." Here again the Crown 
intervened directly, and, in 1893, decided for itself 
the question of right. 

The Queen has been pleased, by Letters Patent under 
the Great Seal ... to declare that the ancient Barony 
of Berkeley now belongs to and is vested in Louisa Mary 
Milman ... as the heir general of Sir James de 
Berkeley, Knt., in whose favour the said Barony was created 
in the year 1421 ; and that she and the heirs general of 
the said Sir James de Berkeley lawfully begotten and to be 
begotten for ever, shall be named and called Barons and 
Baronesses, and shall have and enjoy the said ancient Barony of 
Berkeley, together with all and singular the rights, privileges, pre- 
eminences, immunities, and advantages, and the place and prece- 
dence, due and belonging thereto. 2 

1 Burkis Peerage for 1893 pointed out that this was the case 
even then. 2 London Gazette, 13 June 1893. 

468 ^ 


It is somewhat difficult to say what the Crown 
here did, or what was the actual effect of these 
letters patent. The question was one of right, 
not of favour ; of inheritance, not of grace. Either 
Mrs. Milman had inherited this peerage dignity, 
or she had not. The Crown, apparently, declared 
that she had ; but if she had, it was needless, and 
even prejudicial to her right, for the Crown to 
intervene as if its grace was required. 

It must be remembered that this was a case of a 
barony on the origin and descent of which there 
had long been much controversy ; and yet the 
Crown here decides, and sets on record its decision, 
that the peerage was created " in the year I42I." 1 
The result of issuing letters patent in the above 
form has been, it appears to me, to prejudice, or 
at least to cast a doubt on the precedence of this 
barony. It is now ranked, in Burke s Peerage^ tenth 
among the baronies, as a creation of 1421, being 
placed between Camoys ('1383') and Berners 
(' 1455 '). But it is well established that the 
barony enjoyed a special and very high precedence 
down to the time of its merger in the earldom in 
1679. In a dissertation on "Precedency due to 
certain Baronies of ancient creation," 2 it is pointed 
out by c G. E. C.' that the Berkeleys sitting under 
the writ of 1421 "were allowed the precedency of 
the old barony." And, under Berkeley, he dis- 
cusses at great length the precedency of these 
barons (I. 322-324, 334), pointing out that they 

1 Compare my remarks above (p. 363) on the date of the Wind- 
sor and Braye baronies. 2 Complete Peerage, I. 21. 



were ranked immediately after the Lords De La 
Warr, and that in 1661 an even higher precedency 
was claimed. He also quotes in full the opinion 
that I had given him on the arguments. As the 
Lords Berkeley sat above the Lords Morley 
(1299?) and Fitzwalter (1295?), ^ 1S obvious that 
the right placing of the barony will be a matter 
of great difficulty and that a protest (" salvo jure ") 
will probably be required should its holder be 
ranked at any state ceremonial. 1 

I have been led, in the last few paragraphs, to 
discuss the decision of the right to dignities, with- 
out a reference to the House of Lords, by the 
Crown itself. The Cromartie case appears to 
involve the introduction of a principle unknown to 
peerage lawyers, namely the application to an earl- 
dom of the doctrine of abeyance. Incidentally, I 
may observe, it must greatly strengthen the claim 
(if that claim should be advanced) of the present 
Baroness Berkeley to be countess of Ormonde in 
her own right under the creation of 1529, she 
being sole heir of the body of Thomas (Boleyn), 
earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde. In 1882 I 
upheld this claim in a paper on " the Earldoms of 
Ormond in Ireland/' 2 and my views were adopted 
in the Complete Peerage? 

But it is now time to insist upon my point, 

1 Compare my remarks on the precedence of the barony of 
Windsor (p. 366 above). 

2 Foster's Collectanea Genealogica, I. 84-93. 

3 Vol. I. p. 340 ; vol. VI. pp. 139, 144. 



namely that the Cromartie case proves that a 
limitation to heirs of the body cannot be construed, 
in the case of an earldom, to limit the dignity to 
the eldest of two or more daughters, to the exclu- 
sion of the others. 1 What ground is there for 
asserting that such limitation should or can be 
differently construed in the Act of Succession now 
in force ? And what tribunal has power to decide 
that such construction, novel as it would be, ought 
to be placed upon them ? 

To these questions, for my part, I can see no 
answer, save that there is a general impression that 
the crown would so descend. To say that Parlia- 
ment could not have meant to leave the succession 
doubtful, in the contingency to which I refer, as 
in that case the crown would belong to no one, 
would not only be a crude reply, but is disposed of 
by the fact that the earldom of Cromartie found 
itself, for the time, in like case. 2 It is quite 
possible that those who drew, and those who 
passed, the Act of Succession may have been under 
the above impression ; but on what grounds does 
it rest ? From the Conquest downwards there is 
no precedent till we reach the reign of Henry 

1 So well understood was this principle, that the 1702 patent 
for the dukedom of Maryborough avoided the phrase " heirs of 
the body," and contained a most elaborate limitation providing 
for the case of the succession opening to two or more daughters. 
It was specially provided that, in such case, the eldest should 
succeed to the exclusion of the others. 

2 It is suggested in the Complete Peerage that this limitation in 
the Cromartie patent may have been thoughtlessly introduced 
owing to the name happening to be Scottish (II. 429). 



VII. That sovereign, indeed, married the elder 
daughter of Edward IV. ; but it would have gone 
ill with any man who suggested that it was in her 
right that Henry wore the crown. Not only did 
he reign in his own right, established by an Act of 
Parliament, but so " especially desirous " was he 
(observes Dr. Franck Bright) " of not in any sense 
reigning in right of his wife " that he even post- 
poned her coronation as queen-consort. As for the 
daughters of Henry VIII., Mary succeeded, not as 
the elder, 1 but in virtue of a special entail under 
that Act of Succession, which the judges declared, 
when her brother was dying, they could only dis- 
obey at the cost of high treason. 2 Elizabeth, in 
turn, succeeded her in virtue of that same entail. 3 

The only precedent, it seems to me, that it 
would be possible to cite is the succession of 
James I., in 1603, as the heir of the elder sister of 
Henry VIII., to the exclusion of the heirs of the 
younger sister (of whom the senior representative 
is now the Baroness Kinloss). But he did so in 
direct defiance of the will of Henry VIII., which 
entailed the crown on the heirs of his younger 
sister ; and this will rested on the above Act 
of Succession, which made its provisions binding. 
Indeed, Professor Freeman went so far as to write 
(biassed, no doubt, by his fierce prejudice against 
hereditary monarchy) : 

1 Indeed, it is questioned whether her legitimacy had ever been 
legally restored to her. 2 35 Hen. VIII. cap. I (1544). 

3 The will of Henry VIII. did not alter the entail, as regarded 
them, created by the Act of Succession. 



It should always be remembered that the Stewarts, reigning in 
defiance of the lawful settlement of Henry the Eighth's will, were 
simply usurpers, except so far as popular acquiescence in their 
succession might be held to be equivalent to a popular election. 1 

Without going so far as this, I would urge at least 
that no one could invoke the succession of James 
I., in defiance of the Act of Succession then in 
force, as a precedent for the interpretation of the 
present Act of Succession. Indeed, if it were 
a precedent for anything, it would obviously be for 
the succession of his own heirs to-day in defiance 
of the Act of Succession now in force ! 

We come, therefore, to the case of the daughters 
of James II. Here again there was no question of 
hereditary right at all. Neither daughter could 
so succeed in the lifetime of her brother and his 
heirs ; and, apart even from this fact, William and 
Mary were made, respectively, king and queen by 
Act of Parliament alone. 2 And by the same Act 
the succession of Anne was postponed till after the 
death of William. Thus it came to pass that the 
present Act of Succession (1701) dates from the reign 
of a king 3 who was actually seated on the throne 
to the exclusion not only of James II., but of the 
future queen Anne, whose ' hereditary right,' of 

1 History of the Norman Conquest, IV. (1871), 513. It is a 
singular illustration of the biassed views to which his prejudice 
could lead him that, in his hatred of hereditary right, he could 
uphold, as the champion of popular election, the will of Henry 

2 See p. 459 above. 

3 Queen Mary was then dead. 



course, came before his own. The latter queen 
succeeded only, as Mary I. and Elizabeth had, we 
have seen, succeeded, under the special entail 
created by an Act of Parliament. 1 And it is under 
that same Act that the crown is now held. 

In view of this recapitulation of facts, which, 
certain though they are, are, perhaps, little realized, 
it becomes difficult to understand how there has 
come to prevail the general belief that the crown 
would always of necessity descend to the eldest of 
two or more daughters when the succession opened 
to them. That such a belief is of old standing is 
seen even under Henry VIII., though at that time 
there was absolutely ;no precedent to justify that 
belief. In any case, however, what we have to 
deal with is not the existence of a general impres- 
sion, but the interpretation, in a statute, of the 
words " heirs of her body " in a sense entirely 
different from that in which (it will not be denied) 
they are invariably construed. 

We saw, at the outset of this paper, that the 
case I have discussed is one that came, in recent 
years, within the range of possibilities. Should it 
ever actually arise, it is not easy to see how the 
question raised could be constitutionally solved if it 
had not been previously settled by a special Act of 
Parliament. For if the crown were held by a 
doubtful title, no valid Act could be passed, and 
yet, without such Act, the doubt could hardly be 
removed. The general assumption as to the 

1 12 and 13 Will. III. cap. 2. 


descent, in such a contingency, of the crown has, I 
hope it has been now shown, no foundation in fact 
or in law, and appears to have its origin in a mis- 
apprehension on the part of Parliament in the past 
and of the nation at large. 





So enormous are the costs entailed by 
the presentation of claims to 

i, ut^wio uie august tribunals 

itnown as the committee of privileges of 
the House of Lords that many who have 
woll-iounded rights to these hereditary 
honors are debarred from submitting 
them to the Crown for want of means. 
Impoverished as is the English aristoc- 
racy, it has not yet reached the stag-e 
where it can have recourse to the courts 
"in forma pauperis" and get fhe state to 
defray the legal costs which the petitioner 
is unable to pay. 

I am led to make this remark by the 
death in a state of absolute destitution at 
Peterborough, lOngland, of Alan Hyde 
Gardner, claimant to the Gardner peer- 
age, ar the age of fifty-two, after having 
spent the last two years very much as a 
tramp, Bleeping in stables and m the 
cheapest kind of lodging- houses. A paint- 
er by profession, but unable to find any 
customers for his brush, he based his 
claim to the Gardner barony on the 
strength of the alleged illegality of the 
birth of his cousin, who bears the same 
Christian name as himself, namely, Alan 
Hyde, but who is some fifteen years old- 
er, and who makes his home in India, 
where he i^ chief of the village of Mun- 
owta, has a. native wife and children, and 
professes not the Christian but the Brah- 
man religion-. 

The history of the Gardner peerage is 
one of the most romantic of the British 
House of Lords. It was first created in fa- 
vor of Admiral Gardner for hi.-; services 
under the great Lord Howe at the battle 
of the Orient, where he was second in 
command. His grandnephew. Col. Stewart 
miner, took service :n India, was com- 
issionor of customs in the Rajput king- 
ora of Jeypore. and married a niece of 
the last Emperor of Delhi, a lady who 
figures in Burke's Peerage by the name 
of "Jane."' b\:t who was known in India 
ae the Hnrrn.i >zce Begum. 

Col. and Commissioner Stewart Gard- 
ner married this lady according to native 
ind became a convert to her ro- 
ligion. During the great Indian mutiny he 
underwent the most exciting experiences 
and was at one moment lashed tc a gun 
and threatened v/ith death unless he 
agreed to fight with his wife's Pith and 
kin agninst his countrymen, the Isnglish. 
apod by a miracle, withdrew to a 
fort nn his wife's possessions, and de- 
it to the end of the conflict. Col. 
i r bad by his union with Pi ; 

: chil- 
iii the 

"f this rr:i . been 

Mest son, Alai. rdner, 

the head of the Indian village o! Mun- 

son, Alan Hyde, 

Iner. serve.,1 for a 

nat ve police, then took 

ied a vvo.nan of 

n Sheko at Munowta, 

?ral children, the eldest 

irenty years of age and 

(. In fact, his father, 

the village, talc 

mother, the Begum, 
rttl trace of the Eng- i 
tber, ana is, 15 3-11 in- 
i s a native, alike in 
1C al and moral charac- 
dd that another of the 
served for a time in 
Lorse and is likewise 
r e woman. 

loubt out. that the Be- 
o Col. Stewart Gardner 
y were married accdrd- 
f the piace-ex-lou-and 
e British courts to con- 
'fon. The half-caste and 
Hvde Gardner, now six- 
kS^SJ therefore, without 
ord Gardner, and, inde-d, 
in some of the peerages, 
e pages of "Burke's. 
ve?y fact that he is mar- , 

woman, and is the son of 
'is sufficient to insure his 
by every European in in- 
is no class of the popula- 
te thoroughly despised 
Orient than what are 
n-asians; that is to say, the 
between white people ana 

ng a common saying that 
ombines all the evil quah 
o races, and none of t 

ys daughter, the Lady Ann 
'married the Indian prmce 
, Singh, in London (son of 
. the Punjaub wh > <^ m 


Abergavenny, barony of, 95, 466. 

- , George lord, 332. 

- castle and priory, 189} 190, 
192, 196, 210-212. 

- , ' Honour ' of, 199, 211-2. 
Abeyance, meaning of, 36-7. 

- , baronies called out of, 30- 

, determination by Crown of, 
360, 362-4, 435, 437-4 1 , 

443, 444, 445, 449, 454~5, 
456-7, 463-5. 
, doctrine of, 365, 437, 440, 
454, 460-65. 
of Mowbray barony, 37-8, 

Agriculture. See Arable. 
Alan. See Fitz Alan. 
Albini. See Aubigny. 
Alneto, Hugh de, 304. 
Alnwick castle, descent of, 466. 
Althorpe (Northants), 284, 285, 


Alvington (Glouc.), 185. 
<Amney (Glouc.), 195. 
Ancaster, duke of, Great Chamber- 

lain, 462. 

Ancestors, fictitious. See Names. 
Angus, earldom of, 12. 
Anne, alleged daughter of God- 

wine and sister of Harold, 5 2, 

53, 56-7, 61. 

- , succession of queen, 473-4. 
Annesley family, alleged founder 

of, 63. 

Anstis, Garter, 372, 378-9, 381, 

382, 383, 385. 
Arable land converted to pasture, 

282-4, 2g 6. 
Archbold, Mr., 264. 
Ardres, Ernulf de, 156. 
Armorial Families. See Fox-Da vies. 
Arms, alleged 'bogus,' 312. See 

also Heralds. 

, alleged 'variation' of, 275. 

, College of. See Heralds' 

, colourable imitation of, 


, differencing of, 318, 327-9. 

: , grants of, fees for, 315-6. 

, ' Laws ' of, by whom 

broken, 144-6. 
pirated, 3 1 6-7. 

See also Crest, Quarterings. 
Arms, The Right to Bear, 53, 145. 
Arnesby (Leic.), descent of, 303-5. 
Arrouaise, houses dependent on 

Abbey of, 163. 
Arundel, Thomas (Howard) earl 

of (1604, i62i),279-8o,447. 
, earldom of, 94, 109, 448, 


castle, descent of, 466. 

fief, the, 44. 

Ashburnham family, fabulous his- 
tory of, 46. 

Assumption. See Peerage Dignities. 
Athenry, barony of, its precedence, 




' Attraction ' of barony by earldom, 

doctrine of, 450-53. 
Aubigny family (of Arundel), origin 

of, 125. 

Audley, Hugh de, 207. 
Augmentation, alleged grant of 

honourable, 132, 138, 139, 

140, 144. 

, the Howard, 39-41. 

Aust (Glouc.), 193. 

Austria, Leopold duke of, 233. 

, arms of, 238. 

Austruy, family of, 1 5 8-9, 1 64. 
Authorities, strange treatment of, 

428-9, 434. 

Baalun. See Ballon. 

Baderon (of Monmouth), 122, 191. 

, William son of 120, 121, 

122, 123, 185. 
Badlesmere, barony of, 446, 451, 


Baelun. See Ballon. 
Bailleul, Renaud de, 130, 131. 
Bain, Mr. Joseph, 133, 134, 143. 
Baker's Northamptonshire, 289, 291, 

292, 293, 294, 295, 297, 

299 303, 322, 325. 
Baladone. See Ballon. 
Baldran, Hubert, 130. 
Baldwin (de Clare, of Exeter), 

Richard son of, 2 1 3-4. 

, William son of, 212. 

Ballon (Maine), 190, 191-2. 
, family of, in Dorset, Hants, 

and Somerset, 209-10. 
, Hamelin de, 189, 190, 192, 

196, 198-200, 203, 204, 

205, 210. 
, , his sons William and 

Mathew, 205. 
, , Emmeline daughter 

of, 202, 205. 

-, his grandson William, 

Ballon (Hamelin de), descendants 
of, 199-200, 202-209. 

, Winebaud (Wynebald) de, 

189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 
196, 197, 198, 209. 

, , his sons Roger and 

Milo, 195. 

, , his son Roger, 197. 

Balom. See Ballon. 

Balun. See Ballon. 

Bampton (Oxon.), 175, 177, 178. 

(Devon), Honour of, 60. 

Banquo, alleged ancestor of the 
Stewarts, 116, 118, 132, 137, 
139, 142, 143. 

Barkly, Sir Henry, 194. 

Barnstaple priory, 215. 

Barones magni of Henry I., 196. 

Baronetcies, degradation of, 32. 

Baronia used for one knight's fee, 

Barron, Mr. Oswald, 329. 

Bastards not distinguished as ille- 
gitimate, 125-6. 

Battle Abbey Roll, the so-called, 6 1 . 

Beauchamp (of Bedford), Hugh de, 

Beauchamp of Bedford, arms of, 

Bedford, earls and dukes of. 


Belhaven, barony of, 13. 
Bellme, Robert de, 192. 
Belmethorpe (Rutland), 303. 
Belvoir castle, descent of, 73, 466. 
Berkeley family, origin of, 72. 
Berkeley, barony of, 467-470. 

, Sir James de (1421), 468. 

, , lord Berkeley, 435-6. 

, (Mrs. Milman) baroness, 

436, 468-9. 

, baroness, 470. 

-, earldom of, 436, 468. 


198-9, 200. 

, lords, style themselves lords 

Mowbray and Segrave, 449. 



Berkeley, lords, style ^themselves 

lords Braose, 456. 
, Sir Maurice, created lord 

Berkeley, 356-8. 
, Thomas lord, * sheepmaster/ 

Bernegger, Monsieur, of Strasburg, 

242, 243. 
Berners, barony of, 338, 340. 

, John lord, 332. 

Bertie family, fabulous history of, 


Bertrand, alleged arms of, 274-5. 
Betham, Sir William, 20, 68. 
Blackstone on the heralds and their 

records, 315. 
' Blanks ' signed by king, 408-9, 


Blood, ennobling the, 5-7, 100. 
Bolam (Northumberland), barony 

of, 190. 
Boleyn, George. See Rochford. 

, Sir Thomas, 340, 356. 

, Thomas. See Ormonde. 

Bolingbroke. See St. John. 
Bone, an ancestral, 557. 
Boughton Alulf (Kent), church of, 


, manor of, 157-8, 162. 

Bouillon, Godfrey de, 152. 
Boulogne, comti of, seized by Philip 

Augustus, 178. 
, Eustace (" aux grenons ") 

count of, VII.-VIIL, 147-52, 

153-5, 1 60. 
, , * Goda ' (of England) 

wife of, 147-151, 156. 
, , Ida (de Bouillon) 

second wife of, 1 5 1-4. 
, Eustace (the younger) count 

of 153, I54 l6 3> 172. 

, , Mary (of Scotland) 

wife of, 163, 172. 

-, Matilda daughter of. 

Boulogne, Matilda (wife of Stephen) 

countess of, 159, 166, 172, 

, Stephen count (jure uxoris) 

of. See Stephen. 

, Pharamus of, 160. 

, William of, 160. 

, William (son of Stephen) 

count of, VIII. 159,160,172, 

174, 176. 
, , marries heiress of 

Warennes, 168-70, 172. 
, , his gigantic estates, 


, , his death, 171. 

, , count of Mortain, 166, 

167, 171, 174. 
, Eustace (son of Stephen) count 

of, 1 68, 172. 
, Mary (wife of count Mathew) 

countess of, 171, 172, 176. 
, Mathew (jure uxoris) count 

of, 162, 172, 179. 

-, tries to invade Eng- 

land, 173-4. . 

, - , obtains fresh lands 

there, 175. 

, - , mortally wounded, 

See next entry. 

-- , Ida (his daughter) countess 
of, 175, 176, 178, 179. 

: , - , Reginald de Dam- 
martin husband of, 176-80. 

- , Maud (his daughter), 176. 

- , - , Henry (' the warrior 
of Lorraine ') husband of, 


- , the Honour of, 155 et seq., 
163 et seq. 

- , - , return of its fees, 1 64, 

- , origin of its Swan, 152. 

- , its money standard found in 
England, 158. 

Boulonnais, religious houses with 



English endowments in the, 

153, 161-3, 177- 
Boulonnais, seigneurs of the, have 

English lands, 158-161. 
Bourchier, barony of, 440. 

, viscountcy of, 447. 

Boyd family, alleged descent of, 


Bracton on co-heiresses, 462. 
Braose, barony of, 441, 456. 
, , assumed and claimed, 

45 6. 

Bray, Edmund Bray created lord, 

336, 337, 349> 362-3. 
, barony of, 30, 351, 362-3, 

366, 469. 
Breteuil, the customs of, 1 8 3-4. 

, William de, 205. 

Bretons support Henry I. (before 

his accession), 124. 
Brewer, Dr., 39, 340. 
Brooke, earldom of, 27. 
Brougham, Lord, his pedigree, 


Bryan, barony of, 446. 
Brydges, Sir Egerton, 289, 297, 

Buchan earldom, descent of the, 


Bulbeck, ' viscountcy ' of, 446. 

, barony of, 451, 452. 

Burgh (of Gainsborough), Thomas 
lord, 336, 337, 349, 353. 

, barony of, 334~5 35 1, 3 6 ^. 

Burke family, fabulous origin of, 

Burke 9 s Colonial Gentry, 1 1 3-4. 

Burke* s Landed Gentry, 24, 63, 64, 
112-3, 144-5, 310. 

Burke* s Peerage, i, 7-8, n, 13, 
14, 15, 20, 24, 25, 41-3, 
88-90,97-8, 104, 105, 106, 
108-114, 131-3, 144, 216, 
219, 249, 259, 264, 265, 


266, 319, 320, 321, 436, 

464, 468, 469. 
Burton, barony of, 466. 
Busli, Roger de, VII. 
Butlers, possible origin of the, 122. 
Buxton (of Derbyshire), arms of, 

(of Essex), arms of, 319. 

(of Norfolk), arms of, 

Cadbury (Somerset), North, 197, 


Caenby (Line.), 162. 
Caerleon-on-Usk, 187, 188, 190, 

Caermarthenshire, the Normans in, 


Caldecote (castle), 187. 
Cannington Priory, 260. 
Cantref Bychan, 215. 
Cardigan, the Norman lords of, 

2II-2, 214. 

Carlyle, Thomas, hoaxed by the 

heralds, 133. 
Carringtons, former (previously 

Smith), 23-4, 64. 
Carringtons, present (formerly 

Smiths), origin of, 16, 22, 24. 
Castle, a, an indivisible inheritance, 


Castle Carlton (Line.), 302. 
Castle Cary, Honour of, 60. 
Catholics. See Nuncio ; Worcester. 
Chaldon Herring (Dorset), 266-8. 
Chamberlain, office of Great, 462. 
Charles I., action of, in Windsor 

case, 360. 
, his relations with Edward 

(Somerset), * Lord Glamor- 
gan,' 367 et seq. 
Charles II., his dealings with 

Edward, second marquis of 

Worcester, 375-7. 


Charles VI. (of France), pretended 

grant by, 133-4, '37, '39, 


ChStellerault, dukedom of, 12. 
Chepstow castle, 186, 212. 
Chester, the relief of, 423-4. 
Cheverel (Wilts), Great, 192, 199, 

204, 206. 
Chichester, Adam Moleyns, bishop 

of, 266. 
Churches, introduction of sham 

genealogy into, 84-7. 
Chutes of the Vyne, the, 2 5 . 
Clare, family of de, 2 1 2-4. 
, Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de, 

, Richard (son of Gilbert) de, 

211, 214. 

, Walter (son of Richard) de, 

212, 214. 

, Gilbert (son of Richard) de, 


Clavering, arms of, 327-9. 
Clerfait, William de, 48. 
Clifford (1628), barony of, loo, 

449, 450, 454- 

Cliffords, the founder of the, 215. 
Clinton, Lord, assumes the title of 

Lord Say, 454. 
, , assigns it to James 

Fiennes, 454. 
Clun, church of St. George of, 

and Oswaldestre, alleged 

barony of, 448, 453. 
Coat-armour, how degraded, 316. 

See also Arms. 
Cobden, disastrous result of his 

policy, 284. 

Cobham, George lord, 346. 
Coggeshall (Essex), 162, 168. 
Co-heiresses. See Daughters. 
College of Arms. See Heralds' 

Colville, Maud de, 218, 227. 

Commons, House of, long associa- 

tion of Russells with, 278. 
Complete Peerage, The, 3, 8, 13, 

15, 1 6, 20, 22, 25, 27-31, 

33, 38, 43, 59, 70, 82-3, 
9 9 2 > 93, 9 8 , I 

no, 210, 240, 

, 101-8, 
339, 340, 

365, 436, 438, 447, 
462, 464, 467, 468, 
470, 471. 
Conyers, barony of, 466. 

- , Christopher lord, 345. 
Cooke, Clarencieux King of Arms, 

293, 315' 

Cormeilles, Abbey of, 184, 185. 
Coulthart imposture, the, 84. 
Counts. See Earls. 
Countship of the Empire assumed, 


- , lord Arundel's, 249. 
Coucy, Enguerrand de, earl of 

Bedford, 233. 

Courci, John de, lord of Ulster, 
104, 106-7. 

- , - , his alleged descendants 
and his fictitious geste, ibid. 

Courcy. See Kingsale. 
Cowley (Oxon.), 158. 

- case, the, 465. 
Cramond, Mr. William, 83, 87. 
Crest, alleged grant of a, 141, 142. 
Crests assumed, 240. 
Cromartie, earldom of, 463-5, 

Cromwell, ' baroness/ 99, 455. 

- , Gregory lord, 354-5. 

- , Oliver, his mother's descent, 


- , - , his grandfather's win- 

dow, 138. 

- , - , his statue, 294. 

- , Thomas (earl of Essex) lord, 

333, 345,. 346, 354-5- 
Crown, restrictions on its powers 
in peerage dignities, 466-7. 




Crown, recent intervention in peer- 
age questions of the, 464-9, 

, succession to the, 458 et seq. 

Curtone, family of, 164. 

Dacre, barony of, 466. 

, twin baronies of, 95. 

Dammartin, Aubrey de, 177. 

, Reginald de. See Boulogne. 

Darcy, lord, summoned as lord 

Meinill, 455. 
Daughters as heirs, equal rights of, 

460, 463, 471. 
, special provision needed for 

succession of eldest, 461-2, 

' De, J interpolation of prefix, 

261, 277. 

, revival of prefix, 16-19. 

Dearden family, sham monuments 

of, 84. 

Debretfs Peerage, 8, 14, 248. 
Deeds, wholesale forgery of, 229- 

236, 238. See also Records. 
DefFord (Worcestershire), 296, 


De La Mare, family of, 304-5. 
De La Poer. See Power. 
De La Tour, alleged arms of, 253, 

, Alice (alias Eleanor), 257, 

262-3, 270, 271-4. 
Denbigh. See Feilding. 
, Basil, second earl of, 222, 

239, 241-3, 244-6. 
, , becomes a Hapsburg, 

Depopulation, rural, due to 

sheep-farming, 221. 
Derby, Thomas earl of, assumes 

titles, 446. 
, William earl of, assumes 

titles, 451. 
, earls of. See also Stanley. 

Derham. See Russell. 
Derings, fabulous origin of, 65. 
De Ros. See Roos. 

, barony of, n, 366. 

Despencer, ' baroness J Le, 99, 


, barony of Le, n, 30. 

, , ranking of, 366. 

, Hugh (the Justiciar), 296, 


, , Hugh, son of, 301, 302. 

Despencers, the baronial, arms of, 

289, 291. 
, , differenced arms of, 

291-2, 293, 306, 327-9. 
, , alleged descent from, 

292-301, 306. 

, , origin of, 303-5, 328. 

, cadets of, 296-306, 328-9. 

Devereux pedigree, the, 71. 

Devon, earldom of, 29. 

Digby, George lord, 399, 416, 


, Sir Kenelm, 388, 405. 

Dillon family, alleged founder of, 

Dircks, Mr., incompetent to deal 

with documents, 428. 
Dol, Hugh, 'archbishop' of, 127. 

, John, 'archbishop' of, 122. 

, the seneschals of, 117, 122, 

123, 124, 126-7, 129, 130. 

, the lords of, 121, 122, 127. 

Domesday Book, 51, 57-8, 60, 

62-65, 69, 70, 147, 151, 

152, 187, 260. 
Donyland (Essex), East, 166. 
Dormant, meaning of, 37. 
Dorset, Ballon family in, 209. 
Douai, Walter de, 60. 
Doudeauville, family of, 159. 
Dover castle, constableship of, 1 60, 

, provisioned and strengthened, 




Dover castle, reserved by Henry II., 

Drogo, count of the French Vexin, 

148, 150. 
Droitwich, St. Nicholas' church at, 


Dudley, 'baroness,' 99, 455. 

, duchess, 384. 

, Suttons lords, 338. 

Duff family. See Fife. 
Dugdale, Sir William, 50, 51, 67, 
76-7, 128, 130, 189, 190, 

195, 210, 216-7, 221-2, 
228, 239, 240, 246, 26l, 

277, 3i3 322, 332-3> 338- 
34, 34 1 * 345 3^0, 364, 
392, 382-3, 384, 436. 

Duncombes, origin of the, 29. 

Dunham (Notts), 175, 177, 178, 

Dunkerton (Somerset), 210. 

Dyrham. See Derham. 

Dyved, 213-4. 

Earl Marshal, dignity of, 109. 
Earldom, alleged creation " before 

1014" of an, 90. 
Earldoms, question as to abeyance 

of, 463-5. 
Earls, taking their styles from 

towns, 150. 
Eaton (Wilts), 201-4. 
Edward the Confessor, 147-151, 

Egremont, barony of (Multon of), 


, earls of, 44. 

Elizabeth, succession of queen, 

472, 474. 
Ellis, Sir Henry, 151. 

, Mr. A. S., 120, 148, 195. 

Ely Cathedral, Steward monu- 
ments in, 136, 137, 139. 
Ely, the dean of, 135, 136. 
Empson, Richard, 284. 

Esmond family, alleged founder of, 

Essex, Devereux earls of, assume 
titles, 447. 

, , restored, 448. 

Eton, 1 60. 

Eu, William of, 187. 

Eudo ' Dapifer,' devolution of his 
estates, 163, 167. 

, Adam brother of, 1 66. 

Eure, barony of, 354. 

Eustace, count. See Boulogne. 

Eustache le Moine, 153. 

Evidence. See Authorities ; Deeds ; 
Forgery; Garter-plates; ; Fune- 
ral certificates ; Letters-mis- 
sive ; Records. 

Evreux, St. Taurin of, 215. 

Ewe (Eu), earldom of, assumed, 


Ewias, Harold of, 156, 165. 
Exeter, Osbern bishop of, 205. 
Eye, the Honour of, 167-8, 169, 

171* *75 176. 

Eyton, Rev. R.W., 63, 116, 124, 
125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 
141, 149, 196. 

Fane (or Vane) family, origin and 
pedigree of, 309-10. 

Farnborough (Warwickshire), 325. 

Faversham (Kent), 166. 

Feilding, arms of, 238, 243, 247. 

, crests of, 240. 

, antiquity of family of, 247. 

, name of, its alleged deriva- 
tion from Rheinfelden, 228- 
229, 232, 234, 236. 

Feildings claim to be Hapsburgs, 
14-15, 216 etseq. 

Ferrers, family of, 32. 

Ferrers of Chartley, barony of, 31- 


Ffrench, absurdity of the form, 1 6. 
Fiennes family, origin of, 161. 



Fife, duke of, his fictitious pedi- 
gree abandoned, 82-4. 
Fitzalan, alleged barony of, 448, 

Fitz Alan family, origin of, 115, 


Fitz Alan, Jordan, VII. 126. 
, , his descendants, VII. 


, Walter (steward of Scot- 
land), 115, 1 1 6, 128, 129, 


, William, 125. 

Fitz Count, Brian (of Walling- 

ford), 189, 211, 212. 
, Reginald (son of Roger earl 

of Hereford), 201-3, 205-6. 
, , his son William, 

198-9, 200, 205. 
, , his other children, 

202, 205. 
Fitz Flaald, Alan, 115, 116, 117, 

123, 124, 125, 126, 127- 

129, 131. 

Fitz Geralds, fabulous origin of, 69. 
Fitz Osbern. See Hereford. 
Fitz Payne, barony of, 446. 
Fitz Rou (Rolf), Turstin, 188-9, 

190, 192, 193, 194, 195, 

196, 197, 210. 
Fitz- Walter, barony of, 31. 
Fitz-William, family, origin of, 

Flodden augmentation, the, 39, 

321. See also Howard. 
Fobbing (Essex), 162. 
Forged pedigrees, 308-9. See also 

Forgery of documents, 141, 241, 

244-5, 246. See also Wor- 
cester, Edward marquis of. 
Fortescue, alleged origin of name, 

Foster, Mr. Joseph, 3, 14, 83, 87- 


Fox-Da vies, Mr., 20, 40, 42, 53, 
145, 247-8, 312, 314.1 

Freeby (Leic.), 305. 

Freeman, Professor, I, 2, 4-7, 20, 
2 9, 46-7, 5o-5i> 52, 55, 
G* 72, 73-75, i", IH, 
147-152, 154, 181-3, 187, 
190, 191, 203, 213,472. 

French, origin of name, 1 6. 

Froude, Mr., 330. 

Froxmere, arms of, 253, 254, 269. 

Funeral certificates as evidence, 

Furness Abbey founded by Ste- 
phen, 1 68. 

Gage, Sir Henry, 394. 

Gairdner, Mr. James, 332, 333, 

338, 352. 
Gardiner, Mr. S. R., 368, 370, 

371, 372-383, 385-399, 
401-405, 407-415, 417- 
420, 422, 424, 426-434. 
Garioch, alleged barony of, 1 1 . 
Garter-King-of-Arms. See Ans- 
tis ; Dugdale ; Heard ; Segar ; 
Garter-plates as evidence, 439- 

441, 446, 451-2, 456. 
Genealogist, The, 4, 125, 133, 135, 

136, 160, 165, 368,453. 
Genealogy, the new, 4, 1 1 2, 3 2 3-4. 
the old, 134, 324. 
official, 88. 
the eccentric, 1 1 89. 
monastic, 189, 198. 
the romance of, 70. 

Glamorgan, earldom of, informally 
bestowed on Edward (Somer- 
set) Lord Herbert, 367-8, 
374, 38o, 390, 397-8. 

, Lord. See Worcester, Ed- 
ward marquis of. 

Glass window, the Steward, 133, 
136, 138-9, 220. 



Glass window, the Feilding, 219, 

Godfrey, alleged arms of, 253, 269. 

Godstow, gift of Eaton to, 201-2, 

Gorges, Alianore, 271-3. 

, arms of, 272-3. 

Gotha, Almanac de y 78, 83. 

Gotherington in Bishop's Cleeve 
(Glouc.), 193. 

Gournai, Hawise de, 197. 

Gower, peninsula of, Norman oc- 
cupation of, 215. 

Graunt, Walter, 287, 326. 

, William, 287. [3 2 4- 

Graziers, fortunes made by, 284-5, 

Great Governing Families cited, 278. 

Greenstreet, Mr. James, 274. 

Greyde Powis, Edward lord, 346. 

Grey de Ruthyn, barony of, 447. 

Grimston family, alleged founder 
of, 62. 

Guihenoc (or Wihenoc) of Mon- 
mouth, 121, 123, 185. 

Gwent, 1 86, 187, 189. 

, Upper, 189, 192,211, 212. 

, Nether, 192, 212. 

Hallam cited, 342. 

Hamiltons, origin of the, 89. 

Hampshire, Ballon family in, 209. 

Hapsburg, arms of, 238, 243. 

descent and dignities, claim 

of Feildings to, 14-15, 216 
et sey. 

Hapsburgs, alleged Alsatian origin 
of, 244. 

Harold. See Hereford. 

Harrowden. See Vaux. 

Hastings family, alleged origin of 
its name, 63. 

Hastings, barony of, 447. 

, , its precedence, 108-9. 

, George (earl of Hunting- 
don), lord, 333, 338. 

Hat, Lord Kingsale and his, 104-5. 
Havet, M. Julien, 245. 
Haye family, origin of, 125. 
Heard, Sir Isaac, Garter King of 
Arms, 300, 302, 308. 

- Heirs of the body,' interpretation 

of, 459>463> 471, 47475. . 

Heirs male, dignities by writ di- 
verted in favour of, 360-361, 

, limitation to, its meaning, 


, retain baronies in fee, 450- 


Henry I., 213. 
bestows Crown lands on 

Stephen, 168. 

Henry II., grants by, 1 60, 163. 
propitiates Stephen and his 

son William, 168, 169. 

subsequently forces William 

to surrender his castles and 
crown lands, 170. 

seizes the Honour of Bou- 
logne and comt'e of Mortain 
on William's death, 171-2. 

, his compromise with count 

Mathew, 173, 174. 
Henry VII., king in his own 

right, 472. 
Henry VIII., his will disposes of 

the crown, 472, 473. 
, his creation of peers, 330 

et seq. 
Heraldry, 39-42, 45, 49, 50, 79, 

136, 138-146, 207, 216, 

238-9, 240, 243, 248,251- 

3, 258, 269, 270, 272-5, 

289-293, 306-7, 312-3, 

316-321, 326-9. 
Heralds, the, squabble over fees, 

Heralds, Elizabethan, 23, 43, 46, 

50, 76, 137, 143, 301. 

See also Cooke ; Lee ; Thynne. 



Heralds' College, 8, 71, 309. 

alters its ' recorded ' pedi- 
grees, 312. 

, its 'records,' 314-5. 

, doubtful armorial bearings 

on, 40. 

, value of its authorized pedi- 
grees, 53, 58, 71-2, 80, 86, 
301-3, 311-2. 

, its defective record of grants, 


, fabulous pedigrees con- 
structed by members of, 76, 
79, 141, 251-2, 259, 261, 
292-6, 308. 

, authorizes spurious arms, 

144, 291. 

, authorizes spurious pedigree 

and arms, 285, 309. 

, its vicious system of granting 

arms, 145-6, 290, 317-321. 

, its book of " benefactors," 


, alleged concocted arms in, 

Heralds' Visitations, character and 

authority of, 80, 132, 137, 

143, 220, 293,1298/309-3 14. 
Hereford, Milo (de Gloucester) 

earl of, 211, 215. 

, Ralf earl of, 149, 182. 

, , his son Harold, 148, 

156, 164, 165. 
, William Fitz Osbern earl 

of, 181-7, 200, 205. 
, Roger (his son) earl of, 186, 

187, 201, 205. 
, , his sons Reginald and 

Roger, 20 1. 

, viscount. See Devereux. 

, customs of, 183, 184. 

Herefordshire, Ballon family in. 

See Ballon. 
organized on a military 

system by the Normans, 182. 

Hereward (falsely called " the 
Wake "), descents claimed 
from, 73-5, 77-9, 80-1. 

Herring, arms of, 253. 

(wrongly Herringham), Dor- 
set family of, 266, 268. 

Herringham. See Herring. 

Hesdin, Ernulf (or Arnulf) de, 
1 16, 192. 

, Avelina daughter of, 1 1 6, 

128, 130. 

Hewison, Mr. J. K., 117-8. 

Higham (Kent), 1656. 

Hoax, a brilliant, 338-340. 

Hodnell (Warwickshire), 281, 285, 
286, 287, 288, 325. 

Hope, Mr. St. John, 329. 

Howard arms, the, 39-41, 321. 

Howard, barony of, 449. 

Howard family, origin of, 73, 75- 


, titles of, 109, 452-3, 456. 

Howard, Sir Robert, 4356. 

, John, created duke of Nor- 
folk, 436, 441. 

, , 440, 442, 443. 

, Henry Frederick, sum- 
moned as lord Mowbray, 438. 

, Thomas, earl of Surrey and 

(1514) duke of Norfolk, 442. 

Howard deWalden, barony of, 450. 

Howards, co-heirs of, 436. 

, attainted, 442, 443, 444. 

, restored, 442, 444, 448. 

assume peerage titles, 452-3. 

style themselves lords Braose, 


, the, earls of Wicklow, 321. 

Howth. See St. Lawrence. 

Hugglescote (Leic.), 305. 

Hughenden effigies, the sham, 84. 

Hungerford (of Heytesbury), first 
lord, 333, 346. 

Hunter, Rev. Joseph, 48-50. 

Huntingdon, Honour of, 1 79. 



Hussey (of Sleaford), John lord, 

336, 337, 348, 35i, 353- 
, barony of, 350, 366. 

Iddesleigh. See Northcote. 
Ingelric the priest, 155. 
Inglishcombe (Somerset), 197. 
' Ingulf cited, 77-8. 
Ireland. See Rinuccini, Worcester. 
, influence of tribal principle 

in, 101-2. 
Irish baronies, the ancient, peculiar 

history of, 101-3. 
Irish peerage, the, 70. 
Irish peerage dignities, 13. 

, assumption of, VII. 14, 18. 

Ixning (Suffolk), 175, 177, 178. 

James I., his action in peerage 

cases, 453. ^ 
, his succession to the crown, 


John, grant by, 153. 
secures alliance of count of 

Boulogne, 177. 
loses and regains it, 178-9. 

Kensington, first lord, 16. 
Kildare, earldom of, 453. 
Kings of arms, their suggestive 

prayer, 308. 

Kingsale, barony of, 103-8. 
, , Courcy its true title, 

, , date of its creation, 

1 06-8. 
Kingsale, the lords, 16. See a/so 


Kingsley, Charles, 74, 80. 
Kingston Russell. See Russell. 
Kingsweston (Somerset), 153, 154, 


Kinloss, baroness, 472. 
Kirkby Fleetham, 3 1 4. 
Kirton-in-Lindsey, 175, 177, 178. 

Knight service, 44. 
Knighthood bestowed on ances- 
tors, 277, 300, 301. 
Kynton, viscountcy of, 4456. 
Kytson, Sir Thomas, 293. 

Lancaster, the Honour of, 1 68, 1 7 1 . 
Land, alleged inheritance of, from 

' Saxon ' times, 65, 74. 
, alleged long descent of, 

Landed gentry, no trustworthy 

work on, 112-3. $ ee a ^ so 


Latimer, barony of, 446. 
Laufenburg, counts of, 216-7, 

219, 223-4, 2 34-5- 

, position of, 224. 

Leadam, Mr., 282, 288, 322. 

Lecky, Mr., 342. 

Leconfield, the lords, 44. 

Le Despencer. See Despencer. 

Lee, Richard, Clarencieux, his 

Spencer pedigree, 2926, 299, 

302, 306-8, 325-6, 327. 
Leicester, patent (1784) for earl- 
dom of, 440, 453. 
Le Neve, Peter, Norroy, 315. 
, William, York Herald, 251, 

252, 258, 269. 
Le Strange family, Breton origin 

of, 123. 
Letters-missive, evidence of, 438- 

440, 444, 445, 449, 457. 
Licques, Premonstratensian abbey 

of, 163. 

Lillechurch (Kent), 165-6. 
Limesi, Ralf de, 186, 187. 
Lincoln, Lord Clinton created earl 

of, 455-. 

Lindsay (Windsor Herald), Mr. 
W. A., 117, 125, 310-311. 

Lisle, Arthur (Plantagenet), vis- 
count, 345, 347, 356. 

Llandaff, Book of, 197. 



Llandovery, 215. 

Llangennith priory founded, 215. 

Lords, House of, unjustly charged, 5 . 

, , * scene in, 279. 

, , abolished by Crom- 
well, 294. 

, , changes in, under 

Henry VIII., 330 et seq. 

-, , in 1523, 331. 

-, , in 1529, 331, 333- 

7, 341, 352. 

-, , its decisions in peer- 
age cases criticised, 334,456-7. 

-> in '534, 337-341- 

-, , in 1515, 340. 

-, , in 1 536, 344-6, 366. 

-, , use of proxies in, 


, , m I539> 

, , precedence in, 353, 

363, 366. 
Lorraine, Godfrey duke of, 42. 

See a/so Boulogne. 
Lou, Robert le, 298, 299, 302, 


Loughborough, 305. 
Lovaine, origin of title, 42. 
Lovayne, alleged barony of, 447. 
Lovel and Holland, baronies of, 


Loxton (Somerset), 154. 
Lucas of Crudwell, patent creating 

barony of, 46 1 . 
Luci, Richard de, 173, 174. 
Lumley, John lord, 334. 
Lydney (Glouc.), 185. 
Lyon Office, its "proved and 

registered " pedigree of Mar- 

joribanks, 87-8. 

Lyre, La Vieille, abbey of, 1 84. 
Lyttons of Knebworth (formerly 

Wiggett), the, 25-7. 

Macduff, viscountcy. See Fife. 
Mackay, sheriff, 1 1 7. 

Madan, Mr. F., 370. 
Maidstone, viscountcy of, 28. 
Malet, Robert, his fief bestowed on 

Stephen, 167, 171. 
Maltravers, barony of, 448, 453. 
- , Henry Fitz-Alan lord, 335, 


Manners family, the, 447. 

Mantes, 'Walter,' count of, 148- 

Mar, earldom of, 90-95. 

, character and effect of 

Restitution Act, 90, 92-3. 

Marcle (Herefordshire), Much, 
204, 206-9. 

, ' Honour' of, 200. 

Marjoribanks pedigree, the con- 
tested, 87-8. 

Markham (Notts), West, VII. 

Marlborough, Alvred de, 156. 

, heirs of first duke of, 38. 

, patent creating dukedom of, 


Marmoutier, abbey of, its char- 
ters, 122-3, 126. 

Martley. See Marcle. 

(Worcestershire), 296, 299, 

302, 306. 

Mary I., succession of, 472, 474. 

Mary II., queen by statute, 459, 


Mascherel, Walter, 167. 
Massy of Dunham Massy, the 

founder of, 64. 
Meinill, title of, assigned to the 

Darcys in writs, 455. 
Melcombe Regis. See Weymouth. 
Merc (i.e. Marck), family of, 1 56-7, 

i6 4 . 

Merleberg. See Marlborough. 
Meschamp. See Muschamp. 
Meynill. See Meinill. 
Moels, Nicholas de, 198. 
Monbegon, Roger de, VII. 
Monmouth (with Troy), 185, 187. 



Monmouth, the Breton lords of, 

120, 121. 

Montacute, barony of, 336. 
Montacute priory, 196, 197. 
Montague, Henry Pole lord, 336, 


Montdoubleau, Payn de, 192. 
Montfort, Simon de, descent falsely 

claimed from, 85. 
Montgomery, Arnulf de, 2 1 4. 
Montmorency, de, name and arms 

wrongly taken, 20. 
Monumental effigies altered, shifted, 

and forged, 837. 
Monuments, heraldic evidence of, 

137-8, 252-3. 

Moray earldom, descent of the, 94. 
Mordaunt, John Mordaunt icreated 

lord, 336, 337, 349, 353. 

, barony of, 351, 366. 

More, Sir Thomas, cited, 286. 

Morley, earldom of, 23. 

Morres becomes De Montmorency, 

Mortain, comti of, held by Stephen, 

, held by his son William, 

169, 171. 
, promised to his son-in-law 

Mathew, 175. 
Mortelay. See Marcle. 
Mortimer, Isolde daughter of Ed- 
mund de, 207, 208. 
Morville, arms of, 273. 
Mountjoy, Charles Blountlord,345. 
Mowbray, barony of, 435 et sey., 


, its precedence, 108-9. 

, Henry Frederick Howard 

summoned (1640) as lord, 

Mowbray, Segrave, and Stourton, 

lord, 37, 40, 41, 52, 54, 

56, 58,61. 
, Alfred lord, 437-9. 

Mowbrays, Anne heiress of, 435, 


, Isabel, co-heiress of, 435. 

, Margaret, co-heiress of, 435. 

, their royal descent, 435-6. 

style themselves lords Braose, 

, their inheritance divided, 

436, 443- 

Musard, Robert, 306. 
Muschamp, alleged arms of, 253. 

Names of supposed ancestors re- 
vived, 21-2, 216, 24.7, 261, 

Napton, Agnes de, 218, 220, 227. 

Nelson, right heir of, 38. 

Neufmarche" (Newmarch), Henry 
de, 194, 195, 196, 209. 

, James de, 196, 198. 

, William de, 210. 

, Sibyl, daughter of Bernard 

de, 212. 

Newmarch. See Neufmarch. 

, Isabel, 255. 

Nichols* Leicestershire, 217, 229, 


Nicolas, Sir Harris, 3, 9. 
Nobility. See Blood ; Peerage 

Norfolk, dukes of, 38, 40, 109- 

, dukedom of, its precedence, 


See also Howard. 

Norfolk, Margaret countess 0^436. 
Northcote pedigree, the, 71. 
Northumberland, earls of, assume 

titles, 446. 
, origin of Percy dukedom 

of, 45- 

Norton, Cold (Oxon.), 179. 
, , Augustinian house at, 

(Suffolk), 178. 



Norwich held by William count of 

Boulogne, 169, 170. 
Nuncio. See Rinuccini. 
Nutfield (Surrey), 153, 161. 

Oeys (i.e. Oye), Eustace de, 157. 

Offaley, barony of, 95, 453, 466. 

Ogle, barony of, 338. 

Oman, Mr., 204. 

Ongar, the Honour of, 171,1 74. 

Ormonde, earldom (1529) of, 470. 

, Thomas, earl of, 340. 

, James first duke of, his 

relations with Charles I. and 
Lord Glamorgan (1644-7), 

39 2 396, 39 8 ~9 4 OI ~7> 

412-17, 419-20, 422-4, 

Ostrewic. See Austruy. 
Oxford (De Vere), earldom of, 450, 

Oxford, Walter, archdeacon of, 202. 

Painter-stainers, 58, 60, 145. 

Pancevolt, Bernard, 196. 

Parish Register, discovery of a peer 

in, 70. 

, falsified, 86. 

Parliament. See Lords ; Commons. 
Parr barony, creation of, 355. 
Patent, creation by, 354-5, 358-9. 
Patents of creation, invalid proviso 

in, 467. 
, value of recitals in, 62, 221, 

Paulett, Sir William, created lord 

St. John, 361. 
Pauncefote, family of, 24. 
Paynel family, origin of, 125. 
Paynel (of Somerset), William, 206. 
Pedigree-makers, pranks of, 265. 
Pedigrees, attempts to tinker, 252. 
, how concocted, 227 et seq. 

Peerage cases : 

Braye, 354, 359, 361,362, 365. 

Buckhurst, 466-7. 

Clifton, 6. 

Fitzwalter, 446, 450. 

Hastings, 9, n, 109. 

Herries, 96. 

Howard de Walden, 450. 

Lindores, 100. 

Mar, 90-3. 

Moray, 94. 

Mowbray and Segrave, VIII. 10,. 

no, 365,435 "" ? 
Oxford (earldom of), 450, 451 - 

Sandys, 358. 
Scales, 437, 440. 
Sutherland, 94. 
Vaux, 354, 357, 358, 363, 


Wentworth, 361. 
Wharton, 354. 
Peerage cases, evidence produced in, 

361-5- m 

Peerage dignities deemed real es- 
tate, 460, 465-6. 

, their descent diverted, 93-5. 

, purchase of, 28, 33. 

, wrongful assumption of, 99 

101, 445-8, 449, 450-456. 

, erroneous recognition by 

Crown of, VIII. 100, 447-8, 

, Crown cannot alter limita- 
tion of, 466. 

Peerage, vulgarization of the, 

Pembroke, Gilbert (de Clare) earl 

Of, 212. 

Pepys pedigree, the, 311. 
Percy, modern barony (1722) of,. 
38, 100, 454. 

, arms of, 41-2. 

, origin of family of, 43-4. 

, formerly Smithson, 44. 



Petre, Lord, 40, 41. 
Petworth, Honour of, 44. 
Pevensey, Honour and castle of, 

169, 170. 
Peverel of Nottingham, Honour of, 


Piddington (Beds), 178. 
Pike, Mr. L. O., 342, 360, 460, 

461, 462. 
Pilkington family, fabled antiquity 

of, 66. 

Pitcombe (Somerset), 193, 196. 
Plaids, House of the, 1 20. 
Playford (Suffolk), 171. 
Pleas of the Crown, 1 84. 
Plunkett family, fabulous origin of, 


Poer, barony of ' La,' 100. 
Poher, le. See Power. 
Poitou, Roger of, his fief bestowed 

on Stephen, 168. 
Pons, Richard son of, 215. 
Pope (Innocent X.), alleged letter 

of Charles I. to, 409. 

, possibly hoaxed, 431. 

Porter, Endymion, VIII. 385. 
Power becomes De La Poer, 18. 
Precedence erroneously admitted, 

366, 454. 
Precedency of baronies, special, 


Princedom of the empire, Marl- 
borough's, 38. 
Protestant, meaning of a, in 1 7th 

century, 403. 
, English Sovereign must be, 

Purton (Glouc.), 185. 

Quarterings, heraldic, 27, 138. 

, , wrongly allowed, 79, 


Radbourne (Warwickshire), 281, 
285, 286. 

Raleigh, Sir Edward, 325. 
Records, imaginary, cited, 71-2, 

107-8, 133-4, H 2 7 6 > 

338, 364- 

See also Domesday Book. 
Red Book of the Exchequer, The, 165, 


Redesdale, Lord, 446. 
Redvers. See Reviers. 
Reviers, Richard de, 124-5. 
Rheinfelden, alleged counts of, 

216-9, 230, 234, 239. 
, position and history of, 223, 

226, 228, 234-6. 
Rhuddlan, customs of, 183, 184. 
Rhyd-y-Gors, castle of, 2 1 2-2 1 4. 
Richard L, 176. 

Richmond, Breton earls of, 3 1 3-4. 
Riddell, Mr., 12, 95, 97, 115. 
Rinuccini, papal nuncio to Ireland, 


, , alleged letter of 

Charles I. to, 399, 400, 405- 


Rivenhall (Essex), 162. 
Robert duke of Normandy, 191, 

Rochford, George (Boleyn) lord, 

333, 334>335337>339>353- 
, barony of, 335, 336, 337, 

, Thomas (earl of Ormond) 

lord, 340. 

Rollo, barony of, 96. 
Roos, barony of, 95, 447, 450, 

of Belvoir (1896), barony of, 


Rosel, Hugh de, 255, 256, 260. 

Ros, barony of De, ranking of, 366. 

Rudinge family and arms, 3267. 

Rudolph (of Hapsburg), the em- 
peror (strictly 'King of the 
Romans'), 218, 228, 237. 



Russell barony (1539), creation of, 

Russell (of Killowen), arms of lord, 

, John, first earl of Bedford, 

252, 264, 267. 

, Francis, second earl of Bed- 
ford, 252, 253, 270. 
, William, lord Russell of 

Thornhaugh, 253. 
, James (father of first earl), 

254, 264, 267, 268. 
, John (grandfather of first 

earl), 254, 257, 262-3, 267, 

268, 277. 
, John, speaker of the House 

of Commons, 255, 256, 

(of Weymouth), Henry 

(great-grandfather of first earl 

of Bedford), 263-9, 278. 

(of Derham), Theobald, 

257, 262-3, 270* 27I-4- 

, Ralf (son of Theobald), 274. 

(of Kingston Russell), Ralf, 

198, 274. 

, , William, 277. 

(of Strensham), arms of, 320. 

(of Swallowfield), arms of, 


, John, gunner, 277. 

, Odo, 256, 258, 259, 260, 


, Stephen, 265. 

Russells, the (Bedford), origin of, 
250 et seq. 

, , eminence of, 250. 

, , herald's official pedi- 
gree of, 251-6, 303. 

, , alleged Norman origin 

of, 251, 255, 257-9, 263. 

, , arms of, 252-3, 258, 

274-5, 290, 320- 

, , origin of their name, 


Russells, the (Bedford), their long 

association with House of 

Commons, 278. 
(of Derham), the ' baronial,' 

254, 262, 269, 270, 278. 

, , arms of, 273-4, 3 2 - 

Ruthven of Freeland, barony of, 

14, 95-100, in. 
Rye, Mr. Walter, 19, 25, 76, 78- 

80, 134-6, 139, 316. 
Ryhall (Rutland), 178, 303. 

Sackingen, abbey of, 224, 230, 231. 

St. Clears (Caermarthenshire), 215. 

St. Florent de Saumur, abbey of, 
116, 120,121,122,125,126. 

St. Frideswide's, Robert of Crick- 
lade prior of, 202. 

St. George, Sir R., Clarencieux, 311. 

St. John barony (1539), creation 

of, 355, ?6i. 
St. John family, origin of, VII. 

62,66-7, 125. 

St. John, John (1230) de, 306. 
St. John (of Jerusalem), prior of, 

342, 346. 

St. Lawrence pedigree, the, 70. 
St. Legers, alleged founder of the, 

St. Liz barony, creation of, 217, 

222, 239, 240. 
St. Martin Vle-grand, 156. 
St. Osyth's (Essex), 158-9. 
St. Vincent (Mans), abbey of, 190, 

193, 196. 
Sandford, alleged barony of, 451, 

Sandfords of Sandford, alleged 

founder of, 63-4. 
Sandys barony, creation of, 356-8. 
Savigny abbey, charters of, 127. 
Say, barony of, 454-5. 
Saye and Sele, barony of, 455. 
Sayer family, alleged descent of 

Sears from, 85. 



Scandals, sundry, 28-9. 
Scohies, William de, 188. 
Scotland, assumption of peerage 
dignities in, 12, 14,92,95-99. 
Scottish genealogy, 83, 87-90. 
Scotts, male heirship of the, 89. 
Seal, alleged early armorial, 49. 
, evidence of an armorial, 

, forgery of the great, VIII. 

379, 4*2. 

Seals, strange adventures of, 231. 
Segar, Garter King of Arms, 259, 

293, 297, 302, 308, 315. 
Segrave, barony of, 436-8, 439, 

448, 449, 456, 457. 

See also Mowbray. 
Serjeanties of the count of Bou- 
logne in England, 158. 
Seymour arms, 40. 
Sharrington (Norfolk), 127. 
Sheep, complaints of their ravages, 

281-284, 286-7. 
Sheldon MSS., the, 241. 
Shifting clause. See Patent. 
Shipway pedigree case, the, 85-6, 

245, 276. 
Shirley's Noble and Gentle Men, 2 1 6, 

278, 296. 

Shopland (Essex), 158, 159. 
Signet, the, 415-7. 
Smith. See Carrington. 
Smith-Carington, fabulous origin 

of, 64. 
Snitterfield (Warwickshire), 286, 


Snow, Isaac, 285. 
Society, " good suburban," 316. 
, plutocratic development of, 

Somerset, Ballon family in, 209- 

(or Somerset and Beaufort), 

dukedom of, Charles I.'s 

alleged creation of, 367 et seq. 

Somerset family, origin of, 371. 
Sophia, the electress, 459. 
Spencer (of Cannon Hall), arms of, 

, Henry (of Badby), 294, 325, 

, , his alleged arms, 291, 

306, 328. 
, Sir John (purchaser of Al- 

thorpe), 284-292, 306, 322, 

, , his enclosed pastures, 

282, 288-9. 
, , his brother Thomas, 

286, 289. 
, , his father William, 

286, 289. 

-, a grazier, 284, 287, 

-, , resides at Hodnell, 

287-8, 292. 
-, , his grant of arms, 


-, , his monument, 291. 

-, (grandfather of first 

lord), 281, 283, 290, 292-4. 
-, monument of, 292. 

, John (of Hodnell), 286, 

323, 324- 

, Richard, 323. 

, Robert first lord, 279-80, 

285, 327. 
, Thomas (of Hodnell), 286, 

287, 326. 

, (of Everdon), 290. 

Spencers, alleged origin of, 279, 

292-300, 306. 

, true origin of, 285-8, 322. 

, great sheepmasters, 279-284. 

, originally i graziers/ 285. 

, arms granted to, 289-291, 

307, 317. 

, monuments of, 293. 

, modesty of modern, 322. 
, origin of their name, 323. 



Spencer-Churchills a branch of 

Spencer, 327. 
Sporle priory, 123, 129. 
Stanley family, alleged origin of, 


Stanley Regis (Glouc.), 307. 
Stapleton, family of, its pedigree, 


, Mr. Thomas, 314. 

Stapylton. See Stapleton. 
Stephen king of England and (jure 

uxoris) count of Boulogne, 

159, 162,166,171,172,174. 
Steward, Augustine, his spurious 

pedigree, 134, 136, 137, 

, Robert, dean of Ely, 135, 

i 3 6. 

Stewart pedigree, Lord Crawford's 

collections for, 1 18. 
Stewarts succeed to English throne, 


, origin of the, 1 1 5 et seq. 

, male heirship of the, 89, 


Stourton, descent of, 60. 
family, fabulous origin of, 

50-59, 61. 

See also Mowbray. 
Strange (1628), barony of, 100, 

449, 45, 454- 

, Stanley barony of, 445-6, 


, family of. See Le Strange. 

Stretton-on-Dunsmore, 130, 131. 

Stuart "of Hartley Mauduit," fam- 
ily of, 131 et seq. 

, arms of, 136 et seq. 

Stubbs, Dr. (bishop of Oxford), 4, 

10, 343, 345- 
Stukeley, Dr., 244. 
Sturminster Newton castle (Dorset), 

Stywards develop into Stuarts, 144, 

146, 228, 239. 

Succession, Acts of, 459, 460, 471- 


Sumeri, Roger de, 1 64. 
Surrey, Howard earldom of, 442, 

Sutton (Wilts), Great, 192, 204, 


Swan, knight of the, 152. 
Swyre (Dorset), Berwick in, 254, 

270, 271-2. 

Tailboys (of Kyme), Gilbert lord, 
332, 336, 337, 348, 35i, 

, barony of, 350, 359. 

Talbot, Francis Talbot lord, 335, 

Temple family, fabulous origin of, 


, arms of, 45. 

Tenancies under, forfeited, and 

bestowed with their holders' 

tenancies-in-chief, 193-4. 
Tenure, alleged earldom by, 453. 
Thynne, Francis, 50. 
Thynnes, origin of the, 250, 326. 
Tibenham (Norfolk), 318, 320. 
Tichborne family, antiquity of, 72. 
Tidenham, 185. 
Tintern abbey, 212. 
Tiron, abbey of, 127. 
Tortworth (Glouc.), 193. 
Townsend, Mr. (Windsor Herald), 

292, 294, 296. 
Trafford, the imaginary Randolphus 

de, 65. 

Tregoz, Robert de, 156, 165. 
Trelawny family, alleged founder 

of, 65. 

Tring (Herts), 158. 
Tudor nobility, the, 250. 
Tuxford (Notts), VII. 
Tudors, economic changes under 

the, 282. 
Tweedmouth. See Marjoribanks. 




Ulster office, fabulous pedigrees 

recorded in, 21, 69. 
King of Arms. See Betham ; 

Uses, statute of, 352-3. 

Vaillant, M. V.-J., 163. 
Valentia, viscountcy of, 13. 
Vanbrugh, Sir John, Clarencieux, 


Vane. See Fane. 
Vaux, barony of, 30. 
(of Harrowden), Thomas 

lord, 336, 337, 357, 365, 

, Sir Nicholas, created lord 

Vaux, 356-8, 364-5. 
Vavasour family, origin of, 62. 
Victoria History of the Counties of 

England, the, 323-4. 
Vignier, Jer6me, a forger, 245. 
Vincent, Augustine, 241, 302, 


, John, 218, 240, 241, 244. 

Visitations. See Heralds. 

Wake. See Hereward. 

family, origin of, 73-5, 

Wales, South, invaded by earl 

William Fitz Osbern, 182, 


, the Clares in, 211-4. 

, invaded from Devon, 215. 

Walesby (Notts), VII. 

Warenne fief, devolution of the, 


Warennes, heirship of the De, 49. 
Warsop (Notts), VII. 
Warwick, Henry (de Beaumont) 

earl of, 215. 

, earls of, 22, 27. 

Warwickshire, sheep farming in, 


Welsh land system, 1 86, 188. 
Wendover, 160. 

Wentworth, Martha Johnson claims 

barony of, 361. 
, Thomas Wentworth created 

lord, 336, 348, 351, 353. 
, barony of, 351, 362, 363, 


Westerham (Kent), church of, 153. 
Weston, Segar's (spurious) pedigree 

of, 259, 308. 

Wettingen, abbey of, 225, 227. 
Wexford, alleged barony of, 447. 
Weymouth, gild of St. George at, 


, Russells at, 267-8. 

Weysford. See Wexford. 
Wharton, barony of, 354. 
Whitsand, family of, 1 59, 1 64. 
Wicken (Northants), 289. 
Wiffen, Mr., 251, 257, 260, 261, 

263-6, 268, 271-8. 
Wihenoc. See Guihenoc. 
William the Conqueror, 46-7, 50, 

55-9 6l -3> 73, 154, 181. 
William Rufus, 190, 192. 
William III., king by statute, 459, 


Willington family, the, 221-2. 
Willoughby of Parham, barony of, 

Wimbish, Mr., his claim to be 

Lord Tailbois, 350, 359. 
Winchester, earls of. See Despen- 

Windsor (of Stanwell), Andrew first 

lord, 336, 337, 348, 353, 

, barony of, 350, 359-361, 

365-6, 437, 461, 462, 465, 

469, 470. 
Winterbourne-Wast (Dorset), 153, 


Winton, Scottish earldom of, 1 1 . 
Wolseley of Wolseley, fabulous 

origin of, 64-5. 
Wolston priory, 128. 






.,0 at her grand old English country sea; 
n . )h historic interest has come intc 
^ntr ' i|J/ ' ? / rke t- Chartley Hall, the an 
Jt alfan j a l ur;s V th - e Earl of Ferrers, after having 
down a re *, rferedj for rent, is now about to b'| 
co Way . a h Jas t / for sale at public auction. Chart] 
ail f h ^aturelv fvy t very flne old p i ace! which remain! 
re e so m d/ s - / wha t it was in the time of t 

genets, The house of Shirley, 
Ix>rd Ferrers is the chief, tracesi 

''/ "* %^?ed Si' * 1 

./ *>ad]y cut *"oiing. g^fj 1 arm torn' J*' 1 " 1 /nt in an unbroken line from t 

/ re ei^S* fcu ^e^ ^ * J > Were f * l of mn * Edward the Confessor, a 
tr^Pe" & tJ ed for 7 at s%ht|,L SO l^een, established throughout all th, 

y hundred years at Chartley. 

W ttr 

,8p ' - 
h to Th * 
nf rJest 
* in 



' c - 


* ar<j 


h ODe.< 

contract 00 ^' t 1200, but Chartley Hall, close by, 
old timbered building, still encirc 
its moat, containing apartments wlr 
la m. Iry Queen of Scots occupied for scm< 
Va.. _ jars It is on record that she rode am 

wked) in the primeval park by whiei 
hall is surrounded, and even in he] 
y, the wild white cattle of Chartle? 
ere accounted' of very ancient descent 
nd'eie/J, of their origin nothing is know^ 
eyon.di the tradition that they 
riven into the park from the victnag 
f Needwood during the reign of Km; 







;?w ; s.J:s:,'-"Ss 

otiea T h 

-^ee^-n^ 9 . -,, 

in the 

" in,i.y for three hundred yean*, and 
7-k of several thousand acros. 
ster of Lord Durham, is an ex- 
id brilliant woman, who has 
iveral books, including one which went 
amber of editions, entitled "Caprict-ios." 
wer than four daughters, 
-ier debut this y^ar. she hs only 
ni two years ago, who bears the cour- 
Marquis of Carmarthen, by which his 
is one of the wittiest and most wide- 
bers of the peerage, was known until 

- U~ /-iLlrArlnni 1 .Ot TTIP fldfl that hfj 

Perfo f J 

}f this city *^h^ ev ' ^- /; Jtlenr y - 111 - Tne cattle are of a dull crean 
'v^.-l, ^ T e bride //color, their horns, muzzles, and ears bem; 
^s-e* ^ u -~^ ' tipped with black, and they have pre- 
sented so picturesque an appearance tha. 
it is a pity that owing to interbreedin: 
they have now become almost extincl 
In fact, the Chartley herd of wild cattl 
may be said to be perishing of unmitigat 
ed antiquity, and there are only a ver; 
few herds! of it left. 

There are only three other herds of wil 
cattle in the United Kingdom, the bes 
known, perhaps, being that of the Earl o 
Tankerville at Chillingham, in Northum 
berland. The present Lord Tankerville i 
married' . to an American woman, wh 
was Miss Van Marter, of Tacoma, Wash 
The Duke of Hamilton likewise has 
herd of wild) cattle, while on the cor.ttnen 
the best known, perhaps, is that of th 
Czar, on his great sporting estate nea 
the Polish border. 

It was the fourth Earl of Ferrers wh 
was hanged in May, 1760, for the murde 
of his steward, a man of the name o 
Harold. The earl, who killed the man i: 
the most cold-blooded fashion, was trie 
by his peers in the House of Lord 
found! guilty unanimously, the sentence o 
death being pronounced upon him by Lor 
High Chancellor Henley, who presided r. 
the trial as Lord! High Steward. Th 
earl was allowed to drive to the gallow 
in his own state carriage, drawn i 
horses, which was followed by a 
and six; and it is on record) that the rop 
with which he was hanged was < 
instead of hemp, this concession beiu: 
due to his rank. Indeed, the sill, 
u sc^li on that occasion was still in ex 
istence towards the middle of the last cen 



Lord Ailesbury, who has sailed for New 
ork with the object of paying anoth< 
sit to this country, and who arrives to- 
i arrow, was here formerly as Lord 
en-ry Bruce, prior to his accession to 
ie marquis-ate and estates of his dis 
jputable nephew, who attained the un- 
iviable distinction of being "warned off 
fewmarket Heath- and) all race r-ff a 
nder the control of the Jockey : Ilza - 
ecree of the steward of tha 
wi-Lord Ailesbury * 
nrtnmwfcjespect of his^ to provlde her 
nd all 


ouse with ivory goblets 'whenever they 
ame to Savernake Forest. 

It would be too long a story to trace 

je-4s-Sce-*\+ of the (Marquis of Allosburv 
j-t**- - *,"*_ / __ vt 

erveau- y that 

ances or e * e 'shortcomings of the 

ever, the least or tr pub i ic i y boast! 

late marquis, who iisea ^ t hls , 

that his ^ e . I S w h as Enounced in the I 
father, and who ff ^7 rOm the bench for 
strongest JWW^ n 5SSrf the intoxica- | 
j.a-ving ^^Tntoner of the name 
tlon of a Scotch d V h im of a sum of 

of Maxwell to defraud, him ^ ghip 

$50,000 at a game 01 c ^ ^ a& tfcft 

Hotel at Brighton. ^ w nished a fa - 
coster marquis, ana of the 

House o ^ Lords and of 
H .ouse W widow> , 

name of Dolly 
ma rried a Scotch 
1 " of Webster at 

abolition < 
music hall 

Baroa Aeneas Mackay, former 
minister of the Netherlands, am 
has Just been appointed by a decree 
ing the signature of Queen Wilh< 
to the presidency of the- lower ho 
the rxutch Parliament, is the nex 
to the Scotch peerage, as well as 
Nova Scotia baronetcy of his < 
Lord Reay, and on the latter' s deal 
als'o succeed to the chieftainship 

John Horace 

in peerage and 


daughters, ^ ad ^ ^^ ports with her 
sionally visits Am L rlcan P mercha nt 

husband, who is ^ ast t e h r e f E ? st ^ndia and 
vessel engaged in was a very 

China trade. Her ma fl by her fa . 

romantic one and was opp^ yach t3- I 

ther and by her fami^ A nautlcal sch ool 

woman, she ^W^J/Jw^t of securing a 
at Liverpool with the owe quaH _ 

master's ^J^ a ^ f her yacht. At. 
fled to take cQtninana ot Hunt) 

the school ^^^^yelrs at sea, first 
wh o, having P n * 8 a Seaward as a mate, 
as an apprentice no. a maste r's cer- 

was likewise studyl " g , ntancO ripened into 



I tificate. Their 
affection, and 
I married at 
Church. Soon 


ripened into 
were quietly 

Hunt was ap- 

urc. n _ a i lin g vessel, and 

inted skipper of a saiunK u _