Drogo de Monte-Acuto (c.1040 - 1125)

England

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Nicknames: "Drogo /de Monteacuto/"
Place of Burial: England
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Montagules-Bois, Coutances (Normandy) France
Death: Died in (Somerset) England
Managed by: Scott Hibbard
Last Updated:

About Drogo de Monte-Acuto

was born about the year 1040. He became the trusted companion, follower, and intimate friend of Robert, Earl of Moriton (or Mortain), the favorite brother of William, Duke of Normandy.

Drogo and the Earl of Moriton were of the same age and both entered heartily into the plans of William in his proposed expedition against England.

This expedition was in active preparation in the summer of 1066 and was composed of sixty thousand men and over three hundred ships. Drogo de Monte-acuto accompanied the expedition in the immediate retinue of Robert, Earl of Mortain.

They landed at Pevensey upon the coast of Sussex, late in September, 1066, and immediately burned and scuttled their ships, that their only hope might lie in their courage and resolution, their only safety in victory.

This marked the advent of the first Montague upon the shores of England, and as he marches on toward the plain near Hastings (where, upon the 14th of October, the battle of Hastings was fought and won), we note that he bears the kite-shaped shield of the Norman invador, it's color is cerulean blue, and upon it is the full length figure of a Griffin, segreant (rampant with wings spread), and painted a bright golden hue. This was the original Coat of Arms of the Montagues in England *.

  • A gryphon (or griffin) was an imaginary animal devised by the ancients and consisted of the body and tail of a lion with the head and claws (or talons) of an eagle, thus denoting great strength united with great swiftness.

William having conquered England and ascended the throne his followers were rewarded with large grants of land.

Both his favorite brother the Earl of Moriton and his trusty follower Drogo de Monte-acuto received large possessions.

Drogo obtained the grant of several Manors, particularly in the county of Somerset. The original castle or seat of Drogo was at Montacute, an eminence and parish in Tintinhull Hundred, Somersetshire, four miles south from Ilchester. Its ancient name appears to have been Logoresburg and was also called Bishopston. Here the Earl of Mortain built a castle and named it after his friend Drogo de Monte-acuto. (Cappers Topog. Dict.).

Camden says of this place that "the Castle has been quite destroyed these many years and the stones carried off to build the Religious houses and other things, afterward on the very top of the hill was a Chapel made and consecrated to St. Michael, the arch and roof curiously built of hard stone and the ascent to it is around the, mountain up stone stairs for near half a mile."

A later writer has this graphic description of this spot. "Adjacent to the churchyard rises that noble mount called Montacute, the base of which contains near twenty acres. Its form is conical and its ascent very steep, the top terminating in a flat of half an acre whereon stands a round tower sixty feet in height and crowned with an open ballustrade. On this tower is a flag-staff fifty feet high, on which a flag is occasionally displayed floating fifty-six yards in the air and exhibiting a grand and picturesque appearance.

The summit of this tower, being so highly elevated above the level of the central part of the country, affords a rich and extensive prospect extending westward to the hills below Minehead and Blackdown in Devonshire and north eastward over Taunton, Quantock Hills, Bridgewater bay, the Channel, and coast of Wales.

To the north, Brent-Knoll, the whole range of Mendip, the city of Wells and Glastonbury-Torr. Eastward, Creeche. Southward over the Dorsetshire Hills to Lamberts Castle near Lyme, the whole a circle of above 300 miles in which on a clear day 80 churches are distinguished.

This hill is planted from bottom to top with oaks, elms, firs and sycamores the intermingled foliage of which (especially in the autumnal season) forms a rich and beautifully tinted scenery."

While this was the original home of the Montagues, the seat of their barony was at Shepton Montacute a villa at no great distance from Montacute. This parish contains the hamlets of upper and lower Shepton *, Knolle, and Stoney Stoke, and was held by Drogo de Monte-acuto and his direct descendants until the time of King Henry VIII. when Sir Thomas Montacute leaving no male issue, this estate was divided between three sisters.

  • In Drogo's time, in demesne are two carucates, 8 servants, 8 Villanes (farmers), 5 cottagers, 3 ploughs, 2 mills, one not rated, the other pays seven shillings and sixpence. There are 30 acres of meadow, and wood ten furlongs long and four furlongs broad.

Drogo de Monte-acute also held of Robert Earl of Moriton, the following Manors. The manor of Yarlinton. (For description see at Sir Simon Montacute, 8th generation). Sutton Montacute, a small parish six miles east from Ivelchester, lying in a fruitful woody vale under the south west brow of Cadbury castle, with other high hills toward the east. It contains thirty houses which compose a long street in the turnpike road from Ivelchester to Castle Cary.

Thulbeer, (ancient name Torlaberie).

Drogo held this manor from the Earl of Moriton and it descended through a long line of ancestry together with the manor of Chidzoy, to the unfortunate Edward, son of George Duke of Clarence.

Drogo also held of the said Earl one hide * of land in Montagud in this county. Reverend John Collinson says, "it is altogether probable that the Earl of Mortain if he had any other reason than that of a Latin definition---imposed on his demesnes at Bishopton (Logoresburg) the appelation of Montagud in compliment to this Drogo, his favorite and confidential friend."

  • A hide of land was supposed to consist of 160 acres and was made up of the following parts, viz.-ten acres make a ferundel, or fardingdeal, four ferundels make a yard land, and four yard lands make a hide, so four hides it is said, or 640 acres, make a Knight's fee.

But waving this matter, we find the said Drogo-de-Monte-acuto in possession of these estates until his death, which took place about the latter end of the reign of King Henry I. (about 1125)

A curious fact may be here recorded, that upon the spot where the battle of Hastings, was fought, William the Conqueror founded an Abbey which was called Battle Abbey, and in the words of his charter, "Instituted a market to be kept there on the Lord's day free from all toll-" and that Anthony Viscount Mountague, a lineal descendant of Drogo, about the year 1575 or 1600, built a fine house there and obtained authority of Parliament to have the market changed to another day.

--------------------

"Friend of the Family" of William the Conquerer

Drogo was born about the year 1040. He became the trusted companion, follower, and intimate friend of Robert, Earl of Moriton (or Mortain), the favorite brother of William, Duke of Normandy.

Drogo and the Earl of Moriton were of the same age and both entered heartily into the plans of William in his proposed expedition against England.

This expedition was in active preparation in the summer of 1066 and was composed of sixty thousand men and over three hundred ships. Drogo de Monte-acuto accompanied the expedition in the immediate retinue of Robert, Earl of Mortain.

They landed at Pevensey upon the coast of Sussex, late in September, 1066, and immediately burned and scuttled their ships, that their only hope might lie in their courage and resolution, their only safety in victory.

This marked the advent of the first Montague upon the shores of England, and as he marches on toward the plain near Hastings (where, upon the 14th of October, the battle of Hastings was fought and won), we note that he bears the kite-shaped shield of the Norman invador, it's color is cerulean blue, and upon it is the full length figure of a Griffin, segreant (rampant with wings spread), and painted a bright golden hue. This was the original Coat of Arms of the Montagues in England *.

  • A gryphon (or griffin) was an imaginary animal devised by the ancients and consisted of the body and tail of a lion with the head and claws (or talons) of an eagle, thus denoting great strength united with great swiftness.

William having conquered England and ascended the throne his followers were rewarded with large grants of land.

Both his favorite brother the Earl of Moriton and his trusty follower Drogo de Monte-acuto received large possessions.

Drogo obtained the grant of several Manors, particularly in the county of Somerset. The original castle or seat of Drogo was at Montacute, an eminence and parish in Tintinhull Hundred, Somersetshire, four miles south from Ilchester. Its ancient name appears to have been Logoresburg and was also called Bishopston. Here the Earl of Mortain built a castle and named it after his friend Drogo de Monte-acuto. (Cappers Topog. Dict.).

Camden says of this place that "the Castle has been quite destroyed these many years and the stones carried off to build the Religious houses and other things, afterward on the very top of the hill was a Chapel made and consecrated to St. Michael, the arch and roof curiously built of hard stone and the ascent to it is around the, mountain up stone stairs for near half a mile."

A later writer has this graphic description of this spot. "Adjacent to the churchyard rises that noble mount called Montacute, the base of which contains near twenty acres. Its form is conical and its ascent very steep, the top terminating in a flat of half an acre whereon stands a round tower sixty feet in height and crowned with an open ballustrade. On this tower is a flag-staff fifty feet high, on which a flag is occasionally displayed floating fifty-six yards in the air and exhibiting a grand and picturesque appearance.

The summit of this tower, being so highly elevated above the level of the central part of the country, affords a rich and extensive prospect extending westward to the hills below Minehead and Blackdown in Devonshire and north eastward over Taunton, Quantock Hills, Bridgewater bay, the Channel, and coast of Wales.

To the north, Brent-Knoll, the whole range of Mendip, the city of Wells and Glastonbury-Torr. Eastward, Creeche. Southward over the Dorsetshire Hills to Lamberts Castle near Lyme, the whole a circle of above 300 miles in which on a clear day 80 churches are distinguished.

This hill is planted from bottom to top with oaks, elms, firs and sycamores the intermingled foliage of which (especially in the autumnal season) forms a rich and beautifully tinted scenery."

While this was the original home of the Montagues, the seat of their barony was at Shepton Montacute a villa at no great distance from Montacute. This parish contains the hamlets of upper and lower Shepton *, Knolle, and Stoney Stoke, and was held by Drogo de Monte-acuto and his direct descendants until the time of King Henry VIII. when Sir Thomas Montacute leaving no male issue, this estate was divided between three sisters.

  • In Drogo's time, in demesne are two carucates, 8 servants, 8 Villanes (farmers), 5 cottagers, 3 ploughs, 2 mills, one not rated, the other pays seven shillings and sixpence. There are 30 acres of meadow, and wood ten furlongs long and four furlongs broad.

Drogo de Monte-acute also held of Robert Earl of Moriton, the following Manors. The manor of Yarlinton. (For description see at Sir Simon Montacute, 8th generation). Sutton Montacute, a small parish six miles east from Ivelchester, lying in a fruitful woody vale under the south west brow of Cadbury castle, with other high hills toward the east. It contains thirty houses which compose a long street in the turnpike road from Ivelchester to Castle Cary.

Thulbeer, (ancient name Torlaberie).

Drogo held this manor from the Earl of Moriton and it descended through a long line of ancestry together with the manor of Chidzoy, to the unfortunate Edward, son of George Duke of Clarence.

Drogo also held of the said Earl one hide * of land in Montagud in this county. Reverend John Collinson says, "it is altogether probable that the Earl of Mortain if he had any other reason than that of a Latin definition---imposed on his demesnes at Bishopton (Logoresburg) the appelation of Montagud in compliment to this Drogo, his favorite and confidential friend."

  • A hide of land was supposed to consist of 160 acres and was made up of the following parts, viz.-ten acres make a ferundel, or fardingdeal, four ferundels make a yard land, and four yard lands make a hide, so four hides it is said, or 640 acres, make a Knight's fee.

But waving this matter, we find the said Drogo-de-Monte-acuto in possession of these estates until his death, which took place about the latter end of the reign of King Henry I. (about 1125)

A curious fact may be here recorded, that upon the spot where the battle of Hastings, was fought, William the Conqueror founded an Abbey which was called Battle Abbey, and in the words of his charter, "Instituted a market to be kept there on the Lord's day free from all toll-" and that Anthony Viscount Mountague, a lineal descendant of Drogo, about the year 1575 or 1600, built a fine house there and obtained authority of Parliament to have the market changed to another day.

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Drogo de Monte-Acuto's Timeline

1040
1040
Montagules-Bois, Coutances (Normandy) France
1066
October 14, 1066
Age 26
England
1066
Age 26
Coutances, Manche, Basse-Normandie, France
1125
1125
Age 85
(Somerset) England
????
????
England
????
England