Guy le Strange, I (c.1048 - c.1105)

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Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Death: Died in London, Middlesex, England
Managed by: Daniel Walton
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About Guy le Strange, I

The Legend of Guy Le Strange

incorporating the

'Romance of Fouke le fitz Warine'

From the progenitor of the House of le Strange, Roland Extraneus, we turn to a a remote part of central England a century before, and Guy le Strange who is the earliest, and otherwise, untraced descendant of the family. The le Strange legend that has been repeated through successive generations can be found in part of an epic tale, the Romance of Fouke le fitz Warine. This French prose which was written by an unknown author in traditional trouverian style of the 13th century, was translated and reproduced in early medieval times for its popularity gained by the declared outlaw Fulk who is otherwise known as Fulk the son of Warine [II]. It is a story set in the 11th century A.D. wherein it begins with a certain lady, Mellette, who features as the outlaw's grandmother in her youth, she was united with her husband Guy of Metz, whom otherwise was known in France from whence he came, as Guarine or Warine de Metz.

The chapter conveys how the le Strange family was founded, prior to the Warines, when Mellette, a beautiful damsel has a jousting tournament arranged for by her wealthy uncle, William Peverel. This was held in the time of William the Conqueror, in 1083 at his Castle Peveril in the Peak of Derbyshire [England] (shown above), and this is where she was expected to find a suitable husband, to which she replied; "Sire" no knight is there in all the world that I would take for the sake of riches and the honour of this land but if ever I take such a one he shall be handsome and courteous and accomplished and the most valiant of his order in all Christendom. Of riches I make no account, for truly can I say that he is rich who has that which his heart desires" [Mellette, 'The Romance of Fouk le fitz Warine'].

Noble-men eager to win her as their bride together with dowry including the attractive white tower of white town, known as Whittington Castle [Shropshire], came from every corner; Scotland, Wales and France. The two most salubrious guests, Owen Prince of Wales, and Eneas, Prince of Scotland, brought 200 knights along, - the Duke of Burgundy outnumbered them with a hundred more. Ydromor, Prince of Galloway came with a modest 150 men, but Guy (Guarine de Metz [France] ), son of John, Duke of Brittany, (Johan duc de la Petite-Bretagene), came with only a hundred, plus his 9 brothers.

Ultimately, Guy, with his life spared, victoriously claimed his wife, Mellette, whom already expressed her interest in him by sending over her glove. It continues... "..... Guy remained in England: And conquered, by the force of his sword, many beautiful lands, and so was named Guy le Strange ...."

"Donqe repeyrerent le dys freres ou lur C chevalers á Bretaigne le Menure; mes Gwy, le Pysné frer, remist en Engleterre ; e conquist par coup d'espée meyntes beles terres, e si fust apeleé Gwy le Estraunge, et de ly vindrent tous les grantz seignurs de Engleterre qu ount le sournome de Estraunge". [The Romance of Fouke le fitz Warine] written in French Medieval prose.

From this point on no longer was he a complete stranger to these parts, but Guy de Metz assumed The Strange name and produced his heir, Fulk fitz (son of) Warine [I]. My mention of this name variant earlier suggests that the Warine's and le Stranges were one of the same family determined by its prefix, though the issue is both a complex and controversial one. However, in essence, the tale of Fulk [II] as distinct from the family legend, celebrates a trouverian type romance similar to that of Robin Hood and King Arthur, which are classified as medieval tales everyone can enjoy. What they have in common is a hero in which his romance is defined by courage & adventure, and at the same time presents a platform on which a new family may flourish.

Invariably the le Stranges' descent has since united them with fitz Warines through recorded marriages much later, and scholars who used the manuscript as an accurate historical guide, have, in their attempt to touch upon the truth, added to the frustration as to the foundations of le Strange. Until Victorian times, the le Strange family kept a written history at Hunstanton after Sir William Dugdale’s publication 'The Baronage Of England' (1675-6) appeared (see below). But it was later to prove insatiable when Rev. R.W. Eyton highlighted the conflicting evidence surrounding the date of the event when he published the Antiquities of Shropshire (1854-60) though he at least affords some characters' existence.

The English 16th century version of the Romance had already been incorporated into Leland's Collectanea (1612) by John Leland who associated together with Sir Thomas le Strange at the court of Henry VIII. Inevitably, if Dugdale’s efforts were conspicuous, his compilation incorporating the legend of Guy as their originator has enjoyed some credibility over the past few centuries, though not surprisingly, it has passed into history with a traditional mixture of fact & fiction, leaving it open to doubt.

What inspired the original author, one cannot say, though an unknown troubadour to us in writing an historic tale of his own, perhaps generates more of a mystery than the present Founder of the House of le Strange. But how ever little or much truth there is in the legend, its best strength perhaps survives in the castle foundations on the Derbyshire peak where much more than this legend took place.

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Guy - - The le Strange legend that has been repeated through successive generations can be found in part of an epic tale, the Romance of Fouke le fitz Warine. This French prose which was written by an unknown author in traditional trouverian style of the 13th century, was translated and reproduced in early medieval times for its popularity gained by the declared outlaw Fulk who is otherwise known as Fulk the son of Warine Ii. It is a story set in the 11th century A.D. wherein it begins with a certain lady, Mellette, who features as the outlaw's grandmother in her youth, she was united with her husband Guy of Metz, whom otherwise was known in France from whence he came, as Guarine or Warine de Metz.


The chapter conveys how the le Strange family was founded, prior to the Warines, when Mellette, a beautiful damsel has a jousting tournament arranged for by her wealthy uncle, William Peverel. This was held in the time of William the Conqueror, in 1083 at his Castle Peveril in the Peak of Derbyshire England (shown above), and this is where she was expected to find a suitable husband, to which she replied:

   * "Sire" no knight is there in all the world that I would take for the sake of riches and the honour of this land but if ever I take such a one he shall be handsome and courteous and accomplished and the most valiant of his order in all Christendom. Of riches I make no account, for truly can I say that he is rich who has that which his heart desires" from: Mellette, 'The Romance of Fouk le fitz Warine'

Noblemen eager to win her as their bride together with dowry including the attractive white tower of white town, known as Whittington Castle Shropshire, came from every corner; Scotland, Wales and France. The two most salubrious guests, Owen Prince of Wales, and Eneas, Prince of Scotland, brought 200 knights along, - the Duke of Burgundy outnumbered them with a hundred more. Ydromor, Prince of Galloway came with a modest 150 men, but Guy (Guarine de Metz France ), son of John, Duke of Brittany, (Johan duc de la Petite-Bretagene), came with only a hundred, plus his 9 brothers.


Ultimately, Guy, with his life spared, victoriously claimed his wife, Mellette, whom already expressed her interest in him by sending over her glove. It continues... "..... Guy remained in England: And conquered, by the force of his sword, many beautiful lands, and so was named Guy le Strange ...."

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

It is probable that he died in London, England.

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

The story seems modern in its emphasis and reinterpretation, not medieval. During the medieval period it would be a disgrace for a young woman of means to insist she be married to someone of no means. It would be absurd, shameful, inconsiderate, and extremely unattractive in a wife. It would be an embarrassment to a family. Everyone married within their own social class. There were women who were shunned by their family if they married without consideration for the matters of property and social position. The entire economic system of communities as a whole required the orderly passage of property with strict laws of primogeniture to the eldest son, not daughters. Men without sons sometimes gave their property to daughters if the husband was appropriate. Whatever she might inherit from her father, if anything, would in part be dependent on who she married. He could not give his property to just anybody. Entire villages and kingdoms were at risk by marriages. Marriages was not about sleazy "chemistry". It was about the orderly management of property by a baron who had an obligation to the tenants on his property; that his estates would produce work, food and goods for all of the people associated with the estate. Marriages had to be made between those whose property made sense to be joined. Other people, such as a king or feudal baron had rights to object to marriages that were ill-suited. Besides, what man would want a girl who abandoned the economic considerations of the era, behaved indecently, and had no concern for the secure management of her father's property? It would be a very unattractive, for a young girl to say something so incredibly sleazy. I cannot imagine why any knight would seek the hand of a girl who said that the matters of property were of no concern to her. Well, the property rights were a concern to the entire community. It wasn't about her. Land ownership was everything in that time and who had the power over the land impacted all aspects of life. This is not a romantic story by medieval standards. It is a modern notion that people might marry without concern for property.

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Guy le Strange, I's Timeline

1048
1048
Norfolk, England
1069
1069
Age 21
Norfolk,England
1070
1070
Age 22
1074
1074
Age 26
Sheswardine, Shropshire, England
1076
1076
Age 28
Sheswardine, Shropshire, England
1080
1080
Age 32
Sheswardine, Shropshire, England
1096
1096
Age 48
Shropshire, UK
1105
1105
Age 57
London, Middlesex, England
1117
1117
Age 57
Ayrshire, Scotland
????