Mathelin de Bellesme (Seigneur D'Essaye), Seigneur d'Essaye
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About Mathelin de Bellesme, Seigneur d'Essaye
There is no record of this person as child of Guillaume I de Belleme Terry Jackson 1/1/2013 -------------------- Extract from "Records of the Ashe Family" by Waller Ashe (1876) Guillaume I, Compte de Bellesme and d'Alençon, who built the Chateau d'Essaye in Alençon in 1020 conferred this Chateau, with its Seigneurie upon his second son, Mathelin de Bellesme, thereafter known as Mathelin d'Essaye, and the founder of the House of that name. Mathelin de Bellesme, Seigneur d'Essaye, whose wife was Berthe, and who, having received from his father the gift of the Chateau and Seigneurie of Essaye, assumed his territorial appellation and was the actual founder of the House of Esse or Ashe. This Seigneurie is frequently mentioned in the "Histoire du Perche", where we read of Mathelin de Bellesme, Seigneur d'Essaye, Berthe his wife, and their three sons, Herbert, Hermé, and Salamon. While the eldest son, Herbert or Hubert, came to England with the Conqueror under the command of his kinsman, Roger de Montgomerie, and fought with him in the first line at Hastings in 1066, the two younger sons, Hermé and Salomon continued the line in Normandy, and ample proof exists that their descendents flourished there up to the 15th century.
Extract from "Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique: Tome Dixieme" by Louis Moreri (1759) Il y a eu autrefois à Essey, ou aux environs, une famille noble de même nom, qui paroit avoir été distinguée. Le plus ancien, dont on ait connaissance, est Mathelin d'Essey: on le trouve cité dans une donation à l'abbaye de saint Martin de Séez en 1086. Berthe, sa femme, qui lui survécut, aumona à la même abbaye en 1094, du consentement de ses enfants, Herbert, Hervé et Salomon d'Essey, un pré situé à Courtomer. Translation: There was formerly in Essey, or in its vicinity, a noble family of the same name, that appears to have been distinguished. The oldest one, of which one has knowledge, is Mathelin of Essey: one finds him quoted in a donation to the abbey of St. Martin of Séez in 1086. Berthe, his wife, who survived him, gave to the same abbey in 1094, with the consent of their children, Herbert, Hervé and Salomon of Essey, a meadow situated at Courtomer.
Extract from "Dictionnaire Géographique, Historiques et Politique des Gaules et de la France: Tome Second" by M. L'Abbé Expilly (1764) Matselin, or Mathelin d'Essay, dont il est fait mention dans l'histoire du Perche, page 103, approuva avec Bertha sa femme et ses fils, pour dix livres mansais, la donation de soixante acres de terre labourable et de deux acres de pré, faite sous son fief, par Jean Burnet, à l'Abbaye de Saint Martin de Séez. Berthe, femme dudit Matselin, mourant en 1094, donna à la même abbaye un pré situé à Courtomer, du consentement de Herbert, Hervé et Salomon, ses fils. Translation: Matselin, or Mathelin d' Essay, of whom he is spoken in the history of Perche, page 103, approved with Bertha his wife and his sons, for ten books, the donation of sixty acres of arable land and two acres of meadow, made under his fief, by Jean Burnet, to the Abbey of Saint Martin of Séez. Berthe, wife of the above Matselin, dying in 1094, gave to the same abbey a meadow located at Courtomer, with the agreement of her sons, Herbert, Hervé and Salomon.
Note by Robert Ashe: In researching the link between Mathelin de Bellesme, Seigneur d'Essaye, and his supposed father, Guillaume I de Bellesme, Compte de Bellême et d'Alençon, I have obviously relied on Waller Ashe's "Records of the Ashe Family", which he wrote in 1876, and in which he refers to the "Histoire du Perche" as his source document for Mathelin de Bellesme. The "Dictionnaire Géographique, Historiques et Politique des Gaules et de la France: Tome Second", written in 1764 (see extract above), also confirms the reference to Mathelin, which it says is on page 103 of the "Histoire du Perche". However, a review of the "Histoire du Perche", published in 1893, reveals no trace of such references. According to the book's preface, the original book was written by René Courtin in 1611, and the 1893 book is an annotated version by Le Vte Romanet and M. H. Tournouer. Thus, four conclusions/assumptions can be made: (1) Both "Records of the Ashe Family" and "Dictionnaire Géographique, Historiques et Politique des Gaules et de la France: Tome Second" must have been referring to the 1611 book, since they were both written prior to the 1893 version. (2) Given that two sources identify Mathelin d'Essay (d'Essey) in "Histoire du Perche", then it can be assumed that he, and his family, existed. (3) However, given that several sources show that Guillaume I de Bellême had five children (excluding Mathelin), we would have to assume that Mathelin was the issue of a second wife, or perhaps of a mistress. There are many other cases (William the Conqueror being a classic example) of children being born out of wedlock in those times, and then being provided for in terms of inheritance. The "Dictionnaire Géographique, Historiques et Politique des Gaules et de la France: Tome Second" by M. L'Abbé Expilly (1764) states that Guillaume I de Bellême probably built the Chateau d'Essay. It might therefore be expected that, while the sons from his marriage inherited the more improtant title of Seigneur de Bellême et d'Alençon, his "natural" son, Mathelin, was given the less important title of Seigneur d'Essay. (4) Waller Ashe describes Mathelin's son, Herbert, as follows: "The eldest son, Herbert or Hubert, came to England with the Conqueror under the command of his kinsman, Roger de Montgomerie, and fought with him in the first line at Hastings in 1066". While I have not yet found a source to corroborate this, Roger de Montgomery was the husband of Herbert's 1st half-cousin, and would therefore have been a kinsman.