Ranulph III "de Briquessart" le Meschin, Earl of Chester

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Ranulph III "de Briquessart" "le Meschin" de Bayeux, Vicomte de Bayeux, 1st Earl of Chester

Also Known As: "le Briquessart", "De Briquessart", "Earl Of Chester", "Ranulph /Le Meschin/", "Ranulph III De Briquessart /Meschin/", "Randolph De /Meschines/", "de Briquessart", "Earl Randolph /De Meschines/", "/De Briquessart/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Briquessart, Livry, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Death: Died in Chester, Cheshire, England
Place of Burial: St Werburgh, Chester, Cheshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Ranulph II 'le Meschin' de Bayeux; Ranulf de Briquessart; Maud (Margaret) De Meschines, Le Goz and Margaret daughter of Goz
Husband of Lucy Thoroldsdottir, Countess of Chester
Father of Ranulf de Gernon, 2nd Earl of Chester; Agnes de Meschines, of Chester; Alice (Adeliza) de Meschines, of Chester and William De Meschines
Brother of Geoffrey de Meschines; Robert de Meschines; Agnes (Adeliza) de Meschines, de Bayeux; Matilda Dau Of Ranoulf le Meschin; William FitzRanulf Meschin and 3 others
Half brother of Robert FitzHarold De Ewyas; John . de Sudeley, Lord of Sudeley and Toddington and Harold de Sudeley

Occupation: Earl of Chester, Vicomte, de Bessin, de Bayeux, de Chester, Sieur, de Carlisle, 3rd Earl of Chester, EARL OF CHESTER, 1st Earl of Chester, Viscomte of Bayeux, Commander of the Royal Forces in 1124 in Normandy, France
Managed by: Pam Wilson
Last Updated:

About Ranulph III "de Briquessart" le Meschin, Earl of Chester

Ranulph III "le Briquessart" de Bayeux, Earl of Chester (1121-1129: First Earl, Second creation) and Vicomte de Bayeux

also known as Ranulph "le Meschin"'

The following is from the biography on Chesterwiki

Profile Image: Ranulph in Stained-glass Window from Chester Town Hall staircase

Summary

Born circa 1074 at Briquessart, Livry, France. An indirect inheritor, Ranulph le Meschin (the Younger), Earl of Chester was also Vicomte de Bayeux. He was also known as Ranulph de Briquessart. He succeeded to the title of Vicomte d'Avranches on 25 November 1120 and was created Earl of Chester in 1121. He was Commander of the Royal forces in Normandy in 1124. He died either on 17 or 27 January 1128 at Chester and is buried at St. Werburg's, Chester. His wife Lucy survived him, and in 1130 paid 500 marks to King Henry for license to remain unmarried for 5 years.

   * Parents: '''Ranulph Meschines, Viscount of Bayeux''' and '''Maud (Margaret d'Avranches)''' sister of Earl Hugh of Avranches - Gherbod II has beeen suggested as a father but this is very unlikely
   * Spouse: Lucy Countess of Chester. Ranulf DE BRIQUESSART "Le Meschin", Earl of Chester and Lucy Countess of Chester were married about 1098.
   * Children: Adelize/Alice DE GERNON, Ranulf de Gernon Viscount d'Avranches, Earl of Chester. 

Ranulf de Meschines has arms which are, on the Queens Park Suspension Bridge, a white lion on a red ground and, in the stained glass of the Town Hall, possibly a red lion on a gold ground. To add further confusion some versions of the arms of his son Ranulf de Gernon (shown in the church window on his page) and that shown on the bridge also differ - the window shows a metallic lion on a red field, while the bridge shows the opposite. Could it be that one or the other has got the arms of the father and son mixed up? The arms on the lodge in Grosvenor Park don't help much as they also show that the father and son had oppositely coloured arms, but in this case they have become blue and gold!

Before Chester

Ranulf only became earl at the rather advanced age of 51 (in 1120). Prior to this Ranulf served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in Cumberland and Westmorland, though he lacked the formal status of being called such. A contemporary illustration of this authority is one charter in the records of Wetheral Priory, which recorded Ranulf addressing his own sheriff, "Richer" (probably Richard de Boivill). A source from 1212 attests that the jurors of Cumberland remembered Ranulf as quondam dominus Cumberland ("sometime Lord of Cumberland").

Ranulf's earliest appearance in surviving historical records was 24 April 1089, the date of a charter of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, to Bayeux Cathedral. Ranulf, as "Ranulf son of Ranulf the viscount", was one of the charter's witnesses. He appears again c. 1093/4, as a witness to the foundation charter of Chester Abbey, granted by his uncle Hugh of Avranches.

Between 1098 and 1101, probably in 1098, Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire. This brought him the lordship of Appleby in Cumberland, previously held by Lucy's second husband. He promptly constructed Appleby Castle. Originally this would have been an earth ringwork and bailey fortress. The square stone keep of Appleby is one of the best preserved examples of its type and was added in 1170 (by Hugh de Morville). It is known as "Caesar's Tower" - this is similar to the Agricola Tower at Chester Castle neither of which had anything to do with the Romans. Ranulf ceded Appleby to the crown when he became earl of Chester.

Ranulfs family (his brother William) also constructed Egremont Castle. He had an older brother (Richard) who died in youth.

In 1106 that Ranulf founded Wetheral Priory, a Benedictine monastic house.

An indirect claim

In 1121, following the loss of the White Ship, the earldom passed through the First Earl Hugh's sister Maud to the drowned Richard of Avranches's first cousin Ranulf. Merely four days before the disaster, Ranulf and cousin Richard had witnessed a charter together at Cerisy. Ranulf was not simply given the earldom, but had to surrender the bulk of the lands of his wife, Lucy and his own lands at Carlisle.

Chester's annual fair was reorganized by Ranulf, who provided new regulations governing its hours of opening. St Giles Hospital was founded in the time of Ranulf, for lepers - it had a burial ground St_Giles_Cemetery, in which the heads of Welshmen killed in battle with Hugh_of_Cyfeiliog were reputed to have been buried in 1170.

The Wirral

De Meschines was keen on hunting. He created Alan Sylvester chief forester of the forest of Wirral and granted to him the manors of Hooton, Storeton and Puddington to hold, upon condition that he performed the duties of forester and in addition that he blew or caused to be blown a horn at the Gloverstone in Chester on the morning of every fair day.

The "Wirral Horn" has apparently survived to the present day, and carries the following inscription, believed to have been added in the 17th Century:

   * In the year 1120,Randal de Meschines, Earl of Chester,created Alan Sylvester chief forester of the forest of Wirral and granted to him the manors of Hooton, Storeton and Puddington to hold upon condition that he performed the duties of forester and in addition that he blew or caused to be blown a horn at the Gloverstone in Chester on the morning of every fair day, to indicate that the tolls on all goods bought or sold in the city or within the sound of that horn belonged to the Earl or his tenants. Alan Sylvester was succeeded by his son, Ralph, on whose death, without issue, Hugh Cyveliac, Earl of Chester, granted the same manors with the forestership to Alexander de Storeton on his marriage with Annabella, the daughter of Alan Sylvester. Alexander de Storeton again had only female issue and the forestership passed next to Sir Thomas Bamville, who married Agnes de Storeton,daughter of Alexander. Sir Philip Bamville, the heir of Sir Thomas, also left issue, three daughters only, the eldest of whom, Jane, married Sir William de Stanley, and brought the forestership as part of her dower, the title of her son, John Stanley, having been proved in 1346 before Jordan de Macclesfield, justice in Eyre to the Earl of Chester. In this family it remained until disafforested by King Edward 111 on the complaint of the citizens of Chester who represented that they were grievous sufferers from the freebooters who lurked in the forest. The Stanleys petitioned the king for renumeration for the loss of the profits attached to the office of chief forester, and were granted an annuity of twenty marks, which however seems to have been indifferently paid. The horn, however, which was the symbol of their tenure, has remained in the possession of the Stanley family ever since. 

While the inscription on the horn blames the "disafforestation" of the Stanley's on the inhabitants of Wirral, the complaints, were actually by the residents of the Wirral about the wildness of the area and oppression by the Stanleys. A charter confirming the disafforestation of Wirral was issued by King Edward III on July 20, 1376. While the horn was displayed for a short while at the Wirral Museum it has since been returned to its permanent home at the Stanley ancestral seat in Drayton, Somerset. The forest of Wirral turns up in Arthurian legend - Sir Gawain spent Christmas on Wirral before his confrontation with the Green Knight.

  The wilderness of Wirral:
  few lived there
  Who loved with a good heart
  either God or man

Who was Lucy?

[NOTE: See the extensive discussion of her background on her Geni profile, especially the definitive article by K. Keats-Rohan]

How Ranulf married (c.1090) a woman referred to as "Countess Lucy", (c.1079-1138), possibly the granddaughter maternally of William Malet, lord of Graville. Ranulph became the largest landholder in Lindsey through his marriage. Legend has it that Malet of Eye's mother was English, and that he was the uncle of King Harold II of England's wife Aldgyth (the claim being that he had a sister Aelgifu who married Aelfgar, Earl of Mercia, who was the father of Ealdgyth). Legend also claims that William Malet buried Harold after the battle.

Other sources including a genealogia fundatoris of Coventry Abbey, claim Lucy is the daughter of Earl Aelfgar (therefore sister of Aldgyth, Edwin and Morcar and grand-daughter of Godiva). Actual literary confirmation of the identity of "Lucy" is difficult to come by. However:

   * Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that William I King of England arranged the marriage of "Ivo Taillebois" and "Lucia sister of Edwin and Morcar"
   * Peter of Blois's Continuation of the Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the death of Ivo and his burial at the priory of Spalding, and the remarriage of his widow "hardly had one month elapsed after his death" with "Roger de Romar the son Gerald de Romar".
   * She is named as wife of Ranulf by Orderic Vitalis, who also names her first husband, but does not give her origin.
   * According to a charter of Henri Duke of Normandy (later Henry II King of England) issued in favour of her son Ranulf Earl of Chester dated 1153, Countess Lucy was the niece of Robert Malet of Eye and of Alan of Lincoln, as well as kinswoman of Thorold "the Sheriff". 

A further William Malet (died c. 1121) was the third of his family to hold the honour of Eye and the lordship of Granville. He was either the younger brother, son, or nephew of Robert Malet, in other words, either a son or grandson of the first William Malet. He forfeited his English lands and was banished sometime between his father's death (c. 1106) and 1113. Several other barons lost their lands in 1110, so that year is likely. The precise cause is not known, but probably it is connected with the conflicts between Henry and King Louis VI of France during that period or possibly the revolt of Philip de Braose.

A rather cryptic note in "The history and gazetteer of the county of Derby" by Stephen Glover may shed some light on this, suggesting that Ranulf was on the side of William Clito in the first Norman rebellion of 1118-19. The source is a little problematic given that Ranulf did not become Earl until 1121:

   * Ranulph de Bricasard, the third earl of Chester, by his marriage with Lucia, the sister of the celebrated Edwyn and Morcar, the sons of Algar, duke of Mercia, seems to have strengthened his claims to the inheritance of lands, torn from those illustrious Saxons, and conferred by the Conqueror on his uncle Hugh Lupus, by this alliance. He certainly conciliated the attachment of the remaining English tenantry connected with a family so high in their estimation. Lucia had been twice married before: first, to Ivo Tailbois, a rude and imperious Norman adventurer, by whom she had an only daughter, who died young: secondly, to Roger de Romara, earl of Lincoln, by whom she had William de Romara, who held several high military appointments under king Henry the First. On his mother's third marriage, which was with Ranulph de Bricasard, he laid claim to her possessions, but Ranulph having placed them, as the dowry of his wife, under the wardship of the crown, and engaged to pay a very heavy sum for their recovery, his suit was rejected. Enraged at this injustice, he went over to Normandy, and joined the insurrection which had broken out in that country in favour of William, the son of duke Robert. There he continued in open hostilities for two years, when king Henry, to pacify him, not only gave him those manors in Lincolnshire, which had belonged to his mother, but also bestowed upon him the hand of a wealthy royal ward, Matilda, the daughter of Richard de Redvers. 

So, due to the marriage of the Saxon earls of Chester and Wessex, Ranulphs marriage to Lucy would ensure that his son was descended from both the Mercian earls and the English kings.

Norman Rebellions

By 1124 the Earl was back in favour: - a serious aristocratic rebellion (the Second Norman Rebellion) broke out in Normandy in favour of William Clito, but the rebels were defeated as a result Henry’s intelligence network and the lack of organisation of the leaders, who were defeated at the battle of Bourgtheroulde in March 1124. Clito was the son of Robert Curthose - William the Conqueror's eldest son and so had a claim to the throne against his father's younger brother Henry. Clito's claim became even stronger in 1120 with the loss of the White Ship and the death of Henry I's only legitimate son - he became the obvious male heir to England and Normandy.

It is believed by some that Earl Ranulph commanded at least a part of the royal forces righting against the rebels. Ranulph had also benefited from the White Ship as his cousin Richard had drowned - leading to Ranulph's succession through his mother Maud, sister of Hugh of Avranches.

It has also been suggested that Ranulph was responsible for the capture of both Amaury de Montfort, (son the original Simon de Montfort count of Evreux) and Waleran de Meulan (Earl of Worcester) - others have them captured by William de Tancarville or Odo Borleng.

   * The campaign of 1124 opened with a spirited ride by the leading insur­gents from Beaumont to relieve Fatouville,3 a small castle near the mouth of the Seine, which was being attacked by the King's men. After a night's march the barons reached the place in safety, namely on the morning of the 25th March, and threw in supplies. The return journey, however, next day was less successful. Near Bourgtheroulde they found the Earl of Chester waiting to receive them with 300 men. Following his master's tactics he had dismounted part of his men-at-arms to fight on foot, with the archers posted in front of them, the rest of the men-at-arms remaining on horseback. On viewing these dis­positions Amaury, as a man of years and experience, swore 'By all the nations' -his usual oath- that they ought not to fight. But Waleran, with all the cheery confidence of youth, insisted on charging with forty men-at-arms, and was utterly discomfited, the horses being disabled by the fire of the archers. The end of it was that he, with two of his brothers-in-law, and some eighty men in all, were carried off in triumph. 

- The Foundations of England: Or, Twelve Centuries of British History (B.C. 55-A.D. 1154) Vol. 2 James H. Ramsay;

A descendant of Simon (I) de Montfort would later (briefly) become Earl of Chester. Waleran was released for unknown reasons in 1129. He resumed an active role at court and he and his twin brother were both present at Henry I's deathbed (Henry famously died (1135) from eating "a surfeit of lampreys"). As for Amaury, Henry I King of England "took the county of Evreux into his own hands" because he "had forfeited the king's favour by his effrontery"

It has been suggested that during the revolt, Louis VI was distracted from active intervention because Henry I got his son-in-law, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, to threaten Louis from behind. Bourgetheroulde was a particularly messy battle - afterwards Henry decided to blind three of the more important prisoners. Charles the Good, count of Flanders, objected to the king, believing it was wrong to punish knights in this fashion. Henry replied that two of these prisoners were his own liegemen and that they had betrayed him by going to war against him, therefore deserving a punishment of death or mutilation. As for the third captive, Luke of La Barre, he had mocked Henry with scurrilous songs, and that if blind, he would give up this practice and provide an example for others.

Henry V is supposed to have died at Utrecht on 23 May 1125 although some sources cite him as the mysterious Anchorite who lived in the Hermitage at Chester.

Harold's Gold?

If anyone is into Anglo-Norman conspiracy theory there is a story in here somewhere: - a relative of the English King supposedly buries him (although the body could only be recognised by his wife) - the wife then flees to just where - Chester:

   * Immediatlie after he [William] had thus got the victorie in a pight field (as before ye haue heard) he first returned to Hastings, and after set forward towards London, wasted the countries of Sussex, Kent, Hamshire, Southerie, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, burning the townes, and sleaing the people, till he came to Beorcham. In the meane time, immediatlie after the discomfiture in Sussex, the two earles of Northumberland and Mercia, Edwin and Marchar, who had withdrawne themselues from the battell togither with their people, came to London, and with all speed sent their sister quéene Aldgitha vnto the citie of Chester, and herewith sought to persuade the Londoners to aduance one of them to the kingdome: as Wil. Mal. writeth. (Holinshed)' 

..and there is the story that Harold isn't dead after all but living in the Hermitage in ...Chester.

And then the Malet family fall out of favour and their lands go to the Earl of ... Chester.

And who (back in 1071) had written to console the daughter of William I who had possibly been jilted by Harold and became a nun? - sources show that it was Anselm of Bec - later to found the Benedictine Abbey ... at Chester

There are other possible twists to the tale. Harold (house of Wessex) and the Earls of Chester and Northumbria (Leofric's House) had fair warning of the potential for war in 1066 and would have been well advised to make preparations to hide any gold and other treasures which they might have had. At least one hoard has been associated with Harold's brother.

Loss of lands to the Scots

It was not all plain sailing for the earl. In his first act as king David of Scotland (1124) made a grant or perhaps a reaffirmation of a previous grant to one of his followers, Robert de Brus, of the lordship of Annandale, on the frontier between his old principality and the lands of "Galloway":

   * David, by the grace of God King of Scots, to all his barons, men and friends, English and French, greetings. Know you that I have given and granted to Robert de Brus Ystrad Annan (Annandale) and all the land from the boundary of Dunegal of Srath Nid (Nithsdale) to the boundary of Randolph le Meschin; and I will and grant that he should hold and have that land and its castle well and honourably with all its customs which Ranulph le Meschin ever had in Carduill (Carlisle) and in his land of Cumberland on that day in which he had them most fully and freely. Witnesses: Eustace fitz John, Hugh de Morville, Alan de Perci, William de Somerville, Berengar Engaine, Randolf de Sules, William de Morville, Hervi fitz Warin and Edmund the chamberlain. At Scone. 

Clearly "de Meschin" had lost land in the region.

Sources - Ranulph

   * Cyril Hurt, "William Malet and His Family," Anglo-Norman Studies XIX
   * K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "Antecessor Noster: The Parentage of Countess Lucy Made Plain", Prosopon, issue 2 

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

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy:

RANULF du Bessin "le Meschin", son of RANULF Vicomte du Bessin [Bayeux] & his wife Marguerite [Maud] d'Avranches (-17 or 27 Jan 1129, bur Chester, Abbey of St Werburgh). Orderic Vitalis names him and his mother[46]. "…Rannulfus filius Rannulfi vicecomitis…Rannulfus vicecomes" witnessed the charter dated 24 Apr 1089 under which Robert III Duke of Normandy donated property to Bayeux cathedral[47]. He was awarded the lordship of Carlisle by Henry I King of England[48]. He succeeded his father as Vicomte du Bessin [Bayeux]. “R de Meschin, Richerio vicecomiti Karleoli” donated property to Wetherall priory, Cumberland, for the soul of “…Richard fratris mei…et uxoris meæ Luciæ…”, by undated charter, witnessed by “Osberto vicecomite, Walteof filio Cospatricii comitis, Forno Sigulfi filio, Chetello Ectredi filio…”[49]. “Ranulfus Meschines” donated property to Wetherall priory, Cumberland, by undated charter, witnessed by “uxore mea Lucia, Willielmo fratre meo…”[50]. He was appointed Vicomte d'Avranches in 1120 after the death of his first cousin Richard d'Avranches, and also obtained the grant of the county palatine of Chester thereby becoming Earl of Chester (upon which he surrendered the lordship of Carlisle). He was commander of the royal forces in Normandy in 1124[51]. A manuscript narrating the descent of Hugh Earl of Chester to Alice Ctss of Lincoln records the death “VI Kal Feb” of “Ranulfus de Meschines” and his burial at St Werburgh´s, Chester[52].

m ([1098]) as her third husband, LUCY, widow firstly of IVO Taillebois Lord of Kendal and secondly of ROGER FitzGerold, daughter of --- & his wife [--- Malet] (-1138[53]). Ingulph's Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records that William I King of England arranged the marriage of "Ivo Taillebois" and "Lucia sister of Edwin and Morcar", her dowry consisting of their land at Hoyland[54], but this parentage appears impossible from a chronological point of view. Peter of Blois's Continuation of the Chronicle of the Abbey of Croyland records the death of Ivo and his burial at the priory of Spalding, and the remarriage of his widow "hardly had one month elapsed after his death" with "Roger de Romar the son Gerald de Romar"[55]. A manuscript recording the foundation of Spalding monastery records that “Yvo Talboys” married "Thoroldo…hærede Lucia" who, after the death of Ivo, married (in turn) "Rogerum filium Geroldi" and "comitem Cestriæ Ranulphum"[56]. She is named as wife of Ranulf by Orderic Vitalis, who also names her first husband, but does not state her origin[57]. According to a charter of Henri Duke of Normandy (later Henry II King of England) issued in favour of her son Ranulf Earl of Chester dated 1153, Ctss Lucy was the niece of Robert Malet of Eye and of Alan of Lincoln, as well as kinswoman of Thorold "the Sheriff"[58].

Earl Ranulf & his wife had four children:

1. RANULF "de Gernon" (Château de Gernon, Normandy before 1100-[murdered] 16 Dec 1153, bur Chester, Abbey of St Werburgh). His parentage is recorded by Orderic Vitalis[59]. He succeeded his father in [1129] as Earl of Chester, Vicomte d'Avranches.

- see below.

2. WILLIAM FitzRanulf Meschin (-[1130/35][60]). “Willielmus filius Randulfi” donated property to the priory of St Bee, Cumberland by undated charter[61]. He was given the barony of Egremont, Cumberland by King Henry I[62]. Lord of Skipton-in-Craven, de iure uxoris. “Willielmus de Meschines et Cecilia uxor mea” founded Bolton Priory by undated charter[63]. m as her first husband, CECILY de Rumilly, daughter and heiress of ROBERT de Rumilly [Romilly] of Skipton & his wife ---. “Willielmus de Meschines et Cecilia uxor mea” founded Bolton Priory by undated charter[64]. “Cecilia de Romeli” donated property to Bolton Priory by undated charter which names “gener meus Willielmus nepos regis Scotiæ Duncani”[65]. She married secondly[66], as his second wife, Henry de Tracy of Barnstaple. William & his wife had five children:

a) RANULF de Rumilly (-[1135/40]). “Ranulphus Meschinus, filius Willielmi, filii Ranulphi” confirmed donations of property to the priory of St Bee, Cumberland, on the advice of “Fulconis avunculi mei…”, by undated charter[67]. He succeeded his father, but on his death soon after was succeeded by his sisters as co-heiresses[68].

b) MATTHEW de Rumilly (-[before 1135/40]). The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified.

c) ALICE de Rumilly . A manuscript genealogy of William de Forz Comte d´Aumâle names “Aliciam de Rumeleya” as daughter of “Willielmus de Mechines primus hæres de Sciptun in Craven”, adding that she married “Willielmo filio Duncan” and was buried “apud Fontes”[69]. A different version of her parentage is provided by the Cronicon Cumbriæ which records that “Willielmus”, son of “Doncani comes de Murrayse”, married “Aliciam filiam Roberti de Romeney, domini de Skipton in Craven” and his wife “filiam Willielmi de Meschinis domini de Coupland”[70]. Lady of Skipton. “Willielmus filius Dunecani nepos regis Scotiæ…et Aeliz de Rumeili uxor mea” confirmed donations of property to Bolton Priory by undated charter[71]. “Aaliz de Rumelli” donated property to Pontefract Priory, with the consent of “Willielmi filii mei”, for the soul of “domini mei Willielmi filii Dunecani”, by undated charter[72]. The primary source which confirms her second marriage has not yet been identified. m firstly (1138) as his second wife, WILLIAM FitzDuncan, son of DUNCAN II King of Scotland & his wife Ethelreda of Northumberland ([1091/94]-[1153/54]). m secondly ALEXANDER FitzGerold .

d) MATILDA de Rumilly (-after 1189[73]). “Philippus de Belmeis” founded Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire by undated charter, witnessed by “Philippus filius Philippi de Belmis…domina Matilda filia Willielmi Meschin uxor prædicti Philippi de Belmis…”[74]. The primary source which confirms her second marriage has not yet been identified. m firstly PHILIP de Belmeis of Tong, Shropshire, son of [75]WALTER de Belmeis & his wife --- (-1154 or before). m secondly HUGH de Mortimer, son of HUGH de Mortimer & his wife --- (-[Nov 1180/Nov 1181]).

e) AVICE de Rumilly (-[1179][76]). “Amicia filia Cecilie de Rumilli” confirmed donations to the canons of St Mary, for the soul of “Willelmi de Curci filii mei”, by charter dated to [1138/50], witnessed by “Willelmo de Curci filio meo…”[77]. An undated manuscript relating to Croxton Abbey, Leicestershire records that “Avicia de Romely domina de Bescaudeby” married ”Willielmum Paynel”, and had “filium Willielmum de Curci et filiam Aliciam”[78]. “Avicia de Romelli” notified her donation to the canons of Drax, for the soul of “Willelmi Paganelli mariti mei”, with the consent of “domini Roberti de Gant et Adelicie filie mee uxoris eiusdem Roberti”, by charter dated to [1147/52], witnessed by “Robertus de Gant et Adelicia Paganella uxor eius et Adelicia soror Roberti de Gant…”[79]. [80]m firstly ([1125]) WILLIAM de Courcy, son of WILLIAM de Courcy [Curcy] & his wife Emma de Falaise (-before 1130). m secondly as his second wife, WILLIAM Paynel of Drax, son of RALPH Paynell & his [first wife ---] (-[1147]). [81]m thirdly (before 1153) WALTER de Percy, son of ALAN de Percy & his wife Emma de Gand .

3. AGNES ([1098/1105][82]-bur Saint-Evroul[83]). "Agnes" is named as first wife of Robert de Grantmesnil by Orderic Vitalis, who also names her father[84]. m as his first wife, ROBERT de Grantmesnil, son of HUGUES de Grantmesnil & his wife Adelisa [Aelis] de Beaumont-sur-Oise (-1 Jun [1136], bur Saint-Evroul).

4. ALICE . Guillaume de Jumièges records that Richard married "la sœur de Ranulfe le jeune comte de Chester"[85]. The History of Gloucester St Peter records the confirmation by "Ranulphus comes Cestriæ" of the donation of "molendinum de Taddewelle" by "Alicia soror eius" for the soul of "Ricardi filii Gilberti viri sui" (undated)[86]. “Rics filius Gilebi” donated lands in Hawkedon, Suffolk to the abbey of St Edmunds, with the consent of “Rogs…filius me…et coiux mea Xpiana”, by undated charter[87]. This charter is attributed to Richard FitzGilbert in Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica and dated to 1154, which must be incorrect in view of Richard´s recorded death in 1136. The reference to his wife´s name as Christiana cannot be explained. It does not appear that Richard married twice, assuming that the sources quoted here are accurate. The extract from the History of Gloucester St Peter suggests that his wife “Alice of Chester” survived her husband, while the St Edmunds charter shows that “Christiana” was alive after Richard´s son Roger was old enough to consent to the donation. She was rescued from the Welsh by Miles of Gloucester[88]. m [firstly] RICHARD FitzGilbert de Clare, son of GILBERT FitzRichard Lord of Clare & his wife Adelais de Roucy (-killed in battle near Abergavenny 15 Apr 1136, bur Gloucester). [89]Maybe m secondly ROGER de Condé [Cundet], son of --- (-10 Oct [1139/45]).

Earl Ranulf had [one possibly illegitimate daughter] by an unknown mistress:

5. [daughter .] m --- Bacon du Molay. One child:

a) RICHARD Bacon (-[after 1142/43]). “Ric. Bacun” founded Rocester Priory, for the soul of “Ranulphi comitis Cestriæ avunculi mei”, by undated charter witnessed by “Hugone Eac…”[90].

____________________________

Note from Geni curator Pam Wilson (28 December 2010)

There was a lively discussion in the pages of the publication Notes and Queries in 1873 about the sobriquet “le Meschin” as it applied to Ranulph Earl of Chester d 1128 (Ranulfus Meschinus in Latin) arguing that this was broadened and corrupted to apply to subsequent members of his famiy as “de Meschines” as a surname. The argument is made that “le Meschin” or “le Meschyn” likely was a Norman term that meant “the younger” rather than a place name as “de Meschines” would imply. Examples are given of several other men of that period who were also called “le Meschin”: William de Albini Meschines, William de Roumare le Meschyn, and Robert Brus Meschin. As one contributor, Mr. Tewars, explained, “Meschines or le Meschin, therefore, was a word super-added to their surnames by four contemporary Normans, who were in nowise related to each other, but who were all sons of fathers bearing the same Christian name as themselves, and we must assume that is was a personal sobriquet, because it was not transmitted by any of the four to their descendants. What else then except ‘the younger’ will fulfill all the conditions of the problem of its meaning?” Tewars, “Replies: De Meschin: Earls of Chester” Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men , General Readers, Etc. 4th Series Vol XII 13 Dec 1873, pp. 474-477, London: John Francis. Collected and bound as William White, Notes and Queries, Vol. 48. http://books.google.com/

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Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_le_Meschin,_1st_Earl_of_Chester

Died January 1129

Resting place Chester Abbey

Other names Ranulf de Briquessart

Ethnicity Norman French

Title Earl of Chester

(previously) Lord of Cumberland

Term 1120 — 1129

Predecessor Richard d'Avranches

Successor Ranulf de Gernon

Spouse(s) Lucy

Children Ranulf de Gernon, Alicia

Ranulf le Meschin, Ranulf de Briquessart or Ranulf I [Ranulph, Ralph] (died 1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches, the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, Cumberland and Westmorland, before attaining the palatine county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches in 1120. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Family and origins

Ranulf was the son of Ranulf de Briquessart, viscount of the Bessin, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[2] His mother was Matilda, daughter of Richard, viscount of the Avranchin. We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that he had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[3] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[2]

Ranulf's earliest appearance in extant historical records was 24 April 1089, the date of a charter of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, to Bayeux Cathedral.[2] Ranulf, as "Ranulf son of Ranulf the viscount", was one of the charter's witnesses.[2] He appeared again in the sources, c. 1093/4, as a witness to the foundation charter of Chester Abbey, granted by his uncle Hugh d'Avranches, palantine count ("earl") of Chester.[2] Between 1098 and 1101, probably in 1098, Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire.[4] This acquisition also brought him the lordship of Appleby in Cumberland, previously held by Lucy's second husband Ivo Taillebois.[2]

Lord of Cumberland and Westmorland

A charter issued in 1124 by David I, King of the Scots, to Robert I de Brus granting the latter the lordship of Annandale recorded that Ranulf was remembered as holding lordship of Carlisle and Cumberland, holding with the same semi-regal rights by which Robert was to hold Annandale.[2] A source from 1212 attests that the jurors of Cumberland remembered Ranulf as quondam dominus Cumberland ("sometime Lord of Cumberland").[5] Ranulf possessed the power and in some respects the dignity of a semi-independent earl in the region, though he lacked the formal status of being called such. A contemporary illustration of this authority is one charter in the records of Wetheral Priory, which recorded Ranulf addressing his own sheriff, "Richer" (probably Richard de Boivill).[6]

Ivo Taillebois, when he married Ranulf's future wife Lucy, had acquired her Lincolnshire lands; sometime after 1086 he acquired authority in Westmorland and Kendal. Adjacent lands in Lancashire and Westmorland, previously controlled by Earl Tostig Godwinson, were probably carved up in the 1080s by the king, between Roger the Poitevin and Ivo, a territorial division at least partially responsible for the later boundaries between the two counties.[7] Norman lordship in the heartland of Cumberland dates to around 1092, the year King William Rufus seized the region from its previous ruler, Dolfin.[8] There is inconclusive evidence that this happened around the same time as William II's expedition to Carlisle, and that settlers from Ivo's Lincolnshire lands came into Cumberland as a result.[9]

When Ranulf acquired Ivo's authority, or an extended version of it, is not clear. Between 1094 and 1098 Lucy was married to Roger fitz Gerold de Roumare, so it is possible that this marriage was the king's way of transferring authority in the region to Roger fitz Gerold.[10] The "traditional view", and that held by the historian William Kapelle, was that Ranulf's authority in the region did not come about until 1106 or after, as a reward for Ranulf's participation in the Battle of Tinchebrai.[11] Another historian, Richard Sharpe, has recently attacked this view and argued that it probably came in or soon after 1098. Sharpe believed that Lucy was the main mechanism by which this authority changed hands here, and pointed out that Ranulf had been married to Lucy years before Tinchebrai, and that, moreover, Ranulf can be found months before Tinchebrai taking evidence from county jurors at York (which may have been responsible for parts of this partially-shired region at this point).[12]

Firm dates for Ranulf's authority in the region do however come only from 1106 and after, well into the reign of Henry I.[2] It was in 1106 that Ranulf founded a Benedictine monastic house at Wetheral, Wetheral Priory.[2] The record of the jurors of Cumberland dating to 1212 claimed that Ranulf created two baronies in the region, Burgh-by-Sands for Robert de Trevers, Ranulf's brother-in-law, and Liddel for Turgis Brandos.[13] He appears to have attempted to give Gilsland to his brother William, though its lord, "Gille", held out; later the lordship of Allerdale (also called Egremont or Copeland) was given to William.[14] Kirklinton may have been given to Richard de Boivill, Ranulf's sheriff.[2]

Earl of Chester

Chester Cathedral today, originally Chester Abbey, where Ranulf's body was buried

Marriage to the a great heiress came only with royal patronage, which in turn came only through having royal respect and trust. Ranulf was however not recorded often at the court of Henry I, and did not form part of the king's closest group of administrative advisers.[15] He was however one of the king's military companions, and served under Henry as an officer of the royal household when the latter was on campaign; Ranulf was in fact one of his three commanders at the Battle of Tinchebrai, where he led the vanguard of Henry's army, and was often in Normandy when the king's interests were threatened there.[16] He is found serving as a royal justice in both 1106 and 1116. Later in his career, 1123-4, he commanded the king's garrison at Évreux during the war with William Clito, and in March 1124 he assisted in the capture of Waleran, Count of Meulan.[2]

The death of Richard, count-palatine of Chester in the White Ship Disaster of 1120 near Barfleur, paved the way for Ranulf's elevation to comital rank.[2] Merely four days before the disaster, Ranulf and his cousin Richard had witnessed a charter together at Cerisy.[2] Henry recognized Ranulf as Richard's successor to the county of Chester.[2] Ranulf's accession may have involved him giving up many of his other lands, including much of his wife's Lincolnshire lands and his land in Cumbria, though direct evidence for this beyond convenient timing is lacking.[17] Richard Sharpe suggested that Ranulf may have had to sell much land in order to pay the king for the palatine-county of Chester, though it could not have covered the whole fee, as Ranulf's son Ranulf de Gernon, when he succeeded his father to Chester in 1129, owed the king £1000 "from his father's debt for the land of Earl Hugh".[18]

Ranulf died in January 1129, and was buried in Chester Abbey.[2] He was survived by his wife and countess, Lucy, and succeeded by his son Ranulf de Gernon.[2] A daughter, Alicia, married Richard de Clare, a lord in the Anglo-Welsh marches.[2]

Preceded by

Richard d'Avranches Earl of Chester

1120 — 1129 Succeeded by

Ranulf de Gernon

In Fiction

Ranulf figures prominently in the juvenile historical novel The Shield Ring written by Rosemary Sutcliff.[19] In this novel, Ranulf besieges a tribe of Anglo-Saxons living in Cumberland, and is eventually defeated by them.

Notes

  1. ^ Strutt & Hulbert (eds.), Cheshire Antiquities, p. 28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q King, "Ranulf (I)".
  3. ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Rollason & Rollason (eds.), The Durham Liber Vitae, p. 159.
  4. ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 40; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 45-6.
  5. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47.
  6. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 48.
  7. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 39—40.
  8. ^ Phythian-Adams, Land of the Cumbrians, p. 24; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 34.
  9. ^ For details, see Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 36—8.
 10. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 41-2; Sharpe also cites (p. 42) the "unexplained interests in Westmorland in the 1130s" held by Richard fitz Gerard of Appleby, the son of the marriage, as additional evidence for this.
 11. ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)"; see also Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 43—4.
 12. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 44—6.
 13. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47.
 14. ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)".
 15. ^ Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 98.
 16. ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)".
 17. ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 51—2.
 18. ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 52, n. 135.
 19. ^ Sutcliff, Rosemary (1956), The Shield Ring, New York: Henry Z. Walck.

References

   * Kapelle, William E. (1979), The Norman Conquest of the North: The Region and Its Transformation, 1000–1135, London: Croom Helm Ltd, ISBN 0-7099-0040-6 
   * King, Edmund (2004), "Ranulf (I) , third earl of Chester (d. 1129)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/23127, retrieved on 2008-11-07 
   * Newman, Charlotte A. (1988), The Anglo-Norman Nobility in the Reign of Henry I: The Second Generation, Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, ISBN 0-8122-8138-1 
   * Phythian-Adams, Charles (1996), Land of the Cumbrians: A Study in British Provincial Origins, A. D. 400–1120, Aldershot: Scolar Press, ISBN 1-85928-327-6 
   * Rollason, David; Rollason, Lynda, eds. (2007), Durham Liber vitae : London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII : edition and digital facsimile with introduction, codicological, prosopographical and linguistic commentary, and indexes including the Biographical Register of Durham Cathedral Priory (1083–1539) by A. J. Piper, I, London: British Library, ISBN 0712349952 
   * Sharpe, Richard (2006), Norman Rule in Cumbria, 1092—1136: A Lecture Delivered to Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society on 9th April 2005 at Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Tract Series No. XXI, Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, ISBN 1-873124-43-0 
   * Strutt, Joseph; Hulbert, Charles, eds. (1838), Cheshire antiquities, Roman, baronial, and monastic: a re-publ. of orig. copper plates, engr. by J. Strutt, with descriptions &c., London: C. Hulbert, http://books.google.com/books?id=o8UHAAAAQAAJ 
   * Todd, John M. (March 2006), "The West March on the Anglo-Scottish Border in the Twelfth Century and the Origins of the Western Debatable Land", Northern history : a review of the history of the north of England 43 (1): 11–19, doi:08-10-08, ISSN 0078-172X

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

Ranulf was the son of Ranulf de Briquessart, viscount of the Bessin, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[2] His mother was Matilda, daughter of Richard, viscount of the Avranchin. We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that he had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[3] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).

was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches, the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, Cumberland and Westmorland, before attaining the palatine county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches in 1120. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Sources:

  1. Kapelle, William E. (1979), The Norman Conquest of the North: The Region and Its Transformation, 1000–1135, London: Croom Helm Ltd, ISBN 0-7099-0040-6
  2. King, Edmund (2004), "Ranulf (I) , third earl of Chester (d. 1129)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/23127, retrieved 2008-11-07
  3. Newman, Charlotte A. (1988), The Anglo-Norman Nobility in the Reign of Henry I: The Second Generation, Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, ISBN 0-8122-8138-1
  4. Phythian-Adams, Charles (1996), Land of the Cumbrians: A Study in British Provincial Origins, A. D. 400–1120, Aldershot: Scolar Press, ISBN 1-85928-327-6
  5. Rollason, David; Rollason, Lynda, eds. (2007), Durham Liber vitae : London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII : edition and digital facsimile with introduction, codicological, prosopographical and linguistic commentary, and indexes including the Biographical Register of Durham Cathedral Priory (1083–1539) by A. J. Piper, I, London: British Library, ISBN 0712349952
  6. Sharpe, Richard (2006), Norman Rule in Cumbria, 1092—1136: A Lecture Delivered to Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society on 9th April 2005 at Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Tract Series No. XXI, Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, ISBN 1-873124-43-0
  7. Strutt, Joseph; Hulbert, Charles, eds. (1838), Cheshire antiquities, Roman, baronial, and monastic: a re-publ. of orig. copper plates, engr. by J. Strutt, with descriptions &c., London: C. Hulbert, http://books.google.com/books?id=o8UHAAAAQAAJ
  8. Todd, John M. (March 2006), "The West March on the Anglo-Scottish Border in the Twelfth Century and the Origins of the Western Debatable Land", Northern history : a review of the history of the north of England 43 (1): 11–19, doi:08-10-08, ISSN 0078-172X

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Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester1

b. circa 1068, d. circa 1129

Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester|b. c 1068\nd. c 1129|p362.htm#i14644|Ranulph II, vicomte de Bayeaux|b. c 1042\nd.

1128/29|p363.htm#i6821|Margaret d' Avranches|b. c 1046\nd. c 1136|p364.htm#i6822|Ranulph I., Vicomte du Bessin|b. c 1015|p58.htm#i7107|Alix de Normandie|b. c 1022|p58.htm#i7109|Richard le Goz, vicomte d' Avranches|b. c 1025\nd. a 1082|p351.htm#i6643|Emma de Conteville|b. c 1030?|p55.htm#i6644|

Father Ranulph II, vicomte de Bayeaux2,1 b. circa 1042, d. 1128/29

Mother Margaret d' Avranches2,1 b. circa 1046, d. circa 1136

So called "de Briquessart" from the commune of Livry where the earthworks of his castle are still visible.3 Called "the Young" from the Latin "Mischinus."4 Arms: Or, a lion rampant, his tail erected, gules.5 Also called Ranulph "the Young".4 Also called Randal.6 Also called Ranulph de Briquessart. Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester was born circa 1068.

He was the son of Ranulph II, vicomte de Bayeaux and Margaret d' Avranches.2,1 Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester married Maud de Vere, daughter of Aubrey de Vere I and Beatrice de Ghisnes, circa 1089; His 1st.7 Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester married Lucy "the Countess" of Lincoln, daughter of Turold of Bucknell, Sheriff of Lincoln and N. N. Malet, circa 1098; His 2nd. Her 3rd (widow).

He was commander of the Royal Forces in 1124 at Normandy, France.1 Viscount of Bayeaux at Normandy, France, in 1129.1 He was the predecessor of Ranulph de Gernon, 5th Earl of Chester; Viscount of Avranches.1 Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester was the predecessor of Ranulph de Gernon, 5th Earl of Chester; 5th Earl of Chester.1 Ranulph "le Meschin", 4th Earl of Chester was buried in Abbey of St. Werburg's, Chester, England.1 He died circa 1129.13,1

Family 1

Maud de Vere b. circa 1070

Family 2

Lucy "the Countess" of Lincoln b. circa 1066

Children

   * Agnes le Meschines b. c 1099?6
   * Ranulph de Gernon, 5th Earl of Chester+ b. b 1100, d. 16 Dec 11537,12
   * Adeliza de Meschines+ b. c 1100?, d. 11286
   * William Meschines b. c 1101?6

Citations

  1. [S215] Revised by others later George Edward Cokayne CP, III:166.
  2. [S603] C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, B:xP, pg. 2.
  3. [S215] Revised by others later George Edward Cokayne CP, III:166, footnote (b).
  4. [S215] Revised by others later George Edward Cokayne CP, III:166, footnote (a).
  5. [S603] C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, B:xP, pg. 367.
  6. [S603] C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, B:xP, pg. 365.
  7. [S842] Harleian Society, "Visitiation Cheshire 1580: Chester Earls".
  8. [S603] C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, B:xP, pg. 457.
  9. [S936] K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "Parentage of Countess Lucy".
 10. [S215] Revised by others later George Edward Cokayne CP, VII:743, about 1098.
 11. [S215] Revised by others later George Edward Cokayne CP, III:165.
 12. [S879] Kevin Miller (e-mail address), RE: Alice of Normandy in "Re: Alice of Normandy," newsgroup message 2001-03-22 22:33:12 PST.
 13. [S842] Harleian Society, "Visitiation Cheshire 1580: Chester Earls", "obijt 1130".

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Ranulph le Meschin also known as Ranulph de Meschines III "le Briquessart" (1074-1129) was the 1st Anglo-Norman Earl of Chester in Cheshire. He was the son of Ranulph de Meschines, the Viscount of Bayeux[1] and Margaret Le Goz d'Avranches.

Military Gains & Inheritance

After the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent subjection of the North (the Harrying of the North), Ranulph le Meschin received large grants, including the honour of Appleby and the city of Carlisle. Some have maintained that he was earl of Carlisle or of Cumberland, but this is probably an error. He succeeded his first cousin, Richard d'Avranches, in the earldom of Chester in 1121.

Marriage Gains

Ranulph also became the largest landholder in Lindsey through his marriage (c.1093) to a woman referred to as "Countess Lucy", (c.1079-1138), possibly the daughter of Turold, Sheriff of Lincoln, but more probably the granddaughter maternally of William Malet, lord of Graville. Her parentage, and marriages, have been much disputed.

Issue

By Lucy

Sir Ranulph de Gernon 1100 1153 2nd Earl of Chester.

Adelize/Alice de Gernon 1102 1128) m. Sir Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Clare, 1st Earl of Hertford in 1116.

Ranulph "le Briquessart" le Meschin, Vicomte of Bayeux

Vicomte d'Avranches

Born 1074

Briquessart, Livry, France

Died January 1129

Cheshire, England

Office Earl of Chester

1121-1129

Preceded by New Creation

Succeeded by Ranulph de Gernon

References

Cyril Hurt, "William Malet and His Family," Anglo-Norman Studies XIX

K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "Antecessor Noster: The Parentage of Countess Lucy Made Plain", Prosopon, issue 2

Genealogics

FMG on Ranulf du Bessin "le Meschin"

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

Ranulph III le MESCHIN Earl of Chester [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 was born 1075 in Bayeux, Calvados, France. He died 11 27 Jan 1129 in Chester, Cheshire, England. Ranulph married Lucy Countess of Chester on 1098 in Gernon Castle, Normandie, France.

Lucy Countess of Chester [Parents] 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 was born 1069 in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England. She died 1138 in Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, England. Lucy married Ranulph III le MESCHIN Earl of Chester on 1098 in Gernon Castle, Normandie, France.

   Other marriages:
       TAILLEBOIS, Ivo
       ROUMARE, Roger de

They had the following children:

     		F 	i 	Adeliza la MESCHIN was born 1099.
     		M 	ii 	Ranulph IV de GERNON Earl of Chester was born 1101 and died 16 Dec 1153.
     		M 	iii 	William le MESCHIN 1 was born 1103 in Gernon Castle, Normandie, France.

Sources

1Weis, Frederick Lewis, Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700 (7th ed., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.), 125-27, 132A-26, 132D-26, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 W426 1992.

2Keats-Rohan, K. S. B., "Antecessor Noster: The Parentage of Countess Lucy Made Plain," Prosopon, No. 2 (May 1995), p. 1, Linacre College.

3Weis, F., Ancestral Roots 7, 246B-25.

4Cokayne, George Edward, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant (London: St. Catherine Press, 1910.), 3:166, 14:170, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.721 C682.

5Cokayne, G., CP, 3:243.

6Keats-Rohan, K.S.B., Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166 (Rochester, New York: The Boydell Press, 2002.), pp. 228, 246, 425, 746, Library of Congress, DA177 .K4 2002.

7Sanders, Ivor John, English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent, 1086-1327 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960.), pp. 18, 32, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.722 S215.

8Dugdale, William, Monasticon Anglicanum (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1817-1831. FHL BRITISH Film #496,906.), 3:584, Family History Library.

9Nichols, John Gough (Editor), "The Earldom of Lincoln," The Topographer and Genealogist, Vol. 1 (1846) (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1846-1858.), p. 16, Los Angeles Public Library.

10Nichols, John Gough (Editor), "Descent of the Earldom of Lincoln," The Topographer and Genealogist, Vol. 1 (1846) (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1846-1858.), p. 302, Los Angeles Public Library.

11. Cokayne, G., CP, 14:170.

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

Ranulph le Meschin, 1st Earl of Chester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ranulph "le Briquessart" le Meschin, Vicomte of Bayeux

Vicomte d'Avranches

Born 1074

Briquessart, Livry, France

Died January 1129

Cheshire, England

Office Earl of Chester

1121-1129

Preceded by New Creation

Succeeded by Ranulph de Gernon

Ranulph le Meschin also known as Ranulph de Meschines III "le Briquessart" (1074-1129) was the 1st Anglo-Norman Earl of Chester in Cheshire. He was the son of Ranulph de Meschines, the Viscount of Bayeux[1] and Margaret Le Goz d'Avranches.

[edit]Military Gains & Inheritance

After the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent subjection of the North (the Harrying of the North), Ranulph le Meschin received large grants, including the honour of Appleby and the city of Carlisle. Some have maintained that he was earl of Carlisle or of Cumberland, but this is probably an error. He succeeded his first cousin, Richard d'Avranches, in the earldom of Chester in 1121.

[edit]Marriage Gains

Ranulph also became the largest landholder in Lindsey through his marriage (c.1093) to a woman referred to as "Countess Lucy", (c.1079-1138), possibly the daughter of Turold, Sheriff of Lincoln, but more probably the granddaughter maternally of William Malet, lord of Graville. Her parentage, and marriages, have been much disputed.

Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester (1st of second creation)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ranulf le Meschin, Ranulf de Briquessart or Ranulf I [Ranulph, Ralph] (died 1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches, the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, Cumberland and Westmorland, before attaining the palatine county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches in 1120. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Family and origins

Ranulf was the son of Ranulf de Briquessart, viscount of the Bessin, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[2] His mother was Matilda, daughter of Richard, viscount of the Avranchin. We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that he had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[3] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[2]

Ranulf's earliest appearance in extant historical records was 24 April 1089, the date of a charter of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, to Bayeux Cathedral.[2] Ranulf, as "Ranulf son of Ranulf the viscount", was one of the charter's witnesses.[2] He appeared again in the sources, c. 1093/4, as a witness to the foundation charter of Chester Abbey, granted by his uncle Hugh d'Avranches, palantine count ("earl") of Chester.[2] Between 1098 and 1101, probably in 1098, Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire.[4] This acquisition also brought him the lordship of Appleby in Cumberland, previously held by Lucy's second husband Ivo Taillebois.[2]

[edit]Lord of Cumberland and Westmorland

A charter issued in 1124 by David I, King of the Scots, to Robert I de Brus granting the latter the lordship of Annandale recorded that Ranulf was remembered as holding lordship of Carlisle and Cumberland, holding with the same semi-regal rights by which Robert was to hold Annandale.[2] A source from 1212 attests that the jurors of Cumberland remembered Ranulf as quondam dominus Cumberland ("sometime Lord of Cumberland").[5] Ranulf possessed the power and in some respects the dignity of a semi-independent earl in the region, though he lacked the formal status of being called such. A contemporary illustration of this authority is one charter in the records of Wetheral Priory, which recorded Ranulf addressing his own sheriff, "Richer" (probably Richard de Boivill).[6]

Ivo Taillebois, when he married Ranulf's future wife Lucy, had acquired her Lincolnshire lands; sometime after 1086 he acquired authority in Westmorland and Kendal. Adjacent lands in Lancashire and Westmorland, previously controlled by Earl Tostig Godwinson, were probably carved up in the 1080s by the king, between Roger the Poitevin and Ivo, a territorial division at least partially responsible for the later boundaries between the two counties.[7] Norman lordship in the heartland of Cumberland dates to around 1092, the year King William Rufus seized the region from its previous ruler, Dolfin.[8] There is inconclusive evidence that this happened around the same time as William II's expedition to Carlisle, and that settlers from Ivo's Lincolnshire lands came into Cumberland as a result.[9]

When Ranulf acquired Ivo's authority, or an extended version of it, is not clear. Between 1094 and 1098 Lucy was married to Roger fitz Gerold de Roumare, so it is possible that this marriage was the king's way of transferring authority in the region to Roger fitz Gerold.[10] The "traditional view", and that held by the historian William Kapelle, was that Ranulf's authority in the region did not come about until 1106 or after, as a reward for Ranulf's participation in the Battle of Tinchebrai.[11] Another historian, Richard Sharpe, has recently attacked this view and argued that it probably came in or soon after 1098. Sharpe believed that Lucy was the main mechanism by which this authority changed hands here, and pointed out that Ranulf had been married to Lucy years before Tinchebrai, and that, moreover, Ranulf can be found months before Tinchebrai taking evidence from county jurors at York (which may have been responsible for parts of this partially-shired region at this point).[12]

Firm dates for Ranulf's authority in the region do however come only from 1106 and after, well into the reign of Henry I.[2] It was in 1106 that Ranulf founded a Benedictine monastic house at Wetheral, Wetheral Priory.[2] The record of the jurors of Cumberland dating to 1212 claimed that Ranulf created two baronies in the region, Burgh-by-Sands for Robert de Trevers, Ranulf's brother-in-law, and Liddel for Turgis Brandos.[13] He appears to have attempted to give Gilsland to his brother William, though its lord, "Gille", held out; later the lordship of Allerdale (also called Egremont or Copeland) was given to William.[14] Kirklinton may have been given to Richard de Boivill, Ranulf's sheriff.[2]

[edit]Earl of Chester

Marriage to the a great heiress came only with royal patronage, which in turn came only through having royal respect and trust. Ranulf was however not recorded often at the court of Henry I, and did not form part of the king's closest group of administrative advisers.[15] He was however one of the king's military companions, and served under Henry as an officer of the royal household when the latter was on campaign; Ranulf was in fact one of his three commanders at the Battle of Tinchebrai, where he led the vanguard of Henry's army, and was often in Normandy when the king's interests were threatened there.[16] He is found serving as a royal justice in both 1106 and 1116. Later in his career, 1123-4, he commanded the king's garrison at Évreux during the war with William Clito, and in March 1124 he assisted in the capture of Waleran, Count of Meulan.[2]

The death of Richard, count-palatine of Chester in the White Ship Disaster of 1120 near Barfleur, paved the way for Ranulf's elevation to comital rank.[2] Merely four days before the disaster, Ranulf and his cousin Richard had witnessed a charter together at Cerisy.[2] Henry recognized Ranulf as Richard's successor to the county of Chester.[2] Ranulf's accession may have involved him giving up many of his other lands, including much of his wife's Lincolnshire lands and his land in Cumbria, though direct evidence for this beyond convenient timing is lacking.[17] Richard Sharpe suggested that Ranulf may have had to sell much land in order to pay the king for the palatine-county of Chester, though it could not have covered the whole fee, as Ranulf's son Ranulf de Gernon, when he succeeded his father to Chester in 1129, owed the king £1000 "from his father's debt for the land of Earl Hugh".[18]

Ranulf died in January 1129, and was buried in Chester Abbey.[2] He was survived by his wife and countess, Lucy, and succeeded by his son Ranulf de Gernon.[2] A daughter, Alicia, married Richard de Clare, a lord in the Anglo-Welsh marches.[2]

In Fiction

Ranulf figures prominently in the juvenile historical novel The Shield Ring written by Rosemary Sutcliff.[19] In this novel, Ranulf besieges a tribe of Anglo-Saxons living in Cumberland, and is eventually defeated by them.

[edit]Notes

^ Strutt & Hulbert (eds.), Cheshire Antiquities, p. 28.

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q King, "Ranulf (I)".

^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Rollason & Rollason (eds.), The Durham Liber Vitae, p. 159.

^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 40; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 45-6.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 48.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 39—40.

^ Phythian-Adams, Land of the Cumbrians, p. 24; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 34.

^ For details, see Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 36—8.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 41-2; Sharpe also cites (p. 42) the "unexplained interests in Westmorland in the 1130s" held by Richard fitz Gerard of Appleby, the son of the marriage, as additional evidence for this.

^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)"; see also Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 43—4.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 44—6.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47.

^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)".

^ Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 98.

^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)".

^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 51—2.

^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 52, n. 135.

^ Sutcliff, Rosemary (1956), The Shield Ring, New York: Henry Z. Walck.

[edit]References

Kapelle, William E. (1979), The Norman Conquest of the North: The Region and Its Transformation, 1000–1135, London: Croom Helm Ltd, ISBN 0-7099-0040-6

King, Edmund (2004), "Ranulf (I) , third earl of Chester (d. 1129)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved on 2008-11-07

Newman, Charlotte A. (1988), The Anglo-Norman Nobility in the Reign of Henry I: The Second Generation, Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, ISBN 0-8122-8138-1

Phythian-Adams, Charles (1996), Land of the Cumbrians: A Study in British Provincial Origins, A. D. 400–1120, Aldershot: Scolar Press, ISBN 1-85928-327-6

Rollason, David; Rollason, Lynda, eds. (2007), Durham Liber vitae : London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII : edition and digital facsimile with introduction, codicological, prosopographical and linguistic commentary, and indexes including the Biographical Register of Durham Cathedral Priory (1083–1539) by A. J. Piper, I, London: British Library, ISBN 0712349952

Sharpe, Richard (2006), Norman Rule in Cumbria, 1092—1136: A Lecture Delivered to Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society on 9th April 2005 at Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Tract Series No. XXI, Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, ISBN 1-873124-43-0

Strutt, Joseph; Hulbert, Charles, eds. (1838), Cheshire antiquities, Roman, baronial, and monastic: a re-publ. of orig. copper plates, engr. by J. Strutt, with descriptions &c., London: C. Hulbert

Todd, John M. (March 2006), "The West March on the Anglo-Scottish Border in the Twelfth Century and the Origins of the Western Debatable Land", Northern history : a review of the history of the north of England 43 (1): 11–19, doi:08-10-08, ISSN 0078-172X

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From Wikipedia:

Ranulf le Meschin, Ranulf de Briquessart or Ranulf I [Ranulph, Ralph] (died 1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches - the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, in Cumberland and Westmorland, founding Wetheral Priory. After the death of his cousin Richard d'Avranches in the White Ship Disaster of November 1120, Ranulf became earl of the county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Ranulf le Meschin's father and mother represented two different families of viscounts in Normandy, and both of them were strongly tied to Henry, son of William the Conqueror. His father was Ranulf de Briquessart, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger". Ranulf's father was viscount of the Bessin, the area around Bayeux.[4] Besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Ranulf the elder was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region of Normandy.[5] Ranulf le Meschin's great-grandmother may even have been from the ducal family of Normandy, as le Meschin's paternal great-grandfather viscount Anschitil is known to have married a daughter of Duke Richard III.

Ranulf le Meschin's mother was the daughter of Richard Goz. Richard's father Thurstan Goz had become viscount of the Hiémois between 1017 and 1025, while Richard himself became viscount of the Avranchin in either 1055 or 1056. Her brother (Richard Goz's father) was Hugh d'Avranches "Lupus" ("the Wolf"), viscount of the Avranchin and Earl of Chester (from c. 1070). Ranulf was thus, in addition to being heir to the Bessin, the nephew of one of Norman England's most powerful and prestigious families.

We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that Ranulf le Meschin had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William. He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).

Between 1098 and 1101 (probably in 1098) Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire.[19] This acquisition also brought him the lordship of Appleby in Westmorland, previously held by Lucy's second husband Ivo Taillebois.

Ranulf died in January 1129, and was buried in Chester Abbey.[3] He was survived by his wife and countess, Lucy, and succeeded by his son Ranulf de Gernon.[3] A daughter, Alicia, married Richard de Clare, a lord in the Anglo-Welsh marches.

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Burried in St. Werburgh, Chester, England.

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Lord of Cumberland, vicomte of Bayeux in Normandy, Earl of Chester in 1120, following the death of his first cousin, Hugh d'Avranches, Earl of Chester. In 1124 commander of the Royal Forces in Normandy.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulf_le_Meschin

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Earl of Chester

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Ranulf was so called "de Briquessart" from the commune of Livry where the earthworks of his castle are still visible. He was called "the Young" from the Latin "Mischinus." He was also called Randal, and Ranulph de Briquessart, and Ranulph "le Meschin."

He was granted the title Earl of Chester following the death, without issue, of his cousin Richard, the son of his uncle, Hugh d'Avranches, on 26 November 1119.

He was commander of the Royal Forces in 1124 in Normandy.

See "My Lines"

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p362.htm#i14644 )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm ) -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_le_Meschin,_1st_Earl_of_Chester -------------------- Everything you wanted to know about Ranulf III, Earl of CHESTER:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulf_le_Meschin,_3rd_Earl_of_Chester -------------------- Ranulf le Meschin, Ranulf de Briquessart or Ranulf I [Ranulph, Ralph] (died 1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches, the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, Cumberland and Westmorland, before attaining the palatine county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches in 1120. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son. -------------------- AKA: de Briquessart -------------------- Ranulph, Earl of Chester, Vicomte de Bayeux & d'Avranches was born circa 1070 at of Cheshire, England. He married Lucy, daughter of Thorold of Bukenhall, Sheriff of Lincoln, circa 1100. Ranulph, Earl of Chester, Vicomte de Bayeux & d'Avranches died between January 1128 and 1129. -------------------- 'Notes for SIR-RANULPH DE MESCHINES, "DE BRIQUESSART" E:

Sir Ranulph DE MESCHINES "De Briquessart" Earl Of Chester"

Child of SIR-RANULPH DE MESCHINES, "DE BRIQUESSART" E is:

SIR-RANULPH DE GURNON DE MESCHINES, b. 1099, Gernon, Normandy, France; d. 12 16 1153. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulph_le_Meschin,_1st_Earl_of_Chester -------------------- ~Weis' Ancestral Roots . . ., 8th Edition, 132A:25, 132B:25, vicomté de Bayeux de Bessin (Normandy), son of Ranulph I and Alice of Normandy, m. to Maud, daughter of richard le Goz, vicomté d'Avranches and his wife Emma. 160

~Cokayne's Complete Peerage, 2nd Edition, (Leiceste)r, p.532, note (h), identifies him as Agnes' father. 141 --------------------



Sources 1.[S265] Colquoun_Cunningham.ged, Jamie Vans

2.[S285] London 1910. Alan Sutton, 1982, G E C, (London 1910. Alan Sutton, 1982)

3.[S280] Stirnet Genealogy, Peter Barns-Graham, Clare1 (Reliability: 3)



-------------------- Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ranulf le Meschin

A depiction of the arms of Ranulf le Meschin, though the colour is not actually known[1] Died January 1129 Resting place Chester Abbey Other names Ranulf de Briquessart Ethnicity Norman French Title Earl of Chester (previously) Lord of Cumberland Term 1120–1129 Predecessor Richard d'Avranches Successor Ranulf de Gernon Spouse(s) Lucy of Bolingbroke (Countess-consort of Chester) Children Ranulf de Gernon, Alicia Parents Ranulf de Briquessart Margaret Goz Ranulf le Meschin, 3rd Earl of Chester (1070−1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches - the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, in Cumberland and Westmorland, founding Wetheral Priory. After the death of his cousin Richard d'Avranches in the White Ship Disaster of November 1120, Ranulf became earl of the county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Contents [hide] 1 Family and origins 2 Early career 3 Lord of Cumberland 4 Earl of Chester 5 Notes 6 References Family and origins[edit] Ranulf le Meschin's father and mother represented two different families of viscounts in Normandy, and both of them were strongly tied to Henry, son of William the Conqueror.[2] His father was Ranulf de Briquessart, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[3] Ranulf's father was viscount of the Bessin, the area around Bayeux.[4] Besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Ranulf the elder was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region of Normandy.[5] Ranulf le Meschin's great-grandmother may even have been from the ducal family of Normandy, as le Meschin's paternal great-grandfather viscount Anschitil is known to have married a daughter of Duke Richard III.[6]

Ranulf le Meschin's mother, Margaret, was the daughter of Richard Goz.[2] Richard's father Thurstan Goz had become viscount of the Hiémois between 1017 and 1025,[7] while Richard himself became viscount of the Avranchin in either 1055 or 1056.[8] Her brother (Richard Goz's son) was Hugh d'Avranches "Lupus" ("the Wolf"), viscount of the Avranchin and Earl of Chester (from c. 1070).[9] Ranulf was thus, in addition to being heir to the Bessin, the nephew of one of Norman England's most powerful and prestigious families.[10]

We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that Ranulf le Meschin had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[11] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[3]

Early career[edit] Historian C. Warren Hollister thought that Ranulf's father Ranulf de Briquessart was one of the early close companions of Prince Henry, the future Henry I.[5] Hollister called Ranulf the Elder "a friend from Henry's youthful days in western Normandy",[12] and argued that the homeland of the two Ranulfs had been under Henry's overlordship since 1088, despite both ducal and royal authority lying with Henry's two brothers.[13] Hollister further suggested that Ranulf le Meschin may have had a role in persuading Robert Curthose to free Henry from captivity in 1089.[14]

The date of Ranulf senior's death, and succession of Ranulf junior, is unclear, but the former's last and the latter's earliest appearance in extant historical records coincides, dating to 24 April 1089 in charter of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, to Bayeux Cathedral.[15] Ranulf le Meschin appears as "Ranulf son of Ranulf the viscount".[15]

In the foundation charter of Chester Abbey granted by his uncle Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, and purportedly issued in 1093, Ranulf le Meschin is listed as a witness.[16] His attestation to this grant is written Signum Ranulfi nepotis comitis, "signature of Ranulf nephew of the earl".[17] However, the editor of the Chester comital charters, Geoffrey Barraclough, thought this charter was forged in the period of Earl Ranulf II.[18] Between 1098 and 1101 (probably in 1098) Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire.[19] This acquisition also brought him the lordship of Appleby in Westmorland, previously held by Lucy's second husband Ivo Taillebois.[3]

Marriage to a great heiress came only with royal patronage, which in turn meant that Ranulf had to be respected and trusted by the king. Ranulf was probably, like his father, among the earliest and most loyal of Henry's followers, and was noted as such by Orderic Vitalis.[20] Ranulf was however not recorded often at the court of Henry I, and did not form part of the king's closest group of administrative advisers.[21] He witnessed charters only occasionally, though this became more frequent after he became earl.[22] In 1106 he is found serving as a one of several justiciars at York hearing a case about the lordship of Ripon.[23] In 1116 he is recorded in a similar context.[3]

Ranulf was, however, one of the king's military companions. When, soon after Whitsun 1101 Henry heard news of a planned invasion of England by his brother Robert Curthose, he sought promises from his subjects to defended the kingdom.[24] A letter to the men of Lincolnshire names Ranulf as one of four figures entrusted with collecting these oaths.[25] Ranulf was one of the magnates who accompanied King Henry on his invasion of Duke Robert's Norman territory in 1106.[26] Ranulf served under Henry as an officer of the royal household when the latter was on campaign; Ranulf was in fact one of his three commanders at the Battle of Tinchebrai.[27] The first line of Henry's force was led by Ranulf, the second (with the king) by Robert of Meulan, and third by William de Warrene, with another thousand knights from Brittany and Maine led by Helias, Count of Maine.[28] Ranulf's line consisted of the men of Bayeux, Avranches and Coutances.[29]

Lord of Cumberland[edit]

The gatehouse of Wetheral Priory, founded by Ranulf c. 1106 A charter issued in 1124 by David I, King of the Scots, to Robert I de Brus cited Ranulf's lordship of Carlisle and Cumberland as a model for Robert's new lordship in Annandale.[30] This is significant because Robert is known from other sources to have acted with semi-regal authority in this region.[3] A source from 1212 attests that the jurors of Cumberland remembered Ranulf as quondam dominus Cumberland ("sometime Lord of Cumberland").[31] Ranulf possessed the power and in some respects the dignity of a semi-independent earl in the region, though he lacked the formal status of being called such. A contemporary illustration of this authority comes from the records of Wetheral Priory, where Ranulf is found addressing his own sheriff, "Richer" (probably Richard de Boivill, baron of Kirklinton).[32] Indeed, no royal activity occurred in Cumberland or Westmorland during Ranulf's time in charge there, testimony to the fullness of his powers in the region.[33]

Ivo Taillebois, when he married Ranulf's future wife Lucy, had acquired her Lincolnshire lands but sometime after 1086 he acquired estates in Kendal and elsewhere in Westmorland. Adjacent lands in Westmorland and Lancashire that had previously been controlled by Earl Tostig Godwinson were probably carved up between Roger the Poitevin and Ivo in the 1080s, a territorial division at least partially responsible for the later boundary between the two counties.[34] Norman lordship in the heartland of Cumberland can be dated from chronicle sources to around 1092, the year King William Rufus seized the region from its previous ruler, Dolfin.[35] There is inconclusive evidence that settlers from Ivo's Lincolnshire lands had come into Cumberland as a result.[36]

Between 1094 and 1098 Lucy was married to Roger fitz Gerold de Roumare, and it is probable that this marriage was the king's way of transferring authority in the region to Roger fitz Gerold.[37] Only from 1106 however, well into the reign of Henry I, do we have certain evidence that this authority had come to Ranulf.[3] The "traditional view", held by the historian William Kapelle, was that Ranulf's authority in the region did not come about until 1106 or after, as a reward for participation in the Battle of Tinchebrai.[38] Another historian, Richard Sharpe, has recently attacked this view and argued that it probably came in or soon after 1098. Sharpe stressed that Lucy was the mechanism by which this authority changed hands, and pointed out that Ranulf had been married to Lucy years before Tinchebrai and can be found months before Tinchebrai taking evidence from county jurors at York (which may have been responsible for Cumbria at this point).[39]

Ranulf likewise distributed land to the church, founding a Benedictine monastic house at Wetheral.[40] This he established as a daughter-house of St Mary's Abbey, York, a house that in turn had been generously endowed by Ivo Taillebois.[31] This had occurred by 1112, the year of the death of Abbot Stephen of St Mary's, named in the foundation deed.[41] In later times at least, the priory of Wetheral was dedicated to St Mary and the Holy Trinity, as well as another saint named Constantine.[42] Ranulf gave Wetheral, among other things, his two churches at Appleby, St Lawrences (Burgate) and St Michaels (Bongate).[43]

As an incoming regional magnate Ranulf would be expected to distribute land to his own followers, and indeed the record of the jurors of Cumberland dating to 1212 claimed that Ranulf created two baronies in the region.[44] Ranulf's brother-in-law Robert de Trevers received the barony of Burgh-by-Sands, while the barony of Liddel went to Turgis Brandos.[31] He appears to have attempted to give the large compact barony of Gilsland to his brother William, but failed to dislogdge the native lord, the eponymous "Gille" son of Boite; later the lordship of Allerdale (including Copeland), even larger than Gilsland stretching along the coast from the river Ellen to the river Esk, was given to William.[45] Kirklinton may have been given to Richard de Boivill, Ranulf's sheriff.[3]

Earl of Chester[edit]

Chester Cathedral today, originally Chester Abbey, where Ranulf's body was buried 1120 was a fateful year for both Henry I and Ranulf. Richard, earl of Chester, like Henry's son and heir William Adeling, died in the White Ship Disaster near Barfleur on 25 November.[3] Only four days before the disaster, Ranulf and his cousin Richard had witnessed a charter together at Cerisy.[3]

Henry probably could not wait long to replace Richard, as the Welsh were resurgent under the charismatic leadership of Gruffudd ap Cynan. According to the Historia Regum, Richard's death prompted the Welsh to raid Cheshire, looting, killing, and burning two castles.[46] Perhaps because of his recognised military ability and social strength, because he was loyal and because he was the closest male relation to Earl Richard, Henry recognized Ranulf as Richard's successor to the county of Chester.[47]

In 1123, Henry sent Ranulf to Normandy with a large number of knights and with his bastard son, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, to strengthen the garrisons there.[48] Ranulf commanded the king's garrison at Évreux and governed the county of Évreux during the 1123-1124 war with William Clito, Robert Curthose's son and heir.[49] In March 1124 Ranulf assisted in the capture of Waleran, Count of Meulan.[50] Scouts informed Ranulf that Waleran's forces were planning an expedition to Vatteville, and Ranulf planned an to intercept them, a plan carried out by Henry de Pommeroy, Odo Borleng and William de Pont-Authou, with 300 knights.[51] A battle followed, perhaps at Rougemontier (or Bourgthéroulde), in which Waleran was captured.[52]

Although Ranulf bore the title "earl of Chester", the honour (i.e., group of estates) which formed the holdings of the earl of Chester were scattered throughout England, and during the rule of his predecessors included the cantref of Tegeingl in Perfeddwlad in north-western Wales.[53] Around 1100, only a quarter of the value of the honour actually lay in Cheshire, which was one of England's poorest and least developed counties.[54] The estates elsewhere were probably given to the earls in compensation for Cheshire's poverty, in order to strengthen its vulnerable position on the Anglo-Welsh border.[55] The possibility of conquest and booty in Wales should have supplemented the lordship's wealth and attractiveness, but for much of Henry's reign the English king tried to keep the neighboring Welsh princes under his peace.[56]

Ranulf's accession may have involved him giving up many of his other lands, including much of his wife's Lincolnshire lands as well as his lands in Cumbria, though direct evidence for this beyond convenient timing is lacking.[57] That Cumberland was given up at this point is likely, as King Henry visited Carlisle in December 1122, where, according to the Historia Regum, he ordered the strengthening of the castle.[58]

Hollister believed that Ranulf offered the Bolingbroke lands to Henry in exchange for Henry's bestowal of the earldom.[14] The historian A. T. Thacker believed that Henry I forced Ranulf to give up most of the Bolingbroke lands through fear that Ranulf would become too powerful, dominating both Cheshire and the richer county of Lincoln.[59] Sharpe, however, suggested that Ranulf may have had to sell a great deal of land in order to pay the king for the county of Chester, though it could not have covered the whole fee, as Ranulf's son Ranulf de Gernon, when he succeeded his father to Chester in 1129, owed the king £1000 "from his father's debt for the land of Earl Hugh".[60] Hollister thought this debt was merely the normal feudal relief expected to be paid on a large honour, and suggested that Ranulf's partial non-payment, or Henry's forgiveness for non-payment, was a form of royal patronage.[61]

Ranulf died in January 1129, and was buried in Chester Abbey.[3] He was survived by his wife and countess, Lucy, and succeeded by his son Ranulf de Gernon.[3] A daughter, Alicia, married Richard de Clare, a lord in the Anglo-Welsh marches.[3] One of his offspring, his fifth son, participated in the Siege of Lisbon, and for this aid was granted the Lordship of Azambuja by King Afonso I of Portugal.[3]

That his career had some claim on the popular imagination may be inferred from lines in William Langland's Piers Plowman (c. 1362–c. 1386) in which Sloth, the lazy priest, confesses: "I kan [know] not parfitly [perfectly] my Paternoster as the preest it singeth,/ But I kan rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chestre."[62]

Notes[edit] Jump up ^ Strutt & Hulbert (eds.), Cheshire Antiquities, p. 28 ^ Jump up to: a b Hollister, Henry I, pp. 53–54 ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m King, "Ranulf (I)" Jump up ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, pp. 97–99 ^ Jump up to: a b Hollister, Henry I, p. 60 Jump up ^ Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 93 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 53 Jump up ^ Barlow, William Rufus, p. 298, and Hollister, Henry I, p. 54, give the name "Margaret" for Ranulf's mother; King, "Ranulf (I)", gives the name "Matilda", as does Douglas, William the Conqueror, p. 93, who gives Maud Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 54; Lewis, "Avranches, Hugh d'" Jump up ^ Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, pp. 57–58, 78, 81, 119, 120, 125, 133, 167–68, 191 Jump up ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Rollason & Rollason (eds.), The Durham Liber Vitae, vol. i, p. 159 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 200 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 54; argument is based on a passage in Robert of Torigny, which says that in 1096, when Robert Curthose went on Crusade and pawned the duchy to William Rufus, Henry received ex integro the counties of Coutances and Bayeux save only Bayeux and Caen, a grant Hollister thought was probably a "renewal" rather than a new patronage ^ Jump up to: a b Hollister, Henry I, p. 342 ^ Jump up to: a b Davis and Whitwell, Regesta Regum, no. 308; King, "Ranulf (I)" Jump up ^ Barraclough (ed.), Charters, no. 3; King, "Ranulf (I)" Jump up ^ Barraclough (ed.), Charters, no. 3, at p. 7 Jump up ^ Barraclough (ed.), Charters, pp. 7–11 Jump up ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 40; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 45-46 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, pp. 116, 200, 257 (n. 90 for the reference to Orderic, which is book 6.222) Jump up ^ Newman, Anglo-Norman Nobility, p. 98 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, pp. 342–43 Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 116 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 136 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 136; Johnson, Cronne, and Davis (eds.), Regesta Regum, vol. ii, no. 531 Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 90; Hollister, Henry I, p. 200 Jump up ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)" Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, pp. 91–92 Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 91 Jump up ^ King "Ranulf; Phythian-Adams, Land of the Cumbrians, p. 149 ^ Jump up to: a b c Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 48 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 51 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 39–40 Jump up ^ Phythian-Adams, Land of the Cumbrians, p. 24; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 34 Jump up ^ For details, see Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 36–38 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 41-42; Sharpe also cites (p. 42) the "unexplained interests in Westmorland in the 1130s" held by Richard fitz Gerard of Appleby, the son of the marriage, as additional evidence for this Jump up ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)"; see also Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 43–44 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 44–46 Jump up ^ King, "Ranulf"; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47 Jump up ^ Knowles, Brooke and London, Heads of Religious Houses, vol. i, p. 84; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 47 Jump up ^ Knowles, Brooke and London, Heads of Religious Houses, vol. i, p. 97 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 49 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 46–47 Jump up ^ Kapelle, Norman Conquest, p. 200; King, "Ranulf (I)"; Phythian-Adams, Land of the Cumbrians, pp. 8–10 Jump up ^ Hinde (ed.), Symeonis Dunelmensis Opera, p. 117; Green, Henry I, p. 172; Stevenson, Simeon of Durham, p. 190 Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 173; King, "Ranulf" Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 182 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, pp. 294, 296–7; King, "Ranulf" Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 298; King, "Ranulf" Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, p. 185; Hollister, Henry I, p. 298 Jump up ^ Green, Henry I, pp. 185–86; Hollister, Henry I, pp. 299–301 Jump up ^ Thacker, "Introduction", p. 10 Jump up ^ Lewis, "Formation of the Honor", p. 42 Jump up ^ Thacker, "Introduction", p. 9 Jump up ^ Davis, Conquest, p. 42; Thacker, "Introduction" Jump up ^ King, "Ranulf (I)"; Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, pp. 51–52 Jump up ^ Hinde (ed.), Symeonis Dunelmensis Opera, p. 119; Green, Henry I, pp. 176–77; Summerson, Medieval Carlisle, p. 25; Stevenson, Simeon of Durham, p. 192 Jump up ^ Thacker, "Introduction", p. 11 Jump up ^ Sharpe, Norman Rule in Cumbria, p. 52, n. 135 Jump up ^ Hollister, Henry I, p. 343 Jump up ^ "V.396 in Schmidt's ed". Hti.umich.edu. Retrieved 12 March 2010. References[edit] Barraclough, Geoffrey, ed. (1988), The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, c.1071–1237, The Record Society of Lancashire and Chester founded to transcribe and publish original documents relating to the two counties; volume 126, Gloucester: Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, ISBN 0-902593-17-X Crouch, David (1991), "The Administration of the Norman Earldom", in Thacker, A. T., The Earldom of Chester and Its Charters: A Tribute to Geoffrey Barraclough, Special issue of the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society; volume 71, Chester: Chester Archaeological Society, pp. 69–95, ISBN 0-9507074-3-0 Davies, R. R. (1987), Conquest, coexistence and change: Wales 1063-1415, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-821732-3 Davis, H. W. C.; Whitwell, R. J., eds. (1913), Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum 1066–1154: Volume I, Regesta Willelmi Conquestoris et Willielmi Rufi, 1066–1100, Oxford: Clarendon Press Douglas, David (1999), William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact upon England, Yale English Monarchs (New ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-07884-6 Green, Judith (2002), The Aristocracy of Norman England, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-52465-2 Green, Judith A. (2006), Henry I: King of England and Duke of Normandy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-59131-7 Hinde, John Hodgson, ed. (1868), Symeonis Dunelmensis Opera et Collectanea, Publications of the Surtees Society; volume 51, Durham: Surtees Society/ Andrews and Co Hollister, C. Warren (2001), Henry I [edited and completed by Amanda Clark Frost], Yale English Monarchs, New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-08858-2 Kapelle, William E. (1979), The Norman Conquest of the North: The Region and Its Transformation, 1000–1135, London: Croom Helm Ltd, ISBN 0-7099-0040-6 King, Edmund (2004), "Ranulf (I) , third earl of Chester (d. 1129)" (Fee required), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 2009-03-25 Lewis, C. P. (2004), "Avranches, Hugh d', first earl of Chester (d. 1101), magnate and founder of Chester Abbey" (Fee required), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, retrieved 2009-03-25 Knowles, David; Brooke, C. N. L.; London, C. M, eds. (2001), The Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales. 1, 940–1216 (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-80452-3 Lewis, C. P. (1991), "The Formation of the Earldom of Honour of Chester, 1066–1100", in Thacker, A. T., The Earldom of Chester and Its Charters: A Tribute to Geoffrey Barraclough, Special issue of the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society; volume 71, Chester: Chester Archaeological Society, pp. 37–68, ISBN 0-9507074-3-0 Newman, Charlotte A. (1988), The Anglo-Norman Nobility in the Reign of Henry I: The Second Generation, Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, ISBN 0-8122-8138-1 Phythian-Adams, Charles (1996), Land of the Cumbrians: A Study in British Provincial Origins, A. D. 400–1120, Aldershot: Scolar Press, ISBN 1-85928-327-6 Rollason, David; Rollason, Lynda, eds. (2007), Durham Liber vitae: London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII: edition and digital facsimile with introduction, codicological, prosopographical and linguistic commentary, and indexes including the Biographical Register of Durham Cathedral Priory (1083–1539) by A. J. Piper I, London: British Library, ISBN 0-7123-4995-2 Sharpe, Richard (2006), Norman Rule in Cumbria, 1092–1136: A Lecture Delivered to Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society on 9 April 2005 at Carlisle, Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Tract Series No. XXI, Kendal: Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, ISBN 1-873124-43-0 Stevenson, Joseph (1858), Simeon of Durham: A History of the Kings of England, Facsimile reprint of 1987, from Church Historians of England, vol. iii. 2 (1858), Lampeter: Llanerch, ISBN 0-947992-12-X Summerson, Henry (1993), Medieval Carlisle: The City and the Borders from the Late Eleventh to the Mid-Sixteenth Century (2 vols), The Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, Extra Series XXV, Kendal: The Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, ISBN 1-873124-18-X Strutt, Joseph; Hulbert, Charles, eds. (1838), Cheshire antiquities, Roman, baronial, and monastic: a re-publ. of orig. copper plates, engr. by J. Strutt, with descriptions &c., London: C. Hulbert Thacker, A. T. (1991), "Introduction: The Earls and Their Earldom", in Thacker, A. T., The Earldom of Chester and Its Charters: A Tribute to Geoffrey Barraclough, Special issue of the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society; volume 71, Chester: Chester Archaeological Society, pp. 7–22, ISBN 0-9507074-3-0 Todd, John M. (March 2006), The West March on the Anglo-Scottish Border in the Twelfth Century and the Origins of the Western Debatable Land (Fee required), Northern History: A Review of the History of the North of England 43 (1): 11–19, doi:10.1179/174587006X86783, ISSN 0078-172X Peerage of England Preceded by Richard d'Avranches Earl of Chester 1120–1129 Succeeded by Ranulf de Gernon Categories: 1129 deathsAnglo-NormansEarls in the Peerage of EnglandEarls of Chester (1071)Normans Navigation menu Create accountLog inArticleTalkReadEditView history

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Ranulph III "de Briquessart" le Meschin, Earl of Chester's Timeline

1070
June 26, 1070
Briquessart, Livry, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
1094
1094
Age 23
Hertford, Herefordshire, England
1094
Age 23
Bayeux, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
1099
1099
Age 28
Castle Gernon or Capelle-les-Grands, Eure, Upper Normandy, France
1129
January 27, 1129
Age 58
Chester, Cheshire, England
January 1129
Age 58
St Werburgh, Chester, Cheshire, England
1939
January 21, 1939
Age 58
January 21, 1939
Age 58
January 21, 1939
Age 58
January 21, 1939
Age 58