Sir Thomas Fitz Gospatric, Lord of Culwen

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Thomas de Workington Fitz Gospatric, of Workington

Nicknames: "Thomas de Workington"
Birthplace: High Ireby, Wigton, Cumberland, England
Death: Died in Workington, Cumberland, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Gospatrick of High Ireby, Lord of Workington and Egelina Deworkington
Husband of Grace Ireby and Amabalis Culwen
Father of Thomas FitzThomas, 3rd Lord of Workington; Patrick de Curwen, of Workington; Ada de Furneys (Boteler) and Alan De Camerton
Brother of Orm de Ireby; Robert Fitz Gospatric and Adam Fitz Gospatric

Occupation: Lord
Managed by: Bianca May Evelyn Brennan
Last Updated:

About Thomas de Workington Fitz Gospatric, of Workington

Thomas Fitz Gospatric, also known as Thomas de Workington, appears in the pedigree drawn from the 1615 and 1666 Visitations of Cumberland and Westmorland Counties. He is listed as the son of Gospatric and the husband of Grace, with two sons, John (Johannes) de Culwen and Patrick (Patricius) de Culwen. The pedigree also notes that he was the founder of the 'Monasterii de Hepp.'

Thomas was the son of Gospatric Fitz Orm and wife Egelina d'Engaine. He was born c.1130 in High Ireby, Wigton, Cumberland, England and died after November 1200 in Workington, Cumberland, England.

Gospatric Fitz Orm issued a charter to St. Bees Priory sometime in the period, 1138-1157, which charter was witnessed by, among others, his three sons, Thomas, Adam, and Robert.

In c.1152, Thomas married Grace de Culwen, daughter of Thomas de Culwen, who had married a daughter of Fergus of Galloway. Grace was born circa 1135 in Scotland and died at Workington, Coupland, Cumberland, England. Grace was the widow of Roger de Beauchamp.

Rowland, son of Uchtred and grandson of Fergus, gave the lordship of Culwen in Galloway, to Thomas. Thomas granted Lamplugh to Robert de Lamplugh and heirs 'for the yearly presentment of a pair of gilt spurs.'

He married secondly, Amabilis circa 1160. She was born circa 1140 and died in Workington, Coupland, Cumberland, England.

Children of Thomas Fitz Gospatric

  • John de Culwen of Workington, died without male heirs.
  • Patrick de Culwen of Workington, (c.1155-c.1212) received Culwen from his father, and inherited the rest of the estate when his brother died without male heirs.
  • Alan de Culwen
  • Thomas de Culwen

Child of Thomas Fitz Gospatric and Amabilia:

  • Ada 'Amabilia' of Workington, was born about 1160 in Workington in Coupland, Cumberland, England and died after 1209 in Warrington, Lancashire, England.

Links to additional material:


  • Thomas Workinton1
  • M, #218780, d. 1200
  • Last Edited=18 May 2009
  • Thomas Workinton was born at Workington, Cumberland, England.1 He was the son of Gospatric Workinton and Egelina (?).1 He died in 1200 at Workington, Cumberland, England.1
  • Children of Thomas Workinton and Grace Ireby
    • 1.Thomas Culwen+1 d. b 1243
    • 2.Hugh Culwen1
    • 3.William Culwen1
    • 4.Gilbert Culwen1
  • Children of Thomas Workinton and Amabilis Culwen
    • 1.Sir Patric de Culwen+1 d. c 1258
    • 2.Alexander Culwen1
    • 3.Amabilis Culwen1
    • 4.Alan Camerton1
  • Citations
  • 1.[S146] John F. Curwen, A History of the Ancient House of Curwen of Workington in Cumberland (Kendal, Cumberland, U.K.: Titus Wilson & Co., 1928). Hereinafter cited as History of Curwen in Workington.
  • From:


  • Thomas of Workington1
  • M, #11163, d. circa 13 November 1200
  • Father Gospatric, Lord Workington
  • Mother Egeline Engaine
  • Thomas of Workington was born at of Workington, Cumberland, England. He married Grace. Thomas of Workington died circa 13 November 1200.
  • Family Grace
  • Children
    • Ada of Workington+
    • Thomas of Workington d. b 7 Dec 1152
    • Patric de Culwen+ d. c 1212
    • Alan de Camberton de Culwen+
  • Citations
  • 1.[S2583] Unknown author, Ancestors of American Presidents by Gary Boyd Roberts, p. 142.
  • From:


  • Thomas FitzGospatic De FURNEYS
  • Born: ABT 1130, High Ireby, Scotland
  • Died: 13 Nov 1200, Workington, Allerdale, Scotland
  • Father: Gospatric of Workington (E. Dunbar)
  • Mother: Egeline ENGAINE
  • Married: Grace ? 7 Dec 1152
  • Children:
    • 1. Ada De FURNEYS
    • 2. Thomas FITZTHOMAS of Workington
    • 3. Patrick De CURWEN
    • 4. Alan De CAMERTON
  • From: FitzGospatic De FURNEYS1



Workington Hall

Workington Hall in Cumbria is the ancestral home of the Curwens. Sited on "a wooded acclivity overlooking the Derwent, commanding a fine view of the Derwent valley, the Solway Firth, and the opposite Scotch coast." It has been occupied since the 13th century. The large quadrangular structure began as a crenellated fortress built around a Pele tower, its license granted by Richard II in 1379 to Sir Gilbert de Culwen. The Hall is named after the Lords of the Manor of Workington, the Curwen family. It was embellished several times over the centuries, especially in the 18th century by John Christian Curwen.

In 1568, when Mary Queen of Scots fled across the Solway after the defeat of her supporters at Langside she sought refuge at Workington before her nineteen years of captivity which ended in her execution.

The family vacated the Hall in 1929. Neglected, it fell into decay and soon became a ruin. It contains the remains of a grand Tudor Hall and the original fortress of the 14th and 15th century. At right are its ruins as it is today.

The infamous member of the family, Henry Curwen (1661-1725), was a Jacobite Rebel. He experienced a mysterious death, and his ghost can apparently be seen wandering among the ruins.


Workington Hall

  • Workington Hall, sometimes called Curwen Hall, is a ruined building on the North-East outskirts of the town of Workington in Cumbria. It is a Grade I listed building. [1]
  • A peel tower was built on the site in 1362.[2] The present house dates back to around 1404 and was built as a fortified tower house.[2] In 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots wrote a letter from Workington Hall to Queen Elizabeth I of England. After the defeat of her forces at the Battle of Langside and disguised as an ordinary woman, Mary,[3] crossed the Solway Firth and landed at Workington. She spent her first night in England as an honoured guest at Workington Hall. On 18 May 1568, Mary was escorted to Carlisle Castle after spending a day at Cockermouth. She was 25 years old.[4] Additions to the house were carried out by John Carr in the 1780s[2] and the gardens were laid out by Thomas White at around the same time.[5]
  • In the early 19th century the lord of the manor at Workington Hall was John Christian Curwen. He was Member of Parliament for Carlisle from 1796 to 1812 and from 1816 to 1820, following this with a period as member for Cumberland from 1820 to 1828. Workington changed radically both economically and socially, during the period when John Christian was lord of the manor (1783–1828).[6] A Curwen through his mother's side, ...he is the man who stands out...who must rank as one of the most interesting and progressive of Cumbrians of his day.[7] The hall remained the family home of the Curwen family until 1929 when it passed to the Chance family by marriage.[8]
  • The hall was requisitioned by the War Office at the start of World War II and suffered a serious fire while the troops were billetted there.[9] The family passed the hall over to Workington Borough Council after the War so it could be used as a Town Hall but conversion to this use never happened.[10]
  • From:


History of Workington

The Curwens

  • The Curwens, who were Lords of the Manor of Workington, were heavily involved in the First War of Scottish Independence. The Curwen family motto, "Si je n'estoy" ("If I had not been there"), is said to come from the words of Sir Gilbert (ii) de Curwen, whose late arrival with fresh troops recruited from his estates turned the course of the Battle of Falkirk (1298), giving King Edward victory.[9] It has been suggested that Gilbert waited until he knew who looked like winning before joining battle, because he had family supporting both sides in the conflict. It was at this battle that William Wallace was defeated and subsequently executed. It forms the storyline of the Hollywood film Braveheart.
  • In 1306 Robert the Bruce was crowned King Robert I of Scotland. In 1307, The Calendar of Patent Rolls of King Edward I of England records his preparing for war against Robert the Bruce. He requests lords of the manor to provide ships, barges and 'find them in men and necessaries' to continue the war. It read:
  • " get ready empty ships and barges at Skymburneys, Whitothavene and Wyrkinton, and elsewhere by the shore in that county, and find them in men and necessaries to go to the parts of Are to repress the malice of Robert de Brus and his accomplices. Writ de intendendo in pursuance to the men of that county...Appointment of John du Luda, as captain and governor of the fleet from the port of Skynburnesse, Whitothavene and Wyrkinton...[10] "
  • The Curwens were again expected to provide support and troops to fight in the Second War of Scottish Independence.
  • Sir Gilbert (iii) de Curwen (c. 1296–1370), received his knighthood on the battlefield at Crecy in 1346. He and his men fought alongside King Edward III of England as he attempted to seize the French throne after the death of Charles IV.[11] In 1379, Sir Gilbert (iv) de Curwen (died c. 1403) received a licence to fortify and crenellate the pele tower built by his father in Workington in 1362. Sir Gilbert is believed to have died in 1403 during the great pestilence (plague), which also killed his first son, Sir William (i), who inherited his title.[11] The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population, reducing the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million by 1400. This has been seen the cause of a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which profoundly affected the course of European history.
  • Curwen tradition believes that at least one member of the family fought with Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The roll mentions a John Werkyngton.[12] This very unusual spelling matches with '...the manor of Werkyngton, co. Cumberland...' written in King Henry's Patent Rolls in 1405.[13] John may have been a younger Curwen son, a cousin or a man of standing from the community. The names of the thousands of archers and ordinary private soldiers are not on the roll.
  • In 1428, Henry VI of England, granted Sir Christopher (ii) de Curwen (1382–1453), the Castle and land of Cany and Canyell in Normandy, France as a reward for "good service". In 1429, he returned to northern England to fight an invasion by the Scots. In 1442, he oversaw the truce between Henry VI of England and King James II of Scotland. The lands in Normandy were lost to the French in 1450.[14] Sir Christopher and his wife, Elizabeth Huddleston, are buried inside St Michael's Church, under a heavily carved tombstone bearing their effigies.
  • Sir Thomas (iv) Curwen (c. 1494–1543) married Agnes, daughter of Sir Walter Strickland and great-granddaughter of Anne Parr. The royal blood of the Plantagenets came to the Curwen house.. according to the book Papers and Pedigrees by William Jackson (1892).[14]
  • The Curwens appear to have provided material and physical support to both sides during the Wars of the Roses. Sir Thomas (ii) Curwen (c. 1420-c. 1473) was commissioned by King Henry VI to mobilise his forces to resist the rebellion of Richard, Duke of York at the beginning of the Wars. During the Wars the throne changed hands between the two houses and most able-bodied men, especially in the north of England, would have been forced into the conflict. King Edward IV of England of the House of York, later granted honours to the Curwen family, in acknowledgement of "great and gratuitous service". The war ended with the victory of the Lancastrians who founded the House of Tudor, which subsequently reigned over England and Wales for 118 years. .... etc.

William Camden's Britannia (1586)

  • This extract from Philemon Holland's English translation of Britannia (1610)[18] describes Wirkinton:
    • "...Derwent, having gathered his waters into one streame, entreth into the Ocean at Wirkinton, a place famous for taking of Salmons, and now the seat of the ancient family of the Curwens Knights, who fetch their descent from Gospatric Earle of Northumberland, and their surname they tooke by covenant and composition from Culwen a family in Galloway, the heire whereof they had married; and heere have they a stately house built Castlelike, and from whom (without offence or vanity be it spoken) my selfe am descended by the mothers side." .... etc.
  • From:


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Sir Thomas Fitz Gospatric, Lord of Culwen's Timeline

Wigton, Cumberland, England
December 7, 1152
Age 22
Coupland Beck, Cumbria, England, (Present UK)
December 7, 1152
Age 22
Age 25
Workington, Cumberland, England
Age 30
Workington, Cumbria, UK
November 13, 1200
Age 70
Workington, Cumberland, England
Age 70