Baroness Melette (Maud) Peverell, Heiress of Whittington

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Baroness Melette (Maud) Peverell, Heiress of Whittington

Also Known As: "Melette Peverel", "Maud de Ingelrica"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Brunne, Cambridgeshire, England
Death: 1178 (102-104)
Albeny, France
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Pagan (Pain) Peverell, Lord of Whittington and Elise de Crispin-Peverell
Wife of Sir Guy Warin de Metz, The Bold
Mother of Fulk FitzWarin, Lord of Whittington and Alderbury; Roger de Metz and William de Metz
Half sister of Robert Peverell; Hamo Peverell; Isabel de Peverell and William Peverell

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About Baroness Melette (Maud) Peverell, Heiress of Whittington

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Welsh Origins of the Peverel Family; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id50.html. (Steven Ferry, April 15, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"; http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id56.html. (Steven Ferry, July 3, 2020.)



Wright, Thomas ed. & trans. 1855. The History of Fulk Fitz Warine, an Outlawed Baron in the Reign of King John (British Museum Manuscript). RE: Melette.

Excerpt from Tales and Legends of National Origin Or Widely Current in England from Early Times. London, Swan Sonnenschein & Co, 1892, by William Carew Hazlitt, pp. 196-211.

FULKE FITZWARIN

It is hardly disrespectful to the general reader to affirm that, while he has probably a very fair, not a very accurate, knowledge of Robin Hood, he has none whatever of the personage whose name stands at the head of the present article. Yet it is not in the least degree too much to claim for Fulke Fitzwarin that in many leading respects his traditional fame and exploits furnished the material from which the story of the Barnsdale hero was built up, and it is curious and noteworthy that Fitzwarin was really a man of noble blood and extensive possessions during the period commonly assigned to Robin, namely, the reigns of Henry IL, Richard I, John, and Henry III. (1160—1220). The founder of the noble and ancient family of Fitzwarren, or Fitzwarin, was Warin de Metz, cousin of the Duke of Brittany, who by his marriage with Melette of the White Laund, younger daughter of William Peveril of the Peak, and Lady of Whittington (by her father's surrender) and Alderbury, co. Salop, acquired those extensive and valuable possessions. By this lady he had several children, including Fulke his heir, the hero of our legend, and the line was carried down from him by a series of successors to a Fulke Fitz Warine, who, dying in 1429 without issue, left his sister Elizabeth his heir. Her daughter Thomasine, by her husband Richard Hauckford, married Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, sixth son of King Edward III; and, the duke having no surviving issue, William Bourchier, third son of William Earl of Ewe by Ann Plantagenet, his daughter, succeeded to the title, and was summoned to Parliament 1449-69 as William Bourchier, knight, Baron of Fitzwarin. The Bourchiers held this honour till 1636, when Edward Bourchier, Earl of Bath, dying without male issue, his titles fell into abeyance between his three daughters and coheirs. The barony is at present in two moieties. But besides this dignity, we find that in 1342 William Fitzwarin, le Frere, of the same stock, was summoned to Parliament as “Willielmusfilius Warini," and that he was a Knight of the Garter. He survived till 1361, and left issue; yet neither he nor his representatives received a further summons. Fitzwarin, of whose romantic and surprising adventures there is a nearly coeval account, entitled by its proximity to the events to a more implicit credence than the “Little Gest," was unquestionably the original type of this class of hero and legend; and we therefore felt that our volume would be very incomplete without a text of the interesting narrative. Mr. ll/right, it is proper to note, has pointed out that the prose story among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum is in all probability itself one degree removed from the honour of being the original work ,and that learned gentleman considers that it is a paraphrase of an Anglo-Norman poem, no longer known, on the subject. It is, however, apparently so true to its metrical source, that for our purpose it is equally serviceable.

It is also necessary to be aware that, although it is not so stated in the MS., Sir Fulke Fitzwarin, according to Mr. Wright, actually took up arms against King John in support of the baronial cause subsequently to the pacification of 1203 mentioned in the text, and was not finally reconciled to the Crown till the fourth Henry llI. But, on the other hand, in Courthope's “ Peerage," his death is placed ante 1195.

The expression in the MS., “plura ficta, pracipue de Fulcone quodam," may seem to impugn the historical veracity of the account in some particulars; and we have gone so far as to abstain from entering into all the details of foreign adventure, which have certainly struch me as not un/frequently being of the ben trovato type.

In many particulars of their lives and careers the two outlaws had little or nothing in common, and indeed the disloyalty and depredations of Fulke were limited to his personal animosity against his school and playfellow King John. But at the same time he set the precedent followed by Robin a century or so later of helping and protecting the poor.

Perhaps, in one leading respect, as being a fairly trustworthy report of the experiences of an old English baron, who spent the greater part of his life under the ban of the law, and who owed his inpunity in part to his own prowess and in part to the collusion of others, the story is unique; and there is also a subsidiary feature here which deserves to be noticed, namely, that his reputation was sufficient to tempt an adventurer in the north to personate him, and commit outrages in his name of which he was neither guilty nor capable. The passage where this fact is recorded is remarkably melodramatic and picturesque.

The “History of Fulke Fitzwarin," which has been printed entire in the old French, has tended to preserve a knowledge of this famous character and his relationship to his age; but in his case we have, so far as is at present ascertained, no series of popular ditties analogous to those which celebrate the achievements of Robin [Hood]. This fact is chiefly significant of the neglect and oblivion into which the struggle maintained by the Shropshire baron against the Crown fell after his decease; while the reputation of the Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire hero was perpetuated by an espousal of popular rights and wrongs.

Robin Hood was a man of the people, sprung from them, and indissolubly identified with their wants and grievances. FitzWarin, by far the greater man and more distinguished actor, merely carried on a species of guerilla warfare against John in a spirit of revenge and self-defence. Robin had no family ties; Fitzwarin was one of five brothers united together in arms by the alleged oppression of their sovereign.

The thread of the singular and eventful story will perhaps suffice to unfold the origin of Fitzwarin and the circumstances which led to his proscription. Like Robin, he was ultimately received back into royal favour; and in point of fact his connexions were so powerful, and the royal authority so comparatively weak, that he withstood the Crown under singular advantages, and obtained at last an unqualified pardon. It will be observed that his range was far wider than that of his more generally known successor. For he not only haunted the Welsh border, which was the place of his nativity and the seat of his inheritance, but Kent, Windsor Forest and the New Forest, both far more extensive at that period than now, or even two centuries since, besides his occasional excursions abroad and two visits to the neighbourhood of London itself.

The circumstance that Fitzwarin retired into private life some time before his death, and had a son of both his names, who fell in the battle of Lewes in 1264, prior to the composition even of the poem above mentioned, might have rendered us unusually cautious in receiving the account of the father's career, had it not been the case that the younger Fitzwarin lived in the King's peace, and was a loyal subject of the Crown, though in manliness of character worthy of his illustrious sire.

We judge from a passage near the end of the Royal MS. printed by Wright, that the brothers of Fulke, and perhaps himself held property in Abingdon, which, on a grant of lands from the Earl Marshal at Ashdown in Sussex, they abandoned, and settled at Ashdown, founding the market town of Wanting with the right of a fair. lt may be a clew to the personal appearance of Sir Fulke that his brother William is described, while he was the king's prisoner at H/Westminster, as a tall, stout, muscular man, with a long, black beard. Sir Fulke himself is indeed said in the history to have been, as a lad of eighteen, very handsome, strong, and tall.

WHILE William the Norman reigned in England, among the great barons who served him in his wars, Payn Peverell, Lord of the Peak and the White Laund, with all the lands, chases, forests, and waste thereto appurtenant, was one of the most loyal and the most puissant; and when he died, because he had no heir, William Peverell, his sister's son, succeeded to all that fair heritage, and furthermore got by conquest other lands, as all the land of Morlas as far as the water of Dee and Ellesmere. This William in the White Laund made a tower, which he named the White Tower, and dwelled in the same; and the town that grew round about it was called the White Town or Whittington; and yet other towns he built at Ellesmere and at Keyroc.

Now this William, again, had no heirs, yet he had two fair nieces: Elen, whom he wedded to Alan Fitz Flaeu, Lord of Oswestry, and gave her in dower all Morlas and Keyroc, and Melette, that was the younger and fairer ; but no man pleased that great lady, for that she deemed none of her worthy.

Her uncle sought her, that he might know her full mind; and she said unto him, “Verily, sir, there is not a knight that I would take in the whole land for riches or estate, but he must be courteous, comely, and debonnair, and of his body the most valiant in all Christendom; and such will I have, and no other."

The Lord of the White Tower gave her assurance that he would essay his utmost to discover such a husband, and gave her in fee the White Tower and all belonging thereunto, that her hand might be the more sought; and she was thereafter named Melette of the White Tower.

Then a tournament was proclaimed against the feast of St. Michael the next ensuing, to be held at the Castle of Peverell, for the love of Melette, and whoever should be approved the best knight in all the jousts by her allowance was to espouse her, and enter upon her lands. The challenge was dispersed through every country; and at the appointed season came to Peverell knights from England, Scotland, France, and many another fair region, even the king's son of Scotland, the prince of Wales, and the dukes of Burgundy and Brittany, and all clad in shining armour, with their steeds in array of war, and their escutcheons and devices. It was a noble spectacle to behold.

But albeit there was present at that time, for the sake of that noble lady, Melette of the White Tower, all the flower of chivalry, the honour of the tournament remained on the first day with a knight attired in red samit, who was all unknown, and when the rest went to their inns, disappeared into the forest nigh-hand. And on the second day he entered the barriers again, and his colour was green like the forest; and as it had happened before, he overcame all that challenged him, and, lastly, the duke of Burgundy; and when Melette of the \/Vhite Tower, who sat in a high place with her ladies, viewing the contest, saw how matters went, she called her page unto her, and commanded him to go and deliver her glove to the Green Knight Adventurer, praying the same to be her champion.

Whereupon he once more withdrew, and now returned accoutred in red, and did other deeds of marvellous prowess, that none might stand against him; and in the end judgment was taken that he was the winner of the prize. Then he disclosed himself to be Warin de Metz, cousin to the duke of Brittany, which duke had fully equipped him for the tournament; and Melette of the White Tower and Warin de Metz were joined in marriage, and had to them born, in the time ordained by God, a son, who was called Fulke fitz Warin.

Now inasmuch as Warin de Metz, the brave and gallant knight, grew in favour with King Henry, the second of that name, and was one of the most potent barons of that age, his son Fulke, when he came to boy's estate, was taught by the same master those things in learning that it was meet for him to know that gave instruction to the two young princes, Richard and John, the king's children, and the three were schoolfellows and playmates together ; and when God called to him King Henry, and King Richard reigned in his room, Richard appointed Fulke Lord of the Marches of Wales. But it happened in the course of time that King John sat on the throne, and because he bare a secret grudge against Fulke Fitzwarin, since they had quarrelled in playing at chess in their nonage, he took from him this government and his lands that he had received in marriage, and bestowed them on Fulke's enemy, Morris Fitz Roger. Besides Fulke, Warin de Metz had had four sons; and when King John wrought upon him this foul wrong, he repaired with his brethren to the court at Westminster, and renounced his allegiance in the very presence of the king, and with his cousin Baldwin de Hodnet and his said brethren, and their followers, left the city. The king sent certain knights in pursuit of them, by whom they were overtaken; but the king's men were defeated, and Fulke was made an outlaw, and his estates forfeited to the king's use.

His father Warin de Metz and his mother Melette of the White Tower were dead; and he hastened to his manor of Alderbury, gathered all that he could of his possessions, and with his four brethren and his two cousins, Audulf de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodnet, fled for the time to the court of his kinsman, the duke of Brittany. But at length, earnestly desiring to revisit his own country, Fulke secretly landed in England with his brethren and other companions, and travelling by night, while they lay by day in woods, reached the neighbourhood of Whittington, where they set themselves to watch the doings of Morris Fitz Roger.

The news that so bold an outlaw had set foot on English ground soon reached the king, for a valet of Fitz Roger recognised him in the forest beside Whittington, and the king straightway appointed one hundred knights to seek for Fulke Fitzwarin, and take him wherever they might find him. But because Fulke and his kindred were allied by blood to some of the greatest in the realm, and many were, moreover, in dread of him, those that had this matter in charge were not over-zealous in their quest, and it was whispered that they might have found Fulke and the rest, and they would, but feigned that they did not happen upon him.

One day as Fulke and his following were in the forest of Bradine, there came by ten merchants, with a rich convoy of goods, guarded by fourteen men-at-arms. John Fitzwarin was sent to ask them who they were, and whence they came, and begged them to repair to his lord in the wood to have speech with him. But one of the guard smote John Fitzwarin, whereupon the others appeared, and took the merchants and men-at-arms prisoners. Then it was understood that the merchandize belonged to the king, and that him-upon would fall the loss, and it were taken them-from by force, for Fulke made it an ordinance to himself and to all that paid him obedience never to rob any but the king and his friends; and so the merchants, when they had well satisfied him that the forfeit would not be theirs, but the king's, sent them away with a message of thanks to his grace for his goods.

King John was exceeding wrath at this insolency, and proclaimed Fulke a traitor to his crown, and that whoever should bring him in, dead or alive, should have a thousand pounds of silver and all his lands in England.

The outlaws privily removed into Kent, and Fulke, leaving his retinue in the forest, rode along the highway alone. He shortly met a man that carried on his head a chaplet of red roses, and he begged it of him; and the fellow, saying that he was sparing of his goods who would not give such a thing at the request of a knight, handed him the chaplet, for which Fulke rewarded him with twenty sols.

But the man wist well who it was that he had seen, and made haste to Canterbury, to tell the news to some of the knights to whom was committed the duty of taking Fulke. Who raised the country all round, and placed folk everywhere with horns, to blow them if they saw the outlaw. Yet Fulke knew nought hereof, until such time as he heard one sound a horn; and then all the watchers drew together, and the outlaws gathered round their chief, and there was a great fight, wherein the king's people were beaten and slaughtered, and Fulke and the rest rode away at full speed.

When they had left their pursuers far in the distance, they dismounted and walked to an abbey, where Fulke left his brethren and the rest, and, in the guise of a monk, limping on one foot and supporting himself on a staff, awaited the arrival of the king's men. Who, shortly coming up, asked him if it was so that he had seen any armed knights pass that way. “Yea," he replied, “and may God repay them the hurt they have done me! Seven of them on horse and fifteen afoot came along even now, and because I could not, by reason that I am so weak, move quickly enough, they threw me down in passing over me; and well-nigh wounded me to death." The king's men thanked the old lame imonk, and hurried away in chase, till they were lost to view. But presently Fulke discerned eleven knights, well mounted on foreign horses of price, approaching; and as they came up to him, their leader said in derision : “Look at this great fat monk! His belly, I warrant, would hold two gallons."

Fulke's spirit rose within him, and suddenly lifting his staff, he struck the speaker to the earth, and his companions, who had kept watch at the abbey gates, flew to his aid, seized and bound the knights, locked them up in the porter's lodge; and, leaping on their horses, Fulke and his attendants drew not rein till they reached Huggeford, where Sir Walter de Huggeford, that was Fulke's kinsman, entertained them.

Now let us speak of a stranger adventure than all that befell him. When he had been with his company at Huggeford a certain space, came a secret messenger from Hubert le Botiler, Archbishop of Canterbury, praying him to wait upon his grace, as he had matters of great moment to confer with him upon.

So Fulke returned to Kent, and leaving the others in the forest, he and his brother William in the guise of merchants repaired to Canterbury, and to the primate's palace. His grace shewed Fulke how his brother Theobald le Botiler, that had espoused a very rich lady, and the most beautiful in all England, Dame Maud de Caus, was deceased, and how the king was seeking to win his widow to his mistress; but she had taken sanctuary there, and was now beneath his roof. He said, “I pray you, good friend Fulke, and on my benediction command you, to take her to wife." And Fulke, seeing that she was good, and fair, and of honourable repute, and had in Ireland many strong castles and other possessions, after counsel with his brother VVilliam taken, assented; and the union was privately solemnized by the archbishop himself within the palace. And after two days, Fulke, leaving his bride in sanctuary, proceeded to the forest, where Fulke made known to his brethren and friends what he had done: who made merry over the adventure, and in sport called him husband, demanding whether he had a mind to bring his fair lady to castle or to wood.

No sooner was he joined in wedlock to the sister-in-law of the archbishop, than he learned tidings which carried him incontinently to the north country. For a certain ribald knight of those parts, named Peter de Bruvile, under colour of being Fulke Fitzwarin, was sorely oppressing the honest people dwelling on the borders, and dishonouring Fulke's fair fame; and in especial he understood that this Peter de Bruvile, with his troop, had broken the house of Robert Fitz-Sampson, that was a friend to Fulke and had done him many courtesies, and held the place, personating and discrediting him. For, let it be ever held in remembrance, Fulke was in arms only against the king, and no robber or murderer.

On the night then that he and his company reached the dwelling-place of Robert Fitz-Sampson, he had the others stay behind in readiness, and clomb over the fence, where he heard sounds of mirth and revelry; and looking by stealth through a casement, he beheld those caitiffs in the hall feasting and making merry, their visages masked, and Robert Fitz-Sampson and his lady, and their household, bound in one corner. He listened awhile, and the men addressed their chief as Sir Fulke, and the lady piteously cried out to him, saying, “Ah, Sir Fulke! for God's mercy, I never did you hurt, but have alway loved you to my power."

He heard no more, but rose to his feet, and all alone he went forward, sword in hand, crying, “Now, peace! I command you, all that be here present, and no one stir the least! " And he sware a great oath that if any amongst them should move, he would hew him into small pieces. So they were awe-stricken.

“ Now," quoth he, “ which of you causes himself to be called Fulke?"

“Sir," said Peter de Bruvile, “I am a knight, and am called Fulke."

“By God! Sir Fulke," exclaimed he, “rise up quickly and unbind this esquire and his lady, and the rest, and bind well in their room all your companions, or you shall be the first to lose your head."

Peter did as he was bidden; and when he had bound well all his crew, Fulke commanded him to cut off their heads, every each one; and so he did.

Then Fulke said to him : “You recreant knight, that cause yourself to be called by my name, you lie therein. I am Fulke, and that I shall make you speedily know, for I will requite you for procuring me the repute of a robber." And thereupon he smote his head off likewise.

And when he had accomplished all this, he called his companions, and they saw what had been done. And they presently sat together at supper, and communed on this strange accident and this deceit, which had so unjustly brought into disfavour the name of Fitzwarin; and Fulke saved Robert Fitz-Sampson and his family and his treasure, that none was lost.

In the mean time, his lady, that was the primate's sister-in-law, had been delivered of a daughter in sanctuary, and had then repaired to Sir Walter de Huggeford; and she lay now at Huggeford and now at Alderbury, until King John, who had spies upon her, holding her in enmity by reason of her marriage, obliged her to take refuge in Shrewsbury, where, in the church of Our Lady, she gave birth to a second daughter; and so straitly was this unhappy lady watched, that when she was now again in travail, her child was born to her in a mean cottage on the mountains of Wales, and baptized in the Maiden's Well below; and the mother was so weak, that she was carried to the Grange at Caer-y-genant.

But Fulke, on his part, was more than ever restless, and the thought of Morris Fitz-Roger and his lost patrimony rankled in his bosom; and shortly after his visit to the north, and worthy chastisement of Peter de Bruvile and his crew, he resolved to make once more his way to Alderbury, where he lay with his comrades in the forest near the river-side, in a thick coppice, and was unseen of any. Who to John de Raunpaygne, one of the trustiest of his friends, thus spake:

“John, you know something of minstrelsy; dare you go to VVhittington, and offer to play before Morris Fitz-Roger, to the intent that we may wise what he doeth?"

“Yea," answered John de Raunpaygne, and took a certain herb; and putting it into his mouth, his face swelled and grew discoloured, so that his own people scarce knew whether it were he or no. Then he donned such raiment as a poor man might wear, and took his instrument, and put a staff in his hand, and came to Whittington.

The porter led him in to Sir Morris, who asked him where he was born; and he replied, in the Marches of Scotland. He demanded of him what news he had.

“Sir," quoth he, “I know none, save of Sir Fulke Fitzwarin, that was slain of late, in committing a trespass in the house of Sir Robert FitzSampson."

“Say you so?" quoth Sir Morris.

“Yea, truly," replied the minstrel; “all the folk of the country speak of it."

And Sir Morris was right fain of this good news, and gave the minstrel a cup of fine silver in reward.

John learned that Sir Morris would undertake next day a journey to Shrewsbury with a small company, and hastened back to his master with the tidings; and Fulke and certain of his band, placing themselves in the way, slew Sir Morris and all his knights that were with him. But when Sir Morris first espied Fulke, he knew him by his arms, and cried out, “Now I am assured that all minstrels are liars." Thus, notwithstanding, by so many fewer enemies had Fulke. He gave the king no rest, and took side with Owen, prince of Wales, against him; and now that Sir Morris Fitz-Roger was dead, he re-entered into his patrimony, that had come to his house by Melette of the White Laund....

From Shropshire's Secrets:

http://www.shropshire-promotions.co.uk/SS-7.html

According to most sources, Whittington Castle was built by Roger de Montgomery. The first member of the Peverel family to be associated with it is generally believed to be William Peverel, son of Ranulf Peverel, during the reign of Henry I. If this is so, why does Fulk le Fitz Warine mention a Payn Peverel? The answer is, "I don't know!" The only explanation is in Fulk le Fitz Warine which says that after Payn's death, William Peverel, his sister's son took over Payn's inheritance.

At some point, a knight by the name of Guarin de Metz married into the Peverel family. The date is difficult to estimate, and even the events leading up to the marriage are difficult to verify. However, the story is worthy of repeat.

Circa 1120-1135. After the death of Payn in the reign of Henry I, his lands passed to William, the son of Payn's sister. He extended his lands and built a castle called White Tower which is recognised as Whittington, near Oswestry. (The remains which stand today are only a part of the original castle, representing the outer bailey and gatehouse.) William Peverel had two nieces, Eleyne and Melette. Melette was the younger and more beautiful. She was also a 'bit of a handful'. Many sought her, but none won her. In desperation, her uncle asked her what she wanted in a man. "Sire", she said, "no knight is there in all the world that I would take for the sake of riches and the honour of his lands, but if ever I take such a one, he shall be handsome, and courteous, and accomplished, and the most valiant of his order in all Christendom. Of riches I make no account, for truly can I say that he is rich who has that which his heart desires."

Poor old Uncle William! What could he do? Well, in true Hollywood style, he organised a tournament and invited the bravest and most eligible knights in the land. He even offered Whittington Castle as a dowry. But unlike Hollywood style tournaments, it seems that the first day was something of a free-for-all, and only those left standing went on to the tournament proper. Owen, Prince of Wales, came with two hundred knights, so did Eneas, son of the King of Scotland. The Duke of Burgundy had three hundred, Ydromor, the son of the King of Galloway came with one hundred and fifty. Guarin (Warine) de Metz, cousin of the Duke of Brittany, came with ten sons of the Duke and just one hundred knights. By day two, Melette was rooting for Guarin and sent him her glove and prayed for him to defend her. His answer was that he 'would do what in him lay.'. Needless to say, he won, and Guarin de Metz took the fair Melette as his bride, together with the White Tower and its lands. Incidentally, Glyn Burgess, in his book Two Medieval Outlaws, questions this episode, but I have included it because ALL good family histories need a bit of romance and chivalry. whether it can be proved as true, or not.

Melette and Guarin had a son who has passed into history as Fulk Fitz Warine, and it must be remembered, right from the start, that he could claim descendancy from the Peverel's, who claimed the connection, by marriage with Cyngen (850 AD), and it was Cyngen who claimed descendancy, through Cynddylan, from Vortigern and his marriage to the daughter of the Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus....



THE FAMILY OF FITZ-WARINE. By The Late Mr. JOSEPH MORRIS, Of Shrewsbury. Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society ..., Volume 5, 1882 pages 241-250 (available online via Google Books)

This paper was read at the Ludlow meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1852, and afterwards printed in Archcfologia Cambrensis, 2nd ser., 3 p., 282.

The prominent position given to the family of FitzWarine by Mr. Wright, in his amusing and instructive work, the History of Ludlow, just completed, and the fact that neither Mr. Wright, nor any author that has yet preceded him, has given a correct account of this noble family, once so celebrated, and so long connected with the history of the Marches of Wales, may be offered as an excuse for my venturing to place before the gentlemen to be assembled at Ludlow a corrected statement of the early history of the Fitz-Warines, to which I am the more inclined as it will be, in its humble way, a proof that the genealogies preserved in the rural districts of Wales may sometimes be made subservient to the clearing up of details in Border history that would otherwise remain unexplained and subject to erroneous impressions.

Mr. Wright has discovered (p. 83 of his work) that Dugdale had "missed a whole generation in the pedigree" of the Fitz-Warine family; but the fact is that two generations of the family have been missed by Dugdale and our other historians : and this I am enabled to prove by deeds and other evidences equally indisputable ; for Fulk Fitz-Warine, whom Mr. Wright calls the second Fulk, in a deed which I shall hereafter quote, distinctly describes himself as the third of that name, while Dugdale omits also the one Guarine, whom Mr. Wright has stated to be the father of the first Fulk, but who was, in fact, the son of the first Fulk, and the grandson of Guarine, i.e. Warine, the sheriff of Shropshire under Roger de Montgomery, which Warine was one of the warriors that came with William the Norman to the conquest of England.

This Warine, who, according to a pedigree in the possession of the late Rev. W. G. Rowland, compiled from the early evidences of the Warine family was " e familia de Loraine," Roger de Montgomery made governor of Shrewsbury and sheriff of Shropshire. Ordericus, the Norman historian of that period, who was born at Attingharn, near Shrewsbury, describes Warine as a man "of low stature, but of lofty courage," and further states that Earl Roger gave him his niece Aimeria in marriage. By a singular oversight, Messrs. Owen and Blakeway, in their valuable History of Shrewsbury, vol. i. p. 39, state that Warine the sheriff died without issue, although Mr. Blakeway, in his Account of the Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 34, distinctly avers that such was not the case, and that he had one son, at least; the fact being that he had two sons, Hugh and Fulk, both of whom, with their father also, are recorded as benefactors to the abbey of Shrewsbury, and as having severally held the office of sheriff of Shropshire.

Warine died prior to the compilation of Domesday; the name of Fulk his son, the first Fulk Fitz-Warine, occurs twice therein; and he served the office of sheriff of Shropshire under his kinsman Robert de Belesme, then Earl of Shrewsbury, from 1098 to 1102. He appears also to have again held the office in 1121; and at the burial of his wife, "with the consent of his son Henry," he gave Pimley, an estate near the town, to the abbey of Shrewsbury. In a deed of" Wills' "Abbas de Lilleshall," among others relating to the priory of Alberbury,now in the archives of All Souls' College, Oxford, he is described as " Nobilis Miles Fulcho fit Guarini," and to him is attributed primarily the foundation of a religious establishment at Alberbury; but the pedigree to which I have referred adds to the name of his son Warine, "cui Rex. H. I. dedit Alberbury et iste fundavit Abbiam de Alberbury in Marchijs Walliae." It is probable that the foundation made by Warine was an enlargement of that commenced by his father.

The family had doubtless suffered for their connexion with Robert de Belesme, on whose attainder the lordship of Whittington, &c., had passed into the hands of the crown, and from thence was transferred to the Peverells; but Warine, son of Fulk, added greatly to their importance and to their possessions by marrying Miletta, sister and heir of Payne Peverell, then Lord of Whittington, by whom Warine obtained that estate; although, as it clearly appears, it was not without considerable opposition from her uncles, Sir Roger de Powys (so called from his own estates being in Powysland) and Jonas his brother, that Warine and his son Fulk (the second of that name) were enabled to preserve a title to the patrimony so acquired, and which Sir Roger de Powys and other members of his family more than once got into their possession.

Before I proceed to the progeny of the second Warine, it will be requisite to deduce the descent of his wife Miletta. At the period of the Norman Conquest a large tract of the Marches of Wales, including the greater part of the present parishes of Whittington and Oswestry, the district of Maelor, &c., was held by the head of a distinguished Cambrian line named Rys Sais, which latter appellation was given to him because he was conversant in the Saxon or English language. He, doubtless, came to an amicable arrangement with the successful intruders; for it is recorded that.in the year 1070, he divided his possessions among his sons. Tudyr, the eldest son, had his father's lands in Whittington and the district of Maelor ; but he clearly held them under Roger de Montgomery, for he is recorded in Domesday as a tenant to the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom he paid a chief rent of four pounds five shillings. The entry, which follows the statement as to " Wititone " (Whittington) in that record, is in these words :—" Tvder q'da Walensis ten de comite I fine t'rse Walens' & inde redd IIII lib & V solid."

Bleddyn, the eldest son of Tudyr, had, at his father's death, the lands in Maelor, and from him the families of Mostyn, Trevor, LLoyd of Leaton Knolls, Dymock of Penley, &c., &c., derive their descent. Ranulphus (in Welsh, Gronwy, 'Ronwy, or Wrenoc, as he was variously called), the younger son, had the lands in Whittington. In Welsh pedigrees he is styled Gronwy Pefr, i. e. Ranulphus the smart or handsome. He married Maud, daughter of Ingelric, a noble Saxon, who had previously had a son named William, of which the Conqueror himself was the father. By Ranulphus (who had a grant from the Conqueror of Hatfield in Essex) she had three sons, Hamon, William, and Payne, which last named was standard bearer to Robert Curthose in his expedition to Palestine, but he died without male issue. It may be presumed that William the son of Maud by the Conqueror was brought up with his half brothers, for they all bore the appellation of Pefr. anglicised into the surname of Peverell. The Conqueror's son William had a grant of estates in Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, &c.; and the other sons of Maud were amply provided for. Hamon Peverell, the uncle of Payne and Miletta, after the attainder of Robert de Belesme, had Whittington, to which his brother William, and subsequently his nephew, and eventually his niece also, succeeded. By another wife, Ranulphus (Gronwy) had Roger, afterwards called Sir Roger de Powys, and Jonas; the former of whom Mr. Wright, by error, at page 64, has styled "prince " of Powys, a designation to which he had no pretension. Sir Roger had a son Meuric, the "Morice Fitz-Roger" of "The Gestes of Guarine and hys Sunnes;" and Meuric had two sons, Gronwy (Wrenoc) and Gwȇn (the latter often written Owen in Welsh pedigrees). This digression and explanation will be found useful in relation to the statement that follows, which will, I trust, place the earlier descents of the FitzWarines in a clearer light than the narrative abstracted from the historic romance.

Warine, second of that name, and husband of Miletta Peverell, must have died in or prior to 1156, as will appear from a document hereafter referred to: the number of his children is not given; but two of his sons, Fulk Fitz-Warine, the second of that name, and Richard Fitz-Warine, are mentioned in a deed of confirmation of lands to the abbey of Haghmond by Reiner Bishop of St. Asaph, who was appointed to that see in 1186.

The second Fulk Fitz-Warine married Hawise, youngest daughter and co-heir of Sir Josce de Dinan, the castellan of Ludlow. Mr. Wright calls him (erroneously) the first Fulk. His eldest son, the third Fulk Fitz-Warine, married Matilda, daughter of Sir Robert Vavasour, Knight, and relict of Theobald Walter, brother of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury. Her inheritance was in Amunderness, county Lancaster, of which her husband Fulk FitzWarine had livery in the 17th year of King John's reign; and that he was the third Fulk Fitz-Warine I am enabled to prove by a deed belonging to the priory of Alberbury, the original of which is now in the archives of All Souls' College, Oxford, to which establishment the priory of Alberbury was transferred (being an alien foundation) by King Henry the Sixth. In this deed, by the name of "Fulco filius Warini tertiiis," he confirms to the priory at Alberbury all its possessions there. It is witnessed by (inter alios) William de Hodenet, Randolph de Hodenet, and Randolph rector of "Wytinton." In this instrument (which is without date) he names Fulk his father, Hawise his mother, and Matilda his wife; so that his position in the pedigree can admit of no mistake. Having thus established his place in the family, I shall return to the descent of the manor, &c., of Whittington, which is a remarkable instance of the uncertain tenure by which estates were held at that period of our national history. Owen Gwynedd, who ruled over North Wales from 1137 to 1169, was a prince of considerable ability, and he obtained from King Henry the Second a grant of, among other places, the lordship of Whittington, which he re-granted to Sir Roger de Powys and his brother Jonas, the uncles by the half-blood of Miletta Peverell. This took place in the year 1156, and there can be no doubt, from the grant and all other circumstances attendant thereon, that Warine, the husband of Miletta, had just previously died, leaving his son Fulk in a very early minority; for it appears from the Pipe Rolls of that year, under the head of Gloucester, that the honour of Alceston, in that county, was assigned to Fulk Fitz-Warine as a compensation for the deprivation occasioned to him by the grant to Owen Gwynedd of the lordship of Whittington: and this will account for Fulk having been brought up from his infancy with Sir Josce de Dinan, to whom, there can also be no doubt he was in ward; and during this his minority Owain Gwynedd obtained Whittington from the English monarch.

On the accession of King Richard the First, however, Fulk Fitz-Warine recovered his inheritance, and paid a fine of forty marks for the livery of Whittington Castle. (Vide Rot. Pip. 1 R. I. tit. Salop.) He was a great favourite of that monarch, and was by him appointed Warden of the Marches of Wales during the king's absence in the Holy Land. Fulk did not stand in the same favour with Richard's successor; for on the accession of King John, he was again deprived of his patrimony, that monarch conferring the chief tenancy of Whittington upon Llewelyn ap lorwerth, then Prince of Wales, who re-granted the same to Wrenoc (Gronwy) and Wennen (Gwȇn), the sons of Meuric de Powys, whose father Roger de Powys and uncle Jonas ap Gronwy had been tenants thereof to Owen Gwynedd. This grant of the Welsh prince was confirmed by the English monarch in the second year of his reign. The instrument (the original of which is Cart. 2 John, p. 2, m. 26, n. 123) is in the following words, which I quote as confirmatory of my previous statements :—

"Johannes Dei Gratia," &c. "Sciatis nos concessisse et praesenti carta nostra confirmasse Wereneco et Wennoneo filijs Meuric de Powis pro servitio suo ipsis et heredibua suis Witinton et Overton cum omnibus pertinentijs suis ad tenend de nobis et hered nostris per servitium quod Rogerus pater praefati Meuric et Jonas frater eiusdem Rogeri facere sole bant Henrico Regi patri nostro de ferendis mandatis nostris per Walliam: et ea conditione quod si aliquis pdtas terras calumniatus fuerit et eos versus nos disrationaverit satisfaciemus inde per escambium donand ipsis Wereneco et Wennoneo vel heredibus suis vel ei qui versus nos terras illas disrationaverit," &c.

This grant of confirmation is dated at Condover, county Salop, 1st August, 1200. The manor of Condover was then in the hands of the crown; and at this time Meuric, the father of the new grantees, held the manor of Whittington. Meuric de Powys must have died in or about the fourth year of King John's reign; for on the Escheat Rolls of the fifth year of that monarch, there is an entry under the head of "Salopescir," that ,£100 and four palfreys had become due from "Wrenoc fit Meurick de Powis," on account of his having succeeded to Whittington, &c., of which his father had died seised. I am, however, inclined to think that Wrenoc (Gronwy) never paid the above sum, nor did he enter upon Whittington; as it is clear that Fulk Fitz-Warine had sufficient influence to enable him to resume his family inheritance in the sixth year of King John, the restoration (the original of which is to be seen in Rot. Pat. 6 John, n. 17) is in these terms :—

"Rex, &c., Vicecomiti Salopes ciriae Scias quod reddidimus Fulconi filio Gwa rini Castellum de Wittinton cum omnibus pertinentijs... Sicut jus et haereditatem... teste meipso apud Waltham, xvij Octob."

It would seem that Gronwy's brother Gwȇn must have died prior to this resumption by Fulk Fitz-Warine, inasmuch as, under the terms of the grant of the second of John, if any one should claim or recover the manor of Whittington, &c., then the king was to give the grantees satisfaction in another place; and accordingly, without any mention of Gwȇn, Gronwy, the son of Meuric de Powys, had a recompense for the same, the original of which is copied, Julius C. 2, Cott. Lib., and it is thus set forth :—"Wrenocus filius Meurici tenet octo liberates terras de Balliva domini regis Johannis pro decem libratis in escambium de Wytinton, quod Fulco filius TVarini tenet, et debet esse de servitio Latimarius in Anglia et Wallia." Thus also, the service or serjeanty of Gronwy (Wrenoc), which was that of being latimer or interpreter to the king, was transferred from the manor of Whittington to those lands that were given to Gronwy in exchange for that estate.

The second Fulk Fitz-Warine died in or prior to the fourth of Henry III., 1219 ; for in that year his son, the third Fulk Fitz-Warine gave to that monarch £'262 sterling and two coursers, (Vide Rot. Pip. 4 H. III., tit. Berks,) to have the possession of Whittington Castle confirmed to him and his heirs. In the year following, (Vide Glaus. 5 H. III., m. 9,) he had license to fortify this castle, having, on the 23rd November preceding, obtained a grant of a market at Whittington on each Wednesday, and for a fair there to last two days at Luketide, for which he was to give the king a palfrey, as may be seen in the record of fines, 4 H. III., m, 9, folio 143. He was slain in the service of his sovereign at Lewes in 1263 ; and King Henry the Third, being a prisoner to Simon de Montford, was induced to grant to Llewelyn ap Griffith, Prince of Wales, who had engaged to marry De Montfort's daughter, Whittington, with other castles and domains, which were till then held by Fulk FitzWarine and others who had espoused the cause of Henry, as may be seen in Pat. 49 H. III., n. 47. We learn also from Pat. 49 H. III., n. 2G, that in the month of December preceding the said grant, Peter de Montford had the custody of this castle, but to meet the wishes of Llewelyn, he resigned his pretensions. Most of these proceedings, however, were cancelled by the battle of Evesham, which took place on the 26th of August, 1265; but still we find Llewelyn retaining possession of Whittington, for in the fifty-first of Henry III., as may be seen in Rymer's Facdera, torn, i, fol. 844, it was agreed between the king and Prince Llewelyn, that the latter was to receive from Whittington the services he claimed to have been accustomably due and paid to his ancestors, but that the king should appoint a constable and soldiers for the defence of the castle.

The fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine, though deprived of Whittington, had succeeded to Alberbury and some other 'of his father's Shropshire estates ; for in the seventh of Edward I., 1279, he had granted Alderton, in the parish of Middle, to his kinsman, John de Lee, of Lee Hall, subject to the annual payment of one pound of pepper for all services, as appears by an Inquisition of that date. Possessing the gallant spirit that had distinguished all his ancestors, he so successfully served Edward I. in his Welsh campaigns, that he had the inheritance of Whittington restored to him, and by Cart. 11 E. I., n. 39, received from that monarch a grant of free warren in his lordship of Whittington.

It was the fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine, whose eldest son having been baptised by the name of John, afterwards adopted that of Fulk; for certain legal proceedings between him and his younger brother Fulk, then of Alberbury, are thus set forth :— "Fulco fil' Warini de Abbebur* summon' fuit ad respondend Fulconi filio Warini de Witinton de placito quod teneat conventionem factum inter Fulconi fil' Warini patrem pdti Fulconis fil' Warini de Wytinton et pdtm Fulconem fil' Warini de Abberbur' de man' de Abberbur' cum pertint' exceptis Advocatione Abbathie de Abberbur' et Advocatione Eccles' eiusdem Villse et Walescheria ad idem man' pertinent'." &c.— (Rot. 18 dorso Placita de Juratis et Assia coram Johe' de Berewick, &c. Justiciary s Itinerantibus in Com Salop' 20 E. I. 1292.)

It is probable that the fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine had died a short time before these proceedings, as from this period the Whittington and Alberbury estates were divided. His eldest son, the fifth Fulk, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron from the 23rd June, 1295, to the 24th October, 1314; and from this time the descent of the Fitz-Warines of Whittington and that of the manor continued uninterrupted until, by the extinction of the male line, the estate passed with Elizabeth the sister and heir of the tenth Fulk Fitz-Warine, to her husband, Sir Richard Hankford, Knt. Their daughter and heir Thomasine, married William Bourchier, ancestor of the Earls of Bath of that name. His descendant John Bourchier, Earl of Bath, exchanged the manor of Whittington with King Henry VIII.: from the crown it passed to the Fitz-Alan family, from whom it was purchased in 1570, by William Albany, Esq., and the manor of Whittington has since continued with that gentleman's posterity.

If these memoranda should be deemed acceptable by the gentlemen assembled at Ludlow, and be of any service in clearing up some points of local and family history that have hitherto required explanation, I shall feel satisfied that my tune and trouble in collecting and arranging them has neither been mis-spent nor misapplied.

Joseph Morris. St, John's Hill, Shrewsbury, 21st August, 1852.

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Baroness Melette (Maud) Peverell, Heiress of Whittington's Timeline