Gamel, Lord of Musgrave

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Lord Gamel de Musgrave (or Musegros)

Birthplace: Possibly Normandy or Germany
Death: Westmorland, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Father of Wascelinus, Lord of Musgrave

Occupation: Feudal lord
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gamel, Lord of Musgrave

Is it Scotland or is it England?

Well, we know it wasn't Great Britain or the UK back in Gamel's time.

According to Wikpedia ( &, Westmorland was a part of Scotland until 1092, when conquered by William II. It had been historically associated with the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Briefly, it returned to Scottish control from 1135-1157 when, upon the death of Henry I, King David I of Scotland reclaimed several border counties.In 1157 Henry II of England resumed possession of the area from Malcolm IV of Scotland, and formed two new counties from the former earldom: Westmorland and "Carliol".

So what about using Great Britain? The Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland with the Acts of Union 1707 on 1 May 1707 under Queen Anne. In 1801, under a new Act of Union, this kingdom merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After the Irish War of Independence most of Ireland seceded from the Union, which then became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To get the correct country, there are just a few dates to remember –

  • Before 1092 - Scotland
  • 1135-1157 - Scotland
  • Anything else ancient- England
  • Modern times - Great Britain or UK are both acceptable after 1707.
  -- Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Curator

PS -- There is no "e" before the l in Westmorland. The county with an "e" is in a different part of England.

  • **************

Gamel de Musgrave was born c.1030 and lived in that part of Westmorland that was later known as Cumberland and, later still, Cumbria. The surname comes from the hamlet Musgrave, which means “a grove where mice lived.” "Gamel" was probably not the first Lord Musgrave's true name. Gamel means "old" in the Norse language so we are probably simply saying Old Lord Musgrave.

Gamel’s exact date and place of birth are not known. He might have been born in Normandy but a few sources claim that he was born in Musgrave. Family lore has it that he arrived with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings. He could just as easily have fought on the other side. The family remained in favor with the Normans, however, which lends credence to the theory that he came with the Normans.

What we do know about Gamel is that he lived during the reign of Edward the Confessor, who became king in 1042. (Because Edward had spent so much time in Normandy prior to this he had been completely converted to the Norman way of life and language - French - and probably could not speak the English language fluently.) Following his enthronement King Edward immediately began introducing Normans to high office and their customs to the English Saxons. (It is possible that Gamel emigrated from Normandy during this time period or shortly thereafter.) This angered many, including the Godwins. In time, Godwin "used his status and resources to oust many of the Normans who had taken over high office positions." Despite this, Edward the Confessor vowed to make William the Duke of Normandy heir to the throne. On his deathbed, however, Edward the Confessor had a change of heart and entrusted his kingdom to Harold Godwinson (son of Godwin). Because Duke William had expected to become king, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 ensued, with Gamel (who was probably of Norman descent) likely serving in the ranks of the Norman forces. Although the surname Musgrave does not appear in the Roll of Battle Abby, the surname Musegros does. It is thought that Musgrave and Musegros are one and the same (from Mucegros, near Ecouen, now a suburb of Paris).

The next mention of the family occurs in the late 1100’s, when Ada (or Adam) de Musgrave witnesses a confirmation of a grant of land to the abbey of St Mary's York and Clement the Abbot and the monks there. The deed is not dated but several of the witnesses can be placed in time through other documents. Adam de Musgrave was one of the ancestors of the Musgraves of Eden Hall. Another witness was Gospatrick, son of Orm, and ancestor of the Curwens of Workington who later marry into the Musgrave family.

Gamel is the earliest known ancestor of a long line of Musgraves around the world. From Gamel descends Cuthbert Musgrave, the first of his family to emigrate to the colonies. Settling in Charles County, Maryland in the 1660s, he is the ancestor of a large number of Musgrave families in the United States.

Child of Gamel de Musgrave

  • Wascelinus Lord of Musgrave, Born about 1065 in Cumberland and Westmoreland, England. Father of Stephen, Lord of Musgrave.

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Gamel, Lord of Musgrave's Timeline

Possibly Normandy or Germany
Age 35
Normandy or Scotland
Westmorland, Scotland