Matilda de Melville

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Matilda de Melville (Malherbe)

Also Known As: "Malherbe", "Motherbe"
Birthplace: Scotland
Death: 1178 (47-48)
Melville, Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Malherbe, Angus and NN
Wife of Galfridus de Melville, Sheriff of Edinburgh
Mother of Galdrid “the younger” Melville, laird of Carnbee; Thomas Melville; Walter Melville, of Fife; Robert Melville; Hugh Melville and 1 other
Sister of Thomas de Morham

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About Matilda de Melville

There is reason to believe that Galfrid Melville was twice married. The name of his first wife has not been ascertained, but his second wife was Matilda Malherbe, who survived him. She was also of Anglo-Norman extrac- tion, although the Malherbes assumed the name of Morham, from their lands in East Lothian.

He had issue, seven sons:

  • 1 . Gregory, his heir, of whom a short notice follows. (From first wife)
  • 2. Galfrid, who received from his nephew Richard, son of his brother Gregory, the lands of Grendun (now Granton, near Edinburgh) and the lands of Stanehouse or Stenhouse, near Liberton. In the charter by King William the Lion, confirming the grant by Richard, Galfrid is described as uncle of Richard Melville, and son of Matilda Malherbe, an expression which seems to imply that she was not the mother of Richard's father. 3 This view is strengthened by another writ in which Richard, son of Gregory Melville, ratines an agreement between Galfrid Melville and Matilda Malherbe, his mother, to the effect that Matilda should give up the half of Retrevin, now Tartraven, in Linlithgowshire, which was her dowry, and accept in exchange the lands of Stenhouse, which are to be held by her as Gregory Melville held them. 1 The phraseology of this writ would imply that Matilda Malherbe was the mother of Galfrid, and not of his brother Gregory, and therefore, a second wife of the elder Galfrid. The younger Galfrid appar- ently received from his father a portion of the Liberton lands, as he con- firmed to the monks of Holyrood the two oxgangs of land in Liberton, given by Malbet Bere. The land is to be held as freely and peaceably as the granter can give it, a phrase which suggests a qualified ownership.' 2 Galfrid Melville, the younger, apparently survived until the reign of King Alexander the Second. About the year 1200 he appears as a witness, with the bishop of St. Andrews, several other bishops, the Earls of Fife, Strathern and Angus, and a number of Fifeshire gentlemen, 3 to an important con- vention between the prior and canons of St. Andrews and the Culdees there, as to the rents and dues of certain lands and teinds. About the same date, or later, Galfrid Melville is a witness to a charter by another Fifeshire laird, Thomas, son of Walter of Lundin or Lundie, granting the lands of Balcormo in Fife to the aDbey of Cambushenneth. 4 He is also named with the same Thomas of Lundin and others in the same neiah- bourhood, as witness to a charter by John, son of Michael, then laird of Wemyss, to the monks of May, about the year 1230. 5 This constant connection with the county of Fife indicates that Galfrid Melville, the second of that name, had settled in that district. It is not improbable both from this fact, from a tradition preserved in the family of the Melvilles of Raith, that the laird of Carnbee was the second son of the first Lord of Melville, 6 and also from the circumstance that at a later date the lands of Granton and Stenhouse were in possession of the Melvilles of Carnbee, that Galfrid the younger was the ancestor of that branch of the family. 7
  • 3. Thomas, who, with his four following brothers, is named as a witness to their father's grant of the church of Melville to the abbey of Dunfermline, already narrated. Of him no further trace has been discovered.
  • 4. Robert, named in the same charter. A Sir Robert Melville, who is probably the same, is a witness to a decision by Sir Walter Olifard the younger, justiciary of Lothian, in a dispute between the bishop of Glasgow and Jordan of Currokes or Corehouse, as to the lands of Stobo, confirmed by King Alexander the Second, in 12 23. 1 He is also a witness in the year 1226, along with the Scottish chancellor, Sir Walter Olifard and others, to a charter by John Normanville to the abbey of Melrose, of part of the lands of Maxton. 2 Sir Robert Melville may have held lands in Roxburgh- shire and Peeblesshire, where the Melvilles certainly had possessions at a later date.
  • 5. Hugh, named as above. He appears as a witness, about 1203, to a charter by Alan Fitz- Walter, steward of Scotland, granting lands in Eenfrew to the abbey of Paisley, and is also a witness to another charter to that abbey, of uncertain date, but about the same period. 3
  • 6. Richard ; and
  • 7. Walter, who are also named in the charter quoted, but regarding whom nothing further has been ascertained.


  • The Melvilles, Earls of Melville, and the Leslies, Earls of Leven. Memoirs. (Correspondence. - Charters.) [With plates, including portraits and facsimiles, and genealogical tables.] by Fraser, William, Sir, 1816-1898.Link