Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, Lord of Tutbury

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Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby

Also Known As: "1st Earl Of /Derby/", "1st Earl Derby"
Birthplace: Tutbury, Devonshire, England
Death: Died in Charterley, Staffordshire, England
Place of Burial: Abby of Meervale,Warwickshire,England
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry de Ferrers, of Tutbury and Bertha Roberts de Aigle, (unconfirmed)
Husband of Hawise de Ferrers, Countess of Derby
Father of William Ferrers; Robert de Ferrers, 2nd Earl of Derby; Walcheline de Ferrers; Maud (de Ferrers) de Verdon; NN de Ferrers and 1 other
Brother of Eugenulph de Ferrers; Emmeline de Ferrers; Maud de Ferrers; Amicea de Ferrers; Henry de Ferrers and 3 others

Occupation: 1st Early of Derby
Managed by: Katherine Marie Long
Last Updated:

About Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, Lord of Tutbury

Tutbury, a possession of the Ferrers family, was in Staffordshire, according to the online copy of the 1086 Domesday Survey of England.

Robert de Ferrers (1062 - 1139), 1st Earl of Derby

Robert I de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby (c. 1062 - 1139), was born in Derbyshire, England, a younger son of Henry de Ferrières and his wife Bertha Roberts (I'Aigle). His father, born in Ferrieres, Normandy, France accompanied William the Conqueror during his invasion of England. The family was rewarded with a grant of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire and 114 manors in Derbyshire.

Robert's elder brother William's main interests were in France. He joined Robert Curthose and was captured at Tinchebrai. His other brother Engenulf died shortly after his father and so Robert succeeded to the estates in 1088.

From the beginning, he gave great support to Henry I. As part of his tenure of Duffield Frith in 1129-30, he is on record as having interests in lead mines at Wirksworth. At about this time he granted the church of Potterspury, Northamptonshire, to Bernard the Scribe.

It is, however, during his last years that he is most in evidence as a leading supporter of King Stephen He took a large body of Derbyshire men northwards to assist in repelling an invasion of the Scots under King David I of Scotland, nominally on the behalf of Matilda. Little actual fighting took place, but Thurstan, Archbishop of York, won the Battle of the Standard on Stephen's behalf, fought near Northallerton, on 22, August, 1138.

Robert was mainly instrumental in securing the victory for his Sovereign, who for this and other important services created him Earl of Derby. It should be noted that charters and chronicles from this point refer to him interchangeably as Earl Ferrers, earl of Nottingham or earl of Derby.

He died in the following year (1139) and was succeeded in his earldom by his second but eldest surviving son Robert de Ferrers, 2nd Earl of Derby often known as Robert de Ferrars the Younger.

As with most Norman lords, the Ferrers brought their Norman underlords to England with them - in this case, the Curzon (of Kedleston), Livet (Levett) and Boscherville (Baskerville) families, who held their fiefs in Normandy from the Ferrers, and who subsequently held their English lands from Ferrers as well. (The undertenant family names derive from Notre-Dame-de-Courson, Livet-en-Ouche and Boscherville, all part of the Ferrers barony in Normandy.)

[edit] References

   * Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Line 55-26
   * Jones, M.,(2004) Ferrers, Robert de, first Earl Ferrers (d. 1139)’', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press[ accessed 28 Oct 2007]
   * Bland, W., 1887 Duffield Castle: A lecture at the Temperance Hall, Wirksworth, Derbyshire Advertiser
   * Loyd, Lewis, 1951 "The Origins of Some Anglo Norman Families," Harleian Society [1]

[edit] External links


Robert de FERRERS 1st Earl of Derby (1062-1139) [Pedigree]

Son of Henry de FERRERS (1036-1088) and Bertha ROBERTS (1040-)

   b. ABT 1062
   r. Derby, Eng.
   b. ABT 1076, of Derbyshire, Eng.
   d. 1139

Married Hawise de VITRE (1086-)


  1. Robert FERRERS 2nd Earl Derby (1118-1162) m. Margaret PEVERELL (1114-)
  2. prob. dau. of Robert de FERRERS m. Ralph PAYNEL (1100-1153).


1."Ancestral roots of certain American colonists who came

        to America before 1700",
        Frederick Lewis Weis, 1992, seventh edition.
        The earlier editions were called: "Ancestral roots of
        sixty colonists who came to New England 1623-1650"

2. "The Complete Peerage",


3. "Some Early English Pedigrees",

        Vernon M. Norr.

4. "Ancestors of Deacon Edward Converse".


The Ferrers Creation

"Ferrer" is Norman French and means "to bind with iron" or " to shoe a horse" (cf. farrier). Ferrières in Normandy, the hometown of the de Ferrers family, was an important centre for ironwork. The Ferrers coat of arms shows six black horseshoes on a silver background. They were descended from Henry de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Ferrières, Lord of Longueville, Normandy, and a Domesday Commissioner; he built Tutbury Castle and Duffield Castle and had large holdings in Derbyshire as well as 17 other counties. The Ferrers, lords of the barony of Ferrieres in Normandy, were accompanied to England by three other families who were their underlords in France: the Curzons (Notre Dame-de-Courson), the Baskervilles (Boscherville) and the Levetts (Livet-en-Ouche).

Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, 2nd Earl of Ferrières (1062–1139) was created Earl of Derby by King Stephen in 1138 for his valiant conduct at the Battle of Northallerton. He was married to Hawise de Vitre and died in 1139.

Section NV: Descendants of Henry Ferrers

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Generation One

1. HENRY1 FERRERS of Normandy, France was born circa 1036, died in 1088 Of Tutbury Castl, Tutbury, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom and was buried Of Tutbury Castl. He married circa 1061, BERTHA ROBERTS of Gostenois, Normandy, who was born circa 1040, and died in Darley, Derbyshire, England. [36, 1]

Children: + 2 i. ROBERT2 of Derbyshire, b. circa 1062, d. in 1139; m. (AMG-2) HAWISE DE VITRÉ, COUNTESS OF DERBY circa 1087.

+ 3 ii. WILLIAM.


Generation Two

2. ROBERT2 DE FERRERS (Henry1) of Derbyshire, son of (1) Henry1 and Bertha (ROBERTS) FERRERS, was born circa 1062, was christened in Charterley, Staffordshire, and died in 1139.

He married circa 1087, (AMG-2) HAWISE DE VITRÉ, COUNTESS OF DERBY of VITRE, Brittany, France, daughter of (AMG-1) Andre and (AAR-4) Agnes (de MORTAIGNE) VITRÉ, who was born circa 1069.

Children: + 4 i. ROBERT3, EARL OF DERBY of Derbyshire, b. circa 1100, d. before 1160 in Merevale, Warwickshire, England; m. (P-61) MARGARET PEVERIL, COUNTESS OF DERBY circa 1139.

+ 5 ii. a daughter; m. (ADC-2) RALPH PAYNEL.

3. WILLIAM2 FERRERS (Henry1), son of (1) Henry1 and Bertha (ROBERTS) FERRERS, was born between 1054 and 1089, and died between 1068 and 1198. [35]

Child: + 6 i. HENRY3.


Generation Three

4. ROBERT3 DE FERRERS, EARL OF DERBY (Robert2, Henry1) of Derbyshire, son of (2) Robert2 and (AMG-2) Hawise (de VITRÉ), Countess of Derby FERRERS, was born circa 1100, died circa 1169 in Merevale and was buried in Abbey of Mereval, Warwickshire. He married circa 1139, (P-61) MARGARET PEVERIL, COUNTESS OF DERBY of Nottinghamshire, England, daughter of (P-43) William "the Younger", [DE Nottingham] and (VT-2) Avice (de LANCASTER), who was born circa 1114. [32]

Children: + 7 i. WILLIAM4, EARL OF DERBY of Derbyshire, b. circa 1130, d. before 21 Oct. 1190 in Seige Of Acre, Jerusalem, Israel; m. (FP-5) SIBYL DE BRAIOSE circa 1173.

+ 8 ii. MILLICENT of Derby, Derbyshire, b. circa 1170; m. (AAS-4) ROGER DE MORTIMER, BARON OF WIGMORE.

5. _____ FERRERS (Robert2, Henry1), daughter of (2) Robert2 and (AMG-2) Hawise (de VITRÉ), Countess of Derby FERRERS, was born between 1083 and 1122, and died between 1097 and 1232. She married (ADC-2) RALPH PAYNEL of Dudley, Worcestershire, England, son of (ADC-1) Fulk PAYNEL, who died before 1153[2].

Child: See (ADC-2) Ralph PAYNEL

6. HENRY3 FERRERS (William2, Henry1), son of (3) William2 FERRERS, has an unknown birthdate. [35]

Child: + 9 i. WALKELIN4; m. ALICE LECHE.



daughter of (1) Andre1 and (AAR-4)
was born circa 1069, and died between 1100 and 1179.
She married circa 1087, (NV-2) ROBERT DE FERRERS of Derbyshire, 

son of (NV-1) Henry and Bertha (ROBERTS) FERRERS,

who was born circa 1062, was christened in Charterley, Staffordshire, England, and died in 1139. 

Children: See (NV-2) Robert de FERRERS

3. ROBERT I2 DE VITRÉ (Andre1), son of (1) Andre1 and (AAR-4) Agnes (de MORTAIGNE) VITRÉ, was born between 1068 and 1104, and died between 1082 and 1214. He married EMMA DE LA GUERCHE. 

Child: + 4 i. ROBERT II3, d. in 1174; m. (MF-5) EMMA DE DINAN.

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Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, Lord of Tutbury's Timeline

July 9, 1062
Tutbury, Devonshire, England
Age 25
Of, Derby, Derbyshire, England
May 27, 1090
Age 27
Derbyshire, England
Age 29
England, UK
Age 33
Derbyshire, England
Age 49
Tutbury, Derbyshire, England
Age 50
Tutbury, Derbyshire, England
June 1, 1139
Age 76
Charterley, Staffordshire, England