Walkelin de Ferrières, seigneur de Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire

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Walkelin de Ferrières, seigneur de Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire

Also Known As: "Walkelin- -Walchelin De /Ferrieres-Ferrer/", "/Walchelinde/", "Lord of Ferrieres St. Hilaire"
Birthplace: Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire, Duchy of Normandy, Kingdom of France [Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire, Eure, Haute-Normandie, France]
Death: Died in Normandie, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Ferris and Bertha Ferris
Husband of N.N.
Father of Henry de Ferrers, of Tutbury and Guillaume (William) de Ferrieres

Occupation: Seigneur de Ferrieres & Chambrais, LORD OF FERRERS-ST HILAIRE, http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=rwfurtaw&id=I19211
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Walkelin de Ferrières, seigneur de Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire

Walkeline or Gaucheline de Ferrières (d.c. 1040), 11th century Seigneur of Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire and father of Henry de Ferrers and forefather of the Ferrers family of England. He was killed when he engaged in a feud or battle with Hugh de Montfort aka "Barbatus" and both were killed, c. 1040.

Wace, in his Chronicle of the Norman Conquest (1160); [Edgar Taylor's 1837 translation, p. 8], writes: "A mighty feud broke out between Walkelin de Ferrieres[1], and Hugh Lord of Montfort[2]; I know not which was right and which wrong; but they waged fierce war with each other, and were not to be reconciled; neither by bishop nor lord could peace or love be established between them. Both were good knights, bold and brave. Once upon a time they met, and the rage of each against the other was so great that they fought to the death. I know not which carried himself most gallantly, or who fell the first, but the issue of the affray was that Hugh was slain, and Walkelin fell also; both lost their lives in the same affray, and on the same day." A location for the feud is not provided.

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLISHNOBILITYMEDIEVAL3D-K.htm Ch. 7 Ferrers

WALKELIN de Ferrières, son of --- (-killed in battle [1035/45]). Guillaume of Jumièges records that “Hugo de Monteforti filius Tustini” and “Walchelino de Ferrariis” [a later passage names him “Henricus de Ferrariis”] fought and killed each other, dated to the early part of the reign of Guillaume II Duke of Normandy from the context of the passage[515]. m ---. The name of Walkelin's wife is not known.

Walkelin & his wife had one child:

1. HENRI de Ferrières (-[before 14 Sep] 1101, bur Tutbury). The Chronique de Normandie, based on le Roman de Rou, names "Henry seigneur de Ferrières" among those who took part in the conquest of England in 1066[516]. Orderic Vitalis records that the king granted “castrum Stutesburie quod Hugo de Abrincis prius tenuerat” to “Henrico Gualchelini de Ferrariis filio”[517]. Sire de Ferrières et de Chambrais, Normandy. King William I awarded him over 200 lordships, half in Derbyshire, together with the castle of Tutbury, Staffordshire (previously held by Hugues d'Avranches) which became his main seat[518]. “…Henrici de Ferrariis…” witnessed the charter dated 1082 under which William I King of England granted land at Covenham to the church of St Calais[519]. “Henricus de Ferrariis” founded a church “apud castellum meum Tuttesbury”, for the souls of “…uxoris mee Berte et filiorum meorum Engenulphi W, Roberti ac filiarum mearum…”[520]. Domesday Book records land held by “Henry de Ferrers”, including in Nakedthorn and Sutton Hundreds, in Berkshire; several properties in Buckinghamshire; Lechlade in Gloucestershire; numerous properties in Leicestershire; numerous properties in Derbyshire[521].

m BERTA, daughter of ---. “Henricus de Ferrariis” founded a church “apud castellum meum Tuttesbury”, for the souls of “…uxoris mee Berte et filiorum meorum Engenulphi W, Roberti ac filiarum mearum…”[522]. Domesday Descendants speculates that she was a member of the Laigle family based on the couple naming one of their sons Ingenulf[523], although it is not clear that this family used this name exclusively. Henri & his wife had four children:

a) INGENULF [Guillaume] de Ferrers (-after 14 Sep 1101). “Henricus de Ferrariis” founded a church “apud castellum meum Tuttesbury”, for the souls of “…uxoris mee Berte et filiorum meorum Engenulphi W, Roberti ac filiarum mearum…”[524]. - see below.

b) ROBERT Ferrers (-1139). “Henricus de Ferrariis” founded a church “apud castellum meum Tuttesbury”, for the souls of “…uxoris mee Berte et filiorum meorum Engenulphi W, Roberti ac filiarum mearum…”[525]. He succeeded his father in 1101 in the greater part of his English possessions. “Robertus comes de Ferrariis” donated property to Tutbury Priory by undated charter after succeeding “in hereditatem bonæ memoriæ Henrici patris mei”[526]. The 1130 Pipe Roll records "Robt de Ferrar" in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire in respect of "Werchesworda"[527]. He was created Earl of Derby in 1138. - EARLS of DERBY.

c) AMICE de Ferrers (-6 Sep

[528]). “Robertus comes junior de Ferariis” confirmed donations to Tutbury by “avus meus Henricus…Egenulfus patruus meus…Robertus pater meus”, naming “Nigellus de Albiniaco et Amicia filia avi mei”[529]. m NIGEL de Albini of Cainhoe, son of GUILLAUME Seigneur d'Aubigny & his wife --- (-[1100]).

d) daughter(s) . The fact that Henri had more than one daughter is shown by the charter under which “Henricus de Ferrariis” founded a church “apud castellum meum Tuttesbury”, for the souls of “…uxoris mee Berte et filiorum meorum Engenulphi W, Roberti ac filiarum mearum…”[530].


  • [515] Willelmi Gemmetensis monachi Historiæ Normannorum, Du Chesne, A. (1619) Historiæ Normannorum Scriptores Antiqui (Paris) (“Willelmi Gemmetencis Historiæ (Du Chesne, 1619)”), Liber VII, II, XXXVIII, pp. 268 and 289.
  • [516] Extrait de la Chronique de Normandie, RHGF XIII, p. 236.
  • [517] Chibnall, M. (ed. and trans.) The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis (Oxford Medieval Texts, 1969-80), Vol. II, Book IV, p. 265.
  • [518] CP IV 190-1, and Orderic Vitalis, Vol. II, Book IV, p. 265.
  • [519] Dugdale Monasticon VI.2, Covenham Priory, Lincolnshire, I, p. 993.
  • [520] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, I, p. 391.
  • [521] Domesday Translation, Berkshire, XXI, p. 147, Buckinghamshire, XXIIII, p. 433, Gloucestershire, LIX, p. 467, Leicestershire, XIIII, pp. 636-7, Derbyshire, VI, pp. 744-9.
  • [522] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, I, p. 391.
  • [523] Domesday Descendants, p. 458.
  • [524] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, I, p. 391.
  • [525] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, I, p. 391.
  • [526] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, XI, p. 393.
  • [527] Pipe Roll 31 Hen I (1129/30), Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, p. 7.
  • [528] Domesday Descendants, p. 458.
  • [529] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, II, p. 392.
  • [530] Dugdale Monasticon, Vol. III, Tutbury Priory, I, p. 391.



from Ferrieres-St.-Hilaire, near Bernai, in Normandy, sometimes called St. Hilaire de Ferrieres.[8] The site of their castle is still to be seen. Walkelin or Vauquelin de Ferrers, about 1031, had a bitter feud with Hugh, Sire de Montfort, and fought a duel with him in which both combatants lost their lives. (See Montfort.) Walkelin left two sons, William and Henry, who both distinguished themselves at the Conquest: but Henry only—and another of the name, Hermerus de Ferrers—are among the Domesday Barons. At the battle of Hastings, "Henri the Sire de Ferrieres, and he who then held Tillieres both brought large companies, and charged the English together. Dead or captive were all they who did not flee before them; and the field quaked and trembled."—Wace. Henry de Ferrers, as "a person of much eminency both for his knowledge and integrity," was one of the Conqueror's Commissioners for the formation of the Domesday Survey, where he is recorded as one of the principal land-owners of the country. He held two hundred and ten manors; one hundred and fourteen of them in Derbyshire; but his caput baroniae was Tutbury Castle, in Staffordshire, near which he founded a Cluniac monastery. Two of his sons—Engenulph and William—died before him; and the third, Robert, who commanded the men of Derbyshire at the Battle of the Standard, was the first Earl of Ferrers; according to Dugdale the first Earl of Derby; but Orderic says that this Earldom was only given to his successor, who was also Earl of Nottingham. This second Robert founded Derby Priory, and Merevale Abbey, where, wrapt in an ox-hide, he desired to be buried. His grandson, the fourth Earl, "raised the power of Leicestershire" against Henry II., and marching early in the morning to Nottingham (then held for the King by Reginald de Luci) surprised, sacked, and burnt the town, and put to the sword or imprisoned the townsmen. Soon after, however, he was reduced to submission, and forced to surrender his castles of Tutbury and Duffield, which were demolished by order of the King. William, the next Earl, was the partisan and favourite of King John, and received vast grants [9] of lands; amongst them the great Northamptonshire estates of William Peverel, whose daughter and heir Margaret had, says Dugdale, married his grandfather. Other genealogists have given her to two different Earls of Derby; but Mr. Planche maintains that she was the wife of none of the three, and questions the very existence of this "phantom Margaret." Earl William was among the powerful barons that helped to place Henry III. on the throne: took part with William Mareschal (then Governor of the young King and of the kingdom) both in the siege of Mount-sorrel and the battle of Lincoln; and in 1230 was one of the "three chief Counsellors recommended to the King by the Barons, who made Oath, That they would not, for any respect, give him other than wholesome advice." He died in 1240; "his Countess dying also in the same Month, having been Man and Wife at least seventy-five years, if Matthew Paris mistaketh not, for he affirmeth that S. Thomas of Canterbury celebrated the marriage between them, who died in 18 Hen. II." But, according to another account, they were only married in 1192. This Countess Agnes was the sister and coheir of Ranulph de Meschines, Earl of Chester, dowered with all his lands between Ribble and Mersey, and the castle and manor of Chartley in Staffordshire; and her son, the seventh Earl, on whom such splendid heritages already centred, again married two great heiresses. Sybil, his first wife, one of the five rich sisters who shared the possessions of William Mareschal Earl of Pembroke, brought Kildare as her portion, and was the mother of seven daughters: Margaret de Quinci, the second wife, was the step-daughter of the youngest of them, and the eldest co-heir of her father, Roger, Earl of Winchester. She had two daughters and two sons: Robert, eighth Earl; and William, who received from her the Lordship of Groby, and founded the still existing line. The second Earl William was, as his father had been, all his life a martyr to the gout; therefore, contrary to the custom of the age, he could travel only in a wheeled carriage; and in 1254, he was thrown over the bridge at St. Neots through the heedlessness of his driver, broke all his limbs, and died of the fall. His eldest son, who succeeded while yet a minor, "had," says Dugdale, "the hard hap to be the last of this great Family:" though in reality he was only the last Earl of Derby, and his posterity continued in the male line for six more generations. No sooner was he come to man's estate, than he embarked with heart and soul in the baronial war; entered Worcester "with a multitude of soldiers at his heels," plundered and partly destroyed the town, and suffered a severe reprisal at the hands of Prince Edward, who was sent to avenge the outrage by carrying fire and sword through his counties of Nottingham and Derby. After the final rout at Evesham, he was specially excepted from the benefit of the Dictum de Kenilworth; but, throwing himself on the King's mercy, he succeeded in obtaining his pardon for a sum of one thousand five hundred marks, and a gold cup set with precious stones, for which he had to mortgage one of his Northamptonshire manors to Michael de Toni. The one thousand five hundred marks were, however, not all forthcoming; and the very next spring found him again in revolt in North Derbyshire, defeated at Burton Bridge, and forced to hide himself in a church under some sacks of wool, where he was discovered through the treachery of a woman, and carried prisoner to London. He was then formally disinherited by act of Parliament; and his Earldom, "with all his goods, chattels, lands, and castles," given to Edmund Crouchback, the King's son. He remained in custody for three years; and after his release instituted a suit in the Court of King's Bench for the recovery of his property; but after various pleadings, it was dismissed by the court in the beginning of Edward I.'s reign. He must, however, have either retained or regained Chartley Castle, and the town of Holbrook in Derbyshire, which passed to his only son John, who was summoned to parliament as Lord Ferrers of Chartley in 1299. John inherited some of his father's turbulent spirit, and had joined the Earl of Hertford's rebellion only three years before; but later in life he did good service in the French wars, and was Seneschal of Acquitaine under Edward II. Five of his successors—all noted as gallant and approved soldiers—held the barony till 1450, when, at the death of the last heir male, it passed through his daughter Anne to the house of Devereux;[10] and is now in abeyance. A younger son of the second Lord had married Elizabeth, sole heir of Robert Lord Boteler of Wemme, and had summons in her title in 1375; but his son left only two daughters, Elizabeth, the wife of the sixth Lord Greystock; and Mary, married to Ralph Nevill, a younger son of the Earl of Westmorland.

On the extinction of the elder line of Chartley, the representation of the house passed to the Ferrers of Groby, descended from the second son of the fourth Earl, who held his Leicestershire castle in right of his mother, Margaret de Quinci, and bore her arms. His son became Lord Ferrers of Groby in 1297; and his grandson and great-grandson married, the one the heiress of Verdon, the other the heiress of Ufford. Both were, like the rest of their kin, deeply engaged in all the wars of Edward III., and the former received large territorial grants from the crown for his services. The fifth and last Lord had two sons; 1. Henry, who died before him, and 2. Sir Thomas, who acquired the old castle of the Marmions at Tamworth through his wife Elizabeth de Freville. Henry left one daughter, who carried the barony of Groby to Sir Edward Grey, ancestor of the Duke of Suffolk, in whose attainder it perished in 1554.[11] Sir Thomas had two sons, who each founded a family. The elder line of Tamworth continued only till 1680: but the younger, seated at Baddesley-Clinton in the same county, flourishes to this day, the last off-set of the stately tree that once spread its branches far and wide over the Midland Counties.

There had been several others. Walcheline de Ferrers, a younger son of the Earl who fought at the battle of the Standard, was seated at Oakham in Rutland; and though his son died s. p. and the property passed away through his daughter Isabel, his ancestral horseshoes still keep their place in his castle. Of this the hall—an admirable and perfect specimen of the architecture of the twelfth century—alone remains, and is adorned with nearly seventy horseshoes of all sizes, varying from four feet eight to five inches in diameter, according to the generosity of the donors. "The Lord of the castle and manor of Okeham for the time being claims by prescription a Franchise or Royalty very rare and of singular note, viz.: That the first time any Peer of this Kingdom shall happen to pass through the precincts of this Lordship, he shall forfeit as a Homage a Shoe from the Horse on which he rideth unless he redeem it with money. The true Original of which custome I have not been able on my utmost endeavour to discover. But that such is, and time out of mind hath been, the Usage, appears by several Monumental Horseshoes (some gilded and of curious Workmanship) nail'd upon the Castle Hall Door."—Wright's Rutlandshire. Some are yet there; but although a proportion of the more ancient ones have disappeared, they have long ago outgrown their original destination. On each is inscribed the name and title of the peer who presented it. Many bear crests and coronets: and the so-called Golden Shoe (taken off Lord Willoughby de Eresby's favourite horse Clinker) was once abstracted by some ingenious thief who mistook the gilding for gold; but returned it in a railway parcel on discovering his error.

Another Ferrers, Lord of Eggington in Derbyshire, is mentioned by Dugdale; and a branch, to which a curious tradition is affixed, remained at Market Cell, in Bedfordshire, until the last century. "On the Hertfordshire side of the parish of Caddington is Market Cell, the site of a nunnery of the Benedictine order, founded by Geoffrey Abbot of St. Albans, about the year 1145. We are told that Humphrey, a natural son of Lord Berners, bestowed much cost and art in building a house on this site, but did not live to finish it. It was after this, in 1548, granted to George Ferrers, whose descendant Sir John Ferrers died seised of it in 1640."—Lysons' Bedfordshire. The last heiress of this house, who had been early left an orphan and lived by herself at Market Cell, by some untoward chance became acquainted with the captain of a band of highwaymen which then infested the neighbourhood, and fell desperately in love with him. She used to ride out, disguised in men's clothes, night after night to meet him; shared all his dangers and adventures, and sat with him and his followers at their carousals and merry makings. None of her household ever suspected her absence; for she inhabited a tower somewhat detached from the rest of the house, from whence a postern reached by a secret stair, opened on the terrace; and thus she could go out, saddle her horse, bring him back to the stable, and return to bed unobserved. Only the grooms, now and again, grumbled, and declared the fairies must have ridden Mistress Ferrers' favourite black, when they had left him over-night cool and comfortable in his stall, and found him next morning covered with sweat and mire. At length, one day, Mistress Ferrers was missing from her chamber; and though the clothes she had taken off the night before lay by her bedside, the bed had not been slept in. She was sought for everywhere in vain, till some one remembered the door in her room that led to the secret staircase, generally believed by the servants to have been long since closed and disused. It was unlocked; but some obstacle from without hindered its opening; and when, with some trouble, they had forced their way through, the dead body of Mistress Ferrers, dressed in her highwayman's clothes, with the crape mask still on her face, was found lying across the threshold. She had been severely wounded in some desperate encounter the night before; but, with wonderful courage, had managed to keep her saddle, ride home, stable her horse, and struggle up the turret stair to her chamber door. Then, at the very moment that she thought she had gained her refuge, and saved herself from disgrace and exposure, her strength failed her, and she fell down dead. The place passed into other hands, and the greater part of the stately old manor house (including Mistress Ferrers' tower) has been either pulled down or burned; but it is affirmed that she still haunts her former domain, and may be seen pacing the terrace, peering in at the windows, standing in the doorway, or clapping her hands in furious glee as the flames curl and circle around its gables. The doom of fire, which has several times fallen on Market Cell, is popularly attributed to her curse, which rests on her successors for their demolition of her favourite tower, and ordains that the building should always be left incomplete. In fact, it remains unfinished at the present time, the final decoration of one of the rooms being purposely omitted.

The name continues affixed to many of their old manors. It is borne by Higham-Ferrers (part of the Peverel estate in Northamptonshire), Woodham Ferrers in Essex, Newton Ferrers, and Churston-Ferrers, in Devonshire.


↑ "Henry de Ferrers assumed the surname he bore from Ferriers, a small town in the Gastinois, celebrated for its iron mines. Hence, too, originated the six horseshoes, the armorial ensigns of the House of Ferrers, allusive to the seigneurie's staple commodity."—Sir B. Burke. The house of Groby adopted the arms of De Quinci, still borne by its descendants. Thus, at the siege of Carlaverock, we find the first Lord Ferrers of Groby: Guillemes de Ferieres bel E noblement i fu remez, De amies vermeilles ben amies, O mascles de or del champ voidies.

↑ Amongst others he received a house in the parish of St. Margaret's, London, to be held by the service of waiting upon the King at all festivals yearly, without any cap, but with a garland of the breadth of his little finger upon his head. ↑ Chartley came to the Shirleys in 1615 through a co-heiress of Devereux (Lady Dorothy, the youngest daughter of the unfortunate Earl of Essex): and her grandson, Sir Robert, was created Lord Ferrers of Chartley in 1677, and Viscount Tamworth and Earl Ferrers in 1711. The beautiful chase of Chartley—a part of the old forest of Needwood—contains one of the rare herds of wild cattle still preserved in England. They are sand-white; and there is a popular belief that whenever a parti-coloured calf is born, it forebodes a death in the family. It is said that in the fatal year of the battle of Burton Bridge, where the power of the last Earl of Derby fell to rise no more, a black calf was for the first time seen; and that this ill omen, which has never been known to fail, has ever since pursued all the successive Lords of Chartley. ↑ It was revived in 1603, and is now held by his representative, the Earl of Stamford and Warrington.


was slain in the civil wars which distracted Normandy during the minority of Duke William, later became William the Conqueror.

Lived in Tutbury Castle.

Holdings in 9 southern counties

Seige of Acre, Palestine

Walklin was slain in a feud during the Conqueror's minority, leaving his son Henry, who took part in the conquest and held a great fief in the Midlands.

William joined the great revolt of 1173 and in defeat saw his castles razed.


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Walkelin de Ferrières, seigneur de Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire's Timeline

Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire, Duchy of Normandy, Kingdom of France [Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire, Eure, Haute-Normandie, France]
Age 25
Normandie, France
May 28, 1036
Age 25
Ferrieres-St-Hilaire, Eure, Normandy, France
Tutbury, Staffordshire, England
Tutbury, Staffordshire, England
Of Castle, Tutbury, Staffordshire, England
Of Castle, Tutbury, Staffordshire, England