wife of John fitzRichard of Saxlingham

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Also Known As: "Cecily of Saxlingham", "Magdalen Cecily Blois", "Cecily de Blois"
Birthplace: England
Death: England
Immediate Family:

Wife of John fitzRichard of Saxlingham
Mother of Payn fitzJohn, Sheriff of Hereford and Shropshire; Eustace fitzJohn, Lord of Alnwick, Constable of Cheshire; William fitzJohn; Alice, abbess of Barking Abbey and Agnes fitzJohn

Managed by: Gene Daniell
Last Updated:

About wife of John fitzRichard of Saxlingham

Not a known daughter of Thibaut, Count of Blois & Champagne & Gersende du Maine. Not the same as Magdalen Fitz Nigel. Name seen as “Cecily of Saxlingham”.


  • Husband: John FitzRichard, often confused with John FitzNigell also known as "Monoculus"
  • Father: Richard fitzRanulf (this family is connected to the de Vesci family - citation needed")
  • Mother: Unknown
  • Spouse: Unknown


John fitzJohn is known to have had the following issue (3 sons, 2 daughters):

  1. Payn (Pain) fitzJohn of Ewyas (died 1137); eldest son; married Sybil Lacy.
  2. Eustace fitzJohn, lord of Knaresborough and Halton (died 1157); heir to his brother Payn; married 1) Beatrix Vesci 2) Agnes, daughter of William, Constable of Chester.
  3. William fitzJohn (died 1172); married Denise de Magneville
  4. Alice, abbess of Barking Abbey
  5. Agnes, married Roger de Valognes


John fitz Richard, Lord of Knaresborough. < link >

John fitz Richard was recorded in the "Domesday Book" as Johannes Nepos Waleranni. Keats-Rohan writes he was the "son of Richard fitz Ranulf," and "nephew of Waleran fitz Ranulf". Waleran fitz Ranulf appears in the "Domesday Book" as Waleran Filius Ranulfi and Keats-Rohan writes he was the "son of Ranulf the moneyer, from Vains, Manche, in west Normandy," as was Richard fitz Ranulf. Furthermore; "His five children, possibly by two wives, achieved some importance during the reign of Henry I, of whom his sons Payn, Eustache and William were prominent servants; his daughters were Alice abbess of Barking and Agnes, wife of Roger de Valognes".5 Agnes fitz John was the mother of Cecilia (Cecily) de Valognes, who was the mother of Agnes of Essex,7 the third wife of Aubrey III de Vere, 1st Earl of Oxford.8

… Starting out with almost nothing, Eustace fitz John represents a medieval Horatio Alger story in which he achieved success by taking on the hard task of defending England's borders, and thereby, he and his descendants became among the most important families in England.5,9,19

The Migrating Village of Saxlingham Thorpe. Posted on December 2, 2017 by crispina kemp. < link >

Returning to the Norfolk village of Saxlingham, Nethergate and Thorpe, we’ve arrived at the High Middle Ages: post-Hastings, post Norman Conquest and all that.

John fitzRichard. Nephew of Waleran, grandson of a moneyer from Avranches. As with Roger Bigod, John wasn’t aristocratic-born. Though it can’t be said he was from a ‘no-bit’ family since his grandfather had been a moneyer! Once arrived in England, his uncle Waleran was appointed sheriff, but when, and of where, no one seems to know. But since his predecessor at Saxlingham, Eadric, came a cropper against him, one imagines his remit must have included Norfolk. Like many of the newcomers, John gave land (in Saxlingham) to a religious house (to Gloucester abbey). This bout of benevolence, almost fanatic, seen amongst the first takers of this land, was at the insistence of the Pope who had been disgusted by the brutality of this conquest. …

… John fitzRichard amalgamated his various portions of land in Saxlingham, some of which he held of St Benet of Hulme, some in his own right, to produce what would later be known as Berewell and Thorpe Hall manors. In Domesday Book these two manors totalled 260 acres arable. At that time, he also held land (2 holdings) in Suffolk, (2 holdings) in Cambridgeshire and Essex—which constituted the bulk of his holdings (10 listings plus a house in Colchester). His Norfolk holdings fell one short of this.

Whoever his wife (her name’s not recorded) she delivered him two sons, Payn and Eustace. Maybe it was due to the wife’s influence that the family’s focus now swung westwards; or maybe it was due to their eldest son, Payn.


From Medlands:


JOHN, son of RICHARD & his wife ---] . A document records that the abbot of Mont Saint-Michel had wrongfully sold property to “Ranulf the moneyer” but that it was inherited by “Gualeran son of Ranulf” who sold it back to the abbey, that it was claimed by “John of Richard” who “some fifteen years…later” seized the property, judgment in the ensuing dispute being awarded to the abbey[773]. A manuscript concerning the founders of Watton priory records that “Johannis pater primi Eustachii et Serlo de Burgo, sive de Pembrok” were brothers[774]. The Complete Peerage sets out the arguments which refute this hypothesis[775]. m ---. The name of John’s wife is not known.

John & his wife had five children:

  • 1. PAYN FitzJohn of Ewyas, Herefordshire (before 1100-killed 10 Jul 1137, bur Gloucester Abbey). "…Pag fil Johis…" subscribed the charter dated to [10 Apr/29 May] 1121 which records the arrangements for the marriage of "Miloni de Gloec" and "Sibilia filia Beorndi de Novo Mercato"[776]. "…Pag fil Johis…" subscribed the charter date [3/10] Jun 1123 under which Henry I King of England granted the lands of "Edrici fil Chetelli" to "Walto de Gloec"[777]. A charter of King Henry I dated 1133 is witnessed by Payn FitzJohn, Eustache and William his brothers[778]. Sheriff of Hereford and Shropshire. The Gesta Stephani Regis records that "Paganus filius Joannis…et Milo" were killed, dated to [1137/40][779]. m (before [1125]%29 as her first husband, SIBYLLA de Lacy, daughter of --- (-after [1140]). She married secondly (after 1138) Joscelin de Dinan. Payn & his wife had two children: …
  • 2. EUSTACE FitzJohn (before 1100-1157). A charter of King Henry I dated 1133 is witnessed by Payn FitzJohn, Eustache and William his brothers[448]. "…Eustachius filius Johannis…" witnessed the charter of Ramsey abbey dated to [1133/37] which récords that "Walterus de Bolebeche…Heylenius uxor sua et Hugo filius suus" donated "terram de Waltone"[449]. "Walter de Gaunt" founded Bridlington priory, with the assent of Henry I King of England, by undated charter, witnessed by "…Eustace FitzJohn…"[450]. An undated charter records the foundation of Alnwick Abbey, Northumberland by ”Eustachius filius Johannis”, for the soul of “Ivonis de Vescy” and the health of “Willielmi de Vescy filii mei”[451]. “Eustachius filius Johannis…et uxor mea Agneta” founded Watton priory by charter dated to [1150][452]. m firstly BEATRICE de Vescy, daughter of YVES de Vescy Lord of Alnwick and Malton, Yorkshire & his wife [Alda Tyson]. … m secondly as her first husband, AGNES, daughter of WILLIAM FitzNeel Constable of Chester, Baron of Halton & his wife ---. … Agnes married secondly (after 1157) Robert FitzCount. Eustace & his first wife had two children: …
  • 3. WILLIAM FitzJohn (-after 1133). “...Payn fitz John, Eustace fitz John, William fitz John” witnessed a (possibly spurious) charter of King Henry I dated [Jul] 1133[469]. The three names together in this document suggests that the witnesses were brothers. same person as...? WILLIAM [I] FitzJohn ([before 1110?]-after 1180), ancestor of the Tilly family.
  • 4. ADELAIS . King Stephen granted Barking abbey to "Adel[ide] sorori Pag[ani] filii Joh[annis]" by charter dated to [1136/Aug 1138], witnessed by "…E[ustachio] filio Joh[annis]"[470]. Abbess of Barking.
  • 5. AGNES ([1125]-after 1185). “Rogerus de Valoniis” confirmed the foundation of Binham monastery by “patris mei Petri de Valoniis”, by undated charter, probably dated to after 1135, witnessed by "Agnes de Valoniis uxor mea, Petrus et Robertus et Gaufridus et Johannes filii mei…"[471]. “Petrus de Valoniis” confirmed donations to Binham monastery by “Petrus…de Valoniis avus meus et…pater meus Rogerus”, by undated charter dated to after 1154, witnessed by "Agnes de Valoniis, Robertus et Gaufredus et Rogerus et Johannes et Philippus de Valoniis…"[472]. …. The Complete Peerage says that her age suggests that she may have been the daughter of a second marriage[476]. m ROGER de Valoignes, son of PIERRE de Valoignes & his wife Agnes --- (-[1141/42]).



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wife of John fitzRichard of Saxlingham's Timeline

Ewyas, Herefordshire, England
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England