Of the following personages but few can be identified, and of those few no materials have been found hitherto for the briefest biographical notice.
To the meagre information and vague speculations of Messrs. le Prévost, and Edgar Taylor I have added in some instances a fact, and in others a suggestion; and generally upheld the authority of Wace where it could not be shaken by direct evidence. I have already given my reasons for the confidence I place in his testimony, and feel assured that subsequent researches will justify my opinion of him.
The honest Prebend of Bayeux, at the conclusion of what may be fairly called his "Roll," candidly acknowledges, "Many other barons there were whom I have not even named, for I cannot give an account of them all, nor can I tell of all the feats they did, for I would not be tedious. Neither can I give the names of all the barons, nor the surnames of all whom the Duke brought from Normandy and Brittany in his company." Those, however, whom he has named he had, I firmly believe, good authority for naming, and with one important exception (the presence of Roger de Montgomeri at Senlac), which is yet an open question, I have seen no reason to doubt his accuracy, or to endorse the opinion, that in specifying the baptismal names of the early Norman barons he has "often erred." He was much more likely to be right than his commentators in the nineteenth century, who, unless they can prove distinctly that. no member of the family bore such a baptismal appellation in October, 1066, are not justified, except by the production of the most conclusive evidence, in asserting that he was not also a companion of the Conqueror.
The recently published lists of Messrs. de Magny and Delisle, while supplying some hundreds of names, are unfortunately unaccompanied by the evidence on which they have been recorded, and consequently cannot be confidently quoted either in corroboration or in contradiction of the older catalogues, varying as they do from them in many important instances, and occasionally from each other.
ABEVILE, Wiestace de, l. 13,562.
M. le Prévost merely remarks that there is a commune so named in the arrondissement of Lisieux, but that he thinks it more probable that Abbeville, the well-known city in Ponthieu, is the locality indicated. I have mentioned in my memoir of Eustace, Count of Boulogne, the fact that both the Counts of Ponthieu and the Counts of Boulogne were occasionally called "of Abbeville." But strange as it appears that so remarkable a person as Eustace II. should have been altogether omitted by Wace, which he certainly has been if not alluded to as above, there is nothing to enable us to identify him with the unknown companion of the Conqueror recorded by the Prebend of Bayeux. He would surely have written "Li quens Wiestace de Abevile" had he intended to speak of Count Eustace. Who then was this Wiestace? No one of the name of Abbeville appears in Domesday. An obscure adventurer, a soldier of fortune, perhaps killed in the battle would scarcely have been classed with the Chamberlain of Tankerville, the Lord of Mandeville, and William Crispin, or even mentioned at all by the Norman poet for the sake of the rhyme, unless he had distinguished himself in the conflict, or in some way made the name of Eustace of Abbeville familiar to his countrymen.
I am strongly under the impression that for Abbeville we should read Appeville, of which name there was more than one Norman family of note in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries.
Three parishes so named are to be found in Normandy: 1. Appeville, canton of Montfort-sur-Risle, arrondissement of Pontaudemer; 2. Appeville-lePetit, canton of Affranville, arrondissement of Dieppe; 3. Appeville-la-Haye, canton of Haye-du-Puits, arrondissement of Coutances. The lords of Montfort-surRisle were also seigneurs of Appeville, and several of their charters are subscribed by persona of that name, as are also some charters of the Counts of Meulent, sires de Pontaudemer. Gosce d'Appeville witnesses the gift of the hermitage of Brotone to the Abbey of Préaux, by Robert, Comte de Meulent, circa 1163. Appeville-le-Petit furnishes us with no indications; but Appeville-la-Haye was no doubt the cradle of a family so named. Our former acquaintance, Turstain Haldub, lord of Haye-du-Puits at the time of the Conquest, was also Seigneur d'Appeville; and from the foundation charter of the Abbey of Lessay we learn that he, with his son Eudo al Chapel, gave to that abbey all the churches, lands, woods, and meadows in Apavil and Osulfvill, "et aliis maisnillis quae ad Apavillam pertinebant." Observe that Appeville is here spelt with one p, as Abbeville in the Roman de Rou is with one b. A very slight slip of the pen may have caused all the confusion.
Still stronger presumptive evidence is afforded us by Domesday. Walterus de Appeville is therein recorded as holding, under William de Arcis, the manor of Folkestone, in the hundred of that name.
We have here distinct proof that an Appeville had established himself in England before 1085, and may fairly draw from it the inference, that either Walter himself or one of his family was a companion of the Conqueror in 1066. MM. de Magny and Delisle have Gautier (Walter) d'Appeville, but no Eustace. The name of Abbeville occurs in the Roll of Battle Abbey, but that is no evidence.
ASNEBEC (Ondbac), "cil d'," l. 13,748.
Asnebec is a commune in the neighbourhood of Voie. M. le Prévost doubts that it was a seigneurie at the time of the Conquest, and believes it to have belonged to Robert, the younger son of Hamon-aux-Dents, the rebel lord of Thorigny killed if Val-egrave;s-Dunes in 1047. That Robert succeeded his father in the lordship of Thorigny, as Le Prévost implies, is very problematical; but he may have been Sire d'Asnebec, and as such recognized in 1066, if he were in the invading army, which must first be ascertained. If not, "He of Onebec" remains for the present unidentified.
ASNIERES, "Gilbert le Viel d'," l. 13,663.
Asnieres, a commune in the arrondissement of Bayeux. A Raoul d'Asnieres witnesses a charter to the Abbey-auxDames, at Caen, in 1082; but there is no trace of a Gilbert, nor mention of any of the family, in Domesday; neither do I find it in any form in the Rolls or lists of "the Conquerors" that have come down to us. Mr. Edgar Taylor, however, has noticed that in the Bayeux Inquest the Maulevriers, a well-known Anglo-Norman family, are found to hold half a knight's fee in Asnières, the only connection of it with this country yet discovered.
AUVILLIERS, "Sire d'," l. 13,747.
There are two communes of this name, one near Pont-l'Evêque, and the other near Mortemer-sur-Eaulne. As the "Sire d'Auvillers" is described by Wace as charging in company with Hugh de Mortemer, it is probable he hailed from the latter, and was a vassal of the Mortemers. A Hugh de Aviler was a vassal of Robert Malet, in Suffolk, in the days of the Conqueror, and a benefactor to the Priory of Eye, founded by him; but there is nothing to show who was the Sire d'Auvilliers who fought at Senlac.
BERTRAN, "de Peleit le filz," l. 11,510.
A Breton who joined the army of invasion at St. Valery, in company with the Sire de Dinan, Raoul de Gael, and many others of his countrymen. Nothing more appears to be known of him by any one; and "de Peleit le filz Bertran" may be interpreted either as Bertrand the son of Peleit, or de Peleit the son of Bertrand, or Fitz-Bertrand de Peleit!
BRIENCORT, "le Sire de," l. 13,773.
No such place known in Normandy. Supposed by Le Prévost to be intended for Brucourt, arrondissement of Pont-l'Evêque. A Robert de Brucourt confirmed grants by Geffry de Fervaques to Walsingham, the only instance of the connection of the name with English affairs.
BONNEBOSQ, "le Sire de," l. 13,667.
From Bonnebosq, arrondlsselnent of Pont-l'Evêque. No identification or connection with England.
BOTEVILAIN, l. 13,711.
A Sire de Bouttevile, arrondissement of Valognes, is certified by Mons. de Gerville to have been in the expedition. The name occurs in the Roll of Battle Abbey, and the family established itself in the counties of Somerset and Bedford. At the same time a family named Bouttevillain is found seated in Northamptonshire, in which county a Guillaume Boutevileyn founded, in 1143, the Abbey of Pipewell. This name appears in Brompton's List; but whether the Boutevilles and the Bouttevillains were one and the same family is left to conjecture, as well as who were the actual companions of the Conqueror. The Thynnes, Marquises of Bath, claim descent from Boteville of Shelton, county of Salop.* [Not one of the last seen names occurs in the modern catalogues.]
BELFOU, "Robert le Sire de," l. 13,558.
Here we have a baptismal name to assist us, and as Guillaume de Poitiers also calls him Robert, I adopt it, merely observing that Le Prévost states he is called Ralf in some contemporary documents, and that we find a Radulph de Bellofago in Domesday. The modern lists have Raoul and William.
Beaufou, Beaufoi, or Belfai, latinised Bellofagus, is in the neighbourhood of Pont-l'Evêque. Its lords were descended in female line from Ralph, Comte d'Ivri, uterine brother of Duke Richard I, already mentioned (page 220, ante); and Sir Henry Ellis, in his "Introduction to Domesday," suggests that the Radulphus of that book was a near relation, if not a son, of William de Beaufoe, Bishop of Thetford, Chaplain and Chancellor of the Conqueror. I consider him more likely to have been the son of Robert, the combatant of Senlac, and nephew of William the Bishop. No particulars are known of either, and except through females no descendants are traceable in England.
CAILLY, "Sire de," l. 13,649.
Cailly is in the arrondissement of Rouen, and there can be no doubt that one or more of the family may have been in the expedition. Osbern de Cailly was apparently the holder of the fief in 1066, as his son Roger made a donation to St. Ouen in 1080. A William de Cailgi also appears in Domesday. Although by alliances with the Giffards and the Tateshalls they became of importance in England, the companion of the Conqueror has afforded no materials for a memoir. By the death of Thomas de Cailly, Baron of Buckenham (10th Edw. II.), without issue, the property passed, through his sister and heir Margaret, to the family of Clifton.
CARTRAI, "Onfroi and Maugier,"l. 13,584.
Carteret, in the arrondissement of Valognes, imparted its name to this family, from a branch of which, settled in Jersey, the Barons Carteret, and from the sisters and co-heirs of Robert, second Earl Granville, Viscount and Baron Carteret, who died without issue in 1776, descend the present Marquises of Bath and Tweeddale, and the Earls Dysart and Cowper. Of Humphrey and Maugier, the companions of the Conqueror, nothing is known but their names. That of Roger is added by the modern compilers. Regnaud de Carteret, son of an earlier Humphrey, accompanied Duke Robert the Magnificent to the Holy Land in 1035.
CHAIGNES, "le Sire de," l. 13,664.
Le Prévost derives this family from Cahagnes, in the arrondissement de Bayeux, the lords of which were benefactors to the abbey of Grestein, in Normandy, and the priory of Lewes, in Sussex. The name also appears in Domesday, and with the addition of Guillaume in the modern lists.
COMBRAI, "cil de," l. 13,775.
Combrai is near Harcourt Thury, arrondissement of Falaise. We have no particulars respecting its earlier lords, nor any indication which of them was in the battle. The modern lists have Geoffrey.
EPINE, "cil de," l. 13,613.
All speculation even on who is indicated by this personage would be idle under present circumstances. There are numerous fiefs and communes so called, and unless, as M. le Prévost observes, we are to consider the name was latinized into De Spineto, we have no trace of the family in England.
FERTE, "li Sire de la," l. 13,707.
The authors of "Recherches sur le Domesday" have set at rest all doubts respecting this personage and the locality from which he derived his name. Under the head of ACHARDUS they state incidentally that, in 1066, Achard d'Ambriegrave;res, Henri de Domfront, and Mathew de la Ferté Mace brought eighty men-at-arms from le Passais-Normand to join the forces assembled by Duke William for the conquest of England. We have here, therefore, the names of two other companions of the Conqueror, neither of whom is mentioned by M. de Magny or Delisle; William de la Ferté, who with Turgis de Tracie were governors of Maine in 1073, was perhaps of the same family. A William de Feritate (Ferté) held Weston and Stokes in Baroniae from the Conquest of England (Testa de Neville, p. 286). A Sire de Ferté Mace, either Mathias or William, married a sister of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, and his son William is described as nephew of that worthy prelate in the charter of an Archbishop of Tours, temp. St. Louis. What sister of Odo, and by which father?
GASCIE, "cil de," l. 13,658.
Gacé, arrondissement of Argentan. It is not known who was Sire de Gacé in 1066. Raoul de Gacé, the instigator of the murder of Gilbert, Count of Eu, died childless before the Conquest, and his domains were seized by Duke William. The holder under him has not been discovered.
GLOS. See SAP.
GOVIZ, "cil de," l. 13,653.
Gouvix is in the arrondissement of Falaise, but no possessor of it is known at the time of the Conquest.
JORT, "cil de," l. 13, 614.
Jort is a commune near Courci, arrondissement of Falaise. It had belonged to Lesceline, Countess of Eu, but no possessor of it in 1066 is known to French antiquaries. It was probably held by some one under the De Courcis of that day, as they are named together "Cil de Courci e Cil de Jort."
LITHAIRE, "li Sire de," l. 13,554.
Lithaire, commune of Haye-du-Puits, in the Cotentin. Eudo al Chapel was lord of it in 1066; but Robert de Haie, who married Muriel, daughter and heir of Eudo, might have held under him (see p. 125, ante).
LA MARE, "Sire de," l. 13,555.
The name of this great Anglo-Norman family was derived from the fief of La Mare, at St. Opportune, arrondissement of Pontaudemer, where the castle was built on piles on the border of the lake, still called Grand-Mare. Lemare occurs in the Roll of Battle Abbey and Duchesne's List, and De la Mare in Leland's; but I cannot find a Hugues de la Mare, as suggested by Le Prévost, in any, no baptismal names being mentioned. The modern lists have Guillaume.
MOLEI, "le Sire de," l. 13,777.
The family name of the Sire de Molay, or Vieux-Molay; in the eleventh century, was Bacon, subsequently so illustrious in England; and it is presumed that a Guillaume Bacon, who in 1082 made donations to the Abbey of the Holy Trinity at Caen, wherein his sister had taken the veil, is the Sire de Molai of the "Roman de Rou." A Richard Bacon, nephew of Ranulf, Earl of Chester, founded the priory of Roncester, county of Stafford. The family of the great Lord Chancellor and the premier baronets of England do not deduce their descent from the Norman lords of Molay, but from Grimbald, a cousin of William de Warren, whose great grandson, according to their genealogists, assumed the name of Bacon in Normandy.
MONCEALS, "La," l. 13,654.
There are several communes of the name of Monceaux in Normandy. Le Provost considers the one in question is in the neighbourhood of Bayeux, and the seat of the family of Drogo de Monceaux, the second husband of Edith de Warren, widow of Gerrard de Gournay. Either Drogo or his son of the same name witnessed the foundation charter of Dunstable, in the county of Bedford, temp. Henry I, and the name is of frequent occurrence in later documents. Guillaume de Monceaux occurs in the modern lists.
PACIE, "cil ki ert Sire de," l. 13,655.
Paci-surEure was, at the time of the Conquest, in the possession of William Fitz Osbern, and after his death, in 1074, formed a portion. of the inheritance of William de Breteuil, his son. M. le Prévost denounces this as an evident mistake, but some one may have held under Fitz Osbern, though not entitled perhaps to be called the "Sire de Paci."
PIROU, "un Chevalier de," l. 13,557.
Pirou is near Lessai, but "a chevalier of Pirou" might not be the lord of it. It would be idle to speculate as to the person alluded to by the poet. William, Lord of Pirou, is said by Orderic to have perished in the fatal wreck of the "White Ship," in 1120. In a later charter, however, a "Gulielmus de Pirou, Dapifer," appears as a witness.--Mon. Ang. vol. ii, p. 973.
PRAERES, "le Sire de," l. 13,661.
Even the locality of this seigneurie is undetermined, and when it is stated that a Sire de Praeres appears about 1119 as a vassal of the Earl of Chester, all is said that is known of the family.
PINS, "cil ki ert Sire des," l. 13,567,
supposed to be Pin au Haras, arrondissement of Argentan. A Foulques des Pin is named in a charter to Saint Pierre-surDive as a contemporary of the Conqueror; a Morin du Pin was Dapifer to Robert, Comte de Mortain, and living in 1080, and the name frequently occurs in connection with events of the next century; but the Sire des Pins of Senlac has not been identified. The family were seated in England shortly after the Conquest, and appear to have been in the service of the Counts of Meulent (Orderic Vital, 687, 881).
REBERCIL, "le Sire de," l. 13,777.
Now called Rubercy, in the arrondissement of Bayeux. The companion of the Conqueror not known, but in 1168 Hughes Wae (Wake), Lord of Rebercil, founded the Abbey of Longues, and the family of Wake is one of the most important in Anglo-Norman history. How he became Lord of Rebercil, whether by inheritance or marriage, has yet to be discovered. His wife was Emma, daughter of Baldwin de Gant and Adelaide de Rullos; but Hugh could not have been born at the time of the Conquest, and we have no knowledge of his father. No connection is hinted to have existed between Hugh and the celebrated Hereward, whose name of Le Wake is of dubious derivation; but the founding of the Priory of Brunne in Lincolnshire by Baldwin de Gant, the father-in-law of Hugh, is worthy of observation, taken in connection with the story that Hereward was a son of Leofric, Lord of Brunne. The name of Wake occurs in all the Rolls and catalogues except those of MM. de Magny and Delisle, and the Wakes of Clevedon, in the county of Somerset, claim to be descended from Sir Thomas, called from his large possessions "the great Wake" in the reign of Edward III.
SAINT CLER, le Sire de," l. 13,749.
Saint Clair is the principal town in the canton of that name in the arrondissement of St. Lô. The site of the castle was still to be seen near the church when M. de Gerville wrote his valuable work on the castles in La Manche. A William de Saint Clair was a benefactor to the Abbey of Savigny in the reign of Henry I, and one of the same name, if not the same person, founded the Priory of Villiers Fossard in 1139; but who "came over with the Conqueror" does not appear. A Richard de Sencler is found in Domesday, from whom, as a matter of course, the English Sinclairs are reported to have descended.
ST. MARTIN, "le Sire de," l. 13,565.
No identification either of place or person. There are very many St. Martins, and we know nothing of their seigneurs in 1066. A family of that name was seated in England early in the following century, and a Robert de St. Martin founded the Abbey of Robert's Bridge, in the county of Sussex, in 1176.
SAINT SEVER, "cil de."
Le Prévost doubts the existence of any seigneur of Saint Sever in 1066, that place having been always the property of the Viscounts of the Avranchin. Now "Saint Sever! Sire St. Sever!" was the war cry of Renouf de Bricasard at the battle of Val-egrave;s-Dunes (see Vol. i, p. 29), and his son Ranulph de Bricasard, called Le Meschin, or the younger, afterwards Earl of Chester, would have probably been the Lord of St. Sever at the time of the expedition had he been old enough, but as he lived till 1129 that is not probable. At all events the learned antiquary is, I think, mistaken. Renouf de Bricasard was Viscount of the Bessin in 1047, not of the Avranchin, and therefore frequently called Renouf de Bayeux. He married Matilda, daughter of Richard d'Avranches, by Emma de Conteville, and sister of Hugh, Earl of Chester. That is the only connection with the Vicomtes d'Avranches, which, supposing him to be married in 1047, might account in some way for his war cry. We have no means of ascertaining the age of either father or son in 1066; but as Neel de Saint-Sauveur, the other rebellious viscount, was in the expedition, the odds are in favour of the elder son-in-law of that "Richarz ki fu d'Avrancin" (see p. 16, ante), under whom he might have held St. Sever, or been enfeoffed with it in frank marriage at the time of his union with his daughter.
SAP, "cil de," l. 13,668.
Wace couples with "cil. de Sap," "on de Gloz," upon which Le Prévost remarks: "Here again are two seigneurs of our author's creation. At the time of the Conquest Sap had been given with Moules to Baldwin Fitz Gilbert, Comte de Brionne, as we have already said, and could not con sequently have a 'seigneur particulier.' As to Gloz, it belonged to William de Breteuil, and it appears that its possession dated from a very early period, because we find Barnon de Glos in the service of his (William's) father about the year 1035. William de Gloz, son of this Barnon, was dapifer to William de Breteuil, and assisted probably at the Conquest in that capacity." Exactly so, and therefore why, dear M. le Prévost, to whom we are all so much indebted, do you charge the honest Prebend of Bayeux with having created two "seigneurs" out of his imagination? The title is of your own bestowing. He does not style them seigneurs. He speaks of them simply as "cil de Sap," and "cil de Gloz" (celui), and the context clearly shows that he does not rank them as lords of a fief, but as chevaliers distinguished by their family names, who in later days in England would have been called Sir William de Gloz, and Sir --de Sap. Sire not only signified lord, but the senior member of the family ("plus vieux, plus ancien," Menage), and was familiarly applied to men of any rank ("pauvre sire, homme sans merite," Lan dais). Granting that Wace may have occasionally used it inaccurately, the persistence of his annotator in refusing to recognize the existence of the persons so designated is, I humbly submit, a mistake on his part.
SACIE, "cil de," l. 13,659.
M. de Gerville, in his "Recherches sur les Châteaux de la Manche," has pointed out that the place here mentioned is not Sassy near Falaise, but Sacey near Pont Orson. A Jourdain de Sacey, chevalier, was living in the twelfth century, and an Emeric de Sacey occurs in the "Monasticon," but no guess has been made as to the actual companion of the Conqueror. I will venture a suggestion. In the Commune of Sacey, on the banks of the Coesnon, a river dividing the provinces of Normandy and Brittany, a castle was built in 1030 by Robert Duke of Normandy, father of the Conqueror, the site of which was, and may be still, visible on a hill about a quarterof a league from the bourg of Sassy. This castle, indifferently called Charruez and Cheruel, is said to have given its name to the well-known Norman family of Kyriel. Wace makes no mention of a Kyriel, but, if one of the family held lands in the commune he might have been known as a Sire de Sassy. Vide Recherches de M. de Gerville, and Sir Bernard Burke's Roll of Battle Abbey.
SAINTEALS, "cil de," l. 13,643.
This commune, now called Cintheaux, near Gonvix, arrondissement de Falaise, offers no record of a possessor in 1066. In 1081 it belonged to Robert Marmion, who gave the church there to the Abbey of Barbery. One of that family may have been an under-tenant at the time of the Conquest.
SEMILLIE, "li Sire de," l. 13,650.
A Guillaume, de Semilly (near St. Lô) is a witness to two charters in 1082, and appears to have been a person of some importance, as he signs immediately after Odo Bishop of Bayeux and Roger de Montgomeri. He was probably the "Sire de Semillie" of Senlac. His daughter and heiress, Agnes, married Guillaume, son of Richard do Hommet, Constable of Normandy, and their eldest son Guillaume assumed the family name of his mother, granting as Guillaume de Semilly a hundred acres of land in his demesnes to the Abbey of Aunay, with the consent of his brothers, Jourdain, Bishop of Lisieux, Geoffrey and Enguerrand du Hommet (Recherches sur le Domesday, p. 94).
SOLIGNIE, "le Sire de," l. 13,602.
Subligny, near Avranches. According to Le Prévost (Corrections and Additions to vol. ii.), one of this family, who wrote themselves Sulligny, Sousligny, and Subligny, became Bishop of Avranches, and another took part in the first crusade. A marriage with the Paniells, or Paganels, caused the property of a branch in Normandy to pass into that family, and the name of Subligny existed in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset as late as the present century. The companion of the Conqueror, however, has yet to be identified.
TOUQUES, "cil de," l. 13,555.
A place at the mouth of the river of that name, arrondissement of Pont1'Eveque. Mons. le Prévost notices the appearance of the names of Jordan, Roger, Robert, and Henri de Touques in Dugdale's Monasticon; but neither he nor Mr. Edgar Taylor seems to have been aware of the ancient family of Toke of Godington, in the county of Kent, who claim descent from the companion of the Conqueror. Thoroton, who spells the name in seventeen different ways, states that a branch of this family was seated in Nottinghamshire in the reign of Rufus, and other ramifications may be found in the counties of Derby, York, Cambridge, Herts, and Dorset. The present representative of the house is the Rev. Nicholas Toke, of Godington, near Ashford.
TORNEOR, "Sire del," l. 13,661. Of the Sire of TORNIERES, "Sire de," l. 13,664.
Le Tourneur, near Vire, or his comrade the Sire of Tournieres, arrondissement of Bayeux, nothing is known by either the French or the English annotators of Wace. A Richard de Tourneriis is mentioned in the foundation charter of Kenilworth, temp. Henry I, and the Earl of Winterton claims to be descended from a Sire de Tournour who came over with the Conqueror.
TRACIE, "Sire de," l. 13,605.
The Norman family of Tracy does not appear to have been of much importance in England before the reign of Stephen, who bestowed upon Henry de Tracy the honour of Ben stable (Barnstaple) in Devonshire; but the first of the name we hear of is Turgis, or Turgisins de Tracy; who with William de la Ferté was defeated and driven out of Maine by Fulk le Rechin, Count of Anjou, in 1073, and who was therefore in all probability the Sire de Tracy in the army at Hastings. Tracy is in the neighbourhood of Vire; arrondissement of Caen, and the ruins of a magnificent castle of the middle ages were and may still be seen there. In 1082 a charter was subscribed at Tracy by a William de Traci and his nephew Gilbert (Gallia Christina, xi. Instrum. p. 107), one or the other being most likely the son of Turgis, and the father of Henry of Barnstaple.
The name of Tracy is principally known to the readers of English history from the unenviable notoriety of a William de Tracy, one of the cowardly murderers of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, A.D. 1170; but his connection with the main line is obscure, as in his charter granting to the Canons of Torre, in the county of Devon, all his lands at North Chillingford, he writes himself William de Traci, son of Gervase de Courtenay, whose name I do not find in the pedigree of that house.
TREGOZ, "cil ki donc tenoit," l. 13,669.
Tregoz is in the arrondissement of St. Lô. The ruins of a castle were existing lately at the confluence of the Vire and the brook of Mardueran, but the name of him "who then held Tregoz" is unknown to me. Mr. Edgar Taylor, in his notes to Wace, says "Jeffery de Tregoz would, according to Dugdale (Baronage, i, 615), be the probable contemporary of the Conquest." What he founds that opinion upon I am at a loss to discover. The first Geoffrey de Tregoz mentioned by Dugdale was the son of a William de Tregoz, who in 1131 had the lands of William Peverel of London in farm, and therefore even he could not have been old enough in 1066 to have fought at Senlac, where Wace tells us that "he who then held Tregoz" killed two Englishmen, transfixing one with his lance and cleaving the skull of the other with his sword, and galloping back unwounded by the enemy. It may have been the father of that William who performed that exploit; but Dugdale takes us no higher than William. A Robert do Tregoz was Sheriff of Wiltshire and a distinguished warrior in the time of Richard I, and the name has descended to us in his old place of residence in the above county--Ledyard-Tregose.
TROSSEBOT, l. 13,711.
This name is coupled with that of Botevilain by Wace as two warriors who feared neither cut nor thrust, fighting furiously that day, and giving and receiving severe blows. M. le Prévost could not, however, trace the origin of this family in Normandy, and a William Troussebot is first brought to our notice in the reign of Henry I. by Orderic Vital, who includes him amongst the men of low origin, whom for their obsequious services that sovereign raised to the rank of nobles, raising them as it were from the dust, heaping wealth upon them, and exalting them above earls and noble lords of castles (lib. xi. cap. 2). The Troussebots are supposed to have been resident in the north-western part of the district of Neubourg, near the domain of Robert de Harcourt, whose daughter Albreda became the wife of William Trussbot above mentioned, son of Geoffrey and grandson of Pagan Troussebot, who in all probability was the combatant at Senlac.
Geoffrey Fitz Payne, as he is called, was seated before the reign of Henry I. at Wartre in Holderness, in the county of York, and the family was thenceforth styled the Trusbutts of Wartre. The male line failed by the death of the three sons of William without issue, and their three sisters, Rose, Hillarie, and Agatha, became heirs of the estates. The two latter dying childless,. the whole property devolved upon William de Ros, grandson of Rose, who married Everard de Ros, a great baron in Holderness, who assumed the allusive coat of Trussbot of Wartre : three water-bougets. "Trois bouts d'eau," or three bougets of water.
URINIE, "cil d'," l. 13, 705.
Supposed to be Origny, of which name there are two communes in Normandy, one near Belesme, and the other near Mamers, but nothing has been learned respecting the person alluded to.
VITRIE, "cil de," l. 13,604.
Robert Seigneur de Vitré (Ile-et-Vilaine), grandson of Rivallon-le-Vicaire, is stated by the historians of Brittany to have been the person who is indicated by Wace. Of him or his deeds we have no record.
André de Vitry married Agnes, daughter of Robert Comte de Mortain (vol. i, p. 114), and consequently niece to the Conqueror. . We have not the date, but as her younger sister Denise was married in 1078, it appears doubtful to me if Robert, son of Agnes, could have been old enough to have fought at Senlac in 1066. The annalist of the family of Vitré states that on Robert's birth his grandfather (the Comte de Mortain) came to Vitré, and at his baptism gave him his name and all the land he held in Trugny, Nicey, and Vercreuil in Normandy. An inference might be drawn from this that Robert was born after the Conquest.
His son Robert, called the younger, married Emma, daughter of Alan de Dinan, and their only daughter, Eleanora de Vitré, married, 1st, William, son of Fulk Painel, 2ndly, Gilbert de Tilliegrave;res, and 3rdly, William Fitz Patrick, second Earl of Salisbury, whom she also survived, and married 4thly Gilbert de Malmaines, outlived him, and died in 1233. She is generally stated to have been the mother of Ela, sole daughter and heir of her third husband, the Earl of Salisbury, and wife of William de Longuespée, son of the celebrated "Fair Rosamond," by Henry II. I have contested that descent elsewhere, but it is not necessary to repeat my arguments in these pages. I have only to do here with the companion of the Conqueror, who I take to have been André, the husband of his niece, and not their son Robert, who, if even born, must have been a child at that period.
Only one out of the last twenty names, viz, that of "Tracy," occurs in the compilations of Messrs. de Magny and Delisle.
One word at parting -- I lay down my pen with a feeling of regret that I have been unable to throw more light upon the many perplexing points which are forced upon our consideration in pursuing these inquiries, by the silence or contradiction of the contemporary writers to whom we naturally turn for authentic information. In venturing to differ with some of the most erudite of the present day, I have raised, however, a few questions which will no doubt be either at once conclusively answered, or if deemed worthy of attention, lead to further investigation, with probably interesting results. I have no desire to awaken controversies which end in convincing nobody, and too often offend somebody. The great object we have all at heart is truth, and I can sincerely adopt the words of my old friend and master, the late Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, who was wont to say, "the greatest pleasure any one can give me, next to proving me to be right, is kindly showing me where I am wrong."
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.