Aveline de Clare

Female 1166 - 1225  (~ 58 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Aveline de Clare was born ~1166, (Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England) (daughter of Roger de Clare, Knight, 3rd Earl of Hertford and Matilda St. Hilary); died 4 Jun 1225.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Eveline de Clare

    Aveline — Geoffrey FitzPiers, Knight, Earl of Essex. Geoffrey was born 0___ 1162, Walden, Essex, England; died 14 Oct 1213. [Group Sheet]

    1. John FitzGeoffrey, Justicar of Ireland was born ~ 1213, Shere, Surrey, England; died 23 Nov 1253, (Surrey) England.

    Aveline — William Munchensy. William was born 1152, Gooderstone, Norfolk, England; died Bef 7 May 1204. [Group Sheet]

    1. Warin de Munchesi, Knight, Lord Swanscombe was born 0___ 1192, Gooderstone, Norfolk, England; died 0___ 1255.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Roger de Clare, Knight, 3rd Earl of Hertford was born 0___ 1116, Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England (son of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare and Alice de Gernon); died 0___ 1173, Oxfordshire, England.


    Roger de Clare, 2nd Earl of Hertford, 5th Lord of Clare, 5th lord of Tonbridge, 5th Lord of Cardigan (1116–1173) was a powerful Norman noble during the 12th century England. He succeeded to the Earldom of Hertford and Honor of Clare, Tonbridge and Cardigan when his brother Gilbert died without issue.[1]


    Roger was a son of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare and Alice de Gernon.[2] In 1153, he appears with his cousin, Richard Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, as one of the signatories to the Treaty of Wallingford, in which Stephen recognises Prince Henry as his successor. He is found signing charters at Canterbury and Dover in 1156. Next year, according to Powell, he received from Henry II a grant of whatever lands he could conquer in South Wales. This is probably only an expansion of the statement of the Welsh chronicles that in this year (about 1 June) he entered Cardigan and 'stored' the castles of Humfrey, Aberdovey, Dineir, and Rhystud. Rhys ap Gruffydd, the prince of South Wales, appears to have complained to Henry II of these encroachments ; but being unable to obtain redress from the king of England sent his nephew Einion ab Anarawd to attack Humfirey and the other Norman fortresses. The 'Annales Cambriµ seem to assign these events to the year 1159 ; and the 'Brut' adds that Prince Rhys burnt all the French castles in Cardigan.[1]

    In 1158 or 1160, Clare advanced with an army to the relief of Carmarthen Castle, then besieged by Rhys, and pitched his camp at Dinweilir. Not daring to attack the Welsh prince, the English army offered peace and retired home. In 1163, Rhys again invaded the conquests of Clare, who, we learn incidentally, has at some earlier period caused Einion, the capturer of Humfrey Castle, to be murdered by domestic treachery.[1]In 1164 he assisted with the Constitutions of Clarendon. From his munificence to the Church and his numerous acts of piety, Roger was called the "Good Earl of Hertford".[a] He was the founder of Little Marcis Nunnery prior to 1163.[3]

    A second time all Cardigan was wrested from the Norman hands ; and things now wore so threatening an aspect that Henry II led an army into Wales in 1165, although, according to one Welsh account, Rhys had made his peace with the king in 1164, and had even visited him in England. The causes assigned by the Welsh chronicle for this fresh outbreak of hostility are that Henry failed to keep his promises — presumably of restitution — and secondly that Roger, earl of Clare, was honourably receiving Walter, the murderer of Rhys's nephew Einion. For the third time we now read that Cardigan was overrun and the Norman castles burnt; but it is possible that the events assigned by the 'Annales Cambrµ' to the year 1165 are the same as those assigned by the 'Brut y Tywysogion' to 1163.[1]

    In the intervening years, Clare had been abroad, and is found signing charters at Le Mans, probably about Christmas 1160, and again at Rouen in 1161 (Eyton, pp. 52, 53). In July 1163 he was summoned by Becket to do homage in his capacity of steward to the archbishops of Canterbury for the castle of Tunbridge. In his refusal, which he based on the grounds that he held the castle of the king and not of the archbishop, he was supported by Henry II (Ralph de Diceto, i. 311; Gervase of Canterbury, i. 174, ii. 391). Next year he was one of the ‘recognisers’ of the constitutions of Clarendon (Select Charters, p. 138). Early in 1170 he was appointed one of a band of commissioners for Kent, Surrey, and other arts of southern England (Gerv. Cant. i. 216). His last known signature seems to belong to June or July 1171, and is dated abroad from Chevaillâee.[1]He appears to have died in 1173, and certainly before July or August 1174, when we find Richard, earl of Clare, his son, coming to the king at Northampton.[1]


    Roger married Maud de St. Hilary, daughter of James de St. Hilary and Aveline.[4] Together they had seven children:

    Mabel de Clare, d. 1204, m. (c. 1175), Nigel de Mowbray.
    Richard de Clare, b. c. 1153, Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England, d. 28 November 1217, 3rd Earl of Hertford
    James de Clare
    Eveline (Aveline) de Clare, d. 4 June 1225, m. [1] (c. 1204), Geoffrey IV Fitz Piers (Fitz Peter), 1st Earl of Essex.[5] m. [2] Sir William Munchensy, (b. c. 1184), son of Warin de Munchensy and Agnes Fitz John.
    Roger de Clare, d. 1241, Middleton, Norfolk, England.
    John de Clare
    Henry de Clare

    Photos, map & history for Tonbridge Castle ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonbridge_Castle

    Roger married Matilda St. Hilary Bef 1173. Matilda was born 1136, (Normandy, France); died 24 Dec 1195. [Group Sheet]

  2. 3.  Matilda St. Hilary was born 1136, (Normandy, France); died 24 Dec 1195.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Maud de St. Hilary


    Matilda de St. Hilaire was born circa 1136 to James de St. Hilary (c1105-c1154) and Aveline de Hesding (c1107-) and died 24 December 1195 of unspecified causes. She married Roger de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford (1116-1173) before 1173 JL . She married William of Aubigny (c1139-1193) after 1173 JL .


    Offspring of Roger de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford and Maud de St. Hilary (c1136-1195)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    Richard de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford (c1153-1218) 1153 30 December 1218 Amice FitzRobert, Countess of Gloucester (c1160-1220)

    Mabel de Clare (1160-1204)
    James de Clare (c1162-?)
    Eveline de Clare (c1164-1225)
    Roger de Clare (1168-1241)
    John de Clare (c1170-?)
    Henry de Clare (c1172-?)

    Offspring of William of Aubigny and Maud de St. Hilary (c1136-1195)
    Name Birth Death Joined with
    William of Aubigny (c1175-1221) 1175 Arundel, England, United Kingdom 1 February 1221 Rome, Italy Mabel of Chester (c1173-?)

    Avice of Aubigny (c1176-?)
    Mathilde of Aubigny

    Footnotes (including sources)
    ‡ General

    1. Hawise Clare was born ~1154, Tunbridge Castle, Tunbridge, Kent, England; died Aft 1215.
    2. 1. Aveline de Clare was born ~1166, (Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England); died 4 Jun 1225.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare was born 1092, Clare, Suffolk, England (son of Gilbert Fitz Richard, Knight, 2nd Lord of Clare and Adeliza de Claremont); died 15 Apr 1136, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: 3rd Lord of Clare
    • Also Known As: Earl of Brionne
    • Also Known As: Earl of Hertford
    • Also Known As: Gilbert Fitz Richard


    Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare (died 15 April 1136) 3rd Lord of Clare, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. A marcher lord in Wales, he was also the founder of Tonbridge Priory in Kent.


    Richard was the eldest son of Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare and Adeliza de Claremont.[1] Upon his father's death, he inherited his lands in England and Wales.

    He is commonly said to have been created Earl of Hertford by either Henry I or Stephen, but no contemporary reference to him, including the record of his death, calls him by any title, while a cartulary states that a tenant had held "de Gilleberto, filio Richardi, et de Ricardo, filio ejus, et postea, de Comite Gilleberto, filio Richardi" ("of Gilbert Fitz Richard, and his son Richard, and then of Earl Gilbert Fitz Richard"), again failing to call Richard 'Earl' while giving that title to his son. Thus his supposed creation as earl is without merit, although his status and wealth made him a great magnate in England.[1] There is an old photo document on the wikipedia page for Tonbridge priory which states that the priory was founded by Richard de Clare EARL of (B.. illegible) and Hertfordshire.

    Directly following the death of Henry I, hostilities increased significantly in Wales and a rebellion broke out.[2] Robert was a strong supporter of King Stephen and in the first two years of his reign Robert attested a total of twenty-nine of that king's charters.[3] He was with King Stephen when he formalized a treaty with King David I of Scotland and was a royal steward at Stephen's great Easter court in 1136.[3] He was also with Stephen at the siege of Exeter that summer and was in attendance on the king on his return from Normandy. At this point, Richard apparently demanded more land in Wales, which Stephen was not willing to give him.[3]

    In 1136, Richard had been away from his lordship in the early part of the year. He returned to the borders of Wales via Hereford in the company of Brian Fitz Count, but on their separating, Richard ignored warnings of the danger and pressed on toward Ceredigion with only a small force.[4] He had not gone far when, on 15 April, he was ambushed and killed by the men of Gwent under Iorwerth ab Owain and his brother Morgan, grandsons of Caradog ap Gruffydd, in a woody tract called "the ill-way of Coed Grano", near Llanthony Abbey, north of Abergavenny.[5] Today the spot is marked by the 'garreg dial' (the stone of revenge).[6] He was buried in Tonbridge Priory,[7] which he founded.[1]


    The news of Richard's death induced Owain Gwynedd, son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, king of Gwynedd to invade his lordship. In alliance with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth, he won a crushing victory over the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr, just outside Cardigan. The town of Cardigan was taken and burnt, and Richard's widow, Alice, took refuge in Cardigan Castle, which was successfully defended by Robert fitz Martin. She was rescued by Miles of Gloucester, who led an expedition to bring her to safety in England


    Richard married Alice, sister of Ranulf de Gernon, 4th Earl of Chester,[1] by her having:

    Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare, d. 1153 (without issue), 1st Earl of Hertford.[8]
    Roger de Clare, d. 1173, 2nd Earl of Hertford.[8]
    Alice de Clare (Adelize de Tonbridge), m. (1) about 1133, Sir William de Percy, Lord of Topcliffe, son of Alan de Percy and Emma de Gant; (2) Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, brother of Owain Gwynedd
    Robert Fitz Richard de Clare, perhaps died in childhood
    Rohese de Clare, m. Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln.[9]


    Richard — Alice de Gernon. [Group Sheet]

  2. 5.  Alice de Gernon (daughter of Ranulf Meschin, Knight, 1st Earl of Chester and Lucy of Bolingbroke).
    1. 2. Roger de Clare, Knight, 3rd Earl of Hertford was born 0___ 1116, Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England; died 0___ 1173, Oxfordshire, England.
    2. Alice de Clare was born Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England.
    3. Rohese de Clare was born Tonbridge Castle, Kent, England.

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  Gilbert Fitz Richard, Knight, 2nd Lord of Clare was born > 1066, Clare, Suffolk, England; died 0___ 1117; was buried Tonbridge Priory, Kent, England.


    Gilbert Fitz Richard (c.?1066–c.?1117), was styled de Clare, de Tonbridge, and Lord of Clare. He was a powerful Anglo-Norman baron who was granted the Lordship of Cardigan, in Wales c.?1107-1111.


    Gilbert, born before 1066, was the second son and an heir of Richard Fitz Gilbert of Clare and Rohese Giffard.[1] He succeeded to his father's possessions in England in 1088 when his father retired to a monastery;[2] his brother, Roger Fitz Richard, inherited his father's lands in Normandy.[3] That same year he, along with his brother Roger, fortified his castle at Tonbridge against the forces of William Rufus. But his castle was stormed, Gilbert was wounded and taken prisoner.[4] However he and his brother were in attendance on king William Rufus at his death in August 1100.[4] He was with Henry I at his Christmas court at Westminster in 1101.[4]

    It has been hinted, by modern historians, that Gilbert, as a part of a baronial conspiracy, played some part in the suspicious death of William II.[5] Frank Barlow points out that no proof has been found he had any part in the king's death or that a conspiracy even existed.[5]

    In 1110, King Henry I took Cardigan from Owain ap Cadwgan, son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn as punishment for a number of crimes including that of the abduction of Nest, wife of Gerald de Windsor.[6] In turn Henry gave the Lordship of Cardigan, including Cardigan Castle to Gilbert Fitz Richard.[7] He founded the Clunic priory at Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk.[7] Gilbert died in or before 1117.[7][8]


    About 1088,[9] Gilbert married Adeliza/Alice de Claremont, daughter of Hugh, Count of Clermont, and Margaret de Roucy.[8] Gilbert and Adeliza had at least eight children:

    Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, d. 1136.[10]
    Gilbert Fitz Gilbert de Clare, d. 1148, 1st Earl of Pembroke.[10]
    Baldwin Fitz Gilbert de Clare, d. 1154, m. Adeline de Rollos.[11]
    Adelize/Alice de Clare, d. 1163, m. (ca. 1105), Aubrey II de Vere, son of Aubrey I de Vere and Beatrice.[12] She had 9 children and in her widowhood was a corrodian at St. Osyth's, Chich, Essex.
    Hervey de Clare, Lord of Montmorency.[13]
    Walter de Clare, d. 1149.[14]
    Margaret de Clare, d. 1185, m. (ca. 1108), Sir William de Montfitchet, Lord of Stansted Mountfitchet.[15]
    Rohese de Clare, d. 1149, m. (ca. 1130), Baderon of Monmouth[16]


    Gilbert — Adeliza de Claremont. [Group Sheet]

  2. 9.  Adeliza de Claremont

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Adeliza de Breteuil

    1. 4. Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare was born 1092, Clare, Suffolk, England; died 15 Apr 1136, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales.
    2. Adeliza de Clare was born ~1093; died 0___ 1163.
    3. Agnes Clare was born ~ 1091, Clare, Suffolk, England; died 1115.
    4. Gilbert de Clare, Knight, 1st Earl of Pembroke was born ~ 1100, Tonbridge, Kent, England; died 6 Jan 1148.

  3. 10.  Ranulf Meschin, Knight, 1st Earl of Chester was born 0___ 1070, (Bayeux, Normandy, France); died 0Jan 1129, Cheshire, England; was buried Chester Abbey, Cheshire, England.

    Other Events:

    • Also Known As: Lord of Cumberland



    Family and origins

    Ranulf le Meschin's father and mother represented two different families of viscounts in Normandy, and both of them were strongly tied to Henry, son of William the Conqueror.[1] His father was Ranulf de Briquessart, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[2] Ranulf's father was viscount of the Bessin, the area around Bayeux.[3] Besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Ranulf the elder was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region of Normandy.[4] Ranulf le Meschin's great-grandmother may even have been from the ducal family of Normandy, as le Meschin's paternal great-grandfather viscount Anschitil is known to have married a daughter of Duke Richard III.[5]

    Ranulf le Meschin's mother, Margaret, was the daughter of Richard le Goz, Viscount of Avranches.[1] Richard's father Thurstan Goz had become viscount of the Hiâemois between 1017 and 1025,[6] while Richard himself became viscount of the Avranchin in either 1055 or 1056.[7] Her brother (Richard Goz's son) was Hugh d'Avranches "Lupus" ("the Wolf"), viscount of the Avranchin and Earl of Chester (from c. 1070).[8] Ranulf was thus, in addition to being heir to the Bessin, the nephew of one of Norman England's most powerful and prestigious families.[9]

    We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that Ranulf le Meschin had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[10] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[2]

    Early career

    Historian C. Warren Hollister thought that Ranulf's father Ranulf de Briquessart was one of the early close companions of Prince Henry, the future Henry I.[4] Hollister called Ranulf the Elder "a friend from Henry's youthful days in western Normandy",[11] and argued that the homeland of the two Ranulfs had been under Henry's overlordship since 1088, despite both ducal and royal authority lying with Henry's two brothers.[12] Hollister further suggested that Ranulf le Meschin may have had a role in persuading Robert Curthose to free Henry from captivity in 1089.[13]

    The date of Ranulf senior's death, and succession of Ranulf junior, is unclear, but the former's last and the latter's earliest appearance in extant historical records coincides, dating to 24 April 1089 in charter of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, to Bayeux Cathedral.[14] Ranulf le Meschin appears as "Ranulf son of Ranulf the viscount".[14]

    In the foundation charter of Chester Abbey granted by his uncle Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, and purportedly issued in 1093, Ranulf le Meschin is listed as a witness.[15] His attestation to this grant is written Signum Ranulfi nepotis comitis, "signature of Ranulf nephew of the earl".[16] However, the editor of the Chester comital charters, Geoffrey Barraclough, thought this charter was forged in the period of Earl Ranulf II.[17] Between 1098 and 1101 (probably in 1098) Ranulf became a major English landowner in his own right when he became the third husband of Lucy, heiress of the honour of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire.[18] This acquisition also brought him the lordship of Appleby in Westmorland, previously held by Lucy's second husband Ivo Taillebois.[2]

    Marriage to a great heiress came only with royal patronage, which in turn meant that Ranulf had to be respected and trusted by the king. Ranulf was probably, like his father, among the earliest and most loyal of Henry's followers, and was noted as such by Orderic Vitalis.[19] Ranulf was however not recorded often at the court of Henry I, and did not form part of the king's closest group of administrative advisers.[20] He witnessed charters only occasionally, though this became more frequent after he became earl.[21] In 1106 he is found serving as one of several justiciars at York hearing a case about the lordship of Ripon.[22] In 1116 he is recorded in a similar context.[2]

    Ranulf was, however, one of the king's military companions. When, soon after Whitsun 1101 Henry heard news of a planned invasion of England by his brother Robert Curthose, he sought promises from his subjects to defend the kingdom.[23] A letter to the men of Lincolnshire names Ranulf as one of four figures entrusted with collecting these oaths.[24] Ranulf was one of the magnates who accompanied King Henry on his invasion of Duke Robert's Norman territory in 1106.[25] Ranulf served under Henry as an officer of the royal household when the latter was on campaign; Ranulf was in fact one of his three commanders at the Battle of Tinchebrai.[26] The first line of Henry's force was led by Ranulf, the second (with the king) by Robert of Meulan, and third by William de Warrene, with another thousand knights from Brittany and Maine led by Helias, Count of Maine.[27] Ranulf's line consisted of the men of Bayeux, Avranches and Coutances.[28]

    Lord of Cumberland

    The gatehouse of Wetheral Priory, founded by Ranulf c. 1106.
    A charter issued in 1124 by David I, King of the Scots, to Robert I de Brus cited Ranulf's lordship of Carlisle and Cumberland as a model for Robert's new lordship in Annandale.[29] This is significant because Robert is known from other sources to have acted with semi-regal authority in this region.[2] A source from 1212 attests that the jurors of Cumberland remembered Ranulf as quondam dominus Cumberland ("sometime Lord of Cumberland").[30] Ranulf possessed the power and in some respects the dignity of a semi-independent earl in the region, though he lacked the formal status of being called such. A contemporary illustration of this authority comes from the records of Wetheral Priory, where Ranulf is found addressing his own sheriff, "Richer" (probably Richard de Boivill, baron of Kirklinton).[31] Indeed, no royal activity occurred in Cumberland or Westmorland during Ranulf's time in charge there, testimony to the fullness of his powers in the region.[32]

    Ivo Taillebois, when he married Ranulf's future wife Lucy, had acquired her Lincolnshire lands but sometime after 1086 he acquired estates in Kendal and elsewhere in Westmorland. Adjacent lands in Westmorland and Lancashire that had previously been controlled by Earl Tostig Godwinson were probably carved up between Roger the Poitevin and Ivo in the 1080s, a territorial division at least partially responsible for the later boundary between the two counties.[33] Norman lordship in the heartland of Cumberland can be dated from chronicle sources to around 1092, the year King William Rufus seized the region from its previous ruler, Dolfin.[34] There is inconclusive evidence that settlers from Ivo's Lincolnshire lands had come into Cumberland as a result.[35]

    Between 1094 and 1098 Lucy was married to Roger fitz Gerold de Roumare, and it is probable that this marriage was the king's way of transferring authority in the region to Roger fitz Gerold.[36] Only from 1106 however, well into the reign of Henry I, do we have certain evidence that this authority had come to Ranulf.[2] The "traditional view", held by the historian William Kapelle, was that Ranulf's authority in the region did not come about until 1106 or after, as a reward for participation in the Battle of Tinchebrai.[37] Another historian, Richard Sharpe, has recently attacked this view and argued that it probably came in or soon after 1098. Sharpe stressed that Lucy was the mechanism by which this authority changed hands, and pointed out that Ranulf had been married to Lucy years before Tinchebrai and can be found months before Tinchebrai taking evidence from county jurors at York (which may have been responsible for Cumbria at this point).[38]

    Ranulf likewise distributed land to the church, founding a Benedictine monastic house at Wetheral.[39] This he established as a daughter-house of St Mary's Abbey, York, a house that in turn had been generously endowed by Ivo Taillebois.[30] This had occurred by 1112, the year of the death of Abbot Stephen of St Mary's, named in the foundation deed.[40] In later times at least, the priory of Wetheral was dedicated to St Mary and the Holy Trinity, as well as another saint named Constantine.[41] Ranulf gave Wetheral, among other things, his two churches at Appleby, St Lawrences (Burgate) and St Michaels (Bongate).[42]

    As an incoming regional magnate Ranulf would be expected to distribute land to his own followers, and indeed the record of the jurors of Cumberland dating to 1212 claimed that Ranulf created two baronies in the region.[43] Ranulf's brother-in-law Robert de Trevers received the barony of Burgh-by-Sands, while the barony of Liddel went to Turgis Brandos.[30] He appears to have attempted to give the large compact barony of Gilsland to his brother William, but failed to dislodge the native lord, the eponymous "Gille" son of Boite; later the lordship of Allerdale (including Copeland), even larger than Gilsland stretching along the coast from the River Ellen to the River Esk, was given to William.[44] Kirklinton may have been given to Richard de Boivill, Ranulf's sheriff.[2]

    Earl of Chester

    Chester Cathedral today, originally Chester Abbey, where Ranulf's body was buried.
    1120 was a fateful year for both Henry I and Ranulf. Richard, earl of Chester, like Henry's son and heir William Adeling, died in the White Ship Disaster near Barfleur on 25 November.[2] Only four days before the disaster, Ranulf and his cousin Richard had witnessed a charter together at Cerisy.[2]

    Henry probably could not wait long to replace Richard, as the Welsh were resurgent under the charismatic leadership of Gruffudd ap Cynan. According to the Historia Regum, Richard's death prompted the Welsh to raid Cheshire, looting, killing, and burning two castles.[45] Perhaps because of his recognised military ability and social strength, because he was loyal and because he was the closest male relation to Earl Richard, Henry recognized Ranulf as Richard's successor to the county of Chester.[46]

    In 1123, Henry sent Ranulf to Normandy with a large number of knights and with his bastard son, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, to strengthen the garrisons there.[47] Ranulf commanded the king's garrison at âEvreux and governed the county of âEvreux during the 1123-1124 war with William Clito, Robert Curthose's son and heir.[48] In March 1124 Ranulf assisted in the capture of Waleran, Count of Meulan.[49] Scouts informed Ranulf that Waleran's forces were planning an expedition to Vatteville, and Ranulf planned an to intercept them, a plan carried out by Henry de Pommeroy, Odo Borleng and William de Pont-Authou, with 300 knights.[50] A battle followed, perhaps at Rougemontier (or Bourgthâeroulde), in which Waleran was captured.[51]

    Although Ranulf bore the title "earl of Chester", the honour (i.e., group of estates) which formed the holdings of the earl of Chester were scattered throughout England, and during the rule of his predecessors included the cantref of Tegeingl in Perfeddwlad in north-western Wales.[52] Around 1100, only a quarter of the value of the honour actually lay in Cheshire, which was one of England's poorest and least developed counties.[53] The estates elsewhere were probably given to the earls in compensation for Cheshire's poverty, in order to strengthen its vulnerable position on the Anglo-Welsh border.[54] The possibility of conquest and booty in Wales should have supplemented the lordship's wealth and attractiveness, but for much of Henry's reign the English king tried to keep the neighboring Welsh princes under his peace.[55]

    Ranulf's accession may have involved him giving up many of his other lands, including much of his wife's Lincolnshire lands as well as his lands in Cumbria, though direct evidence for this beyond convenient timing is lacking.[56] That Cumberland was given up at this point is likely, as King Henry visited Carlisle in December 1122, where, according to the Historia Regum, he ordered the strengthening of the castle.[57]

    Hollister believed that Ranulf offered the Bolingbroke lands to Henry in exchange for Henry's bestowal of the earldom.[13] The historian A. T. Thacker believed that Henry I forced Ranulf to give up most of the Bolingbroke lands through fear that Ranulf would become too powerful, dominating both Cheshire and the richer county of Lincoln.[58] Sharpe, however, suggested that Ranulf may have had to sell a great deal of land in order to pay the king for the county of Chester, though it could not have covered the whole fee, as Ranulf's son Ranulf de Gernon, when he succeeded his father to Chester in 1129, owed the king ¹1000 "from his father's debt for the land of Earl Hugh".[59] Hollister thought this debt was merely the normal feudal relief expected to be paid on a large honour, and suggested that Ranulf's partial non-payment, or Henry's forgiveness for non-payment, was a form of royal patronage.[60]

    Ranulf died in January 1129, and was buried in Chester Abbey.[2] He was survived by his wife and countess, Lucy, and succeeded by his son Ranulf de Gernon.[2] A daughter, Alicia, married Richard de Clare, a lord in the Anglo-Welsh marches.[2] One of his offspring, his fifth son, participated in the Siege of Lisbon, and for this aid was granted the Lordship of Azambuja by King Afonso I of Portugal.[2]

    That his career had some claim on the popular imagination may be inferred from lines in William Langland's Piers Plowman (c. 1362–c. 1386) in which Sloth, the lazy priest, confesses: "I kan [know] not parfitly [perfectly] my Paternoster as the preest it singeth,/ But I kan rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chestre."[61]


    Ranulf — Lucy of Bolingbroke. Lucy died 1138. [Group Sheet]

  4. 11.  Lucy of Bolingbroke died 1138.
    1. Ranulf de Gernon, II, Knight, 4th Earl of Chester was born 0___ 1099, Guernon Castle, Calvados, France; died 16 Dec 1153, Cheshire, England.
    2. 5. Alice de Gernon