Saturday, September 7, 2019

The seneschals of Gascony 1216 to 1366


The seneschals of Gascony 1216 to 1366

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

This listing of the seneschals of Gascony began many years ago with the idea of making a short biography on these individuals. Most of the seneschals for the period from 1216 to 1272 are from appendix IV of the Royal Letters of Henry III by Rev Walter Waddington Shirley (London, 1866) while others came from various sources. This piece was last updated on 30th October 2014 when I was distracted by other activities. In the meantime the world of the World Wide Web made a full listing of the seneschals of Gascony with a link to a biography on most of the individuals see = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneschal_of_Gascony


Reginald de Pontibus [to 22 December 1216] he resigned on 28 November 1216 but was still in office on 22 December. See Cal Doc Ire for more on this person

William, archbishop of Bordeaux [28 March 1217 – 7 May 1218]

Geoffrey Neville [8 May 1218 – November 1219] he was appointed in May 1218 and resigned in October or November 1219. He was not listed as being in office on 28 July 1220.

Philip de Ulecote [16 September 1220 – October 1220] he died in October 1220.

Hugh de Vivonia [4 January 1221 – 5 October 1221; 30 September 1231 – 23 May 1234] Hugh has occupied the job before he was formally appointed in January 1221 as a Patent Roll letter of 25 December 1220 styles him as seneschal. There is no end date for Hugh but his successor was appointed on 6 October 1221. Hugh second a second term after Henry de Trubbleville.

Savary de Mauleon [6 October 1221 – August 1224] he was in office on 2 August 1224 but later that month joined the king of France.

Richard, earl of Cornwall [23 March 1225 – October 1227] he was appointed by a special commission.

Henry de Trubbleville [19 October 1227 – 1 July 1231; 23 May 1234 – 1237; pre 28 November 1238 – pre 22 September 1241] he served three terms of office. His second successor was in office in September 1237 so Henry had to have left sometime in that year.
    In 1223 Henry received the escheated manor of Bradninch along with its honour in Devon worth £30 for his maintenance. In 1238 he was leader of a force of English knights assisting Frederick II at the siege of Brescia. Yet it was his service in Gascony which left him with large debts. In 1233 he granted Bradninch to Bernard Berenger, burgess of Pons for ten years but Henry’s bailiff continued to receive the issues until 1238. Henry died before 26 December 1239.  [Henry Summerson (ed.), Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre of 1238 (Devon & Cornwall Record Society, new series, vol. 28), no. 123]

Richard de Burgh [1 July 1231]: He was appointed in July 1231, but does not seem to have taken up the office. Hugh de Vivonia was appointed in successor to Trubbleville and not for Burgh.

Hubert Hoese [pre 7 September 1237 – pre 1 July 1238] He held office before he was formally appointed on 11 September 1237 and had vacated the job by July in the following year.

Rustan de Solers [22 September 1241 – 10 November 1242] He resigned in November 1242.

John Mansell [10 November 1242 – June 1244] He was appointed temporally in November 1242 and was only confirmed on 4 February 1243.

Nicolas de Molis [17 June 1244 – pre 13 July 1245] Nicolas had resigned before 13 July 1245. Nicholas first appears in 1230 when Henry III gave him the hundred manor of Diptford in Devon with the advowson of the church (value £10), along with Haytor and Stanborough hundreds (value £10) and holding all for half a knight’s fee. By 1249 Haytor hundred was valued at just 40s. At the Devon eyre of 1228 Henry was pardoned from money due to the crown and contributions to the county’s common fine. At the Devon eyre of 1238 Nicholas failed to appear or account for his warrant for the land. His son Roger also failed in 1281/2 to produce the warrant. His family had long held land in Devon with his ancestor Roger de Molis holding the manor of Teign George in 1086.
    Nicholas was sheriff of Devon between May 1234 and April 1236. At other times he was sheriff of Yorkshire and Hampshire along with warden of the Channel Islands. He carried one of the sceptres at the coronation of Queen Eleanor in 1236. [Henry Summerson (ed.), Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre of 1238 (Devon & Cornwall Record Society, new series, vol. 28), p. xlvii & nos. 596, 707, 749]

Map of Gascony by Zorian, circa 1150


William de Boell [16 July 1245 – 21 November 1247]

Drago de Barentyn [21 November 1247 – 7 September 1248; 18 March 1250 – 1255; pre 30 September 1260 – December 1260] he was appointed to succeed Boell as de Montfort was to succeed him.

Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester [7 September 1248 – March 1250]

Drago de Barentyn and Peter de Bordeaux [18 March 1250 – 1255] they were appointed joint seneschals in March 1250 and served for a period of time before Stephen Baucan took over in 1255.

Stephen Baucan [28 April 1255 – October 1255] He was appointed by Prince Edward.

Stephen Lungespee [23 October 1255 – December 1259] He was appointed in 1255 and was still in office in 1256, it is not clear if he stayed until 1259.

Bertrand de Cardaillac [22 December 1259 – September 1260] Bertnard was in office on 5 August 1260 while his successor was there by 30 September 1260. During that period he seems to be between jobs as he didn’t become first seneschal of Limoges until October the same year. Yet he wasn’t left in this job long as John de la Linde (Luidi) quickly succeeded him to Limoges.

John de Grelley [pre 10 January 1267 – post 5 March 1267]

Luke de Tony [5 June 1272 – no end date] He was appointed in June 1272 but we have not end date.

John de Haveringes, knight, seneschal of Gascony and constable of Bordeaux, (1306):
See pat rolls Edward 2 vol 1, p. 9

Guy Ferre, seneschal of Gascony (1308): see pat rolls Edward 2 vol 1, p. 83

John de Ferariis, seneschal of Gascony (1312): see pat rolls Edward 2 vol 1, p. 489

Anthony Pessaigne of Genoa: see more Gascony on this man at [cal patent rolls Edward 2, 1313-1317, p. 605] seneschal of Gascony in 1317 [cal patent rolls Edward 2, 1317-1321, p. 58] see more on this man at [Philomena Connolly (ed.), “List of Irish Entries on the Memoranda Rolls of the English Exchequer, 1307-27”, in Analecta Hibernica, no. 36 (1995), pp. 184, 189, 193, 196, 197]

William de Monte Acuto (Montagu): [1319] Sir William had been steward of the king’s household until the parliament of 1318 when he became the only important change of personal following Lancaster’s triumph. Bartholomew de Badlesmere took over his job as William was promoted to seneschal of Gascony. [14 century history page 55] He nominated Henry Beaufiz and John de Fayreford, parson of the church of Aston Clynton, to be his attorneys in England on his departure for Gascony in February 1319. [Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1317-1321, p. 311]
Paul Dryburgh & Brendan Smith, “Calendar of Ancient Deeds in the National Archives of the United Kingdom” in Analecta Hibernica, no. 39 (2006), pp. 58-59 = deeds between William Montagu, earl of Salisbury and Thomas earl of Norfolk

Sir Ralph Basset [1323] 14 century history page 109 = biography [George Edward Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom (Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1987), vol. ii, pp. 2, 3]

Oliver de Ingham [1335] Cal Pat Rolls, 1334-38, p. 123 protection for one year in England as he returns to Gascony after conferring with the king. As seneschal of Gascony he passed through Exeter in 1341-2 on his way to see the king. [Margery M. Rowe & John M. Draisey (eds.), The Receiver’s Accounts of the City of Exeter 1304-1353 (Devon & Cornwall Record Society, new series, vol. 32, 1989), p. 18] His daughter and co-heir (after 1349 sole heir), Joan married around 1351 Sir Miles de Stapleton of Bedale. Both were buried in Ingham priory as were some of their descendents. [George Edward Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom (Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1987), vol. v, p. 397] Biography on Oliver [George Edward Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom (Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1987), vol. vii, pp. 58-60]

Thomas Cock []: By 1351 Thomas was described as a former seneschal of Gascony and current secretary to Henry, duke of Lancaster. In August 1351 he petitioned successfully for a benefice in the gift of Eynsham abbey for his clerk, Thomas Osger. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 218]

Nicholas de la Beche [1344]: Nicholas and his wife Margaret asked for a plenary remission at the hour of death and which was granted in April 1344. The following month they got to choose their final confessor and the right to use a portable altar. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 48, 52]

John de Higham [1344]: In October 1344 he got a benefice in the diocese of Lichfield on the representation of Henry of Lancaster, earl of Derby. In April 1360 he got permission to exchange his church of St. Gregory, Norwich diocese with the church of Derford, Lincoln diocese. Yet by June 1364 John was worried about his position as he was never ordained a priest and so got a dispensation for this oversight. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 78, 315, 501]

May 1347 Exemplification, at the request of Vitalis de Glayrak of Bayonne, of letters patent under the seal then used by the king, dated 5 March, 14 Edward III, granting to him in fee a plot of land in the water of Bayonne, called the island of 'Balay,' by the church of St. Bernard, Bayonne, at the rent of 5s of money current there. By King
Mandate to the seneschal of Gascony and the constable of Bordeaux to cause livery of the land to be made him pursuant to the said letters patent. [Cal Pat Rolls Edward 3 vol 7, p. 538]

John de Chevereston: In July 1348 he was captain of Calais and got papal permission with Ralph, bishop of Bath and William de Littelton, precentor of Wells that their confessors may give plenary absolution at the hour of death. In May 1361 the king agreed to pay de Chevereston as seneschal of Gascony, the sum of 2,460 marks for bills and wages with instructions to Master John de Stretlee, constable of Bordeaux to raise the money from various sources within Gascony. [Calendar Patent Rolls, Edward III, vol. 12, p. 18]
By 1362 John was seneschal of Aquitaine and cousin of the king. In that year his domestic chaplain, John Michel successfully asked for the canon of Abergwily with expectation of a prebend notwithstanding that he already had the church of Wotesdon in Lincoln. In June 1363 he successfully asked that William de Courtenay be ordained a priest and to study law in school for five years. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 135, 389, 425]

Thomas de Wetenalle [1366]: He was seneschal of Rodez (Guienne) and lord of Hoddestown, Hertfordshire and of Althorpe, Northants in 1366 when he asked to build two chapels of ease in both places. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 522-4]


Thomas de Felton: In September 1363 Edward, prince of Aquitaine and Wales successfully asked that Thomas, steward of his household be given a portable altar with his wife Joan. By April 1364 he was seneschal of Aquitaine and was granted a portable altar, initially for only ten years but later for life. [W.H. Bliss (ed), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Petitions to the Pope, vol. I, 1342-1419 (London, 1896), pp. 452, 484, 524-5]

In April 1375 the exchequer treasurer found that £7,098 14s 5d was owed to Thomas as seneschal of Gascony. He was paid 2,000 marks in part payment along with various revenues from the wool trade in various North Sea ports until the sum of 8,000 marks was paid with the remaining 648 marks 13d from the customs of Boston and London. [Cal Patent Rolls, Edward III, 1374-77, p. 93]

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Poher family in the Stogursey charters


Poher family in the Stogursey charters

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
     
The village of Stogursey lies in undulating pasture land at the foot of the Quantock Hills, Somerset. Between 1100 and 1107 William de Falaise and Geva his wife gave the church of St. Andrew at Stoke and its tithes to the Benedictine Abbey of Lonlay, Normandy. The Abbey of Lonlay was founded by William de Bell√™me in 1026. The first mention of a religious community at Stogursey is in about 1120. From that time until 1295 the priory of Stogursey was a dependent house of Lonlay Abbey. At the start of war between England and France in 1295 such “alien priories” were taken into the king’s hand.[1]
     
The Stogursey charters and documents contain some important information relating to the families of FitzUrse, Courcey, Columbers, Regni and Poher.[2] This article will hope to put a family story to the often dry words of charters and such legal documents. The task is far from easy as the editors of the charters said that information on the family is not very considerable and their lands which they held in the Honour of Courcey are not easily identified.[3]
     
Along with other families from Somerset such as that of Cogan, de Marisco and Courcey, the family of Poher went to Ireland as part of the invasion and conquest of that country. Robert de Poher sailed to Ireland in 1172 and William his brother along with John son of Robert went over in 1186.[4]

The spelling of Poher and Power
     
In Ireland, as in Somerset, the family name of Poher was written variously as Poher, de la Poer and de la Pour before later settling down as Power. In the Stogursey charters we see the name of Power in use by the mid-fourteenth century. In September 1347 the prior of Stogursey made a lease for life to Sir Ralph de Myddelnee the tithes in the manor of Blakeford. Among the witnesses to this lease was Henry Power. Henry Power was elected Member of Parliament in 1332. He married Matilda de Gyverney and died in 1361. His only daughter and heir, Joan Power married William de Shareshull.[5] Having said the proceeding the spelling of the family name still had variants as Henry Powair senior was referred to in documents from 1350 while his seal used the spelling of Power.[6] This difference of spelling is not unusual as definite spelling of surnames did not come into existence until the seventeenth century. Walter Ralegh, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, spelt his own surname in various ways throughout his wife.

Nicholas le Poher
     
Sometime before 1189, possibly in 1186, Nicholas le Poher granted to St. Andrew of Stoke all the land which Theobald Carpenter held from him in Middleton. Among the witnesses to this grant was Joan the mother of Nicholas le Poher along with William le Poher and Philip le Poher. These lands are said to be in the place now known as Milton Podimore as they were still listed as owned by Stogursey Priory in 1505.[7]

Ralph le Poher
     
The Stogursey charters say that Ralph le Poher had two sons called William and Robert. Other sources say he had three sons, William, Robert and Roger.[8]

Stogursey Church of St. Andrew by Martin Southwood


William le Poher
     
On or before 1185 William le Poher, son of Ralph le Poher, confirmed the grant of 10s rent from Knaplock made by his brother Robert le Poher, senior, to the church of St. Andrew of Stokes. Knaplock Farm is in the parish of Cannington, some two miles east of Stogursey.[9] In 1185 William le Poher sailed to Ireland. William le Poher died sometime before 1204.[10] In 1172-3 William le Poher and Hugh Pincerna owed 9lbs from their property in Oxfordshire for the army of King Henry II crossing to Ireland.[11] In about 1184-1189 William le Poher granted land and tithes at Aghred and Tueos in Ireland to Stogursey priory.[12]

In 1200 William le Poher was a witness to an agreement between Meyler Fitz Henry and Fulk de Cantilupe whereby the Fulk leased land at Corkach in the fee of Hubrim in Ireland to Meyler for ten years.[13] In October 1200 William le Poher was at Gloucester to witness the grant of 40 carucates to Thomas, abbot of Glendalough.[14] By 1204 William le Poher was deceased.[15] But not before he left a son called John le Poher, ancestor of the le Poher family of Kells, Co. Kilkenny and Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford.[16]

Robert le Poher, senior

In 1172-3 Robert le Poher owed 10s from his property in Oxfordshire for the army of King Henry II crossing to Ireland.[17] Sometime before 1181 Robert Poher senior made a grant of 10s rent from Knaplock to the church of St. Andrew of Stokes.[18] Robert le Poher was killed in 1178 in a battle with the Irish in South Kildare.[19]

Robert le Poher, junior

In 1172 Robert le Poher junior sailed to Ireland. In about 1181 Robert le Poher junior confirmed the grant of his father, Robert le Poher of the 10s to St. Andrew’s and also confirmed the grant of 8d rent to same made by his brother, John le Poher.[20] In July 1221 Robert le Poher was informed that the king had replaced Geoffrey de Marisco as justiciar of Ireland by Henry, Archbishop of Dublin.[21] By 1228 Robert le Poher junior had died and was succeeded by his son John. In November 1228 Richard Duket and Henry de St. Florence gave the king 100 marks to have the right of marriage of John le Poher.[22] In April 1230 John le Poher made homage for his father’s property in Ireland.[23] By October 1249 John le Poher was dead and was briefly succeeded by his eldest son, Robert le Poher, but Robert died before October 1249 and the justiciar was instructed to find Robert’s brother and heir (John) to give custody to John Maunsel.[24] John le Poher was the ancestor of numerous Power families in medieval Waterford including the baron of Dunhill family.[25]

Roger le Poher
     
In 1175 Robert son of Alfred granted to the church of St. Andrew of Stokes his church of St. John of Holeford. This grant was witnessed by a number of Poher family members like Durand le Poher, William le Poher and Roger le Poher.[26]
     
This Roger le Poher was the third son of Ralph le Poher. In the 1170s Roger le Poher went to Ireland where he assisted in the invasion and colonisation. In 1177 Roger le Poher was said to have assisted John de Courcey at the battle of Down. In 1181 Hugh de Lacy made Roger a captain of Leighlin.[27] Roger le Poher was the ancestor of Poher families in Kilkenny and east Cork. A number of his descendants were sheriffs of Co. Waterford in the fourteenth century.[28]

John le Poher
    
Meanwhile back in 12th century England John le Poher was one of two sons of Robert le Poher, senior. In about 1180 John le Poher confirmed the grant made by his father, Robert, of 10s rent in Knaplock to the church of St. Andrew of Stokes. At the same time John added to his father’s grant by giving an additional rent of 8d to Stogursey. The grant was affixed with the seal of John de Poher which displayed a fleur de lys in its design.[29] The French heritage of the Poher family was something of high value to the family. This was in the days before King John lost Normandy and the Hundred Years War when the Anglo-Normans still considered themselves French first and English a distant third after Normandy.

Conclusion

The Poher family were a small landed family in 12th century Somerset but the Norman Invasion of Ireland in 1169 opened up an opportunity of advancement. The three brothers from Stogursey went on to hold extensive property in Ireland and their descendants are still numerous in that country today.

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[1] Tremlett, T.D. & Blakiston, N. (eds.), Stogursey Charters: charters and other documents relating to the property of the alien priory of Stogursey, Somerset, now belonging to Eton College (Somerset Record Society, Vol. LXI, 1949), pp. ix, xi, xiii, xiv
[2] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, p. xviii
[3] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, p. xx
[4] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, p. xx
[5] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 63
[6] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 66
[7] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, p. xx, nos. 18, 170
[8] Parker, C., ‘Paterfamilias and parentela: The le Poer lineage in fourteenth-century Waterford’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 95C (1995), pp. 93-117, at p. 95
[9] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 13
[10] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 13
[11] Sweetman, H.S. (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland (London, 1875, reprint Liechtenstein, 1974), vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 41
[12] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 51 (21)
[13] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 129
[14] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 132
[15] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 13
[16] Parker, C., ‘Paterfamilias and parentela: The le Poer lineage in fourteenth-century Waterford’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 95C (1995), pp. 93-117, at p. 95
[17] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 41
[18] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 15
[19] Parker, C., ‘Paterfamilias and parentela: The le Poer lineage in fourteenth-century Waterford’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 95C (1995), pp. 93-117, at p. 95
[20] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 15 accessed on 17th April 2013
[21] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 1001
[22] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 1635
[23] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 1786
[24] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 3014
[25] Parker, C., ‘Paterfamilias and parentela: The le Poer lineage in fourteenth-century Waterford’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 95C (1995), pp. 93-117, at p. 95
[26] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 12
[27] Orpen, G.H., Ireland under the Normans (Dublin, 2005), Vol. II, p. 12
[28] Parker, C., ‘Paterfamilias and parentela: The le Poer lineage in fourteenth-century Waterford’, in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 95C (1995), pp. 93-117, at p. 95
[29] Tremlett & Blakiston (eds.), Stogursey Charters, no. 14