Origin and early history of the Mandeville family
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
The family of de Mandeville came from the town of Magneville (Manche Department) in the Cotentin Peninsula in Western Normandy. On the other side of the Duchy the town of Manneville in Normandy, near Rouen is also a candidate for the family name. It is not clear when members of the family came to England after the conquest of 1066. Certainly Geoffrey de Mandeville had acquired considerable estates there by the time of the Doomsday Survey of 1086. In Buckinghamshire, Geoffrey had temporary occupied part of the manor of Bertram de Verdun, ancestor of the
Verdun family of .
Geoffrey’s son, William was for a time constable of the County Louth
as was the latter’s son, Geoffrey. A
seventeenth century scribe, Thomas Gerard, says that William had two other
sons; Walter who had no issue, and Gilbert de Mandeville. The descendants of
Gilbert, as described by Gerard, conflict with another de Mandeville family of
County Somerset whose descendants can be established from various documents. Tower of London
Arms of Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex
Geoffrey II fought with King Stephen against the Empress Matilda in the civil war of circa 1140. Geoffrey was created Earl of Essex in February 1141 by Stephen and this was confirmed by Matilda in June. He married Rohese de Vere, sister of Aubrey de Vere, first Earl of Oxford. The couple had three sons. The eldest son, Ernulf, was disinherited and exiled for backing King Stephen in the late war. By 1156 he had managed to acquire land at Highworth, Wiltshire. In 1218 another Ernulf de Mandeville in Essex was in debt by £300 to William de St. Michael. Ernulf’s grandson or great-grandson, Ralph de Mandeville held the manor of Highworth in 1280 and his son, Thomas succeeded. This family produced many additional branches.
Geoffrey’s second son, Geoffrey III became second Earl of Essex and was succeeded in 1166 by his younger brother William as third Earl. William was active in the court of Henry II and witnessed many royal deeds including the granted of the abbey and lands of Mellifont to the monks there c.1177. In that year he went on crusade to the Holy Land and returned to become chief justiciar of
under Richard I. William died without issue in 1189.
The Earldom of Essex passed to his kinsman, Geoffrey Fitz Peter (died 1213),
grandson of Beatrice de Mandeville, William’s aunt. Two of Geoffrey’s sons
succeeded to the Earldom and both took the name of de Mandeville.
The eldest son, Geoffrey and fifth Earl (died 1216), married Isabella, Countess of Gloucester as her second husband. She was a former Queen of England as wife of King John. Her ex had arranged the marriage so as to extract a large fine from his former wife’s property. Geoffrey’s brother, William, became sixth Earl and died in 1227 after which time his nephew, Humphrey de Bohun (2nd Earl of Hereford), became Earl of Essex in a new creation. It is interesting to note that Robert Devereux (died 1601), Lord Lieutenant of
and second Earl of Essex of a new creation, was a fourteenth generation
descendent from Humphrey.
Other records say that in 1263-4 Nigel de Mandeville held a quarter knight’s fee at Sautre and Pappeworth in Huntingdon of the honour of Lovethot and a half fee of the king. At Suho in Huntingdon John de Mandeville held a third fee with reversion to the Earl of Gloucester. In 1271-2 Richard de Mandeville held a third part of Swaneburn mills in Sussex with his wife Maud as her dower lands.
In about 1100 another de Mandeville family came to England in the form of two brothers; Geoffrey and Roger. They travelled in the company of their feudal lord, Richard de Redvers as followers of Prince Henry, youngest son of William the Conquer, when Henry seized the throne of
to become Henry I. Geoffrey got land in Dorset and on the Isle of Wight from
the Redvers family and died c.1119. He had two sons; Ralph and Robert. The
latter’s great great-grandson; Geoffrey de Mandeville, held land in Devon,
Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset
at his death in 1269. His great-grandson, Robert de Mandeville was outlawed in
1307 and lost most of his estates.
The second brother, Roger de Mandeville received lands in Devon from the Redvers family and the manor of Erlstoke in Somerset from King Henry I, along with other property in that county. His son Stephen de Mandeville fought for the Empress Matilda in the civil war and against his kinsman, the Earl of Essex. Between 1141 and 1155 Stephen consented to a grant by the widow of Robert de Mandeville and her son, Geoffrey, of land in
Normandy to Montebourg Abbey.
Among a selection of other people called de Mandeville who operated in the south-west of England in the 12th and 13th century include; Hugh de Mandeville owner of Luccombe manor, Isle of Wight. He was the father of Simon who was prior of Quarr Abbey and gave property in
Somerset to Savigny Abbey
c.1155-61. Roger de Mandeville gave Devon land
to Launceston Priory with the consent of his daughter and heir, Sybil in 1162.
Peter de Mandeville witness a number of Devon charters between 1173 and 1191,
while Roger de Mandeville witnessed an Isle of Wight
charter around 1192. In
about 1270 John de Mandeville was lord of Assebyr, Hele and Sprey in Devonshire
which he held from Isabel, Countess of Albemarle.
A number of people bearing the Mandeville name crossed over to Ireland and an account of their activities came be found at http://celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/2014/08/biographies-of-some-of-de-mandeville.html
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(Kraus reprint, 1974), vol. 1 (1171-1251), no. 50 Ireland
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 Hepworth, W., ‘Geoffrey Fitz Peter’ in the old D.N.B., vol. 7, pp. 192-4. Beatrice’s husband was William de Say. It’s possible that the John de Say, sheriff of Tweskard in Ulster, c.1282 and friend of the de Mandeville family there, was a relation.
 Sharp, M. (ed.), Accounts of the Constables of Bristol Castle [
Record Society], vol. 34 (1982), p. 75, note 19 Bristol
 Sharp. J.E.E.S. (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. 1, Henry III (Liechtenstein, 1973), nos. 530 (p. 161), 812 (p. 279)
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 Bearman (ed.), Charters of the Redvers family [D. & C. Rec. Soc.], new series, vol. 37 (1994), pp. 67, 88-9, 112, 189; Hull, P.L. (ed.), The Cartulary of Launceston Priory [D. & C. Rec. Soc.], new series, vol. 30 (1987), nos. 74-5
 Landon, L. (ed.), Somersetshire Pleas (41st Henry III to the end of his reign), volume II (Somerset Record Society, Vol. 36, 1923), pp. 118, 125
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