Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Roger fitz Reinfrid: His Family and Connections

Roger son of Reinfrid and his brother magister Walter de Coutances first appear in the household of king Henry II around 1170. Roger as a royal servant and later justiciar and Walter as a king’s clerk, later bishop of Lincoln and archbishop of Rouen. Most sources state that they were from Cornwall, based on a statement of Gerald of Wales that Walter de Coutances was born in Cornwall, of a noble British house, a descendant of Corineus, the fabulous Trojan immigrant. [1] However, Gallia Christiana contains an account that Walter stated at the Council of Rouen (1191?) that he was born at “Pommerayus” in Normandy (probably Saint-Sauveur-la-Pommeraye in Bas Normandie, about 10 miles south of Coutances) of a Breton family, the son of Reinfrid and his wife Gonilla. [2] This seems a more likely origin for the family than that given by Gerald of Wales.

As well as his brother Walter de Coutances, Roger also had brothers named Joscelin and Edward. Roger, Joscelin and Edward witnessed a grant to Lewes priory in Sussex. [3] Edward witnessed a charter of Reading abbey together with Roger. [4] He also had a sister who married Baldwin son of Gervase. Their son Robert between 1174 and 1184, returned to Tavistock abbey land in Passeford which had been extorted from the abbey through the power and pressure of his uncles Roger fitz Reinfrid and Walter de Coutances, keeper of the royal seal. [5]

Roger fitz Reinfrid is said to have been a protégé of Richard de Lucy and may have entered his service in the 1160’s. He was probably in royal service before Michaelmas 1169. [6] He was employed from 1170 to 1174 with Richard de Lucy in the administration of Windsor. [7] In July 1175, Henry II confirmed to Roger fitz Reinfrid a soke in London given to him by Earl Simon (de St. Liz, III) of Huntingdon. [8] A case in the Curia Regis in 1204, shows that Roger exchanged land in Toft and Menthorpe, Lincolnshire with Earl Simon and Alice de Gant his wife in exchange for three parts of a knight’s fee in Sutton and Beckingham, Lincolnshire and that Roger also held land in Holme, Lincolnshire granted to him by Robert de Gant. [9]

Roger was sheriff of Sussex from Michaelmas 1176 to March 1187 and sheriff of Berkshire in 1188. [10] In January 1176, he was appointed as a justice itinerant in Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. [11]  By 1181, he was one of the regular justices sitting at Westminster. In March 1182, he was one of the witnesses to the will of Henry II, together with his brother Walter de Coutances, archdeacon of Oxford. [12] He continued to be a justice in eyre throughout the reign of Henry II and into the reign of Richard I. [13] Roger died before Michaelmas 1196 when Reinfrid son of Roger occurs as his father’s heir. [14]

Dugdale [15] says that Roger fitz Reinfrid married Rohese, daughter of William de Roumare and widow of Gilbert de Gant who died in 1256, [16] based solely on the fact that Roger fitz Reinfrid confirmed Gilbert de Gant’s gift of land in Menthorpe, Lincolnshire to Vaudey Abbey. [17] Dugdale was wrong in every respect, since Rohese was the daughter of Gilbert fitz Richard de Clare and after the death of Gilbert de Gant she married Robert fitz Robert fitz Fulk, the ‘sewer’ of William de Percy. [18] As shown above, Roger fitz Reinfrid was a tenant of Gant land in Menthorpe and it was probably in this capacity that he confirmed the land to Vaudey.

Between 1175 and 1186, Roger son of Reinfrid granted to the church of St. Mary Clerkenwell and the nuns serving there, the land which he held of the fee of Roger de Munchesney in Dunmow, Essex, in pure alms for his soul and for Alice his wife, his ancestors and descendants, for the service of one twelfth of a knight's fee. His wife Alice and Margaret her mother were to be received as nuns, if they wish, and are to be buried in the nunnery. After his death, service is to be made for them and him as if for the nuns. [19]

The identity of Robert fitz Reinfrid’s wife Alice is revealed in a case in the Curia Regis in 1211, concerning land in Ramsden, Essex, between Richard de Clare and his wife Alina, widow of Reinfrid fitz Roger fitz Reinfrid and Richard de Bellhus. Richard called Ralph de Bruer to warrant the dower of Alina as brother and heir of Reinfrid. Ralph said that the land was the maritagium of Alice his mother given to her by Ralph Britone, his uncle, and after the death of her husband Roger, she had given it to Reinfrid her son. [20]

From this statement is can be reasoned that the mother of Reinfrid fitz Roger fitz Reinfrid and his brother Ralph was Alice and that she had a brother, or brother-in-law, named Ralph Britone, the uncle of Reinfrid and Ralph.

This Ralph Britone is normally known as Ralph Brito, a king’s justiciar who died early in 1186. [21] Ralph Brito married firstly Maud, daughter of Jordan de Bricett and his wife Muriel de Mounteny, and great-granddaughter of Richard de Lucy [22] and, secondly a sister of Gilbert Foliot, bishop of Herford and later of London. [23] It appears that Alice wife of Roger fitz Reinfrid was also a sister of the bishop. However, the bishop’s mother was Agnes de Chesney, and Alice’s mother was named Margaret. This means that Robert Foliot I, (died about 1155) father of bishop Gilbert Foliot had second wife named Margaret. Between December 1148 and 1150, Robert Foliot and his wife Margaret granted to St. Peter of Westminster and the monks, the manor of Sulby, Northamtonshire, to hold for the service of one knight, as they rendered to the grantors' predecessors, in the reign of Henry I. [24] The editors of Westminster Abbey Charters considered that Robert Foliot II and his wife Margery de Raimbeaucourt made this deed, but according to Dugdale, they did not marry until about 1168.

Through his marriage to Gilbert Foliot’s sister, Roger fitz Reinfrid became linked to several influential families, including that of Ralph Brito, another protégé of Richard de Lucy. Roger witnessed several charters of a kinsman of the bishop, Henry Foliot, and Lecia de Bricett his wife to St. Mary Clerkenwell. [25] According to testimony given in the Curia Regis in 1211, Roger was granted land in Ramsden, Essex by Gilbert Foliot, bishop of London. [26] The land which Roger held in Holme, Beckingham and Sutton, Lincolnshire also appears to have been granted to him by Gilbert Foliot’s brother Elias. [27] His son Ralph quitclaimed it in 1229 to Christian Ledet, whose mother was Margery daughter of Richard Foliot, son of the bishop’s brother Robert (II). [28]

Roger fitz Reinfrid and his wife Alice Foliot had at least four sons: -

(i) Reinfrid, son and heir, known as Reinfrid de Bruer (or de la Bruer). He married Alina, daughter of Geoffrey fitz Baldwin. He died s.p. about 1208. His widow married secondly Richard de Clare and thirdly Hugh de Clayhill who died in 1221. [29]
(ii) Ralph, known as Ralph de Bruer, heir of his brother Reinfrid. In 1227, he granted his demesne lands in the manor of Edenham, Lincolnshire to the abbey of Vaudey. [30] He was living in April 1229 when he quitclaimed to Henry de Braybrook and Christian Ledet his wife, land in Holme, Beckingham and Sutton, Lincolnshire, and the advowson of Beckingham. [31]
(iii) Gilbert fitz Roger, also known as Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, who married between 1185 and 1189, Helewise, daughter of William de Lancaster and became lord of Kentdale in Westmorland. [32] He died shortly before 6 May 1220.[33]
(iv) William fitz Roger, canon of Lincoln and archdeacon of Rouen, also known as William de Coutances. After 1196, William son of Roger, archdeacon of Rouen and Gilbert his brother witnessed a charter by their brother Reinfrid to St. Mary, Clerkenwell. [34]

[1] J. S. Brewer, et al, ed., Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, vol. 7: Vita S. Remigii, et Vita S. Hugonis (1877), 38: "Walterus, de Constanciis dictus, sed revera de Cornei domo Cornubiage natus, et nobili Britonum gente ac Trojana stirpe originaliter proagatus."
[2] Gallia Christiana, vol. 11 (Paris, 1759), 51: "Walterius (de Coutances): Patre Rainfredo natus Walterius, et matre Gonilla, quam ex regio genti suae genere prognatum ferunt, ait Pommerayus Concil. Rotomag., natione Britannus erat, ex eodem Pommerayo ibidem et Sammarthanis, quanquam Constancia, cujus agnomen habuit, urbs est non Britanniae, sed Normanniae."
[3] G. F. Ducket, "Additional Materials Towards the History of St Pancras at Lewes," Sussex Archaeological Collections, 35 (1887), 119.
[4] Patricia M. Barnes and C. F. Slade, eds., A Medieval Miscellany for Doris Mary Stenton, Pipe Roll Society, New Series, vol. 36 (1960), 242.
[5] William Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. 2 (1846), 499, Tavistock Monastery, Num. XI.
[6] R. W. Eyton, Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II (1878), 130.
[7] Pipe Rolls, 18 Henry II, 17; 20 Henry II, 9, 116, 117.
[8] G. F. Warner and H. J. Ellis, eds., Facsimiles of Royal and Other Charters in the British Museum, vol. 1 (1903), 54.
[9] Placitorum in Domo Capitulari Westmonasteriensi Asservatorum Abbreviatio, Record Commission (1811), 48b.
[10] Thirty-First Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records (1870), 263, 347.
[11] R. W. Eyton, Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II (1878), 199.
[12] William Stubbs, ed., The Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I by Gervase the Monk of Canterbury, vol. 1 (1879), 298.
[13] J. Horace Round, ed., Calendar of Documents Preserved in France 918-1206 (1899), 150, no. 444.
[14] D. M. Stenton, ed., The Chancellors's Roll for the eighth year of the Reign of King Richard the First, Pipe Roll Society, vol. 45, New Series, 7 (1930), 7.
[15] William Dugdale, The Baronage of England, vol. 1 (1675), 400.
[16] Thomas Stapleton, ed., Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normaniae sub Regibus Angliae, vol. 2, Society of Antiquaries of London (1844), Observations, clvi.
[17] William Dugdale, Monsasticon Anglicanum, vol. 5 (1846), 490, Num. III.
[18] Complete Peerage, vol. 7 (1929), 673.
[19] W. O. Hassall, ed., Cartulary of St. Mary Clerkenwell, Camden Third Series, 71 (1949), 70, no. 105.
[20] Placitorum in Domo Capitulari Westmonasteriensi Asservatorum Abbreviatio, Record Commission (1811), 82b.
[21] The Great Roll of the Pipe for the Thirty-Third Year of King Henry the Second: 1186-1187, Pipe Roll Society, 37 (1915), xxxiv.
[22] R. Bevan and P. Dale, "A Rose by Any Other Name: Another Daughter of Richard de Lucy," Foundations, vol. 6 (2014), 28.
[23] Adrian Morey and C. N. L. Brooke, eds, Gilbert Foliot and his Letters (1965), 33.
[24] Emma Mason, Jennifer Bray, eds., Westminster Abbey Charters, 1066-c.1214, London Record Society (1988), no. 479.
[25] W. O. Hassall, ed., Cartulary of St. Mary Clerkenwell, Camden Third Series, 71 (1949), nos. 56, 63, 72, 82.
[26] Placitorum in Domo Capitulari Westmonasteriensi Asservatorum Abbreviatio, Record Commission (1811), 82b.
[27] G. Wrottesley, Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls (1905), 525.
[28] W. O. Massingberd, ed., Abstracts of Final Concords, vol. 1, Lincoln Records (1896), 223.
[29] Michael Gervers, ed., The Cartulary of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in England: Secunda camera, Essex (1982), 536, 547, 549.
[30] Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. 1, Henry III: 1226-1257 (1903), 50.
[31] W. O. Massingberd, ed., Abstracts of Final Concords, vol. 1, Lincoln Records (1896), 223.
[32] William Farrer, ed., The Lancashire Pipe Rolls also Early Lancashire Charters (1902), 395
[33] Calendar of Fine Rolls 4 Henry III, No. 141.
[34] W. O. Hassall, ed., Cartulary of St. Mary Clerkenwell, Camden Third Series, 71 (1949), 69, no. 104.

1 comment:

  1. You have stated "Ralph Brito married firstly Maud, daughter of Jordan de Bricett and his wife Muriel de Mounteny." He NEVER married Maud as she was the wife of Henry Foliot. In some sources it states that Jordan & Muriel's daughter Lecia married Henry Foliot.