GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-04 > 1019974818
From: (Douglas Richardson)
Subject: Re: Complete Peerage Correction - Mary countess of Norfolk
Date: 27 Apr 2002 23:20:18 -0700
Dear Paul ~
Thank you for your good post.
During the long discussion on the newsgroup regarding Diana Skipwith,
wife of Major Edward Dale, of Virginia, the tradition of high born
women using their maiden name after marriage was addressed. While
one normally finds this custom more common in earlier generations, it
prevailed in isolated instances as late as the 1600's, as with Diana
Skipwith (the daughter and sister of a baronet) and Dame Audrey
Milward. Medieval women are also known to have adopted the surname of
their first husband, as with Elizabeth de Clare (who was known as
Elizabeth de Burgh) and Maud de Ferrers (who was known as Maud de
Kyme). In still earlier medieval periods, women are known to have
adopted the maiden names of their high born mothers, as with Alice de
Senlis, wife of Roger de Huntingfield.
Given the two pieces of evidence you cite, it seems clear that de
Brewes was in fact Countess Mary's maiden name and that she was the
blood sister of Thomas de Brewes, of Tetbury, co. Gloucester.
Countess Mary was presumably named for her paternal grandmother, Mary
de Roos, 3rd wife of William de Brewes, Knt., Baron of Bramber,
Sussex, whose history as you note has been confused with that of her
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah
(Paul Davis) wrote in message news:<>...
> This is a proposed correction to Complete Peerage in regard
> to Mary, second wife of Thomas of Brotherton.
> This matter was first brought to the attention of
> Gen-Medieval, to my knowledge, by Paul Mackenzie, on 1997 Jan
> 28, who expressed it as a matter of interest, and cited primary
> sources, but did not take the step of calling it a correction to
> Complete Peerage.
> CURRENT COMPLETE PEERAGE
> "The Complete Peerage", volume IX (Moels to Nuneham), 1936,
> under Norfolk, on page 598, says of Thomas of Brotherton: "He
> m., 2ndly, Mary, widow of Sir Ralph de Cobham [Lord Cobham, d.
> Feb. 1325/6], sister of Sir Thomas de Brewes (or Brewose) [Lord
> Brewes], and da. of Sir Piers de Brewes, of Tetbury.(g)" and the
> footnote reads: "(g) Cal. Inq. p. m., vol. viii, no 529 (p.
> 377); Cott. MS., Jul., C vii, fo. 174."
> Volume XIV (Addenda & Corrigenda) makes no change to this.
> For reference, volume III (Canonteign to Cutts), 1913, under
> Cobham, on page 338, says of Sir Ralph de Cobham: "He m. Mary."
> and "His widow m., as 2nd wife, Thomas (of Brotherton), Earl of
> Norfolk and Marshal of England." but makes no reference to any
> family of origin for her.
> CONTEMPORARY SOURCES
> The Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, volume 8, item 529,
> beginning on page 374, is for Oliver de Ingham. The relevant
> paragraph, dated 9 March, 18 Edward III (1344/5), is on page 377
> and reads, in part: "Endorsed that Thomas de Brewes, brother of
> Mary countess of Norfolk, guardian of Mary daughter of John
> Curzoun, kinswoman and one of the heirs of the said Oliver ..."
> Mary's own IPM is in volume 11, item 397, beginning on page
> 305. It mostly deals with lands held in dower from Thomas of
> Brotherton. One paragraph, dated Wednesday before St. Margaret,
> 36 Edward III (1362/3), on page 307, refers to her with a
> surname, and reads, in part: "Thomas, being seised thereof,
> married a certain Alice, by whom he had two daughters Margaret
> and Alice, of whom Margaret was married to Walter de Maunny and
> Alice to Edward de Monte Acuto. Edward and Alice had a daughter
> Joan, who was married to William de Ufford. Alice wife of
> Thomas died, and after her death Thomas married Mary de Brewes
> as his second wife, and afterwards gave the castle and manor &c.
> to the present king, who gave them to Thomas and Mary and the
> heirs of the body of Thomas, with reversion in default of such
> heirs to himself and his heirs. Thomas died without issue by
> the said Mary."
> The IPM of Oliver de Ingham, since it does not concern the
> inheritance of Thomas de Brewes or Mary countess of Norfolk,
> would be unlikely to suffer from a dishonest motive, but there
> is also no reason to assume "brother" means full brother, as
> opposed to half brother, step brother, or brother in law (to use
> the modern terms). The Thomas de Brewes was evidently alive at
> the time, as was the Thomas de Brewes, son of Sir Piers de
> Brewes of Tetbury. I cannot presently eliminate the possibility
> that the Thomas de Brewes related to Mary countess of Norfolk
> was of some other branch of the family, however.
> The reference to "Mary de Brewes" in her own IPM, I find
> peculiar. I would have expected it to say "Mary, late the wife
> of Ralph de Cobham", or "Mary, daughter of Sir Piers de
> Brewes". I don't believe I have seen, in any other IPM, a
> reference to a widow by her maiden name, though I have not done
> any sort of extensive survey. I would hypothesize that the "de
> Brewes" is a supposition by the scribe, based on knowledge of
> the previous IPM. Since this is Mary's own IPM, she could not
> be queried on her family of origin, and it might not have been
> generally known.
> I believe the state of our knowledge would be best
> represented by correcting the first quote to read something like
> "He m., 2ndly Mary, widow of Sir Ralph de Cobham [...], sister
> (in some sense of the word) or a Thomas de Brewes, who may have
> been the Sir Thomas de Brewes (...) [...] who was son of Sir
> Piers de Brewes, of Tetbury."
> FURTHER COMMENTARY
> I find it surprising there is not more solid information on
> the origin of a woman as important and highly placed as this
> The most natural interpretation of the contemporary sources
> would be that Mary, after Ralph de Cobham's death, married the
> brother of a Thomas de Brewes, who died before she married
> Thomas of Brotherton. I find no indication of any brother of
> the Thomas de Brewes identified above who could have been this
> Some older sources identify this Mary as Mary de Ros, widow
> of William de Brewes father of the Sir Piers de Brewes
> identified above. This is impossible. This latter Mary's IPM
> is also known. Nevertheless, some contemporary databases give
> the surname "de Ros" to a Mary listed as daughter of Piers de
> Brewes and wife of Ralph de Cobham and/or Thomas of Brotherton!
> I have seen reference to a branch of the de Braose (however
> spelled) family, which was "of Norfolk". I have not searched
> for further information on them, but they would be more natural
> for the relatives of a countess of Norfolk than Sir Piers'
> branch, whose lands were in Sussex, Gloucestershire, and the
> marches of Wales.
> I would welcome any further contemporary sources, any
> assistance in better interpreting the contemporary sources, or
> any improved analyses.
> - PKD [Paul K Davis - ]
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