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From: "Chris Phillips" <>
Subject: Felton/Faucomberge: Part 1: The sons of Isabel of Fife
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 12:37:34 +0100


I've been doing a little more searching on the Feltons and Faucomberges.

As we have roughly three interlinked problems (two of them related to
Complete Peerage corrections/additions), I've split this message into three.

To recap, we know that John de Felton of Edlingham (d. 1396) was the son of
William de Felton (d. 1358) by his wife Isabel who was living in June 1344.
We also know that William de Felton's widow Isabel was the daughter and heir
of Duncan, earl of Fife, and that in 1351 William and Isabel had petitioned
in the Pope for a benefice for their son Duncan; clearly this Isabel was
Isabel of Fife, particularly as it's implied she is a cousin of the king, as
Isabel of Fife was. Unless one thinks such a petition could be made on
behalf of a child aged 6 or so, it's clear that the Isabel of 1344, John's
mother, was also Isabel of Fife.

Another piece of evidence supporting the same conclusion is this. In the
inquisition post mortem of William (d. 1358) appears the manor of "Heddon"
[Blackheddon in Stamfordham], "held jointly with Isabel his wife, who
survives, to them and the heirs of their bodies". The Isabel who survived
was certainly Isabel of Fife. It is not specified what was to happen if
William and Isabel had no heirs, but the same manor was held by William's
son John at his death in 1396 and John's son John at his in 1403. It's
difficult to see how this could be so if John (d. 1396) wasn't the son of
Isabel of Fife - the legal heirs of William (d. 1358) were the sisters of
the son of his first marriage, and they did attempt to claim other lands
from John, which had passed to him from his half-brother because of an
entail.

What makes it seem strange that John could be the son of Isabel of Fife is
the fact that in 1371 she resigned the earldom of Fife to Robert, Earl of
Menteith, and named him as her "heir apparent", mentioning an entail made by
her father Duncan to Alan, Earl of Menteith (grandfather of Robert's wife
Margaret) and another entail made by Isabel, and her 2nd husband Walter
Stewart, to Robert. (Unfortunately the details of these entails are not
recited.) Apparently for this reason, the Complete Peerage assumes Isabel
died without issue.

Isabel's second husband Walter was dead by January 1362/3, so Isabel's and
Walter's entail in favour of Robert must have been made before that date. At
that time, John de Felton, to all appearances her son, was living. Not only
that, but her son Duncan was also apparently alive. On 12 November 1367, a
licence to pass beyond seas was issued to Duncan de Felton, from
Southampton, Dartmouth or Plymouth, to Prince Edward in Gascony, with 8
horsemen and 40[pounds] for his expenses [Calendar of Patent Rolls 1367-70,
p.56]. (I presume the name Duncan was rare enough in England at the time
that we can safely assume this is the same man.)

There seems little doubt that Isabel had children living in England when she
signed over her Scottish inheritance to the Earl of Menteith and others.
Although she had managed to regain temporarily the earldom that had been
granted to William Ramsay during her marriage to William de Felton,
presumably it would have been unacceptable to transmit it to Felton's son.

As well as her sons William and Duncan de Felton, she seems to have had a
daughter, too - Joan, the wife of Walter Faucomberge (see the next part).

Chris Phillips










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