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From: "R Phair" <>
Subject: Beaumont-Toeni marriage date reconsidered
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 02:43:49 +0000


The marriage of Ralph de Toeni V and Margaret, daughter of Robert II
earl of Leicester (d. 1168) was said to have occurred after 1155 in the
Leicester CP article by Moriarty et al.[1]. That date now seems
unlikely
in view of the subsequent re-evaluation of the dating of the charter
used by Moriarty. The marriage may have occurred much earlier, but that
is not certain.

Moriarty cited two sources: "Chronique de Robert de Torigni" (ed. L.
Delisle, 1872-3), 1:539, and CDF no. 1062. The slightly later Rolls
Series edition of the chronicle under 1162 has Ralph de Toeni died,
leaving a little son by a daughter (not named) of the earl of Leicester
[3,10]. It had no further information about the marriage.

The other record was the foundation charter of Robert II earl of
Leicester for the nunnery at Eaton (Nuneaton), Warwickshire, which was
dated by Round as c.1155-1159 [4]. It was issued after the death of
earl Simon de St. Liz II in 1153 [5].

The witnesses included Isabel countess of Northampton, Hawise countess
of Gloucester, and his daughter Margaret. Isabel was described within
the charter as his daughter; earl Simon (de St. Liz III) was identified
in it as her son and he was a witness. Hawise is known to have been
another daughter [6]; her husband was also a witness. Margaret was
listed last of the daughters (as she lacked their comital rank) and
without a surname. Her husband, if she was then married, was not a
witness. Moriarty concluded, not unreasonably, that Margaret was not
married when the charter was issued. However he did not make use of the
record which showed she was born c.1125, and thus somewhat older than
might be expected if she had married for the first time in 1155 or
later [7,10].

More recently Crouch examined the charter and revised its dating to
1160-3, based on the appearance among the witnesses of Hugh Barre who
does not occur in earl Robert's charters before 1159 [8]. This new
dating introduces the possibility that Margaret was a widow, rather
than never-married, when her father issued the charter.

Unfortunately Musset did not estimate the marriage date in his study of
the Toeni family [9]. Crouch suggested they may have married in 1138
as part of a peace agreement concluding the private war between earl
Robert and Ralph's father Roger de Toeni III [8,1], analogous to the
explanation for the marriage of her sister Hawise to earl William
[8,6].
Crouch emphasized the marriage date was not known with any precision.
If there was a gift of land when Margaret married, it has not been
found [2].

Assuming the account in the "Itinerarium" can be taken literally, then
Ralph and Margaret had, besides their heir Roger IV [11], additional
sons (not named) who were alive in 1191 [12,10]. It does not seem
implausible that they might also have had a daughter, but no evidence
for her has been discovered. By comparison, Isabel, at most only a few
years older than her sister Margaret, had her first child (Simon) by
the mid-1130s [5].

[1] "Complete Peerage" (CP), 1910-53, 7:527-530, by G.A. Moriarty,
G.H. White, and E. Stokes (hereafter Moriarty).
[2] The dowry assigned to Margaret was part of the Toeni lands [7,10].
[3] "Chronicles of the reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I",
1884-89, 4:214, ed. R. Howlett.
[4] "Calendar of documents preserved in France" (CDF), ed. J.H. Round,
1899, no.1062. He said earl Robert's son Robert III confirmed the
charter not later than 1159, perhaps by 1155, and king Henry II
confirmed it in 1163.
[5] CP 9:662-5; 6:643, 645-6; K. Stringer, Journal of the society of
archivists 6:325-334 (1980).
[6] CP 5:687-8; "Earldom of Gloucester charters", ed. R.B. Patterson,
1973, p.5.
[7] Pipe Roll Society (PRS) 35:77 (1913), ed. J.H. Round. Her
approximate
birth date is consistent with Moriarty's statement that her parents
married after Nov. 1120 [1]; Crouch thought they married in 1121
[8].
Ralph de Toeni's birth date is unknown, but it was very unlikely to
have been before 1120, since his grandparents were married in
1103 [10].
[8] D. Crouch, "The Beaumont twins", 1986, pp.14,38,84-5,150-1,203-4.
[9] L. Musset, Francia 5:45-80 (1978).
[10] CP 12(1):760-769.
[11] Roger was born c.1151-1162, as he appears to have been a minor in
1172 ("The red book of the exchequer", ed. H. Hall, 1896, 2:642).
If he did have brothers, then the latest possible date for his
birth would have to be pushed back several years; a sister might
be older than Roger.
[12] "Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi", ed. W. Stubbs,
1864, pp.217-8; L. Landon, PRS 51:50 (1935). It was compiled in
the early 13th c., apparently based on eye-witness accounts
[A. Gransden, "Historical Writing",1:239-242]. Neither Ralph nor
Margaret are known to have had any other marriages, so any
brothers of Roger are apparently his full-brothers.

Ray Phair

Copyright 2002 by R. W. Phair


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