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From: "Douglas Richardson" <>
Subject: Re: The Merlay-Somerville-Griffith descent
Date: 11 Nov 2005 12:02:49 -0800
References: <21e.27a1f85.30a6472d@aol.com>
In-Reply-To: <21e.27a1f85.30a6472d@aol.com>


Dear Will ~

Property given in free marriage means that the gift carried no homage
or tenure in fee. If Alice de Merlay had been a Merlay widow, she
would not hold the property in free marriage, but rather in right of
her dower.

The manor of Stannington, Northumberland, which included Duddo, was
evidently a manor belonging originally to the Merlay family, as
indicated by the the following quote from an online source:

Source: http://www.genuki.bpears.org.uk/NBL/Stannington/Gaz1868.html

"STANNINGTON, a parish in the W. division of Castle ward, county
Northumberland, 5 miles S.E. of Morpeth, its post town, and 2 W. of
Netherton. The village, which is considerable, is situated on the river
Blyth, at the mouth of which is the seaport of that name. The parish is
divided into Blagdon, Bellasis, Clifton, Duddo, and Plessey. The manor
formerly belonged to Roger de Merlai, the Greystokes, Somervilles, &c.

Douglas Richardson

wrote:
> In a message dated 11/11/05 6:00:35 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> writes:
>
> << Given that Alice de Merlay held these properties in free marriage of
> Roger de Merlay III in 1242-3, I would have to assume that this Alice
> de Merlay was actually Roger III's sister or aunt, not his grandmother, >>
>
> What does "in free marraige" imply ? Could she have been the widow of his
> brother or uncle?
>
> Will Johnson


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