GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2005-12 > 1134248294
From: "Douglas Richardson" <>
Subject: Re: The parentage of Orm Fitz Ketel (living 1094)
Date: 10 Dec 2005 12:58:14 -0800
References: <email@example.com> <memo.20051202211838.35617A@obtfc.compulink.co.uk> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear J.C.B. ~
Thank you for your good post. Much appreciated.
I have the 1094 charter of Count Roger of Poitou in front of me, along
with the witness list. My copy is taken from The Lancashire Pipe
Rolls ... and Early Lancaster Charters, edited by William Farrer,
published in 1902, pp. 289-296. The charter was issued by Count Roger
himself. It is clearly not a late date confirmation charter as alleged
by Thompson. Count Roger states that he grants various properties to
the Abbey of St. Martin of Sees for the health of his soul, and that of
"Roger Scroberiae" his father, his mother Countess Mabel, for his
brothers, and his kinsfolk ("amicis"). So, the charter is definitely
contempory to Count Roger, it being issued by Count Roger himself.
The charter is witnessed by the said Count [Roger] and Sibyl his
daughter, Godfrey the Sheriff, Albert de Grelle, G. Boisell and Albert
his brother, Pain de Vilers, Orm Fitz Ketel, and others.
Regarding the dating of the charter, 1094, which date was "given to
this charter by the monks of Sees," the editor, Mr. Farrer, states that
the date is "supported by what is known of the grantor and the subjects
of the grant." He further states: "It was during the period which
followed his rehabilitation in his English estates, after the accession
of Rufus in 1088, and before the final downfall of the house of
Montgomery in 1102."
Among other grants contained in the charter, Count Roger gave the whole
town of Poulton in Amounderness. Farrer adds: "Both the Register of
Lancaster Priory, and the Pipe Rolls, prove that the Abbey of Sees had
been disseised in 1102, at any rate of the land in Poulton, if not the
Farrer continues: "The witnesses' names are most important, for we may
expect to find among them the names of some at any rate of the Count's
Lancashire knights and thanes."
The first witness, Godfridus Vicecomes (or Godfrey the Sheriff) "was
one of ten knights who had been enfeoffed by the Count before Domesday,
and was at the date of the Survey holding lands of the King in West
Regarding Albert de Grelle, Farrer says: "This is Albert Grelley, to
whom before the time of Domesday, jointly with Roger de Busli, [held]
the hundred of Blackburn [which] had been given by Count Roger. He has
been generally regarded as the first baron of Manchester, but the
evidecne to prove it is practically nil. As, however, his son Robert
Grelley certainly held the barony during the latter part of Henry I's
reign, and was holding a small portion of the escheated fief of Erneis
de Burun in Lindsay in 1114-1116, of the King in chief, it is evidence
that he or his father did not suffer banishment with Count Roger."
Regarding Pain de Vilers, Farrer states: "The first reputed baron of
Warrngton. He aftewards held fees under Count Stephen of Mortin in
cos. Nottingham and Lincoln. In the latter county he was tenant of
Upton, between the years 1114-1116."
Given the fact that the charter appears to date to the period,
1088-1102, I can accept the date 1094 assigned to it by the monks of
Sees. This date is supportable by the knowledge that Godfrey the
Sheriff and Albert de Grelle were both living before the Domesday
Survey (1086). Also, we know that Orm Fitz Ketel's wife, Gravelda, was
born in or before her father, Earl Gospatric's death in 1075.
Farrer's comments regarding Orm Fitz Ketel reflect the mush of bad
information about his family available in print in 1902. He states:
"[He] was the son of Ketel Fitz Eldred, who before 1093 held various
estates under Ivo Taillebois, both in the barony of Egremont, co. Cumb.
and in Kendal. Orm married Gunnild, daughter of Gospatrick, sometime
Earl of Northumberland (who held the manor of Ulverston before the
conquest), and was ancestor of the Curwan family of Workington."
I'm not aware of any evidence that Ketel Fitz Eldred held property
under Ivo Taillebois before 1093, in either Cumberland or Kendal.
Ketel Fitz Eldred first surfaces in the the records in the 1120's, and
can not possibly be the father of Orm Fitz Ketel, living in 1094.
Rather, I believe that Orm Fitz Ketel's father is the Orm who held
various estates in Lancashire in 1066, whose descendants were evidently
later dispossessed by Normans. If correct, we might suppose that Orm
Fitz Ketel likely lost his father, Orm's lands in Lancashire upon the
banishment of Count Roger in 1102. If so, this would explain why Orm
Fitz Ketel fails to appear in records in the period after 1102. His
connection if any to Ketel Fitz Eldred who occurs in the 1120's in
Cumberland remains elusive.
Given the above information and the charter itself, I fail to see how
Kathleen Thompson can allege this is a confirmation charter dated c.
1130, unless we are talking about two different charters. Count Roger
specifically states that he is giving ["Rogerus Comes Pictavencis ...
dedit"], not confirming, the properties to the Abbey of Sees.
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah
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> In a very significant article Kathleen Thompson has collated all of the
> extant versions of the charter dated by Farrer to 1094 (Monasteries and
> Settlement in Norman Lancashire: unpublished charters of Roger the
> Poitevin, Transactions of the Record Society of Lancashire & Cheshire,
> CXL, 201-225). She concludes that what Orm witnessed was most likely a
> confirmation and that the date was closer to 1130.
> It is important to understand that the barony of Kendal did not exist
> before the time of King Richard I, and that there is no evidence that the
> Lancaster family were tenants in chief before that time.
> Ivo Taillebois clearly held directly from the king. He was given a large
> fee and a careful analysis shows that most fell eventually to the crown.
> So he had no heir, although this does not rule out the possibility that he
> married off a daughter or two. In particular he held the important castle
> of Appleby which was included in the share of his widow Lucy but came to
> the crown on her death. The same thing happened to his property in
> Normandy at Cristot which was given to Saint-Etienne Caen (Haskins, Norman
> Institutions, 9).
> The fact that Ketel's charter giving the same churches to St Mary York as
> Ivo had given is worded as a grant rather than a confirmation is not
> conclusive. At this date it could have been either.
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