Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-11 > 1162419614

Subject: Re: Elftred 'the Englishman' - ancestor of the Curwens of Workington& de Lancasters of Kendal
Date: 1 Nov 2006 14:20:14 -0800
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Dear Tim,

Thank you so much for publishing the results of your research on this

Sincerely yours,

Dix Preston

Tim Cartmell wrote:
> Dear Listers,
> I recently have been siftng through some of last years archives, and reading some of the current discussions about Eldred, and the Curwen family, etc. and thought I would share what information I have compiled for Elftred or Eldred , ancestor of the Curwens of Workington & de Lancasters of Kendal. My research information is gathered from the various published sources as cited.
> "Elftred, a purely English [Anglo-Saxon] name having various spellings according to different dialects and languages, was the father of three sons, Gilbert†, Ketel and William. Beyond this nothing is known of him either in legend or in history. We can only surmise that he was a man of considerable position as the possessions of his two elder sons, held in part as over-lords in part as mesne lords extended widely over Cumberland,Westmorland and Furness. Moreover his grandson was of such a social position that he was able to marry the daughter of Gospatric, the great Earl of Northumbria and of Dunbar." Source, 'History of the Ancient House of Curwen,' by JF Curwen, published 1928, pg. 7.
> "The common ancestor of the two families of de Lancaster and de Culwen - a name that for a time in the thirteenth century became de Currewenne, then fell back to Culwen and finally settled into Curwen in the end of the fifteenth century - was one Elftred, a man with a plainly English name, of whom no prominent actions are recorded, either in legend or in history. The fair conclusion from this is that he was not one of those men who by superior abilities of some sort rise from lowliness to great possessions, and the alternative is that he belonged to some family already in position." "The various spellings of the name are Eldred, Eldreth, Eltred, Eltreth, Elred, and Heltred, besides Elftred which I [Frederick W. Ragg] have adopted simply because that is the earliest form in which I have found it in an original document, see, Transactions, CWAAS, N.S. Vol. 1909, pg. 239." Source, Transactions, CWAAS, New Series, Vol. 1914, 'de Culwen', by Rev. Frederick W. Ragg, pgs. 343,
> 345.
> There appeared a close relationship between Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar and Elftred 'the Englishman' (also called Eldred, the Thane, see 'Ancestral Roots,' Frederick Lewis Weis, published 2004, pgs. 43, 94), specifically, Elftred (or Eldred) had held Milburn in Westmorland under Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar, with the lordship being continued through Elftred's descendants, the de Lancaster family of Kendal (Milburn in Westmorland was traditionally english land which was holden to the house of Dunbar until their lordship was deprived of the said manor in 1314).
> Also of note, the following statement infers a joint tenure between the two men, specifically, "In the lands of Roger of Poictou in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Gospatric and Eldred had held Federby of 3 carucates as two manors and Gospatric was then holding them of Count Alan." Source, Transactions CWAAS, New Series, Vol. 1914, 'de Culwen', pg. 345.
> Speculation is that Eldred was possibly a younger scion branch of the noble house of Dunbar*. Source, Transactions, CWAAS, New Series, Vol. 1962, 'The Parentage of William de Lancaster, Lord of Kendal', by George Washington, pg. 99; and also supposed 'the thane' of Culwen in Galloway; "according to Denton [John Denton, MS History of Cumberland c. 1603] these Galloway lands [Culwen] were "granted" (probably meaning confirmed) to Eldred's descendants [Thomas de Wyrkington and the subsequent Curwen family of Workington] by Roland, Lord [Earl] of Galloway at the end of the 12 century." Source, Transactions, CWAAS, New Series, Vol. 1961, 'Strickland and Neville', by George Washington, pg. 76, facing pg. 78 pedigree chart. Note: The names of Earl Gospatric's maternal grandparents do suggest connection with the name of Elftred, specifically, "Ælfgifu" and "Uchtred."
> † Gilbert is now accepted by modern day genealogists as being the son-in-law of Eldred rather than his son. Sources: DOMESDAY DESCENDANTS Vol. II; by K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, published 2002, page 539; also, "The parentage of William de Lancaster, lord of Kendal," by George Washington, in Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiq. & Arch. Soc. New Series, Vol. 1962 : pg. 96.
> *According to the late twelfth century writer Peter of Blois, Ivo [Taillebois] "had an only daughter, nobly espoused" (the Duchess of Cleveland's Battle Abbey Roll, III, 345). Source, Transactions, CWAAS, New Series, Vol. 1962, 'The Parentage of William de Lancaster, Lord of Kendal', by George Washington, pgs. 96, 97. (Eldred 'the Englishman' married Ivo de Taillebois' daughter Beatrice from whom descended the de Lancaster family, barons of Kendal in Westmorland. Source: DOMESDAY DESCENDANTS Vol. II; by K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, published 2002, page 1121.)
> Timothy J. Cartmell

This thread: