GEN-MEDIEVAL-L Archives

Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-11 > 1162588495


From:
Subject: Re: Fw: Elftred 'the Englishman' - ancestor of the Curwens ofWorkington & de Lancasters of Kendal
Date: 3 Nov 2006 13:14:55 -0800
References: <mailman.53.1162580693.32209.gen-medieval@rootsweb.com>
In-Reply-To: <mailman.53.1162580693.32209.gen-medieval@rootsweb.com>


Dear Tim,

You wrote <<< Dear Dix, Your most welcome. The lordship of Milburn in
Westmorland was a very important symbolic holding for the Scottish
house of Dunbar, as it represented their foothold within England (for
more than 200 years), and as such, they would have only placed its
keeping into the hand of a very trusted underlord, most probably of
blood connection. Tim Cartmell>>>

In terms of "trusted underlord," I have found in my research two
references that point to the "blood relative" conclusion. They show
that descendants of Elftred claimed the same colors of Maldred. It is
quite possible, if the colors mean anything, that Elftred may have been
an unnamed son of Maldred possibly step brother of Gospatric.

Reference (1): From "Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland, An
Ethnography of the Gael A.D. 500 - 1750" © C. Thomas Cairney,
Ph.D. "The Kindred of St. Columba had come into the Crown of Scotland
in earlier times, when Bethoc, daughter of Malcolm II, King of Albany
married Crinan (ca. 975-1045), Thane (temporal lord) and (hereditary)
Abbot of Dunkeld, and Seneschal (household officer or administrator) of
the Isles. Crinan's line was probably a branch of the Cineal
Luighdheach, mentioned above (Moncreiffe 211). The Cineal Luigheheach
were heads of the Columban church in Scotland since the removal of that
primacy from Jona to Dunkeld several generations before (see Chapter
IV). The sons of Bethoc and Crinan were King Duncan I of Albany (killed
in 1040), whose descendants bore arms of the colors red on gold; and
Maldred, Ruler of Cumbria, who married the daughter of the Earl of
Beornicia, and whose descendants bore arms of the colors red on silver
(white). From Maldred's son Gospatric, Earl of Beornicia (which
passed from English to Scottish control during his tenure, and whose
original Saxon House is represented in the male line by the Swintons of
that Ilk), are descended the families of Dunbar, Dundas and
Moncreiff." http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/cairney/110.htm

Reference (2): "The Barony of Kendal in the thirteenth century
extended over more than half the modern county of Westmorland and into
north Lancashire, and at that time the de Lancastres, barons of Kendal,
bore for arms: Argent two bars gules, on a canton gules a leopard of
England. The silver shield and the two red bars were adopted by the
following families within the Barony of Kendal: Broughton, Bardsey,
Preston, Kirkby, Copeland, and Lowick. The first four differenced the
canton of their overlord. Copeland had a red canton, but over all the
shield he placed a sable garter. Lowick is credited with the two red
bars and three red mullets in chief, exactly the same as the Washington
arms. West in his Antiquities of Furness is responsible for this
ascription to Lowick, but I cannot find any early authority for it."
"The Washington Ancestry and Records of the McClain, Johnson and
Forty Other Colonial American Families," Volume 1, Page 19.

A colleague of mine suggested we must also discuss the heraldic
evidence at our disposal, the first Baron of Kendal to use a blazon of
arms was William Fitz Gilbert the 5th Baron [sic], he was the first to
surname the family de Lancaster, a name assumed as governor of
Lancaster Castle. The blazon of arms are described as follows: Argent
two bars Gules on a canton of the second a lion passant Or.

Now if we look at the Preston arms we have the following blazon; Argent
two bars Gules on a canton of the second a cinquefoil Or.

As can be seen the blazon of arms is differentiated only by the
cadency, the seventh son is noted with a five-petal flower usually a
rose. In the following source 'An Armorial for Westmorland and
Lonsdale' by Boumphrey, Hudleston and Hughes published 1975, in the
rear of the book there are sketches of some of the coats of arms they
include both de Lancaster and the Preston arms the cinquefoil is shown
as a rose. It must be noted that in many Heraldry sources the
cinquefoil looks nothing like a rose.

"Preston of Holker: Argent two bars gules, on a canton of the second
a cinquefoil or, in chief a crescent for difference." Record from VCH
Lancs, Lonsdale Hundred page 271

A reasonable conclusion therefore is that both the Preston's and the
de Lancaster's were descended from the same stock. It is reasonable
that for a Saxon family to have been accepted so quickly into Norman
aristocratic families with lucrative marriages, this Saxon family would
have to come from the same social standing."

Food for thought.

Sincerely yours,

Dix Preston


Tim Cartmell wrote:
> Dear Dix,
>
> Your most welcome.
>
> The lordship of Milburn in Westmorland was a very important symbolic holding for the scottish house of Dunbar, as it represented their foothold within England (for more than 200 years), and as such, they would have only placed its keeping into the hand of a very trusted underlord, most probably of blood connection.
>
>
> Tim Cartmell
>
>
> ----- Forwarded Message ----
> From: "" <>
> To:
> Sent: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 2:20:14 PM
> Subject: Re: Elftred 'the Englishman' - ancestor of the Curwens of Workington & de Lancasters of Kendal
>
>
> Dear Tim,
>
> Thank you so much for publishing the results of your research on this
> family.
>
> 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
>
>
> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message



This thread: