GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2011-03 > 1299579680
From: "Colin B. Withers" <>
Subject: A few Medieval Questions
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 11:21:20 +0100
Hi one and all,
I have made excellent progress over the long weekend in researching the origins of the Blanchard family in England (particularly Yorkshire), before 1400.
First of all, I am amazed with the number of references I am finding to such a humble family. The Blanchards held manors in Lincolnshire from Domesday onwards, but the Blanchards in Yorkshire held almost no land, and were usually yeomen, or tenant farmers. Nonetheless I currently have over 200 references to them pre-1400.
I am currently looking at a spate of Blanchards cropping up in Normanby (now a suburb of Middlesborough), who witnessed several charters of other Normanby folk granting land to nearby Guisborough Priory, in the 13th century.
However, after 1300 there are no further references to this branch, and they appear to have died out. But the last one mentioned, a Domino Richard Blaunchard, in 1298, was a Capellanus, (Chaplain).
(1) This made me think, is the term 'Capellanus' confined solely to a chaplain, or could it refer to a curate as well? Were priests at this time expected to be celibate, as I am thinking that could be the reason for the branch dying out.
A couple of other witnesses to some of the charters that Blanchard witnessed were a John de Pothou, Robertus de Pothou and several others of this family occur (Cartluary of Guisborough Priory).
(2) Could this 'Pothou' be Poitou? I am thinking that this could be a clue as to the origin of the Blanchards, as the Blanchard in Lincolnshire was described in Domesday as 'Roger de Poitou's man'.
The Blanchards were mainly witnesses to deeds and charters in Normanby, but in one case a Blanchard granted land himself to the Priory. I am having a little difficulty translating a crucial part of the charter, the full text of which reads:
DCVII. Ricardus Blanchard de Normanby . . . Noveritis me red[d]idisse, et quantum ad me pertinet, penitus resignasse Domino Radulfo, Priori de Gyseburne, [Ralph de Irton, Prior 1262-1280] homagium quod eidem feceram de una dim. bov. terrae in Lankenby; quae scil. fuit maritagium Matildis matris meae, et quam de eodem Priore quandoque tenueram. Unde volo et concedo pro me et haer. meis, et praesentium tenore plene recognosco, dictum Priorem vel succ. suos ratione praefati homagii in nullo michi vel haer. meis teneri imperp. In cujus rei test, praesentibus litteris sigillum meum apposui coram hiis testibus, Johanne de Laysingby, Roberto de Marreys, Ricardo de Lyum, Ricardo de Westbec, Nicholao de Mideltune, Willelmo Beuchamp, et m.a.
I read the above as Richard Blanchard is donating half a bovate of land in Lankenby (Lazenby), to the prior and his successors, which came to Richard on his marriage, from his mother Matilda.
(3) Did I get this last part right? Or was it from Matilda, the mother of his wife?
I would appreciate it if anyone had any thoughts on any of these questions.