GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2011-07 > 1312081093
From: Peter Stewart <>
Subject: Re: Comitissa Luci de Clare
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 12:58:13 +1000
On 30/07/2011 12:16 AM, paul bulkley wrote:
> Douglas Richardson, Douglas Thompson, John the Subscriber:
> Considering the many defective sources of record, it is disturbing to
> note the willingness of all to defend the current thinking without
> giving adequate thought to document 69 Stoke by Clare.
The exposition of Paul Bulkley's "adequate" thought about this document
started on 22 July with the following:
"Stoke by Clare Cartulary Vol 1 document 69 records a gift by Comitissa
Luci de Clare second wife Earl Baldwin de Redvers (d.1155). [para] Grant
by Lucy, wife of Earl Baldwin de Redvers, to the monks in free of
William Palmer of Straham (probably Streatham Surrey) with his land
which he is to pay five shillings per annum. 1152-1154 - June 1155."
He went on to argue that "a young widow of the Clare family" could not
be expected to live at Streatham in Surrey since this place was "cut off
from London by a number of miles of marsh" and he imagined that "Luci
would have returned to her Clare family".
So Lucy was at once the "wife of Earl Baldwin de Redvers" and a "young
widow" who couldn't be cut off by a swamp from the bright lights of the
capital; instead she would have denied conjugal rights to her then
husband Earl Baldwin by decamping to the family of Earl Gilbert (whether
this was her own family by blood or through an earlier marriage).
By 27 July Paul Bulkley's thought had reinvented itself in "adequate"
contradictions of the above:
"I submitted in response a copy of Luci's charter document 69 in latin,
and gave my conclusions from the information as follows:
1. Gift of Luci wife of Baldwin de Clare lord of Bourne (Lincolnshire)"
NB Lucy has now switched husbands, and despite the charter stating
plainly that the donor to Stoke-by-Clare priory was "Lucia comitissa
uxor Baldewini comitis" (Countess Lucy the wife of Earl Baldwin") she is
to be identified instead as the wife Earl Gilbert's uncle Baldwin (lord
of Bourne by right of his wife Alina de Rullos), a man who was never
titled "comes" in any other context whatsoever.
> If the good lady Luci claimed by all of you to be the wife of Baldwin
> de Redvers, one needs meaningful evidence. I would imagine that if the
> good lady is claimed to be the wife of Baldwin de Redvers, the document
> would be titled "Carta Comitissa de Redvers" or some similar wording.
Why? Earl Baldwin was never called "earl of Redvers", but rather
variants of "comes Exonie" or "Devonie". And the endorsement "Carta
comitisse de Clara" was added by the cartularist of Stoke-by-Clare, who
no doubt recalled and intended to record this lady's marital connection
to the family of his priory's patrons.
> The current wording clearly suggests that she is the wife of Baldwin de
The wording explicitly states that she was the wife of Earl Baldwin
("uxor Baldewini comitis"). And we know from other sources that Baldwin
de Redvers, earl of Devon, had a second wife named Lucy - see _Charters
of the Redvers Family_ p. 80 no. 31 and p. 81 no. 31 for his charters of
1151/55 "Baldewini comes Exon'...Teste comitissa Lucia" abd "Baldewinus
comes Exon'...Teste Lucia comitissa et multis aliis".
> The nature of the gift, the locality of the donor Stretham (Abbey of Ely
> holdings in Cambridgeshire), the strong historical support of the de
> Clares of the Abbey of Ely, are all indicative of the Clare family.
It is not established by any means that Stretham in Cambridgeshire is
the "Straham" of Countess Lucy's charter - first, she was not giving the
place to Stoke priory but only the man William Palmer with all his land
there; and secondly if this was already held by Ely abbey then she would
not have been free to give one of the men and his land worth five
shillings to Stoke priory. Streatham in Surrey on the other hand was a
manor held in demesne by the Redvers family, to whose head Countess Lucy
was clearly married at the time.
> Of course the document is subject to errors and the education of the
> scribe. However for Richardson and Stewart to be obliged to resort to
> the extremely flimsy argument that another Stoke by Clare document many
> years apart pertinent to another individual related to the de Clares
> contains similar wording is utterly absurd.
This misunderstands the nature of these documents - the source is a
cartulary into which copies of charters were later transcribed, or
paraphrased; and the two very similar endorsements were added by the
copyist, not written "many years apart" like the originals.
> And to use this argument to support that Luci was married to Baldwin
> de Redvers and married to Gilbert is ludicrous.
The charter refers to both men as if connected to the principal in the
same way, "pro anima comitis Baldewini et comitis Gilberti". This and
the straightforward endorsement "Carta comitisse de Clara" add up to
fair evidence that the argument for successive marriages to these men
(in reverse order, as we know that Gilbert died before Baldwin) is not
ludicrous at all.
> Douglas Thompson has made some interesting observations, but not
> persuasive that the document indicates that she was the wife of
> Baldwin de Redvers. I trust he has specific evidence to prove that the
> scribe when using the term comitis truly meant earl. The word comitis
> is quite a loose term.
This last little difficulty is scarcely to be brushed aside with the
bizarre assertion that "The word comitis is quite a loose term".
Needless to say, "comitis" is only the genitive singular form of "comes"
(earl) and no instance was offered by the "adequate" thinker of any
loose application of this title in the Stoke cartulary or in any other
relevant document. He is simply making it up as he goes along.
> Anyhow this is an opportunity to resolve this trying to fit a square
> peg into a round hole and stop supporting defective opinions.
Quite so. It's not exactly indicative of a healthy newsgroup devoted to
medieval genealogy that yet another farrago of tosh from Paul Bulkley
has been inadequately countered with specific facts.
|Re: Comitissa Luci de Clare by Peter Stewart <>|