Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-12 > 1007930631

From: Cristopher Nash <>
Subject: Verdun (& the Boteler connection)
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 20:43:51 +0000

I've today got and had a quick look at an early copy of Mark S.
Hagger, _The Fortunes of a Norman Family: The Verduns in England,
Ireland and Wales 1066-1316_ (2001), which I haven't seen noted here.
I'm not going to take the time to spell out points/questions raised
in this forum to which some responses appear in the Hagger (I
hesitate to call them fixed 'answers'), but there are a number, it
seems to me. The book being 250+pp, and for legal reasons as well as
reasons of sheer time, I'm simply quoting -- largely without comment
-- brief passages here that look to me of most immediate relevance to
issues raised on this list. Those interested will recognize why I've
chosen these particular items. The work's biblio of archival
(manuscript) sources is substantial, and while it sorts out the
relations among some 75 Verduns -- and a few of their spouses -- over
this 250-year period, as a historical study it has the advantage of
vesting no interest in proving tenuous family connections but only in
considering the implications of ones that it finds satisfactorily
documented. (Family historians may find some scenes disturbing --
i.e. where he doesn't dare as we might to speculate about
'further-out' connections.)

At the bottom of this posting is a recap of a portion of Hagger's
Verdun genealogy. Later generations are given, as are other
siblings; I've concentrated only on our period and on individs. whose
relationships with other families seem most immediately relevant to
the Gen-Med discussion.

In place of his footnote superscripts, where the source-title is
brief I've inserted the actual source citation in mid-text. CRR =
Curia Regis Rolls (London, 1891-). RLC = Rotulia Clausarum in Turri
Londinensi Asservati, ed. T.D. Hardy, London 1833, 1844. CPR =
Calendar of Patent Rolls (London, 1922-). CDI = Calendar of
Documents Relating to Ireland, eds. H.S. Sweetman and G.F. Handcock
(London, 1875-86). CIPM = Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem
(London, 1904-).

Hagger confirms unproblematically, though with modest (and for us
perhaps significant) caution so far as any claims might be made as to
its wider genealogical significance:

Nicholas de Verdun's bride, Clementia, appears to be a member of the
Butler [sic] family - although not necessarily a representative of
the senior line - and the same is true of his daughter's husband,
Roesia marrying Theobald II Butler in 1225 at the express wish of the
king [CRR, vol. 17, no. 1462; Hagger p. 218].

Outlining the force of Nicholas de Verdun's determination (which is
also potentially of import for us) to ingratiate himself with Henry
III --

It is easy to suspect that it was more than simply coincidence that
led Nicholas to attach himself to the court just as Henry III [at the
end of his minority] was taking control of the kingdom and beginning
to make his own grants. Whatever his motives, Nicholas does seem to
have done rather well out of Henry III in the first three years of
his independent reign....In 1228, another sign of royal favour
manifested itself when the king's 'dear and faithful Nicholas de
Verdun' and his wife, Clementia, were granted custody of 'Susan, our
niece, the daughter of Llywelyn prince of North Wales and Joanna his
wife, our sister...[ellipsis Hagger's] to be brought up safe and
secure and without all injury'. [CPR, 1225-32, p. 230] [Hagger pp.

Compare e.g. Hagger's 'dear and faithful' with Nat's translation
('beloved') of "dilecto et fideli" reported by Paul 29 Nov, and
Hagger's general emphasis on the _Verdun's_ (rather than Llewellyn's)
possibly gainful motive in the exchange. (I understand Nat's
decision - the locution is formulaic; in this case though, I feel the
more strict translation may be worth our considering here.)

The book makes no mention of Dauntsey, and no allusion to any
possible further connection between Clemence and the royal family.

Re Chris Phillips' query --

One point that I don't think has been discussed - a different one from the
question of whether hostages were normally placed with relatives - was the
point about why Clemence de Verdun was mentioned along with Nicholas, in the
order for Susanna to be placed as a hostage. Actually, I think Paul has
touched on some of the practicalities of this, but I wonder if anyone can
comment on how common it was for a wife to be named in this way?

-- this is of course a good point. But if behind it there's any
expectation that Clemence's mention might disclose some special claim
to attention by right of her own status (the "regina Clemencie"
issue), then my gut feeling, having studied this section of Hagger's
history of the Verduns, is that it would put Clemence de Verdun out
of the running. In spite of some speculations anong us there is no
sign of the Boteler's having anything resembling a position in the
social order warranting special attention beyond that of an upcoming
minor family at this time. There is, however, the possibility that
_Nicholas'_ ambition, rather than Clemence's social status, led to
their having Susanna entrusted to them. This does leave the key
possibility that Clemence had had an affair with a royal, but I'm not
yet clear there is any evidence that events would have placed her
particularly near the king -- unless of course Nicholas (shame to
say) may have wished it, which isn't without historical precedent. A
good deal more on the Boteler history could certainly help here.

With regard to the question as to why the name Verdun was doggedly
maintained (as against e.g. Botiler, Albo Monasterio/Blancminster,
etc), Hagger lays out substantial socio-political reasons for this,
at length and in several places (e.g. p. 225-8).

As I say, I've not had time to read the book thoroughly, by any
means. As to the search for the right Botiler/Butler line, however
-- and for reasons I won't go into here -- a rapid scan of Hagger's
account of the power-network with which the Verduns are associated
(and particularly the Verduns' alignment within it) suggests to me
that a consideration of the butlers of the Earls of Chester (whom
Paul has included in his quick-pincerna-scan for us, beginning 23 Nov
2001) should get very high priority -- so long as we are to look for
Botelers of English origin. If we had evidence of a pincerna
associated with the Ferrers, earls of Derby, this would be a second
choice. On the English side there remains a possibility that the
butlers of the Beaumont earls of Leicester provide the link; one
motive underlying the promotion of the Verduns under Bertram
II/Norman/Bertram III appears to be their role as buffer between the
Chester and Leicester camps (in the same period as the 'raising from
the dust' of the Clintons, for much the same reason) -- as they were
between the earls Chester and Derby. But a distinct
counter-Leicester Chester allegiance/entanglement is unmistakable.
I'll give a summary of some of the thinking if it's wanted, but the
devil's in the details and I won't take time here to synthesize these.

I should point out that following K. John's granting to Bertram III
of lands in Ireland (in the present county of Louth, based around
Dundalk and Ardee), the orientation of Verdun marriages shifts from
the English Midlands to Ireland, and Hagger associates the Clemence
le Boteler marriage (along with marriages to de Lacys in the period)
with that move; in the Boteler/Butler search it would seem wrong to
neglect Irish records. (It's following the death of Walter de Lacy
-- and John de Verdun's inheritance of Lacy lands in the Welsh march
-- that in a later generation the Verduns shift their attention to
marriages in Wales [overview, pp. 218-19].) Here chronology is
important though, since it's at the moment of K. John's granting of
Irish lands to the Verduns that he does the same with Theobald Walter
(Boteler) (viz. "five and half cantreds in Limerick, including the
borough of Killaloe and land now in counties Clare, Offaly, Tipperary
and Limerick", p. 50-1). A further complication that should in the
end be a valuable one to follow is that lands having come to the
Verduns from 'Philip Butler' via the 'Clementia Butler' (as Hagger
calls them) marriage are in _Wilts_ -- viz. Stoke Farthing, Wilsford,
and (a so-far unidentified site) Stapellaunton. [Hagger p. 76]

Along these lines:

How much influence the de Verduns had in the choice of their
marriages is not clear. We do not know if they initiated marriage
negotiations with de Clinton, Basset, Butler, de Bohen et al. or
whether they were approached by these families, although it does seem
unlikely that the de Verduns would have suggested a marriage to Earl
Robert de Ferrers in Stephen's reign. Instead, de Ferrers probably
married his daughter, Matilda, to Bertram III de Verdun in an effort
to counter the influence which Earl Ranulf of Chester was exerting
over the family....In one case at least [where Henry III urged the m.
between Roesia and Theobald II Butler] it seems that the de Verduns
had been given very little room for manoeuvre....[Hagger p. 219]

On Rohese/Rohais/Roesia's marriages:

...[I]t is clear that she had been married and widowed at least twice
already by [the time she succeeded, 1231], as the charter she gave
the priory of Grace Dieu [which she founded] in 1231x41 mentions her
husbands (in the plural), amongst others....The identity of her first
husband is unknown, but he must have died before 4 September 1225
when Henry III sent a letter to Roesia urging her to marry Theobald
II Butler [RLC, vol. 2, p. 60] (also called Theobald Walter in
contemporary sources), the heir to the lordship of Nenagh in County
Tipperary, who had himself previously been married to Geoffrey de
Marisco's daughter.

Hagger's footnote here centers on a citation:

'[Theobald Walter] has so misconducted himself in regard to the
king, that although he has married the justiciary's (Geoffrey de
Marisco's) daughter, and has by her a son, the justificary would,
if it is the king's will, deprive him of all the land which he
holds of the king in Ireland'. [CDI, vol. 1, no. 1443] This notice
dates to about August 1226, so that Geoffrey's comments must relate
to a past marriage.

Roesia may have been reluctant to marry him as Henry sent another
letter to her father, asking him to encourage her to make the match.
[RLC, vol. 2, p. 60]....Roesia did indeed marry Thoebald Butler and
had at least two children by him, a son, John, and a daughter,
Matilda. John was to inherit the de Verduns' lands from his mother,
having already adopted her toponym at least five years before her
death....Matilda, who might have been married to Walter II de Lacy
before his death between 1238 and 1241,

Hagger's footnote here:

The Register of St Thomas' abbey records that an unnamed daughter of
Roesia's had married Walter II de Lacy at an unspecified date. As
Roesia is not known to have had any other daughters Matilda is the
likeliest candidate (Register, p. 420).

had married John fitzAlan by 1242.

[Excerpta é Rotuli Finium in Turri Londinensi Asservati Henrico
Tertio Rege, 1216-72, ed. C. Roberts, Record Commission (London,
1835), I, p. 387. ]

Matilda was to outlive her husband and went on to marry Richard
d'Amundeville before her own death in 1284. [CIPM, vol. 2, no. 489]

[NOTE: Hagger elsewhere (p. 251) says she d. 1283, and here cites
both CIPM, vol. 2, no. 489 and no. 536. We have her as d. 27 Nov
1283, though I haven't checked the relevant posting.]

Theobald Butler, d. Poitou 1230, had ordered that Roesia be assigned
dower from his lands, with

the custody of 'the lands and heirs of Theobald Walter, and the
marriage of the heirs' being given to Richard of Cornwall, Henry
III's brother. [CCR, 1227-31, p. 572; CDI, vol. 1, nos. 1845, 1847]

Hagger, finding these orders sent also to the justiciary of Ireland,
believes she may also have something in dower there, but finds no
record of what it might have been. She also petitions against Roger
de Quency of a third part of the manors of Whiteheton and Merton with
appurts. in Lancs; a third of the manor of Shipley, Yorks; a third of
the manor of Belaugh, Norf; a third of a £4 rent from the manor of
Perham, Suff, as her dower. [CRR, vol. 15, no. 372] [End of Hagger
p. 72-3, from <On Rohese/Rohais/Roesia's marriages> above.]

[NOTE: Whiteheton is unidentified, but I'm aware that '- heton' is a
common suffix in Lancs as elsewhere - viz. 'TUN on high land'.]

To save possible confusion owing to Hagger's nomenclature, re the
'Walter II de Lacy' who is said to have m. an unnamed da. of Roesia
de Verdun -- this would actually be the s. of Gilbert de Lacy (grdsn
of Walter -- more commonly called Walter II -- de Lacy the bro of
Hugh II, E of Ulster) and Isabel le Bigod; living (acc. to e.g. DNB
sub Walter de Lacy) 1238 but d.s.p. in his grandfa's lifetime. Bro.
and sis. John and Matilda de Verdun would thus have m. bro. and sis.
Walter and Margery/Margaret de Lacy.

In this quick scan, I've not found in Hagger the fa. of Alianor
(Eleanor) de Bohun, John's 2d wife after Margery de Lacy, though he
implies, in alluding to her son Humphrey's name, that she's a da. of
one of the Humphreys. If indeed she is as I (very hurriedly) suspect
the da. of Humphrey de Bohun and (1) Eleanor de Briouze, then
Roesia's petitions against Roger de Quency take on some special
interest, since Humphrey's wife (2) is Joan, da. of Robert de Quincy
by Helen, da. of Llewellyn ap Iorwerth....but I haven't in any way
yet worked this through (though I'm not as worried about chronology
as you might at first think)!

I don't offer the Hagger as having brought a great deal of new
evidence to bear; much of it has already been recorded here. It's
simply another thoughtful perspective -- comprised in part of a few
committed decisions where uncertainty has persisted here -- by
someone having dedicated concerted study to all the known acta of the
Verduns 1066-1316. There are topics raised among posters to which
Hagger does not give consideration (and no doubt in at least one or
two cases should have) -- one of the most obvious being the Albo
Monasterio matter. No Broc is named other than Laurence de Brok --
fl. 1230-70, not the Lawrence touched on by Rosie -- and this purely
by way of illustration of a point about the uses of influence at
court during the period; no family relationship offered.

Brief sum. of Hagger's reconstruction (again, partial):

1 Bertram I de Verdun
fl. ca. 1086-1100; of Verdun nr. Vessey, Manche, cant. Pontorson;
prob. witness of charter, Avranches, 1066

1.1 Bertram II de Verdun
d. by 1129-30

1.1.1 Norman de Verdun
succeeded 1129-30. Married Lescelina de Clinton, da. of Geoffrey I de Clinton Bertram III de Verdun
b. ca. 1137-8; d. 24 August 1192, Jaffa. Succeeded 1152/3. Married
(1) Matilda, da. Earl Robert de Ferrers; (2) Rohesia/Rohais (--) by
1176 Thomas de Verdun
b. ca. 1173 (majority, and succeeded, 1194); d. 1198. Married
Eustachia Basset [NOTE: This would be da. of Gilbert Basset of
Wycombe/Bicester and Egeline de Courtenay; she m. (2) Richard de
Camville]. Nicholas de Verdun (bro)
succeeded 1199; d. 1231, by 23 Oct. Married Clementia Butler, da. of
Phillip Butler. Roesia de Verdun
succeeded 1231; d. 1246-7. Married Theobald II 'Butler' (s. of
Theobald Walter) who d. 1230, Poitou. John de Verdun
b. 1225-30, d. by May 1274 m. (1) Margery/Margaret de Lacy, da. of
Gilbert de Lacy of Ewyas Lacy, Heref (d. 1230) and Isabel le Bigod;
(2) Alianor de Bohun. Maud/Matilda de Verdun
d. 1283-4. Marriages: May have m. (1) Walter de Lacy who d. betw.
1238 and 1242; m. (1 or 2) John FitzAlan by 1242; m. (2 or 3)
Richard d'Amundeville

(No indication of the chronol. order of the preceding two siblings.) Lesceline de Verdun
da. of ( Bertram III de Verdun. Married Hugh de Lacy, Earl
of Ulster, who d. 1242-3, s. of Hugh de Lacy, 1st Ld of Meath (d.
1186) and Roysya/ Rose/ Rohese de Monemue/Monmouth

I'll read the book through more thoroughly when I've a chance, and
meanwhile hope friends here find this as interesting as I have.

Cheers to all,


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