Monday 2 May 2022




 (Acknowledgement: my grateful thanks to Peter Butler for his invaluable input into the research for this blog article)

NB. Clicking on an image will open a higher resolution image.

Kilkenny Castle, seat of the Butlers of Ireland

The surname of the Butlers of Ireland has its origins in the hereditary office of ‘Butler of Ireland’ originating with Theobald Walter, 1st Butler of Ireland.

The first misconception that needs clarification is the original surname of this family was WALTER, NOT FITZWALTER.

The ancient Latin documents do not refer to any member of this family as ‘fitzWalter’ as has often been incorrectly used down through the centuries by various historians.

Theobald was always named as Theobald Walter/Theobaldus Walteri in official records, not as Theobald fitzWalter. Similarly, his father was always named as Hervey Walter, his brothers Hubert Walter, Roger Walter and Hamon Walter, and his uncle Hubert Walter, and cousin Peter Walter.

While there were a few chroniclers and antiquarians who incorrectly named him as ‘Theobald fitzWalter’ or ‘Theobald son of Walter’, including Roger de Hoveden (d.1201) chronicler and historian to Henry II in his ‘Annals’ (v.II p.513), the ‘Annals of the Four Masters’, compiled in 1632-36 (translated by Owen Connellan, p.202), and William Camden in his ‘Brittania, a Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland’ (v.II, pub. 1722, Appendix [after p.1526], Annals of Ireland, yr. MCCV, where he curiously names him as ‘Theobald son of Walter Butler Lord of Carryk’), it should be noted that these were not the original archival documents.

The surname or family name of ‘Walter’ was most unusual for the late 11th and the 12th century as it was a hereditary name used by several generations of the Walter family. The rise of hereditary surnames was attributed to the creation of the Domesday Book in 1086, where, according to records, the Norman nobility and upper classes had to create surnames to identify and distinguish between people of the same names, to prove hereditary ownership of property assigned after the Conquest. The sources of surnames included patronymic, topographic origin, occupational, and in some cases, reflecting particular physical attributes such as complexion, hair colour, stature etc. and their resultant nicknames. Many of these family names were fluid and changed for those children not in a direct hereditary line. One would assume that ‘Walter’ originated as a patronymic name after the original Norman ancestor, however, unusually, the more common form would have been ‘filius Walteri’ which evolved into ‘fitzWalter’, but not in the case of this family in which, all members of the extended family used just the singular name ‘Walter’.

The timeless question of the ancestral origin of the patriarchal founder of the Irish Butler/Ormonde family, Theobald Walter and his father Hervey Walter, has inspired much research by world-renowned historians for many centuries, and, despite much speculation, the answer has never been discovered. In fact, it is most unlikely the unequivocal answer will ever be found.

The many genealogical statements found in various publications on the family and on the web, declaring a particular ancestral genealogical line or another for this family, are all unproven. The documentation required to make such statements either does not exist, or has not yet been found. The problem with the world wide web is that many of these incorrect statements are copied and perpetuated on other websites and become an established ‘truth’ by those who don’t check their sources or do the deep research required.

The purpose of this blog article is to present the documents that have been discovered, and hopefully inspire other researchers to look at the information and documentation available on the origins of this Irish Butler/Walter family, to form their own opinion and continue the search for possibly undiscovered ancient documents deeply hidden in various British national and church archives and even French archives, that may prove or disprove the many ancestral theories and help solve the mystery of the Butler’s/Walter’s 11th century ancestors and their place of origin.

Chapter 1: Theobald Walter’s title ‘Butler of Ireland’
The Walter Family and its members
Evidence of Hervey the family patriarch, and his son Hervey Walter
The lands held by the Walter family in County Suffolk
Hubert Walter’s Foundation Charter to West Dereham Abbey
Hubert Walter the elder, son Peter Walter & his land in Fressingfield
Background information on the rise in status of this family- Hubert Walter, son of Hervey, and his rise to power, as recorded by contemporary chroniclers
Available Records of the 11th to 13th centuries
Chapter 2: The surname origins of the Walter family
Ancestral candidates named Walter in Co. Suffolk in Domesday:
A.    Walter ‘who held of this manor’
B.    Walter the arbalister (crossbowman)
C.    Walter de Caen
D.    Walter fitzGrip
E.     Others named ‘Walter’ who held lands in East Anglia in Domesday
The Malet family
Chapter 3: The theoretical origins of the Walter family in Normandy
            Analysis of the various theories of the Norman origins of the Walter family:
1.     The de Clares
2.     The Beckets
3.     The de Glanvilles
4.     Hervey de Bourges and Hubert de MonteCanisy
Chapter 4: Lands held by the Walter family in the 12th century in England
            The lands of the Walter family in Suffolk
  Ickelton, Cambridgeshire
            Theobald Walter’s Amounderness fee in Lancashire 


Theobald Walter’s title ‘Butler of Ireland’

Theobald Walter, patriarchal founder of the Butlers of Ireland, was granted the hereditary title of Butler of Ireland, or ‘Pincerna Hiberniae’, having served as butler to Prince John (b.c.1167) who was created Lord of Ireland in 1177 by his father, King Henry II. No records reveal the date Theobald was granted this hereditary title, but it probably evolved during the reign of King Richard I (1189-1199), as, before the middle of Richard’s reign, he was only referred to as ‘pincerna’ to Prince John- 'pincerna domini comitis Moretoniae in Hibernia', and he began to use the style 'Pincerna Hiberniae' by about 1196, probably after he confirmed his allegiance to King Richard following Prince John's rebellion in 1193-94.

Some historians have suggested that Theobald was granted this title of ‘Chief Butler of Ireland’ at the time of Henry II’s invasion of Ireland in 1171. Henry’s huge army of 500 knights and 4000 horsemen, foot soldiers and archers arrived in Waterford on 400 ships in October of that year. The Irish historian, William H. Grattan Flood wrote an article “Lismore Under the Early Anglo-Norman Regime”, published in the Journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, Vol. V, 1899 (Waterford City and County Council website), pp132-33, in which he stated:

Richard de Lacy was named Lord Marshal of Ireland; Hugh de Lacy, Justiciary or Lord Constable; Bertram de Verdun, Chief Seneschal; Theobald Walter, Chief Butler; and de Wellesley, Royal Standard Bearer.”

Flood did not reference this statement, and there does not appear to be a record of the list of the 500 knights who accompanied Henry to Ireland, nor any historical document naming Theobald as such in the 1171 invasion.

A book published in 1766, “The History and Antiquities of the City of Dublin”, written by Walter Harris Esq., gives an alphabetical list of “such English adventurers as arrived in Ireland during the first 16 years from the invasion of the English” (ie. 1169-1185), includes the names ‘Fitz-Walter (Theobald) and Glanville (Reginald de)’ (sic), referring, in this case, to 1185 when John, as Lord of Ireland, first arrived with his entourage including Rannulf de Glanville as Chief Justiciar and Theobald who was assigned as John's pincerna.

The Red Book of Ossory, fol. 90a, has a list of the 34 knights who accompanied FitzStephen who landed at Bannow Wexford in May 1169. This was soon followed by Strongbow’s invasion in 1170, a list of knights listed in Camden (Brittania, 1610), most of whom were the names of the knights who accompanied FitzStephen (not including Theobald Walter nor his uncle Rannulf de Glanville), but there is no subsequent list of those who accompanied Henry in 1171, including an estimated 500 mounted knights and 4,000 men-at arms and archers. However, one historian pointed out that de Glanville had witnessed Henry’s extant original charter at Dublin in 1171 granting the city to his men of Bristol, (quoting, Facs.nat.MSS Ire., ii, plate LXIII; Mac Niocaill, Na buirgéisí, I, 75-6; Hist & mun. doc. Ire,. p.1). Given that the year 1171 was well before Rannulf de Glanville’s great promotion at Court as Chief Justiciar in 1180, it seems highly improbable that Theobald, an unknown young knight, was granted such a high office at such a young age. It is, however, quite possible that he had accompanied his uncle with King Henry to Ireland as part of the large contingent of knights who were not listed in historical documents.

Rannulf de Glanville was promoted to sheriff of York in 1163, and subsequently Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, but in 1170, along with many of the high sheriffs, he was removed from office for corruption. This was around the time of the Irish invasion. It was not until 1173 that Rannulf was appointed Sheriff of Lancashire, and the following year as Sheriff of Westmoreland, and, after his capture of the King of Scotland in that year, his promotions continued, being reappointed Sheriff of York in 1175, and a justice of the king’s court and justice itinerant of the northern circuit in 1176. There is no doubt that Theobald would have been part of Rannulf’s household at this time, as was his brother Hubert.

Rannulf’s cousin Bartholomew de Glanville, head of the senior branch of the de Glanville family, is recorded as raising supplies to send to the army in Ireland:

‘The Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland’ (H.S. Sweetman [1875])- 1170-1171- Norfolk and Suffolk: Bartholomew de Glanville, Wimar the chaplain and William Bardul, render their account; for 320 hogs, sent to the army of Ireland, 26l.16s.5d; 15 days pay to 36 masters and 468 equippers, 33l.13s.; making bridges, hurdles, and other ships apparel, 6l.5s.5d; 6 handmills and their appendages, 14s.4d., by the King’s writ. (Pipe Roll, 17 Henry II,; Rot.1)

In 1171-72, No. 26, in the same document: “Lancaster: Roger de Herleberg renders his account; for £68 scutage of the honor of Lancaster for the army of Ireland; pardon by the King’s writ for Randulf de Glanville 20s; and he owes £16.”

Theobald and his brother Hubert (both born circa mid-to-late 1130’s to early 1140's) were brought up in the household of their powerful uncle Rannulf de Glanville, King Henry II’s Chief Justiciar, referred to by Hubert in his Charter to West Dereham Abbey in which he stated “my lord Ranulf de Glanville and Bertha his wife who nourished us”When Prince John was about 12 years of age, he was also placed in the household of Rannulf to be taught the business of government. Theobald and his uncle Rannulf de Glanville accompanied John on his first visit to Ireland in 1185 with 300 of his knights and administrators, and were well rewarded with lands. The cost of the freight for Theobald’s equipment was borne by the royal exchequer. Pipe Roll 31 Henry 11 p2:

“Et pro i. navi conducenda ad harnasium Theobaldi Walteri lxvi s. et viii.d. per breveregis

It was during this excursion that Theobald was first referred to as ‘pincerna’, in the records, although he may have acted in that role before that, probably appointed by John’s father Henry II at the instigation of Rannulf.

M.T. Flanagan in her entry on ‘Theobald Butler [Walter]’ in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, suggests that “Theobald may have been ‘pincerna’ of John’s personal household rather than the holder of an office with any specifically Irish connotations.” This possibly came about due to John’s placement in Ranulf de Glanville’s household. Flanagan then refers to two charters in Ireland to which Theobald was witness and named as ‘pincerna’.

The Calendar of Ormond Deeds 1172-1350 A.D.’ edited by Edmund Curtis (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin 1932):

In Ormond Deed No.7, in Prince John’s charter (in part) to John’s chamberlain Alard fitzWilliam, Theobald, styled ‘pincerna’, witnesses along with the seneschal and dapifer, issued on the eve of John’s departure from Ireland, at Wexford in 1185 (also NL Ire., MSD.8).

This charter appears to have been the earliest reference to Theobald’s position as butler, and seems to be an isolated occurrence as Theobald is not referred to as ‘pincerna’ again until 1192, so may have been directly related to their visit to Ireland, probably appointed by john's father, Henry II.

Curiously, the offices of seneschal and dapifer were the same, ie. the steward (‘dapifer’ is Latin for ‘seneschal’) in charge of domestic arrangements, provisions and stores, and the administration of servants, so why John had two stewards is not explained, unless de Verdun was Henry’s appointed seneschal for the expedition to Ireland, and de Wenneval was John’s personal dapifer/steward.

Of the other witnesses, Bertram de Verdun, seneschal, was a close confident of King Henry II and was appointed seneschal during Henry’s earlier excursion in 1171 to clarify his position as Strongbow’s liege lord. He was sheriff of Leicestershire and an itinerant justice, and was dispatched to Ireland in 1185 to clear up the dangerous situation caused by John’s diplomatic and military failures. Bertram de Verdun was grandfather to Rohese de Verdun (dau. of Nicholas de Verdun) who was second wife to Theobald le Boteler 2nd Chief Butler of Ireland.

William de Wennevall is listed as John’s ‘dapifer’ in Ireland in this charter. Although the position of ‘dapifer’ is Latin for seneschal (held by Bertram de Verdun), this particular office seems to imply that Wennevall was John’s ‘dapifer’ in his personal household.

Wennevall was appointed High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire during King Richard’s absence from England from 1190. As constable of Nottingham Castle, he held the castle for John during his insurrection in 1193-94, when, in 1194, King Richard placed it under siege and then made an assault on the castle. William de Wennevall surrendered the castle and threw himself on the King’s mercy. Similarly, Theobald surrendered Lancaster Castle when ordered by his brother Hubert, the archbishop of Canterbury, and pledged his loyalty to Richard. There is speculation that the character of the villainous sheriff of Nottingham in the legend of Robin Hood was based on William. (als William de Wendeval, Wendenal)

William de Cahaines/Kahaines was appointed as John’s personal seneschal after returning to England (see Dublin charter below).

Gilbert Pipard was sent to Ireland by Henry II to govern Ireland together with John Cumin and Bertram de Verdun. He was appointed High Sheriff of Lancaster Castle 1185-1189, but in consequence of his official duties as Justice itinerant, put his brother Hugh in his place to execute the office for him in 1185-86. In 1186-87, the office of Sheriff was executed by Gilbert’s brother Peter, as his deputy (Lancashire Pipe Rolls, Wm Farrer, pp.56,64).

These appointments by Henry II would suggest that many of John’s administrative officers who accompanied him to Ireland were selected by his father.

On Richard’s succession to the throne in July 1189, he granted his brother John the title of Count of Mortain.

John would establish his own ministry through which he could govern his Irish dominion, as well as his English possessions which Richard bestowed upon him. These would include Stephen Ridell as the first lord chancellor of Ireland appointed in 1186, William de Kahaignes as his seneschal replacing de Wenneval, and Theobald Walter would continue as his butler in Ireland.

M.T. Flannagan in her article on Theobald Walter in the Oxford DNB also wrote: ‘Theobald is next so described as ‘pincerna’ in John’s charter in favour of the city of Dublin 11 May 1192, witnessing alongside John’s chancellor and seneschal, suggesting that Theobald may have been pincerna of John’s personal household rather than holder of an office with any specifically Irish connotations.

This charter was translated in Curtis and McDowell’s ‘Irish Historical Documents’, in which they have translated the original document as ‘Theobald Walter, my butler,’:

However, in a Latin version of the same charter, published in the ‘Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland A.D. 1172-1320’, although William de Kahaignes is described as ‘senescallo meo’, and Stephen Ridell, ‘cancellario meo’, Theobald is just described as ‘pincerna’ not ‘pincerna meo’.

Flannagan continued: ‘A charter of John Cumin, archbishop of Dublin, in favour of Theobald refers to him as’ “Theobald, pincerna domini comitis Moretoniae in Hibernia”/ ‘Butler of the count of Mortain in Ireland’ (Curtis, Ormond Deeds, no. 11; Cott. MS fol.266)”, indicating that the office was deemed to be attached to John’s lordship of Ireland.’

The referenced Ormond Deed No.11 translates the record as: ‘John [Archbishop of Dublin] “minister of the Church of Dublin” grants to Theobald, Butler of the lord the Count of Mortain in Ireland, and his heirs, etc. Approx. date of deed 1193.This is much more specific in its description of Theobald as John’s butler in Ireland.


During the latter part of Richard’s reign, probably after 1196, Theobald then adopted a fresh seal, adding to his name the style ‘Pincerna Hiberniae’. By this time, John had been exiled to the Continent for his 1193-94 rebellion against his brother Richard, and Theobald had sworn his loyalty to Richard.

In his benefaction to Wotheny/Owney/Woney Abbey in Co Limerick in King Richard’s reign, Theobald began the charter: “Omnibus sanctae matris ecclesiae filiis tam presentibus quam futuris, Theobaldus Walterus pincerna Hibernie salutem.” (pincerna Hibernie= butler of Ireland).

Lancashire Pipe Rolls, p.340:

“Letter of Theobald Walter certifying that his charter of grant to the monks of Wotheny, etc.

Editor notes: “The probability is that the colony of monks in Wyresdale removed to Wotheny c.1198, or between 1195 and 1199.

Theobald’s charter refers to ‘Richard King of England’ and ‘John Count of Mortain’, so must have been dated before John’s accession in 1199.

Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6. pt.2, p.1136-37:

Wotheny/Owney abbey was in the townland of Abbington, near the modern village of Murroe. It is thought that Theobald was probably buried at Wotheny Abbey.

(See Journal of the Butler Society, v.4, no.3, p443- re Charles and Rosemary Butler’s donation of a Memorial to Theobald Walter, commissioned to mark his burial place at the ruins of Wotheny Abbey)

 Theobald made another charter during Ricahrd's reign and before John's accession:

 Charter of Theobald Walter to Furness Abbey- Richard I (Carte, p.xlii):

"Omnibus sanctae matris ecclesiae filiis tam presentibus quam futuris, Theobaldus Walterus pincerna Hybernie salutem. Sciatis me pro Dei amore et beate Domini genetricis Marie, et pro anima domini mei H. regis Anglie, et Ricardi regis filii ejus, et pro salute domini mei Johannis comitis Moreton et domini Hibernie, et pro salute H.fratris mei Cantuar' archiepiscopi, et pro anima cari mei Ranulphi de Glanville, et pro anima Hervei Walter patris mei, et pro anima Matildis de Valoines matris mee, et pro salute anime mee, et pro salute Matildis sponse mee, et pro salute animarum omnium amicorum et antecessorum et successorum meorum dedisse et concessisse, et hac presenti carta mea confirmasse in puram et perpetuam eleemosinam Deo et sancte Marie, et abbati, et monachis qui exierunt de Furneis in cantredo meo de Woednicachelan, et Woednisfergan totum thuedum de Woednifichwith in quo villa de Clonken sita est, cum tota medietate atque de Molcerne in quantum praedictus thuedus se extendit super praedictam aquam de Molcerne per omnes rationabiles divisas suas, cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, &c. Hiis testibus Philippo de Wirecestre, Hamone de Valoines, Gaufrido filio Roberti, Willelmo de Burgo, Ric’ Tirel, Ric’ de sancto Michaele, Moricio fil. Moricii, Tilleberto de Kentewell, Waltero de Kentewell, Adam de Rachlesden, Willelmo fil. Martini, Amaturi de Belfago, Jordano de Lusch’, Radulpho de Sancto Patricio, Thoma de Kentewell, Ricardo de Waleton, Willelmo de Blie, Jordano fil. Jordani, Ricardo Clerico, Ranulpho Clerico, Radulpho Clerico de Tyrmi, Johanne de Rupe, et multis aliis."

The seal affixed to this charter is of green wax, on which is impressed the figure of a cavalier on horseback, in the usual method, with this inscription, Sigillum Theobaldi Walteri.

This original charter, the seal of which deserves to be engraved, is to be found among the records of the duchy court of Lancaster, kept in Gray’s Inn, in the 55th box of deeds, according to Carte.

As in many other charters of Theobald, his witnesses included three de Kentewell brothers and Adam de Rattlesden, of Suffolk, who appear to be close friends of Theobald.

Similarly, Theobald founded a monastery at Arklow, a cell of Furness Abbey, dated after 1199, as he names King John ‘Johaniis regis Angliae’ in the charter. The wording is similar to his charter for Wotheny, except this time, he includes, “for the soul of William Marshall”.

It is interesting that Marshall has been included in this list of Theobald’s family members, following his uncle Rannulf and preceding his brother Hubert, probably because William Marshall was Theobald’s overlord in Arklow which was part of his Lordship of Leinster.

Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6. pt.2, p.1128:

Translated in part: “and for the soul of Ranulph de Glanville, and for the safety of the soul of count William Marshall, and for the safety of the soul of Lord Hubert Canterbury Archbishop my brother, and for the soul of Hervey Walter my father and Matilda de Valoines my mother, and for the safety of the soul of Matilda my wife, etc.

Notably, Theobald’s mother’s name is written as ‘Matildis de Valuniis, matris mee’ in this charter, and as ‘Matilda de Waltenes matris mee’ in the Wotheny charter which the editor corrected to ‘Valoniis’.

William Marshall, married Isabel de Clare, the daughter of Strongbow and heir to his lordship of Leinster. Richard de Clare (c.1130-1177) Earl of Pembroke and Strigul, later known as Strongbow, was a Norman lord from Wales who started the Norman conquest of Ireland, initially brought to Ireland in 1170 by Dermot MacMurrough King of Leinster who was in dispute with the High King of Ireland, Rory O’Connor who had deposed him, and, in return for his support, promised Strongbow vast lands, and marriage to his daughter and heir. In 1171, when Dermot died, Strongbow inherited the kingship of Leinster which he held until his death in 1177.

In 1189, the 42 year old William Marshall was granted the hand and estates of the 17 year old heiress Isabel de Clare, and through her, acquired large estates in England, Wales, Normandy and Ireland, making him one of the richest men in the kingdom. Although he was the de facto Earl of Pembroke though his marriage to Isabel, he was officially granted the title in 1199.

Prince John disseized William of a portion of Leinster and handed it out among his friends and supporters. William Marshall appealed to King Richard who insisted upon John making restitution. John was compelled to yield, but not entirely, as he managed to secure ratification of a grant he had made to Theobald out of the Marshall’s lands. However, as a compromise, it was settled that Theobald should hold the estate as an under-tenant of William, not as tenant-in-chief of John. This is an example of John’s close relationship with Theobald at that time.

An article in Irish Historical Studies, recounts a translated conversation between King Richard and Prince John, quoting from the biographical verse in ‘L’Histoire de Guilluame le Marschal’ written by an unknown author self-named ‘Johans’, mid-13th century:

King Richard: “For my sake, you will come to an agreement with him [William Marshal]”

Prince John replied: “I gladly agree to this providing that the gift remain intact of lands I have made over to my men and confirmed…

Richard: “What could he [William Marshal] possibly have left, since you [John] have given and surrendered all his land to your men”John “I crave your indulgence, since that is the way you [Richard] want it, to have him [Marshal] agree to let Theobald, my butler, keep the land I have invested him with”.

L’Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal’, ed. Paul Meyer, 1899, pp.346-347 (verse nos. 9599 to 9620)- a near contemporary Anglo-Norman biography of William Marshal, written by an unknown author self-named ‘Johans’, mid- 13th century (copy at

In Ormond Deed No. 31, Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, granted to Theobald and his heirs the vill and castle of Arklow by the service of one knight, plus other lands in Co. Kilkenny by service of 4 knights:

William Marshall (1147-1219), 1st Earl of Pembroke (2nd cr.), was renowned as one of the most chivalrous, romantic characters in English history, a younger son of a family that held the hereditary title of Marshall to the king. As a 5 year old child, during the civil war, William was held as a hostage by King Stephen who infamously threatened to hang him unless his father, John le Marshall, who supported the daughter of King Henry I, Empress Matilda, surrendered his castle. Equally infamous, William’s father called his bluff and responded by replying that the king should go ahead, saying “I still have the hammer and the anvil with which to forge still more and better sons!” Subsequently, a pretence was made to launch William from a pierrière (a type of trebuchet), but the king could not bring himself to harm the child. One can imagine the terror experienced by such a young child at this series of events, and the anguish of his father. William remained a crown hostage for many months, and was released following the signing of a peace treaty which ended the civil war in November 1153.

William lived an extraordinary life, beginning as a knight errant of great skill and prowess, gaining fame and fortune competing in tournaments in France, and becoming highly trusted by four kings from Henry II to Henry III, as well as by Henry’s estranged wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine whom he helped escape from an ambush in Aquitaine, resulting in his own capture and wounding. Eleanor would pay his ransom, and he remained a member of her household for two years, continuing to raise his reputation as a chivalrous knight, successfully taking part in many tournaments. William served as Henry II’s eldest son and heir Henry’s tutor-in-arms before his untimely death in 1183, after which William undertook a mission to the Holy Land to place his lord Henry's cloak on the altar at the Holy Sepulchre, returning to re-join the court of Henry II, serving as a loyal captain through Henry’s difficult last years. He is said to have been the only man ever to unhorse Richard while covering Richard’s father Henry II’s flight from Le Mans to Chinon in 1189 when Richard was allied with Phillip II against his father, shortly before Henry’s death. Despite this, Richard admired William’s legendary loyalty and military accomplishments which he acknowledged were too valuable to dismiss, and when Richard went on Crusade in 1190, William was appointed on the council of regency in his absence. Although he held a fractious relationship with King John, he remained loyal to John throughout the hostilities between John and his barons. It was William whom John trusted on his deathbed to ensure John’s 9 year old son Henry would get the throne. The king’s council named William to serve as protector of the 9 year old Henry III, and as regent of the kingdom. In 1216, during the First Barons' War over the succession, Prince Louis of France entered London and proclaimed himself 'King of England', supported by various English barons who had resisted the rule of King John. In May 1217, Prince Louis's army led by Thomas Count of Perche, had taken the city of Lincoln and held Lincoln Castle under siege. The 70 year old Marshall marched his forces and supporting barons to the city to break the siege and successfully routed Louis's army. Thomas Count of Perche fought to the death as the siege collapsed. Louis was forced to make peace on English terms and signed the Treaty of Lambeth in September 1217, agreeing he had never been the legitimate king of England.

In 1195, William Marshall commenced the building of Kilkenny Castle to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways, completing it around 1210- nearly two centuries later, it would become the seat of the Butlers.

William died in March 1219 and was invested into the order of the Knights Templar and buried in Temple Church in London. Of his five sons, none left issue, and William’s vast estates were divided between his five daughter’s husbands, two of whom were ancestors to the Bruce and Stewart kings of the Scots, and the last Plantagenet kings Edward IV through to Richard III.

William’s son and heir, William Marshall II, was overlord to Theobald II le Botiller who was closely linked by service to William who was Lord of Leinster and Justiciar of Ireland, and from whom Theobald continued to hold some of his estates.

William Marshall was replaced as justiciar by Geoffrey de Marisco who held Theobald II’s wardship and whose daughter Theobald married.

Inverted shield of William Marshall (the incomparable knight) with obituary and epitaph by Matthew Paris, early 13th century chronicler (Historia Anglorum, v.II p.232; Chronica Majori v.III p.43; Wikipedia)

It is therefore interesting that Theobald Walter held William Marshall as a close enough associate to acknowledge him with his extended family in his Charter to the Monastery of Arklow, an honour not granted to any other in any of his charters, possibly indicating a close friendship.

In Ormond Deed No.16, dated between 1195 and 1206, a charter between the Archbishop of Cashel and Theobald Walter, Butler (Pincerna) of Ireland:

And a further charter in Ormond Deed No.22- re Theobald Walter, Pincerna of Ireland who founded the Priory of St John the Baptist of Nenagh c.1200:

see Latin charter for Nenagh in Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6. pt.2, p.1145:

Priory of Nanagh, in the County of Tipperary.
Carta Fundationis ejusdem, circa Annum Domini MCC.
Universis sancta matris ecclesie filiis, ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit, Theobaldus Walter pincerna Hibernie, salutem. Etc

Although this Ormond Deed does refer to an earlier deed by Theobald Walter the first Pincerna dated A.D.1200, the list of witnesses to this “Bond by the prior and canons”, indicate that this “bond” was witnessed in the mid 1220’s, and several were closely associated with Theobald II, including his sister Maud’s husband, and those associated with his wardship after his father’s death.

Marian O’Brien was elected Archbishop of Cashel in 1224; ‘R’ Bishop of Killaloe presumably Robert Travers elected in 1217 until 1221 and again in 1226. Gerald de Prendergast d.1251 married firstly Theobald Walter’s daughter Maud Walter (b.c.1196-1205), and secondly married Maud de Burgh in c.1240.

Peter de Birmingham, son of Sir William de Birmingham who helped Strongbow invade Ireland. Peter was one of the barons in arms to secure the Magna Carta. He was the first to hold the wardship of Theobald le Boteler II, before it was granted to William de Braose and then Geoffrey de Marisco; Maurice fitzGerald c.1184-1257, 2nd Lord of Offaly married to Eve de Birmingham (m.2. Geoffrey de Marisco); Jordan de Marisco b.c.1195 d 1234, son of William de Marisco (brother of Geoffrey) and Lucy de Alneto (dau. of Alexander de Alneto d.1194); Adam de Alneto d.1244, son of Alexander de Alneto.

There are several other grants involving Theobald as Pincerna Hibernie, in the Ormond Deeds.

One of interest, concerns Theobald being excommunicated and brought to account by his brother Hubert, for overstepping his powers:

Ormond Deed No 23:

Similarly, in early 1200, Theobald fell out of favour with King John who deprived him of all his offices and lands because of irregularities as Sheriff of Lancashire.

Complaints against Theobald, the first year of John’s reign:

Several complaints by demesne tenants of Amounderness complaining of being dispossessed of lands by Theobald are outlined in the Lancashire Pipe Rolls (pp.120, 123, 135, 136).

Roger de Heaton, to whom Theobald and his father Hervey had granted lands, was granted a confirmation charter by King John, dated March 1201, whereby ‘Roger paid 15 marks for seisin of the estate of Broune (now Bourne Hall, in Thornton, Lancashire), of which he had been dispossessed by Theobald Walter, who had taken his charter of this estate from him’.

In the autumn of 1199, several Lancastrian nobles proceeded overseas to King John and presented a series of criticisms of Theobald’s period as sheriff. It was claimed that knights, thegns and freemen of the Lancaster had been deprived of freedom of the forest which they had purchased from King Richard, while the burgesses of Preston complained that they had lost privileges which they had received from John when Count of Mortain and others alleged that they had been dispossessed of lands granted to them by John when he was lord of Lancaster.

The History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancashire, by Ed. Baines, 1836, p.245:

In the ‘Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem’ held in 1253, a Lancashire jury answering a writ ‘de melius inquirendo’ upon lands of Theobald Walter, returned that Theobald had taken by force the land of Brocton from Richard son of Ughtred and that “because of his many transgressions in seizing the lands of Robert son of Bernard, Walter son of Osbert, William son of Swain and others of Amounderness, and other injuries, the king had disseised him of all his lands”.

For these various acts of injustice to mesne tenants in Amounderness, John deprived Theobald of the hundred together with the profits and advantages which had been included in the grant by Richard in the year 1194. Apart from his inherited lands around their estate of Weeton, the rest of the wapentake of Amounderness remained forfeit. However, the lands were restored to him on 2 January 1202, when he was described in ‘Rotuli de Liberate ac de Misis et Praestitis, Regnante Johanne, ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1844, p.25, as “dilecto et fideli nostro” (viz. ‘our beloved and faithful Theobald Walter’).

But, by this time, knowing that old age was fast creeping up on him, Theobald’s focus was on his Irish lands and his Irish title which he intended to leave as his legacy to his son and heir.

However, John confiscated and sold Theobald’s Irish estates to one of his favourites, William de Braose, one of the most powerful barons in John’s court. His lands were not restored until January 1202, when, with the assistance of Hubert, Theobald recovered his Irish estates in Munster by payment to William de Braose of 500 marks, and became mesne tenant under him (Annals of Roger de Hoveden, II, p.513; Lancashire Pipe Rolls p.172)

Annals of Roger de Hoveden (d.1201- chronicler and historian to Henry II), p.513:

Grant by William de Braosa to Theobald Walter (le Botiller) the burgh of Kildelon (Killaloe)… the cantred of Elykaruel (the baronies of Clonlisk and Ballybrit, co. Offaly), Eliogarty, Ormond, Ara, and Oioney, etc. [A.D. 1201]. (Library of Ireland, Manuscript, D.27)

William de Braose later fell foul of King John, and fled when John hunted for him in Wales and Ireland. After allying himself to the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great and supporting him in his rebellion, William fled to France in 1210 where he died a year later. However, his wife and eldest son were captured in Scotland, and were reportedly starved to death in one of John’s dungeons. William’s fall was an example of John’s arbitrary, cruel and capricious behaviour towards his barons and probably played a role in the Baronial uprising that led to the signing of the Magna Carta.

Ormond Deed No.27:

Acknowledgement by Theobald Walter that he and his heirs owe to William de Brahusa [Braose] and his heirs, the service of 22 knights, of the land which he holds in Munster; so that if William de Brahusa be not able to acquire the lands and services which William de Burgh holds of the said Theobald within the said 5½ cantreds, same to be void. But if Theobald make good the said services, and de Brahusa acquire the said land which the said William de Burgh holds, the said lands and services to remain to Theobald and his heirs. Witnesses: Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, Walter de Laci, William de Braosa, Philip de Braosa, Walter de Braosa, sons of William de Braosa, etc [A.D. 1201].

As soon as his Irish lands were restored, Theobald ‘proffered two palfreys for permission to go to Ireland’ in 1202-03 (Lanc. Pipe Rolls pp.167,171), and again in 1203-04:

Theobald's reconciliation with King Richard following John's insurrection in 1193/94.

As Richard spent a total of 6 months in England during his ten-year reign, his realm was administered by a Council of Regency in conjunction with a succession of chief justiciars, and his mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine exercised a considerable degree of influence. Between 1193 and 1198, Hubert Walter, appointed Chief Justiciar by Richard who also ordered his election as Archbishop of Canterbury, two of the most powerful positions, secular and ecclesiastical, in the land, in effect acted as regent during Richard’s absence.

Theobald’s close relationship with John ended during John’s brief rebellion against the supporters of the captive Richard in 1193-94 when Hubert had a complete victory over John, having been engaged in the reduction of John’s castles during February and March 1194. Many of John’s Lancashire dependants who had taken part in the rebellion, gathered at Kendal in support of John, and probably surrendered themselves to Theobald upon hearing of the captive King Richard’s release from his prison in Germany. Theobald then surrendered Lancaster Castle to his brother Hubert in March 1194 who convinced Theobald to pledge his loyalty to Richard. On 30th March a great court and council was held at Nottingham at which many sheriffs were removed and others appointed, and Theobald was appointed Sheriff of Lancaster, and regranted the wapentake of Amounderness.

In August 1194, Richard made a charter allowing tournaments in England, for the first time, on the purchase of licences- counts paying 20 silver marks, barons 10 silver marks, soldiers with land 4 silver marks, soldiers without land 2 silver marks, and the king ordered that, soldiers could not complete until they paid the fee first. Hubert, the king’s justiciar, appointed Theobald to collect the licence fees.

Chronica Magistri of Roger de Hoveden, (ed. Wm Stubbs, 1870, v. iii, p.268):

Richard left for Normandy on the 12th May 1194, and did not set foot in England during the remainder of his reign. In 1195-96, Theobald was excused his quota on the three Amounderness knight’s fees, as well as Robert Grelley on his 12 fees and Roger Constable of Chester on his 8 fees, as t'hey had attended personally upon the King in the expedition to Normandy, together with their knights' (Lanc. Pipe Rolls p.95).

Richard’s last five years were spent in warfare against King Philip II, successfully fighting to reclaim the lands that Philip had taken during Richard’s imprisonment.

Following the failure of John’s brief insurrection, John was stripped of his lands except Ireland and he fled to the Continent where he remained during Richard’s reign, serving in his brother’s campaigns in Normandy having regained his brother’s forgiveness and trust. Richard restored to him the Honour of Eye and the Earldom of Gloucester, but the honour of Lancaster was retained in the King’s lands.

Author Stephen David Church wrote a book (pub. 1999) on "The Household Knights of King John". He explored which of the men who served John when he was Count of Mortain, continued in his service during his exile, admitting that the size of John's household was much reduced during this period.

(p.20-21) “Very few of the men who were so prominent in John’s comital ‘acta’ during the years before 1194 stayed with the count after his fall from grace. For the most part John’s comital household seems to have been largely disbanded. Most significant for this discussion, two very important men in John’s comital household also ceased to witness his ‘acta’. Theobald Walter, John’s butler of Ireland and a man who witnessed 42 of the count’s ‘acta’ between 1185 and 1194, and Stephen Ridel, John’s chancellor and attestor of 54 of his ‘acta’ between 1189 and 1194, witnessed nothing after 1194. Both of these men seem to have actually deserted John for Richard on the king’s return from captivity in 1194. It seems unlikely that these two men were the only defectors from John’s camp in 1194.

Members of John’s comital household also kept in with the heir apparent during his years in the wilderness. For example, …., William de Wenneval, John’s dapifer, witnessed two ‘acta’ between 1195 and 1198, etc. With the exception of William de Wenneval who disappears from view, each of these other men (named) entered into the higher echelons of the royal household on John’s accession, including William de Wenneval’s son who entered royal service as a household knight during the Irish campaign in 1210.

There were yet others who, although they did not seem to remain with John during the lean years after 1194, still managed to get themselves a place in the royal household. etc”.

It is unknown when Theobald returned to England from Normandy serving with King Richard, but in 1196-97, his father-in-law, Robert le Vavasour executed the office of Sheriff as Theobald’s deputy (Lanc. Pipe Rolls, pp. 96, 99), a role that appears to have begun the previous year, as Robert claimed an allowance for expenditure that he had laid out that year, for an equivalent amount against the current year’s expenditure.

The following year, 1197-98 until Christmas 1198, Nicholas Pincerna officiated as Deputy Sheriff, as Theobald acted as a justice itinerant (Lanc. Pipe Roll, p.103). Early in 1199, Theobald appears to have been removed from office and Stephen de Turnham received charge of the county of Lancashire. Richard died in Normandy on 6 April 1199, after which Theobald was returned to the office to serve the last 6 months of the fiscal year by the newly crowned King John. Robert de Tatteshall of Lincolnshire succeeded Theobald as Sheriff of Lancaster after Michaelmas 1199.

It was not until the end of Richard’s reign that Theobald began using the style ‘Butler of Ireland’. Whether that was due to the influence of his brother Hubert who may have requested this hereditary title for his elder brother, just before he resigned as Justiciar in 1198, or whether it was a reward by Richard to Theobald for his recent faithful service, can’t be determined. And despite John’s vindictiveness, Theobald retained this title of Butler of Ireland, no doubt with the continued support of his influential and powerful brother whom John would not dare to challenge.

It is unknown if Theobald attended or played any role in King John’s coronation, but given that, upon John’s accession, Theobald soon lost possession of Amounderness, and briefly his Irish estates, and was removed from the office of sheriff of Lancaster which he had held since 1194, it would seem that Theobald was being punished by an incensed John for his defection to Richard in 1194. Although Hubert officiated at John’s coronation in 1199, the honour of presenting the king with his first cup of wine at the coronation banquet would have fallen to the hereditary Chief Butler of England, or Pincerna Regis/Butler of the King, William d’Aubigny 3rd Earl of Arundel, a position held by the d’Aubigny family since the early reign of Henry I and would continue to hold until the death of the 11th Earl of Arundel in 1397, inherited by the Dukes of Norfolk.

Theobald’s role as Butler of Ireland was a ceremonial role only enacted when the monarch visited Ireland, which did not occur during Richard’s reign, and John did not return to Ireland until 1210, five years after Theobald’s death.

As is well known, the position of Butler of Ireland came with the special privilege known as the ‘prisage of wine’, a levy of approximately one tenth on wine imports into Ireland, which was very lucrative.

The surname ‘le Botelier’ and then ‘Butler’ developed out of that title, Pincerna Hibernie, over the succeeding generations.

The social rank of the office of ‘butler’ and other offices of state

Wace, a 12th century Norman poet, in his ‘Roman de Rou’, (commissioned by Henry II, devoted to William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest of England) tells us that, as early as the close of the 10th century Duke Richard of Normandy would have none but gentlemen in his household, as with the monarch, ie. senior royal officials in charge of managing a royal household - this included the highly ranked office of ‘butler’:

“Ne vot mestier de sa meisun

Duner si a gentil home nun

Gentil furent li chapelein, (chaplain- performing spiritual services for the monarch and his family, and often carried out some administrative/ clerical tasks)

Gentil furent li escrivain, (a scribe- responsible for drawing up acts issued in the names of the king and queen as well as a pipe roll)

Gentil furent li cunestable, (constable- governor of a royal castle- similar duties to a marshal)

E bien puissant e bien aidable (and very powerful and very helpful):

Gentil furent li seneschal (seneschal or steward/dapifer- principal administrator responsible for the entire control of domestic arrangements in a royal household, in charge of domestic, administrative services and finances; enabled to make decisions and act on behalf of the king- one of the two most senior officers of the royal household, along with the chamberlain)

Gentil furent li marescal (marshal- in command of the king’s military forces, responsible for the stables and horses of the household and in charge of discipline)

Gentil furent li butteiller, (butler- one of the top 4 ranked senior officers in the royal household, in charge of the wine cellar/buttery and a person of high social rank; served the king his wine at dinner; would present the newly crowned king his first cup of wine as monarch; and had different duties at different times)

Gentil furent li despensier. (dispenser- controls and distributes pantry provisions in the royal household)

Li chamberlence, e li ussier. (chamberlain- one of the two most senior offices of the royal household, responsible for the king’s ‘chamber’ or private living quarters, taking care of the personal well-being of the king and his family, furnishing the servants and personnel in intimate attendance on the Sovereign, and often acting as the King’s spokesman; ‘ussier’- the doorkeeper to the king’s chambers, only allowing those into the chamber whom the king wanted to see.)

Chascun iur orent liurisuns

E as granz festes dras e duns.” (ie. the robes and fees to which we find the officers of the King’s household entitled)

The King’s household officials were considered of sufficient importance to witness his charters. Butlers and chamberlains and seneschals appear in the will of King Edred who died in 955A.D, and who bequeathed them 80 golden coins.

Another important office was Chancellor, part of the royal household in England from the Norman Conquest, resulting from the immense pressure of work generated by the changes in land ownership following the conquest. Responsible for writing and applying the royal seal in the monarch’s name, aided by royal clerks.  In 1199, the chancery began to keep the Charter Rolls, a record of all the charters issued by the office, and then Patent Rolls and Close Rolls.

The Norman kings also appointed the office of Chief Justiciar, invariably a great noble or churchman, who would act as regent to represent them in the kingdom when the king was overseas, and act as the highest judge in the royal courts, in charge of the laws of the land. The office became very powerful and second only to the king in dignity, power and influence.

(NB. Three years after their uncle Rannulf de Glanville resigned as Chief Justiciar due to advanced age, Theobald Walter’s brother Hubert Walter Archbishop of Canterbury would be appointed Chief Justiciar in 1193 until he resigned in 1198, and after John’s accession, Chancellor in 1200.)

 Encyclopedia Britannica described the five great officers of state:

The seneschal, called in medieval Latin the dapifer (from daps, a feast, and ferre, to carry), was the chief of the five great officers of state of the French (and Norman) court between the 11th and 13th centuries, the others being the butler, the chamberlain, the constable and the chancellor.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica article on “Royal Household of the United Kingdom” (Michael Ray) explained the roles of the great officers of state:

The sovereign’s chief domestics, bearing titles suggestive of purely personal service, gradually became the great administrators of the realm. Very early in English history the royal household can be seen falling into three main divisions: the chapel with its staff of clerks, the hall where the daily life of the household was passed, and the chamber where the king could retire for sleeping and privacy and where his clothe, jewels and muniments were stored.

No account of the household staff of the Norman kings was written down before the early years of Stephen’s reign (1135-54) when the ‘Constitutio domus regis’ was compiled. It is primarily concerned with the daily wage in money and the allowance of bread, wine, and candles due to each household officer and ignores the fact that the less important royal servants generally held land of the king in ‘sergeanty’.

The ‘Constitutio’ begins with the royal chapel under the chancellor, who received the highest daily wage of all the king’s officers- 5 shillings- whether he ate at the king’s expense or his own. His second-in-command, the master of the writing office, had received tenpence, but Henry I increased his wage to 2 shillings and gave him appropriate additions to his allowance of bread, wine, and candle ends.

The king’s hall was under the care of two officers of equal rank, the seneschal (steward) and the master butler, who each received a standing wage of 5 shillings a day. When they actually served in court and were fed at the king’s expense, their daily wage was 3 shillings 6 pennies. Their two parallel departments provided food and drink through a series of officers carefully graded as to pay and allowances down to the man who counted the loaves and the slaughterers who had no pay, but “customary food” only.

After the hall, came the chamber under the master chamberlain, but beside him stood the treasurer, each of these officers receiving the same pay and allowances as the seneschal and master butler. Below them were less well-paid chamberlains: the man who looked after the king’s bed with a man and packhorse for its transport, the king’s tailor, and his bath attendant. The appearance here of the treasurer- as the head of the new financial department, the exchequer- shows that in origin the treasury was regarded as a household department. While the chancery and exchequer were still departments of the household, a hundred years later, the enormous momentum of a developing nation, had carried out of court, and the household had been obliged to create a financial and clerical department of its own, hence the gradual appearance in Henry II’s reign of the chamber as the department which received and spent money on household and national business.

The ‘Constitutio’ concludes with the two departments which between them cared for the safety, peace, order, and comfort of the household, and for the king’s sport. The chief constable had the same pay and allowances as the master chamberlain, but the marshal had not yet achieved the higher rate. He had to keep the tallies (the receipts) for all the gifts and liveries made from the king’s treasury and chamber and oversee the hearthman who made the fire in the hall from Michaelmas to Easter.

Already at the beginning of the 12th century, the chief household officers, important barons in their own right, had become too great to perform their household tasks as a matter of routine. On occasions of high ceremony, and in particular at a coronation, there was fierce competition among the greatest magnates of the land for the right to discharge any household duties which they could claim by inheritance.

As we know, the position of Butler of Ireland came with the special privilege known as the ‘prisage of wine’, a levy of approximately one tenth on wine imports into Ireland. Another special honour was that the Butler was required to serve the first glass of wine to the king after his coronation, and was further rewarded with a selection of the silver plate at the banquet.

Origins of the Walter family

For centuries, researchers of the Irish Butler/Ormonde family have been searching for the origins of Theobald Walter, with little success. Records revealed that Theobald’s father was named Hervey Walter, and Hervey’s father was also named Hervey. The Walter family flourished in the period from the late 11th to the early 13th century. However, records dating back to that period of time are few, making research difficult.

Thomas Carte published a comprehensive study of the Irish Butlers, “The Life of James Duke of Ormond” in 1736, republished in 1851. In the Introduction, Carte wrote that ‘nobody who has wrote on the subject of Herveus, father of Herveus Walter, seems to have had any notion of such a person’. He then discussed the numerous theories that have been written in past centuries of the origins of the Irish Butlers, none of which have been proven due to lack of documentary evidence, particularly birth, death or marriage records, in the 11th and 12th centuries. The primary sources of evidence are taken from official land holding records and fees due to the Crown, and ecclesiastical records of that time, very few of which date back to the 11th and early 12th centuries, and which rarely name wives or daughters, making research difficult.

In the 20th century, Butler family historians, the late Theobald Blake Butler and Patrick Lord Dunboyne, studied these families thoroughly over several decades, making extraordinary contributions to our genealogical knowledge of Butler families down the centuries, but again found it difficult to pinpoint the first Norman settler in the line. Blake Butler’s conclusion, based on Domesday Book land records, and lands subsequently held by the Walter family in Suffolk, was that the first in the line was probably a Norman named Walter who held a close relationship to Robert Malet, a major land holder as tenant-in-chief in Co. Suffolk in Domesday from whom Walter sub-tenanted several lands, and there are many good arguments for this conclusion. 

Apart from this Norman named just ‘Walter’, there were several other men also named ‘Walter’ who were sub-tenants of Malet. He was possibly ‘Walter the crossbowman’ or walter filius Aubrey /Albrici, both of whom held lands in close proximity to this ‘Walter’s’ lands and therefore could be the same person. This ‘Walter’ could also be Walter de Caen who was Robert Malet’s most prolific sub-tenant in Suffolk and Norfolk and a close associate (if not a relative) and also held lands in this same area, a conclusion Theobald Blake Butler came to in later years. 

There is also an unsubstantiated claim by a few historians that he was Walter de Glanville, and this theory should be considered given the close relationship between the Walter and de Glanville families. 

However, as will be shown, the available records are inconclusive. He may have just been a Norman knight simply named Walter.

The analysis in the 2nd and 3rd chapters, looks at the likelihood of the various ancestral origins claimed in numerous pedigrees produced through the centuries, including a thorough investigation of the most popular theories of descent from several Normans named Walter living in Suffolk, as well as the de Clares, the Beckets, the de Glanvilles, and individuals named Hervey and Hubert, suggested by some historians as Norman ancestors.

To determine which of the many ‘Walters’ named in the Domesday survey could be relevant to our quest, we can only look at the lands, possibly ancestral, held by the ‘Walter’ family in co. Suffolk in the 1100’s which correspond with the lands held by a knight named ‘Walter’ in Domesday. While this is not an accurate method, it is the only approach available to us, given the lack of records for that period of time.

But firstly, the information and records found on the extended Walter family need to be explored in detail to establish who were all the known family members, where they were living, what lands they held, and who their close associates


What circumstances preceded Theobald Walter being granted the title of Pincerna Hibernie/Le Botelier of Ireland which led his descendants to assume the surname, Butler?

Theobald and his brother Hubert were educated in the household of their uncle Rannulf de Glanville Chief Justiciar of England under Henry II. Henry’s youngest son, Prince John (born circa December 1166-1167) also joined Rannulf’s household in 1179, aged twelve, where he was to remain until his education was complete. The apprenticeship in the household of Rannulf must have had a profound impact on John, and he appears to have developed a long-lasting, albeit somewhat fractious attachment to the people in Rannulf’s household.

Rannulf de Glanville, the sheriff of Lancashire and Westmoreland, was rewarded for capturing the Scottish King William the Lion in 1174, by his appointment as a justice of the King’s Court, then the role of Chief Justiciar in 1180, and held the office until Henry’s death in 1189 which meant that he was the most powerful man in the realm after the king. He sat at the Exchequer, and, in the king’s absence, presided over royal councils, the king’s courts, and acted as military commander, so he was the ideal tutor for John. His elder nephew, Theobald Walter, would have trained as a knight in Rannulf's household, and no doubt was under Rannulf's command when the Scottish King was captured. Theobald owed 1 knight's fee, ie. the service of a knight, for his Weeton fee which he had inherited from his grandfather.

Rannulf's younger nephew Hubert Walter received his administrative and legal training under Rannulf’s tutelage and rose to prominence around the royal court during the 1180’s, beginning his career as one of the King's clerks. As Rannulf’s chief deputy, Hubert was involved in the full range of administrative business for which the justiciar was responsible, serving as one of the barons of the exchequer during the 1180’s and sitting regularly with Rannulf and others as a justice of the exchequer court, developing considerable expertise as a justice during those years. Henry II also employed him in chancery and diplomatic work, conveying messages between England and the king of France.

Rannulf and Theobald were at Chinon Castle in July 1189 when they both witnessed Henry’s confirmation Charter to Coverham Priory, shortly before Henry’s death there on 6 July.


(Monasticon Anglicanum, ii, p648- Chinon, A.D.1189- confirmation Charter to Coverham Abbey- witnesses)


Complete Charter:

Wikipedia; and, ‘A History of the Co. of York’ v.3, ed. Wm Page, 1974, pp 243:

Coverham Abbey in Nth Yorkshire was a Premonstratensian monastery originally founded in Swainby c.1190 (error- see Henry II’s charter) by Helewise daughter of Rannulf de Glanville, wife of Robert fitzRalph 3rd Lord of Middleham, with the consent of her son and heir Waleran then living. She died in 1195 and was buried at Swainby. It was refounded at Coverham in about 1212 by her son Ranulf fitzRobert who had the body of his late mother reinterred in the chapel house at Coverham.

(NB in Domesday, the single manor of Swainby was part of Count Alan’s Honour of Richmond, tenanted by Ribald Lord of Middleham)

Robert Wm Eyton, in hisCourt, Household and itinerary of King Henry II” (1878- p.297) reported the foundation differently:

5 July 1189. K. Henry is carried from the conference of Azay, in a dying state, to Chinon, where he learns that his son John has been beguiled to the allegiance of Philip.

A Royal Charter, dated at Chinon, confirms a grant by Walleran fitzRobert to Theobald Walter’s nascent foundation at Swainby (Lincolnshire). It is attested by William Dean of Moretain; Ralph Archdeacon of Colchester; William earl of Arundel; Rannulf de Glanvill, Theobald Walter, Stephen de Turnham, Ralph fitzStephen, Gilbert fitzReinfrid Dapifer; Walleran fitzRobert (son of Helewise), Henry de Cornhill, and Gilbert d’Aumari (Monasticon, vii, 920), at Chinon.

NB. All other references indicate that Helewise was the founder with the consent of her son and heir, Waleran. 

One of the other witnesses to the Charter, Henry de Cornhill (1135-1193) a royal official under Henry II, who was in charge of purchasing cloth and other items for the royal household, was known to be present at Henry’s deathbed at Chinon in July 1189 (Wikipedia), as was a second witness Stephen de Turneham (d.1215) who was seneschal of Anjou and was in charge of the royal treasure which Richard demanded he hand over after his father’s death. Stephen would order the burning of Le Mans where the king was staying when they were attacked by his son Richard’s forces in June 1189.

Author William Glanville-Richards confirms in his book on the de Glanvilles, that Rannulf (and Theobald) were with Henry in the last tumultuous weeks of his life, (Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville, London 1882, p.35-36), in which he wrote:

In July 1188, we find Rannulf collecting an army of earls, barons and knights, and a large number of Welshmen, and sending them to Henry in Normandy who was then at war with France.

In January 1189 the Archbishop of Canterbury (Baldwin), and his vicar Gilbert de Glanville Bishop of Rochester, preached before the King and assembled lords, the subject being “On the Mystery of the Cross”, they pointing out that all those who professed to be followers of Jesus, the sin and shame it was for them to all His sepulcher to remain in the followers of Mahomet, and exhorted all, or whatever station, from the King to the meanest of his subjects, to at once assume the sign of the Cross, and join those blessed expeditions, who were now marching towards Jerusalem, by assisting in the undertaking, and to insure themselves glory in this world and eternal salvation in the next.” Henry himself promised to march there was soon as he was able to leave the kingdom. But “what the astonishment”, writes Lord Campbell,of all present, when the Chief Justiciary Randulph de Glanville, known to be vigorous and energetic, but not suspected of enthusiasm, now well stricken in years, who had spent the best part of his life in studying the law and administering justice, who had a wife and many children and grandchildren, the objects of his tender attachment- rose up as soon as the King had concluded his speech, and asked the Archbishop to invest him with the Cross- was enlisted as a Crusader with all the vows and rites used on such a solemn occasion, so much in earnest was he that he wished forthwith to set forward for the Holy Land.”

Glanville did not set out at once as he desired, as weighty matters of State kept him longer in England. Prince Richard had again rebelled against his father, and had taken up the cause of Philip King of France, due to the refusal of Henry to deliver up Alice, sister of Philip, and the affianced bride of Richard. Glanville, at the command of the King, therefore waited until tranquility should be restored; but before this was consummated King Henry died at Chinon ‘of a broken heart’ on July 6, 1189. Glanville was present at the scene “when on the approach of Richard blood gushed from the dead body, in token, as people said, that the son had been the murderer of his father.

The new monarch, now stung with remorse, renounced all the late companions of his youth who had so misled him, and offered to confirm all his father’s councilors in their offices. This offer was firmly refused by Glanville, who had serious misgivings as to the sincerity of Richard, and who, now wearing the Cross, was bound by his vow, as well as incited by his inclination, to set forward for the recovery of Jerusalem. However, he discharged the duties of his office for some weeks till a successor might be appointed, and he attended, with the rank of Chief Justiciar, at Richard’s coronation, when he exerted himself to the utmost to restrain the people from the massacre of the Jews, which disgraced that solemnity. Glanville was not only witness to King Henry’s will, but also one of the executors appointed under it.

We know that Richard’s first care when he landed at Portsmouth in 1189, was to seize his father’s treasury at Winchester Castle, and that Glanville gave up to the King the enormous treasury of £900,000, besides jewels etc. He was likewise a witness to a Charter of Richard I to John de Alençon in Normandy dated April 11, 1190, before traveling on towards Jerusalem in the company of Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, and Hubert Walter his nephew Bishop of Salisbury, and landed at Tyre, about Michaelmas 1190, all of them having been despatched by King Richard to assist at the siege of Acre, and having previously, according to some accounts, accompanied the King himself through France as far as Marseilles. Rannulf and his companions reached Acre, before which Archbishop Baldwin first fell a victim, and then, before the end of the year, Rannulf de Glanville, but not as sometimes stated, in the heat of battle. Glanville had accumulated a very great fortune which enabled him to travel to the Holy Land as a noble of the highest rank.” 

The death of Henry II

Our knowledge of these accounts came from the pen of contemporary chroniclers, Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) who was present during these events, and Gervase a monk of Canterbury.

King Phillip of France played on the rifts in this tumultuous family, suggesting to Richard that his father’s favourite was John and that Henry wished to support John’s succession. Richard demanded full recognition of his position as heir, which Henry refused. Further rebellion ensued. Henry with a handful of faithful followers shut himself up at his birthplace, Le Mans and fell ill with a fever whilst there. Richard and Phillip proceeded to attack Le Mans. On 11 June, the defenders, ordered by Stephen de Turneham, set fire to parts of the town suburbs to impede their progress, which quickly spread through the city, forcing Henry and his followers to flee. While covering Henry’s retreat from Le Mans to Chinon, William Marshall unhorsed Richard and could have killed the prince, but killed his horse instead to make the point. He was to be the only man ever to unhorse Richard.

Henry sent Rannulf de Glanville (probably accompanied by Theobald) back to England to collect forces, and ‘compel soldiers and the poor to come over’ while Henry turned back to Chinon. Rannulf got little satisfaction from the clergy at Canterbury, and having stormed out of the meeting, he hastened to London to gather together a force and organize their transmission to the king in Normandy (according to Gervase of Canterbury- Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, vol. I, The Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I, ed. Wm Stubbs, London 1879, pp.447-450).

Rannulf then returned to the King’s side at Chinon. It was at this time that Henry made the confirmation charter to Coversham Abbey endorsing the grant by Rannulf’s grandson Waleran fitzRobert, and witnessed by Rannulf and Theobald and others who were with the King at the end.

Fever stricken, Henry lay there in Chinon while Philip and Richard stormed Tours. Dragging himself out of bed, he was humiliatingly forced to meet them and agree to terms- to pardon all those who conspired against him, renew his homage to Philip, and, most hurtful of all, to acknowledge Richard as his heir to all his lands, and to give him the kiss of peace, with Henry muttering “God grant that I die not until I have avenged myself on thee” (according to Giraldus Cambrensis*). Henry’s only request was a list of those who had rebelled against him which was delivered to him at Chinon. William Marshall began to read out the list, at the top of which was his beloved son John, the son he had trusted and fought for had deserted him. Utterly crushed, Henry did not wish to hear the other names on the list. Heart-broken and disillusioned, his health quickly deteriorated, and he lay tossing in anguish and delirium, cursing his sons and himself, breathing his last on 6th July 1189. According to Giraldus Cambrensis*, Henry’s last words were “Shame on a conquered king; for shame”- “Proh pudor de Rege victo! Proh pudor!” -  as he turned to the wall and died. Other reports have him saying “Now let the world go as it will; I care for nothing more.” And as he sank into a delirium: “Shame on a conquered king! Cursed be the day I was born! Cursed be the sons I leave!”  Henry’s only family present was his beloved illegitimate son Geoffrey who had tenderly cared for him in his last days (Geoffrey would unwillingly become Archbishop of York under Richard’s orders). Henry’s body was taken to the Abbey of Fontevrault in Anjou for burial, which was to become the mausoleum of the Angevin Kings.

*Giraldus Cambrensis De Instructione Principum: Libri III, ed. J.S. Brewer, (London 1848) p.150-151.

The editor wrote in the preface:  For some years Giraldus was the daily companion of Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1188 Giraldus accompanied Archbishop Baldwin, then engaged in preaching the Crusades. Subsequently, when the war broke out between Prince Richard and his father Henry, which ended in the death of Henry, Giraldus was sent over to France, as a mediator with Archbishop Baldwin and Ranulf de Glanville; so that he had every facility for ascertaining the truth of what he has narrated respecting the death of the King, and the cause of his dissension with his sons- means for ascertaining the truth, such as no author possessed at the time.

Hubert Walter's rise in status under Rannulf de Glanville

Hubert’s meteoric rise within the church began with his first appointment as rector of Halifax in 1185, promoted in 1186 as dean of York Cathedral, then appointed Bishop of Salisbury in 1189 by the newly crowned King Richard, culminating with his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1193. Hubert’s rise to ultimate power, both secular and ecclesiastic, followed the accession of Richard I.

According to C.R. Cheney in his book ('Hubert Walter' 1976, pp18-21), Hubert first appears in 1181 in the company of his uncle Rannulf, now chief justiciar, and Osbert de Glanvill at the king’s court at Westminster shortly before Henry II went overseas, entrusting England to the justiciar for the next two years.  This particular transaction was witnessed by three bishops, Richard of Winchester, Geoffrey of Ely and John of Norwich, then Rannulf de Glanville the new justiciar, Richard fitzNeal the king’s treasurer, William de Vere a royal judge, and Hubert Walter, and three well-known judges, followed by Silvester (?)de Glanville and a dozen other men. In 1182, a similar gathering in the king’s chamber at Westminster approved a grant to the cathedral church of Wells, in the presence of Rannulf Glanvill justiciar of the lord king and many others of the exchequer. The first witnesses were a distinguished half-dozen archdeacons, followed immediately by ‘Osbert de Camera, Hubert Walter, and William de Glanvill, clerks’. Hubert was with Rannulf in the King’s court at Woodstock in August 1184, and sat on the bench at Westminster in 1184, 1185, 1187, 1188 and 1189. He took money to Maurice de Berkeley in South Wales in 1184, or 1185. Henry II employed him several times to negotiate with the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury over disputes.

He was at court with the king on 10 April 1185, on the eve of Henry II’s crossing from Dover to France, and two years later he crossed the Channel on the king’s service. In February 1189, when Hubert Walter was with the king at Le Mans, he was doing chancery business. In March that year, he deputized for the justiciar who was overseas with the king.

Gervase of Canterbury wrote that Hubert shared with Rannulf de Glanvill in the government of England (Gervaise, II, 406), and this, with the fact that Hubert was nephew to Rannulf, suggested to some historians that Hubert might be the author of the anonymous ‘treatise on the laws and customs of the realm of England’. It is attributed to the years 1187-9, at the end of Henry II’s reign.

While Rannulf de Glanville is credited with the authorship of ‘Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae’, often called ‘Glanvill treatise’, a legal treatise on the laws and constitutions of the English written 1187-89, some historians, such as W.L. Warren, theorize that Hubert may have been the author, while others have suggested Osbert fitzHervey, and Geoffrey fitzPeter who replaced Hubert as Justiciar and had a strong knowledge of the law, could have contributed.

While there is debate over the actual authorship of all or part of the ‘Tractatus’, the legal opinions of Hubert Walter are cited four times out of the twelve, two by Rannulf and two by Osbert fitzHervey. Hubert’s close working relationship with Rannulf over a long period of time, and Hubert’s knowledge of the law and his organisational skills, demonstrated in his roles as Justiciar and Chancellor, certainly recommend his candidacy as the author.

As Wikipedia describes, “it was revolutionary in its systematic codification that defined legal processes and introduced writs, innovations that survive to the present day. It is considered a book of authority in English common law.”

Glanville's 'Tractatus' (‘Glanvil de Legibus’) was first printed in a book in 1554 edited by Richard Tottel. The image is of an original first edition.


Original first edition of ‘Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae’

When Richard went on Crusade in the summer of 1190, Rannulf de Glanville, Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury and Hubert Walter bishop of Salisbury preceded him to Acre. The aging Rannulf and Baldwin soon died of sickness in the Holy Land, and Hubert was given the task of reorganizing and financing the starving army using the deceased archbishop’s possessions, handling a variety of sensitive negotiations between competing crusade leaders, and negotiating with the Muslim leader Saladin, which he accomplished with great skill over the following two years. He led sorties against Saladin’s camp, distinguishing himself in several battles, and also ministered to the religious needs of the army which raised morale. Hubert’s stature in the crusading army continued to grow after the arrival of Richard who found the army in far better shape than it had been six months before. His negotiation of a more permanent peace treaty with Saladin restored Latin services in the Holy Land and guaranteed free access for western Christians to Jerusalem, after which Hubert then fulfilled his crusader’s vow by leading one of the first contingents of Western pilgrims to visit Jerusalem. Hubert and King Richard both left the Holy Land in October 1192, with Hubert visiting Pope Celestine III in Rome in January 1193, where rumours of Richard’s captivity first reached him.

Having been captured on his return from the Crusade in October 1192 and held in captivity by the Holy Roman Emperor, Richard was found at Ochesenfurt on the River Main in March 1193 by Hubert accompanied by the exchequer clerk, and were the first of his subjects to reach him. He immediately began negotiating terms for Richard’s release. Having observed Hubert’s extraordinary diplomacy, leadership and organizational skills during the Crusade, Richard gave him letters appointing him as Chief Justiciar and ordering the church hierarchy to elect Hubert as archbishop of Canterbury, whereupon Hubert returned to England to raise the enormous ransom demanded for Richard’s release.

Biographer Robert Stacey wrote: 'The 4 1/2 years of Hubert Walter's justiciarship were characterized by the systematization of existing procedures and the creation of new ones. Under his justiciarship, the king's court became an increasingly professionalized and specialised set of institutions. This continued in chancery after Hubert's appointment as chancellor on John's accession to the throne.' (ref: Walter, Hubert, by Robert C. Stacey, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004)

As reported by contemporary chroniclers, Hubert is well known to have kept John’s excesses on a tight leash until Hubert’s death in July 1205 (only a few weeks before his brother Theobald’s death in August-September, before Michaelmas), which is an indication of Hubert’s influence over John. Having virtually governed England for Richard for the six years prior to John’s accession, Hubert, well known for his masterful temperament, was inclined to act rather dictatorial than deferential towards John, so much so, that when he received tidings of Hubert’s death, John supposedly rejoiced and exclaimed “Now for the first time I am King of England!” (“Nunc primum sum rex Angliæ!”), according to contemporary chronicler Matthew Paris.

                                            Matthew Paris’ (1200-1259- chronicles of a monk of St Alban), ii, p.104


Although at least twenty to thirty years his senior, Theobald became a favourite of Prince John who was granted the lordship of Ireland by his father King Henry II in 1177. Theobald and Rannulf accompanied John, along with 300 knights, on his first visit to Ireland in 1185, the freight of Theobald's equipment being paid for by the royal exchequer. Theobald's men, along with an Anglo-Norman party from Cork led by Geoffrey de Cogan, were responsible for the assassination of Diarmait MacCarthaig (Dermot MacCarthy), king of Desmond (co. Cork and most of Co. Kerry), during a parley in 1185.

Theobald and Rannulf were granted 5 ½ cantreds of land in Limerick, jointly held, for the service of 22 knight’s fees, which subsequently became Theobald’s land as sole beneficiary. Theobald was also granted the castle and vill of Arklow and the manor of Tullach Ua Felmeda in Carlow, and land centered on Gowran, Kilkenny, between 1185 and 1189, the deed witnessed by Ranulf de Glanville, and Hubert [Walter] Dean of York. Notably Theobald is not described as ‘pincerna’ is this document. (Ormond Deed No. 17)

Ormond Deed No. 17:

Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) accompanied John’s entourage to Ireland and wrote of his experiences there, ‘Expugnatio Hibernica’, which was translated in ‘The English Conquest of Ireland A.D. 1166-1185’, Pt 1 ed. by Frederick Furnivall, London 1896, pp.149-151:

Gerald described John’s companions as “Talkative, boastful, enormous swearers, bribe-takers, and insolent”.

Geraldus reporting that Dermod MacCarthy, Prince of Desmonde (King of Cork), and others attending a parley in Cork, were slain by Theobald Walter and his men in 1185:

‘Of the Prynce of Desmonde, Dermot Maccarthy, that with many othyr in a parlement besyde Corke, through Tybaud Wauter and the meny (men) of Corke, was y-Slayn.’

In the side column:

‘A.D. 1185 in colloquio prope Coreagiam, a Corcagiensibus et Theobaldi Gualteri familia ferro peremptis.’ (translated as: ‘A.D.1185. In a conference near Coreagia, in Cork, Theobald Walter’s family were slain by the sword’.

Gerald then continues to name many of those Norman and English knights slaughtered in Cork. 
The use of the Latin word 'familia' does seem to indicate Theobald's family rather than just companions, were involved in the slaughter. 

They may have been accompanied to Ireland by a possible son and heir of Rannulf named William de Glanville who was subsequently killed in the skirmish. He was Theobald's cousin. There is also the possibility that Theobald's younger brother Roger Walter may have also accompanied them, as he appears to have held a close relationship to William:

M.T. Flannagan (Butler [Walter], Theobald, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004)  noted, “An entry in the annals of Loch Cé, recording the killing in 1185 by Domnall Ó Briain, king of Thomond, of a foster brother of Prince John, suggests that a son of Ranulf de Glanville was included among John's entourage in Ireland.” 

viz. " in which very many foreigners were slain, along with the foster-brother of the son of the king of the Saxons."

Records indicate that this son of Rannulf named William de Glanville appears to have died in the mid to late 1180’s, and may have died on this excursion to Ireland. He was probably the William de Glanville who witnessed Hervey Walter’s charter to Butley priory in c.1171-77. In Hervey’s charter to Butley, he dedicated the charter partly for the souls of “Rannulfi de Glanvill et Berte sponse sue et filiorum suorumwhich translates as 'Rannulf de Glanvill and Berthe his wife and their sons'. The editor of the Cartulary, R. Mortimer, noted that "this seems to be the only indication that Rannulf de Glanville had sons; he was succeeded by his three daughters". (The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, ed R.H. Mortimer, 1979, p.151, No.146)

He was also probably the William de Glanville who shared a farm in Norfolk with Theobald’s brother Roger Walter which they donated to the nuns of Watton monastery in the charter of John de Birkin and his wife Joan and her sister, William’s wife Dionysia [Lenveise] who remarried c.1189. (Wm Glanville Richards, Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville, 1882, p.10).

Notably, Theobald’s brother Roger Walter also ceased to appear in records by the late 1180's. He was last seen as a witness to Rannulf's foundation charter to Leiston Abbey, which historians have estimated to dated circa 1182-1186.

John O’Hart: ‘Irish Pedigrees: or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation’, v.1. 1892 (5th ed.)- on the MacCarthy clan, in particular Dermod MacCarthy:

“And thus did he pay for his error in woe,

His life to the Butler, his crown to the foe.”

The Victorian History of the County of Lancaster’, edit by William Farrer and J. Brownbill (London 1906), Volume I, pp.351-353:

“Immediately upon landing, Theobald received from John the grant to Glanvill and himself 5 ½ cantreds in Limerick. Before 1189 he received from John the fief of Arklow (Curtis, Ormond Deeds, No.17). Soon after his accession to the honour of Lancaster in 1189, John granted to Theobald for his homage and service all Amounderness for the service of three knight’s fee. Mr Round tells us that from 1185 to 1193 Theobald ‘was in constant attendance on John, witnessing his charters and receiving from him, as lord of Ireland, the office of his ‘butler’. He adhered to John in the rebellion of 1193-4 when he held the castle of Lancaster on the latter’s behalf; but in February 1194, being summoned by his brother Hubert, then justiciar, to surrender, he delivered it to him, and through his mediation made his peace with Richard, who immediately appointed him sheriff of the county and on 22 April 1194, re-granted to him the hundred of Amounderness, to hold as before by the service of three knights.” (NB. Theobald had only previously held a part of Amounderness in Lancashire through inheritance.)

As previously recounted, records suggest that Theobald was originally butler/pincerna of John’s personal household, rather than holder of a specifically Irish office, illustrated in the wording of a charter by John Archbishop of Dublin which was written,'Theobald, pincerna domini comitis Moretoniae in Hibernia' / 'Butler of the count of Mortain in Ireland' (viz. Prince John), (Curtis, Ormond Deeds, no. 11; Cott. MS fol.266), indicating that the office was deemed to be attached to John’s lordship of Ireland. 


Theobald’s father was Hervey Walter whose own father was known as Hervey (b.c.1080-90) as found in an early 13th century document, and as ‘Hervey Walter grandfather of Theobald’ (‘Hervei Walteri Aui ipius Theobald’) in a document in 1195. 

Four of Hervey Walter’s sons, Theobald, Hubert, Roger and Hamon, carried the surname Walter, as found in various documents. The Walter family held lands in Amounderness in Lancashire, and in Suffolk and Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire.

As to Hervey Senior’s parents, records do not reveal this information. Their existence dates back to the time of the Conquest. We can only look at lands held by the Walter family, and the original holders of these lands in Domesday to get an idea of possible Norman forebears, which will be explored in detail in the following chapters.

There was a second family of Walters contemporary with Hervey Walter and his children- another Hubert Walter (herein named 'the elder'), who also held lands in Suffolk in the same as Hervey Walter in the 1100’s, inherited by his son Peter Walter, and records indicate they were closely related- most likely, Hervey and Hubert were brothers, sons of Hervey [Walter] Senior, as their lands were adjacent on Suffolk, and Peter Walter held a close relationship with the senior Walter line, as indicated by several records.

Original Charter of Theobald (T.) Walter to Cockersand Abbey, Lancashire, c.1194-99, written on velum, in which he names his father, Hervey Walt[er] and his mother Matil[da] de Wal (line 3); Hubert (H.) archbishop of Canterbury his brother, and his ‘dear’ Rannulf de Glanville (line 2).

A witness is Theobald’s cousin’s son, Elias filius Roger (viz. Roger de Hutton- son of Orm and Alice Walter, sister of Hervey Walter) (end of line 11).

This charter had a contemporary endorsement ‘Pylyn, T. Walterus’ (ie. Pilling Hay which Theobald donated). Seal broken off.


(Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey, v.2, pt.1, ed. William Farrer, 1898)

This charter does not mention Theobald’s wife Matilda, so predates their marriage (in c.1195-96) and Theobald’s charter to Wothney Abbey (c.1195-1198), but post brother Hubert’s appointment as Archbishop in 1193, and therefore would probably be dated about 1194-95.

And as we have previously seen, Theobald’s charter to the Monastery of Arklow named his mother as ‘Matildis de Valuniis’ (Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6, pt.2, p.1128), and his charter to the Monastery of Wotheny named her as ‘Matildae de Waltenes’ which the editor, William Dugdale, noted as ‘Valoniis’ (Mon. Ang. v.6, pt.2, p.1136-37).

The Walter family flourished during the 12th century. To hold the surname ‘Walter’ was most unusual in this period of time, and the ‘Walter’ surname was used by multiple members of the extended family and for several generations. Thomas Carte (Life of James Duke of Ormonde, p.xxiii-xxiv) wrote that, Robert Ulvester King of Arms laboured principally to prove that the surname of the family was Walter, and that it continued down the generations. Beatrix, daughter to Theobald uses Walter as a surname in her grants of lands to the monastery of St. Thomas in Dublin, and indeed, all the descendants of Theobald still kept up the surname of Walter till the time of their being created earls of Ormond. This he proves by a great number of records, the two last of which, were: a plea roll of 13 Edward II wherein Edmund Walter, butler of Ireland sets forth his title as descended from Theobald Walter I. The second is a plea roll in 2 Edward III, wherein James the first Earl of Ormond styles himself ‘Jacobus Walter Pincerna Hibernie’.

The Walter family consisted of the following names as found in various records:

Hervey (Walter?) (estimated b.c.1080-1090)- earliest known patriarch- granted lands in Amounderness, Lancashire by King Henry I (1100-1135) or by Henry’s nephew and heir Stephen Count of Mortain who held the Honour of Lancaster (since c.1113). Held lands in Bishops Hundred in Suffolk, part of the Honour of Eye, possibly inherited. An Inquest A.D.1212, named him as ‘Hervey’. An A.D.1195 suit by Theobald Walter names Theobald’s grandfather as ‘Hervey Walter’- ‘Hervei Walteri Aui ipius Theobald’ (Latin ‘Aui’= grandfather)

Married unknown. Died before 1166


1.Hervey Walter (b.c.1105-1115; d.c.1170’s-80’s) m. Maud/Matilda de Valoines, dau. of Theobald de Valoines Lord of Parham, co. Suffolk; died circa 1195-96 (*“The Chronicle of Jocelin of Brakelond”, written late 12th century, p.121- reporting son Hubert, as Archbishop and Papal legate, visiting West Dereham where his mother was dying); Made a charter to Butley Priory in Suffolk c.1171-77, donating tithes of his Suffolk lands.


A-Theobald Walter le Botelier (born circa mid-1130’s to mid 1140's; died circa August -September 1205 (before Michaelmas)- on 4 August 1205, the sheriff of Lancaster was directed to distrain Theobald for debt of 5 marks. By Michaelmas (29 sept) 1205, Gilbert fitzReinfred sheriff of Lancaster, answered for the receipts of Theobald's lands in Amounderness which yielded  £10. 1s. 3d. for the king's use for the portion of the years that remained before Michaelmas audit (Pipe Roll 7 John p.178). Issue by first unknown wife - Beatrix Walter [m.1.Thomas de Hereford; m.2. Hugh Purcel]; and, possibly a son named Reimundo filio Theobaldia Wa[l]teri who witnessed a charter of John lord of Ireland 1185-89 (possibly illegitimate) ( Red book of Earls of Kildare, 1964, p.14- charter of John for Gerald fitzMaurice at Bristol), 

        and issue by 2nd wife Maud/Matilda dau. of Robert le Vavasour- Theobald Walter II le Botelier and Maud Walter (m. Gerald Prendergast). Theobald inherited the Weeton fee in Amounderness, Lancashire before 1166; Butler of Ireland c.1185-97; granted extensive lands in Ireland and Lancashire; High Sheriff of Lancaster 1194-99 and Lord of the Castle of Lancaster 1194. Held inherited lands in Suffolk and Norfolk.

B-Hubert Walter (b.c. mid-1130’s to mid 1140's; died 13 July 1205)- rector of Halifax in 1185, dean of York Cathedral 1186; Bishop of Salisbury 1189; Crusades 1190-1193; Archbishop of Canterbury 1193-1205; Papal legate 1195-1198; Chief Justiciar of England (under Richard I) 1193-1198; and Chancellor (under King John) 1200-1205; Founded the Abbey of West Dereham, Norfolk in 1188; In the contemporary Chronicle of Jocelyn of Brakelond (a monk at the abbey of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk), p.122, Jocelyn recounts a dispute between the abbot of St Edmund’s and Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury and legate: “However, these and other altercations being brought to a close, the legate (Hubert) began to flush in the face, upon the abbot lowering his tone, and beseeching him that he would deal more gently with the church of St Edmund, by reason of his native soil, for he was native born of St Edmund, and had been his fosterling. And indeed, he had reason to blush, because he had so unadvisedly outpoured the venom which he had bred within him” – which appears to confirm he was born in Suffolk.

Hubert’s charter to West Dereham does not state that he was born at West Dereham, as several historians continue to state. Hubert only writes in his charter, “a monastery of the Premonstratensian order in our fief of Dereham”. [Bishop] Thomas Tanner [1674-1735], an English antiquary who wrote an account in 1695 of all abbies and priories in his ‘Notitia Monastica’ (pub. by John Tanner 1744, p.352; repeated in Wm Dugdale’s ‘Monasticon Anglicanum’ v.6, Pt 2, p.899; pub 1846), and in his brief entry on West Dereham Abbey, Tanner wrote: “Hubert, A.D.1188, then dean of York… built, at this the place of his nativity, an Abbey etc.’, without giving any source for this information, and, in fact, no birth records existthis is the ongoing source of this theory of West Dereham being the birthplace of Theobald and Hubert, but, as Hubert’s charter states, the land for the abbey was purchased from Geoffrey filius Geoffrey Earl of Essex [after 1154]. (see more detail on Hubert at the bottom of this page)

C-Roger Walter (b.c.1140’s. d.c.1180’s) witnessed his father’s Charter to Butley Priory along with brothers Hubert and Hamon in c.1171-77 (notably, while Hubert was named as Hubert Walter, significantly Roger and Hamon were only given their first names with no surname in this first appearance as witnesses:

Witnessed Rannulf de Glanville’s Charter to Leiston Abbey, c.1185-88 as Rogero Walteri along with brother Teobaldo Walteri, and with Huberto Walteri named in the Charter text.  (Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, ed R.H. Mortimer, pp.76,131,151)

Named in the Charter of John de Birkin and William de Glanville c.1180’s, as Rogero Walteri, in which the farm that he shared with William de Glanville (probably his cousin, son of Rannulf de Glanville) was donated to the canons and nuns of Watton monastery.

(‘Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville’, William U.S. Glanville Richards, London 1882, p.10)

Rogero Waltero, a witness to the charter, dated c.1170-81, of Theobald Hautein to Jervaulx Abbey, of lands donated by Hamone de Valoines, his maternal relative. (Early Yorkshire Charters [EYC], 5, Pt.II, p.238)

Historian William Farrer (
Lancashire Pipe Rolls, pub.1902) originally, erroneously, suggested Roger Walter was Roger Pincerna/le Boteler of Warton in Amounderness, possible ancestor of the Butlers of Rawcliffe, however, Roger Pincerna of Warton was witnessing documents as early as the 1150’s, too early to be Roger Walter, and in the 1160’s-70’s before Roger’s elder brothers Theobald and Hubert were listed as witnessing charters; and Roger Pincerna named his brother as ‘Martin’ in a charter.

Farrer wrote (L.PR. p.40), “Roger Pincerna ie. “le Boteler” was probably a younger brother of Theobald Walter. He and his wife Quenilda are mentioned in the Chartulary of Cockersand, together with their sons, Richard, Robert and Adam.”

Farrer appears to have changed his view, and no longer made the same claim in his ‘A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7’, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1912), pp. 171-174- the township of Warton:

Roger le Boteler attested a charter of Richard Bussell of Penwortham of the time of Henry II, at least as early as 1154-59, and another in the period 1160-80 (Lanc. Pipe Rolls, 375, 409). He paid half a mark in 1177 for some default (ibid. 38). In 1184–7 he appears to have claimed Claughton (ibid. 56).

Quenilda, daughter of Hugh son of Acard/Albert Bussel (brother of Warin Bussell of Penwortham, Lancashire, who held land in Domesday from Roger the Poitevan), who was married to Roger le Boteler, and had a number of children —Richard, Stephen, Thomas, Adam, Roger and Siegrith.

Lytham Charters at Durham, (1 a, 2 ae, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 46); a confirmation of the grant of an oxgang of land which Quenilda's husband Roger had given to the priory. Roger's grant (no. 47), made 'with the consent of my wife Quenilda and my heirs,' was attested by 'Stephen my son, Martin my brother,' and others. The family were benefactors of the religious houses at Lytham and Cockersand, Quenilda's husband (Roger Pincerna) becoming a monk of the former (Lytham Charter no.46) and was dead prior to 1200 as she rendered account in 1200-1 for part of the scutage due from the fee of Penwortham which incorporated Warton (Lanc. Pipe Roll, p.132).

The man known as Roger Pincerna (le Boteler) of Warton attested charters of Richard Bussel (son and heir of Warrin Bussell Baron of Penwortham) in the early years of Henry II, decades before Theobald Walter was granted the butlership of Ireland. Therefore, there is no explanation for Roger Walter holding the occupational surname of Pincerna, thereby negating this theory.

There were several families of the name of Pincerna in Lancashire in the 12th century. The Warrington Pincernas took the name from the hereditary office of Butler which they held under the earls of Chester, beginning with Richard Pincerna who appears in the Domesday survey holding lands in Cheshire.

There was also a Hamo Pincerna in Lancashire from whom the great family of Hoghton sprung, and do not appear to have any connection with the Warrington Pincernas. Hamo married (c.1130’s) a daughter of Warin Bussell Baron of Penwortham who held land in Domesday from Roger the Poitevan as one of his knights, Hamo’s son Richard Pincerna married the daughter of William de Valoines of Culpho, Suffolk (brother of Maud Valoines), according to Theobald Blake Butler. Roger Pincerna of Warton was probably closely related to Hamo Pincerna, hence their mutual association with the Bussels of Penwortham.

Importantly, Roger continued to use the surname Walter in the 1180’s, attesting his uncle Rannulf’s charter to Leiston, the charter of Theobald Hautein to Jervaulx, and the charter of John de Birkin. Roger also appeared to be living in the East Anglian/Yorkshire area, not Lancashire, but disappears from the records in the mid 1180’s (after witnessing the Leiston Abbey charter) and, unlike his brothers, did not witness or donate to his brother Hubert’s foundation charter to West Dereham Abbey, so probably died, possibly during Prince John’s visit to Ireland in 1185, accompanying his brother Theobald and uncle Rannulf de Glanville (as previously recounted).

D-Hamon Walter of Ickleton, Cambridgeshire; the ‘vill of Ickleton’ was donated to West Dereham Abbey by the Walter family including Hamo Walteri who resided there, sometime after Hubert Walter’s Foundation Charter (1188-1199): ‘terram de Iclinton, quam Hamo Walteri tenuit in eadem villa integrè’; May have died before this donation. Also witnessed his father’s Charter to Butley Priory c.1171-77. 

One of the witnesses to brother Hubert’s foundation Charter to West Dereham was Robert de Scales, son of Roger de Scales who, “with his wife Muriel (de Lisewis), in the time of Stephen or Henry II, brought some monks to Blackborough, Co Norfolk (about 14 kms N of West Dereham, near Scales Hall), then also called Shiplade in the parish of Middleton, and built a priory for them to the honour of God, the blessed Virgin Mary, and St Katherine. Here were, afterwards, religious of both sexes, under the government of Hamo Wauter (viz. Walter) and Maud his mother”, as recorded in the Register of Blackborough, fol.1.  (Monasticon Anglicanum, v.4, p204). Roger’s son Robert de Scales, before the year 1200, settled this house upon nuns of the order of St Benedict. As Hamo was with his mother Maud, this must have been after the death of his father Hervey Walter, and before her death c.1195-96.

(Mon. Ang. V.4, p.204- Nunnery of Blackborough)

Roger de Scales was the grandson of Hardwin de Scales, a Breton who held Ickleton in the Domesday Book (sub-tenanted by Durand Malet, brother of Robert Malet), one of 64 lands held as tenant-in-chief. There were only a few witnesses to Hubert's foundation charter of West Dereham, so the question is, on what basis was Robert de Scales included in this small group, and was there a closer link with Hardwin de Scales to account for Hervey Walter having this land at Ickleton in Cambridgeshire (see West Dereham below).

Theobald Blake Butler (v.2. p445) made an incorrect statement that, in 1177, Hamo Walter hired a ship in Norfolk and Suffolk to carry the harness and supplies of Robert le Power into Ireland, who was going into Ireland to the aid of William de Courci’, referencing Sweetman’s ‘Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland’ (pub 1886, V.1, p4, No 21). In fact, this occurred in 1171-72 and named ‘Hugh Pincerna’ hiring the ship, not Hamo Walter. It also referenced Pipe Roll 18 Henry II, p.32 which confirmed it was ‘Hugh Pincerna’.

Nothing else known of Hamo Walter, but he doesn't appear to have left descendants. 


E-Bartholomew- two records exist naming Bartholomew as a brother of Theobald and Hubert- ie. Hubert Walter, as Bishop of Salisbury c.1189-90, made a charter for a grant to the chapel of St Lawrence, Reading, which was witnessed by ‘Theobald Walter and Bartholomew his brother’/ Teodeb[aldo] Gauteri et Bartholomeo fratre ejus. A second record, in the Cartulary of Colchester Priory (i,133-34) in two grants by Geoffrey de Sackville (son of Jordan) c.1189-93, the first three witnesses are ‘Hubert Walter bishop of Salisbury, Bartholomew his brother/fratre ejus, and William de Glanville (cleric)':

It is strange that Bartholomew was not listed as a witness for any of the other Walter family charters or records, maybe due to his age as the youngest sibling, As the youngest of five brothers and unknown number of sisters, we can assume he was born c.1150+. 

It is possible he went into one of the religious orders as a cleric. A charter of their cousin Theobald de Valeines [II] in the Butley Priory Charters dated 1178-1186 (Cart of Leiston Abbey etc, p.66, No.15), was witnessed by Hubert Walter (before he was dean of York, but working as a clerk for his uncle Rannulf de Glanville Chief Justiciar), and was also witnessed by ‘Bartholomeo de Norwic’ listed after ‘Radulfo de Sancto Eadmundo’ ([Bury] St Edmunds), implying he may have been a cleric for the bishop of Norwich, however, this record may be irrelevant.

In the Early Yorkshire Charters (v.I, p.440, No. 561n), a Charter by Bernard de Balliol II is witnessed by Herbert (sic) dean of York, and master Bartholomew the dean’s clerk, etc. Hubert Walter was dean of York 1186 to 1189 (there was no dean of York named Herbert). De Balliol who was said to have led the attack on the Scottish King William the Lion in 1174, under Rannulf de Glanville, which led to his capture, was last found in historical records in 1189 and presumed to have died then. Hubert’s clerk could have been his younger brother. Notably the archbishopric of York had been vacant since the death of the previous archbishop Roger de Pont L’Évêque in 1181, and would not be filled until 1189 by King Richard’s half-brother Geoffrey Plantagenet, much to Hubert’s chagrin, having been nominated for the position.

There are two further charters in the Early Yorkshire Charters, concerning ‘Master Bartholomew’.  The first was a quit claim by Adam de Warren presenting his sister to the bishop as his heir, dated sometime between 1180 and 1189, probably during Hubert’s tenure as dean of York. One of the witnesses was ‘magistro Bartholomeo tunc office[iali]’.(Early Yorkshire Charters, v.2 p.313 No.986)

The second is addressed to ‘magistro/master Bartholomeo’, as an official of the archbishopric of York (viz. ‘officialibus archiepiscopatus Eboracensis’), dated 1187 to 1188, ie. again, during Hubert’s tenure as dean of York (EYC, v.3, p.330

NB. William le Vavasour of Hazlewood [d.1191], father to Robert le Vavasour, Theobald’s father-in-law; William became custodian of the lands of the Archbishop of York from 1183 to 1190 (Geo. E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage, v.12 pt.2 pp.230-232: Vavasour.

According to C. R. Cheney in his book about Hubert Walter (pp.25,41-2, 19-20, 85:
“Hubert, as dean of York, was able to exercise his jurisdiction through officials, of whom, one Master Bartholomew was the principal. When Hubert crossed to Normandy in 1190 (on Crusade), he left two officials as his deputies in the diocese (of Salisbury). One was Master Bartholomew who had been his official at York, where, because of the vacancy of the see, diocesan business had come his way. At Salisbury, Bartholomew had a colleague Master Simon de Scales, a canon of the cathedral. Together they approved on behalf of the bishop a settlement made in the chapterhouse at Salisbury on 6 June 1191. Diocesan government was in this age largely conducted by a bishop’s deputies. His own ‘officials’ could institute parsons and hear lawsuits.

However, in the formal acts executed in the last few weeks before his election to Canterbury in May 1193, Master Bartholomew had departed, and one of Hubert’s most constant associates in the witness lists is Master Rannulf, treasurer of Salisbury”.
Notably, Cheney did not connect that Bartholomew was probably Hubert’s brother, not knowing the family genealogy. Also, of note, Hubert’s other deputy in the diocese was Simon de Scales, probably a close relative of Robert de Scales of Middleton in Norfolk, who appointed Hamon Walter and mother Maud as governors of Blackborough Priory (founded by his father Roger de Scales in 1150), and who was a prime witness to Hubert’s foundation charter of West Dereham Abbey. In Le Neve’s ‘Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300’, (Le Neve's "Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300", ed. Diana Greenway, 1968, v.4, p.133) it is noted that Master Simon de Scales first occurred as canon of Salisbury by April or May 1193, and was clerk of Hubert Walter as bishop of Salisbury 1189-93 and as archbishop of Canterbury 1193-1205.

Cheney (pp.158-171) describes how the clerks were seconded to work for the king in his justiciar’s office or exchequer. At some time when Hubert was both justiciar and legate (1195-98), he wrote a letter to the canons of the cathedral church of Salisbury about one of their clerks, chosen to work in the exchequer’s office. The letter illustrates the familiar use of cathedral canons in the civil service:
“Since reverence is everywhere due to the greatness of the earth and especially above all to the king, the exchequer account and the necessities of the state exempt from the general rule those who do the business of the king or kingdom; for in all walks of life he sufficiently fulfils his duties, although absent, who devotes himself to the welfare of all.
You know, moreover, that from every cathedral church of the kingdom we may at will summon those to share in our responsibility whom we think to be most useful. Nor does it seem absurd that the canons of our suffragans should serve us, as the members serve the head. Some men certainly are necessary to the king and some to us. And there are some whose prebends are insufficient for them to reside. If we write to you on behalf of any of them, let our requests be received so favourably by you that your petitions to us may in due course have the desired results.”

Cheney explained: “Royal servants received no regular salaries from the king’s treasury, but had their rewards in other ways, and those who were clerks were maintained, at least in part, by income from ecclesiastical benefices: rectories, canonries, and so forth. Glanvill enriched himself with the profits of shrieval office, grants of land, wardships; recompense for the justiciar’s clerk came from churches.”

Cheney also described that, “many of the clerks were ‘magistri’- scholars of a sort”. “Many of those whose academic training gave them the title of ‘magister’, move in and out of the records.”
Bartholomew was titled ‘magistro Bartholomeo’, translated as ‘Master Bartholomew’, indicating his high level of scholarly education.

“The clerks came into Hubert’s service by various ways. Hubert’s earlier public career had associated him with the senior clerks of the exchequer. As bishop of Salisbury, he could draw on a cathedral chapter which included scholars and administrators. In the place names which served for their personal names, the eastern counties of England- Hubert’s own home region- seem to preponderate.”“It may well be that some clerks were normally assigned duties in the field of ecclesiastical government, while others were marked out as justiciar’s clerks or chancellor’s clerks, some with such frequency that they must have been in the archbishop’s permanent employment.”

As before mentioned, Hubert as Bishop of Salisbury (1189-1193) made a personal charter for a grant to a church witnessed by ‘Theobald and Bartholomew his brother’, and then witnessed a further charter along with ‘Bartholomew his brother’, and thereby, one could make the logical assumption that his brother, and his official diocesan clerk from 1186 to 1193, ‘Master Bartholomew’, were one and the same, the name Bartholomew being uncommon in that period in Norman England.

Whether he first became Hubert’s clerk when Hubert was appointed dean of York in 1186, can’t be determined, but it would appear so. With Hubert working almost exclusively with his uncle in the exchequer, Bartholomew would handle the diocesan business on his behalf.

The Register of S. Osmond- ‘Vetus Registrum Sariseriense alius Dictum, Registrum S. Osmundi Episcopi’ (pp.263-64; cont on pp.266-67) has an entry c.1189-1191, involving a dispute between an archdeacon and a canon, which was settled by William Bishop of Ely, the apostolical legate in England. It began:

“William the Grace of God, Bishop of Ely, legate of the apostolic see, and lord of the King’s chamberlain, to his dearest brother in Christ, Hubert, the same Grace to the Bishop of Sarus (ie. Sarum viz. Salisbury- Old Sarum Cathedral was a Catholic and Norman cathedral at old Salisbury, now known as Old Sarum between 1092 and 1220. Only its foundations remain. The cathedral was the seat of the bishops of Salisbury during the early Norman period and the original source of the Sarum Rite which is the liturgical use of the Latin rites developed at Salisbury Cathedral and used from the late 11th century until the English Reformation), and to the whole chapter, greetings etc.” The charter is witnessed by various clerics, archdeacons, etc. including “master Bartholomew canon of Sarus”. He was therefore now a canon of Salisbury. Canons were church officials, clerics, who lived in the precinct of the cathedral, that may or may not be ordained. The Chapter of a cathedral is an official group made up of the Chapter of canons who meet in the chapter house, and run the business affairs of the cathedral.

As Cheney states that Bartholomew had departed a few weeks before Hubert’s election as Archbishop of Canterbury which occurred shortly after his arrival back from the Crusades in May 1193 (unknown whether Bartholomew accompanied Hubert on Crusade), it is possible that he was then employed as a full-time clerk in either the justiciary or chancery, following Hubert’s career path as a clerk under his uncle Rannulf de Glanville, Chief Justiciar. Cheney recounts about Hubert and his fellow clerks:

“In 1882, a gathering in the King’s chamber at Westminster, in the king’s absence, a grant by Richard and Gerard de Camvill to the cathedral church of Wells. The confirmation deeds were executed in the presence of Rannulf de Glanville justiciar of the lord king, and many others of the exchequer. The first witnesses were a distinguished half-dozen archdeacons, followed immediately by ‘Osbert de Camera, Hubert Walter and William Glanville, clerks’. The trio significantly took precedence of a large number of other men of note, clerical and lay. All three were evidently king’s clerks of senior standing, in attendance on the justiciar.”

Cheney also gave an explanation of the appellation ‘de Camera’ which means ‘of the Chamber’, viz. Justiciar’s Chamber: “Osbert de Camera was a well-known civil servant, whose title ‘de Camera’ suggests close association with the royal household. By royal favour he held, at this time and long after, the rich rectory of Faversham, and is also recorded as rector of one of Lewes Priory’s churches, Haughley in Norfolk (? Suffolk). Osbert died in 1201”.

Records in Richard’s reign, are sparse. However, when John succeeded the throne in mid-1199, Hubert was immediately appointed Chancellor, and he introduced Charter Rolls in 1199 and Close Rolls in 1204, administrative records which record all charters in the Chancery.

Shortly after King John’s succession, the records in the Rolls refer to a “Bartholomew de Camera” beginning in 1200 in the Charter Rolls, and from 1204 in the Close Rolls with several entries. About 1206-07 (a year or two after the deaths of his two elder brothers), he was sent to Ireland, referred to as ‘Bartholomew de Camera, the King’s clerk’, and resided in one of King John’s four Irish manor houses, at Esker, near Dublin, (for which he paid £21 annually) conducting the King’s business under the Chief Justiciar of Ireland until his retirement to a church in Limerick in 1225, dying sometime before 1229.

The heritage listed 11th century St Finian's Esker Church ruins are near the sight of the original manor House of Esker and an ancient stone bridge constructed in the reign of King John, possibly by Bartholomew de Camera.

Shortly after Bartholomew’s arrival in Ireland, John de Gray Bishop of Norwich was appointed Chief Justiciar of Ireland, a position also commonly known as Governor of Ireland, and served 1208 to 1213. The bishop was succeeded by Henry de Loundres Archbishop of Dublin 1213-1215, and 1221-1224, Geoffrey de Marisco 1215-1221 and 1226-1228, and William Marshal [II] 1224-1226.

As the King’s principal clerks were titled ‘de Camera’ (and there are several in the Close Rolls), this would explain why Bartholomew did not carry the family name of ‘Walter’. It would appear that he transferred from working as a diocesan clerk for Hubert when dean of York and then Bishop of Salisbury, to working as a clerk in the King’s chamber of the Justiciar and the Exchequer, initially under Hubert as Chief Justiciar 1193-1198, then under Hubert’s replacement as Chief Justiciar (from 1198 to 1213) Geoffrey fitzPeter 1st Earl of Essex, and his subsequent replacement, King John’s former chamberlain Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justiciar.

It was not until Hubert Walter instigated the Rolls in the Chancery after John’s succession, that Bartholomew appears in the records.

He was obviously very efficient in his job, as shown by his long-term employment as the King’s clerk, even after the death of King John in 1216, continuing under the 9-year-old King Henry III and his regency council initially led by William Marshal who thanked him for his “good and faithful service to King John”, replaced by Hubert de Burgh after Marshal’s death in 1219.

The Charter Roll and Close Roll entries for Bartholomew de Glanville

The Charter Rolls, ‘Rotuli Chartarum’ 1199-1216, which begin with John’s succession, has the following entry in 2 John, 1200 v.1., p.97)

Bartholomew, clerk of the chamber, has our Lord the King’s simple letters of protection

In the Close Rolls- ‘Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum, 1204-1224’, (volume 1) there are several entries for Bartholomew de Camera over a long period of time, from 1204 to the last entry in 1229 indicating that Bartholomew had previously died:
6 John 1204 [6th April]-p.2
The King to the barons of the Exchequer.
Account to W. de Cornhulle for £112 which by our order he caused Bartholomew de Camera [of the chamber] to have in order for our payment to be made at Winchester,And for £30 which he caused the aforenamed Bartholomew and William de Maxentio to have in order for our crossbowmen and servants in the Isle of Wight to be paid,
And moreover for £6 14s 1d which he caused Peter de Stoke to have in order to make our payment at Abingdon.
Witnessed by me myself at Sutton on the 6th day of April.
By Bartholomew de Camera.

 7 John 1205 [6th June]-p.36:

Letter of Bartholomew de Camera, from the King to the barons of the Exchequer re an account paid out in the camber as a fine; witnessed by Bartholomew, Peter de Stoke and P. de Lacy  at Stoke

 7 John 1205 [7th June]- p.36b

Letter of Bartholomew de Camera, from the King to the barons of the Exchequer re an account to the knights and men of Devon for 300 marks of silver which they paid out in our chamber as their fine for deforestation in Devon.

 7 John 1205 [30th July]-p.44

The King to William de Cornhulle etc.We order you to cause Bartholomew and Peter of the chamber to have 40 marks of sound money to make payment of our expenses, etc (cancelled because he did not pay those 40 marks)

 7 John 1205-6- p.61

The King to John fitzHugh, and Bartholomew de Camera, etc.We order you to cause William Grasso to have 10 beasts of chase, both bucks and does, in the park of Cumba [Combe]. By the King himself

By late 1206, Bartholomew appears to have been sent to Ireland.

The Close Rolls and Patent Rolls, translated in the ‘Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland’, have a number of entries pertaining to Bartholomew, including the following:

 1207- Feb 22- No.320

The King commands the justiciary of Ireland to cause to be inquired by the path of 12 men of the vicinage of Thasagard and Esker, what lands are appurtenant to the churches in those vills belonging to Bartholomew, the King’s clerk, and justly and in accordance with the customs of Ireland, to cause the churches to have what is found to belong to them. If any houses of the King have been built on those lands, the justiciary shall cause an exchange to be made as he deems expedient to the King. (Close , 8 John, m.2)

1207- Feb 22- No.321

The King to the justiciary of Ireland, Acquittance to Bartholomew de Camera, Thomas FitzAnthony and Walter de Abbetot for 272 marks of silver and 100 ounces Irish weight of gold, treasure of Ireland, received at Northampton. (Close, 8 John, m2.- v.1. p.48)

1207- Feb 22- No.322

Mandate to the justiciary of Ireland to deliver to Bartholomew de Camera, the King’s clerk, the land of Cork near Bren’ which belonged to Fulk de Cantilupe. Bartholomew is to answer in the King’s chamber for the issues of this land. (Close, 8 John, m.2)

1207- Nov 14- No.357

The King to the Justices of Ireland and the barons of the Exchequer of Dublin.

May you know that on the Tuesday next before the feast of the Holy Apostles Simon and Jude in the ninth year of our reign we received in our chamber at Marlborough 1500 marks of issues of Ireland by the hands of Bartholomew de Camera and Audoenus le Brun,

And we order this, that you and they should be acquitted thereof.

Witnessed by me myself at Gloucester on the 14th day of November.

(‘Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum 1204-1224’ 9 John p.96)

1208- Feb 18- No.373

The King commands the justiciary of Ireland to deliver to Bartholomew, the King’s clerk, sent to him, land or money of the King for his maintenance, until an ecclesiastical benefice of the King’s gift shall be conferred upon him. Witness, John Bishop of Norwich. (Close, 9 John, m.8)

1214- Sept 12- No.517

Mandate to Peter de Maulay to make a loan to Bartholomew, clerk, and his companions from Ireland, until the King shall go to la Rochelle, and provide for their being sent to that country. (Close, 16 John, p.2, m.20)

1214- Oct 27- No.518

The King to Henry Archbishop of Dubin. Gift to Bartholomew de Camera of the church of Dungarvan, if it be not of greater value than 15 marks annually. (Pat. 16 John, p.2, m.19)

A Similar grant cancelled (Close, 16 John, p.2, m.19)

King John died of dysentery in October 1216, in the middle of the First Baron’s War, and his crown was inherited by his 9-year-old son Henry III who was placed in the care and protection of William Marshal, who was helped by a regency council of 13 executors selected by John before his death. The young King and William Marshall thanked Bartholomew for his “good and faithful service to King John”.

1217- Jan 17- No.740

The King notifies to Geoffrey de Marisco, justiciary of Ireland that he remits during pleasure to Bartholomew de Camera, clerk, for his good and faithful service to King John, 20s. of the £21. which he yearly pays at the Dublin Exchange for the farm of Esker. Mandate that he be quit thereof. (Close, 1 Hen.III, p.1, m.24)

1217- Jan 23- No.749

Mandate to the justiciary of Ireland to cause Bartholomew de camera, clerk, to have judgement of the Exchequer touching £7. 5s. which he claims to be allowed to him as surplus of the time when the Bishop of Norwich was justiciary of Ireland. (Close, 1 Hen, III, p.1, m.24, v.1. p.114)

The following entries appear to show that Bartholomew continued working as the King’s clerk past 1221, and by 1225 was being pensioned off with benefices of various churches in Ireland. Given he was probably born 1150+, he would have been of considerable age being at least in his seventies by 1225.

1221- March 8- No.984

Letters of presentation directed to the dean and chapter of Kilkenny for Bartholomew de Camera, touching the prebend held by Alexander Fisicus in that church, now vacant and which belongs to the King’s gift, owing to vacancy in the see of Ossory. (Pat., 5 Hen III, p.1, m.4; Close Rolls v.1. p.150) (a prebend being a portion of the revenues of a cathedral or collegiate church to a clergyman, such as a canon, or member of the chapter as a stipend.)

1221- March 8- No. 985

The King to the justiciary of Ireland. The practice in Ireland of having only one justice itinerant differs much from the practice in England, where there were always several Justices itinerant. It is not the custom for one justice itinerant to keep a record, and the danger of there being only one roll is obviated by several justices each having his roll. The King and his Council therefore ordain that to the sole justice itinerant now in Ireland two be associated, namely a knight and a clerk, and for this purpose the King named Thomas fitzAdam and Bartholomew de Camera, the King’s clerk. With the present sole Justice, the latter shall make their Eyre and administer justice according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. The King commands the justiciary to cause it to be so done, and to provide Bartholomew with wherewithal to maintain himself on the King’s service. (Close, 5 Hen. III., p.1, m.14)

1221 [March?]- No.986

Mandate to the justiciary of Ireland to cause Master Alexander de Suwell to have of the King’s gift the prebend in the church of Kilkenny which the King conferred on Bartholomew de Camera. (Close, 5 Hen.III., p.1, m.14)

It is not explained why the gift of prebend from the church of Kilkenny was being removed from Bartholomew, unless due to his new position of accompanying the sole justice itinerant, for which he was to be provided for by the justiciary.

It would seem by 1225, Bartholomew had been appointed a parson at the church of Limerick, probably a form of retirement. There appears to have been some dispute as to whom was entitled to that tithe of the church.

 1225- April 21- No.1258

The King commands Maurice Archbishop of Cashel, John Bishop of Ferns and Griffin Bishop elect of Lismore, to meet at Limerick, and in presence of Geoffrey de Mariscis or his deputy to inquire as well by clerics as laymen, whether Bartholomew de Camera was, before the war between King John and his Barons, seized of the tithe of a fishery and mills in Limerick, of which he is parson; or whether William de Caerdif was seized of that tithe in right of the treasuryship of the church of Limerick. If all three cannot be present at the inquisition, two shall hold it. [Pat. 9 Hen. III p.1, m.5]

There are no further entries pertaining to Bartholomew de Camera. It would appear that Bartholomew de Camera died between 1225 and 1229, as the following entry appears to indicate:

1229- Nov 20- No.1763

Grant for life to William fitzWido of London, Dean of St Patrick’s, Dublin, of the King’s manor of Esker, in Ireland, which Bartholomew de Camera formerly held; rendering 55 marks to the King at the Exchequer, Dublin; saving to the King his tolls when he taxes his demesne lands; saving also pleas, plaints, and amercements out of the manor determined before the King’s justices or the King’s sheriffs, according to the custom of Ireland. Further grant to the Dean of 2 acres of land of the King’s demesne called Liscaillah, near the church of Esker, which is a chapel of the Dean’s prebend of Clondalkin; to remain to the Dean and his successors, canons of the church of Esker, forever; 2 acres of demesne lands of the church of Esker to remain in fee to the King in exchange for the former 2 acres.

Mandate to the justiciary of Ireland to permit the Dean to hold the manor according to the form of these letters, and to cause the 2 acres of demesne lands to be assigned to him by view of liege men. [Pat., 14 Hen. III., p.2, m.8]

It would appear that after serving Hubert as his diocesan clerk, possibly when Hubert was away on Crusade, Bartholomew began working as a king’s clerk for the chamber of the Justiciar, which continued under King John’s accession in 1199, as revealed by the Close Rolls instigated by Hubert as Chancellor. Bartholomew was then sent to Ireland in 1206-1207 as the king’s clerk under the justiciary of Ireland, where he lived out his life.

However, it is unknown if these records are relevant, as the association between Hubert and his brother Bartholomew, his diocesan clerk Master Bartholomew, and Bartholomew de Camera cannot be proven beyond doubt.


2.Aliz married Orm son of Magnus of Lancashire c.1130’s-40’s (Lancashire Inquests, Extents & Feudal Aids, ed Wm Farrer, 1903, p.37)- 1212 A.D.- Inquest referring to the marriage back in King Stephen’s reign (viz. 1135-1154)- ‘Hervey, father of Hervey Walter gave to Orm son of Magnus, with his daughter Aliz in marriage’… several lands in the Amounderness, Weeton fee of the Walters. A second record has ‘Warin son of Orm son of Magnus’ as witness to a charter of Richard Bussel to Eversham Abbey estimated date c.1153-64, indicating a birth c.1132-1143.  Issue: Warin son of Orm, d.s.p. before 1166; Roger de Hutton, of Hutton in Leyland Hundred, Lancashire; (issue: Elias de Hutton)

3.? Hubert Walter of Snapeshall in Fressingfield co. Suffolk (b.c 1100’s-1115, d.c.1160’s) - named in several monastic cartulary records dated: c.1123-1134 (latter date more likely), 1155, 1158, 1165, etc., and the Pipe Roll (3 Henry II) 1158. Notably, the Eye Priory Confirmation Charter of Henry I dated c.1123-1134, which included ‘Hubert Walter’s tithes’ donated to the Priory, is a much later redraft in which the named witnesses were incompatible date-wise, and the suggested date of the charter is therefore unreliable. Subsequent charters, post Henry II’s succession, confirm Henry I’s charter which includes Hubert Walter’s tithes in Fressingfield, Suffolk, with later confirmations specifying his manor of Snapeshall (see details later).   Issue: Peter Walter (b.c.1140’s- d.c.1210), als. Peter filius Hubert, married Margaret (dau. of unknown of Colton, Norfolk): issue: Hubert filius Peter b.c.1160’s); Of Snapeshall in Fressingfield by inheritance, and Instead in Weybread, Co. Suffolk, and Bylaugh in Norfolk (the last two held from Theobald Walter who held by inheritance).

In the late 1180’s Peter Walter confirmed the gift ofhis predecessors’ of two thirds of the tithes of their domestic lands in the district of Fressingfield, Co. Suffolk to the priory of Eye. Donated ½ mark from his mill at Instead/Weybread to West Dereham Abbey founded by [cousin] Hubert Walter (ie. brother of Theobald Walter). Donated the church of Bylaugh to Butley Priory and held Bylaugh from Theobald Walter. Witnessed Hervey Walter’s Charter to Butley Priory c.1171-77, and a second charter referring to Instead in Suffolk held by Theobald Walter. Witnessed several charters of the de Huntingfield family (descendants of Walter fitzAubrey- Huntingfield located near Fressingfield), indicating a close personal relationship. Described as a knight of county Suffolk. (details later)


Various sources in websites suggest there were other sons of Hervey Walter, including Walter, Osbert fitzHervey and William fitzHervey, however none have been proven, and evidence is lacking.


There has been a suggestion in several books (viz. Thomas Carte) and websites, of another son named Walter. This appears to have been a mistaken identity from two misread documents:

a)    (a) Hervey Walter’s charter to Butley Priory names his sons, and various translations (including Thomas Carte) have added a comma which changes the translation. The document in Latin in the ‘Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butler Priory Charters’ has: ‘et filiis meis Huberto Walter et Rogero et Hamone’, which clearly names his second eldest son by the name he was known by, viz. ‘Hubert Walter’, just as his eldest son was known as Theobald Walter at that time. Some translations have incorrectly placed a comma between ‘Hubert, Walter’, indicating a separate son named Walter. Also, the record twice separates the brothers with the conjunction ‘and’ [ie. Hubert Walter and Roger and Hamon] indicating three brothers not four.

b (b) The Charter of Donors to the Abbey of West Dereham, written in Latin has abbreviated the names, which has been taken out of context:

The translations have mistakenly read the ‘Walteri fratis sui’ as a brother of Hubert named Walter, but have not recognised that the preceding ‘T. refers to ‘Theobald Walteri his brother’, just as the ‘H. Cant, archiep.’ referred to ‘Hubert Canterbury Archbishop’.

There are no other records of a son named ‘Walter’. He does not appear in family charters, nor in charters of the de Glanville family, so we can comfortably dismiss this claim.



There is some speculation of a familial link with Osbert fitzHervey (of Dagworth and Bradewell, Suffolk- near Haughley; d.1205), a justiciar, who appears as a witness to the West Dereham Abbey Foundation Charter of Hubert Walter in 1188.

Chronicler, Jocelyn of Brakelond referred to Osbert fitzHervey as a ‘sub vicecomes/under-sheriff, active in the early 1180’s in Suffolk’ (p.51 Chronicle of Jocelin de Brakelond, ed. Sir Ernest Clarke), but did not mention that he was brother of archbishop Hubert Walter.

Osbert fitzHervey was one of the circuit judges frequently named in the ‘Feet of Fines for Norfolk and Suffolk’, from 1199 to about 1205.

In the Rotuli Curæ Regis in counties Suffolk, Norfolk and Kent, there are eight entries dating from 1194 to 1199, for Osbert filius Hervey. The following, related to the Butley Priory, is dated November 1194:

A record in the National Archives UK, “Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, file 26”:

Osbert de Daggord- Writ…46…(a fragment). Inq. (undated): In the time of King John, Osbert son of Hervey of Daggord held the manor and died vested as of fee, and Richard his son and heir (being) within age, the king because of some offence done by Baldwin Filiol, gave the marriage and wardship to Sir William de Huntingfield (descendant of Walter de Caen), who married the said Isabel his daughter to the said Richard. Afterwards the said Baldwin made peace with the king, and the said William made peace with him for having the wardship. This, the said Isabel was dowered after the death of Richard her husband of Daggord manor, and died seised thereof. (C. Hen III File 26 (16))

However, if and how he is related to the Walters has not been established, nor is there an explanation for a different surname to the rest of the family. There is no known link between the ‘Walters’ and the lands of Dagworth/Daggord in Suffolk, although Dagworth is adjacent to Old Newton, held by Theobald Walter as part of the Amounderness wapentake, of the honour of Lancaster. Dagworth is between Old Newton, and Haughley which was partly held by ‘Hervey’ in Domesday from tenant-in-chief Hugh de Montfort who also held Old Newton and Dagworth. Whether this Hervey was the ancestor of Osbert son of Hervey of Dagworth is unknown.


Author, Kathleen Hapgood Thompson, in her thesis ‘The Counts of the Perche c.1066-1217’ (thesis, History Dept Uni. of Sheffield June 1996 Appendix II- Handlist of acts of the Rotrou family of Mortagne: Geoffrey III Count of the Perche 1192-1202, p.191, Mo. 132), quotes the following act of Geoffrey III count of the Perche, 1191-1202:

When Geoffrey Count of Perche married Matilda, daughter of Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony & Bavaria and Matilda of England in 1189, her uncle King Richard I, granted them the lands in counties Suffolk, Essex and Kent previously owned by the traitor Henry of Essex feudal baron of Haughley in Suffolk by right of his 2nd wife Alice de Montfort.

Osbert is noted as being from a ‘middling knightly family’, and ‘of undistinguished origin’. He began his career as an obscure East Anglian knight, but at his death he had an income of over £240.

Both Osbert fitzHervey, and Osbert de Glanville son of Hervey de Glanville senior and brother of Rannulf de Glanville, witnessed the charter of Hubert Walter to West Dereham abbey, so they were two distinct individuals, contradicting suggestions by some historians that they were one and the same. (ie son of Hervey de Glanville). However, crucially, Osbert filius Hervey did not witness any of the earlier Walter or de Glanville family monastic charters which one would expect if he was a close family member, and if he had been a brother of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, he would have been named as such by Jocelin de Brakelond in his Chronicle.

With lack of any evidence of a link, it is unlikely Osbert fitzHervey was from this family.


Speculation of a familial link with William fitzHervey/William Hervey arose from an entry in the Feet of Fines (-reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196, pub 1894, Pipe Roll Society, p.21), referred to in:

An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, by Francis Bromefield and Charles Parkin (v.8, Belaugh, pp.186-189):

In the 6th of King Richard (15 July 1195) Theobald Walter was petent in a fine and William Hervey tenant of the 3rd part of a knight’s fee in the town of Belaugh, Norfolk, ‘Hulmested’, and that of Boxted in Suffolk conveyed to Theobald who reconveyed it to William and his heirs and the said William released his right in all the lands which were Hervey Walter’s, grandfather of Theobald.

(Belaugh, Hulmstead, and Boxted were part of the Walter’s Amounderness fee, as part of the Honour of Lancaster)

Summary by Carew: (Lambeth Palace Library-MSS Manuscripts, Carew Manuscripts, Miscellaneous Notes and Abstracts, Records in Westminster, temp. Regis Richardi I)

Fine between Theobald Walter [“Walter sive Butler”, in margin by Carew] and William Hervei. The former grants to the latter the town of Boxted, with the appurtenances in Hulmested and Belag, which last Peter Walter holds. The said William quitted claim of all other lands of Hervei Walter, grandfather of Theobald.

In the court of Henry II, the device of the ‘final concord’ was drawn up as an indenture, in two copies, each held by a party to the agreement. On 15 July 1195, under Hubert’s reforms as Justiciar, the record was turned into a tripartite indenture, the third record passed to the Treasurer to be put in the Treasury, permanently preserved in the ‘feet’ of final concords, kept in official custody, and one of the first of these tripartite records was that of Hubert’s brother Theobald on 15 July 1195. (R.C. Cheney, 'Hubert Walter', pp.95-96)

Feet of Fines -reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196, p.21

The document translation:

The wording that ‘William has quitclaimed to Theobald and his heirs, from him and his heirs, forever, all the right and claim which he had, or was able to have, in all the other lands which belonged to Hervey Walter, grandfather of Theobald’, does not make it clear on what basis William Hervey was able to have ‘rights and claims’ in ‘all the other lands which belonged to Hervey Walter, grandfather of the same Theobald, which Theobald now holds’, although it does suggest a closer, familial relationship. However, it has been difficult to unravel exactly how this William Hervey was holding the lands of Theobald Walter. And the fact that the wording of this document makes it clear that Theobald held the land which belonged to his grandfather as his heir, but does not make a similar clarification of William’s relationship to Theobald or Theobald’s grandfather, seems to make it unlikely that William was a direct descendant of Hervey. Yet, for an unknown and unstated reason, Theobald granted the named lands to ‘William and his heirs to hold of him and his heirs forever’. The document also makes note that Peter Walter, Theobald’s cousin, was holding Belaugh from him.

Whether William had held this land directly as a gift from the Crown (maybe following a confiscation after Theobald’s initial support of Prince John’s rebellion against his brother King Richard), or as a family inheritance (and possibly through the family link with the de Glanvilles) is also not made clear.

William Glanville-Richards, in his book on the de Glanvilles, noted that “Henry II granted to the Chief Justice Rannulf de Glanville, certain lands (in the de Glanville manor of Bawdsey in Suffolk and Glosthorp in Norfolk) which had been the property of William fitzHenry”. The author did not reference this claim, nor explain how William held these lands, but linked William with the de Glanville family. In Domesday, Bawdesy was held by Robert Malet, with subtenants Malet’s mother, Malet himself, and Robert de Glanville, inherited by Hervey de Glanville Snr; Glosthorp in Norfolk was owned and held by Robert Malet. (Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville, by William U.S. Glanville Richards, London 1882, p.19

The land of Boxted in Suffolk, transferred to William Hervey by Theobald Walter in 1195, remained in the family for several generations. The Lancashire Pipe Roll entry below has been translated as ‘William son of Hervey’ which in Latin, would be ‘William filius Hervey’, or William fitzHervey.

The Lancashire Pipe Roll, 8 John (1205-06), p.198:

W.A. Copinger wrote about Boxstead Hall Manor

In the 6th Richard I, Theobald Walter was plaintiff in a fine against William Hervie of the 3rd part of a knight’s fee in Boxstead conveyed to Theobald who re-conveyed to William and his heirs and the said William released his right in all the lands which were Hervey Walter’s, grandfather of Theobald. William fitzHervey was succeeded by his son and heir William Hervey who held this manor at his death in 1255 (Cal. of Inquisitions,101). He was succeeded by his son William Hervey who held the manor of Edmund the King’s brother by render of half a knight’s fee, with the advowson of the Church. He died in 1297, and was succeeded by his daughter and heir Amy who married Robert Leyes or de Lyes, and their descendants, the Poleys subsequently had this Boxstead Hall Manor in the 1300’s.

(The Manors of Suffolk’ v.1- The Hundreds of Babergh and Blackbourn’: Boxstead Hall Manor, London, 1905)

‘A Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller [of J. Kirby] or Topographical and Genealogical Collections Concerning that County, compiled by Augustine Page, London 1844, p.922’:

“Boxstead- In the 55th of Henry III (1261), John de Pakenham, by fine levied, purchased of Robert Walerand, the manor of Belaugh &c., and of William Hervey, their heirs and successors, for land in this parish, and Parham, in Suffolk.” (Walerand was Justiciar to Henry III and one of king’s ‘familiares’.)

[1] A Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller [of J. Kirby] or Topographical and Genealogical Collections Concerning that County, compiled by Augustine Page, London 1844, p.922

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, v.1 (London 1904), p.101- 40 Henry III (1256):

There is the possibility that a William fitzHervey may have been part of the de Glanville family. There were several by the name of William de Glanville in the various lines and it has been suggested by researchers that the name may have been adopted by a junior line, descendants of Hervey de Glanville the elder, to distinguish from the senior line descended from William de Glanville the elder (Hervey’s elder brother). Another possibility is that he was the son of Hervey de Glanville the younger, son of Hervey de Glanville the elder and elder brother to Rannulf de Glanville.

William filio Hervey was listed as a witness to Rannulf de Glanville’s Confirmation Charter of c.1179-1185 in Yorkshire (Early Yorkshire Charters, 1, p256, No.337). Notably he is listed amongst several of Rannulf’s close relatives including nephew and prodigy Hubert Walter, Rannulf’s brothers Osbert and Gerard de Glanville, Rannulf’s son-in-law William de Auberville, Rannulf’s long term steward Reiner, cousin once removed Stephen de Glanville (son of Rannulf’s cousin Bartholomew de Glanville), nephew John de Glanville (son of Hervey de Glanville Jnr), and nephew Theobald de Valeines (II).  (Another witness, close associate, Rannulf de Gedding was appointed a justice by Rannulf in 1180’s, in Henry’s reign, and son Hervey de Gedding was a Glanville tenant in Hartest Suffolk.)

The order of the witnesses is significant, with William placed after Hubert and before Reinero the steward

To be included in a prominent position in such a large family group does suggest a familial link in this instance. The fact that William is placed just after Hubert Walter, implies he was of a similar family relationship, such as nephew- was he possibly an undocumented son of Rannulf de Glanville’s brother, Hervey de Glanville Jnr? If so, he may have chosen the name to differentiate from Rannulf’s son of the same name, and from Bartholomew de Glanville’s son also named William de Glanville. His position in the list also suggests he held a higher social status than John de Glanville, another supposed son of Hervey de Glanville Jnr.

Historian Richard Mortimer noted that William filius Hervey was one of several by the name of William de Glanville. (Cart. Leiston Abbey, p.68; R. Mortimer, “The Family of Rannulf de Glanville”, p.6, ‘’ article, Vol. LIV No 129, May 1981). He erroneously suggested that William filius Hervey was the William de Glanville whose wife was Dionysia/ Denise daughter of Jordan Lenveise and his wife Cecily Arundell, and whose other daughter Joan was the wife of John de Birkin’, quoting Early Yorkshire Charters, 10, No.113. (EYC Index pp.169-171). Mortimer suggests that the William de Glanville in question was brother to Rannulf, and son of Hervey de Glanville Senior. This is incorrect. Firstly, William de Glanville, son of Hervey de Glanville Senior, was the eldest son and born about 1110, too old to be married to Dionysia who was born in the 1160’s. The widowed Dionysia remarried, c.1189-92 to Hubert de Anstey whose son Nicholas de Anesty inherited, as a minor, on the death of his father in early 1210, and whose marriage and custody was granted to Robert fitzWalter (Testa de Nevill, Pt.1, 234; Pipe Roll 12 John, m.18d.). In 1218, Nicholas de Anstey sided with the barons in opposition to King John and was ordered to destroy Anstey Castle. He died in or before 1225 when his daughter and heir, Dionysia (II) was a minor- she married firstly Walter Langton and secondly Warin de Munchensi in 1234, so she must have been born c.1214 or earlier. If Nicholas was just a minor in 1210, he was probably born c.1190-92, which indicates that Hubert Anstey’s wife Dionysia’s first husband William de Glanville died before that, and left no issue.

This information on William de Glanville, husband of Dionysia, directly relates to a charter quoted in William Glanville-Richards’ book on the Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville (1882, p.10)- a charter of John de Birkine (b.c.1160) and Johanna/Joan his wife, and (her sister) Dionysia wife of William de Glanville to the canons and nuns of ‘Wattun’ monastery in Yorkshire, in which John and Joan de Birkin and Dionysia donated their land at ‘Serzeuans’ (unidentified) ‘which was at the farm of William de Glanville and Roger Walter’, witnessed by Justice Roger Arundell. The fact that William de Glanville is closely linked with Roger Walter in the ownership of this farm helps identify the William involved.

The translation of the charter of John de Birkine (of West Riding):

May your whole community know that the canons and nuns of Watton received to farm our land of Serzeuans, which [was] at the farm of William de Glanville and Roger Walter, and afterwards they held it of us, with the stock and the implements, and at that time they wholly and fully yielded the farm-rent, and satisfied us concerning all the agreements made about the aforementioned farm. Thus it is that we have quitclaimed the aforenamed canons and nuns concerning the same farm, and all the agreements, and the exactions pertaining to the same farm. And because we do not have to hand the chirographs made concerning the same farm, we have firmly and faithfully promised, and we have given security to them with the interposition of our faith, that if the aforenamed chirographs be found, we will restore them to the aforenamed canons and nuns; if, however, by chance, they be not found again, we wish them to be void and useless in the future, and to have no force.

A chirograph was a medieval legal instrument like an indenture of a fine of lands, probably the original indenture between the Birkins and William and Roger concerning the farm lands, which was now missing.

The date of the charter must have been in the early to mid-1180’s when Roger Walter (b.c.1140’s) was active.  Or it may have been after the deaths of both William de Glanville and Roger Walter. The fact that William de Glanville and Roger Walter held a farm together suggests that they were close relatives, probably first cousins- therefore William was probably the son and heir of Rannulf de Glanville and died before his father in 1190, leaving his three sisters as Rannulf’s only heirs.

Author M.T. Flanagan wrote: An entry in the annals of Loch Cé, recording the killing in 1185 by Domnall Ó Briain, king of Thomond, of a foster brother of Prince John, suggests that a son of Ranulf de Glanville was included among John's entourage in Ireland. It is possible that this refers to William who probably accompanied his father and Theobald on their journey to Ireland with Prince John in 1185. (M.T. Flanagan, Butler [Walter], Theobald, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004).

However, while this theory remains speculation, the death of William de Glanville, without issue, probably occurred more than a year before his widow’s remarriage in c.1189-92. And that therefore discounts him as the William Hervey named in the fine with Theobald Walter, as William Hervey had a son and heir of the same name who inherited the Boxted lands in the fine. It also discounts him as Rannulf’s elder brother William de Glanville (b.c.1110) who was too old to be the man named in this charter of 1195.

(NB. Rannulf was called to be an advisor to Hubert de Anstey’s father Richard de Anstey in a well-known inheritance case in 1163 in which Richard challenged his uncle William de Sackville’s daughter and heir as being illegitimate and therefore ineligible for inheritance. The de Sackville family were related to the de Glanville family through the senior line.)

It is difficult to determine if and how much of this speculation of William’s identity was correct. A William filius Hervey was Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1186-87 (Pipe Roll, 33 Henry II) until 1189-1190 (PR,1 Richard), but which William filius Hervey is debatable. The question is whether the William filius Hervey sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1186-1188 in Henry II’s reign and in the first two years of Richard I, and William de Glanville who is named as acting as one of the King’s Justiciars in 1177 at a trial at Caen in Normandy, and the William de Glanville who carried documents from the King in France to Rannulf de Glanvill the Justiciar in England in 1187 (Court, Household and Itinerary of Henry II, by Rev. R.W. Eyton, 1878, 209,280) are the same person. Rannulf promoted Hubert Walter and other members of the de Glanville family during his tenure as Justiciar, such as appointing his brother Osbert de Glanville as a justice, and brother Roger de Glanville appointed sheriff of Northumberland in the 1180’s, so it is possible that Rannulf’s elder brother William was appointed a sheriff and/or did act as a justiciar, but as he was probably born bef. 1110, he would have been of great age in the 1180’s, not likely to be travelling back and forth to Normandy.

William de Glanville who carried documents from the king in France to Rannulf in 1187, could also have been Bartholomew de Glanville’s second son William (b.c.1140’s-50’s), also known as 'William de Glanville cleric' in various documents, a clerk in the justiciar's office in the 1180's at the same time as Hubert, and of a more appropriate age for travelling. The William de Glanville who granted ‘half a mark annually to Leiston Abbey, from his ‘camera’ until he can assign rent’, dated late 12th century, witnessed by Geoffrey de Glanville, his younger brother, both sons of Bartholomew de Glanville, is known to have died without issue, his brother Geoffrey inheriting. This William had inherited from his elder brother Stephen (d.1190) who in turn had inherited his father Bartholomew’s debts (d.1179). William finally paid off those debts in 1203. (Cartulary of Leiston Abbey etc, p.68 No.19). He may have been the William de Glanville acting as a justiciar in the records above. (‘Camera’ meant chamber, referring to a judicial chamber.) He was probably William de Glanville the cleric who worked alongside Hubert Walter.

C.R. Cheney wrote in his book on ‘Hubert Walter’ (1906):

The first witnesses to the archbishop’s acts were a distinguished half dozen archdeacons, followed immediately by Osbert de Camera, Hubert Walter and William Glanville, clerks. The trio significantly took precedence over a large number of other men of note, clerical and lay. William Glanville must be a relative and is elsewhere recorded as in the company of Rannulf and Hubert. He was a judge in Richard’s reign. All three were evidently king's clerks of senior standing, in attendance on the justiciar”. 

Glanville-Richards claimed William the cleric died 1228 and buried at Butley, was a justiciary 1196 and a benefactor to the Abbey of Leiston.

A ‘William de Glanville’ and a ‘William de Glanville cleric’ witnessed Hervey Walter’s charter to Butley Priory in c.1174, presumably the first being either Rannulf’s brother or his son, and the second, Stephen de Glanville’s brother.

The Chronicle of Jocelin of Brakelond (a monk at Bury St Edmunds, late 12th century), Ch.VII, p.96 recounts: The two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk were put in the "mercy" of the King by the justices in Eyre for some default, and fifty marks were put upon Norfolk, and thirty upon Suffolk. And when a certain portion of that common amerciament was assessed upon the lands of St. Edmund, and was sharply demanded, the abbot, without any delay, went to our lord the King. We found him at Clarendon; and when the charter of King Edward, which discharges all the lands of St. Edmund from all gelds and scots, had been shown to him, the King commanded by his writ that six knights of the county of Norfolk and six of Suffolk should be summoned to consider before the barons of the exchequer, whether the lordships of St. Edmund ought to be quit from common amerciament. To save trouble and expense, only six knights were chosen, and these for the reason that they had lands in either county; namely, Hubert of Briseword (Braiseworth, near Eye), W. Fitz-Hervey, and William of Francheville, and three others, who went to London with us, and on behalf of the two counties gave their verdict in favour of the liberty of our church. And thereupon the justices then sitting enrolled their verdict. (William de Francheville married Mabel, daughter of William de Sackville, related to the de Glanvilles) (c.1187)

The document indicates that the knight William fitzHervey chosen to represent the two counties, held lands in both Norfolk and Suffolk, and was obviously held in high respect, but was not described as ‘sheriff’ of the county.

In the Red Book of the Exchequer (Cartae Baronum, vol.1, p.411) a William de Glanville owed 9 ½ knight’s fees to the Honour of Eye, Suffolk, in 1166- presumably this entry referred to Ranulf’s elder half-brother William (son of Flandina).

In the same Red Book of the Exchequer (Cartae Baronum, vol.1), a William filius Hervey owed 1 part of a knight’s fee to Robert son of Hugh of Tateshale- (refer below, re: West Witton lands; possible son of Hervey filius Akaris) in Lincolnshire in 1166:

(refer below, re: west Witton lands; possible son of Hervey filius Akaris)

This would indicate the William de Glanville (son of Hervey de Glanville snr; and brother of Rannulf) and the William filius Hervey in the Red Book of the Exchequer were two distinct individuals in 1166. And this particular William filius Hervey would have been too old to have been the son of Hervey de Glanville Junior who, himself, was listed in the Cartae Baronum.

William de Glanville, elder brother of Rannulf de Glanville, and probably the same William de Glanville named in the Red Book of the Exchequer, left only one heir, a daughter named Agnes (married to Robert de Creke) who was also heir to her uncle Roger de Glanville.

There are also several references to a William filius Hervey in earlier records.

Records of men named William filius Hervey

The earliest relevant charter, from King Stephen to the Earl of Essex, dated Christmas 1141, lists the number of knight’s fees granted by the King, including “et servicium Willelmi filii Hervei pro iii militibus” (viz.3 knight’s fees)- it is uncertain to whom this refers. (Regesta Regum Anglo Normannorum 1066-1154, iii, p.102-03, Charter 276).

Then, there are several references to William filius Hervei in the Pipe Rolls, for Norfolk/Suffolk, the earliest entry in 1156 where he paid 20 marks of silver off his debt, remaining debt at £22 11s. 2d.:

William filius Hervey of Selfleta, and the link to Hervius filius Akaris

 There was a charter by Henry II in 1175/76 in which Henry granted the manor of Leiston to Rannulf de Glanville, and an annual rent of 52s. from a place called Selfleta which ‘Williamus filius Hervei used to pay the king from the land of Selfleta, which he held by the service of half a knight’s fee’ and which, in 1182, Rannulf granted to St Mary’s church already built at Leiston and to the Premonstratensian Canons serving God there for the construction of a religious house.

(Cartulary of Leiston Abbey etc, by RH Mortimer, p.75)

Then, in the Pipe Rolls, 22 Henry II (1175-76) in the entry for Norfolk and Suffolk, there is the same reference to Rannulf de Glanville receiving 52s. ‘of the service of William filius Hervei’:

(Pipe Roll 23 Henry II, 1176-77 p.124)

This entry is repeated in all subsequent Pipe Rolls for Henry II and Richard I, until at least the first year of the reign of King John (1200).

At first glance, the link between Rannulf de Glanville and this William filius Hervey of Selfleta would appear to be a familial link. However, on closer inspection of the records, this may not be so.

Richard Mortimer, editor of the ‘Cartulary of Leiston Abbey’ etc, commented (p.31-2) on Henry II’s charter: Rannulf was granted Leiston Manor, Upton and 52s. annual rent, and that the rent was allowed off the farm of Norfolk and Suffolk; ‘Selfleta; is almost certainly Shelfley, south-west of Ipswich (now called Shelley); and that Butley priory received the churches of Upton and Leiston and the 52s rent.

In Domesday, Shelley was a berewick of [East] Bergholt in Suffolk, all belonging to the King and was considered in the largest 20% of settlements recorded in Domesday. There was also a place named Selflege/Shelley in Essex, held by Geoffrey de Mandeville in Domesday. (‘In 1182, William de Selflege in Essex, son of Emma, died in possession of Shelley and some other manors. His inheritance was divided between his two daughters.’ It is unknown whether this record is relevant to these records, but as it relates to Essex, it is unlikely. [A History of the Co of Essex, v.4, Ongar Hundred-Shelley Manor, ed. WR Powell, p.204])

And in the Testa de Nevill, (p.295) of ‘William filius Hervey tenant of Selflega held ‘in capite’ from the King for 52s.’ making a donation to Butley Priory. And it appears to be in relation to the death of (Sir) Robert de Tateschal who died before 1185:

This donation of the 52s. to Butley Priory is also mentioned in the Rotulus Cancellarii (Pipe Roll 1 John p.322).

 Richard Mortimer (Family of Rannulf de Glanville, p.5)- commented that William filius Hervey was a tenant of Robert de Tateshale, quoting Early Yorkshire Charters (v.5, 337-39)- The West Witton Fee (Yorkshire) in the Honour of Richmond:

Robert son of Hugh de Tateshale held West Witton. He was grantor of a charter and was dead by 1185. (His great great grandson also named Robert de Tateshale married Joan daughter of Ralph filius Ranulf lord of Middleham, descendant of Helewise, dau. of Rannulf de Glanville). The charter (on p.339 EYC), dated 1155-1177, was a confirmation by Robert son of Hugh de Tateshale to the Templars, and in particular to brother Walter Ruffus, of the gift made by William son of Hervey of his land of [West] Witton, with power to Walter to transfer the gift to any religious house except one of the Cistercian order; which gift had been confirmed by master Richard de Hastings with the assent of the whole chapter at London. It is clear that William’s holding in West Witton was subordinate to that of Robert’s. In 1166, William son of Hervey held a tenth of a knight’s fee of the fee of 25 knight’s which Robert son of Hugh (de Tateshale) held in chief in Lincolnshire (Red Book of Exchequer, I, 389). In 1176 his service for lands in Norfolk or Suffolk (Selfleta) had been granted by the king to Rannulf de Glanville. In 1184 he held 6 carucates in West Witton, paying 16d for sheriff’s aid. (Registrum Honoris de Richmond, p.23). From 1187 to 1190 he was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. At Michaelmas 1194 Robert de Tateshale (II) rendered account of a mark for having it enrolled on the roll of the exchequer that he had deraigned the vill of Wutton [west Witton] in the king’s court against William son of Hervey, who had recognised that the vill was Robert’s right and inheritance, and was to hold it for life of Robert and his heirs by the service of a sparrow-hawk yearly, with remainder to Robert and his heirs (Pipe Roll 6 Ric.I, p163). The payment was completed at Mich 1199 (I John p.43). William son of Hervey died before July 1201 when Gilbert son of Hervey quitclaimed to Robert de Tateshale [II] all right in the vill of Wittun [west Witton]. (Yorks. Fines, John p.10*)The gift made to the Templars by William son of Hervey was the nucleus of the preceptory of Penhill in West Witton. In the inquest of 1185, the Templars held in demesne 2 carucates of land at ‘Pennel’ of the gift of William son of Hervey (Records of the Templars [Brit.Academy], p.119). In 1202 the Templars recognised that 3 carucates in [West] Witton were the right and inheritance of Robert de Thathesale [II], for which recognition Robert granted them all the tenement which they had held in the life of William son of Hervey of William’s gift, whose heir Robert was, within bounds (specified in detail) and added a further gift of land (Yorks. Fines John p.26). The earlier limit of date for the present charter is governed by the fact that master Richard de Hastings was master of the Temple in England c.1155-85 and the later by the fact that Henry de Lascy one of the witnesses died in 1177.     *Pedes Finium Ebor. Regnante Johnanne (Yorkshire Fines) p.10:

NB. Gilbert filium Hervey’s fine with Robert de Tateshal (II) in 1201 over lands held by William filius Hervey, tenant of the villa de Wittun and the villa of Selfelta/Selueleia: (in Domesday, Shelley in Suffolk spelt Sceueleia.)

It is possible that the William filius Hervey and Gilbert filius Hervey named in the above charters in relation to Selfleta and Witton, were the sons of Hervey filius Akaris (b.c.1120, d.1182) of the Ravensworth fee in Yorkshire who held East Witton- (EYC, v, pp.316-331)

Akaris fitzBardolf (b.c.1080) of Ravensworth, son of Bardolf a brother of Count Alan of Brittany in Domesday, sons of Odo/Eudo Count of Penthièvre, Brittany, a relative of William the Conqueror- Son of Duke Geoffrey I of Brittany and Hawise of Normandy daughter of Duke Richard I of Normandy. Bodin brother of Bardolf held 26 lands in Yorkshire in Domesday from his brother Count Alan. Akaris fitzBardolph gave land for the founding of a monastery in 1154. He died in 1161 and in 1165 his son Hervey consented to the Abbey of Charity being relocated into the fields of East Witton on the verge of the river Jore and was renamed the Abbey of Jore Vale which became Jervaulx Abbey. Akaris also had a son named William Bardolf, Lord of Bardolf, and possibly a son named Walter.

Hervey fitzAkaris, forester of the New Forest and Arkengarthgale Co. York. According to some websites, he had sons, Alan Dictus de Cleburne, Henry fitzHervey Lord of Ravensworth of Cotherstone Castle, Richard fitzHervey, Hugh fitzHervey, William fitzHervey and Gilbert fitzHervey (as in the Yorkshire Fine above). (However, it should be noted that an article on the Library Ireland site does not attribute William and Gilbert as sons of Hervey fitzAkaris.)

The link between Hervey fitzAkaris and both William fitzHervey and Gilbert fitzHervey, is the land at East and West Witton, and it is a compelling argument that they were directly related.

(see Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages, Burke’s Peerage London, 1883, p.207- FitzHugh, Barons FitzHugh, descendants of Akaris)

The fact that the Gilbert filius Hervey and brother William filius Hervey in the fine above concerning Selfleta and Witton, carried the same names as the supposed sons of Hervey fitzAkaris of Witton, and the fact that William’s heir is named as Robert de Tateshale, would seem to discount a familial relationship with the de Glanvilles. Whether this was the William filius Hervey who was sheriff in the late 1180’s to 1190 is unknown, but is quite possible.

There are several references in the records of men named William filius Hervey, in several counties, and the similarity in names is an example of the complexity in sorting out the various characters with similar names in documents.

Conclusion about William filius Hervey's relationship to this family

There is no evidence that William filius Hervey was a son of Hervey Walter. He did not witness any of the charters of the Walter family or seem to have any other connection with them, with the exception of this one record of an accord between William and Theobald by which Theobald granted the lands of Boxted, Belaugh and Hulmestead to William.

So where does that leave the William Hervey of Boxted whose son was of the same name?

If not the William son of Hervey fitzAkaris, the only suggestion that makes sense is that, one of the men named William filius Hervey living in co. Suffolk, and closely associated with the de Glanvilles, was the son of Hervey de Glanville Jnr (viz. son of Hervey de Glanville Sen., and brother of Rannulf de Glanville). That could explain Henry II granting Rannulf de Glanville the land at Bawdsey held by William filius Hervey. It would also suggest a biological link between the Walter family and the de Glanville family.

It has also been suggested, but not proven that William Hervey or ‘fitz’Hervey was related to Osbert fitzHervey, however there is no known association, only a common patronymic. 

The key points about William (filius) Hervey’s relationship to this Walter family:

  • ·        William filius Hervey was not a witness to Hervey Walter’s Charter to Butley Priory in c.1171-77, as were three of Hervey’s sons (with eldest son Theobald away at the time)
  • ·        He was not a witness to either of Rannulf de Glanville’s charters to Butley Priory c.1171 and Leiston Abbey c.1186; however, he was a witness to the Yorkshire Charter of Rannulf de Glanville in amongst several Glanville family members including Hubert Walter.
  • ·        He was not a witness to Hubert Walter’s Foundation Charter to West Dereham Abbey in 1188, nor was he a donor
  • ·        His only known association with any member of the Walter family occurs through this one document, an accord between Theobald and William Hervey dated 1195 (Feet of Fines)
  • ·        All members of this extended family carried the surname ‘Walter’, and there would be no explanation for this son to carry a different surname to the rest of the family, unless he was illegitimate issue
  • ·        William filius Hervey of Boxted had a son and heir of the same name. As to the suggestion his relationship to Theobald came through him being a member of the de Glanville family, he cannot be William de Glanville, brother of Rannulf de Glanville (sons of Hervey de Glanville the elder), whose only heir was a daughter named Agnes. Of the other documented William de Glanvilles living in the late 12th century, he cannot be the William de Glanville married to Dionysia (possible son of Rannulf de Glanville) as he died pre 1190 without issue, and he cannot be the William de Glanville cleric who was son to Bartholomew de Glanville and died d.s.p. The only possibility is that he could be an undocumented son of Hervey de Glanville Jnr (son of Hervey de Glanville the elder), but that does not explain why he would be granted inherited lands by Theobald Walter on condition of not claiming other inherited lands, unless Theobald was a blood descendant of a de Glanville (not just related through his mother, Maud de Valoines), a theory that will be discussed in detail in the following chapters.     
  •  William filius Hervey who was granted lands of the Walter family, cannot be the same William filius Hervey who held land of Robert de Tateshale in the 1166 Cartae Baronum and is presumed, by Farrer, to be the sheriff of Suffolk, possibly a son of Hervey fitzAkaris.

So, this relationship of William filius Hervey to the Walter family remains unresolved.


The big question that has remained a mystery over the centuries for numerous researchers:

Where and from whom did the name ‘Walter’ come from?

This period of time was before surnames were generally used, so people of high status were  individually described: by their origins or toponymic names such as ‘de Caen’, ‘de Huntingfield’, ‘de Clare’; or by the patronymic name, filius/fitz/‘son of’: ‘fitzWalter’ or ‘filius Walter’, filius Hervey; or, by their physical attributes such as ‘le Rus’, ‘le Brun’ (red or brown hair); or, by an occupational name such as ‘the crossbowman/Arbalestarius’, ‘the deacon/Diaconus’; but few were known by just a single family surname (taken from a given name) such as ‘Walter’. These surnames usually changed with each generation as individuals acquired land, and within families such as siblings who inherited different properties, or an individual was distinguished by an occupation etc. Unusually, the ‘Walter’ surname in this particular family was used by multiple members of the extended family and for several generations.

Authors, Pollock and Maitland in their History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I’ (vol.1.,1895, pp.143-44), discuss the archbishop Hubert Walter’s name: ‘Now the name ‘Hubertus Walteri’ was not merely an uncommon name, it was a name of exceedingly uncommon kind. ‘Hubertus filius Walteri’ would of course be a name of the commonest kind, but the omission of the ‘filius’ is, among men of gentle birth, an almost distinctive mark of a particular family, that to which the great archbishop belonged.’

The given name of ‘Walter’/Walther originally came from a Germanic name ‘Waldhari’ meaning ‘ruler of the army’, composed of the elements ‘wald’ or ‘walt’/rule and ‘hari’/army; spelt the French form ‘Galtier’ and the Latin ‘Walteri’ in entries in Domesday, and spelt ‘Walteri’ in various Latin documents, but there is no evidence of Hervey being a ‘leader of an army’, and that origin would also not account for Hervey Walter’s brother Hubert Walter (the elder) carrying the same surname, or their descendants. And there are no other examples of Normans living in England being described as such.

The Normans brought the name ‘Walter’ to England as a given name, and they were numerous which makes our task difficult. Notably, in the Domesday Book there are 159 properties listed to ‘Walters’, with 55x ‘Walters’ with a ‘descriptive surname’ such as ‘of a place’ [eg. Walter de Caen/de Cadomo], ‘of an occupation’ [eg. Walter the Deacon; Walter the arblaster/crossbowman] or, a patronymic name as ‘son of’ [eg. Walter filius Alberic; Walter filius Grip]; and, under just the single name ‘Walter’ there are a further 71 separate entries listed from all counties. Many of these probably consisted of multiple entries for the same ‘Walter’, and one can also speculate that some should have had an appellation which was omitted through clerical error or incompetence, eg. on several entries in Domesday, it has been proven that Walter de Caen and Walter fitzGrip and Walter the Deacon were just named as ‘Walter’, which makes it difficult to pinpoint which other Domesday entries could also fall into that category. However, despite so many Norman settlers named Walter, while there are several unrelated descendants of Walters in Domesday named ‘fitzWalter’, this is the only family carrying the simple singular surname of ‘Walter’ in the 12th century.

One would assume that the surname ‘Walter’ most likely came from an ancestor of note, but whether a male or female ancestor can’t be determined. It possibly came from marriage with a daughter and heiress of a Walter so the ‘fitz’ doesn’t apply. The fact that they were not ‘fitzWalters’ may also indicate that their ancestor was a younger son of a ‘Walter’, as, in some cases only the elder son carried the name ‘fitz’ or ‘filius’. An example is the de Caen family- eldest son of Walter de Caen known as Robert filius Walter; second son named Roger de Huntingfield. They were born in the 1070’s, post Conquest. It is possible that Hervey was the unrecognized/unrecorded younger son of a ‘Walter’, inheriting minimal property.

Blake Butler made the suggestion that Hervey’s wife could have been the daughter of Walter de Caen- the same suggestion could also apply to Hervey’s mother. This theory could also apply to one of the other Domesday sub-tenants named Walter in Suffolk. If the wife’s family is of superior status and the mother was an heiress, their issue sometimes took the wife’s family name- in another example of the de Caen family, Walter’s eldest son Robert filius Walter’s younger son William took his mother Sybil de Chesney’s surname ‘de Chesney’ as Sybil was her father’s heir, whereas their elder son John was known as Johanne filio Rotberti vicecomitis (John son of Robert, sheriff).

As we can see, the single attached surname of ‘Walter’ is very unusual, and difficult to explain, and poses multiple possibilities as to its origin.

Hervey is calculated to have been born before 1100 probably about the 1080-90 period. Assuming his father was born before the Conquest in 1066, he would probably either be listed in the Domesday Book in 1086, or be the son of a Domesday land holder.

The unusual element is that both descendant lines of the patriarch Hervey continued to use the surname ‘Walter’ for succeeding generations, indicating pride in their forebear’s ancestry, enough to honour his memory.  And there is the one document (referred to previously) naming Hervey, the original known patriarch of the family, and grandfather of Theobald, as Hervey Walter.

As Theobald Blake Butler concluded, the lands held by Hervey Walter and Hubert Walter the elder in county Suffolk appear to have been inherited, all held by a knight named ‘Walter’ in the Domesday Book from tenant-in-chief Robert Malet. It is also possible that this Walter was one of the several Walters who held lands from Malet in this same area of Suffolk, namely Walter the crossbowman, Walter filius Aubrey, Walter de Caen, and possibly Walter de Glanville. These Domesday Book landholders will be explored in detail in the next chapter.


There are no early contemporaneous records that name the grandfather of Theobald Walter during the period he was living. The primary document that positively records the father of Hervey Walter as ‘Hervey’ occurs in A.D. 1212 in an’ Inquest of co. Lancaster’ (an inquiry into tenures and alienations). This record reveals that it was Hervey who was granted the lands in Amounderness in Lancashire, as part of the Honour of Lancaster. Stephen Count of Mortain was given the honours of Lancaster (Lancashire) and Eye (Suffolk) in c.1113 by his uncle King Henry I, making him one of the most powerful landowners in England, and it is likely that Hervey received his lands from Stephen at some time before Stephen succeeded to the throne on the death of his uncle in 1135. Over the years, Stephen had cultivated support of many of the Anglo-Norman Barons, including those in East Anglia and Lancaster who had received lands from Stephen’s two Honours of Lancaster and Eye, prior to his succession. However, his succession was opposed by Henry I’s daughter and nominated heir, Empress Matilda (widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, remarried to Geoffrey of Anjou), who was supported by the people living in London and in the south east of England. The resultant civil war was known as ‘The Anarchy’ which was only resolved when Matilda’s son Henry (II) succeeded on the death of Stephen in 1154. While the de Glanville and Walter families appear to have supported Stephen during his reign, they deftly switched allegiance to Henry II when he succeeded to the Crown.

The Inquest record is found in the ‘Testa de Nevill’, and also in ‘Lancashire Inquests, Extents & Feudal Aids A.D. 1205-A.D. 1307’, and the ‘Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I A.D. 1130, and of the reigns of Henry II etc’, both transcribed by William Farrer.

Testa de Nevil, (Liber Feodorum- Book of Fees), Part I A.D. 1198-1242, (London 1920), fol. 818 p.211 -listing of feudal landholdings or ‘fees/fiefs’ compiled during the 13th century from earlier records, for the use of the Exchequer:

Date: A.D.1212

AND, the translation of the above in:

“Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids, A.D. 1205-A.D. 1307”, edit by William Farrer (Record Society 1903) p.37:

(NB. The lands granted to Orm, of Rawcliffe, Thistleton and Greenhalgh are near the Walter family held seat of Weeton, all part of the Hundred of Amounderness)

Theobald Walter inherited these lands in Amounderness from his grandfather before 1166, held for the service of 1 knight’s fee.

Red Book of the Exchequer Part I (p.445)- Liber Rubeus de Scarrario- ‘Cartae Baronum’ A.D. 1166: 

The editor made a note (2): “feoda quæ debentur ad custodian castri Dovoræ”, which translates as “the fees due for the keeping of the castle of Dover”.

As men could not become a knight until the age of 21, this record reveals that Theobald must have been born pre-1145, and may have inherited Amounderness before 1166 on the death of his grandfather Hervey, or his father handed it over to him on reaching his majority and becoming a knight.

The Cartae Baronum or Charters of the Barons, was a survey commissioned by the Treasury in 1166 requiring each baron to declare how many knights he had enfeoffed, with the names of all. The Register accurately determined the liabilities of the tenants in respect of military service or scutage (money paid to his lord in lieu of military service) or any further assessment wherein the knights’ fee served as the unit of taxation.

A knight’s fee was a unit measure of land deemed sufficient to support a knight. Of necessity, it would not only provide sustenance for himself, his family, esquires and servants, but also the means to furnish himself and his retinue with horses and armour to fight for his overlord in battle. J.H. Round believed that a Knight’s fee ranged in size between 2 and 10 hides (the hide being a notional 120 acres). Others conclude that a typical knight’s fee proves elusive as it depended on many factors including its location, the richness of its soil and the local climate etc. Much was still ‘waste’ (as in Amounderness at that time), forest and uncultivated moorland. Military service was generally to a maximum of 40 days per annum. A knight was required to maintain the dignity of knighthood, which meant that he should live in suitable style and be well-turned out in battle, with the required number of esquires to serve him and with horses, arms and armour for all. (Wikipedia- Knight’s fee)

There is a second document which possibly clarifies Hervey’s name and the first use of the ‘Walter’ surname by this family.

The’ Feet of Fines -reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196’ (pub.1894, Pipe Roll Society, p.21, No. 5- see original and full translation above in section on William fitzHervey), in part:


The major point of interest- the fine, dated 1195, describes Hervey Walter as grandfather (viz. ‘Aui’) of Theobald.

The original Latin entry:

This is the only document that appears to name the patriarch Hervey the elder as Hervey Walter (not to be confused with his son of the same name). As this was a redraft of an earlier document, a clerical mistake cannot be totally discounted, and it possibly confused the names of Theobald’s father and grandfather. However, it would appear to be correctly recorded, and would thereby account for both sons of Hervey Walter the elder, viz. Hervey Walter and Hubert Walter (the elder), carrying the ‘Walter’ surname on to both descendant lines of Walters. And as Hubert Walter Archbishop of Canterbury was Chief Justiciar at the time of this agreement between his brother Theobald Walter and William Hervey, and is listed in the fine as heading the panel of justiciars hearing the case, and the fact that the fine involved the family inherited lands and therefore of personal interest to Hubert, one would expect that he would have overseen the final official document to check its legality. Therefore, unless this is a later clerical copying mistake, this document appears to confirm that Hervey the elder was also named Hervey Walter.

Herveius filius Herveii

There is a record in the Pipe Rolls of Henry I, A.D.1130/31 for the county of Suffolk which has given to much speculation down the centuries and has been attributed to this family by various researchers, including Thomas Carte and Theobald Blake Butler, but can’t be verified as referring to Hervey Walter and his father Hervey, and may have referred to Hervey de Glanville and his son Hervey de Glanville (junior):

 The Great Roll of the Pipe for the 31st year of the reign of King Henry I: Michaelmas 1130’, edit. by Judith A. Green (Pipe Roll Society, London, 2012) p.78:

Translation in the same book by the editor, p.78:

Suffolk- New Pleas and New Arrangements

Hervey son of Hervey renders account of 10 silver marks for his land of Hamo Peche. In the treasury 40s. And he owes 7 silver marks.

As the record relates to the county of Suffolk, it limits the options of the identity of these two Herveys, the name Hervey being uncommon at that time. As the record is dated 1130/31, the younger Hervey must have been born pre-1110, and his father named Hervey born pre-1090.

A second reference to Hervei filius Hervei appeared in the list of attendees at an assembly of the lords of Norfolk and Suffolk about the year 1148-52, during which: Sir Hervey de Glanvil rose and made a speech in the assembly, telling them he was a very old man, having constantly attended the county and hundred court, for above 50 years, with his father, before and after he was knighted”,[1]  revealing his advanced age of about 70 years of age (b.c.1078-82);

“…with the consent of Roger Gulafre and Will. Frechnei, then sheriffs, and of Hervie filius Hervie, Robert de Glanvill and others, of the honours of Warren, of Earl Hugh Bygod, and of Eye, presented the liberties to be good, and delivered their testimonies of it to William Martel sewer to King Stephen,” (‘An East Anglian shire-moot of Stephen’s reign 1148-53’ by Helen M. Cam -English Historical Review xxxix [1924] pp.568-71- JSTOR- as fully recounted in the blog chapter on the de Glanvilles)

As this occurred only twenty years after the first reference, one would assume that it refers to the same person. And, as his name precedes Robert de Glanville (son of Hervey de Glanville), and it relates to a speech by Hervey de Glanville, it appears to associate ‘Hervey filius Hervey’ with the de Glanville family, and could refer to either Hervey de Glanville junior, or, it could also refer to Hervey Walter if his father was still alive in 1150, as the younger son (named Hervey) of either family would carry the appellation ‘filius Hervey’ until the death of their father, and the two families were closely linked by marriage to the Valoines family by this time.

Other records of the Walters

A further record naming Hervey Walter is found in the ‘Lancashire Pipe Rolls & Early Lancashire Charters’, transcribed by William Farrer (Liverpool, 1902), p.437:

Charter No I, Series XXI

A.D. 1189, 1 Richard I- the year John Count of Mortain received the Honour of Lancaster:

Confirmation by John Count of Mortain, to Roger de Heaton of several lands. Particulars of various estates held by Roger de Heaton, son of Augustin.

Herein the Count confirms a grant of land in Wesham; and other reasonable gifts of lands and tenements made to the said Roger by the Counts and Knights and free tenants viz. ……..

(3) by the grant of Roger son of Orm (son of Magnus) the vill of Grimsargh (ie. Orm, brother-in-law to Hervey Walter)…

(5) by the grant of Hervey Walter and his son Theobald Walter, the land between Scuavlowlwath and Murderledale, and the land of Bradkirk (in Medlay).

The Charter passed at Portsmouth and was attested by the Count’s chancellor and a number of his knights.

Bradkirk is on Weeton Road about 2 kms from the family seat of Weeton (the other two lands named are unidentified).

As this was a confirmation charter, the original grant must have been made by Hervey Walter and Theobald at a much earlier time, as Hervey Walter was deceased before 1189, and this was a confirmation charter of previous grants to Roger de Heaton, by Prince John who had just received the Honour of Lancaster from his newly crowned brother Richard I (providing a revenue of £200 per year).

The de Heaton family had previous land dealings with Orm son of Magnus in the period 1160-70. Orm originally held Heaton from the Bussell family, and Orm and Alice Walter’s son Roger de Hutton granted Augustin (father of Roger de Heaton) a moiety of Heaton in exchange for a 3rd part of Hutton which was added to other parts of Hutton held by Roger de Hutton. Maybe this grant of Hervey and Theobald was part of that exchange.


Due to the lack of birth, marriage, and death records in the 11th and 12th centuries, calculating the ages of people living at that time, is difficult, and one can only use the few records available to make a calculated guess. There are widely varied guesses by many historians and on the web.

As discussed, the 1212 ‘Inquest of Co Lancaster’ revealed that Theobald Walter’s grandfather, the earliest known ancestor of the Irish Butlers, was named ‘Hervey’, and it was Hervey who was granted the fee of Weeton and surrounding lands in the Hundred of Amounderness, Lancashire, during the reign of Henry I (ie.1100 to 1135), and subsequently granted some of these lands in marriage between his daughter Alice and Orm son of Magnus.

Translation of the document in ‘Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids, A.D. 1205-A.D. 1307’, edit by William Farrer (Record Society 1903), p.37:

We can estimate the approximate age of Hervey, firstly, by looking at his daughter Alice’s marriage to Orm son of Magnus of Lancaster.

We can estimate the approximate age of Hervey, firstly, by looking at his daughter Alice’s marriage to Orm son of Magnus of Lancaster.

William Farrer wrote in ‘The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I A.D. 1130, & of the Reigns of Henry II, Richard I and King John’ (Charter III, p.410): “A calculation of descents will show that Elias de Hutton, son of Roger, son of Orm, being of full age in about the year 1200, his great grandfather Magnus must have been born about the time that William Rufus ascended the throne [1087], and that his grandfather Orm and grandmother Aliz Walter were probably married in the latter part of Stephen’s reign [1135 to 1154].”

Elias de Hutton’s other great grandfather Hervey’s age can be similarly calculated to about the time of William Rufus’ ascension to the throne. 

Hervey the elder must have been born in the late 11th century, c.1080’s, and therefore Hervey Walter and his siblings including sister Aliz/Alice were born c.1105-1120. Alice must have married Orm before 1147 as their son Roger de Hutton was dealing in land before 1168, and he is likely to have reached his majority well before then. (The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I A.D. 1130, & of the Reigns of Henry II, Richard I and King John, ed. William Farrer, 1902, Charter III, p.410)

And a further record suggests an even earlier marriage between Orm and Alice- Orm and ‘Warin his son’ witnessed a charter of Richard Bussel of Penwortham (Lancashire), which historian William Farrer estimated was dated between ‘1153 to 1160 before Bussel’s death’. (Lanc. Pipe Rolls, pp.322-325; p.18, Farrer estimates that Richard Bussell must have died between 1155 and 1159.) To witness a document, Warin must have been of age.

Therefore, Warin son of Orm and Alice must have been born before 1132-1138, indicating a marriage in the reign of late Henry I or early Stephen. Orm son of Magnus witnessed several of Richard Bussel’s charters, indicating a similar age, and Bussel, the heir of Warin Bussel, was born c.1100 to Warin Bussel and wife Matilda who married in King William Rufus’ reign (1087 to 1100), therefore Orm was also born about 1100-1110. One would therefore estimate that Alice was born c.1110-1120.

We also know that Theobald, Hervey Walter’s heir, was of age before 1166 when he owed a knight’s fee for his Amounderness lands in the Cartae Baronum, therefore born before 1145, and possibly as early as the 1130’s, considering the likely age of his younger brother Hubert. 

Theobald Blake Butler in his "Letters to Lord Dunboyne”, referenced Carte suggesting that Theobald’s younger brother Hubert to have been born c.1135. Thomas Carte in his book “The Life of James Duke of Ormond” (v.1, Oxford, New Ed. 1851, first published in 1735; Introduction page xxxiii), wrote about the age of Hubert:

Carte wrote of Hubert’s desire to resign as Chief Justiciar, alleging that he was now “senex et valetudinarius” meaning ‘old and in poor health’, which Carte claimed was mentioned in Matthew Parker’s ‘Antiquitates’ viz. ‘Cantuariensis archiepiscopi De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae et privilegiis ecclesiae Cantuariensis’, first published 1572, republished in 1729, pp.223-233, chapter ‘Hubertus’. However, it should be noted that, having looked through Parker’s chapter on Hubert, this quote was not found, only an undated reference to Hubert’s entreaty to the king who had praised him for his diligence and fidelity in administering his office, claiming “quod corpore debili and valetudinario fuiffet”, meaning: ‘that he was physically weak and been in poor health’, without reference to his age; and that 'the king was retaining him against his will in the administration of the kingdom'. The date of his resignation was not 1195 as Carte suggested, but 1198, which King Richard accepted, citing the burden of work and his justiciar's ill health as grounds for the resignation.

Hubert was constantly conflicted between the tasks of civil government and his ecclesiastical concerns, which often demanded action that was incompatible. This also brought him into conflict with his fellow clergy and the Pope. As early as May 1194, he asked the king to release him from the justiciarship, according to Gervaise of Canterbury. Roger de Hoveden wrote that the archbishop often sent messages to the king, begging that he might be released from the government of the kingdom, pointing out that he was not equal to ruling both Church and State. The king was loath to do this. According to Roger de Hoveden, the monks of Canterbury had a lawsuit against the archbishop at Rome, complaining to Pope Innocent that the archbishop was acting contrary to his order and dignity in the office of justiciar, and was so involved in secular business that he could not adequately deal with ecclesiastical affairs. Hubert finally tendered his resignation as justiciar after four and a half years in office, and following the archbishop’s successful campaign against the Welsh in July 1198, the last act of his justiciarship. It was difficult for the justiciar to avoid infringing the canon laws which forbade clergy to be involved in bloodshed.

The Pope admonished King Richard, “that for his soul’s sake, he should no longer permit the archbishop to engage in secular administration nor in the future admit him or any other bishop or priests to secular office. He also ordered all prelates in virtue of obedience not to rashly undertake secular office.” (Foedera, ed. T. Rymer, Record Commission, 1816, v.1, I, p.71) 

According to Hoveden, (The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, comprising the History of England and of Other Countries of Europe from A.D. 73 to A.D. 1201, translated from Latin by Henry T. Riley, London 1853, vol.iv, p.47-8), this was the cause of Hubert’s removal.King Richard issued a royal letter on 11 July 1198 from Château Gaillard, addressing his English subjects, praising Hubert for his faithful and diligent custody of the kingdom, and went on:

“… he has often earnestly begged us to absolve him from office, and to this end has alleged many cogent reasons, bodily weakness, a host of maladies, and other inconveniences. We, for our own sake and yours, and because of the peace in which he maintained the kingdom, have nor granted his request. At last, considering his infirmity and intolerable burden of his labours and his incapacity, at his instance, we absolve him from the office committed to him and appoint in his place our beloved and faithful Geoffrey FitzPeter…”.

However, Hubert crossed to Normandy in September and joined the royal court just after Richard defeated the French king at Gisors, and spent the entire autumn and winter there, taking part in the negotiations for peace with King Philip of France. He remained with Richard at Chinon until March 1199, separating just before Richard moved southward on the campaign that brought about his death on 6 April. And he was back in secular office within nine months, when King John appointed Hubert as chancellor, an office he continued to hold until his own death in 1205. However, this role did not require military service.

The 12th century archdeacon of Brecon, historian and chronicler, Giraldus Cambrensis, wrote a chronicle 'Opera-De Invectionibus Lib.IV' (v.iii, published in London 1863), in which the editor John S. Brewer gave a short sketch of Hubert's life and history. He commented: "As Hubert passed for an old man at his death in 1205, the date of his birth may presumptively be carried back to the earlier years of the reign of King Stephen (ie. from 1135).

Another historian, C.R. Cheney in his book "Hubert Walter", (p.17-18, pub.1967) commented: "Gerald of Wales described him (Hubert) as already grown old in the civil service at the time he oppressed Gerald's ambition", quoting Giraldus Cambrensis' De Invectionibus, ed. by W.S. Davies ( p.97). Cheney also suggested that in the case of Hubert's birth, "We shall probably not be far off the mark in assigning the event to the middle years of Stephen's reign c.1140-1145 (though his birth may have been earlier)". 

Given the lack of conclusive evidence, we can estimate the births of Theobald and Hubert in the years between the mid 1130's and the mid 1140's.

According to J. Cox Russell (British Medieval Population, 1948, pp.180-181), data from his social class in the 13th century show that a tenth of the men at 30 years of age lived on past 70 years. Russell wrote, 'The frequency with which men served vigorously in their sixties in that period of time, marks it as less than a great age'

William Marshall was an example, aged 72 years when he died in 1219. As regent, in 2016, at the advanced age of 70, with remarkable energy, William charged and fought at the head of the army of his charge, the young King Henry III, at the Battle of Lincoln, in the war against Prince Louis of France and the rebel barons, leading them to victory.

Fulk fitzWarin, who would marry Theobald’s widow Matilda Vavasour, was about 80 years of age when he died circa 1258.

Theobald and Hubert's uncle Rannulf de Glanville was considered to be at least 70 years of age when he went on Crusade in 1190, and had resigned from his position as Chief Justiciar the year before, following the death of Henry II. Contemporary chronicler and monk, Benedict of Peterborough in his ‘Chronicles of the reigns of Henry II and Richard I AD 1169-1192’, (ed. William Stubbs, Vol.II, p.87) wrote about the replacement of Rannulf as chief justiciar by King Richard in 1189 and gives a reason, relating to Rannulf’s ‘great age’: “quia Ranulfus de Glanvil jam senior et labore confectus”, meaning that Ranulf was replaced as justiciar ‘because Ranulf de Glanville was now old and labour worn’, or,worn out by old age and toil’, which implies he was at least in his 70’s, just as his father before him lived to the age of at least 70 as he self-proclaimed in a speech given in 1148-52. 

Similarly, another 12th century chronicler, William Parvus of Newburgh Priory wrote about Rannulf’s retirement: “the king (Richard) considered that he had become old (“Qui cum esset grandævus” = “for though he was of great age, and acted with much less wisdom and forethought than he had shown when new in office.”

A record of abstracts of inquisitions was taken in 1185 for the purpose of ascertaining the wardships, reliefs and other profits due to the king from widows and orphans of his tenants in capite, in which Rannulf holds custody of his niece who is ‘60 years of age and more’– therefore this document suggests that his niece, Mabel, was born in or before 1125.

“Mabel who is the niece of Rannulf de Glanville, and is in his custody, was wife of Albrici Picot, and their land in Bukeswurthe, etc…. And she is 60 years old and more (‘Et ipsa est lx annorum et amplius’), and has 2 sons and 3 daughters, and the eldest is a soldier.” Her husband Albricus Picot held one knight’s fee in Cambridgeshire in the 1166 Cartae Baronum.

(Rotuli de dominus et pueriset et puellis, Anno 31 Regis Henry II, 1185, London 1830, p.44)

Therefore, Rannulf’s (elder?) brother, the father of Mabel, must have been born c.1100-05, making Rannulf’s birth closer to the period 1110-1115, earlier than most historians estimate his birth, which would have made him in his mid-to-late 70’s when he went on Crusade in 1190 (and died there).

And therefore, one would assume that Hervey Walter, Rannulf’s brother-in-law (having married sisters Matilda and Berthe de Valoines, respectively), was born in a similar period of time.

All of these calculations suggest that Theobald and Hubert’s father Hervey Walter must have been born before 1115, probably closer to 1110, which in turn confirms his father Hervey’s approximate birth in the early to mid 1080’s.

As records indicate, it would appear that Hervey Walter had a close relative, probably a younger brother, named Hubert Walter. While Hubert is listed in various documents in the mid to late 1150’s to 1168, he was also listed in a later redraft of Henry I’s undated (pre-1135) Confirmation Charter to Eye Priory (the original charter being lost), in which the witness list was incompatible date-wise (see details below), one of whom was Stephen Count of Mortain. While Henry I is known to have made a charter to Eye Priory during his reign (as referred to by Henry II in his confirmation charter), this later redraft may have been tweaked to suit the agenda of the Eye Priory monks, following the period of The Anarchy under Stephen’s reign in which lands were disseised and reassigned to favourites, before being restored under Henry II. Notably, this confirmation charter of the original foundation charter of Robert Malet to Eye Priory in c.1103,  included a donation of tithes by Hubert Walter that was not in the original charter of c.1103, and nearly all following confirmation charters included this donation of Hubert’s, with the exception of King Stephen’s confirmation charter. The historian and editor of the ‘Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters’, Vivien Brown suggests an approximate date of Henry’s charter to c.1123-25 (although admitting this could be incorrect), but the date could be as late as Henry’s death in 1135 when Stephen succeeded to the throne- this later date would be compatible with the age of Hubert who must have been born pre-1115, his son and heir Peter Walter born in c.1140’s.

Hervey Walter’s father-in-law Theobald de Valoines was son of Hamo de Valoines who was listed in the 1086 Domesday survey holding lands in Suffolk, therefore Theobald de Valoines was probably born in the late 11th century, a contemporary of Hervey senior, and after whom Hervey and Maud’s son Theobald Walter was named. 

Butler historian, Theobald Blake Butler (Genealogy of the Butlers, v. 2, p.425: Hervey Walter II) noted that Hubert Walter was listed in the Pipe Roll of 4 Henry II, A.D.1158 (The Great Rolls of the Pipe for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, years of Reign of King Henry II, AD.1155, 1156, 1157, 1158, Pipe Roll Society, 1844, p.130), we now know Hubert was the father of Peter Butler.

The same sheriff renders an account of 40s from Hubert Walter. He has delivered it into the treasury. And he is acquitted.
Blake Butler also made the claim that “Hervey Walter first appears in the Pipe Rolls of 1158/59 and 1159-60 where he accounts for lands in the Hundreds of Blofield and Loddon in Co. Norfolk”. (The Great Roll of the Pipe for the 5th year of the Reign of King Henry the Second, AD. 1158-59 v.I, p.9; and ‘A.D.1159-60’ (6th  year of reign), v.II, p. 2) 
However, he appears to have made a mistake in the interpretation of the entries.

Pipe Roll 5 Henry II- A.D.1158-59 


“Hervey the clerk owes I mark.”

The following section is unrelated to Hervey and refers to “the same sheriff who owes 6s. 4d. for a plea of ‘celato’ in Blofield hundred which remains in respite for force provided”; (The term ‘celato’ is unusual. A source, Hurnard, ‘Jury of Presentment’, English Historical Review, LVI, p.383, stated that she found a pipe roll entry for 1158, ‘pro placito celato’, a phrase which she interpreted as meaning, crimes for which the juries had failed to accuse suspects and for which they were fined.)

and, “the same sheriff owes 65s. 4d. for murder in Loddon Hundred, which similarly remains in respite for force provided.”

The ‘sheriff’ in question refers to Earl Hugh Bigod, who owes £76. 10d. for the farms of Suffolk, and includes fines to be paid for acts of murder in Blofield and Loddon, attended to by Hugh’s provision of troops.

(The meaning of the Latin term ‘de veteri firma de Suffolk’: many sheriffs farmed out their shires, contracting in advance to pay a fixed annual sum to the crown, thus obtaining the right to collect any additional royal revenues for their own profit.)

A second Pipe Roll entry the following year finds Hervey, clerk, clearing the fine.

The reference to the lands of Blofield and Loddon below are, once again, not related to Hervey’s account. There is a list of fines, accounts rendered by the sheriff, for murders committed in several towns:

Pipe Roll 6 Henry II- A.D. 1159-60

“Earl Hugh (Bigod) owes £76. 10d. from the old farm of Suffolk.Hervey the clerk renders an account for 1 mark of silver. In pardon according to the King’s writ to the same Harvey for 1 mark.                 
 And he is acquitted.”(which appears to mean, that the king discharged the amount owing)
The reference to ‘Hervey, clerk’, in the Pipe Rolls of 1158/59 and 1159-60, however, is conjectural, given that ‘Hervey’ is described as a ‘clerk’ and could account for anyone by that name in Suffolk or Norfolk, possibly attached to some religious order, and it does not state what the fine/payment was for. We therefore cannot positively attribute this to Hervey Walter.



Hervey Walter married Matilda, generally thought to be the daughter of the wealthy baron, Theobald de Valoines/Valoignes/Valeines, Lord of Parham in Suffolk, whose lands were inherited from his Norman forebear, named in the Little Domesday Book (East Anglia) as Hamo de Valoines/‘Haimo de Valognes’ of Parham who held nine lands in the hundreds of Parham, Plomesgate and Blything in Suffolk from Count Alan of Brittany. 

Domesday Book entry:

Translated: (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, p.1198)

“In Blaxhall 1 free man with 2 acres worth 4d. Hamo de

Valoines [holds it]. Parham was held by Ǣlfric, a thegn of king

Edward (TRE) with 1 carucate as one manor. Now Hamo holds it from the Count”

(Alan of Brittany, as part of his Honour of Richmond- Refer to Early Yorkshire Charters, ed. William Farrer, & Charles T. Clay, vol.5, pp.234-238- Honour of Richmond- Valognes Fee)

 Theobald de Valoines’ second daughter Bertha married Rannulf de Glanville.

As Hervey Walter and Matilda’s two eldest sons, Theobald Walter and Hubert Walter were thought to have been born in the 1130’s, that would indicate a marriage between Hervey and Matilda in the early to mid-1130’s (taking into account that daughters may have been born first).

In the ‘Chronicles of Jocelin of Brakelond’ (a monk at Bury St Edmund’s who took the habit in 1173 and wrote the chronicles in 1180’s-90’s), Jocelin recounts in Chapter 5 (p.122-Troubles Within):

Hubert Walter, the Archbishop of Canterbury (viz. post 1193) and legate of the apostolic see (appointed Papal Legate in England 1195 until 1198), and Justiciary of England, after he had visited many churches, and had by right of his legation made many changes and alterations, was on his way home from his natural mother, who lived at Dereham and was then dying.

As Hubert was appointed Papal legate in 1195 until 1198, his mother must have died circa 1195-96, and would have been of great age, possibly in her early eighties.

It would appear that Hervey Walter died in the period of the late 1170’s to the 1180’s, before his son Hubert’s foundation of West Dereham Abbey in 1188 (see details below), and before Rannulf’s foundation charter to Leiston Abbey, c.1182-1186, in which three of Hervey Walter’s sons were witnesses but not Hervey. The last official record of Hervey was his charter to Butley in c.1171-77.

A foundation charter by Theobald Walter of a Monastery in Arklow, as a cell of Furness Abbey in Lancashire, in King John’s time (after 1199), has Matilda’s name written ‘Matildas de Valuniis matris meæ’: (The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey, vol. II pt.1, transc. & ed. by William Farrer, 1898, p.375-6)

This Arklow charter is the only document that clearly validates Matilda’s surname as a ‘Valuniis’ (Valoines).

Theobald Walter’s Charter to Cockersand Abbey in 1194-99 (as previously examined), named his parents: (Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. 6, pt 2, p.1128 )

“Grant in frankalmoign by Theobald Walter for the health of the souls of King Henry II, King Richard his son, and John, count of Mortain, our dear Ranulf de Glanville, Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, our brothers, Hervey Walt[er] my father and Matil[da] de Wal[ter] my mother.”

In Latin:

“Sciant praesentes et future quod ego T[heobaldus] Walteri, pro diuino intuit et amore beatae Marie, pro salute animae et pro anima domini regis Henrici, et animae regis Ricardi filii sui, et animae Johannis comitis de Moreton, et animae Ranulphi de Glanville cari nostri, at pro salute animae H[ubert], Cantuariensis archiepiscopi, fratres nostri, et animae Hervei Walteri patris mei, et Matildis de Wal’ matris mee, et pro salute animae mee et omnium amicorum meorum et benefactorium et antecessorum et successorum meorum, etc”.

In Dugdale’s ‘Monasticon Anglicanum’, a benefaction by ‘Theobald Walter pincerna of Ireland’ to the Monastery of Wotheney made in King Richard’s time, circa 1195-98, names his parents ‘Hervei Walteri and Matilde de Waltenes’, and his wife Matilda (le Vavasour), and brother ‘Huberti Canterbury archbishop’: (Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6, pt.2, p.1035)

" Omnibus sanctae matris ecclesiae filiis tam presentibus quam futuris, Theobaldus Walterus pincerna Hibernie salutem. Sciatis me pro amore Dei et beate Dei genitricis Marie, et pro anima domini Henrici mei regis Anglie, et Ricardi regis Anglie filii, et pro salute domini mei Johannis comitis Moretonie et domini Hibernie, et pro salute Huberti fratris mei Cant. archiepiscopi; et pro anima cari mei Ranulfi de Glanvill; et pro anima Hervei Walteri patris mei, et pro anima Matilde de Waltenes* matris mee, et pro salute anime mee, et pro salute Matilde sponse mee, et pro salute omnium amicorum et antecessorum, et successorum meorum…etc.”

Footnote by editor Wm Dugdale: * Valoiines.

Maud’s father, Theobald de Valoines (son of Hamo) was the first lay witness to a charter of count Stephen of Mortain in favour of Rumburgh Priory in Suffolk c.1135 (‘Early Yorkshire Charters’, 5, The Honour of Richmond, part 2, Charter No. 10, ed. William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay); and was first witness after the countess to Count Stephen’s charter in favour of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds in 1135 (Charter No. 11).

Theobald Valognes and his brother Robert fitzHamon rendered account of £20 each for a breach of the peace in Suffolk, in the ‘Pipe Roll for 31st year of Reign of King Henry I for A.D.1130/1131’ (ed. Judith A. Green, London 2012, p.77,78).

Robert de Valoines, son of Theobald de Valoines, and brother of Matilda and Bertha, held joint custody of Orford Castle in Suffolk with Bartholomew de Glanville in the 1160’s-70’s, and his heirs continued to hold custody. Robert was witness, along with his son, Theobald de Valoines (II) and a relative William de Valoines (of Culpho, Suffolk, son of Alan de Valoines), to Hervey Walter’s charter to Butley Priory c.1171-1177. Robert de Valoines died 1178.

The accepted link of Hervey Walter with the Valoines and de Glanvilles is due to association by marriage. When Matilda’s sister Bertha married Rannulf de Glanville, he was an unproven knight living in Suffolk, the son of an influential baron of the county. In the succeeding years he would gain rapid promotion and became the very powerful and influential Chief Justiciar of England, which was very fortunate for the Walter family who rose to hold great power during the reigns of Richard I and John, due to the influence of de Glanville.

In 1163-1166, Hervey Walter witnessed the charter of his brother-in-law Robert de Valoines of the manor of Hickling Co Norfolk, his name coming immediately after that of the said Robert, this deed was a quitclaim by Robert de Valoines of the lands of Asardesholm which was part of Hickling. For this quitclaim the abbot and the monks of St Benet of Holme received Robert, his wife, mother, heirs and brothers into the fraternity of the church. Robert’s son Theobald de Valoines II founded the priory of Hickling in 1185.

This is the earliest known record of Hervey Walter.

Various members of the Valoines family were witnesses to several charters of the de Glanville family. 
Despite the variations in spelling, Valenis, Valeins, Valuniis, Valeines, Valaines, Valoines, Valognes, Valoniis, Vellanis, it should be noted that Hamo de Valoines was not related to Peter de Valognes, a Norman noble who became a great landowner under the Conqueror, and was married to Albreda de Rie, the sister of Eudo the Dapifer, steward to King William- one of their daughters married secondly Hubert de MonteCanisy. Peter probably hailed from Valognes in the Cotentin Peninsula.


In Domesday, Hamo is written:


Hamo de Valoines was a vassal of Count Alan of Brittany, so one would assume that Hamo also originated from Brittany, probably from the Ille-de-Vilaines department of France, formed by two joining rivers, the Ille and the Vilaines, flowing east to west passing through Rennes in Brittany on their way to the Atlantic Ocean- possibly near one of the villages along the Vilaine River just east of Rennes, with several villages named ‘_ sur Vilaine’.


Nothing is known about Theobald’s first marriage, by whom he had his daughter Beatrix/Beatrice Walter [m.1.Thomas de Hereford; m.2. Hugh Purcel]. (Register of the abbey of St Thomas, Dublin, edit. John T. Gilbert, London 1889, pp.194-196, 197-198, 316, 360-362)

He possibly had a son named Reimundo filio Theobaldi Wa[l]teri who witnessed a charter of John lord of Ireland, 1185-1189, for Gerald fitzMaurice at Bristol. This son either died early or was illegitimate which could explain the need for a marriage later in life to produce a male heir. (The Red Book of the Earls of Kildare, edit. G. Mac Niocaill, Irish Manuscripts Commission 1964, p.14)

Red Book of the Earls of Kildare- witnesses to charter of John lord of Ireland

By the time of John’s succession to the throne in 1199, Theobald must have been in excess of 60 years of age, and he was soon to have his son and heir, also named Theobald (born about January 1200, nine months after the death of King Richard), by his much younger, teenage wife Matilda/Maud (b.c.1179; married circa 1195 to 1198), daughter of Robert le Vavasour (b.c.1153), lord of Hazlewood in Yorkshire, son and heir of Sir William le Vavasour (c.1131-1191), great grandson of Sir Mauger le Vavasour I, who held lands, including Hazlewood, in Domesday from William de Percy tenant-in-chief.
A second child, a daughter named Matilda after her mother, was born soon after.
Early Yorkshire Charters (Volume 11, ed. by William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, No. 114):
“Notification by Theobald Walter that Robert le Vavasour retained in his own hand and gift the advowson of the church and chapel of Narborough [co. Leicester] and the advowson of the church of Bolton [by Bowland] when he gave to Theobald his manors of Edlington and Narborough and his land of Bolton with his daughter Maud in marriage [1189-1205]. (MS. Dodsworth lxviii, f.12, from Glover’s Collections)”

 Robert de Vavasour of Hazelwood near Tadcaster was High Sheriff of Lancaster 1196-1197, and also served as sheriff of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Lancashire Pipe Rolls 31 Henry I, p.99:

Notes on the Pipe Roll of 9 Richard (Michaelmas 1196- Mich 1197)- Robert Vavasour

“This year Robert Vavasour executed the office of Sheriff as Theobald Walter’s deputy. He was Theobald’s father-in-law, his daughter Maud being Theobald’s wife. Having laid out the previous year £8 15s. more than the ferm, he claims allowance this year from an equivalent amount, and further accounts for 10 marks disbursed in the repair of Lancaster Castle and Gaol, and 100s. laid out in like manner upon the Castle of West Derby.”

Historian William Farrer, working from Yorkshire Charters, suggested that Matilda’s mother may have been the daughter of Adam de Birkin of Yorkshire, and sister of John de Birkin, after noting that Robert le Vavasour was first witness to Adam de Birkin’s charters to Pontefract, and the hospital of St Peter in York, dated 1173-1185. Prime witnesses to charters were usually close family members. (Early Yorkshire Charters, ed. Wm Farrer, iii, p.371, 372, nos.1741, 1742; EYC, vii, p.169- Vavasour fee)

Robert le Vavasour was also witness to a third charter of Adam de Birkin to the church of St Mary of Rievaulx. (Yorkshire Deeds, ed. Wm Brown, 1909, v.i, p.78-79, no.211; and the deeds from No. 210, p.77 to No. 215, p.81 reveal the de Birkin family genealogy)

A further confirmation charter to the monks of St Mary of Salley of a grant made by Mauger Vavasour, brother of Robert le Vavasour, was witnessed by John and Roger de Birkin, and interestingly, Richard Bussel of Penwortham. (Ibid, p.97, no.256)

M.S. Dodsworth (Bodleian Lib. Oxford), per Roger Dodsworth, noted in ‘Chartulary of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary of Sallay’, an account of the transfer of lands in Bolton to St Mary’s abbey, that reveals that Robert le Vavasour’s daughter Maud, wife of Theobald Walter, was the niece of Roger de Birkin, described in the document as Maud’s ‘avunculo suo’ (ie. Latin for mother’s brother, viz. maternal uncle), to whom her lands at Bolton were granted after her death (c.1225). (M.S. Dodsworth, Chartulary of the Cistercian abbey of St Mary of Sallay’, ed. Joseph McNulty, 1933, vol.1, p.68)


Dodsworth gives an account of the transfer of lands in Bolton n Bolland c.1227

“Mauger le Vavasour gave his share (of Bolton) to the abbot and convent of Salley. But Robert le Vavasour gave his share to Theobald Walter and Matilda le Caunt his daughter, in marriage; and when Theobald Walter had died, the same Matilda was married to Fulk, son of Warin; upon the death of Fulke, the said Matilda, in her widowhood, gave her fourth part of the said town to Roger de Byrkin, her uncle.”

NB. Maud died before January 1226; there must be a clerical error in this Latin charter, as Maud’s second husband, Fulke fitzWarin outlived her and remarried, dying after 8 Oct 1250. It probably should have said that “upon the death of Theobald, the said Matilda, in her widowhood, gave part of the said town to Roger de Birkin her uncle”.

Or, alternatively, the Pudsay Deed below states that on her death, her son, Theobald II, gave the land to Roger de Birkin.

 The ‘Pudsay Deeds’ gives further information on this transfer of Bolton: (The Pudsey Deeds: The Pudseys of Bolton and Barforth and Their Predecessors in those Manors, edit by Col. Ralph Pudsey Littledale, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series Vol. LVI, 1916, p.69)

Towards the close of the 12th century, Robert Vavasour gave Maud his daughter, as part of her marriage portion [to Theobald Walter], the advowson of the church of Bolton. Her son Theobald Walter [II] granted it to Roger de Birkin who granted it to Jordan de Bingley, etc. But apparently Maud Vavasour had only dower rights in this advowson, so that it could not descend to her son. About 1234, her brother John le Vavasour recovered it against Sir Richard de Goldsburg and 12 years later, he sold it, etc.”

The de Birkins were freemen holding the land of Birkin in Yorkshire West Riding from the de Lacys who held it in Domesday as tenant-in-chief. Ilbert de Laci of Pontefract held the Honour of Pontrefact, which included the manor of Birkin, sub-tenanted by Gamal of Danish origin. According to family historians, Gamal had two sons, Leising(us/er) and Ulf whose son Essulf/Assulf had eight sons, the eldest of whom was named Peter fitzAssulf. Peter’s son, Adam fitzPeter, was named after the lands he held viz: Adam de Birkin, de Falthwaite, de Flockton, de Midgley, de Middleton, de Shitlington, de Stainborough etc, although principally de Birkin, his line leading to the Birkins of Yorkshire.
Peter married in c.1135 to Emma de Lascelles, sister of John de Lascelles, and died in 1143, leaving his estate to his eldest son, Adam, a minor. In 1166, Adam owed Henry de Lacy the service of one knight. In 1179, Adam engaged in trial by combat with Simon de Lascelles to gain his mother’s lands, and was victorious in the duel.

 Adam de Birkin (b.c.1135, d.1185) was married firstly to a woman named Matilda (mother of first son Robert who died early) and secondly to Matilda, dau. and co-heir of Robert de Cauz, mother of John, Roger, Peter, Thomas and William de Birkin, as named in the Yorkshire Deeds. There are no records of the births of any daughters to either wife named Matilda, but lack of records is not unusual for those times, and it would appear that their unidentified daughter married Robert le Vavasour.

Adam de Birkin’s son John de Birkin would feature in another charter involving Roger Walter (Theobald’s younger brother) and William de Glanville (son of Rannulf) and his wife Dionysia, sister to John de Birkin’s wife Joan, granting their farm to the nuns of Watton.

These links between the de Birkin, le Vavasour, Walter and de Glanville families indicate close kinship.

Early Yorkshire Charters: (Volume 11, ed. by William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, No. 114, referencing MS. Dodsworth lxviii, f.12, from Glover’s Collections)

“Notification by Theobald Walter that Robert le Vavasour retained in his own hand and gift the advowson of the church and chapel of Narborough [co. Leicester] and the advowson of the church of Bolton [by Bowland] when he gave to Theobald his manors of Edlington and Narborough and his land of Bolton with his daughter Maud in marriage” [1189-1205].(In the year 1226 when his mother Maud died, Theobald II, unsuccessfully challenged his half-sister Hawise (dau. of Fulk FitzWarin and Maud) for the title to the manors of Narborough and Edlington, a Vavasour hereditament, but a suit of 1276 shows the manors had been given by Maud to her daughter Hawise as a marriage portion.)

After Theobald’s death, the wardship of his son Theobald II and daughter Matilda changed hands several times. Initially a ward of the king, William de Braose, then Robert le Vavasour in 1206, father of their mother Matilda, then of Fulk fitzWarin second husband of Matilda, Theobald’s widow.

 The following records are from the “Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland”, translating entries in the Close Rolls/ ‘Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum’, Vol.1- 1204-1224: (Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland 1171-1251, ed. H.S. Sweetman, 1875, p.43 no.280, p.49 no.332, p.55 no.367 & no.370, p.50 no.336, p.81, nos. 514, 516)

1205- Theobald's death


1207- no month given

1207- no month given


On 2 August 1214, the king granted wardship of Theobald II to Reginald de Pontinbus, with custody of his lands, and to marry his daughter.

“.. of Theobald’s son and heir to Reginald Pontibus to marry his daughter and direct seisin of all Theobald’s estates except Amounderness which the King had given to Theobald, should be made to the said Reginald.” (Close Rolls/Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum, Vol.1- 1204-1224, ed. Thoma Duffus Hardy, 1833, p.163)

Reginald is also custodian of Theobald’s lands in Thurles
The ‘Close Rolls’, 24 August, 16 John (1214), translated in ‘Cal. of Documents relating to Ireland’: (Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland 1171-1251, ed. H.S. Sweetman, p.81, nos. 514, 516)

August 24, 1214, No.514, “The king commands Henry Archbishop of Dublin cause to be given to Reginald de Pontinubs or his emissary full seisin of the castles Dorles, Roskere, Loske, Armolen and Kakaulis which belonged to Theobald Walter in Ireland; anything taken from the lands of the latter after they had been given to Reginald de Pontibus shall be restored.”

Sept. 6, 1214, No.516, “The King commands Godfrey de Marisco to deliver to the emissary of Reginald de Pontibus the castles of Dorles and Rokerell, which belonged to Theobald Walter, and the custody of which had been committed to Godfry; the rents of assise received from the lands after they had been given by the King to Reginald shall be paid to him.”

Theobald II would not marry the daughter of Pontibus, and after King John’s death, with William Marshall as regent for Henry III, Pontibus appears to have been replaced by Geoffrey de Marsico, Justiciar of Ireland, whose daughter, Theobald would eventually marry having been granted full seisin of his English and Irish lands on 2 July 1221.

 Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland 1171-1251, (ed. H.S. Sweetman, p.152- no.995, p.160- no.1043):



Theobald Walter’s wife Maud le Vavasour remarried in 1207 to Fulk fitzWarin. Maud died c.1226, being the date of Maud’s son Theobald Walter II unsuccessfully seeking his rights against Maud’s fitzWarin children through suits of ‘mort d’ancestor’, viz. his half-sister Hawise and her first husband William Pantulf, to recover Narborough co. Leic., and against his half-brother Fulk fitzWarin to recover the manor of Edlington co. York. These were a Vavasour hereditament to which Theobald had no rights of inheritance, and a suit of 1276 shows the manors had been given by Maud to her daughter Hawise as a marriage portion.

Fulk FitzWarin who married Theobald Walter’s widow Matilda, won notoriety in previous years as the young outlawed leader of a band of followers striving to recover his familial right to Whittington Castle which King John had granted away. He became the subject of a popular romance in French verse, ‘Fouke FitzWaryn’ written in the late 13th century. In 1201 when John crossed into Normandy to suppress a revolt, he instructed Hubert de Burgh to put down the activities of Fulk and his band. In 1202, they took refuge in Stanley Abbey in Wiltshire, where he was besieged by the king’s forces, after which Archbishop Hubert Walter with a number of clergy, got him away and kept him for some time in his court. Fulk set off with several armed men to join the King of France. In 1203, he and his followers were pardoned, and in 1204 he received his ‘right and inheritance’ in Whittington, maybe through the intervention of Hubert Walter. No doubt his past relationship with Hubert Walter who was deceased by the time of his marriage to Maud, and the intervention of Maud’s father Robert le Vavasour, led to his marriage with Theobald’s widow Matilda who died in 1226. Fulk remarried to Clarice de Auberville, daughter of Robert son of William d’Auberville and Maud de Glanville, daughter of Rannulf de Glanville. Fulk died in circa 1258 at the advanced age of about 80 years or more.

Notably, Fulk’s tale of outlawry, found in the verse “Fouke FitzWaryn”, is thought to be, partly, the basis for the legend of Robin Hood, written many centuries later.


The lands in Suffolk, held by both descendant lines of this ‘Walter’ family (viz. Hervey and Hubert the elder), were located in a small area of Bishops Hundred in the county of Suffolk, near the bishop’s manor of Hoxne, and the Priory of Eye, the evidence of which will be detailed below. (A ‘Hundred’ was the division of a shire for administrative, military and judicial purposes under the common law in medieval times.)

Most of these lands were held from the Crown in the Domesday Book by a select few Norman tenants-in-chief including Robert Malet, one of the biggest landholders in East Anglia. His father William Malet who died in 1071, was a close companion of William the Conqueror during the conquest, according to contemporary chronicler William of Poitiers. Some accounts claimed he took charge of the burial of King Harold’s body after the Battle of Hastings, but there is no written evidence he did so. William Malet was granted large land holdings in Yorkshire and East Anglia, his son Robert inheriting on his death.

In turn, in the Domesday survey, Malet’s lands were sub-tenanted by various Norman lords/knights, all of whom appear to have held a long-term close association with the Malets from before the time of the Conquest, and held ancestral lands in the same area of Normandy.

The Honour of Eye was held by Robert Malet until his death c.1106, when it returned to the Crown. King Henry I granted the Honour of Eye and the Honour of Lancaster to his nephew and heir Stephen of Blois, later Count of Mortain c.1113. After succeeding to the crown in 1135, Stephen gave the Honour of Eye to Count Hervey of Lèon who held it between 1139 and 1141 when he returned to France, and Stephen then appears to have given it to his steward William Martel. After Henry II’s succession, in 1154 Henry granted it to Stephen’s son William of Blois Count of Boulogne who died in 1159, from which time, Eye remained in the hands of the Crown for the remainder of Henry’s reign, though custody was given to the chancellor Thomas Becket in late 1160/early1161 until October 1163. Following William Count of Boulogne’s death, the monks were quick to obtain from their new lord a general confirmation of their possessions. After, and probably because of Becket’s forfeiture in October 1163 of the custodies and honours he held, the monks seem to have felt it necessary to obtain a simple confirmation of their property in January 1164 to which Thomas Becket was summoned.

It is confidently established through records that Hervey was granted the Weeton fee and lands in Amounderness in Lancashire during the reign of Henry I (1100 to 1135), probably granted by Henry’s nephew and heir Stephen Count of Mortain who held the Honour of Lancaster and the Honour of Eye. It is also known from records that Hervey’s family also held lands in Suffolk and Norfolk, but less is known about when, how, and from whom these lands were acquired. Some lands may have been inherited, or they could have been granted at the same time as the Amounderness lands by Stephen Count of Mortain, but available records do not reveal this information. Peter Walter claimed his lands in Fressingfield were held by his ‘predecessors’, and later claimed his lands at Weybread and Instead were held under recognition of ‘morte d’ancestor’ (ie. death of an ancestor, viz. ancestral inheritance).

In his Charter to Butley Priory c.1171-1186, Hervey Walter donated the tithes of his fee in Wingfield, ‘Sikebro’, and Instead, signed and sealed ‘Hervey Walter of his fee of Wingfield’. (The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory charters, ed R.H. Mortimer 1979, p.151 Charter No. 146)

In several Charters to Eye Priory, beginning in the reign of Henry I, Hubert Walter (the elder) and then his son Peter Walter donated their tithes from lands in Snapeshall (now Launces) in the district of Fressingfield. (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, I and II, ed V. Brown, 1994)

Peter Walter also donated ½ mark in his mill of Instead to Hubert Walter’s foundation of West Dereham Abbey in the 1190’s. (Monasticon Anglicanum, by Sir William Dugdale, v.6 pt 1, p.900 (2nd col.) )

Pre 1205 (probably 1190’s), Gilbert de Hawkedon donated 6d rent of Instead to Butley Priory, that he held from Theobald Walter, witnessed by Peter Walter. (Leiston Abbey ChartularyButley Priory Charters, No. 147)

In a 1209 Fine, Peter Walter made a claim against the abbot of Dereham, under recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’ law, over 20 acres with appurtenances in Instead and 3s worth of rent in Weybread. (Feet of Fines for the Co of Norfolk and Co of Suffolk for the Reign of King John, ed. Barbara Dodwell, 1958, p.238 No.497)

All these lands were from the Honour of Eye in Suffolk, firstly granted to Robert Malet, and then granted to Stephen Count of Mortain c.1113 (who would succeed Henry I in 1135).

The unknown is whether these lands were granted from the Honours of Eye and of Lancaster by the Crown, probably during the reign of King Henry I, or whether the lands in Suffolk were held by inheritance from an ancestor and regranted by the Crown, such as in the case of the de Huntingfield family lands originally held by ancestor Walter filius Albrici in Domesday from Robert Malet the original holder of the Honour of Eye, and other neighbouring families whose forebears also held their lands from Malet.

However, the key to this question may lie with their cousin, Peter Walter who claimed his ancestors held his land in this area (since at least the early 1100’s if not earlier), according to his statement (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, I, pp.231-232, no.319) in his confirmation charter to Eye Priory, and who continued to reside on his ancestral lands in this area, evidenced by his close association with several other local Norman families as shown in various charters to which he was witness. The ancestors of these other families held their lands from Robert Malet in Domesday, and their descendants continued to live on their inherited lands through the 12th century and beyond. It is highly probable that the Walters similarly held their lands through inheritance from a sub-tenant of Malet.

Taking into account the lands that the Walter family held in co. Suffolk during the 1100’s, viz. Wingfield, Instead (part of Weybread), and ‘Sikibroc’ (unidentified but possibly part of Stetebroc/Stradbroke- Sikibroc’ could also be Sedgebrooke, ‘Sechebroc’ in Lincolnshire, in Domesday held solely by Robert Malet who granted it to Eye Priory in his charter, but no evidence that this land was ever granted to Hervey Walter.), and Snapeshall (later called Launces), a manor in Fressingfield, all located adjacent to each other in Bishops Hundred, it would appear there are several contenders for the name ‘Walter’, who are recorded as holding lands in this same area in the Domesday Book in 1086 from Robert Malet- viz. Walter de Caen, Walter filius Aubrey, Walter the arbalester/crossbowman, Walter filius Grip, possibly Walter [de Glanville], and a candidate just named ‘Walter’ (who could be one of the others named). A ‘Walter’ held all of the lands named above from Malet. These men named ‘Walter’ will be explored in detail in the next chapter. But the question of the origin of the surname ‘Walter’ remains speculative as there are no surviving documents that give us a definitive conclusion, which has frustrated researchers of this family for several centuries. And, we have the added problem that, before Henry II’s reign began in 1155, the few surviving official records rarely named the daughters and wives, and often those inter-marriages are the key to land acquisitions and inheritances.

Notably, Wingfield and Stradbroke were also held by Robert de Glanville from Malet which could also account for Hervey Walter’s possession (discussed in Ch.3), but that does not account for possession of the lands in Weybread and Fressingfield.

Map of Bishops Hundred in Suffolk, showing the close proximity between Wingfield, Weybread (mill at Instead), and Fressingfield held by the Walter family.

Bishops Hundred based around the Bishop’s Manor of Hoxne, sometimes called the Hundred of Hoxne, part of the Honour of Eye.

A ‘Walter’ held parts of Stradbroke, Wingfield, Weybread (a mill, possibly Instead), Chippenhall (included Fressingfield), and Laxfield in Domesday from Robert Malet.

Huntingfield and Linstead [Parva and Magna] held in Domesday by Walter filius Albrici, ancestor of the de Huntingfield and Linstead families, from Malet.

Horam partly held by Robert de Glanville, and Walter de Caen, from Malet.

Walter the Crossbowman held lands at Eye just west of Hoxne, from Malet.

The Manors of Suffolk’, written in 1909, by W.A. Coppinger, vol.4, under the chapter ‘Hundred of Hoxne’ (originally Bishops Hundred), shows the various manors and how they are grouped in parishes in this small area.

NB. Fressingfield includes ‘Launces’, formerly Snapeshall

Coppinger then commented on the Parish of Weybread (without giving a source):

Manor of Weybread Rectory- this manor, Davy suggests, “was given by Hervey Walter to Butley Abbey. It came to the Crown at the dissolution of the religious houses”.

Carte in the Introduction to his ‘Life of James Duke of Ormond’has the following: (The History of the Life of James Duke of Ormond, by Thomas Carte, Op.cit., Intro. Page xlvii)

“It must have been a very large estate that Theobald possessed in Norfolk and Suffolk, for though he was not sheriff of these counties in 1st John (1199-1200) yet in the Pipe Roll for that year he is mentioned among other tenants in capite in the following entry (for Suffolk and Norfolk) ‘Theobaldus Walterus reddit [comptum] de £76.0.4’. As a comparison, Theobald Walter’s grant of 22nd April 1194 from Richard of the whole of Amounderness was held by service of three knight’s fees which were included in the scutage of £73.6.8.” (‘Tenants in capite’, or tenants-in-chief, held their lands directly from the Crown, not from an overlord)

The primary document for establishing the lands held by Hervey Walter in the county of Suffolk is found in the Butley Priory Charters, in which Hervey Walter donated the tithes of his lands to the priory sometime after the foundation in 1171 of Butley Priory in Suffolk by Hervey’s brother-in-law Rannulf de Glanville on land which had come to him as the marriage-portion of his wife, Bertha de Valoines.

Notably, although the given date range in the Cartulary by the editor is 1171-86, one of Hervey’s witnesses was his brother-in-law Robert de Valoines who died in 1178, so the date must range from 1171 to 1177.

Importantly, the charter is endorsed “Herveus Walter of his fee in Wingfield”, with his seal attached. Significantly, Wingfield was partly held in the Domesday survey by a Norman named ‘Walter’.


The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters (p.151)

Charter 146 - donation by Hervey Walter to Butley Priory:


“Hervey Walter in the presence of all his friends, and to all French and English people present, future Health. Know ye that I have given and granted, and by this my present charter have confirmed to God and the church of the Holy Mary of Bute (Butley) and the canons there serving the Lord, for the salvation of my soul and Maud, my wife, and of our children, and for the salvation of the souls of Rannulf de Glanvill, and Bertha, his wife and of their children, and all of our ancestors and our parents, and of our friends, and the whole of the fee shall be in pure and perpetual alms, the whole fee shall be in Wingefeld (Wingfield, Suffolk) in the homage and rents of all, and in all other things, and the whole  fee in the Sikebro (unidentified),  as Oudin held of me, and the whole fee for Isted (Instead, Suffolk) that Godfrey held of me.
Witnesses, William Alberville, William de Valoines, Stephen de Glanvill, Theobald de Valoines, Roberto de Valoines, William de Glanvill, Peter Walter, Robert fitz Rocelin (of Huntingfield), Rannulf de Baldressie, Geoffrey de Ykeling, Robert de Blanchevill, William de Glanvill cleric, and my sons Hubert Walter and Roger and Hamon.
Endorsement (contemporary) Hervey Walter of his fee in Wingfield
Seal: round, 5 cm; white wax varnished red/brown; repaired with red/orange wax; on tag.
Device: equestrian, to right”
The witnesses:
Notably, the family witnesses included Peter Walter, and Hervey’s sons ‘Hubert Walter, and Roger and Hamon’, plus close relations by marriage, the de Valoines and de Glanvilles.
Also, notably, Robert de Valoines died in 1178, thereby dating the charter before 1178.
According to Richard Mortimer, editor of the Butley Charters, William de Valoines was son of Alan de Valoines (landholder at Tuddenham near Culpho and Ipswich, and at Stourmouth in Kent, probably the sheriff of Kent who died in 1194, William succeeding to his father’s debts in the exchequer), a relative of the Valoines of Parham. William donated Culpho church to Leiston Abbey.(The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, ed. R. Mortimer, 1979, p.9)
Hervey’s son Theobald and Rannulf de Glanville were not witnesses, so were probably in northern England defending it from William King of the Scots, whom Rannulf is credited as capturing in 1174.
In 1173/74 Rannulf was appointed sheriff of Lancashire and of Westmoreland and reappointed sheriff of Yorkshire in 1175. No doubt, Theobald was under Rannulf’s flag as a knight in his household.
William Alberville was the father of Rannulf de Glanville’s son-in-law also named William, and frequently found as a prime signatory to Rannulf’s charters.
Robert de Valoines was the brother of Hervey’s wife Maud, and his son Theobald de Valoines II.
Stephen de Glanville and ‘William de Glanville cleric’, were the sons of Bartholomew de Glanville who was cousin to Rannulf de Glanville (and of the senior de Glanville line).

William de Glanville’ was probably the son of Rannulf de Glanville, who predeceased his father, (and probably died in Ireland in 1185), and one of 'filiorum suorum' (ie. their children) referred to in the charter.

Robert fitzRocelin of Linstead appears to have been closely related to the descendants of Walter filius Aubrey who held Huntingfield and Linstead in Domesday. Robert often appears as a witness to the Huntingfield family charters as well as to Rannulf’s Charter to Leiston Abbey. Linstead [Magna and Parva] was located close to Fressingfield and Huntingfield.
Ranulf of Bawdsey (Baldressie), most likely the son of ‘Osberti clerico de Baldressie/Bawdsey’ a signatory to Rannulf de Glanville’s endowment charter to Butley Priory in c.1171. One of Rannulf de Glanville’s demesne properties was at Bawdsey which he inherited from his father, Hervey de Glanville, and in turn, from Robert de Glanville in Domesday. Osbert of Bawdsey was also cleric to Hervey de Glanville, so there is a long-term link with the de Glanvilles which could be familial.

Richard Mortimer, the editor of ‘The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters’, discusses Seals and Sealing: (The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, ed. R.H. Mortimer, 1979, pp.47-48)
“The small collection of seals on the Butley muniments is very well preserved considering its early date. The impressions have hardly deteriorated since then for no unrepaired seal is badly damaged now. The earliest seals are of white wax covered with a darkish varnish (ie. Hervey Walter No.146 and Gilbert of Hawkedon No.147). This was, par excellence, the 11th and 12th century method of taking an impression. Hervey Walter’s and Gilbert of Hawkedon’s seals are attached on tags fed through a series of parallel slits in the base of the charter.
Of the secular seals, the equestrian seal of Hervey Walter is of particular interest because it seems to reflect a change in design introduced into England around 1180. The earliest English representative of this pattern is on the second seal of William de Manderville, earl of Essex. His seal closely copies another seal of his friend Philip d’Alsace count of Flanders dated 1168. The distinguishing feature is the horse whose back legs are thrust out behind and whose forelegs are off the ground in parallel curves in front of its chest.”

Philip d’Alsace Count of Flanders- seal dated 1168; Similar equestrian seal of Gilbert fitzGilbert 1st Earl of Pembroke d.1149, father of Strongbow. Similar to Hervey Walter’s seal.

In 13th century England the equestrian seal declared membership of its bearer to the knightly order.

The significant information provided in the Butley Priory Charter, is that Hervey Walter held the tithes of Wingfield, Instead (in Weybread), both situated in Bishops Hundred in Suffolk, and ‘Sikebro’ (unidentified), endorsed by Hervey Walter ‘of his fee in Wingfield’.

Butley Priory’s holdings in Weybread (including Instead) were assessed in A.D.1270 at £1.6s.9d. and Wingfield at 19s.4d. (The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey & Butley Priory Charters, p.27)

Leiston Abbey Charter

Ranulf de Glanville also founded Leiston Abbey in Suffolk in the early 1180’s, the charter witnessed by three of Hervey Walter’s sons.

The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters (p.76, No.27)
Charter 27 of Ranulph de Glanville endowering Leiston Abbey, Date: 1182-85                            
N.B. Dating the Charter: Mortimer, the editor, estimated the date of the charter as between 1186 and 1189. However, the first witness is written ‘John son of the King’ and as he was not yet styled ‘lord of Ireland’, which he held from 1185, the date is more likely dated from 1182 to 1185. Before 1185 (c.1181-1185), Pope Lucius III issued a solemn privilege confirming to the infant monastery the manor of Leiston, ‘as is testified by the charter of Rannulf the donor’. (The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, p.54, No.1 )
This charter is not considered the later charter in the cartulary and indicates that Rannulf may have given the canons an initial charter which has not survived, but may have been used as the basis for the second charter.

A second factor is that Hubert Walter is included in a list of people, (magistrates, church leaders, and immediate family) confirming the charter, but probably as one of Rannulf’s clerks as he was not designated as Dean of York [appointed in 1186].
The charter, in part:
Omnibus sancta matris ecclesie filiis presentibus et futuris Rannulfus de Glanvilla Salutem.
… et confirmationem domini mei Henrici Regis secundi, quasi ipsi canonici de Buttele resignaverunt ipsis canonicis de Leestun’ coram domino Johanne Norwicensi Episcopo, et coram me, et Walkelino Archidiacono et Galfrido capellano, Huberto Walteri,..Rogero de Glanvill et Osberto et Gerardo (de Glanville), Alan de Valeines, etc.

Testibus hiis, Johanne filio domini Regis, William de Aubervill, Radulfo de Ardene, Rogero de Glanvill’, Osberto de Glanvillo’, Willelmo de Valeines… Teobaldo Walteri, Rogero Walteri, William filio Willelmo de Auberville (son-in-law, son of William de Aubervill)), Thomas de Ardene (son-in-law, son of Radulf de Ardene), etc.

Notably, all three brothers, Hubert, Theobald and Roger used the surname ‘Walter/Walteri’ as witnesses to this charter.

Also notable is the absence of their father Hervey Walter who was probably deceased at the time of this charter.


Map of Wingfield, Instead at Weybread, and Fressingfield (viz. ‘Snapeshall’ later known as ‘Lances/Launces’, held by Peter Walter, just north of Fressingfield, bordering Weybread Street), and Stradbroke (possibly ‘Sikibroc’) in Bishops Hundred, Suffolk
(Ordnance Survey First Series 1805-1869- Sheet 49 (, Ordnance Survey maps 1863, Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth)

 In the charter following Hervey Walter’s charter in the same Butley Priory Cartulary (No. 147), Gilbert de Hawkedon granted rent in Instead (to Butley Priory) that he held of Theobald Walter, with one witness being Peter Walter, plus Osbert de Glanville (brother of Rannulf). (dated ‘pre-Theobald’s death in 1205’; notably, Osbert died mid 1190’s)

Historian and editor of ‘The Leiston and Butley Cartulary’, Richard Mortimer wrote: (Cartulary of Leiston Abbey, etc., p.14)
“Gilbert de Hawkedon granted 6d annual rent in Instead to Butley at the request of his lord Theobald Walter, a request that the charter implies was rather pressing.”

Translation of Charter 147:
“Know present and future that I, Gilebert of Hawkedon have given while preserving, and by this my present charter I supported the church of the holy Marie of the Buttele (Butley) and to those serving God there, a rent of 6d in Instead, by the prayer and will of my lord Tedbald Walter, in perpetual alms without doing service, not least because my lord Tedbald brought it about that I have granted the aforesaid rent to the aforesaid church in perpetual alms.
Witnesses, Hernaldo priest, Osbert de Glanville, Roger of Kenteville, Peter Walter, John de Tudham (son of Rannulf de Glanville’s daughter Maud), Roger Blencio, Aumari de Bellaf’”

Peter Walter’s relationship to this family and his association with lands associated with the Walters is of prime importance to unravelling the mystery of when these lands in Suffolk came into their possession. 

A mid-14th century Butley Priory text (Rent Roll) revealed, “Peter Walter gave the church of Bylaugh (Norfolk) to that house (Butley) in conjunction with Hervey Walter and Robert son of William”.

A list of Butley Priory's donations: (The East Anglian: Notes and Queries…’, New Series, Vol. xi, 1906, ed. Evelyn White, p.46- Untitled (An Unpublished Fourteenth Century Rent Roll of the Priory of Butley, Suffolk)

(The preceding donation to Butley was of land in Weybread by Guthe de Glanville, sister of Rannulf de Glanville, and of Alan de Withersdale [adjacent to Weybread- whose wardship was held by Peter Walter].)

Peter Walter was a tenant of Hervey’s son Theobald Walter at Bylaugh, Norfolk, part of the Amounderness fee in the Honor of Lancaster as revealed in a fine between Theobald Walter and William Hervey in 1195:

Feet of Fines of the reign of Henry II, and of the first 7 years of the reign of Richard I, AD. 1182 to AD. 1196’ (refer Ch 2 for original)- a translation:

“15 July 1195: Fine between Theobald Walter and William Hervei. The former grants to the latter the town of Boxted, with the appurtenances in ‘Hulmested’ and Belag (Norfolk), which last Peter Walter holds. The said William quitted claim of all other lands of Hervei Walter, grandfather of Theobald.”

According to Theobald Blake Butler, (Letters to Lord Dunboyne’, by Theobald Blake Butler, p.76- The Butler Society) the Belaugh in question was Belaugh St Peter in the South Erpingham Hundred, near the Abbey of St Benet of Holme. Despite the quitclaim of 15th July 1195 between Theobald and Hervey William, it is clear that the Irish Butlers either parted with a part only of their holding in Belaugh or recovered the holding recorded in this quitclaim as ‘The Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem’  on the death of Theobald 3rd Butler of Ireland in 1249 contained the following: (The Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, London 1904, Vol 1. p.153)

“Writ of Extent for Norfolk 7th July 1249 to 6th August 1249:

Belhagh als Belaugh.”

Peter Walter, in 1190’s, donated ½ mark of his rent in the mill of Instead to Hubert Walter’s foundation of West Dereham Abbey. (Monasticon Anglicanum, v.6, pt.2, p.900)

He disputed land in Instead and Weybread with the abbot of West Dereham, with a final concord on 19 April 1209, which revealed that Peter had also donated 20 acres with appurtenances in ‘Ysted’/Instead and three shillings worth of rent in Weybread to the Abbey of West Dereham, and the dispute was based on the recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’, which indicated that the lands were held from his ancestors. (Feet of Fines for County of Norfolk for the reign of King John 1201-1215 and Suffolk 1199-1214, ed. Barbara Dodwell, London 1958, p.238, No. 497)

Peter Walter also held his demesne lands in the district of Fressingfield (the manor of Snapeshall), which is adjacent to Weybread and Wingfield. In the late 1100’s he made a confirmation charter to the monks of Eye Priory, of the gift ‘made by my predecessors’ (including his father Hubert Walter the elder) ‘of 2/3rds of the tithes of all his demesne lands in the district of Fressingfield’. (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, v.1, ed. Vivien Brown, p.231, No.319

In 1308, the portion of Snapeshall held by Eye was leased out when possible and was worth 1 mark a year (ie. 13s. 4d.). (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, v.2, ed V. Brown, p.120. No.396)

All the above, indicates a close blood relationship between Hervey Walter, Theobald Walter and Peter Walter. Peter Walter was the son of Hubert Walter (the elder) who was probably the brother of Hervey Walter, and no doubt Hervey’s son Hubert Walter was the namesake of his uncle. The two records referring to Peter Walter’s ancestors holding these lands in Fressingfield and Instead, are of particular importance as they are the only records of any of the Walter family that indicate that the lands of Bishops Hundred in Suffolk were held for at least 3 generations, and possibly earlier, and held by ‘mort d’ancestor’. The co-ownership of Instead would seem to indicate a shared ancestor, probably Hervey Senior. Peter Walter held a close association with several landholders near Peter’s demesne lands of Fressingfield, evidenced by his witnessing their charters, including Roger [II] de Huntingfield, descendant of Walter filius Aubrey. The ‘filius Rocelin’ family of Linstead, also near Fressingfield, another descendant line of Walter filius Aubrey, also witnessed the charters of the Walter and de Glanville families.

Henry II appears to have made an effort to confirm (to Eye Priory) that Peter Walter’s father Hubert Walter held his manor of Snapeshall in the district of Fressingfield during the reign of Henry I, pre-1135, however, whether by inheritance or gift of the Crown is not revealed. (see section on Hubert Walter).

The Walter family may have been granted their lands by the Crown, in Wingfield, Instead, Weybread and Fressingfield (and maybe a part of Stradbroke, as ‘Sikibroc’), possibly on lands held by an ancestor in Domesday, but the relevant records no longer exist.

Domesday Book entries: (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, pp.1219-20)

WINGFIELD (and Stradbroke)- Land of Robert Malet:

In the original page of Domesday, the entry for Stradbroke/’Stetebroc’ has a line added above the 3rd line of the original text for Stradbroke sayingWingebga’ viz. ‘Wingfield….’, translated as:

‘And Wingfield to wit a barton/berewick in the same account and valuation….’  (barton/berewick= the lands of an outlying manor reserved for the lord’s use, eg. attached to the manor of Stradbroke)

and the entry is followed with a list of sub-tenants of Robert Malet- viz. Walter ‘held of this manor’ [40acs], Robert de Glanville [20acs], and Walter fitzGrip [15acs], Loernic [20 acs].

Domesday Book- original text

NB. later inclusion of Wingfield/Wingebga into description of Stetebroc/Stradbroke

Notably (Eye Priory Charter No.1: donations to Eye, nos. xxiv, and xxvi), Malet donated the churches of Wingfield and Stradbroke with their lands and tithes to his priory of Eye, and he also donated from his demesne “all the tithes of the following manors”, including Stradbroke (but not Wingfield): (Eye Priory Cartulary, v.1, pp.12-13)

“xxvi. all the tithe of the following manors of his demesne: Eye, Stradbroke, Redlingfield, Dennington, Tannington, Badingham, Kelton, Hollesley, Leiston, Laxfield, Barrowby (Lincs), Sedgebrook (Lincs- ‘Seckebroc’), Welbourn (Lincs), Wakes Colne (Essex), and South Cave (Yorks.)”

Edward Martin discusses Wingfield, in Wingfield College and Its Patrons: Piety and Patronage in Medieval Suffolk’: (Wingfield College and Its Patrons: Piety and Patronage in Medieval Suffolk’, ed. Peter Bloor, Edward A. Martin, Chapter: The history of Wingfield, p17-18

“The Domesday record is confusing because two of the entries named Wingfield as ‘Wineberga’ whilst a third names it as ‘Wighefelda’, leaving it unclear whether these two different aspects of the same place or scribal errors; in the first the suffix ‘berg’ means a hill, in the second the suffix ‘feld’ means an open place, but usually in the context of a generally wooded landscape. The Domesday Book also reveals a complexity in the land holdings in Wingfield in 1086, with Robert Malet, the bishop of Thetford and the abbot of Ely all being recorded as holding land there. Robert Malet, the Lord of the Honour of Eye, and the dominant landowner in east Suffolk, is recorded as holding five and a half carucates (660 acres) in Stradbroke and ‘its berewick [ie. subsidiary settlement] Wingfield’, with a further carucate (120 acres) held by seventeen of his sokemen and 95 acres by his various Norman subtenants, Walter 40 acres, Robert of Glanville 20 acres, Walter son of Grip 15 acres and Loernic 20 acres; this holding also included two churches, presumably those at Stradbroke and Wingfield- with a further 40 acres.

Notes- In the fourteenth century the priories of Eye and Butley owned land in Wingfield (assessment for tax of temporalities of religious houses in Suffolk, c. 1327-50- TNA E 135/1/14)”

As Edward Martin alludes to, apart from Robert Malet’s Domesday entry for Stradbroke/Wingfield, there are two other entries in Domesday specifically for Wingfield: (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, pp.1254, 1258)

a)      Bishop of Thetford- “In Wingfield 1 free man by commendation, and soke [held] 10 acres worth 20d.”

b)      Suffolk lands of St Ǣthelthryth (abbot of Ely)- “A free man over whom St Ǣthelthryth had commendation TRE held Wingfield with 2 carucates of land and 7 bordars. Then 2 ploughs in demesne, now 1. Then as now 2 ploughs belonging to the men. 11 acres in meadow. Woodland from 140 pigs. Then 2 horses, now 1. And 1 ox. Then 60 pigs now 20. And 20 sheep and 2 hives. A church with 24 acres, worth 4s. 13 free men with 80 acres. Robert Malet’s predecessor had commendation over one of them. Then 4 ploughs, now 3. Then it was worth £4 13s. 4d. now £4. Roger Bigod claims this of the king’s gift but the Abbot of Ely has established his title against him. Now Roger holds it through a postponement. The soke is in Hoxne. 1 league and 2 furlongs long and 4 furlongs broad. 11 ½ in geld. Others hold [land] there.”

(Notably, Hervey de Glanville [jnr] owed I knt’s fee to Bishop of Ely for (unspecified) land in Suffolk in the Red Book of the Exchequer, ‘Cartae Baronum’ A.D. 1166.

A part of Stradbroke was also held by Roger the Poitevin in Domesday:

In Stradbroke, 2 freemen by commendation [held] 30 acres. Woodland for 8 pigs. Then 1 plough, afterwards and now a half. It is worth 10s.”  

(This was granted to Ernald son of Roger, als. Ernald Russo, by Stephen Count of Mortain c.1113. His father Roger held lands in nearby Whittingham, and Hasketon, from Roger the Poitevin in Domesday, and Ernald continued to hold these as shown by his donation of tithes from these two lands to Robert Malet’s Charter to Eye Priory.)

INSTEAD: the only entry for Instead inDomesday Book (Ibid, p.1300):

“In Instead, 1 freeman, over whom Bishop Ǣthelmar had the commendation, with 10 ½ acres and the fourth part of a mill, 1 bordar. Then half a plough, now 2 oxen. It is worth 2s. William Malet held this: afterwards Robert his son [held it] thinking it belonged to his father’s fief.”

WEYBREAD is adjacent to INSTEAD, and usually grouped together as ‘Instead Weybread’, as Instead is part of the Parish of Weybread.

Domesday Book, three entries for Weybread- Lands of Robert Malet (Ibid, p.1219):

1)“In Weybread, 2 carucates of land, with a mill, which Humphrey holds as a manor. In the same vill Humphrey holds 91 acs, plus…. Then as now, I mill and three parts of another. The soke is in Hoxne.”

2)“In Weybread, the same Humphrey holds 90 acres.”


Question: Who was the ‘Walter’ named in Weybread? Was he the same ‘Walter who holds from this manor’ at Stradbroke/Wingfield, or Walter de Caen, or Walter fitzGrip who held some of the surrounding manors?

The last Weybread entry in the book is followed by two entries for Horham, held by firstly Walter de Caen and secondly Walter fitzGrip- did it refer to one of them?

And the preceding entry for Weybread was for Chippenhall, which follows in the sequence of descriptions in Domesday, partly held by ‘Walter’.

(NB. No separate Domesday entry for FRESSINGFIELD, adjacent to Chippenhall in Bishops Hundred. NB. Editor of Eye Cartulary, II, [p.84] suggests that the Fressingfield land (of Walter fitzGrip and Hubert Walter) was incorporated into the Chippenhall land in Domesday. Later, Chippenhall was in the parish of Fressingfield.)

CHIPPENHALL: (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, pp.1219, 1296)

Land of Robert Malet- “Hundred of Bishop- In Chippenhall, 9 free men by commendation held 2 ½ carucates of land…the soke is in Hoxne [manor], but Eadric held half from Bishop Ǣthelmaer. Of this manor Walter holds 4 free men with 1 carucate of land. The mother of Robert Malet holds 3 sokemen with 80 acres of land. Humphrey holds 1 sokeman with 20 acres. Walter fitzGrip holds 1 freeman, 120 acres in the same valuation.”

Land of Hervey de Bourges-Hundred of Bishop- in Chippenhall in demesne 1 free man of Harold [held] 60 acres TRE, then as now 2 villans and 2 ploughs, 2 acres of meadow. Woodland for 30 pigs. Then it was worth 10s, now 20s. William fitzGorman holds this from Hervey de Bourges.”

Notably, ‘Walter’ held the most land at Chippenhall, nearly half, plus 4 out of the 9 free men.

‘A Landscape History of Wingfield’ author recounts: “Preserved in the List of benefactors of Bury Abbey is a story about Ulf son of Manning, who lived just before the Norman Conquest. He revoked his father’s gift of land to the abbey and was promptly bitten by a snake; in fear of his life, he offered the monks a choice of his estates in either Syleham or Chippenhall in Fressingfield. The monks chose Chippenhall because ‘it abounded in woods.’”

Map showing the boundaries of land held by the Walters, of Weybread (to the east of Weybread Street), Instead mill on the River Waveney, Lances ‘Garden’(viz. Snapeshall, between Veals Hall and Fressingfield), and Wingfield 

(The 3 maps- visionofbritain- Ordnance Survey maps 1863, Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".)

NB the stream or brook joining the Waveney River that travels down through the lands of the Walter’s towards Fressingfield.

Map showing proximity of Wingfield to Stradbroke, and Fressingfield

Map showing proximity of Lances (Garden) (viz. Snapeshall/Launces) to Fressingfield and Chippenhall (Chepenhal)- also Whittingham lands of the Russo family

The following pages are from ‘Domesday Book: A Complete Translation’, and reveal the order of the Domesday Book entries for the Hundred of Bishops, held by Robert Malet as tenant-in-chief, and include the various entries for ‘Walter’ and Walter de Caen and Walter fitzGrip holding as Lords in 1086:
In order: Laxfield, Badingham, Bedfield, Stradbroke/Wingfield, Horham, Wilby, Chippenhall (Fressingfield), Weybread, Mendham, Weybread x3, Horham x2, Chickering, Badingfield


HORHAM (adjacent to the SW of Stradbroke- see map below):
“Robert de Glanville holds 1 carucate of land from Robert Malet.”
This was inherited by Robert’s heir William de Glanville who made a Charter to Bromholme Priory c.1113, and a confirmation charter by his son Bartholomew de Glanville in which he confirmed “Et totum decimam de pannagio de Baketuna, et de Horham” (ie. the whole tithes of the paunage of Bacton and of Horham)- witnesses include Hervey de Glanville and his son Ranulph, and Roger, William, Osbert and Reginald de Glanville.

In a separate entry for Horham, following the entry for Weybread:
“In HORHAM, Walter de Caen holds from Robert Malet 3 freemen by commendation with 60 acres and 2 bordars. Then as now 1 plough and 2 acres of meadow. Woodland for 6 pigs. It is worth 12s. In HORHAM, Walter fitzGrip holds from Robert Malet 1 carucate of land and 30 acres and 5 bordars. Then as now worth 25 s. In CHICKERING [holds] 3 freemen by commendation with 36 acres. Then 1 plough. 1 ½ acres of meadow Then worth 10s and now the same. Over this his predecessor had commendation and he had the land in pledge for 60s.”
Domesday Inquests: No 2860: ii.330a(6-318) “Robert Malet: CHICKERING: TRE three commended freemen held 36 acres of land in Chickering. Now Walter fitzGrip holds this from Robert Malet. In the same place there was a commended freeman with 60 acres of land. Walter fitzGrip also holds this from Robert Malet. Robert’s antecessor had his commendation, and he had this land in mortgage (‘in vadimonio’) for 60s.”

Horham, SW of Stradbroke

‘Sikebro’ the tithes of which was donated by Hervey Walter to Butley Priory, (along with Wingfield and Instead). Notably the editor of the ‘Butley Priory Cartulary’ has described Sikebro’ as “unidentified”.

There are three possibilities for identifying ‘Sikibro’.

The first possibility:
‘Sikebroc’ may have been the name of a small manor in this area of Bishops Hundred, part of the fee of Wingfield held by the Walter family, that no longer exists and therefore cannot be identified, just as ‘Hulmestead’, another of the Walter’s lands, remains unidentified. Similarly, Ernald Russo who held large parts of Stradbroke, donated the tithes of the manors of ‘Northaghe’ and ‘Hunteswyk’ in the village of Stradbroke to Eye Priory, neither of which appear in the maps of Stradbroke.
The name ending in ‘brook’ could mean the manor was on the stream or brook that joins the River Waveney and travels south through the centre of the lands held by the Walters towards Fressingfield. However, in Domesday there are no lands with spelling remotely similar to ‘Sikibro’ in Suffolk.

The second possibility:
‘Sikebro’ may have been a clerical/scribal error in one of the original charter transcriptions for ‘Stetebroc’/Stradbroke, which was listed in association with Wingfield in Domesday (as described above), and could make sense, as all these lands known to belong to the Walter family, adjoin each other in a small area of Suffolk in the Hundred of Bishops. However, Robert Malet did donate the tithes of Stradbroke in his charter to Eye from his demesne lands, and part of Stradbroke was granted to the Russo family.

The example of the Russo family holding part of Stradbroke
In Domesday, Stradbroke was in two parts, the larger part held by Robert Malet along with Wingfield (tenanted by ‘Walter’, Walter fitzGrip, Leornic and Robert de Glanville), and a smaller part of Stradbroke held by Roger the Poitevin who had two freemen as tenants, granted to ‘Ernald son of Roger’ by Stephen Count of Mortain c.1115. It is possible that Roger de Poitou had granted Stradbroke to his knight Roger (father of Ernald) after Domesday, but before his banishment in 1100.

In ‘The Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, II’, Vivien Brown wrote: (The Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters II, ed. Vivien Brown, pp.26-31, pp.43-45)
“Stephen Count of Mortain (King Stephen) held the Honors of Eye and Lancaster from c.1115 from which he made several grants eg. Ernald Ruffus the son of Roger son of Ernald the Domesday tenant of Roger the Poitevin, was given the fee-farm of the manor of Stradbroke by Count Stephen. (Calendar of Charter Rolls, Vol.1, p.47)”

This may have been a confirmation of an earlier grant of this land by Roger de Poitou to Ernald's father Roger.

In Robert Malet’s Charter to Eye Priory in c.1103, in list of donations: “two thirds of his tithe of Whittingham in Fressingfield and Hasketon by Ernald son of Roger”.
A confirmation Charter to Eye Priory by the bishop of Norwich c.1155 (No. 40) stated: “the tithe of the demesne of Ernald in Whittingham and 8 acres which Ernald Ruffus gave in Whittingham on the death of his son and the tithe of the demesne of Hasketon.”
Brown continued: “At the time of the Domesday survey, Roger son of Ernald was named as Lord of Hasketon under Roger the Poitevin. Whittingham was also held by Roger the Poitevin as tenant-in-chief and lord.” (Hasketon was further south in Suffolk, near Woodbridge, in Hundred of Carlton; Whittingham was adjacent to Fressingfield and Chippenhall.)

Maybe this was the time that Stephen Count of Mortain, from his Honor of Eye, granted to Hervey, the lands of Wingfield and Weybread/Instead, and ‘Sikebro’, as a descendant of the ‘Walter’ who held these lands from Robert Malet. This could also have coincided with the grant of Hervey’s fee in Weeton and the surrounding lands in Amounderness from Stephen’s Honor of Lancaster which Stephen held from c.1115. These grants would have taken place before the period when Pipe Rolls regularly recorded land grants (ie. under Henry II’s reign, apart from the single Pipe Roll of 1130 that has survived).

The only reason we know of Stephen's grant to Ernald Russo, was a much later confirmation record ( Calendar of Charter Rolls, Henry III, 1227, v.1, p.46-47) to a distant descendant still living at Stradbroke in the time of Henry III which recounted Stephen’s original charter, recorded in the ‘Calendar of Charter Rolls’:
 “the gift to Ernald Ruffo (Russo/le Rus) son of Roger, by Stephen Count of Mortain of the manor of Stradbroke of the Honour of Eye, with all appurtenances and freedoms etc that belong to that manor, the soke and advowson of the churches of Stradbroke and Wingfield, the pastures, paths, waters and mills and revenues etc, to Ernald and his heirs in fee and inheritance, freely, quietly, honourably and in peace, paying thence annually 28 pounds of silver in firm fee for all services, and grant King Henry, my uncle, for homage and his service and for 20 marks and for a single hawk. Etc’.
Witnesses: Robert fitzWalter (de Caen)- sheriff, Henry nepote meo (my nephew- future Henry II), Hervey de Glanville, Richard Cameraro etc.”

This confirmation of Stephen’s charter in the Calendar of Charter Rolls was followed by a second confirmation charter of King Henry I, and a third by King John.
Ernald’s son, also named Ernald Ruffo/Russo, recovered the manor of Stradbroke on 17 May 1199 in the first year of King John’s reign to hold as his grandfather held it, the title having been given to the canons of Woodbridge before 1194 when he lost the manor, having supported John’s rebellion against Richard. This is the reason why a confirmation charter was needed to regain lands lost.

Francis Blomefield (An Essay towards a Topographical History of the Co. of Norfolk, v.8, by Francis Blomefield, London 1808, pp. 266-69) wrote: “The said Ernald son of Ernald the second, in the 3rd King John, gave by deed for his soul’s health and that of his wife Isabel, and his ancestors, and all the faithful deceased, in pure alms, to God, St Mary and the church of Wodebryge, and the canons thereof, all the tithe of ‘Northaghe’ and ‘Hunteswyk’ in the village of Stradbrook, saving a pension of 4s per ann. to be paid to the convent of Eye, dated at Wytingham (viz. Whittingham near Fressingfield) in 1201.”

This gift of the manor of Stradbroke and the churches of Stradbroke and Wingfield to Ernald Russo would initially appear to negate the Walter’s inheritance of these lands of the same name. However, we need to look back at the holders of these lands in the Domesday Book survey. There were two major tenants-in-chief holding lands in this area- Robert Malet and Roger the Poitevin.

Ernald Russo’s father Roger filius Ernald was a tenant of Roger the Poitevin in the Domesday Book in Clopton and Hasketon, and while no tenant is given in Domesday for Roger the Poitevin’s holdings in Whittingham and Akenham, it seems probable that Roger son of Ernald held there as well, as his descendants held Whittingham (near Fressingfield) in 1201. In 1094, Roger filius Ernald witnessed Roger the Poitevin’s foundation charter of Lancaster Priory, and Roger’s son Ernald gave two thirds of his tithe of Whittingham and Hasketon to Robert Malet’s foundation charter to Eye Priory in c.1103. In Domesday, in Stradbroke, 2 free men by commendation held 30 acres from Roger the Poitevin (he did not hold Wingfield). Sometime between 1113 and 1123, Ernald was gifted the manor of Stradbroke and the soke and advowsons of the churches of Stradbroke and Wingfield.

Notably, while Roger the Poitevin held some lands in Stradbroke in Domesday, other parts of Stradbroke and its berewick of Wingfield (5 ½ carucates) were held by Robert Malet in Domesday, which are the parts of Malet’s lands that were probably inherited by the Walter family, while Ernald held the parts originally held by Roger the Poitevin.

In the ‘Monasticon Anglicanum’,( vol.6, pt.1, p.381-82) the Charters of Butley Priory include a list of the properties held by Butley Priory in Co. Suffolk in the period of Henry VIII, and their values:

There is no property named ‘Sikebroc’ in Butley Priory’s list of properties in Co. Suffolk, but Straddebroke (value 14s. 4d.) is listed, along with Wingefeld (value 5s. 6 ½ d.), and Weybridge viz. Weybread (manor value £7).

And notably Ernald Russo had donated the tithes of his two manors in Stradbroke to Woodbridge Church in 1201, not to Butley Priory. Therefore, it is interesting that Butley has listed Stradbroke as one of their properties. It is therefore possible that ‘Sikebroc’ refers to ‘Stetebroc’ (Stradbroke) which was listed in Domesday with Wingfield as a berewick, both held by Robert de Glanville and ‘Walter’.

The third possibility for identifying ‘Sikebro’:
Some sources have suggested that Sikebro referred to Sedgebrook/Sechebroc in Lincolnshire, held by Robert Malet in Domesday, and granted by him to Eye Priory.
Sechebroc, later spelt Sedgebrook in Lincolnshire, is situated about 20 kms east of Nottingham, near Grantham.
(NB. Sedgebrook is listed in Robert Malet’s Charter, as (i) ‘ecclesiam de Seckebroc; and (ii) Malet granted ‘the tithes of the manor of Sechebroc/Sedgebrook’)

The only entry for Sedgebrook in Domesday (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, p.951)- 
The lands of Robert Malet, Lincolnshire:
“In Sedgebrook, Godwine had 4 carucates of land in geld. Robert has 4 ploughs there and 27 villans and 5 bordars having 6 ploughs and 3 mills etc, value 16s. Annual value to lord 8 pounds in 1086, 9 pounds in 1066.”

Domesday original text for Sedgebrook/Sechebroc

However, as there is no explanation for the Walters acquiring Sedgebrook, this appears to be improbable. Sedgebrook was held as part of the Honor of Eye which Prince John, Count of Mortain acquired in 1189, previously held by the Crown under Henry II who exchanged the lands of Sedgebrook for other lands held by William and Hugh le Porter. John, as Count of Mortain then granted Sedgebrook to Hubert de Burgh, his chancellor c.1197. This does not explain Hervey granting this land to Butley two decades earlier, or why Butley Priory would lose the rights to the land.

‘The Lancashire Pipe Rolls’ (Lancashire Pipe Rolls, ed. Wm Farrer, pp.32, 81) 
(re family le Porter):
“When the towns of Croxton and Segbroke were in the hands of King Henry II, he was pleased to make an exchange of them with William le Porter for Corsham and Cunington, and so the said William held the said towns all his life. After his death his brother Hugh le Porter succeeded, and entered into seisin of Croxton and Segbroke; but the Earl of Gloucester (John, Count of Mortain) who had the Honor of Eye at that time (viz. 1189), prevented the seisin of Segbroke. The same authority states that Masilia de Apegard, who held the remaining third part of Corsham and Culington, in the same way exchanged her portion with Henry II for one-third of Croxton and Sedgebroke. She was succeeded by her daughter Sorozina, from whom, or through whom it passed to Roger de St Aubin.”

At the time of King Stephen, Sedgebrook was held by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1141 until confiscated by the Crown in 1143. Stephen’s son William Count of Boulogne, held it from 1154 until his death in 1159, whereupon it returned to the Crown. Thomas Becket briefly held custody of Eye from the Crown between 1161 and 1163. 
Unless this was a gift from Henry II early in his reign, following the death of William Count of Boulogne, and possibly linked with the grant of the land of Ickleton in Cambridgeshire, there is no suitable link with the Walter family and Sedgebrook in any period of time to account for Hervey Walter’s donation in the 1170’s to Butley Priory, and therefore this suggestion is highly unlikely.

Therefore, the most likely explanation is that ‘Sikibro’ was a corruption of Stradbroke, ‘Stetebrock’ in Domesday.


Theobald Blake Butler (Theobald Blake Butler, Genealogy of the Butlers, V. 2) wrote: “Apart from the lands mentioned in the Final Accord of 1195, Theobald held the following lands in these counties:”

Co Norfolk:

-Saxthorpe (in Sth Erpingham); Whilst Ralph fitzRobert (son of Helewise daughter of Rannulf de Glanville), was in his custody, Hubert gave land in Saxthorpe to his brother Theobald; to recover which Ranulf, brother of Ralph, paid a fine in 1205.

-Wolterton in Sth Erpingham (near Saxthorpe)- appears to have been held with Thorpe

-Thorpe in Saxlingham or Over Thorpe, or Thorpe (see below);

-West Dereham, “purchased by Hubert and subsequent to his founding the Priory of West Dereham he granted the rest of his lands there to said Theobald. Hubert had purchased the lands from Geoffrey fitzGeoffrey and considerable litigation took place between Theobald Walter and Geoffrey’s heirs concerning them.” Notably Jocelin de Brakeslond stated that Hubert visited his dying mother at West Dereham, so she must have retired there.

Co. Suffolk:

-Bruisyard in the parish of Benhall (Hundred of Plomesgate)- “property held by Theobald de Valognes who held from his father Hamo de Valognes, Domesday tenant of Count Alan of Brittany”;

Thomas Carte (Life of James Duke of Ormonde,p.xl ): “In 3 Richard I, Theobald Walter paid money to the crown for lands at Brusyard in Suffolk”, so he may have held this from his mother’s family.

-Saxham in Hundred of Thingoe, “held of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds.”

Blake Butler did not give references for this list of lands held by Theobald, or when he acquired them.

According to Francis Blomefield, in his ‘An Essay towards a topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Hundred of Henstede: Saxlingham’ (An Essay towards a topographical History of the County of Norfolk, by Francis Blomefield, v.5, pp.495-502: Hundred of Henstede: Saxlingham)

“The town is commonly divided into two parts, called Nethergate and Overgate or Thorp. Saxlingham Overhall, or Verdon’s Manor was in several parts in the Confessor’s time, held by Edric (of Laxfield), and several others, and at the Conqueror’s survey, Robert Malet who gave his part to Walter (de Caen), Roger Bigod, and several others [held]. The parts were afterwards vested in the Bigods and were enfeoffed by Roger Bigod in William de Verdon in Rufus’s time, and it continued in the Verdons.

The Manor of Thorpehall. Belonged at the Conquest to the Abbot of Holme, and was given by Hugh, Abbot there, to John son of Robert (probably John son of Robert fitzWalter de Caen), commonly called FitzRobert and his heirs in fee; to be held by the service of half a knight’s fee, on condition, that if John son of Pagan or FitzPain (de Vilers?) should recover it from the Abbot, then he was to hold it of Fitz-Pain. Eustace de Vesci gave it to Adam de Carlisle in the time of King Stephen, in exchange from the manor of Caldebec which his father gave to Adam with Maud his daughter, all his land in Saxlingham, being half a fee, held of the Abbot of St Benedict. Stephen Blund and Agnes his mother in 1198 held half a carucate, etc.”

There is no mention of Saxlingham being held by Theobald Walter, so it is uncertain where Blake Butler found this information.

In ‘Rotuli Litterarium Clausarum 1204-1224’ (ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1833, v.1, pp.167a, 208a) in 1214, Reginald de Pontibus obtained possession of the lands of Theobald’s heir, including the manor of ‘Saxton’ in Norfolk (and the marriage of the heir in favour of his daughter), although the King retained Amounderness. The location of this ‘Saxton’ in unknown- whether Blake Butler associated this with Saxlingham is uncertain.


Map of Suffolk- * marks the land near Fressingfield in north Suffolk, near EYE.


Hubert Walter, second son of Hervey Walter, and brother of Theobald, founded an abbey at West Dereham in Norfolk in 1188, as Dean of York.

‘Monasticon Anglicanum: A History of the Abbies and Other Monasteries…’, (Volume 6 part 2, p.899-901 by Sir William Dugdale, London 1846)

Charter Num. I. - Charter of the Abbey of West Dereham in Norfolk founded by Hubert Walter

In the Foreword, Rev. Dr. Thomas Tanner (Referencing ‘Notitia Monastica: An Account of all the abbeys, priories and houses of friars’, 1844, by Rev. Dr. Thomas Tanner) wrote:

Hubert then dean of York, afterwards bishop of Salisbury, and at last archbishop of Canterbury, built, at this the place of his nativity, an Abbey of Premonstratensian canons from Welbeck, to the honour of the blessed Virgin Mary”.

Tanner’s assertion that West Dereham was the place of Hubert’s birth is not backed by evidence, nor in the wording of Hubert’s charter. The family purchased the land well after Hubert’s birth, from Geoffrey de Mandeville III 2nd earl of Essex (son of Geoffrey de Mandeville 1st earl of Essex) who died in 1166. Joscelin de Brakelond in his ‘Chronicles’ recounted Archbishop Hubert saying that he was born in Suffolk, referring to the church of Bury St Edmund in Suffolk, in which he stated “by reason of his native soil, for he was native born of St Edmund”. (St Edmund was killed by the Danes in A.D.870 at Hoxne, near Wingfield in the Hundred of Bishops/Hoxne.)

Carta Fundationis eiusdem, per Hubertum Eboracensis Ecclesie Decanum


Charter of the foundation (of the Abbey of West Dereham) by Hubert [Walter] the Dean of the Church of York (Eboracensis ecclesie decanus)

The sons of the holy mother church to all, present and to come; Hubert, by the grace of God, the dean of the church of York, in the eternal salvation of the Lord…. That understanding, in honor of God and of the glorious Virgin Mary, his mother, founding a Premonstratensian order, in our fief of Derham for the salvation of my soul, and of my father and my mother, and my lord Ranulf de Glanville and Bertha his wife who nourished us; and for the souls of our brothers, sisters, cousins, servants, and of all my friends….. confirm the total tenements in the same town, and purchased appurtenances from Geoffrey fitz Geoffrey &c.

The Charter was witnessed by Rannulf de Glanvill, Osbert de Glanville, Theobald de Valoines (II), Theobald Walteri, Osbert fitz Hervey, Robert de Scales, and Walter fitzRobert (de Clare family), William de Warren (5th earl of Surrey), John bishop of Norwich, Geoffrey fitz Peter (1st earl of Essex, 2nd cr.), Radulph archbishop of Colchester, etc

Notably, Hubert not only mentions his parents and his uncle and aunt, Ranulph de Glanville and wife Bertha, he also mentions their brothers and sisters, plural. Sisters could account for close relationships with certain families in East Anglia, but their names remain elusive.

The list of witnesses is of interest (apart from brother Theobald Walter, his only fmaily member who witnessed:

Rannulf de Glanville, Chief Justiciar of England; uncle (by marriage) to Theobald and Hubert Walter.

William de Warenne 5th earl of Surrey was the son of Hamelin de Warenne (Plantagenet)- half-brother to Henry II- and Isabel daughter of William de Warenne 3rd Earl of Surry. His wife was Matilda daughter of William d’Aubigny 2nd earl of Arundel (son of William d’Aubigny 1st earl and wife Adeliza widow of Henry I), pincerna to the king.

Walter fitzRobert of Little Dunmow Essex (m. Maud de Lucy and Margaret de Bohun), 1124-1198; son of Robert fitzRichard (constable of Baynard’s Castle, London, from 1110) steward under Kings Henry I and Stephen, son of Richard fitzGilbert (de Clare, Lord of Clare and Tonbridge) and Rohese Gifford dau of Sir Walter Gifford. Walter’s son Robert fitzWalter was one of the Sureties of the Magna Carta.

In the Domesday survey, Ralph lord Baynard held 50 acres of land with a further 1 carucate and a half in West Dereham valued at 10s. On the later forfeiture of William lord Baynard’s estate for rebellion against Henry I, this land came by the king’s grant to Robert fitzGilbert (de Clare), father of Walter fitzRobert one of the witnesses to the foundation. A further 32 acres in West Dereham held by Rainald son of Ivo, also came after to the earls of Clare. In the second charter by King John for West Dereham abbey c.1199, of ‘donations, concessions and confirmations’, it appears to confirm “the service of Walter fitzRobert of land of his fee in Dereham”.

Osbert de Glanville- brother of Rannulf de Glanville; justiciary in 1182, 1189, disappeared from records in the mid 1190’s.

Theobald de Valoines (II)- son of Robert de Valoines son of Theobald de Valoines (Hubert’s grandfather). Theobald II supposedly died at Acre in 1191 (Crusades). Cousin to Hubert and Theobald Walter. (see Early Yorkshire Charters, 5, Honour of Richmond part II, The Valognes Fee pp.234-238)

Osbert fitzHervey (of Dagworth in Suffolk)- sheriff of Suffolk in the 1180’s; justiciar in the 1190’s and early 1200’s.

Geoffrey fitzPeter, 4th (1st  earl, 2nd cr.) earl of Essex (c.1162-1213), prominent member of the government of England during reigns of Richard I and John, son of Piers de Lutegareshale, forester of Ludgershall. Married Beatrix de Say, daughter and co-heiress of William de Say II. William de Say’s mother was the sister of Geoffrey de Mandeville 1st Earl of Essex (1st cr.), and Geoffrey fitzPeter was eventually granted the title. Principal advisor to Hugh de Puiset Chief Justiciar after Richard left on crusade. Then Richard appointed Geoffrey as Chief Justiciar following Hubert’s resignation in 1198. Geoffrey’s son John fitzGeoffrey (Lord Justice of Ireland; m. Isabel Bigod) would hold Theobald le Botiler IV’s wardship, and John’s daughter Joan would marry Theobald c.1268.

Warin de Bassingbourne, an earlier steward of Richmond manor c.1175 (village of Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth, SW of Cambridge) and joint sheriff of Cambridgeshire 1169 and 1177. Part of the Richmond manor was subinfeudated to Warin of Bassingbourn in the 1170’s. He died c.1192 and his son and heir Wimar held the Bassingbourn land in 1214 and died c.1218. (History of the County of Cambridge & the Isle of Ely: v.8, 1982, p12-30)

Robert de Scales, of Middleton, Norfolk, lord of the manor of Scales-Hall (15kms N of W. Dereham). Son of Roger de Scales, grandson of Hardewin de Scalariis (Scales), lord of Whaddon in Cambridgeshire, considered one of the Conqueror’s favourite captains, rewarded with 69 manors in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire as tenant-in-chief. Roger became lord of this manor of Middleton in the reign of Henry II when he married Muriel, daughter and co-heiress of Jeffrey de Lisewis who had held this estate. Their direct descendants held Middleton for more than three hundred years. Robert his son, gave to the abbey of Bury in Suffolk, by fine levied in 9 Richard I, the advowson of the church of Wetherden in Suffolk. (An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, Volume 9. Orig. pub. by W. Miller, London, 1808: Middleton-Scales-Hall, Norfolk.)

In the time of Stephen or King Henry II, Robert’s father Roger de Scales and his wife brought some monks to Blackborough near Middleton in Norfolk and built a priory for them, and afterwards, religious of both sexes were there under the government of Hamo Walter and Maud his mother, probably appointed by Robert de Scales, sometime after the death of Hervey Walter. (Monasticon Anglicanum, V.4, p.204)  Robert de Scales died 21 April 1198.

When Hubert was appointed Bishop of Salisbury, his deputies in the diocese were Bartholomew, his brother, and Simon de Scales, a canon of the cathedral. (Hubert Walter, by C.R. Cheney, 1967, p.42) It is unknown how Simon was related to Robert de Scales, but one would assume they were closely related. There does seem to be a close relationship between the de Scales family with the Walter family, on what basis in unknown, but maybe marital, and most likely through the Valoines family, both families holding fees of the Honour of Richmond in Yorkshire, first held by Count Alan of Brittany, overlord of both Hamo de Valoines and Hardwin de Scales, and from whom Hamo de Valoines held Parham in Suffolk in Domesday. Hardwin of Scales held part of Ickleton in Domesday- is this a coincidence? The Walter family donated their land at Ickleton to West Dereham Abbey noting it was the home of Hamon Walter, and it is unknown when or how this land came into their possession, but most likely through the marriage of Maud de Valoines and Hervey Walter.


Map of old Abbey of West Dereham, and West Dereham Manor farm, SE of Downham Market in Norfolk (19th century map of West Dereham-

("This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".)

Num. II – Charter of Donors to the Abbey of West Dereham (p.900)

Carta Regis Johannis, Donatorum Concessiones recitans et confirmans

A second confirmation charter by King John in the Monasticon names a long list of previous donors to West Dereham Abbey and include:


i.)Et ex dono memorate H.(Hubert) Cant. (Canterbury) archiep. (archbishop) et T. (Theobald) Walteri, fratis sui, terram de Iclinton, quam Hamo Walteri tenuit in eadem villa integrè, cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, solutam et quietam ab omni seculari servicio. Exceptis xxx. Solidis, quos moniales de Iclinton debent et solent indè annuatim percipere, et amodò percipient per manus praedictorum canonicorum.



And from the gift of H..(Hubert) Cant. (Canterbury) archiep. (archbishop) and T. (Theobald) Walteri, his brother, the ground of Iclinton (Ickleton, Cambridgeshire), which Hamon Walteri held in the same villa, with all their appurtenances, and quit from all secular service. With the exception of 30s., which the nuns of Iclinton the Virgin and annually receive, and from now on they will receive through the hands of the above canons.

(see detailed information on Ickleton below)


Et ex dono ejusdem Hubert arch. Cant.  totam terram et domos, quas tenuit in Oxonio, de feodo prioris de sancta Fredesuith.

= And the gift of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, the whole land and houses, which he held in Oxford, of the fee of the priory of St Fredesuith.


ii.) Et ex dono Petri Walteri redditum dimidiae marcae in molendino suo de Isted percipiendum, ad emendum sibi vinum ad celebrationem missarum in ecclesia sua.

And of the gift of Peter Walteri rent of half mark in his mill of Isted (Instead) therefore, to buy him wine for the celebration of mass in his church.

NB. this second charter, which is dated between 1188 and 1199, states “Hamon Walteri held in the same villa [of Ickleton]”, and his two elder brothers were named as the donors, implying he may have been deceased.

This donation is endorsed in ‘Feet of Fines for County of Norfolk’ dated 19 April 1209 (p.238 No. 497):

Between Peter son of Hubert, the claimant, and Henry abbot of Dereham, the holder of 20 acres with appurtenances in Ysted/Instead and three shillings worth of rent in Weybread, under the recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’, was summoned in and called from himself and his heirs to the aforesaid abbot and his successors, and the church of the Holy Mary in Dereham, all the permanent right and the claim that he had in aforesaid land and in the rent with pertinences. And for this quit claim and fine and concord, the aforesaid abbot and the local convent in the receipt of him in each of the benefits which are made in the church in perpetuity.

Importantly, this reveals the land in Instead and Weybread was held by Peter Walter as an inheritance (‘mort d’ancestor’). Notably, in 1209, Theobald was deceased (1205) and his heir was a minor whose father’s lands were taken back by the Crown until he came of age. This fine in 1209 implies that the lands in Bishops Hundred must have been inherited from their mutual ancestor, Hervey senior or his wife, and was not lost to the Crown, but inherited by Peter Walter. This also implies there were no descendants of any of Theobald's brothers.

 The Dereham lands:

According to Thomas Carte (in ‘Life of James Duke of Ormond’ [Intro p.xxxiv], no source quoted), and by author, C.R. Cheney, in his book Hubert Walter’ (London-Edinburgh, 1967, p.29-30, no source quoted),

re: “the cost to found a monastery- the principal endowment was the estate at West Dereham, and Hubert had bought this from Geoffrey fitz Geoffrey (who held it from three separate tenants-in-chief of the Crown), for 220 silver marks together with a gold ring for Geoffrey’s wife. There was also a tenement at Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, formerly held by one of Hubert’s brothers (viz. Hamon): this was given to the abbey, some time before 1199, jointly by Hubert and his brother Theobald. Later in life, Hubert gave other properties to Dereham: land in Norfolk which cost him 40 marks, and a fine house in Oxford, afterwards known as Le Oriole which gave its name to the college founded on its site.”

According to Theobald Blake Butler: “West Dereham purchased by Hubert and subsequent to his founding the Priory of West Dereham, he granted the rest of his lands there to said Theobald. Hubert had purchased the lands from Geoffrey fitzGeoffrey and considerable litigation took place between Theobald Walter and Geoffrey’s heirs concerning them.”

Geoffrey fitz Geoffrey was Geoffrey de Mandeville, 2nd earl of Essex, second son of Geoffrey de Mandeville 1st earl of Essex (d. 1144) who rebelled against King Stephen and joined Empress Matilda, thus losing his lands inherited from his grandfather Geoffrey de Mandeville who accompanied William the Conqueror and held large grants of lands in the Domesday Book (but notably, he did not hold West Dereham). However, he had been granted Ickleton in 1141 by King Stephen.

Geoffrey fitz Geoffrey's lost Mandeville lands were reconfirmed by Matilda and son Henry II, but not those lands granted to his father during the civil war. He served as an itinerant royal justice with Richard de Lucy in 1165-66, but died, without issue, from illness in 1166.

So, the Dereham lands must have been purchased by either Hervey Walter or Hubert, after the accession of Henry II in 1154, and before 1166 (too late for the birth of Hubert at Dereham, as some researchers, including Tanner, suggest).

Map of West Dereham-

( Ordnance Survey First Series 1805 to 1869- Sheet 65) ("This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".


Donated by the Walter family to West Dereham, sometime 1188 to 1199.

Charter of a list of Donors to West Dereham Abbey- Num. II

“And from the gift of H..(Hubert) Cant. (Canterbury) archiep. (archbishop) and T. (Theobald) Walteri, his brother, the ground of Iclinton (Ickleton, Cambridgeshire), which Hamon Walteri held in the same villa, with all their appurtenances, and quit from all secular service. With the exception of 30s., which the nuns of Iclinton the Virgin and annually receive, and from now on they will receive through the hands of the above canons.”

Unknown when or how this land came into the possession of the Walters, but from the information below, it possibly came to them via the Valoines through Hervey’s wife Maud de Valoines.

The way the charter is worded, "which Hamon Walter held in the same villa", it would appear that Hamon may have been deceased at this point in time, which could explain the donation by his brothers. 

The History of Ickleton, Cambridgeshire

A connection between the West Dereham and the Ickleton lands, from 'A History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely': V.6, pp.230-246, by Victoria County History, London, 1978: A connection between the W. Dereham and Ickleton lands:

Ickleton-In 1141 the king (Stephen) gave Ickleton to Geoffrey de Mandeville, but presumably resumed it after Geoffrey's downfall in 1143. About 1150 Stephen and Maud gave the manor to Eufeme, second wife of Aubrey, earl of Oxford, on her marriage. About 1153 she gave £5 worth of land there to Colne priory (Essex), and died without issue soon after, whereon the rest presumably reverted to the honor of Boulogne held by Stephen’s son Count William. After the death of Stephen's son Count William in 1159 Henry II took possession of the honor of Boulogne (including Ickleton). The demesne in Ickleton was later divided, being partly held in feefarm.  By c.1183 the largest portion of Ickleton was held by Roger de Lucy. The Cistercian abbey of Calder (Cumb.) received lands in Ickleton before 1213 from Richard de Lucy, from whose successors they were held as ¼ Knight’s fee.’

Ickleton priory was founded in the mid- 12th century for Benedictine nuns, probably by a member of the Valoines family. The estate which it held at Ickleton by the 1180’s was possibly derived in part by exchange or otherwise from that of Colne priory, for in 1279 it was apparently said to have been given by a count of Boulogne and his wife Eufeme.

Priory or NUNS Manor, which produced most of the priory’s income in 1535 comprised 714 ac in 1536 and was known as the chief manor of Ickleton, being the largest single estate in the parish. The priory was dissolved in 1536 and the Crown granted its manor to the bishop of Ely in 1538, together with the Ickleton lands of the dissolved abbeys of West Dereham, Calder and Tilty, in exchange for the manor of Hatfield (Herts.).

Hamon Walter, whose mother was of the Valoines family, held an estate in Ickleton which his brothers Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, and Tibbald had by 1199 granted to the Premonstratensian abbey of West Dereham, founded by Hubert in 1188. The estate, later called Durhams Manor was assessed at 1 hide c.1235.

By 1183 Ralph Brito** (d. by 1186) held land at Ickelton of the honor of Boulogne. The daughter of his successor Thomas Brito, tenant c.1218, was given in marriage to Robert Hovel*, who held the estate by 1221 and to whom William Brito, presumably Thomas’s heir male, released a carucate at Ickleton in 1222. In 1185 when the Honour of Boulogne came into the king's hand, Henry II gave them 30s. 5d. in alms from the farm of the city of Winchester; Hubert Walter owed 2 palfreys, one for the confirmation of the prioress of Ickleton, the other for that of the Prioress of Campsey Ash, the latter house founded by Theobald Valoines for his two sisters who took the veil there in c 1195. (Pipe Roll 5 John p27) The prioress held her manorial rights in Icleton of the Honour of Boulogne in 1279, and claimed a fair and market there by a charter of King Stephen.

Map of Ickleton south of Cambridge-

( Ordnance Survey First Series 1805-1869- sheet 47) ("This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".)

The following record reveals that the land at Ickleton belonged to Hervey Walter:

‘Papal Judges delegate in the Province of Canterbury 1198-1254: A Study in the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Administration’ by Jane E. Sayers (Oxford Uni Press, 1971. xxv):

Innocent III (reigned 1198-1216) instructed Robert, abbot of Walden (Essex), William, prior of Barnwell, and Robert, rector of Haddenham (Cambs.) to hear a suit about the land of Hervey Walter in the town of Ickleton (Cambs.) disputed between Hericus, abbot, and the canons of West Dereham and Eufemia, prioress, and the convent of Ickleton (Ben.Cambs.). Arbiters (Eustace, bishop of Ely, and Master Elias of Dereham) settled the suit: each convent was to have some of the land, and the canons of West Dereham were to pay the nuns one pound of cumin each year.

Domesday Book: A Complete Translation (pp.539,534) – Ickleton, also known as Ichelintone, Hinchelintone 

“The land of Hardwin de Scales- in Ickleton, Durand holds half a hide from Hardwin. There is land for 4 oxen. It is worth 32d. then received 12d; TRE 5s. Eastraed held this under Earl Ǣlfgar and he could sell it. (ie. ½ hide)”

Land of Count Eustace [of Boulogne]- Count Eustace holds Ickleton. “It is assessed at 19 ½ hides. There is land for 24 ploughs. In demesne are 9 hides and there are 3 ploughs and there can be a fourth. There 30 villans with 10 bordars have 16 ploughs, and there can be 4 more. There are 3 slaves, and 2 mills rendering 30s. and meadow for 3 ploughs. All together it is worth £20; when received, £24; and TRE the same. Alsige, King Edward’s thegn held this manor.”

William Farrer in ‘Feudal Cambridgeshire’ (pp.270-271):

History of Ickleton/Iclinton:

“Count Eustace [of Boulogne]-Tenant-in-Chief- Hichelintone: manor 1066 Alsi (Squitrebil), thegn of King Edward, 1086 in demesne- 19 ½ hides

Hardwin de Scalers- Tenant-in-Chief- Inchelintone: 1066-Eastred under earl Algar; 1086 Durand- ½ hide

1163- Henry II confirmed to the poor folks of the house of Montmoul (Avranches) for the soul of William earl of Warenne and count of Boulogne (viz. son of King Stephen and his wife Matilda the dau. of Count Eustace of Boulogne; wife Isabel de Warenne 4th Countess of Surrey, only heir of William de Warenne 3rd earl of Surrey), whose body lies in that house, 10 marks worth yearly of land in Eclinton. etc

1199- King John confirms to the canons of St Mary of (West) Dereham the gift of Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, and Theobald Walter his brother, of the land of Iclinton, which Hamon Walter held there, except 30s which the nuns of Iclinton ought to receive yearly and henceforth shall receive by the hands of the said canons (R. Chart. 21b; M.A. vi,900).”

NB. A ‘hide’= land holding sufficient to support a family, equivalent to 60-120 acres (approx. 30 modern acres) depending on quality of land.

While the suggestion is that Ickleton originally came into the family through the Valoine marriage portion, the possession of Ickleton by the Walter and Valoine families could also have been related to the original Domesday owner of Ickleton. While tenant-in-chief Count Eustace of Boulogne held the larger of the two parcels, at 24 ploughlands (a ploughland being the area that could be ploughed by 8 oxen in a year, generally around 120 acres), which became the Honour of Boulogne, probably the lands later held by Roger de Lucy.

The second smaller parcel of half a ploughland was held in Domesday by tenant-in-chief, Hardwin de Scales, thought to have been a Breton. This is the parcel likely to have been held by Hervey Walter, donated by the family to West Dereham. Of notable interest is the close relationship between the descendant of Hardwin de Scales, named Robert de Scales who, not only was one of the nine witnesses (including Rannulf and Osbert de Glanville and Theobald II de Valoines) to Hubert Walter’s Foundation Charter to West Dereham, but he also appointed Hamo Walter and his mother Maud (wife of Hervey Walter) as governors of the nunnery of Blackborough founded by Robert’s father Roger de Scales, grandson of Hardwin de Scales. This close relationship was probably through the Valoines side of the family who shared an ancestry from Brittany with the de Scales family. It is thought that the Valoines family probably came from the Ille-de-Vilaines department of France, formed by two joining rivers, the Ille and the Vilaines, flowing east to west passing through Rennes in Brittany on their way to the Atlantic Ocean. Keats-Rohan suggests the de Scales family originated from Les Échelles, Saint-Germain-en-Coglès, near Fougères, about 40-50 kms NE of Rennes in Brittany.

Hardwin de Scales was a considerable land holder as tenant-in-chief of 69 lands in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, as well as sub-tenant of several adjoining lands held by the Abbey of Ely. Most of his lands were also partly held by his overlord Count Alan Rufus of Brittany.

Hamo de Valoines held Parham and eight other lands in Suffolk from Count Alan Rufus of Brittany.Both families of de Valoines and de Scales owed castle-guard fees as tenants of the Honour of Richmond in Yorkshire. Alan Rufus Count of Brittany was also known as Count of Richmond.(castle-guard: under the feudal system, some tenants were bound to provide garrisons for royal or other castles, for two months per year.)

Alan Rufus (‘the red’) of Brittany was a relative and close companion of William the Conqueror in the Conquest and especially during the ‘Harrying of the North’ in which Alan built Richmond Castle. He was one of the largest landowners in England, originally formed into the Honour of Brittany, changed to the Honour of Richmond about 1230.
Alan was commander of the Breton contingent at the Battle of Hastings, and a case heard in 1208 in a grand assize between William de Scales and Hugh de Scales relating to 6 knights fees and much land in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, the jurors said that their ancestor Hardwin came at the Conquest and was given the land which William and Hugh were now holding, by King William I, and which were shared by Hardwin’s two sons Richard and Hugh. (Curia Regis Rolls, Vol. 5, p.139; Early Yorkshire Charters V.5, Honour of Richmond Pt II, p.261-The Scalers fee, also see p.234 Valognes fee).

Whether the land of Ickleton came to the Valoines family through the de Scales family (maybe through an early marriage link), which was then passed to Hervey Walter on his marriage to Maud Valoines, is a strong possibility, but remains speculation.


The placement of Hubert Walter the elder, and son Peter Walter in this family appears to be an important key to unravelling this mystery. The fact that Peter Walter donated to, and witnessed various charters of Hervey Walter’s family and held lands from Theobald, as well as inheriting a manor adjoining the fee of Hervey Walter in Bishops Hundred, Suffolk, would indicate a close family connection.

Peter Walter inherited the lands held by Hubert Walter (the elder) in Fressingfield, Suffolk, and also appears to have inherited lands in Instead and weybread from an unnamed ancestor, after Theobald's death.

A document confirms that Peter Walter was the son of Hubert Walter, naming him as Petrum filium Huberti. The document also links Peter Walter with the lands held by Theobald Walter in Bishops Hundred, Suffolk, and with Theobald Butler’s brother Hubert Walter Bishop of Salisbury and his foundation charter of West Dereham Abbey, confirming a close relationship between the two Walter families.

This case involves the abbot of West Dereham trying to recover lost advowsons in Instead and Weybread donated to the abbey by Peter Butler after the foundation of the abbey in 1188:

Feet of Fines for the County of Norfolk for the reign of King John 1201-1215, and for the County of Suffolk 1199-1214, ed. Barbara Dodwell, London 1958 (p.238 No. 497 [Case 154, File 30, No. 435])

Norfolk: Final concord at St Edmunds, 19 April 1209.

Between Peter son of Hubert (Petrum filium Huberti), the claimant, and Henry abbot of Dereham, the holder of 20 acres with appurtenances in Ysted/Instead and three shillings worth of rent in Weybread, under the recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’,… 

Noteworthy is the terminology ‘under the recognition of mort d’ancestor’ which refers to a claim of inheritance from the death of an ancestor and indicates that the lands of Instead and Weybread were held by inheritance by the Walter family, which also indicates a shared ancestor between Theobald and Peter. By 1209, Theobald and Hubert were deceased and the fate of their younger brothers is unknown- it would appear that Roger Walter died in the 1180’s; no further records of Hamon Walter after the donation of his vill of Ickleton to West Dereham Abbey in the 1190’s, and the wording of the Dereham donation charter appears to indicate that ended his days as a parson in Limerick. Therefore, Peter may have then had a claim of inheritance of these lands from a mutual forebear who would have to have been Hervey [Walter the elder] or Hervey’s parents .


Hubert Walter, father of Peter Walter, appears in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II in 1158.

The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, Vol. 1, edit. by William Farrer and J Brownbill, London 1906, p.351:

“In 1158 Hubert Walter rendered account of 40s. of the pleas of Wandelbery, for the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.” (Pipe Roll- 4 Henry II)

(ref: ‘The great rolls of the pipe for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of the reign of King Henry II, A.D. 1155,1156,1157,1158’., pub.1844-

Full Latin: Id[em] vic[ecomes] redd[it] Comp[otum] de xl s[olidis] de Hub[er]to Walt[er]o

In th[esauro] lib[er]avit. Et Quiet[us] est.


The same sheriff renders an account of 40s from Hubert Walter. He has delivered it into the treasury. And he is acquitted.

Hubert Walter is not named as a donor in Robert Malet's original charter to Eye Priory c.1103, nor is his demesne land of Snapeshall in Fressingfield specified. However, Hubert's tithe donation then appears in several monastic confirmation charters by reigning monarchs as well as two popes, and bishops, confirming Hubert’s donation of tithes from his demesne lands of Fressingfield in Bishops Hundred in Suffolk to Eye Priory at some point after Malet's Charter. 

Although the Eye Priory was founded in the later part of the 11th century by Robert Malet during the last years of the reign of William I, the foundation charter by Robert Malet appears to be dated c.1103, after the succession of Henry I in 1100, but it could be a compilation of this charter and an earlier foundation charter dated before the succession of William Rufus n 1087 when the Honour of Eye was taken from Malet and granted to Roger the Poitevan to be restored by Henry I after Roger's exile in 1102.

The tithe donation by Hubert was initially confirmed in the confirmation charter of Henry I, and then begs the question, appears in later confirmation charters to Eye, which then begs the question, when did he take possession of this land? And was it held by inheritance from a Domesday land holder, or by a later gift of the Crown?

The translation of the beginning of Robert Malet’s Charter, No. 1

(Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, Part1 and Part 2, ed. by Vivien Brown, Boydell Press, 1992, 1994)

Dated: 1100-1105 (after succession of Henry I in 1100, although the introduction may be from an earlier charter).

In Malet’s charter to Eye Priory, the relevant section to all the subsequent confirmation charters is the paragraph where Malet confers upon the monks, ‘manors from his own demesne lands’ held in the Honour of Eye:

In Latin: Fo 17r i. Carta Roberti Malet fundatoris ecclesie conventualis de Eya

This same list of manors occurs in the following confirmation charters, one dated c.1123-1135, and the others between 1155 and 1168, however, there is an added inclusion of
decimam Huberti Walteri’/ ‘tithe of Hubert Walter’, and in later charters, more specifically: ‘decimam de dominio Huberti Walter de Snape/ tithe of the lordship/ownership of Hubert Walter of Snape’ (ie. Snapeshall in Fressingfield) placed between Badingham and Kelton in Malet’s original list of his demesne lands.

Charter No 3- King Henry I

And in later charters, more specifically: ‘decimam de dominio Huberti Walter de Snape/ tithe of the lordship/ownership of Hubert Walter of Snape’ (ie. Snapeshall in Fressingfield), again, placed between the manors of Badingham and ‘Kelton’ [als. Cheletone, ‘Keletun’] listed in Malet’s original list of his demesne lands. 

 Charter 40, c.1155:

Later, in the late 1180’s, Hubert’s son Peter Walter makes a confirmation charter (Eye Cartulary and Charters, no.319- p.231) ‘to the monks of the gift of his predecessors of two thirds of the tithes of all his demesne lands in the district of Fressingfield’.

The fact that he refers to ‘his predecessors’ appears to indicate that the lands were held by his family for at least two prior generations.

The demesne land in the ‘district of Fressingfield’ named by Peter Walter refers to Snape/Snapeshall held by his father Hubert.

It is also difficult to establish exactly who ‘his predecessors’ were. Hubert Walter of Snapeshall, Fressingfield first appears in a confirmation charter of Henry I, dated c.1123-1135 (Charter No. 3). The difficulty with the validity of this charter is that it is a later redraft and there are inconsistencies with the listed witnesses who are not compatible date-wise.

Witnesses listed in Henry I's charter redraft:

The three witnesses named were, William (de Corbel) Archbishop of Canterbury (1070-1136, archbishop from 1123-1136), Herbert (Losinga) Bishop of Norwich who died in 1119, and Stephen Count of Mortain who was granted the title of Count de Boulogne in 1125, before succeeding to the throne in 1135). The compatibility issue is that William was not appointed archbishop until 1123, whereas Herbert died in 1119. This makes the accuracy of the estimated date of the redrafted charter highly suspect, and therefore the whole wording of the charter is also suspect. (Vivien Brown, ed., Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, II, p.68-69). The author of the Calendar of Charter Rolls (CChR), published in 1903, described the charter as ‘spurious’. Similarly, the editor of Regesta regum Anglo-Normanum, ii, p.19 (1956), commented “The charter can only be genuine if ‘Herbert’ Bp. of Norwich is a mistake for ‘Everard’ (who was elected bishop in 1121)”, which could be possible if the Bishop of Norwich was not actually named in the original charter. 

However, Henry II, in his confirmation charter c.1160, confirmed to the priory of whatever they possessed as in his grandfather Henry I’s charter (‘rex Henricus avus meus concessit eidem ecclesie,’ etc), confirming that a prior charter of Henry I did exist, and the wording of Henry II’s charter was very similar to Henry I’s charter. It is noticeable that Henry II did not refer to his predecessor Stephen’s charter, nor to the original charter of Robert Malet. That may be due to the fact that Stephen’s charter differed considerably from Henry I’s charter.

Following the charter, editor Vivien Brown (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, I, No. 15, p.27- King Stephen) notes that Hubert and his tithe of Fressingfield is not named in the Cartulary confirmation charter of Henry I’s successor King Stephen (charter no.15) in c.1137/38 even though the remaining manors were listed as in the original charter:

Brown also notes that the wording of the charter of Henry I, was very similar, apart from the list of witnesses and a few additions, to that of Henry II in 1155 (No. 5- P.20). 

Brown also says that the appearance of Hubert’s tithe in that of Henry I, a later redraft, cannot be certain evidence that the monks possessed this tithe as early as the 1120’s. However, she does note that Peter does speak of ‘predecessors’ in the plural. And that, if this was a new gift in the mid-twelfth century, it might not have held such a definite position in the texts, implying that the land must have been held by Hubert from a much earlier date than the 1150’s.

Vivien Brown (Eye Priory Cartulary II, pp.90-91, further discusses the confirmation charter of Henry I:

The charter copied into the cartulary and surviving as a late 12th century document cannot be considered an original. The text itself supports this view, for not only is the witness list incompatible, but it is almost word-for-word identical to the general confirmation of Henry II (Charter 5). …. The tithe of Hubert Walter appears for the first time in a charter of 1155 and its appearance, therefore, in that of Henry I must be suspicious, even granted that Stephen’s charter does leave several things out. There seems no reason to doubt that the monks did possess a general confirmation of Henry I and in view of the help and protection he gave the priory, which appears to have been still in process of establishment when he became patron, such a confirmation would not be surprising. Clearly no conclusion can be come to as to its date. The survival of Henry’s charter only in a later text does however make it difficult to ascertain to what extent the original may have been used as a model for subsequent confirmations. Several churches which occur in the foundation charter and in that of king Stephen’s charter are all missing from Henry II’s charter, presumably because by then the advowsons had passed into other hands; their absence from Henry I’s charter is more difficult to explain away. Conversely, several items (churches and tithes) specified in the foundation charter but not in that of Stephen, recur in that of Henry II and appear in identical form and order in that of Henry I.

The original charter of Henry I, would be unlikely to present a true list of the monk’s possession held in the 1150’s, by which time, some of their original endowment had been lost during the land grab during Stephen’s reign. That could then explain why the wording of the redraft of Henry I’s charter mirrored the wording of Henry II’s charter in 1155 and the charters of Popes Adrian and Alexander, and of Bishop Turbe. The monks needed clarification of all of their possessions dated back before the crisis of King Stephen’s reign. It would appear that Stephen based his charter on Malet’s original charter, rather than on his predecessor Henry I’s charter, while omitting some and adding a few new donations. However, Henry II’s charter, as well as those of the Pope and bishops were basing their charters on that of Henry I, thereby ‘setting legal memory to the day Henry I was alive and dead’.

J.C. Holt’s article “1153: The Treaty of Winchester”, between Empress Matilda (daughter of Henry I, and mother of Henry II) and King Stephen was discussed in Robin Fleming’s “Domesday Book and the Law”, stating that the Treaty of Winchester in 1153 was an agreement that ended the anarchy of Stephen’s reign. In this settlement, setting legal memory to the day Henry I was alive and dead, “inheritances,” as Holt persuasively argues, “were to be restored; acquisitions were at risk; unlawful acquisitions would be revoked.” This very general set of solutions to disputes over land that arose during the civil wars of Stephen’s reign bears a striking resemblance to the pragmatic judgements of the Domesday inquest. And like the hierarchy of rights of property worked out at the Domesday inquest, the provisions of the 1153 settlement were workable because they provided only the broadest of guidelines, and could be enforced in radically different ways, depending on the parties involved, the desires of the king and the circumstances of the dispute. This was not common Law stature and procedure. But it was a hardy and flexible mix of Norman and English legal custom, and it provided just enough structure to legal expectations, and just enough support for predictable resolution, that the King and his laws, rather than private war, was looked upon as the primary means of resolving land disputes.

It does appear as if the settlement at the end of Stephen’s reign in some way simply restored the most basic norms governing rights to land worked out at the Domesday inquest, and that both in 1086 and in 1153, are the founding conventions of Anglo-Norman land law which remained the guiding legal principles for landholding, acquisition and inheritance.

In 1086, the Domesday inquest brought every piece of property in England under the scrutiny of local courts, the sheriff, and the King’s commissioners. It was in the process of hearing many thousands of complaints over the course of a few short months, that those responsible for the making and enforcing of law began forming a consensus about the legal norms determining what gave men rights to land. The inquest, seems to have formalized the notion that inheritance was one of the best forms of title. This was a familiar notion for well-to-do Normans, but this precept was confirmed literally thousands of times during the course of the inquest, and must, as a result, have become one of the commonplaces of English land law. Here we can see agreement forming across England, in the minds of hundred jurors and tenants-in chief, about the importance of inheritance and a particular set of legal procedures. In their crudest and most basic form, the courts and commissioners of 1086 upheld the notion that land inherited from a Norman father or an English antecessor, if it had been taken away, should be restored; that acquisitions of land were more open to claim, and that if such acquisitions were unlawful, they should be taken away."

(Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England, by Robin Fleming, Cambridge Uni Press, 1998, p.83-4)

It is notable that the confirmation charters of Eye’s possessions were primarily written in the 1150’s-60’s, following the Treaty of Winchester, and it is highly likely that Henry I’s charter redraft was also written in this period, although confirming donations of tithes for lands held before Stephen’s reign.

The fact that the Treaty restored ‘inheritances’, would seem to confirm that Hubert’s possession of Fressingfield, was in fact, his inheritance. And it is also probable that Hervey Walter’s possession of his fee in Wingfield, adjacent to Fressingfield, was similarly held by inheritance. As were the jointly held lands of Instead and Weybread.

Notably, this is the only instance in the group of manors of Malet’s demesne in his donation to Eye that specifies the name of the owner of the manor granting the fee (viz. Hubert Walter), which would appear to indicate that, at the time of Malet’s charter c.1103, the manor named Snapeshall in Fressingfield was held by inheritance from Malet or one of his sub-tenants, as opposed to the remaining listed manors which were all held by Malet and granted to Eye. In contrast, other holders of lands originally held by Malet in Domesday, whether original sub-tenants or their heirs, were listed as separate individual donors, which makes the donation of Hubert’s tithes unique and inexplicable.

Also notably, in Malet’s original charter, neither Snapeshall manor in Fressingfield, nor Wingfield nor Weybread were named in the list of donations (all held by Malet in Domesday), only the ‘churches of Stradbroke and Wingfield with their lands and tithes’ (later granted to Ernald Russo [le Rus] by Stephen Count of Mortain).

The original Charter of Robert Malet c.1103: translation and summary:

The Confirmation Charters to Eye Priory

Hubert Walter’s tithe in Snape (Fressingfield) was listed in the following various confirmation charters:

Charter of Henry I (No.3- p.16) – note the placement of “decimam Huberti Walteri”, between Badingham and Kelton

Date: c.1123-1135 (a later redraft- note the similar wording to the following Charter of Henry II):


In Latin

Charter of Henry II (No.5- p.20)

Date: At Le Neubourg. October 1159-1162, possibly November 1160

N.B. “decimam Huberti Walteri, between Badingham and Kelton”.

Confirmation in free alms by Henry II to the priory of whatever they possess, as in Charter no. 3 (Henry I) of ‘my grandfather King Henry I’/ “rex H(enricus) avus meus concessit eidem ecclesie” with a few additions. They are to hold all their tenements freely etc. because the church and monks of Eye are in his protection and custody.

Charter of King Stephen (No.15- p.25)

Date c.1137/38:

The entry for Hubert Walter between Badingham and Kelton is omitted in this charter:

This confirmation charter has many inconsistencies. Though it may have drawn upon the original charter of Henry I, some clauses are straight repetitions of those in the foundation
charter (of Robert Malet) and yet the order is erratic.
There are several changes from Henry I’s charter and even from Malet’s original charter:
Stephen combines several of Malet’s original listed donations into one combined entry on a separate line: “All the land of Bedfield, Stoke Ash, Thornham Magna and Fressingfield”.

In Malet’s original charter, it had:
“xvi- with the assent of Walter fitzGrip, all the land which he had in Fressingfield with the mill
xviii- the church of Thornham Magna with its lands and appurtenances
xv- the vill called Bedfield with its church
xii- from Robert’s own lands the vill of Stoke Ash as a whole”

The list of donations omits several churches listed in the foundation charter, and several tithes which reappear in Henry I and Henry II’s confirmation charters.
Stephen’s charter also has some new inclusions, including:'

“xxxiv- 3s. worth of land which John son of Robert holds” (viz. son of Robert fitzWalter de Caen), and,
“xxxv- the land of Alwin son of Wlstan in Bedfield”.


Charter of Pope Adrian IV (No. 55- p.56), the earliest confirmed date in which ‘decimam Huberti Walteri’ occurs:

Date: 10 May 1155: 

Charter of William Turbe bishop of Norwich (No.40- p.43)

Date: 1155-1161

NB. This is the first charter that names Hubert Walter’s Fressingfield land as ‘Snape.

Confirmation by William Turbe bishop of Norwich to the monks of all their possessions, including (xii): “decimam de dominio de Badingeham, decimam de dominio Huberti Walter de Snape, de Keleton” …etc.

Notably the order of the manors remains the same except for the removal of all the manors after Laxfield, ie. the five manors in different counties to Suffolk. These were subject to several separate confirmation charters.

Charter of Pope Alexander III (No.56- p.59)

Date: c.1166-68:

The editor’s summary of this charter noted several changes to that of Pope Adrian IV in 1155 (No.55):

Confirmation to Prior Osbert and the monks of their possessions, as in No. 55 (Pope Adrian IV) with the following additions, omissions and variations:….

ii.- The tithe of Hubert Walter in Snape/ ‘decimam Huberti Walteri in Snape’ (cf.55,vi)- added ‘in Snape’


NB. iii- the tithe of the demesne of Benhall- belonged to the de Glanville family since the Domesday Book when Robert de Glanville held part from Robert Malet- not included in Charter no. 55 of Pope Adrian. Malet’s original charter had “the church of Benhall with lands, tithes and appurtenances”.

Latin entry:

The last paragraph of the charter is noteworthy: “and all the possessions which the convent has held without legitimate interruption for the last 40 years”, ie. since 1128, during the reign of Henry I, before the reign of King Stephen and the period of 'The Anarchy'.

Eye Cartulary II, p.120, Charter No 396- a list of lesser tithes

Date: 1308:

‘The portion of Snapishale* (in Fressingfield), is leased when possible, nevertheless worth usually 1 m(mark). (*This early 14th century document revealed that ‘Snape’ referred to Snapeshall in Fressingfield, later known as Launceshal)


Charter of John Count of Mortain (No.28- p.35)

Date: At Dunwich, August 1189-March 1190

Confirmation in free alms by John count of Mortain (future King John) to the monks whatever they possess, as in Charter no. 3, (Henry I), with additions and variations.

He confirms all their tenements which they have obtained from the gifts of their donors. They are to hold them freely, and in peace etc. in all particulars… as they did in the time of John’s father king Henry II, because the church and monks of Eye are in his custody and protection:

In the late 12th century (post 1180), Hubert's son Peter Walter witnessed many charters of close neighbours in northern Suffolk, many of whom had inherited their lands from ancestors who held under Robert Malet. He was particularly prominent in witnessing charters in association with Roger II de Huntingfield (grandson of Walter filius Aubrey's son Roger I de Huntingfield). Peter held the wardship of Alan of Withersdale and Weybread (near Fressingfield); he paid the king to obtain the hand of the widow of Robert Brito, Philippa Gulafre daughter of William Gulafre of Okenhill in Badingham, (another neighbour) for his son Hubert; he donated his ‘tithe of his mill at Instead’ to cousin Hubert Walter’s charter to West Dereham, as well as rents from Weybread; and was witness to several documents which included Ernald Russo his neighbour in Stradbroke, and was noted as a ‘knight of co. Suffolk’, which all would appear to indicate his primary residence continued to be at his demesne lands of Fressingfield. Notably, the de Huntingfields, the Gulafres and the ancestor of Ernald Russo (Ernald filius Roger) were all listed as donors to Malet’s original charter and continued to live on their inherited lands. The fitRocelin family of Linstead (and Huntingfield) were frequent witnesses to the Walter and de Glanville and de Huntingfield charters.


NB. Fressingfield in Bishops Hundred, was not specifically named in the Domesday survey but was part of the adjacent lands of Chippenhall, according to Domesday historians.

The Hundreds of Bishop and adjacent Hartismere were all part of the Honour of Eye (Priory), first held by Robert Malet.

(Domesday Book, A Complete Translation, pp.1219, 1296; The Manors of Suffolk; notes on their history and devolution, etc.” by W.A. Copinger, 1909, pp.34, 50)

Domesday Book- County of Suffolk: Chippenhall in Bishops Hundred totalling nearly 450 acres:


Land of Robert Malet- The soke of Chippenhall (ie. including Fressingfield) is in Hoxne (manor), but Eadric (of Laxfield) held half of it of Bishop Aelmar (TRE- ie. pre-Conquest). Of this manor Walter holds 4 freemen with 1 carucate of land (? possibly Walter de Caen, or Walter the crossbowman?). It is worth 30s and it is in the same valuation of £6. The mother of Robert Malet holds 3 sokemen with 80 acres of land worth 45s in the same valuation. Humphrey holds 1 sokeman with 20 acres It is worth 5s. in the same valuation. Walter fitzGrip holds 1 freeman, 120 acres. It is worth 40s in the same valuation.

(carucate= medieval unit of land area approximating the area of land a plough team of 8 oxen could plough in a year, usually 60-160 acres, averaging 120 acres)

In relation to Walter fitzGrip’s land in Fressingfield (viz. Chippenhall in Domesday), the following Eye Priory Charters are relevant:

In Robert Malet’s Foundation Charter to Eye Priory c.1103-05, one donation entry has:

 ‘with the assent of Walter fitzGrip, all the land which he had in Fressingfield with the mill.” (ie. 120 acres)

-Charter 11 (p.23)- Precept of Henry I to Stephen count of Mortain and all his ministers, that the prior and monks shall have all their lands, churches and property specifically at Fressingfield, as they held them on the days when William I and Robert Malet were alive and dead. Dated c.1120-1123.

This implies there may have been a dispute between the priory and Stephen count of Mortain, over lands of Fressingfield, specifically those donated by Walter fitzGrip in Malet’s Charter.

-Charter 24 (p.32)- Grant by William Martel steward of king Stephen to the monks,… confirming the gift in Fressingfield which Walter son of Grip, his uncle, made them. Dated c.1141-1154.

“Quin etiam concede et confirm donationem quam walterus fitzGrip avunculus meus eidem monasterio de Fresingef, ita ut a modo ego vel nullus heredum meorum versus monachos quicquam in ea reclamabimus.”

This charter confirms that William Martel was the nephew of Walter fitzGrip and had inherited fitzGrip’s Fressingfield lands (ie. 120 acres held from Robert Malet in Domesday, as part of Chippenhall), confirming that Walter fitzGrip did not have any male heirs. The translation of the last part appears to say “so as a way, I (William Martel) or none of the heirs of my line can reclaim it from the monks.” In 1155, William Martel founded Snape Priory, a cell of the abbey of St John’s Colchester, donating Walter fitzGrip’s other Suffolk lands at Aldeburgh and Snape (near Aldeburgh, in the Hundred of Plomesgate) that Martel inherited. (not to be confused with Snape/Snapeshal in Fressingfield held by Hubert and Peter Walter.)

(Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, Pt. 1, ed. Vivien Brown, 1992)

Notably, in the Domesday entry, the 120 acres of land held by Walter fitzGrip in Fressingfield, was separate to the one carucate of land held by ‘Walter’ in Fressingfield/Chippenhall.

The important part of this Domesday entry for Chippenhall for our purposes, is that of ‘Walter’, who held 4 freemen and 1 carucate of land, and was listed firstly of the several lords, including Malet’s mother, holding lands from Robert Malet in the district of Chippenhall.

The same ‘Walter’ significantly also held land in Wingfield and Weybread, the lands held by Hervey Walter. This cannot be a coincidence.

The questions that arise –

Was this the Walter who gave rise to the surname Walter? And who was this ‘Walter’?

Was Walter related to, or closely associated with Robert Malet, or even Eadric of Laxfield who held these lands pre-Conquest? Was Malet also related to his ‘antecessor’ Eadric whose lands in Suffolk and Norfolk were all granted to Malet in Domesday?

Was ‘Walter’ actually Walter de Caen who held lands all around this area from Robert Malet, or was he Walter the Arbalester/crossbowman who also held lands from Malet near the Priory of Eye in Hartismere Hundred, or even Walter de Glanville whose brother Robert de Glanville was another landholder in this area?

Did the Walter family patriarch Hervey inherit these lands of Fressingfield, Wingfield and Weybread from this ‘Walter’ who was a sub-tenant Robert Malet, and lord of these lands?

These questions will be explored in greater detail in further chapters.


1.Eye Cartulary and Charters, Pt 1, pp.231-232

Charter No.319: Confirmation by Peter Walter to the monks of the gift of his predecessors of two thirds of the tithes of all his demesne lands in the district of Fressingfield.

In addition, he grants them two thirds of the tithe of the assart of 1 ½ acres which he has made, and likewise if the assart shall be extended. The monks are to receive all the tithes in the autumn. Warranty clause.

Probably late 1180’s.


Charter Of Peter Walteri

To all to whom the present writing arrives for the salvation of Peter Walter. Know your community that I, Peter Walter,  (confirm) the gifts and grants of my predecessors to the monks of Eye, two parts of the tithes of all the land of my own in the territory of the Fresingefeud, as the monks of my predecessors ever had, better and more freely, just as the same had in the times I have, and I confirm and approve this; Moreover, the two sheaves/120v from the cleared, namely about an acre and a half or more if I am about to do the same monks in lasting as alms to give and grant that I am, and my heirs, in perpetual alms, and I corroborate with the protection of my seal, and seal it. All the same, however, in the autumn, at the time of the tithes, he shall remain in the fields of the aforesaid to the monks themselves. This donation and confirmation I and my heirs will warrant. The witnesses are, master of (The) chaplain of the bishop, J. de Loges dean, A. person of Wirlingword’, Geoffrey person of Dinnevetun’, A.priest of Hoxa, Hernaldus son of Peter, William son of Robert, William of Blanchvill;, Adam of Weybrede, Hugo Germayne, Symon de Thornham, Richard of Ludham, Geoffrey son of Walter

Notably, of the witnesses, ‘G. persona de Dinnevetun’, ie. Gerard son of Benedict of Dennington, granted 11 ½ acres in Dennington with his body for burial in a charter to Butley Priory (Cartulary of Leiston Abbey & Butley Priory Charters, ed. R.H. Mortimer, 1979, pp.136-138, Nos. 125 and 127) which was witnessed by ‘Petro filio Huberti et Huberto filio eius’ (Peter son of Hubert and Hubert his son). They also witnessed a confirmation charter of this charter. Dennington about 10 kms south of Fressingfield.

The probable reason why no Walter family members witnessed this document, is that none of them remained in Suffolk in the 1180’s.

2.The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey & Butley Priory Charters (ed. R.H. Mortimer 1979) p151

No.146:  Date: 1171-77 (NB. witness Robert de Valoines died 1178)

Hervey Walter’s Charter to Butley Priory, granting all his fee in Wingfield, ‘Sikebro’, and Instead (Weybread).  Witnesses included Petro Walter.

3.The Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, (ed R.H. Mortimer 1979), p151

No. 147:  Date: (NB. witness Osbert de Glanville died 1195), so pre-1195

Gilbert of Hawkedon has granted 6d rent in Instead to Butley Priory.

Know present and future that I, Gilbert of Hawkedon have given while preserving, and by this my present charter I supported the church of the holy Marie of Buttele (Butley) and to those serving God there, a rent of 6d in Instead, by the prayer and will of my lord Tedbald Walter, in perpetual alms without doing service, not least because my lord Tedbald brought it about that I have granted the aforesaid rent to the aforesaid church in perpetual alms.

Witnesses, Hernaldo priest, Osbert de Glanville, Roger of Kenteville, Peter Walter, John of Tudham, Roger Blencio, Aumari of Bellaf’.

4.Feet of Fines -Reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196, pub. 1894, Pipe Roll Society, p.21

Translation by Carew:

Date: 15 July 1195

Fine between Theobald Walter and William Hervei. The former grants to the latter the town of Boxted, with the appurtenances in Hulmested and Belag, which last Peter Walter holds. The said William quitted claim of all other lands of Hervei Walter, grandfather of Theobald.

(NB Boxted and Belag and ‘Hulmestead’, part of the Amounderness fee held by Theobald Walter. Inherited from grandfather Hervey. Unclear how or why William Hervei had a right to these lands.)


5.A Fourteenth Century Rent Roll of the Priory of Butley, Suffolk

Peter Walter gave the church of Bylaugh (Norfolk) to that house (Butley) in conjunction with Hervey Walter and Robert son of William (viz. a witness to Peter Walter’s charter to Eye Priory [319]).

(‘The East Anglian: Notes and Queries…’, New Series, Vol. xi, 1906, ed. Evelyn White, p.46- Untitled (An Unpublished Fourteenth Century Rent Roll of the Priory of Butley, Suffolk)


6.Monasticon Anglicanum: A History of the Abbies and Other Monasteries…, Volume 6 part 2, p.899-901, by Sir William Dugdale, London 1846

Num. II – Charter of Donors to the Abbey of West Dereham (p.900- see previous chapter for full text)

Date: c.1199

Et ex dono Petri Walteri redditum dimidiae marcae in molendino suo de Isted percipiendum, ad emendum sibi vinum ad celebrationem missarum in ecclesia sua.


And of the gift of Peter Walteri rent of half mark in his mill of Isted (Instead) therefore, to buy him wine for the celebration of mass in his church.

7.Feet of Fines for the County of Norfolk for the reign of King John 1201-1215, and for the County of Suffolk 1199-1214, ed. Barbara Dodwell, London 1958 (p.238 No. 497 [Case 154, File 30, No. 435])

Norfolk-  Final concord at St Edmunds(bury),

Date:19 April 1209.

Judges Gerald de Camville, William de Huntingfield, Eustace de Faucunberg, Jacob de Poternis, Walter de Crepping, Robert de Aumaur, and William de Furnell, itinerant judges and barons of the king who were present.   Between Peter son of Hubert (Petrum filium Huberti), the claimant, and Henry abbot of Dereham, the holder of 20 acres with appurtenances in Ysted/Instead and three shillings worth of rent in Weybread, under the recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’ (death of an ancestor), was summoned in and called from himself and his heirs to the aforesaid abbot and his successors, and the church of the Holy Mary of Dereham, all the permanent right and the claim that he had in the aforesaid land and in the rent with appurtenances. And for this quitclaim and fine and concord, the aforesaid abbot and the local convent in the receipt of him in each of the benefits which are made in the church in perpetuity.

This case involves the abbot of West Dereham trying to recover lost advowsons in Instead and Weybread donated to the abbey by Peter Butler after the foundation of the abbey by his cousin Hubert Walter.

 8.Vivien Brown discusses Peter Walter:

EYE PRIORY Cartulary and Charters, II, ed. Vivien Brown, 1994, page 68-69 (Introduction)

9.In Vivien Brown’s notes (No. 182), she notes that Hubert, son of Peter Walter, is called Hubert Walter, referring to a charter of Roger de Huntingfield, to which Peter Walter (petro Walt’) and son Huber Walter (Hub’ Walt’) are witnesses, as found in ‘East Anglian Notes and Queries’, New Series v.5 (1893-4) (The East Anglian, on Notes and Queries on subjects connected with the counties of Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex & Norfolk, ed C.H. Evelyn White, New Series Vol.V (1893-94), p.193 (

10.Charter No 396 (p.121, Eye Cartulary):  Dated 1308

A list of lesser tithes:

Deanery of Hoxne

… The portion of ‘Snapishale’ (in Fressingfield) is leased when possible, nevertheless worth usually 1m (mark= 160 pence, or 13 shillings and 4 pence, post Conquest)


11.Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters vol.II- Charter No.416 (p.131)

Dated early 14th century

Memorandum of an inquisition* (*entry headed ‘Fresingfeud’) made before the dean of Hoxne concerning the tithes of the demesne formerly of Peter Walter in Fressingfield. These jurors say that the tithe from the demesne formerly of Peter Walter in Fressingfield pertains to the prior and convent of Eye, that is to say two thirds of the tithe, and that Peter de la Hose held these of the prior and convent for an annual rent of 5s, and similarly Peter of Dunwich.

 (Notably, C.R. Cheney, in his book on ‘Hubert Walter’ (pp.163, 133, 29; also spelt Hussey), wrote that “Master Alexander, named as a chaplain of Hubert, bishop of Salisbury, may be Master Alexander de Hosa who figures in another of the bishop’s acts. If so, his employment may be explained by the relationship of the Hosa family with Hubert Walter’s.” And “ ...because a relative of the archbishop, Master Hubert Hose, was concerned in the settlement”. However, Cheney did not explain this relationship between the de Hosa family and the Walter family, or his source. Hugh Hose witnessed a charter of John Archbishop of Dublin favour of Theobald and his heirs- Ormond Deed No 11, dated 1193)

12.Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, vol.II (p.59)

Robert Brito suffered forfeiture of his lands twice. His Eye fees were escheated to the Crown at Easter 1183 and at Michaelmas 1184 Geoffrey bishop of Ely accounts for his lands and was allowed £18 for the maintenance of Philippa from easter 1183 to Easter 1184 by the king’s writ. He recovered his lands in 1188. He suffered forfeiture and imprisonment again for supporting John’s rebellion. (Richard gave him the harsh punishment of starvation to death). He died there, for in 1199 his widow paid £100 relief to have seisin of his lands as he had them on the day he was put in prison, and Peter Walter gave 120marks and a palfrey, together with 60 marks already promised, to have Philippa for his son Hubert.

(Ed. Notes: it is difficult to ascertain whether Philippa married Hubert. Peter Walter’s debt remains on the pipe rolls unpaid until 1202 and then disappears, and Philippa continues to be called Philippa Gulafre.)

p.59 cont:

Roger Gulafre (of Okenhill) was succeeded by another William. He witnessed two charters of William count of Mortain as lord of the honour of Boulogne between 1156 and 1159, and was dead by 1166, by which date his daughter and heir, Philippa, had been given in marriage by the king to Robert the son of Ralph Brito, an unknown Breton who rose to prominence during the early part of Henry II’s reign. The marriage is referred to in a letter of bishop Gilbert Foliot of London, dating 1163-6. Robert Brito’s heir, William, still a minor, was in the custody of Peter of Edgefield (Pipe Roll 1 John, 291). When William came of age is uncertain but possible in 1209 when the debts of his grandfather and father begin to be paid off. It was about this time that Philippa granted 4s rent in Okenhill to the monks. Philippa was still alive in 1221(Pipe Roll 5 Henry III, 38). In 1209, Roger Gulafre vouched Philippa to warranty in a plea against Alan of Withersdale over lands in Instead. (Feet of Fines, Suffolk, no.530).

In 1209, Philippa sued Hugo de Auberville (grandson of Rannulf de Glanville) over land in the hundred of Plomesgate (Fines, Suffolk, no. 504)

It is difficult to date Philippa’s age, given she was given in marriage in the mid 1160’s. She was probably a minor when given in marriage by the king, given her father’s death at that time and she being his heir. Her son and heir was born in the late 1180’s; and she was still alive in 1221. It therefore appears to indicate that Peter Walter’s son Hubert was probably born well before 1170.

13.Eye Priory Cartulary II, p.117-118 -Charter No 391:

Peter Walter had held custody of Alan de Withersdale, (adjacent to Fressingfield, in Bishops Hundred), son of William de Withersdale- heirs to Humphrey fil Robert who held 28 lands from Robert Malet in Domesday, including several in Bishops Hundred. This was referred to in a later charter.

Date: 1227-8

Record of an assize of ‘darrein presentment’ to the church of Playford, the advowson of which the prior of Eye claims against the bishop of Norwich and Alan of Withersdale.

“… Et episcopus non venit set Alanus venit et dicit quod iniuste hoc dicit quare quidem Petrus Walter in cuius custodia ipse fuit ratione custodie quam de ipso habuit presentavit eundem Willilmum qui ad presentationem suam admissus fuit et inde point se super iuratam”.

(=‘Peter Walter in whose custody he was in’)

NB. Alan de Withersdale inherited lands in Weybread, Instead, Withersdale, Fressingfield and Playford and many others from his grandfather also named Alan of Playford.


14.Apart from Peter witnessing his uncle Hervey Walter’s Butley Charter c 1171-77, Peter Walter first occurs in official records in 1180 "owing 1 mark for holding a market over an assize:

 Pipe Roll 26 Henry II [vol. 29], 1179-1180, p.22

(translation: And of 1 mark of Peter Walter for holding a market over an assize)


15. In 1182 Peter disputed a moiety of the church of Fressingfield with the abbot of Bury St Edmunds:

Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, v.8, ed. D.C. Douglas, London 1932, p.185, No.227:

16.Peter Walter, was one of the knights of honour (including neighbours and friends Roger de Huntingfield and Ernald Russo of Stradbroke and Hubert de Braiseworth) , “and many others, barons and the knights present in the same court” , before whom a fine was made in the court of John Count of Mortain in c.1190:

Cartularium Monasterii Sancti Johannis Baptiste de Colecestria, II, ed. by Stuart A. Moore, London 1897, p.514:  

17.Feet of Fines for the County of Norfolk for the reign of King John 1201-1215, and for the County of Suffolk 1199-1214, ed. Barbara Dodwell, London 1958

p.89- No. 185 [Case 154, file 27 No 371]


Final concord at St Edmunds, 19 April 1209. Judges Gerald de Camville, William de Huntingfield, Eustace de Faucunberg, Jacob de Poternis , Walter de Crepping, Robert de Aumaur, and William de Furnell, itinerant judges and barons of the king who were present. Between Peter son of Hubert and Margaret his wife, petents/plaintiffs, and William filium Warin holding seven acres of land with appurtenances in Colton, claim by writ of ‘morte d’ancestor’ (of their father’s land) were summoned between them in the same court, namely that said Peter and Margaret resuming and quit claim themselves and their heirs to the aforesaid William and his heirs forever the whole right and claim which they had in the aforesaid land with pertinences. And for this quit claim and fine and concord the aforesaid William gave to aforesaid Peter and Margaret half a silver mark.

The following case, p.91- No. 190 [Case 154, File 29 no.401], 19 April 1209, was identical except Peter and Margaret’s claim was against Hugh le Brun who held 15 acres of land in Colton. Under recognition of ‘mort d’ancestor’, was summoned between them in the aforesaid court. For this quit claim and fine and concord the aforesaid Hugh gave to aforesaid Peter and Margaret one silver mark.

A third case p.95- No. 198 [Case 154, file 29, No. 425], heard in the same court on 19 April 1209, between Peter and Margaret, and Hagen filium Warin, holding of seven acres of land and pertinences in Colton, in which, for this quit claim, the aforesaid Hagen gave to the aforesaid Peter and Margaret half a silver mark.

Considering that Peter’s wife Margaret was included in these fines, it suggests that Peter held this land in right of his wife, possibly as a marriage portion, or by her inheritance from her now deceased father.


18.Eye Priory Cartulary Pt 1, p38 (Charter No.31)

Grant in free alms by Henry duke of Lotharingia (Brabant), margrave of the Roman Empire and lord of the Honor of Eye, and Mathilda his wife, to the monks of the land of Dosolf (?) in Eye, which had been given to the monks of Eye by John Count of Mortain

Dated c.1199

Witnessed by Rogero de Huntingfeud, Ernald Russo (of Stradbroke- descendant of Ernald son of Roger of Whittingham in Fressingfield), Petro Walteri, Ada(m) de Bedingfield, etc.

Editor’s notes: Date- the witnessing of so many knights of the honor make it certain that this charter was given in England. Roger II de Huntingfield died in 1204 and the only time Henry is known to have been in England was for John’s coronation in 1199, the day after which (28 May) John gave him seisin of his lands in England.

Vivien Brown explains (Eye Cart. II, p.31-32):

Prince John held the Honor of Eye until Easter 1197, but in 1198 Richard granted Eye to Henry Duke of Lotharingia, Duke of Brabant and Count of Louvain, in right of his wife Mathilda, as the price for his alliance with England.

 Vivien Brown also states (p.69) that:

In 1209, a Peter son of Hubert was one of several knights of the honor before whom an inquest was heard in a dispute involving Geoffrey of Louvain (2nd son of Duke Godefroi of Louvain by his 2nd wife Alice widow of Ralph of Cornhill).


19.Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, ed. R.H. Mortimer, 1979 (nos. 124, 125 and 127)-

Charter of Gerald son of Benedict of Dennington who has granted 11 ½ acres in Dennington, with his body for burial

Dated after 1200 and before 1230

Witnessed by Petro filio Huberti, et Huberto filio eius (his son).

(Gerald son of Benedict- the Parcarius or Parker family of Dennington, were donors to both Leiston and Butley- see Leiston Cartulary p.15; Dennington is in Bishops Hundred, near Badingham, both a few kms south of Fressingfield.)


20. Three Rolls of the King’s Court in the reign of Richard the First A.D. 1194-95, (London, 1891) p.49

Peter Walter named as one of the justices in two pleas in Norfolk:

 21. Peter Walter held a house in London before 1200

Charter Rolls, Rotuli Chartarum 1199-1216 (Charter Rolls, ‘Rotuli Chartarum 1199-1216’, ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1837, v.1 pt.1, p.73b)

1200 AD- 2 John


“Confirmation of John Marshall

John, by the grace of God, King etc.

May you know us to have allowed, and by our present deed confirmed, the gift which John, the Prior, and the convent of the church of Ely, made, and by their deed confirmed, to John Marshall and his heirs, that is to say, that house in London which was formerly Peter Walter’s.

And therefore, we will and firmly order that the same John, and his heirs after him, should have and hold the aforesaid house, well and in peace, freely and quietly, wholly, fully and honourably, with all its appurtenances, its lands, rents and buildings, and all its other things and places, with all its liberties and free customary dues, just as the aforesaid deed of the prior and convent of the church of Ely, and the confirmation of King Richard our brother, reasonably witness.

Witnessed by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, W. Earl of Salisbury etc.

Given by the hands of S. Well’, archdeacon, and J de Gray, archdeacon of Gloucester, at Turon’[?] on the 28th day of June in the second year of our reign.”

This charter does not explain why Peter Walter no longer held the house.

22. Peter Walter and the de Huntingfield family (descendants of Walter de Caen)

 (see Huntingfield on map in relation to Stradbroke):

Vivien Brown wrote in the Eye Cartulary, II, p68-69:

Peter was closely linked also to the Huntingfield family, though whether as a tenant or relative, or both, is not clear. In the 1190’s Peter witnessed, with Hubert his son, a charter of the prior of Mendham, the Huntingfield’s foundation (87), and both father and son witness charters of Roger of Huntingfield to Mendham and to the nuns of Bungay (Byng).

Peter Walter had a close relationship with Roger de Huntingfield (II), son of William de Huntingfield (I), son of Roger de Huntingfield (I), son of Walter de Caen. Roger’s son, William de Huntingfield (II) was one of the 25 Barons who were signatories to the Magna Carta, appointed as sureties for the enforcement of the Magna Carta (issue in 1215, passed into law 1225).

NB. All successive generations of de Huntingfields named their son and heir, alternatively, Roger and William, until William de Huntingfield b.1330 d. 1376- see G.E. Cokayne, vol. 6, and Mendham Priory family tree.

Peter further witnessed the following de Huntingfield charters (see next chapter, on the de Huntingfield family for details of this relationship)

(A)Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, I, No.87, p92-93)-

Prior William & the convent of St Mary’s, Mendham

A charter, dated 1187-c.1190's, to Prior william and the convent of St mary's Mendha, who acknowledged  "that they are bound to pay 2m a year to the prior and convent of Eye for the tithes of Huntingfield, Byng (in Pettistree) and of the land of Rocelin of Linstead and of Alice the wife of William son of Rocelin and of Girard the clerk of Huntingfield, which tithes the convent of Eye have granted to them."

Witnesses: Rogero de Huntingefeud et Willelmo filio eius, Petro Walteri et Huberto filio eius, Ernald Ruffo, Matheo de Stradebroc, Roberto filio Rocelini, Willelmo filio Roberti, Willelmo cleric de Eya, Gaufrido de Mendham, etc

Notably, there was also a long-term close relationship between the de Huntingfield family with the Rocelin family of Linstead, probably indicating a blood relationship. Linstead was held in Domesday by Walter fitzAubrey, and Jocelin/Rocelin of Hollesley granted his tithe of 100 acres of Huntingfield to the foundation charter of Robert Malet, while Roger de Huntingfield gave two thirds of his tithe of the demesne of Huntingfield, Linstead and Byng (in Pettistree) to Eye Priory. Robert filio Rocelin witnessed Rannulf de Glanville’s charter to Butley Priory in 1171 and also Hervey Walter’s charter to Butley c.1174.

A deed, undated, but before 1204, executed by Roger de Huntingfield (II) confirming his grant to Bungay/Bing Convent founded in c 1160-1185 by Roger de Glanville and his wife Gundreda, widow of Hugh Bigod 1st Earl of Norfolk, upon lands of her maritagium. (A Farmer’s Year: Being his Commonplace Book for 1898, by H. Rider Haggard, 1899, p.25; East Anglian Notes and Queries, New Series, volume V, 1893-4, p.193)

‘Witnessed by William of Huntingfield (Roger’s son), Peter Walter, Robert of Huntingfield (Roger’s second son), Hubert Walter (Peter’s son), Alan of Withersdale (in Fressingfield)’, etc.

Charters in the Huntingfield Cartulary (The UK National Archives-Record held by Lincolnshire Archives, Ref: 3ANC2/1, Title: Huntingfield Cartulary- between the de Huntingfield family and the de Craon family- (10[f5],11[f5vo].35[f10]; between Ralph of Fenna and Roger de Huntingfield 39 (f10vo) ):

1) between the de Huntingfield family and the de Craon family (Emma de Craon, wife of Roger de Huntingfield II), dated 1183, witnessed by Peter Walter.

2) between Roger son of William of Huntingfield and Ralph of Fenna c.1200 witnessed by Hubert son of Peter Walter


The Honour of Lancaster was granted by William the Conqueror to Roger de Poitou (the Poitevin), a powerful Norman lord (the son of one of William’s principal counsellors Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury and earl of Arundel), and included a wide band of territory including the lands between the River Ribble and the River Mersey in NW England in Lancashire, but was also linked to other land holdings of Roger de Poitou stretching down as far as Norfolk and Suffolk. When Roger sided against Henry I and was exiled in 1102, the honour reverted to the Crown and remained intact as a distinct collection of estates. In c.1113, Henry gave the Honours of Lancaster and of Eye to his nephew Stephen of Blois, later Count of Mortain, who inherited the Crown after Henry's death.

Theobald's lands in Amounderness were held from the Honour of Lancaster, thought to have been granted to his grandfather by Stephen Count of Mortain, possibility on the orders of Henry I. Theobald inherited his grandfather Hervey’s demesne of Weeton and other lands in Amounderness, Lancashire before 1166, as assessed in the Cartae Baronum of 1166. Hervey was the tenant of the fee of the manor of Weeton and adjoining lands in Amounderness for the service of ½ knight’s fee in the reign of King Henry I (1100 to 1135), when his daughter Alice married Orm filius Magnus.

Henry II’s youngest son John Count of Mortain, on receiving the Honours of Eye and Lancaster, confirmed Theobald’s holding of the wapentake of Amounderness c.1189-1192. 

While King Richard was imprisoned in Germany, John tried to seize control in 1193-1194. Hubert laid siege to Lancaster Castle and Theobald promptly handed it over to his brother. King Richard deprived all of John’s supporters of their lands including Theobald following Theobald’s support of John’s treachery, however, with Hubert’s intercession, Theobald swore loyalty to Richard and was reinstated with the whole wapentake of Amounderness in April 1194.

Theobald held the office of High Sheriff of Lancaster from 1194 to 1199, succeeding Richard de Vernon (1189-1194). As Lord of the Honour and Castle of Lancaster from 1194, Theobald was entitled to appoint sheriffs. He appointed Benedict Gernet (1194-1196); Robert Vavasour (1196-1197); Nicholas le Boteler (1197-1198); Stephen de Turneham (in 1199; during the Crusades, appointed Governor of Cyprus).

There are numerous records in the ‘Lancashire Pipe Rolls’ and the ‘Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids A.D. 1205-1307’ relating to Theobald Walter, as a witness to Prince John’s charters, and in his role as sheriff of Lancaster.

In the summer of 1200, John, newly crowned king of England, sold for five thousand marks to William de Braiose, the whole of the lands of Philip de Worcester and the whole of the lands of Theobald Walter in Ireland (probably in retaliation for Theobald’s previous personal treachery and subsequent support for Richard). On this, Philip de Worcester with difficulty escaping from the hands of the king, returned into Ireland, passing through the territories of the king of the Scots, and recovered part of his lands by waging war against the king. Theobald, by the mediation of Hubert his brother, paid to William de Braiose five hundred marks in order to regain possession of his lands, and did homage to him for the same.

Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Hovedene (ed. William Stubbs, London 1871, vol. IV, pp.152-3)

This information was recorded by contemporary chronicler and historian, Roger of Hovedon who wrote the history of England in the 12th century, dying in 1201. A professor of theology at Oxford University, Roger was employed as a clerk to King Henry II in 1174, later administering forest law and collecting royal revenue. He would have been closely associated with Rannulf de Glanville, of whom there are several reports by Hovedon, from Rannulf’s early appointments to his death at Acre during the Crusades. After Henry’s death, he probably travelled with Richard’s crusade, and personally reported on events in Acre, so would have also been associated with Hubert Walter, of whom there are numerous reports in his chronicles. There are also several reports on Theobald Walter, which form the basis for modern researchers’ knowledge of Theobald. While the first volume is based on Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and its Continuation (732-1154), Roger’s other three volumes deal with the period 1155 to 1201.

 The following records, relating to Theobald Walter in Lancashire, are taken from:

1.The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I AD 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II AD 1155-1189; Richard I AD 1189-1199; and King John AD 1199-1216; also Early Lancashire Charters of period from Reign of William Rufus to that of King John, transcribed and annotated by William Farrer 1902;

2.Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids A.D.1205- A.D.1307, ed. Wm Farrer, 1903

3.The Red Book of the Exchequer, Part I and Part II, ed. Hubert Hall, London 1896;

4.Feet of Fines of the reign of Henry II and of the first 7 years of the reign of Richard I A.D. 1182 to A.D. 1196, The Pipe Roll Society, London 1894.

5.The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, ed by William Farrer and J. Brownhill, vol 1., London 1906

6. Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Hovedene, ed. William Stubbs, vols. 2,3,4 

Red Book of the Exchequer Part I— Cartae Baronum (by Hubert Hall, London 1896, Part I, p.445- Liber Rubeus de Scarrario- ‘Cartae Baronum’ A.D. 1166):

The ‘Cartae Baronum’— In 1166, Henry II commanded his tenants-in-chief/barons in England to set down in writing the names, knight’s fees and service of their rear-vassals (viz. a feudal vassal who holds lands from another vassal, not the Crown), which was preserved in the ‘Cartae Baronum’, which has a prominent place in the history of taxation. Tenants-in-chief periodically commuted part of their military obligations through the payment of scutage, which was assessed against the barons’ ‘servicia debita’ (due service), ie. the number of knights owed to the host. A scutage rate was set at an amount on the knight’s fee, and a baron would pay that amount to acquit himself and his knights from the obligation to take part in a royal expedition. The required sum was collected by the baron from his rear-vassals, who collected it from their vassals, and so forth. Eventually the money was handed over to the king’s exchequer where the amount assessed and the amount paid in, was recorded in the pipe roll. Under this system a profit would accrue to barons who collected scutage from knights who had been enfeoffed in excess of their servicia. Henry undertook this survey in 1166 because he intended to increase the crown’s profit from scutage by making the barons liable for knights’ fees in excess of their ‘servicia debita’.

‘Liber Rubeus de Scarrario (Red Book of the Exchequer)’

“A.D. 1166- Lancastria- Thebald Walter tenet Aumodernesse per servitium 1 militis”

ie. in A.D. 1166, Lancaster- Theobald Walter holds Amounderness by service of 1 knight

Lancashire Pipe Rolls (p.262) -Appendix: The Crown Estates, or Royal Demesne of the Honor of Lancaster: 

“The Walter, or Boteler fief of Witheton (now Weeton), was probably created by Stephen, before he assumed the Crown.”

‘The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster- The Barony of Butler of Amounderness’ (ed by William Farrer and J. Brownhill vol 1., London 1906, p.350-357-  p.352)

“Soon after his accession to the Honour of Lancaster in 1189, John granted to Theobald for his homage and service all Amounderness for the service of three knights’ fees, the grant comprising the town of Preston with the demesne lands belonging to it, all the demesne lands of the hundred or wapentake with the service of knights and freemen in the hundred, the wapentake court with the pleas, and the forest of Amounderness with pleas of the forest, reserving only pleas of the crown. (ref:  Cotton. MS. Titus B,xi. Fol. 252- British Library)”

(‘Wapentake’ means an administrative division of some northern and midland counties corresponding to the ‘hundred’ in other parts of England)

After John’s rebellion was squashed and Theobald surrendered Lancaster castle to his brother Hubert, Hubert intervened on behalf of his brother Theobald who swore allegiance to Richard, and was well rewarded.

Lancashire Pipe Rolls and 5 Richard I -Series XX Charter No. VI- Theobald Walter (Lancashire Pipe Rolls pp.434-436, and pp.81-83- Notes on the Pipe Roll of 6 Richard; 5 Richard I -Series XX Charter No. VI):

Date: - 22nd April 1194

“Grant by Richard I. to Theobald Walter, of the whole Wapentake of Amounderness, including Preston and the demesne lands in the Wapentake, the service of the Knights and free tenants, and the Forest of Amounderness there, to hold ‘in capite’, by the service of three Knight’s fees. The details of the grant: the town of Preston, with the whole demesne appurtenant thereto, the whole of the demesne lands in Amounderness, and the service of the knights holding fees by knight’s service, together with the service of all the free tenants there; the Wapentake with all pleas, and the Forest of Amounderness with venison and all pleas of the Forest; pleas of the Crown only excepted. Charter witnessed by Hubert (Walter) Archbishop of Canterbury the grantee’s brother, Earl Roger Bigod, Ranulph Earl of Chester, William Marshall, Geoffrey fitzPeter 1st earl of Essex (Chief Justiciar after Hubert), the Bishops of Durham and Rochester, etc.

Held by service of 3 knight’s fees included in the scutage of £73.6.8 of Knights of the Honour of Lancashire in 1189-1190.

Of the lands so held by Theobald were also:

(i)  ½ a knight’s fee in Boxtead in Babergh Under Hundred Co. Suffolk

(ii) ½ knight’sfee, Theobald Walter, Newton, Co. Suffolk

(iii)  ¼ knight’s fee in ‘Hulmstead’ (unidentified** )

(iv)  1/3 knight’s fee in Belagh Co. Norfolk, “which Peter Walter holds.”

Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids A.D.1205- A.D.1307 (Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids A.D.1205- A.D.1307, ed. Wm Farrer, 1903, pp.171-74 ):

The 1212 Inquest list of Theobald Walter’s lands held in Amounderness of the Honour of Lancaster, included:

Weeton, Marton, Mythop, and Swarbrick, Quinscaldisherthe (belonging to Weeton), Lynholm, Greenhalgh, Esprick, Thistilton, Bradkirk, Mowbrick, Hassock, Treales, Wharles, Roseacre, Rawcliffe, Staynole, Middle Rawcliffe, and the manor and church of Belagh (Norfolk); and ‘Hulmstead’(?), and Newton and Boxted in Suffolk.

Map of Amounderness - Weeton etc 

(The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, by Willam Farrer & J. Brownbill, 1906, Vol.1, pp.12-14)

In the accounts of the sheriff of Lancashire in the second of King John, are the following entries, as noted by Theobald Blake Butler in his ‘Letters to Lord Dunboyne’ (Letters to Lord Dunboyne 1950 to 1964from Theobald Blake Butler, The Butler Society, pp.74-78):

"Homines de Preston reddunt compotum de x marcis et I palefrido pro habenda pace de loquela quam Teobaldus Walteri versus eos de gibeto et gaiol in Preston; et Teobaldus Walteri r. c. de ii marcis pro feodo dim. militis." (2 marks for one knight’s fee)

In the 4th of John, we find in the Pipe Roll of Lancashire this entry,

“Teobaldus Walteri r. c. de vi marcis pro feodo trium militum, the service by which he held all Amoundernesse”; (6 marks for 3 knight’s fees)

and another in the fifth year of John, to this effect,

“Teobaldus Walteri debet ii palefrid (palfreys) pro habenda licentia eundi in Yberniam [Ireland].”

Theobald Blake Butler continued:

Of the lands in Suffolk/Norfolk so held by Theobald Walter from the Honour of Lancaster, were the following:

½ a Knight’s fee in Boxtead in Babergh Hundred, Co. Suffolk (with Belaugh and Hulmstead, subject to a quitclaim by Theobald Walter to William fitzHervey by means of a fine by which fitzHervey, in consideration of this grant of lands which had been held by Hervey, Theobald’s grandfather, released all right to the rest of the estate which had been held by the said Hervey, in the Final Accord of 15th July 1195- (Final Accord 15th July 1195, Pipe Roll Society V.1.p20 and Book of Fees p.211 where the holding in Belagh is given as one third of a Knight). - unlike Belaugh, Boxtead was not recovered by the Butlers, and continued in the hands of William’s successors.

1/7th Knight’s fee in Newton Co. Suffolk (this has not been identified but according to the Feodary of Co. Lancaster 1199-1201 Theobald Walter held ½ a Knight’s fee here -Lanc. Pipe Rolls p.145)- thought to be Old Newton, near Haughley in Suffolk.

(In 1212 ‘Anselm de Newton held the 7th part of a knight’s fee in ‘Newton by Stow’ Co. Suffolk of the heir of Theobald Walter’,( Testa de Nevill, p.176) .‘Stow’ being Stowmarket, about 2 miles south, with Old Newton situated on Stowmarket Road.)

Map of Boxted and Old Newton in Suffolk

¼ Fee in ‘Hulmstead’ (not identified- probably near the vill of Hulme, the site of the ancient abbey of St Benets of Hulme/Holme)

1/3rd Knight’s fee in Belagh Co. Norfolk, which Peter Walter holds (ie Belaugh St Peter in the Hundred of Sth Erpingham, near the abbey of St Benets of Hulme).

The name of Hulmestead is probably related to the vil of Hulme, part of Horning where the abbey of St Benet of Hulme/Holme is situated on the River Bure, in the Hundred of Tunstead in Norfolk.

Belaugh is between Hoveton adjacent to Horning, and Horstead. As Belaugh and Hulmestead were held as part of the Honour of Lancaster, originally held by Roger de Poitou, the following information on these lands give us an idea of how these lands were part of the Honour of Lancaster.

The locations of Belagh/Belaugh, and Hulmestead


There is some confusion by historians over which ‘Belagh’ in Norfolk is the relevant one.

There are two places named Belagh in Norfolk, one spelt variously Belaugh, Bylagh/Bylaugh, just north of East Dereham in the Hundred of Eynsford, and Belaugh in the Hundred of Sth Erpingham.

While Francis Blomefield in his Topographical History of the County of Norfolk’, (v.8, pp.186) and A.S. Ellis, (Notes and Queries Series, Vol. 6, Aug 1912, by A.S. Ellis), placed the ‘Belagh’ held by the Walter family, in Eynsford Hundred (held in Domesday by Count Alan of Brittany), more commonly spelt Bylaugh/Bylagh,

Theobald Blake Butler to Lord Dunboyne (Letters to Lord Dunboyne, by Theobald Blake Butler, Butler Society, p.76) disagreed and stated that Belaugh (St Peter) was in the Hundred of Sth Erpingham, and this makes more sense when one looks at the history.


Hundreds parish Maps

based on the Norfolk Records Office ‘Norfolk Hundreds map’

However, Blake Butler to Lord Dunboyne, wrote (Letters to Lord Dunboyne, p.76):

“Belaugh is in the Hundred of South Erpingham. The late A.S. Ellis (Notes and Queries Series Vol. 6 Aug 1912) sets out to show that this holding was held in Domesday by Guingom (Wigwin) under Earl Alan of Brittany. There is, however, an error in identification here. The Belaugh with which Ellis deals lies in the Hundred of Eynsford (as with Francis Blomefield), which adjoins South Erpingham. Belaugh is in the South Erpingham Hundred- this village is in the jurisdiction of the duchy of Lancaster and belonged in the Confessor’s time to Ralph the staller (the constable- made Earl of East Anglia) who gave all that he had here to the Abbot of St Benets of Holm who by that gift had the whole advowson which passed with the Monastery till the Dissolution and then went to the see of Norwich. One part of Belaugh, then as now, belonged to Hoveton or ‘Hofton Manor’, another to Aylsesham, and another part belonged to Harold in the Confessor’s time and to Ralph de Beaufour at the Conquest. Belaugh was not amongst the land which Roger Poitou held in Norfolk in Domesday, so it is to be supposed that the manors in Norfolk and Suffolk which were held of the Honour of Lancaster, were included in this honour, or added to it after Roger de Poitou had been banished in 1102, so within the next 30 years Belaugh, Hulmestead which may be a corruption of Hoveton (adjacent to Belaugh on the east; or, more likely, a corruption of Horstead, adjacent to Belaugh on the west) in Norfolk, and Boxted and Newton (Old Newton near Haughley) in Suffolk, (both held by Roger de Poitou in Domesday) were added during the period when the Honour of Lancaster was held by William Peveral Lord of Nottingham”.

How did Belaugh and ‘Hulmestead’ end up in the Honour of Lancaster, originally held by Roger of Poitou?

Domesday Book- Belaugh: (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, ed. Dr Ann Williams, Prof. G.H. Martin, Penguin Books,.1992, pp. 1069, 1074, 1080, 1087,1135-6, 1144, 1150, 1156-7)

“Lands of Ralph de Beaufour- In Belaugh (South Erpingham) there is 1 free man of Harold’s. 1 carucate and 11 acres. Then there was 1 plough. And there are 3 acres of meadow. In the same vill there was 1 sokeman of Ralph the staller’s TRE. 15 acres and it was worth 2s in Hoveton (St John or St Peter). The same Ralph gave this to St Benet [of Hulme] and Eudo took him; now Ralph de Beaufour has [him]. In Belaugh there are 22 acres of land. 7 sokeman. Then there were 2 ploughs. It is worth 8s. Ralph the staller and Stigand had the soke and Ralph gave his portion to St Benet [of Hulme]. The whole of Belaugh is 9 furlongs in length and 3 ½ in breadth. It renders 6d. of the geld.” 

“Lands of the King- In Belaugh there is 1 carucate and 24 acres which Stigand held; there have always been 2 bordars and 8 acres of meadow. Then there was 1 plough; and it is in the valuation of Horstead.”

“Lands of St Benet of Hulme/Holme- In Belaugh there is 1 sokeman 3 acres. It is worth 6d. there are 3 acres belonging to half a church. In the same vill Ralph the staller held 10 ½ sokemen TRE. 63 acres, there are 2 acres of meadow. There have always been 2 ploughs. In the same vill there is 1 sokeman of St Benet’s. 30 acres. There have always been 2 villans and 1 bordar and 1 plough. This is in the valuation of Hoveton (St John or St Peter).” 

“Lands of the King- Horstead was held by Stigand as 4 carucates of land TRE. Then there were 19 villans, afterwards and now 16 and 9 bordars’ then there were 8 slaves, afterwards and now 4. There have always been 2 ploughs in demesne; then there were 10 ploughs belonging to the men, afterwards and now 6 and 12 acres of meadow; there is woodland for 60 pigs; there have always been 3 mills and 1 horse and 2 head of cattle and 7 pigs and 20 sheep. Then there were 30 goats and now 40 and there has always been 1 beehive. Then there used to belong to this manor 18 sokemen with 3 carucates of land which were delivered to Robert Blanchard; now they are part of the fief of Roger of Poitou.”

“Lands of Roger de Poitou- Tunstead Hundred- Tunstead the same man (viz. Roger) holds. AEfhere, a theyn of Harold’s held it TRE: 5 ½ acres There have always been 23 villans and 16 bordars. Then there were 12 ploughs belonging to the men, afterwards and now 7. 8 acres of meadow, woodland for 12 pigs. Then there were 3 head of cattle, 4 pigs, now 1. Then 140 sheep, now 100. And there are 24 sokemen, 1 carucate…. And Earl Ralph added 6 free men, 1 ½ carucates. Of these St Benet [of Hulme] has the soke and the commendation of one of them. And of the 24, there are 3 forfeitures. And the 6 free men have 4 bordars under them. Then there were 4 ploughs, now 3. And there are 2 acres of meadow. To this manor Robert the crossbowman added after earl Ralph forfeited (as he says by Godric's command but the latter denies it) 1 carucate which used to belong to Hoveton (St John or St Peter) TRE which Earl Ralph together with his wife gave to St Benet [of Hulme]. Then 7 villans and when Robert took it, there were 7, now 6. And it is worth 10s. Then there were 1 ½ ploughs and when Robert took it likewise; now 1 plough. And there are 4 acres of meadow. Then it was worth 100s. and when Robert the crossbowman held it in the king's hand of Godric (the steward) £10, now £11. And it renders 18d. of the geld.”

“Lands of St Benet of Hulme/Holme- Tunstead Hundred- Worstead (just north of Tunstead)- St Benet has always held TRE; 2 ½ carucates. There have always been 8 villans, 30 bordars, 2 ploughs in demesne and 3 ploughs belonging to the men, 8 acres of meadow. There is woodland for 16 pigs. There has always been 1 mill. And there are 3 sokemen on the same land. Then it was worth 60s, now £4. 2 churches have 28 acres in the same value. This land was for the sustenance of the monks TRE; now Robert the crossbowman has it of the abbot. And it renders 18d. of the geld. In the same vill St Benet has always held 1 carucate TRE it is worth 40s.”

(NB. Worstead is adjacent to Honing held by Robert de Glanville from St Benet of Hulme, and part of Dilham held by Robert Malet (and St Benet and Roger Bigot). It is possible that Robert de Glanville was also recorded as Robert the crossbowman- see chapter on the de Glanvilles)

St Benet of Hulme also held Horning and part of Hoveton, and several other manors in Tunstead Hundred.


                Map of Belaugh near the abbey of St Benet of Hulme/Holme

(Norfolk Records Office Hundreds Maps)

The important information summarized from the Domesday entries above:
‘The Lands of the King: In Belaugh there is 1 carucate… It is in the valuation of Horstead.’
And: ‘In Horstead, 4 carucates of land, now part of the fief of Roger de Poitou.’

‘Lands of St Benet of Hulme: In Belaugh, there are 3 acres belonging to half a church. This is in the valuation of Hoveton [St John or St Peter].’

‘Lands of Roger de Poitou: In Tunstead (adjacent to Belaugh), held TRE by St Benet of Hulme, 1 carucate was added which used to belong to Hoveton [St John or St Peter].’

This probably explains how part of Belaugh, 1 carucate, which was in the valuation of Horstead when held by the king, ‘now part of the fief of Roger de Poitou’ became part of Roger de Poitou’s Honour of Lancaster (subsequently held by the Walter family). There is also the link between part of Belaugh in the valuation of Hoveton [St Peter] and 1 carucate which used to belong to Hoveton added to Tunstead also held by Roger de Poitou. The link with Robert the crossbowman who may have been Robert de Glanville is also of interest.

This also gives the most plausible explanation for the location of ‘Hulmestead’. The fact that all these lands east of Horstead, including Belaugh, were held, wholly or in part, by the abbey of St Benets of Hulme, gives a reasonable explanation for the corruption from Horstead to ‘Hulmestead’, and is the most likely location for this unidentified property.

T. Blake Butler suggested ‘Hulmestead’ could also be a corruption of Hoveton [St Peter] with the Germanic word ‘Stadt’/stead meaning ‘town’.

It could also be the vill/town (‘stead’) of Hulme where the abbey is situated in Horning, but that has no direct association with Roger de Poitou, as all of Horning was held by the Abbey of St Benet of Hulme. It could refer to a vill that no longer exists and therefore not on a map.

Horstead and Belaugh and Hoveton are very close to St Benet of Hulme/Holme Abbey at Horning, all situated on the River Bure.

Therefore, in my opinion, the most likely location of ‘Hulmestead’ is in the vicinity of St Benet of Hulme/Holme, and near Belaugh, possibly a corruption of Horstead or Hoveton, or a separate vill that no longer exists.

The Hundreds parish map of this area shows an interesting collection of properties.

Peter Walter held the manor and church of Belaugh [St Peter] from Theobald Walter (as indicated in the fine in 1195)- Belaugh was held by King William, Ralph de Beaufour and St Benet’s of Holme in Domesday.

There are also further interesting connections nearby- Honing which belonged to the de Glanville family (inherited from Robert de Glanville who held from Robert Malet who held from St Benets in Domesday), and, according to Francis Blomefield, the de Glanvilles also held land in Horning and the vill of Holme from the abbey (unfortunately did not give a reference for this claim).

Domesday: Honing (Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, p.1137

)“In Honing, St Benet held 2 carucates TRE. Edric (of Laxfield) held it of St Benet’s so that the abbot gave to him half of its demesne and he had granted to the abbot the other half of his fief and he was thus holding it of the abbot and giving service….. The whole is worth 40s. It is one league in length and 40 furlongs in breadth. And it renders 10d. of the geld, whoever may hold there. Robert Malet holds this and Robert de Glanville holds it of him.”

Nearby, to the west of Horstead and Belaugh, Horsford and Horsham St Faith were granted by Robert Malet to Walter de Caen- he and his son Robert fitzWalter built a castle at Horsford, and founded a priory at Horsham St Faith.

NB. Horstead, Horsford and Horsham St Faith take their name from the River Hor, a tributary of the River Bure, joining near Belaugh (although Horstead is situated on the River Bure).

Feet of Fines (reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196, 
(Feet of Fines (reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196, pub 1894, Pipe Roll Society, p.21), translated by Carew (Lambeth Palace Library-MSS Manuscripts, Carew Manuscripts, Miscellaneous Notes and Abstracts, Records in Westminster, temp. Regis Richardi I):
“1195- Fine between Theobald Walter and William Hervei. The former grants to the latter the town of Boxted, with the appurtenances in Hulmested and Belag, which last Peter Walter holds. The said William quitted claim of all other lands of Hervei Walter, grandfather of Theobald.”



(Map of Lancaster by John Speed, 1610, Lancaster County Council [free download])

Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids (Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids, by William Farrer, 1903, pp.171-174):
Description of Theobald Walter’s Amounderness holding:
“Extent of the land of Theobald le Butiler (III), made September 22nd, 1249 by a jury (named):
held at Witheton (Weeton/Weton) 3 caracutes of land- viz, 12 bovates in demesne and 12 bovates in villeinage, each worth 7s.2d. yearly;
a mill worth 4 ½ marks;
a garden with a curtilage worth 7s;
the land of Svartebrec (Swarbrick) is worth 27s. yearly;
he also held one carucate of land in Mithorp worth 4 ½ marks yearly;
3 carucates of land in Marton with Lynholm worth 8l. yearly;
certain land belonging to Witheton called Quinscaldisherthe, worth 3s yearly;
a small plat worth 3d. yearly;
one carucate of land in Grenhole (Greenhalgh) by knight’s service, except (praeter)one bovate, worth 8s yearly;
from the land of Estebrec (Esprick), 12 d. yearly;
one carucate of land in Thistilton by knight’s service, worth 8d. in rents yearly;
the land of Bretekirke (Bradkirk) and Moulebrec (Mowbrick) renders 4s. yearly;
the land of Haskestoc (Hassock) renders one pound of cumin;
3 carucates of land in Treveles (Treales) worth 3l. 14s.7d. yearly in all [issues];
the land of Quarlous (Wharles) and Rasaker (Roseacre), worth 9l. yearly in all [issues];
 2 carucates in Routhclive (Rawcliffe), whereof 15 bovates of land are yearly worth 106s. 3d. and one bovate performs suit to the King’s County and Wapentake [Courts];
a mill worth 16s. yearly; a certain moor worth half a mark yearly;
a marsh worth 12d. yearly; one bovate in Staynole worth 2s.6d. yearly in all [issues];
and 2 carucates of land in Middle Routhclive (Rawcliffe) by knight’s service yielding nothing by the year.
Sum 48l.4s.11d. and 1 lb of cumin, of which he paid 10s. yearly to the sheriff [for Castle-guard and Sakefee].
Extent of the manor of Belhagh (Belagh)- Sum £12.11s.6d. (Writ dated July 7th 33rd year (1249)”

Lancashire Pipe Rolls and Early Lancashire Charters (Lancashire Pipe Rolls and Early Lancashire Charters, pp.437-438, Series XXI, Charter No 1)
AD 1189- I Richard I
“Confirmation by John Count of Mortain, to Roger de Heaton, son of Augustin, of his lands in Wesham, Heaton-in-Lonsdale, Grimsargh, Urswick, Bradkirk in Medlar and Corney in Greenhalgh held in or about 1189 when John Count of Mortain received the Honor of Lancaster. Herein the Count confirms, etc.
(5) by the grant of Hervey Walter and his son Theobald Walter the land between Scuavlowlwath and Murdeledale, and the land of Bradkirk (in Medlar).
(3) by the grant of Roger son of Orm [son of Magnus] the vill of Grimsarch, to wit half a teamland (vide Series XVII, No.III).
The Charter passed at Portsmouth, and was attested by the Count’s chancellor and a number of his knights, whose names are familiar.”


Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids A.D. 1205-1307 (Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids A.D. 1205-1307, ed. William Farrer, 1903, p.37):

The Great Inquest of Service A.D. 1212

“[The Boteler’s Fee of Weeton in Amounderness]

Theobald Walter holds the fee of half a knight, and thereof Hervey, father of Hervey Walter gave to Orm, son of Magnus, with his daughter Aliz in marriage iiij.[four] carucates of land in Routhcliffe, Thistilton and Grenhole by military service.”

(NB. A carucate of land was the amount of land tillable by a team of eight oxen in a ploughing season, usually reckoned at 120 acres.)

The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey of the Premonstratensian Order, transcribed by William Farrer, 1898, Vol.II, Part I, p.376:

“[S.D. 1194-1199]

Grant in frankalmoign by Theobald Walter etc. etc., and for the establishment of an abbey of that order, of his whole Hay of Pilling (part of Amounderness), to hold with the all the appurtenances and boundaries, free, quit and discharged from all secular exaction and service, and from deerward of the Forester, and every other thing, as freely as any alms can be given, which is situate in a free Hay; in wood and plain, in meadows and feeding grounds, in waters and pools, in vivaries and mills, in fishings, salt pits, and marshes, in dry land and wet, and in all liberties and easements of that Hay, both existing and prospective.”

Cockersand Abbey was founded on the site of a hermitage and infirmary on the north coast of Lancashire that had been established by a pious recluse known as Hugh the Hermit in the early 1180’s. The foundation was secured by two grants, the first from William de Lancaster II and his wife Hawise de Stutevill around 1184 and the second by William de Furness lord of Thurnham in 1186. These initial grants were confirmed by a Papal Bull of Protection and Privilege in 1190 which elevated the hospital to the status of a priory. The early endowments of the Lancaster family were followed by additional grants by Theobald Walter sometime between 1194 and 1199 of Pilling Hay (now Pilling), and it had now been elevated to the status of an abbey.


Map of Pilling and Cockersand Abbey, north of Weeton (marked *) (The Victoria History of the county of Lancaster, Vol. 3, p.550)

Domesday Book A Complete Translation,( ed. Dr Ann Williams, Prof. G.H. Martin, 1992, p.795)- Amounderness: Weeton= 3 carucates (line 9)

This land of Amounderness was held pre-Conquest by Earl Tosti/Tostig, Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumberland, who was brother of King Harold Godwinson. Tostig became a traitor fighting against his brother with King Harald of Norway, and was killed at Stamford Bridge in 1066. This land was granted to Roger the Poitevin (de Poitou) in Domesday- son of Richard of Montgomery 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Mabel de Bellême.

The Domesday Book: A Complete Translation’ describes ‘Waste’:

Uninhabited, desolate; land which does not render dues either because it has been physically devastated or because dues have been attached to some other Manor, or because they have been withheld. Some manors described as ‘waste’ are nevertheless credited with values and with population or other appurtenances in Domesday Book. Land on which Geld (a medieval form of land tax) was not paid, is also sometimes described as ‘waste’.

Map of Hundreds of Lancashire (The Victorian History of the county of Lancaster, ed. Wm Farrer & J. Brownhill, 1907, vol. 3, p.1)

(The Victorian History of the county of Lancaster, 1912, vol.7, p.68)

The Weeton fee in Amounderness

(The Victorian History of the county of Lancaster, 1912, vol.7, p.143)

The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, volume 7

Amounderness- Hundred of Kirkham-  Weeton-with-Preece (The Victorian History of the county of Lancaster, 1912, vol.7, pp.176-178) 

“The area of this township is 2,972 acres. It is curious to note that Preese, which has recognition in the official name, has no separate measurement, while Mythop or Mythorp, the western corner, has its area recorded as 677 acres, though it is not recognized in the township name; it is divided from Weeton by moss land. Weeton proper occupies the southern half of the township, the northern half containing Preese on the west and Swarbrick on the east. Each of the four places named occupies a piece of rising ground, one piece being divided by depressions from the others; at Weeton 112 ft. above the ordnance datum is attained, at Swarbrick and Preese 100 ft. and at Mythop 50 ft.

A road from Kirkham goes west and north through Weeton and Swarbrick to Singleton; from Weeton a cross road goes west through Mythop to Blackpool and another east to Greenhalgh.

The soil is sandy, with subsoil of clay; wheat, oats beans and barley are grown, but more than half the land is devoted to pasture.

A 'hairy ghost' is associated with Weeton.  There is an ancient burial cairn, in a field called Moor Hey. The legend goes that the farmer was ploughing on the spot, when the horses took fright and fled from the field and the man in dismay ran after, being pursued by the demon of the Fylde- something in the shape of a calf, half man half beast, goat footed and hairy. For years the cairn was untouched, but boulders being wanted for paving, it was attacked and many urns marked with dots, and pieces of rudely fashioned pottery were found, and is now pointed out as the abode of the local hairy ghost or boggart. It was called the ’Hairy ghost’ the Celtic equivalent of the ancient satyr.

(Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1850-51; History of the Fylde of Lancashire, W. Porter, 1876)

Numerous relics, chiefly of the Roman soldiery have been dug or ploughed up at different times out of the soil, bordering on the road, and found amongst the pebbles on which it was composed, and amongst them may be mentioned spears, both British and Roman, shores shoes in abundance, several stone hammers, a battle axe, a broken sword, and ancient Roman coins, all of which were picked up along its line between Wyre mouth and Weeton


In 1066 Weeton, Preese and Mythop, assessed as three, two and one ploughland respectively, formed part of the Amounderness lordship of Earl Tostig.  Afterwards the lordship was divided, Weeton becoming head of the fee of the Butler of Ireland in Amounderness, (The Weeton lordship included also Treales, Greenhalgh, Rawcliffe and Wesham) and Preese and Mythop being added to the fee of Penwortham. 

WEETON contributed 21s. 8d. to the tallage in 1205–6, the heir of Theobald Walter being a minor in ward to the king. (Lancashire Pipe Roll, p.202) In 1242 the heir held the third part of a knight's fee in demesne and the sixth part in service.(Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1, pp.152-3) From extents of Theobald le Boteler's lands made in 1249. (Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1, p.173) In 1249 there was only one mill. Certain land belonging to Weeton, called Quinschalcishurede, was worth 3s. yearly, and a plot of meadow 3d. For the dower of Margery widow of Theobald le Boteler in Weeton, &c.,( see Close, 64, m. 19.)  and 1286 it appears that at Weeton was a well-built manor-house; half the land, 12 oxgangs, was in demesne, and the other half was held by free farmers at the will of the lord; there were three mills. (Lancashire Inquests & Extents, v.1, pp.264–6) In 1291 Theobald le Boteler was commanded to do homage to Edmund the king's brother for his lands held of the honour of Lancaster;(Duchy of Lancaster, Royal Charters, 175) The manor continued in the Boteler family till about 1400;  it was then acquired by Sir John Stanley of Lathom who held the moiety of a knight’s fee in Weeton, Trealet, Wesham and Thistleton in 1431. (See Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 385. Edmund le Boteler in 1302 held half a knight's fee in Weeton of the Earl of Lancaster; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 316. James, son of Edmund le Boteler of Ireland in 1324 held the manor of Weeton with Little Marton, &c., by knight's service and the yearly rent of 10s. for a goshawk, 5s. for castle ward, and 13s. 4d., doing suit to the county and wapentake; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. The manor of Weeton was included in a feoffment by James le Boteler Earl of Ormonde and Eleanor his wife in 1329; De Banco R. 278, m. 180d. See also 325, m. 380. The Earl of Ormond in 1346 held the fishery of Marton Mere by 10s. rent, two (not three) plough-lands in Weeton, three in Little Marton, three in Treales, two in Wesham and Mowbreck by half a knight's fee, rendering 13s. 4d.; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 52–4. Eleanor Countess of Ormonde held in 1355; Feud. Aids, iii, 90. She was a plaintiff in 1356 (Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 26 d.), and tenant of Weeton in 1361; Inq. p.m. 35 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 122. The Earl of Ormonde in 1378 paid 10s. to the aid as for the moiety of a fee in Weeton, Greenhalgh, Treales, Thistleton, Out Rawcliffe, Bradkirk, Medlar and Esprick; Harl. MS. 2085, fol. 421, &c. In 1384 John (James) son and heir of James Boteler, late Earl of Ormonde, had livery of 100 marks rent from the manor of Weeton; Kuerden fol. MS. p. 56. See also Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 359, 363.)

SWARBRICK in Preese seems always to have been a member of Weeton. The 4 oxgangs of land there were in 1286 held by free farmers of Theobald le Boteler. (Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1,, p.265) This is probably the land in Preese held by the heir of Theobald Walter in 1242. ( Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1, p.153) It gave a surname to a family or families of long standing in the district.

MYTHOP, though part of the fee of Penwortham, was held as the tenth part of a knight's fee by the lords of Weeton, and has descended with it. In 1212, of the four plough-lands granted by Warine Bussel to Gillemichael, only three were held by his heirs; the other, in Mythop, was held by the heir of Theobald Walter (Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1, p.24) It was worth 4½ marks yearly in 1249 and 64s. in 1286.”Lancashire Inquests and Extents, v.1, p.172, 264)

The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, vol 1 (The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, ed. By William Farrer and J. Brownbill, vol. 1, London 1906, p.351, pp.353-54; [11] Gale, Regist. Honoris de Richmond, App.235; Genealogist [New Series], iii. 32-3; Rotuli de oblatís et fíníbus in Turri londinensi asservati, tempore regís Johannis, 369):

“Whilst Ralph fitzRobert of Middleham, co. York, was in his custody, Hubert [Walter] gave land in Saxthorpe, Co. Norfolk, to his brother Theobald; to recover which Ranulf, brother of Ralph, paid a fine in 1205.”

(Waleran, Ralph and Ranulf, the three sons of Robert fitzRalph of Middleham by his wife Helewise, daughter of Rannulf de Glanville, were each in turn in wardship of Hubert Walter. Hubert also held the wardship of Rannulf de Glanville’s grandson Hugh de Auberville, son of William de Auberville and Maud de Glanville, Rannulf’s eldest daughter.

(ref: 8 N.S. 30, where Hubert Walter has a special writ from King Richard which excuses him the scutages of his wards, including Hugh de Auberville)

“In 1196 Theobald was pardoned the quota from his three Amounderness fees to the second scutage of Normandy, assessed the preceding year, and the year following had similar remission in respect of the third scutage, having doubtless performed personal service with his knights and men-at-arms.

Shortly after this, Theobald endowed certain Cistercian monks from Furness witthe church of St Michael on Wyre and lands there, including the Hay of Wyredale, but within a year or two translated them to his possessions in Ireland, and established them at Wotheny or Wytheny, in the parish of Abington, co. Limerick. This was his first foundation in Ireland, but subsequently he endowed another house of Cistercian monks at Arklow, who likewise came from Furness, for the welfare ‘inter alios’ of his father Hervey Walter, and mother Maud de Valoines, and about the year 1200 founded a house of canons at Nenagh, in the county of Tipperary. Between 1194 and 1199, he endowed the canons of Cockersand with the Hay of Pilling, in the wapentake of Amounderness.

Upon the succession of John, who was incensed at his defection to Richard in 1194, Theobald lost possession of Amounderness, and was removed from the office of sheriff of Lancaster, held by him since Easter 1194. His Irish possessions were also seized and his fief of Limerick sold in 12 January to the king’s favourite William de Braose, but by the interest of his brother Hubert, he redeemed his lands for 500 marks and within a year became Braose’s tenant. On 2 January 1202 he obtained a re-grant from John of the wapentake of Amounderness.

Theobald married Maud, daughter of Robert Vavasour of Denton and Askwith co. York, and had with her the manors of Edlington and Shepley and lands in Bolton by Bowland co York, and Narborough, co. Leicester. He died before 8 October 1205 and is said to have been buried at Wotheney. His widow was married by her father to Fulk fitzWarin, and duly obtained her dower in Amounderness, and in her late husband’s Irish estates. Theobald’s estates in Norfolk and Suffolk, which he held of Robert fitzRoger, were committed to the latter in ward, whilst his Irish estates were delivered to William Marshall, earl of Pembroke. Theobald’s son and heir Theobald II attained his majority in 1221 and was put in possession of his English and Irish estates.”

The Victorian History of the County of Lancaster, vol.2 (p.11)- Ecclesiastical History:

“Theobald Walter on receiving a grant of all Amounderness from Richard I in 1194 immediately laid claim to the advowsons of Kirkham, Poulton, and Preston, founding it, we may suppose, upon the ground that the validity of Roger de Poitou’s gifts had been impaired by his disinherison and banishment in 1102. The result of the suits which he instituted in the royal courts was that Shrewsbury Abbey had to surrender the advowson of Kirkham church to Theobald, reserving only an annual pension of 12 marks, and the monks of Sées, while obtaining a confirmation of the churches of Poulton and Bisham, gave up that of Preston with the exception of a yearly pension of ten marks. Theobald Walter then was not allowed to inherit Amounderness and the advowsons of Preston and Kirkham with that of St Michaels-on-Wyre, which the monks of Wyresdale had enjoyed for a moment of his gift, passed to the Crown, and Henry III ultimately bestowed the two former upon his younger son Edmund, first earl of Lancaster.”


The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, vol. 1 (p.351): 
“The expedition of Prince John to Ireland in 1185, crossed from Milford Haven to Waterford in the latter part of April, whilst five vessels sailed later from Chester with the ‘harnesium’ of those of John’s company who had been left behind for lack of transport. Immediately upon landing, Theobald received from John a grant to Glanvill and himself of 5 ½ cantreds in Limerick; Before 1189 he received from John, the fief of Arklow, afterwards confirmed to him by William Marshall on becoming ‘jure uxoris’ lord of Leinster.”

Prince John granted to Theobald five and a half cantreds in the NE part of the kingdom of Limerick on their arrival in Ireland in 1185. As modern places, these are the baronies of Tullagh, Co. Clare; Clonlisk and Ballybritt, Co. Offaly; Eliogarty, Upper and Lower Ormond, and Owney and Arra, Co Tipperary; Owneybeg, Clanwilliam and Coonagh Co Limerick. (History of Medieval Ireland, by A.J. Otway-Ruthven, 1980, p.67; Ormond Deed, No.26, Vol.1, 1172-1350 AD, ed. Edmund Curtis, 1932)

Theobald also received substantial lands in Leinster which included the prime arable lands of Gowran in co. Kilkenny.
The Strongbow inheritance in Leinster passed to his daughter and heiress Isabella de Clare who married William Marshall in 1189 to whom it then passed, whereupon he had to wrest control of these lands back from Prince John who had parcelled out these lands to his followers, one of whom was Theobald. He was the only one of John’s grantees allowed by William Marshall to retain his holdings in Leinster under Marshall’s overlordship.

Between 1185 and 1189, “John Lord of Ireland, with the assent of his father, Henry King of England, granted to Theobald the castle of Arklow with the vill of Arklow and all lands pertaining thereto, to hold to him and his heirs by the service of a knight’s fee for all service, witnesses: Ranulf de Glanvill, Hubert Dean of York, William de Wenneval, Alard [John’s] Chamberlain etc. Given at Winton”. (Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. I, 1172-1350 AD, No.17)

Before 1205, Marshall regranted the vill of Arklow and the castle there to Theobald, by the service of one knight; also ‘Machtalewi’ by service of 4 knights; the vill of Thelagh [Tullagher, parish of Dysartmoon, barony of Ida, Co Kilkenny] in Ossory by the service of 4 knights. (Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. I, 1172-1350 AD, No.31)

In this same period, 1185-1189, John granted Hubert the vill of Luske, in Co. Dublin, just north of Dublin: (Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. I, 1172-1350 AD, No.863(3) )

In 1214, Reginald Pontibus was custodian of Theobald’s lands in Thurles and the marriage of Theobald’s heir to his daughter (which did not eventuate).(Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland 1171-1251, ed. H.S. Sweetman, p.81, nos. 514, 516)

The Close Rolls 24 August, 16 John (1214), No.514: “The king commands Henry Archbishop of Dublin cause to be given to Reginald de Pontinbus or his emissary full seisin of the castles Dorles, Roskere, Loske, Armolen and Kakaulis which belonged to Theobald Walter in Ireland.”

In 1200, John confiscated and sold Theobald’s Irish estates in Munster to one of his favourites, William de Braose, one of the most powerful barons in John’s court. The lands were not restored until January 1202, when, with the assistance of Hubert, Theobald recovered his Irish estates in Munster by payment to William de Braose of 500 marks, and became mesne tenant under him. (Annal of Roger de Hoveden, II, p.513; Lancashire Pipe Rolls, p.172)

Annals of Roger de Hoveden (d.1201- chronicler and historian to Henry II):

Ormond Deed No. 26 vol.1, 1172-1350

Ormond Deed No.27:
“Acknowledgement by Theobald Walter that he and his heirs owe to William de Brahusa [Braose] and his heirs, the service of 22 knights, of the land which he holds in Munster; so that if William de Brahusa be not able to acquire the lands and services which William de Burgh holds of the said Theobald within the said 5½ cantreds, same to be void. But if Theobald make good the said services, and de Brahusa acquire the said land which the said William de Burgh holds, the said lands and services to remain to Theobald and his heirs. Witnesses: Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, Walter de Laci, William de Braosa, Philip de Braosa, Walter de Braosa, sons of William de Braosa, etc [A.D. 1201].”


It is important to look at the reasons that led this family’s rise in status in the mid to late 1100’s, which was a direct result of their close relationship to the de Glanville family.

Hubert Walter, son of Hervey Walter, and his rise to power

Much has been written about the life and deeds of Hubert Walter, and this blog is not going to go into such detail. Two highly researched books were published on Hubert's life and are recommended reading:

Hubert Walter, lord of Canterbury, and lord of England, by C.R. Young (1968)

Hubert Walter, by C.R. Cheney (1967)

and a detailed outline of Hubert's remarkable life and accomplishments, 'Walter, Hubert' by Robert C. Stacey in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 

However, looking at the writings of Hubert's contemporaries in the church, and the details of his burial in Canterbury Cathedral, gives us an interesting insight into his personality and character.

Under Rannulf de Glanville’s sponsorship and tutorage, Hubert Walter received a wealth of administrative and legal training and rose to prominence around the royal court during the 1180’s. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: “as Ranulf de Glanville’s chief deputy in England, Hubert Walter was involved in the full range of administrative business for which the justiciar was responsible, serving as one of the barons of the exchequer during the 1180’s and sitting regularly with Glanville and others as a justice of the exchequer court. He developed considerable expertise as a justice during these years, despite not having spent any time in the schools, and in later life his lack of formal education was sometimes an embarrassment to him and was a target of a series of tales from the pen of the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis).

During the last few years of Henry II’s reign, the king employed him in chancery and diplomatic work also. Hubert carried money to south Wales for the king’s troops, and conveyed messages between England and the king in France.

Rannulf de Glanville is credited with writing, or overseeing the writing of ‘Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Anglie’ (The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of England), the earliest treatise on the laws of England. The actual authorship has been widely debated, and Hubert Walter and Geoffrey fitzPeter are actually considered to be the likely authors, or atl eats to have contributed heavily to the final work.

Hubert was often a witness to various charters sponsored by Rannulf, including a confirmation charter by Prince John c.1189-90 confirming Rannulf’s donations to Leiston Abbey also witnessed by Theobald (R.H. Mortimer, ed., Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory Charters, No. 29, p.78); a Charter for an agreement between Butley and Leiston over the parish churches of Leiston and Aldringham and the demesne tithes of Leiston c.1186 (Cartulary of Leiston Abbey…, No. 31, p.79); and Rannulf’s Foundation charter to Leiston Abbey c.1186, also witnessed by Theobald and Roger Walter (Ibid, No. 27, p.76)

Hubert's career path, secular and ecclesiastic:

1185- Hubert was rector of Halifax in Yorkshire;

1186- during a vacancy at York, King Henry II appointed Hubert dean of York Cathedral;

1188- Hubert founded a Premonstratensian monastery at West Dereham;

1189- he was appointed Bishop of Salisbury by King Richard;

1193- Hubert was elected Archbishop of Canterbury until his death in July 1205;

1193- King Richard appointed Hubert, Chief Justiciar of England, until his resignation in 1198;

1199- King John appointed Hubert, Chancellor, until his death in 1205.

Shortly after the first coronation of King Richard I on 3 September 1189, Hubert Walter was appointed Bishop of Salisbury, as recounted in ‘The Chronicles of Henry II and Richard I’ by Benedict of Peterborough (ed. By William Stubbs, 1867, v.II p.85):

After attending Richard’s coronation in September 1189 as Dean of York, he was appointed as Bishop of Salisbury, and, in 1190, along with his uncle Rannulf de Glanville and Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, Hubert Walter followed King Richard to the third Crusade which had been launched to retake Jerusalem after its fall to the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187. Hubert became the chief negotiator with Saladin following the deaths of Archbishop Baldwin and Rannulf de Glanville at the siege of Acre. He became the leader of the English contingent, and quickly reorganized the camp, using the dead archbishop’s possessions to pay wages and buy food for the starving soldiers. He distinguished himself in several battles and his stature grew. When Richard fell ill, Hubert Walter arranged a truce in the fighting, and soon after, on 2nd September 1192, negotiated a more permanent peace treaty with Saladin, acceding Muslim control of the city, but guaranteeing free access for unarmed Western Christian pilgrims and merchants to Jerusalem. He then led one of the first contingents of Western pilgrims to visit Jerusalem. When Richard was captured and ransomed on his way home in 1192-93 by the Duke of Austria, Hubert visited him, negotiated terms for Richard’s release, and then returned to England to raise his enormous ransom through taxes. Richard had been so impressed with Hubert’s skills, he gave him letters concerning his ransom, and giving the command that Hubert be appointed Chief Justiciar of England and elected as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

During Richard's time in captivity, there was political turmoil in England between the political authority appointed by Richard before he left on the Crusade. On hearing of his captivity, Richard's brother John set himself up as an alternative regent and possibly the next king. John went to Paris and formed an alliance with King Philip. Fighting broke out between John's supporters and those loyal to Richard. Contemporary chronicler Roger de Hoveden gave an account of Hubert's role in intercepting damning letters sent by John from Normandy (Annals of Roger de Hoveden [d.1202], Vol. II A.D. 1181-1201, translated by Henry T. Riley, 1853,   p.313):

"There came into England, not long before the king's arrival (in March 1194), Adam of Saint Edmund's a clerk, and one of the household of earl John, being sent by him to England with letters for the purpose of fortifying his castles against the king, his brother. Having come to London, and it being in his power to cross over without any hindrance, he went to the mansion of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, and dined with him; where he uttered many boasts about the prosperous circumstances of his master, and the familiar acquaintanceship that existed between the king of France and his master, and mentioned that the king of France had delivered up to him the castle of Driencourt and the castle of Arches, which were to have been placed in the hands of the archbishop of Rheims, and said that he would have delivered still more to his master, of his master had had men in whom he could place confidence. The consequence was, that with these and similar boasts he exasperated the lord archbishop of Canterbury, and all who heard these speeches; but still, from respect to the table, no one laid hands on him. However, after dinner, when the before-named Adam was on his return to his lodging, the mayor of London laid hands on him, and detained him, and took possession of all his documents, in which were contained the commands of earl John, and gave them up to the archbishop of Canterbury. On the following day, having convened in his presence, the bishops, earls and barons of the kingdom, he shewed them the letters of earl John, and the purport thereof; immediately on which, by the common consent of the council of the kingdom, it was decided that earl John should be disseised of all his lands in England, and that his castles should be besieged; which was accordingly done. On the same day, Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, Hugh bishop of Lincoln, Richard bishop of London, Gilbert bishop of Rochester, Godfrey bishop of Winchester, the bishops of Worcester and Hereford, and Henry bishop elect of Exeter, together with the abbats and many of the clergy of the province of Canterbury, met together in the chapel of the Sick Monks at Westminster, and pronounced sentence of excommunication against earl John, and all his abettors and advisers, who had disturbed the peace and kingdom of the king of England, or should disturb the same, unless, desisting from their hostilities, they should come to give him satisfaction. Upon this, all the persons who had charge of the siege of the castles belonging to earl John, returned to their homes. The archbishop, with a large force laid siege to Marlborough, which was in a few days surrendered to him;  In like manner, the castle of Lancaster, of which Theobald Walter, his brother had charge in behalf of earl John, was surrendered to him;  Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall was also surrendered to him, which Henry de la Pomeroy, after expelling the monks, had fortified against the king; and the said Henry, on hearing of the king's arrival died of fright. These three castles, however, Marlborough, Lancaster and St Michael's Mount, were surrendered before the King's arrival; while Nottingham and Tickhill made a stout resistance to the besiegers. But on hearing of the king's arrival, the people in the castle of Tickhill, after conferring with the bishop of Durham, who had promised then safety to life and limb, surrendered to him, in the king's behalf, the castle of Tickhill." (The garrison of the castle of Nottingham, under William de Wendeval and Roger de Montbegum, continued to hold out against the king, and after a long siege and battle, threw themselves on the king's mercy.)

As Hoveden revealed, Hubert personally accepted the peaceful surrender of Lancaster castle by its constable, his brother Theobald Walter whom Hubert now reconciled with the king. Theobald appears to have been instrumental in securing the submission to King Richard of John’s Lancastrian supporters. The threat of excommunication would have been a strong incentive for Theobald's quick capitulation to his brother.

Roger de Hoveden reported in Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Hovedene, ed. William Stubbs, (London 1871), iii, p.237

Theobald surrenders Lancaster castle to brother Hubert in February 1194, after the surrender of various castles including Marlborough:

King Richard returned from his captivity in March 1194 and seized John’s most important castle at Nottingham. Richard's siege of Nottingham Castle lasted 3 days, from the 25th to 28th March 1194. Once the besieged determined they were besieged by the king rather than the agents of the Council resistance collapsed. Two accounts of the siege exist: the Chronicle of Roger de Hoveden who was present at the siege, and the verse Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal. Hoveden (pp.239, 243), related the interchange between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

During the first day of the siege, Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived at Nottingham with his archiepiscopal cross carried before him. This caused friction and tempers to flare. The Archbishop of York, Geoffrey, the illegitimate son of Henry II and therefore half-brother of King Richard and John, was already at Nottingham and took exception to the Archbishop of Canterbury having his cross carried before him outside his own province, Nottingham being in the province of York, and on this matter complained to the king. Geoffrey, although in his own province, apparently had not had his cross borne before him, for reasons not related. On hearing of Geoffrey’s complaint, Hubert saw an opportunity to make mischief on the vexed question of the primacy of Canterbury over York. The archbishops appear to have met with one another and Hubert loftily regaled Geoffrey with: “I carry, and ought to carry, my cross throughout England as primate of all England. But you may not carry your cross and perhaps you ought not to carry it; and these things being so, I appeal to the lord pope”. The immediate outcome of this incident was not recorded. Geoffrey remained uncharacteristically silent. He may have been commanded to do so by the king who would not have welcomed the raising of such a controversial issue in the middle of a siege. Geoffrey was already under a cloud concerning numerous complaints against him, which were to be given an airing in the Council following the siege. 

Their mutual antagonism dated back to the vacant seat of York, when Hubert, as dean of York, was recommended for the archbishopric. However, Richard demanded that his half-brother Geoffrey be elected, and Hubert was compensated with the bishopric of Salisbury.

Constables of Nottingham castle, William de Wenneval and Roger de Montbegon and 12 others surrendered on 27th March, but a hard-core element of resistance in the castle continued after their departure. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted further negotiations and induced the others to surrender the castle and place themselves on the king's mercy on 28th March. Thus the siege of Nottingham Castle was over.

When King Richard seized Nottingham, John’s rebellion was over and he fled to Normandy. John was stripped of the Honors of Lancaster and Eye, but was allowed to keep Ireland. Theobald was handsomely rewarded for transferring his loyalty to Richard, appointed sheriff of Lancaster and re-granted the whole of the wapentake of Amounderness in Lancaster in which his hereditary fee of Weeton was situated. 
On 21 April 1194 at Winchester (just after the king’s second coronation) Theobald had witnessed King Richard’s charter for the Cistercian abbey of Mary des Dunes. (The itinerary of King Richard I: with studies on certain matters of interest connected with his reign, by Lionel Landon, London Pipe Roll Society, 1935, p.90) In 1195 Theobald is found as an itinerant justice at Salisbury alongside an impressive array of judges including his brother Hubert. (Pleas before the king or his justices, 1198–1212, vol. iii, ed. D.M. Stenton (Selden Society, vol. 83 for the year 1966, London, 1967), p. cvii). He was also appointed, in 1194, collector of the revenue raised by licences to hold tournaments, and in 1197-8 acted as a justice itinerantIn 1197, he assessed tollage on Colchester, and with William de Glanville he was responsible for the collection of amercements in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire.

Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Hovedene, ed. William Stubbs, (London 1871), iii, p.268

Theobald appointed collector of tournament license revenues, by Hubert.

Richard left for Normandy on the 12th May 1194, and did not set foot in England during the remainder of his reign. In 1195-96, Theobald was excused his quota on the three Amounderness knight’s fees, as well as Robert Grelley on his 12 fees and Roger Constable of Chester on his 8 fees, as they had attended personally upon the King in the expedition to Normandy, together with their knights (Lanc. Pipe Rolls p.95).

Archbishop of Canterbury, Hubert Walter took part in Richard’s 2nd crowning at Winchester just before Richard returned to Normandy in May to wage war against King Philip II of France who had taken Richard’s French lands during Richard’s captivity. By the time of his death, Richard had recovered all his lands, which John subsequently lost again when Philip successfully invaded Normandy and Anjou.

As Richard spent a total of 6 months in England during his reign from 1189 to 1199, Hubert was responsible for governing the country in his absence, and he had the reputation as an extremely capable, systematic and efficient administrator and lawmaker. He held the confidence of the king’s subjects despite having to raise enormous sums needed for war and the king’s ransom.

Pollock and Maitland in their ‘The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I’ v.1, p.169 (1898-1903), noted how hard-working Hubert was. ‘The system created by Henry II was so strong that it would do its work though the king was an absentee. Term after term, at least from 1194 onwards, a strong central court sat at Westminster. Until the middle of 1198, its president was the archbishop Hubert Walter, and shortly after he had resigned the justiciarship he became chancellor. During the autumn term of 1196, for example, we may see him presiding in court on October 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30, November 4, 6, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and December 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, until we wonder when he found time for the duties of his archiepiscopate.” (Feet of Fines, 7 & 8 Ric.I)

The Pope and the ecclesiastical magnates of England objected to Hubert’s secular position of chief justiciar as incompatible with his role as Archbishop of Canterbury. When Hubert tried to resign as justiciar in 1196, Richard reportedly rejected the request, declaring that ‘there was no one else upon whom he could rely to rule the county’. In 1198, Hubert again resigned, citing ill health due to his advanced age, which Richard accepted. However, Hubert returned to Normandy at Richard’s request to negotiate peace with France, where the news of Richard’s death reached him.

When Richard died in April 1199, Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury crowned King John in Westminster Abbey on the 27 May 1199, on which day John appointed Walter his chancellor, who, upon taking office, instituted a new, fixed schedule of chancery fees. He kept John’s excesses on a tight leash, until his death in July 1205, within months of his brother Theobald’s death. Unleashed, John’s unreasonable demands and behavior led to an uprising by the barons and landholders in his realm leading to the signing of the charter of rights named the Magna Carta in 1215, a year before his death.

Hubert had been replaced as chief justiciar in 1198 by Geoffrey fitz Peter who had worked closely with Hubert and was equally skillful in the laws. King John, on receiving the account of Geoffrey’s death in 1213, reportedly exclaimed: “then by the feet of God! Now am I, and not before, King of England!” and again: “Fitz-Geoffrey! Is now in Hell! Where most certainly he and archbishop Hubert of Canterbury will cordially shake hands” (Hollingshead, Baker’s Chronicle, p79).

(NB. The family link continued: Geoffrey fitzPeter’s son by his second wife Aveline de Clare, John fitzGeoffrey justiciar of Ireland, held the wardship of Theobald 4th Chief Butler (1242-1285), transferred to him in January 1251 on payment of a substantial sum, and in c.1268, Theobald married Joan, the daughter of his former guardian John fitzGeoffrey, and had at least 8 sons and one daughter together.)

Hubert died on 13 July 1205, a couple of months before his brother and heir Theobald who died August-Sept 1205.

According to chronicler Matthew Paris, when John received tidings of Hubert’s death, he supposedly rejoiced and exclaimed “Now for the first time I am King of England!” (“Nunc primum sum rex Angliæ!”). (Matthew Paris’, Historia Anglorum, ii, ed. F. Madden, 1866, p.104 [written early 13th century])

Matthew Paris, self portrait from his ‘Historia Anglorum’

British Library MS Royal 14CVII f.6r

Hubert died at the manor of Teynham, Kent, reportedly of a high fever resulting from an untreated carbuncle on his lower back. His death was described by medieval chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, as taking four days, and related that he gave vestments, jewellery and altar furnishings to his monks which were confiscated by King John after Walter’s death. He was buried the following day in the Trinity Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, next to Thomas Becket. His tomb was opened in 1890, and the vestments and ornaments removed, now displayed in the cathedral library. His effigy can be found on the external wall of the cathedral.

Photos courtesy of Peter Butler

Hubert's tomb in Canterbury Cathedral

(NB. Dates of justiciarship incorrect)

Images of Hubert on his tomb

Hubert's tomb is illustrated in Matthew Parker's Cantuariensis archiepiscopi De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae et privilegiis ecclesia Cantuariensis’, 1572, repub. 1729 (although incorrectly ascribed to Archbishop Theobald who died in 1161):

An article published in the Archaelogia Cantiana, vol.20, 1893, pp.280-288 "Burial Places of the Archbishops of Canterbury" by Canon Scott Robertson, describes Hubert's tomb:
"Of the 16 Primates' tombs still visible in Canterbury Cathedral, the earliest is that of Hubert Walter, who died in 1205, and was buried beside a window on the south side of the Retro-choir, called Trinity Chapel. The tomb is shrine-like, with no effigy, but it bears six carvings of heads. These heads are differently attired. On two of them are mitres, which suggest that the prelate here commemorated held only two sees in succession, as Hubert Walter did. He was elevated to the primacy in 1193 from the See of Salisbury to which he had been consecrated in 1189. A third head wears a cap, which may be that of a Dean or Canon, as Hubert Walter had been Dean of York from 1186 to 1188. As he had been a Judge or Justiciary in the reign of Henry II; the Chief Justiciary of England under King Richard I; and Lord Chancellor under King John (who, like his brother Richard, was crowned by Hubert Walter), the other three heads may have represented him in these dignities.
On Saturday the 8th of March 1892, one of the top or roof stones of the pyramidal tomb was lifted and a lighted taper was inserted. To the surprise of those who were looking in, there was seen a complete stone coffin with moulded lid. on Monday the 10th March, the contents of the coffin were fully examined."

"The coffin of Caen stone tapers from a width of 30 1/2 inches at the head to 22 1/4 inches at the foot. The lid of Purbeck marble is 7 inches thick. The total length of the coffin lid is 6 feet 9 3/4 inches.
When the lid was lifted, the body of an Archbishop in full pontificals was disclosed. His crosier was lying across the body from the right foot to the left shoulder. A chalice and paten had been placed beside him. His head rested upon a stone pillow, in which a hollow had been hewn to receive the head. Upon the head of the Archbishop was a plain mitre made of silk, without any embroidery or ornament. This silk was merely folded into shape; the two infulae or pendants seem to have been attached to it with a couple of stitches.
The woollen pallium had decayed away; but two gilt pins, each 4 1/2 inches long, which fastened the pallium to the chasuble, near the shoulders, still remain, and the leaden weights which kept down the ends of the pallium were also found. They were flat pieces of lead which had been covered with black silk. The heads of the pallium-pins were shaped like daisies or marguerites. Each marguerite has 16 petals. Some prefer to call the flower a marigold.
Around the primate's neck was the collar of his amice. it was lying loose, as the amice itself had decayed away. This collar is a wonderful example of embroidery in gold thread on silk. The width of it is only 3 1/2 inches and its length 22 1/4 inches. yet within this small space are embroidered seven distinct figurines, each within a roundel. A jewel (of mock turquoise) was originally inserted between each pair of roundels, but these are gone
The chasuble of the Archbishop is of that ample form  which was used in the 12th century. It is composed of silk, perhaps white originally but now of the old-gold colour seen also in the mitre, in the ground work of the amice collar, and in the primate's sanctuary shoes. This very ample chasuble is bordered, at its edges, by a gold ribbon, about 1 inch wide, formed of green silk and gold thread woven together. etc
Part of the stole, woven in silk with various combinations of the tau and the filfot patterns, still remain, and a piece of the Primate's hair shirt was found near the waist.
The hands having withered away to little more than mere bones, the Archbishop's signet ring of gold was lying loosely. It contains a Gnostic gem of the 4th century, formed of a green stone called plasma, and adorned with a figure of a serpent standing erect, about whose head are rays of light. Probably Hubert had worn this signet when he was Bishop of Salisbury, and did not discard it when he became Primate. Pope Innocent III settled in AD 1194 that thenceforward an episcopal ring should be of gold, solid and set with a precious stone on which nothing was to be cut, plain without device.
The sanctuary shoes of Archbishop Hubert Walter are very remarkable. They are of silk, covered with a profusion of embroidery in gold thread. Their depth is such that they must have surrounded the ankles. The principal design is formed of a large pear-shaped open curves. Two of these are interwoven at the toe. Between the toe and the instep are five of these pear-shaped curves, their broad ends being towards the toes, and the pointed end of each is finished with a jewel (a garnet) set in gold thread as in a ring. On both sides of the instep are two figures; the upper pair being large heraldic lions passant; the lower pair being bird-headed monsters, with tails that end in heads. Around the heel of each shoe we see several repetitions of a square figure, from each corner of which projects a fleur-de-lis, while a similar fleur-de-lis projects from the centre of each side of the square. 
Upon the Primate's legs were buskins or leggings of silk, adorned with the filfot in various combinations.
Near the feet was the 'apparel' of the alb, that garment itself had entirely disappeared having gone to dust.
The crozier is in fragments, but it had been quite 5 1/2 feet long. Its round stem is of cedar wood, about three-quarters of an inch in daimeter. At the bottom was a long spiked ferule of metal, which was found close to the Primate's right foot. Near the top was a large silver gilt boss, in which were four antique red gems, one of which has dropped out. The crook itself was small and plain, of silver gilt, and has become separated from its staff. The crosier was found lying across and resting beside the left shoulder of the Archbishop.
The chalice is unique. It is more ornamented than any early coffin-chalice previously found. The broad hemispherical bowl is wholly gilt inside, and has a decided lip curling outward. The exterior is adorned with engraved patterns which are parcel gilt.... etc. Inside the bowl there is, on one side, at the bottom, a discoloration of the surface. Whether this was produced by wine or by other action one cannot be sure. The gilding is perfect beneath the stain."

"The small plate-like paten has especial interest from its double inscription in 12th century capitals. Upon the rim is one inscribed band, gilt, and upon the curved central part there is a second. That upon the dished centre surrounds a carefully engraved figure of the Holy Lamb. A cruciform nimbus encircles the head of the Lamb. 
The inscription around this central figure is:
= 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.'
The inscription around the rim is:
"Ara crucis, tumulique calix, lapidisque patena,
Sindonis oficium (sic) candida bissus (sic) habet."
Canon Francis Holland translates it thus:
The Alter, Chalice, Paten, Veil,
O Lord of Quick and dead,
These are the Cross, the Tomb, the Stone,
And napkin round They Head."

Photos of Hubert's vestments including his exquisite shoes, can be viewed on the Canterbury Cathedral website:

Archbishop Hubert Walter's armorial
Lambeth Palace Library Archives: MS 555: Armorial of the Archbishops of Canterbury (also contains notes on the etymologies of the surnames of the Archbishops)- ff.12v-13r Hubert Walter

 [written for Archbishop John Whitgift (Archbishop 1583-1604)]

And as depicted in Matthew Parker’s ‘Cantuariensis archiepiscopi De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae et privilegiis ecclesia Cantuariensis’, pub. 1572:

The heraldic symbols used include the golden cross; stars which symbolize honour, achievement and hope; and the eagle which in early medieval iconography usually represented St John the Evangelist.

Carte wrote (p.xxv): this noble family of Butler, bears for its crest ‘a falcon within a plume of feathers’. Whether that is also the origin of Hubert’s falcon/ eagle can’t be determined.



Much of what we know of Hubert comes from the pen of contemporary chroniclers such as Giraldus Cambrensis and Gervase of Canterbury.

The editor of Giraldus Cambrensis’ book, John S. Brewer commented:

“It is not often our good fortune, at least in these earlier periods of history, to see the same events presented from opposite points of view, especially by contemporaries, each of whom possessed such excellent opportunities of knowing the truth, as Gervasius and Giraldus.”

1.Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury: The Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury, ed. by William Stubbs, (2 vols, London: Longmans 1879-80)

Gervase of Canterbury (c.1141-c.1210) was an English chronicler, a monk of Christ Church Canterbury. In 1193 he attended the new archbishop Hubert Walter in capacity of sacristan until c.1197, and was a great supporter of Hubert. He continued writing until his death c.1210.


2.Giraldi Cambrensis- Opera, ed. by J.S. Brewer, vol. iii, (London 1863)

-De Invectionibus, Lib.IV

-De Menevensi Ecclesia Dialogus

-Vita S. David

Giraldus Cambrensis, or Gerald of Wales, (c.1146-c.1223) was a Cambro Norman archdeacon of Brecon (Wales), and an historian and chronicler. As a royal clerk and chaplain to King Henry II and two archbishops, he travelled widely and wrote extensively. He accompanied Prince John in 1185 on John’s first expedition to Ireland and wrote his Topographia Hibernica, an account of his journey. He followed with an account of Henry’s conquest of Ireland, Expugnatio Hibernica, and wrote a further eight volumes before his death. He was often in conflict with Hubert Walter as archbishop of Canterbury who refused to support his appointment as Bishop of St David’s in Wales. As a result, his writings scathingly attacked Hubert’s character, which is revealed in the following volume:

Giraldi Cambrensis- De Invectionibus, Lib. IV- The editor, John Brewer, in the Preface, wrote:

“This is a bitter and merciless attack on the real or supposed enemies of Giraldus, more especially those who had taken an active part in hindering or contesting his advancement to the see of St David, foremost amongst there, as might be supposed, stands Hubert Walter, and his officials, witnesses and his dependents come in for their share of that ‘black salt’ which Giraldus administers with unsparing hand, and with ruthless disregard to the conventional decorum of later times. He launches the weapons of ridicule and abuse at the archbishop of Canterbury, with an unction and absence of discrimination which show that the task was by no means an unpalatable one. He is hardly at the pains to conceal the delight with which he holds up to the world’s laughter the imperfect scholarship of his dignified adversary, and reproduces the scandalous anecdotes which circulated from mouth to mouth among the ribald followers of Richard I and King John.

But his bitterest indignation, as might be expected, was reserved for the archbishop, the only opponent whose hostility was of real importance, and whose temper was as cool as it was inflexible. It was quite enough to irritate one of so fiery a temperament, and proud of his Welsh descent as Giraldus, to find that a man of obscure parentage, and of no reputation for scholarship, should not only calmly and successfully counteract all his measures, and frustrate his most cherished designs, but reject almost scornfully those proffers of ‘accommodation’ (viz. other bishoprics), which Giraldus more than once stopped to make. The archbishop would listen to no terms:- he could be moved by no threats and no promises. He had resolved that Giraldus should not be bishop or archbishop of St David, and that resolution taken, no influence of earth would shake it. With the dogged determination, which belonged to his nation, the archbishop set to work to resist and counteract the appointment. All because Giraldus was a Welshman, allied by blood or affinity to all the magnates of Wales, and proud of his descent and who would, by his eloquence, exercise an influence over the excitable minds of his countrymen, and might prove dangerous to the peace of the two countries and injurious to the ecclesiastical supremacy of Canterbury, which he explained to the Pope.

Smarting under the sense of injustice, Giraldus could not prevent his thoughts from reverting to his own condition, and that of his great rival, and drawing comparisons by no means favourable to the latter. Giraldus has collected and preserved a number of little traits and anecdotes of the archbishop. Throwing aside the more scandalous, to which he himself attaches no credit, and which he afterwards publicly retracted, these charges amount mainly to two: first, an absence of that ecclesiastical scholarship which was to be found in most of Hubert’s contemporaries; and secondly, an excessive devotion to secular occupations, more suited to his position as the highest judicial officer in the realm than to his spiritual functions as archbishop of Canterbury.

It is thus that Giraldus taxes him in this treatise, and repeats the charge in his Retractions:

“From the time of the archbishop’s boyhood, when he ought to have been laying the foundation of his education in Donatus and Cato**, he was mixed up with the public officials of the realm, and did not fail to oppress the poor with arbitrary exactions”. “That good man, the bishop-elect of Bangor”, he tells the Pope, “was called from the cloister, and I from my study. But from what place was the archbishop called? From the Exchequer, forsooth! And what is the Exchequer? It is the place of the public treasury in England, viz. a kind of square table in London where the king’s dues are collected and counted. This was the study, and this the gymnasium in which the archbishop had grown old, this was the training from which he was summoned to all gradations of his promotion in the church; like most of your English bishops. For in England, ‘qui bene computat, bene disputant!’”

(**- Aelius Donatus, c.354 A.D. was the most famous Latin grammarian of late antiquity and his works were widely used throughout the middle ages.

The Distichs of Cato is a Latin collection of proverbial wisdom and morality by Dionysius Cato from 3rd or 4th century, widely read and admired in medieval schools)

It was at this period of the archbishop’s life, and during the fiscal disorders doubtless of the reign of Richard I, that those acts took place of which Giraldus on public record accused the archbishop, though probably he was only acting in his official capacity. This Giraldus states that Hubert was deposed from  the justiciarship the year before, for sending letters abroad in the king’s named without the king’s authority. And besides similar letters and other acts of dishonesty contrary to the statutes of the realm, victuals and vendibles were shipped by the archbishop into France; and on this charge before I had left England, he had been several times summoned to Normandy to make his answer before the prince”.

Another accusation is of a graver character, but rests on no better foundation. It arose probably from the archbishop’s disputes with the monks of Canterbury, with whom he was no favourite.

 “In his negotiations”, says Giraldus, “he uses two kinds of measures; he sells by the small and buys by the large. Though the whole of the lands belonging to the church of Canterbury, which are many and extensive, he has issued an enactment that no one shall sell a blade of corn to any but himself or buy any except himself”.

Instead of supplying the necessities of the churches in his province, as his predecessor St Thomas (Becket) did, Giraldus accuses him of exporting corn in bad years; of buying arms and armour when a war was imminent between France and England, foreseeing, and in fact advising a muster and scrutiny to be made shortly after, and thus enhancing the price.

 “His wickedness”, he continues, “is incomparable. The convent of the Holy Trinity at Canterbury has felt the effects of it. So has the church of St Mary, London, when it was set on fire. ‘Barbatus’ felt it, when he was hanged although innocent. Wales felt it shortly after in the bloody massacre of 3,000 of its inhabitants. The elect of Bangor felt it, over whose head an Englishman was thrust. And now in the last place the abbot of St Augustine’s, Canterbury, has felt it:- that special son of the Church of Rome, who was thrown upon the ground in his own church as he was celebrating mass, beaten, and thrust out of doors.”

In a general review of his writings compiled by himself late in life, after he had been reconciled to the archbishop, and when the latter had closed his career, Giraldus in a more genial mood admits that he was prompted in these accusations more by a feeling of bitterness than strict regard to justice, and guided rather by common fame than actual sight and hearing; yet even with these admissions he has reiterated the charge of worldliness and ambition with which he here taxes the archbishop.

 “To say truly and briefly what I think of him; he was a man of high stomach and great activity, and among all his other good qualities he was remarkable for unparalleled munificence. To obtain the means and money proportioned to the grandeur of his conceptions he outstepped the bounds of moderation in acquiring riches, and was every way too careful and anxious. Would that he had been as wise in spiritual as he was in worldly things; as great a lover of divinity as he was a hankerer after vanity; as fervent in charity as he was full of cupidity; as hungry and thirsty for divine grace as he was for worldly pomp and popular favour! However, he was a bridle to the king (John) and a bulwark against tyranny; the peace and comfort of the people; a refuge in his own days for great and small alike against the oppression of the government, as was seen shortly after. For immediately after his death tyranny reigned supreme, and as if the bar imposed by his presence upon the imprudent and impudent self-will had been swept away and broken, it raged high, not only against human but divine things”.

In conclusion Giraldus expresses his conviction that if the piety and learning of Hubert’s predecessor could have been combined with his activity, firmness, and courage, he might have proved a worthy successor to the martyred St Thomas (Becket- Archbishop of Canterbury).”

The editor then gives a short sketch of the archbishop’s life and history:

“As he passed for an old man at his death in 1205, the date of his birth may presumptively be carried back to the earlier years of the reign of king Stephen.

It is probably that his early intimacy of Hubert with Ranulph de Glanville and his training under the justiciary may have given occasion to the sarcasm of Giraldus, that whilst other lads were employed on Donatus and Cato, Hubert was less creditably engaged in mastering the quirks of the law or counting money at the table of the exchequer.

According to an account by Gervasius (Gervase of Canterbury), Hubert’s admirer, the future archbishop was tall in stature. And such an excellent soldier that even Coeur de Lion admired him. But, adds Gervasius, he was more a man of the world than a scholar; more prudent in advising than skillful in rhetoric, “ingenio calleus licet non eloquio pollens.” In conjunction with Ranulph de Glanville, according to the same authority, he ruled in a measure the whole kingdom of England, for the justiciary had great faith in Hubert’s advice. “So, devoting himself to politics and intent on the business of state, he cared more for human than divine things, and was skilled in all the laws of this kingdom.”

In the midst of the din and bustle of preparation for the Crusade, he was created bishop of Salisbury by Richard in the abbey of Pipewell in the autumn of 1189; was consecrated in October by archbishop Baldwin, the patron of Giraldus; and in February 1190 passed over from England to Normandy with a gay and royal company, intent more on pleasure and crusading. The company consisted of the queen mother Eleanor, who as wife and widow had twice taken part in these expeditions, Alice the sister of Philip Augustus (of France), of whom Giraldus has preserved a sinister rumour as the main instrument of dissension between Richard and his father Henry II, Baldwin archbishop of Canterbury, the common friend of Hubert and Giraldus, John earl of Montaigne, the king’s brother, (and Ranulph de Glanville) with others of less note. This is not the place to tell how the motley assemblage straggled through France, without apparently one serious thought of the preparations required for such a distant expedition; how the most enthusiastic fell off by degrees, and under one pretense or another found means to stay behind or return. Among the truants must be numbered Giraldus himself, who pleaded poverty- Pope Innocent, made him pay a fine proportioned to the expenses he would have incurred had he joined the expedition in person.

From Marseille, Baldwin and Hubert took shipping in August for Sicily; were dispatched in company of Ranulph de Glanville from Messina, at the latter end of September 1190 to the succour of the besieging army at Acre; arrived at Tyre shortly after Michaelmas, whilst Richard was still loitering about Messina, and quarrelling with the Greek population. On the 12th of November, we find them at the head of the Crusaders ready to give battle to Saladin beneath the walls of Acre. The narrator singles out from many others the valorous bishop of Salisbury, who took part in the engagement, “as a brace soldier in arms, in the camp an experienced general, in the church a true shepherd.” His two dearest friends, de Glanville and Baldwin, died before the close of the year, and Hubert was left executor to the latter. Amidst the confusion caused by their loss, and the insubordination of the ill-disciplined and disorderly host whose ranks were daily thinned by fever, famine and debauchery, the genius of Hubert alone shone conspicuous. He alone gave indications of that aptitude for business he had previously displayed in England. In that ill-managed and hapless expedition of which the history has yet to be told in its amplest pages of enthusiasm, misery, vice and dishonour, it was Hubert’s forethought alone that made provision for the starving host. It was he who saved the Franks from discomfiture by the Turks. When Richard fell ill of typhus at Jaffre, and despair and disorder rose to an ungovernable height, the rapidly diminishing host would have melted away like snow had not Hubert compelled it to remain and assume a confidence it did not feel; and by this device he obtained an honourable truce from Saladin.

It was by his prudence that Richard was induced to bring to its termination an adventure, for the successful prosecution of which he lacked all the requisite qualities, courage alone excepted. The bishop’s judgement and conduct were appreciated by the Turks. Of the few that were permitted to gratify their curiosity and devotion by a visit to Jerusalem, the bishop of Salisbury was the only one that Saladin treated with respect, and to whom he offered hospitality. He condescended even to ask an interview with him. And when Saladin demanded what sort of a person was his great rival Richard, and what did the Christians think of the Saracens, Hubert had the art of the courtier to say, that Richard was the bravest, the manliest, the most magnificent prince in the world, and the only difference between him and Saladin consisted in the difference of their religion. When told by the Turk, who was highly pleased with the interview, to ask what he would, Hubert only requested that mass might be celebrated according to the Latin rite, at the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, and Nazareth.

When Richard had been taken prisoner on his return, he sent Hubert to England to quell the disturbances occasioned by his own captivity, and the designs of his brother John. The bishop reached England in April 1193; here he displayed the same skill in quieting internal dissension as he had shown capacity for managing a campaign in the Holy Land. At this time the see of Canterbury fell vacant; but the least appearance of interference in the election would have been resented by the monks of Canterbury, and Richard was not in a condition to enforce obedience. In this dilemma he wrote to his mother Eleanor from Worms, urging her to visit Canterbury in person, and use all her influence to obtain the election for Hubert. The impressive and even passionate terms of the letter show in what estimation he was held by Richard. She is entreated by all the devotion of which he is capable, by all the love she entertains for her son, to see to this business at once, and get it successfully accomplished:

“For you know, whilst I am in captivity I am compelled to yield to the importunities of great men, and supplicate for those whom I would on no account have promoted. Whatever I may have written or shall write hereafter, my resolution is settled and unalterable, that the bishop of Salisbury shall be promoted to Canterbury; my choice is fixed upon him and on no other. If he is not yet elected, or if by any untoward circumstances, he cannot be elected (which God Forbid!), then I strictly enjoin that Canterbury remain without a pastor until my return”.

In this instance the king’s apprehensions were groundless, the monks spontaneously elected Hubert.

It was the beginning of March when the archbishop and Richard once more met on the soil of England after many months of separation and many dangers shared in common. It was a meeting that both must have regarded with the profoundest emotion, and the old chronicler who narrates the story was evidently affected by it. They caught sight of each other half-way between Canterbury and Rochester, when Richard dismounted and stooped with bended knee to the earth. The archbishop prostrated himself before the king, and then both rising, rushed with tears of joy into each other’s embrace.

The Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, i, p.524:

The editor, Brewer continues:

The gratitude of Richard, though profuse, was no more than the archbishop had deserved: he had by his good management preserved for Richard his kingdom; he had counteracted the ambitious and dangerous designs of John; he had been the main instrument in procuring Richard’s ransom. Very few prelates in those days would have ventured on the urgent measures required for obtaining the sum demanded, or could have succeeded in extorting from the religious bodies, who owned a precarious obedience to the secular power, so large a sacrifice of their revenues. Certainly, no archbishop had ever before contrived to keep the monks of Canterbury in good humour, whilst stripping them of their most precious relics, and melted down chalices, crosses, and massive candelabra to satisfy the avarice of Richard’s captors.

The same year saw the highest judicial and spiritual offices in the realm accumulated in Hubert’s person. Next year he was appointed legate, with power of visiting all churches in England.

His favour with king John, whom he had conquered, controlled and opposed, was even greater than his influence had been with his brother Richard. On the day of his coronation, John appointed Hubert his chancellor, much to Hubert’s delight, if the story by Knighton be true. (ie.Chronicon Henrici Knighton, Monachi Leycestrensis, ed Joseph R. Lumby, London 1889, pp177-178- Henry Knighton, d.1396, English chronicler and an Augustinian canon, wrote a history of the period 1066 to 1337, in a compilation of earlier works:

Deinde in Paschate Johannes accinctus est gladio ducatus Normannie apud Rothomagum, et in Ascensione domini coronatus est in regem apud Westmonasterium ab Huberto Cantuariensi episcopo. Quo dis Johannes rex fecit Hubertum esse suum cancellarium. Cui de hoc officio nimis postmodum glorianti, ait quidam, “Domine non deberes gloriari de jugo servitutis, audivimus enim de cancellario archiepiscopum factum, sed non e converso.”)

The Charter Rolls of King John contain numerous proofs of the favours bestowed by that monarch on his zealous partisan. The honours and emoluments accumulated in his person have no parallel in English history, with the exception of Cardinal Wolsey. Besides the highest ecclesiastical and judicial offices, he had a special grant of all clerks-prisoners and their forfeitures (Ch. Rolls p68); a confirmation of all wardships granted him by Richard I, not to mention a number of minor instances of honour and emolument, all indicating the confidence reposed in him by his sovereign.

His admirer, Gervasius, a monk of Canterbury, when commenting on this part of the archbishop’s history, has given us various indications of the grand and munificent ways in which the archbishop disposed of his ample revenues. He provided at his own cost all the expenses required for the coronation of John and his queen Isabella.

“Hubert was so liberal, large, and bountiful in the entertainment of the poor and of strangers that whatever he possessed seemed to be the common property of all. He was wonderful in the construction of great and magnificent buildings. He was devout in the performance of divine service. He was a man of such unparalleled magnificence that men of inferior minds thought him arrogant. In recovering property which had been alienated or lost to the church, he was zealous and pertinacious that people called him covetous”

Then after enumerating several instances in which the archbishop had succeeded in regaining ecclesiastical estates usurped by laymen, the historian proceeds thus:

“ But because no man is perfect in all things, and nothing can be done by any man, however justly, which may not be misinterpreted by malicious critics, he gave too ready a hearing to detractors, thinking perhaps that what they told him proceeded from charity, whilst it proceeded only from malice; and so it was that he sometimes gave offence to his best friends. This however, was one great proof of his constancy, that he employed about him those whom he found faithful in their obedience and truthful in their words. Like Solomon he hated ‘lying lips and a deceitful tongue’. The dispute which Giraldus, archdeacon of St David’s, had stirred up to the contempt and hatred of the archbishop was brought to nothing; so that Giraldus himself, who a little before attempted to become archbishop of St David’s, and laboured hard to withdraw seven bishops from their lawful subjection to the see of Canterbury, threw himself at the feet of the archbishop, making humble satisfaction for his wickedness and presumption, and resigned his archdeaconry into the archbishop’s hands. After a short interval the archbishop gave Giraldus a living of twenty-five marks, and he became the sworn clerical subject of the archbishop, of whom he had once been the unrelenting enemy, And because the same Giraldus affirmed in the court of Rome, that he had been elected to the see of St David, the archbishop had his election annulled and another chosen in his place.” Let others say what they please of the deeds of Hubert, I consider this to be the greatest of all, that he retained seven bishops in their subjection to the church of Canterbury, and trampled down the rebellious craft of Giraldus,

Little more remains to be said of the archbishop. The residue of his life was spent in comparative tranquility. Even the monks of Canterbury began at last to appreciate the integrity of his motives, and respect the firmness which never stooped to unworthy or ignoble purposes. His conduct might not perhaps correspond exactly to that ideal of religious forbearance and holy contemplation which men are accustomed to associate with monastic vows and expect in a spiritual guide and father, yet he was not indifferent to the best interests of religion, or backward in those works of charity in which the piety of that age loved to display itself. He was careful in his visitation of monasteries and churches; zealous in enforcing strict discipline.

A few days before his death, the archbishop paid a visit to Canterbury to view the works then going on under his directions, and after he had heard mass, and summoned the chapter, he addressed the assembled monks in a few touching words; the more touching considering the speaker and his audience, and that these were the last gleams of the setting sun soon to sink and he hid from them forever. He and they had been ranged face to face in better and pertinacious opposition; they had impeached him in the court of Rome as an incendiary and a homicide; they had been instrumental in his disgrace, and the loss of the justiciaryship under Richard I, to whom he had proved a most diligent and faithful servant; they had compelled him to pull down his church of Lambeth, a work on which he had evidently set his heart, and which was endeared to him by the memory of his predecessor Baldwin, whose eyes he had closed in the sad and eventful pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

Addressing the monks, he said, “Consider, dearly beloved, consider diligently what things among you need reform and apply to them due correction. I shall die when it shall please God, and be seen no more; but do you who cannot die give your best diligence to advance the honour and usefulness of your church. If I have offended any of you in anything, I now crave pardon; and I entirely forgive all those who have offended me. And be assured, brethren, I have incurred opposition more for your advantage than my own.”

So, giving his benediction, he took his final leave of the convent, and retired to Teynham, where he died unexpectedly on the 13th July 1205.”

Historical Works of Gervase of Canterbury, The Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II and Richard I, by Gervase, ed. William Stubbs (2 vols, London: Longmans 1879-80), Gervase reports on the death of Hubert, Volume ii, p.413:

The Chronicle of Jocelin de Brakelond, a monk at the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, reveals some personal information about Hubert’s mother and his birthplace:

p.121- Hubert Walter, the Archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see, and Justiciary of England, after he had visited many churches, and had by right of his legation made many changes and alterations, was on his way home from his natural mother, who lived at Dereham and was then dying. (ie. Hubert was papal legate from 1195-1198)

p.122, Jocelyn then recounts a dispute between the abbot of St Edmund’s and Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury: However, these and other altercations being brought to a close, the legate began to flush in the face, upon the abbot lowering his tone, and beseeching him that he would deal more gently with the church of St Edmund, by reason of his native soil, for he was native born of St Edmund, and had been his fosterling. And indeed, he had reason to blush, because he had so unadvisedly outpoured the venom which he had bred within him.

This confirms that Hubert was born in the County of Suffolk, not at West Dereham as suggested by Tanner in his introduction to the founding of West Dereham abbey by Hubert Walter.

The following is the whole chapter in Jocelin’s Chronicle, recounting the events of Hubert’s encounter with the abbot of St Edmund’s:

troubles within

{118} THE cellarers quickly succeeded each other, and every one of them at the year's end became involved in a great debt. There were given to the cellarer, in aid, twenty pounds out of Mildenhall, but this did not suffice. After that, fifty pounds were assigned to the cellarer each year from the same manor; and yet the cellarer used to say that this was not enough. The abbot, therefore, being anxious to provide for his security from loss and comfort, as well as for our own, knowing that in all our wants we must have recourse to him as to the father of the monastery, associated with the cellarer a certain clerk of his own table, by name Ranulf, so that he might assist him both as a witness and companion in the expenses and receipts. And lo! many of us speak many things, murmurings thicken, falsehoods are invented, scandals are interwoven {119} with scandals, nor is there a corner in the house which does not resound with venomous hissing.

One says to another, "What is this that is done? Who ever saw the like? There never was such an insult offered to the convent before. Behold! the abbot has set a clerk over a monk; see, he has made a clerk a master and keeper over the cellarer, as if he could do no good without him. The abbot thinks but lightly of his monks; he suspects his monks; he consults clerks; he loves clerks. 'How is the gold become dim! How is the fine gold changed!'" Also one friend says to another, "We are become a reproach to our neighbours. All of us monks are either reckoned faithless or improvident; the clerk is believed, the monk is not. The abbot had rather trust the clerk than the monk. Now is this clerk a whit more faithful or wise than a monk would be?"

And again, one friend would say to another, "Are not the cellarer and sub-cellarer, or can they not be, as faithful as the sacrist or the chamberlain? The consequence is, that this abbot or his successor will put a clerk along with the sacrist, a clerk with the chamberlain, a clerk with the sub-sacrists to collect the offerings at the shrine, {120} and so on with all the officials, wherefore we shall be a laughing-stock and derision to the whole people."

I, hearing these things, was accustomed to answer, "If I, for my part, were cellarer, I had rather that a clerk were a witness for me in all my transactions; for if I did well he would bear witness of the good. If, again, I had, at the end of the year, become laden with debt, I should be able to gain credence and to be excused by the testimony of that clerk."

I heard, indeed, one of our brethren, a man truly discreet and learned, say something upon this subject which struck myself and others very much. "It is not," he said, "to be wondered at, should the lord abbot interpose his exertions in the safe conduct of our affairs, especially as he wisely manages that portion of the abbey which belongs to him, and is discreet in the disposing of his own house, it being his part to supply our wants in case of our carelessness or inability to do so. But there is one thing," he added, "which will prove dangerous after the death of the abbot Samson, such as has never come to pass in our days or in our lives. Of a surety, the King's bailiffs will come, and will possess themselves of the abbey, I mean the barony which belongs to the abbot, as was done in the past after the deaths of other {121} Abbots. As after the death of Abbot Hugh, the King's bailiffs likewise desired to appoint new bailiffs in the town of St. Edmund, alleging as their warrant that Abbot Hugh had done this, in the same way the King's bailiffs will, in process of time, appoint their clerk to keep the cellary, in order that everything shall be done therein by him, and under his discretion. And then we shall be told that they are entitled to act in this manner because Abbot Samson did so. Thus they will have the power of intermixing and confusing all the concerns and rents of the abbot and of the convent; all which, indeed, Abbot Robert, of good memory, had, with due consideration, distinguished in account, and had separated one from the other."

When I heard these and such like expressions from a man of great thought and foresight, I was astonished, and held my peace, not wishing either to condemn the lord abbot, or to excuse him.

Hubert Walter, the Archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see, and Justiciary of England, after he had visited many churches, and had by right of his legation made many changes and alterations, was on his way home from his natural mother, who lived at Dereham and was then dying. {122} He sent two of his clerks over to us, bearing the sealed letters of their lord, wherein it was contained that we should give credit to what they should say and do. These men inquired of the abbot and convent whether we were willing to receive their lord, the legate, who was on his way to us, in such wise as a legate ought to be received, and, in fact, is received by other churches. If we were agreed to this, he would shortly come to us, for the purpose of making order concerning the matters and affairs of our church according to God's will; but if we were not agreed, those two clerks could more fully communicate to us their lord's behest. Thereupon the abbot called together most of the convent, and we came to the decision that we would give a gracious answer to the clerks thus sent to us, saying that we were willing to receive their lord as legate with all honour and reverence, and to send together with them our own messengers, who, on our part, should communicate the same to the lord legate.

Our intention was that, in the same way as we had done to the Bishop of Ely and other legates, we would show him all possible honour, with a procession and ringing of bells, and would receive him with the usual solemnities, until it should {123} come to the point, perhaps, of his holding a visitation in chapter. If he were to proceed in doing this, then all of us were to oppose him might and main to his face, appealing to Rome, and standing upon our charters. And the lord abbot said, "If at this present time the legate will come to us, we will do as is aforesaid, but if indeed he shall defer his arrival to us for a time, we will consult the lord Pope, and inquire what force the privileges of our church ought to have, as being those which have been obtained from him and his predecessors, against the archbishop who has now obtained power from the apostolic see over all the privileged churches of England." Such was our determination.

When the archbishop had heard that we were willing to receive him as legate, he received our messengers graciously and with giving of thanks. And he became favourable and kindly disposed towards the lord abbot in all his concerns, and for certain pressing causes deferred his visit to us for a time. Therefore, without the least delay, the abbot sent to the Pope the same letters which the legate had sent to him and the convent, wherein it was contained that he was about to come to us by authority of his legation, and by the authority of the {124} Pope, and, moreover, that to him was given power over all the exempt churches of England, notwithstanding the letters of exemption obtained by the church of York or any other.

The abbot's messenger expediting the matter, our lord the Pope wrote to the lord of Canterbury, asserting that our church, as his spiritual daughter, ought not to be accountable to any legate, unless he were a legate of our lord the Pope sent a latere, and enjoined him that he should not stretch forth his hand against us; and our lord the Pope added as from himself a prohibition against his exercising jurisdiction over any other exempt church. Our messenger returned to us, and this was kept a secret for many days. Nevertheless, the same was intimated to the lord of Canterbury by some of his adherents at the court of our lord the Pope.

When, at the end of the year, the legate made his visitation through Norfolk and Suffolk, and had first arrived at Colchester, the legate sent his messenger to the abbot, privately letting him thereby know that he (the legate) had heard say that the abbot had obtained letters contravening his legation, and requesting that he, in a friendly way, would send him those letters. And it was done accordingly, for {125} the abbot had two counterparts of these letters. The abbot, indeed, did not pay a visit to the legate, either by himself or by proxy, so long as he was in the diocese of Norwich, lest it should be thought that he wished to make fine with the legate for his entertainment, as other monks and canons had done. The legate, disconcerted and angry and fearing to be shut out if he came to us, passed by Norwich, by Acre and by Dereham to Ely, on his way to London.

The abbot meeting the legate within the month, between Waltham and London, on the King's highway, the legate censured him for having refused to meet him, as being justiciary of our lord the King whilst he was in that country. The abbot answered that he had not travelled as justiciary, but as legate, making visitation in every church; and alleged the reason of the time of year, and that the passion of our Lord was nigh at hand, and that it behoved him to be concerned with Divine services and cloister duties.

When the abbot had opposed words to words, and objections to objections, and could neither be bent nor intimidated by threatening language, the legate replied with scorn that he well knew him to be a keen wrangler, and that he was a better clerk than {126} he, the legate, was. The abbot, therefore, not timidly passing by matters inexpedient to allude to, nor yet arrogantly speaking upon matters that were to be discussed, in the hearing of many persons made answer that he was a man who would never suffer the privileges of his church to be shaken either for want of learning or money, even if it should come to pass that he lost his life, or was condemned to perpetual banishment. However, these and other altercations being brought to a close, the legate began to flush in the face, upon the abbot lowering his tone and beseeching him that he would deal more gently with the church of St. Edmund, by reason of his native soil, for he was native born of St. Edmund, and had been his fosterling. And, indeed, he had reason to blush, because he had so unadvisedly outpoured the venom which he had bred within him.

On the morrow it was communicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that the lord Archbishop of York was about to come as legate into England, and that he had suggested many evil things to the Pope concerning him, stating that he had oppressed the churches of England by reason of his visitation to the extent of thirty thousand marks, which he had {127} received from them. The legate, therefore, sent his clerks to the abbot, begging him that he would, with the other abbots, write to our lord the Pope and justify him.

This the abbot willingly did, and thereby offered his testimony that the lord of Canterbury had not been to our church, nor had he oppressed any other church, speaking according to his conscience. And when the abbot had delivered those letters to the messengers of the archbishop, he said before us all that he did not fear, even if it were the archbishop's wish to deal deceitfully with those letters. The clerks answered on the peril of their souls, that their lord did not contemplate any subtle dealings, but only wished to be justified. And so the archbishop and the abbot were made friends.{128}


The rise to power of Hubert Walter and his elder brother Theobald can be directly attributed to the rise in power of their uncle Rannulf de Glanville, and their close relationship with Henry II and his sons and successors, Richard and John. However, Richard would recognize the extraordinary talents of Hubert, and his subsequent promotion to an even higher level of power than his uncle was entirely due to his own skills and personality.

Rannulf’s father, Sir Hervey de Glanville distinguished himself in many of the affairs of state under Henry I, particularly those connected with his counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. In mid-1147, he was part of a contingent sent to Lisbon to drive out the Moors from that city, which they accomplished later in the year, after a long siege and battle. In 1150, Sir Hervey informed the assembled Lords of Norfolk and Suffolk when they had met to consider the liberties that belonged to the Abbot of Bury, that “he was a very old man, having constantly attended the County and Hundred Court for above 50 years with his father, before and after he was knighted, as they all knew.”. That indicates he was born about 1080. (Ref: ‘Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville from A.D. 1050 to 1880’, by Wm. U.S. Glanville-Richards, London 1882, p.26)

After a period as sheriff of Yorkshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire (1163-1170), Rannulf was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire and Westmorland and Northumberland in 1173-74, due to the outbreak of a major war with William the Lion, King of Scots. William was a key player in the Revolt of 1173-74 against Henry II, led by Henry’s sons. In 1174, at the Battle of Alnwick, during a raid in support of the revolt, William recklessly charged the English troops shouting “Now we shall see which of us are good knights!”. He was unhorsed and captured by Henry’s troops led by Rannulf de Glanville and taken in chains to Newcastle, then Northhampton, and then transferred to Falaise in Normandy. Henry sent an army to Scotland and occupied it. As ransom, and to regain his kingdom, William had to acknowledge Henry as his feudal superior and agree to pay for the cost of the English army’s occupation of Scotland by taxing the Scots. William acknowledged this by signing the Treaty of Falaise and was allowed to return to Scotland. In 1175, he swore fealty to Henry II at York Castle. (Wikipedia) The successful campaign leading to the capture of William resulted in Rannulf’s promotion by Henry II. It would appear that Theobald had accompanied his uncle on this campaign in the north, as he is the only brother missing from his father Hervey’s donation charter to Butley Priory about this time, and given Theobald was a knight in Rannulf's household, this is quite plausible. After a long career as sheriff and justice itinerant, Rannulf was appointed Chief Justiciar in 1180. This was the beginning of the rise in the fortunes of the Walter family.

After Hubert’s appointment as Chief Justiciar by King Richard in 1193, Hubert is credited as being responsible for one of England’s most remarkable periods of administrative development. His reforms of England’s justiciary, exchequer and chancery resulted in a more profitable and efficient government. He is also thought to have introduced the custom of keeping an archival copy of all charters, letters, patents and feet of fines, or record of agreements reached in the royal courts, in the chancery. Clanchy wrote, “the first ‘foot of fine’ is endorsed with the statement ‘This is the first chirograph that was made in the king’s court in the form of three chirographs, according to the command of his lordship of Canterbury and other barons of the king, to the end that by this form a record can be made to be passed onto the treasurer to put in the treasury’. The agreement concerns Walter’s brother Theobald who was the plaintiff.” (From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307, 2nd ed. By M.T. Clanchy, 1993, p.68)

On the day John was crowned King of England, Hubert was appointed his chancellor, and he immediately instituted a new, fixed schedule of chancery fees and to organize all chancery writs and charters in chronological order on special rolls. His legacy is his reputation as being very innovative in his approach to government, and a remarkable archive of government records that survive to this day, first begun by his mentor Rannulf de Glanville. It was rare that a royal servant would gain and retain such a level of trust by three successive kings.

Theobald’s subsequent appointments can also be attributed, firstly to his uncle Rannulf, and then to his brother Hubert.


Of all works in the history of English antiquities, King William’s magnificent land survey manuscript, the ‘Domesday Book’ of 1086, is a starting point for research. William sent men over all England into each shire, assessing each man’s holdings and their values, to determine what taxes were due to the Crown and assess where power lay after the wholesale redistribution of land following the Conquest. Many of these lands passed down through the family heirs, making it a useful document for determining possible inheritances in the early 12th century.

The Domesday survey is divided into the ‘Little Domesday Book’ covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and is a more detailed survey down to numbers of livestock and types of land use, which has been useful in this particular research project; and, the ‘Great Domesday Book’ covering much of the remainder of England except for lands in the far north, County Durham, and parts of Wales, and contains far less detail. The survey recorded who held the lands, and the value of the lands, pre- and post- Conquest, in 1066 and 1086. Both volumes are organized into a series of chapters listing the fees held by a named tenant-in-chief of the king. William had granted lands directly to his Norman followers, making them tenants-in-chief who owed homage and fealty to the king and held their land in return for military service. The tenants-in-chief formed the highest stratum of Norman feudal society below the king, namely religious institutions, bishops, Norman warrior magnates, and a few Saxon thegns who had made peace with the Norman regime. Some of the Norman magnates held several hundred fees, some in more than one county, eg. Robert Malet who features prominently in this research quest, son and heir of one of King William’s companions at the Conquest, William Malet, granted 221 lands in Norfolk/Suffolk (mostly held by his Saxon predecessor Eadric of Laxfield) plus 46 lands in several other counties including Yorkshire.

Only a few of the holdings of the more prominent magnates were held in demesne (ie. retained for his own use and occupation), most having been subinfeudated to knights, generally military followers of the tenant-in-chief who were often his feudal tenants from Normandy, who thereby became their overlord and was owed payment, such as military service and tax collection by their sub-tenant. In turn, the sub-tenant was overlord of the freemen, bordars, and villans who worked the lands and occupied the villages, and managed the lands under their control, and the collection of taxes from the proceeds of the crown lands.

While the original Domesday Books were written in abbreviated Latin, the publication of books such as ‘Domesday Book: A Complete Translation’ edited by Dr Ann Williams and Prof. G.H. Martin (Penguin Books, 2003), and ‘Domesday Book and the Law’ by Robin Fleming (Cambridge Uni Press, 1998) make it much easier for researchers; Domesday Book websites giving summaries of landholders; and the original page images can be viewed in several publications of the different counties in Domesday which can be found in ‘’ and ‘’.

Most of the following records are freely available online at and, with lists of available medieval records and website links at (go to Sources- Public Records- particularly useful for accessing the numerous Pipe Rolls).

The term ‘charter’ represents official documents, often written or issued by a religious, lay or royal institution which typically provides evidence of the transfer of landed or movable property (ie. grants, leases and agreements) and the rights which govern them. It was very rare to find dated charters, and historians date these documents within a certain time frame using information gathered on the witnesses eg. from the monarch’s years of reign and known itinerary; the period the witnesses were active in office as bishop, justice, sheriff etc.; reference to a datable event; contextual clues; Latin language patterns and the usage of particular phrases and vocabulary which changed over time etc.

Between the time of the Conquest in 1066 and about the start of the reign of Edward I in 1307, of the estimated one million charters that have survived over that 240 year period, over 90% of charters do not bear dates, and very few charters survive before 1160. William I introduced into the royal chancery the then-current Norman custom of issuing charters without dates or other chronological markers. This custom continued until the reign of King Richard I, when, for the first time, documents issued from the royal chancery began regularly to include a date, probably during Hubert Walter’s term as justiciar.

Some survived as originals, but most as copies in cartularies, which were produced periodically during the 11th to 15th centuries, and which would occasionally introduce transcriptional or other changes and inaccuracies, and sometimes forgeries ‘to alter past intent’. Another difficulty is that multiple and legitimate rewritings of documents have been made by scribes who may have modernized or slightly altered the language and punctuation of the documents being transcribed which can completely alter the meaning and intent of the document. (ref: Dating Medieval English Charters, by G.Tilahun, A. Feuerverger & M. Gervers, The Annals of Applied Statistics, Dec 2012, v.6, No.4, pp.1615-1640- JSTOR)

Regesta Regum Anglo Normannorum 1066-1154’ is a calendar/collection of royal acts of the period- charters and writs, and some related documents, of Kings William I and II, Henry I, and Stephen and Empress Matilda, in four volumes:

v.1 Regesta Willelmi Conquestoris et Willelmi Rufi 1066-1100 (ed. H.W.C. Davis,1913)

v.2 Regesta Henrici Primi 1100-1135. (ed. Charles Johnson and H.A. Cronne, 1956)

v.3 Regesta Regis Stepheni ac Mathildis Imperatricis ac Gaufridi et Henrici Ducum Normannorum, 1135-1154 (ed. H.A. Cronne and R.H.C. David, 1913)

 v.4 Facsimiles of Original Charters and Writs of King Stephen, the Empress Matilda and Dukes Geoffrey and Henry 1135-1154 (ed. H.A. Cronne and R.H. C. Davis, 1919)


The ‘Pipe Rolls’ (Great Rolls of the Pipe), the ‘Testa de Nevill’ (or Book of Fees), and the ‘Red Book of the Exchequer’ give particulars of many noble families, but apart for one surviving Pipe Roll from A.D.1130 Henry I, there are no other surviving Rolls until the time of Henry II (1154-1189), when a continuous series of Rolls contain matter referring to every social grade. The Pipe Roll of 1130 is described as the earliest comprehensive account of royal income and expenses to have survived anywhere in Europe. Its detail and scope are not equalled for 25 years in England.

Unfortunately, apart from the Pipe Roll of the first year of King Richard I A.D. 1189-1190, and for the third year of the reign of King John ie. ‘Rotulus Cancellarii: vel, Antigraphum magni rotuli pipæ de tertio anno regni regus Johannes (viz. the roll of the Chancellor or Antigraph of the great roll of the pipe, 1201-1202), and ‘Rotuli de Liberate ac de Misis et Praestitis, Regnant Johanne’ ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1844, (viz. Liberate Rolls of 2nd, 3rd and 5th years of the reign of King John- original writs issued at the Court of Chancery under the great Seal of England), which are readily available, the remaining Pipe Rolls for the reigns of Richard I and John are not freely available online, but can be found in most national libraries..

The Pipe Rolls were collections of financial records maintained by the English Exchequer. They record payments presented to the Treasury by the sheriffs and other royal officials, rolled into a tight roll. They include payments made to the government and debts owed to the Crown.

The sheriffs appointed to each county were the king’s representative in the county, performing a variety of administrative and judicial functions, and were responsible for collecting the revenues from the royal estates and other sources. They also convened and led military forces of the shire, executed all writs and judged both criminal and civil cases, although from the time of Henry II, the sheriff’s jurisdiction was severely restricted as a result of the growing jurisdiction of the king’s court (curia regis).

The ‘Red Book of the Exchequer’ (Liber Rubeus de Scaccario) was a 13th century manuscript compilation of office memoranda of the English exchequer including some 12th century fragments of documents. This includes the Cartae Baronum or Charters of the Barons, a survey commissioned by the Treasury in 1166 requiring each baron to declare how many knights he had enfeoffed with the names of all. The Register accurately determined the liabilities of the tenants in respect of military service or scutage (money paid to his lord in lieu of military service) or any further assessment wherein the knights’ fee served as the unit of taxation.

The ’Testa de Nevill’/’Liber Feodrorum’, also called the Book of Fees, was a listing of feudal landholdings, complied in 1300 from earlier records back as far as John’s reign, for the use of the Exchequer. It records the names, titles and holdings of families of rank who held fiefs held ‘in capite’ or in-chief, ie. directly from the Crown, including the feudal tenures of either knight fees and services or serjeanty (specified duty either than knight) provided to the crown for the lands and privileges they received in return.

Other useful records from the 12th century and early 13th century are:

The ‘Feet of Fines for the County of Norfolk and County of Suffolk for the reign of King John 1199-1214’ (copies of agreements in land disputes held in the itinerant courts);

Feet of Fines of the reign of Henry II and of the first 7 Years of reign of Richard I, 1182-1196;

Feet of Fines of reign of Richard I- (7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Years);

Calendar of Feet of Fines for Suffolk; ‘Rotuli Curiæ Regis’ (the Rolls and records of the courts held before King John’s Justiciars);

Rotuli Curiæ Regis (the Rolls and records of the courts held before King John’s Justiciars); 

Curia Regis Rolls of reigns of Richard I and John’ (records of the Court of Common Pleas, held before the King’s justiciars), and Rotuli Cancellari (Chancellor’s Rolls);

Calendar of Charter Rolls (CChR) (the entries upon the Charter Rolls comprise grants and confirmations of liberties, privileges, offices, dignities, lands and pensions etc. which began in the first year of King John (1199), with the Calendar of Charter Rolls beginning from the reign of Henry III (1216);

Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland 1171-1307, 5 vols, ed. H.S. Sweetman, 1875 (Calendar of state papers relating to Ireland preserved in the PRO; translations of many of The Close Roll entries relating to Ireland);

The Close Rolls/Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum 1204-1224, v.1., ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1833 (administrative record created by the royal chancery to preserve a central record of all letters close issued by the chancery in the name of the Crown);

Charter Rolls/Rotuli chartarum in Turri Londinensi asservati, 1199-1516, v.1, ed. Thomas Duffus Hardy, 1837 (Royal grants of lands, honours, dignities, hereditary offices, liberties, privileges, immunities, etc, in fact the public title deeds of every man’s particular right to his franchise, property, estates which came to his ancestors or predecessors by grant of the King.);

and other records of the period.

Various publications by eminent historical researcher and record transcriber and editor William Farrer (1861-1924) including the ‘Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I AD 1130 and of the Reigns of Henry II (1155-1189), Richard I (1189-99) and King John (1199-1216)’;

Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids 1205-1307’;

Early Yorkshire Charters (13 volumes);

 ‘The Outline Itinerary of Henry  I’;

The ‘Victoria History of the County of Lancaster’-‘The Barony of Butler of Amounderness’, vol.1,pp.350-357; vol.7: The Hundred of Amounderness; and Vol.3 for maps, are of particular relevance to this family;

William Farrer and J. Brownbill’s summary of Theobald’s life, and of his family, in ‘The Barony of Butler of Amounderness’ (above) is particularly thorough with numerous references, and worth reading by anyone interested in this subject.  

And numerous publications by other historical researchers on this fascinating period of history.

A further important source of information on land ownership in the 12th century can be found in the various monastic cartularies of that period, and the ‘Monasticon Anglicanum’ which is a history of the ancient abbeys and monasteries, including their various charters noting founders and donations by land holders, and naming witnesses to the charters, most of whom held close ties with the founder/donor. The author Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686) collaborated with Roger Dodsworth 91585-1654) to originally publish the collection in 1655. It was republished in 1722, and again in 1846 in six volumes.

In this study, the Cartularies of the abbeys and priories of Co. Suffolk and Norfolk, where the Walter family held lands are of particular interest (specifically, the Cartularies of Eye Priory, Leiston Abbey and Butley Priory, Bury St Edmund, Sibton Abbey, all in Suffolk, and various others in Suffolk and Norfolk). Cartularies are medieval manuscript rolls or folders containing Latin transcriptions of original documents and charters relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, and records of land deeds and donated tithes from land holders supporting those establishments. Several historians have collected these charters for specific priories and abbeys and published them, eg. Vivien Brown edited and published the ‘Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, I and II’, and Richard Mortimer edited and published the ‘Cartulary of Leiston Abbey and the Butley Priory Charters’, both of which have been very useful in this quest.  Also, the ‘Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds’ ed. By D.C. Douglas (1932).

Highly respected historian Dr. Katherine Keats-Rohan of the History Department at Oxford University has specialized in prosopography which examines the whole of a past society, its structure and the individuals who made it up, and she has produced two books, “Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons occurring in English Documents 1066-1166” (pub.1999) and followed up with “Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons occurring in English Documents 1066-1166” (pub.2002). The information she has collected and collated in these books on the Norman families living in the 11th and 12th centuries is invaluable to researchers.

One reference of particular importance to Butler researchers are the Ormond Deeds, a collection of manuscripts, formerly preserved in Kilkenny Castle, the family seat of the Butlers, earls and later dukes of Ormond, now in the National Library of Ireland. The Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Vol.1, date 1172-1350 (6 volumes, pub 1932-43), edited by Edmund Curtis and published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission is available to download as a PDF on their website- .

And finally, various chroniclers from the 12th century have provided invaluable information about the people in power, both secular and ecclesiastical, and recounted historical events of that time (albeit rather biased in reporting)- Roger of Hoveden (historian employed by Henry II; d.1201), Benedict Abbot of Peterborough (d.1193), Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales- a royal clerk and archdeacon; 1146-1223), Gervase of Canterbury (a monk at Canterbury from 1163 to 1210), Jocelin of Brakelond (a monk at Bury St Edmunds from 1173 to 1202), William Parvus of Newburgh (a 12th cent. historian and Augustinian canon), Matthew Paris (benedictine monk and chronicler, 1200-1256) and Orderic Vitalis (an English chronicler and Benedictine monk, 1075-1142), among others.

And from a later period, William Camden’s ‘Brittania’, a topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain and Ireland, first published in Latin in 1586 and in English in 1610. Camden was an English antiquarian, historian, topographer and herald.

The next blog chapter will look at the surname origins of the Walter family in County Suffolk


Email contact:  butler1802     @     hotmail.    com    (no spaces)

Links to chapters in this blog, published in 2022: 

Part 1: The Ancestral Origins of Theobald Walter, Ancestor of the Butlers of Ireland (Chapter 1):

Part 2: Possible candidates for the Walter surname named 'Walter' in the Domesday Book

Part 3: Analysis of the various theories of the origins of the Walter family

Part 4: Lands of the Walter family

Chapters of the earlier blog on the Butler History, published in 2013:


History of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond and Chief Butlers of Ireland (Chapter 1):


Butler Pedigree (Chapter 2):


History of Irish Butlers- various Butler Branches (Chapter 3):


History of the MacRichard Line (Chapter 4):