Tuesday 24 May 2022

Part 4- Ancestral Origins of Theobald Walter: Lands of the Walter family


Kilkenny Castle, seat of the Butlers of Ireland


1. Lands held by the Walter Family in East Anglia (Suffolk, Norfolk), ancestors of the Butlers of Ireland; Ickleton, Cambridgeshire

2.  Theobald Walter’s Amounderness Fee in Lancashire




1.Domesday Book online (opendomesday.org- showing original pages of the Little Domesday Book of East Anglia);

2.‘Domesday Book, A Complete Translation’, ed. Dr Ann Williams, Prof. G.H. Martin, (1st pub 1992), pages 1219-1220:

Terms in Domesday:

All land was ultimately owned by the Crown held by lords who provided military resources, or tax, in return.

TRE- (Tempore Regis Edwardi- ie. pre-Conquest 1066)

Tenant-in-chief in 1086: The main landholders listed in Domesday Book- either King William himself, or one of around 1400 people, or ecclesiastical orders, who held land directly from the Crown, mostly Norman knights.

Lord in 1086: The immediate lord over the peasants after the Conquest. Sometimes the same as the tenant-in-chief, sometimes a tenant granted the estate in return for tax.

Thegn- a man of noble status as opposed to a peasant, having a wergild (used to assess the amount of judicial fines) of 1,200s. A King’s thegn was commended to the king; a median thegn to some other Lord.

Vassal- a man, usually of noble rank, who subordinates himself to a Lord. Vassalage is the status of a vassal, which was entered by commendation in the ceremony of Homage, sealed by the oath of Fealty. The relationship might be personal, or, if the vassal received a fief, tenurial.

Commendation- a form of vassalage

Antecessor- the preceding landholder, usually the pre-Conquest landholder, from whom the 1086 holder might claim legal title

Wapentake- a division of a shire in northern and eastern England with the same functions exercised by the Hundred in the south and west

Hundred- an administrative subdivision of the Shire with fiscal, judicial and military functions.

Carucate- in reign of Richard I, allotted one hundred acres to a carucate; other measures have eight score acres to a carucate (ie. 160 acres) one half for tillage and the other for fallow; different according to time and place. Domesday Book Translation: One carucate was the amount of land tillable by a team of 8 oxen in a ploughing season, approx.120 acres.; used as a unit of assessment to tax)

In the Domesday inquisition, the arable land was measured in carucates, the common pasture by hides, and the meadow by acres (a medieval acre could be used to estimate length as well as area).

Furlong- the length of a furrow: 40 perches

League- one league =12 furlongs, whereas the mile= 8 furlongs

Hide- the standard unit of assessment to tax, especially Geld. Notionally the amount of land which would support a household

Geld- the England tax assessment on the hide/carucate- levied on the Shire, Hundred and Vill

Vill- represents an area of land and may contain more than 1 settlement

Villan- a peasant of higher economic status than a border, and living in a village

Bordar- a cottager, a peasant of lower economic status than a villan

Free Man- a non-noble landholder usually commended to a Lord but sometimes used as an equivalent of Thegn.

Sokeman- a free man owing service, including suit of Court, to the Lord of the Soke

Lord- holder of the homage of his vassals, to whom he gives protection and land in return for support

Manor- an estate varying in size, the estate centre as opposed to outlying berewicks

Berewick/Barton- an outlying estate attached to the manor, or an estate devoted to some specialized function for the lord’s use

Demesne- land ‘in Lordship’ whose produce is devoted to the Lord rather than his tenants: 1. Manors held in the Lord’s personal possession as opposed to those granted to his men; 2) that part of an individual estate exploited directly for the Lord’s ‘home-farm’.

Fee/Fief-/feudum- In general, a piece of land held in return for military service. From fief comes the verb ‘to enfeoff’ (to give land in exchange for military service- ‘in fee’); the adjectival ‘in fee’ (land or other property held in exchange for military service- ‘as in fief’); and the noun ‘feudalism’.

Mill- a rotary engine driven by water, in most cases grinding corn.

Sake and Soke- literally ‘cause’ and ‘suit’; the case heard in a Court and the duty of attending it. Used to denote the judicial and dominical rights associated with the possession of land.

Soke- right of jurisdiction enjoyed by a Lord over specified places and personnel.

Sheriff- the royal officer set over a Shire, whose duties included judicial and financial functions, as well as overseeing of royal estates and in the post-Conquest period, custody of royal castles. The Normans translated the word as vicecomes/viscount

Mark- (1) a weight defining a unit of account equivalent to 2/3s of a pound ie. in silver 13s 4d. (2) a gold mark which was equivalent to 6l. Neither was an actual coin.

Librum- ‘l.’ [Latin, a pound.] A money of account amounting to 240 silver pennies which were minted from a pound of silver

Penny/Pence- the only actual coin in circulation in the 11th century.

Honour- the collection of Fiefs held by a tenant-in-chief. In Medieval England, an 'Honour' could consist of a great lordship, comprising hundreds of manors, scattered over several shires and intermingled with the properties of others, a specific policy of the Norman kings primarily to avoid establishing any one area under the control of a single lord, although usually, a more concentrated cluster existed in one area with a castle that gave its name to the honour and served as its administrative headquarters by the lord who held the honour. Examples: William Malet and then his son Robert Malet held the Honour of Eye with their administrative headquarters at Eye Castle in Suffolk; and Roger de Poitou held the Honour of Lancaster, with his administrative headquarters thought to originally have been at either Clitheroe or Penwortham Castles before he began building Lancaster Castle afterwards. When the lord died, the honour would revert to the king by escheat, and it would either remain with the Crown, or the king would grant the same honour to another favoured lord.

The Domesday Book

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 those 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 ‘archive.org.’ and ‘hathitrust.org’. 

The lands in Bishops Hundred held by the Walter family in Suffolk were originally held by tenant-in-chief Robert Malet, one of the largest landholders in Domesday. His sub-tenant, named 'Walter' who held these lands in Bishops Hundred was explored in detail in Part 2 of this blog. These lands held by the Walter family in Suffolk, and the lands granted to Hervey from the Honour of Lancaster which passed down to Theobald Walter in the area of Lancashire known as 'Amounderness' with their seat in Weeton, as well as their lands in Norfolk, will now be explored in detail.

The Honour of Eye

The Honour of Eye was originally granted to William Malet (d.c.1171), inherited by his son Robert Malet who held it until his death c.1106, when it returned to the Crown. 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, Henry granted it to Stephen’s son William de Warenne in 1154 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 de Warenne’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.



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 (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. Pre 1205, Gilbert de Hawkedon donated 6d rent of Instead to Butley Priory, that he held from Theobald Walter, witnessed by Peter Walter. (Butley 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 (who would succeed Henry I in 1135).

The unknown is whether these lands were granted from the Honour of Eye and Lancaster by the Crown, probably during the reign of King Henry I, or whether the lands 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 their ancestor Walter de Caen in Domesday from Robert Malet who held the Honour of Eye as tenant-in-chief.

‘The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk’, Volume 2, by Rev. Alfred Suckling, published in 1848, p404-409, discusses the land of Huntingfield:

Roger de Huntingfield, William de Huntingfield’s son and heir, aged 7 years, being then seized, inter alia, of the manors of Huntingfield, Benges and Horham, made proof of his age in 25th of Edward III, had livery of his lands.

 The Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters II, ed. Vivien Brown pp.26-31:

Roger of Huntingfield held one knight’s fee of the Honor of Lancaster in Mendham (near Weybread), unknown whether given to the family by Roger the Poitevin, or Henry I or count Stephen.

Map showing proximity of Huntingfield to Wingfield, Weybread and Fressingfield.

(Also, Linstead, Mendham and Horham held by the de Huntingfields, and Sibton held by Robert fitzWalter, inherited from Walter de Caen)

Records of the lands of the Walter family

Book, ‘THE MANORS OF SUFFOLK’, by W.A. Coppinger Vol.4 (1909):

Hundred of Hoxne (originally Bishops Hundred)- shows the various manors and how they are grouped in the parishes in this small area of Bishops Hundred.

PARISH OF FRESSINGFIELD= Manors of Fressingfield, Fressingfield Hall, Launces. [ie. Snapeshall held by Hubert Walter the elder], Chepenhall Hall.

The entries [in Domesday] relating to Fressingfield really appear under the heading “Chepenhall”, which is in the Parish of Fressingfield.


PARISH OF WEYBREAD= Manors of Weybread Hall, Instead al. Hovell’s al Weybread in Weybread, Earsham, Finges in Instead, Weybread Rectory

Under the heading “Instead” which is in Weybread…

Manor of Finges in Instead(NB. Eye Cartulary entry on Peter Walter re Fengesmill)

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”.


PARISH OF WINGFIELD= Manors of Wingfield or Wingfield Castle, Wingfield Old Hall, Chickering Hall or Chickering with Wingfield (Chickering held by Walter fitzGrip in Domesday)

Map of Bishops Hundred

Map of north Suffolk

Domesday Book entries:

 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/ 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 inclusion of Wingfield/Wingebga into section on Stetebroc/Stradbroke


Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, p.1219

Notably (Eye Charter 1: 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).

 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’ (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 of Caen 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)

NB. this entry by Martin attributes the ‘Walter’ in the original entry to Walter de Caen

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

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

b)  Suffolk lands of St Ǣthelthryth- 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- some speculation that he was also Hervey Walter- see chapter of the de Glanvilles)

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 land in Stradbroke held by Roger de Poitou was granted to Ernald son of Roger 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.


INSTEAD: the only entry for Instead inDomesday Book- A Complete Translation’ on p1300:

In Instead, 1 freeman, over whom Bishop Aethelmar 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 entries for Weybread- Lands of Robert Malet:

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

In Weybread, Humphrey holds 5 freemen and Walter one. It is worth 10s. 72 acres and 5 bordars. then 2 ploughs, now 1 and 4 1/2 acres of meadow. Woodland for 14 pigs. Then as now 1 mill. It is worth 17s.

In Weybread, the same Humphrey holds 90 acres.

Domesday Book: A complete Translation p1219

Question: Who was the ‘Walter’ named in Weybread? Was he the same ‘Walter who holds from this manor’ (possibly Walter the crossbowman), or Walter de Caen, or Walter fitzGrip?

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:

CHIPPENHALL (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.


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 freemen 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 here, nearly half, plus 4 out of the 9 freemen, so probably Walter de Caen due to his closeness to Robert Malet.

‘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 proximity of Weybread, Instead, Lances ‘Garden’ (viz. Snapeshall, between Veals Hall and Fressingfield), and Wingfield

(visionofbritain- Ordnance Survey maps 1863)   NB. Whittingham Hall held by Ernald son of Roger who was granted Stradbroke

Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".

Map showing proximity of Wingfield to Stradbroke

Visionofbritain- Ordnance Survey maps 1863)

Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".

Map showing proximity of Lances (Garden) (viz. Snapeshall) to Fressingfield and Chippenhall (Chepenhal)

(visionofbritain- Ordnance Survey maps, 1863)

Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".

The following pages are from Domesday Book: A Complete Translation(editors Dr. Ann Williams, Prof. G.H. Martin, Penguin Books, 1992, 2003), 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 brother 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 was still held in 1352 by the de Huntingfield family, when Roger de Huntingfield took livery of his lands of Huntingfield, Byng and Horham.

NB. As Horham is so close to Stradbroke and Wingfield, it suggests that the ‘Walter’ named as Lord in 1086 in the other lands in Bishops Hundred (along with Walter fitzGrip) was actually Walter de Caen.


Map showing proximity of Horham to Stradbroke and Wingfield

(visionofbritain- Ordnance Survey map of 1863)

Copyright permission: "This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".

The following map show the lands held by Walter de Caen (firzAlbrici), ‘Walter’, Walter fitzGrip and Robert de Glanville

In the map above, the lands held by ‘Walter’ (red) are surrounded by those held by Walter de Caen (yellow), which would appear to indicate that ‘Walter’ was probably Walter de Caen, unless 'Walter' was Walter the Crossbowman who held lands around Eye.

Walter fitzGrip held the lands marked in ‘green’- in Wingfield/Stradbroke and Chippenhall, he is named in conjunction with ‘Walter’.

Robert de Glanville (blue) also held several lands in the same area from Robert Malet, subsequently held by his heirs’ descendants.


The Land of ‘SIKEBROC’

‘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”. Butler historian Theobald Blake Butler came to the conclusion that 'Sikebro' was Stradbroke/'Stetebroc'.

There are three possibilities.

The first:

‘Sikebro’ may have been a clerical error in one of the original charter transcriptions for ‘Stetebroc’/Stradbroke, which was listed in association with Wingfield in Domesday (as described above), and makes more sense, as all these lands belonging to the Walter family adjoin each other in a small area of Suffolk.

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 by Roger the Poitevin who had two freemen as tenants, granted to ‘Ernald son of Roger’ by Stephen Count of Mortain c.1113. It is possible that Roger de Poitou had granted Stradbroke to Roger after Domesday, but before his banishment in 1100.

 The Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters II, ed. Vivien Brown, pp.26-31:

Stephen Count of Mortain (King Stephen) held the Honors of Eye and Lancaster from c.1113 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”.

In Domesday, 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)

A confirmation Charter 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.


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.1113. 

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 1129/30 that has survived).

The only reason we know of Stephen's grant to Ernald Russo, was a much later confirmation record in the time of Henry III (Calendar of Charter Rolls, v.1, p.46-47)

 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.

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.

(An Essay towards a Topographical History of the Co. of Norfolk, v.8, by Francis Blomefield, London 1808, pp. 266-69)

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.

Stradbroke, at the time of Henry III contained a considerable population and several manors were included in the parish, of which the largest was granted in the days of Stephen to Ernald, in the hands of whose descendants it remained for several generations. (Eye Priory Cartulary and Charters, ii, p.25)

It is notable that the gift of Stradbroke was in the same vicinity as their ancestral lands of Whittingham.

Parts of Stradbroke were granted to Ernald Ruffo who in turn granted tithes of Stradbroke to Woodbridge Church, ’The said Ernald (Ruffo/Rufus) son of Ernald the second, in the 3d 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. (An Essay towards a Topographical History of the Co. of Norfolk, v.8, by Francis Blomefield, London 1808, pp. 266-69)

Similarly, the Walter family may have been granted their lands by the Crown, in Wingfield, Instead, Weybread and Fressingfield (and possibly a part of Stradbroke, as ‘Sikibroc’) at the same time as the Le Russ/Russo family, possibly on lands held by an ancestor in Domesday (as in the case of the Russo family), but the relevant records no longer exist. Notably, the charter of Stephen to Ernald was witnessed by Hervey de Glanville (father of Rannulf) and Robert fitzWalter (son of Walter de Caen), both close supporters of Stephen before and after he acceded to the throne.

Hubert Walter (the elder) was also confirmed in his fee of Snapeshall in Fressingfield in Henry I’s Charter to Eye Priory dated c.1119-1123, although this charter was a later redraft copying the charter of Henry II making the earlier date suspect. However, this was probably made to confirm the priory’s land donations from a date before King Stephen’s reign, during the period of Henry I’s reign.

The Monasticon Anglicanum, (vol.6 p.381-82), the Charters of Butley Priory include a list of the properties held by Butley in the period of Henry VIII and their values:

There is no property named ‘Sikebroc’ in Butley Priory’s list of properties, but Straddebroke (value 14s. 4d.) is listed, along with Wingefeld (value 5s. 6 ½ d.), and, while Instead is not listed specifically, Weybridge/Weybread (value £7) is listed.

While parts of Stradbroke were granted to Ernald Ruffo who in turn granted tithes of Stradbroke to Woodbridge Church, it is unknown if he also donated to Butley. If not, it is possible that ‘Sikebroc’ refers to ‘Stetebroc’ (Stradbroke) which was listed in Domesday with Wingfield, both held by Robert de Glanville and ‘Walter’.


The second possibility:

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.

Seckibroc, 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’

Domesday- (p951)- 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.

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 (ed. Wm Farrer), pp32; 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 de Warenne, 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 de Warenne Count of Boulogne, (and possibly linked with the grant of the land of Ickleton in Cambridgeshire- see below) 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 1180’s to Butley Priory, and therefore this suggestion is highly unlikely.


The third possibility is that ‘Sikebroc’ is a place, probably in Suffolk, that no longer exists, just as ‘Hulmestead’, another of the Walter’s lands remains unidentified. However, in Domesday there are no lands with spelling remotely similar.

 Therefore, the most likely explanation is that it was a corruption of Stradbroke.

Other Lands held by Theobald Walter in East Anglia

T. Blake Butler 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);

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

-Thorpe in Saxlingham or Over Thorpe, or Thorpe;

-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;


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, (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, similarly with Saxthorpe, so it is uncertain where Blake Butler found this information.


Donated by the Walter family to West Dereham- 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 probably 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 dead at this point in time, which could explain the donation by his brothers. No further records on Hamon Walter, and he was not a beneficiary of brother Hubert's will, and cousin Peter Walter appears to have inherited the family lands of Instead and Weybread, implying that there were no adult male descendants of the Walter family remaining (Theobald’s son and heir being an infant) to claim long-held inherited lands of the Walters.


Information on Ickleton:

Domesday Book Complete Translation – Ickleton, also known as Ichelintone, Inchelintone, Hinchelintone

p539: XXIIII 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)

P534: XXV 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.

Domesday Book entry for Ickleton held by Hardwin (de Scales), sub-tenanted by Durand


Feudal Cambridgeshire’ by William Farrer (Cambridge 1920), (p270-271):

 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 the dau. of Count Eustace), 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.


A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely’, by F Salzman, vol. 6 (p230-246), and vol 2 (p223-226) [British History online])

The Parish of Ickleton (Manors and other Estates); and the Priory of Ickleton

In 1141 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.

After the death of Stephen's son Count William in 1159 Henry II took possession of the honor. 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 1180s was possibly derived in part by exchange or otherwise from that of Colne priory.

Hamon Walter, whose mother was of the Valoines family, held an estate in Ickelton which his brothers Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, and Tibbald [Theobald] had by 1199 granted to the Premonstratensian abbey of West Dereham, founded by Hubert in 1188. The estate 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.”

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 [consecrated 1198, died 1215], 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.

The possession of Ickleton by the Walter family could be 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. 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 also appointed Hamo Walter and his mother Maud 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.

Hardwin de Scales was a considerable land holder as tenant-in-chief of 64 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’) 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, v,139; Early Yorkshire Charters V.5, Honour of Richmond Pt II, p261-The Scalers fee, also see p234 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 Honour of Lancaster was granted by William the Conqueror to Roger de Poitou (the Poitevin), a powerful Norman lord, 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 1100, 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, having been granted to his grandfather by Stephen Count of Mortain.

Theobald Walter

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 (Red Book of the Exchequer).

Hervey was the tenant of the fee of the manor of Weeton in Amounderness for the service of ½ knight’s fee in the reign of King Henry I (1100-1135), probably granted by the king’s nephew and heir Stephen Count of Mortain who held the Honour of Lancaster from c.1113.

Henry II’s youngest son John Count of Mortain, on receiving the Honours of Eye and Lancaster, confirmed Theobald’s holding of Amounderness c.1189-1192. While King Richard was imprisoned in Germany, John tried to seize control in 1193-94. Hubert laid siege to Lancaster Castle and Theobald promptly handed it over to his brother. King Richard deprived Theobald of his lands following Theobald’s support of John’s treachery, however, with Hubert’s intercession, Theobald swore loyalty to Richard and was reinstated with Amounderness in April 1194.

When King Henry II invested Prince John with the government of Ireland, the Lord Chief Justice Rannulf de Glanville and his nephew Theobald accompanied John to Ireland in 1185, and Prince John by charter made at Waterford, enfeoffed Rannulf de Glanville and Theobald Walter with four and a half cantreds in the land of Limerick. Around that time, Theobald, who appears to have been John’s personal butler, was granted the hereditary title Butler of Ireland.

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 de Boteler (1197-1198- possibly butler to Hugh Cyvelock Earl of Chester); Stephen de Turneham (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.

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, 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.

Chronica Magistri Rogeri de Hovedene, ed. William Stubbs, (London 1871), IV, 152-3:

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 (p.445)

The Cartae Baronum- In 1166, Henry II commanded his tenants-in-chief/barons both 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

Viz. in A.D. 1166, Lancaster-  Theobald Walter holds Amounderness by service of 1 knight

(Comment- as Theobald must have been of age in 1166 [viz. 21 years] to become a knight, his birth can be estimated as before 1145A.D.)

Lancashire Pipe Rolls (p262) -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 Lancashire fief in the latter half of his reign.


The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, ed by William Farrer and J. Brownhill (vol 1., London 1906, p.350-357)- The Barony of Butler of Amounderness (p352):

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)


Lancashire Pipe Rolls (p434-436) and (p81-83- Notes on the Pipe Roll of 6 Richard)

5 Richard I -Series XX Charter No. VI- Theobald Walter

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 (Chief Justiciar), 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)Theobald Walter, Newton, co Suff…. ½ fee

(iii) ¼ fee in ‘Hulmstead’ (unidentified** )

(iv) 1/3rd Knight’s fee in Belagh (probably in Hundred of South Erpingham Norfolk), which Peter Walter holds.

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 (named above), 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 (Vic. Hist. of Lanc.)- Weeton etc; Penwortham just west of Preston on the River Ribble (held by the Bussells who also held Amounderness), and Hutton (of Roger son of Orm and Alice Walter) just south of Penwortham

Blake Butler (Letters to Lord Dunboyne, pp.74-78) wrote that Theobald Walter’s re-grant of 22 April 1194 from Richard I of the whole of Amounderness was held by service of three knight’s fees which were included in the scutage of £73.6s.8d. of Knights of the Honour of Lancashire in 1189-1190.

In the accounts of the sheriff of Lancashire in the second of King John, are the following entries:

"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].”

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.

¼ Fee in ‘Hulmstead’** (not identified- probably near the vill of Hulme, the site of the ancient abbey of St Benets of Hulme/Holme)

The locations of Belagh and Hulmestead

(NB. the Abbey of St Benet is variously spelt 'of Hulme' and 'Holme')


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 (1808, v.8 pp.186), and A.S. Ellis (Notes and Queries Series Vol. 6 Aug 1912), 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 (Letters to Lord Dunboyne, Butler Society p.76) disagreed and stated that Belaugh was in the Hundred of Sth Erpingham, and this makes more sense when one looks at the history.

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/Holme).

** Theobald Blake Butler suggested that Hulmstead could be Helmingham in Suffolk, as ‘stead’ is a variant of ‘ham’ in Old English, both meaning ‘town’. Helmingham was held by Walter de Caen from Robert Malet in Domesday.

Looking at similarly spelt names, there is Hempstead on the border of Suffolk and Essex, about 30 kms SW of Bury St Edmunds (held in Domesday by Richard fitzGilbert), and two Hempsteads in Norfolk (held by the King and the bishop of Thetford), both about 40 kms north of Norfolk near the coast. None of these places have any known links with the family.

However, 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 next 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 following two Hundreds Parish Maps based on the Norfolk Records Office ‘Norfolk Hundreds map’ showing the two places named Belaugh/Bylaugh in the Hundreds of Eynsford and South Erpingham:

However, Blake Butler (Letters to Lord Dunboyne, p.76) wrote:

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?

(Norfolk Records office Hundreds Map)

Domesday Book: Belaugh:

Lands of Ralph de Beaufour- In Belaugh (South Erpingham) there is 1 free man of Harold’s. 1carucate 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- 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.

In Stanninghall (with Horstead) there is 1 free man with 1 carucate of land and 4 villans and 4 bordars and 2 ploughs, 2 mills and woodland for 20 pigs. This belongs to Horstead and the whole is in the valuation of Mileham. And Horstead is 1 league in length and another in breadth and pays 15 d in geld.

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 £10, now £11. And it renders 18d. of the geld.

Lands of St Benet of Hulme- 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, Wroxham, Smallburgh, Sloley, Neatishead, Beaston St Lawrence, and part of Hoveton- see map.


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: 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 which used to belong to Hoveton [St John or St Peter].


This comfortably explains how part of Belaugh became part of Roger de Poitou’s Honour of Lancaster (subsequently held by the Walter family), and 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.

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.

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.

Horstead and Belaugh are very close to St Benet of Holme/Hulme Abbey all situated on the River Bure.

There are also further interesting connections nearby- Honing which belonged to the de Glanville family (and Robert de Glanville from St Benets in Domesday), and according to Francis Blomefield, the de Glanvilles also held land in Horning and the vil of Holm from the abbey;

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).


Blake Butler continued: Roger de Poitou’s lands in Boxtead were forfeited when he was outlawed in 1102 and, as in the case of Belaugh, Henry I when forming the Honour of Lancaster included these forfeited lands in the newformed honour c.1114-16 and granted the same to his nephew Stephen who held the same until he ascended the throne. One seventh of the Knight’s fee in the manor of Belaugh held of the Honour of Lancaster was quitclaimed by Theobald Walter to William fitzHervey as it had been held by Theobald’s grandfather (Final Accord 15th July 1195, Pipe Roll Society V.1.p20 and Book of Fees p.211 where the holding is given as one third of a Knight). Despite the Quitclaim of 1195 it is clear that the Irish Butler’s either parted with a part only of their holding in Belaugh St Peter, or recovered the holding recorded in this quitclaim as ‘The Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem’ V.1, p.153 on the death of Theobald 3rd Butler of Ireland in 1249 containing the following:

“Writ of Extent for Norfolk 7th July 1249 to 6th August 1249. Belahagh als Belaugh manor” (Blomfield v.3 p.576)

 Part of Belaugh was held by the Abbot of St Benets of Holm. One part of Belaugh belonged to Hoveton, or Hofton Manor, another to Aylesham, and another part of manor belonged to Ralph de Beaufour at the Conquest over which Hoveton had the Soc. It was not amongst the lands which Roger de Poitou held in Norfolk. It is therefore to be supposed that the manors in Norfolk and Suffolk, including Belaugh, were included in the Honour of Lancaster, or added to it after Roger de Poitou had been banished, and maybe added during the period when the Honour of Lancaster was held by William Peveral Lord of Nottingham.

Hulmestead- the various authorities who have dealt with this quitclaim have not identified this place. The nearest that I have got to Hulmestead (‘stead’ derived from ‘Stadt’ meaning ‘town’) is Hemingstone Co. Suffolk, north of Ipswich, held variously in Domesday by King William, Alan of Brittany, Robert Malet (and his mother), Roger of Poitou x4, Hervey de Bourges, Bishop Odo, Abbey of Ely etc, which Osbert fitzHervey held of the Abbey of Bury St Edmund’s (Register fol.174b)


Blake Butler then makes a ‘Query’: If Helmstead of the register of Monastery of Bury St Edmunds, fol. 174b, which Osbert fitzHervey held, is the same as Hulmstead which Theobald Walter quitclaimed to William fitzHervey. 

(NB. checking the Feudal Documents of Bury St Edmunds, the only reference to Osbert fitzHervey found is in the ‘1200 A.D. list of fees of the abbey according to the enfeoffment of before 1135’ (p.lxxxvii): Osbertus filius Hervei 1 militem qui est in custodia Willelmi de Huntingfeud (ie. in custody of William de Huntingfield, a descendant of Walter de Caen who held Huntingfield in Domesday). And notably, I have not found any place named Helmstead in Suffolk, nor is it listed in the Domesday Book.

Domesday- lands of Hervey de Bourges: Reginald holds Hemingstone from Hervey which Wulfmaer, a freeman, commended only to Eadric (of Laxfield), TRE the predecessor of Robert Malet, held with 100 acres of land as a manor. Then as now 6 bordars and 1 plough in demesne. Then 1 plough belonging to the men, now a half, 2 acres of meadow. 1 freeman with 4 acres. The whole is worth 20s. The king and the earl have the soke. On the day on which he died William Malet was seised of this land and after him Robert Malet his son.

Lands of Roger de Poitou: Hemingstone, 20 freemen, 142 acres. One of these was commended to the Abbot of Ely with 13 acres and he had the soke. 6 bordars. Then as now 5 ploughs and 2 acres of meadow. Half a church with 15 acres worth 30d. 8 acres belonged [to this], which Hervey de Bourges took.


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.

Blake Butler- Apart from the lands mentioned in the Final Accord of 1195, Theobald held the following lands in these counties:

Co Norfolk:

Thorpe in Saxlingham or Over Thorpe, or Thorpe;

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;

Saxthorpe (in Sth Erpingham) -Whilst Ralph fitzRobert of Middleham, son of Helewise [dau. of Rannulf de Glanville] was in his custody, Hubert 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 ward of Hubert Walter [Rot. de Fin, 369. Gale, Regist, Honoris de Richmond App 235; Genealogist (New Series), iii, 32-3] (The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, ed. By William Farrer and J. Brownbill, vol. 1, London 1906, p.351)

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


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- Theobald paid money to the Crown for lands at Brusyard in Suffolk in the 3rd year of Richard I (Pipe Roll 3 Ric I) which may indicate that he inherited it from his mother.

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


Lancaster Pipe Rolls:  pp.144-145:

Feodary of the Honor of Lancaster, from the returns of 1st and 2nd scutages of King John’s reign 1199- 1201, by the Sheriff of Lancaster-

Theobald Walter, Weeton… ½ fee;

Ranulph de Viri, Boxted, co Suff…. ½ fee; ?


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 in:

An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, by Francis Bromefield and Charles Parkin:

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, 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 and Boxted were part of the Walter’s Amounderness fee)


Translation by Carew:

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.

Feet of Fines (-reign of Henry II and first seven years of reign of Richard I AD. 1182-1196)

Lancashire Pipe Rolls (p198)- 1204 -Roll of 8 John [1205-1206]


Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids, by William Farrer (1903), p171-174:

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 p437-438 (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, ed. William Farrer, 1903, (p37)

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 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, (p410) continues:

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 [1135-1154].

(Comment- Hervey’s age can be similarly calculated to about the time of William Rufus’ ascension to the throne.)


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 p99

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

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.


The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey of the Premonstratensian Order, transcribed by William Farrer, 1898, Vol.II, Part I,  p376:

[S.D. 1194-1199]

Grant in frankalmoign by Theobald Walter for the health of the souls of King Henry II, King Richard, his son John, count of Mortain, Ranulf de Glanville his dear friend, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury his brother, Hervey Walter his father, Maud de Valoines his mother, and of all his friends, benefactors, predecessors and successors, to God and St Mary, and to the abbot and canons of the Premonstratensian order, serving God there, 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.

Witnesses- William le Poer, Benedict Gerner, Ralph de Beetham, Roger his brother, Gilbert de Kentwell, Hubert Bastard, Roger de Leicester, Robert de Bury, Warin Banastre, Thurstan his brother, William son of Martin, Elias son of Roger [de Hutton], Adam de Kellet, Adam son of Osbert, William de Winwick, Geoffrey de Barton, William de Ashton, Richard his brother, and Walter de Shrewsbury

(The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey of the Premonstratensian Order, transcribed and edited by William Farrer, Vol.II, part I, printed for the Chetham Society, 1898)

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. King John made a donation of the demesne estate of Newbigging in 1204.

Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, editors Dr Ann Williams, Prof. G.H. Martin, 1992, p795

Amounderness: Weeton= 3 carucates:

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 was not paid is also sometimes described as ‘waste’.

The Victorian History of the County of Lancashire, ed. By William Farrer and J. Brownbill, vol. 1, London 1906


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; and the same year with the men of Cork, he fought and slew Dermot macArthy [Giraldus Cambrensis, Expugnatio (Rolls Ser.), v, 386]

Before 1189 he received from John, the fief of Arklow, afterwards confirmed to him by William Marshall on becoming ‘jure uxoris’ lord of Leinster.



In 1196 he 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 with the 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.

Lands in Ireland granted to Theobald Walter

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. (Otway-Ruthven, A.J., History of Medieval Ireland, 1980, p.67; Ormond Deed no.26, vol. I, 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 (Ormond Deed No 17, vol. I, 1172-1350 AD., ed. Edmund Curtis, 1932).

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 (Ormond Deed No 31, vol. I, 1172-1350 AD.)

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, p513; Lancashire Pipe Rolls p.172, transcribed by Wm Farrer, 1902)

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

Ormond Deed No. 26, vol. I, 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].

I hope the information contained in these four blog chapters on the ancestral origins of Theobald Walter, ancestor of the Butlers of Ireland, proves useful to other researchers on this family, which may lead to further enquiries and discoveries that may unlock the mystery of the origins of this ancient and illustrious family. It may help to have all the information that is available, in one place for researchers.


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Links to 4 chapters in this blog, published in 2022: 

Part 1: The Ancestral Origins of Theobald Walter, Ancestor of the Butlers of Ireland


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):


Blog on Richard, 1st Viscount Mountgarrett, and the Butlers of Co Wexford