Name: Ranulph "De Gernon" De Meschines
Given Name: Ranulph "De Gernon"
Surname: De Meschines
Prefix: Earl Of Chester
Suffix: Vicomte D'avranches
Nickname: De Gernon
Name: Ranulph De Gernon
Given Name: Ranulph
Surname: De Gernon
Name: Ranulph IV De Meschines
Given Name: Ranulph IV
Surname: De Meschines
Birth: 1099 in Gernon Castle, Normandy, France
Sources for this Information:
Death: Abt 16 Dec 1153 in England 1
date: about 1100 [Ref: Weis AR7 #125, Weis AR7 #132A] before 1100 [Ref: CP III p166, Watney WALLOP #230], place: [Ref: CP III p166, Weis AR7 #132A], parents: [Ref: CP III p166, Wagner PedigreeProgress #48, Watney WALLOP #230, Weis AR7 #125, Weis AR7 #132A], father: [Ref: Sanders Baronies p32]
Sources for this Information:
Burial: St Werburg's, Chester
date: 1153 [Ref: Sanders Baronies p32, Wagner PedigreeProgress #48] 16 (17?) Dec 1153 [Ref: CP III p167 (with corr in XIV p170)] 16 Dec 1153 [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p11, Watney WALLOP #230, Watney WALLOP #404, Weis AR7 #125, Weis AR7 #132A] 16.XII 1153 [Ref: ES III.2 #354]
Sources for this Information:
Occupation: Vicomte D'avranches
Occupation: 2ND Earl Of Chester 2
Change Date: 30 Dec 2012 at 10:23
place: [Ref: CP III p167, Weis AR7 #132A]
OR "RANDLE"; EARL OF CHESTER
2nd Earl of Chester, of Earldom cr 1121 [Ref: CP III p166] Vicomte d'Avranches, Earl of Chester [Ref: Weis AR7 #125, Weis AR7 #132A] Earl of Chester [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p11]
inherited Barony of Chester from father [Ref: Sanders Baronies p32]
1136: on death of Geoffrey fitz Payne, the lands of the Barony of Hunsingore fell under the control of the Earl of Chester; on death of the Earl in 1153 the estate passed to William Trussebut [Ref: Sanders Baronies p56]
During the age of Llywelyn, the most powerful of the Marcher Lords was Rannulf, earl of Chester, and the constant friendship between the prince and the earl was a central factor in the stability of the Gwynedd's eastern border. John -- nephew and heir to Rannulf and great-grandson of David, king of Scots -- married Llywelyn's dau. Helen, but the marriage was childless, a misfortune of importance in the history of Wales and of Scotland. [A History of Wales, p. 141]
"Ranulph or Randle II, 4th Earl of Chester, surnamed Gernouns, because he was born at Gernon Castle in Normandy, succeeded his father in the Earldom of Chester and in all his patrimony, both in England and Normandy. This nobleman was a leading military character, and took an active part with the Empress Maud and Prince Henry, her son, against King Stephen. Later Ranulph II became reconciled with Stephen. He came to the King and desired pardon for his rebellion at Lincoln and for seizing his sovereign's possessions and thereupon was received into favour. In further testimony he helped the king's forces and gallantly assaulted the town of Bedford, and delivered it into Stephen's hands. But for all this friendship, Randle was suspected of Stephen because he surrendered not the castles and rents which he had taken, and because of the Earl's wavering and unstable mind, so that neither the king nor his prime councillors durst rely on him. Seeing himself suspected of treason he later turned against Stephen. He died Dec. 16, 1153, distrusted by both sides and supposed to have been poisoned by his wife and William Peveral of Nottingham. Maud, his widow, died July 29, 1189. She was daughter of Robert, son of Henry I.
5th Earl of Chester. Also Viscount d'Avranches in Normandy. He succeeded his father as earl of Chester in 1128. He distinguished himself as a soldier, both on the side of the Empress Maud and that of King Stephen, with the greatest impartiality. He was one of the five earls who witnessed the charter to Salisbury granted at the Northampton Council of Henry I on September 8, 1131. He was made constable of Lincoln by Stephen. Against Stephen, he took part in the battle of Lincoln on February 2, 1141, in which Stephen was made prisoner. Stepehn retaliated against Ranulph on August 29, 1146, by seizing him at court, at Northampton. Probably after the pacification of 1151, the King granted him the castle and city of Lincoln. Distrusted by both sides, he died, supposedly poisoned by his wife and William Peverell of Nottingham.
Ranulph de Meschines (surnamed de Gernons, from being born in Gernon Castle, in Normandy), Earl of Chester. This nobleman, who was a leading military character, took an active part with the Empress Maud, and the young Prince Henry, against King Stephen, in the early part of the contest, and having defeated the king and made him prisoner at the battle of Lincoln, committed him to the castle of Bristol. He subsequently, however, sided with the king, and finally, distrusted by all, died under excommunication in 1155, supposed to have been poisoned by William Peverell, Lord of Nottingham, who being suspected of the crime, is said to have turned monk to avoid its punishment. The earl m. Maud, dau. of Robert, surnamed the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of King Henry I, and had issue, Hugh, his successor, named Keveliok, from the place of his birth, in Merionethshire; Richard; Beatrix, m. to Ralph de Malpas. His lordship was s. by his elder son, Hugh (Keveliok), 3rd Earl of Chester." [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 365, Meschines, Earls of Chester]
EARLDOM OF CHESTER (V, 2)
RANULPH, styled "DE GERNON," EARL OF CHESTER, also VICOMTE D'AVRANCHES, &C., in Normandy, son and heir. He was born before 1100, in the Castle of Gernon in Normandy. To the detriment of his elder brother of the half blood, William (de Roumare), Earl of Lincoln, he appears to have Iong held a large portion of the profits of the EARLDOM OF LINCOLN. He distinguished himself as a soldier both on the side of the Empress Maud and of that of King Stephen, with the greatest impartiality. He was one of the 5 Earls (h) who witnessed the Charter to Salisbury granted at the Northampton Council of Henry I, 8 September 1131. To Stephen's second "Charter of Liberties" he was, in 1136, a witness, and by him he was made Constable of Lincoln. Against that King, however, he took part at the battle of Lincoln, 2 February 1141, in which Stephen was made prisoner, who retaliated on the Earl 29 August 1146, by seizing him at Court, at Northampton. The King granted him the Castle and city of Lincoln, probably after the pacification of 1151.
He married, about 1141, Maud, daughter of Robert, EARL OF GLOUCESTER, by Mabel, daughter and heir of Robert FITZ-HAMOND, lord of Tewkesbury. Having again taken part with King Stephen, and being consequently distrusted by both sides, he died 16 [?17] December 1153, being supposed to have been poisoned by his wife and William Peverell, of Nottingham. He was buried at St. Werburg's, Chester. His widow, who in 1172 founded Repton Priory, co. Derby, died 29 July 1189. [Complete Peerage III:166-7, XIV:170, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]
(h) The four others were, Robert of Gloucester, William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, Robert of Leicester and Roger of Warwick.
From Post-ems by Curt_Hofemann@yahoo.com (accessed 12/31/10):
"Ranulph de Gernon , 2nd Earl of Chester
Ranulph, Son to the last Ranulph, succeeding in the Earldom of Cheshire, being for distinction from his Father, called Ranulph de Gernons; was a man of great action in his days, especially in Martial Affairs, in that turbulent time of King Stephens reign, taking part with Maud the Empress, and her Son Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King by the name of Henry the Second) to whom, he was by affinity nearly Allied; for he had wedded Maud, Daughter of Robert, Sirnamed Consul, Earl of Glocester, one of the Illegitimate Sons to King Henry the First; which Robert, was (by his Father) Brother to the Empress.
In 6 Steph. [An. 1141.] this Earl Ranulph de Gernons seised upon Lincoln by subtilty, and manned it on behalf of the Empress. Whereupon the King laid siege to it about Christmass, and continued it, till this stout Earl, with Robert, Earl of Glocester, (his Father-in-Law) and many other of the English Nobility came, at Candlemass to raise it . Who, then passing the Fen (as in those days it was) with not little difficulty, disposed their Army into four parts, the Van led by himself; which being put in Battle Array, he made a bold Oration to the Soldiers, manifesting the cause of that their undertaking; and of his own resolution to lead them on, being therein seconded by the Earl of Glocester. Howbeit, before these Speeches were fully ended, the fight began, and the charge on the part of these Earls, given with such courage, that the Royal Army was soon routed, and the King himself being taken prisoner sent to the Castle of Bristol, there to be secured, where he continued not long. For though the Empress upon this success, getting together all the strength she could make (the King of Scots also coming to her aid) marched to Winchester, and laid siege to that Castle, which the Kings Forces then held. Yet through the perfidiousness of this Earl, who leaving her, fled to the adverse party; her Army became soon soiled, and the Earl of Glocester a prisoner; for whose enlargement, the King was set at liberty.
After this, in 9 Steph. the King came to besiege Lincoln again, and began to build a Fort against the Castle, which being discerned by this Earl then within it, he issued out upon the Workmen before they had perfected their design; and destroying many of them , necessitated the King to draw off his Army; which within a short space after, so much increased, that our Earl seeing the tide to turn, began to consult his own safety. And for the better ingratiating himself with the King, not only brought in all his Forces, but those alone took Bedford by Assault (which had always set light by the Royal Authority) and delivered it into the Kings hands.
And, besides all this, in 11 Steph. [An. 1146.] when the King sate down with his Army before the Castle of Wallingford, he came in to him with no less than Three hundred well-appointed Horse, and there stedfastly continued until a most impregnable Fort was raised for the close besieging that Garrison, which had much annoyed the Countrey by frequent excursions.
But notwithstanding all this, the King durst not trust him, considering his former actings; so that unless he would deliver up the Castle of Lincoln, and all other places of strength then in his power, it was resolved he should be secured; which being afterwards accordingly done at Northampton, he was by the kings command laid hold on, and cast into prison. Howbeit, giving Hostages, and making Oath, that he would no more be disobedient, he had free permission to enjoy the benefit of his Earldom.
Yet, no sooner was he at liberty [An. 1147.], than, neglecting his Oath, he began to flie out again; seising upon the Kings Castles, some by fraud, and some by force. Howbeit, coming to Lincoln, expecting to take it by assault, he was repulsed with much loss. Thence therefore he hasted to his Castle at Coventry, whereof finding the Kings Forces possessed, he presently raised a strong Fort to besiege them; abut the King hearing of it, made all speed he could to relieve it. In which attempt, divers of his men were slain and wounded, and the King himself hurt; yet, after a while, having gotten more strength, he again adventured, and then utterly routed them. In which action, many lost their lives, our Earl himself not escaping without Wounds.
About this time there hapning some variance betwixt this Earl Ranulph and Owen, Prince of North Wales. Ranulph gathered a power of his friends and hired Soldiers from all parts of England, and with the help of Madoc ap Meredyth, Prince of Powys (who disdained to hold his Lands of Owen) entred North Wales. But Owen meeting them at Counsylth, gave them Battle, and utterly routed all their Army.
After this, scil. in An. 1150. (15 Steph.) this Earl assisted at the Knighting of Young Henry, Duke of Normandy, at Carleol, by David King of Scotland; and there came to an Agreement with that King, touching Carleol, which he claimed as his Hereditary Right, and did him homage for it; it being then said, That instead of Carleol, he should have the Honor of Lancaster; and that his Son should marry one of the Daughters of Henry, Son to the King of Scotland. Whereupon they all agreeing to march with what powers they had against King Stephen, the King of Scots, and young Henry, advanced with their Forces to Lancaster, expecting to have met this Earl there with his (as he promised) but he failed them.
And the next year following, betaking himself to his wonted treacherous courses, was laid hold on by King Stephen; and through very strait imprisonment put to great misery; nor could he obtain any liberty, until he had yielded up Lincoln, and his strong Holds into the Kings hands, and given Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Glocester (his Nephew) for an Hostage. Howbeit, after he had by that means got his enlargement, he performed nothing of what he promised, but exposed his Hostage to danger; and for regaining his Castles, he did his utmost to recal young Henry out of Normandy.
Thus we see how restless this stout Earl was in that quarrel of the Empress and her Son; yet before his death he grew more calm, as may appear by those amicable Articles of Agreement made betwixt him and Robert, the Earl of Leicester, at that time one of the Kings most firm Champions, in the presence of Robert, then Bishop of Lincoln, and their own respective Retinues; viz. On the Earl of Chesters part, Richard de Lovetot, William Fitz-Nigel, and Ranulph, his Sheriff; and on the Earl of Leicesters part, Ernald de Bois, Geffrey Abbot, and Reginald de Bordiney; the substance whereof were as followeth, viz.
I. That the Earl of Leicester should thenceforth possess Mountsorel Castle to be held of Earl Ranulph, and his Heirs; upon condition, that he should receive Earl Ranulph and his Retinue into the Borough and Fort there, upon occasion. And in case of necessity, that Earl Ranulph himself should lodge in the Castle.
II. That if the King should command the Earl of Leicester to assist him, against Earl Ranulph, that he must not take with him above twenty Men at Arms. And in case, the Earl of Leicester take any thing from Earl Ranulph in that service, faithfully to restore it.
III. Likewise, that the Earl of Leicester should not, upon occasion damnifie Earl Ranulph, except he sent him a Defiance fifteen days before.
IV. That he should assist Earl Ranulph against all Men, excepting the King, and Earl Simon; yea, against Earl Simon also, in case, that he do Earl Ranulph any wrong, and not make recompence for it, upon request made by the Earl of Leicester.
V. That he should do his utmost to defend all the Earl of Chesters Lands and Possessions, which were within his power.
VI. Moreover, that Raunston Castle should be demolished, unless Earl Ranulph should be otherwise content. And if any person should hold that Castle against the Earl of Leicester, Earl Ranulph to give his real assistance for the destroying it.
VII. That if Earl Ranulph should have cause of Action against William de Alneto, the Earl of Leicester should bring him to tryal in his Court, so long as he should hold any Lands of him. And in case the said William shall recede from his fidelity unto the Earl of Leicester, for demolishing that Castle; or, for bringing him to such Tryal in his Court, Earl Ranulph not go give William de Alneto any protection.
By this accord also, the Earl of Leicester was to have the Castle of Witewic (belonging to Earl Ranulph) fortified.
The like Covenants were on the part of Earl Ranulph unto the Earl of Leicester; and that he should assist him against all men, except the King, and Robert Earl Ferrers. Also as to the razing of Raunston Castle, if any one should hold it against the Earl of Leicester.
Furthermore, it was agreed, That neither of them should erect any new Castle betwixt Hinkley and Coventrey; nor betwixt Hinkley and Hacareshul, nor betwixt Coventrey and Donington, nor betwixt Donington and Leicester, nor at Gateham, nor at Kinolton, nor nearer. Nor betwixt Kinolton and Belvoir, nor betwixt Belvoir and Okeham, nor betwixt Okeham and Rokingham, nor nearer; unless by the mutual assent of both. Likewise, That if any man should erect a Castle in those places, or within those Precincts, each to assist other for the demolishing it.
And for the better observance of this Accord, they engaged themselves each to other by Oath, in the presence of the Bishop of Lincoln, That if either of them should recede therefrom, and not make satisfaction within fifteen days upon request, that the Bishops of Lincoln and Chester should do justice upon them as Faithbreakers.
Moreover it appears, that this Earl granted unto Robert, Earl of Leicester, and his Heirs, the Lordship of Cerneley, and all the Woods adjacent thereto, adjoyning to his Forest of Leicester; as well those of his Fee, as his own proper Woods, excepting his Park at Barow; to hold and enjoy the same as Forest, in as ample manner, as he held the Forest of Leicester of the King. So also, whatsoever he had in the City of Leicester, both in Demesn, and of his Fee.
And as the Earl of Leicester and he did thus capitulate (as hath been observed) so most certain it is, that King Stephen himself at length came to a good accord with him, and received him into no little favor and trust; for by his special Charter it appears, that he bestowed on him the Castle and City of Lincoln, to enjoy until he should be restored to his Lands in Normandy, and Castles there. And thereupon gave him leave to fortifie one of the Towers in Lincoln Castle, and to have the command thereof, until he should deliver unto him the Castle of Tikhill (in Yorkshire.) Which being done, then the King to have the City and Castle of Lincoln again, excepting the Earls own Tower, which his Mother had fortified; as also the Constableship of that Castle, and of the whole County, which belonged to him by Hereditary right (as are the words of the Charter.) Moreover, besides all this, the King then granted to him the Castle of Belvoir, with the whole Barony thereto belonging, and all the Land of William de Albini (Lord of Belvoir) of whomsoever he held it; and likewise, Graham with Soke. And though the Heirs of Graham should come to an Agreement with the King, yet the Barony to remain to this Earl, the King giving them exchange for it. By this Charter also, the King granted to him and his Heirs, Newcastle in Staffordshire, with all the Appurtenances; the Soke of Roeley in Leicestershire, Dorkesey (in Lincolnshire) the Town of Derby, with Appurtenances; Mansfield (in Com. Nott.) with Appurtenances; Stonely (in Warwickshire) with the Appurtenances; the Wapentake of Oswarbeck (in Nottinghamshire) and all the Lands of Robert de Busly, with the whole Honor of Blithe, as it is set forth. Likewise all the Lands of Roger de Poictou, from Northampton in Scotland, excepting that which belongeth to Robert de Montebegon, in Lincolnshire. Likewise, all the Lands betwixt the Rivers of Ribble and Merle (in Lancashire) and the Land which he had in Demesne in the Mannor of Grimesby (in Com. Linc.) As also the Lands which the Earl of Glocester had in Demesne within that Mannor of Grimesby. And lastly, for the special respect that the King bore unto him, he not only restored to Adelais de Condie al her Lands, viz. Horncastre (in Lincolnshire) when the Castle should be demolished; but all his own other Lands.
Yet notwithstanding all hath been said, this Earl was so real an honorer of Henry, Duke of Normandy, that he often adventured his life and fortune on his behalf. And that the said Duke did highly esteem of him, this memorable Charter which he Sealed at the Devizes in Wiltshire, will abundantly manifest; whereby he granted unto him all his Inheritance in Normandy and England, as freely as any of his Ancestors held the same viz.
The Castles of Uire[Vire?] and Barbifleet, with such Liberty, that through the whole Precinct thereof, he might take his forfeits; as also the Wood of Fosses and Alebec, and that for which he was Sheriff of Abrincis, and in S. James, whereof he had made him Earl. Likewise whosoever he had in Abrinchem he thereby gave unto him, excepting the Brishoprick, and the Abbacy of Mount S. Michael, and what belonged unto them. Moreover, all the Honor (id est, the Barony) of Earl Roger de Poictou, wheresoever it lay; and all the Honor of Blithe, wheresoever in England. As also the whole honor of Eye, which Robert Malet, his Mothers Uncle did ever enjoy.
Furthermore, he gave him Stafford, and the whole County of Stafford, and whatsoever he had of Inheritance there, except the Fees of the Bishop of Chester, of Earl Robert de Ferrers, of Hugh de Mortimer, and of Gervase Paganell; and excepting also his Forest of Canoc, which he retained in his own hand.
Likewise he gave unto him the Fee of Alan de Lincolne, his Mothers Uncle; and the Fee of Ernise de Burun, as his own Inheritance; and the Fee of Hugh de Scotiney, Robert de Cahlz, Raphe Fitz Oates; Norman de Verdun, and Robert de Staford, wheresoever any of them lay. Besides al these, he gave to him and his Heirs Thirty pound Lands in Grimesby; as also Nottingham Castle, with the Borough, and whatsoever he had in Nottingham. And all the Fee of William Peverell wheresoever it lay, excepting Higham, unless he could acquit himself of his wickedness and treason, by a fair tryal in Court. Moreover, if Ingelram de Albemarle would not take his part, nor Earl Simon, he gave Higham, to this Earl Ranulph, in case he would accept thereof; as also Torchesey and Oswardebeck Wapentakes; Derby with all its appurtenances; Mansfield, with the Soke; Roeley with the Soke, and Stanley (near Coventrey) with the Soke; promising him farther, that so soon as he should be in power, he should have a tryal for Belvoir.
Besides all this, he gave unto Six of his Barons, whom he should chuse, One hundred pound Land per annum to each, viz. Of that which should happen to be gained from his enemies. And to all their Parents, that Inheritance which was in his power; and what was not at present, he promised to do them right in, whensoever he should be able. Unto which Charter these were Witnesses, viz. William the Chancellor, Reginald Earl of Cornwall, Roger Earl of Hereford, Patrick Earl of Salisbury, Umfrey de Buhun Sewer, . . . . . Fitz-Gilbert, Richard de Hunet Constable, Warin Fitz Gerold, Robert de Curcey Sewer, Manasser Bisset Sewer, Philip de Columbers. And on the part of Earl Ranulph, William Earl of Lincolne, Hugh Wac, G. Castell de Fines, Simon Fitz-William, Thurstan de Montfert, Geffrey de Costentine, William de Verdun, Richard Boteler, Roger Wac, and Simon Fitz-Osbert.
This Earl gave to William, Earl of Lincoln, (his brother by the Mother) the Lordship of Watteley, to hold by the Service of two Knights Fees.
Having now done with his Secular Actions, I come lastly to his Works of Piety, which were great and many.
He was the devout Founder of a Monastery for Cistercian Monks, in a place called Radmore, within the Forest of Canoc in Staffordshire; which afterwards, for exchange of those Lands wherewith it was endowed, King Henry the Second, with Maud the Empress (his Mother) translated to Stonely in Warwickshire.
He was also Founder of the Priory of Trentham in Staffordshire, for Canons Regular of S. Augustines Order.
To the Monks of S. Werburge at Chester, he granted, that their Fairs and Markets there, should be held at the Gate of their Abbey. And moreover, gave unto the Tenth of all his Rents in that City of Chester. As also, the Tithes of all his Mills there, and of his Mill at Lecke in Staffordshire; and likewise, the Lordships of Estham and Brunneburgh in perpetual Alms, for satisfaction of what injuries he had ever done them.
To the Nuns of Chester, he gave certain Crofts which Hugh Fitz-Oliver then held of him.
To the Abbey of Geroudon in Leicestershire, he gave the Mannor of Barow in that County.
To the Monks of Louth-Park in Lincolnshire, he gave Lands in Tetteney.
To the Monks of S. Peters at Glocester, Forty pounds yearly Rent out of his Mill at Olney.
To the Abbey of Shrewsbury, two Houses in Chindred-Wiche, and as much Salt as they could there make, without Toll.
To the Nuns of Clarkenwell (near London) divers Lands, expressed within Meets and Bounds, lying beyond the Bridge at Chester.
To the Monks of Basingwerke in Flintshire, One hundred shillings yearly Rent of his Rents at Chester; likewise Haliwell and Fulbroke, and the Chappel of Basingwerke, in which they at first were seated, with the Mills there.
To the Canons of S. Augustine at Bristol, he gave the Mannor of Fifhide in Dorsetshire; and the Churches of S. Leonard, S. Nicholas, and Alballows, within the Town of Bristol.
To the Cannons of S. Augustine at Leicester, two Carucates of Land in Roely, with a Meadow adjoyning; as also the Church of Barow, with the Chappel of Querndon, and one Carucate of Land in Barow and Querndon.
To the Knights of Hospitalars of S. John of Jerusalem, one Messuage, and one Acre of Land in Frodesham, with the Church of Colkesby.
And to the Nuns of Stikeswould in Lincolnshire, one Carucate and two Bovates of Land in Baresfon.
To the Monks of Coventrey, he gave liberty to have two Carts, going to and fro twice every day, excepting Festivals into his Woods, to fetch thence whatsoever they should need, either in relation to the repair of their Buildings, Fewel for their Fire, or Trouse for their Hedges.
And departed this life the 17 Kal. of Jan. An. 1153. (18 Steph.) being poysoned by William Peverel, and others, as it was suspected (for which crime, Peverel was disherited by King Henry the Second, soon after) and was buried near his Father (scil. in the Chapter-house of the Abbey of S. Werburge at Chester. He was a person of extraordinary valor, and undanted (sic) courage; and though he favored the Cause of Duke Henry, he did little for him; but for King Stephen nothing at all.
Some great injury, it should seem, he had done to Walter Vurdent, Bishop of Chester, and to the Church; for which he died excommunicate. For I find, that Earl Hugh his Son, with Maud his Widow, gave the Town of Stivichale, near Coventrey; with a Mill next to the Park, and some Grounds thereabouts, to that Bishop and his Successors for his Absolution, and the health of his Soul, in recompence thereof. Which Maud was Daughter of Robert Consul, Earl of Glocester, and Foundress of the Priory of Repandun (Vulg. Repton) in Derbishire; by whom he left Issue. two Sons, Hugh and Richard, and surviving him in 32 Hen. w. held the Lordship of Wadinton in Dowry. [Ref: Dugdale, Baronage of England, 1675, reprinted by Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim & New York, 1977; Earls of Chester, pp. 37-40]
RANDULF, called DE GERNONS, Earl of Chester (d. 1153), was son and heir of Randulf 'Meschin,' earl of Chester, whom he succeeded shortly before 1130. He is found in the pipe roll of that year indebted to the crown for large sums (p. 110), including 1,000_l_. which his father had died owing for the fief of his kinsman the Earl of Chester. His mother also is entered as paying considerable amounts, implying that her husband was lately dead. In the following year (8 Sept. 1131) Randulf attended a great council of the realm at Northampton (Round, _Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 265), but took no active part in affairs under Henry I.
It was with the accession of Stephen that the earl became an important factor in English politics. His power was by no means limited to the county which formed his earldom. In Lincoinshire he inherited the great fief of his father, Randulf Meschin, with that of their kinsman and predecessor, Earl Richard. In the same county his half-brother and staunch ally, William de Roumare, was in possession of their mother's large estates, while, through her, they claimed rights over Lincoln Castle. In the north, Carlisle, with its honour, which his father had once held, was a special object of the earl's desire. The springs of his policy, therefore, are found in Lincoln and Carlisle. To pacify the Scottish king and his son, Stephen granted Carlisle to the latter at the very beginning of his reign (_Ric. Hex._ p. 146). Henry of Scotland, coming south, attended his Easter court in 1136, when the special honour shown him raid the earl's jealousy (_Geoffrey de Mandeville_ p. 265 Sym. Dunelm. ii. 287). He is found, however, as a witness at Oxford to Stephen's charter of liberties after Easter (_Geoffrey de Mandeville_, p. 263). He seems to have then withdrawn to his dominions, and invaded Wales, but with ill-success (Sym.
Dunelm. ii. 287). He stood completely aloof till 1140, when he endeavoured to intercept his rival, Henry, returning to Scotland (_ib._ ii. 306). Discontented at not obtaining as much as he wanted from Stephen, he succeeded, on the king's departure from Lincoinshire towards the close of the year, in gaining possession by a trick of the keep of Lincoln Castle (Ord. Vit. v. 125; Will. Newb. i. 39; Will. Malm. ii. 569). Stephen hurried back after Christmas, and closely besieged him with his half-brother and their wives in the castle. The earl, who was 'the younger and more daring of the two,' contrived to slip out, and strained every nerve to gather forces for the relief of the besieged. Besides his own followers and Welsh allies, he secured the assistance of Robert, earl of Gloucester, whose daughter he had married before the death of Henry I (Will. Malm. ii. 569), and he made his way to the Empress Maud to offer his allegiance in return for help (_ib._ p. 570; Ord. Vit. v. 126; Will. Newb. i. 40). With his father-in-law and the forces they had gathered, he reached Lincoln on 2 Feb. 1141, and, in the battle beneath its walls, took a foremost part, charging the king in person (Hen. Hunt. pp. 268-74; Gervase, p. 117). Entering the city in triumph, on the defeat of the enemy, he allowed his Welsh troops to sack it (Ord. Vit. v. 129).
Having gained his immediate object, the earl again stood aloof, and is not found at the court of the empress. Conan, earl of Richmond, who had fled at Lincoln, tried to waylay and seize him, but was himself captured, thrown into prison, and forced to do homage to Earl Randulf and become his man (Sym. Dunelm. ii. 308; _Gesta Sephani_, p. 72). In August 1141, however, the crisis caused by the siege of Winchester drew him south, and he joined the queen's forces (Sym. Dunelm. ii. 310), but he went over to the empress (_ib._; _Gesta_, p. 79), though 'tardily and to no purpose' (Will. Malm. ii. 581). Early in 1142, when Stephen was on his way to York, Randuiph, with his half-brother William, now Earl of Lincoln, met the king at Stamford (_Geoffrey de Mandeville_, p. 1 59; _Engl. Hist. Rev._ x. 88). The king and he swore 'that neither should prove traitor to the other, and Earl William received the royal manor of Kirton and was confirmed in possession of Gaineborough with its bridge over the Trent (_Great Coucher_, vol. ii. f. 445). Stephen clearly had to bide his time, but in 1144 felt strong enough to make an attack on Lincoln, which, however, was defeated (Hen. Hunt. p. 277; Will. Newb.. i. 48). Meanwhile, Randulf been vigorously assailed by Robert Marinion (who was on Stephen's side) from Coventry, but Robert was slain there in a sally against Randulf's attack (Will. Newb. 47). Harrying the king's supporters (_Gesta_, p. 107), and seizing on crown property (_ib._ p. 118), he practically ruled over 'a third part of the realm' (_ib._ p. 117), represented by a triangle, with its apex at Chester and its bases at Coventry and Lincoln. Alarmed, however, in 1146 at the growing power of Stephen, he suddenly renewed friendship with him, joined vigorously in the siege of Bedford, and, on its fall, assisted the king with three hundred knights in pushing the siege of Wallingford (_ib._; Hen. Hunt. p. 279; Will. Newg. i. 49). But the firm hold he kept on his castles, and his proved instability, alarmed the king and his advisers (_Gesta_, p. 118). The earl seems to have incurred the suspicion of treachery by urging the king to join him in repelling the inroads of the Welsh (_ib. pp. 123-4); and, while in king's court at Northampton, he was accused, arrested, and thrown into prison unscrupulously enough (_ib._ p. 125; Hen. Hunt. p. 279; Will. Newb. i. 49). He was released, as in similar cases, only at the cost of surrendering his castles. He also swore to keep the peace, and gave hostages (_Gesta_, p. 126), his nephew, the Earl of Hertford, also pledging himself and his castles for his uncle's good behaviour (_ib._ p. 127). Stephen, proud of his questionable triumph, kept his Christmas court in 1146 at Lincoln (Hen. Hunt.. p. 279).
Panting for revenge, and heedless alike of the oaths he had sworn and the safety of his hostages, Randulf flung himself against Lincoln as soon as Stephen had left it, only to be driven back by the burgesses of that populous and wealthy city, with the assistance of Stephen's garrison (Gervase, i. 132; _Gesta_, p. 126; Hen. Hunt. p. 279). He then laid siege to Coventry, but Stephen, hurrying thither, relieved it, and engaged the earl's forces, unsuccessfully at first, but finally with better fortune, Randulf narrowly escaping death (_Gesta_, pp. 126-7). The king then pursued his advantage, attacking the earl's strongholds (_ib._) He had already seized his nephew, the Earl of Ilertford, and extorted from him his castles (_ib._ pp. 127-8). Randulf's only hope of revenge lay now in the empress and her son; but they had left England in despair. Henry, however, returned at length in the spring of 1149, and the earl hastened to join him (Gervase, i. 140; Sym. Dunelm. ii. 235). On 22 May 1149 Henry was knighted at Carlisle, and the earl, who was present, agreed to abanbon his old claim in favour of the Scottish prince, receiving the honour of Lancaster instead (Sym. Dunelm. ii. 323). A powerful triple alliance was formed by this compromise, and the earl agreed to confirm it by a marriage between his son and a daughter of Henry of Scotland (_ib._ p. 323). He failed, however, to join his allies at the promised time, and so brought the whole enterprise to naught (_ib._ p. 323). It is probable (_Engl. Hist. Rev._ x. 91) that Stephen, whom the scheme had seriously alarmed, had detached the earl on this occasion by granting the remarkable charter (_Dep.-Keeper Publ. Rec._ 31st Rep. p. 2) of which an English paraphrase is given by Dugdale (_Baronage_, i. 39). By this charter Lincoln was to be restored to him under certain elaborate conditions, and he was to receive large grants of escheated and crown lands, including the land 'between Mersey and Ribble,' together with Belvoir Castle audits appendant estates. Besides lands in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Warwickshire, he obtained Torksey and Grimsby in Lincolnshire, his dominion thus practically extending from sea to sea, with a port on both coasts. Mean while he was assisting Madog, son of Maredudd, to rise against Owain of Gwynedd, but his auxiliaries were defeated at Consyllt pass (_Brut_, p. 179).
When Duke Henry landed in England in January 1153 he saw the necessity of gaining over so powerful a noble at any cost. Hence his charter granted at Devizes (_Cott. Chart._ xvii. 2; Dugdale, i. 39), which outbid even the enormous concessions of Stephen. As Duke of Normandy he was able to add power and possessions over-sea, while the grant of Staffordshire to be annexed to Cheshire firmly connected the earl's dominions on the west and the east of England. Such concessions, extorted by necessity, would doubtless have been resumed later, but they served their purpose in gaining the earl (Gervase, i. 155), who is found with the duke at Wallingford (_Geoffrey de Mandeville_, p. 419). He died, however, before the close of the year (Rob. Tor. p. 177; Sym. Dunelm.), on 16 Dec. (Dugdale, i. 40), poisoned, it was believed, by William Peverell of Nottingham (Gervase, i. 155), whose lands had been granted him by Henry. He was buried near his father, in St. Werbm's Abbey, Chester (_Monast. Angl._ ii. 218), though Dugdale has a story that he died excommunicate (_Baronage_, i. 40). His benefactions to religious houses in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Lincoinshire, Warwickshire, and other counties are collected in Dugdale's 'Baronage' (i. 40). There is ground for assigning his foundation of Trentham Priory and his confirmation to St. Werburg's Abbey (_Monast. Angl._ vi. 397, ii. 388) to his last days at Gresley Castle, where he is believed to have died (Sitwell, _Barons of Pulford_, pp. 62, 63).
Dugdale also has printed an English version (_Baronage_, i. 38) of an elaborate treaty (Vincent, _Discovery_, p. 301) between Earl Randulf and the Earl of Leicester, his rival in the midlands, which throws light on the extent of his rule.
The earl is always spoken of as a gallant and daring warrior, but instability and faithlessness are laid to his charge. It is probable, however, that his policy was not so erratic as it seems, for it eventually secured him the ends he had in view. He fought only for his own hand.
By Maud, daughter of Robert, earl of Gloucester, he left a son and successor, Hugh. The countess, who appears as a widow in 1186 (_Rot. de Dom._ p. 8), founded the priory of Repton in Derbyshire (_Monast. Angl._ vi. 428, 430). She is said in its annals to have died in July 1189 (_ib._)
[Authorities cited; Ordericus Vitalis (ed. Société de l'Histoire de France); Symeon of Durham, William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, Gesta Stephani, Richard of Hexham, William of Newburgh (these three in Rowlett's 'Chronicles '), Gervase of Canterbury, Brut y Tywysogion (all in Rolls Ser.); Vincent's Discovery of Brooke's Errors; Dugdale's Baronage; Monasticon Anglicanum; Round's Geoffrey de Mandeville; Grimaldi's Rotulus de Dominabus; Reports of the Deputy-Keeper of the Records; Great Coucher of the Duchy of Lancaster (Public Record Office); Cotton Charters (British Museum).] J. H. R.* [Ref: DNB, Editor, Sidney Lee, MacMillan Co, London & Smith, Elder & Co., NY, 1909, vol. xvi, pp. 729-731]
* John Horace Round, M.A., LL.D., author of this article.
CHESTER (County of)
2. Ranulph, _styled_ "de Gernon,"(g166) Earl of Chester, also Vicomte d'Avranches, &c., in Normandy, s. and h. He was born before 1100, in the Castle of Gernon in Normandy. To the detriment of his elder brother of the half blood, William (de Roumare), Earl of Lincoln, he appears to have long held a large portion of the profits of the Earldom of Lincoln. He distinguished himself as a soldier both on the side of the Empress Maud and of that of King Stephen, with the greatest impartiality. He was one of the 5 Earls (h166) who witnessed the Charter to Salisbury granted at the Northampton Council of Henry I, 8 Sep. 1131. To Stephen's second "Charter of Liberties" he was, in 1136, a witness, and by him he was made Constable of Lincoln. Against that King, however, he took part at the battle of Lincoln, 2 Feb. 1141, in which Stephen was made prisoner, who retaliated on the Earl 29 Aug. 1146, by seizing him at Court, at Northampton. The King granted him the Castle and city of Lincoln, probably after the pacification of 1151.(a167) He m., about 1141, Maud, da. of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, by Mabel, da. and h. of Robert Fitz-Hamond, lord of Tewkesbury. Having again taken part with King Stephen, and being consequently distrusted by both sides, he d. 16 (?17) Dec. 1153,(b167) being supposed to have been poisoned by his wife and William Peverell, of Nottingham. He was bur. at St. Werburg's, Chester. His widow, who in 1172 founded Repton Priory, co. Derby, d. 29 July 1189.
(g166) As to _de Gernon_ (possibly _des_ Gernon), J. H. Round points out its resemblance to _als Gernon_ ("aux Moustaches") the _sobriquet_ of William de Percy.
(h166) The four others were, Robert of Gloucester, William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, Robert of Leicester and Roger of Warwick.
See J. H. Round's _Geoffrey de Mandville_, p. 265. V.G. [Vicary Gibbs, editor of CP 111]
(a167) See J. H. Round's "King Stephen and the Earl of Chester" in _Eng. Hist. Review_, vol. x, b. 87, V.G.
(b167) See "Annals Cestrienses" edit. 1887, by R. C. Christie, who remarks (in the "Introduction") on the light which the dates of the birth and marriage of Earl Hugh (1147 and 1169) throw "on the bitterly debated point, the question of the legitimacy of his da. Amicia, wife of Ralph Mainwaring." [Ref: CP III:166-7 as emended by CP XIV:170] "
"In 1142 we read of a quarrel between Prince Henry of Scotland, who had been invested with the principality of Cumberland, and Ralph, Earl of Chester, who claimed that county as his inheritance under King William's grant to Ralph de Meschines. This matter is said to have been compromised by an agreement, that the Earl of Chester should have the honor of Lancaster in lieu, and marry one of Prince Henry's daughters (fn. 26) . In 1149 we find the English and Scottish monarchs again in hostile array against each other, David being at Carlisle and Stephen at York; but we are told that each party being afraid of the other, they both retired homewards (fn. 27) . The following year David, Prince Henry, (afterwards Henry II. of England,) and Ralph, Earl of Chester, entered into a league against Stephen, at Carlisle; Prince Henry was then knighted by David, and swore that when he came to the throne he would confirm to David and his heirs his English territories.
26 Leland's Collectan. II. 364.
27 Gervas Cant. and Henry Huntingdon.
28 John Pr. de Hagulstad.
29 John Pr. de Hagulstad.
From: 'General history: Historical events', Magna Britannia: volume 4: Cumberland (1816), pp. III-XXVII. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50660 Date accessed: 31 December 2010.
"CALDER-BRIDGE, a hamlet, in the parish of Beckermet, St. Bridget, union of Whitehaven, Allerdale ward above Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 5 miles (S. E.) from Egremont. This place owes its origin and name to a bridge over the river Calder; and is celebrated for the remains of an abbey founded for Cistercian monks, by Ralph de Meschines, second earl of Chester and Cumberland, in 1134, in honour of the Virgin Mary, and the revenue of which, at the suppression, was £64. 3. 9. The beautiful ruins are situated in a sequestered and well-wooded vale, and consist principally of part of the transepts of the church, and a tower. The chapel here was rebuilt in 1841."
From: 'Caldbeck - Calmsden', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 471-474. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50852 Date accessed: 31 December 2010.
"A papal document of 1174, in which the first mention of the monastery occurs, states that Ranulph, Earl of Chester, gave 30 acres in Charnwood Forest to the priory, and it must therefore have been founded before the death of Earl Ranulph de Gernon in 1153. (fn. 3)
3 B.M. Harl. Chart. 111, A6. This document has been printed, not quite accurately, in Nichols, Leics. iii, 1085. It implies that Ulverscroft had existed for 40 years before 1174, but this is no doubt a round number."
From: 'Houses of Augustinian canons: The priory of Ulverscroft', A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2 (1954), pp. 19-21. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38163
He was the son of Ranulph III le Meschin, first Earl of Chester and Lucy. In 1141, he married Maud of Gloucester, daughter of Robert de Caen, Earl of Gloucester and Maud Fitz-Hamon. (Wikipedia)
Ranulf defected from the Empress to Stephen in 1145. This was rather surprising as he had extensive estates in Normandy, which was now under the control of Geoffrey of Anjou, husband to the Empress. It was believed he had suffered greatly to Welsh incursions into his lands. He was also seen as the arch-rebel, as he had precipitated the capture of the king at Lincoln. However, on the other hand, Ranulf could exercise his quarrel with David King of Scotland regarding his coveted northern lands. Since 1141 David had been allied to the Empress, so it is unsurprising that Ranulf switched sides. It is probable that Phillip the son of Earl Robert, Ranulfs brother-in-law, may well have acted as an intermediary with the king, as Phillip had defected to the king, standing against his own father. Ranulf came to the king at Stamford, repented his previous crimes and was restored to favour in late 1145 or early 1146. Ranulf was allowed to retain Lincoln Castle until he could recover his Normandy lands. Ranulf demonstrated his good will by helping Stephen to capture Bedford from Miles de Beauchamp and by bringing 300 knights to the seige of Wallingford.
Although Ranulf?s support was welcomed by Stephen, it was not so welcomed by some of Stephen?s other supporters, whom Ranulf had seized land from. Those magnates especially jealous of Ranulf were William de Clerfeith, Gilbert de Gant, Earl Alan of Richmond, William Peverel of Nottingham, William d?Aubigny and John Count of Eu. Many of the magnates were alarmed when it was discovered that Ranulf wanted the King to take part in a campaign against the Welsh. His opponents councilled the king that Wales was ideal for an ambush, and that the Earl might be planning treachery since he had offered no hostages or security for his good faith. So far as Stephen went suspicions never fell on deaf ears, and it gave him the opportunity to practise his special technique of the contrived quarrel at court. In this case the quarrel was at Northampton and was provoked by an unnamed advisor who told the Earl that the king would not assist him unless he restored all the property he had taken and delivered hosatges for his future loyalty. The Earl refused the request, stating that this was not why he had come back to court and he had not been given notice of the matter. In the ensuing quarrel he was accused of treason, arrested and imprisoned in chains until his friends succeeded in coming to terms with the King (28 August 1146). It was then agreed that the earl should be released provided he surrendered all the royal lands and castles he had seized (Lincoln included), gave hostages and took a solemn oath not to resist the king in future.
Ranulf was understandably angered as he was arrested whilst in the king?s peace and protection and in contravention of the oath which the king had sworn to him at Stamford. He revolted as soon as he regained his liberty having learnt it was useless to try to come to terms with a king who did not keep his word. When was set free he ?burst into a blind fury of rebellion scarcely discriminating between friend or foe?.
When Ranulf made abortive attacks on Coventry and Lincoln (see below) the king seized his hostages. The most important of these was Ranulf?s nephew Gilbert fitz Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford whom Stephen refused to release unless he surrendered his castles. Gilbert reacted to this in the customary method, agreeing to the condition and then revolting as soon as he was at liberty. This action pushed the Clares into the conflict, from which they had previously remained aloof.
One of Ranulf?s actions was to recover Lincoln back from the king (he had given it away as part of the bargain which gained his release). He brought many men to Lincoln to recover the town by rapid means but failed when trying to break into the north gate of the town. His chief lieutenant was slain in the fighting. Ranulf also tried to recover the castle at Coventry, by building a counter castle. The King came to Coventry to relieve it, and was wounded in the fighting. He did however drive Ranulf off, winning a victory against the Earl.
In 1153 Ranulf survived a failed attempt at murder by poison by one of his arch-enemies, William Peverel of Nottingham, when he was guest at Peverel?s house. William had poisoned the wine that Ranulf and his men had drunk. Three of Ranulf?s men died but the Earl recovered, though he suffered agonizingly, as he had drunk less than his men. William was exciled from England after Henry took the crown as he was accused of poisoning Ranulf and his retainers. The Earl died the same year (due to the poisoning?), on the 16 December 1153. One other notable event of 1153, was that Duke Henry granted Ranulf Staffordshire. After his death, the Earl?s heir Hugh was allowed to inherit Ranulf?s lands as held in 1135, and other honours bestowed upon Ranulf were revoked.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Father: Ranulph Briquessart De Meschines b: 1070 in Briquessart, Livry, France
Mother: Lucy Of Bolingbroke b: Abt 1042 in Normandy, France
Maud Mable De Caen b: 1120 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Sources for this Information:
date: abt 1141 [Ref: CP III p167, Paget HRHCharles p11, Watney WALLOP #230, Watney WALLOP #404, Weis AR7 #125, Weis AR7 #132A] um 1141 [Ref: ES III.2 #354], names: [Ref: CP V p686(b)], child: [Ref: CP III p167, Watney WALLOP #230, Weis AR7 #125]
Bef Jan 1141
in Gloucestershire, England 3
- Change Date:
30 Dec 2012
- Hugh De Keveliock b: 1147 in Kevelioc, Monmouth, England
- Richard Of Chester b: in England
- Beatrice Of Chester b: Abt 1145 in England
- Abbrev: 1Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Title: 1Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Abbrev: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Title: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Abbrev: Wikipedia