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Gernet Family of England

The Gernet family came to England at the time of the Conquest, or soon thereafter, probably in the train of Roger de Poitou, the third son of Roger de Montgomery, the Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury. I believe the Gernet's were first enfeoffed by Roger in Hampshire, Northamptonshire, and Essex, and later received lands in Lancashire.

Roger de Poitou

Roger was born in Normandy circa 1058, the third son of Roger of Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and Mabel of Bellême. In 1074, probably as a reward for his service, and that of his father, Roger acquired a great lordship including lands in southern Lancashire inter Ripam et Mersham ["between the Ribble and the Mersey"], Essex, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Hampshire.

The appellation de Poitou, or the Poitevin, was gained upon Roger's marriage, in 1086, to Almodis, heiress of the county of La Marche in Poitou, France. About this same time Roger lost his holdings in Lancashire, and perhaps elsewhere as well, for his support of the rebellion of the Conqueror's sons, Robert Curthose and William Rufus. Upon the King's death in 1087 these lands were returned to Roger by King William II Rufus.

In 1092, as a reward for his support of William II's invasion of Scotland and conquest of Cumbria, Roger received a large part of northern Lancashire, including the Lune river valley. He also acquired the great honour of Eye centered in Suffolk, previously owned by the Malet family.

During the conflict between William II and his brother, Duke Robert of Normandy, Roger generally supported his benefactor, William. However, after William's death in a hunting accident in the New Forest, and the ascension of his younger brother, Henry, as King of England, Roger switched his support to Duke Robert. This allegiance cost Roger and the Montgomery family their possessions in both England and Normandy when Henry triumphed over the feckless Robert.

Roger's lands in Lancashire were given to King Henry's nephew, Count Stephen of Blois. I do not know how his other lands were dispersed.

Roger meanwhile retired to his wife's holdings in Poitou where his sons would reign as counts.

I have divided the Gernet family of England into three geographic regions, those of Essex, Hampshire & Lancashire (or of the east, south and north), supposing that these define their subsequent descents. My assumption is that each of these were seats, inherited within that family line, and were held without reference to the other families. While this makes things neater, it does not necessarily portray the truth. It is possible, for instance, that a Gernet of Essex owned lands in Lancashire, or that one member was the single holder of all the properties with the other Gernets being enfeoffed of him, just as the Gernet's of Heysham were enfeoffed of the Halton line.

Below are links to the,

Gernets of Essex, circa 1086
Gernets of Hampshire, circa 1086
Gernets of Lancashire, circa 1094

The Gernet's of Northamptonshire

Per the Northampstonshire Survey of 1086 a Willelmus Gernet held 7 virgates in the Cleyley hundred of Northamptonshire.

"Hundredum de Cleyle
. . .
Willelmus Gernet vii paruas uirgatas de feodo de Berkamstede"
- from "Domesday People: Domesday Book" by K.S.B. Keats-Rohan
See the Gernets of France webpage. However, I have no evidence of any subsequent holdings in this region. A virgate is the amount of land that a team of two oxen could plough in a single planting season.

The Gernet's of Essex

Also as Garnet, Garnett, Garnette, Garnatt and Gurnut. Their arms were Azure, three griffin's heads erased or. These were members of the Gernet family that remained in southeastern England, including the counties of Essex, Suffolk, Bedford, Huntingdon, Middlesex, London and Hertford. They do not factor again in the story of the Heysham family descent.

The Battle Abbey Roll states that, "[a]t the same date, William Gernet was of Bedford, and Alexander and Geoffrey of Essex. In the latter county, at least, the family must have continued nearly two hundred years longer, for we find a Henry Gernet serving as Sheriff of Essex and Hertsfordshire in 1341. . ."

Doug Garnet [DGarn12940@aol.com] wrote,

"Another line of Gernets [as opposed to the Lancashire line] continued to propagate themselves in the county of Essex in England---probably the descendants of Richard Gernet who was living at Chignall in Essex at the time of the Doomsday book in 1086 AD. The Essex family of Gernets held large estates at Estre [now called High Easter, Essex] and even today there is a private chapel called Garnet Chancel in the church of St. Mary's at High Easter [where ancient members of this family are thought to have been buried in a crypt below this church] as well as various places called Garnet's Farm, Garnet Wood, and Great Garnets [the ruined foundations of a large mansion house that dates from at least the 16th century if not before]."
"The ancient house near the church is still known as Garnett's Hall." - from the "Essex Review." There is also a Garnet's Lane in Felsted's parish, near Dunmow. The village of Chelmsford appears to have been the center of their properties in Essex, which they held of Earl Geoffrey de Mandeville.

High Easter, Essex

Estre, Estra. A large and pleasant village, near the chief source of the river Can, 8 miles North West of Chelmsford. The parish includes the hamlets of Lofty Green, Mott's Green, Pentlow End, Staggin's [Stagden] Cross, Acreland Green, and Bishop's Green. Estates include Bell House, Great Garnetts, Hayrons and many scattered farmhouses. Before the Conquest, High Estra belonged to Ely Abbey, but at the Conquest it was seized by Algor, the constable of the army, but he was dispossessed by the Conqueror, who gave the parish to Geoffrey de Mandeville.

There is a manor of 'Garnets and Merks,' on the north side of the parish. The upper part of the chancel was the burial place of the Garnet family.
- from White's Directory of Essex 1848

William Gates, the son of Sir Geoffrey Gates, purchased the manor of Garnetts in High Easter from the Garnet family before 1500. This manor is, in other places, referred to as Great Garnetts in High Easter and Havering-atte-Bower, Essex, England. I have another reference for Great Garnett's Farm located in Bishops Green, Barnston, Dunmow, Essex.


(1) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1050)
(-1) le Grenet of Normandy (c1020)

Of Dunmow, Essex. He could possibly be (1) Ricardus Gernet (c1050) of Maupertuis and Gerville, Normandy. He and William Chernet of Hampshire are the two earliest members of the family on record. In 1086 Ric Gernet was mentioned in the Domesday Book for the county of Essex as the owner of lands near Chignall, which is near Dunmow and Bishop's Green in western Essex.

"Cingehalam tenuit Goduin diacon t.r.e, p Man. 7, p.1.hid.7.d
[Chignall was held by Goduin the deacon during the reign of King Edward, for a manor, and for 1 hide and a half]

.v.ac.min.m ten& Ric gernet., p Man. 7, p tant. Sep. i .uill.Tc .i.
[five acres [min] now held by Richard Gernet, for a manor, and, for [only always] one villein was then [before 1066] one]

bor .m. III. Tc. III.fer.m.II.Sep.1.car in dnio.Tc.int hoes.1.car.m.dim . . ."
[bordar now 3. Was then 3 [serfs?] now 2 always one carucate in demesne was then [int] men one carucate now half]
- from "Domesday Book - Essex," page 59, by John Morris, Alexander Richard Rumble, Judy Plaister, Veronica Sankaran
"For a manor" meant as a seat or place of residence. A bordar, or bordman, was a serf who paid rent by supplying the lord's board with eggs and poultry, but was superior to a villein. Most of the references in the Domesday Book are in the same style of "was then" and "is now."
". . . 3 free men held Chignall before 1066 for 1 hide and 15 acres. Now Richard (holds its) from Geoffrey as a manor for as much . . ." - from "Domesday Book - Essex," page 59, by John Morris, Alexander Richard Rumble, Judy Plaister, Veronica Sankaran
"ii, 59a (30-15) Geoffrey de Mandeville; Chignall: TRE [during the reign of King Edward] Saewine the Priest held fifteen acres of land in Chignall. Now Richard holds it from Geoffrey de Mandeville. In the same vill Eadsige also held fifteen acres. Richard also holds them from Geoffrey. Both Saewine and Eadsige were so free, so the hundred testifies, that they could sell their land with sake and soke wherever they wished." - from "Domesday Book and the Law," page 292, by Robin Fleming
Was the Richard in these two snippets our Richard or was he Richard FitzGilbert of Clare, mentioned on the previous page of the reference above? 'Sake and soke' was from the old English and referred to the right to hold a court and receive fines and forfeitures.

Geoffrey de Mandeville

He came over with the Conqueror and was rewarded by him with 118 Lordships of which 40 were in Essex county. He died after 1086. It was his grandson who became the first Earl of Essex.

Richard's brother may have been (1) William de Chernet who was also mentioned in 1086, owning lands in Milton, Hampshire.

Essex County

In the southeast of England, the county rests on the north shore of the Thames River and borders the North Sea. Chelmsford is the county seat. The land rises from a low, irregular coastline to undulating pastoral country. Streams and salt marshes are plentiful. The chief medieval crops were wheat and barley. There is market gardening for London and some dairy and sheep farming. Oyster fisheries are also important. Essex was once part of the kingdom of the East Saxons.

Dunmow

This is a market town located in north-west Essex. At the time of the Domesday Survey, it belonged to Ralph Baynard, but being forfeited by his son, it was given to Robert Fitz-Gislebert, progenitor of the ancient Earls of Clare, from whom the family of Fitzwalter descended. Robert's posterity held this lordship as part of the Barony of Fitzwalter, through ten generations.

Chignall

A small village in Essex county, near Chelmsford. It is an ancient village, mentioned in the Domesday survey.


(4) Alexander Gernet of Essex (c1130)
(1) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1050) . . .

Of Essex and Lancashire. From "The Red Book of the Exchequer," circa 1166:

"Carta Galfridi Comitis Essexae: Henrico Regi Anglorum, Duci Normannorum et Aquitannorum, Comiti Andegavorum, Galfridus Comes Essexae salutem et Fidele servitium. Sciatis quod ista nomina subscripta sunt nomina militum qui de tenant de verteri feffamento: . . . Alexander Gernet, iiij milites . . . Galfridus Gernet, j miltem . . ."

["The charter of Geoffrey, Count of Essex: To Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy and the Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, Geoffrey [de Mandeville II], Earl of Essex salutes you in faithful service. Know that the following named are enfeoffed by knight service: . . . Alexander Gernet, 4 soldiers . . . Geoffrey Gernet, 1 soldier . . ."]
Alexander was also noted as a landowner in the Liber Niger [Black Book] according to the "Battle Abbey Roll," which may be the same thing. He was also listed in "The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society,"
1176. "Essex et Hurtfordscr,
De misericordia regis pro foresta sua.
Michael de Bosevill' debet .iiij.m. de misericordia pro foresta. Radulfus filius Mauritii debet .iiij.m. pro eodem . . . Heingstewurde Walteri de Cantelu debet .ij.m. pro eodem. Alexander Gernet debet .iij. m. pro eodem . . ."


["Essex and Huntfordshire,
The mercy of the king on behalf of the forest.
Michael de Boseville owes 3 men by the mercy of the forest [?] . . . Alexander Gernet owes 3 men on behalf of the King . . ."]
This was apparently another listing of knights service. Was Michael de Boseville the king's forester in Essex? Note the inclusion of Walter de Cantelou, of a family with whom Roger Gernet of Lancashire was to have real estate dealings in a later era. Galfridus de Baldewiui, the son of Baldwin de Bollers, also appears in these rolls with Alexander.

Alexander was witness to a Leicestershire charter.

1181. "Hawisa comitissa Albermarl[e] Omnibus hominibus et amicis suis Francis et Anglis clericis et laicis presentibus et futuris salutem . . .

Testibus his: Symone abbate de Tyleteia; Waltero de Mandevill[a]; Alexandro Gernet; Osberto capellano; Willelmo Walensi; Aernaldo capellano; Adam de Cokefeld'; Gaufrido Claendon'; Radulfo de Ros; Domina Aanor de Waleden'; . . . "

- from "The Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Rutland ... Preserved at Belvoir Castle ..." by Esq Robert Campbell, Richard Ward, Charles Manners Rutland, John Horace Round.

Hawisa comitissa Albermarl was the wife of William de Mandeville, the Third Earl of Essex. Amongst those giving their testimony, Walter de Mandevilla was a member of the family. Is it significant that Alexander was placed fairly high in this list?

The Earls of Essex

The earldom was first created in the twelfth century for Geoffrey II de Mandeville. This was during the chaos of the civil war between King Stephen (1135-1154) and the Empress Matilda. Geoffrey changed allegiances several times during the conflict, and always for a large fee. He became sheriff and justicar in three counties, Earl of Essex, and constable of the Tower of London.

(-1) Geoffey de Mandeville, Sheriff of Middlesex, London, Essex and Hertfordshire, died circa 1100
(1) William de Mandeville, died between 1105 and 1116
(2) Geoffrey II de Mandeville, 1st Earl, died in 1144
(3) Geoffrey III de Mandeville, 2nd Earl, died in 1166
(3) William de Mandeville, brother of Geoffrey, 3rd Earl, died 1189, sine prole
Upon the death of the third earl in 1189, the title became extinct. It was created again for Geoffrey Fitzpeter in 1199. His father, William de Say, had married Beatrice, the sister of Geoffrey de Mandeville, the 1st Earl. It passed to two of his sons before again becoming extinct after William FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville's death.

The third creation was for Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford in 1239, whose father Henry had married Maud, sister of William FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville. Both the Earldom of Hereford and the Earldom of Essex became extinct in 1373. There were several more creations until the famous Devereux creation in 1572. Upon its extinction, the present creation was made in 1661.

The next is interesting because it indicates that, contrary to the manner in which I have portrayed the family, there continued to be connections between the Essex clan and that of Lancashire at the begining of the 13th century.

"Alexander had estates in Lancashire, and was dead before 1202, when Matthew Gernet obtained seisin of his lands (Rot. Canc.)." - from "The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States ..."
Was this Matthew Gernet of Burrow, in Lancashire? Rot. [Rotulli] Canc. were the Patent Rolls of Chancery.

(4) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1130)
(1) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1050) . . .

Of Essex. From "The Red Book of the Exchequer," circa 1166:

"Carta Galfridi Comitis Essexae: Henrico Regi Anglorum, Duci Normannorum et Aquitannorum, Comiti Andegavorum, Galfridus Comes Essexae salutem et Fidele servitium. Sciatis quod ista nomina subscripta sunt nomina militum qui de tenant de verteri feffamento: . . . Alexander Gernet, iiij milites . . . Galfridus Gernet, j miltem . . ."

[Translation:] "The charter of Geoffrey, Count of Essex: To Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy and the Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, Geoffrey [de Mandeville II], Earl of Essex salutes you in faithful service. Know that the following named are enfeoffed by knight service: . . . Alexander Gernet, 4 soldiers . . . Geoffrey Gernet, 1 soldier . . ."]
Also as Geoffrey Garnet, of the manor of Garnetts and Merks, in High Easter, Essex. He was living in the year 1165 and Garnetts and Merks remained in his family until about 1350. As late as 1848 the manor was still known by this name.
c1166-1180. "Universis prelatis et filiis sancte matris ecclesie presentibus et futuris
Gaufridus de Estre dictus Gernet, salutem. Vestre fraternitati notifico me, divini amoris instinctu, dedisse et in manibus venerabilis episcopi London(iensis) bone memorie Gilberti reddidisse et concessisse, libere et quiete in puram elemosinam, totam illam terram quam Edwinus faber in villa de Estre de me tenuit. Hanc pedictam terrma concessi sancto hospitali Ierusalem pro salute dominorum meorum, scilicet Willelmi comitis de Maundevill[] et suorum antecessorum et parentum meorum et heredum et uxoris mee tam vivorum quam mortuorum et hac carta mea confirmavi die qua predictus episcopus basilicam de Mesburia dedicavit Hiis testibus Gilberto episcopo London[iensi] Radulpho archidiacono de Dici Radulpho de Benti[]s.
" - from "The Cartulary of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in England: Secunda Camera, Essex"
This charter deals with a donation to the Hospital in Jerusalem.

The following doesn't tell us much, other than that Geoffrey was a tenant of the Earl's of Essex and was living circa 1166.

"Date: William's tenure of the earldom [1166-1189] (G.E.C. V. 116-91).
Note: Geoffrey de Mandeville I held six estates in Roding [Essex] in 1086, although the various Rodings were not differentiated then (DB II. 57b, 60b-62a). The carta of Geoffrey earl of Essex does not list Geoffrey Fitz Walter among the tenants of the earldom in 1166, although Geoffrey Gernet then held one fee of old enfeoffment, and Geoffrey de Jarpenville held one of new enfeoffment." - from "Westminster Abbey Charters, 1066-c.1214"

"In 1247 Henry III confirmed to Richard of Dover 2 8/12 virgates and a water-mill, which Dover held of the king, 1/2 virgate which Geoffrey Gernet once held, 95 a. new purpresture, and two fleets of water: the Mardyke (Beam) and Haveringsheth (Ingrebourne)." - from "The Victoria History of the County of Essex" by Herbert Arthur Doubleday. There is also a mention of a Roger Gernet in this reference, but I cannot read it.

(4) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1130)
(1) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1050) . . .

Another Gernet of the same period, Richard, was a witness to a document that referenced Earl Geoffrey de Mandeville, of Essex. This was the 2nd Earl of Essex who died in 1166.

"Charters, 1163-1187
Ockendon (Essex), tithe of cumin from his rent save for the land of his knights, tithe of pieces of meat in his . . . and tithe of geese, tithe of the herbs of his garden — cabbages, leeks and onions scalimiorum; for the souls of all his family and Earl Geoffrey (de Mandeville, earl of Essex, 1156-66) and his wife, Rosia. Witnesses: Richard de la Rochele, Catellinia his (evidently the founder's) wife, his sons Thomas, Reginald, William, clerk, Henry and Ralph Doo [D'Ou], Geoffrey de Gerpewelle, Hugh Doo, Roger his brother, Turruld de Halleford, William son of Richard, Nicholas Vascelin, David son of Geoffrey, William son of Geoffrey, . . . Turold . . . Ralph Cheneworthe [?], Richard Gernet, Algar de Piree, William de Tye, Peter de Lippewell, Richard de Stifford, Richard son of Blacsum, Alfric son of Sired, Reginald his brother, Litic son (?Leticia daughter) of Alward, 'et cum hiis omnes iuuenes et senes totius uille Hochidonie (Ockendon) et pluribus aliis.'

If Earl Geoffrey de Mandeville II (whose wife's name makes the identification tolerably certain) was alive, this could be dated 1163-6; but these clauses are treacherous evidence (see EYC, rv, pp. xxvii ff.)." - from "The Letters and Charters of Gilbert Foliot, Abbot of Gloucester (1139-48)," page 404, by Gilbert Foliot, Zachary Nugent Brooke, Adrian Morey, Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke

Ockendon is 20 miles east of London. In 1086 the tenant in chief was Geoffrey de Mandeville, the Earl of Essex, and remained in the family until 1372. In 1086 Geoffrey's tenant was his steward, Turold. In 1187 William Doo (D'Ou) possessed the manor of the Earl.

Gernet's in Holy Orders

Richard Gernet the Cleric (c1130)

"Episopi Lincolniensis.
Stamford St. Martin V.--Patrons: St. Michael's Priory, Stamford. Richard Gernet is instituted.
Stamford--Ricardus Gernet capellanus presentatus per . . ."

[Richard Gernet chaplain presented by . . . ]
- from the "Rotuli Roberti Grosseteste, episcopi lincolniensis."
Robert Grosseteste, the bishop of Lincoln, lived from c1175-9 October 1253.

Adam Gernet the Vicar (c1270)

". . . (3) Saving the portion assigned at another time by the Bishop to Adam Gernet, vicar' (Reg. Baldock, 271) . . . Adam Gernet was vicar in 1323 (supra) and died in 1327 . . . " - from "The Essex Review" by Edward Arthur Fitch and Charlotte Fell-Smith



The Family of Hasculf Gernet

The following is the descent for Hasculf Gernet as contained in a charter of 1213. He had property in Little Waltham, in the High Easter district.

(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050)

Or Wydo.

(2) William Gernet (c1080)

"William son of Wydo." Also of High Easter, in which Great and Little Waltham resides. "Little Waltham which they had of the grant of Alice, daughter of William son of Wydo."

(3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110)

"William son of the said William."

(4) Unknown Gernet (c1140)

(5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140)

Also as Hascuillus or Hascuill. Of Essex and Middlesex.

Hasculf is on record as living during the period 1197 to 1228. Hasculf's wife was Christina - from "Publications of the Pipe Roll Society"

Richard I. 1197-1198 "27. Mich. [Michaelmas term] Ralph de Wakeringes, dem. [demandant] Hascuil' Gernet, ten. [tenant] 45. of land with appurts. [appurtenances] in Little Waltam. Dem. quitclaimed to ten. Cons. [consideration], 4 marks of silver." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
8 John. 1206-1207 "209. Mich. [Michaelmas term] Hasculf Gornet [Gernet], dem. [demandant] John de Bovill, ten. [tenant] 75. 6d. of rent with appurts. in Little Waltham ; recog. [recognition] of mort d'a. [d'ancestre]. Also 75. of rent with appurts. [appurtenances] in the same town ; in plea. Ten. to hold " the said rent " of dem. by the free service of lod. yearly, and by rendering i8d. "for 205. from the shield (scuto)." Cons. [consideration], loos, sterling. Present and consenting, Gregory son of Hugh de Chatham and Sawal le Esquier, who acknowledged to owe 145. 6d. from the tenements which they hold of that fee, to wit, Sawal 125. 6d. and Gregory 2s., yearly." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
14 John [1213]. "60. Peter, prior of the Holy Trinity, London, and Hasculf Gernet. One hide and a half of land in Brambeleg' of the fee of the Earl W. de Mandeville. Hasculf acknowledges the premises to be the right of the said prior and his church, as those which William, son of Guy (Wydonis), great-grand-father (proavus) of Hasculf, and William, his son, and Alice, mother [daughter?] of Galien, mother of the same Hasculf, gave to the said church. Anno 14." - from the Feet of Fines in "A Calendar to the Feet of Fines for London & Middlesex" by William John Hardy and William Page
Brambeleg [Bromley] was located in Middlesex and is now an east-end borough of London. This is on the western border of Essex and is today a pretty rough neighborhood. Earl William de Mandeville had died in 1189 without issue, so why was Brambelege referenced as "of the fee of Earl W?" William's nephew, Geoffey de Say (1155-1230), held the fee at this time.
"Midd. Ric Grassus posit loco Pioris Sce Tnit qi se esson de mai lc vsus Hascuill Geruet petiit lic ven ad curia*."

[Middlesex. Richard Grassus granted to the prior of the Holy Trinity [qi se] pardon [de mai lc] against Hascuillus Gernet complainant granted/sold to the church]
- from "Rotuli curiae regis" of King John
I believe this means that Hasculf relinguished his rights to a property which Grassus then gave to the church. There was an extensive Grassus/Crassus/le Gras/le Cras family of Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Oxford and Wiltshire. In 1180-1 a Richard Crassus held an estate in Melksham, Wiltshire worth 14s. which the Crown had quitclaimed to him.
Essex. "A. 6537. Grant by P[eter] the prior, and the convent, of the Holy Trinity, London, to Hasculf Gernet, of 7s. rent in Little Waltham which they had of the grant of Alice, daughter of William son of Wydo; in return for which Hasculf has released all of his right in all the land of the fee of [the earl William (?) de Ma]ndevill in Brambel which belonged to William son of Wydo, or to William son of the said William. Witnesses:--Bernard de Rokell, Bennet de Mendham, and others (named)." - From "A descriptive catalogue of ancient deeds in the Public Record"
Little Waltham is four miles from Chelmsford. Chignal, the seat of (1) Richard Gernet in 1086, is nearby.
Essex. "A. 11151. Chirograph, not indented, being a letter by P[eter] the prior and the convent of Holy Trinity, London, to Roger the chaplain of Little Waltham, the heirs of Osbert the clerk and their guardians, and Adam de Sewell, bidding them answer their rents to Hasculf Gernet, who had satisfied them for (fecit gratum nostrum, de) their lands, men and rents in Little Waltham. Cf. A. 6537." - From "A descriptive catalogue of ancient deeds" by H.C. Maxwell Lyte
Henry III. 1 1217-1218 "8. Mich. [Michaelmas term], as in 4. Alured son of Osbert de Plesset', [dem.] Hasculf Gernet, [ten.] Half a knight's fee with appurts. in Lit'tle Waltham. A plea of homage, as in 5. Dem. to hold of ten. by the service of half a knight, and rendering yearly 1 lb. of pepper at Christmas, for all service. Ten. took dem.'s homage in Court. Cons., 4 marks of silver." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
Hasculf had a son, Geoffrey.
Henry III. 1223-1224 "118. Mich, (i) Hasculf Gernet, dem., by Geoffrey his son. Ailmund Sperie (or Sparie), ten. 15 acres of land with appurts. in Thurrok'. (2) The said Hasculf, dem. Richard Do, ten. 15 acres of land in the same town. (3) The said Hasculf, dem. Maurice de Spina, ten. 5 acres of land in the same town. (4) The said Hasculf, dem. Alice, daughter of Matilda, ten. 5 acres of land in the same town. All the ten. vouched to warranty Simon de Cranebroc and Beatricia his wife, who came and warranted to them. (5) The said Hasculf, dem. The said Simon and Beatricia, ten. 40 acres of marsh in Chaldewell. Dem. quitclaimed to all the ten., and Simon and Beatrice gave him 1005. sterling." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
Henry III. 1223-1224 "33. Eas. Haskuil' Gernet, dem. Richard de Langelot, ten. A fee of 2\ knights with appurts. in Stowe-Waltham, in Troston, and in Waleeham. Dem'. quitclaimed to ten. Cons., 40 marks of silver. Suffolk, Essex." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
Henry III. 1224- "138. Trin. (i) Hasculf Gernet, dem. William Fitz John, ten., whom Leticia who was the wife of Allan Nuthach vouched to warranty, and who warranted to her. 15 acres of land with appurts. in Estra of William de Maundevill. (2) The same dem. The same ten., whom Robert the Cook vouched to warranty, and who warranted to him. 4 acres of land with appurts. in the same town. Ten. acknowledged the right of dem. to the said 15 acres, saving the same to Leticia for her life, to hold of dem. by the yearly rent of 45. for all service, custom, and exaction. Dem., at the request of ten., granted the same 15 acres of land to Geoffrey, son of dem., and his heirs by a lawful wife, after the death of Leticia; to hold of dem. and his heirs by the yearly rent of 5.$. ; and dem. and his heirs shall then hold the same of ten. and his heirs by the yearly rent of 55. for all service and exaction. If Geoffrey die without issue, the 15 acres shall revert to dem., to hold of ten. as above. Ten. quitclaimed to dem. and to Robert the Cook all right in the said 4 acres." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
Hasculf owned High Easter.
HENRY III. 1227-1228 "165. Hil. [Hilary term] Between Alured Fitz Osbert and Hasculf Guet [Gernet], as to an exchange to be made to Alured for 37 acres of land, 4*. of rent, and a rent of three plough-shares with appurts. [appurtenances] in Little Wautham, which Thomas Fitz Cristian and Matilda and Uliana, daughters of Roger, claimed against Alured, who vouched Hasculf to warranty against them, and Hasculf warranted to him. Hasculf granted to Alured in exchange 38 acres of land with appurts. in Little Wautham and IIij;h Estre; to wit, 22 acres in Little Wautham lying in a cultura called Bradefeld, between the land of the same Alured and the land of Thomas Fitz Christian ; and 16 acres of land with appurts. in High Estre; to wit, 9 acres in a cultura called 1 une (la Dune?), between the land of Warin the Chaplain and (lie meadow of the said Hasculf ; and 7 acres lying in a croft which is between the land of John Shok 1 and the land of Ralph Fitz Godard. Moreover, Hasculf granted to Alured the rent of 3*. 6 I. and two plough-shares yearly to be received from the said Thomas, Matilda, and Juliana, from the tenements which they hold of Hasculf in Little Wautham ; to wit, from Thomas i2d. and two plough-shares, viz., at Easter 6d. and one p., and at Mich. 6d. and i p. ; and from Matilda and Juliana 30^. ; to hold to Alured of Hasculf, doing ' foreign ' service for all service and exaction, with power to distrain. T., M., and J. were present, and acknowledged that they owe the said services." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
"Staff. Hascuillus Gernet sued Robert de Acoure for six bovates of land in Stratton; and Robert prayed a view. A day is given to them at the Quinzaine of the Purification of the Blessed Mary; and in the meantime the view is to be made."

"Fines of Mixed and unknown Counties (Staffordshire and Essex) Offical Number: 21 Date: Westminster 25th April, 1227 Complainant: Hasculf Gernet Tenant or Deforciant: Robert de Acoure" - from "Calendar of Final Concords or Pedes Finium, Staffordshire"

Stratton is in Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border.
"Essex.--Joscelinus Gernet, qui tulit breve de prohibitione de laico feodo versus Ricardum vicarium del Estre, venit et retraxit se. Et ideo ipse et plegii sui de prosequendo in misericordia, scilicert Hasculfus Gernet et Johannes de Frith: et Ricardus inde sine die." - from "Curia Regia Rolls: 11-14 Henry III (1227-1230)"

[Translation:] "Joscelin Gernet, who brought a writ against Richard vicar of Easter concerning the prohibition of the lay fee, came and withdrew. And for that reason, he and his pledges to prosecute are in mercy, that is, Hasculfus Gernet and John de Frith and Richard go thereof without day."
Okay, I think that means Joscelin avoided a counter suit by the vicar's supporters.

Hasculf's sons were,
(6) William Gernet (c1200)
(6) Henry Gernet of Essex (c1200), maybe
(6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200)

(6) William Gernet (c1200)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170)

"Hasculf, and William, his son . . ."

(6) Henry Gernet of Essex (c1200)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170)

Of Kelinton and Middleton. Kelinton is today's Kennnington, a suburb of central London, south of the Thames. Middleton is south of Sudbury, in Essex. He was the husband of Philippa. I assume Henry was another son of Hasculf based on proximity in time and place. The more famous Henry Gernet, sheriff and escheator of Essex, was a couple of generations later.

Henry III. 1234-1235 "420. Same date. Richard Fitz Robert, dem. [demandant] Henry Gerneth and Philippa his wife, whom Hugh le Bret vouched to warranty. 3 acres of land with appurts. [appurtenances] in Kelinton. Assize of mort d'a. [d'ancestre] Dem. quitclaimed to ten. [tenant] Cons. [in consideration], i os. sterling." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
HENRY III. 1236-1237 "547. Eas. [Easter Term] Richard Renger, pi. [plaintiff] Henry Gernet and Philippa his wife, impedients. 30 acres of land with appurts. in Middleton. Plea of warranty of charter. PI. to hold of impedients and the heirs of Philippa, by the yearly rent of i2d. sterling, and acquitting the said land against the chief lords of that fee from all services. Cons. [consideration], 20 marks of silver." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk

(6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170)

Son of Hascult.

Henry III. 1223-1224 "118. Mich, (i) Hasculf Gernet, dem., by Geoffrey his son. Ailmund Sperie (or Sparie), ten. 15 acres of land with appurts. in Thurrok'. (2) The said Hasculf, dem. Richard Do, ten. 15 acres of land in the same town. (3) The said Hasculf, dem. Maurice de Spina, ten. 5 acres of land in the same town. (4) The said Hasculf, dem. Alice, daughter of Matilda, ten. 5 acres of land in the same town. All the ten. vouched to warranty Simon de Cranebroc and Beatricia his wife, who came and warranted to them. (5) The said Hasculf, dem. The said Simon and Beatricia, ten. 40 acres of marsh in Chaldewell. Dem. quitclaimed to all the ten., and Simon and Beatrice gave him 1005. sterling." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk
Henry III. 1224- "138. Trin. (i) Hasculf Gernet, dem. William Fitz John, ten., whom Leticia who was the wife of Allan Nuthach vouched to warranty, and who warranted to her. 15 acres of land with appurts. in Estra of William de Maundevill. (2) The same dem. The same ten., whom Robert the Cook vouched to warranty, and who warranted to him. 4 acres of land with appurts. in the same town. Ten. acknowledged the right of dem. to the said 15 acres, saving the same to Leticia for her life, to hold of dem. by the yearly rent of 45. for all service, custom, and exaction. Dem., at the request of ten., granted the same 15 acres of land to Geoffrey, son of dem., and his heirs by a lawful wife, after the death of Leticia; to hold of dem. and his heirs by the yearly rent of 5.$. ; and dem. and his heirs shall then hold the same of ten. and his heirs by the yearly rent of 55. for all service and exaction. If Geoffrey die without issue, the 15 acres shall revert to dem., to hold of ten. as above. Ten. quitclaimed to dem. and to Robert the Cook all right in the said 4 acres." - from the "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.F.G. Kirk

Geoffrey's son was,
(7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220)

(7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200)

". . . the most important of which was a 1/4 virgate lying south of Bretons, which in the earlier 13th century had belonged to Osbert de la Beme, from whose family it was known as Beme (or Beam) Land. In 1249 Osbert's daughter Beatrice, and her husband Thomas Gernet, granted Beam Land in fee to John Waleys." - from British History Online. Bretons is in Essex. See also,

". . . daughter Beatrice, and her husband Thomas Gernet, granted Beam Land in fee to John Waleys. It later passed to Robert Waleys, John's brother, who about 1260 granted it to Richard of Havering." - from "The Victoria History of the County of Essex" by Herbert Arthur Doubleday

Thomas' sons were, perhaps,
(8) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250)
(8) William Gernet of Essex (c1250)

(8) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220)

The "English and Welsh Surname Dictionary" lists a "Roger Gernet, county Essex, 1273."

"N. Bailey derives the surname Garnett from the pomegranate, and a Roger Gernet occurs in the Rotuli Hundredorum, as Seneschal of Richard le Brus, in Essex, and as holding half a knight's fee in Lincolnshire, 1272." - from "The East Anglian: Or, Notes and Queries on Subjects Connected with the Counties of Suffolk ..." by Charles Harold Evelyn White. Was this the same family that, in the person of Peter de Brus, inherited the de Lancaster estates circa 1200? A Richard de Brus, younger brother of Bernard de Brus of the Brus of Anandale family, emparked (fenced as a private preserve) part of the Horsfrith forest in the hundred of Chelmsford, in Essex, under licence from Edward I in 1280. He died, s.p., 15 Edward I. The de Brus, who were a major force in Scotland, also came to own estates in Writele [Writtle] and Hatfield, in Essex. They were also lords of Anandale and Earls of Carrick.

In 2 Edward II [1309] a Roger Gernet was a Warden of the city of London.

"IX. Ces sount les nouns des Wardeyns du mester devauntdit--Roger Gernet, Roberd de Trippelawe, Richard le Counte, Richard de Chewelle." - from the "Munimenta Gildhallæ Londoniensis: Liber albus, Liber custumarum, et Liber Horn" by Henry Thomas Riley, John Carpenter, London Guildhall, Great Britain Public Record Office, British Library

Roger's sons may have been,
(9) Robert Gernet of Essex (c1270)
(9) Sir John Gernet of Essex (c1280)
(9) Geoffrey Gernet of Rutland (c1280)

(9) Robert Gernet of Essex (c1270)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220) (8) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250)

Or Gernetes. He was from the region around Dunmow.

1301. "Nov. 6 Westminster. To Walter de Gloucestr[ia], escheator this side of Trent. Order to release any distraint levied upon Gilbert son of William de Dunmawe for his homage for the lands that he holds of the king in chief by reason of the lands that Humphrey de Bouhun, earl of Hertford and Essex, lately rendered into the king's hands, with the knight's fees and all other appurtenances, as the king has taken his homage.
The like to the same in favour of the following:
Gilbert de Stanford
Robert Gernet." - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls" Volume 18

From the records of Dunmow, Essex:

1303. "Hundredum de Dommawe."
. . .
De Roberto Gernet, et Johanne Gernet, pro un. f. in Alta Estre - xl. s."
. . .
1346. "Hundredum de Dommawe."
. . .
Johannes de Sauteryre tenet un. f. in Alta Estre, quod Robertus Bernet (rectius Gernet) quondam tenuit - xl. s."
- from "Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aid"

(9) Sir John Gernet of Essex (c1280)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220) (8) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250)

Probably of Essex and Rutland. Note his relationship with Oxfordshire.

7 Edward II [23 September 1313] Westminster. "Inspeximus and confirmation of a charter of Margery de Ripariis grant to the monks of Beaulieu . . . Witnesses: Nicholas de Moeles, the prior of Brimmore, William de Falayse, John de Kernet and Hugh de Godeshulle, knights . . . " - from the "Patent Rolls."
Later in the grant John provides witness twice more, once as John Gernet, knight, and once again as John de Kernet, knight. Margery was the widow of Richard de Ripariis (Redvers, Rivers), the Sheriff of Oxford and Rutland. This was not the Margery de Ripariis who was Countess of Devon, that was her sister-in-law. The Ripariis family had land in East Mersea, Essex.

1300. "Letter of attorney by William Trycket, of Bernestone (Barnston), for John de Gernet to deliver to Henry Gernet seisin of a messuage, land and woodland, in the vill of Bernestone, to hold the same in fee. Monday after St. Gregory, 28 Edward I." - from "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds in the Public Record Office." Bernestone is today's Barnston, of Merseyside, just south of Liverpool. This is, of course, a nice segue to Henry Gernet, below.

(9) Geoffrey Gernet of Rutland (c1280)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220) (8) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250)

9 Edward I [1315], "Luffenham (Rutl.); appointment of Nicholas de Stalpleton and Elias de Bekingham to take the assise of mort d'ancestor arrainged [sic] by Geoffrey Gernet against Robert Fitz Elena, touchching possession in." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records." Rutland is an inland county, the smallest in England. It is in the center of England, bordered by Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire. Note also the connection of Alexander Gernet and Sir John Gernet to Rutland.

(8) William Gernet of Essex (c1250)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220)

William bequethed lands to (9) Henry Gernet, so I assume he was Henry's father. I owe this revelation to Daniel Stramara, who provided the following citation about William and Henry Gernet, ancestors of his.

1338. "Anno 12 Edw. III John de Marterne Clerk, and William Garnet levied a Fine of one Messuage, one Mill, and hundred and eighty Acres of Land, fourteen Acres of meadow, and eight Marks Rent in Escewelle, Wentworth, and Wallington, which was the Estate of William Garnet, which he granted Henry Garnet, and Joan his Wife, and to the Heirs of Henry for ever.

Which Henry Garnet was knighted, and after his Death, Joan his Wife, Anno 19 Edw. III levied a Fine of this Manor to Thomas de la Hay and Elizabeth his Wife and their Heirs." - from "The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire" by Sir Henry Chauncy

Daniel Stramara has since written to clarify,
"Since I last contacted you about the possible father of Sir Henry Gernet, I have done much research regarding Henry via primary documents. I now know that William Gernet was Henry’s brother, not father.

“To John le Porter, keeper of the lauds of certain rebels in co. Essex. Order to deliver to William Gernet his lands and goods in Haveryng, in that county, upon his finding security to answer to the king if the king will speak against him, as the keeper has certified the king that William's lands and goods were taken into the king's hands by Geoffrey Dode because William is the brother of Henry Gernet, who adhered to John Joce, knight, an adherent of Bartholomew de Badelesmere.” 4 Dec 1322 Calendar of Close Rolls Edward II A.D. 1318-1323 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1895), 615. "https://ia800200.us.archive.org/26/items/cu31924091068985/cu31924091068985.pdf"

Only recently I went back to your site and saw that you had made the change regarding Henry’s parentage and made an attribution to me based on my query and information provided at the time. Thanks, but that must now be changed.

In fact, I have been working on an article to be published in The Genealogist, and once out will send you a copy. That will contain much information which I cannot share at this point. I did, however, want to apprise you that the William I had in mind was in fact Henry’s brother, not father. I have found information suggesting someone else as his father."

See also,

"Matilda's mother was Matilda, daughter and coheiress of Henry Gernet by his wife Joan. In 1391 Lawrence Trussell and his wife Matilda sued for a moiety of the manor of Weynton and lands and rents in Alvythele, co. Essex which William Gernet had given to Henry Gernet and his wife Joan and the heirs of their bodies." - from "The Genealogist, Volume 10"
William Gernet of Essex living the same time as Henry Gernet, escheator of Essex and Hertford - from "Feet of Fines for Essex" edited by R.E.G. Kirk.
"De Banco. Easter. 14. Ric. 2. m. 307. Essex. - Laurence Trussell and Matilda, his wife, sued Elizabeth, formerly wife of John de Gildesburgh, Kt., for a moiety of the manor of Weynton, and lands and rents in Alvythele which William Gernet gave to Henry Gernet and Joan, his wife, and the heirs of their bodies. Henry Gernet.=T=Joan." - from "Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls" by George Wrottesley

(9) Henry Gernet of Essex (c1280)
(1) Wydonis [Guy] Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) William Gernet Jr. (c1110) (4) Unknown Gernet (c1140) (5) Hasculf Gernet of Essex (c1170) (6) Geoffrey Gernet of Essex (c1200) (7) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1220) (8) William Gernet of Essex (c1220)

He was born in about 1280, that is about the same time as Joan de Gernet de Dacre's son Ranulph. Did the Gernet's of Essex still keep contact with their relatives in Lancaster? He was probably part of the Richard de Gernet of Dunmow family, above. He married Joan and had a daughter, Maud. The Victoria County History shows Henry as born circa 1305 and his daughter born about 1334, that is, about a generation later than I currently show. This seems awfully late to me given his death in 1345.

The Gernets owned Wennington manor by the 14th century and were tenants in Kennington, see above.

"The tenancy in demesne of Kenningtons appears to have been acquired soon after 1300 by Henry Garnet (d. 1345), as part of a large estate in Wennington, Aveley, and Rainham." - from "The Victoria History of Essex" by Herbert Arthur Doubleday
"Kennington's, Aveley, Essex

According to Morant "The part of Keliton, formerly holden by Suein [Sweyn], is a large farm, belonging to Lord Dacre [Fiennes], known at present by the name of Kennington. The possessors of it after Suein are unknown, till the reign of King Edward the Third, when it was in the Gernet family, owners of Wenyngton [Wennington] maner [sic] . . . Sir Henry Gernet, who died in the year 1345, held, jointly with his wife Joanna, one messuage, 120 acres of arable, 15 acres of meadow, and 6s. 8d. rent, in Alvethele, of the Prior of Prittlewell, by the service of 3s. per annum." - from "English Historical Carpentry" by Cecil Alec Hewett

Alvethele is Aveley, county Essex. Wennington, Aveley, and Rainham are marshes which had to be drained to be useful. Thurrok is nearby Aveley. Henry was known to own "Wenynton, Alvithelegh, Reynham and Stifford."
". . . Alvethele . . . Stifford, and Little Thurrok, co. Essex, which the said John gave to Henry Garnet, and are now in the king's hands. (French, undated.)" - from "Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem"
"Essex. Simon le Bret and Joan his wife and Thomas Filiol in mercy for several defaults etc.

The same Simon and others and likewise William Filiol were attached to answer Henry Garnet concerning a plea why with force and arms they maliciously burned the houses of the same Henry [Gernet] at Aveley and also maliciously burned his goods and chattels found in the same houses to the value of two hundred pounds, and other enormities etc., to the grave damage etc., and against the peace etc. . . ." - from "Select Cases of Trespass from the King's Courts, 1307-1399" by Morris S. Arnold

"Following on in the next reign, in 1330-11 : -

Henry Gernet, and his fellow-Justices assigned for the view and repair of the banks, &c., on the coast of Thames, in this county, sat at West-Hamme on Wednesday, . . . " - from "Essex Review" of 1901

West Ham, Essex

Westhamma. The Anglo-Saxon hamm meant "a dry area of land between rivers or marshland," and referred the the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lee, Thames and Roding and their marshes. It lay on the Thames, opposite Greenwich. Now part of metropolitan London.

24 October 1313, at Westminster. "Commission de walliis et fossatis to William son of Robert, Henry Gernet and Thomas Dakenham, for the coast of the sea and the adjacent parts of the county of Essex, and also for the town of Wolewyk in the county of Kent." - from the "Patent Rolls"

Def: De walliis et fossatis - A commission to care for a waterway. This included routine maintenance of bridges and piers and caretaking of the canals.

8 April 1316, at Langeley. "Commission de walliis et fossatis to Nicholas Fermbaud, Henry Gernet, John de Dovorre and Richard Bastard [great name] for the sea-coast and adjacent parts of the county of Essex, and also in the town of Wolewyche, co. Kent." - from the "Patent Rolls"

6 August 1316, at Lincoln. "To the sheriff of Essex. Order to cause a coroner for that county to be elected in place of Henry Gernet, whom the king as appointed one of the keepers of his peasce in the county. Vacated" - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

17 February 1317, at Clarendon. "To the sheriff of Essex. Order to cause a coroner for that county to be elected in place of Henry Gernet, whom the king has removed for insufficient qualification." - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

24 February 1317, at Clarendon. "To the sheriff of Essex. Order to cause a coroner for that county to be elected in place of Henry Gernet, as the king considers that the truth of the complaints made against him cannot be fully inquired into whilst he fills that office, he having appointed certain of his subjects to hear and determine such complaints." - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

2 March 1317, at Clarendon. "The like of John de Insula, John de Foxle, Adam de Lymbergh and Robert de Foxton, touching divers extortions and oppressions alleged to have been committed by Henry Gernet, late one of the king's coroners in the county of Essex, under color of his office." - from the "Patent Rolls"

6 March 1317, at Clarendon. "Commission of oyer and terminer to John de Insula, John de Foxle, Humphrey de Waleden and Adam de Lymbergh, on complaint by Robert de Ponte Fracto that Henry Gernet, Nicholas Fermbaud the younger, Hubert Nicholasman Frymbaud . . . and Benedict de Ditton with others took him at Alvythele, co. Essex, imprisoned him, and plotting together caused him to be falsely charged with the burning of the houses of the rectory of Stifford and with breaking into a house, took away certain bonds, bills of the king's Wardrobe, and divers writs under the Great Seal and other memoranda in his custory, and dragging him spoiled his clothes and bound hand and body hither and thither as a mode of torture took him from the town of Alvythele to the castle of Colchester, and caused him to be imprisoned in the castle prison among approvers and felons, where he was detained until acquitted by John de Bousser and his fellows, justices of goal deliver." - from the "Patent Rolls"

16 June 1317, at Westminster. "Release to Henry Gernet, Nicholas Fermbaud, Richard Goshalm, William "in The hale' and others of the hundred of Chafford, co. Essex, of the king's suits against them for trespass, for which John de Insula and others were appointed justices of oyer and terminer, and their trespass and contempt in ill treating and not receiving the king's men and horses billeted in the county by the marshal of the Household." - from the "Patent Rolls"

14 Edward II, 21 May 1321, at Westminster. "Commission de walliis et fossatis to Henry Gernet, John de Dovere, and Thomas de Chene for the river Thames at Renham, Weynnton and Alvythele, co. Essex." - from the "Patent Rolls"

The following indicates that "due to his trespass," presumably a wrongful taking of the king's and others' properties, Henry's lands were forfeit and he was imprisoned.

Parliamentary Petition. "The lands of Henry Gernet were taken into the king's hands on 20 November 1321 (CIPM vol. VI, no.716), and he was in prison in Berkhamsted Castle on 10 November 1325 (CCR 1323-7, p.424). Presumably the petition dates from between Gernet's forfeiture and the end of Edward II's reign.
Petitioners: John de Halifeld (Holyfield).
Addressees: King and Council.
Places mentioned: Rainham, [Essex].
Other people mentioned: Henry Garnet (Gernet).
Nature of request: Halifeld requests a writ of enquiry into land in Rainham which he claims was taken from him by Garnet. Garnet's lands are now in the king's hands due to his trespass.
Endorsement: To be dealt with on the release of Henry Garnet."
- from the National Archives, original document in French.
Other lands of Henry's were also in the king's hands.
14 July 1322, at York. "Presentation of Robert de Munden to the church of Stiford, in the diocese of London, in the king's gift by reason of the lands and tenements of Henry Gernet being in his hands." - from the "Patent Rolls"
22 November 1325, at Westminster. "Presentation of Robert de Hillum to the church of Rothing Margaret, in the diocese of London, in the king's gift by reason of the lands of Henry Gernet being in his hands." - from the "Patent Rolls"
In 1325 “lands in Rainham, Aveley and Stifford were given by John de Taney during his life to Henry Gernet, and now taken into the king's hands by reason of the latter's imprisonment” C.I.P.M. vi, 716 (?!).

Rainham

A village east of London in the county of Essex, in the Chafford Hundred. It is situated on the Ingrebourn river, about a mile north of its inflow to the Thames.

Aveley & Stifford

Two Essex county villages in the borough of Thurrock, Chafford Hundred, along the Thames river.

In 1323 Edward II, a wildly incompetent King comically maligned in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart," was deposed and imprisoned by his wife and her lover, Roger Mortimer. In 1327 Edward was killed (rather horribly I understand). The imprisonment of Henry Gernet may had something to do with the turmoil surrounding this period -- it was very hard to know who’s side to be on. Isabella ruled for a time in the name of her son, Edward III, but in 1330 he came of age and had Mortimer executed for treason. He forced his mother into a quiet retirement.

However, Henry did not stay imprisoned long. A number of grants were made by Edward III in the first year of his reign to those who had lost property "by reason of the rebellion."

10 January 1327, at Kenilworth. "Protection, with clause nolumus, for one year, for Valetie Bek. The like for the following:-- . . . Henry Gernet . . ."
3 February 1327. "Protection, with clause nolumus, for William Trussebut, for two years. The like for:-- . . . Henry Gernet, for one year . . . " - from "Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office" by H. C. Maxwell Lyte
Nolumus translates as "we are unwilling." It grants immunity from claims or seizure by the Crown.

In reference to the manor of Westhorndon, county Essex:

1 Edward I, 20 October 1327, at Nottingham. ". . . the king appointed John de Cantebrigg, Robert de Asshele, and Henry Gernet to make inquisition concerning the premises [the manor of Westhorndon] in the presence of the keeper of the manor, and it is found by the inquisition that William de Trente gave the manor to William Noil and the heirs of his body . . ." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Pulic Record Ofice" by Sir H C Maxwell Lyte, H. C. Maxwell Lyte
20 February 1328. "Commission de walliis, fossatis, etc. to Richard Gassalin, John de Dovorr and Henry Gernet along the Thames and parts adjacent in Essex." - from "Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office By H. C. Maxwell Lyte"
14 October 1329, at Brackley. "Enrolment [sic] of release by Eustace, son and heir of John de Walheugtone, to Henry Gernet and Joan his wife of his right in the lands that Eustace had in Hengsteworthe of his father's gift . . . Memorandum, that Eustace came into chancery at Westminster, on 17 October, and acknowledged the preceding deed." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Pulic Record Ofice" by Sir H C Maxwell Lyte, H. C. Maxwell Lyte
Henry was a witness on grants in Essex in 1330 and 1331. On 25 April 1332 he was referred to as "Henry Gernet, keeper of the land and of the heir of William de Cleidon . . ." On 14 September 1332 "Henry Gernet and Adam Ches acknowledge that they owe to Hugh de Saneto Johanne 200l. [that's a lot of money]; to be levied, in default of payment, of their lands and chattels in co. Essex." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Pulic Record Ofice" by Sir H C Maxwell Lyte, H. C. Maxwell Lyte.

26 September 1331, at London. "Protection, with clause nolumnus, for one year, for William du Chastel of Blithe. The like for the following:-- . . . Henry Gernet . . ." - from the "Patent Rolls"

1334. "Letter of attorney by Willaim Trycket, of Bernestone (Barnston), for John de Gernet [who is he?] to deliver to Henry Gernet, seisin of a messuage, land and woodland, in the vill of Bernestone, to hold the same in fee. Monday after St. Gregory, 28 Edward I."

4 November 1338, at Kennington. Another commission de walliss et fossatis.

13 Edward III [26 June 1339] Berkhampstead. "Exemplification, at the request of the prioress of Stratford, of the tenor of the process before Henry Gernet and his fellows, commissioners de walliis et fossatis along the coast of the water of Thames and parts adjoining co. Essex, to this effect; Pleas before the said commissioners at Westhamme on Wednesday the feat of St. Edmund the King, 10 Edward III. Essex to wit. By letters patent of 22 January 8 Edward III. the king commanded Henry Gernet, Robert de Hagham, Robert son of William de Rokeswell, Benedict de Ditton and Alexander de Betoigne to survey and repair the walls, dykes &c. along the Thames, co. Essex, and in the parts of the town of Wolwich, co. Kent, north of the Thames. By virtue of such mandate the sheriff of Essex summoned twelve jurors of the vicinage of Westhamme to enquire of defects in the marsh of Westhamme . . . [suffice to say, the prioress doesn't want to pay her share of the repair costs]" - from "Patent Rolls"

"The Battle Abbey Roll" claims that ". . . Henry Gernet [was] serving as Sheriff of Essex and Hertsfordshire in 1341." He was referred to as "Viscount of Essex and Herts, 1341" in The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States...," but this was probably a mistranslation of vicecomes which, in fact, does translate directly as Viscount, but which meant, in England, Sheriff.

The following is a discussion of an inquiry directed by Edward III in 1340/1 against corrupt officials undertaken, in part, in picque for his failed military campaign in France.

"There was nothing novel about the crimes uncovered in 1341. Although purveyance took centre stage, the justices hear a familiar litancy of complaints about officers from all levels of the administrative hierarch, and about the abuse of almost every conceivable function . . . In most cases, however, pardons were forthcoming, indicating that the recipients were to be given a second chance. Many of those implicated by the jurors paid their fines, secured their pardons and quietly resumed their public careers. There were very few clear-cut cases of deliberate exclusion after 1341. Sir William Fraunk, for example, continued to intersperse his military exploits in France with local administrative duties in Lincolnshire, which is nothing more than we would expect from a knight of the royal household. Essex had an equivalent figure in Sir Henry Gernet who, before his death in 1345, served as sheriff and escheator of the county. Peter de Grete remained a prolific commissioner in Worcestershire and was chosen as the earl of Warwick's undersheriff in 1346. All three were incriminated in the inquiry."

Footnote. "Gernet was assessed at £40 in Essex, and was dead by July 1345." - from "The Fourteenth-Century Sheriff" by Richard Gorski

25 April 1341, at Westminster. "Commission de walliis et fossatis to William de Wauton, Henry Gernet, Henry Darcy, William de Teye, Benedict de Ditton and William de Tendryng along the coast of the river Thames and the part adjacent in the county of Essex." - from the "Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

12 May 1341. "Henry Gernet, knight, acknowledges that he owes to William Box, citizen of London, 12l.; to be levied etc. in co. Essex." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls" Volume 29
Henry was constable of Colchester castle in Essex from 29 July 1342 to 22 November 1343 - from "The Castle Community: the Personnel of English and Welsh Castles" by John Rickard

Henry was assigned as escheator for the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire and, in at least one reference, for Middlesex.

18 August 1342. "To Edward de Cretyng, escheator in cos. Norfolk and Suffolk. Order to cause John de Fryvill, son and heir of Richard de Fryvill, tenant in chief, who has proved his age before Henry Gernet, escheator in cos. Essex and Hertford . . ." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls" Volume 29
23 August 1342, Tower of London. "Licence for the alienation in mortmain by John Darcy . . . not held in chief as appears by inquisition made by Henry Gernet, escheator in the county of Hertford." - from the "Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"
17 September 1342, at Eastry. "Mandate to William Frank, escheator in the counties of Lincoln and Roteland, for restitution of the temporalities of the see of Lincoln to Thomas Beek, canon of the cathedral chruch of St. Mary, Lincoln, whose election as bishop has been confirmed by the Pople, and who has done fealty to the king renouncing before him all the words prejudicial to him contained in the Pope's bull of confirmation. The like to the following escheators, in the counties named . . . Henry Gernet, Essex, Hertford and Middlesex . . ." - from the "Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"
16 October 1342, at Kensington. "Commission de walliss et fossatia to William, abbot of Stratford, Richard de Kelleslvull, Henry Gernet, William de Teye and Benedict de Ditton along the coast of the river Thames and the part adjacent, co. Essex, and in part of the town of Wolwich on the north of the river Thames, co. Kent." " - from the "Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"
20 November 1342, at Kennington. "Licence for the alienation in mortmain to the abbot and convent of St. Osyth . . . as appears by inquisition made before Henry Gernet, escheator in the counties of Essex and Hertford." - from the "Patent Rolls"
26 November 1342, at Kennington. "Licence for the alienation in mortmain by Hugh de Ferynges and Eleanor his wife to the abbot and convent of St. John's, Colecestre, . . . before Henry Gernet, escheator in the counties of Essex and Hertford." - from the "Patent Rolls"
22 January 1343, at Kennington. "Mandate to Simon Fraunceis, mayor and escheator of London, for restitution of the temporalities of the abbey of Rameseye to Robert de Nassyngton, monk of the abbey, whose election as abbot has been confirmed by Thomas, bishop of Lincoln, and who has done fealty to the king. The like to the following escheators:-- . . . Henry Gernet, in the counties of Essex and Hertford . . . " - from the "Patent Rolls"

28 June 1343, at Westminster. "Pardon to John de Wauton, knight, who has been assessed at 10l. for his contingent of the 3,000l. whereby the king's officers and ministers of the county of Essex made fine on Monday in the first week of Lent, 15 Edward III, before Thomas Wake of Lydel and his fellows, late justices of eyer and terminers touching oppressions by them by colour of their offices from the time when the king assumed the governance of the realm to the said Monday, of all manner oppressions by him by colour of any offices held by him in the time in question. Pardon in like terms to the following:-- Henry Gernet, knight, assessed at 40l. Benedict de Ditton, assessed at 12l. Thomas Gobyoun, knight, assessed at 100l." - from the "Patent Rolls"
Henry also owed money to merchants in the city. The aristocrats hated the merchants, but needed their money.
1344. "Records of the Petty Bag Office. Chancery: Certificates of Statute Merchant and Statute Staple
Debtor: Henry Gernet, knight, of Essex [family held High Easter in Dunmow Hundred]
Creditor: Philip de Bardi, and his partners, merchants of the Society of the Bardi [Alien merchants in London]
Amount: £100.
Before whom: Simon Fraunceys, Mayor of London; William de Carleton, Clerk.
When taken: 24/01/1344
First term: 14/03/1344
Last term: 14/03/1344
Writ to: Sheriff of Essex
Sent by: John Hammond, Mayor of London; William de Carleton, Clerk.
Endorsement: Iusticiariis de Banco. Essex'." - from the National Archives

". . . in 1345 Humphrey de Bohun appears as overlord of a manor of Hinxworth which was held of him by Henry Gernet and Joan his wife. These were the tenants also of Ashwell, with which manor Hinxworth had descended in sub-tenancy until this date, after which there is no further trace of it as a separate property." - from "British History Online." "The Gernets held land in Hinxworth as early as 1323" - the Close Rolls.

". . . the manor of ASHWELL, which, in 1345, was settled upon Henry Gernet and Joan his wife. (fn. 35) She and her husband held lands in this parish (perhaps the same holding as that afterwards termed a manor) in 1338. (fn. 36) Under the settlement Henry and Joan were to hold for life with reversion to John Darcy le Fitz and his wife Margery, to Thomas de Charnels and his wife Maud, and to Margaret sister of Maud, successively, Margery, Maud and Margaret being daughters of Henry and Joan. Henry Gernet died the same year. (fn. 37) It was specially reported that he held his lands jointly with Joan his wife not of the king in chief, but 'of others,' probably the Fitz Walters. (fn. 38) Joan survived her husband, (fn. 39) and in 1345 received a quitclaim of the manor from Thomas de la Haye and Elizabeth his wife, who were possibly holding it in dower. (fn. 40) The tenement (or part of it) subsequently descended to Thomas Brydd, possibly heir of one of the daughters, who in 1428 was holding 'a quarter of a knight's fee in Ashwell, which Henry Gernet formerly held.' (fn. 41)" - from "Parishes: Ashwell, A History of the County of Hertford: volume 3 (1912)"
12 July 1345, at Southwick. "Commission of oyer and terminer to John Hamond, mayor of London, Roger de Depham and Geoffrey Tableter and Thomas Leggy, sheriffs of the same city, touching the persons who ravished and abducted Joan, late the wife of Henry Gernet, "chivaler,' [sic] at the suburb of London, and plundered her of goods, and those by whose procurement that felony was committed." - from the "Patent Rolls"
18 June 1362, at Westminster. "Whereas Robert de Rameseye of London, 'freishfisshemonger' was indicted of having with others, on Monday after the feast of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr in the nineteenth year, ravished Joan late wife of Henry Gernet on the water of Thames between Wolewych and the marsh of Esthamme and robbed her of goods to the value of 40 marks and her men and servants of goods to the value of 10 marks, in the county of Essex, and was afterwards acquitted before the king by the inquisition upon which he put himself, petition is now made to the king on his behalf shewing that by the procurement of his enemies in the county of Kent he is now indicted of having on the said day ravished her on the said water by wolewich and carried away her goods to the value of 100s . . . [garbled] . . . and because it seems improbable that the said Robert could ravish her in one day at different times and so it is evident that the last indictment was procured by malice, the king has pardoned him the king's suit for rape, robberies, felonies and trepasses contained in the indictment in the county of Kent and any consequent outlawries." - from the "Patent Rolls"

There are a Bernard and Walter Gernet associated with Sir Henry, perhaps sons, but if so, they soon disappear. Henry and Joan's children were,
(10) Margery Gernet
(10) Maud Gernet
(10) Margaret Gernet

Garnet's continued to live in Essex, around West Ham.

"Roger Garnet of West Ham [Essex] victualler, 28 Nov. 1577. (31)
To Agnes my wife all my goods, whom I make executrix." - from "Essex Wills: The Archdeaconry Courts, 1577-1584"
Alf Garnett, a fictional character of several Bristish sitcoms, is perhaps the most famous West Ham resident. Sir Henry Gernet was sometimes referred to under the surname Gurnett and there is a pub in Aveley called the "Sir Henry Gurnett," now simply called "Henry's."

(9) Walter Gernet

The following reference appears to be for a contemporary of Henry Gernet, rather than a son. 12 July 1321, at Westminster. "Licence for the alientation in mortmain to the abbot and convent of St. Albans of divers parcels of land in St. Albans by Walter de Langeleye, Henry Salecok, John le Barbour and Cicely his wife, and Walter Gernet and Margaret his wife, . . ." - from the "Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Offices."

(10) Maud Gernet of Essex (c1325)
(9) Henry Gernet (c1280)

Or Matilda. Maud Gernet was born in about 1325 and married Thomas Charnell of Elmsthorpe, Leicestershire, England, per the "Victoria County History of Essex," Vol VII pg 182 re: Wennington Hall. ". . . Cussans says [in his History of Hertfordshire] that he [Thomas?] married Matilda, daughter and co-heiress [with her sisters?] of Sir Henry Gernet, by which marriage the manor of Hinxworth came to the Bauds: but, . . . " - from "Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society"

"Matilda's mother was Matilda, daughter and coheiress of Henry Gernet by his wife Joan. In 1391 Lawrence Trussell and his wife Matilda sued for a moiety of the manor of Weynton and lands and rents in Alvythele, co. Essex which William Gernet had given to Henry Gernet and his wife Joan and the heirs of their bodies." - from "The Genealogist, Volume 10"

The Charnell Family

A Norman knight by the name of de Charnelles is supposed to have fought at the battle of Hastings. After the battle, he was awarded lands north of Leicester, where the family name can be found on various landmarks, including Charnwood forest.

Arms: Azure a cross engrailed or.


(9) Ralph Gernet (c1280)

26 October February 1317, at Westminster. Concerning a manor in Coupole, ". . . Witnesses: . . . Ralph Gernet" - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

(13) Thomas Gernet of Essex (c1400)

Thomas Gernet, Esquire, and the Lady Katerine, his consort, held their first "court" at the Manor of East Hall, East Mersea, in Essex, on 3 July 1465. This information is from the court rolls of the manor. Another possible heir of this southeastern branch of the family.

Manor Courts

The principal functions of Courts Leet, as distinct from Courts Baron, were that the former consisted of a Jury of residents of the manor of the ages from 16 to 60 years, presided over by a Steward of the manor, who acted as judge, and their business was to inquire into offences, such as encroachments on the highway by hedging, ditching or enclosures, laystals [dung heaps], timber, or other obstructions, non-scouring of ditches, non-lopping of trees, diversion or fouling watercourses, carrion, maintenance of fences, eaves-droppers, barretors [instigators of suits and quarrels], scolds, rioters, unlicensed alehouses, gaming and disorderly houses, bakers, butchers, poulterers and others who sold unwholesome meat or drink, pound-breach [taking out of the Lord's pound cattle that had been impounded], keeping greyhounds, setting dogs, nets or other engine to destroy game, as well as the failure to properly perform their duties as constables, surveyors of the highways and other public officers. These were the chief duties of the jury of the court leet, but they had no jurisdiction involving treason or murder. All the jury could then do was to present the offence, after which it had to be certified to the Justices of Assize for trial.

The Courts Baron were only concerned with the interests of the Lord of the manor and the entries on the rolls followed the Leet findings.

An example of some of the cases in the Mersea manor court rolls:

John Clerk, son of John Clerk senior, fined 6d. for breaking and entering the close and houses of John atte Strete, and taking and carrying away oysters, valued at 6d.

Joan, wife of Ralph Martell, did not send her beer to be tasted, but sold it before it had been tasted. Fined 6d.

John Turk had assaulted Richard Clerk with a knife and was a common disturber of the King's peace. Fined 12d.

East Mersea

A small village located on the eastern end of Mersea island, which is the eastern most island off the coast of Essex county. It has a fine thirteenth century church, Saint Edmund the King. Present day population is about 300 and has remained around that figure for the last two centuries.


The Gernet's of Bedfordshire

This county is west of Essex. The family is tied to that of Essex through the patronage of the de Brus family.

(4) William Gernet of Bedford (c1130)

Cited in "The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States..."

1166. ". . . Willelmus Gernet . . ." - from "The Red Book of the Exchequer." The Battle Abbey Roll notes that "At the same date, William Gernet was of Bedford, and Alexander and Geoffrey of Essex.-Liber Niger."

(7) Roger Gernet of Bedford (c1220)

Of the county of Bedford. The following indicates that Roger Gernet was a follower of Richard de Brus and, with Matthew de Caumbrun, acted in his interest. Richard was the youngest of five sons of Sir Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale. Richard was rewarded for his support of the King at the battle of Evesham versus Simon de Montfort. Note that (7) Roger Gernet of Essex (c1250) was the Seneschal of Richard le Brus, in Essex. Was he a son of this Roger and, more importantly, was the Bedford and Essex family one and the same?

"Parliament at London: Easter 1269
Assize Roll, no. 86, m. 7d

"The sheriff of Cambridge is ordered to arrange for Richard de Brus or the tenants of certain land in Stanton (which is worth twenty marks a year and which Simon de Montfort seized from Henry de Nafford by reason of the rebellion and died in possession thereof) to come and show by what warrant Richard had made entry. On that day Roger Gernet of the county of Bedford and Matthew de Caumbrun de Kertling of this county replevied [regained possession by a writ of replevin] the aforesaid land until the Fortnight after Easter so that Richard will then be at the parliament at Westminster to show his warrant for thus entering that land." - from "The Functions of the Medieval Parliament of England" by George Osborne Sayles.

A Roger Gernet was a witness to a grant, probably made between 1267 and 1285, that was witnessed in Huntingdon. This shire is just north of Bedfordshire. Its chief city was Cambridge, which ties this reference to that above by the Sheriff of Cambridge.

Huntingdon. "A. 7038. Grant by Thomas Sauvage of Stanford, to Sir William the abbot, and the convent, of Rameseye, in frank almoin, of land in Aylington, part adjoining land called "Akermanlond," and abutting on Morforlong, and on the road called "Biggeweye"; part on Peselond, and part in Micheleholm extending into Wylegeylake. Witnesses:--Roger Gernet, Walter Produme, and others (named)." - From "A descriptive catalogue of ancient deeds in the Public Record"
The Benedictine Abbey of Ramsey was located in the eastern fenland of Huntingdonshire. Abbot's named William included:
- William of Crowland 1161-1178. William succeeded in 1161, he was made Abbot of Ramsey by the interest of Thomas a Becket. William ruled the Abbey of Ramsey sixteen years, and was then chosen as Abbot of Cluny. The following year (1178) he left Ramsey, and the Ramsey Abbacy was vacant for two years.
- William de Akolt 1253-1254. William de Akolt was elected in 1253, he received the Royal assent on October 10th, 1253, and was blessed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. He lived as Abbot for one year.
- William de Godmanchester/Gurmecestre 1267-1285. Referred to as "Sir William, the abbot" in a deed of 1267-1285.
- William Witlesey 1468-1473.

Walter Produme was a witness to several charters to the Convent of Ramsey.

(9) Radulfo Gernet of Bedfordshire (c1280)

1309-1332. "Radulfo Gernet 4 8 1/4." - from Suffolk Green Books, Subsidy Lists, Shotley Taxpayers, Hundred of Wyxston, Kerdington.

(9) Rogero Gernet of Bedfordshire (c1280)

1309-1332. "Rogero Gernet 2 0." - from Suffolk Green Books, Subsidy Lists, Shotley Taxpayers, Hundred of Wyxston, Villata de Kerdington.

(9) Roberto Gerneth of Bedfordshire

". . . Thomas tunc priore de Chikesonde Galfrido de Bello camp Willelmo de Breton' Johnanne de Vall' militibus Roberto Gerneth de Kerdynton [Cardington] Hugone de Broy et . . ." - from "The Publications of the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society." Cardington is a village just southeast of Bedford, in Bedfordshire. Benet and Rogero Gerneth are also mentioned, though in what context I'm not sure.

The Gernet's of Northumberland and Lincoln

This family, while "of" the north, was also tied to that of Chelmsford, in Essex, through the de Brus family.

(7) Robert Gernet of Kernington (c1230)

The father of Robert. Kernington [Kirmington] and Spauneby are in county Lincoln.

". . . the gift of Robert Gernet, son of Roger Gernet, knight, of Kernington, . . ." c1327 - from "Calendar of the Charter Rolls."

(8) Robert Gernet of Elwick (c1260)
(7) Robert Gernet of Kernington (c1230)

Elwyk [Elwick] is near Hartepool, in Northumberland.

1288. "Inspeximus and confirmation of a charter, whereby Robert le Brus, lord of Annandale (Vallis Anand) inspected and confirmed a charter whereby Richard de Magna Badewe gave to the church of All Saints, Wrytel, in frank almoin, at the instance of brother Algucius, warden (custodis) of the said church, an acre and half of pasture in Writel, lying between the land of Walter de Bures and the king's highway . . . Witnesses to the charter of Robert de Brus, dated at Hert., on the morrow of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, 1288; Sir John de Seton, Sir Henry de Graham, knights, Master Adam de Crokdak, steward of Sir Robert de Brus, John de Garton, John le Macun, William Seer, Robert Gernet of Elwyk." - from the Calendar of Charter Rolls
Magna Badewe [Great Baddow] is near Chelmsford, in Essex. Richard de Magna Badewe was enfeoffed of Robert de Brus. Wrytel [Writtle] is just two miles west of Chelmsford. The village claims to be the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.

The de Brus Family

Rognvald de Bruis of Normandy(c970)

Robert de Brus of Normandy (c1014)

Born in Bruis, new Cherbourg, Normandy. He married Emma de Bretagne. Note that a Bernardus de Brus signed a charter of Robert Curthose in Fécamp with Willelmus Grenet.

Adam de Brus (c1051)

Of Carrick, Aryllshire, Scotland. He married Emma Ramsey of Carrick.

Robert le Brus, Lord of Annandale (c1071)

He was born in about 1071 in Yorkshire. Of Skelton and Danby. He was an adherent of Henry I and was also a close companion and mentor of David I, king of Scots. The lands he acquired from both kings were divided between his sons, from whom two lines descended: the lords of Skelton, influential Northerners who played an active part during the baronial troubles in the reigns of John and Henry III, and the prominent cross-Border lords of Annandale, co-heirs of the substantial Chester and Huntingdon estates and progenitors of King Robert Bruce. He died in 1141 at Skelton, Yorkshire.

Robert le Brus "Le Meschin", Lord of Annandale (c1103)

His elder brother was Adam le Brus, from whom descended the Lords of Skelton and Danby.

William le Brus, Lord of Annandale (1142)

He married Christina.

Robert le Brus, Lord of Annandale (1164)

He died in 1251.

Sir Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale (1210)

He died in 1295 at Lochmaben Castle Priory, Dumfriesshire. He was the immediate lord of Hartepool, Northumberland.

Robert le Brus, Lord of Annandale (1243)

The 1st Lord Brus. He was born in 1243, the son of Sir Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale, and Isabella de Clare. He was Earl of Carrick by right of his wife and Governor of Carlisle Castle. He became Lord of Annandale in 1295 and created Lord Brus in 1297 by Edward I. Robert died in 1304.

Robert Gernet witnessed a grant of land in Coniscliffe, near Darlington, Durham between John, son of william de Greystok and William, son of John de Kylverby, in 1300.

1302.

"Nov. 6. Westminster. "To Walter de Gloucestr[ia], escheator this side Trent. Order to release any distraint levied upon Gilbert son of William de Dunmawe for his homage for the lands that he holds of the king in chief by reason of the lands that Humphrey de Bouhun, earl of Hereford and Essex, lately rendered into the king's hands, with the knight's fees and all other appurtenances, as the king has taken his homage.

The like to the same in favour of the following:
Gilbert de Stanford
Robert Gernet." - from "Calendar of the Close Rolls" Volume 18

". . . the gift of Robert Gernet, son of Roger Gernet, knight, of Kernington, in frank almoin, of a toft with a croft, which Robert le Herde Sometime held of the said Roger Gernet, knight, in the town of Spauneby, and of 3s. of yearly rent from a bovate of land, which James atte Church (ad ecclesiam) held from the said Robert, receivable yearly at Michaelmas." c1327 - from "Calendar of the Charter Rolls."
"Walter de Cumba in 1327 gave by charter all his land in Elwick to Robert Gernet and Anastasia his wife charged with a payment of 6 marks annually to the church of St. Peter of Elwick to maintain a chaplain there to sing for the souls of Walter and other benefactors. - from British History Online
Also as Garnet. Walter de Cumba was enfeoffed of 36 acres of Philip de Burntoft, the Lord of Burntoft.

(8) Ralf Gernet of Spauneby (c1270)
(7) Robert Gernet of Kernington (c1230)

Lincoln
. . .
1303. "De Radulpho Gernet tenente di. f. in Spauneby, quod Johannes filius Willelmi Foliot quondom tenuit . . ." , page 135
1346. "Elizabetha de Spanby tenet di. f. in Spandy, quam (sic), Radulphus Gernet quondam tenuit." page 197 - from "Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aids"
See (4) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1130), above, who was also associated with a Foliot.

"120. An Assise [etc.] if Ralf Gernet unjustly etc. disseised Robert Patin' of his free tenement [etc.] in . . ." - from the "Publications of the Bedfordshire Historical Review" Volume 3

See the reference above to Gaufridus [Geoffrey] Gernet and the Knights of St. John.

". . . Hiis testibus: Baldewino filio Iohannis, Radulpho de Kent, Ada le Iofne, Radulpho Gernet, Iohanne de Walla, Thomas de Walla, Johanne le Veer . . ." pg. 77

". . . Hiis testibus: Henrico de Herbenton tunch ballivo de Chafford, Hugone le Bret, Henrico Gernet, Radulpho Gernet, Gervasio de Wenitone, Radulpho de Kent, Willelmo monacho, Jocelino de Turre, Roberto le tracere, Galfrido mercatore de . . . " pg. 99

". . . Henrico Gernet, Radulpho Gernet, Thoma Bernard' . . ." pg. 101 - from "The Cartulary of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in England"
Henry, bailiff of Chafford, was probably Henry of Codinton [Coddington], the bailiff of both Chafford and Dunmow c1272. The Chafford Hundred is in the southwest of the county. It was of the Crown and farmed by a bailiff. Hugone le Bret lived c1290.



The de Chernet's & Kernet's of Southwestern Hampshire

While a number of texts assume Chernet/Kernet are derivations of Gernet, A possibility exists of a separate origin in Normandy.

"Ricardo filio Turstini Guz et Guillelmo Caritate, Fulkoque filio Gerardi Budel atque Radulfo de Ollei" are named as present in the charter dated 30 Nov 1074 under which Odo Bishop of Bayeux bought "la terre de Chernet" from "Herberto de Agnellis," with the consent of "suo domino Radulfo de Conchis." - from a website, based on the "Regesta regum Anglo-Normannorum: the Acta of William I, 1066-1087"
Chernetville, or Kernetville, is today's Carneville, a commune in the Manche department of Normandy on the northern tip of the Cotentin penisula. Another website helpfully notes that,
"Kernetville indique un proprietaire seigneur du nom de Kernet, comme les Cosket ou Cosquet a Cosqueville."
"Herberto de Agnellis" was "[c]'était probablement un ancêtre de la famille d'Aigneaux, car un Herbert d'Aigneaux vendit sa tête de "Chernetville" en 1074 à Eudes, évêque de Bayeux . . .".

This family does not factor again in the story of the Heysham family descent.

(1) William de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1050)

A subtenant in Domesday. Willelmus de Chernet, of South Charford, Hampshire. Could this have been (1) Willelmus Grenet of Fécamp (c1050)? Remember that the Gernet family was enfeoffed of lands in both Normandy and England. William's brother may have been (1) Richard Gernet of Essex (c1050) who was on record in 1086 holding lands in Chignall, Essex. Richard could possibly be (1) Ricardus Gernet (c1050) of Maupertuis and Gerville, Normandy.

"In 1086, William de Chernet held five hides at Charford from Hugh de Port, which had been held by two free men from (de) King Edward 'in alodium; as manor TRE." - from "The Earls of Mercia" by Stephen David Baxter
Charford is located in the Avon river valley, where Fordingbridge, Breamore, and Milton also lie.
"The manor [Milton, Hampshire] was held of Hugh de Port in 1086 by a certain William Orenet, who is almost undoubtedly to be identified with the William de Chernet who was holding neighbouring lands in Hampshire of Hugh de Port. This William de Chernet was represented in 1166 by Hugh [Hugo] de Chernet, who held three fees, in which Milton was included, of Hugh de Port's heir. In the early 13th century John de Chernet was holding the manor as half a knight's fee, and from that date it followed the descent of South Charford (q.v.), in Fordingbridge Hundred, until the end of the 14th century, when this intermediate lordship presumably lapsed and the manor passed to the immediate holders." - from "British History Online"
"Orenet" looks tantalizingly like a mistranscription of Grenet.
"Index of Under-Tenants of Lands at the Formation of the Survey
. . .
Orenet, Willielmus, Hants, 50 b." - from "A General Introduction to Domesday Book" by Henry Ellis
I have found no other reference to an Orenet surname. There was a "William de Chernet, a Hampshire tenant, in Domesday [1086]" per "The Battle Abbey Roll," but this appears to be just their interpolation of Orenet, as above. This puts William Grenet/Chernet at the end of William I's reign, so I assume he was a contemporary of the Conqueror's sons, William Rufus and Robert Curthose.

Milton

Milton is in southwestern Hampshire, just below the New Forest, in the Avon river valley. The parish lies upon the shores of Christchurch Bay, midway between Christchurch and Lymington. In 1086 it belonged to Hugh de Port.

On this same subject,

"One of the most famous scenes recorded by our book is that in which William of Chernet [Willelmus de Chernet] claimed a Hampshire manor on behalf of Hugh de Port [Hugonis de Port, a companion of the Conqueror, see Hugh de Port], and produced his witnesses from among the best and eldest men of the county; but Picot, the sheriff of Cambridgeshire, who was in possession, replied with the testimony of villeins and mean folk and reeves, who were willing to support his case by oath or by ordeal." - from "Domesday Book and Beyond: Three Essays in the Early History of England" by F.W. Maitland
The next reference brings in Charford.
Istam terram caluniatur Willelmus de Chernet dicens pertinere ad manerium de Cerdeford feudum Hugonis de Port per hereditatem sui antecessoris, et de hoc suum testimonium adduxit de melioribus et antiquis hominibus totius comitatus et hundredi . . .
["William de Chernet claims this land' and says that it belongs to the manor of Charford, Hugh de Port's fief, as the inheritance of his ancestor and he has adduced the testimony for this from the better and the older men of the whole county and hundred . . ."] - from "English Lawsuits from William I to Richard I" by R.C. van Caenegem
William, though extensively referenced based on the legal action above, also held other lands:
c1086. "William Chernet holds Morden from her. Alnoth held it before 1066. It paid tax for 5 virgates of land. Land for 1 plough.
. . .
The value was and is 3s.
William Chernet holds Wimborne [Winburne] (St. Giles) from her. Aldwin held it before 1066. It paid tax for 1 hide. Land for 1 plough
2 smallholders
The third part of a mill which pays 15d; pasture, 4 furlongs in length and width; woodland 1 furlong long and 1/2 furlong wide.
The value was 20s; now 5s.
14 William Chernet also holds Hampreston from her. Aethelward held it before 1066. It paid tax for 1 hide. Land for 1 plough
. . .
[Footnote] William Chernet. The forms of this byname which appear in Exon. are chernet, de creneto and chernaet, respectively. One of the group: Kernay, Kerne . . . " - from "Domesday Book: Dorset" by John Morris, Caroline Thorn, and Frank Thorn
Hampreston is a manor on the border between Hampshire and Dorset.
"William Chernet holds these of the wife of Hugh [fitz Grip, the sheriff]. Of these William has 3 1/2 virgates in demesne and the villeins (have) 1 1/2 virgate and when he received (it) it was worth 25s. a year and now it is worth 20s.
[Footnote] the William who held Morden, Winburne, and Hampreston was William de Creneto or Chernet;" - from "The Victoria History of the County of Dorset" by William Page
Footnote. ". . . the William who held Morden, Winburne, and Hampreston was William de Creneto or Chernet;"
William's were also listed as follows:
"Domesday Name. - Saxon Owners, T.R.E. - Pre-Domesday Tenure, c. 1080-1084 - Domesday Tenanat in Capite. - Domesday Mesne, or next, Tenant
Winburne - Alduin - Hugo filius Grip - Uxor Hugonis filii Grip - William de Creneto
Winburne - Brictric - Queen Matilda (probably) - Herveus Cubicularius, Serviens Regis - William de Creneto
Brochemtune - Godric - Queen Matilda (probably) - Comes Moritoniae [Count of Mortagne, Robert of Mortagne, Earl of Cornwall, he married a Montgomery] - William de Creneto
. . .
Hame - Agelwardus - Comes de Moritonio - Uxor Hugonis filii Grip - Willelmus (Chernet)
. . .
Mordone - Alnod - Ulveta - Uxor Hugonis filii Grip - Willelmus (Chernet)
Mapledretone - Abbess of Shaftesbury - Abbatissa Sti Edwardi - Abbess of Shaftesbury - Willelmus (Chernet)
. . .
[Index] Willelmus de Creneto (T. ejusdem, 1086), 111, 117" - from "A key to Domesday" by Robert William Eyton

(2) Unknown de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1080)
(1) William de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1050)

(3) Hugh de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1120)
(1) William de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1050) (2) Unknown de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1080)

"Hugo de Chernet-evidently his [(1) William's] descendant-in 1165 held three knight's fees in the county [Hampshire] of John de Port [Lord of Basingstoke, Southampton, the son of Henry de Port, Sheriff of Hampshire] - from the Liber Niger. ". . . and in 1166 Hugh de Chernet (presumably the present donor) was recorded among the military tenants of John de Port in Hampshire" - from the Red Book.

"478) and in 1166 Hugh de Chernet (presumably the present donor) was recorded among the military tenants of John de Port in Hampshire (Red Bk. Exch., i. 208). At least one generation separated Hugh from the Domesday holder . . .
. . .
SOUTH CHARFORD 303 Gift in free alms by Hugh de Chernet to Reading Abbey of 6 acres of meadow in [South] Charford [c. mid-12th cent. . .
. . .
[Index] Chernet (Carnet), Hugh de, I, 248-9; wife of, Christina, I, 248
__, Waleran de, brother of Hugh, I, 248
__, William de, I, 249" - from "Reading Abbey Cartularies" by B.R. Kemp

Hugh de Chernet held Charford in 1166. British History Online notes that "This William de Chernet was represented in 1166 by Hugh de Chernet, who held three fees, in which Milton [Hampshire] was included, of Hugh de Port's heir." This was during the reign of Henry II.

Charford provides a continuing link in the following generations.

Liber Niger

The Black Book of the Exchequer, compiled by Gervase of Tilbury in the reign of Henry II. It is a roll of the military tenants.

Hugh also held lands to the west, across the border in Dorset.

1166. "Isti sunt milites Alvredi de Lincolnia [Alfred of Lincoln] quos tenet in capite de domino Rege, et qui sunt feffati de veteri feffamento, scilicet: [Dorsete] . . . Hugo de Kernet tenet j [one knights fee]." - from the Red Book of the Exchequer
Hugh was listed in the same document as his cousin, (4) Alexander Gernet of Essex (c1130).
"Hanteshe'
De misericordia Regis pro foresta sua.
. . .
Hugo de Kernet redd. comp. de .x. m. pro eodem. In Thesauro .v. m. Et debet .v. m."
- from "The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society."

(5?) Prior William de Kernet (c1170)

William de Kernet [Kermet], prior of Otterton [east Devon], was abbot of Tavistock, by royal assent, 20 February 1220. He died on 27 March 1224 - from "Head of Religious Houses, 1216-1377." The following are from early title deeds, Bonville, Wiscombe,

"Copy of grant in frankalmoign n.d. [before 1220] Henry de Wiscombe son of Walter of Wiscombe with the assent and at the will of his lord Roger de Daledich and of his heirs for the salvation of his soul and the souls of his ancestors and for the good things which the lord William Kernet then prior of Ot'ton did for him, to god and the church of Mount St. Michael 'de periculo maris' [Mont St. Michel, Brittany]."

"Consideration 60s. paid by William de Kernet of the alms of St. Michael."

I place William here because of the Chernet family's relationship with the west counties.


The following are all associated through transactions with the abbey of Brummore [Breamore], in Hampshire.

(6) Sir John de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1200)
(1) William de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1050) (2) Unknown de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1080) (3) Hugh de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1120) . . .

"In the early 13th century John de Chernet was holding the manor [Milton] as half a knight's fee [Testa de Nevill], and from that date it followed the descent of South Charford (q.v.), in Fordingbridge Hundred, until the end of the 14th century, when this intermediate lordship presumably lapsed and the manor passed to the immediate holders. Of these the first mentioned is Lucy de Limesey, who was holding Milton of John de Chernet in the early 13th century." - from British History Online.

In 1223 John de Kernet granted land in Breamore [Hants] to Robert de Kernet in exchange for other land. Parties to the deal included the Canons of Breamore [Brumor'] and the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Cherford [Chardeforde/Charford]. Breamore is near Fordingbridge.

"To the sheriff of Wilts. Contrabreve [a counter writ] to carry 10 swan, which John de Kernet will deliver, to Westminster, by Tuesday, the vigil of St. Peter's Chair [the night before 22 February]." - from "Calendar of the Liverate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office." Does this imply an official role for John in the New Forest, perhaps as a forester or lardiner?

"Carta Johannis de Kernet de prato de Chardeford. Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Johannes de Kernet dedi et concessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi deo et ecclesie beate Marie Belli Loci Regis et abbati et monachis ibidem in presenti deo servientibus et prepetuo servituris quoddam pratum de dominico meo de Chardeford quod . . . Johanne de Kernet: John de Kernet held land in Avon and Charford in 1242 and there was a place called Kernetside in Fordingbridge." - from "Southampton Records Series."

After 1244. "Charter of Amicia de Redveriis, countess of Devon and landy of the Isle, in her widowhood, giving to the church of the blessed Mary and the blessed Michael of Brummore and its canons, for the soul of earl Baldwin, her late husband, and her own, etc., all her land of Hordull' [Hordle] and her rights therein . . . Hiis testibus: Domino Willelmo de Clar' fratre meo; Domino Wilelmo de Breuse, domino Matheo de Columabriis, Domino Galfrido de Fanencort, Domino Johanne de Kernet, Domino Johanne de Caumpeny, militibus; . . . " - from "The Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Rutland" by Charles Manners Rutland.

John was succeeded by Geoffrey Chernet, his nephew?, before 1271.

(6) Sir Robert de Kernet (c1200)

Undated. "Confirmation by Ralph son of Hosbert, of his father's grant to the prior and canons of Brummore, to hold in frank almoin, of land in Laredegrave and upon Rihull, and also of land lying between the highway towards Foord and Witherslade. Witnesses: Sir Richard de Kardunvil, Hugh de Godeshulle, and Robert de Kernet', knights, John de Brummore, and othersP: [Hants] In dorso: Charter of Ralph son of Osbert of land in Brommore." - from the "National Archives" of England.

In 1223 John de Kernet granted land in Breamore [Hants] to Robert de Kernet in exchange for other land. Parties to the deal included the Canons of Breamore [Brumor'] and the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Cherford [Chardeforde/Charford]. Breamore is near Fordingbridge.

(6) Hugh de Kernet (c1200)

The father of Geoffrey.

(7) Geoffrey Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1230)
(1) William de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1050) (2) Unknown de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1080) (3) Hugh de Chernet of Milton/Charford (c1120) . . . (6) Hugh de Kernet

John de Chernet was succeeded by Geoffrey Chernet before 1271, though I think he may have been the son of Hugh (perhaps John's younger brother?). Geoffrey's daughter and heir was probably Isolde. In 1293 Iseult de Chernet apparently carried Charford in marriage to Oliver de la Zouche [Zusche] (ca1250-1316), the son of Alan and Elena de Quincy de la Zouche.

"The heir of Geoffrey Kernet held one knight's fee in . . . " - from "Abstracts of Wiltshire Inquisitiones Post Mortem: Returned Into the Court of Chancery ..." by George Samuel Fry, Ethel Stokes.

I think this may fit here. "Confirmation by Geoffrey de Kernet of the grant made by Hugh de Kernet, his father, to the church of St. Michael, Brumore, of the tenth sheaf of corn from his demesne at Avene, and every tenth swath from his meadow. Witnesses:--Reginald de Rocheb, Geoffrey de Hela, the chapter of Ford, and others (named)." - from "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds in the Public Record Office." Also listed as a witness to Hants. grants by Nicholas Clarebold (15 August, 3 Edward I [1309]) and Henry Polain of Christchurch to the canons of Brommore.

(8) Iseult Chernet of Charford (c1260)

The heir of Geoffrey Chernet. She married Oliver de la Zouche.

(7) John Kernet (c1230)

On 24 February 1305 [33 Edward I] John Kernet was a juror in an Inquisition by Thomas de Warebeltone, the sheriff of Southampton. On 7 July 1307 John was a witness, as was Rich. de Byflet, Under-sheriff of Southampton, to a grant to the Priory and Convent of Seleburne. And, on 29 January 1308 he witnessed another grant to the Priory. - from "Calendar of Charters and Documents Relating to Selborne and Its Priory" by Selborne Priory, Magdalen College (University of Oxford).

John was a witness to a Hants. grants by John Franceis of 'la Hale' and Hamo de Bachamton to the canons of Brommore. John was shown as a knight in both. - from "British History Online." Brommore [Bromere, Brummore] Priory was in Hampshire.

Edw. fil. Hen 35 [7 July 1307, the last day of the reign of Edward I]. John Kernet was a witness to a grant by William le Turnur de la Rode to the Prior and Convent of Seleburne. In the list of witnesses John's name came second, after the Under-sheriff of Southampton.

(7) Nicholas Gernet (c1230)

Nicholas was mentioned in the Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem.

"Inquisition made at Sende on Thursday in the vigil of St. Nicholas, 54 Henry III [1269], before Sir E. Cotele, then escheator, by the oath of Robert de Aubervill . . . and Nicholas Gernet, who say that John de Chyrebury held of the King 15 librates of land in Sende . . ." - from "The Index Library" of the British Record Society
Elias Cotele was the escheator for Wiltshire.

(7) Sir Robert de Kernet of Fordingbridge (c1230)

From Ancient Deeds belonging to the Corporation of Bath,

Circa 1290. "By Richard, son of William Smith (Faber), of Fordigbrig [Fordingbridge], for 50 shillings sterling, to Sir Robert de Kernet and his heirs, of a messuage, with all the land and all their appurtenances, in the vill of Fordigbrig, to wit, that which was given to William Smith, Richard's father, with Matilda, his mother, to wit, 2 acres of land where the said messuage is situate and 2 acres of land in Medfurlang and half an acre of meadow, with all their appurtenances. Rendering yearly to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Fordigbrig for the light of the Blessed Mary ½d. at Pentecost for all services and exactions, etc, saving royal service as much as pertains to so great a free tenement in the same vill."
Charford was in the Fordingbridge Hundred.

Fordingbridge

A market town on the River Avon in the west of Hampshire, near to the Dorset and Wiltshire borders and on the edge of the New Forest.


(7) Henry de Kernet of Milton & Ballyregan (c1230)

"Henry de Kernet, the tenant who held this fee [Milton] before 1247, was a kinsman of Reginald de Kernet who held fees in cos. Wexford and Kilkenny . . . " - from British History Online and "Knight's Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 13th-15th Century" by Eric St. John.

"Reginald de Kernet also held at the date of the 1247 feodary 1/10 of a knight's fee at Killemer of the Gloucester purparty. Henry de Kernet held 1/4 fee in Ballyregan of the Valence purparty. Henry and Reginald witnessed some Duiske Charters . . ." - from "Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 13th-15th Century: With Commentary" by Eric St. John Brooks.
Ballyregan was in the Barony of Iffa and Offa, in county Tipperary. The lords of Ballyregan were the le Gras family, Earls of Albemarle. Clarice was Henry's wife.

"Grant by Henry Kernet and Clarice, his wife, to the . . . - from "Calendar of Ormond Deeds, 1172-[1603]" by Ormonde, Marquises of Ormonde. This was her second husband.

Ireland c1200

This was the time of the Norman Invasion of Ireland. Dermot MacMurrough, ousted as King of Leinster, enlisted the assistance of the Norman Baron Richard de Clare, known to history as 'Strongbow,' promising him his daughter in marriage and his kingdom upon his death. Between 1168 and 1171 the Normans reconquered all of Leinster, including Dublin, and began to invade the neighboring provinces.

At the end of 1171 King Henry II, fearing Strongbow's new found power, landed near Waterford with a large army and overran most of the country. He was recognized as the ruler of Ireland by the treaty of Windsor in 1171. Henry made a formal grant of Leinster to Strongbow in return for his homage, fealty and the service of 100 knights. The installation of foreign-born lords and earls in Ireland by King Henry II and his son John continued throughout the thirteenth century. These Norman lords were eventually absorbed into the Irish community and, by the time of Queen Elizabeth, led the resistance to the army of the Earl of Essex.


(8) William de Kernet of Milton (c1260)
(7) Henry de Kernet (c1230)

"Henry de Kernet's heir was his son William, who in 1292, as William de Kernet of the county of Southampton, son and heir of Henry de Kaernet, granted and quit-claimed to Sir William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke and Joan his wife all his right and claim in the land of . . . " - from "Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 13th-15th Century: With Commentary" by Eric St. John Brooks.

(8) James de Gernet of Ballyornan (c1260)
(7) Henry de Kernet (c1230)

". . . ex una parte et terre James filii Henrici de Gernet ex altera parte in longitudine vero a pede montane . . ." - from "Registrum prioratus omnium sanctorum juxta Dublin." A Wexford, Ireland Gernet. "Another son James (son of Henry de Gernet) who held lands in Balyofrn (which the Editor of the Register of All Hallows conjectured was Ballyornan beside Powerscourt, co. Wicklow) is mentioned in a deed of Claricia daughter of [Gilberti filii Griffini]. . ." - from "Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 13th-15th Centuries."

(7) Reginald de Kernet of Wexford (c1230)

"Henry de Kernet, the tenant who held this fee [Milton] before 1247, was a kinsman of Reginald de Kernet who held fees in cos. Wexford and Kilkenny . . . " - from British History Online. "Reginald de Kernet also held at the date of the 1247 feodary 1/10 of a knight's fee at Killemer of the Gloucester purparty. Henry de Kernet held 1/4 fee in Ballyregan of the Valence purparty. Henry and Reginald witness . . ." - from "Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 13th-15th Century: With Commentary" by Eric St. John Brooks.

The lands of Reginald were in the De Clare Purparty, circa 1247. "The table below represents a snapshot of those who were granted lands and held them under knights' fees as recorded in the feodaries of 1247, 1317 and 1327 . . . The lists below represent a partial list of these second tier of Anglo-Norman adventurers, holding knights' fees under their lord, and maintaining sub-tenants and military allies for their new territories. The lands they held were those of the Irish who often lived alongside the new tenants, sometimes in opposition but at times in alliance with this Anglo-Norman landed gentry . . ."

Tentant's Name: Reginald de Kernet (de Kernek)
Fees: 1/10
Place Name: Killemer
Probable Location: Killarney, barony of Gowran
. . .
Wexford and Kilkenny are in southeastern Ireland.

Gilbert de Lyvet succeeded Reginald de Kernet in this fee, implying that Reginald's line had died out.


The de Kernet's of Eastern Hampshire

Colemere, today known as Colemore, is located in eastern Hampshire, just south of Alton.

(3?) Hugh de Kernet of Colemere (c1120)

"The name Kernet first occurs about 1166, when Hugh de Kernet rendered account at the Exchequer of half a mark. Hugh was still living in 1176, but he seems to have died before 1184." - from "Parishes: Colemore, A History of the County of Hampshire."

(4?) Henry de Kernet of Colemere (c1150)

In about 1184, temp. Henry II, Henry de Kernet and his wife Sabella paid a fine of forty shillings for a grand assize against Michael de Versona, in respect to a hide of land.

Circa 1195-1207. From the grant by Terricus Teutonicus, "I have quitted all claim to the before named canons [of Southwick], of the whole of the said land, in plain and wood, and to the lawsuit I commenced, together with the three shillings which Isabella the wife of Henry de Kernet is accustomed to pay annually for the pasture of Colemere."

(5?) Lady Cecilia de Kernet of Colemere (c1180)

In 1155 Hugh de Lacy had held Colemere. He was succeeded in 1172 by William . . . About the year 1219, from a list of rents of Dene and Colemere, "Lady Cecilia de Kernet pays three shillings yearly for herbage." - from "A history of the united parishes of Colmer and Priors Dean" by Thomas Hervey.

(5?) Henry Kernet of Colemere (c1180)

"Another Henry owned the estate in 1221 . . . The patronage of Colemore Church seems to have belonged in early times to the owners of the independent hide of land. It was successfully claimed against the Abbot of Hyde in 1221 by Henry de Kernet, whose family continued to exercise the right of presentation for the next hundred years." - from "Parishes: Colemore, A History of the County of Hampshire."

"In the reign of Henry II, about the year 1184, Henry de Kernet and his wife Sabella paid a fine of forty shillings for a grand assize, in respect to this hide of land [in Dean], against Michael de Versona." - from "A history of the united parishes of Colmer and Priors Dean" by Thomas Hervey.

". . . Isabella the wife of Henry de Kernet is accustomed to pay annually for the pasture of Colemere." - from "A history of the united parishes of Colmer and Priors Dean" by Thomas Hervey.

(7?) William Kernet of Colemere (c1240)

Temp. Henry III [1273-1281?], a William Kernet was witness to a grant. Circa 1278 William de Kernet, lord of Colemere, witnessed a grant to the church at Southwick. A third grant was witnessed on 3 November 1296. - from "A history of the united parishes of Colmer and Priors Dean" by Thomas Hervey.

(8?) John Kernet of Colemere (c1270)

"John de Kernet, as lord, presented to the church between 1305 and 1316." - from Feet of F. Hants, Mich. 28 Edw. I.

(8?) William Kernet of Colemere (c1270)

"The manor still belonged to the Kernets in 1299, when William, who was probably a son of the ' lord of Colemore,' held it from his brother John for the yearly rent of one rose, but before 1339 the estate had passed to Thomas de Westcote, whose descendants remained in possession and were patrons of the church till the beginning of the 16th century." - from "Parishes: Colemore, A History of the County of Hampshire."


(?) William Gernet of Nottinghamshire (c1250)

The "English and Welsh Surname Dictionary" lists a 'William Gernet, county Nottinghamshire, Henry III - Edward I.' The reigns of those two Kings were 1216-1272 and 1272-1307. I'm not sure where he fits in the family.

Gernets in Wiltshire

(1) Guy "Wydonis/Wydo" Gernet (c1050)

Also as Wydo or Guy.

(2) William Gernet (c1080)
(1) Guy "Wydonis/Wydo" Gernet (c1050)

The son of Guy (Wydonis) Gernet.

(3) William Gernet II (c1110)
(1) Guy "Wydonis/Wydo" Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080)

The son of William son of Wydo. Both a William and an Alice Gernet are listed as owning property in Wiltshire at an unspecified date, William's worth 12d. and Alice's 10 1/2d - from the "Wiltshire Record Society."

(3) Alice Gernet (c1110)
(1) Guy "Wydonis/Wydo" Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080)

The daughter of William son of Wydo.

(4) Galien
(1) Guy "Wydonis/Wydo" Gernet (c1050) (2) William Gernet (c1080) (3) Alice Gernet (c1110)

The daughter of Alice.

Gernets in Ireland

There were earliers Gernet's in Ireland, though whether they were related to the Gernet's of Hampshire is unknown.

(5) Hugh de Gerneth (c1165)

In 1193 Philip de Burci gave all of his land at Ragel, in Gloucestershire, to William de St. Leger. A Hugone de Gerneth was also mentioned. I place him here because I think he may have been a vassal of St. Leger and followed the family when, circa 1199 they moved to county Kilkenny, Ireland.

Confirmatio Capitalis Domini de Praedicta Terra Quam Nobis Fecit

Willelmus filius Roberti filii Martini omnibus amicus fuis et hominibus Francis et Anglis et Wallenfibus. Sciatis me conceffiffe et hac praefenti carta confirmaffe Monachis de Dena totam terram de Ragal quae est de feudo meo cum omnibus pertinentiis fuis quam Willelmus de Sancto Leodegario . . . Duae cartae de terris acquietatis; una de Waltero de wintreburn, et alis de Hugone de Gerneth, quas acquietavit Willelmus de Sancto Leodegario; et breve unam de feifina. Omnia ifta habentur in ferinio Catharino.
- from "The Cartulary and Historical Notes of the Cistercian Abbey of Flaxley: Otherwise Called Dene..." by Arthur William Crawley-Boevey.
Philip de Burci had granted the estate of Ragel to William St. Leger in settlement of a debt. This was a formal confirmation of a grant in alms to the Abbey, as acknowledged by the superior lord, "William son of Robert son of Martin."

Abbey of Flaxley

The old Cistercian abbey, in the forest of Dene, Gloucestershire, was founded between 1148 and 1154 by Roger, the Earl of Hereford.


(6) William Grenet (c1190)
(5) Hugh de Gerneth (c1165)??

Circa 1200-1212.

"John, the Archbishop, presents to William Grenet for his live a rent of 57 shillings for Dowdinestown and Tipperkevin."
"John, the Archbishop, remits to William Grenett a reversion of 57 shipps out of Dowdinestown and Tipperkevin near Ballimore." - from the Calendar of the Liber Niger Alani as depicted in the "Journal" of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. June 1897.
Ballymore is in county Kildare, just south of Meath and west of Dublin. John, the Archbishop was probably John Comyn [or Cumin], the Archbishop of Dublin from 1181 to 1212. He was a contemporary of Hugh de Lacy, the Earl of Ulster and the younger son of Hugh de Lacy, the Earl of Meath. The elder Hugh had died in 1186, while the younger died after 1242.

Sometime before 1229 a William de Gernet witnessed a land grant:

Circa 1290 (before 1229) - "Robert Tysun grants for ever to Ralph de Ely a Carucate and thirty acres in Dunhod (perhaps Donoughmore. parish of St. Patrick's). Witnesses: Thomas son of Antony, Walter Purcel, Hugh his son, Baldwin de Bethun, John Travere, William de Gernet, Gervase le Mercer, William Deven, Robert Marchals, Thomas the clerk, Penecole Travers, William Camail. In dosro: Dunhod in Ossor . . . Note: This deed is more properly dated 'before 1229,' as given by Eric St. John Brooks (see article at the beginning of this page)." - from "Extracts from Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny," Eric St. John Brooks, 1950. [#282, p. 113]

There is a further document that I cannot get into to see, but which has the line ". . . chaplains, William Grenet, Nicholas Touffe, . . ." - from "Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records" of the Ireland Public Record Office.

Richard Gernet (c1215)

"Richardus Gernet" - from "Dublin Guild Merchants, A.D. 1256-7" as depicted in "Historic and Municipal Documents of Ireland, A.D. 1172-1320" by John Thomas Gilbert.


There were Garnett’s living in Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though it is impossible to say if they are descendents of William. However, their “seat” was in Summerseat, county Meath, so the region is correct.

John Garnett (c1750)

Esquire. He married Anne Hatch.

Samuel Garnett (1775)

Esquire, of Summerseat, Meath. He was born on 10 November 1775. He married first Alice Ellard, the daughter of Andrew Ellard, Esq. of Newton, county Limerick on 26 February 1805. Second he married Mary-Anne Rothwell, the daughter of Thomas Rothwell, Esq. of Rockfield, Meath, on 7 December 1818. She died in 1803.

Samuel Garnett (1806)

He was born on 3 November 1806. He married Martha O’Connor, the daughter of the Rev. George O’Connor of Ardlunnau, Meath, rector of Castlerock, in May 1831.

Richard Garnett (1821)

He was born on 12 October 1821.

William Garnett (1826)

He was born on 29 June 1826. His sisters were Anne, Helena and Isabella.


The Gernet's of Lancashire

This is our line of the family, originally vassals of Count Roger de Poitou.

In 1074 Roger had gained large holdings throughout England, but especially in Lancashire. Roger chose Lancaster as the site for his castle, now known as the 'Norman Keep' within Lancaster Castle, which became the center of administration for the lands that he controlled. Some accounts show that Lancaster castle was erected by Roger as early as 1076. In 1081 Roger lost two important Lancashire lordships, Crosby and the Barony of Warrington, to the Norman De Villiers family, who we'll hear about again later.

At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, Lancashire extended from the northern shore of the River Mersey north to the River Ribble (that is, it did not include the region around the town of Lancaster). Manchester was held by St. Mary's Church, Salford by Roger de Poitou. Liverpool was not then a village, however, many of the villages which now constitute parts of Liverpool were. These included Allerton, Childwall, Bootle, Knowsley, Newsham, Huyton, Kirby, Kirkdale, Sefton, Speke, Up and Down Litherland, Roby, Smithdown, Toxteth, Walton on the Hill, Wavertree, and West Derby, and Woolton. All of these were owned by Roger de Poitou. Most of the coastal area north to the Ribble was also held by Roger de Poitou including Formby, Crosby, Thornton, Lydiate, Altcar, Maghull, Ince Blundell, Melling, Ainsdale, Southport (Erengermeles), North Meols and Argarmeles (Birkdale). Inland, Roger held Blackburn, Dalton, Cockerham, Hurlston, Leyland, Penwortham, Newton le Willows, Rochdale, Skelmerdale, Up and Down Holland, and Preston. As was customary, he gave many of these properties to his followers.

In 1086 Roger's Lancashire estates were forfeited due to his support of a rebellion by William I's sons, Robert Curthose and William Rufus. However, the Conqueror died the next year and the new King, William Rufus, restored Roger's properties.

In 1092 William II invaded northern Lancashire and Cumbria to reclaim those lands from the Scots. In reward for his support of the invasion Roger acquired most of what we know as northern Lancashire and the regions of Barrow-In-Furness and Cartmel, on the other side of Morecombe bay. Through his own local lords, Roger created a series of earth and timber defences lining the Lune river valley. The Gernet's were recorded as amongst Roger's vassals in Lancashire as early as 1094.

The population of Lancashire, south of the Ribble, at the time of the Domesday Book was probably less than 2,000 and mostly confined to the coastal areas except for Warrington, Salford and Manchester. North of the Ribble in the Hundred known as Amounderness there were over 60 holdings and it was slightly more heavily populated, but 45 settlements were waste, held by Roger de Poitou. Cheshire, to the south, was comparatively heavily populated and rich in holdings.

The first mention of the village of Heysham (Hessam) is in the Domesday Book. This was the record of a great census of England made from 1085 to 1086 by order of William I (William the Conqueror). The survey ascertained the economic resources of most of the country for purposes of more accurate taxation. Descriptions of each piece of land, its present and former holders, the holding itself, and the population on it were among the facts recorded. It listed a fishing village on the western shore of northern England, on the Irish Sea, by the name of Hessam. The name has evolved over time and the town is now known as Heysham, pronounced Hee-sham. For most of its history it was a fishing village, but in the 19th century it was developed as a seaport as the port of Lancaster silted up.

The population of Lancashire county in 1086 was probably no more than 3000, most of them living on the coast of the Irish sea, on which they depended for their livelihood. Domesday said of Amounderness, the region where Heysham lies, that "sixteen of the villages in this hundred have few inhabitants and the rest are waste."

(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050)
(-1) Guerinet (c1020)

He was probably part of the Essex family. Also as Ralph, Ralf, Radolf, Radulphus, Rolf, or even Hrolf, to use the Nordic variant of the name (and to avoid the feeling that our prime forebear is somehow like Ralph Kramden). Latinized as Radulphus Guernet. He is the earliest recognized member of the family in Lancashire. I think the reference below gets it wrong, but I need to see more than a snippet view to be certain.

"A recent history of the family traces the Garnets from Ralph de Gernet, a literate gentleman, possibly a clerk, who followed Duke William from Normandy and was employed to witness several grants of land in Lancashire during the years following the battle of Hastings. From the twelfth to the sixteenth century the name, in a number of variants - Gurin, Guerin and . . ." - from "Henry Garnet, 1555-1606," 1964, by Philip Caraman
If correct, could literate refer to his role as a gerneter? The master of a grain warehouse would have to know his arithmetic, if not his letters.

Ralph's date and place of birth are unknown, but some theories can be proposed. Ralph was, per a Garnet family researcher, a "learned gentleman who came to England from Norman France in the time of William the Conqueror." That would be from 1066 to 1187, meaning he was born perhaps circa 1030-1050, but this could also be as late as 1065. "Learned gentleman" seems questionable. At this time that could refer only to a monk or cleric since no gentleman had any learning other than warcraft.

The Norman Lord

The Normans who ruled England beginning in 1066 were rude men of little learning and no grace. They could neither read nor write, nor do sums beyond what could be counted on their fingers. They never bathed, though they might wash they face and hands as the mood struck them. Their homes were forts, though much smaller and weaker than the castles of later eras, probably something like the American stockades of the Indian wars. Their lives were dedicated to combat; to seizing other men's property and holding it against all comers. In victory they offered no quarter and in defeat they were as easy to handle as cornerd rats.

All affairs that required learning were delegated to the clerks, who were men of the church. The Lords despised them, but they held in contempt any man not of their brutal fighting order, including the Saxons who worked their land. Chivalry was a concept of a later period, developed by the troubadors in the gentler lands of southern France, and never really mirrored reality. Our image of the knight in shining armor owes its origins to Tennyson and the Victorians.

A number of sources claim that the family settled in Lancashire during the time of the Conqueror, who died in 1087.

"The Lordship of the Gernets, Chief Foresters of Lancashire - The ancient family of the Gernets, who settled at Halton, near Lancaster, in the time of William the Conqueror, and received lands from Roger Pictavensis, still continued to hold those lands in the reign of Henry III, with the office of forester to the king throughout the whole county of Lancaster." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867
Another source claims that the Gernet family was
"First found in Lancashire where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D."
The latter is from House of Names, a web site that markets family heraldry and coats of arms, under the name Garnette. This is, however, highly unlikely.

I believe that while the family may have received lands in the south at this early date, they could not have appeared in the north until the reign of the Conqueror's son, William Rufus. If we believe, as proposed above, that the Gernet's were part of the larger de Montgomery family of the Earl of Arundel, then they probably received their lands in Essex, Suffolk and Hampshire from the Earl's son, Count Roger de Poitou, who held lands in those regions as early as 1074. It was not until 1092, however, following William Rufus's successful invasion of Cumbria, that Lancashire north of the river Mersey was subdued and given to the Count. These lands included the fiefs of Halton, Heysham and Caton that the Gernet family would receive.

I propose that Ralph was a member of the Gernet family of Essex; perhaps a younger brother of Richard Gernet. In a document of 1094 Ralph was, in fact, termed as “of Suffolk,” presumably meaning that he was from there. Suffolk is the county just north of Essex. He probably accompanied William Rufus's army into Cumbria, in Count Roger's retinue, and received lands in Lancashire as a reward for his service.

The family of Ralph de Gernet settled principally in Halton, north of modern-day Lancaster, where they received land in grant from Roger of Poitou. These holdings came into the possession of the Gernet family some time between 1092 and 1102.

The earliest written references to Ralph de Gernet are his signatures as a witness and testator for his liege found on charters and grants made to churches, including the Abbey at Sees, dating from 1094. This was during the reign of Willilam Rufus, son of the Conqueror. Note that in 1094 Roger made a grant to the abbey of St. Martin de Sees, in Normandy, of the church of St. Mary, then newly erected in Lancaster by him. "He granted also that any of his tenants might make grants to the priory of Lancaster, even to the extent of half their estates." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867.

"Charter of Roger, Earl of Poitou, our founder.

"In the name and honour of the holy and undivided Trinity. Let it be known to all, as well present as to come, that Roger, Earl of Poitou, for the welfare of his soul, and for the welfare also [of the souls] of Roger [Earl of] Shrewsbury his father, and his mother Mabel, the Countess, also for his brothers and for all his friends, gave to God and St. Martin the church of St. Mary of Lancaster, will all things pertaining to it, and part of the land of that vill, from the old wall as far as the orchard of Godfrey, and as far as Prestgate; and near to Lancaster two mansions, Aldcliffe and Newton, and whatsoever pertains to them; also the grove as far as Freybrook, with the dignity and customs which he had; and Amfridus de Montgomery, and whatsoever he holds of the adovesaid Earl; and the church of Heysham, with a thrid part of the land of all the vill . . . Moreover, he gave the tithe of venison and of the pannage of all his groves, and the tithe of his fishery. He granted also the third draught of the seine of St. Mary . . . And after the said Earl granted, Godfrey the Sheriff [Vicecomes], hearing these things, gave the tithes of Bispham, and whatsoever he had in Lancaster, houses and orchard; and Ralph Gernet [Radulphus Guernet] three men in Suffolk.

Whereof are witnesses the aforesaid Earl and his daughter Sibilla, and G. [Godfrey] the Sheriff, and Alb. Grelett [Albert Greslet/de Grelley, Baron of Grelley c1102], R. son of Robert, G. Boisel, A. his brother, P. de Vilers [Pagan de Villers, Baron of Warrington], Rayneward, V. Son of Aluma, Orm son of Ketell [Lord of Workington and brother of the Baron of Kendal], Ulf son of Torolf, etc." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster
Clearly Ralph had at least some properties in Suffolk. British History Online notes that "The wide range of Roger's endowments bespeaks the poverty of his northern lands." In "Medii Aevi Kalendarium: Or Dates, Charters, and Customs of the Middle Ages," by Robert Thomas Hampson, it specifically calls Ralph a follower [vassal] of Roger de Poitou.
"Roger had expressed his permission in the charter to his followers to alienate even the half of their lands to this abbey . . and Ralph Gernet gave three men in Suffolk."
The Lancashire Pipe Rolls expands on this,
". . . and Ralph Gernet gave three of his Suffolk villeins, to be transferred to the Lancaster estates of the newly founded monastery." - from " The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130"
The citation below is substantially different in its particulars, but my main interest is in how Ralph's name was rendered - as Grenet. Apparently there were two charters, both in the same year, and the reference above conflated them for ease of reading.
"Notification that earl Roger, called "of Poitou" (Pictaviensis), in the year 1094, gave to God and St. Martin and the brethren at Sees, in alms for ever, the church of Lancaster with all its appurtenances, and part of the land of that town, from the old wall to Godfrey's orchard, and as far as Prestequet, and the two manors (mansiones) near Lancaster, Andeduva and Neutons, and Ansfrid de Montegommerici with all that he held of the said earl, and the churches of Hessan and Prestetona, and Estanesberia, and Cotegrava, and Crophil[le]e, and Wichelai, and Calisei, and the churches of St. Peter of Lincoln, and Walinguore and Navzebeia, and Bodebeia, with their appurtenances and the tithes of Hales, and Derbeium, and Salfort, and Risebeia, and Bissepephen; and the tithes of all his mares, cows, and swine when they come to the larderer; and Hervey the priest of Torp and Benedict of Eia, and all that he holds of the earl, and the tithes of the churches of all the land of Albert Greslet, and the tithe of Warin Boissel at Brestona, and the tithe of the land of Roger de Monte Begonis at Calisei and Tablesbeia and Tit and all his demesne between Rible and Mersey; and four men of Ralf Grenet in Sulfoc." - from "Calendar of Documents Preserved in France"
A second charter includes the Earl's comment that his vassals may also contribute. This was witnessed by Radulfo Ghernet. Another document, again slightly different, of the same event.
"665. Charter of earl Roger, called "of Poitou," [who] gave in 1094, ten pounds a year until he should assign [land] worth 10 pounds a year. And if anyone should desire the prayers and benefits of the monastery of Lancaster, the earl most gladly grants that he may give as much as half his land. And if anyone without heir of woman (absque herede mulieris) should wish to give his whole land, and should there assume the monastic garb, to be a monk of St. Martin's, the earl grants that he may. And St. Martin is to hold all as freely as himself etc.

Testibus: Godefrido vicecomite; Olivario de Tremblet; Ernaldo Barberoto; Ansfrido de Montegommerio; Radulfo Ghernet; Willelmus de Raines, et alii."

- from the "Calendar of Documents Preserved in France"
The following snippet provides more background. This was from a list of footnotes explaining the backgrounds of the witnesses immediatley above.
"Ralph Ghernet, variously spelt as Gernet, Grenet, Gerneht and Ghernet, founded an important Lancashire family: V.C.H. Lancs. VIII, p. 1 19, n. 16. The surname Ghernet is superscript in the witness list and two lines above in the main body of the charter where it is spelt Gernet. A Hildegarius Grenet appears in LB, f. 80v." - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire" Volume 140, page 224
The following footnote is less clear, though it assumes that Ralph was from East Anglia. This region is comprised of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and, more loosely, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
"[Footnote] 59 Comitis is superscript. The three additional names which appear in the witness list of text [B] (Ralph Ghernet, Odo, and William of Rames) may argue that the [A] text scribe copied the witness list of [B], omitting three unfamiliar names. Alternatively Roger the Poitevin's familia may have been fairly stable. If the latter was the case the omission from the later text of Ralph Ghernet and William of Rames [both witnesses above], who had East Anglian connections, may reinforce the argument that [A] was given in Normandy." - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire" Volume 140, page 225
I don't know what text [A] and [B] were.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1087-1100 William II, Rufus.

He was called Rufus either from his red hair, or his easy propensity to anger. He was born in 1057 and was made King upon his father's death. Many of the Barons, who had lands on both sides of the channel, favored his older brother, Robert, who had succeeded his father as Duke of Normandy, but William put down the rebellion successfully. In 1089 he invaded his brother's domain in Normandy. After years of struggle, Robert pawned the Duchy to his brother for 10,000 Marks in 1096 and went on the First Crusade. Robert regained Normandy on William's death.

History remembers William Rufus as cruel and greedy, but as the monks wrote the history and he was hard on them, it is difficult to be sure what the truth lies. He did employ all the powers at his command to benefit the treasury. Shire courts levied heavy fines, confiscation and forfeitures were harshly enforced, and exorbitant inheritance taxes were imposed. He was killed on 2 August 1100 in a hunting accident that may have been an assassination. He never married and had no children.

While William Rufus was King of England, his elder brother, Robert Curthose, was Duke of Normandy. Each subsidized rebellion in the other's domains. Note that William Grenet of Fecamp, in Normandy, was a known adherent of Robert, as were Ralph Gernet's overlords, the Montgomery's. I would suspect that the Gernet's followed them in rebellion against William in 1088 and were, like them, forgiven in the aftermath.

The Abbey at Sees

The Abbey of St. Martin de Sees was located in Normandy and was in the favor of Count Roger de Poitou. Sees is now a small village, near Alencon. In 1094 the Church in Poulton, in the Amounderness Hundred, in Lancashire, where the village of Heysham was also located, was given to the Abbey. The Priory of St. Mary’s in Lancaster was also in the control of that institution.

According to this same source, above, "the family became landholders in Westmorland [present day Cumbria] and Lancashire and gained the right to bear arms. One branch of this early Gernet family distinguished itself as serjeants of the King's Forest throughout Lancaster and by the thirteenth century held estates at Halton, Heysham, Lydiate and Caton."

The Right to Bear Arms

The right to bear arms mentioned above is, as it sounds to modern ears, a misnomer. This does not refer to the right to arm oneself. Any man could do that, even to the bearing of swords, the symbol of knighthood. This is an heraldic term, referring to the right to display a suit of arms on a shield. This reference is still confusing, or at least anachronistic, because it was only in later centuries that this display was regulated. In the 15th century a College of Heraldry would vett the proposed design and collect a fee for its issuance. An annual tax was then be assessed for its display. In the 12th century none of this machinery was in place. This comment may, then, refer to the family's later history. Below is an example of a Grant of Arms.

The Gernet coat of arms, as worn by Benedict de Gernet in 1196 were "gules (a red shield), a lion rampant (rearing, facing to the left, clawing the air), argent (silver in color), crowned or (with a crown of gold).” This is also the coat of arms of the Mowbray family, below.


Mowbray Arms

The Mowbray's were the great northern clan to which the Gernet's claimed a family relationship in the 12th century.

The Gernet coat of arms as borne by Benedict were further charged with a bordure (a thick border around the entire shield) engrailed (the edge cut into small, semi-circular indents or teeth) of the last (color, that is gold)." Such a border is generally used as the mark of a younger branch of a family. Interestingly, these were also the arms of Robert Moubray of Cockairny House, Aberdour, county Fife, in Scotland, circa 1850. This makes sense since they were a junior branch of the English Mowbray family via (5) Philip Mowbray (c1170), the second son of Nigel Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland, who married Galiena, the sole heir of the Earl of Dunbar. Note that the written description alone defines the arms. Two artists may produce wildly different depictions of the arms, but as long as both hold to the written description, they are the same arms. Such a border also marks descent through the female line as, I think, we see below with the Gernets.


Gernet/Moubray Arms

The import of all this is that Benedict had publicly proclaimed that he was a member of the Mowbray family and, because this was so public an act, the Mowbray's had agreed.

The records show that this Benedict had married Mabel Fitzurse, the daughter of Richard Fitzurse and Maud Boullers de Aubigny. Note that the d’Aubigny's assumed the name Mowbray by order of the King. It would appear that Maud was a Mowbray, though how closely related she was I cannot yet tell. Maud was the daughter of Baldwin “Belers” de Aubigny, Lord of Montgomery, which is on the marches in Wales. Note that Mabel's father, Richard, was the brother of the man who famously killed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett.

Baldwin de Boulers

He was probably from Boulers, one of the principal fiefs in Flanders, in northern France. Baldwin came to England in 1105 and was granted lordship of Montgomery by his marriage with Sybil de Falaise, the 'niece' of Henry I. Niece probably meant bastard child. Sybil was probably the daughter of Henry and Isabella Sybola Corbet. Before marrying Baldwin she had been married to the King of Scotland.

The Honor of Montgomery, and its strategic castle, were originally in the domain of the Montgomery family. Like the rest of their properties, it was lost in their rebellion against Henry I. Montgomery was subsequently held by Baldwin de Boulers, his son [stepson?] Stephen, who was slain by Llywelyn ap Madog of Powys in 1152, and grandsons Robert and Baldwin who succeeded him. The de Boulers lost the Lordship after their castle was overrun by the Welsh in 1207. The castle fell into decay although it was briefly reoccupied in 1223 when the area came back under English control and a new castle of Montgomery was built. The original Montgomery castle, an earth and timber, motte and bailey castle, was on a site known as Hen Domen [old mound] and is situated to the west of the modern town of Montgomery, in Powys, Wales.

Another note on heraldry: A lion rampant is a characteristic of many Scottish arms and a red lion ramping on a gold field are the arms of the King of Scots. The lion passant, often referred to as a leopard in this pose, is on the coat of arms of the King of England.

The Mowbray arms form the basis of the Gernet / Garnett family arms.

Mowbray Arms - left, Gules, a lion rampant, argent.

Moubray (Barnbougle, Edinburgh county); descended from a common ancestor with Mowbray, ancestors in the female line of Dukes of Norfolk. Arms - Gules, a lion rampant, argent, crowned with a ducal crown or, usually with a bordure. Crest – a demi lion, rampant, gules Motto – fortitudine.


Gernet Arms - As worn by Benedict de Gernet, High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1194 to 1196, The King's Forester, right. Gules, a lion rampant, argent, crowned or, a bordure engrailed of the last.

"Gernet, gu. a lion ramp. ar.
Gerneth, gu. three escallops or. (Another, ar.) [from the Dacre arms?]
Gernett, gu. a lion ramp. ar. crowned or, a bordure engr. of the last."
- from "The British herald, or Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility & gentry of Great Britain &..." by Thomas Robson
The Gernet's of Speke, Gernet/Garnet. (Speke, Lancaster county; the heiress married a Molyneux). Arms - Gules, a lion rampant, argent, crowned or, a bordure of the last.

The Gernet’s heirs, the Garnet’s and Garnett’s, continued to use variations of Benedict Gernet’s coat of arms. Note: The following are all arms current in the 18th century.

Garnett's Of Quernmore Park Arms - left, Gules, a lion rampant, argent, ducally crowned, and a bordure nebulee (undulating) or, on a canton (the top left quarter of the shield) of the last an eagle displayed with two heads sable. Crest – a demi lion (his top half only) argent, gorged (collared) with a wreath of oak proper, holding between the paws an escutcheon (shield) gules charged with a buglehorn (hunting horn) or. Motto – Diligentia et honore.

Garnett's Of Wyreside Arms - Gules, a lion rampant, argent, ducally crowned, and a bordure dovetail (as in carpentry) or, on a canton of the last a cross pattee fitchee (the arms of the cross expanded like the Maltese cross, the lower arm terminated in a point) of the field. Crest – Upon a wreath of the colors, a demi lion argent, gorged with a collar dovetail gules holding between the paws an escutcheon or charged with a cross pattee fitchee also gules. The motto of this family was "Fidus et audax."

Note: The arms enclosed in a canton on the previous arms denote the arms of the wife's family.

Garnett. Same Arms as above. Crest – A dexter (right) hand holding up a swan’s head and neck erased (violently torn off leaving a jagged edge) proper (proper color, probably white).

Garnett, Garnatt, Garnet. Arms - Azure (blue) three griffins’ heads erased or. Crest – A squirrel sojant, holding in the forepaws a branch of hazel ppr. Interestingly this part of the family does not follow the Mowbray fashion.

Garnett. Arms – Quarterly (the shield divided into four quarters), 1st and 4th, azure three wolves’ heads erased or; 2nd and 3rd (ancient coat), gules, a lion rampant, argent, ducally crowned or, a bordure engrailed of the last. This family split the difference, displaying arms of both Garnett families. - from: "The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales"

In 1100 Roger de Poitou supported his brother, Robert de Bellême, and the great Montgomery family in its opposition to King Henry I's accession to the throne following the death of William Rufus. They again favored Henry's older brother, Robert, Duke of Normandy, who should have been the rightful heir, but who was absent on crusade. Roger de Poitou's younger brother had accompanied Duke Robert on this crusade and died in the Holy Land.

In a series of sieges Henry destroyed the Montgomery family's strongholds, banishing Roger from the kingdom in 1101 and seizing his lands. Most of these were given to Stephen, Count of Boulogne and of Blois, a nephew of William I. Henry later defeated his brother Robert in battle in Normandy to secure his position as both King of England and Duke of Normandy.

I suspect that this time the Gernet's did not follow the Montgomeries into rebellion, but were wise enough to keep their heads down and their mouths shut.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1100-1135 Henry I, Beauclerc or "good scholar."

He seized the crown upon his brother's death in a hunting accident. It has been noted that he was suspiciously well situated to capture the treasury at Winchester when news of William Rufus' death was learned. If he had ordered an assasination of his brother, it would not be out of character with this family.

With the treasury [for bribes?] and his situational power as the announced King, Henry consolidated his power while his brother, Robert, struggled to get back from the Crusades. By the time he did so it was too late. Robert's allies in England had been defeated and then, in 1106, Henry brought an army into Normandy to crush Robert's remaining forces and reunite the realms.

Henry's reign was a notable period of political consolidation and expanding trade. He established strong laws and a more effective administration that would see England through the turbulent years to come.

The Anarchy

After the death of his only son, William Adelin, in the foundering of la Blanche-Nef, the White Ship, off Barfleur on 25 November 1120, Henry forced his Barons to accept his daughter, Matilda, as his heir. Maud, who had married first the Holy Roman Empereor, had, upon the latter's death, married to Geoffrey V, the Count of Anjou. When Matilda assumed the throne the barons revolted, leading to 18 years of civil war known as The Anarchy.

Ralph is the 28th-great grandfather of his royal highness, Prince William, of England. Ralph's children were,
(2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080)
(2) Berleta Gernet (c1080)


Kernets of Durham

William Kernet

"22. William Kernet.
Grant to William Kernet of a plot in the bailey of Durham. [26 May 1241 x 22 May 1244]

. . . donationem, concessionem et confirmationem quam venerablis in Cristo pater Nicholaus dei gratias Dunelm' episcopus fecit William Kernet et heredibus suid de quadam placia cun pertinentiis in ballio Dunelm' que iacet inter terram que fuit Symonis de Ferlington' et terram Thomas de Herington' continens in longiudine novies viginti et decem pedes et inlatitudine versus stratum quadraginta et quinque pedes et versus murum balivi quinquaginta pedes prout in carta dicti domini episcopi quam modo habet plenius continetur . . . - from "English Episcopal Acta" by Philippa Hoskin



Steve Hissem
San Diego, California