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The Gernets of Halton

There are many references to members of the Gernet family in the "Testa de Nevill" and to the titles, lands and properties that they held. From the "Testa" as well as from other existing documents of the period, there appears to have been at least four branches of the Gernet family living in the region of Lancaster during the early 13th century. The senior line were the Gernets of Halton. They subenfeoffed the Gernets of Heysham who, in turn, subenfeoffed the Gernets of Caton. There was also a branch at Lydiate.

The surname was alternately spelled as Gernet, Guernet, Geurinet, Grenet, Gerneht, Gerneth, Ghernet and, later, Garnet and Garnett. The Gurnett family of Surrey also claimed descent from this line.

The Testa de Nevill

During the first 50 years of the 13th century, between 1200 and 1249, a great survey of the kingdom of England was made by Royal Order. This survey was started during the reign of John and was completed during the reign of his son, Henry III in about the year 1247. The object of this great survey was to determine what lands and royalty rights the King actually possessed in the different counties that made up his kingdom. The Book of Fees, or "Testa de Nevill" [Nevill’s Evidence or Nevill's Head] as the survey was commonly called, records the names, titles and holdings of all families of rank, “fee holders,” throughout the kingdom, together with the services or "knights fees" that they provided to the crown and the lands and privileges they received in return for these services.


Halton

A small village northeast of Lancaster, up the Lune river valley, on the north side of that stream. It had been an important administrative center in the Saxon period, but was overshadowed by the rise of the Norman city of Lancaster.

Earthworks on Castle Hill show evidence of an 11th century Norman motte & bailey castle that once rose above the village. No more remains than an earthen mound. Halton Castle in Cheshire has no relationship with this family.








Below is what Halton castle probably looked like in the 12th century.


Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

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

The reign of Henry ended much of the violence of the post-Conquest period and ushered in a period of economic growth and administrative stability.


(2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050)

Or Vivianus. Lord of Halton, a village up the Lune river from and to the north-east of present-day Lancaster. Based on his father’s possible birth dates, he could have been born anywhere between 1060 and 1110. He died in about 1140, which makes 1080 a good compromise.

Vivianus is Latin, from vivus, meaning alive and Saint Vivianus was a French bishop who protected the people during the Visigoth invasion in the 5th century. While in America we see Vivian as a woman's name - think of the Julia Roberts character in "Pretty Woman" - in England it may be either masculine or feminine. However, I haven't seen any references to a feminine form of the name at this early date. Could the name Wimanus [Wimanius, Wymanus, Wyman], seen in some references, be an English variation of Vivianus, as Warren was of Guerin?

I recently received the following information from William Stanhope of High Melton, England.

"Vivian de Grenet was also known as Vivian de Geurinet and Vivian de Geurin and Vivian de Gueron. The earliest recorded instance of the name was that of Geurin, being the family name of the early Counts of Chalon, progenitors, if memory serves well, of the Plantagenets. See cartulary of St. Marcel-Les-Chalon. The earliest recorded Geurin died in Poitiers in 677. One variant of the name was Warin, obviously relating to particular languages used. A junior branch of the family settled in Geuron, in the department of Calvados, in the arrondissement of Bayou, and they were known as the Seigneurs de Gueron. It would have been a branch of that family, and not, in my opinion, a junior branch, that came to also hold land in England. I will not bore you with details of family and military associations in the vicinity of Geuron, on which my presumption is based."
Mr. Stanhope's assertion is, I believe, that the village was named after the man. I haven't seen the documents that refers to Vivian by the surnames de Geurinet, de Geurin or de Gueron, however Ralph Gernet was referred to, at least once, as Radulphus Guernet and Roger Gernet of Halton was as Rogeri de Guernet. However, I'm still fairly fond of the theory that the name derived from the occupation of grenetier, supervisor of a granary, and that the family came from Fecamp, which is further up the Normandy coast.

Gueron

Guéron is a commune of the Calvados département, Bayeux [Bayou] arrondissement, in the Basse-Normandie région, in France. It is located just south of the town of Bayeux. William I's half-brother, Odo, was the Bishop of Bayeux.






















The village contains the beautiful church of Saint-Germain. I believe the original building dates from 1124. It was one of the few rib-vaulted buildings in Europe before 1145.

"The church of Saint-Germain in Guéron was largely rebuilt during the 19th century in the neo-Romanesque style. The tower originally part of the south wall of the choir, was replaced at that time by a combined west tower and porch. The building retains its Romanesque chancel, which culminates in an apse. The latter, like the one at Carcagny, is of a remarkable quality for a small rural church."
The Château De Briqueville is located in Gueron.

Vivian held the large manor of Halton by knight service. How many knights Vivian had to supply is unknown. Because a single manor was often so small and the land so poor in Lancashire, each held by knight service was usually assigned only a fraction of a knight's fee.

Feudal Tenure

Free tenure, a grant by the King, was a means for ensuring performance of services required by the state. In essence, all land, feoffs, belonged to the King and he "leased" them out, enfeoffed them, in return for services. Many of these lands were then "sub-leased," or re-enfeoffed, to lesser lords creating a great pyramid of obligation and service.

Military needs were guaranteed by knight tenure. This form had been developed in Normandy and was introduced to England by the Conqueror, who divided the lands of England among his followers, to be held by the service of a fixed number of knights in his host.

The tenure of serjeanty furnished the king with needed officials and with personal, sometime menial, services. Such services included that of chamberlain, constable and forester. Largely replaced by socage in the later feudal period, see below. This type of tenure was non-transferable and indivisible, but it could be inherited.

Over time, as a money economy devoped, replacing barter, these services were supplanted by a monetary fee.

Temp. Henry I, a royal forest was established in Lancashire and the Gernet family gained the privilege of Serjeant of the King's Forest, or the Forester of Lancashire. They are presumed to be the first grantees of this office under Count Roger de Poitou, or his immediate successor. The first recorded holder of this serjeantry of the royal forests was Vivian Gernet.

"During the reign of Henry I (1100-1155) a royal forest was established of all the land lying in Lancashire between the Ribble and the Mersey and Vivian de Gernet was appointed Hereditary Forester, an office which continued to be held by members of the family until the royal domain was broken up in 1280." - from The Garnetts of Essex County and Their Homes
"By far the most important serjeanty [in Lancashire] was that of chief forester of Lancaster, an hereditary office held in the male line by the family of Gernet. How completely the county was given over to the preservation of game for hunting is shown by the area of forest land, and by the number of townships which lay within the metes of the forest, and were subject to the coercion of the forest laws [over 100 of townships in the wapentakes of Derby, Amundernesse, and Lounesdale are named]." - from page xiii-xiv, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Footnote. "The fee of the Master Forester of Lancaster consisted of nine manors having a rateable area of 21 1/2 carucates. The following were the members:--Speke (2 car.), Whiston with the church of Prescot (2 car.), Parr (1 1/2 car.), Skelmersdale (1 car.), Eccleston with Heskin (2 car.), Fishwick (1 car.), Halton (3 car.), Nether Burrow (3 car.), Over Burrow (3 car.), Leck (3 car.). Vivian Gernet, the first recorded tenant of this serjeanty, married Emma, daughter of Pain de Vilers, as already noted, and was living temp. Henry I. and Stephen. He was probably father of--(1) Roger Gernet, (2) Adam, and (3) William . . . " - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
In total, Vivian Gernet held in knight's fee twenty-one and a half plowlands of rentable area and nine manor houses at Halton, Speke, Whiston, Parr, Eccleston, Fishwich, Burrow, Leck, and Skelmersdale.

Note that

"[a]fter the defection of Roger de Poictou [c1100], Eccleston was divided between Albert de Greslye and Roger de Buslie. Warin Bussel, the first Baron of Penwortham . . . Heskin, on the East of Eccleston, the King gave to Wimanus Gernet, whose descendant, Benedict Gernet, held the Manor of Eccleston, which his grand-daughter Joan, conveyed in marriage, in the 53d Henry III. to William de Dacre . . ." - from "Notitia Cestiensis: Or Historical Notices of the Diocese of Chester" by Francis Gastrell.
Again, did Vivianus=Wimanus or does Wimanus constitute another generation? At some point the Gernet's and Bussel's intermarried; Roger Gernet, below, was said to be "the kinsman of Warin Bussel of Penwortham" - from "Notitia Cestriensis: Or Historical Notices of the Diocese of Chester" by Francis Gastrell.

These villages are all in southern Lancashire, south of the Ribble river.

Speke

A small village of two ploughlands near Liverpool, south of Lancaster, and now encompassed by that city's airport. Originally part of the county of Chester, it was sometimes known as Spec, Spek, Speak, Speek, Speyke or even Espeke. "This district contains some of the best wheat growing land in the hundred, and has a considerable frontage opposite the widest portion of the river Mersey."

"Uctred, a Saxon thane, was possessed of the manor of Speke at the time of the conquest. Soon afterwards Richard de Mulas [Molyneux] obtained a grant of two carricutes of this lordship from Roger Gerneth [sic]. By the marriage of Annota, daughter and heiress of Benedict Gerneth, lord of Speke and Oglet, with Adam Molineux, the whole undivided manor passed to that family." - from "Lancashire Halls & Houses"
Oglet is a small village, just south of Speke, on the Mersey river shore.

Whiston

Over the centuries Whiston, in South Lancashire, 1/2 mile south of Preston, had many changes in land ownership. The Lords of Whiston and Halsnead were the heads of very influential families which included: Gernet, Dacre, Travers, Bold, Ogle, Case, Le Norreys, Pemberton, and latterly the Willis family.

Eccleston

This village lies several miles south of Preston, near the village of Heskin. Skelmersdale is about 15 miles to the southwest. Across a small stream lies the manor of Windle. "Only a moiety of Eccleston church belonged to them [St. Mary's Lancaster] until in the fifth decade of the thirteenth century [when] Roger Gernet, lord of half the vill, and his under-tenant Warin de Walton resigned their rights in the advowson to Sées and the monks of Lancaster." - from British History Online.

Fishwich

Or Fishwick. It was called Fiscuic in the Domesday book. It was held "by Tosti, Earl of Northumberland, at the time of the Conquest. Later it passed to the Gernet or Heysham family." - from "Notes and Queries" of the Oxford Univesity Press. It now lies within the town of Preston.

Skelmersdale

The first mention of Skelmersdale in historical records appears in the Domesday Book in 1066 under the rule of Uctred as part of the West Derby Wapentake. It was part of the forest fee, held by the Gernet family. Since then different areas of Skelmersdale and related Manors have been sold between various owners including the Gernet and Travers family (1200's), the Dacre family, the Huyton family of Billinge, the Holand family of Upholland, the Lovel family, the Gerard family, the Eccleston family, the Earl of Derby in the 1600's, the Ashurst family of Dalton, then to Sir Thomas Bootle the Earl of Lathom (whose Great Grandfather on elevation to the Peerage had taken his title from it as Lord Skelmersdale), and since the land has descended with Lathom, the Earl of Lathom being now Lord of the Manor.

Parr

This village is another 15 miles southeast of Skelmersdale, near the Mersey river.


These villages lie to the northeast of Lancaster, in the Lonsdale hundred.

Burrow

Also known as Burgh, in the parish of Tunstall. It lies almost 15 miles northeast of Lancaster, on the eastern shore of the Lune river, just north of Thurland Castle. There are indication of Roman occupation. The Gernets held lands there through the 13th century. In 1252, at the time of the death of Roger Gernet of Halton, Matthew de Burgh was lord of Great Burrow and Richard de Burgh was that of Little Burgh. See Roger Gernet of Burrow on the Gernets of Caton page.

Burrow was also the name of a small hamlet in the parish of Lancaster, now part of the village of Scotforth, just south of Lancaster. The place names of Burrow Heights and Lower Burrow remain. Also note that William Gernet, whose widow married Hamon Massey, held lands in Heysham and Scotworth. However, the proximity of Burrow in Tunstall, above, to Leck, below, probably means that was the manor of the Gernets.

Leck

This hamlet is located about two miles further northeast of Burrow, on the south side of the rivulet of the Leck Beck, a tributary of the Lune.



The Forester of Lancashire

The Gernet family held the title of Serjeant of the King's Forest in Lancashire, or simply Forester of Lancashire, appointed to administer and exploit the area. Upon seizing the throne King William I had instituted new forest laws and vastly extended the royal forests in which all hunting rights belonged to the King. The Forester was, basically, the King's game warden. He enforced the Forest Laws and kept the commoners from poaching and grazing their stock, or harvesting trees in the King’s forest. The peasantry was thus deprived of a valuable food source in times of bad harvests. The Forest Laws were widely hated and the Forester would have been as unpopular a figure as the legendary Sheriff of Nottingham.

The position of Forester would entail an income, perhaps from the right to harvest wood and take game as well as the from the lands that had been granted. These lands would also allow Vivian to grant livings to his own retinue. These livings would include deputies, wardens, rangers, etc. The following posts have been identified, listed in hierarchical order:

King's Forester
Master Forester
Chief Forester
Forester at Fee
Parker
Park Keeper
Keeper
Hedge Looker
Hired day laborers

The Gernets held this post in hereditary right “in fee” in the Forest of Lancaster from c1100 until c1262, without much interference, and carried on in the post, but under more control by the Earl of Lancaster, until 1280, paying between £12 and £20 per year for the "farm." They were, however, still under royal control through the Justicar north of the Trent and subject to proceedings and inquiry of the Eyre Courts.

The Justicar

Upon the absence of the King from England, either in his French territories or when on crusade, his authority would be delegated to a justicar or chief justice of the peace. Longchamps was the Chief Justicar when Richard I went on crusades. In other times a justicar would act on the king's behalf in remote regions.


Eyre Courts

The Eyre Courts began their development under King Henry II, when he initiated them after the Assize of Clarendon in 1166, and became a regular part of the legal system of England. These were traveling courts of royal justice and often had the same judges that sat on the permanent court at Westminster.

The Gernets must have employed sub-foresters, agisters, parkers, verderers, regarders, woodwards and keepers, etc to manage the forests, with most of these posts being given to men of some standing; e.g. shire knights at the top of the system and freeholders at the bottom. The menial tasks of hedging, ditching, fencing and walling would have been carried out by local hired hands.

In the late thirteenth century the first Earl of Lancaster, a Plantagenet son, abolished the hereditary nature of the Master Forester in Lancashire, but the post was still held by a local or regional magnate. It was shortly after this that the senior line of the Gernet family ended with Joan de Gernet, the sole heir of Benedict de Gernet, Lord of Halton. The immediate successor to the Gernets as Forester was listed as Dacre of Gilsland [sic], who I believe was either Ranulph de Dacre, High Sheriff of Lancaster 1272 to 1274, or his son, William de Dacre, who was Joan Gernet’s husband. It was a Dacre who is presumed to have moved the forest administration from Halton to Lancaster Castle. This would be in accordance with the tighter control instituted at the time by the Earl of Lancaster.

The Royal Forests

The original meaning of the word forest was more than just a bunch of trees. It defined a larger area, including open meadows, which comprised an excluded area. A forest was an area of unenclosed countryside, consisting of a highly variable mixture of woodland, heathland, scrub and agricultural land. Its purpose was to raise deer, which needed a variety of land; woodland to rest and hide in during the day, and more open land in which to feed at night.

The forest law had existed in England from at least the time of Canute, administered by the "Chief men of the Forest," who were royal officers. Under them were placed men "of the middle" sort who took care and charge of the vert and venison. However it was under the Normans that the extent of the forests was so dramatically increased, to the distress of the populace. It was said of the Conqueror that "he took away much land from God and man, and converted it to the use of wild beasts, and the sport of his dogs, for which he demolished thirty-six churches [in Hampshire], and exterminated the inhabitants." - from Mapes.

By the time of Domesday Book in 1086 about twenty-five such royal forests had been established, and at various times there were as many as eighty. There were also about as many again established by barons and other magnates in imitation.

The royal forests were established as more than just places for the king to hunt. Even the most sporting royal would have found it difficult to make use of eighty forests. In most cases, the hunting was done by professionals to provide meat for the king's table and as gifts. Ownership of the rare timbers large enough to build ships and houses was also important.

Other important sub-divisions of the forest included:

A Chase. The King could present an area to a person, usually a nobleman, as a private hunting preserve. This was known as a Chase. It was subject to the ordinary common law and not the stricter forest laws.

A Park. Sometimes, the King would allow a favored subject to erect a fence around a chase, to keep animals in and people out. This was known as a Park. A Forest could contain several Parks, all protected by the forest laws. A Park inside a Chase was subject to common law. Because of the cost of fencing, most parks were quite small in comparison to forests and chases which might extend over several counties.

A Warren. The public had the right to hunt any beast over common land unless such right had been restricted by some special royal grant or warrant. This was a "right of free warren" over a specific area, giving the holder exclusive rights over the nominated animals within the area rather than an enclosure like a park. The animals of the Warren were the hare, coneys (rabbits), pheasants, partridge, woodcock etc, plus beasts of vermin and the chase such as fox, badger, martin and otter. Lords of the Warrens had powers to impound dogs, snares or nets if found in warren land.


The Forester.

In the 13th century almost everyone was in service to someone more senior because to serve was both profitable and honorable. A man's stature could be measured by whom he owed service. To the lord, service guaranteed power. The number of people who were in a lord's service and wore his livery, represented his political clout. To the retainer, service gave economic advantage, political office, legal protection, and above all status in a society that judged a person by his or her patron. Service expressed itself only occasionally in armed retainers. Most service took the form of household and governmental duties, such as a lord's bailiff, steward, forester, or stable master, etc.

Foresters cared for the animals and vegetation:

"A Forester is an officier of a forest of the King (or of an other man) that is sworne to preserve the Vert and Venison of the same forest, and to attend vpon the wild beasts within his Bailiwick, and to attach offendors there .. and the same to present at the courts of the same forest." - Sir John Manwood's Lawes of the Forest, 1598

The Forester usually held a position equal to a Sheriff or local law enforcer. He was responsible for patrolling the woodlands on a lord or noble's property. His duties included negotiating deals for the sale of lumber and timber and to stop poachers from illegally killing animals in the forest. Many times wanted criminals would flee their arrest warrants and seek the safety of hiding in a forest. When this would occur it was the duty of the Forester to organize roving gangs of armed men to flush out the criminal and capture him. Often Foresters held titles of prominence in their local communities and also acted as barristers and arbitrators. Their pay was usually above average and they could stand to make a decent and profitable living.

The Chief Forester could punish violators of the Forest Laws at a Forest Court. It was forbidden for anyone to carry bows and arrows in the royal forests and if a forest beast were found dead, an inquest was held.

"The number and extent of the forests in this county [Lancashire] made the severity of the laws by which they were protected oppressive in the extreme." - from "History of the County Palatine of Lancaster" by Edward Baines and William Robert Whatton

The foresters were assisted by under-officers called variously wardens, or verderers, rangers, underkeepers, bow-bearers, and under-foresters. The poet Chaucer was once a deputy or under forester as a sinecure, another way the medieval kings could use the mechanism of their royal forests to reward people.

The local aristocracy provided wardens and foresters and verderers to protect the King’s rights. The forests had an army of staff to look after them and to administer the forest laws:

Verderers - A judicial officer appointed to look after what was known as the " vert " (O. Fr. verd, green; Lat. viridis), i.e. the forest trees and underwood in the royal forests. It was the verderer's duty to keep the assizes and attend to all matters relating to trespasses.

Verderers - They presided at the forest courts as a kind of initiative tribunal. The judges of the Eyre would then ratify or annul their decisions.

Regarders - They were like visitors, their duty was to make a 'regard' or visit every third year, to inquire into all offences, and into the concealment of such offences by any officer of the forest. They were knights of the forest and assisted the Verderers in their judicial function.

Lardiner - The were sometimes important magnates, they stored the carcasses of the deer.

Agisters - These were the forest police. They looked after the pasturage of the forest and received payment by persons entitled to pasture their cattle in the forest.

Parkers - A park was administered by a Parker.

Woodwards - They had the care of the woods and vert and presented offences at the forest court.

Keepers - The forest was divided for administrative purposes into areas and "walks" each supervised by a keeper.

Ancestors of people named Forest lived in a forest, whereas ancestors of people named Forester administered the applicable law. Similarly Park and Parker; Warren and Warrener. As for Chase and Chaser, I think a chaser is something you get from a bartender.


The Legend of Robin Hood and the Forest Laws.

Robin lived off the King's deer and broke the Forest Laws daily. Simply carrying a bow and arrow in the King's forest was a crime. Proceedings in the forest courts show that all classes hunted or poached, despite the laws and a delight in hunting united everyone below the aristocracy in a common dislike of forest officials. All would have loved stories of Robin's archery contests and illegal feasts.

The Travers family, of Whiston, Parr & Skelmersdale, were apparently sub-enfeoffed by Vivian. I do not know if that meant they were the Gernet's vassals.

". . . that Vivianus Gernet gave to Robert Travers four carucates and a half of land [in Whiston], as a third part of a knight's fee . . ." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present."
This was "parcel of the fee of one knight which Vivian held as chief forester of the forest of Lancaster."
"Vivian Gernet, gave Skelmersdale and other manors to Robert Travers; these were held in 1212 by Henry Travers under Roger Gernet." - from "Bristish History Online."
Shortly afterwards Henry Travers was Lord of Whiston, originally a Gernet property. Another source confirms the above.
"Vivian Gerneht [sic] gave to Robert Trauers iiij. carucates of land and a half by the service of the third part of one knight." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "This fee comprised the manors of Whiston--with the church of Prescot--Parr, and Skelmersdale. Henry Travers was the tenant at this time. He and his son Adam were benfactors to Cockersand Abbey." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

According to most sources Vivian married Emma de Villiers, the daughter of Paganus de Vilars [Villiers], Baron of Warrington. Paganus was the latinate for Pain, Payne, or even Paon, pronounced Pan. This marriage have been the seal on an agreement of feudal service between the two men, Vivian agreeing to be the liegeman, or feudatory, of the Baron, in return for lands. See also William Gernet's agreement with Paganus in return for lands in Lydiate, below.

". . . that Pain (Paganus) de Vilers, the first enfeoffed, gave to Alan de Vilers, his son, five carucates of land in knight's service . . . The same Pain gave one carucate in Windhul [Windle], and one carucate in Halsale to Vivian Gerneth in marriage with Emma, his daughter, [to hold] by knight's service, where ten carucates make the fee of one knight."

Footnote. ". . . Vivian Gernet, who married Emma, daughter of Pain de Vilers, was probably the father of Roger Gernet, chief forester of Lancaster from circa 1140 until after 1170. Adam Gernet, probably brother and heir of Roger, was the father of Benedict Gernet, who died seised of the serjeanty of the forest in 1206. From him the subsequent descent is clear. " - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 8, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Contrarily there are indications this could have been a later Vivian, perhaps that of Heysham, during the reign of King John, which would have been around 1200. This comports with the online history of Windle manor which states that John made the grant. However I have been unable to unravel this mystery so I've listed the story for both Vivian's.

Windle Manor

The Parish of Windle is just to the east of Liverpool, in county Lancashire, England. Windle was known as Windhull in 1201, meaning 'windy hill', a rise of land buffeted by the winds blowing from the west off the North Irish Sea. Manor Windle is first recorded in legal documents in around 1200.

Windle manor was originally a possession of Count Roger de Poitou, but was forfeited to the crown by his rebellion in 1102. It was granted to Paganus (Pain) De Villiers, the first Baron of Warrington, and continued to form a part of this estate until its dispersal in about 1585. The customary rating was two plowlands and in 1346 it was held of the Earl of Lancaster by the service of the third part of a knights fee, £2 rent and the usual suit to county and wapentake courts.

"Paganus de Vilers also gave one carucate of land in Windle, and one in Hassal [Halsall], to Vivian Gernet, in marriage with Emma his daughter, the land to be held by knight's service." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present."

The De Villiers Family


Barony of Warrington

Warrington is a village over the ford of the river Mersey near Latchford, in the parish of Prescote, Lancashire, and was originally known as Walintune. It is upriver from the present day Liverpool. William I granted these lands to Roger of Poitou, who possessed all of Lancaster from the Mersey to the Ribble river. After the Baron's revolt Roger lost Crosby and Warrington to the De Villiers family when a barony custodial was bestowed on Paganus de Vilars.

Realizing the importance of the ford site, the only crossing point of the river, Paganus built a Motte and Bailey keep, Warrington Castle, on high ground a few hundred yards from the ford adjacent to St. Elphins church. This remained the family home until 1260 when the old Mote was destroyed and the 7th Baron, William Fitz Almeric le Boteler, moved to Bewsey Hall.

In dowry for his marriage with Emma de Viliers, Vivian Gernet received from Emma's father, Paganus de Viliers, a large parcel of land at Syndhill to the value of one-tenth of a knight's fee. I have not been able to find any other reference to Syndhill. There is a Sandhill in South Yorkshire which may be this site.

Land at Lydiate, which originally had been granted to Pain De Villiers as part of his fee of Warrington, passed into the hands of the Gernet's around the closing years of the 11th century.

"Pain de Vilers gave Halsall to Vivian Gernet in marriage with his daughter Emma; it was to be held by the service of one-tenth of a knight's fee. In 1212 Robert de Vilers was the lord of Halsall, and Alan son of Simon held of him. Alan de Halsall, otherwise called 'de Lydiate,' was probably the husband of the heiress of Vivian Gernet, for his wife Alice is joined with him in Halsall charters." - from "British History Online"
Vivian's third son, William, was in possession of these lands at Lydiate during his majority and it is generally assumed that the heiress who married Alan de Halsall was a daughter of William. William's daughters were Mabel, Alice and Petronilla.
"The same Paganus also gave six bovates of land to William Gernet in Lydiate, which Benedict the son of Simon, and Alan his brother, held of William Pincerna [le Boteler]." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867

Lydiate

This village is in southern Lancashire, south of the Ribble river, near Ormskirk. The Little Crosby estate of the Molyneux's is 2 miles to the southwest.

Vivian lived through "interesting" times, including Henry I's violent suppression of familial opposition and, on his death, Stephen's usurpation and the resultant civil war. It is not clear how these cycles of violence affected local life. Trade would have been down and the prevailing uncertainty of a civil war would have stifled new projects, if such things were contemplated. However, medieval armies were small and the local populace resilient after many centuries of turmoil. A crafty knight might even use the conflict to improve his position, selling his support to Stephen or Matilda in turn for new manors.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings: The Anarchy

1135-1154 Stephen, of Boulogne and Blois.

At one point Earl of Lancaster. He was the favorite nephew of the Conqueror. His father was Stephen Henry, Count of Blois. His mother was Adele, sister of the Conqueror. His elder brother, Theobald, inherited the county in 1102 on their father's death.

Upon the death of Henry I Stephen usurped the English throne, refusing to accept a Queen as his ruler. His younger brother, Henry, the Bishop of Winchester, aided him, bringing the church in on their side. His reign was a time of civil war as Matilda, daughter of the old King, attempted to regain the throne. The war, known as the Anarchy, was long and stragetically inconclusive. Stephen was an irresolute man and failed to keep law and order as headstrong barons increasingly seized property illegally. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles say of him,

"In the days of this King there was nothing but strife, evil, and robbery, for quickly the great men who were traitors rose against him. When the traitors saw that Stephen was a good-humored, kindly, and easy-going man who inflicted no punishment, then they committed all manner of horrible crimes . . . And so it lasted for nineteen years while Stephen was King, till the land was all undone and darkened with such deeds, and men said openly that Christ and his angels slept."
It was only when Matilda's son, Henry, took command that the war reached its conclusion and peace finally returned to the kingdom.

During this period of constant warfare between the forces of Stephen and those of Matilda, the Scots, under King David, took advantage of the turmoil and invaded in 1138. They occupied Cumberland, northern Yorkshire and Lancashire north of the Ribble. The Scots were not forced out until 1157 in the reign of Henry II. At the same time Ranulf II, Earl of Chester, occupied south Lancashire. How did this affect the Gernet's? Did they sell they support again and which master did they serve, Stephen, Matilda, the Scots, or Ranulf, or none?

A powerful force for continuity in this period were the good laws and legal systems erected by Henry I.

Vivian died in about 1140. He and Emma had three sons who survived to maturity - "He [Vivian] was probably father of--(1) Roger Gernet, (2) Adam, and (3) William . . ." A possible fourth son was Brian [Wiman] Gernet, of Heysham, if he really existed. Vivian's children were,
(3) Roger de Gernet (c1110)
(3) Adam de Gernet (c1125), of Halton
(3) Brian de Hessam (c1110)
(3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

(3) Roger de Gernet (c1110)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080)

The eldest son of Vivian and Emma.

"Roger Gernet, the eldest son, who is here named, was master serjeant from circa 1140 until after 1170, in which year he was amerced [fined] by the justices itinerant in cos. Notts. and Derby [counties Nottingham and Derbyshire] for a default in connection with land which he held in Cropwell of the Vilers." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
See Roger's younger brother, William of Lydiate, below, who was subsequently granted this land in Cropwell.

Cropwell

Sometimes as Crophul. There are today two villages, Cropwell Bishop and Cropwell Butler, just east of Nottingham, in Nottinghamshire. The de Viler's family were granted these lands by Count Roger de Poitou. The le Boteler's, who also gained the Barony of Warrington, later held Cropwell in descent from the de Vilers.

There is a "Charter of Ranulph, Earl of Chester [1129-1153], of confirmation of the liberties which Roger, Earl of Poitou, gave us." It refers to liberties which Roger granted to the church of St. Mary, Lancaster "in his time." This was witnessed by, among others, Norman of Verdun, William son of Gilbert and Robert Banaster, Richard Pincerna, Fulke de Brichelhert, Michael of Flanders, and Roger Gernet [Rogero Gernet].

St. Mary’s

The Priory of St. Mary’s was founded in 1094 by Roger de Poitou on the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon church, very probably a monastery dating from the 9th century. Roger gave the church and its associated properties to the Benedictine Abbey of St. Martin of Sees in Normandy. Most of the present building dates from the 15th century, except for the tower, which was rebuilt in the 18th century. It is located next to the old Norman castle of Lancaster, also built by Count Roger.

Priors of St. Marys:

John 1141-1152
Nicholas 1153-1187
William 1188-1206
John de Alenron 1207-1240
Geoffrey 1241-1249
Garner 1250-1252
William de Reio 1253-1266
Ralph de Truno 1266-1289
John le Ray 1290-1305
Fulcher 1305-1314
Nigel 1315-1326
William de Bohun 1327-1328
Ralph Courail 1329-1336
Emery de Argenteles 1337-1343
John de Couchray 1344-1351
Peter Martin 1352-1365
William Rymbaut 1366-1368
John Innocent 1369-1390
John des Loges 1391-1398
Giles Louvel 1399-1429

Roger's Companions

Norman of Verdun

Norman de Verdun was the son and heir of Bertram de Verdun. Verdun was a fief in the parish of Vassey, Manche, Normandy. Bertram was a minister in Yorkshire under William II Rufus in 1099. Norman was born circa 1097 in Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, England.

William son of Gilbert (c1115-1154)

This was William de Lancaster I, the Governor of Lancaster and Baron of Kendal. Henry II granted him permission to use the de Lancaster name. He married Gundred Warenne, the daughter of the Earl of Warren and Surrey. She was the widow of Roger de Newburgh, Earl of Warwick.

Robert Banaster (1145-1199)

An early ancestor, another Robert, is on the Falaise Roll of Companions of William the Conqueror. The family held Prestatyn, in Wales, until they were overcome by the Welsh in the reign of Henry II and moved back into Cheshire and Lancashire. They were retainers of the Earl of Chester. His son, Thurston, had dealings with the Gernet family and was the grandfather [according to some] of Quenilda, second wife of Roger Gernet.

Richard Pincerna (c1130-1176)

His father, Robert, the Lord of Poulton near Chester, was Butler to Ranulf, the Earl of Chester, and to his son, Hugh. The Sheriff of Lancaster. Richard married Beatrix de Villiers and through her gained the Barony of Warrington. The family became known as the de Botelers. His son, Almeric, married Alicia Gernet, the daughter of William.

A political note: Ranulf of Chester had lost his northern possessions in Cumberland and northern Lancashire when Stephen was unable to dislodge the Scots in 1136, but instead allied with them. Ranulf switched his allegiance to Matilda, and against the Scots, to regain his lands. He then famously captured King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln. In 1145, after the King had been freed in a trade for the Duke of Gloucester, and, more importantly, after Matilida had made alliance with the Scots, Ranulf switched allegiance back to the King. For this he got the lordship of Lincoln and was free to pursue his war with the Scots. The King, however, was convinced that Ranulf was unfaithful, imagine that, and had him arrested, despite being under the King's protection. Upon his eventual release Ranulf erupted again into rebellion. In 1149 Ranulf resolved his territorial disputes with the Scottish King and allied with Matilda's son, Henry II, greatly aiding in the eventual Angevin victory.

Did the Gernet's follow the twists and turns of the Earl's policy or were they vassals of the Baron of Kendal? I don't know Kendal's loyalty's, but his wife's family, the Warrens, followed Stephen and fought at Lincoln on his behalf.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings: Angevin Kings:

1154-1189 Henry II

Henry I's grandson. He was a strong King who created an effective legal system and extended royal authority at the expense of feudal rights. However, like all the Plantagenants, he had a frightful temper. He was the son of Matilda and the Count of Anjou (hence Angevin). The civil war with Stephen had been fought to a draw. It was finally agreed that Stephen should rule until his death, at which time Henry would receive the crown, Stephen's sons having all been killed by this time.

Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, the richest woman in Europe. Possessing England, the counties of Anjou and Maine from his father, and Eleanor's duchy of Aquitaine, Henry had the greatest empire in Europe, though it was a fragile one, as time would prove.

Thomas Becket, shown above with Henry II, was a friend and "drinking buddy" of the King, but when he was raised to Archbishop of Canterbury his ideas on the independence of the church brought him into conflict with Henry and led to his murder.

It was during Henry's reign that the use of the "leopards," from the arms of Anjou, became part of England's royal arms.

At the end of the Anarchy of Stephen's reign Lancashire remained crown land and by 1182 was recognized as a county. The territories that comprised the royal property became known as the Honor of Lancaster.

Roger Gernet did not produce any male heirs, but his daughter was given in marriage to Richard Molyneux.

"[The Forest Fee]. Roger Gerneht [sic] holds the fee of one knight by the office of forester. And of that fee Roger Gerneht, his ancestor, gave ij. carucates in Spec in marriage to Richard de Mulinas." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
That is, (5) Roger Gernet, below, had an ancestor, (3) Roger Gernet, who held Speke. Another source notes,
"Richard de Molyneux married, it is supposed, a daughter of one of the Gernets, for Roger Gernet, master forester from about 1140 to 1170, gave him Speke in marriage, and Adam, Roger, and Vivian [Gernet names] soon appear among the Molyneux names." - from British History Online.
The Bradley family website also refers to a daughter who married a Molyneux and calls her Edith de Garnette, and says she was born in 1163 in Speke and married Richard in 1184. However, other sources claim that Richard married an Edith de Boteler, the daugther of William de Boteler. To make both assertions work, Edith, the daughter of Roger Gernet, may have been the widow of William de Boteler, vice his daughter, and then wed Richard de Molyneux under her married name.
"Uctred, a Saxon thane, was possessed of the manor of Speke at the time of the conquest. Soon afterwards Richard de Mulas [Molyneux] obtained a grant of two carricutes of this lordship from Roger Gerneth [sic]. By the marriage of Annota, daughter and heiress of Benedict Gerneth, lord of Speke and Oglet, with Adam Molineux, the whole undivided manor passed to that family." - from "Lancashire Halls & Houses"
This indicates that there were two grants; one to Richard de Molyneux for a portion by his marriage with Edith, and the second to Adam de Molyneux for the whole by his marriage to Annota. Adam was Richard's son, so Annota was his second cousin.

Vivian = Roger = Edith = Adam
Vivian = Adam = Benedict = Annota
"The famous Roger de Poictou, having obtained the honour of Lancaster, gave to William de Molines the manors of Sefton, Thornton, and Kerdan (or Kirerdan), who took up his residence at Sefton, where the remains of the old family seat are yet visible, on the south side of the Church. Kirkby and Simonswood had been originally assigned to other Knights, but they came into the Molyneux family in the time of Adam de Molyneux, who married Annotta, daughter and heiress of the Gernetts of Kirkby; who had previously obtained Simonswood by a marriage with the heiress of Fitzroger of that place." - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire"
Simonswood is a town in southwestern Lancashire, in the Derby Hundred. It is in the neighborhood of Kirkby, between Liverpool and Ormskirk. Who was Fitzroger? I have a Richard son of Roger who was lord of the vill of Kirkby circa 1228.
"When the Lancashire forest was formed, Speke became part of the fee attached to the chief forestership held by the Gernet family and their descendants the Dacres. The interest of the master foresters in Speke was, however, merely that of superior lord after Roger Gernet, living in 1170, had granted the manor to Richard de Molyneux of Sefton in free marriage. No service was attached to the grant, the Molyneux family did not long retain Speke in their immediate holding. Before 1206 half of the manor had been granted in free marriage with Richard's daughter to William de Haselwell, a grant confirmed by a charter of Benedict Gernet as chief lord. - from "British History Online."
This indicates that soon after Adam de Molyneux received the whole of Speke, half was given away with his sister. The Benedict Gernet mentioned would have been Roger's nephew, the son of Adam and father to Annota.

(4) Editha de Gernette (c1163)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Roger de Gernet (c1110)

Of Speke. She may have married Richard Molyneux, though most other sources claim that his wife was Edith de Boteller. A way for both to be correct is to assume that Edith married twice, first to a Boteler and then, under her married name, to Richard.

(3) Adam de Gernet (c1125)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080)

The second son of Vivian. He succeeded his brother, Roger, probably circa 1170.

"He [Roger Gernet] was probably succeeded by his brother (?) Adam Gernet, who gave lands in Halton to Furness Abbey, which Benedict Gernet, his son and heir confirmed." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Lord of Halton and Serjeant of the King's Forest of Lancashire in the 1170's. This “elder” branch of the family were the Lords of Halton, while the next youngest were enfeoffed of Heysham and Caton, the former by serjeantry and the latter by thanage, and the next youngest re-enfeoffed for Caton, creating their own little feudal hierarchy.

Feudal Tenure

Thanage was a tenure under which tenants, who were Crown vassals, held the land in feu, meaning that the rent was paid in produce or money, in lieu of military service. This form of tenure developed because the King found it cumbersome to call out the feudal host, whose term of duty was fixed at less than two months, to address military issues far afield, as in his continental domains. The King used these feu duties to procure a professional army. The feudal knights evolved into a country gentry, more concerned with agricultural improvements than in arms.

The next citation dealing with the manor of Sedgewick is clearly for our Adam, the father of Benedict Gernet.

1184–1205. "Herbert de Hellale grants to Richard de Siggeswic [Sedgewick] for 4 marks the moiety of Siggeswic to hold for 3s. at Michaelmas. Witnesses: Grimbald brother of Herbert de Hellale, Richard his brother, Hugh his brother, Adam Gernet, Benedict his son, William de Godemund, Michael de Hennecastre, Anselm de Furnesio, Patrick de Scelmeresherhe, Matthew de Sirithesherge, Ketel de Lewnes, Thomas his son, Ralph de Bethum, Roger his brother, Huctred son of Holkoff (recte Osulf), Richard his brother; Orig. at Sizergh." - from "British History Online"
See a number of subsequent references to Sedgewick under Roger, Vivian, Benedict and John Gernet.

The following is also probably for Adam Gernet of Halton, vice his cousin in Heysham, and deals with the Garstang estates.

1189-1200. A document, "Ecclesia de Gerstang," refers to Ada [Adam] Gernet and Radulfo [Randolph] de Hessam, who appears to be one of a number of men confirming the document [ipsam sigilli mei apposicione et horum testium subscriptione confirmare curavi] - from "The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey."
1185-1200. "Grant from Quenilda, daughter of William Brihrwald, to Ralph, son of Uhdtred, of the half oxgang of land in Merton (Mereton), which her father gave to him for his homage and service. Witnesses: Adam Gernet, Orm, son of Dolfin . . ." - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
1190-1200. "A grant in frankalmoign from Hugh, son of Hervey Falconer to the monks of Cockersand . . . Witnesses - Robert, parson of Garstang, and Paulinius his brother; Adam Gernet, then steward of Garstang [Ada Gernet tunc temporis dapifero de Garstang] . . ." - from "The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey."
Garstang is situated on the river Wyre, about 10 miles south of Lancaster. A steward was in charge of a nobleman's household and accounts. It was a high position, and conceivably a lucrative one. A steward of the high nobility was known as a senschal. Another witness to this grant was Robert de Lancaster who may have been a younger brother of William II de Lancaster, Baron of Kendal. Note that at this time William de Lancaster II held the Fee of Garstang, so Adam would have been his steward. Robert de Lancaster may have witnessed the grant on behalf of his elder brother. There does not appear to be any relationship between Hervey Falconer and Warin de Lancaster, William II's brother, who was also known by the surname of Falconer from his position as royal falconer of Lancashire.
1190–1210. "Confirmation by Henry de Redman to Richard de Sigherwik of the moiety of Sigherwik which Herbert de Ellel gave to him by charter. Witnesses, Adam Gernet, Adam son of Ughtred, Stephen son of Gerard, and others. Chartul. Cockersand, 1043. Hornby Chapel deed. Circular seal of white wax bearing a floral device and the legend—Sigillvm Henrici Fil Norman." - from "British History Online"

"Of Adam Gernet for one acre of land of the same [serjeanty of Bolrun]" - from The Serjeanty of Bolrun, page 182 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Ralph de Bolrun held one carucate in Bolrun [Bolton] by the serjeanty of being mason [cementarius] of Lancaster castle.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings: Angevin Kings:

1189-1199 Richard I, the Lionheart.

He spent most of his reign out of the country on crusade. He appointed his minister, the Chief Justicar & Chancellor William Longchamps, to rule in his stead. Longchamps was later replaced by Hubert Walter of Coutances.

Richard did not trust his brothers. He made Geoffrey, the elder, Archbishop of York, since no cleric could become King. He tried to buy off John with the grant of large territories, including Lancaster. However, in 1193, while Richard was imprisoned in Germany, John rebelled. Richard subsequently banished John from England for three years, but they eventually reconciled. Richard, seemingly, could not stay mad at John.

A contemporary comment noted of Richard that he cared "for no success that was not reached by a path cut by his own sword & stained with the blood of his adversaries." Modern day commentators are more interested in his supposed homosexuality. Richard died in April 1199 from an arrow wound that had gone gangrene.

In 1200 the population of England and Wales was approximately 3 million.

When Richard I went on crusade he attempted to keep his brother, Prince John, satisfied and out of trouble by vesting him with large estates, including the Honor of Lancaster. This attempt at bribery failed and John caused considerable trouble in his brother's absence, as we know from Robin Hood.

A charter dated 1195 bears the signature of Adam Gernet, Lord of Heysham, and that of Gernet of Halton. The latter is, I believe, our Adam Gernet, Lord of Halton. He would have been in his seventies.

The Gernet’s of Halton apparently never used the locative name, de Halton, to distinguish themselves as did those of Heysham and Caton, as we’ll see below. This is, perhaps, not surprising since they were the senior branch, but its also because the name was already taken. Near present day Liverpool, on the river Mersey, is the village of Halton, in Cheshire county. This is not the same Halton where the Gernet's maintained a manor in Lancashire (confusingly, however, there is also a Halton castle there, Anglo-Saxon in origin, but no more remains of it than an earthwork eminence.). On a rocky hill above the village in Cheshire is Halton castle, the administrative center of the Barony of Halton. The Lord's of the castle were known as the Baron's de Halton, and their use of the name precluded the Gernet's use. At a later date the de Lacey family, the Baron's of Halton at that time, appear to have intermarried with the Gernet's of Heysham, as you'll see below.

The Baron's of Halton and Halton Castle


Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1199-1216 John, Lackland.

Upon King Richard's death in 1199 his nephew, Arthur, Duke of Brittany, the son of Geoffrey, the third son of Henry II, was next in line to inherit, but his uncle, John, Henry's fourth son, usurped the throne. The Bretons, along with Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou, recognized Arthur and King Phillip of France supported them as a check on the English. Arthur later died in 1203, under mysterious circumstances, while in his uncle's custody.

John was a weak and devious King. He ruled poorly, antagonizing his Barons and abusing his subjects. He was forced to sign the Magna Carta by his disgruntled Barons, but repudiated the document as soon as he was able. During his reign England was excommunicated by the Pope and Normandy was lost, in 1204, to the French. At his death he was on the run with a French army under the Dauphin occupying parts of England.

Adam died between 1195 and 1202.

Adam's children were,
(4) Benedict de Gernet (c1136)
(4) Alexander de Gernet (c1136)

(4) Benedict de Gernet (c1136)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110)

Also as Benet, Bennet. Benedict was born, depending on your source, between 1136 [per Cokayne, "Complete Peerage" (Sutton Publishing, 2000 ed.), V:72] and 1170 in Halton, Lancashire. He was the Lord of Halton and Serjeant of the King's Forest of Lancashire. Halton was the chief manor in the area.

"He had succeeded to the Chief Forestership after the death of his father, Adam Gernet, temp. Henry II [c1189]. That sovereign granted to him the privilege of being sued for any tenement which he held in his demesne, only before the King or the Chief Justicar. This King John confirmed, by charter which passed at Fakenham, 8th Nov. 1200, and in addition took him into his protection with all his belongings, describing him as "our Forester," and ordered the Justices and others to safeguard his property as they would the King's own demesne." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer
Clearly the Gernet's were John's men, that is, on the wrong side of Robin Hood. Contrarily,
Benedict "had 3 John [1202] been fined ten marks to have the serjeantry of the forests of Lancashire, and to have the King's favor." - from "The Battle Abbey Roll."
This implies that Benedict did not succeed his father until 1202, unless we assume that Benedict had somehow lost his position, supporting Prince John against King Richard?, and had to pay a fine to get it back. This is, however, a very confused reference which conflates this Benedict with his grandson, below. It claims that Benedict's father was Roger, which may refer to his uncle, above, or the father of the later Benedict, below, but that this Roger died 36 Henry II [1189], which matches neither, and that his daughter married William Dacre.

Def: Demesne - The demesne of a normal manor was the land reserved for the lord of the manor’s own use. The produce would be his for consumption or sale and the land would be worked according to customary service by the villeins and other feudal serfs under his control. The serfs had much smaller plots to work for their own produce, when they were not working for the lord.

Benedict first married Mabel Fitzurse, in about 1170. She was born about 1140 in Northamptonshire. She was the daughter of Richard Fitzurse and Maud de Boulers [Bollers]. Richard was also the father of Reginald Fitzurse, who infamously murdered Thomas Becket. Maud was the daughter of Baldwin de Bollers, of Montgomery castle, and Sibyl de Falaise. Baldwin was a member of the great de Aubigny/Mowbray family.

Benedict and Maud's children must have included at least the eldest, William and Roger, since Roger made a claim on the Honor of Montgomery based on his connection to Hamon de Bouler via Mabel Fitzurse. Note also that Benedict used as his arms, above, those of the Aubigny/Mowbrays, to the right. I believe the Bouler's were part of this clan. Note the the scalloped border of the Gernet arms. Since no one may bear another's arms unaltered, the border was there "for difference." Borders were used to denote a younger branch of the family or they alluded to descent on the feminine side. Benedict Gernet's arms were,

Arms: Gules, a lion rampant, argent, crowned or, a bordure engrailed of the last
Crest: A swan's head and neck held in a dexter hand, ppr
Motto: Diligentia et honore
- from a Family History by William Garnett of Virginia
"Crest: A swan's head and neck held in a dexter hand, ppr . . . The crest appears on the seal of Benedict de Gernet, the sixth and last hereditary Royal forester as early as AD 1243, while the arms are given in a Harleian MSS of 1549." - from "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography." The Talbot's, Earls of Shrewsbury, quartered their arms with Gernet. See "An Alphabetical Dictionary of Coats of Arms Belonging to Families in Great Britain and Ireland" by John Woody Papworth for a complete list of the families that used the Mowbray arms.

The Fitzurse Family


The Mowbray Family

The following is a grant by Benedict which indicates his father's earlier grant to Furness abbey. "1189-1206. Grant from Benedict, son of Adam Gernet, to the abbey and monks of St. Mary of Furness, of the four acres of meadow in Nithinghou given by his father to the said monks, paying one pound of wax on Easter day to the church of Halton (Halt'). Witnesses: Harsqui (Hasqui) de Hetton, Robert de Boivill, and Thomas de Beinebrigge. (Seal of Benedict, "persona de Halt.")" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

"In 3 John (1202), Robert de Tateshall rendered an account of two shillings from Benedict Gernet, for the fee-farm of a house in Lancaster which had been John de Caton's, for the two years past." - from "The history and antiquities of the town of Lancaster" by Robert Simpson.

Some sources claim that Mabel died circa 1205, but I think this assumption is based solely on Benedict's death at around that time. I believe it more likely that she died before then. Benedict did apparently marry twice.

Footnote. "Benedict [Adam's son and heir] married Cecily, daughter of Roger de Hutton, of Hutton in Leyland Hundred . . ." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Cecily was dower holder of lands in Fishwick from her father Roger de Hutton.
"Elias de Hoton [Hutton] holds j. carucates of land of the King in chief by viijs. yearly, which Roger his father gave in marriage with his daughter [Cecily] to Benedict Gerneth, which she holds by the aforesaid service [thanage]." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 47-48, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "This was Middlehargh, now Medlar. Cecily, daughter of Roger de Hutton, of Hutton in Leyland Hundred, after the death of her husband, Benedict Gernet, gave this vill to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 48, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
See also "Cecilia uxor Benedicti Gernet." - from "Remains Historical . . . " I don't know which of Benedict's children may have belonged to Cecily, or if any did.

Hutton

In the northern part of Quernmoor was the vill of Hutton (Hotun, Hoton) held by Tostig during the last years of the reign of the Anglo-Saxons. It was assessed as 2 plowlands. "The present parish comprehends the ancient parish of Hutton and Fishwick. Hutton, signifying 'wood-town' - was the northern district; and Fishwick - or 'the fishing hamlet' - was the district on the south and along the Tweed." Note that Fishwick was also held by the Gernet family.

Benedict Gernet was mentioned by name in the "Testa de Nevill" as having held lands at Eccleston, Leck, and other places near Halton, but both Benedict and his son William Gernet of Gersingham had already died by the time the "Testa" was taken. Gersingham probably refers to the village of Gressingham, in the Lune river valley, just east of Over Kellet.

". . . that Benedict Gernet, the father of Roger, gave two bovates of land to Wydon de Stub, to be held by knight's service . . . Benedict Gernet gave twenty acres of land, in Altun, to Gilbert, the son of Aune, on payment of a pair of spurs, or three pence yearly" - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867
Another reference has it slightly different.
"Benedict Gerneht [sic], father of the aforesaid Roger, gave ij. bovates to Guy de Stub by knight's service, where xxj. carucates of land make the fee of one knight. William, his son, gave ij. bovates in Lecke to Margery, his sister, by one pound of pepper yearly. The same William gave to Osbert j. bovate in Lecke by one pound of pepper. Also the same William [written Idem Bouata, the same as ?], gave xxx. acres in Altan to Gilbert, son of Orm, by rendering therefor yearly certain spurs or iijd." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Yet another source has,
"Benedict Gernet gave twenty acres of land, in Altun, to Gilbert, the son of Aune, on payment of a pair of spurs, or three pence yearly." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present."

Footnote. "All these grants were in the vill of Leck, in the parish of Tunstall . . . Altan, now Old Town, is an estate in Leck lying to the S.W. of the highroad between Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"Ralph de Bolron holds j. carucates of land in Bolron in masconery. Vivian, his father, gave to Benedict Gerneth iij. bovates and iij. acres of land. The canons of Cokersand hold that land." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 87, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "The vill of Bolron, or Bolrum, has long been merged into the township of Lancaster . . . The tenure was serjeanty by executing the duties of mason in and about the castle and other lodgings in Lancaster . . . Benedict Gernet's grant of that land is preserved in the chartulary of that house [Cockersand Abbey]." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 87, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Were these men in service to the Gernets? From 1338 to 1349 Robert de Bolron was mayor of Lancaster.

As discussed above, Benedict was also the Lord of the manor of Speke. A number of researchers make Benedict of Speke's birth as early as 1080 [the Bradley website has 1088] and claim that his daughter, Annora, who married into the Molyneux family, was his sole heir, but I now think that is a mistake. The records of family arms clearly show that Benedict of Speke wore the arms of Benedict, the one-time sheriff of Lancaster: Gules, a lion rampant, argent, crowned or, a bordure of the last.

Speke

A small village of two ploughlands near Liverpool, south of Lancaster, and now encompassed by that city's airport. Originally part of the county of Chester, it was sometimes known as Spec, Spek, Speak, Speek, Speyke or even Espeke. "This district contains some of the best wheat growing land in the hundred, and has a considerable frontage opposite the widest portion of the river Mersey."

32 Henry II [1186]. "Benedictus Gernet r.c. de iij.m. pro concordia injuste facta de placita Coronae. In th'ro xx.s. Et devet xx.s. Require copiam infra . . . Benedictus Gernet r.c. de xx.s. pro concordia injuste facta de placita Coronae. In th'ro lib." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155."

In 1190 the King, Richard the Lionheart, went on crusade. His brother, Prince John, as we know from the tales of Robin Hood, immediately began to connive to take over the country. On his way home, in 1193, Richard was captured and held for ransom by the Empereor of Germany. By 1194 the people had raised and paid the ransom. King Richard then returned to England, but by July he was once more on the continent and would never return to England again. He died in 1199.

6 Richard [1193-1194]. "Benedict Gernet's fine of L20 had been proffered for the King's confirmation of his office of Forester in fee of the Forest of Lancaster. He held twenty carucates of land with his office." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of ..." by Great Britain Exchequer, W. Farrer

Through all of this Benedict would have had to be careful to please Prince John, still Earl of Lancaster, while ostensibly supporting the absent King. Was he a 'Giles of Gisborne' type, a tool of John and, thus, an oppressor of the people? Note that he was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1194 to 1196. In the book "Time-Honored Lancaster," under the heading of "High Sheriffs Who Dwelt Near Lancaster," the work of William King of the "Lancaster Gazette," is quoted,

"Of those living near to Lancaster since the 7th [year of] Richard I['s reign]. down to the current period, I may name the following: - Walter and Benedict Garnet, 1196; William de Lancaster, 19th and 21st Henry III . . ."
I don't think this means that Walter was a Gernet, only that a Walter was Sheriff before Benedict was. However, in the usual lists of Sheriffs there is no Walter listed, whether as a Gernet or not. I think, after some research, that this was Theobald Walter.
"Since Michaelmas, 1194, Benedict Gernet, Chief Forester of Lancashire, had officiated as Deputy-Sheriff for Theobald Walter. During the year he had received Archbishop Hubert's writs, authorising the deduction of l13 6s 8d from the ferm of the Honor, consequent upon the restoration of two-thirds of Croxton to Hugh le Porter, and of l13 in consideration of the grant of Navenby to Robert le Rous." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer
Benedict's appointment as Sheriff, just as Richard left the country, may have been a reward for loyal service [to John?] or simply an unremarkable advancement to the man who was already the acting Sheriff. For a view of the arms of the Sheriffs of Lancaster, see Heraldry in Lancaster Castle.

The High Sheriffs of Lancaster

The office of High Sheriff has its roots in Saxon times and is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown. The word 'Sheriff' is derived from 'Shire Reeve' - the office of a Reeve being a chief magistrate, in this case responsible for law enforcement for the shire. The High Sheriff is the Keeper of The Queen's Peace in a County and executes judgements of the High Court through an Under Sheriff. Office is held for one year during which the High Sheriff is responsible for the well-being of Her Majesty's Judges in the county, and other public duties.

The High Sheriffs
- Deputy Sheriffs
1068-1102 Godfrey, chief baron of Roger, Earl of Poitou
. . .
1160-1166 Geoffrey De Valoines, of Farleton and Cantsfield
- 1162 Sir Bertram De Bulmer, of Brancepath & Sheriff Hutton Castles
1166-1170 William De Vesci, Lord of Alnwick
. . .
1173-1174 Ranulph De Glanville, Treasurer and Justiciar of England
1174-1185 Ralph fitz Bernard, of Kingsdown and Tonge, Kent (William le Boteler was his ward)
1184-1188 Peter Pipard, Governor of Ireland
1189-1194 Richard de Vernon, of Shipbrook
1194-1199 Theobald Walter, Lord of Amounderness
- 1194-1196 Benedict Garnet, Deputy-Sheriff for Theobald Walter
- 1196-1197 Robert Le Vavasour, of Hazelwood near Tadcaster. Father-in-law of Theobald Walter
- 1197-1199 Nicholas Le Boteler, Earl of Chester's man
1199 Stephen De Turneham, Governor of Cyprus during the Crusades
1199-1200 Robert De Tateshale, of Tateshale
1200-1205 Richard De Vernon, of Shipbrook
1205 William De Vernon, Knight and Justice of Chester
1205-1215 Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, Baron of Kendal (revolted in 1215)
1215 Reginald De Cornehill, of a merchant family
1216-1222 Randulph De Blundevill, Earl of Chester
1222-1223 Stephen De Sedgrave, of Sedgrave, Alkmundbury, & Chilcotes
1223-1227 William De Ferrers, Earl of Derby
- 1223-1226 Robert De Mountjoy
- 1226-1227 Gerard Etwell, Earl of Derby's man
1232-1246 William de Lancaster, Baron of Kendal
- 1234-1241 Simon De Thornton, clericus
- 1237 Robert de Lathum, of Knowsley
- 1240-1241 John De Lancaster
- 1241-1246 Richard le Boteler
1246-1249 Mathew De Redmayne, Lord of Levens, Seneshal of Kendal
1249-1255 Sir Robert Lathum, of Knowsley
1256-1259 William Le Boteler, of Warrington
1259-1261 Sir Geoffrey De Chetham of Chetham
1261-1264 Adam De Montalt, made "Keeper" of the five northern counties
1264-1265 Sir Robert Lathum, of Knowsley
1265-1267 Roger De Lancaster, Lord of Rydal
- 1266 Sir Richard Le Boteler, of Rawcliffe, Fylde
1267-1295 Edmund Plantagenet, 1st Earl of Lancaster
- 1270 John De Cansfield, of Aldingham
- 1272-1274 Sir Randulph De Dacre, of Gillesland
- 1282-1284 Henry De Lea, of Preston
- 1284-1290 Gilbert De Clifton, Seneschal of Blackburnshire
- 1291-1302 Ralph De Mountjoy, of Wigan
1298-1320 Thomas Plantagent, 2nd Earl of Lancaster
- 1298-1301 Richard De Hoghton, of Hoghton
- 1302-1307 Thomas Travers, of Nateby
- 1307-1309 William Gentyl, of Poulton-Le-Sands
- 1309-1315 Sir Ralph De Bickerstath, of Bickerstaffe, Ormskirk
- 1315-1317 Sir Edmund De Neville, of Hornby, Lord of Liversedge
- 1317-1320 Sir Henry De Malton
1320-1322 William Gentyl, the Younger
1322-1323 Robert De Leyburn, of Aykhurst, Cumberland & Hope & Salford
1323-1326 Sir Gilbert De Southworth, of Southworth
- 1326 John Darcy, Steward to the King and Chamberlain
- 1326 Robert De Leyburn, of Aykhurst, Cumberland & Hope & Salford
1327-1345 Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster
- 1327 Sir Geoffrey De Warburton, of Arley & Warburton
- 1327-1328 John De Burghton
- 1329-1332 Sir John De Denum, of Herdwyck-juxta-Hesilden, Durham
- 1335 William De Clapham, of Clapham
- 1336 Sir William Le Blount
- 1337 to 1342 Robert De Radcliffe, of Ordsall, Salford
- 1342 to 1344 Sir John Le Blount, brother of William
- 1344 to 1345 - Stephen De Ireton, of the Cumberland family
1345-1361 Henry Plantagenet, 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Lancaster, K.G.
- 1345-1350 John Cockayne, of Asshebourne, Derby
- 1350-1352 Sir William Scargill, of Balderston & Thorpe Stapleton
- 1358 William De Radcliffe, of Radcliffe Tower
- 1359 Nicholas De Coleshill, "Locum tenens Henry ducis"
- 1361 Adam De Hoghton of Hoghton
1362-1399 John "of Gaunt" Plantagenet, Duke of Lancaster, K.G.
- 1361-1371 John De Ipres of Aldcliffe, Lancaster
- 1371 Richard Radcliffe, son of John, of Ordsall
- 1371-1374 Sir John Le Boteler of Warrington
- 1374-1377 Richard Towneley, of Towneley
- 1379-1384 Sir Nicholas Harington of Hornby, Lancaster
- 1384 Ralph Radcliffe, of Smithills, Bolton-Le-Moors
- 1387-139? Robert De Standish of Standish, Wigan
- 1394-1397 Sir John Le Boteler, of Rawcliffe, Fylde
- 1397 Richard Molyneux of Sefton
- 1399 Sir Richard De Hoghton of Hoghton
- 1399 Sir Thomas Gerard of Brynn, Wigan

From The Early History of Man's Activities in the Quernmore Area by Phil Hudson:

"Quernmore Forest, east of Lancaster, was given to Count John of Mortain, later King John, by his brother Richard I in 1189. In spite of the problems between them the Honour of Lancaster still remained in Count John's hands when he ascended the throne in 1199. John appears to have maintained the original park and his Master Forester, one of the Gernets, enclosed some lands in the area. On John's death in 1216, by the King's gift, the lands and Honour passed to [rather back to] the de Lancaster family, Barons of Kendal, who with their relatives the Gernets, were Sheriffs and Master Forester of Lancaster until the Earldom was created. In the early thirteenth century the de Lancaster’s are believed to have had a stud farm in north Quernmore and to have appointed an Equicarus who lived outside the Park in Caton Vill."

Benedict was granted an estate of three oxgangs and three acres in Bowerham which he gave to the brethren of Cockersand between 1190-1206."

1189-1206. "Grant from Benedict, son of Adam Gernet, to the abbey and monks of St. Mary of Furness, of the four acres of meadow in Nithinghou given by his father to the said monks, paying one pound of wax on Easter day to the church of Halton (Halt'). Witnesses: Harsqui (Hasqui) de Hetton, Robert de Boivill, and Thomas de Beinebrigge. (Seal of Benedict, "persona de Halt.") [i.e. he was "the man" of Halton]- from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records."

From a footnote, "In 1198, Adam (dean) of Lancaster proffered 10l. to have the custody of the land and the heir of Richard son of Waldeve by the surety of Benedict Gernet." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 98 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

Count John had become King in 1199. Fines "were proffered by Lancashire free tenants for confirmation of charters granted by King John, when he was Count of Mortain, for the royal protection, for immunity from disturbance to their estates, and if summoned to prove their title, for the privilege of being heard before the King in Curia Regis . . . Benedict Gernet, 40 marks for confirmation of the office of Master Serjeant of the Forest of Lancaster." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155." Also,

2 John [Mich. 1199 - Mich. 1200]. "The bailiwick of the Forest of Lancaster had been in the King's hands for six months of the year, before the King restored it to Benedict Gernet. Henry de Nevill was answerable for the issues for the half year; but as the entry respecting this matter in the Roll of the following year has been cancelled, it is probably that Benedict Gernet had already recovered possession and answered to the Sheriff for his ferm, as in the usual course." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of ..." by Great Britain Exchequer, W. Farrerr
Did Benedict lose the forest as a matter of course upon the change in kingship, or was John returning an asset that Richard had taken for some transgression, that is support of John? What is a ferm [di firma]?
"Idem vicecomes [debet] xij.d. de Benedicto Gernet de firma cujusdam domus in Lancastra quae fuit Jordani de Catton. Et xij.d. de hoc anno." - "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155 "
"Benedictus Gernet [debet] x.m. pro habenda serjanteria forestae totius Comitatus et gratia Regia." - "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155 "

c1199. "All the great feudatories of the Honor [of Lancaster] had performed military service with King John in Normandy, and consequently obtained remission of their quota of this scutage [de primo scutagio assiso ad duas marcas]." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of ..." by Great Britain Exchequer, W. Farrer. Had Benedict served in Normandy? And, if so, was it part of a military campaign, or simply pro forma? King John had assumed the crown in April 1199 and Phillip II of France recognized John's possession of the Angevin lands in France in a treaty signed in 1200. In 1202 war broke out and, despite some early victories, the northern Angevin empire had collapsed by 1204.

1203. "At Westminster, on Tuesday next after the Conversion of St. Paul, 4 John [28th January, 1203]. Between William, son of Edith, plaintiff, and Benedict Gernet, tenant, by Richard de Fiskwic, put in his place, &c., respecting one carucate of land with appurtenances in Ekeleston. An assize of mort d'ancestor had been summoned between them. William remitted his claim in that carucate to Benedict and his heirs in perpetuity, except one oxgang and the third part of an oxgang of land with appurtenances in Ekeleston, between Earwe [Yarrow river] and Waleton, which Benedict granted to William and his heirs to hold in perpetuity . . . rendering yearly for the same sixteen pence . . . For this quitclaim Benedict gave William two marks of silver. Furthermore, Benedict granted to William and his heirs, common of all his pasture for his beasts, and acquittance of pannage of all his own pigs in the pasture and wood belonging to the said town of Ekeleston."

Footnote. "Benedict Gernet was Chief Forester of Lancashire. Two carucates in Eccleston were members of his Forest fee. The carucate referred to here appears to be the same as that held in 1252 by Warin de Walton of Roger Gernet by the service of 4s. and suit of court." - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.

Def: Mort d'Ancestor - Action to discover whether an ancestor died in possession of land, thus validating his heir's succession.

Def: "Put in His Place" - In this context the phrase means that Richard de Fiskwic was acting for Benedict Gernet, representing him before this court.

In 1204 Normandy and all the English possessions in northern France were lost to King Phillip of France. Families, like the Gernets, that owned land in both England and France had to align with one sovereign or the other.

Benedict died in 1206 and his widow, Cicely de Hutton, proffered 100s. to obtain recognition of her dower rights in estates consisting of 21 carucates of land attached to the office of Chief Forestor. Cicely granted Medlar to the brethren of the Hosptial of St.John of Jerusalem [the Hospitalers]. She had brought this estate with her in the marriage to Benedict. By 1220 the Hospitalers had sold Medlar to Gilbert Fitz Reinfrid, the Baron of Kendal, who in turn gave it to the Monks of Cockersand - from "The Cockersand Chartulary."

The Knights of St. John

These were members of the military and religious Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. They were sometimes called the Knights of St. John or the Knights of Jerusalem. The symbol of the Order came to be a white cross worn on a black robe; thus the Hospitalers were the Knights of the White Cross, in contra-distinction to the Knights Templars, the Knights of the Red Cross.

Early in the 11th century the increasing number of pilgrimages to the holy city of Jerusalem led some Italian merchants to obtain from the city’s Muslim rulers the right to maintain a Catholic church there. In connection with this church a hospital for ill or infirm pilgrims was established.

While the object of the order was to aid the pilgrims, it soon became apparent that military protection was necessary as well. The members were divided into three classes — the knights of justice, who had to be of noble birth and had to be knights already; the chaplains, who served the spiritual needs of the establishment; and the serving brothers, who merely carried out orders given them. Besides these, there were the honorary members called donats, who contributed estates and funds to the order. The Hospitalers obtained a great income through gifts, and the necessity of caring for their estates led to the formation of subsidiary establishments all over Europe, the preceptories. When Jerusalem fell to the Moslems in 1187 the Hospitalers moved to Acre.

By 1291 the Hospitalers had been driven from the Holy Land. They then established themselves in Cyprus and subsequently conquered the island of Rhodes, where they grew strong militarily, but declined in their moral standards. They made an heroic effort to stem the tide of history, but eventually the Turks overwhelmed them 1522.

The Knights wandered aimlessly for some years until the German Empereor gave them the island of Malta and they are today better known as the Knights of Malta. And yes, if Dashiell Hammett's work was non-fiction, they would be the Knights of the Maltese Falcon.

The Turks attacked Malta and in an heroic defense the Knights held them off, finally forcing them to depart. This was one of three events that marked the high tide of the Ottoman Turk's empire. The other two were the naval battle of Lepanto and the defense of Vienna.

In England, during the Reformation, the order was suppressed by Henry VIII and its wealth confiscated. The final end of the order as a political force came when Napoleon took Malta in 1798.

"Benedict . . . died before Michaelmas 1206, his widow afterwards marrying Elias de Stiveton, of Steeton in Craven. Benedict's issue were--(1) William, (2) Roger, and (3) Vivian." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

I hold that Benedict's children were,
(5) William de Gernet (c1170)
(5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173)
(5) Vivian de Gernet (c1175)
(5) Annora (Annota) de Garnet (le Garnet) (c1175)
(5) Margery de Gernet (c1175)

The following may be sons and daughters, or nieces and nephews.
(5) Winan (Wimanus) Gernet (c1175)
(5) Thomas de Gernet (c1175)
(5) Benedict de Gernet (c1175)
(5) Joan de Gernet
(5) Robert de Garnette (c1175)
(5) Geoffrey Gernet de Arbury (c1180)
(5) Philippus Gernet (c1180)

(5) William de Gernet (c1170)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The eldest son of Benedict Gernet [Willelmus filius Benedicti Gernet]. He succeeded his father as Lord of Halton and Serjeant of the King's Forest of Lancashire in 1206. 'Of' Gersingham [Gressingham], which may refer to where he was born (as with John of Gaunt, who was born in Gaunt [Ghent]).

"William Gernet and his brethren [Willelmo Gernet et fratribus suis]" were witness to a grant, circa 1199-1206, along with Henry de Redman [father of Mathew de Redmayne of Yealand], Orm de Kellet [Hormo de Kellet], John de Parles, William de Ashton, Thomas Gernet [of Heysham], Adam de Aughton and others [et aliis]. - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester." I don't think this was William Gernet of Lydiate, below. Brethren probably refers to his brothers, Roger, Vivian and, perhaps, Thomas.

At about the same time Henry de Lee granted the moiety of the town of Forton to his brother, Adam de Lee. "Witnesses--Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, William le Boteler, William Gernet [Willelmo Gernet], Lambert Bussay, Henry de Redman, Adam de Holland, Walter son of Swain and Adam his brother, Paulinus de Garstang, Robert de Lancaster, and others [S.D. 1190-1206]." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of ..." by the Chetham Society.

"In 1207 when William Gernet had livery of the master forestership in succession to his father Benedict, the covert of Toxteth and the arable lands belonging to the underwood of the forest-probably in the vill of West Derby-were excepted, so that, no doubt, these had already separate custodians." - from "British History Online."

I'm not sure where this fits, but "After sir William Boteler's death the king granted the wardship of his Lancashire estates (except the dower of dame Elizabeth his widow) to sir Peter de Dutton, sir Gilbert de Haydock, John Gerard, esquire, and William Gernet, esquire." - from "Annals of the Lords of Warrington for the First Five Centuries After the Conquest" by William Beamont.

"William, the son of the same [Benedict Gernet], gave two bovates in Leck to Margery, his sister, on payment of a rent of one pound of pepper per annum; and that he gave to Osbert one bovate of land in Leck, also for a yearly rent of one pound of pepper." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present." From another source,

"William, his [Benedict's] son, gave ij. bovates in Lecke to Margery, his sister, by one pound of pepper yearly. The same William gave to Osbert j. bovate in Lecke by one pound of pepper. Also the same William [written Idem Bouata, the same as ?], gave xxx. acres in Altan to Gilbert, son of Orm, by rendering therefor yearly certain spurs or iijd." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "All these grants were in the vill of Leck, in the parish of Tunstall . . . Altan, now Old Town, is an estate in Leck lying to the S.W. of the highroad between Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

William married Cicely, but died soon after his father, in 1207, during King John's reign, in sine prole [without issue].

"On August 23rd, 1207, the King sent his mandate from Tewkesbury to Gilbert fitz Reinfrid [the Baron of Kendal] to "take into our hand our forest, which William Gernet held in serjeanty in co. Lancaster, with the land of the same, and attorn [assign] some one of your men to safeguard that forest with a serjeant of Hugh de Nevill's [Chief Justice of the Forest, a Baron loyal to John in the Magna Charta crisis], whom he will send for this purpose, and see that ye keep good ward thereof that of that custody we betake not ourselves to others than to you." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 119 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"William Gernet's proffered fine for confirmation of the Bailiwick of the Forest [that is, for his inheritance of it from his father] had only been accepted during the fiscal year, and so appears in this Roll. The covert of Toxteth and arable strips belonging to the underwood of the Forest, i.e. clearings brought under the plough, were appropriated from the fee which his father Benedict Gernet had held, and reserved to the Crown." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155."
"On November 13th following, the King gave Cecily, who was the wife of William Gernet, to the justicar of Chester to give in marriage with her dower. Phillip de Orreby, who was then justicar, gave her in marriage to Hamon de Mascy. In 1225, she was the wife of William le Vilein, and had her dower in the manor of Fishwick [or was this the widow of Benedict, Cecily de Hutton?]. Was she the daughter of Philip, son of Holegod, of co. Stafford?" - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 119 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Cecily's "dower was awarded to her in Fishwick." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155." Who was Philip, son of Holegod and why does William Farrar think he could be the father of William's widow? The only explanation is that because Philip acquited Roger of 50 marks for his inheritance. Similarly,
"Roger Gernet, brother of William, proffered 60 m. for the Bailiwick of the Forest. Of 50 m. of this fine Philip fitz Helgot, fermor of Kinver Forest, co. Stafford, sometimes called Philip de Kinver, acquitted Roger, and it was transferred to the Staffordshire Pipe Roll, where it appears as a debt from the 12th to 16th John." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155"
A Philip Fitz Helgot [Holgate, Holegate], who died in 1213, was the grandson of Lord William Helgot, of Shropshire, "between whom and the Lancashire Garnets [sic] there seems to have been an early connection." - from the "Annals of the Lords of Warrington for the First Five Centuries afte the Conquest" by William Beamont. By the way, Lord Helgot's daughter, Ivetta, married Robert Pincerna. Their son, Richard, married Beatrice de Villiers, and founded the Boteler family.

Def: Fermor - From the French fermer, one who held or hired lands for a term, ad firman on payment of a rent. Later this evolved into Farmer.

"The wife [widow] of William Gernet was of the gift of the King, and is married to Hamon de Macy without warrant, as it is said, and her land is worth 1s. yearly." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 119 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"We are further told that the marriage of the wife, or rather of the widow, of William Gernet was in the gift of the king, but that she was married to Hamon de Masoi [Massy] (Baron of Dunham-Massey in Cheshire) without warrant, and that her land was worth 50s a year." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867
The Barons of Dunham-Massey, almost all of whom were uncreatively called Hamon, held the barony, under the Earls of Chester, from the Conquest until 1715/6. Our Hamon was perhaps Hamon III, 1129-1216, that is, Cecily was married to an old man who soon died.

Medieval Medicine

The Greeks believed the world was divided into four basic elements and that the body mirrored this division in the Four Humors, or bodily fluids. The great weakness of Greek science is that they were seduced by elegant theories and rarely experimented.

Basic Elements - Bodily Fluid - Resulting Temperment
Fire - Yellow bile - Choleric; Violent, vengeful
Water - Phlegm - Phlegmatic: Dull, pale, cowardly
Earth - Black bile - Melancholic; Gluttonous, lazy, sentimental
Air - Blood - Sanguine; Happy, generous, amourous

To maintain health these four humors had to be kept in balance. Too much of one was thought to cause a change in personality. As an example, too much black bile would lead to melancholy.

To diagnose disease, the Medieval Doctor would observe the patient and determine which of the humors was out of balance. A hot & dry appearance was associated with yellow bile; cold & moist with phlegm; cold & dry with black bile and hot & moist with blood. Bleeding was one method to rebalance the humors. Hellebore, a potent poison, was also administered. The resultant vomiting and diarrhea were "signs" that the imbalanced humor had been eliminated.

Hamon Mascy had apparently died by 1224 because Cicely had remarried.

"William held the forest fee but one year, and died in 1207 without surviving issue male. His widow Cecily, who had part of her dower in Fishwick, married secondly [after Hamon de Macy?] William le Vilein. Roger, brother of William, succeeded, paying a fine of 60 marks in 1207 for this fee." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Cicely and William sued Roger Gernet, her brother-in-law, over the manor of Fishwick.
7-8 Henry III [1224]. "William le Vilein and Cecily his wife, sued Roger Gernet, brother and heir of William Gernet, in a plea to warrant to them the Manor of Fishwic, which William Gernet claimed as his right; whereupon they called to warrant the said Roger, who did not appear. Judgement to be taken from his land to the value of that Manor, and to be summoned for the Octave of St. Hilary."
This William Gernet might be (4) William de Gernet (c1155), the son of William Gernet of Lydiate. However, "In the 9 Henry III., William Gernet, son of the above-named William [first husband of Cecily], claimed the Manor of Fishwick from William de Veline husband of the said Cecily." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155." I thought our William died childless? Also,
9 Henry III [20 January 1225]. "Between William Gernet, plaintiff, and Roger Gernet, whom William de Vilein and Cecily his wife called to warrant, respecting Cecily's dower of the Manor of Fishwic with the appurtenances, which Manor William Gernet claimed against William and Cecily, and which Roger warranted to them. William Gernet quit-claimed from himself and his heirs, to Roger, William and Cecily, and the heirs of Roger, in perpetuity, all his right in the Manor. For this quit-claim Roger granted that William Gernet and his heirs should have and hold half a carucate of land in Crophill [co. Nottingham], which he formerly held of Roger and his heirs, performing therefor forinsec service belonging to half a carucate of land, where 21 carucates make the service of one knight for all service." from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.
Was Vilein a surname or an indication that Cecily married a peasant? Cecily was known to have been living in 1252 and probably died after 1275. Of this the website "British History Online" says,
"In 1225 an agreement was made between William and Roger Gernet as to the manor of Fishwick. It was held in dower by Cecily widow apparently of Benedict Gernet, father of Roger and grandfather of William; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 204, &c. Cecily married one William known as the Villein, and Roger warranted the manor to them, while William Gernet renounced all claim to it on behalf of himself and his heirs in return for half a plough-land in Crophill. Roger Gernet's lordship of Fishwick was therefore undisputed."
This presupposes that Roger had two sons, Benedict, his heir, and this William. I suppose, however, that it makes more sense that the William Gernet mentioned above was of the Lydiate line.

Def: Forinsec Service - This was that service due to the crown over and above that which was due to the immediately superior lord. It was outside the bounds of the bargain made between the lord and his tenant.

Though it was been noted above that William died sine prole, he may have had a daughter,
(6) Alice de Gernet (c1200)

(6) Alice de Gernet (c1200)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) William de Gernet (c1170)

This is all rather confused and contradictory. William Garnet [sic] had a daughter, Alicia, who married Almeric [Emery] le Boteler, the son of William de Boteler, the Baron of Warrington. See HRH William's Forebears.

"His [Almeric's] wife's name was Alina or Alicia, and she was probably a daughter of William Garnet, who, having survived her first husband Almeric, afterwards married Walter de Stanton." - from "Annals of the Lords of Warrington for the First Five Centuries After the Conquest: With..." by William Beamont
The former citation is also found in the Testa de Nevill, Thoroton's "History of Nottinghamshire," and "Remains historical and literary connected with the Palatine counties of Lancashire and Chester."

Their son, William "Fitz Almeric" le Boteler, the 7th Baron of Warrington, was the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1256 to 1259 and a contemporary of Ranulph de Dacre and (7) Benedict Gernet, appearing on charters and grants with them.

Contrarily, Aubrey/Albreda, the sister of William le Boteler, first married Thurstan de Vilars and, after his death, then married Walter de Stanton, who received the lordship of Crophill-Boteler from the Sheriff of Lancaster, Ralph fitz Bernard, who had William le Boteler as his ward.

Note that Roger Gernet granted that a William Gernet [or Lydiate?] and his heirs should have and hold half a carucate of land in Crophill, which he formerly held of Roger and his heirs. William Gernet's daughter, Petronilla, apparently married William de Vilars, the third son of Paganus.

(5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The second son of Benedict de Gernet. He was born in perhaps 1173 in Lancashire. He appears on separate lists as the son of both Cecily Hutton and Mabel Fitzurse. Since he claimed the Honor of Montgomery by blood, I assume he thought he was a child of Mabel. A Knight of Halton, he was sometimes referred to as Roger Garnet. Not to be confused with Roger Gernet of Heysham or Roger Gernet "of Burg," i.e. Burrow, of the Caton line.

1205- A grant to the church of St. Mary in Lancaster by Roger, the son of William of Skerton, was witnessed by Sir William de Vernon, then Sheriff of Lancaster, and Sir Roger Gernet. Sir William de Vernon, knight and Justice of Chester, was Sheriff in 1205. - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster." See High Sheriffs of Lancaster for a complete listing of the sheriffs. Other witnesses were Adam of Capernwray, Gilbert of Kellet, Orm of Kellet, Ralph of Bolton, and John of Oxcliffe. Another grant by Roger of Skerton was witnessed by Roger [the clerk], constable of Lancaster, and Roger Gernet. The constable was the person responsible to the King for the safe keeping of the Castle, and holder of the keys in his absence. Interestingly, the Duchy of Lancaster website says that the office of constable of the castle did not originate until the 1400's.

1205 - A "Punishment for not keeping the composition aforesaid," that is, "brother Hereward, called Abbot of Cockersand," paid a penalty of 20 shillings to the Prior of Lancaster for doing something [unclear what] contrary to an agreement made at Lincoln. This was witnessed by "William de Vernon, sheriff of Lancaster; Roger Gernet, Geoffrey the Bowman [L'Arbalaster, progenitor of the de Shyreburne family of Clitheroe and Blackburne], Orm of Kellet, Roger the clerk, constable of Lancaster, and others." - from "Materials for . . ."

Also, a charter of Grimbold of Ellel was witnessed by the same group above, with the addition of Gilbert de Croft and Walter son of Swein.

Roger succeeded as Lord of Halton and Serjeant of the King's Forest of Lancashire upon the death of his brother William in 1207.

Footnote. "William held the forest fee but one year, and died in 1207 without surviving issue male . . . Roger, brother of William, succeeded, paying a fine of 60 marks in 1207 for this fee. He died 36 Henry III., when an inquest was taken of his lands." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43-44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Another reference confirms, "He paid a fine of 60 marks to have the bailiwick [area of jurisdiction] of the Forest and the land attached to the office - from "The Cockersand Chartulary." Also, "Roger Gernet, brother of William, proffered 60 m. for the Bailiwick of the Forest. Of 50 m. of this fine Philip fitz Helgot, fermor of Kinver Forest, co. Stafford, sometimes called Philip de Kinver, acquitted Roger, and it was transferred to the Staffordshire Pipe Roll, where it appears as a debt from the 12th to 16th John." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A. D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A. D. 1155."
"[The Forest Fee]. Roger Gerneht [sic] holds the fee of one knight by the office of forester. And of that fee Roger Gerneht, his ancestor, gave ij. carucates in Spec in marriage to Richard de Mulinas." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 43, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Noted in the "Preston, Lancashire Parish History" to be the brother and heir of William Gernet. As further confirmation, in 1225 a Fine mentioned "Roger Gernet brother and heir of William Gernet."

Roger "was Hereditary Forester of Lancashire in fee, and held by serjeanty, in right of that office (partly from the crown, and partly from the house of Lancaster), . . ." - from "Parentali, Genealogical Memoirs" by George Ormerod.

Circa John. "When the "Mungmin Scutage" (Scutagium de Mungmin?) was assessed at two marks for a knight's fee, Roger Gernet accounted for six marks received from William Pincerna for his three fees in Werinton [Warrington] and Laton with the county of Lancaster. Of these fees Laton formed one and Warrington the other two. (Dodsworth's MSS.)" - from "Annals of the Lords of Warrington for the First Five Centuries After the Conquest" by William Beamont
William Pincerna adhered to King John throughout the latter's troubles, as well as to the Earl of Chester.

There is a reference to "Roger Gernet (A.D. 283), 1207" in "La tapisserie de Bayeux;: étude archéologique et critique" by Albert Marignan. Why would he be mentioined in a study of the Bayeux tapestry? From my attempt at translation the passage below appears to be a discussion of knightly costumes and the tendency, from the 11th to the 13th century, for the knights tunic to increase in length. Apparently there is an image, on a wax seal perhaps, of Roger Gernet showing him wearing a long tunic.

"Les premiers sceaux equestres n'indiquent pas la broigne. Le cavalier est a cheval, vetu d'une simple tunique courte. Ce n'est que vers la fin du XI siecle que le sceau de Gui de Laval (1095) nous donne une sorte de broigne. Mais c'est une longue robe qui descend jusqu'aux pieds, formee de petits anneaux, qu'on dirait colles sur l'etoffe. On peut en dire autant de celle que porte Raoul, comte de Vermandois (1116-1152). Les manches de cette tunique sont assez larges, tandis que la robe de Gui de Laval en est privee. On ne saurait donc parler d'un type unique; mais sa forme, ainsi que sa longueur, devait varier suivant les provinces. La premiere cotte de maille que nous fournissent les sceaux, c'est celle de Hervee de Dancy 1120. Elle ne descend que jusqu'aux genoux et, a partir de cette epoque, son usage, devint de plus en plus general. Sa coupe ne changea pas. Les sceaux nous prouvent qu'elle fut employee pendant toutle XII siecle et durant le premier tiers du XIII siecle. Vers la fin du aux manches courtes de Charles le Bon (1119-1127) (D. art. 27), Henry 1st (1100-1135) est vetu d'une simple tunique courte sans mailles, Etienne, roi d'Angleterre (1135-1154), a le meme costume, Hervee de Dancy (1120) a la premiere cotte de mailles courte, elle fut employee jusqu'au deuxieme tiers du XIII siecle. Robert de Gouvix (D.N. 295); de Mesnil-Fuguet (D.A. 405); Louis, comte de Blois, an. 1202; Gautier de Gournay (1207); Guillaume de Gue, 1211; Roger Gernet (A.D. 283), 1207; Bernard V, comte de Comminges (1226)."
My rough translation:
"The first equestrian seals showed no broigne [a French body defense for the thorax]. The knight on his horse, put on one simple court tunic. At the end of the 11th century on the seal of Gui de Laval (1095) we have one sort broigne. But on one a long gown that went down to the person's foot . . . The first coat of mail shown on the seals, was that of Hervee de Dancy 1120. It descended below the knee, and from that time its use became more and more general. The cut did not change. The seals prove that these were used during all the 12th century and during the first third of the 13th century. Towards the end of the manches courtes [short sleeves?] of Charles the Good (1119-1127), Henry 1 (1100-1135) was dressed in a simple court tunic without mail, Stephen, King of England (1135-1154), had the same costume, Hervee de Dancy (1120) had the first court coat of mail, which was used through the second third of the 13th century. [names]"
This still doesn't answer why Roger would be referenced in a French book and amongst so many Frenchmen: Hervee de Dancy (1120) Robert de Gouvix; de Mesnil-Fuguet; Louis, comte de Blois; Gautier de Gournay (1207); Guillaume de Gue, 1211; Roger Gernet 1207; Bernard V, comte de Comminges (1226). Could our Roger be the same Roger Gernet who voiced his support of the Abbey of Fecamp in 1218? For that, see the Grenets of France page.

Gernet's in Religious Orders

(5) Ralph Gernet (c1175)

"Durham Cathedral Priory, St. Cuthbert f. 28 May 1083
. . .
Ralph Kerneth 1218-1234. Called Gernet (Cal. Misc. Inq., II, 219). Said to have been el. 1214 (DCD, Reg. II, f. 350v), but this is impossible if predessor d. in office 1218. Occ. 11 Nov. 1218 (DCD, 4.13.Spec.34, m. I); . . . 17 May 1231 papal dispensation for illegitimacy (CPL, I, 128). D. 4 Mar. 1234 (Obit roll of W. Ebchester and F. Burnby, pp. 45-8). . ." - from "The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales" by David Knowles.

(5) Benedict Gernet (c1175)

May 1228. "Witnesses: . . . Benedicto Gernet rectore ecclesiae de Halton . . ." - from "The Register, Or Rolls, of Walter Gray, Lord Archbishop of York."

1210-1235. "Roger son of Benedict Gernet of Halton grants to the monks a tillage called Benetacres in Halton townfields, the bounds being fully set out; also pasture for 500 sheep and free passage." - from "Remains Historical . . ."

1212. ". . . Robert de Clifton who in 1212 held four oxgangs in Clifton [manor] of the king in chief by a rest of 8s.; at this time Roger Gernet held three of the oxgangs of Robert by 8s., thus discharging the service due from the whole." Also referenced in the following,

"Robert de Clifton holds iiij. bovates of land in Clifton in chief of the Kings by viijs. Roger Gerneth holds of this Robert iij. bovates by viijs. [yearly]." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 69, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"Of the Gernet holding nothing further appears, but there may have been a connexion by marriage with the Masseys [the widow of Roger's brother, William, married Hamon de Massey], so that Henry son of Hamlet joined as defendant in a Clifton suit of 1278 mentioned below, may represent the Roger Gernet of 1212." - from "Bristish History Online."

1212. "In 1212 Roger Gernet was master forester; and at the inquest taken after his death it was found that 'in the vill of Speke he held 2 plough-lands of William earl of Ferrers'; Lancs. Inq. and Extens." - from "British History Online." As forester Roger was Overlord of the manor of Speke. It had been enfeoffed to the Moylneux's by his father, Benedict.

"We are told, in "Testa de Nevill," that Roger Gernet held a knight's fee as forester, and that from that fee Roger Gernet, his ancestor, gave two carucates of land, in marriage, with his daughter, to Richard du Mulas (Molyneux), in Speke." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present."
That is, our Roger had an ancestor, (3) Roger Gernet, his grandfather's brother, who held Speke previously.

The Testa also reports the following of fees held in chief of the King.

"Fees Held in Chief of the King
. . . Rog. Gernet, in Halton, Will. Gernet, in Heschin . . .
. . . Almaric Butler [Boteler], who the following sub-tenants-- . . . Rog. Gernet and Thom de Bethem in Kyrkeby . . .
. . . Rog. Gernet, Thos. de Bethun, and Robt. Stokeport in Bustard Rising . . .
. . . Rog. Gernet in Little Farleton . . .

Serjeanties Holden of the King
. . . Roger Gernet in Fishwick, Lonesdale, & Wapent. of Derby . . .
. . . Thos. Gernet of Hesham . . .
. . . Roger Gernet in Halton . . .
. . . Will. le Gardniner & Adam Gernet in Bolrun . . .

Widows and Heiresses of Tenants in Capite, Whose Marriages were in the Gift of the King
. . . Quenilda, wid. Rog. Gernet . . .
. . . Agnes de Hesham, widow of Hugo de Oxeclive, wid. Will. Gernet . . .

Thanage, Forestry, and Other Peculiar Services and Tenures
. . . Roger Gernet, by being chief forester; Willm. Gernet, by the service of meeting the king on the borders of the county with his horse and white rod, and conducting him into and out of the county; he holds 2 carucates of land in Heskin . . .
. . . Gilbert Fitz Orm, by paying annually 3d., or some spurs to Benedict Gernett, the heir of Roger de Heton, in thanage . .
. . . Thos. Gerneth . . . all in thanage . . .
. . . the serjeanty of Hetham [Heysham?], which Roger Fitz Vivian holds, by blowing the born before the king at his entrance and exit from the county of Lancaster; Thomas Gernet, in Hesham, by sounding the horn on meeting the king on his arrival in those parts . . . "

- from "History of the County Palatine of Lancaster" by Edward Baines and William Robert Whatton

1212-1217. "Rogerus Gernet tenet Siswic per serjanteriam forestariae. Valet per annum xxs. Et x carucatas terrae in Lonesdale per idem seritium. Valent per annum cs. Et vj. carucatas terrae et dimidiam in wapentachio de Dorby per servanteriam de wapentachio."

The earliest records for the village of Heskin, in Lancashire, in 1212, describe the manors of Eccleston and Heskin as one "Knights Fee" held by Roger Garnet [sic]. Remember that Heskin was originally given to a Wimanus Gernet, his brother perhaps [?].

"Wiman Gernet [Wimanus Gernet] holds two carucates of land of our lord the King in Heschin [Heskin] by the service of coming towards the King at the borders of the county, with his horn and white wand, and of conducting him into the county, and of remaining with him, and also of reconducting him; and it is worth five marks." - from the "Teste de Nevill" as cited in "Tenures of Land & Customs of Manors" by Thomas Blount.
Heskin is a village in the district of Chorley, in west Lancashire. It is unclear who this Wimanus was.

1216-22. "Roger Gernet holds Fyswic by serjeanty of forestry, and it is worth xxs. yearly. The same holds x. carucates of land in Lonesdale by the same service, and they are worth cs. yearly. The same holds vj. carucates of land and a half in the Wapentake of Dereby, by he has nothing thereof in demesne."

1222-6. "Roger Gernet holds iij. carucates of land in Halton by the service that he shall be chief forester throughout the whole county. [The land] is entire (integra), and performs service."

Footnote. ". . . In the autumn of 1207, Roger Gernet had livery of the forest fee, fining by 60 marks for the King's warrant." - from "Wardships, Marriages, Etc., 1216-22 and 1222-6," page 121 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

The following break-down in the ownership and eventual inheritance of estates across England involving Roger Gernet is owed to the work of John P. Ravilious.

In 1215 Roger, jointly with Viel de Engayne (see the Fitzurse family, above), inherited an estate in Upminster, Essex, later called the Gaynes estate, inheriting via Richard FitzUrse's daughter Mabel, his mother. Viel inherited via Margery Fitzurse, his grandmother.

In 1216 Viel (or Vitalis) Engaine and Roger Gernet sued William de Cantelo (Canteloupe/Cauntelo) and Mazilia his wife, for a Carucate and a half of land in Worle, Somerset, and they also sued Elias de Beauchamp for a Carucate and a half of land in the same vill. The defendants appear to have traced some ancestry to the de Limesi family who had married into the Fitzurse clan.

In 1218, Ada [or Ida], widow of William de Curtenay had dower in the manor [Williton?], and in 1221 Viel Engayne bought out her interest. In 1223 Viel Engayne also bought out Roger Gernet and de Cauntelo, thus becoming the outright Lord of the manor.

There are also records showing Roger's claim to the Honor of Montgomery, in Wales, a manor in Worle, Somerset, and another in Badmondisfield (aka Bansfield), Suffolk, though these were contested by other heirs of the FitzUrse family. Curia Regis Roll Hillary & Easter 25 H 3 m.12 (1241) Salop: “Vitalis Engayne, William de Cantilupe [steward to the King] and Roger Gernet claimed the Honour of Montgomery in Wales which had been granted to Baldwin de Bollers [Baldwin de Boulers ] by Henry I on his marriage with Sibyl de la Faleyse, the king's niece.” The verdict in judgment of the three claims was in favour for Vitalis Engaine and William Cantilupe.' In the end, the Honor of Montgomery, which had belonged to Baldwin de Boulers, was divided in thirds between Roger Gernet, Viel Engayne and William de Cantelou. Roger appears to have sold his share to William. See 14. Cantilupe Line for more information about that family.

The Gayne estate in Upminster had originally been William de Courtenay’s, now in dower to his widow, Ada. It was also split in thirds, with Roger and Cantelou selling to Engayne. The Worle estate was also split in thirds, but Viel recovered William’s share, Roger holding a third, I think. "Precipe to Sheriff of Somerset to require Elye de Beauchamp [de Bello campo] to deliver certain lands in Worle to Vitalis Engaine and Roger Gernet; or if he fails so do, to summons him to appear coram Rege in three weeks from St John Baptist next temp Hen III."

"In another suit Vitalis Engaine, William de Cantilupe and Roger Gernet sued the King for the manor of Badmundefeld, co. Suffolk, Hillaria Trussebut, who had held the manor in dower, having died. In this suit it is stated that a Robert de Bullers [the grandson of Baldwin de Bollers] had died seised of the Honor of Montgomery and had died s.p., and had been succeeded by his brother Baldwin, who had also died s.p., and that Stephen de Stanton, the nepos [nephew] of Baldwin de Bullers, had enfeoffed Thomas de Erdington in the manor in the reign of King John." - from "The Genealogist." The estate in Badmondisfield, Suffolk, was split into thirds. Evidently Roger Gernet sold his moiety to William de Cantilupe who became his representative. It is quite possible that William de Cantilupe had an interest, either by marriage or descent, as was often the case when an inheritance was sold to another party.

Montgomery, Wales

A small village on the border between Wales and England, 21 miles west of Shrewsbury, near the east bank of the Severn river. Originally the county seat of Montgomeryshire, now part of Powys. The town lies below an outcrop of rock upon which stands the ruins of a castle built by Henry III around 1223. The castle is one of a number built along the marches of the English / Welsh border which for many hundreds of years was an area of conflict and political tension. Montgomery was a major base of operations during Edward I's war of conquest against Llywelyn the Great, the last great Welsh King.

The original castle at Montgomery was built just after the conquest by Roger de Montgomery. It was granted to Baldwin de Boulers by Henry I. It was destroyed, and the Boulers family lost the estate, in a Welsh raid. Nothing remains of it except an eminence known as Hen Domen.


The Honour of Montgomery

The term Honour, as with the Honour of Lancaster, is, I believe, related to the Castle having the Honour of an Earldom entailed upon the possessors of it. The Honour takes its name from its first lord, Roger de Montgomery, father of Roger of Poitou. Earl Roger built the earth and timber, motte and bailey castle now known as Hen Domen which is about 1.5km to the north-east of the town, shortly after the fall of Mercia in 1071, naming it Muntgumeri after his home in Normandy. After the rebellion of Roger's sons in 1101 the Honour reverted to the crown.

Henry I then gave the Honour of Montgomery to Baldwin De Boulers on his marriage to Sibyl de Falaise in 1102. Sibyl was the neice, nepos, of the King. Baldwin may be the son of Stephen de Boulers of Flanders, who went on the First Crusade. Baldwin also received the manor of Badmundsfield, Suffolk.

"Badmundefeld, a moiety of the manor held of the honour on Mungumeri without service, because King Henry, the king's great-great grandfather, gave the manor in free marriage to Baldwin de Bulers, ancestor of the said Vitalis [Engaine], with Sibyl de Falaise his niece." (CIPM 1: 166)
Trefaldwyn, the Welsh name for the town, means 'Baldwin's town'. The place-name is first recorded as 'Baldwin's castle' (Chastell Baldwyn), after Baldwin de Boulers. It passed to the family of Mortimer as early as 1277(?), a few years after Roger de Gernet's claim. What became of the other claimants is unknown. Another source indicates that Robert de Bullers [sic] died seized of the Honor of Montgomery, sine prole, and been succeeded by his brother, Baldwin, who also died sine prole. At this point Stephen de Stanton, Baldwin's nephew, enfeoffed Thomas de Erdlington in the reign of John. - from "The Genealogist."

Through the Mortimer's the area passed to the House of York, into which they married, during the War of the Roses. In 1644 the Crown gave the castle to the Herberts, who were forced to surrender it to Parliamentary forces during the Civil War. The castle was subsequently destroyed.

Offa's Dyke runs nearby the castle. This colossal earthwork was the Mercian King's attempt to hold the Welsh at bay. It runs the entire length of the Welsh / English border.

Roger ruled during seriously troubled times in England, during the latter half of John's reign and through most of Henry III's. These were times when the Barons, and their retinues, were in revolt against bad rule and forced Kings to respect their rights.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1216-1272 Henry III.

A weak King and a time of civil war. Unfortunately for England, his was the realm's longest reign. When he was crowned in 1226, at age nine, the southeast of England was occuppied by a French army and, in the north, his Barons were in revolt. Henry's regent, William Marshall, rallied the nobility to the boy-King. William, and later the Justicar Hugh de Burgh, set the kingdom aright.

Upon reaching his majority Henry infuriated his Barons by granting favors to foreigners and mismanaging the treasury. However, his chief failure was as a war leader, losing all the Angevin territories in France except Gascony. His duplicity resulted in the Rebellion of Earl Simon de Montfort, previously a court favorite and the King's brother-in-law. At the Battle of Lewes Henry and his heir, Edward, were captured and imprisoned. Edward managed to escape and, at the Battle of Evesham, defeated de Montfort's forces. Afterwards Henry continued to sit on the throne, but Edward exercised real power.

In a charter of York Roger was styled the butler of Warton [or is this a confusion with a previously named man?] - from "Archaeologia Aeliana: Or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquities" by Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sir Roger's first wife, whose name is not known [perhaps Margery], probably died before 1221 after bearing him a son called Benedict.

"This Roger, Chief Forester of Lancashire, had a grant of Leylandshire, and further increased his estate by his marriage [in 1222] with Quenilda, fourth daughter and co-heir of Richard Fitz Roger, [thane of Lytham and Woodplumpton in Amounderness] the founder of the priory of St. Cuthbert at Lytham [circa 1190]." - from "The Battle Abbey Roll."
Quenhilda was born about 1181-1190 in Lancashire. I have other sources which say she was a daughter of Thurstan Banastre - from "Parentalia, Genealogical Memoirs" by George Ormerod. What makes more sense is that Margery [Margaret], the daughter and co-heir of Thurstan Banastre, the Baron of Newton, married Richard FitzRoger, and thus was Quenilda's mother - from "British History Online."

Quenilda had married before, being the second wife of Roger le Boteler, who died in 1199 - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Cheshire: by the Chetham Society. Quenilda, as a widow and an heir, was in the gift of the King, that is, he would marry her off to the highest bidder.

[A.D. 1216-22.]"Quenilda, daughter of Richard son of Roger was in the gift of the King. And the earl of Chester [Ranulph or Randle] married her to Roger Gernet by reason that she held of the earl by knight's service and of the King by farm. And [her] land is worth xxiijs. yearly."
So the Earl married off Quenilda despite her being in the gift of the King. This action implies that Roger Gernet was one of the Earl of Chester's vassals. The Gernet family's connection to Warin Bussel, Baron of Penwortham, may come through Quenilda. Roger was said to be allied to Warin, per "British History Online" and apparently had lands in Kirkeby "of" the Baron.
[A.D. 1222-6.]"Quenilda, who was the wife of Roger, is of the gift [of the King] and has been married to Roger Gernet by the King. Her land is worth xxs."
Footnote. "Quenilda's first husband was Jordan de Thornhill [sic]. The date of his death has not been ascertained, but it was before 1222. Roger Gernet and Quenilda his wife had seisin of the lands of the said Quenilda, which had been taken into the King's hand because Roger had married her, being of the King's donation, without licence, by writ dated November 3rd, 1222. It is difficult to suggest what fee she held of the Earl of Chester by knight's service. The earl did not receive the lands between the Ribble and the Mersey until 1229." - from Wardships, Marriages, Etc., 1216-122 and 1222-6, The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 115-116 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Richard, the father of Quenilda, held the manor of Aughton of the King by military service. His wife was Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Thurston Banastre [from whom he probaly obtained Aughton by marriage]. Aughton was included in Quenilda's purparty.
"He [Roger] married Quenilda, fourth daughter of Thurstan Banastre, under grant from the earl palantine of Chester, of whom she was military tenant; but as she also held lands of the king, he caused Sir Roger Gernet's lands to be seized on the marriage (Test. de Nevill, p.401). On certificate of the husband's services to King John, made by the earl of Chester, the estates were restored." - From "Mamcestre: Being Chapters from the Early Recorded History"
Other sources claim that Quenilda was the second eldest daughter of Richard de Lacey, the son of Roger of Lytham and Woodplumpton in Amounderness. From a footnote on the manor of Formby,
"This estate was the fourth part of Formby and had formed part of the thanelands of Richard, son of Roger, thane of Woodplumpton. Jordan de Thornhill obtained it by his marriage with Quenilda, another of the daughters and co-heirs of Richard, son of Roger . . . Subsequently this land formed part of the pourparty of Quenilda, widow of Jordan, who had married Roger Gernet, chief forester of Lancaster, and she died seised of it in 36 Henry III [1252]." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 23, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
The following implies that Quenilda was a de Lacy.
[The Honour of Clitheroe]

"Roger de Laci holds the fee of v. knights of the fee of Cliderhou [sic], which are in the hand of the King."

Footnote. "Roger de Lacy, Constable of Chester, died October 1st, 1211, or nearly nine months before the taking of this inquest . . ." [Roger's heir, John de Lacy, was still a minor at this time]

[Four citations and a footnore follow in which Hugh de Eland, Robert de Flainesburch, Roger de Thorinton, Thomas de Horbiri, and Gilbert de Laci held lands in chief of Roger de Lacy]

"The aforesaid Roger de Laci gave to the monks of Stanlawe vj. bovates of land in alms."

"The heirs of Richard, son of Roger, hold the fourth part of the fee of one knight."

Footnote. "Richard, son of Roger, died in 1201. His heirs were--(1) Matilda, wife of Sir Robert de Stockport, married in 1180, a widow in 1206, and had issue; (2) Quenilda, married first to Jordan de Thornhill, secondly, after 1222 to Roger Gernet, chief forester of Lancaster, and died without issue in 36 Hen. III.; (3) Margaret, wife of Hugh de Moreton, by the King's gift in 1206, died without issue; (4) Avice, wife of William de Millum, married in or before 1201, both died before 1234, without issue; and (5) Amuria, wife of Thomas de Beetham, married before 1206, and had issue . . ."

[The Fee of Widnes]

"Roger, Constable of Chester, holds of the barony of the Constable within Lyme iiij. knight's fees, whereof Richard son of Roger holds the fee of one knight by the service of one knight." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 38-40, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
This seems to say that Richard, the father of Quenilda, wife of Roger Gernet, was the son of Roger de Laci, the Constable of Chester and Baron of Halton. Richard is not listed in the usual sources as a son of Roger. Roger de Laci's eldest son was Robert, who was held hostage to his father's fidelity. Robert was released in 1204, but predeceased his father. Roger de Laci died in 1211/2 and his successor was John, a minor at his father's death, who is usually considered to have been born in about 1192. Conceivably Richard was an older brother of John whose early death, and that of Robert, cleared the way for John's succession. Or, Richard was illegimate, hence the Fitz appelation.

However, I have another book by William Farrer that makes another case for the thane of Woodplumpton.

"Ramkel or Ravenskil, grandfather of Richard, son of Roger [of Woodplumpton], would appear to have been thane of Bootle in the time of Henry I. He has been identified as the Ravenkil, son of Raghanald (or Reynold, Rauanchil filius Raghanald), who attested the grant of the church of St. Mary of Lancaster by Roger the Poitevin to St. Martin of Sees in 1094." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Note that our Richard was not the Richard, son of Roger, who married Quenilda de Kirkdale, daughter and heir of Roger de Kirkdale.

Thanes of Woodplumpton

(1) Raghanald

Ragnald, Reynold or Reginald. Apparently of Scandanavian origin. He held land in Middleton, circa 1099. A fellow researcher relates that,

"The first Lord of the Manor [of Bootle] is thought to have been Raghanald, a descendent of the original Norse settlers there. He passed the lands down to his descendent, Richard, the son of Ravenkil. Ravenkil's daughters inherited the property in about 1200 AD, and by marriage it eventually went to Thomas de Betham, of Stockport."
This misses some fine points, but starts and ends well.

(2) Ravenkil, son of Raghanald

Ramkel, Ravenskil, Ravenchil, or Ravenkill. Thane of Bootle in the time of Henry I. He attested the charter of Roger of Poitou to the monks of Lancaster in 1094. He owned one hide in Shipley.

(3) Roger, son of Ravenkil

Thegn of Lytham, Bootle and Woodplumpton. He also held lands in Linarce which he gave to the Hospital of Jerusalem. He had a brother, Huctred. He may have been known as Roger Driwri of Carleton - from "Eboracensia deeds."

"There were in Bootle before the Conquest four manors which four thegns held, the assessment being two ploughlands and the value 64d.; the priest of Walton had the third plough-land in right of his church. The first known lord after the Conquest was Roger son of Ravenkil, who in 1129–30 was one of the men of the count of Mortain [Stephen of Blois, later Stephen i] between Ribble and Mersey. His son Richard, lord of Woodplumpton in Amounderness, the founder of Lytham Priory, was succeeded by one of his daughters and coheirs, Amuria, the wife of Thomas de Beetham. This Thomas in 1212 held two plough-lands in Bootle in thegnage for 8s. 8d. yearly service; and as another daughter, Quenilda, was in 1252 found to have held a ploughland of Walton church by the yearly service of 3s. 4d., it seems clear that the father had held the whole vill. Upon Quenilda's death without issue a fresh partition appears to have been made, for Sir Ralph de Beetham, who died in 1254, held the two ploughlands in which he succeeded his father, and half the plough-land belonging to Walton church. The Stockport family held the other half, and appear to have secured a share of the thegnage plough-lands." - from "British History Online"
He also held Birkdale, which descended to his son, Richard.

(4) Richard, son of Roger

He married Margaret, the daughter and co-heir of Thurstan Banastre. Richard founded Lytham Priory and lived under Henry II and Richard I. He held, in addition to the manors above, a quarter of Formby and at least one plowland in Carleton, which he later gave to the priory. He died before 26 February 1201 and his lands were divided among his five daughters. The daughters of Richard fitz Roger were,


(5) Matilda, the wife of Sir Robert de Stockport

(5) Quenilda, the wife of Jordan de Thornhill, secondly Roger Gernet, dsp. She was tenant of Formby in 1212. Her heirs were Robert de Stockport and Sir Ralph de Bethum, great-nephew and nephew respectively

(5) Margaret, the wife of Hugh de Moreton, dsp

(5) Avice, the wife of William de Millum, dsp

(5) Amuria [Annuria], the wife of Thomas de Beetham


Woodplumpton

Situated about five miles north west of Preston, it derives its name from the Old English words 'wudu' & 'Plumton' meaning ''Plumpton in the wood.' The first recorded use of the name was in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was refered to as 'Plunton,' however by 1256 this had become' Plumpton.' The second part of the name is thought to refer to 'a plum tree town' from the words 'plum tree' & 'tun.' The township of Plumpton contained the hamlets of Woodplumpton, Catforth, Eaves and Bartell, all of which were in the manor of Woodplumpton.

The manor was held by the barons of Stockport, one of whom married an heiress of the Gernet family [?]. Robert de Stokeport who died in 1248/9 left a daughter and heiress Joan who firstly married Nicholas de Eton and secondly John de Arderne - from Preston District Towns & Villages.

Bootle

Lytham

Roger testified before the "Testa de Nevill" that he held land at Halton [about 540 acres] by service as Chief Forester throughout the whole county. He held a further 10 Carucates of land at Lonsdale, at Bustard Bruing, Leke, Burgh, Fishwich, and also in Westmorland.

"Roger de Gernet, of Halton, near Lancaster, was the chief forester for the county of Lancaster. He and several others of the Gernet family held lands on condition of attending the king in his occasional visits into these very remote parts . . . He held "one knight's fee, but says he holds it by forestry . . . Roger Gernet held three carucates of land in Halton, near Lancaster, by service of being chief forester through the whole county, and performed that service . . . Roger Gernet held ten carucates of land in Lonsdale, as forester. It was worth 100s a year . . . Roger Gernet, Thomas de Bethun, and Robert de Stokeport held the fourth part of a knight's fee in Bustard Bruing [?] of that fee, and he of the king." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present"
Thomas de Bethun [Beetham] and Robert de Stokeport [Stockport], who married sisters of Roger's wife, Quinilda, were partners with Roger in a number of land transactions.

10 Henry III, 1226. "De protectine.--Rogerus Gernet habet litteras de protectione duraturas usque ad festum Sancti Michaelis anno etc. undecimo."

". . . in Lonsdale Forest without payment, but they had lost the charter during the disturbances at the end of his reign. Roger Gernet, hereditary warden of the royal forests of Lancaster, had seized this opportunity to exact from them an ox for winter pasture and a cow for summer pasture, and had prevented [this sounds like the dispute with the lepers] . . . In 1226 Roger Gernet, hereditary warden of the royal forest of Lancaster, and one of his foresters were accused of causing the death of Hugh of Wyresdale. The accusation was declared to have been made by Hugh's widow and family 'from ill will and hatred, because Roger . . . " - from "The Royal Forests of England" by Raymond Grant.

". . . in Lonsdale Forest without payment, but they had lost the charter during the disturbances at the end of his reign. Roger Gernet, hereditary warden of the royal forests of Lancaster, had seized this opportunity to exact from them an ox for winter pasture and a cow for summer pasture, and had prevented them from taking. . .

. . . been notified to the Council, which would decide what was to done.

The resulting verdicts amounted, once again, to a demand for the abolition of the Forest jurisdiction outside the king's demesnes. On 3 April 1225 the Huntingdonshire jurors exactly repeated the earlier perambulations of 1218 and . . . and bitter ill will between the people and the Forest officers. In 1226 Roger Gernet, hereditary warden of the royal forest of Lancaster, and one of his foresters were accused of causing the death of Hugh of Wyresdale. The accusation was declared to have been made by Hugh's widow and family "from ill will and hatred, because Roger was reproached concerning the perambulation of the forest in those parts not properly performed."

The regents were nevertheless compelled to accept these verdicts for the time being. In August 1225 they ordered the disafforestment of the whole of the forest of Rutland, with the exception of the royal . . . " - from The Royal Forests of England" by Raymond Grant

Hugh of Wyresdale was the son of Alan. The village of Wyresdale was southeast of Lancaster, beyond Quernmore.

In 1227 Roger Gernet was confirmed in the custody of Lancaster Forest.

12 Henry III [1227]. "For Roger Gernet. Roger Gernet gives 10 m. for having the king’s charter concerning custody of the forest of the county of Lancaster with all things pertaining to it, rendering £12 to the king by his hands at the Exchequer of Michaelmas, as is more fully contained in his charter that he has." - from "Henry III Fine Rolls Project"

1227 - "To the lord the reverend father in Christ, the most beloved, the venerable lord R., Bishop of Chester, Chancellor of the King of England, A[dam] of Yealand, sheriff of Lancaster, greeting . . . on a mandate of our lord the King concerning the priory of Lancaster, in full county, by lawful men of the county, I have made inquisition by these, namely, Sir Roger Gernet [etc.] . . . Who say that the house of the Priory of Lancaster is a cell of the monastery of Sees, and that the Abbot of Sees can at his will appoint and remove the Prior when he shall wish, by the assent of the lord the King . . ." - from "Materials for . . ." Adam de Yealand was sheriff in 1227 according to the source. The King was Henry III. The "lord R." above was Ralph Neville, who was Chancellor in 1227 and Bishop of Chichester. Neville later became Archbishop of Canterbury. While I haven't found a list of Bishops of Chester, a charter of Henry III notes that it was "Written by the hand of the venerable father Ralph, bishop of Chester, our chancellor, at Westminster, on the thirtieth day of January, in the eleventh year of our reign [30 January 1227]."

13 Henry III [1228]. "Concerning the king’s demesne lands to be tallaged in Lancaster. Order to the sheriff of Lancaster that, having taken with him Roger Gernet and Geoffrey Crossbowman, he is to cause all of the king’s thanes (theinis) of his county to be tallaged in their presence, and, having taken diligent inquisition concerning those who are called Westereis [Welsh] by what right each of them holds their tenements, he is to cause them to be tallaged in the same manner that they ought and are accustomed to be." - from "Henry III Fine Rolls Project"

The following seems big. It implies that there was a power play between the forester and sheriff in Lancashire, and that Roger had won.

16 February 1228. "Westminster. Grant to Roger Gernet, forester in fee of the king's forest of the county of Lancaster, and his heirs, of the custody of the said forest, paying therefore 12l. yearly at the Exchequer, which forest the said Roger and his ancestors used to hold by the payment of 10l. through the sheriff of Lancaster, so that in future no sheriff is to interfere in the said forest or with the said farm." - from the "Calendar of the Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office" by Great Britain Public Record Office, H. C. Maxwell Lyte, Alfred Edward Stamp

"In 1229, a few years after he succeeded to his inheritance, Matthew [de Redmayne], in company with Richard de Copland, William de Yealand and Roger Gernet, was appointed justice "for taking the assize of novel desseisen at Lancaster on the Thursday before the purification of the Blessed Mary against the Abbot of Leicester concerning a tenement in Cokersand."" - from "The Redmans of Levens and Harewood." This citation is also in the Patent Rolls.

On 13 June 1230 Henry III appointed Henry, the Bishop of Rochester, and others, to make an assize of arms. Adam de Biry, Senescallus comitis Cestriae de Westdybe [the steward of the Earl of Chester in West Derby], and Rogerus Gernet were appointed for Lancashire cum vicecomite [with the sheriff] - from "Royal and other historical letters illustrative of the reign of Henry III" by Walter Waddington Shirley. An assize of arms is, I assume, to survey your domains to ensure this law has been complied with.

Assize of Arms

A law enacted by the King requiring all freemen to arm themselves. From the Assize of 1181: "Let every holder of a knight's fee have a hauberk, a helmet, a shield and a lance. And let every knight have as many hauberks, helmets, shields and lances, as he has knight's fees in his demise . . .

Moreover, let each and every one of them swear before the feast of St. Hilary he will possess these arms and will bear allegiance to the lord king, Henry, namely the son of empress Maud, and that he will bear these arms in his service according to his order and in allegiance to the lord king and his realm..."

The Assize of 1242, made by King Henry III, required all Englishmen with an income of 25 pounds a year to own a longbow and Churches were required to maintain "butts" for target practice.

1230. Ranulph de Blundeville, the 6th Earl of Chester and Lord of Salford, granted that town a charter as a free borough in 1230. The following is from list of witnesses to the grant. Roger Gernet is in august company here:

William de Vernon - Justicar of Chester 1229-1236, a Lancashire knight attached to the service of William, Earl Ferrers
Simon de Montfort - Son of Simon, Count de Montfort; at this time he had not yet recovered the Earldom of Leicester
Pain de Chaworth - A marcher lord of Gloucestershire [Paganus de Chauros/Choresworth]
Fulk Fitz-Warine - A marcher lord of Shropshire and son of the Runnymede Baron; slain at the battle of Lewes
Gilbert de Segrave - Son of Henry III's unpopular Minister
Walkelin de Arderne - Knight of Aldford in Cheshire
Roger Gernet - Chief Forester of Lancashire
Richard de Vernon - William de Vernon's son
Roger de Derby - Relative of Robert Ferrers, Earl of Derby
Galfride [Geoffrey] de Bury
Hugo de Biron - Gt. Grandson of the founder of Kersal Monastery

Simon de Montfort's name here raises a question. What role did Roger Gernet and his heirs play in the Barons' quarrels with Henry III and what impact might that have had on the family? Note that Simon de Montefort, Robert Ferrers, the Earl of Derby, and Gilbert de Segrave's son, Nicholas, were killed or attainted as a result of their roles in the revolt and their properties were forfeited.

1230-1241. "Grant in frankalmoign, from William de Kellet, to the monks of St. Mary of Furness, for the health of the souls of his father and mother and his brother Gilbert, of one acre of turbary, at the head of Birkelandeberg towards the west. Witnesses: Sir Roger Gernet, Adam de Kellet, Thomas de Kellet, ADam de Urswick, John Gernet of Caton, William de Parles, and Vivian Gerent of Heysham. (Seal)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records "

In the following Roger, and I think his younger brother, Vivian, were witnesses to a grant.

1230–46. "Release by Thomas son of Thomas de Sedgwick to the canons of Cockersand of his right in twelve acres of land which he held of them in the vill of Sedgwick, namely three acres in one croft, eight acres between that croft and the Stryndes and one acre by the brook which is the division between Sedgwick and Hincaster. Witnesses, Matthew de Redman, Richard de Preston. Thomas de Beetham, Roger Gernet, Vivian Gernet, Patrick de Sedgwick and others. Ib. 1046." - from "British History Online"

In 1231 Roger was again assigned as a justice, "Willelmus le Butiller, Galfridus Balistarius, Rogerus Gernet et Adam de Copmanneswra constituti sunt justiciarii ad assisam nove dissaisine capeindam apud Lancastre . . ." - from the "Patent Rolls"

In 1232 "Willelmus Pincerna, Galfridus Balistarius, Rogerus Gernet et Adam de Commannewro constitui justiciarii ad assisam nove dissaisine capiendam apud Lancastre . . ." - from the "Patent Rolls"

Sir Roger Gernet's tenure as Royal Forester was not altogether unscathed by public controversy. First, from an undated reference.

"Lancashire, men of, to be punished for not going to defence of borders, 140n; Roger Gernet, chief forester of." - from "Archaeologia Aeliana: Or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquities" by Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Roger's wife was noted to be Margery.

A complaint was raised by the lepers of St. Leonard [St. Leonardsgate] at Lancaster. A hospice had been founded at Preston in the time of King John to contain and confine the lepers of the region. This hospital of St. Leonard's was extended special privileges by the King for care of these unfortunate social outcasts.

The Lepers of St. Leonards

St. Leonard's hospital was situated at the northern end of St. Leonardgate, in Lancaster. It was a leper hospital in the middle ages, founded by John, then Earl of Mortain, later to be King John, in 1189-94. It was situated next to a small beck which marked the boundary between the borough of Lancaster and the township of Newton. By law, leper hospitals had to be situated outside town boundaries and St. Leonard's was on the Newton side of the beck. The beck was called Jelle Beck in 1684 and today it runs under Factory Hill, the road disappearing behind the White Lion in the photograph. The hospital held only nine inmates. Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster, gave the hospital to the nunnery of Seton in West Cumbria in 1356 and it fell into decay as leprosy declined.

Most leper houses employed staff free of the disease, but at St Leonard's the leper inmates elected their Master from among their own ranks.

Circa 1230, the lepers gravely complained to Henry III that Roger Gernet, Royal Forester at Landesdale [Lonsdale] had been "most grievous to them and troublesome as they assert, greatly harassing them "contrary to the liberties" which they had been granted by charter under King John. Sir Roger Gernet had forbidden the lepers to have dead wood from the forest for burning, nor to take any timber for their buildings. For winter pasturage of their cattle he charged them an ox, and for summer pasturage one cow. On 10 April 1220, Henry III issued a royal writ to the Sheriff ordering that the lepers were no longer to be molested by Roger Gernet and that henceforth they were to have their beasts and herds in the forest without extraction of ox or cow, and also to be allowed to take wood for fuel and timber for building.

"Thus in 7 Henry III [1233], the King issued his mandate to Roger Gernet that the tenants of the Parson of Preston were to have liberty to take such wood as they required for the purpose our of the "haye" of Fulwood, and in confirming the right of pastuage on Fulwood Moor granted by King John, he added the privilege of taking therefrom such land as might be required for enlargement of the town. The perambulators of the forests of Lancashire in 2 Henry III, [1228], reported that in addition they were also entitled to fuel and pasture for their cattle." - Preston, Lancashire Parish History
From a footnore,
"The hospital of lepers at Lancaster, dedicated to St. Leonard, is said to have been founded by King John, when he was Count of Mortain and lord of the honour of Lancaster, 1189-94. The first mention of the hospital occurs in his confirmation charter of the church of Lancaster to St. Martin of Sees, between 1189-93. The following letters close of Henry III. give some particulars as to the liberties enjoyed by this hospital--"The King to the sheriff of Lancaster greeting. The lepers of St. Leonard of Lancaster, gravely complaining, have given us to understand that whereas they were established and founded in our alms, and, in the time of the lord John, our father, used to have their own animals in our forest of Landesdale quit, and dead wood (busca) for burning, and timber for their own buildings, by the charter of our said father, which they had thereof, and which through the inroad of our enemies in the time of the past hostility they have lost, as they say: Roger Gernet, forester of the said forest, being most grievious to them and troublesome as they assert, greatly harasses them contrary to the liberties which they have by the said charter, taking from them for winter pasturage one ox, and for summer pasturage one cow, not permitting them to have, as they used to have, dead wood for burning and timber for their buildings. We therefore command you, firmly enjoining you, to cause them to have peace from the said Roger Gernet and others who harass and molest them, and also that henceforth they shall have their flocks and beasts quit in the said forest, without any exaction of ox or cow, and deadwood to burn and timber for their buildings, as they may have need, and used to have by the charter which they had from our said father. Witness, Hubert de Burgh, our justicar, at Kennington, on the 10th day of April, anno 4," 1220." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 88, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Similarly the "Preston, Lancaster History" notes that,
"An order from King Henry III was issued in the seventh year of his reign [1233], commanding Roger Gernet to permit the vassals of the nephew of the Bishop of Winchester, "parson of the church of Preston, to have reasonable estovers in the hay of Preston, to repair their houses and enclosures, and to have the other necessaries which the desmene vassals of crown were accustomed to have in the time of King John, during the wars between him and his barons.""
The following provides the same information, but note that Roger is referred to with the surname Gerneter, referring back to a possible source of the name from the French grenetier, a grain warehouse official.
"For the lepers of St. Leonard. The king has granted to the lepers of St. Leonard’s, Lancaster that they may take brush in the king’s forest of Loudscales for their fires and timber for their own buildings, and that they may have their beasts and cattle in the same forest quit, so that they are not to give one ox for their winter pasture and one cow for their summer pasture for as long as it pleases the king. Order to Roger Gerneter to permit them to take brush for their fire and timber for their buildings in that forest and to permit them to have their beasts and cattle therein without taking an ox or cow, as aforesaid." - from the Fine Rolls of Henry III

18 Henry III [1233]. Concerning assessing tailage. "Lancaster. Roger Gernet. Geoffrey Crossbowman, with the sheriff." - from "Henry III Fine Rolls Project"

Circa 1233 - A charter of John de la Mare, knight, Lord of Croston, granting patronage of the church of Croston to the Abbot of Sees [St. Marys Lancaster was under their direction] was witnessed by "William de Lancaster, Roger Gernet, Geoffrey the Bowman, Matthew de Redman, Adam de Molyneux, Alan of Singleton, William his son, Simon the clerk, the sheriff, Warin de Walton, Randolph of Hull, Walter of Hull, Richard Blundell, Henry de Winton, John of Hackensall, Philip the clerk, and many others." - from "Materials for . . ." "British History Online" treats this as occurring "a few years earlier" than the following charter of Roger's.

Circa 1236 - Similarly, I have a source that shows that Roger of Poitou had granted a charter for a church in Croston, in the Hundred of Leyland, in Lancashire as a dependency to St. Mary’s Priory in Lancaster. This grant was later confirmed by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, and "Sir Roger Garnet, of Halton, knight."

From "Preston, Lancaster History,"

"Fishwick - According to the Testa de Nevill, Roger Gernet held Fisewic or Fyswyc by serjeanty as forester. It was valued at twenty shillings per annum. Sir William Dacre, in the reign of Edward I, acquired the manor of Fishwick by marriage with Joane, heiress of Benedick Gernet. Ranulph de Dacre fell at the battle of Towton-field [during the War of the Roses]. His estates were by attainder forteited to the crown."
The following indicates the tangled web of property ownership. From "Preston, Lancashire Parish History":
"At the Michaelmas Term, 7 and 8 Henry III [1233-1234], Adam de Preston, essoiner [from essoin, an excuse for not appearing in court. An essoiner is an attorney who acts in the absence of another] of Nicholas de Fishwic, who was attorney for William le Vilein and Cecily his wife, sued Roger de Gernet, brother and heir of William Gernet, in a plea to warrant to them the manor of Fishwic; two years later William Gernet [of Lydiate?] quit claimed to Roger, William, and Cecily, all his rights in the manor. Subsequently the entire manor came into the possession of Roger de Gernet, who held it by serjeancy and forestry. According to the Testa de Nevill the manor was at this time valued at xxs. a year; certain lands were however alienated from the serjeancy, of these were a bovate and three acres held by Roger the clerk of Fishwyk, from William Watchet and William Silvestre, at a rental of half a mark a year; a moiety of a mill and twenty acres of land and wood held by Baldwin de Preston, by an annual payment of 3s 2d; and of the heirs of Robert de Assarte of twenty-two acres and wood, subject to a yearly rental of 2s 5d; all these paid the customary service. From Roger Gernet the manor descended to Benedict Gernet, whose daugther and heiress Joan married William de Dacre (son and heir of Ranulph de Dacre, Governor of Carlisle) . . . in 1297 he held only the fourth part of a knight's fee in Fixwyk of Lord Edmund."

Def: Essoin - An essoin is an excuse for not appearing in court. Essoins are divided into essoins de malo veniendi, short term, and essoins de malo lecti, long term.

17 Henry III [3 January 1233]. "Gloucester. For Roger Gernet. The king has granted to Roger Gernet, forester of the fee of the county of Lancaster, the custody of Wyresdale, Grizedale and Calderdale, to have in the same manner that he had them before the king granted it to H. de Burgh, in order to keep the vert and venison and the other things that pertain to the king’s forest, saving to the king his vaccaries and stock that he has in those parts, and he is to be ready to have it when he wishes. Order to P. de Rivallis to cause Roger to have full seisin of the aforesaid custody, as aforesaid." - from "Henry III Fine Rolls Project"

19 Henry III [18 May 1235]. "Between Richard Waleys (Walensis), Blethin de Acton, and Madoc de Acton, plaintiffs, and Roger Gernet and Quenild his wife, Thomas de Bethum, and Avice de Mullum [Quenild's sister, Amuria, married Thomas de Beetham and her sister, Avice, married William de Millum, who died], deforciants, by the said Roger, put in the place of the said Quenild and Avice, respecting the advowson of the Church of Action with the appurtenances." Roger and company lost the case and quit-claimed for two marks of silver - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.

1235. "The superior lords-Roger Gernet and Quenilda his wife, Thomas de Beetham, and Avice de Millum-allowed the right of Richard le Waleys, Bleddyn de Aughton, and Madoc de Aughton to present to the benefice, which was then vacant." - from "British History Online. These three were the lords of Aughton."

A snippet: "The case of Roger Gernet in 1236-37 illustrates some of the difficulties a forester in fee might have in maintaining his rights against powerful men--in this . . ." - from "The Royal Forests of Medieval England" by Charles Robert Young

1236-1252. From a "Charter of Roger de Guernet [sic] concerning the church of Eccleston. "To all the sons of holy mother church to whom this present writing shall come, Roger Gernet of Halton, knight, greeting . . . . Let all of you know that I, from inspection of the confirmations of the Kings of England, and of the charters of Lord Roger of Poitou, founder of the church of the blessed Mary of Lancaster . . . have determined that the right of the patronage of the church of Eccleston, with its appurtenances in Leylandshire, of rights belongs to the Abbot and Convent of Sees, and to the church of the blessed Mary of Lancaster . . . These being witnesses - Sir Robert de Lathom, then sheriff of Lancaster, Sir Matthew de Redman, Sir John de la Mare, Sir John de Lee, Sir William de Clifton, Sir Adam of Bury, Warin de Walton, Richard Pincerna, Thomas of Capernwray, Adam of Kellet, Adam of Ursewick, Roger of Heysham [Rogero de Hesham], Roger Gernet of Caton [Rogero Gernet de Caton], Philip, rector of the church of Croston, and many others. " - from "Materials for . . . " Sir Robert de Lathom was High Sheriff of Lancaster in 1236, 1249 to 1255, and 1264 to 1265.

1236-1252. "Know all present and to come that I, Adam, son of Gilbert of Bolton, have given, granted . . . to Thomas of Capernwray and his heirs . . . two acres of my land in the territory of Bolton . . . These being witnesses - Sir (R.) of Lathom [Robert de Lathum], then sheriff of Lancaster; Roger Gernet, Adam of Kellet, Simon, son of Michael of Bolton; Thomas, son of Roger of Lancaster; William, clerk of Lancaster, and others." - from Materials for . . ." Robert de Lathum of Parbold and Knowsley was Sheriff circa 1236, 1249-1255, and 1264 to 1265.

". . . Thomas, son of Adam of Bolton, . . . Know ye that I have given . . . to Richard of Halton, chaplain, for his homage and service, four acres of my land in the field of Bolton of my demesne . . . These being witnesses - Sir Roger Gernet of Halton, Adam of Kellet, Thomas of Capernwray, Adam, son of Gilbert, Henry, the clerk of Bolton, with many others." - from "Materials for . . ."

20 Henry III 1236. "Also know ye that the ancestors of Roger Gernet were enfeoffed of one fee in Halton within the county for which the said Roger does no service to the King, but says that he holds that fee by reason of keeping ward of the forest of the King." - from page 145 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Circa 1240. "Robert de Stokeport, Roger Gernet and Thomas de Bethum hold the 5th part of a knight in Kyrkeby of the said fee." - from "The Fees of the Heir of the Earl of Lincoln in Derbishire" page 149 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Circa 1240. "Roger Gernet, Thomas de Bethum, and Robert de Stokeport, hold the 4th part of a knight in Burstad Brining in chief of the King" - from "The Fees of Theobald Walter" page 153 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Circa 1240. "Roger Gernet holds the 24th part and the 48th part of a knight in Little Karlton of the said fee." - from "The Fee of William de Lancastre" page 154 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

From the UK Archives, the papers of Molyneux, Earls of Sefton:
- Ante 1238, "William of Ferrars, Earl of Derby, with the consent of Agnes his wife and for the health of the souls of himself, his wife, and Ranulf late Earl of Chester [he died in 1233], to the church of the blessed Mary of Myravall -- all that part of the pasture and woods in Althekar, viz. as Mosterepul descends in a straight line from the moss by the Wythynis a far as Althe, and then following Althe as far as Alepul, and so following Alepul as far as Wyldemareful, and from Wyldemareful by the bounds of the Hays to the aforesaid Mosterepul -- to hold in frankalmoign. Witn. Robert, lord of Esseburne, then steward, the lord Norman Panton, the lord Roger Gernet, Robert of Mungay, Oliver the Foun, Henry of Waleton, Robert of Hulton, Henry of Chaddesden, Adam of Eynulvesdale, Robert of Clayton, William of Rolveston, clerk. Seal and secretum."

1242. "In 1242 Robert de Stockport, Roger Gernet, and Thomas de Beetham, held it [Kirkby manor] in right respectively of Maud, mother of Robert, Quenilda, wife of Roger, and Amunria, wife of THomas. Quenilda died childless in 1252, and Kirkby was afterwards held in moieties by Sir Robert de Stockport and Sir Ralph de Beetham." - from "British History Online." Quenilda also held a ploughland of Walton church by the yearly service of 3s. 4d.

In 1245-6 the Assize Rolls have this entry, "Of serjeantries: they say that Roger Gernet of Halton holds 3 Carucates in Demesne and 5 in service in Halton and Lek by serjeantry as Keeper of the King’s forests in that county, worth yearly £7." In the same Assize it was said that Roger Gernet had the whole town of Rybeton [Royton] to farm of Alice de Byrun. - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.

Def: Assize Rolls - Before 1971 most serious crimes in England were tried before pairs of professional judges who went on circuits through groups of counties, holding 'assize' sessions in each county twice a year. The Quarter Sessions Court would refer serious or difficult cases up to the assizes. Conversely, cases not dealt with by the assize judges before moving on to the next county were left with the Quarter Sessions, so the jurisdiction of the two courts often coincided. The assize circuits had their own Clerks of Assize who kept all the records, which ultimately found their way to the Public Record Office. These were the Assize Rolls.

Roger Gernet 'de Caton' was shown to have "granted land in the territory of Welslet" and the deed is witnessed by Sir Roger Gernet de Halton, Roger de Hesam, Adam de Katon, etc. This entry is the strongest evidence of the use of domain names to differentiate members of the Gernet family, and of the origin of the Heysham/Hissem family name.

The following is from the Chartulary of Cockersand. Donatores were those offering the services of their villeins, nativi, to the abbey at Cockersand. It is a prime example of the confusion caused by the use of de Hesham as both a title, for the Gernets, and a residence, for the villeins. I'm not sure of the date, but I suspect circa 1250. Roger, son of Vivian Gernet de Hesham, lived circa 1230 to 1285. I believe Thomas Gernet de Hesham was Roger's younger brother, mentioned in the records from 1247 to 1253. Another donatore, Thomas de Coupmanwra, was of age to witness charters 1252-1269. Roger Gernet of Halton held the manor from 1207 to 1252. Roger Gernet of Caton held that manor from 1241 to 1251. Matheus de Redeman of Yealand was witnessing charters from circa 1229 to 1252.

Nomina nativorum de quibus cartas habemus et Donatorum, De Lonnesdale et Kendale.
[The names of the bondmen granted to the canons by charter, with the names of the donors in Lonsdale and Kendale]

Donatores: Rogerus filius Wiviani Gernet de Hesham
- Nativi: Adam filius Ricardi filii Rogeri de Hesham
- Nativi: Rogerus f. [filius] Adae f. Michaelis cum sequerla
- Nativi: Alanus f. Adae de Hesham c.s. [cum sequerla]
- Nativi: Adam f. Brun f. Michaelis c.s.
- Nativi: Adam f. Michaelis de Hesham c.s.
- Nativi: Ricardus f. Adae f. Michaelis c.s.
- Nativi: Thomas f. Radulfi f. Gilberti c.
- Nativi: Radulfus f. Simonis de Hesham
- Nativi: Adam f. Simonis praepositi c.s.
- Nativi : Gilbertus f. Radulfi de Hesham c.s.

Donatores: Thomas Gernet de Hesham
- Nativi: Ricardus f. Radulfi de Hesham c.s.
- Nativi: Rogerus f. Simonis generis Ormi.
- Nativi: Benedictus f. Simonis c.s.

Donatores: Rogerus Gernet de Halcton
- Nativi: Hutredus f. Willelmi f. Radulphi de Lec c.s.
- Nativi: Benedictus f. Benedicti praepositi de Lec.

Donatores: Rogerus Gernet de Catuna
- Nativi: Ricardus f. Ricardi de Catona
- Nativi: Adam f. Roberti de Caton.


- from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester" by Chetham Society, page 1057-8.

The following undated deeds, all from Eboracensia deeds, mention Roger. One mentions a Wyman Gernet. They deal, in one way or another, with the priory of St. Cuthbert of Lytham, founded by Quenilda's father. Remember that the Millum's, Stockports and Beetham's, below, had married sisters of Quenilda.

"Grant, by Avicia daughter of Richard son of Roger, with the consent of William of Millum her husband, for the souls of herself her husband their fathers and mothers and their ancestors, to God, St. Cuthbert of Lytham and the Durham monks there, of the homage of Richard son of Roger Driwri of Carleton with his chattels and suit; sealed by herself and her husband. Witnesses: William Butler; Roger Gernet; Thomas of Beetham; Wyman Gernet; Henry parson of Whittington; Richard son of Robert of Carleton & Multis Aliis. Language: Latin No date"
"Grant, by Adam, son of Roger chaplain of Lytham, with the consent of Ameria his wife and his heirs, for the souls of his father and all his benefactors, to God, blessed Cuthbert of Durham, and the monks of Durham at Lytham, of 1 selion in the vill of Warton - between the land of dom [dominus, i.e. Sir] Thomas of Beetham and that of Robert son of Eward. Witnesses: Roger Gernet; Thomas of Beetham; Eustace Butler; Stephen Butler; Henry son of Eward; Robert his brother; Roger, Adam, his brothers; William of Cockersand & multis aliis. Language: Latin No date"
"Grant in free alms, by Roger son of Quenilda, lady of Warton, with the consent of Eda his wife and his heirs, to God, blessed Cuthbert of Lytham and the monks of Durham there, of 1 house in Warton with a croft of 3 acres - from East Dyke to the land that was Matilda's, wife of Hugh miller, from the road to Stobbegate - and 3 selions between Stobbegate and Blackfield. Witnesses: Roger Gernet; Adam of Houghton; Eustace of Warton; Henry son of Edward; Robert his brother; Adam his brother; Roger of Freckleton; William of Cockersand; & Multis aliis. Language: Latin No date"
"Grant in free alms, by Beatrice daughter of Adam of Kellamergh, for the souls of herself, Adam and Clarice her father and mother, and her ancestors and successors, to God, blessed Cuthbert and the monks of Durham at Lytham, of 1 house in the vill of Kellamergh and ½ acre in the croft of the vill at the east between the land of dom Thomas of Beetham and that of Richard of Kellamergh. Witnesses: Robert of Stockport; Roger Gerneth [sic]; Thomas of Beetham; William of Clifton; Richard of Freckleton; Alan of Singleton; & multis aliis. Language: Latin No date"
"Grant in free alms, by Adam son of Swain of Catforth, for the souls of himself, his father and mother, ancestors and successors, to God, blessed Cuthbert and the monks of Durham at Lytham, of 1 house in the vill of Kellamergh and ½ acre in its croft at the east between the land of dom Thomas of Beetham and that held by Richard of Kellamergh. Witnesses: Robert of Stockport; Roger Gernet; T. of Beetham; William of Clifton; Adam of Houghton; Richard of Freckleton; Alan of Singleton; & multis aliis. Language: Latin No date"
Who was Wyman? Perhaps it was Wynan/Brian de Gernet of the Heysham line of the family. Notice the Butlers. Were these members of the le Boteler family?

"Of Serjeanties Arrented by Robert de Passelewe in the Time of King Henry, son of King John (1247-1251).
The Serjeanty of Roger Gernet.

Of the abbot of Furnes for 18 acres of land and for pasturage for 500 sheep of the serjeanty of Roger Gernet of Halgton, if he has not to recover against his warrant . . . 20s. And if he has to recover then he shall give 26s., or the land and pasturage shall remain in the King's hand. Of Margery del Beck for 16 acres of land of the same serjeanty . . . 3s. 4d."
The Serjeanty of Roger Gernet in Halton and Fissewik.

for which he ought to keep ward of the King's forest in the county of Lancastre, has been alienated by divers small parcels. Of Roger the clerk of Fissewyk for one bovate and 3 acres of land, and for 2 acres of land which William Wachet and William Silvester hold of him which have been alientated from the said serjeanty, by the year . . . 6s. 8d. And he shall perform the service of the 20th part of one fee. Of Baldewin de Preston for the moiety of a mill and 20 acres of land and wood, which he holds in Fissewik, alienated from that serjeanty, by the year . . . 3s. 2d. And he shall perform the serive of the 40th part of one fee. Of John, son of John, for 6 acres of land which he holds in Fissewik, alientated from that serjeanty, by the year . . . 2s. And he shall perform the service of the 50th part of one fee. Of the heirs of Roger del Ridding (de Assarto) for 22 acres of land and wood which he holds in Fissewik, alienated from that serjeanty, by the year . . . 2s. 6d. And he shall perform the service of the 50th part of one fee. Of William Wachet for 4 acres of land which he holds in Fiskewik, alienated from the same serjeanty, by the year . . . 6d. Of William son of Richard for 3 acres of land which he holds [in Fissewik] alienated from the same serjeanty, by the year . . . 4d. Of Roger Gernet for 30 acres of land in Halghton alienated from the same serjeanty, by the year . . . 40d. And he shall perform the serive of the 50th part of one fee" - from page 178-180 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Another example of the duties of the Forester:

". . . in Lancaster castle with timber to be delivered by Roger Gernet in the hay of Lancaster, the cost to be credited by view.

To the same. Contrabreve to carry to Newcastle-on-Tyne 30 stags which the king ordered him to take in the forest of Lancaster." - from "Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"

Sir Roger died in 1252, "36 Hen. II., leaving a son, Benedict Gernet." - from "The Battle Abbey Roll." Geoffrey de Langeley, justicar of the Forest, directed an inquiry into what lands Roger held of the King at the time of his death.

"XVII. Roger Gernet.--Inq. p. m.
[36 Henry III., No.59.]
Writ dated at Westminster, May 8th, 36th year (1252), directed to Geoffrey de Langeley, justicar of the Forest, to inquire what manner of bailiwick Roger Gernet had in the King's forest of Lancaster, at the time of his death, by what service he held it, how much it was worth yearly, what lands and tenements he held appertaining to that bailiwick, what they are yearly worth in all issues, and who is his next heir.
"Inquest made at Lancaster, on the morrow of Holy Trinity, 36 Henry III (May 27th, 1252), before Robert de Lathum, and Thomas de Coupmanwra, appointed to make inquiry, &c., by William de Tunstal, Adam de Weni[n]tton, William de Coupmanwra, Benedict de Gersingham, Adam de Katon, Adam, son of Gillebert, Adam de Midelton, William Banes, Willian Sturnel, William de Tunstal, clerk, John de Oxeclive, Matthew de Burgh, Hugh de Mitton, Walter de Barton, Gillebert de Meles, Richard de Frekilton, William de Pres, William de Ecliston, William de Marton, Henry de Notincham, clerk, Thomas de Laton, Adam de Ecliston, Roger de Brocholes, Adam de Stalmyn, William de Molyneus, Richard Travers, William de Litherlond, William de Lithate, Roger de Melling, Roger de Holand, Robert de Sutton, Rober de Ecliston, Warin de Waleton, Geoffrey de Longeton, John de Clayton, Hugh Gogard, John de Copul, and Richard, son of Gilbert, who say that Roger Gernet was forester of fee to keep vert and venison in the forest of Lancaster; the issue of the said forest is worth 64s. 3d. yearly, and when a forge is raised in the forest, the said Roger's share of iron is worth 9s. yearly.

The said Roger held in chief of the King by bailiwick of the forest 3 carucates of land in the vill of Halton, of which the church of St. Wilfrid of Halton has been enfeoffed of one carucate in frankalmoign, the advowson whereof belongs to the said Roger; the Abbot of Furness also holds 18 acres of land and pasturage for 500 sheep in the said vill, rendering farm to the King; Margaret, the widow, also holds 16 acres there, rendering farm to the King, and so the residue is yearly worth 40s. He aslo had there two water corn mills yearly worth 40s. and one fulling mill worth 14s yearly.

He also held in chief of the King one carucate of land in the vill of Lec by service in the forest, worth in all issues 27s. yearly; and a water corn mill worth 15s. yearly. He also held in the same vill of Lec, 2 carucates of land by service of the forest, which Matthew de Burgh and the heir of Katon hold of him in fee by knight's service.

In the vill of Burgh he held 6 carucates of land of the King by service of the forest, which Richard de Bugh and Matthew de Burgh hold of him by knight's service; he also held there a mill worth 6s. yearly.

In Fiswic he held one carucate of land in chief of the King by service of the forest--viz. 8 bovates, of which Roger de Fiswic holds one bovate with the appurtenances rendering farm to the King, and certain others hold 60 acres there [parcel] of the said land, rendering farm to the King; the residue of this land was yearly worth 30s. to the use of the said Roger; he also had a mill there yearly worth 30s.; and the moiety of a fishery in the water of Ribbil, of which Roger de Fiswic has an eighth part belonging to his bovate, the residue was yearly worth 20s. to the use of the said Roger Gernet.

"In Lailondschire he held in chief of Sir William, earl of Ferrers, 2 carucates of land in the vill of Ecliston by service of the forest, and to find one judge at the County [court] of Lancaster, and one suitor at the said Earl's court, of which land one carucate is in demesne, worth 17s. yearly, and Warin de Waleton holds of him the other carucate by service of 4s. yearly for all service.

In the vill of Quistan he held of the said earl 4 1/2 carucates of land by service of the forest, which Richard de Wiston holds of him by knight's service, with the advowson of the church of Prestecot [interlineation].

In the vill of Spec he had 2 carucates of land [which he held] of the said earl, by service of the forest, which William de Molyneus holds in frank marriage, and the said Roger received nothing from thence.

In the vill of Halton he had the moiety of a fishery in the water of Lon, yearly worth 10s. [held] of the King. Of all these lands, rents and services late belonging to Roger Gernet--except the custody of the forest--Cecily de Mascy, sometime wife of William Gernet, brother of the said Roger, has her third part in the name of dower. They further say that the said Roger rendered 12l. yearly to the King for the issues of the forest.

Benedict Gernet [his son] is his next heir and of full age." - from page 186-188 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Margaret, wife of Roger, page 187
Footnote. "Benedict Gernet gave 40 marks for his relief, and had livery of his father's lands by writ dated June 20th, 1252." - from page 188 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
There was another inquest made at Preston on 11 April 1252 respecting the same. They held the same as the previous inquest, but added, "The Lady Cecily de Mascy, widow of William Gernet, brother of Sir Roger Gernet, has her third part throughout both in demesnes and all other rents and services in the name of dower. They also say that [the said Roger] used to pay 12l. yearly for the issues of the forest." - from page 189 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Roger's widow, Quenilda, died [childless per "British History Online"], about a month after her husband. She died seised of two plough-lands held in chief of William Earl Ferrers, by the yearly service of 8s. 4d. The inquest post mortem of Quenilda was settled at Westminster on 8 April 1252. A further inquest was held at Lancaster on 13 May 1252, below. It named Robert de Stokeport and Sir Ralph de Bethum as her only heirs. They were the sons of Quenilda's sisters [Matilda had married a Stockport and Amuria married Thomas de Beetham]. Remember that a Gernet daughter also married into the Stokeport family. I suspect this confirms that Benedict was the son of Roger's first wife since this second one stiffed him.

"XVIII. Quenilda, Widow of Roger Gernet.--Inq. p. m.
[36 Henry III., No.63.]
Writ dated at Westminster, April 28th, 36th year, directed to Thomas de Stanford and his co-escheator, in co. Lancaster.
"Inquest made at Lancaster, on Monday next after the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, 36 Henry III. (May 13th, 1252), by Richard de Frekelton, Roger de Brochale, Walter de Barton, Gilbert de Meles, William de Marton, Thomas de Laton, William de Prees, William de Ecleston, Warrin de Waleton, . . . John de [Stayn]ul, John de Clayton, Adam de Bikerstad, William de Litherlond, William de Lide[ate], Roger de Melling, Roger de Hollonde, Robert de Sutton, Robert de Ecleston, Madoc de Acheton, John de Grehum, Matthew de Burgh, . . . William Sturnel and William de Wraton, who say that Lady Quenilda held in chief of the King one carucate . . . one (?) bovate and a half of land in the vill of Brunigg by knight's service, where 12 carucates make one knight's fee worth withi all issues 43s. yearly. In the vill of Clahton she held 2 carucates of land in chief of Edmund de Lasci, earl of Lincoln, by knight's service, but she received nothing thence except wardship and relief. In the vill of Neusum she held of the said earl 2 bovates of land by knight's service, from which she received at Christmas 2 spurs of the price of 3d., worth 3d. yearly. In the vill of Carleton she held one carucate of land in chief of the heir of Sir William de Lancaster by knight's service, from which she received yearly one penny of farm at St. Michael, and so that land is yearly worth one penny.

They further say that she owes one suit in the Court of the heirs of Sir William de Lancaster at Gayrstang. Of the heirs of Sir William de Lindeshye she held in chief by the yearly service of 4s. 5d., 5 bovates and a quarter of land in the vill of Witthinton, which land owes suit to the Wapentake [court] of Lonesdale and (?) the County [court] of Lancaster, and the relief for the performance of suit, saving the said 4s. 5d., is worth 20s. to . . . heir of the said Lady Quenilda. In the vill of Lancaster she held of Sir Richard de Vernun [one burgage] and a small plat whereon she had during her time a bakery (furnus) but it paid nothing, being broken down and waste; which burgage she held by exchange for the fourth part of Apelbi in co. Leicester, and that burgage is worth 2s. yearly. In Bretherton she held one carucate of land in chief of the earl of Lincoln by knight's service, but she received nothing therefrom except wardship and relief. In the vill of Achton in Derbischyr she held one carucate of land in chief of Sir William, earl of Ferrers, by knight's service, but she received nothing these except wardship and relief. In the vill of Botele she held in demesne one carucate of land with the appurtenances in chief of the church of St. Mary of Waleton, by the service of 40d. yearly at the feast days of St. Mary and the Annunciation, the residue is worth 33s 4d. in all issues of land to her own use, saving the said 40d. In the vill of Kirkby she held one carucate of land in demesne with the appurtenances in chief of Edmund de Lascy by knight's service, worth in all issues 40s. to her own use. In the vill of Formeby she held in demesne 2 carucates of land in chief of Sir William, earl of Ferrers, by the yearly service of 8s. 4d., which Margery de Samelesburi holds.

They also say that Robert de Stokeport and Sir Ralph de Bethum are her next heirs and of lawful age." - from page 189-191 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Also,
"In the year [April] 1252, Quenild, widow of Roger Gernet, died seised of Claughton, which she held of Edmund de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, by the service of 1/4th knight's fee, and 2s. 2d. for Castleguard." - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.
Is this an indicater that Quenilda was a de Lacey?

Cloughton

A village on the moors in the North Riding of Yorkshire, near Scarborough, on the east coast of England. A circle of stone megaliths indicates its ancient origins.


Castleguard

Or Castleward. The feudal military service of manning a lord's castle, that is, to be part of the garrison for a period of time each year. Like most such services it came to be rendered in payment of a fee.

A year following Sir Roger's death a royal directive was issued that reinstated Benedict Gernet, son of Roger Gernet by his first wife, to the hereditary office of Royal Forester.

I do have another reference that is a bit confusing.

". . . the king's porter, of the wardship of the land and heirs of Roger Gernet, tenant in chief, with the marriage of the heirs. Mandate to William le Latymer . . ." - from the "Patent Rolls of the Reign of Henry III"
Does this mean that the king's porter had wardship of Roger's son, Benedict?

Roger's children were,
(6) Sir Benedict de Gernet (c1215)
(6) John de Gernet (c1215)
(6) William de Gernet (c1215)

(6) Sir Benedict de Gernet (c1215)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173)

Benedict, the son of Roger and his firt wife, was born in about 1215 in Halton, Lancashire, though some sources show this event occurring as late as 1230. The latter date makes more sense considering he may have witnessed land grants as late as 1303.

A crest of "A swan's head and neck held in a dexter hand, ppr." appeared "on the seal of Benedict de Gernet, the sixth and last hereditary Royal Forester as early as A.D. 1243, while the arms are given in a . . . " - from "The Virginia Magazine of History" by Philip Alexander Bruce.

Benedict, presumably the son of Roger, was a witness on a grant. This occurred in the years before he succeeded his father.

1246–49. "Patrick de Sigeswic [Sedgweick] gave to the canons of Cockersand two acres of land in a place called Priestmire bank in Sigeswic, namely the two acres which lie next Priestmire on the north, and all his land called Lincolne and half an acre of land for a messuage between that land called Lincolne and Priestmire meadow. And Hereward, called abbot of Cockersand, and the convent granted to Thomas son of Patrick de Siggiswic, for his homage and service, two acres of land in the vill of Siggiswic, in a place called Priestemirebanke (as described above) rendering therefor yearly 12d. of silver for all service. If he should be able to acquire any land within the same vill up to six acres, it should be counted under the said farm of 12d. At the decease of the said Thomas, his wife, his heirs or their wives, half a mark of silver shall be lovingly bequeathed to the church of Cockersand. Witnesses: to both charters, Matthew de Redeman, then sheriff of Lancastre, Roger de Lancastre [of Rydal?], Richard de Preston, Benedict Gernet, Thomas de Levenes, Richard de Godem(und); Chartul. of Cockersand, 1046–48." - from "British History Online"

Benedict Gernet succeeded his father as Chief Forestor in 1253. He was initially dispossessed, perhaps by his step-mother, Quenilda, upon his father's death in 1252. A year following a royal directive was issued that reinstated Benedict's land and the hereditary office of Royal Forester. He gave 40 marks for his relief and had livery of his father's lands by writ dated 20 June 1252/3. Who held the title of forester in the interim is unknown.

Benedict's arms were Gules, a lion rampant, argent, ducally crowned or, engrailed of the last. The crest was a swan's head and neck held in a dexter hand, ppr. The motto was Diligentia et honore - see Sir J. Bernard Burke's "General Armoury." "The crest appears on the seal of Benedict de Gernet, the sixth and last hereditary Royal forester as early as A.D. 1243 [sic]." - from "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography." That is, in order, Vivian - Adam - Benedict - William - Roger - Benedict II. The swans head "erased proper" is perhaps the more correct phrasing. This may be either a reference to the role of forester, or a link to the de Lacy family whose arms included three swan's erased.

1253. "Indenture of agreement between the abbott and convent of Furness, and Benedict Gernet, son and heir of Roger Gernet, of Halton, in the controversy moved between them in the Exchequer, touching the yearly payment of a rent of 26s for 18 acres of land and pasture for 500 sheep in the territory of Halton. Witnesses: Sir Gilbert de Walton, bailiff of Hornby, Sir William de Tunstall, Sire Thomas, rector of Halton and dean of Lancaster, Thomas de Coupmanwra, Gervase de Oxeclive, steward of the abbot of Furness, and Adam de Kellet." - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records."

The fortunes of the Gernet family appear to have peaked with Benedict's father, Roger, and now began a slide culminating in the loss of the title and income of Forester in 1280. Despite this, Benedict's daughter married the heir of a powerful family and was mother to a Baron. An alternate theory is based on not knowing the date of Benedict's death. If we assume it was in 1280 when the title of Forestor was given up, which is not unreasonable, then the family's loss is tied not to some residue of rebellion, but to Benedict not having a male heir. In this case the title of Forester was inherited by Benedict's son-in-law. However, note that in the "Peerage of the United Kingdom and Ireland," Volumes I-IV, he was referred to as the "sometime Forester of Lancaster Forest," that is, at some point during his adult life he was not the Forester.

Benedict was Lord of Halton and Forester of Lancashire from 1253 until 1280. He is also sometimes shown as the Baron of Bluet [Blewett]. I don't know what or where Bluet is, though there is an ancient family of that name. This information is untrustworthy and appears to be based on the mistaken belief that Baron Dacre married a daughter of Sir William Bluet vice of Benedict Gernet.

The loss of the forest may also have been due to more general concerns of mismanagement of the King's resources. In 1244-1245, while Sir Roger was still alive, Robert de Passelewe had held a great inquisition of the royal forests.

He investigated "the injuries done to the king by the inhabitants of the Forest, who had enlarged their fields at the expense of the vert, put up buildings, made parks and warrens, sold wood and charcoal, pastured cattle and horses, and all without any legal authorization . . . Robert de Passelewe punished these offences severely, and despoiled of their goods, drove from their houses, imprisoned, banished, or reduced to beggary, a large number of people, both clergy and laymen, nobles and commons . . . Robert de Passelwe had also to deal with corrupt foresters." - from "Studies and Notes Supplementary to Stubbs' Constitutional History Down to the Great Charter" by Charles Petit-Dutaillis, Georges Lefebvre, Walter Eustace Rhodes, William Templeton Waugh, Marion Eva Irvine Robertson, and Reginald Francis Treharne.
Robert de Passelewe was a King's clerk and Archdeacon of Lewes. He was elected by the King to be Bishop of Chichester, but was not confirmed by the Archbishop as being "insufficiently learned and unsuited to the office." He was a great favorite of Henry III because, as Justice of the Forest, he had collected vast sums of money for the King through fines. Not surprisingly, he was known to the people and the nobles as "oppressive."

Were the Gernet's investigated and punished? After generations of holding this lucrative post, and probably coming to think of the forest as their own, it would be surprising if they had not abused their authority. Henry III and Edward I were intent on ensuring their rights, and fees, in the Forest. Subsequent inquisitions into the conduct of foresters were carried out in 1253, in the general eyre of 1269 to 1271, and in 1277 for the forests south of the Trent. These sometimes led to the removal of officers. The Constuetudines et Assise de Foresta laid down the Forest laws and was intended to safeguard the rights of the King.

North of the Trent

The Trent river arises in Staffordshire, flowing northeast through the Midlands, before joining the Ouse river, which flows past York, and empties into the North Sea. The river marked the boundary between the administration of the Royal Forests north and south of the river. Similarly, the phrase "born North of the Trent" refers to someone from the North of England.

Benedict, like his father, was Lord of Fishwick and Eccleston, small villages in the Ribble valley of Lancashire.

The next two notations are undated, but are the clearest indications of the kinds of duties falling under the title of Forester:

"May 23. To the sheriff of Northampton. Contrabreve, whereas the king is sending Robert de Mares and Benedict Gernet to take 6 bucks in his park of Northampton and 10 in the forest of Witleuuode or his park of Hanle, to receive the venison and salt it and carry it to Westminster against the coming Witsuntide." - from "Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office."
"To the bailiff of Selveston. Contrabreve to carry 12 bucks, which Benedict Gernet, king's yeoman, is sent to take in the park of Hanleg', as taken day by day, to the king wherever he is." - from "Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office" by William Henry Stevenson, Cyril Thomas Flower
"To the sheriff of Surrey. The like as to 10 bucks to be taken by Warner Luvel and Benedict Gernet the king's huntsmen in his park at Geudeford [Guildford, on the west side of the Wey river]." - from "Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office" by William Henry Stevenson, Cyril Thomas Flower

Benedict is mentioned in the UK Archives:
- 1246-1249. "Gift of 2a. land in the town of Siggeswic [Sedgwick] at Prestemirebanke, lying facing Prestemire on the north side; all land of (1) called Lincolne and ½a. 'to a messuage' between Lincolne and the meadow of Prestemire; with provision for extra land within the town (up to 6a.) to be included in the lease [sic] if (2) can acquire it; also, ½ mark to be paid to the monastery on the death of (2) or heirs. Warranty clause. Witnesses: Matthew de Redeman, sheriff of Lancastre, Roger de Lancastre, Richard de Preston, Benedict Gernet, Thomas de Levenes and Richard de Godem." Mathew de Redmayne was sheriff from 1246 to 1249. Roger de Lancaster of Rydal was the son of Gilbert FitzReinfrid and brother to William de Lancaster, Barons of Kendal.

Benedict may have been married to Cecily de Hutton, daughter of Richard de Hutton, see above, though others claim it was his grandfather who married this woman. Towards the end of his life he was married to a Margaret.

Benedict was a witness to a grant by his cousin in Heysham on 21 December 1256:

"Know all as well present as to come that I, Roger, son of Vivian of Heysham, have given, granted, and by this my present charter confirmed, to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster . . . for the safety of my soul and the soul of Wymark my wife . . . all the third part of the mill of Caton, the corn, and all my third part of the mill of Caton for fulling cloth, without any retention, with all its appurtenances, as in the site for the mill, the pond convenient, and the free water course to the said mills, and with free common of the wood of Caton for proper repairing and maintaining of the said mills without contradiction of any one, and in all the liberties and easements in land and in water pertaining to the said portion of the said mills . . . And if it happen that I, Roger, or my heirs, shall fail in the said warranting in any case, we will fully make sufficient exchange of my land of Heysham . . . Given at Caton in the year of grace 1256, in the month of December, on the day of St. Thomas of India. These being witnesses - William of Furness, Robert of Lathom, Roger of Heaton, Robert of Conyers, Benedict Gernet, and others." - from "Materials for . . ."
On the medieval church calendar the day of St. Thomas was 21 December. By the way, St. Thomas the Apostle is known to history as "doubting Thomas" for his failure to believe in the resurrection when first told of it. He is, in a sense, the patron saint of all those who are the last to know. It was said that he carried the Gospel to India.

In 1254 the Henry III was in Gascony and announced that he feared an invasion by Alfonso of Spain. To assist him in raising money for an army he issued his writ to all the sheriffs in England to distrain all those who held lands of L20 year value of himself in capite. By the way, there was no fear of invasion. The two Kings had already come to an agreement and Henry's son, Edward, was to receive Alfonso's daughter, Eleanor, in marriage. The sheriff of Lancaster made the following return in answer to the King's writ,

"Lancaster
Nomina eorum qui tenent viginti librates terrae in capite de domino rege in comtatu Lanc'.
Will'm's le Butiler
Robertus de Stokeport
Will'm's de Clifton'
Johannes filius Galfridi tenet terram Theorbaldi le Butiler in com. Lanc' qui est in custodia
Ben[edictus] Gerneht

- from "Lancashire Lay Subsidies, Being an Examination of the Lay Subsidy Rolls Remaining in the Public ..." by John A. C. Vincent, Great Britain Exchequer, Great Britain Public Record Office

1255-1259. "Know present and to come that I, Thomas Roud of Bolton, have given . . . to Thomas Capernwray . . . six acres and a half and a rod of arable land in the territory of Bolton, and a half acre of meadow with my whole meadow in Natwramire . . . These being witnesses - Sir Robert of Lathom, Sir Robert of Conyers, Sir John of Cantsfield, Sir Roger of Heaton, Benedict Gernet, Adam of Kellet, Roger of Heysham, Henry of Hest, and many others." - from "Materials for . . ." Another grant of Thomas Roud to Thomas of Capernwray was witnessed by Benedict Gernet, Roger of Heysham and Patrick of Ulvesby [Ulceby], sheriff of Lancaster. Sir Patrick was sheriff from 1255 to 1259. Bolton was a small village later absorbed by Lancaster. I haven't found Natwramire.

The following is from the Bailiff's Accounts of 41 Henry III, Duchy of Lancaster, 29 September 1256 - 15 April 1257, delivered to Sir Edward Plantagenet, the eldest son of Henry III, later Edward I.

"The Forest Fee of West Derbyshire

Henry de Lee, bailiff, and Benedict Ghernet [sic], render account of the Forest of West Derbyshire for the said time.

Of issues of the forest--viz., of arrears of the past year, 9d.; a certain plat arrented 18d.; of agistment, 5s. 6d.; of perquisites, 14s. 9d. Sum, 22s. 6d.

Of the winter agistment of Crocstad, 4s. 6d.; of perquisites, 7s. Sum, 11s. 6d.

Of aftermath (?) (de fogg') of Simondeswod, sold in gross 9s.; of a turbary, 6s. 8d.; of perquisites, 6d. Sum, 16s. 2d.

Of dead wood sold in Tocstad, 11s. 6d.; of "fogg" sold 4s. 3 1/2d.; of the winter agistment, 34s. 3d.; of perquisites, 104s. 6d. Sum 7l. 14s. 6 1/2d.

Sum total of the receipts of the whole forest, 9l. 16s. 11 1/2d.

In money pardoned to Benedict Ghernet by the lord's writ, 50s.; in money delivered to Walter de Albini, 7l. 6s. 11 1/2d.

Sum of expenses and deliveries, 9l. 16s. 11 1/2 d., and he is quit." - from page 210 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.
Walter de Albini, a member of the d'Aubigny family, was, in the 1270's, "goldkeeper" to Edward I's Queen, Eleanor of Provence. This was a position in the Queen's wardrobe, a position of politcal favor. An earlier Walter de Albini had, in 1215, been a baron loyal to King John.

An odd reference in the Patent Rolls of 1260 offers a "Grant to Hugh le Fraunceys, the king's porter [he is listed elsewhere as the king's huntsman], of the wardship of the land and heirs of Roger Gernet, tenant in chief, with the marriage of heirs." What the heck does that refer to? Could this refer to a Roger Gernet of Essex? Certainly our Roger had long deceased by this time.

46 Henry III, 1 January 1261/2, Benedict Gernet was assigned as a Justice of the court. - from page 236 "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker.

1261-1264. A grant by Thomas of Capernwray was witnessed by "Sir Adam de Montalt, then Sheriff of Lancaster, Sir William de Furness, Sir Benedict Gernet, knights, Adam of Kellet, William of Heaton, Alan of Catherton, John of Oxcliffe, Nicholas of Lee, Ralph of Bolton, and many others." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester." Sir Adam de Monalto was Sheriff from 1261 to 1264.

The Barons' War, between the Henry III and the followers of the reformer/opportunist Earl Simon de Montfort, occurred from 1261, when Henry renounced the Provisions of Oxford and of Westminster, to 1265 and the defeat of Simon's forces at the Battle of Evesham. I think this point is important relative to the Gernet family's decline and its loss of the title & income of Royal Forester. Benedict apparently sided with the Barons. Note that the Gernet's their title of Forester not long after the new Earl of Lancaster, the King's son, gathered up the estates of Simon de Montfort and those of many of his adherents. The fact that Benedict was a northern lord, where the discontent was at its worst, and that he was aligned with the Earl of Chester, one of Montfort's chief allies, makes this case more likely. Most any lord who wanted to see good management in government would have inclined towards the Barons in this case.

Simon de Montfort

"Simon de Montfort, son of the infamous leader of the Albigensian Crusade was born in Northern France probably in 1208. Making his way to England around 1230 to the court of Henry III, Simon initially intended only to succeed in his claim to the title of earl of Leicester. By marrying the King's sister he became one of the leading magnates of the realm and his place in English history was sealed when, after a stormy relationship with his brother-in-law, he became the leader of the baronial reform movement that sought to re-establish rights granted under Magna Carta that had been eroded by Henry III. In the end the reform movement, through Earl Simon, sowed the seeds of representative government. Simon defeated Henry III at the battle of Lewes but his attempts to rule through Henry as a puppet king alienated many of his supporters and Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, died for his cause at the Battle of Evesham on August 4th 1265, surrounded by his implacable enemies." - from The Simon de Montfort Society.

King's men at Lewes: Roger de Mortimer, John, earl of Warrenne, William de Valence, Guy de Lizunac, both the two last being brothers of the king, Hugh Bigod, John de Giffard, John de Balliol & Robert de Bruce [contenders for the Scottish throne], and John Comyn.

After the Battle of Lewes, when Simon took charge of the government, his co rulers were:

- Gilbert de Clare, the Earl of Gloucester, Clare and Hertford. He was the son of Richard de Clare and Maud, the daughter of John de Lacy, the Earl of Lincoln. He married Alice of Angouleme, a niece of Henry III. Gilbert deserted the baronial cause in 1265 when Simon allied with the Welsh.
- Walter Cantilupe, the Bishop of Worcester and Chichester. The brother of William de Cantilupe, a business associate of Benedict's father, Roger, above. He stayed with Simon through Evesham.

Simon's allies were:
- Robert de Ferrers, the Earl of Derby. Benedict's step-mother, Quenilda, held two ploughlands in chief of Earl Ferrers.
- Henry de Bereham, a FitzUrse and therefore part of Benedict's extended "family."
- Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of the Welsh. His adherance made Montfort an enemy of the Welsh Marcher Lords, including Sir Roger de Mortimer, who killed Simon at Evesham.
- Henry de Hastings, who surrendered at Kenilworth castle, the last stronghold of the barons.
- Nicholas Segrave, son of Gilbert de Segrave. He led the London militia at Lewes and was captured at Evesham. His lands were confiscated. However I have a document in the Patent Rolls that refers to him as Nicholai de Nicholai, that is, Nicholas of Nicholas.
- Hugh le Despenser, chief justicar of England, who was killed at Evesham.
- Others killed at Evesham: William de Mandeville, Radulph Basset, Roger St. John, Walter de Despigny, William of York, Robert Tregos, William de Boyton.
- Others wounded and taken prisoners at Evesham: John Fitz-John, Bohun the younger, and John de Vescy.

"After this, a sentence of confiscation was pronounced at Westminster, on the feast of the translation of the blessed Edward [8 September 1265], against the king's enemies, whose lands the king bestowed without delay on his own faithful followers. But some of those against whom this sentence was pronounced redeemed their possessions by payment of a sum of money, others uniting in a body lay hid in the Woods, living miserably on plunder and rapine; the most powerful and mischievous of whom was Robert, earl Ferrars, who was restored to the full possession of his property, on condition that his loyalty to the king, he should lose his if ever he departed from earldom." - from "Flowers of History" by Matthew of Westminster
Those listed as enemies of the King after Evesham:
- Benedict Gernet, Ralph Gernet of Banewell, Richard de Vernon of Haddon, Richard de Grey of Codnor, David de Esseby, Reynold de Argentenn, Giles de Argenten, Walter de Colevill, Robert de Stradleg, Hugh de Dun, Thomas de Moleton, Gilbert de Gaunt, Hugh de Nevill
-Of London: Nicholas de Basinges, John de Flete, Michael Tony, Robert de Montpelers, William de Kancia, Thomas Viel, Richard de Coudres, Richard Bonaventur, Philip le Taylur, William Dible, Simon de Hadestok, John le Barber, Thomas de Exeporte, Thomas Viol, Stephen Aswy, Stephen de Oystregate, and Laurence Doket of London.

Peace was re-established, and the last of the hold-outs surrendered, in 1267 when the King accepted the Dictum of Kenilworth, the terms of the supporters of Simon de Montfort for ending their resistance.

At Westminster Benedict was pronounced an enemy of the King, presumably for siding with Simon de Montfort in the recent rebellion.

49 Henry III [8 September 1265]. "Commitment, during pleasure, to Roger de Lanc[astre] of the bailiwick [area of jurisdiction] of the king's forest of Lancaster, which Benedict Gernet, the king's enemy, lately held; so that he answer at the Exchequer for the issues. The like to Roger de Leyburn of the county of Cumberland; and mandate to all those of the county to be intendant to him as sheriff. The like to Roger de Lanc[astre] of the county of Lancaster." - from the "Patent Rolls, Henry III, volume 5"
Was Benedict forgiven and did he redeem his post as Forester? If the Earl Ferrars could get his lands back I'm assuming Benedict could as well through paying a fine. Roger de Lancaster was probably "Roger de Lancaster de Rydal," half-brother of William de Lancaster III. Roger was the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1265 to 1267. Also in the rolls for that year was,
17 October 1265. "Grant for life to Eleanor consort of Edward the king's son of the manor of Bauewell [Banewell, Benwell, Somerset] late of Ralph Gernet, the king's enemy, and the manor of Heddon [Haddon] late of Richard de Vernon the king's enemy, and the manor of Codenore [Codnor, Derbyshire], late of Richard de Grey, the king's enemy." - from the "Patent Rolls"
Note that Eleanor received many lands after the Baron's defeat at Evesham. We do know that Richard de Vernon later redeemed his lands. Richard de Grey also got his lands back upon payment of a fine under the decree Dictum de Kenilworth. While the Patent Rolls clearly read as Gernet and Bauewell, a Ralph Gernon owned the manor of Bakewell. This may be him.

A grant by Thomas of Capernwray to St. Marys church in Lancaster, of land in Gressingham, was witnessed by Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William of Heaton, Alan of Catherton, John Gernet of Caton, John of Oxcliffe, Adam of Borwicke, Nicholas of Lee, William of Claughton, and many others - from "Materials for . . ."

" . . . William de Burgh, living in Gressingham . . . have granted . . . to the Prior and monks of the church of the Blessed mary of Lancaster . . . two oaks to be annually received for ever in the wood of Gressingham . . . for the perpetual maintenance of their manor of Bolton and of the priory of Lancaster . . . These being witnesses - Sir Richard de Dacre, Sir Benedict Gernet, Orm of Kellet, Nicholas of Lee, Adam of Borwick, John Gernet of Caton . . ." - from "Materials for . . ." Richard de Dacre must have been a brother of Ranulf, whose son would marry Benedict Gernet's daughter.

". . . Adam, son of Gilbert of Bolton, have given . . . to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster . . . all my land . . . which I had of the gift of my father Adam, aforesaid, in the village of Bolton . . . These being witnesses - Sir Ranulph of Dacre, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William of Heaton, Orm of Kellet, John of Oxcliffe, John of Capernwray, William, son of Simon of Bolton, and many others." - from "Materials for . . . " Three other grants of land were made by Adam to Thomas of Capernwray and were witnessed by Sir Robert Lathom, Benedict Gernet, and others.

Another researcher indicates that while the Gernet family had managed the Forest of Lancaster without much interference, after circa 1262 they were put under more control by the Earl. This would follow from the establishment of the Earldom under Edmund, the second son of Henry III.

1264-1265. Another grant by Adam to Thomas of Capernwray (what was going on here?) was witnessed by "Sir Robert of Lathom, then sherrif of Lancaster; Roger of Heaton, Adam of Kellet, Benedict Gernet, Henry of Hest, Henry the clerk, Thomas, son of Roger of Lancaster, and many others." - from "Materials for . . ." Sir Robert of Lathom was High Sheriff of Lancaster in 1236, 1249 to 1255, and 1264 to 1265.

"Know all that I, Helewise, daughter of Adam, son of Gilbert of Bolton, have given . . . to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster . . . all my land with the appurtenances, which I had of the gift of my father Adam, aforenamed, in the vill of Bolton . . . These being witnesses - Sir Ranulph of Dacre, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William of Heaton, Orm of Kellet, John of Oxcliffe, John of Capernwray, William, son of Simon of Bolton, and many others." - from "Materials for . . ."

1268. "The Assize came to recognize what patron in the time of the peace [that is, not a patron illegally designated during the governmental upset of the Barons' war] presented the last parson, who is dead, to the church of Eccleston, which is vacant, etc., and the advowson of which the Prior of Lancaster asserts to belong to him, and of which advowson Benedict Gernet [Benedictus Gernet] and Edelina Duce [Edelina duce] deforced him . . . and Benedict and Edelina did not come, and they had a day by their essoins to this day. Therefore, the assize is taken against them by default . . . in the fifty-second year of the reign of King Henry, son of King John." - from "Materials for . . . " Does this mean that during the Barons war Benedict took advantage of the King's weakness to grab certain rights from the church for himself? If so, he was too ashamed of his action to defend it in court. Who was Edelina Duce? Note that in the latin original the name Duce was not capitalized. Was this really a surname or was it a title? Duce is latin for duke, but may also mean leader or commander. Was Edelina a duchess? If so, then who was the Duke?

53 Henry III, 23 July 1269. Justice: Walter de Helyun. Robert Banastre v. Benedict Gernet. Novel disseisin. Diversion of water at Fischewik. - from page 246 "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker.

The "tit for tat": 54 Henry III, 5 November 1269. Justice: Robert Fulton. Benedict Gernet v. Robert Banastre and others. Novel disseisin. A pool demolished at Fissewik. - from page 247 "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker.

1269. Sir Benedict Gernet witnessed a grant by Thomas de Coupmanwra to the Abbey of Furness. Other witnesses were Sir Richard le Botyler, sheriff of Lancashire, Sir William de Heaton, the King's coroner, Gervase de Oxecliff, Orm de Kellet and Roger de Heysham. - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

Sometime after 1270, when Benedict's cousin, John Gernet de Caton, came of age, a deed, temp. Hen. III, recited that Matthew de Burgo gave the meadow and arable land, lying between the water-mill and the fuller’s mill, in Caton, and near the land of John, son and heir of Roger Gernet de Caton. Witnesses: Benedict Gernet de Halton, and others.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1272-1307 Edward I

Called Longshanks for his great height, Edward was, unlike his feckless father, a strong King and excellent administrator. He conquered Wales and fought many long battles for control of Scotland. While he was called the "Hammer of the Scots," and conquered Scotland at one point, he never fulfilled his ambition to make that country part of a United Kingdom. He defeated William Wallace (Mel Gibson).

By 1300 the population of England and Wales had climbed to 5 million, or approximately what it had been during Roman times.

1272. I have a reference to the monks of Lytham and a Dom [dominus, Sir] William, son of Aimery le Butler at Eboracensia deeds that mention the Gernets. William, the son of Emery [Almaric, Almeric] le Botiler and Alicia Garnet, the daughter of William Garnet [of Lydiate?], was the Baron of Warrington.

"Adjudication, by Ranulf de Dacre [father of William, Benedict's son-in-law], sheriff of Lancaster, Richard le Butler, Adam of Houghton, Benedict Gerneth [sic], Henry of Lea [a member of the de Lancaster family], Adam of Holland, John Devyas [Devias or de Euwyas], knights, William of Singleton, Alan of the same, William de Mara, Nicholas of Wigan, John of Freckleton and Gilbert of Meols, appointed by Stephen, Prior, and the monks of Lytham and dom William son of Aimery le Butler, to clarify the ancient bounds between the several and demesne lands and pastures of Lytham towards the north and between Kilgrimoles and again between Kilgrimoles and William's demesne lands towards Layton, that the former are west to the sea from the old cross on Croshowe, from that cross to the other cross, put up on the road from Lytham towards Layton by agreement of the Prior and monks and William, and from that cross straight through the middle of the moss between Marton and Lytham north of the Miggylund to the stream called Swinebrigge, and that Kilgrimoles and the Northowes are common between them." Language: Latin, 9 February 1271 [1272]
Stephen of Durham was the prior from at least January 1259 to February 1272. The Benedictine priory of Lytham was founded between 1189 and 1194, during John count of Mortain's tenure of the honour of Lancaster, by his knight, Richard son of Roger, of Woodplumpton, in Amounderness. He was the father of Quenilda Gernet, Benedicts step-mother. - from "British History Online."

1272-1274. Thomas of Capernwray then granted four oaks to the Priory [St. Mary, Lancaster] as witnessed by Sir Ranulph de Dacre, then vicar [vicecomes, i.e. sheriff] of Lancaster; Sir Benedict Gernet, etc. - from "Materials for . . ." Sir Ranulph [Randolph] was sheriff from 1272 to 1274.

Merchant Gernets

The following may a younger son who went into trade.

Bernard Gernet (c1235)

"May 30 [1274]. Westminster. Licence, until Michaelmas, for Thomas de Basing, citizen of London, to trade in wool or other goods as usual within the realm, and he is not to be molested by reason of the late prohibition against the exportatin of wool without the realm, on condition that he not take them without the realm or to the use of Flemings or others of the power of the countess of Flanders during the present condition.

June 8. Westminster. The like to the following:--
. . .
Bernard de Gernet, merchant of Caorz.
. . .
- from the "Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office"
Caorz is Cahors, right, in southwestern France. In the medieval period it was a flourishing trading, banking and university center in the Acquitaine, later known as Guienne. In 1274 this was an English province. The regional black wine was very popular in England.

1272-1274. "Know present and to come that I, Thomas of Capernwray, have given, granted and by this my present charter have confirmed to Adam, son of Robert of Heysham and Helewise my daughter and their heirs, six acres of land, with the appurtenances, in Bolton, which I had of the gift of Henry of Nottingham, which said six acres the said Henry held of Robert of Wedacre:- To hold and to have to the said Adam and his heirs begotten of the said Helewise, of me and my heirs, freely, quietly, well, and in peace, by hereditary right, with all the liberties and easements, pertaining to so much land within the vill of Bolton and without:- Rendering therefor to me and my heirs, he and his heirs, twelve pence at the feast of St. Oswald for all secular service, exaction, and demand . . . These being witnesses- Sir Ranulph of Dacre, then sheriff of Lancaster, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William of Heaton, Sir John of Tatham, Alan of Catherton, Nicholas of Lee, William son of Simon of Bolton, and others." - from "Materials for . . . "

Interestingly, after 1265 Benedict was no where referred to as the Forester, though he was still acknowledged as a knight.

5 Edward 1 [1277]. "Dalton [Lanc.]; appointment of John de Reigate and William de Northburgh to take the assise of mort dancestor arraigned by Thomas son of Hugh de Dalton against Benedict Gernet, touching land in [Dalton]." - from the "Annaul Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records."

6 Edward I [1278]. "Mort d'Ancestor--Thomas son of Hugh de Dalton, in right of his father v. Benedict Gernet re 8 acres in Dalton. Benedict says that he claims only through Margaret his wife, who is not named in the writ. Nonsuit, with leave to proceed by another writ." - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London." There is a subsequent writ in the same year against both Benedict and Margaret.

6 Edward I [1278]. "Lancaster; commission of gaol delivery for, to Benedict Gernet, Ranulph de Sutton, Adam de Hoton, and Adam de Bery." - from the ""Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records."

Def: Gaol Delivery - A judicial hearing of the charges against all prisoners awaiting trial in the area prisons. By a Commission of Gaol Delivery, the king appointed certain persons justices and empowered them to deliver his gaols at certain places of the prisoners held within them. This commission was first issued to Justices in Eyre, but later to Justices of Assize and of Gaol Delivery. It ordered them to meet at a certain place and at a time which they themselves could appoint, when the sheriff of the county would bring all the prisoners of the area before them.I suspect a fee was also involved.

7 Edward I [1279]. "Lancaster (Lanc.); appointment of Roger Loveday and John de Metingham to take the assise of novel disseisin arraigned by Benedict Gernet against John Gernet and others, touching common pasture in [Lancaster]." - from the Calendar of Patent Rolls in the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records." Sounds like there was a falling-out in the family.

"Oct. 19. Westminster [1279]. Pardon to Henry Banstre, a prisoner in Lyverpol gaol, of his outlawry as it appears by inquisition made by Richard le Botiller, Adam de Houghton, Benedict Gernet, and John de Kirkeby, that he, being long since indicted of certain trespasses before Walter de Helyun and his fellows, justices of Henry III last in eyre at Lancaster, while he was in Ireland in the service of James de Audedele, deceased, and being utterly ignorant of the indictment, was put in exigent and outlawed without his knowledge after the departure of the justices aforesaid." - from the "Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office."

Finally, in 1280, his office was officially surrendered to the Earl of Lancaster.

1280. “Benedict Gernet, son of Roger, surrenders all his customs and liberties in the forests and woods to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.” - from the Duchy of Lancaster, Ancient Deeds 25/1212: 1280.
According to "British History Online," Benedict surrendered his tenement to Edmund "in order that the tenure might be modified; thenceforward Halton and the other manors were to be held of the earl by the fourth part of a knight's fee and the rent of £5 yearly." Another citation in the same source indicates that Benedict's "seal bear a device resembling a horn, with the legend +s' bendicti gernet. This relates back to the claim by Doug Garnett that a horn, signifying the family's role as foresters, was part of their arms.

Dacre of Gillesland appears to have been the first forester after Benedict. This was probably Sir William Dacre, Benedict's son-in-law, though it could as easily be Ranulf, William's father. William's grandson, William, in his turn held Halton and Aughton by the serjeanty of being forester, so perhaps the hereditary right had not been recalled. The following implies something else again.

Account of John de Lancastre, keeper of the lands and tenements which were of Thomas, late earl of Lancastre [1323-1324]

"rent of Ranulf de Dacre [William & Joan's son], heir of Benedict Gernet, formerly forester of Lancaster for the tenements formerly Benedict's in Halton. Easter and Michaelmas, 5 pounds; on the farm of the forest of Lancaster for which Benedict Gernet used to pay 12 pounds yearly, he does not answer here because the office of forester came into the hand of Edmund, late earl of Lancastre, by reason of trespass of the said Benedict, as he says, of the issues thereof the same John [de Lancastre] answers within;" - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, an "overmighty subject," had been beheaded by his cousin, Edward II, and his lands forfeit. John de Lancastre was "keeper of certain of the forfeited lands in co. Lancastre." It was Henry, Thomas's brother, however, who succeeded as the next Earl. William de Tatham seems to be associated with John in this. What does "By reason of trepass" mean? I suspect that Benedict, like many foresters, had abused his authority and been caught exploiting property not his own.

The contrary explanation is that Benedict had somehow lost out in a power struggle. His hereditary title and his daughter and heir were taken from him. She, and more importantly her lands, were "given" to the Dacre's as perhaps a reward from the Earl for their loyal service. Female heirs were a commodity, freely traded by the King and the more powerful Barons.

As noted below, Edmund Dacre [William & Joan's second son] styled himself forester in a petition to the King dealing with the king's chase of Bowland.

That the Earl of Lancaster held the Forest and enforced the forest laws to his own advantage was considered an "exceptional privelege." - from "Notes Supplementary to Stubbs' Constitutional History Down to the Great Charter" by Charles Petit-Dutaillis, Georges Lefebvre, Walter Eustace Rhodes, William Templeton Waugh, Marion Eva Irvine Robertson, and Reginald Francis Treharne.

After 1280 the post of forester was often held by the Sheriff or sub-let to Crown Lessees and local magnates, who also leased (farmed) the land out to others.

"Forest Assize Held at Lancaster
15 Edward I. A.D. 1286.
Under the Jura Regalia of Prince Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.
. . .
Forestar. Thom. de Gersinghm forestar feod f Willm de Dacre qui desponsavit filiam f herede Benedti Gernet qui tuc tpris fuit forestar feod f p Rogm de Lanc.
. . .
Present est f con &c qd Nichus de Lee Johes fil. Symonis Johes de Arkelbeck mortuus Rogus frat ejus Wills fil. Juliane de Heysam Walts Gernet supis redept Ricus fil Witti de Hoton fuernt in foresta dni Reg infra dnicas hayas annon judco ad malefaciend de venacoe f cepnt cervos f bissas cu arcub sagitt f leporar gm pdci Nichis f Johes fil . . . "

- from "History of the County Palatine of Lancaster" by Edward Baines, William Robert Whatton
So in 1286 Thomas de Gersingham was the forester enfeoffed of William de Dacre, the heir of Benedict Gernet, enfeoffed of Roger de Lancaster. The second paragraph is obscure, in part because the source used an alphabet of letters that I've never seen before. Was "Wills fil Juliane de Heysam" (7) William de Hesham (c1230), the son of Vivian Gernet and Julianne, his wife, of Heysham? Note that
"In the same assizes [1286-87], Richard de Lee, John the son of Simon, John of Arkelbeck, Roger his brother, and William the son of Julia de Heysham, were accused of capturing deer and wild cattle with bows, arrows, and hunting dogs. On this occasion the parties pleaded that they had a right to do so, under a charter granted by King John to the thanes of Lancashire."

Lancaster Castle

The site of Lancaster Castle had originally been a Roman fort which, from its commanding height, controlled the Lune river valley. The suffix –caster in Lancaster is Anglo-Saxon and refers to sites they found fortified from the Roman period. Lune-caster, a fortification on the Lune river, forms the basis of the name Lancaster. After the departure of the Romans the fort fell into disrepair and, although the Saxon's maintained a garrison there in a wooden fortress, the site was in ruins at the time of the Domesday Survey. Roger of Poitou, appreciating the strategic value of the site, built the Norman Keep, the original heart of the fortifications. The castle became the parent to the town that grew around it.

After the expulsion of Roger of Poitou, the Honor and Fee of Lancaster, south of the Ribble, went to the Earls of Chester. That north of the Ribble went to the Barons of Kendal. In 1153 William, the 5th Baron of Kendal, was granted the surname de Lancaster by Henry II. Count John of Mortain, the future King John, was given the Honour of Lancaster by his brother, Richard I, while he was gone on crusade. The Fee went to Gilbert Fitz Reinfred in 1206, he having married the de Lancaster heir. That line ended in 1246. Much of this information was drawn from House of Lancaster.


Earldom and Duchy of Lancaster

After the defeat of Simon de Montfort's revolt at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, Henry III gave the Honor of Lancaster to his son, Edmund, and created him an Earl. The lands south of the Ribble were also added back into the Fee at this time.

Edmund, the first Earl of Lancaster. He was born in 1245, the second son of Henry III. After the Baron's Revolt was crushed Edmund received the possessions of Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, Robert Ferrers, the Earl of Derby, and Nicholas de Segrave. In 1267 King Henry created him the first Earl of Lancaster and gave him the County, Honor and Castle of Lancaster. His nickname, Crouchback, or crossed back, refers only to the fact that he went on crusade to Palestine in 1271 and, hence, was entitled to wear the cross.It was he that dispossessed the Gernet's of the hereditary right of Forester in 1280.

Thomas Plantagenet, the second Earl of Lancaster. He inherited from his father in 1297. He married Alice de Lacey, heiress of the earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury, of Pontefract castle, and the Barony of Halton. An "over mighty" subject, he led the Baronial opposition to King Edward II and his favorites, Piers Gaveston and the Despenser family. While he was able, for a time, to dictate to the King, his lack of effective leadership created a vacuum of power that eventually worked to his ruin. He was executed at Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire, on 22 March 1322 by order of his cousin, Edward II. Edward himself died a horrible death when he was later deposed by his wife and her lover.

Henry Plantagenet, the third Earl of Lancaster. He was the brother of the second Earl. He succeeded to the Earldom after his brother's death, ruling for four years.

Henry Plantagenet, the fourth Earl and first Duke of Lancaster. In 1351 Edward III raised Lancaster to a County Palatine and created Edmund's grandson, Henry Grosmont (born at Grosmont Castle), the first Duke of Lancaster. This gave Henry sovereign rights in the County. He died of the Black Plague.

John of Gaunt, the second Duke of Lancaster. Henry, the first Duke, died without male issue and the inheritance passed to his daughter, Blanche. By his marriage to Blanche, John of Gaunt, the third son of Edward III, acquired the inheritance and in 1390 the Palatine was granted to his heirs forever. John became the richest man in England. Blanche died in 1369 of the Black Plague.

Upon John's death in 1399 Richard II seized the Duchy which should have gone to John's son, Henry, then Earl of Hereford, and made it part of the properties of the monarch. Henry had led the opposition to Richard's policies, much as Thomas of Lancaster had against Edward II, and earned the King’s enmity. When Richard was deposed in the same year by Henry, later King Henry IV, the Duchy of Lancaster became part of crown properties and has remained so ever since. Queen Elizabeth is the current Duchess of Lancaster.

I have another reference to Benedict and his cousin, John, from the UK Archives:

- 1282-1285. "Robert son and heir of Adam of Holand, to Richard his brother -- the land called the Apiltrehevid in Ellale, by the bounds which A.H. divided from Thomas of Coupmanwra [Capernwray] -- rendering yearly a pair of white gloves or 1d. Witn. Henry, lord of Lee, then, sheriff of Lancaster, the lord Richard the Butyler, the lord Benedict Gernet, Orm of Kellet, John of Parles, John of Oxeclyve [Oxcliffe], Adam of Berewyk, John Gernet, William of Clacton, John of Urswyk, Roger of Slene." Henry de Lea of Lea, Preston, was sheriff from 1282 to 1285.
- c1280. "Quitclaim from (1) to (2) of land in the town of Syggiswic [Sedgewick] that (1) held as dowry. Witnesses: William de ?Wondishou, Richard de Preston, Benedict Gernet, John Gernet [of Caton or of Hincaster?], Henry Abbot and William son of Patrick."

"In 1284 Roger Travers made complaint that Benedict Gernet, Alan de Halsall, and others had disseised him of the manor of Whiston, except one messuage, and it was decreed that he should recover." - from the Assize Rolls, "British History Online."

12 Edward I. "Novel disseisin--Roger Trauers [sic] v. Benedict Gernet, John Gernet, Henry de la Ruddegate, Adam de Fennay, John le Prechur, William le Low, Ralph del Hospital, Alan de Halsale, Adam de Hyton, John son of Emma, Roger Trebuche, Richard de Whystan, Roger son of Henry de Ruddegate, Henry his brother, Henry Smith and Richard de Wodeheued re the manor of Whystan, except one water mill."

Footnote. "Benedict says that he claims as lord: Alan, for the other defendants, says that the manor belonged to one Richard father of Henry de la Ruddegate who died seised . . . Judgement for plaintiff against all the defendants except Benedict Gernet, Richard de Whystan and Richard de Wodehoued--the others to gaol. Damages 14s. 10d., nothing to the Clerks." - from page 179 "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker
Note that Vivian Gernet, above, had given Robert Travers 4 carucates of land in Whiston in about 1190. That is, he had enfeoffed him so that the Gernet's were still his overlord.

The Travers Family

This family held lands in Whiston and Skelmersdale.

Robert Travers

A contemporary of Vivian Gernet of Halton, who gave Robert lands in Whiston and Skelmersdale.

Henry Travers

A contemporary of Roger Gernet of Halton, circa 1212. He held Whiston and Skelmersdale.

Roger Travers

A contemporary of Benedict Gernet of Halton, circa 1284. He complained of being disseised of the manor of Whiston and won it back.

John Travers de Hesham

Lawrence Travers

He had a son, Thomas.

"Laurence Travers, of Natesby and Tulketh, in co. Lanc. arm. Married a daughter of Orme de Kellet, and sister of Gilian, wife of Vivian Gernet, of Heysham, co. Lanc. Purchased lands in Hesham of his nephew Roger (Gernet) de Hesham, and others, temp. Hen. III. Gave said lands to his son, Thomas Travers, A.D. 1272." - from "A Collection of Pedigrees of the Famuiy of Travers" by Samuel Smith Travers

Thomas Travers

A contempoary of Roger, son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham, circa 1272-1292, who granted him land in Upper Heysham. John, son of Roger de Hesysham, granted Thomas Travers land in the Suggeholm district of Heysham. Adam de Hessayne, son of Robert, conveyed land to Thomas le Travers in 1272. Adam's son Thomas has a grant witnessed by him. He held various lands in Heysham, in the Mossrigg near the Graystones and in Littlecrossslack.

Thomas Travers Jr.

Thomas, son and heir of Thomas Travers, was a contemporary of Lawrence de Heysham, rector of Tatham, circa 1350.

13 Edward I [1285]. "Novel disseisin--Simon de Fissewyk v. Benedict Gernet and others re a tenement in Fissewyk."

Footnote. "Plaintiff did not prosecute; sureties, Robert Noel and Richard Wachet of Fyschewyk." - from page 2039 "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker

I have an intriguing snippet,

"[All 24 June], 1296 2114 March 21 Gilbert de . . . 1296 1132 March 21 Same for Benedict Gernet setting out for Scotland with the king, attested by John de Segrave, until 24 June [no. 2114]. [ibid] . . . 1133], Benedict Gernet [no. 1132], both with John Wake in company of the bishop of Durham; 24 June. [C 67/11, m.3] . . ." - from "Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland" by Grant G. Simson
I believe the 1296 is the year and the 1132 is a tracking number for Benedict. That is, Benedict and number 1133 were "both with John Wake . . ."

The Scottish Campaign of 1296

In 1296 Edward I invaded Scotland to punish John Balliol for his refusal to support the English in France. On 30 March he took Berwick and massacred the population. He then proceeded north and fought the Battle of Dunbar. There the Scottish force broke ranks and were slaughtered by English cavalry. Roxburgh, Jedburgh and Edinburgh fell by the end of June. Robert Bruce joined Edward and the Scottish nobles surrendered en masse. Edward returned to England in October.

Benedict apparently served on this campaign, returning home after the fall of Edinburgh in October. I don't show, however, that John de Segrave was there.
- John de Segrave was the son of Nicholas, Baron Segrave, discussed above. Nicholas had been a supporter of Simon de Montfort and his lands were confiscated, but he apparently got them back because his son was also a Baron. John served in Scotland in 1291, and from 1297 to 1325. He was later made Governor of Scotland and it may have been in that role that he attested to Benedict's participation.
- Sir John Wake was the son and heir of Baldwin Wake, another supporter of Simon de Montfort. He inherited his father's lands in Lincolnshire in 1290.

I have the following "outlier" for a Sir Benedict Gernet which seems too late, but which cannot otherwise be placed. Remember that John Gernet of Caton's father had an interest in Liverpool.

19 Edward II [27 February 1326] Leicester. "Inspeximus of a grant, dated at Liverpool, on Tuesday after St. Giles the Abbot, 1271, by Edmund son of Henry III to the church of St. James, Birkheved, and the monks there of 15 acres of land below the grange of Neusum, which John Gernet formerly held of him at will, to hold in frankalmoin at a rent of 5s. Witnesses--William le Botiler, Robert Banastre, Henry du Lee, Robert de Holand, and Benedict Gernet, knights, John Gernet, Richard de Holand, and others; and confirmation thereof to the prior and convent of that place. By fine of 20s. Lancatre." - from "Patent Rolls"

Benedict may have had a son, Roger, who succeeded him. No other sources confirm this, most point only to a daughter who married a Dacre Baron. When the Gernet inheritance passed to the Dacre family the lords of the place no longer resided in Halton. The manor hourse was destroyed in 1322 by the Scots and was apparently not rebuilt.

Benedict's children were,
(7) Roger de Gernet of Halton(c1265), perhaps
(7) Joan de Gernet (1267)

(7) Roger de Gernet of Halton (c1265)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173) (6) Sir Benedict de Gernet (c1215)

"Benedict Gernet . . . lord of Halton . . . was succeeded by his son Roger who died apparently without male issue, for his daughter, married to Wm. de Lacey, succeeded to his estate. Thereafter we find the Gernets and Heyshams as tenants instead of proprietors." - George Lissant genealogy. This is quite confusing. First, I think Lissant was talking about (4) Benedict Gernet Sr. whose son was (5) Sir Roger de Gernet. Sir Roger did have male issue, (6) Benedict the younger, but the line did fail there. The issue is whether Joan Gernet was the daughter or sister of young Benedict. Many researchers think the latter and I have nothing to refute this. Lissant apparently thought Joan was Roger's daughter, but his problem was that he ignored, or was ignorant of, the young Benedict and jumped directly to Joans's marriage, which he inexplicably assigned to a William de Lacy, vice Dacre. Is it possible that Lissant confused the Lucy and Lacy families? Remember that while William Dacre gained Halton through his marriage with Joan Gernet, his fammily already held Heysham through the marriage of his father, Ranulph Dacre, to Joan de Lucy, whose family was enfeoffed of Heysham under Roger Gernet de Heysham.

(8) Unnamed Daughter (c1270)

I don't find any independent verification of this daughter or her marriage. A William de Lacy is mentioned in the Proceedings of the Eyre of Oxford on 14 January 1285.

The de Lacey Family


(7) Joan de Gernet (1267)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173) (6) Sir Benedict de Gernet (c1215)

The Lady of Halton. Her last name is sometimes spelled Garnett. Joan was born about 1267-1270, probably in Halton, and died on 28 November 1324. She was the daughter and sole heir of Benedict Gernet. She married William de Dacre, Knight and Baron of Cumberland, in about 1281.

"Benedictus Gernet, r'. c'p'. de. lvij. lj. de arrer' eiusdem firme [de For' de Lancastr'] [this refers to a dowry payment]. . . Et deb'. xlj. lj. v.s. x.d. [an amount still owed to] De quib' Will' fil' Rann' de Dacre q' dux' in. vx'. [William who is the son of Duke Randolph de Dacre and his wife] Joh'am fil' et heredem p'd'ci Ben'. [Joan, daugher and heir of Benedict] resp'. in. Ebor' [York]." - from the Pipe Rolls, 13 Edw. 1, Lanc'"

"Will'. de. Dacr' fil'. et heres [son and heir of] Ran' de. Dacr' et Joh'a. vx' eius heres [wife of the same, heiress of] Ben' Gernet." - from the Pipe Rolls, 15 Edw. 1, Ebor' - also Cumb'".
". . . Joane, heiress of Benedict Gernet, the great Lancashire heiress, who brought to her husband, William de Dacre, the manors of Halton, Fishwicke, and Eccleston." - from "Notes of the Month," Antiquary magazine. Another reference, "Mamecestre: Being Chapters from the Early Recorded History of the Barony; the Lordship Or Manor;..." by John Harland, calls her Jane and says she was Benedict's sister vice daughter.

The de Dacre Family

This also includes the de Dacre-Gernet descendents of Heysham.

Title to the Gernet estates at Halton, Heleye, Eccleston, and Fishwick were claimed by William Dacre through his wife, the former Joan Gernet, heir of the Gernet estates. There appears to have been some legal dispute regarding their rights to these estates. Several pleas of quo warranto to the properties were brought against the Dacre's by the King himself. However, the jury in these pleas decided that Joan Dacre had more right to the Halton and Fishwick estates than did the King, presumably because of her legitimate inheritance of these estates from the Gernet family. Does this reflect a dispute with the de Lacey family who felt they should inherit via Joan's niece?

A note in the "History of Heysham" says that the Heysham manor was sold by Roger de Heysham to the de Dacre's, probably Ranulf, since this occurred in 1246. Roger was Joan's uncle and was from the Heysham branch of the Gernet family. Joan and William held the manor of Heysham together from 1290 - 1297. An inquest of 1323 noted that Ranulf de Dacre, Joan's son, held Halton "of the same serjeanty which Roger Gernet formerly held there" and that Edmund Dacre, his brother, had the "serjeanty of Hesham [sic] which Roger son of Vivian formerly held." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer. In 1323 Edmund Dacre, referring to himself as forester, petioned the King.

SC 8/107/5347. Covering dates [c. 1323]. Scope and content Petitioners: Edmund Dacre, forester. Addressees: King. Places mentioned: Bowland Forest, [West Riding of Yorkshire]; Reddom (Radholme Laund), [West Riding of Yorkshire]. Other people mentioned: William Tatham; John de Lancaster; sheriff of Yorkshire. Nature of request: Dacre complains that the king's chase of Bowland has been assessed at £4 a year, whereas it was previously acknowledged to be waste. Endorsement: Let the sheriff and John de Lancaster survey the park and find if it would be to the profit of the king for the park to be assessed, and to certify the exchequer accordingly.
So Edmund held at least part of the forest of Lancaster.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1307-1327 Edward II

The first Prince of Wales, shown at right being granted the Princedom by his father. A weak King considered incompetent and frivolous by his father and by the people. He was deposed and murdered by his own queen, Isabella, the daughter of Philip IV of France, and her lover Roger de Mortimer. Edward died a particularly awful death, the particulars of which are best left unstated in a "family" website.

Its been pointed out that one of the reasons England developed its democratic institutions was that it was rarely ruled by two good/strong kings in a a row. It was during the reigns of these "incompetants" that the middle-class made their grabs for power.

Upon William's death Joan held the estate in her own right, together with Bare and Over Kellet, two small villages in Lancashire. Joan later married Nicholas Ewyas. Their son, Thomas Ewyas of Samlesbury acquired land at Fishwick, Eyves and Eccleston through his mother. Joan died in the 18th year of the reign of Edward II [1324-1325] and was buried in the Church of Cumrew in Cumberland, where a massive sepulchral monument was discovered in 1800 on which was an effigy believed to represent this lady of the manor of Fishwick. - From Preston, Lancashire Parish History.

"In 1324 William de Dacre, who married Joan the daughter and heir of Benedict Gernet, held Speke [as an overlord of the Molyneux?]. In the feodary of 1484 Lord Dacre, as 'next of kin and heir of Roger Gernet,' is called the chief lord [of Speke]." - from "British History Online."

A story in the "History of Heysham" relates that in 1210, a Baron Dacre came back from the crusades and brought a sapling of the "Cedars of Lebanon". He planted it at his house in Higher Heysham, "The Grange", the remnants of which can be seen at the top of the lane going up to the Heath. This story appears apocrythal, not least that the Gernets still held Heysham in 1210.

(6) John de Gernet (c1215)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173)

Benedict Gernet's younger brother; he died relatively young. An inquest was made in 1249 to inquire what land John Gernet had held in chief of Theobald le Botiler and of John de Thornhill.

Theobald le Botiler

Theobald was the son of Theobald Walter. The early Walters, circa Henry I, had owned property in Witheton [Weeton] in Amounderness and a stud farm in north Quernmore, as well as lands in Suffolk and Norfolk. They married well, becoming connected to Ranulf de Glanville, the great justicar. Hubert Walter, who died in 1205, was in his turn the chief justicar of England and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was instrumental in freeing Richard I from captivity in Germany. Theobald Walter was Hubert's elder brother. He went to Ireland with Prince John where he gained many lands and the office of butler [pincerna] to the lord of Ireland. His son, Theobald, took the name le Botiller in honor of his father's office. A daughter, Maude, married John FitzAlan, the Earl of Arundel. They are not related to the Botiller-de Vilar family.

John de Thornhill

John Thornhill was a nephew of Jordan de Thornhill, the first husband of Quenilda Gernet, John de Gernet's step-mother.

"XIII. John Gernet.--Imp. p. m.
[34 Henry III., No.3]
Writ dated at St. Neots, August 24th, 33rd year (1249), directed to Thomas de Stanford and his co-escheator in co. Lancaster, to inquire what land John Gernet held in chief of Theobald le Botiler and of John de Thornhill, whose lands were in the King's hands.
Inquest made on Saturday next after the feast of St. Nicholas, 34 Henry III. (December 11th, 1249) by Richard de Frekilton, Hugh de Mitton, William de Prees, Walter de Barton, Adan de Houton, Adam de Stalmin, Gregory de Wynmerleye, Roger de Brochel, Robert de Warthebrec, John de Neuton, Alan de Neuton and Robert de Gayrstang, who say that John Gernet held nothing in chief of Theobald le Botiler, but that he held of John de Thornul 2 bovates of land in the vill of Thistilton, worth one mark of silver yearly, which land he had by purchase (de perquisito). Benedict Gernet, his elder brother, is his next heir, and of full age." - from page 177 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
This is the only indication I have found of a brother for Benedict. He clearly died sine prole. The connection to John de Thornhill might indicate that John Gernet was Quenilda's son, but its all too sketchy to say. When, shortly afterwards, the escheators were directed to give seisin of these lands to Benedict, the land was said to be held of Richard son and heir of John de Thornhill - from the Close Rolls via "British History Online."

Thistilton

This must be Greenhaigh-with-Thistilton, which is in Lancaster. At the time of the conquest there were three ploughlands, Medlar, which was granted in thegnage, while the other two, Greenlaugh and Thistilton were given to the ancestors of the Boteler family.


(6) William de Gernet (c1215)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150) (5) Sir Roger de Gernet (c1173)

Circa 1268. "Grant in frankalmoign by William Gernet [Willelmus Gernet filius domini Rogeri Gernet de Halcton], son of Sir Roger Gernet of Halton [to the canons of Cockersand] of a toft in Leck and four ridges of arable land there with easements and free common rights within the vill of Leck belonging to so much land, that is the toft which Robert of the Moor formerly held of Margery Gernet. . ." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties . . ." Margery may either be William's aunt, (5) Margery de Gernet (c1175), or his mother. While it isn't clear, Roger's first wife may have been named Margery.

(5) Vivian de Gernet (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

Known as "of Caton and Heysham" in "The Cockersand Chartulary." This is probably a confusion with Thomas Gernet de Hesham's son, Vivian, who was born about the same time. This Vivian was the third son of Benet de Gernet. From the UK Archives, the Hornby Catholic Mission Papers (St. Mary's Church):

- 1205-1210. "Gift in frankalmoign of service of half of Siggeswich [Sedgewick], namely 3s. per annum, for the salvation of the souls of (1), his wife Mary, his parents and Helewise de Loncastr'. Warranty clause. Witnesses: Adam son of Roger, sheriff of Loncastr', Gilbert de Loncastr', Gilbert de Croft, Walter de Parles, Roger Gernet, Thomas Gernet, Vivian Gernet, Ormus de Kellet and his brothers." Adam Fitz-Roger of Yealand was the sheriff from 1205-1210, and perhaps also from 1228 to 1233. The Gernet boys were, I presume, all sons of Benedict.

- 1205-1210. "Gift in frankalmoign of half of Sigewic [Sedgewick] and 4 oaks annually from (1)'s wood at Ellale for building at Cokirsand [Cockersand], for the salvation of the souls of (1), his wife Mary, family, and Helewise de Loncr'. Warranty clause. Witnesses: Adam son of Roger, sheriff of Loncastr', Gilbert de Loncastr', Gilbert de Croft, Walter de Parles, Roger Gernet, Thomas Gernet, Vivian Gernet, Ormus de Kellet and his brothers." Because they are together I assume the Gernet's make a "group," i.e. they're brothers. Note also the presence of Orme de Kellet and members of the de Lancaster family, long associated with the Gernets.

- Early 13th Century, "Gift of 12a. land in Sigiswic [Sedgewick], namely 3a. in a croft once belonging to Thomas son of Adam, 8a. between the same croft and Strendes, and 1a. next to the stream that is the boundary between Sigiswic and Hennecastre [Hincaster]; a third of the chattels to be paid to (1) as relief when (2) or her heirs die having made a will. Witnesses: Matthew de Rademan, Richard de Preston, Thomas de Bethum, Roger Gerneth, Vivian Gernet and Patrick de Sigiswic." While the document does not say that Matthew de Rademan [Redmayne] was sheriff, he had that post from 1246 to 1249.
The following is another reference to the grant of land in Sedgewick mentioned above. Note that Vivian, and I think his older brother, Sir Roger, were witnesses.
1230–46. "Release by Thomas son of Thomas de Sedgwick to the canons of Cockersand of his right in twelve acres of land which he held of them in the vill of Sedgwick, namely three acres in one croft, eight acres between that croft and the Stryndes and one acre by the brook which is the division between Sedgwick and Hincaster. Witnesses, Matthew de Redman, Richard de Preston. Thomas de Beetham, Roger Gernet, Vivian Gernet, Patrick de Sedgwick and others. Ib. 1046." - from "British History Online"

(5) Annora (Annota) de Garnet (le Garnet) (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

She was a daughter of Benedict Gernet, supposedly born in Speke, in the parish of Prescott, in Lancashire circa 1175 [the Bradley website claims 1113]. I have one source that claims she was the daughter of Roger Gernet - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer. She married Adam de Molyneux, Lord of Sefton, Lancashire.

"When the Lancashire forest was formed, Speke became part of the fee attached to the chief forestership held by the Gernet family and their descendants the Dacres. The interest of the master foresters in Speke was, however, merely that of superior lord after Roger Gernet, living in 1170, had granted the manor to Richard de Molyneux of Sefton in free marriage. No service was attached to the grant, the Molyneux family did not long retain Speke in their immediate holding. Before 1206 half of the manor had been granted in free marriage with Richard's daughter to William de Haselwell, a grant confirmed by a charter of Benedict Gernet as chief lord. - from "British History Online."
The Benedict Gernet mentioned would have been Annora's father. The marriage in question may have been in the earlier generation, between Richard de Molyneux and Edith de Gernette.
"Uctred, a Saxon thane, was possessed of the manor of Speke at the time of the conquest. Soon afterwards Richard de Mulas [Molyneux] obtained a grant of two carricutes of this lordship from Roger Gerneth [sic]. By the marriage of Annota, daughter and heiress of Benedict Gerneth, lord of Speke and Oglet, with Adam Molineux, the whole undivided manor passed to that family." - from "Lancashire Halls & Houses"
This infers that there were two grants; one to Richard Molyneux for a portion, and the second to Adam for the whole. Dates here are difficult, researchers varying by about 50 years from what I think makes sense.

Another history has:

Adam Molyneux, eldest son of Vivian De Molyneux, gave a grant of land in Mulling to the Church of the Virgin Mary at Corksands [the Abbey of Cockersands], sealed with his seal of the Cross Molines and bearing the legend "S. Adam's de Molineux."
The Abbey was founded as a hermitage perhaps as early as 1154, but was not chartered as an abbey until 1190. This makes more sense with the later birth date for Annora. Adam married Annota Garnett, daughter and heiress of Benedict de Garnett, Lord of Speke, Lancashire.

The De Molyneux Family


Sefton

The village of Sefton is part of a thin strip of land, populated mainly by fisherfolk in the medieval period, stretching from the north of Liverpool all along the coast to the boundaries of Lancashire. Villages in the area included Crosby, Little Crosby, Aintree [famous for its race track], Formby, Bootle and Lydiate. The Earls of Sefton were the Molyneux Family who held the manor for 1,000 years until the last Earl died without issue in 1972.


(5) Margery de Gernet (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

She was, perhaps, a child of Cecily Hutton. She married Bernard FitzBernard. "William, the son of the same [Benedict Gernet], gave two bovates in Leck to Margery, his sister, on payment of a rent of one pound of pepper per annum . . ." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present." From another source,

"William, his [Benedict's] son, gave ij. bovates in Lecke to Margery, his sister, by one pound of pepper yearly." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 44, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

(5) Winan Gernet (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

Wiman, Wimanus, Winanus. This may be a variant spelling or mis-transcription of Vivian.

W. Gernet was a witness to a charter of Peter, the son of William de Hull, concerning the land of Hull. Other witnesses were "G. [Gilbert] fitz Reinfrid, sheriff of Lancaster [1205-1216]; H., seneschal of Kendal; W. Gernet, R. de Burton, R. of Kirkby Ireleth, Adam de Hyeland, Adam de Kellet, Adam of Capernwray, W. his brother, Thomas Gernet of Heysham [Thomas Gernet de Hessam], and many others. - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster." Who was W. Gernet? Winan/Wiman or William?

The village of Heskin, in Lancashire, owned by Roger Garnet [sic, Winan's brother?] in 1212, was originally given to a Wimanus Gernet.

"Wiman Gernet [Wimanus Gernet,] holds two carucates of land of our lord the King in Heschin [Heskin most likely, though "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present" claims this to be Heysham] by the service of coming towards the King at the borders of the county, with his horn and white wand, and of conducting him into the county, and of remaining with him, and also of reconducting him; and it is worth five marks." - from the "Teste de Nevill [1200-1249]" as cited in "Tenures of Land & Customs of Manors" by Thomas Blount.
Heskin is a village in the district of Chorley, in west Lancashire. It is unclear who this Wimanus was.

(5) Thomas de Gernet (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The fourth son of Benet de Gernet. See the references to him under the name of his brother, Vivian, above. In the Michaelmas Term, 1205, Stephen de Hamerton, plaintiff, and Hugh de Mitton, tenant, met to litigate a carucate of land in Aighton [Aughton].

"Thomas Gernet, attorney for Stephen de Hamerton [plaintiff], essoined himself de malo lecti, and another day was given to the parties on the Octave of St. Hilary, 1206 (C.R. Roll, No. 40)." - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer,
Here Thomas Gernet has asked for a delay in the proceedings, which was granted. In 1208 Stephen quit-claimed the land to Hugh for 14 marks of silver.

In an undated document a grant was made by John Smith of Bruntoft and Emma his wife to Thomas Gerneth [sic] and Cecilia his wife of all their land in Bruntoft. I don't know if this is a Gernet of Halton, Heysham or Caton. Bruntoft is in Durham.

(5) Benedict de Gernet (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The younger brother of Roger de Gernet, the Lord of Halton. I have a Benedict Gernet, born about the same time, who was the head of the Hincaster/Kendall branch of the family. This may be the same man. The next may indicate that, as the younger son, he went into the church - a "Benedict Gernet, parson of Halton" was a witness to a grant on behalf of the chaplain of the Churcn of St. Michael-on-Wyre taken sometime after 1194-1198. There was a penal clause in the grant which was witnessed by Ralph Fletham, the Abbot of Furness [1198-1208] and William, the prior of Lancaster [1188-1207]. "British History Online" holds Benedict Gernet as the rector of Halton church of St. Wilfrid, circa 1190.

(5) Joan de Gernet
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The sister of Roger de Gernet.

(5) Robert de Garnette (c1175)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

The son of Benedict of Speke, he was born circa 1175 in Speke. This information is from the Bradley website. He references "British Roots of Maryland Families" by Robert William Barnes, Baltimore, Maryland, Genealogical Publishing company, 1999. Nothing else is known about this man.

(5) Geoffrey Gernet de Arbury (c1180)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

Galfridus Gernet. Possibly the son [or nephew] of Benedict. The following is a list of knights fees, of which Geoffrey owes 3 knights [milites], or is it 1/3rd as below?

1201 to 1202. "Lancastria. Honor Lancastriae, lx et xij milites et dimidium, et xiij per Vicecomitem [sherrif]; de quibu in perdonis Gilberto filio Reinfray dimidium militem; Willelmo le Boteiler, vij milites; Roberto de Greile, xij milites; Rogero de Monte Begonis, viij milites; Constabulario Cestriae, viij [milites] . . . Ricardus de Molineus, dimidium militem . . . Gilbertus filius Reinfrey, j militem hic et ij in Westmerilonde . . . Rogerus de Frekintone, Galfridus Gernet, Quenilde de Wartone, iij milites. - from "The Red Book of the Exchequer."
Galfridus is latin for Geoffrey. Gilbert FitzReinfrid [de Lancaster] was Baron of Kendal and the sheriff of Lancasterat at this time. William le Boteler was Baron of Warrington. Roger de Montbegon, Lord of Horneby, was the Constable of Chester and a Magna Charta Baron. Note that an earlier Roger of Montbegon joined Ralph Ghernet in witnessing Roger de Poitevin's grant to St. Mary's church in Lancaster, circa 1094. Richard de Molyneux was Lord of Sefton and Speke.

"The manor of Arbury was held in 1212 by the lord of Lowton by knight's service, its rating being half a plough-land. It had been granted by Adam de Lowton to Geoffrey Gernet, who in turn had enfeoffed Thurstan Banastre. Half of it was given by Thurstan to Cockersand Abbey in alms." - from "Townships: Houghton, Middleton and Arbury, British History Online."

". . . The same Adam [the father of William de Lauton] gave to Geoffrey Gerneth half a carucate of land in knight's service. Geoffrey gave those bovates to Thurstan Banastre in knight's service." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 73, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "The half carucate which Adam de Lowton had given to Geoffrey Gernet was the vill of Arbury, one moiety of which Thurstan Banastre gave to Cockersand Abbey." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 73, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Arbury is a hamlet near Winwick, in southern Lancashire, in the parish of Manchester. Thurston Banastre was born in Newton, in Cheshire, in 1192 and died in 1219. The Banastre's were retainers of the Earl of Chester. A Thurston Banstre was the grandfather of Quenilda, the second wife of Roger Gernet.

A further reference to Geoffrey associates him with the Barony of Penwortham.

1199-1201. "It has been possible to draw up a complete Feodary of the Honor of Lancaster at this date, from the returns of the first and second scutages of King John's reign, 1199-1201.
By the Sheriff of Lancaster.
. . .
Roger de Freckleton, Geoffrey Gernet [1/3 fee], Quenild de Warton - for the Barony of Penwortham - Fees: 3
. . .
Benedict Gernet, Chief Forester of Lancaster - Fees: 1" - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer
The Barony of Penwortham, in the region of Preston, on the Ribble estuary, was under the lordship of the Bussel family. That information makes the next reference of interest.
"Benedictus Gernet r.c. de j palefrido pro habenda in custodia Baronia quae fuit Hugonis Buissel quamdiu fuerit in manu Regis. In th'ro Nichil. Et in pardonis ipsi Benedicto j paefrides per breve Regis." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer
So Geoffrey's father or brother, Benedict, was also closely associated with the barony.

(5) Philippus Gernet (c1180)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110) (4) Benedict de Gernet (c1150)

Possibly the son [or nephew] of Benedict.

5 John [1202-1203]. "Philippus Gernet dev. xx.s. pro licentia concordandi." - from "The Lancashire Pipe Rolls of 31 Henry I., A.D. 1130, and of the Reigns of Henry II., A.D...." by W. Farrer
This was apparently a fee or a fine of 20 shillings that Phillip paid for a licence probably associated with a land deal.

Def: pro licentia concordandi - This was a licence to agree, though not necessarily for a final concord. When a suit had been entered in the Court no compromise could be entered into, or agreement made, without the sanction of the Court, and the payment of a fine "pro licentia concordandi." But an agreement made in the King's Court, respecting a title which had been questioned by the adverse party, and ratified by the sanction of the King's own Justices, possessed a value which no other process could give. Accordingly the ingenuity of the lawyers soon suggested the institution of fictitious suits in order that any conveyance, or transfer, whether by sale or in trust, or to effect a family settlement, might possess the authenticity and security which ratification before a High Court of Justice gave to it. - from "British History Online"

(4) Alexander de Gernet (c1136)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Adam de Gernet (c1110)

Possibly the son of Adam. He appears in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II with Walter de Cantalupe and Galfridus de Boulers. I place him here because Galfridus was a younger son of Baldwin de Bollers and Margaret de Lymeseye making him the half-brother of Maud de Boulers, who married (4) Benedict de Gernet - from "Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica: Fourth Series" edited by W. Bruce Bannerman. This may, alternatively, be Alexander Gernet of Essex.


Lords of Lydiate

(3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080)

William was the youngest of the three sons of Vivian Gernet. He was in possession of the manor of Lydiate. Early in the 12th century the manor had been granted to Pain de Vilers as part of his fee of Warrington, to which it continued to belong.

"The same Paganus [Pain] also gave six bovates of land to William Gernet in Lydiate, which Benedict [de Lydiate] the son of Simon [de Lydiate], and Alan [de Halsall] his brother, held of William Pincerna [le Boteler]." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present"
It was held by knight's service a three-fortieths of a knight's fee.

Lydiate

Lydiate is a small village on the east bank of the Alt river in Lancashire, about 10 miles north of Liverpool. It has the ruins of St. Catherine's Chapel which was built by the Lord of the Manor, Lawrence Ireland, and those of Lydiate Hall. The ruined church is known locally as "Lydiate Abbey." The Ireland family received Lydiate from the le Boteler family in payment for debts owed by Edward le Boteler, last of the family.

The manor of Lydiate was originally owned by Roger de Poutou. It passed from him to Pain de Villiers and from him to the Gernet family through the marriage of his daughter, Emma, to Vivian Gernet. Did the le Boteler family get the manor of Lydiate through marriage with Alicia Garnet, William's daughter?

Lydiate means 'a place at the swing-gate' which is taken from the Old English word 'hild-geat' first recorded in 1202 as' Liddigate' although a 'Leite' was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Lydiate is home to the 'Scotch Piper,' the oldest pub in Lancashire. Built in 1320 around the base of an old tree, legend has it that Cromwell once made his headquarters at the inn. It is also said that the Scottish piper who was wounded in the fighting nearby was nursed back to health by the daughter of the innkeeper; they fell in love and eventually married.

The following deals with land in Staplethorne that William had a claim upon.

". . . that Warine [the little] had obtained this land [...] with his wife Berleta, and that she was a Gernet. They gave it to Furness [the abbey] in consideration of a small sum of money, and dying without issue, the monks subsequently obtained a confirmation or regrant from William Gernet, whose rightful inheritance it doubtless was." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.
Circa 1127. "To all the sons of holy mother church, Warine, son of Orme, sendeth greeting. Know that for the health of my soul and the souls of my parents, I have given to God and the monks of Fournes in perpetual alms half a carucate of land in Stapilthorne . . . In my presence they give me twenty shillings, and to my wife, whose marriage portion it is, ten shillings and a gold ring."
In the following extract this land is referred to as Belmont, or Beaumont. Note that there was a Beaumont estate just west of Halton.
"The gift of Belmont, or Beaumont, by Warine, the little [son of Orme. Could he be part of the de Lancaster or de Kellet families?], is recorded in the following charters, which suggest that Warine had obtained this land with his wife Berleta, and that she was a Gernet. They gave it to Furness in consideration of a small sum of money, and dying without issue, the monks subsequently obtained a confirmation or regrant from William Gernet, whose rightful inheritance it doubtless was." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 85, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "To all, &c., William Gernet sendeth greeting. Know that I, having regard for my soul and considering my old age, have committed all the care of my body and soul to the abbot and monks of St. Mary of Fournes, and by the consent and grant of William and Matthew, my sons, have given half a carucate of land in Stapilthorne to the same monks for an everlasting possession, to hold free and quit of all earthly service or exaction belonging to me or my heirs, save that they shall perform forinsec service for this land." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 85, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Note that Roger, the Poitevin, gave to Warine [before 1102], the little, half a bovate of land in Lancaster and he held it until [after 1127, being childless] he and his wife gave themselves up to religion [took the religious habit and retired] in the abbey of Furness. Berleta must be a sister of (2) Vivian and William's aunt.

Def: Forinsec Service - This was that service due to the crown over and above that which was due to the immediately superior lord. It was outside the bounds of the bargain made between the lord and his tenant.

The next implies that William was the son of Vivian's first wife, not of Emma, the daughter of Pain de Vilers.

". . . that Pain (Paganus) de Vilers, the first enfeoffed, gave to Alan de Vilers, his son, five carucates of land in knight's service . . . The same Pain gave six bovates of land in Lidiate to William Gerneth by knight's service, where ten carucates of land make the fee of one knight, . . . The same Pain gave one carucate in Windhul, and one carucate in Halsale to Vivian Gerneth in marriage with Emma, his daughter, [to hold] by knight's service, where ten carucates make the fee of one knight."

Footnote. ". . . William Gernet, to whom Pain de Vilers gave Lydiate, was a younger son of Vivian Gernet, and probably had issue three daughters, (1) Mabel, (2) Alice, and (3) Petronilla. It appears not improbable that one of these three co-heirs brought Lydiate in marriage to Simon de Lydiate, father of Benedict de Lydiate and Alan de Halsall . . . Alan, son of Simon de Lydiate, appears to have married Alice, heiress of Halsall. It is uncertain whether she was a Villers or a Gernet . . ." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 8, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"The descendants of William Gernet became De Lydiates and De Halsalls, having adopted the names of their manors." - from "The Battle Abbey Roll."
"Amongst the benefactors of the canons of Thurgarton were Petronilla and Alice, daughters of William Gernet. If the tenet of this entry is correct, Willliam Gernet must have been far advanced inyears at the date of this inquest." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 11, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

A William Garnet had a daughter, Alicia, who married Almeric [Emery], the son of William Pincerna le Botelier and Beatrice de Vilars. Their son was William le Boteler, Baron of Warrington. See HRH William's Forebears. Note that the le Boteler creditors in the 15th century ended up in possession of Lydiate. Their claim on the property may stem from this marriage.

William's children were,
(4) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1155)
(4) Mathew de Gernet of Lydiate (c1155)
(4) Mabel de Gernet (c1155)
(4) Alice de Gernet (c1155)
(4) Petronilla de Gernet (c1155)

(4) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1155)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

The son of William Gernet of Lydiate.

Circa 1212. "To all, &c., William Gernet sendeth greeting. Know that I, having regard for my soul and considering my old age, have committed all the care of my body and soul to the abbot and monks of St. Mary of Fournes, and by the consent and grant of William and Mathew, my sons, have given half a carucate of land in Stapilthorne to the same monks for an everlasting possession . . ."
The following may apply to our William, though I don't have anything that says the Gernet's of Lydiate had a claim on Fishwick.
7-8 Henry III [1224]. "William le Vilein and Cecily his wife, sued Roger Gernet, brother and heir of William Gernet [of Halton], in a plea to warrant to them the Manor of Fishwic, which William Gernet [of Lydiate?] claimed as his right; whereupon they called to warrant the said Roger, who did not appear. Judgement to be taken from his land to the value of that Manor, and to be summoned for the Octave of St. Hilary."
9 Henry III [20 January 1225]. "Between William Gernet [of Lydiate?], plaintiff, and Roger Gernet [of Halton], whom William de Vilein and Cecily his wife called to warrant, respecting Cecily's dower of the Manor of Fishwic with the appurtenances, which Manor William Gernet claimed against William and Cecily, and which Roger warranted to them. William Gernet quit-claimed from himself and his heirs, to Roger, William and Cecily, and the heirs of Roger, in perpetuity, all his right in the Manor. For this quit-claim Roger granted that William Gernet and his heirs should have and hold half a carucate of land in Crophill, which he formerly held of Roger and his heirs, performing therefor forinsec service belonging to half a carucate of land, where 21 carucates make the service of one knight for all service." from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster: From the Original Chirographs, Or Feet of Fines..." by William Farrer.
Crophill had been a de Vilar's property. Did William inherit this from his father from the original grant of Lydiate?

Crophill

Croppul, Crophill-Boteler, and today, Cropwell-Butler, in Nottinghamshire. Initially a de Vilars property, it passed into the le Boteler family when Richard Pincerna married Beatrix de Vilars. Around 1180 a forebear of the Stantons was granted lands there. William le Boteler and Walter de Stanton, and in a later generation, William FitzAlmeric le Boteler and Robert de Stanton squabbled endlessly over these lands. Interestingly, Almeric le Boteler's widow, Alina/Alicia Garnet, the daugther of William Garnet, married Walter de Stanton. They possessed one knight's fee in Cropul.

The dates following are difficult, but must apply to an heir of (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125).
"Of the gift of Matthew de Vilers, William Gerneth holds fourteen bovates of land in Croppul, it is not known by what service." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 8, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
1242-3. "The chapter of Suwelle (Southwell) and prior of Lenton, hold the whole vill of Crophill in pure alms of the fee of John de Vilers, except xiiij. bovates of land which William Gernet [held] of the same John for vjd. yearly." - from page xix, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
A William Gernet held 14 bovates of land in the vill of Crophill of John de Vilers for 6d - from the "Testa de Nevill."

(4) Mathew de Gernet of Lydiate (c1155)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

A son of William of Lydiate. A Matthew Gernet, possibly the later Matthew of Caton, "paid 10 marks to have seisin of his lands, of which he had been dispossessed because he was in exercitu de Kendala [in training (possibly as a part of a body of soldiers) at Kendal], with the men of . . . " - from "The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal" by Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

(4) Mabel de Gernet (c1155)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

"In a charter dated 1191 Mabel daughter of William Gernet granted an acre of land in Maghull, to God and St. Cuthbert of Halsall." - from "British History Online."

(4) Alice de Gernet (c1155)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

Alice married Alan, the younger son of Simon de Lydiate, and brought the manor of Halsall with her. Confusingly, this marriage is sometimes claimed to be between Alice and Simon, Alan's father.

Pain de Vilers had originally given Halsall to Vivian Gernet, Alice's grandfather. Alice's father, William, had gained property in Lydiate, a nearby village, at the same time. In 1212 Robert de Vilers was the lord and Alan, the son of Simon de Lydiate, held of him. Alan "took the name de Halsall from his manor and was the ancestor of the long line of Halsall of Halsall." - from "Lancashire Inquest, Extents and Feudal Aids."

". . . Alan, son of Simon de Lydiate, appears to have married Alice, heiress of Halsall. It is uncertain whether she was a Villers or a Gernet . . ." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 8, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Alice is in other references merely called the "heiress of Vivian Gernet," conceivably a daughter. Alan and Alice were mentioned together in Halsall charters indicating her dower rights. Their son, Simon, succeeded.

The Village of Halsall

Just to the West of Ormskirk, in the diocese of Liverpool, is the village of Halsall. It is very old, appearing in the Domesday book with the name "Heleshala." It was an island for centuries, surrounded by marshland and meres until they were finally drained in the 19th century. Much of this western part of the parish is now richly fertile farming land won from the extensive Halsall Moss, which stretched four-and-a-half miles to the sea. The village is now located on the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool canal.


The Halsall Family

The Halsall family lived at Halsall Manor from Medieval to Tudor times. The earliest certain mention of the Halsall family is found in Simon de Halsall, who lived in the closing years of the 12th Century and who seems to have held the Manor of Halsall and the land of Robert de Villiers in the reign of Henry III. His grandson, Gilbert de Halsall held the Manor under Sir William le Botiller, the lord of Warrington. The Manor continued in the Halsall family until the latter end of the sixteenth century, when it was sold, along with the Advowson, by Sir Cuthbert Halsall to Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls, of Gerard’s Bromley, knight, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Their arms were argent, two bars azure within a bordure engrailed sable.


(4) Petronilla de Gernet (c1155)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) William de Gernet of Lydiate (c1125)

"(3.) William de Vilars, the third son, received from his father, Paganus, Newbold, to hold in knight's service. He was a contemporary of Roger archbishop of York who died in 1181, and his wife, Petronilla, is supposed to have been a Garnet [sic]." - from "Remains historical and literary connected with the Palatine counties of Lancashire and Chester."


(2) Berleta Gernet (c1080)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050)

Berleta married Warine, the litte [Warinum Paruum], the son of Orme. Also as Warin and Waryne. The following deals with land in Staplethorne, of Berleta Gernet.

". . . that Warine [the little] had obtained this land [Staplethoren] with his wife Berleta, and that she was a Gernet. They gave it to Furness [the abbey] in consideration of a small sum of money, and dying without issue, the monks subsequently obtained a confirmation or regrant from William Gernet, whose rightful inheritance it doubtless was." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.
The same was true, in all particulars, of Warine's lands in Belmont, also as Belmount, Beaumont, or Beaumond. Staplethorne, also known as Stapleturn, Stopeltierne (in the Domesday Book), Stapleton Terne, Staplethorn and Staplethorpe, was located "nigh the town of Slyne," which is about 3 miles north of Lancaster. Beaumont belonged to the town of Skerton, which is between Slyne and Lancaster. It was a small estate, upon which sat two or three houses, and was situated 600 yards due east from Slyne Hall, immediately under a farm called Ancliffe. Today Beaumont Gate farm is located just northeast of Skerton, while Belmount is between Skerton and Slyne.
Circa 1127. "To all the sons of holy mother church, Warine, son of Orme, sendeth greeting. Know that for the health of my soul and the souls of my parents, I have given to God and the monks of Fournes in perpetual alms half a carucate of land in Stapilthorne . . . In my presence they give me twenty shillings, and to my wife, whose marriage portion it is, ten shillings and a gold ring."
Circa 1212. "To all, &c., William Gernet sendeth greeting. Know that I, having regard for my soul and considering my old age, have committed all the care of my body and soul to the abbot and monks of St. Mary of Fournes, and by the consent and grant of William and Mathew, my sons, have given half a carucate of land in Stapilthorne to the same monks for an everlasting possession . . ."
Note that "Count Roger the Poitevin gave to Warine, the little, half a bovate of land in Lancaster. This would be before 1102. Sometime after 1127, Warine, and his wife, Berleta, being childless and advanced in years, took the religious habit and retired to the abbey of Furness, giving their land in Lancaster, as they also gave their adjacent land of Belmont, or Beaumont, to the monks of that house." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer. Berleta must be a sister of (2) Vivian.



Latter Day Gernet's of Southern Lancashire

The Gernet's of Bold

Bold is a village in the parish of Prescot, Lancashire.

(9) Roger Gernet of Bold (c1300)

In 1322 Lay Subsidies were levied on "Rogo Gernet of Bold, 9. s." - from "Exchequer Lay Subsidy Roll, Lancashire, A. D. 1332," Miscellanies from The Book of the Abbot of Combermere, 1289-1529.

Bold

Or Bolde, Boulde, or Bould. A manor of four ploughlands. The area, which measures 4,483 acres, is divided by a brook, now called Whittle Brook, but formerly Holbrook, running across it from the north-west boundary to Great Sankey. Cambal Wood lay in the south-east corner; on the south was Bold Heath, with Crow Heath and Lunt Heath on the borders of Cuerdley and Widnes. In the south-west corner was Cranshaw Hall.


Def: Lay Subsidies - Lay subsidies were taxes that were levied from the 12th to 17th centuries on moveable personal property such as goods, crops or wages above a variable minimum value. Subsidies were also sometimes levied on land and buildings. The subsidies were called lay subsidies because clerical property was exampt, although there were separate clerical subsidies.

(9) Adam Gernet of Bold (c1300)

Perhaps a brother of Roger? The father of Roger, below.

(10) Roger Gernet of Bold (c1330)
(9) Adam Gernet of Bold (c1300)

". . . in 1364 Jordan de Edge and Ibota his wife granted to Roger son of Adam Gernet of Bold a part of his land in Cranshaw, one haed abutting upon the chapel of Farnworth and the other upon land of Richard son of Henry de Bold." "In 1391 Roger son of Adam Gernet sold his lands to Sir John de Bold; 'Gernet field' is mentioned in 1425 in a quitclaim by William Bruen and Richard his son to Randle son of Richard Bold." - from "British History Online."

(9) William Gernet of Bold (c1300)

(10) Richard Gernet of Bold (c1330)
(9) William Gernet of Bold (c1300)

26 January 1351, at Westminster. "Commission of oyer and terminer to Thomas de Fencotes, Thomas de Lathum, 'chivaler,' the elder, Henry de Haydok, clerk, and Gilbert de Haydok, on complaint by Henry de Ditton that William de Wydenesse, Margery his wife, Richard son of William Gernet of Bolde, . . . and others, broke his houses at Penketh and Great Sonky [Sankey], co. Lancaster, burned the timber thereof and carried away his goods." - from the "Patent Rolls" of Edward III.


Gernet's of Warrington and Prescott

These men lived during the last years of Henry V, the War of the Roses during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III, and into the better times of Henry VII, the first Tudor King.

(11) Thomas Gernet of Chester (c1375)

Possibly affliated with the Gernets below. He was a citizen of the town of Chester.

"1412-13, March 16. John, of Nantwich, David le Seintpiere, Thomas Gernet, Robert son of Robert Danyell, Ralph Pekoc, and Randal de Wetenhale, recognizance of 200l, that the said John Kingsley keep the peace towards Randal le Maynwaring, John de Bromley, and Richard de Smalwode and Agnes his wife." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
From the UK Archives, the Vernon Family of Kinderton, Cheshire, are notations about a Thomas Gernet, Civis Cestr, that is, citizen of Chester. He could be a descendant of John Gernet of Caton who gained properties in nearby Liverpool upon his marriage to Margery de la More.
- 1423, Stanford (in Cristleton), "Lease by Thomas Gernet to Ralph de Cotgrave of a croft at Stanford Bridge called Deconscroft for 2 lives."

- 2 Henry VI [1424], Stanford (in Cristleton), "Feoffment by "Thomas Gernet Civis Cestr" to "Rico de Hafford Capell et Rico de Wermynchm Civ Cestr of & tenement (Bounded)."

- 3 Henry VI [1425], "Lease by "Thomas Gernet Civis Cestr" to "Johi de Ovrton Civi prdce Civitat & Henrico Watrford Clico" of two Cellars under a Shop in Bruggestrete at the corner of Watrgatestrete for 39 years."

- 12 Henry VI [1434], "Grant by "Thomas Gernet Civis Cestr" to "Thome le Venables fil Willi le Venables de Kinderton" of a yearly rent of 3s. 4d. issuing out of a parcel of land with a building thereupon being in Eastgatestrete in the Cokerowe. Rendering yearly a red rose on the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist."

- 12 Henry VI [1434], "Release thereof by "Thomas Gernet Civis Cestr" to "Thome le Venables fil Willi le Venables de Kinderton" of a yearly rent of 3s. 4d. issuing out of a parcel of land with a building thereupon being in Eastgatestrete in the Cokerowe. Rendering yearly a red rose on the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist."

- 20 December, 33 Henry VI [1455], Stanford (in Cristleton), "Grant by Thomas Gernet to "Johii Donne de Ulkinton et Rico Donne de Ulkinton armigri" of a croft near Stanford Bridge called Deconcroft."
Note that Joan de Gernet of Halton, who married William de Dacre, had a grand-daughter, Mary Dacre, who married Sir Ralph Vernon, Baron Vernon of Shipbrook, Cheshire. Her daughter, Agatha Vernon, married Hugh de Venables, 6th Baron Venables of Kinderton, and Sheriff of Cheshire. My guess is that some of the Gernet's, those outside the direct line of inheritance, accompanied Mary Dacre to Cheshire and, through the influence of the Vernons and Venables, obtained positions.
"Thome le Venables fil Willi le Venables de Kinderton"
William was probably the third son of Hugh de Venables, Baron of Kinderton. Of Goldborne and Moston. He was Constable of Chester castle 5 Henry IV. He became Baron of Kinderton by a grant of Henry IV upon the attainder of his brother, Richard, who was beheaded in the aftermath of the battle of Shrewsbury. William settled the barony on the "rightful heir," his nephew, Hugh. With his wife, Blanche, had a son, Thomas, who was heir 16 Henry VI [1440]. Thomas Gernet would appear to be quite the big man, leasing property to such a lord.

(12) William Gernet (c1385)

Esquire, "the Warrington lawyer." Of Weryngton [Warrington], on the extreme southern border of Lancashire, just up the river from Runcorn and Widnes. Remember that Paginus Villiers, Baron of Warrington, gave an earlier William Gernet the manor of Lydiate. This line may be of Lydiate, which is nearer to Liverpool. I have a reference to a Willelmum Gernet of Weryngton as early as 17 October 1415. William Gernet married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard.

"Piers (Peter) Gerard, born circa 1407 and died 26 March 1447. Married Isabel Harrington, daughter of Sir William Harrington. Knight of the shire in 1445. Purchased the wardship and marriage of his cousin's son, John Jr., which he married to his own daughter, Margaret in 1444. Sir John, Sr. was the son of Sir William Botiller (Butler), brother to Peter's mother Alice. Sir Peter's uncle William Gernet, was a grantee of the wardship of Sir William Butler who died at Harfleur September, 1415." - from Gerard Family web site

On 22 February 1420 John Butler, soldier and commissioner of musters, made his will. He left his body to be buried in the parish church of Warrington, where his parents were buried. He appointed "his fellow soldier Nicholas Merbury, and William Garnet of Warrington, "juris peritus,"" executors of his will. - from the "History of Warrington Friary"

"Grant John Bullok to William of the Hethe, chaplain DDM 30/10 (12 Aug. 1420). Contents: -- All his properties in Fasacreley in Walton -- Witn. Hamo the Mascy, Hugh of Wolston, William the Bruche, William Gernet, William Arrosmyth. Given at Weryngton, Mon. before Assumption B.V.M., 8 Hen. V." - from the National Archives
c1421. "After sir William Boteler's death the king granted the wardship of his Lancashire estates (except the dower of dame Elizabeth his widow) to Peter de Dutton, sir Gilbert de Haydock, John Gerard esquire, and William Gernet esquire." - from "Annals of the Lords of Warrington for the First Five Centuries After the Conquest."
William Boteler was Lord of the Barony of Warrington.

27 July 1426. Grant: Hamon the Smyth, son and heir of Richard the Smyth of Rixton, to Hamon the Mascy of Rixton -- properties in Rixton which belonged to R.S. -- Witn: Sir John Botiller, Hugh of Wolston, William Gernet, William of the Bruche, Robert of Sonky. Given Sat. after St. James, 4 Hen. VI. Seal. - from the National Archives
Note that an earlier Hamon Mascy married the widow of William Gernet of Lydiate.
"1441. Grant from William Fletcher de Weyngton, senior, to William Garnet, senior, of premises in "Kirk strete" Weryngton and land in "Hollay." Witnesses, William de Holbrok, Gilbert Faukener, John Frende, Henry Fyscher and Thomas Ledebeter. Dated at Weryngton, 1st December, 20 Henry VI.

1459 Grant from Thomas Hawardyne and Thomas Olyver, chaplain, to William Gernet, Esqr. and to Henry Gernet his son of all their messuages, &c, in Weryngton. The same being entailed upon William Gernet's son Henry, Robert, Thomas, Richard, senior, brother to the said Thomas [Hawardyne], Richard brother to the aforesaid Richard, Brian and Geoffrey Gernet. Also William's daughter Joan, wife of Adam de Lever, Egidus [i.e. Giles] Gernet, bastard son of Geoffrey Gernet aforesaid and Alice de Bradshagh. William Gernet bastard son of the aforesaid Robert being also named in the entail. Witnesses, Sir John Botiller, Kn l, Ralph de Rixton, John Sonky, Richard Bruch and Thomas Penketh. Dated at Weryngton, Monday after Palm Sunday, 19th March ? 37 Henry VI. W. 52." - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire"

(13) Joan Gernet (c1415)
(12) William Gernet (c1385)

Joan, wife of Adam de Lever.

(13) Henry Gernet (c1415)
(12) William Gernet (c1385)

Henry is mentioned 38 times in the records of Warrington in the 15th century.

"Henry Garnet, son and heir of William Garnet late of Warrington lawyer, hold of the said Peter Legh in capite by military service ne fair hall, call the hall near le Hallumswalle, with two high chambers, a kitchen, stable, cowhouse, barn, appleyard, and a croft containing near an acre of fresh land, in a street of the said town of Weryngton . . ." - from "Warrington in M.CCCC.LXV"
"1483. Grant from Henry Gernet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton Esq re , of a parcel of land in the vicinity of Baglawne in the town of Weryngton lying between land of Ralph Rixton and that of the heirs of Pasmythe. Witnesses, Hamon Penkethe, Ralph Rixton, Thomas Hawrdeyne, Richard Tongton and John Twysse. Dated 4th April, 23 Edward IV. W. 65.

1483. Grant from Henry Garnet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton Esqr of a burgage and garden between the burgages of Thomas Botiller Esq. and Richard Bryche in Weryngton. Witnesses, Hamon Penketh, Ralph Rixton, Thomas Hawardyne, Richard Longton, and John Twysse. Dated 10th April, 23 Edward IV.

1484. Grant from Henry Gernet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton Esq. of a parcel of land in Hollay within the parish of Weryngton, in the tenures of Edmund More and Richard Ryder, lying between the land of Hugh Bryche and Downehouse medo' on the one side, and the land of the Parish Church of Weryngton on the other. Witnesses, Hamon Penkethe, Ralph Rixton, Thomas Hawardyne, Richard Langton, and John Twysse. Dated 28th November, 2 Richard III. Seal red, within an octagon a pelican feeding her young, a scroll above, letter illegible."

1489. Grant from Henry Gernet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton Esq., of a tenement and close in Dadfeld in Weryngton. Witnesses, Hamon Penketh, Ralph Rixton, Tho" Hawardyne. Dated 7th May, 4 Henry VII. W. 72.

1490. Grant from Henry Gernet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton of a messuage and garden in Weryngton and land abutting on the Kyrkestret. Witnesses, Thomas Hawardyne, Hugh Bruche, and James Karr. Dated at Weryngton. Wednesday after S. Barnabas, 6 Henry VII. W. 73.

1497. Grant from Henry Gernet to Hamon Mascy of Rixton Esq 1 ' of a parcel of land near Dadfeld Cross in Weryngton. Witnesses, Henry Rysley, Hamon Penketh, Ralph Rixton, Thomas Hawardyne, and Hugh Bruche. Dated 4 th June, 12 Henry VII. W. 76." - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire"
Henry Garnet is repeatedly mentioned, mostly in Layin, in "Chief Rents in Weryngton" by Sir Peter Legh and William Beaumont.

(14) William Gernet (c1445)
(12) William Gernet (c1385) (13) Henry Gernet (c1415)

December 3 Henry VIII. "1511. Grant from William Gernet of Weryngton to John Mascy of Rixton of the mediety of one acre of land in Weryngton,- lying near the "Merce." Lawrence Wynstanley and John Matley appointed attorneys to deliver seizin. Witnesses, Sir Thomas Boteler Kn'. Thomas Boteler" - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire"
"MS 618 1522. Contents:
1 Richard Bold, kt
2 Magister Mathew Smyth, clerk, and his brother Roger Smyth
Grant from 1 to 2 of messuage in Bold, formerly occupied by Michael Molyneux. Recites information as in MS 609 23 Oct 1522
Witnesses: John Bold, Henry Smyth, Henry Sonky, William Gernet, Edward Bar[?]
Latin; Seal tag only

(15) Robert Gernet (c1475)

1514, 6 Henry VIII. "Subsidy in West Derby Hundred.
Costabuls of Huyton cu Roby . . . Willm Tarleton, Robt Gernet . . . xxiiijs viijd xxp" - from "Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire." Huyton-with-Roby is southwest of Prescot.

(12) Brian Gernet (c1385)

Brother or cousin to William?

(12) Geoffrey Gernet (c1385)

Brother or cousin to William?

(13) Giles Gernet (c1415)
(12) Geoffrey Gernet (c1385)

Egidus [i.e. Giles] Gernet, bastard son of Geoffrey Gernet.

(12) Robert Gernet (c1385)

(13) William Gernet (c1415)
(12) Robert Gernet (c1385)

William Gernet bastard son of the aforesaid Robert.

(12) Thomas Gernet (c1385)

(12) Richard Gernet (c1385)

A Richard Gernet of Prescot was an aletaster. He died seised of sundry lands. Other possible sons were George Gernet and Edward Gernet, priest.

(13) Evan Gernet (c1415)
(12) Richard Gernet (c1385)

"Richard Gernet died seised of sundry messuages and lands, and Evan Gernet his son is next heir, saving the small messuage and garden next the house of Ralph . . . Evan Gernet v. the said Hamlet [Law] and William, for detinue of 7 cartloads of coals worth 3s. 6d., which Richard Law had in his . . ." - from "A Selection from the Prescot Court Leet and Other Records, 1447-1600."

Also known as Van Gernet. "Item, to Van Gernet, for castynge of claye to the beddyng of the lead when the plommer {sic), ijd." from "Lancashire and Cheshire."


The Halton Surname

While I've always felt that the Halton name referred only to the Barons of Halton, in Cheshire, the material below provides an alternate descent for other members of the Gernet of Halton family.

Looking for Halton Origins
by Dennis Halton

When I initially became interested in looking for my origins I started by reading a number of books in the library, which purport to give the origins of surnames. They did not give a great deal of information but I did learn that initially there were at least six independent de Halton families around the country [England]. They almost always mentioned a William de Halton and in one book it was suggested that all living Haltons in this country were possibly descended from him. I have since then traced details on a number of these families and found nothing to refute this opinion. The Baron de Halton family of Cheshire passed the title to the de Lacy family by marriage, the Baronets of Samford died out in 1823 and the Northumberland family passed the inheritance to the Carnaby family by marriage.

I then looked in the book “National Biographies” and found among others Immanuel Halton and realised that the family owned property, Greenthwaite Hall in Greystokes, Cumberland. I then made the connection that if they were landowners then they might be included in Burkes “Landed Gentry” and they are. The main family tree was given right back to William de Halton in 1346, the date on which he appears to have taken possession of Greenthwaite Hall and extended it to three stories (this is the time and area where border raids with the Scots was a fact of life). I also noticed that in addition to Greenthwaite Hall he was also given as from Halton, Lancashire.

My next step was to have a look at Halton in the Domesday Book and was quite surprised to find out its size. It was still listed as Earl Tosti’s lands and covered virtually the whole of what is now Lancashire north of the River Ribble including some 23 sub manors. At this stage I assumed that if I dug further I would find that at some stage I would find that the Halton family had owned the Manor! Ultimately I found a small book “Annals of the Parish of Halton” written by the Vicar and printed in 1837. Most of the introduction is devoted to tracing out the ownership of Halton Manor from pre 1066 up to the early 19th Cent when it was dispersed between several members of a large family. My biggest surprise was the lack of any “Haltons” in the chain of ownership. My first thoughts were that there must have been a change of name when English Surnames started to be used though I knew of no precedence for this. I was given some hope, in the text where some individuals used a halfway name, Roger Gurnet de Halton and Vivian Gerneth de Halton.

The next link in the chain came when I uncovered a document on the Internet titled “Curwen of Gresgarth” in which a change of name is quoted, the Gernet family living at Caton adopted the name “de Caton” in the late 13th Cent. This was evidence that at least the change was possible. Further confirmation came when I found your Web site.

Tracking the main line of the Gurnet’s of Halton it seems to have been; Benedict, Roger, Benedict and Joan. Depending upon where I look Joan could be either Benedict’s daughter or sister; in either case she ended up sole heiress. On her marriage to William Dacre the estate passed to that family. However I found at least one family member not in this direct line, Vivian de Halton, suggesting that there could be junior branches living at Halton who may have taken the name de Halton when surnames became more universal.

My last step in an attempt to close the link is to try to locate some “de Halton’s” living in the area. I found some such published in the “Record Society Publication of Original Documents Re Lancashire & Cheshire” Lancashire Court Rolls 1323-4;
1) 25/11/1323 Diota de Halton licence to brew 6d
2) 25/11/1323 Alina daughter of William de Halton for breach of the peace 3d
3) 8/7/1326 Avise de Halton in mercy for the assize of ale broken 3d

I have seen in an article on Immanuel Halton a statement that the family goes back to an Adam de Halton (d 1301) who must have been the grandfather of William de Halton of Greenthwaite Hall. The William mentioned in the Court Rolls must have been of the intervening generation, perhaps his father.

I realise that all this still does not constitute a proof of a change from Gernet to de Halton and I am continuing to probe. However it seems to me that logically there should be a join somewhere along the line. I feel that there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to make your comment that those Gernets living at Halton did not take this step is a little too pessimistic.

Dennis Halton 3 May 2004

See William de Halton Greenthwaite Hall. The following is a proposed descent of the de Halton/Gernet family based, in part, on Dennis' research.

(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220)

A junior branch of the Gernet family of Halton? The Halton family seems to have originated in the village of Halton, in Lancashire. Note that (5) Vivian Gernet (c1175), above, the third son of Benedict Gernet of Halton, is unaccounted for.

(7) Adam de Halton (c1250)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220)

He died in 1301. During his life time Joan de Gernet de Halton, sole heir of Benedict de Gernet de Halton and wife of William Baron Dacre, owned the Halton & Heysham manors. Was he her cousin?

In 1276, a Sir John Halton, the Sheriff of Northumberland, was brought before his own court where he was charged with ‘lifting’ cattle belonging to a Thomas Fairburn of Wark on Tyne, and having them driven to his mansion at Sewingshields. He was forced to pay ten marks in silver to Thomas Fairburn. Sewingshields is a pele tower in Northumberland, near Hadrian's Wall. The region is extremely rugged.

(8) William de Halton (c1280)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250)

Father of Alina de Halton, who broke the peace in 1323?

(9) William de Halton II (c1310)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280)

William was recorded in possession of Greenthwaite Hall, Greystoke, Cumberland in 1346. He married Marjorie Knott. The arms of Halton of Greenthwaite Hall, county Cumberland, temp. Richard II: Per pale [divided vertically into two equal parts] gules [red] and azure [blue], a lion rampant or [gold].

Greenthwaite Hall

Greystoke is a village on the borders of the Lake District. Greystoke castle was a seat of the Howard family from as early as the 1500's. Greenthwaite Hall, a countryside manor, originated as a Pele tower and was part of the Barony of Greystoke. It is a reminder of the unsettled time in the border region.

Pele Towers

Edward I determined to subdue Scotland and the Scots resisted, often raiding Northern England, leaving death and destruction. Determined to resist further invasion, the people of Cumberland and Westmorland built defensive structures known as pele towers, quite unique to the north of England. Sometimes referred to as a "poor man's castle," these were small stone buildings with walls from 3 to 10 feet thick, square or oblong in shape. Most were on the outskirts of the Lake District. Designed to withstand short sieges, they usually consisted of three storeys - a tunnel-vaulted ground floor which had no windows which was used as a storage area, and which could accommodate animals. The first floor contained a hall and kitchen, and the top floor was space for living and sleeping. The battlemented roof was normally flat for look-out purposes, and to allow arrows to be fired at raiders, and missiles hurled down on unwanted visitors. As more peaceful times approached these towers were modified, becoming country homes.


(10) Adam de Halton (c1390)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310)

(11) John de Halton (circa 1420)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390)

(12) Miles de Halton (c1450)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420)

It was around this time that Thomas Dacre II, a lineal descendent of Joan de Gernet de Halton, became the Baron of Greystoke, and thus Miles' overlord, having married Elizabeth Greystoke. Did he acknowledge the distant relationship?

(13) James de Halton (c1480)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450)

(14) Miles de Halton (c1510)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480)

(15) John de Halton (c1540)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510)

(16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540)

It was around this time that the last Dacre Baron, George, died, and his three sisters all married into the Howard family. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, the old Duke's eldest son, married Lady Anne Dacre, and received the barony of Greystoke.

(17) Miles Halton (1599)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570)

He was sheriff of Cumberland in 1652. From a monumental inscription, parish of Greystoke, Cumberland : Miles Halton 1652 [presumably his date of death].

(18) Dr. Timothy Halton (1632)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599)

Baptized at Greystoke Church on 19 September 1638. He entered Queen's College as a butler on 9 March 1648/9 and was elected a fellow in April 1657. A Doctor of Divinity, Archdeacon of Brecknock, in the County of Brecknock from 1671 to 1691. Provost of Queens College Oxford circa 1692. He died in 1704.

(18) John Halton (circa 1630)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599)

Associated with Timothy Halton. He also appears to have been a Doctor of Divinity.

(18) Immanuel Halton (1628)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599)

He was born in Greystoke, Cumberland on 21 April 1628, the eldest son of Miles Halton of Greenthwaite Hall where his family had resided since the time of Richard II. He was educatd at Blencowe grammar school in Cumberland and then studied at Grays Inn, London, during the Civil War. He entered the service of Henry Howard, later 6th Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Arundel, during the Commonwealth period. It was due to this position that he came into Derbyshire and spent the latter part of his life there. He married Mary Newton of Oakerthorpe, in Derbyshire. They had three sons, two of whom had issue.

Greenthwaite Hall remained the family's main home until the 17th century when Immanuel [Imanuel] was given the Manor of Wingfield by his patron. He was noted to be the resident in 1666. He bought a portion of the estate in 1678 and a further part in 1710. The Manor House was a ruin. At the beginning of the Civil War the mansion had beengarrisoned by the Parliament, but was taken by the Earl of Newcastle in 1643. In 1644 it sustained a siege, ultimately surrendering to Parliamentary troops, and in 1646 it was dismantled by order of Oliver Cromwell. Immanuel repaired some of the structure to make it habitable, building a house in the shell of the great hall, and took up residence. From this point on the family had two main homes.

Immanuel was a man of considerable literary and scientific attainments. He was devoted to music, mathematics and astronomy. In the Appendix to Foster's "Mathematical Miscellanies" are some of his pieces. On 23 June 1675 he observed an eclipse of the sun at Wingfield, which was published in the "Philosophical Transactions" for that year. He was a friend and patron of John Flamstead who became the first Astronomer Royal.

He died in 1699 at the age of 72. The arms of Halton of South Winfield, county Derbry: Per pale [divided vertically into two equal parts] gules [red] and azure [blue], a lion rampant or [gold].

I got the following email from Miles Halton:

"I was just reading you webpages on Hissem Gernets of Halton.

I am a direct descendant of William de Halton 1346, as documented in Burkes Landed Gentry. You’ve obviously spent a huge amount of time researching and you’ve dug up some interesting information. For more information on the Halton line since 1346 have a look at Burke’s. I could fill in some of your questions but only if you are still interested.

You pose a question as to whether Miles Creighton Halton (d1987) is related. He was my grandfather and therefore in the direct line from William de Halton.

By the way, since the Immanuel Halton line at Wingfield Manor died out in 1875 when the last remaining son died without issue (he was a vicar), we are descendants of Immanuel’s father’s brother, Emanuel."


"You mentioned Rev. Lancelot Halton (d1832), and questioned where he fits in. He is the great grandson of the famous Immanuel (the astronomer, d 1699), grandson of Timothy (d 1748), and son of Immanuel (d1784). He probably came up in your research due to the existence of records of his position in the church. He had only daughters, one of whom married a Tristram of Fawley, Hampshire, whose family is researched and documented online, which might be another reason why he came up in research. His elder brother was Winfield Halton, who was the Halton heir, but he had only one son,a vicar, who didn’t marry.

Thus the line skipped back 5 generations via the great Immanuel’s uncle Emanuel, and continued down this line. Ten generations later we arrive at the present time, and the family is headed by my father Timothy Miles Halton (b1931). So the family fortunes, if there were any, were probably lost down the Wingfield Manor line. Greenthwaite Hall, although still standing now, was sold by Col Winfield Halton in 1795. Family documents pre 1700 are rare, as most would have been destroyed by Immanuel the astronomer’s grandson in his big clear out (for want of a better phrase), as he was head of the family at the time and would have held the important documents."

Wingfield Manor

From John Timbs' "Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales" (1870) - "Wingfield, situated four or five miles eastward of the centre of Derbyshire, is one of the richest specimens extant of the highly ornamented embattled mansions of the time of Henry VII and Henry VIII; the period of the transition from the Castle to the Palace, and undoubtedly the best era of English architecture. The present manor-house, according to Camden, was built about the year 1440, by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, who was Treasurer of England; and the testimony of Camden that he was the founder, is strongly corroborated by the bags or purses of stone (alluding to the office of Treasurer which he filled) carved over the gateway leading to the quadrangle. Bags or purses are mentioned to have been carved on the manor-house of Coly Weston, in Northamptonshire, augmented by this Lord Cromwell; and there were similar ornaments carved in wood, removed about two hundred and fifty years ago from Wingfield Manor.

The manor-house originally consisted of two square courts, and a noble hall, which was lighted by a beautiful octagon window, and a range of Gothic windows. Part of the chapel remains, with the great State apartment lighted by a rich Gothic window (See Architectural Detail Essay).

In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII, it appears that Wingfield Manor was in the possession of the Earl of Shrewsbury, who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, held in his custody here the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots. Her suite of apartments were traditionally on the west side of the north court, which is remembered as the most beautiful part of the building. It communicated with the great tower, whence, it is said, the ill-starred captive had sometimes an opportunity of seeing the friends approach with whom she held a secret correspondence. It is inferred that her captivity at Wingfield commenced in 1569, in which year an attempt was made by Leonard Dacre to rescue her. After which, Elizabeth becoming suspicious of the Earl of Shrewsbury, under pretence of his Lordship being in ill-health, directed the Earl of Huntingdon to take care of the Queen of Scots in Shrewsbury's house: and her train was reduced to thirty persons. This change happened the year after Mary was removed from Bolton Castle, in Yorkshire, to Tutbury Castle, in Staffordshire, and placed under the care of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Her captivity at Wingfield is stated to have extended to nine years; but it is improbable that so large a proportion of the time she was in the custody of this nobleman should have been spent here. For it is well known that from 1568 to 1584, she was at Buxton, Sheffield, Coventry, Tutbury, and other places; and if her confinement here continued so long, it must have been with many intervals of absence.

Wingfield continued to be the occasional residence of the Shrewsburys till the death of the Earl Gilbert, in the year 1616. After this, the property was sold to Mr. Immanuel Halton who, in 1666, was resident at the manor-house. In 1817, it was still in the possession of one of the Halton family, but not then inhabited. The last of the family who resided here became its spoiler. For, desiring to build himself a house at the foot of the high hill upon which the mansion stands, he pulled down and unroofed part of the fine old structure, so that the hall, with its proud emblazonry of the Shrewsbury arms and quarterings, became exposed to the decaying influences of the elements.

The mansion had been, however, previously much injured during the Civil War in the reign of Charles I; and there are a few singular incidents in its fate. Wingfield, being possessed by the Royal party, was besieged and taken by Lord Grey of Groby and Sir John Gall of Hopton - brave officers in the service of the Parliament who, according to Whitelock, voted them a letter of thanks for this and other services. The assault was begun on the east side with caution placed on Pentridge Common and a half-moon battery, raised for its defence, was soon carried; but a breach being found impracticable, the cannon were removed to a wood on the opposite side. They soon opened a considerable breach in the wall and captured the place. Colonel Dalby, who was the governor, was killed in the siege. He had disguised himself in the dress of a common soldier, but being seen and known by a deserter, he was shot by him in the face as he was walking in one of the stables. The hole through which the assailant introduced his murderous musket was long shown near the porter's lodge.

The house is now a romantic ruin, used during the filming of Zeffirelli's "Jane Eyre."


(19) Timothy Halton (c1660)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628)

Immanuel's son Timothy inherited the estates, but seems to have preferred to live at Greenthwaite. Of South Wingfield, County Derby, Gent. He had a daughter Mary.

(20?) Reverend Lancelot Greenthwaite Halton
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660)

I don't know where he fits, but given the existence of Lancelot Miles Halton, below, I believe he must be part of this line. He married Eleanor. She died in 1796. He was the rector of St. Peters church in Woolhampton, a parish in the hundred of Theale, county of Berkshire.

(20) Emanuel Halton (c1700)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660)

Timothy's son, Emanuel, took Wingfield Manor as his home. Immanuel Halton of South Wingfield Manor married Mary Sare of Pentridge on 24 April 1721. In 1723 he cast the five largest bells of Anstey Parish Church, Leicestershire. He had been in partnership with Hedderly at the Bawtry bell foundry, but that when Halton cast the bells he was on his own, based at South Wingfield in Derbyshire. In view of the difficulties of transport in those days it is likely that the casting of the bells was done near the church. He also cast one of the bells at Sudbury in 1715.

A Justice of the Peace in 1775. From "Land Owners at the Enclosure of Common Land," 1776, around the parish of Dethick, Lea and Holloway, Derbyshire - Emauel Halton, Esq., and the Reverend Miles Halton. Both are listed as 'entitled to a share of the common lands which were enclosed' and 'who held land previously enclosed.'

(21?) Salatheil Halton (1736/7)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660) (20) Emanuel Halton (c1700)

I don't know where he fits. Sometimes known as Salath. He was born in 1736/7 in Cumbria. Of Clotton Hoofield. He married Ellen. His chidren were Arabella (she was born circa 1750 at South Wingfield Manor, she was the second wife of William Mingay, Gent.), Juliete, and Amelia Thisbe (1789-1856), she married John Birchwood at Frodsham. Salathiel died in 1811 at Clotton Hoofield. His will is dated 9 February 1811. He may have been a Naval Lietuenant.

(21) Lancelot Halton
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660) (20) Emanuel Halton (c1700)

Younger brother of Wingfield. A Lancelot Miles Halton attended St Johns College, Cambridge, entering at Easter 1820. He died in December 1873 in Berkshire Hampshire. These dates don't make much sense. Could this be a son of Wingfield Halton, below, who didn't inherit? The Lancelot here might actually be Lancelot G. Halton, shown above.

(22) Elizabeth Halton
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660) (20) Emanuel Halton (c1700) (21) Lancelot Halton

Elizabeth, married William Tristram. Their son, who eventually inherited Wingfield Manor, was Colonel Miles Halton Tristram (1870-1952). He married Ethelswyth Browne, the daugther of Montague Browne (1872-1931), in September 1895 in Northumberland. Miles died on 23 July 1952 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 81. Ethelswyth died on 15 April 1966 in Vancouver, at the age of 91.

(21) Wingfield Halton (c1740)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660) (20) Emanuel Halton (c1700)

Emanuel's son was Colonel Wingfield Halton, Esq. He married Anne Bateman on 15 July 1784 at All Saint's Church, Derbyshire. He constructed Wingfield Hall in the 1770s. He chose to abandon the old Manor house, demolishing the north-east corner and south side of the great hall to construct his new family residence. In addition to damaging the original Manor House he lost many of his great-grandfathers books and papers. The Manor was, in 1817, noted to be in his possession, but not then inhabited. He sold Greenthwaite to the Duke of Norfolk.

The Colonel was the victim of a number of rick burnings during the Pentrich revolution in 1817, see below.

Pentrich Revolution

The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 brought recession to the iron and textile industries which were Derbyshire's main employers. At the same time the Prince Regent, the future George IV, led an extravagant lifestyle which disaffected many of the common people. In this environment groups began to meet intent on governmental reform. In 1816, perhaps as a result of a volcano eruption, global weather patterns changed and the crops failed driving the people to desperation. In June 1817 elements in Derbyshire, mostly from the village of Pentrich, rose, but were quickly put down by the King's Hussars. A show trial followed, with verdicts of death for the ringleaders.

From the deposition of 1817 - "Attended the meeting at the White Horse, Pentrich on Sunday June 8th when the General conversation was on the subject of the intended insurrection & similar to what had before passed at the Asherfield barn meetings and the Nottingham Captain produced a map of England and George Weightman said the Wingfield & Pentrich people were not willing to come out till they had killed Colonel Halton."


(22) Imanuel Halton (c1760)
(6) Vivian de Halton (c1220) (7) Adam de Halton (c1250) (8) William de Halton (c1280) (9) William de Halton II (c1310) (10) Adam de Halton (c1390) (11) John de Halton (circa 1420) (12) Miles de Halton (c1450) (13) James de Halton (c1480) (14) Miles de Halton (c1510) (15) John de Halton (c1540) (16) Emanuel de Halton (c1570) (17) Miles Halton (1599) (18) Immanuel Halton (1628) (19) Timothy Halton (c1660) (20) Emanuel Halton (c1700) (21) Wingfield Halton (c1740)

Wingfield's son. Dying childless, he bequethed the Wingfield Manor estates to Miles Halton Tristram, grandson of Lancelot Halton, the only brother of Wingfield Halton.

I have a Reverend Emanual Halton of South Wingfield in Pigot's Commercial Directory of Derbyshire, 1835. He was the incumbent at St Helen's rectory, Langwith parish, in Nottinghamshire. The Reverend's will is dated 1875 [?]. A Samuel Halton, of Derby, has a will dated 1893.

Miles Creighton Halton (1904)

The grandfather of Miles Halton, living today in England. A descendent of William de Halton. He was born on 15 August 1904 in Carlisle. He died in January 1987 in Surry, at the age of 82.


Another interesting character, perhaps related to this family is,

(?) John de Halton (c1250)

A native of the diocese of Carlisle. Author of "The Register of John de Halton, 1292-1324." A Bishop and Prior of Carlisle in about 1292. He lived during the period of William Wallace's invasion of the north of England, which is referenced in his register. It records a schedule of reductions of parish valuation in the diocese of Carlisle for 1301 granted in view of the destruction inflicted by the Scots. The Bishop was closely involved in the defense of the city, becoming garrison commander at one point [in 1297?].

William Wallace

In 1296 Edward I had conquered Scotland in a whirlwind campaign. After placing his own lords in positions of power he departed for Flanders, however he soon discovered that the real war had just begun. A number of uprisings began soon after Edward's departure, the most famous led by William Wallace which culminated in his overwhelming victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297. This was a signal for all of Scotland to throw off the English yoke. Afterwards Wallace led a ferocious and prolonged devastation of northern England, marking the nadir of Edward I's attempt to conquer Scotland.

As the Army of Scotland approached Carlisle Robert Bruce of Annandale, a Scot, as replaced as garrison commander by John de Halton, Bishop of Carlisle. The city was besieged beginning on Martinmas, 11 November 1297. Wallace sent a clerk to the citizens to demand surrender in the name of `William the Conqueror.' Inadequately equipped, Wallace raised the siege on 8 December.

When Edward I was finally able to return to the north he met Wallace in battle at Falkirk where the Scottish hero was defeated, captured and executed. From 1311 to 1322, during the reign of the hapless Edward II, the Scots would return, this time under the leadership of Robert Bruce.


(?) Gilbert de Halton

Archdeacon of Carlisle from 1311 to 1318. Probably a kinsman of John, above.


Steve Hissem
San Diego, California