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The Gernets of Heysham

According to the Heysham family of Lancaster, the Gernets of the village of Heysham are the link between the Norman Gernet family, the Lords of the Manor, and their own family, and perhaps ours. They establish the claim that,

"we date back to William the Conqueror" - from "Highness: The Maharajahs of India" by Ann Morrow Lindbergh
However, I believe there were at least three families in Heysham who used the village name as a surname. These were the Gernets, the Kellets, a land-owning family from Over & Nether Kellet who moved into the village circa 1270, and one or more Others, probably serfs or churls, who were not part of either of those two families, but used the surname to indicate their place of birth.

Much of what follows for both the Gernet's of Heysham and those of Caton on the subsequent page was initially derived from George Lissant's "Notes on the Heysham Family," which can be found on the Links page. I have added a lot of information since, but his work is still the basis of everything that follows.

Heysham

The village name was, in earlier times, sometimes rendered Hessam, Hessem, Hessein, Hissein, Heseym, Hesham, Heshem, Heasham, Heesham, Hesaim, Heesam, Hegsham, Hesam or Hessehn. The local pronunciation is Hee-sham, though, based on spelling, I think it may have been Hess-am before about 1600 and the "Great Vowel Shift." A Brit I met, who lives not far south of Heysham, insists the name is pronounced as Hay-sham.

This is a small village on the shore of the Irish sea, on Morecombe bay, several miles to the west of Lancaster. It is an isolated position, a rocky hill from 50 to 100 feet high, surronded by the sea on one side and low-lying moss, or "spongy flat," on the other.

In Saxon times it was held by Earl Tostig, the brother of King Harold, as part of his fee of Halton. It was assessed at three plough-lands. After the Conquest it was given to Roger de Poitou, the son of Roger de Montgomery, the Earl of Arundel and Shropshire. After Roger's rebellion it reverted to the crown.

About the parish church, which was on the heights, there were two hamlets, Lower Heysham, of one plough-land to the northeast, which was held in free alms by the Prior of Lancaster, and Higher Heysham, of two plough-lands to the southeast, which was held in serjeanty by the Gernets and their heirs.


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 of Blois in 1102 on their father's death.

Upon the death of Henry I Stephen usurped the English throne, refusing to accept Henry's daughter, Matilda, as his Queen and ruler. Stephen's 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 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.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings: The Angevin Kings:

1154-1189 Henry II

Henry I's grandson, and son of Matilda and Geoffrey, the Duke 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 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.

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 to the left 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.



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

A son of Vivian and younger brother to Adam de Gernet of Halton. The name Brian is mentioned in the website "History of Heysham," but, so far, no where else. Brian appears to be a name of Scots Gaelic origin, not inappropriate for this border region. I suspect Winan, Wiman, Brian and perhaps even Vivian are transcription errors of the same name. Wiman appears to be the latinate of Wimer or Winmar, and is found for at least two members of the family on the Gernets of Halton webpage.

The following is not trustworthy, and unlikely in the particular, but I leave it here for future research. "Three carucates in Hesken [sic] were granted by William the Conqueror to Wimanus Gernet . . . " - from ""Memoir of the Molineux Family" by Gisborne Molineux. A similar reference taken from the Testa de Nevil is,

"Heschin [Heskin], Co. of Lancaster
Wiman Gernet holds two carucates of land of our lord the King in Heschin 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 th ecounty and of remaining with him and also of reconducting him; and it is worth five marks." - from "Tenures of Land & Customs of Manors" by William Carew Hazlitt, Thomas Blount
Heskin is south of the Ribble river, near Chorley. Lancashire north of the Ribble was only conquered from the Scots circa 1092, in the reign of William II Rufus.

Heysham manor was a Gernet property, sub-enfeoffed to this junior branch of the family who, over time, assumed the title of "de Heysham" to differentiate themselves from the senior branch, who resided at Halton manor.

The children of Brian were,
(4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140)
(4) Matthew Gernet supra (c1140), "probably a brother of Adam Gernet of Heysham"

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, that is, he never married and had no heirs.


(4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110)

He was also known as Adam de Hessam, or Adam Gernet of Heysham. Hessam was the early spelling of Heysham, as seen in the Domesday Book. Circa 1193-1194. Called "Adam de Heysham, or 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.

Def: Pipe Rolls - The pipe rolls of the Exchequer contain accounts of the royal income, arranged by county, for each financial year. They represent the earliest surviving series of public records and are essentially continuous from 1155 onwards until the 19th century; one roll from 1129-30 also survives. A copy of each pipe roll - known as the Chancellor's Roll - was also sent to the Chancery. The unusual name - officially it started out as the 'Great Roll of the Exchequer' - comes from the distinctive way in which the membranes were sewn together, which made them look like pieces of piping when rolled up. The Sheriffs' accounts form the core of the early pipe rolls. The Sheriff was the king's representative in the county and was responsible for collecting revenues from the royal estates and other sources. The rolls also record some items of expenditure by the Sheriff, and include lists of lands formerly part of the royal estates which had been given to private individuals. In addition, there are payments of feudal dues and taxes, 'offerings' to the king in connection with legal disputes, records of penalties (amercements) imposed by the itinerant justices, and miscellaneous items such as enrolled charters.

His father was, in the “History of Heysham,” listed as Sir Brian, though this may be a confusion with Wi-an vs Bri-an vs Vivi-an. Based on his sons supposed dates of birth, Adam was born between 1100-1140. Based on his date of death, Adam was born circa 1140. Adam held the manors of Heysham and Caton during the reign of King Richard I, 1189-1199 - per George Lissant.

He held two carucates in Heysham in serjeanty and two carucates in Caton, in capite, "in chief," that is, directly from the king, in thanage.

"Caton, rated at 2 car. [carucates], was held in the latter part of the 12th century by Adam Gernet, lord of Heysham, who was slain in 1200-1 (Lancs. Pipe Rolls, p. 140). Possibly he was a brother of Matthew Gernet who had a grant of Outhwaite in Roeburndale." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester"
His wife was Agnes, ". . . Agnes [widow] of Adam 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

The Medieval World View

For both noble and peasant, even when times were good, times were hard. Life was, in a famous expression, “poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Flood, drought or pestilence, all attributed to the acts of an angry God, could strike at any time. War might sweep over a community pushing hapless civilians into a man-made calamity. Such times bred a spirit of fatalism and men came to believe that their fate was not tied to their own actions, which seemed so pitiful and ineffectual in comparison to the forces working against them, but to the inevitable turning of Fortune’s Wheel. This idea of fortune’s turning wheel became a favorite conception and gave the people hope, like Christianity’s promise of an eternal life of bliss after death, that they might rise out of their poverty and that those who oppressed them would be brought low.

The concept of Progress, in which a society as a whole, or a man by himself, may expect to improve quantitatively over time in technology and material comfort is a modern invention which had no counterpart in medieval times.

It should be noted that this was a primarily agricultural period and that farmers are notoriously dour in their outlook, subject as they are to the vagaries of nature.

Brian (or Winan) and his son, Adam, occupied the Manor House at Heysham Head, a promontory that also included the churches of St. Patrick and St. Peter, and became known, as was customary, as the de Hessam’s. While our name, then, is Anglo-Saxon in origin, the family is Norman. The manor house was built mainly of wood with a thatched roof, partially surrounded by a moat crossed by a drawbridge. This construction was typical of the fortresses of time. Castles of stone were an invention of a later, wealthier period.

The Evolution of the Castle

Castles were foritified positions, typical of an age when central authority was weak and warfare was endemic. The earliest of the Norman castles were simple ringworks, circular earthworks consisting of a bank and ditch with a defensive palisade surronding a courtyard, or bailey. These were not unlike the frontier forts of the American West.




Later, earthen mounds, or mottes, were raised within the bailey on top of which wooden, and later stone, towers were built, allowing the defenders to rain stones and arrows on attackers. This latter became known as a Motte and Bailey Castle. The motte became the home of the lord while the bailey below housed the hall, church, houses for the servants, a blacksmith, and pens for the animals.




The main strength of such a Castle was the speed with which it could be raised, usually in only one season, but it had many obvious weaknesses. In response, once initial control of the countryside was established and as the money to afford them was acquired, some lords started building stone Keeps, like the Tower of London. The Keep was a large stone fortress tower that could house the lord, his family, his servants, and a hall in one building. However it was soon clear that these could not well withstand sieges and most were surronded with an outer curtain wall and defensive towers.



The ulimate development of the castle in England was the concentric castle, the hallmark of Edward I. These had two sets of towered curtain walls, one within the other. The inner, higher, wall dominating the outer wall. Within the two concentric walls was the inner keep or fortress. This layered defense was highly effective at keeping an enemy at bay and could be effectively manned by a surprisingly small force. Edward I built a string of such fortresses throughout Wales to mark control of that rebellious land.

As warfare became less of a threat, first in the south and east, and later in the wild northern and western marches, the great castles evolved further, their walls becoming thinner and increasingly pierced by windows, as they became the country homes of the aristocracy.

Richard I, while coming home from the crusade, had been captured and held prisoner in Germany. In 1193 his brother, John, rebelled, but this was effectively thwarted by Hubert Walter, the chancellor, and Queen Eleanor, Richard and John's formidable mother. John's adherents were deseised of their property on Richard's return (think of the final scenes in the move "Robin Hood").

"Adam, called 'de Heysham,' had in 1193–4 given 10 marks for having the king's goodwill after the insurrection of Count John." - from the Lancashire Pipe Rolls as referenced in "British History Online."
So Adam had joined Prince John in rebellion and was now propiating the King. The de Kellets also sought the goodwill of the King at this time. Since Prince John was the Earl of Lancaster, and Adam's lord, it would not be surprising that Adam followed his lead. Adam would have been amply rewarded in 1199 when John became King.

The Mark

The mark was "money of account." That is, it had a value of 2/3 of a pound, or 13 shillings 4 pence, but there was no coin worth that amount. It was a term often used in legal transactions, such as selling land, figuring feudal fines, or calculating dowries.

A charter dated 1195 bears the signatures of Adam Gernet of Heysham and of 'Gernet' of Halton - per George Lissant.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings

1199-1216 John, Lackland.

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. During his reign England was excommunicated by the Pope and Normandy was lost to the French King. At his death he was on the run with a French army under the Dauphin occupying parts of the country.

Adam Gernet was slain by Adam de Kellet, the son of Orm [Osbert] de Kellet, bailiff of Lonsdale, in 1200-1201 (Pipe Rolls, p. 140).

"Adam Gernet held Heysham and Caton until his death in 1200. He appears to have been slain by Adam, son of Orm de Kellet, bailiff of Lonsdale, as before noticed." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 92, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"Before January 13th, 1201, Adam Gernet of Heysham and Caton had been killed. Adam son of Orm gave six marks and a chasour for the King's letters patent that he should only answer before the King or his chief justice for the death of the said Adam, fearing the course of justice in his own county, where the bailiff of the wapentake was often no friend of the people." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 87, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
A "chasour" was a powerful horse, either a hunter or a warhorse. The "History of Heysham" says that Adam de Hessam met a violent death in 1210 [a typo?]. There is no indication what the altercation was about. I like the phrase, "no friend of the people." De Kellet, a murderer and land-owner, cast himself as a victim.

Adam de Kellet

Adam de Kellet, the son of Orme, was born in about 1154, probably in Garstang, Lancashire, and resided at Over Kellet, which is northwest of Heysham.

"The hereditary master serjeanty of Lonsdale, with an endowment of three carucates in Nether Kellet, was granted to Adam, son of Orm de Kellet, by John, count of Mortain [when he was in possession of the honor of Lancaster], before 1194 and confirmed on John's accession." - from "Cenntenary of the Chetham Society" by James Tait
Adam was also the King's bailiff in Lonsdale, able to effect summonses, distresses and attachemnts. He died in 1205/6.

This family is thought to have sprung from an "Earl Orme, a great Scandinavian sea-captain, who ruled in the western seas previous to the Norman conquest." At the time of the Domesday survey a descendant of this chief, described only as Orme, was one of the principal landowners in Lonsdale. - from Lancashire & Cheshire: Past and Present" by Thomas Baines.

Agnes, Adam's widow, remarried, but there is no indication to whom.

1216-22. "Agnes de Hessam was in the gift of the King, and is married without warrant, as it is said, and her land is worth j. mark yearly."

Footnote. "This lady was the widow of Adam Gernet of Heysham and Caton, who was slain by Adam, son of Orm de Kellet, in 1201. Possibly the serjeanty of Heysham was in her inheritance." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 118-119 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
My guess is that the serjeanty would not have been in her inheritance. Why would William Farrer have supposed that?

Adam Gernet's widow, Agnes de Heysham, complained to King John, in the Curia Regis of the Easter Term, 1 John, that Roger de Leicester had married his daughter to Thomas, her son, who ought to be a royal ward - his father being a tenant in thanage - in order to acquire the custody of Thomas and his land, consisting of five Carucates in 'Hessen' and 'Catton,' without the King’s consent. The land was accordingly seized into the King’s hands and Roger de Leicester was attached for the contempt. Roger de Leicester was Seneschal of Amounderness under Theobald Walter.

(4) Roger de Leicester
(1) Hugh de Ganville (2) Ivo de Leicester (3) Robert de Leicester

Seneschal of Amounderness. He was probably the son of Robert de Leicester, who witnessed a charter of Salop Abbey circa 1170, and great-grandson of Hugh de Ganville [Janville], Viscount Leicester and Seneschal to Matilda de Senlis. Roger owned land in Leicestershire, in Hutton, upon Howin, and that lying between Markpool and Pinkpool, and between the Carr and Ribble, circa 1201-1218. He became enfeoffed of Ribbleton by Henry de Holland. A contemporary of Benedict Gernet of Halton. His wife was Alice of Welch Whittle. After Roger's death she married Adam le Arbalaster. Roger had desseised Alexander de Preston, but his was reversed upon examination as unjust and illegal.

Theobald Walter

Sheriff of Lancashire 1195-1200. 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. In 1194 Benedict Gernet of Halton had officiated as Deputy-Sheriff for Theobald Walter. Theobald Walter Sr. died in 1205.

Agnes gave property to the monks of Cockersand, probably in payment for their prayers which would speed her through purgatory after her death.

"Grant in frankalmoign by Agnes de Heysham [to the canons of Cockersand] of a messuage upon Kirkbank in Caton . . ." - from "Remains, Historical . . ."

Def: Messuage - A house, its associated outbuildings and the lands that go with it. Similar in meaning to a tenement.

"Adam Gernet had issue four sons - (1) Thomas, his heir, who paid relief for Caton in 1201 and died in 1221, when he was succeeded by Vivian his son, who died in 1246 leaving issue, Roger, who the same year fined ten marks for his relief and died after 1260 without issue; (2) Ralph Gernet of Heysham; (3) Adam, who held two oxgangs of land in Caton in 1212 of his brother Thomas and had issue; (4) Matthew, who in 1212 held three oxgangs of land in Caton of the gift of Adam, his father (Lancs. Inquests, Part I, p. 92) and lands in Burrow and Leck of Roger Gernet the chief forester of Lancaster, and died in 1215 (Close Rolls, I, p. 262 b). He was the father of Robert Gernet of Burrow, who was under age in 1215 and was probably the father of Matthew de Burgh and Richard de Burgh, whose descendants apper to have respectively held the manors of Great and Little Burrow. Roger Gernet of Heysham and Caton and Roger Gernet of Burrow must not be confounded with Roger Gernet the chief forester of Lancaster (1207-1252), nor with Roger Gernet of Littledale, sometimes described as of Caton, who succeeded his father, John Gernet (son and heir of Matthew Gernet supra) in 1241 (Fine Roll Excerpts, I, 360) and died in 1251 (Lancs. Inquests, Part I, pp. 184-6), leaving issue, a son John, then aged 2 years (Ibid)." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester" by the Chetham Society.

Adam had four sons.
(5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180)
(5) Ralph Gernet de Hesham (c1180)
(5) Adam Gernet of Caton (c1180)
(5) Matthew Gernet of Caton (c1180)

(5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140)

Lord of Heysham and Caton. "Thomas Gernet was the son of Adam 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. In about 1201 Thomas was married (forcibly?) to the daughter of Roger de Leicester while still a minor. This wedding may have been annulled and probably was not consumated. In the third year of King John’s reign, about 1202, Thomas paid five marks for the seizing of the land of Hessen and Catton. Benedict Gernet was his pledge for payment of the fine. Benedict was probably Adam's cousin.

The King had taken these lands based on the request of Thomas' mother to safeguard them against Roger de Leicester. I assume the five marks was a "tax" to reacquire the properties. This date appears reasonable as he would have just reached his majority.

"Before January 13th, 1201, Adam Gernet of Heysham and Caton had been killed . . . In the same year Thomas, son and heir of Adam, gave five marks for his relief. It is elswhere stated that he held this land, which was the vill of Heysham, by serjeanty of coming to meet the King at the boundary of the county with his horn and white rod, leading him through the county, sounding his horn before the King's coming, and so continuing with him and conducting him again to the county boundary." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 87, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Footnote. "Thomas Gernet, son and heir of Adam, fined 5 marks in 1201 for his relief, and had seisen of "Hessem and Catton". Benedict Gernet [of Halton?] was his pledge. What relationship existed between this family and that of the chief foresters of Lancaster does not appear. Thomas died in 1222. Matthew Gernet, who had an estate of 3 bovates here from his brother (?), Thomas Gernet, also held lands in Burrow and Leck. Matthew Gernet, a younger brother of Thomas Gernet of Heysham and Caton, held an estate in Burrow and Leck of the Forest Fee, besides other lands in Caton and elsewhere. He died in or before 1215. On July 26th in that year the King committed the custody of his land and heir to Roger Gernet, of whose fee the estates of Burrow and Leck were held. It is probably that he was ancestor of the family of Burgh of Burrow." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 92, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"Thomas Gernet is shown as in possession in 1212." - per George Lissant. Thomas held two plough-lands in Heysham and another two in Caton.
"Adam Gernet had issue four sons - (1) Thomas, his heir, who paid relief for Caton in 1201 and died in 1221, when he was succeeded by Vivian his son . . ." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester"

The Gernets also held land in Merton. First, from Thomas' father, Adam, and, I think, his uncle, Mathew.

1207-1235. "Confirmation by Adam Gerneth of his father's grant [Brian or Vivian Gernet?] to the monks of St. Mary of Furness, of an oxgang and a half of land in Merton, and two acres which Matthew Gerneth [of Caton] gave them in exchange, and two other acres which Gillomichael gave them. Witnesses: William de Combremara, and William de Nort, monks of Furness, Ralph the priest, of Heysham, Peter de Stalmin, and William his son, Simon, clerk of Bolton, Roger de Bolton (Bothelton), William, brother of Adam Gernet, Henry de Stalmin, and Ranulph, son of Albert. (Seal.)" - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
The next is a grant by Mathew Gernet's daughter, Ingus.
"1215-1222. Grant from Ingus, daughter of Mathew Gernet, of Merton, to the convent of Furness, of certain land in Merton. Witnesses: Roger, son of William, Alan de Penigton, R., parson of Kyrkebi, Robert de Bolvill, Philip le Noreis, and R. de Orgrave." - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
Next, Thomas makes an exchange with the monks.
"1200-1206. Grant from Thomas Gernet, to the monks of Furness, of all his land and lordship of Merton, for release of their claim against the grantor of half a carucate of land in Stapilthirne, whereof they had charters from his ancestors. Witnesses: Benedict Gernet [of Halton], Adam, son of Orme [de Kellet], Roger de Kirkebi, Alan de Penington, Robert de Boivill, Philip le Noreis, and John de Torondesholm. (Seal.)" - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
"1222-1225. Release and quitclaim by Thomas, son of William de Merton, to the convent of Furness, of the half oxgang of land in Merton which his grandfather John gave to Adam Gernet for his service, and his son Thomas afterwards gave to the monks in frankalmoign. Witnesses: A., prior of Conished, Alexander de Kyrkebi, Robert de Boivill, and Philip le Norreis. (Seal.)"

Def: Oxgang - Originally a measure of arable land in the Danelaw. Equal to an 1/8th of a Plowland, or about 12 acres.

Merton

I've found a couple of references to a village of Merton in Lancashire, but nothing more. It must have been quite a small place.

In 1208 Thomas Gernet purchased 2 oxgangs of land in Heysham from Martin de Hudale, etc.

"On Saturday next after the feast of St. Nicholas, 10 John [13th December, 1208]. Between Martin de Hudale and Emma his wife, Richard Colbain and Alice his wife, Richard son of Malger and Ingusa his wife, and Ranulf, son of Galle and Godith his wife, plaintiffs, by Gervase Capran put in their place, and Thomas Gernet, tenant of two oxgangs of land in Hesham [Heysham]. The plaintiffs quit-claimed to Thomas and his heirs their right in the said two oxgangs, for which Thomas gave them one mark." from the Linc. Final Conc. as referenced in "British History Online."

"Thomas Gerneth holds ij. carucates of land in Hesaim [sic] by venery, that is by his horn." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 87, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
"Thomas Gerneth holds ij. carucates of land in thanage in Catton by xxs." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 92, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

From "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867.

1212-1217. "Thomas Gernet held two carucates of land in Heysham [Hesum], by sounding his horn before the king on his arrival in those parts. This land was worth 30s a year. [Thomas Gernet tenet ij carucatas terrae in Hesam per serjanteriam sonandi cornu suum contra Regem, in adventu suo in partes illas. Valet xxxs.]"
"His [Thomas'] father [Adam Gernet] gave to Matthew [Gerneth] iij. bovates by rendering vjd., and the aforesaid Thomas gave to Adam, his brother, ij. bovates of land by rendering iijd. yearly." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 92, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Thomas Gernet "gave to Adam, his brother, 2 bovates of land by rendering 3d. yearly." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

1205-1216. Thomas Gernet of Heysham [Thomas Gernet de Hessam] was a witness to a charter of Peter, the son of William de Hull, concerning the land of Hull. Other witnesses were G. fitz Reinfrid, sheriff of Lancaster; H., seneschal [steward] of Kendal [Henry de Redman]; 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 and many others. - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster." Who was W. Gernet? William or Winan? Gilbert fitz Reinfrid was sheriff of Lancaster from 1205 to 1216.

Feudal Tenure:

Spiritual welface was provided for by frankalmoign tenure, that is, the granting of lands in charity to religious bodies. The great abbey's of England grew rich from these guilty bequests.

The cultivation of the land was accomplished by the tenure of socage wherever villeinage was not in use. The tenant held his lands in consideration of certain inferior services of husbandry to be performed by him for the lord.

Unfree, or servile tenure was generally that of the villein who performed menial services and was a tenant at the will of the lord.

Undated. Thomas was a witness to a land grant in company with Sir William of Parles, Orm of Kellet, John of Oxcliffe, and R. [Ralph] of Bolton.

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.

The following was provided by Jacqui Senior and is from the Pilling Manor Court records.

"Caton - Grant by Thomas Gernet of Heysham. Grant in frankalmoign by Thomas Gernet of Heysham to the canons of Cockersand of certain parcels of land in Caton, namely all the land between Townbrook and Kirkbrook from the land of the prior of Lancaster, ascending to the edge of the underwood where Norman dwells - except the land of Walle, that is five acres - and all the land meadows and marsh within the said boundaries, also three acres, less one perch, in Artle Beck Holme, five acres, less one perch, in Sigerith thwaite holme, three perches at Lakenbrege, an acre and a half in the upper half of Hailey, two acres less one perch, in Swinsty Holme, two acres in the Heldes, namely in the clough where Roger the stodherd lives and another clough where the anchoress dwells, and an acre in Cracken-thorpe which Adam Dragon held, and half an acre near Artlebeck which Ralph the sergeant held, with common of pasture of the said vill for thirty cows and their offspring for two years, sixteen mares with the same, thirty swine quit of pannage, eighty sheep with their offspring for two years, and eighty goats. (1201-1221)"

1216-22. "Thomas Gernet holds ij. carucates of land in Hesam by serjeanty of sounding his horn against the King in his coming into those parts. And they are worth xxxs. yearly."

Footnote. "Thomas Gernet of Heysham and Caton died before November 3rd, 1221. Vivian his son succeeded him." - from "Wardships, Marriages, Etc., 1216-22 and 1222-6," page 122-123 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Thomas died in 1221 - from the Fine Roll temp John, pp. 74, 89; Rotuli Curia Regis ii, p. 163. "He [Thomas] is said to have died in 1221, but in 1224 1 find a document which states that Thomas Gernet perambulates the forest with eleven others." - per George Lissant. This latter was more than just taking a walk in the woods. Thomas undoubtedly received a commission, from the King perhaps, to act as his justice of the peace, and to make an official inspection, on foot, of the bounds of his property, ensuring that his rights were being honored. Perhaps he got this commission as a relative of the Gernet's of Halton who were the Foresters of Lancashire. Note that Regarders, officials of Forest administration, had the duty of making 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. Was this the same as perambulating and was Thomas, thus, a Regarder for his relatives in Halton?

Thomas’ mother, Agnes, survived him.

"Agnes de Essam (Heysham) was in the gift of the king, and was married without warrant. Her land was worth one mark a year." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867.
George Lissant that that the serjeantry of Heysham was possibly in her inheritance as well, though I can't imagine why. I don't know who she married. Thomas' children were,
(6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)
(6) Roger de Hesaym (c1200), son or villein?
(6) Robert de Hesham (c1200), a son or a villein?
(6) Helen Gernet de Hesham (c1200) , a sister or sister-in-law?

(6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180)

The Lord of Heysham and Caton. "Thomas was succeeded by his son Vivian of Heysham who died in 1246, the inquest after whose death was taken at Lancaster on the 19 May of that year (Inq. 30 Hen. 3 No. 26)." - per George Lissant. He was generally known as Vivian de Hesham.

"Thomas . . . died in 1221, when he was succeeded by Vivian his son, who died in 1246 leaving issue, Roger

. . ." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester

Another source, "A collection of pedigrees of the family of Travers" by Samuel Smith Travers, claimed that Vivian Gernet, of Hesham, was the third son of Benedict Gernet of Halton. See (5) Vivian de Gernet (c1175) for more about him and his supposed brothers. Since the Gernet's of Halton were the senior branch it would sense that, if Thomas Gernet had no heir, one of them would succeed to Heysham. However, I have seen this theory no where else.
1222-6. "Vivian Gernet holds ij. carucates of land of the King in Hescam (Heysham) by the service of coming to meet (veniendi contra) the King at the bounds of the county with his horn and a white rod, and of leading him into the county and to be with him and conduct him back again. And they are worth v. marks."
Footnote. "Thomas Gernet of Heysham and Caton died before November 3rd, 1221. Vivian his son succeeded him." - from "Wardships, Marriages, Etc., 1216-22 and 1222-6," page 122-123 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
In June of the sixth year of King Henry III’s reign, 1222, the Sheriff took into his hands the custody of the land and heir of Thomas Gernet in Hesham and Cattern [sic]. Jordan the clerk, in the following November paid 20s fine to have that custody together with the marriage of the heir.
6 Henry III [3 November 1221]. "Westminster. Lancaster. To the sheriff of Lancaster . . . Jordan Clerk has also made fine with the king by 20s. for having custody of the land and heir of Thomas Gernet, with the marriage of the same heir, for which he has terms at the Exchequer. Order that, having accepted security from them for rendering the fines to the king, he is to cause them to have full seisin of the custodies with their appurtenances without delay. Witness H. de Burgh. By the same." - from "Henry III Fine Rolls Project"
Did this clerk turn a profit on marrying off young Vivian? Hugh de Burgh was the Justicar of England.

Vivian Gernet of Heysham was a contemporary, a cousin I presume, of Sir Roger Gernet of Halton and John Gernet of Caton. 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 Gernet of Heysham. (Seal)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

28 Henry III [1243]. Inquest on Henry de Croft. Witnesses included "Vivian de Hesaym." - from page 158 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

The "Testa de Nevill," a record of Fee Holders recorded in the reigns of Henry III and Edward I, records that the village of Heskin was granted to a Wimanus Gernet,

"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. Another source, the "History of the County Palatine of Lancaster" by Edward Baines and William Robert Whatton, refer to this man as "Will. Gernet, in Heschin."

Unfortunately there are no dates attached to the following citations so I can only guess where they go. I have assumed, at this point anyway, that Winan and Vivian are transription errors for the same name.

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; Thomas Gernet of Heysham [Thomas Gernet de Hessam], R. de Burton, R. of Kirkby Ireleth, Adam de Hyeland, Adam de Kellet, Adam of Capernwray, W. his brother, and many others. - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster." Are Winan and Vivian the same or similar names?

"He [Vivian] seems to have had three wives." - per George Lissant. Let's examine that.

(1) The Fines Rolls of 1201 record that "Pagan De Villiers gave one Carucate in Wyndhill, in Lancashire, to Vivian Gernet in marriage with his daughter, Emma De Villiers, by the service of one-tenth Knight’s fee." Most sources place this marriage with the first Vivian Gernet, that of Halton, who was born circa 1080.

Emma was born in Warrington county, England. Her father was Pain, Lord De Villiers (also known as Paganus de Vilars). As a dowry perhaps, Pain gave Vivian a portion, that is, one ploughland [a Carucate], of the Windle Manor, which is just east of present day Liverpool. The confusion comes because at least one source claims that King John, son of Henry II, who reigned from 1199 to 1216, made the grant. This clearly does not work for Vivian Gernet of Halton. Two answers are possilbe. First, there may be confusion because the given name Pain/Paganus was repeated several times in the de Villiers descent, as was Vivian in the Gernet family. Most writers have assumed that this reference was to the first, and best known, Pain, in which they may be mistaken. The second alternative is simply that the source that mentions King John is incorrect.

(2) Another authority states that "Roger Gernet was the son and heir of Vivian by Godith de Kellet, daughter and co-heir of William de Kellet, and had livery of his father’s estates on the 4th June 1246" (Fines Rolls 1, p. 453). I have another source that calls her Gilliam [Giliam] de Kellet, the daughter of Orme de Kellet. They had a son named Roger. A son of Orme killed Vivian's grandfather, Adam Gernet. This may have been an earlier Orme.

From a footnote on the Descent of the de Kellet Family. "The descent of the family who held this part of Over Kellet appears to be as follows:--Orm, the ancestor, who must have been living as least as early as the time of Henry I., was the father of Bernulf, who enfeoffed Adam de Yealand, i.e., Adam d'Avranches . . . Orm, son and heir of Bernulf, gave one-third of his land of Over Kellet (1/2 car.) and Claughton (2 2/3 bov.) to his brother Adam . . . He [Orm] was the father of William de Kellet, who took part in the rebellion of John, Count of Mortain, in 1194 . . . In 1199 Henry de Redman proffered 20 marks for custody of the land and heir of William de Kellet. Henry de Kellet, who occurs from 1204 to 1207, appears to have been William's eldest son and heir, but died without issue before 1211, in which year Gilbert, second son of William, proffered 20 marks and a palfrey for livery of his inheritance. He died in 1236, leaving issue, William, his son and heir, who died in 1242, Alice, who married Henry de Croft, and Godith, who married first Vivian Gernet, and secondly John de Bigging." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 91, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
There is another interesting citation about familial links.
"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
See multiple references to Travers, below.

(3) The Assize Rolls of 30-31 Henry III, 1246-47, show that "Of ladies; Juliana, late wife of Vivian de Hesham, is in the King’s gift and marriageable and her lands are worth yearly 40s." Since Vivian died in 1246, I assume Juliana was his last wife. The following may mean that Godith and Juliana were the same woman.

"His [Vivian's] widow Giliana or Juliana released to Thomas Travers land in Drakeholmepintle which she held in dower, also another piece which her son Roger de Heysham had given to her brother Roger de Kellet, and a third on Crosscop which her son had granted to Master Lawrence Travers." - from "British History Online"
At minimum this means that Godith and Juliana [Giliana] were both de Kellet's. Most probably they were the same lady, which would explain how Godith, above, could first marry Vivian, then marry John de Bigging. Godith, like the more famous Godiva, is a Saxon name. Juliana, and Giliana which is a variant of it, are Latin. A clerk may have used Juliana as a latinization for Godith.

The next is a grant from Vivian Gernet de Hesham to the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster of all his rights of patronage of the chapel of Caton. From the Chartulary of Lancaster Priory:

1230 to 1246. "To all the sons of holy mother church who shall see or hear these letters, Vivian of Heysham [Vivianus de Hesham] and Roger Gernet and John Gernet, hereditary lay lords of the vill of Caton, greeting in the Lord. We wish to bring to the notice of you all that we bind ourselves and our heirs and successors for ever to God and the holy church, and by the authority of the ordinary, that we will never lay claim to the right of patronage in the chapel of Caton by reason and pretext of the cemetary which the lord and our venerable father Walter, by the grace of God Archbishop of York, primate of England, beneficially decreed should be ordained by his venerable brother J., by the same grace Bishop of Man and the Isles, for the said chapel of Caton in the year of grace, 1230, (saving the right of the mother church of Lancaster, and of the neighboring churches,) on account of the dangers of the ways and the distance. In testimony whereof we have strengthened this present writing with out seals. These being witnesses--Thomas of Kirkby, then official of Richmond; Walter, then dean of Lancaster; Robert of Claughton; Benedict, parson of Halton [could this be Benedict Gernet, parson of Halton?]; Richard, vicar of Tunstall; Geoffrey the clerk, and others." - from "Material for the History of the Church of Lancaster
Walter de Grey was Archbishop of York from about 1216 to 1255. The 1230 citation refers to a cemetery that was authorized in Caton on land granted by the Gernet family. This meant that the dead of the village no longer had to be carried the long miles to Lancaster for burial.

Def: Chartulary - A medieval manuscript volume or roll (rotulus) containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial associations, institutions of learning, and private families. The term is also, though less appropriately, applied to collections of original documents bound in one volume or attached to one another so as to form a roll.

A second deed was a grant from Vivian Gernet de Hesham to the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster of all his rights in the Advowson of the chapel of Caton.

"To all the sons of holy mother church who shall inspect this present charter, Vivian Gernet of Heysham [Vivianus Gernet de Hesham], greeting. Know all of you that I, with the consent and assent of my heirs, have granted, and by this my present charter have confirmed, and altogether quit-claimed from me and my heirs to the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster and to the monks there serving God and the Blessed Mary, for the safety of my soul and of my ancestors, the whole right and claim which I had or could have in the advowson of the chapel of Caton, so that neither I nor my heirs can ever exact any right or claim in the advowson of the said chapel. And I, Vivian, and my heirs, will defend and warrant the aforesaid advowson to the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster and the monks of the same place for ever. In testimony hereof I have fortified this present writing with the impression of my seal. These being witnessess-- Master Roger of Derby, Thomas of Capernwray, William of Parles, Geoffrey, clerk, Robert, parson of Chippingdale, Gerard, the chaplain of Lancaster, Philip, the clerk." - from "Material for the History of the Church of Lancaster
Roger of Derby also witnessed the Charter of the town of Salford with Roger Gernet of Halton in 1230.

Def: Advowson - It was the practice of great lords, such as the lords of manors, to build and endow churches for the use of their families and tenants, or friends. However, a Bishop's permission was required for the erection of such a church. He had to pronounce upon the sufficiency of its endowment and approve the pastoral nominee. The Bishop became the advocatus or advowee, champion or protector of the church of which the patron had named the incumbent.

From the UK archives, Molyneux, Earls of Sefton, Ellel:
- Undated (c1250), "Henry son of Richard of Alhale to Nicholas the Smith of Elhale -- the land between the land of N. which he holds from the Abbey of Leyrcestre [Leicester] next Kokir [Cocker/Cockersand?], as far as the depth of the marsh where it falls into Kokir between Traherig and Hoselrig, and then ascending Kokir upwards as far as the middle of the land which he holds from the said abbey -- to have pannage and multure of the land, and free carriage and sale of dead wood and char coals. Paying yearly 4d. Witn. the lord Roger Gernet, William, lord of Tunestale, William, of Parles, Adam of Kellet, Adam of Heste, Vivian of Hesham, Walter of Soureby, Jordan son of Hugh." Another reference in the National Archives to this same event shows Vivan as "Wivian of Hesham."

1241-1246. The "Charter of Warin de Waleton of quitclaim of the patronage of Eccleston" was witnessed by "Adam of Bury, Adam de Molyneux, Richard de Chernoe, Richard Blundell, John of Cantsfield, Thomas of Capernwray, Richard Pincerna, then sheriff of Lancaster; Adam of Kellet, William of Parles, Roger of Heton, Vyvian of Heysham [Vyuiano de Hesham], Philip, rector of the church of Croston, and many others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster." Richard Pincerna [le Boteler] was Sheriff from 1241 to 1246. This is the only place I've seen Vivian's name spelled Vyvian or Vyuiano.

Vivian died in 1246. This was 25 years after his father's death, so I assume this would make him between 46 and 56 years old.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy in the medieval period was very low. While today men and women may expect to live into their 70’s and beyond, in this violent period so lacking in medical science, the life expectancy was less than 35 years, and less than 20 in the plague years. However, the main cause of this very low probability was the high infant mortality rate. Once an individual had reached 12 years old or so his odds of reaching a “ripe old age” were substantially improved. So people could live to just as long as they do today, its just that fewer of them did so.

The inquest of "Vivianus Gernet, in inquisitione dictus Vivianus de Heesam" death was taken into record at Lancaster on 19 May 1246 (Inq. 30 Hen. 3 No. 26).

"VI. Vivian de Heysham (or Gernet).--Inq. p. m.
[30 Henry III., No.20.]
Writ dated at Westminster, May 7th, 30th year (1246). The deceased is therein described as Vivian Gernet.
Inquest made at Lancaster, on St. Dunstan's Day (May 19th, 1246), by the oath of Adam de Wennington, Roger de Heeton, Roger de Burgh, Adam de Heest, Adam de Bothilton, Elias de Thornbrandesheued, Adam Gernet, Adam de Medilton, Symon, son of Michael, Henry, son of Godith, William de Heest, and Ralph de Bothilton, who say that Vivian de Heesam held in chief of the King 2 carucates of land in Heesam (Heysham), by the service of 8s. 9d. yearly; 2 carucates of land in Katon (Caton), by the service of 20s. yearly, worth 40s. yearly; a mill in the same vill [of Caton] worth 20s. yearly. Roger, his son, is his next heir, and of full age [Rogerus filius suus est haeres ejus propinquior, et est de aetate Lancantr']."
Footnote. "Roger, son and heir of Vivian Gernet, gave 10 marks for his relief, and had livery of his lands by writ dated June 4th, 1246." - from page 161 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
This, by the way, is the first recorded use of the spelling Heesam.

30-31 Henry III, 1246-47. "Juliana de Hesham has appealed John Crocbayn of the death of Elias her brother. John is outlawed; no chattels." - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker. Would this be Elias de Hesham, a brother-in-law, or Elias her brother by blood? Note that an Elyas de Hesaym was mentioned in a grant of Roger, son of Vivian Gernet, of Hesaym, circa 1274-1286, below.

"After a time the mesne lordship [of Caton] of the Gernets of Heysham and their successors was neglected, and Caton was held by a younger branch of the family, which adopted the local name." - from British History Online.

Vivian's children were,
(7) Roger Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(7) William de Hesham (c1230) , a son of Julia
(7) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(7) Ellen Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(7) Ellota Gernet de Hesham (c1230)

(7) Roger Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180) (6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)

He was the son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham and Gilian, daughter of Orm de Kellet; she was also known as Godith de Kellet. Roger became the Lord of Heysham and Caton upon the death of his father in 1246.

"Thomas was succeeded by his son Vivian of Heysham who died in 1246, the inquest after whose death was taken at Lancaster on the 19 May of that year (Inq. 30 Hen. 3 No. 26)." - per George Lissant.
He was "called Roger de Hesham, to distinguish him from his cousin, R.G. [Roger Gernet] of Halton." - from "A Collection of Pedigrees of the Family of Travers" by Samuel Smith Travers.
"Vivian . . . died in 1246 leaving issue, Roger, who the same year fined ten marks for his relief and died after 1260 without issue." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester
In a similar reference,
"Roger, son and heir of Vivian Gernet, gave 10 marks for his relief, and had livery of his lands by writ dated June 4th, 1246." - from page 161 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Roger's wife was Helen. Helen brought two "oxgang-dales" in marriage. She was mentioned in a grant to the Abbey of Cockersand. Roger made a number of gifts to Cockersand.

"Grant in frankalmoign by Roger [son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham to the canons of Cockersand] of a portion of his land in Caton lying upon Welslet between the land of Matthew de Burrow at the upper end and land of Roger Gernet of Caton [Roger of Caton, not his cousin, Roger of Heysham] at the lower which he received in marriage with Helen his wife, extending in length from Artle Beck to the Fulling Mill, with pasture for ten cows with their offspring of three years, four oxen, forty sheep, three mares with their offspring of one year and common of mast for ten swine in the underwood of Caton quite of pannage. [S.D. 1246-1251.]" - from "Remains, Historical . . ."
Welslet [Welsted] is a "cultivation," per one source, meaning a plowed field.
"Grant in frankalmoign by Roger son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham [to the canons of Cockersand] of three oxgang-dales of land in Caton on the cultivation called Welslet, lying between the land of Gilbert son of Tille and land which the grantor gave to Roger, the lord of Caton, in marrige with Ellota his sister, extending in length from the land of Alan son of Roger to Tadepool. [S.D. 1246-1268]." - from "Remains, Historical . . ."
Ellota, the sister of Roger Gernet of Heysham, became the wife of Roger Gernet of Caton. I suppose they were second cousins.
"Grant in frankalmoign by Roger [son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham to the canons of Cockersand] of one acrea in Caton lying upon Welslet between the old Millpool and the house which Robert Fey formerly held of Vivian Gernet, extending the length towards the highway and towards the land of Adam de Appletreethwaite. [S.D. 1246-1268]." - from "Remains, Historical . . ."
Appletreethwaite means "a small enclosure of apple trees."

Circa 1246, Roger of Heysham [Rogero de Hesham] was a witness to a land grant, along with "Richard Pincerna, then Sheriff of Lancaster, Thomas Capernwray, then steward of the manor of the lord the King . . . and others." Richard le Boteler [Pincerna] was Sheriff from 1241 to 1246.

Roger Gernet 'de Caton' was shown to have "granted land in the territory of Welslet" and the deed was witnessed by Sir Roger Gernet de Halton, Roger de Hesam, Adam de Katon, etc., circa 1246.

In the Lancashire Assize, 30-31 Henry III, 1246-47,

"Of Serjeanties:--they say that Roger Gernet of Halton hold 3 carucates in demesne and 5 in service in Halton and Lek by Serjeanty as Keeper of the King's forests in that county; worth yearly 7 pounds . . . And Roger de Hesam hold 2 carucates in Hesham by Serjeanty of sounding his horn when the King enters that county and when the King goes out of that county, worth yearly 4 pounds." - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker.
In the reign of Henry III, anywhere from 1216 to 1272, the Heysham manor was in the holding of Roger de Hesham.

The Assize of Arms

This was a law enacted by the King requiring all freemen to arm themselves. Like our own 2nd Amendment, it was instituted because "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of [a free] State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 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.

Robert de Passelewe arrented [assessed rents to be paid to the King] the following serjeanty in the time of King Henry III, circa 1247.

"The Serjeanty of Hesham,

which Roger son of Vivian holds, for which he ought to wind his horn (cornare) before the King at his entry into the county of Lancaster and at his departure, has been alienated in part.

Of the same Roger for 10 solidates of land [solidates terre, shillings worth of land] which Thomas Gernet and Aelina [Ellen] sister of the said Roger, hold alienated from that serjeanty by the year, 40d. And the same Roger shall perform the service of the 3rd part of one fee.

Of that land which William de Ferrers and Agnes his wife hold of the serjeanty of Saleford, and of Cleyton, and of Neusum--nothing, because they have the King's charter and writ thereof."

Footnote. "Thomas Gernet holds thereof 10 solidates of rent. And the said Roger thereupn made fine for the said tenement by his consent, to wit 40d. yearly. So that the said tenant shall answer thereof yearly to Roger. And the same Roger shall perform the service of the 3rd part of one fee for his part which has not been alienated, and shall be quit of the said serjeanty."- from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Robert de Passelewe was a commissioner of the King. He had previously held a great inquisition of the royal forests, from 1244 to 1245. 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.
The appearance of de Passelewe would have been as welcome as an audit by the IRS.

From a charter of Rober Gernet of Halton,

[1248-9] "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, Adama of Ursewick, Roger of Heysham, Roger Gernet of Caton, Philip, rector of the church of Croston, and many others. " - from "Materials for . . . "
Sir Robert de Latham was High Sheriff of Lancaster in 1236, 1248, 1249 and again in 1263.

Sir Mathew de Redmayne

Adam de Avranches was granted lands in Yealand and Silverdale by William de Lancaster, the Baron of Kendal. Two of Adam's sons were Norman de Redman and Roger de Yealand. Norman, who took up the de Redman name late in life in respect to lands he held in Cumberland, was granted lands in Levens [Lefnes] by William de Lancaster II, also Baron of Kendal, circa 1170.

Roger de Yealand's son was Sir Adam de Yealand, the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1228 to 1233. Adam's daughter and heir, Alice, married Robert de Conyers.

Norman de Redman's son was Henry, who held one moiety of Yealand and passed it onto his son, Mathew. Henry de Redman was Sheriff of Yorkshire with Gilbert Fitz Reinfrid, Baron of Kendal, and both were involved against John at Runnymede, as was Adam de Yealand.

Sir Mathew de Redmayne of Levens was the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1246 to 1249. Mathew died before 1254. His successor was Henry, whose son and heir was also Mathew.

These men gave their names to the villages of Yealand Conyers and Yealand Redmayne.

Circa 1250. 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
[Donor: Roger, son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham]
- Nativi: Adam filius Ricardi filii Rogeri de Hesham
[Bondman: Adam son of Richard son of Roger of Heysham]
- Nativi: Rogerus f. [filius] Adae f. Michaelis cum sequela
- Nativi: Alanus f. Adae de Hesham c.s. [cum sequela]
- 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
[senior] 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.
Cum sequela refers to the manumission of the native or villein tenants of the monastery. In most instances this also involved the freedom of their family, and as a matter of course of any descendants they might have. And yes, the citation above does refer to Vivian as Wiviani.

From a writ to Thomas de Stanford 5 October 35 Henry III [c1251],

"Katon town, 6 bovates held of Roger de Hesam by service of 7s. 2d.; and 1/3 of water mill and fulling mill." - from "Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem"

In 1253 it was recorded that Roger son of Vivian held the third part of a knight's fee in Heysham by serjeanty - British History Online.

8 June 1254. Inquest on Ralph de Bethum [note he was an heir of the sister of Quenilda de Gernet, a de Lacy]. Witnesses included "Roger de Hesham." - from page 194 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

18 October 1255. Inquest on Adam de Overton. Witnesses included "Roger de Hessaym." - from page 199-200 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

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.

From the UK archives, Deeds and Documents, of Caton:

Undated - "Grant: Brother Robert of Manneby, of the Hospital of Jerusalem in England, to Adam of Appeldoretheyt [Appledorethwaite] -- property in Caton called Pikedehou, with all waste, late in the tenure of Roger of Arkelbek [Artle Beck]; also all land in Gaytekanling which Richard of Arklebek held; also all land on Sywardeshustude, which Roger the Potter held; and all land and meadow which John the Chaplain held; and 2 ac. in Ovenebanch between land of Symon son of Emme and Elen her sister and of Roger son of Vivian Garneth; and all land in the Heldes and in the upper part of Hayleye which lies between land of Symon son of Emme and of Elen aforesaid; and all land in the middle of Heyleye; and all land in another place on Leyleye of which one head extends as far as Routhker and the other to be Wythes: and all land in the Sandputtes; all which parts of Hayleyoperne are had from Roger son of Vivian Garneth of Hesham -- paying 2/- yearly. Witn. Brother William of Eryleye, Brother Henry of Euriel, Brother Gilbebt Picoth, Brother Robert of Haucham, Brother Richard of Braumford. Seal fragment."

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 . . ."

Was Wymark a second wife?

Rebellion of Simon de Montfort, 1258-1265

Simon, the Earl of Leicester, 1208-1265, was married to Henry III's sister, Eleanor, in 1238. He had been born in France and was, for a considerable period, one of the king's favorites. However, the king's continued mismanagement of royal finances led to de Montfort's disaffection. In 1244 and again in 1258 financial officers were elected by the Barons to supervise royal spending. Henry refused to comply with their orders and a number of the Barons rebelled under the leadership of de Montfort. The king and his son, the future Edward I, were defeated and captured at the battle of Lewes, in Sussex.

De Montfort's personal greed and the ill treatment of royalists around the country did not endear the Earl to the other Barons. As quarrels broke out amongst them, Edward escaped from prison, raised a loyal army, and defeated and killed de Montfort and his sons at the Battle of Evesham, in August 1265. See the graphic drawing below of the death and dismemberment of Simon for an idea of the passions at play.


Released from prison, and by now a weak man, Henry III was content to allow his son to run the country in all but name.

Note that Simon de Montfort was a signatory with Roger Gernet on the city charter of Salford, England. The Gernet's lost their valuable sinecure as Foresters of Lancashire in 1280. Does this imply that they joined de Montfort's rebellion and were later punished for it?

In yet another grant,

1259. "I, Roger, son and heir of Vivian of Heysham, have given, granted, and altogether quit-claimed, to Sir William de Rey, Prior of Lancaster . . . all right and claim which I ever had, or could have, in the toft which Robert, son of Elt, formerly held in the vill of Heysham, and in an acre of land with Adam of Urswick gave to the said priory . . . Rendering therefore annually to me and my heirs or assigns four pence sterling at the two terms of the year by equal parts, namely, at Easter and at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel . . . These being witnesses--Sir William le Botiler, then Sheriff of Lancaster, Sir Roger of Heaton, Benedict Gernet, Thomas of Capernwray . . ., and many others."
Sir William le Botiler was the Sheriff of Lancaster in 1259. Sir William de Rey was the Prior of Lancaster from 1253 to 1266.

20 January 1260. Inquest on Roger de Croft. Witnesses included "Roger de Hesam." - from page 199-200 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

Circa 1260. "Caton. Roger, son of Vivian Gernet, grants to the brethren of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, one bovate of land with a messuage in the village of Caton, also one acre in the same village between the land of the abbot of Cokersand, and the land of Roger Gernet of Caton; and two perches of land lying at the upper head of Welested." - from the "Calendar of Charters and Rolls Preserved in the Bodleian Library"

Roger is not mentioned in the next citation for Helen, his wife. Was that usual?

"Grant in frankalmoign by Adam son of Adam son of Ailward de Caton [to the canons of Cockersand] of the land lying in the territory of Welslet between the said canons' land which the grantor gave them and the land of Helen de Heysham which was given to her in marriage, extending from the pool called Tadepool to the highway and across the highway to the land of Alan son of Roger de Welslet, with common right etc., so that the grantor should be partaker in the prayers and benefits to be made at Cockersand. [S.D. 1241-1260]" - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester."
I would expect Helen to be addressed as "wife of Roger Gernet of Heysham" even if he was deceased.

1269. Sir Benedict Gernet and Roger de Heysham (Hesaym) 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, and Orm de Kellet. - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

1270. 54 Henry III, Westminster, 20 July 1270, Justice John de Oketon, plaintiff Alan de Welleslech, defendents Roger son of Vivian de Heseham and John son of Roger Gernet [of Caton?], Writ of Novel disseisin: Common of pasture in Caton. - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker.

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).

Roger de Hesham sold lands in Hesham to his maternal uncle, Laurence Travers, temp. Henry III - from "A Colleciton of Pedigrees of the Family of Travers" by Samuel Smith Travers.

1261-1272. "Grant in perpetuity from Master Laurence Travers to his son, Thomas Travers, of all his demesnes of Heysham (Hesaym) which he purchased from Roger, son of Vivian de Hesaym, (except two acres of land whereof he enfeoffed Richard de Heton, one lying on either side of the hill (montis) of Crossecoppe and the other in the field called Bryches), and also of two acres which the grantor bought from Adam, son of Robert de Kellet in the territory of Heysham, viz., one acre in Le Midilrigge, half an acre on le Bruneberh, and the other half acre in Le Cloniggis del Maniclyuys, to hold of the grantor during his life, and after his decease, of Roger de Hesaym and his heirs. Witnesses: Sir Ralph de Dacre (Dakyr), sheriff of Lancashire, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William de Heton, Alan de Catherton, John de Oxeclyve, Orm de Kellet, John le Gentyl, Nicholas de Lee, John de Parlis, Richard de Heton, and William Warde. (Seal destroyed.)" - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records."
"1260-1286. Grant in perpetuity from Roger de Hesaim, son of Vivian de Hesaym, to Thomas Travers, of all that land and meadow which adjoin his "culture" or ploughed land (cultura) del Quytecroft on the south, described by bounds, beginning seawards at th extremity of a certain rock which is called le Bronneberh, and so following over the summit of the said rock as far as his culture del Hallestede, &c., with all liberties and easements in all places to so much land pertaining in the vill of Heysham and without. Witnesses: Sir Ralph (R.) de Dacre (Dakyr), steward of the Lord Edmund's lands, Sir William de Heton, John de Oxclyve, John de Parlis, and Thomas de Parlis. (Seal.)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
Hallestede [Hallstead, Hallstudes, Hausted] is the place of Halla. Bronneberh seems to mean "brown rock" and has been associated in recent research with a large rock formation or arch, south of Heysham Head, which was destroyed in the 19th century in the making of Heysham harbor.
1272-1275. ". . . Heysham, purchased from Roger son of Vivian de Hesaym; also two acres, on the Brimeberh and elsewhere, purchased from Adam son of Robert de Kellet: to be held of the grantor during his life and then of Roger de Hesaym and his heirs."
"1274-1286. Grant in perpetuity from Roger, son of Vivian Gernet, of Hesaym, to Thomas Travers, of half an acre of arable land in Upper Heysham (Hesaym superior), site described. Witnesses: Sir Henry de Lee, sheriff of Lancashire, John de Parlis, John le Gentyl, John de Oxeclyve, Adam de Hesaym, Ralph de Hakunyshou, William Warde, and Waler, son-in-law of Elyas de Hesaym. (Seal destroyed.)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records" - from "Remains Historical . . ."
Adam de Hesaym was probably a Adam de Kellet of Heysham, the Hesaym name meaning simply that he was "of Heysham."

3 Edward I [1275]. "Heysham ("Hesham") (Lanc.): appointment of Guichard de Charrun and William de Northburgh to take assise of novel disseisen arraigned by Roger de Hesham against Thomas son of Laurence to Travers and others, touching a tenement in . . ." - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

At some point before 1278, Roger sub-enfeoffed the Heysham manor [or some significant portion of it] to the de Luci family.
"The family of Lucy afterwards held the Manor under the Gernets, from whom it passed, in the twelth century, with Joan, daughter of Alice de Lucy, to Ranulf de Dacre, and by the marriage in the next generation of William de Dacre with the heiress of Benedict Gernet, from a mesne lord he became sole proprietor." - from "Notitia Cestriensis, or Historic Notices of the Diocese of Chester" Volume 3 by Francis Gastrell
This was rather like renting the place out and may indicate that Roger felt pinched for money.

In 1274 Joan de Lucy, the daughter of Alan de Multon-de Lacy, had married Ranulf de Dacre and brought a number of estates with her in marriage. The couple received seisen of Heysham [Hesam] and Kellet in 1278 from Joan's mother, Alice de Lucy, who held of Roger Gernet.

The de Lucy/Lucie/Luci Family

The de Lucy's were Norman, from the town of Luce [Lucy] in the Orne region, near Rouen. A Guy de Lucy joined the Albigensian crusade and a Guy de Luce occurs in the county of Maine. However, the early family saw their founder as a Fulbert de Lucy, who came to England with the Conqueror. Their arms were three luces [the heraldic name for the pike, a fish, from the French Lus], a pun on their name. Later crosslets were added in honor of their service on crusade with Richard I. See also the Lucey & Lucy Family History Web Site.

(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030)

He came to England at the time of the Conqueror.

(2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030)

Of Luce, near Domfront, Normandy. He married Avelina der Gothen.

(3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1089)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064)

During the reign of Henry II, Sir Richard de Lucy (1098-1179) was the Lord Chief Justicar of England and Protector during the King's absence in Normandy. He was excommunicated by Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, from 1166 to 1169. Sheriff of Hertfordshire 1155-1157; also Sheriff of Essex at one point. He married Rohese FitzRichard de Clare, daughter of Richard FitzRichard de Clare, the Abbot of Ely.

His brother, Walter, was abbot of Battle Abbey.

(4) Sir William de Lucy (c1122)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064) (3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1098)

He married Cecilia Lucy.

(5) Reginald de Lucy (c1137)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064) (3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1098) (4) Sir William de Lucy (c1122)

Or Reynold. He was Governor of Nottingham. He married Mabel [Amabilis/Amabel?], the daughter of William, Earl of Moray, the son of Duncan II and nephew of David I, kings of Scotland. She was the heiress of Copeland [Coupland]. Reginald died circa 1199.

(6) Richard de Lucy (c1179)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064) (3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1098) (4) Sir William de Lucy (c1122) (5) Reginald de Lucy (c1137)

Lord of Coupland and Egremont. The son and heir of Reginald. He married Ada, the daughter of Hugh de Morville and Heloise de Stouteville. She inherited half of her father's barony. They had two daughters, Anabel and Alice. Richard died in about 1213 and, in 1214, Thomas de Multon, justicar, paid 1000 marks to receive custody of his daughters.

Thomas de Multon sided with the Barons against King John in 1215. For this he was taken prisoner by the King and imprisoned at Corfe. He was then excommunicated by the Pope in 1216. He made his peace with the King and in 1218 Thomas married Richard de Lucy's widow, Ada. He had to pay a heavy fine to do so, but as a consequence obtained the office of forester of Cumberland. Later Richard's daughters would marry Lambert and Alan, the sons of Thomas de Multon [Moulton].

Note that Thomas de Multon and Ada had a son, Thomas who gained the barony of Gillesland through marriage with Maud, the daughter of Hubert de Vaux. Thomas' daughter, Margaret, was carried away by Ralph de Dacre, the son of William and Joan Gernet of Halton, by which the Dacre's gained the barony.

(7) Anabel de Lucy (c1210)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064) (3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1098) (4) Sir William de Lucy (c1122) (5) Reginald de Lucy (c1137) (6) Richard de Lucy (c1179)

She married Lambert de Multon and carried the barony of Egremont to him.

(7) Alice de Lucy (c1210)
(1) Fulbert de Lucy (c1030) (2) Adrian de Lucy (c1064) (3) Sir Richard de Lucy (1098) (4) Sir William de Lucy (c1122) (5) Reginald de Lucy (c1137) (6) Richard de Lucy (c1179)

She was born in Copeland, Cumberland in about 1210. She married Alan de Multon, the son of Thomas II de Multon and Sarah De Flete, in about 1219. Their son, Thomas, adopted the more prestigious de Lucy surname and was ancestor of the Lucies of Cockermouth. Alice had died by 1287 and Thomas succeeded to her estates.

(8) Joan de Lucy/Multon (c1235)
(4) Thomas de Multon (c1120) (5) Lambert de Multon (c1150) (6) Thomas de Multon (c1180) (7) Alan de Multon-de Lucy (c1210)

Joane. She was born about 1235 in Copeland, Cumberland. She married Sir Ranulf de Dacre, the Sheriff of Cumberland and York, and son of Sir William de Dacre. She apparently brought the manors of Kellet and Heysham, as well as lands in Broghton and Donanby, into the marriage, since Ranulph later held them jointly with her. 6 Edward I to 14 Edward I.

Ranulf de Dacre died in 1286. A writ of 18 June 1286 showed that Ranulf held,

"of the Lady Alice de Lucy, and renders one mark yearly, which said mark the Lacy Alice assigned to the said Ranulf de Dacre in frank marriage with her daughter Joan." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, . . ."
Ranulf and Joan were the parents of William de Dacre who later married Joan de Gernet, the last of the Halton line of the Gernet family.
"Sir Randle de Dacre had died in Sept. 1286; his wife was Joan daughter of Lady Alice de Lucy. They had purchased the manor [Heysham] about 1278." - from "British History Online"
Ranulf and Joan de Lacy held the manor jointly.
Inquest, 1 September 1286. ". . . Joan, together with Ranulf, her husband, were jointly enfeoffed of the manor of Kellet with the appurtenances, and that she was seisen thereof with her husband from the 2 Edward I. [1274], until the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, 14 Edward I. (May 3rd, 1286). They also say that she was enfeoffed in like manner of the manor of Hesham with the appurtenances and was in seisin with her husband from 6 Edward I [1278] until the said feast of the Invention, 14 Edward I [1286] . . . They also say that William, son of the said Ranulf, is his next heir, and was of the age of 20 years at the feat of St. Gregory the pope last past (March 12th)." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
September 5, 1286, Westminster. "To Thomas de Normanvill, escheator beyond Trent. Order to deliver to Joan, late the wife of Ranulph de Dacre, tenant in chief, upon her taking oath not to marry without the king's licence, the manors of Kellet and Hesham, an eighth of the town of Broghton, and 30 acres of land in Duuvaneby, to be held until otherwise ordered, as the king learns by inquisition taken by the escheator that Joan was enfeoffed thereof jointly with Ranulph, and was in full seisen thereof until his death. Witness: Edmund, Earl of Cornwall" - from the "Calendar of the Close Rolls"

At some point, perhaps in 1278, Roger de Heysham ceased to be the lord of Heysham manor in capite.

"Seriantia de Hesham quam Rogerus filius Viviani tenet, pro qua debuit cornare ante dominum regem ad introitum suum et exitum in comitatu Lancastric, alienata est."

[Tranlsation:] The Serjeanty of Heysham which Roger son of Vivian held, for which he blew a horn before his lord the King upon the entry and exit of his company [of followers] from Lancaster, is alienated [legally transferred to another person].
That seems to confirm that the manor was actually sold, not merely sub-enfeoffed. While he lived, however, Roger continued to own land in Heysham and had a position of some repute.

The following is a citation I have not been able to attribute to any other Roger Gernet.

9 Edward I [1281]."Vuerburgh (Lanc.); appointment of Geoffrey Aguillon and Alan de Walkingham to take the assise of novel disseisin arraigned by Alice late wife of Willima de Morthing against Roger Gernet and others, touching a tenement in [Vuerburgh, parva (Lanc.); see Woolton, Little]." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records."
Vuerburgh may be Vulneton, now Little Woolton, which was part of the barony of Wydnes.

1285-1288. "Roger son of Vivian Gernet grants to Thomas Travers half an acre of arable land in Upper Heysham in a village near the Withengreves." - from "Remains Historical . . ." Also referenced as "Roger de Heysham son of Vivian de Heysham granted Thomas Travers land adjoining his culture of the Whitecroft, the bounds on the sea side beginning at a rock called the Bronneberh. Sir Ralph de Dacre, steward of Lord Edmund's [Earl of Lancaster] lands, was a witness." - from "British History Online."

Roger had died by 1290/1 when Thomas Travers alleged that,

"Roger de Heysham, chief lord of the vill, had enfeoffed Lawrence Travers, plaintiff's uncle, of certain lands, &c., in Over Heysham, with all ways and paths, before Randle de Dacre and Joan his wife had purchased the lordship of the vill from Roger. The defendants were Joan, then widow of Randle, and Nicholas the reeve." - from "British History Online
We know that Travers had received lands in 4 grants sometime between 1260 and 1286. Travers is arguing that these occurred before the transfer to Randle de Dacre.

Roger died sine prole. George Lissant claims that, "He [Roger] appears to have died without male issue and his estates, for Heysham at least, passed to the Dacres by the marriage of his daughter [sic] Joan" Heiress of Benedict Gernet," with one of that family." George has confused the Gernet's of Halton and those of Heysham.

An interesting reference for William de Dacre mentions Roger de Hesham,

Circa 1348. "HALTON. William de Dakre 3 knt. holds 3 carucates of land in Halton and Aghton by serjeanty of being the lord's forester everywhere (ubique) within the county of Lancaster, rendering yearly at the terms of Easter and Michaelmas 6. gs. ^d., whereof 40^. [is] from a plat of pasture called Shidiard [Sidegarth], late of Roger de Hesham." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids, Part III"

To add some confusion, the following implies that Heysham manor was given to the Dacre's after escheating to the "chief lord," the king?

"This line [the Gernets] appears to have become extinct, for in the reign of Edward I [1272-1307] Heysham was seized by the chief lord and given to Ranulf de Dacre. No doubt the manor [of Caton] had been granted to the said John after the estates of the Gernets of Heysham had escheated to the chief lord . . ." - from "Final Concords of the County of Lancaster," page 189, by William Farrer
This assumes that Roger Gernet died still in possession of Heysham, his lands were seised by the King, and enfeoffed to the Luci/Dacre family, who were already in possession, though now directly from the King, vice from Roger Gernet.

An inquest of 1323 noted that Edmund de Dacre, William's second son, had the "serjeanty of Hesham [sic] which Roger son of Vivian formerly held." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

(7) William de Hesham (c1230)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180) (6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)

The son of Julia [Juliana] and thus a probable brother to Roger. The next reference described the forest jurisprudence, from Justices in Eyre through a listing of Viridors and Regardors. Of interest to us are two paragraphs, the first for Benedict Gernet of Halton.

"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.
. . .
That is, Thomas de Gersingham was the forester under William de Dacre, who was the heir of Benedict Gernet, who had previously been forester under Roger de Lancaster.
. . .
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
[Translation:] "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." - from "Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present," 1867

William's pleading shows that he held himself to be a member of the Gernet of Heysham family; that is, this was not William, a villein "of" Heysham, but a lord who possessed Heysham, or some part thereof. Julia de Heysham must have been a personage since she was used to describe a man. I believe that she was Juliana, the "late wife of Vivian de Hesham," who was mentioned in the Assize Rolls of 1246. She would have been quite the old dowager by this date.

William left no heirs that I've been able to discover.

The Thane

There were two orders of Thanes, the King's Thanes, or those who attended at his court and held lands immediately from him, that is Barons, and the ordinary Thanes, or Lords of the Manor. After the Norman conquest Thanes and Barons were classed together, the title falling into disuse in the reign of Henry II.


(7) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180) (6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)

I believe that Thomas was the brother or cousin of Roger de Hesham, the son of Vivian.

Circa 1247. "The Serjeanty of Hesham,
which Roger son of Vivian holds, for which he ought to wind his horn (cornare) before the King . . . Thomas Gernet holds thereof 10 solidates of rent. And the said Roger thereupn made fine for the said tenement by his consent, to wit 40d. yearly. So that the said tenant shall answer thereof yearly to Roger. And the same Roger shall perform the service of the 3rd part of one fee for his part which has not been alienated, and shall be quit of the said serjeanty."- from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

The Pipe Rolls for Lancaster for 1249 also mention Thomas de Hesaym.

"Inquest made at Lancaster, on Monday next after the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, 33 Henry III. (May 17th, 1249), by Symon, son of Michael, Adam de Boelton, Roger, son of Alward, Richard de Dalton, clerk, Thomas de Hesaym, Ralph de Bolrun, William de Heste, Jordan de Ellale, Adam de Midilton, Henry, son of Gilbert, Thomas Roud, and Adam Gernet of Caton, who say that the said Elyas de Boelton held in chief of the King 2 bovates of land in the vill of Boelton . . ." - from page 175 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

1249. "Around 1235, Beatrice, daughter and heiress of Osbert of the Berne, sold some land. She appended to the deed of sale her seal, which bore the legend 'S BEATRICE FIL OSBERTI.' Fourteen years later, after her marriage to Thomas Gernet, she still used this same seal." - from "Autonomy and Community: The Royal Manor of Havering, 1200-1500" by Marjorie Keniston MacIntosh.

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 sequela
- Nativi: Alanus f. Adae de Hesham c.s. [cum sequela]
- 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.

"In 1253 it was recorded that Roger son of Vivian held the third part of a knight's fee in Heysham by serjeanty. One alienation had been made — Thomas Gernet and Ellen, the sister of Roger, holding land worth 10s. a year." - from "British History Online". Since this was a single alienation, I assume both Thomas and Ellen held it together and so were both siblings of Roger.

The following seems to indicate that Thomas was a cousin vice a brother of Roger, the son of Vivian de Hessam. The following is from a discussion of Bolton-le-Sands, a small village just north of Lancaster and due west of Nether Kellet.

"William, abbot, and the convent of Furness grant to Thomas son of Thomas de Esham land in Bolton town fields, with right of turbary, for a rent of 6d. The rent due to Henry son of Robert son of Agnes is remitted. 1246-1267." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine County of Lancashire"
The Abbot of Furness at this time was Sir William de Middleton - from "A Catalogue of the Abbots of Furness." Bolton-le-Sands is on the coast of Morecambe Bay, north of Lancaster and due west of Nether Kellet. Town fields appear to have been the common. Turbary is the term used to describe the ancient right to cut turf, or peat, for fuel on a particular area of bog.

Heyshams in Ireland

Thomas, below, is the earliest Heysham I've found in Ireland and may fit here.

(8) Thoma de Hysham (c1250)

The Sheriff of Dublin. A list of witnesses to a grant, dated in the latter 13th century, by Hugh Tyrrell, lord of Castleknock, Hugo Tyrell filius Ricardi Tyrell dominus de Castrocnok, west county Dublin:

"Hiis testibus - domino Roberto Bagod tunc Justiciero de Banco - Thoma de Hysham vicecomite Dublin - W. de Bristoll tunc majore Dublin - domino Ada Petit - domino Wlfrano Bernale - Geraldo Tyrell - Willelmo Petit - Willelmo Balygodman - Johanne Wodelok - Nicholas Skybras - Johanne Abbot - Bertrando Abbot - Simone Passelewe et aliis. Datum Dublin in fest Apostolorum Simonis et Jude anno regni regis Edwardi sexto decimo" - from the "Registrum prioratus omnium sanctorum juxta Dublin" By All Hallows' Priory (Dublin, Ireland), Richard Butler.
Hysham is as a variation of the latin spelling Hesham. In dating the document, does anno regni regis Edwardi sexto decimo mean the sixth year of Edward's reign, 1278, or the 60th year of his life, 1299?
- Hugh Tyrell, the son of Richard, was the Lord of Castleknock and was seized of the manor from at least 1289 to 1310.
- Sir Robert Bagod, Chief Justice of the Bench, was born in 1213. He was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland from 1274, 2 Edward I. He died in 1298. His son, also named Robert, was born circa 1240 and served as Chief Justice of the Bench from 1283 to 1327.
- William de Bristoll, majore, that is elder, was, circa 1275, a citizen of Dublin.
- Sir Adam Petit. His daughter and heir carried the manors of Cloney and Gonock in marriage to Sir Geoffrey de Cusack, Lord of Killeen.
- Gerald Tyrell. "In 1302 Gerald Tyrrell and Richard Tyrrell [sons of Hugh?] were two of the ' Fideles ' of Ireland, whose military services were sought by King Edward for the war in Scotland . . . The last lord of this line was Hugh Tyrell, in 1485." - from "Illustrations, Historical and Genealogical, of King James's Irish Army List" by John D'Alton.
- Simone Passelewe. Sir Simon Passelewe was a justice of the exchequer of the Jews under Henry III, but he died in 1270. He was said to be "crafty and lying," which probably means he made a lot of money. Simone Passelewe and his brother, Radulphus, show up in a number of Ulster charters. Note that Robert de Passelewe, a commissioner of the King, had held a great inquisition of the royal forests in 1244-1245 which may have been the downfall of the Gernet's of Halton.

9-12 Edward I [1281-1284]. "Roscumman Castle.--Accout of William de Spineto, engaged at making a wall around the castle from Friday after feast of St. Peter ad vincula a.r. xii. to Saturday after exaltation of Holy Cross same year.

He is accountable for 34l. 3s. 4d. received from the Treasurer of Ireland, and 32l from Thomas de Hysham out of 200l which Master John de Saunford received from said Treasurer, to perform said works. Sum, 66l, 4s. 7d." - from Appendix to the Thirty-Sixth "Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland," page 75


(7) Ellen Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180) (6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)

"In 1253 it was recorded that Roger son of Vivian held the third part of a knight's fee in Heysham by serjeanty. One alienation had been made — Thomas Gernet and Ellen, the sister of Roger, holding land worth 10s. a year." - from "British History Online".

(7) Ellota Gernet de Hesham (c1230)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180) (6) Vivian Gernet de Hesham (c1200)

Ellota, the sister of Roger Gernet of Heyhsam, became the wife of Roger Gernet of Caton. I suppose they were second cousins.

"Grant in frankalmoign by Roger son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham [to the canons of Cockersand] of three oxgang-dales of land in Caton on the cultivation called Welslet, lying between the land of Gilbert son of Tille and land which the grantor gave to Roger, the lord of Caton, in marrige with Ellota his sister, extending in length from the land of Alan son of Roger to Tadepool. [S.D. 1246-1268]." - from "Remains, Historical . . ."

(6) Helen Gernet de Hesham (c1200)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140) (5) Thomas Gernet de Hesham (c1180)

Vivian Gernet of Heysham granted lands "to Helen his sister, with free common gifts [S.D. 1246-1268]." - from "Remains, Historical . . ."

A Helen de Heysham was also referred to in, a

"Grant in frankalmoign by Adam son of Adam son of Aiward de Caton [to the canons of Cockersand] of the land lying in the territory of Welslet between the said canons' land which the grantor gave them and the land of Helen de Heysham which was given to her in marriage, extending from the pool called Tadepool to the highway . . ." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester."
However, since this land was given to her in marriage, does that mean that for this Helen, de Heysham was her married name vice maiden? The next may identify this Helen as the wife of Roger, the son of Vivan Gernet of Heysham.
"Grant in frankalmoign by Roger [son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham to the canons of Cockersand] of a portion of his land in Caton lying upon Welslet between the land of Matthew de Burrow at the upper end and land of Roger Gernet of Caton at the lower which he received in marriage with Helen his wife, extending in length from Artle Beck to the Fulling Mill, with pasture for ten cows with their offspring of three years, four oxen, forty sheep, three mares with their offspring of one year and common of mast for ten swine in the underwood of Caton quite of pannage. [S.D. 1246-1251.]" - from "Remains, Historical . . ."
So Vivian had a sister named Helen, and his son, Roger, had a wife named Helen.

(5) Ralph Gernet de Hesham (c1180)
(1) Ralph de Gernet (c1050) (2) Vivian Gernet of Halton (c1080) (3) Brian Gernet de Hessam (c1110) (4) Adam Gernet de Hessayne (c1140)

"Adam Gernet had issue four sons - (1) Thomas, his heir, who paid relief for Caton in 1201 and died in 1221 . . . (2) Ralph Gernet of Heysham . . ." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester" by the Chetham Society.

He gave a

"Grant in frankalmoign by Ralph Gernet of Heysham [Radulphus Gernet de Hesam] [to the canons of Cockersand] of those six acres of land in Caton which Thomas Gernet his brother gave him, namely an acre and a messauge on the higher side of the house of Alan son of Begus, two acres of land in Swinsty Holme and three acres of land at the head of the Hayleys which Ralph the servant and Alan son of Begus ridded, with common pasture. [S.D.C. 1210-1235]" - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palantine Counties of Lancaster and Chester"

Another document, circa 1189-1200 [a grant of land in Garstang?], was witnessed by both Ada Gernet and Radulfo de Hessam, that is, Adam Gernet and Ralph of Heysham. - from "The Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey." The could, of course, mean nothing more than Ralph of the village of Heysham. This is also a bit early for our Ralph.



Family of de Kellet de Heysham

Another named family that used the de Hesham/Heysham surname were members of the de Kellet family, originally of Over and Nether Kellet. These villages are northeast of Heysham, just right of Carnforth in the map to the right.

The de Kellet's were considerable landowners and acted like demi-lords. Those that settled in Heysham lived in Nether Heysham, the beach side of the village, and were feudaries of the Priory in Lancaster, while the Gernets lived in Upper Heysham, and held their land in serjeanty of the King.




(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200)

The father of Adam de Hesham of Nether Heysham.

Nether Heysham

Nethir-hessam [1297], Netherhesham [1429], Netherheseham [c1550]. According to MonasticArchives.org.uk this was Little or Lower Heysham, one plough-land north of Heysham head, held in free alms by the Prior of Lancaster.

". . . by it [the parish church], or beneath it, in a little clough, lies the hamlet of Lower Heysham." - British History Online
Over Heysham or High Heysham then refers to the two plough-lands to the southeast of the Saxon church, which was held in serjeanty by the Gernets and their heirs.

Local names associated with Nether Heysham include Kilnburg [Culneburg], Rediacre, Suggholm, Ormsholm, Drakeholm, and Standingstone and Black Greave fields. Holm apparently refers to the fields or messuages that were remembered as having once belonged to Sugg, Orm, and Drake.


(7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200)

Ada filio Roberti de Hesham. A land-owner in the Heysham/Bolton area. He married Helewise de Capernwray.

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 . . . "
Bolton is approximately 40 miles southeast of Heysham. Thomas of Capernwray had been a witness on a number of grants of Vivian Gernet, Lord of Heysham, and his son, Roger, and was noted, circa 1246, as "then steward of the manor of the lord the King." Sounds like somebody.

While the first citation does not make this clear, I think Adam was was a member of the de Kellet family. The citation below makes this point.

Undated. "Adam, son of Robert of Kellet, living in Heysham [Adam filius Robert de Kellet manens in Hesham dedi]" made a grant to the Prior of "an acre of land in Nether Heysham, lying in four parts; to wit, one rod lies on Suggholm next the land of John Harper, and one rod on Ormsholm next the land of William of Oxcliffe, and a rod on the Black Greave next the land of Adam of Heysham, and one rod lies on Drakeholm next the land of John, son of Ralph . . ." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
Adam's marriage to Helewise would, in this scenario, have been a liaison of cousins.

[c1274-1286]. A transfer from Laurence Travers to his son, Thomas Travers, included "two acres which the grantor bought from Adam, son of Robert de Kellet in the territory of Heysham, viz., one acre in Le Midilrigge, half an acre on le Bruneberh, and the other half acre in Le Cloniggis del Maniclyuys" [circa 1261-1272]. The latter was to be held of the grantor during his life and then of Roger de Hesaym and his heirs [!]. An Orm de Kellet witnessed this transfer. Was this (7) Orm de Kellet, above?

The Kellet Manor

Kellet, Chellet in the Domesday book, had been part of Earl Tostig's Halton fee. It was later included in the Honour of Lancaster until John when Count of Mortain granted three plough-lands in Nether Kellet to Adam son of Orm, who was in return to act as master serjeant or bailiff of the hundred of Lonsdale. The grant was confirmed in 1199 when John became king. Villages include Over Kellet, Nether Kellet, Bare and Capernwray.

The Kellet Family

The following is a work in progress. The Kellet surname is derived from the village of the same name and is Scandanavian in origin.

(1) Orme de Kellet

(2) Bernolf de Kellet

His sons were Orme and Adam.

(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134)

Living circa Henry I, he was born in about 1134 in Over Kellet [or Garstang], Lancashire. He had sons,
(4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)
(4) Bernulf de Kellet (c1154)
(4) William de Kellet (c1154)
(4) Gillian/Godith de Kellet, she married Vivan Gernet of Heysham. Their son was Roger Gernet of Heysham. Or, she was the daughter of (4) William de Kellet, son of Orm.
(4) Daughter de Kellet, she married Laurence Travers of Nateby. He purchased land in Heysham from his nephew, Roger Gernet of Heysham.

(4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134)

This may be two people, Adam of Over Kellet and Adam of Nether Kellet, the first who's son and heir was Adam and the second who's son and heir was Orm . . . or are we simply confusing father and son?

Adam was born in about 1154 in Garstang, Lancashire. He married Maud [Matilda], the daughter of Uctred of Singleton. in about 1181, and held a moiety of Kellet in right of his wife.

"John when Count of Mortain granted three plough-lands in Nether Kellet to Adam son of Orm, who was in return to act as master serjeant or bailiff of the hundred of Lonsdale. The grant was confirmed in 1199 when John became king, and the manor continued to be held by the same tenure until the 17th century" - from British History online.
Adam son of Osbert in 1194 made peace with Richard I, after the rebellion of John Count of Mortain, by a fine of 10 marks.

Adam de Kellet gave 30 marks for the confirmation of his serjeanty and lands in 1199.

"Adam Gernet held Heysham and Caton until his death in 1200. He appears to have been slain by Adam, son of Orm de Kellet, bailiff of Lonsdale, as before noticed." - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 92, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer.

1200-1206. Grant from Thomas Gernet, to the monks of Furness, of all his land and lordship of Merton, for release of their claim against the grantor of half a carucate of land in Stapilthirne, whereof they had charters from his ancestors. Witnesses: Benedict Gernet [of Halton], Adam, son of Orme [de Kellet], Roger de Kirkebi, Alan de Penington, Robert de Boivill, Philip le Noreis, and John de Torondesholm. (Seal.)" - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
Adam died in 1222 and was succeeded by his son Orm. - from British History Online.

His sons were,
(5) Orm de Kellet (c1180)
(5) Adam de Kellet de Capernwray (c1180)
(5) Thomas de Kellet (c1180)
(5) William de Kellet (c1180)
(5) Gilbert de Kellet
(5) Roger de Kellet

(5) Orm de Kellet (c1180)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)

He succeeded his father in Nether Kellet in 1222. Undated, "Orm of Kellet" joined Thomas Gernet of Heysham to witness a land grant. He died in 1229. His son, Adam, succeeded him in a line of Orm's and Adam's.

(6) Adam de Kellet (c1210)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154) (5) Orm de Kellet (c1180)

"Adam de Kellet, son of Orm, in 1246 held the three plough-lands in Kellet by warding the wapentake; in Furness he was to have one horse servant and one foot servant, but in the body of the wapentake two of each. " - from British History Online.

(7) Orm de Kellet (c1240)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154) (5) Orm de Kellet (c1180) (6) Adam de Kellet (c1210)

"He [Adam de Kellet] was before 1278 succeeded by his son Orm, who granted a plat of land in Middleton to the Prior of Lancaster and in 1297 came to an agreement with the prior as to 12 acres in Longland in the townfields of Nether Kellet which his father Adam had acknowledged to be the prior's right, being held by him by the service of 2s and a pound of wax yearly. " - from British History.

When the master serjeanty granted by King John was challenged in 1292 "Orm de Kellet, in 20 Edward I, claimed to be the king's bailiff to the wapentake of Lonesdale, and to make and execute summons, attachments, distresses, and other duties belonging to the office of royal bailiff in this wapentake . . ." - from the "History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster." He "alleged that from the time of the Conqueror all his ancestors from heir to heir had been seised in fee of the office and the endowment of lands in Kellet which accompanied it." - from "The Serjeants of the Peace in Medieval England and Wales" by Ronald Stewart-Brown.

"Orm de Kellet in 1299 sold the manor to Thomas Banastre."

(5) Adam de Kellet de Capernwray (c1180)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)

He was born in Over Kellet in about 1182. In 1205-1216 Adam de Kellet and Adam of Capernwray both joined Thomas Gernet of Heysham in witnessing a charter. In 1219 Adam son of Adam de Kellet paid 31s. as relief on succeeding to the lands of Maud de Kellet his mother - perhaps this was just her moiety [in Over Kellet?], not that of his father. He was a benefactor of the abbeys of Cockersand and Furness. Capernwray, where Adam apparently had his residence, was a nearby village, perhaps sub-enfeoffed to this cadet branch of the family.

Adam became a figure in the village of Heysham. He led the inquest in 1252 upon Roger Gernet of Halton's death. Adam and William, his brother, were witnesses to a grant with Thomas Gernet of Heysham, William Gernet, and Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, sheriff of Lancaster 1205-1216. In 1228 he was one of the perambulators of the forest bounds. Adam de Coupmanwray died in 1236 when his son, Thomas of Gressingham, gave 15s. 6d. for his relief.

(6) Thomas of Capernwray (c1200)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154) (5) Adam de Kellet de Capernwray (c1180)

As a young man, before he inherited his father's lands, he was known as Thomas of Gressingham. Thomas Capernwray, the son and heir of Adam of Capernwray, had livery of his father's lands in 1236, paying 15s. 6d. as relief. He was the "steward of the manor of the lord the King" and escheator of the county of Lancaster beginning circa 1249. In 1252 he held the bailiwick of the forest. In 1273 he donated all of his land in Bolton, Bare and Gressingham to the church of St. Mary, as confirmed by Earl Edmund. Thomas was a witness to grants with Vivian Gernet of Heysham, Roger of Heysham, Richard le Boteler [Pincerna], then sheriff of Lancaster 1241-1246. A witness with Sir Robert de Lathom, then sheriff of Lancaster, and Sir Matthew de Redman in 1248-1249. In 1255-1259 Thomas Roud of Bolton granted him 6 1/2 acres in Bolton; witnesses included Benedict Gernet. In 1259 he witnessed a grant by Vivian of Heysham along with Sir William le Botiler, then Sheriff of Lancaster.

Thomas, son of Adam de Capernwray, married Alice of Gressingham.

He died in about 1269. His heir was William, son of Richard de Burgh, a ward of William le Boteler of Warrington, past Sheriff of Lancaster. Note that Thomas' uncle had married a de Burgh so perhaps this simply indicates that William de Burgh was the next male heir. William de Burgh alienated his moiety of Over Kellet to Randle de Dacre and his wife, Joan de Luci, in 1274, who had also obtained the manor of Heysham.

(7) Helewise de Capernwray (c1230)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154) (5) Adam de Kellet de Capernwray (c1180) (6) Thomas of Capernwray (c1200)

Helewise, the daughter of Thomas de Capernwray, married Adam, the son of Robert de Heysham, possibly a de Kellet, her cousin.

(6) Robert de Kellet (c1205)
(4) ?? de Kellet (5) ?? de Kellet

Of Heysham.

(7) Adam de Kellet de Heysham (c1230)
(6) Robert de Kellet (c1205)

An Adam de Hesham, the son of Robert, married Helewise, the daughter of Thomas de Capernwray. Was this his first cousin?

(5) Thomas de Kellet (c1180)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)

Thomas' brother, Adam of Capernwray, proffered 25 marks and a palfrey for the marriage of Alice, the daughter and heir of Geoffrey de Gersingham, with her inheritance to the use of his brother, Thomas, son of Adam - from "The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212." I think that means that Alice married Thomas. Christiana, the only child of Thomas de Kellet and Alice de Gersingham, married a de Burgh.

(5) William de Kellet (c1180)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)

Adam and William, his brother, were witnesses to a grant with Thomas Gernet of Heysham, William Gernet, and Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, sheriff of Lancaster 1205-1216.

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 [who must have died by this date], 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 Gernet of Heysham. (Seal)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
A number of researchers equate Adam de Urswick with Adam de Capernwray.

He may have had a son, William son of William de Kellet, the husband of Katherine, who gave land to the Abbey of Furness and died before 1236-1254. Thomas de Coupmanwra was witness to the charter.

(4) Bernulf de Kellet (c1154)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134)

"The descent of the family who held this part of Over Kellet appears to be as follows:--Orm, the ancestor, who must have been living as least as early as the time of Henry I., was the father of Bernulf," - from The Great Inquest of Service, A.D. 1212, page 91, "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer. He had sons Orm and Adam.

(5) Orm de Kellet
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Bernulf de Kellet (c1154)

"Orm, son and heir of Bernulf, gave one-third of his land of Over Kellet (1/2 car.) and Claughton (2 2/3 bov.) to his brother Adam, who appears to have been a collector of the aid to marry the King's daughter in 1169. He [Adam?] had 2 bovates in Urswick from Michael le Fleming." - William Farrer.

(5) Adam de Kellet (c1184)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) Bernulf de Kellet (c1154)

The manor of Little Urswick, probably of 2 oxgangs of land, was granted to Adam son of Bernulf, to be held by a rent of 32d. Adam son of Bernulf had a son Gilbert, who had a son Adam de Capernwray, identical, apparently, with an Adam de Urswick named in 1244 - from British History Online.

(6) Gilbert de Kellet of Urswick

"Matilda de Kelleth [widow of (4) Adam de Kellet (c1154)] holds ij. carucates of land in thanage in Kelleth and in Bare, and renders xvs. vjd. She gave to Gilbert son of Adam the moiety of Koupemoneswra by rendering iijs. yearly" - William Farrer. He died before 1228, when Adam de Coupanswray, his son and heir, had succeeded.

(7) Adam de Kellet de Capernwray [de Urswick?]
(6) Gilbert de Kellet

Identical with Adam de Urswick? Adam son of Gilbert [Urswick] granted land in Urswick to Furness Abbey, a gift confirmed by his daughter Elizabeth when widow of Sir Richard le Fleming - from British History Online. Adam died in 1236.

(4) William de Kellet (c1154)
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134)

"He [Orm] was the father of William de Kellet, who took part in the rebellion of John, Count of Mortain, in 1194 . . . In 1199 Henry de Redman proffered 20 marks for custody of the land and heir of William de Kellet." - William Farrer. William received a pardon from the King for his rebellion and was fined 20 marks. William died before 1226. "In a rental of 1226 the thegnage rent [in Over Kellet] of Adam son of Osbert [below] and William son of Orm, both then deceased, was given as 15s." - from British History Online.

(5) Henry de Kellet
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) William de Kellet (c1154)

Henry de Kellet, lord of a moiety of Over Kellet, released his right in plough-land and a half in Kellet and half a plough-land in Bare to his brother, Adam's, widow, Maud, in 1206. "Henry de Kellet, who occurs from 1204 to 1207, appears to have been William's eldest son and heir, but died without issue before 1211, in which year Gilbert, second son of William, proffered 20 marks and a palfrey for livery of his inheritance."

(5) Gilbert de Kellet
(3) Orm [Osbert] de Kellet (c1134) (4) William de Kellet (c1154)

The second son of William, in 1211 he proffered 20 marks and a palfrey for livery of his inheritance. "He died in 1236, leaving issue, William, his son and heir, who died in 1242, Alice, who married Henry de Croft, and Godith, who married first Vivian Gernet, and secondly John de Bigging." - William Farrer

The following also applies to Adam son of Robert de Kellet.

1261-1272. "Grant in perpetuity from Master Laurence Travers to his son, Thomas Travers, of all his demesnes of Heysham (Hesaym) which he purchased from Roger, son of Vivian de Hesaym, (except two acres of land whereof he enfeoffed Richard de Heton, one lying on either side of the hill (montis) of Crossecoppe and the other in the field called Bryches), and also of two acres which the grantor bought from Adam, son of Robert de Kellet in the territory of Heysham, viz., one acre in Le Midilrigge, half an acre on le Bruneberh, and the other half acre in Le Cloniggis del Maniclyuys, to hold of the grantor during his life, and after his decease, of Roger de Hesaym and his heirs. Witnesses: Sir Ralph de Dacre (Dakyr), sheriff of Lancashire, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William de Heton, Alan de Catherton, John de Oxeclyve, Orm de Kellet, John le Gentyl, Nicholas de Lee, John de Parlis, Richard de Heton, and William Warde. (Seal destroyed.)" - from "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
Le Bruneberh, see le Brooneberh, above. Bronneberh seems to mean "brown rock" and has been associated in recent research with a large rock formation or arch, south of Heysham Head, which was destroyed in the 19th century in the making of Heysham harbor.
"1274-1286. Grant in perpetuity from Roger, son of Vivian Gernet, of Hesaym, to Thomas Travers, of half an acre of arable land in Upper Heysham (Hesaym superior), site described. Witnesses: Sir Henry de Lee, sheriff of Lancashire, John de Parlis, John le Gentyl, John de Oxeclyve, Adam de Hesaym, Ralph de Hakunyshou, William Warde, and Walter, son-in-law of Elyas de Hesaym. (Seal destroyed.)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
See Elias Heysham, above, the brother of Juliana.

[1266-1290] "Know present and to come that I, Adam, son of Robert of Heysham, have given, granted, and by this my present writing quit-claimed, to my chief lord, brother Ralph de Truno, Prior of Lancaster, and his successors, a rod of land, with its appurtenances, in Nether Heysham, in the fields called Black Greaves, and the whole right and claim which I had, have, and ever could have and shall have, to the same rod with its appurtenances, so, to wit, that neither I, Adam, nor my heirs or assigns, nor any other of me or through me, or for the same, or through the same, can have, lay claim to, exact, or claim any right or claim in the same rod, with its appurtenances. In testimony whereof I have set my seal to the present writing. These being witnesses--John of Oxcliffe, William of Heaton, John of Parles, John le Gentyl, William of Oxcliffe, Thomas of Bolton, Robert of Stodday, and many others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
Ralph de Truno [de Trun] was Prior from 1266 to circa 1290, succeeding Sir William de Rey.

Def: Greaves - The term referred to the groves where Druidical priests lived, in close communion with the trees in which their gods lived.

The extract below refers to Sir Benedict Gernet (c1215-c1300) and Roger of Heysham, in addition to Adam, son of Robert of Heysham. If Roger was a Gernet, then he lived from c1230-1290.

Undated, probably c1272. "Know present and to come that I, William, son of Benedict, the clerk, of Nether Heysham, have given, granged, and by present charter confirmed, to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster, to the Prior and monks there serving God, and their successors, in free, pure, and perpetual almas, a toft and a bovate of land, with the appurtenances, in Nether Heysham; that toft and bovate, to wit, which Roger del Green formerly held of me in the same vill, together with a suitable area on the Kilnburg to build a barn, containing sixty feet in length and thirty in width, with free entry and exit on the highway into the said area with waggon and car at all times of the year . . . These being witnesses--Sir Benedict Gernet [Domino Benedicto Gernet], Sir William of Heaton, John of Oxcliffe, Roger of Heysham [Rogero de Hesham], John of Parles, Adam, son of Robert of Heysham [Ada filio Roberti de Hesham], Ralph of Hackenshall, and others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"

In the record offices in London, there was preserved a conveyance of land dated 1272 from Adam de Hessayne [Hesayn] to Thomas de Travers, for which the yearly tribute was an arrow St. Patrick's day. Thomas de Travers seems like he was gathering together a whole bunch of land.

The Pipe Rolls for Lancaster for 1280 mention Adam de Hesam, Catherine [what happened to Helewise?], his wife, and John his son.

In 1280 Adam was also a juror on an inquest into the properties of Thomas de Hest. The writ directed the Sheriff of Lancaster to inquire whether two-thirds of a messuage, of 4 bovates and 40 acres of land, and of a mill with the appurtenances in Hest, which Thomas Hest held, who had been outlawed for felony, had continued in the King's hand.

"Inquest made on Saturday, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostles, 8 Edward I. (June 29th, 1280), by John de Oxeclyve, John de Parles, William, son of Symon, Symon de Thorenbrandeheued, John, son of Eda, Adam de Hesam, William le Warde, John de Overton, William, son of Adam, Roger de Thorsholem, Henry del Redelade [Redlands?], and Thomas de Wedholem, who say that Thomas de Hest, who was outlawed for felony, held in the vill of Hest two parts of a messuage, two parts of 4 bovates and 40 acres of land, and two parts of a water-mill with the appurtenances in Hest, which lands and tenements he lost by reason of a felony which he commmitted . . . [the said land] was in the hands of Nicholas de Lee, receiver of lord Edmund [Earl of Lancaster]. Whatever the said Thomas had in Hest he held of the said earl. Thomas Travers now holds the said lands and tenements. . ." - from page 243 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
Thomas Travers had a number of dealings with the family in this period.

Adam of Heysham [Ada de Hesham] was witness to a sale of land in Little and Great Heysham by William Ward, his near neighbor. Remember that William was the son of Benedict de Hesham, clerk.

"1290-1300. Grant by Henry son of Alan son of Bernard de Medilton [Middleton] to Alan son of John de le Norhend of his land lying between that of John son of Roger de Medilton and that which is called..... de Hulhaicthorns under Helm, half bovate of meadow in Birkerig-sice and half bovate of meadow at the upper head of Birkerig; the said Alan shall grind the grain growing on this land at the mill of Medilton without multure; the residue of the grantor's land will acquit this land of all secular services; to hold by rendering a rose at Midsummer. Witnesses: Henry de Haiberg, Gilbert son of William, John son of Roger de Medilton, Alan son of Alan, Adam de Hesaim, Adam the clerk. " - from "British History Online."

Adam apparently had died by 1292. His children were (I think),
(8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260), of Heysham
(8) Geoffrey de Hesham (c1260), of Bath, perhaps
(8) John de Hesham (c1270), of Lancaster, maybe

(8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200) (7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230)

Thomas filius et heres Ade de parva Hesham [Thomas, son and heir of Adam of Little Heysham] and Helewise de Capernwray. He held land of the Priory of St. Mary, abutting the old manor of Heysham, then in Dacre hands.

Undated [c1292?].
"Know as well present as to come that I, Thomas, son of Adam of Heysham, have given, granted, and by this my present charter confirmed, to God and the Blessed Mary of Lancaster, and to the monks there serving God, in pure and perpetual alms for ever, two acres of land and meadow of my land in Little Heysham, of which half an acre of land lies at Stanistone, between the land of the said Prior and the land of Joan de Dacre, and a rod of land lies at the Clowe, between the land of the said Prior and the land of the said Joan de Dacre, and one rod of land lies at Moss Ridge, between the land of the Prior and the land of Adam, son of Richard de ffurness, and one rod lies at Draycombe, between the land of the Prior and the land of John the Harper, and half an acre of meadow lies in Suggholm, and one rod of meadow lies in the large meadow. To hold and to have to the aforesaid Prior and monks and their successors, my chief lords, freely, quietly, well, and in peace, with all the appurtenances, to so much land pertaining within the vill of Heysham and without, for ever. And I, the aforesaid Thomas, and my heirs, will warrant and acquit and defend the aforesaid two acres of land and meadow, with all their appurtenances as is abovesaid, against all men and women in future. In testimony whereof my seal is appended by these presents to this present writing for me and my heirs. These being witness--John le Gentyl, William of Oxcliffe, Allan of Parles, Willam de Burgh, William of Heaton, and many others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
- Joan de Dacre may have been either Joan de Lucy, wife of Ranulf de Dacre, or Joan Gernet, the daughter and sole heir of Sir Benedict Gernet of Halton. The first Joan held the manor of Heysham from 1278 to 1290. The latter Joan married Sir William de Dacre in 1281. They held the manor of Heysham together from 1290 - 1297.
- John the Harper was the reeve at Heysham. Each township had a reeve, who summoned the freemen to the town moot. He was responsible to the lord, in this case the priory, for the overall management of the village and ensured that feudal services were performed.
- John le Gentyl witnessed a grant, circa 1261-1272, by the Travers' family of their demesnes lands in Heysham which they purchased from Roger, son of Vivian de Heysham. John witnessed a grant to Furness Abbey in 1269 with Sir Benedict Gernet, Roger de Heysham, Sir Richard le Botyler, sheriff of Lancashire, and others. He witnessed another grant to Furness in 1285 with Robert de Catherton, Robert de Bolrun and Lambert Despenser. John le Gentil and John de Caton were verderers of the forests of Quernmore and Wyersdale, circa 1299, though this may be John's son. In one document is the following,
"These being witnesses--Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir W. of Heaton, Alan of Catherton, John of Oxcliffe, John le Gentyle, and Robert son of Pain, then reeves of Lancaster, William son of Julian, William of Benstend, and others."
I think this means that John le Gentyle was a Reeve along with Robert son of Pain. I also think that Reeve, in this context, meant Bailiff of Lancaster. Note that a half acre of land in Suggholm [Suggeholm] had been granted to Thomas Travers by "John, son of Roger de Hesaym" circa 1274-1286. Adam de Hesaym, Thomas' father, had been a witness.

The citation below paints a picture of Thomas as a lordling who can give the homages and services of men in Little Heysham that are due to him (including that of Thomas Travers!), to another, in this case the Prior, his "chief lord." Was this an affectation or does it imply a relationship to real lords, the Gernets?

1292.
"To all who shall see of hear this writing, Thomas, son and heir of Adam of Little Heysham [Thomas filius et heres Ade de parva Hesham] greeting. Know ye that I have granted, remised, and altogether quit-claimed, from me and my heirs, and, by the present writing, confirmed to the lord John, called le Ray, Prior of Lancaster, and to the monks of the same place, my chief lords, and to their successors, the whole right and claim which I had, or in any manner of right could or can have, in all the homages, services, and rents of Roger, son of Walter of Heysham, Richard, son of Nicholas, the chaplain, John le Harper, and Thomas le Travers, and their heirs; which said homages, services, and rents, they are held to do to me and my heirs for the lands and tenements which they held of me in Lower Heysham. To hold and to have to the said Prior and monks, my chief lords, and their successors for ever, without any witholding. So that, forsooth, neither I, Thomas, nor my heirs nor any one through us, can demand or lay claim to any right or claim from henceforth in the aforesaid homages, services [and] rents. In testimony whereof I have set my seal to this present writing. These being witnesses--Sir William de Dacre, Sir William of Cantsfield, John le Gentyl, William of Oxcliffe, William of Heaton, and others. Dated at Lanncaster the Sunday in the vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year of our Lord 1292." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
John le Ray [Rey] was Prior from 1290 to at least 1299, succeeding Ralph de Truno. He was probably the son, or relative, of Sir William de Rey [de Reio], Prior about 1253 to 1266. The following is an odd statement, implying that the Prior may have known that something was afoot, and that lands ultimately belonging to him might be in danger of being alienated to another.
1292.
"To all who shall see or hear this present writing, I, Thomas, son of Adam of Little Heysham, greeting in the Lord. Know ye that I am held and obliged by these presents to the lord the Prior of the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster or his successors, as my chief lord, that I will never sell nor alienate to any one without the assent and will of my aforesaid lord any land or tenement which I hold of him. And if it happen that I sell or alienate any land or tenements to any one without the licence of my lord aforesaid, I oblige myself and all my goods, moveable and immoveable, under a penalty of ten pounds, to be paid to my said lord, so that it may be lawful for him to distrain me throughout all my lands and tenements which I hold of him until I shall have satisfied my lord aforesaid in respect of the aforesaid ten pounds, if I presume to act contrary to this covenant in any way. In testimony whereof I have set my seal to this present writing. Dated at Lancaster on the Monday in the feast of St. Agnes the Virgin in the twentieth year of the reign of Kind Edward." - from "Remains, Historical and Literary, Connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester.

27 Edward I. On 27 August 1299 a writ directed the sheriff of Lancaster to inquire whether the assignment of the following lands to the Prior and Convent of Lancaster might be prejudicial to the King.

"One messuage with appt. in Lancaster, by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster; . . . 3 messuages and 12 acres of land, with appt. in Little Hesham, by Thomas de Hesham; one messuage and 7 acres of land, &c., in Little Hesham, by Thomas Warde of Hesham; one acre of land in Little Hesham, by Roger, son of Walter; . . . " - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
The National Archives describes this as,
27 Edward I. "Thomas, earl of Lancaster, the abbot of Croxton, Adam de Burgo, Alice daughter of Simon le Orfevre, Thomas de Hesham, Thomas Warde of Heysham, Roger son of Walter, Nicholas son of John, William de Lancaster, and John son of James de Pulton to grant messuages and land in Lancaster, Little Heysham, and Poulton to the prior and convent of Lancaster, retaining land. Lanc."
The following says the same thing in a slightly different fashion.
21 September 1299. Inquest into the assignment of premises to the Prior of Lancaster. "Thomas de Hesam holds in Hesam 3 messuages and 12 acres of land with appt. in chief of the prior of Lancaster; it is yearly worth 20s." Elsewhere described as Little Hesham. - from page 303-304 "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
And again, there is another variation, but still written by Farrer, which terms him "Thomas de Hessam." - from "The Record Society" by William Farrer.

On 22 November 1299 a Licence for a fine made by the Prior before the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer, for the alienation in Mortmain to the prior and convent of Lancaster of the following lands: By Thomas de Hesham of three Messuages and twelve acres of land in Little Hesham (Patent Rolls).

Def: Mortmain - An unlawful alienation of lands, or tenements, usually of a religious house.

Def: Patent Rolls - These were the records of royal grants of privileges, offices, lands, etc., that is of letters patent (or letters overt) affixed with the great seal.

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.

"The prior [of St. Mary's, Lancaster] in 1309 claimed a messuage and land against Thomas Travers, John the Harper [the Reeve] and Thomas son of Adam de Heysham. It was found that Thomas de Heysham had secretly granted the lands to John, lately Prior of Lancaster and then Abbot of Sées, and that the prior afterwards procured the king's licence (as above) for alienation in mortmain. On the new prior's arrival Thomas de Heysham went to him and, showing him the late prior's demise (1295) to him for a term not then expired, persuaded him to confirm this demise for the unexpired term, and paid him £3 10s. The prior told him to go to his reeve at Heysham, John the Harper, who would give due seisin. Afterwards Thomas gave an acre to John the Harper and the remainder to Thomas Travers. The prior, on finding this out, raised objections, the subtenancies were declared void, and the land was restored to the prior." - from "British History Online."

In September 1332 [6 Edward III] Parliament granted a subsidy of a fifteenth and a tenth. The tenth was on boroughs and towns, and the fifteenth on persons not living in boroughs. Of Overton may mean that Thomas lived there at this point, or simply that he owned land there.

"Thom de Hesham of Overton, 12d.
Nicho de Hesham of Heysham, 4s. 10d. ob. qa." - from "Exchequer Lay Subsidy Roll, Lancashire, A. D. 1332," Miscellanies from The Book of the Abbot of Combermere, 1289-1529.
While it may sound otherwise to modern ears, this was a tax on the goods of all persons liable to be taxed - the clergy taxed themselves, some of the nobility was exempt, and there was a lower limit set on total assets, 6s. in town and 10s. in the county, below which no tax was assessed. The Subsidy roll, then, was a directory of the Lancashire men of substance. Only six men in Overton and six men in Heysham paid the tax.

Money

The currency of England was divided into pounds, shillings and pence. The terms originated in the Latin librae, solidi, denarii, hence the use of the hatched £ for pounds and "d" for pence. There were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound, making 240 pense in a pound. The penny, 1 pence, was further divided into 4 farthings.

The Subsidy of 1332 was collected by Sir Robert de Shireburn and Sir John de Radcliffe, the chief Taxers and Collectors for Lancashire. The money to be raised was chiefly to enable the King to prosecute his war in Scotland. If we assume 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound, then Tom's property was worth about 10s. and Nicholas' was worth about £2 8s., making him the third wealthiest man in Heysham who was taxed. The whole sum raised for Lancashire was £298, 17s., 4d. The two taxers were paid 20s. each for their efforts.

Def: The Subsidy Roll - The roll was a census of taxpayers, the nobility, clergy and laity, who paid a grant in aid to the King. So the subsidy, then, was to the King. Subsidies were granted to the King by the clergy in Convocation and by the laity in Parliament. Subsidies were assessed as a part, or percentage, of the moveables belonging to the individual - horses, cows, grain, carts, ploughs. For example, in the lay subsidy of 1297 John, the son of Henry, was assessed for
1 horse, 3s.; 2 oxen, 10s.; 1 cow, 5s.; 1 stirk, 3s.; 1 qr. of wheat, 3s.; 2 qrs. of maslin, 5s.; 1 qr. of beans, 2s.; 1 qr. of oats, 1s. 4d.; hay and fodder, 2s. 6d.; 1 cart, 1s. Amount of assessment, 1l 15s. 10d.; of tax, 3s. 113/4d."


The Roll of the Rental of the Town of Overton in the Year Aforesaid [1323], also shows Thomas with property in Overton.

"Thomas de Hesham, a mess. [messuage] and 1/2 oxgang, 6s . . . Thomas de Hesham, a mess. and 1/2 oxgang, 14s. 6d." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer

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.

Thomas' sons were,
(9) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(9) Nicholas Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(9) Ralph Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(9) Alice Kellet de Heysham (c1290)

(9) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200) (7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230) (8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260)

Robertus filius Thome de Hesham of Nether Heysham. In the following Robert is mentioned, but not personally involved, in a suit between his "cousin," Edmund de Dacre and the Priory. It provides the same sense of lordliness [lords of the vill of Heysham] as the citation for Thomas, above.

22 August 1323. "Assize taken at Preston in Amunderness before William de Herle and Geoffrey le Scrope, Justices assigned to take the assize in the County of Lancaster, on Monday next before the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, in the 17th year of the reign of King Edward, son of Kind Edward.

The assize came to recognize if Edmund de Dacre unjustly, etc., disseised Nigel, Prior of the church of the Blessed mary of Lancaster, of his free tenement in Heysham, after the first, etc. And wherefore he complains that he disseised him of the third part of a moiety of an acre of pasture, with the appurtenances, etc., through places, etc. And Edmund comes and says that he and a certain Robert, son of Thomas of Heysham [Robertus filius Thome de Hesham], are lords of the vill of Heysham, and they hold the pasture and wastes of the same vill in common. And he says that he held the aforesaid third part put in view in common with the aforesaid Robert in form aforesaid [got that?]: which said Robert is not named, etc. And if he be convicted, etc., he says that he did not do any injury or disseisen to him. And concerning this he puts himself upon the assize, etc.

And the Prior says that he is the lord of the third part of the vill aforesaid, and that the aforesaid Edmund is lord of two parts, etc. And that the same Edmund appropriated the aforesaid moiety of an acre of pasture, whereof the aforesaid third part put in view is parcel, without the assent and will of the said Prior, and in form aforesaid disseised him thereof. And he asks that this be enquired into by the assize. And Edmund likewise [asks this]. Therefore let the assize be taken." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster."

The assize determined in the Prior's favor, saying that while Edmund was lord of two parts of the vill, he was a tenant in the third part, "without the aforesaid Robert ever having anything in the same." So does this mean Robert held no lands in Lower [Nether] Heysham? This citation may imply, as British History Online avers, that Edmund Dacre and Robert de Heysham jointly held the two parts of Upper Heysham. Nigel was Prior of Lancaster from 1315 to 1327. Edmund de Dacre was the second son of Sir William de Dacre and Joan Gernet. He inherited the Heysham manor and held it from as early as 1309.

However, the following citation shows both that Robert died before 1345 and that he had land in Nether Heysham

"Emma widow of Robert son and heir of Thomas de Heysham in 1345 claimed dower in six messuages, &c., in Nether Heysham against Nicholas de Heysham." - from "British History Online."
I believe that Nicholas was Robert's brother and was attempting to claim his lands in right of descent from his father.

As an aside, the following implies that Edmund may have married a daughter of Thomas de Heysham.

"Lawrence son of Lawrence Travers in 1323–4 recovered land in Over Heysham from Juliana daughter of Alice de Heysham and Edmund de Dacre, Juliana giving warranty." - from "British History Online."
Was Alice a daughter of Thomas and, if so, does this help explain the claim that Edmund and Robert de Heysham, as brothers-in-law, shared the lordship?

Note that at the time of the suit above Robert's father, Thomas, and brother, Ralph, were perhaps living in Overton. John de Hesham, a cousin, held 1/2 acre in the city of Lancaster. As early as 1349 another John de Hesham was well enough established in York to earn the freedom of that city.

Historical Timeline: Reign of Kings
1327-1377 Edward III

He was another powerful King. Because his mother was a daughter of the French King, when that throne became vacant Edward pressed his claim. Not surprisingly the French nobles could not bear the idea of an English King on their throne and, instead, picked one of their own number to take the crown. This began the 100 Years War with France.

Edward III founded the Order of the Garter, still one of England’s most renowned orders of knighthood. He had many sons, including the Black Prince, the most renowned warrior of his age.


(9) Nicholas Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200) (7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230) (8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260)

Son of Thomas de Heysham. Known as Nicholas de Hesham of Heysham, that is, his surname was Heysham, not just his place of residence. In 1332 Lay Subsidies were levied on,

Thom de Hesham of Overton, 12. d.
Thom Travers, 2. s.
Nicho de Hesham of Heysham, 4. s. 10. d. ob. qa.
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.
Because Nicholas paid so much more in taxes it is possible that this man was actually a contemporary, vice son of Thomas, though the succeeding references seem to underline that some man named Nicholas was Thomas' son. A John de Hesham of Middleton also paid 30s - from "British History Online."

The following is apparently a dispute between Nicholas and his sister-in-law over his elder brother's estate.

"Emma widow of Robert son and heir of Thomas de Heysham in 1345 claimed dower in six messuages, &c., in Nether Heysham against Nicholas de Heysham." - from "British History Online"
I wonder who won the dispute?

The following shows clearly that Nicholas was a son of Thomas.

31 December, 21 Edward III [1347]. "Grant from Thomas, son of Orm Travers, to Adam Skylyngcorne, clerk, of land in the vill of Overheysham, sometime held by John Edonsesone . . . Witnesses: Thomas de Gentill, Will de Burgh de Middleton, John Travers of Heysham, John de Heaton, William le Harpersone, Nicholas, son of Thomas de Heysham. At Heysham, on Monday the Eve of the Circumcision (31 December), 21 Edw. III." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

Nicholas died in about 1350. At about this time the Black Plague had reached Lancaster. John de Hesham meanwhile was still living in Lancaster.

I have a snippet, probably from the Index, for "Heysham (Hesham), Nicholas, s. of Thomas de, 206. Roger de, 145." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents and Feudal Aids" of 1915, page 232, but I don't have a date for it. From the same title, page 206, I have,

1350. "CCXLII. Nicholas son of Thomas de Hesham
Writ of diem clausit extremum to Richard de Denton, escheator, to take the lands, of which the said Nicholas died seised, into the king's hands ; Fine R., No. 151, 24 Edw. III, m. 34. [No inquest has been preserved.]"
That is, the King's escheator took these lands into the King's hands pending identification of the rightful heir. Based on previous entries, that doesn't mean Nicholas didn't have offspring, but that the legal process had to take its course.

Writ of diem clausit extremum

Upon the death of a tenant-in-chief who held lands directly of the king an inquisition post mortem was held by the escheator to determine the rightful heir. This action was put into effect by the writ of diem clausit extremum. The escheator would inquire what lands the tenant had held at his death, and of what value, who was his heir, and of what age.

Another reference renders this as,

May 1. Westminster. "The like to Richard de Denton, escheator in the counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancaster, touching the lands late of Nicholas son of Thomas de Hesham, who held by knight service of the priory of Lancaster, which is in the king's hand." - from the "Calendar of the Fine Rolls"
"Held by knight's service of the priory" means that this branch held part of the moiety owned by the priory in Lancaster [Lower Heysham]. The Foresters of Lancaster, the Halton line, held directly of the King and the Gernets of Heysham held of their cousins in Halton. Knight service again sounds rather lordly and more like a Gernet offspring rather than any old landowner.

(10) William de Heysham (c1320)

The father of Thomas. Who could his father have been? Since Robert's brother, Nicholas, tried to obtain his inheritance from his widow, Robert probably didn't have any children. Ralph, below, lived in Overton. So, the best fit of the information we have, is that he was the son of Nicholas. This descent would also work if William was the brother of Nicholas, vice his son.

(11) Thomas de Heysham (c1350)
(10) William de Heysham (c1320)

"In 1368 John Duke of Lancaster claimed the goods of Thomas son of William de Heysham, who had drowned himself in the moss; he held of Edmund de Dacre." - from "British History Online." That is, the property of Thomas was confiscated for the "crime" of suicide. Note that a villein would not have enough property to make it worthwhile for the Duke to prosecute. That Thomas held lands "of Edmund de Dacre" means they were a little higher on the social scale, and thus possibly descendents of Robert, the son of Thomas de Heysham, above. Note too that Robert had a relationship with the Dacre's. However, it makes little difference because they provided no descendents or connections to other lines.

Suicide in the Middle Ages

Self-killing was strongly censored by both the state and the church, which considered it a mortal sin. However, the harsh living conditions and generally pessimistic attitude of the period made the act not unexpected. It was most common in men, with hanging and drowning the favored methods. Suicides were not allowed burial in church graveyards and their estates were liable to confiscation by the government.

It was the coroner's job to investigate deaths that did not seem natural, though under reporting, to protect the family's name and property, was common, as it is today. A jury would make the final determination based on the coroner's report. Findings of non-felonious suicide or accident were often based on the victim's mental state.

"Mental illness is suggested by the reports, which describe the deceased as having been demens (having lost his or her mind) or as having acted in frenesi or per frenesy (in a frenzied state: through or because of frenzy) or furore detentus (taken by madness). Understanding of the effects on the mind of physical illness can be seen in descriptions of people having been "suffering from an illness" or "suffering from a high fever" at the time when the act causing death was committed." - from "Suicide or accident - self-killing in medieval England" by Alice and Gwen Seabourne.
Reports of poor people killing themselves were rare, perhaps because it wasn't worth the government's effort considering they had no property to seize.

(9) Ralph Kellet de Hesham (c1290)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200) (7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230) (8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260)

Ralph lived in Overton, near his father [?], Thomas de Hesham. From the "Roll of the Rental of the Town of Overton in the Year Aforesaid" [1323],

". . . Thomas de Hesham, a mess. [messuage] and 1/2 oxgang, 6s . . . Ralph de Hesham, a mess. and an oxgang, 29s . . . Thomas de Hesham, a mess. and 1/2 oxgang, 14s. 6d."
"Cotters There. -- Ralph de Hesham holds 10a. of land and renders yearly at the same terms, 6s . . . Ralph de Hesham, a cottage, 6d."
"Fisheries There. -- Ralph de Hesham holds 2 fisheries and renders yearly 4s." - from "Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids ..." by William Farrer
The term "cotters" makes me wonder. The term as used today might mean a small-holder, or a very mean estate, but 10 acres and a fishery sounds pretty upscale.

(9) Alice Kellet de Heysham (c1290)
(6) Robert Kellet de Hesham (c1200) (7) Adam Kellet de Hesham (c1230) (8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham (c1260)

"Lawrence son of Lawrence Travers in 1323–4 recovered land in Over Heysham from Juliana daughter of Alice de Heysham and Edmund de Dacre, Juliana giving warranty." - from "British History Online." Again we have the relationship with the Dacre's, as seen above with Robert and Thomas.

In the descent of the family of George Washington there are a father and son, both named John, living in Warton parish, Lancashire. The first, born in about 1320, married the daughter of Edmund de Dacre - could this be Juliana? The Washingtons did hold land in Heysham at some point. The second John married twice; first to Joan de Croft and next to Alice Gernet [Aline, Eleanor], co-heir with her sister of the Caton estates, with whom he had no children. Many researchers, however, doubt the accuracy of the Washington descent. John Washington of Warton and Joan his wife had land in Heysham in 1382 per "British History Online."


The following were also Kellets, if my understanding that the de Urswick family were as well.

(6) Benedict Kellet de Hesham (c1200)

Benedicti clerici de Netherhesham and uncle to Adam of Urswick. A clerk, of Nether Heysham, per the reference to his son, below. In the medieval period this could have meant several things. The word is short for cleric, or clergy. Younger sons, not in line to inherit the family estates, often went into the church as an avenue to advancement. It may, however, mean no more than "educated man." If Benedict had been trained in the church, as most clerks were in that day, then he did not take orders nor their vow of chastity, or he renounced the vows and returned to a non-sacred life.

c1246-1249. Adam of Urswick [son of Gilbert de Kellet of Urswick & Coupernwray?] granted to the church of St. Mary of Lancaster his land "in Little Heysham [Nether Heysham], which Benedict of Heysham [Benedictus de Hesham], my uncle, formerly held." Witnesses included "Sir Mathew of Redmayne, then Sheriff of Lancaster. . . Adam, son of Orm of Kellet, Roger Gernet of Caton, Adam Gernet, with many other." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
Sir Mathew of Redmayne was the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1246 to 1249. Roger Gernet was Lord of the Manor of Caton from 1241 to 1251 and Adam Gernet was his brother.

The item below, also from "Materials . . .," also refers to the land transaction of Adam of Urswick. While it doesn't mention Benedict, it does imply that Roger, one time Lord of the Manor of Heysham, had an interest in the land in question.

c1259. "I, Roger, son and heir of Vivian of Heysham, have given, granted, and altogether quit-claimed, to Sir William de Rey, Prior of Lancaster . . . all right and claim which I ever had, or could have, in the toft which Robert, son of Elt, formerly held in the vill of Heysham, and in an acre of land with Adam of Urswick gave to the said priory . . . Rendering therefore annually to me and my heirs or assigns four pence sterling at the two terms of the year by equal parts, namely, at Easter and at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel . . . " "These being witnesses--Sir William le Botiler, then Sheriff of Lancaster, Sir Roger of Heaton, Benedict Gernet [of Halton], Thomas of Capernwray . . ., and many others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
Sir William de Rey [de Reio, de Reo] was Prior from about 1253 to 1266. Roger had been the Lord of the Manor of Heysham in 1246, but he sub-enfeoffed the manor to the de Lucy family. Sir William le Botiler was the Sheriff of Lancaster in 1259. Thomas Capernwray, the son of Adam and brother to Adam de Kellet, was the "steward of the manor of the lord the King."

His son was William.

(7) William de Hesham (c1230)
(6) Benedict de Hesham (c1200)

Willelmus filius Benedicti clerici de Netherhesham deci. Also known as William Ward.

Undated, c1272-1274. "Know present and to come that I, William, son of Benedict, the clerk, of Nether Heysham [Willelmus filius Benedicti clerici de Netherhesham deci], have given, granted, and by my present charter confirmed to God and the church of the Blessed Mary of Lancaster, to the Prior and monks there serving God and their successors, in free, pure, and perpetual alms, a toft and a bovate of land, with the appurtenances, in Nether Heysham; that toft and bovate, to wit, which Roger del Green formerly held of me in the same vill, together with a suitable area on the Kilnburg (?) to build a barn, containing sixty feet in length and thirty in width, with free entry and exit on the highway into the said area with waggon and car at all times of the year. To hold and to have to the said church, Prior and monks and their successors . . . These being witnesses--Sir Benedict Gernet [Domino Bedicto Gernet], Sir William of Heaton, John of Oxcliffe, Roger of Heysham [Rogero de Hesham], John of Parles, Adam, son of Robert of Heysham [Ada filio Roberti de Hesham], Ralph of Hackenshall, and others." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"
Sir Benedict Gernet was Lord of the Manor of Halton at this time. Roger de Hesham was Lord of the Manor of Heysham until at least 1285. Were these men uncles and cousins who were doing William the courtesy of witnessing a family member's legal transaction.

In the very next grant transcribed in "Materials . . ." is one by Alan de Catherton of a bovate of land "on the Kilnburg . . . on the south side of the grange of William Ward" to the Priory that mentions a barn identical to that above. This grant was witnessed by "Sir Ranulph de Dacre, then Sheriff of Lancaster, Sir Benedict Gernet, Sir William of Heaton, Orm of Kellet, John Gernet of Caton, Nicholas of Lee, John le Gentyl, John of Oxcliffe, Thomas Travers, and others." Sir Ranulph de Dacre was the Sheriff of Lancaster from 1272 to 1274. John Gernet was Lord of the Manor of Caton. Another source clearly calls William Ward the son of Benedict, the clerk.

"William Ward, as son and heir of Benedict de Heysham, between 1261 and 1275 granted to Alan Catherton land in Heysham held of the Prior of Lancaster; William Ward was a benefactor of Lancaster Priory; His father was a clerk." - from "British History Online"
Did William assume the surname Ward as part of an inheritance or a marriage? Was he, rather, a son-in-law vice son? Whether Benedict and William were de Kellets is perhaps moot since their heirs would have held the name Ward.


Other de Heysham's: Lords or Villeins?

(6) Roger de Hesaym (c1200)

The father of John de Hesaym.
(8) John de Hesaym (c1250)

(7) John de Hesaym (c1230)
(6) Roger de Hesaym (c1200)

"John son of Roger de Hesaym."

"1274-1286. Grant in perpetuity from John son of Roger de Hesaym, to Thomas Travers, of half an acre of arable land in the territory of Suggeholm in the vill of Heysham (Hesaym), with the meadow adjacent at both ends, which Adam de Donington held of the grantor at farm. Witnesses: John de Oxeclyve, John de Parlis, John de Coupmanwra, Orm de Kellet, Ralph de Hakunyshou, Adam de Hesaym, Richard de Heaton, and Lawrence, son of Thomas Travers (Seal destroyed.)" - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
"1274-1286. Grant in perpetuity from John, son of Roger de Heysham (Hesaym), to Thomas Travers, of 3 roods of arable land in the vill of Heysham (Hesaym) in le Secroft, which Adam de Donington sometime held of the grantor at farm, rendering yearly an arrow at Michaelmas. Witnesses: Sir Henry de Lee, sheriff of Lancashire, Orm de Kellet, John de Parlis, John le Gentyl, Adam de Hesaym, Ralph de Hakunyshou, Lawrence Travers, and William Ward." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"
"1274-1286. Grant in perpetuity from John, son of Roger de Heysham (Hesaym), to Thomas Travers, of all that his meadow pertaining to the half oxgang of land held of the grantor at farm, by Adam de Donington, in Heysham (Hesaym), and all his arable land in Runsnaresyk, rendering one rose yearly on St. John's day. Witnesses: Orm de Kellet, John de Parlis, John de Oxeclyve, Adam de Hesaym, William Warde, and Ralph de Hakunyshou." - from the "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records"

6 Edward I [1278]. "Nuisance--Robert de Hoyland and Alina his wife v. Roger Collan of Slene, Juliana his wife, William de Catherton, Laderena his wife, Adam fiz Gille, John son of Roger de Heysam, Ralph son of Peter de Lancastre, Michael Ferweton, Adam de Brancebrek, Roger Delan, Richard son of Robert de Thornholm and Adam Pacok re a fence demolished in Ellal. Put back to the next etc. unless etc., for lack of jurors, for that the parties have brough so many calumnies against the jurors." - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London: In Two..." by John William Robinson Parker. Ellal is Ellel, southeast of Lancaster, and south of the Quernmore forest. This is fairly far from Heysham.

In 1290/1 Thomas Travers alleged that "Roger de Heysham, chief lord of the vill, had enfeoffed Lawrence Travers, plaintiff's uncle, of certain lands, &c., in Over Heysham, with all ways and paths, before Randle de Dacre and Joan his wife had purchased the lordship of the vill from Roger. The defendants were Joan, then widow of Randle, and Nicholas the reeve." - from "British History Online." Was he referring to Roger Gernet de Heysham or Roger de Hesaym?


(6) Richard de Heisham (c1200)

The Pipe Rolls for Lancaster, 1226-27. "Richard de Heisham and Richard son of Fulc rendered account of 1/2 mark for the same [surety]; in the Treasury 40d., etc." - from "A Calendar of the Lancashire Assize Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, London" by John William Robinson Parker. A surety was a person who agreed to be responsible for the debt or obligation of another; similar to mainprise. A mark was 2/3rd's of a pound, or 13 shillings 4 pence, so Richard and his partner paid 6 shillings, 8 pence - though the record shows only half of that in the Treasury. This was a lot of money. Note that in 1332 two mayors of Lancaster, John le Keu and Robert de Bolrun, relatively rich men, paid 5 and 6 shillings tax, respectively, which was a tenth of the value of their personal property.

I used to think that Richard was an important personage in the family. There is a reference to a Richard de Heysham in a suit in the Court of King's Bench between Matthew de Redman and William de Lancaster.

"In 1243 Mathew [de Redmayne] "appeared on the fourth day against William de Lancaster in a plea to hold the fine levied in the Court of the King, before the Justices itinerant at Lancaster, between him, the said Mathew, complainant, and the said William, impedient, concerning the manors of Levenes, Skelesbolt (?Skelsmere), Quenefeld (Whinefell) and Lupton, with app. whereof a cyrograph [a document written in duplicate or triplicate on a single parchment] was made. William did not appear, and he was attached [arrested] by Ralph de Ayncurt and Richard de Heysham. Therefore, because the fine was of recent date the sheriff was commanded to distrain [compel] the said William by his lands to appear [that is, seize his lands to compel his appearance] at three weeks from Trinity." - from "The Redmans of Levens and Harewood."
However, the more I look the more I think this record is really for another man, Richard of Heyham [Hecham or Hexham]. The account above is based on the Curia Regis Rolls, no. 128. In two other books drawn from these records Richard's name is spelled de Heyham.

Sir Mathew de Redmayne was Sheriff of Lancaster from 1246 to 1249 and William de Lancaster was the son and heir of Gilbert fitz Reinfrid, the Baron of Kendal. This implies a fairly important position for Richard. Was he an officer of the court? Sir Ralph de Ayencurt [Eincurt, Eyncourt, Ayncurt, Aincourt], Richard's companion, was a knight of Baron Gilbert, and held 1 fee of that Barony in 1235, and apparently other lands besides. In the year before the dispute above, Ralph, and Sir Robert de Asby, received appointment as Conservators of the Peace in Westmorland.

Richard de Heyham was a witness to a grant to Ralph de Ayncurt in 1248, as was Robert de Aseby, Ayncurt's fellow Conservator of the Peace.

1248. "Robert de Sigrittserh gives to Ralph de Ayncurt [who was his lord] 4½ a. in Bigcroft in exchange for 4½ a. which Ralph recovered against Ralph brother of the said Robert. Witnesses: Ralph de Notingham, sheriff of Westmorland, Robert de Aseby, Roger de Burton, Thomas de Lefins, Richard de Heyham, G. de Witeby, Richard de Coupland, Roger Reeve of Sigriterh. Orig. D. at Sizergh. Seal of Robert son of Mathew [de Redmayne]." - from "Records of Kendale Volume 1" by William Farrer
As a side note, de Ayncurt and John Gernet of Caton had their own dealings:
"Ralph de Ayncurt to John Gernet. Ralph obliges himself to find a mill and miller in Hencaster to grind John's corn multure-free when the hopper is empty, unless the corn of Adam Gernet or his heirs be in the mill. John Gernet and his heirs are to furnish the miller with reasonable entertainment while the corn is grinding." - from "Fifth Report of The Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts."
Also,
"It is an interesting fact, however, that the seal of Sir Ralph d'Eyncourt (Elizabeth's father), appended to one of his charters to John Gernet, bears the . . . " - from "The Early History of the Stricklands of Sizergh" by Sydney Horace Lee Washington.

Some documents that use the Heyham spelling may be mistranscriptions of Heysham, others are a variation on the Heigham name of southeast England or the Hexham name of Yorkshire. The following appear very similar to the document above. They're Medieval deeds from the Cumbria Record Office, Kendal, Wilson of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, the British Archives, and they're undated.

Witnesses: Ralph de Noti[n]gh[m] then sheriff of Westmorland, Robert de Aseby, Matthew de Rossegile, Richard de Heyham, Thomas de Lesing, Robert de Kendal, Alan son of Dolfin, Thomas de Lancaster, Adam [de] Henecastir, Adam de Patton, Roger de Brunolvishevid, Gilbert the constable, Gilbert de Wyteby.
In one reference that contains this same list of witnesses, the "Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archeological Society," Richard's surname is several times rendered as Hecham. In another document from the same source we have,
"Radulfo filio Radulfi de Aincurt vel heredibus suis vel assignatis suis contra omnes homines et feminas. Hiis testibus domino Waltero de "Stirland," Thoma filio Johe, Matheo de Redman, Richardo de Preston, Richard de Coupland, Gregorio de Wale, Ricardo de Heyham, . . ."
The Index lists alernate spellings for Heyham as Hecham, Hehcam, and Hexham - but not as Heysham. Yet another list of witnesses that included Richard:
Witnesses: Ralph de Notingham sherif of Westmorland, Robert de Asceby, Thomas de Lofing, Richard de Heyham, Gregory de Qual, Roger de [Monting] Gilbert de Witeby.
Ralph de Heyham was Chancellor of Salisbury circa 1240 and of Oxford University. There was an Abbot Richard de Heyham and a Chaplain William de Heyham, circa Edward I. There is also a reference to a de Heyham Prior, which probably means Hexham. So I'm forced to conclude that the Richard de Heysham who had dealings with Matthew de Redman was actually de Heyham/Hexham.



(7) Walter de Hesham (c1230)

The father of Roger and John [?] of Heysham.

(8) Roger de Hesham (c1260)
(7) Walter de Hesham (c1230)

Of Heysham. The son of Walter. He had lands and tenements in Lower [Nether] Heysham which he held [rented?] of (8) Thomas Kellet de Hesham.

1292. "To all who shall see of hear this writing, Thomas, son and heir of Adam of Little Heysham [Thomas filius et heres Ade de parva Hesham] greeting. Know ye that I have granted, remised, and altogether quit-claimed, from me and my heirs, and, by the present writing, confirmed to the lord John, called le Ray, Prior of Lancaster, and to the monks of the same place, my chief lords, and to their successors, the whole right and claim which I had, or in any manner of right could or can have, in all the homages, services, and rents of Roger, son of Walter of Heysham [Rogeri filii Walteri de Hesham], Richard, son of Nicholas, the chaplain, John le Harper, and Thomas le Travers, and their heirs; which said homages, services, and rents, they are held to do to me and my heirs for the lands and tenements which they held of me in Lower Heysham . . . These being witnesses--Sir William de Dacre, Sir William of Cantsfield, John le Gentyl, William of Oxcliffe, William of Heathon, and others. Dated at Lanncaster the Sunday in the vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year of our Lord 1292." - from "Materials for the History of the Church of Lancaster"

(8) John de Hesham (c1260)
(7) Walter de Hesham (c1230)

The following may fit here, though it is fairly late for a son of this Walter.

"In 1323–4 also Orm Travers complained of disseisin by Edmund de Dacre, John son of Walter de Heysham, and others." - from "British History Online."
This reference is contemporary to one for Robert, the son of Thomas de Heysham, in his actions with Edmund de Dacre, lord of Heysham manor. Edmund referred to Robert as joint-holder of Heysham. Does this imply a close relationship between John and Robert, i.e. cousins at least? This is all fairly confused and all I can say is that John and Roger, above, were sons of a Walter de Heysham, but whether this was the same Walter I don't know.


(10) Lawrence de Hesham (c1320)

14 November 1350. "Thomas son and heir of Thomas Travers demises to Lawrence de Hesham, rector of Tatham, for life, or ten years certain, all his lands in the vill of Over Heysham." - from "Remains Historical . . . " Tatham was a small vill just east of Gressingham. The "Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records" has the same citation with these differences: Thomas Travers was noted to be of "Hesham" and Lawrence was title "Sire."

Could this be the same man? On 10 June 1383, Laurence de Hesham, the Vicar of Isleworth, Middlesex county, was presented to the church of Longfield, in the county of Kent (Patent Rolls). Presented means that the patron of the church, the man who had the authority to dispense that living, had selected him as the church's new head.

A similar citation notes that the following were vicars for the parish of Isleworth and chapelry of Hounslow:

Patron . . . . . . . . Vicar . . . . . . . . . . . Institution
Prior of Takeley . . William Bole . . . . . . . 1368, 4 cal. Nov.
King Richard II . . . Laurence de Hesam . . . Resig.
King Richard II . . . John Asehfold. . . . . . . 1383, June 21. --

Footnote: "Ric. II conferred this vicarage on the abovesaid Laurence de Hesam, it having formed part of the property of the alien priory of Takeley seized to the Crown." - from "The History and Antiquities of Syon Monastery: The Parish of Isleworth, and the Chapelry of Hounslow" by George James Aungier

"Roger de Northbrek, and others to John Edmondeson Lorence: Grant, indented, of the land, etc., they had from Edward Lorence in Skerton, and which they had from him in Heysham, late of Laurence de Hesham, late parson of the church of Tatham: (Lanc.)." Date range: 1381 - 1382 - from Duchy of Lancaster Deeds.


There was also a Laurencius Hessam or Hessham, a sub-deacon, deacon and priest between 1542 and 1544.

(11) Robert de Hesham (c1350)
(10) Lawrence de Hesham (c1320)

25 June 1369. "Robert son of Lawrence de Hesham grants to William Thomasson de Hesham all lands &c. in Over Heysham." - from "Remains Historical . . . " "William Thomasson de Hesham" means "William, the son of Thomas de Hesham." Where they members of the Gernet of Heysham family or simply of the village? The "Annual Report of th Deputy Keeper of the Public Records" calls it the latter.


For the next part of the history of this branch of the family, see the Heyshams of Lancaster page.

Steve Hissem
San Diego, California