le Meschin, Earls of Chester
Ranulph I of Bayeux, Vicomte of the Bessin, b abt 1024, of Bayeux, Normandy, France. He md Alice of Normandy abt 1042, illegitimate daughter of Richard III of Normandy, Duke of Normandy, and Unknown Mistress.
Child of Ranulph I of Bayeux and Alice of Normandy was:
Ranulph II of Bayeux, Vicomte of Bayeux, b abt 1048, prob Normandy, France, d 1129. He md Margaret/Maud d'Avranches abt 1070, daughter of Richard le Goz, Vicomte d'Avranches, and Emma de Conteville.
Sir Ranulph le Meschin [a], "le Briquessart", Earl of Chester, Lord of Cumberland, Vicomte of Bayeux, Vicomte d'Avranches, b abt 1074, Briquessart, Livry, France, d Jan 1128/29, Cheshire, England. He md Lucy [b] abt 1093, daughter of (poss) Turold, Sheriff of Lincoln, and (prob) Daughter of William Malet, Seigneur de Graville. She was b abt 1079, d 1138.
Children of Ranulph le Meschin and Lucy were:
Children of Ranulph de Gernon and Maud Fitz Robert were:
Children of Hugh of Kevelioc and Bertrade de Montfort were:
Mainwaring, Seneschal of Chester, abt 1192. Their daughter, Bertrade de Mainwaring md Henry de Aldithley 1217.
Sir William le Meschin, Lord of Skipton-in-Craven, b abt 1090, prob Normandy, France. He md Cecily de Rumilly abt 1110, daughter of Sir Robert de Rumilly, Lord of Harewood. She was b abt 1096, Normandy, France.
Children of William le Meschin and Cecily de Rumilly were:
a. Styled le Briquessart, after his castle there, he was first cousin and heir to the previous Earl of Chester, Hugh d'Avranches, upon whose death in 1120, he succeeded as Vicomte d'Avranches in Normandy, as well as a grant in the county palatine of Chester, by which he became Earl of Chester. About this time he appears to have surrendered the Lordship of the great district of Cumberland. In 1124 he was Commander of the Royal forces in Normandy. He married Lucy, the widow of Roger FitzGerold, by whom she was mother of William de Roumare, who became Earl of Lincoln. Ranulph died about 1129 and was buried at St. Werburg's, Chester. Lucy survived him, and in 1130 paid 500 marks to King Henry for license to remain unmarried for 5 years.
b. The identity of Countess Lucy has been the subject of much attention by genealogists for literally hundreds of years. Two early sources state she was the daughter of Aelfgar, Earl of Mercia, and niece, or grandniece of Thorold, sometime Sheriff of Lincoln, but all that can stated of her with certainty is that she was the niece of Robert Malet of Eye, and of Alan of Lincoln, and that Thorold the Sheriff of Lincoln was a kinsman. The link between Lucy and Aelfgar is the manor of Spalding in Lincoln, which was held by Aelfgar before the Conquest and subsequently held by Lucy's first husband, Ivo de Taillebois, in her right, at the time of Domesday. But chronology does not appear to justify the relationship of Lucy as daughter of Aelfgar, and the latter had only the known children Edwin, Morcar, and Aeldgitha. It appears more likely that the manor of Spalding passed from Aelfgar to Thorold, and then from Thorold to Lucy. Other manors of Thorold which passed to Lucy were Belchford, Scamblesby, Stenigot, Tetney, and Donington. She also held Alkborough, which had belonged, in the time of the Confessor, to William Malet, father of Lucy's uncle, Robert Malet. It is thereby surmised that her mother was a daughter of William Malet, and Alkborough may have been her maritagium. Thorold appears to have founded a cell at Spalding, subject to Crowland, but those charters, which would have been with the monks at Crowland, were destroyed by fire. So while the circumstantial evidence is compelling, this still does not prove Lucy's paternity, for her (unknown) father might have intervened as heir to Thorold.
c. Styled de Gernon, he was Earl of Chester and Vicomte d'Avranches as his father's son and heir, and was born at the Castle of Gernon in Normandy. To the detriment of his half-brother, William de Roumare, Earl of Lincoln, he appears to have held a large portion of the profits of the Earldom of Lincoln. He was a distinguished soldier, both on the side of the Empress Maud and on that of King Stephen. He was one of five Earls who witnessed the Charter to Salisbury in 1131, and also a witness to Stephen's second Charter of Liberties in 1136, and by Stephen he was made Constable of Lincoln. But he took part against the King at the battle of Lincoln 2 Feb 1141, when Stephen was taken prisoner, and Stephen retaliated against Earl Ranulph in 1146 by seizing him at Court at Northampton. Probably after the peace of 1151, the King granted him the Castle and city of Lincoln, but again having taken Stephen's side, he was consequently distrusted by both sides. He died in Dec 1153, supposedly of poisoning by his wife and William Peverel of Nottingham. He married about 1141 to Maud, daughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, by Mabel, daughter and heir of Robert Fitz Hamon, lord of Tewkesbury. She founded Repton Priory in Derbyshire in 1172.
d. Styled "of Kevelioc" after the place of his birth, he joined in the rebellion of the younger Henry, son of King Henry II, and was taken prisoner at Alnwick 13 Jul 1174. He was deprived of the Earldom of Chester, but was again in rebellion both in England and Normandy, although in Jan 1177 was restored. He married, in 1169, Bertrade who was then 14 years of age, daughter of Simon, Count of Evreux by his first wife Maud. He was aged about 34 years at his death; his widow survived him, dying at the age of 71 years. Their only son, Ranulph, styled "de Blundeville", became Earl of Chester and Vicomte d'Avranches, but he died s.p. in Oct 1232, when his great estates passed to his four sisters and coheirs or their descendants. Notably absent is the fifth sister, Amicia, who some believe to have been an illegitimate daughter of Hugh.
CP: Vol III[166-169]; AR: Line 125[27-29], Line 126[28-29], Line 127[28-29], Line 131[28-29], Line 132A[24-27], Line 132B[25-27], Line 132D[26-27]; SGM: Kay Allen.
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