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at the Tower of London), the latter being chiefly grants of lands by various persons to religious houses :—and of these, how few afford more information, than that some person whose name and lands are specified in Domesday, did at some unknown period, by a deed or charter without a date, grant some portion of those lands to another.
To these impediments in the way ascertaining the biography of the Norman Invaders, must be added the difficulty arising from the objects of our research being foreigners. It has not occurred to me to discover that the Norman archives and pedigrees have been investigated; and it appears remarkable that whilst some of our ancient nobility have expended much time and money in tracing a descent from one of the Conqueror's chieftains, they should have made no attempt to ascertain who this chieftain was; as if it were either uninteresting, or impossible, to trace the existence of an ancestor for a single year before the date of 1066; when in all probability the antiquaries and genealogists of Normandy could give evidence in some cases of an ancestry of Princes or Nobles for generations earlier. That such is the case in some instances I now proceed to show.
Amongst the Domesday tenants in capite, will be found the following: GOISFRIDUS DE BECH, GOISFRIDUS MARESCAL, MILO CRISPIN, TURSTINUS FILIUS ROLF; and I shall be enabled, through the aid of the documents and pedigree of a foreign family, to communicate some particulars regarding them which are unknown to the English antiquary.
The document affording the greater part of the ensuing information, is a genealogy of the Italian family of GRIMALDI, Sovereign princes of a small principality named Monaco, situated at the confines of France and Genoa. The manuscript was compiled in 1430 by Nicholas Grimaldi, Seigneur of Seminare in Naples, a nobleman very well skilled in historical matters. In 1647 the then reigning Prince of Monaco published it in a small folio, having employed his secretary, Venasques, for twenty years in collecting further proofs, and in making additions to it. Of the great attention which foreign Nobles give to the preservation of their descent, in comparison with the English Nobles, some
estimate may be formed by a perusal of that which has come to my knowledge respecting this family; doubtless much more is unknown, than is known to me.
Independently of the ancient charters and tresors " of the Grimaldi family, they compiled in 1333 a list of the names, and the descent, from some noted ancestor, of every Grimaldi then living. In 1433 the family pedigree was fully and skilfully compiled and deduced from the remotest periods of which there are records, by the Nicholas Grimaldi already mentioned. In 1554 a compilation of the names, and the descent, from some noted ancestor, of all the Grimaldis then living, was again made. In 1630 an "albero general," or complete pedigree of the whole family, was made, in which each descent of every branch was confirmed by citing legal documents. In 1634 a third compilation of the names and descent of every Grimaldi then living, of this family, was made; and in 1647 the Prince of Monaco having completed the pedigree, upon which his secretary had been for twenty years employed, printed and published it.
The family pedigree is set out in too many English as well as foreign histories to require minute notice here. It appears by Anderson's Royal Genealogies, that the sixth in descent from Pharamond King of the Franks, was named Grimoald or Grimbald; which Skynner, the etymologist, derives from Grim, anger; and Bald, power. He was Duke of Brabant, and slain in 658. His son, the King of Mentz, died wishout issue, when the name was used by the Duke's great nephew, a brother of the renowned Charles Martel. This second of the name was Duke of Brabant, and slain in 714, and from his time the surname was hereditary. It is partly for the purpose of mentioning this unusually early instance of an hereditary family name, that I have travelled so far back, when my material inquiries are connected with a period much later. The fourth in descent from this last named Duke, was the first Prince of Monaco, and one of the principal Commanders of the army of the Emperor Otho I. in his wars with Louis IV. of France; by the strength of his own arm he freed the Emperor from being made captive, in return for which, and other services,
Genealogy of the Barons of Bec.
Otho granted to him, in 920, the castle and territories of Monaco, to hold in sovereignty; and from this ancestor has this principality descended in lineal succession, unto the present day; for, though revolutionized in 1792, and sold by the French republic to a citizen of Paris, yet it was, by the definitive treaty of peace of 1814, restored to the Grimaldi family. The descent was in 1715 continued by a female of the family, who became sovereign
Princess, and transmitted the title, and name and arms, to her children, by her husband James Leoner Goyon De Matignon, but foreign jurists have considered the principality as a male fief, and that it belongs to the nearest male heirs, who are perhaps the Marquisses Grimaldi of Genoa.
The following genealogical table of the persons noticed in this communication, will assist much in clearly comprehending the detail.
Grimaldus I. Prince of Monaco;Crispina, daughter of Rollo
Guido, Prince of Monaco; ancestor of the Prince now living, 1831. Herluin, Abbot of Bec; born 994, died 1078. III.
Giballiuus, a celebrated
Heloise, dau. of the Count of Guynes and Boulogne.
Crispinus, Baof Bec,
Gilbert Crispin, Baron of Bec, Cou-
Gilbert Crespin, Lord of Thillieres. Fought at the batthe of Hastings. IX. +
William Crespin, Baron of Bec. Fought at the battle of Hastings. VIII. II. CRISPINUS, surnamed Ansgothus, on account of his maternal descent from the Goths, settled in Normandy, his mother's country, where he became possessed of the Barony of Bec, in the district of Caux. He married Heloise the daughter of Rodulph, Count of Guynes and Boulogne, by Rosella, daughter to the Count St. Paul. Of this marriage there was issue Herluin, Gilbert, Odo, Roger, and Ralph or Rollo.
III. HERLUIN was the canonized founder of the very celebrated Abbey of Bec in Normandy, lying within the district of the Barony of Bec. He died in 1078, aged 84 years. Grants of land, and possessions to this Abbey, from our Norman sovereigns, and their Norman followers, are frequently met with, especially from the Crispin family.
IV. GILBERT CRISPIN,* Baron of Bec, Governor and Lord of the Castle of Thillieres, Constable of Normandy, and Marshal of the Army of the Duke of Normandy in 1041, relinquished
* Dugdale, in his Baronage, deduces the descent of the Clare family from a Gilbert Crispin, Earl of Brion in Normandy; whose son, Richard Fitz-Gilbert, accompanied the Conqueror. This Gilbert Crispin is stated to have been the son of Geoffrey, the natural son of Richard Duke of Normandy.
Odo. Roger. V. VI.
fl. 1000. II.
Rollo or Rauf. VII.
Turstin. A Domesday Tenant in
Goisfrid' de Bec, other-
the surname of Grimaldi, and assumed that of Crispin from his father, which latter he transmitted to his posterity. He had issue three sons, William Crispin, Baron of Bec; Gilbert Crispin, Lord of Thillieres; and Milo Crispin ; all warriors at the battle of Hastings.
V. and VI. ODO and ROGER. No particulars are known to me of these brothers, excepting that in a charter of Herluin, after describing himself as "Herluinus filius Ansgoti," he adds, "adstantibus et laudantibus fratribus meis Odone et Rogero."
VII. ROLLO or RAUF; he was the father of Goisfrid de Bec, otherwise Goisfrid the Marshal, and of Turstin; called in Domesday Book "filius Rolf."
VIII. WILLIAM CRISPIN, Baron of Bec, was a celebrated hero in the battle of Mortimer, in the year 1059. He married a daughter of Simon Earl of Montfort, and was a witness to William the Conqueror's foundation charter of the Abbey of Saint Stephen of Caen, in Normandy. He acquired great glory for his valour in the battle of Hastings, and it is concluded survived that victory, as his name is in one of the copies of the Battle Abbey Roll; but it is difficult to account for his not appearing amongst the great tenants of the Conqueror in Domesday
Book, as his younger brother, Milo, had very numerous possessions granted to him. He had issue William Crispin, Baron of Bec, from whom was a long succession of Barons of the same title, residing in Normandy, and having great hereditary offices in that Duchy, under the Dukes. Some of his descendants also appear in our English records as holding lands in England under the Plantagenet dynasty. Dugdale, in his Baronage, whilst writing of Milo Crispin, adds, "of this family I presume was William Crispin, one of the Conqueror's chief commanders in the war against Henry King of France." Some further particulars of his life are given by Dugdale, which I refer to rather than transcribe, on account of your space; but it is evident that, as neither Dugdale nor any other historian mentions William Crispin's parentage, it was unknown; this concluding paragraph in the Baronage greatly corroborates the foreign genealogy.
"All that I shall say farther of him is, that he (William Crispin) gave to the Abbey of Bec, in Normandy, the Church of Droecourt, with the lands and tythes thereto belonging, as also [to] the Lordship of Tilla in the diocese of Lisieux."
It is evident that the Abbey of Bec was thus endowed, because it was founded by William Crispin's uncle, Herluin; and it appears by the pedigree that the Lordship of Tilla (Tilleres) in Normandy, was amongst the possessions of Gilbert Crispin his father.
IX. GILBERT CRISPIN, the second son of Gilbert Crispin, Baron of Bec, was Seigneur of the Norman fief of Thilleres, and one of the warriors at the battle of Hastings, but not a Tenant in Capite of the Conqueror, or (as far as these researches have extended) a grantee of lands as sub-tenant; but he is mentioned in the "Chronicle of Normandy" as "Le Seigneur de Tilleres,"
together with his brother "Guillaume Crespin," amongst the companions of William the Conqueror, in 1066.
The circumstance of thus describing Gilbert Crespin by his Lordship of Tilleres, affords evidence of the difficulty, if not impossibility, of identifying many of the Norman tenants and their families at this period, since, as in the case of the Seigneur de Tilleres,
probably no document, excepting a
Of the Battle Abbey Roll, a minute
X. Of MILO CRISPIN, a great Captain, favoured warrior, and Tenant in Capite of the Norman, I have no material particulars in addition to the biography in Dugdale's Baronage (title Crispin), and in Dr. Lipscomb's History of Buckinghamshire; excepting the important fact of his descent, already set forth, and to a knowledge of which neither of these historians could have any reasonable means of attaining. The circumstance of Milo being son to the Baron of Bec, who was the brother of the founder of the renowned Abbey of that name, readily accounts for the large grants which are mentioned by Dugdale and Dr. Lipscomb to have been made by him and his widow to that religious house.
Milo's possessions are enumerated in Domesday, and comprised the honour of Wallingford and 88 Lordships. He died without issue in 1106, forty years after the battle of Hast
1832.] Goisfrid the Marshal and Turstin the Standard-bearer.
ings. There are other instances in Dugdale, showing great longevity in these Norman warriors.
XI. GOISFRID' DE BEC, otherwise GOISFRID THE MARSHAL. This warrior fought at Hastings, and is named in Domesday under both titles, appearing consequently as two distinct Tenants in Capite. There were no means by which the editors of the printed volumes of that Survey could have known the fact of such two names applying to one person: and, as Dugdale was ignorant that the Crespin family were the same as the baronial family of Bec,* he makes no mention of Goisfrid, under his account of the Crespins. The varied appellation given to Goisfrid in Domesday, has many similar examples, and is easily accounted for that Survey was made by inquisitions held in the various counties where the lands were situated, and since Goisfrid de Bec was the Conqueror's Marshal, there would be nothing extraordinary in his being designated as Goisfrid the Marescal in Hampshire, whilst in Herefordshire he was called Goisfrid de Bec.
Goisfrid was brother of Turstin de Bec, and son of Rollo or Ralf, the brother of Gilbert Baron of Bec, Constable of Normandy, and Marshal of the Army of the Dukes of Normandy in 1041; an office which seems to have been hereditary,† like many or all of the Norman offices of honour. Goisfrid de Bec, I therefore presume, succeeded his uncle as Marshal, and was the person designated as Goisfrid the Marshal, in Domesday; and I am further led to the conclusion that he possessed this high post, since his brother Turstin was Standard-bearer to the Conqueror at Hastings, and they were relations of the Invader.
XII. TURSTINUS FILIUS ROLF, is thus mentioned in Domesday as a Tenant in Capite, a descent which is in accordance with the ancient Grimaldi pedigree, where he is called son of Rollo or Ralf; and the agreement which is found here, and in many other instances, between the English records, especially Domesday, and
There was a Flemish family of the name of Bec, eminent at the time of the Conquest, holding Eresby and other manors; they were not related to the Barons of Bec, of Bec in Normandy.
+ See the Clare pedigree in Dugdale's Baronage.
this ancient pedigree, compiled 400 years ago a time when Domesday was unknown to foreigners, and a reference to, or knowledge of our records was impossible,-is positive proof of the correctness of the pedigree in such instances, and presumptive evidence of its general accuracy.
Turstin was (as well as his first cousin William Crispin) Baron of Bec. It was customary on the Continent for many members of the same family to take the same feudal title at one time; in the same way that in England we have often several joint tenants of the same manor, who are all Lords or Ladies of that manor. He fought at the battle of Hastings, and held the high office of Standard Bearer, in which capacity he is depicted in the Bayeux tapestry, near the Conqueror. In Dr. Meyrick's History of Ancient Armour, is an account of Turstin, translated from Wace's Metrical History of Normandy, in the Royal Library, stating that the hereditary Standard-bearer of Normandy having declined to carry the Conqueror's gonfanon, William
"Then called a Knight
Who had great prowess,
Toustainz fitz Rou the Fair was his name,
"Thurstan who came in with the
Conqueror,' " is stated in Dugdale's Usage of bearing Arms, to have been father of Ralph Basset, from whom the ennobled family of Basset was descended but the account of this family given in the Baronage, is at variance with such a statement, and the foreign pedigree is silent on this head.
I have an account of the descendants of Goisfrid, with whom it is not now intended to lengthen this memoir; but I cannot omit calling the attention of future inquirers to a probability that the Marshals Earls of Pembroke were also descended from Goisfrid the Marshal, for the following reasons:
1. Dugdale commences his genealogy of the Mareschal family with Gilbert Mareschal, so named from his office, who flourished in the reign of Henry I.; and it would seem that he must have had this office by descent, because in the record first naming
him, he was impleaded for the office of Mareschal to the King, by two other men of importance, but without success, so that it remained with him for his life, and then descended to his issue for many generations. Now we know that in the reign of King Henry the First's father, the office was held by Goisfrid de Bec, apparently as inheriting it from his uncle, and that he was also named Marshal from his office.
2. The uncle of Goisfrid was named GILBERT, as were the descendants of that uncle for many generations; it was a family name of baptism, and it will be perceived that the Marshal pedigree begins with a Gilbert.
3. The armorial bearings of Goisfrid's family were Lozengy, and the most ancient known coat of the Marshals, was a Bend Lozengy. Variances of greater moment in the bearings of different members of the same family, were common and it may be lastly added, that although Dugdale was unable to ascertain the parentage of this Gilbert Mareschal, yet he must be presumed to have been a man of eminent family from the office he held.
I shall conclude with a few lines respecting the arms of this family. It must be well known to your readers that Mr. Henniker, in a letter addressed to the Society of Antiquaries in 1788, endeavoured to prove the use of arms coeval with the Conquest, by means of some Norman tiles with armorial blazonings. He was unable to assign an owner to the tile No. 13, containing a shield Lozengy, 3, 2, and 1. It is to me a probable presumption that it belonged to a member of this family, who was one of the Conqueror's Chieftains. The same appropriation may I think be made of the unascertained shield in Westminster Abbey, of the reign of Henry III.; viz. Mascally Argent and Gules; the Grimaldi or Bec arms being Lozengy Argent and Gules; for the terms Lozengy and Mascally, or mascally voided, are often used in ancient rolls as synonymous.
The length to which this memoir has extended, compels me to defer to another number a notice of some of this family who have been connected with English History, or driven by foreign revolutions to preserve their name and lineage upon the hospitable soil of Britain. S. G.
THE following extracts from an account of the library of M. John Aymon (of whom Harley, Earl of Oxford, purchased several MSS.*), inserted in the Travels of Zach. Conr. Von Uffenbach, 4to, vellum, 1753, in German, and translated by Mr. Stegmann of Berlin, for the information of the Trustees of the British Museum, in 1760 (MS. Add. 5338), may be considered worth preservation, as the original work has never, to my knowledge, appeared in an English form, and can be but little known.
'1711. Jan. 29. I visited M. Aymon, who lodges in the Hoff over the Gate at the Hague; because, as he confessed himself, the King of Spain threatened to put him in prison, as he escaped from France, and went over to the Protestant Church. But I rather believe the reason of it was, because he had robbed the King's, as well as other libraries. As he was a Divine and a Clergyman, they offered him in Holland a living, though he is neither fit for the pulpit, nor is his learning of such extent. The States General allow him a certain stipend, to write against Popery. He has published several curious pieces, and he is in possession of many excellent and valuable MSS. which you don't find even in the largest libraries. I marked the following pieces among them, which he showed me.
1. 12 single leaves, written upon vellum, in 4to, and cut out of a book. They were very antique, and quite equal to the Codex of Beza at Cambridge; containing St. Paul's Epistles in Greek and Latin. M. Aymon told me, that the remaining Epistles, together with the Acts and the Revelations, were preserved at the King's Library at Paris. It is probable, that he himself cut them out of this Codex. I fancy, the Gospels of Beza at Cambridge, do likewise bepretty much in the same form. One page long to it, because the sheets are written contains the Latin, the other the Greek text. It is written in short lines, which are very distant from one another, so as if it were verses, litteris uncialibus.
. Some leaves in folio, written upon vellum, not so ancient as the former: viz. the Epistles in Latin, litteris majusculis, with several golden letters. M. Aymon told me, that one of St. John's Epistles
* See Wanley's Diary, MS. Lansd. 771, and two Letters from M. Aymon to Wanley, MS. Harl. 3777, Nos. 96, 97.