Friday, October 30, 2009

Sibyl Ferrers and Franco/Frank De Bohun

Midhurst Castle

Midhurst Castle

Cowdray Castle

Cowdray Castle

Ford Church, West Sussex,England

Sibyl De Ferrers was born 1216-1224.

Sibyl Ferrers married Franco De Bohun September 21, 1247, without licence. Franco was the lord of Midhurst and he also inherited his mother's land in Ireland. He was sealer or Writs to King Henry III. When Franco died he left to their son John, Midhurst, Forde and Rustyntone as per extant taken at Franco's death.

Franco de Bohun is sometimes recorded as Frank or Francis de Bohun.

-- The father of Sir John de Bohun, Franco was born ca. 1225 and died in 1273. He married Sibyl de Ferrers , daughter of William de Ferrers, the 5th Earl of Derby (d.1254) and Sibyl Marshal. William’s parents were William de Ferrers, 4th Earl of Derby (s/o William or Robert de Ferrers & Sibyl de Braiose) and Lady Agnes de Kevelick (d.1247; d/o Hugh de Kevelick, Earl of Chester & Bertraude D’Evreux). Siblyl Marshal’s parents were: William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke (1146-1219; s/o John FitzGilbert Marshal & Sibyl de Salisbury) and Isabel de Clare, Countess Strigoil, (ca. 1174-1220; d/o Richard Strongbow FitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke 2nd, & Aoife (Eva) of Leinster MacMurrough, Countess of Ireland). Sir William Marshal, was the Third Earl of Pembroke, Marshall of England, Protector of the Realm. A signer and co-author of the Magna Carta, he is named in the Magna Carta as Regent of the Kingdom, having served from 1216-1219.
Franco de Bohun was Lord of Midhurst, etc. and also Lord of his mother's lands in Ireland. Sealer of Writs to King Henry III. Franco’s parents were Ralph de Bohun and Saveric Fitz Geoffrey.
Lord of Midhurst, etc. and also Lord of his mother's lands in Ireland. Sealer of Writs to King Henry III.


It seems probable that Rogate was originally part of Harting, and that it was given by William, Earl of Arundel, to Savaric son of Cane, ancestor of the Bohuns of Midhurst, or to Ralph son of Savaric, his son. Ralph's lands were divided after his death, in 1158, between his brothers Geldwin and Savaric.

Geldwin had the land in Harting and Westbourne (Burne) held by William de Chesney (Caisneto), Gernagod, Richard Ruffus, and Thomas de Aseville. (fn. 18) Apparently each of these estates became a separate manor in Rogate.

William de Chesney's land became known as the manor of ROGATE BOHUNT, held of the Bohuns of Midhurst: (fn. 19) Enjuger de Bohun, grandson of Geldwin, was in controversy with Richard Chesney in 1207 about land at Rogate. (fn. 20) The Chesney estates passed by the marriage of Maud, sister of William de Chesney, and William Sanzaver, to her son Ralph Sanzaver. (fn. 21) Ralph's son Hugh in 1229 was disputing the possession of a hide of land in Rogate with John de Chesney. (fn. 22) Hugh died about 1250, and his son Ralph in 1262 had a grant of free warren in his land of Rogate, then described as a hamlet in his manor of Bignor. (fn. 23) This land passed with Bignor manor to the Earls of Arundel. (fn. 24)

Henry, Earl of Arundel, made a grant of part of the manor in 1565 to—Turner, and in this conveyance it is called for the first time Rogate Bohunt. (fn. 25) In 1583 the earl's son-in-law, John, Lord Lumley, conveyed it with Rogate College on a lease for 10,000 years to Thomas Bettesworth of Trotton. (fn. 26) Thomas died seised of it in 1594. (fn. 27) On the death of his son and successor Sir Peter Bettesworth of Milland in 1635, (fn. 28) the manor passed to his fourth son Charles. (fn. 29) Charles held a court for the manor in 1638, but seems to have died in that year, for his father's trustee, John Bellamy, and widow Elizabeth, then wife of John Herris, sold the estate in that year to Humphrey Stewart. (fn. 30) Humphrey died in 1662 leaving it to his eldest son John Stewart, lord of the manor in 1684. John was succeeded before 1701 by Thomas Stewart who with his wife Abigail made a conveyance of the manor in that year. (fn. 31) Thomas Stewart assigned it in 1719 to John Reeves, who sold it in 1723 to Thomas Ridge of Portsmouth. It passed from him in 1729 to his eldest son Humphrey, and from him in 1732 to his brother Thomas (afterwards Sir Thomas Ridge). He became a bankrupt and the estate was sold in 1770 to William Richardson. Richardson became a bankrupt in 1781 and the manor was sold to Mr. John Utterson. He died in November 1804. Sir Charles Taylor, bart., purchased Rogate Bohunt, (fn. 32) and the estate was sold in 1866 by Sir Charles's son to Sir John Hawkshaw, who was the owner in 1875. (fn. 33)

This book calls him Francis:
The Ancestry of Chamberlin and Grant‎ - Page 131
by June G. Henderson - 2000

Source of approximate marriage date:
The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215: The Barons Named in the Magna Charta, 1215 ...‎ - Page 182

The journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland‎ - Page 23

Sibyl the fourth daughter of Sibyl was wife of Frank de Bohun of Midhurst;
they had married without licence, and 21 September 1247

Franco was likely given this name due to his father spending several years on pilgrimage in St. James of Campostella, Spain, where he had gone with his brother in law, William FitzGeoffrey, Franco's uncle.

Sussex Archaeological Collections‎ - Page 4
by Sussex Archaeological Society - Archaeology - 1868

On the death of Franco de Bohun in 1273, he left a second wife, Nichola de Capella (not mentioned by Dugdale), as his widow: and to her, on 5th October in that year, by patent dated at St. Martin's-le-Grand, the King granted the manor of Midhurst, then worth £50 a year5, or from £600 to £700 of our money ; for the calculation of Professor Rogers that this increase in value has been only eight fold is manifestly too little by one third or upwards.

John, the son, died at Michaelmas, 1284; and we may learn something of the state of this manor by the extent taken on his death.

Extent of the manor of Midhurste, which was Sir John de Bonn's, made Wednesday next before the feast of 8' Edmund the archbishop [16th Nov.], anno 12 Edw. I. [1284], before Robert de Fairer, sub- escheator in the co. of Sussex, by Robert Trottemann, Josep de Stede- ham, William Ywon, Jordan de La Ho, Robert Aufre, Richard de Rude, Henry de Beureford, John de Grenette, Stephen de Grype, John de Asewode, Henry de eadem, and William Capperoun, jurors, who say, upon their oath, that the sd Ld John do Bonn held the said manor of Midhurste, Forde, and Rustyntone, of the Lords of the Castle of Arun- del, by service of three knights' fees. Also they say that a capital messuage, with the fruit of the garden there, is worth, per annum, 4s. [where the site of the castle is still pointed out]. Also they say that there are at Midhurste in demesne 14 acres of arable land, of the which the 3d. part can be sown every year, value every acre fid.; sum 7s. Also there are in demesne 66 acres of arable land, of the which the 3d. part can be sown every year, value per acre 3d.; sum 16s. 6d. Also there are there in demesne, 30 acres of arable land, of the which the 3d. part can be sown every year, sum 10s. Also there are there two and a half acres and a rood of land, of the which one acre can be sown every year, every acre worth 8d.; sum 2s. Also there are there 15 acres of meadow, every acre worth 2s.; sum 30s.; also 15 acres of worse meadow, every acre worth 12d.; sum 15s Also the great park, and is worth, the pasture of the same, per annum 30s., that is to say, from Hogeday day to S' Martin in the winter's day, 80s. ; also another park, and is worth the pasture for the same time as above, 13s. 4d., sum 13s. 4d. Also there are there of rents of Assise of free tenants, that is to say, of John Portar, to the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle 12d., and to the feast of Nativity of S. John the Baptist 12d.; rent of assise of Wm Norman, &c., rent of John le Merk, &c., also rents of assise of Burgesses of Midhurste, who are called potteresgavel, 36s. 8d., &c. ; rents of assise within the Borough of Midhurste, 34s. per ann., &c.; sum of the rents of free tenants per ann. iiij" xvd. Also customary rents without the vill, 79s. 7d.; sum total of rent per ann. £8 lOd. Also of rent per ann. of one plough share, and is worth 6d. Also of rent per ann. of one pound and a half of pepper, worth 8d the pound, sum 12d. Also of rent at Lady-day of 60 red herrings, and are worth 3d. Also rent of 25 hens per ann., each hen worth Id., &c. Also rent of two capons, worth 4d., &c. Also one northern water-mill, worth 40s.; also one southern water-mill'' worth 6s. 8d., and no more on account of the reprisals beyond, the mills, 46s. 8d. Also there are there 8 customary tenants, who ought to plough at seed time the 40th part of an acre of land, and is worth the ploughings of every acre 2d., and no more, on account of the reprisals. And there are there as well 11 customary tenants, as cottars, who ought to mow in autumn for one day, and the work of each is worth Id., and no more, on account of reprisals. And the jurors aforesaid say that John de Bonn died on the vigil of St. Michael, A° 12 Edw. [1], and that the son of the said John is his next heir, and was of the age of 9 years at the feast of Pentecost, a° 12°-

He was, therefore, born 6th June, 1275. We have thus the messuage, two parks, and two water-mills.

And now comes the only break which we have in the inheritance of the Bohuns. Just before his death, this John and his wife made a grant to Anthony de Beck, the great Bishop of Durham [1283].

Know all men 8 present and future that I, John de Bohun, son of tho Lord Franco de Bohun, Lord of Midhurst, have given and granted, and by this, my present charter, have confirmed, to the Venerable Father in Christ, the Lord Antony, by the Grace of God Bishop of Durham, my manors of Midhurst, Fordes, and Kustinton, in the county of Sussex, with all rents, services,' mills, &c., with all other things to the said manors belonging, to hold to the said Lord Antony and his heirs and assigns of the chief Lords of the Fees, &c., yielding, nevertheless, to me and my heirs yearly, for the said manor of Fordes, £230 sterling, half-yearly at Christmas and Midsummer, for all services, &c. And moreover I, the said John, and Johanna, my wife, grant, for us and our heirs, to the aforesaid Lord Antony and his heirs, the manor of New- timbre, in the county of Sussex, &c., which John de Bock . . . and Alice, his wife, hold of the inheritance of the said Johanna, for their lives ; and also 50 librates of land and rents, with the appurtenances in Wal- tham, Boldeby, and Uaddelyne, in Lyndesey, in the county of Lincoln, which Benedict de Blakenhain holds of the same inheritance for his life, and which, after the deaths of the said John and Alice and Benedict, ought to revert to the said Johanna, and should remain to the said Lord Antony and his heirs and assigns, to hold by the services, &c., thereto belonging. Warranty by the said John de Bohun, for himself and his heirs of Midhurst, Fordes, and Kustington, and for himself and wife and their heirs, of the residue of the land. Sealed by John de Bohun and Johanna, his wife, in the presence of John de Warren, Earl of Surrey, Lord Henry de Sey, Earl of Lincoln, Lord John Bok, Lord William de Saham, Lord John de Metingham, Master . . . de Dudynton, Lord William de Alta Ripa, Lord John de Percy, Lord Luca de Viana, Lord Robert de Hotel, and others.

Ultimately he claimed only two parts in three of Mid- hurst, a moiety of Forde, and all Rustington. This was the bishop who took such a large retinue to support Edward I. in his wars in Scotland, and who, having possessed himself of the De Vesci property, at Alnwick, in Northumberland, sold it, in 1309, to his Sussex neighbours, the Percys. Whether his interest in Midhurst was acquired in some more straightforward way we know not; but when Franco de Bohun's son, John, died, on 28th Sept., 1284, and the king's escheator, in pursuance of his writ, seized Midhurst and dealt with it, the heir being, as we have seen, under age, the Bishop made formal complaint against him for seizing the Bishop's share, cutting his timber, &c.

Inquisition taken at Midhurst,* Friday next before Ramos palmarum, 1285 [13 Edw. I], before, &c., appointed to enquire what goods the servants of Master Henry de Bray, escheator of the Lord the King on this side Trent, unjustly had taken in the manors of the venerable father, Lord Antony de Beck, Bishop of Durham, &c., &c.

They say that in the manor of Midherst the aforesaid Robert caused to overthrow fourscore and seven oaks, beeches, and " arables,"10 in the park of the said Bishop, which is called llyenok, aud sold them for 27s., damage laid at 30s.; also the said Robert sold wood, in the wood of the said Bishop, which is called "La Codray," for lid.; also the said Robert took of the villans [the highest class of tenants, who held land, but had to perform the Lord's services at his courts, &c.], of the said Bishop at Midherst, of rent of assise, at Michaelmas, A" xij. of the now king, 19s. 8^d.; also he took of Matilda, wife of Le Frankelyn, 7s. of relief; also the sd Robert took 7 capons, price 14d., and 22 hens, value 22d.; also of rent of assise of the borough ol Midhurst, of the term of the nativity of our Lord, 9s.; also he took of Henry le Yqual 6d., of a certain ainerciament; also the said Robert took of the Bishop's little Mitts at Midhurst, 3 quarters 1 bnsshel of corn, price 4s. a quarter; he also took three quarters and one bushel of malt, price 2s. the quarter; he also took 2 quarters 2 bushels of mixed corn, price 40d. the quarter.

These mills were of some importance at this time. Engil- gerius de Bohun had granted a mark a year out of the mill here to the church of the Blessed Virgin of Waverley, for a monk to pray for him and his ancestors, Savaric de Bohun being one of the witnesses11; and this rent the Bishop, on St. James's day (25th July), 1289, re-purchased of Philip, then Abbot."

Midhurst Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; St Anns Hill; Tan Hill

In the civil parish of Midhurst. In the historic county of Sussex (Modern Authority of West Sussex, 1974 county of West Sussex).
This site has been described as a;
Timber Castle
Masonry Castle. Confidence: This site was certainly a medieval fortification or palace. Earthworks remains.
Motte and bailey with some stonework. Once surrounded by 15ft thick wall. The foundations of medieval buildings including a curtain wall, hall, chapel and possibly a keep were excavated in 1913. The site was probably abandoned circa 1280, though the chapel was still in use in 1291.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
The Ordnance Survey Map Grid Reference is SU88882146
St Ann's Hill and Midhurst Castle
It’s hard to be completely sure when Midhurst Castle was built because the Domesday Book – William the Conqueror’s great catalogue of the lands of England – rather steered clear of Midhurst.

What is highly likely is that Midhurst Castle, like those in Chichester, Bramber and Pulborough, was built to safeguard the Normans' stronghold in Sussex immediately after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Like Pulborough Castle, which was built at the same time near the confluence of the River Rother and the Arun, Midhurst Castle was built on a high place overlooking the river. The River Rother was a key strategic transport route for both trade and military items as the roads in the Weald were so poor at that time. St Ann’s Hill was an obvious location for such an important building.

At first the Castle consisted of wood and earthwork defences, with an inner bailey on top of St Ann’s Hill and a further bailey on the westward slopes of the hill. Later stone walls and buildings were incorporated to beef up the castle’s defences.

The Castle became the main catalyst in the growth of Midhurst into a sizeable town. The oldest parts of Midhurst are the attractive area around Sheep Lane, Church Hill and Edinburgh Square where trade started to take place to support the life of the Castle. In time this developed into the more formal market that underpinned much of Midhurst’s wealth in the Middle Ages.

Only the foundation stones of the Castle remain today, of course, but it doesn’t take much imagination to take yourself back to the eleventh century when it was a fully functioning part of the Norman military machinery.

Cowdray House

Cowdray: the History of a Great English House. By Mrs. C. Roundell (Bickers)

Mrs. Roundell could scarcely have chosen a more charming subject, for the park which surrounds the ivy-clad ruins of Cowdray, with its sunny glades and stately avenues of limes and Spanish chestnuts, is the very type of English sylvan beauty, while the heirs of the fair scene have been dogged by a fate so melancholy and mysterious that the story of their lives is as interesting as a romance.

Cowdreay was the name given to the crenellated mansion built by the lords of Midhurst for their residence in the thirteenth century, when the Norman keep on St. Anne's Hill which their ancestors were contented to inhabit was found incommodious. It is quite likely that the old castle was ruined in the Civil Wars between Henry III and his barons, vor, although the date of the fabric is commonly attributed to the reign of Edward III, it is certain that Cowdray was the family residence when John de Bohun, who died in 1284, mortgaged his estates to the Bishop of Durham. This, however is one of the points on which Mrs. Roundell was misled by the historian of Western Sussex, for the true history of the Bohuns of Midhurst has still to be written. The story of Midhurst and its owners prior to the reign of Henry VIII is dismissed with a single page of scanty notice, and this brief account is disfigured by several errors. For example, Savaric, to whom Henry I granted in 1102 the castle and manor of Midhurst on the forfeiture of Robert de Belesme, was not Savaric de Bohun, but Savaric fitz Cana, a cadet of the Beaumonts, Vicomtes of le Mans, who married the heiress of the Norman barony of Bohun. Again, Camden was wrong in saying that the Bohuns of Midhurst were "hereditary sealers of the King's briefs and sergeants of the Chapel Royal," because these offices were the inheritance of Joan de Capella, wife of John de Bohun, and her husband lost no time in resigning them to the hands of Edward I. Again, there is ample proof that Sir David Owen, who married Mary Bohun the heiress of Cowdray, was a natural son of Owen Tudor, the grandfather of Henry VII; but it is equally certain that he was not his son by Queen Catherine, because she died in 1437, and we have Sir David's sworn statement that he was born in Pembrokeshire in 1459. His wife Anne, the sister of Lord Ferrers of Chartley, who survived him, was his third wife, and not his second wife, as Mrs. Roundell has it. It is an error of more importance to say that Sir David had no children by Mary Bohun, because if she had not borne issue her husband's interest in her lands of inheritance would have determined on her death, and neither he nor his after-born son could have made a good title to a purchaser. The fact is that it was Mary Bohun's son and heir, Sir Henry Owen, who sold Cowdray, subject to his father's life estate, to Sir Wm. FitzWilliam.

The mansion, which is the subject of this volume, was built by the Earl of Southampton, and completed by his half-brother and heir, Sir Anthony Browne, the standard bearer of England. It was a bad omen that one of the first inmates of the new house was the stouthearted Countess of Salisbury, who was Lord Southampton's prisoner there until the relics found her in her chamber at Cowdray were made the pretext for her cruel execution. The next owner, Sir Anthony Browne, married Anne of Cleves as proxy for Henry VIII; and his portrait in the dress which he wore at the marriage was one of the glories of the picture gallery, which perished in the great fire of 1793. He was enriched out of the spoils of the Church; and among the suppressed houses of religion, which the King lavished on his favourite was Battle Abbey, in Sussex, which Sir Anthony made his chief residence. He was solemnly warned that "a curse of fire and water" would pursue from generation to generation the plunderers of the church. But the knight, who had no scruples in demolishing the great cathedral church at Battle to make a pleasure garden and a bowling alley, would take little heed of such predictions. Time, however, has prove the truth of the old saying that the Church is never robbed with impunity, and that the day of retribution for sacrilege comes sooner or later; so that when the mansion of the Brownes was burnt down, and two generations of the heirs of Cowdray were drowned, it was believed by more than the vulgar that the old curse of fire and water was at last being fulfilled. It may well be believed that its fulfillment had been retarded for several generations by the piety of Sir Anthony Browne's immediate descendants. His son and heir who was created Viscount Montacute by Queen Mary, was one of the two peers who had the courage to oppose in Parliament the Act to separate England from the communion of Catholic Christendom. He wa as loyal to his Sovereign as to his religion and in his old age was conspicuous among the host assembled at Tilbury Fort to repel the Spanish invasion. He retained Queen Elizabeth's favour, notwithstanding his refusal to acknowledge her as head of the Church, and the Queen stayed with him at Cowdray on a visit of six days in 1591. She was feasted right royally, and at breakfast each day three oxen and 140 geese were consumed. His grandson, the second Viscount, was wise and discreet beyond his years, for he was only twenty-three years old when he compiled his famous book of regulations for the government of his family and household, which enables us to realise the splendid housekeeping and well orderede magnificence of the greater nobility in the olden time....

The Academy and literature‎ - Page 217
Language Arts & Disciplines - 1884

A history of the castles, mansions, and manors of western Sussex, by D.G.C ...‎ - Page 152
Dudley George C. Elwes - 1876

"There was certainly some sort of mansion at Cowdray as early as the reign of Edward III, for, in the Proof of Age of John, son of John de Insolade Gatcombe, taken at Midhurst on the 7th of Nov., 1363, the despondents stated that he was born at la Cowdray, in the par. of Easebourne, and bapt. in the church of St. Mary there, 6 Nov., twenty one years ago."

"The derivation of the name Cowdray has been much disputed, the vulgar notion being that the place was a cow-dairy attached to the Castle at Easebourne: It is probably a Norman word, signifying a hazel wood, and we find, in an Inq., dated 1283, mention is made of the wood called Le Coudray, and of wood there being sold to the damage of Anthony Beck, the lord of the manor."
A history of the castles, mansions, and manors of western Sussex -
by Dudley George Cary Elwes, Charles John Robinson - 1876


The history of this parish is almost identical with that of Climping. Given to Earl Roger at the Conquest, it was granted by him to Lynminster Nunnery, a cell to the alien priory of Almeneches in the diocese of Seez. But, says Ordericus Vitalis, "the King of England (Henry I) was so much incensed against the whole kindred and race of Montgomery, that the nuns of Almeneches were cruelly stripped of all the lands in England with which Earl Roger had endowed them because their Abbess, Emma, was the sister of Robert de Belesme, and the King granted them to Savaric Fitz Cana to hold by knight's service." The lands thus transferred consisted of the manors of Climping, Ford, Lyminster, Poling, Warningcamp, Rustington, and Preston, and a moity of Ilesham, and the date of their transfer was about the year 1102. Ford was the chief estate, and there can be no doubt that its castle (built probably by Savaric fitz Cana) was occupied not only by Savaric Fitzsavaric, 2nd son of the grantee and heir of Ford, on the death of his brother Ralph, but also by his nephew Franco de Bohun. The latter was in disfavour with Henry II and his rights were for a time unjustly withholden, but Richard I reinstated him and by charter dated 31 March, 1190, confirmed to Franco de Bohun and his heirs Ford, Climping, Rustington, Preston and Lavington.

The manor was in the hands of the Bohuns of Midhurst in the 15th century and descended, as Easebourne, to Mary dau. and co-heir of John de Bohun and wife of Sir David Owen. He sold Easebourne, Ford, and Climping in 1528 to Sir William Fitzwilliam, and soon afterwards we find the latter manors in the possession of the Crown.

FMG on William de Ferrers, 5th Earl Derby
* Complete Peerage
* Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent, 1086-1327, 1960
* Weis, Frederick. The Magna Carta Sureties, 1215, 1997

1. ^ Bland, W., 1887 Duffield Castle: A lecture at the Temperance Hall, Wirksworth Derbyshire Advertiser
2. ^

The ancestry of Chamberlin and Grant‎ - Page 131
June G. Henderson - 2000

The Academy‎ - Page 326 1883

Portraits of medieval women: family, marriage, and politics in England, 1255 ...‎ - Page 15
Linda Elizabeth Mitchell - 2003

A history of the castles, mansions, and manors of western Sussex‎ - Page 152
Dudley George Cary Elwes, Charles John Robinson - 1876

The publications of the Harleian Society, Volume 80‎ - Page 105
Harleian Society - 1929

Calendar of the Fine Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Edward I ...‎ - Page 627
Great Britain. Public Record Office, H. C. Maxwell Lyte (Sir.) - 1971

Women, art, and patronage from Henry III to Edward III: 1216-1377‎ - Page 170
Loveday Lewes Gee - 2002
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