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Richard de Courcy


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Richard de Courcy

  • Born: Courcy, Ardennes, Champagne, France
  • Marriage: Unknown
  • Died: 1098, Nuneham Courtenay, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England

bullet  General Notes:

~Cokayne's Complete Peerage, 2nd Edition, (Chart, "Lisle of Rougemont & Lisle of Kinston), Vol. VIII, between pages 48 & 49, Richard de Curcy of Newenham, Oxon, the father of William de Curcy, sewer of Henry I. 141

bullet  Noted events in his life were:

• Background Information. 11
Richard de Courcy, accompanied William the Conqueror, in his expedition to England, and was present at the decisive battle of Hasting, fought on Saturday, 14 Oct 1966. Richard was granted several lordships in England, one of which was of Stoke, in the county of Somerset, which, with other lordships he held per integram baronian.

~Irish and Anglo-Irish Pedigrees, p. 621

• Background Information. 201
"Robert de Belème built a castle on an elevated spot, which is commonly called Fourches, and, transferring there the inhabitants of Vignats, sought to reduce all the neighbours under his tyranny. He erected another fortress called Château Goutier, at La Courbe, on the river Orne, by which he would be enabled to impose his yoke, however unjustly, on the district of Houlme. Thus aggrandized far beyond his parentage and ancestors, he attacked his equals almost everywhere in Normandy, where a protector of just rights was not to be found, and began to harass his immediate neighbours. Finding this, the Norman nobles were much disturbed, and their disquietudes grew to such a pitch that they had long and frequent consulation on the subject of resisting these inroads. The first to take arms, because they were the nearest to the tyrant's borders and most exposed to his nefarious attempts, were Hugh de Grantmesnil and Richard de Courci, who drew supplies of arms and provision to their castles and strengthened the garrisons. These knights were now grey-headed, but their spirit was high and noble, and their intimate connection increased their power; for Robert, Hugh's [should be Richard's] son, had married Hugh's daughter [Rohais, 3rd daughter of Hugh de Grantmesnil] and borne her husband five sons."

~ The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, Vol. II, pp. 504-505

• Background Information. 1341
According to Domesday Book a Dane called Hacon held Nuneham in 1066 [V.C.H. Oxon. i. 417], but the property must have passed within a short time to an English nobleman Leofwine. The Abingdon Chronicle relates that Leofwine sold the village to Athelhelm, Abbot of Abingdon (1041\endash 84), when King William was out of England; and that although the sale was confirmed by the Bishop of Bayeux the king later revoked it, and gave the estate to another [Chron. Mon. de Abingdon (Rolls Ser.), ii. 9, 284]. This new owner must have been the Norman baron Richard de Courcy, who was holding 10 hides in Nuneham in 1086 [V.C.H. Oxon. i. 417].

Richard's English estates passed to his younger son William (I), [Chron. Mon. de Abingdon (Rolls Ser.), ii. 52] the king's Steward and an admirer and benefactor of Abbot Faritius and his monastery at Abingdon. By his marriage with Emma, the daughter and coheir of William de Falaise of Stogursey (Som.), William acquired large estates in several counties and an important position in the feudal hierarchy: he held his honor of Stogursey by the service of 25¼ knights [Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), i. 224]. He was dead by 1130 and had been succeeded by his son William (II) de Courcy, who was probably dead by 1155, and by his grandson William (III) de Courcy, whose younger brother John conquered Ulster [Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. lxvi. 104\endash 6].

William (III) de Courcy's second wife, Gundreda de Warenne, had Nuneham as her dower, and she probably lived there after her husband's death in 1176 [Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. lxvi. 109\endash 10]. It was the enjoyment of this estate, presumably, which enabled her third husband, Geoffrey Huse, a Wiltshire man, to be appointed Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1179. By 1199 he too was dead and the marriage of Gundreda was again in the king's gift [Rot. de Ob. et Fin. (Rec. Com.), 8; Bk. of Fees, 252, 278]. She died in 1224.

The heirs to Nuneham were Gundreda's granddaughters, Joan and Margaret, both daughters of Gundreda's daughter Alice, but by different husbands. Joan had married Hugh de Neville. Margaret married first Baldwin de Riviers, son of William, Earl of Devon, and secondly Fawkes de Breaute.

'Parishes: Nuneham Courtenay', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 5, pp. 234-249.


© Nancy Lucía López

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