Chamberlain of the Honour of Richarmond
(Abt 1100-)
Daughter of the Chamberlain of Richmond
(Abt 1123-)

 

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Spouses/Children:
Ralph Fitz Olaf Steward of Bishop of Ely

Daughter of the Chamberlain of Richmond

  • Born: Abt 1123, Richmond Castle, North Riding Yorkshire, England
  • Marriage: Ralph Fitz Olaf Steward of Bishop of Ely

bullet  Information about this person:

• Family Background: From Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 8: Lisle of Rougemont.
The pedigree givenin Cokayne's Complete Peerage, Lisle, p. 69 footnote (e) is wrong in several respects:

The Robert de Insula with whom the account starts was the son of Robert de Insula by an unknown wife. The elder of these Roberts was still living in 1208 (and was perhaps the tenant recorded in 1212).

The grandfather of the elder Robert - Ralph the steward (dapifer) - was steward (and chamberlain) to the bishop of Ely, not to the Honour of Richmond. Moreover, Ralph was Robert's paternal, not his maternal, grandfather.

It was this Ralph (fitz Olaf) (d. c. 1159) - not Robert de Insula - who married a daughter or kinswoman of Robert (not Ralph), the chamberlain of the Honour of Richmond. (Beatrice, who married Richard de Cormeilles, was a daughter of Robert the chamberlain, but there is no evidence to identify her with Ralph's wife.)

An alternative derivation of the family's surname may be from Coveney, Cambridgeshire, which was granted to Ralph under the name of the isle of Coveney (insula de Coueneya) [British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C xi, f. 338v].

In the record of the dispute in 1208 over the advowson of Wimpole, Robert de Insula's grandfather is called only Ralph the steward (dapifer). W. Farrer [Honors and Knights' Fees, vol. 3, p. 172] assumed that he was the steward of the Honour of Richmond, and furthermore assumed that he was Robert's maternal grandfather. (He was followed in both these assumptions by subsequent authors, including the author of the account above. Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 10, p. 309, corrected the first assumption, but still made Ralph the maternal grandfather of Robert.)

In fact, a number of lands later held by the Lisles had originally been held, in the mid 12th century, by a certain Ralph, variously described as Ralph fitz Olaf, Ralph the steward (dapifer) of the bishop of Ely, or Ralph the chamberlain of the bishop of Ely [E. Miller, The Abbey and Bishopric of Ely, pp. 170-173, 180 (1951); Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 4, p. 137]. Ralph occurs holding lands formerly of the king in Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, between 1155 and 1158 [Great Rolls of the Pipe 2, 3 and 4 Henry II, pp. 15, 96, 165]. After Ralph's death, his son Robert received charters of confirmation from the bishop and prior of Ely [British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C xi, ff. 338v, 339]. These charters must date from soon after Ralph's disappearance from the pipe roll in 1158 (the prior's is certainly before 1163, while the bishop's is witnessed by William the archdeacon, whose death J. Bentham [History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely, p. 272 (1771)] places around 1160). So Ralph's tenure at Great Wilbraham was probably brought to an end by his death, in which case he would have died in late 1158 or in 1159.

It seems clear that it was this Ralph the steward who was the grandfather of the Robert de Insula referred to in the 1208 record. In this case, chronology suggests that his grandson, the Robert of 1208, was the son of the Robert de Insula who married Galiena Blund. If this is correct, Ralph must obviously have been the paternal, not the maternal, grandfather of the Robert of 1208, and Robert the husband of Galiena must be identified with Robert the son of Ralph.

(That the Robert of 1208 was the son of Robert and Galiena tends to be confirmed by the facts that the elder Robert had been given land in Exning with Galiena c. 1167, and that a Robert de Insula evidently gave land in Exning to Richard de Argentein with his daughter Cassandra c. 1204 [British Library, Harleian MS 6072, f. 16; Pipe Roll Society, vol. 16, p. 235; vol. 18, p. 233]. Chronologically, Cassandra would probably be a granddaughter of Robert and Galiena, and a daughter of the Robert of 1208.)

Farrer combined his mistaken interpretation of the 1208 record with the obviously confused evidence of a late thirteenth-century Hundred Roll, which states that a Robert de Insula had been given land in Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, in marriage with a daughter of Niel the chamberlain of the Honour of Richmond, and that other land there had descended to Niel's five daughters [Rotuli Hundredorum, vol. 2, p. 491]. But Niel appears to have had no issue, and it was Niel's father Robert the chamberlain who left several daughters who ultimately became his heirs [Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. 5, pp. 170-174]. Beatrice, who married Richard de Cormeilles, was apparently one of Robert's daughters, and for some reason Farrer identified her as the wife of Robert de Insula [Feudal Cambridgeshire, p. 121; cf. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants, pp. 200, 410, 411].

But chronology suggests that the daughters of Robert the chamberlain would have been married by about 1150, and charter evidence shows that it was Ralph the chamberlain of the bishop of Ely who was given lands at Wilbraham with his wife [British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C xi, f. 340; this charter was cited by Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 10, p. 309]. Presumably Ralph's wife was a daughter or kinswoman of Robert the chamberlain of the Honour of Richmond.

[Gordon Kirkemo, in July 2004, pointed out the conflict between secondary sources over the early Lisle pedigree. The suggested solution was worked out in collaboration with Rosie Bevan. Item last updated: 26 August 2004.]


Daughter married Ralph Fitz Olaf Steward of Bishop of Ely. (Ralph Fitz Olaf Steward of Bishop of Ely was born about 1120 in Isle Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.)


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