Ralph de Normanville
(-After 1147)
Gerold de Normanville
(-After 1165)
Ralph de Normanville
(-Bef 1230)


Family Links

1. Unknown

Ralph de Normanville 1

  • Marriage (1): Unknown
  • Died: Bef 1230 1


Manorial Estate, 1170-1225, Empingham Manor, Empingham, Oakham, Rutland, LE15, GB. 1 The manor of Empingham was given by Roger de Mowbray to Ralph de Normanville (fn. 19) for his services. Ralph seems to have forfeited it, for Roger later restored it to Gerold de Normanville, possibly Ralph's son, to whom it was confirmed by King Henry II. (fn. 20) Gerold was living in 1164\endash 5. By an undated charter, he granted to Geoffrey de la Mare in frank marriage with Mary, his daughter, at the door of the church of St. Peter in Stamford, lands and rent in Empingham. (fn. 21)

Ralph, said to be son of Gerold de Normanville, paid 40s. for a writ of right in 1170 (fn. 22) and was in possession of Empingham in 1205, when he obtained a grant of free warren there. (fn. 23) King John by the same charter granted him the county of Rutland at farm, for which grants Ralph agreed to pay 60 marks, a destrier or war horse, and a palfrey. (fn. 24) At about the same time Ralph inherited from his uncle, Reginald de Normanville, land in Rouceby and Rokesham (co. Linc.). (fn. 25)

In the early years of the reign of King John, Ralph de Normanville was apparently in the king's favour, and in 1213 served with Ralph de Bray as Marshal of the king's army in England. (fn. 26) In the same year he was appointed to make inquiry as to damage done to churches in the diocese of Lincoln, during the late disturbances in the kingdom. (fn. 27) Later he joined the rebellion against King John, and though he was pardoned, (fn. 28) severe conditions were imposed upon him. Gerold his son, and one of his knights, William de Badlesmere, had been taken prisoner, and for their release and his own pardon, Ralph was required to pay 500 marks and 5 palfreys of 25 marks. Of this, 250 marks and 25 marks for the palfreys was to be paid before the release of Gerold and William de Badlesmere, and two other of Ralph's sons, Geoffrey and Thomas, were to be delivered to the king to be held as hostages until Ralph made two further payments of 100 at Easter and 100 marks at Whitsun. After payment of these sums, Ralph was further required to give the king his charter of faithful service, when one of his two sons should be released, the other being retained as a hostage for the faithful service of Ralph and his son Gerold. (fn. 29)

After the death of King John, Ralph made an agreement with King Henry III whereby his two sons, Sir Gerold and Sir Ralph, should be pledged to the king's service while the war lasted, and the king should remit 200 marks of Ralph's fine. Thomas, younger son of Ralph, then a valet, who was still held as a hostage, was to be released and to serve the king with his two brothers. Geoffrey (fn. 30) apparently had been already released, as his name is not mentioned in the agreement. Ralph himself was going on a pilgrimage to Santiago, but was pledged to go direct, and return that he might enter the king's service with his sons. (fn. 31) By February 1217 he had paid his fine and his son Thomas had been released and his lands restored. (fn. 32) In 1221 the king gave him six oaks from the Forest of Clive for beams to be used in building his hall at Empingham. (fn. 33) He was constable of Stamford in 1221, (fn. 34) and it was he, probably, who served in 1225 as a justice of the forest for the perambulation of the Forest of Rutland. (fn. 35) The date of his death is not known, but an incomplete entry on the Pipe Roll of 1230 suggests that his son Ralph had then succeeded him. (fn. 36)

The younger Ralph and Thomas his brother were pledges in 1222 for the payment of William Mauduit's relief. (fn. 37) Both of them forfeited their lands in Kent in 1223. (fn. 38) Ralph's offence, and probably that of Thomas, was that he took part in a tournament at Blythe notwithstanding the king's prohibition. (fn. 39) The tournament was the cause of a quarrel between nobles and led to great disorders. (fn. 40)

It was probably the younger Ralph who, with A[gatha] his wife, founded a chapel at Catesby (co. Northant.) in 1228, (fn. 41) had a gift of 2 does from the forest of Clive for the use of his wife in 1230, (fn. 42) and who served on an assize of arms in Rutland in the same year. (fn. 43) He was keeper of escheats in Rutland in 1232 and collector of an aid 3 years later. (fn. 44) It was probably this same Ralph who, with Agatha his wife, was involved in a suit in 1240 as to land in Lubbethorp (co. Leic.). (fn. 45) In 1241 he was one of the surveyors of the king's castles in Northamptonshire. (fn. 46) Ralph de Normanville seems to have died shortly after this date and to have been succeeded by his brother Thomas, or possibly a son of that name. Thomas de Normanville died seised of the family estate at Kenardington (co. Kent) in 1245 and was succeeded by his heir, Ralph, probably his son. (fn. 47) Ralph de Normanville set out on a pilgrimage to Santiago in April 1259 (fn. 48) and died before May following, probably on the journey. He died seised of the manor of Empingham, (fn. 49) and his widow Galiena had dower there. (fn. 50) Galiena paid 300 marks for the wardship of Ralph's lands and heir and for her own marriage, (fn. 51) and in 1261, at the instance of her kinsman Geoffrey Rawe, a Knight Templar, she was exempted from suits of county, hundred and other courts for three years. (fn. 52) Thomas, her eldest son, was only two and a half years old at his father's death. (fn. 53) He inherited the manor of Empingham, but Kenardington (co. Kent) was divided between him and his brother Ralph, according to the law of gavelkind. (fn. 54) Thomas died in 1282, leaving Ralph, his brother, heir to his Kent property, (fn. 55) but Margaret, his daughter, a minor, seems to have been heir to his Rutland estates. His widow, Denise or Dionisia, was assigned dower from the Kent estates, and the wardship of his lands was granted to John de Lovetot, (fn. 56) who sold it and the marriage of Margaret in 1294 to Robert de Basing, citizen of London. (fn. 57) Margaret was destined to marry Robert's son Reginald when she came of age, if she would consent, but in 1297 Reginald was taken prisoner in Gascony while in the king's service. His father therefore obtained leave to marry Margaret to another son, William, if she consented on coming of age. (fn. 58)

Much of the Rutland property had been subinfeudated to a Thomas de Normanville, possibly a brother of Ralph who married Galiena and died in 1259. Thomas held a knight's fee in Empingham of Ralph by the rent of a sparrow-hawk at the time of Ralph's death. (fn. 59) He, or perhaps a son of the same name, was a minister of considerable importance under Edward I, being constable of Bamburgh Castle, steward of the king's castles beyond the Trent, justice of assize, justice of the forest and escheator north of the Trent. (fn. 60) Like other successful ministers of the Crown at this date, he probably amassed a fortune and invested it in property in the counties of Nottingham and Rutland. He died in 1295, seised of a capital messuage and 4 bovates of land in Empingham held of Margery or Margaret de Normanville by the rent of a sparrowhawk, another capital messuage and 10 bovates of land in Empingham and Hardwick held of William le Waleys, together with other lands in Empingham held of Margaret de Normanville and others, and lands in Horn (q.v.) and Normanton (q.v.). His son and heir Edmund was aged four years. Edmund died before 1316, and Margaret and her husband William de Basing succeeded to his property. (fn. 61)

Margaret de Normanville married William de Basing shortly after 1297. In 1313 her mother Denise claimed the whole manor of Empingham as a gift from Thomas her husband before their marriage, but Margaret and William contended that she was only entitled to a third as dower. (fn. 62) A verdict was given in Denise's favour, but it was later reversed, (fn. 63) and in 1317 Margaret settled two-thirds of the manor on herself and her children, (fn. 64) and in 1321 she and her second husband confirmed one-third to Denise for life. (fn. 65)

William de Basing died in 1316, leaving a son Thomas aged 15 years. (fn. 66) Margaret afterwards married Edmund de Passelew, and in 1318 they received a grant of a weekly market on Thursdays at Empingham and a yearly fair on the vigil, day and morrow of St. Botolph. (fn. 67) Margaret died about 1341 (fn. 68) and her son Sir Thomas de Basing in 1349. (fn. 69)

19. Ralph and Gerold de Normanville were witnesses to the foundation of the Abbey of St. Mary, Huntingdon, by Simon, Earl of Northampton, in 1146\endash 7: Geneal. (New Ser.), 13, 15.
20. Cal. Pat. R. 1494\endash 1509, p. 268.
21. Blore, op. cit. 124; Pipe R. Soc. viii, 57.
22. Ibid. 16 Hen. II, p. 147; Geneal. (New Ser.), 13, 15.
23. Rot. Chart. John (Rec. Com), 149.
24. Pipe R. 7 John, m. 50; Rot. de Oblat. et Fin. (Rec. Com.), 268.
25. Curia Reg. R. iv, 299; v, 84.
26. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 164.
27. Ibid.
28. Ibid. 260.
29. Rot. de Oblat. et Fin. 576.
30. A Geoffrey de Normanville, tenant of Ingram de Frenes, is mentioned in 1252 (Cal. Close R. 1251\endash 2, p. 229).
31. Cal. Pat. R. 1216\endash 25, pp. 33. 108.
32. Ibid. 33; Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 318.
33. Ibid. 449.
34. Ibid. 451.
35. Cal. Pat. R. 1216\endash 25, p. 569.
36. Pipe R. Soc. (New Ser.), iv, 324.
37. Excerpt, e Rot. Fin. i, 87.
38. Rot. Lin. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i 568.
39. Ibid. i, 545.
40. Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 404.
41. Rot. Hug. de Welles (Cant. and York Soc), p. 228.
42. Cal. Close R. 1227\endash 31, p. 283.
43. Ibid. 401.
44. Ibid. 1231\endash 4, p. 131; 1234\endash 7, p. 191.
45. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 113.
46. Cal. Close R. 1237\endash 42, p. 346.
47. Cal. Inq. Hen. III, i, 55.
48. Cal. Pat. R. 1258\endash 66, p. 20.
49. Cal. Inq. Hen. III, i, 421.
50. Cal. Pat. R. 1258\endash 66, p. 33.
51. Excerpt. e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), ii, 309; Cal. Pat. R. 1258\endash 66, p. 37.
52. Ibid. p. 157.
53. Cal. Inq. Hen. III, i, no. 421.
54. Cal. Fine R. 1272\endash 1307, pp. 172, 187; Cal. Inq. ii, no. 479.
55. Ibid.
56. Cal. Fine R. 1272\endash 1307, p. 187.
57. Cal. Pat. R. 1292\endash 1301, p. 80.
58. Ibid. 231\endash 2.
59. Cal. Inq. Hen. III, i, no. 421.
60. See Cal. Fine R. 1272\endash 1307, pp. 55\endash 356 passim. For identification with Thomas de Normanville of Empingham, see record of death on pp. 353, 356.
61. Cal. Inq. iii, no. 253.
62. Assize R. no. 1350, m. 56.
63. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 329.
64. Feet of F. Rutl. file 5, no. 22.
65. Ibid. no. 33.
66. Cal. Inq. v, no. 566.
67. Cal. Chart. R. 1300\endash 26, p. 395.
68. Cal. Inq. viii, no. 422.
69. Ibid. ix, nos. 317, 318.

Ralph married.


1 William Page, editor, <i>A History of the County of Rutland</i>, 2 (London, GB: Victoria County History, 1935), 2: 242-250.

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