Ralph [I] de Somery
(-After 1161)
Ralph Paynell
(-Bef 1160)
John de Somery
(-Abt 1191/1192)
Hawise Paynell
(-After 1210)
Ralph [II] de Somery
(-Between 1210/1210)


Family Links

1. Margaret Crassus

Ralph [II] de Somery

  • Marriage (1): Margaret Crassus before 1194 1
  • Died: Between Jan and Jul 1210 1

  General Notes:

RALPH [II] de Somery (-[Jan/Jul] 1210). "Hawys Paganella" confirmed donations to Tykford Priory by "Johannes de Sumeri vir meus" by undated charter, witnessed by "Radulfo de Sumeri filio meo". The Red Book of the Exchequer, listing scutage payments in [1194/95], records "Radulfus de Sumery" paying "iv l vi s viii d, iv milites et tertiam" in Worcestershire and "vii.l. xiii.s. de Radulfo de Sumeri" among "de hiis qui non habent capitales honores in hoc comitatu" in Berkshire. The Red Book of the Exchequer, listing scutage payments in [1196/97], records "Radulfus de Sumeri" paying "xx s in Chiselhamtone, i militem" in Oxfordshire, "Radulfus de Somery" among "isti sunt quieti per breve" in Berkshire, and "Radulfo de Sumery 1.l de feodo Gervasii Paganelli" in Staffordshire. A later note added to Military fee certifications in the Red Book of the Exchequer, in 1166, records that King John granted "maneria de Mere Suneforde et Clentes" to "Radulfus de Sumery" in Staffordshire. The Pipe Roll [1207/08] records "Radulphus de Sumeri r.c. de de Cremento de Swineford et Clent et Mera". The Red Book of the Exchequer records "Radulfus de Sumeri" holding 14 knights´ fees "de honore de Neu[port]" in Buckinghamshire, and three knights´ fees and parts "in Framkelega, Wormelega, Belewe, Pesemore, Swinforde, Hagele et Credelega" in Worcestershire, in [1210/12]. The Testa de Nevill lists knights who held land in Northamptonshire, dated to [1208/09]: "Radulfus de Somery" held land "unde caput est in Warr". The Testa de Nevill records in 1212 that "Rogerus de Sumervill" held "manerium de Alrewas" in Staffordshire and that the manor was then "in custodia magistri Radulfi de Stok cum filio ipsius Rogeri" and also that "comes de Salesbir" held "maneria de Swinford et de Clent et de Mere cum filio et herede Radulfi de Sumeri in custodia".

m (before 1194) as her first husband, MARGARET Crassus, daughter of WILLIAM [III] Crassus & his wife [--- Marshal] (-after 14 Jun 1247). Her parentage and first marriage are confirmed by a charter [dated to before 1194] under which "William le Gros" gave land at Little Dalby to "Ralph Somery" as part of the marriage contract for his daughter Margaret.

[The Complete Peerage names "Margaret m 1stly Ralph de Somerey, 2ndly Maurice de Gaunt" as the first daughter of John FitzGilbert "the Marshal" and his second wife. If right, this would mean that she was Margaret Marshal, daughter of John Marshal & his second wife Sibyl of Salisbury. From a chronological point of view, it cannot be correct. The births of the children of John FitzGilbert and his second wife can be dated to [1145/55]. Concerning Margaret´s first marriage, the chronology suggests that the children of Ralph de Somery and his wife were born in the late 1190s or the early years of the 13th century. Concerning the second marriage, Maurice de Gant´s wife is recorded as living in 1247. As can be seen, none of these dates is compatible with Margaret having been the daughter of John FitzGilbert.]

The Pipe Roll 1210 records that "Margareta que fuit uxor Radulfi de Sumeri" arranged to pay an instalment of her fine for the assignment of her dower in Berkshire in midsummer. Margaret married secondly ([1220/21]) as his second wife, Maurice de Gant. This second marriage is indicated by two sources relating to Staffordshire, where Ralph [II] de Somery had been granted land by King John (see above). Firstly, King Henry III ordered the sheriff of Staffordshire to permit "Maurice de Gant" to collect scutage from knights´ fees he holds in his bailiwick of the land "he holds in dower of Margaret his wife", dated [Sep] 1224. Secondly, the Assize Rolls for 1228 record that eight persons were summoned to show cause why they intruded into "a carucate of land which Alan de Englefeld held, the custody of whose lands after his death belonged to Maurice de Gant and Margaret his wife...the land formed part of the dower of Margaret". Alan de Englefield was Margaret´s son-in-law (see below).

Several other sources have been identified which name Margaret, none of which makes the connection between Ralph de Somery and Maurice de Gant. Three of these sources clearly refer to the widow of Ralph de Somery: (1) "Roger de Sumeri" confirmed an agreement between "Margaret his mother" and "William de Englefeld" [his nephew, son of his sister Isabel] concerning a grant and exchange of lands "at Bradfield", Berkshire, undated, but presumably dateable to after Roger´succession to the family estates following the death of his nephew Nicholas (before 4 Jul 1229); (2) and (3) two sets of entries in the Testa de Nevill, Berkshire fees in [1235/36] which include " i.m de i. feodo in Englefeud de feodo de Sumeri et...quarta parte unius feodi Nicholai le Butiler de eodem honore [=honore de Walingeford?] et i.m de i. feodo Margerie de Sumery in Cumton Beucamp de eodem honore et i.m. de i. feodo eiusdem Margerie in Adecote...Watindeden...Stanford...Yngelpenne de eodem honore", and Berkshire fees in [1242/43] which name "Rogerus de Sumery in Bradefeld i. feodum...Margareta de Sumeri in Bradefeld unum feodum predicti Rogeri...Willelmus de Englefeld in Englefeld unum feodum de eodem feodo". Two further sources clearly refer to the wife of Maurice de Gant: firstly, Henry III King of England ordered the sheriff of Somerset, notwithstanding the order of seisin in favour of "Walter de Everm", to give seisin of "maneriis de Cantokesheved et de Hivis [Quantockshead and Huish]...que fuerunt Mauricii de Gant quondam viri sui" to "Margarete de Sumery" as dower, by order dated 1231, and secondly "Margaret de Somery" reached agreement with "Henry de Gaunt rector of the almonry of St Mark´s Hospital, Billeswick" on the tithes of the mill of East Quantoxhead, Somerset and other matters by charter dated 14 Jun 1247. Two more sources are inconclusive: the Plea Rolls for 1233 include a claim in Oxfordshire by "John de Beauchamp" against "Margery de Sumery, in a plea of land and wardship", and an undated order, in 1237, records "Assizes" from "Margaret de Somery". Thomas Stapleton made a detailed study of the life of Maurice de Gant in the mid-19th century but all the sources to which he refers are inconclusive regarding the parentage of Maurice de Gant´s second wife. It is somewhat surprising that Maurice would have married the widow of Ralph [II] de Somery who, although she had proven her child-bearing capacity, must have been nearly 40 years old by [1220]. Stapleton dates the Margaret de Somery/Maurice de Gant marriage to "prior to the fifth year of Henry III [Nov 1220/Nov 1221] when Maurice de Gaunt paid scutage of Byham for the manor of Bradfield in Berkshire to Percival de Sumery".

Ralph [II] & his wife had [five] children: Ralph, William, Roger, [Joan] and Isabel. 1

Ralph married Margaret Crassus, daughter of William [III] Crassus Steward of Normandy and Marshal, before 1194.1 (Margaret Crassus died after 14 Jun 1247 1.)


1 Charles Cawley, <i>Medieval Lands</i>.

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