Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL.
ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES.
IN THREE VOLUMES.—VOL. I
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
This electronic edition
was prepared by
Michael A. Linton, 2007
for Deneys or Le Danois; a Danish family whose pedigree was traced from Jellanus Dacus, Lord of Pancras Week in Devonshire, temp. Hen. II. Another, Robert Dacus, or Le Daneys, held of the Abbey Of Tavistock in 1165 (Liber Niger): and there is a previous mention of Hugh Daniscus or Daneis in the Pipe Rolls of 1130. They bore, in honour of their origin, three Danish battle-axes erect Or: the terrible hatchet of their forefathers, that, with its double handle and two-foot blade, could bear down all before it. They spread over Devonshire in such numerous divisions and sub-divisions as almost to attain the proportions of a clan; yet one by one all these possessions, mostly derived from heiresses, passed away as they had come. The two principal branches were seated at "Orleigh, in the parish of Buckland Brewer, the long contynewed dwellinge of the family"; and at Holcombe Burnell; but we also find them at Bicton, Holsworthy, Manworthy, and Gidecot, Whimple, Windey Cross, Malcot, Colliscombe, &c.; and for some time at Creed and Menhiot in Cornwall, where, Sir William Pole tells us, "the patrimony of Daunay of Sheviocke came in time to Dennis of Orleigh and Crocker," The direct line from Jellanus Dacus ended in the fifth descent with Sir Robert le Deneys; that of Orleigh was carried on till about 1700, and the co-heiresses married Sir Thomas Hamson and Glynn of Glynn. The house of Holcombe Burnell did not last so long, but would seem to have been the most important of the two. Sir Thomas, the grandfather of the last heir, was, by Sir William Pole's account, nine times Sheriff of the county during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Philip and Mary; and his son Sir Robert was "the worthie Knight who, anno 1592, erected a fair Almes house, in the suburbs of Exeter, for twelve poor aged Men, allowing to each a plot of grounde for an Herber, and Twelve-pence weekly. This Family, so ancient in this County (deriving its Name and Original from the Danes) is now extinct: the Heire-general being married into the house of the Rolles."—Fuller's Worthies. It had become extinct with Sir Robert's son Sir Thomas, who married a daughter of the Marquess of Winchester, and left two co-heiresses, married to Sir Henry Rolle and Sir Arthur Mainwaring. Almost all the remaining branches were, in like manner, successively merged; and the famous Danish battle-axes are now quartered by many different families. Yet when Lysons wrote, in 1822, there was still a male representative of the Whimple branch; and an apothecary of the name, practising at Tavistock, claimed descent from that of Windey Cross.
The family had spread into the adjacent counties. They held Sock-Dennis, in Somersetshire, under the Barons Beauchamp of Hacche. "In the time of Henry II. and Richard I., Osbert and William Dacus, or Le Deneys, were Keepers of Petherton Park in this county; the former of whom had issue, Ralph, who 12 Hen. III. held half a knight's fee of William de Mohun. The hospital of White Hall (de Alba Aula, or Blanche Sale) was founded about 1226 by William Dennis, and endowed with lands and tenements in Ivelchester, Sock-Dennis, and Taunton, for the entertainment of pilgrims and poor travellers."—Collinson's Somerset. Wroxhall-Deneys, in Dorsetshire, "took its name from its most ancient lords, who became extinct there in the time of Edward II."—Hutchins' Dorset.
- ↑ It was with this "hache Danoise" that the Norse champion in Harold Hardrada's army held Derwent Bridge, single-handed, for two hours against the whole Saxon force. Our English Harold performed prodigies of valour with it at the battle of Hastings. It had been introduced into England by Canute; and Freeman tells us "the Norman writers seem almost to shudder at the remembrance" of so fearful a weapon.