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
This name is only too amply represented. Five distinct families claiming it as their patronymic are specified in The Norman People, viz.:
"1. De Bois-Arnaud, hereditary stewards of the Counts of Breteuil, sires of Poilly. Their signatures appear in the charter of William Fitz Osborne to Lire Abbey, temp. William the Conqueror. They long flourished in Leicester and Northants.
"2. De Bois-Guillaume, of the bailifry of Caux, of William de Bois was seated in Essex, 1086. They long flourished in the Eastern Counties.
"3. De Bois-Herbert, Barons of Halberton, Devon. Hugo de Bosco occurs 1083 (Exon. Domesday). They long flourished in Dorset, and the barons of Halberton, Devon, were a branch.
"4. De Bois-Robert or Roard, of whom Robert de Bois and his brother held estates in Bucks, 1086. Sire Nicholas de Bois, of this family, lived in the fourteenth century.
"5. De Bois, descended from a companion of Bernard de Neumarche, to whom he granted a barony in Brecknock, 1086, named after him Trebois."
This opens a wide field for investigation, on which I feel I must leave it to other enquirers to win their spurs. Yet even so the list is incomplete, for it omits "Rogerus de Boscnorman," entered as a Northamptonshire baron in Domesday, and the great Kentish clan of Boys, of whom Hasted enumerates no less than ten branches seated at Fredville, Nonington, Betshanger, Bonnington, Hoad, Barfriston, Denton, Tilmanstone, Sandwich, and St. Gregories. Their common ancestor was John de Bois, who died about thirty years after the Conquest; and they are mentioned by Phillpot in his Villare Paulinum, 1659, as having "been then settled for seventeen prior descents at Bonyngton." In the sixteenth century Sir John Boys founded Jesus Hospital at Canterbury: and in 1644 "Colonel John Boys was Governor of Donnington Castle in Berkshire, and was knighted by King Charles for his gallant defence of the castle against the rebels, receiving an augmentation to his bearing of a Crown imperial Or on a canton Azure."—Sir Bernard Burks. This very ancient East Kent family still survives in the main line.
The name likewise travelled into Scotland. Sir Humphrey de Bois, of Dryfesdale, who was slain at Lochmaben in 1333, is supposed by Dalrymple to have been the ancestor of Hector Boece, the historian.
- ↑ "At Betshanger a Gentleman, at Fredville a Squire,
At Bonington a Noble Knight, at * * * a Lawyer.
"This old Kentish proverb relates to the Worshipful family of the Bois's, of which four several branches were flourishing at once at those seats here mentioned. Lawyer is to be pronounced Lyer, as is common now in some counties."—Archaeol. Cantiana. That liar is the word intended is quite clear, from the significant omission in the last line.