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
Baalun, or Baladon—Leland mis-spells it Bealum—from the castle of Balaon or Baladon in Normandy, which as Orderic informs us, was garrisoned in 1088 by William Rufus. Three of the name, the sons of Drogo de Baladon, Hamelin, Wynoc, and Wynebald (the Guinebaud de Balon of the Dives Roll) came to England with the Conqueror. Hamelin received vast grants in Wales and Cornwall, and built a strong castle at Abergavenny, now
The rent Norman tower that overhangs
The lucid Esk:—
as a shapeless and shattered ruin. Being one of the strongholds of the ruthless Lords Marcher, it was the scene of many a deed of blood and violence, and Giraldus avers "that it was dishonoured by treason oftener than any other castle in Wales." In Leland's time it' was still "a faire Castell"; and then likewise remained "a Priori of Blake Monks of the French Order" (Benedictines) that Hamelin had founded in the town, and in which he lies buried. He died in 1090, childless; and left his castle and the whole vast Honour of Abergavenny to Brian Fitz Count, the son of his sister Lucie. This nephew, represented as "nobly descended and of great dignity" (though his lineage is dubious), was already Baron of Wallingford in right of his wife Maud, widow of Milo Crespin, and sole daughter of the Conqueror's favourite noble, Robert D'Oyley. But his two sons by this great heiress were both of them lepers; and it was in Abergavenny Priory that their broken-hearted father bestowed them before he assumed the Cross, and relinquishing every worldly possession, took his departure for Jerusalem.
Of Drogo de Baladon's second son, Wynoc, we hear nothing; but the third, Wynebald, was a great baron in the time of Henry I., and the benefactor of two religious houses. "With the consent of Roger his son," he gave his lordship of Rodeford, his mill at Fromelade, and half a hide at Ameneye, to St. Peter's at Gloucester; and Bridesthorne, the church of Hardwicke, &c, in Hertfordshire to the monks of Bermondsey in 1092.—Chauncy's Herts. But I can find no subsequent mention of Roger, and the name only occurs again in the county about 1290, when "Dionisia de Monte Caniso granted to the hospital of Biggin all the lands she had of the grant of Catherine Balun in Little Horsmead."—Ibid. The manor of Balun (now Balance) in that parish, took the name of its ancient owners.
John de Baalun, presumed to be of the same family, was one of the Lords Marcher guarding the Welsh frontier in the time of Henry III., and constantly summoned to arms in its defence. He was likewise in the French wars, and fought on the side of the Barons at Evesham, but soon after made his peace. His wife Auda, was the sister and co-heir of William Painell; "but further than this," ends Dugdale, "I have not seen of him." Some account of his descendants is given in Robinson's Castles of Herefordshire and their Lords.
"The earliest lord of Much-Marcle after the extinction of the Lacies (the grantees at the Conquest) of whom we find any record is John de Balun or de Baladon, who was a witness to Magna Charta in the ninth year of Henry III. Either he, or his sons, were commanded by the same King in 1257 to assist Humphrey de Bohun in guarding the Welsh Marches, and we find his name also among the benefactors of Aconbury Priory. By his descendants numerous alterations were made, and thus the great manor of Marcle became sub-divided. Walter de Balun married Isolda, daughter of Ralph de Mortimer, and at his death, about the year 1284, left his widow dower in Marcle. She took for her second husband Hugh de Audley: and an enquiry was consequently made by the Escheator whether it would be for the King's damage if John de Balun, kinsman and heir of Walter, alienated to her husband in fee the land which she held in dower. This alienation was effected, and the result of it was the formation of the manor of Marcle-Audley. The De Baluns, however, continued to hold land in Marcle for some time after this."
Matthew de Baelun held five knight's fees of the Earl of Eu in 1165 (Liber Niger): and the name survived in Sussex till the time of Queen Elizabeth, when Robert Balam was a burgess of Bramber.