Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL.
ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES.
IN THREE VOLUMES.—VOL. II
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 Maurouard, as it is given on the Dives Roll, or Malruard, as written in Domesday; an unmistakeable nickname, which I am quite at a loss to explain. When, in many cases, it was subsequently turned into Malregard—under which form, we are told, it lingered on for several centuries—it clearly signified Evil Eye. But the original Maurouard or Malruard could admit of no such sinister interpretation.
Geoffrey Malruard founded the family in Somersetshire, where Norton-Malreward  has kept his name. He held Twertona (Tiverton) in 1086 of the Bishop of Coutances; and his descendants "were people of eminence and distinction in the county, and in Dorset and Devon; but their principal seat was at this Norton, where they had free-warren in their estate. In a chartulary of Kington Abbey in the county of Wilts, Sir William Malreward is set down as one of the principal benefactors to that monastery. Geoffrey Malreward confirmed the grant."—Collinson's Somerset. He further informs us that the name was, "in after days, contracted to Marwood." It is still borne by Kingston-Maureward in Wiltshire, Winterborne Maurewarde in Dorsetshire, and Godeby Maureward in Leicestershire. The latter was acquired by Geoffrey Maureward, towards the end of Henry III.'s reign, through his marriage with Ada, only daughter of Sir Adam Quatremars of Overton-Quatremars, the last male of his house. It had been previously known as Godeby-Quatremars; and a marginal comment inserted in Burton's History by Mr. Peck gives a disagreeable account of its climate:
"Every day a shower of rain,
And upon Sundays, twain:
Anglia ventosa; si non ventosa, venenosa."
But, whether in rain or shine, the Maurewards remained there for six generations: the last was Sir Thomas, living 5 Richard II.—6 Henry VI. His only child Philippa married Sir Thomas Beaumont, a younger son of John, fourth Lord. This Sir Thomas twice served as knight of the shire for Leicester, 1 Hen. IV., and 8 Hen. V.; and was High Sheriff of Warwick in the latter year.
There are traces of the family in other counties. Walter Maureward and Ivetta Marreward are found in Lincolnshire, about 1272 (Rotuli Hundredorum): and in 1292 William de Manreward held Somerby and some other lands of Philip Marmion "by the service of one knight's fee and suit of court at his honour and castle of Tamworth." Copsi Maureward, in the time of Henry II., witnesses William Breton's grant to St. Mary's Abbey, York.
- ↑ A very grotesque etymology of Norton Malreward has, according to Collinson (History of Somerset), "prevailed from time immemorial" in the popular mind. "Sir John Hautville" (who gave his name to the adjoining vill of Norton-Hautville) "was a man of prodigious strength, and withal a great favourite with King Edward I. who frequented his house in this neighbourhood. The King, having one day expressed his desire of knowing the extent of Sir John's manhood, and seeing a specimen of his abilities, the knight undertook to convey three of the stoutest men in His Majesty's army, up to the top of Norton Tower. This he effected by taking one under each arm, and the third in his teeth. Those under his arms made some resistance, for which Sir John squeezed them to death ere he reached the summit: but the other in his teeth was carried up unhurt. For this feat of strength the King gave Sir John all his estate lying in the parish of Norton, observing at the same time it was but a small reward, whence, say they, comes the surname of this parish of Norton!" The trifling circumstance that two of "the stoutest soldiers in his army"* were killed in the process seems to have attracted no attention at all.