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
as Leland also gives it; in Duchesne's copy, Gouer. Sir Bernard Burke classes this among the monkish additions, as a Saxon origin has always been assigned to the old house now represented by the Dukes of Sutherland, Earls Granville, and Earls of Ellesmere. Their Yorkshire manor of Stittenham is believed to have been transmitted through a line of ancestors that held it at the Conquest; though Sir Egerton Brydges derives them first "from one Guhyer, whose son, called William Fitz Guhyer, of Stittenham, was charged with half a mark (or rather a mark) for his lands in the sheriff's accounts, 1167." The name (which began to be written Gower about the time of Edward I.) is, however, incontestably to be found in Normandy, and is said to have been imported from Scandinavia. It is borne by a place still called Goher; and Thomas and Osmond Goher, at Caen, Ralph Goher at Bayeux, and Thomas Goher at Coutances are all mentioned in the Norman Exchequer Rolls during the last years of the twelfth century. Two De Guers—one of them Marquis de Pontcale, were among the Norman nobles convoked for the election of the States-General in 1789: they belonged to the Cotentin. "In England it appears in 1130, when Walter de Guher paid scutage for his lands at Carmarthen (Rot. Pip.). He had probably been one of the Norman knights who accompanied Arnulph de Montgomery. Adelard de Guer witnessed a charter of Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, 1136, (Mon. i. 460) from which family Roger de Guer held a fief in 1165, (Liber Niger) when also Hugh de Goher held a fee from the Earl of Warwick (lb.) William Guhier obtained a pardon in Oxford 1158 (Rot. Pip.) being also of Essex, for after 1152 the Abbey of Tilteney, Essex, acquired lands of the fief of William Goer (Mon. i. 889). This William Guhier or Goer was Lord of Stittenham in Yorkshire, and was dead a.d. 1200 (Rotuli Curiae Regis). He confirmed the grant of Godfrey Fitz Richard of Stitnam to Rievaulx Abbey (Burton, Mon. Ebor, 363). Walter Goher, his son or grandson, (Mon. ii. 822) had issue William, 'son of Walter Goher,' who in 1270 paid a fine to the Crown (Roberts, Excerpt, ii. 5,13). This William had a park in Dorset, temp. Henry III. (Placit. Abbrev. 281). His son John was summoned in 1300 for military service in Scotland; and in the same year Robert Gouer (probably his brother) was commissioner of array in Yorkshire, according to Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs. From this family descend the Dukes of Sutherland, &c."—The Norman People. Still, it should be noted that the arms of the Gowers of Essex, a chevron between three wolves' heads erased, are entirely different from those borne by the Duke, and more nearly resemble the coat of the poet Gower and the Kentish family to which he belonged. "They bore the chevron charged with three heads, whether of lions, leopards, or wolves, it were hard to say." Gower's lineage has been carefully investigated by Sir Harris Nicolas. He was probably nephew and heir male of Sir Robert Gower, who resided in Kent, and from whose daughter he acquired by purchase the manor of Aldington in Kent about 1365: also that of Kentwell, Suffolk, and another in Essex. He was born c. 1325, as it is supposed, in Wales, and lived into the reign of Henry IV., having lost his sight a few years before his death. It is conjectured that he was a knight, and even a judge; a rich man he certainly was. He graduated at Oxford, was on terms of friendship with most of the great men of his day, and, attaching himself to Thomas of Woodstock, became as zealous a Lancastrian as was his contemporary Chaucer. But here the resemblance between them ends. In Gower's stiff, pedantic, frigid verses—aptly described as "heavy platitudes," there is none of the beauty, brilliancy, and humour that brightens every page of Chaucer's writing.