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Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles

Medieval Mosaic







This electronic edition
was prepared by
Michael A. Linton, 2007

Gaugy :

from Gauchi, Gaucy, or Gaacy, near L'Aigle, in Normandy. The Barony of Gaugy was in Northumberland, and one of the twelve that paid "Castleward and Cornage" towards the support of the "New Castle upon Tyne." "Ellington was an ancient barony of this family, who possessed it from the time of King Henry I., as appears by the Testa de Nevill. The church was founded by Ralph de Gaugy, in the pontificate of Hugh Pudsey, Bishop of Durham."—Hutchinson's Northumberland. At about the same date, Robert de Gaugy held the barony of Slesmouth by the service of three knight's fees. (Lib. Niger.) His descendant of the same name was in high favour with King John, being, says Dugdale, "reckoned to be one of that King's Evil Counsellors;" and an old manor-house of the Gaugys, Heaton, is traditionally believed to have been the habitation of King John, when he came into Northumberland. The ruins of the building still go by the name of King John's Palace. It is at all events certain that Robert de Gaugy had special trust reposed in him by his sovereign, who made him Constable of the castles of Lafford in Lincolnshire and Newark in Notts, and obtained for him the hand of an heiress, Isold Lovel, who brought him a considerable estate in the Bishopric of Durham. The line ended with Adam, who succeeded to the barony of Slesmouth, 7 Ed. I., and "being then a Leper, could not come to the King to do him Homage, but died within few years."—Dugdale. Roger de Clifford, his cousin, was found to be his heir.

The Gaugys were, however, far from being extinct. Dugdale mentions two brothers of Robert's, who, like him, "stood stoutly to King John," Roger and Sampson de Gaugy, both of whom obtained considerable grants of land in recompense of their services. In 1203, the King committed to Roger the custody of the castle and forest of Argentan. (Hardy, Rot. Norm.) "William de Gaugi, his son, of Northampton, was father of John de Gaugi, who in 1260, with Petronilla his wife, paid a fine in Essex, (Roberts, Excerpta) and in 1269 he occurs in Suffolk (Hunter, Rot. Select. 221). Roger Gaugi, 1324, was returned from Suffolk to a great Council at Westminster (Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs). John Gage, of this family, settled in Gloucestershire, from whom descended the Viscounts and Baronets Gage."—The Norman People.

The direct ancestor of Lord Gage was John Gage, living 9 Hen. IV., whose grandson, a zealous adherent of the House of York, was knighted by Edward IV., and acquired Firle, the present seat of the family, through his marriage with a co-heiress of St. Clere of Heighton-St.-Clere in Sussex. From his elder son descended the Gages of Firle; from the younger the Gages of Raunds in Northamptonshire, who flourished there till 1675. In the next generation, Sir John Gage, of Firle, was a favourite at the court of Henry VIII., and (in the words of his son Robert Gage) served him and the two very different sovereigns who succeeded him "truly and paynfully, untouched with any reproach or unfaithfull service" till his own death in 1556. He was at different times Captain of Guisnes Castle, Vice Chamberlain and Captain of the Guard, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Comptroller of the Household, and Constable of the Tower. Henry made him a Knight of the Garter, and had him painted by Holbein in the robes of the Order: he was also one of the Royal Commissioners appointed to take possession of the monasteries at the time of their dissolution; and at the surrender of Battle Abbey on May 27, 1538, received the manor of Alciston as his share of the spoils. This was by no means the only property he acquired from the Church: yet he was apparently none the less acceptable to Queen Mary, for at her accession he was re-instated in his office of Constable of the Tower and Lord Chamberlain, of which he had been deprived by the Protector. He had for some time the custody of Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen: and was "the iron-hearted Lieutenant of the Tower" who attended Lady Jane Grey to the block, and received from her, as a memorial, her tablets with some lines in Latin, Greek and English, written in her own hand. His descendant, another Sir John, received a baronetcy in 1622, and married Penelope, third daughter and eventually co-heiress of Thomas Darcy, Earl Rivers, by Mary his wife, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Kitson, of Hengrave Hall, in Suffolk. "Penelope, like her classical namesake, was accounted a great beauty, although her portraits at Hengrave and at Firle, according to modern ideas, hardly warrant such a claim. While yet in her early teens, she had three suitors at once, Sir George Trenchard, Sir John Gage, and Sir William Hervey, who were constantly quarrelling over her. In order to end their disputes, she told them that the first aggressor should be visited with her everlasting displeasure, and then humorously added, that if they kept the peace and waited with patience, she would have them all in their turn! These, though spoken in jest, proved to be true words, and she married the three in succession. Sir George Trenchard, the first so favoured, left her a widow of seventeen, and she became the wife of Sir John Gage, and by him mother of nine children. The third suitor, a collateral ancestor of the Marquess of Bristol, had a long time to wait. Sir John's eldest son, Sir Thomas, succeeded him in the baronetcy and the Sussex estate, and the third son, Sir Edward, of Hengrave Hall, inherited the maternal estate, and was created a baronet in 1662: from him descends the present Sir Thomas-Rokewood Gage, the eighth baronet of the Hengrave branch."—Lower's Worthies of Sussex. Penelope's great grandson, Thomas Gage, was created Viscount Gage of the kingdom of Ireland in 1720; and his son received an English peerage in 1780. This elder line now alone survives, for the Hengrave baronetcy is extinct; and the Suffolk estate, with its rarely beautiful old mansion, lately passed, on the death of the widow of its last owner, to the Earl of Kenmare.

The brother of the first Viscount, Joseph Gage, was "concerned in the Mississippi Scheme in France, and is said to have acquired the immense wealth of twelve or thirteen millions sterling, which so intoxicated him, that he made an offer to Augustus King of Poland of three millions for that crown, which being refused, he proposed to the King of Sardinia the purchase of that island, who rejected the offer. But the next year (1720), by the fall of that famous bubble, he became so much distressed, that he was necessitated to seek for new adventures in Spain, where he was, however, well received into favour, and advanced to many high posts, and honoured with the title of Grandee in Spain in 1743; being also presented by the King of Naples with the order of San Gennaro, and a pension of 4000 ducats a year."—Banks. He was General of the Spanish army in Sicily, and afterwards Commander-in-chief in Lombardy. He married Lady Lucy Herbert, daughter of the first Marquess of Powis, but left no posterity.

Another cadet of this house was Colonel Henry Gage, who was Governor of Oxford under Charles I., and twice fought his way to Basing, to relieve "Loyalty House." For this service he was knighted by the King: but, scarcely two months afterwards, in January 1645, he was shot through the heart in a skirmish at Culham Bridge, while marching at the head of his men. "The King," says Lord Clarendon, "sustained a wonderful loss at his death, he being a man of great wisdom and temper, and one among the very few soldiers who made himself to be universally loved and esteemed." He had "scarce been in England for twenty years before," and had lived much at the Archduke's Court at Brussels, being "a great master in the Spanish and Italian tongues, besides the French and Dutch, which he spoke in great perfection."