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
or Guisnes, probably derived from the town of Guisnes, near Calais, and of very early occurrence in England. We find in the Liber Niger that Richard de Guinnes held eleven fees of Earl Patric in Wiltshire, William de Gins three fees of the Honour of Clare in Suffolk, and Ralph de Guines one fee of Earl Alberic de Vere in Essex. In Norfolk, "the family of De Gisneto, Gisne, or Gyney, was enfeoffed of Haverland soon after the Conquest. Sir William and Roger lived in the time of Henry II. They remained Lords of Haverland till Edward Gisnes sold it 20 Hen. V. William de Gyney founded
Mountjoy Priory in the reign of Richard I."—Blomfield's Norfolk. One of these Guisnes married Joan, the sister and co-heir of Peter de Peleville, Lord of Bodney, who died 56 Hen. III. Another, Sir John—the last of whom I can find mention—bequeathed the manors of Dilham and Pauncefotes in 1413 to Sir Henry Inglos, K. G. They bore Paly of six, Or and Gules, a chief Ermine.
But these Norfolk squires were far from being the principal representatives of the name. It belonged to one of the illustrious houses of history, the Counts of Guisnes, ancestors of the famous De Coucys, one of whom, during the minority of Louis XI., refused an offer of the Crown of France, adopting the proud devise which he handed down to his posterity—
"Ne suys ny Roy, ny Prince aussi,
Je suys le Seigneur de Coucy."
Alberic de Vere, the first Earl of Oxford, bore the title of Earl of Guisnes in right of his wife Beatrice; and Ralph de Guisnes, who in 1165 was his tenant in Essex, was probably one of her kinsmen. Ingelram de Guisnes, a witness of Ivo Tailbois' charter to Cockersand Abbey in Lancashire, may, both from his Christian name and some similarity in the coat of arms borne by the Gynes or Geines of that county, be presumed to have been another. In the reign of King John, Arnold Count of Guisnes (who had succeeded the childless Countess Beatrice) held twelve knight's fees in Kent, Essex, and Bedfordshire, which formed part of the Honour of Boulogne, and "had the reputation of a Baron of this Realm." To these estates his son and heir Baldwin succeeded in 1218: and another son, Robert de Guisnes, held the Honour of Cioches in Northamptonshire, and in 1248 sold the whole of his English inheritance to Ingelram Lord Fiennes. He had married Amicia de Clare, the widowed Countess of Devon, with the King's consent, in the previous year.
Contemporary with these two brothers was "a noble Baron of France," Ingelram de Guisnes or de Coucy, "how related to these before-mentioned," Dugdale "cannot say;" whose son and namesake made a great English alliance. He married Christian, the only child of William de Lindsay (one of the heirs of William de Lancaster) by his wife Ada, sister and coheir of John Baliol, sometime King of Scotland. He did homage for her lands in 1282; followed Edward I., as his liegeman, three times to the Scottish wars, and was summoned to parliament by him in 1295. His eldest son William died s. p., and the second, Ingelram III., was the husband of an Archduchess of Austria, and the father of Ingelram IV., Count of Soissons, created Earl of Bedford in 1366. This was not the first mark of favour, and by no means the greatest, that he had received from Edward III., to whom, as a powerful noble of acknowledged ability, he had been of signal service from the beginning of the peace with France. So highly did the King esteem him, that he not only bestowed upon him all the lands and lordships in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, and Westmorland, that had been William de Coucy's, and on his death, for "certain reasons" (not specified) had come to the Crown, but gave him his daughter Isabel in marriage, with a yearly grant of one thousand marks for her maintenance. Furthermore, when he took his bride over to France in 1365, the King decreed that all the children born to them beyond sea should enjoy their inheritance in the realm as freely as if they had been English-born. The year following, he, with the Dukes of Bourbon and Burgundy, attended the King of France at the festive reception given to Lionel Duke of Clarence as he passed through Paris on his way to his ill-starred wedding at Milan. His next visit to France was in 1372, when he came as an enemy in his father-in-law's train; and he was there once again in 1377. He died in 1397, having survived Isabel Plantagenet, by whom he left two daughters his co-heiresses. Mary, the eldest, was the wife of Henri de Barr, Seigneur d'Oisy; and Philippa, the second, married Richard II.'s notorious favourite, the Duke of Ireland, and was divorced by her unworthy husband to make room for a low-born Portuguese with whom he had fallen in love. Mary alone left children, and through her descendant, Mary of Luxemburg, the great-grandmother of Henry IV., the representation of the House of Coucy was vested in the Bourbons, and descended to the Comte de Chambord, the last heir of the elder line.