Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL.
ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES.
IN THREE VOLUMES.—VOL. III
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 this name is made to rhyme with Filiol, it seems obvious that it must stand for Tilliol; taken from Tilliol, near Rouen. "Honfroi du Tilleul" is on the Dives Roll, and was the first Castellan of the new fortress at Hastings, which was, as Ordericus tells us, placed under his charge "from the very day when it began to arise." It has been conjectured that he was a brother of Thurstan Goz, and therefore the great-uncle of Hugh Earl of Chester: be that as it may, the name was of long continuance in Normandy, for it is found in the Assembly of the Nobles of 1789. Humphrey married Adeliza, the sister of Hugh de Grentemesnil, and like him, returned to Normandy in 1669, "leaving their King and comrades to their fate, and their English lands and honours to the King's mercy." It is said that they were recalled by their wives, who, "fearful of the dangers of the sea, fearful of the dangers of a land which seemed wholly to be given up to wars and tumults, refused to trust themselves in England. But the long absence of their husbands soon became more than they could bear; they sent, so the story runs, messengers saying that, if their lords did not speedily come back, they would be driven to seek out other consorts for themselves. Orderic tells the tale at length, not without some touches of humour."—Freeman. Perhaps it was for the above reason that Humphrey's name is not in Domesday; but his son, Robert de Roelent or Rhuddlan (so named from a castle in Wales), is one of the potentates entered in that record. "He had been one of the Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor, and had held what one would think must have been the sinecure office of armour-bearer to the Saint. He held of the King a district bearing the vague but sounding title of North Wales, the boundaries of which it was perhaps discreet not to define more exactly. The Earl of Chester, who had to wage a constant war with the Welsh, found an able helper in Robert, who bears the title of Marquess in its primitive sense, as one of the first Lord Marchers of the Welsh border. On the site of King Gruffydd's palace of Rhuddlan, the palace which was burned by Harold as the earnest of his great Welsh campaign, a castle and town arose, from which the Marquess Robert carried on for fifteen years a constant warfare with his British neighbours."—Ibid.
The title of Marquess, conferred on Robert de Roelent by Mr. Freeman, is not given him by the county historians, to whose humbler intellects he was only one of Hugh Lupus' eight Cheshire barons, "who, at the period of the Survey, had divided possession with his cousin the Earl of half the castle and burgh of Roelent." Sir Peter Leycester thus describes him (quoting Ordericus): "He was a valiant and an active soldier, eloquent, facundus et formidabilis, but of a stern countenance, liberal and commendable vertues. * * * * William the Conqueror gave him Rothelent Castle and town, that he might make it a defence to England, by curbing the excursions of the Welsh. And this stout champion, seated on their borders, had many skirmishes with the Welsh, slew many of them, and enlarged his territories; and on the Mount Daganauth, close by the sea, he built a strong castle, and for fifteen years sore afflicted the Britons and Welshmen. But at last Griffith, King of Wales, in July 1088, landed with three ships under the hill called Hormaheva, and when he had pillaged the country, returned back to his ships. But as soon as Robert had notice, he calls his soldiers together, and with a few soldiers coming to the top of the hill, he saw them shipping the men and cattle which the Welsh had taken; and being incensed thereat, himself runs violently down the steep hill, attended only by one soldier, called Osberne de Orgiers, towards the enemy; but they perceiving him so slenderly guarded, returned back upon him, and with their darts or arrows mortally wounded him; yet whilst he stood and had his buckler, none durst approach so near as to encounter him with a sword; but as soon as he fell, the enemy rushed upon him and cut off his head, which they hanged upon the mast of the ship in triumph. Afterwards with great lamentation both of the English and Normans, his soldiers brought his body to Chester, and it was interred in the monastery of St. Werburge in that city." His epitaph was written by Ordericus.
The barony expired with him, as he left no children to inherit it, although he had illegitimate descendants who bore his name. Among those who perished in 1119 in the wreck of the Blanch Nef, Ordericus includes, with the "two brave sons of Ivo de Grentemaisnill, William de Rothelent their cousin, who by the King's command were coming to receive their father's inheritance in England." (Note that this was twenty-one years after Robert's death.) Matthew de Ruelent gave the church of Turstanton to St. Werburgh's Abbey, where his brother Simon became a monk. Goisfrid de Ruelent witnesses Henry I.'s charter to Colne Abbey; and Richard de Ruelent another of Ada de Montbegon to Monk Bretton (Mon. Angli.).
The Tilliols of Cumberland must have belonged to this family; but I have no means of elucidating the question of their descent. It is possible that their ancestor, "Richard the Rider, whose surname was Tilliol," was the same person as Richard de Roelent, mentioned above. In any case, he received from Henry I. the manor of Scaleby, to be held of the crown by cornage; he also held Solport of the barony of Lyddal; and Richardby, in the barony of Linstock, near Carlisle, of the Bishop of Carlisle. "At this Richardby Richard the Rider seated himself, whereupon it was so called after his name; and the gate, port, and street in Carlisle leading thither, is from thence called Richardgate, or Richardby Gate: in old evidences, vicus Richardi. At that time the Scots did tyrannize over the country next adjoining them, which enforced the gentlemen to dwell in Carlisle, and therefore every man provided himself to be served with corn, soyle, and hay, as nigh the city as they might."—Hutchinson's Cumberland. Richard the Rider also "first planted habitations" at Scaleby; and there erected a castle, which was pulled down and rebuilt in Queen Elizabeth's time. His son or grandson, Piers de Tilliol, was the ward of Geoffrey de Lucy in the latter part of Henry II.'s reign, and married his daughter, by whom he had two sons. The younger, Adam, "had Rickerby for term of life, and was therefore called Adam de Rickerby; and of that family are descended all the Rickerbies."—Ibid. The elder brother carried on the line, which flourished till the time of Edward IV. In addition to their large Cumberland estate, the Tilliols held lands in West Hatfield, Holderness, "thro' a long series of descents;" but in 1346 the Fee of Tilliol had been transferred to the Hiltons. They often appear as Sheriffs of Cumberland: Sir Piers and Sir Robert de Tilliol each served three times under Edward III.: the former on his accession in 1327 and the two following years; and another Sir Piers filled the same office even oftener—twice under Richard II., and twice under Henry IV. The last heir male, "Robert the Fool," was a lunatic; and at his death the inheritance passed through his elder sister Isabel to the Colvilles of the Dale. Her second son, Robert, afterwards claimed the property, alleging a will made in his favour by his grandfather, on condition of his taking the name of Tilliol. "But Robert had not this will to produce, and so was forced to sit without the estate: nevertheless, to keep on foot his pretensions, he assumed the name of Tilliol." There is some evidence to show that this will really existed, and was fraudulently destroyed.
The Tilliols bore Gules a lion rampant Argent