William and Henri de Ferrierers were at the Battle of Hastings and were said to have brought many companies to the action. It is apparent that elder brother William fell in the battle, as little more is heard of him, although a successor, William de Ferrieres, led Duke Robert of Normandy's rebellious army in 1190 and 1106. William and Henri were both the sons of Walkelin de Ferrierers, seigneur of St.Hilaire de Ferrierers near Bernay in Normandy. The family were allied to the Count of Mortain, half brother of the Duke of Normandy. Walkelin had been killed in a joust with Hugh de Montfort prior to the Conquest, when both men died.
Meanwhile Henri de Ferrieres became a major land holder, holding almost all of the hundred of Appletree in Derbyshire. He was granted 210 manors and lordships throughout England and Wales by Duke William of Normandy for his conspicuous bravery and support at Hastings. 114 of these were in Derbyshire and much of Nottingham, over which he held virtual rule. The family became the Earls of both Derby and Nottingham, but the alternate title and estates of Earl Ferrers were lost in 1266 to the son of Henry III, Edmund, Earl of Leicester.
Modern Name Today
|Birchover||Boyleston||Bradbourne||Bradley (in Belper)|
|Bradley (near Asbourne)||Brailsford||Brassington||Breadsall|
|Somersal Herbert||Spondon||Stanton||Stanton in the Peak|
It is not known which holding Henri originally elected as his chief domain, but he chose Tutbury Castle in 1071, after Hugh Lupus surrendered it on being made Earl of Chester. Despite this, his son would become the first Earl of Derby. Henri had three sons, Enguenulf, William and Robert. The two eldest predeceased Henri, and his successor became Robert, his youngest son and the first Earl of Derby some time before 1138. Succeeding, his son, the second Earl, distinguished himself at the Battle of the Standard, and the Earldom was confirmed by King Stephen in 1139. His son lost Tutbury in a rebellion against King Henry II. Tutbury Castle was demolished. His son, William, was favourite of King John and was at the seige of Lincoln. He was granted many lordships in Northampton.
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