The Leicestershire Survey
(1124-1129)
Extract from Feudal
England, XIth & XIIth Centuries by J. H. Round. Published 1909. pp 196-214

The fief of Richard Basset is that of a typical man, of one of those trusted officials who flourished under Henry the First. We know not the fate of Robert de Buci, a Domesday baron in Leicestershire and Northants; but as two, at least, of his Leicestershire estates passed, we have seen to Mowbray, it was, we may infer, forfeiture or escheat that brought his fief into the king's hands, and enabled him to divide it among his own favourites. We learn from the evidence to which I am coming that the eight carucates in Swinford and Walcote, and the two in Little Ashby which Robert de Buci had held in io86, were in the hands of Geoffrey Ridel ninety years later. We may then infer, though they are not included in the sphere of our survey, that they had been obtained, like the rest, by Basset temp. Hen. 1.56
The elaborate fine made at
Leicester, 31st June, I766,57 has an important bearing on the Bassets' Leicestershire possessions. Not only does it specify the lands they held at Swinford (with Walcote), Ashby, and Fleckney, but it mentions their fee of Madeley, Staffordshire. Now the descent of this Staffordshire fee can be traced by charters on the same roll.58 One of these (No. 12) is a confirmation, by Robert de Stafford, of Madeley to Geoffrey Ridel, to be held as his "antecessores" had held it. This was Geoffrey, son of Richard Basset, by Maud Ridel, as is shown by the fact that the first witness to the charter is Hervey de Stretton, who held two knights' fees of Stafford in 1166,59 and that another is Robert Bagot. who held a quarter of a fee,60 while Geoffrey Ridel himself then held one, namely, Madeley.61 But the enrolling scribe confused him with his (maternal) grandfather and namesake (d. 1120), and thus wrongly assigned this charter to the reign of Henry I., and threw the whole descent into utter confusion. The right clue is found in a charter of Robert "de Toni" (i.e. de Stafford), "conceding" Madeley to Robert "de Busa" (alias "de Busci "), "per servitium unius militis." 62 This fee, therefore, must have come to the Bassets with the rest of the Buci estates; and we thus learn that this must have been late in the reign of Henry I., for the names of the witnesses to this charter prove that it must be subsequent to 1122.63
As Robert de Buci was then in possession, it cannot have been, here at least, till later that Basset succeeded him.
Among the points to be observed in the descent of the above fiefs are Edward of Salisbury's succession to that of Raif fitz Hubert,
64 the appearance of Henry de Albini, founder of the Cainho line, as successor to Nigel, and the portions of the great Belvoir fief', held in Domesday by Robert de Todeni, now owned by Robert de L'Isle and Wil11am de Albini "Brito." In the midst of great but vanished names, it is pleasant to meet with one, at least, still surviving in the male line: William de Gresley, holder of Linton (a Derbyshire hamlet close to Gresley), had succeeded, there and at "Widesers," Nigel, a tenant of Henry de Ferrers in 1086 (D. B., i. 233 b),65 In this " Nigel," therefore, it would seem, we have Nigel de Stafford, Lord of Drakelow

(D.           B., i. 278).

I xviii close with the names of those who had succeeded the Domesday tenants-in-chief.

Heirs

Count of Meulan.
Earl Aubrey.
"Countess" Godgifu.
"Countess" Ælfgifu.
Earl of
Chester.
Hugh de Grentmesnil.
Henry de Ferrers.
Robert de Todeni.
Robert de Veci.
Roger de Busli.


Robert Dispensator.


Robertus Hostiarius, (101/2).
Ralf Mortimer.
Ralf fitz Hubert.
Guy de Rembudcurt.
Guy de Craon.
William Peverel.
William Buenvaslet.
William Loveth.
Geoffrey Alselin.
Geoffrey de "Wirce."
Godfrey de Cambrai.
Gunfrid de Cioches.
Humfrey Camerarius.
Drogo de Bevrere.
Nigel de Albini.
"Countess"Judith.

Earl of Leicester.
(Escheat.)

Earl of
Chester (Donnington).
Earl of
Chester.
Earl of
Leicester.
Robert de Ferrers.
William de Albini.
[Anschitil.]
[Honour of
Blyth.]

Walter de Beauchamp.
{ Robert Marmion.
Henry Tuchet (io~).



Edward of
Salisbury.
[Thomas.]
Alan de Craon.
Honour of Peverel.
Comes War'?
Will. Meschin.

[Escheat.]
the son of Gilbert.

Wihlelmus Camerarius.
Albemarle.
Henry de Albini.
King David.

 

56 See also supra, p. 155.
57 Infra, p. 514.
58 Sloane Cart., xxxi. 4.
59 Liber Rubezes, Ed. H all, p. 266.
60 Ib., p. 268.
61 Ibid.
62 Sloane, xxxi. 4, No. 10.
63 They are "Nigellus de Aubeni, Ran[ulfus] Comes Cestrie, Galtridus Cancellarius, Simon decanus Lincolnie, Willelmus fil' Reg', Thomas de Sancto Johanne, WiIlelmus de Aubeny Brito, Unfridus de Bohun et alii." The Dean's occurrence so late is worth noting.
64 Compare "The Barons of Criche" (Academy, June, 1885).
65 That William was his son is proved by the Ferrers Carla (1166), which enters "Willelmus filius Nigelli" as the tenant of four fees under Henry I., and as succeeded, in 1166,by his son Robert.

 

 

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