Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 11: Henry I's Illegitimate Children


See also "proposed" section

Volume 11, Appendix D, page 108:
RAINALD DE DUNSTANVILLE ... held land in Wiltshire in 1130.(c)
Note c:
Pipe Roll, 31 Hen. I, p.22.

Page 119:
GUNDRED. The Pipe Roll of 1130 mentions Gundred, sister of Rainald de Dunstanville.(d)
Note d:
Gunderede sorori Ragin. de Dunestanvilla xxiiijs. (Pipe Roll, 31 Hen. I, p.22). A child of Rainald's mother by her husband would have been too young in 1130.

The Reynold de Dunstanville who appears in the Pipe Roll of 1130 for Wiltshire and Surrey seems much more likely to be a member of the family who were successors of the Wiltshire Domesday tenant Humphrey de Insula, than to be the illegitimate son of Henry I who was known by the same name and later became Earl of Cornwall. If this is correct, his sister Gundred was not an illegitimate daughter if Henry I.

The reconstruction of the Dunstanville family in the early 12th century is difficult, but the earliest genealogically firm ground comes with two brothers: Robert de Dunstanville, also known as Robert son of Reynold, and Alan de Dunstanville. Robert first appears as a witness to several charters of the Empress Matilda, in and around 1141, and was dead by 1168; Alan appears at more or less the same time, and was dead by 1156.

Eyton [Antiquities of Shropshire, vol.2, pp.268-283 (1854-60)] gave a reconstruction of the Dunstanville family, in which Reynold, the father of Robert and Alan, was the same man who married Adeliza de Insula, the heir of the Domesday tenant. This Reynold was dead by 1114, and Eyton concluded that the Reynold of 1130 was the king's son. But this scheme involves severe chronological difficulties - it would imply that Robert was active by 1121 (and probably by 1110), whereas the evidence suggests that Robert's nephews could have been born no earlier than about 1150.

It is more natural to assume that the father of Robert and Alan was the same Reynold de Dunstanville who appears in the Pipe Roll of 1130 (and probably the same who appears at the court of the Bishop of Bath in 1121). This is the reconstruction given by Farrer [Honors and Knights' Fees, vol.3, p.37 (1923-5)].

Some confirmation that these siblings belonged to the Dunstanville family, rather than being illegitimate children of the king, comes from the occurrence of the uncommon name Gundred itself. Before 1121, a Reynold de Dunstanville was a benefactor of Lewes Priory, which had been founded by William de Warenne and his wife Gundred [Dugdale, Mon. Angl., vol.5, p.14; Victoria County History, Wiltshire, vol.12, p.185]. Also, a charter for the Abbey of la Sauve Majeure from the late 1090s, the grantor of which K.S.B. Keats-Rohan identifies as Walter de Dunstanville, includes the name Gundred twice, apparently in a list of members of the family [Domesday People I, p.276; Cal. Docs France, vol.1, no 1238].

[Douglas Richardson pointed out that Gundred was probably not the king's daughter, because the Reynold of 1130 and the king's son were probably different men, and highlighted the possible significance of the Lewes connection, in December 2000.]

Volume 11, Appendix D, page 116:
CONSTANCE, named also MAUD, who m. Roscelin DE BEAUMONT, hereditary vicomte of Maine, styled Vicomte de Beaumont, LORD OF BEAUMONT-LE-VICOMTE (alias BEAUMONT-SUR-SARTHE), FRESNAY and STE.-SUZANNE, s. of Ralph DE BEAUMONT, by ..., sister of Guy DE LAVAL. ... They had 2 sons.(e)
Note e:
Richard, who suc. his father, and William (R. de Torigny, Chron., p. 235). Richard's da. Ermengard m., 5 Sep. 1186, at Woodstock, William the Lion, King of Scotland (Gesta Henrici, Rolls Ser., vol. i, pp. 347, 351; cf. Chron. de Mailros, Bannatyne Club, p. 94).

Complete Peerage, vol. 6, page 645, makes Constance the wife, not the mother, of Richard de Beaumont, but the version given above is supported by vol. 12, part 1, p. 768, note j (continued on p. 769), which prints an extract from a charter of confirmation of King John in 1199 to Constance de Tony [daughter of Richard de Beaumont], referring to her grandmother Constance as the daughter of Henry I.

[The contradiction was pointed out by Henry Sutliff in March 2003. Rosie Bevan provided the evidence from vol. 12, part 1, in November 2003.
Item last updated: 30 November 2003.]