Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 8: Lisle of Rougemont

LISLE of Rougemont

Volume 8, pages 69, 70:
Observations. - ROBERT DE INSULA,(d) son and heir of Robert DE INSULA,(e) by Beatrice DE CORMEILLES, da. and coheiress of Ralph, the Sewer to the Earl of Richmond (living 1166),(f) held Rampton, Cottenham, Westwick and Nedging of the Bishop of Ely in 1212.
Page 69, note d:
This family appears to have taken its name from the Isle of Ely. Their arms, a fesse between two chevrons, differed in tinctures only from those of Pecche, who also held immediately of the Bishop.
Page 69, note e:
This Robert was probably s. of Robert de Insula by Galiena, da. of William Blund. Geoffrey Ridell, Archdeacon of Canterbury, gave the said Galiena on her marriage to Robert the land that was Mainer the Porter's at Exning. Confirmed by Henry II (Cart. Antiq. P. 10) Nov.-Dec. 1167 (Eyton's Itinerary of Henry II, p. 111).
Page 69, note f:
In 9 John Robert claimed the advowson of Wimpole, co. Cambridge, under charter of Conan, lord of the Honour of Richmond, to his grandfather Ralph, sewer of the said Conan (Placit. Abbrev., p. 60).

The pedigree given is wrong in several respects:

In the record of the dispute in 1208 over the advowson of Wimpole, Robert de Insula's grandfather is called only Ralph the steward (dapifer). W. Farrer [Honors and Knights' Fees, vol. 3, p. 172] assumed that he was the steward of the Honour of Richmond, and furthermore assumed that he was Robert's maternal grandfather. (He was followed in both these assumptions by subsequent authors, including the author of the account above. Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 10, p. 309, corrected the first assumption, but still made Ralph the maternal grandfather of Robert.)

In fact, a number of lands later held by the Lisles had originally been held, in the mid 12th century, by a certain Ralph, variously described as Ralph fitz Olaf, Ralph the steward (dapifer) of the bishop of Ely, or Ralph the chamberlain of the bishop of Ely [E. Miller, The Abbey and Bishopric of Ely, pp. 170-173, 180 (1951); Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 4, p. 137]. Ralph occurs holding lands formerly of the king in Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, between 1155 and 1158 [Great Rolls of the Pipe 2, 3 and 4 Henry II, pp. 15, 96, 165]. After Ralph's death, his son Robert received charters of confirmation from the bishop and prior of Ely [British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C xi, ff. 338v, 339]. These charters must date from soon after Ralph's disappearance from the pipe roll in 1158 (the prior's is certainly before 1163, while the bishop's is witnessed by William the archdeacon, whose death J. Bentham [History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely, p. 272 (1771)] places around 1160). So Ralph's tenure at Great Wilbraham was probably brought to an end by his death, in which case he would have died in late 1158 or in 1159.

It seems clear that it was this Ralph the steward who was the grandfather of the Robert de Insula referred to in the 1208 record. In this case, chronology suggests that his grandson, the Robert of 1208, was the son of the Robert de Insula who married Galiena Blund. If this is correct, Ralph must obviously have been the paternal, not the maternal, grandfather of the Robert of 1208, and Robert the husband of Galiena must be identified with Robert the son of Ralph.

(That the Robert of 1208 was the son of Robert and Galiena tends to be confirmed by the facts that the elder Robert had been given land in Exning with Galiena c. 1167, and that a Robert de Insula evidently gave land in Exning to Richard de Argentein with his daughter Cassandra c. 1204 [British Library, Harleian MS 6072, f. 16; Pipe Roll Society, vol. 16, p. 235; vol. 18, p. 233]. Chronologically, Cassandra would probably be a granddaughter of Robert and Galiena, and a daughter of the Robert of 1208.)

Farrer combined his mistaken interpretation of the 1208 record with the obviously confused evidence of a late thirteenth-century Hundred Roll, which states that a Robert de Insula had been given land in Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, in marriage with a daughter of Niel the chamberlain of the Honour of Richmond, and that other land there had descended to Niel's five daughters [Rotuli Hundredorum, vol. 2, p. 491]. But Niel appears to have had no issue, and it was Niel's father Robert the chamberlain who left several daughters who ultimately became his heirs [Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. 5, pp. 170-174]. Beatrice, who married Richard de Cormeilles, was apparently one of Robert's daughters, and for some reason Farrer identified her as the wife of Robert de Insula [Feudal Cambridgeshire, p. 121; cf. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants, pp. 200, 410, 411].

But chronology suggests that the daughters of Robert the chamberlain would have been married by about 1150, and charter evidence shows that it was Ralph the chamberlain of the bishop of Ely who was given lands at Wilbraham with his wife [British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C xi, f. 340; this charter was cited by Victoria County History, Cambridgeshire, vol. 10, p. 309]. Presumably Ralph's wife was a daughter or kinswoman of Robert the chamberlain of the Honour of Richmond.

[Gordon Kirkemo, in July 2004, pointed out the conflict between secondary sources over the early Lisle pedigree. The suggested solution was worked out in collaboration with Rosie Bevan.
Item last updated: 26 August 2004.]

Volume 8, page 70:
Robert [de Lisle, d. 1284] m., 2ndly, Alice. ... His widow was living in 1290.(m)
Page 70, note m:
Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, vol. iii, p. 173, suggests she may have been elder sister and coheir of John de Muscegros, who d. 1266, holding lands in cos. Cambridge and Northampton; Cal. Close Rolls, 1288-96, p. 143.

The Alice de Lisle recorded in 1290 was not the widow of this Robert, but the widow of Gerard de Lisle of Kingston Lisle (d. before November 1288), as correctly stated at volume 8, page 48, where the same reference is given. The entry in the close roll records her acknowledgment of debts of 200 marks to Walter de Langeton, clerk, and 50 marks to Warin de Insula. Her identity is proved by a charter dated 11 July 1290 by which Alice, the widow of Gerard, purchased from Warin de Lisle the custody of her son Warin and of his lands during his minority, for 60 marks paid to Warin and 250 marks paid to Walter de Langton [Berkeley Castle Muniments GC576 (B1/1/10), printed in B. Wells-Furby, A Catalogue of the Medieval Muniments at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire Record Series, volume 18, p. 578 (2004)].

[Bridget Wells-Furby provided this correction in November 2013.
Item last updated: 17 December 2013.]