Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 12, Part 2: Verdun (PROPOSED CORRECTIONS)


VERDUN

Volume 12, part 2, page 248:
He [John de Verdun (d. 1274)] m., 2ndly, before 1267, Eleanor.(f)
Note f:
... Presumably his s. Humphrey, b. on the vigil of Pentecost 1267, was by the 2nd wife (Dugdale, Mon., vol. v, p. 661). Nothing is known of Eleanor's parentage but she may have been a Bohun. A seal, said to be hers, bears the Bohun and Verdun arms (Staffs Hist. Coll., William Salt Arch. Soc., 1913, p. 298) and the name of her s., Humphrey, may be significant.

Further evidence supports the identification of Eleanor as a Bohun, probably a daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford (d. 1275). She was still living in 1277.

Cris Nash, in December 2001 and January 2002, reported that the identification of Eleanor as a Bohun is supported by M.S. Hagger [in The fortunes of a Norman family: the de Verduns in England, Ireland and Wales 1066-1316 (2001)], who refers also to a gift of lands in Debden by her son Humphrey to Humphrey de Bohun, in exchange for Nuthampstead [Debden, in Essex, having been previously held by the Bohuns].

Douglas Richardson, in January 2002, provided further confirmation of the Bohun connection - after John de Verdun's death, Eleanor, in 1277, conveyed lands in Debden to John de Grey and Maud his wife [citing Feet of Fines for Essex, vol. 2, p. 13 (1913-1928)]. He also suggested that Maud, the wife of John de Grey, was Eleanor's daughter, and that if so, this would explain the consanguinity between two couples later said to be related in the 4th degree of kindred - (i) John de Bohun, earl of Hereford (d. 1335/6) and his wife Margaret Basset (a granddaughter of John de Grey) and (ii) John de Lisle, Lord Lisle (d. 1355) and his wife Maud de Grey (another granddaughter of John). If this explanation is correct, it suggests that Eleanor was the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford (d. 1275), rather than his son Humphrey (d. 1265), because if she were daughter of the latter the second couple would be related in the 4th and 5th degrees.

[This question and its ramifications were also discussed by John P. Ravilious, Nat Taylor and Rosie Bevan.]

Volume 12, part 2, page 250:
He [Theobald de Verdun] m., before 6 Nov. 1276, Margery.(c) He d. 24 Aug. 1309 at Alton afsd., aged about 61, and was bur. 13 Oct. in Croxden Abbey, in that co.
Note c:
Cal. Patent Rolls, 1272-81, p. 165. By right of his wife he held ¼ of the hundred of Bisley, co. Gloucester (Plac. de Quo Warranto, p. 257).

Margery appears to have been the daughter of Humphrey de Bohun (d. 1265). She was married to Theobald by 1274 [Rotuli Hundredorum, vol. 1, p. 170, where he is called Theobald le Botiler] and she was dead by Michaelmas Term 1303 [A. J. Horwood, ed., Year Books of the Reign of King Edward the First, Years XXXII-XXXIII, pp. 28, 29 (1864)].

Margery's parentage is suggested by the following evidence:

  1. In a plea of 1280 Henry de Bohun sought the manor of Castle Walden (in Saffron Walden), Essex, against Theobald and Margery, saying that they had no entry except through Humphrey de Bohun, former earl of Hereford [CP 40/33, rot. 44d; a brief abstract was printed in William Salt Archaeological Society, original series, vol. 6, part 1, p. 106 (1885)].
  2. In a plea of 1305, Theobald said that tenements in Bisley, Gloucestershire, had been given to him and Margery and the heirs of their bodies by a certain Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, and called to warranty Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, his kinsman and heir [CP 40/156, rot. 64].
  3. A Year Book entry of 1306 suggests that she was the daughter of one Humphrey, the father of the earl of Hereford and that she had previously been married to "Robert de W." [A.J. Horwood, ed., Year Books of the Reign of King Edward the First, Michaelmas Term, Year XXXIII and years XXXIV and XXXV, pp. 170, 171 (1879)].

The Year Book entry implies Margery was a sister of the earl of 1306, but in view of the date this is chronologically impossible. Instead, it appears her father must have been the Humphrey de Bohun who died in 1265, in the lifetime of his father. The former earl referred to in the pleas would then be this Humphrey's father, who was living at the time of Margery's marriage and died in 1275, and who was the great-grandfather of the earl of 1305. Humphrey (d. 1265) was indeed the father of another earl, Humphrey de Bohun (d. 1298). But note that this identification leads to a possible difficulty of consanguinity, as it would imply that Margery's son Theobald and his wife, Maud de Mortimer, were second cousins.

[The plea of 1280 was cited by M. S. Hagger, who identified Margery as a Bohun (though he called her Matilda) in The fortunes of a Norman family: the de Verduns in England, Ireland and Wales 1066-1316 (2001). The evidence used here was provided by Douglas Richardson and Cris Nash, and the question was also discussed by John P. Ravilious and Doug Thompson.
Item last updated: 27 December 2020.]