Cecil George Savile Foljambe Liverpool.

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CECIL G. S., 4th earl OF j:.IYEBPOOL,

F.S.A., Lord Steward of His Majesty's Household,
etc., etc.,



Q SlU'fi


Jakeman and Carver, High Town,






(as Duke of Cornwall),

This Volume is Dedicated by Special Permission,


OF THE Authors.


T HAD hoped and expected that my learned and most sympathetic collaborator
■'• would have written the preface to this book. That, alas, was not to be.
While the earher sheets were yet in the press he was called away, to the profound
regret of all who enjoyed the happiness of knowing a man of rare amiabihty
and modesty, of sailorUke simplicity, of singular unselfishness and gentleness.
I shall ever remember our partnership of nearly four years with feelings of
reverence. It was indeed an honour to be associated with one so capable and
so enthusiastic in a self-imposed task.

As things are, it falls to my lot to render an explanation in a degree personal,
for the initiative rested with me. I had already written two genealogical works,
viz., on the family of Reade and on that of Smith. There was much to attract
me towards the Cornewalls of Burford, because, not only were there five inter-
marriages between that family and the Reades, between the reigns of James I.
and Charles II., but it happened also, owing to a family difference, that
Burford Castle afforded a home to my lineal ancestor and his descendants for
two generations, whereby the Burford Registers of that period contain no less
than twenty Reade entries. My first act was to consult an ever congenial friend,
the late Dr. Marshall, Yo>-^ Herald, who proffered his assistance with a warning
that I must allow myself ten years to accomplish the work. As a matter of
fact, it has occupied nearly half that period — this with two compilers, so that
his forecast was not much at fault. Then my kind neighbour. Sir George Corne-
waU of Moccas Court, placed at my disposal the pedigree laboriously drawn
up by his father-in-law, the late Judge Bayley, and Miss Isabel Cornwall of
Burghope not only lent me that compiled at the expense of the late General
Cornwall, Equerry to the Prince Consort, but further also a number of references
to the Patent Rolls and her own able monograph on Lord Fanhope. Dr. Marshall
supphed me with some MS. notes of his, relating chiefly to the Barons of Burford.
The Rev. Albert P. Cornwall of Chichester volunteered his aid in researching


that mine of information, The Gentleman' s Magazine ; and I worked up Mathew
Paris and othier authorities.

I had already written the two biographical essays, whereto I have assigned
separate chapters, viz., on Earl Richard, King of the Romans, and on Sir John
Comewall, Lord Fanhope, who married a sister of King Henry IV., when un-
expectedly I received an offer from Lord Hawkesbury (as he then was) to forward
his researches on the Berrington line of Comewalls, whereof, as representing
Speaker Comewall, he was the senior representative in the female line. My
researches had been confined to the Barons of Burford, my own ancestors ; and
following the Heralds and all the pedigrees, I regarded the Berrington hne
merely as distinguished collaterals, concerning which more presently. I was
rejoiced, therefore, at the prospect of my task being Ughtened, but after a brief
correspondence perceived at once that if I closed with Lord Hawkesbury's
generous offer, I should virtually be putting my name to his elaborated research.
Briefly, I ventured with no small diffidence to suggest that we should work in
collaboration, and to my satisfaction this proposal met with his acquiescence,
subject to the condition that I would write the text. In consequence he
visited me on more than one occasion, besides corresponding almost daily and
making pilgrimages to Burford, to Mrs. Baldwjm Childe of Kyre Park, who
had already written on the Barons, and lastly to High Legh, where Colonel
Cornwall Legh, the senior representative of the Barons in the female hne,
possesses two ancient pedigrees — one by Vincent, Rouge Croix, temp. Jac. I.,
the other by Townshend, together with an invaluable pedigree of the Wogans,
by his kind permission herewith reproduced.

Before enjojdng the help of Lord Liverpool I had awakened to the fact of
the taU Tree containing a number of exceedingly tough knots. Among these
may be mentioned first the problem of a legitimate descent from Earl Richard.
This engaged our immediate attention. We were both impressed by the argu-
ment of Sir Thomas Comewall wth Vincent, that up to that date, 1623, illegiti-
macy had never been urged. On the other hand Mr. Barron of The Ancestor
had warned me against this view, and my collaborator, to whose thoroughness
I bear testimony, consulted Mr. Horace Round, whose opinion coincided with
that of Mr. Barron. There was more to be said on the side of legitimacy than
its opponents presupposed, but also very much more against it than I for one
anticipated. The case has been stated judicially, and after a prolonged sifting ;

while candour compels me to add that the balance of proof tells fatally agamst
the legitimate theory.

Our next knot proved eventually soluble — albeit, it came as an imwelcome
surprise to the descendants of the senior, or Berrington, hne of CornewaUs. The
pubhshed and M.S. pedigrees asserted that Sir Rowland CornewaU was either
father of Sir Richard CornewaU of Berrington, or identical with him, the
said Sir Rowland* having been the 4th son of Thomas, the attainted Baron of
Burford, temp. Hen. VI. — Edw. IV. This theory presupposed that Sir Thomas
CornewaU of Berrington and Thonock died without issue, whence his estates,
after eight generations, reverted to the attainted Baron, who settled them on
Sir Rowland, his youngest son ! The marvel is that such a legend should have
been endorsed by the visiting Heralds, and it was aggravated otherwise by making
the attainted Baron knighted at the Battle of Tewkesbury. This last error
aroused ray suspicion. It appeared evident on the surface that it was Sir Thomas
of Berrington, and not the attainted Baron, who fought at Tewkesbury on the
Yorkist side ; and in consequence I requested Mr. Sherwood, the Record Agent,
to search for the WUl and Inquisition p. mortem of the said Sir Thomas CornewaU,
aUeged to have died s.p. The result settled the question finaUy. Sir Thomas
was shown to be the father of Sir Richard CornewaU of Berrington, and Sir
Rowland, whose wUl cannot be foimd, vanished into the realm of mjH;h. Thus
the Berrington line of CornewaUs, in Ueu of being coUaterals of the Barons of
Burford, became the senior CornewaU hne, tracing back direct to Sir Edmund
De CornewaU, the elder grandson of Earl Richard. I add in deference to Lord
Liverpool — though contrary to my own view— that the first wife of Sir Thomas
CornewaU may have been a daughter of Sir Rowland CornewaU, in which case
the Berrington, Moccas, and Delbury CornewaUs would descend in the female
hne from the Baron of Burford. The only CornewaU surviving in the direct
male hne is the poor little boy, who, but for the extravagance of an uncle, would
now be Squire of Delbury.

There were many other knots more or less puzzling f, but none of such im-
portance as that of the legitimacy of Humphry, son of Sir George CornewaU of
Berrington, who Uved in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and

* A pedigree certified by The Heralds lias inscribed over Sir Rowland Sir Richard, thus iden-
tifying the former suggestively with a man at least forty years his junior. Confusion woise confounded !

t Including the devolution of Hampton Court from its founder, Sir Roland Lenthal, not
settled as yet.


Elizabeth. This problem had been handled incisively by Sir Harris Nicholas,
and in the text of the book we have been content to follow him.

Among the many ser\'ices rendered to this volume by Lord Liverpool I may
reckon that of obtaining the permission of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales to accept
our dedication as the chiefest. The Heir Apparent is also Duke of Cornwall,
and the Cornewalls derive the name they bear from the Duchy. If I may be
permitted, on behalf of one who " has gone down into silence," as well as for
myself, I would express our fullest sense of the honour conferred on this book
and its authors. May it serve as the memento of a House that has contributed
a long series of worthies to Court and Camp, to Church and to State, for more
than five centuries.

It remains for me to express our cordial obhgations to very many, ov-er and
above those already mentioned, who have rendered valuable aid in one way or
other. Among their number to Mr. R. E. P. Norman, who shares the Cornwall
blood, and has not only reheved me of the labour of compiling an index, but
further expended much time in research ; to my former colleague, Rev. W. D.
Macray, Fellow of Magdalen ; to G. E. Cokayne, Esq. ; R. B. Croft, Esq., of
Fanhams Hall, Ware, for several valuable escheats ; Professor Oman of Oxford ;
Professor Tout of Manchester ; W. E. Lenthal, Esq., of Boar's Hill, Oxford ;
Rev. W. H. Hutton, Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford ; R. F. Scott, Esq.,
Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge ; Mr. Eliot of Tenbury ; Mr., and Mrs.
South, nee ComewaU, for the use of the Delbury deeds ; The Earl of St. Germans,
for his pamphlet on CornwaUis ; the Rev. C. Moor, the Historian of Gainsborough,
for the loan of MS. notes relating to Thonock ; Rev. E. E. Lea, Vicar of Eastham ;
Rev. E. C. L. McLaughlin, Portioner of Burford ; Count Bodenham Lubienski,
for permission to make extracts from his illuminated pedigree at Bullingham
Manor ; H. F. J. Vaughan of Humphreston, Esq. ; Rev. R. B. Burton, Rector
of Bitterley ; The Hon. Mrs. Spencer Lj^ttelton ; Mr. Cornewall Jones of the
War Office ; Rev. E. Gedge, Vicar of Marden ; Mrs. Leather, Castle House,
Weobley ; Mr. W. R. Woohrych ; Rev. W. H. K. Ward, Vicar of AsthaU, Oxon ;
Rev. W. E. Carter, Vicar of Shipton-under-Wychwood ; Rev. H. L. Kewley,
Rector of Presteigne ; and among others in a marked degree, to Mr. E. T.
Sherwood, our indefatigable Record Agent. Last, not least, to Mr. E. Sledmere,
the Publishers' manager, whose assistance has been as generously accorded as
it is here gratefully acknowledged.

As regards the illustrations, the most ancient surviving CornewaU portrait
painted actually from hfe is that of Mary, daughter of Sir Gilbert Comewall.
This, with that of her husband. Sir Compton Reade, the Cavalier Baronet, by
Mrs. Beale, the Court painter of the Restoration period, was in the possession
of the late Sir John Chandos Reade, Bart., of Shipton Court, Oxon. The
portraits of the last Baron of Burford and his wife are from High Legh Hall, the
seat of Colonel Cornwall Legh. From Delbury Hall come those of The Speaker,
the Bishop, Captain Frederick and Captain James Comewall, as also the
Lords FoUiott and Mr. F. Herbert, now in the possession of Mr. H. F. J. Vaughan
of Humphreston. The portrait of Sir Velters CornewaU is taken from that in the
Civic Buildings of Hereford, and I am indebted to Sir George CornewaU for the
portrait of Lady CornewaU by Gainsborough. Lord Liverpool possessed other
of the Delbury Hall portraits, but as they could not be identified we decided
not to reproduce them. The picture of Lord Fanhope ha\'ing been painted a
century after his decease is, it need not be said, imauthentic — at best only a
traditional Ukeness. It has been reproduced for what it may be worth, i.e., as
the only reminiscent presentment of the greatest of the ComewaUs.




INASMUCH as the Comewalls, Barons of Burford, with the senior branches of
■'• the family seated at Berrington, Delbury, etc., derive from Richard, King
of the Romans, a man in every respect the most distinguished among the illus-
trious holders of the Earldom of Cornwall, it may not be uninteresting to
give a succinct account of the twelve Earls of that fief, from the Conquest
to the reign of King Edward III., when, in favour of The Black Prince the title
was elevated to a Dukedom, and at the same time constituted the appanage
of the eldest son of the reigning Sovereign. It was at the outset an Earldom
conterminous with the County of Cornwall, the Earls being territorially
" Counts " in the Norman sense of the term, and enjoying within their demesne
the privileges, and indeed the rights, of reigning Princes. Add to this the
vast mineral resources of Cornwall, and its importance in the middle ages
can hardly be over-estimated. Suffice it that during Earl Richard's tenure
its value became largely enhanced owing to his organising capacity and business
aptitude. Whatever he touched turned to gold.

The Earldom itself from the first had been held by investiture, being
also terminable at the pleasure of the Crown. Although in some few instances
a son succeeded his father as Earl, this was not as of right but by favour, and
we remark, that of the twelve Earls nearly aU were more or less of royal blood.
Soon after his entrance to the Kingdom, i.e., 1068, William the Conqueror
bestowed the Earldom on (i) Brian de Bretagne, but in 1075 removed him
in favour of his own half-brother, (2) Robert, Count of Mortain in the Avran-
chin, Normandy, a title granted by the Conqueror in 1051. This Robert
was one of the two sons which Herleve, or Herlotte, mother of the Conqueror,
bore to Herluin de ContevOle, and throughout retained his Norman, in


preference to his English, title, being known only as the Count of Mortain.
His own brother, son of Herlotte, was the fighting Odo, Bishop of Bayeux,
created by the Conqueror, Earl of Kent, who died s.p., February, 1097.
Robert was born in 1031, and married before 1066, Maud, daughter of Roger
de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, by Mabel, his first wife, daughter of
William, Count of Belesme. At the time of Domesday, he was possessed of
797 Manors in various counties, besides the borough of Pevensey in Sussex, &c.
He joined his episcopal brother in rebellion against King William Rufus in
1088, espousing the cause of Robert Curthose, but obtained a pardon and
retained the Earldom until 1095, when he is said to have been slain in

Robert Count of Mortain was succeeded in the Earldom by (3) his son
and heir, styled variously William Fitz Robert and William de Mortain. After
the tenure of a decade he followed his cousin Robert de Belesme in rebeUion
against King Henry I., and being taken prisoner, AprU 24th, 1106, at Tenche-
brai, was attainted, his eyes put out, and his honours forfeited. He died,
later than 1140, as a Cluniac Monk in the Monastery of Bermondsey.

Apparently the Earldom having thus escheated to the Crown, was held
by the King until the decease of William Fitz Robert, or de Mortain, when
King Stephen invested (4) *Alan of Bretagne in the Earldom, but withdrew

*The following is the Bretagne pedigree so far as it relates to the Earldom of Cornwall : —

EuDO, Count of PenthievTe=AGNES, dau of Alan Caignard, Count
(d .7 January, 1079, aged 80), younger son of Geoffrey, Count I of Comouaille in Brittany

of Brittany, by Hawise, sister of Richard II.,
Duke of Nornaandy |


Brian de Bretagne,

Alan de Bretagne,

Alan, Count of

Stephen =

= Hawise, Countess

Earl of Cornwall.

Count — sumamed Le

Brittany, called


of Guingainp.

Roux — 3rd son, had a

le Noir, ne.\t

to the

grant of the Honour

brother. Suc-

Honour of

and Castle of Rich-

ceeded to the


mond, Octr., 1069.

Honour of Rich-

1093, m.

d.unm. 10S9. Buried

mond, io8g, d.


at Bin-y St. Edmunds.


1115, d.

Founded St. Mary's

13 April,

Abbey, York, before



Alan, second son of Stephen. =Bertha, heiress of Brittany, dau. of his second
cousin, Conan III., called Le Gros (who died
Ii48,aged5g).by Matilda, illegitimate daughter
of Henry 1. She m. (2) about 1148, as
his 1st wife, Eudo 11. V'icomte de Porhoet,
who in her right was recognized as Duke of
Brittany. She died about 11 63. Her 2nd hus-
band was living in 1 185, having married (2)
Eleanor, daughter of Guiomar V., Vicomte de
A Leon.

born before 1 1 16. Invested
with the Earldom of Corn-
wall 1140, and with the
E.irldomof Richmond 1144.
He m. before 1137. and d.
in Brittany Sep. 15, 1146.
Buried at the Abbey of


the grant in 1141, bestowing it upon (5) Reginald de Dunstanville — although
Alan de Bretagne survived untU JIarch, 1146. This Reginald* was third of the
fourteen illegitimate children of King Henry I., his mother being SibeU, daugh-
ter of Sir Robert Corbet of Alcester, which lady subsequently married Henry
Fitz-Herbert, the King's Chamberlain, who was said thereby to have rendered
his master a signal favour, j He married Beatrice, daughter and heiress
of WiUiam Fitz Richard, and dying at Chertsey, December, 1175, was buried
in Reading Abbey, being succeeded in his Earldom by (6) Baldwin, styled
Consanguineus Regis, and supposed to have been a son of Reginald. He died
in 1188, when in the following year, 1189, King Richard bestowed the Earldom
on (7) his brother, afterwards King, John, who, from his accession to the throne
in 1199, to 1215 retained it. In the latter year he bestowed it upon (8) Reginald
Fitz Count — sometimes written Fitz Earl — a natural son of Reginald de
Dunstanville, the fifth Earl, by Beatrix de Valle or de Valletort. It was con-
firmed to him by Henry III. 7th February, 1216-17, by patent dated at Glou-
cester. In 1220 this nobleman resigned the Earldom in consequence of taking
the Cross, and died during the Crusade in 1222. After a vacancy of five years
King Henry III. on 13th February 1224-5, invested his brother Richard (9)
with the Earldom, assigning to him the whole of the County of Cornwall with
the whole of Poitou. Of him and his son and successor (10) Earl Edmund,
who was invested with his father's Earldom 13th October, 1272, a full
account wiU be given in the succeeding pages. On the decease of Earl
Edmund s.p. in 1300, the King was served his heir, and seven years later,
viz., 6th August, 1307, King Edward II., immediately upon his acces-
sion, invested with the Earldom his favourite (11) Piers de Gaveston. He
died without male issue in 1313, when the Earldom was declared to have
reverted to the Crown, and so remained untU December i, 1330, when King
Edward III. created his younger brother (12) John of Eltham, he being
then fourteen years of age. Earl of Cornwall, with remainder to the heirs
male of his body. As he died s.p. at Perth, October, 1336, the newly
created title became extinct, to be revived as a Dukedom in the year following,
when Edward Prince of Wales, commonly called the Black Prince, was so
created, i.e., March 17th, 1337, the title to descend to his heirs, viz., the eldest
sons of the Kings of England. This, the first Dukedom created in the Peerage

* Reginald, sometimes styled Fitz Henry, had a sister Rohese who married Henry de

t He endeavoured to reconcile Henry II. and Thomas a Beciiet.


of England, has followed precisely the terms of the patent to the present day,
remaining still as of yore, a territorial honour, the estates of the Duchy being
attached irrevocably to the title, and forming a handsome endowment for the
Heir Apparent. It is perhaps needless to add, that the powers of the Dukes
of Cornwall have been abridged and limited, and that the present Prince of
Wales does not rule the County of Cornwall as a petty prince like Richard, Earl
of Cornwall and King of the Romans. In the thirteenth century the natives
of Cornwall retained their own language, whereof now not a vestige remains.
To-day in every detail the Duchy is as English as Yorkshire or Kent, and far
more so than the titular Principality of Wales. In 1225 Earl Richard, whose
mother tongue must have been Norman-French, could only communicate
with his Cornish subjects through an interpreter, and it speaks volumes for
his tact and judgment that he should have assimilated so excellently with a
tribe differing from him alike in blood and in speech. Of the twelve Earls
who reigned in that remote and isolated angle of the island he and his son
alone seemed to have brought prosperity in their train, a condition of things
without a parallel, until our present gracious Sovereign succeeded as Heir
Apparent to the Dukedom, when, in Lord Portman (who was from 1840 a
member of the Council for the Duchy of Cornwall, and from 1865 to his death
in 1888 Lord Warden of the Stannaries) a firm and hberal hand was found to
administer its vast estates. For these great services Lord Portman was
advanced to the dignity of a Viscount in 1873. The same sound business
principles continue to prevail under the present Heir Apparent in the
administration of the Duchy.


Chapter I.


A MONG the many picturesque figures which the ages of chivalry present to
-^ the eye, few display a more gracious front than the second son of King
John, by Isabella, daughter of Aymer Taillefer, Count of Angoulesme. Born in
the Palace of Westminster, Jan. 5, 1209, he was left an orphan at the decease
of his father in 1216, and, his mother's dower-house being at Newark, his early
education was entrusted to Peter de Mauley at Corfe Castle. His elder brother,
King Henry the Third, displayed some of the characteristics of a weak and
unlovely sire, among others, indecision and lack of backbone ; whereas Richard
took after his mother, and very early in life obtained the mastery over the
feeble king, who on one occasion confessed, that he had rather perpetrate an
injustice than brave the ire of his brother.*

At the death of King John, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, became
Regent of the realm and guardian of the royal brothers. He was succeeded,
on his decease in 1219, by Hubert de Burgh the Justiciar, who was created
for his services in 1226-7 Earl of Kent. Attracted doubtless by the manly
disposition of the boy Richard — then heir to the young king — he exerted
all his influence in order to provide him an income adequate to his
position.! In 5 Hen. HI. (1221) Richard had a grant of the Honour of Eye to

' Hume makes the prime cause of dissension between the Royal brothers to have originated
owing to Waleran de Ties ha\'ing laid claim to the Earldom of Cornwall, which claim Earl Richard
resisting, Waleran carried the matter before the King, who gave judgment against his brother.
Mathew Paris, however, makes the ground of quarrel to have consisted in the withdrawal
of the Princess Eleanor's dowry. Probably the King had resolved to curb his powerful brother,
but very soon found more than his match, for not only did Waleran de Ties gain nothing by the
King's verdict in his favour, but the verdict also was set aside. Similarly, when the King's chief
partisan against Earl Richard, viz. Earl Siward, appealed against a sentence of banishment,
the King had to plead dread of his brother as an excuse for betraying his best friend.

t It has been alleged that the young Prince Richard, while yet a chUd, was betrothed to
Rohese De Dover, one of the richest of heiresses. She married another Richard, viz. a natural
son of King John. Hence the confusion with Earl Richard.


hold during pleasure, (which shortly after was restored to the Duke of
Louvain, the right owner thereof), and in 1225, when only sixteen years
of age, was knighted. This was followed by the grant of the wealthy Earldom
of Cornwall, which had escheated to the Crown, with all its vast emoluments,
while at the same time, 13 Feb., 1225, he was given the whole of Poitou,
whereby he was styled Earl of Cornwall and Count of Poitou. The Earldom
of Cornwall was subsequently confirmed to him by Charter, 10 Aug., 1231.
He was made Lieut, of Guienne in 1226-7; Chief Commissioner for negotiating
a truce with France, 1230 ; Keeper of the Honour of Wallingford, 1230-31 ;
Keeper of the Honour of Knaresborough, 1235 ; and Lord of the Forest of
Dartmoor, 1239. On the decease of his mother he inherited the English

Online LibraryCecil George Savile Foljambe LiverpoolThe house of Cornewall → online text (page 1 of 33)