G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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County of Argyle, and it is very probable that families of Rid dells accom-
panied their countrymen to the new r settlement. During the following
twenty years many ministers with their congregations crossed the Channel
and established themselves in the Province of Ulster; from these new
tributaries from Scotland the colony began to flourish, and the ratio of
migration was augmented to such an extent that in a few years many
hundred families were scattered through the north of Ireland.

This intrusion of Scottish subjects upon their confiscated lands excited
intense hatred in the Catholic Irish; and those who had been ruined in
their estates in the wars of King James only waited a favorable time to
make an attempt to recover what they had lost, and rid their country of
their Presbyterian neighbors. The Irish not only hated the king, but all
his subjects from Scotland, especially those who were known to have
taken part in the wars. As was customary in those days, James rewarded
his soldiers with grants of land in Ulster, and among that number were
three brothers, namely, Hugh, James, and Robert Riddell, presumably de-
scended from the Roxburghshire family, or some of its numerous branches
in Scotland, but possibly of the " Etiddells of Kinglass," a distinct family.
Of these brothers, James was an officer of rank in the army of King
James, and all three had fought from principle as Presbyterians through
the wars. James Riddell had a grant of land (three townlands) in the
County of Armagh, in the Province of Ulster ; Hugh Riddell received a
grant bordering on the Counties of Tyrone and Donegal, not far from
that of his brother before mentioned; while Roberl Riddell, the third
brother, settled on land further south near the city of Dublin. From



THE ANCIENT NORTHMEN, RIDDELL ANCESTRY. 41

these three brothers it seems probable that nearly all of the Scotch-Irish
Riddells have sprung. Political troubles drove other families of the
Scottish Riddells into Ireland at different times, and it is now a well-
established fact that some of these were from the branch of the Rox-
burghshire house denominated "Riddells of Glen-Riddell," in Dumfrie-
shire, and their descendants are still in the city of Belfast.

In many i-espects the settlement of these devoted Presbyterians in Ire-
land was a misfortune ; there could be no peace between them and the
Catholic Irish. A conspiracy was raised in 1641, which aimed at the com-
plete extermination of the Protestant population of Ireland ; and it so
far succeeded that forty thousand were suddenly massacred in different
parts of the island. A contemporary writer states as follows: "No con-
dition, no age, no sex, was spared. But death was the slightest punish-
ment inflicted by the rebels ; all the tortures which wanton cruelty could
devise, all the lingering pains of body, the anguish of mind, and the ago-
nies of despair, could not satiate the revenge of the Irish." This rebellion
continued until 1649, when Cromwell avenged the blood of the slaugh-
tered saints and crushed the insurrection.

After the Restoration in the year 1660, James, a brother of King Charles,
was appointed Viceroy of Scotland, and being a bigoted Roman Catholic,
the Scottish Presbyterians were the objects of his hatred and persecu-
tion. An old writer says, "He let loose upon the Protestants the dogs
of war and drove hundreds of them into exile ; large numbers escaped to
Ireland and joined the remnant of their brethren who had preceded them."
Still, there was no peace, liberty, or safety, for these Presbyterians so long
as the laws and inhabitants around them were hostile to the principles
which they loved dearer than life itself.

Such constancy, steadfastness, and perseverance, as was exhibited by
these Scotch people in endeavoring to maintain a footing upon the soil of
their adopted country, has seldom if ever been witnessed, but their suffer-
ings availed but little. They held the troops of James in check, while
they defended the last stronghold of King William in Ireland; at London-
derry and at Boyne-water they poured out their blood most freely ; they
suffered every hardship and endured the most severe deprivations for the
sake of their religious faith and the protection of their homes, but they
were doomed to disappointment under the bloody policy of their enemies.
The Rev. David H. Riddle has said of these Protestants, " My forefathers
were Scotch Presbyterians, and fought side by side in the 'Logan forces,'
and suffered together at Derry, and Enniskillen, and in the revolutionary
struggles, and their cherished memories go back to Ulster and Boyne-
water, Donegal and Coleraine." From a communication received from
Scotland I make the following extract, which was copied from some old
book : " Among the families from Scotland who suffered at the siege of
Londonderry, were Hamiltons, Morrisons, Pattersons, Grahames, Watsons,
Murrays, and Riddels." From another letter written from Ireland in the
year 1727, we learn that "Londonderry* was besieged nearly half a

* Londonderry was founded on the site of ancient Deny, which was burned in
1608, on account of its resistance to the authority of King James I. The site was
made over to the corporation of London, and the new city of Londonderry became
the stronghold of Protestantism. In December, 1688, its gates were closed against
King James II, who laid siege to it April 18, 1689 The siege kept up one hundred
and live days, when a man-of-war and two ships loaded with provisions ran past
the batteries and relieved the starving inhabitants.



42 THE ANCIENT NORTHMEN. I; ID DELL ANCESTRY.

year (1689) by the army of King James, Avhen he had all Ireland sub-
dued but Derry and a little place hard by. The besieged defended
themselves, being Presbyterians, till they were so pinched with hunger
that a dog's head was sold cheap enough at half a crown; and yet
God sustained them until King William sent them relief by two ships,
with men and provisions from England, at which sight, before the ships
got up to the city and landed their men, the besiegers moved their cainj.
and fled to the west of Ireland, where afterwards two bloody battles were
fought and the papists subdued." When every hope of enjoying the lib-
erty of worship and the unmolested possession of their lands had per-
ished, these devoted Christians turned their faces toward the American
Colonies, that they might find an asylum where they could enjoy the peace-
ful service of God undisturbed; they left the homes granted their fathers
for service in the army, and the graves of their sires, to brave the dangers
of the ocean and the wilderness of a foreign land, in search of a spot
where they could act according to the dictates of conscience and secure
a living for their families.

From the year 1680 the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians commenced to sell
their lands or forsake them, and take ship for America ; as their oppres-
sions became more intolerable the ratio of emigration increased, until
thousands of families were scattered through the Carolinas, Virginia,
Maryland, and Pennsylvania; and early in the eighteenth century several
ship-loads came to New England. As soon as the first families had
settled their lands in this country they forwarded letters to their kin-
dred in Ireland, describing the fertility of the soil and the beauties of
the American forests, lakes, and streams in such glowing colors that in a
few years many townships were taken up and settled by Scotch-Irish.
Among these came many of the Riddell family, which had been very
prolific in Ireland. These early settled in the South, in the middle
States, and some in New England. I find the name in New York, New
Jersey, and Virginia, as early as 1650 ; but by far the greatest number
came over between 1780 and 1800, influenced by the Irish Rebellion.
There were also families of Riddells from Scotland and England, who
settled in the southern States quite early; some of these came in their
own vessels, bringing with them their cattle, implements of husbandry,
furniture, and silver-plate, being families of abundant means. There
were one or more families that came direct to Virginia from France,
and spelled the name for two generations Riddelle. Others came from
Germany and settled in Maryland and New York.

Numbered among the Scdtcji-Irish who first came to New England,
were three clergymen of the Presbyterian faith, Rev. James Macgreggor,
Rev. William Boyd, and Rev. William Cornwall, who with their congre-
gations left the north of Ireland in 1718. These embarked in live ships,
and about one hundred families arrived in Boston harbor, while twenty
families with their pastor, Mr. Cornwall, landed at Portland, where they
remained through the winter and suffered extremely from cold and for
food. Some unknown poet has commemorated their arrival in the follow-
ing lines : —

" In the summer, one thousand seven hundred eighteen,
Our pious ancestors embarked on i he ocean ;
Oppressed by the minions and dupes of their king,
They quitted sweet Erin with painful emotion.
On the wide swelling wave,
All danger they brave,



THE ANCIENT NOBTHMEN, BIDDELL ANCESTBY. 43

While fleeing from shackles prepar'd for the slave,
In quest of a region where genius might roam,
And yield an asylum as dear as their home.

Undaunted they press'd to their prime destination,
Allured by the prospects that Freedom display'd,
And such was the warmth of their fond expectation.
That clangers unnumbered ne'er made them afraid.
How serene was that day,
And how cheerful and gay
Were those pilgrims when anchored in old Casco Bay ;
Their prayers then like incense ascended on high,
And fond acclamations then burst to the sky."

In the spring of 1719 these families sailed to Portsmouth, solicited
grants of land, and had leave from the Massachusetts Assembly to look
out a tract six miles square in any of the unoccupied territory along the
coast, between the Piscataqua River and Casco Bay. They did not all
settle in one township, as might have been desired, — probably in conse-
quence of finding the land taken up by others, — but scattered along the
sea-shore, in what is now the towns of Kittery, Wells, York, Saco, Scar-
borough, and Falmouth ; sixteen families not finding a place for settle-
ment to please them, went to Nuffield, in New Hampshire, and sat down
there. Belknap says, "These were men principally in middle life, robust,
persevering, and adventuresome ; such as were well suited to encounter
the toils and endure- the hardships and self-denials of commencing a new
settlement. Beinu" industrious and frugal in their habits of life, and being
highly favored with the Gospel, they soon became a thriving, wealthy, and
respectable settlement." They had sufficient property to enable them to
build comfortable houses and profitably cultivate the soil. They intro-
duced the manufacture of linen into the New England Colonies, having
taken their "little wheels" with them from Ireland. These were the
celebrated Scotch-Irish, — not semi-Irish, or mixed Scotch people, but
real, clean-blooded Caledonians ; who themselves, or their immediate an-
cestors, had first come from the "bonnie braes " or the "heather hills" of
Scotland, to dwell in the north of Ireland, but who had now removed to
America. Nothing was more offensive to these emigrants than to be called
Irish. Macgreggor writes in 1820, "We are surprised to hear ourselves
called Irish people, when we so frequently ventured our all for the British
Crown and liberties against the Irish papists, and gave all tests of our
loyalty which the government of England required, and are always ready
to do the same when demanded." The Rev. David H. Riddle once said in
an address, " We glory in our Scotch-Irish descent. Why ? I can point
you to the very spot on the map of old Ireland, — parish of Ray, Donegal
County, — whence my grandfather emigrated to the ancient County of
York, Pa., and just alongside where the grandfathers and mothers of
some now separated, lived and worshipped, wept and prayed together!"
These words represent the universal spirit of the Scotch-Irish in every part
of the world, — they were never ashamed to own their origin or their re-
ligious principles.

Inheriting the characteristics of their ancient Norman ancestors, the
Scottish and Scotch-Irish people have laid the foundation for civil and
religious prosperity everywhere they have settled. Bold, adventuresome,
and persevering; of tenacious, unyielding disposition; blunt, direct, and
outspoken ; active-spirited, sound in judgment, and far-seeing in their
plans; they have been successful in every avocation of life. They have



44 THE ANCIENT NORTHMEN, HID DELL ANCESTBY.

impi'essed the influence of their characters upon every institution with
which they have been identified, developing and applying everything
that was for the public weal. Descendants of these early families from
Ireland have filled the most prominent professional and civil positions.
They have been in congress, — four of the Riddells or Riddles have been
congressmen; and on the judges' bench, — four of the Riddle family in
the United States have been judges; they have been college presidents
and professors, lawyers, physicians, and distinguished clergymen. They
have been leading spirits in every public enterprise, stimulating to activity
those around them, and shaping the principles and destinies of men and
parlies. Naturally conservative, and somewhat cold and stern in appear-
ance, yet kind of heart and very generous when others were in need of
their assistance.

In personal appearance the Riddells and Riddles have perpetuated the
characteristics of their progenitors in Normandy ; generally speaking
they have been of "sandy complexion," with blue or gray eyes, and long,
outstanding brows; foreheads broad and receding; cheek-bones high and
prominent ; nose large; mouth and chin wide, and face ruddy. Many of
the first two or three generations were very large-framed, brawny men, and
their strength almost herculean. They generally have broad shoulders,
full chests, and long arms ; are compactly built, erect, and graceful of
carriage. In the military capacity they have been conspicuous, and in
the active service cool and brave. True soldierly qualities seem to have
been handed down through all generations in every branch of the family,
from their Norman ancestors to the present time. From the first men-
tion of the family under the distinctive surname, beginning with the war-
fare waged by the Northmen, cadets of this stock have cut a prominent
figure in all the European and American wars; they were knighted in early
mediasval times for valorous service in France and Italy, as well as in later
days in England and Scotland; they have received their medals for faith-
fulness in engagements while holding commissions in the British army, and
their names stand upon the rolls at Washington among the most chival-
rous and brave of our American officers.

Having presented a comprehensive and succinct history of the family
from the earliest time down to the present ; having traced them in their
movements and settlements in the various countries where they have
been domiciled, and having briefly touched upon the prevailing traits of
character developed by the race from its origin down to its representatives
of the present, I must now invite the reader to an examination of the bio-
graphical and genealogical departments of this book for details and indi-
vidual characters.



GENEALOGY AND BIOGRAPHY.



RIDDELLS OF NORMANDY AND ARDNAMURCHAN.

Walgrinus Ridel 1 (1), ancestors unknown, styled Prapinquas, or
relative of Charles the Bald,* King of France and Emperor of Germany,
in the year 886 was created by that prince, Earl of Angoulesme and P-h4-
gord. He married Rosalinda, daughter of Bernard, the famous Duke of
Aquitaine, who died in 806, and was afterwards canonized, and grandson of
Earl Theodoric, one of the chief captains under Charlemagne. In right
of Rosalinda, Walgrinus acquired the earldom of Agen. He had issue two
sons, of whom hereafter. He died in 886, and was succeeded by his eldest
son.

SECOND GENERATION.

Aldllill Ridel' 2 (1), eldest son of Walgrinus 1 (1) was born at Angoulesme,
France, and was named for his paternal uncle, Alduin, the famous abbot
of St. Denis, and chief minister of France under Louis le Debonnaire. He
succeeded to the earldom of Angoulesme, and rebuilt the walls of this chief
city of his principality in order to defend it against the incursions of the
Normans, who at that time grievously infested the country. He was suc-
ceeded by his son, of whom more hereafter.



William Ridel 2 (1), second son of Walgrinus 1 (1), was born at Angou-
lesme, France, and had for his inheritance the earldoms of Piragord and
Agen, and became ancestor of the Earls of Piragord, which branch of
the family was afterwards united to this line, as will soon appear.

THIRD GENERATION.

William Ridel 3 (2), son of Alduin 2 (1), was born at Angoulesme,
France, and succeeded to the earldom of Angoulesme. He was surnamed
" Lector-ferri," or "Taillefer," that is, "Iron-cutter," which name was
acquired from his having, in an engagement with the Normans, cloven
through with one stroke of his sword the body of Storis, their king,
though clad in iron armor, a feat of strength considered worthy of com-
memoration in that chivalrous age. He was succeeded by his son in 963.

FOURTH GENERATION.

Arnold Ridel 4 (1), son of William 3 (2), was born at Angoulesme, and



* Charles the Bald was son of Louis the Debonnaire (the gentle), and grandson
of Charlemagne. The brothers of Charles were Lothaire, Pepin, and Louis.



4G SIDDELLS OF XOHMAXDY AND AfiDNAMUtiCHAtf.



succeeded to that earldom, but becoming - a monk, relinquished that in-
hrritance to his son in 998.

FIFTH GENERATION.

Witliani Ridel 5 (3), son of Arnold 4 (1), succeeded to the earldom of

Angoulcsiiie in 998 A. D. ; married Gerberga, daughter of Gall'ridus I,
Earl of Anjou, and sister of Folco III, grandfather of Folco IV, great-
grandfather of Henry II, King of England. This representative of the
family was a nobleman equally celebrated for his munificence, his valor, and
his prudence. He made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and died shortly
after his return, the eighteenth of the Ides* of April, 1028, leaving two
sons, who successively became heirs of the earldom, as will afterwards
appear.

SIXTH GENERATION.

Aldllill Ridel (2), eldest son of William 5 (3), was born at Angoulesme,
France, and succeeded to that earldom. He died in 1034 A. D., and was
succeeded by his brother.

GalfridllS Ridel 6 (1), second son of William 5 (3), was born at Angou-
lesme, France, and succeeded his brother before mentioned in 1034 A. U.
He married Petronilla, daughter and heiress of Manard, surnamed "The
Rich," Baron of Archiac and Botaville, by whom he had issue five sons.
He died in 1048.

SEVENTH GENERATION.

Folco Ridel 7 (1), eldest son of Galfridus (1), was born at Angoulesme,
France, and succeeding to that earldom became the ancestor of the earls
of that line. This branch ended in Isabella, wife of King Johnf of Eng-
land ; and from her every sovereign who has since sat on the throne of
England was descended.

GalfridllS Ridel 7 (2), second son of Galfridus 6 (1), was born at Angou-
lesme, France, and became ancestor of this line, as the eighth in succession.
He is sometimes called Geoffery, and is particularly mentioned by the au-
thor of the lives of the Earls of Angoulesme, as having assumed the sur-
name, and is described in his account of the issue of Galfridus, his father.
He had for his inheritance the baronies of Montausier and Blaye, in
Guinne; the former he seems to have given up to his younger brother,
afterwards mentioned, who was, in consequence, called Arnold de Mon-
tausier ; the latter possession he held in the same manner as his father
had done, when his elder brother, Earl Alduin, was alive. He married
Agnes, daughter and heiress of Albert II, Earl of Piragord, who de-
scended, as himself, in the seventh degree, from Walgrinus, the first

* The Romans made a threefold division of the month into Calends, Nones, and
Ides. In March, May, July, and October, the Ides fell on the 15th, and in the re-
maining months on the 13th.

fKing John (surnamed "Lackland"), horn 24th December, 11G6, was crowned
27th May, 1199. He was espoused to Alice, eldest daughter and co-heir of Hum-
bert, Count of Maurien, now Savoy; she died before nuptials, and Johu married
first, Isabella, daughter and heiress of William, Earl of Gloucester, from whom he
was divorced; secondly, to Isabella, daughter and heiress of Aymer Taillefer (or
Ridel), Count of Angoulesme, by whom (who married secondly, Hugh, Lord of
Lusiguau and Valence, in Poictou, and dying in 1246, was buried at Fonterand)
he left at his decease at Newark Castle, 19th October, 1216, 1, Henry, his successor;
2, Richard, born 1209; 3, Joan, married 1221 to Alexander, King of Scotland; 4,
Eleanor; 5, Isabella, married Frederick II, Emperor of Germany. From this we
see how the royal family of Europe were connected with the Riddells.



BIDDELLS OF NORMANDY AND ARDNAMURCHAN 47

Earl of Angoulesme, who stands at the head of his family. His wife had
been married to William, Duke of Gascony, but was separated from him
on account of relationship. He had two sons/and dying in 1075 A. D.,
was succeeded by the eldest.

Arnold Ridel 7 (2), third son of Galfridus 6 (1), was born at Angoufesme,
France, and received from his elder brother the barony of Montausier, in
consequence of which he was called Arnold de Montausier.

William Ridel 7 (4), fourth son of Galfridus 6 (1), was born at Angou-
lesm, France, and became bishop of that earldom. He died young and
was succeeded by his brother, of whom hereafter.

Ayiliar Ridel 7 (1), fifth son of Galfridus 6 (1), was born at Angoulesme,
France, and succeeded his brother, before mentioned, as bishop of that
earldom.

EIGHTH GENERATION.

Helias Ridel 8 (1), eldest son of Galfridus 7 (2), was born at Angoulesme,
and succeeded to the earldom of Piragord ; he also became ancestor of the
earls named Helias Ridel III, IV, and V, Bosco Ridel II, and of Jordan a
Ridel, Countess of Piragord, married to Archibald V, Viscount of Coin-
borne, who became the stock of the succeeding earls. Helias was of the
Ridels, barons of Bergerac, in Piragord, who all bore, for several genera-
tions, the Christian name and surname of Helias Ridel. This branch ended
in Margaret Ridel, who was married to Rignald de Pons, ancestor of the
once celebrated house of De Pons, in France.

Galfridus Ridel 8 (3), second son of Galfridus 7 (2), succeeded to his
father's paternal inheritance of Blaye, in Guinne, and became renowned for
his warlike exploits. He assisted the Normans in the reduction of Apulia*
(see coat-of-arms), and William the Conqueror in his expedition against
England, when he was rewarded (after William was crowned), with large
landed estates by that prince. His name appears on the roll of Battle
Abbey as " Monsieur Ridel." He married the sister of Roger Biggot,
Earl of Norfolk, and died in 1098, leaving four sons, of whom more here-
after.

NINTH GENERATION.

Galfridus Ridel 9 (4), eldest son of Galfridus 8 (3), succeeded his father
as Earl of Blaye, in Guinne, and became Lord Justiciary of all England,
the highest office under the crown, in the time of Henry I. He married
Geva, the daughter of Hugh Lumpus, Earl of Chester (and Geva his first
wife, daughter of Robert de Buci), nephew to William the Conqueror, by
whom he had one daughter, his heir. The authority on which he was
called chief justiciary of England, is that of Huntingdon, in his JEpistlm
de Mundi Contemptu, one copy of which, however, omits his name. Dug-
dale mentions him as united with Ralph Basset and others, in a com-
mission to hear and determine a case relating to the privilege of sanctuary
in the church of Ripon, and then adds that he succeeded Ralph Basset as
Justice of England. He came to his death Nov. 25, 1120, with prince
William, when on his return from Normandy in the " Blanche-Nef," from
the carelessness of a drunken crew. The sons of King Henry I, William

* Apulia, in the southeastern part of Italy, was taken possession of by the
Normans, 1043 A. D. Now named Puglia. Once a province of importance. Now
the towns are depopulated, industry has disappeared, and commerce, once so
nourishing, has passed away. Agriculture is in a low condition, and the roads are
infested with banditti. The people are ignorant and superstitious, but hospitable.



Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 7 of 103)