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Chapter III - 1087 to 1389 - Text

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                                                             CHART III
The Ardens under the  
Houses of Normandy & 
Plantagenet: 1066-1399


                      II. SIWARD OF ARDEN  = Cecilia
                 Ryston on        │
                 Dunsmore, Warw.  │
                 ca. Hen. I       │


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Distaff genealogies  

from Chart II

Sir Robert de Chesterton =
Chesterton, Warw.        │


Ralph Vernon        =
Hanwell, Co. Oxford │

Henricus de Bromwyz =
54 Hen. III         │


Urise d' Abetot =           Gualechine de Ferriers =   
Domesday Baron
    │           A Norman               
                │                                  │
                │                                  │
                │                                  │





                 WILLIAM I = Matilda of Flanders


        EDWARD III =           
        1327-77    │ 

   │         │         │                │         │

Edward  =   Lionel,    John of Gaunt    Edmund,   Thomas, "Black  │  Duke of    Duke of          Duke of   Duke of
Prince" │  Clarence   Lancaster        York      Gloucester
d. 1376 │  d. 1368    d. 1399          d. 1402   d. 139?

                │                │                 │
                │                │                 │
    Richard II       
House of                  House of        

    1377-99           Lancaster                   York        

                                               (See Chart IV B)        

Source:    Churchill,     The Birth of Britain (1956)        
(1) Eleanor of Castile = EDWARD I = (2) Margaret of France
Edmund, Earl of Lancaster

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RICHARD II (1377-1389)

The backdrop for the history of the Arden family for the next eight generations, spanning three centuries, is the splendor and turbulence of Medieval England.
It might be interesting to give a short summary of the history of this period as background for the family history to follow. Such a summary might revolve around four major themes.
Dynastic quarrels. Chart IIIB sets forth the royal geneology for the first three centuries of English history after the Conquest, as well as of the various personnages involved in the dynastic dramas which formed so much of that history.
The first quarrel began after the death of the Conqueror in 1087.
William II (1087-1100), who succeeded his father, was a second son. His older brother Robert thought he was entitled to the throne of England, in addition to the Dukedom of Normandy which the Conqueror had left to him. Accordingly, Robert fought both his brother William II, and particularly, his brother Henry I (1100-1135), until he became more interested in the Crusades and lost interest in becoming king of England.
Second, the drowning of William, the son of Henry I in the capsizing of the Royal Yacht, the "White Ship", in 1120, raised all sorts of problems because the only remaining child of Henry I was a daughter, Matilda. Salic law, barring female succession, did not apply under the Norman Code and, therefore, she

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had a right to the English throne. However, there were a considerable number of knights opposed to a female ruler, and they turned to Stephen of Blois, whose mother, Adela, was an older sister of Henry I. So Stephen and Matilda (or Maud, as she was called) fought a civil war which lasted for a number of years, throwing England into a complete state of anarchy. Fortunately, Stephen died without issue and Matilda's son, Henry, succeeded as Henry II (1154-1189).
The third series of dynastic quarrels centered on Henry II and his four sons - all of whom wanted to be king: They could not even wait for their father's death, and, at one time or another, Henry fought all of them. One dramatic story tells of the personal combat during a battle of Henry and his eldest son who, with visors down, did not recognize each other. When observers stopped the fight, knowing their identity, both retired from the field "visibly shaken". It is said that Henry, one of the greatest of the English kings, died of a broken heart over such filial disloyalty.
When Henry II died, trouble began between the two surviving sons, Richard I (1189-1199) and his younger brother, John Lackland. Richard was only in England for 6 months during his entire reign - and then only to get money for his crusades. When he was "missing" on the way back from the Third Crusade, John made a strong play for the throne and was much distressed when Richard's troubadour, Blondel, played the right song under the right window of the castle of the Duke of Austria and discovered the imprisoned Richard. Anyway, on his return, Richard forgave John his anticipation of the throne, and died shortly thereafter in 1199.

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At Richard's death, the heir to the throne was Arthur, the son of Geoffrey, John's older brother (see Chart IIIB). But Arthur was young, and John had the support of his mother, that powerful and fascinating woman, Eleanor of Aquitaine. So after a couple of battles, which Arthur lost, Arthur simply "disappeared". Shakespeare has filled in some of the missing details in an imaginative manner in his play  King John. A reader can there review some of the gory details of how John tried to put out the eyes of the captured Arthur, as well as of other unattractive activities of John, the worst of the English kings.
Things settled down after John and there were 5 straight successions uncontested, at least, by immediate members of the family. With Richard II (1377-1389), however, the trouble started all over again. Henry Bolingbrooke deposed his cousin Richard, thereby laying the groundwork for the War of the Roses three generations later. But that is the subject for the next chapter:
French wars. This three century peri od was also marked with inter-midable French wars: They can all be traced to Henry II (1154-1189).

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At Richard's death, the heir to the throne was Arthur, the son of Geoffrey, John's older brother (see Chart IIIB). But Arthur was young, and John had the support of his mother, that powerful and fascinating woman, Eleanor of Aquitaine. So after a couple of battles, which Arthur lost, Arthur simply "disappeared". Shakespeare has filled in some of the missing details in an imaginative manner in his play  King John. A reader can there review some of the gory details of how John tried to put out the eyes of the captured Arthur, as well as of other unattractive activities of John, the worst of the English kings.
Things settled down after John and there were 5 straight successions uncontested, at least, by immediate members of the family. With Richard II (1377-1389), however, the trouble started all over again. Henry Bolingbrooke deposed his cousin Richard, thereby laying the groundwork for the War of the Roses three generations later. But that is the subject for the next chapter:
French wars. This three century peri od was also marked with inter-midable French wars: They can all be traced to Henry II (1154-1189).

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When Henry II ascended the throne of England in 1154, he had already inherited the French provinces of Anjou (where he was born), Touraine and Maine, and had wrestled Normandy from Stephen. Further, when he was 19, he cast a warm look upon Eleanor of Acquitaine, then 30, and bitterly complaining
•    that her husband, Louis VII of France, was more of a monk than a king! So Eleanor divorced Louis, married Henry, and brought half of France under the English throne. The history of England for two centuries thereafter is deeply interwoven with the effort of France to force England out of these French dominions of Henry II, and England's effort to regain provinces originally held by Henry II.
Thus, Henry II's son, Richard I (1189-1199), spent the last five years of his life defending his French empire from his former colleague in the Third Crusade, Philip Augustus of France, and died with an arrow in his eye at Chaluz in that defense. During the reign of John (1199-1216), Richard's brother, Philip succeeded in ripping the entire English empire in France from the English throne, except for Acquitaine. Thereafter, John's son, Henry II (1216-1272) led an unsuccessful expedition to France in 1227 to recover these lands and Henry's son, Edward I (1272-1307) in turn fought a long war (1293-1303) to recover the last French dominions. This was ended when Edward called it quits by marrying a sister of the French king, and agreeing to the status quo. Finally, in 1336 Edward III (1327-1377) tried again, commencing the Hundred Years' War, and adding to his claim for lost provinces a claim to the throne of France itself.

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High points in this war were the famous battle of Crecy on August 26, 1346, when Edward, with around 11 thousand men, defeated Philip of France with one of the mightiest armies then assembled (between 30 and 40 thousand men) largely by means of the longbow. Then in 1347, after an 11 month seige, Calais fell. After an informal truce caused by the visitation of the Black Death, another English army invaded France and won a victory at Poitiers in 1356. He repeated this success four years later. Edward thereby recovered a large portion of the old dominion of Henry II in France. However, Charles V of France, who assumed the throne in 1364, rallied the Franch, and recaptured many of the English-held provinces. A truce was arranged in 1394 when Richard II (1377-1389) agreed to marry Isabella, the daughter of Charles VI of France, and to keep the peace for 30 years. In the next chapter we shall read how Henry V couldn't resist the combination of a weak France with an insane king, and English claims to the French provinces, and in 1415, on "St. Crispin's Day", inflicted a disastrous defeat on the French at Agincourt. Henry married the daughter of the French king, and died shortly thereafter. During the regency of his son, Henry VI (who himself suffered periods of insanity inherited from his maternal grandfather), Joan of Arc led the French to victories over the English who were thrust out of France completely except for Calais. Never again were the English to regain the lost dominions of Henry II.
Scottish wars. During this three century period, there were also numerous wars with Scotland. The kings of Scotland, on the one hand, claimed parts of Northumbria. The kings of England, on the other hand, harkening back

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back to the days of Canute when England and Scotland were under one king, claimed as the successors of Canute, at least, the home of the kings of Scotland. And so from one time to another Scotland invaded England, and vice versa, to enforce these claims.
The fighting started shortly after the Conquest. Malcolm III of Scotland (1057-1093), ignoring the advice of his wife St. Margaret, fought both William the Conqueror and William Rufus, and died in battle. His son David (1124-1153) also tried to conquer Northumbria during the civil war between Stephen and Mathilda, and was successful in doing so despite his defeat at the Battle of the Standard fought in August 1138. David's grandson, Malcolm IV, however, was forced to turn Northumbria back to Henry II (1154-1189). Malcolm's brother, William, was captured in 1174 by Henry II when trying to regain the province, and was released only after he did homage to Henry from the Scottish throne -a homage which William bought back from Richard I (1189-1199), for 10, 000 marks, needed for one of Richard's Crusades.
Then Scotland got involved in a civil war between the Bruce and Balliol families which Edward I (1272-1307) tried to arbitrate. Edward, frustrated with the arbitration, decided to take over Scotland completely, which he did in 1296, when he removed the Stone of Scone to London,. Scottish independence disappeared for awhile, despite the heroic efforts of such patriots as William Wallace, who was finally captured in 1305. Then Robert Bruce took over leadership, was crowned king, and at Bannockburn, on June 24, 1314, disastrously defeated Edward 11 (1307 -1321) acknowledged the independence of Scotland in

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1328. But Edward II reversed himself in 1333, defeated the Scots at Berwick, and annexed most of southeast Scotland. Then, two months after Crecy, the Scots, as the allies of the French, invaded England where they suffered a disastrous defeat at Neville's Cross on October 17, 1346, and the Scottish king, David II, was captured.
In the next chapter we shall continue the story of the ebb and flow of Scottish-England invasions under the Houses of Lancaster and York.
Kings vs. Barons. Another distinctive feature of the first three centuries of English history after the Conquest was the tension between kings and his barons, erupting into major revolts during the reigns of John (1199-1216) and Henry III (1216-1272), but marking the reign of all of the kings.
William the Conqueror was forced to put down a revolt of his Norman knights in the Midland in 1075 who found that their adventure at Hastings involved something more than just Saxon booty, William Rufus' mysterious death from an arrow while hunting in 1100 is ascribed by many to a member of the rebellious baronage with whom he was in continual conflict, Henry I (1100-1135) issued his famous Charter of Liberties upon his succession guaranteeing the rights of the baronage which, as time went on, he tended to forget. Stephen (1135-1154) and Matilda were busy buying barons to their side by extensive land grants during the civil war. Henry I (1154-1189) faced no less than four rebellions by his own sons.
King John (1199-1216), however, had a particular knack for alienating the barons, such as his scutage tax on all barons who had refused to accompany him to France in 1214 during his vain efforts to prevent Philip of France from

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absorbing French provinces brought to the English throne by his father, Henry II. United under the able leadership of Archbishop Stephen Langton,
the barons met at Runnymede on June 15, 1215, and the famous Magna Carta was executed which was to have subsequent ramifications of which neither
king nor baron ever dreamed.
The controversy continued, with the reign of John's son, Henry III (1216-1272), who ascended the throne when he was 9 years old. His very succession was opposed by the "Baron's Party". Then, upon attaining his majority, he surrounded himself with Poitevins (from Poitiers, in France) who caused the dismissal of the great Hubert de Burgh, the regent for much of Henry's minority. An aroused barony in 1234 fought and defeated the "foreign" Poitevins and required Henry to dismiss them. Later in 1258 the barons, restless because of Henry's extravagancies and his violations of the Magna Carta, began a struggle culminating in the Barons' War of 1264-1265. Under the forceful leadership of Simon de Montfort, the Barons captured the  king and his son, Edward, at Lewes in 1264. But de Montfort's backers were somewhat alarmed at his democratic ideas -- he probably did more than any other individual in English history to develop the Parliament. Edward, having broken his parole, was thereby able to gather a substantial force, with which he succeeded in defeating and killing de Montfort the following year (1265) at Evesham. De Montfort's barons fought on, however, and on  May 15, 1266, a group of them, including the Earl of Derby, were defeated at Chesterton. Before mop-up operations began

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against the remnants of the barons at Kenilworth, in Warwickshire, and on the Isle of Ely, the king was persuaded to execute the "Dictum of Kenilworth" in which the followers of de Montfort were able to regain their lands upon the payment of substantial fines, consisting of five times their annual revenues.
The son of Henry III, Edward I (1272-1307) had his troubles, too, after twenty years of a gradual erosion of the power of the baronage. In 1301 he was required, under threat of armed revolt, to confirm the Magna Carta plus certain additional articles. His son, Edward II (1307-1327), one of the weakest of the English kings, was almost continuously under control of the barons and his government was so unpopular that his wife, Isabella, and her lover, Mortimer, were able to seize power, depose,and murder Edward in 1327. Edward III (13271377), after throwing off the yoke of Mortimer, ruled without much resistance from the barons, but his son Richard II (1377-1389), was such an expert in antagonizing them, that he lost his throne to Henry Bolingbrooke. Baronial troubles from then on will be dealt with in the next chapter.
The foregoing is just a brief review of these mighty centuries. Other factors could he developed at length (the Crusades, the development of the common law, the Irish and Welsh wars, etc.) However, this is perhaps a sufficient backdrop against which to sketch the seven generations of Ardens from Siward, son of Turchill, through Ralph de Arden, ca.1323.

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II. Siward de Arden  (ca. H. I)
Ryston on Dunsmore, Warwickshire
The life of Siward de Arden, the son of Turchill, spanned the latter part of the reign of William the Conqueror (1066-1087) and the reign of
William's sons, William Rufus (1087-1100) and Henry I (1100-1135).
It would be nice to be able to weave his life into the great events of these reigns as outlined earlier in this chapter. Unfortunately, this cannot
be done because, in fact, the history of Warwickshire itself from Domesday  (1086) to the accession of Stephen in 1135 is almost completely blank. The area was densely wooded, and communication was difficult. Indeed, it was so isolated that Roger, the second Earl of Warwick (1123-1153) actually issued his own coins:
Indeed, our only "tie in" of Siward and the great names of these times is a startling one, involving his daughter, Letitia, who, it seems, was a mistress of Henry I. History does not tell us what Henry's wife, Matilda of Scotland and daughter of the sainted Margaret, wife of Malcolm, King of
Scotland, thought about this arrangement.
This bit of information comes to us from a suit c ommenced in 1279 involving certain rights connected with the manor of Baginton in Warwickshire.
This property, once owned by Alwin the Sheriff, and his son Turchill, was held in the reign of Henry I by Sir Hugh de Arden, a grandson of Turchill and one of the sons of Siward. It seems that Sir Hugh first granted this property to his sister, Felice, to hold for the yearly rental of a hawk. The property then

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reverted to Sir Hugh -- perhaps Felice did not pay the hawk -- and Sir Hugh granted the property "at the church door" to his sister Letitia ollowing her marriage to Sir Geoffrey Savage (Galfridus Salvagius). The property, as noted by Chart III, then descended to their son Geoffrey Savage, and to their grandson of the same name, who married Petronilla, daughter of Hugh le Despenser. Geoffrey and Petronilla only had one child, a daughter named Lucia who became the heiress of the manor and married one Thomas de Ednesor. Between 1279 and 1285 there was extensive litigation in which Thomas defended certain "rights" connected with the manor, such as the right to fish in the Avon from Finford Bridge to the boundaries of Stoneleigh Abbey, and one side of the River Stowe. All of these "liberties" he claimed to hold by warrant of a silver cup that Henry I gave to Letitia, daughter of Siward de Arden, who was his concubine. Thomas won the suit -- so it must have been so:
Returning, however, to Siward, we can make some reasonable assumptions concerning his life. Obviously he held an important position in Warwickshire. His sister Margaret.was married to Henry de Newburg, the first Earl of Warwick (p.66 above) and some authorities say that he was "Dapifer" or "Sewer" to his "kinsman" Henry. A "Dapifer" was the steward to a lord, having general management of all matters relating to justice connected with the manor of which he is steward - holding the same relation to the lord of the manor as an under-sheriff does to the sheriff. And, of course, Siward had a special connection with Henry I through his daughter Letitia.

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It is to be expected, therefore, to find Siward as a witness (along with his brother Ralph -- see Chart II) to various land grants of Geoffrey de Clinton to Kenilworth Abbey. De Clinton, a chamberlain of Henry I, was perhaps the principal figure of Warwickshire during this period, after the Earl himself, and was the builder in 112 3-112 5 of the great Kenilworth Castle, subsequently to play such an important part in the history of England, Warwickshire, and, 1/ indeed, of the Arden family itself. 
We do not know the extent of Siward's land holdings because his period of land ownership fell between the great survey of Domesday in 1087, and that of Liber Niger Scaccarri  in 1166. The first showed the land holdings of his father, Turchill, and the second, those of his sons, Henry and Sir Hugh. We can assume, however, that Siward suffered the same misfortune as his father, Turchill, whose lands were seized by William Rufus.
We know that Siward did inherit the one property of which Turchill died seized -- the manor of Ryston on Dunsmore giver). to Turchill by Henry I (p. 

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above) -- because it is recorded that Siward granted the income from the mill of that manor to the monks of Thorney Abbey in Cambridgeshire -- a grant later confirmed to the Abbey by Pope Gregory IX in 1240. At that time it was estimated that the mill produced an income of 12 sh. a year.
1 /    The de Clinton family died out 3 generations later, during the reign of King John, and the castle escheated to the crown.

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We can also assume that Siward held other properties. His sons held 10-1/2 knights' fees or lordships in 1166, some of which may have been inherited from Siward. Also there is a reference to a confirmation by Pope Honarius II (1125-1130) of a grant by Siward to Kenilworth Priory of the church at Snitterfield, Warwickshire. This gift seems to have been ineffective, however, because there is no later reference to the property.
Siward married a lady named "Cecilia", about whom we know nothing. It appears that they had 9 children. (See Chart III).
Their second son, III Henry de Arden, of the direct Arden line is discussed below.
Their third son, Godfrey, became a monk at Coventry, the famous Warwickshire landmark founded by Leofric and the Lady Godiva (see p.44 above).
Reference has already been made above to two of the daughters, Felice and Letitia, and to the first son, Sir Hugh. Sir Hugh, however, deserves further mention because he was apparently knighted -- the first of the English Ardens to hold that distinction -- and was the "Dapifer" to William de Newburgh, the 3rd Earl of Warwick who died on a Crusade in 1184. Sir Hugh also had extensive land holdings, many of which descended to his nephews, Henry's sons, because he died childless. But so many others of his properties were given to various religious orders, that he must have been one of the most outstanding philanthrophists of his day. Thus he made a grant of part of his manor at Ratley to the monks of Stonely Abbey. (This ancient abbey was held before the Conquest-by Edward the Confessor, and by the Crown until Henry H granted it to the

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Cistercian monks.) He also granted part of his manor of Pakinton to the monks of Canwell, and confirmed a grant by his sister to the Canons of Leicester of one "yard land", with the meadow attached thereto, lying in the manor of Berwood. 
He also granted to the same abbots x shs rent in his manor of Curdworth, once owned by his grandfather Turchill (see p. 63 above), as well as the advowson (broadly speaking, the right to name the rector) of the church located there, dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula (St. Peter in Chains).
Sir Hugh's principal grant, however, was that in 1162 of his manor of Berwood to the newly founded Abbey of St. Mary de Pre in Leicester (where
Cardinal Woolsey later died). This land included a hermitage, a messuage, a mill, two carucates of land, 40 acres of meadow,, 40 acres of pasture, and 300 acres of wood.
This information comes from a land suit in 1285 (13 Ed. I) where , in support of a claim of ownership, the Abbot of Leicester produced the charter of King Henry II to the Abbey noting the grant of lands by Sir Hugh to the Abbey: 
"Ex dono Hugonis de Ardena ecclesian de Crudworth et hermitaguim et venus de Berwood, cum molendino." 
The jury confirmed the Abbot's claim of "view of frank pledge, weft and stays" in his lands "by immemorial custom."
The suit is interesting in other respects because it demonstrates the importance attributed to certain "rights" which followed land ownership asserted by the land owner of the Middle Ages. Some of these rights relating to fishing have been discussed above in connection with the Ednesor suit. In this case the jury found that the Abbots of Leicester had, in fact, enjoyed a "Court Leet with Assize of Bread and Beer time out of mind." And inasmuch "as in the time of Abbot Henry

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"a gallows had been set up, and a thief taken committing a felony, hanged by his Bailiff, the same privilege was likewise allowed. "The manor of Berwood will come up twice again in this history -- once when Sir John de Ardenne, son of VII Ralph de Arden, seized it in 1356 but was dispossessed after the Abbot of Leicester won a protracted suit in June of 1360; and again after the Dissolution of 1540 when Henry VIII seized the manor from the Abbots of Leicester and sold it to XIV Thomas Arden, and his son, XVI Simon, for    272. (See p. 158 below).
III. Henry de Arden (ca. 1166) m. Oliva Ryston on Dunsmore, Warwickshire Henry was a second son of Siward. Had his father died some years later, he would have been a landless "second son" because under primogeniture, as we will subsequently find throughout this history, the eldest son would have
inherited the bulk of all of his father's lands. Fortunately for Henry, however the old Norman custom of "Paragium" was still controlling. Under this custom -- so called because the second son stood in  pari casu  with the elder son -- the lands of Siward were divided between Henry and his older brother, Sir Hugh, whom we have met earlier in this chapter. Each are returned in 1166 with holding 5 knight's fees of the Earl of Warwick in the Liber Niger  of 1166. Actually, Sir Hugh held 5-1/3 knight's fees -- a nod, perhaps, to his elder status: 

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The only firm "date" we have for Henry is that of Liber Niger  in 1166. (12 Hen. II). A little educated guessing, however, based on the facts that his sister was a mistress of Henry I (1100-1135), and his brother, Sir Hugh, was dapifer to the 3rd Earl of Warwick (1154-1184), permits the assumption that he was born during the reign of Henry I, lived throughout the reign of Stephen (1135-1154), and died sometime after 1166 during the reign of Henry II (1154-1189).
It can also be assumed that Henry supported the Lady Maud in her struggle with Stephen over the throne of England. (p.75 above). This is so
because Henry held his lands of the Earls of Warwick and it is recorded that Roger de Newburgh, the second Earl of Warwick (1123-1153) supported Maud. 
Indeed, one of the important military actions of that civil war took place in Warwickshire. It seems that a certain Roger Marmion, who supported Stephen, seized the Abbey of Coventry and converted it into a fortress. This support for Stephen was apparantly shortlived because it is also recorded that on a tour of the elaborate trenches which he caused to be constructed around the Abbey for its defense, his horse tripped, he fell into one of the trenches and was killed.
A mighty medieval warrior, in full coat of mail was helpless when stretched out on the ground! Our most reliable information about Henry relates to his land grants to the great medieval religious houses. He ratified his father, Siward's, grant of land from his manor of Ryston on Dunsmore to the Abbey of Thorney in Cambridgeshire (where his uncle, Peter, was a monk) and added some additional lands himself. He made grants to the Canons of Kenilworth in Warwickshire of a meadow in his manor of Boskinton, and part of his lands in Pakinton

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and Newton. To the monks of Pipinell he gave part of his manor at Causton.
Finally, he gave lands at Bilney to Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire, founded by Richard de Camville, during the reign of Stephen, for the monks of the 1/ Cistercian Order.
This Abbey was to play an important role during the "Gunpowder Plot. The Roman Catholics of Warwickshire planned to storm the Abbey, where Elizabeth, the daughter of James I was being brought up, proclaim her queen, govern in her name, and bring her up as a Roman Catholic.

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IV. William de Arden, m. Galiena
Radbourne, Warwickshire
A glance at Chart III will show that the next five generations of Ardens contained many Thomas', William's, and Ralph's. It is extremely hard, in
studying the musty medieval land grants and law suits to unravel these relationships into appropriate father, son, and brother categories.
Burke, whose arrangement I will follow here, has an "elder" line of Thomas' ending up in Sir Thomas of Ratley, Warwickshire (ca. 1287). This Sir Thomas was childless and plagued with debts from trying to pay off the fines levied upon him for ending up on the wrong side in the revolt of the Barons against Henry III. Accordingly, he conveyed all of his lands to his cousin, Sir Thomas of Hanwell, Oxfordshire, the descendent of the "younger" line of William's, who happened to have married a very wealthy lady and had the funds with which to buy out the ancient Arden lands. Burke's treatment as seen from Chart III is as follows:


                 III Henry de Arden = Oliva


    │                                      │
    │                                      │
    │                                      │
    │                                      │
Thomas ca.1207 = ?                  IV William   = Galiena
Audworth,      │                    Radbourne,   │
Warwickshire   │                    Warwickshire │

               │                                 │
   ┌───────────┘                       ┌─────────┘ 
   │                                   │
   │                                   │
   │                                   │
   │                                   │ 
 Thomas      = Eustacia de Pickney  V William      = Avice
Curdsworth   │                        Radbourne,   │
Warwickshire │                        Warwickshire │

             │                                     │
             │                                     │       
      ┌──────┘                          ┌──────────┘ 
      │                                 │
      │                                 │
      │                                 │
      │                                 │
Sir Thomas (ca. 1287)         VI Sir Thomas  = Rose Vernon
Ratley,                          Hanwell,    │
Warwickshire                     Oxfordshire │

                                 VII Ralph - Alice Beauchamp

                                VIII Ralph - Isabel Bromwich

- 93 -
Dugdale and Drummond had the following arrangement of the Thomas', Williams' and Ralphs:

                 III Henry de Arden = Oliva
    │                                      │
    │                                      │
    │                                      │
    │                                      │
Thomas  = ?                             William = ?
1 John  │                             Radbourne │
        │                          Warwickshire │
        │                                       │
        │                                       │       
   ┌────┘                 ┌────────────────┬────┘
   │                      │                │
   │                      │                │
   │                      │                │
   │                      │                │
Thomas     = Eustacia   Thomas = Lucia  William = Avice
7 Hen. III │ de Pickney        │        10 John │
           │                   │                │
           │                   │                │   
    ┌──────┘          ┌────────┘          ┌─────┘ 
    │                 │                   │
    │                 │                   │
    │                 │                   │
    │                 │                   │
Thomas         Sir Thomas = Rose        William = ?
35 Hen. III    Hanwell,   │ Vernon    Radbourne │
              Oxfordshire │                     │
                          │                     │   
                 ┌────────┘               ┌─────┘ 
                 │                        │
                 │                        │
                 │                        │
                 │                        │
                 │                        │
                 │                        │
               Ralph = ?              William = ?
           19 Edw. I │            23 Edw. III │
                     │                     │
                     │                     │   
            ┌────────┘               ┌─────┘
            │                        │
            │                        │
            │                        │
            │                        │
            │                        │
          Ralph = Isabel        William + ?
      9 Edw. II   Bromwich  25 Edw. III

French has still another assortment. He drops III Henry de Arden and starts right off with a William, as the son of Siward, which he repeats for five generations, and then follows with a couple of Thomas' and Ralph's, to
almost double the number of generations which Burke shows in the same time span:

- 94 -

Siward de Arden = Oliva
William   = Galiena
Radbourne │
  William = Avice
Radbourne │
  William = Johanne
Radbourne │
  William = Elizabeth
Radbourne │
  William = Agnes
Radbourne │
Sir Thomas = Eustacia
Radbourne  │
 Sir Thomas = Rose Vernon
Hanwell,    │
Oxfordshire │
Ralph = Alice Beauchamp
    Ralph = Isabel Bromwich

Burke's listing appears to be the most accurate -to me, particularly in
view of the information turned up in the Victoria County History of Warwickshire 
(1904) published long after Dugdale, Drummond, and French wrote, which traces
every parcel of real estate in Warwickshire back to Domesday wherever possible.
This information, at a minimum, discredits French's expanded genealogy.



- 95 -
Before turning to IV William de Arden, we might give a history of the 3 Thomas' of the elder branch of III Henry de Arden's family. The descent of lands through that branch obviously made them more prominent than the younger branch until, as noted above, the Sir Thomas of the younger branch bought the lands of the Sir Thomas of the elder branch by reason of his fortuitous marriage.
The elder branch.    Our most reliable information about the
first Thomas is from an interesting altercation in 1207 (7 John) against John de Bracebridge over the ownership of Kingsbury Park in Warwickshire. After a lot of blood and thunder, including a challenge to a dual, Thomas was willing to settle for 20 marks -- and a horse! He was lucky at that, because, as we shall shortly see, he was somewhat insecure regarding his own genealogy!
The background of the suit was as follows:
Kingsbury Park was an ancient seat of the Mercian kings. It is recorded that Bertulphus, the King of the Mercians, had a grand "councell" of his Prelates and Great Nobles here "in the year DCCCLI" (851). It descended to the Countess Godiva (1040-1080), and, through her, to her granddaughter, Leverunia, the second wife of Turchill of Arden. (See Chart II).
Thomas' claim to Kingsbury Park was, of course, through his father, Henry, grandfather, Siward, and great grandfather, Turchill. What Thomas overlooked, however, was that he was descended from the  firstwife of Turchill, the Countess of Perche. (Chart II). John de Bracebridge, however, could claim direct descent to Leverunia, the second wife of Turchill, through whom Turchill held Kingsbury Park. (Charts IV and VA).

- 96 - -
In any event, in typical medieval manner, Thomas offered to settle the matter of the ownership of Kingsbury Park by a duel in which the winner would, presumably, be God's choice as the party-in-the-right. However, Thomas was not about to fight the duel himself! He named one William de Copeland as his champion -- William's father, Ulfkill, a tenant of Thomas', having assented to the combat. John de Bracebridge did not accept the challenge. He apparently decided he didn't have as a potent a "champion" as did Thomas and wanted to try the case in court - at the next assize!
In any event, there was no duel because Thomas clarified his geneology and settled for "a palfrey" and "xx marks" - a mark then being valued at approximately 13 sh 4d.
The first two Thomas', as were all of the Ardens from the 11th to the 13th century, were very generous with their lands to the religious houses of the times. They confirmed to the monks of Thorney, in Cambridgeshire, the grants of rights in the manor of Ryston made by III Henry de Arden and IV Siward de Arden, and added grants of their own from Salbrigge. They gave lands and woods (24 acres) in Berwood to the canons of Leicester, and confirmed grants to the Monks of Stonely of portions of the manor of Ratley, made by Sir Hugh de Arden (p. 87 above).
The wife of the second Thomas was Eustacia, the widow of Savaricus de Maleleon, of a Poitivan family which became courtiers of Henry III and were much opposed by the native English nobility. (p, 82 above) Some authorities would also suggest that her father was Henry de Pickney (also, possibly a Poitivan) from the fact that the "inquisitio" after the death of Roger de Quincy, Earl

- 97 -
of Winchester, in 1269, shows Eustacia and her son, Thomas, as holding certain fees in the manors of Spratten and Holdenberg "under Henry de
Pickney, the intermediate lord between them and the earl". An "inquisitio" was an investigation held during the continuance of military tenures, upon the . death of one of the king's tenants, to inquire what lords he died seized of, and who was his heir, in order to entitle the king to his marriage, wardship, relief, primer seisin, or other advantages, as the circumstances of the case might
turn out.
The second Thomas died some time before 1236 because in that year it is recorded that his son, the third Thomas, Sir Thomas de Arden, granted his
mother, Eustachia, certain rights in his manor at Ratley for her life.    Again in 1239, it is recorded that Sir Thomas granted his mother life tenure in 3 virtigates in his manor of Ryston -- a manor which had been in the family for 200 years (p. 63 above), and which he enlarged by purchasing additional acreage from one Nicolas de Wythebroc for 20 marks in silver and a palfrey.
The third Thomas, Sir Thomas Arden, was knighted in 34 Hen. III (1251). Dugdale reports that in 7 Edw. 1(1289) he held Ryston on Dunsmore of the
Earl of Warwick by the service of 1/2 knights' fee and that it contained "in demense 3 carucates of land and a water mill, as also three servants each of them holding a yard land and paying a certain yearly rent in money, plowing one day in winter a piece, and one day in Lent mowing, raking, making hay, carrying corn, and gathering 'nutts', at each work one day. The Cottagers were at this time xii in number, who likewise besides their rent, did work one day a piece at some of those before mentioned labors. And the freeholders xv which held 8 yard

- 98 -
land and a fourth part three acres and a half and one rode. " At that time he also gave the Abbot of Thorney a mill and 1/2 yard land.
The most interesting facet of Sir Thomas' life is his direct involvement in one of the dominant events during the reigns of John and of Henry III, the internal political turmoil.
In the reign of John this was a dual between the King, on the one side, and a majority of the baronage on the other side. It is probable that the Ardens supported John because Henry de Newburgh, the 5th Earl of Warwick, and the Arden's "lord", was one of John's most faithful supporters.
The troubles of John's successor, Henry III, however, were somewhat different, and triangular, in character, involving the King, the Barons, and the rising class of knights and gentry of which the Ardens were a part. The latter were determined to wring from the Barons the same rights which they had wrung from King John at Runneymede! in this conflict, many of the Barons sided with the King against the more "popular" movement eventually led by Simon de Montfort. It is understandable, therefore, to find during this period the Ardens in opposition to William Mauduit, then the Earl of =Warwick, who adhered to the cause of King Henry III.
Thus, the second Thomas is recorded as having attended the great Tournament at Blith. Attendance at the tournament had been forbidden -and with good cause -- because the knights were not so much interested in the tournament as in discussing their political problems! Dugdale reports that, as a consequence, Thomas lost all of his lands, but that they were restored in 7 Hen, III (1233).

- 99 -
It was this Thomas' son, the third Thomas, Sir Thomas Arden of Ratley, however, who played the most dramatic role in these conflicts. Dugdale
reports that in 48 Hen. III (1264) he was summoned by King Henry III to appear at Oxford in Midlent to "advise with the King and attend him in an expedition against Lewellyn op Griffith" then in rebellion in Wales. But Sir Thomas did not do so. Lewellyn was an ally of Simon de Montfort, leader .of the barons then in rebellion against the King and Sir Thomas joined the forces of de Montfort.
It is not clear whether Sir Thomas was at Lewes (1264) where Henry III and Prince Edward (later Edward I) were captured by de Montfort's forces.
'It is clear, however, as will be noted in a moment, that he was at Evesham, the following year where Prince Edward, having escaped from his imprisonment, gathered a force which resulted in the defeat of the rebels and in the death of de Montfort.
There is an interesting "spy" story arising in the year between Lewes and Eve/sham and involving one Ralph de Arden. I cannot tie down Ralph's
exact connection to the Arden family here (which is perhaps just as well), but it would appear he was a cousin who did not share the political opposition of the rest of his family to Henry III. Anyway, it seems that de Montfort had made the Castle at Kenilworth in Warwickshire his headquarters. According to Dugdale, notice of this fact was brought to Prince Edward, then at Worcester with his army, by "Ralph de Ardern of this country" (Warwickshire) who "at

- 100 -
that time was one of the Rebells party". It seems that Ralph got messages through to Prince Edward from Montfort's headquarters at Kenilworth by
a messenger who was "a woman, called Margoth, that cunningly travailed in man's apparell". This information allowed Edward to make "a shew as if he would march't to Salisbury", drew Montfort out of Kenilworth, and the armies met at Evesham.
Edward badly defeated the rebels at Eve/sham and neither he, nor the victorious barons were inclined to be lenient to the vanquished enemy.
However, more moderate views prevailed and the famous Dictum of Kenilworth (p. 84 above) was announced from the pulpit of St. Mary's Church in Warwickshire by Ottobon, the Pope's legate, whereby the defeated could buy back their seized lands with the payment of a fine equalling five times the annual revenues. Sir Thomas Arden, who was at Evesham, was subject to this Dictum. The land records relating to his properties after that date show that the payment of the fine eventually bankrupted him. By 9 Edw. I (1281) he had sold his lands in Curdsworth, and other places, to one Sir Hugh de Vienna. (They returned to the family, fortunately, by purchase of VI Sir Thomas of Hanwell.) The following year,

10 Edw. I, he lost a suit against the Knights Hospitalars over his property at Ryston on Dunsmore -- the family seat for the preceding three generations -- the Prior of St. John's recovering from Sir Thomas one mill, cc acres of land, 12 acres of meadow and 10 acres of wood. The loss of this suit apparently led him four years later (14 Edw. I) to grant all of his rights in this property to the 1/    The Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem was one of the famous combination knight-priesthood orders of Medieval times, whose emphasis was on a nursing brotherhood.

- 101 -
Hospitalars from whence it disappeared from the Arden family forever. Five years later, in 15 Edw. I, Thomas sold the manor of Ratley with the advowsm of the church to one Nicolas de Eton, and the same year granted to his cousin, VI Sir Thomas of Hanwell, all rights which he had left in Pedimore, Curdsworth, Morhull, Minworth, Echenous, and Overton. Finally, in what appeared to be one final desparate effort to escape his creditors, he conveyed to the Earl of Warwick all fees throughout England that were held by him. 
Having carried the "elder line" of Thomas' through the third generation, when it died out, we can return to the "younger" branch beginning with IV William de Arden. 
William was the second son of IV Henry de Arden. The paucity of information about him is due to the fact that his elder brother, the first Thomas
(see above), inherited the bulk of his father's estates and was the more prominent Arden of the times. 
Indeed, we only know of William's having possessed one manor which he made his seat: Radbourne, in Warwickshire. Radbourne derived its name from "Rode" a passage, and "bourne" a small rivulet. Our first knowledge of this property is the fact that in 998 King Ethelred gave it to the earldorman Leofwine, the father of Leofric of Mercia.
In Domesday it was held by one Almar under the overlordship of Turchill. 

- 102 -
It is probable that William, like his son, William, who held Radbourne in 1235, also held it under the overlordship of Thomas. In any event, we are
told that William was very generous with it as regards the monks at Combe.
He was also generous to the nuns of Henwood Priory, founded by one, de Langdon for the Benedictine nuns, during the reign of Henry II, when Walter Durant was Bishop of Chester (1149-1161). Dugdale reports that he granted the nuns one yard land "with allowance that they should receive the fruits thereof to their proper use", as well as the church at Radbourne. Henwood -- or Heanwood -- secured its names by reason of tall oaks in the area, the word "Hean" meaning "high".
The usual complement of the Priory was 15 nuns and a prioress which, incidentally, was reduced to 3 persons in 1349 at the height of the Black Death. 
William was buried in the Chapel at Henwood. 
V. William de Arden  (d. ca. 1233) in. Avice Chesterton,
Radbourne, Warwickshire
William inherited Radbourne from his father holding it in 1235 under his cousin, Sir Thomas de Arden. In that year, William secured Thomas' permis-
sion to make a grant to the monks of Combe Abbey of (according to Dugdale) "cc acres and half a yard land, wit pasture for 600 sheep, 5 sows with their pigs, one boar, 2 teams of oxen, 5 kyne with the calves, and 1 bull, 2 young heifers with their calves, and sheepcotes on the hills for the sheep."
There is some evidence that this William is the same "Sir William de Arden" who, in 1224, gave the Abbot of St. Mary's in Leicester substantial
properties in Berwood, on the condition the canons celebrated "devine 

- 103 -
service there for the health of his soul and of the souls of his predecessors and heirs."
William married a lady by the name of Avice, the daughter of Sir 1/ Robert de Chesterton, and it is because of an interesting law suit commenced
by Avice in 17 Hen. II (1233) that we know that William went off on a Crusade.
Her complaint to the King stated that her husband had set out on a trip to Jerusalem, that he had not returned (although there was no certainty of his death), and that Eustachia (her husband's cousin's wife) the wife of the second Thomas (see Chart III), had seized certain lands which her husband had left to provide for her maintenance. Furthermore, Avice complained, to make matters worse, Eustachia had taken off her son and heir, Thomas (later VI Sir Thomas of Hanworth). Avice was successful in her suit and Henry III issued a precept to the Sheriff of Warwickshire requesting him to put Avice in possession of her lands again, and restore her son! In 1236 apparently Avice brought another suit (although it may have been
just a continuation of the old one). This time she alleged that her husband had died in the Holy Land. She accordingly claimed land and rents in the manor of Curdsworth from the Abbott of Leicester as part of her dowry.
It is a little difficult to know what "Crusade" William was off to at this particular time (ca. 1233-1236). The Sixth Crusade (1228-29) under the leadership of Frederick II had ended and the Seventh Crusade under St. Louis of France 

1/    Chesterton was the site of an early Roman camp and is located about 6 miles from Warwick.

- 104 -
had yet to begin (1245). Accordingly, it would perhaps be more accurate to state, as does one contemporary document, that William was on a "pilgrimage" to Jerusalem. This was entirely possible at the time. Frederick II, the German Emperor who claimed the title of the King of Jerusalem by right of his wife, Isabella, the daughter of John of Brienne and the heiress of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, had negotiated from Saladin's successors in 1229 the towns of Nazareth, Bethelehem and Jerusalem. This was the first time Jerusalem had been in Christian hands since the close of the Second Crusade, in 1187, when it had been recaptured from the Crusaders. It was also the commencement of a 15-year period (1229-44) where for the last time in 7 centuries, it was to be out of Moslem hands. Accordingly, William de Arden, in his pilgrammage to Jerusalem sometime during the period 1233-1236 was one of the last Christians to visit Jerusalem before it returned to non-Moslem hands at the end of World War I. And, as noted earlier, he died in the Holy Land. 

VI. Sir Thomas de Arden  (Knt. 1277) m. Rose Vernon Hanwell, Oxfordshir.e
It is, perhaps, not unfair to history to say that one major contribution which Sir Thomas made to the Arden family was his marriage to "Roes" (Rose)
Vernon, the daughter and heiress of Robert Vernon of Hanwell, Oxfordshire!
This lady apparently had great wealth which allowed Sir Thomas to buy back many of the ancient Arden estates which his cousin, Sir Thomas de Arden, had been forced to sell off in trying to meet the fines imposed by the Dictum of 

- 105 -
Kenilworth. (See pp.100-1 above). At his death Sir Thomas was seized of a very large number of manors including all of those which subsequently descended in the Arden family of Warwickshire.
The records leave us with one vignette of Thomas' life, and participa- tion in one important event during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307).
The vignette concerns an agreement made between Sir Thomas and William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, which again indicates the importance ascribed under medieval law, to various "rights". Under this agreement Sir Thomas and his heirs were given the right to fish in the little stream called "Ebroch" (now Plant's Brook) so far as his lands lay adjacent thereto; to allow his hogs to roam in the woods of Curdsworth and Pedimore and to beat down acorns for them; to take timber to repair buildings in his manors of Pedimore and Curdsworth, and to sell £20 worth of such timber. The take of this timber was to be carefully controlled. Such timber could be cut only after prior notice had been given to the Earl's forester and under full view of two of the Earl's men; and only after Sir Thomas' axemen promised not to carry bows and arrows -- to avoid the temptation of taking a shot at a stag and thereby to deplete the Earl's venison!
Of more substance is the fact that in 5 Edw. I (1277) Sir Thomas was knighted,and also in that year, participated in one of the last feudal levies of the King calling upon his knights for military service. It was in this year that Edward I made the first real attempt, backed by all of the resources of the crown, to subdue Wales -- an effort in which the Romans, Saxons, and Normans had heretofore failed.

- 106 -
Wales was, at that time, under the dominion of Lewellyn op Griffith. Part of Lewellyn's initial success had been because of his alliance with Simon de Montfort in the days of Henry III. Even after de Montfort's death, however, Lewellyn continued to prosper and finally, in 1267, had been recognized by Henry III as the Prince of Wales -- the first mention of that title.
But Lewellyn stretched his luck too far and, in 1277, rebelled against Edward I, Henry III's son, who was an entirely different man than his father. Calling upon his knights for service (including VI Sir Thomas de Arden) he fought a series of brilliantly conducted campaigns in Wales, including, for the first time, the use of sea power against Gwynedd, heretofore protected from a land attack by the Snowdonian range. Lewellyn was defeated; lost all of domains except western Gwynedd; but was allowed to keep his title. When he rebelled again in 1282, he was    his lands divided into shires, and the title of Prince of Wales given to Edward, the son of Edward I, who had been born in Carnarvon.
One of the sons of Sir Thomas de Arden was knighted in 3 Edw. III (1330). He was Governor of Banbury Castle in Oxfordshire in 15 Edw. II (1322) and participated in the Scotch expedition of 16 Edw. II (1328). The following year he was granted permission to fortify his house at Wykham with a battlement of lime and stone.

- 107 -
VII. Ralph de Arden (li. ca. 1290) m. Alice Beauchamp Warwickshire, Pedimore.
Ralph's mother, Rose, transferred to Ralph during her widowhood her manor of Pedimore, and lands in Curdsworth, Minworth, Moxhull, Echenours,
and Overton, all held of William Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and Matilda, his wife.
We know little else about Ralph except that he may have married a lady named Alice Beauchamp. Our only authority for this is French, who asserts
that Alice was the daughter of Stephen Beauchamp (ca. R. I -- 1189-99) and Isolde de Ferrers, the daughter of Robert de Ferrers, the first Earl of Derby (d. 1139). (See Chart IIIA) However, French must be discounted here because a little mathematics will demonstrate that a lady living late in the 13th century could not have have a father who died in 1139. Had this been true, however, some glamorous branches would have been added to the Arden family tree. 
Walter Beauchamp, the first of the Beauchamp line, was awarded the lands of Roger de Worcester by Henry I-(1100-35), and married Urfo d'Abetot,
the daughter of a Domesday Baron. Their son, William, was a steward of Henry I, supported Maud during the Civil War with Stephen (1135-54), who
dispossessed him of his castle of Worcester. When Maud's son, Henry II (1154-89) succeeded, William received large additional land grants and became
Sheriff of Warwickshire in the second year of Henry's reign. One of their younger sons was Stephen, who married Isabel de Ferrers, the asserted
parents of Alice Beauchamp, wife of VII Ralph de Arden (according to French).

- 108 -
Their oldest son, William, is reported to have paid a 40 sh. fine to be excused from military service in helping Richard I (1189-99) defend his French provinces (6 Rich. I).
William's son, Walter, succeeded in 17 John, joined the Barons in revolt against John (1199-1216), was dispossessed of his lands and excommunicated,
upon which it is recorded he was "so startled that he soon made his peace and repaired to Guelo the Pope's Legate for absolution". His son, William, in turn, attended Henry III (1216-72) in his efforts to recover his lost French provinces (27 Hen. III), and two years later in his invasion of Scotland. This William's daughter and heiress married William de Mauduit, and were the ancestors of the Beauchamp line of the Earls of Warwick.
Alice Beauchamp's mother's family, the de Ferrers, were equally distinguished. Henry de Ferrers, the son of Gualechine de Ferrers, a Norman,
was the lord of Longueville in Normandy, and held 210 manors in Domesday, largely in Derbyshire.
Henry's son, Robert, commanded the troops from Derbyshire under Stephen (1135-54) in the Battle of the Standard against King David of Scotland in August, 1138 (see p. 80 above) and, for his services, was made the first Earl of Derby.
It is his daughter, Isabel, who married Stephen de Beauchamp, whom French says were the parents of Alice Beauchamp. His son, Robert, was famous for
his gifts to religious houses of the time, particularly to the Abbey of Merevale in Warwickshire where he was buried "being wrapt in oxhide".

- 109 -
Robert's son William apparently assisted John (1199-1216) in an abortive effort at the throne and quickly gave away all of his lands to his brother to save them from an anticipated seizure by Richard. But Richard forgave all and William joined Richard on the Third Crusade and died during the seige of Acre in 1191.
William's son, of the same name, was a favorite of King John. He received property from the King which had been seized from one Isaac, a Jew, in consideration for which William was required to serve the king at dinner, upon all festivals yearly, without any cap, having a garland on his head "the breadth of his little finger". He later went to the Holy Land during the Seventh Crusade where he died in 1247.
William's son , also of the same name, is particularly interesting to the Arden's for it was he who made a grant of land to one Roger de Yoxall, in Staffordshire, which Simon Arden later purchased during the reign of Elizabeth I and upon which was built the family seat of "Longcroft". After William was thrown off his horse over a bridge at St. Neots in 1254 and died, his son Roger succeeded. Roger brought ruin to the family of de Ferrers. He joined in the rebellion against Henry III (1216-1272), was at Evesham (1264), and was required to pay the tremendous fine of a cup of gold set with precious stones filled with 15, 000 marks four times a year. However, he revolted again, was surprised by Royalist forces at Chesterfield on May 25, 1266, where he was found hiding among some bags of wool in the church, helpless with gout, and was completely disinherited by Parliament the same year.

- 110 -
VIII. Ralph de Arden (d. ca. 1357) m. Isabel de Bromwich
Curdsworth, Warwickshire
Ralph is recorded as holding the fee of Curdsworth in 9 Edw. II (1316). He also held the fee of Minworth because in 1346 he was hailed into court on the grounds that his mill at Minworth encroached upon the King's Highway! Three years later, he was exonerated. Why it took three years to handle such a suit is not revealed.
Ralph is also recorded as being "one of the principal esquires of this county" (Warwickshire) in 17 Edw. II (1324). An esquire in those days was a
title of dignity, next above gentlemen and below that of knight.
A fascinating bit of feudal law, as well as an interesting insight into the prominent position held by Ralph is to be found from a record of a payment of "Aid" and "Relief" due him. It seems that one John de L'ile held the manor of Moxhull from Ralph under military service. In 30 Edw. III (1357) he paid Ralph's executors "vi sh viii d for reasonable Aid" due Ralph upon the marriage of his daughter, Sibel. Under feudal law a tenant was required to pay his lord certain sums or "Aid", on three occasions -- to help pay ransom if his lord were taken prisoner, to make the lord's eldest son and heir apparent a knight, and to give a suitable portion to the lord's eldest daughter on her marriage. The "Aid" paid here was due upon the occasion of the marriage of Ralph's daughter, Sibel.
It seems that the said John de L'ile also paid Ralph's executors xxxiii sh iii d. for a "Relief" due Ralph. Relief, in feudal law, was a sum payable by a new tenant, who acquired property by inheritance or purchase. An "inquisition", referred to earlier in this work, was the valuation of an estate on a tenant's death to make sure that his lord got his "relief" before the tenant's heir could take over! 
Ralph married a lady by the name of Isabel, the daughter of Anselm de Bromwich, of an old Warwickshire family. (See Chart IIIA) The progenitor
of this family was Henricus de Bromwyz who, in 54 H. III (1270), is recorded as having a residence situated on the brow of the hill on the southern bank of the Tame. Henricus's son, Robert, was apparently on the side of Henry III in the revolt of the barons for, in 49 Hen. III (1265) he is recorded as one of the collectors of the fines imposed upon the rebels (which included Sir Thomas de Arden) by the Dictum of Kenilworth. (See pp. 83 above) Robert's son, Anselm, the father of Isabel, wife of Ralph de Arden, above, was apparently the first owner of the manor known as Castle Bromwich (a residence on the "wich", or crook, of the River "Brom"). In 1287 he is recorded as holding of Roger de Someri (the Baron of Dudley) one hide of land in this location. 
Ralph de Arden and his wife, Isabel, had two sons - Henry, of the direct Arden line who will commence the next chapter, and John, who was their eldest son and who inherited all of the property. John de Arden was knighted in 33 Edw. III (1360) and lived in the manor of Pedimore where he secured a special license to have divine service in the oratory there. He was either quite a powerful or popular man, because when he sued the Abbot of Leicester over ownership of the 
manor of Berwood, the Abbot feared partiality from the jury in John's favor.
Accordingly, the Abbot had the case moved to Warwick to be heard, procuring
The Abbot's claim was based on a grant of lands in Berwood to the Canons by Thomas de Arden. (see p. 96 above).

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the King's Letters to the Judges in the Circuit (Sir John de Moubray and Thomas de Hingegly) "requiring them that he might have equal rights". After having the case moved, the Abbot won!
From the payments of "Relief" and "Aid" to Ralph's executors discussed above, we know that Ralph de Arden died around 1357. He was buried in the Aston Parish Church near Birmingham, in Warwickshire. One of the windows on the north side of that church used to contain portraits of Ralph and his wife, Isabel. Over his head is inscribed "Jesu feli Dei miserere mei", and over her head is inscribed "Mater Dei memento mei".
We close this chapter with a mystery! The most magnificent sepulcre in the Aston Church is a raised tomb, on top of which is a carved effigy of Ralph, done in alabaster, reclining, with hands folded, and in a full coat of armor. (There is a picture of this tomb both in Drummond's Noble British Families, Vol. 1, and in Dugdale under "Aston".) The question, though, is who is the lady whose effigy lies along side Ralph? It most certainly cannot be Isabel because, as John Lisle points out in a history of Warwickshire published in 1936, that lady wears the curious head-dress of the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509). Furthermore, her effigy, which was originally painted, is not carved of the same sandstone with which other effigies in the church of the same period are carved.
The answer to the mystery will be forthcoming in the next chapter!


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