Origins of the Name

Arms Thomas 1

Arms Thomas 1

Since the inception of our group of researchers we have known of the existance of Featherstone castle, and of the family tree from pedigrees from early visitations. Which show Elias(helius) at the top of the tree
Recent research by one of our members however, gives a link between the town of Featherstone in West Yorkshire.

This is Richard Parkinsons explanation:
The Origins of Elias de Featherstone of Fetherstonhaugh.
Copyright Richard Parkinson February 2012
In this short essay I intend to present a simplified outline of the findings of many years of careful and intensive study into the origins of the Fetherstonhaugh or Featherstone family of Fetherstonhaugh in Northumberland. For the purposes of brevity and simplicity it is not my intention to provide a full and complete account
which must wait for a forthcoming book. However for those who are sufficiently interested I will in due course
provide access to the extracts from original charters and contemporary documents which were used to compile
the current account. It is my hope that the following essay though not scholarly will be informative and accurate, but remain simple and easy to understand. Throughout the essay I will use Featherstone or Fetherston
for the family rather than Fetherstonhaugh which I will reserve for references to the location in Northumberland. This is a matter of my own personal preference and does not reflect any other accepted norms for its usage.
Richard Parkinson February 2012

Family tree of the early Featherstones of Fetherstonhaugh and the Barons of Langley
Castle tree 1
Castle tree 2
castle tree 3

Elias de Featherstone of Fetherstanehalg
Elias de Featherstone of Fetherestanehalg [Fetherstonhaugh] is first mentioned in the “Curia Regis” roll of King John in 1204 where he is confirmed as Lord of the Manor of Fetherestanehalg and is re-confirmed in 1212. In 1204 Elias de Fetherestanehalg is also found being prosecuted for breaking the king’s peace by robbery, and declined to attend the sum-mons to court what happened as a result is unknown though he was clearly not outlawed or deprived of his lands.

In the year Hugh (perhaps a brother or uncle?) also had a case in court. This is the first mention of Fetherestanehalg as a place name in any written source and it is my contention that this in fact is approximately the time when Fetherstonhaugh in Northumberland itself was founded.

The reason I believe this will become evident below. Elias gave lands in his free fee of Fetherstonhaugh to the Friars of Hexham in return for taking him and his son and heir into their confaternity witnessed by William De Marisco Archdeacon of Northumberland [William Marisco held the office of Archdeacon from 1212 until in 1217 which dates the charter].

William Marisco was Chancellor of England during the Minority of Henry III and afterwards Prince Bishop of Durham. The fact that Elias could count on the personal patronage of someone with the standing William de Marisco is significant. It gives a clue as to his standing in Northumberland and perhaps explains how he could flout the law with apparent impunity.

In the twelfth year of the reign of Henry II (1165-6) WILLIAM de Featherston owed a mark, as recorded in pleas before the justices de Lucy in Northumberland. In 33 Henry II [1185] he is listed as a fugitive whose chattels were worth 19 s. 3 d.(5)

ROBERT was party in a case before the same justices against one Rannulphus de Wichala in 1191. He is afterwards listed in every year from 1192 through 1198 as a defaulter owing 3s. 4d.(6)

This William Featherstone is undoubtedly the father of Elias it is interesting to note that he is William de Featherston and not William de Fetherstonhaugh. This indicates a link with the only family called “de Featherston” at this point in time that of the Featherstons of Featherstone in the Honour of Pontefract. County York.

It is reasonable to suppose that William Featherstone died at some point between 1198 and 1204 when his son Elias was confirmed as Lord of the Manor of Fetherstonhaugh.

It is in Yorkshire that we first find references to William de Featherstone between the years 1154 and 1170 and where he is identified as the son of Sir Amfrey Featherstone of Featherstone County Yorks. We are also told that he had a brother Dureward and a wife named Hadawise; that he held the Fee of Featherstone from Henry de Lascy Lord of the Honour of Pontefract; and that he had granted the living and tithes of the Parish Church of Featherstone to the monks of Nostell Priory.

Following are two extracts from:
“Early Yorkshire charters; being a collection of documents anterior to the thirteenth century made from the public records, monastic chartularies, Roger Dodsworth’s manuscripts and other available sources”
WILLIAM FARRER, Ballantyne, Edinburgh 1916.
early yorkshire charters

Featherstone Castle

Featherstonhaugh Castle in Tyndale was largely built in its present form by Thomas de Featherstone the grandson of Elias de Featherstone.
In 1961 it was converted to a residential conference and activity centre for young people and students.
For the time being I would like to concentrate on the story of Sir Amfrey de Featherstone and his forbears who are well documented before returning to story of Elias and his father William de Featherstone.

Sir Amfrey de Featherstone
In 1066 Ralph Grammaticus or in some texts Rannulf the Latinist was granted at least eight manors in Yorkshire by Ilbert de Lacy in return for fighting at his side at the Battle of Hastings. The manors in question were Featherstone, Nostell, Purston [Preston] Jaglin, Knottigley, [West] Hardwick, Thorpe Audlin, Shippen and Sturton. All these manors are in the close proximity to Pontefract in the Hundred of Osgodcross in West Yorkshire.

Ralph Pincerna of Featherstone the son of Rannulf the Latinist later held most of his fathers manors jointly with his brother Ernulph de Preston [Purston Jaglin]. The manors were split between the families of the two brothers in due course creating three families the de Prestons, the Grammaticus’s and the Featherstones. The Grammaticus and Featherstone families exist to the present day. Ralph Pincerna was the Butler of Ilbert de Lacy and later Butler to his son Robert de Lacy. Please note the Norman office of Butler at this time was more akin to a Steward or chief executive officer to a a major Norman Baron and not at all what it has become in more recent times.

Sir Amfrey Featherstone of Featherstone in Yorkshire was the son and heir of Ralph Pincerna of Featherstone. Amfrey like his father before him was the Butler or Steward to Robert de Lacy Lord of the Honour of Pontefract, the Honour of Clitheroe and the Liberty of Bowland.

Together these Honours comprised more than 200 manors mostly stretching over an arc of country in West Yorkshire and what is now North and East Lancashire. It represents one the largest contiguous land holdings in England and would later form the nucleus of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster.

Sir Amfrey of Featherstone founded Nostell Abbey. The foundation of Nostell Priory probably began in the early years of the twelfth century with a community of men who lived and prayed at a chapel dedicated to St Oswald in a wood in the Parish of Featherstone near Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.

This band of hermits in the wood dedicated to St Oswald first attracted the attention of the local Baron, Robert I de Lacy (died 1136) lord of the honour of Pontefract who helped them with gifts of land between 1109 and 1114. After Robert de Lacy’s banishment from England, c. 1114, the community came to the attention of King Henry I and through his influence the curiales of his court and his newly created barons in the North gifted an endowment, spiritual and temporal, establishing Nostell Priory as not merely self sufficient but so firmly footed as to establish it as one of the three wealthiest Augustinian priories in the North of England.

There is a separate document that records the grant and dedication of a church dedicated to St Oswald for the use of the canons that was given either by Robert himself or by his knight Amfrey of Featherstone. Robert I de Lacy and his knight Amfrey of Featherstone were probably present at the dedication ceremony of this church as described in the document. The ceremony was probably conducted by Archbishop Thomas II of York.
N.B. This could only have happened between Robert de Lascy’s return from banishment in 1135 on the accession to the throne of King Stephen and Roberts death the following year ie between 1135 and 1136.

The first son of Ralph grammaticus and Edeline was Ralph of Featherstone known as Ralph Pincerna because of his office as Butler to Ilbert de Laci. In some charters he is named as Ralph son of Edeline because his mother. Ralph was the Butler or Dapifer of Ilbert de Laci and performed the same office for Robert de Lacy. When Robert was banished by King henry I in 1114, Ralph joined him in Normandy and did not return to England.

Grammori :
“Rannulf, a vassal of Ilbert de Laci, who held Knottingley of him in 1086, is afterwards mentioned as ‘Ranulfus Grammaticus,’ and as having held lands there, given by Ilbert de Laci towards the endowment of St. Clement’s chapel in Pontefract Castle. (Old Mon. i. 659.)”

The name of ‘the Grammarian’ had no doubt been given to him from the more than usual amount of learning he had acquired, not then considered an honourable distinction in a layman.

Ralph Grammaticus was present with Ilbert de Lascy at Hastings in 1066 and as the Domesday book records was granted at least eight manors near to Pontefract including Featherstone, Nostell, Purston [Preston] Jaglin, Knottigley, [West] Hardwick, Thorpe Audlin, Shippen and Sturton.. Ralph Grammaticus had a wife named Edeline and appears to have had a brother Ernulph with whom he shared some of the manors. Puston Jaglin and Hardwick were inherited by Ernulph’s son. Ralph had two sons Richard Grammaticus who inherited Knottingley and Ralph Pincerna the eldest who inherited Featherstone. Nostell and West Hardwick. Nostell as we have seen was donated to the Church found the new Priory.

The de Lacy family continued to be the most important Baronial family in the North of England until their line was finally extinguished with Alice de Lacy Countess of Lincoln in 1348 and their lands became the nucleus for the newly created County Palatine [Principality] of Lancaster.

For Laci: The other Domesday baron, Ilbert de Lacy, was an even greater landowner than his brother or kinsman Roger. His fief comprised the whole district of Blackburnshire in the county of Lancaster, with nearly one hundred and fifty manors in Yorkshire, ten in Nottingham, and four in Lincolnshire.

He was seated in the West Riding; and there, near the town then called Kirkby, he built the famous Castle of Pontefract (so named from a broken bridge over the Aire) which was the great stronghold of South Yorkshire, commanding the passes of the river as effectually as a former Roman station had done.

Within this new fortress he founded a collegiate chapel dedicated to St. Clement; and he likewise laid the foundation of Nostell Abbey, which was completed and endowed by his successor. He left two sons; Robert, and Hugh. Robert, also called de Pontefract, took part with Robert Curthose against Henry I., and “was forced to buy his peace at a dear rate.” Yet after this he obtained from the King a grant of Bowland,[80] that had been Roger de Poitou’s, with other lands in Yorkshire; and next, by a sudden transition of fortune left unexplained by Dugdale, he and his son Ilbert were expelled the realm.

He was never allowed to return, and must have died in exile; but Robert obtained from Stephen the restoration of his barony, and “calling to mind the misery of his banishment by King Henry I., approved himself the more cordial to King Stephen.” He was one of the chief commanders at the Battle of the Standard, and a powerful magnate in the Northern counties. Henry his brother succeeded him; and Henry’s son Robert proved the last of his race.[81] He did not live to complete the great castle he began to build at Clitheroe, but d. s. p. in 1193, and was buried in Kirkstall Abbey.

pontefract castle

Pontefract Castle Today

Pontefract Castle Today

The Harrying of the North
Ilbert de Laci was responsible for the ‘Harrying of the North’ in 1069-70. This was a scorched earth punishment of all those North of the Humber who had supported the uprising of the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar who had unsuccessfully attempted to drive out the Normans.

The north remained desolate and under-populated for generations and it is arguable whether some areas such as Tynedale, North Lancashire and parts of Cumbria have ever recovered their previous prosperity, though centuries of war and raiding in the Scottish Border area can hardly have helped.

Rannulf the Latinist of Featherstone as one of Ilbert’s chief aides must have played a prominent role in ‘Harrying’ and I certainly find it a little disturbing to find that my direct ancestor was responsible for such a barbarous act amounting to genocide which continues to resonate to the present day. The damage done to the North of England set back the economy for generations and consolidated its subordinate relationship with the prosperous South of England which continues to the present day and is much resented by Northerners.

Extract from Wiki:
From the Humber to Tees, William’s men burnt whole villages and slaughtered the inhabitants. Food stores and livestock were destroyed so that anyone surviving the initial massacre would succumb to starvation over the winter. The land was salted to destroy its productivity for decades forward. The survivors were reduced to cannibalism[7] Even some who were usually in support of William and the Normans were horrified by his actions.
The King stopped at nothing to hunt his enemies. He cut down many people and destroyed homes and land. Nowhere else had he shown such cruelty. This made a real change. To his shame, William made no effort to control his fury, punishing the innocent with the guilty. He ordered that crops and herds, tools and food be burned to ashes. More than 100,000 people perished of hunger [this was more than a third of the entire population at least another third entered Scotland as refugees].

I have often praised William in this book, but I can say nothing good about this brutal slaughter. God will punish him.
—Orderic Vitalis, 11th century

Now let us return to William and Elias de Featherstone
We have already discovered that William of Featherstone was the son of Sir Amfrey de Featherstone of Featherstone County York; and that he had a wife named Avice [Hadawise] and a brother Drueward with whom he appears to have shared his landholdings including Featherstone and a moiety of Nostell. Drueward [not Durward] is an interesting name and hints at a Breton origin for the family as as it is exceptionally rare and used almost exclusively by Bretons. Drueward retained a moiety share of the manor of Featherstone in Yorkshire which later passed to his granddaughters and heiresses Tibba and Alice.

William de Featherstone was a fugitive from the law in Northumberland in 1165/6 but felt sufficiently secure to treat the rulings of the courts with complete contempt.
In the twelfth year of the reign of Henry II (1165-6) WILLIAM de Featherston owed a mark, as recorded in pleas before the justices de Lucy in Northumberland. In 33 Henry II [1185] he is listed as a fugitive whose chat-tels were worth 19 s. 3 d.(5)

William’s son Elias appears to have shared his father’s contempt for the law but neither appear to have suffered for it.
In 1204 Elias de Fetherestanehalg is found being prosecuted for breaking the king’s peace by robbery.

Elias is named along with Adam De Tindale Baron of Langley as a co-founder of the Benedictine Nunnery at Lambley on the Tyne, one and a half miles south of Featherstone Castle. The Nunnery was dedicated to St Patrick circa 1200 AD. In the founding charter Elias is named as the nephew of Adam of Tinedale making Elias the son of Adam De Tinedale’s sister Avice [Hadawise] who is named as the wife of William of Featherstone (in Yorkshire) in a grant donating the Parish Church of Featherstone to the Collegiate Church and Canons of Nostell
Priory in 1154-70.

Ownership of the Nunnery of Lambley reverted back to the Fetherstonhaugh’s of Fetherstonhaugh at the time of the dissolution of the Lesser Monastic Houses by King Henry VIII in 1536. The Fetherstonhaugh’s are listed as the hereditary Stewards of the convent of Lambley at this time.

Sir Albany Fetherstonhaugh of Fetherstonhaugh had a grant of Lambley Convent and its lands from Edward VI in 1553. Albany was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1560, and was still living in 1568. He had three sons, Alexander who succeeded him, Henry who founded the Fetherstonhaugh branch of Kirkoswald & John Fetherstonhaugh of Lambley who testified that the Parkinsons were descended from Perkin Fetherstonhaugh during the heraldic inquisition of 1575 [see below in the entry for John Le Perkinson].

Grant to Helyas

gift of Nostell

Nunnery of Lambley

Avice [Hadawise] was the sister of the first Adam De Tyndale Baron of Langley she married William of Featherstone and was mother of Elias of Featherstone as Elias is listed as the nephew of Adam de Tinedale I in the foundation documents of the Nunnery of Lambley on the Tyne in in a confirmatory charter dating to the reign of King John (1199-1215 the original charter must have dated from before 1194 as Adam de Tinedale I died in 1199 when his son Adam II paid a livery of 100 pounds sterling for possession of the Barony in the right of his recently deceased father).

Avice and Adam of Tinedale I Baron of Langley were the children of Robert of Tinedale the Lord of the Liberty of South Tynedale and First Baron of Langley. Robert was a son of Uchtred fitz Waldeve Lord of Tynedale who married Bethoc the heiress of the deposed and murdered Donald Bane MacDuncan High King of Scots. Uchtred was himself the son of Waldeve Lord of Allerdale the son of Cospatrick Earl of Northumberland, the son of Maldred MacCrinan Prince of the Cumbrians.

Elias De Fetherstonhalgh the nephew of Adam de Tinedale I Lord of the Liberty of Langley was granted the Manor of Lambley and a fee within the Barony of Langley by Adam De Tinedale or his father Robert De Tinedale. This fee became known as the Fee of Fetherstonhaugh or Featherstones Haugh [haugh = a riverside meadow, and the original Featherstone Castle was located on the meadow beside the South Tyne] and was valued at 10 marks annually or ‘one Mortain Knights Fee’ [that is half a normal ‘Knights Fee’ such lesser knights fees are known as a ‘Mortain Knights Fees’].

From the Doomsday web site
Featherstone in Yorkshire gives this information
Hundred: Osgodcross
 Area: West Riding
 County: Yorkshire
 Total population: 9.3 households (quite small). Total tax assessed: 4 geld units (medium).
 Taxable units: Taxable value 16 geld units.
 Value: Value to lord in 1066 £5. Value to lord in 1086 £3.
 Households: 20 villagers. 15 smallholders. 2 priests.
 Ploughland: 6 ploughlands (ploughs possible). 3 lord’s plough teams. 7 men’s plough teams.
 Other resources: Woodland 1 * 1 leagues. 2 churches.
 Lord in 1066: Ligulf.
 Lords in 1086: Ernwulf of Featherstone; Ralph.
 Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Ilbert of Lacy.
Places mentioned in this entry: Featherstone; Nostell [Priory]; Purston [Jaglin]; [West] Hardwick.
Phillimore reference: 9W54

It can now be seen that the story long propagated by authors such as John Hodgson that the Featherstone’s were a Saxon family of long standing is false. It is clear that they are in fact Normans though having married in to the Scottish Royal House of Dunkeld they carried both Scots Royal Blood and through Cospatrick of Northumberland the the blood of Uchtred the Bold the Saxon Earl of Northumberland and of Ethelred the Unready King of England. Elias Featherstone’s ability to form a direct alliance with the Chancellor of England and his ability to flout the law with impunity are explained. He was in fact a favourite nephew of one of the most important Scottish Border Barons and a cousin of the Kings of Scots.

Extract from ‘A History of Northumberland’ – by John Hodgson, 1840.
Elias of Featherstonehaugh (born before 1168 – died after 1225) was confirmed as Lord of the manor Fetherstonhaugh by King John in 1204 (and again in 1212). He was a Saxon nobleman whose family had been the Thanes of Fetherstonhaugh since the 7th Century or earlier. The family is of Saxon origin. They were seated at Featherstone in Northumberland, after the [Saxon] Conquest of that part of the country having been allotted to their ancestor, a Saxon officer for his gallant behaviour against the Britons. They were registered in King Stephens reign (1135-54) as gentlemen of coat-armour, resident at Fetherstonhaugh Castle (this would be John or Robert de Featherstone).

Two heraldic shields

Thomas Ffetherstanhaughs of Fetherstonhaugh was the first son and heir of Elias. In 40th year of Henry III [1256] he held from the Barony of Nicholas De Bolteby the Manor of Featherstonhaugh by half a Mark in soccage. He was Seneschal of the Barony of Langley for Baron Nicholas De Bolteby.

This Thomas is omitted from the pedigree recorded in ‘A History of Northumberland’ – by John Hodgson, 1840; but is listed in the pedigree of the Ardagh Fetherstonhaugh Baronets which is recorded by the College of Arms and in almost every other recorded pedigree. What is more in that pedigree he had a brother named Ralph.

The ‘chevron argent’ displayed on the Featherstone arms is often a mark of cadency at this early period in heraldry indicating a second son. It would therefore be reasonable to suppose that this Ralph was the elder son and carried the undifferenced arms namely a plain red shield with three white feathers. Whilst the younger son Thomas retained the arms differenced with a white chevron.

What became of Ralph was unknown, and had remained a mystery to me. He clearly did not succeed to the family’s holdings in Northumberland. Ralph is listed in some unproven pedigrees as the family’s progenitor. I have now found that Ainsworth quotes that this Ralph ‘de Fetherstan’, was the son of Helias, and his inquisition post mortem was published in 1243/4 was actually from Featherstone in West Yorkshire, because although he has some lands in Preston County Lancaster, he also had them in Yorkshire but not Northumberland (those lands being held by his brother Thomas). It is now clear that Ralph had succeded to Elias’s remaining lands in the ancestral manor of Featherstone in Yorkshire.

Post Mortem inquisition into the property of Ralph De Fetherston in 1244
On 14 January 1244 the sheriff of York received an order to inquire into the holdings of RALPH de Fetherston, deceased. The inquest showed that ‘Olive, his daughter, aged 16 1/2 , is understood to be his heir. because he kept a certain woman named Emma for ten years before he married her. and begot of her RICHARD his son, and after their marriage he begot of her the said Olive’.

Ralph held in the parish of Fetherston thirty acres of land, a messuage, five acres of meadow, and pasture in demesne, two and three-quarters bovates in villeinage (ie about another 40 acres), 49s. 3 l/2d. in rents from freemen (this would be approximately 200 acres in all), and a pound of pepper and two pounds of cumin (a considerable value in those times – a peppercorn rent was no token rent then). In Chevet town he had a mark of rent of assize, and in Stubbes. 3d.(7) The king granted one Hamo, son of Philip, the hand of Olive, Ralph’s heir, on 2 May 1244 (Olive was clearly a Ward of the Crown and therefore perhaps of some importance).

In the year 1243-1244 we find the following, “Inquisitio post mortom anno 28 Henrici 3rd” “Radulphus de ffederstane”, “Fedderstan 1 messuag: 30acr: terr: 5acr: Prat &c North”
“Chevott [in the Parish of Featherstone] 1 mare: redd: assis } County York. “Stubbs 3 redd } County York. “Extenta-Gayton Villa in Wivehall: County Chester. “Extenta-Preston Villa in Amunderness: County Lancaster.

This means land outside Preston in Amounderness and almost certainly refers to the land at Claughton which continued to belong to Parkinsons for at least another 700 years.
This is important since as ‘Featherstone’ in Yorkshire has been so named since before Domesday in 1087, and it would appear to be a possession of the Featherstone’s from which they derive their name; it becomes likely therefore that Fetherstonhaugh in Northumberland which was established after the 12th century must be named after the Featherstones rather than they being named for it.

Featherstone in Yorkshire is so named because of the former presence of a cromlech on the Wakefield Road in the township. The Old English fether means four. Thus Fetherstan signifies four stones. A tetralith, or cromlech, which consists of four stones, three upright ones with a headstone; hence “Featherstone”. The last known whereabouts of the stones is on the Wakefield road allotments in Featherstone. Since the Featherstones would appear to have derived their name from poseession of the manor of Featherstone in Yorkshire, Featherstonhaugh in Northumberland must be named after the family rather than vice versa.

FEATHERSTONE, a township-chapelry in Haltwhistle parish, Northumberland; on the South Tyne River. Acres, 2, 844. Population., 307. Houses, 61. Featherstone Castle was built in 1290 by Thomas de Featherstone a member of a family once very powerful in these parts, and who first occupied a strong castle higher up among the hills, but afterwards removed to the site of the present edifice, on a level Called the ” Haugh,” when the name changed to that of Featherstonhaugh.

Featherstone Castle here was, for many ages, the seat of the Featherstones of Featherstonehaugh; passed to the Earls of Carlisle; and is now the seat of J. Hope Wallace, Esq. The edifice is picturesque; consists partly of an ancient square tower, with two turrets; but includes a modern castellated mansion, with a gallery 60 feet long. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £90.* Patron, J. Hope Wallace, Esq. The church is a Gothic structure, attached to the castle; and there was added to it, in 1829, a mausoleum for Lady Jane Hope.

The Tinedale family and the Barony of Langley
Uchtred FitzWaldeve the son of Waltheof Lord of North and South Tynedale, Annandale, Allerdale and Allendale was born about 1096 he married Princess Bethoc the only surviving child of King Donald Bane King of Scots the son of King Duncan MacCrinan and Ealdgyth the daughter of Siward Earl of Northumbria. This made Uchtred’s son Robert of Tinedale First Baron of Langley a direct descendant of Crinan of Dunkeld on both his paternal and maternal sides.

Tyndale coat of arms

Tyndale coat of arms

The Tyndale (or De Tyndale) Family Crest is described by Burke’s General Armoury. 1884 p 1041:
TYNDALE co Northampton, Hockwold, co. Eastwood co. Gloucester and Bathford. co. Somerset. descended from Robert De TYNDALE, feudal Baron of South Tynedale, and Langley Castle, co. Northumberland, temp Henry II).
Argent. a fess gules ‘between three garbs sable. banded or, for TYNDALE.

Among the claims of the Competitors [for the Scots Throne in 1291] there is a remarkable variation in that of John Comyn. In the Great Roll, he traced his descent from Bethoc, daughter and heir of Dovenald, son of Duncan, son of Crinan, i.e., Donald Bane King of Scotland, younger brother of Malcolm Canmore.

In the original instrument here calendared, he traces it from Hextildis, daughter and heir of Gothrik, son and heir of the above Donald. The former of these genealogies is supported by a charter of Henry III. in 1261, confirming to John Cumyn’s father the extensive Tynedale lands which had been derived from Hextildis, his ancestress, wife of Richard Cumyn, and styled daughter of Huctred son of Waldef.”

This Huctred or Uctred (the same as Gothrik) appears as a great landowner in Northumberland in the Pipe Roll of Henry Ist It does not seem to be known who he was, but as his father, Waldef or Walleof, must have been a contemporary of Donald Bane, the royal descent of Comyn must have been through the latter’s daughter Bethoc, the wife of Huctred. It is unnecessary to pursue in detail the well known story of the proceedings which ended in the decision by the King of England, on 17th November 1292, in favour of John Balliol as King of Scotland [in 1292].

The answer to the above confusion may well be that Uchtred FitzWaldeve of Tynedale had two sons Robert of Tinedale the younger who succeeded to The Liberty of South Tynedale and the Barony of Langley; and an elder son Gothric [Sometimes Godfrey] who succeeded to the Liberty of North Tynedale who passed his lands and his claim to the Scots Throne to his daughter Hextilda of Tynedale.

Robert FitzUchtred of Tyndale was the son of Uchtred he was the Lord of the contiguous territories of North and South Tynedale [Northumberland], Annandale [Dumfries], Allerdale [Cumbria] and Allendale [Northumberland] Robert was a direct descendant of Crinan on both his paternal and maternal sides. Roberts’s NEICE or SISTER Hextilda married Sir Richard Comyn lord of Tynedale the Justiciar of Scotland whose de-scendants made a bid for the Scottish Crown. The coat of arms of the Comyns reflects their relationship with the Tynedales both coats of arms incorporating three garbs or wheatsheafs. Coats of arms often show familial and feudal relationships by incorporating similar charges.

Comyn arms

The English acquired the Barony of Langley by conquest during the reign of Malcom IV of Scots 1153 to 1163. The Liberties of South Tynedale, North Tynedale and Hexham were granted back to the Crown of Scotland in partial recompense for the loss of Northumberland and Cumbria. The Crown of Scotland held the Tynedale lib-erties from the English Crown from 1157 until 1297. For this reason the Barony of Langley had been and effectively remained a part of the Kingdom of Scotland until 1297 when it was taken from King John Baliol by Edward I.

Malcolm II king of Scots son of Kenneth III had killed Gilbert Filius Boet (Gillebride MacBeth) who had held Gilsland and South Tynedale under the Scottish Kings. Gilbert MacBeth was the son of Boet son of Kenneth of Gilsland a son of King Kenneth III of Scots. Gruoch the sister of Boet married first to Gille Coemgáin mac Maíl Brigti, Mormaer of Moray, with whom she had at least one son, Lulach mac Gille Coemgáin, briefly King of Scots in 1058. Gruoch married secondly King MacBeth Mac Findlay of Scots who killed King Duncan Mac-Crinan and was in turn killed and supplanted by King Duncan’s son King Malcolm Canmore the nephew of Maldred MacCrinan.

Robert De Tinedale became the first Lord of the Liberty of South Tynedale known as the Feudal Barony of Langley in 1157 and had at least two sons Adam I who succeeded to the Barony of Langley and Robert, the second son, seated himself at Transover in Northamptonshire and married Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and was the progenitor of all those who now bear the Tyndall surname and its variants. It is possible that there was a third brother John who may have been the progenitor of the Johnston clan of Annandale and the Johnston Barons of Annandale.

langley castle

Langley Castle centre of the Barony of Langley in Northumberland.

Langley Castle is now owned by Dr. Stuart Madnick, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technol-ogy (MIT) in Boston, USA and high-tech consultant, had purchased the Castle in 1985. Working with his wife, Yvonne, they established it as one of the foremost hotels in England.
The Feudal Barony of Langley has been released by the Crown after almost 300 years to fund a hospital charity. Langley Castle and the Barony of Langley Reunited after 125 years American Profes-sor becomes Baron of Langley.
After 125 years of separation, Langley Castle and the Barony of Langley have finally been reunited. It has just been announced that Dr. Stuart Madnick – now the Baron of Langley – had acquired the title from the Crown.

The eldest son of Robert of Tynedale was Adam of Tinedale. Adam was granted the Liberty of South Tynedale known as the Feudal Barony of Langley during the reign of Henry II. Adam II of Tynedale the son of Adam I of Tynedale and grandson of Robert of Tynedale left two daughters, co-heiresses, and the elder Philippa married Adam Nicholas de Bolteby and conveyed to her husband the Barony of South Tyne-dale. Adam II inherited the Barony during the reign of Richard I and paid 100 pounds for his relief, with livery of his land on the death of his father Adam in 1194.

Adam de Tindale tenet in capite de dno Rege baroniä de Langeleya p serviciü unius militis et önies anteces-sores sui tenuerüt p idem serviciü post tempus dni Reg’ sedi H. de feoffaihto suo qui feoffavit illos et de feof-fanito isto nichil alienatu est vel datu p maritag’ vel elemosinä vel aliquo alio modo unde dñs Rex minus heat de servicio suo.

The Fee of Langley was valued at 30 librates annually that is one ‘Great Knights Fees’ or three ‘Mortain Knights Fees’. A mortain Knight was a more lightly armoured knight mounted on a smaller faster horse than the heavily armoured knights of the lowlands mounted on ‘great horses’.

Mortain Knights were more valuable in the uplands, moorlands and mosses of the north where they could cover vast distances quickly and could be outfitted more cheaply. Northumberland and Cumbria were devastated and largely de-populated during William the Conquerors ‘Harrying of the North’ in 1069-70. This was a scorched earth punishment of all those North of the Humber who had supported the uprising of the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar who had unsuccessfully attempted to drive out the Normans. The north remained desolate for generations and it is arguable whether some areas such as Tynedale, North Lancashire and parts of Cumbria have ever recovered their previous prosperity, though centuries of war and raiding in the Scottish Border area can hardly have helped.

One Mortain Knights Fee was held in demain by the Baron at Langley, one was granted to Elias of Featherstone and the third Fee was granted to Blenkinsop of Blenkinsop. The similarity of the Blenkinsop arms to those of the Tynedales signifies the close Feudal relationship and quite possibly a similar familial relationship. It is reasonable to speculate that one of the early Blenkinsops also married a daughter of one of the three Tynedale Barons of Langley, but sadly their records do not extend back sufficiently far to confirm this.

Tyndale and Blenkinsop Arms

The structure of lordship: The Liberty of Tynedale
Tynedale was not an ordinary Fee. Instead it belonged to a class of lordship described as regalities or liberties, where the baron was responsible for performing the administrative and judicial tasks undertaken elsewhere by the sheriff and other royal officials.

Tynedale (north and south) was the largest of these liberties, covering more than 200,000 acres in total. The South Tyndale Fee was valued at 30 librates annually that is one ‘Great Knights Fee’ or three ‘Mortain Knights Fees’. One knights Fee was held in demain by the Baron at Langley, one was granted to Elias of Featherstone and the third Fee was granted to Blenkinsop of Blenkinsop.

In 1157 King Henry II of England granted to Prince William of Scotland Earl of Northumberland the Barony of South Tynedale including Langley and Featherstone in recompense for the confiscation of the Earldom of Northumberland. On the Death of his brother King Malcolm IV of Scots, Prince William became King William the Lyon of Scots. Tynedale including the Barony of Langley was retained by the Scottish Crown until the beginning of the Anglo-Scottish wars in 1297 (Moore 1915, 21-6; Lomas 1996, 155-8).

This is important because it means that all the Featherstones up to and including the brothers Thomas, Alexander and Perkin were in fact born subjects of the Kings of Scots and not the kings of England. They were in fact Scotsmen and not Englishmen and more than this they were allied by blood to the Scots royal Family.
In the eyes of contemporaries, at least, it might appear that the Liberty of Tyndale (including Langley) was part of Scotland. In the Northumberland Assize Roll of 1279, Tynedale is described as ‘outside the kingdom of England in the kingdom of Scotland’ (Northumb. Assize R., 365).
Richard Fetherston Parkinson © 2012
Richard F Parkinson

Ps for reference my own lineage is as follows
Richard F Parkinson being the only son of Gerald Rigby Parkinson the heir of William Parkinson the son of William Parkinson of Maidens Bower Farm, the son of William Parkinson of Maidens Bower Farm, the son of William Parkinson of Maidens Bower Farm, the son of William Parkinson of Maidens Bower Farm in Knowsley, the son of Ezekiel Parkinson of the Ryleys the grandson and heir of William Parkinson of the Lesser House Rainhill, the son of William Parkinson of the Lesser House Rainhill, the son of William Parkinson of the Lesser House Rainhill, the son of Edmund Parkinson of the Lesser House Rainhill, the son of William Parkinson Mayor of Lancaster, the son of Ralph Parkinson of Fairsnape, the son of Ralph Perkinson of Fairsnape, the son of Alexander Perkinson of Farington, Aukland and Luttrington, the son of John Le Perkynson of Preston and Farington, the son of John Le Perkynson of Preston and Sefton, the son of Sir Perkin Featherstone of Fetherstonhaugh Castle, the son of Thomas Featherstone of Fetherstonhaugh Castle, Royal Valet, Keeper of Tynedale & Constable of the Castles of Langley and Staward, the son of Thomas Featherstone of Fetherstonhaugh Castle, Bailiff of the Barony of Langley, the son of Elias Featherstone of Fetherstonhaugh Castle, Bailiff of the Barony of Langley,the son of William Featherstone of Featherstone & Hadawise de Tinedale of Langley, the son of Sir Amfrey de Featherstone of Featherstone in the Honour of Pontefract Co York, the son of Ralph Pincerna of Featherstone kinsman and Butler to Robert de Lacy Lord of the Honour of Pontefract, the son of Ralph Grammaticus of Featherstone who fought beside Ilbert de Lacy at Hastings in 1066.
Copyright Richard Parkinson February 2012