ax. MAE. 18.1.2*.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 205 Name of the Parish in this Register according to his Title. 16 Jan. 1742. Humphrey, s. of Rowland & Eliz. Morris, of Montfort Bridge (b. 4th) ; Henry Hanmer, Rich. Illedge, Sarah Gittins, sureties . . . bap. 10 June 1799. Elizabeth Roberts, Montford Bridge, aged 54 ... bur. That the name of the village of Montford is responsible for any of the surnames in Shropshire or Staffordshire is very un- likely. As regards the Montfort in Normandy, near Argentan, mentioned by Bardsley, there does not seem to be any evidence that any families taking their surnames from this place ever settled in England. The family to which Sir Simon de Mont- fort belonged took its surname from Montfort-l'Amaury, near Versailles. Simon was born about the year 1208, and in 1231 did homage to King Henry III. for his earldom of Leicester, which he inherited from the Beaumont or Bellomont family, and thereby became an Englishman. It is unnecessary to follow Earl Simon's career in England, other than to say that he eventually allied himself with the English barons and was killed at Evesham in 1265. He married Eleanor, daughter of King John of England, who bore him several children. However, his sons did not have issue whose descendants can be proved to have settled in England. The Montforts of England must un- doubtedly look to the Montforts of Mont- fort-sur-Risle for their origin. A Hollander called Thurstan de Bastenberge followed the Duke of Normandy and settled at Montfort-sur-Risle, where he built a strong castle, and at the time of the invasion of Britain by William the Conqueror his descendant, Hugh de Montfort, one of the most powerful of the Norman barons, supplied 50 ships and 60 knights for the invading army. For his services Hugh de Montfort received 16 manors in Essex, 51 in Suffolk, 19 in Nor- folk, and 28 in Kent, in addition to a large por- tion of Romney Marsh, and was one of the .barons entrusted by the Conqueror with the administration of justice throughout England under Bishop Odo and William FitzOsbern. By Bishop Odo Hugh de Montfort was made Governor of the Castle of Dover, the key of the kingdom. He would appear to have had two wives. By his first wife he had two sons, Hugh and Robert, and by the second a daughter, Alice, eventually heir to her brothers, both of whom died without issue. Alice de Montfort-sur-Risle became the wife of Gilbert de Gant, by many con- sidered to be the son of Baldwin VI., Count of Flanders, and consequently nephew of Queen Matilda. So says J. R. Planche in his book, ' The Conqueror and his Com- panions.' From another source we learn that Gilbert de Gant was descended from Ralph de Gand of Alost in Flanders. The evidence relied upon to prove that Gilbert was a son of Baldwin of Flanders is a passage in a charter of somewhat later date than 1274, and Freeman, owing to the absence of any contemporary evidence, regards this as being an amazing bit of genealogy. Freeman's view, however, is now generally adopted by skilled genealogists. Walter de Gaunt, son of GiJbert de Gaunt and Alice de Montfort-sur-Risle, was created Earl of Lincoln. Another son, Hugh de Gaunt, assumed the name of Montfort after his mother, and married Adelina de Bello- | mont, daughter of Robert, Count of Mellent land Earl of Leicester, whilst a daughter ' of Gilbert, Emma, married Alan de Percy the Great Alan, second Lord Percy. We have seen that Adelina was a daughter of Robert de Bellomont, Earl of Mellent and first Earl of Leicester, and his wife Isabel, daughter of Hugh, Count of Vermandois. Robert's brother was Henry de Bellomont, Earl of Warwick, and, therefore, Adelina 's uncle. By Adelina, Hugh de Montfort had a son, Thurstan de Montfort. In his * Antiqui- ties of Warwickshire ' Dugdale remarks : From this Earl of Mellent most sure it is, that the greatest part of what he possest in these parts, came soon after to Henry de Newburgh, his brother the first Earl of Warwick of the Norman line ; who thereof, and of divers other fair Lord- ships enfeoft Thurstan de Montfort his neere kinsman. Which Thurstane, finding it so capable of Fortification, erected thereupon that strong Castle, whereunto, by reason of its pleasant situation, the French name Beldesert was given ; which continued ; the chief Seat of his Descendants for divers ages. . . . Perhaps the greatest of all the Montforts of Beldesert was Lord Peter de Montfort, who was killed at Evesham. He was the great-grandson of the Thurstan who built the Castle of Beldesert, the earthworks of which are still to be seen on the hill over- looking Henley -in-Arden. Of him Dugdale says, after referring to the defeat of the King by the barons at Lewes : I will now go on with what concerns this Peter de Montfort : and that it may appear, how he was
Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/255
This page needs to be proofread.