Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/423

This page needs to be proofread.


12 S. X. MAY 6, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 345 WHITECHAPEL AS AN EAST LONDON NORFOLK COLONY. IT will no doubt startle many if I seriously put forward the probability that the White - chapel we now know takes its name from a soke or jurisdiction called Blancheapelton, owned soon after the Norman Conquest by a Norman family who at the. same time also held in the Norfolk village of Applet on near Lynn, on the Sandringham estate, the Hall of which is now occupied by the King and Queen of Norway. Peter de Valoines, born about 1035, called by some the nephew of the Conqueror, was certainly a great favourite with him, and received many possessions from him. He married Albreda, sister of Eudo dapifer, the daughter of a man who, on or before the Con- quest, held a plot of land in Cheapside in London, on which was born Thos. a Becket, afterwards a protege of Theobald de Valoines, whom I think I have identified with Theobald, the Archbishop of Canterbury (see Genealogist, N.S., xxxviii., Oct., 1921). Peter was by marriage allied to Wm. de Mandeville, son of the first Geoffrey, both of whom held the Tower of London. He held a lordship in Appleton in Norfolk, which was valued with the lordship of Dersingham (' Bl. N.,' viii., p. 320). This lordship he sub-granted to the Priory of Flitcham (ibid., p. 410), which Priory had been founded by Sir Robert Aguillon (who, I suspect, was of the same family as the de PAigle, Becket 's patron) and was helped by the Beaufoys, kinsmen of Peter's wife. Now less than a century after the founda- tion of Binham we find that in 1177 Robert de Valoines confirmed to the Canons of the Holy Trinity, Aldgate, a grant made by David de Cornhella (Cornhill ?) of land in " Blanches Apeltuna," which was within his soke of the said city. It is most noticeable that one of the witnesses to this deed was a Richard Aguillun, which seems a strong cor- roboration of the view I have just put forward. The deed will be found in Ancient Deeds, P.R.O., 7295, and. is entered " Staning Chirch," which from the Hustings Wills would seem to be the same as All Hallows Staining. This is the first mention I find of Blanche Apelton, and its being held by one of the Valoines family who held in Appleton in Norfolk. Besides this I also find that another Norfolk family, viz., de Vaux or de Vallibus, also held both in Blanchappleton and in the Norfolk village of Appleton. See Inq. ;p .m., 15 Ed. I., No. 653, p. 404, where a messuage in London called Blaunch Apelton is specially named. This eventually passed by marriage to the family of Roos of Hamlak. It seems to me almost im- possible that two Norfolk families who both owned land in an obscure Norfolk village called Appleton should also accidentally both hold in Blanchappleton in London. The chances against this double coincidence being accidental are so enormous that we are irresistibly drawn to the conclusion that the London Blanch Appelton, afterwards White- chapel, took its name from the Norfolk village. The Court of Blaunch Apelton occurs in 1286 as owning suit and service of some Hertfordshire land (Inq. p.m., 14 Ed. I., No. 602, p. 357 of Calendar) ; and again in 1289 of some Enfield land (Inq. p.m., 17 Ed. I., No. 719,p.442). Also in 1296 and 1322undertwo Inquisitions post mortem and ad quod damn : 25 Ed. I., No. 57, and 16 Ed. II., No. 87, and in 1353 and 1358. In 1383 the Manor of Blanch Apelton is said to be a manor belonging to Sir Thos. Roos of Hamlak, and to stand on the north-east corner of Mark Lane (Stow, reprint Kings- ford, i., p. 149). As to the actual origin of the name, I thought at first that it was from some lady bearing the Christian name of Blanche to whom the manor, soke or mansion house might have been allotted in dower or other- wise, e.g., to Blanche, daughter of Henry II. But as this Blanche was married in 1200 she could not have given her name to a place which was called Blanche Apelton in 1177. Nor could Blanche of Champagne, who died 1282, have done so. At one time it certainly had to do with the Crown, for Blanche of Navarre, daughter of Robert, Earl of Artois, who died in 1302, having married first Henry, King of Navarre (who died 1274) and secondly Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, the King's brother, claimed dower of Blancheapelton in 1298 (Rolls of Parl., i., p. 438). Again in 1420 the mes- suage or hospitium called Blanch Apelton in London was assigned in dower to Katharine, the King's mother (ibid., iv., p. 187a). Everything turns on the correctness of the date 1177 ascribed to the deed by the P.R.O. authorities, as it may be open to those who are so fond of considering many old charters to be monkish forgeries to allege that this is one of that class.