Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/442

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [9* s. ix. MAY 31, 1902.

the mother of Robert le Fitz le Roy, IJarl of Gloucester. He variously calls her father by the names of Rees ap Gryffyths and Reese ap Theodore. He says that, besides the Earl of Gloucester and other children, she had by Henry I. a daughter Aline, "whom the Montmorencys of England procured in mar- riage for the chief of their house in France, Matthew, sire de Montmorency." Debrett further states that by her only husband, Gerald, sometimes surnamed Fitz- Walter" (in another place Gerard Fitzwalter"), Seneschal of Pembrokeshire, Nesta had three sons :

1. " William, ancestor of the Carews, formerly earls of Totness, &c. ; of the Graces, formerly barons of Courtstown ; of the Fitzmaurices, earls of Kerry and marquesses of Lansdown ; and of the Gerards, earls of Macclesfield, &c."

2. "Maurice, ancestor to the noble families of Fitzgerald, Fitzgibbon, and Mackenzie."

3. "David, Bishop of St. David's."

Debrett also tells us that, after the death of her husband Gerald in 1118, Nesta fell into the hands of Stephen de Marisco or Mont- morency, Constable of Cardigan and Earl of Pembroke ("slain by the Welsh 1136"), and had issue by him,

"besides several daughters married to the lords de Barry, de Carew, de Cogan, and others, one son, Robert Fitz-Stephen, the renowned col- league and precursor, in the conquest of Ireland, 1169, of Earl Strongbow, which Robert was created Duke of Cork by King Henry II.. and is the first Montmorency in France or England who, by creation, ever bore the ducal title ; he left no sur- viving issue."

We are finally told that Nesta, the ancestress of all these great men, died in 1136.

It would be interesting to know how far the 'Debrett' of 1823-4 will withstand the criticism of the present day in the matter of these other descendants of the mother of Robert le Fitz le Roy, Earl of Gloucester. RONALD DIXON.

46, Marlborough Avenue, Hull.

My instances in support of the proposition that the prefix "Fitz" is not always a sign of illegitimacy were doubtless unconvincing, and FitzHamon's parentage is a matter of controversy. But I did not mention Nest as mother of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, because modern historians have generally denied that she stood in any such relationship to him. The late Prof. Freeman, in his 'Norman Con- quest,' set aside this tradition for the very good reason that Nest's own grandson, Giral- dus Cambrensis, in his minute account of her family, makes no mention of the great earl. Robert, probably born at Caen before his father's accession, was most likely the son of a French mother.

Nest, too, was daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, King of Deheubarth, and not of Jestyn. She had, apparently, been married for some ten years to Gerald of Windsor before she was abducted by her cousin Owen, son of Cadwgan. Gerald died before 1136, and thereafter Nest was wife or, more probably, mistress of Stephen, Constable of Cardigan, and was a mistress of Henry I. By the king she was mother of Henry (filius regis\ who was slain in Anglesey in 1157.


In addition to the titles mentioned by H. at p. 296 is one from two widely remote places Earl Roberts of Kandahar and Pre- toria. Until the present campaign that British combination of Nestor and Agamem- non was Lord Roberts of Kandahar.


Brixton Hill.

" OLIVE " : " OLIVACEOUS " (9 th S. ix. 307, 357). I have just come on a passage in Alphonse Daudet's ' Numa Roumestan,' 1881, p. 78, which may be of use :

" Sa figure fine, reguliere, allongee et verte comnie une olive h, 1'arbre, ne marqua ni joie ni surprise, garda 1'expressipn cone-entree qui rapprochait ses epais sourcils noirs, les nouait tout droit, au-dessous du front entete", comme d'un lien tres dur."

The woman spoken of is a peasant of Pro- vence. M. P.

KENYON'S LETTERS (9 th S. ix. 248). There appear to be several references to Ellenbrook Chapel (see index) in Mr. Hardy's ' Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Kenyon ' (Hist. MSS. Comm., Fourteenth Report, App. IV., 1894). Probably these will give a clue to the information required. O. O. H.

RENE=A SMALL WATERCOURSE (9 th S. ix. 329). Spelt rean in Halliwell, who quotes the M.E. dat. rene from a copy of ' Floris and Blancheflur.' Probably a variant of E. run, a small stream, better known in the dimin. form runnel* which answers to rindel. The A--S. form is ryne ; M.E. rune. The A.-S. diminutive is rynel. The word rime, hoar- frost, bears no relation to it ; neither does the O.F. ru or riu, and the alleged O.F. rin is probably a misprint for the latter. CELER.

This term is of every -day occurrence in the flat portion of Somerset ; also, I believe, in Gloucestershire. It is, however, spelt rhine or vhyne, pronounced rheen. The Ord. Survey adopts rhyne.

The Somersetshire levels (extensive flat dis- tricts between the hills and the sea) are under the control of commissioners acting under early Acts of Parliament and having exten-