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THE ANCESTOR

AN 'AUTHORITATIVE' ANCESTOR

IN my Studies on Peerage and Family History (p. 68) I ventured to ask the question: 'What authority can there be for "Sir Geoffrey de Estmonte, Knight, of Huntington in county Lincoln" being one of "the thirty knights who landed at Bannow in 1172," as alleged in Burkes Peerage? As a matter of fact there is, and could be, none whatever. The statement, however, is repeated and even defiantly amplified in the 1902 edition of Burke's Peerage. Its respective versions are as follows:—

1901

Sir Geoffrey de Estmonte Knt. of Huntington co. Lincoln, accompanied Strongbow in the invasion of Ireland A.D. 1172, and was one of the thirty knights who landed at Bannow co. Wexford.[1]

1902

Sir Geoffrey de Estmonte (or Esmondeys) Knt. of Huntington co. Lincoln, now called Honington (which he gave in 1216 to the Priory of Stixwold), accompanied Strongbow to the Conquest of Ireland A.D. 1172, and was one of the thirty knights who landed at Bannow co. Wexford.





To those who may take the editor at his word and accept these statements as 'authoritative' I may explain (1) that this landing took place in 1168 or 1169, not in 1172; (2) that its leader was not Strongbow (who had not then set foot in Ireland) but a man called Robert FitzStephen; (3) that there is no list of the names of those who followed him.[2] These are not matters of opinion; they are matters of historic fact. It was recently announced that Sir Thomas Esmonde, at the head of whose pedigree in Burke the above statements are found, 'will endeavour to secure' from the Government' promise of a special department for prosecuting research into

  1. The above statement was introduced into the work between 1885 and 1889, and therefore in the lifetime of Sir Bernard Burke.
  2. The authority for this landing is Geraldus Cambrensis, who in his chapter headed 'Adventus Stephanidæ' writes as follows: 'Robertus Stephani filius … cum triginta militibus de proximis et alumnis suis … circa kalendas Maii in tribus navibus apud Banuam applicuit' (Ed. Rolls Series, v. 230).