Sir William de Chesney, Knight, Baron of Horsford

Male 1136 - 1174  (~ 37 years)


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  • Name William de Chesney 
    Title Sir 
    Suffix Knight, Baron of Horsford 
    Born ~1136  Horsford, Norfolkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 1174  Colne Engaine, Halstead, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I46107  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 28 Jan 2019 

    Family Albreda Poynings,   b. ~1137, Poynings, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ~1174  (Age ~ 37 years) 
    Married Y  [2, 4
    Children 
     1. Margaret de Cheney,   b. ~1162, (Horsford, Norfolkshire, England) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1214  (Age ~ 52 years)
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2021 
    Family ID F16859  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - ~1136 - Horsford, Norfolkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1174 - Colne Engaine, Halstead, Essex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • William de Chesney (sometimes William of Norwich or William fitzRobert;[1] died 1174) was a medieval Anglo-Norman nobleman and sheriff. Son of landholder in Norfolk, William inherited after the death of his two elder brothers. He was the founder of Sibton Abbey, as well as a benefactor of other monasteries in England. In 1157, Chesney acquired the honour of Blythburgh, and was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk during the 1150s and 1160s. On Chesney's death in 1174, he left three unmarried daughters as his heirs.

      Early life

      Chesney was the son of Robert fitzWalter and Sybil de Chesney, and a younger brother of John de Chesney.[2] Sybil was the daughter of Ralph de Chesney.[3] Robert fitzWalter was lord of Horsford in Norfolk,[2] which was originally held by Walter de Caen, Robert's father. The barony was assessed at 10 knight's fees.[4][a]

      Roger was the eldest brother of William, but died childless during their father's lifetime.[6] The next son, John, inherited the family lands, but died around 1149[2] without children.[7] William then inherited the lands.[2] John and William had a sister called Margaret, who was the wife of Haimo de St Clair.[7] Their father married a second time, and had a son named Simon by that marriage. William took his surname from his mother's family, as did his half-brother Simon, who was not related to the Chesney family except by marriage.[8] Two further children of Robert's, Elias and Peter, are known, but whether they were the children of the first marriage or the second is unclear.[9] Chesney should be distinguished from another William de Chesney,[2] who controlled the town of Oxford and its castle as well as the town of Deddington and its castle in the same time period.[10][b]

      Career

      Chesney founded Sibton Abbey,[2] and after his brother John's death he confirmed the foundation of that Cistercian monastery,[7] which was the only Cistercian house in Suffolk.[1] Besides founding that monastery, he also gave lands or other gifts to Colne Priory, Essex, Thetford Priory, Castle Acre Priory, St John's Abbey, Stoke-by-Clare Priory, and Blythburgh Priory.[12]

      Chesney acquired the barony of Blythburgh in Suffolk in 1157.[2] These lands were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being held by the king, and when Chesney was granted them they were assessed at one knight's fee in feudal service.[13] Besides Blythburgh, Chesney also acquired lands in Norfolk and Essex which he added to the family lands in Norfolk and Suffolk.[14]

      In 1153 or 1154, Chesney was the recipient of the lordship of a hundred and a half in Norfolk,[c] possibly in compensation for the loss of the manor of Mileham. Chesney likely lost Mileham to another noble family, the fitzAlans, as part of the settlement resulting from the Treaty of Wallingford which settled the civil war in England.[16] Both William's father Robert and his elder brother John had held these offices before him.[9]

      Chesney was Sheriff of Norfolk in the late 1140s and the 1150s, being recorded as holding that office in two documents one dated to between 1146 and 1149 and the other dated to between 1146 and 1153.[17] The same documents record him as holding the office of Sheriff of Suffolk at concurrent times.[18] He held both offices again between 1156 and 1163.[2]

      Death and legacy

      Chesney died in 1174, having had three daughters with his wife Gilla.[2] Her ancestry is unknown, and it is possible that William married another time, to Aubrey de Poynings, because a Lewes Priory charter dated to around 1165 names a William de Chesney and Aubrey his wife, but it is not clear whether this charter is referring to William de Chesney the sheriff or to another William.[8] William and Gilla's daughters were Margaret, Clemence, and Sara,[2] all of whom were unmarried at the time of their father's death.[19] Margaret married twice first to Hugh de Cressy and second to Robert fitzRoger. Clemence married Jordan de Sackville, and Sara married Richard Engaine.[2] Margaret inherited the majority of her father's estates.[20]

      At his death, Chesney had outstanding debts, both to the king and to Jewish moneylenders. In 1214, his daughter Margaret was exempted from repaying any of her father's debts to those moneylenders by a royal grant.[14]

      Notes

      Jump up ^ A knight's fee was the amount of land that was granted to someone in exchange for a knight's military service of 40 days per year.[5]
      Jump up ^ Sybil was the daughter of Ralph de Chesney,[3] The other William was the son of Roger de Chesney and Alice de Langetot,[2] who were the parents of Ralph de Chesney,[11] who was Sybil's father, making William de Chesney of Oxford the great-uncle of William de Chesney the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.[3]
      Jump up ^ A hundred was a sub-division of a county.[15]

      Citations

      ^ Jump up to: a b Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies p. 1
      ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants p. 370
      ^ Jump up to: a b c Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants p. 369
      Jump up ^ Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies p. 7
      Jump up ^ Coredon Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases p. 170
      Jump up ^ Round "Early Sheriffs" English Historical Review p. 483484
      ^ Jump up to: a b c Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants pp. 363364
      ^ Jump up to: a b Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies p. 13
      ^ Jump up to: a b Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies pp. 1112
      Jump up ^ Crouch Reign of King Stephen p. 205
      Jump up ^ Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants p. 368
      Jump up ^ Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies p. 1617
      Jump up ^ Sanders English Baronies p. 16
      ^ Jump up to: a b Brown, "Introduction" to Sibton Abbey Cartularies, pp. 1416
      Jump up ^ Coredon Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases p. 159
      Jump up ^ Crouch Reign of King Stephen p. 276 footnote 76
      Jump up ^ Green English Sheriffs p. 62
      Jump up ^ Green English Sheriffs p. 77
      Jump up ^ Brown "Introduction" Sibton Abbey Cartularies p. 21
      Jump up ^ Green Aristocracy of Norman England p. 380

      References

      Brown, Philippa (1985). "Introduction". In Brown, Philippa. Sibton Abbey Cartularies and Charters. Suffolk Charters. 7. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer for the Suffolk Records Society. ISBN 0-85115-413-1.
      Coredon, Christopher (2007). A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases (Reprint ed.). Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer. ISBN 978-1-84384-138-8.
      Crouch, David (2000). The Reign of King Stephen: 11351154. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-22657-0.
      Green, Judith A. (1997). The Aristocracy of Norman England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52465-2.
      Green, Judith A. (1990). English Sheriffs to 1154. Public Record Office Handbooks Number 24. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-440236-1.
      Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (1999). Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 10661166: Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-863-3.
      Round, J. H. (October 1920). "Early Sheriffs of Norfolk". The English Historical Review. 35 (140). doi:10.1093/ehr/XXXV.CXL.481. JSTOR 552094.
      Sanders, I. J. (1960). English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent 10861327. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. OCLC 931660.

      * [2]
    • Baron of Horsford William de Cheney
      b. circa 1136
      Pop-up Pedigree
      Father Robert fitz Walter de Cheney b. circa 1110
      Mother Sibyl (?) b. circa 1113
      Baron of Horsford William de Cheney was a witness where Margaret de Cheney only child and heiress of William de Cheney.1 Also called William Cayneto. Baron of Horsford William de Cheney was born circa 1136 at Horsford, Norfolk, England. He was the son of Robert fitz Walter de Cheney and Sibyl (?). Baron of Horsford at Norfolk circa 1162.1
      Family
      Child
      Margaret de Cheney+ b. c 1162, d. a 12142

      Citations

      [S603] C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, B:xP, pg. 121.
      [S1191] Esq. John Burke B:C of GB&I, I:238. [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S9710] "Robert fitzRoger" biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_fitzRoger, accessed and downloaded Setpember 22nd, 20.

    2. [S9711] "William de Chesney" biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_de_Chesney_(sheriff), located and downloaded Septe.

    3. [S9712] "Baron of Horsford William de Cheney" profile, http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p6.htm#i742, accessed.

    4. [S13297] "Joan (FitzPiers) de Verdun (1183 - 1205)", Pedigree, Registry & Biography, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/FitzPiers-3, a.