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had two sons, Roger and Henry. Roger being the eldest, and consequently heir to the property of his father, assumed, by the royal mandate, the name of Mowbray.
This change of name is thus noticed by Hardying, in his Chronicle.
“ The same Nygell that hyghte Albanye
And thus it was that Nigel d'Albini, having obtained the possessions of Geoffrey de Wirce, and his Son Roger changing his name, the Lords of this Manor were called Mowbray. They had a mansion situated at the Vine Garths*, near the Church, at which some of the family occasionally resided. Roger Mowbray died here, in 1266. John, who gave the cele- , brated deed, had a son born bere in 1326, and a grandson in 1365; and it was the summer residence of Katherine Duchess of Norfolk in 1340t. In
* It is certain that in former times vineyards were quite common in England; and no where was there a finer soil for the cultivation of the vine than this Garth at Epworth. Few of the great monasteries were without a vineyard. Vopiscus carries the antiquity of the vine in England, at least as far back as A. D. 280. He informs us that the Emperor Probus, towards the latter part of his reign, restored the privilege of the vineyard to most of the provinces in the north and west. We have the authority of Bede for the existence of the vine amongst us in the middle of the eighth century. William of Malmsbury, in his History de Gestis Pontificum, describing Gloucestershire says, the vines there are “proventu uberior sapore jucundior;" speaking of Thorney, he says, “hic prætexitur ager vineis quæ vel per terram repunt, vel per bagulos palos in celsum sargunt.” Introduction to the Indices of Doomsday.
† The following letter, written by Katherine duchess of Norfolk, is dated from Epworth. It is evident that she had been residing at this place during the summer, and was going in the month of October to spend the winter in London.
“Right trusty and entirely well beloved, we grete you wel, hertily as we kan ; and for as much as we prpose with grace of Jhu to be in London, wt you in bryff tyme, we pray you yt your place there may be ready for us, for we wole sende our stuff thiderto for our coming, and syche agreement as
the survey of the Manor taken in 1749, it is described “as a capital Messuage or Manor-House, consisting of a hall, a parlour, a kitchen, with three lofts over them :" and that “the close of arable land called the Vineyards, lay on the north and east side thereof.” This description would convey to us but a poor idea of a hall or principal mansion of the lord; but so late as the reign of Henry the Eighth, the apartments in the manor houses were but low and small, having only one or two rooms which modern ideas would think eligible, and these were the hall or the chapel. About eighty years since some part of the buildings were to be seen, but now they are entirely gone. Several relics of antiquity have been found near the site : two rings of gold with inscriptions, and one of silver, weighing near one ounce, and set with a red cornelian.
The origin of the illustrious family of Mowbray in England, was this. When William, duke of Normandy, invaded the kingdom, he was accompanied by Goisfrid, bishop of Constance, who so highly signalized himself in the memorable battle of Hastings, that the Conqueror rewarded him with two hundred and eighty lordships ; and for his further exertions against the Danes and English, he gave him other marks of his royal favour, in numerous grants of property. Robert de Mowbray, nephew of the bishop of Constance, succeeded to the property and possessions of his uncle. He was the son of Roger de Mowbray, who, on the death of Walcher, bishop of Durham, A. D. 1080, was created earl of Northumberland. This person, on account of his rebellion against William Rufus, forfeited these immense possessions, and was confined a prisoner in Windsor Castle, where he languished thirty years, and his property was conferred on Nigel d' Albini, of whom I have already spoken.
A short biographical account of the descendants of this family, who for such a considerable length of time were Lords of this Manor, and frequently resident therein, may properly be introduced in this part of the History and Topography of the Isle of Axholine.
ROGER we toke wt you for the same we shall duly prforme, yt wt yr myghte of Jhu who haft you in his blissed keping. Wretyn at Eppeworth, the 1 day of Octr.
“ To our righte trusty and hertily wel beloved John Paston, Esquire.”
ROGER DE MOWBRAY; being under age when the death of his father Nigel took place, was a ward of King Stephen ; in the third year of whose reign, though in his minority, he was one of the Barons who met at York, to consult with Archbishop Thurston, for the defence of the north, then invaded by David * King of Scotland, Roger took the chief command in the battle which was fought near North-Allerton, † and in which the English obtained a complete victory over the Scottish forces. In the seventh year of Stephen, A. D. 1142, Roger, adhering § to the King against the Empress Maud, was taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln, but soon afterwards regained his liberty. In the thirteenth of Stephen, A. D. 1148, Roger attended Lewis, King of France, to the Holy Land £. In the twelfth of Henry the Second, Roger ** was certified to hold eighty-eight knights' fees,tt a third and fourth part de veteri feoffamento, and eleven knights' fees, and three parts, de novo ;" for which, upon levying is the aid for marrying the King's daughter, he paid sixty-eight pounds, sixteen shillings, and fourpence. In the twentieth of Henry the Second, Roger, to support the cause of Prince Henry, who wished to reign either over England, or Normandy, Anjou, and Maine, repaired his castle at Kinardfere, in the Isle of Axholme, which had been long ruinous, and fortified all his other strong places; but Geoffrey, bishop elect of Lincoln, and the King's natural son, having collected the forces of Lincolnshire, laid seige to Kinardfare castle and destroyed it.
* Rich. Hagushald, 320. 15.
+ This was called the battle of the Standard, from a remarkable standard erected on a machine with wheels, in the centre of the English army. See Note in Henry's History of England.
++ This was money paid by those who wished to exempt themselves from military service, the sum demanded temp. Henry II for each knight's fee was three pounds. Gervas Chron. c. 1381.
$9 Rot. Pip. 14 Henry II, Ebor,
This took place in the year 1173*. Roger perceiving the badness of his cause and repenting of the baseness of his conduct for encouraging the Prince against his father, hastened to the King, who was then at Northampton, confessed his fault, and implored in the most submissive manner the royal pardon, surrendering his castles at Thirsk and Kirkby Malesard.
The royal clemency was extended towards him; but lest his contrition should not be sincere, the King ordered his castles to be immediately destroyed, and thus put it out of his power either to offer them as places of strength to others, or of defence and refuge for himself, should rebellion again break out in the kingdom. After this he continued firm in his allegiance and attachment to the throne.
The charities and bequests of Roger de Mowbray were as numerous as his possessions were extensive. At the instance of his mother, Gundreda, he founded the Abbey of Byland † for Cistertian monks, in the year 1145, and also the Abbey of Newburgh for Canons Regular of St. Augustine, to which he appropriated the Churches of Haxey, Owston, Epworth, and Belton, with all the lands and tythes belonging to them, situated in the Isle of Axholme. Roger de Mowbray founded a Preceptory at Balshal, in the County of Warwick, for Knights Templars, and endowed it with certain lands in the Isle of Axholme, and with the Manor of Kettleby, in Lincolnshire. This raised him so high in the estimation of that order, that they unanimously granted to him and his heirs the power of releasing any of the Templars' fraternity, under the sentence of public penance, for any offence whatever, on expressing their contritiong.
In the early part of the reign of Henry the Second, Roger bestowed Sandtoft upon the Abbey of St. Mary's, at York; to the Hospital of St. Leonards, the ninth sheaf of all his corn throughout his lordships in England; and, amongst other Hospitals which were founded and endowed by Roger, that of Burton Lazars claimed particular notice, being the chief of all the spittles and lazar houses in England, but dependant on the great one at Jerusalem. It was founded for eight sound, as well as for several poor leprous brethren, and was dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary and St. Lazarus*. Several other endowments were made by this munificent and pious nobleman to charitable institutions and religious establishments.
* Camden's Britannia. Anglia Sacra, c. p. 378.
R. Hoveden, p. 307. W. Newbrigen, c. 2. c. 32.
Benedict Abbas, p. 73.
† Byland, olim Debellalanda, Begeland, Rot. Pip. 16, Henry 2.- Beckand, Sim. Dunelm, A. D. 1138.
§ For a more enlarged detail of these endowments, see Dugdale's Mon. Ang. Vol.2, p. 193, 528.
During his stay in the Holy Land, Saladin taking advantage of the differences between Guy de Lusignan and the Earl of Tripolis, entered the Holy Land with an army of Turks, and utterly defeated the Christians. Roger de Mowbray was taken prisoner, and shortly after, having been ransomed by the Templars, he died † abroad, and was buried at Sures, leaving issue by his wife, Alice de Gant, two sons, Nigel and Robert.
NIGEL, like his father, had a great predilection for the holy wars; and being signed with the cross for an expedition into those parts, died before his arrival there, in the third year of the reign of Richard the First, 1191. Whether his journey was for the purpose of rescuing Palestine from the hands of the infidels, or whether he was one of those who went by the authority of the Pope, to dethrone the Christian Emperor of Constantinople, cannot now be ascertained. Whatever was the object of his journey, he did not live to reach the end of it. He left four sons, William, Robert, Philip, and Rogers, by Mabel, his wife, daughter to the Earl of Clare. Though
* Its possessions, 26 Hen. VIII, were valued at £265 10s. 2d. per ann, and the house itself was granted to John Dudley, Lord Lisle, 36 H. 1. See Tanner's Notitia, Leicestershire, Art. 3.
+ Dugdale relates the following extraordinary event to have happened to Roger de Mowbray, which was no doubt firmly credited in the times of monkish superstition. Roger wearied with the wars of the Holy Lands, was returning to England. In his journey he found a dragon fighting with a lion, in the valley of Saranell; he mortally wounded the dragon, by which he so far gained the regard of the lion, that it followed him to his castle at Hode, in England. After this he lived fifteen years. § Roger, son of Nigel de Mowbray, in the twefth year of John's reign, obtained a grant from the