Amble and District
     Local History


Ad quem diem dictus Willelmus venit. Et juratus et examinatus coram thesaurario et baronibus dicit super sacramentum suum quod circa octo dies post mortem dicti Hugonis apud Strivelyn dictus Hugo de Roubiri cum garcionibus suis sine alia comitiva (venit) ad dictum castrum de Werkworth et tulit ibi duas bulgias coopertas de corio et j coffram pro hernasio sigillatam et serratam, et rogavit dictum Willelmum quod illas custodiret in quibus fuerint ut estimabat cccli, set idem constabularius intellexit a quibusdam quod in eisdem bulgiis et coffra fuerint ccccli, quia multum ponderabant, ut sibi videbatur, quia Willelmus filius dicti constabularii dictas bulgias et coffram portavit sic sigillatam de magna camera castriusque in quandam calketam contiguam. Et dixit quod ibidem sic remanserunt per viij dies. Et tunc venit dictus Hugo de Roubiri cum garconibus suis et apportavit a dicto Castro predictas duas bulgias et coffram sigillatam prout ibi prius portabantur et abiit.' Excheq. Q.R. Memor.33 Ed. I. m. 37.
Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 193.
Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Bain, ii. p. 153.
The Titular Barony of Clavering, p. 16.
Towards the end of the thirteenth century came in the fashion of ornamenting the head of the horse with a fan-crest, similar to that fixed on the helm of the knight . . . . The seal of Patrick Dunbar, earl of March, 1292, affords a good example of knight and steed decorated with the fan-crest : it is figured in Laing, Ancient Scottish Seals, p. 54 ; Hewitt, Ancient Armour, 1860, i. p. 347.
Inq. p.m. Essex, 33 Hen. III. ; Cal. Geneal. i. p. 26.
Obiit Rogerus, filius Johannis de Bailloil. Eodemque ternpore obiit Roger de Bailloil, nobillissimus de partibus borealibus Angliae miles et baro, aetate adolescens, in re strenuus militari, conculcatus in quodam torneamento in partibus Franciae, apud Argenciam. Cujus terrae custodiam rex incontinenti contulit Willelmo de Valentia, fratri suo, cum nobili castro de Wercwurthe, et multis aliis terris ac possessionihus ad praedictum nobilem Rogerum pertinentibus.' Matt. Paris, Hist. Anglor. ann. 1249, Rolls ed. iii. p. 67. In the margin is the shield of Baliol reversed.
bidem (Werkeworth) est i castrum pro cujus custodia Dns. Rogerus dedit quolibet anno xx marcas et iij robas'; Dns. Rogerus consuevit dare per annum pro custodia castri et manerii per annum xiij lib. vj. sol. viij d. et iij robas et fenum et avenas ad ij equos.' Inq. p.m. 33 Hen. III. No. 66 ; Arch. Ael. vol. iii. pp. 98, 100.
See the genealogy of the lords of Warkworth and Clavering.
For the charter see Raine, North Durham, app. p. 142. The seal ( 1ma 1mae Spec. No. 51 in the Treasury, Durham) is engraved on steel in Surtees, Durham, i. Seals, plate vii. No. 4. The secretum is the same as that of Robert fitz Roger's seal. The body of John fitz Robert rested one night at St. Alban's, 1240. Chron. Matt. Paris, Rolls series, vi. p. 390.
Stubbs, Constitutional Hist. of England, Clar. Press, 1875, i. p. 542. John fitz Robert, is not however, classed there among the northern lords.
Cal. Rot. Lit. Pat, i. p. 9
Cal. Rot. Lit. Pat. i. p. 96.
eal 4ta 3ae Spec. 3, in the Treasury, Durham, two and seven eighths inch in diameter, engraved on steel in Surtees, Durham, i. Seals, plate vii. No. 2. On the reverse is an oval gem, 1 x 7/8 in., representing apparently the Flight into Egypt, with the legend 'sigillum secreti.'
Raine, North Durham, app. p. 141 ; Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. ii. p. 141.
Rot. de Oblatis, i. Joh. ; Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 189.
He is called Robert fitz Roger Helke (whatever that may mean) in the foundation charter. Blomefield, Norfolk, iv. p. 1137 ; Dugdale, Monasticon, ed. Caley, vol. vi. pt. ii. pp. 929-930, quoting Visitat. Ordinis Prcemonstratensis per Ricardum episc. Assavens. in Ashmol. MS. 1519, and Annales Abbatice de Langley in Cotton. MS. Cf. Chartulary of Langley Abbey, Brit. Mus. Ad. MS. 5948. This charter was confirmed by King John at Caen, 7th July, 1199. The anniversary of the founder was kept on the 14th of April. In 1340 John de Strumpeshaugh was presented to this abbey by John (de Ottelay) abbot of Alnwick, styled `Pater abbatis eccl'ie de Langley.' Blomefield, Norfolk, cont. by Parkin, x. pp. 149-150.
Benedict. Petroburg. in Surt. Soc. No. 2, p. 169; Fantosme, 1. 1902-1909, ibid. p. 87.
'De faire nul ultrage ne querez achaisun,' ' For doing outrage, seek not occasion,' formed part of the advice addressed by Earl Duncan to William in persuading him to endeavour to obtain satisfaction from Henry II. by diplomacy before declaring war. Fantosme, 1. 303, Surt. Soc. No. 2, p. 17.
Benedict. Petroburg. in Surt. Soc. No. 2, pp. 168-169 ; Fantosme, 1. 1706-1709, ibid. p. 79. The latter does not name Warkworth but only `le mustier Saint-Laurenz.'
`'Vienent à Werkewde, n'i deignent arester ;
Kar le chaste' iert fieble, le mur et le terrier.'

`They come to Warkworth, do not there deign to stay, for the castle was weak, the wall and the earthwork.' Fantosme, 1. 562-563 ; Surt. Soc. ed. p. 27 ; Rolls ed. p. 252. For 'arester' the Lincoln MS. reads 'tarier' without altering the meaning, which seems to be that the Scots took the castle, but on account of its weak condition did not think it worth while to leave a garrison in it, as they did afterwards in that of Appleby. Benedict of Peterborough places the fall of Warkworth in the campaign of 1174 during the siege of Carlisle ; but Fantosme's narrative is too circumstantial to be set aside by a general statement that makes William wander about in the most opposite directions.

'Alum a Werckewrde, cel voil agraventer,' `Let us to Warkworth that will I destroy,' are the words which Jordan Fantosme puts into the mouth of William the Lion, 1. 545 ; Surt. Soc. No. 2, p. 27; Chron. Stephen, Henry II., etc.; Rolls series, iii. p. 250. The Lincoln MS. of Fantosme has `Alum à Wercwrde, cel ruuil agraventer,' `Let us to Warkworth, that town to destroy.' If the word ruuil' has anything to do with 'ruelle,' it is very characteristic of the one long street of Warkworth.
Carta Rogeri filii Ricardi. Ego Rogerus filius Ricardi teneo in capite de rege Warkwertham per servitium unius militis.' Liber Niger Scaccarii; Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. iii. p. 304; Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 188.
Pari consilio et voluntate Adelizae uxoris meae.' Newminster Chartulary, p. 211.
Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 106 ; Morant, Essex, ii. p. 611. It is to be hoped that Adeliza did not, like the wife of Robert de Mowbray, avail herself of the civil death of her husband in order to marry again. Robert, her son by Roger fitz Richard, does not appear to have been born before 1169. Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 188.
Jocelin de Brakelond, Chronicle (Camd. Soc.), p. 51. There is an amusing translation of this story in Carlyle, Past and Present, bk. ii. chap. xiv.
The next year the sum was reduced to £32 12s., and in 9 Hen. II. to £32 2s., at which amount it remained fixed in the Pipe Rolls. Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 187.
Chancery Miscellaneous Roll 3/6, P.R.O. The attestation is instructive : `Test. Willielmo fratre Regis, Rogero Comite de Clara, Gaufrido Comite de Essexa, Ricardo de Humet conestabulario, H. de Essex constabulario, Willelmo de Braosa, Mauricio Biset dapifero, Warino filio Geroldi camerario, Ricardo de Luci, Gilberto de Monfichet, Ricardo de Campivilla, R. Dunester, Jocelino de Baillolio et Gaufrido de Valoniis, apud Ruellentum in exercitu de Waiis.'
`Ac yna kynnullaw aoruc y brenhin y lu ygyt amynet hyt yn Rudlan yn greulawn.' Brut y Tywysogion, Rolls ed. p. 186. ' Rex Henricus primum exercitum duxit in Walliam et capit Rueland.' Chron. de Mailros, ann. 1157.
Wilhelm. Neubrig. lib. ii. cap. v. (Chron. Stephen, Henry II., etc.; Rolls series, i. p. 107); Giraldi Cambrensis, Itinerarium, lib. ii. cap. x. (Rolls ed. vi. pp. 137, 138) ; Jocelin de Brakelond, Camden Soc. Pub. 13, p. 50.
Ormerod, Cheshire, i. p. 509, where there is an engraving of the large and very characteristic seal of Richard fitz Eustace ; the reverse has a classical gem —a nymph and pillar-like altar--surrounded by the legend, 'secretum domini celo fero resero.'
Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angliae Dux Normandiae et Aquitaniae et Cornes Andegaviae archiepiscopis episcopis comitibus baronibus justiciariis vicecomitibus ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis tocius Angliae francis et anglis salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et confirmasse Rogero filio Ricardi in feodo et hereditate sibi et heredibus suis pro servicio suo castellum de Werkewrda et manerium cum omnibus suis pertinentiis sic Henricus Rex avus meus manerium illud melius et integrius tenuit quare volo et firmiter præcipio quod ipse et heredes sui manerium illud habeant et teneant bene et in pace libere quiete et honorifice cum omnibus pertinentiis suis in bosco et plano in pratis et pascuis in viis et semitis in aquis stagnis et molendinis et in omnibus rebus et locis cum toi et team et soca et saka et infangenthef et cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus cum quibus illud tenui in dominio meo. Test. Willelmo fratre Regis, &c.' Assize Roll (m. 4, 36), 10 ; Cat. Placita de Quo l t'aranto, p. 595 ; Hodgson, Northd. pt. iii. vol. i. p. 157. The final ` &c.' is most provoking. It will be noticed that in the time of Henry I. the manor only is mentioned, so that the castle must have been built during the reign of Stephen. If, as is stated by Richard of Hexham, the castles of Newcastle and Bamburgh were at one time excepted from the grant of Northumberland to Earl Henry, it seems possible that he may have built Warkworth in order to have a place of residence south of the Tweed.
Brinkburn Chartulary, p. 142, where the name `Vill'm" in the original MS., British Museum, has been erroneously printed `Malcomus,' which is also historically improbable. The style of Earl William in this charter is very remarkable : Villelmus de Gwarenne Comes Northumbriae.' His mother, the Countess Ada, was daughter (but not heiress) of William de Warren, second earl of Surrey. The young Earl William was not the only lord of Warkworth who for want of a paternal surname adopted that of his mother's family (see post pp. 25, 27, 29).
`Unam salinam in Werkwordia.' Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 273 n. It does not appear how Eustace fitz John obtained this salt-work, the first possession of his family in Warkworth. 'The right to it was afterwards in dispute between the domus de Werkeword ordinis Praemonstratensis' and the abbey of Newminster. Newminster Chartulary. Surt. Soc. No. 66, p. 205.
Brinkburn Chartulary. Surt. Soc. No. 90, p. 141.
Henricus comes, filius regis Scociae. . salinam unam amid Werkworth, propinquiorem scil. villae quam Comes Simon frater meus.' etc. Ibid. William del Velzpont (Vipont) gave to Newminster his land near the salt-work granted to it by Earl Henry. Ibid. p. 213.
`Notum sit tarn presentibus quam futuris, quod ego Simon comes Northumbriae monachis Novi Mon. concessi et dedi pro salute animae meae et meorum antecesorum propinquiorem salinam de Werkword,' etc. Newminster Chartulary. Surt. Soc. No. 66, p. 212. Had it not been for this charter we should not have known that Simon de St. Liz was ever earl of Northumberland.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS. The pedigree of the Grenville family, vol. ii. p. 229 of this work, begins with Nicholas de Grenville, baron of Ellingham at the death of Henry I.
`Halfdene rex Danorum in Tinam intravit, et usque Wyrcesforde navigavit, omnia vastans, et contra sanctum Cuthbertum crudeliter peccans.' Ibid. § 12 (Rolls ed. i. p. 202). Warkworth was the first place north of the Tyne where Halfdene could ' cruelly sin' against St. Cuthbert. The termination `ford' seems in a great many cases to be a corruption of ` worth,' e.g., ` Kentisford or Kentisworth, anciently Kentlesworth.' Hutchins, Dorset (1st ed.), ii. p. 397.
`Osberhtus rex abstulit sancto Cuthberto duas villas Werceworthe et Tyllemuth. Sed post spatium unius anni eripuit Deus ab eo vitam et regnum.' Ibid. Hist. de S. Cuthberto, § to (Rolls ed. i. p. 201).
Intravit autem (Ceolwulfus) Lindisfarnense monasterium, sancto Cuthberto secum conferens thesauros regios et terras, id est, Bregesne et Werceworde, cum suis appendiciis, simul et ecciesiam quam ibidem aedificaverat.' Sym. Dun. Hist. Dunelm. Eccles. lib. ii. c. i. (Rolls ed. i. p. 47). ` Werchewurd quoque ipsius ecclesiae possessio erat, donante rege Ceolwlfo cum omnibus appenditiis suis. Hanc enim mansionem ipse rex, abrenuntians mundo, secum ecclesiae Lindisfarnesi contulit.' Ibid. Hist. Regum, § 89 (Rolls ed. ii. p. 102).
` Worth,' a hall, palace ; the Latin `atrium.' Cf. Cambridge Gospels, Matt. xxvi. v. 69 : ` Peter sat without in the "worth" (palace)'; Mark xiv. v. 54 : `the "worth" (palace) of the high priest.' Bosworth, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. The termination `worth' in names of places, of which we have other instances in Northumberland in Backworth and Killingworth, is not now met with, it seems, north of Warkworth ; but Ewart in Glendale was formerly Eworth, and just over the Border was Jedworth, a name now lost in that of Jedburgh.
`Et hi sunt termini istius villae (Werceworthe). Ab aqua quae vocatur Lina, usque ad Cocwuda, et inde usque ad civitatem quae vocatur Brincewelae, et a Cocwuda usque ad Hafodscelfe (Hauxley) versus orientem, et ab Alna usque in dimidiam viam inter 'Cocwud et Alna.' Sym. Dunelm. Hist. de S. Cuthberto, § 8 (Rolls ed. i. p. 201). Brincewelae is probably Brinkburn, the Brincaburch of John of Hexham (ibid. ii. p. 329), as Brainshaugh seems to have been included in this bounder of Warkworth under the name of 'Bregesne'
The account of Warkworth castle has been mainly written by Mr. Bates after a thorough revision of that given in Border Holds, i. p. 81.


   THE parish of Warkworth has a sea-board of ten miles, extending southwards from the estuary of the Aln to the mouth of the Lady burn in the middle of Druridge Bay. Its area of 17,455 acres is divided into the eighteen townships of Warkworth, Birling, High Buston, Low Buston, Sturton Grange, Walk-mill, Brotherwick, Amble, Hauxley, Gloster-hill, Togston, Morwick, Acklington, Acklington park, West Chevington, Bullocks-hall, East Chevington, and Hadston, the last four forming the chapelry of Chevington. There is scarcely one of these townships which does not yield material for family history, whilst that of Warkworth is enriched by castle, hermitage, and church.


   The moated mound, on which now stands the donjon of Warkworth castle, was, in all likelihood, originally occupied by the `worth' N or palace of the Ocgings, a line of Bernician princes who claimed descent from Ida of Bamburgh, though not from his queen. A considerable tract of country was attached to ` Werceworde' in those early days, stretching, we are told, from the Line Water nearly to Alnmouth along the coast, though not including Hauxley, and as far inland as the civitas of ` Brincewelæ.' LN
   In the beginning of the eighth century a revolution raised the Ocging Cenred to the Northumbrian throne, on which he was succeeded eventually by his brother Ceolwulf in 729. On the first appearance of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, King Ceolwulf requested that it might be sent to him to read, and to ` Ceolwulf the Most Glorious' Bede subsequently addressed the preface, extolling him for his own love of history, and his desire that the knowledge of it should be spread among his subjects. In an appendix written in 731, however, our great historian had to confess that the opening of Ceolwulf's reign was so full of civil disorder that it was impossible to write an account of it, or to predict the turn events might take —apprehensions more than justified, for, in the very next year, the king was seized, shorn, and forced into a monastery, and then almost immediately restored. The remainder of Ceolwulf's reign did much to add, in all outward appearance, to the glories of Northumberland ; and Warkworth could have been in little dread of any foreign invasion when he laid the foundations of the church of St. Lawrence there on the very brink of the Coquet. Bede, however, with the political insight of a true historian, foresaw the dangers likely to arise from the fashion of crowding into monasteries, then prevalent among Northumbrians, to the entire neglect of the profession of arms. `What will be the result,' he adds almost prophetically, `the next age will show.' He had been dead only two years when Ceolwulf himself resigned his crown in 737, and not only became a monk at Lindisfarne, but bestowed on St. Cuthbert Warkworth and other large estates. L
   The exemption of the inhabitants of monastic lands from the duties of military service must have been a great weakness to Northumberland when exposed to the ravages of the Danes in the ninth century. On this account, possibly, King Osbert took Warkworth from the monks. His doing so was regarded as sacrilege, and held to be meetly punished by his death in battle in 867.L Eight years later, the savage Halfdene seems to have sailed into the Coquet, and, verifying as it were the prediction of Bede, to have laid waste ` Wyrcesforde.' LN
   The moral of Osbert's fate was thrown away on the succeeding kings and earls who retained the possession he had resumed. The great Norman earl, Robert de Mowbray, increased this sin in the eyes of the monks of Durham by giving the very tithes of Warkworth to his rival foundation at Tynemouth ; and the church itself conferred by Henry I. on his chaplain Richard de Aurea Valle, afterwards came into the patronage of the bishops of Carlisle.
   A tradition, preserved by Leland, declares that Warkworth castle once belonged to the Merlays, who were followers of the Norman earls Geoffrey of Coutances and his nephew, Robert de Mowbray. They certainly gave Morwick, in the immediate neighbourhood of Warkworth, to Durham at the end of the eleventh century. Warkworth may have been confiscated on account of the share the Merlays took in Mowbray's rebellion, and their gift of Morwick, though subsequently confirmed by them, invalidated on the same grounds. It is stated in an abstract of 1673 that Warkworth `of ancient tyme was of the possessions of one Robert Grenville and in the tyme of King Henry the First came to the prince's hands by eschete.' N
   A curious number of historical facts have been preserved in charters connected with the salt-pans at Warkworth, during the troublous reign of Stephen. One of these salt-pans was granted to the Cistercian community, which settled at Newminster in 1138, by Simon de St. Liz, earl of Northumberland, the eldest grandson of Waltheof. LN His half brother Henry, the son of David, king of Scotland, who was made earl of Northumberland by the Treaty of Durham in 1139, confirmed this charter, LN and bestowed another of these salt-pans on the priory of Brinkburn. N The abbey of Alnwick, too, received from its founder Eustace fitz John in 1147 a salt-pan at Warkworth.LN After the death of Earl Henry in 1152, his young son, Earl William, who became king of Scots on the death of his brother Malcolm in 1165, confirmed the Brinkburn canons in their rights. N

Warkworth Castle from the south east.

Warkworth Castle from the south east.

    By this time a castle of some sort must have risen at Warkworth, since Henry II., in a charter attested by his brother William of Anjou, gave and confirmed to Roger the son of Richard, for service rendered, the castle and manor of 'Werkewrde,' to be held by him and his heirs as the hereditary fee of one knight, with all that belonged to them as well and as entirely as ever his grandfather Henry I. had held that manor.LN The Richard in question was Richard fitz Eustace, constable of Chester,N son, by his second marriage, of Eustace fitz John, lord of Alnwick.
   Eustace fitz John had fallen, an aged warrior, in the ambuscade laid for Henry II. by Owen of North Wales in the wooded defile of Coleshill, between Flint and Holywell, in 1157. The English army was in danger of annihilation. The constable, Henry of Essex, believing the king had been slain, threw down the royal standard and took to flight. A total rout was only averted by King Henry proving himself alive by raising the vizor of his helmet, and by the earl of Clare providentially arriving with fresh troops.N Henry marched on to Rhuddlan in a rage, L and there issued a charter confirming William de Vesci, the eldest son of Eustace fitz John's second marriage, in the barony of Alnwick and other possessions of his father. LN It is probable that the grant of the castle and manor of Warkworth to Eustace's grandson, Roger fitz Richard, was made at Rhuddlan at the same time, and was the reward of Roger's bravery at Coleshill. In consequence of this alienation of Warkworth by the Crown the sheriff of Northumberland returned £38 2s. less rent for the county in 1158.N
   At any rate, Roger became closely connected with the events of that fatal day. Six years later Robert de Montfort, in the king's presence, called Henry of Essex a coward for his conduct, and resort was had to wager of battle on an island of the Thames near Reading. Henry of Essex was struck down and carried for dead into the neighbouring monastery, where, on his reviving, his life was spared on condition of his entering the order. He, himself, regarded his defeat as a judgment, not on his cowardice at Coleshill, but on his disputes with the abbey of St. Edmund at Bury, and his having tortured to death Gilbert de Cereville, a knight whom the wife of Essex had falsely accused in endeavouring to hide her own shame. N The honour of Clavering forfeited by Essex, and Adeliza de Vere, his wife of sullied repute, were both bestowed by the king on Roger fitz Richard. N With her consent and approbation Roger gave to the monks of St. Mary of Newminster his salt-work at Warkworth, situated near where the stream from below Gloucester falls into the Coquet, and included within bounds which he and his heir had perambulated in company with the monks and his own men. L His reply to the king's enquiries with a view to assessing‘ the aid of 1168 is the most laconic of any received from the tenants-in-chief in Northumberland. L
   The manor of Warkworth as granted by Henry II. to Roger fitz Richard was something very small in comparison with the wide domain that had belonged to Warkworth in the days of Ceolwulf. The latter comprised the whole ancient parish of Warkworth, with the exception of Hauxley, and in addition at the very least the chapelries of Widdrington and Brainshaugh ; whereas the extent of the manor fell far short of the limits of the parish, which included not only Amble, Morwick, and East Chevington, parcels of the great barony of Alnwick, but also the capital seats of the Morwick and Heron baronies at West Chevington and Hadston. A lord of Warkworth possessed of nothing more in Northumberland would scarcely have begun to build a castle on a grand scale ; and when in 1173 the former heir of Warkworth reappeared in Northumberland no longer in the character of a confirmer of salt-pans to the peaceful canons of Brinkburn, but as the Lion King of Scotland, singling Warkworth out for especial destruction, N Jordan Fantosme expressly tells us that the walls and earthworks of the castle were so weak N that Roger fitz Richard, though a valiant knight, made no attempt to defend it as he successfully did that of Newcastle of which he was constable. In the following year, on Saturday, the 13th of July, Duncan, earl of Fife, entered Warkworth with his Scots, set fire to the town, and put the inhabitants to the sword, not sparing even those who had sought shelter in the `minster' of St. Lawrence. N Why one of William the Lion's most moderate counsellors N should have directed this massacre is not explained. Probably it was due to some breach of faith on the part of the burghers. The murderous sacrilege was considered to have been avenged by the capture of the Scottish king on that very day before the walls of Alnwick. N
Roger fitz Richard died, apparently not long after his father the constable of Chester, in 1178. His heir, Robert fitz Roger, did not come of age till 1191, and during the reign of Coeur-de-Lion (from whom he received a grant of the manor of Eure in Buckinghamshire) resided chiefly in Norfolk, where he possessed large estates through marrying the heiress of William de Chesney, lord of Horsford. In Norfolk he founded in 1198 the abbey of St. Mary of Langley, which he filled with Præmonstratensian canons from Alnwick. N In July, 1199, King John confirmed to him the castle and manor of Warkworth for the consideration of 300 marks, N and he seems about this time to have transferred his activity to Northumberland, of which he became sheriff in 1203, a very lucrative post under an administration like that of John. A favourite of the king, he received grants of the manor of Corbridge in 1204 and of the manors of Newburn and Rothbury in 1205. In all probability it was this Robert fitz Roger who rebuilt the castle of Warkworth on the general lines seen at present. The architecture of the great gatehouse points clearly to this particular period.
   Attached to his grant of a rent-charge from his mill at Warkworth for the purpose of maintaining the light before St. Cuthbert's shrine N is a large seal of green wax on which Robert fitz Roger appears on horseback, in a characteristic fashion, brandishing a huge sword. N He is clad in a hauberk of chain-mail, the surcoat worn over it hanging right down to his triangular stirrups. The upper part of his face is just visible beneath the plain round bassinet. His arms Quarterly [or and gu.] a bendlet [sa.] can just be discerned on the long shield. The breast-piece of his horse is ornamented with the long pendents then in fashion.
   On Saturday, the 2nd February, 1213, King John himself was at Warkworth on his way from Fenwick (opposite Holy Island) to Newcastle. N He had made a sudden expedition to the north for the purpose of overawing the barons in general, and injuring by every means in his power his especial enemy Eustace de Vesci. The disorder and probable devastation of Northumberland is marked by the absence of any returns relating to it on the Pipe Roll of this, the fourteenth year of John's rule. Up to this time Robert fitz Roger had continued to be sheriff, and was so again the next year, when he died. John, therefore, probably came in peace to Warkworth. While there, though his kingdom was still under interdict and he himself excommunicated, he presented to two livings belonging to estates he had confiscated to his use, and also made over the custody of two unfortunate children to one of his favourites. N

ARMS : Quarterly or and gules; a bend sable.
John, constable of Chester, and his descendants differenced this coat with a label, till, at the end of the thirteenth century, Henri de Laci, earl of Lincoln, assumed a new coat—or, a lion rampant purpure.
Sir John de Clavering bore (during his father's lifetime) a label vert at Caerlaverock, 1300 ; Sir Alexander charged the bend with three mullets argent, as did Sir Alan with three mullets or.
Sir Hugh de Eure and his descendants bore three escallops argent on the bend.


Pedigree of the Lords of Warkworth


(a) Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 90 ; Mem. of Fountains Abb. i. Surt. Soc. No. 42, p. 50. Serlo de Burg usually heads the pedigree as founder of Knaresborough castle. etc. ; but see Plumpton Correspondence, Camden Soc. p. xiii.*
(b) ' Stemma fundatorum prioratus de Watton.' Dugdale, Monasticon, ed Caley, vi. p. 957.
(c) Ormerod, Cheshire, 1819, i. p. 510.
(d) Pecham (The Compleat Gentleman, p. 189) was wrong in supposing Agnes to have been the first wife of Eustace fitz John. Adam, abbot of Meaux (not founded till 1150), is a witness with her to the foundation charter of the monastery of Watton. Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. p. 970.
(e) Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 90. The evidence on which Roger is made son of Richard fitz Eustace is not very strong, and it is remarkable that the Lacies, if an elder line, should have used a label over arms which the Claverings bore with no difference.
(f) Ormerod, Cheshire, i. p. 509.
(g) Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. p. 929.
(h) Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 108, referring to chartulary of Bardney abbey.
(i) Ing. p.m. 35 Henry III. No. 51, in Cal. of Doc. rel. to Scot. i. No. 1837. For the inquisition on her lands in Northumberland, held at Linton, near Woodhorn, see ibid. No. 1821
(j) Pipe Rolls, 5 John. 5 d. The Titular Barony of Clavering. London : privately printed. 1891
(k) Proc. Arch. Inst. 1852, ii. p. 191.
(I) Matt. Paris, Hist. Anglorum, Rolls ed. iii. p. 67.
(m) 'Stephanus de Ever.' Newminster Chartulary, Surt. Soc. No. 66, p. 45. ' Stephanus de Bello.' Randal ; see Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 31 n. ` Stephanus de Balliol,' rector of Mitford, and Sir Hugh de Eure his brother, by the father's side, in deed at Balliol college, Oxford, dated Durham, Oct., 1284. Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Report, p. 444.
(n) Surtees, Durham, Seals, plate vi. No. 15 (loc. i.).
(o) Coram Rege, 35 and 36 Hen. III. No. 88, m. 44, d. ; Cal. of Doc. rel. to Scot. i. No. 1809.
(p) List of Benefactors of Sibton Abbey, in Taylor, Index Monasticus; Dugdale, Monasticon, v. p. 558.
(q) Reg. Abbey de Sibeton, Royal Soc. MSS. 221 ; Dugdale, Monasticon, v. p. 228. Blomefield, Norfolk, ed. Parkin, x. p. 149, calls her Mary.
(r) Surtees, Durham, Seals, plate x. No. 10.
(s) `Ex antiquo pergamento quodam penes Samsonem Leonard fecialem, an. 1598,' in Dugdale, Monasticon, iii. p. 636.
(t) On 5th June, 1312, John de Clavering and Hawise his wife settled the manors of Clavering and Bliburgh, in the event of their deaths without male issue, on Edmund de Clavering for life, and then on Ralph de Nevill and his heirs ; while on 3rd February, 1342, Robert de Benhall and Eve his wife released the manors of Clavering, Aynho, Eure, and Bliburgh to Ralph de Neville and Hawise de Clavering. Ped. Fin. Divers. Com. Ed. III. 301.
  In Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 292. 'Ex. Coll. R. Glov. S.' Ralph de Nevill, who died 1331, is said to have married Euphemia. daughter (? sister) of John de Clavering. The evidence of this marriage is not satisfactory. Ralph de Nevill was constable of Warkworth in 1322. Clavering remained in the Nevill family for several generations.
(u) Cal. Genealog. p. 706.
(n) Ibid. p. 733.
(w) The Titular Barony of Clavering. London : privately printed. 1891.




Seals of the Lords of Warkworth
Robert fitz Roger I  1178-1214  Secretum of Robert fitz Roger
John fitz Robert  1214-1240 Robert fitz Roger II  1276
Robert fitz Roger II  1304 Eva de Clavering 1346
Nicholas de Britle. Probably Chaplain or Master of the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalen.
    John fitz Robert, the next lord of Warkworth (1214-1240), differed in politics from his father. He was one of the twenty-five to whom the execution of the provisions of Magna Carta was entrusted; N and as a natural consequence his lands were seized for the king. On the seal of the charter by which he conveyed his meadow of Braineslawe to the monks of Durham, we see him careering in a cylindrical helm, which viewed in profile presents a concave line behind, the front part rounded below and pierced with holes to enable him to breathe, his surcoat considerably shorter than his father's, but the other equipments similar, and the sword equally ponderous. N His widow Ada, daughter of Hugh de Baliol, appears to have been a woman of much character. She could not, however, even for 1,000 marks, obtain the guardianship of her son Roger fitz John, which Henry III. bestowed on his own half-brother, William de Valence. The want of a surname seems to have now made itself felt in the family, and the young lord of Warkworth called himself Roger fitz John de Baliol after his mother's family, while two of his younger brothers took the name of Eure after their father's manor in Buckinghamshire. N Roger de Baliol gave, it is recorded, 20 marks, three robes, and corn and hay for two horses every year for the safeguarding of his castle of Warkworth. L He must have been a youth of great promise. Matthew of Paris says that he was the most noble knight and baron in the North of England, and had already displayed remarkable activity in the arts of war. His career was cut short by his being ridden over in a tournament at Argences in Normandy in 1249. N His heir, Robert fitz Roger II., only a year and a half old, N was committed to the custody of William de Valence, together with `the noble castle' of Warkworth. A beautiful seal attached to a document dated 1276 and preserved at Paris shows us Robert fitz Roger with a fan-crested helmet mounted on a horse with plain housings but also adorned with a fan-crest. N He was summoned to parliament as a baron by writ dated 28th June, 1283. N In his time Edward I. visited Warkworth, on the way from Alnwick to Woodhorn, on Thursday, the 18th of December, 1292. N On the Subsidy Roll of 1296, his goods in 'Warkworth outside the borough' are entered as of the value of £6 1s. 4d., those of John de Warkworth, meaning, no doubt, his eldest son, as being worth £2 9s. The following year John with Robert was taken prisoner at the battle of Stirling (11th September, 1297), N in which Hugh de Cressingham, the English treasurer, was slain. It was rumoured that Cressingham on leaving Berwick had entrusted his goods there to the charge of Robert Heron, rector of Ford, who kept the king's coket at that port, and of a certain Sir Hugh de Roubiri (Rothbury), and that on hearing of Cressingham's death Heron and Roubiri immediately sent 400 marks to Warkworth castle and delivered them to William de Toggesdene, the constable, as also £40 in a pouch. So long after as the autumn of 1304 a formal enquiry was held into this rumour at York.' William de Toggesdene declared on oath, that about a week after Cressingham's death, Hugh de Roubiri, attended only by his grooms, did bring to Warkworth two `bulgias' covered with hide, and a coffer for harness, sealed and locked, and requested him to take charge of them. He considered that there might be £300 in them, but others thought more probably £400, judging from their great weight, which he, too, remarked when his son William carried them from the great chamber of the castle to an adjoining closet. There they remained for a week, when Hugh de Roubiri returned with his grooms and took them away. L



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