Baliol, Bernard de (fl.1135-1167) (DNB00)

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BALIOL, BERNARD de, the elder (fl. 1135–1167). There is great difficulty in fixing with precision the early history of the family of Baliol, which was destined to play so ill-omened a part in the annals of Scotland, a circumstance which no doubt contributed to the obscurity of its records and the extinction of its name. The founder of the house in England was the Norman baron Guido or Guy de Baliol, whose French fiefs of Bailleul, in the department of L'Orne, two leagues from Argenton, Dampierre, Harcourt, and Vinoy, in Normandy, were long retained by his descendants, and afforded a refuge when their English inheritance was forfeited along with the Scottish crown, which John wore so short a time and Edward failed to recover. Guy is said, in a manuscript on which Surtees, the historian of Durham, relies, to have come 'to England with the Conqueror, and to him gave William Rufus the barony of Bywell in Northumberland, and the forests of Teesdale and Charwood, with the lordship of Middleton in Teesdale and Gainsford, with all their royalties, franchises, and immunities' (Bowes MS., Surtees Durham, iv. 50) Bernard or Barnard Baliol is stated by the same manuscript to have built 'the fortress which he called Castle Barnard, and created burgesses and endowed them with the like franchises and liberties as those of Richmond,' a statement corroborated by the ancient and noble ruin which still overhangs the Tees, with 'its uttermost walls of lime and brick' and 'innermost cut in rocks of stone,' as the ballad runs, and by the charter of his son, a second Bernard, which confirms his father's grant to the burgesses (Surtees, iv. 71). In 1135 the first Bernard did homage, along with David I of Scotland, to the Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, but prior to the battle of the Standard, 1138, he renounced his homage and joined the party of Stephen. Along with Robert de Bruce, Lord of Annandale, a common interest then uniting the ancestors of the future rivals, he was sent before the battle by the northern barons to make terms with David I, but without success. Continuing to support Stephen, Bernard de Baliol was taken prisoner with him at Lincoln on 2 Feb. 1141. The charter of the second Bernard, still preserved, is unfortunately without date, and there is no charter-evidence to fix his father's death, but a fine exacted in 14 Henry II (1167), for neglecting to certify the number of his knights' fees, is assumed with probability by Surtees to refer to the time of his succession, and to make the fact which history records of the capture of William the Lion at Alnwick in 1174 by a Bernard de Baliol along with other northern barons applicable to the second and not the first bearer of the name.

[Dugdale's Baronage, corrected by Surtees' Durham, iv. 51.]

Æ. M.