Mount-Maurice, Hervey de (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 39
Mount-Maurice, Hervey de

by William Hunt
Hervey de Montmorency in the ODNB.

MOUNT-MAURICE, HERVEY de (fl. 1169), invader of Ireland, whose name appears variously as Monte Mauricii, Monte Marisco, Monte Marecy, Montmarreis, Montmorenci, Mumoreci, and Momorci, may not unreasonably be held to have belonged to the same line as the Montmorencies of France (of this there is no conclusive proof, but see Du Chesne, Histoire Genealogique de la Maison de Montmorency, pp. 9, 53, 87, 92 ; Montmorency-Morrès, Genealogical Memoir, passim ; L'Art de Vérifier, xii. 9, and other French genealogists ; the forms of the name borne by Hervey and the French Montmorencies suggest a common stock, and Herv was a Christian name much used by the French house ; in connection with this see Giraldus Cambrebsis, De rebus a se gestis, ii. c. 2, where the canon, afterwards the dean, of Paris there mentioned, the son of the castellan de Monte Mauricii,' was Herve, son of Matthieu ' de Montmorency ; ' compare Du Chesne, u.s. pp. 97, 106, and Preuves, pp. 39, 55). Hervey is said by M. de Montmorency-Morres to have been the son of a Robert FitzGeoffrey, lord of lands in Thorney and of Huntspill-Marreis, Somerset, by his wife Lucia, daughter of Alexander de Alneto, and to have been half-brother of Stephen, constable of Cardigan. This bit of genealogy has, however, been made up to fall in with the erroneous belief that Giraldus asserts that Hervey was the uncle of Robert FitzStephen, and may be dismissed at once. According to Du Chesne (u.s.), followed in 'L'Art de Verifier les Dates' (u.s.), Hervey was the son of Bouchard IV de Montmorency, by Agnes, daughter of Raoul de Pontoise ; he served Louis VI and Louis VII of France, and coming to England married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert de Beaumont (d. 1118) [q.v.], Count of Meulan, and widow of Gilbert de Clare (d. 1148), earl of Pembroke, which would make him stepfather of Earl Richard, called Strongbow [see Clare, Richard de, or Richard Strongbow, second Earl of Pembroke and Striguil, d. 1176]. Hervey, however, was paternal uncle of Earl Richard (Giraldus, Expugnatio Hibernica, p. 230), and must therefore have been a son by a second marriage of Adeliza, daughter of Hugh, count of Clermont (William of Jumièges, viii. 37), who married for her first husband Gilbert FitzRichard [see Clare, Gilbert de, d. 1115 ?], the father of Gilbert, earl of Pembroke (see a charter in MS. Register of Thorney, pt. iv. c. 35, f. 30, printed in Monasticon, ii. 601, where Hervey is described as brother of Gilbert and the other children of Adeliza and Gilbert FitzRichard, and pt. ix. c. 11, f. 9, where Adeliza is styled 'de Monte Moraci, domina de Deneford,' and is also styled 'domina de Deneford,' pt. iv. c. 10, f. 2 b ; see also pt. iv. c. 8, f. 2). The father of Hervey was no doubt called 'de Monte Moraci,' or Mount Maurice, but nothing has been ascertained about him (it is impossible to accept M. de Montmorency-Morres's Hervey, son of Geoffrey, lord of Thorney, as an historic person, while his theory that there were two Herveys, cousins-german, is a mere device to get out of the difficulty caused by his confusing together Earl Richard and Robert FitzStephen).

Hervey was in early life a gallant warrior ('olim Gallica militia strenuus,' Expugnatio, p. 328, translated by Hooker, he ' had good experience in the feats of war, after the manner used in France,' Irish Historic, p. 38. This passage was no doubt the ground of Du Chesne's assertion that he served Louis VI and Louis VII). He was a man of broken fortunes when he was sent by his nephew, Earl Richard, to Ireland with Robert FitzStephen in 1169 to report on aft'airs there to the earl. After the victory of these first invaders at Wexford their ally Derruot, king of Leinster, rewarded him with two cantreds of land on the coast between Wexford and Waterford, and he appears to have shared in Dermot's raids on Ossory and Offaly (Song of Dermot and the Earl, 11. 606, 749, 930). On the landing of Raymond FitzGerald [q.v.] at Dundunnolf, near Waterford, Hervey joined him, and shared in his victory over the people of Waterford and the chief, Donnell O'Phelan. Giraldus puts into his mouth a speech recommending the slaughter of seventy Waterford men who had been taken prisoners ; but the Anglo-Norman poet of the Conquest gives a wholly different version of the event (ib. 11. 1474-89). He remained with Raymond in an entrenched position in Bannow Bay until they were reinforced on 23 Aug. by the arrival of Earl Richard, who was joined by Hervey. Raymond's mission to Henry II having failed [see under Fitzgerald, Raymond], Earl Richard sent Hervey to the king, probably in August 1171 (Gesta Henrini, i. 24), to make his peace. On his return Hervey met the earl at Waterford, told him that Henry required his attendance, accompanied him to England, and at Newnham, Gloucestershire, was the means of arranging matters between him and the king. During Henry's visit to Ireland Hervey probably acted as the marshal of the royal army ; for in his charter for the foundation of the convent of Dunbrothy, where his name is given as ' Hereveius de Monte Moricii,' he is described as ' marshal of the army of the king for Ireland, and seneschal of all the lands of Earl Richard' (Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey, ii. 151). While Earl Richard was in Normandy in 1173 Hervey was left in command. On the earl's return he is said to have found the Irish ready to rebel, and the troops dissatisfied and clamouring that Raymond should command them ; for Hervey is represented as having wasted the money that was due to them in action (Expugnatio, p. 308). The earl yielded to the demand of the soldiers, and gave Raymond the command, but shortly afterwards refused to appoint him constable of Leinster, and gave the office to Hervey. To the bad advice of Hervey Giraldus attributes the earl's disastrous expedition into Munster in 1174 (ib. p. 310 ; compare Annals of the Four Masters, sub an. iii. 15, 17). After the defeat at Thurles the earl was forced to shut himself up in Waterford ; he sent for Raymond to come to his help, and appointed him constable in place of Hervey (the order of these events is uncertain ; that adopted here, which is also followed in the article on Raymond Fitzgerald, is that of the ' Expugnatio ; 'the order followed in the ' Song of Dermot ' is on the whole represented in the article on Richard de Clare, 'Strongbow ; ' see Expuynatio, p. 308 n. 2, and p. 310 n. 2). Hervey received from the earl a grant of O'Barthy, of which the present barony of Bargy, co. Wexford, forms a part, was outwardly reconciled to his rival Raymond, and married Nesta, daughter of Maurice Fitzgerald (d. 1176) [q. v.], and Raymond's first cousin. Nevertheless in 1175 he sent messages to the king, accusing Raymond of a design to make himself independent of the royal authority, and was evidently believed by Henry.

Hervey's power in Ireland was probably shaken by the death of his nephew, Earl Richard, in 1176, and we find him in England in 1177, when he witnessed a charter of Henry II at Oxford, at which date his lands between Wexford and Waterford were made to do service to Waterford, then held by William Fitz Aldhelm (Gesta Henrici II, i. 163, 164). In 1178 he made a grant of lands in present co. Wexford to the convent of Buildwas, Shropshire, for the foundation on them of a Cistercian house (the date is determined by the attestation of Felix, bishop of Ossory). These lands included Dunbrodiki, or Dunbrothy, in the barony of Shelburne, and there a few years later was founded the convent called ' de portu S. Marise.' In 1179 he became a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury (Annals ap. Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey, ii. 304 ; Giraldus dates his retirementabout 1183 ; see Expugnatio, p. 352), making a grant to that house of lands and churches in Ireland. Many of these have been identified (Kilkenny Archæological Journal, I 1855, iii. 216) ; they were in 1245 transferred by the convent to the abbot of Tintern, co. Wexford, for 625 marks, and an annual rent of ten marks, with the obligation of maintaining a chaplain at St. Brendan's chapel at Bannow, to pray for the souls of Hervey and other benefactors (Liters Cantuar. iii. Pref. xl. sq. 361, 362). Giraldus says that Hervey was not a better man after his retirement than he had been before. A Hervey, cellarer and chanter of Christ Church, was excommunicated by Archbishop Baldwin for his share in the great quarrel between the archbishop and the convent, and was alive in 1191 (Epistolæ Cantuar. ed. Syubbs, pp. 308, 312, 315, 333), but he could scarcely have been Hervey de Mount-Maurice, who is described as 'con versus et benefactor' in the records of his obit on 12 March (MSS. Cott. Nero C. ix. i. if. 5, 6, Galba E. iii. 2, fol. 32). M. de Montmorency-Morres asserts, apparently without any ground, that he died in 1205, and says that his nephews, Geoffrey [see under Marisco, Geoffrey de] and Richard, bishop of Leighlin, transported his body from Canterbury to Dunbrothy, where they erected a tomb of black Kilkenny marble to him in the conventual church. Of this tomb and the recumbent figure upon it he gives two engravings ; it was overthrown in 1798, and has since perished (Genealogical Memoir of Montmorency, plates 1 and 2). Hervey left no legitimate children (Expugnatio, pp. 345, 409). He is described by Giraldus as a tall and handsome man, with blue and prominent eyes, and cheerful countenance ; he was broad-chested, and had long hands and arms, and well-shaped legs and feet. Morally, Giraldus says he belied his appearance ; he was extremely lustful, envious, and deceitful, a slanderer, untrustworthy, and changeable, more given to spite than to gallant deeds, and fonder of pleasure than of profitable enterprise (ib. pp. 327, 328). From this estimate and from other evil things that Giraldus says of Hervey large deductions should be made, for Giraldus wrote in the interest of his relatives, the Geraldines, and speaks violently of all who opposed them. As, then, Hervey was the rival and enemy of Raymond Fitzgerald, he and his doings are represented in the ' Expugnatio ' in a most unfavourable light. Even Giraldus, however, allows that Hervey was one of the four principal conquerors of the Irish (ib. p. 409).

[The manuscript register of Thorney, lately acquired by the Cambridge Univ. Library, has been examined for the purposes of this article by Miss Mary Bate son, who has also rendered other valuable help. See Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 601, 603, v. 362; Will. of Jumièges. viii. c.37, ed. Duchesne; H.E. de Montmorency-Morres's (Viscount Mountmorres) Genealogical Memoir of Montmorency, 1817, and Les Montmorency de France et d'Irlande, 1828, were written to advance a claim to honours, and are full of assumptions not apparently borne out by the proofs adduced in their support ; Du Chesne's Histoire Généalogique de la Maison de Montmorency, pp. 9, 10, 87, 92, 93,97, 106, Preuves, 39, 55 (1624); L'Art de Vérifier, xii. 9 ; the Montmorency pedigrees by Anselme and Desormeaux may be disregarded as far as they concern Hervey; Giraldus Cambr. Expug. Hibern. ap. Opp. v. 207-411; Song of Dermot and the Earl, Pref. and 11. 457, 606, 749, 1140, 1475-89, 1496, 3071, ed. Orpen, also

to be found quoted as ' Regan ' from earlier and less perfect editions of Michel and Wright; Gesta Hen. II, i. 24, 164 (Rolls Ser.); Gervase of Cant. i. 234 (Bolls Ser.); Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, i. 79, ii. Pref. and pp. 98, 141, 143, 151, 158, 223 (Rolls Ser.); Literæ Cantuar. iii. Pref. and pp. 361, 362 (Rolls Ser.); Epp. Can tuar.ap. Memorials of Richard I,ii.308, 312, 315, 333 (Rolls Ser.); Reg. Abbey St. Thomas, Dublin (Rolls Ser.), p. 370 ; MSS. Cott. Nero C. ix. i. ff. 5, 6, Galba E. iii. 2, fol. 32 ; Kilkenny Archæol. Society's Journal, 1855-6, iii. 216; Ware's Antiqq. pp. 68, 81, Annals, pp. 2, 4, 6, 14, 24 ; Gilbert's Viceroys of Ireland, pp. 15, 37, 44-5; Norgate's Angevin Kings, ii. 101, 112.]

W. H.