Peverell, William (DNB00)

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PEVERELL, WILLIAM (fl. 1155), of Nottingham, baron, was son or grandson of William Peverell. The elder Peverell is said to have been a natural son of William the Conqueror, and his mother a daughter of Ingelric, founder of the collegiate church of St. Martin's-le-Grand, London, but the sole authority is Dugdale's quotation of Robert Glover [q. v.], Somerset herald. The younger Peverell appears among the witnesses to a charter to the church of Salisbury on 8 Sept. 1131 (Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 266), and to a charter of Stephen at Oxford between 22 March and 26 April 1136 (Richard of Hexham in Chronicles of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, Rolls Ser. iii. 150). In 1138 he and other northern magnates bound themselves to resist David of Scotland after that king had refused to listen to proposals for peace (ib. iii. 162). In the battle of the Standard the same year William was one of the chief commanders (Henry Hunt. Rolls Ser. p. 264). He was taken prisoner at Lincoln, fighting on Stephen's side, in 1141 (Cont. of Sym. Dunelm. by John of Hexham, Rolls Ser. ii. 308). Matilda took his castle of Nottingham and entrusted it to William Paganel [see under Paganel, Ralph]; but, in 1142, during the latter's absence, Peverell's men surprised it by night and expelled all the adherents of Matilda from the town (ib. ii. 309, 311–12). In 1153 Henry of Anjou granted his lands to Ranulf, earl of Chester (d. 1153) [q. v.] (J. H. Round in English Historical Review, x. 91). Ranulf died the same year, being poisoned by Peverell, according to rumour (Gervase of Canterbury, i. 155; Robert de Monte in Chronicles of Stephen, &c., Rolls Ser. iv. 183).

In 1155, on Henry II's advance northwards, Peverell fled from Yorkshire to a monastery near Nottingham (probably Lenton); where he received the tonsure and assumed the monastic habit. But on Henry's approach to Nottinghamshire, he again fled (Gervase, i. 161). His lands were confiscated, this time on the pretext of his complicity in the death of Ranulf. The sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire accounted for his lands to the king in 1160 and 1165–1171 (see Pipe Rolls, Pipe Roll Soc.). Peverell probably concealed himself in some monastery. He is not heard of again.

[Authorities cited; Planché's Family of Peverell of Nottingham in Journal of British Archæological Association, viii. 198; Freeman's Norman Conquest and William Rufus, passim; Dugdale's Baronage of England, i. 437.]

W. E. R.