Page:A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.djvu/35

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16
HISTORY OF HORNCASTLE.

a wound in a skirmish with Prince Rupert, from which he died, June 24, 1643. Petitions were also presented to Sir Edward Hussey, sheriff, 1636-7, as given in Domestic State Papers, Charles I., Vol. 345, No. 42.

It has been already stated that in the reign of Stephen this manor was held by Adelias, or Adelidis, de Cundi. How this came about is not quite clear, whether it was inherited from her father, William de Cheney, who was probably among the Normans invited to immigrate by Edward the Confessor, since it would seem that at the time of the conquest he was already a large owner in the county, or from her husband, Robert de Cundi, a Fleming, probably named from the town and fortress of Conde on the frontier of France, situated on the Scheldt, in the department du Nord. There is, however, evidence to show that she had other possessions of considerable value apparently in her own right in Nottinghamshire and Kent, as well as Lincolnshire.[1] She is described by the old chronicler, Geoffrey Gairmar,[2] as a great patroness of learning and literature.

The Cheneys, or Chesneys, were apparently of foreign extraction, as implied by their appellation "de Casineto." They had considerable influence at various periods, one of them being knighted, another made a baron by Queen Elizabeth.[3] One, Robert de Cheney, was a powerful Bishop of Lincoln (A.D. 1147-67) and built one of the finest castles in England, the ruins of which still remain in the Palace grounds at Lincoln.[4] The Cheney pedigree is given in The Genealogist of July, 1901. They seem to have settled in Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire, as well as in Lincolnshire. Sir Thomas Cheney, K.G., was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in the latter part of the 16th century. The Cheneys fell into decay towards the end of the 17th century, and at the beginning of the 18th century we find them in trade at Boston. About 1750 William Garfit of Boston married Mary, daughter of Thomas Cheney, and the name, as a christian name, still survives in that family. The Cheneys, we may add, were among the ancestors of the Willoughbys [5] and the parish of Cheneys, in Bucks., doubtless named after them, is now the property of the Duke of Bedford.

The granddaughter of Adelias de Cundi, Agnes,[6] married Walter, son of Walter de Clifford of Clifford Castle, Hereford. Walter Clifford is named in the first great charter of Henry III. (A.D. 1216), along with the great nobles Walter de Lacy, William de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, William, Earl of Albemarle, and others.


  1. Among the Lincoln Cathedral Charters is an imperfect one, which mentions her "Castle of Tornegat (can this be a corruption for Horncastle?), her land at Wicham in Chent (Kent?), at Carlton and Torleby (Thurlby) in Lincolnshire," Architectural Society's Journal, 1901, p. 22. There is a notice of her in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 1.
  2. This Geoffrey Gairmar is himself rather an interesting figure in local history. He is mentioned in the Rolls Series, 91, i, ii (Ed. Hardy and Martin, 1888-9), as the author of L'estorie des Engles, a rhyming chronicle, based chiefly on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Geoffrey of Monmouth (between A.D. 1135 and 1147). He undertook his work at the request of Custance, wife of Ralph Fitz Gilbert; the latter held the manor of Scampton near Lincoln, and Geoffrey was probably a Norman who lived in that parish. He quotes The Book of Washingborough and The Lay of Haveloc the Dane, relating to Grimsby. He does not directly mention Horncastle, but shews acquaintance with the neighbourhood by celebrating the burial of King Ethelred at Bardney.
  3. Camden's Britannia, pp. 45, 288, 529.
  4. History of Lincoln, 1816, p. 138.
  5. Camden, p. 88. A Lincoln Chancery Inquisition (Oct. 31, 1503) shows that on the death of Anne, daughter and heir of Edmund Cheney, owning the manors of Tothill, Gayton, Riston, and Theddlethorpe, Robert Willoughby, Lord Broke, was declared to be her kinsman and heir.
  6. Dugdale, vol. ii, p. 336. D. Mon, ii, p. 646. (Architectural Society's Journal, 1895, p. 23).