Page:The Ancestor Number 1.djvu/219

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THE ANCESTOR 167 duke and third marquis ; the earldom dates only from 1784, and the barony from 1761. His ancestors, the Grosvenors of Eaton, upon whom a baronetcy was conferred in 1622, were cadets of a knightly house in the palatinate of Chester. The chief facts concerning them have long been common property ; but though different writers have shaken their heads over this or that detail, none has seriously faced the task of separating truth from fiction. The received account of their origin is in the main derived from the celebrated controversy between Sir Richard Scrope and Sir Robert Grosvenor in 1385-90. For example, Collins and Ormerod alike profess to rely upon this for their informa- tion. Happily a contemporary record of the suit remains, though no longer in a perfect state, and was printed by Sir Harris Nicolas.^ The story has been told before ; but it is one that will bear repetition. In the year 1385 an English army, under the king in person, invaded Scotland. Among the banners displayed on this occasion was that of Sir Richard Scrope, first Lord Scrope of Bolton, a distinguished soldier and statesman, who, besides being present at several of the greatest battles of his time,^ had held the offices of treasurer, steward of the king's household, and twice chancellor of England. His arms were, in the blazon of that day, dazure ove une hende dore. To his high indignation he found in the camp a knight of the palatinate. Sir Robert Grosvenor, bearing the same coat. A dispute followed, when Grosvenor maintained his right ; and the matter was referred to a court of chivalry, composed of the constable and marshal of England (or their lieutenants), with other nobles, knights and learned clerks, the Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury among them. Many sittings were held ; much evidence collected and heard on either side. Scrope, as might be expected, brought forward the more numerous and more distinguished array, leading off with John 1 Chancery, Misc. Rolls, B. 10, Nos. 2, 3. The Scrope and Grosvenor Con- troversy ^ by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, privately printed, 1832. See also Herald and Genealogist, i. For the purposes of Burke^s Peerage these far off events are covered by 5/V Bernard Burke's Reminiscences. 2 According to some accounts, both at Crecy and Nevill's Cross (G.E.C. Complete Peerage). The depositions mention that William, his elder brother, was at Crecy, also Henry and Stephen Scrope, but not Sir Richard. Com- pare General Wrottesley's monograph, Crecy and Calais.