Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/333

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THE DOMESDAY SURVEY record. Within a very few years these two fiefs were combined in the hands of the first Earl of Warwick, and the great dominion thus created, with Warwick Castle as its head, completely overshadows the feudal history of the county. Something therefore should here be said of the origin of these fiefs. At the time of the Conquest Roger de Beaumont, a trusted friend and minister of the Conqueror, had two sons, Robert and Henry, of whom Robert inherited, through his mother, the Comte of Meulan, while Henry, very shortly indeed after the Domesday Survey, was created Earl of Warwick. As early as 1068, when Warwick Castle was 'founded,' Henry was entrusted with its keeping, 1 but he is not found in Domesday as a holder of land. It was his elder brother, the Count of Meulan, one of the heroes of the battle of Hastings, who held so large a fief in the county in 1086. He, however, it would seem, had not been its first holder. The cartulary of Preaux distinctly states that the five hides at Arlescote were given to that house by Roger de Beaumont himself, not by his sons 2 ; and we must therefore conclude that the Count of Meulan (from whom the abbey held this endowment in 1086) had inherited the fief (or, in any case, part of it) from his father. Its subsequent devolution appears to be somewhat obscure, for, instead of descending to Robert's heirs, it clearly passed to his brother Henry, who became Earl of Warwick. This, indeed, is implied by the same cartu- lary of Preaux, which states that the tithes of some Warwickshire manors were added by Roger's sons, Robert, Count of Meulan, and Henry, Earl of Warwick. 3 It is probable that the fief was transferred to Henry when he was made an earl, and that his elder brother was compensated by the large grants of other lands which we know he subsequently obtained. It was also to provide Henry with lands suitable to his dignity that he received the fief which had been held by Turchil 'of Warwick.' This we learn incidentally from the chronicle of Abingdon Abbey, which states that in consequence of this transference Henry claimed Hill and Chesterton, which Turchil had given to the abbey, and had to be induced by a sum of money to confirm the gift.* On what ground Turchil (or his son and heir, Siward) was deprived of his extensive fief we cannot tell ; but the fact that, in Mr. Freeman's words, ' he stands out more conspicuously in Domesday than any other Englishman ' would be of itself enough to excite the cupidity of Normans. That his house however was not doomed to such ruin and destruction as was the fate of others is shown by the fact that his descendants held some ten knights' fees under the Earls of Warwick. 5 Their long continu- ance in the county, under Turchil's name of Arden, is of great interest 1 ' Rex itaque castrum apud Guarevicum condidit et Henrico Rogerii de Bellomonte filio ad servandum tradidit ' (Ord. Vit.)

  • Calendar of Documents preserved in France, p. 1 08. 3 Ibid.

4 'In comitatus supplementum Henrici Warewicensis comitis, regis Willelmi junioris, in sui imperil principio, dono, patrimonium terrarum Turkilli de Ardene adjectum est ' (ii. 21). Eighty years after Domesday Henry de 'Ardene' was holding 5 fees, and Hugh de 'Ardene' 5j of William, Earl of Warwick (ReJ Book of the Exchequer, p. 325} 277