Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/338

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE ancestor in the male line of that family of Shirley by whom it has been held ever since. 1 It is doubtful whether in all England there exists another case of an under-tenant's manor so demonstrably descending in a male line unbroken. That this descent can be established is partly due to the fact that the holder of Eatington was an under-tenant on a very considerable scale. He held of Ferrers in Derbyshire, in Northampton- shire, and in Lincolnshire as well as here, and his holdings were repre- sented in 1 1 66 by nine knight's fees. 1 As there has been some miscon- ception with regard to the origin of ' Saswalo,' one may here explain that there were certainly two (and possibly four) bearers of the name in Domesday. The one who held in Oxfordshire and Berkshire under Geoffrey de Mandeville was represented by Sewale s de Oseville in 1 1 66 and probably bore that surname. Our Warwickshire ' Saswalo ' was then represented by ' Sewaldus.' 4 It is clear, therefore, that Saswalo was only a Latinization of a name represented now by ' Sewell.' That its bearers were foreigners, not Englishmen, is shown by their having as predecessors several different men and by the absence of the name in England before the Conquest. The other Warwickshire under-tenant who appears to have been the ancestor of a still existing family is ' Rannulf,' who held at Kinwar- ton under the abbot of Evesham. The researches of General Wrottesley have left little doubt that ' Rannulf was the brother of Walter then abbot, and that he was ancestor in the male line of the house of Wrot- tesley. 6 This he has established by Evesham evidences, and his researches have incidentally illustrated other points in the survey of the shire, as is seen in this introduction. At length we may approach the question of the native landowners and their fate. Great obscurity still surrounds the process by which the English holders were dispossessed by the strangers. The magnates, no doubt, were dispossessed either at the opening of William's reign or, on various pretexts, in the course of it. As a typical example we may take the case of an English noble who has not yet been properly identified in Domesday. Three at least of the Warwickshire manors that had passed to Henry de Ferrers had been held by Siward Barn, who may also have held the rest, for all we know to the contrary. In Gloucestershire Henry's only estate, the valuable manor of Lechlade,* had been held by the same man. Far away in Lincolnshire, in its north-west corner, Henry's only manor in the county, where his tenant was the Warwickshire 'Saswalo,' had been held by the same man, oddly disguised as 'Seubar' (fo. 353), and he was claiming other land as having been his at Amcotts. 7 Now 1 This was demonstrated by Mr. Evelyn Shirley in his own history of his family. 1 Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 336. Or 'Sewalus' (Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 345). Cf. Geoffi-ey de Mandeville, p. 231. Or ' Sawaldus ' (Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 336). See A History of the Family of Wrottesley of Wrottesley. By Major-General Wrottesley (re- printed from the Genealogist, 1903). 'Siward bar tenuit' (169). 7 Henricus de ferrariis clamat super ipsum Goisfridum iij bov' terrac, hoc et terram Siwardbar in Amecotes' (376b). 282