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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Branch of Pye

When I last left the de Kilpecks, the family had daughtered out. They had married Walerand, Plugenet and Marmion. Philip Marmion died c. 1292. But there were other branches of the de Kilpecks, other sons of Hugh de Kilpeck (1076-11??), John de Kilpeck and Thomas de Kilpeck.

The easy one is Thomas. No spouse has been found for him and only one daughter has been discovered. Her name was Margaret and she married Stephen de la Bere. Margaret and Stephen had two daughters.

John de Kilpeck probably had children though none have been firmly established. The family names continue to repeat themselves in generation after generation, often muddying the waters and making true identification nearly impossible. Even Sir John Burke in the many books he put together on the peerage, nobility, baron, baronetcies, extinct and dormant titles, has mixed and confused some of the Robert Pyes, the Walter Pyes and the John Pyes. This is not to pass judgment on him and his volumes of works, but is offered as an example of how even dedicated researchers have been thwarted by the repetition of names throughout the generations.

John de Kilpeck had a son named Thomas. No wife has been discovered for him, but some secondary sources say he was the father of Walter Pye of Saddlebow.  I offer this, in this way, because there seems to be no clear cut evidence that Thomas and Walter were father and son, yet it is referred to often enough to give it some pause for thought. This is one of those pieces of information that need to be checked out in dusty old church or record books, not at my disposal.
Walter is claimed to have married Elizabeth de la Bere, daughter of Stephen de la Bere and his wife Margaret Pye (mentioned above). At this point, I want to mention that there are many 1st and 2nd cousin marriages through the early years in the Pye pedigree. It was a very common practice and helped to consolidate land holdings and generate loyalty within families. Many, if not most, marriages were contracts and had little or nothing to do with romance.  This seems to have been a general practice and occurs frequently in other families as well. Walter and Elizabeth had a son, Thomas, who married Joan Bromwich.  Walter, and his son Thomas, are referred to as ‘of Saddlebow.’ Saddlebow is a geographical area in Herefordshire, which may no longer exist on any map of today. I have seen references to an area south of Hereford that is in the general area of Kilpeck, Orcopp and Much Dewchurch which was called Saddlebow. Using today’s maps it’s very difficult to determine the location of the 14th century saddlebow.  These lands were most likely some of the holdings of the earlier Pyes and were given off to the younger sons, while the older sons inherited Kilpeck.

I have seen several references to Thomas and Joan Bromwich being the parents of Walter Pye. I have seen just as many saying they were the parents of John Pye. Maybe they had two sons, John and Walter. Whatever the case, I have found both names married to Elizabeth Scudamore. Elizabeth is rather an important figure and it’s sad that I can’t do more justice to her by saying which man is her correct husband. Elizabeth is the daughter of Sir John ‘Hen’ Scudamore and his wife Alice Glendower. The story goes that Sir John secretly married Alice and that they were able to keep the secret for 20 years. He was working for the King in subduing the Welsh. When the marriage was finally discovered, John was stripped of all his honors and castles that he held. Alice is the daughter of Owain Glyndwr, the National Hero of Wales. He studied law at Westminster, was esquire to the Earl of Arundel and rebelled against King Henry IV, declared himself Prince of Wales and established an independent Welsh Parliament. He was defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury but continued to fight for Welsh independence until his death. He was knighted by King Richard II. The Scudamore family was anciently seated in Kentchurch, Holme Lacy and Ewyas, both in Herefordshire. Their name had a variety of spellings before it became Scudamore. The name continued to evolve as some of its members sailed for the New World. There the name became Skidmore.

A little bit of a tangent there but it is important to note that the Pyes were on the same social level as the Scudamores of the day. As far as I’ve been able to find, there are only three children listed for Elizabeth and John/Walter Pye. They had John, Walter and Jenkin. Jenkin married Elizabeth Selwick and had a son, Robert. Robert married a Monington, but no first name has come forth.  Their son John married a Vaughan, again no first name. This family had Elizabeth and Griffith Pye. Elizabeth married Thomas Catchmer and Griffith married a daughter of Thomas Walwyn.  Elizabeth and Thomas Catchmer’s daughter, Catherine, married Sir John Vaughan, Knt.  Griffith and his Walwyn wife had John and Robert. The Welsh name Vaughan spears frequently in marriages with the Pye family. The spelling has been Anglicized from its Welsh form of Vychyn.  John, son of Griffith, was the 2nd husband of Margaret Bodenham. There have been no children discovered from either marriage for Margaret.  Robert, the other son of Griffith, married a woman named Parry (ap Harry in the Welsh tradition) and they had at least one son, also named Robert.

To continue with this family line, I will need to leave this particular branch, retrace my steps a bit and pick up another Pye line in a different geographical location.  They won’t be far. They’re still in Herefordshire, but they are, by this time, considered distant relations.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Arabian Horse

And God took a handful of South wind and from it formed a horse, saying:
"I create thee, Oh Arabian. To thy forelock, I bind Victory in battle.
On thy back, I set a rich spoil And a Treasure in thy loins.
I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
I give thee flight without wings."
-- from Ancient Bedouin Legend

(Byford, et al. Origination of the Arabian Breed)

Noble, graceful, intelligent and beautiful are just a few of the attributes that can be used to describe this magnificent breed of horses. They have the distinction of being the oldest breed of horses and the ONLY true purebred in existence.  The name Arab or Arabian has nothing to do with nationality but everything to do with the desert.  They were desert horses, nomads, as opposed to being associated with any established village or town. No one knows the origin of the Arabian horse but the lineage does date back about 5000 years. It’s believed the earlier ancestors of the Arabian horse were slightly smaller, but many of their unique physical characteristics still hold true today. Early paintings show the same dished profiles, large nostrils and eyes, arched necks, tiny muzzles and tails lifted and flaring in the breeze that are found in today’s Arabian horse.   

To the Bedouin tribesmen of 1500 BC or so, their horses were essential to their very existence. The Bedouin could recite the lineage of their horses equally as well as the lineage of their families. They were used for work, riding, racing and war. Often the horses were kept within the same tents as the family. Their bond with humans is several thousand years old. The stallions were of prime importance but it was the mares that became war horses. They were brave, courageous and trustworthy. They had stamina, agility and speed.  It was considered a high honor to receive a mare as a gift.

There are several characteristics that seem to be found only in the Arabian horse.  The chiseled face, wide spaced, large eyes, large nostrils, arched neck and tail held high are all qualities found in horses of this breed. They come in a variety of colors such as bay, chestnut, gray, roan and brown. Occasionally there is a black and sometimes you’ll see a white. The white horse may have begun life as a chestnut, which then may have become a dark grey. This color will lighten as the horse ages until it appears nearly pure white. The grays can be dappled or appear as a roan.  Purebred Arabians do not come in Palomino or Paint colors. Horses in those color categories would be registered as half-Arabians.

These nimble steeds soon became known to areas in Europe where they had been breeding massively big horses for centuries.  They needed huge horses to carry a knight and all his armor into battle. The Europeans had no other horse breed similar to the Arabian. They had ponies but nothing even close to the fleet horses of the desert. When the style of war changed, the Europeans no longer had a need for huge horses. These heavy, draft breeds found new work on the farms and canals. In the meantime, they used the Arabian horse to begin streamlining the drafts and produced lighter horses for riding and carriages. 

Because of the Arabian Horses long association with humans, they are known to be affectionate, friendly and willing to work. This breed has been used in all types of competitions, including English show, Western Pleasure, gaming, endurance trials, trail riding, hunter/jumper, dressage, racing and several others. The Native Costume class is impressive with horse and rider decked out in Bedouin attire. These horses have also been used successfully in therapy programs for individuals with a variety of handicapping histories.

Without going into elaborate descriptions of all the famous Arabian Horse farms of the last 100 years, let it be said that Stud farms of significance were established in England (Crabbet for one), Poland (Jaslowski), Russian (Tersk, most were imported from Poland and England) and the USA (Kellogg, Brown, Davenport). Over the last several hundred years, Arabians have been bred with other horse breeds to increase stamina, refine confirmation, improve performance. They are in the breeding background of Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Percherons, gaited horses, pacers, trotters, Morgans, warm-bloods, Appaloosas and many more.

Over the last 20 years, it’s been my pleasure to have four Arabians in my stable. Sadly, I lost my best friend last Feb. We had spent the last 20 years together. He was 28 and had arthritis and other old age issues. Free Spiritt was a great grandson of the famous Bask***, an imported Polish stallion and on his dam’s side, he had a long history of Egyptian Arabian lines. He personified everything I’ve ever heard about Arabian horses.

Arabian Horses – Drinkers of the Wind

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Pye in Pyeplate #3

Hugh de Kilpeck lived from about 1076 and was still living in 1131 when he was the Censor of the Forest of Dean.  There is an interesting legend concerning Hugh who went on the first crusade. A disclaimer is necessary at the very beginning because absolutely no proof or evidence of any kind has ever been authentically identified to show there is even a grain of truth to it. Hugh was supposedly captured on the crusade and held captive by the Emir of wherever he was. The Emir’s daughter fell in love with him and they had a daughter named Susan. Then the Emir’s daughter helped him to escape. He returned to England and his former life. Susan is reported to have married Gilbert Beckett, the known father of St. Thomas Beckett. This alludes to Susan Pye being the mother of Thomas. Again, there is not one shred of proof. There are several legends, in poem form, that romanticize this story. I hesitate to say it’s a complete falsehood. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The story did start somewhere, but it may have changed in dozens of ways in the telling when the courts were being entertained. I have to take the side of rational thinking and believe it is merely an altered story devised to entertain the Lords and Ladies of the day and may be about anyone or may be purely fictional.

Hugh had four known sons, Hugh, John, Thomas and Henry. This second Hugh is one of the brick walls. Nothing much can be found on him, at least nothing that fits. John had at least three sons, Walter, John and Thomas. No name of his wife has been found yet. Hugh’s son, Thomas, had at least two daughters, Margaret and another whose name has not been discovered. Finally there is Henry, who inherited the lands of Kilpeck upon his father’s death. 1193 - John de Kilpeck, son of Henry, purchased the barony of Purbeck [Pulverbach], for £100; from Emma, wife of Herbert de Castello. (S) A History of Shropshire, Page, 1968, P134. [Emma d/o Reginald de Pulverbatch.] In 1200, John de Kilpeck and his heirs were granted the jurisdiction of all the forests of Herefordshire in perpetuity by King John.

A recap here:          William de la Mare c. 1058 – 1114

                              Hugh (de la Mare) de Kilpeck  c. 1076 – 1169

                                (Had sons Hugh, John, Thomas and Henry)

                              Henry de Kilpeck  c. 1130 – 1183 – Inherited Kilpeck

                              John de Kilpeck  c. 1165 – 1204  (wife’s name Julianna)

John died young leaving his wife Julianna with a minor age son, another Hugh. Hugh’s wardship was given to William de Cantilupe, Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1n 1205, until the boy reached the age of majority.  Hugh came of age in 1209, however Cantilupe continued to administer the estate for some time. Between the years 1211 and 1214 King John visited Hugh de Kilpeck and William de Cantilupe several times. I have often looked into this relationship between Cantilupe and de Kilpeck. Hugh’s mother’s name was Julianna and that female name occurs in the Cantilupe family. Still, I have found neither record that shows what her last name might have been nor any other record that indicates any familial connection through blood or marriage between the two families. In 1216, Hugh de Kilpeck received orders from the king, now King Henry III, to pay his usual panage of pigs in the wood of Trivelle to Walter de Lacy to store in the castle at Hereford. In 1222, Hugh was granted the right to rebuild his house at Rokel, Wiltshire. In 1223, Hugh received letters entitling him to collect the scutage of Montgomery in five counties. In 1231 Hugh de Kilpeck and William FitzWarine were 2 of 8 barons to negotiate a truce with Llewlyn, Prince of Wales who had invaded Montgomery and Brecon. There are many more references of minor consequence that refer to Hugh de Kilpeck, thus proving his existence and demonstrating his ownership of many lands, not within the county of Hereford. Hugh lived c. 1191 – 1244 and died leaving two daughters, Isabel and Joan.  Before going to that next generation, this is the place where Hugh’s sister, Joane de Kilpeck needs to be mentioned. Dates of her birth and death are not known but we do know she married Alan de Plugenet. There are a variety of spellings, but Plugenet seems the most commonly used, so for sanity sake, I will used it here.  Joane and Alan had at least two children, Joan and Alan (let’s add to the confusion!!!!). Joane married Henry de Bohun but died childless. Joane’s brother Alan de Plugenet married a woman named Sybillia but no children have been found for this couple.  The de Plugenets had descendancies from the de Berkeleys and the de Rochedords.

Back to Hugh. His older daughter, Isabel, married William Walerand. The younger daughter, Joan, married Philip Marmion. Isabel and William Walerand held the lands at Kilpeck.

 Another recap:      John de Kilpeck c. 1165 – 1204

                              Hugh de Kilpeck c. 1191 – 1244  His sister Joane married                                                                                     Alan de Plugenet

                              Isabella de Kilpeck m. William Walerand  Her sister, Joan,                                                                                               married Philip                                                                                                    Marmion

Therefore Kilpeck passed from Hugh on his death in 1244 to his daughter Isabell de Kilpeck de Walerand. No children who survived Isabel and William can be found, so the lands at Kilpeck passed to William’s brother Robert de Walerand who then granted them to his nephew Alan de Plugenet. This Alan died in 1298 and the estate passed to his son, another Alan, who died without issue in 1325. At this point, the lands passed to Joane de Plugenet de Bohun, (sister of Alan, d. 1325).  In 1327 she granted Kilpeck to Eleanor de Bohun at Queen Isabella’s request and ‘in consideration of her affection.’ Eleanor became the wife of James Butler, the Earl of Ormond I.  When James died in 1338 he held Kilpeck, lands in Pipard, the FitzJohn manors of his grandmother and two manors in Hampshire and Lancashire.

Based on the documents that pertain to Kilpeck, by 1327, it was no longer in the possession of any descendant of William de la Mare or Hugh de Kilpeck.





Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Pye in PyePlate Part 2

Now to carry on with the de la Mare name which evolved into de Kilpeck sometime during the 12th century, I return to the person named as ‘grandson’ of William FitzNorman de La Mare, in many documents. At this point, I must point out an error. Many of the earlier records show statements that refer to Hugh as being the “grandson of” William FitzNorman de la Mare. I believe this to be an error but really can’t prove it. My own records place Hugh firmly in the position of “son” not “grandson.” For the purpose of this on going saga, I would like to put Hugh in the position of “son” and continue from there. Some records do indicate that William did have a “grandson” named Hugh as well, which I’m sure has led to the confusion. However there are some significant dates and times lines which show William had a son named Hugh. I might as well clear up another inaccuracy while I’m on a roll. This same Hugh de la Mare, son of William FitzNorman de la Mare has, for a long time, had a ‘prove or disprove’ item inserted with his name. The note said he had married Meirig ap Gruffydd. I have often wondered about this. Was it a careless notation using the ‘son of’ designation or was this just plain wrong? In The Welsh Kings: Warriors, Warlords and Princes, by Kari Maund, it became apparent that Meirig (there are various spellings) was a man and was not married to Hugh de Kilpeck. This Hugh had children, but now there is no spousal name associated with him.

This man named Hugh de Kilpeck and his family had lived along the Welsh border for quite a number of years. Assimilation had occurred amongst the border people. Customs had been shared, names blended, families married and a host of other traditions became the norm for the people of the area. One custom was naming the children of the family using some form of ‘son of’ or ‘daughter of.’ In the Welsh tradition, the son of Owen was called John ab Owen. This eventually became the surname Bowen. Another example would be the son of Rhys (Rice, who would have been called Henry ap Rhys, which later became Price.  Daughters were referred to by ferch or verch, meaning daughter of. Since they usually married, their names didn’t have the same impact in changing the sound or spelling of surnames. Another example is William FitzNorman de la Mare. In this case, the Norman tradition of using Fitz (son of and being a corruption of the French word fils, also meaning son of) show that William is the son of Norman. We think of FitzGerald being Irish, but its roots are in Norman antiquity. A study of Patronymics shows a great diversity among the Gaelic speaking people of the time in how they designated ‘son of’ and daughter of.’
So following the Welsh tradition, male children of Hugh were called ap Hugh.

Various spellings of this have been found such as Apee (say Apay), Opie, Pie and possibly Pugh. In some locations, this eventually became the name Pye. It was with Hugh that the name change began and some traces of his children, listed as ap Hugh, can be found. But, in general, he was known as Hugh de Kilpeck. The use of two surnames confuses the lines when researching, but awareness of it helps to lighten things up.

It was this Hugh who went on the First Crusade and when he returned he commissioned the building of the Church of SS. Mary and David.. Nothing can be proved but it appears he may have employed the same builder who had erected a church in Shobdon, which is now in ruins. Oliver de Merlimond, the steward to the Lord of Wigmore, Hugh de Mortimer, had been on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostello in Spain. When he returned, he built the church at Shobdon in the style he had seen in southern France. The church at Kilpeck reflects this influence.

Some church histories on Kilpeck say that Hugh de Kilpeck was a kinsman of Hugh de Mortimer. It is possible that de Kilpeck was a cousin, of some degree, to de Mortimer’s wife, but this has not been verified. In its 870+ years, the church has been refitted and maintained, but otherwise nothing much has changed. If you should ever be able to walk through its doors, you will be in the same building used by people who prayed there over 800 years ago. For those with an opportunity, church services are still held there every third Sunday.

In the Middle Ages, Kilpeck was a fortified village and home to a thriving community. The castle, which was still in use at that time, was large and important enough that King John visited three times within four years. Kilpeck was allowed three medieval fairs, one of them weekly on Fridays. By this time the Hugh de Kilpeck in residence was the grandson of the above named Hugh. 

Hugh did have children though, at least 4 sons that can be found, a Hugh seems to be the oldest. Here we will throw another Hugh into the mix to further muddy the stew. This Hugh appears to have been born in Pulverbatch, Shropshire, rather than in the family digs back in Kilpeck. This would show the mobility of the times as they moved from one land holding to another. This son, Hugh, appears to have inherited lands in Shropshire which can be seen in Shropshire: Its Early History and Antiquaries, by John Corbett Anderson and The Notices of the Ellises, by William Smith Ellis, Esq. Many connections to the de la Mares can be found in Shropshire. Unfortunately, the names seem to have daughtered out and I haven’t pursued those lines of research.

The other three children believed to be sons of Hugh were John, Thomas and Henry. Another segment will continue the history of Kilpeck, de la Mares, Pyes and associated families.