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As per several dictionaries the names Knill, Knell, Knoll are derived ot the sites where people lived, i.e. at a Knoll in the landscape, whereas the name Quesnel signifies a site near an oaktree, in the English version it is Kenel or similar. In remote centuries the pronounced 'K' was written as 'CH or QU' if an 'E' followed, or as a 'C' if an 'A, O or U' followed.  - Spelling of the name!

Knill from Knill Court in Herefordshire:
The name was spelt as Cnulla, Knull, Knulle, Cnille, Knill, Knill(e) Knyll, Knylle, Knoyle, Knell, Knelle and Kennell. - The last time I saw them written as Knulle was in 1417.

Ralph de Cnulla held Knill in ca.1158-64, when Chenille in 1086, later called Knill, was called Cnulla (The Institute for Name-Studies). In 1174 this Ralph, with Alexander de Pudlesden and others, had witnessed a charter by Osbern Fitz Hugh, descendant of the Domesday Osbern Fitz Richard, who held Richard's castle in Herefordshire, a cluster of 11 manors including Knill, situated at the border of Herefordshire with Wales, plus other manors including a manor of which Pudlesden was an appurtenance in Herefordshire. Osbern FitzRichard held as well the barony of Burford in Shropshire with certain manors. Ralph de Cnulla witnessed another charter in 1196. Walter de la Cnolle, son of Ralph of Glastonbury of Knowl Hill (GBS).This may be the proof, as I believe, that Walter de Cnille, Cnolle or Knulle, was the son of Ralph de Cnulle of Knill in Hereford. Walter is mentioned in Herefordshire in 1220-1, married to Edeline or Margaret de Sap, widow of William de Pudelsden. Walter went as Walter de Cnolle with William de Pudlesden to Gloucestershire in 1229, as tenants of the abbot of Glastonbury (CCR). - The author of the History of Herefordshire relates that William FitzOsborne took some lands away from the abbot of Glastonbury, which were restored to him after his death in 1071. He may have enfeoffed one of the de la Cunelle family there, as Gilbert de la Cunelle and his son Ralph were one of the principal tenants of William FitzOsbern and his son William at breteuil in Normandy. I believe that Ralph de Cnulla may be a grandson of Ralph de la Cunelle, as Osbern FitzRichard had 23 knights at Richard´s castle when his cluster of 11 fiiefs were still waste. The Fresnel and Alis families held later of his descendants property in Richard´s castle or of it.

In 1269 Richard de Knulle was juror in an inquisition post morem in Gloucestershire. In the 15th C. appears a Knill in Oxfordshire. - On 26 May 1400 there was an Inspeximus and confirmation to Antony Cunlle of letters patent, granting to himfor life 10 marks yearly at the Exchequer.  By p.s. and for half a mark paid in the hanaper. Cunlle is a derivation of Cunelle.

As per Testa Nevill this Cnulle-Cnille family held Byford in Herefordshire of the descendants of Robert de Lacy in 1242 as one knight's fee of the old feoffment (1100-1135). They also held Knill which had been of Osbern FitzRichard in 1086. - It is possible that this family descended of the de Cunelle's of Normandy, as descendants of William Alis, now Ellis and of Richard de Fresnel, now Fresne also held land in Hereford and in other counties later on. - The families of Alis-Elys, Fresnel-Fresne extended with their members rapidly into other counties.

The Knill family of Knill Court in Herefordshire has not been included in this research, as their descendancy is known.. Whether there is a common ancestor with other Knell families is not certain. However, the latest research shows that by the end of the 12th C. there was a Walter Knill, a templar, in Cambridge, where there is still a Knill well and Knill brook nowadays. The early Cambridge family had also land in Bedfordshire (see Further Knelle members Surrey and Bedfords.). The family can be followed up with the Papworth family who held  property in Papworth Aneys since 1160. In 1278 Richard de (la) Knolle of Surrey and Sussex received large lands in Papworth Anneys under the name of Knill from the bishop of Ely, who had recuperated those lands recently, whereas the original Knill-Knell family held of the abbot of Ramsey. Richard was married to Elena, who may be a Papworth, as this name had been in the family for over hundred years, so that Richard got the land for that reason.

Kenell, Kennell, Kennel, Kenall, Kennall, Kennal, once Kenett (manor). Roland de Kenell was murdered in 1202 and the culprit was tried by water. His father was then 60 years old. (see annex in this web page

Sussex and Hampshire, Middlesex, London, Kent and Essex:
Chenele, Cnelle, Chnelle, Knelle, Knell, Knel, Chnoll, Knoll, Knolle, de la Knelle, Knellee, Kenele, de la Knolle,  de la Cnelle, de la Knelle, Cnolle, de la Cnolle, later even Knylle.

Wiltshire, Devon, Dorset Somerset :
Knoll, Knoell, Knoyle, Knoll(e), (de la) Cnolle, Kenell, Kennell, Keynell, Knowle.

De la Cnolle 1190 and later, Oliver de la Cnolle having received Cnolle in Idsal and other property from Walter de Dunstanville as his harper. A Knowle wood is still existant (Eyton).

Yorkshire  as per the cartulary of Brindlington abbey a family Cunel was found. The charters are undated but seem to be of the late 12th and 13th C. Grant by William son of Ralph Willardby who gives land to the abbey including a toft which was held by Reyland Cunel p. 35. Reginald is mentioned also in the next page. Gamel son of Chnell is witness to a charter by Thomas Provost of the church of St. John of Beverley and the canons to the abbey (p. 69).

In Somerset Nicholas de Cunilde pays half a mark in 1194 (CCR p. 131).: - 1195 William de Kunill justiciar. Fines were levied  before him in 1195-6 (The Judges of England V. 1)

In Hampshire here was a place called Great Knulle near Crondale and family members were found under the names of Knill, Knell and Knull. Another family was called Knolle or de la Knolle (for those see 'Further Knelle members' in this web site).

According to Burke all the Knill and Knell families’ arms were:
Gules cruzilly or, a lion rampant or (with some variations, especially in colours). Other heraldic dictionaries mention also Gules crusilly fitchy, or the same with a lion rampant or, langed and crowned azure.

Knelle manor in East Sussex was held by Stephen de Cnelle  from c. 1185-90 to c. 1216-7  when his son Geoffrey took over. - The origin of this family has not been traced definitely. However, a William de Quesnel accompanied Duke William of Normandy to the conquest of England. He is mentioned in the list in the church of Dives-sur-mer in Normandy, and held land near Eastburn and surroundings and was tenant of a house in Lewes. Possibly, there exists a relation to the Knelle family of the Rape of Hastings. - This barony had been given by the Conqueror to Robert count of EU of Normandy after he with others had driven the Danes out of Northern England in 1067. - Investigations of the early Norman families settled in his territory in Normandy and Hastings Rape show that they were tenants or family members of the count. Lloyd in his 'Anglo-Norman families' gives a short genealogy of the Meiniers or Maneriis family with origin in Mainier near Drincourt, the nowadays Neufchâtel-en Bray. He adds that this is significant for the famililies of Sommery and Normanville, which lay south of Drincourt. I may add the families of St. Leger and Gulafre. He says that c. 1040-50 William, younger brother of Robert count of Eu had a strong interest in the region of Drincourt. - Quesnel à Sommery lies a few km south of this place. It belonged to the  barony of Cuverville-en-Yère situated in the county of EU and was held as half a fief. The archdeacon of EU had a right there. In 1229 Sommery had only a chapel (Déscript. Geograph. et Hist. de la Haute Normandy, p. 412, 457-8, 694). - As the families of Somery, Normanville, Maineriis and St. Leger were living all in Hasting Rape, not far from Knelle manor, the Knelle family may have originated in Quesnel á Sommery.

In West Sussex appears Hemeric de Cnelle in 1164 acting for the abbot of Fécamp in a quarrel with John de Tregoz about a wood. 1195 Philip de Cnelle, tenant of  Ralf the next abbot, witnesses for him against John, son of John Tregoz. Hemeric and Philip were retainers of the abbot. The abbey held half of the town of Steyning in West Sussex where they had a Priory. Upper Beeding, where there is still a Knell field, belonged to them also. - A Richard de Knell bought a virgate of land in 1199 in Durrington, which lies near to  Knell House and Goring, the seat of the Tregoz family. In West Tarring church there was a Knell chapel, later called Knyll chapel. About 1260 another Philip, son of Robert de la Cnolle issued a deed concerning Robert de Holt of Holt farm in Clapham situated next to Goring Castle and thus also to the manor of  'De la Cnelle', Field Place, Knell, Knole or Knoll. According to VCH Sussex, Bramber Rape, Clapham manor was held in 1073 by William de Braose (Foot note 32 Tarring manor VCH). The St. Owens, who held Clapham, were tenants of William de Braose from 1103 for about 450 years (See Further Knelle members).

There are references to Knell families in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
But so far no traces of them could be found, except the name of one field in Gotherington, in Gloucestershire, called Knell field, despite of their arms being described in armories and dictionaries.
A Knoll manor near Woodstock in Oxfordshire was mentiond, where King Edward I’s horses had to be looked after (TNA). It is however possible that the Cnill family of Herefordshire possessed also land in Gloucestershire, holding of the Abbot of Glastonbury. Possibly one member of the family was the ancestor of the Knelle family of Gloucestershire.  

A survey shows clearly, that the surnames of the same persons were sometimes spelt differently in the documents. This applies also to manor, place or field names. Thus it is vey difficult to discern whether for example the surname Knoll,e,es is a variation of Knell,e or not, or who belongs to which family. - Kennell wood in Knill, Herefordshire, is called Knill wood or Knell wood in different maps.

Another survey carried out at an earlier date, referring to the concentration of Knill and Knell families in the 18th and 19th centuries, shows that the bulk of them were present in the south east and south west of England, whereas on the Continent the bulk of them was settled all along the Rhine valley, from where the families spread (and from where my family hails). Another focus of Knill and Knell families originated in Switzerland and  southern Germany around the lake of Constance, which spread to the most southern German provinces and Austria. A statistic elaborated in an English university, shows that 80 per cent of all Knell families in the world live in England, 4% in Germany and the rest are distributed in the remaining countries including the United States of America and Australia. A survey at the end of the last century in Germany showed that there were only about 300 telephone lines held by Knell families out of a population of  ca. 68 million inhabitants.

However, there is another possibility for the origin of some of the families in Normandy and England: In order to understand the history of the de la Cunelle or Connelle family, we must see in which entourage they moved and how they were affected by the history of Normandy and England.

The 'Dictionnaire Historique pour tous les cantons de l'Eure in Normandy by Charpillon informs that Gilbert de la Cunelle, his wife and his eldest son Grimond or Grimold and his main vassals were present  in 1063, when his mesne tenant Robert de Grandvilliers, whose overlord he was, donated to the Abbey of St. Wandrille the church of Grandvilliers with the consent of Gilbert, his wife and his eldest son Grimold. In the Latin charter the name is spelt Lacunel (Aug. Prévost). Possibly Robert was kin of Gilbert´, as other texts state that Robert was the first Grandvilliers mentioned, and that his son was also called Grimond or Grimold who had the brothers Gaufrido de Bella Aqua and Hugo Furboth, knights. In 1067 Robert Ginoud lord of Grandvillier issued a charter to the abbey of St. Wandrille (notes of Aug. Prevost) In 1068 Robert was dead, as Gilbert had to mediate with the abbot of St. Wandrille. La Cunelle and Grandvilliers are situated next to each other and about 10 km from Breteuil in the county of Eure, and in the middle between Damville and Tillières, in land held by the family as mesne tenants of Crispin family as overlords. But why had Gilbert's wife to consent, was she somehow related to the Crispin family? I believe that the Grantvilliers are a branch of the Cunelle family. - In the book La frotière normande sur l'Avre, Robert de Grandviller is named Robert Grimaldi. The name of Grimald had been used by the Franks before Charlemagne.This may explain the names of his and Gilbert¡s eldest sons. - There was an other Griimold de Mara lliving at CroixMare near Pavilly, who witnessed about 1066 a charter (Notes on the Ellises by William Smith Ellis).   

In 1068 Girard the abbot of St. Wandrille induced one of his monks and Gilbert de la Cunelle to find a solution as Grimold had taken away the land of the church and what his father had donated, which he had confirmed at the altar of the abbey. The outcome was that the abbot gave Grimold and his two brothers, knights, 30s out of charity and kept the donation (St. Wandrille charter). Grimold de Grandvilliers son of Robert married as per Prevost the sister, by Charpillon the daughter, of Amaury lord of Chambrai who had accompanied Duke Robert of Normandy to the first crusade where he died shortly after the conquest of Jerusalem of July 1100. To Chambrai belonged also the fief of Changy with seat at Roman.  Grompñd's spm Bañdwom ,arroed Eñozabeth heires of two thirds of Chaufray.

At the beginning of the 12th C. his son Baldwin held those places and confirmed them to the abbey. He married Elizabeth daughter of Ralph le Roux or Red called so by Orderic Vitalis, who held two thirds of Pont-Echaufray. Ralph was a lieutenant of King Henry I whom he accompanied to his wars in France where he was captured by the French but rapidly exchanged with a French prisoner. In 1111-20 he witnessed a notification of the King restoring a manor to the abbey of St. Evroult next to Echanfray. In 1119 he held the Ferté Fresnel for the King.during the war with the French king.

In 1125 Baldwin de Grandvilliers, Baldwin de Charnels and William de Fresnel de la Ferté witness a charter by Robert earl of Leicester  lord of Breteuil confirming to the Abbey of Desert the donations received (Prevost V. 1 p. 250-1). In 1166 Baldwin gave to the Abbey of Lire the church of Roman which was confirmed by archbishop Routrou of Rouen, King Henry II and Pope Alexander III. Baldwin and Elizabeth had 4 children, a daughter who married Gerard de Roncenai, Godfrey became lord of Landai, Ingenulf received a quarter of Roman taken of Chagni and the vavassery of Sicon to be held of his brother lord of Blandy. Baldwin’s eldest son Simon stayed as lord of Grandvilliers. He was called Simon the old or the red because he was living in 1175 and in 1170 had given to the Priory of Tillières the tithe of Breux. Simon witnessed a charter by Elisabeth Vidame de Chartres to the Abbey de St. Pierre de Chartres. Simon had an only son Simon who died young.

Simon II had died SP. He confirmed to the Abbey of St. Wandrille: I Simon son of Simon senior de Grantvilliers for the soul of my ancestors Robert de Grandvilliers and his son Grimold, my grandfather Baldwyn and Simon my father confirm to the abbey the church of Grandvillier with the whole tithes of this place etc. including the mill of Chambrai (CH of St. Wandrille Nº ccxxxv). Simon was lord of Grandvilliers, Chagni, Chambrai, Bordigni and Pont-Echaufray. The children of his bothers Godfrey and Ingenulf inherited of him. Godfrey’s son Gilbert died also SP so that Ingenul’s children succeeded. Rainald became lord of Bordigny. He confirmed to the monks of Lire in 1220-9 30 arpents of land with herbage at Sicon of which a moiety belonged to the mill of Blandai and the other half to Simon de Fresnel. In 1238 Reginald de Bordigny had confirmed to the abbey of Lire all his land he owned at Sicon. He signed with his green seal showing a flower (Prevost V. 3 p. 24-6). Emmeline the daughter held in dower a quarter of Roman and Sicon. She married first William de Gouville (d. 1229) and secondly a man named RAU who died 1247. With William she had 2 sons. The eldest became Lord of Gouville and had 2 daughters. Heloise married Garin a knight and Isabelle married Colin. Eudo received the quarter of Roman of which he took his name with which he witnessed a charter by William de Minières of Corneuil and Tertre.

There is a Thomas de Grandvilliers married to an Isabel who brings him Breux. She lived at Chambray and died in 1224 (Charpillon V. 1 p. 570). Their daughter Isabel married Richard de la Ferté Fresnel.The arms of Fresnel de la Ferté were OR an eagle wings displayed GU, beaks and talons AZ. Prevost states that William de Fresnel baron of the Ferté Fresnel lord of Chambray and his brother Simon lord of Blandy each held a moiety of a mill. William and Simon the elder had divided their inheritance of Isabel de Grandvilliers their mother.

Rocenai was one of the first subinfeudations of Chagri in the 12th C. Gerard de Roncenai appears in a charter of Simon de Grandvilliers the elder who gave to the Abbey of Lire the advowson of the church of Roman and the tithes dependant on the fief of Chagni in 1175. Gerard de Roncenai had married his sister as stated above. They left as heiresses Lorette who married Ralph de Fresnel and was a widow in 1166. The sisters divided Roncenai. Her sister became the wife of a Buisson but died before Lorette, leaving Ralph de Buisson and Roes wife of Walter. Simon de Grandvillers was uncle of Lorette. She gave to the abbey of Bec the church of Recenai and half of the land. Lorette had a son William du Fresne.

Prevost writes that he had copied this charter in 1778 out of the cartulary of Bec Abbey. William de Fraxino (William du Fresne) grants to the monks of Bec a moiety of the fief of Roncenai which Ralph de Buisson had given them. My mother Loretta, Simon de Grandvilliers uncle of Roes, sister of Ralph de Buisson and Walter her husband had consented to it. Raoul du Fresne was son of Jerome and had a son Ralph who was father of William du Frene and of John lord of Champ-Dolent (Prevost p. 35-6 V. 3).  

In this context I would like to draw the attention to the family of Crispin: Their ancestor Hrollager was half brother of Rollo, the leader of the Scandinavian invasion of Normandy in the late 9th C, and progenitor of the Dukes of Normandy. They were sons of Rognwald, yarl of Marc. As per Orderic Vitalis, Rollo's father was Norwegian and his mother Danish. After his exile from Norway, he sailed with others to Denmark, from where he started his incursions into England and Normandy. - Hrollager's son Hrolf Turstain was living 920 and married Gerlotte, daughter of Theobald or Thibault, count of Blois and Charters. The eldest son Anslech de Bastenbourg founded the Briquebec-Bertram-Rozel lines, Ansfrid the Dane of the Avranche line, and the third brother William is the ancestor of the Bec-Crispin family. William de Bec gave land to the priory of Briquebec in c. 960 (FMG). He had a son Grimaldus, Grimold or Ansgot Crispin-Bec (GBS), who married Hawise or Heloise of Guines, a castle in the Pas de Calais, daughter of Sigfrid count of Guines, a viking, and Elstrude daughter of Arnold Count of Flanders and his second wife Adele de Vermandois, a Carolingian. Sigfrid was kin to Wabert count of St. Pol (FMG), that is why some genealogists call Heloise de St. Pol (see also Royal Genealogies). Note: There exists a genealogy of the Crispin family which binds them to the Grimaldi family of nowadays. The name Grimold or Grimald has been used in  remote times of the Carolingians area even before Emperor Charles the Great. The modern genealogists insist that it is not so, but the arms of the nowadays Grimaldi family and the one of the Crispin family in the Middle Ages, especially the one of the William Crispin branch, are identical, namely lozengy AR and GU. These arms were used by William de Crispin still after 1200. These are some of the theories. A definite document which connects the first Gilbert de Crispin who was born about the end of the 10th C. to Ansgot or other predentants has not been found yet. Gilbert de la Cunelle, for example could well have been an illigitimate son of the first Gilbert de Crispin.

Gilbert, married Gunnora daughter of Baldwin the Teuton, another Carolingian who had married a niece of the Duchess Gunnor, probably granddaughter of Gilbert de Brionne. Gilbert de Brionne and Gilbert de Crispin were both  murdered about 1040 (Hist. of Normandy V.1 by Palgrave). The latter's daughter Esilia married William Malet and Emma became the wife of Condé with whom she had Pierre de Condé. His son Gilbert II and his elder brother William are witnesses to a charter by William Duke of Normandy the later Conqueror to the abbey of Mont St.Michel in 1050. Gilbert witnessed a charter to the abbey of Marmoutier in 1055 (Docs FR). Gilbert's II wife is not known. Recently I found a document stating that Gilbert I appears already in a charter of 1031. His only son Gilbert III was married to Helisendis as appears in a charter of 1107, where Gilbert IV mentions his mother Hersendis, both confirming a donation of Gilbert and Laurentia his wife. In another charter Gilbert and Hersendis appear with Gilbert and Ribald their sons (Prevost V. 1 p. 278). This is the Gilbert who died 1090-2 at Acre.

Grimaldus or Ansgot and Heloise had a son Hellouin, later abbot of Bec, the abbey he had founded in 1040, his brothers were Odo and Roger, as well as teir sister. As per Palgrave however, Heloise was not daughter of Siegfred count of Guines, as there was only a son born after his death.

The name Grimald(i), Grimold or Grimond is a seldom one. The coincidence of this name and of Gilbert in both the Crispin and the Cunelle families at almost the same time, induces me to think that there was a strong connection between the families. The holdings of the de la Cunelle family lay in direct line between Boissy-de-Damville, next to the castles of Damville and Tillières, held of members of the Gilbert Crispin line. It seems that the Cunelle family lived at Tillières-sur Avre as vassals of the Crispins during the time those were not constables when the castle had not been built. and afterwards lived at la Cunelle  one of their holdings as mesne lords of the Crispin family.

But Gilbert de La Cunelle was also a vassal of William FitzOsbern earl of Hereford and lord of the Isle of Wight, as the family held also Connelle in the Vexin near Pont-de l'Arche, Pîtres and Alizay of the Tosny barony of Heuqueville near Connelle. By the Earls marriage to Adeline the daughter of Roger de Tosny, called the Spaniard, a great deal of this area had come to the Earl. William de Alis was seneschal to the Earl in 1o68, and William de la Ferté Fresnel held this fiief and in total 5 knight's fees of the castle of Breteuil, the Norman seat of the Earl. When William Duke of Normandy invaded England, the three of them went with him. William Alis and Gilbert de la Cunelle acted also as William Fitz Osborn's officials in England. To Alis he had given the barony of Allington and to Gilbert the barony of Cholderton lying next to each other in Andover Hampshire at the Wiltshire border. Thid was probably tp cover both counties. Gilbert FitzTurold from Pont- Echanfray was the Earl's official in the Western counties when the Earl was building several castles there.

Gilbert held Cholderton, the seat of his barony. Gilbert had received from the earl 2 or 3 small pieces of his land in Wiltshire. The earl died ion 2 Feb. 1071 at the battle of Cassel in Flanders  when his younger son Roger became the next Earl but rebelled in 1074. He was attainted and spent the rest of his life in prison till 1185. the Conqueror gave all the holdings belonging to the barony of Cholderton to Gilbert as stated by DB, in Oxfordshire Bolney and Sydenham in farm of the King, and Swallowfield in Berkshire with the mansion and park, crown land. of the Conqueror, worth 8 lbs yearly.One hide in East Knoyle, part of Little Bedwin, had probably been given by the Earl to Gilbert (VCH Wilts. V.11 BHO).It had been held afterwards by Michael son of Reynold of Knoyle or Knoll. This fief had not been inherited by Robert de Breteville, probably a younger son of Gilbert, who had preferred that name and who held Hatford with ten hides in Berkshire after Gilbert's death. He had inherited there other property which had been of Gilbert. Another small piece of land had later been held by Ralph de la Knoll in the 13th C. After that the Conqueror gave a great part of Earl William FitzOsbern's holdings in the southwestern counties to Gilbert. This included also a fief in Devon which was later held by Guy de Breteville. This may have been a favour as Gilbert had become kin to the Earl by the marriage of his son Ralph to a daughter of Williamfitz Osborn's niece Albreda d'Ivry, whose father Hugh had been brother to the Earl's mother Emma. Duncombe in his History of Herrefordshire V. 1 writes that Sydenham in Oxfordshire with 15 hides had been given after the Conquest to Earl William, wich in 1086 was held by  Gilbert de Breteuil, who took his name from Breteuil, the head of the Earl's Norman seat, and was an important tenant-in-chief. Sydenham was probably afterwards given with Chinnor to Hugh de Vernon, which in 1146 was held by his son Richard de Vernon (BHO). - After the death of the Conqueror in 1087 his son William Rufus became King. Gilbert became High Sheriff of Berkshire between 1090-9 (list of High Sheriffs in Berkshire), accompanied by a notice of the King to Gilbert Breteville in 1094. Therefore it is possible, that Gilbert had occupied this office already under King William I with seat at Swallowfiield in Berkshire. DB tells us that Gilbert had a Ralph as vassal who was looking after Cholderton his baronial seat.

Gilbert probably held at Breteuil a piece of land or a house at the borough, as William Alis I had a mill in the forest of Breteuil. The land of Chisbury in Bedwin was held by Gilbert of Breteuil in 1086 (BHO), Gilbert de Columbiers had held it in 1167. The overlord in 1243 was Baldwin de Rivers earl of Devon and lord of the Isle of Wight (VCH Wiltshire BHO), as William one of his ancestors had married Emma daughter of Osborn fitzHerfast and Emma daughter of Earl Ralph de Bayeux who had given her Breteuil at her marriage. The fief Gilbert had held in Dorset was later held by Guy de Breteville as tenant of the earl of Wight, descendent of Wiliam and Emma.

There was a marriage of Emma de Columbers with Roger de Alis of Hampshire who died 1166. That year she gave to the monks of Tiron a house at St. Andrew of Hamla for her soul, her husband and predecessors of the land and meadows they hold at Auditon (Allington). One of her witnesses is Richard my son (Docs Fr p 358). She had further the sons Philip and Lucas (Smith Ellis p. 214).The Columbieres held later Cholderton and in time a great part of Gilbert de Breteville (Cunelle)'s holdings of his once barony as well as in Berkshire, for example Hatford.which had been of his son Robert. This marriage has recently come to light by the 19th C. genealogist William Smith Ellis. The Alis family of Hampshire was also named de la Mare. One De la Mare whose first name is not known, probably of Hampshire, had married a daughter of Roger de Gloucester and his wife Adeline, so that William de Mare his eldest son and his brothers became nephews of Walter de Gloucester their son, father of earl Miles in Hereford who married Sibil de Neufmarché, and of Walter's sister Maud who had married Richard FitzPonce. This William, eldest son of this marriage, married the heiress of Bretevil, that is to say probably a daughter of Gilbert de la Cunelle's-Breteuil-Bretevil's son Robert de Breteville who had inherited some places once of Gilbert. William held land in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and in Hertfordshire and Welwyn of the count of EU, and had given land of Danby to St. Mary of York.  William de la Mare took the name of Breteviil or Breteuil, which was still written in this family as Breteuil in the 14th C. He had a brother Ralph who had land in Lincoln and Northamptonshire. The Columber family held Cholterton in Hampshire for at least 3 further generations. It has to be pointed out that earl William FitzOsborn and his son Roger both have been seen in various documents wirtten as Breteville instead of Breteuil. - The Columbière family held land at the Survey in Somerset, Devon, Kent and other counties.

The marriage de la Mare-Breteville had taken place c. 1131 when William de la Mara is mentioned in the Pipe Roll as vassal of Stephen Earl of Brittany in Yorkshire.The time line is perfect as Gilbert had owned Hatford in Berkshire in 1086. At the beginning of the 12th C.the lord was Robert de Bretevill who had inherited some other places once of his father. He must be the one who had the heiress who married William de la Mare-Bretteville in c. 1131. William died c. 1166 and their son Richard succeeded him by 1167. Little Danby and Yafford were held  of the Honor of Richmond, from the earls of Brittany. Richard de Mara-Breteuil gave later 16 acres of land of his fee of Danby with 3 tofts to the church of St. Mary in York. In 1197-8 Robert de la Mare (Bretevil) confirmed William's donation to the church of York. There seems to have been another William after Richard, as in 1198 Robert de la Mare granted to William de Bretevil lord of Yafford the advowson of the eigth part of the church of Yafford, the pasture and the place where the castle of Yafford used to be, and William granted to Robert of Danby 4 acres of land to hold of him and his heirs (Yorks.fines).This William owed money for the service of ward at the castle of Richmond. In 1282 there was another William to do castle ward with his men. In 1286-7 Hugh de la Mare held 4 oxgangs and tenements in Yafford which were settled on him and Julia his wife in 1309. The line ended in 1395 when the last heiress of the family, Catherine daughter of John de Bretville, married   William Danby of Great Danby, probable a Latimer. The arms of Bretville of Little Danby were GU 6 billets ermine 3,2,1.

A Geoffrey de Bretevill was probably Sheriff of Berkshire in 1136-7. He is not named in the list of sheriffs, but may have been a deputy. - Overlord of Hatford at the beginning of the 13tth C. was the Columber family. About 1380 Hatford was purchased by Sir Gilbert Talbot, second son of Sir John Talbot of Richard's castle. This Gilbert had a sister Elizabeth who married Henry de Aucher of Kent whose sons married the two daughters of Margaret de Knelle of Knelle manor in East Sussex. Another Robert de Bretevill is mentioned in Lincoln on Oct.1235 (CCHR Henry III), and in 1241-2 in the Lincoln Pipe Roll. Robert son of Gilbert had probably a brother Williiam who was at the New Forest with King William Rufus in 1100 when he was accidently killed there chacing by an arrow of Walter Tyrell (The Battle Abbey Roll V. 1). William de Breteville may have inherited from Gilbert land in Oxfordshire..

According to the land holding of the de la Mare-Breteville, one can follow the resulting side lines in Lincoln, Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire  which are mentioned below:

1123-6 Hugh de Bretoil was witness to a charter by King Henry I (Itinerary by Farrer). In 1130 Eustace de Breteuil, natural son of William de Breteuil  son of Earl William FitzOsborn, held Bramshill in Hampshire situated near the Berkshire border, here called de Brutteville, held by Gilbert in 1086.In that year he paid 26s in Wiltshire as Eustache de Britolio, probably for another fief which had been of Gilbert. In 1204 Guido de Brettevill and Robert de la Cnoll paid as pledges for the earl of Insula or Isle of Wight, Guido 20 marks and Robert 10 marks in Somerset (Fine Roll p. 274).Guido or Guy held land in Devon in 1204, which had been  in 1086 of Gilbert. In 1204 a William de Bruttevill paid one mark for a writ (CPR). William had a son Galfrido of Tempsford, Berkshire, probably descendant of Robert de Bretevil, who confirmed his father's donation to Bushmede Priory of 20 acres of land in the park of Eton. He had a brother Hugh. In 1283 Richard de Breteuil and his wife Alice were sued for a messuage in Chichester Sussex, which is situated near Hampshire. There were Bretevil families in Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Oxfords. etc. King John confirms by writ to William de Brettevlille 15 librates at Raheride for his life and homage and service  His son Nicholas is to inherit (CCR). The Battle Abbey Roll tells of a Ralph Betevill who was holding one fee of Hubert de Rie in Norfolk. The barony of Bretteville Orguilleuse was situated near Caen and had been granted by Duchess Gunnor to the abbey of Mont St. Michel (Docs FR), there spelt Britevilla. A William de Brettville is mentioned in Oxford in 1202. - In 1316 William de Bretteville or Brutteville senior was lord of Barford in Bedfordshire and Yafford in Yorkshire. Please see below Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Galfrido de Bretteville was of Bettislow in the  Wapentake of Lincolnshire.


1264-72 Ivo de Zouche's land had been given by the king to Nicholas de Campana. Ivo de Zouche wants to recover his land and makes a deal with several persons of Northampton that 100 marks sterling shall have to be paid to Simon de Brettewell for Nicholas de Campana. 1263-72 Simon de Bretteville is witness to the land belonging to Nicholas de Campano; 1321 Hugh Prilly and Margaret his wife sue by William de Breteville their attorney Oliver Calveley and Mary his wife. On 20 Jan. 1321 Hugh Prilly and Margery his wife sue by William de Breteuill, Oliver de Calveleye and Mary his wife.

Hertfordshire and Essex:

In 1201 William de Bretteville gives the King 40 marks of silver to get seising of his land in Ragheride (see above). He paid also for a fine of 20 marks to the King at Montfort in Normandy. 1219 Nicholas pays 4 marks in Bruttewell or Breteville (PR). 1241-2 Nicholas de Bretteville pays 40s (PR).13 Oct. 1273 John Watford v. Peter de Brutewell to remain to John to hold of the chief lords. Peter receives 20 lbs sterling.1287. Henry Slope and his wife Alice sue John de Brutewell and his wife Sarah for  six and a half acres of land in Aysho. Henry and Alice to hold for a rent of 16d. They give John and Sarah 4 silver marks., 27 Jan. 1289 Robert son of Robert Oke and his wife Margaret v. John Brutewell and Sarah regarding a messuage with appurtenances in Brutwell. Robert, and Margaret to hold of the chief lords paying 200 silver shillings to John and Sarah. 20 Jan. 1293 and 13 May 1295 Albreda de Bruttewell and her sisters Alice and Ellen v. John de Brutwell and Sarah. A messuage with appurtenances in La Grave. The querents to hold of John and Sarah for 12d yearly and the heirs of Sarah with remainders to Alice and Ellen. 27 Oct.1318 William son of Hugh de Breteville v. Henry le Taillor and his wife Sibel. A fourth of 4 messuages with appurtenances in Clothvill. William pays them 69 lbs sterling, 15 June 1321  Several persons of Clothale had been taken away by the King for default against Hugh de Bretevill (CCR). 1325 William son of Hugh Breteville owes to John Blomville 20 lbs to be levied of his lands and chattels in Bedford and Hertford. We shall find the same person there. This is clearly a poof that the families were of the same stock. 3 Nov. 1333 Hugh de Bretteville and his wife Joan v. William de Breteville and his wife Eleanor. The manor of Clothale. William and Eleanor grant the manor to Hugh and Joan, successive remaindeers to John brother of Hugh. Hugh and Joan have given 100 marks of silver.


Great Barford manor was held in 1086 by Hugh de Beauchamp at ten hides which was held later as  different undermanors. In 1166  in Brytvilles or Birchfield Hugh de Bryteville held one knight´s fee. His son William succeeded in 1197. The family resided there till the 15th C. (BHO V 3. of the Hist. of Bedford). A great part of the following data is taken from the Bedfordshire Society. 26 Sept. 1197 Geoffrey de Bretteville's son William against Hugh de Bretteville son of William land in Barford. 1199 12 jurors are elected for an assize, one of them is William de Bretwill (CRR `p 235).

1202-3 assize of mort d'ancestor between Geoffrey son of William d Bretville against Geoffrey prior of St. Neot, land in Ulmisford. Geoffrey is to hold it at a rent by William and his heirs (CFR v. 6 p. 22). In 1202 William is twice elected as juror in a grand assize. 1211-12 Hugh de Bretville was tenant in Barford where he had half a knight´s fee (Testa Nevil V. 1 p. 18). 1227 Geoffrey de Breteville was summned as juror in a grand assize (common pleas). In that year he is summoned for 10 more assizes.1253-4. Roger de Brettevile gives the King 49s for an attaint to be taken  before Henry of Bath and Master Simon of Walton. In 1255 a Bretville held 15 librates of land. He was not a knight, but had to do miilitary services to the crown. In April 1251 a new coroner was elected in Bedfordshire instead of Galfrido (Geoffrey) de Brettevill former coroner of the King, who had died (CCR p. 436 time H 3). As Galfrido de Bruttevil he had witnessed a charter by Hugh de Beauchamp to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Clerkenwell (Dugdale Monst. V. 6 p. 2 page 807). 1259  Nicholas de Bretville pays 40s for a loan (PR p. 323). - In 1275 a John de Bretville is mentioned. and in 1086 another Hugh, whose son William appears in documents between 1314 and 1330-1. In 1314 William son of Hugh de Bretteuill' sues John Koc' and his wife Joan, and John de Stonham and Lettice his wife for a messuage and 3 roods and 7 perches of wood in Colmore (another manor), the deforcents to hold of William and his heirs of the chief lords with warranty. For that William gave them 100 s of silver (Feet of Fines - FF).

In 1316 William de Bretteville of Brutteville senior was lord of Barford in Bedfordshire and Yafford in Yorkshire. Galfrido de Bretteville was of Bettislow Wapentake in Lincolnshire.18 July 1321. William acknowledges to owe 6 lbs to Robert de Kendale, knt. to be paid from his lands and chattels in Barford. William Fitz Hugh owes also money to John de Blomville to be paid in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire (see the same at Herfords.).On 9 Dec.1325 this William and his wife Eleonor sue Roger de Bolehurst chaplain for one messuage and 168 acres of land in Wrastlingworth and Buryhattele. William and Eleanor to hold for ever.14 July 1330. William Bretteville of Barford and Eleanor sue Richard le Breton of Stondon for the manor of Bareford. William and Eleanor to hold of the chief lords. (all FF) William seems to have had a son Hugh in 1342. On 3 November 1371 Thomas Gildespyn sues William Bruteuylle knight and Elizabeth his wife for the manor of Wrastlyngworth. The querent to hold the manor of the chief lords for ever. Thomas has given them 200 marks of silver. 26 April 1444 Roger Hunt', Walter Taylard, John Laurence and Richard Anderby against William Brittevill and Joan his wife, the manor of Rokesdonwodeende, Barford and Chaluesterne and 80 acres of land in Collesdene.. the querents remise and quitclaim the properties for ever to William and Joan and the heirs of their bodies, doing serviices to the chief lords.and to give yearly a rose to Roger. In default of heirs of the body of Joan, successive remainders to the heirs of the body of Joan, heirs of the bodies of Humphrey, son of Henry de Barford and Margaret his wife. In default of heirs the propertyy is to revert to Roger, Walter, John and Richard and the heirs of Roger (FF) This is the last Bryteville of Barford named William of 1439 mentioned in BHO.


In 1235 Robert de Bretevill acted as attorney for Hugh Despenser (CCR p. 200). On Oct. 1308 Thomas Breteuill of Lughtebourg pays 20 marks of silver to receive the reversion of two messuages and land (Leicestershire FF). In Oct. 1336 appears John Breteuill of Gunneby. He receives 100 silver marks for the manor.


1261 Roger de Breteville and Amabil his wife pay one mark to be allowed an assize of mort d'ancestor (FF).


In 1088 William de Bretevill witnesses a charter by Robert Duke of Normandy (Cart. of the abbey of Mont St. Michel (Docs FR p. 257). However, this may have been William de Breteuil, son of earl William FitzOsborn.1201 William de Brettevill accounts 7 lbs for the forest of Cornebry ((PR p. 271). 1210 William de Bretville accounts for the farm of Havelenge with 18 lbs, for the farm of Stuntefield and Cumbe 4 lbs 7s and for the farm of Horleg, and 4 lbs for the farm of Berinden. He pays 24 lbs 4s into the hanaper and 15 lbs for the custody of Woodstock castle. In 1246 Adrew son of Amaury de Cofle (Conele) grants one acre in Conele to the Hospital of St. John outside the walls of Oxford.


28 April 1275 Alexander de Eneford sues John de Berteuill and Maud his wife for a messuage and 30 acres in Rokeburn. Alexander acknowleges that the tenement is right of Maud who with her husband grant the property to Alexander and his brother John.for their live for a yearly payment of 1 silver mark (Hamps. FF).

Norfolk and Suffolk

Radulf de Bretteuill pays  75s to have peace with the' malivolencia' - the malicious regent (PR).


1214 To the justices of Derby: Leonard de Stuteville went to our court (the King) at the Temple in London represented by Robert de Bretteville and Robert de Diam in the suit  with Philip de Ulec for new desseisin at Balleburg.


Gilbert de Breteville (de la Cunelle) had held a fief in Devon in 1086 (DB). In 1204 Guido or Wido de Bretteville held Gilbert's land. That year Guido pays half a mark as pledge for Ralf FitzRichard (CFR p. 282). He pays  also 3 marks for obtaining an assize. John de Snaweshill gives the king one mark as fine for a duel with Wido de Bretteville. (CFR p. 231). In 1211-12 Wido held 5 military fees of the honor of Tottenesse of Henry Nonant in Devon (Red Book p. 594). He held 8 fiefs of Reginald de Valletort of the Honor later of Totness. The ninth fief was the one Gilbert de Breteville had held. On 21 April 1215 King John orders the sheriff of Devon to confiscate 2 military fees belonging to Wido de Bretevill and Roger de Raymes enemies of him. On 29 May 1216 and 10 Sept. Henry de Pomeray and Guy de Bretville made peace with the king. Guy shall have the land of Portemue which was of the wife of William de Rouen. In 1230 Robert de Beauchamp sues Wido for 2 ferlings of land in Boltebir (CCR p. 388). That year Wido, William de Pomeray, Hugh de Peverel, the bishop of Exeter and the Sheriff had to swear in arms those persons which held at least half a military fee (CCR p. 400). In 1235 Guy held one third of a fee in Dyakensbury of the daughters and heiresses of William de Braose´s son of Reginald,.and one eighth of a fee in Worth which Jordan Russel holds of him (Liber Feodorum).

On 12th June 1285 there was an inspeximus: of a charter by Baldwin de Redvers Earl of Devon and lord of the Isle (of Wight) granting to the burgess of Plumpton all the borough of Plumpton with the market and fair to be held from the Earl and his heirs with all the liberties and free customs as the citizens of Exeter. Witnesses are Sir Robert de Multon prior of Plympton, Sir Hugh Peverel, Sir Ralph de Albamare, Sir Guy de Britevill and others. The earls of Redvers held from about 1240 a great part of Gilbert de Bretteville's barony in Wiltshire (BHO).They had become heirs of the Isle of Wight by the marriage of their ancester William de Rivers to Emma daughter of Emma, daughter of count Ralph de Bayeux and her husband Osbern FitzHerfast. They were parents of William FitzOsborn earl of Hereford who had conquered Wight, whose officer Gilbert  de Bretevlll had been. In 1237 Wido de Bretteville and Robert de la Cnoll were pledges for the earl of Insula (Rivers or Redvers, Isle of Wight). The de la Cnoll family was also descended of Gilbert de Bretteville (de la Cunelle). Wido died SP and had a sister Hawise. - On 29 May 1237 Warin de Kenel' sued by his attorney Jordan de Radeslo William Pippard of Devon for land in Lavenbery. A Pippard had been tenant of Gilbert de Bretteville in his barony in Clive (now called Clive Pippard. Lavenbery is nearby. Kenell is a form of Knell or Cnoll see above (CCR p. 534). Gido de Bretteuill had been taken prisoner as pledge of Thomas de Tabel who had to pay 10s as fine for it in 1241-2 (Dorset and Somerset p. 340 (FF).

There is another possibility why the Cunelle family took the name Breteuil-Bretevil, the same as the Earl had been named in the Abbey Roll. In Anesy's Extraits de Chartes V. 1  p. 416-7 a charter by Henry bishop of Bayeux confirms that Onfroy or Humphrey son of Garin de Gouvis, heir of Robert, son of William or Giles of Bretteville-le Rabel has donated to the Abbey of Gouffern which have been made in the territory by Robert son of Giles de Bretteville. Charter Nº.60 Hugo brother of Onfroy confirms to the two sons of Garin de Goviz their donations to Gouffern by Robert son of Gilles de Brettevill, their grandfather. There are Bretteville charters including nº 65. Nº 64 is a confirmation by Robert de Montfort of all the gifts by Robert de Bretteville to the abbey. This charter is dated 1168. Therefore Giles must have lived in 1131. Gilbert de la Cunelle-Breteuil died 1099. The name La Cunelle is registered under Norman nicknames. However, Bretteville-Rabel was held by the Tancarville family of the north of Normandy. Brettevill Orguilleuse had been held in 1087 by William Bertram de Bretteville (Russell Memoirs). It is situated near to Rots and Rosel next to Caen. The Rosel and Rots (later Ros)  were cadets of the Bertram. These are only thoughts, as the link between the de la Cunelle family as mesne lords of the Gilbert Crispin branch has not yet been cleared up. The countess Gunnor as widow of Duke Richard I gave about 1026 Britavilla and Domjean which she held in dower to the abbey of Mont St. Michel (cartulary). This may be in the Grand Caux. In 1194 Galfrido de Bettevilla and Richard his brother signed a charter of Hugh de Montfort when King Richard I was back from Germany (Cart. of Bec abbey).

Gilbert de la Cunelle-Breteville and his second son Ralph took both part in the Conquest of England.The Battle Abbey  Roll V.1 gives the following names: Bretevile by Holinshed, Bertevile by Duchesne and as  Gilbert de Bretteville in the Dive Roll. - Ralph figures as Couville by Holinshed, Conelle by Duchesne, Connell is the fief he held, Cunli or Coinel  in the Abbot Roll, and as de Coville in 'the Nobilière de Normandy by M. Magny.

Ralph de la Cunelle, Gilbert's second son, also mentioned as Rodolfo de Cunella, Rodulfus de Cunvilla, Radulfus de Lacunela, held Connelle with appurtenances, situated at the Seine, south of Rouen, east of Chateaux Gaillard, southeast of Pont-de-l'Arche, home of the Pont de l'Arche, officers of the Anglo-Norman Kings, Alisay, origin of the Alise's, Pîtres, origin of the Pîtres, sheriffs of Gloucester, and the valley of l'Andelle in the Norman Vexin. Connelle with its appurtenances was held of the barony of Heuqueville next to Connelle, whose overlord was Ralf de Toeny, Tony, or Tosny, a place a few km to the south. Ralf de Tosny was son of Roger the Spaniard, banneret of Normandy, whose daughter Adeliza was married to William FitzOsborn, who brought him a great part of the Norman Vexin, so that Ralph de Tosny became brother-in-law to him. - Connelle was a fief of 'haubert', or held of the ducal family, earlier by the Carolingian Kings and the Merovingians (Dict. de l'Eure, Charpillon).The explication is, that Hugh uncle of Roger Tony  had been invested archbishop of Rouen by the Duke of Normandy, who had given to his brother part of his and the Cathedral holdings, which had originally been part of the French Vexin.

Next to Connelle lies Roncherolles, dependant on Cuverville-du-Vexin, belonging to the barony of Cuverville-sur-Yère near Eu in that county and therefore subject to the counts of EU. - I believe that the Knelle family of Knelle in Sussex were from Quesnel a Somery a few kilometers south of Drincourt or Neufchatel-en-Brai, which belonged to this barony. In 1189 Georges de Quesnel had a difference about land in the valley of la Andelle north of Connelle with Pierre de Roncherolles, a neighbour of the Connelle family, which dispute was solved by a marriage of his son Gaspard with Berthe, Pierre's daughter, who founded an obit at the Priory of Deux Amants in the valley of la Andelle. This Quesnel family may constitute a link between the Cunelle and the Quesnel family of Quesnel a Sommery. The name Quesnel was later also spelled Chesnel or Chenele. Recently I found the Knelle name spelt Chenell in the 12th C.  In Connelle a side branch of the family held out until the 14th C, as in 1248 Guillaume de Connelle and his brother Robert, a clerk, gave to the templars of Bourgout  in the Vexin a rent of 5 sous out of Frettevill, an appurtenance of Connelle, which Jean Boutel owed them (Le Prévost). In 1332 Robert Flachet had bought a wood from the Duke of Normandy, mentioning a mansion of Robert de Connelle who paid 18d rent for it. - In a charter dated 1035 Duke Robert of Normandy confirms land which Valburga and her sister had held in Connelle and had donated to the Archbishop, Dean and Chapter of  the Cathedral of Rouen (Prevost, V. 2).- The Conelle family may have lived there already, as a member of the Roncherolle family is documented at the Priory of Deux Amants by the end of the 10th C. - Just opposite of Connelle where the Seine splits into two arms which round an islet, is situated Porte-Joie, which certainly helped the owners of Connelle to import and export goods, but certainly had been used by the vikings when they invaded France..

Orderic Viitalis (c. 1074-1143), a monk of the abbey of St. Evroult near Breteuil in Normandy, reveals that Richard de Fresnel, William de Alis and Ralph de la Cunelle were principal mesne tenants and household knights of William de Breteuil. William was son of William FitzOsborn son of Osbern de Crepon, son of Herfast, brother of the Duchess Gunnor in Normandy, seneschal of her husband Richard II Duke of Normandy. Richard, William and Ralph had donated land to the abbey of St. Evroult, and William de Breteuil (d. 12 Jan. 1101-2) at the abbey of Bec), had confirmed their gifts c. 1081. William de Alis II was living 1092, when William de Breteuil attacked the castle of Ivry, which Gael de Breval had sequestered. Gael was the viictor in that contest and took many of William de Breteuil's men prisoner, of which many died due to his cruel treatment of them. Certainly, Ralph was one of them but may have survived (Ord. Vit.).Their fathers, William de Fresnel, lord of Ferté Fresnel, William de Alis I seneschall of William FitzOsborn and Gilbert de la Cunelle, were temporary with William Duke of Normandy and followed him with their overlord William F.Osborn to the Battle of Hastings and the Conquest of England. FitzOsborn had contributed with 60 ships. Their names are contained in a list to be read in the church of Dives-sur-mer in Normandy, Gilbert de la Cunelle as de Breteville. In England their names were transformed into Fresne, Freisne etc.; Alis became Ellis, Ellys etc; and Cunelle Cnull, Cnoll or Cnelle, de la Cnelle, Conele, Knoll, de la Knolle, Konele, etc.

Duncombe the author of A History of Herefordshire V. I  comments that the Domesday Book of Oxfordshire, states that  Gilbert de Breteuil derived his name from the famous bourg of Breteuil, the caput of William FitzOsborn, Earl of Hereford and that his lands in Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire formed an important honor, The Gilberts  connected to the lord of Breteuil at that time were Gilbert de Crispin, Gilbert FitzTurold and Gilbert de la Cunelle both the Earl's officers in England. He also writes that Gilbert de la Cunelle-Breteville held Sydenham with 15 hides in Oxfordshire in farm from the Conqueror in 1086 and a minor fee. Remarkable is however, that William Fitz Osborn and his sons William de Breteuil and Roger who succeeded his father as Earl till his rebellion in 1074-5 were in different documents also written as Breteville or Bretteville instead of Breteuil.     

It is thought that the Alis, Fresnel and Cunelle families had a common ancestor. There are different genealogies of the Alis (Elys) family in different English counties, procured by-Smith-Ellis in his work 'The Ellises'. The origin of the Fresnel family can be seen in ´Le Dictionnaire de la Noblesse V. 2, pages 357-6. Turold is known to have been present in 912 when the vikings were baptized. He was lord of La Ferté Fresnel and held a vast territory.. His son Ralph,  had the  sons  William his heir and Robert who held part of Bolbec. This genealogy is confirmed by a charter of 1035 of the abbey de St. Evroult. Robert consented to the foundation of the Priory of Bolbec in the canton Caux - Richard, nephew of Robert  de Fresnel, confirms on 5 June 1061 with Walter Giffard a gift by 5 persons of the church of Bolbec to the abbey of Bernay. The witnesses after diverse Bishops are William de Breteuil, Roger de Montgomery, Roger de Beaumont, with his sons Robert and Henry, Ralf de Conche or Tosny, Hugh de Montfort, Walter Giffard, William Bertram and two others (Docs FR). Those were all related to each other, either by marriage or as descendants of the Ducal house or of Ralf count of Bayeux, uterine brother of Duke Richard I. Richard is named with William de Alis and Ralf de la Cunelle in a charter by William de Breteuil in c. 1081 to the abbey of St. Evroult. In 1099 he went with Robert, Duke of Normandy to the third Crusade, becoming a favourite of Richard Lionheart, King of England. He married Edme or Emma, who gave him 8 sons. His eldest son was William. The text informs that Richard built a fortified castle in the Ferté-Fresnel and was follower of Clinton, son of Duke Robert. He was besieged by King Henry I of England in 1119. He was then old and infirm and little later retired to the abbey of Bec.

The monk and historian William de Jumièges described the kinship of the witnesses to Robert de Fresnel's charter. Duke Richard II had a second wife, the Duchess Gunnor, who had two brothers and 3 sisters. Turolf de Point-Audemer married Gueve or Wevia one of her sisters.. He was son of Torf, son of Bernard the Dane, and held also Tourville Torcy and other places. Sainfrid was married to a forester. The third sister Aveline or Duceline was married to Osbern de Bolbec, whose eldest son Walter, who took the name of Giffard, lord of Longueville, was father of  Walter first Earl of Buckingham. Godfrey, brother of the first Walter, was father of William d'Arques - Gunnor's brother was Herfast, whose eldest son Osbern married Emma, eldest daughter of Ralf count of Bayeux. Gunnor had five nieces, daughters of Herfast. The first was married to the father of the first William de Warenne, earl of Surrey, the second married Roger de Bacqueville, son of Baldwin the Teuton, a Carolingian. The third daughter was married to Richard, Vicecount Rouen.The fourth to Osmund de Centville or Conteville, Viiscount Vernon, who had Fulk d'Anet, Albreda, Gunnor mother of William de Braose and several other daughters.The fifth was married to Hugh de Montgomery, father of Roger, earl of Sussex and Shrewsbury. Their children were all cousins. - It is interesting that Richard's uncle Robert had held land in Bolbec, whereas the Ferté Fresnel lay far away. One might deduct that the Fresnel family was related to the ducal house.

In 1052 Albert de Cravant donated land in Montigny near Verdon to the church of St. Hilaire of Blaru, which Oudard or Odard de Vernon had given to the abbey of Coulombs.- Blaru near Vernon was a fief of Neaufle-le-chataux.- This land belonged to the fief of Amaury de Versailles, who approved the transaction with the consent of his wife Ita. Pierre or Peter, son of Odard, engaged later to have the deed inscribed in the court of the French King and had the donation confirmed by the chief lord Simon de Senlis, chatelain of Nauphle in Montfort-Aumaury territory. Simon de Neaufles knt., witnessed a document in the court of the King at Poissy in 1082. Amaury II de Montfort died in 1053, when his son Simon succeeded him (Les Actes de vérifier les dates and bnf). - After Pierre's death his son Hugh confirmed the donation once more (Les Seigneurs de Versailles, bnf). The next person described in this work is Geoffry de Gometh, citing his wife, his children and his brother. Geoffrey. held land in Versailles in 1064, of which he gave a part there to the abbey of Marmoutier in 1065. In the cartulary de Pointoise p. 311 Geoffrey Gometz is documented as brother of Amaury de Montfort II who was married to Bertrade de Gometh. Milo son of Geoffrey is mentioned in 1028 in the cartulary of Chartres, and on 4 February 1031 witnessing a charter by King Robert Capet (CH. 13, p. 88-9). - Another charter by King Louis of France dated 17 April 1048 confirms holdings of Manasses count of Dammartin. Milo, first lord of Chevreuse and others are witnesses. The footnote states that Gisela, daughter of Geoffrey Gomez, had married Ivo first count of Beaumont-sur-Oise (1022-1250). Her brother Miles de Chevreuse is one of the witnesses (Cartulare of Chartres p. 89-91).

There were two Nauphles in the Montfort territory. This explains that Simon de Senlis as chatelain of Neaufle-castle was overlord of the named tenants (Les Seigneurs de Versailles (BnF). He was son of Landri, son of Fulk de Senlis (Cart. de Pontoise - see my explanations below).The date of 1052 gives an idea when Albert may have been born. - By an undated charter Albert donated the church of Cravant with the hamlet Fredeville to the abbey of Coulombs with the consent of his son Hugh (BnF). This must have taken place about 1071 according to the dates of the first three abbots of St. Coulombs: Berenger 1023-1047, the second 1047 to about 1063, Robert son of Richard Fitz Herlouin, lord of St. André, Eure, c.1063-70, the third. Abbot Theobald II appears in c. 1070 (p. 6). - About 1060 Ralf I de Mauvoisin with the beard, lord of Rosny and vicomte of Mantes since 1065, had donated the church of St. Leger of Lommaie to the abbey of Coulombs with the tithes and the high, middle and low justice of his moiety of Lommay (p. 5). Later he also gave them the herbage of Lommaie (Les Biens de l'abbaye de Coulombs - Jaques Charles). Ralph de Mauvoisin cum barba has been cited several times as one of the knights of Gautier II of the Vexin in 1055 and 1060 (Guérard Cart. de St. Père de Chartres p. 142, 183, 200). Albert and later Ralph owned only half of the territory of Lommoie. On the instigation of Abbot Maiinier Ralph de Malvoisin gave to the monks of St. Evroult the tithes of his half of Lommoie, after Albert de Cravant, his wife Albreda, daughter of Hugh d'Ivry bishop of Bayeux and their son Ralph had given their part of the tithes of Lommoie to the monastery (Ord. Vit. V. VI, edition Le Prévost;  III p. 34-5).

At Cravant existed a church in the tenth century. The hamlet of Valcomtat, or Valcontard was a dependance, where an old medieval tower existed with walls eight feet thick. Near to it lies Lommaie (Dict. du Vexin Francais p. 197). Albert held further property in Longville near Vernon and  near St. Marcel the hamlet of Montigny, Eure, once territory of the Vermandois family, especially of Luitgard wife of Duke William I and after his death of count Theobald de Chartres, in which the name Albert was used, desdendants of the Carolingians, and later by marriage of the Capetian kings. - There is another Cravant situated in the Beaugency near Orleans. A Mascelinus de Cravant  witnessed a charter in 1101-12 (Cart. de Chartres V. 2, p.3, p. 532). The barons, later counts of Montfort-l'Amaury, had constructed their castle on top of a mountain in the Mantois, situated between Chartres and Paris. Overlord of Versailles and Blaru, held by Odard de Vernon at the date of Albert's donation to him in 1052, was Amaury II de Monfort. Amaury de Versailles' father was Hugo, who was adhering to the count of Chartres in 1038, perhaps descended of the Vicomtes de Meulan. Recently I found a charter of the Abbey of Chartres where Hugh is mentioned.

Albert de Cravant was married to Albreda d'Ivry-Bayeux, natural daughter of Hugh d'Ivry bishop of Bayeux eldest son of Count Ralph de Bayeux. She was niece of Emma eldest daughter of the count, sister of Hugh and married to Osborn FitzHerfast, son of Herfast brother of the Duchess Gunnor (Orderic Vitalis).The next event was caused by Albert's young son Ralf, recently knighted, who waylaid the prior of the abbey of Maule somewhere near Ivry, where he served, and took his horses and his servant away. The prior walking to Pacy, where Albert and Albreda lived, asked for the restitution of his horses. Albert seems to have been captain of the castle under William de Crispin, the chatelain, dependant on Breteuil. Albert sent some men with the prior to Ivry to recuperate the prior's goods. Albreda had been very anxious about what their son had done, so that Albert, Albreda and Ralf afterwards donated to the abbey of St. Evroult half of their part of their tithes of Lommoie. This document further states that Albert had a pact with the monks of the abbey of St. Coulombs to pay for them the biscopal customs and the services due for his other half of his tithes, which he had given to them earlier (Ord. Vit. V. III, VI, p. 21-4) - Abbot Mainier of St. Evroult (1066-89) afterwards persuaded Ralf cum barba de Mauvoisin, to leave him  the tithes of his half of Lommoie (see the date mentioned above). His last donation to the abbey of Cluny took place before 1072 (Cart. de Pointoise p 250-1), so that the donations to the Abbey of St. Evroult must be dated to 1070 as Orderic Vitalis writes.

Of Albert de Cravant`s ancestors nothing is known either, but he must have been a descendent of one of the old French noble families. - This is a tentative effort to show of which family Albert may have come: - The family of the Botelers of Senlis (Cart.de Pointoise abbey, p. 280) - In the time of the French kings Hugh and Robert Capet (985-96 and 996 - July 1032) Conflans-Ste-Honorine with the castle had been given to a family whose first name was IVO. Duke Hugh Capet of France confirmed this at Senlis in 991. Ivo first count of Beaumont-sur-Oise in the Beauvais was his descendent (Cart. de Pointoise p. 440) - see also Geoffrey Gomez's daughter marrying him). - The Provost of the abbey of St. Bertin had ceded the demesne of Humbertvoisin in the Beauvais to Ralf or Rothold of Senlis.. At the death of the provost, Eudo  count of Beauvais, of Blois, Chartres, succeedied in 978. His father Theobald married thad married Luitgard de Vermandois widow of Duke William son of Rollo. It seems that he claimed rights in Humbertvoisin, when Ralph de Senlis who was old ceded his rights to Alard de Creil his tenant, in favour of his son Ebroin, whom he had held over the font at his baptism. Ebroin and his sons were able to defend the castle of Creil and that land till his sons William and Albert de Creil lost them in a plea by Eudo's family before kKng Robert, son of Hugh, which was held in his court at his palace of Senlis in 1030-1.

The castle went to Eudo son of Ivo's nephew Nivelon, son of Renard, brother of Ralf de Beauvais. William and Albert had witnessed a charter of King Robert in 1024 - We have seen that Albert de Cravant had donated land, where the ultimate overlord was Simon de Senlis, who had rights in the territory of Longville and Vernon. Simon was probably son of Fulk de Senlis overlord of Creil, and not of Landri. Fulk had also signed charters of king Robert in 1024 and 1030 and was therefore contemporary with William and Albert de Creil. In 1027 he had a law suit with Renaud de Creil of the Beauvais family, the same who had obtained Creil in 1030-1, concerning the lordship of Humbertvoisin, which had been given by the king to another member of that family (Cart. de Pontoise). - The overlord of Albert's other holdings in the Mantois and Longville near Vernon was the Monfort-Amaury family, also mentioned in his charter. 

This is a tentative attempt to trace Albert de Cravant's descendency:

Bernard de Vermandois count of Senlis in 942-3, living 956, descendent of Charlemagne -                      Ivo de Creil of Creil  his tenant in 960 living later arbalaster of the French king (Palgrave, Hist. of Normandy and Engld. V. 2)

Rotolt or Ralph  de Senlis  as per the cartulary of St. Bertin Flandres, very old                                          Alard who had received from Ralph de Senlis the rights of Humbertvoisin for his son

                                                                                                                                                              Ebroin , whose sons

Fulk de Senlis witnessed charters by King Robert II in 1024 and 1030                                                    William  de Creil and his brother Albert lost their castle and lordship of Creil in 1030, signed charters of the King in 1024 and 1030

Simon de Senlis confirmed Albert de Cravant's charter about 1052                                  Albert de Cravant gave to Odouard or Odard de Vernon land in Montigny for his priory church of Blaru 1052

If we assume that Albert was born about the year 1000 it would finely fit with a marriage to Albreda d'Ivry-Bayeux about 1030-5. - Her grandfather Ralf count of Bayeux was uterine brother of Duke Richard I of Normandy by their mother Sprota , who was aged ten at his father´s death in 942. His brother Ralf  may have been born about 945 and died 1015-20. Hugh, his eldest son, may have been born about 975 and died October 1049. Albreda about 1010-15 and a marriage shortly afterwards when she was about 15. Prevost mentions a competiion between two monks of the abbey of Bec and the archdeacon of Brionne on instigation of Wiliam Duke of Normandy in his palace at Brionne in 1050. The monks of Bec won a contest, when the Duke, William de Breteuil, Robert fitz Ebrouin and two other monks of Bec gave what they had in the suburb of Brionne to the abbey of Bec.Taking into consideration the date of 1050, it seems to me that this Robert may be a brother of William and Albert de Creil. A footnote tells that these monks were of French extract, who held still land in Norman territory. Albert de Cravant gave Fredeville to the abbey of Coulombs. Prevost points to Freville near Beaumont in Eures so that this would fortify my theory.

When Duke William I of Normandy son of Rollo died, his young son Richard was governed by several trusted high nobles, especially by Bernard the Dane, Visount of Rouen. When Richard had been invested as the new Duke of Normandy in 944 this gave King Louis of France with his associated nobles the reason to invade Normandy to be divided between them. The King entered Rouen and after a time took Richard with him as well as Ivo de Creil, as captain of his arbalasters and led them to his capital at Laon. Bernhard de Vermandois, count of Senlis and Coucy, Bernard the Dane, councillor of Richard, and his tutor Osmund de Contreville or Conteville and others, persuaded Ivo who held Creil at the time of Bernard de Senlis, to assist them to free Richard. Osmund followed Richard to Laon, where he with Ivo's goodwill was able to smuggle Richard out by a subterfuge to get him back to Senlis. Bernhard the Dane held a large part of the Norman Vexin, for example Radepont, and was Vicomte of Rouen, which he had defended against king Louis, who died 10 September 954 (Palgrave, Hist. of Normandy and England V. 2, Orderic Vitalis, William de Jumiège).The latter maintains that Ivo was the progenitor of the family of Bellême. But recent investigations show that the genealogy derived from IVO the arbalaster captain has difficulties with the time lags in the Bellême genealogie (FMG)Ivo became councillor of King Louis and after his death councillor of Hugh Capet who died 987. Ralf d'Ivry stayed as coucillor of Duke Richard till his death in 996 (Hist. du Vexin Normand by Aschenbach-Wahl  p.57-8 ). - The ville and barony of Creil lay in the Isle of France 2 miles from Senlis the seat of its overlords and 12 miles from Paris (Dict. de la Noblesse).

Ralph de la Cunelle or Connelle married the younger daughter of Albert and Albreda. They had four children. The eldest was Hugh who appears as witness in a charter of Albert to the abbey of Coulombs but must have died before his father. Of the younger son Ralf whe have heard already. At Albert de Cravant's death in about 1074-5 his heirs were Guy de Rai son of Everard de Ray who had married the elder daughter (Everard is mentioned by Ord. Vit. V. 2 p 192) that he was chief mesne lord of William de Molines who gave with his wife Albrade the church of Maheru to St. Evroult) and Ralph. Guy inherited most of what Albert had owned and Ralph received Albert's half part of Frommoie. Guy confirmed Albert's charters to the abbey of Colomb, and Ralph the one of Albert, Albreda and their son Ralph to St. Evroult. Raoul or Ralph de Mauvoisin had died about the same time as Albert. By this marriage Ralph and his father Gilbert de la Cunelle became kin of the whole Breteuil family. In 1070 Ralph had given to the abbey of Beck 30 acers of Boissy-sur-Damville and a strip of land near Tillières, with the consent of his son and his overlord Gilbert II de Crispin who had given the churches of Damville and Tillières. Both grantsj were confirmed by Richard de Clare son of Earl Gilbert de Brionne, and in 1077 by the King.Charpillon writes that Ralph was well known for his deeds in the time of the Conqueror.

In several genealogies, Albreda d'Ivry has been given another husband, Robert I de Breval, based on a speculation. There are two variations, first married to Robert and then to Albert de Cravant (Chibnal), or first to Albert and then to Robert (Cart. of Pontoise). My investigations show however, that Albert and Robert were contemporary. The fact that Ralph de la Cunelle had a son, who was old enough to consent to his father's donation in 1070, and the approximate life time of Albert de Cravant, exclude a second marriage of Albreda. Her only marriage is stated by Orderic Vitalis and not by other authors, nor a second marriage of her. - Thomas Stapleton in his work 'The House of Vernon' comes to the conclusion that the Albreda, who married Robert de Breval the first, was Albreda, sister of Fulk d'Anet, whose father was Osmund de Conteville, vicomte Vernon (please see also Danet in this web site). Stapleton cites the holdings of Albreda, her donations, as well as those of her descendents which coincide with holdings of the family of IVRY- Breval in 1172 when they were chatelains and owners of the barony of Ivry. The holdings of Pacy, Anet and of Breteuil are difficult to clear because of marriages and holdings of members of  those families seated in one barony and holding land in an other barony or lordship. Robert II was married to Hildeburg and died in 1083 at Bec. His father Robert I may have died about 1070 and was therefore contemporary with Albert de Cravent and Ralph de Malvoisin. Robert's wife Albreda d'Anet died in 1082-6 and was buried by her brother Fulk in a dependancy of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity of Caen. Albreda d'Anet was married secondly to Maurice of whom nothing more is known, but who both state that Gunnor mother of William de Braose held 3 fiefs of them when she became a nun in the abbey of the Holy Trinity of Caen (Stapleton). From that I deduct that Gunnora was sister of Albreda and therefore another daughter of Osmund de Conteville Viscount Vernon who had married a daughter of Herfast, brother of the duchess Gunnor, wife of Duke Richard II of Normandy.

Before we deal with the descendents of the de Cunelle-Connelle family in England, it has become necessary to show the reasons (please see also why families, who held land in Normandy and England, had to emigrate from one land to the other). The history of the borderland between France and Normandy, especially in Eure and in the Norman Vexin, involves the destiny of these families. In 1173 Gilbert  de Crispin was on the side of the French King, when the English King Henry II was at war with him and his Welsh archers went wild and burned Gilbert's castle of Damville in Eure. Gilbert and many others were taken prisoners. Shortly before 1188 Gilbert leaves Damville to Simon d'Anet in preparation for the coming crusade of 1190, where he died at Acre in 1191. On 1 September 1188, staying at Pacy near Ivry, the Welsh archers of King Henry II burnt once more Damville, which had been repaired by Simon d'Anet meanwhile. The surrounding places were all burnt as well, pillaged by his troups and people slaughtered. It is therefore to be assumed that La Cunelle and Grandvilliers had the same fate. This implies also Lommoie. - King Henry died 1189, when his son Richard Lionheart succeeded, but went first on crusade to Palestine and then was taken prisoner in Germany at his return from Acre. His brother John and Philip August, then King of France, convened a treaty by which Damville was conserved, but was taken by King Philip once more in 1192. Tillières went to the French in 1198. When Richard Lionheart had died, John his youngest brother succeeded him, who finally  lost the whole of Normandy to France in 1203-4, having returned to Engand in 1203. King Philip had already taken position of Damville again in 1202  and had been in and out of Pacy and Ivry etc. Those nobles, who would not do homage to the French King, had to leave their land in Normandy and turn to England and vice versa. - The History of the Vexin can be compared to the one of the region of Breteuil, as since the death of Henry II  the frontiers between Normandy and France altered practically from year to year.

A short list of treaties of peace and the dates of invasions in enemy territory afterwards, show how the population living in the borderlands between France and Normandy suffered terribly. In 1191 Gisors, capital of the Norman Vexin, the fortresses of Neaufles and Vernon castle were in the hands of King Philip in 1191 and 1193. Robert of Breteuil Earl of Leicester, husband of Loretta de Braose, had been taken prisoner and had to leave Pacy in Eure to Philip as ransom to get free (Docs Fr. p. 470). In the peace treaty of Issoudoun between Richard and Philip in 1196, further Neufmarché, Gaillon, Pacy, Ivry and Nonancourt had to be ceded to Philip for ever. The demarcation line ran between Vaudreuil and Gaillon at the Seine and the Eure. In the Vexin the line touched Muids, where Ralf de la Connelle had held land, and therefore Connelle with its appurtenances was in the hands of Philip. Richard conserves the counties of EU with appurtenances, Aumale, Arques and Drincourt (Neufchâtel-en-Brai). The latter was soon in Philip's hands. In 1209 Alice countess of EU, had to renounce it, to keep the rest of her county of EU. Philip leaves Richard Beauvoir. In Andely in the Norman Vexin, neither of the kiings had the say, as it had always been in the hands of the archbishop of Rouen. - By this treaty Connelle, lying right hand on the Seine, belonged to France. 

In 1194 King Philip had besieged Verneuil. In 1199 Richard ravages the Vexin and dies on 8 April of that year. - By the next peace treaty of 1200 King John loses the region of Evreux in Eure with appurtenances, and the limit between the two territories is now situated between Evreux in Eure and Neubourg. Philip receives the Tony holdings of Conches in Eure and Acquigny on the left side of the Seine, as well as Quilleboeuf. John is left with Tillières and Damville for a short time, while Philip takes hold of Damville in 1198. The demarcation line is the river Iton. In the Vexin John receives everything the archbishop of Rouen had in the Vexin, except Andely. Connelle may have been under his reign for a very short time (Hist. de France by Henri Martin; La vie de Philip Auguste de France). - Pacy, Ivry, Anet, Breteuil and Vernon  were included into Philip's royal domain. As Robert Earl of Leicester had died in 1204, his sister Amice, married to Hugh Montfort-sur Risle, had to leave the castle and territory of Breteuil to Philip and make sure that her sister Margaret, married to Saher de Quency, Earl of Winchester in England, would not put in claimes. Amice received from Philip the castle of St. Leger in the Mantois (Docs FR and others). - There is a list of the highest Norman nobles, all descendants of Rollo's vikings, who were dispossessed of all their holdings in Normandy wiithout any compensation or possibility of homage, for example the Tosny family. All of them had to fall back to their holdings in England.

The de la Cunelle had not been mentioned any more after the Earls of Leicester had inherited Breteuil by marriage in the first half of the 12th C to Amice daughter of Guader, once Earl of Norfolk, with a daughter of Roger Earl of Hereford, brother of William de Breteuil. There exists a list of vassals of the Earls of Leicester (Prevost) where the Cunelle family does nott appear and neither in the Register of Philip August of 1204. This belief is strengthened by a donation by Roger de Minières, an immediate neighbour of the Cunelle family of La Cunelle, who in 1228 gives 2 acres of land at Quunele (Cunelle) to the monks of l'Estrée, at a time when the Cunelle family must have have had lost their lands there for a long time (Le Prévost). See also below. The same happened at Connelle in the Vexin, where all the land of the Tosny family was confiscated with their barony of Heuqueville including Connelle with all its appurtenances were given to Gautier the chamberlain of the priory of Fontaine-Guérard (Reg. of Ph. Aug.). - According to the history of the borderlands, I feel that it has become clear now that at least some members of the surviving part of the Cunelle-Connelle family will have chosen the English side even before 1204, when the whole of Normandy was lost. The Minière family must have done homage to King Philip as they lost their land in England with those who had done the same. In Fretteville once belonging to Connelle a side line held out, mentioned in 1248 and some time later.

Recently, I found that in the 13th C. a family Cunele, Cunelle or de la Cunelle existed in Picardy France, in another greater Grandvillers, which was built at the beginning of the 13th C on the river Oise and lies near to another smaller Breteuil than that of Eure. It had later a castle. There was also a Cunel in the 13th C. in Yorkshire, mentioned in the cartulary of the abbey of Bridlington. A French page gives the information that further Cunelle families existed in the Pas de Calais, at 2 places near the German border like the Moselle and Metz. On 26 May 1395 Antony Cunlle received letters patent granting him for life 10 marks yearly at the Exchequer (CPR).There were still Cunelle families in France in the 17th C. - As per Geneanet there were also Cunelles in the Champagne and Arden as well as in the German Palatinate and in the Vosges mountains. in Belgium in Mons and Lens in Hainault, Surrey in, England near Sussex and in Italy in the 19thC. In Yveline in France also, where Ralph de la Cunelle held Frommoy. In Italy exists a vallay called Val Cunelle near Anclona.

The family of de la Cunelle or Connelle in England


The fine rolls preserved in the Tower of London show a John de Cunel', son of Walter de Conel', who held half a mill with appurtenances in Winell, Middlesex on 19 Jan. 1219. This place is nowadays called Willesden, situated a few km east of Harrow. Willesden was held in 1086 by the canons of St. Paul's who stayed as overlords (DB). In 1181 the church of Willesden belonged to te canons holding also 16 acres of land called Cnolle with a tenement in the manor of Sutton, and one in Chiswick manor (The Works of the Camden Soc.). This is most probably one of the properties held by the Cunelle-Conelle family as vassals. - St. Paul's Cathedral 1222: Walter son of John has a messuage and 2 acres  for 2s 6d and doing work (Camden Soc.). This is probably the son of John mentioned in 1219 (Walter - John - Walter). - Thomas Willesden is mentioned by the end of the 14th C. in Willesden (VCH). - This makes it clear that the family had been compensated for their loss of La Cunelle in Normandy, when they decided for King John or had been there even earlier. - In this context it is important to know that Connelle in the Vexin was written 'Conele' in one document (Charpillon-Eure) and La Cunelle as Quunele.

We find Walter de Conele again in the London and Middlesex fines in 1212, when Roger son of Richard Camberhurst sues Walter for half a hide of land in Hatton, which in 1086 had belonged to Roger de Montgomery's manor of Colham, who also held Hillendon with one and a half hides. After his son's treason it belonged to Miles Crispin till his death in 1207 (DB). Hatton lies a few miles north of Bedfund and Stanwelle. In 1216 Walter de Conele held half a hide of land in Hatton. John de Conely was alive in 1232 having a law suit with John de Trumpington and Agnes his wife for land in Tykham or Tichham, a hamlet 2 miles northeast of East Bedfund and east of Staines, or the one near to Hillingdon (all Middx FF). In 1235 John de Trumpington granted a virgate of land in Tichham to William Longspee of Colham (FF). In 1250 Nicholas de Conele sues Bartholomew de Peche for premises in Conele, who three years earlier had had a law suit with Henry Pollard and his wife Juliane for the same reason, and for the advowson of the church (Mddx FF). On 17 Nov. 1252 Bartholomew Pecche and his heirs were granted free warren in his demesne lands of Coneleg and Ikenham, provided that the lands are not within the King´s forest. Note: Earl Roger de Montgomery died in 1094 when his son Robert de Bellême took over, but rebelled in 1102. It is assumed that Milo de Crispin, lord of Wallingford, who died 1107, received those lands of him at least in Middlesex.

Several manors outside of Stanwell had appurtenances within the parish, for example the owner of Knollers. About 1335 Thomas atte Knolle had lands in Stanwell worth 40s yearly, The next owner was John who had a son William in 1391.  Several owners of Stanwell, Knollers etc. held rents in Staines, also some of Cowley-Conele, Greenford, Hillingdon, East Bedford to name some of them. Thomas and his descendants seem to have come from Surrey.  This would make a connection of the Conele-Knoll families in diffferent counties. - In 1420 Thomas Conell and John Kingwood of Willesdon versus Oliver Knolles and Ellen his wife (FF). Conele had become Knolle or Knolles VCH). - 1430 The manor of Conelehall, Conele Peche and Little Greenford, a messuage called Elys (FF). In 1086 Colham manor was composed of 8 hides, 6 of which were held in demesne. In Hatton one and a half hides, in Tichham, Ickham were 9 and a half hides, 1 hide in Hamondworth and 3 hides in Dawley. In Hillingdon earl Roger had held 4 hides. - Sir Pecche appears in 1510. - In 1547 the manor of Knollers owned land in Stanwell and Stanes which was held by William lord Windsor, Edmund and Thomas Windsor esqs (FF). - The Willesden familly held Oxgate. Thomas Willesden died c. 1425 when he was succeeded by his son Bartholomew, who had holdings in Middlesex in 1457 (VCH V. 7). - (See further Knelle members in this web page).

In 1199 Philiip de Conele was sued by John Garland, attorney of of the Dean of St. Paul's of London for land in Conele (CRR p. 221). - This was a successor of William of Northolt, since 1169 canon of St. Paul's, archdeacon of Gloucester 1177-1186, elected bishop of Worcestershire that year. William as archdeacon of Gloucester held a manor of St. Paul in 1181 (Camden Soc. V. 5 p xxl).  In 1068 the bishop of London and the Canons of St. Paul held Willesdon, Twyford, Totehill, St. Pancras, Islington, Newingon, Hesting, Hatton and Danington in the hundred of Ossulstone (p. 179-80 Londen-MDDX Soc.).

In 1291 Robert de Walpole and Joan his wife sued Margery, daughter of Philip Conele regarding holdings in Littledon and Estelham. Littledon lies southeast of Staines and south of Hatton and Bedfont. - In 1310 Philip de Conele and Agnes his wife had a law suit with William de Edmesburgh and Margery his wife, probably Philip's daughter, regarding premises in Acton, which lies South East of Willesdon (FF). - In 1227-8 The abbot of Westminster gave 15 marks for obtaining a fair at Staines (FFH3). - In 1542 Robert Elyott, son of Robert Elyott of Littelton who had died, had made a testament in which he left all his lands in Shepperton, Sondbury and Littelton to Phyllis, Cnolle, her father Thomas, Harry Hobbes and Harry Cnolle to the use of said Robert and Phyllis with their heirs (ACC/0928/001/19).

Conele and Greenford in Middlesex were owned in 1086 by Westminster Abbey. Conele consisted of 2 hides of land which contained a church (DB). The abbot of Westminster at that time was Gilbert de Crispin (about 1083 - 1117), brother of Milo Crispin and cousin of the Gilbert Crispin family, who held Tillières and Damville castles in Eure Normandy and were overlords of the vassals there including of the de la Cunelle family. Miles Crispin, lord of Wallingford, who held far more than 100 manors in south England, received grants of Colham and Hillingdon manors, which had been held by earl Roger de Montgomery (d. 1194), and after him by his son Robert who rebelled in 1102 losing all he had for treason. It is assumed that Milo (d. 1107) then was granted those in Middlesex (VCH).

Conele or Conelie lies at the Buckinghamshire border, only divided by a moor and belonged to the manor of Coleham, both of them were later called together Cowley. In old documents Conele is called Conele Hall or Coveleshall.(The Battle Abbey Roll V.1 p. 262). - Wikipedia makes William of Northall Bishop of Worcester and states that he was a clerk of Theobald of Bec, Archbishhop of Canterbury and of Richard of Dover, Archbishp of Canterbury, that he held a prebend in the diocese of London. Also that he was Archdeacon of Gloucester from 1177-8, archdeacon of Gloucestershire, Bishop of Worcestershire, c. 25 May 1186, consecrated  on 21 September 1186. He died 3 May 1190. VCH Middlesex (BHO) informs that Northolt had received a grant of Conele which he gave to his servant Robert the Simple. The following are extracts from charters by abbot Gilbert Crispin:

Nº 453 William of Northolt, archdeacon of Gloucester, to his friends French and English. He has confirmed to his sergeant, Robert Simple, two hides in Cowley (Conele of his inheritance, formerly belonging to his grandfather Hugh de Colham, and then to his son Richard, to hold freely in fee and inheritance of William and his heirs to render service to the abbot and convent of the church of St. Peter of Westminster. Further to rend yearly to him and his heirs 1 bezant or 2s yearly. Under the witnesses are Roger de Missenden, Walter de Greenford, Roger de la Dune, Ralph de Tokinton and others (1177 - May 1186.)

Nº 454 Walter de Greenford confirms William of Northolt's gift to Robert Simple and his heirs, to hold in fee and inheritance of Walter's uncle William of Northolt, the lands which William has granted to him, which formerly   belonged to Richard de Conele, as well as an assart in Northolt. Roger de Missenden and Godfrey de Tokinton, Ralph de Tokinton are the first witnesses after the religious (same date).

Nº 455. Roger de Messenden confirms to Robert Simple the same, that William de Northolt, his uncle had given to Robert. Under the witnesses are Walter de Greenford, Godfrey and Ralph de Tokington (same date). - For Walter see also above in 1212 and 1219. In 1215 Roger son of Richard de Camberhurst asks from Walter de Conele half a hide of land in Hatton (Mddx FF). Messenden ir Missendon lies in Buckinghamshire. A member of the Broc family held land there at a later date, and there were Conele members holding land in Buckinghamshire. Missenden was held by Hugh de Bolbec in 1066 (VCH Buckingham V. 3 BHO).

From those dates we can build a genealogy: Hugh de Colham, Northolt and part of Greenford, his son Richard who held Conele and his nephew William, who gets Northolt. Richard's sons were Walter of Greenford and Roger of Messenden or Missenden in Buckinghamshire alias Roger de la Dune.

Nº 488 In 1095-6 Hugh de Colham witnesses a charter by Robert Dispenser, brother of Urse Abetot, who gives to the abbey of St. Peter in Westminster the land and manor of Comberton in Worcestershire, which he had bought from Gilbert FitzTurold, who held it of Gilbert Crispin, then abbot of Westminster as of his manor of Pershore. Hugh witnesses the charter as tenant of abbot Gilbert (1083-1117). Another connection between a Gilbert de Crispin, Gilbert FitzTurold and a grandson of Gilbert de la Cunelle, son of Ralph.

Roger de la Dune and Robert Simple were jurors in 1199 in Middlesex (CRR V. 2), In 1203 Roger de Dune and Godfrey son of Ralph (de Tokinton) sue Robert the Simple for 2 parts of two hides of land in Conele, whereby Robert and his heirs warrant for Roger and Godfrey and their heirs against the abbot of Westminster, of the service owed to them, and that Roger and Godfrey and their heirs warrant against Walter de Greneford and his heirs, so that only Robert and his heirs are to comply with the services owed in Conele to the abbot (Mddx FF). A Curia Regis document shows that Ralf de Tokinton was dead in 1194, when Godfrey had to prove whether his father had held certain land in Tokinton at his death and that he was his heir. He received his inheritance. Possibly, Ralph was a Conele. In 1210-12 Godfridus de Tokinton held a quarter fee in Kent (Liber Rubens V. 2 p. 471). - At Robert de Simple's death his widow Juliane claimed one third of one hide as dower with their daughter Lettice and Henry Pollard. This land was later held by Bartholomew de Pecche, a house, half a carucate of land and the advowson of the church. Nicolas of Conele quittclaimed to him two thirds of a hide in Conele in 1250 (Mddx FF and VCH V. 3). In 1252 Bartholomew asked from Stephen de Essewell and Albreda his wife land in Conele. In 1213 he also sued Humphrey de Scorville and his wife Matilde for one third of 3 parts of 2 hides of land in Conele, 2 virgates in Northalt and other lands. She receives a part of it for her life remitting the rest of her claim to them as remainder (Mddx FF).

I cannot prove it by a document, but believe that Hugh de Colham and Northolt may have been the unnamed son of Ralph de la Cunelle-Connelle in 1070, as Hugh was a tenant of Gilbert de Crispin, abbot of Westminster in 1095-6 and certainly before that date. Gilbert was brother of Milo Crispin and cousin to Gilbert Crispin of Tillières, of whom the Cunelle family held their land in Eure as stated above. Further the fact that the family disappears from documents in Normandy by 1130 and considering the permanent skirmishes and wars on the Norman Vexin and Eure borders with France. Ralph's brother Grimoult or Grimaldi as eldest son would certainly have inherited la Cunelle and the main part of the family holdings, except what Ralph owned as second son. In the document dated to January 1219 in Middlesex, the name of Walter and John are spelled once as Cunel' and then as Conel'.

What comes now is closely related to the Conele family of Buckinghamshire and Northampton as we will see later. Laurence de Brok sues for land in Colham next to Conele, in 1262 the same for land in Tichham from John de Trumpngton like John Conele in 1232, 1267 for land in Ickham. Laurence del Brok and Ralph de Tokinton (see Tokinton above), and in 1272 he and William de Brok sue for lands in Ickham Tickham, Southhall, Hillindon and CONELE (Mddx FF). Laurence  and William held also land in Northampton.and Buckinghamshire. - 1273 Robert de Conelee was master of the Hospital of St. Thomas in ACRE. - In 1306 William de Brok the younger and Margery sue William Clive, vicar of the church of Hillendon for premises in Ickham, Tickham, Hillendon, Colham, which then included Conele. The same year William de Brok the younger, Mathilde, Cecily, Margery, Alice and Margaret his sisters versus William de Brok the elder regarding the manor of Hillenden and a mill in Colham. Roger son of William de Brok the elder puts in his claime (Mddx FF).

1315 Robert de Haughneby of Northampton, versus John Conele for premises in Colham, Hillindon, Tickenham and Ickenham (a cluster of manors) (FF). - 1329 Margaret de Brok wants to replevy her land in Conele. She was the overlord (CCR p.570). In 1328 Peter Jacoby transfers to John de Cherleton all his lands in Conele, Coleham, Hillington and Tickham, which he had from Sir Roger Brok, kt. (CPR p. 373). -In 1332 the Brook famiy held land in Tickenham as appurtenance of their manors of Cowley Hall and Hillingdon (VCH V. 4). This land was granted to one Philip, who may have been a Conele, in 1245 by William Longspee.It seems that Cowley Hall hadbelonged to the Conele family and Bech Hall to the Beche family. A marriage might have taken place when the original Conele had been divided.

In 1299 a William le Knel is mentioned at the lost hamlet of Norbury of Headstone-Harrow (VCH Middx Vol. 8). Harrow and Willesden lay only a few miles apart. - In 1911 six acres of arable land  and Knells Spring Woodland of 2 acres were sold in Headstone Lane, Pinner, near Harrow (ACC/1058/246). The land had been held of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Middle Ages, when the tenants included Roger Elys, Roger Frowyk, goldsmith of London, and William le Knel  of Headstone. - 1422 John Kenele (Conele?) of Great Greenford versus John Saddler of Harrow of the Hill and Dionisia his wife for land in Great Greenford (FF). - On 10 Feb. 1414 William Conele, citizen and goldsmith of London gives to David Uske and Robert Beche, clerks of London, all his goods and possessions there and elsewhere (CCR p. 198) - 1415 two Nicholas and two William de Conele took part in the Battle of Azincourt (List of partakers).  - The archbishop of Canterbury held Harrow and owned in total 100 manors.


The first notice we have of a Conele member in Buckinghamshire comes from the Luffield Priory Charters. Before 1198 William de Conele grants to the priory with the consent of his wife and his heir as well of Walter his overlord an acre of his fee in Westbury). The first witness is Walter his lord, Wisbert de Westbury and several others (CH 405). In 1221-5 he gives to the Priory two and a half acres of Westbury in alms  (CH 405). 1220-1 William is mentioned in an agreement between the Prior and Ralf Hareng, who gives half of his wood in Westbury to the Priory, and the Prior lets him have all the lands which he has of William de Conele and others. (CH 397). It is probably his son and heir Philip who in 1233-4 is witness to a charter by Henry Dayrel to Richard Dayrel of a part of his wood in Lillingstone (CH 370). In 1235-47 Philip de Conele signs another charter of Henry Dayrel warranting Richard Dayrel in his part of the wood in Lillingstone (CH 377). - All these persons lived in places of the same name situated around Buckingham. Luffield abbey lies at the Northamptonshire border to the north, and Westbury to the southwest. On 14 March 1403 William Coneley of Westbury and others were set free in London for trespass by mainprise of John de Lillingstone (CCR p. 152 H V).

In the feet of Fines for Buckingham appear the following Conele members: In 1197 Philip de Conele sues Martin de Capella for 7 hides in Deneham which he quitclaims to him and his heirs for ever. Instead Martin released William de Estfeld with his holdings to Philip and his heirs by service of gilt spurs worth 6d yearly, except foreign service. In June or July 1233 John de Karun sues Simon de Shyriton (Sherington) for 20 a of land and a messuage in Shirinton. Simon quitclaimed for ever. For that John de Karun gave him another messuage for a yearly payment of 1d and gave him also 40s. Afterwards Simon quitclaimed to John de Conele and Scolastica his wife and her heirs the exchange of the land and messuage. Between 26 May and 15 June 1252 John de Conele sues John, son of Mauger de Conele for a messuage, 4 virgates of land and half of a mill in Coneleg, as well as 6 acres in Preston (Basset) As John son of Mauger acknowledges John's right, he grants to him for his life to hold to him and his heirs with his wife Isabel Trewik, if there are any in the future, by payment of 1 d. and service to the chief lords. After his death the premises are to revert to John son of John and his heirs with provision for Isabel's dower. In the same year Henry de Bayworth with his wife Joan ask by Roger de Laueden their attorney from Roger de Gray 1 carucate of land in Coneleg. Roger acknowledes Henry and Joan's right and grants the homages o Simon and John de Conele, Water de Bekhampton and others and their heirs regarding all the holdings which the formerly held of Roger to hold of the chief lords for ever. Henry and Joan to pay to Roger during his life 20s yearly.

The main seat of the family seems to have been at Conele, in later centuries called Cowley, which is an outlying hamlet situated about 2 km from Preston Bissett and about 6 km south of Westbury. The first document received tells of Mauger de Conel` who acts as attorney of Agnes, Alicia and Isabella, daughters of John de Blechsdon, who sue William Karles for a third part of a virgate land and a messuage and 12d rent in Conel` in 1232 (CCR V 2 H III, pl. 146). I believe that this Mauger is another son of William de Westbuury and brother of his son Philip de Conele. this Conele was held in 1068 by Odo Bishop of Bayeux, successor of Bishop Hugh d'Ivry-Bayeux, father of Albreda wife of Albert de Cravant. Odo de Conteville was half brother of the Conquerer. Conele had to pay 3s in the castlle of Rochester in Kent, as Odo had held much land in Kent while he was Earl there (DB). The next owner was Helte the lord under King Henry II (1154-89), who enfeoffed Manasser Biset. Helte had 3 daughters, one of them, Sibilla married William de Ciriton (VCH). They had a son ODO, a clerk, and Lucy who was married to William de Insula or de l'Isle (CCHR V. 1, p.193-4). - William was an official in Kent where the family, including Helte, held land near Rochester. William witnessed charters of the Knelle family of the rape of Hastings to Robertsbridge abbey. It seems that the Ciriton family were overlords untill 1284 when Hugh de Broc received that land (please see below).

Conele or Cowley was a hamlet in Preston Bissett as per the family which held it for a long time.Cowley was held by 3s for ward of Rochester castle.The next person of the Conele family we hear of is John son of Mauger who granted to another John son of Mauger a messuage and land for life in 1252, the son of Mauger of 1232 above.(VCH). In 1253-4 the King allowed Malger de Coneley respite of the 5 marks to be paid in instalments. He had been fined in Buckinghamshire for trespass  (FF H III). John was dead in about 1285, when his son John succeeded who was living in about 1303. John his son or grandson held Conele in 1346 and died in 1368.(VCH). - CIPM Bartholomew de Badlesmere 1330, p. 289: Petition of his wife Margaret for dower for Preston and Cunele in Buckinghamshire and elsewhere, which Bartholomew de Badlesmere had granted to William Touchet and his heirs with reversion to Bartholomew. As William had died in battle in 1323 without issue and Bartholomew's heir was a minor, the King ordered the premises to be taken into his hand on 18 January. William de Touchet had the same arms as Edmund de Knelle, but we do not know the colours. He died in battle without issue so that the manor of Preston Bissett escheated to the crown. Lawrence de Broc, who had been during some time its owner claimed it now as having been desseised unjustly by the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and received the property. It came afterwards to his son Hugh who had a son Lawrence, the one who married a Conele heiress (see Middlesex).

John de Conele was escheator in Gloucestershire in 1386 but was dead in 1389 (Inq. Misc. V. 5 p. 173, 186). - On 12 October 1353 William Kimbell and John Conelee witnessed an enrollment by Pageyn Buckingham to John son of Ralph le Bray of Bechampton, Buckingham (Inq. Misc. V. 5, p. 614). This makes it clear that he was a descendant of William Conele of Westbury as Bechampton lies near Westtbury  where William had lived (CCR p. 14). - Note: Bechampton had been held by Roger d'Ivry in 1086 and had then had 10 hides, 9 lay together but the tenth, the one of Roger d'Ivry's demesne land, lay apart (Luffield CH).

Thomas de Conele was escheator in Bedford on 14 Feb. 1383 (Inq. Misc. V. 4, p. 140, 149-50) and in Buckinghamshire 1387-1389 (Inq. Misc. V. 5 p. 16. 1, 29, 50, 64, 8 and 103 including the Tresillian case and the one of Robert Belknap chief justicice (p. 19, 20, 34 and V. 5 p. 17 and 80). Please see Belknap in this web page including Kimbell. Thomas may be a brother or cousin of John de Conele. - On 5 Aug. 1392 Thomas Sackville and John de Aysbury knights and the sheriff of Buckingham were ordered to inquire into the yearly value of the manor of Conele of the inheritance of Robert de Vere, late Duke of Ireland, who had been overlord (Inq.Misc.).- On 13 March 1403 the King ordered the Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire to pay to Joan Caulee (Cowley), damsel of Queen Philippa, 10 marks yearly for life and arrears since 14 February 1399 (CCR p. 19). - A branch of the family is mentioned in 1377 when they took the name Mauger or Major as surname. In total, members of the family held Conele or part of it for over 400 years (VCH).

In 1284 Hugh de Broc was lord of Preston and held a moiety of Conele. His son Laurence succeeded him, who held the property until 1290 when he quitclaimed it to his father (VCH).This is important to know, as members of the Broc family played also a roll as overlords in Northamptonshire and Middlesex. Other documents of Buckinghamshire allow us to construct the genealogy of this family in Buckinghamshire: Grove manor in Chesteram was held about 1150-60 by Walter de Broc, Maud his wife and Robert his heir. On 14 June 1199 Robert de Broc of Buckinghamshire is a knight (CCR K. John p. 342). - On 18 Nov. of that year Gilbert de Broc held 1 virgate of land in Bradwell (Buck. FF). - 1199 Richard de Broc of Buckinghamshire has a law suit against the abbess of Woburn (CRR V. 2 K. John, p. 8). - On 4 Nov. 1202 William de Broc of Wicumbe had been married to Matilde, whose new husband Alured son of Norman petitions dower for her of Alured Segrim. - In 1203 Robert del Broc sues Elias de Wimberville for one virgate of land in Chesterham and in 1204 Richard de Blakegrave sues Emma widow of Walter de Broc for 50 acres of land in Cesterham. Emma receives the land paying 6 silver marks. On 15 July 1218 Arnald de Broc had a court in Eselberge (Buck. FF).  

A later Robert son of Richard de Brok was followed in 1256 by Laurence who died 1275 (VCH). His son is Hugh living 1290, who has a son Laurence and he a son Robert with a wife Maud. - Hugh father and Laurence his son are the ones who were overlords of Conele in 1284 and held also Preston. Hugh was with the King in Normandy where the King gave him at Agent a letter of protection with 'clauses volumus' on 16 Dec. 1286 (CCHR V. 6 p. 292). - Laurence de Broc sues  on 22 July 1236 William Blakewell for 18 acres of land in Chesterham which suit he wins, giving William a sore sparrowhawk. In 1241 Laurence acted as attorney for Isabel de Bolbec countess of Oxford who had a law suit with the abbot of Woburn for 30 acres in Chesterham. The same year Laurence asks from Richard de Beauchamp and his wife Agnes 20 acres of land in Chesterham which he receives paying them 36 silver marks. 14 October 1251 Laurence de Brok versus Robert de Wimberville and his wife Matilde regarding 6 acres of meadow and 2 mills in Le Brok and La Grave. Robert and Matilde consent to Laurence to hold the property of the chief lords doing all the services for them. Further they grant him all the holdings which Agatha widow of Osbert de la Grave held in dower of the inheritance of Matilde, which shall revert to Laurence after Agatha's death. At the same time Laurence sues Elias de Wymberville for a carucate in La Brok. Elias confirms the land to him as gift of his father Roger. In October 1258 Laurence sues again Elias and his wife Emma for one carucate of land in Great Missenden and Chesterham. Laurence is to hold of Emma and her heirs, doing service to the chief lords  for ever. Warranty. Laurence pays 120 marks of silver (Buck. FF). On 8 July 1309 Lawrence de Brok and Ellen his wife sue Master Thomas Pyro for 100 shillings of rent in Eslebergh. Thomas grants to Lawrence and Ellen the rent and rendered it to them in the court to hold to Lawrence and Ellen and the their heirs of the chief lores (FF). - 25 April 1316 and 9 Feb. 1342 Ralph de Brok and Elizabeth his wife sue by their attorney Adam de Brom Lawrence de Brok, and afterwards by Ralph against Robert son and heir of Lawrence 1 messusage with many appurtenances in Chesham, which Richard de Tyngewyk and Alice his wife and Walter Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield hold for their lives of Richard and Alice.. Lawrence granted the property to Richard and Alice for their lives, which after therr death are to revert to Ralph and Elizabeth (FF).


This comes mainly from The History and Antiques of Northamtonshire V by Baker: In 1240-1 Philip de Covele or Conele held one fee in Haudenby and Raventhorp of Simon de Montfort first Earl of Leicester  in 1206-7(Testa Nevill and other documents)), who was a decendant of Hugh de Montfort de Risle in female line in  Normandy and Amice, daughter of Robert de Beaumont Earl of Leicester and his wife Pernel, daughter of Hugh de Grandmesnil. Amice's brother Robert was the last earl of Leicester died in 1204 and held also Breteuil and Pacy in Normandy. He was married to Loretta, daughter of William de Braose and Maud de St. Valery. Simon  descended also of Simon IV Baron of Montfort-Amaury the scorch of the Albigenser who after the conquest of Carcassonne in the south of France became Count of Carcassonne.

On 22 May 1248 Robert FitzHenry, clerk has order of the King to seek pledges to prove the fidelity of Philip de Conele (CCR p. 113). On 22 May 1249 the Earl of Warwick and two others are mainperners of Philip who  is held in the Fleet prison in London for transgression in the court of the justices. Robert has orders therefore to deliver Philip at once (CCR p. 181). - In 1253-4 the King has pardoned Philip de Covelegh (Coneleg) one mark he had been  fined by the itinerant barons of the Exchequer (FFH3). This would be the Philip mentioned at about that time in Middlesex. On 29 June of the same year Malger xor Mauger de Covele received from the King respite for 5 marks he had been fined in Buckinghamshire. - Philip witnessed  an 'inspeximus' of the foundation charter of Burnham Abbey in Buckinghamshire, a confirmation of King Richard I of the abbey's holdings. - Note: in the medieval scriptures u,n and v were mostly written as an 'u'.the ending le became leg or ley.

This Philip married Cecily. They had a son William who died before his father, and four daughters. After the death of Philip in the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307) the inheritance was divided between the daughters. Joan and Isabella died SP. Margery the third, married first William de Okenden with whom she had a son John, and secondly William de Holdenby (see Mddx). They produced a son of the same name. 1295-6 Margery de Cowle held one fee in Holdenby and Raventhorp of Roger de St. Andrew. On 8 July 1305 and 13 April 1309 John Conele sued Margaret Conele for one messuage, one carucate of land and 10 marks of rent in Haldenby and Raventhorp. Margaret acknowledging John's right, he grants her the property for her life for all services including those to the chief lords (FF). - On 6 Oct. 1319 John de Conele of Haldenby and Katherine his wife sue Humphrey de Hansted concerning 7 messuages, 6 tofts, 7 virgates of land, 4 acres of meadow and rent of 2s 8d in Haldenby and Raventhorp. John and Katherine acknowledge Humphrey's right, who grants the property to them and the heirs of their bodies to hold of the chief lords for ever. After their death without heirs the remainders are to go successively to Edmund de Boys and Margaret Boys, heirs of their bodies, or right heirs of John (FF). It seems that was a marriage settlement for Katherine.

The fourth daughter married a Broc. I surmise that this was Hugh or Laurence de Broc mentioned in Buckinghamshire. Agnes and her husband had two sons, William and Roger and the daughters Maud, Alice, Cecily and Margery. They were all alive in 1321). Their mother Agnes was living in 1297. In 1314 Robert de Haughley of Northampton, a descendent of Margery, elder sister of Agnes, sues John de Conele of Middlesex in Colham, Tyikham, and Ikham for land (Mddx FF).

William the younger had the sisters Matilda, Margery, Alice and Margaret. They all went to court against their father William the elder for the manor of Hillindon and a mill in Coleham, Middlesex. Roger, William's brother puts in his claim in 1306 (Mddx FF) - In 1329 one of the two Johns sued William the younger and his sisters in the Bench to recover a messuage and one virgate of land in Holdenby and a fourth part of the manor of Holdenby and Raventhorp which was decided in his favour. These premises had also been claimed by John son of Margery de Conele.

Roger de Broc was married to Roesia. They had the sons William and John. - In 1232-4 Roger de Broke had premises in Colham and Southhall. In 1332 William son of Roger de Brok had to defend his manor of Ikenham with the advowson of the church and property in Tykham, Hillendon and CONELE (Mddx FF). In 1332 John Cherleton of London and William son of Sir Roger Brok levied a fine concerning tenements in Raventhorp and Holdenby. Cherleton demised  in 1337 the manors of Holdenby and Raventhorp, which had formerly been of Sir Roger de Broc. After the death of Robert in 1329 his widow Roesia impeded William son of William, her brother in-law, as well as his sisters Maud, Cecily and Margaret for one third of the manor of Ravenshorp as her dower.

On 12 Nov. 1339 and 20 Jan. 1340 John de Cherleton citizen of London sues John son of Sarah de Conele for one message with appurtenances in Haldenby and a moiety of the fourth part of the manor of Haldenby and Ravensthorp. John acknowledges John de Cherleton's right, to whom he remises and quitclaims from himself and his heirs with warranty, receiving 40 lbs sterling (FF). - On 3 Nov. 1344 and 27 Jan. 1348 Neil de Loreng knight sues Robert son of Lawrence de Brok and Maud his wife by his attorny Robert de Horneby for 7 messuages a mill and other appurtenances in Mentemore, Lynchelad, Hildesdon and la Grave by Leghton Bissart and the advowson of the church of la Grave. Robert acknowledges the right of Neil and grants to him 5 s and 4d of rent with the homages and services of John de Cherleton of London and John de Merston and their heir. - On 20 Oct. 1358 John son of John Buttetourt and Maud daughter of John de Grey of Rotherfield sue John Buttetourt of Weley knight. and Joyce his wife for the manors of Woketon and Parva Lyneford and the advowson of Woketon. John Buttetourt and Joyce grant to John son of John and Maud the manors and advowson the manor of Parva of the King and the manor of Woketon and the advowson of John Buttetourt and Joyce and the hiers of John for 1 rose yearly and doing all service to the chief lords. In default of heirs, reversion to John Buttetourt and Joce and theheirs of John. John and Maud gave 100 marks of silver (FF). 13 Oct. 1368 Richard Wydvill and John his son sue John Wake, William Cuggenho and his wife Elizabeth; Adam Basing and Thomas Conele and his wife Elizabeth for the manor of Wykhamound, except of a fifth part of that manor. The defforciants have granted the manor to Richard and his son to hold of the chief lords for ever with warranty and receive 100 marks of silveer (FF). -  On 18 Nov. 1377 Richard Imworth and Margery his wife sue Thomas Conele and Hugh Imworth for a moiety of the manor of Woverton. Thomas and Hugh granted ro Richard and Margery the moiety to hold  of the lord King as commanded by him.

31 May 1383 William Conele of Rotherwell the elder and Robert de Isham sue William Conele the younger of Herleston and Margaret his wife for 3 messuages with appurtenances in Herleston. William and Margaret acknowledge the right of William Conele of Rothewell and Robert, who grants the tenements in court to William and Margaret and the heirs of their bodies to hold of the chief lords for ever. In default of heirs the premises to go to the right heirs of Margaret (FF). Another marriage settlement. 3 Feb. 1403 and 29 April 1403 William Conele versus John Randolf and his wiffe Pernel touching one messuage with appurtenances in Westhaddon. As John and Pernel acknowledge the right of William, he grants them to hold the property of the chief lords for the lives of John and Pernel. After their decease the tenements are to go to William Randolf, son of John and Alice his wife and the heirs of William (FF). 17 April 1407 William Conel and Thomas Douce, clerk, sue John Mortimer and his wife Agnes for a messuage with appurtenances in Herleston. John and Agnes acknowledge the right of William and quitclaim to William and Thomas from themselves and the heirs of Agnes to William and Thomas, and the heirs of William for ever with warranty William and Thomas gave 20 marks of silver (FF). On 3 Feb. 1477 Nicholas Coweley, William Stauerton and 3 others sue Thomas Coweley and Emma his wife, daughter and heir of William Boltesham for a messuage and appurtenances in Kyldesby. Thomas and Emma quitclaimed the premises and for their heirs to the querents receiving 100 lbs sterling (FF). On 3 Feb. 1494 John Boteler John Danvers and 3 others sue William Coweley and Elizabeth his wife for 4 messuages and appurtenances in Ravensthorp and Coton who quitclaim the premises to the querents receiving 100 lbs sterling. (FF).

18 June 1503 and 6 Oct. John Danvers and 4 others sue William Cowley and Elizabeth his wife for 7 messuages with appurtenances in Coton and Ravensthorp who quitcleim the premises from themselves and the heirs of Elizabeth to the querents receiving 100 lbs sterling (FF). On 1 July 1504 Thomas Barker and Thomas Westall versus William Coweley and Elizabeth his wife for 3 messuages, 1 mill and appurtenances in Kynges Sutton and Astrop in the parish of Kynges Sutton. William and Elizabeth quitclaim the premises from themselves and the heirs of Elizabeth receiving 100 marks. (FF). 12 Nov. 1507 Fulk Wodehull sues William Cowley and Elizabeth sister and heir of William Somerton for the manor of Thenford with appurtenances and rent in Thenford and Purston. William and Elizabeth quitclaim with warranty receiving 200 lbs sterling (FF). On 8 July and 6 Oct. 1508  the same persons meet for another agreement that the manor granted to Fulk Wodehull is held by Lewis and Agnes his wife. For that Fulk has given them 100 marks of silver. - 20 Jan. 1508 Richard Emson knight, John Danvers knight and Thomas Hawetriff sue Thomas Coweley clerk, John Dey clerk ,and Robert Lee sues William Southcote and Maud his wife for 4 messuages with appurtenances in Hartwell, Stone, Bishopston and Southrope William and Maud quitclaim the premises for themselves and tthe heirs of John Dey for ever with warranty. receiving 60 lbs sterling (FF).

In 1266-7 Walter de Conele had held a tenement of the Priory of Towcester (CH nº DCCCCXLV), where a Nun Wood is still existing. Towcester lies in Northamptonshire north of Luffield Priory in Buckinghamshire next to the border of Northamptonshire, which had been founded by the Romans who had built a castle there. This Walter seems to be a descendant of the Philip of c. 1200.

John Cowley, gent, died 10 December 1782 aged 50 years. His wife Anne Cowley died 9 June 1801 aged 70 (Inscription in the church of Kirkby Northamptonshire. The familie's genealogy lasted almost 800 years.

It has become clear now that the Conele families of Buckingham, Northampton and Middlesex were related. The Brook family had first become their overlord and had inherited the Conele holdings in Middlesex by marriage of a Conele daughter to one of the Broc overlords in Northampton. The Laurence de Broc of Buckinghamshire who left traces in 1252, 1256, 1261, 1262 and 1272 in Buckingham and Middlesex was a judge and died in 1275.(Mddx FF).

Oxfordshire and Suffolk

Covele or Conele, later called Cowley like in Middlesex. At the time of Domesday Book there were three Conele on the outskirts of Oxford. - Church Cowley was held in 1086 by Roger d'Ivry-Bayeux, kin of Albreda d'Ivry-Bayeux who married Albert de Cravent, descendants of Ralf count of Bayeux, half brother of Duke Richard I of Normandy. Ralf de Connelle was heir of Albert. - Odo bishop of Bayeux was half brother of the Conqueror. Another one was held by Roger d'Ivry of Count Eustace of Boulogne, which was composed of 3 hides and was called later Temple Cowley, as the greater part was held by the Templars. A small part of it, namely one and a half hides and a third of a virgate was held by Toli of Miles Crispin (d. 1107), a cousin of the Gilbert Crispin line overlords of La Cunelle..This is the one which concerns us. The half hide was leased for life to Sired of Cowley (Conele) for 5s a year. Before 1200 it had been granted to Amaury de Conele. The property then went at the same price to his descendants Andrew 1225, Amory in 1255 and Andrew in 1279. - The rest of Toli's land went to Osbert Conele. Sired and Osbert had been installed about 1170 and were freemen (VCH). - Roger de Covele occurs in the Hundred documents by Edward I in Oxford (The Battle Abbey Roll V. 1).

William de Conele, his sister Alice, Henry de Kersinton-Conele and the Chisbeche family put theirs claims to the land afterwards, when William de Conele quitclaimed one virgate to Geoffrey de Chisbeche in 1197. Alice de Conele's daughter Denise Talmasch, a descendent of Osbert, who was married to Henry de Kersinton, held later 5 virgates of the Chisbeches. Gunnolda, maybe another daughter of William de Conele, sued John Marshal for a virgate of land in 1220 and received a small place for her mother to hold of the Templars. As the land had been of Milo de Crispin, it belonged to the Honor of Wallingford by his marriage to Margaret d'Oilly, heiress of the honor (VCH Oxford V. 5).- Hugh Talmasch had witnessed in 1121-3 a charter to the abbey of Mont St. Michel (Docs FR p. 262)..

1131 Hugh Talmach accounts for 4 lbs 14s 4d (PR Hunter V. 1). In the Curia Regis Rolls we find Dionisia Talmasch, on 9 May 1199 sueing William de Conele and Alice for land by Robert de Abingdon, and Alice sued William by Alan de Abindon, constable of Wallingford, at the court of Wallingford. Further, on Oct. 1189 William de Konele against Alice de Kanele for one virgate of land with appurtenances in Kavele as his inheritance of Sired. Alice wants a visum and receives a day in court one month after Michaelmas. Law suit between Dionisia Talmasch and William Conele and his sister Alice for land by Robert de Abendon attorney in court on 9 May 1199  (King Rich.). On 27 June 1199  Henry (de Kersington) son of William sues William de Conel by William son of William. Dionisia is named as wife of Henry, and the law suit is held in the Bench. In 1199-1200 William de Conele asks from Alice his sister one virgate of land in Conele, as his right as descendant of Sired his uncle. Alice defends her right and asks Henry son of William for warranty. - The Talmach held also land in Suffolk.

On 6 Jan. 1203.William Talmasch appears in a confirmation charter by King John to the church of the Holy Trinity of Gipswich in Suffolk, citing William's donation (CCHR p 116) Peter Talmasch held a fee of the Honour of St. Valery in 1211-12 which had come to the family from the heirs of Roger d'Ivry (Red Bk.). In 1219 William Thalmasch and Alice his wife give the King one mark to get a writ to remove a plea from the the court of the itinerant justices in Suffolk, regarding the law suit between them and Guido de Verdun and Alice his wife, feoffees of a military fee with appurtenances in Chetelborough. They shall have a writ and the sheriff of Suffolk to take security. 17 Jan. at Westminster (CFR Tower). In 1223 Hugh Talmash was sheriff of Suffolk (CCR V. 1 p. 629). On 4 January 1230 Hugh was tenant of the honour of Peverel in London for land in Aketon (CCHR V. 1 p. 108), and in 1237 Hugo Talmash, clerk was collector of money (CCR V. 2 H III p. 555).

In July 1238 Milo de Conel acts as attorney for the Magister of the Templars in England for one hide in Conel'.- 1246 gift to the Hospital of St. John in Oxford of one acre in Conele by Andrew son of Amaury de Conele (CCHR V. 1 p. 299). - Dec. 1247 The King pardons Henry de Dadington and Robert de Conele for the murder of Robert le Boner and they make peace. The Sheriff of Oxfodshire to release them from prison ((CCR p. 19). - Aug. 1251 Willian de Huntercombe asks his attorney William Morin of Berkshire to act in the law suit between Philip Conele  and John Aure in the court of Berkshire, concerning Sheffeud and Wickchurch in Oxfordshire (CCR `- 554).- 18 May 1269 Laurence de Broc holds an assize in Oxford (CFR V. 2 p. 489). Here we have again a Philip de Conele at the same time as in other shires and Laurence de Broc the same. Note: Baldwin de Osterwic or Austruy held 5 military fees from the count of Boulogne as heriditary constable.(Round Peerage Studies p. 159-160). One of these fees was in Conele. This must have been the one which Roger d'Ivry held of the count and which went to the Templers (DB). - 20 June 1316 Hugh de Conele skinner of Oxford sues William de Worton goldsmith and Agnes his wife and John Aumbresbury and Maud his wife for one messuage in Oxford. Hugh and his heirs to hold of the chief lords with warrant. Hugh has given 20 s of silverl

We have here the same situation as in Middlesex as both Conele's in Oxford and in Middlesex were held in 1107 by Milo de Crispin and were later called Cowley. - In 1189 we find a William de Brettevill, who owes 20 s as rest of the farm he had in Erley and of Berinton, Oxford, (Rot. Liberate p. 273). This may be a son of William de Breteuils son Robert. - This family may have been the progenitors of the later Knell family of Oxford of which I only found their arms. On 9 Feb.1312 William Tuchet sues Bartholomew de Badelesmere for the manor of Fynemere in Oxford and the manors of Preston Byset and Conele in Buckingham , and the manor of Welles in Hertford. William Tuchet and Ellen de Denardston; Lawrence son of Hugh de Brok; Robert de Mandeville and Henry de Granosby; Roger de Morteyn and Isabe his wife all put in their claim. -  A line of the Conele of Oxfordshire must have held out for a long time as on 10 June 1501 Fulk Wodhull sues William Coweley and Elizabeth his wife for 2 messuages, 1 mill and appurtenances in Somerton. William and Elizabeth quitclaim to Fulk with warranty and Fulk fgves them 20 lbs sterling. (FF see the same in Buckingham).


1199 In an assize Ralf de Cannell pleads that his uncle Walter Cannell was seised at his death of a fee of half a hide of land in Eastwood which Adam Ruffus holds. The jury decides that Adam is to hold that land because Walter did not hold that land when he died, and Ralf is in mercy (CCR). - 8 Jan. 1235 The sheriff of Gloucester had mandate to let measure the lands of Robert de Conel' by honest men. The lands are in the hands of the Jewes Isaac of London, Belle of Mirabel and her son Puc. The sheriff had to do it under his seal and to advert the justices of the Jewes of the result of the measurement and  to give Robert rational terms to pay (CCR V. 1, p 37). In 1247-8 Arnulph de Berkeley sues Richard de Conele (Cowley) and Matilda his wife for one burgage with appurtenances in Berkley. Richard and Matilda leave  the burgage to Arnulph for ever for one obulus yearly and service to the chief lords (FF). On 6 August 1251 Elerin abbot of Pershore and the convent were allowed free warren in their demesne lands by the king including Kauleg, (Conele), as far as the lands don't lie in the King's wood (CCHR V. 1 p. 365) - In 1386 John Conele who had been escheator there was dead (Inq. Misc. V.4 p. 186). He was a member of the Buckingham family. - Cowley or Conele is situated fife and a half miles south of Cheltenham.

Shropshire and Herefordshire

In 1199 the King does not allow the assize petitioned by Robert Fitz AIwain against Thomas Noell and Margery his wife, Richard de Wappenbury and Juliana his wife and Griffin Waleis and Matilde his wife regarding land in Weston, as his father gave the land to William Estrange the father of the women (CRR V. 2, p. 185). - In 1250 Roger de Covel', clerk, attorney of Isabella de Kilpek in the King's Court, held by Galfrido de Langele and his fellows, for a case in the forest of Hereford (CCR p. 351). Next year Roger acts there for William de Cantilupe (CCR).  On 16 May 1393 John Conley sues George Buteler and Annora his wife for 4 messuages with appurtenances in Bruggenorth Shropshiere. George and Annora quitclaim to John with warranty. John gives them 100 marks of silver (FF). - 27 Ot. 1499 William Rudhale, Ralph Hanyes clerk, Thomas Cowley and John Rudhale the younger against William Hillesley son and heir of Thomas Hilleslay for 1 messuage with appurtenances in Parva Tadyntton. William Hillesley quitclaims to the demanders for ever. The querents pay him 10 lbs sterling. (Herefordshire FF). Cowley Herefordshire is situated at the border to Worcestershire). Notes: Isabella Kilbec or her husband was a descendent of HughFitzNorman a descendent of Bernard the Dane ancester of the 3 Turolds of Pont-Audemer, a viking family. Thomas Noel was grandson of the first Noel who came from Normandy shortly after the Conquest and married Margery daughter of William Lestrange, Juliana and Matilde were her younger sisters. Noel had married Celestia daughter of Bishop Limesy of Lichfield, Coventry and Chester. They had a son Robert father of Thomas.


On 18 Jan. 1244 Philip de Conel', Milo de Beauchamp, Robert Noreys and Roger de la Hyde were fined 73s 4d between them for having received a letter of patent each without an assize. Therefore the sheriff of Worcestershire was ordered to distrain all those who owed debts to the Bishop of Chichester the King's chancellor (CCR p. 234). Note: William Fitz Osbern gave the tithes of his demesne in Cuhelle or Cunele when he founded the abbey of Lyre near Breteuil, wich was confirmed by King Henry II between 1155-8 (Receuil des actes V. 1 p. 168 by Delisle). - Dugdale Monasticon V. 6 part 2 confirms that William FitzOsborn founded this abbey in 1045 and gave the tenth of his demesne land in Cohella with further property. Cohelle's Green liies near Powick. Cowley is the king's servant and neither the mayor of London nor any other officers should meddle with him. - 17 Dec. 1537 Nicholas Cowley was yeoman of the King's guard. He has been in Court until Friday after the Conception of Our Lady, when he delivered a plea for Laurence Russell his servant and Margery Cowley his wife against Edward and Thomas Archebold. Edward Archebold is in prison and Cowley would not accept his offer to abide by the award of any gentlemen of Worcester of Sir  William Kingston captain of the Guard. - In 1542 Robert Cowley had  been master of the Rolls for term of his life (State papers).

The Survey of Worcestershire V. 2 p. 27: The arms of Corbert of Cowley descended of the heir of Cowley, they were party per pale AR and GU on a bend SA 3 mollets OR. The Corbets had inherited Imnee and Cowley near Wich, today incorporated into Droitwich The arms of Harewell were AR a fess SA with hares heads impaling a chevron between 3 cows heads (Cowley. Roger son of William Harewell married the coheir of Corbet of Cowley who lived in Imnee. In 1458 he and the abbot of Evesham had to find 149 archers to defend King Henry. Roger's son Edmund Harewell married Jane Russel of Strangesham and their son Thomas married Margaret coheiress and sister of John Vampage.


The manors mentioned above are now in Lincolnshire. In the time of King John Galfrido de Cunele was one of his officials. On 8 May 1205 King John sent a letter to the barons of the Exchequer that he has pardoned Galfrido de Conelou 20 marks which he owed. Take care to have him clear of debts. Later in the year Galfrido Cunelou signed a letter by the King to Godfrey de St. Martin, another official. -  On 30 Aug.1205 another mandate of the King was signed by Galfrido de Conelow. On 11 Sept. of that year the King gave order to the constable of the castle of Winchester to guard Alan, who is sent by Galfrido de Conelo, safely in prison. - On 17 March 1206 the King to the sheriff of Lincoln: We conceded Galfrido de Cunelo 60s rent in Bradet and 7 lbs 10s in Magna Cotes and Parva Cotes. Give the said G. Cunel seising without delay. (All Rot. Litt. Claus. V. 1 p. 31,.39, 40 and 67). This is the last we hear of Galfrido. - The dates 1205-6 indicate that Galfrido may have come with King John from Normandy when he left for England in 1203.

In 1251 John Carbonel Sheriff of Lincoln had mandate to inquire by sworn men in the court of the bailiffs and coroners about the culprits what they had done to John Conele his servant. Arrest them, put them into prison. Take the possessions of John which have been hidden by them and restore them to John. (CCR p. 473-4). - 1251 Ralf son of Alan de Champeneys of Soterton gives the King 3 gold coins worth 3 marks to get his pardon for the murder of John de Conele. After payment  his land in Lincolnshire was restored to him(CFR - 129).


John de Conele acknowledges that he had taken with others of Newenham a quarter of frument etc (Plac. quo Warr.) - The Broc family is represented in Bedfordshire in 1199 by Reginald who sues Turstan Basset for the advowson of the church (CFR Tower p. 362). Laurence de Brok was Sheriff in Bedfordshire in 1269. - On 29 April 1324 Richard de Hannes and Alice his wife sue by Nicholas de Stivecle Joan daughter of Robert de Broc for a messuage in Bolnhurst which William de Warham and Sibel his wife hold in dower with appurteenances Joan grants the premises to Richard and Alice and after her death the property shall remain with Richard and Alice and the heirs of Alice (FF). - 18 April 1325 John son of robert Pecok of Redbourn the elder and Maud his wife sue Peter the younger of Weston Tregoz and Joan his wife by John de Conle in place of Joan (FF).


On 15 April 1274 Lawrence de Brok sues John Maunsel and Cecily his wife and William de Chenelangham and Pernel his wife for 5 marks of rent in Wenlington which he was used to receive by them. This tenement is of John de Cheney which they held before of Lawrence. The demandants quitclaim from themselves and the heirs of Cecily and Pernel to Lawrence and his heirs for ever. Lawrence gives one sore sparrohawk. Roesia de la Leye puts in her claim (FF):- 25 Nov. 1301 Lawrence de Brok and Ellen his wife sue by Hugh de Emmyngton Ralph Pygot represented by Thomas le Sok for the manor of la Maudeleyne. Ralph grants to Lawrence and Ellen their heirs the manor  to hold of the chief lords for ever. In default of such heirs, remainder to the right heirs of Lawrence. John de Syfrewast puts in his claim -16 Oct. 1314 Ralph son of Lawrence de Brok and Elizabeth his wife sue by Adam de Brom Lawrence de Brok for one messuage with appurtenances and 40 shillings of rent in Shephale. Lawrence granted the tenements to Ralph and Elizabeth and their heirs by Ralph and Elizabeth  to hold of the chief lords for ever. In default of heirs remainder to the right heirs of Ralph. Ralph and Pernel his wife for 5 marks of rent Elizabeth have given 100 marks of silver. 6 Oct. 1318 John Neurnut and Margery his wife versus William de Brok the elder for 2 parts of 1 messuage, 2 mills and appurtenances and 18 marks of rent in Ashwelle and Henxsteworth. William grants of the premises to John and Margery and the heirs of their body the 2 parts to hold of the chief lords for ever. In default of heirs remainder to the right heirs of John (FF). Comment: The Broc family became overlords of many of the Conele holdings.


On 27 Jan. 1331 Simon de Mucheldeuere and Agnes his wife sue Richard de Bekhamton and William Talmach for a messuage with appurtenances and 13 lbs and 10d of rent in Mucheldeure, Soutbroke, Weston, Eaststratton and West Stratton. Richard and William granted to Simon and Agnes the tenements to hold of the chief lords for the lives of Simon and Agnes. After their decease the tenements shall remain to Philip son of Simon and his heirs. In default of such heirs successive remainders to Maud sister of Philip and heirs of her body; to Isabel sister of Maud and heirs of her body and the right heirs of Simon. - On 10 May 1342 and 14 May 1346 Thomas West sues by his attorney William de Hynden  William de Talmach knight and Julian his wife and afterwards by Thomas son of Thomas for one knight's fee and 100 shillings of rent in Hale. William and Julian acknowledge the fee and rent with the homages and services of Adam de la Ford and Elizabeth his wife and their heirs which they held before of William and Julian in the vill, to be the right of Thomas West to hold to Thomas West and his heirs with warranty. Thomas has given them 100 marks of silver (FF) -.On 20 Oct. 1342 Christian widow of John Horwod of Querton sues Geoffrey Talemach and Christian his wife for 2 messuages in Overton. Geoffrey and Christina quitclaim the property to Christiian with warranty who gives them 10 lbs sterling (FF)..- John Talmache versus Richard Southall and Elizabeth his wife concerning 5 acres of land, 24 acres and one rood of pasture in Sproweton. Richard and Elizabeth and for the heirs of Elizabeth quitclaimed the land  to John with Warranty John has given them 10 lbs sterling (FF).. 

One Talmach was husband of a Conele in Oxfordshire. - 27 Jan. 1413 William Sturmynstre clerk, William Conle and Richard Sampson sue Margaret widow of John Polayn of Kymbriede for 6 messuages with appurtenances and 20 s of rent in Depeden, Langele and Elynge, a third part of the manor of Depeden and  The querents grant to Margaret the tenements and the third part of the advowson of the church of that vill to hold of the chief lords for the life of Margaret. After her decease the tenement and advowson shall remain to John Fromond and Maud his wife and the heirs of John, to hold of the chief lords for ever with warranty by William Sturmynstre and his heir (FF).-.21 May 1508 Richard Emson knight, Thomas Emson esq., Thomas Coweley clerk and William Campion, Thomas Rokes the elder and Alice his wife and Thomas Rokes the younger and Elizabeth his wife for the manor of Upclatford, 500 acres of land, 200 acres of meadow, 1000 acres of pasture, 100 acres of wood and 48 shillings of rent in Upclatford. The demandants have acknowledged the tenements as right of Thomas Cowley and have quitclaimd them to the Thomas Emson, Thomas Coweley and William and the heirs of Thomas Coweley for ever with warranty, The querents pay them 200 lbs sterling (FF).


There was the hamlet of Conele, Covele, Cowley now integrated in Gnosall. In 1295 William de Burgh was born in Burgh Hall, Gnosall. He figures in the Brough genealogy and married Eleanor Cowley, born 1298. They had a son Adam..John Knightley of Gnosall married Elizabeth daughter and heiress of Adam de Brough. John was son of Roger of Gnosall in Staffordshire. The arms of Knightley were composed later of 23 families. Knighttley quarterly ermine and paly of six OR and GU. Nº 7, OR fretty GU a canton AR NOELL. 13 AR a lion rampant within a bordure engrailed SA COWLEY. Nº 14  GU a chevron paly OR and AR between three crosslets AR COWLEY. (Visitation of Warwickshire). This needs explication. Robert Noell held Hansgrave in Staffordshire  in 1086. His son Noel married the Celestria daughter of Robert de Limesi bishop of Chester of whom they inherited several fiefs. Their son Robert received Ronton of the Earl of Stafford where he founded a priory. Bishop Robert had another son Philip who received Brough from Robert Noell and took this name which was also written Burgh.This explains that Elizabeth's arms are in the Knightly genealogy. (Please see above).

In 1401 William Shareshull, kt., held at his death several manors in Staffordshire including Shareshulle, Coneley and Brundford. Shareshull and Bolinghall are in Shropshire and held in chief (CCR). Cowley was part of the Royal manor of Penkridge in 1086 (DB). In 1215 Cowley was given with certain other manors to the Archbishop of Dublin. Half a hide in Bedinton pertaining to Penkridge had been granted to the abbey of Buton before the Conquest. By the end of the 12th C. Abbot Richard granted the land, half a hide, to Henry de Broc with the forest office of Brun and the marriage of Brun's daughter. They had a son Robert who succeeded him by 1214 and was living 1237. His son Robert died about 1264 (VCH V. 5). It seems that Eleanor was his granddaughter. - Another Conele-Broc combination!  (VCH V. 5 Staffordshire). Cowley in Darley. 6 families descended of them in Cheshire. Arms out of a coronet OR a buck's head SA attired of the first (OR).


In 1202 appears a Roger de Covele with Margaret his wife. They are mentioned in the list of Hunter's Fines (The Battle Abbey Roll V. 1). On 29 June 1217 the King sent a letter to the Sheriff of Berkshire to ask Anselm de Biset why he disseised Johannes de Conel without assize and with unjustified reasons of his right in his mill in Conele. Hear the case in your court and give justice  to the said Anselm, making him declare what is his claim. Anselm Biset was also overlord of Preston Bisset in Buckinghamshire. His father Manasses had be subenfeoffed by Helte there. This  may tell us that Johannes was a member of the Buckingham family. - Cowley was later called Coley which was held by the Knollys family in later times (VCH). Nearby was a foot bridge and lands called Battle which were probably held by Battle Abbey of Sussex (Hist. & Ant. of Reading Berkshire). Cowley is now a part of Reading and lies on a main road in the center. On 12 June 1288 Adam de Brumpton and Mary his wife sue Richard son of Stephen de Conle chaplain for a moiety of 1 virgate of land in Wodyton. Adam and Mary and the heirs of Adam grant for the life of Richard the the land for 1d yearly. After the decease of Richard the land shall revert to Adam and Mary and the heirs of Adam (FF).


In Wiltshire existed a manor Coneleston and a Conelesfield. On 11 July 1100 Thomas de Soham went against Ralph de Coneleston and Gaufrido his son (CRR p, 320n). - In 1329 a place called Coneleston in Wiltshire (CCR). - 1337 Giles de Beauchamp sues William de Beauchammp, knt. for the manor of Coneleston (Wilts. FF p. 52). - In the same year William de Cuenell' (as a collector of money which had to be deposited in the castle of Salisbury. - 1352 Land in Conelesfeld was granted to John Maltravers on 27 April (CCR p. 480). 1383 William de Rikhill and others are deforciants, concerning land, wood and rent in Cowesfield (Couvelesfelde Loveras.FF p. 27). - 1390 6 messuages, 4 tofts, 2 carucates of land and 60 acres of land, 800 acres of wood and rent in Cowesfield are mentioned. - In 1492 John Coweley, gentleman, and his wife Juliana held land in Salisbury (FF). - A Cuneleffeld or Cunellefield existed in Wiltshire still in 1670 (Bracton's Notebook V.1). A William de Covele is mentioned in Wiltshire (The Battle Abbey Roll V. 1). Note: The original names of Cunelle-Connell and Conele are here maintained. Gilbert de la Cunell-Bretevill held much land in Wiltshire in 1086 (Domesday Book).


1199 Richard son of Gerard sues Walter clerk of Conel regarding dower at Mangendon. They are represented by Geoffrey de Pakeho and Roger son of Sampson (CRR V. 2 p. 251). - In 1224 a Henry Conhulla has a law suit concerning a marsh and his free tenement in Thorley on the border between Essex and Hertfordshire, which he wins back from Geoffrey de Gay who had desseised him (Bracton's Norebook). - On 3 Dec. 1344 John de Coneley parson of the church of the diocese of London acknowledges that he owes to John Fitz Walter lord of Wodham 200 marks to be levied of his lands, chattels and ecclestical goods in case of non payment (CCR).


In 1086 William de Braose held various fiefs in Dorset. One of those was Coneley with one and a half hides, held by Richard, and Chenolle of one hide held of him by Walter (DB). In 1202 existed a Radulf de Cnolle there, attorney of Cecily of Bockland. His son in 1214 called himself Ralph de Konille, son of Ralf de Knolle (CCR V. 7, p. 174). There are other Knolle members in Dorset which may be of another family.


Windle -  there was a long standing tenant family called Coley, later Cowley, from the end of the 13th C.to the 17th C. William de Cayley claimed two messuages and lands in Windle from Peter Windle and Alice his wife in 1275 (CCR). Alan and Thomas ce Colley were defendants in an assize of 1307. In 1325-6 Roger de Whiston and Cecily his wife, and Emma, sister of Cecily, claimed three acres in Windle from Alan son of Alan de Colley (De Banco Roll). - Amice, great grand daughter  of Roger Rainhill had married about 1200 Alan de Windle. She died between 1246 and 1256. - In 1552 a settlement was made of Roger Colley's land in Windle, Sutton and Melling. He had the sons Robert and Richard (Lancaster FF). They made another settlement in 1571 concerning two horse mills and lands. Robert died SP, so that Robert, son of Richard succeded him, with remainders to Francis Colley. At that time there was a William Colley who was mortgaging or selling his lands (FF). In 1496 Francis Colley or Cowley sold some land to Thomas Foxe who died 7 years later. Roger Colley had to pay a fine in 1560 (FF). Thomas and John Cowley, sons of Robert Cowley of Prescot, studied theology in Rome between 1624 and 1629. Another John Cowley entered the seminar in 1662 (Farrer, History of Lancarshire, V. 3).


Cowley or Conele is a hamlet SW of Dronfield


1206 Order to the justices to postpone the assize between Pagan de Chandos and Henry Cuynel, a minor in the ward of William FitzAlan (CCR V. 4).

However, members of the family may have come to England at an earlier date as will be shown below.

According to Domesday Book and British History Online, Gilbert de Bretteville and William Alis held baronies in Hampshire with appurtenances in Wiltshire and other counties of the king in 1086. William Alis had the barony of Allington and Gilbert Bretteville his barony of Cholderton, with their seats at a distance of about 4 km of each other, hard on the border of Wiltshire (DB). William Alis was seneschall of William FitzOsborn. They both had been officials of William FitzOsborn, second in command of the Conqueror in Normandy and England, who had given him the Isle of Wight, made him earl of Herefordshire and let him have land in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and other counties. He in turn had enfeoffed his tenants and officials with certain lands before his death in 1071. Land in Little and Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire, which William FitzOsborn had given to Gilbert de Bretteville Cunelle, was occupied one and two centuries later by families called Knell, de la Knolle, Knowle, Cnoel or Knoyle. Note: To the barony of Cholderton belonged many manors in Wiltshire, some in Hampshire and Berkshire.

VCH Wiltshire mentions a Ralph de la Knolle as holding Litlle Bedwyn in 1291. He was a witness to a grant in Shalbourne, which lies near to Gilbert's holdings. Adam de la Cnolle and Emma Tilney appear on 8 Nov. 1278 in the CIPM of Robert Waleran. - Gilbert de Bretteville had a Ralph as tenant in his 'caput' of Cholderton. - In the Isle of Wight, which was another holding of William FitzOsborn, exists a Knylle field (GBS). - On.6 Oct. 1291 Master Peter de Carisbroke sues William Nel of Carisbrok and Sanchia (Sciencia) his wife of 2 acres of land in Carisbroke (Isle of Wight where Earl William FitzOsborn had his castle.The land to hold to Peter and his heirs of the chief lords for ever. Peter has given them a sore sparrowhawk (FF). (Sanchia seems to be a Spanish lady).- 1399 Inspeximus and confirmation  to Anthony Cunlle of letters patent dated 26 May 1395, granting him for life 10 marks yearly at the exchequer (CPR p. 244, V. 4). - As cited above in 1237 existed a William de Cuenelle, the name of Cunelle in Normandy.

In the introduction to the History of Hereford the author claims that Gilbert de Breteville who came with the Conqueror and held the barony of Cholderton took his name from the Burgh Breteuil in Normandy, where Ralph de la Cunelle of Connelle was household knight and mesne lord of William de Breteuil, son of William FitzOsborn. His father was Gilbert de la Cunelle.There exist several families who maintain Breteuil in different forms or Breteville.I identify Gilbert de la Cunelle with Gilbert de Breteuil or Breteville. He is not Gilbert Fitz Turold, who was also an officer of the earl, but as per Domesday Book he only held much land in the Western counties. It is remarkable that some of the later Cnolle or Knolle families in different counties still had the 'de la' in front of their names like Ralph de la Knolle or Knowle above, the de la Knolle of Knell house in Sussex and the de la Knolle of Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Cambridge, though in different documents they appear without it or simply had the 'atte' in front or their name, when it was a younger branch. Names were spelt differently in documents as Knell of Knill (please see further Knelle members in this web page). - In 1279 we find Richard de Breteuyll and Alice his wife, who sue Martin son of Benedict of Chichester and Alice his wife for a messuage in Chichester, which went to Richard and Alice for 100 marks. In 1284 they were sued by Mag. John de Sta. Cruce and Isabel his wife for the same property and left it to the demandants (SSX FF).

In East Knoyle, Wiltshire, William FitzOsborn Earl of Hereford held one hide of land till his death, and historians think that he or his son Roger, a rebell in 1075, had enfeoffed Gilbert de Bretville there (Brit. Hist. Online). VCH informs that this hide in Knoyle was later held by Robert of Breteuil, who had also become the overlord of Hatford manor in Berkshire at the beginning of the 12th C, which had been of Gilbert de Bretville in 1086, where the author states that a great part of the Breteuil properties came in the 13th C. into the hands of the de Columbers family. - The land of Gilbert de Breteuil in Chisbury belonging to Bedwyn, was held in 1167 by Gilbert de Columbers, of the Earls Rivers of Devon, lords of the Isle of Wight by inheritance from William FitzOsborn's sons John and Richard, who had owned land of him in the Isle of Wight but had died before him. William de Vernon, father of Richard de Rivers, the first Earl, had married Emma, daughter of Emma d'Ivry, daughter of count Ralph de Bayeux, and wife of Osbern Fitz Herfast, brother of the Duchess Gunnor of Normandy. Emma the daughter was cousin of Albreda d'Ivry who had married Albert de Cravant. - It seems to me that the Columbers acquired Gilbert's land by marriage, probably by his son Robert. There is a Breteville in the Norman Vexin not far from Connelle, where the family may have held land, because all the other Breteville places in Normandy are situated far north of Breteuil. - Bramshill in Hampshire-Berkshire, another fief of Gilbert de Breteuil, was held for a short period in 1130 by Eustace de Breteuil, natural son of William de Breteuil, who was a cousin of Ralph de la Cunelle's unnamed son. In the document his name is written Bruttevil.

In 1201 Childecnoel' was bought by the abbey of Stanley of Michael, son of Reynold de Knoyle, probably Gilbert's estate (VCH, Brit. Hist. online). 1201 the monks of Chipenham and Stanlegh pay half a mark for a grand assize against Michael, son of Reginald de Cnoel, who acknowledged that his brother Everard had given to the abbey all his land in Childecnoel with appurtenances, for which the monks had given him 35 marks and his brother half a mark (CPR). 1204 Jacobus de Hereford has a writ from the King against Odierne de Cnohell for 4 marks and a half (CCR). - In 1320 the abbot and convent of Stanlegh acknowledges that they owe to Robert de Cnoel of New Sarum 500 lbs (CCR p. 318).- Thomas de Cnuel is mentioned in 1203 in Wiltshire as juror in an assize which Radulf of Lanvalai had petitioned (CRR V. 3). - In 1204 a Robert de la Cnolle is pledge for the Count of L'Isle in Somerset (CFR p. 27). In the same year Guido de Bretteville the same in Devon. - In 1265-6 William Kulle gives half a mark for a writ of grace for trespass of forest (FFH3). - On 5 May 1327 Robert de Knowell, citizen of Salisbury, and many others had been obliged by Hugh de Despenser the younger to come to the castle and stay there till they had bought 25 tons of wine of him for 75 lbs and had confirmed the price before Geoffrey Le Scrop, when it was discovered that the wine was bad and that 8 tons were worth only 8 lbs, 8 tons 8 marks and 9 tons 4lbs 10s. The King ordered the Exchequer to have them pay only 17 lbs 16s 8d (CCR V. III, p. 119). - 1327 Nicholas de Knoell held the manor of Christemaleford (CIPM V. 2 p. 11).

Chisbury in Wiltshire, lying next to Little Bedwyn, was held by Gilbert de Breteville or Breteuil in 1086 (DB). In 1167 it was held by Gilbert de Columbières and 1210 by his son Michael. In c. 1311 Little Bedwyn was held by John Russell, who had bought Knowle from Ralph de la Knolle (or Knowle) in 1291, see above.. This was a demesne with farmstead and cotters. - In 1361 Thomas de Seymour had died holding at his death a messuage and two parts of a carucate of land in Chelleswort and a watermill in Bedwyn with a messuage and two carucates of land in La Knoll by knights service. - Clive was held by William FitzOsborn, who probably enfeoffed Gilbert, who held it in 1086, later called Clyffe Pipard (DB), still later the manor of Bradenstoke. A Robert Keynel had given half a mark for retrieving a pone in 1272 (FFH3). - In 1213  Walter de Damville is a pledge for William Pipard who owes 200 marks for relief (the de la Cunelle family had held land next to Damvill in Eure, Normandy - In 1300 William Keynell was mesne lord of Crofton Warren in Great Bedwyn, which William FitzWarin held of him. - On 29 May 1327 Warin de Kenel´of Devon sues by Jordan de Radeslo, his attorney, William Pippard, for land in Laverbury, which had been of Gilbert de Breteuil in 1086 (CCR p. 534). The Pippard family held Clive Pippard and some other land. 

Descendants of William Alis went on to hold Allington for some time and extended over many other counties, including Herefordshire 1166 and later, Kent, East and West Sussex (John Elys paid 1s 13/4d in the ville of Knelle in Hastings Rape, east Sussex, in 1332 (SB), and in 1428 another Ellis (Alis). Before that date an Alis had mainperned others in Sussex. A marriage between the Alis and the Sackville family in Normandy had taken place about 1180 (Norman Exchequer). In Sussex a member of the Sackville family later married a daughter of of the family de Beche, whose sister married an Ellis. A Bech had held half of Conele). Same applies to the descendants of William and Richard Fresnel, descendants of William Fresnel, another household knight of Breteuil, first documented in 1166 in Herefordshire. At a later date a Fresnel descendant in Hereford married a Solers daughter, their daughter a Cecil, and their great grandson James married Isabel de Knell, daughter of Sir John de Knell of Knill in Herefordshire (Collin's Peerage), who all became ancestors of William Lord Burghley, the famous minister of Queen Elizabeth I. - The Fresnel-Freisne family had inherited the land in Hereford and Wales of their kin Gilbert FitzTurold, who had been another officer of William FitzOsborn there.

Robert de Knolles, the famous 100-years warlord was called by the French Canolle. One of his sons married a French noble so that this name continued in their descendants until the end of the 19th C (see Knolles in this web site). If we take the 'O' or 'U' out of Cunelle and Connelle, we get Cnelle, or otherwise Cnulle or Cnolle. Of Quesnel we get Quenel or Kenel, of Chenele we get Kenele, other synonyms for Knelle. The William de Quesnel mentioned in the list in Dive church appears in the Burgh of Lewes, Sussex, in 1086 as tenant of Walter (de Cahagne), ancestor of the Hertfield family. In the subsidies of 1296 and 1327 Kenele  members are still paying their taxes there. Note: A test shows that Knell in French and Spanish is pronounced Cunell or Quenell. 'C' and 'Qu' in the early Middle ages became later sometimes 'K'.

As such I have been able to identify the family of de la Knelle in West Sussex, neighbours of the Tregoz family of Goring castle next to La Cnelle mansion, as descendants of the family of de la Cunelle, la Cunella and Conelle of Eure in Normandy of the 11th C. for the following reason: Hemeric de Cuella was negotiating in 1164 for the abbot of Fécamp, Henry de Sully, in a dispute  between the abbey and John de Tregoz, who had intruded in woods pertaining to the abbey, whereas John claimed some other land from them. On the instigation of the King a concord was reached, whereby John pledged his faith to the abbey and Hemeric pledged his faith for the abbey, witnessing also the document. When both the abbot and John was dead John's son John fell into the same error and the same procedure had to be applied. This time it was Philip de Cuella who witnessed for the new abbot the document dated to 8 April 1195 (Docs FR). - The descent of that family can be see under 'Further Knelle members'. As in the whole of England, the name became Cnell, Knell and later Knoll with variations.

Orderic Vitalis (Volume IV, book 13, pp. 25-30) and his translator explain the origin of the name Cunelle or Connelle: "Quinque civitates in circumitu Northwagiae supra littus maris sitae sunt Berga, Cuneghella, Copenga, Burgus et Alsa - (5 towns in the territory of Norway are situated at the seashore: Bergen, Oslo, Turesberga or Tonsberga, Kopenhagen, and Cunghella, for which the translater explains that it is Kongelf or Kongshäll of our day (19th C.), and in the Middle Ages Konüngshella or Kongehelle or Konghel. This town was given by Norway to Sweden in 1658 and one can find it in maps at the Götta-Elf". This town is nowadays called Kungälv, situated slightly north of Göteborg at the west coast of Gotland in Sweden at the estruary of Elf or Alf. Cunghella or Kongshäll means 'Kingshall'. In the German language Kunig in the Middle Ages and König nowadays. It means King in English. Göteborg was one of the 'burg's, in English boroughs, of the Goths, who several centuries ago had released some of their folk to look for land elsewhere. The East and West Goths devastated Rome. The West Goths settled for three centuries in Spain until the invasion of the Maures in 711. Some of them lived under their rule, but others had retired into mountainous Asturias, from where the Reconquista´ started. From the above mentioned seatowns the Vikings started their raids.

If we take from Cunghella the 'gh' away in adaption to the Norman-French language and a general alteration in the spellings as per linguists, we get Cunella in latin or Cunelle, or Connelle from Konghelle. The author of the 'Royal Genealogies', written ca. 1725, states that the invading northmen with their leader Rollo in the 9th C., came mainly from Denmark and had a similar political structure as the Goths. He also says that Crispin, called himself Ansgoth in veneration of his gothic ancestors. He is the progenitor of the Crispin family of Normandy and died about 980. Rollo the invader of Normandy had a Norwegian father and a Danish mother.