Fine recording Waleran and Albreda's 1198 purchase of property at Clipston from Matilda de Badelesmare

Estates: Clipston on the Wolds, Nottinghamshire

From the late 1100s to the late 1200s, the Rochfords of Fenne also had an estate at Clipston on the Wolds in Nottinghamshire.

The Victoria County History site reports that work is in progress on vol 3 of its history for the county, and that Clipston will be covered. I shared with the following account of the Rochfords’ estates in the village, since it appears from the latest draft text that the author has not yet discovered this.

Some notes on the Rochford tenancy at Clipston on the Wolds for VCH Notts, Clipston on the Wolds, Manors and other estates

The earliest identifiable under-tenants at Clipston on the Wolds are Waleran de Rochford and his wife Albreda (or Aubrey), the daughter and heiress of Ralph of Fenne. They were primarily associated with Fenne, Scrane and Skirbeck near Boston in Lincolnshire, where they held property of the honour of Richmond, and probably also under the Huntingfields of the Craon fee.[i]

The first known record of this family in connection with Clipston dates from 1 August 1198, when Matilda de Badlesmere, by William de Badlesmere her attorney, granted to Waleran de Rochford and Albreda and their heirs “seven parts of a sixth part of a knight’s fee” in Clipston to hold of Matilda and her heirs for knight-service and one mark yearly. For this, Waleran and Albreda paid Matilda forty shillings. The final concord for the deal notes that the property was on the east side of the vill.[ii]

It is not known what interest Matilda de Badlesmere had at Clipston; later records suggest that she may herself have been an under-tenant of the FitzWilliam family, who held the lordship of Plumtree.

Waleran and Albreda probably had more property in Clipston than Matilda’s grant suggests, as he served as a juror in grand assize cases relating to Nottinghamshire property on at least two occasions, in 1212 and 1222.[iii] But he and Albreda seem to have been based at Fenne rather than Clipston, as they were far more active in Lincolnshire affairs; their Nottinghamshire property was probably administered by a local reeve.

In 1207 Albreda appointed her husband to represent her in a plea of land against Ralph Barry (probably of Tollerton). Later that year Waleran appeared in court representing both himself and his wife against Barry in a plea of two bovates at Clipston. Barry failed to turn up for at least three court dates, and in summer 1208 the justices found in Waleran’s favour.[iv]

By March 1216 Waleran de Rochford had joined the rebellion against King John. His property in Nottinghamshire and elsewhere was seized into the king’s hands, and Waleran was ordered to hand over his son Robert as a hostage and owe a fine of twenty marks. On receipt of the hostage, William Talbot was to return Waleran’s lands in Lincolnshire without delay, and to instruct the sheriffs of Nottinghamshire and Somerset to do the same for his lands in their counties.[v]

But on 28 April that year Waleran was still deemed to be “with the enemies of the king”, and his right to present a new parson for a chapel at Clipston was given to William the clerk and Philip Marc, sheriff of Nottinghamshire.[vi]

Waleran seems to have recovered his lands in the early years of Henry III. When he died, around 1224-1226,[vii] he left a son and heir, Ralph de Rochford, who was a minor, and the Clipston property fell into the wardship of their overlord Thomas FitzWilliam.[viii]

Waleran’s widow, Albreda, was still alive, and she came to some arrangement with John Bonet, the professional under-sheriff, over “a third part of the manor of Clipston with appurtenances”, which was probably her dower interest in the property.[ix]

She died in 1227 and the sheriff of Nottinghamshire was instructed to take into the king’s hands any property in the county that she had held of the count of Brittany, and await further instruction. But this appears to have been an administrative precaution, as all the property she held of the count, who was also lord of the honour of Richmond, was in Lincolnshire.

By this time Waleran and Albreda’s son and heir Ralph de Rochford had come of age. On 14 September the sheriff of Lincolnshire was instructed to give him his inheritance in that county, and presumably around the same time Ralph received his inheritance at Clipston under Thomas FitzWilliam too.[x]

In Easter 1232 John Bonet sued Ralph in the Curia Regis over why he was not holding to the agreement made between Bonet and Ralph’s mother Albreda. Ralph failed to appear for the court date, but the matter appears to have been resolved amicably, as no further record of it appears.[xi]

By 1241 Ralph had died leaving a son and heir, John de Rochford, who still a minor.[xii] The family’s Clipston property again fell into the wardship of Thomas FitzWilliam, but a legal battle erupted between him and John de Gatton, who sued for the wardship of two carucates at Clipston and damages of forty marks. The case was eventually heard in Easter term 1242. Gatton claimed that Ralph de Rochford had held this property of him for knight service, and that before him Waleran de Rochford and Albreda had held it of his father, Godard de Gatton. FitzWilliam responded by reminding the jury that he had had the wardship of the property when Ralph himself had been a minor, and that Waleran and Albreda had once held the property under his own father William FitzWilliam. In the end the parties settled – FitzWilliam released his claim in the wardship to Gatton for 100 shillings.[xiii] In the Scutage of Gascony survey that year, John de Gatton was reported to hold a knight’s fee at Clipston under Thomas FitzWilliam, who held it of the earl of Lincoln.[xiv] Perhaps Gatton was the successor to Matilda de Badlesmere’s tenancy.

John de Rochford came of age by 1249.[xv] At some point he enfeoffed John Barry of Tollerton of nine selions of land at Clipston, at the end of the vill towards Plumtree, as well as a pasture for 26 sheep. John de Rochford also released Barry from rent and feudal services due for this and a virgate of land that Barry already held under him. Two of these nine selions had belonged to Rochford’s reeve, Robin.[xvi]

John de Rochford died some time between July 1266 and April 1267, when his widow Emma was given protection by the king.[xvii] According to a lawsuit that their son and heir, Sir Ralph de Rochford, brought 25 years later, John appears to have been killed by one of the rebel John d’Eyville’s gang in the closing weeks of the Second Baron’s War.[xviii]

In February 1269 John’s widow Emma and their son Ralph de Rochford made payments to have a case heard before the King’s Bench that was probably connected with Clipston – the sheriff of Nottinghamshire was notified in each case.[xix]

Around this time Emma released to John Barry her dower interest in the property that her late husband had granted him, and also in two bovates in the village that William de Tollerton previously held of her husband.[xx]

This is the last known record of the Rochford tenancy at Clipston.

End notes

[i] See, for example, Curia Regis Rolls 1199-1201; Fine Rolls of Henry III, C60/25, numbers 288, 289 and 363,; Kirkstead Cartulary, BL Cotton MS Vespasian E xviii, f212d

[ii] Feet of Fines of the Ninth Year of the Reign of King Richard I, p156,

[iii] Curia Regis Rolls

[iv] Curia Regis Rolls

[v] Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus

[vi] Rotuli Litterarum Patentium, v1 part 1, p179,

[vii] Waleran was alive in 1224 (Pipe Rolls), but dead by Easter 1227 when Albreda was described as a widow (Curia Regis Rolls)

[viii] Case between John de Gatton and Thomas FitzWilliam in Curia Regis Rolls, Easter 1242

[ix] Curia Regis Rolls, Easter 1232,; Liber Feodorum, part 2, pp 980, 987 for Thomas FitzWilliam’s holdings

[x] Fine Rolls of Henry III, C60/25, numbers 288, 289 and 363,

[xi] Curia Regis Rolls, Easter 1232,

[xii] The Oxfordshire Eyre, 1241…,

[xiii] Curia Regis Rolls, Easter 1242,

[xiv] Liber Feodorum, part 2, pp 980, 987 (for Thomas FitzWilliam) and 982, 990 (for John de Gatton),

[xv] CCR,

[xvi] Nottinghamshire Archives DD/1355/3 ,*%27%29

[xvii] John was given protection on 11 July 1266 (CPR, and his widow on 20 April 1267 (CPR,

[xviii] KB 130 m4,, and Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench under Edward I, no 32,

[xix] Fine Rolls of Henry III, C60/66, numbers 141 and 142,

[xx] Nottinghamshire Archives DD/1355/4,*%27%29


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