Saturday, June 25, 2016

William de Bocland (Buckland) ancestor of Gov. Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay Colony

My ancestor, Governor Thomas Dudley was born just about 430 years ago. A long time. About 430 years before the birth of Thomas our common ancestor William de Bocland was born. We are divided by about the same amount of time. I wager, Thomas Dudley did not know about William de Bocland. The internet has opened a world of genealogy to people like me who would never have access to the records and research done on our distant relatives. I have always been a lover of medieval history, my house is full of history books covering this era. Medieval genealogy is a whole nother ballgame, the rules of which I am just learning.

Latin is key to understanding the old records, gratefully most of the ancient records have been transcribed into English, but not all! There are many good Latin to English translators online. Medieval terms for real estate are confusing and practically require a degree to understand. Some will say, they are not interested in the history of the time and what does if you ancestor had land for a knights fee or fee simple or copy hold? For me, understanding the customs and conventions of the day makes the life of my ancestor seem more real. It makes them pop off the page, not just lie there, nothing but names and dates. And that, at least for me, is the best part. Names and dates are great, but I find them boring. I want to know what did they do when they got out of bed in the morning. Okay, I know they pissed in a pot, but what did they do after that?

One book that I will recommend is The Time Travelers Guide to Medieval England. It gives a really good overview of what life was probably like in the middle ages. That being said, here is what I think I know about William de Bocland.

origins of william
The Berkshire manor of Buckland was recorded as long ago as the days of Edward the Confessor, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, if you don't count the very brief reign of Harold Godwinson who lost to William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings in 1066. The manor is listed in the Doomsday book as being held by the local Bishopric. The land was assessed at 8 hides. It had a mill and fishery and a dairy farm that produced cheese.[1] A hide is an Anglo-Saxon term that meant enough land to support a free peasant family. The actually acreage was not fixed at that time and was dependent on the quality of the soil. In later times a hide would be between 60-120 acres.

This manor would lend it's name to the man who came to own it. Hugh de Bocland. He was first recorded by the ancient historian Odericus Vitalis, a Benedictine monk who lived in England. Born in 1075, Odericus, wrote with first hand knowledge about the events of the time. Hugh, he said, was one of a number of men, all presumably Normans, who King Henry I of England "raised from the dust." They were men of low birth who because of their service to the King, were raised by him into the ranks of the nobility. [2]

Hugh held the land from the Monastery of Abingdon. According to the Chronicles of Abingdon, Hugh may have profited "by the unjust actions" of one Prior Modbert, who had been appointed by King Henry I to administer the Abbey whilst the role of Abbot went unfilled. Modbert was trying to curry favor with the King by handiing out abbey lands to the king's favorites. In 1100 Henry ordered Hugh de Bocland, Sheriff of Berkshire, to reseize abbey lands given to various men, including himself! Most of the men were royal officials and Modbert had given them land for as long as they were in power. Hugh had been given three hides of abbey land in Hanney. [3]

Hugh was sheriff of not only Berkshire, but also Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Middlesex. Clearly he had the King's favor. In 1120 the Sheriff of Berkshire was a William Bocland, believed to be his son. The fact that his son had taken his father's role, has lead scholars to suggest that Hugh was dead by that time. [4]

The next Hugh de Bocland died about 1175. His exact relationship to the first Hugh is unknown, but it is possible that they were directly related. I can't find too much of interest on Hugh. His wife though, is a topic on interest. Hugh married a woman named Maud. She was the widow of Peter de Ludgershall.[5] He too, took his name from a place. Ludgershall is a small village on the edge of the Salisbury Plain. Peter was a forester, and was sometimes called Piers the forester. His ancestry is unknown. I have seen that his father was a John de Ludgershall but cannot find source to back it up. I have also seen that Peter's surname was AKA Balliol but I have no clue where that came from.

Fitz Peter's Arms
Anyway Maud and Peter had several children who took the surname FitzPeter. Maud's second son Geoffrey FitzPeter first came on the scene in 1184 when he was made Sheriff and Chief Royal Forester. [6] Geoffrey joined the royal service of King Henry II in his final decade. He was what was known as a Curialis, a household knight. By the time of King John, his holdings had expanded from those of a minor knight to one of the great men of the kingdom. One of King John's first acts was to make Geoffrey the Earl of Essex on 27 May 1199. [7] He would become King John's Justiciar, his chief administrator, quite an honor for a lowly knight.

Peter de Ludgershall death is unknown. He did not die on 14 January 1179/80 as is frequently seen on the internet, that was the date of the marriage William de Mandeville, Earl of Essex. I'm not sure how it got connected to Peter. Also, we know that Hugh, Maud's second husband died in 1175, so Peter was long dead by then. Anyway, apparently Peter became a monk prior to his death, despite being married. I guess you could do that back then. His son Geoffrey had his body moved and reburied in Winchester at St. Swithin's on 9 May 1198. Maud's date of death is also unknown. Presumably she died at her home in Buckland, but who can really say.  Medieval folk were very concerned for their eternal soul and sought to protect it with donations to churches and abbeys. Maud de Bocland made a grant dated between 1185 and 1200 to Southwick Priory in Hampshire. [8]

Maud and Hugh Bocland had had two children, William de Bocland and his sister Hawise.

maud was not a mandeville
Maud's ancestry is unknown. Now I know that it  has been written in many places both in print and on the net that she was a de Mandeville by  birth but this is not the case. I have copied and pasted an explanation for this mistaken identity below. This mistake has also been corrected in the book Domesday People which is a rigorous study of the Anglo Normans by Dr. Katherine Keats-Rohan, History Department, University of Oxford.

OK, now that it is out in the open, and it has been discussed here before, there is no sense in putting off my comments. This is the case I had in mind the other day, of a connection almost certainly wrong, probably drawn from other secondary sources assumed to be reliable, while these in turn were derived from the chart of the Earls of Essex in CP. (Complete Peerage) In this chart, Maud is placed under a horizontal line connecting Geoffrey's children, but is not connected to that line. This placement was certainly done solely for the purposes of graphical arrangement, and was never intended to display relationship. However, as far as I know, no one has ever published this "correction".

What has been published are studies of Geoffrey Fitz Piers, son of "Peter de udgershall" and "Matilda". These follow in detail the manipulations that Henry II took to ensure that the Mandeville birthright, represented by Beatrice de Say, grand-niece of Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, came to his favorite. THis man, Geoffrey Fitz Piers, was specifically said by a contemporary chronicler to be of insubstantial origins. Now if Geoffrey Fitz Piers was maternal grandson of Earl Geoffrey, and nephew of the recently deceased Earl William de Mandeville, then he would neither have been of lowly origins, nor would Henry have had to manipulate the status of the Say heiress in order to justify Geoffrey coming into the Mandeville inheritance - he would have been the legal heir. Simply put, this connection is wrong on so many levels, that it would require a higher burden of proof than for a connection that does not have so many strikes against it. (9)

william and matilda
No primary source connects William de Bocland to Hugh but it is believed that he was indeed his son. William married Matilda de Say, a daughter and heiress of William de Say of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire and Saham, Norfolk. (10) Matilda's sister, Beatrice, was married to William's half brother Geoffrey, the Earl of Essex. The earldom came through the de Say family from their grandmother Beatix de Mandeville who was the sister of the original Earl of Essex. It's very twisty and a bit hard to follow but I will try to lay it out in my next post on the de Say and de Mandeville family.

William and Matilda had three daughters who were coheiress of their father's estate when he died in 1216 The daughter's were Matilda, Hawise and Joanna. Matilda and her sister Joanna married brothers, William and Simon d' Avranches.

joanna de bocland
Joanna was first married to Robert de Ferrers a younger son of the Earl of Derby. He must have made the marriage shortly after the death of her father William as the contract was made when King John I was still alive. Robert de Ferrers agreed to pay King John 500 pounds for the right to marry her. In 1221 the money was still to be paid, even though the amount had been reduced to 300 marks. Robert died on 4 December 1225. He and Joanna had no children.

Joanna married for her second husband Simon d' Avranches and they are the subject of a future article.


[1] "Parishes: Buckland," A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 4, ed. William Page and P H Ditchfield (London: Victoria County History, 1924), 453-460. British History Online ( : accessed 22 June 2016).

[2] Odericus Vitalis, The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, vol. III,book XI, Chapter II, (Forester) p. 328, (London: H. G. Bohn, 1853).

[3] Emma Cownie, Religious Patronage in Anglo Norman England in 1066-1135, (Woodbridge, Suffolk : Boydell and Brewer, 1998) 46, Google Books ( accessed 23 June 2016).

[4] Leslie Stephen, Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 5, (London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1886) 289, Google Books ( accessed 23 June 2016).

[5] Charles Cawley, "Medieval Lands", Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, ( : accessed 25 June 2016); British Isles>England Nobility>Earldoms created 1138-1143>Earls of Essex-Mandeville.

[6] Ralph Turner, Judges, Administrators and Common Law In Angevin England, (London : Hambeldon Press, 1994) 95.

[7] Ralph Turner, Judges. 191.

[8] Todd A. Farmerie, "Matilda de Mandeville by Keat's-Rohan," Rootsweb: GEN-MEDIEVAL, discussion list, June 2002 ( : accessed 25 June 2016). See also the Doomsday Corrections the Medieval Genealogy Website  (

[9] Charles Cawley, "Medieval Lands", Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, ( : accessed 25 June 2016); British Isles>England Nobility>Untitled English Nobility>Families A-C>Bocland.

[10] Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry III, 1232-1233, 17/297, Henry III Fine Rolls Project (http:// : accessed 25 June 2016);Search Buckland.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Macey/Mathias (Matthew) Bezill "The Plunderer" Ancestor of Gov. Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay Colony

How exciting is this? An ancestor with the sobriquet 'The Plunderer.' Not 'the good', or 'the great'  or 'pious,' but a plunderer.  He is a nice contrast to all those prickly puritans that pepper the lower branches of my family tree. (Did you catch that great alliteration?) Not only was he a bad dude but he was a VIP, a very important plunderer. That being said, here is what I know about Macey Bezill.

You may know Macey Bezill better as Matthew de Besilles,  he was french and his name in the earliest accounts was spelled Macey. He was most often called Mathias. His surname Bezill, is believed by some to a nickname meaning 'to plunder'. It is spelled multiple ways but only once is there a 'de' in front of it it is almost always Bezill. Matthew was born probably around the year 1200. How this Frenchman came to be in England is a complicated story but I will try to flesh it out for you.

a bit of history to set the scene
Henry III
Henry III, son and heir of the notorious King John I of England was born in 1207. He inherited his father's throne at the tender age of nine in the midst of the first Baron's War. When John died Prince Louis of France controlled London and a large part of southern England. After John's death, the rebel baron's dropped their support of Louis and came over to young King Henry's side.

Because of his age, the kingdom was governed by two powerful men, known as regents; William Marshall and Hubert de Burgh. John's widow, Queen Isabella of Angouleme, left her son Henry and returned to her homeland where she married  a Frenchman named Hugh de Lusignan. Isabella and Hugh had been betrothed when they were young, but King John snatched her away. Isabella and Hugh has several children who were half siblings of King Henry. Henry was to award these Frenchmen many lucrative positions at court, much to the annoyance of the established Anglo-Norman lords. [1]

Peter de Roches, was another Frenchman who had great power in England. He began life in the then English province of Poitou in France. Under the tutelage of King Richard I, Peter trained as a soldier. Later in life he became a bishop and was appointed the Bishop of Winchester England in 1204 by the Pope.  [2] Peter was a great administrator and in 1213 was named Chief Justiciar of England. This really pissed off the Barons and they rebelled. King John was forced to sign a little document called the Magna Carta. In chapter 50 of this document the Barons demanded that John remove all 'foreign soldiers who have come to do the country harm.' Specifically Peter des Roches and his french family and friends from the region of Touraine. [3]

Peter des Roches photo by Ealdgyth
Peter, however, was a loyal servant to King John and he stuck around, even when the Baron's revolted. After John's death he was appointed tutor to the young King Henry. In about 1226 Peter des Roches left England for some years, going to the Holy Land to fight. Meanwhile, King Henry was growing up and in 1227 declared his majority. In 1229 Henry decided he would like to regain land in France lost by his inept father. He was apparently just as inept, but placed the blame on his long time counselor Hubert de Burgh. In 1231 Peter des Roches returned from his holy land adventure and reclaimed the king's favor, he also became the bitter enemy of Hubert de Burgh. The next year the king had poor Hubert imprisoned, and finally this is where Macey Brazill comes into the picture. [4]

the tourangeau
When a medieval man did well, he tended to promote his friends and family, even if it meant importing them from his hometown. Peter des Roches filled English positions with his family and friends. This did not always sit well with the 'natives'. One of the families who the Baron's wished King John to expel was the Chanceaux family. Macey Bezell was related to this family. It seems likely that he was in England because of his or his families relationship with Peter des Roches.[5] So, we can say that Macey was most likely originally from Touraine, his exact birthplace, year and the names of his parents are unknown.

land for macey
If you know your medieval history, then you know that practically all the land in England was the King's. If you had land, it came from either the King or one of his Baron's to whom he had parceled it out. But, the Baron's didn't own the land either, they held it from the King, contingent on their good behavior. When Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent, was imprisoned by King Henry, his land was confiscated. In 1233 the King, 'Grants Macey Besill the lands that were Hubert de Burgh's in Bason and Sutherton," to "maintain himself in our service so long as the King pleases." The King giveth and the King taketh away. Hubert found himself out of favor and depleted of his holdings; Macey was in favor and got the land, for awhile, anyway. [6]

1233 was a tumultuous year in England. Led by Richard Marshall, son of the great English hero and regent, William Marshall, the barons of England once again rebelled against their king. The goal was to rid England of the 'foreigners' favored by Henry, namely Peter des Roches and his cohorts. The barons were defeated and their lands dispersed to those loyal to the King. Mathias Bezell was awarded the lands of Robert Musard of Gloucestershire and Ralph Bloet of Wiltshire. [7]

Also in 1233 the King confirmed the gift of the land in Gomshelve (Gomshall in Surrey). This Mathias held of the king for 1/4 knights fee. Additionally Macey/Mathias was granted the custody of the lands that had belonged to Reginald Bassett. It also seems that Reginald's heir was an underage daughter. When a medieval man died the marriages of his unbetrothed children became the right of his landlord. The King gave Macey the right to control Reginald's daughter's fortune until she married and he had the right to choose her husband. The marriages of heiress' and widows' were frequently bought and sold, it was a lucrative market.[8] In fact, Macey sold the marriage to Engelard de Cigogne but Reginald Basset's widow Agnes, was able to pay the King 20 marks to buy back her daughter. [9]

Mathias would later make Gomshall over to Netley Abbey. Peter des Roches was then the patron of the abbey for a while, the patronage was later taken over by King Henry. Mathias objective may have been less religious that at first seems. He may have been looking to impress either des Roches or the king or possibly both.

growing influence
In 1234  a letter of protection was issued to Mathias. He was travelling on the King's service to Gascony, the remaining English province in France. The letter of protection prevented anyone from bringing legal action against him in his absence. In 1237 Mathias was noted in the Assize Rolls of Devon to have the manor of West Alvington. This manor was granted to him by the King from the 'land of the Normans.' This was land that was basically abandoned by Norman lords who were cut off from their English estates when Normandy was reconquered by the French in 1204. [10]

By 1240 Hubert de Burgh was restored to favor and was given back his lands, including the manor of Westerhal that had been given to Mathias. However Mathias was compensated by the grant of the entire manor of Sherston including the advowson, the right to appoint the cleric to the parish. This was also land of the Normans, but the King in granting it to Mathias stated that if the heirs claimed it or peace was restored, Matthias would be compensated. They never did. [11] In June of 1241 the King granted him the right to hold a weekly market on his manor of Sherston, which added to his income.

Also in 1241 Mathias was awarded the custody of the land and heirs of Roger of Notton. He was also given their marriages. He later sold the right to their marriage to another man for 120 marks.

A sign of Mathias' growing favor at court was his appointment by the King to be the Marshal of the Queen's household. The Queen was Eleanor of Provence. The King had married her in 1236. Mathias would eventually serve as steward, running her household.

Eleanor had been escorted to England by Theobald, Count of Champagne and King of Navarre, a kinsman of Henry III. Henry would meet with Theobald multiple times in Bordeaux in Gascony. In 1243 King Henry sent Matthew Bezell to escort Theobald through Gascony on his way back to Navarre. [12] Matthew had obviously accompanied the King on his travels to the continent.  In a entry in the fine rolls in 1243 the King ordered that the treasury pay "the king's beloved and faithful Mathias Bezill," to reimburse him for going into Provence on the King's ship. A few months later the treasury reimbursed him for a horse that the King bought of him while they were in Bordeaux. [13]

more land stuff
At that time in England, even as a land holder, you couldn't just hunt the animals on your land, you had to pay the King for the right. Or, he could grant you 'free warren' of your land. In December of 1247 Mathias and his heirs were granted free warren on the manor of Sherston. [14] The following year the King granted Mathias the right to hold a yearly fair to be held on the day prior, of and after, the Feast of St. Cyrus. A few years later he was allowed to hold a yearly fair around the feast of St. Matthew which is on 21 September.

Mathias seemed to have had the marriage of quite a few daughters and widow but somehow remained unmarried until about 1249. This has led some researchers to speculate that he was perhaps repugnant to these women, and that they refused to marry him.. In 1246 he was offered the marriage of Beatrice, the widow of John de Bessingham. The King excused her from her oath not to marry without his consent  if she would marry Mathias. [15] It seems the good lady wished to marry elsewhere and so she did, probably by paying a hefty sum. Unfortunately this next husband, Robert of Lowick, soon died and Beatrice was once more encouraged to marry Mathias. This time she did. [16] In November of 1249 the King ordered the Bailiff of Bristol to buy a 'good tun of wine' and deliver it to Beatrice, wife of Mathias Bezill of the King's gift. [17]

constable of the castle
In 1251 Mathias is assigned a very important post as constable of the castle at Gloucester. This castle no longer exists but in it's time was very important. It was used by the fist three Henry's as a royal residence during their reigns. It remained a property of the crown.

The king has committed his castle of Gloucester to Mathias Bezill together with tine (of ale) and weirs pertaining to the same castle to keep for as long as it pleases the king, and he is to render £10 per annum to the king for the aforesaid tine, which the king has remitted to him in the first year, and he will answer for the lampreys coming from the aforesaid weirs. The king will sustain the aforesaid weirs at his own costs. [18]
In addition to the job as constable, Mathias got some fishing weirs and what sounds like a lot of beer to with his lampreys.

Meanwhile, over in Gascony, Simon de Montfort, the English governor, and brother in law of the king, had his hands full of rebellious inhabitants. He suppressed the revolt by May the next year. In 1252 the Gason leaders traveled to England to put their case against de Montfort in front of the king. Simon resigned his post and returned to England. On his return he allied himself with a group of barons who opposed Henry III. Simon was a man ahead of his time, if you have never read about him, look him up. He became convinced that Henry was ill fit to govern. By 1258 he and the rebel barons had forced Henry to sign a the Provisions of Oxford,  which were akin to a constitution.

The rebel barons were suspicious of all 'foreigners' in places of power and removed several Frenchmen who held English castles. Mathias was allowed to keep his job as constable of the castle in Gloucestershire. However, one of the provisions resulted in previously protected friends of the king being prosecuted for past offenses. Hugh Bigod, the new chief Justiciar, sent up a special eyre (travelling circuit court) to investigate national grievances. Mathias was hauled before the court to answer to a complaint made by Clement of Sherston who claimed that Mathias had deprived him of some land. Mathias countered that Clement was not a freeman, but rather his serf or villein. The jury agreed with Clement and sentenced Mathias to prison. It is not clear if he actually went to prison or just paid a fine to avoid it.

navigating rough waters
To survive, and survive well, a  man had to pick his side carefully and if he was lucky he wouldn't piss off the other side too badly. Mathias seems to have had to ability to stay on the king's side without running afoul of the rebel barons until 1261. That year Henry III managed to regain control of government and got a papal dispensation to set aside the Provisions of  Oxford. The king confirmed Mathias as constable of Gloucester castle  and also appointed him sheriff of Gloucestershire on 8 July 1261. This move did not go down well. [19]

The Earl of Gloucester, Richard de Clare, was a rebel baron. The locals are said to have voted in one of their own men, William de Tracy, to be sheriff. This William was very likely a nephew of the Earl. Mathias did not take this sitting down, in fact he and his men forced their way into a court that was being held by de Tracey, beat him up, dragged him through the mud and threw him into the dungeon of Gloucester castle. Well, I don't know if it was really a dungeon, but it sounded good. Anyway he was locked up in the castle and Mathias carried on as sheriff. [20]

storming of the castle
In 1263 the rebels took their revenge. After arresting the Bishop of Hereford, a 'foreigner,' they marched on Gloucester castle. The rebels were led by Sir John Gifford. Mathias has only a small garrison, but they put up a stout defense. The rebels were able to break down the walls of the prison and the prisoners were able to assist the rebels with the seige. Mathias retreated to a tower but was eventually captured. He was praised for his bravery by the rebels. [21] Mathias and the Bishop were eventually released, but not before his property at Sherston was looted. [22] These acts were recorded by Robert of Gloucester and can be read about in his Metrical Chronicle, but be sure to get the translation as 13th century English is pure gibberish to the masses, which includes myself.

When Prince Edward recaptured Gloucester castle, he executed the two porters who had assisted Sir John and his rebels and punished the burgesses of the town for allowing it to fall into rebel hands. [23]

2nd baron's war
In1264 the revolt turned to full scale war. At the battle of Lewes, on 12 May 1264, rebel forces capture the King and his heir Edward. Simon became the de facto leader of England. He is best known for calling the first parliament that included the average guy and not just nobility and clerics. His time in power was brief, but left a significant impact on England. Historians believe that Mathias was part of the royal garrison at Windsor Castle and not at Lewes. In 1265 the two sides met at the Battle of Evesham; Simon de Montfort was killed and the rebels quickly lost stem and made their terms with the king.

fall out from war
The aftermath of every medieval conflict resulted in rewards and retributions. Mathias took advantage of his close and loyal relationship to the king and queen to take over lands belonging to rebel lords. In 1265 Mathias was appointed as constable of the castle of Dover and keeper of the ports of Dover and Sandwich. This was a sign of the great trust the king and Prince Edward had for him.

Mathias died in 1268. His heir was his son John who was 23 years old. King Henry III died a few years later in 1272. His son who became King Edward I, would be a powerful leader and at least internally, England would be a more peaceful place during his reign. On Christmas Day, John swore homage to King Henry and in return was given his father's lands that had been held from the king as tenant in chief.
25 Dec. Winchester. Concerning homage and relief. The king has taken the homage of John de Bezyll son and heir of Mathias de Bezill lately deceased for all the lands and tenements that the aforementioned Mathias his father held of the king in chief on the day he died, and he has rendered those lands and tenements to him. Order to John le Moyne, escheator this side of the Trent, that having accepted security from the aforementioned John for his rendering reasonable relief at the Exchequer, to cause the same John to have full seisin without delay of all the aforesaid lands and tenements of which the aforesaid Mathias was seised in his demesne as of fee on the day he died in his bailiwick and which were taken into the king’s hand by reason of his death.[24]

There is no original research in this blog article. The article by Michael Ray, found on the website The Fine Rolls of Henry III provide most of the sources used. That being said this was quite a challenging article to write as I searched out each of his sources to see them for myself. In one or two instances his sources were the original Latin writings and I had to look for the translated versions. This was especially true for the Flores Historiarum by Matthew Paris. The process has been a valuable lesson in medieval history and in locating sources from that period. My ancestry descends, not from John Mathias' heir, but from his second son and namesake Matthew.


[1] "Henry III, 1216-1272," English Monarchs ( : accessed 11 June 2016).

[2] Etienne Robo, "Pierre des Roches, Bishop of Winchester (1204-1238)", The Tablet (archive.thetable, : accessed 11 June 2016).

[3] David Carpenter, Magna Carta, (Penguin Books, 2015).

[4] The Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Hubert de Burgh," Encyclopaedia Britannica ( : accessed 11 June 2016).

[5] Michael Ray, "Mathias Bezill, The Unpopular Alien?,"

[6]  "The Bessilles Family of Gloucestershire," Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica and the British Archivist, vol. 5 (London: Mitchell, Hughes and Clark, 1923-1925) Archive ( : accessed 14 June 2016).

[7] Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry III, 1232-1233, 17/297, Henry III Fine Rolls Project ( : accessed 12 June 2016)

[8] Eleanor M. Searle, "Women and Marriage in Medieval Society," Science and Engineering (April 1981).

[9] N. Vincent, Peter des Roches; An alien in English Politics 1205-1238 (Cambridge, 1996), p.330.

[10]Land of the Norman's website

[11] Great Britain Public Record Office, Calendar of the Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Records, vol. I, Henry III 1226-1257, (London: MacCay and Co., 1908).

[12] "The Bessilles Family of Gloucestershire," Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica and the British Archivist, vol. 5 (London: Mitchell, Hughes and Clark, 1923-1925) Archive ( : accessed 14 June 2016).

[13] Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry III, 1232-1233, 17/297, Henry III Fine Rolls Project ( : accessed 12 June 2016)

[14] Great Britain Public Record Office, Calendar of the Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Records, vol. I, Henry III 1226-1257, (London: MacCay and Co., 1908).

[15] Great Britain Public Record Office, Patent Rolls of the Reign of Henry III, 1232-1247, (London : Mackie and Co., 1906) Google Books ( : accessed 14 June 2016)

[16] Michael Ray, "Mathias Bezill, The Unpopular Alien?,"

[17] Great Britain. Public Record Office, Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved In the Public Record Office, vol 3, Henry III 1245-1251, ( London: 1916) 265, Hathi Trust ( : accessed 14 June 2016).

[18] Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry III, 1232-1233, 17/297, Henry III Fine Rolls Project ( : accessed 12 June 2016)

[19] Great Britain. Public Record Office, Patent Rolls of the Reign of Henry III:1258-1266, (London: Mackie and co. ld., 1910) 162, Hathi Trust (;view=1up;seq=172 : accessed 18 June 2016).

[20] Michael Ray, "Mathias Bezill, The Unpopular Alien?,"

[21] Matthew Paris, The Flowers of History, (London: H. G. Gohn, 1853) 405, Archives ( : accessed 18 June 2016).

[22] Matthew Paris, The Flowers of History, (London: H. G. Gohn, 1853) 409, Archives ( : accessed 18 June 2016).

[23] Antonia Gransden, Historical Writings in England c. 500 to c. 1307, (London; Routledge, 1996) 384.

[24] Calendar of the Fine Rolls, Henry III, 1232-1233, 17/297, Henry III Fine Rolls Project ( : accessed 12 June 2016)

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