21. ST AUBYN-PIDEKWILLE

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Fay Sampson’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)

MAUGER DE ST AUBYN and ISABELLA PIDEKWILLE (21)

 

MAUGER DE ST AUBYN. An effigy of a crusader knight, Sir Mauger de St Aubyn, is now in the Pickwell Chapel of St George’s church in Georgeham.

He was born around 1255, in the reign of Henry III. He is the only known child of Stephen de St Aubyn, lord of the manor of Martinhoe in North Devon.

Mauger became lord of the manor of Georgeham.

Georgeham lies seven miles north-west of Barnstaple and a little over a mile from the long sandy coast of Morte Bay. The parish includes the village of Croyde on the smaller Croyde Bay.

He was also the Keeper of Lundy.

Lundy Island lies in the approach to the Bristol Channel, due west of Morte Bay. In the 13th century it was in the possession of the Mariscos, a family of pirates who terrorised the neighbouring coasts. Their captives were held for ransom, sold as slaves, or thrown off the cliffs. In 1242, William de Marisco was hung, drawn and quartered, and the island passed to the king. Forty years later the Mariscos were back again, for a short period.[1] It is possible that Sir Mauger de St Aubyn became ‘Keeper of Lundy’ after this, around the time of his marriage.

 

ISABELLA DE PIDEKWILLE was born about 1257. She was the daughter of Robert de Pidekeswell, lord of Pickwell manor in the parish of Georgeham. Pickwell was a larger manor than Georgeham. The chapel in the south aisle of Georgeham church, where Mauger de St Aubyn’s effigy now lies, is called the Pickwell Chapel.

Pidekwille, or Pidekeswell, are old names for Pickwell, in Georgeham parish. The manor house dates back to the 10th century and would have been Isabella’s home. It stands high above the dunes at the south end of Woolacombe Sand on Morte Bay.

Her daughter’s dowry included a moiety of the manor of Pidekwille.[2] The manor, or a part of it, must have been included in Isabella’s dowry when she married Mauger. This suggests that she had no brothers, or none that survived to inherit the manor. If she held only a moiety, that might indicate that she had at least one sister.

 

Mauger and Isabella are thought to have married before 1279, probably in the early years of Edward I’s reign. The countryside in Devon was changing. Open fields were giving way to large enclosures.

The couple lived at Isabella’s home of Pidekeswell.

Risdon tells us that “Pidekeswell or Pickwell lieth in Ham parish… It is a goodly demesne, lying upon the sea, very large and fortified without. This barton in the age of King Ed. I [1272-1307] was the dwelling of Sir Mauger St Albin, Knight, whom Sir Mauger his son succeeded. A man of extraordinary strength and stature. A main stone, yet there to be seen, by him thrown a far distance, witnesseth the one; the other his tombe in the church, having thereon his armed proportion, larger than the ordinary stature of men, cut cross-legged, with two dogs [in reality lions] at his feet; whose daughter Elizabeth [?Isabel] was wife of Jordan de Haccombe, and their daughter Cecily, was married to ‘Sir John Erchedecne.”

Mauger incorporated part of the Pidekswell symbolism on his coat of arms.

St Aubyn of Georgeham: Erm. on a cross Gu. four bezants bringing in Pidekeswell.  The background was ermine, representing the black tails of stoats on a white ground. On this was a red cross, bearing four gold discs.

The manors of Georgeham and Pickwell were mostly under the same ownership from this time. There is no trace of a Georgeham Manor House but successive owners of Pickwell Manor continued as patron to St George’s Church until the middle of the 18th Century, and gave the name of Pickwell Chapel to the side chapel of the church.

“On the north side of the chancel is a small mutilated stone carving of the Crucifixion. It was discovered in Victorian times behind a blocked doorway to the rear of the pulpit which is believed to have originally led to a loft or rood screen. In the centre of the carving is Jesus on the Cross, on his left is St Mary, and on her right is a figure holding a cup, which is the symbol of St John. In the corners are two figures representing a Knight and his Lady kneeling in prayer, possibly the donor and his wife. This carving appears to date from the 13th Century and it may have therefore been presented by Mauger de St Aubin.”[3]

Another possibility is that it represents Isabella’s parents.

 

A well-researched family website names six children. [4]

Another tree replaces Joan with Eleanor and gives their birth dates as: Mauger 1279, Guy 1281, died after 25 Jan 1333, Stephen 1283, John 1285, Eleanor 1287, died 22 Jun 1341, Isabel 1290. It adds that a deed of 1381 mentions a daughter Joan.  Three of the earlier births are said to have taken place at Henstridge. This manor, in the parish of Berrynarbor, is also linked with the St Aubyn family.[5]

 

In the early years of his marriage, in 1283, Mauger was summoned to perform knight’s service in person against the Welsh. It was the time when Edward was intent on the subjugation of North Wales. This led in 1301 to the investiture of the king’s eldest son as the Prince of Wales.

Edward conducted a less successful campaign against the Scots.

 

Mauger and Isabella held jointly the manors of Ho and Parracombe, in north-west Devon. Mauger also had the manors of Pidekwille, doubtless brought to him by Isabella at her marriage, and Hamme, which was the old name for Georgeham.

Mauger, like his father, would have been expected to keep the peace for the king on his own lands, to raise troops and to administer justice through the manorial courts.

By the Statute of Winchester in1285, every man under 60 had to arm himself at his own expense to defend the kingdom and help maintain order. Constables in every hundred (a unit of local government comprising a number of parishes) were obliged to make regular inspections and compile muster rolls.

Sir William Pole lists ‘Mauger St Awbyn, of Pidekswell, Kt, died 22 Ed.1’ among those ‘of best worth wthin this countye, having either dwellings of lands’ in the time of King Edward I (1272-1307).[6]

Mauger de St Aubyn was patron of St George’s church at the installation of the rectors in 1261 and 1271. His son Mauger was patron in 1308. Mauger junior was followed by his brother-in-law Robert Cruwys in 1344.[7]

 

Mauger died in Devon in 1294. He was probably about 40 years old. He may have succumbed to illness or to wounds sustained in the king’s service. His father Stephen outlived him.

He was buried in Georgeham church, as was Isabella later.

 

 Sent Albin: Their earliest recorded residence was Pickwell, in the parish of George Ham, where Sir Mauger de St. Albino was seated in the latter days of Henry III [1216-1272]. “This knight and his lady are interred in the church, under a fair monument of free stone, with their representations neatly cut; and he lying in his armour makes show of large stature, something more than ordinary. The inhabitants report from their ancestors that he was of giant-like stature, and therefore named Major St. Aubyn, mistaking Major for Mauger or Maugis, a common name in those days. He was of so great and extraordinary strength that he was able to cast a huge main stone a very large length. The stone is yet there to be seen, and the throw marked out by two erected monuments yet extant, and the stone is so weighty that two strong men of this age are but able to lift it.”—Gilbert’s Cornwall. [8]:

In the course of time, Mauger’s tomb was moved from its original position to the Pickwell Chapel, on the south side of the chancel.

The Pickwell Chapel

The effigy of Sir Mauger St.Aubyn, the “keeper of Lundy”, who died in 1294 lies under an arch (of a later date) after many wanderings. He once lay on an altar tomb accompanied by his lady in front of the Chancel arch. He was re located under the arch dividing the Chancel from the Chapel and on the journey appears to have lost his wife. Finally, he came to rest, alone, in his present place.[9]

Westcote says that among the coats of arms in Georgeham church were the arms of St Aubyn. “Ermine on a plain cross gules five bezants.”  This has since disappeared.

 

Mauger left Isabella head of the family. Her eldest son Mauger, heir to Mauger senior’s estates, was only 12.

Mauger’s Inquisition Post Mortem was held in Exeter on 29 August 1294.

 

SANCTO ALBINO, Mauger de

Abstract  No.2

New ref. Ch. I.P.M.

Ser. II  File 67.  No,17.

Writ annexed dated at Portsmouth 13 August 22 Edw.I. [1294]

Inquisition made before Malcolm de Harlegh, escheator this side of Trent, at Exeter, on Sunday the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist [Sunday 29 Aug. 1294]. 22 Edw.I. by the oath of Henry de Ralegh, Nicholas de Fillegh, Baldwin de Bellestone, Herbert de Pyn, knights, John de Gellington, Richard de Hele, Thos. de Derwyk, Richard de Molyns, Walter de Yaltheford, John le Long, Will. Dyrwyne, Robt. de Conwyk, Henry Dolyn, Rich. de la Leye, Rich. de Uppecotte, John son of Ralph de Valle Torte [Vautort]. Hen. de Frauntheyny, Hen. de la Wildeyerd, John de la Yurd, Hen. de la Walen, Will. Bazel, Adam de Merwode and John Danaylis

WHO SAY that Mauger de St Aubyn, and Isabel his wife (yet living), held the manor of Ho of Peter de Prydiaus, son of Roger de Prydyaus, by one knight’s fee, and Peter [held] of the barony of Hurberton which is in the King’s hand, worth by the year, £5.

They likewise held jointly 20 librates of land in Sla[p]ton by ½ a knight’s fee, of Will. son of Martin; and the manor of Pearrecumb of the said Will. Martin by one knight’s fee, worth yearly £8: and one water-mill of the heir of Philip de Reneton, rent, 1; worth yearly £2.

Mauger held in his demesne as of fee the manor of Pydekwille of Sir Geoffrey de Caunuyle, by one knight’s fee, worth yearly £10.

And of Thos. de Merton the manor of Hamme by one knight’s fee; worth yearly [£5].

Mauger, son and heir of the said Mauger, aged 12.

Hamme was the early name for Georgeham.

 

As was common when the heir was under age, the St Aubyn estates were taken over a trustee during his minority. In Mauger’s case it was Malcolm de Harle, the King’s Escheator, who had conducted his father’s IPM.

.

Mauger junior died without heirs before 1316, leaving his two sisters to inherit.

Isabella later married Sir Gilbert Beare.  This may be the Gilbert Beare who is mentioned in the following documents:

1297 Gilbert de Bere. writ from Edward I to hold enquiry into misappropriation of tax collection in North Curry, Somerset.

1299 Sir Gilbert de Bere of Wootton Fitzpane, Dorset & other knights – warranty

 

Isabella’s second husband died in 1308. His Inquisition  Post Mortem was held at Parracombe. Isabella is named as holding Parracoombe manor.[10]

We do not know when Isabella died. Her tomb in Georgeham church, mentioned in Gilbert’s Cornwall, has disappeared.

 

Mauger and Isabella’s daughter Isabella is an ancestor twice over. She first married Sir Jordan Haccombe of Haccombe, then  Sir Robert Cruwys of Cruwys Morchard.

 

[1] www.john.lerwill.btinternet.co.uk/personal/lundy.htm
[2] M. C. S. Cruwys, Records at Cruwys Morchard, Trans. Dev. Assn., Vol. 84, 1952, 1-19.
[3] Denise Smith and Brian Harris, St George’s Church, Georgeham. 2007.
[4] www.linleyfh.com
[5] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com~hwbradley/aqwg1528.htm
[6] Sir William Pole (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description  of the County of Devon,(1791)
[7] http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk
[8] The Duchess of Cleveland, The Battle Abbey Roll , with some account of the Norman lineages, John Murray 1899. www.archive.org.
[9] Smith and Harris.
[10] www.linleyfh.com

 

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