de la Mare

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Richard Borthwick

Feb 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/26/99
I have had a puzzle with the Mara (la Mare) family who held Ashtead in
Surrey. This fee passed to the Montforts of Beaudesert by the marriage of
the heir Maud to Piers de Montfort (d.1286/87) [CP IX:27]. I have had
correspondence with Kay Allen about this. Kay’s original post suggested
that Maud was the dau. of Matthew (, of Bradwell, Essex, by
Florence de Akeni. dau. and coheir of Roger de Akeni (d.<1241), of
Bradwell, by Joan his wife. According to CP VIII:463-464 & the chart facing
p.464 Maud does not get a mention as a dau. of Matthew and certainly not as
his heir. The heir was Matthew’s son, John lord Mare and John’s heir was
his surviving dau., Florence.

In VCH Surrey 3:248 & note 14, & 252 the succession in Ashtead seems clear.
Henry de la Mare (d.<1260) left his granddaughter (by his son Matthew),
Maud, as his heir. It would seem probable that Matthew predeceased his
father i.e. some time before 1260. The Bradwell Matthew d.1270. So it does
seem that the two families are distinct (though they may well be related
since they both had ties to the Montforts).

There was another Henry de la Mare (d.1236/39) who held Steeple Aston, Oxon
and Winterbourne Gunner, Wilts. Henry was the son and heir of Richard de la
Mare (d.<1220), of the same. Henry’s heir and probably his dau. was Gunnor
who married Geoffrey fitz William and had issue. Round in discussing the
serjeanty of the usher of the king’s hall remarks "the name was not rare
and does not imply the common origin of all those who bore it." [VCH Oxon
XI:31; J H Round *The King's Serjeants & Officers of State with their
Coronation Services* (London, 1911), pp.104, 109-110].

The upshot of this would seem to be that this Ashtead family of Mare is
quite distinct from the Bradwell or the Winterbourne Gunner families. If
there are connections (and there well may be), they are not obvious.

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