Parents of Elisabeth de Courtenay

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Stewart, Peter

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Jan 27, 2003, 11:11:35 PM1/27/03
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The following account of the first Courtenay family's last generations was
given, largely from earlier secondary sources, in _Histoire généalogique et
chronologique de la Maison royale de France..._ by Père Anselme (Pierre de
Guibours) & others, third edition, 9 vols (Paris, 1726-33), vol I pp 474 and
527-8:

1 Miles, seigneur de Courtenay, died after 1127 [NB actually in or after
1138 when he last occurs], married ca 1095 Ermengarde de Nevers

2 (their third son) Renaud, seigneur de Courtenay, allegedly married an
unnamed sister of Guy du Donjon [who is stated wrongly to have been living
in 1148], also described as daughter of Frederic, seigneur du Donjon

3a Elisabeth, died 14 September in or after 1205, married Pierre de France
(ancestors of the second French Courtenay line)
3b Unnamed daughter, died sp, married Avalon, seigneur de Saillenay

CP vol IV p 317 (table) states that Renaud (#2) lost his lands in France &
held Sutton, Berkshire in 1161. He is given a second marriage, to Maud, dame
du Sap, said to be childless. This version omits #3b above and adds instead:

3c Renaud de Courtenay, died 27 September 1194, married Hawise de Curcy,
lady of Okehampton (ancestors of the English Courtenays)

With minor variations this has become the standard genealogy in English
works since. In _Colonial Families of Long Island, New York and
Connecticut_, vol 5 (Chevy Chase,
Maryland, 1958) Herbert Furman Seversmith argued against the undocumented
link shown in CP - but not in Père Anselme - between the French & English
families, for reasons that were summarised by William Addams Reitwiesner in
a posting of 23 May 2002, as follows:

"Seversmith's argument that the English Reginald de Courtenay was not the
same person as the French Reginald de Courtenay appears on p. 2423, and
consists of four parts. First is the chronology, as the English Reginald
was born about 1125, while the French Reginald's parents were married around
1095. Second is their personal characters, the French Reginald being a
glorified bandit while the English Reginald escaped the notice of any
chroniclers, and is known only through charters. Third is their social
status, the French Reginald being a nephew of the Count of Odessa and having
a daughter who married a son of the King of France (who took her name of
Courtenay), while the English Reginald was only the lord of a not very large
manor, not a baron, and not even a knight. The fourth is that there is no
actual evidence to support the suggestion that they were the same person --
the connection was made by Cleaveland in his 1735 Courtenay genealogy and
has been repeated uncritically ever since."

I haven't seen Seversmith's work. Some of the following may overlap with his
argument but the maternity of Elisabeth is probably not covered, unless
incidentally in the matter of when Renaud #2 died.

Patrick van Kerrebrouck gave a marriage different from either of those shown
above for Renaud [_Les Capétiens 987-1328_ (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 2000) p 453].
This was to Moenée d'Arthel, given as mother of Elisabeth (#3a), and said to
have been remarried to Frederic (Ferri) V du Donjon, seigneur d'Yerres,
which suggests she was probably Renaud de Courtenay's widow & would clearly
preclude a subsequent marriage for him as well unless they were divorced. No
doubt is expressed by Kerrebrouck about this information. His source is
given as G Estournet's 'Les chevaliers du Donjon' (actually the third part
of this study), in _Annales de la Société historique et archéologique du
Gâtinais_ 38 (1926), pp 29-64 and 75-135.

I have now obtained a copy of this work, and find it gives an alternative
though not quite conclusive interpretation of the evidence. What follows is
basically a précis, with references expanded where I have access to the
works cited.

Moenée (Maeneia, but once given as Maencia and the latter name is recorded
for other women whereas the former appears to be highly unusual if not
unique in the 12th century) was sister of Guillaume the Hermit, archdeacon
of Soissons & perhaps identical with the dean of that name who occurs
several times between 1158 and 1182. She was probably the daughter of Hugues
III d'Arthel, vicomte de Clamecy (living 1137) or of Guy de Clamecy (living
1139). Estournet said she married Frederic V du Donjon as his second wife ca
1150, having by him three sons, Guy, Guillaume and Renaud. The second of
these was elected archbishop of Bourges in November 1200, died on 9 January
1210 (beatified 1212 & canonised 1218). He was described as
"Guillelmus...natus ex illustri genere nobilissimam et piisimam matrem
habuit nomine Maeneiam, cujus frater Guillelmus, archidiaconus
Suessionensis, ob severiorem vitam dictus est Eremita" (trans:
Guillaume...from a distinguished family, having a most noble & pious mother
named Maeneia, whose brother Guillaume, archdeacon of Soissons, was called
the Hermit due to his very austere way of life) [_Gallia christiana..._ vol
II (Paris, 1720) column 61]. It is rather unlikely that an uncle of
Elisabeth de Courtenay, who was herself married and producing children soon
after 1150, could have lived until 1210, becoming an archbishop at what must
have been an advanced age: it is altogether more credible that this man
belonged to the same generation, probably as Elisabeth's younger
half-brother (Estournet does not explicitly make this point).

A close link of some kind certainly existed in the 12th century between the
families of Donjon and Courtenay. Elisabeth's son Pierre, who became the
first Latin emperor of Constantinople in his family, together with his
daughter Mathilde, apparently called Guillaume du Donjon, archibishop of
Bourges "uncle". Estournet cited _Monumenta Germaniae historica_ vol XXVI
(Hanover, 1882) for this, without a page reference. On checking the index, I
can't find any appearance of these three people together, and none of the
individual occurrences of each one relates to this point. I suspect the
mention Estournet intended to cite could have been in the context of
Guillaume's canonisation, which was effected soon after Pierre's coronation
and by the same pope, Honorius III. I will keep looking for this.

Another of Moenée's sons, Guy du Donjon, referred to Elisabeth de
Courtenay's younger son Robert, seigneur of Champignelles & butler of
France, as "nepos meus et amicus" (trans: my nephew and friend) [_Layettes
du trésor des chartes_ edited by Alexandre Teulet, vol I (Paris, 1863
reprinted Liechtenstein, 1977) p 453], which was perhaps the ultimate source
for the relationship as outlined in Père Anselme. Elisabeth also had a son
named Guillaume, presumably after the archbishop of Bourges who was
definitely her close relative & probably her uterine half-brother - Aubry de
Trois-Fontaines says of them, unhelpfully, "domina de Monte-Argisi fuit
soror vel neptis illius" (trans: the dame de Montargis [Elisabeth] was his
sister or else his niece) [_Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la
France_, edited by Martin Bouquet & others, revised by Léopold Delisle, 24
vols (Paris, 1869-1904), vol XVIII p 760C]. In other words, the
relationships if not also the chronology above might be explained whether
Elisabeth de Courtenay or her mother should have been sister to Guillaume
and Guy.

Renaud de Courtenay (#2) was present with his parents at the foundation of
Écharlis abbey ca 1120, and judging from his mother's antecedents he was
probably around ten years old or more at the time, making it unlikely that
his wife (or his first, as per CP) was born to parents whose marriage took
place ca 1150 according to Estournet - without citing specific evidence, but
presumably this is just the disappearance of Renaud (#2) from French records
after 1149. He last occurs for certain in two letters of that year from
Thibaud le Grand, count of Blois to Suger [_Recueil des historiens..._ vol
XV p 511]. According to the editors [loc cit, note b], Renaud was then in
Palestine, where he had gone with King Louis VII in 1147, after the fall of
his Courtenay kinsman's county of Edessa (Estournet didn't refer to this
journey, or to any of the following paragraph).

Despite the legend of a dispute between king and vassal, resulting in
Renaud's dispossession and exile to England, there is no documentary
evidence that he ever returned from crusade, and since his elder daughter
was soon afterwards married as his heiress to the king's brother it may be
safer to assume that the seigneur de Courtenay didn't survive the
expedition. If he did go back to become the lord of Sutton (father of Renaud
#3c above), as in the CP version of events, then this Renaud must have been
a very old man when he died towards the end of 1190. On the whole this
identification appears fairly weak - if the mysterious father of the English
Renaud (#3c) belonged to the same family he was more probably illegitimate
than otherwise, maybe a son or nephew of his French namesake (#2). This
raises further questions - did the Renaud de Courtenay holding Sutton in
1161 have another wife before Maud du Sap, and who was/were the mother/s of
his successor Robert and of Renaud #3c? (Douglas Richardson has expressed
doubt as to the origin of the former, suggesting he came from France,
although so far he has declined to tell us why).

Frederic V du Donjon was evidently married to another wife before Moenée,
having four sons older than hers, Baudouin, Geoffroy, Pierre and Rainard.
Adding to the unlikelihood that Renaud #2's wife could have been a full- or
paternal half-sister of these sons is the marriage of Elisabeth #3's
granddaughter Clémence (daughter of Robert de Champignelles mentioned above)
to Pierre du Donjon's son and heir Jean II (Estournet pp 92 and 96-100
discussed Jean's filiation, summarised by Kerrebrouck, op cit pp 455-6 note
21 - older sources were frequently mistaken about him). This pair would have
been first cousins twice removed by the genealogies from Père Anselme & CP
given above.

In view of these considerations, it appears that Moenée (or Maencia)
d'Arthel was very probably Elisabeth de Courtenay's mother; but proof is
lacking.

Peter Stewart

Andrew Lancaster

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Nov 5, 2019, 3:54:06 AM11/5/19
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On Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 5:11:35 AM UTC+1, Stewart, Peter wrote:
> This
> raises further questions - did the Renaud de Courtenay holding Sutton in
> 1161 have another wife before Maud du Sap, and who was/were the mother/s of
> his successor Robert and of Renaud #3c? (Douglas Richardson has expressed
> doubt as to the origin of the former, suggesting he came from France,
> although so far he has declined to tell us why).

Looking at an old post here but I am wondering whether anyone has developed new arguments or counter arguments. From the evidence presented by Peter Stewart we should consider the parentage of Reginald de Courtenay of Sutton in Berkshire to be uncertain. Commenting on the small snip I quote above:

1. If there was an English Renaud he would indeed have still had to have another wife before Maud I think: His son Renaud apparently married Maud's sister Hawise, and marrying your mother's sister is a level of consanguinity that has rarely been accepted.

(It is interesting by the way that Maud had to protest in a legal case that she was English and not French, but I think no one is disputing that the "English" Courtenays might have arrived quite recently from France. It is a question of the details. Still, it means Renaud's first wife might have been French.)

2. I spent some time on the old posts and I think Richardson's point was made clear in posts by Don Stone. It relates to a record saying Robert de Courtenay (from the "English" Courtenays) was a kinsman of the French queen.

(I suppose that if we accept that Reginald of Sutton's parentage was unknown but still possibly French, for example if he was illegitimate, then there could be definition be such a connection which is unknown.)


Peter Stewart

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Nov 6, 2019, 12:16:55 AM11/6/19
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On 05-Nov-19 7:54 PM, Andrew Lancaster wrote:
> On Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 5:11:35 AM UTC+1, Stewart, Peter wrote:
>> This
>> raises further questions - did the Renaud de Courtenay holding Sutton in
>> 1161 have another wife before Maud du Sap, and who was/were the mother/s of
>> his successor Robert and of Renaud #3c? (Douglas Richardson has expressed
>> doubt as to the origin of the former, suggesting he came from France,
>> although so far he has declined to tell us why).
>
> Looking at an old post here but I am wondering whether anyone has developed new arguments or counter arguments. From the evidence presented by Peter Stewart we should consider the parentage of Reginald de Courtenay of Sutton in Berkshire to be uncertain. Commenting on the small snip I quote above:
>
> 1. If there was an English Renaud he would indeed have still had to have another wife before Maud I think: His son Renaud apparently married Maud's sister Hawise, and marrying your mother's sister is a level of consanguinity that has rarely been accepted.
>
> (It is interesting by the way that Maud had to protest in a legal case that she was English and not French, but I think no one is disputing that the "English" Courtenays might have arrived quite recently from France. It is a question of the details. Still, it means Renaud's first wife might have been French.)
>
> 2. I spent some time on the old posts and I think Richardson's point was made clear in posts by Don Stone. It relates to a record saying Robert de Courtenay (from the "English" Courtenays) was a kinsman of the French queen.

The reference given by Don Stone was to a 'Memorandum regarding the
Descendants of Waldeve lord of Allirdale' in *Calendar of Documents
Relating to Scotland*, vol. 2 no. 64, where Robert de Courtenay is
described (on p. 17) as 'cognatus' to Eleanor of Aquitaine.

If you find this worth pursuing and can suggest a plausible connection,
that may be an advance on the discussions to date.

Peter Stewart

Andrew Lancaster

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Nov 6, 2019, 3:10:58 AM11/6/19
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No, I was at this stage mainly trying to understand the older discussion. To be honest this comes out of a Wikitree discussion, and I had not been aware of these doubts. In practical terms I have been trying to tidy up the descent of Maud's family barony in England, but they seem to connect to this family twice.

The practical question for Wikitree (and many genealogists keeping score on this) is to address whether the evidence in your old post means the Renaud of Maud's generation should be split into two people, making the parentage of the "English" Renaud unknown. It seems that would be your advice for the safest depiction?

The way people refer to an "English" Renaud had me a bit confused at first, because the Renaud from Sutton also seems to have French connections. But once I realized that my only remaining concern is that all options seem so uncertain.

That Maud's sister (I did not notice anyone questioning their relationship) Hawise appears to have married the son of the "English" Renaud, also named Renaud, is not made any more difficult by the proposal as far as I can see so far, but it does add to the case for the first Renaud having two wives.

Concerning children, I suppose the "French" Renaud can only be safely attributed with two daughters, Elizabeth who married Pierre the king's son, and another daughter who married the lord of Seignelay. These are the only two mentioned by Pere Anselm, as you pointed out.


Peter Stewart

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Nov 6, 2019, 4:07:30 AM11/6/19
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I agree that Renaud who was the earliest traceable ancestor of the
English Courtenays must have married twice, since his namesake son was
married to a half-sister of his own second wife.

In my view the 'Memorandum' (that Joseph Bain dated to ca 1275)
describing Robert de Courtenay of Sutton (died ca 1209) as "cognatus" to
Eleanor of Aquitaine is probably unreliable, recording just a
speculative relationship that the writer couldn't otherwise account for.
He may have confused the English Robert with his more famous namesake,
royal butler of France, who was a nephew of Eleanor's first husband
Louis VII.

The writer may also have known that Henry III called a later Robert de
Courtenay (died 1242) his "consanguineus". It is hard to see where this
blood relationship came from - evidently not through Henry I, since the
latter's bastard son Robert fitz Edith was the second husband of Robert
de Courtenay's maternal grandmother. It is also unlikely to have been
through a legitimate or illegitimate descent from the comital families
of Anjou and Edessa, as the marriage of Joscelin I of Courtenay to a
sister of Fulco IV of Anjou produced only a daughter whose husband was
not an ancestor the English royal family at that time.

I can't see a feasible way to link Robert de Courtenay of Sutton to
Eleanor of Aquitaine, but would be interested to hear from anyone who
wants to credit the 'Memorandum' (that Joseph Bain suggested may have
been produced by the monks of Holm Cultram in Cumberland).

Peter Stewart

Andrew Lancaster

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Nov 6, 2019, 4:58:46 AM11/6/19
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Thanks again

I should explain that when I mentioned that English/Sutton Reginald showed signs of having French connections I was not only thinking of this remark about Robert and the French queen.

The Fundationis et Fundatorum Historia of Ford Abbey, which is clearly not to be fully trusted, does in any case mention one of the Courtenay husbands being born in Normandy.

Secondly we have the fact that Maud "du Sap", despite her Anglo-Norman parentage, had to argue in court that she (or at least her land claim) was English, not French.

I suppose none of this is very strong or clear, but there is just a general feeling I get that Reginald did not appear out of thin air and seems to have had French connections.

By the way I do not know if it has been mentioned on this forum before but I notice that Douglas Richardson mentions (RA Vol.2, p.315) that:
a. The English Courtenays used the French Courtenay heraldry.
b. Darlington in his edition of the Worcester cathedral cartulary apparently suggested that English Reginald might be the "Renaud" or "Renaud Pauper" who witnessed charters dated 1152 and 1155 as "cognatus" of Robert of Dreux, younger son of Louis VI.

Peter Stewart

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Nov 6, 2019, 6:28:35 AM11/6/19
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These charters were dated 1152 and 1155 - both were edited by Andrew
Lewis in 'Fourteen charters of Robert I of Dreux', *Traditio* 41 (1985),
no 1 p. 161 ("Rainaldus conatus meus"), and no. 2 p. 162 ("Reginaldus
Pauper supradicti Roberti Comitis Cognatus"). Lewis commented on p. 161,
note 6: "I have been unable to identify him with any of Robert's known
kinsmen. He may possibly have been the same as Reginald of Courtenay,
supposed son of Florus, illegitimate son of Philip I", indirectly citing
the late-medieval screed from Ford abbey mentioned in your post ("Fuit
autem iste dictus Reginaldus de Courtney filius
domini Flori, filii regis Franciae Lodovici, cognomento
Grossi"), that after this mistake of calling Florus the son of his
paternal half-brother Louis VI goes on to mix up Renaud's second wife
with his son's wife Hawise, claiming that she was related to William the
Conqueror. But there is no better evidence than this anyway for the
existence of a bastard son of Florus, and no apparent reason why such a
son would have taken the surname and his descendants the arms of the
French Courtenay family. Delisle suggested that Renaud's mother was
purportedly a Courtenay and the wife of a fictitious son of Louis VI,
but I don't recall where he came across this highly implausible scenario.

Peter Stewart

Andrew Lancaster

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Nov 6, 2019, 6:42:04 AM11/6/19
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Yes some of those monks would have loved the internet.

celticp...@gmail.com

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Nov 6, 2019, 1:20:25 PM11/6/19
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Dear Newsgroup ~

Below is my current file account of Reynold de Courtenay (died c.1191). This man was obviously from a good background, as he served as witness for numerous charters of King Henry II issued in the period, 1164–1188.

Complete Peerage 4 (1916): 317 (sub Devon) (ped.) alleges without evidence that Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, living 1149, is the same person as the later individual Reynold de Courtenay, died 1190–1, of Sutton, Berkshire and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire.

Charles Cawley of Medlands adopts the view that the two men were the same person. Mr. Cawley refers us to Burke’s Peerage which states that Louis VII, King of France quarrelled with Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, while on the Second Crusade, confiscated his French possessions, and bestowed them on his younger brother Pierre whom he married to Renaud’s daughter Elisabeth. This would presumably explain why the French Renaud subsequently surfaced in the train of the English king. Cawley admits, however, "it has not been possible to trace primary sources which justify all these statements." No primary sources = red flag.

When asked by me to provide additional evidence that the two men were the same person, Mr. Cawley has been unable to do so. It is certainly common in the medieval period for two men to have the same name. This is no surprise. It is insufficient evidence, however, to presume that two men with the same name are the same person.

I accept that there was a connection between the French and English Courtenay families. Complete Peerage 4 (1916): 465, footnote b indicates that the arms of the Courtenays, both English and French, were, Or, three roundlets Gules (with various brisures). These were borne (seals, 1205, 1212) by Pierre, Sire de Courtenay, Count of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, s. and h. of Pierre de France, citing Du Bouchet, Maison de Courtenay (1661): 89–99, preuves, 13–15. I haven't reviewed this evidence but I have no reason to doubt it.

At the present time, however, I remain unconvinced that Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, living 1149, is the same person as Reynold de Courtenay, of England, died c.1191.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Historian and Genealogist

+ + + + + + + + +

REYNOLD DE COURTENAY (or CURTENAY, CORTENAY), of Sutton, Berkshire, and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Okehampton and Musbury, Devon, Hemington, Somerset, etc., of uncertain parentage. He married (1st) an unidentified wife, _____, kinswoman of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of King Henry II of England). They had three sons, William, Robert, and Reynold, and one daughter, Egeline. He was a witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England). He held lands in Sutton, Berkshire in 1160–1, and received a grant of the manor from King Henry II sometime in the period, 1175–84. He witnessed numerous charters of King Henry II issued in the period, 1164–88. He was frequently in the king’s train on his itineraries in England and France. In 1171 he accompanied the king in his campaign in Ireland. He married (2nd) after 1173 MAUD FITZ ROBERT, daughter of Robert Fitz Roy (illegitimate son of King Henry I of England), by Maud, daughter of Robert d’Avranches [see ENGLAND 2.i for her ancestry]. In 1174 he witnessed an agreement between King Henry II and William the Lion, King of Scots. He was first recorded as holding lands in Devon in 1175–6. Sometime prior to his death, he granted two islands in the Thames between Witteneiam [?Wittenham] and Wadeiam [?Waddeson] to Abingdon Abbey. REYNOLD DE COURTENAY was living Michaelmas 1190, and died before Michaelmas 1191. In 1200 William de Préaux made fine with the king to have the wife of Reynold de Curtenay with his land; Maud allegedly went abroad to evade this marriage. In 1204–5 the king presented to the chapel of Musbury, Devon, which should have been in his widow, Maud’s gift. In 1213 Maud obtained letters of safe conduct permitting her to return to England and petition for the king’s favor. In 1215 the king directed the Constable of Wallingford to deliver to her seisin of the vill of Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, which formed part of her dower. She presented to the church of Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire about 1215. In 1220 she sued the Prior of Burcester regarding her dower lands in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire. The same year In 1220 she sued Robert de Courtenay and Reynold de Courtenay (her nephews and step-grandsons) for the manors of Oakhampton, Chawleigh, Chulmleigh, Kenn, and Musbury, and Sampford, Devon and Hemington, Somerset, which she claimed as her right; Robert answered that no claims under French titles were valid; Maud rebutted that the properties were in England and she was English. Maud died shortly before 3 August 1224. In 1227 a mandate was sent to the sheriff of Gloucestershire ordering him to make enquiry of Peter Fitz Herbert concerning scutage for the manor of Okehampton, Devon which belonged to Maud de Courtenay.

References:

Pole, Colls. towards a Desc. of Devon (1791): 2–5 (charter of Maud de Courtenay, lady of Oakhampton; another charter of Reynold de Courtenay granted with consent of Maud his wife). Kennett, Parochial Antiqs. of Ambrosden, Burcester 1 (1818): 277. Coll. Top. et Gen. 1 (1834): 184, 189 (“List of charters in the cartulary of St. Nicholas Priory, Exeter: Coll. Top. et Gen. 1 (1834): 189 (undated charter of Reynold de Courtenay and his wife, Maud; charter witnessed by William and Robert de Courtenay). Hardy, Rotuli Normanniae in Turri Londinensi Asservati (1835): 40. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum 5 (1846): 377–382 (Ford Abbey, Fundationis et Fundatorum Historia: “Fuit autem iste dictus Reginaldus de Courtney filius domini Flori, filii regis Franciae Ludovici, cognomento Grossi; ac etiam ista Hawisia vicecomitissa uxor ejus secunda, de sanguine regio Anglicano, ex parte dominae Albredae neptis etiam regis Willielmi Bastardi matris aviae suae dominae Adeliciae vicecomitissae primitus memoratae generosae exorta.”). Collectanea Archæologica 1 (1862): 263–284. Bain, Cal. of Docs. rel. to Scotland 2 (1884): 15 (Robert de Courtenay [son of Reynold] styled “kinsman” [cognatus] of Queem Eleanor of Aquitaine). Maitland, Bracton’s Note Book 2 (1887): 133–134, 137–138; 3 (1887): 355–356, 450–452. Notes & Queries 6th Ser. 3 (1881): 1–3; 7th Ser. 4 (1887): 430; 8th Ser. 7 (1895): 441–443. Note-book of Tristram Risdon (1897): 53–56. Round, Cal. Docs. Preserved in France 1 (1899): 316–317. Phillimore, Rotuli Hugonis de Welles Episcopi Lincolniensis 1209–1235 2 (Canterbury & York Soc. 3) (1907): 49. C.P. 4 (1916): 465, footnote b (Courtenay in Gâtinais. The arms of the Courtenays, both English and French, were, Or, three roundlets Gules (with various brisures). These were borne (seals, 1205, 1212) by Pierre, Sire de Courtenay, Count of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, s. and h. of Pierre de France, citing Du Bouchet, Maison de Courtenay (1661): 89–99, preuves, 13–15). C.P. 4 (1916): 317 (sub Devon) (ped.) (author alleges without evidence that Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, living 1149, is the same person as Reynold de Courtenay, died 1190–1, of Sutton, Berkshire). Stenton, Great Roll of the Pipe Michaelmas 1190 (Pubs. Pipe Roll Soc. n.s. 1) (1925): 31. Stenton, Great Rolls of the Pipe Michaelmas 1191 & Michaelmas 1192 (Pubs. Pipe Roll Soc. n.s. 2) (1926): 162, 276. Curia Regis Rolls, 8 (1938): 32, 213; 9 (1952): 36–37, 71–72, 293–294; 10 (1949): 22, 53. Curia Regis Rolls 9 (1952): 36–37. Seversmith, Colonial Fams. of Long Island, New York & Connecticut 5 (1958): 2419–2424. Darlington, Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory (Pipe Roll Soc. n.s. 38) (1968): 132–133. Keefe, Feudal Assessments & the Political Community under Henry II & his Sons (1983): 104, 109. Schwennicke, Europäische Stanmtafeln 3(2) (1983): 354 (illegitimate children of King Henry I of England); 3(4) (1989): 629. Traditio 41 (1985): 145–179 (author suggests that Reynold de Courtenay above is possibly the “Renaud” or “Renaud Pauper” who witnessed charters dated 1152 and 1155 as “cognatus” [kinsman] for Robert, Count of Dreux, younger son of King Louis VI of France). Kemp, Reading Abbey Cartularies 1 (Camden 4th Ser. 31) (1986): 232; 2 (Camden 4th Ser. 33) (1987): 232–233. Schwennicke, Europäische Stanmtafeln 3(2) (1983): 354 (illegitimate children of King Henry I of England); 3(4) (1989): 629. Slade & Lambrick, Two Cartularies of Abingdon Abbey 1 (Oxford Hist. Soc. n.s. 32) (1990): 170–171 (charter of Reynold de Courtenay dated pre-1194). Hanna, Christchurch Priory Cartulary (Hampshire Rec. Ser. 18) (2007): 281 (charter of Maud de Courtenay dated before 1224).
Hanna Christchurch Priory Cartulary (2007): 281. Cornwall Rec. Office: Arundell of Lanherne and Trerice, AR/1/557 (no date [12th century?]; in his court at Cuwyk [Cowick]. Confirmation by Reginald de Courtenay, for the souls of himself and Maud his wife, and of his children and parents, of the gift by Osbert [sic, for Osbern] de Hyduna and Geoffrey his brother, and later by Richard de Hydona and John his son, to the church and canons of Tanton, of the land of Middelduna, as freely as attested by charters of Robert son of King Henry and of John de Hydona; also of a ferling of Madecombe which John de Hydona gave, and of the land of Sinderhull which Agnes daughter of the said Osbert gave; Witnesses: Robert de Courtenay and William his brother, William Dapifer, Henry the chaplain, William de Punchard[un], Guy de Bryan, Anthony de la Bruer', Henry his brother, Richard Ottele [?], 'Hatelinus' de Hydona, William de Hemiok, Henry Hostiar', Simon Delpyt, Roger his brother, Walter Pipinus, Richard son of Brian, Brian his brother, William Talebot, Richard his son, Richard de Hydona, Arnold de Burdeuyle, Robert Anechorus Cophinus (available at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.ukhttp://www.a2a.org.uk/search/index.asp). Devon Rec. Office: Petre, 123M/TB281 (grant dated late 12th c. in fee farm with warranty Matilda de Curtenai lady of Oke [Okehampton] to Ailmar de Siete. Mill of Misbire [Musbury], which was at farm for 18s. annually, to hold at fee farm by hereditary right to Ailmar from Matilda. Rent 20s. Consideration Ailmar’s homage and service --- a certain gold ring and 100s. which Ailmar gave to Matilda in her court of Cuwic [Cowick, St. Thomas’s Exeter] in aid of her --- her relief and fine made to the king. Matilda should warrant the mill for 20s. with all mulcture, land, meadow, pasture, common.) (available at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk). National Archives, DL 34/1/34 (Writ of H[ubert] de Burgh, justiciar, to Hugh de Neville requesting him to restrain the bailiffs of Brill forest from exacting unjust services from Maud de Courtenay and from her manor of Waddesdon, Bucks. Date: 1215–1224) (available at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.ukhttp:// www.catalogue.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search.asp). Devon Rec. Office: Petre, 123M/TB281 (grant dated late 12th c. in fee farm with warranty Matilda de Curtenai lady of Oke [Okehampton] to Ailmar de Siete. Mill of Misbire [Musbury], which was at farm for 18s. annually, to hold at fee farm by hereditary right to Ailmar from Matilda. Rent 20s. Consideration Ailmar’s homage and service --- a certain gold ring and 100s. which Ailmar gave to Matilda in her court of Cuwic [Cowick, St. Thomas’s Exeter] in aid of her --- her relief and fine made to the king. Matilda should warrant the mill for 20s. with all mulcture, land, meadow, pasture, common.) (available at http://www.a2a.org.uk/search/index.asp).

Andrew Lancaster

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Nov 6, 2019, 1:40:26 PM11/6/19
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Thank you Douglas. Wikitree now has two Renauds.

While I agree with everything you write I suppose neither you nor Peter will disagree that "English Renaud" remains an interesting fella. He must have had connections somewhere because gaining lands and wives like he did in England was not something that "just happened". Problem is, as far as I can see, that we do not know what the connections are. Fascinating!

Peter Stewart

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Nov 6, 2019, 5:48:54 PM11/6/19
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For what it's worth I agree with this - however, the use of the same
arms by the English and French Courtenay families doesn't in itself add
compelling evidence for relationship between them. The coincidence of
having the same surname could have been sufficient cause for this, just
as by a different route with other contemporary families such as the
Croys (in another recent thread) who from the 13th century had arms
similar to the Hungarian royal family and later invented a blood
connection to the grander lineage.

Arguments about one or two Renaud de Courtenays by Herbert Furman
Seversmith were summarised for the newsgroup years ago by William Addams
Reitwiesner, and can be read in full here (p. 2423):
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89063148589&view=1up&seq=409.

Andrew Lewis may have been right in identifying the English Renaud with
Robert of Dreux's kinsman known as Renaud the Pauper, who was perhaps a
legitimate and dispossessed relative of the French royal family (and if
so, not the only one). Such a relationship could possibly have existed
for a member of the non-royal French Courtenay family and may even have
extended somehow to Eleanor of Aquitaine; but it is hard to see how, and
in any case it could not have been very close to the head of either
family since the Courtenay heiress Elisabeth was allowed to marry a son
of King Louis VI.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2019, 12:49:51 AM11/7/19
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On 07-Nov-19 5:20 AM, celticp...@gmail.com wrote:
> Dear Newsgroup ~
>
> Below is my current file account of Reynold de Courtenay (died c.1191). This man was obviously from a good background, as he served as witness for numerous charters of King Henry II issued in the period, 1164–1188.
>
> Complete Peerage 4 (1916): 317 (sub Devon) (ped.) alleges without evidence that Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, living 1149, is the same person as the later individual Reynold de Courtenay, died 1190–1, of Sutton, Berkshire and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire.
>
> Charles Cawley of Medlands adopts the view that the two men were the same person. Mr. Cawley refers us to Burke’s Peerage which states that Louis VII, King of France quarrelled with Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, while on the Second Crusade, confiscated his French possessions, and bestowed them on his younger brother Pierre whom he married to Renaud’s daughter Elisabeth. This would presumably explain why the French Renaud subsequently surfaced in the train of the English king. Cawley admits, however, "it has not been possible to trace primary sources which justify all these statements." No primary sources = red flag.
>
> When asked by me to provide additional evidence that the two men were the same person, Mr. Cawley has been unable to do so. It is certainly common in the medieval period for two men to have the same name. This is no surprise. It is insufficient evidence, however, to presume that two men with the same name are the same person.
>
> I accept that there was a connection between the French and English Courtenay families. Complete Peerage 4 (1916): 465, footnote b indicates that the arms of the Courtenays, both English and French, were, Or, three roundlets Gules (with various brisures). These were borne (seals, 1205, 1212) by Pierre, Sire de Courtenay, Count of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre, s. and h. of Pierre de France, citing Du Bouchet, Maison de Courtenay (1661): 89–99, preuves, 13–15. I haven't reviewed this evidence but I have no reason to doubt it.
>
> At the present time, however, I remain unconvinced that Renaud de Courtenay, seigneur of Courtenay, living 1149, is the same person as Reynold de Courtenay, of England, died c.1191.
>
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Historian and Genealogist
>
> + + + + + + + + +
>
> REYNOLD DE COURTENAY (or CURTENAY, CORTENAY), of Sutton, Berkshire, and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Okehampton and Musbury, Devon, Hemington, Somerset, etc., of uncertain parentage. He married (1st) an unidentified wife, _____, kinswoman of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of King Henry II of England). They had three sons, William, Robert, and Reynold, and one daughter, Egeline. He was a witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England).

Where did you find this? The earliest occurrence of Renaud de Courtenay
in the Delisle/Berger edition of Henry II's charters is in no. 195 dated
to 1156/61 - his name does not appear in any of the ducal charters,
including several issued at Rouen in 1150/51.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2019, 5:54:47 AM11/7/19
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On second thoughts, the writ of Henry III to Robert de Courtenay in 1217
calling him 'consanguineus' is fairly compelling evidence that the
English family was descended from the first (non-royal) French Courtenay
family, since the king's maternal grandmother Elisabeth de Courtenay was
probably a daughter (though this has been questioned recently by
Nicholas Vincent) of the Renaud whom Seversmith described as a
"glorified bandit".

Peter Stewart

Paulo Ricardo Canedo

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Nov 7, 2019, 5:38:35 PM11/7/19
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Assuming that the account that Robert de Courtenay was related to Eleanor of Aquitaine was correct, couldn't it be through a common descent from Robert II of Frande? The French Renaud de Courtenay's mother Ermengarde de Nevers was great-granddaughter of Adelaide Capet, daughter of Robert II of France. Eleanor of Aquitaine was also descended from Robert II of France. Admittedly, her relation to Robert de Courtenay, assuming that he was descended from Ermengarde de Nevers, would be rather distant but it's the best that I can think of. What do you think of it?

Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2019, 10:07:45 PM11/7/19
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This would make Renaud (not Robert) de Courtenay a fourth cousin once
removed to both Henry II and Eleanor, so that he would barely qualify as
her 'cognatus' (that in classical Latin meant a kinsman but in medieval
usage more usually means brother-in-law).

The source for this alleged relationship is hardly reliable in the first
place.

The Courtenay family down to Renaud, the 'glorified bandit' and father
of Elisabeth from whom descended the second (royal) French Courtenay
family, has not been satisfactorily studied as far as I know. In 1999
Nicholas Vincent wrote that he hoped to cover the English Renaud, of
Sutton, and his descendants in a forthcoming article, but I don't think
this has appeared. In the same study Vincent said that the first
occurrence he could trace of the 'mythical' pedigree linking the French
and English families stated that Renaud of Sutton was responsible for
bringing Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II and was rewarded for this with
the heiress of Okehampton. Not a likely story.

However, Vincent was mistaken in saying that he could find no evidence
that the French 'bandit' Renaud had ever married or that Elisabeth was
his daughter, suggesting that she may have been his sister. This is
wrong - in a post to SGM resulting from this Douglas Richardson wrongly
attributed it to the book's editor, Stephen Church, instead of Vincent,
and then cited Alberic of Troisfontaines as evidence for Elizabeth as
Renaud's daughter, but this is also wrong. The actual source was written
at Saint-Germain in the late-12th century, a continuation of Aimoin of
Fleury's 'Historia Francorum', stating that Joscelin (I) of Courtenay by
his second wife Elisabeth of Montlhéry was father of Milo, who married a
daughter of the count of Nevers by whom he had three sons, Guillaume,
Joscelin and Renaud, and that Renaud was father to Elisabeth who married
the king's brother Pierre.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2019, 11:02:50 PM11/7/19
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Apologies, I should have written "At the closest, this would make Renaud
(not Robert) de Courtenay a fourth cousin once removed to both Henry II
and Eleanor ..."

If the English Renaud, of Sutton, who was described as 'cognatus' to
Eleanor, belonged to the French Courtenay family he should be placed
into the generation after his 'glorified bandit' namesake who was a
fourth cousin to Henry II and Eleanor.

Douglas Richardson claims that the English Renaud witnessed a charter of
Henry as duke of Normandy dated 1150, but he hasn't yet told us where
this can be found. If this was the same person as Renaud the Pauper,
kinsman of Robert of Dreux, then he occurs from 1152 until 1190; and if
these were two different men then the English one does not appear in the
record until 1156/60 (unless Richardson can justify his assertion). On
the other hand, the 'glorified bandit' Renaud was making trouble as
seigneur of Courtenay by November 1149 at the latest, in succession to
his brother Guillaume who went on crusade with Louis VII in 1147.

Another Guillaume de Courtenay was living in November 1160 when he was
the first of 12 witnesses to a charter of Pierre and Elisabeth, dated at
the castle of Courtenay, confirming the donations of their predecessors
to Fontaine-Jean abbey.

If the story is to be credited that the English Renaud was dispossessed,
and the same as a person called 'pauper' in the 1150s, and since it is
clear that he was a younger man than his French namesake, one
possibility is that he was a son of the Guillaume who went on crusade in
1147. The name William occurs in early on in the English family (William
de Courtenay of Bulwick, dead by January 1215, who married Ada de
Dunbar). I suppose it wasn't unexampled for the 'bandit' brother of a
crusader to usurp his young nephew/s. However, it would have been rare
enough to be remarked by chroniclers if he subsequently passed all the
family's inheritance on to his daughter after securing a royal marriage
for her with this inducement, so this is just a long-shot conjecture.

Peter Stewart

celticp...@gmail.com

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Nov 8, 2019, 1:08:50 PM11/8/19
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Dear Andrew ~

I'm glad to know that Wikitree now has two "Renauds," because the two men were entirely two different individuals. It strikes me that this problem should have been straightened out long ago. Needless to say, Charles Cawley's account of these people borders on utter incompetence.

Starting at the beginning, Du Bouchet, Histoire généalogique de la Maison royale de Courtenay (1661): 11–12 states that "Renard" de Courtenay [living c.1149] married the sister of Guy du Donion, one of the celebrated knights of his time. On pages 377–378, he further identifies Elizabeth de Courtenay, wife of Pierre de France, as the daughter of Renaud, seigneur of Courtenay, by N... du Donjon, daughter of Ferry du Donjon, Seigneur of Yerre [Yerres].

The correct account is that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) had a wife of unknown name and parentage, by whom he had two daughters, the younger being Elizabeth (or Isabelle), wife of Pierre of France. Following Renaud's death, his widow married (2nd) Ferri de Donjon (living 1174), by which marriage she had Baudouin du Donjon, [Saint] Guillaume du Donjon [Archbishop of Bourges], Gui du Donjon, and Pierre du Donjon.

The relationship of the Donjon family to the family of Renaud de Courtenay's daughter, Elizabeth (or Isabelle), is established by the following pieces of evidence most of which were not available to Bouchet:

1. Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France 18 (1879): 760 (Ex Chronico Alberici Trium-Fontium Monachi: “… Abbas Caroliloci Guillelmus [du Donjon] factus est archiepiscopus Bituricensis. Erat autem sanctis et piis moribus adornatus, et in vita sua, licet occulte, multa fecit miracula; non enim mundo fuit palam cognitus usque post mortem ipsius. Erat enim nobilis genere, ita quod domina de Monte-Argisi [Montargis] fuit soror vel neptis illius, quæ Petro de Cortenaïo, Regis Philippi patruo, peperit Comitem Petrum Comitem Autissiodorensem et Robertum de Cortenaïo et quemdam Guillelmum et sorores eorum. Una Alaïdis Comitis Guillelmo Joviniacensi peperit Comitem Petrum, et pòst Engolismensi Comiti peperit Isabellam modernam Angliæ Reginam ... Altera fuit mater Odonis de Marchia in Hungaria; tertia Clementia fuit mater Guidonis de Tyerno in Alvernia; quarta fuit dominade Charrosio in Bituria; quinta Constantia, cujus filia domina de Marli peperit abbatem Theobaldum de Sarnaïoita quod domina de Monte-Argisi [Montargis] fuit soror vel neptis illius, quæ Petro de Cortenaïo, Regis Philippi patruo, peperit Comitem Petrum Comitem Autissiodorensem et Robertum de Cortenaïo et quemdam Guillelmum et sorores eorum. Una Alaydis comiti Guilelmo Ioviniaci peperit comitem Petrum, et post Engolismensi comiti peperit Isabellam, modernam Anglie reginam, de qua in sequentibus habetur; alia fuit mater Hugonis de Marchia in Hungaria; tertia Clementia, fuit mater Guidonis de Tyero in Alvernia; quarta fuit domna de Charrosio in Bituria; quinta Constantia, cuius filia domna de Marli peperit abbatem Theobaldum de Sarnaio.”) (author here identifies [Elisabeth] wife of Pierre de Courtenay [uncle of King Philippe] is named as sister or niece [soror vel neptis] of Guillaume [du Donjon], Archbishop of Bourges).

2. Du Bouchet, Histoire généalogique de la Maison royale de Courtenay (1661): 11 (author states Baudouin du Donjon donated property to Barbeaux Abbey in 1203 with consent of his wife, Amice, his sons, Jean and Ferry, and his brother, Guillaume, Archbishop of Bourges).

3. La Thaumassière, Histoire de Berry 1 (1689): 310 (Gullaume de Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges [died 1209], styled “uncle” of Robert de Courtenay, seigneur of Mehun, by Simon de Sully, Archbishop of Bourges in charter dated 1223), 310 (Gullaume de Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges, styled “uncle” in charter of Mahaut de Courtenay, Countess of Nevers dated 1223), 311 (Donjon ped.) (author states Guy de Corbeil, dit du Donjon, styled “uncle” of Robert de Courtenay in charter dated 1227).

4. Martene & Durand, Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum 1 (1724): 1162 (Mahaut [de Courtenay], Countess of Nevers, styled “niece” [neptis] by Robert de Courtenay).

5. Teulet, Layettes du Trésor des Chartes 1 (1863): 453 (Robert [de Courtenay], seigneur of Champignelles, Butler of France styled “nephew” [nepos] by Guy du Donjon).

6. Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France 23 (1894): 670 (Scripta de Feodis ad Regem Spectantibus: Guy and Pierre de Donjon styled “brothers” [fratrem] of the Blessed William, Archbishop of Bourges).

Given the above various statements of kinship and given the known chronology of the Courtenay and Donjon families, it is clear that Guillaume du Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges [died 1209], and his male siblings must have been younger half-brothers of Elizabeth (or Isabelle) de Courtenay, wife of Pierre of France.

This in turn means that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) was survived by his unknown wife in France and that she remarried Ferri de Donjon, the apparent father of the Donjon siblings.

This re-arrangement of the Courtenay-Donjon families proves conclusively that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) must be a completely different person from Reynold de Courtenay (died c.1191), of Sutton, Berkshire and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, which Reynold had an entirely different marital history and entirely different set of children than Renaud de Courtenay in France.

Peter Stewart

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Nov 8, 2019, 5:41:27 PM11/8/19
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Comments interspersed:

On 09-Nov-19 5:08 AM, celticp...@gmail.com wrote:
> Dear Andrew ~
>
> I'm glad to know that Wikitree now has two "Renauds," because the two men were entirely two different individuals. It strikes me that this problem should have been straightened out long ago. Needless to say, Charles Cawley's account of these people borders on utter incompetence.
>

It's not a good idea to cast aspersions on the competence of someone
else immediately before demonstrating your own inadequacies in the same
regard...

> Starting at the beginning, Du Bouchet, Histoire généalogique de la Maison royale de Courtenay (1661): 11–12 states that "Renard" de Courtenay [living c.1149] married the sister of Guy du Donion, one of the celebrated knights of his time. On pages 377–378, he further identifies Elizabeth de Courtenay, wife of Pierre de France, as the daughter of Renaud, seigneur of Courtenay, by N... du Donjon, daughter of Ferry du Donjon, Seigneur of Yerre [Yerres].

In what sense is Du Bouchet, writing in the 17th century, "the
beginning" for a medieval question? The French 'bandit' Renaud was
certainly living in 1149, as we know from two letters written by
November in that year from Thibaud IV of Blois to Suger of Saint-Denis
complaining about Renaud's brigandage and untrustworthiness.
>
> The correct account is that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) had a wife of unknown name and parentage, by whom he had two daughters, the younger being Elizabeth (or Isabelle), wife of Pierre of France. Following Renaud's death, his widow married (2nd) Ferri de Donjon (living 1174), by which marriage she had Baudouin du Donjon, [Saint] Guillaume du Donjon [Archbishop of Bourges], Gui du Donjon, and Pierre du Donjon.

If "the beginning" offered by Du Bouchet isn't even correct, why open
with it? Is it just perhaps the earliest work you found by Googling, and
that you supposed might impress the newsgroup as to the ostensible depth
of your research?

> The relationship of the Donjon family to the family of Renaud de Courtenay's daughter, Elizabeth (or Isabelle), is established by the following pieces of evidence most of which were not available to Bouchet:
>
> 1. Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France 18 (1879): 760 (Ex Chronico Alberici Trium-Fontium Monachi: “… Abbas Caroliloci Guillelmus [du Donjon] factus est archiepiscopus Bituricensis. Erat autem sanctis et piis moribus adornatus, et in vita sua, licet occulte, multa fecit miracula; non enim mundo fuit palam cognitus usque post mortem ipsius. Erat enim nobilis genere, ita quod domina de Monte-Argisi [Montargis] fuit soror vel neptis illius, quæ Petro de Cortenaïo, Regis Philippi patruo, peperit Comitem Petrum Comitem Autissiodorensem et Robertum de Cortenaïo et quemdam Guillelmum et sorores eorum. Una Alaïdis Comitis Guillelmo Joviniacensi peperit Comitem Petrum, et pòst Engolismensi Comiti peperit Isabellam modernam Angliæ Reginam ... Altera fuit mater Odonis de Marchia in Hungaria; tertia Clementia fuit mater Guidonis de Tyerno in Alvernia; quarta fuit dominade Charrosio in Bituria; quinta Constantia, cujus filia domina de Marli peperit abbatem Theobaldum de Sarnaïoita quod domina de Monte-Argisi [Montargis] fuit soror vel neptis illius, quæ Petro de Cortenaïo, Regis Philippi patruo, peperit Comitem Petrum Comitem Autissiodorensem et Robertum de Cortenaïo et quemdam Guillelmum et sorores eorum. Una Alaydis comiti Guilelmo Ioviniaci peperit comitem Petrum, et post Engolismensi comiti peperit Isabellam, modernam Anglie reginam, de qua in sequentibus habetur; alia fuit mater Hugonis de Marchia in Hungaria; tertia Clementia, fuit mater Guidonis de Tyero in Alvernia; quarta fuit domna de Charrosio in Bituria; quinta Constantia, cuius filia domna de Marli peperit abbatem Theobaldum de Sarnaio.”) (author here identifies [Elisabeth] wife of Pierre de Courtenay [uncle of King Philippe] is named as sister or niece [soror vel neptis] of Guillaume [du Donjon], Archbishop of Bourges).
>

Why wasn't Alberic of Troisfontaines available to Du Bouchet? Do you
mean that the particular incomplete and second-rate edition from which
you choose to quote a welter of explicit uncertainty ("sister or niece",
"soror vel neptis") followed by some irrelevant waffle wasn't yet
printed in his time?

> 2. Du Bouchet, Histoire généalogique de la Maison royale de Courtenay (1661): 11 (author states Baudouin du Donjon donated property to Barbeaux Abbey in 1203 with consent of his wife, Amice, his sons, Jean and Ferry, and his brother, Guillaume, Archbishop of Bourges).
>

Are you seriously proposing Du Bouchet as an authority on ramifications
of the Donjon family?

> 3. La Thaumassière, Histoire de Berry 1 (1689): 310 (Gullaume de Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges [died 1209], styled “uncle” of Robert de Courtenay, seigneur of Mehun, by Simon de Sully, Archbishop of Bourges in charter dated 1223), 310 (Gullaume de Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges, styled “uncle” in charter of Mahaut de Courtenay, Countess of Nevers dated 1223), 311 (Donjon ped.) (author states Guy de Corbeil, dit du Donjon, styled “uncle” of Robert de Courtenay in charter dated 1227).
>
> 4. Martene & Durand, Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum 1 (1724): 1162 (Mahaut [de Courtenay], Countess of Nevers, styled “niece” [neptis] by Robert de Courtenay).
>
> 5. Teulet, Layettes du Trésor des Chartes 1 (1863): 453 (Robert [de Courtenay], seigneur of Champignelles, Butler of France styled “nephew” [nepos] by Guy du Donjon).
>
> 6. Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France 23 (1894): 670 (Scripta de Feodis ad Regem Spectantibus: Guy and Pierre de Donjon styled “brothers” [fratrem] of the Blessed William, Archbishop of Bourges).
>
> Given the above various statements of kinship and given the known chronology of the Courtenay and Donjon families, it is clear that Guillaume du Donjon, Archbishop of Bourges [died 1209], and his male siblings must have been younger half-brothers of Elizabeth (or Isabelle) de Courtenay, wife of Pierre of France.

The "known chronology" of the Courtenay family would be a useful
starting point for research on this question, so why on earth didn't you
take that as your "beginning"?
>
> This in turn means that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) was survived by his unknown wife in France and that she remarried Ferri de Donjon, the apparent father of the Donjon siblings.
>
> This re-arrangement of the Courtenay-Donjon families proves conclusively that Renaud de Courtenay (living c.1149) must be a completely different person from Reynold de Courtenay (died c.1191), of Sutton, Berkshire and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, which Reynold had an entirely different marital history and entirely different set of children than Renaud de Courtenay in France.

And why have you failed to present what is definitely known of the
Courtenay family chronology? Renaud the 'bandit' was the third son of
Milo of Courtenay who last occurs on 24 May 1138, and Elisabeth who was
the only child of Renaud II of Nevers by his first marriage - his oldest
son by his second marriage was of age to assume comital authority for
his grandfather by 1089, so that Elisabeth was evidently born by ca
1065/70. This is hardly a credible chronology for the parents of the
English Renaud, who died towards the end of 1190.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 8, 2019, 8:07:12 PM11/8/19
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The name of Elisabeth's sister who married Augalo II of Seignelay was
either Adelina or Adelvia - her name was given in a charter for
Saint-Jean de Sens abbey dated 1194, read as Adelvia by a copyist in
1729 but as Adelina by the archivist of Auxerre in 1882.

A charter of her husband dated 1190 is not helpful about this, as he
referred to her by initial only, "laudavit A., uxor mea".

They had sons named Dainbert and Frederic: it's interestig that the
latter name doesn't appear before this in the Seignelay or Courtenay
families and possibly came from the step-father of Adelina/Adelvia,
Frederic of Donjon, seigneur of Yerres.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 8, 2019, 9:08:49 PM11/8/19
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On 09-Nov-19 12:07 PM, Peter Stewart wrote:

> The name of Elisabeth's sister who married Augalo II of Seignelay was
> either Adelina or Adelvia

The ordinal of her husband should be III, not II, and his name is
variously given as Augalo[n], Argalo[n], Avalo[n], and perhaps other
forms. It was clearly Agalo on his seal, see here:
http://www.sigilla.org/fr/sgdb/empreinte/7092.

Peter Stewart

John Higgins

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Nov 9, 2019, 8:33:06 PM11/9/19
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On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 9:49:51 PM UTC-8, Peter Stewart wrote:
> On 07-Nov-19 5:20 AM, celticp...@gmail.com wrote:
> > Dear Newsgroup ~
> >
>
> >
> > REYNOLD DE COURTENAY (or CURTENAY, CORTENAY), of Sutton, Berkshire, and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Okehampton and Musbury, Devon, Hemington, Somerset, etc., of uncertain parentage. He married (1st) an unidentified wife, _____, kinswoman of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of King Henry II of England). They had three sons, William, Robert, and Reynold, and one daughter, Egeline. He was a witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England).
>
> Where did you find this? The earliest occurrence of Renaud de Courtenay
> in the Delisle/Berger edition of Henry II's charters is in no. 195 dated
> to 1156/61 - his name does not appear in any of the ducal charters,
> including several issued at Rouen in 1150/51.
>
> Peter Stewart

Since DR has not yet responded to your query on this point, this may help with regard to the specific issue of "witness in 1150".

The wording “witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England)” is certainly taken from Ancestral Roots. 7th edition (AR7), where it appears almost verbatim in a biography of Renaud [called Reynold by DR] de Courtenay at line 138-24. This is actually a “broken” line in AR7, as a long note (contributed by David Faris) preceding the Renaud entry discussing the long history of whether Renaud was or was not a son of Ermengarde de Nevers and Milo/Miles de Courtenay. The conclusion of the Faris note is that he was not.

The source given for the Faris note and the Reynaud bio is the work mentioned earlier in this thread: H. F. Seversmith, The Ancestry of Roger Ludlow, pp. 2419-2424. This is actually volume 5 part 1 of Seversmith’s larger work Colonial Families of Long Island, New York and Connecticut [the title used by DR]. The mention of Reynaud [or Reginald, as Seversmith names him] as a witness to a charter in 1150 appears on page 2419. Seversmith provides a long list of sources for “Reginald”, but (like DR) he does not footnote his account with references to his sources. Thus it’s not readily apparent what his source was for this particular statement. After a long discussion of the question, Seversmith ends his account by stating “The ancestry of Reginald de Courtenay has not been established”.

All of the volumes of the Seversmith work can be viewed and downloaded via the FHL here:
https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/44255?availability=Family%20History%20Library

Peter Stewart

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Nov 9, 2019, 9:53:07 PM11/9/19
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Thanks John - I had seen Seversmith's work on Hathi Trust (as linked
upthread) but had not read through any more than the arguments on p.
2423 that William Addams Reitwiesner paraphrased for the newsgroup.

The passage you cite on p. 2419 says: "Reginald de Courtenay first
appears in 1150-1151 as a witness to a charter of Henry, duke of
Normandy (later Henry II of England) at Rouen to the archbishop of Rouen
and his lieges in Normandy".

In this case, Seversmith was wrong, and Renaud does not appear as a
witness in the 1150/51 charter he referenced. This is no. 14* on pp.
18-21 in vol. 1 of the Delisle/Berger edition, as follows:

"H[enricus], dux Normann[orum], Hugoni, Rothomagensi archiepiscopo, et
omnibus episcopis et baronibus, vicecomitibus et omnibus baillivis et
ministris et fidelibus suis Normannie, salutem ... Has etiam
concessiones tenendas ceperunt in manu Philippus Baiocensis episcopus et
Arnulphus Lexoviensis episcopus, et eas affiduciaverunt tenendas
Waleranus comes Mellenti, Helias frater ducis, Willelmus Lupellus,
Robertus de Novo Burgo, Richerius de Aquila, Willelmus de Vernone,
Rogerius de Toneio, Baudricus de Rosco, Amalricus Crespin, Gislebertus
Crespin, Goscelinus Crespin, Henricus de Ferrariis, Robertus de Corceio,
Ricardus de Haya, Engelgerius de Bohun, Alexander de Bohun, Guido de
Sableio, Absalon Rongnart, Goffredus de Cleris, Hugo de Monte Forti;
testibus: Hugone archiepiscopo Rothomagensi, Reginaldo de Sancto
Wallerico, Pagano de Clara Valle, Enguerranno de Sayo. Apud Rothomagum."

The only Renaud among the four witnesses is Renaud de Saint-Valery.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 9, 2019, 10:02:29 PM11/9/19
to
On 10-Nov-19 12:33 PM, John Higgins wrote:
> On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 9:49:51 PM UTC-8, Peter Stewart wrote:
>> On 07-Nov-19 5:20 AM, celticp...@gmail.com wrote:
>>> Dear Newsgroup ~
>>>
>>
>>>
>>> REYNOLD DE COURTENAY (or CURTENAY, CORTENAY), of Sutton, Berkshire, and Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, and, in right of his 2nd wife, of Okehampton and Musbury, Devon, Hemington, Somerset, etc., of uncertain parentage. He married (1st) an unidentified wife, _____, kinswoman of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of King Henry II of England). They had three sons, William, Robert, and Reynold, and one daughter, Egeline. He was a witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England).
>>
>> Where did you find this? The earliest occurrence of Renaud de Courtenay
>> in the Delisle/Berger edition of Henry II's charters is in no. 195 dated
>> to 1156/61 - his name does not appear in any of the ducal charters,
>> including several issued at Rouen in 1150/51.
>>
>> Peter Stewart
>
> Since DR has not yet responded to your query on this point, this may help with regard to the specific issue of "witness in 1150".
>
> The wording “witness in 1150 at Rouen in Normandy of a charter of Henry, Duke of Normandy (afterwards King Henry II of England)” is certainly taken from Ancestral Roots. 7th edition (AR7), where it appears almost verbatim in a biography of Renaud [called Reynold by DR] de Courtenay at line 138-24. This is actually a “broken” line in AR7, as a long note (contributed by David Faris) preceding the Renaud entry discussing the long history of whether Renaud was or was not a son of Ermengarde de Nevers and Milo/Miles de Courtenay.

I overlooked this before - the name of Renaud's mother was Elisabeth of
Nevers, not Ermengarde.

Did Richardson retain this mistake too in later books?

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 9, 2019, 10:18:34 PM11/9/19
to
On 10-Nov-19 12:33 PM, John Higgins wrote:
From the references listed by Seversmith on p. 2421 it appears that he
took his information from a misreading of Round's *Calendar of
Documents*, p. 35. This gives the witness list for no. 110, dated to
August 1174/April 1175, including "Reginaldo de Cortenai". Seversmith
apparently did not realise that this witness list was not part of no.
109, dated to 1150/51, that ends on p. 34: this is the document from
which I quoted earlier.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 10, 2019, 12:58:50 AM11/10/19
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On 06-Nov-19 7:10 PM, Andrew Lancaster wrote:
> On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 6:16:55 AM UTC+1, Peter Stewart wrote:

<snip>

> Concerning children, I suppose the "French" Renaud can only be safely attributed with two daughters, Elizabeth who married Pierre the king's son, and another daughter who married the lord of Seignelay. These are the only two mentioned by Pere Anselm, as you pointed out.
>


I have been asked off-list to comment on this piece of fancy from
Medieval Lands (here
http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/chamsensjoi.htm#_Toc493315912):

"English Renaud’s daughter. She is named “filie Regin de Crtinni” in
London/Middlesex in the [1166/67] Pipe Roll, when she must have been of
age. No reference has been found to her marriage or descendants, or
indeed to any other daughter of English Renaud. It is possible that she
was the same person as Elisabeth, daughter of French Renaud and married
to Pierre de France, who held some interest in England at that time
through her father."

This is misleading - the entry in the pipe roll specifies that 5 marks
are to be paid for the clothing of Renaud de Courtenay's daughter ("Et
p[ro] pannis filie Regiñ[aldi] d[e] C[u]rtinai .v. m[arcas]. p[er]
br[eve] ejusd[em]").

There is nothing here to imply that the daughter was of age: the
following entry is for a much larger amount to be paid for the clothing
of the king's son Henry, who was born in 1155 and so aged only 11 at the
time.

The French Renaud's elder daughter Elisabeth was married to Pierre, the
brother of King Louis VII, by November 1160 if not by a full decade
earlier - an interpolated charter gives 1150, so this is not absolutely
definite while 1160 is firmly evidenced. The chances that the English
king had to provide for the clothing of a French prince's wife are
negligible, to say the least, and the chances that such a personage
would still be identified only as her father's daughter years after
marrying are equally small.

It is not certain when the French Renaud's younger daughter Adelina
married. Her husband occurs with a wife in 1167, but she is named
"Eludia" in her sole mention and it is not clear if this was a scribal
oddity for Adelina or a different name for a different wife. In any
event, there is no reason at all to suppose that a sister-in-law of a
French prince might have been in England around that time wanting clothes.

Peter Stewart

John Higgins

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Nov 10, 2019, 5:55:16 PM11/10/19
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When I mentioned Ermengarde of Nevers, I was not referring to DR's "current file account" of Renaud de Courtenay earlier in this thread (which does not mention her), but rather to AR7 where she is mentioned in the context I cited. Ermengarde (or Elisabeth) of Nevers is not mentioned in the first Richardson editions of PA and MCA, likely because she is outside their scope. I have no idea whether she is mentioned in DR's later 5-volume work Royal Ancestry.

FWIW AR7's source for the line involving Ermengarde is pp. 63-64 of G. A. Moriarty's The Plantagenet ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa - a work which is likely very outdated now. AR7 does note that Moriarty does make the mistake of assigning the English Renaud de Courtenay as a son of Ermengarde - which AR7 corrects. If you're interested, a digital copy of the Moriarty work is available via the FHL here:
https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/273835?availability=Family%20History%20Library

Peter Stewart

unread,
Nov 10, 2019, 9:36:27 PM11/10/19
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Thanks - Moriarty appears to have taken this error from Erich
Brandenburg, who named Milo of Courtenay's wife "Irmgard", after
reversing the order of her father's marriages for good measure (though
attributing the right one as mother-in-law to Milo).

Perhaps this came from wrongly assuming that Elisabeth, as Renaud II's
firstborn daughter, would have been named after her paternal
grandmother, and/or perhaps Brandenburg copied the mistake from an
earlier historian. But my interest ends there, since tracing the
genealogy of errors quickly runs into diminishing returns.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 10, 2019, 10:51:19 PM11/10/19
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All the same, I did look a bit further - this mistake over the name,
along with the reversed order of marriages, seems to have come to
Brandenburg from René de Lespinasse in *Le Nivernais et les comtes de
Nevers*, vol. 1 (1909) p. 260. Lespinasse was not up to much as
historian, even less as genealogist, so Brandenburg has to share some
blame for following his mislead.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

unread,
Nov 11, 2019, 2:27:55 AM11/11/19
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It turns out that the misnaming of Elisabeth de Nevers as Ermengarde
goes back at least to Jean Du Bouchet in 1661, and was repeated from him
by Père Anselme.

No wonder this has gained such wide currency, including as recently as
in ESnF vol. 3 part 4 (1989) table 717, and consequently is no doubt
ineradicable on the internet.

Peter Stewart

Jan Wolfe

unread,
Nov 11, 2019, 11:02:51 AM11/11/19
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On Monday, November 11, 2019 at 2:27:55 AM UTC-5, Peter Stewart wrote:
>
> It turns out that the misnaming of Elisabeth de Nevers as Ermengarde
> goes back at least to Jean Du Bouchet in 1661, and was repeated from him
> by Père Anselme.
>
> No wonder this has gained such wide currency, including as recently as
> in ESnF vol. 3 part 4 (1989) table 717, and consequently is no doubt
> ineradicable on the internet.
>
> Peter Stewart

Just curious -- how is it known that her name was Elizabeth?

Peter Stewart

unread,
Nov 11, 2019, 5:46:31 PM11/11/19
to
Charters, that are not contradicted by any other medieval sources - with
her husband in one for Néronville priory that was evidently written ca
1110/16 ("Hoc donum ... vidit et laudavit Milo de Curtiniaco ... Hoc
donum etiam laudavit Elisabeth uxor Milonis"); and with her husband and
their sons in the foundation pancarte of Écharlis abbey compiled ca
1120/39 ("Huic dono interfuerunt Milo de Curtiniaco et uxor ejus
Elisabeth et filii eorum Willelmus, Joscelinus, Rainaldus").

The chronicle record leaves her unnamed - the continuator of Aimoin de
Fleury named the same three sons of Milo but not their mother
("Ioscelinus accepit Elisabeth filiam Milonis [sic, but correctly either
'filiam Guidonis' or 'sororem Milonis'] de Monte Letherico de qua habuit
Milonem de Cortiniaco ... Milo genuit de sorore comitis Niuernensis
Willermum, Joscelium et Rainaudum"). Her place in the comital family of
Nevers is confirmed by a history of the early counts written at Vézelay
abbey ("Renaldus vero primam uxorem habuit filiam unicam comitis
Foratensis, de qua filiam suscepit, quae coniuncta est Miloni de
Curtiniaco").

The name Elisabeth was very common in her time & place - it was also the
name of Milo de Courtenay's mother and of his brother Guillaume's wife.
Milo and Elisabeth of Nevers also had a daughter given her mother's
name, who was wrongly proposed by Nicholas Vincent as the lady who
married Pierre of France, i.e. a sister rather than daughter of Renaud.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 11, 2019, 5:54:27 PM11/11/19
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On 12-Nov-19 3:02 AM, Jan Wolfe wrote:
By the way, Jan, "Just curious" would be a fine motto for this newsgroup
if it ever needed one. It is surely the primary (if not the only) reason
for each of us coming here in the first place, and for staying here.

For myself, I can't imagine any other reason for caring about medieval
genealogy. But I would be interested to hear of it from anyone who can.

Peter Stewart

Jan Wolfe

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Nov 11, 2019, 9:43:40 PM11/11/19
to
Thanks. Is the identity of the wife of Renaud known?

Peter Stewart

unread,
Nov 11, 2019, 10:04:30 PM11/11/19
to
Not with certainty. From various mentions of the relationship between
Renaud's daughter Elisabeth and the family of St William of Bourges it
appears that she was his maternal half-sister. His mother is said to
have been Maencia of Arthe(l), where he is said to have been born, who
if she married Renaud of Courtenay must have become his widow and then
married St William's father, probably Frederic V of Donjon, seigneur of
Yerres.

The seigneurs of Arthe, or Arthel, seem to have inherited the viscountcy
of Clamecy within a generation or two after Maencia's, and it may turn
out that it is anachronistic to give her Arthe(l) as a surname rather
than Clamecy. But this question has not been closely studied yet as far
as I'm aware.

Her given name Maencia, or Mencia, is not unexampled in medieval France
but she is frequently named as Maeneia instead, perhaps from a
misreading. This has led to the modern French form Moenée, often used,
that is unhelpful.

We don't as far as I know have any medieval source for either her name
or family designation anyway, and (from memory) this is taken from a
mid-16th-century account.

One persistent alternative identifies Renaud's wife, Elisabeth's mother,
as a Eustacia of Corbeil, but (again from memory) this doesn't have even
the limited credibility of the Maencia version.

Peter Stewart

Jan Wolfe

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Nov 12, 2019, 1:10:13 AM11/12/19
to
Thanks, Peter.

Peter Stewart

unread,
Nov 13, 2019, 2:58:21 AM11/13/19
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It's worth adding that her family was not surnamed either l'Hermite or
Berruyer - both are sometimes asserted, but this is not soundly based in
either case.

St William died in 1209 and his fourth successor as archbishop of
Bourges (from 1236-1260) was Philippe Berruyer, who is said to have been
his nephew. If true that they were related, the younger man was possibly
the son of another sister (obviously not of Elisabeth) or perhaps a
great-nephew, but anyway not an agnatic relative.

The purported surname l'Hermite is due to a 17th-century Jesuit
historian, Pierre d'Outreman, who supposed that St William's maternal
uncle named Peter the Hermit, archdeacon of Soissons in the mid-12th
century, must have been descended from the famous Peter the Hermit who
led the People Crusade in 1096. There is no plausibility to this, or for
that matter to the idea that the actual l'Hermite family was
legitimately descended from a monk as Outreman argued.

There has long been a misunderstanding about the given name of St
William's maternal uncle - this was definitely Peter and he was bynamed
the Hermit. He was archdeacon of Soissons in 1169 when he occurs by both
names and title as witness in a charter of Maurice de Sully, bishop of
Paris, for Yerres abbey (a local establishment for St William's Donjon
family). He is also named as Peter the Hermit and titled as archdeacon
of Soissons in a contemporary Vita of St William, the shortest of three
written apparently by clerics who knew the archbishop.

However, another Vita has given rise to the mistaken idea that the uncle
too was named William - this says: that the young St William was sent to
be raised and educated by his uncle, archdeacon of Soissons, who was
bynamed the Hermit, and that William himself deserved the same sobriquet
because of the habits formed by living in simplicity with his unnamed
uncle. This was misinterpreted in 1540 by the chronicler of the
archbishops of Bourges, who took it to mean that the uncle bynamed the
Hermit was the William who deserved this sobriquet. Unfortunately the
editors of Gallia Christiana took over this rather inexcusable
misunderstanding, and it stubbornly persists to the present.

In his 1920s study of the Donjon family that is the standard modern
reference for Elisabeth de Courtenay's mother, Gustave Estournet (like
many others before him) failed to correct this misnaming of the uncle,
as well as the misreading or misprint in Gallia Christiana that has
turned the name Maencia into "Maeneia", leading to the nuisance form
"Moenée" in French publications since the 19th century.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 13, 2019, 6:58:21 PM11/13/19
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I have just finally twigged that Estournet was misled about the family
of Elisabeth's mother from his acceptance of the old false notion that
St William's uncle was named Guillaume instead of Pierre l'Hermite.

As posted above, the maternal uncle to whom the young St William was
sent to be educated was explicitly named in one medieval source as Peter
the Hermit, archdeacon of Soissons ("Beatus Guillermus ... avunculo suo
Suessionensis ecclesiæ archidiacono ... qui Petrus Eremita dicebatur a
parentibus traditus fuit moribus et litteris informandus"). However, a
passage in another Vita has been misinterpreted to make him instead a
namesake of his saintly nephew, whereas the William deserving the byname
Hermit is actually the nephew himself ("Beatus Willelmus ... traditus ad
erudiendum et educandum suo avunculo archidiacono Suessionis ecclesiæ,
qui Eremita cognomine vocabatur, quia mores in simplicitate a convictu
formavit meruit Willelmus Eremita vocari").

In the course of the 12th century there were two archdeacons of Soissons
named Peter and one named William. Only one of these, the second, fits
the chronology required, as he was in office from 1155 (around the time
St William was probably born) until 1180, and he was definitely known as
Peter the Hermit. The earlier Peter (in office 1095-1125) was son of Guy
I of Châtillon and Ermengarde of Choisy or Coucy, and was allegedly born
blind but given sight by applying the saliva of St Arnulf, bishop of
Soissons to his eyes. He was far too early to have raised St William of
Bourges. The archdeacon named William was not known as "the Hermit" and
he occurs only in the mid-1140s, before the time St William could have
been born as his mother was then married to Renaud de Courtenay.

This leaves the archdeacon named in several charters and other sources
as Peter the Hermit, in office from 1155. Luckily we know his family,
and it was neither that of the seigneurs of Arthel or the viscounts of
Clamecy as proposed by Estournet. William Mendel Newman in *Les
seigneurs de Nesle en Picardie* (1971) vol. 1 p. 116 note 15 showed that
Peter was a brother of Guy (IV according to Newman) le Bouteiller of
Senlis, butler to Louis VII (died 1188, husband of Marguerite of
Clermont). It makes perfect sense that Louis would have married his
brother Pierre to a niece of this courtier.

Newman quoted a charter of Guy dated to 1180/87: "ego Guido, regis
Francorum buticularius ... pro anima fratris mei Petri Heremite,
Suessionensis prepositi et archidiaconi" (I Guy, the king of France's
butler ... for the soul of my brother Peter the Hermit, provost and
archdeacon of Soissons). The reference given for this is "Coll.
Picardie, 258, f. 143, Église de Senlis". Unfortunately, this volume of
the Dom Grenier collection does not seem to have been digitised yet,
though the concordance between BnF catalogue details and the titles used
on Gallica is (to put it politely) Gallic.

The naming of St William's - and consequently Elisabeth de Courtenay's -
mother as Maencia and linking her to Arthel in the Nivernais where he is
said to have been born are not sufficent evidence to rely on as much as
Estournet did, since this information can be traced back no further than
the mid-16th century. The name M(a)encia would be odd in the family of
the Bouteillers of Senlis, but that alone does not rule it out. Her
confinement at Arthel would be a puzzle too, if certain, but not enough
to counter the clear evidence provided by newman for the family of her
brother Peter the Hermit.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 13, 2019, 7:07:26 PM11/13/19
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By the way, for onomastics freaks, the mother of "Maencia" of Senlis was
named Adelina and Adelvia in different sources, just like her second
Courtenay daughter.

Peter Stewart

Jan Wolfe

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Nov 15, 2019, 1:42:40 PM11/15/19
to
Thank you, Peter, for your very detailed and informative explanation of the evidence concerning the identity of the wife of Renaud de Courtenay and mother of his daughter Elizabeth who married Pierre, son of Louis VI of France.
Is the descent of Elizabeth's mother's brother Guy de Senlis from Landri de Senlis known? Oxford DNB states that Landri's oldest son "Guy de Senlis (d. 1124), a generous benefactor to Notre Dame de Senlis and St Martin des Champs, inherited the patrimony, his sons becoming prominent supporters of the Capetian kings, with three in succession holding the title of grand butler of France." [Oxford DNB article 25091 about Simon de Senlis (d. 1111x13)]

Peter Stewart

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Nov 15, 2019, 4:13:16 PM11/15/19
to
The Bouteiller de Senlis genealogy as it has been set out and amended
since the 17th century to the present is something of a muddle - I will
post about this at more length as time permits but meanwhile the short
answer is No, descent from Landri and the presumed relationship between
Simon of St Liz and Elisabeth de Courtenay's mother are not definitely
established.

To be candid, I'm feeling a bit embarrassed - even a little shaken - by
discovering the correct family for Elisabeth's mother Maencia, as a
clear track of information about this has been hiding in plain sight
over centuries. That this minor but still important key to relationships
of the Courtenay family and Latin emperors has been overlooked, not just
by me but also by André Du Chesne, Père Anselme, Cokayne, Depoin,
Estournet, Van Kerrebrouk, and countless others, is not a proud episode
in the study of genealogy and history.

Maencia's aunt (or cousin) and then her sister Clementia were the first
two abbesses of Yerres abbey, so there is no great mystery about her
marrying the seigneur of Yerres. Their brother Pierre was placed into
the Bouteiller de Senlis family by Du Chesne in manuscript, repeated in
print by Père Anselme, but no-one (including myself) bothered to find
out exactly why and that this was indeed Peter the Hermit until William
Mendel Newman published proof (without realising the Elisabeth de
Courtenay implication) in 1971.

The main red herring that prevented so many from realising Maencia
belonged to the Bouteiller de Senlis family was the misreading of St
William's Vita about precisely who deserved the byname "Hermit". One
French historian in the mid-19th century actually asserted that the
identification of St William's uncle as Peter rather than William was a
gross error, yet the right understanding about this had been placed on
record by no less than the great Cistercian historian Crisóstomo
Henríquez as long ago as 1623.

O well, while I live I learn (I hope).

Peter Stewart

alj...@googlemail.com

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Nov 16, 2019, 6:13:06 AM11/16/19
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Peter Stewart's admirable reconstruction of the evidence for the identification of the mother of Elisabeth de Courtenay does seem to leave one matter outstanding and needing an explanation. As I understand it Pere Anselme's description of the family made Elisabeth's mother (unnamed) a sister of Guy de Donjon, and a sister of "Guillaume the Hermit" who became in 1200 Archbishop of Bourges (and eventually Saint William of Bourges).

Later evaluations replaced this with a different theory: she was Maencia, a sister of "Guillaume the Hermit", who was archdeacon of Soissons. She married (1) Renaud de Courtenay and (2) Frederic de Donjon. By (1) she was the mother of Elisabeth, by (2) she was the mother of Guy, Guillaume and Renaud (with perhaps Guillaume being the second son?) and it was that Guillaume who was to become archbishop of Bourges in 1200, dying 1209 (and later canonised as Saint William). Elisabeth was therefore an older half-sister of the archbishop, not his niece and she and the archbishop were niece and nephew of "Guillaume the Hermit" the archdeacon. This chronology also recognises that an uncle of Elisabeth, who was married and producing children soon after 1150, would surely have been too old to have been made an archbishop in 1200 but that a half-brother would not.

Peter Stewart's new reconstruction makes the archdeacon of Soissons in question, not a "Guillaume the Hermit" but a "Pierre/Peter the Hermit", whose parentage is known.

The matter I think left outstanding is the supposed "older half-sister" relationship between Elisabeth de Courtenay and Saint William of Bourges. If Elisabeth was married about 1150 or soon after, then perhaps she was born about 1135. A recent book "In the Valley of Wormwood: Cistercian Blessed and Saints of the Golden Age" by Thomas Merton has the life of Saint William of Bourges as one of its chapters , and there are relevant pages available on google books (pages 20 et seq) (google: "golden age" "William of Bourges"). The author puts his birth date as 1140 (which seem to be the date used in a number of other works, but perhaps one has been copied by the others). He was "William de Donjean" of the family of the Counts of Nevers etc. He then says that was educated by an uncle, an archdeacon at Soissons and he became a canon of that cathedral "at an early age, according to the medieval abuse of canonical privileges". He completed his education at Paris and in about 1164 he entered the Grandmont Order, and remained at Grandmont until about 1170.

But if Saint William was a younger half-brother of Elisabeth then he was born some time after Maencia's second marriage, after 1149 (which is apparently the last record of Renaud de Courtenay's still being alive). If Thomas Merton considered that he was exceptionally young, if born in 1140, to have been made a canon well before 1164, he would surely have been impossibly young, even in those times, to have been made a canon if born after 1150.

Is it possible, therefore, that Saint William was actually born before Elisabeth, and was her older half-brother, and that Maencia's marriage to Renaud de Courtenay was her second marriage? This would put his birth date back to before 1135, making his education under archdeacon Peter the Hermit (archdeacon between 1155 and 1180) still feasible, and his appointment as a canon before 1164 rather less exceptional, and making him not impossibly old to be an archbishop in 1199?

Alan Jones

Peter Stewart

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Nov 16, 2019, 7:17:47 AM11/16/19
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There have been many biographies of St William, and firm chronology is
not their strong suit.

I don't know where Merton came by 1164 for his entry to Grandmont -
before this William was a canon in Paris and Soissons "in boyhood"
according to one Vita written by a contemporary ("A pueritia quidem in
Parisiensi et Suessionensi canonicatus ecclesia"). In strict terms taken
from Isidore of Seville, "pueritia" meant between the ages of 7 and 14,
followed by "adolescentia" from 14 to 28. Holding a canonry for someone
from a noble family didn't necessarily require being in major orders, so
I'm not sure what canonical rules Merton is applying. I would not be
inclined to rely on anyone who repeats that William was "of the family
of the counts of Nevers", an old chestnut from French hagiographers who
wanted to make him as grand as they could: such a relationship would
have necessarily come through his mother (the Donjon family were not
from Nevers) and in that case she would not have been at all likely to
marry Renaud of Courtenay, whose own mother was Elisabeth of Nevers.

After Grandmont St William was a Cistercian monk at Pontigny, then abbot
of Fontainejean and Chaalis before becoming archbishop of Bourges in
November 1200, the first definite date in his career that I have found.
I can see no reason why he need have been older than, say, 45 at that
time - canonically the qualifying age was only 30. If born in 1140, then
60 years old would have been an unusually advanced age for elevation to
bishop.

I suppose Alberic of Troisfontaines was unsure if he was Elisabeth's
brother or uncle largely because of his exalted status - William had
been canonised in 1218, more than a decade before Alberic was writing.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 17, 2019, 12:30:54 AM11/17/19
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I have found another firm(ish) dating - St William is said to have
become a canon "in boyhood", first at Soissons and then in Paris, and to
have given up his benefice to become a monk at Grandmont. But afterwards
the Grandmontine order fell into dissension because the lay brothers,
who ran the business of the monastery, had assumed mastery over the
monks. St William took advantage of a papal decree allowing transfers
between orders and left to join the Cistercians at Pontigny.

There are several letters between clerics that almost certainly relate
to this, including letters to and from Étienne de Tournai as abbot of
Sainte-Geneviève, that must have been sent after his election as abbot
ca 1178/80. Three novices from Grandmont were then at Pontigny and the
question over whether or not they were bound to return to Grandmont was
unresolved. Clearly the same matter had not been canvassed by the prior
at Pontigny, Robert de Gallardon, before he took up this question with
Étienne as abbot of Sainte-Geneviève. Presumably then St William was
either one of the three novices or else arrived at Pontigny after them.

If he was still a novice ca 1178/80 then it is unlikely that he had
entered Grandmont long before leaving for Pontigny, and consequently his
departure from Paris for Grandmont would have been still fairly recent
in the mid-1170s. All of this does not suggest that he was born much if
at all before the mid-1150s.

By the way, although he was said to have deserved the byname Hermit for
the simplicity of his habits, St William apparently kept a worldly sense
of humour. According to a 15th-century addition to the chronicle of
Villars abbey in Brabant, a monk from there (who became abbot a few
years after St William's death) happened to dine at the archbishop's
table once and was reluctant to eat any of the sumptuous food. St
William noticed this and said that he would regale himself, and yet
would come to be canonised and his feast celebrated. This bit of levity
over dinner came to outrage one sobersides hagiographer, who refused to
believe that the saint could have said anything "so full of pride, so
disrespectful and, we would even say, so irreligious". I know which one
I would rather have dinner with.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 17, 2019, 3:37:13 AM11/17/19
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The likelihood that St William was one of these novices is high - one of
them was certainly named William, as a letter to the three from Peter of
Celle addresses him first by name ("Primum loquar tibi, frater
Willelme"). He goes on to say that William had borne the yoke (i.e. of
monastic rule) since his adolescence ("portaueras iugum ab adolescentia
tua"), that fits with his having left behind secular life as a canon "in
pueritia" to enter Grandmont.

This letter from Peter of Celle was evidently written ca 1181. The
latest editor, Julian Haseldine in Oxford Medieval Texts (2001) p. 630
no. 162, ascribed the letter to "? 1181 (but poss. much earlier)",
though no substantial reasoning was given for the suggestion in
parentheses, and the probability of "? 1181" is reinforced in Appendix
14, 'The Case of the novices from Grandmont who had transferred to the
Cistercians'. Haseldine cited the edition of Étienne de Tournai's
letters by Jules Desilve for the identification of St William with the
novice of the same name - Desilve had explicitly refuted the
Bollandists' unsupported opinion that St William was not one of the three.

Peter Stewart

alj...@googlemail.com

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Nov 17, 2019, 4:45:51 AM11/17/19
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Peter - many thanks for such a comprehensive response. In the light of the information you have provided, it seems eminently reasonable for St William to have been born in the early-mid 1150s rather than 1140, and so to have been a son of a second marriage of Maencia.

Alan Jones

Peter Stewart

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Nov 17, 2019, 6:48:25 PM11/17/19
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On 17-Nov-19 8:45 PM, alj...@googlemail.com wrote:
> Peter - many thanks for such a comprehensive response. In the light of the information you have provided, it seems eminently reasonable for St William to have been born in the early-mid 1150s rather than 1140, and so to have been a son of a second marriage of Maencia.
>
> Alan Jones

Thank you, and Jan Wolfe, for asking the questions that prompted me to
look again at the question that I had rather foolishly gotten muddled
over in the past.

This is a salutary lesson not to take so much as a word on trust from
secondary sources (including myself) without verifying (a) that is it
based on at least one primary source; (b) exactly what the primary
source/s say.

In this case there are three Vitae of St William written not long after
his death. The first, and longest, has virtually nothing to say about
his life before he became archbishop of Bourges.

The second has a rather clumsily-phrased passage in which his uncle the
archdeacon of Soissons is not named but where William himself is said to
have merited the uncle's byname Hermit ("Beatus Willelmus Bituricensis
Archiepiscopus ... dum in minori constitutus ætate, traditus ad
erudiendum et educandum suo avunculo Archidiacono Suessionis Ecclesiæ,
qui Eremita cognomine vocabatur, quia mores in simplicitate a convictu
formavit, meruit Willelmus Eremita vocari").

The third clarifies this by naming the uncle as Peter the Hermit and
stating that William too was eventually given the same byname ("Beatus
Guillermus ... A primæva quidem ætate cuidam avunculo suo Suessionensis
Ecclesiæ Archidiacono ... qui Petrus Eremita dicebatur, a parentibus
traditus fuit, moribus et litteris informandus: a quo ... fuit
Guillermus Eremita postmodum nuncupatus").

It is unsettling that so many historians took these sources to mean
somehow that the uncle was named William, and that I didn't see through
this old and almost ubiquitous mistake before now.

Anyway, there is a new task now in going over the Bouteiller de Senlis
genealogy to find whatever this yields about relatives of the Courtenay
family. A glaring error has popped out immediately, dating back to Du
Chesne, in making the paternal grandmother of Peter the Hermit and
Maencia a lady named Berta, whose husband was a Guy (or Guiard) de
Senlis, when we know from a charter of their eldest brother Guy the
royal butler that his paternal grandfather was Guy of La Tour (aka
Bouteiller de Senlis), whose wife was named Elisabeth. Unfortunately it
is very common in charters for the knights of a place to be confused
with its lords when they are all given "of Senlis" (or whatever else) as
a surname or designation. I can see no compelling reason to connect
Berta with the Bouteiller de Snelis family at all.

And by the way, I suppose we are now stuck with Maencia as the name of
Elisabeth's mother, although this comes from a mid-16th century source
that is not very reliable in other respects. It's a possible but unusual
name for a lady of her family, more frequently found in Italy in the
12th century and later in Spain than it ever was in France.

Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart

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Nov 18, 2019, 7:25:00 PM11/18/19
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Off-list I have received an objection from a reader of SGM who maintains
a differing version of the Courtenay-Donjon relationship: this is
basically as set out in the 17th century, with some added details,
holding that Renaud de Courtenay's wife (Elisabeth's mother) was herself
a member of the Donjon family (allegedly named Helvis) and therefore not
Maencia the sister of Pierre the Hermit (i.e. Bouteiller de Senlis) who
married into it.

According to this, Frederic of Donjon the father of St William of
Bourges (Maencia's son) had a daughter by a first wife who was married
to Renaud de Courtenay, so that Elisabeth although older than St William
was actually his niece as the daughter of his paternal half-sister. All
other references to Courtenay-Donjon relationships are supposed to be
consistent with this.

However, it is ruled out by the marriage between Elisabeth's
granddaughter Clementia (presumably named like her aunt, Elisabeth's
daughter, directly or otherwise after Elisabeth's own aunt, Pierre the
Hermit's sister, who was abbess of Yerres) to Frederic of Donjon's
grandson Jean, co-seigneur of Yerres, whose father was born to
Frederic's first wife. If Elisabeth had been Frederic's granddaughter
through the purported daughter Helvis of Donjon then this couple would
have been first cousin's twice removed, an impossibility in their time.
On the other hand, their step-relationship with Jean the grandson of
Frederic and Clementia the great-granddaughter of Maencia, both by their
first marriages, would not have rendered the marriage impossible.

Peter Stewart
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