Chantelow or Cantilupe

From Chanteloup, near Coutances. "Dugdale, in his History of the Cantilupe family, has only commenced his account with that William who flourished in the reign of King John, but has not mentioned the line of his descent; it, however, is manifest, that, 12 Hen. II., upon the assessment of aid for the marriage of Maud, the King's daughter, one Ralph de Cantilupe held two knight's fees of William de Romara, Earl of Lincoln (Liber Niger): at which time also Walter de Cantilupe likewise held two knight's fees of the same Earl. And, if he was the same person, held, at the period before stated, along with Robert Chevauchesul, four knight's fees of Geoffrey Mandeville, Earl of Essex. Robert de Cantilupe is also noticed by the said Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, as then holding one knight's fee, as aforesaid.

"Fulk de Cantilupe, who, in the seventh of King John, had lands in the county of Southampton, is also unnoticed by Dugdale. He was considered one of that monarch's evil servants, and as such is represented by Matthew Paris as a knight who was devoid of every spark of humanity."—Banks.

According to M. Rouault (the author of the Life of Sir Thomas de Cantelon), the first of this family who came to England was William de Cantelou, at the time of the Conquest: and he likewise mentions a Seigneur de Cantelou among those who went with Robert Courtheuse to the crusade of 1096. The fief of Chanteloup, forfeited by William de Cantilupe under Philip Augustus, passed to a French branch that held it till towards the end of the thirteenth century, when their heiress conveyed it to Fulk Paisnel. There has always been a castle on the original site, and the present building was inhabited within the last fifty years (see M. de Gerville), and may be so still.

The William de Cantilupe from whom the English house derives was of great account in the reign of King John. "He was steward of the household, and one of the chief counsellors, who in the fourteenth year of that unquiet reign, when the King his master was excommunicated by the Pope, adhered faithfully to him."—Bridges Northants. He stood by the King through all "his greatest Distresses," and was magnificently rewarded; yet there had been a slight flaw in his allegiance—a few months during which he had gone over to the Barons, and invited Louis of France to be his sovereign. This brief aberration only paved the way to fresh rewards and favours, for, having "not long continued in his Error," he came back to be welcomed with open arms by the King, and receive the forfeited lands of William de Charnells, William de Folville, Nicholas de Verdon, and Thurstan de Montfort. He had already obtained the great possessions of the two Engaines, father and son, who were among the most powerful of the hostile barons, with the custody of Kenilworth Castle, of which he made his principal residence. Henry III. continued him in his office of Steward, and, among many other grants, confirmed to him the Warwickshire manor of Aston—since Aston-Cantelow, which had been held by Ralph de Tankerville, Chamberlain of Normandy. Ever bent on increasing his territory, he was an indefatigable schemer, and bought the wardship of the heirs of five great estates; matching one heiress with a brother, another with a son, and keeping a third for himself. He died in 1238, leaving five sons: 1. William: 2. Walter: 3. John: 4. Nicholas; and 5. Thomas.

William II., his successor, "a powerful Man and a faithful Servant," was, like him, the King's Steward, and one of the representatives of England at the Council of Lyons. He married Millicent Countess of Evreux, and had (besides a daughter) two sons, William and Thomas. The elder of them had obtained the great Honour of Abergavenny through his marriage with Eve de Braose, one of the daughters and representatives of the last Lord of Brecknock and Abergavenny, and his wife Eve Marischal, the youngest of the five famous Pembroke heiresses. She brought him a son who lived only a few years, and two daughters who, when their father died "in the flower of his youth" in 1254, inherited the whole of his possessions in addition to her own. Millicent, the elder, was, by her second husband, the ancestress of the Lords Zouche of Haryngworth; and Joan married Henry Lord Hastings, and was the mother of John Baron of Abergavenny, of whom came the Earls of Pembroke of that illustrious name.

Thomas, the younger brother of this third William, was the last Englishman ever canonized. He had given early promise of his future sanctity; for he had been noted as a pious and studious child, and grown up to "wear the white flower of a blameless life." When he was presented for a degree in divinity, at Oxford, his friend Robert Kilwardy, Archbishop of Canterbury, in pronouncing his eulogy, affirmed that he had never been guilty of any mortal sin; "an extravagant compliment," adds old Fuller, "that no wise man will credit." That he was an excellent and holy prelate, greatly beloved and revered by his people, is at least beyond all doubt. He was first Archdeacon of Stafford; then, under Henry III., Chancellor of Oxford and of the whole realm; and in 1275 consecrated Bishop of Hereford. White Cross, about a mile from Hereford, and still almost entire, marks the spot where the saintly Bishop, coming from his palace at Sugwas, first saw the towers of his cathedral, and once—as tradition avers—heard the bells, sounded by no mortal hand, peal out their welcome at his approach. He died in 1282 at Monte Fiascone in Tuscany, on his return from Rome, whither he had gone to obtain of Pope Martin redress from the Archbishop of Canterbury. "His bowels and flesh were conveyed with great honour to the Abbey church of St. Severus, near Florence: his heart was buried in the monastery of Ashridge in Bucks; and his bones solemnly deposited in his own cathedral." He was canonized by Pope John XXII. in 1310: the fame of the miracles performed at his sepulchre having spread far and wide, and even eclipsed those wrought by St. Ethelbert. Matthew of Westminster reckons one hundred and sixty-three "within a short space:" and the English Martyrology raises their number to four hundred and twenty-five. "This," says Fuller (though only accepting the more 'modest estimate), "is twenty-five more than the miracles wrought by the prophets of Baal, and twenty-five less than those of the prophets of the groves, all of them honest, I believe, and true alike; yea, it is recorded in his legend, that by his prayers he raised from death to life threescore several persons, twenty-one lepers healed, and twenty-three blind and dumb men to have received their sight."

There yet remain the four younger sons of the first William de Cantilupe to be accounted for.

The second son, Walter, was a churchman, employed by Henry III. as his agent at the Court of Rome, and afterwards Bishop of Worcester.

The third, John, held Snitterfield in Warwickshire, in right of his wife, Margaret Cumin; and was succeeded there by a son of his own name, who married a daughter of Lord Mohun of Dunster, and left one only surviving child Eleanor, the wife of Thomas Lord West, ancestor of the present Earls De La Warr and Viscounts Cantilupe.

The fourth, Nicholas, was the father of the first Lord Cantilupe.[1]

The fifth, Thomas, was elected Lord Chancellor of England by the barons 49 Hen. III.

Nicholas, true to the traditions of his race, had taken to wife Eustachia, sister, and at last sole heir of Hugh Fitz Ralph of Gresley in Nottinghamshire, and niece and heir of Peter de la Haye of Wirlington in Sussex; and their son William derived his Derbyshire seat of Ilkeston from her. He fought under Edward I. in one Gascon and three Scottish campaigns, was summoned to Parliament by him in 1299, and died ten years afterwards, leaving an elder son, William, who died s. p., and Nicholas, heir to his brother. The life of this second Lord Cantilupe was crowded with services and employments. Early engaged in the Scottish wars, in 1327 he was in the retinue of Hugh de Audley; in 1335 Governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed; in 1338 and 1339 again fighting in Scotland and Flanders; in 1342 Ambassador to France; in 1344 one of the Baron's triers of petitions; in 1346 at Cressy; and in 1352, when a French invasion was imminent, a Commissioner of Array in Lincolnshire, where he held eight manors in right of his wife, Joan. Two different dates are assigned for his death; but it probably took place in 1355, William his son and heir being then thirty years of age. He had obtained license to castellate his manor house at Gresley, and founded the Carthusian monastery of Beauvale in his park there.

Neither his son William, or William's two sons, ever received summons to Parliament. Both were childless, and with them terminated the line. The eldest, Nicholas, died in 1371, as it was said, by the hand of his own brother; for I find that in 1376, "Sir William de Cantilupe was sent to the Tower, on suspicion of having slain his brother Nicholas." Yet, according to Banks, Sir William's own death is recorded in the preceding year; and he was not more than twenty at the time he was supposed to have been guilty of fratricide. Nor does it seem very credible that he should have been first apprehended for this foul deed five years after it was committed. There is no account of the marriage of either of these young men.

Several other members of the family, to whom no allusion is made in the Baronage, are mentioned in the following extract from the Yorkshire Archaeologia, by which we also learn that Eustachia, the heiress of Gresley, was first married to a De Ros. I may observe that Deighton is not named in Dugdale's list of the manors held by the Cantelupes. "The Yorkshire Cantelupes were settled at Deighton, near Wetherby. Agatha Trussebut was one of their first patrons. In Matthew de Cantelupe, rector of the church of Ribestein, we find the first of her recorded protege's. Matthew was a Churchman who made the most of his vocation and his friends. In 1239 Pope Gregory IX. granted a dispensation to "Matthew de Cantelupe, clerk of the Diocese of York, brother of the Bishop of Worcester, allowing him to hold more benefices than one." The Bishop of Worcester was Walter de Cantelupe, who died in 1266. In Thomas de Cantelupe, clerk, we find another protege'; it was at her presentation that he was instituted to her own rectory of Dychton in 1247, the very year that she died. He repaid her patronage handsomely by his conduct in the Church, for he became Bishop of Hereford and Chancellor of England, and eventually a saint. Nor may these have been the only acts of the vigorous old dame, then approaching one hundred years of age, by which the family were vested in her parish of Deighton. Eustacia de Cantelupe, heiress of Peter de la Haye, became the wife of her young kinsman William de Ros, grandson of Turstan her nephew, and it is probable that agreeably to the feudal law, Dame Agatha bought the wardship and marriage of the young heiress, giving her as a bride with her lands to the boy for whom she had reserved the fair domain of Ingmanthorpe.

"Contemporary with these, another member of the family rose to high dignity in the Church. Hugh de Cantelupe, one of the executors of the will of Bishop Walter de Cantelupe, became Precentor of York. On vacating that office, he obtained preferment in Hereford Cathedral, and seems to have died in 1285. He is said to have been a brother of Bishop Thomas. For nearly another one hundred years the Cantelupes lived side by side with their kinsmen the De Ros'. The line seems to have terminated in 1380 at the death of Sir William de Cantelupe, with whose representative Sir Robert de Ros, the hoary hero of the Scottish wars, and late Sheriff of York, had a dispute in Chancery respecting the estates of Cantelupe."—Yorkshire Archaeologia, vol. viii., p. 294.

Besides Aston-Cantelou, formerly held by the serjeanty of finding a foot-soldier for forty days "as often as there should be war in Wales," Hempston-Cantlow in Devonshire, and Weston-Cantilupe in Gloucestershire, still bear the name.

  1. "The title of Cantilupe in the Earl Delawarr has not any connection with this barony."—Banks. It was granted in 1761.

-- Cleveland

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