Mounteney : or Montigny

From a place of that name near Falaise, in Normandy. "Roger de Montigny gave lands to St. Vigor's, Cerisy, temp. William I. (Mon. i. 961): and in Henry I.'s reign William de Montigny married a daughter and co-heir of Jordan Briset, a great baron of Essex (Mon. ii. 505)."—The Norman People. Sir Arnold Mounteney witnesses John Fitz Matthew

Brito's grant to Worksop Abbey. We find the family from an early date in Yorkshire. "Bartholomew de Sancta Maria, grandson of Pagan" (a contemporary of the Conqueror's) "left three sisters as his coheirs. Sibil, the second, married Jordan de Renevile, one of the subinfeudatories of the Baron of Hallamshire, and holding under him Cowley, and the part of the parish of Ecclesfield abutting upon Kimberworth. She had two daughters and coheirs, Margaret, who married Thomas Mounteney, by which marriage the Mounteneys acquired Cowley; and Alice who married Thomas de Bella Acqua."—Hunter's South Yorkshire. Alice (sometimes called Aliena) de Bellew, was childless, and Margaret became sole heir. The name of her husband is wrongly given. He was Sir Robert, the son of Arnold de Monteney, who had married a daughter of Gerard de Furnival and the Louvetot heiress, and held the estate of Shiercliffe of the castle and manor of Sheffield. The Monteneys obtained the King's license to make a park round their house at Shiercliffe, and enjoyed certain manorial privileges. At their other manor of Cowley they had "great woods and abundance of redd deare, and a stately castle-like house moated about, pulled down not long since by the Earl of Salop after he had purchased the land."—Dodsworth.

Sir Robert and Margaret de Renevile had two sons, Robert, and Thomas; but in neither case did their line continue for more than another generation. Robert's son left a daughter called Constance, the wife of John de Bosvile; and Thomas's son, another daughter, Joan—apparently the heiress of the family—married to Thomas, Lord Furnival, surnamed the Hasty[1] "In her widowhood she resumed her maiden name. It is presumed that she entered into second nuptials. This is certain, that Thomas Lord Furnival, her husband, died without issue; yet in a deed preserved by Dugdale and dated 15 Ric. II. she acknowledges a son John de Mounteney, afterwards a knight, and her successor at Cowley and Shiercliffe."—Hunter's Hallamshire. The posterity of this John remained in Yorkshire till late in the seventeenth century. The elder line expired in the time of Henry VIII., when Barbara Mounteney, at lengh sole heiress, brought Cowley and Shiercliffe to Thomas Thwaites, who sold them to George, Earl of Shrewsbury. But some descendants of one of her great uncles were to be found at Wheatley and Rotherham for more than one hundred years after this.

The family were of higher antiquity and no less importance, in the Eastern Counties, where they had originally settled. Robert de Mounteney, of Norfolk, held three fees in 1161 from Richard de Lucy, whose daughter Dionysia he had married; and one fee of old feoffment as Lord of Beeston. His son Sir Arnold sealed with a bend between six martlets.—Blomefield. This was the coat of the knight who settled in Hallamshire, who I have no doubt must have been the same Sir Arnold; all the more as he is followed by his son Robert. But in the succeeding descents the Christian names do not tally; and I conclude that it was a younger brother of Robert that inherited the Norfolk property. His line ended in 1313: and the heiress—another Dionysia—married Hugh de Vere.

In Essex they were seated at Ging-Mounteney, or Mountney's-ing (from Ing, a Saxon word signifying meadow or pasture, vulgarly Munnassing) from about the time of Stephen, when Robert de Mounteney witnessed the foundation charter of Thobie Priory. "He is supposed to have been the son of Lascia, eldest daughter of Jordan de Briesete, founder of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem near West Smithfield, London, His son was Eustace."—Morant's Essex. Dugdale thus recounts the death of one of his descendants.

"In 1252, there was a notable Tournament at Walden, wherein Roger de Leiburne encountered with Ernauld de Mountenei, a valiant Knight, and unhappily ran his lance into his throat under his helmet, it wanting a collar; whereupon Mountenei fell from his horse and died instantly, insomuch, as it was then supposed by some, that in regard his lance had not a socket upon the point, he did it purposely in revenge of a broken leg he had received from Mountenei, tilting with him in a former tournament." Another of them, Robert de Mounteny, "was presented at Chelmsford in 1254 or 1255 for not taking upon him the order of knighthood. Either he or his son, Sir Robert de Mounteney, died 15 Ed. I., holding Ging Mounteney of the Earl of Gloucester and also Mountney's in Elmdon. Ernulph, or Arnulph, afterwards created a Knight Banneret, was his son and heir," and gave his name to Arnold's manor, where his seat is said to have been. Sir John, who founded a chantry in Chelmsford churchyard, is the next mentioned; a Sir Robert held in 1375; and in 1417 William de Mounteney obtained of Henry V. free warren in "Yenge Mountenay." "In this family," continues Morant, "it continued till after Henry VIII.'s reign. John Mounteney, who died 1528, left a son and heir William, then thirty years old. About the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign the manor of Ging-Mounteney had changed hands."

  1. A missal with many heraldic decorations, executed by one of the illuminators of the day for this Joan, is made the subject of a particular bequest by her descendant Thomas Mounteney of Wheatley in 1499:—unum primarium cum armis meis pictis.

-- Cleveland

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