A baronial name derived from the Castle of Tani, in Normandy. Auvrai de Tanie is on the Dives Roll: and Robert de Tany witnesses William the Conqueror's charter to Selby Abbey, Yorkshire (Mon. Angl.). He held a barony in Essex, when the name was given to Stapleford-Tany, Chignall-Tany, and Latton-Tany. Hasculf, his son, who in 1140 had a great suit with Rualo de Abrincis, and also contested some property with William de Boville, was the father of Rainald and Gruel. Rainald, a benefactor of Bermondsey Abbey in Surrey, left no heirs, and Gruel, or Grailand, succeeded, and certified in 1165 that he held three knight's fees de veteri feoffamento. Then came another Hasculf; and lastly, Gilbert, whose next heirs were William de Fauburgh, Maud the wife of Adam de Legh, and Nicolas de Beauchamp. He died in 1220, seized of seven knight's fees in the counties of Essex, Cambridge, and Suffolk, the Lordships of Aungre (Ongar) and Auvilers forming part of his barony.

Some male descendants, however, there still were of this "very considerable Family," as Morant styles them; for in 1235, and the greater part of the three following years, Peter de Tani was Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire. Of his son John we are only told that he bestowed some land on Waltham Abbey, but his grandson, Sir Richard, was Sheriff of the two counties in 1260 and 1261, Conservator of the Peace in 1263, and matched with a great heiress, Margery, daughter of Richard FitzWilliam, who brought him Stapleford with eight knight's fees. He suffered seizure of his lands for taking part in the rebellion of 1264, but was restored to the King's good graces and his forfeited property through the mediation of Roger de Leybourne in 1267. Moreover, in the following year, he was appointed Constable of Hadley, and received a license to empark his wood of Stapleford within the Forest. He was succeeded by Richard and Roger (or Robert) his sons; and then by Laurence, the last male heir, who died in 1317, leaving his sister Margaret de Drokensford to inherit the estate.

"Of this family also was Lucas de Thani, who in 9 Edward III. was constituted Justice of all the King's Forests South of Trent; but the next ensuing year, being a valiant Souldier, and in that Expedition made into Wales; upon a skirmish with the Welch, who were too strong for him and his party, endeavouring to pass a Bridge (begun by the King, and not finished), he had the fate to be drowned, with many more in that Retreat. Others say, that it was by passing the River in Boats, which being overladen, sunk them."—Dugdale. The De Tanys bore Argent a Maunch Gules.

-- Cleveland

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