From the castle of Tregoz, in the arrondissement of St. Lo: a place of some strength, built on a narrow neck of land washed by the Vire and one of its lesser tributaries. King John visited it in the beginning of the thirteenth century. Scarcely any traces of it now remain; and the name has long since degenerated into Troisgots. A priory once stood on the river bank hard by, founded by Robert de Tregoz in 1197. The Seigneurie was confiscated by Philip Augustus; but the family long remained in Normandy. Pierre de Tregoz was among the knights of the Cotentin summoned for the service of Mont St. Michel in 1271; and another Tregoz is mentioned in 1418 under Henry V.

"Cil ki dune tenet Tregoz,"

came to England in the Conqueror's army, and is praised by Wace for his intrepidity at the battle of Hastings. "He killed two Englishmen, smiting the one through with his lance, and braining the other with his sword; and then galloped his horse back, so that no Englishman touched him." We hear no more of this knight, either in Domesday or elsewhere; and though, according to the Testa de Nevill, the family was settled in Herefordshire from the time of the Conquest, the first mention of a Tregoz in public records is in the time of King Stephen. William de Tregoz, in 1139, farmed the lands of William Peverel of London (Rot. Pip.), and had two sons, John, who held in Sussex under the Earl of Arundel in 1167, and Geoffrey, who died in 1155, a landowner in Essex. Geoffrey's grandson, Robert de Tregoz, first raised the house into importance by his marriage; for his wife Sybil, the heiress of Robert Lord Ewyas, brought him the castle and honour of Harold-Ewyas in Herefordshire, and Lydiard—since named from him Lydiard-Tregoze—in Wiltshire; nineteen knights' fees in all. He took part against Henry II. with his rebellious sons; was Sheriff of Wilts under Coeur-de-Lion; and greatly trusted and often employed both in Normandy and England by King John. The eldest of his three sons died s.p.; and another Robert (whose father was the second son Geoffrey) succeeded, and had writs of military summons to serve against the Welsh in 1256 and 1257; but ended his days in arms against the King, fighting in the Barons' ranks at the battle of Evesham. John, his son and heir, doing homage three years afterwards, "found such Favour with the King, notwithstanding his Father's Demerits, that he was acquitted of fifty marks of the 0,1 then due for his Relief." He followed Edward I. to Wales in 1281, to Gascony in 1293, when "he had leave for his Wife and Family to reside in the Castle of Devizes, and to have Fuel for their Fires there," and to Scotland in 1296, receiving many marks of his sovereign's regard. He had license to hold a fair for three days every year at Eton-Tregoz, in Herefordshire, with free warren in all his demesne land, and was summoned to parliament in 1296. But his barony expired with him in 1300; for he left only two daughters, Clarice, married to Roger La Warre, and Sybil, the wife of William de Grandison, who between them divided twenty-four and a-half knight's fees. Clarice, as the first-born, had for her share the Herefordshire honour of Harold Ewyas.

Lydiard-Tregoze, however, appears to have belonged to his younger brother Henry, who had received summons as a baron of the realm two years before him; and being married to the heiress of the Lord of Garringes (Goring) had settled on her estate in Sussex. He, too, had served in the Gascon war of 1293; and in 1310 went with Edward II. to Scotland. The summons to parliament was never repeated to his descendants, though they continued in the county during five more generations. The last two childless brothers of the name left a sister called Joan, who conveyed Lydiard-Tregoze to Edward St. John, ancestor of the Viscounts Bolingbroke. The Sussex lands passed through another heiress to the Doyleys and Lewkenors.

M. de Gerville observes that the coat of the English house of Tregoz, Gules, two bars gemels and in a chief a lion passant guardant Or, is that of the De Meurdracs, Barons of St. Denis-le-Gast in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

-- Cleveland

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