GEOFFROI MARTEL.

From Bacqueville, arrondissement of Dieppe. It has been stated by Le Prevost that Geoffry Martel is the individual whom Wace records as "de Basquevile i fu Martels" (l. 13651) and he must not be confused with Geoffry Martel, count of Anjou. The same commentator adds that Geoffry Martel was not, as is commonly believed, the son of Nicholas de Bacqueville, the head of the family of that name, one of the sons of Baldric the Teuton, who married a niece of the duchess Gonnor, which is stated by the continuator of William of Jumieges. He was instead the brother of the son-in-law of Nicholas de Bacqueville, namely, Hughes de Varhan, or Varvannes, from the arrondissement of Dieppe. This latter was the son of Gripon, as shown in a charter of Montivilliers. Le Prevost suggests that Geoffry Martel may also have been a son-in-law of Nicholas de Bacqueville; this would account for the land of Bacqueviille being in the family. He occurs as Goisfrid Martel, an under-tenant in the Introduction of Domesday, and in the Red book as Gaufridus Martel. Rogerus Martel also appears there. A descendant, William Martel, was dapifer to king Stephan and was captured by the earl of Gloucester at Wilton and obliged to give his castle for his ransom. The family made donations and were witnesses to several charters recorded in the Monasticon Anglicanum, one of which, in 1109, was Robert de Baskerville, who on his return from the Palestine, granted lands to Gloucester abbey. That descendants of Nicholas de Bacqueville were in England at the time of the conquest, or shortly thereafter, there can be little doubt, for although the name is not written in Domesday, unless indeed the surname Ralph, a sub-tenant of Roger de Laci, in Gloucestershire, was a de Bacqueville. At the beginning of the 13th century their name occurs in Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Norfolk, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, etc., and continued for several centuries. Pending further information, it can be assumed that Geoffry Martel and Martel de Bacqueville are one and the same and that he should be styled Geoffroi Martel de Basqueville.

--(Falaise Roll).

Return to Main Index