Le Chevalier de Pirou

St. Denys Church, Warminster
St. Denys Church, Warminster, Wiltshire
Photo © Phil Williams, Jan 2006

Wace records "un chevalier de Pirou" (l. 13557). who came from Pirou, near Lessay, arrondissement of Coutances in the Cotentin, as having been present at the conquest. William, lord of Pirou, presumably his son, is said by Orderic Vital, whom he calls the king's dapifer (Henry I), to have perished on the White Ship in 1120. His son William appears in a charter of Henry I with the subscription "ego Gulielmus Pirou-dapifer," which signature follows that of queen Adelaide of Louvain. In 1165 another William Pirou held a barony of eleven fees in Normandy, and a William Pirou also held five fees from earl Bigot in Norfolk and one from Montfichet. William Fitz Humphrey, also of this family, held a fee of the honour of Eye, and another William Pirou appears in 1198. From this family descended the earls of Longford and the Packenhams of Suffolk. --(Falaise Roll).

Robert de Pirou, an under-tenant to the Malets, received by way of gift from Henry I. in the late 12th century, the manor and church of Warminster. Robert died shortly after 1172, leaving a son William. William, the father of Ralph FitzWilliam, gave the church of Warminster to Wells Cathedral. Robert left three daughters and coheirs.His son-in-law, Nicholas Avenel, succeeded to the manor of Warminster in 1242.

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