In Duchesne's copy, Deauvile; Deyville in Leland's; a name derived from Daiville in Normandy, which we meet with further on repeated as Deville. "In 1056, Walter Barbatus, Lord of Daiville, witnessed the charter of Treport, Eu Neustria Pia, 589). Walter de Daiville, his son, accompanied the Conqueror, and had grants from Roger de Mowbray in York, with the feudal dignity of Seneschal. He witnessed a charter of Pontefract Priory. (Mon. i. 655). Robert, his son, was hereditary Seneschal, and held five fees from Mowbray in York, and one in Notts (Liber Niger)."—The Norman People. This was Egmanton, in Nottinghamshire, with the parks and appurtenances, of which Nigel de Albini, "when a young man and carrying the King's bow," had been enfeoffed by his master, and this town "Nigel gave to his special friend Robert D'Aiville, which the King hearing, enquired of Nigel if it was so; who answered that it was, and that now the King had two honest knights where before he had but one."—Stark's Gainsborough. He had a dispute with Byland Abbey (Mon. i. 1031). His son. and namesake, who married a daughter of Josceline de Louvain and the heiress of the first house of Percy, occurs in 1194-99 in Leicestershire (Rot. Curiae Regis), where he has left his name to Cotes-Devile. A third Robert attended King John to Poitou in 1213: and in 1241 had a writ of military summons to serve in Gascony. The next heir, John, was the first and only Lord D'Eivill, who began life in 1253 as "an Excommunicate, and, in contempt of the Church's Power, fled from County to County, and afterwards beyond Sea."—Dugdale. For what offence he had incurred this penalty we are not informed. Three years later, he had successfully made his peace, and been reinstated; in 1262 he was Constable of York, and in 1263 had licence to build a castle at the Hode, in Yorkshire. Soon after this, he threw off his allegiance, joined the revolted Barons, and "became so active on their behalf in the Northern Parts of this Realm, as that the Sheriff of Yorkshire from Michaelmas 48. till the Battel of Evesham in 49. could not at all exercise his Office." He was Custos Pads for the county while Simon de Montfort was supreme; and, as one of the principal leaders among the Barons, was summoned to their parliament in 1264. Knighton terms him homo callidus et bellator fortis; and he carried on the ferocious partisan warfare of the time fiercely and ruthlessly in Yorkshire.[1] He is "more especially charged with having destroyed the castle and town of Sheffield. They plundered the goods of Thomas de Furnival, and burnt his castle, to his damage of £3000."—Hunter's South Yorkshire. On the other hand, he is commended in the contemporary Song of the Barons:

"Et Sire Jon D'Ayvile
Que oncques ni aima treyson ne gile
Fu en leur companie."

When the "fleur de pris" of England, the noble-hearted Simon de Montfort, had fallen at Evesham, D'Eivill took a more prominent part as leader; and "being a Subtile Man and a stout Soldier, he joyn'd with Robert Earl Ferrers and those of the Party who made Head again at Chesterfield in com. Derby, when after Ferrers was taken, Sir Gilbert Haunsard unhorst him with his Lance. Notwithstanding which, making an Escape, he fled to the Isle of Axholme in com. Lincoln."—Ibid. He was among the chief of those who defended the Isle of Ely against the King. However, he was reinstated by the Dictum de Kenilworth, and went to Scotland with Edward I. in 1299. He had previously received a grant of free-warren at Egmanton.

His son, another Sir John, though never summoned to parliament, was several times called upon for military service, commissioned to assist in the defence of the counties beyond Trent in 1315, and empowered to raise and arm all his tenants in 1318. In 1323 he was, as an adherent of the Earl of Lancaster, a prisoner in the Tower; but pardoned, and summoned to the great council at Westminster in 1324.—Palgrave's Parl. Writs. Five years after that, he was dead; and Margaret his widow had remarried Adam de Everingham, "who claimed various liberties at Egmanton in her right 3 Ed. III., and married his son Adam de Everingham to her daughter Joan de Eyvile."—Thoroton's Notts. This Joan was dowered with the great manor of Egmanton as her father's heir, for with him had expired the principal line of the D'Eivills. It was, however, but one among many.

John de Eivill, a Yorkshireman, the son of Gocelin de Eivill, was in 1257, as "the Justiciar of the King's forests ultra Trent, commanded to permit Margaret Queen of Scotland to enclose for her own profit the waste in the manor of Souresby within the King's forest of Englewood, which her lord the King of Scotland had assigned for her chamber."—(Close Roll 41 Hen. III.) In 1259 he furnishes her with fifteen bucks. From him no doubt derived Sir Gocelin de Eivill, "descended of honourable parents at Northallerton," who held Linton and Deighton in Howdenshire of the Bishop of Durham, and occurs as "vallettum Thomae archiepiscopi Ebor" in 1301. The evil fame of his subsequent career sorely belied this decorous commencement. In 1317 "Sir Gosceline D'Eivill and his brother Robert, with two hundred men in the habit of friars, did many notable robberies; they spoiled the Bishop of Durham's palaces, leaving nothing in them but bare walls, for the which they were hanged at York."—Stowe. Rymer further tells us that "he was associated with a numerous band, who did not yield, without a desperate conflict, to the sheriff and five hundred men; after which the desperadoes, who had been the terror of the county, were led to the scaffold at York." According to Sir Francis Palgrave, he was taken in arms against the King at the battle of Boroughbridge, and hanged and drawn as a traitor.

Contemporary with him was Peter de Eivill, another tenant of the Bishop of Durham's at Birland, South Cliff, and North Cliff in Yorkshire, where he likewise held some land at Ferriby of the Honour of Vesci.—Kirkbys Inquest. He was one of the Supervisors of the Assize of Arms and Array in the West Riding in 1315—Palgrave's Parl. Writs. Another of the name, Thomas de Eivill, received from Henry le Vavasour, in 1322, a grant of Belton-in-Ainsty in the same Riding; and his son Henry is mentioned as purchasing from Adam de Everingham "a certain place of wood beneath his park at Egmanton, called the East Park."—Thoroton's Notts. Walton-Daiville, in Warwickshire, bore the name of its owner in 1235, Walter de Deivill, with whose posterity it remained till 1309, when Maud, daughter and heir of Roger, transferred it to the Le Stranges.

Leland's account of this family, apparently derived from one of themselves, includes two other D'Eivills that are unnoticed elsewhere:

"The Davelles cam owte of Normandie, and sins they be Men of great Possessions yn the North Partes of England. But they cam in Edward the 2. tyme to Decay and Ruine. For the chief of the Davelles, that was Syr Loson Davelle and Sir Hugh Davelle, both Barons (as Mr. Doctor Davelle sayith, but sufficiently to me provith not) toke Thomas Earl of Lancaster and the Baron's Parte agayne Edwarde the 2. and Peter Gaveston, whereupon Davelle's Landes were attainted and sparkelid.

"Yet remainid of the Name four or five younger Brethren, that after got meane Landes; and one of them after in Descent consumed a 100 li Landes by the Yere in Nottinghamshire in mere Hauking and Hunting.

"Ther yet remayne meene Gentilmen of the name.

"The principall Land and Habitation of the Davelles was about Pontefracte in Yorkshire.

"Much of the Gascoyne's Landes and the Landes of Truewhit, alias Turwit, in Lincolnshir, longid to the Davelles.

"The name of the Originale Howse of the Davelles yet remainith in Normandie aboute the Partes, as I have heard, of Alaunson."

  1. "This was on both sides a war of extermination. Matthew of Westminster, describing the acts of Prince Edward, says, that Pradatio, Combustio, and Occisio were attendants on his march; and Rishanger, that the Barons acted on the same cruel policy, laying waste the country, paying respect neither to burial grounds or churches, and utterly destroying even the cottages of poor husbandmen."—Hunter's South Yorkshire.

-- Cleveland

Return to Main Index