Robert Bourdet

Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
Photo © Angela Tuff, April 2005

The family descends from the Bordets, lords of Cuilly in Normandy. Robert Bordet and his son Robert, witnessed a charter of the count of Anjou c. 1050. He had issue, besides Robert, another son Hugh, both of whom came to England at the conquest and were mesne-lords in Leicester in 1086 (Domesday), in which county Hugh held considerable estates from the countess Judith. He was the founder of Lowesby in Leicester, the ancient seat of the family, and was ancestor of the Burdetts, baronets, and of baroness Burdett-Coutts. Robert was lord of Cuilly, and died before 1086, at which time his widow held from Hugh de Grentemesnil in Leicester. He was living in 1077 and his son, Hugh de Cuilli, in 1128 witnessed a charter of Richard'de Beauvais. Hugh had issue Robert and Walter de Cuilly; Robert, sire de Cuilli, married Sibylla, daughter of William de Chievre, a baron of Devon. He, undertaking to rebuild the city of Tarragona in Spain, obtained the suzerainty with rank of prince of Tarragona. At the battle of Fraga in 1133, at the head of his Norman cavalry, he rescued Alfonso, king of Aragon and his army from destruction by the Saracens. Walter, his brother, witnessed the foundation charter of Canwell Stafford, in 1142. Hugh de Cuilly of the family was in 1309 constable of Kenilworth, and his great-granddaughter married sir John Stanhope of Rampton. A descendant, Walter Colley, went to Ireland, temp. Henry VIII, and from him descended the lords of Castle-Carbery, the lineal male ancestors of Arthur Wellesley, the renowned and famous duke of Wellington, one of England's greatest generals. --(Falaise Roll).

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