The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I01847
  • Name: Petronella (Pernel) de GRANDMESNIL 1 2 3 4
  • Sex: F
  • ALIA: Petronilla de /Grentemesnil/
  • Birth: ABT 1135 in Grentemesnil, Calvados, Normandy, France
  • Death: 1 APR 1212 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England 2 5
  • Note:
    He [Robert Earl of Leicester] married, before 1155-1159, Pernel (Petronilla), heiress of the Norman honour of Grandmesnil, great-granddaughter of Hugh de Grandmesnil, the Domesday tenant, but her parentage has not been discovered (h). Robert died on his return journey from Jerusalem, 31 August 1190, at sea near Brindisi, or in Romania on his way to Jerusalem. His widow had a grant of the market and bridge at Ware for life, 10 March 1207/8. She died 1 April 1212. [Complete Peerage VII:530-3, XIV:429, (transcribed by Dave Utzinger)]

    (h) In the account of the foundation of Leicester Abbey she is called daughter of Hugh de Grandmesnil, who is said to have given with her the honour of Hinckley and the seneschalship of England. This story is clearly wrong, since Orderic tells us that Robert Count of Meulan obtained the English lands from Ives, son of Hugh de Grandmesnil, the Domesday tenant, and the Leicestershire Survey of 1124-1129 shows them to be held by the Earl of Leicester. Robert de Torigni, recording under the year 1168 the death of Robert Earl of Leicester, says that he left a son "qui accepit cum uxore sua hereditatem de Grentemesnill." As the Norman honour of Grandmesnil was in 1172 in the Earl of Leicester's hands, and as it had been separated from the English lands at the death of Hugh the Domesday tenant, descending to his eldest son Robert, this is clearly the inheritance which Pernel brought to her husband, and it is in the Norman branch that her ancestors must be sought. Hugh de Grandmesnil, the Domesday tenant, had five sons - Robert, William, Hugh, Ives and Aubrey. With respect to the younger sons, William went to Apulia, where he m. Mabel, daughter of Robert Guiscard, and no more is heard of him in England or Normandy. Hugh d. young circa 1087, and was buried in St. Evroult. Ives succeeded to his father's lands in England, which he mortgaged and lost to Robert, Count of Meulan. He m. a daughter of Gilbert de Gand, and had a son Ives. Orderic says that two of Ive's sons perished in the White Ship; of these Ives the younger may be one. Nothing more is heard of Ives's descendants. Aubrey, the youngest son, was brought up a clerk, but eventually became a knight. Robert, the eldest son, inherited the Norman lands which are later found in Robert FitzPernel's hands [i.e. Robert, Earl of Leicester (d. 1204), the son of Pernel]. He m., 1stly, Agnes, daughter of Ranulph de Bayeux; 2ndly, Emma, daughter of Robert d'Estouteville; and, 3rdly, Lucy, daughter of Savary FitzCana. Orderic elsewhere says that Robert had a daughter Agnes, who m. Robert de Moulins, but otherwise he gives no information as to his children. Now we know that Pernel was the great-granddaughter of Hugh the Domesday tenant, and if she [Pernel] inherited the Norman lands she would in all probability be a daughter of a son of Hugh's son Robert. Hugh's father and son are both called Robert, and if this alternating nomenclature - a very usual system - was continued, a son of Robert the younger would be named Hugh. This is the name given to Pernel's father in the foundation narrative of Leicester Abbey, and although the story told there is fictitious, Pernel was a benefactress of the abbey, and it is possible that the writer may have had before him a document such as a list of obits giving the authentic name. It is not claimed that this suggested descent is more than speculative. Against this view must be set the entry in the Fine Rolls of 1204 which implies that the Leicestershire honour of Grandmesnil was the inheritance of Pernel, but as this is a recital of a bargain between her and the King after the death of her son Robert FitzPernel, its weight is greatly weakened; the more so as, for the reasons given above, it seems impossible for Pernel to have inherited the English lands.


    The following is from "Some Corrections and Addions to CP", concerning note (h) above:

    In fact, Pernel's father was called William, as shown by a charter for St-Evroult discovered by David Crouch [The Beaumont Twins, p.91, citing the Cartulary of St-Evroult, ii, fo 33v]. However, the argument that her grandfather is likely to have been Robert, the eldest son of Hugh de Grandmesnil, still seems sound. To some extent it is supported by the following evidence.

    In 1157, Henry II confirmed gifts made to the hospital of Falaise by William de Grentmesnil and others [Cal. Docs France, no 1157]. By an undated charter (perhaps from 1160 or later), one Beatrix de Rye gave land to the abbey of St Jean of Falaise, for the well-being of her mother Emma and of her brother William de Grentemesnil [Lechaude d'Anisy, Extrait des Chartes ... dans les archives du Calvados, vol.1, p.232, no 9 (1834)]. It seems likely that this Beatrix was a daughter of Robert de Grandmesnil by his second wife, Emma d'Estouteville, particularly as the name Beatrix occurs in the Estouteville family, and was possibly borne by Emma's mother [C.T. Clay, ed., Early Yorkshire Charters, vol.9, p.2 (1952)]. If so, this would confirm that Robert also had a son William, who would probably be Pernel's father.

    Note that K.S.B. Keats-Rohan [Domesday People I, p.263 (1999)] states that Pernel's father William was the son of Robert by Emma d'Estouteville, but no evidence is cited for the relationship.

    Father: William de GRANDMESNIL b: ABT 1100 in Grentemesnil, Calvados, Normandy, France

    Marriage 1 Robert III de BEAUMONT , 3rd Earl of Leicester b: BEF 1135 in Leicester Castle, Leicestershire, England
    • Married: 1155 2
    1. Has Children Amice de BEAUMONT b: ABT 1156 in Leicestershire, England
    2. Has Children Margaret de BEAUMONT , Heiress of Groby b: ABT 1157 in Groby, Leicestershire, England
    3. Has No Children Robert IV de BEAUMONT , 4th Earl of Leicester b: ABT 1158 in Leicester Castle, Leicestershire, England
    4. Has Children William de HAMILTON , Sir b: ABT 1160 in Hamilton, Barkby Thorpe, Leicestershire, England

    1. Title: The Plantagenet Ancestry, by William Henry Turton, 1968
      Page: 100
    2. Title: Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists, 7th Edition, by Frederick Lewis Weis, additions by Walter Lee Shippard Jr., 1999
      Page: 53-26
    3. Title: Some Corrections and Additions to the Complete Peerage,
      Page: VII:532, Leicester
    4. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: VII:530-3 and note (h)
    5. Title: Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great Britain and the United Kingdom, by G. E Cokayne, Sutton Publishing Ltd, 2000
      Page: VII:530-3
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