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

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  • ID: I21140
  • Name: William de WIGORNIA , of North & West Wyke, Sir
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: William /Beaumont/, of Wiggaton, Sir
  • Name: William de CHEVERESTON
  • Name: William de WRAY
  • Birth: ABT 1173 in Wray Manor, Moretonhampstead, Devon, England
  • Death: AFT 1227 in North Wyke, South Tawton, Devon, England
  • Residence: Chevereston Manor, Kenton, Devon, England
  • Note:
    Copied from World Wykes Website,

    The following text is from 'The Ancient Family of Wyke of North Wyke, co. Devon, by Rev. W. Wykes-Finch, MA, JP, reprinted from the 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art', 1903:

    The antiquity of this family is unquestioned. Its origin, however, has been made somewhat difficult of proof through the uncertainty of names and conditions of State during the Norman times and the loss of the family records. Westcote describes it as “a generous family of great age”; Lysons as 'an ancient family'; and all the county historians testify to the fact that it flourished in Devon early in the thirteenth century. Pole says that Anno 27 Hen. III. William de Wray held fourth part of a knight’s fee in Wyke. This is on the authority of Testa de Nevill, the date of which is, I believe, now fixed at 1227; and Risdon says, North Wyke was the land of William de Wigornia, alias Chamberlain, in the reign of King Henry III. Apparently these two authorities differ; but if we bear in mind that at this
    period of our national history surnames were uncommon; that a person was known by the estate or office he held, or by the title, office, estate, or occupation of the father, and that the manors of Chevereston in Kenton and Wray in Moretonhampstead were also held by him, we readily see that William de Wray, William de Chevereston, and William de Wigornia [Wig’] are one and the same person. In one place he would be known as William 'of
    Chevereston', in another as William 'of Wray', and in another as William 'of Wig' or 'Wik'.


    Copied from World Wykes Website,

    The following text is taken from Charles Worthy's Devonshire Wills, published in 1896.

    In 1086, the manors of South Tawton with Ash, Wray, in Moreton Hampstead, and Cheverstone, in Kenton (I am adopting modern spelling), all of which save Ash, had belonged to the family of Harold, were alike held, in demesne, by King William. Wray and Cheverstone were subsequently owned by a family long known as de Cheverstone; whilst North Wyke, in South Tawton, said by Risdon, with an anachronism as to date, "to have been anciently the lande of William de Wigoren, alias Chamberlain," was for several generations, subsequently to 1242, held by the De Wrays of Northwyke, otherwise North Wigorn.

    It appears to me as certain that this William de Wigornia, rather than "Wigoren," was not only the common ancestor of the Wrays, Cheverstones, and Wykes, but that he also gave name to the several properties in South Tawton, afterwards corrupted into West-wyke, Week-Town, or " Wiggaton," and Northwyke, neither of which seem to be identical with the Domesday manors known as " Wic," or " Wice," the Saxon equivalent for a hamlet, from the verb, vichian, which signifies to reside or dwell; hence we get Prancras-wick, Germans-wick, Wick Dabernon, Great Wick, and many other parishes, towns, and manors, in this and other parts of the country.

    But in Devonshire there are only "Wykes," thus written, in the parishes of South Tawton and Axminster; and North Wyke, in the latter parish, is also not a Domesday manor, but takes name from an adjacent property, long known as Wigost.

    There is every reason to assume that "William de Wigornia", gave his name to North and West Wyke, and to Wiggaton, in the parish of South Tawton. He was certainly the ancestor of the Wykes, and was also the owner of Wray, in Moreton Hampstead, and of Cheverstone, in Kenton, and seems to have been one of the younger sons of Robert de Bellomonte, Earl of Mellent, and dejure, Earl of Worcester, by his marriage with Maud, daughter and coheir of Reginald, Earl of Cornwall. Hence he was known as "de Wigornia," in English, William of Worcester. The whole of the South Tawton property I have mentioned came into the hands of Henry I upon the death of his brother, William Rufus, in the year 1100. King Henry, by Elizabeth, daughter of Robert de Bellomonte, Earl of Leicester, had with other left-handed issue, the aforesaid Reginald, Earl of Cornwall [Note: I have Sibyl Corbet as mother of Reginald], possibly, and a daughter, Constance, certainly, to whom he gave the whole of the manor of South Tawton, upon her marriage with Rosceline, Viscount de Bellomonte, and it is shown, by the Pipe Rolls, that she received the rents, etc., etc., in 1157.

    Therefore, Elizabeth de Bellomonte was, in such case, not only the mother of the lady of the manor of South Tawton, but she was also the aunt of Robert of Worcester, Earl of Mellent, the husband of her granddaughter, Maud of Cornwall, and both the great-grandmother and the great-aunt of "William de Wigornia," who doubtless obtained, primarily, the Royal manors of Wray and Cheverstone, through his frail relative's connection with royalty, and the Wyke estates, subsequently, by arrangement with his cousin, Richard de Bellomonte, who succeeded his mother at South Tawton after 1157. This Richard had no male issue; his daughter and heir, Constance de Bellomonte, married Roger de Toni about the year 1162, and the ultimate heir of de Toni brought the Devonshire property to Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who died in 1315. The latter was maternally descended from Henry de Bellomonte, alias de Newburgh, brother of the first Earl of Leicester, and therefore uncle of the first Earl of Mellent and Worcester, as well as of Elizabeth, King Henry's mistress; and it was in consequence of the minority of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was only two years old in 1315, that the manor of South Tawton was sometimes in the hands of King Edward II - a fact worth mentioning because the county historians who have referred to the Warwicks, as owners of South Tawton, have never attempted to explain how the manor came into their possession.

    As both Robert and William de Wigornia, who were equally related to the early lords of South Tawton, both before and after the separation of that manor from the Royal demesne, are sometimes called "Camerarius" or Chamberlayn, they probably held office, successively, under King Henry II, their kinsman. I may add that they were likewise the brothers-in-law, through the marriage of their sister Mabel, of William de Vernon, Earl of Devon, who died a very old man, in 1217. Her daughter Mary married Robert Courtenay, and hence it may have been that William de Wigornia's descendant, Sir John Cheverstone, some generations afterward, devised the whole of his property to the Courtenays, failing his issue by Jane, his wife, sister of his kinsman, Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham ; thus Cheverstone has descended in the Courtenay family since the reign of Richard II.

    Father: Robert de BEAUMONT , Count of Meulan b: ABT 1142 in Meulan, Yvelines, Ile-de-France, France
    Mother: Maud FitzRoy of CORNWALL b: ABT 1143 in Launceston, Cornwall, England

    Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown
      1. Has Children William de WIGORNIA , of Ayshe, Sir b: ABT 1215 in Chevereston Manor, Kenton, Devon, England
      2. Has Children Walter LEWREY , of North Wyke & Wray b: ABT 1220 in North Wyke, South Tawton, Devon, England
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