Name: William FITZNIEL , of Boarstall 1
Birth: BEF 1146 in Boarstall, Bicester, Buckinghamshire, England 1
According to tradition the Derhyde and the custody of Bernwood Forest were granted by Edward the Confessor to Niel, the ancestor of the lords of Boarstall, in reward for slaying a formidable boar, the supposed evidence of the grant being the horn preserved by his heirs. This story is partially corroborated by the confirmation in 1266 by Henry IIIt o the heir of the Fitz Niels of the bailiwick and Derhyde, the former being described as held by his ancestors from the Conquest. It seems that Niel's heirs were dispossessed by the Lisures until Fulk de Lisures and his son William after him restored to William Fitz Niel the land and office which had been his father's. This was perhaps the William Fitz Niel who in 1167 made a payment for this township. He or another of the same name was tenant in chief of the Derhyde between 1210 and 1212. John Fitz Niel, William's son, was keeper of Bernwood Forest in 1255 and 1264, and received a formal grant of its bailiwick with the Derhyde in 1266. His death took place about 1289, and Boarstall descended to his son and heir John, who ten years later obtained licence to enfeoff Robert de Harwedon of the lands he held of the Crown with the intention that they should be re-settled on himself with remainder to his son-in-law John, son of Richard Handlo, and his daughter Joan, John's wife. Before the completion of this settlement John Fitz Niel died, and his lands passed to John Handlo and Joan. A grant of land in Bernwood Forest was made to John in 1305, and in 1310 he acquired from John son of Benet le Vilur tenements in Boarstall, some held of Brill Manor, others of the honour of Wallingford. The licence of 1312 to crenellate his dwelling-house of Boarstall and the fresh grant of 1315 from the royal forest were followed by a temporary seizure of John Handlo's manor and peel tower here, which were restored to him by royal command in 1322, a year marked by violent attacks upon his dwellings and lands. Richard, John's son and heir by wife Joan, died in his father's lifetime, and in 1345 John settled the manors she had brought him on trustees for his own use, with remainder to Richard's son Edmund and his wife Alice. He died the next year, and Boarstall was shortly afterwards seized by the king's officers on the pretext of his grandson's minority, the settlement of 1345 being declared invalid on the ground that John had enjoyed no independent rights in the property. On the petition made in the interest of the heir, then about seven, an order was issued after inquiry for the restitution of certain parts, but the 2 bovates or Derhyde, and the bailiwick of Bernwood Forest always associated with them, seem to have been retained by the Crown until Edmund's death in 1355. His lands came to his sisters and heirs, Elizabeth wife of Edmund de la Pole and Margaret wife of Gilbert Chastellyn, Margaret and her second husband John Appleby receiving Boarstall in 1362. Four years later, by a fresh partition, this manor was assigned to Elizabeth and her husband Edmund de la Pole. They had two daughters, one of whom, Elizabeth, with her husband Ingelram Bruyn, in 1394 conveyed her right to the reversion of a moiety of Boarstall Manor to her sister Katherine, wife of Robert James.
From: 'Parishes : Boarstall', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4 (1927), pp. 9-14. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=62522&strquery=boarstall buckingham Date accessed: 30 April 2013.
- William FITZNIEL , of Boarstall b: BEF 1191 in Boarstall, Bicester, Buckinghamshire, England
- Title: VCH of Buckingham, 1908, William Page, www.british-history.ac.uk