Early Richmond Family

A Brief History and Description of the Early Richmond Family, the ancestors of John Richmond


The Richmonds of England may be either of French or Norman origin. . . Rollo (Rolf) the first Duke of Normandy was a Viking warlord from Norway who, with his followers, settled the western portion of France. Through the treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte he obtained an area between the Valleys of Bresle, L'Epte and L'Avre from King Philip of France. William the Conqueror, the grandson of Rollo, expanded his kingdom to include England. It is assumed that the first Richmond ancestor accompanied William and served at his side during the Battle of Hastings. Eudon, Count of Penthievre, the son of Geoffrey Duke of Brittany and Hawise (daughter of Richard Duke of Normandy) had five legitimate living children. Alan Rufus (the Red), the third child of Eudon, accompanied the Conqueror in his conquest of England. Alan was commander of the Breton contingent at the Battle of Hastings and later played a major role in the brutal suppression of the North 1069-1070. For his loyalty and his relationship to William (he was a second cousin) he was made one of the largest landowners in England. Alan Count of Brittany was granted lands and manors that formerly had been in the possession of Earl Edwin in Yorkshire. This extensive holding, one of the three largest granted by William, was created for military purposes. The estates were formed into the Honour of Brittany (they would not be called the Honour of Richmond until about 1203).

Alan Rufus in 1071 began construction of Richmond Castle on the lofty hill overlooking the River Swale. Alan became the first Count of Richmond. Alan also built the first castle in Middleham in Wensleydale, Northern Yorkshire, which belonged his brother Ribald. When Alan Rufus died without issue in 1089, his brother Alan Niger (the Black) claimed the Honour of Brittany (Richmond). Alan Niger also died without issue in 1093. Stephen, Count of Penthievre and younger brother of the two proceeding Counts of Richmond succeeded Alan Niger. Alan Niger III, son of Stephen, claimed the Honour of Brittany (Richmond) upon his father's death (1137) and was the first to use the title "Earl of Richmond." For further information on the Earls and Dukes of Richmond click here.
Roaldus Musard was a Breton noble who was granted lands in Yorkshire by the Crown and may or may not have been a relative of Alan Rufus. Hasculfus VI, Count of Nates, son of Roald Musard, had four sons who accompanied the Conqueror: Hasculfus Musard, Hughe, Enisan, and Rould d'Adoube (a dubbed knight). Enisan Musard, a vassel of Alan Rufus, was given 21 manors previously held by Tor the Saxon. The Richmond castle site occupied a place called Neutone, which was then held by Enisan Musard, Lord of Cleasby, therefore Enisan became the first Heredity Constable of Richmond Castle. Enisan Musard's heirs were two daughters, Garsiana and Adeline.

Haculfus de St. James, a kinsman of Enisan Musard witnessed the charter of Alan Count of Richmond in 1088. Hasculfus de St. James, had four sons: James de St. Hilary, Rouldus fitz Hasculfus, Hasculfus de Cleasby (ancestor of the Cleasby family), Eudo. Rould, the second son of Haculfus de St. James married Garsiana (daughter of Enisan). Rouldus ("Le Ennase") became the next constable of the castle after Enisan's death about 1130.

Various genealogical researchers have proposed different beginnings to the early Richmond line. The question often arises as to how intertwined was the Richmond family with the ducal family. The ducal crown in the Richmond arms probably stems from such an early relationship to royalty, or from the later intermarriage with some ducal family. However, it is difficult to follow ancestral lines prior to the 1483 establishment of the Herald's College by Richard III and tradition is often woven with historical fact. No claim can be made to Richmond Castle or the arms of the present Duke of Richmond who is of the Lennox Family.

Note: The early generations presented below are the genealogical line presented by Joshua Bailey Richmond. However, some new research has been proposed by a Musard family genealogist that suggests that we descend from Hasculfus de St. James and not through Roald d'Adoube Musard.

Generation 1
Roald d'Adoube Musard - A powerful leader who accompanied William the Conqueror into England. Roaldus is listed as the founder of the English Richmonds in records complied by Francis Thackeray, uncle of the famed British author William Makepeace Thackeray. The Thackerays were like many American Richmonds, descended from the Wiltshire Richmonds.

Generation 2
Hasculfus Musard - A general survey taken around the year 1100 indicates he held lordships in Demesne, Keddington and Chilworth, Oxfordshire, as well as, Saintbury, Gloucestershire.

Generation 3
Roald ("Le Ennase") de Richmond - The second constable of Richmond Castle under Alan Niger III (who may have been a relative). Roald was the first to take on the name of Richmond. He seized various lands in the name of King Henry, who in turn gave then to him, including Pickall Manor. Later Pickall Manor was his wedding gift to his granddaughter Amfelisa who married Johanus de Neville. By grant of King Stephen, he was Lord of Aldborough and lord over most of his Enisan's lands. Roald dedicated an abbey in honor of St. Agatha on his Manor of Easby in the 1150's. He and his wife Garsiana (daughter of Enisan Musard, the first constable of Richmond Castle) were buried there. The remains of Easby Abbey including the infirmary, refectory and other buildings around the unusually planned cloister can still be seen about a mile from the town of Richmond, England.

Easby Abbey
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Generation 4
Alan, son of Roald ("Le Ennase") de Richmond - The third constable of Richmond Castle who married Olivia de Croft. Records indicate that during the first year of the reign of Richard I (1189) he owed the king 200 marks for the custody of Richmond Castle. In 1193, he paid 10 marks and owed 190. In the second year of the reign of John (1201) he gave the king 300 marks and 3 palfreys (horses) to be the constable of Richmond Castle, and by their service to retain the same title for his heirs. In 1208, he gave King John an additional 200 marks and 4 palfreys to have Richmond Castle, which had been taken from him, and to have the King's letter patent granting him military jurisdiction which he thought the castle should possess. (Note: The Thackeray records claim this line should descend through Roald, son of Roaldus "Le Enasse", but the Plantagenet-Harrison history claims, Roald had no children and thus the line descent is through Alan).

Generation 5
Sir Roald, son of Alan - A knight and the fourth constable of Richmond Castle who married Sibella. In 1208, King John gave him the lands of William de Rollos (bastard son of Richard de Rollo), including the manors of Caldwell, Croft and Kipling, plus lands of Skeby of Harsculph, son of Harsculph, who died fighting in Brittany in 1204. In 1237, King Henry III summoned him to tell by what right he held these manors. Whereupon he produced the letter patents of King John granting them to him and his heirs forever. He bestowed the manors of Burton, Aldeburgh and Croft to his son Roald in 1240.

Generation 6
Alan, son of Roald of Croft - Alan was given Burton Manor by his brother, Roald. Alan married Matilda, daughter and co-heir of Peter de Goldington as well as co-heir of Lord Roppele, who lived in Lincolnshire in 1300. Alan claimed various Lincoln lands in the right of his wife. A third part of Burton Manor was claimed in 1249 by Sarra, wife of Goscelyn Deyville, as her dower.

Generation 7
Sir Roald (the Younger), second son of Alan Richmond of Croft - His uncle Roald gave him the manors of Croft and Caldwell. Alan was brought to court in a dower plea in 1250 (perhaps by the Sarra mentioned above), and in 1251 his uncle Roald re-claimed the Caldwell manor. Sir Roald married Isabella, heir of Robert, son of Osanna de Langthwayt and Osanna's second husband, Alan de Lasceles. Sir Roald died in 1262. Rould, son of Rould who married Hawise daughter of Sir Thomas Moulton became the next constable of Richmond Castle. (Note: Gale's "Honores de Richmond" states this Roald was the son, not the nephew to Roald, son of Roald).

Generation 8
Eudo de Richmond - Little is known of this Richmond, except that "Honores de Richmond" lists him as having possessions in Staynwriggis, County of York.

Generation 9
Elyas de Richmond - The Harleian Society manuscripts, plus Herald's College records place him living during the time of Edward III (1327-1377).

Generation 10
Elyas de Richmond - He was living during the time of Edward III and Richard II (1327-1399) according to Thackeray genealogy. His brother Richard married Elizabeth, daughter to Lord Burgh, and received Burgh Manor near Catterick and Richmond in Yorkshire in 1350.

Generation 11
Thomas de Richmond - He was living in the time of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. He was probably born in the 1350's and died about 1420.

Generation 12
William de Richmond - The Herald's Visitation, 1681-1683, lists William as being of Yorkshire in the early 1400's. About 1430, he married Alice, daughter and heiress of Thomas Webb of Draycott, Wiltshire. Alice's mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Richard Nicholas and Jane. Jane's father was Nicholas St. John of Wiltshire. Upon his marriage, William Richmond assumed the name of Webb and quartered the Webb arms with his own. This procedure often was followed by Englishmen who married women inheriting more lands than the men possessed. The prime reason for assuming a wife's arms and name was to ensure that children of the marriage would have clear title to the estates coming from their mother's family. William and Alice Richmond-Webb lived at Draycott, Wiltshire.

Generation 13
William de Richmond (alias) Webb - William lived at Draycott Foliott, Wiltshire, and was married to Joan, daughter of John Ewen of Draycott. His will dated March 28, 1502 states:

"In the name of Gode amen. The year of our lorde Gode 1502 and the 28 day of March. I, William Richmond, otherwise called William Webbe, being whole and stedfast in minde make this my testament and last will. First I bequeath my soul unto almighty Jesus, to our lady his blessed mother and to all the blessed company in heaven, and my body to be buried in the parish church of Swyndon." . . .Bequests to the poor of the same church: to the cathedral church of Sarum (Salisbury): "to the priests of the parish church of Swyndon to pray for me and for all my descendants souls." Bequests "to each of my godchildren: To Johanna my wife: to Thomas Richard, William Sr., Richard (my youngest son), Henry, Christopher, William Jr. my sons and Alice and Ann my daughters.". . ."The residue of all my goods and chattels not bequeathed, my debts and bequests being content and paid, I give to Johanne my wife, and to my children not married to be equally divided by them and, if it fortunes any of them to decease, then their share to be divided among them that liveth; and I will that Thomas Richard and Richard my sons be myn executors of this my last will for my soul's health and repose and I make Wm Wroughton, gentleman overseer of this testament.
(signed) William Richmond als Webb"

The will was probated 24 April, 1502. The will specifies that he be buried at the parish church of Swindon. He bequested to the poor of that church and to the cathedral at Sarum (Old Salisbury). He requested prayers on the Swindon priests for him and his descendants. The will distributes his estate among his widow, Johanna; his sons Thomas, Richard (this may be one son, Thomas Richard), William Sr., Henry, Christopher, William Jr., Richard (specified as "my youngest son") and daughters Alice and Ann. William's will was probated April 24, 1502, according to the Probate Court of Canterbury. (Note: At the time it was common to name two sons with the same name).

Note: From Generation 14 to John Richmond of Taunton, Massachusets of Generation 19, we believe - as well as other Richmonds - that our line is of the Brinkworth Richmond line rather than the Draycott Folliott Richmond line as proposed by Joshua Bailey Richmond. For the Joshua Bailey's Richmond information click here, otherwise continue with the generations presented below.

Generation 14
Richard Richmond of Brinkworth in 1541. Wife unknown.

Generation 15
John Richmond of Brinkworth was living in 1533 and died in 1573. His wife's name was Agnes.

Generation 16
Henry Richmond of Brinkworth was living in 1581 and died later the same year. His wife's name was also Agnes.

Generation 17
John Richmond of Brinkworth was born in 1561 and died in 1623. His will was probated in 1626. His wife's was Mary Cook.

Generation 18
Henry Richmond of Christian Malford, Wiltshire had five wives. The name of the first two remain unknown. The latter three however, were Alice, Ann and Elizabeth, respectively. John and Henry were children of the first marriage. Henry supposedly had 25 children. If he did, only twelve grew to adulthood. They are listed on the Wiltshire Visitation Pedigrees, 1623.

A letter in Henry Richmond's book from John's nephew, Oliffe Richmond to his cousin Silvester says:
Ashton Keynes, 29 March 1736

"Dear Cousin, .....It is agreed by all that our ancestors first settled at Rodborne, Wilts; that two branches lived a Chedderton, in Lyddiard Treygoze Parish, Wilts. and Brinkworth, Wilts. The farthest of our family I can trace is our grandfather who lived at Christian Malford, Wilts., about three miles from Chippenham in the County. The house is now standing. Henry, our grandfather, had four wives and as I have been informed twenty-five children, twelve of whom grew up to be men and women. Children by first wife: John and Henry (The Amesbury Branch) now descending from John who killed his brother during the civil wars and cost our grandfather so much money to save his life that his estate was sold or irrecoverably mortgaged. Children by second wife: Peter, father to George and William. Children by third wife: Silvester, Oliffe my father, James died at Campden in Gloucester County and left children, Francis died unmarried. Children by fourth wife: Jane, Edward, Mary died unmarried, Elizabeth married but died without offspring. Thomasine married in Ashton Keynes and left children. "John and Henry our grandfather's sons were officers of distinction in the civil wars, one in the king's army and the other in Cromwell's, and our grandfather's home was often plundered by both armies, the king's party saying he had a son in Cromwell's party and Cromwell's party that he had a son in the king's.

Your affectionate though unknown kinsman,
"Oliffe Richmond."
(Richmond Genealogy, p. xiii.)

Generation 19
John Richmond of Taunton Massachusetts - Richmonds in America .


(Information taken in part from The Richmond Family News-Journal, vol. 1 no. 3, July 1972 and information provided by R. Walton and J. Jordan)

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