Foundations 3(1)

January 2009:  Full contents list for this issue.

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  • Our Dearest Brother: Changing Expressions of Kinship in the Records of Medieval Royalty (Michael Andrews-Reading)

Winner of the 2008 Charles F H Evans award

Surviving royal documents from the medieval period not infrequently include statements of relationship. A detailed examination of representative collections of these documents demonstrates a gradual move away from purely factual statements of close relationships in some cases. By the time of the late Middle Ages, the use of formal and stylised kinship terms had come to reflect political and pragmatic relationships instead of strict blood ties. This article asks when such statements can be relied on as fact and seeks to chart potential changes in royal attitudes towards expressing relationship as a function of diplomatic and administrative language.

  • The death of Margaret of Scotland, Countess of Kent (Andrew B W MacEwen)

The author cites evidence from a charter in Magdalen College, Oxford, confirming that Margaret, eldest child of William I of Scotland, died on St Machute’s day in 1259.

Tempest Arms

  • The Early Tempests (John R Schuerman)


The article reviews what is known about the early Tempests of Bracewell, later of Waddington and Broughton. The Tempests are ancestors of Peter Worden, the New England immigrant (d.1638 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts).


  • The Archbishops of Dol and the origin of the Stewarts (Paul A Fox)

It is over a hundred years since J Horace Round discovered through his work on French medieval chartularies that the ancestors of the house of Stewart were Breton. His research is of fundamental importance to the subject, but the pedigree which he produced is no longer tenable, and a substantial revision has been made. In order to gain a better insight into the motivations of a family whose own survival in the records has been slight, the political and genealogical framework of the nobility of the county of Rennes has been re-examined. It is evident that the barons of the north-eastern Breton march were very much inter-related, and that the Stewart ancestors, as stewards of the Archbishop of Dol, married into that group. Their earliest male line progenitor has been identified as Hato, a knight presumed to be of Frankish descent. He was probably brought into Brittany by Rivallon of Dol, the vidame of the Archbishop, to assist in the defence of the bishopric. His son Flaald became the first hereditary steward of Dol, and probably married Rivallon’s niece. Hato’s grandson Alan fitz Flaald, following his participation in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, went on to become an English baron.

  • More concerning Thomas Ellis (John M Ellis)

In 2006 the author wrote an article relating to Thomas Ellis, gentleman and merchant, Alderman and Mayor of Doncaster, which was published in Foundations [2(1): 47-53]. In addition to an explanation of his life and work, the article attempted to determine his parentage and family, noting that nothing authentic had so far been discovered despite considerable research effort. The present article has the same objectives in view and explores the possible relationship of Thomas Ellis to the Ellis family of Bilham.

  • Further comment on Whitney (Adrian Benjamin Burke)

A response to the letter of David Kent published in Foundaitons 2(6).

  • Book Review: Medieval Sheriffs of Surrey, Sussex and the Sussex Rapes 1066-1400 (reviewed by Chris Phillips)





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