Warwickshire Feet of Fines

Feet of Fines are a great source of information for medieval researchers, though unfortunately not all of them are online. In a previous post, entitled ‘Calling all Warwickshire Ansteys‘ we noted advancements in the medieval Anstey Warwickshire pedigree during our continued research into the medieval Ansteys (see also the third edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ pages 216-218).

We would be able to further advance this pedigree if we could access the Warwickshire Feet of Fines, however they are (to our knowledge) not online. Having said that, they are held in physical form (ie books) at various university libraries in the UK.

The medieval Warwickshire Feet of Fines can be found in the Publications of the Dugdale Society‘ Volumes XI, XV and XVIII (Eleven, Fifteen and Eighteen) and we know that there are ‘Anesty’ and ‘Ansty’ entries in all three volumes. If anybody so inclined, with access to a university library holding these volumes, would be willing to access them and email the relevant ‘Anesty’ and ‘Ansty’ (and other relevant spellings) entries to gary@theansteystory.com, that would be very much appreciated.

Gary

Are You A Sussex Anstey?

In the third edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we document on pages 212-213 the early origins of a Sussex medieval Anstey sub-branch, descendent from John (I) de Anstey. In Appendix Seven of ‘ANSTEY: The Cambridgeshire Branch of the 1400s and Early 1500s‘ we further advance the Sussex Anstey pedigree, which is of extraordinary complexity, containing around half of all Ansteys alive in c1600. Indeed, so entrenched were the Ansteys in Sussex by the time of our ‘1600 Parish Register Dataset’, they were resident in no fewer than fifty Sussex parishes.

However, by the first UK Census in 1841 all Ansteys in Sussex had disappeared (bar three individuals). Either every single one of the numerous Sussex Anstey families had gone Anstey-extinct, or they had by that time left the county. Thus far, throughout my ‘Anstey’ research, having communicated with hundreds of Ansteys worldwide, I am yet to find a single one who can trace his Anstey line back to Sussex. However, surely there must be Ansteys alive today who are direct descendants of one of the numerous Sussex Anstey families and therefore appeal to anybody who can trace their direct Anstey lineage back to Sussex in say c1750 (or even earlier ideally) to contact me at gary@theansteystory.com.

Any success in this regard can be reported in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘, research for which is well under way.

Gary

1224 Anesty Phillipps’ ped. fin.

Calling all medieval Anstey super sleuths! We have found a clue which reads “1224 Anesty Phillipps’ ped. fin.“, which we believe is related to Philip de Anstey of the sub-branch of John (I) de Anstey, who we documented in the third edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ on page 184.

Almost certainly “1224 Anesty Phillipps’ ped. fin.” is a reference to Feet of Fines for the year 1224 somewhere in England. However, we cannot currently locate the underlying foot of fine entry, which undoubtedly will contain further information allowing us to better understand Philip and precisely how he fits into the medieval Anstey pedigree. Our best guess is that the 1224 foot of fine is contained within the feet of fines for either Middlesex, London, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Hampshire or Dorset.

Anybody finding this underlying entry will be forever immortalised through their being credited in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘, research for which is well under way.

Gary

Calling all Warwickshire Ansteys

In the third edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we document on pages 216-218 a Warwickshire medieval Anstey sub-branch, descendent from John (I) de Anstey. In Appendix Six of ‘ANSTEY: The Cambridgeshire Branch of the 1400s and Early 1500s‘ we further advance this pedigree up to c1650 or so.

Thus far, throughout my ‘Anstey’ research, having communicated with hundreds of Ansteys worldwide, I am yet to find a single one who can trace his Anstey line back to Warwickshire. However, I still have a sneaky suspicion that there may well be Ansteys alive today who are direct descendants of this Warwickshire medieval Anstey sub-branch and therefore appeal to anybody who can trace their direct Anstey lineage back to Warwickshire in say c1750 (or even earlier ideally) to contact me at gary@theansteystory.com.

Who knows, we may well be able to connect the two lines and thence prove once and for all that the Warwickshire medieval Anstey sub-branch did not go Anstey-extinct in the 1600s, as I suspect. Any success in this regard can be reported in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘, research for which is well under way.

Gary

“Ralph de Anesty” in the Bodleian Library, Oxford University

In the ‘Dodsworth Manuscripts’ Volume Four on page 21 there is drawn a pedigree of the sub-branch of the medieval Ansteys descendent from Richard de Anstey. The pedigree was drawn by Roger Dodsworth in the early 1600s and, although we have not yet been able to access the volume or the page itself (it is not currently online), we know that the pedigree contains an entry for “Ralph de Anesty”, in addition to Richard, Hubert (II) and Nicholas, who we know well belong to that sub-branch.

Since the third edition of our first book ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we have made great advances in our understanding of where and how Ralph de Anstey fits into the early medieval Anstey pedigree. He was connected to Battle Abbey in the early 1200s and he actually belongs to the sub-branch of John de Anstey, but there may well be additional information written on the pedigree by Roger Dodsworth of which we are not currently aware, which we could then include in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘, research for which is currently ongoing.

To the best of our knowledge, the ‘Dodsworth Manuscripts’ are held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University and they are only accessible to a select few (presumably history undergraduates/graduates/alumni and such like). If you are one of said ‘select few’, we would very much appreciate if you could send a photo of the pedigree on page 21 of Volume Four to gary@theansteystory.com.

Gary

Another ‘Anstey Imposter’ slain!

There is a reference to a “Richard of Anstey” being married to Mabel in the 1250 ‘Henry III Fine Rolls’ which states:

24 May [1250]. Windsor. Because otherwise below. Mabel, who was the wife of Richard of Anstey, gives the king 300 m. for the custody of the lands and heirs of the same Richard, to have until the lawful age of the same heirs together with the marriage of the same. The king has granted to the same Mabel that she may render 50 m. of the aforesaid 300 m. at the Exchequer of Michaelmas in the thirty-fourth year, 50 m. at the Exchequer of Easter next following, and 100 m. thus from year to year at the same terms until etc.

In the first three editions of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ (in footnote 309) we dismissed it as “we believe this entry should be read in the form ‘Richard [surname] of [village of] Anstey’, therefore an Anstey imposter and a genealogical red herring (see Appendix Three: ‘Notes For Medieval Anstey Researchers’).

Whilst researching for the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘, we took another long look at this clue and were actually leaning somewhat to the possibility of him being a genuine medieval Anstey. However, we then looked at the original Fine Roll (which is available for viewing online here) and the original roll clearly spells “Anesy”, not “Anesty” (the lesson here being to always look at the primary source if at all possible).

Furthermore, there is another entry right next to it in the same ‘Henry III Fine Roll’ (membrane 9) mentioning the same gentleman, which is this time correctly transcribed as “Richard de Anesy”. Finally, in ‘Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 10’ #197 we found the 1250 Inquisition Post Mortem of “Richard de Anesy alias Daneseye. Writ to Henry de Wengham and his co-escheator in co. Wilts, 15 April, 34 Hen. III. Richard, his son, aged 12, is his heir.

So finally, it is certain that “Richard de Anstey” of the 1250 ‘Henry III Fine Roll’ is an ‘Anstey imposter’; we were right all along in the first three editions of our first book, but for the wrong reason. Of course all of these findings will appear in the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ when it is published.

As we have said before, weeding out ‘Anstey imposters’ is just as important as finding new information on genuine medieval Ansteys if we want our ancestral story to be as accurate as possible!

Gary

Hubert (II) de Anstey and the 1196 Siege of Aumale Castle

We know that Hubert (II) de Anstey, son of Richard de Anstey, fought in the 1196 Siege of Aumale Castle, and whilst researching for the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we have found an entry which can shed further light into this matter. However, we are the first to admit that Latin translation is not our greatest asset, hence if anybody can improve on our current effort please contact us at research@theansteystory.com

The original Latin is:

Ebor: Hubertus de Anesti appellat Rogerus filium Mabille quod, dum fuit in servitio domini regis in castello de Alba Marlia et ei commiserat cum Gerardo Lenveise manerium de Scozewal custodiendum, venit ipse Rogerus cum vi sua et fregit ostia domorum et grangiorum suorum et catalla sua asportavit et cepit septiesdecies xx. oves suas et illas abduxit nequiter et in visu suo. Idem Hubertus appellat Adam de Secevall de vi illa et societate et Robertum Warin. Et Rogerus venit et defendit de verbo in verbum sicut burgensis de Scardeburg; et petit libertatem de Scardeburg; et Hugo Bard petit inde burgi de Scardeburg. et Hubertus dicit quod non fuit tunc temporis burgensis quando ei commisit custodiam ville sue , set tunc fuit nativus suus et esse debet; et de hoc ponit se super visneto. Dies datus est eis in adventu justiciariorum : et sint interim sub plegiis suis

Our current best translation is

York: Hubert de Anesti calls Roger the son of Mabille that, while he was in the service of the lord king in the castle of Alba Marlia and her wicked action with Gerardo Lenveise manor of Scozewal , comes, he Roger with the force of their own and broke the doors of the houses and grange and took seventy cattle and sheep of their families and those abducted wickedly and in his view. Hubert also calls Adam de Sackville of the force she and the society and Robert Warin. And Roger comes and defends word by word as resident of Scarborough; and asks for the freedom of Scarborough; and Hugh Fence requests from the borough of Scarborough. and Hubert says that she was not at that time resident when him entrusted to the custody of the town , but then it was elemental and it should be; and of this he puts himself upon the venue. The day is given to them in the coming justice : and are meanwhile under pledge their

Gary

Walter D’Anesty and the Tower of London

In the first three editions of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we briefly documented Walter De Anesty, Clerk of the Exchange at the Royal Mint in 1296 and a member of the medieval Anstey sub-branch descendent from John de Anstey. In footnote 331 of the third edition of our first book we also noted that he was imprisoned for a time in the Tower of London, which garnered great interest amongst medieval Anstey followers.

Whilst researching for the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we have come across a 1968 PhD thesis by Mavis Evelyn Howe Mate, entitled ‘THE MONETARY POLICIES OF EDWARD I, 1272-1307‘ which goes into much more detail in this particular episode of our medieval Anstey story.

Enjoy!

Gary

“Willelmus de Anestay” – Anstey Imposter

In ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ we discuss ‘Anstey imposters’ and how it is so important that we can successfully recognise and eliminate them from the medieval Anstey story. Sometimes this can be devilishly difficult to do, so we have provided many examples in Appendix Three (‘Notes for Medieval Anstey Researchers’) of our first book. During our research for the fourth edition we have come across another excellent ‘Anstey imposter’ example which we share below and will add to the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry‘ when it is published.

Willelmus de Anestay’: In ‘Bracton’s Notebook: A collection of cases decided in the King’s courts during the reign of Henry the Third’ Volume Three on page 646 there is reference in the year 1225 to “Williemus de Anestay” and “Williemus de Anestay et Johannes”, which got us very excited because we thought it was referencing the two sons of John (I) de Anstey. However, the fact that the section of the book in which we found the reference was entitled ‘Pateshull’s Eyre in Yorkshire’, combined with the fact that in the deed/charter it states “Willelmus de Anestay terciam partem duarum bouat terre cum pert in Anestay …” (which very roughly translates along the lines of “William of Anestay one third part of land in Anestay”) means we can be confident that this gentleman is an Anstey imposter of the type ‘William who lives in the district of Ainsty in Yorkshire’ and therefore not in the slightest connected to the medieval Ansteys.

Pity … but better to weed out the Anstey imposters early so the true medieval Anstey story can thus be told more accurately.

Gary

Rev. Martin Anstey’s Old Oak Chest

Over a century ago on 29 April 1911, Rev. Martin Anstey wrote to Tom stating:

Dear Mr Anstey, yours of yesterday to hand I have a good many ancient documents in our old oak chest and some years ago I spent a summer trying to sift them and learn what I could about the origin of our [Anstey] family. But I was only able to carry the matter to a certain point owing to the amount of time required for a thorough search.[1]

Rev. Martin Anstey’s “old oak chest” had been likely passed down through the generations from the medieval Ansteys until it came into his possession in Tiverton, Devon by 1911. It is quite evident that generations of Ansteys had been adding useful and important documents to that chest over the centuries so it is undoubtedly a genuine ‘treasure chest’ of genealogical Anstey information. We believe there may be documents stretching back as far as the 1300s within that chest, which could greatly help us with our research for the fourth edition of ‘ANSTEY: Our True Surname Origin and Shared Medieval Ancestry

There is a problem however, in that we do not have the faintest idea as to the whereabouts of that “old oak chest” today, despite much effort expended in trying to trace it. We have had some luck in tracking down some of Rev. Martin Anstey’s pedigree charts which he drew up with Tom in the early 1900s; for example in 2018, his Tiverton ‘Juryhays’ pedigree was residing with the grandson of Rev. Charles Oscar Moreton who was married to Amy Gladys Anstey (Rev. Martin Anstey’s daughter). However, this gentleman did not know the location of the “old oak chest“.

Therefore we make a specific appeal:

If anybody knows of the current location of, or possesses, Rev. Martin Anstey’s ‘old oak chest’ it would be greatly appreciated if they could please contact us at research@theansteystory.com

Gary


[1] This letter appears in full on pages 345-346 of ‘ANSTEY: The Devon and Somerset Branch’.