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Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester

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Jim Blasingame
USA
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1 of 7  Fri 11th Mar 2016 10:07pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2016  Total posts:5

Greetings from America. I'm new to the forum because I'm writing a book that has part of the setting in Covington. One piece of history that I can't find is why in about 1250, Robert de Montalt, Earl of Chester, sold the "Earl's half" to St. Mary's priory. Does anyone know his motivations for doing this? Thanks, Jim
Jim Blasingame

Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 12:09am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3011

Hello Jim and welcome to the forum Wave Did you perhaps mean Sir Roger de Montalt? Houses of Benedictine monks: Priory of Coventry "In 1256 Sir Roger de Montalt and Cicely his wife granted to the priory all their rights in the wide manor of Coventry, with the advowson of the church of St. Michael and its chapels and a warren recently granted them by the king, for the yearly rent of £100, and a payment of 10 marks to the nuns of Polesworth. The grantors also reserved to themselves their mansion and park at Cheylesmore, with the adjacent dwelling of the Franciscans, the lepers' house of Spon, and the homages of Sir Gilbert de Segrave, the earl of Warwick, and others. Subsequently Henry III helped to rehabilitate the priory by granting them various additional privileges, such as free warren on all their manors, and the tithes of all their demesne lands, together with the appropriation of certain churches." Edited by member, 12th Mar 2016 12:24 am
Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
Helen F
Warrington
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3 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 12:13am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

Hi, my reference ties in with that from the Dutchman. Life in an Old English Town p12 says The last Earl of Chester being dead and his successors the De Montalts, men of little mark*, the chance lay with St Mary’s convent; and an enterprising prior, William of Brightwalton, was not slow to avail himself of the opportunity. Hoping, so the convent folk afterward declared, to allay the strife by uniting the two manors whereof the town was composed under one lord, he proposed to purchase the earl’s estate, a scheme which Roger de Montalt being in need of money for a Crusade, was fain to agree. So in 1249 the Green, Earl Hugh forbade his tenants to meddle with the priors markets, later resigned the manor into the prior’s hand in return for a yearly rent of £108 and by this means the head of the convent became to lord of the soil within the Earl’s half. Prior’s men and Earl’s men alike holding of him house and land, and owing him homage, fealty and yearly rent. *men of little money The strife was caused by the two halves of the city having different rights and conditions and wasn't resolved by the merger. Edited by member, 12th Mar 2016 12:21 am
Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
Helen F
Warrington
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4 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 11:24am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

At his death, Ranulf, Earl of Chester’s Coventry estates had been bequeathed to his nephew Hugh d’Aubigny, Earl of Arundel, the son of Mabel, one of his four sisters. Hugh, however, died in 1243, while still in his twenties, and the estates passed to his sister Cecily, who had married Roger de Montalt, formerly seneschal for Ranulf of Chester. In 1249 de Montalt decided to go on Crusade and, to fund the potentially ruinous expenses that faced him, was persuaded by the entrepreneurial Benedictine prior, William de Brightwalton, to sell all of his Coventry holdings (except Cheylesmore Manor and park, the house of the Greyfriars and the leper hospital*) to the priory, receiving in return a ‘pension’ of £100 a year. Link to The Story of Coventry Edited by member, 12th Mar 2016 11:25 am
Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
Helen F
Warrington
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5 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 12:34pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:923

For a short time only I'll put up this map of where the old leper chapel might have been. It's at the junction between Allesley Old Road, Spon End and Hearsall Lane. The chapel was probably at the lower arrow, which is in Chapelfields. The upper arrow marks something that looks similar to the chapel but was probably something else. The X marks where they recently dug up leper bones, which ties in nicely with the leper hospital being in that field. A good site about Chapelfields with image of the Chapel The parts of the estate that Roger retained were on the outskirts of the city. Good hunting? Room for expansion? Sentimental reasons?
Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
Jim Blasingame
USA
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Thread starter
6 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 5:41pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2016  Total posts:5

Thank you so much, everyone. Yes, I meant Roger (sorry). And the answer to my question, "What was his motivation for the sale of the Earl's Half," is that the proceeds funded his crusade. That's the missing piece to my story. My book will be out in about a year, and one chapter is set in Covington. I've tried to weave as much actual history into the story, with the help of this and other collections of Covington history. But since my characters are fictitious, you'll forgive some license I took with. I think you'll find it to be about 75% representative, with the other quarter needed to bring to life a story among the facts and the history. I'll keep the group posted when it comes out, if you'll promise not to yell at me when I swerve off the historical path a little. Thanks again. This forum is great and I can tell how much you love your town. Jim
Jim Blasingame

Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester
dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 7  Sat 12th Mar 2016 6:16pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3011

Good luck with the book when it comes out Jim Thumbs up
Roger de Montalt, Earl of Chester

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