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Ralph son of Orm

fl 1150s

Father Orm of Okeover
Mother Unknown
1st Wife Lettice de Montgomery
2nd Wife a daughter of Robert de Blore ?
Children Richard, Hugh, Geoffrey, Alice, William (?)

Ralph was probably born in Okeover (1), the son of Orm (5)(6)(7). His date of birth is unknown, and cannot even be estimated with any great confidence, but I have assumed a date around 1120 (2).

Ralph was granted 6 bovates of land in Stretton previously held by his father, by the Abbot of Burton, probably in the 1140s (4). He was also granted the vill of Caldelowe by Robert Ferrars, the earl of Derby, likely at around the same time (5).

Sometime in the 1150s, following a change in the Abbot of Burton, Ralph was further granted the lands in Okeover which his father had previously held before him (6), and at around the same time, the the prior grant of the 6 bovates of land in Stretton was confirmed (7).

He married Lettice, the sister of Walter de Montgomery, and they had a son Richard. Richard survived to adulthood, but pre-deceased his father (10).

Lettice must have died relatively young (12) because Ralph's younger sons, Hugh and Geoffrey, had a different mother (10) (whose idenity is unclear, but who may possibly have been a daughter of Ralph de Blore (15)). He also had a daughter Alice (15), and there may have been another son named William too (11).

Ralph was still living around the early 1160s, witnessing a grant of Reiner, son of Eadricht de Wolsely sometime between 1158-1165 (8); and being mentioned in a concord between Henry and Sewal, sons of Fulcher, between 1159-1166 (9).

No other record of him has been found, so his death can only be said to be sometime between then, and when Okeover was granted to his son and heir Hugh around 1180 (13).

Brief details of his children:


  1. Okeover was, as far as we can tell, his father's (main?) residence.
  2. The ealiest known mention of Ralph dates from either between his fathers death (after 1129 (3)) and 1150 (4); or between 1139 and 1160 (dated by the mention of Robert Earl Ferrars) (5). Assuming he was an adult at the time this puts his birth before 1130 at the latest. It is not so obvious where to draw the limit as to how early his birth could have been, but as his father was old enough to hold land before 1100, then Ralph could have been born as early as 1090. My gut instinct puts his birth somewhere towards the end of this period, around 1120, because he didn't take possession of his father's lands in Okeover until the 1140s, and it is unlikely that there would be too long a gap between his father's death, and his taking possession (unless he were still a minor when Orm died). However it is perfectly possible that evidence could come to light which pushes this back by up to 30 years.
  3. See his father's page.
  4. "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, 1904. "An account of the family of Okeover of Okeover - Okeover Deeds", no 5, on p130 reads:
    Ego Galfridus Abbas et Monachi Bertonie mecum concedimus huic Radulfo filto Ormi illam terram in Stratona scilicet vi. b. in feufirmam pro vi. s. quoque anno et per consuetudines pertinentes ad tantumdem terre in eadem villa. Concedimus inquam ei et heredi (sic) ipsius in feudum et hereditatem illam terram in Stratona quam tenuit Ormus pater ejus et sicut eam tenuit et eodem servicio et eisdem consuetudinibus et sicut testatur cyrographum ipsius Ormi, unus terminus firme est ad festum Sancti Johannis, alius ad festum Sancti Martini. Hujus concessionis testes sunt Primum ipsum capitulum idest Edwinus Prior.*
    * From the Burton Chartulary, the date of the deed would be between 1130 and 1150. It will be noted that the grant is for two lives only.

    On page 8 of the same volume, the following commentary is also given:
    "The first mention of Ralph the son of Orm occurs in a deed of the Abbot Geoffrey (1114-1150) granting to him and to his heir (heredi ejus) six bovates of land in Stratona in fee farm for 6s. to be held by the same services as his father Orm. I take the date of this deed to be about 1140."
  5. "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, 1904. "An account of the family of Okeover of Okeover - Okeover Deeds", no 4, on pages 129-130 reads:
    Liter a concessionis Comztis Roberti de ferrariis.
    Robertus comes de Ferrariis omnibus horninibus et amicis suis francis et Anglicis et omnibus hominibus de soka Wyrk:(swurth) salutem. Sciatis me concessisse Radulpho filio Orm et heredibus suis tenere Caldelawe de me et heredibus meis in capite per servicium quod pertinet terre predicte, Testibus hits Alberto et Radulpho Cuncstablo Roberto de Pirario Dapifero et Willelmo filio Herberti Radulpho Feom (sic) Roberto de Montegomeri et Baldwino' Builot, Gilberto de Sumervilla et Alano de Faleisa et Rogero capellano et Durando filio Letardi et aliis pluribus, et ut sui dominii aratra ab omnibus serviciis sint quieta. *
    * From the Okeover Chartulary in the Bodleian Library, fol. 32. The third witness, Robert de Pirario, is stated by William, Earl of Ferrers, in his return of 1166, to have been enfeoffed in half a knight's fee by his father. (Liber Rubeus.) The grant is therefore made by the second Earl Robert. One of the witnesses, Baldwin Buelot, makes a return under Northamptonshire, as a tenant in capite. (Liber Rubeus, p. 335.)

    On page 8 of the same volume, the following commentary is also given:
    "...and to about the same period [about 1140] may be ascribed the grant to him of Robert Earl of Ferrars of the vill of Caldelowe to be held by him and his heirs by its customary service. The confirmation of this grant later on by William de Ferrars shows the place must be Callow near Wirksworth, for under the terms of the grant the tenants had to grind their corn at the Wirksworth mill."
  6. "Okeover of Okeover" archive at Derbyshire Record Office. Item ref D231M/T1, catalogue entry reads:
    Gift by Robert, Abbot of Burton and the convent there, to Ralph son of Orm, of the whole land of Acovere [Okeover] with all its appurtenances, which the King granted to the church of Burton, paying annually two marks of silver at the feast of St Martin: the said Ralph and his heirs to attend the king's court at the expense of the Abbot and also to attend the Abbot's court to judge the punishment of thieves if one should be taken, and trial by battle, although he must have 'reasonable summons'. Witnesses: the chapter itself, Jordan the Prior, Briennius, William of St Albans, many of the monks of the church, Geoffrey de Bakepiz, Ralph de Mungumeri Geoffrey de Tatinhul, William de Winishil, Godwin de Brantistun, Leisincus and many others.
    A transcript is given in "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, 1904. "An account of the family of Okeover of Okeover - Okeover Deeds", no 6, on p131-132 which reads :
    Sciant omnes tam presentes' quam futuri quod ego Rodbertus Abbas Burtonie & totus conventus ejusdem loci concessimus et confirmavimus Radulfo filio Ormi & heredibus suis totam terram de Acoure cum omnibus pertinentiis que pertinent ille predicte terre tenendam de nobis et de ecclesia Burtoniense tam libere et tam quiete quam dominus Rex noster concessit ecclesie nostre Burtoniensi, reddendo hobis annuatim ii as marcas argenti ad festum Sancti Martini pro omni servitio. Sed sciendum est quod predictus Radulfus & heredes sui debentur ad curiam regis ire cum Abbate pro negotio domus super expensas Abbatis. Et Radulfus predictus et heredes sui ad curiam Abbatis venire debent etiam judicandi latronem. si sit captus vel causa judicandi bataille, et ad hoc faciendum Radulfus predictus & heredes sui debent rationabile summoneri. Testes sunt hii. Primum ipsum capitulum ecclesie burtoniensis scilicet Jordanus Prior, Briennius, Willelmus de Sancto Albano et ceteri monachi ecclesie predicte. Deinde Galfridus de Bakepiz, Radulfus de Mungumeri, Galfridus de Tatinhil, Willelmus de Winishil, Godwinus de Brantistune et Leisincus et plures alii.*
    (Portion of a Seal.)
    * From the original deed at Okeover. The Abbot Robert succeeded Geoffrey in 1150, and that is the approximate date of the deed. Of the witnesses named, the family of de Bakepuz held three knights' fees of the Earls of Ferrers at Barton, co. Derby, and other places in Berkshire. Ralph de Mungumeri was a member of the family of Montgomery, which held four knights' fees of the Earl, at Marston, Sudbury, Snelston and Cubley, co. Derby. This Ralph may have been the head of his house at this date. The above deed is the earliest hereditary grant made by the monks to the Okeovers, and a facsimile of it is appended.
  7. "Okeover of Okeover" archive at Derbyshire Record Office. Item ref D231M/T295, catalogue entry reads:
    Confirmation by Robert, Abbot of Burton of a gift by Geoffrey, his predecessor, to Ralph son of Orm of five bovates of land in Stretton: Orm held the land in fee farm for 6s annually and the same customs and services are to appertain as when Orm held it Witnesses: the Chapter, Jordan the Prior, Briennius the sub-prior, Hurbert and several other monks, William, son of Nigel, William, son of Herbert, Jordan son of Fulcher, Robert son of Walchelini [Humphrey] de Toc, Ralph priest, Robert his son, Ailwin the priest, Reginald of St Albans, Nicholas Coc, Godwin de Brantestona [Branston] and many others
    A transcript is given in "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, 1904. "An account of the family of Okeover of Okeover - Okeover Deeds", no 7, on p131-132 which reads:
    Ego Rodbertus Abbas Burtonie concedo & confirmo donationem quam Gaufridus predecessor meus bone memorie Abbas & monachi concesserunt huic Radulfo filio Ormi Scilicet in Stratona VI. b. in feufirmam pro VI. solidos quoque anno & per consuetudines pertinentes ad tantundem terram in eadem villa. Concedimus inquam ei et heredi (sic) ipsius in feudum & hereditatem illam terram in Stratona quam tenuit Ormus pater ejus et sicut earn tenuit & eodem servitio & eisdem consuetudinibus & sicut testatur cyrographum ipsius Ormi. Unus terminus firme est ad festum Sci Johannis, alius ad festum Sci Martini. Hujus concessionis & conventionis testes sunt, primum ipsum capitulum, idest Jordanus prior, Briennius subprior, Hubertus et ceteri monachi Deinde Willelmus filius Nigelli, Willelmus filius Herberti, Jordanus filius Fulcheri, Rodbertus filius Walchelini, Unfridus de Toe, Radulfus Presbiter, Rodbertus filius ejus OEilwinus presbiter, Reignaldus de Sco Albano, Nicholaus cocus, Godyinus de Branteston a et plures alii.*
    (Seal destroyed)
    * Original deed at Okeover. The Abbot Geoffrey was succeeded by Robert in 1150, and this confirmation of Geoffrey's grant probably took place shortly afterwards. Respecting the witnesses, the first two have been previously described. Jordan fitzFulcher was the son of the Fulcher of Deed No. 2. Robert fitz Walkelin has been mentioned before. His tenure under the Earls of Ferrers consisted of Radbourne, Mercaston, and part of Egginton. Umfrey de Toke had been enfeoffed by the first William, Earl of Ferrers. His tenure was at Sudenfen (Synfin), Leke and Hulton (Hilton).
  8. "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 2, Part 1, "The Staffordshire Chartulary", Series II, number XVIII, on page 244 cites Dugdale's "Monasticon" Vol 4, p160 entry V, which is described as :
    "ANNO DOMINI CIRCA 1158-1165, 4-11 HENRY II.

    The witness are given as:
    Herefeus Bagod, Radulphus filius Horm, Robertus filius Radulphi de . . . . Hugo de Ingestre, Willelmus, Harvi de Aclea, Adam sacerdos de Colwiz, Gilbertus sacerdos de Colton, Hervi frater Reinerii, Radulphus Sigilli
  9. "The Cartulary of Darley Abbey", Darlington, 1945, Vol II, pages 517-518, precis of entry K72 reads:
    Concord[1] made in the court of William I de Ferrers earl of Derby, between Henry eldest son of Fulcher and Sewal his younger brother, by which Henry made Sewal heir of the baronies of Fulcher their father and Henry their uncle and set him in the palce of lord and first born as regards these two baronies, for which gift Sewal gave half a mark to Henry his brother who became Sewal's man, and Sewal gave to Henry and his heirs the homage of Swain of Mapleton, the service of Ovonbrook, the service of Ible, saving the right of Simon son of Jordan, the service of Okeover (co Staffs), saving the right of the heirs of Ralf son of Orm, the service of the whole of the dower of the wife of Jordan his brother, i.e.half of Youlgreave, Gratton, Weston Underwood, a mill in Derby, one mark of silver in Brushfield, Little Ireton, Okeover (co Staffs), the church of Edensor, the church of Shirly, and whatever right his father had in the church of Youlgreave, and if Jordan's wife changers her life (i..e enters a monastery) before her death, Henry and his heirs shall have the whole of her dower in demesne. For this fine and gift Henry gave to Sewal and his heirs their inheritence, and if Sewal leaves no heir the wholeinheritence shall remain with Henry and his heirs. Neither of the two brothers shall sell or pledge any part of the inheritence except to the other brother and then at a lower price than anyone else would be willing to pay, and Henry confirms to Maud Ridel, the wife of Sewel, the dower which Sewal has given her. 1159-66.
    This deed is also printed as number XII on page 347 of the appendix to "Stemmata Shirleiana", 2nd ed, 1873. The following entry, no XIII, on p347-348 is a confirmation of this dated 1192.
  10. At the beginning of the 13th century, Ralph's son Hugh was involved in a land dispute with William de Montgomery, the grandson of Walter de Montgomery, brother to Ralph's first wife Lettice. This hinged on the fact that Ralph and Lettice's son Richard, who Ralph had granted land in Snelston to, died without issue while Ralph was still alive, thus making Ralph his own son's heir. Hugh was said to have been a half brother of Richard but the identity of his mother, Ralph's next wife, is not nmaed. (15)
  11. Ralph's son Hugh may have had a brother William.
    "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 2, Part 1, "Staffordshire Pipe Rolls", entry on page 74 reads:
    10 Richard I (1197-98)
    Nova Oblata.
    ... Et de dimid. marc, de Hugone de Acoure de misericordia. ...

    An entry from the Derbyshire Pipe Roll from the same year is also given on page 75 :
    Willelmus de Acov'e debet dimid. marc, pro falso clameo.
    "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, gives the following commentary on these entries on page 11 :
    On the Staffordshire Pipe Roll of 10 Ric I. (1197-98) 'Hugh de Acoure is returned as owing half a mark for a misericordia, i.e., for a fine imposed upon him in some legal proceedings, and on the Derbyshire Roll of the same year a William de Acovere, who is probably his brother, is returned as owing half a mark for a false claim.
  12. Ralph's son Hugh, whose mother he must have married after Lettice's death, was an adult by around 1180. Thus Lettice must have died by about 1160 at the latest.
  13. The family lands in Okeover passed to Ralph's son Hugh between 1178-1182(14). Hugh can reasonably be expected to have come into the lands not too long after his father's death, unless Hugh was a minor at the time. Thus it seems a fair assumption that either Ralph died around the end on the 1170s, or Hugh was born around the end of the 1150s.
  14. "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", New Series, Vol 7, 1904. "An account of the family of Okeover of Okeover - Okeover Deeds", no 8, on p132 reads:
    Sciant, etc., quod ego Rogerus Abbas, etc., Burtonie, etc., confirmavimus Hugoni filio Radulfi de Acoure et heredibus suis terram et tenuram suam quam habet in Acoure in feudo et hercditate, de nobis tenendam ita libere et quiete sicut Radulfus ejus pater tenuit, reddendo nobis annuatim duas marcas argenti ad festum Sancti Martini. Testes Willelmus Decanus de Tattunhull, Robertus de Stapenhull, Ailwinus capellanus, Robertus de London, Galfridus Salvagius, Radulfus filius Radulfi, Richerus frater ejus, Robertus de Greseleia et Henricus frater ejus, Henricus de Lega, Nicholaus filius Johannis de Wilintone, Ricardus de Lega, Reginaldus de Sancto Albano, Simon Pugil, Matheus frater ejus, Jordanus de Povele*
    * Okeover Chartulary, Bodleian Library. The Abbot Roger was elected in 1178, and died in 1182.
    Of the witnesses, Geoffrey Savage held Tissington under the Earls of Ferrers. Robert de Gresley was the head of the house of Gresley, which held three knights' fees of the Earls of Ferrers at Lullington, Gresley, Linton, and other places.
    Henry de Lega was the tenant of the Abbot at Leigh in Staffordshire.

    A transcript also appears in "Collections for a History of Staffordshire", Vol 5, Part 1, 1884. "The Burton Chartulary", page 40.
  15. See his son Hugh's page.