Ralph DE CHESNEY of Rudham
(-Aft 1086)


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Matilda (Maud) DE WATERVILLE

Ralph DE CHESNEY of Rudham

  • Born: La Quesnay, Seine-Inferieure, Normandy, France
  • Married:
  • Died: After 1086, Rudham, Docking, Norfolk, England


  General Notes:

Compiler's 28 x great-grandfather

  Research Notes:

A manuscript which records donations to Lewes priory includes in Sussex land "ad Elintunam" donated by "Radulfus vetus de Chaisneto" for the soul of "Mathildis uxoris eius", land "et molinum de Bardeseia" donated by "Radulfus junior de Chaisneto" for the soul of "Emmæ uxoris eius" and donations of other land by "utroque Radulfo, patre et filio"... 1


The family of Cheyney, Cheyne or Chesney (Latinized as de Caisneto, de Querceto) apparently derived its name from Quesnay between St. Lô and Caen. Its Domesday representative, Ralf, is only referred to by his surname in one entry in the survey; under Bosham, where it is noted that 17 hides formerly belonging to that manor are now held by Ralf de Caisned. These 17 hides formed the manor of Saddlescombe, in Newtimber, which latter was also held by "the same Ralf." The descent of Street and Hamsey to the family of de Say enables us to identify him as the Ralf who held those two estates in 1086. Some five or six years later, on the day of the consecration of the church of Lewes Priory, Ralf de Kaineto gave to the monks the church of Brighton (Bristelmeston) and the tithes of all his possessions in that vill, the churches of Balcombe and West Hoathly, the church of Keymer with one virgate of land and tithes, the church of Barcombe with the land belonging to it and tithes of corn and hay and sheep and of the mill of "Bardesey," and a meadow at Hamsey, and the houses of Wlnod Parmentarius in the borough of Lewes, and one hide of land in Allington. At the same time his son Ralph gave, with his father's permission, a hide of land at Offham (Wocham). Of the places mentioned in this donation Balcombe and West Hoathly are not named in Domesday; Offham was part of Hamsey, and may be represented by the two half-hides held thereof by Hugh and Ralf; Hamsey and Allington were held by "Ralf," who also held the chief manor at Brighton. The only church mentioned under Brighton, however, was in the manor held by William de Watervile, and this same William held Keymer and Barcombe. William de Watervile is also entered as holding Perching,—a manor afterwards held by the Aguillons, one of whom...married a co-heiress of Bartholomew de Cheyney,—and Hangleton, while Clayton is assigned to "the wife of William de Watervile," an entry which suggests that William may have died during the actual process of the survey. it seems quite possible that Ralf de Cheyney, whose wife's name was Maud, may have married a daughter of William de Watervile. 2


The 4 hides of Graffham held in 1086 by Ralph (de Chesney) became the manor of WONWORTH. Ralph's son Roger de Chesney gave to Lewes Priory the church of 'Mellers', now Madehurst, and the tithes of his demesnes in Graffham, which grants were confirmed by his sons Hugh and William, and at a later date the priory was receiving in Graffham the tithes of the part, and in Wonworth 2 sheaves of the tithes of the old demesne.... 3

  Marriage Information:

Ralph married Matilda (Maud) DE WATERVILLE, probably daughter of William DE WATERVILLE of West Hoathly. (Maud DE WATERVILLE was born probably in West Hoathly, East Grinstead, Sussex, England.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands: Chesney.

2 Sussex Domesday Tenants, IV. The Family of Chesney or Cheyney, by L. F. Salzman, F.S.A., pp. 20-1.

3 BHO | BRITISH HISTORY ONLINE: Graffham, citing A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, ed. L F Salzman (London, 1953), pp. 58-60.

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